Fancy Shadow Priest Weakauras Setup

Priest_crest
I recently starting playing a shadow priest. For each char I play, I create weakauras for the rotation. For my shadow priest, I wanted to create something fancy. Every class in World of Warcraft has a crest. My setup is based on the priest crest on the right.

I’ve recorded a youtube video to show off how it looks:

If you want to use that setup you need to:

  • Download this zip file and drag and drop the folder into World of Warcraft’s Interface\Addons folder. Do note, that World of Warcraft will only pick up the new files on next start. If you see only green boxes, ensure you put the folder into the Interface\Addons folder and try restarting World of Warcraft.
  • If you don’t use Weakauras 2 yet, install it.
  • Import this string.
    • Triple click on the text to select it all and copy it to the clipboard.
    • Inside World of Warcraft, open the Weakauras configuration. Select “New” and then “Import”. Paste the text.
    • A new window should appear, click on “Import”.

Priest_crest-colored In the video I use the original colors on the banners. If you want to have stronger colors, like on the screenshot om the right, you need to change the foreground colors of the “BR” and “BL” auras. Do note, that due to the dark graphic you need to use a bright color. You should also switch on the “desaturate” checkbox.

PriestWAAffdotsIntegration One thing I didn’t cover in the youtube video is that the weakauras for Vampiric Touch and Shadow Word: Pain actually support AffDots. That code in the weakauras is based on work by Khryst at HowToPriest.com and Dragoron and Apokotou1709 from the MMO-Champion warlock forums. The picture on the left shows a red Vampiric Touch and a yellow Shadow Pain. You can configure AffDots to not show its own UI and I also recommend changing the colors to be stronger, as the default colors don’t work too well.

PriestWAAffdotsIntegrationSettingTo enable the AffDots integration, you need switch one setting for both the BR and BL aura. On the animations tab, change the main type to “custom”. See the screenshot on the right.

One last note: There seems to be a bug in Weakauras in that often not everything is shown. Selecting a target fixes it.

Removal of haste breakpoints and partial ticks explained

This is short explanation how Blizzard is changing Damage of Time effects in Warlords to remove all haste breakpoints. It’s based on explanations Celestalon gave here on twitter. Most of it should apply to HoTs as well, though those HoTs that have a initial tick might be a little bit tricky.

Currently every DoT class needs to be aware of their dots breakpoints. For Warlords of Draenor Blizzard is removing all breakpoints. 20% more haste will be twice as valuable as 10% haste. Also the duration of all DoTs won’t change with the amount of haste you have. Frankly that’s all most players need to know about DoTs in Warlords.

But for those who might have read about partial ticks or are curious how exactly Blizzard is achieving that, read on!

Let’s start with a simple dot/hot that has a duration of 12s and ticks every 3s. So we get 4 full ticks. I have a fancy graphic for you. In that graphic the red bar is the duration of DoT, the blue bars are each tick. And obviously the first tick is after 3s.

Up until late Wrath of the Lich King haste only affected the global cooldown, if I recall that correctly. There’s some benefit to a reduced global cooldown, but for the rest of this blog post I’ll ignore that aspect of haste.

Also let’s assume that each tick does 300 damage, then 4 ticks a 300 damage is 1200 damage. Meaning the dot has 1200 damage per cast or 100 damage per second. So far so easy. In a 6 minute fight, keeping the DoT up on one target uses 30 global cooldowns.

Now let’s add 20% haste, that increases the tick rate to every 2.5s. In the current model which is in use since Cataclysm, every DoT always has a whole number of ticks. The duration (12s) is divided by the tick rate (2.5s) and then rounded to the next whole number. Thus for 20% haste, we get 12/2.5 = 4.8 rounded to 5 ticks. Thus the duration of the DoT is modified to 5 * 2.5s = 12.5s. The haste level at which you gain such a additional is called a haste breakpoint and if you are a caster you surely know your haste breakpoints.

So we get 5 ticks a 300 damage in 12.5s. That means we have 1500 damage per DoT cast, which is 25% more than the DoT without haste and 120 damage per second, which is 20% more than the DoT without haste. Also in a 6 minute fight the DoT needs to be refreshed 29 times.

