Tag Archives: halls of flesh-shaping

How To Survive Durumu’s Maze

The Full Title At the very moment of inspiration no less.

The Full Title
At the very moment of inspiration no less.

Lately I’ve been surprised by the number of people who perish in the flustercluck that is Durumu’s “maze” phase*, so I’ve written this guide for souls like me who want to survive but sometimes just can’t seem to manage it.   This is the “how to” for the folks who are observationally challenged, situationally incompetent or otherwise just generally confused.   It does NOT in any way instruct you how to do your role properly.  I do not cover other mechanics, nor the potential lore behind why the mogu would want to make an eyeball with teeth attached that also happens to be wearing a hat.  (The questions there really ARE endless!)  No, the sole point of this thing is HOW TO LIVE because IT’S KINDA IMPORTANT.  As written and illustrated, it is primarily intended for ranged players, but hell, since THE GOAL IS SURVIVAL and everybody likes that, melee can do it this way too if they want.

The good news is, nowadays folks are geared to the point where you’ll only have to deal with the maze phase once.  There have been a handful of occasions where I’ve seen Durumu downed even before it started.  But fear not if you must maze it.  Truly, my fellow LFRers, I once was like you.  And you.  And you.  And you, too.  I could not understand or see the maze properly.  It took ages before I figured out how it worked, let alone how to make it to the end of the phase!  Though I still think the maze is a bunch of purple bullsheeyit, I can offer actual, real-person proof that it is in fact possible to survive it on a regular basis.  So here is my Relatively Simple Way of making it.

CHOOSE YOUR BATTLE
(and it’s not the meters)

The key to the whole “making it out alive” thing is truly understanding your priorities during the maze.  So let’s make sure we all got the Most Important Thing up front and center: from the first laser until the last purple crap vanishes, you have exactly ONE THING to do, and that is to LIVE.  I am not kidding.  Nothing else matters.  Are you DPS?  Well, forget it.  Heals?  Obviously, you don’t wanna let the tanks go down, but YOU are the most important thing to heal.  Forget the deeps (unless they’re guildmates and can harass you for it later).  Tanks?  Well, uh, I’ve never tanked this particular fight, so I’m just gonna say, best pray to Gawd you tanks know WTF you’re doing.

In short, during the maze phase, DROP EVERYTHING BUT THE CONCEPT OF GETTING OUT ALIVE.

PREPARATION
(candy and summons are what warlocks are for, amirite?)

Let’s face it, you probably will stand in bad at one point or another, so you’ll want to bring a health potion or a healthstone to the fight with you.  They work instantly, which is ideal.  Standing still to cast a heal can be fraught with danger (for reasons laser beams discussed later).  I suppose you could be a druid with all the instant cast HoTs and so on, but for most of us that would require leveling and gearing.  Buying stuff off the AH or oppressing the warlock class is much easier.

KEY THINGS TO LOOK FOR
(not the purple fuzzy crap, that’s everywhere)

Fair Warning This beam.  This one.  Points back at the door where you entered from.

Fair Warning
This beam. This one. Points back at the door where you entered from.

First, look for this Disintegration Beam.  It ALWAYS points back at the door you entered the platform from, so it helps to keep your back to that door.  (This is also generally why all the freaking purple splotches are always on this side.)

Squigglies, Look For Them This part is very important.

Squigglies, Look For Them
This part is very important.

After a few seconds, these little itty bitty purple squiggly lines will appear on the ground, either on the left side or the right side of the beam.  This tells you which direction you need to run to, but not where specifically the openings will appear.  If you are going for the ranged path, aim towards the outside of the platform.  It’s incredibly important to move THE INSTANT you see these dang things, because you want as much of a head start on the laser beam of death as possible.

Find Your Opening Note that it can be on the far outside edge of the platform.

Find Your Opening (Highlighted)
Note that it can be on the far outside edge of the platform.

There are several paths or openings in the purple fuzz of doom, intended for melee and ranged classes.  These openings sometimes intersect during the phase, but are never together when they first start (so don’t hope for a double wide clear area at the beginning).  The melee circle is very close to the boss for obvious reasons, while the outermost ranged circle will be close to the edge of the platform.  The biggest advantage to the ranged channel is its larger diameter, which makes running the maze “feel” slower.  So if you’re having trouble with the inner melee one, screw that.  Forget DPS dignity.  Seriously, you’re gonna lose it when you die anyway, as death negatively impacts numbers.  When you see those purple squigglies, run your ass out to the outside edge, man.

Find Your Opening 2 Without red thingies added.

Find Your Opening 2
Without red thingies added.

I personally like having my camera zoomed WAY out, but most importantly, I also like having it pointing directly down.  This is because it makes the channels easier to see.  I dunno about you, but I have trouble discerning purple fuzz that’s closer vs. purple fuzz that’s farther away (and hence the opening the purple fuzz is on either side of)  when the camera is at more of an eye-level angle.

The path will open up before you, little by little.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to stay VERY CLOSE to the opening edge, if that makes sense.  Why?  BECAUSE DEATH.

This Is Why You Run FAST Do not dawdle, for you will get zapped daeeeeed.

This Is Why You Run FAST
Do not dawdle, for you will get zapped daeeeeed.

If you delay, you’ll get hit by this laser beam of death and doom, which is following you quite quickly (because purple crap by itself wasn’t trouble enough).  Ideally, you’re far enough ahead that you won’t actually see the laser at all.  But if you reacted slowly to the initial squigglies or channel opening, you may see the laser approaching swiftly from behind – and that’s bad.  Use any movement cooldowns to get further ahead.   (Good news – the laser cannot speed up!)  This is the point at which you are most likely to step in purple stuff.

If you have DBM, it will eventually start a countdown to the end of the phase.  If you are NOT on the cutting edge of path opening, DO NOT STOP when the countdown begins – the laser persists for a bit longer, and it would suck to get zapped at the end.  Only stop when there literally is no more clear “forward” area where you can go.

The purple stuff will then vanish, and CONGRATULATIONS!  You might still be alive!  YAY!

 

* Depending on the day, I normally expect slightly less than half the LFR to die – but it seems as though the number is on the rise!  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.  LEMME SHARE MY KNOWLEDGE.

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Needs More Nerf

I have heard a crapton (yes, a crapton) of bad things about Durumu, whom I deemed “the Soul Crusher” for his ability to wipe LFR groups over and over and over again.  If it wasn’t someone complaining or flat out losing their mind, it was their DBM addon telling me that they wiped for the nth time.  I was told it got nerfed.  I was told it was still fatally terrifying.  I finally decided that I really ought to try it, though not for the ranged weapon (which of course didn’t drop) – no, I was gonna do this for JOURNALISM blogging.  Anything supposedly so catastrophic was going to be GREAT in the worst possible way.

Are There Snails In Here? They gave me nightmares last time.

Are There Snails In Here?
They gave me nightmares last time.

Although friends kept trying to explain the mechanics (beams of light, maze, death) to me, I had to first make sure we weren’t going to get ambushed by any murderous gastropods.  SOMEBODY has to think of these things.

Since the Halls of Flesh-Shaping part of LFR has been out since the 2nd, I was a little startled to find that there were still other people who had no freaking clue what they were doing.  I don’t know why.  You’d think I’d know by now that I have no monopoly on ignorance.

Oh Good Note to self: if I ever tank this, keep this information to myself no matter how true it is.

Oh Good
Note to self: if I ever tank this, keep this information to myself no matter how true it is.

I guess it’s good that he was honest? As a side note, I’ve always been taught never to admit this sort of stuff – you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, especially if that attention is going to be the “OMFG YOU FAIL AND YOU KILLED US ALL” kind.

After removing all the trash, the legend himself appeared.  I rather like his little hat.   Even eyeballs with tentacles and dental problems need good hats.

Durumu Needs Caffeine Badly Twenty pots of coffee ought to do it.

Durumu Needs Caffeine Badly
Twenty pots of coffee ought to do it.

Initially, I tried to remember all the floating eye type bosses in the Legend of Zelda series who resembled Durumu.  After giving up on that exercise, I mentally prepped myself to run through some sort of maze – I was thinking walls, rats, running back and forth as I bounced off dead ends, etc.  I also wondered if, somehow, the encounter would show that Blizzard designers were taking the whole trapped-like-rats-in-a-maze thing a bit far.

Potions and flasks?  Check.  Food?  Check.  Healthstone?  Check.  I clicked “Ready.”

At first there were just some beams of light rotating around in different primary colors.  These supposedly reveal adds, but I never actually saw the adds myself, possibly because I was too busy trying to keep an eye out for the maze thing.  I DID think about making a color wheel joke right about here, but decided to pass on the opportunity.  Then came the bad.

