26/03/2018

Izax Is Big

For all my ranting about difficulty, I was quite excited to see Izax story mode, even if he was going to be more difficult than a story mode boss really "should" be in my opinion. I've always been more forgiving about difficulty on final bosses anyway, and we've been waiting for this guy's release for nearly a year... in other words, I was a little hyped.


Izax the Destroyer does look incredibly cool when you first meet him, being the largest raid boss we've had to fight since the Terror from Beyond. Also, just getting to him is a challenge, as the "trash" leading up to him requires you to manoeuvre little droids around to redirect a laser to the correct spot in order to open a door. During our first night in Gods from the Machine last week, we actually spent so much time on this silly little puzzle that we barely had any time left to attempt Izax himself.

The boss fight itself is an interesting one as well though. There is a lot of stuff with little adds and laser beams going on that initially seems absolutely overwhelming, but once you understand what purpose each one serves it's actually not that bad. I still find Scyva more intimidating and punishing to be honest, especially with that red circle phase she has near the end. Izax is also super lenient in terms of dps and healing requirements, ensuring that you can take your eyes off your abilities to look around and take in what else is going on without causing trouble for your group.

My favourite part of Bioware trying to make this ridiculously long and initially somewhat complicated fight more casual-friendly without neutering the basic mechanics is that while the encounter is active, the cooldown of all combat resurrections - which is usually five minutes - is reduced to thirty seconds. What this means is that the devs could allow certain mechanics to kill people without frustrating the whole group by enforcing a wipe. As long as you still have control of the fight overall and your healers/res-capable damage dealers are on the ball, you can allow people to fall over and get them up again a ridiculous amount of times. The death still teaches a lesson, leaving the victim with another repair bill and probably feeling slightly sheepish, but things keep rolling and remain fun for the group as a whole.

This is especially important considering how long the fight is. I currently have my GeForce experience set to save the last 15 minutes of gameplay at the press of a button, and this wasn't enough to capture the encounter in its entirety after we'd killed the boss! So I used the footage to make just a little montage of moments instead of a full boss kill video:



The reason I wanted to make a video in any case was that the actual kill was pretty hilarious. I don't recall ever having a boss kill achievement pop up after we had thought that we'd hit some sort of enrage and died.

If I had to criticise anything at all - and this may sound odd to many raiders - it would be the lore. I've linked to Rav's excellent guide on the Zakuulan gods and their connection to the Iokath operation before, but just as a reminder: Izax is supposed to be the big daddy of all these superweapons. Now, I'd rather not think too hard about how concepts like marriage and child bearing translate into a world of giant droids, but there are some implications there. So why is it that after all these humanoid droids that are sentient and talk, we go up against a giant lobster dragon that doesn't do anything but screech and wave his claws a bit when he isn't trying to blow us up with the cannon built into his chest? All the previous bosses were so rich in personality; why is Izax nothing but an almost mindless beast?

In a similar vein, I was utterly confused by Scyva's role in the fight. First off, didn't we kill her in the previous encounter? Did I miss some important voice-over after her death that explains why she isn't really dead? And why is she helping us beat Izax? I get that she's kind of the "softie" of the Zakuulan pantheon and might take pity on us mere mortals as we throw ourselves into the maw of the dragon, but the assistance she renders goes far beyond helping us stay alive! In the cut scene it even looks like she is directing ships of her own to shoot at Izax before we've even arrived. Why? Genuine question - if someone knows the answer feel free to leave a comment.

Finally, I've read that Izax has an extra phase on veteran mode that doesn't exist on story mode. This is fine, however it seems that they just chopped it off for story mode without giving the fight anything like a proper ending. Part of why my guildies and I were so confused when the kill achievement popped up was that most of us had just died and Scvya was yelling at us to finish off Izax... and then it was suddenly over.


None of these ruined the boss for me or anything... just saying.

3 comments :

  1. Curiously, IZAX has lines immediately after you kill SCYVA and in his individual trailer he cries "Fall before the Dragon" and "I am destruction; I am death!".

    I'm guessing that his lines are absent erroneously, because otherwise this doesn't make sense as you say. There were other lines for SCYVA which somebody posted the other day (which I now can't find, because of course which were the lines about her wanting to prevent another Genocide which is why she's helping us against IZAX. I'm guessing these lines were from the Closed PTS or from Data-Mining, but once again they're absent from the actual fight.

    Also, if SCYVA can truly control the Eternal Fleet, why were we ever able to regain control of it to unleash a near-lethal barrage on TYTH at the end of the Iokath story? We know that she was at least as 'awake' as TYTH around this time and was very protective of the other Godkin, so why not prevent them from opening fire on TYTH?

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    1. Ooh, I hadn't seen that trailer as I avoided all the pre-launch "hype" for the patch. :P That's extra odd then.

      I love how you're actually ALL-CAPSING all the droid names the way they are in game.

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    2. I'm pedantic as hell, so it's what I do with all characters like that, also including SCORPIO and ARIES. :P

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