Now that a large portion of the player base is at max level, end-game weeklies are of greater importance for character progression. One such weekly involves players taking out a traveler of unknown origin on Voss. In hopes to assist players in their first confrontation with this extraterrestrial, we supply a guide to the fight and its pitfalls after the jump.
This Operations Strategy Guide will cover Nightmare Pilgrim, a sixteen-man World Boss located in the Gormak Lands of Voss. Our strategy recommends using three tanks and an off-tank, four healers, and eight DPS. This encounter features two prominent phases, with a standard DPS phase situated in between.
Each member of your Operation will need one of three items: the Rakata AlphaWave Inhibitor, which can be purchased from the Mission Support Vendors for 30 Daily Commendations; the Gormak Energy-Cell AlphaWave Inhibitor, an Armstech-crafted consumable; or the Gormak Crystal AlphaWave Inhibitor, an Artifice-crafted consumable. Either of these items provides a buff that will protect your raid from the mental assault of the Nightmare Pilgrim. Failure to have this buff will result in instant death.
When the encounter begins, two enemies will appear: the Nightmare Pilgrim himself, and his faithful companion The Thing from the Stars, referred to from here on out as “Dog.” You should begin by assigning two of your tanks to Dog and the third tank to Nightmare Pilgrim. The easiest way to visualize the setup advocated here is a “Y” shape, with Nightmare Pilgrim and Dog forming the branches and ranged DPS and healers clustered somewhere towards the bottom.
Healers should keep in mind that Nightmare Pilgrim will consistently deal high amounts of damage. Dog deals much more intermittent damage, but he is not to be taken lightly.
Nightmare Pilgrim utilizes only a few prominent abilities, all of which are easily managed. His most common tactic is a series AoE attacks. The AoEs have various effects, but all are quite deadly and should be avoided at all costs. This cast is accompanied by a spinning animation, as well as brightly colored AoE circles.
Dog also casts his own AoE attack, Earth Spike, which appears as a large orange AoE circle. He also casts a high-damage ability called Gore. Dog casts Gore often, and it has a one second channel. AllDPS should be tasked with interrupting it when they can. Successful interrupts will cut down on the damage received significantly.
Throughout the fight, Nightmare Pilgrim will periodically perform an AoE knockback and then shield himself. At this point, the tank and anyone else aware of the shield need to call out for a DPS halt. The shield reflects all damage back at the player dealing it. This can very easily result in death.
Shortly after Nightmare Pilgrim activates his shield, Dog will begin casting a debuff called Blood Mark. This debuff is indicated by a large white pillar on those affected. This debuff works similarly to Nightmare Pilgrim’s shield, in that any damage dealt by someone with Blood Mark to Dog will be reflected back at them. Dog will cast Blood Mark will cast several times throughout the encounter.
Any DPS affected by this debuff should immediately switch to damaging Nightmare Pilgrim. In the event that both tanks assigned to Dog receive a Blood Mark, the off-tank will take hate until the debuff has expired. If you did not bring an off-tank, a suitable DPS with cooldowns will probably suffice.
The tanks assigned to Dog must be aware of Blood Mark. This debuff stacks and increases damage received, so it is absolutely crucial that a tank swap occurs. Keep in mind that more than one stack of this debuff will generally result in death. Better geared players may be able to endure two stacks.
Always keep in mind the time frame for dispatching Dog versus killing Nightmare Pilgrim. During the course of the encounter, your Operations group should be focused on killing Dog, assuming that they do not have Blood Mark applied to them. If Nightmare Pilgrim reaches 10% health before Dog has been defeated, he will put up a shield and become immune to damage. When Dog is defeated, Nightmare Pilgrim will gain a buff called Linked Enrage, which increases his damage significantly. The optimal strategy would have Nightmare Pilgrim’s health approaching 10% just as Dog dies. This ensures that the Operations group has limited exposure to the Linked Enrage buff from Nightmare Pilgrim and that Nightmare Pilgrim does not shield himself prematurely.
The enrage timer for this encounter is currently at 6:30, so timing is crucial. DPS Dog down too quickly, and you will likely face a wipe as a result of the Linked Enrage. Kill Dog too slowly, and you will hit the hard enrage timer.
This encounter requires quick reaction times from your DPS and an all-around high level of awareness. Once your DPS are in the habit of paying attention to their debuff and switching to the appropriate target, this fight will become a matter of timing and execution.