So, I'm a raider in Final Fantasy 14. I don't do the "Savage" or "Ultimate" content, which is designed for the highest of the high in terms of players, but I do enjoy the high-end raids that the game consistently puts out. The fact that it relies on mechanical complexity taught to you through a huge number of dungeon bosses and prior experience, to the point where any new raid coming out has a library of things you can refer to in terms of mechanics for how you're supposed to respond to them, because you've seen it all before, it's just responding to them in rapid succession that's difficult. That's pretty engaging to me, and it shows an interesting design philosophy that's made raiding in the game a lot of fun.
They had a rocky start with it, though. This video is kind of long, but goes over all the stuff that's relevant to this conversation from the perspective of Final Fantasy 14, and I feel it's something relatively important to learn from for high-end content in this game. The really important stuff is before the 15 minute mark, as it goes over the early-installment weirdness
One thing that raid design for this type of game does is that it restricts team compositions somewhat to make sure you can actually beat the boss. This, while interesting in its own way, can be a problem for a game designed around the concept of free-flowing mechanics like the original City of Heroes was, as it had no real "requirements" for what you play as to complete content. If the devs can maintain a proper balance for that point, or otherwise give different protection and offensive sets different roles entirely (A good example being Super Strength versus Electric Melee in CoH - SS was all about singular, potent and high damage hits, while EM was much lower damage but destroyed an enemy endurance bar, making it hard for them to use any high cost moves), then the integrity of freedom of choice can be preserved, as well as allow them to design raids around different sorts of team compositions.
Food for thought. What do you think of raid-level encounters? Got any other games you feel we should learn from going forward?
An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".