The Four Horsemen

The Four Horsemen (4HM) used to be something special.  The fight was considered the pinnacle of vanilla WoW.  It was extremely technical and it came down almost entirely to execution, not RNG or gear or dps.  The only drawback of the fight was that it required a lot of tanks and they all had to be geared pretty well.  Before I talk about how to do the fight now, I want to talk about how it was done at 60 because I think it is pretty cool to know the history of stuff like this and hopefully I can give some insight into why this fight was so highly regarded.  If you don’t care about the history, uh… too bad, read it anyway because many of the mechanic are the same or at least similar (but heavily watered down) and I don’t want to type it twice :P

The four horsemen were Thane Kor’thazz, Sir Zeliek, Lady Blameaux and Highlord Mograine.  There is some lore hitch that I don’t really remember that required Mograine to be replaced with Baron Rivendare in the level 80 version of the fight.  Each of the bosses did relatively high melee damage and had another special ability.  Kor’thazz called meteors down on a random person and it did a boatload of damage, but, if there were other people near the target, then damage was split amongst all the people it hit – just like meteors from the anubisath in AQ20 and AQ40 – so if it only hit 1 person, it was probably a 1-shot but if it hit 10 people, then all 10 took a little bit of damage.  Zeliek had a spell called Holy Wrath that acted like a chain lightning with holy damage and the damage got more severe with each person it chained to.  Blameaux summoned void zones on the ground that did a whole bunch of damage would kill anyone but a tank that stood in it for more than 1 or 2 ticks.  Compared to the others, Mograine was fairly tame because he only did damage to the tank, but he hit like a truck and he had a chance on hit to proc bunch of fire damage (gogo fiery enchant!).

The bosses each applied their own mark (Mark of Zeliek, etc.) which would stack with itself but not with marks from the other horsemen.  The marks were not resistable, could not be removed in any way and ignored immunities (iceblock, pally bubble, etc.) and they did increasing damage based on how many stacks you had.  Health pools were pretty low back then and the damage from a fourth or fifth mark was nearly fatal for most classes.  The Horsemen had a 75 yard range with the mark so you had to rotate early and often because you would usually pick up a mark while you were running to the boss and another while you were running away.  Since they were cast every 12 seconds, and you never wanted more than 4 or 5 stacks, you only really had around 30 seconds of dps on a boss before you had to start moving again.  The marks had a 90 second duration back then which is incredibly long compared to the current version which is in the neighborhood of 20 seconds (I don’t remember exactly how long, but I think its about 20s) and depending on how quickly you were rotating, it was entirely possible for you to start on Horseman X, rotate through the other 3 Horsemen and get back to X and still not have had Mark of X expire.  If that happened, you had to go into the safe spot and wait for your marks to expire before you could safely join the rotation again.  Since the Horsemen had a much longer range than they do now, the safe spot was pretty tiny and required the tanks to position the horsemen as deep into the corner as possible or else the safe spot wouldn’t exist at all.  And back then, after you killed a horseman, his spirit stayed at the spot where he died and continued casting marks so even if you had an insane amount of dps and could zerg one down, that quadrant of the room was still dangerous.

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