Let’s compare that to 9.1% haste, which gives a tick rate of 2.75s. Since 12/2.75 is less than 4.5, we get 4 ticks a 300 damage in 11s. That means we have 1200 damage per cast, which is no change to having no haste and 109.1 damage per second, which is 9.1% more than the DoT without haste. Also in a 6 minute fight the DoT needs to be refreshed 33 times.

By going from 9.1% haste to 20% haste, our damage per second increased linearly just like it should. But the damage per cast was not affected by the low haste number and 20% haste increased it by 25%. Also at 9.1% haste instead of using 30 global cooldowns, we need to use 33. And at 20% haste, we are using 29. It’s a odd system. It’s all caused by rounding the number of ticks.

If you didn’t understand my explanation, Hamlett explained it here too. He has even fancier graphics!

In Warlords of Draenor the rounding is removed, instead there are partial ticks. That is in the 20% haste case, that was with 2.5s tick rate, we simply get 12s / 2.5s = 4.8 ticks. That is 4 full ticks and one 0.8 tick at the end. The duration of the DoT is not affected by haste anymore.

Take a look at his image:

The last blue bar is the partial tick, it deals only 0.8 * 300 = 240 damage.

That means, with 20% haste we now have: 1440 damage per cast, 120 damage per second. And since the duration is unaffected by haste, we always need to use 30 global cooldowns. The 20% haste increases both the damage per cast and damage per second linearly. And that’s true for all haste levels. It’s awesome.

There’s only thing left to explain, and that’s refreshing the DoT and what happens to the partial tick in that case. It’s very simple, take a look at this, which shows the same DoT but refreshed once.

That bar is 24s long, and there are ticks every 2.5s. That gives us 24/2.5 = 9.6 ticks, that is 9 full ticks and one partial tick of 0.6 * 300 = 180 damage. Thus the DoT dealt 2880 damage, which is exactly twice as much for twice as many casts and seconds.

You might wonder where the partial tick went. Take a look at the next image. I colored the duration that was added by the refresh in a darker red.

Now you can see that the first tick of the second duration is after 0.5s. If a DoT is refreshed, instead of the partial tick, the first tick of the second duration is earlier. That’s why there are not 8 full ticks, or twice as many as in 12s, but 9 full ticks.

A Better Design for LFR mode, looking back at Throne of Thunder

I think, as many others that the way the lfr bosses are implemented is suboptimal. Players can literally stand still in encounters, and yet finish the lfr mode. I think the lfr mode would be more fun if it would encourage paying attention. I’m a normal mode raider and for more me the normal modes are a lot of fun. The quality of the Throne of Thunder raid tier was really amazing, almost all of the bosses feel great. It’s definitely one of the better raid tiers.

With the introduction of flex raiding, lfr’s role is even more the raiding mode for the more casual oriented players. I think though that even the casual players sooner or later realizes that while the bosses do have all mechanics, most of the time ignoring them is perfectly fine. That creates in my opinion a bland experience, where a player kills 12 bosses but where only a few ones stand out as unique. I think Blizzard could have done better than that.

Some players seem to think that the lfr mode should be more punishing to encourage better play. I disagree. The lfr mode is designed to have a success rate that is close to 100%, and given the wide varity of player skill it has to be tuned in a forgiving way. Also making boss abilties deal more damage usually just results in the healers having to heal through it.

I thik in a typical lfr raid there are more people that are interested in doing bosses properly and more capable than most people would assume. The problem in my opinion is not that they don’t want or are too bad, it’s that most abilities are not obvious enough.

In my opinion, there are two major ways to improve the lfr mode by making boss abilities self-explaining, especially those abilities that require a prior formation or coordination between raiders.

And secondly reward good play with buffs, punish bad play with personal non damaging debuffs instead or in addition to suffering damage. I’ll explain all of those points by explaining how I woud have changed Iron Qon.

In the next weeks the average experience and knowledge of most lfr raids will be drastically lower than before the patch. Thus I predict some of those bosses to come back with a vengenace. Especially I would assume that Durumu’s disintegration beam will be a major problem in a few weeks time.

 I have previously written about the 5.0 lfr here.

