Friday, February 7, 2014

It might not be annual.

It's time for the 1st Annual RP Your Life! Awards, when I call attention to some of the most notable aspects of this soon-to-be-ending expansion! Now before you report me to the committee for rigging the elections, please note that these are all personal choices, not reflections of popular opinion or objective fact. Feel free to propose your own nominees in the comments; I'd love to hear them.

Most Interesting Boss Fight: Siegecrafter Blackfuse

There are plenty of fights in Siege with interesting mechanics, but while I got sick of looking at a resource bar by Sha of Pride, I never grew tired of the belt. With the choice of which weapon to kill left up to the players, the fight can change drastically depending on which mechanics a particular team finds hard to manage, the raid size, or the difficulty setting. If you're a lucky boomkin or hunter, you could be on the belt full-time, and as much as people bitch about having to be on belt duty, it is truly the easiest job in raiding history besides maybe being a lock on Garr or anything on Gunship. I would have given my left kidney to stay on the belt instead of hang out in the fiery deathtrap that is the main platform. Even though the fight on normal becomes pretty trivial with improved DPS, it's still fun and engaging every time.

Boss Who Puts Up the Best Fight: The Spirit Kings

In WoW's encounter history, it often feels like bosses just hand us the tools to eventually kill them. How realistic can a fight feel when there are such conveniently placed mechanics like Feng's Nullification, Will of the Emperor's Opportunistic Strike, or Tortos' shells? In fact, the one boss that seemed to actually want to kill us rather than help us was the Spirit Kings. They offer no protective bubbles, damage-buffing pools, or one-shot disintegrating lasers that were totally negated by clearly defined paths of safety. While other bosses were giving us magic tiles or standing around while we disabled their bombs, the Spirit Kings tried to take our armor, pin us down, and turn us on each other. Even when Meng was cowering away, he still put up a damage-reflecting shield that could easily cause a player to kill him/herself. There are many fights that are more technically difficult, but in an actual battle, these guys would be tactical officers.

Best Normal-to-Heroic Conversion: Imperial Vizier Zor'lok

There are many easy methods for changing a normal fight to "heroic," and I've seen Blizz employ them over and over again: increase boss health enough to turn it into a DPS check, add adds, include an insta-death mechanic, tack on an additional phase and change nothing in the previous ones, etc. What makes a successful conversion is changing the fight in a way that makes the raid rethink its strategy while still maintaining an organic relationship with the normal-mode mechanics. Therefore, I give this award to Imperial Vizier Zor'lok. Not only was the fight varied in normal mode and culminated in a last phase combining all of his abilities, the insect-like shedding of an echo forced the raid to strategically split up and handle the mechanics they had already seen in new ways. Unlike Morchok, one didn't merely split the raid in half and continue like normal, and the last phase was so appropriately chaotic that it gave a sense of relieved triumph to defeat him.

Worst Mechanic: Horridon's Pink Dinosaur

Since I consider well-thought conversion from normal to heroic mechanics to be extremely important, the worst mechanic of Mists raiding has to be that pink dinosaur. I'm not going to bitch that it was hard, because it wasn't, especially for a ranged DPS like me. It was a terrible mechanic because it was just freaking annoying and turned an otherwise engaging encounter into a nightmare of micromanagement, and anyone unlucky enough to be picked early had to deal with repeatedly knocking back an add for up to ten minutes. In general, I love add fights and council fights because there is so much to juggle, and there is a pleasure in keeping a mental priority for what adds and their mechanics need to be taken care of and which can be ignored. The dinosaur? Well it adds nothing to any of that.

Best Pet Name For a Guy's Penis: Wheatley

Uh... How did this one get in here?



  1. Boss who put up best fight last tier (Throne of Thunder):

    Oondasta. Crippled servers (3 raid groups, 100+ people, graveyard zerg rush, and then... server crash), created fields of corpses ( and always ends with you getting your little paw on a Shiny Pile of Refuse.

    1. Lolz. That's a good one. I didn't think about the world bosses at all.