NATURE OF PROGRESS
Table of Contents
Nature of Progress is the new operation added with the SWTOR game update 6.0, Onslaught! Accessible from Onderon and taking place on the Onderonian moon of Dxun, the premise of the operation is clearing out a Czerka Corporation genetic research facility that has been taken over by Trandoshans. Think of a mashup of the Czerka flashpoints, Kephess, Jurassic Park, and mix in some interesting mechanics and four-way boss encounters from Scum and Villainy and you're on the right track!
A quick tip to anyone new to Nature of Progress - pay attention to the announcers! They give you great tips before most fights about the key mechanics and in several fights (most notably the last boss encounter against the Apex Vanguard) tell you what to do during the fight as well!
Nature of Progress has six "boss" encounters, though two of those are considered "add rush" encounters where there is not a traditional big boss but instead lots of adds and a race to complete that encounter before being overwhelmed. The remaining encounters involve a fight with a big lizard that involves massive AoE healing, a Cartel-Warlords-meets-Kephess encounter with 4 Trandoshan bosses, a challenging fight with the Huntmaster, and wrapping up with a very neat (if long) fight against the fearsome Apex Vanguard.
In summary, Nature of Progress is a great addition to the SWTOR operation lineup. It is much more fun than Gods from the Machine, both in terms of mechanics, a light hearted tone and story, and a slightly lower level of difficulty (as well as getting the entire operation at once!) It is a fairly long operation but it a ton of fun for raiders new and old.
(clickable links lead to detailed boss fight guides)
Summary Boss Fight Guides
(clickable links lead to detailed boss fight guides)
IMPORTANT - The links above and in the boss description below will take you to detailed boss fight guides. Those guides go into much more detail regarding mechanics, strategy, etc.
The information below is very summarized and intended to be an easy quick-reference guide for players who need a quick reminder heading into an operation.
The main mechanic to Red is all about managing the stacks of Red Venom. The boss continually adds stacks of Red Venom to every player, which applies a DoT that deals more damage for each stack. The only way to cleanse these stacks is by having players trigger the spore "flowers" in the area and stand within the blue AoE circles that spawn. These cleanse the Red Venom stacks and provide 30 seconds of immunity to getting more stacks.
The tank should keep Red in the vicinity of the flower but NOT in close proximity. Red will drop Hydrochloric Pools (big pink AoE puddles) that reduce DPS, healing and damage resistance, so those need to be kept AWAY from the flowers so folks can safely stand in the blue AoE circles!
Red also has a conal channelled attack called Acidic Jet. You can interrupt it if needed, though if possible try to just step out of the conal and get some free time without the boss hitting anyone! Make sure to keep Red faced away from the group so no one but the main tank has to worry about this attack!
Once the group gets a pre-determined number of Red Venom stacks (ideally 8-10 but more or less depending on your healers skill/gear/experience), click the flower and everyone stack in the blue circle until it goes away (again, tanks need to be careful to not drop the Hydrochloric Pools in the group.) Once the circle expires, start moving the boss to the next flower.
If possible, try to hold Red in position after the second flower and kill it without moving to the third flower. If you have to use a third flower, adds will get involved in the fight. These are annoying and best avoided. Nearly all non-PUG groups should be able to achieve this goal relatively easily.
The key to success in the Holding Pens is staying together as a group and moving rapidly between spawn points of large adds, either Rampaging Chargers or Czerka Warden Droids. Run to those adds, pop Flares and then kill everything before moving on.
Watch out for Incendiary Shrieks (little flying adds). When they die they put a yellow circle on the ground that places a nasty DoT on players, so avoid that if at all possible. When dealing with groups of adds, Tanks should group them up while DPS kill them largest to smallest.
Tanks should grab all the Flares (in a box near the door) while DPS should grab all the Stims (on a table inside the laboratory area of the same room). Flares debuff adds to deal less damage and take more damage and should always be used on large adds to control their damage. Stims provide a movement speed boost and immunity to slows, which makes it essentially a free Hold the Line / Hydraulic Override for players. DPS players can use a Stim twice to receive a large boost to Critical rating.
Two Czerka Warden Droids must be killed to unlock doors to progress. Once the second Warden Droid is killed, go into the power generator shed and kill adds while one player goes and clicks all the panels / wires. Once the doors are shut the encounter is successfully completed.
