Raid Review 12: Master Artificer
Alternate names: MA
History: released in September of 2011 with update 11.
Level: heroic 19 – epic 22
Quest pack: Secrets of the Artificers
Flagging: There are 3 quests in the Cannith Manufactory that must be completed. After that you are flagged but must run through the Manufactory and the artificer workshop explorer areas which function something like a preraid quest.
Objective: Stop and arrest the rogue artificer Toven
Overview: Toven is trying to turn all warforged into mindless automatons. Venture into his workshop and stop him and his followers. He has a nasty trap/puzzle and a pair of beefy titans prepared to stop you.
What’s really going on: the trash on the way to the boss fight is mostly trivial but the boss fight is a 5 phase ordeal. The first 2 phases are each a wave of trash mobs. The 3rd is a puzzle trap that on higher difficulties you should learn instead of healing through. The 4th phase starts with several magefire cannons but prominently features 2 titans that must be killed simultaneously. Doing so starts the 5th phase which involves attacking Toven himself – but he is perched so range and spells only.
Best raid features: the best use of a puzzle in a raid. Really, its not as complicated as you think it is. The crystals that power the puzzle give players sp back when struck. Ranged dps has an important role. The 2 titans are very different and posses some interesting special attributes (a null magic shield, a ranged big shot, and an electrical debuff).
Worst raid features: the bloom effect from striking the crystals is incredibly laggy. The green titan’s special function is barely noticeable. Unless you know one of 2 ways to tank the purple Titan you end up chasing him around the room. Lack of reason to keep running it. The room is big enough and plays an important role with the puzzle avoiding the 1 room problem, but is visually unappealing.
Prominent builds/Key roles: tanks are critical to take the brunt of the Titan attention. A ranged character can dual the purple Titan in a ranged match (really quite fun) but generally will lack the hit points to survive a big shot unless they are near full health. Ranged is also critical for defeating Toven at the end.
Tanks will get batted around, high balance for them (and melee) is highly desirable. The green tank will also benefit from twitch blocking skills.
How we used to run it: mostly just on heroic normal, maybe hard. We figured out pretty quick that you got a large selection of alchemical weapons every 5 completions and that was far more reliable than looting the chests to get the ones you wanted (though the drop rate was quite respectable).
We learned pretty quick that while epic was fun and very challenging, you didn’t get anything special that you couldn’t get from the 5th end reward list or from running Lord of Blades (which you needed to run more to get spirits for crafting anyways).
How we run it now: pretty much we don’t. Alchemical crafting was unfortunately short lived.
Why we used to run it: it was the only place to get alchemical weapons for alchemical crafting. Also, the Toven’s hammer and a piece for finishing it dropped here.
Why we run it now: sadly we mostly don’t. Alchemical crafting was only marginally better than greensteel for melee when it came out (recent changes to increase base damage have helped). There are some neat effects you can get but it can take many runs to make them. Caster items became nearly obsolete with the changes to spell power. You can give a 1 hander 2 +90 elements for spell power, but generally speaking most casters won’t use any of the possible combinations (1 and only 1 of them has to be fire, cold, electric, or acid while the pairing options are negative, positive, laceration, impulse, sonic, and light). While you can get superior lore in the same combinations, most players have opted to pursue +120 1 handers or the new double effect staffs instead. They are widely available, easier to acquire, and most folks don’t use a wide enough range of spells to merit the alchemical caster sticks.
Even tower shield and handwraps, 2 types of alchemical weapons that were widely popular and missing from greensteel are essentially obsolete with the new weapons (though I still use a tower shield for my tank).
Notable loot: Toven’s hammer (rune arm), alchemical weapons. No tomes.
What you need to know: you cannot damage the final boss with a melee weapon. The 2 titans must go down together to maximize the time the final boss is vulnerable. If you don’t defeat Toven while both titans are down he will revive them and his shield will go back up.
The purple Titan is a ranged foe, but if you let him use his big shot and then immediately close to melee he won’t run away. His null magic shield prevents spells lower than 7 from taking affect (including buffs on the melee). This shield goes down when the Titan is about 25%.
The green Titan is built for melee and does more damage. It’s attacks do electrical damage and it has a stacking debuff that makes you more vulnerable to force and electrical attacks – and this stacks up to 20 times. If you move around before the Titan reuses this debuff it will miss and clear your stack.
If you run this harder than normal, when you die you will acquire a debuff that prevents you from accepting a raise for up to 2 minutes.
There is also an optional side task. The chest that this grants is the one that drops 1 of the pieces necessary to upgrade Toven’s hammer.
Best way to fail: suck with ranged attacks. Not understand how the electric puzzle/trap works.
Bonus Tidbits: the Titans are named Ronny and Margie.
Personal favorite moment: after failing miserably during the electric puzzle I stayed in as a ghost to learn the puzzle. Since then I have never died in the puzzle and typically lead the party through flawlessly (except those who cannot listen/lag out).