The patch is now two days old. I've done some raiding, I did a few dailies also, and I haven't written a post in over a week. That means it's time for me give my first impressions of this patch.
"Oh my god there is a lot of trash" was my first impression of the Firelands instance. It actually wasn't so bad when I got past Shannox, but it seemed like we were killing trash forever just to get him to spawn. Combine that with the Starfall buff that was causing it to hit trash not in combat and it got hairy at times. Unfortunately for me I discovered this sad fact when we were standing near the death turtles. That was not a good time.
All in all none of the trash packs weren't too bad on there own, and they dropped lots of patterns for us, but the quantity of them was overwhelming. I didn't count at the time, but we killed at least a dozen packs of trash (and probably more) before Shannox spawned. I'm glad that they increased the respawn rate on that center trash to four hours, but that's not enough in my opinion. They need to thin it out a little bit and have Shannox spawn more quickly. As it is, I think it's worse then the BoT trash, which is not a the way you want to start an instance in my opinion.
Going in to the night I thought Shannox would be the easiest boss we tried. Turned out he was the most difficult of the three we attempted. The fact that all of the mobs are now untauntable threw us for a little bit of a loop like most guilds. We also used only two tanks when it sounds like a lot of guilds were using 3 or 4. However, none of that really impacts me directly.
From my perspective, I had this vision of multi doting nirvana going into the fight. Yes, there is a strong don't stand in the fire element, but that generally isn't a problem for me so I wasn't expecting big issues. It didn't work out that way. First off, the traps are tiny. When one was put directly on me I could barely see the teeth around my feet. If a trap is put in front of me, I might not see it at all due to being an overweight moonkin. As a result I got trapped a lot more then I like to admit. Second, my guild is very heavy on DoT classes. We have two moonkin, two shadow priest, and four warlocks. Not all of them were in raid at the same time, but having so many multi-doters meant we didn't have as many people consistently on Rageface as we thought and it made Face Rage a little more difficult then expected. You wouldn't think getting a 30k hit on him with an increased crit rate would be that difficult, but with only a couple DD classes, range issues, and traps it proved to be more difficult then expected.
All in all, I thought it was a good fight, but not quite what I expected going in.
As a moonkin I found this fight to be quite annoying, and lot simpler then I expected. Our biggest problem of the night was accidental pulls. Without those we would have had him down in just two or three pulls. After that the big issue was multi-dotting the legs. We thought that doting both legs would increase the damage without making the boss harder to turn. We were wrong. Once we stopped doting the legs the fight was easy. My job was just to kill the adds, and once his shell came off it was a simple tank and spank.
As add dps I found the fight to be quite boring. I had quite a bit of down time waiting for adds to spawn, and the burn phase didn't feel all that threatening. On the other hand, the GM of my guild (who is also a moonkin) really liked the fight. He was helping with the steering of the boss and I can see how that could be a lot of fun.
After reading a few strats and looking at the boss abilities I thought this one would be hard. The fight has two levels with lots of adds. I though the coordination of the fight would cause a lot of headaches, and it did until we realized a couple things.
Our first issue was controlling the Drones and the Spiderlings. We didn't organize our efforts much at the start. The spiderlings were getting to the drone, and all hell was breaking lose. To fix this we started trying to control the Spiderlings from their spawn point, and Moonkin are pretty well designed for this. With the typhoon knockback and Fungal Growth we can slow down the spiders quite a bit. The problem then became DPS on the spiderlings. Since I was starting at zero power my mushrooms, typhoon, dots and hurricane were weak, and there is no good way to get to solar quickly. As a result I had a hard time getting my set of spiderlings down in time. I'm sure with more practice I could get it, but it wasn't obvious to start.
Then we realized the second important fact. DPS on Beth'tilic doesn't matter in the first stage of the fight. Once we left all of the DPS on the ground and only sent a tank and a few healers into the web it was easy. The second stage was once again a simple tank and spank.
First of all, there is a nice discussion going on at EJ regarding Lunar Shower. I suggest you check it out if you haven't already.
Originally I had expected to keep Lunar Shower since, I didn't have a good idea of what to spend the talent points on, but after realizing that Shannox would be a first boss of the night I ended up dropping it to improve my multi dot potential.
Obviously I can't make any lasting conclusions based on three normal bosses, but the impression I got from my first night of Firelands raiding was that using or dropping LS didn't really matter a ton. Not having it on Shannox made multi doting easier, but Shannox was more about control and personal responsibility rather then DPS so multi-doting wasn't critical and may have caused a little tunneling. On Lord Rhyolith, the fragments can be dotted, but they don't last that long, so dotting might not be ideal. Other then those adds the fight is completely single target. Beth'tilic has plenty of mobs that can be dotted, but my role in the fight was centered around control rather then DPS. On the other hand having Lunar shower to proc Solar Eclipse in the beginning could have helped. At this point I'm still up in the air.