Patch 6.85: Expert Mode Raids


#61

Also just to add, this kind of roadblocks Boss 4 and 5 considering we don’t get the portal and everyone’s time is wasted mounting back on wipes.


#62

I have a lot of thoughts on the raid in general, the mechanics and how the community has responded to them, things I would do differently next time, etc. I am planning to write up a post-mortem next week. For example I agree that if I am having to give out hints on the forums and just tell people the mechanic it’s a strong indicator it should have been done differently.

But yeah, for now this is how it is. If you want to just wait until Tuesday for the tuning patch then you certainly can.


#63

Yeah, been holding off a bit, but some thoughts on expert in general. And to give a disclaimer, we do plan to continue to hit all of these to see if we can somehow account for the adjustments successfully.

Boss 1, required some retooling of the basic strat to something more involved with additional behavior for everyone in the raid. Took a little time to work it out perfectly, but it seems solid and is probably around 25% harder overall than hard mode, but honestly, hard mode was a bit on the easy mode side.

Boss 2. I genuinely have no idea what strategy can down a boss in 4 minutes on hard and expert in 9 that usually takes us 10+ on hard, but props to ABC for figuring one out. We’ll keep trying.

Boss 3. As far as I can tell, we are doing everything possible to mitigate the damage over the maximum number of targets. We have the entire raid clump for the jump, we had everyone max out their vitality including potions, used all pre and post healing options, and we still have multiple unbendings each time. I’m curious to find out what the trick to this is, as with the accelerated cycles, even if we can survive the jump reliably with perfect gameplay, the windows for DPS are so small, I suspect the fight will take 30+ mins, and lag becomes a problem after 10.

Boss 4. A single vindictive stack is enough to overwhelm a heavy tank, and the buff lasts long enough that mitigation strategies can’t keep up. The window for effective bell ringing is small enough that even normal spells aren’t fast enough, and it’s easy to miss with ice lance. Combined with the fact that rarely, spells and projectiles will go through the bells means that you are pretty much guaranteed a wipe at some point.

Boss 5. We’ll need to try it again with the reset fix, but the hell demon fight varies dramatically per class. Rangers in particular have it rough sometimes even on hard mode, and cranking up the HP and damage makes this really problematic. This currently seems like one of the more potentially defeatable encounters, but we didn’t get very far with it due to the reset bug, so we’ll see.

Summary/Overview: Even with a raid in almost completely T12 gear, with full potions, with dozens and dozens of hours of practice running the hard mode version of these fights, many of them seem to be pushing the realm of viability. Getting everyone T14 gear from boss 1 and maybe 2 over the next several months so the raid has +5% total damage and +1% total vitality/armor/defenses does not seem like it would matter for overcoming this deficit. I’m sure we’ll come up with some strats for pieces of the fight, but honestly, hard mode was already pushing the limit of balance, when you factor in crashes, desynches, lag, bad crit streaks, loading flashes, animation errors, pathing issues, etc. We were the only guild consistently doing full clears each week on hard, and even after several weeks of perfecting our strats, optimizing our gear and getting practice, sometimes we wouldn’t get a full clear within our 4 hour raid window and need to come back later in the week to finish it off.

With everything here not just being cranked up by 5%-10% but feeling closer to 25%, with additional kill mechanics and even narrower windows of mechanics, identical appearances on the gear drops, a trivial increase in the stats of the new gear… it’s hard to be excited about this content at the moment, and I’ve already been getting feedback from my members that even if we manage to defeat these bosses 1 in 100 attempts when we perfect our strats and have no technical issues, it’s probably not worth doing so on a regular basis.

Apologize if this sounds like sour grapes or whining or whatever. I’m generally really positive and understanding about issues, and personally I am a big believer in aspirational content… this just doesn’t feel like it it’s doing the trick for a number of reasons. I could be wrong, and we’ll keep at it though. I appreciate that the devs are keeping an eye on it and having a dialogue with the end-game community.


#64

Doesn’t sound like sour grapes at all. I am definitely planning on making some changes to some of the tuning, mechanics aside.

Thanks for the detailed feedback!


#65

I think Boss 4 is certainly doable and requires no mistakes, which should be expected from Expert mode.
Although I agree Mages are limited to their role in the fight.

Boss 5 we haven’t really gotten a solid attempt but it seems doable as well.


#66

Was mostly referring to the rare occasion when a projectile goes directly through a bell and doesn’t ring it, akin to the issue that would come up sometimes with the runemage trial dummies. I’ve had it happen to me multiple times on bells over the last 8 weeks of clearing the hard mode version, and while a stack or two is rough but manageable there, it seems to be a likely death sentence for the tank on expert.


#67

Naa man, I think our best time is currently 9ish minutes. Thanks for the props though.


#68

Ah, my mistake, correcting, thanks.


#69

I have to agree with pretty much everything @Draven has said on the tuning on expert mode

This got beaten by a pug group already!

