March 4, 2009

Ulduar on the 3.1 PTR: Ignis the Furnace Master

This time we got a taste of a good, old-fashion player vs. comically gigantic dude raid encounter with Ignis, the Furnace Master.

Matt "Matticus" Low, the aforementioned plantlike Mr. Ziebart, and I formed a 10-man raid. As usual, Lead Encounter Designer Scott Mercer, a.k.a. Daelo, was around for the fun. Making travel considerably easier was last night's addition of a teleporter to different areas of the dungeon. Our trip past the large gate guarding the end of the Iron Concourse to the Colossal Forge was instant and uneventful. Then we waited for our barrel-chested braid-bearded friend to spawn.

This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this fight, don't click below. You've been warned.

Ignis spawned in a timely manner, thankfully. Behind him stood the Colossal Forge, and to his left and right stood rows of deactivated Iron Constructs and two waterfalls cascading into large pools. I had read up on some portions of the fight, thanks to datamined information from StratFu, so I had an idea of what to expect, but as usual, I couldn't take for granted anything in the fight until I had experienced it myself.

Ignis' abilities used in the 10-man fight are below:

• Activate Construct: Fires a bolt of magma at a random deactivated Iron Construct, activating it and causing it to defend the caster.
• Flame Jets: Stomps the ground causing geysers of flame to errupt under all enemies. These geysers deal 5655 to 6345 Fire damage, knocking the targets into the air and interrupting any spells being cast for 8 sec. In addition, the targets take 1000 Fire damage per second for 8 sec.
• Scorch: Fires a jet of flame, burning all enemies in front of the caster within 30 yards, dealing 2357 to 2643 Fire damage every half-second for 3 sec. Additionally, the ground is scorched by this effect causing it to catch on fire, dealing 1885 to 2115 Fire damage every second too all enemies within 13 yards. Iron Constructs within this radius will begin to heat up, eventually becoming molten.

We were informed that Ignis has no Hard Mode setting, which was a surprise.

With that in mind, we pulled him and it was a fairly simple endeavor for a while. He only had a little over six million health, which isn't an enormous amount for a 10-man boss. He'd use his Flame Jet ability every so often, which became a silence if you were casting when hit by it. We resolved that, of course, by simply not casting when the notice appeared on the screen. He also used his Scorch move in whatever direction he was aimed, scarring the ground in front of him and causing anyone in the radius to take damage. It was very easily avoidable.

Oddly, Ignis would periodically charge a random player, but it did no damage at all. It was like there was a component of the fight missing. It turned out that that was actually the case, as we were notified by Daelo that Ignis was supposed to have this ability:

• Grab: Charges and grabs a random enemy target, tossing them into the caster's slag pot. The target is unable to attack the caster and takes 3299 to 3701 Fire damage every second for 10 sec. If the target survives, they are imbued with the magical slag, increasing their movement speed by 200% and haste by 100% for 10 sec.

They ended up hotfixing the ability in. Meanwhile, we were busy dealing with adds that Ignis had summoned. He would activate one at a time, and they did very little damage even to non-tank characters. In the interest of doing the fight the right way, though, we brought them to Ignis' Scorched earth and they began to receive a stacking buff. At 20 stacks, they began to glow, and we used our keen intellect to determine that that would be a good time to kite them to the pools of water.

Sure enough, once dunked, the Constructs received the following debuff:

• Brittle: The cold water causes molten Iron Constructs to rapidly solidify, rendering them unable to act. In addition, if they are dealt more than 5000 damage during this state, they will shatter, dealing 18850 to 21150 damage to all enemies in a 10 yard radius.

They were quickly dispatched by a Flame Shock/Lava Burst combo. With a plan of action for the adds, it was easy to sail through to the end of the fight.

My first impressions of the fight are that it's really, really easy for DPS and healing alike. Avoiding the Scorched ground requires almost no thought and he does very little raid damage. Even with the Slag Pot ability thrown in, there's nothing to really worry about. On top of that, the adds can be offtanked the entire time, as they deal next to no damage to a tank. If the devs expect the adds to be taken care of appropriately (with the debuff and water) then there needs to be either an incentive to do so or the adds need to be an immediate danger to the raid.

I expect to see the fight get tuned and changed appropriately, otherwise Ignis is simply the loot pinata reward for completing the Flame Leviathan fight. We'll see.

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