Back in mid-August I earned Fates of the Shadowlands Raids, and a couple weeks ago I earned the heroic variant. Once we earned our Jigglesworth Sr. slime cat mounts, we promptly jumped off Oribos!
While most people reading this likely understand the fated system, for those of you don’t, this was the first time Blizzard used something like this for a raid season. Rather than using new raids or even just updating an old raid (like Naxxramas and Onyxia’s Lair level 80 versions), this season involved scaled up versions of all three Shadowlands raids. Each week, one raid would be “fated,” scaled to current ilvls and with additional affixes to change things up a bit. Most of these affixes boiled down to being buffs, but some did cause issues on fights that were positionally difficult. The affix on each boss rotates each time the raid is fated as well.
Each boss could have one affix when the season started and later it was changed to two out of a possible four.
- Chaotic Essence: Someone must interact with it to make it hostile. When it’s hostile, it keeps summoning little adds. Every little add that’s killed grants a stack of a damage, healing, and absorbs buff. The adds do damage, but it never felt like it mattered.
- Protoform Barrier: This appears as a buff on the boss. When dispelled, it creates an add that’s attackable and shares a big absorb shield with other enemies. When it’s killed, it mirrors the damage done to it to the boss and gives a damage bonus to players. (There’s also a second add that healers can heal to reduce the absorb shield.) This was usually not a problem, but if the group is near a wipe, the boss is almost dead, and then a Protoform Barrier appears, it can cause a wipe.
- Reconfiguration Emitter: An add casts raid-wide damage and gets a stacking damage buff over time. Once it casts or is interrupted, it’s attackable. When it dies, it increases player stats based on its power level. This never felt like an issue.
- Creation Spark: Players get debuffs that will create circles on the ground when dispelled or expired. Standing in one gives players a mini lust. Every circle that doesn’t have a player standing in it will explode with raid-wide damage. This can be deadly on heavy movement fights.
Here’s Delillidan (Elias), me, and Mooglegem (gem) on our mounts!
This fated system certainly seems designed to extend the life of the content without heavy development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I enjoyed the season. However, the fated rotation adds difficulties. During the first three weeks of the season, my raid group spent the first raid night of the week doing normal and the second doing heroic. On the third week, I had to miss the second raid night. While I earned my normal achievement and the mount, it means I missed heroic fated Sepulcher. In the following weeks, my raid group decided to raid just once per week and stick to heroic. Three weeks after the previously missed Sepulcher, I had to miss raid night once again – which means I once again missed heroic fated Sepulcher. Yes, it’s on me for missing raids. But bad timing with a schedule plus the fated rotation can really hurt things.
I did manage to do some pugging to get my heroic fated Sepulcher of the First ones done. Now I’m Sotiros, Hero of Fate!