Friday, 19 November 2010
Beta Raid Testing - Chimaeron (Blackwing Descent)
Cataclysm is less than three weeks away! Time is really flying by. I've been quite busy this week so I've fallen behind a bit on getting some posts up. There's still a couple more bosses I've yet to cover in Blackwing Descent, though, so I thought I'd get a post up on one more of them. The deceptively simple but very hard-hitting Chimaeron.
The Chimaeron encounter isn't too difficult conceptually, but the fight itself can be quite rough and will likely be a harsh gear-check for raids.
Essentially the fight is a tank-and-spank, with one key mechanic - the Bile-o-Tron. When you walk into the room, Chimaeron will be asleep in the centre. Behind him is a gnome in a cage, Finkle, who you must speak with before engaging Chimaeron. He activates the Bile-o-Tron which spews forth Finkle's Mixture - this mixture will buff all raiders so that anyone above 10,000 health cannot have their health reduced below 1. As long as the Bile-o-Tron is active (and this is key), if raid members are above 10,000 health, they won't die from Chimaeron's other two key abilities. Let's touch on his abilities now (source).
Caustic Slime: Deals 280,000 Nature damage and briefly reduces the chance to hit for all enemies in an area. Damage is split between all enemies within 6 yards of the impact crater.
Massacre: Inflicts maximum damage to all enemy players.
Feud: Chimaeron's heads are fighting amongst themselves, and so Chimaeron cannot perform melee attacks.
Double Attack: Chimaeron will strike twice on his next attack.
Break: Chimaeron breaks through his target's defenses, increasing physical damage taken by 25% for one minute. This ability stacks.
In phase 2 (which begins once Chimaeron reaches 20% health), Chimaeron keeps his Double Attack and also Mortality: Chimaeron goes into a rage, becoming immune to Taunt effects, increasing his damage taken by 20%, and reducing healing effects for all enemies by 99%.
Basically, you enter into the room, and do NOT attack Chimaeron. If anyone strikes him, he'll instantly engage (and if anyone but a tank strikes him, they'll probably be one-shot). You must talk with Finkle to get the Bile-o-Tron active. After that, you can either wait for Chimaeron to wake up (he will eventually once the machine's come online) or have your tanks start up the fight by engaging him. There is a stacking debuff placed on the tanks (Break), so you'll likely need two to taunt off each other. The tanks will be taking big hits (particularly the Double Attack, which will likely be helpful for the tanks to call it out when it's coming to help the healers). The tanks must warn before doing their tank swaps so the healers are ready.
The rest of the raid should be spread around the room. There are basically two parts to the fight in the first phase - when the Bile-o-Tron is Active and when it is Inactive. When the Bile-o-Tron is active, the raid will be buffed by Finkle's Mixture, and the raid need only be kept above 10,000 health each. Do not fall into the trap of trying to top everyone off - there's no need to do so and you'll only be wasting mana. Raiders should be prepared to use healthstones or health pots if needed. Caustic Slime and Massacre will not kill anyone above 10,000 health while the Bile-o-Tron is active.
The tricky moments will come when the Bile-o-Tron goes offline. The entire raid should collapse and stack up on melee (excluding the tanks) and healed up to full - all the new AE healing spells are wonderful here, throwing on Healing Rains, Efflorescences, Holy Word: Sanctuary, etc. On normal mode, Feud will temporarily stop Chimaeron's melee attacks on the tanks during this time, so healing on them should be easier to manage as you top up the raid. Stacking up will spread the Caustic Slime damage (which will still be cast during Feud) amongst the entire raid, so as long as everyone is stacked and getting those heals, no one should die during this phase. The moment the Bile-o-Tron comes back online, the raid should spread back out so new Caustic Slimes don't splash.
Phase 2, which begins when Chimaeron hits 20% health, turns into something of a burn phase. Chimaeron will take 20% more damage, however he is immune to taunt at this stage and your tanks may likely end up dying to him at some point during this stage (he hits hard). He does move fairly slowly, though, so if you've reached this stage and a tank goes down, it's not an instant-wipe - if necessary, kite him while continuing to DPS. The Mortality debuff also reduces all healing received by raid members by 99%. Watching his health percentage will be extremely helpful in order to try to maximise people's remaining health before he transitions into phase 2. While healing won't be useless in phase 2, it will be drastically reduced, and this may be a time for some healers to assist in DPSing along with healing.
Again, the fight is fairly simple in its overall strategy and execution. The big hits on the tanks and dealing effectively with the damage from Caustic Slime and Massacre will be the most challenging aspects to the fight (as well as, as ever, laying in decent DPS). It's crucial healers resist the urge to try to top up everyone in the raid while the Bile-o-Tron is on-line. It's unnecessary and will waste mana. As long as everyone remains above 10,000 health in those phases, they should be fine. (There have been some bugs on beta where players above 10,000 health have been killed, but, it is a bug).
Overall, most will likely find this a challenging fight. The general simplicity of it may be nice after many more complex fights involving target switches or de/buff watching. DPS should certainly be doing what they can to help keep themselves alive, though (or at least above the 10,000 health) and healers should be concerned with keeping the raid above that point but no more while the Bile-o-Tron is active. Topping the healing meters in this fight will mean nothing if you're out of mana within a minute.