Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Killer Queen

Finally had a second run at Dreamwalker and the Crimson Halls, and got a kill of all three bosses (or rather not a kill, in the case of Dreamwalker). Of the three fights, BQL is by far the most interesting and fun, and is very well designed.

Here's my take on the 10 man version of the fight as a fury warrior.

The boss is (roughly) tank and spank, with some tweaks. She should be tanked in the centre of the room, slightly towards the back.

She has two minor abilities to be aware of - a linking ability ("Pact of the Darkfallen") which creates a beam between two people and causes AoE damage. If you get this simply run to the other end of the beam - once the pair of you are within 5 yards the effect is cancelled. The second minor ability causes shadows to appear under your feet ("Swarming Shadows") in the same way as Legion Flames for Jarraxus. Just kite the fires away to the side of the room and run around the edge until it disappears, then intercept back to the boss.

There is a special cleave which means that you need one MT and one "OT" who must stack on top of each other. The "OT" should in fact be a dpser, and ideally a dpser with as high health as possible. There is no point in taking a second tank since the damage the OT receives cannot be mitigated. Health and stamina buffs are still useful though, so +stam trinkets can still be used. Plate dps are ideal for the OT role since plate armour gets more stamina for its ilevel than other armour types. If you are the OT remember that you will be attacking from the front and therefore the boss will be able to parry your attacks. It's therefore worth stacking expertise for this fight to maximise your dps. The boss does not parry-haste, so don't worry about MT deaths - you simply need the expertise for your dps.

The key mechanic in the fight is the vampiric bite. This must be managed pretty much flawlessly otherwise you will wipe to mind control or the hard enrage. After 15 seconds she will bite someone. Exactly who she picks is not widely understood, but the consensus seems to be that she picks the non-tank who is highest on the threat meter (whether dps or healer). I understand that -threat modifiers and abilities may be turned off for this purpose. Of my 5 attempts on this boss, I was bitten first twice, which is presumably because I was using sunder armour and thus causing extra threat. Basically - a fury warrior is quite likely to be bitten first so be ready.

When you are bitten you gain double damage, you heal yourself when attacking, plus your attacks do zero threat. I was getting 7k melee white attacks non-crit when I had death wish and trinkets up. It's seriously fun. The boss has a massive health pool and a short hard enrage, so this buff is absolutely necessary to beating the encounter. The buff lasts for 75 seconds. When it runs out you get a cool red effect around the screen, a new action bar with just one ability (bound to "1"), and you need to use that ability to bite a friendly target within 15 seconds. If you do that, your buff timer is refreshed to 75 seconds, and the person you bit has the same buff. 75 seconds later, both biter and bitee will need to find someone to chomp on, meaning that four of you will then be vampires, etc etc.

If you fail to bite someone then you get mind controlled for the rest of the fight. Basically it's a wipe.

The key to managing this is to realise that there will be four rounds of biting before the enrage hits and you wipe. Eight raid members will therefore be vamps by the end of the fight. We handled the biting as follows:

1 - Someone is bitten by BQL

2 - If the person bitten was a ranged person (dps or healer) they bite our best melee dps. If the first vamp was a melee dpser, they bite our best ranged dps.

From here on - ranged dpsers only bite ranged dpers and healers, while melee dpsers only bite melee dpsers and tanks.

3 - We now have 1 ranged and 1 melee dpser as vamps. The ranged dpser bites another ranged dpser. The melee dpser bites another melee dpser.

This prevents the two vamps trying to bite the same person.

4 - This is the hard round. Everyone in your raid needs to have a "bite buddy" - someone that they will bite in round four, and someone that is unlikely to be bitten in the first three rounds. Both your tanks are candidates, as are the healers. You need to know before the fight who you will bite in this round, and where they will be standing approximately. If you are being bitten, you need to know who will be coming to bite you. My bite buddy was our OT, a ret paladin.

This method doesn't work so well (although it does work) if you get a healer bitten in the first round, but that didn't happen in any of our 5 attempts last night so it may be pretty rare I think.
You will not get to a fifth round of biting (or at least you shouldn't). You will hit the enrage first.

The boss will enter "phase 2" from time to time - it should happen twice in the fight. She runs to the middle of the room, flies into the air, fears the raid for 4 seconds (breakable with berserker rage), and starts shooting bloodbolts at people. These do AoE damage so you need to spread out. Plan in advance where you are going to run to, and crucially run to the same place every time. If you run to the same place every time, your groupmates will know to expect you there and will steer clear. After about 10 seconds the boss will come back to the ground.

As regards phase 2, the only thing to remember is that you don't want your sunder armour debuff to drop off during this phase, so remember to renew it just before she flies up. Secondly, the second phase 2 coincides with the fourth round of biting. This can cause a problem if your bite buddy is running away to a corner and you need to bite him. Make sure you raid knows that if they have not yet been bitten at the start of the second air phase they need to find their bite buddy very quickly, then quickly spread out.

Best of luck!

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