Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top 10 Reasons We Need More Fights Like Ultraxion

Each tier has bosses I like and bosses I dislike based on the role I am in.  Being I play all three roles my favorites and least favorites can vary often depending on the role I am playing.

This tier however my favorite fight as a tank, healer, ranged dps and melee dps are one in the same.  Ultraxion is the most enjoyable fight this tier, heck, the most enjoyable fight in the last 5 tiers, maybe even ever.  From my point of view at least.

Top 10 Reasons We Need More Fights Like Ultraxion

10) Easy Mechanics:
- Get fading light.  Hit a button.  Hour of Twilight.  Hit a button.  Sure, there is a little more to it when you include having to leave people behind, but as far as mechanics go it does not get much easier then that while still having something you need to do or you die.  It makes it a fight that you can bring a new raider into and teach it to them super fast.  More playing, less wiping to annoying mechanics, we need more fights like this.

9) Forgiving Mechanics:
- Okay, they are not forgiving in the way that if you mess them up you won't die, you will die, but they are forgiving that when they pop up you have time to react.  This means people with an older computer might actually be able to do it.  People with lower frame rate might actually be able to do it.  Sure, they might need to set graphics to the lowest possible setting to be able to do it, but there is nothing in this fight what so ever that would require you to have high graphics.

Can you hit a button or defensive cooldown when you have to?  That is what matters, not what you see.  Having a couple of seconds to hit the button means even people with slow reactions or slow computers can still play, we need more fights like this.

8) The Ultimate Idiot Test:
- Seriously, even the best of us fail sometimes at random mechanics.  Even the best of us might be a second too slow switching targets or picking up new adds.  Even the best of us might make a mistake when there is a lot going on.

There is one simple thing going on here.  It makes for less chance for error.  It also make for the perfect chance to see who deserves to be in a raid and who doesn't.  If someone keeps dying to hour they are left with 2 options.  One, admit your computer/connection will not allow you to do it and sit out for someone that can actually help the group.  Two, admit you are a horrible player.  Either way, for raids leaders all over the world it is the best way to weed out the bad players from your group without actually ever insulting them and calling them bad.

No need to talk about bad luck.  No need to talk about not seeing telling graphics.  No need to talk about anything.  You either can do it or can't do it which means you are either a raider or you are not a raider, we need more fights like this.

7) No Artificial Filler:
- No high fructose corn syrup, no trans fat, no monosodium glutamate.  More importantly, no interrupts, no purges, no dispels, no spell steals, no CC, no snares, no slows, no stuns, no cleaves, no bullshit.  You just fight the fight the way fights are supposed to be fought, we need more fights like this.

6) No Movement:
- Perhaps the only reason this is a huge plus for the fight is because it is so rare we get a fight like that but it is sure as hell fun to be able to just all stack in one place and do what it is you do. You are a tank, stand here.  DPS, same place.  Healer, yes, you too.  The only time you might even need to consider moving is if you are a healer to get a crystal but if you have ever done the fight before you will make sure that is either a super fast grab and back or with good positioning from the start you won't even need to move for that.  It allows for everyone to give maximum attention to their job so they can do it the best they can, we need more fights like this.

5) Tanking Means Something:
- It is not one of those taunt on three type of fights for tanks.  It is a rotation of taunting, cooldowns, and maximizing DPS.  I feel I have more to do in this one fight then in all other fights this expansion, combined, and I love it.  I also love the fact I get to put more of an emphases on DPS.

From a tanking standpoint it is the only fight I felt like more then just a meat shield on.  I also felt like it was the only fight where my DPS mattered.  I've gotten so used to just sitting there getting beat on and taunting back and forth and that was all that mattered.  That is basically what makes tanking in raids the easiest role in the game without a doubt.

Now I actually get to DPS as a tank with the added tank duties and that makes for an exicting fight while tanking.  How often do I get to look at my DPS at the end of a fight and think to myself what I can improve to get more DPS out next time while tanking?  Not many.  I know many will say they have done more but so far my record for tank DPS is 18,892 on this fight and hot damn I had a lot of fun doing it, we need more fights like this.

4) Healing is a Rush:
- Not only do I get to go freaking psycho while healing this fight, I get a buff while doing it that makes my heals go insane.  Hot damn, I feel like a DPS.  My HPS are usually a sure thing to beat the top DPS by at least 10K and it feels awesome saying that.  It is the true ABCs of healing, always be casting.  For someone like me who prides myself on being well behaved with my healing and usually keeps my overhealing to a minimum, no matter what class I heal on, it feels nice to just let loose and spam 'em while you got 'em.

