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Ancient Pylons - Terrible Encounter Design

Sheridyn's Avatar


Sheridyn
01.13.2012 , 07:40 AM | #1
First of all, this isn't a thread about being stuck on the Ancient Pylons. This is a thread complaining that the encounter is a complete joke with a completely arbitrary solution. If this encounter was playtested, "LOL" is all I can say.

The solution to the encounter is simply to solve the pylons in the correct order. If you solve the Southern Pylon first for the first three rows, and then the Northern Pylon first on the last row, you will unlock the chest (SSSN). That's it, that's the solution. Nothing else in the encounter matters. How fast you kill the adds, how quickly you arrive at the solution to each row - all irrelevant.

When you arrive at the encounter, there is no indication that this is how the encounter works. There is no indication upon "failing" (having the consoles lock up) that you have made a mistake. I'm not even sure if it is a mistake or just shoddy coding. Regardless, having such an arbitrary solution makes the encounter a complete joke. Everyone is capable of killing this "boss" on 16-man Nightmare mode. Here's how:

(Optional) Work out the optimal solution to both pylons.
1. Take your entire raid of 16 players to the Southern Pylon.
2. Click one of the consoles once.
3. Kill all waves of adds - the adds from the Northern Pylon will not spawn yet so you have a full raid of 16 players to kill 3 elites or 1 champion. Needless to say this is really easy.
4. Once the adds stop spawning (after you get 2 champion colicoids) the entire raid can move to the Northern Pylon.
5. Click one of the Northern Pylon consoles. Kill all waves of adds again.
6. Everything is now dead, just solve both Pylons (remember the arbitrary S S S N).
7. Congratulations, you are now pro. Proceed to troll people on the forums who haven't worked out the completely arbitrary solution to the encounter.

The only mechanic you need to be aware of for these adds is that the melee adds use a skill called Force Barrier which puts a reflective shield on them. Interrupt this skill, and do not attack any that manage to cast the shield or you'll kill yourself very quickly (wait for the yellow/orange bubble around them to disappear).

Enjoy your free loot.

WakeXT's Avatar


WakeXT
01.13.2012 , 07:51 AM | #2
Not to mention that we got loads of loot of the Pylons, but only 2 items + 2 schematics of Gharj - erm, what? (both bosses are jokes even in Nightmare though).

Fumanchu_Fow's Avatar


Fumanchu_Fow
01.13.2012 , 09:09 AM | #3
We've been doing all south first and ever since it hasn't bugged out. It's a stupid fight because it provides no challenge even on nightmare. The only part that made it hard was figuring out the work around for their buggy content.

Farabee's Avatar


Farabee
01.13.2012 , 09:47 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by WakeXT View Post
Not to mention that we got loads of loot of the Pylons, but only 2 items + 2 schematics of Gharj - erm, what? (both bosses are jokes even in Nightmare though).
Eh, Gharj is pretty healing intensive and his tank damage is nasty. Plus his enrage timer is either really tight or a joke, it's completely random and depends on when he feels like starting the platform-stomp mechanic. We've had nights where we can burn him down to 64% before he does the initial stomp, at which point he's a joke because before that he does no damage and healers can help zerg him down.

However, Pylons are a joke no matter what mode you run on. Same with Infernal Council.
An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded. -Imperium proverb

Ascendant's Avatar


Ascendant
01.13.2012 , 10:15 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Farabee View Post
Eh, Gharj is pretty healing intensive and his tank damage is nasty. Plus his enrage timer is either really tight or a joke, it's completely random and depends on when he feels like starting the platform-stomp mechanic. We've had nights where we can burn him down to 64% before he does the initial stomp, at which point he's a joke because before that he does no damage and healers can help zerg him down.

However, Pylons are a joke no matter what mode you run on. Same with Infernal Council.
The Pylons on 16 are definitely a poorly designed encounter. A gimmick with no hints as to how to solve it, relying on sheer number of players banging their head against it until someone spills the beans, at which point the gimmick is no longer meaningful.

You can't create a puzzle based boss with a static solution. Even with no hints, it is eventually figured out, and once it is, the challenge is nullified.

