As predicted in my first post about the Eternal Championship, I've felt inspired to come back to it a couple of times to get a better grip on its mechanics. It's been interesting.
Of course, what I really want to do is take my Guardian and her amazing cooldowns through it, mainly to saber-reflect the last boss's laser of doom back into his face, but sadly she's kind of stuck. I never bothered to start the Alliance alerts with her during or after KotFE chapter nine, so now she's sitting there, ready to provide step-by-step reminders for my next chapter discussion, which has the side effect that whenever I try to go near an Alliance NPC the next chapter starts, but if I escape out of it I get evicted from the phase. This makes it impossible to work on the Alliance in any way without playing through more story chapters first. Sadness.
Anyway, this more or less left me with my Marauder to see things from a dps perspective. This didn't go as well as expected, though in hindsight I really shouldn't have been that surprised, considering that I'm not good at playing Marauder, she has about twenty item levels less than my main, her highest level influence companion was only level fifteen or so, and did I mention yet that I'm really not good at playing Marauder?! I did eventually muddle my way through, but not without dying a lot on the way.
If nothing else however, this finally inspired me to go and work on fixing the one issue I was having that was relatively easy to address: companion influence. I have two legacy bank tabs full of companion gifts, always saving them for a rainy day, but really: Is there ever going to be another piece of content where companion influence will matter as much? So I took out what appropriate gifts I had and got Pierce up to the mid-thirties, while Shintar got Bowdaar up to nearly fourty. (In hindsight I probably should have chosen Yuun though... I like that wookiee, but where's the trooper pride?!)
The difference this made on my next run-through with Shin was amazing. Things were still relatively slow of course, but all the fights went down so much more smoothly. I even got the achievement for completing the whole thing without dying, which I'm quite proud of. The speed run must be really hard by the way; I've only seen one guy in my guild mention that he's got it - he's one of our top dpsers and even he said that it was quite challenging as he had to learn to make it through most fights with a dps companion.
Anyway, back to humble old me: On my Marauder, oddly enough, the improved companion influence seemed to make little to no difference and I still died a whole bunch of times on my next runthrough. I will keep working on that.
I suspect that the bosses that keep giving me trouble are the same ones that most people struggle with. The first five fights are pretty breezy, but the Breaktown Brawler in round six is a major stumbling block. On Shin it's pretty smooth now because I set Bowdaar on one of the adds and then just kite the other two around the room with healing aggro until my companion has killed everything off, but on my Marauder it's complete mayhem. I'm just still not sure what's the best way of handling this fight, as the requirements of staying in melee range while always trying to kite one or more of the mobs are somewhat contradictory.
Nocturno and Drake Raven are probably the ones that caused me the most deaths in total, though it helped a lot once I found out that you're best off killing Drake first and stealing his utility belt. In hindsight I have no idea how I made it through Nocturno's enrage the first time without even knowing about this! Again, what I find challenging about this fight is that dpsing Drake and kiting Nocturno at the same time can be somewhat at odds with each other. On Shintar it eventually became easy because I would just have Bowdaar chase Drake around while I could focus on standing in the right place to stun Nocturno over and over. On my Marauder things would often get messy while I tried to stay in melee with Drake at the same time as repositioning Nocturno. Nothing like clipping a stun mine just as you get targeted by the next one and remaining stunned for ages while Nocturno whales on you!
Little Gut and the Doom Droid aren't so bad in my opinion, but the last fight is once again quite challenging, though this is the one where I found that it really helps to figure out certain "tricks". I feel like this fight really punishes you for having low dps as there is so much going on that if your damage output isn't very good, it's way too easy to fall behind on some mechanic or other, which only makes the fight even harder, which gets worse and worse until you wipe. I already mentioned the drones in my last post, and how it's really helpful to get as many of them as possible killed without having to directly divert your damage to them. In the last phase, the boss can also be interrupted and stunned! Holy cow, was that a revelation to me or what? Certainly helped a lot with keeping him controlled while I did my best to burst him down.
Have you figured out any great tips for how to handle these bosses? Feel free to share them in the comments!