Switching it up for Roots of Fangorn

The patch notes for Update 6.1 on Bullroarer included some very drastic changes to the Roots of Fangorn involving crucial mechanics for the boss fight with Gurthúl. Now if you’ve read my post “First Impressions – Roots of Fangorn” post and played the instance, you’ve probably noticed my glaring omission of the hideous poison effect. (Whoops!) In short, it’s not the spider-queen that you have to worry about, it’s her adds, especially the venomous kind. You get a brief taste of the damage they can do if you’ve done the landscape quest in the Limlight Gorge, A Venomous Culprit.

I surmised from my first play-through of Roots of Fangorn that Turbine’s original intent was to have players switch between damaging the boss and taking out the adds, but the players found another way. An easier way. Up until now, it was common practice to have a tank pick up all the adds and kite them back and forth while the rest of the fellowship burns down that over-grown spider-queen. The maximum amount adds was fixed so you’d only ever need to worry seven or eight. On top of that, the venomous spiderlings could only apply their massive hideous poison DoT effect one at a time. However, the changes as they stand on Bullroarer are thus:

  • Venomous spiderlings can now re-apply Hideous poison(!)
  • Hideous poison can now stack in T2(!!!)
  • Venomous spiderlings HP reduced substantially.
  • Spiderling spawn rate in boss room reduced slightly in T2.

The exclamation points are Turbine’s own emphasis so they really want you to take note. This means that if you’ve got a tank kiting all the adds, he could get more than one of those hideous poison effects. You go down fast enough with one of these on you and at several thousand damage a second, you’ll go down that much quicker with multiples. As a Minstrel, I offer you this plea: “Don’t be a hero!”

Luckily, while they upped the hideous poison DoT, they reduced the morale of the offending spiders. If I recall, venomous spiderlings are signature mobs, standing around 13-14k morale. A ranged damage dealer only has a few hits to burn it down before it comes within melee range, and that’s if they’re watching the spawn points in front and behind. The tanks seem to figure, “You DPS types are too squishy to deal with this. We’re taking matters into our own hands.” But now, if the morale reduction on these adds is as significant as they say, the DPS should stand a chance to kill these venomous spiderlings before they can do any real damage. That is, of course, if they’re paying attention. Unless you’re a multitasking savant, stop balancing your checkbook and get your head in the game.

So it seems like the “tank ’em all and focus on the boss” approach may become more difficult to pull off, while the method of “kill ’em before they touch anything” may become the most viable one. When the patch hits, we’ll see if this is how players actually do it or if they find another way around it, though I would still encourage experimentation because after all, as Sun Tzu says, “According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans.”

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