Reposted from here.
I think the way looking for raid Boss encounters are designed currently is suboptimal. Whereas the normal modes are designed in a very nice way. Every encounter has unique abilities, feels special and I enjoy raiding. The lfr mode feels lacking.
I have a few twinks who due to a dying server and a casual guild will be restricted to lfr for their PvE end game. And I don’t enjoy lfr that much. I think some of that is due to the way the encounters are designed in lfr mode. As a damage dealer, you can ignore most harmful effects and just stand still. As a healer, some encounters require a good amount of healing, some even excessive, but a lot of fights seem to be tuned for even worse groups and thus require only very moderate amount of healing. Overall lfr feels bland to me though since so much of what the bosses do doesn’t matter at all.
I wanted to originally post something about may ideas for lfr mode prior to 5.2 being released, but didn’t manage to do that in time. I wrote and refined most of my thoughts below while 5.2 was not yet released. While I’ve been doing the 5.2 lfrs with all 3 roles, I need more time and experience with the normal mode versions of the encounters to get a better feel of how the lfr versions are different from the normal versions. In general 5.2 feels more engaging then 5.0. Only the twins feel really bad, in that they require almost no movement.
A fair warning, there’s a wall of text incoming and also English is not my first language. There have been some discussions on the forums whether lfr is too easy. I do think that the constraint that most lfr groups can down each boss does not allow for significantly more difficult encounters. This post though, is concerned with orthogonal issues. I assume for the remainder of this post, that the difficulty is mostly where it should be. My aim is rather to make the lfr encounters less bland, require more movement, more reaction and thus be more fun.
Next, I’ll explain what I consider to be the major problem areas, and describe some potential solutions. Some of the solutions I present are purely thought experiments. I do not actually believe that doing everything I propose would be wise, though I definitely think that the problems are real and implementing some of solutions would lead to a better lfr design. After that, I’ll go through the 5.0 encounters and offer explanations on how to apply my thoughts to some real boss fights. I think all those problems do exists also with the 5.2 encounters, though too a somewhat lesser extend. Again, be warned, this text is long.
The feedback loop for “wrong” play
There is a long tradition in World of Warcraft that doing something wrong in raids results in the raid suffering damage. Either only the player, or sometimes the whole raid. For some abilities that damage is deadly, but this is nowadays pretty rare. If the raid fails too often, this will eventually lead to a wipe, either by ooming the healers, or by players dying.
In lfr mode, the design has to take some additional constraints into account: Most raiders won’t be familiar with the encounter. Each raider probably has a lesser chance to react properly. Also having the whole raid wipe because a few players are particular unfamiliar with the encounter is obviously not wanted for a lfr encounter. Also the maximum amount of explanation that can be transported via raid chat is limited. A raid can explain a few abilities, but not the amount that a typical normal raid entails. In most cases though most abilities are retained in lfr mode.
Thus usually in lfr mode the suffered damage for failing is thus drastically reduced.
Quite often the damage is so inconsequential that most raiders choose to ignore abilities completely and let the healers deal with it. That some abilities are ignored by most, and thus are meaningless feels like bad design to me. Since mostly only on actual wipes is there a discussion on how to handle certain abilities, the feedback loop that exists in normal mode does only rarely work in lfr mode.
Also abilities that on failure lead to either raid wipe damage or continuous damage are problematic. Since the typical raid will have a few players failing, the damage of those needs to be far from deadly, and small amounts of damage are even less likely to give feedback to the player.
As a solution, I propose to “punish” bad play not with suffered damage, but with varied loss-of-control debuffs or performance reducing debuffs. And also to reward good play with beneficial buffs. In general buffs are more fun than debuffs.
This also has the secondary benefit that the incoming damage the raid suffers does not depend on how good or bad the players are playing. While that is a staple of normal and heroic modes, due to the missing feedback loop I argue this does not work as well in lfr mode.
