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Nightmare Kephess, a Guide


Denchet's Avatar


Denchet
12.14.2012 , 12:00 AM | #1
This is how my guild kills Nightmare Kephess. We've downed him three times now, and got our 2 hour titles this week. We use a different strategy from anything else I've seen for the Trandoshan Warriors phase, and it works really well and is super easy. Once we discovered the strategy we use for that phase we have only wiped on that phase one time due to a careless mistake. We actually beat that phase the very first time we tried this strat.

If there are any confusing typos or something that just doesn't make sense let me know. I proofread it, but its pretty long and I may have missed something.

Our setup:
Tank-Shadow (me)
Tank-Vanguard
Healer-Sage
Healer-Scoundrel
DPS-Commando (Gunnery)
DPS-Sentinel (Watchman)
DPS-Gunslinger (Dirty Fighting)
DPS-Gunslinger (Sharp Shooter)

Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbO8OhTH7wc
You'll probably want to watch the video and read the guide to get the full idea of whats going on. There is some important stuff going on in the video that you wouldn't really notice just by watching it. Especially during the Trandoshan phase. Also note that in this video we were using our Sage DPS (Balance) instead of our Sentinel. It makes the first phase slightly harder since we only have one person with a short CD interrupt instead of two, but its still quite doable.

Phase 1, the Droids
First, make sure you aren't standing in those purple cones the walker shoots on the ground. They can be in 5 spots, and we creatively call them cone 1, cone 2, cone 3, etc. He will always start on 1, then go in order to 5, then go in reverse order back to 1.

Droid 1 (on your right as you enter)
We have our Shadow tank, our Commando DPS, and our Sage Healer on this one

Droid 2 (the middle one)
Both Gunslingers and our Scoundrel Healer here

Droid 3 (on the left as you enter)
Vanguard tank and Sentinel

Where you put people here matters because of the different CDs on interrupts. Ideally you will have at least 2 people with short CD interrupts (Guardian, VG, and Sentinel). Ideally one of them is a tank as well. For the droid with two people, just switch off every other interrupt. Your CD should be low enough to get all of them. For the other two droids you need a three person rotation (unless you have lots of people with short CD interrupts).

What we do is have our Shadow tank (again, me) and DF Gunslinger be interrupt one. After I interrupt I say "2 is next" on voice. That means that interrupt #2, our Commando DPS and our Scoundrel Healer, will interrupt next. Once they interrupt I say "3 is next" That means our Sage healer and our SS Gunslinger interrupt. Once they do I say "1 is next". Repeat until dead. The middle droid with the 2 DPS on it should die first. They then assist me on Droid one, then once that is dead they switch and kill droid three.

Note for tanks.
I always taunt the middle droid off our Gunslingers after my second interrupt (so the 4th in total). That usually will give me threat on their droid until it dies.

First Bomber
We have everyone gather up right in front of the walker, and I Force Pull the bomber to us. Kill it fast, but don't waste DPS CDs. Once someone gets the bomb they run to the walker to get pulled up. If you have a sage you can pull that person out as soon as the animation goes off (where you shoot that cable up) and avoid all the damage.

The Walker, part 1
Firstly, the Vanguard tank drops his guard, and then I (the Shadow tank) guard him. Yes, you want one tank guarding the other tank. The reason why is for the Warrior phase, which I will explain below.

Blow all DPS on the walker. Pop inspiration, your relics, adrenals, etc. We have our Scoundrel healer and one of our Gunslingers start casting Flyby as soon as the guy with the bomb starts the animation to blow up the walker. The timing works out perfectly so the first flyby tick hits when he becomes vulnerable. Note that you may prefer to save your DPS flybys for the Trandoshan phase, its up to you. If you have a healer, he should definitely use his on the walker, though. Typically we have the walker down to 60-65% here.

The Trandoshan Warrior phase
A voice over effect will play at some point during the Walker phase. This means the Trandoshans are going to spawn soon. We have our Scoundrel healer and our Vanguard tank (again, who is guarded by the Shadow, this is REALLY important) pull the first two warriors out.

At this time we have the Shadow tank and all four DPS sitting behind the walker. For some reason, the Trenchcutters will always run to a tank, and we ensure that its always the Shadow tank by using guard. If I'm not guarding our Vanguard tank they run for him sometimes instead. That would be bad, and a guaranteed wipe. We are behind the walker so we don't have to worry about the cones. The people in front of the walker, the healers and the VG tank, still need to watch for those.

