Greetings, glorious adventurers! If you're joining in our Alpha One spot testing, please follow the steps here to see all the latest test info on our forums and Discord!

Dev Discussion #52 - Boss Mechanics

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited June 2023 in General Discussion

Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion - Boss Mechanics
What are your favorite and least favorite boss mechanics for small and large group content in MMORPGs? Do you have any memorable fights, and if so, what made them special?


  • MMOAddictMMOAddict Member
    edited June 2023
    What are your favorite and least favorite boss mechanics for small and large group content in MMORPGs?

    - I like a high number of adds spawning during the fight, all different kinds, if the adds aren't dealt with more keep spawning untill the group gets overwelmed. This keeps everyone on their toes and it keeps the fight interesting.
    - A mech could be created where a boss has 2 types of adds that have to be kept seperate, alone both types don't do much dmg and are easely killed but in close proximety to each other they have a big dmg synergie. So range dps on both sides of the room have to pull these adds off the tank.
    - Different members of the party should all have their own unique tasks to acomplish based on their classes stenghts and weaknesses
    - I like optional objectives to complete during a fight to increase the potential reward
    - I like mechs where you have to trick the boss to do something for you (like an alter that you need to make him smash)
    - I don't like it when you are teleported out of the fight to beat a mini game or labyrinth as a mechenic

    A boring boss you kill simply for the reward he gives you, a realy good boss you kill because you wanna kill him. It could be about the things he does, the things he says or simply because he's just that ugly
    (You don't wanna feel sorry for him after you kill him like Steven after they killed the cyclops)

    A good example from a boss i wanted to kill for all 3 reasons are "the Crones" from the Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt

    Do you have any memorable fights, and if so, what made them special?
    * Yes i do, however most of these bosses come from RPG's. Only one of them comes from an MMORPG

    The first example is a solo arena with 4 different bosses from ESO (elder scrolls online) the arena is called Veteran Vatishran Hollows (vVH). Some of the bosses are nothing more then a sack of health but this arena is memorable because of the mechenics. In ESO there is an unspoken philosopy that says completing this arena in vet mode for the first time means you are officialy no longer a newby :smile:

    A vid explaining the mechs!

    Another example comes from the RPG Devil may Cry DMC. The boss name is Bob Barbas. The mechanics are nothing special and the game is basically old at this point but he is memorable because you want to kill him

    My final example of a memorable boss is the Minotaur boss from assasins creed odyssey. This one is kinda memorable because of the pure rage on display

    I know most of these bosses are from RPG games. The point i'm trying to make is what makes bosses more memorable is their personality, their story. If i want to go 'n kill him even if he didn't drop a reward for glory or vengance, that makes him memorable

    P.S. Editing in good music during the boss fight works great for making them more memborable, Final Fantasy 14 does a great job on this
    the beginning of wisdom is to know you know nothing
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    edited June 2023
    I've mainly played Lineage 2, so my experience with bosses usually boils down to "big numbers go bigger", both in the zerging part of the encounter and in the gearing one (OE included). Most mechanics of L2's bosses were super basic, mainly because you'd have the potential of pvp during the encounter.

    I'd personally like to play a game that has that last part, but also has better pve with more mechanics. Ideally some classes would have utility abilities that let the first raid fight both the boss and the attackers at the same time, so that the pve's complexity doesn't make the pvx encounter impossible.

    I would also love some action-based mechanics for bosses, mainly vertical targeting and directional blocks/dodges/jumps. This would not only support the hybrid combat design, but would also let higher skilled players succeed more often.

    As for the detailed mechanics, I'll leave this up to Azherae and Noaani to explain (if they want), because they have a much broader and deeper experience with those. What I can say is that I like these suggestions quite a lot.
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    There were some requests for the Dev Discussion asset without the Dev Discussion text.

    So, here that is for you!

  • Personally, what keeps games like these from getting old is their ability to be unpredictable. Big Bad Boss Guy who requires XYZ mechanic to fight gets old after the 3rd or 4th run, unless it happens to be particularly challenging and take several attempts to figure out and get down. This is also good, imo. However, I'd like to see bosses "learn" over time, and alter their tactics in a way that forces the XYZ mechanic to become the WXY mechanic or completely different and become a new ABC mechanic.

    For me, no amount of end game cosmetics makes up for repeating the same content over and over again. Looking cooler and still being bored isn't worth the financial or time investment. So, create things in a way that allows for continual alteration and tweaks. I'm not really all that concerned with particular mechanics themselves, though yes, some are more interesting, fun or challenging than others. What is more fun is the boss fight that becomes a, "OMG, where did that come from? It didn't do that last time through!" Give them ten options that they will randomly use 3 or 4 each time. Let folks run it for 3 months and then change it up.

