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Raid Review 13: The Lord of Blades

Raid Review 13: The Lord of Blades

Alternate names: LoB

History: released in September of 2011 with update 11.  There were some minor tweaks to prevent players from “marking” LoB in an unintended fashion.

Level: heroic 20 – 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 research facility explorer areas which function something like a preraid quest.

Objective: stop The Lord of Blades from using the creation forge to his advantage.

Overview: The Lord of Blades has reached the creation forge to use its secrets to his advantage.  Stop him.  This will entail fighting The Lord of Blades through 5 phases and damaging the forge so he can’t use it.

What’s really going on: duel The Lord of Blades, the most dynamic raid boss in the game.  He’s such a boss you can’t actually defeat him, so you need to break his toys instead.

Best raid features:  LoB is everything you like to see in a raid boss.  He is mobile, very dynamic, and a beast.  His special attacks are avoidable, but deadly.  He demands a good tank on harder difficulties and those with quick reactions will do the best.  The hounds and the trash mobs break up the fight rather nicely and add some great dynamics.  The forge buff is a neat piece as well allowing players to float above the water and get some extra bonuses – and LoB is smart enough to claim the buff for himself.

Also, the room is visually stunning.

Worst raid features: the arena style room is very reminiscent of other raids (DQ, Abbott, VoD).  The final phase is a bit of a sudden ramp up in difficulty.  Also, the optional of “marking” the LoB is not indicated in the quest objectives until you do it the first time.

Prominent builds/Key roles: the big thing is a tank, you need at least 1 (a backup was and still is fairly common) to take on LoB.  Some self sufficient kiting is also very helpful to keep the dogs occupied as well as the quori (high saves help here and you’ll need some help with flesh to stones and stuns).  Also required is some ranged dps.

How we used to run it: true tanks were not nearly as prevalent and with only the one epic difficulty this was no easy raid to complete on epic.  Groups running on normal and sometimes hard could get away with some lackadaisical play, but not on epic.  If you ran epic you needed a solid tank and players who could listen and knew what was going on.

No one ran elite, the difficulty/benefit ratio was never there.  The drop rate on hard was sufficient.

How we run it now: tanking is far easier and builds are more prevalent.  The changes to player defense and the general epic changes make this raid far easier than it used to be.  Casual and new players are far more welcome to tag along for epic runs and they tend to be much less tyrannical runs.  However 2 things are the same.  No one runs elite and poorly organized/led or groups with poor party structure still get owned.

Why we used to run it: Alchemical weapons were pretty good especially for casters and monks, but challenge was really the driving force for the power gamer crowd.  This was the raid they had been asking for in terms of a boss fight and the loot was worth running.

Why we run it now: mostly we don’t.  It’s less challenging than it used to be and the loot was quickly outdated.

Notable loot: crafting bits for alchemical weapons.  The second of 2 pieces to upgrade Toven’s hammer

What you need to know: LoB is a very dynamic boss and has several special attacks.  Learn them so you know how to avoid them, because they will kill you.  There are optionals that open the chest for the crafting spirits (which is easy) and for “marking” LoB. That entails reducing the LoB to 0 health 2 or 3 times and gives a chest for each of those milestones.  Those chests are where the Toven’s hammer piece drops.

There is a death timer of up to 2 minutes on difficulties harder than normal.

That blue goo hurts.  So does dog poo.

Best way to fail: get LoB to switch aggro right as he’s doing a whirlwind attack.  He’ll dice up the whole party no problem.

Bonus Tidbits: the quori you encounter during the last phase of the boss fight are the same faction that you fight in the inspired quarter quest chains.  The second of those quest chains ties in with the Stormreaver campaign arc.

This is also the first raid where you don’t have to reduce the raid boss to 0% (though it is an optional to do that multiple times).  In fact you cannot win by doing so, you must perform a different task.

Personal favorite moment: I had a PUG that was continually failing to listen or follow directions of any kind.  I finally became so fed up with him that I sent the following tell: “please pull the lever under the platform.”  30 seconds later *ding*

For those keeping track, there is no such lever.