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Four More for Lantern Hook November 1, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Instance Group, Rift.
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There were some differences between our last run at The Fall of Lantern Hook and this time around.

Different people, different time, different levels, different classes.

But the biggest difference was that this was our first attempt at a group run since All Souls Day in Rift, the patch 1.11 revamp of every single soul in the game.  Everybody was learning to play their class again.

One thing was the same as our last attempt though.  We only had four in the group.  Gizalia wasn’t feeling well and took the night off, which left us with the following:

  • Jollyreaper level 42 mage
  • Earlthecat level 43 warrior
  • Zahihawass level 44 cleric
  • Hillmar level 48 cleric (mentored down to 43 on Earl)

A short group learning how to play their roles with completely changed skills going up against an five person dungeon?

Recipe for a wipe, right?

Well, we had nothing else planned, so we figured it would be good training.  We put on our mean faces and headed out to Lantern Hook.

Hillmar with his mean face on

How would we do?

Pretty darn well.

We met up at the basement pool in Lantern Hook, which is the entrance to the Fall of Lantern Hook instance.

Underground pool in a desert? Surely not a Dune reference.

Once the four of us were there, Jolly jumped in the water and we all got prompted to join him in the instance.  This made me wonder if it was really necessary for all of us to get out to Lantern Hook or not.  What is the range on that “join instance” message?  Do you have to be close by, or can you get pulled in from another zone?

Anyway, we were in and set about clearing out the groups around the pool within the instance.  There we started figuring out how to play our classes.  Earl went with the Hoplite warrior spec, Zahi the Glacial Priest cleric spec, Jolly the with some sort of elemental mage spec, and Hillmar was the Flame Keeper cleric spec.  It was up to us to make them work together.

We started off pretty well.  Compared to last week, if was nice to have, as we say, the man in the can out in front.  Earl has been our tank for six years now.  And he seemed to be getting the basics of his spec.

I just followed what the Flame Keeper guide told me to do.  Rather than doing a lot of healing, the Flame Keeper gets a lot of protection wards with some healing on the side. Zahi was able to both deal out damage while tossing out some heal over time spells.  And Jolly and his minion we working on the mage thing.

We cleared the initial room, let Earl grab the quests (the rest of us had them from our last round) and went off to go slay the first named guy.  Then it was up the tunnel to the room of doom.

We’ve died here before

We were at the point where we wiped multiple times previously.  We wiped because we accidentally pulled half the room… and there are a lot of mobs in the room.  So it was up to Earl to pull carefully.

And he pulled half the room.

Only, much to our surprise, we lived.

So he pulled the other half of the room, and we managed to power through that as well.

There were a couple of aggro containment issues, and Zahi died once, though I was able to get off my combat ress and bring him back mid fight.  But for the most part, a situation that was a wipe-fest last time turned into a manageable event.

As the healer especially, I went from struggling to keep hit points up on the tank while getting off a heal now and again to the part members taking damage to maintaining wards on the group with a very deep hit point buffer behind them.  And while I have a few straight out heals still, I also have wards that including a healing component.

We cleared the room and knocked off Rorf and his pets, then started in on the room of the Pyromaster.  You can see in this screen shot, the wards on people, represented by a new UI element, the aqua blue bars surrounding the health bar.

Wards on the whole group

Essentially, with the wards, I end up as a healer working with a group with health pools that are effectively a lot bigger than they were pre-patch 1.11.

Add in Zahi, whose spec includes some heal of time spells that he can throw around to backstop my wards and healing ceased to become an issue.  People only died when I wasn’t keeping close enough attention, which is something that tends to happen to me and my own hit points.

And this was with a new spec where I kept having to mouse over skills to remember what they did.  I suspect healing will be even more effective once I figure out what the heck I am doing.  Meanwhile, my mana bar appeared to be locked in the full position no matter how much healing I had to do.  So going after groups of mobs in the instance became no big deal.

Break up this cock fighting ring? Leave everything to me!

We did have a wipe at the Pyromaster himself.  That fight involves running all over and keeping line of site.  But after the wipe we were able to keep ourselves together and out of the pillars of fire that the Pyromaster throws around long enough to bring him down.

View from the Pyromaster’s balcony

So it was a matter of pulling and killing until we got to the final boss, Emberlord Eeretu.

Yeah, sure, everything was going smoothly up to this point, but we managed to get this far last time just fumbling around and lacking our regular tank.  This was the real deal, the final battle, the big enchilada.

We reviewed our past mistakes on this battle.  We tried to formulate a strategy which could be summed up as, “try to kite him, stay out of his flavor crystals, don’t die.”  Then we piled into the room and had at him.

And we won on the first try.

The Emberlord’s Final Words…

The fight wasn’t without its drama.  I had to focus on healing more so than in any past fight in the instance, and I had to toss out heals all around, including to myself, while staying out of the flavor crystals of death.  But we knocked him out, nobody died, and as I mentioned before, look at my mana bar.

There was no end of fight screen shot because at the exact spot where I am standing in that picture, an exit portal for the instance opens up to let the group out without having to schlep back to the start.  However, it activates on contact, and so it opened up and swallowed me whole.   Our end of instance pick had to be back where we started.

Still not a Dune reference

As for our post-instance summary… well, it sure seemed to go our way, and we were done in a little over an hour.  All with a group 20% short on staff.

The new specs seem to be somewhat over powered relative to their pre-patch 1.11 predecessors.

My mana usage was miniscule and most of my big spells seemed to be instant cast. (Which would make Syp happy I guess.)  With backup healing from Zahi and Earl’s tanking, any deaths were purely errors on our part and no the result of content being too tough.

