Another Nurgloth Critique

14 failed attempts on Cataclysm and counting. The final phase is overtuned and near impossible to complete with pug level players. Here are some suggestions on how to make the final phase more doable:

  1. Lower adds, or allow the scythe attacks to friendly fire enemies (like all other bosses can). Low damage comps literally cannot keep up with the stream of marauders.

  2. Change the ring of fire to random radii, similar to the earlier phases. Kiting enemies over rings as they explode to clear adds rewards good positioning. Doing this in the final phase is less viable because you are always at danger of being scythed and knocked back.

  3. Make Nurgloth stop to channel the ring of fire like he does in previous phases. This prevents unavoidable scythe into ring of fire deaths (and the other way round). Also ties back to 2., making kiting enemies into it easier. It would also be a damage opportunity, which the boss currently lacks.

  4. Reduce the knockback on scythe attacks. This attack currently guarantees that the person kiting t he boss has almost zero opportunities for damage. Reducing the knockback on the ring of fire is less important, but would be welcome as well. It is not uncommon to get knocked back into a pillar, allowing enemies to pile up beneath you on the ground.

I am certain that by fixing even one of these issues, the fight will be shifted towards a similar difficulty of other Cataclysm finales. As it is, the fight is not only too difficult but also incredibly punishing to certain loadouts.


Despite I killed him with pug at Cata, I have to agree… the boss fight must be tuned down.

The problems are mainly three:

  1. during the third phase, when Nurgloth “throws” his chained scythes, he almost covers the entire arena. Get hit is pretty easy and, even if you block the attack, you can take some unavoidable damage (you can fall into explosion zones, you can be hit in midair by enemies) and die;

  2. during the boss fight almost, 10 Chaos Warriors can spawn… @Fatshark_Hedge said he likes a little bit of RNG during final events, but this is exaggeratedly too much;

  3. Nurgloth belongs to Berserker tier:

    • since his big amount of damage (even not considering the first point problem) there is no need to be so tough. I don’t want one hit kill him, but we need an half way;
    • Berserker is a very strange armor tier that penalizes specific weapons… it creates disparity. Moreover, if you don’t have any “berserkers killer” in your team (and let be honest… who builds a team thinking about berserkers? Specially in pub, where it’s all random), Nurgloth can become still more unfair.

Agreed, Nurgloth is just unfair. Champ and below it’s fine, Legend+ it’s a clusterf of adds and being body blocked and knocked accross the room by melee attack. For a fight to be designed specifically around position and make it literally impossible to control your position is a cheap shot.

The fight is well designed and challenging over all, it doesn’t need to be unfair as well.


I agree. I can beat him nearly 100% of the time… but only when playing Bounty Hunter

Every other composition without boss killers Nurgloth is an absolute pain. Except very specifically…

ANY group comp can do the first few phases, no problem, no issues, regardless of how many Chaos warriors you get. I think the number of Chaos warriors RNG and his first few phases are perfectly balanced and tuned

But every group that does not immediately spam Bounty hunter / Shade ult’s on the final phase looses pretty much every time. Nothing about him needs to be changed except massive nerf’s to his final phase. I don’t have any issue with his health being over-tuned if the goal is to make players observe his mechanics and play fire-explosion DDR , which works perfectly well for the first few phases. But the final flying-mode phase is just an absolute joke in design and mechanics

In the first phases he has actual weaknesses that make sense… he teleports, summons, minions, hangs back to see if his flies and minions can do the work, and then uses a bunch of winds of magic to do fire explosions, and then has to catch his breath (window of opportunity to do damage especially for melee heavy groups)

His final phase seemingly has no weaknesses. His attack box is ridiculously enormous, making the already small safe area even smaller. Even if you block it you go flying and have guard broken. The adds are just constant, meaning you have very little time to damage him. Melee damage is difficult to land on him because of how quickly he floats, as well as changes aggro, and due to the shear size of his melee swings. And don’t even get me started about getting off revives in the final phase… nearly IMPOSSIBLE without a stealth ultimate, and if you do then you are extremly lucky to have weaved the fire explosions, knock-backs, minions body blocking, guard breaks etc to SOMEHOW get a revive off

He needs some kind of window of opportunity or weakness in the final phase, or the complete removal of his adds during this phase. He should not be able to fly do melee attacks and fire rings, and summon adds, all at the same time. If you want the DDR-fire to continue in the final phase he should have to teleport to the center and cast it just like all the other phases, and then have to catch his breath again before flying and melee’ing again. The whole knockback into fire ring, into minion damage is terrible design and overly punishing to any group composition that cant hit the (F button) a few times to simply skip the final phase


Nailed it.

