5.4 PTR - Siege of Orgrimmar Continued

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This is a continuation from my previous post about the 5.4 PTR testing of Siege of Orgrimmar. I had a few extra logs and videos from the PTR test period that I wanted to get out there before I started typing about the actual launch of 5.4 this coming Tuesday.

The previous post is here: 5.4 PTR - Siege of Orgrimmar
You can also find an archive of all my PTR test videos on my placeholder page: 5.4 PTR - Test Archive

The prior post primarily dealt with first impressions and 10N testing. This post will primarily deal with a brief overview of the Flex mode testing.


Malkorok is a single target encounter and the best equivalent to a DPS patchwerk in the Siege of Orgrimmar. Your only target will be Malkorok himself, and the only mechanic that will interrupt your ability to deal damage to him will be when you're using deterrence. Be aware that the encounter will be making full use of your peripheral vision and your visual memory of up to three items. 

During the normal phase, Malkorok will spawn several void zones around the room. In the video the number spawned is far less than there will actually be on live, so it's likely most people will have to be on their toes with this. Think Lei Shen bouncing bolts. There is no point for more than one person to soak a void. As a hunter, deterrence will reduce the damage by 90%. Since the redesign of deterrence, we'll also be able to cover two in a row. Very nice! 

Malkorok will also smash one segment of the room. After three smashes, Malkorok will cause massive damage to shoot out over each of those three segments that were originally smashed. This makes it important to remember what areas were hit and NOT to be there after the third one has gone out. The order is linear every time: Smash, soak void. Smash, soak void. Smash, soak void. Massive damage! 

He has a second phase where the raid must group up in melee range and soak a meteor-like cleave. Pay attention to your debuffs, because there's one going out that requires people to move out of the group. Finally, you can land safely on your feet whenever you're knocked in the air by using disengage. 
Definitely looking forward to progression pushes on this one. I want to see if Blizzard is all hot air about Marksman not being worthless or if Beast Mastery will remain the very dominant single target specialization in SoO, and this is the fight where I think it has the best chance. 


Spoils of Pandaria. Not so much a boss fight as it is a strange even encounter. Arguably, the trash to this room is worse than anything the spoils is going to throw at you. The theory behind this encounter is to open boxes as fast as you can without dying, so as to charge a lever and allow you to get through to the next room and repeat the process until the device in the middle of the room stops trying to explode. Basically. 

There's not a whole lot I really have to say on this encounter at the moment, other than thinking that Survival is going to be very useful as an AoE suppression and Beast Mastery is going to be very useful as a strong AoE burst with high single target focus. Most likely I'll be using Beast Mastery, as there's a lot of targets in this encounter that require quick shut down. You'll see the calls for single targets in the video below and get a good idea as to why. 


This fight was so awesome for hunters on Flex that I don't even know what to tell you. If it gets placed on live without Thok eating pets as it is currently, Beast Mastery is going to continue to wreck this just like it does in the video. This is basically another patchwerk Malkorok fight, only the boss runs around so it's annoying for melee. The boss also screeches and interrupts casters, so it's annoying for casters. In other words, we get the best of both worlds. 

Every once in a while you have to manually push Thok into his second phase by letting everyone's health drop below 50%, sending Thok into a blood thirsty rampage. He will then focus on and chase somebody down, mowing down anyone in his path like an oversized Ji-kun trash snail. Luckily, as hunters, this still doesn't bother us. Kiting? Our middle names. Speed? Damage on the move? Got you covered. Just don't run over any hapless friends [or fire].
Pre-emptive warning: This video has music, sorry. 


I wasn't able to save the video of my Galakras tests from my stream before they expired, but I do have some WoL and general impressions. First of all: don't step on mines laying on the beach while you're doing trash. They are exactly what they sound like. Explosive devices. 

Galakras is a beach encounter. You start it by speaking to the armed forces waiting at the end of the docks. This begins the fight right away, so don't speak to them just because they have a speech bubble over their heads. 

Once it's started, a few waves of orcs will rush you. Theoretically you'll get more AoE throughput from Survival. However, there are a few high priority targets in the mix that make having single target focus a strong choice. There are also a few waves that come at you that are purely single target or two target cleaves, as well as the entire final phase against Galakras being single target. For this reason, I think Beast Mastery running Beast Cleave for AoE will provide the most benefit. Both will be strong options, though. 

The theory behind this is to stave off the ground assault, then destroy the demolishers so you can send up a small team to assault the two towers on either side of the encounter space. Once the teams have taken their towers, they will fire on Galakras and begin phase two. 

Phase two is a simple burn, with the exception of Galakras' breath. If you are targeted by his fire ball, you want to make sure that the fire line will pass through as many people as possible. When it passes through someone, it leaves a vulnerability DoT on them - but when it hits its final target, the damage the fire ball causes is reduced by however many people it has passed through. Basically, soak the fire! Weird concept, yes. 


Wasn't able to save the video of Iron Juggernaut either, but this is another single target encounter. This is a giant mechanical scorpion sitting outside the gates of Orgrimmar. The room you have to do the encounter with is actually rather oddly shaped and makes your positioning choices vary. 

For the most part, I see all specs doing well equally here. There's a lot of player distraction, though, and a whole bunch of things to dodge, so Beast Mastery will probably pull ahead simply because 50% of the damage will be front loaded without distraction. 

In a condensed nut shell: Giant red targets on the ground are bad and you must move very quickly to avoid them. Mines will run out and bury themselves in the ground - someone must jump on these and soak them or they will detonate on everybody for massive amounts of damage. Generally the tank will handle this, but a hunter popping deterrence before hopping on the mine can also soak just fine. Beware of other incoming damage while you do this. 
Every once in a while the Juggernaut will fire cannons from his back: these will land where you were standing when they were fired, so you can strafe and avoid them entirely. He will also send out spines of spikes that chase a particular player and require you to run. Same deal with a laser beam. Yes, things to avoid all over the place.

Phase two is a lot of damage dealt. In between a sonic knock back that will send you flying to the other corner of the room, it's difficult to be aware and manage your spacing so that you don't leave oil slicks (yes, more things to avoid) in bad places. If a lazer beam is brought over an oil slick, bad things happen. What I'm getting at here is the Iron Juggernaut has a whole cacophony of personal responsibility. 


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