What started as a random wishful daydream about an X-men Danger Room-style training dummy set up eventually turned into an idea about a raid encounter where the raid itself took very little damage. Trust me, somehow I made that leap.
But if the raid (including the tanks) aren’t taking much damage, what’s a healer to do? Another Valithria/Tsulong-type encounter?
Not quite. But close.
Imagine you zone in to the fight and find Thrall and Garrosh tearing it up. Like most “decorative” NPC battles, they would be locked in a stalemate until the party engages. So sit back, enjoy your Pandaren Banquet and watch the two heavies beat the shit out of each other. Garrosh, of course, has a gajabillion HP and damage reduction shield and probably all sorts of other buffs.
Around the room, you’ll find the faction leaders – restrained and wounded. Remember, Garrosh is supposed to really flip out with Sha Power so I don’t imagine this would be out of his reach. And while Jaina technically isn’t a faction leader, I can’t help but see her involved. (Any bets on if Jaina later goes Sha-touched and destroys something?)
For most of the fight, Thrall will keep Garrosh’s attention (Hey, there was a time when shaman could sort of tank, work with me here). But there will be times where Thrall falters and a tank will need to taunt Garrosh to give time for Thrall to recover. The tank will get hit like a truck and need to use cooldowns, probably external as well, especially at the beginning of the fight.
Since he starts with shields and crazy protections, the raid won’t be able to do much to Garrosh directly. But Garrosh is not alone! He has his protector force which he will summon periodically in waves. This gives the tanks something to do when Thrall has it under control and provides most of the danger for the raid.
To go with his gajabillion HP, Garrosh will also have a tight enrage timer before he blows up into full-blown Sha. The requirement will be much more than what a raid could possibly bring to the table. How to beat him?
Back to the captured faction leaders. In their current state, each leader can provide no assistance. It will be up to the DPS to break through the bonds (and any guards) and up to the healers to restore the leaders to full health so they may join the fray. A leader must be healed AND freed from his or her bonds before providing assistance.
Much like the Keepers in Ulduar, each leader brings a different skill set to the table. Some might provide a passive buff, like Valen buffs healing – making it easier to free subsequent leaders. Some might take direct action in the fight, Vol’Jin darts in and out with poisons. Others might give players a new ability, Varian gives the tanks an awesome devastating attack as an extra action button. Others remove Garrosh’s protections, a sundering blow from Baine cracks Garrosh’s protective shield for 30 seconds. Only through the use of these additional buffs and abilities will the raid hope to bring Garrosh down.
Once freed, the leaders won’t take much damage. But until they are freed, Garrosh will randomly target one to torment, bringing their HP even lower. If the healers cannot heal them fast enough or the DPS cannot free them in time, the leader will slip into unconsciousness and be unavailable for the remainder of the fight.
At the release of the encounter, raids will find it hard to free more than a couple of the leaders before Garrosh dispatches the rest. It will be a strategic choice to focus on specific leaders to boost weak points in the raid comp (hopefully before Garrosh does away with a favored choice to free). As time progresses, and raids gear up, it will be easier to free more leaders, making the fight go much faster.
All sorts of achievements available for this one. Release each leader (can be achieved over multiple runs). Only release Horde or Alliance leaders. Release all the leaders. Maybe someday, release none of the leaders?
I’m sure the Garrosh encounter is already well underway, but would anyone else join my raid to do this fight?