Oct 052012
 

By Ghoztt

A couple of weeks ago I was able to give a preview of what was to come in the Story Mode version of Terror From Beyond from the PTS. Now that I have had a chance to step into the Hard Mode version, I am pleased to report that yes, it is hard! If you were fully geared and min-maxed from Explosive Conflict, be prepared to be tested. This operation requires coordination, a good understanding of mechanics and communication to successfully make it through alive… if you dare!

Okay, so that was a little melodramatic, but I am serious about the amount of teamwork that it takes in order to kill bosses. They will test your tanks, healers and dps to their fullest. Any weak link will result in a struggle just make it through one of the mechanics only to be tested again in the next phase. No one will be carried in this operation, that is for certain. Likely, you already have guilds on your server that have done a full clear, but don’t be fooled into thinking this operation is a pushover. Terror From Beyond will keep the average casual guild busy for many weeks while the more serious groups will still find entertainment in the fights themselves.

Our first kill of Writhing Horror HM had 1 man left standing (who was killed by adds)

The first three bosses seem to be a check on your group’s composition and tries to test where your weaknesses lie. The Writhing Horror is most certainly a dps check. If you aren’t wearing 25% of the bosses’ health during each phase then you won’t make the enrage timer. When you face the Dread Guard, your healers will be tested as to how efficiently they can triage the operation group and also knowing when NOT to heal. Operator IX will challenge your tanks with add control, interrupts and how well they can manage the fight. If you make it past those three, Kephess will test your ability to position the boss and will, again, test your dps group’s ability to generate the numbers needed to perform a timely kill.

Green means healing circles, right? I wish!

As of this writing, my operation group has had two days inside hard mode and we were able to do one pull on the final boss before time ran out. This is the fight that I have been looking to bang my head against, but I have to admit that I am a little wary of groups such as ours getting this far so quickly. By no means is my group considered ‘hard core’. We have a set group that goes in twice a week and have a hard cut off time. I am concerned over the longevity of the hard core operation groups who may find the new content underwhelming. With any luck, Nightmare Modes will be part of the upcoming six week cycle Bioware has promised us.

How do the color blind do this fight?

Terror From Beyond in Hard Mode has clever new mechanics that make the boss fights difficult but not frustratingly so. That is to say that you do not get defeated by random occurrences or bad luck often. There will always be a randomness to fights but the RNG (Random Number Generator) seems to be kept at bay. If you fail to kill the boss then you are probably doing something wrong. Bioware has certainly come a long way since the Eternity Vault and it shows in this operation.

Ready check done? Pulling in 3… 2… 1…

  2 Responses to “Operation: Information – Terror From Beyond HM Review”

  1. My Guild has suffered some massive attrition in the past 3 months. Those frustrated with BioWare/EA; those who just love WoW’s polish too much; those that fell to GW2 and the Pandas… we haven’t been able to pull together a stable set of 8 for 4 months. (At one point had 4 Raid groups)

    However, before the last round of MIA Guild members, we had gotten 3/4 through Denova HM. We were by no means farming it. Personally, as a Tank, I found that Z&T as well as F&S just ended up bugging/lagging and having sloppy mechanics execute made our progression slower than it could have been. (Having Stormcaller drop a lightning rod on the tank, killing the dps’ers who didn’t even see it before the shields even charged was frustrating)

    Obviously, guilds have been farming EC HM for months so it’s not ‘just the game’s fault’, but it still says something when one week you one-shot Z&T or F&S on your way through and the next week the same guys are wiping for 2 hours on them.

    Anyway, all that leads us to TFB. We started last week in story mode and just due to late raiders made it to Kephess. This week, I pushed us to start HM because there is little point running SM for a geared group because there are basically no useful rewards and the mechanics are different enough that HM makes for a new experience you have to re-learn anyway.

    What I personally feel is that TFB is BY FAR the most polished of the Ops in terms of gameplay mechanics. We did 4 pulls on the Withering Horror. Wiped at 90%, 80%, 0% then killed him. First time was (for me) learning to make sure I didn’t lose aggro on him when I had been implanted because I lost aggro, got incubated then implanted again and took 23k damage. Ungh. After two pulls everyone was aware of the buffs/debuffs and what they did. Third pull taught us to AOE taunt at the end and we came up with the mechanic of tanking the Jealous Male in the AOE of our Sages/other DPS killing the little spawns. Helped DPS the Male faster and allowed us to put more DPS on the Horror so we could kill him.

    The Dread Guard is different enough of a fight that if you’re over-geared for SM, there’s almost no point in doing it to ‘learn the mechanics’. The only thing you really get from SM is the kill order.

    We certainly found that stage one is a healer’s nightmare- but also a tanking one. The other tank and I have been trying different things to try and mitigate the damage we take and make the swaps easier while helping out the raid as a whole. It certainly is a challenge, but at least it’s a puzzle that you can figure out and not have to worry about “sometimes this boss doesn’t do what it’s supposed to”.

    So yes, we aren’t ‘farming’ EC HM or TFB HM, but TFB looks like a challenge that guilds can beat by teamwork and skill, which makes everyone better.

    …and the credits certainly help keep your gear functional during the learning process!

  2. So far I’ve enjoyed the challenge. We’ve only done the first 2 bosses in HM, as we only have 1 day this week due to attendance issues. But I actually look forward to operations now because of the challenge. I applaude Bioware for improving on each new operation and look forward to what’s in store.

    I was disappointed in the loot table (i.e., 1 item per boss) and the nerf to the acquisition of black hole comms across the board. I guess bioware believed that the gear grind, up to this point, was too easy and tried a way to remedy it. And 350 BH comms for 1 implant seems a bit too much.

    However, I’ve always found the PvE progression loot to be odd in this game, even since launch. It could be just me.

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