Similar to the previous encounter, the group needs to stay together at all times. The encounter has two distinct phases, with the first being a run around a pond to enter and secure the Control Center and the second being a desperate fight to fend off beasts and droids to reactivate the shields to block off the holding pens.
Before starting the fight, make sure every person grabs one stim and the tanks divide up all the flares.
In the first phase, if possible try to skip the big group of adds just outside the generator shed door. With a Transcendence / Predation speed boost it is easily doable, though on occasion the adds bug and aggro anyway.
Afterwards, make your way around the pond. The turrets on the building will shoot anyone with LoS, so hide behind the rocks to avoid damage! The typical strategy is to hide behind the 2nd and 4th rocks (moving counter-clockwise as you enter the pond area). Lake Crabs will spawn as you reach each hiding spot. They have a pull ability so must be killed before moving on so they don't pull a player into the turrets' LoS.
Once the group passes the pond, enter the walkway and make your way into the security control center. Hit the panel just inside the door to seal the doors and teleport any party members outside into the room. The group will have a short breather to heal up and restock on stims and flares in the back corner (just past the two Warden Droids).
After 25 seconds, the shields will overload and adds will start pouring into the room. Group them up in between the Warden Droids, pop a flare and AoE them down. After another 35 seconds, the Warden Droids will activate and become enemies so kill them too.
The player(s) with flares should try to keep continuous uptime on the flare AoE on the group to minimize damage from adds. Try to avoid double flare usage. They have a 20 second duration and a 1 second cast time. In Story Mode it is fine to have one person keep them all and just throw down a flare once the previous one expires.
The overall priority is to destroy the Warden Droids, as adds will keep spawning. Once both droids are spare parts, click the nearby panel to reactivate the shields. Finish killing the surrounding adds and the encounter is complete!
The Trandoshan encounter begins with 2 active (Greus and Hissyphus) and then a minute later another 2 (Titax and Kronissus) join the fight. Each Trandoshan has different mechanics and must be handled differently. Greus and Kronissus have much lower health than Hissyphus and Titax.
All 4 Trandoshans have a buff of a Chaotic Evolution Mutagen that makes them immortal to conventional damage. When damaged down below 15% health, they trigger Torpor, a buff that immobilizes them and regenerates around half their health over 35 seconds. Each time this buff triggers, they get a stack of Chaotic Evolution that makes them significantly more powerful when they re-engage the group after healing.
The only way to kill the Trandoshans is via the train in the back of the room. The train does not activate until after the second pair (Titax and Kronissus) join the fight after one minute. A console in the back room of the room (on your left as you jump down) will be clickable and summon a train. It takes 15 seconds after clicking for the train to arrive. The train will only hit the Trandoshans while they are immobilized and healing. The Torpor healing buff lasts 35 seconds when triggered, so the train can be clicked slightly before or up to 20 seconds after a Trandoshan hits 15% and starts healing. Otherwise, the Trandoshan(s) will leap away from the train.
The simplest strategy is as follows (having a timer enabled via starparse or using one personally is recommended for the timing to push the first Trandoshan):
When pulling the fight, one tank should each take Greus and Hissyphus.
Damage Greus down to around 20-25% during the first 45 seconds of the fight. Any excess DPS should be directed to Hissyphus to avoid pushing Greus to 15% before the train can be summoned. Greus should be pulled immediately to the tracks.
Begin pushing Greus to 15% at 0:50 into the fight. Greus should be pushed very quickly and trigger Torpor's healing and immobilization buffs before 1:00 into the fight.
At 1:00, Titax and Kronissus should jump down. The tank who had Greus (who is now immobilized) should pick up Kronissus. If a third tank is available, they should take Titax and kite him away from both other Trandoshans. If only 2 tanks are available, the tank kiting Hissyphus should also pick up Titax.
At 1:00, a designated DPS player should run to the train console and click it immediately when it lights up. This should happen a few seconds after Titax and Kronissus jump down.
Greus will be killed by the train. As soon as the tracks are clear, pull Kronissus to the tracks.
Damage Kronissus to 15% and hit the train console after pushing him into his Torpor healing / immobilization mechanic.
Balance damage on Hissyphus and Titax evenly so that both are pushed to 15% at the same time and use one train to kill them both.
