Infernal Council was interesting when I first saw it, but I honestly felt that it was a bit of a let down when I actually did it. The enemies are so easy, even on HM and NiM, that it's pretty much just free loot.
Oh, no doubt. There's a reason I want them to keep "experimenting," and that's because their first iteration of a solo experience in a raid leaves much to be desired. I can see ways in which it could improve, so I want to encourage such improvement--rather than dropping the whole concept. As for the unquoted part of that paragraph: I'm not ignoring your suggestion out of rudeness or a belief that it's a bad suggestion (it's certainly not), but because it would remove the only solo experience in a raid in the game, which is counter to my desires
Everyone fighting their own target seems like it would be epic, but, in a game where the holy trinity of roles exists, it's just kind of a let down, especially since it's not really apt to force people into challenging objectives outside of their chosen role (e.g. healers often heal because they don't like DPS, not to mention how hard that fight makes it on positional DPS). However, it *would* be interesting and apt to see a piece of content where you free pairs of bosses, one of which is allied with you (I imagine it being one Jedi and one Sith in each pair, their allegiance swapping based upon which faction you are for the raid but each boss being functionally identical), that are in eternal stalemate and need the help of a specific role in order to win: for tanks, you have to actually taunt the enemy boss and survive it while the ally boss heals you and does some damage; healers have to heal their boss through a lot of damage, forcing them to put out a certain minimum amount of heals/sec; and DPS have to beat down and interrupt their enemy boss before their ally succumbs to his wounds which can't be healed thanks to a trauma-type debuff. Each solo "boss" would require the explicit functionality of the chosen role while still maintaining solo performance requirements and feeling suitably epic (you're coming to the aid of an amazingly powerful ur-Jedi or ur-Sith and finally ending the eons old battle they've been carrying on. It would be like breaking Captain America and Red Skull out of their imprisonment just to help Cappy beat the crap out of Red Skull in their final dramatic confrontation.
To be honest, it's less about it being "epic," for me, and more about providing variety. It also adds another dimension of competence to raid progression: You can't be carried through a solo sequence, in other words.
I read your first sentence, with its objection, and was going to suggest something along the lines of what came after it as a response
When I mentioned a "gauntlet," I basically had in mind the idea of creating those gauntlets based on what your role is. DPS would probably be tasked with wading through swarms of weak mobs (with a time limit). Healers might be tasked with keeping an NPC alive through a similar situation. We already have quests that allow us to do this. What I can't recall is if it's currently in game for a non-companion to heal a tank. But that shouldn't be too difficult to implement. Either way, I like your idea of two bosses, and would actually love it even more if it came at the end of a gauntlet. I want something challenging, damn it!
The problem I can see with that is that is sounds more like a single continuous fight rather than 2 distinctly different boss fights. Using your example, the Infernal Council would be phase 1 of Soa wherein, if someone failed to kill their council member before Soa freed himself (the timer on his stasis break would need to be lengthened), you would have to deal with said Council member who has been suped up by Soa's aura/battle meditation whatever (so that he's a threat to the entire raid rather than just the one player) while taking care of phase 1 Soa. Honestly, I think a fight like that would be quite kewl, especially if the solo fights were actually challenging enough that only the best groups can manage to get through p1 with all of their council members dead and most have to deal with a 1-2 council member p2, but it wouldn't work as separate bosses.
My example was really just to illustrate a situation where your failure at a solo encounter would have consequences. Everyone knows the fights in question, so it's fairly easy to imagine the change. I definitely wasn't presenting it as a fully-realized idea. That being said, I did envision the Council and Soa fights being merged into one. Those two fights have always felt like they should be connected in some fashion--at least to me. And yes, in the case of a failure to kill the Council member, the entire raid would have to handle a better version of that mob in the main Soa encounter. Random thought: It could be presented as a DPS race during the drop phase. You jump to a platform and can jump no further until you finish him off. Actually, ignoring that thought, it could also be used to make an off tank actually, well, important in EV.
You know, I just noticed a flaw with the whole Council/Soa idea: In its present state, it requires failure to make the current fight more interesting. As you said, only the best groups would kill all of the council members, but then they would be left with a boring "final" phase that we've all seen ad nauseam
Will have to think on that.
If the quality of how you cleared one boss affects how a future boss behaves, how do you deal with it saving said clear and how do you deal with conflicting saves if it does save said clear? If it's saved as a buff applied to the boss in the given phase, players could just reset the phase while preserving their boss kill and not having to bother with the "harder" difficulty. If the boss kills *remove* a buff that the boss has naturally, when the phase resets naturally (such as when a raid group calls it a night and comes back later or there are some phase access problems and it has to be bounced around an reset to let someone in, which happens often enough to be an issue), you're forcing people that did a high quality clear to do the boss at the same difficulty as those that did it with a low quality clear unless you want to force them to repeat their prior performance, only this time without actually getting a reward for it (which could get very annoying if the content is actually challenging, not to mention that it gives groups a chance to just keep trying over and over again until they get a "good" clear of the boss in order to prep for the final boss). If it is saved to their weekly progression on their character, what about conflicts between characters? If one person has a perfect clear and another has a mediocre one, does everyone else get to ride the coattails of the perfect clear even though they had mediocre performance or does the perfect clear get penalized for running with someone with a mediocre clear by having it default to the worst performance or would it just use the leader's clear, which would mean that the person with the best clear becomes leader and starts the phase and the leader spot gets passed back, which amounts to the same thing as the first?
While I was envisioning the example itself as a single encounter, let's assume it's two (Council is separate from Soa), because it could certainly arise as an issue with further implementations of the concept. Let me know if I've misunderstood the problem.
I'd say one possibility is to tie the encounter to a debuff on the players (the ones that failed) that won't wear off until either the operation is completed, or Tuesday comes around. The problem that arises then is it has the possibility of making it very difficult for that player to get into another operation to finish the encounter (as, yes, his debuff--and anyone else with the debuff--would determine the difficulty of the encounter)--at least until the debuff is removed. I'm not entirely sure I'm against that situation, to be honest. You failed, and your failure will stick with you for a time, but it might also work to encourage you to do better in the future. Good people won't treat you poorly over it, and bad people will treat you badly over it, which is exactly the current state of affairs. Wouldn't mind other thoughts on it, though
It's a Pandora's box of problems.
No doubt! And difficult problems are always worth solving, especially if [potential] fun comes with the solution