    Whatever the case, don't be repetitive. Keep folks on their toes, make them think about the fights, and do it in a way that allows folks who are better at their class to make more of a difference in the fights.
  • ElleandriaElleandria Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Good starter boss for Alpha-2 seeing as upcoming tests should not be focusing on complexity of mechanics for bosses this is a good first step to have activities in Alpha-2 but not take major focus away from priorities such as Network testing and Systems testing which will be going on at the start alongside Class focuses and expanding other untested systems. For a Level 30 boss that casuals are going to be killing for fun and us hardcore players are just going to steamroll regardless of the mechanics its a good place for open world bosses such as this one which are likely just going to end up being killed at spawn with a ragtag group of LFGs for daily loot/starter gear for alts.

    Bosses moving forward from this point will only increase in difficulty and once priority systems come online and are flushed out I'm excited to see where the team ends up going with Boss mechanics in the future leading into Raid/Dungeon combat. Keep up the amazing work guys!
  • RoofianRoofian Member
    edited June 2023
    just don't make it that simple like wow, tanks just shouldn't be there to absorb damage and trade aggro with taunt skill, something like stagger system from lost ark would be ideal for them (cc skills dont cc bosses, the progress the stagger bar and when it is full it stop moving for some seconds), which is consistent with my opinion about tanks i posted on that dev discussion, tanks should be a font of cc on pvp, so the cc for pvp would contribute with stagger for bosses.

    Also you could give a similar mechanic to healers and buffers
  • OsFurOsFur Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    do you have an automated group search system? so that solo players can participate and guilds can complete their raids?
    𝐎𝐬𝐬𝐚 𝐭𝐮𝐚 𝐬𝐮𝐛 𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐛𝐮𝐬 𝐦𝐞𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭
  • Coming from a select few games in my live; all games I've played being medieval or MMORPGs. The complexity that comes from end game in OSRS, for example:
    • Chambers of Xeric - Olm fight, a lot of mechanics that can happen
    • Theater of Blood - 1 death and its restart, increase difficulty makes it even harder
    • Phasoni's Nightmare - Took a hard boss, made it even hard and only able to solo.

    The rarity of very specific weapons that are extremely rare from these as well as the making them difficult to even purchase makes users strive to do difficult combat in order to achieve an amazing drop that can benefit from other bosses.

    OSRS is a grind but it kept me interested for ~180 days of in game gameplay.

    New world was a great game but the end game content lacks the ability to be difficult, learn it a few times and its all boring. The expeditions lacked randomness and difficulty after the first few attempts. The Elite Chest Runs in recruitment chat channel made it not even difficult to run through and get elite drops because it recommended 5 people but could go with 100+ people. Played ~1000 hours.
    Arrabella wrote: »
    For me, no amount of end game cosmetics makes up for repeating the same content over and over again. Looking cooler and still being bored isn't worth the financial or time investment.

    One of the reasons New world wasn't appealing afterward end game was reached.

  • VictarionVictarion Member
    edited June 2023
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Dev Discussion - Boss Mechanics
    What are your least favorite boss mechanics for small and large group content in MMORPGs?

    If possible, I'd prefer unavoidable global DPS to be, avoided...

    During the Tumok fight, in his final form, he performed a ground smash multiple times that seemed to deal large DPS to everyone. From just one ability it left the majority on half hp and I believe it killed poor Steven.

    I think ideally, every aoe ability would be avoidable or at least have a way to mitigate it's effects (walking out of the aoe for example, or dealing less damage at a further distance). unavoidable aoe that deals HIGH dps is not enjoyable for group content such as boss battles.

    Keep up the amazing work Ashes team, I'm very excited for this game!

    EDIT: - example of Tumok's aoe ability.

  • G’day , I’d like to see debuffs on players that require dispelling . I know you probably already have this but more over ones that are very critical . Like healing to boss , severe movement debuffs, one person must die with debuff to dispel off boss etc . Sacrifice.
  • AniionAniion Member
  • LashingLashing Member
    edited June 2023
    I love the aesthetics on the Solaris and Lunaris fight in Path of Exile. The way it changes from night and day depending on what sister you are currently fighting is a nice touch.

    I could picture this mechanic on a legendary boss fight so the entire server would know someone is fighting it.

    As far as mechanics go I am not too fussed. As long as PVE encounters punish people that do not build defense and encourage party play synergies I will be happy.

