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  1. #1
    Unpatriotic Rotten Doctor Commie Rat
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    Default About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    Why is it that raid bosses have a class, but rarely, if ever, use that class's ability and scripts related to that class? Why does fighting a shadowknight dragon feel mostly like fighting an illusionist dragon? And what's the reasoning behind a boss spawning adds, is that a special ability, or does it make sense anyhow?

    I dunno, SOE raid design is a bit bland. We just recently got past Nexona, and it all feels unfinished, or not thought through at least, in Wing 2 and 3. And even the mobs like Silverwing, which are not trivial at the beginning, feel a bit bland (for being one of the supposedly hard bosses). Joust/avoid AOE, kill adds, loot.

    And why are there no scenarios? Some highly-trained Norrath merceneries meet up, drink a beer, say "dudes, wut about fat lootz and munny", and then decide to plunder some random place chock-full of ugly nasty monsters. There is no real involvement in ongoing events, nothing related to those guys' home towns, no other setting than dungeon crawling.

    While I was toiling hard at work /cough, I scribbled down this raid scenario.. and while it's certainly not polished and has lots of room to improve, I wonder why Sony doesn't do these kind of things where you get a sense of real involvement in the world, it's political structures, economics, cultural conflicts, etc? Maybe even factions, taking sides, changing the balance of power... I admit, it's more like a mission in a tactical shooter, but that doesn't mean it doesn't fit right in...



    Assault on Danak
    Scenario

    This is in essence a bank heist or a planned disruption of the Danak expansion, executed by a group of professionals, on the Danak shipyards in the Jarsath Wastes. Somehow the information has gotten out that, at the moment, the defenders are thinned out because most of them have been sent to the foot of the Skyfire Mountains to repel a droag attack originating from the Herculean Rampart. To strike at this very moment, if done with care and precision, seems very promising.

    Not only does the Danak bank hold a lot of platinum, but the smithy is said to contain several precious gems and a stock of rare armor pieces, since it is here that the relic Kunark armor is crafted. The Danak Shipyards are heavily fortified by a strong wall and a formidable garrison of Danak’s best soldiers, commanded by General Ganak himself.

    There are only 30 minutes in this instance before heavy reinforcements arrive, effectively making it impossible to continue. A quick tactical retreat via magical means is the only way to escape with life & loot.

    This instance is balanced so that you have time for only 2 of the 4 bosses unless you’re seriously uber.

    Modus Operandi

    At the start, the raid must gain entrance to the shipyards themselves. The first possibility is to pick off the guards and patrollers one by one to breach through the main gate; the second possibility is to swim around the fortifications (beware the sharks), destroying a patrolling boat, and landing on the shore. Once inside, the raid must pick which targets they’re going after, since the time constraints do not allow a full clearing of the zone.

    Time constraints

    Due to the reinforcements, it is essential to move as quickly as possible. The reinforcements are on their way back from Skyfire, but they would take 40 minutes to arrive. However, after the attack has begun, a messenger spawns every 5 minutes just outside the wall and tries to reach the reinforcement platoons, so as to speed up their approach. If these messengers are intercepted each time, the reinforcements will never know about the attack until they arrive.

    The timeline looks like this:
    - 0-20min: gaining entrance
    - 20-30min: first named
    - 30-40min: second named

    Avoiding an alarm

    The barracks hold a formidable force of soldiers, including their commander, General Ganak. If the alarm is sounded either by the roaming citizens or the shipyard workers, a huge force emerges from the barracks to attack the invaders. This is a guaranteed wipe. Citizens and workers are solo mobs, with the difference that citizens can see neither invis nor stealth, while the workers can.

    Entry through the main gates

    This is the straightforward way to gain entry. The guards and patrollers must be carefully pulled to avoid social aggro. The orange numbers show guards, most of them small groups of epic mobs. The red lines show the routes of the patrollers. Guard number 4 stands right next to a lever. If he is aggro’d, he pulls the lever that shuts the main gates (the dotted thick lines), so the whole raid must have stepped through, pre-pull.

    Entry by swimming around

    This is, compared to the main gates, a less time-consuming, but more dangerous avenue. While the main gates chiefly require high dps, the water approach needs more coordination. Near the shore, a pack of sharks attacks everything that moves. There is also a patrol ship that needs to be burned down very quick, so that it cannot raise the alarm.

