Matt’s Hodir Impressions


First, check out this awesome video by Siha. Some great teaser footage regarding the Hodir encounter. You can see me around the 22 second mark. I’m running away to the bottom right corner of the screen. Great choice of music, to boot!

To all the players who said Blizzard didn’t know how to create challenging content.

You guys are in for a treat.

At around 3 PM Pacific, it was announced that Hodir would soon be available for testing. In fact, he would be open at 4 PM. That left me an hour to scramble the players necessary to give it a shot. I knew there was no way I’d be able to field a full 25 man raid group. Conquest managed to bring in 6 players to jump in. I posted on Twitter looking for volunteers. No avail. I checked my GMail for online contacts. Apathy was free. Quick glance on AIM? Siha was free. After 90 minutes of struggling with UIs, server crashes and the like, we were one of the first groups that were able to zone in. The entire zone is quite breath taking. Check out some of the shots I sent into WoW Insider.

WoWScrnShot_022609_171253 After my making my way through most of the instance where we pass through the exterior lightning charged towers (where the Flame Leviathan is, no doubt) we enter a door that takes us into another part of the area. It looks like we hit the inner sanctum. The main chamber branches off into a multitude of rooms which takes your party to different bosses. Naxxramas has four wings. Ulduar has many different wings. I was’t able to get a count. But I think there were at least 5 or so hallways that led out. We managed to find Hodir with little difficulty in a circular cavern.

And we were joined by Daelo! Poor guy! He’s the lead encounter designer for Blizzard. General chat exploded the moment he announced his presence. People were asking him to unstuck them from various areas inside the instance. It got to the point where he had to bring in his alter ego (Daelotwo) to help with the unsticking process.


What you’ll find is a large, oversized blue Dwarf-like individual. He’s got four NPCs encased in ice in front of him. Looks like they are integral to the encounter somehow. Our Death Knight tank starts the dancing process of kiting him around. We kind of deduced there was a Keristraza like ability where players had to keep moving. Siha and I were the only healers. We danced around. She covered the main tank (our Death Knight) while I tried to handle the rest of the raid.



For the past several years, we have all been conditions to aim the camera toward the floor. Illidari Council especially taught us to get out of fires. Blizzard has thrown us a curveball. This time, the raid need only look up. If you see snow, look out below as a chunk of ice is going to fall from the sky!

We barely lasted 2 minutes. But oh my was it such a blast!

WoWScrnShot_022609_171939I have to say something on a side note. It’s an exhilarating feeling to come to a new boss for the first time with zero idea of the boss does. It’s interesting in the fact that as players one of the first things we have to do is figure out what abilities and attacks the boss uses. Once we iron that out, we isolate what we can do or what the environment around us can do to help counteract boss abilities. I’ve never really been at the forefront of progression before. Literally. Bosses in the past have been done with explanations from other players or strategy guides or videos. For the first time, everyone is more or less on an even keel because no one knows what the heck is going on. There’s a huge rush after the fact where everyone chimes in trying to deduce what just killed them. Then theres a myriad of suggestions on how to go about preventing or adjusting for it. We don’t actually know what works. I mean testing raid content is like a big giant algeba problem: It’s literally guess and check.

As far as healing goes, we didn’t last long enough to get a good handle on healing. This instance feels like Zul’Aman: Reloaded (in terms of relative difficulty from Karazhan up).

Notes and observations

4 frozen NPCs in the middle of the room. Of the 4, you can break up to 2 on Normal and all 4 on Heroic. They assist the raid and hand out buffs.

Breaking out the Moonkin offers a haste buff to the raid (Unsure if its spell haste, haste, or both types of haste). You currently have to stand on the circle of light in order to use it.

On Normal, Hodir has 10 million health. On Heroic, around 30 million.

His attacks are melee and frost based.

Frost novas are dispelable. I believe they are cleansable as well. Hooray for magic effects.

This encounter is inspired by Keristraza in the sense that players have to move around to reset the damaging frost aura. It starts off at 200 initially and then continues to double to 400, then 800, then 1600 and so forth.

After the initial 45 seconds, Hodir does an ability called Flash Freeze. It’s a 9 second cast capable of nuking everyone in the room regardless of line of sight. It is possible to fully resist it. If it connects, you get encased in a chunk of ice for 5 minutes. The only other way out is to get busted out by DPS. Don’t forget that when you’re frozen, the aura is still on you.

