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5-15-2010 @ 10:31PM
I couldn't agree more. Ulduar's hard modes were epic, with every hard mode adding in different (sometimes drastically different) mechanics to the fight. To illustrate the difference between Ulduar and the following tiers, I'll list some of the differences of the hard mode bosses, which is something missing from Squeek's excellent post since it's already so long.FL - MASSIVE increase in health, Freezing beams, Explosion beams, Fire beams, giant addsXT - Substantial increase in health and damage, no increased damage heart phases, Adds with a damage aura, void zonesIC - Extreme raid damage aura, massive tank damage, and a punishing soft enrage from tank deaths due to the debuff if your raid's dps was lowHodir - 3 minute timer required cutting down on healers and forced every raider to maximize uptime of every single NPC's buffThorim - Increased health and damage required perfectly coordinated raid positioning and movement along with uninterruptable frost novas and frostbolt volleys that were specifically designed to hinder that movementFreya - Substantial increase in health and damage of Freya AND her adds, along with new abilities like an AoE silence, huge raid damage zones, and roots that had to be killed quickly punished uncoordinated raids like no other fightMimiron - increased health pushed the enrage timer to the limit, fire all over the place, giant aoe explosions that one shot people, new adds that one shot people and AoE silence if not killed quickly, but they're also the only thing that can put out the fire in P3 and P4Vezax - The boss' gimmick was a complete lack of regen that left you two options: Kill him fast or use the saronite pools to get mana back. Hard mode required you to do neither, along with killing an add that spawned after 4 minutes and had a raid-wide, increasing damage AoE pulse.Yogg - Full hard mode was virtually impossible, requiring unbelievably high AoE damage, perfect control of sanity by every single raider, insanely well-geared tanks and healers, and perfect coordination by five different players in P3 to avoid healing all the UNKILLABLE ADDS THAT KEEP SPAWNING and one-shotting basically your entire raidNow, compare those mechanics to ToC hard modesBeasts - More health, more damage, next phase starts whether previous boss is dead or not, no speed buff on IcehowlJaraxxus - More health, more damage, have to actually kill portals and volcanoes nowFaction Champs - More health, more damageTwins - More health, more damage, more orbs, stronger shield, bigger heal if you miss the shieldAnub - More health, more damage, 2 more adds, only 6 ice patches, adds keep spawning in P3The only boss whose hard mode was significantly different was Anub, and it never felt more epic, just like it had added difficulty just to be difficultIcecrown - More health and More damage are just givens for every fightMarrowgar - Spikes during bone stormDeathwhisper - This fight really feels epic. The adds come much faster and her health is such that they can't be handled normally but must be clumped on the boss and cleaved down, making the whole fight feel hectic and dangerous, plus she is not tauntable in P2Lootship - Oh snap, the ropckets knock you back and you might fall off the ship and...be ported back up safely.Saurfang - blood power gain increased dramatically, making healing of the marks very intense and high DPS a necessityFestergut - Putricide throws snot at youRotface - Vile gas means ranged have to spread outPutricide - a disease bounces around and must be controlled carefully or it one shots people, ther is no tear gas, instead two oozes spawn at phase changes and the raid gets debuffs where they can only damage one color of oozeCouncil - a damaging debuff stacks whenever you move on a very high movememnt fightBlood Queen - AoE damage goes up as the fight gets longerDreamwalker - ...?Sindragosa - Unchained magic causes and AoE explosion instead of single target, there is one extra ice tomb and the explosions during the air phase do enough damage to one shot peopleLK - Valks drop people at 50% but stay around smiting raiders until they are killed by ranged, Vile spirits have too much health to kill reliably and must be soaked by someone with immunity, the entire raid goes to the frostmourne room and has to survive instead of just one guyLDW, Saurfang, Putricide, and LK are the only fights that feel like a "Heroic mode" instead of just a "Hard mode"I for one really hope Blizzard goes back to the Ulduar model for Cataclysm raids.Again, great post Squeek, really nailed it.
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