Difficulty — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Difficulty

FogLeg.9354FogLeg.9354 Member ✭✭✭
edited March 15, 2018 in Mar 2018: LWS4 Episode 2

This is not related to the LW4E2 specifically, but all the new content released since LWS2.

  • When designing new Open World map with new enemies, do developers expect most players to explore and fight solo, small group or big blob?
  • Should all the new open world maps be soloable? For example completing the map (pois, hearts, vistas)?
  • For how many players are longer Meta event chains in open world designed for? Should group of 5 players be able to finish Palawadan, Jewel of Istan or The Specimen Chamber? 15? 50?
  • Have you ever considered lowering difficulty of older maps that were clearly designed for larger groups but now when there are much less players doing this content, have become fairly impossible to finish?
  • When testing difficulty, do you expect characters to use Elite specs only or should someone with core class be able to have fun too?
  • Are Story Bosses designed for solo players or groups?
  • Will story bosses ever scale to the number of players?
  • How long do you consider "reasonable" run within story instance for solo player?
  • Do you always test the Story Bosses with every class or just some generic "ranged" or "healer"?
  • Does it bother you when players start to do "centaur leather farm" or "boss run in map X" instead of, you know, simply playing the game?
  • Does it bother you that whenever you release new and interesting secrets and hidden content, JP or collection, next day there will be step-by-step guide in Dulfy and most players will simply follow the guide?
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Comments

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Given the large amount of negative feedback about the Golem boss in episode 2, could we see some adjustments to this boss coming?

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • mercury ranique.2170mercury ranique.2170 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I personally think this subject is very troublesome. I understand that a fight has to be challenging and fun for the more experienced players, but not being able to do it alone, also feels pretty bad. For some part it can be resolved with proper instructions of the fight. The E2 golem is not hard at all IF you know what to do, but this is not very clear. I did had issues with some of the fights early on in E1. This might be cause I switched main shortly after PoF release and was somewhat inexperienced with new toon.
    One thing I wonder is if a difficultysetting has ever been on the table? I do not think it should be a strong setting (like the difference between normal and hard mode in gw1).

    I even think that it can be a fun adition to the game. you need to be defeated to unlock a dialogue if you want to lower your difficulty setting, and if you succeed the instance without dying, you can unlock a higher setting. Obviously, when doing so, the rewards and achievements should be better. Credit for who deserves it.

    But just my thoughts about how I would deal with this. I am curious what your thoughts are.

  • sweetrules.8359sweetrules.8359 Member ✭✭✭

    I wouldn't even touch that boss with a ten foot pole until I'm sure all the bugs are ironed out. Because as someone who has raided, and use to do t4 fractals daily, it was absolutely atrocious. And I thought it was operating as intended until I checked the forums.

  • JayMack.8295JayMack.8295 Member ✭✭✭

    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

  • I can't speak directly about a specific boss or difficulty of specific events, but I do think that meta achievements that provide rewards such as the mantle in this current story segment are great when they're so relaxed in terms of freedom from not having to do every single thing in the meta. It's nice to pick and choose what you can do based on your playstyle of doing story alone or the group events out in open-world.

  • @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I'm genuinely curious: Why do you consider the main projectile attack frustrating? Often times, in boss encounters, the name of the game is plan, execute, observe, learn, repeat, and that interaction is what makes success so sweet to obtain.

    With that in mind, what makes the situation you described above painful, rather than rewarding?

  • sweetrules.8359sweetrules.8359 Member ✭✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @sweetrules.8359 said:
    I wouldn't even touch that boss with a ten foot pole until I'm sure all the bugs are ironed out. Because as someone who has raided, and use to do t4 fractals daily, it was absolutely atrocious. And I thought it was operating as intended until I checked the forums.

    What bugs are you referring to? I've been keeping an eye on this boss in particular, and the only active bug right now that I know about is one that actually makes the fight much, much easier.

    It's easy to get lost in hyperbole when criticisizing something, but remember that large sweeping statements don't help to identify issues that can be solved - they only serve to display distaste of the content.

    Fair point, and I'd have to see what was actually addressed in patch notes, which unfortunately, are not updated for every new build, as I know there are many with undocumented changes since the episode dropped. I would need to play the instances again, because I don't record stuff, and I do not know how many bugs have been fixed since then. I've been more focused lately on the task of upgrading a personal guild hall for just close guildies/friends and I. So I will just take your word for it and assume that most of the bugs have been fixed. Not sure when I'll get around to doing the episode on another character though.

  • @mercury ranique.2170 said:
    I personally think this subject is very troublesome. I understand that a fight has to be challenging and fun for the more experienced players, but not being able to do it alone, also feels pretty bad. For some part it can be resolved with proper instructions of the fight. The E2 golem is not hard at all IF you know what to do, but this is not very clear. I did had issues with some of the fights early on in E1. This might be cause I switched main shortly after PoF release and was somewhat inexperienced with new toon.
    One thing I wonder is if a difficultysetting has ever been on the table? I do not think it should be a strong setting (like the difference between normal and hard mode in gw1).

    I even think that it can be a fun adition to the game. you need to be defeated to unlock a dialogue if you want to lower your difficulty setting, and if you succeed the instance without dying, you can unlock a higher setting. Obviously, when doing so, the rewards and achievements should be better. Credit for who deserves it.

