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Oondasta's health pool nerfed by 50%

Oondasta's health pool nerfed by 50%
The deadly dinosaur that caused the mass destruction you see documented in this picture, which was tweeted recently by Dave Kosak, has had a massive nerf to his health. It's gone from 872 million to 436 million, which is a 50% nerf.

The reason for this is likely twofold. Firstly, the boss was very hard to kill, and players were not unfairly deciding that the cost in repairs and time of killing Oondasta was too much compared to the gear drop chance and the quality of the gear. With patch 5.2 there are easier ways to get gear than killing this boss.

Secondly, the huge numbers "required" to kill this boss meant that servers were struggling under the load of hundreds of people taking on this boss. One viable "tactic" was to get so many people attacking Oondasta that the server lagged out so badly that he was only using a few of his abilities with long intervals in between.

Rygarius said a while back that while Oondasta was great, in that he brought back the epic outdoor raid feel, but that the big groups were causing server stability problems, so this is likely another step in trying to fix that issue. It seems like the nerf, meaning that the graveyard zerg tactic would likely not need 200 people to succeed, will make players happy to pull with smaller groups. This will help with the server stability, but is it a worthwhile exchange?

Hit the break for Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas' input on the change.

Ion Hazzikostas
Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas noticed this thread last night and has these thoughts to share:

Yes, Oondasta's maximum health has been reduced by 50%. The design intent behind this boss was for the primary audience to be guilds rather than pickup groups. That is why we placed Oondasta on a relatively remote island, surrounded by powerful elite dinosaurs that make solo travel in the area a dicey proposition. It's why he has mechanics that will outright kill you without the coordinated use of cooldowns, and careful positioning. It's a very different philosophy than our approach to designing bosses like Sha of Anger or Nalak. Of course, things didn't exactly play out as we envisioned -- as we all know, it was possible to overwhelm Oondasta with sheer numbers. While not intended, that was not entirely negative. There have been some pretty epic experiences on the Isle of Giants in the last couple of weeks. There's something to be said for the sight of a hundred spells and missiles flying through the air at a huge dinosaur.

We could have made a number of changes that would have made this approach entirely impossible: Consider a version of Oondasta with a Spiritfire Beam that could hop to 99 targets instead of 20, and a Doomwalker-style debuff that prevented players who had died during the encounter from re-engaging. Definitely not zergable. But that doesn't mean that people would stop trying, and the result would likely be a boss that no one could kill, and a frustrating experience for most participants. So we didn't do that.

Ultimately, while our server hardware is much, much more powerful than what we had in place during the days of events like the Opening of Ahn'Qiraj years ago, it still has limits. And what we have increasingly been observing was players massing around Oondasta in such great numbers that it brought servers to their knees. As word spreads that Oondasta has spawned, more and more people flock to the Isle of Giants for a piece of the action. Many people have been in Oondasta fights where spells took multiple seconds to cast, and the dinosaur perhaps stopped using its abilities entirely. Players with anything but the very best computers saw nothing but a slideshow. And in extreme cases, the entire continent of Pandaria crashed. That simply isn't an acceptable experience for our players, and so we reduced Oondasta's health, so that smaller groups are more likely to be successful, and he'll likely die before so many players arrive that it degrades the experience for everyone present. If server capacity were limitless, we wouldn't have made any of these changes, but alas that is not the case.

Oondasta clearly did not deliver on our original expectations. We'll apply the lessons learned from this experience to any future world bosses we add.



Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

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