As an example consider the “Unseen Strike” ability of Blade Lord Ta’yak. If the ability would give everyone that helps split the damage a buff, e. g. increasing the critical hit chance by 100% for the next to abilities, that would incentive running everyone to run towards that player. Also this allows for showing a “green” circle around that player, which helps the raid understand the ability. A lot of classes can exploit the 2 critical hits to significantly boost their damage, which sounds like that should be fun.
As an example for a debuff, consider the “Cobalt Mine” of the very first encounter in the Mogu’shan Vaults. The obvious correct way to respond to this ability is to simply move out of the blue circle in time. That should be doable by everyone, yet in lfr mode, practically no one even tries to avoid the damage. This is because the damage is only 95K. That can be easily healed up by the healers. Increasing the damage though is not a good solution, since that would probably just lead to a few people avoiding the damage while most still would take it. Thus this would only affect the healers.
I think, a better design for this ability would have been for the player to be enclosed in an ice block for a few seconds. This is immediate feedback to the player that he should have moved out of the blue circle. Everyone that cares about their performance should also realize that moving out is better than being unable to do damage for a few seconds.
That should lead to more players caring about the Cobald Mines, and thus make the ability meaningful. As a secondary benefit, this decouples the damage the raid suffers from how good or bad the players are at avoiding blue circles. 
I’ll later explain which abilities in the 5.0 lfr raids I would have changed in a similar fashion.
Reaction vs Planning
The next topic I want to discuss is reacting to an ability versus handling an ability via planning.
Quite a few boss mechanics can be distinguished whether they require a reaction after they happen or whether the raid can reduce the impact of the ability before it happens. (Not all abilities can be categorized.)
Two examples might better explain what I mean. A typical reactive ability is the Pillage ability of Subetei in the 4th encounter of MV. The raid reacts after the mechanic starts by simply moving out of the red circle. The ability Raid of Arrows is an ability that needs to be planned for. The raid needs to spread out *before* the ability happens because otherwise multiple people would be hit by it.
I argue that abilities that require a reaction are far better suited to the lfr mode and that abilities that require planning should be if possible be transformed to reactive abilities. Thus for example I’d argue that the Rain of Arrows would work better in lfrif it would first show a hunters mark and red circle on the target. Then a short time after that the person with the mark and everyone still standing in the circle is pinned to the ground. This makes the ability far easier to understand for a lfr raid and far easier to handle correctly. (Now, while that might make sense for that ability, that change does not fit into the encounter, since Subetai already has a very similar ability.)
Some abilities are immediately obvious and need no further explanations, e. g. flanking orders in the Spirit Kings encounter. No one needs an explanation or the dungeon journal to understand what to do. On the other hand some abilities are non obvious, e. g. the Massive Attacks ability of the same boss. While the animation is an arcing swipe, that the players need to stand next to the tank is non obvious. 
Most players in lfr have not informed themselves before stepping into lfr. Nor can that be expected from players. The dungeon journal, while nice, is not a good tool to understand bosses. Also explanations in lfr are sparse and ideally the bosses in lfr should be explainable in only a few messages.
Abilities that are more obvious work better in lfr mode.
In Mists of Pandaria some abilities show a red, green or purple circle to show the affected area.
I think using those circles for more abilities would help make abilities obvious in lfr mode.
For example the Massive Attacks ability could have been modified for lfr by adding a green circle around the current tank, to indicate to raiders that they should be standing there. Also to reward good play, that is in this case standing in the circle, each time a raider shares the damage s/he should receive a stacking buff. (Also the very first massive attack should not happen immediately, to give the tanks a chance to see the circle.
While I mentioned using the green circle above, this should not be the same green circle that shows beneficial areas. The graphic effect needs to show that this circle is centered on the player and will move with the player.
Some boss abilities require coordination between players. In general those do not work very well in lfr mode, as coordinating anything is hard for a lfr raid.
Since those abilities are usually fairly unique there’s no general guideline how to handle them, except that I think that those should be redesigned to fit the coordination possible in lfr mode. I’d argue that preserving the essence of an ability is better than making the ability meaningless by e. g. reducing the damage to practically nothing. I’ll explain how I would change Petrification and Overload below.