    But just my thoughts about how I would deal with this. I am curious what your thoughts are.

    Unfortunately, difficulty settings are very difficult for us to implement into story instances. They require a lot of bubble gum and duck tape style design and implementation, as the systems in the game just weren't built to support difficulty settings outside of specific content, like Fractals and Raids.

    As to your comment about not being able to do it solo:

    Why do you believe this boss isn't possible to do on your own?

  • JayMack.8295JayMack.8295 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @sweetrules.8359 said:

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I did it the first day. The golem was attacking as if it always had quickness, was not spawning the smaller golems properly, and other assorted issues. Let's just say that put me off ever wanting to deal with it again solo. I am tired of seeing people claiming, "Oh, mechanics," Or, "Oh, it isn't hard(I actually had a group with me/it didn't bug on me, so clearly, it couldn't have possibly been different for you.)"

    Try killing those golems as a firebrand with max 600 range on everything besides staff 2 or 3(Because the nerf to its 1 range was global and not just pvp or WvW) and a golem attacking at twice the speed it's suppose to be(Not that I knew at the time) So the field was constantly covered in aoe, even spamming blocks and dodges, I went down repeatedly to inanely high damage every second. It was a tedious slog, and no amount of, "Well, that's not what happened for me," will change how it went for me or others who dealt with similar or different bugs. I don't feel they should nerf anything till they have it working at 100% what it was suppose to be. Once it's working properly, I might try it again and see how it goes, since I still need the achievement anyway. But do not claim that "It isn't difficult" to people who possibly had a very different encounter to you. To me, it was extremely tedious because of the bugs, but the auto-revive turned it form difficult to tedious, so at least eventually, I killed the bugged golem.

    First things first, I wasn't implying that just because I didn't find it difficult that no-one had problems and it was perfect. I was asking because I wanted to know WHAT The issues people had with it were, which was what my original question was. It wasn't rhetorical.

    Bugs in the boss are obviously unintended and not meant to be part of the difficulty and should obviously be fixed. That's a no-brainer. I also expressed I had frustrations with it.

    Bugs aside, though, I agree with Cameron. The attacks should be impactful enough so that they can't just be ignored and its health should be large enough that the fight has actual mechanics so it stands out from every other boss.

    I absolutely have issues with the boss, and nothing I said was me going, "I had no issues, so neither should you." it was genuine curiosity.

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I'm genuinely curious: Why do you consider the main projectile attack frustrating? Often times, in boss encounters, the name of the game is plan, execute, observe, learn, repeat, and that interaction is what makes success so sweet to obtain.

    With that in mind, what makes the situation you described above painful, rather than rewarding?

    For me, it was mostly not knowing that the projectile could only hit me from range. There was no clear game language that was telling me, "Hey, get close to it and it can't hit you with its projectile." I figured that out by accident when I got stuck under it and realised it wasn't able to hit me with that attacks. At first, I was trying to dodge its bouncy ball attacks, and was coming up to running out of dodges as it bounced so frequently and getting hit by it. This was also because this (as far as I know and can remember) is one of the very few enemies in the game that has an attack it will fire that just flat out can't hit you if you stand under it so I wasn't used to it. I could be misremembering though, there are a lot of enemies over the past 5 years.

    I'm wondering now if it was attacking more frequently than it should with people mentioning bugs, so I don't know if that was intended or not.

  • @sweetrules.8359 said:

    Fair point, and I'd have to see what was actually addressed in patch notes, which unfortunately, are not updated for every new build, as I know there are many with undocumented changes since the episode dropped. I would need to play the instances again, because I don't record stuff, and I do not know how many bugs have been fixed since then. I've been more focused lately on the task of upgrading a personal guild hall for just close guildies/friends and I. So I will just take your word for it and assume that most of the bugs have been fixed. Not sure when I'll get around to doing the episode on another character though.

    If you do, please reach out to me. I am always interested in listening to criticisms.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    What kind of adjustments would you expect?

    There's been some negative feedback to that boss, but we've also seen a lot of positive feedback as well. It's just not as loud as the negative (which is almost always the case in these situations).

    I'm personally pretty happy with the balance of the fight, bar a few bugs here and there that need to / have been ironed out.

    I've seen players struggle with the encounter when not completing it correctly, and I've also seen a single player take him down in under 60 seconds (without cheesing him at all). If we nerf his health, more players may take him down without feeling any challenge from the encounter's mechanics (as they wouldn't see them). If we reduce the damage done from his attacks, more players may feel they can just ignore those mechanics entirely.

    It's not black and white, for sure. I don't think it's perfect, but I also don't think it's as bad as the exaggerative rhetoric has sometimes been.

