27/01/2020

Apex Vanguard Down!

I mentioned in my last post that my ops team was getting very close to killing the Apex Vanguard (the last boss in the new Dxun operation) on veteran mode, and this past Sunday we finally got him down! Yeah!


I do have to admit that my gut reaction wasn't to cheer and punch fists though, but rather a simple sense of relief. Finally done with this boss!

The main criticism I had of the fight on story mode, namely that it wasn't much more than a long and somewhat boring tank-and-spank for everyone but the person having to do the "battery dance", didn't really hold up in veteran mode: The person doing the battery still has the most responsibility, but there are other important things to do, such as taking care of flare placement, distributing and using stims, and everyone has to be able to react appropriately to the boss's Contagion and Zone Defense abilities.

That said, this boss and I just didn't gel. We weren't off to the best start when I missed the first two weeks or so of progression on him, which meant that on my first couple of nights of actually seeing the fight for myself I felt hopelessly behind... I'm usually not the slowest learner, but with everyone having had a chance to practise all the mechanics for so much longer I kept making what felt like pretty basic mistakes and felt very self-conscious about my lack of familiarity with the fight compared to everyone else.

Worse, I was then assigned a relatively important job, to handle the flares, which common wisdom says should be doable by a single healer. However, every time we tried this, it didn't go well - there were constant arguments about my placement of the flares, and whenever I had to run to pick up more flares we tended to fall seriously behind on healing, which would ultimately lead to deaths and then usually a wipe.

We eventually found that having two ranged dps take turns handling the flares worked much better for us. And I guess there's no shame in adjusting tactics to find whatever works best for your group, but I still couldn't help but feel like we were having to work around my lack of ability.

There was a similar situation when it came to injecting the tank with stims at the very end of the fight, which I got to try properly once, failed, and then things were immediately re-jigged to have the tank take care of the stims themselves.

To be honest I was kind of glad to not have the extra responsibility as I found myself quite taxed just paying attention to everything else, but at the same time I felt like I was being a real drag on the team. I can't even pinpoint what exactly has caused me to struggle so much with the fight, as it's not that hard on the healers if everyone else does their job correctly, but for some reason I just didn't get on with it.

It's not my least favourite fight ever or anything, but definitely my least favourite fight in this operation. Still, I'm glad to be able to say that I've completed them all. Now we just need to kill Huntmaster and Apex on 16-man hardmode (we've already beaten all the bosses before them), and then there are a bunch of WoW-style "complete the fight in a weird way that gives you a handycap" achievements, which I've never been too fond of, but as this sort of "hardmode plus" hasn't really been a thing in SWTOR before, I'm willing to give it a try.


We'll just need to make sure that everyone who wasn't in on the kill last night gets their regular achievement first.

3 comments :

  1. Congrats! I finally managed to face Izax this last weekend and now I see why people don't reallyvwanna bother with Gods on gf nights!

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    Replies
    1. Yep, he's pretty epic, but the whole operation isn't really the kind of place you want to run every other week...

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    2. I have to say, I agree with what's-his-name: the boss fights are interesting, but you have no feeling as to WHY you're doing that mission or what is it for.

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