At first, let me apologize for my english. I'm not a native speaker.
I have some general concerns about the new operation and balancing.
Our guild cleared 8 and 16 man hard and story mode of Explosive Conflict, so we are able to give some feedback about the differences between 8 and 16 man. I am aware of the fact, that 8man should be harder than 16man, but some of things seem to be either broken or not well thought-out.
8 Man: 2 Tanks (Assassin, Juggernaut with dps Vengeance Spec, tanking role first to bosses), 2 Healers (Merc/Sorc), 4 DPS (Marauder, Merc, Sorc, Sniper)
16 Man: 2 Tanks (Assassin, Juggernaut with dps Vengeance Spec, tanking role first to bosses), 4 Heilers (Merc/Operative/2 Sorcs), 10 DPS ( 3 Marauder. 2 Sniper, 4 Mercs, 1 Sorc).
Raidcomposition didn't result of thoughts of class stacking, but the simple fact, that we didn't have much choice in our guild.
I will only talk about Hardmode:
Toth and Zorn:
General thoughts: It seems quite weird, that the baradium boulder target zone expires together with the jump of toth. That forces the tanks, to wait with the switch of the bosses. causing some trouble with Zorn, because he will already apply his fearful debuff. In addition, melees will be forced to stop dpsing, because toth will be in range with aoe stomp. making ranged dps much better in this fight, than melees.
16 man is very easy compared to 8 man. Beating the Berserk is much more easy (we didn't forget armorpen debuffs etc.) and the damage dealt by the bosses seems to be identical. But there are 2 Healers per camp in 16 man and most of the damage is avoidable (range), making healing significantly easier in 16 man.
The 2 tanks:
General thoughts: Great Boss. The only problem so far is, that procc trinkets seem to damage shield generators, because of procc through mortar volley.
Again 16 man is very easy compared to 8 man. Berserk is easy to beat in 16 man, a death is much more forgiveable (losing a dps responsible for soaking double destruction in 8man is nearly game over, because there are only 2 dps on each side). Handling random Spawns of Packs/Shields is again easier in 16 man, because there are only 3 possible positions per side, so you can just assign your mobile classes to pick the "hard" spawn in 16 man, while every single player, regardless of mobility, could be forced to move. And again, tank damage seems nearly identical in both raid sizes: keeping 2 double destruction dots + stormcaller tank alive isn't doable or extremly hard for one healer in 8man. Ofc, you can position healers to be able to heal both sides. But these are all things, which aren't neccessary in 16 man. In addition, on Stormcaller's side, both of the dps have to be on the stormcaller tank, so the healer has to stay on the ground, forces him to move around in addition to the basic greater challenge. In 16 man you can just position your healers on top of the tanks, to avoid regular movement for all healers.
General thoughts: Again, cool idea. But there are still some bugs with evading adds on the tower. I think this fight could be quite hard with only sorcerer Healers, because of their light armor. Raid dmg shouldn't be kinetic or energy dmg anymore, but I'm going to address this problem later.
Same issue here, 16 man is extremly easy in comparision to 8 man. So it doesn't really matter, because it's the easiest boss in 8 man. Here are some Points
- Berserk timer of droids is MUCH harder than in 16 man. Maybe you guys forgot that 25% of the raid (2/8) players are on the tower. Ok, it's possible to do this with only on person, but I'm not sure, if this would be fast enough to beat the overall berserk, of the minesweeper event.
- There are 2 Assassination Droids in 8 AND 16 man. There should be more spawns in 16 man. Just cc the adds destroy them with a assassin (aoe taunt with shroud). If you got 2 Assassins in your raidcomp their isn't any threat at all from adds, if cced correctly. Maybe they need a change like the orbs with Soa.
- Handling the cannons, spawned by the commander is much more difficult in 8 man, because you will have more high armor classes to just control the incomming damage easier. Maybe there should only be 2 Spawns in 8 man.
- Obfuscate/Diversion. Should be disabled for Droids and Cannons.
Genereal thoughts: Cool Fight, love the different elements of the fight.
In this fight, the difference between 8 and 16 man is so extrem, that some core problems in a 8 man raid simply doesn't occure in 16man. Some things seem to miss in some of the raid sizes, so I will look on each phase separately. Let me remind you, we used only 1 Tank in 8 man.
Phase 1 (the 3 Droids):
This is harder in 16man than in 8man. I have to admit, I didn't recognize the buff in 8man. Maybe it wasn't there? I don't know. It's not much of a challenge to interrupt the droids, though.
Easier to kill in 16 man.
HP of the big walker:
There is much more DPS required in 8 man. It's no problem though, because destroying the walker in 2 Phases in 8 man will simply wipe the raid.
