IMO no silly one-shot trick gimmicks (e.g. Durumu), and no crazy platform game like mechanics (e.g. Alysrazor, Ji-kun to an extent).
In a few points:
Interesting boss (model,voice,lore)
Some degree of personal responsibility (not Animus style extreme)
Manageable amount of adds with some interesting mechanics on their own (like 2 or 1 strong, not blilion of small ones just to AoE them)
more than 3 phases, but with a little time to breathe in between them (Boss/NPC talk while switching phase and raid gets ready to positions for next phase)
Minimal RNG in oneshot mechanics
Fights that force your guild to play in perfect synergy. Lich King,Ragnaros,Cho'gall,Sinestra,Nef,Baleroc,Vashj,ect.
Those are the memorable fights.
I've only ever played progression raiding in Wrath of the Lich King and MoP, and for me, a fight is awesome if it has innovative mechanics, flashy spell effects, a great impact on lore, awesome dialogue, absence of crappy/bothersome/inconvenient mechanics, and/or is very challenging. With that said, these are the fights I most vividly remembered and most thoroughly enjoyed:
Yogg-Saron: The first Old God I ever killed (started playing in WotLK) awesomeness incarnate. Such a great fight, kept you on your toes for mechanics, and the Keepers themselves granted you their aid... Or not if you chose to face insanity alone. "I am the lucid dream... The monster in your nightmares... The fiend of a thousand faces. BOW DOWN TO THE GOD OF DEATH!"
Algalon the Observer: Charged to make the decision of saving or condemning Azeroth. Easily one of the most challenging fights I ever played while it still was current content. "Behold, the tools of creation!"
Gunship Battle: Unprecedented idea. The boss was the opposite faction's ship, add control and proper ship jumpin were essential. "We're taking hull damage! Get a sorcerer up here to shut down those cannons!"
Professor Putricide: Challenging and fun. I played tank at the time, and loved to man the Abomination, not to mention the fight was really intense at the time. "Good news everyone! I think I just made a Plague that will wipe out all life on Azeroth!"
Sindragosa: My guild and I wiped more on her than on the LK in normal. A lot to keep track of debuff-wise during the fight, not to mention the 3 people chosen to become frost pillars were usually the 3 worst-positioned ones. Pretty frustrating when your whole raid becomes an ice cube, but the fight was very enjoyable sans that. "Suffer mortals as your pathetic magic BETRAYS you!" Note: I used to repeat that quote whenever she said it, and tried to emulate the "BETRAYS" you part.
The Lich King: Arthas Heroic was an extremely hard fight. Watch for shadowtraps. Stack for Val'kyrs... NO WAIT spread for Defile! Oh, there he goes flying cuz Shadowtrap. So many awesome LK and Tirion quotes, can't decide on favorite. Huge impact on Lore as well. The LK has been by far my favorite WoW villain even if the only Warcraft franchise game I've ever played has been WoW.
Throne of Thunder
So many animals, mute or seldom speaking monsters, or inanimate objects to fight this tier. I firmly believe a boss taunting or making fun of you mid-fight hugely contributes to your desire to end him. I love boss quotes. That said, I did enjoy many of the ToT fights, but can really only point to two:
Primordius: A fight were you pick buffs to do insane numbers? Game on! It also helps that the lizard speaks like Smeagol and wants to wear your skin. "Your flesh, yes yes. So peeeeeeerfect. Give it to us!"
Lei Shen: A very challenging and fun fight. Everything this mogu says is pure arrogance and hatred towards you. Really really makes me enjoy killing him. "No! You are unworthy! I am the THUNDER KING!"
In a nutshell, what I love and look for in a boss fight are:
Reasons to kill the boss. If the boss taunts or makes fun of me he needs to die. Lore also helps.
Absence of dumb and inconvenient mechanics. Such as Jin'Rokh Lightning Orb kiting, Sha of Fear transporting you somewhere else to fight trash, Empress Shek'zeer hiding and summoning trash, Lei Shi hiding and summoning trash, Tsulong becoming unattackable and summoning trash. I hate trash. Trial of the Crusader tier no trash BANZAI!
