Now that I getting up in the levels I have to say that the dungeon design and mechanics are getting better. Before the 40’s I think they were mostly easing into what they want these experiences to be but missed the mark in many places. Now everyone pretty much has their build worked out and you have a lot more mechanics that play to this during the dungeons.
Its less the chaos it was during the early play but there is still an element of chaos to the encounter as, as a tank you really can’t aggro everything. First that would hurt your health quickly and with blocking that much you’d run out of Stamina. Second you don’t have the skills in order to aggro groups. It’s pretty much up to your companions during these encounters to look after themselves and each other while I pick up the main threats, It’s actually rather enjoyable as it seems more to do with personal accountability than relying solely on your tank and heals.
There is still the large pack design for your standard trash mobs, round them up and spread the fire around. Sometimes there are some certain Key mobs but that’s still the exception. They are definitely throwing a lot more at you at certain points which does require a lot of coordination.. and me bouncing around the room with shield charge.
I actually tried all the dungeons this time around and enjoyed them all, a good mix of mechanics all round and since there isn’t much info on them all just yet I thought I’d do one of those boring guide/Rundown of the dungeon.
By far the prettiest dungeon at this level. A murky forest hidden in fog and web with a creepy vibe throughout. A lot of the local Mer to defeat within as well as a collection of bugs and spiders.
Most of the Dungeon is a relatively easy trip, Not to many mobs in packs and the mini Bosses are rather easy tank and spank type fights as well.The first Boss is Longclaws, Which I found a rather fun but tricky fight. At the start you will kill 4 large jaguars at the bottom, once you’ve killed these the boss Fight will begin with Longclaw jumping down from his ledge.
Throughout the fight the Main boss Should be your primary Target but he will keep spawning these Jaguar manifestations throughout the fight till a maximum of 4. There is a few seconds in between One dying and it being reborn which ccan make the fight tricky. Throughout as the tank I was mainly keeping aggro on these and snaring when possible. Their regular damage does add up and they also have a heavy attack to block.. soo pretty much regular mobs.
The boss doesn’t seem to do that much damage by himself, moves around a little in between with a ranged and melee attack but will drop large poison circles to avoid.
It’s funny how this sort of stuff sounds quite simplistic but you are really having to manage stamina and Magicka as a tank. As a Dragonknight Magicka is my main snare through Talons but also my stamina regen and health skill through Green Dragon Blood. I usually tried to keep at least enough magicka left for that. Stamina saved for blocking Heavy attacks and taking aggro off healer with Ransack.
The Next Fight is FoulHide, the big sleeping bear that I felt sad I had to interrupt.Mostly and easy fight, does a few aoe large aoe’s to avoid or block. The main mechanic seems to be that throughout the fight starnglers will spawn all around, constantly where you fight and around the border. To kill these, and keep the area clear the tank needs to aim the bear towards the areas that need clearing. At certain points the bear will do a long charge attack, shown by a long red ground effect to avoid. HE charges through, kills plants and the dps continue to do their job.
Situational awareness of the area is important here, people need to avoid stranglers and the tanka aware of the space around everyone.
The Last Boss is Selene herself.
The first stage is simple dps, This big ugly spider will then, at about 2/3rds health drop everyone to the bottom. Continue fighting and once her health has been diminished the real boss will emerge. This time will hit quite hard with her sword so keeping her focused on you, the tank is important. the two other mechanics are to pull the group in then release you as she is beginning an aoe, rather easily avoidable. And a Heavy attack that looks like the Bear is behind her. this can be blocked or interrupted.
The part where this gets interesting is that throughout the fight a lot of adds will continuously spawn These need to be managed by a DPS throughout the fight otherwise they can overwhelm. Getting them rounded up for aoe at points can Help. It’s also good to save all ultimates for this stage.
With different groups it’s interesting how this fight can change. I’ve had some extremely specialised single target DPS and we burnt it down extremely quickly. I’ve had aoe groups that rounded up, and melted pretty much everything and then I’ve had groups in between where the fight seemed to drag on with a multitude of mobs making it extremely hard. Specialisation definitely helps.
This place is pretty much a combination of pirates of the Caribbean and the Goonies, you’ll get the references soon enough. Large packs of pirates as well as harpies which can be hard at points and test your group. Take it easy and be aware of what mobs you’re pulling as well as pathing of others. The Main attack target in these should usually be the necromancers as they will keep spawning minions you kill.
The rest is actually rather tough, The boss’s will test your groups coordination and skill builds and even some of the mini bosses can be tough. oh yeh.. and it’s pretty too
I love the design of this first space, lots of paths up and around as well as hidden alcoves filled with chests and such. If it wasn’t for all the pirates everyone I would spend more time exploring.
The first mini boss you see is right up the top along the high bridge hits hard and has some aoe, just watch out for his drop kick as the first time we fought he punted all the way off and down to the bottom. Was rather funny though.