The strategy people are using to beat the add spawns for Pylons on 16-man also just "feels" like an exploit rather than an actual working-as-intended strategy. Cheesing a fight never gives you that sense of accomplishment that a legit kill does, and this definitely feels cheesy.
<Proxy Jawas> OG
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Sheridyn's Avatar


Sheridyn
01.13.2012 , 10:20 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Ascendant View Post
The strategy people are using to beat the add spawns for Pylons on 16-man also just "feels" like an exploit rather than an actual working-as-intended strategy. Cheesing a fight never gives you that sense of accomplishment that a legit kill does, and this definitely feels cheesy.
And yet, this "cheesy" way of approaching the encounter works and rewards you with loot. Yet if you approach the encounter logically with a split raid, solving pylons as fast and efficiently as possible... you'll just have them lock up unless you're really lucky and don't get caught up by the unexplained gimmick. The gimmick that will force you to leave instance and reset over and over and over.

Like I said, amazing encounter design. Must have undergone thorough playtesting.

EDIT: "Legit" kill? What makes a kill "legit"? You should be required to solve the puzzle in the optimal number of moves, and solve both at the same time while killing the adds (perhaps with an additional time constraint). It shouldn't matter which order you solve them in for each wheel (or if it does there should be an indication of this somewhere). That would make a "legit" kill in my book, but they'd need to rework the encounter to actually stress a raid in any way.

Ascendant's Avatar


Ascendant
01.13.2012 , 10:31 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Sheridyn View Post
And yet, this "cheesy" way of approaching the encounter works and rewards you with loot. Yet if you approach the encounter logically with a split raid, solving pylons as fast and efficiently as possible... you'll just have them lock up unless you're really lucky and don't get caught up by the unexplained gimmick. The gimmick that will force you to leave instance and reset over and over and over.

Like I said, amazing encounter design. Must have undergone thorough playtesting.

EDIT: "Legit" kill? What makes a kill "legit"? You should be required to solve the puzzle in the optimal number of moves, and solve both at the same time while killing the adds (perhaps with an additional time constraint). It shouldn't matter which order you solve them in for each wheel (or if it does there should be an indication of this somewhere). That would make a "legit" kill in my book, but they'd need to rework the encounter to actually stress a raid in any way.
Pardon me if I'm misreading you, but it sounds like you're trying to argue with me, but I don't see where we disagree on anything. The encounter is poorly designed and punishes you for trying to solve it in what seems like the "intended" fashion, as you describe there. Of course we can only guess as to Bioware's intentions because they don't comment on them like Blizzard does.
<Proxy Jawas> OG
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Sheridyn's Avatar


Sheridyn
01.13.2012 , 10:54 AM | #8
Apologies - it's mostly my own frustration at the poorly designed encounter. Felt like arguing about semantics. The method I have described is a legitimate strategy for defeating the encounter because it results in unlocking the chest of loot. A strategy that involves positioning half of your raid at each pylon and solving them as quickly and efficiently as possible is not a legitimate solution in every run of the encounter. The encounter hinges upon two mechanics only:

1. The order in which the pylons are solved.
2. Staying alive long enough to solve the pylons.

I mean, sure, there's always room to speed up your completion of the encounter by splitting your raid in two, but that's not even required. Equally, the efficiency in solving the pylon puzzles isn't even a factor at all. People assumed that these would be factors, but they aren't. I mean, it's not really cheesy if, for all intents and purposes, having your whole raid killing all adds at each pylon in turn could in fact be the intended strategy.

Should you be required to handle additional mechanics? Well, yes. And we agree on that. But I wouldn't say this strategy of handling the adds is "cheesy" simply because the encounter was poorly designed and the conclusions about encounter requirements (namely, having to split your raid) that people jumped to were incorrect. If anything this solution is the optimal one for completing the encounter in its current state because it almost guarantees that you fulfil condition #2 every time regardless of raid composition and gear level.

Ascendant's Avatar


Ascendant
01.13.2012 , 10:58 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Sheridyn View Post
Should you be required to handle additional mechanics? Well, yes. And we agree on that. But I wouldn't say this strategy of handling the adds is "cheesy" simply because the encounter was poorly designed and the conclusions about encounter requirements (namely, having to split your raid) that people jumped to were incorrect. If anything this solution is the optimal one for completing the encounter in its current state because it almost guarantees that you fulfil condition #2 every time regardless of raid composition and gear level.
It's mostly semantics, as you say. If it's working as intended it isn't portrayed as such, and that sort of takes some of the joy out of the encounter.

It works, and you get the loot, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth for some reason, ya know?
<Proxy Jawas> OG
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Sheridyn's Avatar


Sheridyn
01.13.2012 , 11:02 AM | #10
Definitely - that's why I made the thread. The encounter is very poorly designed.