Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hard Mode Flashpoint Guide: Black Talon

I've decided to kick off my coverage of level 50 content with an exploration of Black Talon's Hard Mode, primarily through a Juggernaut's point of view. Before I begin though, a couple general notes to bear in mind about Hard Mode Flashpoints:

  • Enemies do a lot more damage. I normally will allow my DPS to attack normal mobs without tanking them if the pull is too spread apart, but even these can do some damage. Watch your party's health, and be sure to maintain control of all Strong or Elite enemies in a pull.
  • Interrupts are key. A lot of enemies have powerful abilities that need to be interrupted. Without these abilities they are much easier to handle. Interrupt what you can! Remember, you can also use Force Choke, Backhand and Force Push to interrupt casts on most Strong and Elite enemies. Don't be afraid to politely ask other party members to start interrupting as well.
  • Prioritize targets. I normally have my DPS kill all Normal or Weak enemies, followed by Strong and then Elite enemies. If there are any healer-type enemies, these should die first. 
The good news is that Black Talon's Hard Mode is mostly a breeze, so while these tips may not be strictly needed for it, they are relevant to later flashpoints and they will foster good habits.

Hard Mode: The Black Talon

Probably the best hard mode flashpoint to start with, the Black Talon can be completed by new level 50 characters in the gear they have equipped.

Before I go into bosses, I just want to mention that the first pull (against the Imperial Lieutenant and his soldiers) can actually do quite a bit of damage, so have your cooldowns ready. There's no other significantly difficult trash in the instance, so I'll address the bosses.

GXR-5 Sabotage Droid:

This guy is pretty easy. You'll fight him if your group chooses to kill the captain. If your group doesn't kill the captain, the other boss is easy - just have the tank pick everyone up, kill the medic first, and profit.
As for GXR-5: Interrupt Full Auto whenever he starts channeling it, as he will do increased damage to you for the duration. He summons probe droids which explode, so be sure to stay away from them. They will attempt to follow you, so briefly kiting away from the boss and leaping back is not a terrible strategy. If you have ranged DPS, they should make short work of the probes. GXR-5 does have an enrage timer, but you should have no problems beating it.

GXR-5 drops a random Artifact-quality belt.

Commander Ghulil:

Again, fairly simple. Interrupt every Plasma Probe he casts, as these will spawn AoE fire probes. Ghulil doesn't have any other notable abilities. He does hit somewhat harder than GXR-5, though. 

Ghulil drops a random Artifact-quality leg slot item.

GXR-7 Command Droid: 

In my opinion, this is the hardest boss in the instance. He is also an optional boss, meaning that you don't necessarily have to do him. I recommend you do, though, as he still drops loot.

He has two abilities which should be interrupted: Power Blast and Power Punch. He does significant damage to the main tank, and if these are not interrupted, it will make things worse. Make sure you keep your cooldowns available in case the healer falls behind. Don't be afraid to ask your party to help out on interrupts.

GXR-7 drops a random Artifact-quality ear slot item.

Yadira Ban:

Probably the second-hardest in the instance. She does an easily avoidable gimmick attack, but she does damage to the party and has an aggressive enrage timer.

She uses Force Charge to attack other party members. There's nothing you can do to stop it, but she will come back to you if you have aggro. She'll pull everyone to her and begin casting Cyclone Nova - walk away from her until she casts it, then leap back into the fray. If you are hit by Cyclone Nova, you will probably be instantly killed.

Yadira Ban drops a random Artifact-quality bracer token. She also drops one Biometric Crystal Alloy, which is used for crafting powerful items.

Stay tuned for more Hard Mode Flashpoint coverage, and commentary regarding upcoming patch notes. 

Monday, 9 January 2012

Back in the Saddle + Juggernaut Update

During the holidays and for a week afterwards I was on vacation - but no more! I will again be updating the blog regularly with all the SWTOR and Juggernaut news that's fit to print.

As for my Juggernaut, I've reached level 50 and have been focusing on Flashpoints and PvP. My commentary on these will begin tomorrow, along with some analysis of the upcoming Patch 1.1, which is currently on the Public Test Servers.