A co-worker here has already gotten into raiding with his guild and dropped some info on me this morning. I'm going to quote from his emails and our conversation for your edification. I figure we can use this as a starting point to talk ops for IPP. (And GC, I guess. Filthy pubbies!
Most of these were filmed before Christmas, and we have cleared everything but the last boss on 16man nightmare now, so if anyone wants to examine the fights/difficulty modes in closer detail, I can grab those files next time I go home. The three videos I put down show (in my opinion) swtor’s best/most original raid encounters. All of the SWTOR raids are designed around 8man normal mode difficulty, They almost all scale terribly when you put them on 16man or Heroic or Nightmare difficulty. (Heroic and Nightmare for the most part just add extra health and no new mechanics). Really really solid 8 man normal content, really terrible for 16man and people that like difficult stuff.
I then asked him:
If you had to compare ToR’s opening offerings with a set of raid content from WoW, how would you compare them?
It’s hard to compare it to WOW stuff, the fights aren’t nearly as complicated as ulduar hardmodes and it is clear they did not spend a lot of time on these before they had to launch. If you do the content on 8 man normal, it is really fun. Nothing will really challenge you aside from SOA, but the content is still enjoyable. I really like SOA, but I’m super disappointed with what little they did to heroic and nightmare. It is definitely a challenge in phase 3 nightmare, but it just becomes a DPS race. There are so many obvious mechanics that could have been added to that fight to give it some more oomph, but all they do is crank the health and damage up and make it so you have to run into the lightning balls to make them go away. It just feels like they never got to actually crafting the other difficulty settings.
If you decide to scale up to 16’s or hardmodes, 2 words of advice.
1. Do everything on Nightmare, with no new mechanics all of the bosses are very easy for hardcore raiders on nightmare difficulty. The only exception to this rule is SOA, SOA phase 3 on anything other than normal is very challenging.
2. Don’t do Bonethrasher on anything but 8man normal unless you have a raid composition of 100% ranged. This boss was very poorly designed and he will turn around and 1 shot your entire melee group on something above normal.
If you have biochems, learn to love them. They should start De’ing stims to get the blue versions as soon as possible. Also be prepared to pay A LOT for repairs. If I go red, my repair is 70k.
TLDR version: 8 mans are good, and you can probably do them in nightmare no problem. 16-man content is not that interesting right now. Biochems are invaluable at endgame. Repairs are ridiculously expensive.