We took a break last week to cover the Lunar Festival, but this week, we'll finish our preliminary look at the Glory of the Cataclysm Hero, rewarding the Volcanic Stone Drake. More extensive strategy guides will be done on a dungeon-by-dungeon basis; here, I'm just interested in a quick assessment of the general difficulty level of the achievements required.
As with our first article, I've organized the meta according to dungeon and boss for quick reference past the cut. This week, we're covering the Lost City of the Tol'vir through the Vortex Pinnacle.
By happy contrast to Halls of Origination loot, Seliza's Spear did drop for me, so I have nothing but hearty praise for this instance. Except for the croc boss. Screw that guy.
General Husam No achievement.
Lockmaw and Augh
- Acrocalypse Now God, I hate this encounter, and the achievement just adds another level of misery. If you're a warrior tank, then Vigilance will make this slightly easier, as you can keep taunting adds off the focused person whenever he/she is hit (which will be often). However, that still doesn't solve the problem of surviving 20 of them, and a lot of early groups simply evade-bugged them as a means of getting around the issue. Blizzard's fixed that, and you may be best off kiting the bastards. Difficulty: Medium to high, although that could just be the nuisance of trying to tank against the focused person's huge threat lead talking.
- Kill It With Fire! Fortunately, it's like Rat Pack in The Deadmines in that you don't have to do it all at once. Any player getting the Burning Soul debuff should try to position himself close to a fire patch left by the phoenix spawned in phase 1, and the resulting Soul Fragment should then be taunted through the fire. A little bit of a hassle to coordinate, but not really tough to do unless you're trying to get all three done at once. Difficulty: Easy if you're doing it one by one, your DPS is good, and your tank doesn't yank the add out of the fire too early.
- Headed South This is widely considered the most difficult achievement (at least at current levels of gear) required for the meta and will require a great deal of coordination and DPS from your group. The difficulty is such that you may want to try getting this for one or two players at a time rather than the full group. Difficulty: High, and probably going to stay high until we're in the next tier of raid content or even further.
Neeeeeeeeeeerfed. Shadowfang, like its earlier counterpart The Deadmines, has made a reappearance in Cataclysm as an unusually deadly heroic. However, players had mixed reactions to the bosses, more particularly to the first and third. Springvale with three melee DPS is still a slum.
- Pardon Denied Absolutely the last achievement I would want to try with a PUG, given that the tank's health is so low post-Asphyxiate, but doable as long as you've got good interrupters and a cavalier attitude toward DPS players' health. Any health pots or self-healing abilities that a tank can pop will also help here; Ashbury's damage is actually very low once his cast abilities are out of the equation. Difficulty: Medium to high, depending on group composition and the DPS/tank's self-healing capacities.
- To the Ground! One of the few achievements made substantially easier by the presence of an off tank or by running away like a scared little girl. If you have the ability to crowd-control both undead adds as the fight starts, you may want to do that while the tank starts to kite Springvale back to the courtyard. With good DPS, he'll die before the next set of adds (spawned every 45 seconds) ever reach you. If you can't crowd-control the adds, then tanking them out of Springvale's LoS is the best way to handle it. Difficulty: Easy to medium, depending on group composition.
- Bullet Time This can be an extremely buggy achievement, and you may find yourself wiping and resetting the boss several times before you get all 12 kills you need. Otherwise, it's just a matter of your tank getting the adds in front of Godfrey for each Pistol Barrage. Difficulty: Easy, assuming the achievement doesn't bug out and your tank or healer blows a cooldown for each Barrage.
Stonecore is not a particularly PUG-friendly dungeon, mostly because three of the four bosses have abilities that will one-shot a player who's not paying attention.
Corborus No achievement.
Slabhide No achievement.
Ozruk No achievement.
High Priestess Azil
- Rotten to the Core If you're willing to suicide your way into this achievement, it's pretty easy, because there are exactly 60 adds parked in front of Azil. The catch is that she has to be on the ground when they die, because you won't get credit for this achievement if it happens before the encounter formally begins. Pop tank and healer cooldowns to survive in the interim. Difficulty: Fairly easy if you're willing to suicide it, fairly difficult if you're not. However, a frost mage can singlehandedly nix the difficulty with Ring of Frost.
Throne is one of the easier heroics, or at least it is until you get to the multiple gilgoblin pulls on the way to Mindbender Ghur'sha. God, I hate those things.
- Old Faithful I actually got this completely by accident while healing a tank who couldn't have found his way out of a paper bag if paid a living wage to do so. If you're someone who's actually trying to get this on purpose, it's probably easiest to leave the melee add at fairly low health after Naz'jar's phase 2 (kiting the caster mobs gets hairy) and make sure your tank gets it over to a Geyser in time. Difficulty: Easy to medium, depending on your tank's gear and where Naz'jar decides to spawn a Geyser (it wouldn't pay for players to be hugely spread out, in other words). One of the Wowhead commenters pointed out that you can also do this with a priest using Mind Control to send an add into Geyser, and that's something I'd love to try the next time I'm in a group wanting this achievement.
Mindbender Ghur'sha No achievement.
- Prince of Tides Easy, easy, easy. The Unyielding Behemoth is the largest Faceless-type mob that spawns during the first phase of the Ozumat encounter, and all you have to do is keep it alive until Ozumat buffs you with Tidal Surge. The tank can simply keep it tanked until that point, or -- assuming you can debuff it with a speed penalty like Hamstring or Infected Wounds -- just kite it. As long as the DPS isn't hitting it in the meantime, you can easily kill it after getting Tidal Surge. Difficulty: Fairly easy, as long as your tank and healer are decently geared.
Interestingly, there's an achievement here that's not actually linked to a boss but to the zone itself:
- Extra Credit Bonus Stage You guys are on your own on this one; I extracted a promise from a guildie to show me how he did this, but I haven't been able to go yet. Wowhead commenters have plenty of advice on offer, though. Difficulty: Hell if I know, but if it's apparently soloable by a few classes, it can't be that bad.
Altairus No achievement.
- No Static at All Easy, easy, easy -- as long as you're watching Asaad's casts religiously (so healers will need to /focus Asaad for this in order to keep an eye on him). How do you beat Static Cling? Jumping before he finishes! It's that simple. As an aside, this is also how you avoid the Quake attack from Crystalspawn Giants in Stonecore. Difficulty: Easy, if you can find your space bar, which -- judging from the average WoW player I see idling around the cities -- is not one of the game's more difficult tasks.
Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on Azeroth's holidays and special events, including new achievements, how to get 310% flight speed with achievement mounts, and Cataclysm reputation factions and achievements.