NOTE: This guide is based on the Halls of Origination instance as seen in the Cataclysm Beta the last week of October 2010. As such is may change significantly before release in both layout and content. However, in all likelihood the version released at Cataclysms launch will remain highly similar. This guide will be updated shortly after Cataclysms release to reflect the final version of the instance.
The Halls of Origination are one of the level 85 endgame five player instances in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. This instance, while not large in size, is huge in scope for a five player instance. It is located in a pyramid in the eastern edge of Uldum and contains a total of seven different bosses. Only the oldest instances that were shipped with vanilla WoW contained more bosses than this one does.
While the instance contains many bosses, they are very well spread out in the instance and are arranged in a very non-linear manner. In fact you dont even really need to fight them all if you dont want to, you can pick and chose many of them. This is due to the way the instance is arranged. The instance is divided between a lower level that has both indoor and outdoor elements and an upper level that is all inside.
Lower Levels of the Halls of Origination
Once you enter you need to defeat a guardian type boss that blocks the main entrance to the Halls, but once past him you can chose from several bosses on the main level or head up to the upper halls to fight a different set of bosses. Of course you can choose to fight all seven if you so choose, and in almost any order you choose.
Temple Guard Anhuur
The first boss in the Halls of Origination is the Temple Guard Anhuur who is a large Tolvir. Anhuur is a gateway type boss to the rest of this instance in that he must be defeated before you can continue further. However, once past him you can fight the remaining bosses in any order you choose.
Divine Reckoning This is an AOE blast ability that is cast on a single player and then affects anyone near them when if goes off 8 seconds later. The target and anyone within 15 yards will transfer 15,000 health to Anhuur.
Searing Light This attack is a beam of light that hits everyone in its path for a large amount of damage every second that they remain in the beam.
Shield of Light Once cast, Anhuur becomes immune until the two switches in the viper pit have been activated.
Reverberating Hymn Anhuur starts channelling this spell as soon as he casts shield of light. It is interruptible, but only once the shield of light has been removed. The Hymn places a stacking debuff on all players every 4 seconds that does 400 damage per tick (which is also every 4 seconds)
This is a very fun fight that involves some movement and planning by players and serves as a good player / gear check to weed out those that are not ready for endgame content yet (despite being level 85). The fight is essentially two phases. In the first phase Anhuur can be tanked and held in the center of the platform while the healer and DPS spread out around the platform and ramp. Work on doing damage while ensuring that players avoid standing in the beam of light that causes damage and stay away from whichever player has divine reckoning cast on them.
Roughly a minute into the fight the second phase will start. Anhuur switches from casting divine reckoning and searing light to instead casting his shield of light and reverberating hymn. While affected by his shield of light he is impossible to hurt. To bring the shield down, two players must jump off the platform into the snake pit below and activate both switches found there. They can then make their way back up the ramps to the group above kiting the snakes that will follow them. The whole group can then AOE down the vipers quickly. Also, as soon as the shield is deactivated, someone in the group that can interrupt should stop Anhuurs channel of the reverberating hymn ability.
Once this has been stopped Anhuur reverts back to phase one for another minute. The two phases switch back and forth until you have defeated Anhuur.
There are two things that mess up many groups in this fight. The first is forgetting to interrupt the reverberating hymn ability once his shield is down. The stacking debuff can cause serious damage if it is allowed to get too high, and I have seen groups completely forget about it and everyone in the group taking 4000+ damage per tick and still letting it stack higher. The second is to not help clear the vipers that follow DPS up the ramps. They will very quickly aggro the healer once at the top and prevent all heals from being cast. Take a few seconds and clear them before DPS switches back to the boss.
This is the second boss that is normally fought in the Halls of Origination is found through a gauntlet of Troggs and Elemental mini-bosses. To get Anraphet to appear you need to fight your way through the gauntlet of insanely fast spawning Troggs to each elemental mini-boss, and defeat them. Once all four are dead then Anraphet appears at the far end of the chamber. While each mini-boss has some abilities, defeating them is very simple as long as you keep the following in mind: Water (break the bubbles), Fire (spread out when it novas), Air (avoid the whirlwinds), Earth (spread out to avoid collectively being thrown back). All can easily be done through tank and spank methods with any real amount of DPS and simply ignoring the abilities entirely.
Now onto the fight with Anraphet who has the following abilities:
Alpha Beam This is an energy beam that Anraphet channels at a target for 3 seconds. It does damage to the target and anything within 6 yards of it every half second.
Crumbling Ruin This ability is a debuff applied by Anraphet that lowers your current health by 8%. It also stacks.
Nemesis Strike This is a melee attack that hits for physical damage and then places a DOT on the target that deals shadow damage over the next 6 seconds.
Omega Stance This is a channelled ability that hits everyone in the part for damage over an eight second timeframe. During that time you are also dazed and then slowed.