Now, one argument against changing how abilities work in lfr mode allows for an easy transition between lfr and normal mode. But is this really true if an ability can and is completely ignored by the majority of players? I argue that changing an ability to become meaningful does mean that players get better feedback and incentives good play, thus making a transition into normal mode easier.
For various reasons explained above I feel that the design of bosses could be improved by:
- Buffing the player for good play, debuffing, with a loss of control or reduced performance, players for bad play. I think this allows for better feedback than inflicting damage.
- Changing abilities that require planning into abilities that require a reaction. Since the former is always hard for lfr raids.
- Making boss abilities more obvious, e. g. by utilizing green/red circles.
- And after making selected abilities meaningful, pruning other abilities.
If you have read so far, congratulations The rest of this text is applying my ideas from above to the 5.0 lfr bosses. Some of what I have written above might get a little bit clearer with some more examples, but otherwise it isn’t that interesting. While I have some experience in the 5.2 raid content, I haven’t seen all bosses in normal mode and thus can’t compare all bosses to their “intended” form. From what I have seen, there are quite a few problematic bosses, though less then in 5.0. For example I believe that the Council fight has too many ignorable abilities, Megaera’s abilities green bomb is practically always ignored and Durumu’s disintegration beam is a fun ability, but i’d guess even though most raids kill the boss on the first try, there’s a significant potion that has dies almost every time. Dark Animus, Iron Qon and Twins feel somewhat lacking in lfr mode to me. Lei Shen though feels epic even in lfr mode, though it would be nice to make certain abilities more obvious and reward good play.
Before I comment on each boss, a general remark: I’ll offer suggestions how I would have designed a lot of abilities. I cherry-pick and only discuss abilities that can be improved to become meaningful. Those are mostly done in isolation without considering the impact of making all abilities meaningful in a lfr raid, that though leads to an overly complicated boss, so in addition I would have recommended to trim abilities. That is, ideally a lfr boss retains the core abilities of the normal mode and each of them needs to be mostly correctly handled. Also while I present my proposal in the present tense, it’s obviously too late to change the 5.0 lfrs.
Examples and Solutions
Anyway, let’s get started:
The Stone Guard
See above, I think this ability suffers from the damage being meaningless. If instead it just froze the player for a few seconds.
This ability suffers from being not obvious enough. Consequently the damage needs to be non fatal, which again leads to the ability being mostly ignored. The visuals could use the fog effect that colors the corners of your screen red. Though I’m pretty sure that this would not be enough, since even with that effect you need to see the chains.
Petrification and Overload
The two abilities work together and require quite a bit of coordination by the tanks. Clearly that’s not feasible to require from a lfr raid. With the current damage for a wrong overload, these 2 abilities are being ignored.
I think it would wise to redesign that aspect of the fight in a way that preserves the core idea, yet requires less coordination. The best idea, I can come up with is: Reduce the number of Quilen to 2, so that each tank has 1 Quilen to tank. Add a “lightning rod” in the middle that energizes nearby Quilen. So, the tactic is then to always tank the petrifying Quilen next to the lightning rod, and the other some distance to it. I think this does make those abilities somewhat similar to the normal mode, and quite a bit more interesting than the current version. It does though require the tanks to know about how that works.
Feng the Accursed
Shroud of Reversal
This ability is non obvious and requires some coordination to reverse Lightning Lash. (Which is the only ability that really changes the fight if it is reflected. Reflecting other abilities doesn’t.) I don’t think anyone would miss this ability in LFR if it got removed. Thus that’s precisely what I’d suggest.
Also if “Shroud of Reversal” of reversal is removed, all the tanks can automatically get “Nullification Barrier” at the start of the encounter, similar to how everyone gets the extra action button on Ultraxion.
This ability is somewhat non obvious. It is not obvious that the damage is less the further you stand away. The best idea I have for visualizing such an ability is to use concentric red circles. The difference between the circles being small in the deadly zone and growing the further away from the boss. I’m not sure whether that would work though. In normal mode a raid can completely counter this with Shroud + Barrier, so I’m fine with this not doing anything meaningful in lfr either.
