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Cairne’s Revenge

May 4, 2011

Dear Reader,

First off, this is my second post today, so if you didn’t see the previous one, scroll down and read it!  It’s good (so I think).

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll spend today describing an idea for a dungeon that I’d like explored if user generated content was allowed in WoW.  The idea comes from the Magatha Grimtotem lore (and may in fact conflict with it since I know next to nothing about the lore), and the dungeon would work with several iconic archetypes in WoW.

The dungeon would progress in two large sections.  The first section would take the player through an area like the Grimtotem Encampment in 1000 Needles, with bridges and long drops.  There would be water or lava at the bottom, preventing falling from being instantly lethal, but the long run back up would still be a hindrance for the party.  There would be player class mobs (mages, shaman, druids, etc) consisting mostly of Tauren, and the druids would use a knockback that could intentionally knock players off the edge if they weren’t cautious about their placement.

The first boss would be a group of guards prior to Magatha who would function similarly to the Gruul’s Council encounter in Gruul’s Lair.  There would have to be competent use of CC and multiple-mob tanking.  The composition of the exact mobs would be randomly generated (like in Magister’s Terrace) to make the encounter more exciting for each run through.

After the “Guards” boss, the party would proceed into a long hall with several trash pulls, similar to the room before Blackheart the Inciter.  Some of the mobs could be skipped if players dared, but boss mechanics could cause them to be pulled.  These mobs would be the same as the previous trash mobs except a new type of mob, the Grimtotem Traitor, would be included.  The traitor is untankable after the first few seconds, similar to the Anubian Skirmishers in Azjol-Nerub.

The second boss would be Magatha (already!).  She would employ enhancement shammy abilities but also use a mind-control totem with lots of hit points.  The mind control totem will randomly target a player every 30 seconds and mind control them, but not drop any already-controlled players.  This means the totem must be killed every time it spawns to avoid a wipe.  It should take about 25 seconds for 2 dps to kill the totem, so if the tank or healer is chosen, it won’t take as long and will just mean a lot of healing or cooldowns blown.  The totem in on a one-minute cooldown.  That should give about 30-35 seconds for the players to dps Magatha in between totems.  Magatha shouldn’t have a lot of hit points herself, but the totems should have enough hit points to make up for her weakness.  This encounter scales well with gear because the player’s strength is her strength.  Healers could heal her up, tanks could be forced to waste their cooldowns, and dps could greatly increase her damage.

When Magatha is down to 5 percent or so, she channels a spell that draws the players into the spirit world (appropo for a shaman).  There, they find Cairne’s ghost, who’s mad as hell.  There’s no trash between the second and third boss, because as they’re zoned in and given a minute or two of downtime to recover, Cairne attacks.  He’s confused and angry about the betrayal.  He’ll prophecize doomsday warnings about Hellscream and blame the Horde for his death.  He’ll spawn adds during this, iconic characters from the Horde, to defend him.  Players will randomly face two of the Horde leaders (one at a time) in battle (Sylvanas, Thrall, or Lor’themar).  Each will use the same abilities they have when attacked in PvP (though of course at the appropriate level for the dungeon).  After two are bested, Cairne will attack, using his old abilities.

When Cairne is defeated, the players explain what has happened, and he realizes that if the players are here and alive, then Magatha must be here directing the action.  He blazes a path towards here, unaware and immune to the mobs in his path.  The players run a gauntlet now of various animal spirits similar to the gauntlet in Shattered Halls, with actual packs of mobs along with constantly spawning adds (I guess the gauntlet in Pit or Saron is more recent and I should have referred to that one).  The environment here is grey and wispy, like when you’re dead, with a forest-like “nature” backdrop.

The gauntlet ends at the final boss, Magatha’s Spirit and her spirit animal.  The spirit, a viper, controls Magatha, giving the players the impression that while she made evil choices and hurt others, her very makeup was to be a traitor, and that perhaps it was her lot in life regardless of her choices.  Cairne engages her first, but is dismissed as fading image of a powerful soul and devoured by the Viper Spirit.

The fight is in three phases.  First, the players face Magatha, who now uses elemental and resto shammy abilities but without any totems (those being physical in the “material” world and thus unavailable to her here).  In the second phase, the Viper joins the battle as an add, poisoning and using a channeled (and interruptable) mind control on party members (those traitors!).  In the final phase, Magatha dies and the viper absorbs her spirit, becoming stronger, using an AOE mind control as well as a variety of poisons, forcing players to be as healed up as possible before the AOE mind control phases begin.

The second phase would be the most difficult, with the most chaos (fire elemental adds from Magatha, Mind Control from the Viper, dots from the Viper, etc).  The second phase would start when Magatha reaches 50%, the third when she dies; this gives players the option of trying to weaken the viper before they kill Magatha, prolonging the second phase but shortening the third “burn” phase (since the dots + AOE mind control would eventually be untenable).  If the viper reaches 10% before Magatha dies, it can flee into Magatha, then reemerge when she dies, essentially preventing it from dying before she does.

Upon killing the Viper Spirit, both Cairne and Magatha emerge.  Understanding what evil power drove her, he offers reconciliation, which she accepts.  As a follow-up quest, the player can be asked to deliver a message for her to the Grimtotem clan ending the conflict, but of course that would have to have “real-world” implications that Blizzard would have to incorporate as well.

So, that’s my dungeon.  I like the lore associated with it, the finality of the justice involved, and the concept of entering the Spirit Realm.


Stubborn (who’s got a head full of these things)

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2011 7:40 pm

    AoE Mind Control? Sick! That was a good dungeon, i could picture it happening. Dunno if blizz would do it, but I believe it`d be an awesome place (or sad place if there were many wipes haha). Interesting work :]

  2. May 5, 2011 9:30 am

    I’ve been wanting a Grimtotem instance since Vanilla!

  3. May 12, 2011 6:43 pm

    This is SUPER cool, but I’m not sure if I like the idea of Magatha being “driven” by an evil spirit. I kind of like the fact that she’s one of WoW’s uncorrupted, just-naturally-rotten villains. The fight and dungeon would be incredible, though! 😀

  4. Alec Hendrickson permalink
    May 15, 2011 6:04 pm

    I agree with this all the way, because evil or not, the Grimtotem are Tauren and Tauren are one of the mortal races. And sooner or later all members of the mortal races will have to come to their senses. And besides, I’ve always had a feeling something we don’t know about is pulling the grim totems and Magtha’s strings.

    • May 17, 2011 2:21 pm

      Some people don’t like the idea of Magatha being driven by an evil spirit animal, and I can understand why. However, the system seems to suggest that we choose the spirit animal as much as it chooses us, so if she’s got a bad animal, it’s because she’s a bad person. I don’t know, of course, how Blizz would want to spin it, but I like the idea of redemption at the end.

    • Alec Hendrickson permalink
      May 17, 2011 5:22 pm

      Well brainwashed or not it’s still a cool dungeon and possible ending. I also agree with this because Baine Bloodhoof, Cairne’s son(Who i also think should play a role in this) is a very different leader then his father… in a negative way. He supports Garrosh Hellscreams regime and when he was helping me with that Grimtotem attack on Mulgore, it actually seemed he was enjoying killing their commander. If the kid’s motivated by vengeance against the renegade tauren, he’ll become as vile as they are. He needs to snap out of it, or else the Horde will turn 100% evil, and Blizzard could lose a lot of players

  5. Alec Hendrickson permalink
    May 15, 2011 6:10 pm

    Also one more thing I forgot to say, contact Blizzard about this, they’ve received loads of fanmail and a few of the things put in came from the fans.


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