Cataclysm Heroics Force Accountability
You always hear people joke about don’t stand in the fire. My most recent recommendation to my guild members has been don’t stand in the bad. Which is pretty accurate since there is a lot more than just fire, there are mines, spikes, falling ceilings and much more.
However once you enter the realm of heroics its more than not standing in fire, its about paying attention to your surroundings and being accountable for yourself.
Cataclysm Heroics are no joke. They require complete attention, at least for now until folks completely out gear the encounters. However until that time, the battles in heroic versions of dungeons punish those who do not pay attention. Let me repeat that because it bears repeating. Heroics PUNISH those who do not pay attention.
For example the first boss in heroic Blackrock Caverns, Rom’Ogg. Fairly straight forward fight, similar to normal, but if you do not refocus your dps on the chains then immediately get out of his AOE cleave, then you are looking at instant death. Not hard to do, but it requires the party members to pay attention.
Lets look at another example, General Umbriss, first boss in Grim Batol. On heroic mode his blitz ability will charge a random member of the party. Not only will it do a ton of damage, it will knock the player up into the air and they will take fall damage, pretty much ending them unless they are a pally and can bubble themselves. How do you combat this? Well its quite simple, when he turns to look at you, you have a few seconds to move out of the way, at which point he will charge at nothing and not hurt a fly. But once again it requires that people pay attention to their surroundings.
Another boss, that doesn’t necessarily require you to be moving out of a fire, but rather has you focus on his casting bar and requires you to interrupt him at all costs is the first boss in heroic Shadowfang Keep, Baron Ashbury. He has 3 spells you need to interrupt, first is Pain and Suffering which deals unnecessary damage to a teammate. The next is Stay of Execution which heals him, but also heals your group, so you have to time the interrupt properly to heal your team but not heal him too much. Finally once you get below 50%, he does a Mend Rotten Flesh which heals him big time, which needs to be interrupted fast. If one person on interrupt duty slacks off it could be devastating to the group.
The first boss of heroic Deadmines, Glubtok, summons a firewall that moves clockwise, and will in most cases will quickly end anyone who touches it, though you have to be hit by it multiple times. Well if you keep rotating and not touch the firewall when you kill him you get an achievement called Ready for Raiding. Just another example of how Blizzard is throwing you challenges that test your personal accountability and showing that you need to watch out for these things to be successful in heroics and raids.
These are just 4 examples, but it is quite clear that heroics are now actually challenging as compared to the WotLK snooze fests heroics were. The question is are they too hard? Potentially until folks learn the ins and outs, but PUGs are hit or miss for the time being. Going with folks you know is better to learn the encounters at least early on, but one can also argue you can learn in PUGs as well, as learning from mistakes is very beneficial.
The lesson these heroics will teach you is that if you fail to pay attention and take accountability for performing your role, you will fail personally and potentially even wipe the group you are with. Gone are the days where DPS can zone out and just pew pew, now you need to pay attention, move, react, most damage is avoidable but requires you to take accountability. Tanks you need to mark targets for crowd control, and who to focus fire else you will have mobs running loose. Healers, gone are the days where you could stand still and spam heals on the entire group, you have to heal on the move and triage, who is more important to heal.
Cataclysm heroics are no joke, and if you can’t master accountability now, raiding will be that much more difficult.