How to Create a Proper Bossfight.
Reason: The reason I am making this tutorial/walkthrough is due to the lack of interesting bossfights in WC3 maps. The thread I made "pieces to a good and interesting bossfight" went very well, so I decided to create a tutorial. I believe that bossfights play a key role in RPG's as well as other maps, and for that, this is created.
Introduction: In this Tutorial/walkthrough, I will explain what variables make a bossfight, as well a give examples of them, through video and screenshots. To do this I will use an Asomath boss fight rating system that starts at basic then 1, 2, 3, 4. I will show what each level means, and will tell what is required to achive that level of bossfight.
Before I get into the components of a Boss Fight itself. Let me explain a section about affinities.
A boss is always has an affinity for some force, usually in nature, but somtimes man-made. The classical items a boss fight is based off of is the four elements.
|Fire tends to be the power. Fire is unstable, and focuses on consuming all. It is destructive, and spreads, hitting a large area. It also can be considered the act of rebirth, and a resetting of the life cycle.|
|Water||Water tends to be considered as an ever-changing force. It changes its form, and is able to split. It can also be considered secretive. It hides what lurks in the depths…|
|Air||Air is the energetic force. It can be personified as having multiple attitudes, a good and an evil (Calm skies, and the massive storms). People tend to focus on its stormy personality. Air is usually evasive and quick-moving.|
|Earth||When you use Earth, it classifies two forces. One is the nature, the caring and healing powers. The other is the rock, hard and determined. Slow moving, but holds great power.|
Others may seek to differ from the usual elements. There are alot of other forces in universe. The mirrored paths of Light and Dark have been a popular one. Here are some other forces that you may see within bosses.
|The universal or ultimate force tends to be full of itself. Universal is the typical final boss kind of guy. Universal powers talks down to you, and speak intelligently. They tend to use all forces you may have previously fought.|
|Mechanical/Robotic||These bosses use the modern, or future day weaponry. Lasers, guns, bombs, flamethrowers, etc are included in their arsenal.|
|Sinful||These bosses may use human errors or emotions, particularly the seven deadly sins. Greed, gluttony, pride, envy, lust, sloth, and wrath are personified in a pure form.|
There are lots of forces you can connect to your boss. What forces you choose to use can help create originality.
For the remainder of this walkthrough, I will be using a boss with Fire Affinity.
Basic Boss fight(Very Poor).
- A boss
- High Stats
This is the basic form of bossfights. Sadly this is what 90% of boss fights are. A buffed up unit forcing players to engage in 5 minutes of melee fighting. However, this is where all boss fights should start, but not where their creation should end. The one variable you need to pass and go to level one is have a proper boss name representing the boss. Let me show you what I mean...
There are three things that should be known about this name Pyrovulcaneious (Pie-row-vul-cane-e-us). These items are Pyro, Vulcan, and the Sunderer. Pyro is the greek word for Fire. Vulcan is one name for the god of volcanoes. The Sunderer is an added title to the boss to provide a personality to the boss. These components all make a name for this boss which is not only sinister but is very suiting. So to create a title all you need to find is a word to base the name off of, and then make up a title you believe is fitting to go with Him/her, and there you go, you have a boss for a basic bossfight.
Level 1 Boss fight (Needs work).
-Adding events and stages
These components are what makers think to add if they want an intriguing bossfight. However, this is only just above a basic bossfight and still needs work. Although, I would much rather prefer this over basic, so let me explain what makes it.
Adding abilities is the basic part of a level one boss fight, and I think that everyone would agree with this. No one wants to fight a boss for ten minutes with the boss simply spamming the attack animation. Adding a silence ability to the boss can really change the difficulty of the boss. Even if the boss is spamming melee, if you cant heal, you loose.
Adding in events and stages into the boss fight is definatly. If they challenge your reaction time, it makes a player more aware of the fight itself. For example, stop casting and run away from the giant laser that is headed your way, and attempt to get back in range to fight the boss before the laser makes its round trip again. Stages shake up a players strategy. What they were doing moments before may no longer be valid when the stage of the fight changes.
Using the boss I had up above, I have created a video showing a valid phase change.
YouTube - Level One Boss Fight
The phase change is from a DPS phase to a Quick response time Flamestrike phase, and then back to a DPS phase (Yes, I cant even avoid my own Flamestrikes)
Level 2 Boss fight (Adequate).
Adding minions or mini-bosses to a boss fight can make the fight all the more difficult, as it adds an extra threat variable to the fight. So if you are working on fighting a mini-boss, you not only have to work on taking the mini-boss down, but you also have to attempt to evade the main bosses abilitys.
Now in addition to that, the possibility to turn the bosses abilities against him is also a good idea. You should make the abilities seem straightfoward and their purpose clear. However, it should at some point make the players think "hey, wait a second..." or "Hm, cant I just..."
In this video, an infernal is summoned during the Flamestrike phase. The clear purpose of the infernal is to chase me down and make me do irrational movements. However, watch as I turn the prediciment against him...
YouTube - Level Two Boss Fight
Have you read up to this point so far? Then CONGRATULATIONS, you now have the ability to create acceptable bossfights. However, I dont settle with just acceptable teachings...
Level 3 Boss fight (Very Good).
