"Stand in the Fire" be a fight mechanic what goes all the way back ta Scarlet Monastery, if not earliers. Is simple idea - bad dude drops a spell on a area, everybody gots ta move outta the area or take a lotta pain. We call it "fire" fer ta be general, but can also be arcane explosions, freeze yer nads of cold, fallin' rocks, swarm of otters, low self esteem - you buggers know what I's talkin' about. Usuallies, not movin' out means ya takes damage and piss of yer healer, but fer some raid bosses ya gets four seconds and then ya go straight ta hell where ya gots ta listen ta Don Knotts all day or sumthin', no pass Go, no collect two hundred gold. The point bein', Blizz don't want buggers just standin' there teein' off on the boss all day like he were a practice dummy. They wants fer ya ta have ta pay attentions and respond ta unexpecteds, and I thinks it were a good mechanic fer a long time. But now I's wonderin' if it done been stretched too far. Here be why.
Say yer me RL Avatar, and yer elbows deep in the "Why fer do the comfort index of everybodies on this bus be in the proper -10 ta +10 range, except that one muggerducker in the fourth row what be reportin' -1624? Is it a bug in the C++ server code or the Java client code? Or the FORTRAN internal simulation? Or mebbe one of the data hand-offs be flawed? FML" boss, when suddenlies a circle of blazing infernal fire centered on him appears. Is fair ta expects what about 98.7% of his nervous system will be tellin' him "GETOUTGETOUTGETOUTGETOUT!!!!!!!!!!", give er take. But Blizz cain't tap inta our nervous systems, so they tries fer ta give some hints like a circle of graphical effect in our area, and mebbe a debuff icon what looks like diseased robot walrus er sumthin' off in the corner, and yer health bar starts droppin' (unless it already were droppin' due ta sumthin' else, or unless it's one of them fires what does nuthin' until it instakills ya). Relatively speakin's, is kinda subtle-like.
Now, that graphical effect seems ta be sumthin' what Blizz picks outta a hat. Sometimes, is a perfect black disk about waist high, like a backyard swimmin' pool of death. Totally fake lookin' but hard fer ta miss. In the early days of Obsidium Sanctum, were a red swirly thing on red ground, damn near invisibles (laters, they changed it ta blue swirlies). Sometimes it look exactlies like the spell other buggers in yer party is castin' - is I in the good fire, the bad fire, or both? Has ya raided in Firelands? We runs a computer with a pretty decent graphics card; has enough power fer ta manage 40-50 frames per second durin' a raid with max settings. But Kinnavieve found what she had a lot easier time spottin' buggers like Aly's druid friends if'n she turned the settings down ta Medium or lower, 'cause otherwise were so many spell effects and fire sceneries and what has yous what the screen overloaded. Course, when she done did that, made it harder fer ta spot bad things what she needed ta get out of, Like Lord Ham On Ryolith's lava flows. So instead she done relied on DBM hollerin' "Run away little girl!" and "Beware!" Which worked fine, but kinda defeats the point of paintin' fire on the screen.
Which is where I gets ta me point, at last. Has we done reached the point where drawin' special effects on a screen alreadies loaded with special effects is no longer a good way fer ta convey a sense of "the flesh is bein' seared off of yer feet"? Is the difference between "idiot raider" and "skilled raider" sometimes nuthin' more than havin' the right add-on? Is it time fer ta junk the whole mechanic fer sumthin' different?
I's all in favor of keepin' buggers on they's toes, of not lettin' them phone they's performance in whiles watchin' the telly. But I's thinkin' that the spell-effect visual cue done been stretched beyond what makes sense. Is time fer ta have different hints, or different systems. But I's just a simple orc, runnin' off me own limited experience. What you buggers think?