With the launch of Hammerknell, we’re going to begin covering it on a weekly basis, giving the community updates on rankings and world first as they happen. This first episode we interview Opi of Maximation, a guild with plenty of World Firsts, on his opinion of Hammerknell so far.
Enjoy the show! For the full interview transcript, please keep reading after the break.
Rift Junkies: A lot of bugs have surfaced with the release of Hammerknell. How would you compare this release to that of RoS and GSB in that respect?
Opi: Bugs are always relevant when you are on the bleeding edge of progression. People tend to easily attribute something they don’t understand on a fight, or something they can’t figure out as a bug. It is a fallback of sorts for when you are failing. Hammerknell has its fair share of bugs that shouldn’t have made it into release. Most of us understand why these bugs happen, and have dealt with them for a long time in other games.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone in the guild, and it is certainly a cause of frustration and annoyance for us. Consider a fight such as Matron, where the dispelling mechanic seemed intended. We viewed the add spawning as punishment for a slow dispel, apparently that is not the case though. Other bugs are present within the instance, some were hotfixed rather quickly, others still lurk. It makes progression difficult since we can’t really tell if the fight is bugged or working as intended.
We do feel that its unacceptable that every single boss that we’ve killed got some sort of an adjustment the first week of Hammerknell release. It feels like the raid designers were rushed by the corporate release date.
The previous tier of content had its fair amount of bugs, however those bugs trivialized the content. That is not really the case with Hammerknell, as the fights are still way more challenging then anything in GSB/RoS.
RJ: What kind of preparation did you before HK was released? How far in advance of release did you start farming?
OPi: Since we killed Alsbeth back in April, we’ve been raiding for ~4 hours a week. As a result, we were relaxed and prepared for Hammerknell. We’ve been farming since the world event started in 1.3.
RJ: How large of an emphasis is put on getting world first boss kills before Aklyios? Or is the full clear of HK your only goal?
Opi: Our goal is to get every single world first in any new instance. We take it one boss at a time. With that said, currently Akylios is the most important kill to us.
RJ: The release of HK has lead to tons of released videos and public live streams. Where do you stand on the release of information and strats RIGHT after content is released?
Opi: We hate it. Raiding is fun because you get to solve a puzzle. You pull a boss, learn the mechanics, adjust a strategy, and then you execute it. The execution part is actually the easiest and least mentally demanding aspect of learning a raid encounter (for most bosses). Skipping through steps makes the experience boring. Guilds that consider themselves competitive should enjoy raiding for the challenge and not resort to spoon-fed information that gets them purples.
RJ: And does this attitude change a month down the road after it no longer affects your progression?
Opi: Once the content is cleared, or the boss is more or less trivial (see: Murdantix), it really doesn’t matter. More casual guilds raid to simply see all the bosses and can’t put in the time to learn the fights from scratch. That is understandable. Expect to see our boss strats released on our website (www.maximation.us) when Akylios dies. We may even slowly release our strategies as more guilds clear the wing bosses. As a side note, a lot of our strategies are drastically different (and we feel easier/better) from those currently being publicized.
RJ: No new bosses have been killed in the past couple days, and hotfixes have buffed some of the first tier bosses. Are the current fights overtuned?
Opi: We want to be really careful with the word overtuned. After-all, Yogg0 was mathematically impossible! What we can say for sure is that Hammerknell encounters are very hard. Whether or not they are hard for the right reasons is up for debate. Trion decided to go down the path of making most fights 9+ minutes. There is no problem with having 9-15 minute boss fights.
However, when you have 11 bosses in the instance, and every single fight so far is at least 9 minutes long (including Vladmar), its worrisome. It unnecessarily eats away at our raid time when we spend 7 minutes perfectly executing one part of the fight just to see a new mechanic. Combine this with the fact that we simply don’t know what’s bugged and what’s working as intended (and so far the instance does not inspire confidence as bug free), it makes progression difficult. Our hope is that Trion is watching and continues to apply timely hotfixes to resolve any encounter issues.
Sicaron is an example of a fight that ended up being more or less perfectly tuned as purely an execution fight, I can’t say the same for some of the other bosses. Balancing raid encounters is a difficult task, especially with Rift’s diverse class customization. We don’t want to clear the raid zone in a day, but we also don’t want to bash our heads into bugged/unkillable encounters. The raid content in this game is improving significantly, and we look towards a brighter future.