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World of Warcraft raiding: an example

September 17th, 2009

Currently I’m not playing an MMO, but in the past I’ve played lot’s. The last one was WOW (World of Warcraft). I was a member of a Guild called Phoenix Rising and we were a raiding guild. Before I continue I’ll explain some basics about MMO games and raiding.

MMO(RPG): a massively multi-player online roll playing game, which basically means that you play in a persistent world with thousands of others at the same time. The mail goal in this game is to advance your character to the maximum level. At that stage you enter the realm of raiding.

RAIDING: engaging and defeating complex (monster) encounters with a group of 10 / 25 people. These encounters are mix of different mechanics you have to master with the group before you can defeat the monster. Every class is needed in this encounter.

CLASS: a player type. You have tanks (mitigating damage from monsters), healers (healing damage from other friendly players, ranged (doing damage to the monster from a distance), melee (doing damage from close range). These are the basic groups, but all have different sub classes in them. For example you have different kinds of healers and you have different types of ranged.

DUNGEON: this is the place where the bad guys live and were you will face them.

AGGRO: this is a mechanic that indicates the hate level a monster has towards you. If you at the top of his list, he will come to you and do his main attacks on you. Tanks must stay top on the list at all time since they are build to receive lots of damage. Ranged need to avoid being top, otherwise they will be killed in one shot. This means that players can’t just nuke all on the monster.

Ok, this were the basic terms. No let’s see how a typical encounter progresses. In this case I’m using the encounter in Ulduar (Dungeon) called X2 Deconstructor (name of the bad guy).

This guy has a few abilities that everyone needs to know and needs to know how they will handle them in the fight. He uses these abilities often in the fight.

Light bomb: a player is targeted and receives damage over time and all players in range of 10 yards of him will receive damage as well. This means that I you get this you will have to run out of the group, out of range from other players. Also you will need to be healed by a healer, otherwise you can die.

Gravity bomb: this time a player will get a field around him. This field will  pull nearby players towards him. After 9 seconds the player will explode doing damage to all players within range. Here the player needs to move out of the group to and also has to receive heals.

Tantrum: everybody In the group will receive damage. This means that the healers need to heal a lot of players. If this tantrum is mixed with another damage type, it becomes critical.

Exposed heart: this is a good thing. The bad guy stops fighting and his heart comes out making him vulnerable for damage. So everybody needs to do as much damage as possible when this happens.

Scrap bots: this last ability summons creatures from all 4 corners of the room. These bots will run towards the main bad guy. If the reach him he will get healed (which means you it will take longer to get him down as he will have new life). So it’s very important that these bots don’t reach him. Players with abilities to root or slow are needed for this. This will slow down the process of bots getting to the bad guy and leaves more time to kill these bots.

The fight start with the tank (the guy who will receive all the damage from the bad guy) walking to the main monster. Deconstrucotr will stay on him during the fight (unless some other player makes him mad by doing to much damage, thus pulling aggro).

My role in the fight is a Mage. A mage in this fight must do 2 things do damage to the main badguy and kill the bots (and slow them down). This is actually great fun!

Now imagine that all these abilities will happen in the fight, very often they will overlap, making it even harder to survive. It’s very important that not many player die, because if that happens basically this means that you can’t do enough damage to the main bad guy and you can’t kill him before the timer. That’s the last bit. The fight has a timer. If you don’t kill the guy in (I think it’s) 10 minutes, then he’ll become enraged and kill everybody in a few seconds.

So the pressure is on for everybody to be on their tops. Avoiding damage from the bad guys, avoiding damage from other players, running away when the have on of the bombs, killing the bots in time, healing other so they will survive, avoid pulling aggro, etc, etc.

Here’s a clip of an actual fight with Deconstrutor. You’ll see the things I mentioned in above. Purple clouds around players are Gravity bombs, Light bombs are with. You’ll see the bots approaching and being stopped. Finally the boss is killed :-)

To tackle a fight like this you need to practice a lot. Since 25 people have to know what the are doing. Also they need to do it well. So all in all it takes a lot of attempts to down a boss. But when you get him down, the reward is big. You’ll get nice loot (items for you to wear and improve your character).

I hope this example makes a bit more scene for people how do not play these kinds of games.
Have fun watching this video! :-)

TIP: view this clip on Youtube to see it in HD :-) Here’s the link.

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