I have not done it yet but I would love to heal this fight in my AA spec on my priest.  DPS and healing.  I think I am going to cry I am so happy.  Being able to pump it all out and race the clock with your heals is exciting.  Being able to just spam heals is exciting.  Seeing those huge numbers is exciting.  Hell, this fight is just plain out fun to heal, we need more fights like this.

3) Patchwork was fun for a Reason:
- For DPS it is great to be able to just concentrate on doing DPS (for the most part).  The no artifical filler allows the DPS to do what their title implies, dealing damage.  For a damage dealer that is the most fun you can have.  Later in the fight you might need to throw in some personal defensive cooldowns, but once everyone is in the grove not even that will be required any more.  It is pew pew pew, it is fun fun fun and we need more fights like this this this.

2) People Can Really Excel in Different Ways:
- Most raid fights teach people the basics that every good raider should know.  Mechanics.  This fight with its simple press the button mechanic allows people to work on the lesser spoken about skills of a good raider.  Cooldown management.  Ice block, deterence, dispersion, etc, when can you stay in, when will it be available.  If it is needed can you time it like a cooldown like a tank does to use it defensively.  If it is not going to be needed can you use it to not have to go out for hour of twilight and increase your DPS uptime?

DPS managing cooldowns for maximum uptime for doing damage or defensively when they need to soak, healers managing cooldowns for maximum mana and healing,  tanks managing cooldowns for DPS and defense, it is all about getting the most out of your class whatever role you play in this fight.  Most other fights all feel like "once you get the mechanics we will down the fight" whereas this fights feels like "once we do the best we can do we will down this fight".

This is the other side of being a good raider, the one that is not talked about nearly as much as the whole mechanics thing.  The timing of when to do things to get the maximum potential out of it.  This fight really gives people a way to shine on the lesser talked about skills.  This gives people a chance to actually play their character to the best of their ability and not be hindered by random annoyances they call mechanics, we need more fights like this.

1) A Mount:
- Last but not least, we get to have fun in the most enjoyable fight in the entire expansion with the chance to win a mount.  How can you not be happy about that one?  Not saying every boss should drop a mount but every one should have at least a super rare chance to get something fun like the super simian sphere, the orb of deception, you know, fun stuff, stuff that is not about loot and gear but about having a good time playing the game, we need more fights like this.

So there you go, the top 10 reasons I love the Ultraxion fight and wish we had more like it.


  1. I know Ultraxion fell for us last night, so I can understand your enthusiasm. I am glad our raid group got that boss down before the patch today. I know 5/8 normal isn't nothing to brag on regarding super progression, but I am still very proud of our raiders for playing with enthusiasm and still allowing us a very relaxed casual atmosphere. Considering the small amount of time we actually do progression raiding, I do think we are doing alright.

    Anon, Grumpy's GL

    1. That is one of the reasons I love the fight. It makes it so everyone has to get that little extra in there and every single person can make a huge difference. First time ever with that particular set of 10 but with everyone knowing the fight we got it on the third try. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

  2. Ultraxion was a bit frustrating for me personally only because we have a new tank to our group who had more problems with the combination of Fading Light / Hour of Twilight and he should and we had one full night of just him dying.

    Despite all that I still agree that this is a good fight. I also like the option to 2 or 3 heal it on 10 man. The DPS in our group isn't stellar and 2 healing it prooved to be much easier for us, however if you have great dps and perhaps some newer healers that route works well too.

    And I didn't even know he dropped a mount! Even more exciting now.

    1. That is why I try to tank the boss if capable. While the group hates losing my DPS for the fight I know the fight from a tanking standpoint and can do around 18K DPS as a tank.

      This fight can be a little iffy for new tanks, even more so tanks without a longer tanking history. They are the only role that actually has a learning curve on this fight. Kind of a shock to the system to new tanks that only know taunt at 3.

      Once your tanks learn it, it will be fine. Just give the time, it should not take more then 1 day or wiping to do it.

      It took me 1 day to train another tank, next time in there we downed it.

  3. You really feel like you're doing more on ultraxion than on Alysrazor, Downstairs on Beth'tilac, or handling constructs on Nefarian?

    Cataclysm had a lot of engaging encounters for tanks, but I think Ultraxion ranks near the bottom, especially on normal mode.

    1. Yeap. I love tanking adds. In the first tier Maloriak was my favorite fight to tank and I was upset if I had to main tank it. Same with Nef. Alys was boring and I only tanked beth once downstairs and it wasn't exactly what I would call fun or challenging.

      I think I dig the fact my DPS matters. I get to tank like a DPS and that is fun.

      Mind you, I have never touched any heroic encounters on any of my characters this expansion, so I can not speak from that standpoint.

      Each person likes the things they like. While I loved Mal's adds you might have hated it. I even made a spec for tanking adds back then and was always excited to use it.

