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World of Warcraft: Hour of Twilight Mechanics Explained

When patch 4.3 of World of Warcraft was released, three new 5-man heroic dungeons were introduced: End Time, Well of Eternity, and Hour of Twilight. The instances have been out for two months now, but in my random groups I still find players that do not seem to understand how certain fight mechanics work. The two most irritating encounters are the last boss of End Time, Murozond, and the second boss of Hour of Twilight, Asira Dawnslayer.

The Murozond encounter can be very entertaining if the ranged DPS behaves properly. To sum the encounter up, Murozond is tanked where he is standing, with either his left or right side facing the ranged DPS/healer. He will use an ability called a Distortion Bomb which creates a golden orb on the ground where a ranged player is standing. After a few seconds, the golden orb will detonate creating a swirling vortex of “don’t stand in the fire.”

The neat part of the encounter is that a giant hourglass is present for players to click on. Once clicked, four things happen:

  1. Players will be teleported back to where they were standing when the encounter started;
  2. Buffs will be reset so they are identical to what they were when the encounter started;
  3. All player cooldowns are reset (regardless of whether they were on or off cooldown when the encounter began); and
  4. All detonated Distortion Bombs will be removed, and their locations will be recorded.

So how can players take advantage of that? When someone aggros Murozond, he will cast Temporal Snapshot. It is at that point that the player’s position and buffs are recorded. Just to be clear: any buff you have when the fight starts will be returned to you whenever the hourglass is hit. That means tanks can feel free to hit a defensive cooldown just prior to aggro’ing the boss. Healers can feel free to give the party HoTs or shields. DPSers can feel free to hit offensive cooldowns.

Remember, all those cooldowns will be reset when a player hits the hourglass, but the buff will be returned. That means when the buff expires, you can use the ability again. This also means bloodlust should actually be hit just before the fight starts and not after. If everyone is affected by a bloodlust effect at the start, they will automatically be given it again when the hourglass is hit but will not get the appropriate debuff.

But Blizzard giveth with one hand and taketh away with another. While the hourglass is incredibly useful to players with regard to buffs and cooldown resets, the frequency of distortion bombs being cast will go up exponentially each time the hourglass is hit. Murozond places distortion bombs where players are standing, but those distortion bombs are permanent in a sense. No matter where the player ends up moving the next time the hourglass is hit, those original distortion bombs will be replaced again. To make matters worse, new distortion bombs will be in addition to the old ones.

That means if ranged players carelessly run around the field as distortion bombs are placed on the ground, by the third hourglass, no area will be safe to stand in because the distortion bombs will cover everything. Here is a video demonstration:

Next, let us take a look at Asira Dawnslayer.

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