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Feedback: Explosive Conflict 8/16 Hard and Random Raiddmg

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
Feedback: Explosive Conflict 8/16 Hard and Random Raiddmg

Felyndiia's Avatar


Felyndiia
04.19.2012 , 07:18 PM | #1
At first, let me apologize for my english. I'm not a native speaker.

I have some general concerns about the new operation and balancing.
Our guild cleared 8 and 16 man hard and story mode of Explosive Conflict, so we are able to give some feedback about the differences between 8 and 16 man. I am aware of the fact, that 8man should be harder than 16man, but some of things seem to be either broken or not well thought-out.

Our Raidcomposition:
8 Man: 2 Tanks (Assassin, Juggernaut with dps Vengeance Spec, tanking role first to bosses), 2 Healers (Merc/Sorc), 4 DPS (Marauder, Merc, Sorc, Sniper)
16 Man: 2 Tanks (Assassin, Juggernaut with dps Vengeance Spec, tanking role first to bosses), 4 Heilers (Merc/Operative/2 Sorcs), 10 DPS ( 3 Marauder. 2 Sniper, 4 Mercs, 1 Sorc).
Raidcomposition didn't result of thoughts of class stacking, but the simple fact, that we didn't have much choice in our guild.

I will only talk about Hardmode:



Toth and Zorn:
General thoughts: It seems quite weird, that the baradium boulder target zone expires together with the jump of toth. That forces the tanks, to wait with the switch of the bosses. causing some trouble with Zorn, because he will already apply his fearful debuff. In addition, melees will be forced to stop dpsing, because toth will be in range with aoe stomp. making ranged dps much better in this fight, than melees.

16 man is very easy compared to 8 man. Beating the Berserk is much more easy (we didn't forget armorpen debuffs etc.) and the damage dealt by the bosses seems to be identical. But there are 2 Healers per camp in 16 man and most of the damage is avoidable (range), making healing significantly easier in 16 man.



The 2 tanks:

General thoughts: Great Boss. The only problem so far is, that procc trinkets seem to damage shield generators, because of procc through mortar volley.

Again 16 man is very easy compared to 8 man. Berserk is easy to beat in 16 man, a death is much more forgiveable (losing a dps responsible for soaking double destruction in 8man is nearly game over, because there are only 2 dps on each side). Handling random Spawns of Packs/Shields is again easier in 16 man, because there are only 3 possible positions per side, so you can just assign your mobile classes to pick the "hard" spawn in 16 man, while every single player, regardless of mobility, could be forced to move. And again, tank damage seems nearly identical in both raid sizes: keeping 2 double destruction dots + stormcaller tank alive isn't doable or extremly hard for one healer in 8man. Ofc, you can position healers to be able to heal both sides. But these are all things, which aren't neccessary in 16 man. In addition, on Stormcaller's side, both of the dps have to be on the stormcaller tank, so the healer has to stay on the ground, forces him to move around in addition to the basic greater challenge. In 16 man you can just position your healers on top of the tanks, to avoid regular movement for all healers.



Minesweeper:

General thoughts: Again, cool idea. But there are still some bugs with evading adds on the tower. I think this fight could be quite hard with only sorcerer Healers, because of their light armor. Raid dmg shouldn't be kinetic or energy dmg anymore, but I'm going to address this problem later.

Same issue here, 16 man is extremly easy in comparision to 8 man. So it doesn't really matter, because it's the easiest boss in 8 man. Here are some Points
- Berserk timer of droids is MUCH harder than in 16 man. Maybe you guys forgot that 25% of the raid (2/8) players are on the tower. Ok, it's possible to do this with only on person, but I'm not sure, if this would be fast enough to beat the overall berserk, of the minesweeper event.
- There are 2 Assassination Droids in 8 AND 16 man. There should be more spawns in 16 man. Just cc the adds destroy them with a assassin (aoe taunt with shroud). If you got 2 Assassins in your raidcomp their isn't any threat at all from adds, if cced correctly. Maybe they need a change like the orbs with Soa.
- Handling the cannons, spawned by the commander is much more difficult in 8 man, because you will have more high armor classes to just control the incomming damage easier. Maybe there should only be 2 Spawns in 8 man.
- Obfuscate/Diversion. Should be disabled for Droids and Cannons.



Warlord Kephess:
Genereal thoughts: Cool Fight, love the different elements of the fight.

