Way back at the beginning of World of Warcraft’s The Wrath of the Lich King, the Obsidian Sanctum appeared to be the first in a long line of dragon-themed raid encounters beneath the Wyrmrest Temple. Fast forward towards the end of the expansion with one of the last few content patches and you’ve got the Ruby Sanctum, only the second of the sanctums to be made into a raid encounter with a pretty simple encounter as far as normal modes go.
Even though Halion, the main boss inside the Ruby Sanctum drops loot on par with the Lich King the encounter is nowhere near that level of difficulty. In fact, it’s closer to Professor Putricide or Sindragosa if not outright easier. Expect many self-entitled raiders to complain about pluggable content and all of that jazz, though the heroic version appears to be a completely different story.
The fight is divided into three phases, with the last mirroring the first two but with the raid split in half to handle the difficulties of either one. Beyond moving in and out of the raid along with a constant moving mechanism inside of the shadow realm portion of the fight, there really isn’t much to the fight. Players who find themselves relying constantly upon add-ons to call out debuffs and when to move will find themselves at a severe disadvantage until all of the helpers such as DBM are fixed accordingly.
Story-wise what’s going on in the Ruby Sanctum is much clearer than what was going on in the Obsidian Sanctum when it was first released. A small quest chain (which ultimately culminates in killing Halion and five emblems of frost) gives the precursor to Cataclysm. The Black Dragonflight is attacking the Ruby Sanctum to help smooth out Deathwing’s return to Azeroth. It’s quick, simple, and doesn’t require you have to prior knowledge to fully understand what’s going in as the Obsidian Sanctum did.
Overall, the encounter may be easy as far as normal modes go but it’s about as enjoyable as the rest of the Dragon-themed encounters (sans Malygos, who had numerous elements that hadn’t really been dealt with before). Whether you have a problem with how easy it is to get loot on par with the Lich King or are just happy to farm it, the Ruby Sanctum is a welcome addition to World of Warcraft in a time where Icecrown Citadel is old news and people are starting to get tired of farming the same bosses week in and week out.