It took 10 minutes and 54 seconds the 1st time and the second try 8 minutes and 52 seconds after some additional changes, I think you might have gotten our hardmode time of 4 minutes and 33 seconds mixed up with Expert

Last last night we through together a group to test a theory and figured out the mechanic for Boss 3, however it wasn’t an optimal group and we didn’t have much time to test as it was 3am here however the faster cycles are leaving very little damage uptime on the boss as stated, so we will be refining the strat later and seeing what we can do, @Justin was unaware of this until just after this recent posts

This one is rough but I think do-able with a perfect run, however a perfect run with all the current bugs and issues with the game seems very unlikely

This did seem to feel like the next more doable boss however didn’t get much time on it cause we didin’t try it until it was close to the end of our raid time, so I only got sent to hell once, which was painful and I died, I agree with it already being rough on hardmode, we have no slow and our trap is useless (guess there is no point talking about that one) so it’s pretty much, don’t get crit by it and hope you crit it hard enough to kill it before it kills you, I had a lot less issues once I got a legendary hardmode bow when doing the minion on hard, so might just be a case of needing to get a legendary expert mode one? how’s @Kamina finding it?

We have been struggling, not going to lie about that, we’ve been pulling people from Nova to come help us too due to lack of tanks etc.

100% agree, as you do harder content, you want better looking gear! Not had a new weapon skin for 6 armour sets now and it honestly feels cheap.


#70

Remind me to touch on this next week as well, because there are good reasons for this :slight_smile:


#71

My overall end-goal for Expert mode raid is to make it require a pretty much perfect run mechanics wise to complete the fights. As you all noted, that might be impossible with the game due to existing bugs and whatnot (although I think we’ve squashed at least some of those recently). So I kind of figured I would wait and see what you all can do, and then adjust as needed until we reach a point where it’s very challenging but do-able. So yeah, just keep me apprised of progress, and we’ll do some further tuning on Tuesday.

In addition to that, my overall goal all the time is to provide a fun experience. Obviously some people find figuring out puzzles with very little info fun, some people would rather hit their head against a wall repeatedly. These are all things that we are figuring out about our community as we go. So rest assured, I am always listening to feedback and at the end of the day, my goal is to try and figure out “where should this stuff be tuned so the people interested in playing it find it challenging but fun”.


#72

We only tried it a couple times because of the boss health reset bug and haven’t raided again since release, and when we did do boss 5 I didn’t use my T14 since I hadn’t gotten a chance to roll it off treasure master giant killer, but it was super tough with my T10, to the point where I believe it is mechanical impossible to the point if our don’t have your special arrows you can’t kill it in time even if u can face tank and spam arrows, which you can’t. As far as the upgrade from T12 to T14, it’s a 4.4% damage increase

What this means for rangers, is that you can’t use your special arrows on the boss unless you have a ult, but since you can’t use your special arrows ult generates much much slower. This means on boss 5 rangers have 60% of their maximum dps

as far as everything else on boss five, i do feel like it is manageable, unless it has last stand


#73

I think our rangers were able to reliably kill the hell Bros… We only tried a couple pulls though


#74

did they go in with full special arrows though? im not saying its 100% impossible, just that to make it 100% doable you need to lower your dps on the boss if you dont want to risk getting sucked in just after you shot your charged piercing, poison, or both


#75

Hmm. Not positive, maybe one of them can chime in, I just don’t recall anyone having an issue with it… I could be mistaken though


#76

@Landru and @Justin might be able to shed some light on this, but I did have issues up there


#77

Personally this is the only thing that doesn’t feel great about the raid to me. It’s just rough that a couple of the bosses have long fight times so if a tank crashes you just cost yourself an extra 30 minutes. It’s brutal.

There was a lot of talk on the EK side about the mechanics on boss 3, I think some people are just getting tunnel vision on the mechanics because unlike most mechanics there are multiple pieces of the puzzle to mitigating damage on the jump from what I have gathered here.


#78

A lot of times I don’t pull aggro on the Hell Bro and can get some range before I kill it.
Other times I have both arrows up and can kite to kill it.

I generally make a note when people are sent up and reserve my arrows for when the cycle is coming up.

But it’s always a close call when I don’t have an arrow for some reason and a single crit from the Hell Bro can ruin the run and force an early health pot.

Also RNG from your own crits can force a health pot.
Maybe the Ranger slow talent is useful! lol


#79

true its beautiful when they dont aggro and you can actually get your orbs for a bit of the fight, and feel like you are close to full dps for the beginning atleast


#80

There are several factors out of our control that effect our ability to survive on the hell bro: If the hell bro is immediately agro or not, if our special arrows are up or not, if our ultimate is up or not. If the hell bro is not immediately agro he is doable no matter what. If he is immediately agro he is doable with our ultimate up. If he is immediately agro and our ultimate is not up but our special arrows are he is doable with a little kiting and may require a healing potion.

If the hell bro is immediately agro, our ultimate is not up, and our special arrows are not up we are screwed. I don’t think we can drink healing potions fast enough to survive this. Other classes have ways to mitigate damage by healing/ slowing and kiting. Rangers have nothing. I posted about this issue with the hell bro being agro sometimes but not others back when hard mode came out but got no responce. If it was not agro every time this encounter would be very doable by rangers.