    As a side note. I do not want the boss developers to fall into the trap of bosses just standing there autoattacking while players essentially fight the room/floor. I have seen this happen way too many times where there is a disconnect between the boss and the effects going off. The attacks should be logical, fit the design of the boss, and the boss should be a part of the attack via animation or voice lines. A boss should actively be trying to kill a player.
  • _Rads__Rads_ Member
    Something I liked in boss fights:
    1.When the boss feels active, like not standing in one place attacking the frontline. This would mean the backline would hurt more, since tanks can't aggro everything, but the fact that you have to move and dodge instead of standing still attacking, feels exciting.
    2. When the boss has multiple elements and feels dangerous, for example a huge snake that circles around the raid continuously, attacks with tail and arms, etc., compared to a human sized snake that just hisses and jumps at you
    3. Love it when they have this channeling spell that kills the whole party unless you finish a small 'minigame', it makes it hard and also helps with party coordination. It should have different roles to complete that minigame for the whole party.

    Something I didn't like:
    1. When the bosses have too many 'minigames' for the sake of the story and becomes invulnerable, for example, the boss goes invulnerable too many times during the fight while he spawns mobs and it laughs at you in the back where you can't reach it unless you kill all these boring mobs.
    2. When the boss goes invulnerable because of the terrain. I know this prevents players from blocking it, but it feels bad when you see the Invulnerable spam text.
    3. When it has the same 3 moves through out the fight, even after changing phases
    4. When it's not dangerous enough, for example, I go into this fight knowing my team will not die once even if we make mistakes.
  • HennaKristalHennaKristal Member
    edited June 2023
    I'd like to see optional challenge quests for bosses that allow you to earn additional loot if you manage to complete the challenge.

    As an example in the Tumok encounter a challenge could be to kill Tumok without destroying his totem. Tumok could place his totem down at 50% HP and the totem could spawn mushrooms to heal the boss if not killed fast enough, spawn adds which give tanks more things to focus on, and lastly the totem could also place a damage over time toxic on players that tiers up as the fight goes on. This would heavily encourage players to kill the totem fast to simplify the fight, but for more advanced groups they could try to complete the challenge quest and keep the totem up for the entire duration of the fight. If you then add Tumok enraging at 25% HP regardless has his totem been destroyed or not, you will have quite a challenge to take on.

    If you managed to complete the boss fight without destroying the tree totem, you could for example loot resources from the tree totem that allow you to complete the optional challenge quest and earn special crafting ingredients that allow you to craft special items from that boss fight.

    This example would just make the fight a DPS race, which at the end of the day isn't the best way to implement this kind of feature. But I still find the idea of the challenge quests interesting and if it is done correctly so it adds interesting gameplay to the boss encounters, there could be some very interesting fights to be had in the world of Verra.

    Overall in my opinion this adds a great way to give players optional difficulty without needing to rely difficulty tiers or increasing boss stats to make the fight harder.
  • I helped found a 700+ player WoW guild, led EVE Online players, played all manner of scifi and fantasy MMOs, and will be primary raidleader and coordinator for our 1200 person gaming clan Dark Star Imperium (DSI). I hope you take my input as someone with 20 years of gaming experience and who will be a stakeholder in the content you are asking about.

    Bosses, what is the point of a boss? Is it just a loot lottery machine at the end of a multi-hour line of trash mobs? Is it a near impossible challenge that keeps your guild going at it for 6 hours before finally calling it quits for next week's attempt (it sucks when this happens)? ...or is it a fun part of the game people look forward to for MORE than just loot drops?

    Do not get me wrong, the challenge and loot of a Boss is the main motivator for taking them on. People have trouble slaying an enemy in a game without reward, so reward them, but to keep it interesting, maybe reward them throughout the dungeon. What I mean is, the idea of a Boss does not just have to be one fight in a specialized room for it. Have aspects of a Boss weaken as you go throughout the raid clearing it, but do make a path where the suicidal players can run straight at it from the start. Maybe these weakening points are simply the other Bosses in the raid, with their own loot tables. It would be really funny to see a raid where every Boss you did not clear showed up in the final Boss' chambers when you engaged it. There is an anime called Log Horizon that explored this concept, give that show a watch, or at least the Boss fights.

    One of my favorite experiences raiding dungeons was actually the original Molten Core from World of Warcraft. The entire region was inside a volcano. In this volcano, Black Rock Mountain, there existed 3 distinct dungeons and two raids. Each one going deeper and deeper into the volcano for increasing difficulty and semi-gatekeeped by the content above. From what I remember reading, the original 2003 devs of WoW designed this endgame content first, then worked on the rest of the game. Honestly it made for a really cool immersive experience for the player. The Bosses in Molten Core each needed to be defeated in step to awaken the final Boss, Ragnaros. The raid was gatekeeped by the smaller Bosses, each with their own unique mechanics. Thing is, nothing felt out of place. Each Boss was fire or arcana themed, the elemental Bosses were big dumb brutes, the naga-like bosses were intricate spellcasters with specialty mechanics beyond a "tank-n-spank"; the appearance of each Boss matched its mechanics that could be expected by the players. There was visual storytelling before the fight that directed the fight. That made for some good Boss encounters. The fact that this content came out in 2004 made it all that much sweeter.

