|Siege of Orgrimmar|
|Vale of Eternal Sorrows|
|The Fallen Protectors|
|Sha of Pride|
|Gates of Retribution|
|Kor’kron Dark Shaman|
|Spoils of Pandaria|
|Thok the Bloodthirsty|
|Paragons of the Klaxxi|
Norushen is the third encounter in Siege of Orgrimmar, and will be available in Normal and Flex difficulties from the Patch 5.4 launch.
Players do not actually fight Norushen himself – who, as a Titan (or Watcher, or something, I don’t know lore, because it can’t be mathed!) is there to help you – they fight the Amalgam of Corruption, which Norushen creates out of the very Corruption within your heart. I dunno, it looks like a big ugly Sha to me. Whatevs. 😛
The encounter is primarily a single-phase fight, with a brief interlude for each player to Look Within, entering a phased realm, and defeat a challenge suited to their role. This typically happens once per player during the encounter, although there is no restriction on how many times an individual player can complete the role-specific test. Otherwise, the fight is very simple, with a few dangerous mechanics to handle, two types of adds to contend with, and an alternate power bar to manage.
Healing in this fight includes heavy tank damage as well as a ramping amount of raid-wide AoE to contend with. Be sure to have your strongest cooldowns available at the end of the encounter where healing is the most intensive.
When the encounter begins, players will be granted an Alternate Power Bar (similar to the Petrification progress bar on Stone Guard or previous similar mechanics from Cataclysm raids like the Cho’gall encounter’s Corruption bar) which will allow you to track your Corruption levels. All players begin this encounter with 75 Corruption. There are only a few things to note about Corruption levels:
- Players with Corruption will deal less damage to the Amalgam of Corruption directly, and the more Corruption you have, the less damage you will deal;
- Players at 75 Corruption or more are unable to absorb the void zones left behind by certain adds’ deaths (more on this later);
- Other than reduced damage dealt to the boss, there is no penalty to reaching 100 Corruption (e.g. no Mind Control mechanic like you’d expect from previous encounters with Corruption levels);
- Corruption may only be removed by the Look Within mechanic (more on this later).
Managing your Corruption, as a healer, is not terribly important since reduced damage on the boss is not a large concern for us. Removing our Corruption via our role-specific test will grant us with a buff, Purified, that increases our healing done until we become Corrupted again, but it is not feasible to keep this buff throughout the entire fight, since there are mechanics that will require us to gain Corruption. Because the consequences of healers having high Corruption are not very impactful upon the raid’s success, we should probably be responsible for handling these Corruption-soaking mechanics.
Test of Reliance
Throughout the duration of the fight, small golden spheres of Purifying Light will spawn around the encounter area (2 at a time on 10-player difficulty and 4 or 6 on 25-player difficulty). Interacting with a Purifying Light object will transport you into your role-specific test, the successful completion of which will clear your Corruption and grant you the Purified buff.
For healers, the trial is known as the Test of Reliance, and in order to succeed you must defeat a Greater Corruption add whilst keeping the NPC tank and DPS units alive. You have one minute in which to accomplish this task – you can monitor the time remaining by watching your Look Within buff – and the Greater Corruption add has 6 million health. Note that success is not defined simply as surviving; you must kill the Greater Corruption to become Purified.
There are two ways you can assist the NPCs in defeating the Greater Corruption: deal damage to it yourself, and keep the NPCs at high health, since they gain buffs – similar to that solo scenario to obtain your Legendary Meta Gem – that increase their damage dealt as their health percentage increases. If you do no damage at all, but keep the NPCs fully topped off the whole time, the Greater Corruption will die after approximately 50 seconds.
The friendly NPCs appear in the fight as boss frames, and there are three of them – Leven Dawnblade, the tank; Rook Stonetoe, who has respecced to become a melee DPS; and Sun Tenderheart, who has inexplicably morphed into a Fireball-spamming mage. You will need to be able to heal these targets, monitor their health, and see their debuffs in order to dispel them, so make sure your UI is set up accordingly. Some raid frame addons reportedly add these NPCs to your raid frames as pets, but I am not sure that this will be universally true so you may need to waste one pull of this encounter on optimising your UI.
Unfortunately the NPCs did not always consistently appear in the same order in my boss frames – e.g., boss1 wasn’t always Leven Dawnblade, for example – so macros to target the NPCs by boss frame ID will not always act consistently. Targeting macros with the exact names of the NPCs should still work properly though, and mouseover macros/Clique can interact just fine with boss frames. Standard Blizzard boss frames do not show debuffs on these targets, so if you run the standard UI, you’ll need to manually target the NPCs in order to see which one has the dispellable debuff.
