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The Foundry (Level 35 – 39) is is a mid-level flashpoint available to the Empire only. Republic players have access to Maelstrom Prison instead. As an Imperial, you have to complete Boarding Party first to gain access to The Foundry.

At any point after completing Boarding Party, proceed to the Missions Departure Elevator (West Wing of the Main Fleet) and select the last option”Interfleet Transport”. On reaching the shuttle bay, run to the Imperial Fleet Transport droid and select “White Nova  Shuttle”. On arrival, run to the elevator and select the only other option available: ” White Nova Command Deck.” On reaching the command deck, locate Moff Phennir (he is inside a group instanced room which will have a green eligible screen) and talk to him. When you have completed the flashpoint once, you can just talk to Sergeant Lodani near the entrance to pick up the quest. There is also a quick travel point to the White Nova Command Deck that will port you there from the Main Fleet.

 

You are now eligible for the flashpoint and the quest “[Group] Flashpoint: The Foundry” will appear in your log stating the following:

The Empire has learned that a mysterious Jedi Master has rediscovered an ancient space station called the Foundry. You joined the force sent to capture the Foundry and eliminate the Jedi. Your next mission is to use the captured Republic cruiser, Dorin’s Sky, to slip past the Foundry’s defenses. Give the order to the Imperial helmsman on the Dorin’s Sky bridge. Board the captured Dorin’s Sky to infiltrate the Foundry and begin the flashpoint.

Find the entrance to the flashpoint which should now be purple and run to the elevator and select the only other option: “Boarding Airlock” to begin.

Game Tips & Useful Information

Crew Skills

Crew Skills can be used to unlock additional content, shortcuts and special companions as long as your skill is at the appropriate level for the instance. Keep your eyes open.

Loot Tables

The importance of appropriate gear is going up and now is a good time to start to pay attention to loot tables. Tor-loot has a good list: The Foundry. It is a level 35-39 instance and gear obtained within requires level 37 to equip. I would recommend waiting until at least that level before venturing in as flashpoints are becoming more challenging.

Exiting flashpoints

On finishing the flashpoint, a button will appear on the top right of your mini-map and on mouse-over will say “Exit Area”. Click on it to leave the instance at the end.

Boss Encounters

You can still enter the encounter blind, but you cannot succeed unless you figure out the strategy. There are four boss encounters and each have its unique strategy to succeed. If you are finding it very difficult, you’re doing something wrong. Adjust your strategy. The basic strategy for the four boss encounters are as follows:

Foundry Guardian

Standard tank-and-spank. The Guardian does a short-range fire AoE attack ‘Molten Burst’ that affect melee players in particular with its 15m range. It’s channeled for a few seconds and has a 30-second cooldown, run away from it.

HK-47

This is the most difficult boss encounter in the game so far and particularly intensive for healers, challenging for tanks with repeated aggro drops and multiple targets and DPS has to be perfect in their targeting which changes rapidly at times. At the start of the encounter, the tank should face HK-47 away from other players as he does a cone damage attack with a flamethrower that places a DoT on each player it hits.

After a certain amount of damage, two waves with two adds each will spawn, one wave will have melee droids the other ranged attack droids. It’s vital to DPS the adds down as quickly as possible. The tank can either pick up both adds or CC one. Soon after the first adds appear HK-47 will do a knockback effect and then port to a far corner of the room from where he will throw grenades and snipe at random party members with each snipe removing 3k health off the target. The tank should taunt him back as soon as he appears.

At some point HK-47 will stop and focus and encase himself in the central housing from which he originally spawns. It’s vital to break him out as quickly as possible so that he doesn’t gain additional strength. There are two options for doing this: either the tank can kite the adds and hit the 4 panels on the container to break him out or each party member can be assigned a panel.

The above sequence will keep repeating until HK-47 is defeated, just keep repeating the strategy outlined above.

Burrower Matriarch

This is the bonus boss that unlocks by completing the bonus objective in the flashpoint. A standard tank-and-spank encounter with a slight twist. The boss have an acid spit ability that creats small, dark pools of acid on the ground. It’s very easy to spot. Move out of it immediately as it does huge amounts of damage very quickly. She also has a frontal knockback effect which can knock players into the spit, so the tank should face her away from other players. She hits the tank hard, so the healer should be prepared to focus healing on the target and as long as everyone stays out of the acid pools, they should require very little healing.

N4-10 Exterminator

A mini-boss encounter before reaching the final boss and another easy tank-and-spank encounter very similar to the Burrower. Avoid the blue circles he casts on the floor and the tank should face him away from other players to avoid his conal abilities hitting them as well.

The Mysterious Jedi

The name will be revealed inside the instance and not mentioned in this article as its a spoiler. It’s a rather disappointing encounter that is much easier than HK-47, however it does require quite a bit of situational awareness. There are no adds at any point, but the boss does have quite a few abilities.

It’s vital to stay in the middle of the platform as he does a knock-back effect that can knock you over the edge to an early death. He will periodically force choke a random member of the party, be aware that if it happens to be the tank, he will turn around and start hitting another player. He also employs force push, usually on the tank, pushing them back to the opposite side of the platform combined with an aggro reset. It’s important for the tank to run back as quick as they can and get the aggro back.

Starting at 50% health, he will use force storm, pulling all players into the centre of the room and it slows as well as damages, so walk out of it straight away.

At 20% he will start pulling down rocks form the ceiling. There will be an AoE purple circle on the ground warning you where the stones will hit, make sure you move out of these before the rocks start falling. Be aware that he can be buggy during Force Storm. Stop all damage once he pulls you in and just walk away for the duration without doing anything else or he might become immune to attacks and you will have to reset the encounter by wiping the party.

