We Face Our First Boss in Telara

Saturday night found us all online in Rift, and with the five of us our thoughts turned to group content.  Potshot had pointed out that once we were all level 15 we could attempt the Realm of the Fae instance.

All we had to do was get the whole group up to level 15.

Earl was actually on a bit ahead of time, so I ran out to help him catch up to where we were in the Freemarch quest chain.

About the time he and I were headed for where the group left off last week, everybody was online and we could assess where we stood.  The party as we joined up was:

  • Jollyreaper level 13 mage
  • Earlthecat level 14warrior
  • Ephemara level 14 rogue
  • Hakawati level 14 rogue
  • Hillmar level 15 cleric

I still hadn’t worked out what souls we all have allocated, but we’ll get to that.  The dungeon finder looking for group tool informed me that the group, as formed, was not eligible for any dungeons, as was expected.

You must be at least level 15…

But we had time. And since this post ran much longer than I thought it would, I am going to insert a break to keep the front page from being a mile long.

We knocked out the line of quests near the mine and mire, which is one of those quest areas that goes much quicker in a group.  The place is generally overrun with NPCs.

Watching the quest story unfold…

That quest line ends up sending you to Meridian, so we got to explore the Defiant capital as a group.  There are a few “run around and find things” quests that helped move us along to our goal of all getting to level 15, but did not quite get us there.

So we had to soldier on, heading south out of Meridian to the next quest line.  There we quickly wrapped up two passes through the quest hub which was just enough to get us all to the right level.  The first instance on the list, Realm of the Fae, was now open to us.

The first instance is now available

Being level 15 of course put us at the very low end of the level range for the instance, and the evening had moved along, so there was a question as to how much time we might have.  But we decided to give it a shot anyway, if only to start getting us ready to work as a group.

So we tried to get in… and were denied.

Jolly needs to spend his points

In a surprise twist, the first thing that kept us from entering the instance was that Jollyreaper had too many unspent soul points.

Ah well, that was easily solved.  So we gave it another try.  And we were again denied.

No tanks, too many DPS

This time around we were informed that we had too many people trying to play the same role, the damage role.  And, as a helpful addition, the UI decided to single out Ephemara as part of the problem.

But the real issue was that Earl needed to be able to occupy the tank role.  Only, in something of a Stanislavski turn of events, you cannot just pick the role you want to play in the group, you must BE the role you want to play.

And it appeared that Earl had been putting his points into a role that was deemed “offensive,” which is to say a damage oriented role.  This lead to some discussion that eventually had us head back to Meridian so that Earl could adopt the tank role.

Eschewing a simple respec, it was suggested that Earl buy a new role.  A good idea, since he could then switch from damage, which is great for the outside world, and tank, which we would clearly need for any instance encounters.

However, the new role page had us stumped for a bit.  Potshot, who had done it, was trying to tell Earl of Skype what to do, and it just wasn’t coming across.  So then I tried it, ending up exactly where Earl sat, staring at a mostly black window while being told to click and select roles.

Eventually, the discussion came around to the “activate” button, which you must press in order to be able to configure a new soul.  I might suggest to Trion that, rather than a big, black window with an untrained soul, they put in something like “click activate to configure” in order to make things just a bit more obvious.

You need to click “activate”

Thus enabled, Earl poured soul points into a defensive tree, allowing him to take on the tank role.  We were ready.  The interface would now let us queue for an instance.

A role for everybody and every role filled

And we were into The Realm of the Fae.  We were standing in front of a portal facing the zone.

The portal into… and out of… the instance

At that point Earl realized that changing souls meant that he had to redo all his hot bars.  So while that was going on, we wandered around the safe-ish looking foyer of the instance.  And I decided to run through the portal.

Which put me back in Meridian.

So while Earl worked on hot bars, I was working on how the hell to get back to the group.  I asked in general chat, always a risk, and got a couple of answers.  Some were not so helpful. (You walk back to the instance.)  Others were sort of helpful. (You click on the LFG icon.)

I say “sort of helpful” because the LFG icon was surprisingly small.  Eventually, after clicking a few different places, I managed to locate it on the bar under the mini-map next to the clock, and was able to get back to the group.

Back in, with LFG icon highlighted

By that point Earl was about set and we decided to move forward.

There were no quests for us in the instance.  I compare this to Iron Tomb, which I poked my nose into with another character.  I had quests to get to the tomb, people to speak to when I got there, and quests to pick up.

