Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog
A resto shaman perspective on raiding


September 27, 2010

Welcome to: The Dark Side

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Written by: Vixsin
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Thank you for making the choice to join Blizzard’s Evil NPC Empire! We do hope you enjoy your stay with us, whether your final destination is a holiday event, landmark instance, or some backwater cave or subterranean lair where no one will ever visit you once your 15 minutes of fame are up. As part of the Evil Conglomerate of Baddies and Misunderstood Angsty Bosses (or NAMBLA, as we like to call it), you’re joining the ranks of prestigious villains hellbent on destroying the world and thwarting good many times over. Thanks to the Azeroth Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we’re assured of having many cities and buildings to destroy in the years to come!

As the first step in membership in this Elite Hero-Fighting Unit, you’ll need to design an instance encounter that really captures the essence of who you are as a Big Bad Boss. You’ll later be meeting with our Incredibly Evil Design Team to work out the perfect evil experience. Our team is staffed with only the most skilled and most reprehensible experts in Evil Lighting, Evil Décor, Evil Speech-writing and Evil Acting. Your Evil Adventure Stylist will be scheduling an appointment with you soon™ to go over all the details, but to get you started on brainstorming, we’ve included a list of the wide variety of encounter mechanics you’ll find at our Evil Encounter Design Smorgasbord. Feel free to take this list with you as you wander our perfectly manicured graveyards or when you stop by Death&Decay, our all-new luxury spa set, in the mountains, of picturesque Storm Peaks.


Setting the Stage

As any evil designer will testify, ambiance is the most important factor in establishing a truly heart-wrenching encounter. For example, where a fire in a brazier makes something feel quaint and cozy (bad), fire as a part of a towering flaming wall of molten death will make them scream in terror (good). So, before you start focusing on the nuances of Magic versus Melee damage or curses versus poisons, take some time to plan out some of the major elements of your Evil plot; because you know what they say, the devil is in the details.

A. Trash

Setting the stage for the encounter to come, your trash really speaks to who you are as an Evil Magnate.

  1. Rollin with the homies – A posse of mobs is the perfect way to greet large numbers of guests and demonstrate just how important you are. We have a host of dungeon denizens to populate your antechamber with, grouped in convenient 2-, 3-, 5- and 6- packs and already pre-socialized. Upgrading to pathing mobs is provided free of charge.
  2. Say hello to my little friend(s) – If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of an entire entourage, a couple unique and powerful friends can send the same cool and hip message and spare you the socialite feel.
  3. The lone gunman– Sometimes it’s good to get away from it all, so we offer the straight solo package for the Evil Overlord looking to be the center of attention.

B. Self-Discovery

The path to being a truly successful Evil Overlord is a long and taxing one, and oftentimes doesn’t leave much room for personal reflection. That’s why your Evil Encounter should be equally about your death threats to the living Heroes who invade your sanctum on a weekly basis, as much as it is about who *you* are.

  1. The lone wolf – No need to rely on someone else to do your dirty work; our team is more than capable of equipping you with every hero-fighting gadget you need, spontaneously manifested in your back pocket right when you need them, so that you don’t need to rely on anyone else to get the job done right.
  2. Lost in a crowd – Like having your friends along for the ride? Your perfect evil encounter can accommodate up to 9 of your closest friends or acquaintances, and provide the perfect framework for their own unique abilities.
  3. The victim – If you’re secretly doubting your choice to join the Evil NPC Empire, you can always pose as someone in dire need of rescuing and avoid that pesky Resurrection process. Valithria Dreamwalker holds classes weekly about playing the damsel in distress while still creating a unique and viciously challenging encounter of doom.
  4. The late game save – There’s nothing more frustrating than being denied complete satisfaction, so for the truly mischievous and dastardly character, the late game save will allow you to escape the clutches of players and ensure that your taunts shall ring in their ears until a subsequent Heroic dungeon is released on a crappy PVP island and you find yourself with some spare time to kill.

C. To platform or not to platform

The Boss Formerly Known as Arthas – Teleporter + Stairs, The End Game Package

The choice of whether or not to elevate yourself to heights beyond your ken is an important one to make. A couple of stairs can make all the difference between distinguishing yourself as a guild-wrecker or being regarded as a mini-boss.

