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  1. In summary, in order to properly increase the challenge of an encounter, while giving the power to the player, you want to: a) decrease damage overall b) significantly limit healer mana pools, especially on their stronger heals c) ensure threat is relevant d) give bosses spike damage, so long it is manageable by the players e) remove enrage timers on most bosses (post Naxx) f) have mechanics that should punish players when not handled correctly, but reward them for handling a mechanic correctly
  2. Sorry about the delay in response, this holiday season was busy! Let's think of spike damage with numbers. As a tank, i have roughly 35k raid buffed. For all intents and purposes, i will assume that my 35k is the amount of health a tank who is properly gemmed and enchanted and etc... has (in actuality, i am neither of these!). Now, if i take 29k each white hit from the boss (which was a very real proportion in later LK raids), then any spike damage must still either a) total less 35k still; or b) require a defensive cd onto the tank. If a), the spike damage's ratio is very small: 34k = 1.17*29. Whereas a normal crushing blow would be 1.5*(normal white hit). With all the spread damage onto the tank, even this 'spike' damage will be deadly. Bosses in ICC never did type a spike damage. They couldn't! If b), then you must schedule this spike damage. The tank and healer must already know when the boss will be doing a lot more damage. Think Festergut. When he gets max stacks, tanks will pop their defensive cooldowns, otherwise they will die. This is known going into the fight. Lesson learned: a) and b) don't really work in adding challenge. We must think of a different way to add challenge. Let's do what Blizzard did. In Cataclysm, they actually decreased white damage in proportion to the player's health in order to increase challenge. . Instead of a 29k hit let's have the boss hit for 14k. With this number, i can re-introduce a crushing blow-type mechanic back into the game: 1.5*14k = 21k, which is a little more than half my health. Using the mechanic demonstrated in my first post, you will have a 15% chance to get hit by any single 'crushing blow', a 4.5% chance to get hit by two 'crushing blows' in a row, a 1.35% chance to get hit by three in a row (totaling 64k over 6 s, which is liveable with even decent reaction) and less than half a percentage point of chance to get hit by 4 in a row (at this point of 85k over 8 s, you should pop a cd). Math is provided upon request. With this mechanic, it solves the need to pop a defensive cooldown upon first 'crushing blow' or the need to precast, that you mention @Troggdor. This mechanic can also solve the homogenization you mention of @Pahare, because you can change the multiplier per boss. I don't delve into coding, but you can insert the following equation for each boss. Base White Attack = 8000 + x*3000. Boosted White Attack Modifier = 1.1 + y*0.2. All you have to do is choose x and y values (which i will recommend in further posts in this series). This actually heterogenizes raid encounters because you can have some fights with low x and y values, and have the challenge be in some other form (raid damage, for example). You can have high x and y values and have the challenge be in the form of tank damage. You can have high x, low y values, like in the case of Patchwerk, who just puts out really steady damage. Or you can have low x, high y values which will cause the fight to have really high spike damage, but low consistent damage onto the tank. (At this point, i must mention that if you keep the crushing blow mechanic as is, Paladins completely bypass the mechanic altogether, resulting in the other three tanks' values dropping significantly, whereas my mechanic gives each tank their own unique strength.) The corollary to this is that healing mana must be more limited than it is now. I know that healers can go oom in Naxx (which is largely untrue by ICC), but an increase to the costs of certain spells must be in order. This will be worked out in a future post, because the healer spells are not standardized (and should not be), so limiting their mana will be a more difficult task. The general idea behind this is that bigger or quicker spells should cost a lot of mana and oom a healer rather quickly, while efficient spells (used for when damage is steady) should be repletable. The problem i have with LK trash is i don't know the purpose of it. They all have ignorable abilities, and they all feel the same. Was chain pulling entire instances at a time fun? Well, to some that may be true. All instances feeling the same is the homogenziation that killed the game for others, though. It most certainly was not skillful--that you could always pull less mobs demonstrates this fact. Chain pulling has its place (ie the gauntlet in CoS), but it shouldn't be the only thing you do in an instance. If we are to have a mythic version of instances, and keep the heroics faceroll as they are now, this is fine, but, either way, the maximum difficulty of these instances (and raids) should be increased. I do believe rewards should be increased if the time investment is also going to be increased (which a more challenging version this is to be the case). This could be in better trash drops, or increased Justice/Valor points from the bosses (for both instances and raids). Otherwise, if we are to have faceroll trash, what is the point of the trash? ToGC got rid of the trash, as a response to the faceroll trash of LK, and it wasn't well received. But similarly, trash mobs with abilities that did not matter in the least weren't well received, either! If, @Troggdor, this is still not satisfactory to you, then at the minimum we must require CC during the encounters themselves. Onto a related topic, i want to talk about enrage timers. Enrage timers have their positives and negatives. The positive is clear: it forces the raid to maximize damage while simultaneously handling the mechanics of the encounter. The negative, not so much. It is a lazy form of encounter design. I challenge anyone to name me a difficult encounter (required the best of guilds to wipe many times) post-TBC that did not have hard enrage. You won't find one. Blizzard fails to add challenge anymore besides the "I will kill you after 8 minutes!" mechanic. At best, they will have something stack, and wipe you at a certain number of stacks. But, you still need a way to time out the raid. Naxxramas in LK was notorius also for having 3/4 of your raid die, and a healer and a tank slowly withering away at the boss. This is bad. The good news is that we now have a reason for this to not happen again (in our heroic versions of the raid). And that is the limiting of healer mana. If done right, it will naturally put a timer onto all fights, and one that is in the players' control. In the next post in the series of Truly Heroic, i will look at specific raid encounters and instances. Stay tuned!