    Another fun WoW Boss fight was C'thun from Anh'Qiraj. He was a stationary tentacle monster that would spawn shadowy tentacles from the ground and occasionally eat players. Thing is, when you got eaten, you had to fight the inside of C'thun. Timing was everything, positioning was everything. C'thun had a bouncing laser mechanic were every time it bounced off a player its damage doubled. If it hits one person no biggy, two could survive, but more than that meant player deaths. As you can imagine, this raid was a mess of communication and realtime positioning for raidembers despite the Boss itself being stationary. It had some inherent RNG for who would get eaten, but was predictable enough on tentacle spawns the raidleaders could assign people to certain locations around C'thun. Honestly the inside-outside dynamic made for an interesting experience. This Boss on our fastest clear took 8 minutes to finish, and on our slowest like 17 minutes.

    The duration of Boss fights really matters if the Boss is difficult. Anytime you have a hard Boss please make it a quicker fight. Doing 12 minutes of fighting to die in the last 10% just to repeat that 12 minutes again sucks. Plus, it makes sense that Bosses would be stronger at the start of a fight before they get worn out, so put the hardest mechanics up front please.

    Lastly, from my scifi experience, treat Bosses like they matter to the world. I get they will respawn over time, but maybe do something cool like a regional effect when a Boss dies. For example, if you had a dragon Boss near a forest, have the forest scorched while the Boss is alive. Then when your raid clears it and over the next week or two before its respawn, have the forest show signs of growing back and restoring itself, not instantly but overtime. This feels like what you are doing matters to the world and more than just your character.

    In the game EVE Online, there are not traditional PVE Bosses with the exception of Officers that randomly spawn in ore belts, the Mothership at the end of a 6-10 day incursion that takes over an entire constellation, and the pirate Capital Ships that may spawn after a chain of encounters. I won't be talking about these. I will talk about the player-driven Boss battles for player-owned structures. You could put this akin to a siege battle in AoC but with one distinct difference: when you destroy the structure it stays destroyed. Ownership does not transfer, there is not a permanent monument in space where it used to be, when its gone its gone. Battles over structures have between 5 and 5000 players against them usually, depending on the importance and location of the structure. When one goes down it affects the entire ingame world by removing a staging point or a content generator or simply dropping the loot of the players who owned it. The structures have guns and weapons larger than any other in the game and are controlled by players. The stakes are high and if you "raid wipe" your ships do not respawn, they get blown up, but you can always try again. I bring this all up to say that when you design a Boss, please please please add implications to the game outside just the room the Boss lives in, it makes for a much more cohesive and entertaining experience.

    Well, that's the wisdom I have off the top of my head, reach out if you would like more insight! Thank you for reading all this.
  • The duration of Boss fights really matters if the Boss is difficult. Anytime you have a hard Boss please make it a quicker fight. Doing 12 minutes of fighting to die in the last 10% just to repeat that 12 minutes again sucks. Plus, it makes sense that Bosses would be stronger at the start of a fight before they get worn out, so put the hardest mechanics up front please.

    I fully agree that boss fights should not be long if they have high possibility of wiping at the very end of it. It gets really annoying after hours of wiping and wasting 10 to 20 minutes for each attempt.

    I have never seen a game do this, but incase a boss have multiple phases (for example phase 1, 2 and 3) and you wipe at the last phase. The next attempt could automatically start from furthest reached phase to avoid repeating same phases that you have already proofed to be able to complete.

    I do though feel like the hardest part of a boss should not be at the beginning of the fight as this makes the rest of the fight trivial and kills the excitement of the battle once the hardest part has been completed.

    Best option could be to have equally as challenging part in the beginning to act as a check to let players know are they able to take down the boss in the end. This would provide the immersion feeling that the boss starts strong and weakens over time, before giving the last burst of energy for the climax of the fight at the end.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    My main game does not do a very 'good job' distinguishing between Bosses and regular mobs. They are built using the same principles, for the most part.

    This moreso means that regular mobs are built to feel like what most other people/games treat their Bosses as, design wise, than the reverse. This further complicates the act of answering the question, but the first thing I can say is that I only consider something a 'boss mechanic' if the game intends to leverage the exponentially higher TTK of the 'Boss' in some way. Otherwise I consider it a 'regular mob' ability or mechanic.

    Interactions with the environment or special mechanics you must do to avoid a wipe or massive loss of capacity from the group are interesting, but they are designed to be avoidable. The most recent example is from Throne and Liberty's Kimer King (Chimera King? Kimera King? depends on your source).

