Salvaging the "Oculus Failure"
I totally lied when I said I was going to stop posting about Oculus (ONE C. GOT IT? ONE FREAKING C.)

The thing is, that in spite of how many terribad comments I got, I also got some really great ones. And they really made me think. And then BBB posted about Oculus, and so did Leaf-Head and a bajillion others, and I thought to myself, there has just got to be a better way to deal with the Oculus/LFG debacle. So many people offered tips and encouragement and great responses in their comments, that I feel it would just be wasted if I didn’t put all that information together into an actually helpful post.

Seems there are several different problems for folks landing in Oculus for their random heroic.
  1. A large portion of the Oculus instance requires you to be on a vehicle, and know the abilities of that vehicle. Many folks just don’t know or understand the abilities.
  2. Some of us understand the drake abilities just fine tyvm, but we are really awful at flying, or handling the interface changes, etc.
  3. Some of us are great at both, and more than happy to help out those who struggle, but people keep abandoning the group before even giving it a shot.

There are other issues that people have, but for most of those issues, I have no easy solution for you. Oculus is different than other heroics, partially because before ToC it was supposed to be one of the most difficult Heroics – you can’t just pile up mobs and AoE-zerg your way through it. For many, this makes it a lot more fun and interesting. For others, not so much.

For the moment, I’m going to skip problem 1 and come back to it. Let’s address the other problems first.

Oculus Tips

If you struggle with flying, like me, I will tell you what I do in Eye of Eternity (which is actually my favorite raid).

  • I ask who the most confident flyer in the group is, and then I tell them I am going to follow them. Create a quick macro that says /follow Superman, put it on a toolbar, and use it everytime you mount up. Ask the person you intend to follow to wait a few moments after mounting up before flying away, because there is a delay in the mounting/dismounting/follow mechanics. Hopefully they will be helpful and want you to not fail.
  • Secondly, put the drake item (drake essence) that calls your drake on your toolbar as well. This keeps you from having to dig through your bags every time you have to mount up, and saves some time and frustration.
  • Note that if you die, you will need to get another drake essence.
  • Also note that if you die, you can use your ground mount on the opening walk, and ride on over to the portal on the other side to get to the NPCs who will give you your drake essence.
  • And please also note that you can fall off the side of the walk into oblivion and die again. Why yes, I have in fact tested this. For informational purposes only, of course. >.>

If you are one of those people that has no problem with this instance, be a pal.

  • If you’re sick of people ditching as soon as they see it’s the Oculus, try writing a quick macro that says /p I know this instance, and if you do not, I will help you! Or something less cheesy. If I knew when I jumped in that there would be someone patient and willing to help, I would be much less likely to bail.
  • Recommend that people who struggle with the flying put you on /follow.
  • Recommend that people who struggle with targeting drakes to DPS make a macro that targets you, and then go after whatever you are targeting. (If someone who knows how to write a macro for this that can verify it works with drakes would post this in a comment, I would be very grateful)
  • Be prepared to give brief explanations of the drake abilities (see below).
  • In short? Be prepared to courageously lead – and that requires patience. Earn your Patient title solely from helping people through this instance.

The Drakes in Oculus

Now, back to that first problem.

For some strateeeeegery, try The Oculus Guide at World of Strats. The author politely requested that the article be linked to instead of copy and pasted, so please go there to read the strat. The drake abilities are also listed there.

If you just feel ill-informed about the drakes and their abilities, I am listing them here for ease of reference. This is directly copy and pasted from WoWWiki, and all credit goes to them.

  • Searing Wrath — Breathes a stream of fire at an enemy dragon, dealing 6800 to 9200 Fire damage and then jumping to additional dragons within 30 yards. Each jump increases the damage by 50%. Affects up to 5 total targets. Instant.
  • Evasive Aura — Allows the Ruby Drake to generate Evasive Charges when hit by hostile attacks and spells. Instant. Passive.
  • Evasive Maneuvers — Allows your drake to dodge all incoming attacks and spells. Requires Evasive Charges to use. Each attack or spell dodged while this ability is active burns one Evasive Charge. Lasts 30 sec. or until all charges are exhausted. Instant. 5 second cooldown.
  • Martyr — Redirect all harmful spells cast at friendly drakes to yourself for 10 sec. Instant. 10 second cooldown. This ability is only available during the final boss encounter.
  • Shock Lance — Deals 4822 to 5602 Arcane damage and detonates all Shock Charges on an enemy dragon. Damage is increased by 6525 for each detonated. Instant.
  • Stop Time — Halts the passage of time, freezing all enemy dragons in place for 10 sec. This attack applies 5 Shock Charges to each affected target. Instant. 1 minute cooldown
  • Temporal Rift — Channels a temporal rift on an enemy dragon for 10 sec. While trapped in the rift, all damage done to the target is increased by 100%. In addition, for every 15,000 damage done to a target affected by Temporal Rift, 1 Shock Charge is generated. Channeled. This ability is only available during the final boss encounter.
  • Leeching Poison — Poisons the enemy dragon, leeching 1300 to the caster every 2 sec. for 12 sec. Stacks up to 3 times. Instant.
  • Touch of Nightmare — Consumes 30% of the caster's max health to inflict 25,000 nature damage to an enemy dragon and reduce the damage it deals by 25% for 30 sec. Instant.
  • Dream Funnel — Transfers 5% of the caster's max health to a friendly drake every second for 10 seconds as long as the caster channels. Channeled. This ability is only available during the final boss encounter.

Try to remember that it is actually somewhat rude to abandon your fellow puggers when you see an instance that challenges your comfort level. If you're going to get a 15 minute debuff anyway, at least stick around for 15 minutes to see how it goes. Hopefully there will be at least one person in your group who is friendly enough and confident enough to help you with it if you are struggling.

