Ah, the Nektulos Forest stage, my favorite. I like this one because it used to actually be a challenge just to run it in the time limit. I have done it in the past on a fast horse or with SoW. Even with that, you still need a rogue class to evac you to the last step, and you only have seconds to spare at the end, and only if you have really optimized your path along the way. Following the road wouldn’t do it. A nice tight race, even when all the mobs in the zone are grey.
I thought this would be a good deal of fun with Blintz, my fae swashbuckler.
In Nektulos Forest you start at the gate to the Commonlands. Off to the north the gate stands Stro D’Proi, who should have a big quest indicator icon over his head if you are ready to go for this stage.
This is another route I have run a few times, because it can be such a tight race. But I figured that with pathfinding, a good drink going to keep my power up for sprints, fae glide, and my experience, I could make it no problem.
So I spoke to Stro and started the clock. 15 minutes. I seem to recall the time limit being less than that before, but I wasn’t going to argue, I was going to run.
I took the traditional path, straight north from Stro, not bothering to cross the bridge, and along the bank of the river. (To this day I think the river in Nektulos Forest is cool looking and I always think it is going to wash me away when I jump in!) Once the bank began to angle off and I could see the island, I did my first fae jump and glide of the race, making it a decent way over the river before splashing in to swim to the island. The first stop, Behemoth Pond, is in the center of the island. I got my update at the south tip of the pond as I did a jump/glide over the water. Then I headed across the rest of the island, jumped out over the river again, and headed for the far bank. I do not bother with the log bridges, preferring the direct route and my glide.
When I hit the far bank I started making my first error of the run. I crossed the road, trying to cut off the unnecessary turns and ended up angled a little too far off to the east, so about at the D’Abbth Bridge, I caught sight of the road headed east and began to follow it, rather than the road headed north. It was a good thing I glanced at the compass. I immediately turned around and headed back for the right road, the one north to N’Marr’s Ascent.
I thought at this point I had blown it. This much of a mistake has been enough to blow a run in the past. Still, you cannot reset the timer, so I could not restart the run for another 12 minutes, so I decided to press on for practice at least.
I got on a regular routine of sprinting out my power, then letting it build back up, in a constant cycle that did not waste any power build regen. I hit N’Marr’s Ascent and headed up. At the top I cut hard right and ran behind the rock before crossing the road and angling to cross the river well north of the bridge.
Fae glide for the win! I got to the river, jumped, and cleared it with ease.
I found that I had not angled north as far as I could have for Gargoyle Gorge, the next checkpoint on the run. More time lost through inefficiency. And I compounded this by following the road when I should have cut across a couple of loops. Oh well, I got the update and pressed on to Nektropos Castle.
Nektropos Castle is easy. Run up the gorge, head straight for the front door. As soon as you get the update, about face and run back.
Back down through the gorge I managed to hit the maximum efficiency path, jump the river, and make it across to N’Marr’s Ascent without straying.
And once I got the N’Marr’s Ascent, I got to have more fae fun! I got to jump off!
I headed off the side, then I slipped my rudder a bit to bring myself in for a landing about half way down the lowest ramp up to the Ascent. Then I was looking for that optimum path through the trees and to the D’Abbth Bridge. I am not sure I did very well, I kept having to adjust a bit, but when I hit the bridge I knew I had enough time left to finish. I got that update and headed to the port.
The run to Port Naythex was easy. This is one segment where I remembered the straight path through. I ran along, hit the gorge to the beach, sprinted through, ran straight out and at the big rock until I got the update, then hit the escape button.
The zone loaded up and I headed down the J’Rais bridge for the last update and made the classic mistake. This is only update point that I can think of where the point where you get the message for the location is different from the point where you get the update for the quest. You must always run all the way down the J’Rais bridge at the end to ensure you get the update.
I stopped and turned around when I saw the location message show up, then noticed the clock was still running! So I turned back and headed down the bridge again, all the way, until the quest updated.
I had made it.
Heck, I had more than made it, there was 2:38 left on the clock when I got the final update. They must have added more time to this run while I was away. The mistakes I made would have hosed a run in the old days. Even with my mighty fae glide, I could not have been that far ahead. I could have gotten away with taking the griffon from the port to the Commonlands station with the time I had left, no evac required.
Can anybody confirm if the time limit on this run was upped from, say, 12 minutes to 15? It sure feels like it to me.
Anyway, I trotted back up to Stro, turned in the quest and got the reward, the Runner’s Ring.
Now the next stop is Zek, one of my favorite zones in general, and one that is going to make for a fun run I bet!