Awesome and numerous boss quotes and awesome mechanics, such as Yogg, The Lich King and Lei Shen.
Sorry for long post!
This tier pushed it to the limits with fights like Horridon or Tortos, 5.0 as well. Next tier is going to be the same. Boss fights should be centered around, well, a BOSS. Not some distractions. It didn't feel epic to defeat Deathwings fingernails - it would feel if we defeated Deathwing himself.
So far, my favourite fight in 5.2 is Lei Shen (obviously), since the adds there feel like just a mechanic you have to remember about, the fight is still centered about the boss. For me, on PTR the best fight so dar is Malkorok - not a single fight, but how intense and cool fight it is.
I actually like vehicle fights, though I understand why a lot of people hate them. That's why I like limited vehicle fights, where you can assign people to the gunship cannons, or the Abom, and everyone else does their regular role. Blizz hasn't put out another of these fights in a while and that makes me sad.
I also really like fights where you control the encounter - Yor'sahj oozes, Halfus drakes, Deathwing platforms, Megaera head kill order, Lei Shen quadrant charges. Doing things differently makes it a different enough encounter to make it feel fresh the fifth or twentieth time.
And I love memorable dialogue, and even some non-memorable dialogue. It gives you something to make fun of while running back from wipe number (mumble mumble).
I really wish they had kept Theralion's original fabulous voice actor. That fight had some great dialogue even if he did have inappropriate voice work.
I like the individual responsibility and also I like AWARENESS checks, not hard DPS checks. Ra-den was a good example of the awareness and individual responsibility part, while Lei Shen was a fairly low DPS check. Forcing you to use your class in a way you normally wouldn't have to is another thing I'd like to see more of. There really haven't been non-traditional tank fights since BC (Leotheras, HKM, Illidan) and that's a little extreme, something like that would be welcome.
Massive amounts of small adds isn't fun. Stop doing it. Multiple adds that don't actually attack but do require you to deal with them quickly (Ra-den, Primordius) are better.
- fights where there are extremely intense moments, and moments of reprieve, ebbs and flows
- individual responsibility which isn't assigned through RNG
- multiple phases with significant differences in flavour
- fights which require iteration and optimisation
- fights where your first kill is often won by the skin of your teeth
- a boss with personality
- fights with engaging mechanics
- vehicle fights (I know! I'm one of the few)
- fights which make your raiders have to each work to survive/succeed individually
- fights where a certain class/role has a chance to do really cool numbers
- fights that feel... fresh
- mechanics that feel tacked on and/or are only there to piss you off (Tortos turtles, Horridon heroic pink dinos)
- RNG individual responsibility mechanics, especially ones which result in an instant raid wipe
- adds which have weird/buggy threat tables (spent most of my raiding career as either an MDing hunter or a tank)
- bosses which are just kinda... 'there', typically ones rooted in a spot which don't speak
- excessive/tacked on tank swap mechanics
- annoying gimmicks that the fight's success utterly relies on (Rhyolith...)
- adds/bosses with shitty hitboxes (bears on Horridon, ice walls on durumu)
- fights where almost every single farm kill still feels like a struggle (can depend on guild)
- fights that just feel like an unmanageable clusterfuck even at the best of times
- fights that are too simple
- overly repetitive fights
Special Boss Mentions (from WotLK onwards, my experience in BC was mostly post nerf):
- Heigan, Gluth, Four Horsemen, Kel'Thuzad
- Flame Leviathan, XT-Deconstructor, Iron Council, All four Ulduar watchers, Yogg Saron, Algalon
- Lady Deathwhisper, Gunship, Valithiria, Blood Queen, Putricide, Lich King
- Omnotron, Ala'kir, Asccendant Council, Cho'gall
- Alysrazor, Ragnaros
- Stone Guards, Feng, Elegon, Will, Tsulong
- Council of Elders, Ji-Kun, Durumu, Primordius, Dark Animus, Iron Qon, Lei Shen
- Auriaya, Vesax
- Blood Princes, Sindragosa
- Conclave of Winds, Sinestra
- Rhyolith, Baleroc
- Morchok, Zonozz, Ultraxion, Spine, Madness
- Gara'jal, Blade Lord, Garalon, Amber Shaper, Lei Shi, Sha of Fear
- Tortos, Megaera
Honestly things without an extreme amount of adds is pretty much it. I don't mind 1 or 2 throughout the fight (such as Durumu), but something like Horridon annoys the hell out of me.