This fight is mainly about the healer and DPS. The tank simply needs to hold Anraphet in place and move to avoid any Alpha Beams thrown his way. The DPS need to avoid as much AOE damage as possible while inflicting enough damage to burn Anraphet down before Crumbling Ruin creates issues for the tanks health.
During Omega Stance and any time alpha beam catches multiple targets the healer will be busy keeping everyone alive as AOE splash damage is quite high in this fight. Also the tank can take big spike damage depending on the timing and placement of abilities. Be prepared to be under a heavy load as a healer the first time you are here.
This is generally the third fight in the instance and reuses the amazing bone wraith model from Lord Marrowgar in ICC. Plus, on the way to him you get a chance to ride a camel, what more could you want from a boss fight?
Earth Spike This is a rock spike that erupts from the ground inflicting damage to anyone above it and knocking them back. The area of effect is fairly small though so staying a few steps apart is enough to avoid multiple people being hit.
Flame Bolt A fire bolt that hits for roughly 10,000 fire damage.
Raging Smash This attack hits the main target and up to two additional targets within melee range in the front arc for 150% of normal damage.
This fight is a two phase fight where you have to fight Earthrager Ptah, then adds, then finish off Ptah. Neither phase is that difficult, in fact the first phase is rather simple as the tank just needs to hold agro, while DPS spreads out and stays away from his front arc.
Once you have dropped Ptah to 50% health he will fall into his component bones and a group of adds will swarm in. The adds are made up of scarabs and skeletons. The skeletons are called Dustbone Horrors and can hit quite hard, so the tank needs to ensure he picks them up. The scarabs can cause significant damage as well but can be AOEed down quickly. This phase of the fight involves everyone grouping up so the scarabs can be killed and then spreading out and finishing off the Horrors. In addition during this phase pools of quicksand move around the room. The quicksand causes significant damage to anyone caught in it and inflicts a debuff that slows their movement speed, so watch out for it.
Once the Horrors have both been killed, Earthrager Ptah reforms and the fight continues as it did in phase one until he has been dispatched.
Rajh is the construct of the sun located in the upper regions of the Halls of Origination. The fight consists of two simple phases, the first is a normal type fight, and the second a DPS race with lots of incoming damage that needs to be healed through.
Solar Winds This is a fire based vortex that swirls around the room that inflicts fire damage to anyone it touches and knocks them back.
Sun Orb This is an orb of fire that Rajh summons and anything it hits takes a lot of fire damage and is thrown back. The cast for this is interruptible though so everyone should watch for it and interrupt it if at all possible.
Sun Strike This is a fire based attack that hits and inflicts a DOT effect that ticks for high fire damage.
Inferno Leap Rajh picks a random target and leaps at them, inflicting fire damage as he strikes his target and knocking the target and anything nearby away.
Blessing of the Sun This is a channelled ability that Rajh does in the second phase of the fight. It inflicts roughly 5,000 damage to each placer every second and grants everyone a 100% damage buff.
The fight starts off with the tank holding Rajh in place while he and everyone else avoids the solar winds and any sun orbs that get summoned. The rest of the damage in this phase isnt that bad and can be healed through fairly easily, unless players insist on grouping up. If grouped up, players will be hit more easily by the AOE abilities and by inferno leap, so stay away from each other. When a player is picked as a target of inferno leap they gain a short term speed buff that actually allows them to avoid being hit entirely if they are quick.
After a period of time in the fight Rajh will leap to the centre of the room and cast blessing of the sun. During this phase everyone gains a huge DPS boost but suffers a lot of incoming damage. Everyone should group up and burn all cooldowns to cause as much damage as possible as quickly as possible to kill Rajh. Players group up so that the healer can spam AOE heals to keep everyone alive through the incoming damage. As long as you have some decent burst DPS this phase is relatively easy.
Setesh is the construct of Chaos found in the upper levels of the Halls of Origination. This fight is about managing the adds that come from the portals that Setesh opens throughout the fight.
Chaos Bolt This is a magic attack that deals roughly 10,000 Chaos damage, to which there is no resistance.
Seed of Chaos This is an AOE attack that hit everything near Setesh for chaos damage and puts a DOT on the target.
Chaos Gate Throughout the fight Setesh will open chaos gates through which several void entities enter the fight. Immediately after the gate opens a Void Sentinel will appear, then a Void Seeker roughly 10 seconds later, and then two Void Wurms another 10 seconds later.
This fight is a little different than most other fights due to the fact that Setesh is not tankable. Thats right, he has no aggro table, so can just be ignored for threat purposes and casts at random players throughout the fight. Instead of tanking the boss, the tank needs to pickup up the Void Sentinels that come out of the Chaos Gates. The tank also needs to collect and DPS down the Void Wurms as they appear.
