Whenever I clear Dragon Soul I keep thinking "before we knew how the fight would look, I had such cool ideas for it". We know how much of a letdown the fight actually was. And I felt I should share with you what Madness of Deathwing looked like in my head. I took many things that are in the actual fight, and a few that happen in other Dragon-Fights to patch this idea together.
Also, this fight will never happen or be made that way. Just disregard the voices in your head telling you "lol blizz is totally too greedy to put money into such an animation" or "I have seen this idea before this guy is totally shit" and imagine with me how cool it would have been, had this been the actual fight.Don't think of this as an actual "the designers should have made this instead", think of it as Fanfiction - but about a Raid instead of about Hermione's and Ginny's secret love life.
Before we begin, here are some things I thought worked in the actual version or that should have been in the fight:
- Actually fighting in the Maelstrom!
- Fighting Deathwing's scattered around bodyparts and his spilling insides.
- The bodyparts fighting back. At all.
- The aspect dragons helping you so hard that their energies deplete permanently.
- The hard-enrage 'Cataclysm' cast has to be stopped.
- Deathwing using the maelstrom to defend himself
- Having a little movement instead of a pure numbers fight
- Thrall does things
Here are the things that I thought should be left out:
- 80% fighting tentacles
- Hitting a passive, motionless Deathwing who does jack shit.
- Being so far away from Deathwing that he looks barely larger than a bronze drake mount
- Repeating the same action four times, of which 3 times could be done by your little sister
- Everything that could kill you is an Add
- Thrall killsteals, players barely get credit for the assist.
So. Time for the Guide to How Madness Should Have Been.
After defeating Spine, you land on the lower left Platform. Nozdormu is keeping you shielded from Deathwing, whose Head and some limbs are already sticking out of the water, by locally speeding up the time so much that you can go repair or plan your strategy. When you start, the time-bubble bursts and you need to cross to the main Platform.
Phase 1Team A: Deathwing's right Hand is almost intact and flails around. Similar to the Mutated Corruption, it needs to be tanked. You can't do much else against it though.
Sometimes, the Tentacle will intensify their attacks. One or two DSP need to burn him for a moment to reduce the intense Tank damage. A Healer keeps an eye on the team and stays with them.
Team B: Everybody else has to swap over to the right hand platforms and aid Thrall who is preparing himself on the small rock by fighting against a badly hurt wing.
Blood is spilling out from inside and building up Blisters on the Wing. Ranged DSP on the big right platform need to destroy them one after another. After being popped, the hot blood spills all over the platforms, forcing players to avoid the lava-like rain. After a few blisters have been destroyed, blood will have spilled on the same spots multiple times. These turn into blood-adds that need to be bombed.
Once all of the Blisters are destroyed, a single corrupted Earth Elemental like the ones from Spine spawns. The team weakens him, at which point Kalecgos shoots arcane energy into the armor, turning him into an arcane living timebomb. Thrall immediately prepares for a very strong version of Thunderstorm. The tank needs to swap to his platform and position the Add correctly. When Thrall casts the spell, the Add is brutally pushed away and, if aimed in the right direction, will ram the Wing, causing Kalecgos' bomb to go off and mutilate the limb.
Phase 1 End: Cataclysm: Deathwing attempts to cast a second Cataclysm to end Life on the Planet once and for all. The players need to switch back to the main platform and burn down 15% of his health in 30 seconds to stop him for a moment.
While they players were busy, one of his back legs shot up and grabbed Nozdormu. The Tanks stay back on the main Platform and team B returns to the lower left. Nozdormu fights back and flails in the air, the Raid needs to kill the leg to help him.
Their attempts are repeatedly interrupted by Deathwing's tail swiping all across the platform from behind. Since there is little room and no cover at all, Ysera has to step in, giving the players again the ability to cross into the emerald dream version of the Maelstrom for two seconds where there is no trace of Deathwing's body. When the tail swipes, all players need to switch planes to prevent being pushed off.