If not, well, start a blog and begin writing about all your awful PuG experiences XD
12 Responses
  1. crankyhealer Says:

    If you're going to get a 15 minute debuff anyway, at least stick around for 15 minutes to see how it goes.

    This is how you should always approach randoms. You gain nothing by leaving right away. You can't get back into queue (which I'm sure has the DPS lamenting, because their queue is long).

    Let's say you fail for 15 minutes and it sucks horribly. You can ask your groupmates "hey this isn't working, want to queue as a group for a new random?" (Assuming they aren't jerks.) If you all stick together, your entire group will instantly be transported to a different instance, no harm, no foul.

    Yes, you CAN queue as a group with people you are currently grouped with from other servers! I have done this before with completely full groups or with partial groups (2 people dropped but the other 3 wanted to keep instancing together.)

    If you are DPS, continuing on with the healer or tank (or preferably the entire group) gives you a free pass on the queue. Use the fact that you got into a group to your advantage rather than scrapping it and exiting as soon as you see you're in an instance you don't like.

  2. Aloix Says:

    About the assisting (which is my 2nd biggest complaint about Oc, I'm generally a non-hater), I just do a quick edit of my usual assist focus macro, and add to it
    /assist NameofTank
    /assist Drake

    Not perfect but it will work whether on or off the drake. Just need to remove it once out of Oculus (or it returns an 'Unknown Unit' error).

  3. Shintar Says:

    I think part of the problem with the drake abilities is that it's one thing to read the tooltips and another to really understand what they imply in practice, especially as the drakes don't fulfil their roles in the "traditional" way.

    For example we call the ruby drake the tank, so we can assume that it will always have aggro, right? Wrong! A lot of the time the ruby drake won't actually have aggro, instead it uses Martyr to redirect all attacks to itself, so even if Eregos is shooting an amber, the red takes the hits.

    To be honest I'm still not entirely sure what's the best way to handle riding an amber drake. I mean, I read the tooltip and I realise I should probably use both the rift and the shock lance, but how often and in what order... mmm, beats me.

  4. Poneria Says:

    @crankyhealer: I might try that next time.

    The only reason I bail at the loading screen is because the only pleasant experiences in Oculus I've ever had (since the beginning of Wrath) are with guildies. I've yet to have even a decent pug Oculus group. Maybe the Alliance-side Vindication battlegroup just sucks or I have bad luck or whatever. The last run I tried, the tank simply would not grasp the concept that he needed to TANK on the stupid red drake, and the other 3 guys just didn't seem to care that there is an actual strategy (they tried to just stay in one spot on the orbs /headdesk). It wasn't that they couldn't, but more of they WOULDN'T. They just wanted to press button, receive bacon, and leave. That was the last straw for me. I don't mind newbs to the instance, but close-minded mashbots make this instance just unbearable for me from start to finish.

  5. Nymarie Says:

    I never saw a problem with the instance itself. I always thought Oculus was one of the faster/easier instances. My problem was doing it every night for two weeks. I got so sick of it that I refused to do it again. Whatever they changed last a week and a half ago seems to have fixed it since I haven't gotten Oculus since. Because of this, I'm back to just doing whatever instance they give me.

  6. Stephen Says:

    Am I missing something? What's with all the targeting problems?
    Is the problem targeting the player's drake?

  7. @Stephen

    Actually, since I haven't run Oculus for awhile, I'm not sure if it is still a problem, so I'm trying to get verification on that. I may actually be forced to run Oculus today in order to be sure. Sadface.

    Way back when (and maybe it was a UI add-on problem), clicking a member of your party, and then trying to heal them with the Green Drake (for instance) wouldn't work, because you needed to select the drake, not the player.

    Also, people have reported having problems with /focus targets on the drakes as well.

  8. Raymond K. Says:

    You are right, we should be a pal when Oculus comes up. A good idea with that /p macro that we can use at the very start.

    I think the instance itself isnt so bad now, for some reason. I used to lament it, but now that I know the drake abilities well enough it's actually quite easy.

    At last boss I also ask us to follow a party member that is marked (me for instance) so that we all stay in range of the healer.


  9. Wazzup0AD Says:

    In all honesty, with the way they've buffed dragons and the way they've weakened the boss in Oculus, it really is a joke. It's no longer the "Oh, shit!" place it used to be for me to tank (I mastered kiting in Oculus, so it's not ALL useles) it's more of an "At least it's not Old Kingdom," kind of place. :-)
    The best part about Oculus now is that it comes up as a Random Heroic, but not as a Daily Heroic. When I had to run it for 2 weeks straight as a Daily Heroic on my server, it killed me.

    Thank you for your post Miss Medicina, it's inspired a new one for me! :-)

  10. For the Pie Says:

    I concur, it should be double C's.

  11. G-Rebel Says:

    It took me a long time to master the drake abilities. I still don't know how long to rift before shock lance, usually we just have one rift in the group and the others Ambers do shock lance.

    My first time in Occulus I was nervous. Everyone in my guild said it was horrible. I went in and the tank asked if anyone was new...I raised my hand. He asked if it was ok for him to give me tips along the way...I said 'of course'.

    Friendliness is not a silly notion but a tool that has kept me and possibly others going back without a doubt or second thought. Thanks to that tank, whoever you are.

  12. Nim (Ankh) Says:

    I would have to say that, at this point, the only reason someone would drop out of Oculus (One c, got it) is because they don't know how retarded easy it is now. I got an Oculus PUG the other day. Myself and the tank were well-educated on this instance, but we had a DPS that'd never been there before. We showed him what to do, pounded through the instance (no deaths), and got the Make It Count achievement. It's become the easiest heroic to run, with the biggest rewards. I HOPE for Oculus whenever I queue up for a random heroic.

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