The previous week’s run into the Realm of the Fae was clearly a warm-up, a test to see how we would operate as a group.
And, as with any good test run, deficiencies were found. They ranged from not having the right specs (nobody was a tank in the game’s opinion) to just getting adjusted to the game itself.
This past Saturday we went in with an updated and upgraded force. We forged our spirits in the traditions of our ancestors and ended up with:
- Jollyreaper level 16 mage
- Earlthecat level 16 warrior
- Hakawati level 17 rogue
- Hillmar level 18 cleric
- Gizalia level 19 mage
Ephemara the rogue was traded our for Gizalia the mage, while Earl and Hillmar both worked on refining their talent point allocation. While we were also a couple of levels up, most of us were still at the low end of the level requirement for the instance.
As we tried to enter the dungeon, we were tripped up once more.
Apparently even one unspent point is too many. And since this runs long again, more after the cut…
We decided to go the random dungeon route. This would give us a little extra money and a prize if we succeeded and wasn’t much of a risk because our group only met the requirements for Realm of the Fae in any case.
In we went and, after a bit of warming up, we managed to get to about where we left off last week. In almost an exact repeat of our last fight with Trickster Maelow, we defeated him but Earl died at the last moment. Maelow seems to have a pre-death burst of DPS that overwhelmed my healing which, up to that point, was mostly over-healing.
Fortunately, just Earl died and he takes it as the cross a tank has to bear some times.
The death of Maelow opens up the next area in the instance, which we began to note followed the seasons. Maelow as spring, while summer turned out to be represented by a big lizard named Luggodhan.
Despite being in the middle of a knee-deep pond, he turned out to be easily susceptible to direct assault. There he is, get him.
After each boss there also seems to be a “safe haven” area where you can rest and recuperate. It isn’t necessarily a feature I endorse… my paranoia always has me on the lookout for a trap… but it gives you a little seasonally themed area in which to go AFK for drink refills.
Moving into the Autumn area of the realm turned into a bit of a challenge. Beyond the hedge that divides it from the earlier sections of the instance there were groups of non-elite mobs, additional groups of 2-3 elite mobs, and wandering elite mobs, just to add a bit of spice.
We had, to that point, been pretty much following the road. But here the road lead straight up the middle of, and within aggro range, of these various groups, in addition to being the route traveled by various wanderers.
The mild chaos of this area was born out on our first pull where, due to mistakes, we got a group of non-elites, three more elites that were standing on the far side of them, and then a wanderer. I had not marked any of them for killing order and we ended up with a wipe where we all died by killed relatively few mobs in return as we were not focused as a group.
Once we got ourselves back together, we decided to give the road a miss and follow the hedge off the right. That appeared to bypass a fairly substantial number of mobs on our way to the next boss. I was actually somewhat surprised that we could work our way around them. General practice in other games has tended to be along the lines of, “we put all those mobs in for you to kill, so we’re going to bottle neck you into doing so.”
Here though, we skipped most of the Autumnal mob.
It was not all easy. We still found ourselves constrained in movement along the way, where standing back to cast could (and did) draw adds. We did not wipe again, but a couple of the group went down when they attracted the attention of wanderers.
All of which lead us to the next boss, Battlemaster Atrophinius. Like Trickster Maelow, he had two helpers with him, so we ran the same routine as before. It seemed to work for us and we all survived the battle.
Oddly, being the healer and standing back a bit, I only got the alert announcing the “discovery” of the Battlemaster (who had been shouting things now and again up to that point) after we defeated him.
That was the third boss down. Now it was on to the winter segment of the instance.
Atmospherically, the change to winter was the most drastic. I barely noticed the transition from spring to summer, and summer to autumn was a palette swap. But winter, which I heard was coming, was a change.
Of course, there was snow.
And then there was the fog.
It was difficult to see very far in the fog. In fact initially I was disturbed by how close the wall of fog seemed to close in before my character. Then I scrolled the camera in to first person view and saw that it wasn’t all that bad. It was just relative to my point of view, the camera’s placement. One of the oddities of such games.
There were not that many creatures between us and the final boss. Winter is a sparse land, and soon the map indicated that we were close to the end.
We made out way down the last jut of land, squinting through the fog, looking for the last boss, Fae Lord Twyl.
Edging in too close triggered the beginning of the event that marks the final battle in the Realm of the Fae. We had to fight our way through representatives of spring, summer, and autumn again, before facing the Fae Lord.
However, starting somewhat unprepared, the first three battles broke us up, spread us out, and got a couple of us killed before we finally got to Fae Lord Twyl. He handily defeated the remains of our group.
We reassembled just out of range of where we seemed to trigger the event the last time, made a plan to stick close to help with aggro management, buffed up every last bit we could (mid-battle, I counted 19 effects on Earl including my two heal over time spells), and then plunged in, ready to take on the whole event again.
But it turned out that if you make it through to Fae Lord Twyl, you only have to face him again. And while I would not call the fight with him easy… I was very busy healing… then end was never really in doubt.
There was then loot from Twyl, loot from completing the instance quest, loot from completing a random dungeon, and probably some other loot I am forgetting. We seemed to pick up a lot of nice stuff there at the end, once we figured out where it was hiding. That diamond at the top of the screen, for example, held two of our loot bags.
And so we completed our first instance in Rift.
As part of the post instance round up, Earl went back to researching his souls. His build for the night was a bit shallow in aggro management, having just one big one with a long cool down. He was on the next day working out with a new build that gave him more options in that regard.
Next time out we will be ready for the Iron Tomb instance which, among other things, is a short walk from Meridian.