Monday, 16 February 2015

Blood Hunt HM review: hardmode flashpoint is hard

I tried the new hardmode flashpoint Blood Hunt this weekend and thought it'd be fun to post a review here. Spoiler: it wasn't easy. Above the intrepid test team that bravely endured their faces getting splat into the ground more than once.

I'll go over the bosses in order of appearance. There's also video material in which you can see me bite the dust (pro tip: quality watch time for certain people who believe I'm a noob). I'll add some videos of proper boss kills for each boss in time.

Click on the links below to go to a boss directly:

1) Kyramla Gemas'rugam

What: 1st boss, big hairy monster
On video: 5:38 - 8:55

Red telegraphs are bad. Circles are (Assault on Tython-style) bad. Face tanking adds on a sage DPS is bad. Everything on this boss fight is bad (read: hits hard). We ended up with the tank tanking one add and our DPS nuking the other. Well, actually we ended up trying to reset the fight because our healer lagged out on a circle and finding out the adds don't follow to the entrance when we killed him. So I guess that's always an option if all else fails.

Applied tactics
  • Tank the boss facing away from the group, preferably against a wall or rock (hefty knockbacks)
  • Move out of blue circles
  • Kill adds asap (CC such as hard stuns helps to reduce their damage output)
  • Move out of red telegraphs (Electro Net)
  • Healer cleanses the debuff applied to the tank by the boss (green icon)

Above a video of a proper kill, without people running into circles and dying.

2) Valk & Jos Beroya

What: 2nd boss, husband and wife
On video: 28:55 - 33:59

This one gave us more trouble than the previous boss. You first fight Jos, until he's on 75 percent, then Valk to 75 percent, then 4 animals (adds) and then both Jos and Valk until they're dead. In hindsight, I think it's vital for the tank to save all his cooldowns for the last phase, when you fight both bosses at the same time. The tank builds up stacks and will need to use a defensive cooldown when they're on 9 stacks. They take a great deal of damage at that point and it's near impossible to heal through that. We actually ended up swapping roles at this point, because the healer was missing set bonuses and couldn't keep up. I healed the rest of the flashpoint.

Applied tactics
  • Tank in the middle at all times because of hefty knockbacks
  • Face the boss away from the group (knockbacks, Sweeping Gunfire)
  • When both are up: kill Valk first
  • Kill adds asap
  • Tank saves their cooldowns for the last phase with both bosses up: use one when on 9 stacks (you get stunned on 10; sage Rescue on the tank will break the stun)

3) Challenges

What: "bonus boss"
On video: 34:19 - 38:35

The bonus is to clear the remaining three challenges, which are comparable in difficulty to storymode (read: a total faceroll). We were half expecting a bonus boss to appear in the arena afterwards, but there was none. Instead, a chest spawned with some crappy stuff inside. A very surprising and slightly disappointing turn of events, especially while most of the other HM FP's bonus bosses provide a real challenge.

4) Shae Vizla

What: last boss, mando leader
On video: 41:38 - 45:54

This one was very easy compared to the other bosses. We couldn't find anything different from storymode in this fight. Maybe the maelstrom hits a lot harder or something, but we didn't really feel like testing that hypothesis.

Applied tactics
  • Lava is hot
  • Kill the boss

Here we took down Shae Vizla with Conrad on powertech "tank" in DPS gear. Really sped up the fight.

Blood Hunt HM on video

Here's a video of our Blood Hunt HM adventure. We went in the usual way: without knowing any tactics and just trying out things, so we died a lot. Don't judge my crappy sage DPS too harshly: I hadn't played her since 3.0 took off.


Blood Hunt HM is certainly worthy of the hardmode title: you won't be able to complete this with a subpar group. There's a huge discrepancy in difficulty between the bosses, though: the first two bosses are tough, but after that it's just a cakewalk. I can see pugs getting stuck on the second boss.

Fun fact: you can bioanalysis about everything, including bosses. Yay!

As an overall difficulty I think this one pretty much is on par with Assault on Tython HM. It took us about an hour to complete on this first try, but I think it will be about 30-40 mins once we've done it a few times and know what's going on. It didn't help we weren't on our best characters either.

I'm not sure if the "bonus boss" is worth doing. Clearing all the challenges consumes a lot of time running around from door to door, killing all those critters. Maybe we were unlucky with the loot this time and they drop a nice stronghold decoration: I guess that would make it worth the effort.

What do you think of Blood Hunt hardmode?


  1. Lava is hot. I shall make a note of that and bring a frying pan.

    (Commenting here only because it's the one lonesome one without a comment per your 3rd Anniversary post. On a serious note, your end-game/raid/group experiences are always interesting reads for those of us who are more solo/casual style!)

    1. I know right, my boss fight pointers are sooooo useful. Thanks for your helpful suggestion, though: I should totally have included the tip to bring a frying pan!

      And I'm glad to hear it's okay to read for casual players as well. I always feel I'm writing for a small niche (especially with the hardmode raiding posts).


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