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4-30-2011 @ 6:48PM
I just finished both ZA and ZG over the past couple days as a restoration druid, so I'll offer my impressions.ZA: The fights are very similar to the 10 man. The trash is as well. Having run the 10 man many, many times in BC I didn't find anything too difficult. If you don't know the trash that can easily lead to wipes, particularly with the stealth cat mobs (DPS don't run ahead of the tank!) and not killing the scouts before they hit the drums.As for the fights, we didn't have too much trouble. We wiped on Akil'Zon once because we lost people to the electrical storm. The last boss took a couple tries as we weren't sure on the strategy with the forms we got (he transforms into two out of the four forms, random which ones you get I think).Healing was a notch up from normal heroics but not overly difficult. Keep in mind I am in full 359 raid gear, so I would imagine this would be significantly more challenging in 346 blues.ZG: Had a bit of a low DPS group for this one (two players under 10k). The trash in this instance can be brutal, particularly if players don't make intelligent use of the cauldrons. Just rushing in on some of these pulls without CC or a proper kill order can easily cause wipes.The fights were really variable in difficulty. Some were a cake walk and others brutal. The toughest fight to heal for me was the Panther boss. I really don't know if I could have done it in heroic gear. The raid damage is severe at times and the tank damage is pretty brutal. Higher DPS would probably have helped a lot.The final boss gave us a lot of problems. Executing the strategy proved difficult. We lost players to combination hits of body slam and a shadow crash multiple times. We also had trouble getting the little adds under control resulting in several wipes were I got killed from adds (they love the healer and hit for 17-30k per melee swing on me). Ultimately we had to swap out one lower DPS for that player's better geared main. Once we did that with higher DPS we were able to down it in a couple tries. Both ZA and ZG have great instance design which IMO is far superior than the boring, hub or linear layouts of recent raids. Of course be prepared for people who don't know the instance to get lost. The new maps help a lot for getting around but we still had one person in ZG who could not figure out where to go and had to be escorted back from wipes. This can add to the time required to do the instances substantially. They are long instances. ZG took us much longer do to more wipes and less initial understanding of the mechanics. The full clear took us four hours. I would imagine next time that will be more like two hours, but that's still a significant time investment for a heroic. They both felt to me more like mini-raids than heroics both in the higher difficulty and the length (large layouts, lots of trash, lots of places to die if you're not paying attention).Overall I enjoyed ZA and ZG but would honestly not want to pug them at this time. Having an under-performing player is really going to hurt in here (as we saw in ZG). A few of the fights I would place as harder than the starting raid fights. Such as the end boss in ZG vs stuff like Magmaw, Halfus or Pit Lord Pinata. I can see a lot of pugs just not being able to finish the last bosses in the instances even if the earlier ones were easy to take down.Overall, not a bad addition and a new challenge for 5 man players. Plus added bonus MAELSTROM FARMING. I do wish they'd done three troll heroics... heroic ZF anyone?
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