When the leg is half destroyed, Deathwing's other hind leg appears from below, grasps at the platform and puts so much pressure on it that it leaves deep marks in the stone, limiting the available room. The leg rams down onto the platform, forcing the team to spread out and try to avoid it.
Phase 2 End: Cataclysm As soon as Nozdormu is freed, Deathwing begins a second Catacylsm attack. This time, twice as much damage is needed to keep him at bay. Four players (ideally melee) gain his power to increase their speed by a lot - but to really deal damage, they need to climb into Deathwings wide-open maw and attack him from inside while the rest of the Raid fights from outside. A few seconds after the players are in, the maw closes around them.
When this Cataclysm is stopped, Deathwing swallows and kills the players. At this point, Nozdormu's last gift sets in and returns the players to a state 15 seconds before their death. If they were inside the Maw at this point in the past, they die again immediately. If they were outside, they get another chance at living, with all their bars filled and cooldowns reset.
It is time to finally kill the Hand that harassed the Raid for all this time. Being one of the most stable parts left of Deathwing's form, it doesn't only melee-hit the tanks and continue sometimes increasing his damage until he is hit hard, the arm also rises high into the air, smashing down on the platform.
Players need to watch out for the shadows of the Hand to not be hit by the claws that penetrate the stone, leaving behind one or two metres deep holes. Players don't die when falling into these, being in there they can't reach anything though and have to climb out again. Over the course of the phase, the platform will end up looking like cheese.
While deathwing attempts to free his hand stuck in the ground, he takes a deep breath to try and roast the players the way he did while flying across Azeroth. The raid needs to take cover behind the fingers stuck in the ground to survive this.
In his desperation, Deathwing smashes his tail hard into the Maelstrom to stir it up. A giant wave moves through the water in a circle, washing over the stone, able to easily shove everybody off into the deadly, heated water. Alexstrasza intervenes. Players need to move to the red, marked areas all over the platform. When the wave is about to hit, she catapults everyone 30 meters into the air, making them jump over the wave and fall down at normal speed, only slowing them down on the last few metres.
Alexstrasza and Ysera that the time has come to directly attack Deathwing. They swoop down and claw at his face, taking hold of his reinforced jaw. As Deathwing manages to push them off with his Hand, harshly wounding them, the two each break a tooth-like chunk out of the plate.
The Tanks need to hurry and grab these. Carrying these human-sized plates slows them down far too much to take cover during deathwing's next breath attack, but they don't need to. Kalecgos and Alexstrasza both breathe at them as well, the three kinds of fire melting the teeth, making them merge with the Armor of the Tanks. Their armor values are multiplied as they now defend the Raid as twice-the-size, metal-like Avatars.
Final Cataclysm - The Decision
Now it is really, really on. None of the Dragon Aspects has enough power left to make a relevant impact and Deathwing is charging his final attack with all of his strength.
The only way to gain enough time - and deal enough damage - is for the entire Raid to step into Deathwing's maw and have the Tanks block his jaw to keep him from closing his mouth. While the Raid does the final burn phase and, with each lost percent of Health, the raid damage taken increases, both tanks have to stay between his teeth and deal damage while trying to stay alive as long as possible.
This is similar to Sinestra's second phase, where players have to damage her to push the Kamehameha-energy towards Sinestra - except the tanks are, in this case, Calen.
At 10% of Deathwing's HP left, Thrall will step in, standing in front of the opened mouth and firing a continuous stream of the Dragon Soul's energy right into Deathwing's throat, dealing additional damage and speeding the process up.
If the players succeed in killing him, Deathwing explodes into enough parts that people are shot all over and need to be grabbed out of the air by the Dragons.
The Cataclysm Ending Cinematic is basically the same as now - except in this case, a group of Horde or Alliance players in T13 gear is visible watching the scene from a small Distance.