Friday, March 11, 2011

Boss Mechanics - Chimaeron

WoW has it's share of gimmick fights. I'm not a huge fan of that terminology because it is used as a kind of absolute description when in reality there is a spectrum or a sliding scale. Every encounter has mechanics that force you to play differently for that boss. Sometimes, however, these mechanics so deeply change how you are playing that you feel like you are playing a little mini-game rather than playing WoW.

Obviously vehicles fights are like this because you literally are playing a mini-game, but every other fight falls somewhere on the spectrum. I would describe Chimaeron as a very gimmicky fight, at least for healers. And the mini-game that it asks healers to play? Wrath of the Lich King!

Outside of the feud phase, Chimaeron is a return to the days when people had three health states - full, almost dead and dead. Added to that is the fact that every healer can return someone from almost dead to "full" in less than 1.5 seconds. Inside the feud phase Chimaeron is a massive AoE damage fest. It's Wrath of the Lich King healing split into two parts.

Heroic Chimaeron adds a third Wrath era healing mechanic to the mix - the dire necessity of a Discipline priest. When healing is impossible and everyone is constantly taking damage, Power Word: Shield is the only thing that can save an attempt from a particular kind of relatively minor mistake.

Chimaeron is not a great fight. I think gimmick fights rarely are. The problem with them is that usually heavily favour one class or another. Bringing a Blood Death Knight to Vezax allowed our guild to get the realm first hardmode kill despite being a 10-player guild. A party of one shaman, one holy priest, one hunter and seven holy paladins could have won the heroic Valrithia encounter in under 15 seconds - before any adds could even come into play.

Similarly, because self healing isn't really "priced" for dps classes - that is, some do it for free in amounts significant to Chimaeron and others don't - some dps classes are greatly superior to other for this fight. Saving a healer nearly 6000 mana every time you get spit on is a huge asset for early kills.

But despite not liking gimmick fights, I think Chimaeron was worth making. Gimmick fights are bad because they usually don't work out well. But if the developers never tried crazy ideas just because those ideas rarely work out then the game would be a lot more boring. For that reason, I think Chimaeron deserves a pass.


  1. Chimaeron has two major flaws to my mind: Disc priests are too good and DK tanks are too good.

    Other than that while it is extremely gimmicky I think it is a fine fight to have made.

  2. I think that's the general problem with gimmick fights - some class ends up having a mechanic that is way too powerful for them. The fact that the class in question seems to be discipline priests nearly half the time is a bit of a problem in itself.

    Certain dps classes really do make a difference on the encounter, though. Healing the spit targets as a discipline priest, I was spending 11.4k mana per spit if the two targets were from the hunter, mage and resto druid. If the spit chose the holy paladin, the death knight or the warlock then most of the time I only spent 5.7k. If it hit me then I always only spend 5.7k.

    So if the DK gets to Death Strike his health back 80% of the time and there are eight valid spit targets, how much mana is he saving me by being there?

    Assume he's the fourth person who needs heals sometimes, then there is a 35.7% chance that he makes the difference between a group that needs two heals and a group that might need one. 80% of that time he saves 5.7k mana, so 1.62k mana per spit. In a 24 spit encounter that's 39k mana. Bringing a DK instead of an arms warrior is like giving your raid healer a mana tide.

  3. "So if the DK gets to Death Strike his health back 80% of the time and there are eight valid spit targets, how much mana is he saving me by being there?"

    Not only DS. Think Rune Tap (glyphed, about 6k HP raid-wide, 16k self), and Will of the Necropolis. Rune Tap can be used every 30 sec, and WotN 45 sec ICD.

    On 25m, a holy priest is really OP on the fight. All you need to do is PoH. For the stacking, the disco priest's barrier is 3 min CD. Holy priest's AoE heal got buffed now. Together with shaman, really good.

    Druid is weakest on the fight. Prehotting doesn't work (costs too much mana, don't know who gets incoming), and the druid has to combine 2 spells quickly. E.g. WG + Rejuv. Solution? Let druid tank heal and paladin (who does not go OOM) raid heal. Yes, it works, with Divine Light. Druid is OK for massacre and feud, btw. Swiftmend is also good, and 3 min tranquility ditto.