  1. Yes, give me risers! – Even when you’re 20 feet tall, those several steps can only help emphasize how truly badass you are. The more steps you have, the badder you are. (Unfortunately, we’re not able to offer ramp access at this time because, quite frankly, being ADA compliant was damaging for our Evil reputation.)
  2. No, I could trip – Sometimes mis-direction is key, and keeping the steps to a minimum can help deceive annoyingly perky adventurers into thinking that they’re really on your level.
  3. Teleporter Plus Package – For an additional fee, you can upgrade your standing to the Totally Badass Elite Evil Tier and render yourself and one of your evil compatriots completely inaccessible to mere mortals with our Teleporter Plus Package. Please note, due to pervasive design flaws, evil teleporters are one-way only. So make sure you pack everything you need for an extended stay.

D. Enrages

Sometimes, the only way to truly convey your frustration with people who keep intruding on your privacy night-after-night, week-after-week, is to let those slack-jawed dandelions know that there’s a definite limit to your patience and hospitality.

  1. Hard – If going from moderately annoyed to full blown nuclear is your idea of a good time, our Evil Design Team can outfit you with a rage-on-demand IV to make sure your flip-out is … Cataclysmic … without that awful green tinge suffered by other lesser fantastical characters.
  2. Soft – Favored by some of our newer Evil Additions, soft enrages are the perfect solution for the evil boss not looking for the commitment entailed in being a complete psycho.
  3. Bi-polar – Maybe it’s a bad week, bad day, or series of truly unfortunate events, but sometimes rabid bi-polarism is necessary to express the full spectrum of Evil emotions that you’re capable of. Toy with Heroes’ emotions by putting them through a series of on-again, off-again enrages akin to a multiple-personality bi-polar with a heaping helping of inferiority complexes.


The Main Event

So now that you’ve designed the perfect(ly evil) setting for your gem of a battle, it’s time to start thinking about all of the delicious ways to keep adventures from getting all up on your booty (or chest, depending on the way you choose to display your epic loot). The following elements will be the meat-and-potatoes of the fight, the insane flourishes that make an indelible mark on their raiding careers, and could bear fruit as a lifetime of nervous ticks for everyday words (eg: Did you see that Jimmy left his bike Unchained? It’s Magic that it hasn’t been stolen yet! *twitch*).

E. Auras

Her Majesty Huhuran – The reason to farm greens

Auras are a great way to apply pressure to a raid team, enliven an otherwise basic and boring design, ensure that those so-called heroes stay on their toes for their short visit in your domain, or explain away the wonderfully disgusting habits of certain noxious puppies.

  1. Steady Hand – Nothing says “beware” like the continuous and steady leeching of health from would-be conquerors. Throw in some massive hits for emphasis along with a solid pulse, and you have the recipe for a great time.
  2. Slow Squeeze – Pioneered and tested in garbage compactors in both near and far galaxies, nothing says “imminent demise” and compounds tension like knowing your chances of survival are slipping away faster and faster as time goes on.
  3. Resource Draining – Although this type of aura is still in Old God-phase testing, we do have a limited supply of specialty auras designed to tickle players on their soft-resource-underbellies. Because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy snickering at the mana-dry mage who thinks he can bring you down by waving a crooked stick at you?

F. Happy Feet

Incorporating some cardiovascular activities in your encounter can not only keep you fit during your dungeon stay but also challenge adventurers to display a wide range of skills—from foot races at the Opera to Ledge-based Parcour.

  1. Get down – sometimes it’s nice to have a captured audience to spend some alone time with, so if you’re the type who likes to run about while your guests remain static, we have plenty of leftover Shadow Prisons or we can easily send a Pack-of-the-Dazed hunter to infiltrate the raid group.
  2. Get funky – the Get Funky Movement option affords you the perfect opportunity to display a truly warped sense of reality. From beneficial void zones and concurrent collapse and spread mechanics, to storms you should stand in and iceblocks you shouldn’t stand behind, our MD team can help you screw with their minds so much that they develop a custom mod just for you.
  3. Get loose – For the boss who wants to be a rebel, and who sees the classic “don’t stand in fire” as being so last year, we have a variety of effects which can assure almost near constant movement. We even offer 3D movement options, for those overhyped big-budget productions that some dragons enjoy.

G. Effects

DJ Yogg Saron – Don't Cross the Beams!

A great way to throw raids off balance and distract them from the task at hand, effects can run the gamut from mildly annoying to downright maddening, all for the low-low cost of a single type of poison or disease. And with our Multipass Effects package, you can choose as many effects as you like from our 5 essential elements bar.

