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More Creative Bosses, Less Invulnerability

By Geneforge - MEMBER - June 19, 2019, 04:50:42

I'll be brutally honest: Invulnerability, in any video game, is a cheap way to create difficulty. Instead of creating a fight with an interesting dynamic or create a memorable enemy, a shortcut is taken to reduce the effort required to make it feel like a boss fight. Any enemy can have lots of health, right!? But if he can't be harmed AND has lots of health, that makes him SPECIAL. Except almost every dungeon since the beta has had an invulnerability mechanic stapled on to it. At this point, finding bosses without invulnerability is an oddity.

I'm just another loser complaining about an aspect of the game I don't like. I get it. Let me, then, describe what a GOOD boss fight is and see if I can't win your opinion.
Example 1: Disgaea 5, Boss Majorita. Love the game, hate the game or don't even know about it, this is how boss fights are done right. The enemy is a necromancer. You don't need to kill all her minions to make her vulnerable. You don't need a specific debuff or item to harm her. She's just vulnerable the entire fight. The gimmick to the fight is simple: You fight your way across the map, killing waves of undead. However, if you kill too many of them before you kill the boss, she will gain the ability to revive every enemy you have killed in the spot you killed them. This means your weak backliners might get destroyed if she does it at a bad time. She can only do this once a fight, but it means you have to choose between being extremely defensive and baiting this massive revive or charging her down and killing her before you get overrun by the undead. All of this is done in a game quite similar to Wakfu/Dofus. ([A video of the fight itself, if you are so inclined] The fight is simple, memorable and you have multiple ways to approach it. The boss makes sense thematically as well.

Example 2: Disgaea 5, Liezerota. Now, here is an example of "Invulnerability" that isn't obnoxious. The battle is quite simple, you against the boss and four, little black orbs. These orbs throw out pitiful attacks and cannot move, and each one reduces damage the boss takes by 25%, stacking with each living orb. The boss is effectively immune to damage, right? These black orbs can be oneshot by almost any of your characters at this level, and they spawn right next to where the boss does. It's possible to kill all of them in less than a turn. The trick is balancing the death of the orbs and not straying so far out of position that the boss can just obliterate your team with her massive damage. (This game lacks the revival system of Wakfu/Dofus, so if you die you're down until the battle ends.) Again, you have multiple ways to fight her. Bait the boss away from her orbs and kill them while a tank and healer soak the damage, or rush down the orbs and hope the boss doesn't obliterate you.

Wakfu's obnoxious insistence on endless invulnerability has broken me, and I'm done with the dungeons and almost the entire PvE aspect of it at this point. It's not fun. It never will be. You can't interact with invulnerability, and forcing every fight to play out the same way to deal with the invulnerability mechanic just makes it all the more uninteresting in the long run. I can't do anything special or crazy the next time I do that boss. I can't challenge myself with a silly restriction. I can't try to run it solo in most cases, either. The first AND last run of that dungeon will be the same. The game is already grindy and boring, did you have to make every dungeon feel more like a chore than something fun to do? The lack of effort put into the dungeons just hurts me as a fan of the TBS genre. There are free games that do this stuff better, and long-standing heroes of the genre you can take ideas from.

tl;dr - Invulnerability is lazy and kills my desire to log in. This is all coming from a MMO junky who spent more than 15 years hooked to WoW + GW2 combined. If you don't make PvE fun, this game will never see new players make it past 80.

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Reactions 5
Score : 716

Invul mechanics are there for good reason. We're playing a tactical game, adhering to the boss mechanic and winning is tactical. If a boss had no invulnerabilities then each fight would be near the same, send out 5 Iops and a Feca to win (Aka the GW2 strat).
Most high level dungeons make great use of invulnerability. Xelorium and 186+ Zinit for example.
Other games, like GW2, in fact need to use more invulnerabilities because the game is a DpS race. (Speaking from raid experience). 
>Example 2: Disgaea 5, Liezerota. That's just Kannivore verbatim.