But Iron Tomb is on the Defiant side, while I understand the Realm of the Fae is on the Guardian side of the world.

In the absence of quests though, there were still a set of rift encounter-like objectives which appeared to add up to taking down four bosses.  A simple enough goal.

At this point it was time to, you know, kill some stuff and figure out how to actually work as a group.

Fighting in the Realm of the Fae

Early battles went well enough.  We lost somebody to an add, but for the most part we started getting into the swing of things.  Rift does not use giant Lucky Charms icons for targets, instead opting for simple numbers.  That actually works well enough I suppose.  It certainly makes the kill order obvious.  And we just had Jolly sheep squirrel the mob with the highest number.  Yes, it appears that the Rift version of the WoW polymorph crowd control spell turns the target into a squirrel.

And, in a side note on the mechanics of instances, what is the instance chat channel about?  When I entered the instance, I got signed into the Realm of the Fae as my local chat channel.  Does that channel cross instances, or is it just for the instance I am in?  And in either case, what would be the use of such a channel?

Anyway, we managed to make our way around to the first boss, and then the wipes began.

Trickster Maelow – Wrong kill order

This was our first real, full group, just us and not a raid out in Freemarch, boss fight.  Time to see if we were ready.

Our first go was simple.  We went after the main guy first.  That didn’t work at all.

We wiped.

It looked like his two little companions were buffing him.  We drew the correct lesson from that.  We needed to kill them first.

Applying that particular lesson was another story.

Keeping aggro on Earl, keeping Earl healed, and burning down the two companions and then Maelow turned out to be a challenge.  We ended up wiping a total of six times on Maelow.

We saw this more than a few times…

Eventually things came together and we managed to bring the Trickster down, though Hillmar ran out of mana at the last moment, so Earl died at the same time as Maelow.  But at least we beat the first boss.

Trickster Maelow down!

That done, we moved forward into the instance.  While we exposed more of the map, we did not actually get to the next boss.

How much of the map we uncovered

As we moved along, clearing our way, we ended up with a bad pull that was compounded by a wandering add that lead to our final wipe of the evening.

Soul vitality 10%

Normally a mid-instance wipe like this would be a non-event, something to bounce back from and carry on.  But it was getting late.  We spent a good chunk of our evening getting everybody to the right level and then getting configured to actually get into the instance.  And this was our test run, to see if we could bring it together at all in an instance after nearly eight months of not running any full group content.

So we decided to call it a night and headed back to Meridian for our traditional screen shot.

Another day in Meridian

We seemed to be able to coordinate and take down serious encounters, even at the very low end of the level ranged for the instance.  One of my take-aways from the evening is to go research healing specs.  I was barely able to keep up with Earl’s health due to the cool down on one instant heal and the cast time on my other single person heal.  I hope to have a better healing plan next time.

14 responses to “We Face Our First Boss in Telara

  1. How can I correct you if you’re asking a something of an open question? Unless you’re really asking, “Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t you guys a bunch of lazy-ass slackers?”

    Anyway, the “why” is because I am told that Realm of the Fae is deep in the heart of Guardian territory. The walk would have taken the whole night… assuming we could have made it at level 15.

    The next instance, the Iron Tomb, which we can get the quests for at level 17, is another story. We’ll walk to that. We were just keen to try 5 person content.

    Besides which, it is always interesting to see how things work in other games. Even as we were struggling with the LFG tool, Potshot was saying that this was all going to be fodder for the blog post. And it was.

    A bit too much of the nanny state in the tool, in my opinion. But that is a question of taste. Do you let the totally unprepared enter the queue, or do you make them at least put their pants on the right way around, then let them go in?

  2. @HZ Sentinal is Hillmar’s main tree at the moment, and he has to be at least 10 points in to get Breath of Life. But the only healing he had was Healing Breath, Healing Grace, and Healing Communion… which was not enough to keep the bases covered. I’ll look into your suggestion, thanks!

  3. IMO, at level 15 you should be 15 Pur / 5 Sent / 0 Ward and then just pre-shield the tank before the pull and spam Restorative Flame during the fight. Cast Healing Breath for “Oh Snap!” situations since it’s instant cast. Do *not* cast any attack spells, especially not when the tank’s below 50% health like in your “early rotf” screenie. Bad healer! No! You’re there to heal, not do dps. (Unless you’re an -icar, but -icar’s are AE burst healers, not tank healers, so don’t do that! Unless Jolly’s gone Chloro to be the tank healer in which case -icar it up! When I’m not healer, I love to be “Shamicar” for the passive heals from my damage. . . . ) In a case where you do something silly like that, HB, then RF should be able to pull a save, though.

