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So Group Finder and Progression

CptAdder's Avatar

09.28.2012 , 01:03 PM | #1
So it's been awhile since I've been seriously raiding but let me walk through gear progression for a raider these days.

First off are Hardmode Flashpoints which are accessible via group finder. Except for the end boss nothing but Tionese drops which at 51 are only a touch better than the tons of 50's purple armoring, mods and enhancements that can quickly be crafted or farmed from the various lvl 50 heroics. I've heard Tionese called compainon gear and I tend to agree.

So the only gear of note in Hardmodes in the Columi off the end boss (I do not count implants and earpieces which are found cheaply on the marketplace)

Now your done your Hardmodes, great now you can do Operations now, Hard modes get you Rakata but group finder is for story modes which give you ... more Columi, but you can get your mainhand and offhand Columi in Story modes.

And it's at this point your stuck if your not in a raiding guild, trying to recruit a Hardmode Operation in chat is next to impossible because lets face it few people trust PUG's Operations because they don't want to waste an hour of their life founding out no one knows the fights.
They might trust Group Finder if it was an option, maybe yes maybe no, but there is no option

But lets say you have a guild... great, now your raiding Operations for Rakata, once you have Rakata you can start doing Explosive conflict to get Campaign gear, and with your campaign gear you can head off to do the DM and get your new even sillier looking Korean MMO gear.

Last lets review Blackhole gear. Blackhole appears to offer the chance to get better than Rakata gear (Minus the bonus) without having a guild to get Raiding done. Except Blackhole prices are such that it takes two months of dailies to afford a set, by that time after having run 62 HM's you should be up to your ears in Columi commendations and now useless tionese commendations since by then you should have gotten enough roles to fill out three or four campaigns in Columi gear. And without the set bonuses Blackhole offers the illusion of progression without actual progression. The implants and earpieces are nice however.

So lets review a fresh 50 runs Random HM's to get Columi gear, without a raiding group they can't do HM's or EC so they are stuck there. If they run endless HM's they could get a full set of Blackhole gear which would let them run Dread Masters? (Maybe, not familiar enough with the new flashpoint to say where the gear threshold is)

So will the next Operation follow the same pattern as EC and DM? A new set of even slightly better gear which you will spend a few weeks raiding for so your ready to run the next Operation in four months which will repeat the trend?

Is that the way Operations are going now?


09.28.2012 , 04:10 PM | #2
I share your frustration in gearing up. I am mostly Columi and BH. Getting Rakata has been tough because it is very hard to get in a HM op not knowing the fights well. I find GF for ops mode, at least as a DPS, can take hours to pop, if at all.
What's the saddest thing you'vv ever seen in SWTOR?

xZarquon's Avatar

09.28.2012 , 05:10 PM | #3
Personally I think the progression issue is a bit on the opposite end. To address the other posters, if you're having trouble finding HM ops runs (for EV/KP) just keep your eye on general chat on the fleet. Even if you don't really know the fights, for the majority of guilds, the content is easy enough that you can easily be carried through (a number of guilds have completed HM EV for example with only 4 characters).

I believe the progression issue comes with what they've done with story mode EC and TFB. While not as hard mechanistically as the hard modes of these operations, they could simply be designed as a gear check. This would keep it up on the progression where people, who have previously geared up in HM EV and KP can down these bosses to get black hole comms, pieces, etc which will allow them to better gear up and maybe look at taking on Hard Mode EC or TFB. As it is right now, the progression is story mode EV/KP --> HM EV/KP, SM EC/TFB --> HM EC --> HM TFB.

The jump from story mode to hard mode EC was large and is now larger. For the majority of guilds who have not already completed the content, downing HM EC in rakata gear will be very difficult. So, getting some black hole gear to squeeze out some extra dps/healing will be very helpful in increasing the margin of error for these guilds. With the changes to SM EC and the lack of comm drops from SM TFB, now the ways to gear up in black hole are 1) complete HM EC/TFB or...2) doing daily group finder HM, black hole weekly, rakghoul weekly. The problem I have with this is there's no progression going back to complete Hard Mode flashpoints...that's actually a rather large digression down the difficulty scale.

So-low's Avatar

09.29.2012 , 04:29 AM | #4
Don't forget there is always the option of buyign your gear with Credits. You can't buy the whole pieces but you can piece together BiS gear from buying mods from the GTN or buying the crafting Mats and finding a crafter that advertises on the fleet.

Also, you can get your Rakata Chest and Columi MH from LI HM. It is considerably easier now that they have nerfed the first fight. Note that the Rakata chest is also good for the mod and enhancement in it, to put in other pieces.