This works as is, rewarding tanks that know how to save their raid, yet not being fatal. Btw, that the buff is removed on transition to the next phase in lfr mode is a nice touch.
This ability is also non obvious and would require a better visualization to make it work in lfr mode. I don’t have an idea how to visualize this though. As such there’s not much that can be done to make this ability work well in lfr.
This ability actually requires being spread out before the debuff is applied. (It might look like a reactive ability, but since it is deadly if enough people are clumped up it isn’t.)
I’d recommend either changing this too a reactive ability, by removing the damage tick for the 2 arcane explosions. (Or a ramp up.) Also it might be wise to change it to inflict double damage to the debuffed player, thus ensuring that s/he dies first without wiping the raid. (Also closing the feedback loop without killing too many of the raid.) Or, what I would prefer, remove the damage. And replace it by a buff, which is gained if no one is hit by the arcane explosion: E. g. “Power overloaded – Mastery increased by 20%” Thus, good play is rewarded and bad play does not punish the healers or the raid.
Gara’jal the Spiritbinder
I think this encounter was translated almost perfectly into the lfr mode. All the important bits are close enough and nothing feels completely ignorable. The only change I would do, is to promote crossing to the spirit world, by replacing Spiritual Innervation, which doesn’t really work in lfr with a buff that simply increases per time spent (or damage dealt) in the spirit realm. E. g. Empowered Spirits, deal 15% additional damage as shadow damage.
The Spirit Kings
This fight is lovely. Almost all abilities are obvious and easy to understand at first sight. Especially flanking orders is perfect. I really like how this feels. There are a few though, that I think could be improved.
Qiang’s Massive Attacks
This ability is somewhat non obvious. Quite often I see Tanks dying to this.
To make it more obvious what the raid is supposed to do, I propose that sharing the damage of Massive Attacks actually buffs the player with a buff, say “Teamwork – Increases crit by 20% for 10s”. Also, this allows for showing a green circle around the tank. Thus this ability gets a lot more obvious and with the buff rewards players for good play. Those two parts are somewhat independent, but I like how they build on each other.
Qiang’s Flanking Orders
This is one of my favourite abilities in the instance, it’s immediately obvious how to react to it. It synergies nicely with Massive Attacks and Annihilate. Those 3 abilities work great together. The flanking orders damage can actually be ignored in lfr since it is non deadly, dealing less than half health. Only the healers would suffer from that. But even in the worst lfr groups I very rarely see people not moving. Which indicates to me that most players actually do want to play the bosses properly.
I still dislike that the only drawback to not moving is that the healers would have to heal you up. Thus I’d recommend that being hit by the flanking orders, drags you with the flanking orders until you reach the other side without actually killing the player.
Meng’s Crazy Thought
Since this actually does not add much to the fight, and it’s not really obvious if and when that should be kicked, I’d just remove this. Obviously the energy gain rate needs to be increased accordingly.
Meng’s Maddening Shout
I like this ability. Though I’ve seen a few people dying due to others dotting them. This feels unfair, that depending on how many e. g. Deathknights thought that spreading all their diseases is good idea, you might suffer a lot of damage. On the other hand people seem to mostly die if Meng is in the coward phase with almost full energy. Anyway, I’d recommend guarding the player in such “mind control” situations. That is give the player a small shield on breaking the mind control, which absorbs a good portion of any remaining dots.
Subetai’s Rain of Arrows
This ability requires the raid to spread before Subetai uses it. Most lfr raids avoid that by pure chance, since most LFR raids spread out by default. As I wrote above abilities that require a reaction work better than abilities that require planning. Thus I’d change this to something people need to react to, e. g. show a hunters mark above the player 3 seconds prior to the rain of arrows and a red circle around this player. This makes the ability more meaningful in that the raid not avoid this by pure chance, but by playing well. (Though, this ability works good enough in the current incarnation.
The damage of all 3 volleys combined is barely enough to sometimes kill a raider. More often though the player does survive this ability. This puts the damage in that awkward spot, where the healers care, but some players don’t. I think it would be better if being hit by 3 volleys stuns the player for e. g. 8s.
