Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

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Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Leuthas » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:00 pm

I'm no big fan of making a new thread for a little purpose, but I've been speaking with guildies recently about what the Deathwing encounter may be like. I recall a thread around here that brought up a million speculations as to what the LK fight may be like, and some of them were kinda-sorta-somewhat-but-not-really close.

Personally, I'd like to see something drastically new! A friend of mine brought up the idea that Deathwing should wipe the raid during the encounter, but I promptly gave her a /bonk and reminding her of The Lich King. Among an infinite number of possibilities for new raid mechanics, it's just going to require some imagination to create something realistic. It's safe to say, I'm sure, that Normal/Heroic Mode raid setups will stay; and because of this I tend to greatly favor the way Ulduar was set up. ToC was bad, so I'll ignore that. With ICC, it's just a UI button, and most of the encounters don't actually change much at all. In Ulduar, not only are hard modes activated in interesting (and sometimes kinda-sorta-but-not-really difficult fashions, but they’re also diverse. Once the hard mode is activated, the encounter will generally become much different in design and mechanics. Think about General Vezax - there's a whole new mob to worry about. Firefighter.... The idea of Flame Leviathan hard modes was the best of the bunch, even though I hate vehicle fights with a burning passion.

My point is, so far, that hard modes are much more interesting when they're actually different than normal modes. The hard mode idea is vastly more enjoyable, more special, when it's interactive and involves unique actions on behalf of the players. And now for Deathwing, the whole subject of this thread.

Now, I have an interesting idea for how to make activating Deathwing's hard mode more interactive: Let's say we just downed the first boss of the raid and we begin to move on (think: "FL down let's ride to XT"), as we run along on our awsome Blue Qiraji Battle Tanks and Brown Riding Mooses when (oh noes!) 'all-of-the-sudden' a huge evil-angry dragon lands in your path (kinda-sorta-but-not-really-but-yeah-just-like that one drake on your way to Gunship), it's Deathwing! Now let's say there's a slight warning as he flies in, and the whole raid is in a long Hallway type thing; Deathwing swoops in Nefarion style and breaths all over the Hallway, and as an extra, it kills anyone not hugging a wall. We’ll call this encounter, “Hallway.” So Deathwing lands in the Hallway (it's probably a really big hallway judging by screenshots of Deathwing on the beta) roughly where the raid was when this mechanic was activated, and is now just like any dragon (i.e. breath, tail, cleave etc.) and needs to be tanked.

At this point, it's a standard encounter with no super-special-evil mechanics, except, Deathwing has some fancy shielding (his armor plates, perhaps?) that absorb a set amount of damage; we’ll call this, “Absorb Shield.” This Absorb Shield needs to be brought down before he can be harmed. Still in the Hallway, we need to kite him (not really kite, just walk) to the end of the Hallway, dps'ing down his Absorb Shield the whole way. Now, perhaps to avoid someone using a true kite method on him, let's say he'll only walk for the Hallway encounter, and if the main agro target is not in melee, he goes Archimonde emo-style and wipes the raid (or was that a single kill-shot? I wasn't a BC raider) saying, "You little baddies, you die cause I'm awsome."

This is all part of activating the hard mode for the Real encounter and making Deathwing a real presence in the zone. The idea is, for hard mode, you leave his shield up; the achievement could be, "Engage Deathwing in [his throne room] while his [absorb shield thing] is still at 90% or greater, and then kill him." Okay, I suck at writing achievements, but you get the idea. Now let's say, as soon as his shield is taken down, he becomes untargetable, flies off (regardless of where in the Hallway he is) breaths the raid a second time as he did on arrival, and he's gone.

Taking down his Absorb Shield will activate normal mode for the Real (let’s just call it “Real” for simplicity) encounter where you kill him, as there will be no Absorb Shield. To activate the hard mode, you keep his Absorb Shield at or above 90% (or some percentage) and bring him to the end of the Hallway, at which point he'll fly off, breath the raid, and be gone; for the Real encounter, his Absorb Shield will remain at the percentage at which it was when he flies off away from the Hallway.

To ensure a steady forward movement of the raid through the Hallway, and limiting the time which is given to the raid to down the Absorb Shield, there could easily be a cave-in or fire-wall mechanic which starts near the beginning of the Hallway and slowly progresses to the end, chasing the raid.

In order to further extend this “mini-encounter” (the Hallway) into the Real encounter with Deathwing, let’s say we keep the encounter in the Hallway rather straight-forward (lolpun). Typical dragon rules in the hallway, plus the two in-flight breaths, and one more special kinda-sorta-but-not-too-severely-gimmick mechanic which when coupled with basic dragon rules is nothing awful, but when coupled with the mechanics in the real Deathwing encounter is awful. This “special mechanic” will only be used while his absorb shield is active; thence, not active for normal mode, active for the beginning of hard mode. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call this special mechanic, “Evil Bad.”

