Final Boss Case Study: General Drakkisath


Drak, as he was commonly known at the time, resides at the top of Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS).  Upon release, this was a 15-man raid instance but this was later reduced to a 10-man instance.


The boss was found at the very top of the tower after a long 1-2 hour instance run.  He was in a large room, which had several 5+ mob pulls, including several patrols, which forced you to pull many of the groups out of the room and across a narrow bridge. 


Drak came with two adds who would have to be tanked.  The common strategy was for a hunter to shoot the boss and then run out of the room, the tanks would pick up the two adds, which would be DPS’d down by the raid ASAP.  Once the adds were down the hunter would feign death and Drak would come charging back into the room for the raid to pick up and tank.


None of Drak’s abilities were really anything to worry about.  Kiting him out of the room eliminated having to deal with him plus his adds, which largely trivialized the encounter.  He was a basic tank and spank fight who would occasionally cast “Conflagulate” on a raid member, causing them to become disoriented and do AOE fire damage to the raid.


Really the hardest part about doing Drak, and UBRS, was keeping a raid of mostly PUGS together for the nearly two hours that the instance run would take.  There were no summoning stones back in the day, thus unless your raid had a warlock needing to replace a raid member meant a 10-15 minute wait for the player to run all the way out there.


His drops were not that bad either.  He had a fire resist shield, which was the best pre-raid tanking shield available.  Drak also had a very low drop rate on an epic one-handed sword and dropped chest pieces of the Tier 0 dungeon set.  You have to remember that even being in full “blue” gear for many players was an accomplishment and even raiders would spend six months or more becoming completely equipped in epic quality items.


Drak was also very important for future raiders.  Killing him was the last part of a lengthy quest chain to gain access to Onyxia’s lair, a 40-man raid encounter.  Also, directly behind Drak was the item to click on to complete the attunement quest for Blackwing Lair, another 40-man raid instance.


UBRS was many WoW players first taste of end-game raiding in 1.x WoW.  It eventually became an anomaly, as guilds formed for 20 man and 40 man raiding, as this out of place 10 man instance.  PUGS would form up nightly to take on its challenges and even finding someone that could open to door and let you in could sometimes take an hour or more.


Looking at his rewards now, we see that dungeon sets died in TBC as they were not implemented in WotLK.  Also, defeating Drak, and the completing the proper quests, allowed entry into two separate raid instances, such attunement processes would survive long into TBC, but not WotLK.  Many guilds at the time would not accept applicants who had not completed the Onyxia attunement quest line, which forced players looking to raid to complete this long series of quests.


~ by Centuri on January 20, 2009.

%d bloggers like this: