Dev Discussion #25 - Boss Difficulty

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  • Miss XaniMiss Xani Member
    edited December 2020
    Ooooh! This is a new idea to me and i find it interesting.
    While i don't think a "Very hard" Boss right at the begining is a good idea I think it would be cool to have something of significant difficulty at the start of dungeons, a protector of sorts. Mayhaps scaling based on the difficulty of the dungeon within.
  • I like variation, maybe make a dungeon or 2 with this setup?
    But still the first boss at the start of the dungeon IMO should not be stronger than the final boss of the dungeon, but can definitely be made as the 2° strongest.
  • TheAnointedTheAnointed Member, Braver of Worlds
    I Believe difficulty comes in a quiver of colors. Meaning complexity of abilities versus high damage and health versus immunity sections of a fight versus mini objectives throughout the fight you must complete. I always enjoy the final boss fights to be the harder on the technical side almost in response of “I’m the boss of this dungeon, you were going against my minions” kind of feel to it. So long answer short I’m in agreement with the linear subtly getting more challenging as you go. Side note: I always thought it would be cool to be able to loot an item (mostly the weapon) that looks like the boss fight you killed (like the war Gali as of azzinoth in the burning crusade expansion of WoW. It always seems the final bosses always have that awesome appeal to them. It’s be really cool to wear a type trophy that adds character to your title.
  • VelletyVellety Member, Braver of Worlds
    Like others have said, I too would lean more towards a variety of difficulties. It doesn't have to always be linear, but the last boss in a dungeon should always be the biggest, baddest & hardest imo. :3
  • Gatekeeper bosses, what purpose do they serve? I think that's one of the questions that needs to be answered first.

    Imo, gatekeeper bosses are great to have if that raid is suposed to be prestigious and exclusive. Meaning that u're locking a bunch of stuff behind a strong boss to prevent people from accessing it unless they're of a high enough skill level.

    Ok, but why do we need to place it at the beginning? Can't the prestigious and exclusive rewards just be locked in a big treasure room behind the last boss? I would say yes to this question actually, if the rewards is the thing you want to lock away. Placing the gatekeeper early on like first, second or third boss, what u're locking away is content. U're locking away time that you as a company have worked on and paid a lot of money to create. This can both be great and poor at the same time. Developers might want as many people to see their creations as possible. Maybe you're going for this mythical and legendary feel, similar to what original Naxxramas was back in vanilla World of Warcraft, where just a fraction of the entire playerbase got to experience the content, even less complete it. That did lead to it being regarded as a major feat and a really great deal among the community. (Things are different now though in Classic WoW, but that's thanks to 15years of experience).

    What is my personal stance on gatekeeping bosses?

    I really don't know to be honest, do i enjoy them? Well, i enjoy completing content and feeling like i'm a good player, so if i can beat the challenge, yes. If i can't, well then no, i wouldn't enjoy it. At that point i'd much rather prefer the linear approach where each boss would act as a stepping stone teaching us mechanics and having to depend on what we've learned on the last boss to overcome it.

    To reemphasize, go with the approach you want ur game to have, do you want the players too look at this legendary area with awe and wonder what lies beyond the gatekeeper, the guild breaker, the wall. Then go with it, definetly not for all areas, a few is perfectly fine to create the mystique. If you don't care for this at all, then i'd really just go with linear bosses and make the experience interesting, fun and moderatly challenging.
  • I like the gatekeeper-then-mechanics route, like many others. People will *always* gripe and moan about boss difficulty, but the reverse of that is running through content far too fast, and then having no challenges left until the next update/expansion. I liked the hardcore old-school MMO's, where months could go by after an expansion release, and certain bosses are still undefeated.

    And the very hardest bosses should be basically impossible for 98% of players until they are max gear/level/skills, and even then just flat out hard as hell. If everyone is able to kill Mega-Dragon, and loot the Pauldrons of Amazingness or The Staff of Ultimate JuJu, then they become nothing but a fashion accessory. The best feeling in an MMO is walking around wearing gear that shows off my the skill and dedication of both myself and my guild/group/team. Making everything accessible to everyone ruins the experience.
  • Well was reading your posts and agree that bosses should have a bit of variety. I want to present an example.
    Lets say something happens one minute into the boss fige. Well you should vary the time it happens between 55 seconds and 65 seconds so it is not so repetative. Second lets say what I just said is true and the boss will at about that time use one of lets say 3-5 abilities that means the player is waiting to react to what the boss is going to do instead of just push this button in one minute.