In this fight, the difference between 8 and 16 man is so extrem, that some core problems in a 8 man raid simply doesn't occure in 16man. Some things seem to miss in some of the raid sizes, so I will look on each phase separately. Let me remind you, we used only 1 Tank in 8 man.

Phase 1 (the 3 Droids):
This is harder in 16man than in 8man. I have to admit, I didn't recognize the buff in 8man. Maybe it wasn't there? I don't know. It's not much of a challenge to interrupt the droids, though.

Bomb Carriers:
Easier to kill in 16 man.

HP of the big walker:
There is much more DPS required in 8 man. It's no problem though, because destroying the walker in 2 Phases in 8 man will simply wipe the raid.

"Shield" Packs:
Well balanced in Boss sizes

The 2 Pulsar Droids:
This is an extreme difference. Let me describe some of the core Problems in 8 man and than picture 16 man mode in comparision:

- You need to rearrange the raid 2 times in 8 man with both droids aktive. That's really tough, because of double rail shot combos and the neccessarity to move and keep the raid alive. In 16 man the droids simply explode. The first one will die before the first switch. They need AT LEAST 100% more HP in 16man to balance the sizes of the raid.
- Obfuscate/Diversion/ballastic shield is extremly strong here. It's more likely to have more of these classes in a larger operation. Should be disabled for Droids.
- In 8 man there are 2 healers for Railshots and random walker dmg. In 16 man there are 4 healers for the same challenge. I'm aware of the fact, that the dmg from the walker is higher in 16 man. Doesn't really matter though.
- Oneshot Combos (Walker random hits + railshot) are much more likely in 8 man than then in 16 man because of more possible targets (I'm talking about a Mercenary with Energy Shield acitve). Walker and Droids should hit 2 Targets instead of 1 in 16 man, to provide nearly the same challenge.

Conclusion: This was one of the hardest parts in 8man, in 16 man a no-brainer.

Warlord Kephess himself (With Walker still alive until Gift of the Masters)

- Tankdmg in 8 man as high as in 16 man. That's extreme for 2 Healers. Especially with someone, who attaches the bomb at the walker. I don't think we would have made this phase without 2 additional dps classes, which where capable of healing (Sorc/Merc). This problem didn't occure in 16 man, because we finished the walker in the 2nd dmg Phase. Isn't an Issue at all in 16 man to handle droids + boss at the same time.

- Tankdmg - just wanted to point this one out again, because It's really hard in 8 man. Don't get me wrong, I like a challenge, but there is simply no room to increase the incoming dmg from 8 to 16 man size. Maybe there is some kind of AoE Dmg in 16 man necessary, to force more healers. Ore the DOT needs to get a buff for at least 100%, which would force 2 tanks aswell. If the current design will be kept in Nightmare Mode with a much harder DPS challenge you will only bring 2 healers in 16 man aswell (Hi Ragnaros ).

- The big Voidzone, which occures when he gets his empowerment, didn't do any damage in 16 man. I think this is a bug. In 8 man it would have been lethal, if we didn't have a Marauder for Predation


Last Phase:

- Tanks died random, without having aggro at all and standing more than 10m away for the boss. Think there's still some kind of Bug
- Balanced between 8 and 16 man with one exception: You have to bring 3 tanks in 16 man because the breath will ocure more often than in 8 man. PLEASE change this. It doesn't make the fight harder, more complex oder whatever. It's only annoying because you need 1 and a half tank for all other encounters and on this boss 3. (Yeay, Basically you only need the taunt, not the tank, but still there's no reason for the shorter cd).


Again, I'm sorry for my english and on some points the explantion maybe seems a little bit weird, because I didn't find the right words.
And please don't get me wrong. I'm not crying for easier/harder content, I just want to point out major differences between those two modes and give feedback.



Some thoughts on raid dmg:

If your aims in Nightmare mode are, to create something extremly hard, then I highly recommend to change every bossability which isn't destined to be tank dmg to non mitigationable dmg or at least internal/elemental dmg. Why so? Because of our poor Sorcerers. Nearly all of random hitting abilities are kinetic or energy dmg. The result is, that Mercenarys are taking easy survivable dmg while Sorcs are literally exploding in some cases (remember SOA 8man nightmare with double hitting orbs?).
Making things even worse, sorcs have to consume their hp for force.

