Any boss fight with individual responsibility is always cool, you always find out who the good and bad players are in the raid.
To have a good encounter I think it really boils down to the following:
- Personal responsibility, aka the every player needs to know how to deal with every mechanic or you will wipe.
- Hectic last phase
- DPS checks
- Different ways to do the encounter. Stuff like different Lei-Shen platform orders, different Keepers active in Yogg, etc.
- Ways to increase damage/healing via adds/buffs/mechanics/etc but having some drawback.
- New mechanics not seen before
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Every. Single. Attempt.
And you know what the bad part was? When people would die to fucking not being able to jump on the platform when lava rises, causing us to wipe. God forbid anyone successfully interrupted, or healers kept everyone up.
Hated it. Individual responsibility sucks when your raid sucks. This was 10m btw.
Something, Something, Something, Dark Side.
Anyway, my favorite boss fight, hands down, was Professor Putricide (normal, never raided heroic back then). He had a lot of mechanics, but at the same time I never felt overwhelmed. There was always something going on, but at the same time there was a lot of time spent just knocking away at the boss. You hit the last phase, sh*t hits the fan, and you've pretty much got a time limit to get him down.
Therefore, I like something that has a respectful amount of mechanics while not being overwhelming. It's fun to be in control of a fight, not constantly trying to keep up. Does this make for a hard boss? Not necessarily, but I still find it fun.
Edit: I see a lot of you guys like personal responsibility, something that I actually could do without. I find myself pretty capable in raids, but I still get a little freaked out when the entire raid is depending on me to not mess something up!
Last edited by lopk; 2013-09-01 at 02:34 AM.
Personally I don't care about mechanics too much. It's all the same "don't stand here", "do stand there", "get more damage/healing here", "stack there", "heroism here" and so on. The only thing I really hate with a passion are hard enrages when the encounter clearly had the possibility of a soft enrage (Elegon, Garalon, Meljarak, Sha of Fear).
What makes bosses good for me is mostly boss personality. Throne of Thunder had tons of different examples, so did the T14 raids.
This, for instance, makes a boss as simple as Jin'Rokh great for me. Just some troll with no brain, only muscles and power. The encounter is totally simple, but everything fits together so nicely. Dumb troll that can't do much other than "Zap!" and "Smash!" and commenting things with "so easy to break". The whole encounter is so filled with lightning that you have to watch out where you step, in many many ways so that no "short-circuiting" occurs that no one but him survives.
Qon is one of my favorites. He doesn't miss a chance to call your whole raid shit and laughs at his minions when they fail, since he supposedly does it better. The best part is him saying "what a pathetic display" when your raid wipes, the last (but true) thing you want to hear when you wipe. Beginning from the trash you learn who he is to some degree, some big dude training Quilen to do terrible things in different ways. I like how the encounter just progresses from killing his students, then his Quilen and then finally himself, until he does nothing but smash his fist to the ground, because that's the only option left to him to defeat his enemies.
Durumu would be another great example. Everything has to do with seeing hidden stuff, and then feeling pain when actually discovering that hidden stuff. Eyes everywhere.
The welcoming speech of the first boss in Heart of Fear deserves a mention. Tsulong for great mechanics and creating an "emotional bond" to him. Will of the Emperor for the "epicness" of the whole encounter and its background, plus being possibly the most fun boss to tank in MoP.
Bad examples for me would be Tortos and Megaera. Both of them lack personality completely, Tortos is just some turtle little Lei Shen flushed down the toilet, with too many one-hit mechanics and Megeara is plain awful. Two mechanics for a whole encounter on both normal and heroic, first is "ability x of 3/4 happens to a player" and "stand here to heal". Stone Guards would find good company with them.
I always liked fights that had significant phases, like phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 etc and you had to react differently depending on the phase it was in. Fights where you had some sort of responsibility were always good, and had to pay attention to extra things.
Fights with good voice over art work also help make it memorable (XT, Sindragosa etc).
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Bosses where you can always optimize something.
Dark animus is the king here.
Predictable phases/damage/spawn spots - excessive RNG can DIAF. Some RNG is fine, but stuff like say rhyolith where the damn volcanoes could spawn so far away it was lethal no matter what you did suck donkeys.
Being able to play your actual character. I didn't watch two vids, read three websites, spend a grand on gems and reforging then practice on the dummy just so I could be forced into a fat suit and made to suck snot off the floor.
A boss I recognise. Faceless NPC# 147 sure is terrifying, especially if he's just a scaled up trash mob. "I wonder what he wanted?" you ask as you move past his recoloured dragonkin/giant/undead/whatever corpse.
Recoverable if someone dies if everyone else ups their game a bit/no "one mistake kills half the raid" bullshit. The best fights are hectic at the end, not over the second someone fluffs it.
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I like encounters that progressively start to feel more frantic as they go on, regardless of whether they are technically getting harder or not. Whether it be difficulty or what is physically going on in the room, sound or music.. that's what makes the encounter for me.
With Mimiron the room is slowly filling up with fire and you're slowly getting introduced to all oh the phases for a grand finale. Finally at the end the room is completely engulfed in fire, rockets and lasers are firing everywhere and you're frantically trying to bring three sections of the boss down to 0% within 10-15 seconds of each other. Hard enrage was still there and often a factor, but you felt the 'burn' if you will before it happened.
Felt the same with Yogg Saron as the raids sanity was lingering and the adds were piling up. Ragnaros as the room slowly was becoming more and more encompassed by fire. You get the idea. Nefarian in BWD had that feel too. The room was slowly being filled up with purple fire and the chance of those skeletons getting way out of control became more and more of a possibility.
tank & spank, the end. im lazy.
The main thing is just being hard, really. There have been very few genuinely challenging fights over the course of the game that haven't been a ton of fun, because your guild has to up their game to get it down and you build the sense of enjoyment around that challenge. I think most of the other features of a fight are a bit overrated. There are other things that impact it for sure and one fight can be a lot more fun than another, but there's a reason the fights people generally reference as their favourite, most "epic" encounter are the harder ones.
And a lack of difficulty can really ruin a boss, too. Elegon was a cool encounter but it's hard for something to be memorable when you kill it in a few hours.
That said, excessive RNG can ruin a fight. I'm totally fine with some RNG, in fact it's necessary, but it should be something that forces an intelligent response, not something that just kills you. A good example would be heroic Lich King. Sometimes you got the second defile before the valks, and sometimes after. You had to build your strat around the possibility of both, which is fine. Lei Shen static shock targets in p3 was frustrating, but at least you could manage it by playing better early on and saving your battle res. But when a random, uncontrollable event in a fight just kills you, that's never fun.
Lei shen is the best fight
being the last boss of an raid. that's it. when you kill the first boss you're like "meh".
Immersion ... some I-don't-give-a-fuck-about boss that I kill just for loot ... where is the rp. (Sadly that goes for Garrosh and Deathwing ... bosses I don't give a fuck about and one of the downfalls of WoW. Bring something ppl at least vaguely recall or will be interested in. Pls ? Blizz ?)
My part in this story has been decided. And I will play it well.
I like fights where Mechanics are done via Important NPCs, and in General I like the Presence of lore-characters.
Example: Hagara getting stunned after intermission because just so = I dislike
Ragnaros getting rooted because NPC casts roots = I like
What I also like if there are destructive Changes on the Environment or Bosses: Lord Rhyolith's pieces of armor falling off, Malygos destroying the whole Platform, Lich King shattering some of the Ice. Tsulong breathing fire and killing Ads was also fancy.