    As far as gate keeping or killing a boss to unlocked content....well already posted that dungeons should have non-linear design so...best use of killing boss to unlock content is in my opinion to unlock ceratin wings or areas of dungeouns or raids . Which represents challenge content. So comes out to gatge keepers inside a dungeoun.

    Another thing that could be done is you make a dungeoun put bosses in it. And likesome people already posted if they completed in a certain amount of time then unlock another area of dungeoun.

    Also let say there there is a difficult dungeoun or raid you could have an the regular dungeoun but in addition additional wings that are optional lets say 3 and if you complet those thre then unlocks very difficult boss.

    Or simply put you have normal content and more difficult as part of same dungeoun and players get to do what ever content they have the skill for and progress the more they paly the game.

    This way they do at least part of the dungeoun and what ever challenge material they can handle which should be at least one objective.

    I mentioned tow methods to unlock content timed run and killing hard boss would also like to see different methods like quest lines not just limited to two game mechanics.
  • Forgot to say that it is more important to make the boss battles interesting on this thread players called for variety WoW has difficulty but no variety like a game called Xcom Ufo Defens Enemy Unkown (rng) dungeouns
    Already posted a lot on this subject. But you should have both difficulty and variety as some of the palyers posted on this thread. And well you have players playing this game for a very long time.
  • GuildhartGuildhart Member
    edited December 2020

    Dev Discussion #25 - Boss Difficulty
    Do you enjoy "gatekeeper" bosses - a boss that is very difficult right at the start of a dungeon, followed by a few easier bosses? Or do you prefer linear difficulty in boss difficulty?

    Sure, as long as that's not the only style of progression of dungeons. Variance is important, so dungeons having multiple difficulty progression should be standard.

    An example for 8-man dungeon: (Difficult Boss)-(Medium Boss)-(Low Boss)- (Difficult boss)
    An example for 16-man dungeon: (Low Boss)-(Medium Boss)-(Low Boss)- (2x Difficult boss)
    An example for 32/64-man dungeon: (Difficult Boss)-(Medium Boss)-(Medium Boss)- (3x Difficult boss)

    Essentially having variance will keep things from becoming monotonous in the dungeon (on the boss difficulty sequencing side).
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  • Please do not make easy content. Force us to recruit and grow, to min/max our stats and to build our talents for good skill rotations while still paying attention to the battlefield to recognize additional threats.

    Starting off easy and getting harder throughout the dungeon is great. It gives players the sense of accomplishment. Harder dungeons/raids that start off hard and remain hard are also great. It all has a place but to balance 80% of this around pvp is going to be difficult.

    I can see a quick gatekeeper fight at the start on some of the raids. If you down this boss, you will have "X" amount of time to get inside and run the dungeon (with a linear progression that gets harder as you go....as well as with a spawn area inside for wipes). The gatekeeper should respawn quickly but not aggro backwards allowing the raid to continue on but be blocked in. This will prevent other groups from coming in and simply killing the raid while they are on the boss fight. It will also give the raid a chance to recognize when the gatekeeper is being pulled again. "They pulled the keeper, burn the boss!!!!". Finishing the raid can give access to a portal that will drop you off outside the raid so you don't have to kill the gatekeeper again. Gatekeeper should not drop loot.
  • akabearakabear Member, Pioneer
    I do not mind either but see less point in having a harder first boss and easier thereafter than upward tiered difficulty. In that scenario of a gatekeeper boss, the bosses after the first seem to have less meaning.

    That being said, I actually prefer raids where there is one boss only with varying difficulty over time.
  • akabearakabear Member, Pioneer
    I do like the idea of gatekeeper bosses to pve areas.. need a strong team to get through, then go off and do your own thing in smaller groups or as individuals.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited December 2020
    This question makes no sense in relation to open world dungeons.

    A gatekeeper boss serves no purpose at all unless you need to kill it to progress further in to the dungeon. In open dungeons, this is simply not the case.

    Unless Intrepid is planning on having multi-encounter instances, I don't understand the question.
  • I would like the bosses to be harder the move u advance to the raid/dungeon, first one easier and last one harder, more mechanics and even more team cooperation and of course need more damage, and of course a better loot for the last bosses
  • Prefer linear progression, but do enjoy certain tier breaks. For example, clear a wing, use an item from final boss to unlock a new area, then have that progress up. Like area 1 is difficulty 1-5, area 2 is difficulty 3-7, and area 3 is difficulty 5-10. That makes completion of an area even more meaningful.
    Noaani wrote: »
    A gatekeeper boss serves no purpose at all unless you need to kill it to progress further in to the dungeon. In open dungeons, this is simply not the case.

