Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tips for DPS'ing Heroic Malygos

See, I can write a title like that, because on saturday night, one month after the release of WotLK, our second night working on Heroic Malygos, we killed that stinkin dragon! Not even close to world, server, or whatever first. But its our first and it feels pretty cool.

Its a sweet fight, and being the only one that really gave us any trouble, a sweet kill.

A Hunter who's seen way way more TBC raid content than I ever did said this is the most fun fight he's seen, perhaps second only to Kil'Jaeden, the final boss in Sunwell Plateau, which gives a little perspective on the coolness factor.

WWS all wonky

Normally we like to use WWS to epeen analyze our performance. WWS looks all f'ed up for this fight. I think the kill is listed as two separate attempts, with only 6 of our players even showing up in the log for the killing attempt.

So no WWS results, no ego boosting screen shot to share. But, just between you and me, for the killing attempt, Recount showed somebody we all know and love (and are all getting a big sick of hearing about his leet dps skillz) up on top. Boo-ya!

All preening and stroking aside, here's some concrete things that will help Hunters DPS'ing on Heroic Malygos.

Note that the Malygos fight is three distinct phases. Phase 1 and 2 involve doing DPS pretty normally like you would do in any fight, and Phase 3 involves discarding all your normal stuff and using the abilities of a stupid dragon vehicle.

Quickie Linkie

In case you're only interested in Phase 3, jump there. Its the most unorthodox phase, and might have you wondering more than the first two.
  1. DPS during Phase 1

  2. DPS during Phase 2

  3. DPS during Phase 3 - stupid dragon vehicle

DPS during Phase 1

Phase 1 is normal pew pew against a single target. Granted, that single target is one massive dragon with one massive hit box.

As a Hunter, I find his hit box to be annoying, as I have to back up further than is intuitive based on where your arrows are striking. Your arrows appear to aim for his face, and If you stand behind him (which you better because his frontal cone breath is lethal) that impact point looks like it is 30 yards away from you. But you might still be too close to shoot. So back up a step.

Power Sparks are your friend. Effective management of the sparks requires good coordination by the whole raid. Assigned players need to ensure that the sparks die on top of eachother. The rest of the DPS needs to then ensure that they're always standing on a dead spark for a 50% damage boost.

In our killing attempt, we were consistently standing on two sparks, and had a brief span with three sparks, stacking an additional 50% for each spark which was just a wonderful job by the spark handling guys.

Watch your buffs. You might think there are two sparks stacked, but maybe you're only standing in one of them. You really can't tell from the visual effect on the ground, you have to examine your buffs to see the additional one or two sparks.

Don't be too conservative, but you might want to save some of your cooldowns for when sparks are stacked the most. You won't get to two or three sparks until a little later in the fight, so pay attention during learning attempts to get a feel for when your spark handlers generally get the most stacks up.

During the killing attempt, the brief period of 3x Power Spark plus Bestial Wrath, Rapid Fire, and my Attack Power trinket....it was one of the coolest things I've seen in the game.

Pet Management during Phase 1

As I've mentioned in the past...recall your pet after each and every Vortex. Pets definitely bug out on the encounter.

Also, during the normal pew pew part of phase 1, look at your pet from time to time. If she's somehow migrated towards the front, recall and then reattack to get her in back.

Pay attention to power spark location. You might squeeze out a little more damage if you recall your pet and have her reattack if there is a spark directly behind the boss. However, if she's not dangerously near the frontal cone, but she is off to the side and standing in a spark, try to leave here there if you can because those sparks are awesome.

DPS during Phase 2

Ok, so phase 2 is a blur. During learning attempts, I was a fail hunter and died more often than I'd like during this phase. But I did get the hang of it, so I've got that going for me. Which is nice.

For this phase, Malygos himself cant be fired upon, and you are fighting a bunch of adds. Some adds are on the ground. Some adds are on hover discs in the air.

Throughout the phase, massive damage is being rained down from the sky, and you have to position yourself under randomly located protective shells.

Maybe my repair bill will save you some grief....

1) Survive - you do no dps when you're a spectator. Our raid had a single person calling out when to move from one shield to the next. This was massively helpful as I could focus more attention on dealing damage, and less (but not zero) attention on shields and mobility. Make sure you are under a shield at all times, other than when your coordinator indicates that you should move. Also, thank your healers again and again because they'll save your ass during this phase.

2) Focus Fire - the raid needs to have a Main Assist. Brass serves as our MA, so my macro /assist Brass gets spammed continuously during P2. The MA should focus first on the ground guys (Lords) and then on the flying guys (Scions). Make sure you allow your tanks sufficient time to pick up all the Lords when the phase begins (/fail when I pulled aggro instantly during a learning attempt and got oneshot for 25k damage)

3) Take your time - when first attempting this encounter, I had a royally difficult time targeting the Scions that fly around in P2. Well, to be correct, I could target them just fine with my assist macro, but I couldnt figure out which direction to point my toon so I could fire at them. Its a really visually complex environment with lots of very nasty, very neon colored stuff happening all at the same time.

