Friday, May 11, 2007

Netherspite Will be Easier after the Patch

I'm hesitant to really call what is happening to the Netherspite fight as a "nerf", since it is more than that ~ the fight is being restructured to a degree that will literally change the way many guilds fight it. The PTR Patch 2.1.0 Notes had this much to say about changes to Netherspite:
  • Netherspite's room now has a door.
Whether or not the door locks (I am assuming that it would/should), it still has a crippling effect on a popular strategy of many guilds and strategy guides which involves literally leaving the room to get out of LOS of its Netherbreath during phase 2. The initial impression of this change is that while arguably easier fights like Aran and Illhoof are being nerfed, Netherspite of all things will become harder. Can we be reading this right??

The other significant change to the fight is this:
  • Netherspite will no longer cast Nether Burn while crazed.
But what does that mean exactly? Judging by the verbiage used in various strategies regarding the fight, the nearest thing resembling a craze would be the enrage phase at the 9 minute mark, where he deals 400% damage and (presumeably) wipes the raid off the face of the earth. But what would be the point of removing Netherburn from that? Is it going to save anyone from doom at that point? Is it even necessary? Does the raid at that point deserve a chance? Does this constitute the "re-design" Tigole referred to here: "We're in the process of re-designing the encounter. Certain aspects of the fight will remain in place. But expect a lot of changes to the encounter. "

If you've had the pleasure (or displeasure, depending on how you feel about the fight) of engaging Netherspite you might remember that the beginning of phase 2, referred to as the "Banish" phase by fan sites, there is a message: "Netherspite goes into a Nether-fed Rage." Nether-fed rage is sometimes referred to (confused with??) the 9-min "It's over, GG" enrage, but phase 2 quite clearly is called Nether-fed rage too. So in spite (no pun intended) of the mis-synch of verbiage between Blizzard and fan sites, the implication is that the Netherburn is most likely being removed from Phase 2. The part where people used to leave the room. People perhaps overlooked this note, but it's probably the single biggest nerf being applied to Karazhan in the patch.

Because even though strategy guides go to extensive lengths to crit you with blocks of text regarding the beams, they are easy. The deal breaker regarding Netherspite constitutes one easily looked over sentence:

Nether Burn: Aura type spell, Deals 1200 shadow damage every 5 sec, affected by line of sight. Not much can be done against this ability, but to heal through it.

That is basically what kills you. And it is being removed from a third of the duration of the fight ~ an amount equalling upwards of 72k (if unmitigated) of raid damage removed from each Banish phase.

Sure, it means you'll have to stay in the room now, and the Netherbreath is pretty nasty, right? Well, it was, while compounded with the constant Netherburn that assured you were almost never at full health. But 4k really isn't that bad since it does less damage than the person in the blue beam is taking every 5 seconds after about 45 seconds in the beam. So now, during phase 2:
  • You are able to bandage immediately without even leaving the room, since Netherburn will not interrupt it.
  • You are able to continue dpsing him largely unmolested (if you are a caster) during phase 2, at which time he is more succeptable to magic damage.

All the healers have to do is top off the raid and no one will die to Netherbreath. DPS is more sustained and he will die faster as a result. The only sticking point is the Threat-wipe at the end of phase 2. Guilds should be used to this sort of thing by now, however ~ even though overzealous dps and mountains of DOTs are always a potential concern when a raid monster wipes its aggro.

This is of course assuming that I'm foreseeing this correctly. There may be undocumented changes to the fight as well. We're just going to have to wait and see what tricks Netherspite 2.1.0 holds for us. :)

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