It’s like getting a new fancy toy that you have to play with even before you get home. Instructions? Please. I’m gonna push buttons until I break it!
Except for the part where these are old toys… that are broken… again. Well, it’s kinda the same thing, right? ….right? Okay, maybe not. We ended up with one “HOW THE HELL DO YOU EVEN BREAK THAT?” bug, one “… again? seriously?” bug and one “uhhh… we told you about this during PTR” bug.
First one is Skull Bash. No version of this works while inside the Firelands raid instance. This is more than a little frustrating, as we are the only class afflicted with this bug. Sucks even more when you rely on your Bear to do some interrupting. Dunno what in the world they did to break this ability, but it better be hotfixed very soon. Speculation is that it was somehow broken after they broke Battle/Guild Standards, but no one can seem to remember if they were able to skull bash beforehand. :P
Second is Thrash. Yes… again. Thrash’s DoT went from being mitigated by armor, to not being mitigated by armor, but then the initial hit wasn’t being mitigated either, and now we’re back to square one with the DoT being mitigated. I feel like I’m being trolled.
Third is Frenzied Regeneration. The tooltip, which was mentioned on the PTR bug report forums, says that it should only raise max health by 15% for both effects. It’s still 30%, so don’t worry there. My only hope is that by bringing attention to this, Blizzard doesn’t tell us that it’s really supposed to be 15%. Because that would be horrible. And suck. And I’d probably cry a little.
With that out of the way, I really have been looking forward to Firelands. I, personally, think that it’s been well designed. The fights are fun (most of them) and require a lot more coordination and participation than before. The trash though… Screw that. Some of it is super easy, some of it makes me drop to my knees in heart-breaking agony and curse the cosmos for its creation. Okay, maybe I just do that in my head, but it’s still really a giant pain in the bearbutt.
Drow got to 5/7 last night, and should easily get to 7/7 tonight with just Staghelm and Ragnaros to go. The real challenge for us is going to be these hardmodes. It looks as though all the top guilds will be getting to them at the same time, so we’ll see how we fare next week. I’m also really really really really really hoping Fandral’s staff drops the first kill. That would mean happybear-kitty.
Some of you are curious what kind of roles Bears should be doing on these fights. Well… Bears are stupidly OP right now. The only thing better than us right now is a shield tank that has full combat table coverage (meaning no melee swing goes unblocked or unavoided). So essentially a Prot Paladin assuming they’ve geared for that. That 6% glory buff won’t go unnoticed or uncompensated for, mark my words. Regardless, I’ve had a chance to deal with all the fights I had questions about regarding our Hybrid status. We actually can go Cat quite often enough to cash in on this extra bit of utility.
Shannox – Depending on how you end up doing this fight, you should be able to DPS all of the second phase. Tank Riplimb, kill Riplimb, go kitty, profit.
Beth’tilac – We’ve figured out it’s quite possible to 1-tank phase 2 through the use of cooldowns, but even if your raid can’t handle that(since it gives the tank a nasty healing debuff), you really only need to tank her for about 10 seconds before you can go back to DPSing her.
Rhyolith – If you 2 tank, absolutely cat DPS for the (very short, heh) second phase.
Alysrazor – There’s only a finite time you can cat DPS, which is during Phase 4, but you may end up needing to tank anyway since the Blazing Claw debuff stacks very quickly and will wreck a tank that’s not prepared. Else, enjoy your ridiculous DPS on the hatchlings. ;)
Baleroc – I chose to do the Decimation Blade tanking, which doesn’t happen all that often, so I was able to go Cat for the vast majority of the fight. The only problem is, Baleroc’s blade attacks are a cooldown instead of a set timer, and he’ll choose one or the other at random. If you’re DPSing, you need to be very quick with switching and taunting in time. You’ll also need to be quite careful of gaining Torment by mistake (aka, stay away from the pink shards)
Majordomo Staghelm – Fandral is a 1 tank fight and there is no opportunity to switch to cat. We’d also do quite well here as tanks due to the rising damage of his Cleave (fire damage) over the course of the fight.
Ragnaros – It will be possible to DPS during tank debuff swaps, as well as during one of the phase transitions.
I’ll hopefully be getting up those tank strat-type videos within the next few weeks as I become more accustomed to the fights and start picking up on the subtleties.
But seriously. yay Firelands. :)