SWTOR Nightmare Nefra Dread Fortress Guide

A guide to Nightmare Nefra, the first boss of Nightmare Dread Fortress released with SWTOR game update 2.7. Class specific sections are written by Carl & Vindrik, addition info supplied by Theho <Himmelhunde> @ T3-M4

Updated for live release: The DoT from Nefra ticks a lot harder now and can cause some serious raid damage if not cleansed off quickly.

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General Info

HP: 2.58 million (8m)

Total DPS required (8-man): 13,553 DPS

  • 2 tanks with 500 DPS and 4 dps with 3,138 DPS
  • 2 tanks with 1,000 DPS and 4 dps with 2,888 DPS
  • In 16-man, required DPS is a little lower (appr. 2,3k DPS per dps on the PTS) but you require more coordination due to movement from adds and Nightmare Twin Attack.

Enrage: 3 minutes and 10 seconds

Loot: 1 random Dread Touched item (rating 186), 1 Unassembled Dread Master Implant

Key differences from Hardmode

  • Tank swap before a stacking debuff on offtank (Nefra’s Curse) get to 5 stacks
  • Once Nefra gain 15 stacks of Nightmare Twin Attack, 6-8 players need to stand in front of him to split the damage.
  • DoT from Nefra ticks very hard, need to be cleansed quickly or have DPS that can self-cleanse
  • Exploding droids now jump to their target instead of running to them, so you have less time to react.

Video

Healer PoV with some explanations of mechanics (Live server video)

DPS PoV (Live server video)

Detailed Mechanics

Debuff/Buff Icons

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Nefra’s Curse

Nefra’s Curse is a stacking debuff applied to the player standing in front of Nefra without main threat (usually the offtank, but could be any melee DPS that happened to stand in front of Nefra at the time). This debuff is applied by Nefra’s Twin Attack, which comes about every 3 seconds. This debuff expires after 10 seconds, unless it gets renewed.

At 5 stacks, this debuff will apply an addition debuff that increase your damage taken by 200% for 10 seconds so you will need to coordinate a tank swap at 4 stacks. Remember that since both tanks have to stand in front of Nefra to split the damage from Twin Attack, it is mainly a main threat swap.

It is possible to survive the additional debuff at 5 stacks with cooldowns and good healers but it is not recommended.

Tanks should constantly perform a tank swap throughout the fight before the debuff gets to 5 stacks. The offtank should always watch his own stacks so he can taunt in time.

Since each tank can taunt every 15 seconds, you can use Taunt on cooldown and swap as soon as every 7.5 seconds. That way, you only get 2 to 3 stacks and have a few seconds room in case something goes wrong.

When you have a Juggernaut/Guardian who can use Intercede/Guardian Leap (20 second CD), it is better to wait 10 seconds between tank swaps so that Intercede/Guardian Leap will always be available.

However, once your debuff is at 4 stacks, you need to Taunt within the next 3 seconds; otherwise the next Twin Attack will put the 200% damage increase on you.

Nightmare Twin Attack

During the fight, Nefra will gain a stacking buff called Nightmare Twin Attack from his regular Twin Attack.. When this buff reaches 15 stacks, he will perform a an attack called Nightmare Twin Attack (1.5s cast). To counter this, have at least 6 players (preferably the entire raid on 8m) to stand in front of Nefra and take the hit (16m raids need 13-16 players).  This will split the damage across the raid. Failure to do so will cause the player closest to the boss to be killed instantly.

The buff will lose its stacks once Nefra perform his Nightmare Twin Attack.

We have the entire raid except tanks stack behind Nefra at 13 stacks and once Nefra reaches 15 stacks, the tanks simply run to the raid and turn Nefra towards the raid to split the damage.

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Nefra’s Dot (Voice of the Masters)

Nefra’s Dot ticks extremely hard on Nightmare mode (~ 3k damage every second for 20 seconds) and comes around every 30 seconds. DPS with self-cleanse like Snipers, Mercenaries, Operatives and their Republic counterparts are great on this fight. Avoid too much melee DPS as they cannot self-cleanse and can add a lot of additional raidwide damage.

Exploding Adds

Exploding adds (Overloaded Assault Droid) do seem to come a bit frequently on Nightmare mode and will jump to you, giving you less time to react. We have the healers stand away from rest of the raid to draw them away from rest of the raid but 1-2 ranged DPS may do the trick as well.

Positioning

Our raid group spreads out with healers standing out to attract the Overloaded Assault Droids. Some raid groups prefer to stack behind Nefra for AoE heals and then move out once the Overloaded Assault Droid spawns. Use whichever tactic works best for your raid team.

Tank specific tips

Juggernaut/Guardian

Intercede/Guardian Leap: A well timed Intercede can be a great help in this fight, considering it requires a tank swap every 4 stacks. It is really easy to use this ability on your second tank while you are main tanking, and will help to reduce their damage taken as much as possible. Keep in mind that it has an aggro reduction component, and as such should be avoided while your other tank has aggro. Ideal timing would be to Intercede/Leap immediately before they taunt, which would generally mean just before their 4th stack. Since they’ll then be taunting off of you, the aggro reduction component is removed while maintaining the damage mitigation to make your healers’ jobs more manageable.