For tanks, ranged DPS or DWTs responsible for handling Trandoshans, here is a quick run down of their mechanics:
Greus (Fire): Has a large fire AoE (Trandoshan Torch) that deals low damage. A rDPS or DWT can run out of the fire AoE to avoid damage. Greus also has a short wide fire conal (Ayris & Eru) and a long narrow fire conal (Fire Blast) that should be moved out of immediately. Greus does the least damage of the Trandoshans.
Hissyphus (Acid): Periodically puts out Caustic Plume to nearby players that causes DoT damage (noncleanseable). Will also periodically hit the Tank with Envenomed Strike, which also places a DoT (Venom of Hissyphus) that should be immediately cleansed and drops a puddle of acid that should be dodged. Hissyphus does low to moderate damage depending on how quickly DoTs are cleansed and acid puddles are avoided.
Kronissus (Ice): Uses an ice conal attack (Endothermic Blast) that places a stackable debuff (Blistering Cold) that slows the player and makes it much harder to get out of the conal to avoid damage. The Blistering Cold debuff is cleanseable and should be cleansed as often as possible. Kronissus should be kept far away from Titax to ensure he is not buffed, as otherwise the Blistering Cold debuff will be applied via basic attacks. Kronissus is by far the most dangerous Trandoshan.
Titax (Strength): Has a Presence of Titax ability that buffs nearby Trandoshans. The buff is most dangerous on Kronissus but is not a big deal on other Trandoshans in Story Mode. Also has a Titax Strike ability that stuns the tank and knocks them across the room. Does low to moderate damage to a tank and is not very dangerous on Stoy Mode.
Dxun "Stair Boss" Video Guide
In between the Trandoshans and the Huntmaster there is a fun little activity I affectionately call the "stair boss". It's a great example of the humor and fun the developers built into this operation. I made a quick video guide to this fun little encounter.
The Huntmaster encounter is fairly straightforward in Story Mode. Most of the fight will involve standing inside a shrinking spotlight area to attack Huntmaster. Stepping outside the lighted area will cause the Lurking Beasts to dogpile the player(s), which will usually deal a lot of damage. The only time someone should step out of the circle is to drop a Firestorm Grenade (yellow AoE circle) away from the group, as it lingers for a while and deals heavy damage if someone stands in it. (Sometimes the graphics bug and the AoE isn't visible.)
After a while, Huntmaster will put up a big shield and the spotlight will go away temporarily. Quickly AoE down as many adds as possible. A big Charger add will spawn and will try to trample the Huntmaster, breaking his shield and stunning the Charger. Immediately swap DPS to the Charger and kill it while it is stunned. Failure to kill it while stunned may lead to multiple deaths.
After the Huntmaster recovers from his stun, he will Holotraverse to the edge of the pond and activate his Holdout Cover and CI-Flare abilities. This will cause all adds to aggro to him automatically and will place a 30m radius red AoE on the ground. STAY OUT OF IT. Anyone who enters the red AoE will be one-shot by the Huntmaster's Culling Shot attack. Any players with 35m ranged can continue to attack. After some time, Huntmaster will return to the group and activate the spotlight and this entire cycle will repeat.
Once Huntmaster reaches 35% health, he will go to the pond and try to activate his enrage ability. Unfortunately for him, Shelleigh (giant crab) will emerge from the pond and will Nom him (yes that is the actual ability name). The group then has to kill Shelleigh. Stay out of any purple circles (or else you will get Nommed too) and kite Shelleigh around as much as possible. Kill Shelleigh and the fight is won!
To recap, the overall strategy for this fight has the following key points:
Stay inside the spotlight when it is powered up. The Lurking Beasts that spawn deal heavy damage with their leaping attack and will all leap to the same player if only they step out of the spotlight. The entire team must remain in the spotlight nearly all the time. The only exceptions are discussed at #2 and #3 below.
Drop Firestorm Grenade outside the group. The Firestorm Grenade AoE lingers for a while and cannot be placed in a position where the group has to stand in it to follow #1. The player can move briefly out of the spotlight to drop the grenade, but needs to leap/teleport/rocket out/holotraverse/etc. back in immediately after the grenade explodes or they will die.
(Optional) DPS Lurking Beasts during first Primal Fear window. The Primal Fear debuff reduces damage by the beasts for 18s, which should be plenty of time to AoE them down. A tank should step out first to grab their aggro and group them up, then DPS should use AoEs to kill them (and stay inside the spotlight if possible while doing so.)
