02/09/2020

We Failed to Kill Some Bosses

Last week was 16-man week in my guild again, and we decided to do something different this time by revisiting the Dreadful and Hateful entity (the latter of which I hadn't seen since that afternoon back in 2014), as well as a world boss on Yavin IV called the Ancient Threat, which I didn't really know anything about other than that it was kind of secret and existed.

It was... interesting.

The Dreadful Entity went down easily enough, probably in part due to the Veteran's Edge stacks you get on hardmode these days. The other two bosses... didn't.

With the Hateful Entity, there was some confusion at first about how to summon it as people kept saying that a certain pack of womp rats needed to be killed in a specific way. Mr Commando and I were raising our eyebrows at this as we remembered no such thing from back in 2014 - it sounded a lot like some sort of superstition to me and I said as much. In this case it turned out that I was wrong though, and you really do need to get all the womp rats equally low to get the "Hateful Presence" to spawn that in turn can be used to summon the Hateful Entity. I'm still baffled by how I have absolutely zero memory of doing anything like this back in 2014 and I even went on a bit of a googling spree afterwards to find out if Bioware maybe changed the mechanic at some point, but no: I found guides from before then that referenced the womp rat thing too. I can only guess that the allied guild that we ran with back in 2014 were already familiar with the whole concept and made sure to do it right without talking about it? I have no idea.

Anyway, we eventually managed to summon the Entity, but killing it was unfortunately another matter. I don't think we even got it to 80 percent on our best attempt. Some of that failure was undoubtedly down to bad play on our part (especially early on we lost quite a few people to death mark dispel failures), but the damage also seemed quite insane. For example a Gunslinger reported being hit by two unavoidable abilities in quick succession that hit for more than his entire health bar even when at full health. How do you deal with that in a downscaled operation with fixed health values?

A quick search yielded only a single kill video uploaded since 6.0, but I guess that proves that it's technically possible. Unfortunately it's a bit hard to tell what's going on in it, but it looks like they brought a lot of Powertechs in order to have the Sonic Rebounder buff on the group 24/7, which would then presumably prevent the sort of deadly two-shot combos that kept befalling some of our raid members.

Speaking of it being hard to tell what's going on, I remember being told back in the day to make sure to turn all my graphics settings to low for this fight as it would otherwise be too hard to see what's happening... this is probably still true, but I decided to leave mine on high anyway this time as a sort of experiment. My PC could actually deal with it fine, but the sheer amount of lightning and particle effects did indeed make it hard to tell what was happening a lot of the time. Still, I have no regrets - at least I got some cool screenshots out of the whole ordeal whenever I died and hid my UI to watch from floor level as the rest of the group slowly followed my example.

Another thing that was funny and which I definitely don't remember happening back in 2014 was that after wiping, people wouldn't necessarily respawn at the start but instead appeared in a random location inside the operation. I ended up on the other side of Thrasher's gate a couple of times, and in the middle of trash pulls the rest of the time. The latter made for a sort of cruel but hilarious Russian roulette as the whole ops group would revive but certain people (often including me) would immediately die again as they were teleported alone into the middle of various trash packs and mugged to death. Hey, if you're gonna die anyway, you might as well do it in an entertaining way!

We didn't have much luck with the Ancient Threat world boss either, though at least it was an interesting experience to get all the buffs required to summon it, as this requires you to find a number of small "secret" clickies dotted around Yavin IV that also grant several achievements.

The boss itself is the same "glowing ball" model as the two Entity bosses and has similarly simplistic mechanics, though the mask from Dreadtooth isn't required anymore. A lot of guides we found said that this fight was quite easy, but this didn't really match our experience. For example the red circles that were supposed to come down only every 15 seconds or so according to some sources were dropping almost non-stop, forcing the whole raid to run around like headless chickens. More importantly though, the ongoing AoE damage that was supposed to be insignificant and easy to heal through actually ticked for about seven percent of everyone's health every two seconds and felt pretty impossible to heal through with a normal role setup of "only" about a quarter of the group being healers.

For this one we couldn't find a kill video from this year at all, just one that was uploaded this year but clearly recorded before Onslaught, so it may well be that the scaling went a bit awry for this boss. We heard from some acquaintances that they have successfully killed it since 6.0, but apparently only by going in with a group of five (two of which were healers) and drawing out the fight to nearly an hour.