The first Main boss is the big ugly nurgle Atarus.. just stay out of the bad stuff and your fine
The next is the Roost Mother and she certainly knows high to invite everyone
The first time I tried this I died horribly, and very quickly. She hits hard with her regular spell attack that can’t be reflected and then has this line fire attack that can one shot you. There’s a little wind up to it and it travels the same way she faces. Periodically she will send flames into the air which makes some of her raven pets crash tot he ground in a blaze of fire, avoid the circles. Oh and a fire cone as well in there so I hope you like fire.
The next little mini boss can test your group as well. Hits the tank Hard, a heavy attack to block and occasionally spawns a few harpies. The bit to worry about is the huge aoe damage they can send out to the group. It’s hard to see really and lacks that Red alert warning but they crouch down with a little purple graphic and it needs to be interrupted.
The last Boss is the hardest one I’ve done so far. Captain Blackheart.
Throughout the Fight Blackheart will continuously summon skeletons, more and more. There damage is rather weak but it can add up pretty quickly and from what I’ve seen it is entirely pointless to attack these as a main focus.It’s a dps fight in a way, you need to kill him before your group is eventually overwhelmed. He hits reasonably hard so It’s good for the tank to tank him and everyone to stick reasonably close while clearing the area around of skellies.
From what I’ve seen the main mechanic is to jump to people away from himself and then turn them into a skeleton, I believe it’s the furthest away so it’s important for a dps to stick to the back leaving the tank and healer free. I was turned into a skelly once and it’s rather funny. You have no skills available but a decent main attack. In this stage the best thing to do is thin down the skeletons around you, probably the ranged ones and leaving the people near the boss to get the melee skeletons.
For the unprepared group this fight is hard, what you actually need is sustained single target dps and a lot of groups can’t pull that off. It’s also about coordination, keeping close for heals while having a target away from the group for him to turn. It tests every role too; Healer needs to keep up with damage, Tank needs to keep aggro and well, stay alive and the dps need to be aware and keep up damage.
A nordic inspired space with a penchant for Fire. A medium Level dungeon in my mind that requires the group to be coordinated and aware of your surroundings
The first boss is called The Pack, there are a few preliminary rounds here before you face them of increasing but manageable difficulty. Then the 4 main Enemies will jump down. It is interesting the departure this fight takes from the usual abandon with AOE. When these enemies reach a certain health level they transform into werewolves with extremely increased damage. It is important to manage this transformation one at a time so single target focused DPS is required.
The best time I’ve had with this fight is that I tanked the two Heavy characters to the side. Damage is manageable and there is only the heavy attack to block, the rest focus on the other enemies. It’s good to target the healer Nasuna first and once the transform happens to snare until dead… fire helps this. The grand wizard can be next although this transform is much more dangerous, they will get a large aoe damage effect around them plus the single target damage. Snare untill dead
The other two are pretty much rinse and repeat. The hardest part is just getting people to manage their target and damage throughout the fight. With a medium amount of aoe you can find yourself with a couple or more werewolves at once and it’s rather hard to not die at that stage. It surprising with pugs how hard that concept is to grasp.
Next is the beast master who will spawn three animal trials to deal with.
The first is definitely the most dangerous with a pack of fire scarabs that spread an aoe fire around the area that does a lot of damage. Next is a giant scorpion that can be tanked, with one Heavy attack to avoid. It will plunge the tail into the ground throughout that will create some aoe to avoid that will track one player. The last is a large troll that I found rather hard to tank. Lots of aoe damage focused on them plus a heavy normal attack. It doesn’t seem to have any sort of aggro priorities and will jump around between targets. Reasonably easy ranged fight if everyone keeps there distance from each other.
The last Boss id the LAVA Queen
Important to tank as she does a reasonable amount of damage. There will be large aoe circles to avoid around the area and she will plunge the sword into the ground that will create lines of fire travelling out from her to avoid. The other part Is the adds at the outskirts of the arena that while active will create an invulnerable shield around here.
Annnnnd that’s it so far.
After this round of Dungeons I’m actually really excited to see how the amp up the difficulty within the veteran content. The way the encounters are designed show that the have a strong understanding of the mechanics of the classes as well as their role within content and manipulate it in a variety of ways. For soe reason it feels a little different from regular trinity styled dungeons, a little more chaotic I guess but also a flexibility there with the roles.
I also enjoy just how active they’ve made these encounters as your constantly moving, taking account of your surroundings and team mates and managing threat accordingly. Each Role seems to be important too, control mechanics can be important with managing adds around you and keeping them in the kill zone but also switching between an AOE focus and single target.
It will be weird seeing where they go with the larger group of 12 and the flexibility of characters too, with the size of trash packs and the mechanics of bosses.