It makes me think back to the Chess Event in Karazhan, and Flame Leviathan in Ulduar in that its a fun, gimmicky battle with unique mechanics and is not too complicated. However, it was almost impossible to lose at the Chess Event, while it is certainly possible to wipe on the Gunship Battle.
After you fight through the trash (horde or alliance mobs depending on your faction) you get to the Skybreaker if you are Alliance or Orgrim’s Hammer if you are Horde. You’ll board, talk to the NPC and the boat sets off. You get attacked by the other ship and an aerial battle ensues.
The main concept behind the battle is that the gunships are firing cannons at each other and damaging each other. You should be able to see health bars for the two ships somewhere in your UI. Obviously, you want their ship to run out of health before yours does. You will need raid members to man the cannons on your ship and fire on the other craft. That’s not a job for rogues, typically.
Before you start, you’ll want to pick up a jet pack from the NPC on the boat. That’s right - a jet pack. You equip it in your shirt slot. Make a button for it. When you use it, you get a green target circle on the ground, and that’s where you’ll jump.
There are two areas of combat that during this fight. Boarding parties will come to your ship to attack your raid members there. They need to be tanked and burned down. In our raid, we assigned ranged and caster dps to stay on our ship and handle the boarding parties. They were also able to shoot across at the mobs on the other ship in between boarding parties.
The other, and more fun, combat, is on the opposing ship. Periodically, your opponents will call a battle mage on deck, and he will freeze your cannons. That cannot be allowed to continue. A tank, healer, and some dps will use the jet packs to jump to the other ship to take out the battle mage. The tank needs to hold aggro on the boss (either Saurfang or Muradin, depending on your faction) while the dps takes down the mage. The dps shouldn’t take much damage, if any. Watch that the tank is holding the boss away from you, because he cleaves.
Rogues are well-suited to go across and burst-dps down the mage, so that’s the role you should have. Jump to the ship, and go straight to the mage. If you’re combat, get your BF and/or AR going to take him down fast. Mutilate rogues will use their normal rotation. The mage ignores you while you attack so there are no threat issues.
There is another aspect of the fight that needs attention. All the mobs on the opposing ship will gradually gain in strength. You’ll hear the ship commander emote when he “promotes” them to higher rank. As their ranks go up they do more damage and have faster attack/casting speed. You can help slow this process. If you kill the mage very quickly, you’ll have time to take out some of the other mobs as well – specifically look for the rocketeers at the back of the ship. Kill them, and when they respawn they have lost their “promoted” rank.
As much fun as it is, you cannot stay on the other ship killing mobs indefinitely. The boss that is being tanked will gain a stacking buff, and eventually his damage will be unhealable. At some point your tank or healer will call out that its time to leave. You’ll use your jet pack to jump back to your own ship. When you get back, help take out any mobs that are there, and be ready to jump back over when another battle mage comes out.
As you repeat this process your cannoneers should have no problem damaging the other ship and should also be able to blow up a lot of the attacking mobs on deck. As long as your tank doesn’t die, you repeat this cycle over and over until you destroy the other ship.
Its a pretty simple fight. You need to get the rhythm of jumping back and forth, and your tank/healer will get a feel for how long they can stay before the boss is hitting to hard. After that, its just fun!
There is a chest on the deck of your ship that contains the loot. There’s nothing in the 10-man loot for assassination rogues, but combat rogues can look for an axe called Frost Giant’s Cleaver. The 25-man raid has a couple of nice pieces – the chest piece called Ikfirus’ Sack of Wonder, and a back slot item named Shadowvault Slayer’s Cloak. Also, there’s another axe for our combat-spec fans – the Scourgeborne Waraxe.