This boss isn’t terribly interesting in normal mode either and likewise it isn’t in lfr either. I think his abilities are fine as they currently are.
This boss is nicely done and also mostly adjusted well to the lfr mode. There are only two changes I’d make.
In normal mode this debuffs Elegon with a 10% damage increase. This is reduced to 5% in lfr mode, I assume to make the difference between killing waves and not killing them smaller. I don’t think this makes sense. Tune the boss for a group that doesn’t kill any waves, and if there’s a particular coordinated group that actually kills waves, let them get a fast and easy kill. Thus I would increase this to 10%. This amount of coordination is not beyond what a lfr raid can do and it would feel great for those groups that manage that.
I delight in seeing players falling to their deaths, but not even the dungeon journal mentions this aspect. This is so highly non obvious, that I think this should not be the case in lfr mode. The reason for the vanishing ground seems to me, that in normal mode the raid has to intelligently split the damage/healers and tanks to cover both sides.
This is amount of coordination is obviously not possible in lfr mode. Thus I propose either, remove the ground but port players on the platform to the sides. Or leave the ground intact.
Will of the Emperor
This is also pretty similar between lfr and normal mode, which is always nice. What I would change though is:
Give players a stronger reason to attack the adds, there seems to be a small number of raiders who rather not do that, since they would lose in recount. Thus I’d add a small buff for damaging the adds.
Again a nice ability, unique and fun due to the extra damage button. But in lfr mode suffering damage as a consequence of failing doesn’t really work for the melees. Thus I’d add a damage reduce to the armor reduction the debuff has. Also it might be a good idea to slightly increase the time the players have to avoid this ability.
Inhale and Exhale
This ability does precisely nothing in lfr. I’m not sure how much damage it deals, but I have never noticed the damage while healing, so it can’t be much. Now in normal mode this can be easily handled by the raid simply stacking behind the tank, so I’d just remove this from the lfr mode. This could also be transferred into a tank only ability, where if the tank catches the exhale, the tank grows in size and gains a defensive stat.
This feels too iconic for Zor’lok to completely remove, though I’d consider that.
I’m not exactly sure how much damage this ability deals, but it isn’t much. And due to pattern being a lot more spacious than in normal mode, you can simply stand still at ~10 yard distance to the boss. You’ll get hit by 3-4 sonic rings, which will deal less than half you health as damage. Now, I’m not sure how people die to this, but sometimes some people do. And not just by standing too near to the boss.
Anyway, I think this would also do fine if the damage portion was removed and instead a stacking buff given that increases if you don’t get hit for e. g. 3s. (Or a stacking silence for each time you get hit. I prefer buffs over debuffs though, since I think that could be a better experience.)
Force and Verve
Not standing in the Noise Canceling zones just increases the suffered damage. Thus there’s little feedback to those players not standing in them that they are doing something wrong. I’d remove the damage reduction ability of this ability and increase the damage of this ability a bit. Instead, standing outside could debuff: “Screaching: You cannot hear anymore. Miss chance increased by 30%.” and inside a buff “Perfect silence: Pure Concentration. Crit chance increased by 20%”. Also the buff/debuff should last a bit longer than the Noise Canceling zones.
Similar to “Maddening Shout” it would be nice if there would be no way to die from being mind controlled. E. g. one way would be to just double the health pool of the converted player, but break the conversion at 25%. Thus requiring the same amount of damage, but putting the players safely out of harm from overkill. (Hopefully that is enough for that.)
Blade Lord Ta’yak
So, why does the blade lord use so many wind abilities?
Let me actually propose something for the normal mode:
I suspect not all tanks realize that being hit by it while still being debuffed is intended and should be countered by the tanks via a survival ability. I think that this could be clearer by a) Shortening the debuff thus that it clears before the next but one strike. and b) Giving the debuff a random chance to be twice as long. Now the tanks have a clear indicator that they need to take a second hit and ample time to prepare for taking that. I think this would make it clearer when a cool down should be used.
