Drowned halls is Rift’s second Sliverm or 10-man raid. It is designed to be a little easier than Gilded Prophecy, to better facilitate those people stumbling over the obvious gap between Tier 2 Expert gear and many of the bosses in Gilded Prophecy. While I can tell you it achieves this goal, the DPS checks are a little lighter, but with less damage going around, further, mechanically a few of the fights can be much more unforgiving.
Like Gilded Prophecy, the gear you will see in the Drowned Halls is on par with most items from GSB and RoS, with some select items even being best in slot for certain callings and roles (I’m looking at you, The Cold Heart!)
Composition is pretty forgiving for the most part. The major restriction is to make sure you have at least two people capable and willing to interrupt, and maintain an interrupt rotation. Bards and Archons, as always, are quite great, but not mandatory with a decently well-geared group; possibly with exception given to a couple of bosses, but this will be explained later. To be prepared you should have a Rogue and/or Mage ready to be a buff-bot to give you enough of an edge on those fights you would otherwise fall behind on.
Upon entering you will be at the base of a respectably large staircase (you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!), the trash here is pretty strait-forward and has the special ability of dying soon after being pulled. Make your way up the stairs and clear everything you can around the boss in the center of this open area. Make absolutely sure that while doing so you do not miss some of the patrolling packs of trash, and you’ll be fine.
Ready yourself, for you now face Assault commander Jorb, and he is just itching to cleave you.
Assault Commander Jorb
This fight requires one tank and your best bet is tanking him where he stands. Prepare yourself, noble tank; this fight rests almost entirely on your shoulders!
The boss does only two things, and both are prefaced by a very noticeable emote. Both will be randomly targeted at raid members, so stay alert!
First, he will announce “, stand at attention!”, and that is the scary one! On saying this he will immediately teleport this person directly in front of him and proceed to cleave a few moments later, one shotting most non-plate players. The way this avoided is rather easy, but difficult to get just right. The tank, on seeing this message will, very quickly spin the boss around 180 degrees, essentially running through him. In doing so the victim of this ability will not be hit by the cleave. The trick here comes for my lovely melee DPS compatriots. You, like the tank, will, with no hesitation, have to run through the boss to be safe. This is the only real mechanic to the fight of any real consequence, if you master this, the fight is yours.
Secondly, as a minor annoyance, he will also often call out “you cannot hide!” The targeted player will then, for a short duration be feared. Do note, that while it’s a really short duration, if you get the right amount of bad luck, you can run in front of the boss and be cleaved. this is pretty rare, and I’ve only seen it once personally, but be aware.
It should also be noted that these abilities are fairly reliably used in an alternating fashion, occasionally he will choose to be annoying and do one twice in a row.
Jorb is really a pushover, and by the time your tank and melee master the one fearful mechanic, you should have him dead in the time it took you to read this strategy for him.
There’s some notable trash as you head toward the next boss (TIP! Go to the left of the base of the big stairs (I told you that you hadn’t seen anything yet) and not up them). There will be a large deep one and a caster. It’s recommended to have two tanks and pull them apart. The caster will have a pulsing AoE around it (denoted by the big bubble), the melee one gives the melee DPS something to do while the ranged whittles away at the caster. If you’re a melee DPS and bored, your healer might not love you for it, but you can run in and take a couple of hits of this safely as you nuke him a bit, and run back out.
Ah… this is your first true taste of fun in here. This boss has had several viable strategies developed for it for people of varying gear levels. For the sake of reaching everyone though, we’re going to go with the “safe” strategy.
The fight will require two tanks, and I would highly recommend at least a bard. There are some minor DPS checks in here as to not get overwhelmed, a lot of stop-go kiting action for the tanks, and a lovely AoE silence focused on players for the casters to deal with.
On pulling the boss there will be a large deep one, and the boss himself. The offtank will grab the deep one, and the main tank the boss. The main tank should immediately pull the boss out of the central water (being in the water gives him a damage buff) to the left of where the raid entered, and the off-tank to the right of the pool looking from the entrance.
Now, this is a very add heavy fight. The Adds the main tank has to worry about are the sea caps. You are warned of these coming when the emote sounds that he calls for creatures from the sea. Now to know where these buggers spawn, looking from the entrance of the room, imagine a Y. To the left of the base of this Y, and also to the left of the entrance, will be the first spawn location, always. On this emote sounding, shortly after you will see what looks like a pouch of eggs spawn in this location, denoting they will shortly come from this place. The second spawn will be the same, located at the top left line of this Y, on the left side of the door to the next room. Finally, the third spawn will be on the right line of the Y, on the right side of the doorway leaving to the next room.