Threatening Scream/Challenging Call Shield: Throughout the fight, you will have aggro on the boss at least once while he is cleaving the raid at 15 stacks, and at least once while he’s not. As such, there are a few ways to utilise the shield. If you have to taunt the boss between 1-3 stacks just single taunt, and depending on your movement skills and the number of melee in your ops group, you can move couple of steps forward, AoE taunt and move back straight away. This will give you the best shot at shielding as many people as possible without endangering anyone. You can also use this method as your initial taunt by running forward before you take aggro and using the AoE taunt as the tank swap, as long as you are comfortable doing so while staying in range of the cleave. The most useful method is to use your AoE taunt when you have aggro and the group is stacked together at 15 stacks. This will shield the entire group, but you should only do it if you are tanking at the time.

Powertech/Vanguard

Oil Slick/Smoke Grenade: You should maximise your usage of this ability throughout the fight. Using it on cooldown is ideal, since it will benefit whoever is tanking at the time, whether that happens to be you or not. Keep possible movement from droids in mind, and try to make sure that you don’t drop it as a droid is running at you, forcing you to immediately move the boss out of Oil Slick’s/Smoke Grenade’s radius.

Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line: Don’t overestimate this ability for this boss fight. While it will help you to move out of droid AoE faster, there is ample time to move without bonus movement speed, and moving faster than your other tank can cause you to be the single target of a cleave. Obviously, that’s bad, and you should only use it when you need to catch up in an emergency.

Assassin/Shadow

Force Shroud/Resilience: You should be saving this to cleanse yourself when you receive the dot. Make sure your healers know whether you will be cleansing the first or second dot rotation to avoid cleanse overlap.

Force Speed: Similar to Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line, you should only use this in emergencies when you need to catch up quickly. Sprinting out of a droid explosion will often leave your other tank behind, killing whichever of you has aggro at the time by taking the entirety of the cleave damage.

Healer specific tips

Ideally, your raid should be stacked behind the boss while the healers are fanned outwards to attract the droids as they spawn with heal aggro. However, if your healers aren’t comfortable with this or are unable to maintain the required healing and movement simultaneously, they can swap out with some ranged DPS who can aggro the droids instead.

The tanks will receive most of the damage in this fight from the Twin Attack. Make sure that they have at least 30k HP so that they will survive the next Twin Attack in case it does not get shielded. You always have 3 seconds to heal up the tanks before the next Twin Attack.

The raid will mainly take damage from the Voice of the Masters debuff. It is important that you have DPS that can cleanse the debuff themselves; if a healer needs to cleanse more than 2 players, you risk that a tank dies because of a Twin Attack. Tanks should be cleansed first so that they don’t lose too much HP before the next Twin Attack. While it is possible to just let the debuff tick through on a single player, this will remove ~80% of a player’s HP and this player needs to be topped off before the debuffs are given out the next time.

Sorcerers/Sage

Since your raid should, for the most part, be stacked together, revivification/salvation makes this fight much easier to manage, as does the self-heal made available to Sorcerers/Sages. Since you will likely be cleansing yourself last, being able to prioritise cleanses knowing that you can instantly heal yourself helps to minimise the damage the rest of the raid will be taking.

Operatives/Scoundrel

This is a great fight for Operative/Scoundrel healers. Evasion/Dodge and high mobility work fantastically with the fight’s mechanics. Stealth rezzing is particularly difficult due to consistent add spawns and dot application, so you should be careful with your timing, and knowing whether your other healer can solo while you’re out of action for so long is particularly important.

Mercenary/Commando

Your shield CD and Kolto Overload/Adrenaline Rush during emergencies allow you to take an enormous amount of dot damage without having to worry about yourself. Maintaining the healing and armor bonuses on your tanks, and as much of the raid as possible due to stacking, also helps make the fight easier.

DPS specific tips

This fight is essentially a tank and spank. Exceptional DPS is not required, so prioritising your self-cleanse is of particular importance if you have one, and staying alive should be an easy task as long as you’re paying attention.

Self-cleanse: Operatives / Mercs / Sorcs and their Republic equivalent can assist with cleansing the raid if necessary, as well as using Force Shroud/Resilience and Evasion/Dodge to cleanse yourself off-GCD.

Utility Abilities: Cloak of Pain/Rebuke while the dot is active (you should make sure your healers know to cleanse you last if you’re doing this, since you’re also taking less damage)

Dropping Ballistic Shield/Scrambling Field should prioritise covering the tanks, not the raid

Ranged DPS can take initial aggro from droids when they spawn to minimise required raid movement, however this option depends on your group makeup and strategy

Marauders/Sentinels:

Since this fight lasts less than 5 minutes due to the enrage timer, it is recommended to use Bloodthirst/Inspiration once the boss is below 30% HP when every class can use their execute ability.

