29/10/2012

A World Boss Adventure

I was just hopping between alts to send out the minions today, when I noticed someone spamming in /say that he needed help with killing a low-level world boss. At first I tried to simply ignore him, but he was very persistent and standing right at the spot where I usually park all my alts on the fleet, so there was no easy escape. Eventually I decided to try to be helpful instead of expressing annoyance or blocking him, and sent him a whisper to point out that he'd probably have better luck trying general chat on the planet on which the world boss was actually located.

He replied to tell me that he couldn't do that because he was on a trial account and thus couldn't use general chat. I immediately felt a surge of pity for him and asked which boss it was he was after. It turned out to be SD-0 on Coruscant. Since that one's only level 18, I offered to log onto my max level Guardian and kill the boss for him (I figured that a dps character was most suitable for this). He objected, saying that a max level guildie had tried to do that for him before but it hadn't worked. Curious, I looked up some more information about the boss and found some very conflicting reports about him, some saying that it was impossible to solo him due to a certain mechanic, and others claiming that he was perfectly soloable and that those who claimed that he wasn't were simply incompetent. I decided to interpret that as "probably soloable but with some sort of tricky ability involved" and set off to Coruscant with my level 12 trial account ward in tow, confident in my ability to figure out how to tackle the boss.

According to the guides I had skimmed between loading screens and talking to the lowbie, the key to the encounter was the boss's Proximity Laser ability, which connects two players with a beam and they have to run away from each other or suffer heavy damage. Hardly anything new to an MMO veteran. However, on my first attempt I died to that very same mechanic almost immediately, as running away from my companion (who was the one I had been connected to), did absolutely nothing and the beam insisted on ticking for 100% of my health despite of the massive level difference. On my next attempt I managed to survive the first instance of this with the help of a medpack, but he recast it soon after and I died again. I was confused and mildly annoyed, since what the boss was doing didn't match what I had read about and seen in videos. The beam always seemed to tick for 100% of a person's health, even if both targets were on opposite ends of the platform.

My ward was even less pleased with my failure. Supposedly even his guildie hadn't died quite this quickly. He insisted that I should ask for more people in general chat. My pride was somewhat hurt by that, but I went along with the suggestion because I figured that, if nothing else, other people to get killed by the beam might just buy me enough time to take the boss down to zero.

We tried again with eight. Same issue as before. Nobody understood what was happening, least of all me. It was suggested that someone else should make the pull to become the target of the first beam, but in practice the lowbies refused to sacrifice themselves and remained rooted on the spot, at the same time complaining that we weren't making any progress. Eventually I gave up and made the pull again, which resulted in yet another wipe. One helpful person suggested that we were dying because my character was wearing PvP gear. I facepalmed.

Suddenly the level 12 that had started the whole thing asked me to kick the other low-level players. Funnily enough he said this in party chat, which of course only earned him the ire of other group members who saw it. I said no either way, as that would have been an incredibly random and cruel thing to do, and I didn't see what it was supposed to achieve anyway. Then he suddenly reverted to insisting that we should spam general chat some more to get even more people in. I relented to that and eventually we ended up with a raid of twelve, which included another level 50 as well.

When we pulled again after that, we finally did kill the boss. The funny thing is that I have no idea what made the difference. I got targeted by the beam again that time but didn't even bother to move anymore. The other person did run I think, and all of a sudden the beam ended up being green and doing me no damage, finally acting like it was supposed to. I just wish I had an idea why. Other people did die to subsequent beam casts, but fortunately the boss was already going down by that point.

The little level 12 immediately asked whether we could kill the boss again. I didn't reply to that since I figured that he couldn't be serious. I just thanked everyone for their time and said goodbye. Somehow what had started out as a simple plan to quickly help someone out had turned into one and a half hours of mildly annoying faffing around and feeling like a fool.

I don't regret offering to help, because I still think that it was the right thing to do, and if nothing else I learned something about the world boss. But I do think there is a lesson in there to be careful what you offer help with (that is to say, preferably not something that you're not actually sure how to do) and that there is no guarantee that anyone will be grateful for your efforts, especially if the experience isn't perfectly smooth.

I do wish someone could tell me what the hell was up with SD-0's beam though, and why it seemed to be a completely inescapable killer mechanic during most of our attempts.

1 comment :

  1. I've tinkered with that WB once or twice at-level, and I don't think I've ever seen that beam behave that way. It could be a specific effect targeted to max-level toons, you know.

    ReplyDelete