    The King uses many fire attacks and builds up heat over time as it is struck or attacks, similar to the standard FFXI behaviour (TP Gauge). When it reaches a certain value, it runs to the middle of the arena and begins to emit massive waves of heat, but it also is then standing under a cauldron of water or something that players can trigger by interacting with an environmental thing, to douse the King and prevent the attack. This is what I understand most games to mean by 'Boss mechanic'.

    "Where I come from, you'd have to deal with it yourself." Basically. It isn't that I dislike these sorts of mechanics in any way, I just prefer that the tools to deal with them are part of someone's class kit rather than part of the environment most of the time.

    I say all this to say that I don't distinguish well between 'Boss Mechanics' and 'Regular Mob Mechanics' outside of this, and I often expect that when someone says 'Boss Mechanics' in any 'specific' way, they mean something like the 'Dump water on Khimer King'.

    Since, if they didn't mean that, they would be referring to what I consider 'regular mechanics', if a bit powered up or synergized better. This is no longer my expectation from MMORPGs (and should probably never have been, I'm just lucky to have landed on the one I would prefer the most).

    Similarly, I don't think there are any mechanics in FFXI that I really find particularly unfun or frustrating entirely. Certain 'CC' style ones or Charm abilities can be upsetting because they force you to bring particular Classes but this is really just affecting your ability to lowman the content, which is on you as the player choosing to do that.

    Discounting FFXI therefore, and also anything 'basically similar to Monster Hunter', which tends to rely on player execution and targeting skill moreso than statistics, I'd say my most fun bossfights were usually in Onigiri. Two are memorable for what they were specifically.

    Tiamat was incredibly challenging/punishing at the time my group met it in story, not sure if we tried to do it at lower levels than expected or not (this is common enough that I can't discount it). It required lots of spacing and timing attacks and healing positions while constantly causing the battle to shift, in terms of whether any given player should be on offense or retreating. Very mobile.

    Ahriman was interesting in an entirely different way. Due to either an Easter Egg or my 'glitch farming' ability, we didn't really 'beat' Ahriman, I just got the feeling that if I took hate and ran in circles around it for a long time, it would eventually 'get dizzy' and stop fighting, as it was basically 'a giant eyeball in the center of a room'. For whatever reason, it worked, but I expect that it was an Easter Egg because the fight is technically slightly more difficult to do in this way, and there were some signs that it was 'adapting' to this for a while.

    Generally, my preference for bosses and mechanics in general tends toward 'too complicated to describe in any reasonable length post'. Other than that, it depends on the game, because what is challenging in FFXI is not the same as what is challenging in Monster Hunter or Onigiri, and I don't lump Fantasy MMO bosses into the same piles (except WoW and FFXIV, which as far as I know is the result of an intentional decision by Yoshi-P to cater to those who enjoy WoW style bosses). I can't comment on those two either because they don't interest me enough, though some of them do seem quite good at the highest levels, becoming more than just spectacle.

    Other than those boss types, I'll try to think of anything that stands out as either 'avoid this because it sucks' or 'I always want a chance to fight this because it's so fun', but in general I don't experience either extreme very often in the games I choose to play.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    I've mainly played Lineage 2, so my experience with bosses usually boils down to "big numbers go bigger", both in the zerging part of the encounter and in the gearing one (OE included). Most mechanics of L2's bosses were super basic, mainly because you'd have the potential of pvp during the encounter.

    I'd personally like to play a game that has that last part, but also has better pve with more mechanics. Ideally some classes would have utility abilities that let the first raid fight both the boss and the attackers at the same time, so that the pve's complexity doesn't make the pvx encounter impossible.

    I would also love some action-based mechanics for bosses, mainly vertical targeting and directional blocks/dodges/jumps. This would not only support the hybrid combat design, but would also let higher skilled players succeed more often.

    As for the detailed mechanics, I'll leave this up to Azherae and Noaani to explain (if they want), because they have a much broader and deeper experience with those. What I can say is that I like these suggestions quite a lot.

    This is somewhat a separate discussion, which would get deep into the weeds of 'how I believe a PvX MMORPG must design most of its non-instanced Boss encounters in order to be enjoyable as a whole'.

    I feel like it would once again derail the Discussion from the original intent, to comment on it, particularly in light of the general poster/fan of the game principles of PvX (other than NiKr himself) who has strong interest in Ashes.

    Basically, it seems like the average PvX player is already satisfied with what Ashes intends to offer and wouldn't even want it to be particularly different, so I think Development is best served just gathering data from them and not 'me arguing with them without any valid basis other than my biased design opinions'.

    Especially since the design space of Ashes isn't yet (and has shown no signs of ever becoming) the basis required for the sort of thing I'd be thinking of.

    tl;dr - Detailed mechanics aren't what this thread is about and PvX bosses are primarily about the PvP, from the look of it, so I don't have anything really worth adding to this particular discussion.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
  • KorelaKorela Member
    Legendary Boss = unique reward + mass PvP ~500vs500 or ~300vs300vs400 (L2 reference: Valakas). Boss does AOE dmg, mass control and spam adds to shake the battle and prevent unprepared zerg' victory. Extremely valuable (~1000 hours of mob grind). I like this option if the forces are approximately equal.