Now apart from that this is a prototypical tank switch ability. In general most tanks seem to handle tank switches quite fine. Though there are regularly tanks that fail at that. I blame that on two things: a) 5mans never require a tank switch. b) The default UI is just bad. I could write a long rant about it. Anyway since the damage is so low and most tanks understand tank switch abilities, these abilities work okay in LFR.
In normal mode this ability helps keeping the raid spread out. It’s an ability which requires planning also it’s not exactly obvious how this ability works. Thus it doesn’t work in lfr and consequently this ability deals practically no damage and is meaningless in lfr mode. I’d propose just cutting this, since lfr raids usually spread out anyway. Or make this ability require a reaction instead of being spread out. E. g. show a red circle on the target location. Or if you want to keep it to make healing more interesting: Limit the number of targets this can hit to a low number (maybe up to 3), but increase the damage the debuff deals.
The idea behind this ability is nice and I generally like how this ability works. But there are several problems with the current design.
The mark doesn’t tell the players what they are supposed to do. And thus some players instinctively run away. Other just stand still because they are confused. And even worse, if some players but not enough run to that player all could end up dead. Thus this ability can actually rewards good play, that is running to the player affected with death. That’s just bad and should never be the case.
I suggest the following changes. a) Apply the debuff/overhead icon some seconds before the boss vanished to give the affected player more time. b) Show a green circle around the affected player, thus indicating to the raid that grouping up around the player is good. (This shouldn’t be literally a green circle, but somehow indicate that it moves with the player and standing in it is good.) d) Reward good play with a buff “The next two abilities used are guaranteed crits”. The players can game this buff, which sounds like a lot of fun to me.
For the damage portion I do have some separate ideas:
- At the very minimum, prevent players except the “target” from dying.
- Either assume that the above changes are enough to make the damage spread out.
- Or, make the damage simply raid wide. The buff acts as incentive for gathering, thus that the damage is shared is not needed as an incentive for gathering anymore.
Nice, I like this. It’s fun to sometimes have such a phase.
This boss was very problematic in its first iteration and got nerfed several times. I think that was due to the debuff mechanic being ill suited to the lfr raid and the raid wide damage of Crush.
In general any mechanic that results in raid wide damage for failures is problematic. Those abilities often give to little feedback to each individual player, since raid wide damage is harder to understand. And also it can lead to a huge variance in the required healing.
Kiting the Pheromones, even passing the pheromones is not too hard for lfr. But I think the feedback via raid wide damage is also in this case ill-suited. It would be better if the healing requirement would be independent from the number of stacks or crushes. That means replacing crush with a personal feeedback, e. g. only damage/slow the player that triggered it. Also it would be nice to incentive taking responsibility for kiting by giving the kiting player a damage bonus or an other buff. A haste buff would feel good, since that allows the kiting player to cast in between moving. 
Wind Lord Mel’jarak
So this boss is all about Blades.
This is too hard to understand for a lfr raid. Most wipes that I experienced at this boss were due to too many stacks of this buff. And mostly the lfr groups don’t even understand why they wiped if it gets out of hand. I suggest either removing it, or limit the number of stacks it gets.
This inflicts raid wide damage for a personal failure to move. Dealing just 50k damage to the raid will not make anyone move. It would be better if this would e. g. catapult the non moving players into the air, keeping them out of the fight for a few seconds. Then Rain of Blades could be tuned a higher. Since this is then the only damage the raid suffers this could be made substantially higher. I suggest a number where the healers feel that they should be using their heal cds for that, yet the damage won’t outright kill anyone. E.g. a total damage of 300.000. That might too much if the fight drags on though.
I haven’t actually seen someone move from this. So, I’d change this to make it clearer by showing a red line showing the path. And dragging any affected players along the path if they get hit. Or just remove it.
While this boss is very similar between lfr and normal mode, for this boss that doesn’t really work. Being transformed into a construct is a very confusing experience. I believe the role of being in a construct should be completely redesigned. Being a construct should be fun. Thus I’d remove the need to interrupt the boss and the construct itself, so e. g. the self interrupt could be replaced by a second on cool down ability that deals damage.
