Beth'tilac was made available earlier this week Wednesday on the public test realms (PTR). The so-named Red Widow was scheduled to be tested by raiders on the PTR EU servers and NA servers. Players were in for a treat. This is the first chance for players to get into the new instance and not only tackle a new encounter but explore some of the terrain and visuals for Firelands without having to stress about trash encounters.
Not much information is known about the bosses. The new encounter journal was not made available; therefore, most of the pulls were done with a guess-and-check mentality.
An intricate web of strategy
The staging area was divided into two halves split by a large spiderweb. Beth'tilac hatches quite a sizable sum of spiders of varying types. Naturally, it falls to the raid to deal with them accordingly. After watching a few guilds tackle this encounter, I felt that in order for a raid group to succeed, they would need to control the spiders on the ground and handle Beth'tilac up top. She sits there above the spider web while her spider minions do her bidding.
There are three spider types:
Big These 3 million-health spiders are no slouch. Melee swings for 60k on a tank? Definitely needs to get watched, and they interact with the smaller spiders.
Medium This is the interesting spider. These adds descend from the spider web above the raid. When you kill them, any player can interact with their spider web, which drags them up above where they can then challenge Beth'tilac directly.
Small Lots of these guys come out. They appear to get consumed by the big spider, which buffs them.
Beth'tilac has an energy bar. When her bar reaches 0, she'll channel into a large blast nova (Smoldering Devastation
), which devastates players above the webbing. She also has an ability in which pools of fire burn into her webbing. Naturally, standing in fire is bad; however, when her energy gets low, that's the cue for players above her web to sneak through a hole and drop back down to the bottom.
It seems the trick here is that Beth'tilac needs to be challenged by someone, or else she'll gradually rain fire upon the group down below. This fight will be a constant tug of war between DPS on Bethi'lac and DPS on her spider kids.
Unfortunately, I had a few players in my party who had to leave the raid to attend their own raids, and we couldn't get far enough to check out what phase 2 looked like. From what I've been able to tell, the encounter is incredibly buggy going into that second phase. There's an awesome wipe mechanic that happens toward the end of the encounter that completely crushes raids and prevents them from actually completing it.
Anyway, the coordination demands of the encounter are going to be fun to execute. I'm not sure what the exact boss order is or if there will be one, but I bet Beth'tilac will be one of the first bosses for guilds and raid groups to take down.
The news is already rolling out for the upcoming WoW Patch 4.2! Preview the new Firelands raid, marvel at the new legendary staff, and get the inside scoop on new quest hubs -- plus new Tier 12 armor!