Forum:Redesigning the Leviathan Raid
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Answer the invitation of Emperor Calus and complete his trials.
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- "Grow fat from strength."
- — Mission description
After having run through the Leviathan Raid a couple of times myself and seeing people complete it on video several times, I can't help but feel that this raiding experience accumulates in an absolute mess. My main problem is that if all Raids are going to be like this from now on, then I feel that they would have lost all their tension. It's mechanically complex, but in all the wrong ways. It's boring when it should be exciting. Perhaps I'm cynical of the royal theme of this raid, aside from the environment, which looks fantastic, but that theme does not translate well into even a remotely fun or actually challenging experience. I'd rather take King's Fall over this, and that's saying a lot, because I actually kind of enjoyed King's Fall. It was very complex, granted, but the combat was hectic enough to provide an exciting pace: Totems, Warpriest, and Oryx were some personal highlights of mine. But I can't say the same about the Leviathan. Well, let's fix that.
- Loyalist War Beast
- Loyalist Psion
- Loyalist Legionary
- Loyalist Phalanx
- Loyalist Incendior
- Loyalist Gladiator
- Loyalist Centurion
- Loyalist Colossus
Strangely enough, this encounter, the Castellum, is fundamentally fine. I have absolutely no problems with having to split into different teams to both lock down and pursue an objective, although I still have a few minor gripes with it. For one, I find it frustrating that once a Standard Liberator takes one of the keys, it's completely gone and we can't get it back. We should be allowed to get it back whenever we kill him so we can return it to the door. Now of course, the one who stole it won't be highlighted in any way as to not be able to easily spot which one has it, but at least it won't be a hard reset for that phase. Also, it would be more manageable if the Councilor were to provide random elemental shielding to the Loyalists as opposed to flat-out immunity. They're still able to be killed, it'll just take a bit longer to do so. Lastly, I think we can afford to have the Standard Bearers be more aggressive and roam around the arena like those high-value targets we see in Patrol mode. So while I find certain parts of this encounter annoying, it's mostly fine on its own.
I'll admit, the Gauntlet is likely the most fun encounter in the entire raid. Like Totems in King's Fall, there's an equal mix of combat and mechanics to keep the players engaged in it. The issue I have is that neither section is particularly exciting here. Let's get that blood pumping, starting with the adds. It's simply a generic hurdle that Bungie uses all the time in their encounters and it's both boring and annoying. It's like we have to kill them before we even get anywhere. You also had to manage adds carefully in Totems for sure, but at least they weren't a complete roadblock.
So of course you would have adds running around the area, but this would cause the Imperial Centurion to spawn earlier, except we'll call it the Gauntlet Centurion. Now this you absolutely have to kill. Not only will he have dual Projection Rifles to make him more threatening, but when you kill him, he will drop a psionic charge upon death. Whoever picks this up will gain the "Force of Will" buff, which will allow them to destroy the Psionic Projections keeping the portal to the obstacle course closed. Once the portal opens, you enter it as normal, but you can't simply run through it normally this time around.
There will be mines and nets carefully laid throughout the obstacle course. These obstacles can be destroyed by using power from the psionic charge, but this will drain your health. There will also be a barrier in the holes that has to be shot down with the charge when the people on the outside shoot the arrows, which aren't going anywhere, except upon shooting an arrow, you get a debuff that prevents you from being able to shoot them for another rotation, so you may want to plan your arrow shooters ahead of time. This process repeats through the encounter's normal conclusion, but it wouldn't be over with everyone putting their psionic charges in the middle at the same time. When that happens, there will a giant Ultra Colossus called a Gauntlet Champion. Kill him, and you're free to go.
Redesigned Pleasure Gardens
I do like the Pleasure Gardens' potential incorporation of stealth gameplay in endgame activities. If done right, it'll easily be remembered as one of the most tense and even scariest levels in the game. Now, Calus has a fair point: you never know where a beast might lurk. I even got a good scare during the first couple of times that I ran through this section. I'd say fair enough but...we got some work to do with this encounter. Of course, before the actual beginning, we have everyone scrambling to kill adds and collect their ammo as normal. You're going to need those Cluster Bomb Rockets, Merciless, what have you, to be able to deal damage to the dogs.
So you pick up the prism weapons, the safety room lets everyone else in, and you start to plan your next route. "Do you go left or right? Wait, why are you looking behind you? Forget about the spores! Get going! Just watch your step.", I tell you as I watch you and your team run through this redesign. Seriously, watch your step. There are Cabal bear traps in your path. They'll be hard to spot, but should you trigger one of them, you'll know next time to not step there. So aside from this trap instantly taking down your shield and keeping you locked in place like a vice, the mere sound of it snapping shut will be enough to make the Royal Beasts enter a frenzy and start attacking all players in sight. If you're trapped, shoot at it to free yourself. As you're being chased by the dogs back into the safety room, chambers will open to expel a gas that will repel the dogs as the doors start to close. Once the doors open back up, reconsider your path, and don't repeat the same mistake, alright?