I like to point out some critical Moments in Explosive Conflict:
- 1. Boss: Sorc is target of boulder and has to move in range of toth, to drop the zone. In this time, Zorn is hitting random targets (kinetic dmg again). Sorcerer will die in most cases, if a well timed hit of a random rock will hit together with toth aoe
- 3. Boss: Cannons vs. Heal Sorcs. Okay, you can do some tricks with guard and aggro reduce abilities, but who knows how hard the cannons will hit in nightmare.
- 4. Boss. Everything, lol Random Rockets from Bomb Carrier, Walker dmg, Rail Shots. A use of consumption + instant random rocket oneshots a sorc.

Don't get me wrong about this point. I'm not saying, that sorcerers aren't viable in endgame progression. I'm only concerned about future challenges. eg. if you like to design a boss with a core element of hitting random people (for example like High Astromancer Solarian in WoW) and this dmg would be kinetic, it would be devastating. Ofc that's an extreme example, but overall it's much more likely seeing a sorcerer die in hard situations, than a mercenary.


Some last words. I like the new Operation and its bosses. And im looking forward beating our heads against the Nightmare Wall.

Best Regards
For the Horde|Felyndiia
www.swtor.manaflask.com

pure_laced's Avatar


pure_laced
04.19.2012 , 09:11 PM | #2
Going to cover some stuff for you that you might be missing:

Toth and Zorn - It appears you are missing the fact of health percentages tied to pushing next abilities. Stop on both before the rock hits, then when it does, push both immediately after. Problem solved. 16 man last 5 %, the Toth ground slam does double damage prior to enrage. Confirmed by logs.

Difficulty between sizes: 16 man is a little more difficult than 8 man do the damage going out, especially at end. Slight difference though between the two.

Stormcaller/Firebrand - Tank damage is nowhere near identical. In 8 man hard mode, you can ignore the Firebrand armor debuff with a minor cooldown. You cannot do that in 16 man, as it will 1 shot you everytime. 8 man you can still position healer on top of tank as the healer can soak DD with ease. No need to have 2 dps up there to soak. 16 man, depending on positioning of the shields, can make it difficult for the Stormcaller tank at the end of the Defensive Systems. If you get a DD right before Defensive systems in 8man, no biggie. Damage is minimal. Do that in 16, one person may die, possibly two.

Difficulty between sizes: 16 man is way more difficult than 8 man.

Vorgrath - 16 man is more difficult. Why do you put two people on the tower in 8 man? It is designed for 1 person and you can EASILY kill adds, click a path, kill 5 probes, and get to the other side before enrage. The dmg the cannons put out in 8man is minimal and can be ignored. Several guilds have ignored the cannons at the end, so no reason you cannot. In 16 man, they have to be dps'd down not once, but twice. Either way in 8 man, they have so little health you can still dps them down with zero issues of meeting enrage timer.

Difficulty between sizes: 16 is more difficult, but tbh this is the easiest boss on both raid sizes.

I have not downed the last boss on HM in 16 or 8. We didn't have the players solidly enough on PTS at the end, and we are working on it on 16 man on Live. I have attempted it on both however.

Kephess - Much more difficult on 16. 3 droids have tons of hps, and requires coordinated interrupts on all 3 before the damage comes out. I could swear the cast time is faster in 16 and requires quick reaction times (former enhance shaman, so no issue here). Bomb carriers were easier to kill in 8 man versus 16 man. We only lost the bomb once in our attempts in 8 man, and several in 16 man when trying to get people acclimated to the encounter. Everything else seems to be well balanced between the two, with a slight advantage in 8 man. However, we are still progressing and have not attempted 8 man since early PTS.

My own thoughts on the two raid sizes. Others have also posted that they have done both 8 and 16 and their thoughts were 8 man is tons easier than 16 man, even putting aside carrying lesser skilled players.
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Felyndiia's Avatar


Felyndiia
04.20.2012 , 07:38 AM | #3
You got me wrong in a few points. I'm of course aware of the fact, that dmg isn't identical.
When I'm comparing dmg on the tank or the raid, I put this into the big picture of healers available and currrent acitive problems, in the moment where the dmg occurs.
For example: If the tank takes 50% more dmg in 16man but you got 100% more healers free, to heal the tank, it will be more easier in most cases (assuming, that the tank won't be a two-hit through increased dmg).

