20/01/2020

Flashpoint Levelling: Halfway There?

Nautalie the Shadow's levelling journey through the group finder continues.


Hammer Station
I levelled: 46-47

After several weeks of not seeing the place, I didn't mind getting it quite so much this time.

This group almost would have gone down as my first one where nobody said a single word, as nobody responded to my greeting at the beginning of the run, but then someone suddenly typed "hello" in chat halfway through the instance for some reason.

That, and our tank told us to just run past the turrets before the bridge, a tactic I'd read about somewhere but hadn't seen in action for a while (or ever? not sure now). It worked, but also meant that the tank almost died on the trash pulls afterwards, as we were unable to get out of combat to regenerate and nobody had any healing abilities. Also, at the end people had to commit suicide by hurling themselves off the platform since you can't exit while stuck in combat. Another prime example of how to make things unnecessarily complicated just to avoid killing two mobs if you ask me.

I also found it interesting that while the tank did a great job at rounding up mobs and holding aggro, she didn't seem to have much of a survival instinct. I watched closely on the Tunneler to see if she'd take the two steps to the side to click the kolto station next to her, but she didn't and only survived the first laser due to her Life Warden tactical proccing. After that I started clicking them for her.

Also, as an aside, for the last four or five runs all the personal loot I'd been getting was gear that required level 48 to wear, which I found funny. It formed a proper pile in my inventory by that point, since I couldn't put any of it on yet.

Hammer Station
I levelled: 47-49

I suppose I had been pushing my luck with all those times I queued without deselecting Hammer Station. At least this was a fairly uneventful and pleasant run with no weird behaviour from anyone and a group that was just tearing through the flashpoint as one happy wrecking ball. I felt smug about once again ending up tanking the Tunneler against three level 75 damage dealers without having used any taunts (while also taking care of my own health clicking kolto stations, as you do).

Hammer Station
I levelled: 49-50

By this point I knew that I really had to go back to making sure that Hammer Station wasn't part of my random selection. At least it was another solid group of 75s, with a healer who actually healed and dps who managed to generate more aggro than me. The only thing that detracted from my personal satisfaction was that it was another group that decided to just run past the turrets by the bridge, getting us stuck in combat for the remainder of the flashpoint.

I also got some level 65 green gear for some reason. I think I must have won the roll on some random loot.

Mandalorian Raiders
I levelled: 50-51

I made sure to unselect Hammer Station for this run, which fortunately did not prevent me from getting a pop within literal seconds. The group I got consisted entirely of mid-level damage dealers like me. I was also auto-granted the weekly to do five veteran flashpoints, as level 50 is apparently the first time you can pick that up.

The Commando in the group was very adept at turning everything into a corner pull, which I found admirable... but he was also impatient, rarely waiting for people to fully heal up before he ran into the next pull, which was less admirable. I also noticed that he was the only person rolling need on all the crafting drops...

I have to admit I felt somewhat vindicated when we wiped on Braxx after the Commando once again ran in without paying attention where everyone else was and promptly died within five seconds. This wipe also led to the only comments from fellow group members throughout the entire run (nobody replied to my hi or thanks), as one guy went "...." and another commented that "no way we're doing this shit". I half expected that one to drop out at that point, but we just tried again and the next attempt went perfectly. (Shocking, that one wipe isn't an indicator of utter failure!)

Nobody said anything before we pulled Mavrix either, and the Sentinel in the group stayed on the boss the entire time, but fortunately his dps wasn't enough to push the boss through before the rest of us could take out the turrets.

Not a terrible run by any means, but I've got to say the general attitude on display got a thumbs-down from me.

Mandalorian Raiders
I levelled 51-52

Another day of queuing for everything but Hammer Station, another instant pop, another group of four dps for Mando Raiders. Meh.

This group was fun though. They didn't talk much either, but at least everyone said hi and bye. The other Shadow in the group and I facilitated a lot of trash skips by doubling up on crowd control, which I didn't mind in this case and didn't find annoying at all since it required us to co-ordinate, which is actually fun to me (as opposed to people impatiently tapping their feet waiting for the newbie to get some awkward jump just right).