    It does worry me a little given that the feedback about Golem has been comparable to Caudecus such similar bosses have previously been tuned down. This is a mid story boss, which must be progressed to actually reach the new map. The problem is, the mechanics are often unclear, are potentially not even working (the buff the Elders give gave me no dps boost, in fact this phase actually took longer than the first phase), the HP bar is absolutely enormous for a solo boss and it has some one shot attacks. It took me 2hours to get to that boss, largely because I was either AP hunting in instances or just soaking it all up as I leisurely progressed. To hit that very, very tricky boss after 2 hours was frustrating and also soul destroying. It just zapped all the fun I was having right out of me

    I get we are moving towards more involving bosses, but story is the place many of us want protected from raid and fractal content where the overload of mechanics and group style bosses are appropriately implemented. I understand the need for challenge and stepping things up, but story appeals to a lower skill set and a more casual mind. I totally understand why I should have invest in a variety of new gears and builds and stats for elite level content, but story I feel needs to have a lower base and I thinking the game is creeping up at times. People are always going to to beat this sort of content in 60 seconds or less, but story is not a game mode which should be designed to accommodate that kind of player. The priority of a story is to progress the narrative and no boss, mobs or mechanics should hinder that. That is what raids and fractals are for.

    And if such a difficult boss must exist, it should exist at the end of the episode not gating a map players have already exhaustively spent 3 (admittedly excellent) story instances to get to.

    In case it was missed, I think there is a lot of relevant feedback on this boss here and I certainly think some changes are vital to this boss even if it is clearer, manageable mechanics and a reduced HP pool
    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/31207/is-the-lw-4-ep-2-boss-bugged-or-just-poor-design/p1

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • ImTasty.2163ImTasty.2163 Member ✭✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    What kind of adjustments would you expect?

    There's been some negative feedback to that boss, but we've also seen a lot of positive feedback as well. It's just not as loud as the negative (which is almost always the case in these situations).

    I'm personally pretty happy with the balance of the fight, bar a few bugs here and there that need to / have been ironed out.

    I've seen players struggle with the encounter when not completing it correctly, and I've also seen a single player take him down in under 60 seconds (without cheesing him at all). If we nerf his health, more players may take him down without feeling any challenge from the encounter's mechanics (as they wouldn't see them). If we reduce the damage done from his attacks, more players may feel they can just ignore those mechanics entirely.

    It's not black and white, for sure. I don't think it's perfect, but I also don't think it's as bad as the exaggerative rhetoric has sometimes been.

    I would like to add that I find the fight enjoyable as is. The main thing I can offer to change is the revive animation. It feels kind of sluggish. I understand that getting killed is a punishment but is there any chance the revive animation can be sped up by let's say 2 seconds?

  • Nebilim.5127Nebilim.5127 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @mercury ranique.2170 said:
    I personally think this subject is very troublesome. I understand that a fight has to be challenging and fun for the more experienced players, but not being able to do it alone, also feels pretty bad. For some part it can be resolved with proper instructions of the fight. The E2 golem is not hard at all IF you know what to do, but this is not very clear. I did had issues with some of the fights early on in E1. This might be cause I switched main shortly after PoF release and was somewhat inexperienced with new toon.
    One thing I wonder is if a difficultysetting has ever been on the table? I do not think it should be a strong setting (like the difference between normal and hard mode in gw1).

    I even think that it can be a fun adition to the game. you need to be defeated to unlock a dialogue if you want to lower your difficulty setting, and if you succeed the instance without dying, you can unlock a higher setting. Obviously, when doing so, the rewards and achievements should be better. Credit for who deserves it.

    But just my thoughts about how I would deal with this. I am curious what your thoughts are.

    Unfortunately, difficulty settings are very difficult for us to implement into story instances. They require a lot of bubble gum and duck tape style design and implementation, as the systems in the game just weren't built to support difficulty settings outside of specific content, like Fractals and Raids.

    As to your comment about not being able to do it solo:

    Why do you believe this boss isn't possible to do on your own?

    I dunno Cameron. I can think of several things you guys could do to add as difficulty setting without being too hard or difficult to implement. For instance, you could add a interactable mote at start of every instance that will activate easy mode and give players permanent 25 stacks of every boon or some other sort of boon like 50% extra damage and less incoming damage, and as compensation for having an easy time, every achievement would be disabled. So people who just want to enjoy the story and game can have an easy time.

    This way, you are free to design the bosses as they should be, as you envision. You should never let yourself be too greatly influenced by any side of the playerbase majority. So many people complain about the robot boss, but don't realize he completely harmless if you just circlestrafe and 1200 range, or just melee and then dodge when his radiation attack comes. His laser attack only hits "unfairly" at mid range." I understand that some they can't do it not matter how hard they try, but the game shouldn't be dumbed down that much, difficult is part of being a game in the first place. One can just toss themselves at the boss and clear anyway because wiping doesn't reset it, so why have a boss then?

    For instance, In instan, we have this one character hyped to have defied joko orders themselves and be so strong he killed anyone who approached his cave, but when i arrived there and casted one meteor on a berserker ele...he just flat out died. That's it, 10 seconds to kill him. That was completely underwhelming. I saw so many bundles around i thought there would be more phases to the fight or a challenge mote, but nope. That was the entire fight, killed by a single skill.

    If there was one point where the story was perfectly balanced, i would say season 2~3 and HoT. Those felt on point even though some bosses got a few nerfs after complaints(caudeucus comes to mind). But i believe this is how difficulty should be treated. You release what you want, and then tune according to the feedback.

