With all the questing I've been doing in attempts to help my wife level and not bore her to death with the same instance over and over again, I haven't spent a lot of time going in to instances. Over the weekend, I finally got the achievement for completing Halls of Stone, Halls of Lightning, and The Oculus. To have visited all 5-man instances, I simply need to do an Utgarde Pinnacle run, so shouldn't be hard at all.
Granted, I only did them on normal mode, and not heroic, but I really didn't find any of those instances to be as annoying as all the feedback I've heard. In fact, out of all the instances I've done, I think Oculus is now on my top 3 list.
First off, the setup: I went in to Oculus with my wife and 3 RL best friends. We used the in-game chat since a couple people didn't think they had Vent, and didn't seem to want to take the time to download it. The in-game chat, while not a focus of this article fails on so many levels, the highest of which is that you can't keep talking while checking strategies on your local out of game web site. And finally, none of us had ever been in there before. So we were all forging new areas together. (Although I had read through the fights once, so it kinda gave me a head-up advantage and was designated as the person to figure out strategies.)
At any rate, here's what I like about The Oculus. There's a general complaint that most of the "cool" encounters are reserved for raids only. Heck, I can really think of anything that requires the coordination of something like Al'ar in Tempest Keep. Then again... kinda hard to be doing 7 things in a 5-man instance, but that's kinda besides the point.
The bosses in The Oculus however, have a semi-epic feel to them. And you have to freakin' ride a dragon around most of the instance. How cool is that? You even have to kill the last boss using a dragon!
I will admit that it was a bit of a challenge on a few of the bosses (mainly the 2nd one, but we wiped on the 3rd one once as well), but it was mainly because we'd never seen the encounters before. I'm confident we could run through it with no wipes with that group if we tried it again. And yes, I understand and am fully aware that there are additional challenges and abilities on Heroic mode. But I imagine, once geared, it's simply understanding those concepts, adjusting the strategy accordingly, and then once learned, simply running through it.
So... if you haven't been, take some time to head in to The Oculus. It might save you a small bit of time to read up before or take somebody that's already been, but all in all... it's was just fun. Taking down a boss on a dragon! How cool is that?!?