Monday, January 16, 2012


On Thursday, the casual 10-man raid group I run with managed to take down Ultraxion (on normal, not heroic). While I know that's not really a big accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, I think it's reasonably decent for a group that raids a fairly laid-back 3.5 hours per week.

Of all the fights we've faced thus far, I think Ultraxion has been my least favorite. Part of this is because while I was the healer lucky enough to get to pick up the blue crystal - which is the final (and, in my opinion, most appealing) of the 3 crystals to spawn - the vast majority of wipes occurred prior to its appearance. The other part of why I dislike the encounter is, I think, because its mechanics are designed in such a way that just one single failure from any individual in the raid almost invariably leads to an unnecessarily slow and drawn-out wipe. Now, I don't mind single failure wipes or slow wipes in and of themselves, but both mechanics together mean that raid groups like mine with particularly limited raiding schedules are disproportionately punished.

If a single failure is going to result in a wipe, then I'm of the opinion that said wipe should be brutally quick and immediately recognizable, because not only does it reinforce the idea that certain mechanics are extremely dangerous, but also makes it so that people can give the encounter another try with minimal delay and a reasonable opportunity to understand what just happened. Similarly, I think a slow, drawn-out wipe should provide ample opportunity for the raid group to try to recover and rally itself to a victory. Combining the two disproportionately punishes the people with the least amount of raiding time, since those are the same people who are most likely to have the least experience with gauging whether a given situation requires a passionate or pragmatic approach.

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