  1. Dispellable – One of the most pervasive problems with adventurers today is their ability to heal through the damage you’re dishing out. So to keep those pesky healers busy with something other than pumping life in the meat shields, equip yourself with the Dispellable Mechanics 5000, Ultra Application model. With single- and multi-application settings, we guarantee that low HPS will be the hallmark of your fight.
  2. Misleading – With an amazing success rate on adventurer kills, the mechanic-you-thought-you-knew-how-to-handle ploy is an incredibly popular option for new and experienced bosses alike. Unfortunately, this option is only available as a package deal, and requires that you attend the Shiraz/Deathwhisper How to Group Hug seminar.
  3. Stunning – A deceptive minor tweak on the classic poison/disease/curse model, a quick stun to a hero not only gives them time to consider their past deeds (and mistakes), but also to affords them the growing dread that a Get Loose movement effect is headed right for them.
  4. Beam of Death combo option – Along with any of the above effect types, you can elect to add on the Beam of Death combo option, which will incorporate secondary beams of insta-death into your encounter. They also double as a personal laser-lights show, perfect for impressing out-of-town visitors.

H. Beatin the Meat

Because you’ll spend more one-on-one time with tanks over any other raider, crafting the perfect interaction will be key to maintaining the precise power imbalance requisite to any murderous relationship. Remember: tanks are like that groupie who’s eager to please, they … if you need someone to finish that analogy for you, you belong in a starting zone.

  1. Slow and steady – When endurance is the name of the game, challenge your tank with steadily increasing pressure to perform over a long period of time.
  2. Fast and Hard – When time is of the essence, set yourself up to deliver a good pummeling; he’ll never know what hit him and it’ll leave the raid’s healers gasping for more mana.
  3. All at once – There’s no better way to put fear into a main tank than to give him a good reason to hide behind the safety of his cooldowns. Or better yet, work an All-at-Once hit into a Slow-and-Steady rotation for a whole different dynamic. The poor hero tank won’t be prepared.
  4. The more the merrier – for dastardly deviants who prefer more of a group environment, a shared damage mechanic is the perfect solution, allowing for more variation in your prey and no complicated commitments.
  5. Bleedin him dry – While complicated to design and apply, bleed mechanics are an excellent way to string a tank along for the long haul and milk him for everything he’s got. Slow bleeds especially lure tanks into thinking that they’ve got the upper hand, when all you’re doing is tenderizing him for the kill.

I. 8 million ways to die, choose one

Archimonde – A Pyromaniac at Work

Although all heroes meet their eventual demise, that doesn’t mean that you need to send them to Valhalla via the old standard and progressive HP-to-0 method, when there are so many more fun and tantalizing ways to ensure their passing.

  1. Insta-death – The best practical joke in Azeroth, the 1-shot not only inspires fear and loathing in locales across the world, but also oftentimes results in a delight to an evil-doer’s ears—the melodious melliferous music to be found in petty squabbles. And if you’re having problems with an uncrittable tank, we can always equip you with the perfect amount of parry-haste to get the job done right.
  2. Save-me death – As any Evil Magnate knows, toying with a raid’s emotions is a tried-and-true path to total world domination. So give them a little hope that they can stave the inevitable wipe and rescue their key tank/healer/dps, but be confident that in the end, their friends and/or pathetic magic will betray them.
  3. Certain death – Despite the fact that Azeroth’s wizards discovered a solution to that whole pesky perma-death thing a long time ago, knowing of your own immanent demise still ranks as the top fear among loot-focused characters. Make them show you the proper respect by reminding them just how close at hand their death really is.


Spicing Things Up

J. Just a few of my closest friends

In today’s technical age, where ADD abounds, the key to a successful encounter oftentimes involves keeping players and yourself engaged long enough to ensure that one party dies a horrible painful death. Adds are a perfect solution—a way of incorporating all those effects you couldn’t rationalize into your own arsenal and leaving players feeling like they had to work harder for less loot!

  1. Waves – If you have more evil friends than you know what to do with, the Wave design might be the perfect solution for you. Not only does it mean that you can get regular time outs during the encounter, but it also clears room for new groupies in your troupe.
  2. Look, a Unicorn! – Every evil boss needs a break from the tiring work of battle occasionally, and for those times where you need to BRB we provide the patented “Look, a unicorn!” moments where you can pop out and still leave those adventures in the thick of it. Infamous distractions designed by our team include the portal jump, the zerg rush, the pseudo-boss stand-in and the winged escape.
  3. Concurrent Playtime – When you and your BFF can’t bear to be apart, concurrent playtime is the perfect solution, and nothing quite shocks a raid as much as introducing your special someone after the encounter is underway. So, bring along your boss-pretending-to-be-your-wife, corporeal self, or handful of elemental buddies for some quality hero-fighting good times.

