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Desolate Host Nutshell Guide
#1
Overview:  In this fight we'll engage two bosses simultaneously, each in a separate realm:  the Corporeal Realm and the Spirit Realm.  In the Corporeal Realm, the Engine of Souls will summon fallen Night Elf spirits to engage the raid, while in the Spirit Realm the Soul Queen Dejahna will engage the raid along with adds.  The Engine of Souls and the Soul Queen share a health pool.  When the Engine of Souls reaches 30% health, a vast number of spirits will coalesce into The Desolate Host which will attack the group.

Players can access the Spirit Realm my interacting with the Spiritual Fonts around the edges of the arena.

Positioning:  The raid will be split evenly into 2 groups, one for each realm.  Each group should occupy half the arena, split vertically, to avoid taking damage from each other.  

ABILITIES:  ALL REALMS

[Heroic only(?):  Dissonance causes all players and creatures to inflict Shadow damage constantly to any players within 8 yards in an opposing realm.
--> Stay away from people in the opposing realm!]

THE CORPOREAL REALM

The Engine of Souls:  Abilities

* Bone Shards:  Anti-tank attack.
* Collapsing Fissures:  Ground effect.
* Tormented Cries:  Cone attack at a marked player.  Cannot be avoided.  Leaves a long purple void zone on the ground.  Getting hit by a second one while already standing in one does massive damage.
* Quietus:  Cast if no players remain in the Corporeal Realm.  Does moderate damage to all players and applies a stacking buff to the Engine of Souls.
--> Someone always has to be in the Corporeal Realm.

Reanimated Templar (add)
Spawn periodically in the Corporeal Realm, can be picked up by the tanks
* Rupturing Slam:  Shockwave attack + knockback.  Appear as red eruptions on the floor.  Four ruptures per cast traveling outwards in a cross shape.
* [Heroic only: Bonecage Armor:  shields the Templars when they reach 50% health, reducing damage by 95% for 60 seconds.  Being struck by Shattering Scream (cast by Fallen Priestess in the Spirit Realm) removes this shield.]

Ghastly Bonewarden (add)
Spawn periodically in the Corporeal Realm, can be picked up by the tanks.
* Grasping Darkness:  attack that bounces back and forth up to 3 times to any players within 5 yards of the target.  Damage increases a lot with each bounce.
* [Heroic only: Bonecage Armor:  same as the Templar's shield.  This one shields the Bonewardens when they reach 50% health, reducing damage taken by 95% for 60 seconds.  Being struck by Shattering Scream (cast by Fallen Priestess in the Spirit Realm) removes the shield.]

THE SPIRIT REALM

Soul Queen Dejahna

* Crush Mind:  anti-tank attack, stacking debuff.  Can be interrupted.
* Wailing Souls:  Releases a surge of souls that does damage to all players in the Spirit Realm.
* Soulbind:  Debuff on two players, inflicts damage to all players within 10 yards of either of them until they move within 5 yards of a bound player in an opposing realm.
* Quietus:  only cast if no players remain in the Spirit Realm.  Deals damage and puts a stacking buff on the Queen.

Fallen Priestess (add):
Spawn periodically, can be tanked.
* Shattering Scream:  targets a player with damage + progressive slow.  After 5 stacks the target explodes for moderate raid-wide damage [heroic only: and removes Bonecage Armor from all targets within 5 yards].
* Spirit Chains:  damage + slow for 30 seconds.  While debuffed, targeted players can't use the Spiritual Fonts.

Soul Residue (add):
Spawn periodically, can be tanked.
* Soul Rot:  green trail left behind Soul Residues as they move.  Applies debuff if you stand in it.
* Soul eruption:  Explosion when Soul Residue dies, inflicts damage + knockback to anyone within 5 yards.

DESOLATE HOST PHASE

When the Engine of Souls reaches 30% it draws a massive number of tormented souls to form The Desolate Host.  This boss must be tanked and has its own set of abilities.  Both Realms and their mechanics persist into this phase.

The Desolate Host
* Sundering Doom:  Marks an area around the Desolate Host, deals massive damage to everyone within 15 yards.  Damage split evenly between all players in the Corporeal Realm.  Players in the Spirit Realm take even more damage, but the damage for them is reduced by being further away from the ability.
* Doomed Sundering: this is the inverse of Sundering Doom.  Massive shadow damage is dealt to everyone within 15 yards, split evenly between all players in the Spirit Realm.  Players in the Corporeal Realm take even more damage, but the damage is reduced by being further away from this ability.
* Torment:  self-buff that increases damage done.  If nobody is struck by Sundering Doom or Doomed Sundering, the Desolate Host will instantly gain 5 stacks of Torment.
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#2
Strategy

This fight requires a lot of coordination of movement between the two realms.  The main goal is to survive the mechanics.  This fight is a coordination check more than a DPS or Healing check.

