R-4 Hard Mode
HM IP-CPT is an encounter I enjoy raid leading. My main experience with this fight has been calling colors and being the DwT (C) in the fight. The main thing to keep in mind when progging this is that the only real RnG is who gets the Big Grenades each Avoidance phase. Everything else is very scripted and can be executed the exact same way every time.
The base strategy we have for organizing the chaos of the fight is as follows:
I will call out where is not safe for the upcoming Big Grenades (I tend to call them bombs, not to be confused with the bombs in the disarm phase), I make it a point to call it out before the previous bombs explode so that I am not trying to talk over my teammates as they try to make their calls for which way they are going to be heading. First person to call out where they are heading is all that is needed. The other player that did not call should head to one of the other two walls. If they want to call what wall they are claiming as well, it helps to alert the other players, but is unneeded as the other players should be favoring positions as close to the middle of the room as the floor patterns allow.
3 Dps with the ability to Taunt
3 Dps (1-2 Sentinels with Transcendence, very helpful)
2 Healers (Prefer Sage + Commando, seems like a rougher fight for a scoundrel to heal)
The 3 DPS with Taunt and choice of healer are the primary droid fighters. As the raid lead and color caller, I assign myself to a DPS with Taunt. (DwT (C) is my preferred spot.) It is not impossible by any means to click and call, but it is a struggle. Calling colors would also be a very easy task for the healer, not on console.
3 DPS will be on console along with the other healer. In our group, we assign our fastest player to BLUE console, as it will always be the first call. The healer I assign to purple, so they will be close to where we fight the droids. Red and Green are best if you have ranged in your team composition.
My Roster Comp
DwT (A) - Guardian
DwT (B) - Guardian
DwT (C) - Guardian
Heal - Commando
DPS - Sent - Blue
DPS - Sent - Green
DPS - Ranged - Red
Heal - Sage - Purple
Important Information to Know
This debuff is applied to players that receive the "Big Grenades" talked about below. These are the main mechanics that drive the movement through the Avoidance phases of the encounter. These grenades detonate for around 150k damage unmitigated and can easily kill a player if they are unlucky enough to get several in a row. Defensive abilities must be saved and used to handle these if you get them.
This debuff is applied after the Big Grenades detonate. This is a cleansable bleed that will do some very nasty damage if not cleansed quickly. Healers should call out which player they intend to cleanse. One healer is typically charged with calling out, "I am cleansing 'Player X'.", the other healer stays quiet and gets the other player. Dps with cleanses should handle their own to cut down on heal strain.
This debuff indicates that you have a small grenade on you. These do far less damage vs the big grenades. Stacking them should be avoided but stacking them and having a few go off on top of each other is preferable to players taking damage from floor or laser patterns.
Escalating Exposure is the debuff applied to players that take damage in the fire or laser traps. Each stack increases the amount of damage taken from traps, bomb explosions, droids (if tanking them). Taking 5 stacks is instant death. It is super imperative not to have any stacks of this going into the first defusal phase. Ideally, you should stay at no stacks until entering the final avoidance phase.
Summary of 1st Avoidance Phase
Summary of 2nd Avoidance Phase
Summary of 3rd Avoidance Phase
1st Avoidance Phase - Linear Patterns
The Old Republic Battle Parser has an overlay that will alert you to the next pattern coming up. I do not find it helpful personally; however, others swear it is a game changer for them. I think it is worth checking out to make your own judgment.
1st Big Grenades will come out shortly into the fight, players can take them to any edge
- No Patterns, patterns start very soon after bombs detonate.
As soon as the 1st bombs explode, I make the call to stack. We all move into Grid C2 for the next 2 patterns, no Big Grenades come out during these burns.
As the second pattern finishes firing, I make the call to cross, we proceed diagonally as a group to Grid B3. I as we are making the move across, I call the next Big Grenades and the fun begins.