Interestingly we did get quite close to killing it once, by going complete zerg and spamming guild flagship summons every time someone died, revived and ran back. The only problem was that as Republic, the run back without a summon is really long (way too long for a significant number of people to survive). At some point, one of the summons got borked up and red circles were dropped right under the summoning spot so that people got put in combat or died instantly the moment they accepted the transport, and then we couldn't get another person into a position to summon in time, leading us to wipe at around ten percent. As guild ship summons have a long cooldown, it wasn't really feasible to keep trying that method for several attempts in a row, unfortunately.

We are however of half a mind to try this same zerg method again some other time, but this time on Imperial alts, who respawn much closer to the Ancients Threat's "home", meaning that people should be able to keep running back to some degree even without a summon. If we do get it down that way it wouldn't exactly be something to be proud of, but hey... sometimes you just gotta do what works.

5 comments :

  1. I don't wanna laugh at your pain, but this sounds pretty hilarious!
    As for the short-stacking idea -- might be worth it. I've been doing a lot of 16m modes in small groups and a lot of the time it works better than expected. Last night, for example, we had 6 people in TC SM (and we got it down t 15% with 5!), and we did most of snv 16m with 6 people (Couldn't quite meet the dps check on styrax, so we brought more in). In some cases, say, 16M Bestia with 5, the mechanics DON'T slow down at all so it becomes almost impossible to dps fast enough; but sometimes it makes it easier to deal with a mechanic that can kill all :)

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    1. It was certainly... an adventure. Ending an evening with a load of repair bills and without having killed anything can be demotivating, but I prefer to focus on remembering the funny moments (and there was a good amount of laughter).

      I have no doubt that we'd have an easier time with the Ancient Threat with a smaller group, but we have so many people who want the achievement that it would be weird to exclude them all, and I think most of us also find the prospect of taking almost an hour to kill a boss in a small group pretty damn boring.

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  2. I looked at the date and thought you posted this in February, then looked at the post below....month 30, day 8....OH WAIT! Thinking in American, haha.

    That little confusion aside, it's cool to see people are still trying stuff like this. I actually was browsing through reddit a few days ago and saw a post I'd made three years ago asking about the ancient threat - we did try it as a guild then, but wiped at probably 95%ish. If I were on an EU server, I'd ask to join a run of yours sometime, but I suppose I'll have to do the legwork to see if people here on Satele Shan are interested in an Ancient Threat run (that deco looks amazing!)

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  3. Hi Shintar, longtime fan of your blog! I saw you found one of my kill videos on Youtube, which was really cool!

    I've also killed Hateful Entity in 6.0 and 100% agree with your comment that bringing multiple PTs is pretty much a requirement to have sufficient uptime on Sonic Rebounders to not insta-die. Also, if your tanks haven't run Hateful before or in a while the kiting is weird because you actually want them to run into the group in between dropping voids for the pull-in (otherwise folks get pulled into lightning).

    As for Ancient Threat, it is definitely killable in 6.0. The key is tanking and cleansing. What my video tried to show was how the tanks need to go FAR away (>60m) for a cleanse to avoid silencing everyone else. We chose the hill on the far right with a healer dedicated to cleansing. We also gear up for healers and for a 24m group we bring at least 6.

    Another thing that isn't always evident is that red circles go out either to folks within close range of the boss or randomly. So depending on group comp, it's a good idea to keep a few mobile folks close to the boss to control red circles and keep them out of the ranged/healers.

    Lastly, we usually tell DPS to not do anything until the first tank swap (around 15s or so) to ensure the tank has threat. Any one pulling threat off the tank is a likely wipe due to raid-wide silencing.

    I'll see if I can track down a decent 6.0 kill video to upload - my guild has done Ancient Threat at least once and maybe twice since 6.0 launched. It's always messy and guildship summons help also but doable. I also highly recommend having a practice run with just 4 tanks and 4 healers to practice the kiting and cleansing.

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    1. Hey Merlyn, thanks for commenting!

      We are aware of the basic strat for the Ancient Threat; it just wasn't working for us as people kept dying to the ongoing AoE. It may well be that there was also something else that we were missing, but everything you mention in this comment was accounted for. Would be quite nice to see a post 6.0 kill vid; it might help with pinpointing just what we did wrong!

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