Trial of the Crusader was the worst raid instance designed by Blizzard ever. No, that’s not harsh. Really, think about it. Molten Core which was far from winning any design prizes had a better atmosphere than Totc, even when you take the sense of awe from going to your first raid out of it. The only positive thing about Totc was some of the boss fights which had some new and interesting mechanics. Dodging orbs while fighting the Twin Val’kyr (let’s not think about what the orbs and portals were doing there in the first place, and where they came from) was something I have never seen before, and having Icehowl look at you like you’re this uber sexy female yeti then charge at you was terrifying. I suspect that Blizzard attempted to spice things up with the LK (I just realized that could stand for Lion King…) making an appereance and Anub going “Aszjol¨’Nerub was merely a set back!”. Instead of making me excited, it made confused, mainly because of two things.
1. Why didn’t Arty-barty just poon us all then and there. Heck, he could teleport into Fordring’s bedroom, smack him in the back of the head and steal his teddy while he was sleeping! Instead he ruins some wooden floor and buggers off.
2. Anub, haven’t we killed you already? Seriously, Blizzard, it’s time to introduce some new bad guys. Like Anubs avengeful son. Anoob.
Luckily I managed to get the majority of stuff I needed from the place and I’m only planning on going back if Jaraxxus is the weekly raid quest. For the fifth time in a row…
Then 3.3 hits. I really never dared to get my hopes up for Icecrown Citadel. One of my biggest fears was that the colour pattern would be different shades of gray. And it has, at least so far. But with two wings left I’m going to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt. And as Jakkru so nicely put it “You didn’t really expect it to be pink and orange did you?”. No I didn’t, but it would be so much more awesome if it was. I started drawing comparisons to Ulduar since it’s easily my favorite raid in Wrath, and somewhere in the top 3 overall. Then something hit me. There are some very interesting similarities. Let’s have a look.
XT-002 = Saurfang
Both are DPS races with an enrage timer. The tactics are not too complicated, but the fights can be quite hard to pull off. How hard the fights is and if you are going to be successfull, or not heavily depends on how you handle the adds. The adds really hurt and they can heal the boss. Both bosses are also gate keepers to the next part/wing of the raid instance.
Razorscale = Lady Deathwhisper
The first phase of the fights are spent handling adds and DPSing down the boss to a certain amount of hit points.You shift between killing the adds which all have different priorities, not standing in the fire™ and DPSing the boss to start the next phase. When you do start the next phase your tanks will start tanking the actual boss instead of the adds and will have to take turns tanking because of a debuff. The raid will have to finish off remaining adds while still not standing in the fire™. The boss will be moved around by the tanks to dodge various bad fire and the DPS brings the boss down before it hits the enrage timer.
Ignis the Furnace Master = Lord Marrowgar
Probably the least compareable of the four. Big bad boss that will be moving around on occasion. Different kinds of raid wide AoE damage. At times requires the DPS to kill certain things in a certain way or within a certain amount of time. You also don’t stand in the fire™.
Flame Leviathon = Gunship Battle
When you have done these fights a couple of times they both turn into loot pinatas. Vehicle(ish) fights that are mostly about having fun and less about concentrating on what you are supposed to be doing.
It seems Blizzard got into their heads that Ulduar = good, Trial of the Crusader = bad. While “copying” old fights can be seen as lazyness I think they are put together in quite an interesting way, and if you add the three newly released bosses to all of this it’s all a nice mix of old mechanics with a new twist and new mechanics we have never seen before. Even though we are only half way through Icecrown I dare say Blizzard have made me believe in them again and I can’t wait to see the rest of Icecrown.