  • Saeed Loa

    releasing guides before the content is online, and progress for 1st kills has not even started is too early …

    • Vindrik

      I would disagree. Especially in MMO’s people want to get straight into the content as soon as it gets released, meaning that if they want to prepare they need to do it before then. Posting this information to give people an idea of how the fights function gives everyone an early look at what the fights looked like on PTS if they didn’t have the chance to test it themselves. That way, when the content goes live people have the option to know what they’re getting themselves into.

      • Saeed Loa

        but isnt raiding new content all about working things out by yourself? while having guides online you always have people in your group reading and spoiling them …

        • Vindrik

          That’s a group decision to make. If as a group you want to go into something blind then that’s a decision each group member has to make. You could equally say that raiding new content is all about getting a world first kill. It depends on the group as to what the aim is. At least with the information available people can make their own choice. Either way, I’d always say that having a choice is better than not.

        • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

          Guilds had 1 month to work it out by themselves on the PTS.

        • Atram

          It’s your decision to read this guide. You want to try beat Nefra with your guildmates without one, do it. We can choose whether to read it or not, people are not forced to do it xD So either way, we do have a choice. So stop complainig and go make yourself a tea ;)

        • deathmetalnightmare

          better idea: they should stop putting nightmare content on the PTS and have it tested some other way so the “contest” and the longevity on live servers lasts a bit longer.

          hell, the SM/HM of these, based on PTS time, came out 8 months ago then? 7 live? i’d assume there will be a raid out before the “big patch” which will probably have two or maybe one with some scaled old ones. eh. they need to put more eggs into the the PVE/PVP endgame development. theyre going to slowly kill themselves if they dont keep the inmates from breaking out. (“did i do thaaaaaaaaat” – Urkel)

        • wainot-keel

          Whether you use guides or not is up to the guild’s approach to the content. I’ve been part of a guild where was strictly forbidden reading guides for operations. Currently, I prefer to have the most amount of information about a fight. And you still need to work things out a lot on your own, depending on your group. It’s not like “read guide=boss killed”

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      You are wrong, the content is already online. It is called PTS and has being there for a month. Any serious progression guild already spent significant amount of time on the PTS to practice it and developed their own strategy.

      • Hache-Moncour

        I for one am very happy with these guides, our guild has trouble enough learning the fights even with the guides, and the guides give us a chance to get this done before level 60 hits :)

  • BratAN90

    About exploding droids: IIRC, they jump directly to the target instead of walking.

    • Terlin

      I have found that the droids will actually walk in the general direction of the target they are planning on jumping to until they hit a minimum range. The jump is almost done from melee range.

  • Ruthis

    Hey Dulfy,

    Nice write up… having tried this on the PTS (and failiing :P) the stacking debuff was on the off-tank who needs to taunt between 3-4 stacks (basically off CD). The enrage timer was 180s (I think).

    PS: Those of you complaining about guides out before stuff goes live, as she said, this is based on the PTS and is subject to change… and um… nobody is forcing anyone to read the guide… if you want to work it out for yourself on live, please do so ;)

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      Thanks, corrected the mistake about the debuff. :)

  • Macewindy

    Dulfy, Thx for these guidelines :)

    To the nay sayers here. Don’t forget that:
    a – serious progression guilds already have their own strats
    b – You can’t compare NiM with HM/SM where its perfectly viable to walk in blindly NiM is there to test the bounds of what you can do as a group
    c – If you have people in your ops who spoil the tactics than its your own fault. Look for a progression group where you decide together what to do and be unanimus
    d – most importantly …. although Dulfies guides are very nice to read I think you should consider this the bare basics of the fight. My group always adjusts tactics which suit our own style and builds upon the dulfy-strats.

    • Will McBurney

      Can I upvote this post twice?

  • cmreis

    I love the level of detail in this round of guides, thanks!

  • DogEyedBoy

    Under the Nightmare Twin Attack section you refer to Nefra as “he”, but Nefra is, in fact, a she.

  • Courey Matthews

    Does the Dread Touched Gear contain a MH or is it just like the Oriconian Set without one?

    • http://dulfy.net/ Dulfy

      No MH yet, that is to come with Nightmare DP released in June

  • Riversong

    I got a question if anyone has tried on nerfa Nightmare twin attack, of having a Sage/Soc run in front of her between the tanks and Nerfa , Force barrier and take the the Nightmare twin attack as the only person being hit, if the force barrier would keep them alive or still just one shot the player.

    • Kehar

      Doubt you still care but if you wondered, the Nightmare Twin Attack is a 0 damage attack (autokill) and can’t be stopped by Barrier, sniper roll, or any of the other invincibility/near invincibility talents. They only work on attacks that do a finite amount of damage.

  • Delcran

    In 16M dropped 2 implants to my guild +1 bracer both dread master as we killed it at 2nd try , other times took more than 2 try and dropped only implants

  • Jorik

    I saw you said 3,138 DPS needed per DPS in 8m, and I was wondering how much I should aim to parse on a dummy based on how much I will lose in-raid with mechanics?

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