The Greater Corruption has several abilities that will damage you and the NPCs, besides the melee attacks he uses on Leven Dawnblade. Every 8 seconds, he will cast Disheartening Laugh, which debuffs all friendly targets with a Shadow-damage DoT. This deals light to moderate damage and cannot be dispelled, so you must heal through it.
Between Disheartening Laughs, the Greater Corruption will also summon a Bottomless Pit targeted on the player. This generates a small smoky zone beneath your feet, and standing in it will deal moderate Shadow damage every second. You must move quickly to avoid dying to the combined Bottomless Pit and Disheartening Laugh damage.
Finally, the Greater Corruption will choose one target and debuff them with Lingering Corruption. This debuff persists for 10 seconds and deals no damage while it is active, but if it is allowed to expire naturally, it will detonate and deal very heavy damage to the target (400,000 on Normal difficulties). This debuff must be dispelled in order to succeed at the Test of Reliance (unless you luck out and it lands on your pet – my Primal Fire Elemental ate this debuff several times during PTR testing, win/win).
Once the Greater Corruption dies, or you have reached the 1-minute limit of the Test’s duration, you are teleported back to the encounter area to rejoin your allies in the fight against the Amalgam of Corruption. If you succeeded and are Purified, you are briefly immune to damage when you “respawn” into the fight, so that you do not get insta-gibbed by an unfair mechanic.
Failing to complete the Test of Reliance has the following negative effects:
- Your Corruption is not cleared;
- You do not gained the Purified buff to healing;
- You will not be briefly immune to damage when you “respawn” into the fight; and
- You release a Manifestation of Corruption that your raid must defeat.
Amalgam of Corruption
The Amalgam of Corruption has several fairly simple abilities. He attacks the tanks with Unleashed Anger, dealing moderate Physical damage approximately every 10 seconds. This attack also leaves behind a stack of Self Doubt; each stack increases subsequent Unleashed Anger damage by 50%. This necessitates tank-swapping, but since – at least initially – one tank will be absent whilst completing their Test of Confidence, the remaining tank may reach fairly high stacks of Self Doubt. External tank CDs may be necessary to prevent the tank from dying to Unleashed Anger when Self Doubt stacks are high.
Approximately once per minute, the Amalgam will create a beam of Blind Hatred that emanates from the Amalgam’s body to a randomly-chosen point on the wall. After a few seconds, the beam activates and begins to sweep around the room; it may move clockwise or counter-clockwise and this is, again, random. Once the beam is activated, coming into contact with it will deal very heavy damage and is highly likely to be fatal. Players must dodge the Blind Hatred beam (similar to dodging Disintegration Beam in the Durumu encounter, only less annoying since there is no maze to dodge as well). Blind Hatred lasts for 30 seconds.
Approximately every 3 seconds, the Amalgam will damage every player in the raid with Icy Fear, dealing – initially – light Frost damage. As the Amalgam’s health decreases, the damage that Icy Fear deals increases, until at the end of the encounter Icy Fear is dealing moderate to heavy Frost damage every pulse. The raid should ensure that their strongest throughput or damage reduction cooldowns are available in the final 10-20% of the encounter.
Once the Amalgam of Corruption reaches 50%, he becomes Frayed, summoning a Manifestation of Corruption add immediately and again each time he loses 10% additional health. It is important that players switch to these Manifestations and kill them before causing the Amalgam to pass another health threshold and spawning an additional add.
Manifestation of Corruption
There are three sources of Manifestations of Corruption in this encounter:
- Failed Tests of Reliance (healer) or Serenity (DPS);
- Successful Tests of Serenity (DPS); and
- The Amalgam of Corruption’s Frayed ability.
Those Manifestations which arise from successful Tests of Serenity – that spawn into the raid as the DPS player undertaking the Test kills them – will have a Foul Link buff meaning that any damage dealt to these adds will be copied to the boss. This makes these adds an excellent target for any DPS (or healer with offensive capabilities) who has not yet cleared their Corruption, since it allows them to bypass the Corruption limitation on their boss damage.
Manifestations will continually pulse Burst of Anger for as long as they are alive, dealing light Shadow damage to every raid member in the encounter area (excluding those currently undergoing Tests) every 6 seconds or so. This can become very dangerous near the end of the encounter when the Amalgam’s Icy Fear damage is high, or if your raid has too many Manifestations active at once.
