The Unutterable Lurker
The Battle in the Big Apple
TSW’s first 10-person raid
The Unutterable Lurker is the raid boss for the New York City raid encounter in the Secret World. This fight is a 10-person, 10-minute raid with a 5-minute achievement. This is the first content to award 10.5 gear along with kits to upgrade 10.4 gear to the 10.5 level.
This raid requires 2-tanks and 2-healers. Each tank needs to bring 2-3 snap-aggro abilities (I recommend three while learning this encounter). The healers should additionally ascertain that their builds have reasonable synergy (e.g. two fist healers will find themselves overlapping too much).
The raid consists of three distinct phases with important transitions between phase-1 to phase-2 and a critical transition between phase-2 to phase-3. Much of the fight features aggro swapping, requiring your tanks to coordinate their activity. The battlefield consists of a number of piles of rubble and downed cars, these are actually objects that block one of the bosses periodic attacks, you will make use of these in the second phase.
The Unutterable Lurker, Stage-1: Whisper of Darkness
During this first stage, the boss has four primary mechanics which must be countered. All of these mechanics will return in the third stage as well, so learning to process them perfectly is essential.
Do you just need the tactics for this stage?
Whisper of Darkness: this is the primary tank-swapping mechanic for this fight. The person with aggro receives a 20-stack of Whisper of Darkness counter. This causes a damage over time effect the entire time this is up. The damage is entirely physical and can not be blocked, evaded or glanced. The Whisper of Darkness dot can NOT be purged or cleansed as well. The damage must be healed through until it ends. The counter begins a countdown from the moment it lands. If the effect is still on a person when the counter reaches zero, that person immediately dies (roughly 10 million damage). To avoid the death effect, you simply need to lose aggro for about 3-seconds. The easiest way to do this is to have the two tanks arrange to force taunt aggro from the Unutterable Lurker when the aggro tank hits 10-stacks. The tanks should swap aggro anytime Whisper of Darkness hits 10 stacks. You can run it all the way to 1-stack, but you should probably process the swap earlier. We find that simply using snap aggro (provoke, mass provoke and art of war) is more than enough to handle these transitions. As we have become more comfortable with this, we often just organically swap aggro, letting each tank simply “win” in the aggro race by slowing down rotations as needed.
Filth Pools: throughout the fight, players near the back will periodically find a white circle at their feet. Do NOT randomly dive out of it. This is the Unutterable Lurker pre-casting of what will become a persistent filth pool. Instead, run it outside of the battle area and park it somewhere out of the way. Once the casting completes, simply run back to your party, leaving your filth pool behind.
The Column Smash: Players in the front and middle have to deal with this mechanic constantly and players in the back have to deal with this mechanic occasionally as well. The Unutterable Lurker will place a rectangular column emanating from his position and progressing towards the party. This ability does not have a casting bar, merely the column animation. The smash does moderate physical damage, enough to kill a non-tank and additionally causes a knockdown/stun to tanks. Be aware that the column effect is slightly wider than the draw radius. The column can appear to the left, center, or right of the battle area – be aware that columns to the middle aim far enough out to hit assault rifle players.
Pods: throughout the fight, players near the back will also periodically become trapped in one of the Unutterable Lurker’s tentacles. This manifests as a “pod” around the player (and any other players standing directly adjacent to the target of the tentacle pod). It is important that DPS tab target and drop the pod quickly. The pod itself has a DOT effect, however it is one that can be easily healed through. Because of this, it is critical you do not have your two healers standing close to one another. Additionally, a player trapped in the pod can easily become stuck in a filth pool or become the victim of a column attack.
The Unutterable Lurker, Transition-1: Shadow out of Time
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The transition for phase-2 begins when the Unutterable Lurker begins casting the Shadow out of Time effect. During this, the visible area turns a dull grey, the Lurker rears back and releases a large filth bubble which emanates from his body outward, gradually traversing the entire length of the battle arena.
Shadow out of Time does little damage, however it causes a knockback/stun to any who are caught in it. You can avoid the knockdown by simply hiding behind a pile of rubble (or even a lamp post if you are really good) or simply dive rolling at the right time. Shadow out of Time recurs roughly every 30-seconds for the remainder of the battle.
Two packs of filth spawns appear immediately following a Shadow out of Time. These will typically cluster to the fist healer, so your tanks should cluster with this person to quickly pull aggro off of them.
We move our team to the back of the battle arena during this stage. We find that the large rubble pile in the back-center is ideal for DPS and healers (additionally this location provides protection from the knock-back of from upcoming “Shadow out of Time” filth effects) while the crashed cars on the left and right are ideal for tanks in stage-2.
The Unutterable Lurker, Stage-2: Eldritch Guardians
Just looking for the tactics for this stage?
