Posted tagged ‘Violet Hold’

WotLK: The Violet Hold

November 28, 2008

This is one in a series of posts covering a WotLK 5-mans – from a Tank’s Point of View

Violet Hold sits in Dalaran, and is intended for characters around level 75.  Since it is in the city, most people won’t have trouble getting there – however, you do need to pay attention to that.  There is no summoning stone, and you may find some players who can’t access Dalaran yet.  If you don’t want to work out how to get them there, check first that they can access Dalaran.

This zone is very much like Black Morass, without the opening trash clear.  There will be 18 portals, with mini-bosses at portals 6 at 12, and the final boss on 18.  Instead of Mehdiv’s shield, you are protecting the Prison door.  Portals spawn throughout the room, and either have a single portal guardian with a trickle of adds (very reminicent of BM) – or a single groups of 2 to 4 mobs all at once.  None of these are all that bad, and I don’t expect that most groups should have any trouble keeping up with the portal spawns.

There are crystal spread throughout the room which, when clicked, trigger a large burst of damage to all mobs in the room.  These are the emergency buttons that you can use if you get behind.

If you die you may have trouble getting back in – at least we did on heroic – so wait for a resurrection if possible.  Also, if you do have a wipe, expect to re-clear the portals from the start, and to fight any already downed mini-bosses again – sans loot.  Unlike most instances, here you are punished severely for wipes.

The mini-bosses that you see (at portals 6 and 12) are random, coming for a pool of 6 possible:

Mini-boss: Erekem

An Arakkoa with two adds. He has an interruptible heal, and a few other Shaman like abilities. Just tank the adds along with Erekem, and focus DPS on the boss. You can easily mop up the adds once he is down. This is one of the easier mini-bosses.

For tanks, he can drop the Screeching Cape – a very nice cloak.

Mini-boss: Ichoron

Water elemental that come with a shield that reduces all hits to almost nothing. Once his shield is depleted, he explodes into a shower of adds, and becomes untargetable. These adds slowly move back to his body, and once one reaches him (or all are killed) he pops back up. At this point, start kiting Ichoron around, as the adds that reach him restore health. Once the adds are down, you start working on the new shield. Repeat this a few times, and he will be dead. Due to the shield mechanic, focus on quick hitting abilities rather than hard hitting ones.

He has a 50% chance of dropping gloves that may interest Ferals: Handguards of Rapid Pursuit.

Mini-boss: Lavanthor

Lavanthor is a large core hound. Turn him away from the group and don’t stand in fire. This biggest threat he poses is after death. He body won’t despawn for several minutes, so if you kill him in place his corpse will make seeing future mobs at the portal difficult.

There is no tank loot here.

Mini-boss: Moragg

The large Beholder mini-boss.  Most of his damage is focused on the tank, on normal mode this is one of the easier fights.

Shoulderplates of the Beholder drops, which many tanks may be able to working into their gear.

Mini-boss: Xevozz

Xevozz is an oddity in Northrend – an Ethereal.  He summons an orb that should be avoided.  Most groups should be able to heal through most of the damage, and just power through.  However, if you are taking too much damage, you can kite him around the ramp in the back of the room.  Just start fighting him on one side, and slowly work him around to the other.

The prize here is the possibility of seeing the Riot Shield.

Mini-boss: Zuramat the Obliterator

Zurumat is a Void Walker style mob.  His primary trick is summoning Void Sentries – most of the time, these appear to be untargetable void zones, which shoot out Shadow Bolts.  Throughout the fight he will place a 15 second debuff on random party members which allow them to see the Void Sentries – at this point that person is able to kill them.  To be honest, we’ve always just powered through this and ignored the Sentries, but depending on gear level that may not be an option.  If you are taking too much damage, ensure that whomever gets the debuff takes out as many sentries as possible.

He can also cast Shroud of Darkness, which places a healing debuff on anyone attacking him.  Either have a Mage spellsteal this, or stop attacking while it is up.

Good news for tanks looking for a quick defense buff, he drops the Void Sentry Legplates.

Final Boss: Cyanigosa

After the 17th wave is down, you will get to face Cyanigosa.  She is a Dragon, so standard dragon rules apply.  Most of her damage is focused on the tank, excepting the occasional Blizzard.  A few times through the fiight she will teleport everyone to her, and wipe threat.  Tanks need to grab threat quickly, and get her back in position.  Honestly, she is fairly simple.  I you’ve made it to her, you shouldn’t have too much trouble taking her down.

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Feeling Heroic

November 27, 2008

Tuesday evening we started with trips into CoT:Strat and Halls of Lightning (wherein Lokin was a jerk and didn’t drop me anything), both runs were quite successful – so we decided to push our luck by venturing into our first heroic. We chose Violet Hold – the plan being that we could see which mini-boss we started with, and get a feel for just how bad things were going to be.

Of the six possible mini-bosses, I’d classified three as ‘preferred’, and three as ‘not so much’. The opening trash waves were not as bad as I’d expected, so we were quickly to the first mini-boss – and we got one of the bad ones. Of course.

It was the Water Elemental – which I’d actually listed as #1 on my ‘do-not-want’ list. /sigh

The problem with him is the knockback. Healer knockback + tank knockback = bad times. The first attempt I pulled him up the stairs to the starting platform – logic being that most of the adds would need to funnel up the stairs to us, and that the enclosed space would help manage the knockbacks. We get him nearly to his enrage that time, before I he dropped me.

Try 2. Re-clear the first 5 waves. The idea came up to tank him down on the floor, so there might be better healer-to-dps LoS. We ended up wiping quickly though, with knockback and positioning problems.

Try 3. I told the group I wanted another shot at him, and everyone was fine with that. Trash waves down, I brought him back up to the door. The healing, I’m told, was very hectic – but we made it to he enrage with just one DPS down and finished the fight off pretty smoothly. Woot! A quick celebration, a resurrection, and just as we started sorting out loot the next portal was open.

The second group of waves came a bit faster, but were manageable. Then out comes the second mini-boss, the Beholder, which I’d had on my ‘good’ list. He puts out a lot of simultaneous damage on the tank, and one other party member. We got him down first try, but lost our healer before the end. This is where to bad news came in. Unlike Black Morass, you can’t run back into Violet Hold if you die. Think about that. With no way to rez our healer, we just waited for the next wave to slaughter us and ran back in.

At this point, we were told that the bosses aren’t replaced with a trash wave when you re-clear – that you have to take them again. With no loot. This seemed so stupid, that I had a hard time believing it. Enough so that I talked to group into letting me see it happen. And it did.

Reclearing all the trash, and the bosses again is certainly annoying. However, the earlier practice seemed to have helped, and we got both both mini-bosses down with only minor problems. The final set of portal waves were quick, but we kept up. The final boss was no a push-over – healer mana was gone by the end, leaving me dead to a DoT just after the boss dropped – but was probably the easiest of the boss fights.

Imagine our surprise as we got two Achievements for the run. The expected Heroic: The Violet Hold, but also Defenseless. Seems that we never thought to use the emergency crystals. Huh. Odd that.

All told, it took about 90 minutes, gave us out first Emblem of Heroism, and let us see our first level 80 epic drop – though that went to a non-guildie (well, she’s not *yet* in the guild. We’ll see..)

For a test run, where we got non-optimal mini-bosses, I’m pretty pleased. Heroics are certainly not trivial, in fact this was the first real challenge I’ve seen in Wrath, but I’m looking forward to going back.