Positioning

* Players can enter and exit the Spirit Realm by using the Spiritual Fonts found around the edges of the arena.

* The players in the two realms must avoid each other during most points of the encounter, due to damage from Dissonance.  
-->  Corporeal Realm:  The position of the Engine of Souls is fixed.  As the position of the Engine of Souls is fixed, the Corporeal tank should tank the adds (Reanimated Templar and the 2 Ghastly Bonewardens which are present at the beginning of the encounter) on top of the Engine itself.
--> The Spirit tank should position the Soul Queen near the edge of the circular room, about 15 yards away from the Corporeal Tank.  Don't get too far apart.
--> The raid will designate "sides" of the room to ensure safe passage and avoid unnecessary Dissonance damage.  The Corporeal players will stay on one half of the room, and vice versa.  The raid will be split in half to form these two groups.

Corporeal Group

The most important mechanic for this group is Tormented Cries.  If you are targeted, make your way to the front edge of the room, close to the Engine of Souls.  This ensures that the angle of the purple beam and the void zone left behind cuts across just a small part of the arena, instead of going through the center of the room.  Do not stand in any previous void zones when you are targeted as this will massively increase damage (so we can't stack the void zones on each other).

Avoid the the Reanimated Templar's Rupturing Slam, and remain at least 8 yards apart to avoid potential damage from the Bonewarden's Grasping Darkness.

[Heroic only: Once these adds reach 50% health they'll gain Bonecage Armor, which must be dealt with by the Spirit Group.]

All other damage to the Corporeal Group is incidental.  Collapsing Fissures will spawn, and the tank will be taking damage from Bone Shards.

Spirit Group

Start the encounter next to a Spiritual Font so you can enter the Spiritual Realm right away (thus preventing any casts of Quietus).  Establish an interrupt order for Crush Mind.  Any players linked by Soulbind should immediately collapse on their linked player in the opposite realm to break the tether.

If targeted by Shattering Scream, [heroic only: the player should run to the Corporeal Tank so that the explosion from the debuff at 5 stacks will hit the Reanimated Templar and Ghastly Boneweavers and thus remove their armor.  This is imperative as they may be unkillable otherwise.  Note that your movement speed will be continuously reduced so early movement is critical!  This debuff is the main reason why the Spirit tank should stay relatively close to the Engine of Souls (without triggering Dissonance of course).]

Soul Residues are largely inconsequential.  They can be cleaved down at leisure.  Just don't stand in the puddle trails they leave behind and don't be within 5 yards of them when they die.

The Desolate Host

When the Desolate Host spawns at 30%, the raid must be very careful.  Sundering Doom and Doomed Sundering are both lethal if dealt with incorrectly, and because their names are similar they may be confusing.

* If the Desolate Host casts Sundering Doom, the Corporeal Group should stack on the Host while the Spirit Group moves as far away as possible.
* If the Desolate Host casts Doomed Sundering, the Spirit Group must stack on the host while the Corporeal Group moves as far away as possible.

During this phase the raid should burn the boss as fast as possible before the Host's Torment buff stacks too high for the raid to handle.  We will use Bloodlust in this phase.


Tanks:

* [Heroic only: Ensure that Shattering Scream strikes the Corporeal adds when they are affected by Bonecage Armor.]
* Swap realms with the Corporeal tank during casts of Wailing Souls IF Crush Mind was not interrupted and begins to stack to fatal levels.

Healers:

* Plan cooldowns for Wailing Souls in the Spirit Realm.
* Players targeted with Tormented Cries and Spear of Anguish will need special healing.
* Use healing cooldowns during each cast of Sundering Doom and Doomed Sundering.

Everyone:

* If targeted by Tormented Cries, get to the edge of the room.
* If tethered by Soulbind, move to your partner in the opposing realm.
* Keep an even spread in the Corporeal Realm, avoid standing near players in the opposing realm.
* Stay out of Rupturing Slam.
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#3
The Desolate Host summary

This fight has TWO REALMS, a Corporeal Realm and a Spirit Realm that share the same space -- they are basically phased.  We all start in the Corporeal Realm, and we can enter the Spirit Realm by clicking on the Spiritual Fonts around the room (they look like little blue flames).  

