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Feedback: Boss Battles Have Become Visually 'Messy'


Zola.6197
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Something that has been bothering me for a while since around the start of season three. I love GW2 and the storyline the devs work so hard on, but I'm getting a bit exhausted by the AoE/CC nightmare every boss battle seems to be. Sometimes these battles aren't necessarily as challenging as they feel like a slog designed specifically to annoy.

But more than that, my concern is that some of the more major battles have become so 'messy' with special effects that often times I have difficulty making sense of what I'm looking at, and what is currently happening. There's so much visual overload that I feel like chaos is overwhelming the experience of actually playing. Perhaps this is just a personal problem, but when so much is happening at once, sometimes I can't even see the red AoE rings or yellow AoE fields when the boss makes an attack. The final battle of PoF was particularly egregious for me. It wasn't difficult per se, but the final battle felt like a slog.

I wonder how epileptic players might handle the level of flash, rapid, constant effects happening, or if someone who is color blind could even get through battles like this.

Not sure if anyone feels similarly, but I feel like instead of making challenging/interesting combat the trend has become "lets throw down as much hell as possible so the player can't differentiate between what's happening and isn't happening to make the fight more difficult." I'd rather feel like I'm being beaten by a superior opponent than dying because I'm confused (or usually, the battle dragging on due to confusion).

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@"Svennis.3852" said:

I wonder how epileptic players might handle the level of flash, rapid, constant effects happening, or if someone who is color blind could even get through battles like this.

As an epileptic I think it depends on how well your seizures are controlled by medication(at least that is my personal opinion), knowing that mine are under control and that I've never had a light enduced seizure the effects don't bother me, nor do they cause me headaches or eye strain...but this just relates to me. Otherwise they visual effects don't bother me one bit...I'm usually to busy attacking to worry about what the enemy is doing, but then I'm ranged the vast majority of the time so I have less to worry about.

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Group bosses in GW2 have always been visually messy. I'll grant you, though, that once they introduced enemy AoE indicators, there is more going on. However, I find the enemy effects are not what bothers me. In fact, they make it a bit easier to avoid these attacks. What gets me is the player particle effects that ANet has deemed I cannot have a tool to reduce or eliminate, even though it would immensely improve game play for me. ANet said before launch they wanted people focused on what the enemy was doing, not on the UI -- then they make it a pain in the kitten for me to look at the enemy. I don't have epilepsy, but the technicolor dreamcoat each boss wears is enough to give me a headache intense enough that I stop playing if I do more than 2-3 in a row.

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They could fix it by setting up a smart system for staging down effects. They already disable minis during some events. They could hide wings, disable legendary effects, profession effects etc in stages as population density goes up. I wish the client had a option to hide back pieces and legendary effects from other players without killing my ability to see their outfits/armor. Lately it seems ANet assumes everyone has the latest high end Intel processor. GW2 never has been really friendly towards AMD processors.

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In some content, I change the graphics settings to "best performance". The game looks more cartoonish then but it gives me better framerates and I can see more of the fight. Without that, I can not do the ball duty in shattered observatory, it's simply not possible with my old computer.

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I agree whole-heartedly about the visual clutter. While I understand that bosses should be interesting and more than just hitting it until it's over, there has to be a way in-between. I'm not epilpetic but have the bad tendency to get lost in the visual chaos with too much flashy effects AND the boss itself going on at the same time (don't interpret it as a "nerf plz" thing, though). Of course, it's mostly my fault as well as I only play the LS/main story and nothing else so I have always a "skill" gap of months, but the last Baltazar fight was for me an effing mess despite the fitting atmosphere and all. Caucadeus felt rather harmless in comparison based on the two professions I played that part with.

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It should be a priority qol fix. Even if they cant fix it easily, steps to make bosses easier to fight need to be taken. Istans bosses for example should have been designed to try and limit numbers somehow - we have seen that HoT metas and Vinewrath work so much better than a single small boss.

