Movement in Naxxramas boss fights: preventing wipes through a 12-step program

picture-6*sigh* This seems so hard to get 25 people to grasp.  It’s really really not hard.  I play on a notoriously laggy platform (lately, anyway) and was often the one who died in the poison geysers in Heigan the Unclean fights.  Now that my guild is pushing for an achievement that requires no deaths (among other things we’ll never manage to get 25 people to all do), having people die during the boss fights isn’t just annoying, it ruins the point of the raid.

So here are my tips, which I hope folks with better connections will read and UNDERSTAND.  Please don’t wipe your raid because you weren’t paying attention.  Seriously.  If you can’t bring yourself to watch a boss fight online, if you can’t understand the movement while the RL takes time for explaining it, at least ask questions.  Don’t silently misunderstand, thinking you’ll just magically get it.  Hey, you might.  But you will more likely kill me first.  So here’s how not to kill me.

heiganHeigan the Unclean: have your raid leader mark the running leadership.  If you are a typical lagger like me, stay just slightly ahead of that marked person.  For me, even in tree form, I stay riiiight in front of our guy.  I actually don’t ever stop running.  Typically, he stops in the middle of the safe zone.  By the time the poison shoots up, I’m almost to it, and it’s time to run again.  Once I see the last poison shoot up behind me, I keyboard turn (yeah, so?) and run the other way.  I have survived every time since trying this run-straight-through tactic.  Also, to be nice, I keep tossing wild growths on myself: if you’re near me, you get heals.  Uh, but don’t try to throw any other spells up.  There’s really no time at all for stopping.  Really.

thad_polarityThaddius (the tosser bosser).  No movement is required while your tanks are being tossed from platform to platform.  This, btw, is super cool.  The trouble comes when running off the platforms, onto Thaddius’s area.  If you have any way to be faster or floatier, use it.  Lag makes me miss that jump way too much without it.  Beyond that, you’ve got the charges to run through.  You know that first real boss in Mechanar, how he gives you charges and you stand by like charges, away from opposite charges? Yeah, it’s like that.

Have your raid leader do a dry run of the dance before you start the whole encounter.  At least get the directions down.  We have positive charges stand on the right of the boss, negative on the left.  Those directions are relative to the boss when you first come into the room.  When your charge changes (see the big blue text that tells me my polarity shifted?), you run counter-clockwise (the way we drive in America: on the right) or straight through the boss.  Run any direction you want, but do it as a group.  What your raid leader calls, do it.  Understand it.  You can still kill people just by running on the wrong side of the boss with your dirty, sinful, wrong charge, or being a tool and not running as soon as the charge changes.  Or accepting a battle rez while anyone has a charge, or initiating a battle rez too close to everyone else, or running back to the boss after missing the jump when you don’t have a charge.

Where do you see your charge?  Right by your nameplate in the raid window in vanilla UI.  You can also see it in the upper right of your own screen, unless Deadly Boss Mods is screwing you over as in my screenshot.  You can also see if your charge is stacked up with your fellow raiders’ charges right under your minimap.

grobbulusGrobbulus.  Oy.  You know that beholder in Blood Furnace who puts down expanding rings of poison?  This boss is like that.  He’ll leave a trail of expanding circles.  Tanks typically just move him slowly around the perimeter of the room.  Easy, right?  Well, you also are targetted sometimes and have a few seconds to gtfo before you leave your own ring.  Logic says to leave your ring somewhere else.  Somewhere away from the raid currently, and away from where the raid is headed.  Don’t cut off your tank’s path.  Get it?

My image shows the direction we’ve moved the boss from, and you can see that there are rings of poison much more thickly behind us.  The image is actually looking back over our path.  If you get a mutagen injection, run BACK toward the rings on the floor.  Don’t muck up the floor where your tank can step in it.  That’s just gross.

blameaux_zonesThe Four Horsemen.  This is just about watching your own debuffs and, if you’re a tank, communication.  Watch your marks and move at the appropriate time.  That’s. It.  If you run a strategy where you have some healers in the back, they can find a nice sweet spot at the very top of the stairs, dead center of the platform.  You don’t get LOS issues on the Blammeaux and Zeliek tanks, and you don’t get the void zones or marks, either.  Well, maybe a void zone, on the Blameaux side.  Such a bitch.

Anub-Rekan (the beetle boss).  If you’re a caster, don’t stand too close to the boss during swarms.  Easy.  Move away as the tank moves the boss.  I didn’t take a picture of this.  It’s embarrassingly easy.  Really.

saph_iceblockSapphiron:  three things, here.  1) Frontal cleave and tail swipes = stay to the middle of the dragon.  This is dragon-fighting 101.  2) Stay out of blizzards.  Sigh, duh, affected eye-rolling.  3) When Saph hits the air and ice blocks a couple-few people, get behind one of the blocks.  Oh, but word to the wise, if one iceblock seems kind of tipped to one side—like shoulda had a V8 tipped—don’t get behind it.  If the person inside jumped right as they are blocked, or somehow makes the block freeze in a tippy way, that block won’t do squat to protect you.  Get thee to the other block, tout suite.

As a healer I’ve found that you can actually stand almost in front of the dragon while you’re healing the tank.  Maybe I’ve lucked out with the cleaves, or maybe I’m standing at max casting range, which is out of his swipey range.  Either way, I manage to not get hit by the dragon.  Hey kid, don’t wink.

kt_iceblockAnd then there’s Kel Thuzhad.  Well, there are a number of fun ways to wipe your group here.  Not least of which is “Death Knights, go death grip the aboms” announced over vent.  Aside from that fun chaos, you should know that the most frustrating things KT does is to affect you (and the folks around you if they’re too close) with ice blocks and mana bombs.  Mana bombs are easy though annoying.  You should already be far enough away from other mana users if you’re avoiding them for the baddies: ice blocks.  This is called something else, but looks just like a mage ice block, both on the screen and in the debuff icon.  Heal this person, btw.  But for the love of Pete, stay away so that few enough people get hit by this.  Oy.

rain_of_fire

As always, watch your feet for rains of fire, void zones, poison clouds… And always watch your debuffs.  Understand what the movement requirements are for the fight by listening to the leader explain the fight.  For real.  You came to the raid, set your time aside to do it, so why would you waste your own time, nevermind 24 other folks’, by not listening?  Yikes.

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