August 28, 2009

Scarlet Commander Garrous

The Scarlet Sanctuary... sitting at the heart of Scarlet Harbor, this fortress is a bastion of safety and strength for the unsucessful Scarlet Onslaught assault on Northrend. It is a beacon of hope to them... and it is for that very reason that the heroes of Azeroth are being sent to besiege it. You have assassinated their leaders, crushed their aerial forces, and turned their own men against them... now, it is time to destroy the head of the beast.

SS is designed to be a very large building, like a cathedral- an extremely tall ceiling, smooth marble floors, and columns all around. It's basically so big that there are no walls within the building- it's all one huge room with walkways and stairs leading to balconies and things, very gothic architecture. Okay, I'm no environment designer- I would have to rely on artists to nail this one, I have an idea in my head but that's about it. No real specifics. Let's stop pretending I can design a building and move on.

Okay, let's move on to our first boss... Scarlet Commander Garrous. On your way to him, you'll fight mostly infantry- plate-wearing troops with spears, sword and shield, or bow and arrow. Just basic, noncomplicated soldiers of the Scarlet Onslaught. When you arrive at the boss room, two soldiers are standing in an arena in the middle of the room, fighting each other, and there are crowds of mobs- hostile, but they do not attack and cannot be attacked- watching the two fight. It's like a little tournament among the men, and Garrous is there to watch the fight in an official capacity, basically. You enter the room on the south side of the arena- the crowds of soldiers are to the west and east, and Garrous is to the north, along with his two elite guards. The only mob on the south side is the person referreeing the fight in the arena- he is how you start the fight. You pull, and very quickly kill him- he's nonelite, he's merely there to die.

The Commander is actually pleased at this interruption- watching a bunch of noskills flail at each other has bored him, he wants to see a real fight. He orders his men to stand back, and they do, lining up against the walls. Throughout the fight, they come in waves at the players, until the fight is ended. When the Commander dies, the terrified soldiers flee the building- and yes, if you're so inclinded, you can kill them as they try to run. If the soldiers run out before the fight is through... the Commander enrages. This encounter may have a hard mode, I'm not sure- I like the idea of this instance basically feeling like a 5 man raid.

The Commander himself does not directly attack the party. Instead, he will randomly select one party member at a time, and challenges them to a one-on-one duel in the arena. I say "challenge", but you aren't given much of a choice- you are magically disarmed, and pulled into the arena, which is, itself, surrounded by an anti-magic barrier. Unless you plan on punching this guy out, you gotta play along. He tosses you three weapons, letting you take your pick- a broadsword, a longsword, and a rapier. When you pick one, it switches to a vehicle-style interface- each weapon has its own unique attacks and abilities, and it's impossible to access your regular ones. In addition, your health is buffed to a set level. So DPS, tank, or heals, any of them would do equally well in the arena. There is also an achievement for having beaten the Commander after having used each weapon- in seperate runs, of course.

While the Commander and the random party member are fighting, the rest of the part has to handle the adds- three waves while the party member is dueling, one wave with everyone there, and then three with the next party member in. No one will duel twice- the random generator that picks the duelist will exclude you if you've gone already. There are 11 waves of adds- just the exact number so that if your last party member can't kill the Commander in time, he enrages.

Of course, it may seem like there is far too much opportunity for failure. What if a tank gets chosen, or a healer? That is where the weapons come in. Depending on what weapon you pick, you get a special effect that occurs to the group outside fighting the adds every time they kill an add. If you pick the broadsword, the adds will cause a little AoE damage to all other adds in a set radius when they die- this makes up for lost DPS somewhat. If you pick the longsword, the first person on that mob's aggro list when the mob dies gets a damage absorbing shield, to make up for the lack of tank. And if you pick the rapier, the mob does an AoE heal to party members when it dies. A neat little thing to keep you from being screwed when suddenly your healer has to take up arms.

So that's the jist of the fight. Duelling, fighting waves of adds. I think, if done right, it could be a really fun fight. If I think of a hard mode I really like, I'll add that- something to do with those personal guards of Commander Garrous's, likely. Will add another two bosses tomorrow, enjoy!

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