Comments Off on Favorite Bosses and Mechanics
November 16, 2011 – 8:39 am
Jasyla, over at Cannot Be Tamed, has a really interesting post up about raid mechanics – namely her favorites, or the ones she finds most interesting. Apparently the conversation came up at BlizzCon, so I get to be super jealous about all of that, since I don’t get to go (mostly due to financial concerns; it’s a long way from here to California).
ANYWAY. I thought it was a neat post, and one that made me really think about things. I’ve had some favorite bosses, but it was hard to pin down if it was mechanics or just that our raid group pulled together and kicked ass after much wiping and learning.
There are also several fights where I wouldn’t say I loved them, but where the mechanics made things difficult, tricky, or interesting in a way that was memorable.
For instance: Killing Mimiron in hard mode was an exhilarating kill, but I wouldn’t call pushing the big red fire button a particularly evocative boss mechanic. And I can see Rhyolith as a memorable fight (he does have a truly unusual fight mechanic) but as an elemental shaman, I blast his foot until I blast his other foot, so while the actual mechanic is interesting, the execution of it isn’t overly entertaining. The Yogg Saron fight is also like that – well tuned, requiring a high level of execution, but without one “defining” mechanic that you have to master in order to succeed. In fact, I’d say with fights like Yoggy or The Lich King (and most raid-end/tier-end bosses), everyone has several mechanics that require mastery before the whole raid can succeed.
It was interesting thinking (as well as chatting in Perfidy about it).
What exactly makes a boss fight memorable, cool, or someone’s favorite? And how is it that some people can just LOVE the Malygos fight while I detested the whole thing because the 3D made me queasy?
I did manage to come up with some of my favorites, though, and realized I’ve been raiding kind of a long time. Some of these boss fights are from way back in Vanilla!
General Vezax, Ulduar: Necrotic Aura – This fight was all about the mana. Healing teams, cooldown rotations (that made sense, unlike OTHER cooldown rotations) and constant communication with ranged DPS to pop bubbles and be able to stand in the ouchie but mana-regenerating slime. Vezax was all about coordination, and I really liked the fight. It also took place in a really cool part of Ulduar, and walking down to Vezax’ room was always a trip. The madness was truly tangible in there.
Kaz’Rogal, Battle for Mount Hyjal: Mark of Kaz’Rogal – This isn’t a fight I nabbed for it’s “fun” element, but for the amount of preparation that went into fighting this dude. Between shadow resistance gear and all the mana regeneration skills, being ready for Kaz’Rogal was really quite a big step on the way through Hyjal. It was also a fight that was both a DPS race and all about mana conservation, even down to timing Heroism, so it was one that made me a little nervous until we got the hang of it. This iteration of the “mana challenge” was one that kept me on my toes a lot, much like Loatheb (and later Vezax), but with a different variation (death when you went OOM).
Four Horsemen, Naxxramas – This fight gets mentioned for RP reasons. Aelflaed always hated this fight, not for any mechanics reasons, but because she came face to face with four fallen members of the Silver Hand – one of whom, Sir Zeliek, was so strong a paladin that even in undeath the Light still answered him, and though his body and his spells followed the command of Kel’Thuzad, he retained his sanity. She found the whole place nauseating, but especially that one room.
Twin Valkyr, Trial of the Crusader: Powering Up/Empowered Darkness/Empowered Light – As a healer, I didn’t always get to do a ton of bubble popping, but I always liked this mechanic. The more bubbles you pop, the more damage/healing you do. It was fun, but positioning was tricky and the fight could also be very frustrating. Still, this was probably the fight in ToC that I hated the least.