The graphical detail improved with PoF, but unfortunately that is further exasperating the issue of fps loss as all these special effects fly off in a barrage of fireworks. Perhaps some auto culling of effects when more than 20 ppl in an area is in order

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@"Svennis.3852" said:LOL I just did the Warden Amalia fight and boy does that fight reaffirm my feelings here...

You mean the boss that confirms ANet's hatred of melee by making 80% of the fight about chasing her around?Yeeaahh...

And the CC barrage needs to stop. Not just in bosses (I'm generally okay with that), but with the minions.

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+10 here. We really could use an option to limit visual effects. If that's not possible with the engine then a reduction in flashes would be appreciated. Take mounts as an example. Is there really a purpose that mounting or dismounting mounts have to include a flash? And that's just one example. Agree with the OP, in any give boss fight there very little chance of seeing the fight due to the amount of visual bursts that are going on. Again please give players options in choosing which effects are seen. Its a beautiful game but not when its all washed out in light flashes.

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@TheGrimm.5624 said:+10 here. We really could use an option to limit visual effects. If that's not possible with the engine then a reduction in flashes would be appreciated. Take mounts as an example. Is there really a purpose that mounting or dismounting mounts have to include a flash? And that's just one example. Agree with the OP, in any give boss fight there very little chance of seeing the fight due to the amount of visual bursts that are going on. Again please give players options in choosing which effects are seen. Its a beautiful game but not when its all washed out in light flashes.

Yes, please. I don't really need to see a flash of light every time my thief's dagger hits something, or my ranger's arrow finds its target. That's just...silly. And that's only a very small example of extraneous visual effects. I got an instant nauseous headache in the Dragonbrand area, in Blazeridge Steppes. I'd really rather not go through the same with the Living Story episodes...a way to turn down/turn off flashing visual effects entirely would be so greatly appreciated.

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Sine the beginning of Guild Wars 2, Champions and Legendary monsters have always been drowned in a nimbus of particle effects, especially if there are Guardians around. The bigger the enemy model, the bigger the effects. Every enemy model could be substituted with a featureless potato and we would not be able to tell the difference anyway, seeing as they'll all be covered in blue fire, red fire, sparks, flashes, what-have-yous. It's become so bad that it negatively effects many encounters, especially ones that were designed around visual tells.

Honestly, I reckon ANet should just disable particle effects on Champion and Legendary enemies. I don't need a pointless visual cue on the enemy to tell me my Justice or Burn procs are running, for example.

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I wholeheartedly agree that the GFX overload is a major problem.

We're meant to read the boss' telegraphing to counter abilities and master the encounter mechanic. In my case the visual clutter too often prevents that. Either seeing through the sensory overload requires the better part of my concentration alone. Or I find myself unable to see the kittening boss npc in critical moments at all.My entirely subjective description would be "I'm fighting a firework inside a dense fog waft".

Maybe save-able graphic setting profiles we may switched on-the-fly could help. They'd best include an "Hide all particle FX" option.

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This issue is multifaceted.

There's the mechanics you miss, the AoEs you blindly walk into, the fights that become no fun.

There's the disturbing aesthetics, because this level of flash -- concerning skills and gear alike -- is hardly for everyone. I'm not even sure it's for the initial art directors of this game.

Then there's the health concerns. I have no idea how epileptics deal with any of this. As someone who suffers from frequent migraines, though, I can say this: Fights and story instances should not be migraine triggers, but they are. For me, this started with Hearts and Minds: That instance managed to down not only my character, but me as well.

However, I also understand. Flash sells.

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Whenever I partake in meta events/zergfests, I never see what I am actually fighting. I just stick with the mob and hit 1. When I'm certain that I did actually hit something, I start more damaging attacks. All the while I am surrounded by similar characters with only 3 sets of armor who regularly explode into lights, flashes, flames and bunnies so I'm pretty exhausted after an hour of Istan.

Summing up my experience, I greatly prefer Fractals. There at least, I can clearly see my squad mates instead of the default models.

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