Arcane Analysis Episode 03: Raiding

by Samantha Cruse on

Welcome to Arcane Analysis, a podcast focused on all things related to World of Warcraft! Each week your hosts Sam, Ally, and Katie will discuss the finer points of raiding, pvp, current esports events, and the game’s ever-evolving design. The Nighthold content release inspires the topic of the third episode: raids. The girls discuss the evolution of raid sizes, difficulties, the impact of releasing content too soon or languishing through content droughts, and the sought after sweet spot in between. The show will be prerecorded every Tuesday, and made available Wednesday. You can listen here or find us on Stitcher,  iTunes, or Google Play. If you have any questions for the show, email us at, or you can find us on Twitter: @ArcaneAnalysis, @Phaerixia, @Allayva, and @Ktjnwow.

Take a look at World of Warcraft: Legion‘s two launch raids in our continuing recap of this year’s BlizzCon. The two raids, Emerald Nightmare and Grand Palace of Suramar, will feature 7 and 10 bosses respectively and explore the new and returning threats in Legion: Lord Xavius, Gul’dan and the Nightborne. Emerald Nightmare Launching a couple weeks after Legion begins similar to Highmaul in Warlords of Draenor, Emerald Nightmare will be the first in-depth journey players have into the Emerald Dream. The raid has 7 bosses and culminates with a fight against Xavius. Quick recap: the Emerald Dream has been a popular fan theory for either an entire expansion or a major content patch for years. In essence, it’s a parallel dimension that mimics Azeroth as a sort of “blue print.” Some lore originally said that the dimension only echoed the original Azeroth–pre-Sundering, when the world was one landmass around the Well

Hellfire Citadel has been out for some time now and I would like to give my first impressions on it. The first night I began progress on Hellfire Citadel we started in Heroic, as this was the difficulty my guild was clearing in Blackrock Foundry. After many failed attempts at Hellfire Assault we decided to go down to normal and were able to clear the first few bosses. We were stuck in a difficulty limbo, because the first few bosses in normal felt too easy but were too hard in heroic. As we kept progressing the difficulty did ramp up. I am guessing that with the item level scaling with drops the bosses are also intended to get harder. The fights are all very different and have very interesting mechanics. I really like Gorfiend for example, using deaths as a an integral part of the fight was interesting and made sense

With patch 6.2 coming out next week we are saying goodbye to progression through Blackrock Foundry. This tier had its good and bad moments and with this article I would like to examine Blackrock Foundry and its impact in the game. Blackrock Foundry has very mechanic heavy fights. This is good because it leads to more interestingly designed encounters. It is very hard to just brute force yourself through this raid and you have to learn fights in order to progress. At the start this was very fun but it got very tiring, specially when you are stuck on a specific fight. The final bosses of wings were taxing when doing progression. Blackrock Foundry is non linear and this has not been the case for raids for over an expansion. It was refreshing to have options as to which bosses to do. Each wing had a dose of easy and hard fights so

Yesterday I began discussing the latest Dev Watercooler article here, specifically the changes to personal loot. Today I will cover the next two sections: secondary stats and the item level ramp. The section about secondary stats is very cryptic. It talks about how in the past specific loot would be more exciting because it might have been best in slot for your class and spec, and now with how loot works you generally just use whatever you get. Their response to this is making stat weights a bit more important towards your attuned stat. They are also panning on toying around with how the budget of stats on gear works, so that there are better pieces for the spec you are playing. First of all I think that improving attuned stats is a decent choice, but it leads to less diverse builds. For example I play Assassination and Combat rogue


Gruul is an interesting boss to look at. Back in Burning Crusade we met this ogre lord as Gruul the Dragon Slayer and he even had his lair as a raid instance. The alternate reality of Draenor was not good to him though and now he is a slave to the Iron Horde. As part of the torture he went through Gruul lost his hand and had it replaced by a hook. Mechanically this contributes to his ability Inferno Slice, which helps give contrast to how this alternate reality changed him. (Old School Gruul) Gruul is the closest to a Patchwerk fight we can find in BRF. The main mechanic that we have to be concerned about is Inferno Slice. This ability requires the tanks to position Gruul so that he hits stacked groups of players to split the damage. This ability also has a debuff that applies to all damaged players

 Since Mists of Pandaria came out Blizzard has moved away from specific legendary weapons to long quest based rewards that give everyone the chance to obtain a legendary item. One of the problems with this approach is how legendary items have stopped feeling legendary. Everyone had a cloak back in Mists and it simply became a raid requirement, it might as well been another epic. On the other hand having a quest that puts you on a journey, which rewards you a very powerful item, for the whole expansion is very cool. Now that we got a PTR for 6.2 we can start looking at the legendary rings that we will obtain next patch and their effects on raiding. Take into account that we are still in PTR and the rings we see now might change completely for when the patch goes live. The  DPS rings represent a huge cool down that increases your raid’s

I will start analyzing some of the specific fights from this tier and to begin we will look at everyone’s favorite goren: Oregorger. When you begin your journey through Blackrock Foundry Orgorger will be one of the first bosses you face. I personally have a love hate relationship with this venom spitting monstrosity. When Foundry was first released I was playing a Guardian Druid, while covering for my guilds main tank who was moving. Soaking the Acid Torrents as a bear sucks and me not being used to playing a tank made this fight more painful that what it should be. Now that I am back to being a melee DPS I enjoy the fight a lot more. Avoiding exploding shards and interrupting Blackrock Barrage requires some good coordination within the melee group. You want to stay apart from each other so the shards don’t hit multiple people but you also can’t be close

The biggest news to come out in the past few weeks has been the +5 iLvl increase to all Blackrock Foundry gear. This makes the gear drops much more rewarding and helps guilds progress by making everyone stronger. We have to try and analyze where we were coming from in order to properly understand this change: Highmaul has been out for almost four months now and guilds have been clearing and mastering it for quite some time. From what Blizzard devs have said, if you’re coming from doing normal Highmaul then normal BRF should be challenging. The same can be said about heroic and mythic modes. This leaves guilds at the heroic level in a very awkward position. Because you were clearing Highmaul in heroic, your item level was likely around 670 with a some Warforged drops and a couple of mythic pieces from garrison missions. You were not going to kill many heroic

One of the most important factors of raiding has always been progression. Killing bosses after practicing the mechanics and feeling accomplished as you improve. With the introduction of Mythic difficulty and raids scaling to the amount of players in all other difficulties, raiding has never been as accessible. LFR serves the purpose of showing people the overall story and gives decent gear to start doing normal raids. The addition of the group finder helps anyone find a party for basically any form of content. From my personal experience this is a really good tool to get into groups and help fill out your own raids. Blizzard designed two very good raid zones to form this tier. People have been asking for difficult fights and complaining that the top end content was too easy.  Just from looking at the world race we can see that this tier is a lot harder than recent tiers. The change