So now all the Trenchcutters, the Shadow tank, and all the DPS are behind the walker. Kill the Trenchcutters. Healers should be mostly focused on the Trenchcutter tank here, the tank with the two warriors is not going to be taking much damage yet.

Once the first group goes down the people behind the walker sit and wait patiently for the next group. They always charge right at me (Shadow tank). The healers and the Vanguard tank pick off the two warriors again. For some reason it seems like the Warriors are affected by healer aggro but the Trenchcutters aren't. What usually happens is the Trenchcutters go for me, but the Warriors go for healers. They essentially separate themselves. We have the healers and VG try and pick them up just in case, but its not usually needed. Its pretty foolproof.

Note that now the Vanguard has 4 warriors on him and is starting to actually take damage. We have a Gunslinger use their mitigation dome to help out the Shadow tank here, and that's enough for the healers to keep both tanks up.

Group 2 usually dies at the same time group 3 spawns.

Once group 3 spawns, all the Trenchcutters will again run right for the Shadow tank. The Warriors start out targeting me, but healer aggro always pulls them quickly. Again, healer aggro never pulls the Trenchcutters, so they separate naturally. The DPS and I may have to wait a second to start DPS for healers to get aggro on the warriors, but its rare.

People are now taking lots of damage. We use both a Gunslinger dome and my 50% dodge CD behind the walker. The Vanguard now has 6 warriors on him, and he will be using his big CDs here too. The healing here is mainly on the Vanguard. With my dodge CD and a Gunslinger dome I am super tanky.

The DPS should leave one Trenchcutter alive. The bomber won't spawn until the last Trenchcutter dies, and Kephess's enrage timer doesn't start until he is pulled (we think). Once there is just one Trenchcutter up the DPS all leave to clean up the warriors. Once those are all dead we heal up, recover some healer mana, then kill the Trenchcutter and start the second bomber phase.

2nd Bomber
Same as the first. Once it dies we have the tanks go back to guarding DPS.

2nd Walker phase
Again, same thing, but this time we have all our Smugglers drop flyby preemptively. No reason to save it for the pulsar droids. Also, all ranged DPS and healers should be standing where the first Pulsar Droid spawns so they don't have to move. We usually get the walker to 25%~ here.

Pulsar droids
Get to the first one as soon as the walker's vulnerability debuff wears off. We keep our Vanguard tank outside of range here so that he eats all the railshots. He also watches the Pulsar Droid that we are not on and gives us a countdown for when we need to switch targets.

This phase is pretty much the same as HM.

Kephess spawns
We have our Shadow tank (again, me) pick up Kephess and tank him right where he spawns. If you aren't the tank on Kephess, make sure you aren't getting cleaved. Our DPS do some light damage here, but save all their main stuff for the upcoming bomber.

3rd bomber
The Vanguard tank pulls it (literally pulls, with Harpoon). Typically the walker will shoot what we call "cone 2" here, so have the bomber tanked in the middle in front of the walker. Move Kephess slightly if there is a potential cleaving problem.

During the bomber Kephess will jump and place a red circle on the ground. You do not want to get hit by it. You actually want to be really far away from it, because after he lands he will pull someone into him and smack them and give them a DoT that ticks for some absurd amount of damage (8k~ I think). Typically he pulls the closest person to him, but its finicky and sometimes pulls someone else thats close. Basically make sure you are far away if you aren't the one who is trying to eat the DoT.

The person eating the DoT should be a Shadow tank. They can use Resilience to completely absorb two ticks of it, which is a lot of damage. After the tank gets the DoT, the other tank needs to leave the bomber and taunt Kephess. Its too much damage for one person to have both the DoT and Kephess on them at the same time. Again, beware of cone 2 here.

Once the bomber dies its on to the final walker phase.

Walker phase 3
Again, maximize DPS here. You won't have the tanks to help DPS here, so everyone really needs to go all out. Don't save CDs for Kephess, use them here. The faster the walker dies the faster you can get DPS back on Kephess, so it has no negative affect on the enrage timer to go all out here. Once its dead, all DPS back to Kephess.

Pre-60% Kephess
He is still doing that DoT here. We still have the Shadow tank all the DoTs. Resilience won't be back up for the second one, but it should be back up for the third. This is the hardest healing challenge in the fight (heck, the game) so don't be afraid to use healing and tanking CDs here.

