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Ankama Trackers

Total lack of boss feedback.

By CloudyMind - MEMBER - September 08, 2019, 13:58:01

I've been gone from wakfu since 2015, only having returned very recently, and I've bee noticing a trend with all three of the bosses that I've fought so far: complete absence of any kind of information.

First, the treechnid dungeon. Reaching the boss, we decided to attack on of his hands. Upon killing it, the entire team instantly died with not as much as an animation or any explanation of any kind. We were dumbfounded.

Next, the lenald dungeon. There was no way for us to know that the boss hits harder when he receives attacks for many types of elemental damage. We had no clue as to how we could make the boss invulnerable on the second phase, other than just a hunch.

Lastly, the blackspore dungeon. How would anyone even guess that you have to kill a summon near the boss to make it vulnerable? You'd just have to try a bunch of wacky stuff until you get it right. There's no indication in the game about that tactic whatsoever. Also, when we "killed" the boss, some kind of purple smoke came out of it and it simply refused to die! I legit thought it was a bug! How the hell are we supposed to know that the boss will stay in that bizarre state for a few turns and then heal itself and become killable again? What even? Why?

Seriously, it's not rocket science. Get those animators and programmers to add some VISUAL feedback or at least some bloody TEXT if you can't spare the working hours towards that! Something like, oh, I don't know... "if you do this then you will inexplicably die!" or "if you do that then this other thing happens!". Anything would do!

If you can't afford to do it properly, then don't do it at all! If you can't, for whatever reason, create visual feedback for the boss fights, then don't shoehorn all those convoluted tactics! Boss fights should have at least a degree of intuition to them. 

You could have easily given the blackspore boss a timer icon above it's head when it enters that state, and also a buff that explains what that timer signifies, for example. When your player think that a core boss mechanic is a bug, there is no room for doubt that the design is wrong.

I really, really hope that this isn't an ongoing trend with all the game's bosses. I really don't want to have to read every tactic online before my fight. I'd much, much rather discover the tactics myself, organically. 

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Score : 3802

You are in for a rough experience, the monsters and bosses mechanics are seldom spelled out for you and a lot of it is trial and error. I agree it is frustrating, to say the least, the states that instant kill players or wipe teams should be telegraphed or have some way to learn from them and prevent them from occurring a 2nd time. No one grows if you can't understand what led up to failure. 

On the bright side, most bosses have a theme that works with the monsters' mechanics to make it a little more intuitive. The higher the bosses the more they test you as a team in that respect to finding out what their gimmick is.  

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Score : 2993

Hmpf, I see. At least now I can mentally prepare myself for the coming battles, so... thanks for the reply! That being said, would anyone happen to know if there is some sort of complete boss guide anywhere on the nets? I'd rather not have to go through that pain myself, if at all possible.

Thanks in advance~ :3

Mercenary missions. Gotcha!

I’ll check those out~

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Score : 14232

The Treechnids story is revealed as you complete the mercenary missions at Bonta. It's a matter of exploring and playing the game.

The others, yes, one has to be very very very observant to deduce something about the immunity there.

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TheRogueCat|2019-09-08 17:34:53
The Treechnids story is revealed as you complete the mercenary missions at Bonta. It's a matter of exploring and playing the game.

The others, yes, one has to be very very very observant to deduce something about the immunity there.

The quests you have to pay to get? Yeah, sure.
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Score : 3627

Um no?
They have been free for 3 months now

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This was my second biggest problem with the game. A game like this could use an ingame monster journal. Like straight up if I knew the range at the very least that a mob had. I'd have 0 problems with instant death or high damage spells. 

