I really dislike the Faction Champions in Trial of the Crusader. I know that I'm not alone in this; a lot of crying has been done about how the fight is too much like PvP and people don't want that in a PvE instance, but that's actually not really it for me. I don't mind a bit of PvP and occasionally even participate in it myself.
There are two things that I dislike about the Faction Champions, the first one being that I really feel sidelined as a healer in this fight. I realise that no fight is equally interesting to everyone, but this is a pretty extreme example of inequality if you ask me. Especially in twenty-five-man mode our raid leader has to spend ages discussing the strategy for this fight every time (since the group composition is always different): who should (try to) crowd-control what, interrupts, kill order, and so on.
However, in the meantime the healers don't need any kind of plan, because our role is always the same: 1.: Heal anyone that takes damage (this is completely random). And 2.: Run away from things that try to damage you (this will also be completely random). So I get to spend ten minutes twiddling my thumbs while a lot of things are being discussed that have zero relevance to me and then I spend a lot of time seeing one of my favourite activities in the game being reduced to Whack-A-Mole in its purest form. No strategy here, it's all random. /yawn
The second thing that I dislike about the Faction Champions is that they have somehow turned into the personal nemesis of my ten-man group. We have downed them on both normal and heroic mode, but if anything is off one night, this fight is where the shit will hit the fan. And unfortunately tonight was one such night, as we just could not get them down on heroic mode and nobody seemed to have a clue why. From my point of view it was because we healers were being silenced all the time, but that didn't really make it any better because I had no idea how to solve that problem either.
I mean, usually when I encounter a problem in a fight like this I take the following steps:
- Ask myself if I did something wrong and if so, how I can avoid it next time: In this case I couldn't see what I could have done to avoid the constant interrupts from the mage, the enhancement shaman and the warlock's felhunter. I can't really get rid of the fel puppy when it's absolutely set on chewing on my toes. Both counterspell and the shaman interrupt are ranged instant casts, so I can't avoid them either, seeing how I can't constantly be out of range of those two guys while staying in range of the raid.
- Ask myself if anyone else obviously did something wrong and if so, how that could be corrected next time: Now, I wasn't sure whether anyone was supposed to keep the shaman and the mage busy, but even if they were, nobody can be expected to keep a champion's attention one hundred percent of the time, so an instant cast targetted at someone else can always go off anyway.
Which left me... completely lost and helpless. On absolutely every attempt I would get interrupted and locked out of my holy spells for ten seconds after a few casts - and ten seconds are a looong time in a fight like this, a time during which people would get dangerously low despite of the other healers' efforts. When the silence finally wore off I'd get a few casts off before being interrupted again, and during the next ten seconds the whole thing would then quickly devolve into a wipe.
Nobody really seemed to know what to do either, people were constantly asking to change the kill order but it didn't seem to do us any good whatsoever. Eventually it got late and we got so frustrated that we left for the night and went off to do something else, but I'm sure I wasn't the only one who had a sour taste in my mouth.
Maybe I do dislike the Faction Champions for being too much like a PvP fight after all, because it's all so random and impossible to fully control, so nobody knows what can realistically be expected from everyone else at any time. So it's random trial and error every time... Trial and Error of the Crusader, hmm.
In the immortal words of G.I. Joe: Knowing is half the battle - unfortunately that also means that if you don't have a clue what's going on, you'll always be fighting a battle that's already half-lost.
The curse of continuity
3 hours ago