IT'S ALL ON FIRE IT HURTS

IT’S ALL ON FIRE
IT HURTS

GTFO told me I was standing in bad.  DBM also informed me that I needed to move.  I was already going because OMFG OW OW OW OW OW OH CRAP, but it didn’t make a damn bit of difference – there wasn’t anywhere to go to that wasn’t bad.  ANYWHERE NEAR ME WAS BAD.  The bad hurt like hell, too, so I didn’t succeed in finding a safe place.

You know what the bad reminded me of?  This one time we failed in Dragonsoul:

DON'T STAND IN FIRE MOVE U NOOB

DON’T STAND IN FIRE
MOVE U NOOB

There were a few differences, of course.  There weren’t any Aspects to complain while we were the ones being burned alive, but they were more than adequately replaced by fellow members of the LFR group who couldn’t seem to believe that people would actually DIE after having used a health stone and a potion.  The Dragonsoul fire-fire was easier to avoid while there was space to do so.  And we may have been getting torched by magical dragon breath, but it didn’t hurt quite as much as the nasty dark purple stuff in the Halls.

Wait, What? THAT was the maze?

Wait, What?
THAT was the maze?

Lastly, the fire had no pretensions of being a maze.  Let’s take a moment to discuss what a maze is.  They are puzzles!  Challenges!  Mazes have many paths to choose from that may take you to the end or take you nowhere at all.  Note that word: CHOOSE.  You can’t choose when you’re dead.

For the sake of comparison, here are some examples of mazes:

This Is A Maze On Wikipedia

This Is A Maze
On Wikipedia

And:

This Is A Maze Rather fancy actually.

This Is A Maze
Rather fancy actually.

And here’s Durumu’s “maze” …

Not A Maze But possibly some sick, twisted vision of one.

Not A Maze
But possibly some sick, twisted vision of one.

When is a maze not a maze?  When:

  • there aren’t any choices you can make
  • there is no “end” or destination to get to other than “alive”
  • it’s just an enormous puddle of bad
  • you’re dead
Lest You Think You're Safe Found the clear spot?  Good for you.  Now die.

Lest You Think You’re Safe
Found the clear spot? Good for you. Now die.

I’m TOLD that the opening starts to the left or the right of the boss, but the thing is, if you AREN’T ALREADY THERE or aren’t EXTREMELY close, you’re effed.  And sometimes if you are there – I did find the clear space once by accident – you’re effed anyway.  Let’s say you live, though.  You aren’t really in a maze so much as you’re following something you can’t see and praying to Gawd the opening it leaves doesn’t vanish on you because you got a little too far behind.  If it does, YOU DIE.

GET IN LINE Order, people, order!

GET IN LINE
Order, people, order!

Thanks to the nerfing and the fancy buff you get for failing, we only wiped two or three times.  I’d argue that we call a spade a spade though.  This is a hot mess and needs more nerf.  Either make the bad do less damage, make it the bad appear more slowly so you have time to escape it, and/or make the safe spot more obvious.  Think General Erudax in Grim Batol, where a glowy swirly shows you where it’s safe to stand.  You’ve got a handful of seconds to get there while he casts, but if you don’t QUITE make it, you still have more than a few seconds of life to try.  You aren’t effed unless you’re on the far side of the room, half dead already or just really lost and confused.

Above all, we should not call this sheeyit a maze, because it ain’t.

Primordius was fun, although he made me sad because he was in pain.  Obviously, he’s kind of S.O.L. in any number of ways, including being second in line after Durumu.  I’d say about one tenth of my brain was focused on Primordius, while eight tenths were still screaming OMGWFTNOTAMAZE and the final one tenth was wondering if I got any good screenshots of Durumu.

Dark Animus was TACTICS EL OH EL WTF GUYS UM OK.

I Have A Bad Feeling About This p.s.,  running through the raid with this red sheeyit on your tail is an easy way to irritate others, even if it is fatal.

I Have A Bad Feeling About This
p.s., running through the raid with this red sheeyit on your tail is an easy way to irritate others, even if it is fatal.

In my lame defense, I thought the red sheeyit was only going to hurt me, not everybody else.  (Therefore, if I got out of the raid’s general vicinity, it didn’t matter how I got there.)  Oops?