My Mercenary's Grand Finale

In what's probably going to be my last post of the year, I'm proud to announce that my flashpoint-levelling Mercenary has hit level 65! The arrival of double XP provided a boost for the last couple of levels that I actually welcomed for a change, and her last few runs were all good. I'll make another post in a couple of days to talk about what I feel I've learned from this experiment, but for now, let me summarise my last couple of flashpoint pugs:

I levelled: 58-59

Cademimu, old friend, we meet again. This was a run with no Sith: just three Mercenaries (including me) and one Sniper. It made me feel like I was part of a proper strike team - I love it when random groups come together like that. Also, with three Mercs we had so much fun with knockbacks!

Team Tech Users

For all the Cademimu runs I've done on this character, this was actually the first one where people trapped the first boss's droid companion correctly and didn't get themselves trapped instead. The Wookiee boss got burned down so quickly that we got absolutely swarmed by Ugnaughts, though we survived. And nobody died on Ortol either, which I believe was a first for me as well (though one guy ate a lot of fire and came close).

In what may well have been the most hilarious moment of this character's pugging career, someone unexpectedly aborted the little conversation at the end for the whole group because he "made the wrong choice", as he had trouble remembering which of his alts were supposed to be good and which ones evil. Hardcore RP on The Red Eclipse, guys!

Czerka Core Meltdown
I levelled: 59-61

Just what I needed to complete the CZ-198 story quest! My companions for this flashpoint were a level 40 and two lowbies who were only 16 and 17 respectively. The latter two gave the impression that they were at least new to the flashpoint, but at the same time they seemed reasonably skilled and learned quickly, even if the Vrblther boss was a bit of a pain until they took note that he needed to be pulled towards the spores.

The Duneclaw had me a bit worried as I had heard unpleasant things about it, and they were certainly true. The AoE damage from the sandstorm generators is absolutely insane considering that groups are supposed to be able to do this without a healer! Even with my heals and constant console clicking we barely stayed alive. In fact, we did wipe twice: first because at least the lowbies didn't seem to know what to do, and then because while I was effectively tanking through heal aggro, I had trouble clicking the consoles at the same time as the giant boss in my face sometimes made it literally impossible to click on them. However, after I complained about this the rest of the group made a point of clicking them for me and we eventually came away successful.

Boarding Party
I levelled: 61-62

This was my first run with three players who were all from the same guild - in this case, the amusingly named "Howling Teapot Gang". We did the bonus boss because someone was hoping for a furniture drop; the boss didn't oblige however.

Blood Hunt
I levelled: 62-63

I'll be honest: I swallowed when I saw that it was Blood Hunt again. Was this going to be another one of those runs where we are fine until Jos and Valk and then everything falls apart?

In an amusing twist, I was actually the one being backfilled this time, with the rest of the group already waiting at the Mandalorian Couple of Doom. Everyone was amused when I immediately knew what was going on and I was told that three people had already quit before me.

You could tell that the three remaining players had had time to practice, because they were absolutely ace at staying alive via kiting and using defensive cooldowns and self heals. The only problem were deaths to knockbacks, which still occurred, especially in the second phase. We wiped two or three times and had one near-wipe where the bosses suddenly reset. In the end we finally managed to get Jos down in phase two and then it was just me and the level 50 Operative left alive, with me spending most of my time healing myself through Valk's sweeping gunfire and the Operative doing desperate dps. I eventually got the killing blow, dinged 63 in the process and the crowd went wild. I'm not kidding, one guy was yelling in all caps that we were gods among men, haha! It was pretty epic, and just like the last time I bested these guys in a pug group, everyone was ridiculously happy at the end.


Hammer Station
I levelled: 63-64

In this run we had a legendary level 65 Marauder who seemed to be suffering from Twitchy Sentinel Syndrome at first, which annoyed me initially, however I soon saw that he was actually pretty mindful of the rest of the group - he respected crowd control and in places where we snuck past bits of trash he waited for everyone to make it past safely before continuing. He also did pretty good dps, which prompted me to inspect him. I was almost disappointed that he was "only" wearing 208 gear. Still, even with that our enemies pretty much melted... on the last boss, one of the lower level dps got knocked to his death right at the start, and by the time he had managed to run back in the boss was already dead.

Boarding Party
I levelled: 64-65

This run was slightly annoying in that we had a level 65 Sniper who kept breaking my CC and the level 29 Mercenary who was marked as a damage dealer appeared to actually be a healer - at least I didn't see him use any actual dps spec abilities and he seemed to spend a lot of time throwing extra heals around. This made everything a bit slow and painful - basically the sort of run I would have declined to join if I had known that there was another healer in the group. Still, in the end it wasn't too bad and we did both bonuses, which is always a big plus in my book. And of course I hit max level!

... while being pebbled in the face by a Jedi consular.

Now I feel I should really do my class story on Dromund Kaas to at least get my ship - it wouldn't do to be asked to join an ops run on Oricon and be unable to actually get there...

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