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Starym

First Look at Sylvanas Sanctum of Domination Encounter, Including P3, Auto-Resurrection Bug and Top Raider Commentary

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We saw the final encounter of the 9.1 raid, Sanctum of Domination, get some testing yesterday, and boy did it need it. Heroic Sylvanas isn't quite ready for a proper introduction it seems as many bugs befell the testers (as they should, it's what testing is for), including one particularly helpful one which allowed guilds to get to Phase 3... by simply releasing and getting ressed, continuing the encounter as if they didn't die. Big spoilers below.

First things first, the big revelations from the test: we actually got to see Phase 3 aka the fight in Oribos where the Jailer is assaulting the Arbiter, with Anduin showing up and causing havoc as well, while Sylvanas continues to attack players.

As usual, the top guilds did not stream their testing of the final boss, but plenty of others did, and everyone had a pretty buggy experience. It seems that two particularly major bugs seemed to sort of nullify each other, as one made Phase 2 almost impossible due to Ruin taking out a lot of guilds, but then there was the savior bug, which simply allowed players to release and instantly come back alive after dying to continue the fight. Here's a full run by the guild Nascent lasting a whooping 16 minutes with a very short time in Phase 3, who very hilariously find out about the resurrection thing mid-pull (skip to 27:00 for the crucial bug moment and to 31:55 for Phase 3 and Oribos):

As you can see from the above, the fight goes as described in the encounter journal, as Phase 1 sees Sylvanas shooting arrows around while players avoid the linked Domination Chains Domination Chains and eventually move to Phase 2, where they run up the Torghast chains with the help of Jaina and Thrall's elemental bridges. But the big deal here is Phase 3, where we see the fight move to Oribos as the Jailer attacks the Arbiter and players have to deal with Sylvanas AND Anduin, and teleport around the platforms surrounding the main Arbiter one. There's also this datamined cutscene of the final phase transition from LeystTV, which sees the Arbiter get hit pretty hard:

You can check out the rest of Nascent's testing above, and we'll add a few other streamers that tested it below as well, but first, let's hear from our own Impakt, who was raiding with top guild BDGG (with private streaming/videos), as he gives us some insight into the fight and how its buginess compares to other first-test endbosses, whether the "melee bad" comments are true or not and more:

Quote

Sylvanas was visually impressive but was quite underwhelming from a raiding perspective. The damage and healing required were quite high, but the mechanics themselves were mediocre and uninspired for what we have come to expect from end bosses. The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that this is both an end boss and the first Heroic PTR test of the boss, so it is highly likely that the fight will see some changes before going live in 9.1. That being said, there are some issues.

There are twitter memes floating around about melee being bad on the fight, which may be true, but you cannot base whether a class is good or not just off of the first phase of an encounter. In her first phase, Sylvanas dashes around constantly which can be quite annoying, but ultimately the meta and composition you use for the fight will be determined by the hardest part of the fight. For end bosses historically that has meant some sort of single target DPS burn at the end of the encounter, but there have been exceptions to that rule, such as for Queen Azshara in Eternal Palace. Also, for at least some of her phase 1 dashes, her hit box actually does not move even though her nameplate and model do move, which means melee can just keep hitting her from the same spot.

Even for an end boss, Sylvanas was wildly over tuned for Heroic. Several guilds saw pulls for over 10 minutes, but in most of these pulls Sylvanas was still above 70% health. Clearly there is still something missing about how you would drop her health further on the fight, and there will be some changes made. In its current state, you’re looking at a 15-20 minute fight depending on how the final phase plays out, which is a bit extreme. The damage taken seemed quite high for higher group sizes (25+) as well, which is not uncommon early on in testing. We are still very hopeful that Sylvanas can be an excellent end boss with some changes, and hopefully the Mythic version of the encounter addresses some of the issues we saw in Heroic.

It is also worth noting, Sylvanas was quite bugged during this PTR, particularly during phase 2, but again this is not uncommon for end bosses in testing. N'Zoth was spawned in at a 90 degree angle from the ground during his first testing when you initially zoned in, and Sire had his Mythic mechanics active initially. End bosses are the most complex, and there is going to be more room for error with bugs.

Current World First champion guild Complexity-Limit's Gm Max also commented on the encounter:

And here are some other streams of the Sylvanas testing:

Preach:

Dratnos:

AutomaticJak:

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