The next wave of Icecrown Citadel testing began today. A new patch 3.3 build was uploaded just hours before testing was scheduled to begin. Tonight, we'd take on Lord Marrowgar and Festergut. Raid loot had been implemented so we were anxious to see what some of the drops would be like.
Not only that, today marked the first time Chill of the Throne would be active on the PTRs. Players could tackle the raid content to determine how it felt. My thoughts on Chill of the Throne will come after the break and after I finish my Lord Marrowgar impressions.
Gallery: Icecrown Citadel
Lord Marrowgar was one of the first bosses tested several weeks ago. He had been taken down then and tonight he would not present too much of a challenge to us as we were armed with information and details on what he did.
The trash leading up to him took a bit of time to clear out. Our raid group decided to play it safe. Personally, I wanted to see if any of the trash could be skipped for the sake of time and efficiency. I figured that there might have been a mechanic where the trash would crash into Marrowgar's room if he was pulled but I wasn't sure if that was the case. Hopefully, someone who knows will comment so I won't have to find out the hard way.
Pro tip: Big guys don't cleave. They have a Sabre Lash effect. I didn't find this out until one of our shadow priests got railed and I wanted to pull up the damage to find out why. That explained why the tank was being hit hard on this particular set of trash compared to others.
Once we got to Marrowgar, we were briefed and then it was time to give this guy a shot. Conceptually, he's nothing more than a giant tank and spank with three key abilities to watch out for. He'll continue to send out Coldflame to players at random. Keep your tanks in the same area to distribute Sabre Lash. Heal up Bone Spike Graveyard when it happens (it's an impale that will lockdown a player and prevent them from moving or casting spells). Your raid group should destroy those fast before any caught players get hit by Coldflame with it. Healing a player who ate a Coldflame and is impaled isn't fun by any means.
The Coldflame he fires out seemed to lance out more often. Maybe it was just my imagination. For a healer who is used to dodging fires, avoiding these were a piece of cake. The Coldflame becomes dangerous when he shifts into Whirlwind mode. His pattern of movement becomes random. It seems like Marrowgar will intercept players in this form too. I noticed he moves much quicker than I had expected.
I managed to get clipped by Whirlwind once or twice. It didn't seem to hurt as much. I remember when I got clipped by a whirlwinding Leotheras in SSC, I almost died without rapid heals. I'm sure if we do this on heroic, no player can afford to get hit by Whirlwind.
This is where healers have to be careful. Once he switches back into the standard tank-and-spank mode, check your distance. I got caught trying to catch up to the tanks and ate a Saber Lash to the face.
Don't make the mistakes I do! Let me make them so you can learn from them!
Bone Spike Graveyard's are easy to take care of. However, I did find that Marrowgar would spike a player after he gets out of Whirlwind form. This is an issue because as the raid is recovering and changing positions from Whirlwind, some players could be out of range of healers and DPS. This forces the rest of the players to shift. If healers are too far away, they're not going to get within range quick enough to heal up the wounded player.
Anyway, the next few attempts were better. We gradually whittled him down to 45%, then 25% before he was dead shortly thereafter.
I remember one of my guildies asking if this boss was puggable. I had a fairly consistent Icecrown testing group with me. We have consistent healers and some DPS. It's hard to find reliable tanks. We did look for pickup players to fill out the rest of our raid and we did take down Marrowgar after 3 wipes. On the other hand, I've found the quality of players on the PTR tend to be much higher.
Marrowgar's a great introductory boss to the zone. He's massive for one thing. That new model really makes the fight epic. He's got a huge hit box too. There's something to be said for running away from a guy with a face composed of 4 skulls. I wonder if the axe he's carrying is going to be a useable weapon model in the game.
Why yes, we got some pretty loot. Sadly, none of the items were useable by me.
These are some of the items that came from the 10 man version. There appears to be a glitch where the heroic gear loot table is accessible. In any case, that's a rather nice axe isn't it? Also a nice pair of pants for the paladins.
It's a shame we had to disenchant the axe since our group didn't have a rogue.
... Nah just kidding. We tossed it to a death knight.
We only had a few more minutes left before several of us had to leave. We spent the last 10 minutes giving Festergut a shot again to see how he was. We did a much better job this time then we did before since we were armed with knowledge. We used only 2 attempts.
But it was disappointing. We had him down to around 200k health before Festergut enraged and promptly took us all out.
Chill of the Throne
As you may recall, Chill of the Throne was an area wide debuff designed to reduce dodge rating by 20%. The recent build set this ability live within the instance.
Granted, the only engagements I've participated in were trash, Lord Marrowgar and Festergut. Healing the tanks felt easier. I wasn't seeing anymore massive 45k damage type swings that I was accustomed to in Trial of the Grand Crusader. The damage that came in was constant but they weren't severe. It was much more comfortable for me to heal. I felt the hits the tank were taking to be much more manageable. The chance of tanks getting gibbed and two shot weren't as high. There were more frequency of hits but they individually weren't as severe.
Tomorrow, Deathbringer Saurfang awaits!
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.