  • michelada.2947michelada.2947 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    The most fun i had with the pve was at the released of HOT, the game was really "challenging" and the fact that "finally" you could die to normal mobs made the game really interesting, after that, HOT was nerfed in dificulty, the game was made for players to feel bad kitten for killing everything you put in front of them, the mobs feel like sponges waiting anxiously to receive your hits, the Eater of Souls on POF story was almost instantly nerfed because people was dying to him even when the mechanic to success was really clear , bosses that don't feel like one because all you have to do is stand by their side and spam all your abilities, i'm not saying the pve is terrible, i'm just saying that could be far better, sometimes it feels that the only thing that make's PVE fun is just the battle system and not the mobs you are fighting.

  • DirtyDan.4759DirtyDan.4759 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @michelada.2947 said:
    the Eater of Souls on POF story was almost instantly nerfed because people was dying to him even when the mechanic to success was really clear

    After finishing PoF story I looked at reddit to see what others thought about the story. I saw many complains about Eater of Souls mechanics and I thought "... what mechanics?" That guy died to me faster than those veteran monsters running around Tarir as an event. I dodged his charge, broke his defiance bar and melted him down.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @DirtyDan.4759 said:

    @michelada.2947 said:
    the Eater of Souls on POF story was almost instantly nerfed because people was dying to him even when the mechanic to success was really clear

    After finishing PoF story I looked at reddit to see what others thought about the story. I saw many complains about Eater of Souls mechanics and I thought "... what mechanics?" That guy died to me faster than those veteran monsters running around Tarir as an event. I dodged his charge, broke his defiance bar and melted him down.

    The problem before they changed Eater of Souls was that you had less than half a second to break his bar. The bar broke on a single stun, but most of us simply didn't have that kind of reaction speed and ofc if you missed the window, he I think either full healed or insta downed you (I forget which). It was quickly changed to lengthen that window

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • FogLeg.9354FogLeg.9354 Member ✭✭✭

    I am afraid this has already turned into usual "learn to play, noob" thread, which just means people having trouble with bosses will quit the game. But thanks for taking time to put down some answers, Cameron.

  • Warscythes.9307Warscythes.9307 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I'm genuinely curious: Why do you consider the main projectile attack frustrating? Often times, in boss encounters, the name of the game is plan, execute, observe, learn, repeat, and that interaction is what makes success so sweet to obtain.

    With that in mind, what makes the situation you described above painful, rather than rewarding?

    Not that guy, but I consider the revive mechanic that has been appearing more and more to be an issue.

    I understand it is suppose to be a catch up mechanic for the bad players, however I don't think it actually helps them and does nothing but worsen the experience for every one. Ideally you want the mechanic to help the players progress, however what revive does is basically force the player to die over and over again doing a couple hp percentage at a time because they are not really getting better and the mechanic is not helping them. All it does is take away the tension from everyone.

    I think a better option would be a some sort of stat stacking buff upon death. Say call it determination that gives a flat 5-10% boost to literally everything. Die again? Get another 10% and it increases upon a certain amount. You are never going to magically make the players better in 20 minutes, but you can force to literally make the characters better with stat buffs. This way it keeps the tension in because you can still technically fail, but players will be eventually able to beat it by themselves. Good players will do it with 0 to 1 death, some will do it with 2-4 and others can do it with 10 or more death. Maybe add a check point somewhere so fights don't get too dragged out. The result is still going to be the same but the experience will not be cheapened anymore.

    Difficulty slider is harder to implement, but I think this sounds feasible. What do you think?

  • Deimos.4263Deimos.4263 Member ✭✭✭

    When I first logged into game that day, guild chat was filled with friends who normally don't curse freaking out about that golem boss, and loudly so. Now that we know the mechanic, it's pretty straightforward and "easy". (Having 3-5 people certainly helps over trying to solo it, too. Everyone tries to solo new story content.)

    That said, why does new content always have to come with new "tricks" like mechanics, one-shots, etc? A little is fine, but I want to use the skills I trained and practiced for 80 levels plus all those masteries. I don't really want to have to learn new tricks constantly for each new fight. Some may find that appealing, but many of us do not. There must be other ways to make things challenging without changing the rules of the game.

  • ReaverKane.7598ReaverKane.7598 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    What kind of adjustments would you expect?

    There's been some negative feedback to that boss, but we've also seen a lot of positive feedback as well. It's just not as loud as the negative (which is almost always the case in these situations).

    I'm personally pretty happy with the balance of the fight, bar a few bugs here and there that need to / have been ironed out.

    I've seen players struggle with the encounter when not completing it correctly, and I've also seen a single player take him down in under 60 seconds (without cheesing him at all). If we nerf his health, more players may take him down without feeling any challenge from the encounter's mechanics (as they wouldn't see them). If we reduce the damage done from his attacks, more players may feel they can just ignore those mechanics entirely.

    It's not black and white, for sure. I don't think it's perfect, but I also don't think it's as bad as the exaggerative rhetoric has sometimes been.

    LOVE the golem!! DON'T touch it! It did take a while for me to realize the mechanic, apparently because i tried it too early (like i had a ley line thingy on me from the previous part, and used it right away with no apparent result, which threw me off for like 50% of the fight), maybe that's a issue, but overall it was a nice fight. Even without using the mechanic, it just makes the fight a bit longer, not really harder.

