Tanking for Dummies

Review: Trial of the Crusader (Normal Mode)
August 28, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Analysis, Raiding, Rants | Tags: , ,

I’ve now had the distinct pleasure of running Trial of the Crusader on both 25-man and 10-man Normal modes, and though no one has faced down Anub’arak yet I think I can say with some confidence that the experience has been at least interesting thus far.

However, simply put, after working over Ulduar for several months and recently starting on several “Hard Modes” therin, I can’t help but feel something disturbing about the Trial of the Crusader raid experience.  Perhaps it is the speed of the boss-fights, or utter lack of trash, or the quality of the gear, but…

…it just feels too easy.

I can’t comment on how Heroic mode will effect my sense of the instance.  There is also something to be said for perhaps withholding judgment until after we get a shot at the final boss next week.  But, straightforwardly speaking, ToC seems decidedly easier than Ulduar.

First of all, ToC seems incredibly short by comparison to Ulduar.  It is all in one room, there is no trash, and the fighting is seriously linear.  This leads to an experience that bespeaks brevity.  It is easy to forget just how much time you waist running through the instance after a wipe, even with the inclusion of a teleporter like there is in Ulduar.

Secondly there is the matter of Boss difficulty.  In my runs in ToC, not a single boss lasted longer than two Attempts.  Compare this to, say, the several weeks we spent wiping on Mimiron and you have to wonder just what difficulty we had and why when, say, Faction Champions falls on the second attempt.  I think the primary difference is the amount of DPS up-time on bosses is just higher, meaning they go down faster.  It certainly isn’t health numbers, because they’re comparable to (or higher than) most in Ulduar.

However, there is one thing that seems to me to be the reason the bosses are easier in ToC.  There is no boss that has a “omfg if you don’t hit shield wall now you die” ability. Even the Twin Valkyr’s Vortexes are a question of acquiring the color coordinated buffs.  Also, since the bosses don’t hit like freight trains (*Cough* Thorim. *Cough*) the challenge isn’t involving strain on the healers either.

Maybe someone needs to tell me I’m on crack here, but I’m curious to know if anyone else has had this feeling.  Maybe when we start Heroic mode I’ll be inspired to revisit this topic again.  Or maybe Axiom has just had some fantastic luck with our new recruits.  Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve gotten a lot better at this game since Ulduar.

I don’t know.  One more week until we can find out.


9 Comments so far
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We really arent’ making much progress on 25 man faction champions ;/ I dunno, just can’t get a handle on it.

Managed it ok in 10 man though. And I agree, aside from that the encounters seem a bit … plain.

Comment by spinks

As I understand it, Faction Champions can be a crapshoot. Depending on who you get it’s harder or easier.

There’s not much a tank can do in the fight itself, but I’ve found that two warrior tanks can work together to lockdown a healer and that can really help (seeing as crowd control has serious diminishing returns.) Taunting their Melee DPS off the healers can also be handy.

Comment by Tarsus

I think it’s based on experience, really. For someone who’s done Ulduar-25, it’s probably a very simple experience. My raid has only done the first two encounters, and we spent a good solid 2.5 hours wiping on Northrend Beasts. Our healers were struggling with the damage the tanks take on Gormok the Impaler, and coordination was an issue on the worms. Icehowl is definitely just a gimmicky, fun encounter. Lord Jaraxxus we 2-shot, I felt he’s kinda harmless compared to the complexity of the worms.

We haven’t gone back because we have like 2 PvPers in our raid, and I dread Faction Champions with the terror of a thousand suns.

Comment by Kadomi

You aren’t the only one that dreads Faction Champions. Jov really hates it to, with a passion. If you haven’t taken a shot at it on 10, I would give it a go. It feels a bit less… chaotic melee? Whatever you might call that creeping dread that PvP induces.

If it makes you feel any better, my general reaction to Twin Valkyrs was very much similar to your Jaraxxus. Though perhaps with a bit more of the fun. =)

Comment by Tarsus

You’re on crack.

But I couldn’t say if your wrong. If you think about 5 mans the quickest dungeon is AN. It has almost no trash and is pretty much just bosses. Its filler for Cataclysm, don’t worry they will be harder ;)

Comment by Nicoran

Well, if anything, I think that there’s more trash in AN than in ToC. The only thing that probably keeps ToC longer is the boss intros take longer.

Comment by Tarsus

I only got to do the first couple bosses on 10 before school starting back up forcibly retired me from raiding, but they seemed much easier to me as well. I am told, however, that the amount of damage can put more pressure on healers *shrug*

But, yeah. They’re actually SUPPOSED to be tuned lower than Ulduar hard modes, so if they’re easier than that, it’s Working As Intended.

Comment by Yuki

I think the thing that gets me is the speed of progress. While this might be due in part to the weekly release schedule, we’ve mastered most fights in comparatively few attempts.

Perhaps practice with Ulduar Hard modes has made us better as a raid team, and the translation of that into speedy results in ToC has caught me by surprise.

Comment by Tarsus

i personally think in many ways you are right, not even just for raiding guilds though toc is alot easier then ulduar hard modes on my server already ive seen pug toc’s done and done with success when the amount of pug ulduars i’ve seen ever finsh a hard mode is a little more of what youd expect from pugs..i think toc is more attuned to casual players more than anything shorter times easier kills better drops just like the emblem of conquest deal, blizzard’s trying to cadre to the casuals and i doubt the ony raid will be much better on length =/

Comment by ratiller

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