Killing a Disco Ball

The last post I made about Legacy of the Sith's new operation, R-4 Anomaly, was back in September last year. Since then I haven't really mentioned it other than to shine a bit more light on just how badly my frustrations with it have been affecting me in my year-in-review post from December.

This may have been giving the impression that I haven't spent any more time in the place, but that would be a misconception. My break from progression ops ended after only a month and I soon rejoined my team to farm the second and third boss in R-4 veteran mode with them. This wasn't exactly the most satisfying thing ever, but people raid for a number of different reasons (to see the content, to challenge themselves, for gear, or as a way of socialising) and it scratched at least a number of these itches, preventing us from having to worry about "what to do next" for the next few months.

However, eventually we reached the point where we had pretty much everything those two bosses could give us and we had to face the question of what to focus on next: some old master mode operation we hadn't cleared recently, or IP-CPT, the first boss in R-4 that we had been skipping with lockouts, commonly referred to as "disco ball" (because it's literally an orb that hangs from the ceiling and the fight involves a lot of flashing lights). We held a vote among the members of my ops team and IP came out ahead.

Now, I mentioned before that this boss was considered horribly overtuned relative to the rest of the fights in R-4, however the dps requirements had been nerfed ever so slightly since launch, and some people in the guild had in fact killed it with other ops teams at this point, so the idea of trying to take it on didn't seem entirely crazy anymore (especially with all the extra gear we had acquired). There were still problems though, most notably that the fight requires zero tanks, and tanking is the only role Mr Commando likes to play nowadays, which meant that leading progression nights on IP suddenly fell to me. This wasn't actually too bad in terms of what it required from me, since we had several group members who knew the fight and I could delegate most tasks and call-outs to them, but it also sucked because running ops is also a way for Mr Commando and me to spend time together, and this meant that we weren't.

I will say that the fight did grow on me over time though. When we'd first checked it out briefly last year, just to see what it was like, it seemed horrible to me. There is so much going on in story mode already - it's a recipe for massive visual overload - and on veteran mode all those mechanics are actually deadly. I kept dying to standing in fire and knew that I was being bad; I just couldn't manage to pay attention to everything that was going on and keep my eyes on people's health bars at the same time.

Once we started attempting the boss in earnest at the start of this year though, I began to see an odd kind of beauty in it. I watched videos of other people killing it successfully and admired how easy they made it look, avoiding all the fire and lasers with the absolute minimum amount of movement required and dancing around each other's red circles beautifully. And while our own progression was comparatively slow, we did also get better at dealing with the various mechanics over time, including me.

Even so, stress levels in general were amping up. We suffered turnover for real life reasons, due to personality conflicts, and one guy just plain deciding that we weren't good enough for him anymore and that he wanted to play with better players. This would set us back some nights, which then in turn frustrated the people who remained, and I was the one who got to hear all about it. There was one night when I already felt stressed out due to other factors, and when I sat down to raid I just burst into tears at the thought of having to deal with all the same nonsense for yet another evening. Mr Commando was kind of shocked and shuffled me off to bed while quickly looking for someone to replace me.

When we decided to tackle IP once again this past Sunday I was almost apologetic towards the group, telling them that we could always go do something else if things didn't go well and we ended up having a bad time. However, things did not go badly this time. They went exceedingly well as we managed to get to the last phase over and over again. Then we had one wipe at two percent. And then we killed it.

I won't deny that this felt really nice. It's been a while since I felt a rush to upload a video of a new boss kill while all fired up from adrenaline. It felt like the sort of win that my team sorely needed, and suddenly the future looked brighter again, with other goals not feeling quite so out of reach anymore either.

And yet... I think back to other frustrating bosses that had us emerge triumphant in the end, such as master mode Dread Master Styrak two years ago. That was a hard time too, but it kinda felt worth it in the end. With R-4, I'm still not quite sure, as it does feel like that operation has been too much of a drain on my happiness for a quick burst of joy to just make up for it all. We'll see how things in there go over the next few months I guess.


  1. right after you left your brother a note, you raided, what are the odds ;)

    1. Like it says in the post, this raid was on Sunday. 🙂


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