Monday, April 21, 2014

SWTOR 2.7 Support Starfighters

SWTOR Support Starfighters

Update 2.7 introduced new support variants of the Strike Fighter and Scout ship classes. They sacrifice some standard components to gain group utility skills. Which ones are worthwhile?

Strike Fighters

FT-3C Imperium and FT-7B Clarion

New Systems:

Remote Slicing: Drains enemy shield power and prevents engine or shield ability usage.

Combat Command: Increases nearby ship accuracy and weapon regeneration.

Repair Probes: Heals ships within the initial pulse over 20 seconds, providing ammo or shield regen.

Remote Slicing and Repair Probes provide a tangible effect. You can clearly see a beefy ship's shields melt away or rack up healing medals.

Combat Command lacks this feeling. You aren't rewarded for providing buffs and you aren't in control of how the boost goes to use. This ability doesn't feel like it makes a difference when you use it, so I prefer to build around either of the other two systems instead.

Remote Slicing does require full upgrades to be useful. With an abundance of shield regen abilities now in game, you need the perk to temporarily disable shield abilities to get any benefit from it.


S-SC4 Bloodmark and Spearpoint

New Systems:

Tensor Field: Increases speed and turning rate of nearby ships.

Combat Command: Increases nearby ship accuracy and weapon regeneration.

For the same reasons as the Strike Fighters, I prefer Tensor Field over Combat Command. A speed boost from spawning in has an immediate impact on your team's ability to reach Domination objectives before the enemy.

When fighting, you can help counter Interdiction effects or let your team chase down a satellite-hugging pest more easily. This is my favorite of the new Systems abilities.

New Shields:

Repair Drone: Stationary regen station identical to the one carried by bombers.

Shield Projector: Restores nearby ship shield power while under fire (which normally prevents regeneration.)

I side with the Repair Drone on this choice. The Projector makes me think "I'm not sure this actually helped anybody" when I use it. Alternatively you could go with the old, reliable Distortion Field.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

SWTOR Nightmare Dread Fortress Overview

Nightmare Dread Fortress - SWTOR 2.7

Nightmare Dread Fortress

This is an overview of mechanical changes seen in Nightmare Mode Dread Fortress vs Hard Mode. Please remember this information is based off of PTS and may not fully represent the live encounters.

NiM Bosses

Nefra, Who Bars the Way

Tank swap: The offtank gets a stacking debuff. At 4 stacks, taunt and become the main tank. Repeat throughout.

Nightmare Twin Attack: Nefra gains a stacking buff. At 15, Nightmare Twin Attack is casted. Damage will be spread to every player in front of her. The entire Operations group should move in front of her to fully reduce the damage done.

Gate Commander Draxus

Subteroths: Explosions cause a debuff that make you take double damage from other explosions. Kite them around when they are near death.

Despoiler: Does significant healing. Hold away from other enemies and use spare interrupts.

Corruptor: Cannot be interrupted by the same person on consecutive casts. Plan an interrupt order and burn them quickly.

Bulwarks: The shield reduces healing received by players inside.

Phase Timer: Each add wave will happen on a timer. You cannot wait around and recover while leaving one add alive.

Grapple: Draxus will occasionally pull a random person to his position.

Shield: The final wave of adds must be killed before Draxus' shield is removed.

Grob'thok, Who Feeds the Forge

Tank swap: Taunt off when Grob'thok roars. Both tanks should be familiar with positioning for Pipe Smash.

Magnet: The Magnet will kill any player stuck in it. Stay ahead of it and position the boss correctly.

Pipe Smash: Deals significantly more damage. It should be removed before the 3rd swing or deaths will occur.

Mining Droid Fire: 2 Players will drop fire at a time. Ugnaught adds are shielded and need kited through fire to become vulnerable.

Corruptor Zero

Extra Unified Beams: Single Beams fire right after the boss arrives, then again at 70% and 40%. The final series of Beams around 30% happens just like Hard Mode.

Nightmare Mines: 2 Concussive Mines are applied at once. Affected players cannot overlap Mines. Plan an order for mine removal ahead of time. The second person should clear theirs immediately after the first is removed.

Waves of Enemies: Add waves cannot be crowd controlled but can be interrupted.

Missiles: Missiles require the group to spread out. A red circle under your feet notifies you that the splash damage is incoming.

Dread Master Brontes

Brontes had a few bugs on PTS. Expect updates and corrections when the patch goes live.

Orbs: Orbs begin in Phase 1 and are present in most phases, including the last.

Reach of Brontes: You move slowly while Reaches spawn.

Corrupted Clone: Kephess can now leap to a random player and damage them upon landing.

Lightning "Clock:" Lightning can now swing either clockwise or counter-clockwise randomly.

Six Fingers: When you get knocked back, you must swap fingers with another player.

Hands of Brontes (Final Phase): Hands remain active until you activate their shield and can be pointed towards Orbs to remove them. Standing inside the shield prevents all Orb damage.


Bosses mostly drop the same piece of loot they did in Hard Mode.

Nefra's Implant is a guaranteed drop.

Each 186 item carries the same type of stats the same 180 piece did. If you had Alacrity on armor, it's there on the new gear as well. It could be time consuming to min-max because of this.

Draxus can drop a Subteroth pet. Brontes may drop a mount designed like her tentacles. It uses the rocket boost animation.

Good Luck

Good luck to those of you on the cutting edge of progression. My group will attempt the new content, however I expect to get stuck for a while. Video guides will come as quickly as possible. If you would like to submit an Assassin or Shadow point-of-view video to be featured, let me know (via social media, links at the top of the page.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Assault on Tython and Korriban Incursion - SWTOR 2.7

SWTOR 2.7: Invasion

Two new Tactical Flashpoints await us in SWTOR 2.7. Your faction invades the opposing homeworld and defends your own in the first part of a new story arc. These drop level 53 gear and a black market piece from the final boss.

You have a chance to loot recovered relics which can be exchanged for a Legacy recoloring of old Battlemaster Shadow gear. These are Tattered Mystic and Tattered Ritualist sets. No reputation required, thankfully.

Assault on Tython

The opportunity for Empire players to assault Jedi homeworld Tython has arrived. With some advice from Lana Beniko and her master, we can disable defenses constructed upon the old training grounds at the Jedi Temple.

Inside, the Jedi fervently defend their archives from our attack. As a tactical FP, none of the mechanics are too difficult. They involve moving out of the bad circles on the ground and hitting group heal canisters as needed. Destroy holocrons before the Jedi master can unlock their power. I really wish this had a Hard Mode.

Korriban Incursion

Strangely, an attack by the Republic on Korriban occurred at the same time as ours. This raises some serious questions about who orchestrated this "coincidence."

Regardless, the Sith Academy and Council chambers have been compromised. Empire players carve a path of destruction through the Republic forces (which have essentially the same abilities as they do on Tython.) Boss adds should be dealt with quickly since they stun a player.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SWTOR Hard Mode Dread Palace Assassin PoV

Hard Mode Dread Palace

My Assassin has finally cleared Hard Mode Dread Palace! Slicing through the Dread Masters has gone significantly quicker than our roadblock at Corruptor Zero and then Brontes in Fortress.