But this game is riddled with invulnerable bosses that make poisons and DoTs a complete waste of time (this straight hurts the game more than anything) and instant death mechanics. With tons of niche mechanics on classes(Not a problem if they didn't seldom work,) I mean the go to strategy for most things is use simple classes to burst during vulnerable states,  Panda should be able to pick up almost if not everything(Multi-tile bosses should be an exception as they shouldn't/don't have a lot), Voodoll should work all the time, it'd change strategies(assuming it's balanced and one mechanic isn't towering over all others. Most  of these mechanics are like "Oh this would be nice here)

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Score : 2993

I hear you. The design feels half-baked, to be honest. Still, it's plenty entertaining, for the time being :3

I was playing a super mario 3d world with my 8 year old cousin the other day, and we were fighting a boss. The tactic was simple and communicated effectively: the boss had it's body covered in hot magma. Fire = bad, don't touch it.
Then the boss spawned 3 smaller versions of itself that, guess what.. were not covered in magma! Not fire = safe to touch.
All you had to do is throw the smaller thingies into the boss. The boss also had a phase after each hit, where it would get visibly agitated and roll around faster than it normally did, before spawning more creatures again.

My point is that you can convey things to the player just by showing. It's all visual, but it's intuitive and effective. I get it that the animators at ankama are probably too busy making the new dofus movie and wakfu season 4, but again.... if you can't put in the animations, why do you come up with such bizarre tactics for your fights?

You don't need to over-complicate the boss mechanics to provide the players with a challenge, you know. Sometimes, simply can be just as effective, if not more so.

Ankama, hire me right now. I'll playtest your fights and give you proper feedback! tongue

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Score : 5224

Ah, the bane of Wakfu - Information. And not even just information in regards to boss mechanics, but information in general.

It's from my experience, the biggest reason new people quit the game - the incredibly confusing and sloppy share of information. Its practically impossible for any person to feel engaged in the game and its mechanics without having someone else explain exactly how everything behaves. Those friends I have that tried the game without handholding gave up, simply feeling like the game didn't explain core mechanics well enough like dodge/lock, secondary stats, Wakfu as a finite resource pool, etc etc.
Not to mention lots of 'relics' in the game that don't serve any purpose anymore, like the old wakfu/stasis mechanic, now purely serving to confuse new people.

It's probably too much to ask for these days in a future update, but a quality of life update that'd simply focus on information would be hella sweet (Tooltips, boss info, more floating status effects in battles to help track things, telegraphs, etc)


 

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Score : 3627

That's... a good point actually.
It will probably be a lot of work, but a bit more clarity would go a long way.

A shame that the code is a pasta, so it's hard to update core mechanics, a dev once said that the havenbag code is so bad, they would have to rewrite the whole thing if they want to change anything.

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CloudyMind
I've been gone from wakfu since 2015, only having returned very recently, and I've bee noticing a trend with all three of the bosses that I've fought so far: complete absence of any kind of information.

First, the treechnid dungeon. Reaching the boss, we decided to attack on of his hands. Upon killing it, the entire team instantly died with not as much as an animation or any explanation of any kind. We were dumbfounded.

Next, the lenald dungeon. There was no way for us to know that the boss hits harder when he receives attacks for many types of elemental damage. We had no clue as to how we could make the boss invulnerable on the second phase, other than just a hunch.

Lastly, the blackspore dungeon. How would anyone even guess that you have to kill a summon near the boss to make it vulnerable? 

two of these are on you.

the boss mechanic in lenald is just the mechanic all the monsters have. same with blackspore. a trend in wakfu's dungeons is to affect the boss with whatever the monster mechanic is. dungeons lower in the chain introduce you to this mechanic but it's not surprising that you've forgotten the lessons since you haven't played in like 4 years.

soft oak however is obtuse as all hell. not only is it a botched anime reference (why are the polters attacking him when they're allied with him in the anime?), it's also got absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the dungeon. i get that it's about breaking armour and how all the treechnids have armour, but, like... you also have to kill them. you're not supposed to kill soft oak, soft oak is a dumb boss and really needs explicit tooltips to tell you what to do. at least then i could forgive it for being obtuse if the polter curse description spelled the mechanic out for you.
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Also, there is a visual animation on lenalds when you hit them in one element, and the blackspore mobs have everything written about them on their passive, so you can deduce those fairly easily.

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Absolutely agree, my guild just returned to the game (we all sort of quit around the introduction of mt.zinit) and we're trying to complete the new 186 dungeons and are having a hard time finishing any of them. We can't find a single bit of info on the new high level dungeons and trying to figure it out ourselves is just leading ourselves to certain doom because the enemies themselves (not just the boss) deal so much damage. We spent upwards of 3 hours in the new Blightopard dungeon trying to work out how to beat him with no luck. I really hope either they add information in game or people who have figured it out decide to make some guides.

