Content of the article: "I don’t enjoy the Ashen Lords."
I've got to say, the Ashen Lords are just not fun to fight. With two people, it took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour just to finally bring one down, and at least a quarter of it was spent respawning, because all of their attacks kill you in one to three hits, can't be blocked, and are difficult or impossible to dodge. It seems like everything the Ashen Lords do is meant to waste time: if they set you on fire, you need to stop attacking and put yourself out and/or eat food, if they summon skeletons you need to stop attacking and deal with them, if they use their smoke attack you need to spend time navigating around to them nearly blind (often while skeletons are attacking you) instead of just attacking them, if they use their explosion attack you need to run away instead of attacking them, and if they use their meteor storm you need to find a ceiling to crouch under instead of…actually fighting the Lord. Do you see the problem? And, of course, if you *don't* run away or slow down during all of these situations, you'll die almost immediately, wasting even more time respawning and getting back to the fight.
It's very frustrating to fight a boss that not only has a very large (and invisible) health bar, but does everything they can to prevent you from continuing to attack it. It isn't fun to hack away and shoot at the same enemy for nearly an hour, no matter how much loot you get for it. The only feedback you even get to know you're making progress is when you stagger them, but that only happens two times in the entire fight! Running back and forth from an ammo box a hundred times and launching to them from your ship after a respawn a hundred times isn't enjoyable. I think the bosses would be a lot better if they weren't just unstoppable damage sponges. I actually like the attacks they have, but as they are, they're ruined for me, since I have to watch them go off about a million times, and they become stale and annoying about a third of the way through.
I don't want to just vent about this, so I'll offer my thoughts on how I think they might be improved. A lower health bar is a must; this is a random encounter, not the final superboss, and it should not take any more than 20 minutes *at most* to finish. That's around the same time as a fort, which gives comparable loot, but is way more fun since you get to fight a bunch of different skeleton types on an island made for a big fight, instead of the exact same boss and skeleton on a random island. A visible health bar would also be pretty great, or at least some clear indication of progress (I think the flame in the center of their chest flickers faster the lower their health gets, but their health goes down so slowly that it's impossible to notice).
Any other thoughts? Agree or disagree? I just had to say something, because I've really been enjoying the game so far (I'm at about level 30 with the main 3 factions) and have been loving all the other new content with a friend, but this is the first thing I've seen that's just made me want to stop playing. The only reason I didn't was because I had an (equally unamused) friend at my side, and I wanted to sell with him after the fight. I just wish these bosses were more fun, because I did enjoy fighting them…for the first 5 minutes or so. I want that cinematic feeling of taking on a powerful, nightmarish foe for nearly unparalleled, spectacular riches to last the entire fight, even if the fight is shorter as a result.
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