Pugging on Tulak Hord

It's been a while since I had a good pug tale to tell! However, as part of my efforts to work my way through Galactic Season 2 on servers other than Darth Malgus, I've also found myself running some veteran flashpoints there. I was curious whether there were going to be noticeable differences in "pug culture" among servers, but so far I haven't really noticed anything particularly remarkable... except for the fact that both of the veteran flashpoint runs I've had on the German server Tulak Hord have been weird AF.

First my levelling Commando healer got into an Esseles with three level 80s, two of whom were in a guild together. I can't say that I loved getting that particular flashpoint as my random at that point in time, but whatever. I expected everyone to start space-barring immediately, but the first conversation lasted suspiciously long... I was starting to wonder whether people on this server were just generally in the habit of watching the cut scenes when someone asked to skip after all and I was like: "Ahh, of course!"

The request was met with a sort of partial compliance, as conversations seemed to pass noticeably faster but still took a while, as if someone was watching at least a few lines play out every time. In general, everyone's behaviour just seemed ever so slightly odd. Aside from the initial greetings, only a few words were said in chat that made absolutely no sense to me and which made me wonder whether someone was drunk or I was missing some important context (such as the guildies talking to each other in guild chat).

At points there was some erratic running around as if people didn't know where to go or really wanted to have a closer look at the scenery. I suppose it could've been some people's first time, though I'd consider it slightly unusual for a group of 80s to have never done the Esseles. At one point the guy who wasn't in the guild with the others initiated a vote kick on one of the other two without providing a reason. I voted no and it failed due to insufficient votes (I didn't think the other guy was going to vote to kick his guildie either).

We made it through the instance without any real issues, but the slightly off-kilter behaviour made me glad to be out of there. I figured that it was just a weird group as you just get them sometimes on any server and that hopefully my next run on Tulak Hord was going to be better.

Spoiler: It was not!

This time I got into Mandalorian Raiders with a group of levellers: a Guardian tank in his 20s, an Operative in his 30s and a Vanguard in his 50s. The Guardian and Vanguard were in the same guild. I saw the group makeup and instantly realised that a group of levellers was going to make things slower and more challenging, but at the same time we had both a tank and a healer (me) so it should still be relatively easy, right?

It immediately became apparent that the two guildies didn't really know where to go, though the Operative seemingly did and tried to lead the way. On our way to the first boss the two guildies ran off into random side rooms on two occasions that I didn't even remember existed, and we could only just prevent them from doubling back entirely. I was already noticing that dps seemed low and that I was getting aggro on a fair number of mobs but I didn't think too much of it yet.

That changed when we got to Braxx the Bloodhound and not only did I end up tanking him for most of the fight, the fight also took forever. As I was running in circles clicking the kolto stations and bemoaning my life choices to Mr Commando (who told me that I only had myself to blame), I started looking a bit more closely at what my group mates were doing and noticed that the Guardian had a permanently filled focus bar - he wasn't using any abilities other than his basic attack! I also found myself wondering whether the boss was going to hit some sort of enrage eventually because of how long we were taking, but the answer seemed to be no. He eventually died after more than seven minutes - longer than many ops boss fights.

On the next few trash pulls I noticed that the Operative's energy bar was also barely moving, and that he spent his entire time shooting from range with his basic attack (for those not in the know, Operative is a melee class).

On the enemy boarding party encounter I ended up tanking most of the mobs yet again, and by the time only two of them were left alive I got sick of it and started kiting them around one of the containers in the room to reduce my damage taken. Fortunately it wasn't that high anyway, but I didn't see why I should just stand there and let them smack me in the face just because nobody else was doing anything resembling tanking. Sure, it meant that the others had to run in circles behind me too, but it's not as if they didn't have the option to actually take aggro...

Between the second and third boss there is this one section where you cross a bridge and on it there are two patrolling droids as well as several adds that can spawn in depending on where you enter combat. I watched with some horror as my clueless protegés pulled absolutely everything and then the two guildies jumped or fell off the bridge onto the level below as well. I just stood there and healed myself while the Operative did some meagre dps from range. Eventually the other two, who had survived the fall on low health, managed to run back up and rejoin us. I thought it was a minor miracle that we didn't wipe, though the Operative got downed towards the end.

And so it just continued for the rest of the run. Another memorable moment was when we went down the big lift and I found myself wondering whether I could perhaps make things easier for myself by crowd-controlling one of the three silver mobs at the bottom... but nope, as if the rest of the group had read my mind, they fanned out perfectly to each engage one enemy on their own and duel it to death in the slowest way possible.

I guess one good thing about terrible damage dealers is that them not knowing the tactics for the last boss didn't wipe us, because while the two guildies did attack the boss initially, their damage was worthless and they did listen to the instruction to focus on the turrets eventually, so that we did not trigger any premature jumps.

When we finished I felt both relieved and oddly giddy that we had actually made it through somehow. I'm not sure that group would've made it very far without a healer (aka me) or at least an otherwise very strong and competent player carrying them through, but we'd succeeded, even if it had been an extremely slow and in parts quite painful journey.

I just hope that pugs on Tulak Hord aren't always like this...


  1. Okay, I'm showing my old timey player here, but isn't an Operative an Agent spec? The others are all Republic specs, I remember that, but I thought Operative was an Imperial spec.

    1. Combat styles, Red! They are the expansion's main new feature and allow any base class/origin story to use any advanced class/combat style except that there's still a separation between Force and Tech.

    2. Ah, the separation is there, not in faction. For some reason I thought it was the other way around.

  2. Update: Today's Athiss run on TH was perfectly pleasant and normal. I'm relieved!

  3. You may remember me mentioning to be on Tulak Hord (since the last merge, that is), but I have to admit, I am not sure if I've ever done a random flashpoint since then, despite getting all mirror classes to max level (well not the current one, but some older expansion)... I guess not.

    And to the 80s not knowing the Esseles... I'm pretty sure I went in there, like 5-8 times and the last time must've been 2017. I don't think I'd be THAT lost, but maybe I would...

    1. Actually I didn't remember you being on TH! Thanks for the reminder though. :D

    2. I couldn't tell you the slightest thing about this server, I'm such a solo player in this RPG that happens to be a MMORPG :P My guild used to be good at invading planets though!


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