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Difficulty in final POF fights


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Hello.

I just want to say that those last two story fights (against the Beast and the God) are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY difficult! In both of them, I died enough times to have 3 pieces of my armor completely break (thank God it reset between or I would have been fighting Balthazar naked).

Some comments:

Getting to the beast : it was rather difficult to figure out the correct path. I eventually did but not before dying a few times because I fell in the blue stuff. Also needing to clear all the mobs near each of the shield was tough as I was playing as a Soulbeast with LB and D/WH thus have next to no aoe abilities.

The beast itself : thank god for my pet. Standing under it one shot me a couple of times. I don't think it is possible to actually hit it with the sword so I was switching to LB so I could kite all the dogs. Something kept pulling me underneath it. There were periods where half the room got baked in fire that if I didn't move out of instantly, it would oneshot me. The beast survived at 0 health in its bar for a long time (two more deaths for me) before it eventually fell over.

Then with no break, my armor is restored and I'm fighting the war god.

Once again, don't really see how you can use the sword due to the frequency and size of his attacks. I switched to LB and kited around the edge of the circle to bring him down at first. Then Aurene shows up and he bubbles and goes to the middle. It is not immediately clear what I am supposed to do to "attack together". I try standing on Aurene, clicking on her. Effect goes off, several more deaths. Eventually I notice the small blue circle on the other side of Balth and stand there and get the breaking attack.

Then Aurene gets in the fight. I resume kiting with LB with the hounds chasing me. I try to get the bubbles that Aurene has put in the room. Whenever she goes to share her power, it is next to impossible to find the place to stand to get it so that rarely helped. Then he began trapping her when he went into his ultimate. I switch back to the sword and managed to break the chain while the dogs chomped at me and get to the spot to break the ultimate.

By the last 20%, I was about done with this. I switched back to sword as my armor began breaking and just jammed abilities on him as I died over and over. I knew if I went down it would be back to check point.

I eventually did it. I'm glad that I did. But I just want to say that those were really really really hard fights if you don't have instant, perfect reaction speed. There were a couple of times where the pattern was "oh an aoe is under me" but before I could get my hand to the dodge key, I was already down and dead. The only thing that seemed to work for dodging was when I was kiting around the circle with LB.

So kudos to Anet for putting two terrifically difficult fight in the story mode. It really was some of the toughest content I have ever faced.

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I think it was refreshing to have a tiny bit of difficulty in story instances. I usually almost fall asleep during them because both the fights and story are so boring.

It isn't you as in "it's all because of you". It's the game design and the team that decides them combined with your choice in profession/skills/skill at gaming as a dynamic whole. I wonder if they test every profession in their scenarios with different builds. I doubt it, or they do so with high performance players who know how to tweak their characters to death. They may even have software that tells them where and what works best. I'll give you an example of bad game design; Season 3, raiding a certain Minister's house. It's a solo instance, but cut into many separate areas filled with a ton of enemies or ridiculous magical nonsense that is there NOT as part of good story-telling, but to simply ramp up for certain professions (come what may for other professions) and to simply confuse. It was very much like a raid. Not a solo instance. A raid.

Is it you? Sure. Is it the devs who designed the thing? Yes. Is it a dynamic hodgepodge that ought to be critiqued? Definitely.

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I think in these fights you really want to use the sword as much as possible. It's amazing. It may be intimidating to go into melee range against the beast and Balthazar but once you learn their attacks you can avoid them most of the time while still dealing a ton of damage with the sword. And if you use the sword a lot you can swap to a more defensive build and let the sword do most of the work.

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On first paythrough (daredevil), no idea what I was going into. Staff as main, p/p as secondary set. Full zerk (with IP for sustain). Things I learned:

 

Sohothin can not score critical hits, making it on my build extremely suboptimal, in both wasted crit chance, ferocity and making IP useless.

The Beast for the first part of the fight will never attack back corners. So you can sit in the back corner and pew pew with only a single dog occasionally aggoring you. Then the Beast will start backing out in the corner and doing massive AE on the other side of the map. Simply move with it and stand under it during this as he is invulnerable and does not perform any other attacks. The last part is a bit of a mess because you need to move around a lot more, but by then you should know the non-crystal attacks fairly well. Overall I found Beast to be long and relatively boring once I figured it out.

For Balthazaar I went for achieve, so did not use Sohothin at all and simply shot him with p/p until he flopped over. Here my build was actually quite good as it both provided a lot of healing from IP, and had reasonable damage and good mobility.Using Aurene's invulnerability circle is helpful as it provides you with enough respite to recover from the damage you will likely take regardless, while allowing to continue doing ranged damage yourself.Overall I found Balthazaar fight to be a lot more chaotic and fun than the Beast.

