Kael’thas down!

A new boss reduced to a splat of pixels at the feet of Afterlife. Feelings of sweet triumph don’t get much better than this. Kael’thas Sunstrider, Lord of the Blood Elves and master of The Eye of Tempest Keep, and the hardest boss fight I’ve ever seen in WoW is now officially pining for the fjords.

Looking at our trophy cabinet, our last First Boss Kill was Lady Vashj last November so I’ve been getting withdrawal symptoms from the adrenaline-fuelled, zomg-we’ve-crashed-the-teamspeak-server-with-all-the-wooting, team triumphs.

Tamzin’s video guide is easily the best guide to the fight and tactics and is time well spent downloading and watching it.

I thought I did a reasonable job of going all out dps on the closing stages of that fight, but it seems that a hunter doing 924 dps mostly without a pet just does not cut the mustard these days, creeping in a dismal 11th on the damage dealt charts. The full log of the final counter are available on wowwebstats.

The fight itself is easily the most complicated that Blizzard have devised (and I’ve encountered) so far, split up into 5 stages. The overall encounter lasts about 15 minutes, not dissimilar in length to the Al’ar fight but oh, such a long way from the heady days of the 3 stages of Onyxia. The fight essentially boils down to:

a) Fight 4 different mini-bosses one after the other
b) Fight 6 weapon-shaped mini-bosses all at the same time
c) Before you’ve finished the weapons-shaped mini-bosses, the first 4 mini-bosses all have to be fought at the same time, whilst also making sure you loot the weapon-shaped mini-bosses to give you new toys which you must use the abilities of to survive the coming fight.
d) Before you’ve finished off all that lot, the actual boss enters the fray and starts spawning pheonixes, chain lightninging the raid and pyroblasting the tanks.
e) When you get the boss down to 50%, he pauses for a brew, blows the roof off his own palace then you carry on with all that, but gravity becoming more or less optional.

That’s a bit of an oversimplification, as it doesn’t mention the numerical minimums required to finish the fight, things like fireproof warlocks, ‘enough’ dps in the raid, tanks able to take 25k pyroblasts and still cope with normal hits from the boss. It’s a long fight, that requires that pretty much nobody dies, although apparently a corpse makes for a steady camera position for frapsing and that nobody makes any positional mistakes or has a 2 second lag spike at just the wrong moment.

And positioning. It’s all about the positioning.

We had 1 wipe last night because the warlock was about 6 inches too close to Capernian at the start of phase 3 because they weren’t used to having their hunter actually getting their misdirection off in time to count (you’ve got something like 0.5 to 1.5 seconds to get initial aggro onto the warlock before Capernian conflags the nearest toon, typically the hunter trying to misdirect to the lock…).

A number of embarrasing wipes ensued because of variations on:
– 2 of the minibosses from phase 1 died too close together on the floor
– the person kiting Thaladred (it changes every 15 seconds) got too close to Capernian or gets knocked back into Sanguinar during phase 3
– the warlock tanking Capernian managed to get conflagged for no apparent reason so lost aggro and toons in the raid started getting fireballed because they failed to stop dps in time
– the hunter ranged tanking the netherstrand bow stands such that the bow multishots the hunters healer
– a shadowpriest fails to avoid sending their shadowfiend into melee with the netherstrand bow which then teleports all around the room at random
– people not getting out of the way of the big flaming bird things in phase 4
– people not getting out of the way of the big flaming explosion patch things in phase 4
– meleers getting carried away and killing the toons who get mindcontrolled in phases 4 and 5 rather than just dispelling the mind control
– toons getting within 10′ of the ground during the wrong part of the ‘halp no gravities’ phase

etc. etc. etc. etc.

Still, this was our 5th evening of serious raiding on Kael’thas, took us 50ish attempts from getting wtfpwned on the initial pull to having a really clean kill. There was MUCH rejoicing.

Of course with both Kael’thas and Lady Vashj down we managed to have 19 toons attuned to Hyjal Summit, where we got thoroughly spanked by the 4th wave of undead things. Apparently having everybody bouncing like loons after Kael’thas was no barrier to some serious pewpewing, although the best quote of the evening had to be:

Somebody who was paying attention: “Lots of green glowy undeads incoming”
Raid Leader: “Shackle it!”
Priests: “Which one?”
Raid Leader: *looks up* “err, all of it?”

Onwards and upwards

Kael'thas down