For the main tank it is very important to get a feel for the pacing and locations of these spawns, as the buff him greatly, healing him some, and increasing his damage output; therefore, your job as the main tank is to be kiting the boss away from these while your DPS eliminate them. they spawn three at a time and will always take the most direct path to the boss (So don’t kite too fast!).
Now, as the off-tank your job (This is Ragetide, not jorb!) is entirely to pick up the large deep ones as they occasionally spawn. Later in to the fight more than one will be up at any given time, but two will not spawn simultaneously, and will always be staggered by some margin. The best method is to have this add tanked following the boss at a distance of about one third to half of the room. While these adds you hold will almost always be the top-priority, note that when the sea caps spawn, all DPS will switch to them. It should be noted that your adds will also eat the sea caps and gain the same buff as described earlier. That said, don’t make a huge fuss over trying to avoid them, absorbing a few will actually benefit the raid, and this mob hits relatively softly. This depends heavily on how much you, as the tank, can mitigate, and how potent your healers are. Use your own discretion after trying a couple. Your adds will always spawn from the stairs you came down, or directly in the pool, grab them quickly as your precious cloth wearers will not take these hits well.
There is one alternate strategy to this, as shown in the video. The deep ones don’t do all that much damage, and have the ability of eating the sea caps, like the boss himself does. A decent way to let the DPS spend more time on the boss is to simply let the off-tank drag the deep one around and gobble them up. Of course this means that you should really only allow one deep one to be alive at any given time, more are pointless extra damage on the off-tank.
You will mostly be standing in the center of the room. Pay attention to when the large deep one adds spawn, as this is the only time your offtank should be taking damage.
There should be no major bursts of damage on either of the tanks, with the exception of the deep one being on the main tank, or either tanks adds eating one too many sea caps.
Keep an eye out for this and be prepared. Otherwise, the damage should be pretty predictable.
General Rules for All!
All ranged should be staying somewhat spread out in the center pool. Keep Line of site on your mind at all times, and be prepared to switch to any and all adds that spawn quickly.
All melee should follow the same rules as the casters with adds, they take precedence over everything. Keep an eye out for the sea cap adds, and make sure to alert your tank if he is going too fast or slow in the kite pattern, it’s hard for him to see the whole room properly.
When you see the emote that the boss glares at someone, it is that persons responsibility to get away from you very quickly, and you them. this debuff will silence you and everyone around you in a small radius, further, it immobilizes you.
With all the time spent on adds, this becomes a rather slow fight, but predictable and easy none the less. Mastering the AoE silence, the kiting patterns, and killing the adds quickly are the keys to victory.
Or the reason I cried myself to sleep when Drowned Halls came out
This fight is a series of carnival-esque mini-games, which are quite easy and have very predictable patterns. The absolute most important thing is your interrupt rotation, above all else, messing this up will get your tank one shot, and the raid dead in record time.
For the entire fight you will need a solid interrupt rotation of 2-3 reliable people. When I say rotation, I mean rotation! The spell you are interrupting is Ice Shard, which will be cast at the person with the highest threat (presumably the tank, or you have bigger problems…) the lovely little attribute of this is that he casts it entirely randomly. We have had four cast in one phase, back to back in the past. One cast after another. Other times we have gone an entire phase with only one.
The boss has three phases, going from phase one to two, back to one, then to three.
This is your interrupt phase, and where you begin the fight. For this phase, I recommend you have a set rotation of playerA > playerB > playerC, all of these peopel having macros announcing they have interrupted in a fashion similar to this:
raid I just interrupted, PlayerB, you’re up!
The trick here is to be absolutely consistent! For us, we chose to follow the rule that no matter where we end in phase one we restart the rotation upon returning to the phase. For example if playerB interrupted last in phase 1, and we then went to phase 2, and came back, playerA, not playerB would be first.
You can choose to do this or not, but no matter what, just be consistent, you cannot afford to miss and interrupt here.
This is the easier of the two mini games. Isskal will announce he’s casting Whirl of Death. Essentially, you are now in a giant flushing toilet bowl. To avoid taking damage you must run with the current at all times. There’s only one hitch here, there are sea caps that spawn which really enjoy slowing you; if you are not running fast enough, even if going the right direction, you will take damage. These adds have very little health and can be taken down with some instant ranged, or melee attacks following up a well timed charge. further, this being the giant toilet bowl it is, you do NOT want to know where those things were!
