I’ve beaten the first raid wing quite a little while ago but never really commented on it. So this post will be about the first wing, what I’ve learned in a nutshell, and about raid wing two and how it changes the way teams play it out mechanics-wise.
Raid Wing One
In raid wing one we had a bunch of things we learned such as:
- The tank is the person with the highest toughness
- Slick shoes is great for bosses like Gorseval
- Utility Chronomancer is amazing for quickness and alacrity to shave time
Then there was the boss mechanics such as Vale Guardian landfall that at least four people had to be on to prevent party wipes, Gorseval’s prison mechanic which required people to keep moving and not into another person’s path to prevent getting get encased, & Sabetha’s flak attack which targets the farthest person from her. What’s interesting was that each of these boss fights in raid wing one went from being less mechanically dependent to more dependent for individuals in the squad.
For Vale Guardian, you needed melee (for the most part) to not stand on blue teleports, some knockbacks for seekers and at least 4 people always going for green landfall. Nothing really to hard about that. The tank would just need to move the boss accordingly so the squad didn’t eat lava floor and the landfall would be in the right area. You’d also need good breaks which a power Revenant with staff and another person could easily fill. Gorseval required 3 people to have cripple, chill, or immobilize to slow down Charged Souls, a tank to lead Gorseval around, ideally someone to pull in spirits when going to a wall, and one or two people clearing spectral orbs so the squad can move around to avoid getting damage debuffed. The dependency on the entire group falls with getting to the wall where the tank was pulling so that Enraged and Angered spirits could be cleaved out and to avoid the Ghostly Prison mechanic which slows DPS.
Sabetha required a lot more group dependency on the mechanics. You have two to four jumpers going up to destroy cannons but the squad needs to be aware that almost anyone can get the green bomb which you need to throw onto a pad where the jumper needs to be. Since there’s four pads, everyone needs to be aware of where they should throw if they get the bomb. There’s also timed bombs where if you’re the person closest to Sabetha you get from time to time. You need to move yourself out of the group to avoid doing damage to every one but you also have to not hit jumpers and the person who’s on flak duty if possible.
In all three fights you can have a few people purely DPS and have some players handle the other mechanics such as tanking or flak shots. So far, raid wing two sticks with the idea of progressively adding group dependency for mechanics.
Raid Wing Two
I’m on Slothasor right now and I have to say this fight is mechanically intensive for everyone. I personally feel like this fight is really easy but it’s hard at the same time. It’s really easy because I find it’s very simple on what your squad has to do to beat Slothasor. It can be hard because depending on how people handle the mechanics, execution on what to do can be a nightmare.
Slothasor introduces mechanics that requires everyone to do well. And I mean everyone. There is a random Fixation mechanic where Slothasor will target a specific player as the tank. This changes from time to time so people need to be aware when they’re the tank and move the boss accordingly. There’s also a Volatile Poison mechanic every 25 seconds where a person will be targeted and has a few seconds to drop a growing poison field in an area away from where the squad is going. All the while you’re traversing a poison floor that the pathing can be made via an imbued mushroom that turns an ally into a Slubling who can eat a path way. The Slubling ally can be hit with spells so you have to be careful where you cleave and so on. These few mechanics alone makes this fight easy or hard depending if people are aware of the icons on their heads and if they can move to the proper locations in time. Essentially, every need to learn how to tank and move the boss properly like with Vale Guardian & Gorseval and move dangerous stuff out of the group like with Sabetha. So if players have never done these mechanics on these fights because they let other people handle it or don’t know how to move a boss, it can get really hard. There’s even a small orange circle AoE that appears at people’s feet; 3 of them are placed based on your location. The squad needs to collectively move after 2 seconds to reduce the spreading of that AoE. If hit, you take substantial damage and are knocked down for 5 seconds per circle. This orange circle mechanic is similar to Gorseval’s prison mechanic and Vale Guardian’s blue teleport field mechanics where getting hit will result in a loss in DPS. Of course you still have other mechanics specific people can do such as clearing path, reflects and pulling/cleaving enemy slublings out.
Personally, I like Slothasor this way. It shows who needs to work on what. Well, I think everyone can work on something; it’s the first week it’s out after all. However, for some players it may be more than the next person. Slothasor also rewards squads are on point and who truly understand the mechanics of the fight. It may seem easier to some groups because of the experience gained with raid wing one, the group understanding the mechanics, and understanding the professions they’re playing to optimal potency. For some groups it’ll be harder because they need to learn the mechanics, to survive a lot better, to watch their positioning more, and the need to get the best out of their professions which they may or may have not been doing before.
