03/03/2013

Drouk Hunting

I can hardly believe that it's been over three months since Section X was released, and with it the world boss Dreadtooth. I remember seeing a couple of guildies run around with the title "Drouk Hunter", which you get for killing him, as early as the next day. I knew that I'd eventually want to get it too, but at the time I was in no hurry because I figured that I'd get around to it soon enough. Over three months later however, I still hadn't made any progress towards it.

Every so often I would see yet another new Drouk Hunter show off their title, and when I asked when they got it they'd tell me that they had killed him only last night, earlier in the day or whenever, but always at some point when I wasn't online (which is quite impressive considering that I'm online a lot). Eventually I started whinging to guild leadership that we should put the boss on the calendar, so that people like me wouldn't constantly miss out on the impromptu runs. It took a while, but eventually they did put up a sign-up for it... on an evening when I couldn't make it of course.

And so it continued. Eventually there came a night when I could make it and we actually got a group together... but it was kind of small, we messed up and wiped on our first attempt, and then another guild swooped in and got the kill. We tried waiting for the respawn, but even more competition showed up and we had to give up. Again. I was starting to feel like Dreadtooth was becoming my very own personal nemesis, always getting away.

This past Thursday another world boss run was finally put on the calendar. I could make it this time, and so could quite a few others. A-ha! We soon found the boss up and about and ready to die at our hands. However, once we engaged, we got confirmation of something that I already had reason to suspect previously: this boss likes randomly PvP-flagged raiders even less than we healers do. When you engage him, everyone around the person who pulled gets a buff cast on them which allows them to get credit for the kill - and if anyone without this buff tries to get close and interfere, whether it's to help or grief, the boss applies a debuff to them that quickly kills them off. Funny thing: this buff follows the same rules as player-cast buffs, meaning that if the main target isn't flagged for PvP but some other people in the group are, they won't get buffed regardless of proximity at the time of the pull.

Fortunately we only had something like two or three people who were flagged, but they still got hit by the "interference" debuff and went splat, though of course not before we healers instinctively tried to save them and got ourselves PvP-flagged too. Fortunately this didn't cause us to die at this point, however it did mess with our boss kill credit somehow, as even though we downed him on that attempt, I once again did not get my title. Arrrgh. While I was glad to have killed him at least, I was still kind of wringing my hands about things still going wrong in some fashion (even if I did get some satisfaction out of the boss specifically stomping those irritating people who seem to be incapable of letting their PvP flags drop off before joining for a world boss).

Fortunately people wanted to hang around to try him again on multiple "stacks". Ah yes, another fun mechanic: he drops an item which you can throw at him when he respawns to make him more powerful and which causes him to drop more loot. On ten stacks he drops another special item which unlocks a secret boss in Terror From Beyond hard mode... some pretty hardcore stuff, and the world first of this was only achieved less than a month ago. We wouldn't expect to get him on ten stacks before the expansion ourselves, but it's fun to have something to aspire to, and anyway, you can always try with fewer stacks (our first kill had simply been the boss's "default" version).


As we were waiting on the respawn, another Republic guild started to gather in the area. I immediately feared that competition was going to get in the way once again, but lo and behold, it was a guild that we knew back from Luka Sene, our guild leader knew their guild leader, and soon we had all merged into one giant 24-man raid instead of competing with each other.

We killed the boss on three stacks in a shower of special effects that made my game's performance drop through the floor, but at long last I received my title: here comes Drouk Hunter Shíntar!

Then we decided to try again on five stacks. That went less well, as some new mechanics get added at that stage which we kind of struggled with. It didn't help that on resurrecting, we found that some passer-by had decided to randomly add another stack to Dreadtooth's buffs, bringing him up to six. We kept trying anyway and saw some improvement every time, but eventually had to call it before we achieved another kill, as it had got kind of late by that point, what with waiting for the boss to respawn twice, and then waiting for him to finish his patrol around the area before he was in the right spot for a pull again.


Still, it felt like a pretty productive evening to me in the end, and once again confirmed to me that I really like the different sort of challenge and mechanics provided by difficult world bosses.

4 comments:

  1. Titles can be fun! How many does a SWTOR character have these days? For some reason, unlike pets or mounts, where I just get bored and always stick to the same one, I quite enjoy having different titles I can rotate through depending on my mood. Anyway, well done on the world boss kill!

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    1. You get a lot of titles in TOR, as you get 4-5 just from doing your class quest alone, and then there are lots more you can get from other quests, operations, PvP, events... Dulfy recently posted a guide that shows just how big the list of available titles is already.

      And I agree, I tend to forget about switching to different mounts and pets, but changing my title now and then is kind of neat.

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  2. That sounds pretty epic, particularly the choice to add more difficulty for more loot adding up eventually to another boss. Pretty awesome design.

    I'm glad you finally got your title, too, and from a solid fight where you really had to earn it! Congratulations!

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