During the second stage, the Unutterable Lurker becomes unassailable (he’s surrounded by filth). Instead, the players must contend with a sequence of four Eldritch Guardians (bird-like shadow-drakes). Eldritch Guardians can not be targeted until they are almost at the raid, often requiring tanks to counter a Downfall right inside the raid team. Throughout this stage, players will also encounter the Shadow out of Time knockback/stun and its subsequent wave of filth spawns.
The Eldritch Guardians primarily attack with physical damage. This is a single target attack with no cleave effect. The guardians, however, have two aoe type effects which must be managed well.
Downfall – Downfall is a cone breath attack. This is a high damage filth attack with no persistent filth effect. It is simply a high DD with major knockback/stun. This effect CAN be interrupted, but it can also be easily avoided by strafing around the bird.
Death Circle – Upon death, the Eldritch Guardian lays out a large circular effect and will explode upon completing the casting animation. The damage of this explosion is more than enough to kill a tank outright. Dashes (Death from Above) come in handy here, but a simple active dodge and paying attention are more than enough. Because of this effect, it is often useful to CEASE DPS on a bird if it is near death at the start of a Shadow out of Time wave. Mistiming this can easily wind up getting a tank (fleeing from the Death Circle) being knocked back into it by the Unutterable Lurkers wave.
The Unutterable Lurker, Transition 2: Who got Whispered?
The Unutterable Lurker tends to fire off a Shadow out of Time right near the death spot for the fourth Eldritch Guardian. This specific Shadow out of Time signals the end of stage-2 and the commencement of stage-3.
Managing this transition is the most important element of winning this fight. It is very easy to lose a tank or healer at this transition, which effectively is a wipe.
Just Need to Know the tactics for this transition?
The Unutterable Lurker becomes accessible immediately after the Shadow out of Time wave during the 4th guardian. He also opens up with a Whisper of Darkness, this Whisper often targets a player other than a tank (often the fist healer). It can hit all the way at the back of the battle arena and ignores line of sight.
It’s pretty much a guarantee that someone, other than a tank, will initially pickup this dot. We use a Flak Jacket to help here and healers must put regens on the damaged non-tank.
More importantly, though, tank-1 must get into range of the Unutterable Lurker and hit a provoke to make sure no one else gets a Whisper of Darkness.
The remainder of the team needs to finish the last guardian and the wave of adds which follow the Shadow out of Time wave.
Once that’s done, tank-2 needs to hustle in and pickup aggro from tank-1 who is probably nearly out of stacks of Whisper of Darkness.
The Unutterable Lurker, Stage-3: Find your Buff Circle
At the beginning of stage-3, the game’s signature NPC’s (Zuberi, Alex, Mei Ling and Rose) come out and join the raid force. They position themselves in front of the Unutterable Lurker – Zuberi casts a spell which surrounds all four in a particle effect. This effect creates a 2x damage buff for specific weapons.
- Mei Ling buffs melee oriented weapons,
- Rose buffs short-ranged weapons like pistols and shotguns, and
- Alex buffs long-ranged weapons like Assault Rifles and Elemental magic.
Do you just want the tactics for this stage?
During this stage you face every effect, except Eldritch Guardians. Your tanks must counter Whisper of Darkness. Your DPS must address Filth Pools and Pods. Everyone must watch out for the column attacks. Finally, everyone must handle the Shadow out of Time attack and its subsequent adds.
Most of the more preferred DPS builds will find themselves unable to take advantage of the buff for both of their weapons. For instance, AR/Shotty builds would require buffs from Alex and Rose. While you could “dance” between the two, in our experience this leads to more frequent problems with the filth pools. Because of this, we recommend simply going to the buff circle for your highest DPS contributing weapon (often AR).
We find that spreading the DPS out along the front of the Assault Rifle buff makes it easiest to deal with the filth pools. Simply run yours out to the back and drop it off, then return to the fight. Make no mistake, properly managing these filth pools is a significant part of this stage. (By staying near the front of the buff area, you might need to dodge pillar effects from the boss, however you seem to have fewer pods to manage. A poorly placed pod effect can wipe this stage due to the number of players who can get stuck in the pods).
On the Shadow out of Time mechanic, we have everyone charge INTO the Unutterable Lurker. This causes the player to get knocked back, but you tend to land right back on the buff circle and thus avoid getting knocked farther back into the filth pools. Additionally, you can continue to DPS while you run in, and end up losing no more dps from the KB effect then if you had to run out of the effect in a traditional manner.
DPS should use aoe’s to take down the wave of adds that come in after Shadow out of Time. These adds generally swarm the fist healer who is up with the tanks.
This final stage is simply an attrition stage (stay alive) and dps check (beat the timer). By the time you finish the second transition, you have seen everything the Unutterable Lurker can throw at you.