Does Anybody Really Enjoy Faction Champions?

31 10 2009

I don’t try to hide it. Whenever I down Jaraxxus, I sigh at the upcoming fight. I hate Faction Champions. I’d rather lose Eye of the Storm than do this encounter, which says a lot since I’m not a huge fan of PvP. I know there are a lot of other people who don’t like it (and some crazy weirdos who do) so I thought I’d compile a list of reasons why I don’t like it.

  1. Randomness. In very few other fights can you get gibbed so easily, especially while CC’d. I can break fear once every two minutes with my PvP trinket, but when I can’t break out? More often than not the melee champions start chasing me and kill me while I’m CC’d. Is there any other encoutner in Wrath where something so random can happen (and happens frequently)?
  2. I don’t get to DPS. I spend most of my time in heroic FCs casting Chains of Ice on the Death Knight and the Rogue to keep them off our casters. So basically I end up running around, away from the kill target, to cast Chains. That’s boring. It’s not the same as having a few interesting gimmick-things to do in an encounter, like switching essences in Twin Valks.
  3. It’s not PvP. One of the irritating things about this fight is that I would likely perform better if I used a PvP spec. Since it is a raid, and not a battleground, I find this to be something of a design flaw. I’m all for some off-the-wall talents being useful sometimes (like reduced Death Grip cooldown to help with Sparks on Malygos) but when it’s better to completely nuke your DPS in favour of a bit more survival? I’ll pass, thanks.
  4. Morale. I play on a PvE server, so there are a lot of people in my raid who just don’t like PvP. Whatever people say about FCs, it will always be a PvP encounter forced into a PvE situation to me. Again, this is bad design in my opinion. If anything, this is the kind of encounter that should be put behind a PvP barrier like Wintergrasp, since at least the flavour of PvP is retained. So when we do this fight, and half the raid is irritated even before we wipe, well, it just doesn’t help the raid’s morale.

So why don’t you like Faction Champions?

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11 responses

31 10 2009
youyankityoutankit

I LOATHE Faction Champions. It’s PVP that’s not PVP. Arena that’s not Arena… with the other side having insane advantages. We’ve downed them on 10 man many times, but it feels more like luck than skill to be honest.

I run around like a chicken with my head cut off, spamming hungering cold when it’s up and taunting mobs to make them come smack me before going back to whoever they were on… no real tanking involved whatsoever.

Add to that, we’re on an RP server, so most of us have NO PVP experience anywho… eh

31 10 2009
Argon

I like how you have to approach it differently depending on which enemies you get, and depending on the makeup of your group. It is a bit different than most encounters where there might as well only be three classes, Tank, Healer, Melee DPS and Ranged DPS.

1 11 2009
Ophelie

Some of the people I raid with really enjoy how chaotic the fight is. I don’t mind it on 25 man, just smack stuff around, dispell a few times and collect loot but I hate it on 10. We’ll do it easily one week, then we’ll come back the next week with the same people and won’t be able to kill anything. Like youyankit said, it feels more like luck than anything else.

1 11 2009
Kathmaul

I hate this fight more than any other fight I have done on any of my toons in the past.

- Most of our core raiders get replaced by classes that have CC abilities (droods, rogues, etc) so our raid make up looks like as many rogues, druids, mages and warlocks as can be found online at the time from the guild.

- Hungering Cold messes up other CC Classes abilities. We only use HC once, on the pull to make them pop trinkets, because we found that it messes up the other CCers and brings them closer to diminishing returns. So it gets popped on the pull and again, only if the RL calls for it because the raid is in trouble.

- When I am in (because I was lucky enough not to be replaced by a druid or whatnot) I too run around chasing DK/Rogue/Warrior/Ret Pally spamming Chains/DG

- A build I found that helps is 0/34/37, no not the famous DW spec, it takes every CC ability that a DK can get from HC to Desecration. http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#jZhgxt0RhzbuZcgrh0bdgbz0db:cNb don’t expect to top the meters with this one, but it empowers your CC abilities and throws down a couple of other abilities. I also slave my pet to attack my focus target and rotate his stun with my CoI.

