Originally posted by Apostate: 24 March 2005 And to think when we first got to Anguish I was worried that the Omens of War expansion was going to be too easy, and be over quickly. If the goal of a raid encounter is to force perfect cohesion and teamwork among the raiders, then it’s going to be hard for any raid encounter in any game to top Mata Muram. I think the word ‘unforgiving’ sums it up best. The encounter goes like this: On the surface, he’s a pretty standard boss. He does damage that’s more or less appropriate for a target at his stage of the game, and has two large instant-respawn minibosses with similar damage that must be controlled. Smaller adds spawn periodically that multiply themselves the longer they stay alive. Not all that bad on the face of it. His trick comes in the form of probably the most punishing mechanic that’s ever been tried in this game: periodically, a single person on the raid gets an emote that only they can see. They have a few seconds to react to it and cast a spell just for the encounter- if they succeed, he’s somewhat weakened. If they fail, he powers up the point where it might not guarantee a raid wipe, but in the few seconds that it even takes for everyone to realize someone has screwed up, probably everyone near him is dead. Eventually, mudflation will take the sting out of screwing up, but I don’t think it’ll be any expansion soon; I still expect 2 or 3 expansions later for full raids to wipe with characters several times as powerful due to a single screw up. So, don’t screw up, right? Well, Mata Muram is a boss about pure disruption and chaos. He silences, knock-backs, stuns, fizzle-curses, slows cast time, mana drains, snares, and that’s just getting started. What happens if the main tank gets hit by his emote, and as a warrior they have no channeling to cast the spell required by the emote? What if the person is silenced? What if they are stunned? All of that is normal on the encounter. Think back to all the raid encounters you’ve done, ones that were pretty easy, but then something went horribly wrong and you barely won. Maybe the main tank link died. Maybe someone you were counting on missed their job. That’s what the encounter constantly duplicates. It is pure chaos, and forcing every person on the raid to constantly react to anyone else unable to perform, while frantically trying to keep up with their own jobs. All the while, he has little scripted tricks he keeps playing, designed to disorient, disrupt, and destroy the raid. To really describe it, this update would be several times as long, and I doubt even then I could do it justice. I love the fight, I don’t think I’ve ever been pushed so hard while playing and still had a good time. A lot of players would think we’re masochistic for putting so much effort into an encounter like that. Some other hardcore players would even wonder why we bothered, when we guessed the drops probably weren’t going to be very significant upgrades over the rest of anguish that took us a third of the time to beat, or killing a boss that most other players will confuse with the name of the boss of the previous expansion. The truth is, I truly didn’t care what he would drop, or who was going to hear about it. The reward for me isn’t in those ‘rewards,' it’s actually in learning the encounter, and pushing a guild of your friends to its limits again and again, and tuning little by little until things finally click. Mata offered that, and will still offer that for some time:I kind of doubt anyone will be calling him a farm mob for a long, long time.