      Ultraxion was the first fight (non add related) that I enjoyed this expansion from a tanking perspective.

    2. One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to breaking in a new co-tank is the prevailing sentiment that tank DPS doesn't matter. This has come out of the woodwork in spades since the idiotic 500% threat buff.

      If you're tanking something that the raid is going to kill, then your damage matters. When my guild was struggling to find the DPS to get Heroic rhyolith down, we altered our strat. I soloed the Sparks down. If I wasn't running my rotation perfectly, the spark would have killed me. The first night we downed Heroic Bethtilac, we had multiple sub 2% wipes. I tightened up the rotation of the tank going upstairs, and we killed it the next attempt. Tank DPS has always mattered.

      From a mechanics perspective, there really isn't anything separating Ultraxion from every other tank and spank out there. What made you enjoy Ultraxion more than tanking Baleroc, or Chimaeron, or Magmaw?

    3. I know that tank DPS matters. As a DPS main I am always preaching how important DPS is and in some of my older posts you would see that I always say, and still agree, that DPS is the single most important role in the game. Tanks and healers are just support classes for the damage dealers.

      So of course the more DPS the tank puts out the easier the fight becomes. However, with that said, this is the first fight where I actively felt like my DPS was needed and not just a bonus to make the fight easier.

      Perhaps if I looked at all fights the way I look at Ultraxion, as my DPS matters, I would enjoy it more but I tank out of necessity, not because I am a tank. I am a hunter. So for me, tanking is boring as sin and I like fights where I can feel I am contributing. Hence the reason I love tanking adds on nef and mal and things like that. Because it is fun to actually feel like you are contributing and for me, Ultraxion makes me feel like that.

      Sure, my 18K will never beat anyone in my guild or any guild really but in raid finder, I can finish as high as 6th or 7th and pull closer to 22K and that is fun.

      That is why it is fun for me. I can out DPS the DPS and for a DPS that is playing a tank, that is what it is all about.

    4. See, I find playing DPS in a raid trivial because the entirety of the DPS experience, all the micromanaging of CDs and trinkets and plotting out a nine layer deep priority rotation, the pre potting, and planning my movement ahead of time, all of that stuff, I already do on my tanks, while worrying about all the stuff that DPS don't have to worry about like lining up defensive CDs, proper positioning of the mobs being tanked, ensuring that tanking transitions happen smoothly, picking up adds, and maintaining TD uptime. Things that I can completely ignore when playing a DPS.

      Assuming you're playing on a warrior when tanking, are you maximizing rend uptime? Are you using shattering throw in conjunction with Heroism? Are you using Recklessness and Retaliation at the proper times without compromising your survivbility? Are you synching up your shield blocks with the shield slam and revenge CDs? Are you leveraging Colossus Smash when you're not actively tanking?

      If you love DPSing because of the percieved complexity of DPSing, then just look at tanking as DPSing with even more responsibility. Approach your rotation while tanking not only as something to keep aggro off the other raiders, but as your own contribution to the boss's demise. Give it every bit of the same attention you give to your shot rotation on your hunter to eek out those last few hundred DPS.

    5. I think you might have just given me a new aim for tanking. Or at least something that will turn into more then just the boring meat shield I play it as.

      I tank with all four classes, but this expansion I've been primarily a warrior and druid.

      I do most of what you say but not the R and R as often as I should or could. I know I lack on using those.

      When I started warrior tanking I had this amazing, and I mean he made tanking look fun type of amazing, warrior tank in guild. He quit when cata came out because he was sick of it and it was boring. He was teaching me the finer points before he left, stance dancing was the last thing we went over extensively. Now I just read a lot.

      I've read about using R & R but I am still "living in fear of the cooldown". That phrase is what I use when people are afraid to use cooldowns.

    6. Tanking should never be boring. You're not just some "meat shield" passively getting punched in the face. You are the tip of the spear. You are the keystone of the raid. You are the only person in the raid who actually trades blows with the enemy. Emphasis on trading blows. The boss punches you? You cave his face in with your shield. The boss punches a mage? The mage explodes into a fine pink mist. One is decidedly more heroic than the other.

      Don't look at tanking as a passive act, it's the most aggressive role in the game. You control everything. Your performance sets the bar for DPS. They have to react to your threat generation, they have to react to where you take the boss, and if you fail in your job, they're the ones who are scrambling to flee in horror from the abomination that they can't control. Even healers are bound to reacting to the damage intake of the raid. But as a tank? You're in control, you make the decisions that can wipe the raid in an instant if you make the wrong call.

      So don't think of it as something that's there to simply support the DPS. Think of it as "Heroic DPS" Because that's what it is. You still have to do everything that you did when you were a normal DPS, only there's new mechanics you have to deal with.

