My guild finally took down Venril Sathir. Some might not consider this as much of an accomplishment, since he had been nerfed. From the July 14, 2009 game update:
VENRIL SATHIR’S LAIR
* Venril Sathir no longer punishes players via Qxzytl’s Conversion if they have too much mana. The ornamental statues in his encounter now have reduced health and do less damage.
I'm glad they nerfed him. While certainly the game needs its challenges, this fight had an extraordinary amount of instant fail conditions:
* One person was removed from the fight entirely, forced to spend it clicking on one of two miniature statues on the ground as they became active. Otherwise some sentinel statues become active and wipe the raid.
* Randomly at 90% the raid force is wiped by the statues even if the miniature statues are clicked in time.
* Every now and then he put a debuff on the raid force that had to be cured or else you would lose almost all your health and power.
* At a certain point in the fight, you have to use a charm slot item dropped by a previous raid boss to continue the fight, or else the whole raid force instantly dies.
* During the fight, Venril Sathir would instantly wipe the raid if anyone had their power over about 60% or under 40% or so. It's a little wider than that, but that's the range we tried to keep it in.
In the meantime, he's randomly distributing debuffs that either drain mana (putting you at risk of going under the lower limit) or feeding you mana. So you had to watch your debuffs or else you would easily go out of that range.
The main change in the last update was to remove the upper power limit. Now you could keep your power high and just fight him slow and easy. You still had to watch Toxic Infusion because that drained your mana. You still had to watch your debuffs or else you could end up losing too much mana.
There's nothing wrong with this fight -- the problem was that he was in a league of his own in terms of difficulty compared to every other boss in the same tier. In fact, he is more difficult than most mobs in the next tier: Veeshan's Peak. I think it would be great if they took this script and made a similar fight for some contested elsewhere (with the appropriate rewards), for the very advanced guilds. It just should be a mob like the avatars that are reserved for the most elite guilds, and not something in the middle of a popular quest progression. Even that wouldn't be so bad (nothing wrong with having some elite-only content), except this fight was disproportionately difficult compared to the other bosses in the same tier and the NPCs you need to kill to get your Mythical weapon vary based on your class. Therefore, the classes that needed Venril Sathir were screwed compared to the rest because no one, not even top tier raid guilds who cleared the next tier of content, wanted to go back and do this fight. Some people even betrayed their classes just to keep progressing while avoiding this fight.
So I'm glad they nerfed him. He's certainly not easy mode (well, maybe it was a LITTLE too easy): he still took a lot of coordination and we still wiped a few times from people who missed their debuffs or didn't cure Toxic Infusion in time (mostly players who were new to the encounter). But the fight was definitely much closer to where it should be to balanced with the rest of the Rise of Kunark raid progression.
So now we have a new head to display on a guild hall trophy case. And we're on our way to VP!