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Monday, May 22, 2006

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The Creation Of A Warcraft Monster
7:36 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment recently offered a detailed look at the process of creating a new monster for the very successful World of Warcraft. The article looks specifically at Thaddius, a Frakenstein-like monstrosity who lurks within the Naxxrammas raid dungeon to be released with the 1.11 patch.

It would be the easiest thing for us to create an undefeatable boss. The real effort, though, lies in designing an encounter that is challenging but still fun, that provides players with a good way of gauging their level of success, and that remains entertaining even after you have figured out how to beat the boss. Striking that careful balance between challenge and frustration is no easy achievement. With Thaddius, we want to present players with a fight unlike anything they have mastered before, surprising them with new combat mechanics that require them to come up with some brand new tactics of their own.

We approached the encounter design with some very simple ideas, one of which was the idea to have the raid split up in some way. We took that concept and ran with it, and over the course of the design cycle the idea of dividing the raid group evolved and took a more concrete shape. At the start of the encounter, the players don't fight Thaddius himself; they battle two wights that are in the same room on two separate platforms. These platforms are not directly connected, so to fight them the raid has to split up and attack both wights at the same time. But it gets worse... the wights have the ability to snatch a player from one platform and pull him to the other, which again is a way to split up the raid and divide their forces. We're pretty happy with the carnage and confusion the wights will cause unsuspecting raiders during this first stage of the fight.

The rest of the glimpse at monster design can be read at the link below.

Anatomy of a Monster: Thaddius
Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft
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Archives  News  The Creation Of A Warcraft Monster