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Throne of the Tides Impressions
20/07/2010 à 16:07
About couple of weeks ago I posted
about how one of the new Cataclysm dungeons, Blackrock Caverns, felt. If you are interested in it, go ahead and take a look - I found it a pretty cool instance. Not as cool as the one I am about to present to you here and now though. You can read my shorter description
The Throne of the Tides is an 82-84 dungeon, supposedly the second one in the Abyssal Maw - the first one still unnamed and with 0 info about it. If you follow the normal quest flow, you will find the entrance to this dungeon during your last quest in Vashj'ir, after a colossal battle featuring Neptulon the Tidehunter himself. As you approach the giant whirlpool beneath Vashj'ir, you get sucked in, everything swirls around you, and - tadaaa - you drop in the elemental realm of water. Pretty cool looking place, by the way. But let's talk content now!
The Abyssal Maw's gotta be one of the most beautiful areas I have visited. I can't speak about the unnamed dungeon, but the Throne looks pretty amazing. It's like a giant building made of ideally clean glass and corals. And some other stuff you can find in the sea. I am really sad, because Blizzard hasn't offered us a way to swim around this building and look at it from the outside, in its full glory and beauty... but I suppose the inside will suffice for now. Maybe I just don't know the trick.
So you are in. The first hallway you enter has awesome underwater landscape on both sides, but what's even cooler is how a few nagas swim from the open ocean directly into the dungeon, through the (what I think is) glass. So you defeat those - or so you think. Remember how people, maybe even you, raged about how easy and facerolling Wrath of the Lich King dungeons were? Well, almost every naga pull in this place has those Spiritmenders in it, and those ladies heal for a lot. Very often. In other words, unless you are coming out with 264+ gear, you will need to nuke & interrupt one, while the other one is being CC'd. If you are coming with such gear, you'll only need to nuke. AoE-ing those pulls won't work. And, to make the fun even greater, the standard melee naga stack a nasty DoT on the tank, so you can't let those run around for too long either.
A little later you will enter an intersection - the left and right hallways are blocked by giant tentacles, but the path ahead leads to a goblin who, with great excitement, explains to you that one day there will be an awesome elevator here. Until then, you are stuck with him teleporting you to the second floor. There you will find Lady Naz'jar - a familiar face, since you've seen her a few times while questing. But before you can fight the lady, you need to go through a gauntlet full of naga and packs of those weird-looking murlocs. This is where you start seeing servants of the Old Gods as well.
But the gauntlet is over, the packs before the boss are very dead, and you are ready to face
. She is a relatively difficult fight, especially if you see her for the first time. She likes to toss green clouds on the ground, and anyone standing in them after they activate will start suffering nasty 10k damage every 2-3 seconds or so. She will also select random areas in her room, where she will cast Whirlpool after a few seconds. The pillar of water Whirlpool looks like will do quite a bit direct damage, knock everyone on it high in the air, and then let them drop to the ground, causing a lot of falling damage as well. In short, anyone hit by this thing will have 2 seconds to get healed, or die. Frontal Cone lightning spell, as required by the Bill of Naga Rights, is another one of the Lady's favorite spells. And finally, 2-3 times during the fight Lady Naz'jar will surround herself with an impervious shield and summon three adds - two casters and one melee. When they die, or after 20 seconds, whichever happens first, the boss will attack the group once again, with or without surviving adds. And all this - until the end.