Zul’Gurub Raid: Trash – Hakkar’s Poisoned Blood was probably the most memorable mechanic from the Zul’Gurub raid, but it was the trash pulls there that stick with me as some of the most amusing, from the Splodey Bat Men to Priestess Mar’li’s drunken spider pulls. While I like the new 5-man version of Zul’Gurub, I will always have a special place in my little shriveled hunter heart for parts of the original Zul’Gurub raid (even if some of those places are rather bitter, even still. *shifty eyes*)
Kael’thas, Tempest Keep – I HATED this fight while we were learning it. Honestly, there wasn’t much redeeming about Tempest Keep, except maybe that smug feeling after you turned Kael’thas into Elf Paste. Well, and resto shaman haxxing my way through VoidReaver. Still, the Kael’thas fight was one that always felt epic, even while it was face-smashingly frustrating, so it deserves mention here. There was SO much to learn and there was so little room for error, but once the whole raid got it down, executing it was pretty spectacular.
Valithria Dreamwalker, Icecrown Citadel: Nightmare Portal/Dreamstate Orbs – As a holy paladin, I LOVED this fight. I got to pretty much ignore all of the crazy that went on outside, and spend the entire fight swimming around popping green bubbles… followed by spamming heals for increasingly larger and larger numbers. A high Emerald Vigor Lay On Hands crit could count in the hundreds of thousands. It was stressful, especially to learn, but also really was a fight I had a lot of fun doing.
So that’s my not-very short list, compiled without doing too much research. I’ve been raiding for quite some time, I suppose. I didn’t do much in Ahn’Qiraj or the original Naxxramas, and we never got to Sunwell, but that’s only the very top tier of raid content from the very first incarnations of WoW that I’ve not gotten to see when it was current.
What fights stick out in your memories of raids current or gone by? (Feel free to choose from instances as well as raid content!) Are they the ones people usually think of, or do you have some off the wall favorite boss fights?
And, somewhat more interestingly, what makes those fights so memorable?
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November 15, 2011 – 7:58 am
The set which you find most visually attractive and best suited to your character will either be no longer available in game or restrictive to obtain and dependent on multiple player interaction in old/outdated content as well as require several random drops.
See: Loot Unicorn
See Also: Mistshroud Armor
Of COURSE that would be the set I really want to collect for Angoleth. I guess I should go after the Dragonstalker Recolor instead, as Ahn’Kahar Blood Hunter doesn’t look much more likely. It shouldn’t be any harder to get than Annorah’s Earthfury Recolor.
And yes, I am counting my lucky stars that Aely already HAS the Soulforge set, all of T9 with matching boots and weapon, and several other really attractive sets of mail armor.
November 14, 2011 – 7:54 am
There’s been a lot of buzz about the upcoming Transmogrification ability, and rightfully so. While a lot of people are really excited about it, others are on the fence or just don’t care, and I can sympathize with both groups. (Also, most Druids I know don’t really care, as the gear changes don’t show up when you’re a bear anyway)
- Transmogrification is intended to bring more variety into WoW gear and let players choose how their gear is going to look, especially if they’d like to use a now outdated dungeon or raid gear set.
- You must own the original item currently to be able to make another item look like that (to have Judgment Looking Pants, you must actually own the Judgment Pants)
- You won’t be able to change the appearance of your armor into another armor type or class armor set
- The system will be rather conservative to start, eventually building to include more items and types of transformations.
- You will not be able to transmogrify TO or FROM a legendary item.
- Eventually there may be a way to get favorite items that are no longer available (dungeon sets that are gone, quest gear, DK start zone gear).
Good places to look for RP gear in general, Transmogrification gear in specific:
You all probably know all this, but I’d not actually looked into it all that much, so now I know.
The biggest criticism is that really, the progression of gear towards a set is an identifying marker – gear from Firelands is fiery, etc. That and people don’t really care or aren’t interested – which I can understand a bit. I like my characters to have the option of looking like the content they’re clearing is appropriate for their gear. On the other hand, for example, there aren’t matching boots to go with the Ret Paladin PVP set – the plate DPS PVP boots match the Warrior set. So being able to get the healing boots that DO match the pally gear and then mog the actual DPS boots to match … just makes sense, if it’s a little convoluted to type out.
But from a roleplay perspective, I really like ‘mogging. Being able to do an in character dungeon run while wearing armor that is appropriate for the character is kind of a huge thing, and something I’ll definitely be using.
For me, the most attractive thing about transmogrification is the ability to change weapons.