    Instanced Boss = great loot + deeper PvE for 1-4 groups (L2 reference: Tiat, but, I guess, there are better examples from WoW). Rooms, stages, phases, tactics, optimizations, speedruns. It's fun unless it forces to build an army of alts to achieve the best loot per hour ratio. Loot value is ~equal to the optimal mob grind, but can be higher if groups are well organized.

    World Boss = exp\loot\quest + general PvX for 1-4 groups (L2 reference: Rahha \ Golkonda). Big elite-like pinata to get some progression. Don't like it as a concept. Don't like "more PvE" or "more PvP" variations as well. They are usually quest-related and fine for one time (then they brings minimal gameplay-value - save devs' resources, please). Or they are essential to the end-game players who farms them using alts (then why they are not the Legendary Bosses).
  • PagemasterPagemaster Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited June 2023
    When talking boss mechanics, I believe in having a wide assortment of different boss fights with different mechanics. Anywhere from Tank n Spanks, Less mechanics, More Mechanics, Environmental Mechanics, Add Mechanics, Timed Mechanics, ETC.
    Ashes should build on the wheel of boss fights and lean into their systems surrounding nodes, professions, etc.
    We've already heard the "what if" a node reaches a certain tier and wakes up a dragon.
    Well what if a mine of tier 4-5 materials is farmed too the point of disappearing and in return opens up a cavern to a dragon world boss. A group interacts with the Dragon, but cannot defeat it, so after X amount of time (lets say 24 hours), because they couldn't defeat it, it triggers a multi-node event where the dragon now attacks a random node within it's range. During the event getting the boss to lets say 20%, triggers completion of the Event, letting everyone know where the dragon is located. The Dragon now goes back to it's cavern and is able to be interacted with again. Same as other events, if you can't complete the event something negative happens, like node de-level, then it goes to another node.
    Timed boss fight mechanics, Lets say in PTR or the Alphas there's a Gladiator tank n spank boss fight, when it gets to live, at 20% it enrages and will WIPE the party (separate from berserk). Now on the fight, to defeat the boss you have to wait X amount of time (lets say 5 minutes) before the boss receives an exhaustion debuff and won't enrage at 20%. Could also be a stamina bar and you have to kite boss around to 0% Stamina to not enrage at 20% HP.
    Again, more mechanics could be you're fighting an Alchemist and in the room of the boss fight, they go and drink a potion giving them a buff, when you "defeat" the boss the corpse explodes and puts a debuff on the party and within a certain time they will die and explode setting off a chain virus. No achievement is made for defeating the boss and only a recipe drops to rid you of the virus. Instead to defeat the boss, you have to kite them to other boss rooms in the dungeon/raid to drink different potions to correctly defeat the boss and not have it explode and set off that debuff.
    Lets say in the tower of Carphin, a boss keeps resurrecting because of blood magic and the only way to official defeat the boss is to take it into a anti-magic chamber in the raid.
    You can also put hints to these mechanics in the story telling leading up to the dungeon/raid, Quests within the events or even depicted through art on the side of the entrance walls.
    There's a plague out break and if you become infected in the dungeon/raid in X amount of time you turn into a zombie, you then have to die, be cleansed by a religious buff or drink a certain potion before the debuff expires. (Just don't let the "zombie event" affect the players time too much, it has to be balanced to not ruin the experience for the player at all levels)

    1. Expand on the Wheel of Boss Fight Mechanics
    2. Don't show the full boss fights in PTR, Alpha's and Beta's
    3. Keep the players time and progression in mind
      Guild Leader of The Adventurers Guild,
    • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
      Kalmos wrote: »
      do you have an automated group search system? so that solo players can participate and guilds can complete their raids?

      There will not be an automated group gathering system. Instead, there will be things such as the Bulletin Boards, which allow players to find other players to form groups for the content they're wanting to do!
    • GypsychoGypsycho Member
      edited June 2023
      I have some suggestions about bosses and their mechanics.
      I don't actually know where to start.
      Here it is.

      Bosses should have enviromental skills like if Tumok respawn in ice he should use his skills the way they benefit from the ice. I mean not all bosses but WORLD BOSSES can have that. Not only graphic adoption but elemantal resistance or elemantal skills.

      Bosses should have more crowd damaging abilities due to they are hard to kill but two tank players and two clerics should not hold the damage on them. when mages and rangers are not even close they should be carefull all the time.