  • Drarnor Kunoram.5180Drarnor Kunoram.5180 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Warscythes.9307 said:

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I'm genuinely curious: Why do you consider the main projectile attack frustrating? Often times, in boss encounters, the name of the game is plan, execute, observe, learn, repeat, and that interaction is what makes success so sweet to obtain.

    With that in mind, what makes the situation you described above painful, rather than rewarding?

    Not that guy, but I consider the revive mechanic that has been appearing more and more to be an issue.

    I understand it is suppose to be a catch up mechanic for the bad players, however I don't think it actually helps them and does nothing but worsen the experience for every one. Ideally you want the mechanic to help the players progress, however what revive does is basically force the player to die over and over again doing a couple hp percentage at a time because they are not really getting better and the mechanic is not helping them. All it does is take away the tension from everyone.

    I think a better option would be a some sort of stat stacking buff upon death. Say call it determination that gives a flat 5-10% boost to literally everything. Die again? Get another 10% and it increases upon a certain amount. You are never going to magically make the players better in 20 minutes, but you can force to literally make the characters better with stat buffs. This way it keeps the tension in because you can still technically fail, but players will be eventually able to beat it by themselves. Good players will do it with 0 to 1 death, some will do it with 2-4 and others can do it with 10 or more death. Maybe add a check point somewhere so fights don't get too dragged out. The result is still going to be the same but the experience will not be cheapened anymore.

    Difficulty slider is harder to implement, but I think this sounds feasible. What do you think?

    I think a better idea would be a checkpoint system. You can completely fail the boss, but have a checkpoint to rapidly start again right before the boss. You may fail over and over again, but you would be able to immedietly try again and think about what it is you're doing wrong. You may keep failing, but you have the opportunity to learn.

    Plague Signet is the only skill in the game that is worse when traited.

  • Zet.9130Zet.9130 Member ✭✭

    Adrian - I did the Golem on 3/13. Didn't pick up on several of the "special" attack features. But slogged on then realized that I needed to disable the support drones. Finished with the support drones or so I thought, they no longer appeared. The Charr then gave unlimited leyline attacks and I wailed away with the Golem's health going down incredibly slow. After a fight of 30+ minutes the Golem finally reached 10% health and then just stood there. I freaked out, cursed the game and had a bit of a hissy fit. Went got a drink of water and I stared at the screen. Possibly 3-5 minutes went by, I remember going back to the computer and the Golem just stood there. I sat down to reboot and a drone pops up with 2% health. I hit it once or twice and completed the event/mission. I certainly hope that that is a bug and not a feature.

    ATM I play a MM Scourge I do mostly PvE and it has served me well. First and foremost you need to know it was not fun. I play this game for enjoyment and this wasn't enjoyable. Second I wish to all the gods Anet would quit trying to make all professions mele players. Not all players have the "I gots a big o'le sowrd" mentality. And yeah after spending 30+ intimate minutes with that Golem I'm still not sure of all his "special" features. It may be unique and clever content but it wasn't fun for me.

  • Warscythes.9307Warscythes.9307 Member ✭✭✭

    @Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:

    @Warscythes.9307 said:

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I'm genuinely curious: Why do you consider the main projectile attack frustrating? Often times, in boss encounters, the name of the game is plan, execute, observe, learn, repeat, and that interaction is what makes success so sweet to obtain.

    With that in mind, what makes the situation you described above painful, rather than rewarding?

    Not that guy, but I consider the revive mechanic that has been appearing more and more to be an issue.

    I understand it is suppose to be a catch up mechanic for the bad players, however I don't think it actually helps them and does nothing but worsen the experience for every one. Ideally you want the mechanic to help the players progress, however what revive does is basically force the player to die over and over again doing a couple hp percentage at a time because they are not really getting better and the mechanic is not helping them. All it does is take away the tension from everyone.

    I think a better option would be a some sort of stat stacking buff upon death. Say call it determination that gives a flat 5-10% boost to literally everything. Die again? Get another 10% and it increases upon a certain amount. You are never going to magically make the players better in 20 minutes, but you can force to literally make the characters better with stat buffs. This way it keeps the tension in because you can still technically fail, but players will be eventually able to beat it by themselves. Good players will do it with 0 to 1 death, some will do it with 2-4 and others can do it with 10 or more death. Maybe add a check point somewhere so fights don't get too dragged out. The result is still going to be the same but the experience will not be cheapened anymore.

    Difficulty slider is harder to implement, but I think this sounds feasible. What do you think?

    I think a better idea would be a checkpoint system. You can completely fail the boss, but have a checkpoint to rapidly start again right before the boss. You may fail over and over again, but you would be able to immedietly try again and think about what it is you're doing wrong. You may keep failing, but you have the opportunity to learn.

    The issue I think is I think you vastly underestimate how bad some players are. I very much doubt people will suddenly learn how the game works in 30 minutes if all they do is die, revive, zerg the boss without paying attention to anything. So having a stat buff is basically catering to a certain point, as long as you cap it somewhere reasonable then I think it should be an ok compromise.

    This game is a bit weird. On one hand it is incredibly accessible and encourages cooperation among players so it attracts a lot of players who basically want to treat the game like a visual novel. On the other hand the combat system and skill building makes the game more difficult just by design. You can't make a golem boss that stand still and do auto attacks when every character has 2 invul frames as a baseline.

