For me this was the most highly anticipated part of the instance scaling diaries to date as not only do I love Helegrod but I’m curious to see what they have planned for the space. There’s a lot of good information in the Diary so check out the latest from JWBarry.
To start off, three of the wings will be 12-man spaces with the Thorog wing being a full 24-man raid. There are no locks at all, but before being able to tackle Thorog you must complete the other three wings at least once. So essentially, clear the first 3 and you can farm Thorog to your hearts content.
JWBarry breaks up the diary just like the raid so I’ll cover each wing separately. Before I dive in too far, I must admit that I can’t wait to run this on my Warden!!!
The Spider wing was a pretty fun wing to begin with but they did shorten up the trash a bit. They also added a new mob type the Spider-singer that buffs all the nearby spiders to make them more challenging. Also in order to proceed you need to burn holes through the webs, which does tend to anger a fair number of spiders such that it isn’t just a matter of running through and killing stuff. The Breosal mini-boss fight was tweaked such that there are more adds at the start and more come when Breosal runs away after the morale trigger. It sounds as though the normal mode of the final boss fight is pretty much un-changed but the challenge mode sounds quite fun. Essentially at the last wave of the Silkspinners you need to keep them alive while burning 4 cocoons, the last of which spawns Zaudru. So you need to finish off all five in order to survive this encounter which sounds rather rough as just Zaudru alone is pretty darn challenging.
The Drake Wing was changed quite a bit to incorporate more mob diversity and better visual intrigue. Also following what they’ve done in other instances, the lever puzzle has been tweaked to provide more feedback and better information on what needs to be done. The final boss fight is now 3 stages as opposed to 2 with each having different levels of vulnerabilities and invulnerabilities on the Angmarim, worms, and drakes. The challenge mode sounds INSANE as you need to pop ALL the eggs in the room to complete. In the current room I’d say there are probably 50 some odd eggs, but I’m not sure how many will be in the new area. Each egg popped spawns a handful of worms so this will be an AoE intensive fight for sure, Champs and Wardens get ready for some fun!
I have to agree that the Giant Wing was my least favorite portion of the raid as it just seemed to drag on forever with no real challenge. I’m very happy about the new mobs and the addition of the min-boss fight. If JWBarry’s pumped up about it I can’t wait to see it! As for the main boss fight, it sounds interesting but I will admit I’m a bit worried about the challenge mode mechanics as it sounds like knockbacks could cause you to lose challenge mode. It does require you to pay more attention which is a good thing, I’m just worried about lag causing you to be in the wrong place even though you think you’re good.
The Dragon Wing still has the three main areas, the drums, Drugoth, and Thorog. The drums section which includes Coldbear pretty much was untouched and I certainly agree that if you can’t make it through the drums you’re in for a world of hurt. I love the changes to Drugoth as it was a super easy portion of the raid. Having the mirror images as you fight similar to Mordirith sounds not only challenging but a lot of fun. Basically he will form copies at various morale thresholds but it wasn’t clear if they were 1 morale “spirits” like Mordirth or full up copies that you need to burn down. I’m sad to see the Thorog flying mechanic gone but certainly if it was causing issues I’ll trust the team. Removing the flying mechanic basically meant they had to re-work the entire fight. Included in the new version are some of his old tricks plus some new things that JWBarry is saving for us to find. Challenge mode is being designed to be the most difficult encounter in the game which is intriguing. There are some pretty tricky parts in BG so I’ll be curious to see what else they come up with. And I’m encouraged that they are conscious of folks not liking arbitrary or luck as key elements of fights. Making this the hardest fight seems to be in-line with the recent changes to the radiance gear as the new Helegrod sets are pretty nice! For those of you who haven’t seen the area or the original version of this fight check out my post on a recent adventure in Helegrod.
Overall it sounds like a very fun raid and I like the way they’re broken things up. There are some areas of concern as I can imagine folks farming Thorog repeatedly for marks and the armor pieces. Granted, it does require 24 people to complete so that is a bit more challenging but if you have that number ready I can see folks going for a couple runs at a time. I’m also not sure about the knockback portion of the Giant Wing but will have to see how that plays out. If definitely is good to see they are listening to the community and incorporating aspects of fights that we enjoy and not relying on things we don’t. I was encouraged to see JWBarry talk about the Rift and the reasons why it hasn’t been tackled yet. From what we’ve seen so far, that does sound like a big task but I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the Rift. I’m also quite happy that he acknowledges that the Balrog fight is quite broken and will require work 😉