[SWTOR] Winding up the plague, and in which Bioware starts to build a ‘raid style’

worldpvp_rakghoul

(We were going to kill world bosses but …. got distracted.)

So today the rakghoul event in SWTOR comes to an end, unless Bioware are planning on surprising the playerbase with a new phase (I’m not expecting this to happen and it would probably be better to let things settle back to normal for awhile.) Hope everyone handed in their rakghoul DNA for pets/ crystals/ etc since the vendor will be going away.

I wound up last night joining a PUG to kill the event world bosses, since it was the only part of the event that I hadn’t yet taken part in. After some faffing around, we were able to go kill one of the new bosses, checked another that wasn’t yet respawned, and then headed to the PvP area on Tatooine to collect the third one. As you can see in the screenshot above, that last part didn’t entirely go to plan.

We pulled the boss, some republic dudes showed up and a wipe followed. Then we came back and messed up their boss attempt. This back and forth continued awhile, with more people showing up to join each side, and then we all just decided to get on with smacking each other around and let the boss get on with its own bimbling around in peace. Or in other words, my PUG killed one of the world bosses and then got involved in some world PvP, which was a very clear design goal of Bioware sticking one of the bosses in the PvP area. So well played to Bioware on those grounds, it was fun – bit pointless, but I can manage a bit of pointless world PvP from time to time and it was nice to hang out with some of the other level 50s on the server who I don’t interact with all that much. This is how endgame communities form, as people start to recognise each others’ names.

As an aside, one of the nice things about being part of an active community/ guild is that people will contact you when there is something going on in game, in case you might want to join in. So when the PUG group was getting together, I was able to pass the message on to my guild because I knew some of them might want to come have a crack at the world bosses also. Without that network, you’re very reliant on what you personally see and hear and so getting involved is a bit more down to luck.

As far as tactics go on the world bosses, the first one (giant rakghoul) seemed very straightforwards tank and spank. The PvP zone boss was harder, but our PUG was getting the hang of having all the melee group up for heals when we were so rudely interrupted. We would have gotten him if we’d had a clear try.

Puzzle bosses, and the Bioware take on heroics/ raids

One of the other things I did this week was take on the 4 man heroic quest that is associated with the new daily zone. Short form: There are a bunch of daily quests that you can do solo, and when you have done them all, a 4 man heroic quest opens up which is also a daily. There is also a weekly quest to complete all of the dailies including the 4 man which you can get once per week.

Although I have seen people looking for groups for the 4 man while doing the dailies, it doesn’t seem as popular as you might expect. Having now run it with a guild group, I have a slightly better idea as to why this might be. It’s quite challenging for a group that isn’t co-ordinated. Or in other words, the difficulty was great for our guild group which is mostly geared from normal raiding and is fairly together about CC and using markings to indicate kill order. It was fun, and we had to pay attention and think a bit about marking and which CC abilities were in the group. We ran it with an unspecced tank and healer (ie. both tank and healer were dps specced/ geared) which also made it tougher in some ways, although gave us more dps also.

There are several groups of mobs, each of which contain up to 4 elite mobs. CC helps a lot. Then there is an encounter which involves incoming waves of increasingly harder mobs where dps and CC need to be on their toes. And the final encounter on the empire quest … is a puzzle. It’s not an especially hard puzzle, and involves twisting pipes so as to make a connecting pipeline. It was a fun change of pace after the previous frenetic encounter, and I think much fun was had by all.

lonomonkey discusses SWTOR raiding in more detail and concludes that this type of originality is something that is increasingly marking out Bioware boss encounters. I think I agree with him, although SWTOR raiding has a lot in common with WoW, the encounters are different enough in style to make it more fun in many ways. The comments on that post also raise interesting points because dps have a slightly different focus in SWTOR fights because you don’t always expect the tank to be able to grab all of the mobs. The tank needs to get and hold the elites, but the dps initially focus on getting the lower health mobs down first. So the initial stages of a fight tend to involve everyone busily doing their separate thing, rather than waiting for the tank to get things under control. Although obviously if dps can co-ordinate kill order, adds go down very fast indeed, which makes a big difference.