Quote:
Difficulty between sizes: 16 man is a little more difficult than 8 man do the damage going out, especially at end. Slight difference though between the two.
That's wrong. Your looking only at the numbers and totally forget two things: It's more difficult to heal the party, with only one healer, regardless of incoming dmg and the groundslam, which you are mentioning can be outranged bei more than 50% of the raid (if you assume 50% ranged dps and melee dps)

Quote:
Stormcaller/Firebrand - Tank damage is nowhere near identical. In 8 man hard mode, you can ignore the Firebrand armor debuff with a minor cooldown
25k dmg isn't really easy.

Quote:
16 man, depending on positioning of the shields, can make it difficult for the Stormcaller tank at the end of the Defensive Systems.
That doesn't really makes sense. What impact has shield positioning on the stormcaller tank? Run in circles and leave a trail of these rockets isn't really that hard.

Quote:
If you get a DD right before Defensive systems in 8man, no biggie. Damage is minimal. Do that in 16, one person may die, possibly two.
That's wrong again. We never lost anyone due this example of yours. You simply ignore the fact, that you have more classes available for soaking, with different defensive cooldowns.

Quote:
The dmg the cannons put out in 8man is minimal and can be ignored. Several guilds have ignored the cannons at the end, so no reason you cannot. In 16 man, they have to be dps'd down not once, but twice
First sentence is wrong. @2nd: We didn't even had a second spawn in 16 man. Is this the harder dps requirements you are talking about?

Quote:
Kephess - Much more difficult on 16. 3 droids have tons of hps, and requires coordinated interrupts on all 3 before the damage comes out. I could swear the cast time is faster in 16 and requires quick reaction times (former enhance shaman, so no issue here).
You are right about this and I already mentioned it. We still didn't die without interrupting the first 2 droids in our first attempt in 16 man, because we didn't pay attention. The 3rd droid was already fully calibrated. To say 16 man is hard because of this phase is still far away from true.

Quote:
Bomb carriers were easier to kill in 8 man versus 16 man. We only lost the bomb once in our attempts in 8 man, and several in 16 man when trying to get people acclimated to the encounter.
Maybe there is an issue with your players you don't bring to 8 man. Again, killing Carriers in 16 man was very easy compared to 8 man. Even with half of the raid didn't know the ecounter.

Quote:
Everything else seems to be well balanced between the two, with a slight advantage in 8 man.
Completely ignoring everything I mentioned, gratz.

My guess is, that live 8man is much more harder than early PTS. Otherwise I don't know where you take your assumptions from.
For the Horde|Felyndiia
www.swtor.manaflask.com

Grumblechris's Avatar


Grumblechris
04.20.2012 , 08:09 AM | #4
This is a great post, I've been interested in this having only completed HM in 8 man on the live servers, we'll be doing 16-man next reset.

Fely's feedback seems more informed than Pure's; Pure mentioning things such as DD can be soaked in 8man makes me think he probably has only done story mode

Anyone else cleared both on HM? anyways, great post, thanks!

Umpire's Avatar


Umpire
04.20.2012 , 08:34 AM | #5
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Kihra's Avatar


Kihra
04.20.2012 , 11:41 AM | #6
My opinion on the first three bosses. I have killed the first three on both 8 and 16-man Hard Mode.

(1) Toth and Zorn - I think Toth and Zorn are very comparable in difficulty on 8 and 16. The Enrage timer is easy to beat on both modes. The damage is tuned correctly here. I am a healer, and I found the healing dificulty to be pretty much identical on this fight.

An exception is the end where Toth's Ground Shatter suddenly does double damage on 16-man for no reason. I believe this is a bug, since it didn't happen in 8-man on the PTS at any rate.

Verdict: Tie

(2) Firebrand and Stormcaller - This fight is slightly harder on 16-man in my opinion. Note that doesn't mean it's super difficult, but it definitely requires more coordination on 16-man than on 8-man. The damage is amped up considerably. In your post you state that the damage is not any different from 8-man, but that's just not true. Everything hits significantly harder, including the big tank attacks (Missile Barrage and Electric Discharge) and the Double Destruction ticks (4.7k on me on 16-man).

The Enrage check is easier to meet on 16-man, but that's generally true on all fights, since all they do is double the boss health from 8 to 16, and on 8 you have 4 DPS but on 16 you have 10 DPS. Therefore doubling the boss health is always going to give the Enrage advantage to 16-man.

The reason I think 16-man is harder is that there is just a lot more coordination required. You need healing assignments for the Double Destructions, and you have to focus on them a lot harder if the DD goes out right before Defensive.

