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Old October 18th, 2012, 10:26 AM   #1
menancewhite
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Default The Raid Bosses

Let's do this. Let's talk about them. Most of the forum posts about them is generally something in lines of "this is too hard" or "this is too easy" or "this is dumb". These posts have the intellectual level equal of the scribbles of some twelve year old and does not really say anything other than that the person who wrote them is displeased about the whole thing.

I'd prefer if we kept that kind drivel outside this topic. Here we analyze and discuss about what went wrong and ways to improve whatever that went wrong so we don't have to go through the same garbage again on the next DLC sice I'm sure several of us here has already bought the season pass for the game.

I'll begin:

The usual complains about the bosses can be split into 3 general groups - "too hard", "too easy", "too boring" and "needs more loot"

The people who designed the bosses seems to suffer from a general misconception that "epic" enemies means that you scale up the size of the enemy and then drag up the HP bar to somewhere around 50 million and then adding attacks that 1shots you. This doesn't make the enemy epic, it makes the fight cheap. If we were to take a look at other games which makes use of huge enemies or fights:
-Half life 1 has trampolines which you jump at to dodge attacks and satchel charges at an oversized head,
-Gargs which you had to lure into power generators or call airstrikes at.
-MDK had an huge alien you had to blast from the inside.
-Portal 2 had glados fight where you had to cleverly use portals to reach and transport each core.
-Gears of war had those guys you needed to trick into ramming walls, and then chuck grenades at them before calling orbital laser down on them.
There's generally some sort of gimmick to the bosses, which usually involves using the environment.

The raid bosses on BL2 does not take advantage of any of these as the raid boss fights always takes place on an almost completely flat round area. With just you or the boss. There's often also like one single rock or something which you can hide behind and be almost 100% invulnerable. Add some stuff into the combat area that can be used to aid the fight somehow. It could be something that:
-Players can hide behind to dodge one type of boss attack while leaving them exposed to a second type of attack if they stay there too long
-Once done/used prevents the boss from doing that especially devastating attack
-Needs to be used to change the boss movement/behavior patterns to reach other weak spots / hittable parts
-Changes the type/location/amount of minions that spawns
etc etc.
-Allows for alternate ways to damage/defeat the boss
If something like this was done you'd legitimately have a challenging or "epic" boss fight without it feeling stupid cheap.

Another problem here is character match up. The current bosses completely screw some of the characters over. What's the point of the bloodshed skills for zero when they'll all instantly perform some super big melee attack nearly 1shots you and knocks you away as soon as you get close? What's the point a good amount of mayas skills when there's no enemies that you can phaselock? Or element trees when any elemental DoTs wear off almost instantly or even worse the boss isn't even affected by the DoTs? The fact that there are respec machines just outside the respawn point for the bosses means that the people who designed them pretty much realize that you'd have to respec into a certain shoehorned build just to have a chance against the boss. All available skill trees should be taken into consideration when designing the bosses. At least:
-Leave something for mayas to phaselock.
-Add a certain phase where the boss can be meleed or
-Add minions that are weak to melee which makes the fight easier when dispatched
The bosses should be made so that you'll have some some sort of role/job during the fight as long your character is skilled deep enough to buy the final skill for a tree.

Finally, there's that boss fights are too easy or too short. Which is also caused by the fact that the fights are mostly straight up shoot at it until it dies. Increasing boss HP does not help this issue, instead it only brings up another issue in form that bosses have so much hp that it can't be killed even if you run out of ammo. What could be done instead is:
-Make bosses only able to take X% amount of their maxhp worth of damage per shot (this would negate shotgun + bee or tediore reload spam)
-Make the boss fight in phases when you can damage it and when you can't and limit the amount of damage it can take each time before switching phase
-Penalize the players for attacking the boss during the wrong moment
Or just a combination of the above. Hyperius would be a step into the right direction but can still be downed in seconds due to lack of the first point.

Aaand of course loot. Get rid of the white stuff, get rid of the eridium I mean seriously - this is like being a chef and digging up the chest of a legendary chef only to find 5 packets of fast noodles plus some cheap stock that you could buy at any grocery store. The new stuff that can be bought using seraphim crystals is negative on the creativity chart. The unique drops doesn't need to be super OP, but at least make it catchy or gimmicky like the deliverance, sandhawk or hive.

In conclusion, I feel like the the people who designed the bosses should be spending more time playing other games (just not MMOs or WoW) so that they at least have some more ideas/inspiration/experience/entries of "stuff we could do to make the fight less of an cheap snorefest"/stuff to compare to to realize how dry these fights actually are.

---------- Post added at 05:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:19 PM ----------

I mean here, lemme tell you of an idea which took me 4 seconds to come up: what if Leviathan had all the treasure and you had to chase and shoot at it using sand skiffs while fighting it/dodging its attacks/dodging sandworms and eventual pirates in a course around wurmwater?

At least this makes use of the sandskiff harpoons and all the pointless terrain on the map. Oh and it sounds a lot more fun that shoot the glowing spots of that big thing in front of you.

Also, someone post here if you like this just so that it gets bumped and devs maybe see it.

Last edited by menancewhite; October 18th, 2012 at 01:49 PM.
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