Argaloth is a massive pit lord demon and the first boss in Baradin Hold, Cataclysm's version of the Vault of Archavon raid.
For most players, Argaloth is realistically the first raid boss they'll drop in Cataclysm. In many ways he acts as a Damage Per Second (DPS)/ready check to see if you're ready to step into the other Cataclysm raids. The mechanics of the fight are relatively simple as is as much about the DPS hitting the required numbers as anything else.
Currently, in 10 man* Argaloth has 21,473,000 hp and will enrage 5 minutes into the fight. Due to one of his abilities (Fel Firestorm) there is realistically 30 seconds of downtime where it may not be possible - depending on your class - to sustain your peak DPS.
In order to defeat Argaloth the second he enrages you will need 71,576 raid DPS. Given that you will need two tanks and two healers, and assuming that both tanks will average 4,000 DPS, the six DPS will need to average close to 10,600 DPS for the duration of the fight. If your group needs a third healer or a DPS dies mid-fight, then obviously the DPS required of each player will increase.
Bottom line, 10,600 DPS is the minimum average that each DPS player needs to put out to kill Argaloth. To be blunt, any player filling a DPS role in the raid that is pulling less than that is asking his/her fellow raiders to carry him. If you are thinking of 'PUG'ing' Argaloth, and capable of sub-10K DPS then expect to get kicked from the group if the raid wipes.
When you enter Argaloths room he is standing in the middle of a square metal grid. Prior to the pull the group needs to split into two groups of five. There should be one tank in each group. The two groups should position themselves on the opposing front corners of the grid (left and right as you look at the boss). Each group needs to stack up on their respective tank. Good new for hunters is that you can still use your ranged weapon in melee range on Argaloth, so there's no reason not to get nice and cosy with your friendly tank.
Here's a dodgy diagram to show you, not only my dodgy Photoshop talents, but also where people should stand.
Argaloth only has three abilities:
Meteor Slash is the reason the groups need to stack in order to spread the 200,000 damage between five people (40k damage per person). Every time Argaloth casts Meteor Slash the tanks need to taunt off one another so that one group doesn't receive two Meteor Slash's in a row.
Consuming Darkness - The Shambling Doom inflicts 3900 to 4100 Shadow damage and additional Shadow damage every 0.5 sec for 15 sec.
Consuming Darkness is DOT that he casts on a random raid member (I'm not 100% sure whether this can drop on the tanks or not). It ticks very quickly for a decent amount of damage. If not dispelled it will do around 120,000 damage to its target over the 15 second period which is enough to kill a DPS, particularly if you're on the receiving end of Meteor Slash at the same time. Consuming Darkness needs to be dispelled ASAP.
Fel Firestorm - The Fel Firestorm calls down a hail of Fel Fireballs, leaving a Fel Flame at the location for the duration of the Firestorm.
At 66% and 33% Argaloth will channel Fel Firestorm. I believe he does this for a 15 second period. Fel Firestorm leaves patches of fire on the ground. Everyone needs to move around (not as a group) and stay out of the fire. When he's finished everyone needs to very quickly regroup to their assigned positions at the corners of the grid.
Having attempted to 'PUG' this raid a couple of times it's clear the fight mechanics are fairly straight forward. This raid is definitely 'PUG-able' provided that you find yourself in a group that can meet the following requirements:
- 6 DPS capable of pulling 10.5k DPS for the length of the fight
- is made up of 10/25 people who know not to stand in the fire
- has at least one person capable of dispelling the Consuming Darkness.
From my observations so far I can only see a handful of ways that a raid can fail in the Argaloth encounter.
- Raid DPS is too low to beat the 5 minute enrage timer.
- Healers don't dispel Consuming Darkness fast enough - or don't dispel it at all.
- Tanks fail to switch on Meteor Slash properly resulting in the same group getting hit with two Meteor Slash's in a row.
- Groups don't fall back into their assigned positions following Fel Firestorm quick enough, resulting in one or two people wearing 200,000 damage.
Overcome those obstacles and you're well on your way to all new epic purple 'lootz'.
* This has primarily been written from the point of view of a 10 man raid as I've no experience in the 25 man version.