Lets Talk Bosses

In my previous post, Dril asked: “do the other games have bosses as complex as WoW? And do you think the game would be a lot harder without DBM?” – I gave this a little thought before deciding to answer. I’m going to start backwards. I am still really new to DBM, I leveled my priest up without even knowing that this existed, and while some instances *were* difficult, they were not impossible. DBM (deadly boss mod for those who are not familiar with the terminology) announces things both in text and in the center of your screen. Helpful things like when an encounter reflects, when charm is about to go off, count downs to explosions, etc. I don’t really think the game is that much harder without it. You still need to react, with or without. Knowing when to react is certainly nice but even if YOU know what to do, chances are your 4 other group mates do not and that still makes for a difficult instance. Since gear also plays a role it doesn’t matter how well you react, if you’re not geared well enough for whatever is about to happen next, you’re still going to die.

As far as other games – yes. They certainly do. There are also mods that work like DBM but are not quite as revealing. One that comes to mind is ACT for EQ2. This allows you to manually input timers for mob encounters, so if you’re fighting something that’s going to dot you every 50 seconds if you’re more then 50m away, you’ll know to move in. These are not used very often in instances, but they’re incredibly valuable in raids.

Every game has ‘complex’ encounters in their own rights. In EQ2 (since that’s what I’m most familiar with) every ‘boss’ has it’s own set of rules. In Sentinel’s Fate there are encounters where every time the NPC says their text speech they become rooted and you must move out of their range or you’ll get a curse that will kill you in three ticks. At a certain percent you’ve got to activate a machine in the room or else they become immune. Other encounters fear, some reflect, but the GAME gives you a good indication of when these things are going to happen (text, a graphic, etc) so as long as you’re watching and paying attention, you can prepare yourself for it. In WoW I find that the game doesn’t give me a good indication at all of what is going to happen next. Or maybe I’m so busy jumping around trying to avoid fire, goo, poison etc that I can’t divert my attention any further.

Hope that answers the question for you Dril! Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.


6 Responses to Lets Talk Bosses

  1. Magson says:

    I don’t use ACT in EQ2, and don’t ever plan to. I don’t raid anymore, but back when I did I found most of the encounter scripting to be annoying, not interesting. I do like some of the heroic encounters in the past few expansions, but I think it’s probably because those fights still tend to be under 3 minutes, so I don’t really have time to get annoyed at them.

    That said, I think my favorite raid target ever was that Dragon Turtle in the Mara expansion. The fight took friggin’ forever, but I liked how it all went down, what with the spawning adds that could only be harmed by a certain class type. Made it so that you needed 4-5 fighter archetypes along, not merely the typical 1 to be tanking.

    That said, I’ve never repeated that raid either. Who knows if I’d still think it was fun on a second run through? I actually kinda doubt it, and that’s a large part of why I don’t raid anymore. I simply found the dungeon movement too slow, killing trash was boring in the extreme, and most of the named fights were either tank-n-spank gear vending machines or they were so scripted as to be annoying to me. All in all an unpleasant gaming experience to me.

  2. I played all of the 5-man dungeons of the Wrath era without DBM and didn’t really make a fool of myself. Sometimes, there’s an encounter where you’re just going to die if you don’t know something, but the majority can be figured out on the fly and most of what’s left can be learned in a wipe or so.

    I’ve only done a handful of dungeons in EQ2, but my general impression has been that the single group zones make less use of scripting. That said, I think the bigger difference is that WoW combat is generally faster paced, with smaller HP pools for both players and bosses. An equally complex fight in EQ2 might feel easier just because it’s going to last much longer with the same number of new things to learn.

  3. kaozz says:

    There are so many mechanics in WoW these days, DBM makes life much easier. I actually prefer raiding in EQ sometimes, I miss those raids. They were very different. Yes, simple times!

    Most guilds require you to have DBM, my guild we ask you have it so you do know when the adds come, the enrage timer and so on. All the top guilds require it along with others such as omen. It helps you to be on your toes.

    I was just thinking tonight, on our ICC run, how much easier it makes things. On Saurfang (with my Hunter) I see the timer on the adds and am able to lay a trap beforehand. Sometimes it makes things too easy ;)

    If you’re only in five man content it helps but it’s now as big of a deal.

  4. Niall says:

    I remember the very first ‘Boss Mob’ on a MMO that had Boss Mobs. Lady Vox on EQ Live. No one understood raiding and co-ordination. It was a totally new concept. Of course now, raiding is second nature for all current MMOs. But not back then.

    The level cap was 50 at the time. The server, (if I remember) was Tarew Marr. The raid was 96 people against Vox. The environment was totally alien (no one had been there before) No step by step raid instructions on Allakhazams or anywhere else. Lag so bad people couldn’t move. Spell effects totally obfiscating the screen, you couldn’t see anything.

    The result:

    Total Party Wipe. 96 players.

    Back when it was not as scripted and people had to learn things on their own.

    Good times. Simple times.

  5. Tipa says:

    Let’s not talk about EQ1 Planes of Power boss encounters, then. People raised on DBM and “Don’t stand in the fire!” rules would be lost in the 14 minute Coirnav fight, the complicated pulling needed for RZtW, the impossible to describe tormet of the Rathe Council, the many battlefronts of the Xegony fight, etc etc etc….

  6. Dril says:

    Ooh I got a post all to my question :D
    Aye, it answers the question, thanks. I’ll be honest: I’ve never raided without a bossmod addon (literally, never. My first raid was a Kara run ages ago in TBC, and I was told to get DBM…so, yeah, never done it without.) I believe in WoW it’s a real mixed bag on boss emotes/speeches, although methinks it’s got better with ICC if not Ulduar+. I just watch the bar and do what I’m meant to. I’m fairly sure that dungeon-level bosses are pretty bad on the emote front.


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