Each Realm has its own boss and its own adds which spawn on a timer.  The Corporeal Realm boss is the Engine of Souls, while the Spirit Realm boss is the Soul Queen Dejahna.  These bosses share a health pool.

If no players are present in a realm, that boss will go nuts and wipe the raid (ability called Quietus), so each realm must have at least one player at all times.

We will split the raid into two groups and will send one group into the Spirit Realm while the other stays in the Corporeal Realm.  Each group will have one tank, half the healers, and half the DPS.  If we have an odd number of healers, we'll have the additional one stay in the Corporeal Realm.

Once you're in a Realm, you cannot target or heal players in the other Realm.  You can however, see a faint ghostly outline of them.  This is important for later.  (On Heroic we do an AoE to players in the other Realm so we can't get near each other, but I don't think that's the case on Normal).

We'll talk about the adds first, then the bosses.

Corporeal Realm Adds

In the Corporeal Realm, we'll have Reanimated Templars and Ghostly Bonewardens.  Stack these directly under the Corporeal boss, the Engine of Souls.  

Reanimated Templars will cast Rupturing Slam, which sends out waves in four directions.  These look like green flaming areas moving along the floor.  Players hit take a lot of damage and are knocked back.  Rupturing Slam will hit players in both Realms.  So keep your eye on these and stay out of them.

Ghostly Bonewardens will cast Grasping Darkness.  This is a chain lightning effect (bounces between players within 5 yards) which does a lot of damage.  Ranged and healers spread out by 5 yards to minimize damage.

--> Stack the adds under the boss.  Kill them and switch to the boss.

Spirit Realm Adds

In the Spirit Realm, we'll have Fallen Priestesses and Soul Residues.  Stack the Priestesses under the Soul Queen boss and cleave them down.  The Soul Residues can't be tanked.  They'll chase down players, leaving Rot behind them (looks like a green trail on the floor).  It ticks hard so avoid it.

Kill the Soul Residues first -- they don't have much health.  Don't be near them when they die, though, because they explode.

The Fallen Priestesses will debuff people with Spirit Chains.  This does damage and a slow, and prevents players from using the Spirit Fonts around the room.  Dispel these as soon as possible.  The Priestesses cast Shattering Scream, which is a channel that applies a stacking DoT and a slow.  At 5 stacks you explode.  Interrupt this cast.

 --> Kill the Soul Residues then switch to the boss while cleaving the Fallen Priestesses down.

Corporel Realm boss: Engine of Souls

This boss is completely stationary.  The tank must maintain threat on it, but can move out of melee range as all of its attacks are ranged.  The boss has several attacks, all of which only affect people in the Corporeal Realm:

1. He will attack the tank with Bone Shards.

2. Casts Collapsing Fissure under random ranged, which creates a ground effect that persists for 1.5 minutes.  Move quickly out of it and you can avoid the damage.

3. He'll cast Spear of Anguish at a random player after a short cast.  Once it lands it deals damage to the target and anyone within 5 yards AND knocks everyone hit by it into the Spirit Realm.   There's a big pit around the room so don't get knocked into it.  It also applies a nasty DoT AND a healing absorption shield.  This must be healed by the Spirit Realm healers or the player will die.  The shield also prevents you from interacting with the Spiritual Fonts.  So the faster they are healed, the faster they can get back to the Corporeal Realm.

4.  Tormented Cries marks a player and blasts a cone of magic damage at them, leaving a wedge-shaped void zone on the floor.  This does ticking damage and a silence if you stand in it.  This damage is increased by 3x if the target is already standing in a Tormented Cries 'wedge.'  So don't stack the wedges!  When targeted, move as close to the previous wedge as possible so as to overlap them a little.  Just don't stand in a previous wedge.  As long as they are placed at the sides of the room and not all over the place we should be okay.

Note:  if you stand BEHIND the Soul Engine you can point your wedge into the pit and keep it out of the room altogether.  This is a bit cheesy and may be hotfixed.

Spirit Realm boss:  Spirit Queen Dejahna

The Soul Queen has four abilities:

1. Her primary ability is Crush Mind which is spammed against the tank.  It does a lot of magic damage, so it's a good idea to have the best magic-mitigation tank in this realm.

2. Soul Bind tethers two players together, one from each Realm.  These bonds do ticking a lot of damage to the targeted players and anyone standing within 10 yards.  Targeted players get rid of the bonds by getting close to each other.  We will designate the center of the room for this.