2nd Big Grenades come out right after the team crosses the middle. The boss should be pushing up within 3-4 GCDs of crossing the middle. If it stays down much longer than that, your DPS are behind.
These Big Grenades are safe to take to any wall.
As soon as I see the crisscross laser pattern, I call out back, not safe for next Big Grenades.
Lasers with no Big Grenades, Big Grenades come out right after this pattern finishes. Players should take this short window to migrate back toward the middle of the room.
3rd Big Grenades, take to any wall other than the back. The ops team will struggle to stay stacked in mid for these patterns. As the ones with the Big Grenades, you can make life easier by going toward the corners of the red and purple consoles to give as much room as possible. Just keep in mind that as the second cross pattern finishes, you need to move quickly.
4th Big Grenades, the Left wall is a death trap now. Staying in the corners of the Exit wall is a safe bet and will be safe for the tic-tac-toe lasers coming next.
5th Big Grenades, this is the tricky one as it will set you up for your console clicking.
There are 5 "safe" spots. Folks doing colors need to take priority to stand where they need to to be closest to their console:
-If Green has Big Grenade, take Grid C1 (Back)
-If Purple has Big Grenade, take Grid C4 (Enter)
-If blue or Red have Big Grenades, they are safe to stand on their consoles.
-Any non-console folks should set up shop in between Blue and Red Consoles. If 2 non console people get Big Grenades, they need to do the best they can to stay out of the way, especially of the blue console.
1st Defusal Phase - (2 bomb defusal)
Ideally bomb 1 needs to be destroyed within 10"
As the final bombs are detonating, the Consoles become active. The player assigned to BLUE needs to be super quick getting to their console and should click immediately without hesitation. Blue will always be first for any of the bomb pattern sequences. Green will always be first on the second bomb. Two colors never seem to come up back-to-back outside the final one on the first bomb, it can be green last and green first on bomb 2.
There are 6 total color calls for disarming the first set of two bombs.
Dps and healers on clicking duty should be 100% focused on clicking, with no delay in button activations on cue. Only 30" is given to solve the puzzle before detonations result, giving the entire raid massive damage and a stack of escalating exposure.
A tip: Knowing that you will not be called to click twice (outside of green) means you have the potential to pop in a quick GCD or two after you click. Green is always number 4 in the sequence. If you do not hear your color for the 3rd call, you have 2 clicks worth of damage or healing you can add to the fight.
When calling, the second to last color should be told to come fight. For instance, if number 5 was blue, I would say, "Blue, then free". When the final color is announced, tell your team to come in and fight. "Purple, all in!" (for example). As purple will have the only job to click, everyone else is now free to participate in the combat helping to kill droids or turrets, or bombs.
Inferno/Overload spawn 15" after bombs do.
4 corner turrets spawn 1" after Inferno/Overload
2nd bombs spawn in 35" after the first ones spawned in.
"Enter the adds"
The inferno (orange) and overload (blue) large adds will spawn just about the time you are killing bomb number 1. If you are slow clicking the colors, the timing will be off. Ideally, you want the first bomb gone and everyone making their way to the other side of the room.
Here is where the DwT team comes into play.
Your group will need to assign:
-A DwT (A) to the inferno (orange) add
-A DwT (B) to the overload (blue) add
-A DwT (C) to swap out when your assigned DwT's need to swap before they die from stacks/damage.
This can be done with just two DwTs swapping each other's droids, but the causes stress in the fight and leans very heavily on the healers (keep in mind, one is still busy clicking).
The DwT (B) assigned to overload (blue) must be on the other side to pick it up as soon as it spawns. Any delay here will cause it to come after the healer and run out of position.
The DwT (A) assigned to inferno picks theirs up immediately, we prefer to use a ranged attack to get its attention and kite it to the overload (blue droid) at bomb 2. This gets everything stacked for DoT cleave, positions us close to bomb 2 to kill it quickly when the shield comes down, and puts us right in range of the healer that was clicking to give them an easier time burst healing us.
DPS focus on killing the OVERLOAD Droid first.