As a summary, if you are running a PVT build, I'd stick with Sohothin as main source of damage. For zerk builds you need to figure out where you can get sustain for Balthazaar gight, and be careful during the Beast. Having ranged set is a big plus - I am sure this can be done with melee, but on the first try I ended up taking too much damage every time I tried to melee, so went with safe method instead.

 

My only complaint about the last instance was its length. Beast had some enormous DR, I am thinking that condi build might be able to melt him much much faster if its just high toughness issue.

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@Malediktus.9250 said:I think it was refreshing to have a tiny bit of difficulty in story instances. I usually almost fall asleep during them because both the fights and story are so boring.

Agreed. I found the difficulty at just the right level. It doesn't kill you too quickly to learn the mechanics (I did get one-shot under the Beast, but I rallied easily thanks to weak trash mobs), but if you don't adapt your strategy, you will not succeed.

The only thing I can really criticize in the fight was it assumed you had played Season 3 to know the interaction with Aurene, and not everyone playing PoF has that option. It can be figured out, sure, but it's not explained at all. I loved the call back strategy, as it felt rewarding to those who have played the LS episode in question, but it probably should have been optional overall.

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@Drarnor Kunoram.5180 said:Agreed. I found the difficulty at just the right level. It doesn't kill you too quickly to learn the mechanics (I did get one-shot under the Beast, but I rallied easily thanks to weak trash mobs), but if you don't adapt your strategy, you will not succeed.What was your strategy for killing the Warbeast? For me it was much more difficult than the final Balthazar fight, and I took me a lot of deaths and respawn zerging before I finally killed it.

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The sword deals far more damage to the warbeast than your weapons or skills. Balthazar I felt became easier when I stopped using the sword. The only time I died to the warbeast was when a veteran cannonade feared me into the flame barrier around the edge of the arena...which happened more than once. I wouldn't mind if anet toned down the duration on that fear.

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I think the last fight against Balthazar was a reason to rage-quit the game - almost. I just gave up trying to do anything. I'd die, re-spawn, target him, click 2 to charge, and then any other ability that was active before I died again. Oh, and when he went into that shield that makes him invulnerable, how are you supposed to even get to him? I saw people getting in and damaging him on you tube videos, but I tried every ability I had and couldn't do it. I just gave up and accepted dying every sixty seconds and just charging in over and over and over and attritoning him to death. Worst fight I've seen in this game. Awful. I read about the "stand on this bubble to coordinate your attack with Aurene". Tried that, most of the time it didn't activate. I did get it to activate - twice? Dodging, seemingly disabled, as it was seemingly disabled in most of the personal story. In an earlier fight I dodged someones attack, my character rolled outta the way before they popped it, and when the did pop it, it "magically" pulled me back into the area of affect. Oh, that seems fair. :# Some real messed-up mechanics. PoF has been fun, but that last fight in the Personal Story was just torture.

And I know, someone's gonna read this and say "get good noob, hur hur hur". Why not explain what I did wrong instead? I haven't seen one youtube video yet where someone is doing the fight, beating Balthazar, and explaining what they're doing.

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@"Shauma.5470" said:I think the last fight against Balthazar was a reason to rage-quit the game - almost. I just gave up trying to do anything. I'd die, re-spawn, target him, click 2 to charge, and then any other ability that was active before I died again. Oh, and when he went into that shield that makes him invulnerable, how are you supposed to even get to him? I saw people getting in and damaging him on you tube videos, but I tried every ability I had and couldn't do it. I just gave up and accepted dying every sixty seconds and just charging in over and over and over and attritoning him to death. Worst fight I've seen in this game. Awful. I read about the "stand on this bubble to coordinate your attack with Aurene". Tried that, most of the time it didn't activate. I did get it to activate - twice? Dodging, seemingly disabled, as it was seemingly disabled in most of the personal story. In an earlier fight I dodged someones attack, my character rolled outta the way before they popped it, and when the did pop it, it "magically" pulled me back into the area of affect. Oh, that seems fair. :# Some real messed-up mechanics. PoF has been fun, but that last fight in the Personal Story was just torture.

And I know, someone's gonna read this and say "get good noob, hur hur hur". Why not explain what I did wrong instead? I haven't seen one youtube video yet where someone is doing the fight, beating Balthazar, and explaining what they're doing.

Maybe cause there isnt much to explain? I killed him first try without a death. Mostly you just need to watch out for your positioning. Otherwise i think the Aurenepart was a special action key inside the circle. For more i have to replay the mission since it has been a while.

The fight is good cause you cant just hammer him down with aa. Would be bad Otherwise since, well he is a fallen god? He isnt by far as though as a fractal or raidboss. If he is so hard for you though, why dont you ask for help? Storycontent is not Solocontent. You can always be in a 5 mengroup if needed.

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Much of the previous answer gives suggestions about how complete this story instance. I’m not here to say “get good” or “L2p” but the devs have already stated that some ppl can deal 500% more damage than others, so the gap between players skills is quite large. I can say that me, a simple average player have beaten Balthazar with every profession, some times dying more than others when playing with my least used char, but is quite doable with every class. Maybe u can’t pretend to finish some instances without first learning their mechanics, and make some practice.