3. She'll debuff players in the Spirit Realm with Wither.  This is a 60 second DoT that does moderate damage, but it also makes you take extra damage from the Queen's Wailing Souls ability.

4. Wailing Souls is a 60 second channel that deals ticking damage to all players within the Spirit Realm.  One strategy is to have everyone except the tank and 2 healers LEAVE the Spirit Realm right before this ability is cast.  The tank and healers just stay alive during the channel.  If the damage becomes too high the healers can leave and replaced by healers from the Corporeal Realm.  Once the channel stops things go back to normal and new adds spawn -- DPS needs to get back into the Spirit Realm fast.

The Desolate Host

At 30% health the Desolate Host will finally spawn.  This boss is visible in both Realms and will need to be taunted often.  He has two abilities, both with very similar names.  Both do the exact same thing, but affect different Realms.

When he casts Sundering Doom, Corporeal tank must taunt, and Corporeal Realm players must stack under the boss.  When his cast is done he'll do a lot of damage split between anyone within 15 yards.  He'll also do a blast into the Spirit Realm, with players further away taking less damage.
--> So, for Sundering Doom: Corporeal tank taunts and Corporeal players stack under him, Spirit players run out.

Doomed Sundering works the exact same way but in the other Realm.  So the Spirit tank must taunt and Spirit Realm players must stack under the boss while the Corporeal players run out.

The boss gains a stacking buff, called Torment, that acts as a soft enrage.  If nobody stacks for the Sundering Doom and Doomed Sundering, he'll gain 5 stacks of Torment, which will wipe the raid.

The Engine of Souls and the Soul Queen are still alive during this phase.  This makes things VERY hectic with all the abilities going off.  We will bloodlust during this phase and will annihilate either the Engine or the Soul Queen (nuke the one that's in your realm) while doing cleave damage to the Desolate Host.  After the Engine and the Soul Queen are down the fight settles down, and we only have to deal with the Desolate Host's simple run in / run out abilities.  Kill him fast before his stacks kill us.
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#4
Well done on Desolate Host last night!  A couple notes from the fight:

1.  For players in the Corporeal Realm, if you are targeted by Tormented Cries (the wedge-dropping ability), run to the SIDE of the Engine of Souls to drop the wedge.  Try to keep it out of the center of the room!  The wedge affects people in both groups.

2. The Desolate Host's "run-in run-out" ability (Sundering Doom or Doomed Sundering) is confusing on paper, but turned out to be straightforward in the fight itself:

* If you see a PURPLE SWIRL under the boss, RUN OUT (applies to the tank, too).
* If you see a PURPLE CIRCLE under the boss, RUN IN (applies to the tank, too -- taunt and run in).

3. Bloodlusting at the beginning of Phase 3, in order to get the Engine and the Queen down, worked well.  The fight gets simpler when they are dead.
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#5
Okay, we've done this fight on Normal, but that now that we're in Heroic we've got some new abilities to deal with, as well as old abilities that are going to require more care.

NEW ABILITIES IN HEROIC

Dissonance:  Dissonance causes all players and creatures to damage any players within 8 yards within an opposing realm.

--> The spirit side of the raid will stay on the LEFT side of the room, while the corporeal side will stay on the RIGHT side of the room.

(We were already doing this in normal as it was good practice for heroic.  Realize that this positioning really matters now: stay on your side and be careful of players in the opposing realm!)

Bonecage Armor:  This is a new cross-realm mechanic.  The Reanimated Templar and Ghastly Bonewarden adds in the Corporal Realm acquire Bonecage Armor when they reach 50% health.  This reduces damage taken by 95% for 60 seconds.  Being struck by Shattering Scream (cast by Fallen Priestesses in the Spirit Realm) removes this shield.  

Shattering Scream:  Fallen Priestess adds in the Spirit Realm cast Shattering Scream on a random player, which does damage and a progressive slow.  After 5 stacks the target explodes for moderate raid-wide damage AND removes Bonecage Armor from all targets within 5 yards.

--> If you are targeted by Shattering Scream, run to the Corporeal Tank so that the explosion from the debuff, which happens at 5 stacks, will hit the adds and thus remove their Bonecage Armor.  You need to move early because you will be progressively slowed as the stacks increase.

--> Spirit tank, please tank the Soul Queen about 15 yards from the Engine of Souls. The goal is to tank her close enough to the Corporeal tank that players with Shattering Scream can reach the adds, but not so close that we trigger Dissonance and damage each other.