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Score : 768

I also played GW2. I raided extensively in it. I played WoW from vanilla to Cataclysm and was in a top raiding guild. The bosses with outright invulnerability mechanics are among the most hated in the game, and the least enjoyable to actually do.

I'm hardly the first to complain about invulnerability as the easy way out of designing a good boss fight. JUST to reinforce my point, I'll give two examples of MMO bosses in WoW that are loved by those that did them and two examples of ones that were so boring and hated at the time they got nerfed to make them bearable:

+ (Loved) The Lich King at the end of ICC in WoW is beloved as a GOOD boss. It is never invulnerable (Outside a small cutscene where everyone is stunned anyway), but the MECHANICS of the fight force you to respect them and do more than have a stupid, DPS rat race.
+ (Loved) Blackhand in WoD is an amazing example of a good fight. Once again, his mechanics are what keep the boss from being a DPS race. He has several mechanics that target DPS and force them to move to specific locations or die/take a large burst of damage. It was easy to reach these spots, but still required the player to not zone out. The fight transitioned to new arenas at 66% and 33% of the boss's health. Each phase had new mechanics to worry about and none of it was a bullshit DPS check.
+ (Hated) C'Thun from Vanilla WoW is universally hated for those who did it at the time. It has multiple invulnerability phases and is impossible to directly attack. The mechanics are borderline insane and required several in-game bug exploits to even beat on release. Similar to many Wakfu bosses, it was mathematically impossible to beat in the release version without massively abusing a single, broken mechanic.
+ (Hated) Kael from The Burning Crusade. Had multiple invulnerability phases, minibosses that had to be defeated in a row to make the boss vulnerable and several mechanics that existed to deal with the boss's unique one-shot mechanics. Oh, and it was massively bugged on release and still isn't completely fixed 8 years later.

If you're balancing your PvE around a few, broken classes that have the ability to FAR out-damage their siblings, you're creating a problem. Balance must be done with the average in mind, not the extreme. If something stands out, nerf it. If someone is a problem, fix it.

Bullshit bosses and monster mechanics in Wakfu are the result of poor balancing and horrible class designs. This means classes that can't pump out 100k in a turn at 200 are garbage and not worth a slot in your six-man party. It's pathetic. Making something hard to kill doesn't make it difficult. Making something REQUIRE a certain level of gear isn't DIFFICULTY. Making something require certain class combinations isn't DIFFICULTY. It's unreasonable. The challenge that makes something difficult is knowing you have all the pieces needed to achieve it, not spending 7 months grinding gear to meet an arbitrary DPS check. Because what makes more sense, gating gear you NEED to do the boss BEHIND the boss or gating gear behind an actual skill check?

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Score : 195

the invu in wakfu is on point . theres literaly classes capable of sniping the boss from 8  squares away  without los and look at it now . bosses without invu mechanics no matter how hard they are  an easy pick 

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Score : 421

How many bosses have invulnerability?
I can think of some bosses, on the other hand, that you can just blast if you have enough power instead of playing the mechanics. No one I know likes to do the strategy for Mamagmotel, for instance, when the whole fight is balanced around it.

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Score : 2330

I don't know about 140+ level dungeons...
I don't understand a point special mechanic in dungeons 111+
Where you have hard time with special mechanic and boss deal tons of damages smile 

Example, where you have characters 111lvl (when can you enter it) and you haven't max EQ 
with 6 characters/players its hard defeat boss or impossible... 

Other example (where no special mechanic...)
I have hard time in 96 YeCh'Ti'Wawa dungeon with Hypper 137 lvl, Saddi 131 lvl, and my new character Panda 103lvl
- keep other mobs live bc when i kill YeCh'Ti' got bost dmg... (or something i mistake) and he steal tons of hp
- other way fast kill enemy and trying maximize dmg... and trying Panda throw... 
3 times - 3 ways - lose it

but when i swap Panda into Feca 137lvl ... i kill easy 

i feel < 140lvl its hard time... bc. from 140 lvl start showing interesting EQ and many possibles with EQ 
and really depends on what team you have... 

yes, i propably noob tongue 

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