Well balanced in Boss sizes
The 2 Pulsar Droids:
This is an extreme difference. Let me describe some of the core Problems in 8 man and than picture 16 man mode in comparision:
- You need to rearrange the raid 2 times in 8 man with both droids aktive. That's really tough, because of double rail shot combos and the neccessarity to move and keep the raid alive. In 16 man the droids simply explode. The first one will die before the first switch. They need AT LEAST 100% more HP in 16man to balance the sizes of the raid.
- Obfuscate/Diversion/ballastic shield is extremly strong here. It's more likely to have more of these classes in a larger operation. Should be disabled for Droids.
- In 8 man there are 2 healers for Railshots and random walker dmg. In 16 man there are 4 healers for the same challenge. I'm aware of the fact, that the dmg from the walker is higher in 16 man. Doesn't really matter though.
- Oneshot Combos (Walker random hits + railshot) are much more likely in 8 man than then in 16 man because of more possible targets (I'm talking about a Mercenary with Energy Shield acitve). Walker and Droids should hit 2 Targets instead of 1 in 16 man, to provide nearly the same challenge.
Conclusion: This was one of the hardest parts in 8man, in 16 man a no-brainer.
Warlord Kephess himself (With Walker still alive until Gift of the Masters)
- Tankdmg in 8 man as high as in 16 man. That's extreme for 2 Healers. Especially with someone, who attaches the bomb at the walker. I don't think we would have made this phase without 2 additional dps classes, which where capable of healing (Sorc/Merc). This problem didn't occure in 16 man, because we finished the walker in the 2nd dmg Phase. Isn't an Issue at all in 16 man to handle droids + boss at the same time.
- Tankdmg - just wanted to point this one out again, because It's really hard in 8 man. Don't get me wrong, I like a challenge, but there is simply no room to increase the incoming dmg from 8 to 16 man size. Maybe there is some kind of AoE Dmg in 16 man necessary, to force more healers. Ore the DOT needs to get a buff for at least 100%, which would force 2 tanks aswell. If the current design will be kept in Nightmare Mode with a much harder DPS challenge you will only bring 2 healers in 16 man aswell (Hi Ragnaros
- The big Voidzone, which occures when he gets his empowerment, didn't do any damage in 16 man
. I think this is a bug. In 8 man it would have been lethal, if we didn't have a Marauder for Predation
- Tanks died random, without having aggro at all and standing more than 10m away for the boss. Think there's still some kind of Bug
- Balanced between 8 and 16 man with one exception: You have to bring 3 tanks in 16 man because the breath will ocure more often than in 8 man. PLEASE
change this. It doesn't make the fight harder, more complex oder whatever. It's only annoying because you need 1 and a half tank for all other encounters and on this boss 3. (Yeay, Basically you only need the taunt, not the tank, but still there's no reason for the shorter cd).
Again, I'm sorry for my english and on some points the explantion maybe seems a little bit weird, because I didn't find the right words.
And please don't get me wrong. I'm not crying for easier/harder content, I just want to point out major differences between those two modes and give feedback.
Some thoughts on raid dmg:
If your aims in Nightmare mode are, to create something extremly hard, then I highly recommend to change every bossability which isn't destined to be tank dmg to non mitigationable dmg or at least internal/elemental dmg. Why so? Because of our poor Sorcerers. Nearly all of random hitting abilities are kinetic or energy dmg. The result is, that Mercenarys are taking easy survivable dmg while Sorcs are literally exploding in some cases (remember SOA 8man nightmare with double hitting orbs?).
Making things even worse, sorcs have to consume their hp for force.
I like to point out some critical Moments in Explosive Conflict:
- 1. Boss: Sorc is target of boulder and has to move in range of toth, to drop the zone. In this time, Zorn is hitting random targets (kinetic dmg again). Sorcerer will die in most cases, if a well timed hit of a random rock will hit together with toth aoe
- 3. Boss: Cannons vs. Heal Sorcs. Okay, you can do some tricks with guard and aggro reduce abilities, but who knows how hard the cannons will hit in nightmare.
- 4. Boss. Everything, lol
Random Rockets from Bomb Carrier, Walker dmg, Rail Shots. A use of consumption + instant random rocket oneshots a sorc.
Don't get me wrong about this point. I'm not saying, that sorcerers aren't viable in endgame progression. I'm only concerned about future challenges. eg. if you like to design a boss with a core element of hitting random people (for example like High Astromancer Solarian in WoW) and this dmg would be kinetic, it would be devastating. Ofc that's an extreme example, but overall it's much more likely seeing a sorcerer die in hard situations, than a mercenary.
Some last words. I like the new Operation and its bosses. And im looking forward beating our heads against the Nightmare Wall.