Instead of everyone gathering at a plant to immediately gain the "Empowering Spores" buff with the spores already in hand, the prism holders have to shoot the flowers to pollinate them. This will attract one of the dogs to it, causing it to track its scent and stay there. Crouch and move slowly. You wouldn't want to disturb it. Mainly, everyone down below goes off on their own to claim a spore from that flower which will already have 12 stacks of the buff, except there will be different kinds of flowers, thereby requiring each spore holder to remain separate from each other, lest they accidentally mix the two and create a poison mist that will cloud the entire area, except the safety room. To gain additional stacks, you sneak around to other flowers to collect their pollen. Once you have attained enough stacks, you may begin the damage phase. This will alert all the other dogs, but this time it won't matter. It is possible to lead them into traps for an easy damage run. Once all the beasts are killed, a giant Ultra War Beast called a Rabid War Beast will spawn. Its death will end the encounter.
Redesigned Royal Pools
Here's where I honestly start to lose it. Ignoring the whole "scrub-a-dub-dub" theme, the Royal Pools encounter just screams, "Monotony!"; no one wants to see the player just stand in one place for several seconds at a time, while only killing one or two enemies in the process of waiting for their Ceremonial Bather to get out of its tub. That's boring! Instead of starting with the "Psionic Protection" buff, you first have to earn it. Since the bath is toxic, let's keep dry for now and play a little game of "The Floor is Lava".
Each of you would rotate in the same manner that you normally would, but you would constantly be moving around to slowly build up stacks of the buff. You will not be immune until you reach at least 50 stacks. To slowly increase your stacks, players should grab the psionic charges floating on each of the corners. Each charge will grant 2 stacks. For every 10 stacks, excluding 50, achieved by the whole team, a Ceremonial Bather will spawn at each tub, the doors will close, and the psionic charges disappear. Other enemies will be attacking you, so you may now stop running around and shoot them all down. Getting attacked by the bather will subtract one stack of the protection buff per hit. If you somehow run out of stacks, you will be inflicted with the "Toxic Nectar Vapor" debuff, which will surround your field of view with a purple haze, drain your health, and reduce the magazine and ammo counts for your equipped weapons. Killing the bather will cause it to drop a psionic charge for you to pick up to keep collecting more stacks of the buff. When you reach 50 stacks, you go to the middle as normal to kill the censers. However, the censers now behave more like turrets and are able to periodically fire streams of toxic gas that can ignore the protection buff, and they will be rotating around the room as well. These censers can be frozen by destroying the Psionic Projections, though they will still attack. When all the censers are destroyed, a large Ultra Gladiator called a Submersed Bather will move forward and attack. Kill it to finish the encounter.
And finally, here we are: the encounter that makes me both want to pull my hair out and fall asleep all at the same time. No other encounter arouses such a strong mix of boredom and anger than the Throne room with Emperor Calus. First thing right off the bat, Calus, if you think we're a disturbance to you, why not just immediately send us to the Mind's Eye dimension instead of lazily sending in reinforcements? Sure, that means Bungie will have to pull another Atheon move, but at least we actually get to the action.
So, he teleports one half of the team into his mindscape with his double clap and they do what they normally do in there (except they don't have to worry about the symbols on Calus' forehead), while everyone in the throne room will need to defend a bowl of Royal Wine against waves of Cabal. In the meantime, a Councilor will appear, which will cause everyone in the mindscape to get sucked in while also personally shielding Major Centurions called Royal Consumers with a random element. Killing it will halt the sucking process as well as temporarily stun the Consumers. The Consumers must be killed for, if they ever consume any wine, they will enter a permanent berserker rage which will give them significant damage resistance and increased movement and attack speed. To assist in this, Calus will summon his Afterburn blasts followed by shots from a wrist-mounted rocket launcher. If 3 Consumers successfully consume the wine, then Calus will summon his Imperial Nova. Shoot him to stop this attack, or you all die. Just remember those Councilors. While the throne team is fending off everything else, the Mind's Eye team shoots down the skulls as normal to see how many stacks they can gather, but when they re-enter the throne room, they will need to spill the bowl over the other teammates to grant them the "Force of Will" buff, allowing you to damage Calus as normal, except that standing on a plate starts to drain your health, so always be rotating. When he enters his robot phase, his attacks are faster and have a much longer range. Kill him and you'll get your loot down below.
My goodness, there were so many sections I had to take apart. This raid is definitely not perfect the way it is, even if I'm looking at it differently than what it's supposed to be played like. Point is, the Leviathan has nothing on the raids from Destiny 1, especially Vault of Glass. Anyway, here's to hoping that the next full raid won't suck, but let's be honest: it probably will...because this is Bungie we're talking about.