I think it would be best to center the hard mode around Evil Bad. This could be easily accomplished by making it permanent AoE, which puts puddles of fire or whatnot at random places, or perhaps at one point, and continues to grow so long as the absorb shield is active. This will essentially make the first phase (the absorb shield phase) a burst phase, like Professor Putricude phase 3, because the faster you down the Absorb Shield, the smaller the growing AoE will be for the remainder of the encounter; or likewise, the faster you down the Absorb Shield, the fewer spots of AoE will be present for the remainder of the encounter.

Using this sort of pre-encounter encounter will allow for raiders to realize the threat ahead, see what his health pool is really like, how hard he hits in basic melee and whatnot without making him run away like a pussy, like LK did at certain points in Northrend. When Deathwing flies away from the Hallway, either because you downed the Absorb Shield or because he got to the end of the Hallway, he won’t just wimp out and fly off, he’ll stop, saying something introducing you to the badass boss waiting at the end of the Hallway, and breath you…

These “mini-encounters” like the Hallway could be split up into multi encounters throughout the zone, each allowing the raid to disable one of Deathwing’s mechanics for the normal mode, or not, for the hard mode.

There is also the twist of having to do something special to activate normal mode, and doing something less special for the hard mode. "Special" in this case will not equal "more difficult."

This is mostly a WIP, I’m just throwing this stuff into Word as I think of it.

TL;DR:
-Deathwing appears like the drake on your way to gunship.
-You fight him, you have to walk him along a hallway, being chased by bad fire-wall aoe.
-To activate normal mode, you need to destroy an absorb shield he has.
-To activate hard mode, you don't destroy the absorb shield.
-To further the interest of the hard mode, a special mechanic is used only when the absorb shield is active - therefore being non existent for normal but present for hard.
-When his shield is down or he reaches the end of the hallway, he flies off. You have to continue through the raid and meet him again wherever he flew off to.

---------------

As for the Real Deathwing encounter: Defile + Fear. That is all.
(not really)
Why can't a Warrior Thunderclap while silenced?

You're actually clapping your thighs together with a force so powerful that you generate a sonic boom and the resulting electrostatic energy. Unfortunately, when you're silenced, you can't generate the audible force from your thunder thighs.

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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Modal » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:37 pm

Deathwing == Onyxia, but he deep breaths more

On a more serious note, they're obviously done with hard-modes that are activated in game, rather than through the UI. I suppose they could change their minds, but that seems extremely unlikely during Cataclysm.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Leuthas » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:40 pm

Modal wrote:Deathwing == Onyxia, but he deep breaths more

On a more serious note, they're obviously done with hard-modes that are activated in game, rather than through the UI. I suppose they could change their minds, but that seems extremely unlikely during Cataclysm.

I recall discussion by blues regarding the idea that they used the UI system in ToC to "try it out" and again in ICC because they couldn't figure out what exactly to do, so they did it anyway, even though they didn't prefer it.

Besides ICC and RS using the UI method, is there any indication of what is planned for Cataclysm?
Why can't a Warrior Thunderclap while silenced?

You're actually clapping your thighs together with a force so powerful that you generate a sonic boom and the resulting electrostatic energy. Unfortunately, when you're silenced, you can't generate the audible force from your thunder thighs.

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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Modal » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:43 pm

I'm pretty sure they've said that they didn't like that it was non-obvious how to activate hard mode encounters (and in some cases easy to do by accident), and that they're sticking with the UI toggle. That comment might have been restricted in scope to ICC, but I don't think so. However, I don't have time to look it up at the moment.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Sabindeus » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:00 pm

The Defile is made of lava this time.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby mclem » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:14 am

So you *activate* the hard mode by *failing* to meet a DPS requirement?

If I'm understanding you right, that's a pretty huge flaw.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Passionario » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:12 am

The encounter will be gated.

Initially, Deathwing will one-shot your entire raid and despawn after Phase 1. Two weeks later, Phase 2 will become available. After another two weeks, Phase 3 will be unlocked, and so forth.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Invisusira » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:16 am

oh god don't give them any ideas
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Malthrax » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:23 am

"You little baddies, you die cause I'm awsome."


The quote you're looking for is: "*spit* Worthless Scrubs..."
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Malthrax » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:32 am

mclem wrote:So you *activate* the hard mode by *failing* to meet a DPS requirement?

If I'm understanding you right, that's a pretty huge flaw.