They were also the happiest kolto clickers ever. I've previously said that I often adopt the role of quasi-healer since nobody else seems to have sufficient awareness of their own health and of when they should be clicking on a kolto station, but this group was happily running laps around the room clicking each one almost as soon as it came off cooldown. In a fight with fewer stations that could have been problematic, but fortunately there is no shortage of kolto on the Allusis.

On the Imperial strike team I once again became witness to a slightly different strategy, because while people killed things in the order I expected, there was no dps split on the last two so that the agent was still on full health when the bounty hunter died. I worried a little that we might be done for, but the guy with aggro just ran away and hid behind some crates, and for some reason the agent wasn't too bothered by this and just kept vaguely firing in his direction while the rest of us killed him. The more you pug, the more you learn.


Half Time

With 23 levels left to go I reckon I'm at around the halfway point, so I decided to do a little tally of how it's been going so far. I've run a total of 24 flashpoints, and 10 of them (or 42%!) have been Hammer Stations. Not exactly an exciting amount of variety, which I think is the main reason I've been dragging my feet a little. Both Tessal's and Pugette's levelling journeys felt like exciting adventures, never knowing what the group finder would spit out next, while poor Nautalie is just becoming an expert in asteroid-throwing battle stations. That's what I get for wanting to find out what life's like for the "average" pugger I guess! Still, I'm committed to finishing this so I can do a proper round-up once she hits 75. Another 24 flashpoints or so to go I guess?

6 comments :

  1. You know, this week I saw someone (a tank) run down HS right until he got to pummeler and it worked? It was reasonably easy and we healed up on the kolto without pulling the boss. We also did the turret run, but we didn't get stuck in combat, they let go of us once the fire came up instead of the bridge.

    How low is your pacifist again? I have been thinking on a couple Balmorra H2, one corellian one and the Section X heroics, but that's all useless if she's too low. There's also the CZ pick up koltos and chemicals daily and the one on Yavin 4 to reclaim talismans... Of course, we cannot forget the Belsavis corpse finding H2! I have to read through them all yet again, I'm never with your blog open when I do and I end up forgetting it all! Hahah

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    1. And to be clear, I meant Industrial Sabotsge in Balmorra, not shifting priorities, though both are good and don't require battling. Same goes for Starfighters of Corellia, jungle flight.

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    2. My pacifist is still only 33 because all I've done on her recently is run the deed heroic on Coruscant every now and then and without killing anything it doesn't give that much XP at this point. I keep thinking I should go back to exploring her one-time quest options on Taris, but there's always something else...

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    3. I'm going to guess you did all possible quests in Tython? I recall a couple that don't require battling, such as the feed the baby flesh-raider, and one where you can just destroy drinks but not kill flesh raiders... If you're lucky and someone else has taken them out of the way.
      I have since also remembered a daily on Black Hole where, if you're careful, you just have to plant devices and I think Gree has one that is just harvesting crystals. Certainly on Taris there's a questline for getting the old vaccine that doesn't require fighhting the first half, but I can't rememebr if later you have to kill stuff (possible). I think on NS there's one you just need to take out some speeders, but I'm not sure how comfortable that is for the pacifist persona (how far you want to take it). Of course, once she reaches 55 it's easy to use droid quests and macrobinoculars, even if you don't finish the chain, they should give you some xp, along with map completion, lore objects, etc.
      It's mildly infuriating that we have 2 jedi classes and no good options for not fighting, but, you know, maybe it *is* possible...

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    4. I did indeed do everything I could on Tython - I wrote about that here. The flesh raider baby wouldn't have qualified though as you need to kill wildlife to feed it.

      I do generally know about most higher-level dailies that can be done without fighting, but those are still a long way off! How to get there is the more interesting question to me at the moment.

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    5. Oh, of course, my bad. It's been a while. The thing isn't just about the ones you don't ever have to fight, but also those you can cheese with a good stealth and sleep things! Hahah. In fact, I'm not gonna lie, I originally had a scoundrel and an operative solely for the skip trash factor.

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