He’s big, he’s cold, he falls over when you sneeze. He is Frost Lord Ahune.
I know that I’m going to sound elitist here, but please, bear with me. I have loved the addition of Holiday Bosses ever since my old guild of local friends used to group up to do the Headless Horseman. I really enjoy the new ability to group up through the LFD tool to get groups for these bosses; and the removal of the dependancy of multiple runs to get a chance at the good stuff. At one time it was difficult to get a group together for these bosses, simply because somebody was already “saved” and couldn’t summon the boss again.
With the new changes, everybody gets one chance at the “special” drops, including the daily Frost Emblems, but can go back as many times as they want for the other standard drops. This does lessen your chance of getting a “special” drop, but also allows Blizz to manage those drop rates closer. It also prevents groups from dropping someone, simply because they can’t summon the boss, which I feel is a good change and removes some of the asshats from the equasion.
There is one thing though. They’re easy. I remember when the Headless Horseman first came out, he was a little tough, multiple phases, stun mechanics, target swapping, stuff folks weren’t used to at the time unless they raided. However, as things have gotten more accessible to the casual player, these things have become “nearly” second nature (not totally, cause there are still those who refuse, or just don’t know how to pay attention and get tunnel-vision). But as time and gear went on, we now overgear these bosses so much that they are hardly a challenge any more.
Alright, melee stay with me.... oh wait, he's already dead?
Now, I understand the fact that the gear that is being dropped doesn’t necessarily match the skills that would be required to make the boss harder, and that the holiday achievement whores (no offense) have to get their fill to complete the meta-achievement. However, this does not mean that the boss can’t be tweaked in some way dependant on the gear of the group.
Just think of Oculus/Ulduar/Any Vehicle Fight. The vehicles are scaled to your gear level, meaning if you are wearing an iLevel 277 piece of gear, then you’re seige engine will be able to take a nuclear bomb to the face. Could the bosses not be scaled the same way?
Here’s my suggestion; scale the boss encounter based on the average of the top pieces of gear of the folks in the group.
Tank’s top piece: 245
Healer’s top piece: 219
DPS 1′s top piece: 264
DPS 2′s top piece: 232
DPS3′s top piece: 232
245+219+264+232+232 = 1192/5 = 238.4 Average iLevel
This could be weighed towards the lowest average iLevel as well, to scale slightly towards the lower geared folks, especially with the current algorythms being used by the LFD tool. It usually groups 1 or 2 lower geared folks with the higher geared folks, which I think is great, cause it helps get them what they need, at level, without getting frusterated from constant failed attempts.
Now, with the average iLevel set, you could then scale the boss’s HP and damage output based upon that level. I do see how the argument could be made that the fact that the Healer has such a low top iLevel that it may make the encounter too hard, but you also have to think that the tank and dps will likely make up for some of that with the tank’s defensive capabilities, and the DPSs ability to burn the boss quicker. In addition, it will again require some folks to actually think when they enter the encounter. This allows for those folks who grossly outgear an instance/boss to have a little bit of challenge, and in turn continue playing the game more. For Blizzard this would be a win-win situation, as more players on means more players eventually will get invited, which mean more subscriptions.
In fact, I wonder if this would be a safe move for any heroic, simply to keep some challenge in the game. I do believe that it would NOT be beneficial for Raids, as they are often tuned to such a point that it wouldn’t be beneficial, especially with hardmodes out there still challenging groups a good 6 months out.
Personally, it would keep things interesting to me. Not to say that I don’t enjoy flying through a Gundrak run for the daily in a mere 10 minutes (yup, did that last Sunday), but it would make the game feel as if it is growing a bit with you.
Eventually it may be able to get to the point that you would have a plethora of instances to run (each with their own level of gear) all still challenging, strong at the higher level instances and heroics, while tapering only slightly down as the instances get older, providing less difficulty for lower level instances, but not making them facerolls.
I dunno, what do you all think?
Would you enjoy slightly harder Heroics that scaled with your gear? Would you continue to do more heroics or less because of it?