-Uniqueness to Boss/Location
This stuff is where you start getting creative, and decide how far you want to go with your boss fight. Here are definitions of each term I am using.
Every boss can have unique things happen due to the location or what boss it is. This could help you vary from others who follow these steps. For example (From StasMaN) "If there is a Naga boss which is underwater , you should add a safe place and a timer for the breath your hero has, for example a 2 minute timere. When that timer ends , the hero would start losing life until he goes to the safe spot and restores the lost life" That is somthing unique to a water boss, somthing you wouldnt have when you are fighting a giant knight or an Earth Elemental.
Adding fitting voices to the boss when he uses abilitys and does events can create a more realistic feeling to the fight. It can also help to warn players of an upcoming bosses ability. Voices express a bosses personality, therefor making fighting the boss all-the-more exciting. It is nice for a player to know what kind of person they are fighting for once. Their quotes can also provide some backround knowledge about the boss.
Bosses should come with an enviornment that requires the same amount of attention as the boss itself. Although this may seem the same as uniqueness to location, it is not. The boss fight should include small subtle things that may not be noticed, but should be noticed if the player wants to survive. For example, 2 small rocks may appear near a player, no big deal? However, within 4 seconds the rock explodes dealing damage and a massive stun. This stun may lead to the player being hit by another ability they have to run out of to survive. The boss should attempt to trap the player. So, this brings us to the question. Who is attacking or trapping who?
In this very short video I display what I asked for above. I added a voice to Pyrovulcaneious, and you can sense that he is cruel and commanding. He also submerges in lava, which is somthing unique to him.
Also, notice tha gameplay change to the Flamestrike phase. Now, the infernal is slow, but deals dangerous amounts of damage. So, a hit can be fatal. This change requires players to utilize their space, and trap the infernal instead of letting it trap you.
YouTube - Level 3 Boss Fight
One more step to go...
Level 4 Boss fight (Excellent).
Human interaction is the one thing that seperates level 3 from level 4. Let me describe to you why it is so important...
Human-interaction ,if not doubles, triples a bosses difficulty. Most people would be able to beat a boss by-themselves for they know what they are going to do and when they are going to do it. With multiple players, and events that require people to work together, you must learn each others strengths and weakness's. For example, my "Battle against the Defiler" requires all armies to move in on Archimonde at the same time, or else it could easily end up as a defeat. If one person does not know that you are about to move in, and has a delay of about 10 seconds before he realizes that he is supposed to move in, well, its game over.
This screenshot may seem chaotic, for there are several things going on, so let me explain it.
Rain of Fire- A classic ability that all should know. However, in the heat of this boss fight it may be ignored, which makes it deadly. As you can see the headhunters, which are the main damage dealers for player one, are taking severe damage from this.
Minions- There are 3 types of minions in this fight, each deadly. The Felhounds with their mana burns can destroy your healers. The Doomguards have the Rain of Fire listed above. The infernals have their imolation. Since they are spread out when they start, the whole army is taking damage. They need to be moved.
Red Lasers (Corrupt Earth)- This ability is the main cause of death when fighting Archimonde, for it requires MUCH HUMAN INTERACTION. The red beams are shot out from Archimonde, marking the corrupted earth. After a few seconds, all units in that area will be killed instantly, and their health will be added to Archimondes. Both enemy and ally units will be sacrificed. The need for communication here is crucial. If you do not communicate, Player 1 may try to go up, while player 2 tries to go down. The unit chaos that goes on will cause an unnecessary delay, and will result in units being sacrificed, with a wipe.
Do your best to add as much events that require Human Interaction. If you do this, and the above, you will have a level 4 boss fight. With this level 4 boss fight, you will shine in your maps. You will help bring boss justice to WC3.
Level 5 Boss fight (Directors cut/Epic).
Notice how above I said there were 4 levels? Well, this 5th level can be abtained by adding your own originality, your own special touch to the fight. Let your personality shine through your fight. Do this, and you have achieved a level 5.
Here are some final tips on ways you can make a boss fight more interesting.
Enrage/Timer- Bosses that have a window of time to beat them in, makes every move critical. So people need to know what they are doing, and execute it without much of a delay. For example, you are on a ship and a boss has begun overloading the generator, and you must defeat the boss in 8 minutes before the ship explodes. However, the boss also spawns adds that if killed deal a good 4-5% damage to the bosses health. At the point it is critical for each member to be able to stop killing the boss and kill the adds when they spawn, or they might not make the timer.
Theme- Make sure the bosses abilities follow the areas and his theme. Pyrovulcaneious would not have a chain lightning attack, just so he can have an ability that hits everybody. Notice how to abilitys, flamestrike, and infernal were all related to fire. Always make sure the abilities fit the boss. So, if he needed an ability that hits everyone, I would use a fire nova.
Randomization/Secret Powers- Bosses, although some require known abilites to plan strategy, should also include secret powers in the fight. Things like a secret reincarnation or split can make players jump out of their seat. So go ahead, and add the bosses secret LAZERZ, im sure that would be fun for you, and that secret ability may help you show your personality and achieve Level 5.
This concludes my Tutorial/Walkthrough on boss fights. If you have an questions or comments I will be looking at this very frequently, and will be there for you. Hope this is somthing that meets your standards Moderators, for I think this is somthing that has to be addressed.