Iron Qon

This boss has a few abilities which don’t translate very well from normal mode. The first one is the whole point of phase 1, where the raid has to ensure that the boss never reaches 100 energy. In normal mode this is done by designated a few groups which collapse and spread out to trigger unleashed flame, and ensuring that it never hits the same people too often. That amount of coordination is obviously beyond what a lfr raid can handle. I think the current state, where the energy is simply discharged randomly is a pretty uninteresting and also it is completely different from normal mode. Apart from coordination, this ability also requires the players to form a group before the ability is used. In general abilities that require a reaction are far better suited for the lfr mode than abilities that require a certain formation before they happen. That means if the group forming was required in reaction to the ability instead of being required before the boss uses it, then the ability would be far better suited for the lfr mode.

Thus, this ability could be salvaged by making it a reactive ability instead of requiring planning and making it more obvious how to react to it. For example: Each time the boss has enough energy, he chooses a target location, which is shown with a green circle. If at least 3 people run into that target area, the boss discharges, the players catch the fire, suffering some damage but also receiving a buff. If not enough players are in that area, the boss doesn’t use up his energy and eventually kills the raid with his pulsating aoe. (The energy gain rate has to be significantly slower to reduce the risk of that actually happening, and the damage has to be closer to the normal damage.) The buff for catching the fire should be a short significant bonus, for example 20% haste for 10s. This incentives good play. I think this would be doable for a lfr raid and to me it sounds like a fun ability that rewards good play. Also while this isn’t identical to the normal mode, the core aspect of that ability is in there.

In the second phase the boss randomly debuffs players with lightning storm, which is similar to the amber trap in heart of fear. In my experience the chance of being freed from amber trap was a lot higher than being freed from lightning storm. I think that’s because amber trap is more frequent, thus more people have experienced it, and it was far more visible. I think the ability would benefit from having a far stronger visual effect. In addition I would have added a green hunter’s mark on top of the player and a small buff to the player that actually frees the target. This again rewards good play.

Also this ability leads to arcing lightning, which is obviously too complex for lfr raids. In it’s current form it’s just additional raid wide damage, which doesn’t really add anything, so I’d suggest just removing.

The frost phase and last phase are really not that different from normal mode, and frankly they aren’t that interesting in the normal mode either, so I think they are fine.

Dark Animus

That boss is imho one of the worst bosses in normal mode, it doesn’t play out in a exciting way. The concept is interesting and it’s refreshing to have a boss which is that different once or twice per raid. It just that some details are wrong. There could have been a lot of different approaches to the fight, if the biggest adds would have not been that deadly. Anyway, the core parts of the normal mode are: Each member of the raid has to tank, the order in which adds are killed and activated needs planning and careful coordination.

Now understandly the concept of the fight translates very poorly to lfr mode, since both core parts are pratically impossible for a lfr raid. Thus I can understand changing the fight completely to allow e. g. for aoeing the adds. As is though the amount of work the healers and tanks have to do, is a lot more than other fights in LFR. The healers have to frantically heal up every one, and the tanks have to pick up lots of adds.

I think for this fight it’s desirable to change the concept of the fight and redesign a fight completely for LFR mode.

I think keeping the fight similar to the normal mode is pretty much impossible and thus a redesign was the right call, but I argue that this was only done half-heartly. The small adds are easily aoeable due to changes in their abilities. But the next wave are not easily all picked up, nor is the amount of healing required tuned to a good level. In fact in some aspects, e.g. the amount of healing required the fight is harder in LFR than in normal mode, which is odd.

I think if you choose to allow for a aoe tactic then the whole fight needs more than just a removal of a few abilities.

So to make a suggestion how the fight could be changed to make the aoe tatic not as demanding on the tanks and healers. Give the adds a random delay of a few seconds after receiving anima before they activate. Thus at the start of the fight the adds come in waves depending on how much delay they had. Thus they won’t die all at the same time, then the medium size adds aren’t activated all at the same time. This allows the tanks to more easily pick them up. Also if the random number activation time for medium adds is a little longer, on average less adds will be active at the same time, thus reducing the amount of healing required. The same applies to biggest adds, if they had some delay then the fight would feel a lot less chaotic. Or increase the storage room of the medium sized anima golems to e. g. 20, so that less of them are active at the same time.

