This messaging helps players to figure out, â€śokay so I need this shield to go into the room and secure the Annihilator Totem.â€ť Once they realize they can stand there without dying two more things happen. First, another player might try to stand in the shield as well. This is because there are multiple shields throughout the game (Like the titan defender class or the Relic shield in the Vault of Glass Raid) which multiple players can take advantage of the benefits. So they might try it. The other is that the â€śBrand of the Weaverâ€ť timer will run out.
When the timer runs out the player holding the shield loses it. â€śBrand of the Weaverâ€ť is replaced by â€śDeathsingerâ€™s Power x10â€ť. At this point if the player is alone on the Annihilator Totem, they will begin to lose health. Any playerâ€™s gut reaction at beginning to die is, â€śI need to get the hell out of here.â€ť Unfortunately, they canâ€™t leave the Annihilator Totem or the entire team wipes. They will call someone else over to try and take their spot for them on the totem while they get the heck out of there. If the new player who is heading over to the totem is paying attention, they may notice the black Orb respawning. Typically, then they attempt to grab it and go to the Annihilator Totem. If they get there before the player with â€śDeathsingerâ€™s Power x10â€ť dies, then the player with Deathsingerâ€™s Power will notice they are no longer taking damage while in the shield. So, if the players donâ€™t already know that more than one of them can be in the shield at once, they will now.
Side note: If they donâ€™t make it there in time, then the player with Deathsingerâ€™s Power will die and lose Deathsingerâ€™s Power. Often times the second player will die not long after because it takes 30 seconds for a player to be available to be revived again, and the shield only lasts 30 seconds. As you can see, if the player dies right after the second player grabs the shield, they are not going to get revived in time. Resulting in eventually everyone dying.
If a player chose to save their own skin and try to get back to the center where they wont be killed, the Annihilator Totems will activate after a time and kill everyone. But, if someone can make it over there to stop the Annihilator Totem from wiping everyone out, then the player with Deathsingerâ€™s Power will have a few seconds to experiment. When the player with Deathsingerâ€™s Power accidentally or intentionally reaches the center plate they begin to get feedback. The plate lights up, â€śDeathsingerâ€™s Power x10â€ť begins to go count down, and the runes on the sides of the portal begin to glow.
Side note: The runes give players feedback on how far they are to completing this section. When the player brings the Deathsingerâ€™s Power to the center plate, the Deathsingerâ€™s Power number counts down slowly. While this is happening, runes are beginning to light up starting from the bottom runes on the portal doorway. Once all the runes are fully lit, the players can progress to the next challenge.
Though I admire this section of the raid because of the amount of teamwork and communication it promotes, it is not perfect. In order to actually win the, players need to figure out that they can pass the shield between each other. This is done by both players being inside the shield at the end of the â€śBrand of the Weaverâ€ť countdown. The messaging here is not as clear cut as in the rest of this section because the player who is in the shield with the player who is holding the shield has â€śAura of the Weaverâ€ť displayed. While this is excellent messaging that the player is inside the shield, it doesnâ€™t help them understand that anything is going to happen when the player holding the shieldâ€™s countdown ends. So this part really just comes down to trial and error and hoping the players can figure it out.
Side note: Perhaps making it say â€śAura of the Weaver transfer 0:30â€ť and having it count down as well would make it more clear as to what the players need to do.
Putting the pieces together and how to beat it:
Once the players have figured all this out it gets considerably easier. Players will need to split into two teams of three. One for right side one for left side. (For the rest of this explanation Iâ€™m going to talk about only one side to keep from confusing readers. I am doing this because both sides need to do the exact same thing.) Of the team of three, one player will stay in the middle to kill enemies who spawn out of the portal and surrounding doors. If left unchecked the enemies from the portal will rush the players on the totems. The Wizards which spawn from the doors will attempt to kill the players in the center room exclusively.
The other two will run to the Annihilator Totem collecting the black orb along the way. These two players will have to kill enemies and remain on the Annihilator Totem.
They must do this while both are also in the shield or the shield will not pass to the next player. When the â€śBrand of the Weaverâ€ť timer runs out the the shield will be passed to the player who was not holding it. It will begin to count down and a boomer will spawn on a ledge far above the players. They will have to kill this boomer. The player who was holding the shield needs to tell the player who was in the center room to switch. Upon doing so both players switch places.
So the player who was holding the shield now will be in the center room killing enemies while standing on the plate to charge the door and remove their â€śDeathsingerâ€™s Powerâ€ť. The player who was standing at the totem but not holding the shield now is the shield holder and must remain on the totem until they pass the shield. The player who started in the center is now standing inside the shield, at the totem, killing enemies and preparing to have the shield passed to them. This process is repeated 10 times until the Warpriest deems the players worthy and the portal opens.
A visual map I put together of what the area looks like: The gray boxes are pillars (or other visual obstructions). The Green arrow is the route two players take at the very beginning. The Blue arrow is the route the player with Deathsingerâ€™s Power will take. The red arrow is the route the player who is in the center will take when they are told to switch.
There are two ways the difficulty increases over time:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The shield gets a little bit smaller every time it is passed. So it is easier as time goes on for players to think they are in the shield when they are not. Thus resulting in the shield not being passed.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â More/tougher enemies spawn from the portal
The three most common reasons for players to lose in this section are:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The player was not in the shield when the timer ran out.
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The players on the totems died. Usually, this is a result of not killing their boomer fast enough.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Not everyone is on the same page/paying attention.
I like these rooms because it puts a huge emphasis on teamwork. While it is tough and many people believe it is impossible to win after a player dies, I know it isnâ€™t. (our record is 2 players dying and we were still able to come back and finish it.) I particularly like how it isnâ€™t difficult based on how much damage the players need to do on a boss or anything like that. Players lose mostly because of human error, they just missed something, or lost engagement for just a second. This style of design I enjoy the most because I donâ€™t have to grind and then just cheese a boss. Regardless of how powerful my guardian will become this section of the raid will always be difficult because it is mostly based on players focusing, listening, and working together. Regardless of how skilled I am, our team is only as good as our weakest player and it really shows here.
I will continue my look into the Kingâ€™s Fall Raid next week, when we look at another encounter. This time with a particularly nasty pair of sisters. I would like to thank KackisHD, his videos supplied me with the images I needed for the center room and the right room. (more of his work can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLM1eE8w_DZ89n4yIxVbffA ) And GF LaserBolt for the image of the left room. (more of his work can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5kbCDveYQUcxoOll5NKocA ) This post would have taken considerably more time if I had to capture the video myself.
Iâ€™ll see you guys next week,
Enjoyed this post? Part 2 is finally up! It can be found HERE!
More posts like this one can be found on Scott's Blog/Portfolio www.ScottFineGameDesign.com