Raid testing has finally begun in the beta, and that means that we get our first good look at end game content! Since no one at Lore Hound has ever received an invite (and, dare I say, we no longer hold our breath for one), we can’t bring you footage of this content ourselves. Even if we did, you’d probably be watching a slapped-together PUG group flailing against brand new bosses over and over again until all of our key tanks and healers decided it was time to “let their cat play with the router cable.”
And that’s why we let the experts do it! Thus far, seven bosses have been tested in a variety of instances, and videos of the first few encounters are starting to hit the Youtubes. We’ll begin with footage of the Omnitron Defense System, a multi-target boss found in Blackwing Descent. Analysis begins after the jump.
The ODS appears to be an ancient Dwarven device made up of a central core and four golems (the latter of which you’ll be fighting): Arcanotron, Toxitron, Electron, and Magmatron. As their names imply, each one deals a different type of damage and has typically associated abilities (if you guessed Toxitron spewed acid and not Britney Spears songs, you win a cookie). Adding a bit of chance to the encounter, every golem activated is picked at random (though you will be able to tell which will come next, it just won’t always be in the same order). After the first, the second will activate in one minute, with the third and fourth coming online fourty-five seconds past its predecessor.
It seems as though you will never actually be taking more than two at once, but it still looks like the kind of fight where your guild is going to have to learn quickly how to control the chaos. There’s a lot going on and, as the fight progresses, ‘trons will periodically deactivate (when their energy has run out) and reactivate (when another goes offline) until enough damage is done to shut down the entire system.
While I generally approach raid encounters featuring multiple boss mobs with a little bit of trepidation, the Omnitron Defense System actually seems to be heads and shoulders over previous bosses in terms of mechanics. There is clearly a variety of different spells being used (in terms of power and area of effect), intended to keep players on their toes and guarding against different types of damage at a rapid pace. The fact that at least one “attack” can actually provide a buff to your raid means that you’ll have to learn, on the fly, what should and should not be stood in.
The idea that it can be both chaotic and fun speaks to careful design and, once again, the pinch of randomness sprinkled in should ensure that the fight remain fresh longer than most we’ve slogged through before. The ODS could be an early indication that Cataclysm‘s is going to take the game’s raid content to the next level. As the next few weeks progress, we’ll see if Blizzard can maintain that momentum.
Thanks to Forlorn Legacy for producing the video!