You need 4 groups organized by shield, and there's just more room for someone to make a mistake and cause a shield to blow early.

Verdict: 16-man slightly harder.

(3) Colonel Vorgath - This fight is a joke on 8 and 16. Not even worth arguing about.
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Kihra's Avatar


Kihra
04.20.2012 , 11:49 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Grumblechris View Post
Fely's feedback seems more informed than Pure's; Pure mentioning things such as DD can be soaked in 8man makes me think he probably has only done story mode
No, Pure is right. I'm a healer and I soaked DD on both 8-man and 16-man. On 8-man I could just HoT myself and largely ignore the DD. On 16-man, I have to focus direct healing on myself in order to not die. What makes DD so much harder on 16-man is that the total combined damage of all 7 ticks (2 seconds apart) is enough to kill you without direct heals. On 8-man, a simple HoT allows you to ignore the ticks, since you won't die.

People underestimate how the increased damage reduces your time-to-live without healing in 16-man. If your healers are stationary, this is not a big deal, as you can put out double the heals. However on the tanks fight, you have situations created where everyone is moving and heals are drying up (other than HoTs or weak instants), and during those movement situations (i.e., to and from the shields), you are in a much more precarious position in 16-man.

We found Transcendence to be hugely useful for getting to the shields fast so that we could then heal DD targets. This worked very well for us. We didn't even have to think about a raid-wide run-speed boost on 8-man, since it didn't even matter.
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nickncf's Avatar


nickncf
04.20.2012 , 01:15 PM | #8
My guild has only completed 8-man Hard on Live servers, we will be doing 16-man Hard next week. I am not qualified to say which mode is harder currently on Live servers. There are a couple things though that I would like to say.

First off, the only people qualified to say which mode is truly harder, are the people that have done BOTH ON LIVE SERVERS. The fact that you tested 8-man on PTS and then did it on live on 16-man, means absolutely nothing. PTS was easier than live is right now, and you having done the fights on 8-man there, thinking they were easy, and then doing them on 16-man on live, and thinking they were hard, says nothing about the current difficulty difference on live. I keep hearing, in a number of different threads, people who have obviously not done 8-man on live, saying how much of a joke 8-man is compared to 16. Instead of trying to get the community to collectively stroke your e-peen, sit down and think about the mechanics, which is exactly what THIS thread is doing correctly, compared to the others. Which brings me to my next point.

Second, thinking about the mechanics and damage of the fights ONLY, the only fight that should be harder on 16-man, is Firebrand and Stormcaller. I won't go into the details of the mechanics, as others in this thread have already done so. Bioware made an official statement a while back, saying that they want 8-man to be slightly more difficult than 16-man, in order to make up for the fact that in 16-man you have to coordinate more people. I think that they've achieved this. It is harder to deal with most mechanics on 8-man, due to having a smaller ratio of DPSers to total raid members, or due to having one healer per tank taking relatively same amounts of damage (because if they made it twice the damage, the tanks obviously wouldn't survive). The way you make up for the healing/tanking disparity between 8-man and 16-man is to make 16-man have higher raid damage, which they've done on some fights (not all...), but it's not enough of a difference to make the fights truly require 2x the amount of healing.

Most fights, it truly does come down to the fact that 8-man is slightly harder, and 16-man, you have to coordinate more people, adding difficulty to that. For a lot of guilds, it is easier to get 8 skilled capable people together to run an instance, than to get 16 skilled capable people. That is the reason you see more 8-man guilds doing progression content. It's not because it's easier. If you could put together an 8-man group of people of the same skill, and a 16-man group of people of the same skill, the 16-man group would find it easier to clear through EC than the 8-man group.
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Kihra's Avatar


Kihra
04.20.2012 , 01:33 PM | #9
Really there's no reason to be super-obsessed with comparing the two difficulties. The reality is they are different progression tracks and should be treated as such. Sites like raidranks are properly separating out 16-man vs. 8-man progression and that's as it should be.

As far as I can tell, the general theme of 8-man vs. 16-man is:

(1) Enrage is easier to beat on 16-man, and it's easier to change up your operation composition to simplify things (e..g, you can use 3 tanks on fights if you need to).
(2) 16-mans sometimes need more coordination.

I think (1) and (2) tend to balance out for the most part.

Overall they've done a pretty good job of tuning things. The fights can be beaten by competent coordinated groups on both 8-man and 16-man.
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