Monday, July 6, 2009

Age of Conan - Vistrix Bane Reliance

Sunday, I finally was able to get lined up with a Vistrix raid. A quite impressive raid as well run by Akumi of The Bloodline, The second largest guild on the server.
(Thanks for the invite folks).

As many of you know, I have been on "farm" mode with Vistrix, as I am need of the piece to allow me wing 1 access for raiding in Black Ring Citadel.

The issue has been strats for Vistrix has changed since the 1.05 patch. I have yet to find a group who can down her after patch.

Akumi ran an excellent raid and was on target discussing tactics, changing up various strats and trying some new ways to tackle Vistrix. This is the way it should be.

After 3+ hours, Vistrix NEVER went down.

So, what happened?

Again, I do not blame the guild. Many a time I have heard "If you are not in a good guild, you will not defeat her"...yet, here I am IN a great guild that has been playing since launch...yet, they had no success.

It is all about the banes.

What happens is at specific intervals Vistrix will set off a stun, which anyone in it's vicinity is out for the count, and start to take severe amounts of damage.

So, if you are not a tank, you will die.

From what has been seen, Vistrix has only this one strat, and this strat is causing hate against anyone who does not do it correctly.

Basically if the banes are not used in time, then you are guaranteed a wipe.

So anyways, in comes the bane, which instantly removes the stun. Reliance on this one strat really makes or breaks this run.

What confuses me is WHY is there not a second out?

Before patch, a known method of making it through Vistrix (and not always a guarantee) was if a tank died, they could be swapped into a Conquerors group. They had a skill called Furious Inspiration. This led to a skill called Furious Resurgence which was a battle res. Pure and simple.
Almost instant if you will.
As long as a party member was in the Conquerors group, they could get this res. There is a lot more to this as well, (damage done by conq, etc...), but it was a known commodity if the bane died.

This was now considered an exploit by Funcom...after almost a year? The FI was nuked in the patch, and became pretty much worthless.

So, now we come back to strats. Luckily, as I said, we had an impressive raid leader who was willing to try various new methods.

The first was called a burn with bane. EVERYONE went in and did AS MUCH damage as was possible for 2 rounds of stun. Two bane users had to be off to the side, and ready to run in when stun happened. If the bane took too long, this would fail.

We did this successfully at first. Then we separated groups, leaving MT at Vistrix and other groups on adds. The issue is adds from Vistrix which usually would attack the first group it found (thus using a method of standing behind Vistrix and away from stun range) did not work now, and instead went after the Main Tank group. This caused a death.

Eventually Vistrix started to go off her path and would attack the adds group...


We found a method to alleviate this by bringing in Dark Templar's last after the rest of the raid was in. Invite DT's to raid and let them enter...Lo and behold, adds came at DT's.

We tried this method a second time after the DT fix, but still fell. The issue? Banes.

We discussed another method. This was the DT pet spec.

Basically a DT can specialize in a pet called Dread of the few pets who can throw aggro like a warrior. Vistrix really hates it, and will turn toward it.
So, two DT's would be on the backend of Vistrix, while tanks sat in the front. At a knockdown (which came before stuns), a DT would send the pet and turn Vistrix, so the tank group had a time to recover.
This seemed to work...

Then the bane failed again.

People were not getting there in time, and death ensued.

So, it did not matter what cool strat we tried, it all rode on the banes.

One method to down the dragon? Why? This appears to be shoddy raid workmanship is all I can boil it down to.

I am sure some guilds are getting lucky, and have a good run at it. Some have perfect bane runs. But, there NEEDS to be a way out if bane fails is all there is to it.

One method equals lazy development.

Anyways, the guild I worked with was quite pleasing, and seemed very talented. I plan to try this again with them...but, as Craig (Game Developer) noted to me in a Twitter post " I don't think Vistrix is too far out, many have already defeated the encounter, but we may still adjust further there "...

I am gonna call bull****

I think this needs to happen sooner than later if all the people who raid I see quitting time and again is an indicator.



Anjin said...

Sounds like a big hassle, but it's good to hear the guild isn't tearing itself apart in frustration. Keep us in the loop about how this eventually works out!

Toxaris said...

Last week, I attended a Vistrix raid in which the hosting guild was successful in DPS'ing the dragon down to 30 percent before the tank group lost aggro and the dragon strayed into the DPS group.

The tank group was positioned between the two ramps near the knoll while the DPS group was situated just behind and between the two stacks of bones, directly opposite the tank group. The dragon's back was toward the DPS group.

Bane wasn't a huge issue because a list of twelve baners was posted and a person was tasked with the job of administering the baners on Ventrilo. Having twelve bane casters enabled each spell to recyle one time, which was necessary for the long duration of the encounter. The first baner positioned himself strategically on the ramp located to the right of the dragon, just out of the vapours range but close enough to expeditiously reach the tank group. The bane administrator called "vapours" to alert the baner that he should prepare himself to sprint--not run. When "stunned" was called, the baner sprinted to the main tank group, cast bane, and ran back to the DPS group. The next baner on the list then ran and positioned himself at the starting point.

As soon as the tank group was unstunned, "DPS in" was called and the DPS group focused all-out damage on the dragon for several seconds until more minions spawned requiring their attention.

As insurance against a single bane miscast wiping out the entire raid, one baner was given the sole task of sprinting in with each bane caster and was prepared to cast bane if the designated baner failed to cast successfully. As soon as bane was successfully cast, the insurance baner ran back to the starting point.

Because the patch messed with the Guardian's ability to swap aggro with the DT's, the main tank group consisted of three Guardians--no DT's--and one of each healing class to maximize buffs. If a crucial member died, a Conqueror rezz was employed. There were few deaths, however, as this strategy seemed very effective.

In my opinion the reason the tanks lost aggro was the inability of the DPS group to control its own aggro, something that could easily be remedied by constant reminders in Ventrilo. Ventrilo, by the way, is an absolute must in the successful orchestration of this very complex raid.

Since the patch, many Guilds which formerly were successful in Vistrix and Yakhmar, are now unable to beat these bosses, something which, if Funcom does not soon remedy, will result in a migration from the game. Afterall, who wants to continue playing without a reasonable hope of success in these big zones? Best of luck to your Guild in taking down the Dragon.

Shadowrik said...

really it isn't that bad once you know the strategy...16-18 raiders w/o gear can take it down...bane really helps and you only need maybe 9-11 banes to get it done...the key is having a necro to take down the add waves. This fight (as most of the raids) isn't about the boss, it is about the adds and how you handle them