- All in all, this fight sucks and needs to be moved to the Vault so the PvPers can have fun and leave us PvE types alone. If it wasn’t for the fact that Double Bladed Butcher drops from them, I would volunteer to sit this fight out every time.

But I am sure, now that we downed em in Heroic 25 last week, that we will have them on farm soon enough. Our strat that finally worked for us was Shammy>Hunter>Rogue>Priest>Lock>Warrior>DK>Pally>Mage>Druid.

Before you start protesting our kill order, this is what worked for us. We tried every strat we could find for the last month or two, and that is the one that enabled us to kill them. Putting the squishies as 4th and 5th on the kill order enabled us to get “over the hump” and quickly go from 7 of them up to 5 of them up. The Priest and Lock have almost half the health of the others so we were able to down them real quick compared to the others. The locks can keep the druid pretty much feared/banished the whole fight so it makes him trivial, even tho he is the most dangerous healer you have. If they rotate their CC ability smartly, they only need to call for a sheep or what not every minute or so and then DR wears off and they can go back to their rotation. Also, when we get to #4, the RL calls for Army of the Dead and for some reason, it helps rather than hinders the fight.

We put:
Prot Warrior on the Warrior
Dk on Rogue (CoI/DG)
DK on Ret Pally (CoI/DG)
Drood on Mage (Cyclone)
Lock on Druid (Fear/Banish)
Druid on Lock (Cyclone)
Rogue on Priest (stun lock/kick)
Druid on DK (Cyclone/Roots)

Everyone on the DPS train set a focus target that was in the CC list and basically just threw a CC when it was needed, i.e. primary CCer feared/stunned, etc. After 23 attempts Thursday night we finally killed them. Of course, I was sitting outside because I was replaced by a drood……Now we are on Twins with 25 attempts left for the week………time to study.

1 11 2009
Erinys

I love it, but I’m most definitely a minority in my raid group. Both our Main tanks like it as well though, but I’m the only healer who enjoys it.

Its the very randomness that I enjoy I think. As a holy priest, I probably should hate the fight, especially since I spend virtually the whole time we are in combat running away from something but its my favourite fight in the whole instance. As a healer I find I actually get to do more than heal, dispel both defensively and aggressively, use fear in a raid instance without people complaining, even provide focused dps on top of healing. Its chaotic and crazy and if you stop moving for a second or lose focus, you can die fast especially when being a squishy clothie.

2 11 2009
Gravity

You know, I don’t think I’ve read anyone else blog about how much they hate this encounter. I wonder why, maybe I missed them, or maybe it’s just not talked about much. Clearly it’s easy to hate.
Nice to hear a priest enjoying themselves though!

3 11 2009
Daxenos

I used to hate PvP. Now, I’m not a huge PvP fan, but after spending a good deal of time in the BGs on a brand new rogue, I have a new appreciation for the skill and ingenuity that PvPers demonstrate on a regular basis (don’t read anything into that statement – PvEers also have their skills and innovations).

I’ve also enjoyed seeing classes using all of their abilities instead of just pewpewpew stuff. I certainly understand, DPSers especially, people wanting to top their respective meter, but it is refreshing to see positive outcomes hinge on whether or not X or Y got CC’d or neutralized.

Of course, I say all of this in ignorance of the actual fight that’s being discussed as I have never set foot into the raid. That said, I do remember hating the PvP fight in Mag’s Terrace, so I can definitely understand where you’re coming from.

6 11 2009
radiomand

What I hate is the lack of diminishing returns. If it were PvP there would be diminishing returns on there CCs. After been stunned 3-4 times in a row for full duration it pisses me off.

11 11 2009
kathmaul

Agreed Radiomand, that is indeed the most frustrating part of the encounter is that the diminishing returns is a one-way street. DR affects them, but not you. I primarily CC the Rogue or Warrior and sometimes the Ret Pally and I have been Chain-Stunned to the point that I had flashbacks of AV, and none of them were on a DR basis.