    So for those players, I think having a bit more than checkpoint is ok.

  • Rufo.3716Rufo.3716 Member ✭✭✭

    I mostly PvP but I do like to do the story quests and open up the new maps and all. I did find this newest episode very frustrating with all the puzzles. The golem fight was very annoying. I don't care for all these advanced mechanics to take down a boss. Leave those for people who raid. I just want to get in there and use my combat skills to kill something, not have to run around and click this thing here, then go kill this minor mob over there. I'd rather plan for attacks and avoid have to avoid said attack, then go back to whacking on the thing.

  • Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:
    I think a better idea would be a checkpoint system. You can completely fail the boss, but have a checkpoint to rapidly start again right before the boss. You may fail over and over again, but you would be able to immediately try again and think about what it is you're doing wrong. You may keep failing, but you have the opportunity to learn.

    They did this in the attack on the Pale Tree. Each death just popped you back to the edge of the platform, still very much in the fight. I remember my first time in there well. It involved over 45 minutes, getting stripped nude, and shouting obscenities at the monitor "JUST F'G DIE" with my husband asking mildly behind me "What did -I- do?" :) And I loved it, actually, since I have an occasional craving to chew glass. Downing that horror felt so good. (For the record, I was on a thief, had no pre-knowledge of the fight, and seldom cuss, for I save cussing for special occasions that need the emphasis. This needed it).

    But that's a bit much to ask people to do as a regular part of experiencing the story.

  • I found the Golem boss tedious and boring.
    I probably do not know what all the special mechanics are.
    The leyline attack did not work about half the time -- did nothing, then I had to start over, collect more charges, try again.
    I could have done a better job of staying close to him so that the range attack didn't hurt me.
    But after realizing the revive mechanic meant I could not die, and there was no penalty, I stopped caring. Just keep slogging through until all those hit points were gone.
    @Drarnor Kunoram.5180 suggestion of an actual penalty with checkpoint would be better.
    It also took me a short while to realize at the end that it was time to make a direct attack.

    I find that these large boss encounters tend to be very tedious and rarely fun. Some of the elites out in the open
    world are far more interesting. I guess it must be fun to design these grand, spectacular and wicked bosses, but when the mechanics
    fail, the boss is simply difficult due to too many hit points, there's no penalty for failing, what's really the point of playing against it?

    I would rather meet up against a series of elites or easy champions. There are still mechanics to learn and certain techniques to use.
    I suppose that may be too easy for the better players.

  • FrizzFreston.5290FrizzFreston.5290 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @FogLeg.9354 said:
    I am afraid this has already turned into usual "learn to play, noob" thread, which just means people having trouble with bosses will quit the game. But thanks for taking time to put down some answers, Cameron.

    I have to comment you on those questions though, and on Camerons answers, they both are very good and are pretty in depth as well.
    It's clearly that the picture Cameron is painting is mostly that it's a very polarizing subject because it's ultimately so subjective it's hard to get the balance just right. It's both "learn to play noob" as well as, what are the pain-points that don't just "make it easier because it sucks". Not that either site is wrong or right, more that where the hell in this do you get the right balance.

  • NovaFlame.3964NovaFlame.3964 Member
    edited March 15, 2018

    I'd like to add another voice of positive feedback about the golem. It iterated and expanded on mechanics introduced earlier in the instance, in what I thought was a rather intuitive way. Its attacks didn't feel particularly punishing (though admittedly, I didn't try to range the boss), but they also weren't completely ignorable like some bosses elsewhere in the game. It was a dramatic, engaging, and entertaining fight. I thoroughly enjoyed the encounter's premise and mechanics, and thought the difficulty balance was in a decent spot - perhaps easier than some veterans would like, and harder than what some other players might prefer, but striking a decent balance between the two. I'd love to see similarly mechanics-oriented fights in the future.

  • Healix.5819Healix.5819 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Giving players an easy mode could be as simple as giving them boons, rather than actually changing anything. If it was possible to create a item that could only be used in story instances for example, it could offer something like a 50% damage reduction, regeneration and a damage boost. It could even work like a pet that acted as support (and repair), which they could sell skins for. The problem however is that this could quickly turn into the default, so to prevent that, its effectiveness could be based on the play time and number of deaths. They could also disable the achievements, which they'd also need to do for groups.

    As for players failing over the mechanics, show tips when they die or after a set amount of time. It also need to be really obvious, just look at season 3 where the NPCs practically explained the bloodstone and some people still couldn't figure it out.

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    If you stand under the boss during its shield phase, it will do an AoE to kill you, which has the benefit of stopping it attacks for several seconds. How the boss prioritizes it attacks seems to be very buggy however, so it may actually never do it, whereas sometimes it spams it (the one time I had a pet).

    You also don't need to stand under it to avoid it. Anywhere between the center and the middle between the center and outer edge is safe, since it's actually shooting to your sides in a > pattern, with one arm then the next. When you get hit, it's actually because you ran into it, rather than it shooting at you.