Halfway through this phase, the direction of the swirl will change, (much like taking an international tour of toilets and going from the United states to Australia!) and you must run the other direction. This is denoted by the swirl on the floor momentarily disappearing.
the room will be broken in to three sections, Center, where the boss is, middle, just outside of that, and the edge, or wall, one radial out from that. There will be one safe zone of these 3 at any given time. It will start with middle, edge, middle, center, middle, and edge once more. This pattern will be the same every time, but really you don’t even need to memorize more than the first move. The easier way to remember it is it always moves only one radial away from where you are, and never immediately in the direction it came from unless it’s in the center or at the wall.
High Priestess Hydriss
This fight, mechanically, has 3 core phases, and one intro phase, two of which are in the air, all of them involving some add slaying in some form. It requires one tank, and the normal amount of healers your group is comfortable with. For the DPs requirements I would recommend a bard and or archon.
Intro-phase, or Phase .5
When you defeat the previous boss and make your way down to the courtyard where Jorb previously was (Helpful hint: You can just run back through where you came instead of killing the extra annoying adds.) you’re going to see a few packs of adds worshiping the boss who is at the top of the stairs. As soon as these are engages she begins a slow decent to the bottom of the stairs. Whether these adds are dead or not she activates about the time she passes the torch on the ground near the adds. If any of our friends are still alive, she will convert them to a new type of add which can then be killed before focusing on her.
During this phase she will simply be on the ground, occasionally casting a conal AoE ability name Tidal Wave. For the most part she is tank and spank during this phase, but occasionally she will spawn a dragon add, which will run to her from the top of the stairs. This add has an aura of a few yards around it that reduces incoming healing
and damage output. The melee are mostly safe during this portion to stay in and DPS the dragon. As it dies it will curse 3 people with a nasty DoT, this is curable, but also can be healed through rather easily.
This will be her first air-phase that will happen a short way in to the initial phase one.
She will rise in to the air and spawn two large hives, one at the stairs where she spawned, and one at the top of the stairs where you initially entered the instance. Around these hives Deep ones will constantly be spawning. They have very low damage output, and little health, so you can safely AoE them while focusing on the hives. Both of these hives need to die as soon as possible, as her air phase is timed, and not ties to their deaths.
During this whole phase you will see little white circles on the ground when they erupt, with a geyser animation of sorts, they will do a little damage and knock anyone back that is on them. On their own, they aren’t very deadly, but they like to knock you in to other circle and create a trampoline effect.
After she comes back down, you will be back in phase 1, which will eventually transition to phase 3.
This is her secondary air phase which, for us, seems to begin normally around the 20% mark.
She will go in to the air and begin casting a long channeled ability. At the end of this ability she will explode a bomb and everyone not in the safe zone will die.
There are two ways to go about this phase, first, you can simply kill her before the cast goes off, and ignore the mechanic. This might be worth giving a try or two. If your raid’s DPS is high enough you’ll find it much easier than the alternative, this method usually works for us.
If your DPS is a little lacking you’ll have to turn your attention to the safe spot in the room. this safe spot will spawn with three adds. If any of these 3 adds reach the bubble, it is destroyed, and your plan gone awry. Some forms of CC/slowing abilities work on them, though there was a recent change made which stopped most out-right movement stopping abilities from working, and trivializing the mechanic. These adds have very little health, and can also easily be killed before there’s a problem with them.
After coming out of this phase the boss should be dead, or very near it, and in phase 1 again.
You have a few options as to where you would like to tank her, in the video we show a very convenient spot we have learned to love that is pretty much centered between all locations of interest during the fight; equally so, you can have a lot of success just tanking her where she activates.
The big job for you during this fight is going to be keeping her facing you, to avoid spraying the raid with her tidal wave. Secondly, you’ll need to get positioning just right with the dragon add that occasionally spawns from the stairs. As it will come from the top of the stairs, it most likely will be in a bit of an awkward position for the melee to safely attack if you don’t move back or to the side slightly to even things out.
Generally damage is pretty predictable in this encounter. there are a few major things you should look out for, though: when the dragon is up in phase 1, the tank is going to get hammered with damage. This is entirely due to the fact that he takes reduced healing from the aura, and has an additional mob attacking him. Further, when the drake dies, three random people in the raid will be given a curse that does a considerable amount of damage, it can be cleansed, or healed through, just be prepared in either case Additionally, throughout the phase she will randomly turn people in to sea caps, this is also dispellable, but lasts only a few seconds.
In the other portions of the fight damage should be very predictable.