    Trash mob abilities

    The guards are fighters with a few tricks, such as single-target stun & daze, a short-range physical AOE, ST KB, and a temporary stoneskin buff. All guards call out for help at 1% health, so they either need to be stifled, pulled far away from other mobs, or Verdict has to get rid of this problem. The patrollers have a stealthed chokidai watchdog that has a nasty tail swipe. The watchdog sometimes roams ahead or behind its master. Some of the guards fight with shields, granting them a high avoidance, others with a twohander and a higher damage output and AOE range.

    All trash is green-con to reduce resists, but has a higher amount of health to make up for the con.

    The sharks

    This is a pack of 4 epic mobs; split tanking is recommended. They put an incurable trauma impairment on their target that drags it down to the bottom of the ocean, so it is smart to fight on the ocean floor to begin with. They can also use an attack that brings the target down to 50% health (“Locked Jaws”), bypassing all wards and immunities. The sharks don’t have many hit points, but each time a raid member drops below 33% health (that is, bleeds a lot), another epic shark adds. That’s why it’s good to tank each shark with a different tank or scout to spread out the damage and not risk an add.

    The patrol ship

    This is a moving object that needs to be burned down very fast, or else it flees to the shore and raises the alarm. The ship is particularly vulnerable to fire damage. It can launch small drifting vessels that explode after 10 seconds, causing high AOE damage. When the ship disintegrates, its crew falls into the water (that is, spawns), and attacks the raid. They are only heroics, but there are about 15 of them. Again, if somebody drops below 33%, a shark spawns.

    Loot

    Each boss drops only items for his respective archetype.
    - Corporiss: mage - Krenak: priest - Red Smile: scout - Ganak: fighter

    Theurgist Corporiss

    Yep, that’s the necromancer salvaging goods from shipwrecks with the help of his skeleton minions. If the raid swims around the fortifications, it has to attack this mob since the workers in the shipyards can see invis and stealth.
    - Small melee damage output, but high spell damage output, making it possible for him to be “tanked” by any class
    - Summons 50 solo skeleton minions every 60 seconds
    - Lifeburns on the MT each time Corporiss takes a single hit above 15k
    - Lifeburns on the MT at 20% health (can be interrupted with a stifle or the death of the MT)
    - Everybody who dies is raised & perma-charmed (Corporiss makes you his undead minion)
    - ST impairment “Rat Infestation”. Impairment cannot hit the MT, hits random person. Incurable, drains 50% life every 5s for 30s. If you die while under this impairment, your corpse bursts open and rats scurry out, meaning that the 2 nearest raiders are infected with “Rat Infestation” as well.
    - Below 50% health, casts a 25m short-duration fear AOE with increasing frequency.

    Corporiss always drops a mage M1, as he was studying that spell when you attacked him.

    Hierophant Krenak

    Krenak is in the smithy, talking with the blacksmith about repairing his armor. Krenak is an inquisitor, linked with the blacksmith and 4 smiths and helpers, all heroic mobs. This is mainly a cure fight, not so much a healing fight.
    - heals himself for a small amount each time he is damaged (reactives)
    - moderate to high melee damage output and a moderate heat AOE
    - cures himself every 20 seconds of all hostile effects (he uses an emote if he does that)
    - insta-rezzes all smiths and helpers in the smithy should they die
    - puts an incurable Verdict on the whole raid that reduces your hit points to 1 should you fall under 20% health
    - sporadically casts these effects randomly on a few raiders:
    o Heresy (knockdown & dmg if you use a beneficial spell, 3 triggers)
    o Devotee’s Repentance (stun & dmg if you use a CA, 5 triggers)
    o Heretic’s Demise (heat AE if the target dies, 5 raid-wide triggers)
    o Retaliation (dmg for each attack you do, 5 triggers)
    o these are all curable
    o also casts Inquisition (incurable) on a random nearby raider, who then has to move out of range so as not to heal Krenak massively
    o On a fun note, he once casts Odyssey on the raid, and if you accept, you’re sent to your hometown.

    Additionally to Krenak’s loot, the blacksmith (heroic mob, but linked with Krenak) drops a random relic pattern and 3 random VP gems.