  • Quarktastic.1027Quarktastic.1027 Member ✭✭✭

    My biggest gripe with the golem boss was that condition builds are particularly bad at killing it. The energy core takes increased power damage, but not condition damage. It took me nearly 5 shield phases to finally get the boss to the final phase (25% health) with my raid specced condi renegade. My dragonhunter in mismatched power gear likely would have gotten it in 2 phases or less, had I not accidentally instakilled the boss by throwing up a wall of reflection.

  • Malediktus.9250Malediktus.9250 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    What kind of adjustments would you expect?

    There's been some negative feedback to that boss, but we've also seen a lot of positive feedback as well. It's just not as loud as the negative (which is almost always the case in these situations).

    I'm personally pretty happy with the balance of the fight, bar a few bugs here and there that need to / have been ironed out.

    I've seen players struggle with the encounter when not completing it correctly, and I've also seen a single player take him down in under 60 seconds (without cheesing him at all). If we nerf his health, more players may take him down without feeling any challenge from the encounter's mechanics (as they wouldn't see them). If we reduce the damage done from his attacks, more players may feel they can just ignore those mechanics entirely.

    It's not black and white, for sure. I don't think it's perfect, but I also don't think it's as bad as the exaggerative rhetoric has sometimes been.

    I feel like the golem just had the right amount of difficulty for a story instance. Only the free rezzes from the NPCs felt weird?

  • @Cameron Rich.3905 said:

    @JayMack.8295 said:
    I understand why that boss is annoying until you discover its mechanics, but once you do, what's so difficult about it?

    I think the biggest issue with it is it has an attack that ONLY hits you from range, but that's never really explained anywhere other than experimenting. I had no idea its bouncy ball attack COULDN'T hit you if you were under it until 3 quarters of the way through. THAT made it frustrating, but once I figured it out, it was no harder than any other boss.

    I absolutely think the attacks for that boss are poorly executed, i.e. the aforementioned ranged bouncy ball attack, but other than that, everything you need to beat it is taught to you in the lead up with Braham escorting the cubs.

    I'm genuinely curious: Why do you consider the main projectile attack frustrating? Often times, in boss encounters, the name of the game is plan, execute, observe, learn, repeat, and that interaction is what makes success so sweet to obtain.

    With that in mind, what makes the situation you described above painful, rather than rewarding?

    I found this frustrating because I brought a full melee spellbreaker (to get used to it for raids) with no defensive utils and minimal sustain, rapidly realised that was a big mistake here, tried to reset the fight to switch out build and had a "helpful" npc insist I stay alive :lol:

    It wasn't a huge deal, but for me having a way to actually reset would've allowed me to complete the loop you describe.

  • Aidda.8027Aidda.8027 Member ✭✭

    Fighting aside (because you can always take forever no armor doing a few percentages at a time if it is really bad) traps need to be skippable. Either an NPC that completes it or like in this up with you in the golem suit and the color traps you fail twice and it moves on. I made enough money porting people in one of the puzzles to make a legendary.

    @Healix.5819 said:

    As for players failing over the mechanics, show tips when they die or after a set amount of time. It also need to be really obvious, just look at season 3 where the NPCs practically explained the bloodstone and some people still couldn't figure it out.

    Sometimes these instructions come way too late and it could have been easier. In this golem fight, having the energy special action keyway before made sense and I hope in the future boss fights there are breadcrumbs like this.

  • @Randulf.7614 said:
    Given the large amount of negative feedback about the Golem boss in episode 2, could we see some adjustments to this boss coming?

    What negative feedback? The boss is perfect whats wrong with it?

  • Shirlias.8104Shirlias.8104 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Talking about difficulty, what's your target and eventually what are the reasons which let you reconsider a specific encounter difficulty?

    To make an example, the "Eater of Souls" fight.
    Why did you decide to nerf it?

    • Wasn't it tested before PoF release?
    • Becuase of the large number of complaints about the fight?
  • Raizel.8175Raizel.8175 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @ReaverKane.7598 said:

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    What kind of adjustments would you expect?

    There's been some negative feedback to that boss, but we've also seen a lot of positive feedback as well. It's just not as loud as the negative (which is almost always the case in these situations).

    I'm personally pretty happy with the balance of the fight, bar a few bugs here and there that need to / have been ironed out.

    I've seen players struggle with the encounter when not completing it correctly, and I've also seen a single player take him down in under 60 seconds (without cheesing him at all). If we nerf his health, more players may take him down without feeling any challenge from the encounter's mechanics (as they wouldn't see them). If we reduce the damage done from his attacks, more players may feel they can just ignore those mechanics entirely.

    It's not black and white, for sure. I don't think it's perfect, but I also don't think it's as bad as the exaggerative rhetoric has sometimes been.

    LOVE the golem!! DON'T touch it! It did take a while for me to realize the mechanic, apparently because i tried it too early (like i had a ley line thingy on me from the previous part, and used it right away with no apparent result, which threw me off for like 50% of the fight), maybe that's a issue, but overall it was a nice fight. Even without using the mechanic, it just makes the fight a bit longer, not really harder.

    I second this. The golem was ok; only the reaction time for the bouncy ball attack felt somewhat short, though that could've been my shortcoming since I did the episode after a stressful day of work. Actually I'd like to have some more difficulty-diversity both in story- and in OW-content. It's a game and not some sort of interactive movie.

