Boss fights are the narrative-oriented gamification mechanics. Their function is to inform users of the upcoming milestone of the game and prepare them for it.
Boss fights belong to the "Quests" category. They can be either individual or collective (see Guilds). Contrary to other types of quests, such as Main quests and Side quests, one of the peculiarities of Boss Fights is that they require special in-game training. Boss fights can be both inevitable or optional.
Boss fights belong to Narrative and Social layers in the model of gamification (see Model)
Upcoming boss fights sparks users' interest by motivating them to act in a way that will help them to cross the milestone.
The main risk of boss fights design is users’ disappointment. The upcoming fight requires lots of effort, and if users do not see any worth from it, their motivation to spent time playing the game may be gone.
Duration of the effect
A game with just one boss fight preceded by several training tasks is suitable for short-term objectives. When the gamification is long-term, a boss fights may be implemented as a final quest of the season.
What can I do with this?
The main goal of gamification is to further motivate the user to act in one way or another. Accepting special quests is one of the basic motivating gamification mechanics.
Boss Fights may be time-limited for additional value.
The quest itself may motivate users to complete it.
Quests may include additional information for better understanding of tasks, statistics of their completion, and other relevant information, which increases the time spent by users in the game and contributes to general knowledge of the game principles.
When winning boss fights becomes valuable, then the higher the amount of them users won, the higher their in-game status is. The ability to accumulate several quests is another motivating in-game mechanic.
It's better to make winning boss fights perceived as the means and not the goal, so their value will last longer. Completed boss fights are then accumulated not for the sake of their amount but rather to discover new in-game features via their conversion to other in-game items.
Demonstration of won boss fights is a crucial mechanic that allows players to display their achievements for others to note.