I finished watching the current No. 1 guild in the world <Paragon> tackle a unique live raid event developed just for BlizzCon 2010! It was a big thrill watching them do their stuff. I only wish I could've heard their communications in real time. I've always wondered what is being discussed on unknown encounters.
Except these weren't unknown encounters. We were fighting past foes like Shazzrah, Baron Geddon and the Beast. It wasn't limited to older encounters. Some newer bosses included Ozumat and Rom'ogg Bonecrusher. Apologies for the image quality on some of these folks; I'll need to select a better location and grab a better camera.
So the challenge for this year's BlizzCon was taking on some old bosses and some new bosses. Lead Systems Developer Ghostcrawler and Encounter Designer Daelo were just some of the people on the stage providing commentary and making on the fly adjustments to the encounter as necessary.
So to set up the (obviously fictional) back story and lore, the encounter took place just in front of Orgrimmar. The raid was defending it against different bosses.
Phase 1: Molten Core
I haven't seen these bosses in a long time. It looks like Paragon hadn't, either. They were squaring off against Magmadar, Shazzarah, Baron Geddon and Gehennas. Not one by one.
All at the same time.
To even it up, the stats of the bosses were raised to make them on par with a guild of Paragon's level. For instance, Shazzrah has 63 million health. Paragon had no idea what their opposition was. They found out when they logged in that they were in front of Orgrimmar. They can attack whenever they like (after strategizing and so forth). No changes were made to the abilities (other than the appropriate stat and damage increase).
The pull went off successfully and I didn't get a good look at what their overall strategy was. It was either Gehennas or they were just trying to feel out all their abilities combined.
On attempt two, their strategy changed. They opted to burn down Shazzrah first. But Shazzrah's spells eventually overwhelmed them. In addition to that, they had no idea who had Living Bomb and that player had no where to run before he exploded.
Attempt 3 saw another strategy reversal. They switched back to Gehennas and looked like they started tanking Magmadar on top of Shazzrah. In addition to that, they realized that since the graveyard was nearby, they could simply corpse run back to reinforce the raid if they died. And they had it. Gehennas fell first followed by Magmadar. Baron Geddon was next. We wondered if they would remember to run away from the AoE. A quick look at the numbers showed them DPSing at a literal rate of 250k. Once Shaz was down, a cheer echoed throughout the entire hall.
But we were just getting started.
Phase 2: Blackrock Mountain
This wave involved encounters from Blackwing Lair and Blackrock Spire. We're talking flashback bosses such as Brood Lord, the Beast, General Drakkisath and Chrommagus. They lit up the pull and focused their attacks on Drakkisath first. This wave went much more smoothly than the Molten Core set before hand. The General fell without a hitch before they switched over to Chrommagus. Broodlord was next on the list and it felt like a virtual tank and spank. At some point, I think the Beast charged someone and knocked the entire raid. Sent them flying (At least, I think it was the Beast).
Phase 3: Cataclysm bosses
Now we got to the new stuff. The first two waves were just warmups. The next set grew increasingly challenging as these were bosses straight from the the 5 player heroic dungeons that are juiced for raids. I didn't get a good look at the names, but I know one was Ozruk and the other was Rom'ogg Bonecrusher. It took Paragon a little longer to get started. I guess they were hashing out abilities and assignments a little more thoroughly. They didn't last very long though. They were demolished in short order.
I like how they stacked healing auras on each other in between wipes to help speed up the readying up process. Don't forget to stand on the good circles.
Looks like the first pull was meant to solidify boss attacks and where they were planning to set up. It went a little smoother than the original one and they were clocking in at an amazing 300k DPS. Until they ran into the massive cleave from one of the bosses. But they ended up killing one of the via DoTs and valiant last ditch efforts before they eventually wiped.
Phase 4: Dragons
The dragons that were perched on the cliffs overlooking the bosses below flew off. This time, Paragon had to relocate. They mounted up and flew to the roof of the entrance gates to the Horde capital. After rapidly dismounting, the dragons came after them. Two were in the air randomly belching fireballs at the raid while the other two were on the ground. I believe the dragons were Rend and Gyth, Firemaw, and Theralion. There was another dragon, but I didn't catch his name either.
Firemaw was prioritized first. Paragon demoished him with no trouble at all. I think Daelo gave them a slight boost for the next dragon or so. It was either Theralion or Gyth that was next. I do recall seeing Rend on the ground. But Daelo had one more trick up his sleeve.
That was just a preview of things to come. It is a little difficult to make out, but that is Deathwing making an entrance. Deep Breath, what?
What a great finish to the live raid. Great show by Paragon!
BlizzCon 2010 is upon us! WoW Insider has all the latest news and information. We're bringing you liveblogging of the WoW panels, interviews with WoW celebrities and attendees and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!