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Boss battles in past Obsidian games were pretty disappointing for me and I'd like to create this topic to discuss what a boss battle should look like.

 

For me:

-Boss should ideally be an unique creature or at least have unique model/sprite, it would also help if he was bigger than normal characters and physically imposing

-It would also be nice if he had some unique attack or ability

-He should also have many forms or battle should have many stages (for example fighting players in normal form then healing and calling for sub-boss to join, then transforming into a dragon)

-He should be assisted by minions as it makes battle more interesting (and allows players to use all of the characters' abilities)

-He should be very challenging

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Although Obisidian didn't make the IE games, many of the same people who did are working for Obsidian at Project Eternity. If you have played BG2, I am sure you agree that many of the boss-battles there indeed follow your chriteria (especially when doing the expansion)? I do agree though, challenging boss fights where you must use all your resources and make good tactical descisions, sounds like a good plan.

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I think the concept of boss battles should transform into the concept called "Major Encounter".

 

There can be several types of Major Encounters

* Traditional Big Boss battle, in which the boss has several abilities that he uses in an intelligent manner (read: has unique AI set for the encounter).

* Group versus Group, in which the opposing group has 6-10 members and has unique AI set for attack and defense moves (eg the enemy fighter defends the enemy mage by using control abilites while mage purges the PC group with Firestorms)

* Duels, in which you can 1x1 somebody

* Three sided battles. Imagine your group finding a Big Bad Boss at the end of a dungeon and a rival adventuring company also finds it from the other side! The last man standing will gather the spoils.

 

Something like that

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Only boring people get bored

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Best one i've played lately is that in the Witcher 2, had a drink with Letho and walked away, refreshingly brave of the developer to not make the battle compulsory.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Best one i've played lately is that in the Witcher 2, had a drink with Letho and walked away, refreshingly brave of the developer to not make the battle compulsory.

 

Dragon battle was the real endboss, Letho was a during the second encounter.

Edited by BasaltineBadger

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Boss battles in past Obsidian games were pretty disappointing for me and I'd like to create this topic to discuss what a boss battle should look like.

 

For me:

-Boss should ideally be an unique creature or at least have unique model/sprite, it would also help if he was bigger than normal characters and physically imposing

-It would also be nice if he had some unique attack or ability

-He should also have many forms or battle should have many stages (for example fighting players in normal form then healing and calling for sub-boss to join, then transforming into a dragon)

-He should be assisted by minions as it makes battle more interesting (and allows players to use all of the characters' abilities)

-He should be very challenging

 

What past Obsidian games are you referring to?

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I agree with having challenging and interesting boss battles. I honestly don't think anybody disagrees on this.

 

I don't like the idea of scaling things up though. If somebody is a human or other type of PC race that is as big as they should get. They don't need to be 5 times bigger than me in order to be imposing. They do this in World of Warcraft with raid bosses and it drives me crazy. Granted in that case it's needed because you need the target viewable over 20 other peoples heads. That not being the case in PE I don't want something that should be my size suddenly bigger just because he's a boss.

 

I think they should try and avoid swarm type bosses. I personally never found them to be that interesting as it just feels like an extended version of a random junk battle.

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K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

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Boss battles are cool, but I would like to have an option to use brains over brawn to solve problems without going rambo mode. For example, finding out a demon has enslaved a town, now you can go in and fight it, you might even have holly objects to hurt it, or, you might find its true name (hard to get and requires research and preplanning to arm yourself before you face it), if you get the true name you can make the demon your slave, you could also try and negotiate,threaten,seduce,charm,enthrall,etc if you have a high enough score in those skills. Hell, if you have an assassin/rouge, maybe you can sneak up and off it (if high enough skill) before it even knows you are there. Are like in fallout, the old reverse pickpocket a grenade on an enemy and watch it go boom. I would love to see stuff like that. I am not saying for all boss battles, but its one of my pet peaves when you create a non violent character that uses non violent means 90% of the game, to only be forced into old fashioned fighting at the end. It was the one thing I hated in deus ex:HR, all that stealth/conversation work down the drain during the boss fights.

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I prefer boss battles where you need to come up with a strategy to defeat the boss, not because he's got a million hit points, but because he's got "layers" of defenses you have to work your way through. Someone who takes a bit of thinking on your part, and utilizing your entire party, rather than just hasting your tanks and having them hack away until the boss is dead.

 

As a short, extremely basic example: I'd rather face a boss who has only 50 HP, but who is protected by magical protection that needs to be dispelled first with a handful of spells before you can even start damaging him, rather than facing a boss with 150 HP that basically needs to be hacked to death.

Edited by GhostofAnakin
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"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I think bosses should be supported by lore and not just be a random guy having popped out of nowhere. With that said I want the battles themselves to put pressure on the whole party, but not in a pure damage kind of way, because that usually just forces me to manually control the healer for the entire battle (not that I dislike healing, mind you) and spam spells like crazy.

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As long as you get the chance to Enslave Nations with Necromancy at the end, then I'm good.

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How about a Wesker type boss? Or an enemy adventuring group? Something more "Human"?

 

On "Giant" Boss Battles: I'd love to see positioning being important in boss battles, an attack that you have to click your way away from to safety. Imagine meeting a Giant with a sledgehammer, if he would sweep you should be knocked back, if unlucky maybe even dead.

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Where is the option of getting rid of the concept entirely? It may have been fun on the arcade machines of old, where you had to insert another coin, but you would think they could come up with something else since the days of Defender and Galaxians.

 

At least you didn't have to fight TNO in PS:T, but could solve the "encounter" in alternative ways.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I thought the Dragon encounters in The Witcher 2 were boring. The controls and combat were so annoying (roll around in circles dodging and blocking, every fight was defensive) but once you figured them out those battles were so easy.