Durumu

I like this fight a lot in normal mode. Both the color phase and labyrinth phase are unique and are great abilities. To start with the color phase. I’m somewhat suprised by the high success rate in that phase. (Where success is: finishing the phase before the disintegration beam phase.) Those kind of abilities that randomly select a few players to do a special job are often hard to learn, since in lfr mode there’s no one to prepare the player for that ability and the chances that a player has no prior expiernce is high. And only ~6 people per try experience the ability. Nevertheless I would have changed the boss to use one yellow and 2 red beams with 3 red adds to reveal and no yellow nor blue add. Having two red beams increases the odds that at least one of those players know the boss. Also removing the blue add between the lfr and normal mode removes the difference in how to handle the blue beam between normal and lfr mode.

The real problem of the boss though as is, is the labyrinth phase. At the start of the lfr mode this boss had a absymal success rate. While the small changes done since then have increased the success rate by a lot, I see regulary one fourth or even a third of the raid dying to this ability.

Clearly if even after months such a high portion of players fail to correctly react to it, then the ability is not clear enough. Considering that in a few months time a lot of the more experienced players will be doing Siege of Ogrimmar raids, I would expect the number of players who actually know how to do that phase to decrease and thus suspect that it will become a common boss to wipe too.

If a player dies in LFR mode it should be pretty obvious to them why they died and how to avoid this ability in the future. This ability does not accomplish that. The ability has a number of phases, to ensure that we are talking about the same ones, let me count them:

  1. Durumu starts his disintegration beam
  2. The violet lines appear and the first fog appears.
  3. The fog wraps around durumu and the beam becomes active
  4. Durumu spins and the labyrinth reveals itself

I’d guess that around half of all deaths occur due to not being in the right place before the 4th phase starts. From anecdotal experience, that is trying to start a discussion after the boss on why people die, a lot of people that die have actually no clue how they are supposed to survive. That’s bad.

I think that’s because it is non obvious how the ability works, even for those that have already killed the boss. So let’s review what the player is supposed to do in each phase.

  1. Run into the beam directly in front of Durumu
  2. Run towards the fog / Run into the area with purple lines.
  3. Stay put
  4. Follow the revealing path

Now some players die either from the fog or are on the wrong side of the beam when Durumu starts spinning. One of the problem is that it is simply not obvious enough where to go in the different phases. The correct behaviour in phase 1 and 2 is to actually run towards danger with no indication that this is actually the right thing to do. Also for players that end up on the wrong side of the disintegration beam and thus immediately die at the start of phase 4, it’s hard to make the connection to where they went wrong since that’s at phase 2, which is a) a long time ago (measured in the attention span of a typical gamer) and b) the violett lines are easy to miss.

If the beam would actually start at a angle and slowly spin even in phase 1 and 2, I think more people would be able to discern from the direction the beam spins or where it starts to move to the giht place. Or maybe instead of using the rather hard to see violett lines use a green area to show the players where they should be.

In phase 4 a lot of players die. Following the path is thus probably a little bit too hard for a lfr raider. Making the revealing a little bit faster than in normal mode, or just slowing down the beam a tad would probably help.

Btw, there’s a small but annoying timing bug with life drain in the lfr mode. Since the disintegration beam phase starts far later, the first life drain actually happens just seconds before the beam starts spinning. With a little bad luck a player can be stunned at exactly the moment he needs to move towards the front of the boss.

Lei Shen

This boss is very good end to a good tier. And this boss was quite ambitious for the lfr mode, which lead to multiple rounds of nerfs. As far as I know, first the damage was nerfed and secondly the bouncing bolt never bounce. Nevertheless this boss requires far more coordination in ensuring that each corner has a healer and a good number damage dealers than any other fight in lfr. While I assume that the success rates are lower than other bosses, lfr raids do manage this fight. That shows that lfr raids can actually handle quite a fair bit of complexity.

In normal mode the raid needs to decide before hand which conduit to overload, obviously that doesn’t really translate to lfr mode. Also the tank debuffs are more complex in normal mode than lfr mode. Cutting that was the right choice though, since the tanks already have enough to do.

The diffusion chain ability requires the raid to spread out. Spreading out is always something which is pretty hard for lfr raids to do and is hard to make more obvious.

