Enrage Timer: 3:55 minutes
The Ancient Pylons are the third boss in the Eternity Vault operation in SWTOR. The entire encounter is a puzzle challenge in which the operations team has to split into two groups to simultaneously solve a puzzle while fending off waves of adds. The encounter is one of only two encounters in SWTOR operations that can be failed without the group dying, as if the team takes too long to solve the puzzle it resets to a random new puzzle combination.
As the fight is not combat-focused, the requirements for players in all roles is low. Any team that can successfully clear the XRR-3 Annihilation Droid and Gharj should have no difficulty killing the adds that spawn during the puzzle. The key is setting up a solution between both teams before starting the fight and staying focused on solving the puzzle as quickly as possible.
Short cast ability to lock in the puzzle selections for the given row. Places a white glowing orb on the middle puzzle tile. Once both North and South have successfully solved and locked in the puzzle for that row, the puzzle moves to the next row upwards.
Activating Pylon Controls
Short cast ability used when rotating the puzzle Left or Right. Applies the Pylon Ward debuff in Hard Mode.
Pylon Ward (HARD MODE)
Debuff prevents the affected player from interacting with the Ancient Pylon controls. Places a visual debuff above the player's head the resembles a golden cube. Lasts 30 seconds.
Force Barrier (Rakata Eternal Watcher)
Shield ability used by adds that reflects damage. Should be interrupted by tanks/DPS if possible. Players should be careful not to kill themselves via the reflect, and use stuns to cc the add until the reflect wears off.
Stasis Beam (Rakata Eternal Watcher)
Any player standing in lava (i.e., not standing on an island or rock) will accrue stacks of lava that will do damage over time. These stacks will continue for 2-3 ticks after leaving the lava. After a knockback or during a Frenzy transition phase to a new island, players should use movement abilities to minimize time in lava.
The Ancient Pylons encounter is a puzzle boss. As such, the primary team focus should be on solving the puzzle as quickly as possible. Adds are a secondary concern.
The ops team should split into two evenly balanced groups (tank/DWT, healers, DPS) to solve the North and South puzzles. The teams should solve the puzzle (see above) or agree on a simplified approach (e.g., "All Left") before activating the puzzle. This includes assigning responsibility for solving (Story Mode requires 1 person to handle clicking, Hard Mode requires a rotation of 2-3 people).
When the puzzle is activated, the assigned player(s) should rotate the puzzle per the solution until the bottom row matches, then click the 'Lock In' button. Once both North and South are solved, the team progresses to the next row. This continues until all rows are solved.
Kill adds when they spawn then resume puzzle. Add waves will initially consist of 3 Rakata Eternal Watcher adds, which are easy to kill but have a stun and a reflect ability that should be interrupted. After around 2 minutes, a Proto Acklay will spawn. Afterwards, waves of Rakata Eternal Watchers will resume until just before the enrage.
If the team nears the enrage (reset) timer, be prepared to deal with waves of Proto Acklays. First will come a wave of one Acklay, then two, then three. Shortly after the wave of three Acklays spawns, the puzzle will reset.
Participate in puzzle as directed by ops leader. When big adds spawn make sure to immediately taunt to grab aggro.
Healing is very light in most phases of this encounter in story mode, so the healer should generally be the person running the puzzle. Only period with notable incoming damage is if the bigger adds aggro onto a DPS or healer. Healing through an enrage (3 big adds at once) can be challenging.
DPS is also very light in this encounter. DPS players should participate in the puzzle as/if directed by the ops leader. Otherwise they should immediately kill adds as they spawn, making sure to interrupt the reflect or stun abilities.
Hard Mode Strategy
The puzzle encounter is only slightly more difficult in Hard Mode, with just one change to mechanics requiring a player rotation to solve the puzzle in time.
After clicking the Left or Right console to rotate symbols on the puzzle, the player will receive a debuff that locks them out from the console for 30s. Since the consoles can generally be activated every 10-12s, a rotation of 3 players clicking in sequence is ideal to ensure the fastest possible solution.
Incoming damage is not significantly higher in Hard Mode but due to the need for 3 players to run the puzzle, having a death due to add damage (or particularly the reflect) can lead to a wipe due to the team falling behind on clicking the consoles. As such, it is generally preferred to have the healer NOT be part of the console rotation, ensuring they are free to burst heal if anyone takes unexpected damage.