We got Shannox down last night, again... finally. We'd been trying to implement most of the suggestions that you guys gave me last week. In the end, I think the most helpful was simply to go with a three healer approach. It made DPS a small bit slower, but not as much as you'd think. The extra heals gave us some breathing room so we could recover from small fails. Heck, we almost downed him once when we stepped in five (5) crystal traps (3 healers, a tank, and a DPS... two at the same time finally wiped us).
We came back after the self-trapping wipe, re-focused, and started getting consistently to the last phase. We made some pretty good transitions - really close to 30% when Riplimb went down - but it still gets a little dicey. I think we had two <5% wipes before we got him down. I have no idea how we one-shot him the first time we saw him. I think we've learned our lessons though and can deal with all the mechanics pretty well.
So, what we have learned so far in Firelands is that Beth'tilac is a definite two-healer fight, and Shannox seems designed for three. Blizzard has done this to ten mans in the past, and I guess I was hoping the design would change in Cataclysm, what with the focus on separate but equal raiding.
Pre-Cat, you pretty much always had to have the "swing guy" to be successful. Someone that can go between DPS and Healing prior to the fights to give your raid the flexibility needed to succeed. Sure, when you get geared, eventually you can cease the swinging, but until then, it's almost a necessity to progress.
Swing-guy is still in effect. We've shuffled around a lot this expansion, but I think we've got all the roles figured out, swing-guy included. Our poor RL went from a tank, to a DPS, now to swinger. He healed in ICC. Go figure. It's rough to ask someone to learn two different roles over the course of a fight, but I guess, with the limited numbers in 10's, it's a must.
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