HFC in Review

Prior to moving to Nesingwary, I was in a guild that was heavily social and very content casual. We’d dabble in raiding, attempt CM’s, run 5-person heroics for <pick your reward badge-currency>. We never completed a raid while it was still current tier. In fact, most raid completions happened after the the next expansion launched.

Since this is the first tier of raiding that I’ve completed while it was still current tier, I figured I’d do an HFC-in-review. This is not going to be a detailed strategy guide (my writing skills would have you sending a mob with pitchforks and torches after me if I did that). Besides, those strategy guides already exist in abundance. Also, I will not rate the fights as 1 through 13 for favorite to least favorite. On any given day, the order could vary greatly.


There’s only three metrics I will give on the fights: thumbs-upmeh, or thumbs-down.

Also, please note that this was written over the course of several days. My caffeination levels, my GAF levels, and my alertness levels were all over the board while I was writing. So this might read as if it was written by a couple different people. Which, in a sense, it was (Sybil, anyone?).

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Boss Notes

L
O
W
E
R

C
I
T
A
D
E
L
Hellfire Assault thumbs-downYo dawg, I heard you like trash mobs. So we gave you some trash mobs and some more trash mobs as a boss. So you can have trash mobs with your trash mobs.

This fight is everything I hate about encounters. It’s a timed fight of trash mob waves. No matter how much you out-gear/out-level the fight, you will always be waiting for scheduled mobs to spawn. It’s a 6 minute fight. In Legion, it will be a six minute fight. In 10.0, it. will. still. be. a. 6. minute. fight. There’s nothing you can do to speed it up. As you out-gear/out-level the fight, you’ll simply have more downtime between timed mob spawns.

Iron Reaver (aka Heroic Ass Reaver) thumbs-upWhile this is a fairly straight-forward two phase fight, I found I quite enjoyed it (I’m one of only a very few on my raid team that thinks so. All the others think she’s a relentless wench. Hence, “Ass Reaver.”). There’s plenty to pay attention to, with some fairly unforgiving mechanics as you work your way up the difficulty levels. Situational awareness is your best friend on this fight.
Kormrok thumbs-neutralWhen I first saw this fight, my thought was “Really?!?! Just a mini, mobile version of BRF’s Kromag fight?” After running it many times, I still pretty much feel the same way.

Granted, I know there’s only so many ways to serve up bosses in a game. However, that was only one tier ago. Why not pull some mechanics from Kara, ICC, or FL. Something not so recent.

Notable Loot:
LFR:	Fake-Tier Helm
N/H/M:	Tier Helm
Hellfire High Council thumbs-neutralAnother council fight. Meh. Although, I will say that I enjoyed Blademaster Jubei’thos’ nifty spirit images ability. It was an amusing mechanic. It took a few encounters for us to realize the range needs to take out the further away ones, so the melee can burn the ones within walking distance. It made burning the spirit adds down a breeze.
Kilrogg Deadeye thumbs-upI can’t explain why I enjoy fights where a portion of the fight takes place somewhere else (another realm, the mind of an insane god, the belly of an old god, a Sha-tainted spirit realm). I just enjoy those fights. When your performance there has an impact on your (and your raid teams’) performance back at the main boss location, well, it just makes for an amused Bodhi.
Gorefiend thumbs-upThis is another fight where you get sucked into another zone. Did I mention that I really enjoy this type of mechanic? How well you perform in there (dps/heals/tank) can make or break the rest of the raid team. Yes, it’s a harsh mechanic. However, this is supposed to be the fight that determines if your raid team is ready to go upstairs or not.

Notable Loot:
LFR:	Fake-Tier Legs
N/H/M:	Tier Legs


U
P
P
E
R

C
I
T
A
D
E
L
Shadow-Lord Iskar thumbs-neutralThis fight had the potential for being one of the top two coolest fights in the entirety of HFC. Lots of mechanics that you can fairly easily mitigate, if you’re paying attention. Again, this goes back to my enjoyment of fights that require situational awareness. However, they completely screwed the pooch with the Eye of Anzu. If you were using the default raid frames (or any of the other raid frames addons, and a  macro to click the extra action button) you were going to fail miserably on any difficulty above Normal. Heroic progression on this fight was fairly dependent on the Iskar Assist Addon (may its creator be blessed with money, groupies, and happiness). Any fight that requires an addon, loses points in my book.

