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So you want to be a Hero?
Curious about those crazy heroic instances we’ve been hearing so much about? Last weekend a few of us poked our heads inside the super-sized Underbog instance to see what all the fuss was about. Our only goal was just to drop Hungarfen, the first boss, and then call it a night.

Good thing we were shooting low.

Our party:
Horunskeith, Branwenn, Carwin, Katala and Cimorene.
aka:
2 Hunters, a Prot Warrior, a Priest and a Balance Druid.




The first thing you notice is the little sporebats that were such ridiculous push-overs previously now hit for 1.4k a pop. Some fun damage comparisons:
~210% more than Molten Giants
~180% more than Bloodlord
~130% more than Murmur

So that’s a bad sign, but the first few little bat pulls go down easy as peas. Of course we've all been through the non-scary edition of this dungeon before, so we know damn well what’s coming next. We roll around the corner and:



2 Lurkers and a Shambler.

A brutal wipe teaches us the following:

The two Lurker’s enrage upon pull, causing them to hit for 3,000 damage a swing. The enrage only lasts about 30 seconds but does not appear to tick down while the lurker is CCed, so I guess you've just got to eat it.

The Shambler casts Fungal Regrowth on any nearby boggies who are low. It heals for about 50% of their health. That basically means if he gets a heal off, the party wipes. Luckily, he “only” hits for around 1,200.

The problem is: The lurkers hit so hard you can only fight one at a time. Any other DPS on the tank and he'll just die. So it’s all about the CC. Here's a graff:


The numbers indicate kill order.

With me charging up the center and the hunters peeling off to their respective iccies it worked like a charm. This became our standard tactic for most of the coming pulls as well, excluding the occasional hibernate for any sporebats that decide to join in.

So we go along for a few more minutes until we get to our first Bog Giant.



At this point I’m terrified. I'm thinking he’s going to hit for 5k or something. But when the inevitable smack comes it's only for about 1.2k. Weird! Then we notice he’s “growing larger,” just like in one of Jorren’s obscene stories. He apparently gets bigger every 10 seconds or so, tacking an extra ~500 damage on to each swing. The non-heroic giants definitely do not have this ability. Happily, we get him dead before he gets too big.

More high intensity clearing follows. We learn the hard way that if you try to run away from a heroic Sporebat it does a “Tail Lash” for 9,000 damage. So no sissying out!

Finally we get to the last pull before Hungarfen and... oh dear. Two Bog Giants.



You can't see well in that pic, but at this point we’re standing up on a bridge that crosses over a portion of the zone we’ve already cleared. You have to climb up a little ramp from the ground floor to reach it. So we come up with the idea to have Horun shoot one giant and just hop off the bridge, kiting him back towards the entrance while we down the other. It works fine at first: the first big guy goes running off and we plonk the potatoes out of the second. But wait, wasn’t there some sort of “growing larger” mechanic? No worry, I’m sure. I can handle 2.5k hits.

Horun feigns death and tells us the giant is headed back. He fails to mention that it’s now as tall as a skyscraper and hits for 5k. So this hugely overgrown giant comes lumbering around the corner and just starts pounding us up on the bridge... from the ground. It’s so big now it doesn’t even need to use the ramp – it just reaches up and kills people. It murders Katala for something like 9,000 damage and then proceeds to devour the rest of us.



I would like to say I've devised a plan for how to deal with that in the future... but I haven’t. I have no idea how that pull is possible without a wipe. The giants are immune to all Crowd Control, become unmanageable after about 50 seconds, and have a ton of health. I’m open to ideas!

On the bright side: we got one of the two giants down. The second one is a pushover now that he's all by himself (once he returns to his regular size, of course), so we’re clear to Heroic Hungarfen.


I didn't get a pic of Hungar alone, so enjoy some scenery!

At this point we don’t know what to expect aside from the old-fashioned straight-forward Hungarfen fight (where he spawns those slowly growing mushroom bombs at people’s feet and everyone has to run around a lot). So we just charge in. He only hits for about 1000, which is nice. We plonk away for a few seconds and, holy crap, he’s growing a damn forest of mushroom bombs. Everyone starts running around, creating this massive network of poison spewing mushrooms. Naturally the poison does a bazillion damage now and everyone dies handily with Hungar at about 40% (he's a little light on the hps luckily).

Here's a graff... a graff uv deth!


Horun’s lovely lady clumps seem like the way to go here. We try again, this time with a clear positioning plan. Everyone (except me) stands together to the SE and lets the mushrooms grow up. Once they’re getting close to blossoming their putrid petals of ichorous AE slime, everyone runs together to the NE. And so on around the room.

It works. Everyone scatters at 20% when he does the huge AE life-drain cloud, then comes back to burn him dead. Our first Heroic boss defeated in only... uh, two hours and about 20g in repairs. I think we’ll need to compress our runs a bit. :P



The loot was:
Hungarhide Gauntlets for Horunskeith
Badge of Justice for Everyone
And a hockeypuck of CE rep for all.

It was great fun and a real challenge. It really had the feel of a 5-man raid in that every pull was nerve-wracking and small miscalculations resulted in absolute horror.

And just think:
That was the first 30% of one heroic instance.
There are 15 heroic instances.

Got some work ahead of us chilluns!

Be back sooner this time. Until then.
09 Mar 2007 by carwin
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