  • CptAurellian.9537CptAurellian.9537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    To me, the golem wasn't particularly exciting. The small golem mechanic was obvious from the previous enemies, so in the end it wasn't so much more than an oversized dummy golem that sometimes tries to hit back.

    Praise delta!

  • mindcircus.1506mindcircus.1506 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Malediktus.9250 said:
    I feel like the golem just had the right amount of difficulty for a story instance. Only the free rezzes from the NPCs felt weird?

    I couldn't agree more here.
    The free rezzes from NPCs gutted the challenge and took away any sense of accomplishment I felt beating the encounter.

  • I will give my opinion, it is very easy to play solo, I enjoyed facing balthazar which was a very good challenge as well as that soul eater and the stories of HOT, but you guys from the arena are making the game a lot easier and letting players accustomed to only tighten 1 and lazy to use dodge, block and other skills ..... this last story practically almost did not die, only in the part of the robot that invaded the tribe, to fall at most 2 times .... has to make the game more difficult in general? people need to learn to have skill with the classes and to face challenges, I use the same build for PVE, PVP and WVW and I do not see these difficulties all in PVE even with Build for PVP, even the initial stories of guild players wars 2 seems more difficult than the current

    Excuse my english

  • otto.5684otto.5684 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 16, 2018

    @Cameron Rich.3905 said:
    What kind of adjustments would you expect?

    There's been some negative feedback to that boss, but we've also seen a lot of positive feedback as well. It's just not as loud as the negative (which is almost always the case in these situations).

    I'm personally pretty happy with the balance of the fight, bar a few bugs here and there that need to / have been ironed out.

    I've seen players struggle with the encounter when not completing it correctly, and I've also seen a single player take him down in under 60 seconds (without cheesing him at all). If we nerf his health, more players may take him down without feeling any challenge from the encounter's mechanics (as they wouldn't see them). If we reduce the damage done from his attacks, more players may feel they can just ignore those mechanics entirely.

    It's not black and white, for sure. I don't think it's perfect, but I also don't think it's as bad as the exaggerative rhetoric has sometimes been.

    I do not think difficulty is the primary issue, but some of the bosses where terribly designed. This surely my point of view, but the general feedback tend to be similar. To give you and idea as well, I am someone who primarily PvPs and can solo vast majority of open world champions. I am not the most skilled, but no beginner by any means, and I have preference for difficult solo PvE encounters.

    Example of good encounter, first fight with Balthazar. Constant engagement, the boss does not become invulnerable and no cheesy mechanics. You need to dodge/block/evade, and you need to time it correctly. The visual ques are clear. I think that Mordermoth fight is the best solo story designed in the game. It is difficult, but no cheesy mechanics. There are mechanics, but they are clear and they do not suffocate the fight.

    Example of bad encounter (and there have been many as of late) is eater of souls. I defeated the boss first time before nerf, but the fight was just lame. Mostly unavoidable mechanics. I was just able to beat it through brute strength (skill + gear), but I know most people struggled with it, because it did not take in consideration the variance in skill levels. Another example of bad fight is Scruffy at the end of LS4 Epis 1. Wholly kitten, that was terrible. Gimmicky mechanics, extremely long fight. Too much visual clutter. The vast majority of the area covered in red circles. And if you get downed someone revives you. This removes any tension from the fight. This is becoming a trend lately. You get downed easily, because the boss either does mega unavoidable damage or the fighting area gets covered in million red circles. And when you are downed you are instantly revived. How is that fun?!

    To summarize:
    1. No extremely long fights.
    2. No vague or unclear mechanics, which results in unnecessarily long fight.
    3. No visual clutter.
    4. No million red circles.
    5. No unavoidable mechanics.
    6. No revival.

    There has been much of the above in PoF and LS4 in particular.

    And lastly, reminder, story content is supposed to appeal to everyone. It does not and should not be easy. At the same time, the difficulty and the mechanics should be straight forward enough that a 6th grader can understand them and progress through the story, without the boss fights/mechanics become a boring time sink.

    TL;dr version: If the boss encounter lasts for the average player more than 3 minutes, then it was not designed correctly.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Chakchakheaven.8761 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    Given the large amount of negative feedback about the Golem boss in episode 2, could we see some adjustments to this boss coming?

    What negative feedback? The boss is perfect whats wrong with it?

    I linked further down one of the threads that fed back on it. There were a few plus Reddit threads as well and many in game comments unhappy about the boss.

    I of course appreciate there will be some players who liked it

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Rauderi.8706Rauderi.8706 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Specific to the golem fight, about the only issue I had that made it worthy of breaking my keyboard was the way that one of the AoE attacks spawned. (Maybe the "bouncy ball"?) It was the projectile that would start about 300-450ish away from the golem and then travel. Very painful and utterly obnoxious to try to dodge, partially because there was seemingly no delay in it appearing and suddenly ripping 1/3 of my HP per tick.
    Otherwise, the fight was fairly standard puzzle boss faire. Though, even with swiftness, I doubt I'm getting the 3-minute achievement without help due to the way the golems are spread out.

    At least that particular fight wasn't the usual mouse-throwing CC-fest we've gotten used to!

    Many alts! Handle it!

    "A condescending answer might as well not be an answer at all."
    -Eloc Freidon.5692

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