New mechanics(similar to a lot of things they added in firelands) but also a simple boss is nice every once in a while with 2-3 abilities and a tight enrage.
I like when the healers have to heal NPCs or the boss, like Dreamwalker in ICC or Tsulong.
I like when the tank swap is something other than "at x stacks", for example Gara'jal where a tank goes into the spirit realm and has to fight a mob to escape.
I liked fights like Council in BT and High King in Gruul's where a DPS caster had to "tank".
I do not like fights like H Jin'rohk where one person can wipe the raid instantly. I understand and appreciate what they are doing with that and I understand that revealing my dislike of fights like that will put a certain stigma on me and this post, but I vastly dislike those "minor problems" that can cause an instant wipe. I dislike wiping instantly due to one person's stupidity for obvious reasons, but I also more enjoy a fight where if errors and deaths occur, steps can be taken to recover and still come out victorious. It's a bummer when Donald's cat knocks over his glass of milk onto the keyboard and he ionizations all over the raid, or Comcast Cathy's internet goes out and she gets a lightning orb in the pool. In an ideal world, we'd have perfect play from everyone, but realistically I'd like to be able to hit a few panic buttons and be able to come together to recover from a stupid problem.
I also do not like heavy add fights, unless they are like council fights. I highly enjoy council-type fights.
Multiple phases that are different.
Damage and/or healing intense bits.
When more class skills are required, not just pure role skills.
No stupid bugs, especially ones that can easily be fixed. (looking at you ice walls)
No instant wipes caused by RNG.
No huge amounts of adds, especially ones that charge all over the place.
No mechanics that encourage ranged stacking even more than usual.
Last edited by Staticus; 2013-09-02 at 04:18 PM.
A giant boss, taken down by spectacular and genius tactics.
I think it primarily depends on what role your in.
I know dps hate adds, because lets face it unless you have great cleave damage coming off a target is never fun.
Personally when tanking I like bosses that hit like a freaking truck, the first time though heroic horridon (before vastly out gearing it) was just so much fun because if you messed up on just one dc/tp/melee combo you basically got one shot, it was amazing.
Bosses which are complex without requiring an encyclopedia's-worth of mechanics. That's the largest problem with bosses today, they're simply too complex for their own good. It's not even the good kind of complex... it's the "there's 4 phases with 7 abilities in each phase. And adds. Which have more abilities." kind of complex.
Bosses that are enjoyable for me are most importantly SIMPLE, while requiring a large degree of execution. Thaddius, Gluth, Brutallus, M'uru, Ra-Den (yes it's a cheesed strat, but it still fits my definition of a good boss).
Some of the so-called "best" bosses in the game's history according to most folks... Ragnaros 2.0, Lich King, Lei Shen... those are the definition of over-complexity in my opinion. Particularly H Lei Shen.
My 2 favorite bosses of all-time are Patchwerk and Brutallus. Stand and DPS bosses. I fully admit that if every boss were like that, raiding would be incredibly boring... but I like them once in a tier just as a Target Dummy to really try to push my limits as DPS.
I hate fights where "every DPS has to switch to this target right now" and it ends up taking 8 seconds to kill, but you get yelled at if you don't switch or if you apply DoTs and they don't even have time to tick, or waste a proc on it.
And also, those fights where there's 1-2 DPS that get to ignore mechanics because the RL thinks that DPS is so strong. More like he's overgeared from favoritism lol...
Those fights suck.
Personally I think fights that allow for decisions can create amazing fights. Dark Animus and Lei Shen from this tier for me are shining examples of where fight design should head.