Here’s how I see the fight:

Phase 1: Teleports, shoots bug swarms. Been there, done that. Halescourge, but a bit harder. No problem so far, shows they both use the same root magic. Also shoots an actual damaging attack to ramp it up compared to HS. All fine. Teaches you to keep an eye on the boss while dealing with adds.
Phase 2: Dance Dance Revolution / Heigan The Unclean + Lots of Adds. This is also fine. Teaches you to watch the floor and if good can even lure the adds into the explosions.
Phase 3: Berserker Mode! The only thing this adds is that he now fixates on one player with melee attacks. This is fine too! One more mechanic, one more problem to solve, this is still good encounter design.

The problem comes in how the Phase 2 + Phase 3 tactics interact. You are required to carefully position yourself on the floor, while being swarmed by adds that body block you and prevent you from positioning, and being pummeled by a boss who knocks you out of position and can’t be avoided. His melee attacks are so huge you literally cannot dodge them, you WILL be hit, and when you get hit, you go flying into the ground explosions no matter what you do. With all these elements combine, the fight actively undermines it’s own mechanics. There is no possible counterplay - kill him before the mechanics ramp up or you WILL be dead.

I recently tried to do this run with a build specifically designed for this fight (without using Shade or BH cheese that is)- a max mobility+dps Handmaiden. I got him down to 10 or 15%, but by that point the room was literally wall to wall adds. I was physically locked in place and couldn’t do anything at all while I got pounded into the floor. Not even Dash could escape because there was no where to escape TO. Very frustrating.

It’s not a matter of fight design that’s the problem, it’s a great fight. It’s just overtuned on Legend+. The punishment mechanics need toned down a bit to allow the counterplay room to happen.


Try Huntsman as it is by far the best suited class for the fight.

As others have stated, it is possible.

I have done that fight a few times solo (on Recruit though) for getting the"no kill" challenge and I am halfway sure that the scythe does friendly fire to enemies. It is just not that high and the scythe hasn’t a very large attack radius despite being a scythe.

That is actually one of the more intelligent suggestion I have seen as you could leave the boss design nearly completely intact and there would be no need for “Waaah, nerf, Cataclysm is actually challenging”. It would solve several “problems” like the knowckback sending you straight into dangerous territory and the revive being in the danger zone. There are even different possibilities by either making the fire rings random like before or reversing the current curse and making the fire rings specfically appear only in the middle. This would give you the option to purposefully traverse the middle where it is narrow and you are easier tracked by Nurgloth in order to kill enemies or stay in the outer ring where it is “safe” but you have the adds piling up. This could be enhanced by increasing the fire ring damage in the last phase.

This would make the fight irresponsibly easy.

While I don’t think it is necessary, I am halfway sure that this will come. Although if there is a change to the fire ring position it is even more unnecessary.

Overall, I don’t think the fight needs any kind of nerf. The minor amount of people actually criticizing the fight (especially noteworthy on the usually burning Steam Forum) shows this too. Reason is simply that the boss fight is not that much of a problem up to Champion. It only gets problematic on Legend or Cataclysm.
For Cataclysm we can skip any arguments as this difficulty is meant to be for challenge and there is absolutely zero reason why an overly large “consistency” between finales should exist. For Legend it might be a concern but even then you can PUG him regularly there and it is still the second highest difficulty.

The only thing in the fight which can truly be unfair is if you get the Chaos Warrior wave at the beginning of Phase 3 and the chance for this is most likely below 25 %.
So while I don’t think any nerf is necessary, I am fairly sure there will come a sight change (and I truly hope it will only be slight) regarding knockback and the Chaos Warrior Wave/Phase 3.

However, I have to admit that your suggestion 2 has a lot of charm (and is the better solution instead of just reducing knockback) and could keep the current phase 3 dynamic which the game needs so much.


I really think that Nurgloths final phase is just not well designed frankly, difficulty aside. It doesn’t create difficulty in interesting ways, it just spams adds and CC. it’s a step up from bosses with basically zero actual mechanics, but it’s like they added an MMO boss without really thinking too much about how MMOs design interesting fights, or what stuff you can get away with in that sort of game compared to a first person action driven one.

Knockback spam and anything that forces you to lose control of your character without much actual counterplay has been obnoxious every time it’s shown up so far in this game, nurgloth isn’t really any different. Particularly when you can eat completely unavoidable damage because of that CC.

Challenge is only really fun if it enables skillful, interesting counterplay. I don’t believe that nurgloths final phase succeeds at this at all. I’m a fan of pretty much all of these changes, anything that just makes him feel more interactive would be nice.


