5 Things I do not hate about the Coliseum

This is the first week in which I’ve run the Coliseum three times, which feels like a lot given that I’m not especially fond of the place. Amusingly, none of those raids involved hard modes, as we simply don’t have enough interested people to form two 10 man hard mode raids and I was apparently non-optimal (which I don’t agree with but I don’t actually like the Coliseum so who cares?)

I am not one to fret about other people beating the same content as me, but you can tell there’s something off with the tuning when my Naxx-10 geared alt can run it and come top of the healing meters. Just saying. It is both too easy and undertuned on 10 man, so there.

In the spirit of positive thinking, I’m listing some things that I like about the current raid instance. There will be another matching post about things I do hate, it will be rather longer.

All Takes Place in One Room

The Coliseum raid is set up like an arena. Players stand in the arena, and a succession of raid bosses get shoved in through the front gate for our killing pleasure. Unfortunately the Coliseum does not feature any of the really good parts of an arena such as being able to place side bets on the bosses, or gouts of blood and people sustaining really horrific injuries.

I don’t find the single room, bosses-come-to-you model to be an issue. It’s a change of pace, and makes the place rather dull from an exploration point of view, but one slightly different raid setup in an expansion isn’t worth fussing about. It also means that there is an explanation for why the raid bosses are turning up, rather than having them all standing around in rooms on their own waiting for us. Granted, it is a fucking stupid explanation (so, the Argent Tournament chaps collected all these really tough raid bosses and decided to make a three ring circus out of things…) but I’ll take my ongoing narrative as I can get it.

I realise that epic storytelling is not what one needs expect of raid instances but we can do better than “You enter a 10’x10’ room. A raid boss is standing in the middle of it.” Blizzard is trying to do this better I think – Ulduar does have explanations for the placement of many of the bosses at least  — but it’s a constant struggle. As I say, at least the Coliseum framework provides a kind of explanation.

I also like that we can see some of the bosses outside, either tethered around the tournament area or in cut scenes as they are captured. It is in fact quite a neat way to let non-raiders (if there are any left) get a sight of the raid bosses, dull as they may be.

And then the floor fell in

I am an absolute sucker for having the environment change around us as a result of things we have done (even if ‘things we have done’ just means setting off the next boss encounter). Call me shallow but I like it when the floor caves in and everyone goes tumbling down into the depths. Collapsing floors were the saving grace of the Malygos encounter and they entertain me here as well.


The last fight in the raid instance is rather more interesting than the rest. It features a few interesting twists on old mechanics – you have to run /into/ the patches of ice instead of away from them. We saw that mechanic used on Vezax but everything is always better when there are spikes involved, especially giant spikes that come out of the ground and try to stab people.

I also rather like the phase 3 mechanic in which healers have to try to keep the raid on about half health rather than healing everyone up to full. I think that’s a more interesting healing challenge than normal raid fights, on paper at least.

Also Anub has a really sexy voice. After having to listen to Tirion Fordring and the Lich King, both of whom have me reaching for my earplugs, I’ll settle for my velvet voiced beetle buddy. And when I say buddy, I mean undead giant beetle who is trying to kill me and my 24 closest friends due to being brainwashed by a fat necromancer.

Spikes on Tier 9

Did you know that there are three different ways to get hold of tier 9 gear at the moment? There’s the pure badge version, the 25 man normal token version, and the heroic token version. We’re all going to be in T9 whether we like it or not.

But at least it has spikes.

Easy Alt Gearing

One nice thing about the (lack of) difficulty is that it actually is easy again to put a raid together, bringing a couple of non-raiders and undergeared alts and still have everyone get something that is currently useful for them (ie. badges). I’m all for MMOs making it easy for people to play together.

This weekend I ran a raid along those lines. In some ways it was challenging to have such low dps but I also get a sense of achievement as a raid leader from being able to chivvy everyone through it in such a way that the overgeared guys don’t get too bored, the undergeared guys don’t feel overwhelmed, we don’t wipe more than once (faction champs, my fault for not having one of the healers switch to dps on the first attempt), and everyone gets something that they want – either loot or badges.

Ulduar was a bit too long and difficult to make that feasible. As a player, I did love Ulduar. As someone who wants to include non-raiding friends, Coliseum is relatively quick, easy, and accessible.

Your turn now. Say something nice about the Coliseum 🙂

7 thoughts on “5 Things I do not hate about the Coliseum

  1. I like how vast the range of bosses is, like with Ulduar you generall come across robot- metal thing- giant thing- squid thing.

    Colliseum is different – You have Northrend beast, Lord Jaxxarus (I love demons, wtb more) — Then WOAH pvp fight! etc..etc…

    Its great, oh and im also a sucker for environment change too, its awesome!

  2. They changed drain soul to be able to get multiple soul shards per mob… and then they design a whole raid tier without a single trash mob -.-

    More trash please…

    And Anub Phase 3 is very nice if your class depends on life tap for mana regeneration, you get the nice molten core feeling where you always had to decide between mana or survival. 🙂

    But I really love the beasts fight. It’s always fun (as long as others catch the snowbolds 🙂 and the 3 phases are very different and come natural. Not like “ok, I’m down to 30% hp, now I could hit a little bit harder and oh, why not use that new spell.”.

  3. The badge/token system is a sort of love/hate relationship for me. On one hand, I like how we can pick anyone in the raid to actually get the tier upgrade. On the other hand, I don’t like how I have to farm badges to get said upgrade. Badge gear was supposed to supplement bad drops, not be required for upgrades. I shouldn’t feel forced to farm every version of ToC if I want to be able to buy the tier piece when I already have the token.

    Also, beasts is a decent fight. At least the Icehowl charge mechanic is rather inventive.

  4. I really enjoy the mechanics of the Twins fight. Ikaruga was an amazing game, and this fight captures some of the best parts about the game while still remaining Wowish. I hear heroic mode is fantastic.

    I also like how Heroic Beasts is a badass of a gearcheck. Very few things thrill me more as a healer than seeing my tank’s health plummet within the first two swings, knowing that the entire fight is going to keep me on the edge of my seat.

  5. Not only is it Easy Alt Gearing, it’s easy gearing after taking a break. I am not pigeon-holed into doing Naxx10 for gear anymore because I took a break from the game. I can do a few heroics and get into a ToC or Ony PuG and actually see new content. For me, that makes all the difference in the world.

  6. The fight mechanics are really interesting, if, as you say, undertuned on normal mode.

    It’s a shame they couldn’t think of an evocative storyline or location to use them in.

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