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strike mission encounter concepts

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One of the main disadvantages of the game compared to its competitors is the limited amount of repayable challenging content. However, with the limited resources of arenanet, prioritization of new instance content development is very risky since only a fraction of the playerbase engage with it (the reasons why are a discussion for another time). This is where strike missions shine as they cut down resources by reusing already existing models and animations, something that’s somewhat acceptable and unimportant in strikes but not so much in other contents such as fractals or raids. Ever since their inception, I’ve seen many prayers suggesting certain already existing encounters to be repurposed as strikes. Yet, this is much easier said than done as many encounters wouldn’t make for a very engaging fight in their existing state. So, I’ve decided to challenge myself to come up with a redesign of such encounter. I am well aware that this is just a simple exercise in creativity of a bored veteran and hopefully this will be entertaining and interesting to read.

So, to make it more challenging I set certain limitations:

  1. The encounter will use existing assets in the game
  2. The encounter will primarily use existing mechanics in the game
  3. The encounter must have a challenge mode and a legendary mode
  4. The encounter must be distinct from previous fights
  5. The boss attacks and mechanics must fit with the theme of the encounter
  6. The boss attacks need to be compatible with existing animations

With that being said I present the first concept the mouth of Zhaitan:

General mechanics:

The fight take place in a circular arena on the hill where the mouth of Zhaitan is encountered in the arah story mode dungeon. The boss remains stationary in the center of the arena and its autoattacks are a shockwave slam and, depending on whether a player stands in close proximity, a cone strike attack or a spit aoe (similar to the golem in kaineng overlook strike mission). The fight starts with a player tethered to the boss with a 20 second timer (10 in challenge mode) appearing on top of them, when the timer expires, the boss consumes the player’s soul and they are instantly defeated. To save the player, the rest of the team need to simply break the breakbar. Once the bar is broken the boss will spit four AoEs to the tethered player’s location that corrupt boons. These AoEs will persist for the duration of the fight (https://imgur.com/VojrTmy). After the boss lands the last of these AoEs it will pull all the players towards the center, so the tethered player needs to be careful of their positioning during the last AoE drop as they might get pulled though it and corrupt their boons. This tethered mechanic repeats every 10% of boss’ heath.

Additionally, every 10% an eye of Zhaitan appears randomly in the arena (starting from 90% of the boss health), these eyes fire damaging projectiles that pressure the team. In challenge mode, once three eyes appear, a beam will connect two eyes every 10 seconds, soon after all three eyes are connected, a nuke explosion will down all players standing inside of the triangle formed by the beams connecting the eyes (https://imgur.com/6LBIIbn). Once the explosion is done, the beams are reset. The eyes can be pushed and pulled as long as they are not connected by all three beams. In legendary mode, all three eyes are present from the start of the fight and respawn after each phase. The eyes can be damaged but they have the “exploiter” unstable magic ability so they need to be attacked from close up. When their health reaches zero a green AoE appears, if a player stands in it, it prevents the eye from exploding and damaging the entire team, it also stuns the eye for 20 seconds and then the eye recovers 50% health. If the eye explodes, another one spawns immediately. In challenge mode players get the necrotic touch debuff from green AoE preventing them from repeating this mechanic. In the legendary mode, this green AoE also steals boons and for every three boons stolen, the boss gets empowerment.   

66%, 33% and 1% phases:

The mouth splits in three at designated locations and channels a nuke attack (https://imgur.com/mz0S2FK), to survive it you need to feed the eyes of Zhaitan to the split bosses. To do that the eyes need to be inside the white circle surrounding the split boss at 0% health and stunned from the green circle mechanic. In challenge mode after the eyes are fed to the boss, a large boon corrupting AoE will spawn in the place of the previous white circle. So, we have a puzzle! A total of 40 persisting boon corrupting AoEs will need to be placed strategically though out the fight and the boon stealing from the green AoE in the legendary mode has to be avoided somehow in order to successfully complete the phase mechanic.

I hoped you enjoy this concept and let me know your ideas or feedback. Again, this is just a fun exercise and nothing to be taken seriously. I already have many more encounter concepts so let me know if you also find this fun. Last image (https://imgur.com/MSND2UN) is the strategy for dealing with the encounter so spoilers if you want to come up with the solution yourselves.

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