The Four Horsemen

Since the marks did a relatively large amount of damage, even the tanks couldn’t stay in place for very long and survive.  After a while, guilds were able to do it with only 6 or even 5 tanks, but for the first kill and to play it safe, you really wanted to have 7 or 8 tanks.  With 8 tanks, you would have 4 of them start in the safe zone and 4 of them on bosses.  When the tanks on the bosses picked up 4 or 5 marks, they would call for relief and the 4 tanks hanging out in the safe spot would go and taunt the bosses and then the tank rotation would begin.  Depending on how many tanks your had, they might be continuously rotating around the room or you might only have 4 main tanks moving around the room while the others just went in and out of the safe zone as relief only.  Either way, there would be a lot of taunting going on and back then, spell hit and melee hit were two separate things and taunt was only affected by spell hit so resisted taunts were at least a hassle, and at worst, fatal.  Before people were exposed to this fight, the 4 piece set bonus on T3 (+5% to hit with taunt) seemed dumb, but after this fight it all made sense.

If you think about it, threat should have been a complete non-issue on the fight – the tanks are taunting off of each other and therefore conserving a threat pool while the DPS is only really generating threat on a particular boss for 30 seconds or so and then rotating around the room for at least 90 seconds.  On a fight like 4HM where everything else is so elegantly handled, making threat a complete joke would have been awfully ham-fisted.  I don’t really remember exactly how the designers overcame that problem but they did.  I recall talk of the Marks reducing threat by half when they were applied and I remember talk about a share threat pool.  I don’t know if anyone conclusively determined how the threat mechanics worked on that fight, but whatever it was, tanks actually had to work for it.  It wasn’t overly difficult to hold aggro during the fight, but you couldn’t be asleep either.

When the horsemen hit 75%, 50% and 25% they would cast shield wall which lasted for long enough and reduced damage enough that it was not worthwhile at all to keep dpsing them which added another twist to the rotation since people were better off just going to the safe spot than taking damage from marks while doing relatively little damage to the boss.

You had tanks rotating around the room and the entire raid taking damage which meant that healers had to be really good to switch targets and keep everyone up as well as rotating themselves.  The entire raid was contantly in motion.  And as much as you tried, people were bound to get out of sync with each other so the group you started with probably wouldn’t be the same as the group you would end up with.  That meant it wasn’t really feasible for a raid leader to try and direct the fight, everyone had to keep track of things on their own which added another layer of difficulty.

The fight was just so elegant and such a pure execution fight and that is what made it so great.  There were only two legitimate reasons for people to fail on the fight 1) they didn’t have enough tanks or 2) they didn’t execute.  Number 1 was a legitimate gripe, the fight did require an awful lot of tanks and it’s a real pain in the ass to wipe for logistical reasons.  But once you had enough tanks, the only other failures came from execution.  The fight wasn’t a dps race and it didn’t have any significant randomness so you didn’t have to worry about RNG or passing a gear check (if you got there in the first place, you had enough gear).  You didn’t have to worry about weird new mechanics and the fight wasn’t resting on the shoulders of a select few people.  It all came down to having the right strategy and having everyone in the raid be able to execute it.

Page 2 of 4 | Previous page | Next page