    The Red Smile

    What do you know, somebody has had the same idea as you. The Red Smile is a brigand that is robbing the bank just as you arrive. The bank guards side with you and attack him as soon as you step into the bank.
    - Moderate melee dmg output
    - Very high ST dmg CAs when his current target turns his back to him
    - Lots of ST stuns
    - Can spin around a single target every 60s
    - Memwipes every 60s, followed by going in stealth. Only scouts can now see him. He’ll teleport around very quickly, picking a random target, positioning behind it, and using Execute on the target. Does 100k damage. This can be interrupted by scouts damaging him when he is stealthed.
    - Raid-wide root AOE, followed by him teleporting away a few meters and attacking the nearest person
    - Takes high damage from the bank guards if he turns his back to them
    - Short-range low-damage physical AOE every 20s (“Barroom Negotiations”)
    - He poisons his blade repeatedly, uttering an emote to that effect. This needs to be dispelled, or else Barroom Negotiations will put a nasty, fast-ticking poison DOT on everybody being hit by it

    The banker (solo mob, spawns after the Red Smile is dead to thank you for preventing the robbery) drops a key (body loot) to the vault, holding 480p.

    General Ganak

    The commander of the Danak shipyard troops, he is a guardian both incredibly tough and dangerous. Attacking him will cause the troops in the barracks to erupt from the building, slowly but surely overwhelming the raid. You cannot win this fight, but you can manage to burn down Ganak before your raid is entirely decimated.
    - Frontal melee AOE
    - KBs his current target every 30s. The KB places a 10s incurable impairment on the target, setting all resistances to zero. Then Ganak moves (20% run speed) to the target to finish him off. The impairment is also lifted as soon as the target takes any damage. The idea is to avoid all damage on the MT for 10s by either interceding, kiting, or using abilities such as Death Prevent, ToS, or Bloodletter.
    - 10s prior to the KB, he taunts the entire raid, forcing them to target him for 5s.
    - Every 60s, a wave of unlinked heroic adds emerge from the barracks. This is balanced so that the raid will be overwhelmed sooner or later. The number of adds per wave is 5 and increases by 2 for each wave
    - Ganak gains a stacking 20-trigger stoneskin whenever an add is killed
    - Unyielding Will: Ganak can save himself from death and heal to 35% once, but this will cause him to die 3 minutes later if the fight is still going on then. Ganak can use this only once per instance.



    So yea.... I dont really see why we don't get a break from joust&adds stuff, and get some more intricate coordination fights, or some fast-paced action even when dealing with fighter/scout mobs. Leviathan was a cool idea, yet a bit .. weird... why should a boss have mobs in its belly in whose bodies there are vials that can be used to kill a boss... uhm... /shrug

    Ah well, time for an open source MMO.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    have not read it, but SOE should hire this guy....he seems to do the same thing SOE's Dev's do while on the job


    Quote Originally Posted by Firza View Post
    Sings for Glory and Glamour

  3. #3
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    okok, read it now....nice one, thumbs up


    Quote Originally Posted by Firza View Post
    Sings for Glory and Glamour

  4. #4
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    Wow, very interesting. I think the reason(s) why we don't see stuff like this is because of the two following reasons, maybe even both of them.
    1. Heavily scripted - > Cost a lot of money, or...
    2. Heavily scripted - > Bugged to death.

  5. #5
    Done with MMOs, once again.
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cexi View Post
    Wow, very interesting. I think the reason(s) why we don't see stuff like this is because of the two following reasons, maybe even both of them.
    1. Heavily scripted - > Cost a lot of money, or...
    2. Heavily scripted - > Bugged to death.
    or option c, completely fucking retarded.

    A mob lifeburns, hi, you are aware how lifeburn works right? Oh boy, he's lifeburning our tank, keep our tank alive and *gasp* the mob has just killed himself.

    Not to mention, based on these time limits, nobody will EVER be able to kill anything in here unless given exactly how to beat the encounters. You have 40 minutes to get to a named and kill it before the instance is done, right? And you put down 20 minutes to GET to the first named, man 20 minutes to learn an encounter that's insanely scripted, completely crazy. Either your encounters will be incredibly gimp to account for the fact that you have 20 minutes to learn an encounter, or they'll never be killed without people being given the strat, which honestly what fun is that?

