Monday, January 26, 2009

Raid Encounter: Hall of Arms

The Hall of Arms is another encounter in my raid. I'm mostly just brainstorming ideas at this point, and trying to think of how to fit them all tgether in a single dungeon, and I had a cool thought right before I drifted off to sleep last night regarding the common "winged dungeon" theme that seems to be getting pretty popular (and rightly so). I like the idea of not being forced from boss #1 to boss #2 to boss #12 at the end, all in a straight line. The thing with a winged layout like Naxx is that you have four wings to choose from from the very start, and so each wing's first boss should be relatively easier than that wing's last. It makes sense, pacing wise. The problem here is that you can't have a wing where it starts hard, or no one will ever start there! I have an idea about that, somewhat inspired by Zelda...

You zone into the instance, and are initially in a large anterior courtyard or foyer. There's the initial pull or two (think: the horses in Kara), and the introductory boss. He can be either a simple first 'warmup boss' like Attumen, or a cock-blocking gear check, but his main point is that he drops a "small key", Zelda style. From your view around you, there are a few locked doors leading in various directions, and branching off from this initial entry point. The small key will let you enter one of the doors, but you can decide which one. This way, from the beginning, there are multiple paths to choose from, but you can't farm "the first boss from each wing" and let the Raid ID rot. The last boss of each wing drops another key that can be used to open the next wing you wish to explore, plus 1/4 of a Master Key piece. After clearing all four wings, the pieces of the "boss key" are assembled, and entry to the final chamber is granted.

Anyway, on to the encounter.

The Hall of Armor


A loooong, wide hallway (think Curator in Kara, but maybe twice the length) with a large tiled checkerboard floor, and suits of silver armor lining the walls on raised pedestals. The final boss is visible from the start, and is a Large Black Knight in a nod to the original Dragon's Lair, and should have the boss beginning the encounter by noting how DARING everyone is for confronting him here (etc, etc), and then tapping his sword tip into the ground to begin setting the event in motion.


As the party makes their way down the hallway, sections of the floor light up (anti void zones, white or light blue instead of black), in a noticeable and repeating pattern. The ground can flash momentarily before the surge hits, to give groups a chance to react. The group needs to make their way down the hallway itself, avoiding the charged sections of floor, while the suits of armor activate and engage (based on basic tank face-pulling proximity). Each armor suit is a basic, hard hitting tank and spank, with the twist that if the suit happens to come into contact with the 'activated' section of the floor --in addition to the raid's fear that their tank is standing there and taking a large hit of damage from the floor-- the mob itself becomes charged with energy, too, and hits harder (or perhaps flurries). Anyone hit with the floor charge takes damage, and is dazed for a few seconds, reducing movement speed, and compounding the issue of moving off the charged sections of the floor.


The boss himself is a huge black knight, as noted, and the fight begins once the group has made their way down the hallway to him. He engages, and the fight is done in a similar fashion as the lead-up. The ground pulses, then activates, and anyone caught in it takes large damage spikes. the tank can have blessing of freedom (the movement one?) put on him in case he gets dazed, and the boss hits extra hard on dazed targets (perhaps this could be a dispel race to get it off the tanks asap). There need to be two tanks, because every so often, he will grab the person with highest threat, and hurl him down to the beginning of the hallway. The secondary tank picks him up while the MT works his way back to the group, avoiding the floor charge-pattern as usual (obviously, the adds are already dead, he just needs to watch the floor on the run back). It's a mobililty fight, with the tanks having to kite the boss around in little circles to avoid the floor charges, healers and DPS needing to shift accordingly as well. General abilities include the "flurry or enrage on floor tile activation" (if he's standing on the charged section), the "MT chuck", a basic cleave to keep melee on thier toes, and the floor itself. When the boss dies, the floor flickers out, and becomes safe.

I'm actively trying to keep the bosses themselves rather simple for these warmup fights. There's a trick to each fight, but it's not some mind bending Vashj headache where you have to kite 80 adds while watching for contaminated things and becomin rooted while holding the shield thing. It's a pretty straightforward fight, and is a nod to Dragon's Lair mostly. This isn't "final boss" material, just a basic tank and spank with a few fun twists thrown in to keep everyone on their toes.


Anonymous said...

Instead of a throw, why not a shield bash that tosses / drops HP to a certain percentage (5%?) so the tank not only has to get back to the fight, but if he hits a floor charge before he gets in healing range he gets KO'd. This will either force you to have a tank who isn't a tool or a healer mid raid / hall to pick him up before he steps on a charge.

Also, why not at 20% (To ensure DPS is still alive and to add to the chaos), have floor tiles lift up and fling themselves at people, dealing damage / stunning and leaving that area permanently charged. Eventually people will run out of places to stand and if you have 1 DPS, 1 heals, and 1 tank when this hits you aren't just trying to zerg it out.

I like the concept though, I just want something with a little more chaos, even if thrown in at the last minute. Simple fights just seem like /sleep to me.

Rich said...

yeah, having the tiles lift out of the ground and fly around seems kinda wonky though. perhaps the knight could have some kind of arcing overhead smash that breaks tiles (or your tank's face if he doesn't avoid them), and leaves that area permacharged. I like the idea that as the fight goes on, you end up with less area to dance around, though, but in theory, you have the entire hallway to work with, so maybe the boss would be on a separate platform (a la Thaddeus), or up a short staircase that becomes perma-charged once the actual bossfight begins.

I liked the punt, and feel like if the throw itself does fall damage (percentage based, to leave the tank with 5% HP), it leaves living as they run back to the group in the tank's hands. That way if he dies to floor charges on the run back, there's NOBODY to point a finger at but himself.

Cronoo said...

Would the hallway be shorter, or would there be less adds in the 10 man version?
Or would it just be weaker?

Rich said...

obviously the geometry of the area isn't going to hange... naxx went from 40 to 10, and is 'the same size'.

I imagine the adds would hit less hard, have fewer hitpoints, or just be staggered. where on heroic there's like 12 (6 on each side), maybe there's pne 1,3,5 on the left, and 2,4,6 on the right.

Perhaps in heroic they pull two at a time, and 10 man one at a time... ?