YOU PAY FOR THE WHOLE SEAT, BUT YOU ONLY NEED…THE EDGE!
Two posts inside of a week? MADNESS.
Quick thoughts on heroic modes after we dipped our toe into the cold, frigid water of Hard Mode progression:
* The increase in difficulty is very high. Even on Halfus, the clear-cut easiest heroic boss, you can see how tight the encounters are tuned. We’ve had a lot of time to gear up with 4 piece tier bonuses and lots of epics scattered around and it was edge-of-your-seat tension during the fight. Damage on tanks is back at pre-Cataclysm levels with large spikes with constant healing (with strict assignments) being required.
* That being said, it was a nice change of pace back to what we’re used to doing. The normal mode fights almost feel silly by comparison. That statement is a little on the elitist side, but I say it to emphasize that Blizzard has created a distinction between the modes. Halfus Heroic is as hard as Nefarian Normal. Taking into account the raid composition requirements, it’s more difficult. More gear, more practice, and better execution will make the heroic mode fights easier.
* After dropping Halfus, we went on to one-shot the remaining bosses in the instance. We scored record kill times on all of them, even with an extra healer. It was a good bounce-back night after we suffered the wrath of the internet on Tuesday night and only killed a couple bosses with a lot of silly wipes. Doing harder fights makes all of the previous content feel easier. That is my favorite thing about raiding. Seeing how your raid group is progressing not just in kill count, but in performance is very rewarding as a raid leader. Success breeds success.
* Heroic loot. For killing a heroic boss in 25 man you receive: 125g/raider, 90 Valor Points, 9 Epics. That’s a ton of loot. If you have the Cash Flow perk you’ll receive 150/300g (5%/10%) for your guild bank. The reward is worth the effort put into organizing the larger raid size.
* Back to the raid strategy. I’m not a fan of cooldown stacking. Finishing Steelbreaker Last in Ulduar was an exercise in frustration. Organizing all the bubbles, guardian spirits, etc got on my nerves. Add that Shaman (and Druids) have no external, damage-reducing cooldowns, and you have a recipe for disaster if the right people aren’t online. Earth to blizzard: You gave all the tanks a Shield Wall, give all the healers an external cooldown of some sort (Mana Tide doesn’t count).
Halfus isn’t too extreme as far as cooldowns go. We had a lot of priests so we took advantage of it, but if we didn’t then I think we could manage to get through 4 Furious Roars and win the fight. Bringing no priests would be considered poor composition, but the fights are tuned assuming you have every class.
* I will likely never do this fight on 10 man, but it has a Sartharion 3D feel to it. That doesn’t bode well for 10 mans. The scuttlebutt is that the 10 man heroic modes are over-tuned. If they are, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Our raid comp:
2 Warriors, 1 Paladin
3 Discipline Priests (1 respec’d from Holy, 2 respec’d from Shadow)
2 Shaman, 2 Paladins, 2 Druids
2 DK’s, 2 Rogues, 2 Shaman (1 Ele, 1 Enh), 1 Druid (Balance), 3 Mages, 2 Warlocks, 1 Hunter
Best thing about Heroic Halfus? You don’t have to worry about drake combos!