We only have to wait until the next season to start to happen anything with the boss, no need for additional topics.

We probably don’t find the same legend players then. If it’s possible in 10% of the games, then it’s way too low to be honest.


+1 for reducing the knockback of everything. Have on multiple occasions hit a bug where the back and forth knockback effect from boss to ring and vice versa has sent me flying into the ceiling to get stuck for a good minute before plunging to my doom.

Also kind of wish he telegraphed the last attack in his chain a little more, like how plague monks and frothers do. Doesn’t have to be a bunch just a wind up to say “this is the attack that’s going to send you into the explody ring.” Let me dodge! LET ME DOOOOOOODGE!!

Patch just dropped and it made bots immune to fire ring damage and that’s it lol.


My most big problem with fighting him is takes him out takes so long. My fingers go sore!

Weakness disgusts me.
Jokes aside, didn’t know that was a thing.
Never had such problems im my entire life.
Apart from the occasional sore butt after sitting too long of course.
But yeah you definetly need to take some high damage heroes with you. Otherwise the fight will just drag on and on, until small mistakes finally add up. Hunter or Bounty Hunter seem to work well.

It is an incredibly weak design when you are forced to bring a couple of careers from the full roster of available ones.

I think I’ll wait for a balance for that fight (remove adds in phase 3, change armor type), as it is it just ruins quick plays because ofc it pops very often due to the low completion numbers


Yeah, so I’ve had my fill of this map now. There’s no point playing it in QP, at Legend at least so I’m quitting out whenever I get it which is a real shame. A great map held back by a ridiculous third phase of a fight at the end.


+Reduce the length of flight when Nurglorth hits you, let us land earlier

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I haven’t tried him on cata yet but my winrate for that boss is still only about 20%.

Your breakdown of the problems is spot on, to add a couple things:

  1. The cutscene at the start of the fight is unnecessary and breaks up the flow of the action. It’s the only such cutscene in the game and it feels out of place. Players should be free to run and derp around as they please, not being able to do so just makes the cutscene feel longer.

  2. The boss fight overall takes too long, it feels like three halescourge fights in a row. You already have a long and winding level with lots of backtracking if you want all the books, and then you get to the end and stack a cutscene and multi-stage boss fight on top of that. In large part this is due to the difficulty of the bossfight and “jump puzzle” nature of it. People are already suiciding out of Blightreaper because it takes to long and this level is even worse.

  3. The cloud of flies attack should not be used in 2-shot “bursts”. Since both shots track the same target it practically guarantees that a player will get hit by the second one unless they have a very fast weapon like daggers.

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After playing it some more I can say it’s even more broken than I initially thought. I did a very good pub cata run. We had absolutely no problem getting to the boss, hell, despite its ridiculous armor we even got him down to his 3rd phase without breaking too much of a sweat, we were all alive and at full health when that phase started.
We got wrecked into oblivion while barely scratching him. That was bull****, I’m not playing that map again (which is a problem if I choose qp, too) until that’s fixed.

Now I’m bracing myself for the inevitable “git gud” comments. But seriously… picking very specific classes (bh, huntsman) and/or using all potions/bombs just to skip that phase has nothing to do with being gud. That’s just shitty game design.

In my opinion there’s too much focus on bosses (meaning lords), like they are the end all be all of this game. They are not: the rest of the map is the real test of the party’s co-op skills - and their ability to react to situations. A boss is about performance rathen than cooperative play. As such it should just be a slight difficulty spike (imo), much like a monster or a patrol.
Very different games, like mmo, use bosses in a different way, but that’s what they are, very different games.

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I agree for QP its pretty much a waste of time Legend / Cata. Unless you load in and there is already a BH/Shade/Huntsman. The map is pretty good and fun, but as someone still working on getting more Reds not going to waste 15-20min just for a high probability of people wiping to Nurgloth phase 3.

I will only play Enchanters Lair for players that need it cleared on Legend provided they allow me to switch to Bounty Hunter (or shade / Huntsmen) if they are playing Saltz. And I wont do secrets on Enchanters lair Legend either… waste of time just to possibly loose on Nurgloth…Only do secrets on that mission on recruit simply because the boss fight

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Like to a certain extend I can sympathize with your point of view. But in my opinion the nerfs you are reffering too would be waaay too significant. Personally I enjoy that there is FINALLY an end event that is to be feared and not taken lightly. I think the only thing they need to change is the unlimited flow of minions during his final flying/reaper stage since it’s quite litteraly not possible to clear out the spawns allowing anyone to focus on the boss himself. But with that one exception he is (in my opinionn) exactly where he should be difficulty wise. Anyways I wish you good fortunes on the 15th attempt! <3