Monday, January 25, 2010

Icecrown Ramblings, Part 2

So there's been a little hubbub lately (at least over at I Sheep Things..., I thought there were others but my brain fails me at the most inopportune times) over how to go after the escape from the Lich King encounter in Halls of Reflection.  I thought I'd throw my $.02 into the ring on this little thing.

For those that didn't just go read the post I linked, or have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll explain.  Everybody else can skip the next paragraph (or two).

In this, the last encounter of the three Icecrown Citadel 5-man instances, you come upon Jaina Proudmoore fighting (and losing) to Arthas.  She freezes him temporarily, then you, your crew, and Jaina must escape from him before he catches you and turns you into some mindless slavering undead minion to go out and make more mindless slavering undead minions.  As you run away, Arthas throws up ice walls and summons bad guys to kill you, and you must beat them as Jaina breaks down the walls - which she does, conveniently, just as you beat each wave.

What Rhii refers to as an exploit and I will refer to simply as the cheesy way to do things is that you can apparently run off to the side after you start the encounter, let Arthas meander his way past, and fight the bad guys without him sneaking up behind you.

In case you didn't get the idea from that last paragraph, I think this is just silly.  Let me explain.  Please take my comments with a grain of salt - I've not experimented with this, but I'll make some assumptions (yes I know) about what goes on from what I've read.

First, although this was initially not the case, there is no advantage time-wise to running the encounter this way - you still have a limited amount of time to beat each wave or Arthas catches Jaina and you all die.  So advantage: push.

Second, although reports differ on how the adds spawn when you are following Arthas instead of leading him, there's at least a chance that the adds spawn in the middle of your party.  In case you have your head under a rock, that's a nightmare for a tank.  When leading, the adds spawn by Arthas, and while the ghouls jump a long distance and land in a semi-random pattern, you can see them coming and prepare, and the other adds run in - giving the tank a point of contact to gather them up.  While this might mean that the DPS has to wait half a second to go crazy on them, it also reduces the chance of random spawn on healer causing wipes.  Advantage: non-cheesy way.

Third, the most common reason I hear folks say for doing it the cheesy way is that it's easier.  I can't make a definitive personal comparison because I've never run it the cheesy way, but I can say this: I have never failed at the encounter, and have been part of more than one group that has completed the encounter in time to get the Achievement.  The encounter is far easier, IMHO, than the first encounter of the instance in which you face waves of undead that hit harder and have a more difficult approach in which to gather them up from.  If you can get TO that encounter, there's no reason you need to try to use a poor choice in the design of the encounter to try to make it easier, because it's not that incredibly hard to begin with.

I guess I could have summed this all up by saying:  I don't think there's any reason to do it that way.

Personally, since I'm the tank 95% of the time, I just run on ahead and if the rest of the group wants to try to follow him without a tank, I'll let them.  I suppose I could do the same thing as the healer, although that seems slightly more suicidal.  In either case, I have yet to have anybody choose to do so.

If anybody comes along and disagrees, please feel free to share your reasons in the comments.


  1. The thing about cheesy ways of doing thing is that they leave with an accompanying cheesy feeling - and it's rarely worth it.

    I agree - if you've got that point (I hate the first part of this instance), there's no *need* to exploit things to make it easiser for you. You can likely just sail through.

  2. I completely agree that there is no advantage to running behind the guy, other than not getting "closed in" on by Arthas, but in this instance, if that IS the issue, you shouldn't be running this. If you get this far, your team is good enough to tackle this from the front without any problem.

    I just see this as a way for someone to be like "look how 1337 i am, i do it differently and that makes me cooler". As the healer, I always just go with the tank.