Whether you’ve seen him yourself yet or not, if you followed the news leading up to Storm Legion’s launch you know about the Volan encounter. The giant robot appeared liberally on live streams and in trailers, and the combination of the giant scale of the fight and exciting new player mechanics (jumping!) made Volan one of the stars of Storm Legion. But now that the expansion is out and many people are level 60, has the Volan encounter lived up to its billing?
Certainly, the encounter itself is great. Volan is as epic as a giant colossus should be, and it’s a lot of fun to join multiple raids of players as they leap around platforms to try and stay alive. Not only is the fight fun, but it’s also profitable — a player can earn roughly 20 Infinity Stones from the whole encounter, along with some Planar Attunement crystals. There’s a reason level 60 chat erupts into “Volan is up!!!” every time he appears.
So the problem isn’t Volan.. it’s that we don’t get enough opportunities to fight him! The huge scope of the fight, involving tens of players and giant spell effects, frankly brings a server to its knees. Not only do players who are directly involved in the fight report framerate drops down to a single frame per second in many cases, but everyone on the server starts to experience lag when Volan is being taken out.
So far Trion’s solution seems to be spawning the colossus later in the evening, often between 11pm and 4am server time. Fewer people online means fewer folks experiencing lag, but it also means catching the Volan fight is frequently out of reach for players who work office hours or have other reasons to not be playing video games in the middle of the night.
This be more palatable to the players if the event didn’t also open up the Biofoundry, a level 60 questing zone that’s available for only one hour after Volan dies. Not only does this temporary zone contain titles and quests that reward precious Qaijiri reputation, it’s also necessary to visit the Biofoundry to complete the Ashora Explora (explore all of Ashora) achievement.
Unfortunately the launch of the Volan encounter seems reminiscent of the early days of Conquest. Players who were questing or instancing would see the message that Conquest was starting and sigh at their impending lag and disconnects across the server. Trion is great at launching exciting content, but has a history of leaving the same things buggy or unpolished in their race to create cool ideas for the next patch.
It would be a shame if Volan and the Biofoundry continued to be something few players will ever see without an effort to stay up late, and hopefully the current technological limitations can be somehow tweaked to allow daytime and occasionally, yes, primetime players to experience this epic battle.