The other 3 abilities static shock, overcharge and bouncing bolt though, could be improved. It’s not clear from the graphic that players are supposed to be standing inside them. I think all 3 abilities could be improved by showing a green circle around them and by buffing those players that handle them correctly. Thus for example those players who expertly used their classes movement abilities to catch a bouncing ball get a nice buff bonus for their effort. Also this makes the intermediate phases easier to do since it should be obvious from the circles where to go and what to do.

Horridon

This fight mostly resolves around controling adds. In normal mode, the tanks should get help by the rest of the raid via misdirections, aggro resets, focus targets and just positioning. In lfr mode the tanks won’t get any such support by the raid. I do use a addon which tracks who’s using misdirections and tricks. That happens basically never in lfr mode. Also in lfr mode most damage dealers will randomly select their target. And lastly in normal mode, cuddling or just standing into the direction of the next door can support the tank. Failing to catch a add has less consequences, but otherwise the tanks job in lfr is actually much more difficult then in the normal mode. I actually had a tank at the beginning of this patch, which only had done the LFR mode remark after his first normal kill, how much easier this boss is in normal mode from his tanking perspective.

I think this could be fixed by “cheating” in favour of the tanks. Since they can’t expect to get misdirections, I’d give them some small amount of initial aggro which should help guide most adds towards the tank. Reducing the number of adds or making them come less often would be possible too, but that doesn’t feel right.

Horridon gets a damage increasing debuff for each door, this incentives players who want to “win” on the damage meter to only damage Horridon. If the debuff worked the other way around, that is if it initially reduced the damage by 67%, and would per gate be reduced by 17%, then this would have almost the same effect. Though that doesn’t sound like a particular good solution to me. It would help if damaging the adds was incentivezed.

Also some groups can nowadays transition Horridon into the last phase while the last door is still active. The additional burden of catching Jalak and healing that additional damage is again on just the tanks and healers schoulders.

Jin’rokh

The focused lightning ability has 3 parts: Don’t let it catch you in the water, don’t let it catch you were the water will extend, and don’t kite it thorugh a lightning fissure.

In lfr mode the first one is easily explained and done quite succesfully. The second part though is usually ignored. And since the resulting explosion is so inconsequentiel and so much later, there’s really no way to learn that. Thus I would cut the later two parts and only left the first one. The damage suffered for standing in the water in the lightning storm phase is also a tad to light. It should be deadly to remain standing in the water.

Council of Elders

This boss encounter has a few abilities that are problematic. Let’s start with the biting cold/frostbite by Frost King Malakk. This ability changes depending on whether Frost King Malakk is empowered or not. The first one is a classic damages everyone in a small radius ability, where as the second uses a meteor mechanic, where damage is shared if multiple people are affected. The visuals do also change making it theoretically possible for lfr raiders to distinguish them. Practically though it’s not clear which one is which. I recommend using red and green circles to clearly indicate whether it’s a ability where you should stay away or not. But frankly the fight is already has enough going on, so that I wouldn’t miss this from the lfr mode.

The Loa adds also don’t really work in lfr mode. The shadowed adds are especially problematic since it’s not obvious enough that the player is supposed to run away from it. While you are using the same violett circle that was used on Garalon and that should work, it’s hard to see. I’d make the ring red and add a red line between the add and the player that the loa is fixated on. The red line towards the add is actually the standard way to show a fixate ability, somehow this is missing here. Hopefully that would help, as currently it seems that the add more often than not kils its target.

Also it would be nice if those players that help defeat the loa spirits gain a buff from doing so.

Tortos

One of the key aspects of this fight in normal mode is to kick the turtle to interrupt furious stone breath. Which is a fun and unique ability. Obviously that does not work in lfr mode, the success of a lfr raid can never depend on one single person doing a complicated task.

In lfr mode this boss retains furious stone breath ability but it deals almost no damage. Clearly kicking the turtles in a coordinated way and in time of the cast would be a too difficult for lfr mode. Yet, leaving in furious stone breath feels strange. I would have simply removed that ability, since with the damage it deals it is pointless in lfr mode.