The Giant Purple Circle of Doom
After one of the jumps (should be the third one, at around 70-75% HP) we have the tanks pull him to a special spot. You know those ramps by the door where you enter? If you get him in the right spot, you should be able to get the ranged DPS and healers in a position where they can see Kephess and the tanks, but when he pulls them they get caught on that ramp and thus don't have to worry about the giant purple circle of doom.

During the giant purple circle of doom we have the Sentinel use his runspeed buff, have the Sage pull someone out (not the Shadow) and the Shadow uses Force Speed. Gunslingers can use Hunker Down here and ignore the ramps trick.

Final Phase
Once the purple circle of doom is over the fight is basically like HM but with more damage and slightly more hectic purple circle placement by the tanks. He places 5 purple circles per tank swap here. After the 2nd one Kephess will pull the purple circle tank to himself. Just run out so you don't place a circle on the other tank or any melee DPS. Melee DPS and tanks pay attention just in case. Everyone should blow any CDs here as they come up.

The enrage timer is fairly tight, but if you can kill the walker in three phases you should be able to beat it if everyone is playing at the top of their game. There is also an antizerging mechanic here. If at any point more than 1 person is dead he will summon another purple circle of doom, but this one hits for 16k/tick and is basically an instant wipe. So basically don't let anyone die.

theblaznee's Avatar


theblaznee
12.14.2012 , 03:52 AM | #2
Thanks for the walkthrough. Pretty nifty that trenchcutter/warrior splitup tactic.

It wasn't quite clear where the purple circle of doom spot is.. Is it between the ramps right in the doorway? Is it by the ammostacks to the right (looking into the room) or to the left? And how far?

Can't you spread out the DoT between the tanks reliably, so it's always the non-kephess tank so to speak that has it.. I mean, not every ops group has an awesome shadow tank.

You seam to rely very much on having 3 ranged dps, and especially the GS bubbles.. Have any other ops group actually downed him with another less-than-optimal group?

And last question.. When we do him HM we basically just tell people to try to stay out of the purple crap from the walker.. Sometimes a dps is a little slow and eats some damage, but it's no problem heal wise... Can it be handled the same way in NM, or will we have to practice positioning so everyone knows where crap will fall when..
Don't mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness!

Fight hard, die well!

RikuvonDrake's Avatar


RikuvonDrake
12.14.2012 , 09:35 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by theblaznee View Post
Thanks for the walkthrough. Pretty nifty that trenchcutter/warrior splitup tactic.

It wasn't quite clear where the purple circle of doom spot is.. Is it between the ramps right in the doorway? Is it by the ammostacks to the right (looking into the room) or to the left? And how far?
The purple circle is always just under Kephess, it spawns right under him at around 58%, for more security have a senti/mara use their speedbuff at 59-60% and it should be easy to run out. How big it is I actually I have no idea about, but it is p large. When my guild kills him we dont mind putting him in any special position, we just take him over the %, pop the senti/mara speedbuff before and run out.

Quote: Originally Posted by theblaznee View Post
Can't you spread out the DoT between the tanks reliably, so it's always the non-kephess tank so to speak that has it.. I mean, not every ops group has an awesome shadow tank.
Yeap, my guild also runs with a shadow/assassin (me) and a vanguard/powertech and we always do it like this, when the two droids are dead (the ones with big purple cirle under them) one tank picks up the boss. Group kills bomber and takes down walker, same tank continue to taunt Kephess but after his jump he will put a dot on a player, just have the other tank taunt ASAP when the dot hits the first tank. When he jumps again you have the first tank again taunt the boss so he gets the boss. This way we always do it so the same tank always "tank" the boss and the other tank "takes" the dot, shadows/assassins are p bad against Kephess so we always have them (ie. me) take the dot and then the other tank tanking boss. If you dont have an shadow/assassin just have the best geared tank hold the boss and the other get the dot.

Quote: Originally Posted by theblaznee View Post
You seam to rely very much on having 3 ranged dps, and especially the GS bubbles.. Have any other ops group actually downed him with another less-than-optimal group?
My guild has killed him every week since lauch with kind of a differennt group, once we had only melee DPS (two mara/senti and two pt/vanguard) but normally we have a nice mixup with 1-2 range and 2-3 melee.

