11/03/2018

KotET Chapter 7 Master Mode

This chapter was an interesting one to play through on master mode. There is very little trash on Nathema (just a couple of small pulls inside the sanitarium), so all the challenge comes from defeating the four (mini) boss fights the chapter features. None of them are easy, though nothing's quite as bad as chapter two.


The first challenge comes from the pair of Horizon Guards you have to pass on the way to the facility, just after crossing a bridge. On my Scoundrel I actually just stealthed past them, but that felt a little cheeky, so I gave the chapter another run-through on my Sorcerer afterwards, so I would have something to say about the encounter. I remember back on veteran mode I was a bit confused about why I ended up fighting more than two guards in the end and blamed this on them bugging out after being knocked off the bridge, but this time around I could see that after the first two die (regardless of how), another pair actually spawns in and puts you in combat right away, because apparently two gold mobs immune to crowd control at once weren't bad enough!

Still, with a knockback even that remained relatively easy... I only killed one of the guards the old-fashioned way, the other three all died to being knocked off the bridge/nearby cliff. I think that either stealth or a knockback are the way to go with these. I have no idea how you would tackle this fight as a Vanguard or Powertech though.



The Horizon Captain at the door is undoubtedly the hardest boss of the chapter, but can once again be dispatched easily if you have a knockback by simply running him towards the side of the cliff and punting him to his death. On my Scoundrel I had to kill him "the hard way", but that too was eventually doable.

His most dangerous ability is Mass Affliction, which hurts like hell and needs to be interrupted/cleansed every time. Overload and Thundering Blast can easily be dodged, and simply try not to stand on top of your companion whenever you get Force Imbalance on you. What makes the fight really tough in my opinion is that on top of all this, the Captain's basic melee attacks hit really hard. When you find your health dropping too low, you'll just have to resort to kiting him for a bit to give your companion time to heal you back up. Fortunately he's not a particularly fast runner.



Up next is a duo of Twisted Experiments. I found that if you wipe to these by the way, you'll respawn behind a locked door - you'll have to exit the area and then go back in to find it opened again. Fortunately here one of them can be crowd-controlled while you kill the other one off, and both of them are susceptible to stuns as well. Use what interrupts you have as well as those stuns to burn through their health quickly, and then kite the rest of the way. Once again, their basic melee attacks just hit too hard to withstand them without cooldowns (plus if you can't interrupt, they'll spawn puddles of corrosive goo on the floor that you need to move out of).



The Corrupted Vault Guardian is probably the most interesting fight of the chapter. On a basic level, he keeps covering the floor of the room in "Morass", which never goes away so if you're too slow or just bad at manoeuvring him, you can end up with bad stuff everywhere and nowhere left to go. Obviously interrupting that cast to buy yourself more time is useful, but you can only get it every so often.

After he's channeled Unleashed Rage, it's best to just kite him around for a bit, as he'll hit three times as hard and reflects damage. Shortly afterwards he tends to "resist the void", which is a brief "burn phase" when you should do as much damage as possible. Towards the end he also starts to do an AoE stun every so often which throws everything off kilter a bit, but you've just got to get through that somehow. Don't be afraid of using your stun breaker!

Throughout all of this, companion micro-management is key, to prevent Lana from running into the puddles of bad or trying to attack the boss while he's enraged.



For what it's worth, I actually found this chapter strangely enjoyable to replay on master mode. It's probably just a tad too long to be an efficient CXP farm, but it feels relatively short and while the fights are hard, they reward tactical play and aren't hampered by too much randomness.

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