World of Warcraft: Last Stand of the Zandalari LFR Experience

Just got done with the latest LFR wing for the new Throne of Thunder raid. Immediately, after entering people started dying. I couldn’t tell if I entered in the middle, end or what. Fortunately, I started from the beginning because I would’ve gotten really pissed in having to wait another 40+ minutes. For my first run, I decided to use my hunter since being a ranged, it’s easier to see the various mechanics from a distance.

The trash pulls really vary. I would say the first section felt tougher perhaps because someone could’ve pulled more than we were able to handle. We did manage to survive though. Most of the area is just a bunch of trash mobs. Some felt like a mini boss in the sense that there were a few interesting mechanics, but not more than one at a time.

For the first boss, Jin’rokh the Breaker, it’s considered a DPS check. The mechanics on this fight aren’t too bad in LFR. The main two issues are making sure your group is in the water when it’s not electrified and moving away from the raid if you have a charge. I believe what happens is that there’s essentially for pools of water, all of which offer a buff to healing and DPS. One after another, each of the pools become electrified for the remainder of the fight. I think if you are unable to down the boss in time, all the pools get electrified, which is basically a raid wipe/enrage type of timer.

Moving on, you get a really annoying group of bridges which have the push back mechanic. Smart tanks will bring the adds towards the stairs. Fighting the adds on the bridge is pretty much suicide since you’ll probably be blown off. Once you clear this area, you race across the bridge, making sure you avoid any of the hovering adds. I believe these can blow you off so don’t chance it.

The second boss of the instance is pretty tough I would say. You encounter Horridon, which more or less is a giant add fight for the most part, intermixed with dealing with shit on the ground and positioning yourself so that you avoid he frontal and rear sweep attacks. What makes this encounter tough is the amount of movement involved where you need to watch the ground while making sure you don’t get hit by anything Horridon throws at you.

The part that can get really chaotic is when the adds jump down. You’ll face a gauntlet of four arena doors that will periodically spawn adds. The main thing to watch for is the Dinomancer, which has to be your number one priority as a DPS. Two things to know about the Dinomancer is that he’s capable of casting a heal. So you need to interrupt that. Second and most importantly, after downing him, he drops something that allows you to close the door and prevent adds from the section from further spawning. One thing to note is that the adds in each area differ in capability. Some of the adds like the spellcasters I found to be more annoying but it did take me off guard.

Once you close off all four wings, the troll god comes down and you DPS him down. That part isn’t really that bad and goes by quickly. After you get rid of him, Horridon goes into a slight frenzy, making him deal more damage. However, by now the most difficult aspect is complete, so you pretty much just have to focus on the boss. I felt that it ended up becoming a tank and spank by this point.

Finally, you’ll get to the council. This can be a pretty crazy fight. I would call it an even bigger clusterfuck than Horridon. With four “council” members up, each possessing different abilities and various things spawning on the ground as well as adds, you’ll have your work cut out for you. While the mechanics themselves aren’t impossible, the difficulty comes in with the constant target switching and dealing with stuff on the ground. It’s pretty much a priority fight where you’ll find yourself switching constantly as well as working with a fairly tight area.

In our raid, we got to some interesting situations like when one member was under possession but another member was really down in health. Unlike bosses like the Will of the Emperor, the council members DO NOT share a common health pool. So you pretty much have to down each one individually. In that sense, I think it was a good call for us to nuke the member who was furthest down on health rather than switching. The main reason being that it’s just one group of abilities less to deal with.

I believe we did wipe once on Horridon and twice on Council. Probably, once people gear up better and weeks pass, the fights will increasingly go smoother. However, so far the challenge is pretty decent all things considered.

My main two concerns right now are the queue times and the general direction of LFR. The last two fights probably were on par with the difficulty of Madness of Deathwing in the sense. I think the difficulty was understanding what to do and when. But I felt that some aspects are not going to be fun farming going forward. It felt as though a layer or two should be removed at this level. I am glad that they added the Persistence buff because trying to go through that over and over again would drive me batty.

I didn’t end up winning anything, even with using my re-rolls. That was pretty disheartening since the repair cost was pretty high and the wait time frustratingly long. In turn, with the increase in drops for the pre-patch 5.2, I started to think that perhaps it would be far more efficient to focus on gearing my toons who lack 480+ ilvl and level the rest of my guys, then wait for the next raid patch. I mean, if we see the gear drop improve in the same way as it did for the previous raids, why not just wait?

The only benefit I can think of for consistently doing LFRs are getting the reputation. Your first clear will get you to friendly. In turn, that allows you to pick up either bracers or a trinket for valor. So if you’ve been unlucky with drops, then pushing forward in using the reputation vender gear might be worth doing still. But I don’t know if doing dailies for the coins to do re-rolls might be worth it at this stage. I guess considering all the repair cost you’ll be facing, you might as well do something. That or quest while waiting for the queue.

 

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