Quote: Originally Posted by theblaznee View Post
And last question.. When we do him HM we basically just tell people to try to stay out of the purple crap from the walker.. Sometimes a dps is a little slow and eats some damage, but it's no problem heal wise... Can it be handled the same way in NM, or will we have to practice positioning so everyone knows where crap will fall when..
There is a few safespots that range DPS and healers can stand so they dont get hit by it, try out difference positions to see if you can find it and then use it during the entire fight. We normally have me (shadow/assassin) and a DPS (senti/mara) on the droid just in front of the walker, that area will be hit by the AoE and when it come my DPS just pops guarded by the force/undying rage and I pop force shroud/resilience and it gives our healers no problem at all.

But yes melee DPS need to watch where they move so they dont get it by it, see always make sure to have an eye on the walker and move in safe areas.
Deposer of The Dread Masters - Gate Crasher - Conqueror of the Dread Fortress
Not Good Enough | Rikacha - Rikachu - Rikachi - Rebel Dream | Riku
Ruthless | Susannah - Fauna - Wildthorn - Krewel - Montör
Bloodworthy - Tomb of Freedon Nadd

Kil-Gorbane's Avatar


Kil-Gorbane
12.14.2012 , 10:39 AM | #4
I like the revision to the HM strategy (off-tank remove stance and kite warriors).
Olinn | Draconiss
<Lego My Wookiees>

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
12.14.2012 , 10:44 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by RikuvonDrake View Post
Yeap, my guild also runs with a shadow/assassin (me) and a vanguard/powertech and we always do it like this, when the two droids are dead (the ones with big purple cirle under them) one tank picks up the boss. Group kills bomber and takes down walker, same tank continue to taunt Kephess but after his jump he will put a dot on a player, just have the other tank taunt ASAP when the dot hits the first tank. When he jumps again you have the first tank again taunt the boss so he gets the boss. This way we always do it so the same tank always "tank" the boss and the other tank "takes" the dot, shadows/assassins are p bad against Kephess so we always have them (ie. me) take the dot and then the other tank tanking boss. If you dont have an shadow/assassin just have the best geared tank hold the boss and the other get the dot.
Actually, I don't have a problem (on my shadow tank) holding Kephess during this phase. He does hit very rapidly, which is usually a problem, but he actually doesn't hit fast enough to chew through Kinetic Ward. Since KW remains up, shadow survivability is just as good against Kephess as any other tank would be. With that said, it should *always* be a shadow taking the DoT if you have one. Not just for Resilience. Our internal/elemental resistance is substantially higher than the other two tanks, so the DoT hits for much less.

My group runs two shadow tanks, so we just trade off on the DoT and eat it with Resilience every time. Resilience is also super-nice for the leap, since you can just hang out right by the circle and pop it just as he's about to land (you can see his shadow right before he comes down). This also means that you will take zero damage from his melee ability which applies the DoT in the first place (otherwise a 15k hit) and you will be in ideal position to taunt quickly and prevent someone else from being pulled.

Quote: Originally Posted by Denchet View Post
A voice over effect will play at some point during the Walker phase. This means the Trandoshans are going to spawn soon. We have our Scoundrel healer and our Vanguard tank (again, who is guarded by the Shadow, this is REALLY important) pull the first two warriors out.
We tried this in my group a number of times (even the guard swapping bit, which I think is pretty clever). Unfortunately, shadow tanks have healing agro that is more than sufficient to tip the threat scales in their favor. The Trenchcutters spawn with pre-set agro on the tanks (both of them), but the moment either tank generates even a smidgen of threat, everything will go for them. Since shadows generate AoE threat just by hitting things (when we self-heal), we always ended up in a situation where the "warrior kiter" had everything on him immediately.

Our strategy, and the one we found worked the most reliably, is to kite the entire second group. Tempest came up with this one, AFAIK. When the walker stands up, I pop combat stealth (to drop all trenchcutter agro) and move over to help kill the first two warriors. We have two melee DPS and a healer separate them so that our two ranged DPS can immediately AoE the cutters behind the walker. Once the second group spawns, I resilience + force wave to bump my threat just a bit and then start sprinting clockwise around the room. Transcendence helps a lot here. Warriors are pulled from my group as the DPS kiters have time, and then from the third group immediately on spawn. The third group of adds will spawn just as I run past them, and they usually die right around the time I make it around to the walker for the second time (we have our AoE DPS use their big hits on the first and last groups). When I get back to the walker for the second time, I pop Deflection and an AoE taunt. My co-tank pulls out one of the trenchcutters to delay the phase and allow us to center up.

