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GuildOx interviews Ion Hazzikostas

GuildOx interviews Ion Hazzikostas
As patch 5.2 looms ever closer, Blizzard has opened their doors, offering insights into the ideas, plans and processes behind the upcoming patch. WoW Insider's Anne Stickney interviewed Lead Quest Designer Dave Kosak yesterday, and now GuildOx has published their interview with Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas.

The GuildOx interview brings up many interesting insights into the new raid, from the man leading the team who designed it. WoW Insider found several of Ion's answers particularly interesting, for example, he indicated that the Dark Animus fight, as pictured above, is probably the most innovative, and we certainly agree.

Ion also has some tips for guilds tackling the new raid:
Take your time, pace yourself, and enjoy the variety of the tier. It's a large one. There are fights that focus on different skills, and if you're struggling with one encounter, it's quite possible that a fight that plays to your group's strengths, and which you'll have a much easier time with, lies just over that hill.

If your guild runs into a roadblock on Normal mode, consider revisiting any 5.0 raids that you never finished, or trying some of the 5.0 Heroics for more gear upgrades to complement the ilvl-522 and -528 gear you'll be getting from your Throne of Thunder kills each week.

In his response to an earlier question about gear checks, Ion had the following to add:

[...]guilds that haven't finished Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring are likely going to run into difficulty keeping up with the fights much past Council of Elders, the third encounter in Throne of Thunder. The zone is tuned for people who have completed the previous tier of raiding. When 5.2 arrives, we're reducing the difficulty of the 5.0 raids, in part to help guilds that weren't quite able to get through all the 5.0 bosses get caught up.

It looks like, while there's no requirement for guilds to have finished all three 5.0 raid bosses to enter the new raid, doing so to raise item levels will be a wise plan. Ion mentions that the first boss, Jin'rokh the Breaker, will be the closest to a stand-and-deliver Patchwerk fight, so perhaps that will be a good gear check.

Having said all that, Ion does add the following:

In general, we think we went a bit too far with some relatively tight numerical checks on Normal modes in Tier 14, particularly in the form of berserk timers. We'd rather see more of the effort of learning a fight be about mastering its mechanics, rather than realizing that even though everyone understands and can execute the mechanics, you won't be able to win without more pure DPS.

What do our readers think of this? Is this a good adaptation, putting the emphasis slightly more on execution than pure DPS power? Or does it decrease the importance of WoW's most populous role?

Do check out WoW Insider's boss guides for the Throne of Thunder raid!

Filed under: Interviews

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