    Not sure I understand. We've seen footage that shows a portal to the area of the red dragon. You could put a boss at the portal that you need to kill to flag you to access the portal itself. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point.

    Perhaps an earlier boss drops an item that helps activate or summon a later boss... or that is absolutely necessary to de-activate an ability for a later boss (death touch mechanic).

    I could easily imagine an open world version of EQ2 Veeshan's Peak where a boss in 1 wing is needed to flag players to enter another wing of the dungeon.
  • Overall, there should be content for all types. Easier content for PUG raids to build up on, harder content for organized groups and guilds, and ultra-rare content that requires acquisition of gear, experience, and tactics over time. Please don't have everything on farm status a month after launch.
  • New here, first post.

    I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in the community here and say that for me it would be a shame if folks could experience the content and defeat encounters by simply reading a "how-to" guide or video. As I've read mentioned previously in this thread, having boss encounters and dungeons which are dynamic and unpredictable, yet consistently themed would make each dungeon dive a distinct adventure and remove memorization and repetition. Rather than guild racing with each other towards "world firsts", the raid crew can focus with each other in the moment and experience a unique "first" each time they dungeon dive. For some that will not be fun, for others it might be extensive replay value and unique solutions being found each time you adventure!

    The art is how one ensures encounters are challenging for a wide variety of players and playstyles, while not providing a repeated experience or one which can be easily gamed for easy gear or items. I do like the idea of each boss measuring a party and adjusts later bosses and gear appropriately to provide adequate challenge for group composition and progressive gearing. It should be called out that one would need to be careful of people purposefully tricking this mechanic through purposeful poor play or bad gear just to equip great gear for increased experience, items or materials.

    I also like the suggestion that not all bosses need be a fight at all. Some type of platforming skill game / puzzle to unlock the path forward and collect your loot would sound amazing that focuses just as much on finesse as fight encounters do on big DPS.

    Thanks for asking the community and looking forward to the future progress!
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Debase wrote: »
    I could easily imagine an open world version of EQ2 Veeshan's Peak where a boss in 1 wing is needed to flag players to enter another wing of the dungeon.
    That sounds like the exact opposite of what an open world game is supposed to be, to me.

    I enjoyed VP, I consider it one of the better raid instances of any game (not the best, but one of). But that kind of thing doesn't really mesh well with an actual open world.

    Without tacky artificial barriers, what is to stop me and my raid waiting for you to clear the content that opens the zones up? And in an open world, flagging and such really are tacky, cheesy mechanics.

    You could have an encounter that drops an item used to summon a boss further in the zone, but that isn't really what a gatekeeper encounter is.
  • Noaani wrote: »
    Debase wrote: »
    I could easily imagine an open world version of EQ2 Veeshan's Peak where a boss in 1 wing is needed to flag players to enter another wing of the dungeon.
    That sounds like the exact opposite of what an open world game is supposed to be, to me.

    I enjoyed VP, I consider it one of the better raid instances of any game (not the best, but one of). But that kind of thing doesn't really mesh well with an actual open world.

    Without tacky artificial barriers, what is to stop me and my raid waiting for you to clear the content that opens the zones up? And in an open world, flagging and such really are tacky, cheesy mechanics.

    You could have an encounter that drops an item used to summon a boss further in the zone, but that isn't really what a gatekeeper encounter is.

    I define open as everyone concurrently sharing the same dungeon. I don't view it as every player can walk from one end of the dungeon to the other without actually defeating content. I guess we'll need to understand what their definition of "open" is. That said, they are the ones saying gatekeepers. That indicates that they aren't averse to making content that you can't just coat tails through to complete.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited December 2020
    Debase wrote: »
    I define open as everyone concurrently sharing the same dungeon. I don't view it as every player can walk from one end of the dungeon to the other without actually defeating content.
    If someone else has killed the content in the last few minutes, you absolutely should be able to walk from one end to the other.

    The problem with having areas of an open world MMO gated in any way (gate keeper encounters are not gates in the same sense that we are talking about here) is that if you are flagged to enter an area and a rival of yours isn't, then that gated area that you are flagged for functions as if it were an instance - at least in this specific circumstance.

