Now that I’ve gotten a little over a week to play around with 4.2, a couple of the new raid bosses, and a few days of the new daily quests out in Hyjal and the Molten Front, I’m here to tell you – this patch did not change WoW significantly. There hasn’t been too much of a shuffle in spec balance; arcane mages still pewpew excessively and you’ll probably still be kicked from a raid if you try to bring your subtlety rogue. So far it seems to be a mostly a standard WoW patch. Follow after the break for more about the Firelands, Hyjal Dailies, and other stuff.
After you get past the trash it is a pretty fun place so far (with one glaring exception). Not that the trash is terrible or difficult, but there is so very much of it. I’m sure it will be exceptionally old by week 6 of firelands raiding. The folks over at Wow Insider made up a guide to this trash for the Firelands. Following that mass of trash comes the bosses! So far I’ve gotten to kill Shannox and Beth’tilac and beat my miserable face against Lord Rhyolith. You can click on the bosses names there for links to encounter strategy guides for each one. Shannox is a great raid awareness check. Essentially, Shannox is a hunter and does a handful of hunter abilities, such as having pets and laying down traps. By the end of the encounter there will be traps all over the area and it can be pretty challenging to navigate the minefield of freezing and immolation traps. For those suffering from a bad case of arachnophobia, Beth’tilac could be a problem. For the rest of us, this giant spider is just a light gear check. There are a bunch of adds that need killed, a lot of incoming aoe damage, and a fairly harsh burn phase at the end. Be able to put out solid heals and damage and your raid will be playing exterminator in no time. Both Shannox and Beth’tilac are pretty fun bosses. This bring us to Lord Rhyolith. As is turns out, this boss may be my least favorite encounter that I’ve seen so far in WoW. The entirety of this fight focuses around a really annoying gimmick. Instead of tanking the boss, dps must deal damage to his legs in order to turn him in the direction of the leg receiving the damage. Your raid will do this in order to stop him from leaving the platform into lava (raid wipe) and to direct him into active volcanoes. Having him walk over active volcanoes will stop them from continuing to blast your raid while also reducing his armor. It ends up being a clunky, frustrating fight. After a night of attempts from my guild he is still alive. Interestingly enough, after a night of attempts that my friends guild did (they were 10/12 heroic in tier 11), he still lives for them too. So far, everyone I’ve talked to seems to be okay with the idea of that fight not existing. Hopefully Blizzard doesn’t lean on anymore gimmicky mechanics to mix up the later boss encounters in this tier.
Hyjal – Regrowth and Molten Front Dailies
What can I say? Dailies are dailies and they can feel a bit grindy. That said, these are pretty tolerable compared to other daily selections. The relative shortness to complete all of them (maybe 40 minutes for me to do them all on two toons) coupled with the alternating variety of quests each day makes the new Hyjal dailies not a bad time sink while waiting for a dungeon queue or between battlegrounds. On top of that, they yield some pretty sweet loot! After the first day most specs will find one of THESE to be nice. As you continue the dailies and unlock more content Damek Bloombeard will sell some wrists, hands, and belts along with a bunch of blacksmithing recipes and Ayla Shadowstormm has a couple of rings, trinkets, and relics with tailoring and leather working patterns. All of the gear is item level 365 so it wont replace raiding gear, but will help fill off pieces or become more prepared for firelands raids and will replace many of your level 359 gear from the last tier. For those seeking pets, both of these vendors are listed as selling 2. After a point you’ll have to choose between The Shadow Wardens and the Druids of the Talon. Fear not, though as this isn’t like Scryers and Aldor. After doing enough dailies to reach one, you just get to grind more and unlock the other. You won’t gain access to any of the addition loot (after the first 4 pieces of 365) until both are unlocked. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a bigger difference in choosing a path.
WoW Insider made a pretty nice set of guides for some of the dailies you’ll find:
- Daily Quest guide: Assault on Sethria’s Roost
- Daily Quest guide: Between the Trees and The Power of Malorne
- Daily Quest guide: Call the Flock, Wings Aflame, and Rage Against the Flames
- Daily Quest guide: Punting Season and Echoes of Nemesis
The Other Stuff
Healing feels a little different now that all heals can crit for 200% (up from 150%). I also feel extra powerful on my Holy paladin with a decent mastery buff (stacking bubble) and buff to beacon of light that lets 100% of holy light heal through it (up from 50% like the rest of our spells that apply). Of course, with buffs comes nerfs and I also have to pay more attention not to run out of mana.
The previous tier of content received a 20% nerf to nearly all health and damage for all bosses and abilities making it pretty trivial. It did help us complete that pesky Al’Akir and get the Defender of a Shattered World title.
Also, still one of my favorite changes – needing on bind on equip items in dungeons now makes them soulbound. I’ve seen a lot less ninja’ing of gear since that point. There’s also been less anger from other players when one of them needs a BOE purple to actually use, since they know he/she isn’t trying to sell it for profit.
Have any comments? Perhaps advice on Lord Rhyolith? Feel free to drop some comments!