Individual performance does matter

We’re chatting in my guild forums about killing the Lich King last night, and the question was asked how tough that fight is relative to others in WoW history. I haven’t killed every boss (didn’t do much Black Temple, for example, and no Sunwell at all, since my casual guild at the time was behind on progression).

I answered the reason it’s a hard fight is because it’s a Type C in Tobold’s classification. To recap, saving you to follow that link, Tobold’s system is basically this:

  • Type A: challenging the strongest. Example is tank and healers, everyone else could screw up and it doesn’t matter so much (Patchwerk)
  • Type B: challenging the average, where everyone needs to pull their weight, for example due to enrage timers or to stay alive (Heigan)
  • Type C: challenging the weakest, where one person can wipe the raid, for example flame wreath in Kara, the Bomb on Geddon, or Thaddius or the Lich King himself.

Type C fights put pressure on every individual raider.

An individual can wipe the raid, even if the rest of the team was doing well. Most wipes in LK are because an individual makes a mistake, and the mechanics of LK are designed such that most mistakes have a catastrophic impact.

Here are the tasks in the LK fight which require faultless execution, since there is very little margin for error, and will lead to a wipe:

  • dropping defiles away from the middle
  • others moving away from defiles, so they stay small
  • positioning yourself for Valkyr pickup so your exit path doesn’t cross a defile nor be too short
  • killing/healing/interrupting in the Frostmourne room
  • not failing once on a Soul Reaper (tank or healer)
  • moving quickly enough with Necrotic Plague to get debuffed near the ghouls
  • moving on or off the edge for transition phases.

There might be others I could add such as poorly handling a raging spirit by being silenced and unable to taunt, moving the spirits poorly from the edge to centre phase and silencing healers, or kiting vile spirits over healers and getting them killed.

However the point here is not to compile a list, but to show how many opportunities to fail there are, thus to explain why it’s a tough fight: individual performance does matter.

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1 comment to Individual performance does matter

  • Gloom

    I can’t think of a tougher fight in Wrath certainly (perhaps Firefighter – but that’s it).
    I didn’t play much TBC at level so can’t really comment on them.
    In vanilla, C’thun was probably the most type C fight encountered, mainly because any individual mistake was fatal to that individual (6K health being typical) and probably several others. The raid would be killed by attrition, however even with that fight, there were no examples of any single person being responsible for a wipe due to a single mistake.
    In my experience, Lich King is the hardest fight in WoW, by quite a margin.

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