K. Toys, (yes yes yes yes yes)

Teron Gorefiend – Hand of the Constructs

While early bosses used shiny keys or disappearing mini-pyramids to keep their prey entertained, modern scientific studies have shown that interactive items are much more deadly. There’s no better way to divide a raid between the “can clicks” and the “oh god don’t let him clicks” than to introduce a seemingly innocuous item which is the key to survival or the key to death.

  1. Usable to Survive – Your mom might have discouraged you from playing with your food, but as Evil Masters, we’re all for it. Because nothing’s more side-splitting than watching a raid full of soon-to-be toasty explorers pile into the “fire free zone”, or madly trying to click a tiny object while being bounced around a crumbling room or dodging a plethora of fears, mobs, and chain lightnings.
  2. Usable to Kill- Unfortunately, recent legislation was enacted that requires all Characters of Overwhelmingly Evil Power to abide by the Equal Opportunity Kill Act, necessitating that devices which could kill the hosting Overlord be incorporated into the dungeon so that no weak explorer feels unnecessarily disadvantaged or inconvenienced. However, our attorneys were able to find a loophole wherein devices do not need to be fully functional and can be modified by our maintenance contractor, XT-002, after the OSHA inspection.
  3. Cowbell – We shouldn’t have to explain why you need more cowbell.

L. Phasing

Sometimes a change of pace is exactly what you need to take the pressure off or relive those old glory days when adventurers were more squishy, their swords less pointy, when only a few people knew what you looked like, and when you were only forced to deal with half a raid at a time because the others needed to stay out of combat. Yes, phasing is a perfect way to relive those days of old or just grab a much-needed break during a long fight.

  1. All together – A welcome respite in almost any encounter, requiring a group to all pile into another dimension not only breaks up their momentum but also is an excellent excuse for a wardrobe change.
  2. Just a few – Instead of destroying their party with merciless attacks, erode their faith in their team by splitting their group into smaller groups and pitting them against each-other. (Our Evil Promotions committee looks very highly upon encounters able to generate high levels of dramatic sighs and finger-pointing.)
  3. Just one – Nothing better ensures a raider’s feeling of isolation and loneliness than compelling them into another phase with none of their so-called friends to support them. And if they fail to successfully navigate the gauntlet they were thrown into or kill your apprentice, you’re provided with a perfect reason to enrage and slaughter the entire group. Hey, even if they succeed, you’re going to enrage anyways!

M. Taunting and Emotes

Ragnaros the Cranky – NEVER GETS TO SLEEP IN

From the incredibly ponderous and verbose, to the aloof and stoic, our Evil Speechwriting team can help craft the perfect script for your big moment (or moments). The bad news (everyone) is that our voice-over actors book up fast, so there’s no assurance that you’ll have the same one if you book a multi-session recording appointment.

  1. Chatty Kathy –Your encounter is the perfect time to voice your opinions, whether they pertain to world affairs, personal vendettas, or how much you have in common with Pinky and the Brain. Our team can outfit you with just the right size soapbox to address your captured audience; and remember, the longer you drone on, the more they’ll dread coming back for more.
  2. Dying breath monologue – For those overloads fearful of unnecessary criticism and differing viewpoints, the Dying Breath Monologue is the perfect way to get the last word. Our trained HP mechanics can make sure that, like your car’s gas gauge, once your HP approaches 0, you actually have enough life left in you to choke out a page or two of deep thoughts.
  3. Cutesy and/or befuddled – Still feeling trepidation about being a Big Evil Guy or Gal? A cutesy or befuddled monologue can help assuage some of your guilt and give adventurers second thoughts about running you through. (They’ll likely decide to attack anyways, but at least you won’t have to feel guilty about picking a fight).
  4. The silent type – Instead of chatting their ears off, a few well-chosen words can also leave a lasting impression. For the truly wicked, an elusive reference to a past or future event will leave them reflecting on the encounter for days, trying to interpret your exact meaning but always coming up short. (Like who the hell was Sara?!)

5. Cinematics

Unfortunately, our cinematics team only works 20 days out of the year (union contract, go figure), so if you’re not end-boss material, you’re better off brushing up your MS Paint skills.


Welcome On Board!

Once again, thanks for choosing to be a part of our growing Evil Empire of Domination and General Wrong-Doing. As one of our newest additions, we’re looking to you to continue the legacy of truly maddening encounters. The denizens and heroes of Azeroth are the plague we strive to exterminate, and with every massive evil undertaking we’ve helmed—from the Flaming Crusade on that long-forgotten continent (I think we can call that a win) to the Wrath of the Psycho formerly known as the Lich King—we move closer to our goal of a Goblin-dominated world. So strap on your Evil Uniform, set your Evil Brain to “on”, and get ready to make adventures’ free time as stressful as possible. And remember, should you fail, our founding member RNG can always pick up the slack.


