Saturday, July 19, 2014

Progress: Nightmare Mode Draxus Down

Nightmare Draxus Downed by TORWars Midnight Mynocks

It took awhile to get a solid team together long enough to practice Draxus' wave 5-6 mechanics. My team managed the kill this week with a few extra hours of raiding each night.

Grob'thok appears to be a simple tank coordination encounter. I hope to have that completed by the end of next week. If Brontes is too overwhelming to tackle when we reach her, we plan to switch to the first few bosses of Palace. Check out the full Nightmare Dread Fortress overview.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Madness Assassin Buffs - SWTOR 2.8

Madness Assassin Buffs in SWTOR Update 2.8

Along with Nightmare Dread Palace, some class changes showed up on SWTOR PTS today. There are a bunch of buffs to Madness DPS, resulting in my highest dummy parse ever of over 3800.

Assassin Patch Notes


  • Assassin’s Training now additionally decreases the activation time of Whirlwind by 1 second.
  • Force Shroud provides 100% chance to resist Force and Tech abilities instead of 95%
  • Mass Mind Control lowers threat when used in any stance other than Dark Charge.
  • Phase Walk's cast time is 0.5 seconds and the duration has been increased to 5 minutes.

Madness (Assassin)

  • Creeping Terror now deals slightly more damage.
  • Lightning Discharge now deals slightly more damage.
  • Creeping Death now increases periodic Crushing Darkness damage by 8.3%/16.67%/25% to targets affected by the player’s Lightning Discharge in addition to the existing bonuses of Creeping Death.
  • Creeping Terror now also triggers the damage and Force regeneration of Lightning Burns.
  • Lingering Nightmares now increases the periodic damage of Crushing Darkness by 16.5%/33% instead of increasing its duration.
  • Haunted Dreams now reduces the cast time of Whirlwind by 0.5/1.0 second (up from 0.25/0.5) - requires Lightning Charge
  • Shapeless Spirit additionally causes Mass Mind Control to grant you 30% damage reduction for 6 seconds
  • Bloodletting additionally lets DoTs finish Assassinate's cooldown and allows it to be used on targets above 30% health once every 10 seconds.
  • Raze now has 100% chance to proc off a melee attack outside its rate limit.

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.

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. Separate them and use cooldowns like Force Shroud or Saber Ward if multiple die at once.

Despoiler: Does significant healing. Interrupt and kill before other enemies.

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

Bulwarks: The shield blocks healing received by players inside. Enrage if not killed by the end of their shield cast.

Phase Timer: Each add wave will happen on a 55 second 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

Orbs: Orbs begin during 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.)