 

These are fights I liked:

 

Sendai in BG2:ToB - that was really fun, fighting all the different versions of her

 

Malkavion in Icewind Dale was essentially a better Davaeorn, DD'ing around casting AoE spells. Only thing there was you could just hide in an alcove and wait for all the Webs/Cloudkills to go away and he'd just stand there doing nothing.

 

The Idol battle with the dominated Priest/esses of Tempus was awesome as well ... until you figured out that you only needed to buff one character and run past everything and attack the Idol. That kind of made it too easy.

 

The Irenicus battles were fun, but I really didn't enjoy the final ToB battle with Melissan, those Time stops were just plain yawn.

 

Twisted Rune

 

Guarded Compound

 

Guys in the city sewers (Gallachobhair and whatever the other guys names were)

 

Most of the BG1 big fights were memorable but the AI doesn't really scale well with player skill.

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Where is the option of getting rid of the concept entirely? It may have been fun on the arcade machines of old, where you had to insert another coin, but you would think they could come up with something else since the days of Defender and Galaxians.

 

At least you didn't have to fight TNO in PS:T, but could solve the "encounter" in alternative ways.

 

I'm not following entirely. The concept of Boss Battles that you need to dodge and move to the side and stuff like that or....?

 

I wouldn't want a boss battle to "only" be beatable by following a pattern "Walk here, move close attack, walk here" etc. etc. chore boss battles are the worst. Because either you figure it out instantly and something that would've been epic becomes rather mundane (specially if your party is underpowered, then its just a prolonged battle) or you battle a boss (dying and reloading) a couple of times before figuring out the chore. The worst kinds of pattern Boss Battles are those that you figure out, you battle for an hour because you are too weak, along the way you get to lazy and lose attention, one hit left and you get eager and die and have to either start over from the very beginning of the battle or go and grind for a bit.

 

Neither consequence is fun or motivating. That's a "shelf"-hitter right there (e.g., won't play the game for a while because of dumb boss battle).

 

I like the thought of being able to beat a boss in various ways. And since this is a party based game, you should find yourself in positions where you can sneak around with two or three characters, whilst 1 distracts the boss to follow him/her into a position where you can topple some rocks from above on top of a dragon. Or you can go head on to it, by doing it the "easy" way by distracting you'll take it down in one go with the rock (if you can time it) but you'll also lock yourself out of the treasure room.

Edited by Osvir

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Where is the option of getting rid of the concept entirely? It may have been fun on the arcade machines of old, where you had to insert another coin, but you would think they could come up with something else since the days of Defender and Galaxians.

 

At least you didn't have to fight TNO in PS:T, but could solve the "encounter" in alternative ways.

 

I'm not following entirely. The concept of Boss Battles that you need to dodge and move to the side and stuff like that or....?

 

Just reflecting on the point that "boss battles" are a gimmick dating back to the early arcade machines where you end a wave of opponents with a "boss" battle. It's as kliche and formulaic as QTE's and minigames. Like something that climbs up on a pedestal and in a booming voice, that shatters glass, pronounces: "I AM A GAME, STOP BEING SO IMMERSED AND SNAP OUT OF IT!". It would be nice to see at least a bit of deviation of game Standard Template Construct #1147 and do something other than encounter with above average opponents as part of the "chapter closure" process.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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He's talking about non-violent resolutions to them I think.

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He's talking about non-violent resolutions to them I think.

Among other things yes. Hence the PS:T example. If I remember correctly, you could also finish Fallout without a "boss fight" (you still had to face the Master, but you didn't have to fight him). I'm not a game designer, but I'm sure that there must be *some* way to conclude logical segments of the game rather than ye olde mass brawl between good and bad guys.

 

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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I am not particularly fond of the idea of "Boss battles", or the whole idea that the purpose of a game is to provide a series of battles, of increasing difficulty - culminating in an epic fight against the archvillain or a megamonster of some kind.

 

Sure, something like that may be emotionally satisfying to those who only play a game in order to "win" it, and I may well be in a small majority, but this is exactly why PS:T is my favourite game of all times - it didn't end in an epic fight against some "übermonste" - no, it ended in a satisfying, logical way, after a great story.

 

To me, it is the journey that matters - not the destination.

 

So what does this have to do with boss battles? Well, I am hoping that instead of just having to fight my way through a series of combat encounters, there will be ways to avoid combat - diplomacy, betrayal, bribery, whatever - I hope the game will focus on a series of challenges - where combat is not always the only way to resolve the situation. Of course, sometimes it will be - I do not expecting a "bloodless" path through the game, but the bottom line is that to me, big, epic boss fights are an annoyance, not an attraction.

 

Sure, I may be in a minority, but I think there are some others who share my opinion.

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I agree with others that the final sequence doesn't necessarily need to be an actual boss encounter ... this is to be a more traditional RPG and not an ARPG (like Diablo, Sacred, Titan Quest, etc) ... I think they need to map out their story first and decide what kind of story they are presenting ... their ending sequence should align with that story ... that could involve a battle with a single "boss" (like in BG1 or BG2) or it could involve a battle with a group ... or it might not involve battle at all but some sort of choices or puzzles to be solved (Fallout 3) ... write a good story and decide what ending works with that story ... we will have plenty of battles in the game so we don't necessarily need a final battle (unless that fits in with the story requirements) :)


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

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As long as the antagonists don't have broken abilities outside the logical rules of the game it'll feel fair.

 

I was upset that Irenicus had almost unlimited high-level protection spell contingencies frustrate my fighters although I had lowered his resistances and made him unconscious.

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Spreading beauty with my katana.

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Please, PLEASE, make the humanoid bosses SMART, and not just overly phat with hp\armour and damage.

 

non-humanoids are ok with that however

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