Here is a depiction of the movement of the inferno droid. The base idea here is to keep out of range of its cleave attack for as long as possible to keep the DwT (A) on the inferno droid from gaining stacks as quickly as the DwT (B) on the overload Droid. We point the overload droid toward the entrance wall and park the inferno droid so that it is cleaving toward the exit wall (door) when it arrives. Anyone in front of the droid getting cleaved will get the stacking debuff and stress the healers. Bomb 2 should be killed within a few moments after the inferno droid arrives. If it is not, the clicking is going too slowly. The four corner turrets will have spawned in 1" after the droids. Dps on consoles can get a couple hits in on these while it is safe to do so. Otherwise, ignore them.
DwT's Swap Droids at 2 Stacks
With both bombs dealt with, and the entire team now focused on taking out the droids, we focus on killing the overload droid first. The substitute DwT (C) will need to be swapping in as soon as they see 2 stacks of the overload intensification debuff on the DwT (B) holding it. They should move into position and taunt to avoid turning a potential cleave into the raid. DwT (B) should immediately move out of the cleave zone and be ready to pick up the inferno droid from DwT (A) when they reach two stacks. From my experience a DwT cannot take a third stack of the debuff, there are some defensives that can be used, but death seems to come shortly after.
The DwTs on the Droids will be taking 2 sets of Debuffs. The one to the left is cleansable. The one to the right is not. Wait until 2 stacks of the orange/purple debuff have been put on the DwT before you cleanse them, or you will not have your cleanse back up in time to clean them.
Back to your Consoles!
35" into phase 2, or 20" after the spawn of the Inferno/Overload droids, the phase will reset, and new bombs will come out. Same process as before. DwT (B) holding the inferno droid (if it is still alive) should kite it up to the new bomb spawn by the green console while finishing it off. Continue disarming the bombs, having the DwT crew get as much damage as they can in on the corner turret at the green console as they destroy the bomb. As soon as the bomb is down, head to red's corner and begin working on that turret until the bomb is able to be destroyed. This all happens quickly.
Once both bombs are down, our team, starting in the red corner, works their way (killing turrets) clockwise around the room. The goal is to have them all destroyed 3-5" before the boss comes back down. If the boss is re-entering the fight before all the turrets are down, either dps is low or you were slow to disarm the bombs.
2nd Avoidance Phase - Box Patterns
Generally, in this phase, stay in the middle of the walls. There are some walls that need to be avoided.
1st Big Grenades come out almost as soon as the boss drops back down. They detonate shortly after the lasers finish. These Big Grenades are safe to be taken to any wall, stay in the middle and evade patterns as they come. (Middle of back between B1 and C1 for example.)
Previous Big Grenades will detonate just as this floor pattern is beginning to show it is coming in, and the Next Big Grenades will come out just as it finishes burning.
2nd Big Grenades are also safe to take to the middle of any wall, again dance between the two center tiles to avoid patterns.
3rd Big Grenades, the middle of the walls are still the safest place to go, DO NOT GO LEFT WALL this time.
4th Big Grenades need to be taken middle of Left and Middle of Entrance walls, again dodge back and forth between the center tiles to avoid beams and burns.
5th Big Grenades, DO NOT GO ENTRANCE. Any other middle area is safe (you may still need to dance in the middle). Be sure as a color console clicker you set yourself up close to your console for the final bombs and if you are not a console clicker, you stay in the middle (of the wall) out of the way.
2nd Defusal Phase - (3 Bombs)
3 bombs this time and things are reversed from the first defusal phase. Turrets will spawn for the first set of three bombs, overload/inferno droids spawn for the second group.
Same thing as before. Blue goes first, then two more color calls, then Green (2nd bomb). Two more color calls after that, then purple (3rd bomb). You will have a short few second to dps a turret, and then it is right back into it. Console Clickers have to be superfast at getting to their console when it is time. The player assigned to Blue has to be there and ready to go immediately, or you will struggle to disarm all of them in time. If you see the group is going slow, and you do not have time to disarm the final bomb, do not attempt it. Advise your group to use a strong defensive ability and eat the damage. Droids spawn as the next set of bombs come online. Their positions are reflected as well.
