Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The missing spice

Can you take down a boss too easily? No matter how strange it sounds, I think the answer is: yes.

Yesterday we did our debut run on Reliquary of Souls in Black Temple. As usually before a raid I prepared myself mentally, visualising our success. But to be honest I was prepared for a learning wipe night – and I think everybody else was as well. Even the strategy guide at Bosskillers claimed the same.

“For phase 3, you will need a Cauldron of Major Nature Protection for each serious attempt. Phases 1 and 2 are pretty tough, so you won’t need it on your first visit.”

The raid started unfortunate with people randomly dc:ing and I couldn’t help wondering if this was to be one of those cursed raids, when everything has a slight twitch of misfortune. But it turned out it wasn’t. Actually the boss went down on our 5th try. (And we didn’t have any cauldron.)

Of course we were happy and proud, no doubt about that. But you didn’t have to take off your headset not to get deafened by the joyful outcries on TS. It was pretty silent. Was this… it?

If you compare it to the relief we felt after the killing of Archimonde last week, this was nothing. A faint smile compared to a hysterical laughter.

Now, wiping isn’t anything to strive or wish for, but it certainly adds a special flavour. It builds up that craving for blood, which makes you feel the bosskill in every cell of your body. I guess to fully appreciate heaven you must have spent some time in hell.

After a moment of confusion we went on to say hello to Mother Shahraz, even though we didn’t have the shadow resist gear we needed. After all the trashmobs gave us a bunch of HoD, which we definitely need for next week.

After she had whipped us badly once half of the raid switched to their alts that wanted Magtheridon for various reasons. Don’t you think we wiped on the first try? Her swing knocked me for 14k and I spent the whole fight on my back. Then we killed her on the next try of course.

But it was a good reminder. Don’t get too cocky. Raiding means to stay alert at any time. Especially nights when the wipe spice is missing.


Chris said...

I know that feeling well, none of the 4/5, 9/9 bosses I have killed recently felt very epic. Each one was more of a "wow was that it" aspect to it, I am not suggesting that its easy, but Kael'thas was a lot harder than Illidan (even overgeared), Nightbane feels more frightening as a Tank than most of BT (He hits a bit like Teron, and the fears / patches generate the ghost effect).

Its a shame that so many boss fights are basically "tank stands there, win", rather than something like Kael'thas where the whole raid was running around, a whole instance of Kael'thas type bosses would be epic, and well worthy of progression.

"Citadel of Arthas"
Boss 1: Gate Guardians - 3 Big boss type mobs, hordes of little guys (elites, thinking HCSH Gladiator types).

Boss 2: Main Hall - free for all like Princess Delarissa.

Boss 3: Horde/Alliance split, you fight against an invading 25 man raid fighting like players with a few main characters

Boss 4: Inner sanctum: Kael'thas 3.0

Boss 5: Lich King + bodyguards, continual spawning waves (think taking down Archimonde, but having the Anatheron trash spawning at the same time, his phases are based not only on him but the waves). Waves stop as you collapse the entrance (woot Arthas, 2 bodyguards + waves... ) then killing his guardians to watch them raised as DKs (bonus achievement if you down arthas with them alive) and go nuts on the raid.

Sounds far more epic and requiring a raid wide coordination than dealing with a single boss.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, when I read the first paragraph, I thought this post was going to be about something completely different.

I agree, a boss can be taken down too easily.

For us, it was Vashj (gasp!). It did take a ton of cooperation and coordination, but we got her down in three nights of attempts, instead of the weeks upon weeks we'd heard other guilds on our server suffered through.

Then, when we went to kill Kael, we were cocky, and our guild hit some serious setbacks when we didn't kill him easily. Weeks and weeks of attempts almost lead to the downfall of our guild as people just simply stopped logging in.

So, yes, you can kill a boss too easily, and it can affect you in more ways than one.

krizzlybear said...

the same thing can be said on a personal level. a person who gets his own first-kill in a group of people who have that particular boss on farm will feel much differently from a person who was part of the progression and getting that first-kill with others.

here's my mathematical predictor then. the wipe spice effect grows linearly in relation to the number of people who are in the same level of progression as you.

thus, more people = higher wipe spice effect.

Anonymous said...

@2ndnin: I don't really complain about the lack of complexity - I'm convinced the rogues had to work extremely hard in this fight for instance. But surely wiping gives another depth to your happiness once you down the boss.

@Isisxotic: the funny thing is that different bosses can be huge obstacle to different guilds. What's a piece of cake for one guild is devastating for another one, who on the other hand is farming a boss that the first guild couldn't kill...

@Krizzlybear: you have a counting machine in your head, putting everything into graphs! But I think you're on to something.

"The wipe spice effect". Lovely expression! Can we agree we invented it together?

Chris said...

I am not sure its the wiping that really does it, my 2nd guild 1 shot Fathom Lord in SSC, and it was all down to planning (we spent 10 minutes in the boss room just making sure people knew what their job was). It felt rewarding to come together, I think its not really the "wiping" part thats the goal but rather the time and effort.

Taking bloodboil as an example you wipe a lot to get your strategy and planning down, but its the pulling together to pull it off that counts. Yet you can still mess up. Last night I tanked him, pulled aggro off the first tank too early (he blew his wings at the start and went vengence rather than leaving it till a full stack, or going righteous while the wings were up / he lost aggro). Then I couldn't get him off me (stacked 16 buffs, blew DS, stopped aggro gen, and couldn't get him off [and other tanks were > 10% above me] for another 12 stacks...). The fight is rarely epic when you can do it, but some fights are more epic than others (Kael'thas, Magtheridon, all feel more Epic than many others because of the ease of wiping an closeness to the edge even when you have a good group).

I think I am strange though, seems my perceptions of the Illidan fight were different to others, the fight didn't feel epic to me and felt very damage light (and I was spam healing FoLs the whole time and watching stuff, I can't do that in Naj'entus I am watching everything else :P). Its a case of good positioning and movement (getting the debuff + flames would likely be rather painful, but it basically didn't happen in our raid).

For a real feeling of epic, it needs to be epic on DPS, Healing and Tanking, only having 1 or 2 of these aspects as epic makes the fight less interesting overall. Bloodboil isn't a dps race, but it is epic on the tanks (stack 10+ debuffs and have fun, its interesting, when I stack < 10 I run oom and its a whole lot less fun for me since I can't do my job).