Of course, that sort of thing has happened to us before.  When we were finding old world instances too easy in post-Cataclysm WoW… we were doing two and three in an evening no problem… one of the things people brought up in the comments was that the talent tree abilities had all been upgraded to focus on level 80-85 content, and were thus over-powered for the sub-60 content we were running.

So I have to wonder if we are seeing the same thing before Storm Legion.  Will the soul rework for the expansion trivialize all of the 1-50 content?

Of course, there are other factors.

For example, Hillmar was mentored down from level 48, and mentoring is clearly imperfect, so I could have been feeling much more powerful because of that.

And then there is the fact that, as a group, we have been doing this for a while.  We were running the Deadmines and as a group six years ago.

I have been doing group based content with roles since at least 1993 when I started playing TorilMUD.  So there is a certain level of competence that comes from simple repetition, pretty much despite myself.  Sometimes I need to be reminded that a lot of this stuff in learned behavior and can confound people who are very competent in other games, but do not have the same gaming background as I do.

I suppose we shall see how things go when we facing the final three instances before Storm Legion.  The Fall of Lantern Hook might have just been an easy instance.

The remaining three instances are flagged as levels 48-50 in the dungeon tool.  We plan to go after them at whatever level we happen to be when the time comes by just traveling.  The overland ride will do us good and we will probably get a better idea of how our respective specs play.

Comments»

1. SynCaine - November 1, 2012

One thing to keep in mind is that, at some point (patch 1.2?) Trion made the initial dungeons very easy compared to their release versions (I’ve heard this story before…), and only later re-added the ‘correct’ difficulty as Heroic or whatever they call it.

Or maybe I’m thinking of the nerf to the old heroics (the lvl 50 versions) going faceroll, and then super heroic mode being added… So many nerfs, so little time.

Anyway you guys finishing an instance at level with only 4 smacks of easymode, no matter how leet you have all become at dungeon running :)

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2. pkudude99 - November 1, 2012

You finally switched your group view to raid frames! Good on ya!

Glad to see what you were able to do. I’ve no idea how any of the specs work anymore. I read through the cleric patch notes (since my main was a cleric back in the day) and it did read like a brand new game. Much bigger update than the SWG CU or EQ2’s infamous GU13. I do plan to come back to Rift once the expansion drops in a couple of weeks, so it’ll be interesting to learn how to play all over again.

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3. bhagpuss - November 1, 2012

I’m actually glad I haven’t been playing much and not at all at high level for a long while. I’m hoping it’s going to make re-learning everything less of a trial. Going on past experience though, Trion will almost certainly be handing out further complete soul respecs right and left for months as they continue their futile and fruitless attempt to bring “balance”.

I really hate balance.

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4. Wilhelm Arcturus - November 1, 2012

@SynCaine – It was certainly something. Pre-patch we were able to crawl through with great difficulty only to be defeated utterly by the final boss as a group of four. That was a bit of a raised eyebrow to me. But to return post-patch and roll though like we did with four… a different four albeit, but still just four? It would have gotten an easy mode rating if we had done it that quickly with five.

@pkudude99 – Well, the raid frames were accidental. I invited people to the group while standing in the middle of Meridian, which has an even going on right now. The group was flagged public and some people joined, forcing it to become a raid. Later, we moved out and I kicked those people, but didn’t bother to reset the group.

It did make things easier, as I was staring at the buttons a lot, to move the group frame down where it was always in my line of sight.

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5. Vatec - November 1, 2012

IMO, “normal” Fall of Lantern Hook has always been one of the easier instances, with the exception of the DPS race final boss (DPS race because the crystals never go away and eventually you run out of room). The new combat mechanics do seem to yield much higher average DPS now as well, which probably contributed a bit to the steamroll.

In any case, many MMO’s have followed this same approach: when a new level cap arrives, nerf the earlier content so new/returning players can catch up and play endgame with their friends. I was hoping Trion wouldn’t jump on that particular bandwagon, but I guess I can’t blame them for sticking to methods that have proven at least moderately successful in the past….

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6. Liore - November 2, 2012

Yes, teleports to a dungeon or raid when a party member enters will apply to folks in other zones! It’s super handy.

I’m not sure that the dungeons have been nerfed recently, but it makes sense that the new specs improved the existing characters, or at least I feel a lot stronger now. I’ve noticed too that while mentoring down does change one’s effective power level, you still end up overpowered in comparison to “real” low level characters.

Is Flame Keeper a Purifier build? (I could look this up when I get home, but I’m lazy.) The new Warden tree is amazing and fun, but I covet those Purifier shields so I’m going to have to break down and learn a second healing spec.

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7. Wilhelm Arcturus - November 2, 2012

@Liore – I put up screen shots here of the Flame Keeper pre-set soul mix both before and after patch 1.11. Purifier heavy build, yes.

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8. Drebin - November 2, 2012

Apropos of nothing at all in this thread…

WoT’s 8.1 patch is live. Golden Joystick Award netted us a bonus code: GGWP (all caps, just GGWP)

3 days of premium + some tank munchables (lunchables?).

Weekend’s a x5 exp booster period, with a bunch of discounts (which for the casual player means little, I would think, save the increased rate of gain towards your new module and/or tank).

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9. seanas - November 3, 2012

re: the reduced difficulty of dungeons, etc (and the increased healing in pvp, and the reduced difficulty of open-world mobs, neither of which you referenced but which also happened in 1.11), a Dev post on the beta forums (its open beta this weekend, I’m allowed to post it :) ) said:

“The values that we set [for AOE healing] and that went out with 1.11 were simply too high based on additional testing.”

the power of AoE healing in particular – what your off-healer was throwing around mostly, and via the Life-Giving Veil that they would have had active – but also what Purifier gets deep in the Purifier tree (Gathering of the Ancestors, from memory) – is significantly reduced in the current Storm Legion beta test.

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