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A guide to the second puzzle before Izax in Valley of the Machine Gods.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Flashpoints, Operations, and Heroic Missions
A guide to the second puzzle before Izax in Valley of the Machine Gods.

Tamiil's Avatar

08.12.2018 , 04:11 PM | #1
I tried the Machine Gods Op for the 1st time today and I've never felt so lost in this game before doing the puzzle before Izax. Is there a guide for this? The group I was in said my DPS is too low to pull agro from the deflection droids. I'm a newb at heart, so a guide to how much dmg do I need for future runs and how the heck does the puzzle even work would be nice. It's easy to get the solution, but if you don't know how to guide the laser, it becomes confusing as hell. I'd like to avoid runs where people rage quit because of me again, not a good feeling.

Jerba's Avatar

08.13.2018 , 06:44 AM | #2
The mechanics are as follows:
  • You must have aggro AND be within 70 meters AND be in line-of-sight to get the beam.
  • The next droid must be standing within 10 meters BEHIND you to receive the beam, and be in line-of-sight of the previous droid.
I've still had many situations where the droids acted weird. E.g. everything was positioned correctly and the beam would still not be passed on. In that case, we'd swap out players or slightly change the positions and eventually it would work.

The most important thing is that you need to have the highest threat of your droid. Usually, attacking for a couple GCDs should be enough. Tank classes can also taunt at the end. Healers should avoid healing (outside of sorc/sage shields) and instead players must survive using defensives. If they are close to dying, obviously they can self-heal or have a healer heal them. But this may result in players having to run back to their droid and doing DPS again.

If you step out of line of sight, the droid will receive a "not visible" icon above it and will usually switch to a different target. However, you most likely have not lost aggro. Once you are in LoS again, you will automatically be targeted again.

If the droid is shooting at you (not the beam, but the individual shots) then you know you are in LoS. Alternatively, you can fully zoom in (so that you are no longer seeing your own character). If the droid's red nameplate is visible, you are in line-of-sight.

Whenever I see players having problems with it, it is usually that:
  • One player is more than 70 meters away (especially if they are on top of the ramp)
  • The following droid is not positioned correctly
  • The player is is not in line-of-sight to the droid (the second-to-last droid must be positioned very high on the ramp, otherwise it is blocked by the fences on the side).

When I am raidleader, I always do the Par Three solution, even in SM, because you only need four players to do it. The more droids you use, the bigger the chance is that one player will mess up. On the other hand, with Par Three you need to stand in the exact spots and there is very little room for error.

I know that the developers enjoyed developing this trash, and they enjoyed making fun of players for failing on this trash. E.g. Matt did it in our very first stream of Izax. But the devs really need to grow up and focus more on the boss fights.
You can see the same pattern in all of the newer content. E.g. the trash in the Copero and Nathema flashpoints has so many stuns, mobs stealthing out and additional mobs spawning out of nowhere that it is impossible to tank them, and makes for a very frustrating experience for everyone. It has gotten so bad that in the Nathema flashpoint, I'll just stealth through to every boss and then the group rejoins at the medcenter. If you do it correctly, you can avoid every single trash group (and still do the bonus). Surely, if players go to such extremes to skip trash, the game design is flawed.

For GftM specifically, the trash is just unnecessarily complicated. Players have asked for more interesting trash because it is usually the most boring part of a raid but it also allows players to cool down and prepare for the next boss. Especially if you don't have the raid on farm and have new players in the group, it is important to have easy trash groups before the next boss.
Instead, we now have trash that takes considerable amount of concentration and time to clear. Most raid groups (and especially PuG groups) will want to clear GftM in one sitting, yet given that the bosses themselves are already so challenging, this is rarely possible. For example, in my raid group we often had the problem of "We just killed Nahut VM and there are 30 minutes left in our raid night. There's no chance to do the trash and kill the 4th boss within that time, so we'll just call it early or do something quick like a world boss or Eyeless."

We've developed good tactics for the trash before the first two bosses. For example, one tank can go wander off with the Magma droids from the Tyth trash, that way all the voids from that droid will land on the tank and no longer on random players.
For the A&E trash, we wait out of LoS so that the droids walk out of the optimization droid, that way we can kill them without having to worry about interrupts.
We've gotten better at clearing the Nahut trash but even after you cleared the trash, after each wipe there'll always be some player dying to the elevator boss, so he has to waste everyone's time by running in again.

The Scyva and Izax trash is pure cancer. After you've been wiping on the previous three bosses you just want to get to the end quickly and not have to spend more time wiping on trash. For Scyva, you can skip a lot of spiders but then when a single player wipes in the room with the water, he can no longer run back in without a stealther.
In SM, I've resolved to just clear the whole trash, incl. breaking all eggs so there's zero chance of a new player to pull additional trash. And I still get headaches because some veteran player thinks he's the best and will just run through. And then he spawns the sniper which puts everyone in combat and means players can no longer take the elevator or mount up. Or he walks to the water room because he thought we would skip the bonus boss. I really need to learn to be stricter and just kick players from the raid for doing that, regardless of whether they are my guildies or not. It is just not good for my mental health to get upset.
The Izax trash is fortunately not as frustrating as the Scyva trash once you know how the puzzle works. But I've still had players thinking they know it all and then move the droids into the wrong position.
It is not fun to be a raidleader in GftM.
Scoundrel healer. Raid leader. Guild officer @ Tulak Hord

Tamiil's Avatar

08.15.2018 , 02:37 PM | #3
That's one heck of a reply. I'll copy/paste the guide part into my notebook for future reading.

It didn't exactly help that there were 3 people giving me contradictory directions, so there were essentially 3 "leaders". 1 of them was nice and tried to be reasonable, the other 2 mostly just threw insults at me and 1 grappled me to the "right" position from time to time giving the other 2 further ammunition to have some choice words as to why I moved again. So yeah, it's not easy for anyone, but being a leader would probably suck the most if you have some know-it-all guys in the group who aren't afraid to take initiative and undermine everything.

MagicTerror's Avatar

01.29.2019 , 03:08 PM | #4
I don't have a problem with Gods trash that much, I actually think the puzzle before Izax is good, it prepares people for the actual boss fight and knowing how to tether amplifier drones to beam the boss' shield and etc. (where if even one person isn't on the up-and-up about mechanics, you will NEVER avoid a wipe) Once you understand the mechanics of the refraction drones, it's very simple: you just have to use your aggro on the previous droid to guide the refracted purple beam towards the next droid in the chain. As for the other trash, like pre-Tyth trash and the toilet puzzle, it's a good way to test if your group has basic situational awareness; if they die to that, there's no point trying to beat the last 3 bosses with them.

I do agree they went overboard with flashpoint trash though, and none of it even counts towards a bonus anymore. Having to fight dozens of groups of the same type of Chiss saying the same thing over and over (as long as no-one has stealth) is really just pointless and a time-waster.