Now, I don't mean to be picky here, but the title of your thread is "Let's Design Some CEBs! \(^^)/". Although you qualify anti-nuke bosses in your first post, it does not immediately read "let's make it difficult for meta players". Whilst I'm not adverse to that by any means (I happen to like the challenege), countering one type of playstyle is only catering to that setup. If we are to design CEBs, we should be trying to counter all builds. That includes those players in defensive, DoT, blocking, spoonzerkers(@Khaiin has some amazing builds) and every other type of build, not just the nuke-meta.
Now, you might counter by suggesting to make a boss that's challenging to all playstyles at once. That isn't a simple feat. The reason players are so outrageously powerful with nukes is because they've specialised in that setup (as well as having the gear to go about doing so). Making a boss that's challenging to everyone means keeping that boss a generalist, not weak to any playstyle in particular. That raises two issues:
i) It can't focus all of it's abilities into once specific setup, making it difficult to have the same kind of efficiency as players
ii) If it is challenging against all players, what is your reliable method of killing the thing? Realistically, there needs to be a counter.
It gets even more difficult when you don't want that boss to have generic effects (the reason those effects are generic are because they're one of the more reliable ways of being both generalist and effective). You also want the boss to have a unique theme. This combination is extremely difficult to pull off. D.U.M somewhat did so (though he can still be nuked and there's controversy that he's bugged). As for others, and I bring up the void dragon queen as an example of this, were totally butchered. Her original theme was destroyed and the damage cap effect didn't work at all.
The upshot: Why are we trying to make a boss difficult for all when it's much easier (on all fronts) to specialise one against certain threats? Inevitably, that specialisation comes at a cost - you need multiple bosses that each counter against all specific builds. The updated war boss @Rafiq and I designed was brought to this thread as a counter for defensive setups. The main idea behind it is that standard nukes are the single best method of victory. It does somewhat limit the nuke meta. You can't abuse PR status setup unless they apply to you because War will corrupt and inflict them upon you. For an uprepared meta player, a single ill-advised mesmerise on the first turn could result in three free turns for war, an offensive boss when you're sat in gear that's not ideal for defence (good luck surviving that). Much like the ALX boss, unprepared meta players will be caught off guard.
However, the boss is clearly specialised to shut down stalling defensive setups. The damage counters ensure even if he only strikes with darkness, you cannot indefinitely heal-loop your way to victory. Nor can you rely on poisons/burns to deal the damage for you. It requires you to play with damage in mind (like for example, the 100-proc blood guns that have recently been released). Alternatively, the Neko skills (or indeed utilising damage skills/spells in any defensive darkness armour). The point is to draw defensive players into a more offensive playstyle in this fight. If you could DoT/heal-loop everything in FD, that's no more a challenge than meta players being able to nuke every boss to death.
Summing this all up, I think we've become rather obsessed with the nuke meta being as powerful as it is. I'm not trying to downplay the problem, we need bosses with creative ways of limiting that setup (as I have already suggested in this thread). However, we should not forget to challenge/shut-down other playstyles against certain bosses too, for they also require a challenge. The same motivation was behind the creation of my Seth boss.
On a side note, my Mew-three boss punishes anyone not defending at the start of the battle by setting up and nuking before the player can respond. It always beats meta players to dishing out the nukes, which I think is a pretty novel way of dealing with the problem. That same post has Andlu, which forces you into firing at least four nukes before you can even hope of beating him.
< Message edited by CH4OT1C! -- 6/16/2019 5:52:51 >