For a lfr raider the boss at random intervals uses a visually overloading attack, yet  that ability has practically no relevance to the fight as it is on lfr mode. One way to salvage the turtle kicking as a aspect of the fight would be: The boss has a energy bar that ticks up, each time a turtle hits him the energy bar is reduced by a certain amount. So the raid has to periodically kick a turtle and even hit the boss, but if the ticking allows for e. g. two sets of turtles to appear there’s no coordination required. The other part that feels suboptimal are the vampiric cave bats. In normal mode the tank can rely on the rest of the raid helping him via misdirections, tricks and just intelligent positioning of healers. In lfr mode, none of that happens, so again I would argue that the job of the bat tank in lfr mode is actually harder than in normal mode, thus I’d cheat in favor of the tanks by giving the tanks some small initial aggro.

Or if you want to help out the tanks in a creative ways, introduce a buff, echo of the cave: All aoe effects of tanks have double the radius.

Primordius

Some players never transform and thus do almost no damage in this fight. Most players probably do see that everyone else is transformed into a lizard, but they don’t know why or how that happens, since their focus is on the boss, and the add killing and buff collecting is normally done at some distance to the boss.

One way to explain that concept better, would be to show the it with the trash. Let the trash leave red pools behind. (And show a green circle to indicate a buff.) Since this happens before the boss is active, the players aren’t distracted and thus should be much more likely to see those pools and that they are beneficial. Hopefully seeing everyone else transform might then trigger them to connect the dots. (Obviously the boss pull has to remove all remaining pools and clean any transformation.)

Megaera

This fight is somewhat interesting in the normal, since there are multiple viable strategies which all play out differently. The lfr version feels rather bland though. It would be nice to give some better incentive to run from the green explosion. Currently it just deals minor damage. For example adding a scaling debuff the nearer the player is to the center of the explosion. The fire debuff is also frequently problematic. Maybe reusing the visualization used for Feng’s arcane resonance would make it clearer for people what to do.

Ji’kun

This boss is practically the same as the normal mode. In both cases apart from those flying around to the nests, there is very little going on. In fact there’s less to do than for arguable all the bosses before. That is rather strange for a boss that late in the instance.

Twin Consorts

Somewhere the design of this boss went wrong. The normal mode has a the typical tank switch abilities and the 2 abilities blazing radiance and best of nightmares. For the rest of the raid though, almost every ability that the boss does, be it cosmic barrage, tears of the sun, light of day or ice comet is countered by simply spreading out.

In lfr mode spreading out abilities don’t work very well in lfr mode. Thus the lfr mode is even . I don’t have any suggestions since I don’t even know what you were aiming for with that normal mode. The only cool bit of the fight, the drawing is nicely done. Hopfeully there’s a future boss where that’s reused.

Fini

That’s all. If you have read this far, congratulations.

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Aside

A Better Design for LFR Bosses

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 problems

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[1] 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. [2]

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.)

Obviousness

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. [3]

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.

Coordination

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.

TLDR

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

Cobalt Mine

See above, I think this ability suffers from the damage being meaningless. If instead it just froze the player for a few seconds.

Jasper Chains

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.

Nullification Barrier

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.

Epicenter

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.

Draw Flame

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.

Arcane Velocity

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.

Arcane Resonance

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.

Subetai’s Volley

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.

Zian

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.

Elegon

This boss is nicely done and also mostly adjusted well to the lfr mode. There are only two changes I’d make.

Draw Power

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.

Vanishing Ground

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.

Devastating Combo

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.

Zor’lok

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.[4] 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.

Attenuation

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.

Convert

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?

Overwhelming Assault

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.

Wind Step

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.

Unseen Strike

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.

Storm Unleashed

Nice, I like this. It’s fun to sometimes have such a phase.

Garalon

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. [5]

Wind Lord Mel’jarak

So this boss is all about Blades.

Quickening

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.

Wind Bomb

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.

Whirling Blade

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.

Amber-Shaper Un’sok

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

Lightning Prison

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.

Lightning Storm

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.

Tsulong

Dread Shadows

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.

Lei Shi

Spray

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.[5]

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.

That’s all.

[1] oom is now a verb.

[2] Probably the arming time needs to a tiny bit longer, since LFR raiders should be allowed to be slower to react.

[3] 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. 🙂

[4] 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.

[5] 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.