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@Shauma.5470 said:Oh, and when he went into that shield that makes him invulnerable, how are you supposed to even get to him?

When he get into a shield, aurene will be chained somewhere near him, with a big red arrow on top of her. Break her chain with any weapon skill and stand on the green circle near Balthazar then use your special action skill. This will break his shield and resume combat.It's the same mechanic as in Precocious Aurene from LS3 A Crack in The Ice where you fight a modrem boss together.

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If you avoid the AoE (standing in between fields, dodging etc.), pick up the health barrier bubbles when needed, and do decent damage (and save the two most important sword skills for the right time), then this is rather an easy fight, actually.

As for the correct route: after doing it once or twice, you should know the correct path by heart, especially since there are arrows on the mini map that give you directions. ;)

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@Quarktastic.1027 said:The sword deals far more damage to the warbeast than your weapons or skills. Balthazar I felt became easier when I stopped using the sword. The only time I died to the warbeast was when a veteran cannonade feared me into the flame barrier around the edge of the arena...which happened more than once. I wouldn't mind if anet toned down the duration on that fear.

Re-stating this for effect. Sword is good at the beast, my normal weapon was far superior for Balth.

I personally hate swapped weapon skill bars on story fights...

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Well I actually felt that things got easier when I got that sword for the last two quests because it felt like I was finally making a dent in things, so for me the two last bosses were actually easier than the bosses before that. The fights still take too long, but I found them relatively easy compared to some of the other bosses.

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@Mirdave.2014 said:Much of the previous answer gives suggestions about how complete this story instance. I’m not here to say “get good” or “L2p” but the devs have already stated that some ppl can deal 500% more damage than others, so the gap between players skills is quite large. I can say that me, a simple average player have beaten Balthazar with every profession, some times dying more than others when playing with my least used char, but is quite doable with every class. Maybe u can’t pretend to finish some instances without first learning their mechanics, and make some practice.

I think that if the difference is that big, then there is an issue with the combat system. What I mean is that it's clearly not well adjusted to the player base if the differences are that big and that also makes it very tricky to make content that appeals to such a wide range of players.

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I did all of PoF's story on a core (no elite specs) Shortbow Ranger first and didn't have any problems, even though I had no elite spec or Viper's gear to maximize my character's potential. I personally found the difficulty exciting as it ended up rather beneficial to take advantage of a multitude of my class's abilities to excel instead of just afk spamming 1 the entire time like you can in the personal story. You really shouldn't have any problems if you're in exotic+ gear and position/dodge intelligently on any class when fighting Balthazar.

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@"Shauma.5470" said:I think the last fight against Balthazar was a reason to rage-quit the game - almost. I just gave up trying to do anything. I'd die, re-spawn, target him, click 2 to charge, and then any other ability that was active before I died again. Oh, and when he went into that shield that makes him invulnerable, how are you supposed to even get to him? I saw people getting in and damaging him on you tube videos, but I tried every ability I had and couldn't do it. I just gave up and accepted dying every sixty seconds and just charging in over and over and over and attritoning him to death. Worst fight I've seen in this game. Awful. I read about the "stand on this bubble to coordinate your attack with Aurene". Tried that, most of the time it didn't activate. I did get it to activate - twice? Dodging, seemingly disabled, as it was seemingly disabled in most of the personal story. In an earlier fight I dodged someones attack, my character rolled outta the way before they popped it, and when the did pop it, it "magically" pulled me back into the area of affect. Oh, that seems fair. :# Some real messed-up mechanics. PoF has been fun, but that last fight in the Personal Story was just torture.

And I know, someone's gonna read this and say "get good noob, hur hur hur". Why not explain what I did wrong instead? I haven't seen one youtube video yet where someone is doing the fight, beating Balthazar, and explaining what they're doing.

Sure. If you're the sort of player who "rage quits" when they can't defeat an enemy in a video game the very first time they encounter it. I like to think most players have a little more patience than that.

In answer to your question, I expect players aren't explaining the mechanics in their videos because they are very straightforward and you are prompted during the fight on what to do. When Balthazar goes into his bubble, you're supposed to coordinate an attack with Aurene. You do this by standing in the blue circle that appears opposite Aurene, on the other side of Balthazar's bubble. You probably need to use a special action or interact to activate it when it becomes available. If Aurene is chained up, you need to break her out first, then get to the blue circle. The rest is a standard fight: kill the bad guy and don't stand in fire.

It sounds to me like you just need to temper your expectations. So, you struggled with a fight the first time through because you couldn't figure out what to do? So what? That's normal! And you still managed to complete the encounter somehow! Failed a dodge because it was your first time encountering an attack and you dodged too early? Again, so what? Timing dodges takes practice. It's supposed to work that way!

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