Thursday, January 27, 2011

I love Cho'Gall

We got Cho'Gall down for the second time this week and the kill felt pretty solid and repeatable.  There are some bosses where wiping feels terrible but CG isn't one of them; I think it is because there is so much going on and so many opportunities for small errors to add up that it feels okay to wipe to him.  Also it may be that I really enjoy this fight, particularly because there are so many odd abilities we get to apply to challenges he presents that are normally unused in raiding.  In particular Worship forces us to really get creative and think about all the ways our raid has to interrupt people.  We have a rotation where the mage will dragon's breath us if he isn't worshipped, and if he is then the DK will hungering cold us, and the priests will Psychic Scream if those fail.  We have lots of other single target interrupts that we can use too, but setting up a system of AOE interruption for when we get Worship felt great because we really got to use all the parts of our various classes.

It brings me back to when we first pulled Battleguard Sartura in AQ40.  Stunning things was a really iconic paladin ability and yet it was pretty much totally unused in all of MC and BWL as every mob was immune to everything aside from simple damage spells.  I loved the idea that I actually got to use my stun against a boss and that it did not trivialize the encounter at all, in fact without using stuns properly he/she/it would have been exceptionally difficult to defeat.  I really enjoy getting complex challenges that can be solved in a number of ways but which require planning and thought to solve in the most efficient way.  Another good example of this from Classic is dealing with adds in P1 Razorgore in BWL.  You could CC the adds, dps them down, kite them, tank them, or any crazy combination.  Some methods were easier than others but we got kills using a wide variety of strategies and heard of even more being successful, which I consider a real victory for encounter design that people were able to find so many different ways to win.

Back to CG we see that same thing happening.  There are a lot of different ways to deal with the problems he presents.  There are single adds that have to be positioned, interrupted and controlled.  There are many small adds that need AOE slows, AOE damage and knockbacks.  There is obviously the aforementioned Worship that needs a huge variety of different abilities to deal with and the final phase has more adds that need interrupting, stunning and killing.  I don't think there is any other fight in the current tier that comes close in terms of getting us to use many different abilities and giving us many options to deal with the problems the fight presents while still being tightly tuned.  That for me is the kicker:  CG is tough.  Not brutal, but you have to play well and several small errors will get you killed.  It is a sign of tremendous raid design that there are so many ways to approach the fight mechanics and yet even once you have a good strategy the fight required good damage/healing/tanking numbers to beat as well as solid execution.  This is one of the best designed fights I have seen I think, with but one exception:  You can't bring lots of melee (except broken frost DKs) or you lose to the AOE phase.  Melee suck.  :P

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