Frozen Blows: Physical damage reduced by 70% but attacks deal 17750 additional Frost damage.

Special thanks

I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to the brave players who were willing to wipe with me.

Eridan – WTB more soulshards *grin*
Siha – Being online at the right time. Probably would not have gone in without her healing presence.
Wukki – Helping me with the notes and boss observations (and doing some research on her own)
Apathy Inc – I forgot your blog address again
Superkathoid – For offering her services as DPS even though I was already full on DPS 🙁

I plan on leading another team back in there tomorrow (Friday) at around 3 PM PST. We’re setup on Broxigar. Iron Council is scheduled for 4 PM PST. If you’re interested, I’ll on the PTR around then to get my present guild organized. I’ll most likely need an extra set of hands. You’ll recognize me on my character (Matticus).

If you’re interested, follow me on Twitter. Or else bookmark my Posterous (or subscribe). I’ll be updating my Posterous more often with screenshots and a live braindump of everything going on.

In hindsight, I shouldn’tve formed the group the PvE server. Way too many people.

22 thoughts on “Matt’s Hodir Impressions”

  1. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for a great read.

    Our guild is currently working through naxx10 and we are very casual so most of us don’t have a clue whats going to happen and I totally agree that it makes it so much fun learning it.

    I’d love to come on some of this journey with you guys but I’m not sure if I’m geared enough (Dartura – Azjol-Nerub (eu)) but if I am then I’ll transfer onto the PTR asap.


  2. We were working on the Heroic version of him last night. A couple of additions:

    – Hodir has ~35.7 million HP on Heroic. 10 minute enrage timer.

    – On Heroic, there are 8 NPCs frozen in the middle of the room. All of them need to be broken out otherwise they will end up getting 1-shot later in the encounter.

    – Before Flash Freeze is cast, look at where the snow is falling in the room. After the ice falls from the ceiling a snow drift will form on that spot. Stand on the snow drift in order to avoid being flash frozen. You have have good timing to avoid the falling/knockback of the ice and to get on the snow before you are frozen.

    – We also have a theory that Flash Freeze only targets people on the ground, so if you jump or raise yourself off the ground @ the time the cast goes off, you may be able to avoid it.

    All-in-all the fight is a lot of fun. I look forward to Iron Council tonight.

    Phaytes last blog post..ieppenbaugh: @mattycus 9min or so. We were timing it via Heroism CDs.

  3. Can anyone verify if the Camp fire made with Flint and Tinder (gives a toasty fire buff) can help with the frozen targets?

    If so, maybe each player can lay a circle of camp fire?

  4. Nice write up, very helpful for those in European guilds, like myself, who won’t get to see Hodir.

    I’ll be testing Thorim tonight hopefully and will try and pull together something similar afterwards!

  5. It was nice to be able to see the new encounter, but PTR was awful. We spent over 3 hours crawling our way to the boss between continent and instance crashes. By the time we had everyone there and ready to go we had one attempt in before they shutdown the server.

    I would rather have been put in queue for 3 hours and had a clean testing experience than have to sit at my computer and constantly check if the server is back up.

    I’m excited to see how the Iron Council encounter works, but I’m not excited to see World Server Down for a few hours. Maybe I’m just ungreatful and cranky.

    I do miss my dual spec already though. =D

  6. great read. for those of you who aren’t on the PTR you should copy over just to wander through ulduar. blizz went all out and the place is amazing!

    also, my guild managed to get 4 solid attempts in on Hodir. while some of the mechanics are repeat it really is an incredible encounter. i’m sure as the months go on the “wow” will wear off but right now i’m incredibly pumped about ulduar and looking forward to the council tonight! i’m glad there are going to be difficult boss encounters with even harder boss modes. naxx was ok but is easier than kara post patch. : (

  7. Good stuff! Looking forward to it myself. Just out of curiosity, any indication as to why we are tight with his son’s, but Big Daddy Hodir is on notice?

  8. @ Mike and Matt

    If the notes on what Yogg-Saron can do are accurate, maybe Hodir is mind controlled and we’re trying to free him from YS’s grasp.

    I dunno. Just a thought.

  9. Phayte: Thanks for the notes! I suspect Hodir’s going to undergo a few more changes later on. I’ll reflect your comments in the post.

    Diornix: That’s what I’m thinking. I think a number of the bosses in here like Freya or Hodir are being corrupted or influenced by Yogg Saron. Kind of like how Deathwing was back in the day.


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