Notable Loot:
All:	Corrupted Nest Guardian
Socrethar the Eternal thumbs-neutralThis fight was a serious gear check. If you didn’t have the right gear (especially the healers) with the right enchants, it was a wipe. There was a time in WoW’s history when dispels had no cool-down. They just had a mana cost. Now, they still have the mana cost, and you have to wait for a CD to use them. This fight was “cast X number of spells, then dispel someone,” rinse, repeat, again, and again. For healers this was a “how much spirit do you have? Or, do you know how to actively regenerate mana while still pumping out large heals and feverishly waiting for your dispel CD to pop?” sort of fight.

Notable Loot:
N/H/M:	Tier Gloves
Tyrant Velhari thumbs-upThe mechanics in this fight were fun. Lots of situational awareness required here. The part of the fight that I liked the most was the repressed health pools, the point where nobody’s health can rise above X%. It reminded me a lot of the Malkorok fight in Siege of Orgrimmar. The name of the game here was the mantra that Douglas Adams gave us. “Don’t Panic.”

don't panic

Notable Loot:
LFR:	Fake-Tier Gloves
Fel Lord Zakuun thumbs-upI had a really tough time understanding the mechanics on this fight when I first read them. Then, stepping into LFR, well, you don’t ever really get a chance to properly explore how the mechanics work in an LFR group (unless it’s a mostly guild group). So it wasn’t until I was running HFC with <of the Queue> until I got a chance to see how the fissures, crystals, seeds, and wakes worked. Looking at it now, I don’t understand why I had any difficulty in grasping the mechanics initially.  /shrugs
Xhul’horac thumbs-up“Shit’s on fire, yo!”

Organized chaos is how I’d describe this fight. Add control, and situational awareness were the keys to this fight. Make sure you aren’t allowing the chocolate (void) and peanut butter (fel) to mix, unless you do so in a controlled fashion. The mini game of clearing out the fire to make room for the fight was pretty amusing, once you got the hang of it. As long as you were watching your debuffs and what the adds were doing, this fight was not bad at all.

During the fight, I’d hear the interaction in Ghostbusters between Spengler and Venkman.

Spengler:
Don’t cross the streams.
Venkman:
Why?
Spengler:
It would be bad.
Venkman:
I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
Spengler:
Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Notable Loot:
LFR:	Fake-Tier Boots
N/H/M:	Tier Shoulders


D
E
S
T
R
U
C
T
O
R

S

R
I
S
E
Mannoroth thumbs-neutralIt took me a while to figure out why this fight only elicits a “meh” reaction from me.

This issue is that it’s a fairly boring fight from healer’s perspective when you have a group that understands the mechanics. There’s very little to heal on this fight, unless folks don’t get out of the way quick enough. If I’m in a group that has some folks in that aren’t familiar with the mechanics, then the fight might have an element of challenge to it (folks with minimal gear and no clue are my personal challenge to keep alive). However, in most groups that have gear and a clue, I typically just spam Wrath (with the Dream of Cenarius talent) for a large portion of the fight. /yawn

While it could be argued that all fights can be trivialized by knowledge and gear. This fight seems to have been the first fight that trivialized the need for healers in this tier.

Notable Loot:
LFR:	Fake-Tier Shoulders
N/H/M:	Tier Chest


B
L
A
C
K

G
A
T
E
Archimonde thumbs-upThis is, without a doubt, the coolest boss fight I’ve ever had the pleasure of participating  in.

There’s a part of me that wishes some of the mechanics weren’t nerfed out of LFR and Normal. They could have been tuned down to being negligible in those difficulties, while still giving people a chance to learn the mechanics. It would make the Heroic pugs a bit easier to deal with. I have no idea how many times I’ve been in a failed Heroic Archie pull because folks never bothered to learn the differences between the different versions of the fight.

Notable Loot:
LFR:	Fake-Tier Chest
N/H/M:	Class Trinket
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5 thoughts on “HFC in Review

  1. Wowzers! What a break-down and awesome table.
    I totally agree. I also think that (overall) the earn-the-portals mechanics worked pretty well. Starting your week on the second floor is a boon when no one needs or wants to see that first floor (ever again). I’m pretty happy with the HFC raid and I very much echo your thoughts — some bosses are fun and I really like to play them simply for fun.
    I think Blizzard (as rookies in the new flex design) did a “fair” job with scaling. Doing ten-man Kilrogg was pretty darn tough when three of your players are gone into the visions; I think we had 40 wipes on Normal before we could figure it out; eventually we learned to pug up to more players instead of doing it tight and rough. The solution of “get more pugs” is not a great design.

    1. Thank you. I was wanting to get a little niftier with the table (rotated text and whatnot), but the entry was already taking more time than originally planned. It was burning a hole on the draft table, so to speak.

  2. Pingback: HFC in Review by Bodhi Rana – Coffee Cakes and Crits

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