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Score : 1358

 

CloudyMind
I've been gone from wakfu since 2015, only having returned very recently, and I've bee noticing a trend with all three of the bosses that I've fought so far: complete absence of any kind of information.

First, the treechnid dungeon. Reaching the boss, we decided to attack on of his hands. Upon killing it, the entire team instantly died with not as much as an animation or any explanation of any kind. We were dumbfounded.


I agree it's a little less clear than many others, but absent any kind of information?

My first run I died to the exact same thing. Going back, still without any extra information on it, I paid more attention to the effects written right on the boss. I noticed there were 10 stacks of armor but that it was labeled as a "curse", I knew the boss dying also killed me. The information was all there, but unlike many other mechanics, it wasn't well communicated thematically, and if you were running the dungeon without questing (something the game does nothing to prevent) it would be very easy to have this occur without even a hint that something was wrong.

CloudyMind

[...]

Next, the lenald dungeon. There was no way for us to know that the boss hits harder when he receives attacks for many types of elemental damage. We had no clue as to how we could make the boss invulnerable on the second phase, other than just a hunch.

As others have pointed out, this is actually in line with mobs from previous rooms. In most dungeons, the game expects you to build from prior experiences. That said, I think the elemental combination mechanic is especially easy to miss. Ideal combat would have you focus things down based on efficient use of turn (initiative) based combat, and even failing that, you'd still have needed to hit with all elements to get a clear picture of what was happening beyond a minor visual cue which can be lost in other animations.

While I personally dislike lenalds because they are annoying (side immunities + low health "recoveries"), I don't think there's anything outright unfair about the boss. The second phase is less straightforward, but there's no "gotcha" to it. It's not spelled out. There isn't a wabbit on the side-lines holding a neon sign up telling you the boss's weakness (even if that could be thematically appropriate given the conflict of the island) But while it isn't spelled out, it isn't unfair either. The game pushes you to make a leap that if it benefits the monsters to be on the glyph, it benefits you to be on a glyph too. There's a line in the bosses effect description linked to the same line describing the effect when a player steps on one of the tiles. It isn't spelled out that stepping on the tiles is how you make him vulnerable. But the pieces of the same statement are all there.

CloudyMind

[...]

Lastly, the blackspore dungeon. How would anyone even guess that you have to kill a summon near the boss to make it vulnerable? You'd just have to try a bunch of wacky stuff until you get it right. There's no indication in the game about that tactic whatsoever. Also, when we "killed" the boss, some kind of purple smoke came out of it and it simply refused to die! I legit thought it was a bug! How the hell are we supposed to know that the boss will stay in that bizarre state for a few turns and then heal itself and become killable again? What even? Why?


Every monster in that dungeon does something to things within 3 cells of it when hit. The dungeon expects you to know this by the time you reach the boss. (This actually used to be more the case when keys were needed for dungeons as you'd have to fight outside some to make your first keys.)

When the boss summons the monster, it puts an effect on it and the monster (you can read these yourself) which says they are linked. Okay, you might think "well all summons are linked to their summoner right?" and you'd be (in most cases) correct. So why is this spelled out for you, the player with no clue? It's to point out that the summon is important.

CloudyMind
[...]

Seriously, it's not rocket science. Get those animators and programmers to add some VISUAL feedback or at least some bloody TEXT if you can't spare the working hours towards that! Something like, oh, I don't know... "if you do this then you will inexplicably die!" or "if you do that then this other thing happens!". Anything would do!

If you can't afford to do it properly, then don't do it at all! If you can't, for whatever reason, create visual feedback for the boss fights, then don't shoehorn all those convoluted tactics! Boss fights should have at least a degree of intuition to them. 

You could have easily given the blackspore boss a timer icon above it's head when it enters that state, and also a buff that explains what that timer signifies, for example. When your player think that a core boss mechanic is a bug, there is no room for doubt that the design is wrong.

