Or at least Paragon feels that way. Today they all but capped off conquering World of Warcraft: Cataclysm’s initial raid content on heroic mode, by defeating Lady Sinestra in Bastion of Twilight. They’ve yet to defeat Al’Akir on heroic, but that will probably come shortly now that Sinestra is out of the way.
“The encounter itself was quite unfinished, especially on the first few days,” says zYN of Paragon. “There were some absolutely massive bugs that were obvious from the first pull.” In total, Paragon spent five days working on the boss, something unheard of for the majority of Wrath of the Lich King raid content.
Unfortunately Paragon also encountered boss tuning and bugs unheard of since classic World of Warcraft. “The Dark Simulacrum (and other reflects) & Wrack was probably the biggest one,” zYN said. “You could literally hit the boss for 1 billion damage with a single GCD – it was pretty damn scary watching Sinestra almost die to it by accident.”
A bug briefly caused Dark Simulacrum to hit for extreme amounts of damage.
Eventually it came to a point where Paragon would take theorycrafting breaks for an hour or so at a time, because their strategies would no longer work after hotfixes that were commonly applied between attempts. “Overall just a very weird raiding experience. Some good stuff, some bad stuff, some unfinished/buggy stuff, but definitely very stressful. Personally I’m not sure what to think of it quite yet,” says zYN of the experience with Sinestra.
But don’t let that fool you. zYN believes this was “the hardest tier of raiding overall,” even eclipsing Sunwell Plateau — what many felt was the pinnacle of raiding difficulty to this point in the game. And at least based on the rate of progress through the tier — one not blockaded by time-based barriers or attunements — they’re right. While it took quite a while for The Lich King to die in Icecrown Citadel, that was primarily due to the gating mechanisms and the designs of certain zone-wide buffs. He was purposely made unkillable on heroic difficulty initially.
So to that end, it looks like “tier 11″ has been a fairly smashing success for Blizzard. The content is challenging even for the guilds many thought would never find a challenge in the game again. But at the same time, guilds are merrily progressing through the content on normal difficulty at a fairly solid pace.
Images by Paragon