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Hard Enrages are beneath Bioware


Proctor's Avatar


Proctor
12.30.2011 , 11:03 PM | #1
TL;DR - Hard Enrage Timers are poor game design, and do not show any of the creativity that Bioware is capable of.

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Fight mechanics are a very good test of a game company's creativity. No one wants to do encounters over and over ad nauseum with a couple tank-and-spank/taunt after 5 stacks/spread out for the AoE/kill adds simple mechanics. And yet, that is all that Bioware has presented to us.

Worse than that, rather than at least show the originality of designing fight mechanics hinted at in early interviews, we are stuck with one of the single worst design mechanics ever invented: hard enrage timers. Now, some people may not be familiar with the term or its counterpart, so allow me to explain:

-Hard Enrage Timer: This is fairly simple; at a certain time interval (IE; five minutes after fight begins) a boss will automatically wipe the raid, either via a massive damage AoE or similar mechanic, such as one-shot one-kill attack power.

-Soft Enrage Timer: Unlike a hard enrage, a soft enrage is a mechanic which is meant to overwhelm a raid group, but not kill them instantly. Soft enrage timers do not necessarily have to be something that happens at a certain point in the fight, but can happen throughout the entire encounter, and simply become too large to mitigate.

Fights need some kind of DPS requirement, this fact is unavoidable. However, simply wiping a raid at a set time interval is unimaginative and BORING. If Bioware has shown one thing, it is that they have the creative potential to make one of the best raiding games on the market today. However, this one mechanic has provided their design team with a lazy workaround to providing a gear check to their game, which in turn has nothing short of killed the need for fights that are interesting and memorable.

If you need inspiration on what soft enrage timers should be like, look to Rift. That is one aspect that they have done very, very well. Even in the fights with hard enrages, they took steps to ensure that those hard enrages were not so cut and dry as "kill him before X minutes or die".

Like most people here, I've been an avid Bioware fan for a long, long time. But lately, the content that they've shelled out has all but destroyed the sense of customer loyalty I felt towards them, nothing more so than endgame raids in SWTOR--not in terms of difficulty, but in the sense that they are so poorly thought out in terms of creativity. Early interviews with the Bioware team mentioned that they wanted to move away from the overused raid models where twenty people bashed on a giant monster. They wanted to design fights that would feel engaging and bring back the idea that they were epic battles, not just a bunch of guys beating up one thing.

Overall, I'm really starting to wish that Bioware made KOTOR3 instead of wasting six years hyping up a mediocre MMO, because I'm damn well loving the storyline, but that's approximately where it stops.

quikscope's Avatar


quikscope
12.30.2011 , 11:10 PM | #2
+1.

Just adding hp and damage and enrage timers to raise the level of raiding through hard modes is a pretty poor effort.

Killpo's Avatar


Killpo
12.30.2011 , 11:16 PM | #3
+1

I agree, I wouldn't mind a soft enrage, since that make sense, but to be instantaneously wiped for being ten seconds late is ridiculous.

Pseudoname's Avatar


Pseudoname
12.31.2011 , 10:52 AM | #4
Enrage timers wouldn't be so bad if they would correct the loot bug in Hard Modes. Not being rewarded with gear on bosses (even ones you haven't wiped on) just makes the enrage timers make you want to rage with the boss.

I thought ragers were ridiculous in League of Legends, but the beta quality of this game is slowly bringing me to the rage point each day I play.

Trucane's Avatar


Trucane
12.31.2011 , 11:36 AM | #5
Haven't gotten to the point where I can run these kind of ops/flashpoints but reading about the enrage mechanics really makes me rage. How can bioware be such huge amateurs that not only can't they make the bosses work like intended but also adding in such ridiculous enrage timers to hide their own inability to make decent boss fights.

Disgusting from a customers point of view!

Pseudoname's Avatar


Pseudoname
12.31.2011 , 11:45 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Trucane View Post
Haven't gotten to the point where I can run these kind of ops/flashpoints but reading about the enrage mechanics really makes me rage. How can bioware be such huge amateurs that not only can't they make the bosses work like intended but also adding in such ridiculous enrage timers to hide their own inability to make decent boss fights.

Disgusting from a customers point of view!
A lot of the anger is just frustration being vented. I'm sure they'll fix things...it's just a matter of how long will it take?

What I find kind of disappointing is that they had a fairly long beta testing phase and the beta testers just weren't given the tools to sort out some of the Operations and Flashpoint tunings. As much as people may hate or love damage/healing meters, they actually serve a purpose when used properly. In terms of the current state of the game, people can't specifically pinpoint problems with the Hard Mode FPs and Operations except in broad terms like it's either too easy or too hard. There are glaring issues as people have pointed out with the last fight in the Foundry where you just get damaged for something like 3x the health that an average tank might have.

Overall, the end game experience doesn't seem very consistent. If frustration starts to set in and you're at end game, I would highly recommend playing a different base class or trying out the other faction's story line. It's probably going to be a bumpy ride for awhile.

Magdain's Avatar


Magdain
12.31.2011 , 01:04 PM | #7
You know the definition of hard enrage, but you don't know how it applies to the game? There are very few hard enrages - They just get a damage buff, and many times I've been able to heal our group through the enrage.

What is the difference between a hard and soft enrage in terms of fight outcome? Both result in your raid wiping if you can't execute the fight quickly enough. Whether one is more creative (whatever arbitrary definition you have for creative in this context...) is irrelevant. Just because a mechanic isn't needlessly convoluted doesn't mean it is poor design.
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Rathnell's Avatar


Rathnell
12.31.2011 , 01:28 PM | #8
Even after a boss enrages, it is still possible to continue for some time. Our tank can hold an enraged boss for a while. Enrages are there for a reason. If you expect to bring a bunch of under-geared and under-performing dps to a raid encounter and take your sweet time, you should find out quickly that you won't. Bad dps puts a lot of burden on good tanks and healers.
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AtumRamirez's Avatar


AtumRamirez
12.31.2011 , 01:55 PM | #9
i dont think it's timed... i think it's HP based.
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Tarengrim's Avatar


Tarengrim
12.31.2011 , 03:46 PM | #10
Pretty sure it is timed.... Maybe some bosses have a time and HP based enrage timer, but I have not seen them and realised hat mechanic.