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Posts with tag cataclysm-bosses

The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 worst raid encounters in Cataclysm
Last week, we covered the five best raid encounters in Cataclysm. Today, we're flipping the coin to take a look at the worst. Be it bad mechanics, fight bugs, horrible randomness, or just plain boring bosses, these are the fights with elements you never want to see again. Of course, it is uncouth to criticize without suggesting improvements, so I'm also putting on my amateur game designer hat and throwing out some other options that could've made things more entertaining.

5. Maloriak, Blackwing Descent

Maloriak wasn't terrible, but the encounter had two major flaws. First, interrupts. Tier 11 was Interrupt City in general, as several classes got new interrupt abilities and Blizzard apparently wanted to make sure we were using them. However, this particular fight was notable for having two interruptable abilities, one that had to be interrupted, and one that had to not be interrupted -- but only a certain number of times. ("Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three.") While this led to some interesting voice chat during raids ("Which ability did you just interrupt?" "I don't know!"), the overall mechanic was confusing. Why not have an actual button that he runs to and presses, and your tank can choose to let in happen or not via Taunt?

Second, the fight just doesn't scale well. For well-geared groups in normal difficulty, there was an eternity when you had to stop DPS before 25% and wait for him to finish releasing all his adds and start a second green phase. Meanwhile, groups in heroic difficulty got to deal with a dark phase, which featured nothing but AoE for 90 seconds. Not the most fun, since most classes have a one-button AoE rotation, and not very balanced, as classes with consistent AoE damage (aka mana users) absolutely smoked others. If they'd just have the cut the phase to 30 or 45 seconds or so, it'd have been a lot less frustrating and a good bit more balanced.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm

The 5 best raid encounters in Cataclysm
Remember this guy?

As we prepare for Mists of Pandaria, it's beneficial to look back and capture the good memories of raids past. After some hard thinking, I've compiled a list of the five Cataclysm raid encounters that were, in my opinion, the best and most memorable of the expansion. While it's difficult to get the same experience today, due to gear scaling and difficulty nerfs, these encounters represent examples of things that Blizzard got right and we'd like to see more of.

5. Halfus Wyrmbreaker, Bastion of Twilight

OK, so the trash clear wasn't the most entertaining experience ever, but this opening boss in Bastion of Twilight hit all the right notes. His companions rotated on a weekly basis, forcing your raid to adapt just a little bit every time, but not so much to significantly alter the encounter. The intense healing requirement at the beginning of the fight provided a good challenge for healers, the add swaps kept the tanks busy, and the enrage timer was well-tuned for DPS.

Most importantly, though, all of that stuff happened at an unusual time in the fight -- the beginning. Most typical raid encounters increase in difficulty late in the fight, leading to a tedious learning process where bored raiders sleepwalk through the learned early minutes before reaching a point where they can challenge themselves and learn. Not this encounter; the majority of the time, you were heading for a win or a wipe within the first minute.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

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