Terror from Beyond and Scum and Villainy – first impressions

I made my first trip into Terror from Beyond earlier this week and did most of Scum and Villainy Sunday night. I died a lot in TFB. That might have been because I was woefully under-geared and lacked health, or I just stood in bad. I’m a bit out of practice at raiding on my Sniper.

An Ode to Story Mode
I like Story Mode raiding in SWTOR. Its a much better solution than LFR in World of Warcraft. It asks more from the participants than LFR does without asking too much. A PuG group may or may not complete the raid and there is an element of progress (wiping to learn bosses, success rates increasing over time) that is more acceptable than in LFR. You need tactics, you need the raid to live, you need people to pull their weight. Its a really good way to learn a fight and to gear up whilst doing what you want to do – raiding. It reminds me of the kinds of raids that used to take place back in Wrath of the Lich King, where PuGs typically made good progress through at least a few bosses and the PuG community gradually progressed. I feel that can work here too. A part organised group can likely clear it immediately, and complete PuGs full of inexperienced players could not until they gained that experience.

The Fights
So what were the fights like? I enjoyed them. Some of the fights stand out in my mind. I loved the first fight in Scum and Villainy which takes place as you cross a desert in a sandstorm. On another fight, you have to sneak around and take out some enemies before you go and kill the boss (albeit this was a bit buggy). The ‘puzzle’ fights were good in both raids – all about planning and execution of the plan. The last two bosses in TFB were enormously fun. The feeling of flying from pillar to pillar on the last boss especially was fun and I look forward to doing those again. The mechanics of the fights are interesting without being excessively punishing.

Epic
The other thing I like about these raids, and all SWTOR raids, is they feel epic. They are physically large. The boss fights take place over large areas at times. You have to place healers strategically. You have to know your max range. You have to balance activity and movement. The huge spacing which feels irritating at times in the open world (GSI dailies are 5% activity and 95% getting to places) works so well in the raids. Its not packed with too much trash. Its not a barrier to wiping due to strategic speeders. This is something I feel has been particularly lacking in some WoW raids. I think the fact that they are not broken down into bite sized chunks helps. I find the Throne of Thunder LFR in particular lacks that epic feeling.

Crib Sheets will be forthcoming for all SWTOR raids over the next month or so. There is already one for Eternity Vault and I’ve drafted Karraga’s Palace.

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