Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Bear's guide to ICC: Rotface

Oh hi, there. Been a while since I've done one of these. Let's see if I still remember how...

The Rotface encounter requires two tanks doing two very different jobs. One is exceptionally easy. The other one can make or break your attempts. No pressure.

The Rotface Tank:
The Rotface tank has the easy job. Rage up, Charge in, and start tanking Rotface so that his teeny, tiny hitbox (don't tease, he's sensitive about it) is pretty much lined up over the teeny, tiny circle in the middle of the floor. Then...hold him there and tank away. You want to tank him there because throughout the encounter, any given quarter of the room may be flooded with ooze. (I love that's so fun to say.) The flood leaks pretty far into the room. Holding Rotface in the center will minimize raid movement during the encounter. Plus it will help with Ooze management (which we'll get to).

Once you're happily beating on him, there's really only two things you have to watch out for.

1) On set intervals he will target a random raid member and start puking in their direction. 9 times out of 10, this won't affect you. However, if you happen to be in the line between Rotface and said targeted raid member, you will have to move out of the way. So don't fall completely asleep.

2) Occasionally one of the Big Oozes in the room (more on those below) will become unstable and explode, doing damage to anyone near it and sending 3 ooze missiles in a high arc through the air. The missiles can land anywhere a raid member was standing when they were launched and will do significant damage when they hit the ground. When the explosion happens, you want to drag Rotface to one of the corners of the room to avoid the falling ooze missiles. I like to drag him straight back from where I'm tanking unless I'd be headed right towards the exploding ooze or into a flooded corner of the room. Either way, communicate with your raid which way you're going to go so that you can all say together. You do not want to spend a lot of time spread out during this fight. Once the ooze missiles have all hit the ground, drag him back to the middle.

Rinse, repeat.

The Ooze tank:
If you are the Ooze tank, there's a lot riding on your shoulders. To make things worse, Bears might be the worst Ooze tanks in the game. We can do it, but it takes considerable effort.

So what's going to happen is Rotface will start hitting members of your raid with Mutated Infection (very similar to Grobbulus's Mutating Injection). The infection is a disease that ticks about 3K damage every second for 12 seconds or until cleansed. When the disease drops off (whether by cleansing or because the 12 seconds expired) that person spawns a Little Ooze. The Little Ooze cannot be taunted and it has unreachable levels of threat on the person that it spawned from. The Little Ooze has a small ticking AoE attack, and will also drop nasty pools of gunk near the feet of the person it's targeting. For these two reasons, you want to keep this thing out of the raid. You also don't want them combining into a(nother) Big Ooze in the middle of the raid.

Big Ooze, you say? What's that?

When two Little Oozes get within 10 yards of each other, they combine and form a Big Ooze. The Big Ooze is tauntable and it is what the Ooze tank needs to handle. Like the Little Oozes, the Big Ooze pulses AoE damage and sends out puddles of concentrated nastiness. It also hits quite hard. Most tanks can't stay near them for more than a second or so. They move quite slowly, though. So the idea is to kite them around the edge of the room. Bears, all we really have to help us with this is Growl and Fearie Fire. We have our caster form spells, too, but they don't really do much threat and it's dangerous to stop moving.

The Big Oozes will also absorb any Little Ooze (or other Big Ooze) that gets within 10 yards of them. So once there is a Big Ooze in the raid, the idea is for the infected raid members to run to the Ooze tank and follow along side him/her until their Little Ooze gets absorbed by the Big one.

Each time the Big Ooze absorbs a Little Ooze, it becomes more unstable. When it becomes 100% unstable (5 stacks), it does the explodey thing I mentioned above. If it absorbs another Big Ooze, it counts as 2 little Oozes + existing instability stacks.

While kiting, there's a number of dangers you still have to keep an eye out for. If Rotface is puking, you don't want to cross that stream. The Ooze that floods the room slows you and does damage, so you don't want to spend too much time in it. And you have to avoid the smaller pools the Oozes shoot out at all cost. Those are the really dangerous ones. Also, keep moving while the missiles from the exploding ooze are in the air and try not to run across spots where other raid members were standing when they launched.

It is possible to change kiting directions if necessary. When you do this, make sure you make a wide arc around the Big Ooze. You do not want to let it get within melee range of you. Again, it moves really slow, so this is very doable. Just pay attention and be careful.

And that's it. Simple, right?

A few things worth noting: Like the Grobbulus fight, the Infections come faster and faster the longer the encounter goes, acting as a soft enrage timer. Eventually your healers and Ooze tank just get overwhelmed and can't keep up.

If a raid member dies while they have a Little Ooze aggroed on them, it will go after the next highest threat target. This person will then have to kite that ooze to join the Big one. If the second highest threat member happens to be the Rotface tank (which actually happens often in our runs) then the only way to get it out of the raid is to let it merge with another Little Ooze right there and then get taunted away. This whole process will put a lot of strain on your healers.

A capable Hunter can very well be the Ooze tank.

We like using a Pally as the Ooze tank. They have a fair number of ranged abilities at their disposal, are able to free themselves from slow effects if they have to run through the flood, and can Purify the infected raid members when they get into the right position. (This last is insanely helpful, both in terms of saving GCDs from the healers and allowing them to not have to pay attention to when the infected raid member is in position to be cleansed.)

Edit: Talking about loot drops is traditional. I guess forgetting about that part isn't too smooth on my part.

On 10-man, Rotface will drop Shaft of Glacial Ice, which isn't too shabby. There's a decent number of better weapons in the game for bears, but it's possible this will be an upgrade over what you have.

On 25-man you can look forward to the Seal of Many Mouths, the Bile-Encrusted Medallion, and/or Aldriana's Gloves of Secrecy. None are particularly amazing or must-have for Bears, but there may be something in there of use to you depending on what else you have (or haven't) picked up along the way.

As with all my boss strats, I'm writing from the overall perspective of a Bear tank and what they will need to do. For you Cats reading this blog, I suggest you check out Dinaer's guides on Forever a Noob. They're written for Rogues but are a pretty good guide for melee in general and his gear drop suggestions (with the exception of weapons) will be spot on for Cats. If I have additional insight, I will try to add it in my blog. Here is his Rotface strat.


  1. Strain healers? That's like calling a hurricane a drizzle:p

    For any healers that might be reading this. People are going to die if the little slime target dies. Nothing you can do about it. Keep up the pattern of healing those with the injection, to make sure that you can stabilize the situation, otherwise it will snowball out of control.

  2. You are kidding right?

    Bile-Encrusted Medallion is a must have for bear tank. There is nothing better other than the heroic version.

  3. @Anon

    True enough. I kinda glossed over the loot list as a whole and didn't bother to compare things like I usually do before making these types of posts.