Al’Akir is a poorly designed fight.
Seriously, most guilds that I know of either killed him for the achievement and never went back, or simply skipped him entirely and did the fight after the nerfs of 4.2. He has to be the least-killed boss in tier 11, and offhand I can’t think of a single player who considers this to be their favourite fight.
Part of this is also, of course, the extremely annoying randomised loot drops in TotFW. But most of it comes down to the annoying, demoralising ways that the RNG can screw with your attempt, and another part of it comes down to how severely latency-sensitive any phase with squall lines is. Playing as a DPS or healer, this can be somewhat mitigated by the fact that you can jump off the platform to avoid the lines, but as a tank you get to eat an increasing Electrocute anytime you’re away from melee range, and pre-nerf that meant dying before you got back in range of a healer if you went over the side. Not sure if this is still the case.
Three guesses what role I filled in our guild’s attempts at this boss.
In the end I simply decided that the stress of this fight was not worth it. Trying again and again until the RNG gods smile on you and you don’t get screwed over is not my idea of a good time. So I told my guild that I was not prepared to do this fight in any way, means or form.
Probably shouldn’t have done so with an hour left of our raid night – the third on this boss – but there you have it. Our other main-tank was still in the raid as a DPS at the time, and we did have other DPS online, so I asked the raid leader to replace me, hearthed back to Org, logged and went to bed to try and sleep.
Rather than continue, apparently the raid leader called it for the night. Weeks later, when I stepped into an argument about pugging to defend a guildie, this incident was thrown in my face and it turns out that for the couple of weeks leading up to the argument I’d been blamed for the guild’s lack of progression. Never mind that I tanked for all of their progression kills after Chimaeron and V&T. Never mind that I’d turned up at every raid for months. Apparently the fact that we’d never tried for Nef and no-one else had stepped up to tank Al’Akir was all my fault.
So, Al’Akir is neither a well-designed boss, nor is it a boss that I have fond memories of. It’s not fun. Still, though… apparently the RNG is easier to beat after the Great Nerf of 4.2.
So, having said, boldly, that I would not ever fight Al’Akir… should I claim the heat of the moment and give it another try? Should I risk yet another evening of frustration and rage? Of course, given that pugs also avoid Al’Akir like the plague – see opening paragraphs – it may not be that simple. And since my association with my former guild has pretty much been terminated, pugs are really the only option.
What to do…