Time Gladiator is essentially a Roman Colosseum arena fight. But since the designer couldn’t guarantee that the players’ characters would match the milieu…
… He embraced the crazy and threw in robots, and ninjas, and monkeys, and cowboys, and I think he even worked in some evil Nazis – if we assume the Germanic name of one of the robots harkens back to that.
One of the nice things you’ll see right off is that the arena cutscene includes one of the groups’ characters to situate the players and build up immersion. (Yeah, that’s my Crey Paragon Protector-inspired robot scrapper being anachronistic above.) There’s probably some kind of clever workaround they did to get this functional, but it’s a very nice touch.
Phase 1 Fight: Cornutus the Minotaur and Two Supporting Angel/Fury Things
That description matches the standard way players fight this phase. They get a badge for downing the minotaur without killing off the angels first. So everyone zeroes in on the big guy.
This works to set up a measure of challenge that differs from the standard tank-and-spank and AoE mow them down group strategy. If there’s a tank type in the group who gathers up all the mobs safely, then everyone has to mind their AoEs and be careful. If not, then people deal with the spread aggro and just unload on the one with horns.
Ranged taunts also come in handy to make life easier for teammates. Really, you don’t -have- to, because the difficulty level is not that high and the damage won’t one-shot kill a squishy, but it does make life easier and it’s a nice opportunity for group synergy to shine.
On one occasion, my claws scrapper was acting as the de facto tank for lack of anything better. I’d turned the minotaur away from the others for the heck of it, out of tanking habit and the angels were a distance away and near to a controller. Who, I think, decided to try and hold them or control them, but ended up pulling the tenuous aggro and got hit for half his health bar. (My scrapper does not have the ranged taunt confront, that’s just lame.)
What I thought was a really sexy cool moment was me using my ranged attack, Focus, claws powerset has one, to hit the angels one after the other. Zip went the white effect in a neat line to one angel, thud went the claw damage, and immediately each angel swung around to focus back on me. Small movie moment, but made of win.
I’m sure with CoH’s current player power level the way it is, the controller probably could survive on his own with a green health inspiration or have his own tools for dealing with it, but I wanted to saved him the trouble. I was being all supporty-groupy and player role synergy and it felt good. I’m so tired of players in CoH acting like everyone has their own uber-softcapped defence build and running off to solo on their own.
Phase 1-2 In Between: Ninjas!
Pacing out the battle, a crowd of ninja minions show up to get beat on.
The challenge, kill as many as possible before time runs out, as you can get partial progress on a defeat 75 ninjas and monkeys badge, named aptly as “Ninja Monkey.”
Phase 2 Fight: Frank ‘Hunnerd-Yard’ McCain and his Doggies – Butch, Lee, Petey (and Killer)
Wild West moment. Frank shows up with three squishy dog pets. Killing the three dogs spawns Killer, the bigger somewhat less squishy dog pet.
You get a badge for defeating Frank within 10 seconds of Killer’s defeat. So enter another player skill challenge mechanic. Switching targets to balance out the damage as necessary, given that Frank is tougher than Killer.
Phase 2-3 In Between: Monkeys!
Rikti monkeys, that is. A barrel-full and more show up. Again, the challenge, try and fill in the remainder out of 75 that you didn’t defeat from the ninja phase for the shiny badge.
Phase 3 Fight: Apocalypse, Armageddon (and Gotterdammerung)
Giant killer robots of a possibly Nazi persuasion. The two robots that show up at first are elite bosses, which is a nice change from all the Arch-Villain level stuff being fought before, so they’re a little squishier.
Kill one, and it explodes, dealing some AoE damage if you’re too scrapperlocked to backpedal – high defence will help avoid it. The other A robot puts on a temporary deflection shield so that you can’t kill it immediately after the other. And Gotterdammerung shows up, he of the very very big hammer.
Standard AV boss battle, no badges, typically folks just finish off the other A robot (once the shielding wears off) before G goes down.
Bonus Phase: The God-Champion
There’s a favor mechanic that has been going on in the previous fights. Arena crowd favor slowly wears down over time. Each player defeat destroys more crowd favor.
Each mob defeated earns the group some favor. Each big boss defeated gives a random player the “Inspire the Crowd” temp power, which when triggered, builds favor with the crowd and also gives the player some stat bonus like extra damage.
Earn 500 favor with the crowd and you go into the bonus phase, where the Biggest Ugly of them all shows up.
At some point in his health bar (~70-80% maybe, didn’t really pay attention), all the previous big bosses will spawn (Cornutus, Frank and Gotterdammerung) but you get the “Invictus” badge for bringing the God-Champion down to 33%. So there’s an opportunity for control/debuff/support to deal with the three other AVs running around amok while folks focus fire down the Champion till he’s on his knees.
At 33%, he crashes to his knees and goes invulnerable. Everyone switches targets to clean up the other three, then finishes off the so-called Champion to become the new champions of the arena.
P.S. In retrospect, the fog effect going on in the arena makes for some UGLY screenshots.