When a Manifestation of Corruption dies, it leaves a tiny orb of Residual Corruption behind, which deals moderate Shadow damage to all raid members in the encounter area for as long as the orb persists. The orb can be “soaked” by any player with less than 76 Corruption, which destroys the orb but grants the player 25 Corruption. It is important to soak Residual Corruption as quickly as possible, especially toward the end of the fight when other sources of raid damage are strong; healers may be unable to keep up with the damage otherwise.
Essence of Corruption
Essences of Corruption are created by DPS players undertaking the Test of Serenity. There are, I believe, five Essences of Corruption in each Test of Serenity, and as the DPS player kills them, they spawn into the raid for the rest of the players to contend with. If the DPS player fails to complete the Test, then all remaining Essences (and the Manifestation) spawn into the raid.
As with Manifestations of Corruption, Essences of Corruption that are spawned via successful Tests of Serenity will have the Foul Link ability, meaning that damage dealt to the adds is also transferred to the boss.
Essence of Corruption has a single ability, Expel Corruption, which it casts continuously until killed. A successful cast creates a bolt of energy that travels in a straight line from the Essence to the Amalgam. If this bolt is allowed to strike the Amalgam, it grants the Amalgam of Corruption with a stack of Fusion, increasing all damage dealt by the Amalgam by 2% for 15 seconds. Especially toward the end of the fight when the Amalgam’s damage is already quite high, multiple stacks of Fusion can be very dangerous.
Players can prevent Fusion by standing directly between the Essence and the Amalgam, thus “blocking” the bolt with their body (and taking a moderate amount of Shadow damage when doing so), or by preventing the Expel Corruption cast via interrupts and stuns. The Essence of Corruption will not suffer a spell lockout period when interrupted, so it is important for players to focus on killing the Essences quickly to limit the number of Expel Corruption casts that must be interrupted or soaked.
Decide on an order for players to undertake their Look Within Tests in advance of the fight. Note that the Tanks must undergo their Tests repeatedly, as they are likely to cap their Corruption by soaking Residual Corruption unintentionally throughout the fight, and gaining Purified will reduce the damage they take from the boss. You should aim for each healer and each DPS to complete their Test once, but this may not be possible on 25-player mode if your raid’s DPS is strong.
Manifestations and Essences of Corruption are always priority targets, especially for players who have not yet cleared their Corruption stacks. Attempt to assign Residual Corruption soaking duty to healers who have cleared their Corruption, or to DPS who have cleared their Corruption if no healers are available. It’s likely that tanks will still do the brunt of the Residual Corruption soaking, but this does lower tank DPS on the boss and necessitates more frequent tank absences while Corruption-capped tanks undergo their Test to clear Corruption.
Manifestations and Essences can both be stunned, which will reduce raid damage.
Players should attempt to stack as much as possible, as the raid AoE damage is very heavy and allowing healers to use their ground-based or short-range AoE healing will be vital to keeping the raid alive. This is especially true as the Amalgam’s health gets low and Icy Fear damage increases. Movement should be limited to avoiding the Blind Hatred ability and soaking Residual Corruption pools or blocking Expel Corruption casts.
Bloodlust/Heroism and the strongest healer throughput cooldowns should be saved for the final portion of the fight, where raid damage is high and spawning adds must be handled quickly.
You will need cooldowns for: Completing your Test of Reliance; Icy Fear damage at the end of the encounter (particularly for periods of time while Manifestations of Corruption are active); Unleashed Anger with high Self Doubt stacks while the other tank is completing their Test of Confidence (tank CD).
Debuffs to track: Self Doubt (tank debuff); Look Within (your Test of Reliance timer); Purified (your own +healing buff)
Dispels: Lingering Corruption (only during the Test of Reliance/Look Within mechanic)
Points of Failure:
- Enough players do not remove their Corruption by the Look Within mechanic, causing raid DPS to be low – potentially unable to beat the Enrage timer – or preventing players from soaking Residual Corruption pools – leading to unhealable raid damage;
- Players fail too many Look Within tests, spawning more adds than the raid can manage;
- Players stand in the Blind Hatred beam and die;
- Tanks fail to swap and gain too many stacks of Self Doubt to be able to survive the boss’s Unleashed Anger;
- Players allow too many of the Essence of Corruption adds’ Expel Corruption casts to reach the boss, leading to high stacks of Fusion and unhealable tank/raid damage;
- Players do not kill Manifestations of Corruption quickly enough, leading to unhealable Burst of Anger damage;
- Players do not soak the Residual Corruption orbs quickly enough, leading to unhealable raid damage;
- The raid allows the Amalgam of Corruption to linger at low health, leading to unhealable Icy Fear damage.
Good luck! 🙂