    7. I understand what you are getting at but I am stuck in the mindset that my job is to protect people and as such that is job #1. Funny part is, with the threat buff, that is no longer something to worry about. Once you get a nice aggro lead you rarely if ever lose it.

      I actually prefer the tanking concept where aggro is my main focus and it takes skill and effort to maintain but it is not like that. By the time you are 30 seconds into a fight you can AFK now and watch TV and most likely never lose aggro.

      I once joked with someone that you can tank on a paladin using crusader strike and nothing else, this was before the threat buff, and he tried it and did perfectly. Never lost aggro even once.

      This, in my opinion, is what makes tanking boring.

    8. And I can do damage on a hunter doing nothing but auto shot. If you're doing nothing but CSing, then you're being a lazy tank.

      Tanking is your number one job when you're tanking, and it's a multi-faceted one. Just as DPS encompasses both DPS and handling group mechanics. The hunter who faceplants every Hour of Twilight but does 40k DPSwhen he's alive is still a bad hunter. Just as the tank who survives the fight but only did 12k DPS wasn't doing his job to the fullest.

    9. I guess that is where I am willing to accept things at a different rate.

      I don't give a flying F if the hunter is doing 80K DPS, if they die they are useless and I do not want them in my raid whereas I don't care what the tanks DPS is. If he keeps the mobs interest and keeps using his cooldowns in a way to make the healers life easier, I am happy with him. More DPS is welcome, but not demanded.

      Then again, it is no secret, I am really hard on the damage dealers. I hold them to a much higher standard of play because of the importance of their role.

  4. So do you think we need more fights like this?

    I do enjoy Ultraxion. It's not my favorite fight of the expansion (Nefarion was, probably), but it is enjoyable to have a fight where your focus is tuned, laser-like, to squeezing every last drop of output out rather than somewhat dispersed in dodging things.

    1. I liked nef only from a tanking perspective but it was not my favorite for that tier. Did not enjoy it from a healing or DPS perspective.

      In that tier I liked chim best as DPS and healer and Mal best as a tank, add tank that is. I think the three bosses to start throne were fun all around for all roles and I think the last boss there was the worst boss since EoE. I hate anything that sends me in the air.

      Maybe we need more like this. ;)

  5. I'm not sure you're making a very strong case for this fight being interesting to all roles by arguing that

    1) as DPSer you get to feel like your DPS matters
    2) as tank you get to feel like a DPS
    3) as a healer you get to feel like a DPS too. :P

    I always thought that the spammy fights were the most tedious to heal. If I wanted to play DPS... then I would play DPS. ;)

    1. True, but why should DPS have all the number spamming fun. They should share. :P

      Given the option I would only play my hunter, but I'll help any group out in any role they need and as odd as it might seems they always need healers and tanks.

      So share the fun once in a while.

    2. Because it's less fun? I agree with Shintar, I would play DPS if I wanted to.

      As for the mechanics, it's one of the "challenge the worst" kind. This is positive ("if you can't do this, you're not good enough to raid") but also negative as there is nothing you can do to help the person failing in the mechanic, no matter how well you execute the fight.

      The indisputable positive quality is the uniqueness but that would be lost if we had more encounters like that. :o)

    3. It is true, the reason it is so fun for me is we do not see it often, if we did I probably would get tired of it quickly. I still like it however because it is a rare thing.

      Not meant to be offensive to anyone but if they need help to press a button they should not be playing any sort of video game.

      I can see people not getting out of an ability fast enough, you can teach them to know when the ability is coming based on boss visuals or vocals that are telling that it is coming.

      I can see people not seeing ground effects due to graphics, but graphics do not matter here.

      I can not see people not being able to press a button when in some cases they have as much as 10 second to hit it.

      If it takes anyone more then a 10 second warning to press a button they need to find another game to play. Again, not trying to be disrespectful, just honest.

  6. I was always of the camp that fights akin to Patchwerk were enjoyable *because* they were standalones in simplicity.
    Incorporating more of these fights, or spreading simplicity around would only result in quicker times in reaching boredom.

    1. You are completely correct.

      The reason I like this fight is because we are not seeing it all the time. If we saw it all the time I would probably be sick of it.

      It is one of those "be careful what you wish for" things.

  7. Late post, but I wanted to mention that Ultraxion isn't really fair to at least 3 specs. Cat druids and sub rogues can't use their primary attack due to Blizz's STUPID ASS let's-all-attack-from-the-front-but-still-force-positional-requirements-on-some-classes'-main-attack mindset. (also screws over mut rogues somewhat)

    Whatever gives you the idea that I am bitter?