Spear of Anguish: The Engine of Souls (Corporeal Realm) will cast Spear of Anguish at a random player after a short cast.  The targeted player will have a translucent circle around them.  Once the spear lands, it deals damage to the target AND anyone within 5 yards AND knocks everyone hit by it into the Spirit Realm AND applies a nasty DoT and a healing absorption shield. Having the DoT also prevents you from interacting with the Spiritual Fonts to get back to your realm.

--> Corporeal players: Run away from the person targeted by Spear of Anguish -- there will be a translucent circle around them -- so you don't get knocked into the other realm too.

--> Corporeal players knocked into the Spirit Realm by Spear of Anguish MUST be healed by the Spirit Realm healers or the player will die.

--> Once healed, players must return to the Corporeal Realm using the Spirit Fonts.

REMINDERS:  BOTH REALMS

Soulbind:  if you get chained to a player in the other realm, run to the raid marker to break it.

Phase 3: When the Desolate Host Spawns.  We will use Bloodlust here to help us get the Soul Engine and the Soul Queen down, then we can focus on the Desolate Host.

Phase 3: Desolate Host's purple circles and swirls:  This turned out to be a simple mechanic, so this is just a reminder.  If you see a purple swirl RUN OUT, if you see a purple circle RUN IN.  This includes the tanks!

Be coordinated!  This is a coordination check more than a DPS check or Healing check.  We've got the DPS and Healing -- Handling the mechanics properly is more important than doing a little more DPS.  


REMINDERS: CORPOREAL REALM

Tormented Cries:  This is the big-purple-wedge ability.  If you are targeted with this, run it to the side of the room, behind the Engine of Souls, so you're pointing it into the wall or the pit and away from the raid.  This will ensure that the purple wedge cuts across just a small part of the room instead of going through the middle.  Don't stack the wedges, though, as you'll take massive damage if you're standing in one and get hit by another.  Best is to stand just outside a previous wedge so that the new wedge overlaps the old one a bit.


REMINDERS:  SPIRIT REALM

Crush Mind (stacking anti-tank attack):  we may want to make it a priority to interrupt this on heroic, unless the spirit tank is already doing so.

Icy Veins also suggests that tanks swam realms during the Queen's cast of Wailing Souls IF Crush Mind was not interrupted and begins to stack to fatal levels.
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#6
See the above post for a slightly longer discussion of the differences between normal and heroic.

So, in a nutshell, the biggest new mechanics in Heroic are:

Bonecage Armor + Shattering Scream:  Adds in the Corporeal Realm get a shield (called "Bonecage Armor") at 50% health that makes them almost unkillable.  The armor can only be broken by a player in the Spirit Realm with the Shattering Scream debuff.
--> Players in the Spirit Realm who are targeted with Shattering Scream must RUN to the Corporeal Tank, who is holding the adds with Bonecage Armor.  Shattering Scream is a stacking debuff with a slow that increases with every stack, so get moving early!  When the Scream goes off (at 5 stacks), it will remove the adds' Bonecage Armor.  Then return to the Spirit side.

Spear of Anguish:  This targets a player in the Corporeal Realm.  When it lands, it will knock the targeted player AND anyone within 5 yards into the Spirit Realm, AND apply a nasty DoT AND a healing absorption shield to them.  Spirit Realm healers must heal these new players in their realm, or the players will die.

--> Corporeal players, get away from the player targeted by the Spear.  The targeted player has a tranluscent circle around them -- get out of it!
--> Spirit healers, get ready to heal new players knocked into the Spirit Realm by the spear.
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#7
We made good progress on the Desolate Host last night.  I think we got the Shattering Scream and Bonecage Armor mechanics down, as well as the (super-annoying) Spear of Agony.

A couple thoughts:

1. Wither:  This is a new ability gained by the Soul Queen that we had to handle last night which was not in the Icy Veins guide.  As we saw, Wither is a debuff applied to a random non-tank player.  It does moderate shadow damage for a minute, but more importantly, it increases damage taken by Wailing Souls (that super-long channeled spell she does) by 100%.  Players with Wither need to leave the Spirit Realm during Wailing Souls.  This includes healers, which means a corporeal realm healer needs to swap to the Spirit Realm to continue healing.  We did this but I wanted to make sure there's a note of it here.

2. Final phase:  I double-checked the last phase, when the Desolate Host has appeared and the mini-bosses are down, to make sure he hadn't gained any new abilities in heroic.  He has not.  The Desolate Host has the run-in run-out mechanic, and also a stacking self-buff called Torment which is also present in Normal.  So we need to kill the mini-bosses, then get him down fast, before Torment stacks too high.
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