Friday, November 13, 2009

Icecrown impressions, part 2.

A few weeks back, I took a look into the crystal ball and made a couple of predictions regarding Icecrown Citadel. The green dragon encounter certainly shamed my predictions concerning nature resistant gear, and Sindragosa definitely showed us who the Sapphiron of the instance will be. At the time of writing, only two boss encounters remain untested; the Blood Princes (which are slated for testing tonight), and Arthas himself. In short, we're starting to know the instance very well already. Let's have a look at the first few.

Lord Marrowgar: With his amazing new model in place, this encounter certainly LOOKS the part of imposing first boss. He nails people to the ground with icy spikes that must be killed, shoots icy bolts that crawl really slow along the floor, cleaves the tank in a pretty limited radius and does the mother of all whirlwinds (30 frikking seconds!). The fight looks like it'll spend a week or so in the wipe phase, before it ends up like the new lootmobile.

Short version: Hodir pretending to be Patchwerk.

Lady Deathwhisper: Now we're talking. The fact alone that this is a fight where shackling stuff is not only viable, but pretty much necessary makes it interesting - the fact that there's mind controlling, massive raid damage, frostbolts, crowdcontrolling both adds AND raid members over the course of two phases makes it even better. This may well be the PuG killer of the instance.

Short version: Gothik and Moroes' badass mom.

Gunship Battle: Initially, I had huge fears over this encounter. And while, somewhat relieved, I've found there won't be any horses or dragons (though there are cannons) near the encounter, I remain unconvinced. This battle reeks of "Pirates of the Caribbean", and not in a good way. Jump-packing back and forth between ships, gathering and nuking adds, do as much damage to the opposing faction's leader as possible - it seems a bit bland, and honestly, pointless. After doing Lady Deathwhisper, this fight looks a letdown. I hope I'm proven wrong.

Short version: PvE Wintergrasp with Saurfang.

Deathbringer Saurfang: Back up on the Citadel ledge, we're faced with junior, who decided to reroll Death Knight. And unlike most DK rerollers, he looks to have bothered reading up on the class and theorycrafting a bit, cause the damage he's capable of is pretty trememdous. He's got adds with abilities, stacking buffs and debuffs, Cleave (duh) and the standard "pop tank cooldowns NAO"-Frenzy. The fight looks more like something to be decided by brute force than massive tactics though - tank the boss, tank the adds, burn it all down before it destroys you.

Short version: One of the four Horsemen rerolling Death Knight.

Overall, the first "wing" of the instance looks challenging, by all means, but only one of the bosses strikes me as truly interesting. Check back soon for a review of what's to come - I'm saving the next few parts for when Blood Prince testing is done and Professor Putricide (Morgan Day!) is tested in a less buggy environment.

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