Aely still has her Verigan’s Fist, Sword of Serenity, and several 2H Swords she’s really proud of, and she would never use anything other than the shield that Jolstraer gave her when he died, so the ability to ‘mog things to look like the weapons she would ALWAYS use is nice. I also like, for a non raiding character, the ability to match up her armor sets – especially some of the rarer ones like Soulforge – instead of having to wear a leveling mishmash of assorted gear.
Angoleth still has her Rhok’delar and Lok’delar – she intends fully to use them, especially since ranged weapons (guns, bows, and crossbows) are considered interchangeable (as far as I know *fingerscrossed*).
Weapons seem most useful and wide ranging as transmogrification targets, especially if you have a brawler character who can use two Barman’s Shankers instead of regular daggers…
To be honest, the gear thing seems more useful in RP for cloth and leather wearers, since my cloth/leather wearers typically don’t change into “RP clothes” the way my plate wearers do. Aely only wears full plate to RP night when she’s feeling like there’s a threat, so I’m still carrying multiple sets of gear around for her. But Annata being able to avoid looking like a typical Outland Clown and wear truly rogue-looking gear all the time? That’s a big draw! (Especially since, at level 60, she’s got at least three complete sets of rogue looking leather… ) I can also see the draw of mages looking truly magey, and priests looking priesty, and warlocks looking warlocky with transmogrification of gear into former sets or items. Sometimes the look isn’t what you want for a character, and for some reason I find it easier to imagine swapping robes than I do changing out entire plate armor sets.
Mail is more in between, but while I have lots of ideas for fun things for Annorah to wear, I think she’ll still probably wear robes most of the time for RP, and Aely will still wear boots, pants, and vests.
Still, I’m definitely looking forward to transmogrifying stuff. It’ll be fun to be able to actually use the gear and weapons I’ve squirreled away for the last 6+ years…
What kind of things are you planning to transmogrify, if anything? Are you farming for gear sets to be able to use?
November 11, 2011 – 8:24 am
I was recently pointed at a page on the Feathermoon forums about increasing the visibility of roleplaying on our server. It’s a good post, and has some good ideas (a list of server wide events, a list of common RP friendly places, as well as RP channels and guides).
I’m wondering if other servers have similar forum stickies, and also a little disheartened at the lack of attention that it’s gotten outside of the group of people I already know.
I KNOW that there is other roleplay on the server, so I’m guessing it’s just not found its audience yet (the Feathermoon Forum is no longer a conglomeration of lots of server activity, it’s kind of died).
I’ve been involved in a discussion on Google Plus where people are talking about major changes in the game affecting any kind of server continuity/community, and I’ve definitely seen that over the last two expansions. Between the changes to the battlegrounds and LFD and the changes to raiding (especially in Cataclysm) that favor smaller groups, plus the upcoming “Looking for Raid” feature, there’s not the same kind of ties to other players that used to exist.
Problem is at this point, that network is long gone. Enough people that acted like the connective fiber of the community have moved on to other games, much like I did. The result is the server has no cohesive community anymore. The dungeon finder eroded the fabric of our server for years, and now that those people that actually cared at trying to keep the once cohesive community alive left, there just doesn’t seem to be one. Everyone exists in their own insular guild community and rarely pokes their head out into the larger one. – Mark T from Aggronaut.com
And that affliction has taken root in the Roleplay community for sure – call it Roleplay Turtling, if you will. The changes to the game may be good things – and I’m hard pressed to argue that the battlegrounds change or LFD were bad ideas – but they HAVE changed the community.
Thing is, I firmly believe that community (and gaming) are what you make of it, and that I’m not the only one feeling that change. So! In light of the recent post on the Feathermoon forum, a Friday Five about RP and Community:
Where are your RP hotspots, where people gather when they’re looking for RP but don’t have anything scheduled?
Do any events still happen weekly/monthly/whateverly on your server?
What kind of events get your attention and draw you in, versus being “ho-hum” and not something you’d schedule yourself to show up for?
Is there acceptance of pick up RP or little RP on your server? Is there public RP?
How would you increase the visibility of RP and help to draw in new folks?