      Bosses should have a variable health and defence that can change whether there are 8 players around or 40.
      I mean, if 8 player started the atack the boss and then another 8 joined the fight that boss should gain power to defend itself. (edit: i just read that ashes already has it).

      All Bosses should have phases in my opinion just like tumok with the tree and tumok when the tree dies. Not more than 2 phases tho.

      Bosses in sieges and dungeons should have less healing than the others. Because players may not have the time or patience to kill that boss from the start if they die in the battle.

      Bosses should have a unpredictable respawn hours and places given that they have great loots.

      Bosses should have unavoidle and avoidble skills both impact larger areas.

      Bosses should have a kind of quests. For example If you kill that boss with your crew couple of times you can have a title like TUMAK SLAYER :smile: AND should give the player who carry that title +couple of health or cooldown or something. Every boss can give different stats helps the player in only PVE/PVP or BOTH. (edit: there are some titles but i did not see any of it about boss slayers).

      Bosses should respawn in PVP areas, too. For example in KNİGHT ONLİNE an old MMORPG most of bosses who has great loots respawn in the middle of the PVP areas. So players enjoy PVP and PVE at the same time. I personally killed couple of enemy players and stole a loot from them back then worth 200usd and it was amazing. Me and my team stole the world boss' loot worth than 500usd back in the day and we gain respect among that servers players (But also hated). (I guess Alpha 1 had a dragon boss which respawned in PVP area but that's it?)

      If i have more suggestions and remember more experience i will edit this answer.
      And let me know what do you think about my answer.
    • What are your favorite and least favorite boss mechanics for small and large group content in MMORPGs?

      Yours truly has always enjoyed experiencing additional mechanics in "scaled/scaling" boss fights; The more people, the more additional mechanics there should be, to challenge the group.

      Do you have any memorable fights, and if so, what made them special?

      Kephess in SWTOR is a really memorable one for me because there's so much going on - and even more-so in the harder modes. Three droids start the fight, while the entire group has to watch their feet and positioning, while a central turret fires a cone of damage in a random direction. In harder modes, the droids have to be taken down in a specific order, and they get tougher if not killed within a short span of time.

      Then, a large group of enemies enter, and specific members of the group have to be killed first, while an eye has to be kept open for the appearance of a bomb-carrying NPC. The player whom receives the bomb has to walk underneath the big battle-walker, and repel upwards to plant the bomb, and the turret has continued to fire, throughout the fight. Once enough bombs are planted, the main boss descends to the field to fight you directly, while players must not watch the field and avoid being on the same half of it as said droids, to avoid a major AoE.

      Granted, SWTOR has the continual trend of "dumbing-down" it's content, so it's far-easier than it once was. Our guild's first all-guild run took 5 and 1/2 hours on the easier of two difficulty modes, and this raid was the latest content, at the time. That kind of all-guild strife and effort really paid off and felt good, after so much time and having to navigate the boss-fights up to the final one.

    • edited June 2023
      Not sure if this topic is on raid or overland bosses. But i always liked ESO Vet Sunspire Trial. It requires coordination, strategy and teamwork. I also like that the bosses in ESO have stages during their life health with how they behave. And that you may need to move around or focus on other spawns during those stages to kill boss. I hate games where you just stand in one spot during the whole 20mil boss hp.

      Another thing i like about ESO raids is that you need to be within a healers "cone", if not you're dead.
    • When I played dungeons and dragons online stormreach one of my favorite memories was of the dragon vault raid. This raid required teams to coordinate in groups in order to progress via puzzles or taking down obelisks at the same time in order to progress. The final dragon fight was laid out like a baseball field with the dragon at home base. Only one player could round the bases at a time in order to get to a "base"( it was a bridge island) where they would prep the obelisk until all 3 players took it down at the same time in order to drop the barrier to the dragon who could easily wipe the entire raid with aoe if you didn't time heals and hide low hp builds. The initial solving the puzzle and use of team work and coordination is what I liked the most rather than a generic build strategy for dps success. Sorry it's long-winded but real coordination and teamwork with puzzle solving that can be deadly is my favorite
    • NehzosNehzos Member
      I am the type of player that loves all difficult fights. If a fight is difficult and isn't "zergable" I will most likely enjoy it. I will split my answer into two different categories, that being 100% instanced PvE (WoW/FFXIV type raids) and PvEvP "open world" raids (Albion Online is my only real experience with these types of raids).

      For instanced raiding I really enjoy mechanics that favor individual skill that connects the entire raid. I can use an example from the majority of FFXIV fights where every person has to understand how to do their own mechanic but the game does a good job tying together the party by making the fight require all people to complete their "job" in the fight. I would like to see more team focused mechanics than are shown in FFXIV as sometimes the fights can feel a little too lonely with no team play. But I do enjoy mechanics that favor individual skill as the more individual mechanics are the more complicated they are(with the fights I have done. Of course AoC could change up the formula). I also enjoy how WoW raids utilize the arena and create large areas to fight the boss in. It makes the fight feel monumental especially when the boss is a major character in the story, the arena helps boost that feeling of grandness.

