How do you feel about how complex World of Warcraft’s raid bosses have gotten over the years?
With the arrival of Zul’Gurub in WoW Classic on April 15, I’m having a great time going through all my screenshots of that raid and remembering when it was current. It’s my favorite Classic raid. I enjoyed the layout of ZG as well as the bosses. They were just challenging enough — but still not overly complicated.
And that contrasts with the feelings I have as my guild works through Ny’alotha. I don’t like these raid bosses. There. I said it. I’m just not enjoying myself. Now, it could be that I’m at that point in an expansion where the whole thing is old and that translates into a tired feeling when we go into the endgame raid. It could be that my rose-colored glasses are extra rosy. ZG’s panther boss, High Priestess Arlokk, had specific mechanics which had to be followed or the panther adds quickly overwhelmed us. But this mechanic was reasonably easy to learn and, as long as you did your job, the boss died with little loss of raid members.
As Shadowlands approaches, I’m already wondering about the raid bosses we’ll encounter. I’m finding myself frustrated by all the layers of things bosses do now in raids. It’s not enough to have adds spawn. There has to be an AOE and a DOT and the floor is lava while the boss needs to be turned and if you’re melee, well, good luck. It seems the three attacks of yesteryear are not enough anymore. I think back to Patchwerk in Naxxramas. Three tanks to take his hits and ranged should never pull aggro. Melee behind or to the side. He was the DPS check of Naxx. I yearn for a boss with “simple” mechanics like this. I know they weren’t that simple, back then, but it sure feels like it. Might be those extra rosy-tinted glasses.
We watched the Ny’alotha race and the issues with N’Zoth at the end. Granted the “secret” layer has come out as an “oops,” but it sure felt like it was intended for those racers to find. I have absolutely no issue with mythic raiding being extra hard. If you’re going to raid at that level, you should have challenges which are beyond what I can do currently because that’s not how I play. I salute you. What bothers me is the sheer amount of stuff even LFR, Normal, and Heroic raiders have to contend with. Are we that good that a boss like Patchwerk, or High Priestess Arlokk, is not enough of a challenge?
Discussion today is, how do you feel about raid boss design? Is it good for you or are you, like me, frustrated with the complexity of it? Do you miss some mechanic from other expansions? If you could design a boss encounter, what would it look like?
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