I’m intrigued to see what else Bioware come up with, because I’m enjoying this aspect of the game really quite a lot. Also it doesn’t hurt that my dps (Vigilance Juggernaut) has gone up a lot this patch, not least because you can now need/greed on raid loot so I got geared quite fast after a long previous unlucky loot spell.

apprentice

This is a picture of Spinks with her apprentice. I’m the one in the classically sithy black robes. One of the other things I’ve done this patch is put more effort into finishing off my companions’ stories by building more rep with them. As a light side Sith, I’ve been quite impressed by how wise Spinks is sounding in conversations these days. I was actually building up my apprentice’s confidence quite competently. But not in a way that excludes being violently destructive, obviously Smile

I even got her a decent set of gear with my spare raid tokens. Hope she appreciates this and doesn’t try to betray me, at least not yet.

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8 thoughts on “[SWTOR] Winding up the plague, and in which Bioware starts to build a ‘raid style’

  1. It’s interesting that a lot of people have found the 1.2 stuff quite refreshing – guild numbers are up generally outside of raid nights so we regularly have ~20 people online. It makes a big difference to the feel of the game when there’s that type of activity.

    Had a lot of fun with the world bosses on Tatooine including severely stomping the Rebel players trying to kill the Bantha and then fending them off while killing it.

    The Black Hole dailies add a new set of interesting stuff, not completed the 4HC yet although my wife and I Duo’d it to just before the puzzle boss when we ran out of time. Having a proper tank, 1 lot of CC (my Arsenal Merc) and 2 Makos seems to work well.

    I really hope that Bioware manage to keep up this [Rakghoul event] kind of surprise (I hadn’t read anything about it in patch notes so it could just be my inattention). It just feels like they got something very right.

    Absolutely agree with you regarding the raiding being quite different in flavour to WoW but it’s still the same kind of meal. I’m in my guild’s 2nd raid team and we’re just getting to the point where we clear EV and KP on Hard in 3 nights (the other team having downed Nightmare and are working on the new Op). This far in it’s still fun but that’s as much about the people I play with as the content I think.

    • “This far in it’s still fun but that’s as much about the people I play with as the content I think.”

      This has been true of every MMO I’ve played. I think once you start seeing yourself as a social player, the social milieu does become a huge part of the fun. Many games I’ve tried but never stuck with happened to be ones where I never clicked with a guild.

      • I think this was why Rift failed for me.

        I ended up in a guild but didn’t find the people in it engaging. The T0R guild I’m in now is actually a multi-game community with WoW, Aion, Rift and ToR all in the pot and a lot of excitement around GW2.

        This is the first guild (or set of guilds as it is) I’ve seen where social is also equated with real success in the end game with the Rift part getting EU first HM clears of content.

  2. Hm, I have to say the Empire version of the [Heroic 4] daily sounds considerably more interesting than the Republic one. For us it’s just a bunch of multi-mob pulls and then a final boss fight with some running out of the circles on the ground.

  3. I laughed at the picture of your Juggernaut, Spinks (I assume you mean Vengeance, vice “Vigilance” :P), it looks exactly like mine.

    And I also play Vengeance because everyone told me it was crap – when I had to routinely stop attacking bosses because tanks were struggling, the guild generally had to think again.

    • Oops, yes I did mean Vengeance. I’m rubbish at remembering spec names. It’s really picked up a lot for me this patch, I enjoyed playing it anyway but now it feels as though it really packs some oomph.

      I do also off-tank occasionally, and find that dps juggernauts are great for that.

      I’m amused that your WoW character is also an undead protection warrior (although Spinks was Arms last expansion because I got a bit tanked out during Wrath.)

    • It’s not so much that it’s bad, with the dps actually being quite high. Rather that it’s incredibly awkward compared to it’s Marauder/Sentinel dps counterparts, with way too much shit to pay attention to and without as much control over how it does the damage.

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