Accessibility

Visual Accessibility * Audio Accessibility * Physical Accessibility * Cognitive Accessibility * Conclusion

 

Visual Accessibility

Flash

There are a moderate amount of flash and bright lightning effects at regular intervals during the flashpoint. Group encounters in MMO’s are often bright due to the sheer volume and variety of player and non-player abilities happening all at once. The increase in complexity with bosses gaining more abilities does unfortunately mean more flashier content in group encounters.

Camera Movement

The camera movement is identical to the rest of the game; player controlled by default but can be fixed in the preference settings.

Text size & HUD

The User Interface is the same inside flashpoints as it is outside. Grouping with other players does add a party frame which can be converted to an operations frame in the preferences. I would recommend doing so as the operation frame is moveable and resizeable where the party frame is fixed.

Colour Blindness

I did not notice any colour blind issues. All use of colour is supplemented by text, such as phase indicators that are either orange or purple depending on your eligibility.

Audio accessibility

Subtitles & Closed captioning

Like the rest of the game, subtitles can be enabled through the preferences, but there are no closed captions. The subtitles are on the small side, but with very little dialogue that is of little consequence.

Reliance on auditory cues

There is little reliance on audio cues. For the most part, audio cues are accompanied by visual cues and as long as you can pick up on one of these, you should not have any issues.

Physical Accessibility

 

Reaction time

There are both combat and non-combat elements requiring at least moderate reaction speed and strategy is vital to success. This means that the standard combat elements are important than ever: interrupting enemy casts before they complete and crowd-controlling NPCs appropriately, running back into position after knock backs and positioning yourself so that knockbacks do not knock you over ledges or cliffs and split DPS is no longer a negligible mistake. All of these skills have time limits and unless you play within the time frame, your party is not going to have a smooth run.

There are more than one scenario where moving in under a second is vital to survival. If you stand in stuff, the damage is severe and the longer it takes you to move, the more damage occurs. The acid pools on the Matriarch is a good example. A moderate reaction time is required to succeed.

Precision

A moderate level of precision is required. You have to be able to control your character quite well even during combat when you will be attacking (or healing), moving and positioning yourself correctly at the same time.

Pause and save options

It is an MMO, so there is no pause or save options. Your game saves automatically as you go along and if you want to pause, find a safe spot to stand.  If you wish to leave the flashpoint at any time you can and if you want to restart the flashpoint you can as well. You are playing with three other players and you are expected to finish a flashpoint in a single setting. Allow 1-2 hours, particularly on the first run through and if it drags out for more than an hour and/or you require more frequent breaks, ask for them at the right times. The best stopping points are just after a wipe or just after a boss-fight. Most players will be very understanding if you need a few minutes, but never afk (walk away from your keyboard) without checking that it’s okay and letting people know unless it’s an emergency.

One-handed

SWTOR, despite its incredible number of buttons, can be played with one hand. The only possible exception is if you are using two USB devices and switching between them. As flashpoints move quickly because other players tend to move quickly, it can become tricky to loot fast enough if you are switching to the mouse to loot and then moving back to the keyboard/keypad for movement and combat.

Cognitive Accessibility

 

Reading, language and vocabulary

The story of the flashpoint is simple: You have hijacked a Republic ship called the Dorin’s Sky and will use it to fly it past an alien space station’s defenses to see what a mysterious Jedi Master has rediscovered there.

Memory, Focus, Organization & Planning

Strategy is vital. This is the first flashpoint that is a definite challenge. Game mechanics require some multi-tasking with the combination of movement, attacking or healing as well as dealing correctly with attacks such as knock backs and aggro drops. Flashpoints are longer as well. If you are struggling to stay focused, establish regular break times at the start of the flashpoint. It can be tremendously helpful to have a party leader and voice communication if possible to organize the group. These are all tactics vital for end-game playing, so the sooner you begin to employ them, the easier the game will be later on.

Math and computations

There is very little reliance on math. You can keep an eye on statistics through fly text, but there is no need. Gear upgrades have to be compared with your current gear, but the comparisons are small numbers and accompanied by colour coding help; red for a downgrade and green for an upgrade.

Social Interaction

Social interaction are becoming more important. It’s near impossible possible to complete the flashpoint for the first time, with other players who are also completing it for the first time, without adequate communication; either text or voice. There is no scripted action with NPCs, but you won’t be able to make it through without discussing tactics will your team. If you find social situations like these difficult, have a look at the SWTOR Quick Start Guide: Socializing and Grouping.

Conclusion

The Foundry is a nostalgic experience for anyone who has played Knights of the Old Republic with plenty of references to make it a trip worth taking. If you haven’t played KotOR, don’t worry, you may not be privy to the underlying nuances, but the basic plot remains the same. It is the first flashpoint with challenging encounters that is guaranteed to wipe your party over and over unless everybody is reasonably geared and follows the same strategy. The added level of complexity also adds more player options; there is more than one way of doing things, some players CC the adds on HK-47 and others vehemently object to it; for the most part, different strategies will all get the job done as long as each player isn’t employing their own.

Flashpoints are longer and more intense, communication is vital and the level of satisfaction gained on completing the encounter is will either be exhilarating or a great relief. If you struggled and muddled through the first time, don’t give up on either flashpoints or The Old Republic just yet. It can be demoralizing when instances drag out, concentration fades, fatigue sets in and suddenly, the game isn’t fun anymore. Regroup; don’t be afraid to call it a night and return when you are a couple of levels higher. Polish up on strategy, upgrade your gear a little and try another time. The Foundry can be a magnificent flashpoint to experience when all the pieces slot in together just as they should, but it may take some time to get there.