Monday, 2 March 2015

The Revanite Commanders and the "only-the-end-counts" type of boss fight

The Revanite Commanders hardmode are no more. We took them down on the 15th of February (I know, I know, I've been slacking with posting progression raiding). I don't have pretty graphs this time, but I do have a video and some thoughts about this type of boss fight.

The "only-the-end-counts" type of boss fight

The annoying thing about the Revanite Commanders fight is the duration. The initial waves of adds and bosses are quite easy. From a healer's perspective there's sometimes some spike damage when someone doesn't move out of a telegraph in time because they have dozed off, but that's it. It's only after 5:40 minutes that it gets interesting when all the bosses come down at once. So the fight is effectively only about the last minute and a half and before that there's a risk of falling asleep.

You might have guessed I'm not much of a fan of this type of boss fight. I've called it the "only-the-end-counts" type here, by lack of a better word (I'm sure gaming scientists have better terminology for this, but I'm lazy). I've seen more fights of this type during my raiding career in Lord of the Rings Online, usually accompanied by several waves of adds and bosses with a characteristically hard wave near the end.

I was for instance much reminded of Saruman T2 in Lord of the Rings Online and of Gortheron T2 in Ost Dunhoth (T2 being equivalent to hardmode in Star Wars: The Old Republic). Both of those fights had waves of bosses and adds and were alright until the very end. This type of boss fight slightly frustrates me, because you spend a lot of time on something that you have under control (and everyone dozes off a bit) until that one tricky moment near the end. And if you mess it up then, you can start aaaaall over again.

Maybe you play other games than I write about, but I wouldn't be surprised if you have encountered a similar type of fight.

Then again, the Revanite Commanders fight luckily doesn't take all that long. The examples I spoke of in Lord of the Rings Online were half an hour long, while the Revanite Commanders only took 7:23 minutes. You can check out the fight yourself on the video below.

Looking back at February

February was a very good month for us. We took down three hard mode bosses: first the Walkers (which we probably could've done faster if we wouldn't be such stubborn hipsters), then the Underlurker (which was technically a one-shot because we took him down on our first night) and now the Revanite Commanders.

So what's next?

I don't think March will be as fruitful, because the operations increase in difficulty the further in you get. Revan (the last boss of the Temple of Sacrifice, coming right after the Revanite Commanders) hasn't been beaten on our server yet. The teams that have done it, did so with a group composition of almost exclusively bounty hunters/troopers, because of a mechanic that can be partly circumvented with Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line. Coratanni, last boss of the Ravagers, also is supposedly hard. Our next takedown will have to be Master & Blaster.

What are you up to raidingwise? And have you ever encountered an "only-the-end-counts" type of boss fight or am I being delusional?


  1. I don't think anyone likes fights like that, in my opinion it's just bad encounter design. I was hoping that maybe on hard mode something interesting would happen with all those adds... I guess not!

    I can't think of any examples I've experienced in other games that were quite so egregious - unless you count things like WoW's Battle for Mount Hyjal, where you had to redo x waves of trash waves for every attempt, though they weren't officially part of the boss fight.

    And LOTRO had raid bosses that took half an hour to kill?! Hardcore...

    1. You're right, it *is* bad encounter design. And of a type that multiple developers from different games fall for, apparently. Saruman and Gortheron were the last bosses of two respective raids. The fights had amazing mechanics for the rest and I still consider them well-designed and extremely challenging, but there was no way of going about them without the described effect. And yes, now I think of it, LotRO raids *were* hardcore. It is a much older game than SWTOR, and I have the feeling hardcore was more the norm back then.

      The adds on the Revanite Commanders HM are in a way more dangerous than the bosses themselves due to the stacking debuffs they bestow upon players (also, the telegraphs hit 10x as hard), so they are definitely more interesting. However, as they are manageable during the initial waves and only become a real problem when hell breaks loose in the final wave, the fight still has the same effect.


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