Gods Bonus Achievements
The SWTOR Gods from the Machine operation (“Gods” or “GftM” as it’s usually abbreviated) is a fun operation that includes several bonus achievements. This feature was greatly expanded into Mastery Achievements in the Dxun Nature of Progress operation with many more special achievements.
The bonus achievements in Gods are as follows:
Dodgeclaw - Defeat Izax in story difficulty without receiving damage during the first phase from Germicidal Radiation, Deflector Shield, or Swipe (Swipe hits within 5 seconds of receiving Binding Shockwave are forgiven).
Super Dodgeclaw - Defeat Izax in veteran difficulty without receiving damage during the first phase from Germicidal Radiation, Deflector Shield, or Swipe (except while affiliated with Binding Shockwave).
Par Three - Solve the final Galactic Signal Broadcast Tower beam puzzle in Veteran Mode leaving one of the four deflectors at their starting location.
This guide will cover Dodgeclaw and Super Dodgeclaw together since they are essentially identical except for the relevant difficulty setting then discuss the Par Three achievement strategy.
Dodgeclaw & Super Dodgeclaw
These bonus achievements are entirely based on avoiding damage mechanics in the first phase of the Izax last boss encounter in Gods. The achievement is typically not obtainable by tanks since they should usually be taking Swipe damage.
Here is the graphic I made to outline all the mechanics for Izax in the first phase. The mechanics we care about for the Dodgeclaw and Super Dodgeclaw are the following.
The Deflector Shield is the blue energy shield that surrounds the group as they begin the fight. Moving outside the shield will pull you back in and deal minimal damage. As soon as the fight starts, make sure to avoid running into the shield. I recommend standing just a little bit away from the shield to be safe.
Swipe is Izax’s conal melee attack. Swipe is always aimed at the player with aggro, hopefully a tank. Swipe’s conal area of effect covers roughly two-thirds of the ground inside the Deflector Shield and is aimed toward the side where the player with aggro is standing.
The usual group strategy will have the tank(s) standing on one side and everyone else on the other side. So long as the non-tanks stand on the opposite side and the tanks keep aggro on Izax, the non-tanks should never take damage from Swipe.
Germicidal Radiation Field
The Germicidal Radiation Field is the orange AoE in immediate proximity to Izax. Stepping into the field deals damage to the player and causes them to gain stacks of Accumulated Radiation, a debuff that causes the player to take more damage from the Germicidal Radiation Field.
Non-tanks should avoid standing in the orange AoE at all times in the fight. Tanks may step into the Germicidal Radiation Field briefly in Veteran Mode to dodge Swipe, but non-tanks should never need to do so.
Midway through the first phase of the Izax encounter, Izax will use its Binding Shockwave attack that slams the ground and deals AoE damage within a telegraphed area and applies the Binding Shockwave debuff that immobilizes the player. The debuff can be purged through your stun break ability.
The achievement lets you take damage from Swipe, Deflector Shield or Germicidal Radiation Field for 5 seconds after getting this status effect in Story Mode or while it is active in Veteran Mode. However, it is pretty easy to move out of the AoE damage and simply stun break and avoid any damage from these mechanics anyway.
The Par Three achievement can be gained from successful completion of the beam puzzle to unlock access to Izax itself.
Normal Strategy - Four Deflection Droids (No Achievement)
The normal strategy (pictured above) shows the first short puzzle solution and the second long puzzle solution. The basic idea is to place Deflection Droids so they “bounce” the purple energy beam from the Beam Emitter Note to the Beam Receiver Node.
This strategy is accomplished by having a player build threat and aggro on a Deflection Droid then stand at the next droid in the path to kite the beam to it. The first Deflection Droid is placed so that it always receives the beam from the Beam Emitter Node.
The primary limitation on positioning the Deflection Droids results from how aggro and threat mechanics function in SWTOR.
Players build threat on an enemy by (1) dealing damage; (2) using taunts; or (3) healing players. Dealing damage builds threat equivalent to the damage done, though tanks receive a multiplier to threat generation and some abilities have further modifiers applied to threat generation. Taunts grant threat equal to 110% of the highest threat on affected enemies and applies a 6 second debuff forcing the enemy to maintain aggro on them. Healers build threat on all enemies in range equivalent to the amount of healing applied to players.
The SWTOR game engine maintains a threat table that tracks the cumulative threat generated for each player. Most classes have a “threat drop” ability that can reduce their threat by a significant amount. Some classes also have abilities that can reduce the threat of other players, and stealth-based classes can use their combat stealth ability to completely reset their threat to zero.
The player with the highest threat will have the enemy aggro and be targeted for attacks. HOWEVER, the determination of aggro has a maximum range of 70 meters. A player that has the highest threat on a given enemy who is more than 70 meters away from the enemy will NOT have aggro, and instead the enemy will aggro to the player with the highest threat who is within 70 meters.
This range limitation on aggro is not usually relevant to most game mechanics. It is very relevant to the beam puzzle since the player with aggro is standing at the NEXT deflection droid position, so if the droids are too far apart then the droid will not target the correct player to bounce the beam along to solve the puzzle.
The normal positioning to solve the puzzle is as follows:
Deflection Droid 1 placed on the landing in the path of the Beam Emitter Node.
Deflection Droid 2 placed along the pipes on the little platform midway along their length. The player with aggro on Droid 1 stands here.
Deflection Droid 3 placed on the platform on the other side of the pipes. The player with aggro on Droid 2 stands here.
Deflection Droid 4 placed on the elevated ramps near the second area entrance (where players load in after a wipe on Izax). Be careful to avoid LoSing the beam path with the lamps from the path below. The player with aggro on Droid 3 stands here, but should be careful to stand well behind the droid so they do not LoS the beam path.
The player with aggro on Droid 4 stands at the Beam Receiver Node.
Par Three Strategy - Three Deflection Droids
The positioning to solve the Par Three puzzle requires only using three droids instead of the typical four. The range limitation on aggro comes into play here. It is not possible to place three droids in range for players to stand near them and maintain aggro on the previous droid in the beam chain.
The simple solution to the Par Three requires the team to have either a Shadow / Assassin tank (Kinetic Combat / Darkness discipline) or a Vanguard / Powertech player (discipline does not matter). These disciplines have a pull ability on enemy NPCs that is critical to the plan.
Here the solution is very similar to the normal strategy except with a key difference. The team omits the droid normally at position 3. Instead, the player up on the ramp builds aggro and threat on the droid on the pipes. Since the player’s position on the ramp will be outside the aggro range of the droid on the pipes, they will not appear to have aggro at first.
The team then positions the puller (Shadow / Assassin tank or Vanguard / Powertech) at the position where Droid 3 would normally be positioned. As soon as Droid 2 is hit with the deflected beam, they pull Droid 2 to their position. This places Droid 2 in aggro range of the player on the ramp and deflects the beam to the ramp as usual and completes the puzzle.
The key to success after initial positioning is simply timing the pull call-out. The puller cannot see the beam hit the first droid so usually the player standing on the pipes should make the call out. When I do this I call out “Pull!” as soon as I see the beam hit the first droid. The delay between making the call out and the ability being activated in game usually lines up nicely.
If you mess up the timing then just use the grapple temporary ability to pull it back into place and then try again.