Kill the Charger ASAP after it hits the Huntmaster. The Charger will be stunned for 8s after it hits the Huntmaster and breaks his Fortress shield. It must be killed within 1-2s of the stun expiring, or else its Confused and Infuriated +300% damage buff will lead to players being one shot.
Stay outside the 30m Holdout Cover Red AoE. Shortly after his Fortress shield is broken by the Charger, Huntmaster will leap to the shoreline of the pond and utilize Holdout Cover. This effect places a large Red AoE with a 30m radius on the ground, which extends from the shore to the middle of the grassy knoll in the main area. This taunts all beasts to him so he can kill them to reduce his stacks of Master of the Hunt. More importantly, any player who enters that Red AoE will receive a Holdout Cover Jolt debuff and be killed by Culling Shot shortly afterwards. Stay out of it at all costs!
Stay out of Shelleigh's Nom Purple AoE. When Shelleigh targets a player with Nom, it drops a small purple circle. Anyone in that circle will be instantly killed in 1.8s. As long as players move out of it or are pulled out of it, Shelleigh is very straightforward to kill.
The Apex Vanguard encounter is fairly long but relatively simple in Story Mode. It requires one tank to kite the boss around the perimeter of the room as yellow acid puddles are dropped on them and one player (usually a second tank or a DPS) to run a battery between 3 device stations and a charging station to activate devices to counteract abilities used by the boss. For everyone else, the fight is a pure tank and spank fight.
The overall strategy for this fight has the following key points:
DPS Apex to 93% to trigger Photogenesis. The very beginning of the fight is a straight burn to 93%. Photogenesis triggers then and the team should continue to attack until Photogensis completes its cast. Depending on DPS, Apex health should be 87-92% afterwards.
Destroy the Power Transformer and remove the Battery. Apex's Photogenesis buff provides self-healing that will outpace any DPS, so the team must destroy the Power Transformer cover to access the battery. Removing the battery stops the self-healing.
Drop Acid Blast AoE puddles around the perimeter away from device stations. Apex targets the tank with a yellow AoE Acid Blast puddle around every 15s. The tank should move out of those and move Apex around the perimeter of the room. Avoid dropping a puddle where it will overlap a device station (Disruptor, Fan, Wash). Skilled tanks can time the cast and move back into an existing puddle for a few seconds to drop a second puddle on top of the first one to minimize movement.
Use Battery to activate Disruptor / Vent / Wash stations as needed. Each device station counteracts an Apex Vanguard ability. When Apex uses Mass Target Lock, take the battery to the Disruptor station (North on the map) and activate it to jam its targeting radar. If not done in 30s, the boss hits the team with a heavy damage Bombardment attack. When Apex uses Red Venom Cloud, take the battery to the Fan station (East on the map) and activate it to vent the acid gas. The team will add 1 stack of Red Venom DoT every 2s while Red Venom Cloud is active. Lastly, the player should take the battery to the Wash station (South on the map) and activate it every 3-4 minutes to cleanse the Acid Blast yellow AoE puddles.
Recharge Battery after using the Disruptor station or when Apex has >15 stacks of Darkness Overdrive. In Story Mode, it is very unlikely for a team to run out of battery charges except when using the Disruptor station to cleanse Mass Target Lock, because that station fully drains the battery. It should be recharged immediately at the power transformer (where the battery was pulled from at the beginning). It may also be wise to plug it in for 5-10s a few times just to remove some of Apex's Darkness Overdrive stacks if they get too high.
Exterior Jungle (West)
Holding Pen C - Specimen Processing
Holding Pen C
B/C Pens Secondary Generator Shed
Holding Pen C Walkway
Holding Pens Control Center
Main Facility Level One
Main Facility Level Two
Evolutionary Warfare Laboratory Lobby, Level 5
Evolutionary Warfare Laboratory Level 4
Evolutionary Warfare Mutagen Lab Observation, Level 5
Evolutionary Warfare Mutagen Lab Level 3
Evolutionary Warfare Mutagen Lab
Spaceport Access Stairwell A
Levels 1 - 11
Spaceport Access Stairwell A
Spaceport Landing Pad
Spaceport Access Stairwell B
Spaceport Access Stairwell B
Levels 1 - 11
Logistics Center B
Executive Observation Lounge
Combat Iteration Testing Arena