Blackrock Caverns Impressions
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just posted some good stuff about the
in Cataclysm (and you should check it out if you haven't), so I decided to go a different route - do a dungeon, see how it feels, give a few screenshots, and a bit of an overall opinion about how the experience is.
Right now the only two dungeons available for testing are
Throne of the Tides
. So I went to my good old friend, the Dungeon Finder, and said "Yo dawg, you heard I like dungeons? Give me a random one!" And so the
First thing you should know, the BRC has no entrance I know of whatsoever. This, of course, is temporary but can be quite inconvenient if you die and try to go get your corpse. Spirit rezzing and teleporting to the dungeon is your only way of getting in. Were that not the case, I would have given you a nice image of where the entrance is, since the Blackrock Mountain is notorious for its 5548745698541254 dungeons and raids. But on with the show!
If you are trying to get a general feel about how the Caverns look, you should think Blackrock Spire with a touch of purple twilight-ish light here and there. Simple and crude architecture, ragged Twilight Hammer banners all around, objects of magic, walls, floor, and roof made mostly of rock (you know, since Deathwing didn't
those caverns, he
them) with bits of metal here and there. Oh, and lava. Flowing, glowing, steaming, bubbling lava - that has the nasty habit of attacking you randomly, and I don't kid. On several occasions I've had the lava around me explode/erupt and hit me for about 3-4k damage.
Almost immediately after you enter, you will enter the room with the first boss, seen on the screenshot to above.
. After clearing some packs of mobs before him, you can engage the boss. The fight isn't anything spectacular - with a minor exception. A few times during the fight, Rom'ogg will pull everybody next to him, imprisoning them in
. Immediately after that he begins casting
. You and your party will need to break the chains quickly and get away from the boss, or he will do
of damage. And kill you. All.
After killing Rom'ogg, a new friendly NPC will appear -
Raz the Crazed
. A giant, deformed humanoid with stupid amounts of strength. Apparently he has been held prisoner and is now not happy about it. He goes about murdering whatever monsters you have left in front of you, clearing the room and the bridge after it. There is a buff he stacks on himself that increases his damage by thousands of percents (I've seen 9500%). Needless to say, by the time he is done and gone, you wish he had stayed and become your best friend.
So you clear a bit more annoying and dangerous trash (because your buddy Raz decided to jump from the bridge and go kill cultists somewhere else) and encounter the second boss. Much to my dismay, it was not the dragon you see on the screenshot - it was just a human female cultist. Fancy name -
Corla, Herald of Twilight
- but still just a cultist. She seemed a pretty straight-forward fight. She has some standard caster attacking spells, and aura that increases her attack and movement speed (seemed permanent, didn't find a way to remove it), and has a thing about evolution. When I pulled her, she debuffed me with 9 stacks of
- sadly, the thing wore off and she never re-applied it, so I don't know what happens when you get to 100; or if anything happens. Anyway, as you fight her, the three inactive cultists around her do gain stacks of Evolution and soon becoming big bad drakonids. Kill adds, kill boss. Easy, if you don't count the big damage your tank will take.
So Corla is dead, you see a tunnel full of dead cultists,
a sign "Raz was here"
, and a tunnel going deeper into the Caverns. You don't have to walk much before seeing a bridge full of evolved cultists, and just when you start to think that things may get hairy, Raz jumps out of nowhere and lays waste on them. I really love the guy.
The next boss is some sort of drakonid smith. He chills in a room full of immobile and inactive Obsidian Alloys and two fire elementals patrolling. Whenever one of the elementals is within some 20-ish yards of an alloy, it melts and becomes an active monster - something I found pretty cool. When the elemental moves away, the add goes back to being just a chunk of obsidian. I gotta tell ya, killing those elementals has been one of the hardest things I've done in this instance! Every second, each one of them stacks an AoE debuff that increases fire damage taken - which, of course, is all the damage the fire elementals do. And since you can't pull the elemental without at least 3-4 alloys, your tank starts taking
of damage quickly. But those guys are the hard part. The boss,
, is pretty easy. By default he has an armor that prevents almost all damage. To get rid of that, you need to drag him through the pillar of fire in the middle. For every second in the fire, Karsh gains a buff that increases the damage he takes, but also allows him to do fire AoE with every successful melee swing (
). So the fight becomes a sequence of: drag through the fire, DPS, wait for buff to wears off, drag through fire again.
Two more bosses to go, one of which - optional. Go kill some cultists, watch Raz kill some more, and you are on a crossroad. You go right, because you like optional bosses and phat lewtz, and you see Beauty - a big core hound. But what's even better than a giant dog on fire that breaths fire is that she has children - Lucky, Spot, Buster, Runty (
reference, if you don't know). You kill those, engage
in a fight, and kill her quickly - she is a pretty easy boss. Fear, frontal cone, and
on random party member.
When you kill Beauty (or decide to skip her), you have only one boss left - the final boss in BRC,
Ascendant Lord Obsidius
. He looks like an Earthen, just a little more gray-ish and shadowy. Raz jumps him, kills a bunch of his servants, and looks like he dies (in an earlier stage of the alpha, Raz escapes and goes off to... somewhere). Obsidius pulls with two of his Shadows, who take no damage, but can still attack you. Every so often throughout the fight Obsidius will switch places with one of the Shadows, resetting all aggro. Other than that, he is not a complicated fight - nor is he a hard one, at least on Normal.
My overall impression? The dungeon felt pretty good. The trash isn't plain easy, and a big chunk of it are casters, which have always been the bane of any tank. The dungeon is pretty big, but the fact that Raz wrecks half of it makes it fairly quick - at least no longer than what you'd expect from a 5-man dungeon - while keeping the feeling of something massive. It retains the old Blackrock Mountain touch if you are particularly fond of that horrid place. The encounters are interesting for the most part, with only Beauty being a tank 'n' spank. The only thing I would like to see more of is lore - why did Deathwing make those caverns, what's going on inside them, who is this Raz, and so on. But I suspect those will come on a later date.
Argent's rating: 4.5/5.0
for telling me that we do, in fact, have pages and models for the bosses!
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