My problem was that I wanted to get into my shot rotation too quickly and wasn't taking a heartbeat to actually look around and find my target. To locate the current DPS target, I found the following things to be helpful:

Main Assist - our MA is a hunter. He picks a target that he's typically aimed at and firing upon. Look for his arrows or bullets tracing a path through the sky.

Mind Flay - that's right, if you've got a Shadow Priest pointed in the right direction, flay will show you the way.

Steady Shot - once you actually find the target, casting Steady Shot will automatically rotate your toon as the Scion moves through the air. Great for maintaining aim once you lock on to the target.

4) Survive - I can't express how frustrating it was watching this phase of the fight on the attempts where I was a dead hunter.

DPS during Phase 3

Once P2 is done, the floor disintegrates and you fall really far and land onto a saddle on a flying dragon. That landing must really hurt, if you think about it. But I digress.

Some things that really helped me during P3:

1) Aces High! - Yes, it is a really annoying daily quest. And the rotation you do during the quest is a little different than the rotation you do during the raid. In the quest you have to heal yourself and also dps. In the raid, you'll either heal -or- dps. But the daily quest does give you a feel for movement on the dragon, a feel for the basics of the attacks, and also a good feel for shielding from his burst effect. Fight through the pain and do the daily.

2) 1-1-2 - For DPS during P3, our raid used a 1-1-2 rotation. Gain two combo points via the attack mapped to stupid dragon vehicle action button one, and then hit action button two to do the finishing move and start the DoT. Always, hit #1 twice to build up combo points. Wait for energy. Then hit #2. No matter how much movement or shielding you end up doing, make sure to keep doing this again and again. Every time you convert combo points, you get another stack on your DoT. By the end of the fight we had a couple of raiders with upwards of 20 stacks. 1-1-2. 1-1-2. Say it with me. 1-1-2.

3) Look at your Mini-Map - During early attempts, I totally ignored my mini-map. During the killing attempt, my eyes were 50% on my dragon/battle view, and 50% on my mini-map. Visually, the battle field is totally disorienting and there are no reference points. Keep glancing at your mini-map.

4) Move out of the fire - When a static field shows up, get out of it. /duh. Pre-coordinate your movements. We planned on keeping the raid stacked on top of eachother. Looking at the mini-map, we started the fight all at the directly south (6 o'clock) position of the mini-map. When a static ball hit us, the coordinator (and ONLY the coordinator) instructed the raid to move. Each time he says "move", you move 90 degrees counterclockwise.

If you look at your battle field while moving, you get vertigo and probably die. If you look at your minimap while moving, you successfully get into position and resume attack.

5) Shield - You gotta pop your #5 command to shield when you get targeted with Arcane Surge. If you are doing 1-1-2 rotation, you should nearly always have 2 combo points up, just waiting for enough energy to fire #2. When DBM indicates you are targeted, wait for Malygos's cast bar to complete and the spell is just about to start channeling. If you shield too early, you die.

Note: Because of this fight, I uninstalled BigWigs and installed DBM. BigWigs was not working for me on this fight and DBM was totally correct and easy to understand.

6) 1-1-2 - You will be moving. You will be shielding. By only using 1-1-2 instead of the Wiki-recommended 1-1-1-1-1-2 rotation, you will not have a large amount of time to waste when moving or shielding before reapplying your DoT.

Do not let your DoT expire. By the end of the fight, the difference between most players having 15 stacks of DoT versus having 3 or 4 stacks of DoT is just ridiculous. This is a DPS race and the bigger your stacks of DoTs, the better your chance is. Aces High will only let you practice getting stacks up to about 4 or maybe 5. I've seen stacks as big as 27 during Phase 3.

Still reading?

What's next?

With the kill, Conquest has successfully downed all available 25-person raid bosses.

The next move is obviously to keep farming the current content, but also to work on Obsidian Sanctum. Sartharion has three drakes that we've been killing before initiating the boss event. It gets progressively harder as you keep one or more drakes alive. This week's OS run will feature at least one, perhaps two drakes up, which should be an interesting twist on a now familiar encounter.

Additionally, keep pushing for a variety of achievements and other tweaks here and there to improve clear-time, eliminate wipes, and reduce individual deaths.

Any idea when the next raids will be released?


Durgan said...

Congratulations! That is a huge step from where you started a year ago, maybe more can't remember(?). I'll never see this fight, but its intersting to see it described.

Durgan Aka LivingvicariouslythroughAmava

Anonymous said...

worlds top guild did it with pieces of 70 epics on its not hard its real easy in fact and this fight may look cool and make people feel good when they kill it but in essence its just entry level raid and hes just another magtheridon with a little more interactiveness, these fights dont compare anything in difficulty to late BT and SWP

Valdesta said...

So, what is it that is bugged about Hunter Pets in 25 Man Malygos? I see reference to this "known bug" but I never see information about what exactly the bug is ;)

We got him down for the first time tonight, after a few strange Arcane Breaths knocked a bunch of people out. Some were Aggro-related but some seemed confusing. Lemme know.

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