So, after a little diversion last week I’m going back in to the Tower of Orthanc to look at the last of the first three wings (lightning and fire and frost having been previously covered in this column). As with a few other things in this raid, this wing was fairly broken when it was first launched; the deadly waters in the boss fight that give the wing its name were oddly bugged, such that all damage that they did was instantly absorbed by players. When this was fixed a month or so later, it gave us the opportunity to learn a, um, wonderful new mechanic and one that seems custom made to be put to the Benny Hill theme song.

Acid Wing Tier 1

I would recommend that raid groups tackle this wing third for one simple reason – the trash. While not as brutally hard as T2, even on T1 the trash in this wing is sure to give your raid group some headaches. Luckily there’s plenty of opportunity for a good lore-master to shine, and I’ll give some tips below. Apart from that, the boss fight is probably the hardest of the first three wings and requires a decent amount of coordination along with moderately dexterous and lag-free players.

Trash

There are two trash pulls in this wing but chances are your raid group will see them more than twice on its first run through. Every trash mob here has adaptation, even on T1, and all mobs are quite dangerous so your group really needs to be on top of its focussed DPS to beat the pseudo-enrange timers that adaptation puts on these pulls. Plus to add to the excitment, four highly damaging exploding slugs will spawn every 60s. The two trash pulls consist of the following mobs:

  • Trash pull 1: 4 twisted orcs, 2 twisted wargs
  • Trash pull 2: 3 twisted orcs, 3 twisted wargs

And here’s details of these mobs:

  • Twisted orcs (83k). Abilities: Adaptation. Not much to note about these orcs other than they do a fair bit of damage, especially if multiple are hitting the same target. Don’t let these get loose on your squishies. It’s recommended that you cc as many of these for as long as you can at the start of the pull and then either have one of your main tanks or just a kiting captain/champ offtank pick them up when they wake up, until you’re ready to deal with them.
  • Twisted wargs (166k). Abilities: Adaptation, bloodlust. The bloodlust mechanic on these (+damage buff if they don’t regularly hit something) makes them a very bad cc target; they already do an absolute truckload of damage, you don’t want to let them tier up that damage at all. If it’s imperative to not let the orcs hit your squishies, that goes double for these wargs. They pretty much one or two shot just about anyone that isn’t a tank. You want to burn these down first and as quickly as you possibly can – definitely use oathbreakers if you have it available. For the first pull, you should assign one tank to each warg, for the second assign one tank to your first DPS target and the other two to your other tank and hope that they can stay alive long enough to let the second tank relieve them when the first is dead.
  • Slugs (~8k). These are fairly weak but hit hard. They spawn at two different locations in the room (one spawn point is near to the entrance and one on the other side in each room) and they should be cc-ed and burned down from range as soon as they spawn. Lore-masters can do a lot here, pre-emptive tar is great, and then herb lore, any stun and even blinding flash can slow these down long enough that they can be killed before exploding all over your healers.

Boss fight – Iorweth (Man [genus: Homer Simpson], 1.452m)

This is the first of the ToO boss fights so far to have a proper wave of adds during the fight. While both of the first two fights had some add spawns, they were just lights which either did minimal direct damage or just sat around and exploded. The add waves here have proper mobs that actually need to be controlled and killed which is a nice change. Iorweth does three things which are announced with callouts:

  • Add spawn: “My friends! Come and destroy this vermin!” Periodically throughout the fight (time, not morale, based) the boss will summon two each of venomous dragonettes (13k), venomous avancs (15k) and twisted crushers (33k). The crushers are trolls which gain a stacking damage reduction buff while they are not cc-ed. As the trolls are the highest morale mob in the pull, it’s recommended that you cc each of these trolls when they spawn (they appear from near the waterfalls at approximately 10 and 2 o’clock, taking the boss spawn point as 12 o’clock). A root won’t be effective, you need to keep them asleep, so you’ll need two mez capable classes for this strategy. It’s recommended that the ranged group stand together on the high ground to the near right of the boss as you enter the room (about 15m away) and the melee group fall back here when the boss summons the adds. All the mobs will converge on this point due to healing threat and the weak adds can be AOE-ed down and then the trolls killed quickly one by one.
  • Acid waters: “Let the acids rise and devour you!” You will probably kill the adds either just before or a bit after this callout happens, depending on how good your group’s DPS is. Regardless of whether adds are awake at this time or not, your whole group must be prepared to do the dance that is the signature of this wing – acid hopping. Once this callout happens, green acid water will rise throughout the room and do very significant damage to anyone who is not actively moving and jumping around. You must do this constantly, and I believe that it helps to be standing on top of some raised rocks while you jump, otherwise you will still get caught. I recommend you take a look around the room at the start of the fight. You’ll see that there’s a few useful circles of raised rock which you can use to path around here – learn where these are and stay on them, they can be a bit hard to see when the waters are rising (it might be possible to turn post-processing effects off to help you see the rocks, but it isn’t necessary). You can also press insert (by default) to go at walk speed which some people find helps them to stay on top of the rocky areas. If your group isn’t prepared for this then you will very quickly die – see the screenshot for our group’s first attempt after this water got fixed! This tends to cause cascading problems. If you have a few deaths in the acid water phase then you’ll have less DPS for the next add phase which means it takes longer so you spend less time killing the boss which means you get more acid water phases until eventually you drown in a mess of green goo. It’s also theoretically possible to get so many acid water phases that you all get instantly killed – that’s the unique green bar UI element you get for this fight – but on T1 at least it’s basically impossible to take that long. You’ve either killed the boss or been killed by the time that mechanic could come into play. Moving and jumping is obviously the #1 priority here. No one can stop jumping to heal or finish off adds – use any skills that you can use on the run by all means, but don’t do anything (eg. a lore debuff) which will root you for even a fraction of a second.
  • Boss time: “I will destroy you myself!” Eventually Iorweth will get sick of this and the waters will recede. Finish off any remaining adds and hit him as hard as you can.

And that’s all – rinse and repeat for a few add waves and you’ll be done with the first part of the ToO raid. And as always, feel free to leave any feedback on these guides, ToO in general or your raid group’s experiences here either on T1 or T2!