We were able to use a few other strategies as well with reasonable success (e.g. focusing the warriors, then AoE; or kiting the warriors and tanking all three groups behind the walker), but they were all extremely tight in terms of execution and not very resilient to RNG. If the walker's single-target fire happened to hit the wrong person, it was generally a wipe. Kiting the second group just has the widest margins for error (at least for us), allowing recovery in case of mistaken execution or bad RNG.
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Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)

RikuvonDrake's Avatar


RikuvonDrake
12.14.2012 , 11:51 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Actually, I don't have a problem (on my shadow tank) holding Kephess during this phase. He does hit very rapidly, which is usually a problem, but he actually doesn't hit fast enough to chew through Kinetic Ward. Since KW remains up, shadow survivability is just as good against Kephess as any other tank would be. With that said, it should *always* be a shadow taking the DoT if you have one. Not just for Resilience. Our internal/elemental resistance is substantially higher than the other two tanks, so the DoT hits for much less.
Correct, I phrased myself wrong, of course, a shadow/assassin can keep Kephess and tank him without him dying instantly. But what I mean is that it is more beneficial to have another tanking class (Jugg or PT) as their armor reduces the damage they take since the majority of his bigger attacks during this phase cannot be migrated (which is shadows strong point).

Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
My group runs two shadow tanks, so we just trade off on the DoT and eat it with Resilience every time. Resilience is also super-nice for the leap, since you can just hang out right by the circle and pop it just as he's about to land (you can see his shadow right before he comes down). This also means that you will take zero damage from his melee ability which applies the DoT in the first place (otherwise a 15k hit) and you will be in ideal position to taunt quickly and prevent someone else from being pulled.
Correct, I normally don't place myself up so close to him, and taunting quickly isn't really a problem for assassins regardless of distance since we have a almost instant (unlike PTs), but yes, using your Resilience/Force Shroud at the correct times really lowers the DMG you take.
Deposer of The Dread Masters - Gate Crasher - Conqueror of the Dread Fortress
Not Good Enough | Rikacha - Rikachu - Rikachi - Rebel Dream | Riku
Ruthless | Susannah - Fauna - Wildthorn - Krewel - Montör
Bloodworthy - Tomb of Freedon Nadd

Vallyne's Avatar


Vallyne
12.14.2012 , 01:00 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja View Post
Actually, I don't have a problem (on my shadow tank) holding Kephess during this phase. He does hit very rapidly, which is usually a problem, but he actually doesn't hit fast enough to chew through Kinetic Ward. Since KW remains up, shadow survivability is just as good against Kephess as any other tank would be.
Our raid group runs 2 shadow tanks (I am one of them) also, and we've beaten Kephess just so. With that said, however, afterwards I analyzed the logs and found that our KWs do deplete a lot faster on Kephess sometimes, in a manner that is probably unintended and bugged.

If you look at the log carefully, every time Kephess swings at you post-60% (pre-60% there are other mechanics that makes the log harder to decipher), he doesn't attack once, nor twice (despite being Marauder-like), but FIVE times. The same is true of Terror From Beyond's tentacle attacks too, but that encounter is much easier so it didn't matter much (you may have noticed you lose 1~3 KW charges typically every time the tentacles hit you. Similarly, my guardian tank alt usually gains 1~3 stacks of Courage per hit. Same underlying principle).

See below for a combat log excerpt of the relevant segment, cleaned up and color coded + summary added for emphasis, showing only Kephess attacks and relevant defensive buff gains/losses. Here you will see him attacking 5 times every time, as well as some odd interaction with KW.

Quote:
21:23:31.465 Vallyne activates Kinetic Ward.
21:23:31.465 Vallyne gains Kinetic Ward.

21:23:38.175 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:38.175 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack hits Vallyne for 3458 kinetic damage, causing 3458 threat.
21:23:38.175 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:38.175 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack misses Vallyne, causing 1 threat.
21:23:38.175 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.

21:23:38.987 Vallyne gains Shield Overcharge.

