Slow Mode Legacy of the Rakata

My guild hits the large Conquest yield target with ease nowadays, even during the most quiet of times, but our smaller Imperial alt guild isn't so lucky, meaning that sometimes, it falls on me and other loyal members to actively grind out the missing points on Sunday or Monday evening to get us over the collective finish line.

Last Monday was one of those days, and after doing some dailies and completing the PvP weekly, I noticed that I was on four out of five for the "Socialite II" objective. I decided that completing it by doing a flashpoint would be a good way of hitting my personal target on one more alt, and consulted my spreadsheet to decide whom to take out for a spin. I eventually settled on my Powertech tank and queued up specifically for Legacy of the Rakata, since she had the Forged Alliances story mission for that one.

Being a tank, queueing for master mode resulted in an instant pop (even though it was quite late) and I loaded in to find myself grouped with a Mercenary, a Sorceror and a Scoundrel healer. "I just did this one five minutes ago," opined the Sorc. I replied with "Sorry, I actually queued for this one in specific" and earned the text equivalent of a "grinning squinting face" in reply.

We got on our way and I noticed on the very first trash pull that things were taking quite long to die. Some of the trash groups in this flashpoint have an elite healer in them, and while I interrupted him as much as I could, it felt like we could barely out-dps the heals that were getting through. On the next pull, I actually ended up loading up Starparse, something I rarely do in flashpoints, to see whether I was just imagining things or whether the numbers were going to back me up. It showed both damage dealers barely breaking 10k dps on an AoE pull, and me even overtaking one of them temporarily. Not just my imagination then.

I didn't say anything to the rest of the group of course, because I consider that kind of thing quite rude. We simply continued on, just very slowly as it were. The first boss in Legacy of the Rakata always takes pretty long to die, even with a good dps group, so with this one it took absolute ages. I didn't look at the clock, but I had a lot of time for random musings while tanking the rancor with my back against the wall.

I wonder if this guy has an enrage... if he does, we're sure to find out!
I wonder if there are people who would quit over this or try to kick someone... based on the tales guildies tell about their pug experiences sometimes, players certainly get removed from groups for less.
If he didn't keep knocking me out of position every so often, forcing me to refocus, I could have read a book by now.

As it turns out, Warchief Rehkta and his Savage War Beast do not have an enrage, and eventually they died. We moved on once again. I was definitely feeling a bit bored by the (lack of) speed by then, as it was late and I had hoped for a relatively quick run, but at the same time it wasn't the worst tanking practice to rotate through every single one of my defensive cooldowns on every pull. I had noted that the healer was the worst geared member of the group, with an item rating of only 318, but they held their own pretty well.

"Wanna do the bonus boss?", the Sorc asked. God no, went my brain, but what I actually typed into chat was: "Sure, if people want to do it I don't mind." We had skipped so much trash however that we hadn't unlocked him yet by the time we moved past his little bunker, so we just had to proceed towards the second boss, Commander Rand.

I was always under the impression that this guy's add phases were tied to his health percentage, but in this run I learned that there's also a timer, so if you're too slow he'll go into another add phase even if you haven't got him that low yet. I think he was only at about half health by the time we got the third round of adds, but as it turns out, he doesn't bother to summon additional waves after the third one either way. The more you know...!

We'd made it all the way to the last trash pull before the final boss when the bonus objective completed to unlock the bonus boss. Just forget about it, I told myself, nobody will want to go back anyway... but I'd said that I was willing to do it! I had to at least ask one more time, in case people were too shy to make any requests of the tank. (Tanks have so much authority, I tell you.)

"Did you want to go back to do the bonus boss then?" I typed into chat. The Sorc expressed enthusiastic assent and immediately turned around. I remained where I was and looked at the other two. They didn't reply but eventually turned around to follow the Sorc as well. That was that then.

Back at the Infinite Army Prototype's little bunker, we engaged in a brief tactics discussion to ensure we were all on the same page in regards to breaking line of sight behind one of the pots whenever he did his big AoE. Staying in and healing through it was obviously out of the question, but I wanted to make sure that everyone knew and agreed on what to do.

Then I pulled... and it didn't go well. As expected, damage was massive (the fight is tougher on the healer than on anyone else in the party) and we died fairly quickly, I think it was shortly after the first AoE phase.

After we'd revived and while we were running back, I said that I was willing to try again, but that there was no shame in not being able to do this boss, considering how much damage he did and that our healer was the least geared member of our party. "Nah, we can do this!" the Sorc replied. The healer just said that they were going to try their best.

And on the second try... we killed it! Much to my surprise. It was messy (we got multiple womp rats, and the Merc further reduced their damage due to constantly running away and getting yanked in again, even after both the Sorc and I typed out in chat that it was best to just stand behind the boss as one doesn't get pulled from there), and it did take what felt like forever - over seven minutes according to the combat log, during which we took 11 million damage. Turns out this guy doesn't have an enrage either, so just not dying was enough to eventually get there. I congratulated everyone on a job well done and then we proceeded to the last boss.

I'll admit that Arkous and Darok were another fight that I was a little worried about due to their damage output, and my health bar did indeed behave like a yo-yo for most of the first phase, even as I desperately cycled through all my cooldowns. With my guildies we always used to kill Darok first due to the fact that he has a random aggro table and can't be taunted, but I noticed that this group focused on Arkous instead. I didn't complain though, seeing how I was struggling to not die while tanking him, and I thought of how the Sorc had said at the beginning that they'd completed this same flashpoint earlier, so they kind of had to know what they're doing?

Indeed, after Arkous' death, things seemed to get significantly easier for a while, and I realised why - Darok decided to focus on Jakarro at first, and with a friendly NPC soaking up much of his damage output, our healer had an easier time keeping the rest of the group topped up. Unfortunately the good times eventually came to an end when Darok changed his mind and had a go at our healer instead - who kept themselves alive for admirably long, but eventually succumbed to his onslaught. Fortunately the boss was already pretty low by that point, so that the rest of us were able to finish him off before he could get us down too.

And that was that! I was pretty shocked when I looked at the time and nearly one and a half hours had passed. For a flashpoint run with only a single, quick wipe, that's incredibly long - by my standards anyway. However, we'd all stuck together and made it through in the end, which was the most important thing. And I guess the reason I felt compelled to write about this run was that it was also a reminder to myself to not get too hung up on things like dps when it doesn't really matter, as it was ultimately a good run and in fact I learned a lot too.

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