(Yes, I’ve been a little bit bored as of late. And yes I felt like everyone, including me, was due a break from the ALL-CATACLYSM-ALL-THE-TIME posts which have been dominating recently. Believe it or not, this list started out as a serious look at boss mechanics, so for every boss in game you can actually assemble a character profile based on the above. But it wound up being a dry snoozefest even to me, so I figured I’d let my silly side have a go. So, my heartfelt apologies for subjecting everyone to my quirky sense of humor; I’ll return to my normal excel-themed posts soon enough.)


  1. Whenever you want to close up excel and just let the words flow, feel free :) I had a blast!
    Windsoar´s last post ..Further Art News

  2. I Can Place Order?

    A – 2: I’m down with a few interesting friends to guard my lair. But, you know, logical friends I’m saying…not like spiders guarding Sindy.
    B -1: Solo act.
    C: A platform isn’t needed, but maybe a throne to lounge on? With pillows.
    D-3: Bi-polar enrages is where it’s at. Did they wipe? Who knows? Let’s see if they can make the next phase….*cackle*
    E: Intermittent. Something all interesting like Anub or Fester, but better, ya know?
    F – 2: Happy zones, bad zones, changing zones. But, I insist that fire be a buff to those silly little creatures that enter my lair – just to spite the experienced ones.
    G -2: Misleading pretty please
    H: Unpredictable – Fast hard hitting attacks, bleed effects, and parry haste.
    L: Phasing for one at a time of our brave adventurers.
    M: Silent type. Talking? Who has time?

    P.S. I’d also like tail swipe and a randomly cast air phase. The air phase should have waves of unpredictable evil floor mechanics.

    P.P.S. Can I haz cute mini pet? And sparkly trinkets? I want to give adventurers some reason to even attempt to enter my evil lair.
    ecclesiastical discipline´s last post ..I Can Haz Toems…Almost

  3. Haha, I loved this post

    /bookmarks it for future world domination plans
    Issy´s last post ..Oh- this is all so sudden

  4. I’m not really comfortable with the use of ‘bi-polar’ in the enrage section (and yes, yes, I know it is satire) , to be honest, but otherwise I absolutely love this post :) Essential reading for the future evil overlord!
    Pewter´s last post ..I have some news

  5. I’m not even joking, I had a dream about the Teron Gorefiend encounter last week.

    Man, this WoW withdrawal is hitting me hard.
    Zigi´s last post ..Postponed

    • Heh. I will have nightmares about *that person* getting marked for death well past the point where I no longer play WoW. Not to mention every time someone around me says “construct” I think …. GAAAH! CONSTRUCTS IN THE RAID! 😛

      • *shudders* I was joining a new guild about the time of that encounter and I remember them making me play that flash game of the constructs and post screenshots of how I did as part of the application.

        And wow, this post had me rolling. Makes me wish it was possible to actually play the bad guy. I like to consider myself a fairly nice guy irl, but once in awhile it’s a blast to let the evil inside out to play.

  6. Gronthe

    Just one question: How long were you working on this post? Absolutely wonderful!

    • Would that I could claim a single night of brilliance …

      But like most of my topical posts (subjects other than current events), it took a couple of months to develop and finalize. And even then, I’m confident that I’ve only succeeded in underscoring how unmistakably nerdy I am.

  7. OMG! Love love love! *runs away snickering*
    ladyerinia´s last post ..Running to a hidden GOBLIN camp!

  8. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kenni, Cubicle Farmer. Cubicle Farmer said: Welcome to: The Dark Side « Life in Group 5 – A Resto Shaman Blog: As the first step in membership in this Elite H… […]

  9. Lon

    As always, nice post Vix :-)

  10. […] taken directly from Vixsin’s post Vixsin’s Life In Group 5 homepage is […]

  11. Syl

    LOL I can’t help myself, but reading through your 1-5 for “Beatin the Meat”, I was thinking of something entirely different! x) You did that on purpose ofc!

    Nice work!
    Syl´s last post ..Twitchy Intrigue

  12. Tracey

    Love it! As a follow up, how about some testimonials from satisfied customers? Or even some complaints from customers?

  13. […] older still, Vixsyn‘s take on All the Boss Mechanics in WoW EVAR is full of mad crazy brilliance. If you don’t follow Life in Group 5 because progression […]

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