No, you activate the "hard mode" by leaving one of his defenses in-tact (think: FL+#)

Though, you could just as easily flip it around to be something like: the "absorb shield" is actually keeping IN the heat from his molten stony innards, and breaking the "shield" causes Deathwing to radiate an additional fire-based AOE that does SOMERIDICULOUSAMOUNTOFDAMAGE per second.

Personally, I prefer the "non-intuitive in-game activation methods" over flipping a switch on the UI. It wasn't that hard to figure out in Ulduar - just look at the achievements for each boss... one of them was the "hard mode" trigger. Could do the exact same for Cata.

I kinda like the idea of (re)meeting the final boss a few times during the course of the raid run... as long as its not overdone. If the final dungeon is a 12-boss place, then maybe have 2-3 total Deathwing pre-encounters; if its a 6-boss place, then probably only a single prequel is warranted. Could have each one be kinda like the free-emblem mini-boss Valky in ICC.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby mclem » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:14 am

Malthrax wrote:
mclem wrote:So you *activate* the hard mode by *failing* to meet a DPS requirement?

If I'm understanding you right, that's a pretty huge flaw.

No, you activate the "hard mode" by leaving one of his defenses in-tact (think: FL+#)


My point is that they amount to the same thing, potentially. Guilds which are unable to achieve the goal in time - and therefore really shouldn't be doing a hardmode - are lumped in with those attempting the hard-mode

Though, you could just as easily flip it around to be something like: the "absorb shield" is actually keeping IN the heat from his molten stony innards, and breaking the "shield" causes Deathwing to radiate an additional fire-based AOE that does SOMERIDICULOUSAMOUNTOFDAMAGE per second.

Or you've got a limited amount of time to destroy something - let's call it a 'heart' - and when you do, he gets new abilities to kill you harder!

I kinda like the idea of (re)meeting the final boss a few times during the course of the raid run... as long as its not overdone. If the final dungeon is a 12-boss place, then maybe have 2-3 total Deathwing pre-encounters; if its a 6-boss place, then probably only a single prequel is warranted. Could have each one be kinda like the free-emblem mini-boss Valky in ICC.


I do actually like this, it helps to enforce the idea that the entity at the heart of the thing pervades the whole raid. I'd suggest that Ulduar managed this as well - while you didn't actually *encounter* him early on, you could see Yogg's influence in quite a few places before you actually encountered the boss himself.

Compare with ICC, where the only real hint of the LK's involvement is in the existence of Saurfang.

However, one thing I think is a bad idea is the suggestion that something you do in the *earlier* encounter commits you to the hardmode for the *later* encounter; punishing the raid for a rash decision they made several days ago doesn't strike me as great for gameplay or morale. Having completely distinct encounters, with perhaps a footnote that you need to hardmode the first encounter before you can even *choose* to attempt the hardmode in the latter (think like wing bosses -> LKH) would work quite nicely.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Passionario » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:18 am

My predictions:

- Deathwing will have cleave, tail sweep, fear and wing buffet.
- He will breathe for massive Shadowflame damage.
- The encounter will have at least one ground phase and at least one air phase.
- The hard mode will be enabled via a UI option.
- While the phases of the fight might not be gated, the encounter itself almost certainly will be.
- The fight will either get nerfed over time, or will feature a stacking buff a la ICC.
- At least one major raiding guild will get caught exploiting a bug in the encounter's design.
- 10-man version will actually turn out to be harder than 25.
- Some NPC (my bet's on Alexstrasza) will end up hogging all the glory.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Malthrax » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:00 am

Passionario wrote:My predictions:

- Deathwing will have cleave, tail sweep, fear and wing buffet.
- He will breathe for massive Shadowflame damage.
- The encounter will have at least one ground phase and at least one air phase.
- The hard mode will be enabled via a UI option.
- While the phases of the fight might not be gated, the encounter itself almost certainly will be.
- The fight will either get nerfed over time, or will feature a stacking buff a la ICC.
- At least one major raiding guild will get caught exploiting a bug in the encounter's design.
- 10-man version will actually turn out to be harder than 25.
- Some NPC (my bet's on Alexstrasza) will end up hogging all the glory.

- the final stage of the final fight will involve having some portion / all of your raid mounted on Bronze drakes.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby trellian » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:12 am

Malthrax wrote:- the final stage of the final fight will involve having some portion / all of your raid mounted on Bronze drakes whilst dancing to avoid his breaths


Fixed.
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Re: Deathwing Encounter (this is not a spoiler)

Postby Modal » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:16 am

Malthrax wrote:- At least one major raiding guild will get caught exploiting a bug in the encounter's design.


Oh oh which one!? :roll:
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