The DPS players in the group focus on Setesh at any point there is no Void Seeker active in the fight. When a Void Seeker is alive they instead focus on it making sure they interrupt any cast of its Anti-Magic Prison ability which, if it casts, imprisons one of your party. As long as the DPS keeps killing the Void Seekers quickly they should not have any serious issues with Setesh.
Ammunae is the construct of Life found in the upper levels of the Halls of Origination. This boss fight centers around the seedling pods that she brings to life around her during the fight.
Wither This is a debuff that hits a random target and slows down their attack, casting, and movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds.
Consume Life Energy This is an AOE attack that drains life from nearby players and grants Ammunae life energy which is used for the following attack:
Rampant Growth This attack has several components. Firstly it uses all of the life energy that Ammunae has stored up. Secondly it inflicts heavy nature damage to anyone nearby, and lastly it hatches nearby seedpods into Bloodpetal Blossoms.
Throughout the fight Ammunae will summon seedling pods into the room. While near her they grant her life energy over time. They can be damaged and destroyed. To help with this destruction of the seed pods there is a spore cloud that floats around the room targeting players. It causes damage in an AOE around it and can be dragged back and forth over the pods.
Any time Ammunae collects enough life energy she will cast Rampant growth and hatch any seedpods that are still alive. These become plant based adds that will run around attacking players and causing a lot of damage.
The fight is supposed to be based on the tank holding agro and keeping her away from any seeds on the ground to minimize life energy gained, and DPS killing any seeds that spawn nearby. However, the fight is relatively simple and if you have any reasonable amount of DPS you can simply focus on Ammunae and just group up and AOE down the plants each time they spawn.
Isiset is the construct of magic found in the upper area of the Halls of Origination. This is a very fun two phased fight against a really nasty female caster.
Supernova This is an AOE damage ability that will cause huge damage to anyone in the room that is looking at her when it finishes being cast. To avoid damage simply turn away.
Astral Rain This spell summons stars to fall on an area doing arcane damage to anyone that remains there.
Arcane Barrage This attack deals arcane damage to the target.
Veil of Sky This is a protective shield that absorbs and reflects spell damage until taken down. Any damage she takes while protected drains mana instead of health, and it reflects a percentage of damage back on the attacking caster as well.
Celestial Call Isiset splits into her remaining component parts, 3 the first time, then 2 the second time.
The fight starts with Isiset having all of the abilities listed above in a simple tank and spank phase. The tank needs to hold her in place as DPS works down her health. When Veil of Sky is cast melee should clear it off before casters continue DPS so that spells are not reflected back at them. Whenever you see Supernova being cast you need to turn away from her so that you do not take any damage from it. It has a long cast time though and is relatively easy to avoid.
After a while (at 60% health) Isiset will split into three different pieces each representing one of her abilities, this is phase two. When this happens agro is reset so players should allow the tank to collect all three and select one to defeat. Once one is defeated Isiset will merge and the fight returns to phase one, however Isiset will not cast whichever ability you defeated in phase two. Her other abilities will now be stronger though.
Phase one will continue until Isiset is reduced to 30% health and then phase two will start again, however this time only two versions of Isiset will appear. Once one is defeated phase one starts again with Isiset having only Supernova and the one ability that was not defeated, however that ability will be extremely dangerous. DPS should push hard to drop her quickly.
Messiahs Take on the Instance
This instance is one of the most challenging in the game at this point. Many of the fights require players to be on their toes and work together to beat many of the boss mechanics. A single player goofing around and not contributing can cause issues and wipes in many parts of this instance, even on the trash! That said, I really like it, this is what a max level instance should be about, you should expect players to have to be careful and pay attention.
This difficulty will of course lessen once players are level 85 for a short while and gear up, however, as fresh level 85 players the challenge is nice. Also, once you are level 85 for a while, that is what Heroics are for, and many of these fights have a lot of potential for very hard heroic modes.
Beyond the difficulty, the instance itself is very well designed, and being free flowing allows a little more re-playability in my train of thought. Since you can do the bosses in any order you chose, it feels different when you come in for the second, third, or fourth time. After the 10th, 20th, or 50th time I am sure the changeable order will not help at all, but initially it will.
Regardless of how the instance plays out repetitively, the flow is still good when you are learning it. There is relatively little trash in this instance and if feels like it is a single trash pull, then a boss, and then rinse and repeat. Sure there are 3-4 groups of trash between several boss fights, but it doesnt feel that way. The only place anyone complains about trash in this instance is the gauntlet before Anraphet, but that is meant to be a pain!
Lastly, because of the concentration of bosses in one instance, this is going to be the place to gear up as a fresh level 85 before going into heroics or raiding. So this is the instance to learn before you get there so that you can get all the loot you need to go raiding quicker.
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