    Please, never speak about how to create a raid encounter again. Your ideas may sound good, but in reality they are impossible to implement and to kill without being given the script.
    Calaglin, Former Illusionist/Guild Leader of Dissolution on Nektulos for EverQuest II
    Calaglin, Former Illusionist/Guild Leader of Confirmed on Unrest for EverQuest II

  6. #6
    make war, not love firamas's Avatar
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    i have been known to drop some seriously epic walls of text in my time, but this one puts me to shame. bravo dude, i take my hat off to you.

    as for raid encounter design: unless the dev roster is heavily overhauled, we're still going to see the same types of encounters. it sucks, but get over it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    You're ideas sound great but I agree with Cal,.. some of the concepts would be hard as fuck to execute as a raid..

    I would never want a raid zone that has a timer on when you have to kill something, unless its painfully obvious that you have to do it like that. You wouldn't want trash but to go straight for the named.

    My idea to change your raid zone would to make it so the shit from Skyfire is killable and just extra trash. You can prevent the trash from coming by killing the messenger.. You can even make the trash a part of the named encounters since you wont be able to kill the messenger unless you figure out better positioning. I'd even throw citizens in the mix that pop up out of nowhere and if you kill them you heal any mob thats near them.

    Just an after thought anyways
    Say NO to Government!

  8. #8
    Unpatriotic Rotten Doctor Commie Rat
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinski View Post
    or option c, completely fucking retarded.

    A mob lifeburns, hi, you are aware how lifeburn works right? Oh boy, he's lifeburning our tank, keep our tank alive and *gasp* the mob has just killed himself.

    Not to mention, based on these time limits, nobody will EVER be able to kill anything in here unless given exactly how to beat the encounters. You have 40 minutes to get to a named and kill it before the instance is done, right? And you put down 20 minutes to GET to the first named, man 20 minutes to learn an encounter that's insanely scripted, completely crazy. Either your encounters will be incredibly gimp to account for the fact that you have 20 minutes to learn an encounter, or they'll never be killed without people being given the strat, which honestly what fun is that?

    Please, never speak about how to create a raid encounter again. Your ideas may sound good, but in reality they are impossible to implement and to kill without being given the script.
    /shrug This is the result of scribbling on a piece of paper in 2 hours time. Surely, some things might turn out to suck if you actually raid it (sounds like Sony does their encounters like that without ever testing them), but f.e. the Lifeburn? Obviously the mob wouldnt lose the same amount of health per tick as a necro does, it's very easy to explain why the epic Lifeburn would be much more potent than a player's LB. You could nitpick probably every mechanic above if you really wanted to, but the main idea was to provide some different approaches to how and why (lore-wise, motivation-wise: you could f.e. just go for the money, or for the relic pattern) people raid in EQ2, and how mobs could be scripted in a way more suiting to their class/profession.

    Another problem is that with the strict time limit, it'll be hard to account for LD's or the ever popular thunderstorm.

    Ah well, quick fix for the trash problem: the necromancer drops a sort of poisoned meat he uses to toss into the sea to keep the sharks from prodding his skellies (and zombies?) around. It has 3 uses, so you only need to fight the sharks at every 4th visit (given you don't kill the necro again). You could get this info from talking to an npc in JW. A similar thing could be thought up for the main gate, but it doesnt matter rly.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    As a type of a raid encounter, it sounds pretty interesting.

    But (since not a programmer here etc) I'd have to guess that making some of that happen in a non-breakable way would be tough.

    You might forward it as a post to one of the EQ2 Dev for laughs and giggles and see what they say.

  10. #10
    Typical Russian bear/kgb/matreshka representative
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    Default Re: About raid and raid boss design... (tl;dr thread)

    eq2 mob scripting is awful, compared to what WoW has. Dunno why its, maybe because of the game engine, but everything i saw so far is awful.
    Compare the ten man Karazhan and Veehsan's Peak script wise... the differerence is obvious, i feel this game ceretanly is in deep need for more complixated encounters.
    Not only the raid ones but heroics too... the re2 is obviously is an attempt but faulty as i see it, tbh...

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