Grand Empress Shek’zeer
This is another challenging encounter for lfr design. The core abilities of each phase don’t work that well in lfr mode. That is dissonance field, amber traps, and Calamity are all too complex for a lfr raid. I think keeping the interaction between dissonance field and Dread Screech could be made work, if a) the dissonance field clearly showed the player when he is supposed to be standing in it via red and green circles. And b) by replacing the raid damage with a debuff and buff while standing in the dissonance field. Also amber traps could work if they don’t require the raid to build them. If they would just appear, they could work.
Protectors of the Endless
I’ll only cover the normal order: Kaolan, Asani and Regail
This ability is commonly ignored in lfr mode and feels only meaningful to the healers. Since this is a rather minor ability in normal mode too, I’m fine with it as is.
This ability is frequently ignored by almost everyone in LFR. I think the reasons for that are twofold: It doesn’t deal enough damage to really matter and moving has no benefit to each individual and secondly it’s tuned a little too fast for LFR mode. I’d recommend changing this to stun the player that are hit by it for a few seconds. And also slowing it down a little bit.
In every raid there seem to be 2 to 3 players who do not know how this ability works and thus get 30 stacks, I think the damage should stop increasing after ~10 stacks, maybe a bit more. This makes it easier to tune the overall damage of this debuff, since the difference between people resetting their stack and not is smaller. If a player reaches ~10 stacks it should be made easier to the player to see that he needs to clear their stacks. One idea I like is giving the players the typical fog display, which shows them that they are slowly engulfed in darkness. Also in conjunction with the debuff, a hit chance reduction should encourage players. Also it would be helpful, if the sunbeam appeared brighter the more stacks you have.
Otherwise the boss seems fine.
This debuff splashes. In lfr what I see quite frequently are that melees actually die to that. I’m not really sure why though. Often the melees even get healed, thus they have ample time to react. Yet somehow they seem to be either not noticing the incoming damage, or not considering it deadly or not understanding how the ability works, that only a minor step to the side is needed. I suggest the following two small adjustments: Show a red circle beneath the current tank, indicating that no one should be standing next to him. And replace the damage splash by a debuff, which slows your attacks, freezing you at ~7 stacks. Thus closing the feedback loop more directly.
Sha of Fear
Even in normal mode this fight doesn’t feel epic to me. And an end boss needs to be EPIC. Especially the main platform is just killing adds while moving every 30s for the fear. The outer platforms are somewhat more interesting in that you have to move to collect the spheres.
In lfr mode this fight is outright boring. Most damage dealers ignore the adds on the side and even with 5 or 6 active the raid is still not receiving that much damage. With 1 or 2 up, the healing required can be provided by ~2 healers. The platforms are also not that interesting. I think, what might work is to encourage good play here by: Adding a buff each time you damage an add on the side. (Cleared/Reduced on being feared.) And adding a buff for collecting spheres on the platform. This should help motivate the damage dealers to actually move on this fight. Also the side platforms are far more interesting than the main platform, thus I would port more people to them, e. g. 1 tank, 2 healers and 6 DDs to the side.
 oom is now a verb.
 Probably the arming time needs to a tiny bit longer, since LFR raiders should be allowed to be slower to react.
 A lot has happened in this area, many abilities nowadays have a visceral feel, the four Kings encounter being a shining example of how far boss design has come in that area. I can still remember the good old days of BWL that had bosses that randomly debuffed people, and where whole boss encounter consisted of preventing those debuffs and removing them. It was still a great experience. 🙂 Also Vaelestrasz was tons of fun. 🙂
 Most boss guides say that the tank should react, but frankly just standing behind the tank is far easier and there’s no ability discouraging stacking.
 I do have a story to tell here: In a LFR raid a rogue died, and due to previous banter someone pointed out a little time later that he was now below the tank in damage. The rogue replied that he was dead, and was asked why. He looked that up in recount, 5 hits of Spray, and that he received almost no healing. So that poor rogue died, and even after looking at the reason why he died, he couldn’t figure out why he was dead.