- 2013/03/22 05:54:00 PM
Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas noticed this thread last night and has these thoughts to share:
Yes, Oondasta's maximum health has been reduced by 50%. The design intent behind this boss was for the primary audience to be guilds rather than pickup groups. That is why we placed Oondasta on a relatively remote island, surrounded by powerful elite dinosaurs that make solo travel in the area a dicey proposition. It's why he has mechanics that will outright kill you without the coordinated use of cooldowns, and careful positioning. It's a very different philosophy than our approach to designing bosses like Sha of Anger or Nalak. Of course, things didn't exactly play out as we envisioned -- as we all know, it was possible to overwhelm Oondasta with sheer numbers. While not intended, that was not entirely negative. There have been some pretty epic experiences on the Isle of Giants in the last couple of weeks. There's something to be said for the sight of a hundred spells and missiles flying through the air at a huge dinosaur.
We could have made a number of changes that would have made this approach entirely impossible: Consider a version of Oondasta with a Spiritfire Beam that could hop to 99 targets instead of 20, and a Doomwalker-style debuff that prevented players who had died during the encounter from re-engaging. Definitely not zergable. But that doesn't mean that people would stop trying, and the result would likely be a boss that no one could kill, and a frustrating experience for most participants. So we didn't do that.
Ultimately, while our server hardware is much, much more powerful than what we had in place during the days of events like the Opening of Ahn'Qiraj years ago, it still has limits. And what we have increasingly been observing was players massing around Oondasta in such great numbers that it brought servers to their knees. As word spreads that Oondasta has spawned, more and more people flock to the Isle of Giants for a piece of the action. Many people have been in Oondasta fights where spells took multiple seconds to cast, and the dinosaur perhaps stopped using its abilities entirely. Players with anything but the very best computers saw nothing but a slideshow. And in extreme cases, the entire continent of Pandaria crashed. That simply isn't an acceptable experience for our players, and so we reduced Oondasta's health, so that smaller groups are more likely to be successful, and he'll likely die before so many players arrive that it degrades the experience for everyone present. If server capacity were limitless, we wouldn't have made any of these changes, but alas that is not the case.
Oondasta clearly did not deliver on our original expectations. We'll apply the lessons learned from this experience to any future world bosses we add.