So you defeat Lady Naz'jar, turn around, see the gate being closed, and the only thing betraying the grand plan is a clickable object that controls the Throne's defense systems. You click that and see a short in-game cinematic of a
octopus-thing hugging the entire building. Ozumat, as it is called, is what was blocking the two side hallways on the first floor, and now the electric defense mechanisms have kicked his tentacles out of there. The Old Gods' servant himself retreats away from the Throne, and you won't be seeing him for a while. What you will be seeing however, is another servant of the Old Gods, who happens to be the next boss. Right in the next room. No trash. Only business - and tentacles.
is a traditional fighting type Faceless One. His attacks aren't too complicated to avoid, and his direct physical damage is his strongest asset on every job interview.
is Ulthok's most basic and dangerous spell. He will do a 2-second cast, after which he will smash the ground right in front of himself, doing very lots damage, but even the slightest movement will get your tank out of there. The void zone left on the ground is a reminder from your Raiding 105: Bad Things in Our Environment class. The commander will also
random people, toss Curse of Tongues on other random people, and Enrage for +100% damage. Probably the easiest fight in the dungeon - and most enjoyable one, since you can only only faceroll through it, but you can faceroll through it right after you've killed Naz'jar.
Congratulations, you are halfway there! You can now go back to the first floor, and choose which way to go. Only, you don't really have a choice, since one of the hallways is blocked at the end, and you need to clear the other one first. Real smooth, Blizzard.
Anyway, you are down there, you are melting faces of nagas, murlocs, and... well, I suppose Faceless Ones. And at the end of the hallway you find an old questing buddy of yours -
. Only, he is no longer a buddy. If you end up going to the Throne without questing in Vashj'ir first, you should know that Erunak is actually a big deal. He is the one who rescues you from drowning when your ship is attacked by giant tentacles; he guides you throughout pretty much all of Vashj'ir, helping you and offering you quests; he assists you in finding a water mount for yourself. Towards the end of your questing experience there, you stumble upon some strange
(only NPCs before you loot their bodies), that seem to be able to mind control creatures if they get to their head... literally. So here you see your ex-buddy Erunak with one of those things up in his face. To remove
from the draenei shaman, you will need to DPS him down to below 50% health. Until then Erunak will
Trait de lave
Projection de magma
like it's New Year. When you remove the Mindless One from Erunak, it will Mind Flay your party for a while before jumping on the player with highest aggro and MCing them. The player will get a health increase, and you'll have to burn them down to 50% like before, so DPS can resume on the creature. Not a very hard fight, but it can be a fun one.
And finally the moment we've all been waiting for - the moment of truth, the moment in which we discover what lies behind the "Real smooth, Blizzard!" door! Well,
Neptulon the Tidehunter
lies there. You go talk to him, he says that it's about time those naga stopped kicking his butt, and the show begins. Neptulon starts channeling some spell and waves of various adds come from all around you, trying to stop the elemental lord from unleashing his wrath. Very much like the Tribunal of Ages event in the Halls of Stone. The adds here can be split roughly into 3 phases, and when you defeat all the monsters in a given wave, the next one comes. Naturally, the longer you take, the harder it becomes.
Phase 1 - packs of easily AoE-able murlocs, fairly weak caster Faceless Ones, and a single Unyielding Behemoth (another Faceless One, more fighter-ish). It took a while to learn that when the Behemoth flies up in the air and yells something about how he'll shove your head in your own butt, everyone close to him should
move away. Probably.
Phase 2 - four Faceless Sappers spawn and start channeling something into Neptulon. Those need to die in order to advance to the final phase. At the beginning of the phase Ozumat comes back and starts plaguing the room with
. On top of that some Blight Beasts also spawn and try to become very friendly with your dead bodies.
Phase 3 - if you've gotten this far, the fight is yours. The Blight Beasts still roam the room, and the stacking AoE is still around, but Neptulon buffs you all with +500% health, healing, and damage. You can and should start attacking Ozumat, and if you don't waste your time, he should die within 20 seconds.
Neptulon will then thank you, offer you a cache full of good goods, and disappear. And you'll be done with the Throne of the Tides. But more importantly, you will have saved the Abyssal Maw and Neptulon himself from the naga and the Old Gods, who are now openly working together.
In conclusion, I should say that this place is absolutely amazing. It is visually pleasing, the encounters are diverse in both mechanics and difficulty, and you get to see important and memorable NPCs (except for Ulthok, but who cares about him?).
Argent's rating: 5.0/5.0
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