Usually I won’t go into a newly released wing of LFR until at least the weekend. By that point tactics have sort of filtered down and you’ll see a few alts of folks who’ve done it before.
Last night I went to Pinnacle of Storms. A wednesday night, the same night that it was released*. It was… disastrous.
The group wasn’t particularly good to start with – healing was unremarkable apart from one or two outliers carrying the group, and the tanks had no idea what the tactics were. That last point? It’s pretty damn important in PoS**.
So we had one or two wipes on the starter bosses, but that’s all well and good for the first week. The problem is Lei Shen. Lei Shen has so many mechanics going on that I literally cannot fucking remember them right now. Lei Shen requires bullshit like standing in particular types of bad, clustering on people with certain debuffs, and most egregiously, splitting up into even groups around the platform for phase 2.
That split phase? It requires co-ordination. You need a healer on every corner, or else you’re going to end up with people dying of static and/or when they try and stand in the bouncing bullshit that summons adds. Which is blue, on a blue floor, with blue lightning crackling all over the damn place, and pretty blue lights goddamn everywhere.
LFR was insituted specifically for people who aren’t in co-ordinated groups! It’s like a missionary worker refusing to help locals because they’re heathens. This is a complete disconnect with the core of your mission here, buddy.
Anyway… that’s not to mention the adds that sometimes showed up for no apparent reason in P1 and started AoEing the group. Just another example of a mechanic that comes out of nowhere. As far as I can tell, the boss has three different “don’t stand in this” raid-killers, one of which leaves a voidzone that is literally invisible with low particle effects, but always seems to be in melee range. Adds show up from nowhere for no sensible reason. Tanks die just fucking because.
Mostly, though, the fight is ridiculously chaotic. There are a bunch of fireworks all going off around the player in the same timeframe, and the majority that your average folks need to react to are entirely counter-intuitive.
Dropping the damage of the boss’ abilities and calling it a day is not good enough. This is at its core a normal difficulty fight. I’ve seen responses to the difficulty that state “go watch a normal diff kill video, you’ll know what to do”. I shouldn’t need to. This is LFR. Why should we need a normal mode guide – from an external source – for a supposedly casual encounter difficulty? Why the hell can the abilities the boss uses not be coherent and self-explanatory?
This fight isn’t going to get much better. If you luck out and get a good group that knows the tactics and can muster the co-ordination to respond to them appropriately, you’re golden. If you get an average LFR group… well, good luck. My group last night wiped 8 times and got him down on the 9th try. One of our wipes didn’t even give us any determination, for some reason. That’s a 35% buff that we were sitting on. I’ve already heard campfire tales of 9 and 10 stacks.
If you’re going to rely on Determination to overpower the tactics – as seems to be Blizzard’s intent – you’re going to be facing a mean repair bill. In the meantime… welcome to Madness of Deathwing V2.
* for the americans playing along, EU get their updates one day later
** ermehgerd, it already has the perfect acronym