      In open world bosses I would really like bosses that have "real" (i.e. not just dodge axe swings) mechanics while a single party fights the boss and then similar but dumbed down mechanics while multiple parties are in the boss area. This allows for people to make decisions if other parties need to be taken care of or a boss mechanic that needs to be dealt with. I liked the boss difficulty in Albion while another group is contesting the boss it was very tense and any mistake could cost your team but the fights felt a little bland when it was just pure PvE with no other players.
    • ZarockZarock Member
      I think a lot of the boss encounters both small and large scale, often focusses too much on the mechanics that dps or tanks have to focus on. Not many times do we see a healer oriented fight where instead of damaging the boss, the healers have to heal it. I really like the idea and would like to see it be implemented more often. Fights like Valithria Dreamwalker from Icecrown Citadel raid or a more modern Sun king's salvation from Castle Nathria. One thing to make sure though is to give the other roles something to do as well like adds or other mechanics like a strong add/another boss to acompany it.

      I also like fights that have you go to a new biome/dimension/area where the mechanics change perhaps in the fire zone phase 1 the boss mostly has fire attacks but then the ground shatters and you go in the depths in phase 2 where he gets shadow abilities.

      For me a very important design choice is that attacks patterns are not static and predetermined. I love fights where If you fail a certain mechanic the boss will change his patterns and you have a choice of letting him do that to benefit your group composition or not depending on your strengths. Letting players choose how they want to fight and give them options is in my opinion incredibly important. It also helps with diversity in builds so you're not necessarily forced into specific group compositions. It also makes it more varied and lasting.

      Last thing I'd like to talk about is using the terrain and other tools to help your team beat the encounter. Examples of that would be:

      - forest biome, using untouched/fallen trees to slow down the boss and have him gain damage the faster he charges through players so mitigating it would be advantageous for beating the encounter

      -rocky biome, destroying rocks on cliffs/pillars or breaking other heavy objects to have it fall on the boss and temporarily stun them
    • VoidwalkersVoidwalkers Member
      edited June 2023
      Positioning, and instant deaths:

      While positioning is always an important element of fight mechanics, please make careful use of instant-death-level-aoes, especially if it results in irresurrectable deaths (knocks your corpse off stage etc.)

      I remember the early FF14 2.0 raids (Titan, Leviathan etc.) had so many aoe attacks that simply throws you off stage, that the fights basically became group-dance choreography sessions -- whole party to the left! dodge aoe, quick whole party to the right! dodge aoe, now quickly to the center! dodge aoe, now to the edge! dodge aoe ...
      Then at some point someone failed to dodge ONE attack, gets knocked off, and the raid wipes. (lost tank = wipe, lost healer = wipe, lost dps = fail dps check = wipe) And the whole process repeats itself.

      That kind of fight was just pure stress to me, and one of the factor that made me quit FF14.

      Another thought based on that experience: Ideal mmorpg boss fights should allow players to cover for each other's mistakes, instead of requiring the whole party to achieve perfection. The former would likely promote teamwork and friendship between players (e.g. Thx for saving my ass bro!), while the later would likely promote nothing but finger pointing, anger, and stress/tension. (e.g. why did YOU keep dying to that aoe??? -50 dkp!!!)
    • LyonexLyonex Member
      lady feysara from Elyon online was an absolute blast, youtube it.
      Elyon did a lot of great thing. But the P2w was too much.
    • Breakable parts/Interactive Environment
      Games like Monster Hunter have a cool mechanic that changes the rewards you get and a monster's attack pattern when you break certain parts of a boss. Maybe a tail attack is less effective or has a smaller AoE when you cut off the end, maybe the monster can no longer fly when you destroy its wings, maybe it has to rely on an elemental attack or body slams more because you broke the claws/teeth. Alongside an interactive environment, like traps or spikes, it makes every fight with the same monster unique, even after you farm it dozens of times.

      This also allows for the party to split focus on different parts for different rewards, maybe now you have to delegate who needs to target which part and what they need to break before overall DPS just outright kills a boss. For harder bosses, one vital part like the chest or horns can be broken to trivialize the fight, turning off a lot of mechanics but needs all of your focus on that one part.

      For the environment, maybe you made the boss attack an area with a trap so it does a lot of damage to the boss, but now the trap is permanantly active, creating dangerous terrain until the fight is over in exchange for DPS or a phase skip, or by activating a falling rock, it staggers the monster and stops a big attack which allows everyone to catch their breath for a second or charge up a big attack thats normally hard to pull off.
    Sign In or Register to comment.