World of Warcraft players can tackle the new Blackrock Foundry large-group raid dungeon today, but what they find inside might feel a little familiar.
The whole Warlords of Draenor expansion for the überpopular massively multiplayer online role-playing game carries the “everyone versus the evil orcs” theme, much like the last big dungeon in the previous expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
Players who made their way through Pandaria’s Siege of Orgrimmar large-group raid dungeon will recognize the scene in the new halls of Daenor’s Blackrock Foundry: many evil orcs, in an industrial-feeling environment, doing Very Bad Things.
Blackrock Foundry is the second big raid dungeon released for last fall’s Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft. It requires players to have armor at level 635 or higher to enter on Raid Finder difficulty (higher levels are left up to the discretion of the group, which usually requires much, much better gear).
This week, players can work on all bosses in Normal and Heroic difficulties for the new dungeon. Next week, überdifficult Mythic opens Feb. 10, and the week after, the first wing of the less-difficult Raid Finder difficulty opens Feb. 17, enabling players to find random groups to attack the first three new bosses.
Each week after that, three new bosses will open up on Raid Finder, until on March 24, that version of the final boss will launch.
Read on for our look of each of the new dungeon’s 10 bosses below.
Gruul, the not-so-Dragonkiller
Longtime players will recognize Gruul, a giant cyclops-like gronn. He was the climax of the small two-boss raid dungeon Gruul’s Lair in the Burning Crusade expansion. He was the top boss then, called Gruul the Dragonkiller. In Warlords’ alternative timeline, he’s a slave, a pawn of the Iron Horde orcs that are the enemies of this expansion.
The original Gruul fight was notable because he refused to drop the trinket everyone who killed him seemed to want (spoiler: It’s back) and because it was an early fight where many players routinely killed their characters by standing in Bad Things.
Players will have the choice of taking their 10-to-30 character raid groups to Gruul or Oregorger first; both must be slain to get to Blast Furnace.
Some of the fight is virtually the same as it was in Burning Crusade: Gruul petrifies a number of players in the raid, gradually slowing them to a stop, and then Shatters them, exploding them and damaging teammates that are standing near them.
Gruul attacks a large cone of players in front of him with Inferno Slice, which all players must split the damage of (so that it doesn’t kill the characters that are tanking him.) He also has Overhead Smash, which targets a random person and makes a line in the floor, knocking them back and causing damage.
The fun part is when Inferno Slice and Overhead Smash happen at nearly the same time, or when Gruul chains a bunch of smashes together for a Destructive Rampage. As a player, that tends to feel something like this: slice-smash-smash-smash-smash-squish-squish-stomp-ow.
He’ll also periodically cause high, stacking damage to players standing close to and in front of him (Overwhelming Blows), which is mostly to give tanks something to do, since they’ll have to trade off to keep stacks from getting to high and move Gruul after Inferno Slices so it doesn’t hit the raid.
Oregorger the Devourer
Oregorger is a goren, a new type of monster in the Warlords expansion that moves around by rolling up like a combination of a pill bug and a bowling ball. I was delighted to discover we’d be getting a goren boss; it almost (but not quite) makes up for the fact that we never did get a raid boss for Warcraft’s most iconic annoying monster, the Murloc.
You know if it’s a goren boss that he’s gonna rock and roll, and Oregorger lives up to that expectation. He launches spines and explosive shards, and he sprays acid at people that tanks must move to absorb. But when he runs out of mana, he will roll around the paths inside his area, looking for ore to eat and smooshing anyone he runs across.
Players have to stay out of his way and help him in this quest, crushing crates of ore to reveal the Oregorger-style buffet inside. This allows him to refill his mana and return to the first phase, which is way more manageable than a giant rolling wrecking ball.
The Blast Furnace
The final boss in the first wing of Blackrock Foundry is actually a multiple-mob fight: the Blast Furnace, featuring Foreman Feldspar and the Heart of the Mountain.
Your job is to release the Heart of the Mountain in order to kill it. You’ll do that by blowing up heat regulators next to the furnace with bombs that the trash mobs throw at random players and drop on the floor when they die. Players either take the bomb they’re thrown (or pick one up from the floor) over by the regulators, where they blow up. Anyone else standing around will also take heavy damage.
Foreman Feldspar is out and causing trouble during this phase, attempting to repair the regulators, dropping fire on the ground, and beating up on tanks.
In the second phase, you’ll be killing the primal elementalists that are keeping the Heart from attacking you (and other mobs that assist them). Yes, that does seem counterintuitive, but it’s difficult to loot something that’s still alive.
You’ll kill small slag elementals near the primals to remove their shields. Those small elementals randomly target a player, so their job is to go stand next to a primal and hope the rest of the group saves their bacon. Slag elementals explode when they die, taking down the primals’ shields and any players that happen to be standing nearby.
When the shields are down, you’ll attack the primals and get rid of a buff that heals them by purging or dispelling it.
Players with priest characters have an extremely fun tactic in this fight: Security Guard trash mobs that spawn throughout the battle can do huge damage to the smaller slag elementals, but only if mind controlled by a priest in the group.
The final phase is burning the Heart of the Mountain itself, which mostly consists of players staying out of fire and pouring as much damage into the boss as possible before his room-wide explosions kill everyone.