21:23:39.755 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack hits Vallyne for 3458 kinetic damage, causing 3458 threat.
21:23:39.755 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1844 kinetic damage, causing 1844 threat.
21:23:39.755 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1844 kinetic damage, causing 1844 threat.
21:23:39.755 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1844 kinetic damage, causing 1844 threat.
21:23:39.756 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.

21:23:39.896 Vallyne activates Deflection.
21:23:39.896 Vallyne gains Deflection.

21:23:41.368 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:41.368 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack hits Vallyne for 3458 kinetic damage, causing 3458 threat.
21:23:41.369 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:41.369 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1301 kinetic damage, causing 1301 threat.
21:23:41.369 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.

21:23:42.873 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:42.873 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:42.873 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:42.873 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1301 kinetic damage, causing 1301 threat. (1301 absorbed)
21:23:42.873 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.

21:23:44.459 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:44.459 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:44.460 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:44.460 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:44.460 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.

21:23:44.998 Vallyne loses Shield Overcharge.

21:23:46.067 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:46.067 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1814 kinetic damage, causing 1814 threat. (1814 absorbed)
21:23:46.068 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:46.068 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:23:46.068 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.

21:23:46.806 Vallyne loses Kinetic Ward.

--------------------------------------------------
Summary: 20 parries, 6 glances/shields, 1 miss, 3 hits.

Weirdness 1: Shield Overcharge didn't apply to the 3 shielded attacks immediately after (glances for 1844 instead of 1301), perhaps a latency issue, but it was 0.768s apart.

Weirdness 2: Lost Kinetic Ward after only 6 shielded attacks.
This splitting a single attack into 5 smaller attacks under-the-hood is actually a smart thing Bioware did. Instead of giant single hits (e.g. 3458*5 = ~17.2k on my shadow after armor mitigation) that can kill 2-shot me with bad consecutive RNGs, by splitting it into multiple hits, it smoothes out the incoming damage and makes my defensive stats much more reliable. However, it interacts with KW in an unexpected way negatively, in that we can potentially deplete our charges in as fast as 2 swings (i.e. 10 attacks) in ~3s. See another log excerpt below for this exact scenario,

Quote:
21:24:14.920 Vallyne gains Shield Overcharge .

21:24:16.420 Vallyne activates Kinetic Ward.
21:24:16.421 Vallyne gains Kinetic Ward.

21:24:17.144 Vallyne activates Shield Boost.
21:24:17.144 Vallyne gains Shield Boost.

21:24:17.317 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:24:17.317 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:24:17.317 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:24:17.318 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1301 kinetic damage, causing 1301 threat. (1301 absorbed)
21:24:17.318 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1301 kinetic damage, causing 1301 threat. (1301 absorbed)

21:24:19.175 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1162 kinetic damage, causing 1162 threat. (1162 absorbed)
21:24:19.175 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1162 kinetic damage, causing 1162 threat. (782 absorbed)
21:24:19.175 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:24:19.176 Vallyne parries Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack, causing 1 threat.
21:24:19.176 Warlord Kephess's Melee Attack glances Vallyne for 1162 kinetic damage, causing 1162 threat.

21:24:19.546 Vallyne loses Kinetic Ward

--------------------------------------------------
Summary: 5 parries, 5 shields/glances, 0 miss, 0 hits

Weirdness 1: Shield Boost didn't apply to the 2 shielded attacks immediately after (glances for 1301 instead of 1162), perhaps a latency issue, since it was only 0.174s apart.

Weirdness 2: Lost Kinetic Ward after only 5 shielded attacks. Lasted 3.125s
Both log excerpts also point to another weirdness, in that I lost all 8 charges of KW but only have shielded 5~6 attacks. These are not singular examples, in a couple other instances I've looked (on my Kephess and TFB logs) I would lose KW buffs after only shielded 5~7 times, all less than 20s after I gained the initial buff.

However, I must also point out that in one instance I did find I shielded 9 times before losing KW, and the 9th attack was in the 3rd set of 5 attacks, so I should have lost the buff between the 2nd and 3rd sets of 5 attacks. This may again be a latency issue, but that means >1.5s delay in logging, seems excessive.

Unfortunately I have to do these log examinations manually, as I don't have an easy automated way to extract the info with some sort of custom parsers. But if anyone has the ability to do so, I encourage you to check your logs accordingly to see if the same applies to your shadow/assassin tanks. Or if you can make a parser to do so, provide it so others can utilize the tool to check too.