    As I said though, this isn't what gatekeeper encounters are.

    What they are is an initial difficult encounter in an instance, that is followed by easier encounters. There is no locking, gating or flagging mechanism, there is just a big bad encounter that is literally in your way. If someone else killed that encounter that would otherwise be in your way, then it is not in your way any more. There is no key or flag associated with this, just a hard encounter that needs to be killed before a number of easier encounters.

    This is why it makes no sense in an open world setting.
  • prymortalprymortal Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited December 2020
    Last boss should always be the toughest. First few are warm ups so you can spot the weak players in the group & talk to them if needed or Boot them if they are "that bad" & yes there are many players that bad from first hand experience multiple mmo's
    Good example of both is how bad this is was in FFXIV the Crystal Tower style "lol" raids (2nd & 3rd expansion ones). they made a few of the early bosses to hard so people just left the fight constantly around that time due to the failure & time limit.

    Few tips:
    • The larger the group size the more Derping that occurs. Large group partys are bad for content. (also hard to get e.g. FFXIV 1.0 vs FFXIV 2.0 with party finder)
    • The more failure on a boss the less its run. (Vs easy to spam bosses which if they have progression/money/crafting then they are spammed B&S good example of this)
    • 1 shot mechanics are well dev fail! cheese mechanics because they cant balance a game. Obviously if there is warning of mechanic & avoidable without being cheese spammed then its the players fault.
    • Boss mechanics without markers don't work e.g. well every game to date with markers vs those that had to add them later (FFXIV, BDO to name a few)
    • PVP that affects boss fights is just stupid & literally only occurs by griefers as seen to date in more so Korean MMO's. I have not seen a single exception to this rule to date!!!
    All this said if the fights a RNG walk & attack spam from a boss even if it has a high or split HP pool, its just boring, there needs to be a acceptably amount of difficulty to it, even if that means only 1 boss per dungeon to increaser the number of run-able worth while dungeons.
  • oddodd Member, Explorer
    A linear progression makes more sense for standard dungeons. If you are unlocking a dungeon with different paths, maybe a tough boss would be appropriate to guard the entrance, but it shouldn't be the toughest. If you wanted to make it different, you could just have some dungeons where a pool of bosses could be chosen from. Like taking a path with less bosses but they are much harder. Just don't make them "hard" by adding one shot mechanics. That's lazy as hell.
  • HankTheTankHankTheTank Member
    edited December 2020
    i would prefer a "hard" bossfight at the beginning but at the very end a much more hard one then the first one ^^ make it a challenge pls :smile:
  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited December 2020
    Linear where you get a sense of progression as you work thru the dungeon.
    It would also help if drops enabled raid to gear up for end boss.
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    Formerly T-Elf

  • bloodprophetbloodprophet Member, Braver of Worlds
    Personally I like harder boss fights that force you to pay attention vs being able to have Netflix or a pod cast going on the other screen and smashing your way through.
    I like the idea that the Boss mob has a pool of 10+ abilities to pull from at random when they spawn so the fights are never the same every time. This would force the players to pay attention and communicate to complete the encounter. Or even if the whole dungeon has 30+ abilities and all the bosses pull from the same list barring that a human won't have a breath attack and a dragon won't have a sword attack they have to make sense for the boss.
    I tend to prefer more random fights vs tight scripted fights(both are fun in their own way) stand here for 10 seconds then move 2 steps left kind of fights get old after you figure them out.
    Most people never listen. They are just waiting on you to quit making noise so they can.
  • Well i wished something like in Sword Art Online or Danmachi, where you had 100 Dungeon floors and each floor get harder and stuff, maybe with some safe zones which are like Nodes and you can upgrade but get attacked sometimes from Adds or Bosses.

    Back to the question.
    Well in general i like it hard from the beginning and getting even harder. It would be nice if each of the Bosses are rly hard to clear and not just based on DPS check or stuff like in other games, something new unique would be nice. It should be also skill based and not just Gear based. Means if you have lower Gear you could also clear it if the skill is available. (Just that it takes longer, Timelimits to clear bosses for example) It should getting harder over time, bcs i prefer the challenge to clear something stronger than before. But ye it could be also like that there are several Hardcore Bosses which are same difficult like the others and jus the last Boss getting even more hard. But ye I also would like to have Gatebosses which are same strong like Final Bosses, would be nice.
  • cyberrusse wrote: »
    Well in general i like it hard from the beginning and getting even harder.