I’m hoping the rest of raid wing two will be like this. I haven’t done research or looked at much outside of Slothasor; I’ve heard some things about the other bosses like the second one is easy and so on. It’ll be interesting to see what they will be like. For now, I’ll be doing some Slothasor homework this weekend and brushing up on mechanics.
My raid team (Maven A Team) finally took down the Vale Guardian after 13 hours across 4 days of attempts and wipes! Very happy we could do it and hopefully we can do so again with much less wipes. To view the full encounter, check out MMOINKS’s video!
Also, I got a pretty cool ascended greatsword as a drop called “Healer’s Sparking Vanquisher”:
Hey all, I want to touch on raiding for this week’s post. For those who don’t know, Spirit Vale is the first raid wing that was released this Tuesday. It features (as far as I know) 3 big boss fights. Here’s a bit of info about the first boss and what I thought of my nights trying to down it.
Vale Guardian Mechanics
The first boss fight is the Vale Guardian. The good thing about this fight is that you don’t have to worry at all about condition damage on getting stun locked. This allows for full berserker and condition builds to be played. The player with the highest toughness rating will be considered the tank to the boss and the boss will always try to melee that person. The Vale Guardian incorporates a number of mechanics from three fights you have to do beforehand:
Red Guardian – Can only do condition damage to it and it spawns Seekers that slowly travel to certain players and damages people in their small AoE. These seekers can be knocked back.
Green Guardian – Takes straight up power damage and at times spawns a number of small blue fields at it’s feet that damages and teleports players a short distance away from the guardian after a few seconds.
Blue Guardian – Takes damage but only when it’s special buff has been stripped from it. Also spawns blue orbs that pass through the area and a green AoE that requires 4-5 people ready to stand in because after a short duration will cause an AoE lighting strike on the entire squad for a ton of damage. This damage is mitigated when at least 4 people are standing in the AoE when the strike occurs.
There are 3 phases where you have a total of 8 minutes to fight before enrage kicks in:
- No floors light up, can do damage to boss by pulling to a spot. After around 66% the Vale guardian splits into the 3 guardians described above after a short duration. This is when players need to get to a colored pillar (red, green, blue) to get attuned to a certain guardian. Being attuned to a guardian allows you to not take tick damage by being near it but you can take damage from the other 2 guardians.
- 1 floor lights up that causes tick damage starting with green and moves clockwise to blue, red then back to green. Split occurs again around 33%. More blue teleport fields will spawn. The Vale Guardian will also now use a skill that spawns a lot of small AoEs and you have to break it’s defiance bar to make it stop.
- 2 floors lights up where the safe spots start with red and moves clockwise to green, blue then back to red. Everything introduced in phase 2 is in this phase as well. You need to kill the guardian in this phase to win.
It seems the best way to go about the phases time wise is 3 mins/ 3 mins / 2 mins. In the 3 min slots you spend max one minute in the split portion of the phase. Shaving time during these phases is ideal to avoid enrage.
What I Think of Raiding So Far
I’ve put in a total of 9 hours so far (3 hours a night) since Tuesday with my raid team. Each time we’ve made big progress. The first time I was tanking with Thief because our main tank couldn’t make it that night. I know, I know, it’s dumb to tank with a Thief since I move around a lot and have probably the worst sustain for tanking but it’s all we had since I didn’t have the tank gear on another character just yet. We took the time to not really down the boss but to learn the mechanics and see how far we could go. The second night we made some progress as we swapped around some professions and I went DPS warrior. We got into the 2nd phase rather easily at this point but realized we we’re lacking in the DPS department and we suffered a few strong AoE lighting strikes which meant sometimes I spent time picking people up which took away from DPS even more. I did number crunching and some trait and utility changes to boost my damage. We also did a few more profession changes and our DPS significantly improved the 3rd night around. Best run so far was getting into the last phase with the boss at around 20% health. I feel that now it’s just getting the mechanics down that will give us the Vale Guardian kill.
I have to admit, raiding in Guild Wars 2 is quite an experience. You really learn on how to optimize your damage via traits, food, utilities, and skill rotations given the situation you’re in. You also learn how to properly dodge and kite to avoid damage while keeping your damage output high which I find is essential. Given that there are “the” optimal compositions to run, it’s not punishing to run other types of compositions
Overall, ArenaNet has truly made some good challenging content. I’m quite happy with it; I’ve been enjoying the learning experience and I can’t wait to get back in there tonight and over the weekend!