Friday, November 30, 2012

Dissecting Da Boss

Yesterday in the car home I was discussing boss abilities with Thror and how most can be brought back to standard abilities. In fact, once you understand the basic abilities, raiding almost becomes like dancing. You dance left and right, and make sure to press the buttons at the same time. Make sure you stay in the right rythm ;)

After that we had some fun coming up with new boss abilities. I figured that it would be a lot of fun to write about this and got all excited about that!

At first I figured one post would be enough and started writing....turned out I had quite a bit more to write about than one post. So I'll turn it into a series of posts and come back to it when I feel like it.

Today I'll go with the first 3 abilities that came to mind, and 1 idea for a new boss ability.

This player has no idea....
'The Bomb'

One person gets chosen to be the bomb this person has to stand away from everybody else because everybody close will be blown up. Remarkably, the person itself is often not all that harmed.

Boss examples: 
Feng the Accursed - Arcane Resonance - Mogu'shan Vaults

Baron Geddon - Living Bomb - Molten Core
High Astromancer Solarian - Wrath of the Astromancer - Tempest Keep

'The Puddle or Cloud'

Defile would quickly take over the entire platform. 
Somewhere in the room, quite often under someone, a puddle or cloud of bad will form and everybody has to get out.  These puddles may or may not have extra bad, for example expanding when you stand in it.

Sometimes they stick around for the fight and you have to put them tightly together to prevent the whole room from flooding, and sometimes it requires you to stand apart so that as few people as possible get hit by it when it forms.

Boss examples:
The Lich King - Defile - Icecrown Citadel

Conclave of Winds (Anshal) - Soothing BreezeThrone of the Four Winds (reversal, circle heals enemy and pacifies you, not directly damaging.)
Northrend Beasts (Acidmaw) - Slime Pool - Trial of the Crusader (worms drop acid clouds that need to be gotten out of)
Mimiron - Ulduar - Firefighter. So. Much. Fire

One of our raid members still has nightmares about this phrase I think...
'Hide or Die'

The last one for today is the mechanic where something, most often the boss itself, explodes and the only way to survive is to hide behind something. When a boss has this ability it is often combined with players who become blocks of stone or ice so you can hide behind the player.

Sometimes however you have to hide behind the environment, or even behind the boss.

Boss examples:
Sindragosa - Ice Tomb - Icecrown Citadel
Sapphiron - IceboltNaxxramas
Shade of Aran -Arcane ExplosionKarazhan (get out of the Arcane Explosion or die)

The Ability I would love to See

'Don't Touch Me'

Of course fights should be about doing something, not about doing nothing. Yet, I would love to see a boss where every hit to the boss will drain life from the hitter and give it to the boss. Some of the Sha should probably work like this. In fact, I was well surprised that we can even beat a 'Sha of Anger' when you have to beat him with more anger and fighting...I had figured this would only feed him.

How to kill the boss then? Simple, by killing his cohorts. Kill the adds, kill the boss. Of course the adds have to be tanked closed to the boss, otherwise the boss goes pissy. There has to be a reasonable risk that if you do it wrong you hit the boss anyways, right?

It would be a nice change to have to carefully pick and chose your abilities. Carefully tank the boss without doing too much damage.

Not being able to do your full rotation because it includes cleaves would naturally piss some dps off, but then, which fight doesn't?

PS: Thanks to Thror for thinking along with the boss examples


  1. My personal favorite is the Heal the boss mechanic where the object is to heal a boss back to life instead of killing a boss. It's fun to have a fight every so often that is all about the healers because I often feel like I am in the background.

    As for a new mechanic, I would love to see one where healing a guild member does aoe damage outward from that player, kind of like a shadow priest's mind sear, except that the heal causes the damage to radiate. Then let if be an insane amount of adds running out that you gotta burn down.

  2. I've seen trash mobs (pre-MoP at least) with "don't touch me" mechanics, but as trash, it tended to be too weak to matter.

  3. Yeah, I know I've seen those too. And indeed too weak to actually matter much. Which has to be like that or you cannot pug it, eh?