I think that if DR affected the players the way it affects the NPCs, then it would make the fight only slightly easier, in Heroic mode, without taking anything away from it, in other words, it wouldn’t trivialize it, it would balance it.

26 11 2009
coldbear

X numbers of raid encounters. We all want every one of them to be fun and varied and provide different challenges.

All content has to be new and fresh every few months. We want all these things and we pay money for it.

What are the odds that one of those encounters somewhere isn’t gonna be to your liking? Pretty good, I’d say.

FC is fine, it’s just a different kind of challenge, and rewards people who aren’t stuck in a single-mode of playing always and only one way. It’s not pvp, though it has some pvp elements.

It’s also not terribly difficult with the kind of gear that’s floating around on most servers these days. The aggro rules are out there, there’s no whack mystery in who and which NPCs do what – it’s all been analyzed to death.

If you raid with the kind of people who can’t adapt to new scenarios or be bothered to go research a bit, then – well, dunno what to tell you.

Personally I’d like as much challenge as possible in the hard mode/heroic version of raids. Stuff’s too easy and bland as is.

6 04 2010
thatguy

There are times when I like this fight, and others when I hate it. Overall, I enjoy it, and I usually only set foot in pvp when I’m achievement hunting (95% of the reasons I would ever pvp involve achievements, pve-related merits, or both).

The times I hate it usually pertain to the FC’s composition versus ours. There are times when, quite simply, your raid composition seems like it’s disadvantaged by default to their group make-up. In theory, you should be able to defeat any combination of their players with a raid-viable group, but sometimes it seems that their advantages reduce your victories and/or defeats to a matter of luck instead of timing, and this is including how well you can abuse their priority-based AI.

That aside, the things that make me love this encounter involve it being a test of your personal knowledge of your class to navigate through the sea of chaos before you. You will use skills you normally do not get to use, and the things you notice or don’t notice about your skills in relation to theirs make or break your continual success throughout the many times you will partake in this fight.

Heroic FC is fun for my prot-warrior. The idea that taunts don’t work means I have to be smart about my stuns, disarms, snares, shouts and charges. My priest will even unequip a piece of her tier to throw on pvp gloves so she can Psychic Scream 10% faster, and while in some cases fear-spamming whenever it’s off cd will hinder the performance of others for their roles during this fight, it buys most people the time they need to take a breath/reapply their own controls. I get to dispel, heal, smite, and actually MOVE around. In fact, the only people I’ve seen who dislike this encounter tend to be real PvPers (who have a right to be unimpressed) or dps that don’t enjoy anything other than pretty numbers and stroking their egos off of recount totals. I imagine the same can be said for like-minded healers, but the activity during this fight seems far more compelling than “Nuke this. Get out of the fire. Nuke this. All heals on tank. Get out of the fire. Bloodlust. Nuke this and overheal. Loot,” particularly during those times where FC has a more difficult group make-up to control that requires far less focus fire and far more control.

It’s also a refreshing change of pace because some classes which are known beasts in pve or pvp are drastically different when you fight them in this encounter. I love when they have a resto shammy and HATE when they have an enhance. I’m indifferent when they have a tree and underwhelmed by their dk and ret pally. Most people define the remedy to their holy pally as “interrupt, dispel/steal/remove bubble, laugh.” I cringe when their rogue, warrior or lock gets to sneak around and do stuff. I facepalm when their hunter sleeps me or their mage polymorphs/counterspells me. And all these things going on at once in any combination make the battle fun and interesting, especially because I don’t pvp much.

But really, the only fight I’ve seen post-FC that offers a diverse amount of things for people to do/watch out for has been Blood Council in ICC. Everything else has been straightforward tank-n-spank or tank-n-spank gimmick edition after FC. Pre-FC, a lot of the fights in Ulduar were pretty fun, even the pure tank-n-spank ones, and Naxx/Eye of Eternity to this day have some of my favorite encounters for WotLK raids.

There’s a lot to be said for encounter diversity, and for all of Faction Champions’ faults, it has far more virtues in my humble opinion. I welcome anything that measures your performance outside of your actual gear score anyday.

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