Regardless, with my shadow tank's stats, not counting shield overcharge, stim, or CDs, the difference of 20% KW shield chance (4-set bonus) is fairly significant on NIM Kephess fight, because he hits so much harder/faster. On average I would take 13% more damage from Kephess' melee attacks post-60% (all kinetic) if I didn't have KW up. This bug should not apply to Vanguard or Guardian, because their defensive buffs are time based, not charge based. In fact Guardians may actually benefit from this and gain their Courage stacks much faster or more reliably (if spec into it), resulting in cheaper Force Sweep & Bladestorm (tested to be true on TFB, but I have not tanked Kephess NIM with my Guardian alt yet).

Of course Shadow tanks are still viable on Kephess NIM, we've done it with 2 shadow tanks in fact. However, this observation might explain why Shadow tanks do feel squishier on this fight and some other fights. I do believe this is most likely unintended, and thus probably a bug.

Ansalem's Avatar


Ansalem
12.14.2012 , 01:04 PM | #8
seems like you are overcomplicating your shield phase clear with the whole guard the other tank thing. It really isn't necessary. The trenchers automatically get aggroed onto tanks its the mechanic. My guild prefers to use our 2 melee dpsers in raid to each pick a warr and burn it while the tanks protect our 2 aoers sniper and merc who destroy the trenchers fast. Usually have around 8s downtime between finishing the first group and when the second group spawns. with the 2 tanks in the group behind the walker protecting the aoe with their taunts and the 2 melee dps burning down the warrs it makes that phase an absolute joke.
Glad to hear someone else has the titles too think there are only 4 guilds in the world with em now.

KeyboardNinja's Avatar


KeyboardNinja
12.14.2012 , 01:26 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Ansalem View Post
Glad to hear someone else has the titles too think there are only 4 guilds in the world with em now.
I wish there were a progression thread for that. My group should be getting our titles on Monday. We generally clear the instance up to Kephess in a little over an hour, so that leaves us time for a few wipes on Kephess while still getting the title. We just haven't had a chance to do it since we cleared the instance a week ago. :-)
Computer Programmer. Theory Crafter. Dragonslayer on The Ebon Hawk.
Tam (shadow tank) Tov-ren (commando healer) Aveo (combat sentinel) Nimri (df scoundrel)
Averith (hybrid sniper) Alish (lightning sorcerer) Aresham (jugg tank) Effek (ap powertech)

Denchet's Avatar


Denchet
12.14.2012 , 02:44 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Ansalem View Post
seems like you are overcomplicating your shield phase clear with the whole guard the other tank thing. It really isn't necessary. The trenchers automatically get aggroed onto tanks its the mechanic. My guild prefers to use our 2 melee dpsers in raid to each pick a warr and burn it while the tanks protect our 2 aoers sniper and merc who destroy the trenchers fast. Usually have around 8s downtime between finishing the first group and when the second group spawns. with the 2 tanks in the group behind the walker protecting the aoe with their taunts and the 2 melee dps burning down the warrs it makes that phase an absolute joke.
Glad to hear someone else has the titles too think there are only 4 guilds in the world with em now.
We've tried this before. We know it works (we've seen videos of it working) but we found the DPS on the Warriors died too fast. Once we switched to a tank on the warriors our healers thought it was much easier.

This way also lets all the DPS stay on the Walker for as long as possible without having to worry about anything. Again, there are of course other strategies that can beat this phase, but we found ours to be the most consistent. When we got our two hour titles the other night we actually beat the entire raid (including the pre Drouks trash) in 68 minutes. We've gotten to the point where we can not only kill Kephess, but do it consistently.

Quote: Originally Posted by KeyboardNinja
We tried this in my group a number of times (even the guard swapping bit, which I think is pretty clever). Unfortunately, shadow tanks have healing agro that is more than sufficient to tip the threat scales in their favor. The Trenchcutters spawn with pre-set agro on the tanks (both of them), but the moment either tank generates even a smidgen of threat, everything will go for them. Since shadows generate AoE threat just by hitting things (when we self-heal), we always ended up in a situation where the "warrior kiter" had everything on him immediately.
So the guarded tank on the Warriors is pulling the Trenchcutters because of Shadow self heals? That makes sense, and its not something we have to deal with since we only have one Shadow. I guess the Shadow on the warriors could stop attacking for a second as the Trenchcutters spawn, but I can see how that makes it have more room for error.