    In the low levels where generally only the tank is taking damage, the single-target focused Purifier seems to work best, IMO. The 3x/3x “Purisent” is considered an excellent endgame healer and RF spam is its primary heal even then, it’s just got a lot more tricks to deal with AE, damage reduction, faster casting, etc.

    FWIW, I never use the soul screen to change my roles. You’re right that the N screen is really unintuitive for the swapping with the activate button, but if you hit P for your Powers window, there’s a tab for Roles on the left-hand side. You can drag-n-drop the roles to your hotbar, then just swap from the hotbar itself. After swapping to the empty role, then I start assigning the points. Red circle on the right bar for an example

    Trickster Maelow can be interesting the 1st few times. The adds only heal him, though, they don’t attack, so really you just need the tank on the boss for aggro, the healer on the tank to keep him alive and 3 dps focusing on the adds for all they’re worth.

    I hope this week’s run goes better! Maybe level 17 for IT will be in the offing as well. . . . .

  4. Realm of the Fae is the only Rift dungeon I’ve done. And I’ve done it once. I main healed it as a chloromancer in a PUG about a week or two after launch. We completed the whole thing and it was a good experience. The dungeon itself, the end especially, was spectacular.

    So, if it was fun and successful, why didn’t i go on to do all the other dungeons? Because while it was fun, it was only about a tenth as much fun as zone invasions, about a quarter the fun of Rifting and maybe half the fun of Warfronts. I just found that all the other things there are to do in Rift were a lot more of a draw than the dungeons.

    I still mean to go back and do some of the dungeons I’ve never seen, but lord knows when that’s going to happen. So I’m hoping you all stick with Rift long enough so I can visit them all vicariously.

  5. @pkudude99 – I’ll throw a lightning bolt on the last trash mob in a group when my instant cast heal is ready to go if I darn well please! :p When we got to the boss, you’ll note I don’t even have any combat pictures. Too busy healing.

    @Bhagpuss – I would balance the fun differently that you. Zone invasions are fun, but not 10x as much fun as getting into an instance with the old group. Not for me. And I can do invasions, or rifts, or other things when the group isn’t on. But that is a tale for another post. I have to do a summing up of events outside of the instance group in Rift still.

  6. For the record, I’ve got to say that was the most fun I’ve had wiping in quite a while. Even with yet another fantasy mmo and all too familiar mechanics, the active progress of learning individually and as a group is something I’ve been missing in a game.

    Almost reminded me of the old days with Mr Smite.

  7. Doing instances with an established group would massively increase the value and attraction, yep. Wouldn’t dispute that for a second.

    For PUGs, though, I like the no-fuss, outdoor version a lot better.

  8. Frankly, I like the LFG tool the way it is. The dungeons are pretty much designed with a tank/healer combination in mind. Only fair that the people queuing up for those roles at least -have- specs that qualify. DPS Warriors are almost as squishy as Mages and definitely don’t qualify for tanking ;^)

    Also, you don’t have to actually be -in- the desired spec, you only have to -have- a spec that qualifies. Support is the perfect example. The first words most Rogue Bards type when starting a PUG is “%Healer_Name%, do you need me to go Bard or should I just DPS?”

    As someone who loathed the dungeons in LOTRO, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ones in Rift are generally fun. There -are- fights that annoy me (I generally don’t like gimmicky fights that require lots of movement), but the vast majority of them are manageable. A couple of fights do have a huge element of luck involved: if your main healer gets CCed an instant before some boss instagib mechanic, you’re all going to die. But, for the most part, understanding the fight and reacting in time to boss gimmicks will get you through.

    I’ve run every dungeon in the game (except Caduceus Rising) multiple times with mostly guild groups. Even when overgeared, using Ventrilo, and playing with people you know and whose capabilities you understand, there have still been a fair number of wipes. Fortunately, the death penalty is negligible, so the only loss is the time spent rezzing and rebuffing.

  9. WoW has a general channel inside of instances as well, or it used to. All I have really seen it used for was to facilitate an argument between our guild master/raid and someone in another raid for about twenty minutes.

    I am not in that guild anymore for some reason.

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