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This was quite the epic journey. The Dire Maul portal lets you enter the instance at level 31 and we progressed, with some difficulty, to the endboss: Alzzin the Wildshaper.
You can read about the first bosses and our troubles with Alzzin in the previous post.
Alzzin is without a doubt the toughest bossfight in the game we encountered so far. We had roadblocks prior to this, like the Houndmaster who was really strong due to a debuff where we had to get lucky or Rooguk in Razorfen Kraul, who was just ridiculously unbalanced and not actually difficult.
But Alzzin has it all. High damage, multiple phases, shapeshifting, adds, tons of abilities, movement, mana and aggro management…it’s a shame that regular dungeon groups basically kill him before anything happens.
I already spoke about the boss in the previous posting, but let’s recap the fight in detail and with what we’ve learned while leveling up.
He has two phases where he himself actually doesn’t do anything different. At 50% he spawns a bunch of non elite adds. It used to be 35% before the level of the dungeon was lowered. Because the fight is already pretty hectic and movement heavy, those adds make the whole encounter more chaotic. Most, if not all, groups will AoE the adds and then the boss dies. But what they don’t know is that these adds spawn in regular intervals and positioning for the healer is becoming very important in the second phase, as the adds usually run towards the healer first. The increased damage is also nothing to sneeze at in this fight. With the length of the encounter, mana is already tight and by the time the boss hit 50%, the healer was usually out of mana.
Form 1: Regular Satyr
This form is high in damage output, but doesn’t require much movement. I refrain from using my roll ability to get away from the boss, because I need to save the charges for later. All of his casts are instant or uninterruptable, so my freshly learned interrupt ability doesn’t help at all. He targets the healer with Enervate, draining mana. This was one of the toughest things to deal with from 31-33, because mana was ridiculously tight. The other ability is Wither, which is a DoT on the tank. I can cast detox to cure myself, saving precious healer mana.
Form 2: Wolf
Damage and Attack speed are heavily increased to a deadly level. There’s not much else to do in this fight, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just tanking the boss in this phase is a BAD idea for us and I try to maintain distance between me and the boss. No easy task because my snare doesn’t work on bosses so I have to manage the Roll charges and recharge cooldown. Staying away from the boss usually does the trick here. It gets really tough when the boss is in Wolf form and a wave of adds spawns. Then I have to get the adds off the healer, AoE them down while trying to keep my distance to the boss. Usually the last part fails, making this scenario quite difficult for the healer. If I manage to keep the adds off of him, it usually works. It’s also imperative that I save my cooldowns for this phase, making it more difficult to deal consistent damage, as my most important cooldown requires Chi points, which I also need to activate my damage dealing abilities.
Form 3: Tree
Here the healer can relax a little bit. Damage is lower and Alzzin casts only a heal on himself. The other ability is a knockback on the tank, which resets the aggro. Then Alzzin runs for the healer. I need to react quickly and taunt him back to me. With the low damage output it’s not much of a problem if I miss the taunt…unless…Alzzin knocks me back, shapeshifts into a Wolf and shreds the healer to pieces. That happened more than once and if my taunt is on cooldown, it’s almost impossible to get the aggro back before the healer dies. Building up aggro is very slow. Similar to the other phases, adds complicate the situation immensely, especially if they spawn right as I’m being knocked back.
Okay, so from level 31 to 33 we made several attempts each level, but weren’t successful. At level 31 we usually couldn’t even make it to 50% where the adds spawn, but even at later levels we weren’t able to get much further than that. Even with better gear at each level through quests and from bosses, reduced damage from the bosses, higher damage dealt and hit chance and more HP, we were beaten again and again. Usually the damage on me was too high (Wolf+Adds) or the Healer ran out of Mana, died or a combination of everything.
Things finally got better at level 34. We had the usual improvements such as a couple of new gear pieces, more HP, Hit etc. and one new ability for the Priest: Heal! With Heal he could finally keep my HP up (or let them drop slower) while not actually spending mana. This allowed for more constant healing and more intensive healing during Wolf and Add phases without running out of Mana. But that doesn’t mean the fight was easy, not by any means. It took over 5 minutes, which is very long for today’s standards, and there were numerous close calls, especially in the last third of the fight, where I messed up slightly.
But in the end we finally did it and finished Dire Maul East. We started at 31 and killed Alzzin at 34. In the meantime, we took a look at the next Dire Maul wing (they’re all open at 31, but each is still more difficult than the last) and even Scholomance at 33. We didn’t actually expect anything, but to our surprise, we made some serious progress, while being significantly underleveled, especially in DM West. See you next time for our run through Scholomance. We haven’t cleared it yet 😉