In phase 2, there's a gigantic animation with screen darkening, the light seemingly being consumed by the boss. Something changed, dramatically. His hp wont go below 42. Why is his hp the answer to life, the universe and everything? Even if that reference is missed, and the significance of the specific number eludes you, every attempt to bring his hp lower comes with a message in the fight log. Something telling you that this is different. You might not be able to kill him right now.

CloudyMind
I really, really hope that this isn't an ongoing trend with all the game's bosses. I really don't want to have to read every tactic online before my fight. I'd much, much rather discover the tactics myself, organically. 


As someone who also enjoys figuring out bosses, I hope you step back from it a bit and cool off. There's a lot of dungeons that require some amount of paying attention to effects and figuring out how they interact. When you actually do it, and clear the boss with a group of friends with no guide going in, it's a great feeling. There's plenty of information to work off presented to you in each dungeon. While it may not spell out "do x to kill y", the game always gives you the information needed to figure out the x for each y. There are at least a few more dungeons in the game where it can be a little cryptic. If you're ever stuck, look at the effects on players interacting with the boss, the boss itself, and if anything seems similar to how the garden variety mobs of the same family work. It helps to have a "standard MMO team" on first clears (all covered : tank, healer, DPS) to allow you the tools to stall a little longer while you figure out the boss.

Additionally, I'm relatively sure every boss which relies on an interaction also provides a source for the interaction. If you notice the boss keeps doing something while invulnerable, there might be a reason to it. Could just be an attack pattern, could be preventing an unwinnable fight from existing in the design.


I don't have much lost love for Ankama. There are many things with multiple of their games which I am heavily critical of them for. I can't really say boss design is one of them. Not every challenge is solved by beating it with a bigger stick. The game wants you to learn from both prior experiences and mistakes. You're rewarded for it. You can run content on lower stasis (difficulty slider based on damage and hp values) while figuring out the mechanics, then crank it back up to normal when you have a hold on that.

I've typed up more than I intended to here.

TL;DR: The game is giving you hints (some subtle, some not), but you appear to be getting frustrated with losing and missing them. The game is hard, but it's also forgiving of mistakes. There's no permanent consequences to messing up, you can come right back better prepared.
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Score : 2993

@Nerd-Tease I can't pay attention to things that don't exist.

I actually click on every new monster that I come across and read all their boons. There was nothing that indicated that the Lenald boss was growing more powerful when we were hitting it with all 4 elemental damage types. In fact, I noticed that the boss was gaining a damage reduction, so my immediate conclusion was that we had to hit it with as many different elements as possible and high ap attacks, so that we wouldn't stack his resistance to one damage type too high. Honestly, we had an issue with his damage reduction when we found out that we actually had to use only one or two damage types on him. What gives, you know?

At the time of writing this post, both lenald and blackspore dungeons have been cleared by my team. We have absolute confidence that we can clear those places again any number of times now. In hindsight, the battles are actually really easy, but you learn that by trial and error. You are expected to blindly try things out over and over again, until you figure out what the abilities of the boss are. I'm sorry, but I don't feel like donating my characters are guinea pigs to these dungeons.

As someone pointed it out, lack of information could lead to less interesting fights. For instance, I would perhaps opt to use pushback on a creature and cause it to lose ap if I knew what it's abilities were and how much ap they cost.

 

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Score : 4026

Ankama does not care about PvE, period.
Every dungeon, every single one of them, are unbalanced.. We have the ones that are far too easy from their level range (Like Frozen Tower at Lv111) and some that are outright masochistic (Like the Blopera at 141)..

But about the boss, yes, there's a massive lack of information in ~some~ dungeon bosses, others require some thinking like Castuc, the main mechanic of the mobs is that they can absorve elements to become stronger but if they absorve too much they get weakened, using this info we can figure how to remove the invulnerability of Ponktius but most bosses aren't like that.. It gives some some sort of trial and error vibe that I just hate.. Like first time I tried the new Stalagmotel and the boss was spamming those tremors, how daheck was I suppose to know that 1)she spawn tremors every beggining of turn and it's pattern; 2) that later they cover the entire stage; 3) that you can protect yourself by hiding behind a stactite?
I died 4 times before figuring out something that there was no way I could possibly figure on my own by just going there cuz there was no infomation..

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