We move the overload droid in this phase to bomb 2's location and stack it with the inferno droid (near where it spawned at the green console corner.) The overload droid is pointed so that it cleaves toward the exit wall, and the inferno droid cleaves toward the left wall. The same process to swap and taunt is used as before. In this phase, we DPS the inferno droid down first
DwT (A) Takes the inferno (orange) add first, but this time our DwT (C) will need to swap with them first.
DwT (B) will be the one walking the overload (blue) add up and parking it. DwT (A) will swap out with them as they reach 2 stacks of the debuff.
Our strategy here has been to only disarm the first two bombs and forget the third (using a Defensive ability to mitigate the damage) so that we can focus all in on the Inferno/Overload Droids. You want the Droids dead before the 3rd avoidance phase begins. Ideally you should be able to take out both of them and at least 1 of the big turrets in the center of the walls.
3rd Avoidance Phase - "Checkerboard"
We are now in the home stretch. The dps without the big grenades should be shifting back and forth between 2 of the inner 4 squares around the boss. With the exception of 2 floor patterns that shoot through the middle of the room, 2 of the inner 4 are always safe in this pattern of sequences.
1st set of Big Grenades go out as soon as the first checkerboard pattern begins to light up. They explode right after the 2 parallel lasers finish firing (right before the next checkerboard pattern).
These Big Grenades are safe to be taken to any wall, the middle is the safest. Again, be ready to flex back and forth between the two middle squares.
2nd set of Big Grenades come out about halfway into the reflected checkerboard pattern and explode just as the floor is lighting up with the 3rd checkerboard pattern (same as the first pattern).
Again, all walls are safe, staying in the middle of the inner 2 squares and flexing back and forth is the safest way to handle them.
The fight feels like it steps up a notch in terms of chaos and intensity, but it becomes very predictable after the Tic-Tac-Toe Pattern. The 3rd Big Grenades come out just as the Tic-Tac-Toe pattern begins to fire, and detonate just as the 2nd pattern is burning.
Any wall is still safe, stick to the middle and dance back and forth.
From here, the checkerboard keeps inverting back and forth. The laser fires left, center, right. Then top, center, bottom and then burn begins. Almost there.
4th Big Grenades come out just as the first pattern in this picture floor begins to fire (laser goes first, then floor fire) and detonate just as the final pattern's floor begins to fire. Middle of the walls, still the safest bet.
5th and final Big Grenades out just as the first pattern here starts and end just as the final pattern finishes.
Be careful around the center laser firing, but still all walls are safe and the middle/inner squares is the place to be.
Burn - Chaos Multiplied by 5 but divided by 2
We are here, burn. No more pesky bombs, but the show is on and the patterns are now random. You have 45" to burn down the remaining HP of IP-CPT. The biggest danger here is dying to 5 stacking of escalating exposure. Prioritize not taking a stack of it here. Dead DPS do not DPS. If one healer goes down, it is no big deal. Keep your DPS alive at all costs and rez them as a priority. The burn patterns below seem to also rotate randomly as well. For instance, the single line at exit in the 2nd pattern can be all along the enter wall, back wall or left wall. The center can become an absolute mess for melee to keep uptime on the boss. The biggest advantage you can have here is having pushed IP-CPT to 25% in the 3rd avoidance phase. Not being able to push it up before the final pattern of the 3rd avoidance phase fires means more dps you have to do in burn. You are timed, so more HP with the same amount of time leads to a higher requirement for each dps's output.
Good Luck and congrats on your clear! The purple 340 items that drop from this fight is the Head piece, relic (though you want to get those from watch dog) and the belt. I recommend getting the head piece upgraded first if you are lucky enough to get a drop.