Crazy WoW Cataclysm information is flowing now that the NDA is down and the coming expansion has entered closed beta.Â Â Coincidence that it comes right at the same time FFXIV announced their launch date (Sept. 30, $12.99/month)?Â Blizzard definitely has a way of deflating other people’s big announcements.
Ruby Sanctum was released yesterday but today was the first day for my realm since we just survived a 24 hour downtime without going too crazy from withdrawals.Â We went in tonight thinking we would rock it but learned quickly what it’s like to try a raid blind.Â It’s been a while since I didn’t know exactly what to expect because I’ve either read up on the fight or have someone present who has beaten it.Â The trash fights actually had some unique mechanics where the mobs buffed each other if they were too close.Â We ended up having to actually CC — sometimes I haven’t done in four years in WoW — with hibernate, sap, etc.Â The mini-bosses had mechanics that were also a bit unexpected and we wiped a few times learning them.
Halion himself was a tough experience.Â We’re admittedly not the best raiders and have no problem admitting we struggled a bit.Â The biggest problem came from having to actually rely on knowing when you have a debuff.Â No “Deadly Boss mods” addon to say “run away”.Â It required us to actually pay attention.Â Some people missed it entirely that they had the debuff and didn’t run away.Â It was all about communication at that point and we quickly realized how dependent we have become.Â This goes back to a why I hate these addons just as much as I like them.Â Overall though the fight is really fun and I’m glad they designed this raid the way that they did to be one big boss.
Some of the Cataclysm screenshots have me drooling though.Â Big Warcraft Lore fanboy here.Â I love Deathwing and all the story around him.Â Seeing his human form makes me speechless.Â Undead Onyxia, Troll Druid Bear form, and… you can just check them all out at MMO-Champion where they have a great compilation.
Cataclysm has to be around the corner.Â They’ve lowered the NDA, gone into Closed Beta, released Ruby Sanctum (last update), and have already prepared themselves to thwart FFXIV’s launch.Â My guess is August 31.