    We're still talking about Boss Fights, right...?! :o:|:p
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  • Do you enjoy "gatekeeper" bosses - a boss that is very difficult right at the start of a dungeon, followed by a few easier bosses? Or do you prefer linear difficulty in boss difficulty?
    Honestly? mix it up, make every dungeon different, and interchangeable thou for reference it would be interesting to see optional bosses, which may be harder than the dungeon but if you succeed in beating said boss, you will get additional rewards at the end of the dungeons, or even ways inside the dungeons to weaken or strengthen the boss and mini bosses for less or additional rewards accordingly.

    General ideas would be not to build a firm template "this is how a dungeon should be" and instead make a varied mixed templates and you can during alpha and potentially beta make it so you get additional rewards if you fill out a feedback form about said dungeon after clearing it.

    Use the feedback to confirm what templates/varied dungeons styles people enjoy, and don't enjoy.. generally any variation can be entertaining depending on how its executed.. but some dungeons are just frustrating by design even if it's seems like it shouldn't "on paper".

    So if my feedback is to be anything, it's that it's really difficult to confirm anything without actually giving it a practical trial.

    Perhaps in the future you could make temporarily dungeons, like a sort of Chaos gate where you put potential dungeons designs (that may very well be flawed) in for feedback before you implement them into the world if they prove enjoyable?
  • I have no preference myself. My concern is the benchmark required to get into the content.

    First off, I like the idea of difficult content. It's been my experience that people are what ruin the fun in MMOs of getting into raids, and is usually the most toxic/elitist environment. Sometimes it's the game's fault for ruining it.

    I think the content should be difficult, but not so difficult that it kills build variety. There will always be a "Meta", I know that will never change... but content should be doable as long as you have: any good tank setup with a player that knows what they are donig, any good healer that knows what they are doing, any good [insert role here] working together well.

    Some examples:
    Guild Wars 1 Underworld Elite Dungeon: This dungeon was in from the very beginning. Yes there was an added boss later, but for the most part, didn't really change. 3 expansions later, a tank build for assassin (a class that didn't even exist in the beginning) came out. Since that, everyone deemed it impossible to clear the dungeon without this one thing acting as tank, and would wait HOURS to find one... the dungeon could have been cleared already by the time we found it. Yes, that tank is better than others, but others can still work.

    This is an example of how people ruined it. Other things were viable, but people are not flexible with the Meta.

    Guild Wars 2 raids in general: This content was hard, it really required near perfection with little room for error from even 1 of the 10 party members. There was a time limit, so DPS had to really be on point all the time, mechanics, everything. It took practice and skill. At first, there was poor balance between new classes and there was only one real option for healers. You must be a druid. Yes, there was 1 maybe 2 other classes that could be a healer, but they couldn't provide anywhere near the same party-wide utility.

    Example of poor balance ruin raids. Any skilled healer should be enough.

    Now, I'd say there's a bit more balance, and for most raids you can just look for a "good" healer. Now the problem is the gear grind. As someone with a life, I can't spend 5 hours a day grinding the same boring map to get materials to craft the highest tier of gear. Even if I did have that time, it would still take me two months to make one set of gear. To get into a raid group, most of the time you need to be able to fill at least 2 or 3 roles. You can kind of get away with it if you only have 1 set, but you have to get lucky that a group is looking for that one specific role. After not playing for years, it's been stupid hard getting into raids.

    Example of gear requirements that ruin raids. If I have to grind (something that is generally not super fun) like it's my full-time job just to meet minimum requirements to do fun things, something is wrong. The grind is part of every game... but it shouldn't be your life just to do a raid.

    I'm not sure if these problems were unique to Guild Wars or not. I know they didn't really have as strong of a traditional raid system. I've never experienced larger scale content (the highest party limit for GW2 raids is 10 people)... so maybe it's not as much a problem in other games.
  • Oh and well think that puttin most difficult boss at front of dungeoun is not a good idea. As far as a gear check that is easy you can have item level requirements for both instance and open world dungeouns
    And as far as a skill check before going into dungeoun that is easy too just have people do gate keeper content to unlock dungeouns. So if there is a fairly difficult open world or instanced dungeound then just have them do a content that checks their skill and gear to unlock more difficult content making dungeouns progressive.

    Really no need for gate keeper boss in my opinion.
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