We seem to have a pattern here with the Saturday night instance group, with only four of us showing up at any given time. Real life will get in the way. This time it was Jolly who had to take the night off. That left us with these four:
- Zahihawass level 44 cleric
- Gizalia level 46 mage
- Earlthecat level 50 warrior
- Hillmar level 50 cleric
Earl was in the Sandy destruction zone and had been without power from the utility company for a full week by the time Saturday rolled around. Being in a somewhat rural location that loses power regularly, and dependent on electricity to pump water water, he was well supplied with a generator, propane, and propane accessories, though there was some concern about the propane supplier coming by to refill his tank after a week’s worth of power generation.
He also still had an internet connection and a pile of free time on his hands, so he dove into Rift and got two of his characters up to level 50. I followed suit on Friday afternoon, though I only had to get about a level and a half to hit the cap, while Earl had six levels to go.
The current Storm Legion pre-launch event going on in Meridian was a big help in that regard. It is essentially an instant adventure series running right there in town, so no travel is required. Sort of instant instant adventure. The experience is generous and when the “Defend Meridian” event hits, the planarite shows up in health amounts. I think I exceeded 1K planarite every time that came up, even though most times that quest failed.
Anyway, Earl and I got there because the last three instances were listed in the LFG tool as being for levels 48-50. We weren’t going to put them off if we were not all at that level, but felt it was probably a good idea to get somebody in that range.
As for which instance we would go after… that choice got made by simply going in alphabetically order. So it was to be Abyssal Precipice first, then Caduceus Rise, and then Charmer’s Caldera.
As it was, we were not all in the level 48-50 range, so the LFG tool wasn’t going to transport us there. To get ready, I ran out to Iron Pine Peak, where AP is located, and scouted the path to the entrance.
Having found that, once we all got online that evening, I ran out and entered the instance which, in turn, pulled everybody else to me.
More after the cut. Spoilers, pictures, the usual.
Inside we found more snow, a couple of quests, the usual list of bosses to eliminate, and a group of level 50 hostiles just down the path. While they were in an uncomfortably large group, given our size and level range, we went in after them.
And we did well enough. Earl got in there and held aggro, I kept everybody alive, and the bad guys melted away. We managed to keep that up until we found our way to the first boss, Kaler Andrenos.
We ran in after him and the fight started okay. Then he did a quick cast that killed Zahi with a big spike of ice followed by a long wind that knock Giz out as well. I did my combat ress to get Giz back in the fight, but this one-two punch came again and soon it was just Earl still standing.
We tried to take what we learned… which was watch out for that big ice spike… and tried again. And again.
No luck, more wipes.
Three tries and it was time for a bit of research. I went to the Rift Junkies entry on the instance and read up on our formidable friend Kaler.
The entry there said that Kaler first casts his ice spike, which should not be fatal unless your healer sucks (oof), followed by a long wind up for an insta-kill spell. The key, it seemed, was to hide behind the giant spike of ice, which would protect you from the insta-kill spell. Once he was done with that, jump back out and resume the fight, repeating as necessary.
Sounded simple enough!
So we got out there, kept ourselves in a reasonably tight group, and invited Kaler to the party.
And the advice worked. Kaler hit me with his ice spike, and while I took damage, I survived. We all ran around behind it, putting the ice between Kaler and us as he did his big wind up for the killing blow. That went off and we were all still alive. And then we ran back out and brought the fight to him again.
This was actually going to be easy.
And then the next ice spike one-shotted Giz. Oh, and not only did it one-shot her, it left no ice behind, so there was nothing to hide behind and so while we scrambled for cover, the killer cast went off and caught me. Then Zahi went down.
Earl, however, hung in there for a while using his big self heal, potions, and a lot of running and hiding. He lasted so long that I just revived outside the instance, ran back in, buffed up again, ran out to Kaler and managed to get a heal off on Earl before the big one-shot kill caught him in the open.
Then it was me alone with Kale. I started running around a big rock that sticks up from the ground near where the fight starts. That seemed like enough to break line of sight and keep me alive for a bit. Earl got back just as the ice spike caught me before I could heal up and killed me.
Earl then carried on the dance while everybody released to try and get back and finish the fight. Earl was low on health when he started and died before we could get back and engage. Kaler, who was down to about 40% health reset and resumed his vigil in the snow.
Still, we seemed to be making progress.
Zahi went out and did a bit more research and found the suggestion that we fight Kaler at the mouth of the cave, which is off to the right in that first picture of Kaler, but which we had not really noticed up until that point. The directions were very specific, to fight him at the mouth, and not in the mouth, so that we could run around the edges to break line of sight when the big killing spell was coming.
So we tried that and wiped. Basically, it seemed to help us break line of sight with the healer quite effectively, but people were dying all over just the same.
We tried a couple of variations but were not successful. So we reviewed what we had learned so far.
Kaler’s ice spike thing wasn’t always leaving a spike for us to shelter behind.
The ice spike was, however, one shot killing Zahi and Giz every single time. This was probably because of their level. Rift is very punishing if you are only a few levels below a mob, and the combat log showed them taking a lot more damage from the ice spike that Earl and Hillmar.
Earl and Hillmar seemed to be able to, if they kept focused, stay alive for an almost indefinite period of time.
Our best fight with Kaler so far was the dance around the big rock.
So we decided to go back to the big rock and fight there, with Earl and Hillmar working primarily on staying alive while Zahi and Giz died a lot.
And it worked. Poor Giz and Zahi died a lot, sometimes releasing and running back just in time to get one-shotted by the ice spike again. But Earl and I managed to keep alive and together most of the time. We seemed to run opposite ways around the big rock nearly every time, but one we decided to just meet at the point opposite Kaler, it began to go more smoothly. Earl and I were never in danger and it seemed like we could have slowly killed him ourselves if we had wanted to. Giz and Zahi sped things up when they were alive, and together we whittled away at his health until he finally went down.
A solid win. The first boss down.
We picked up the quest item that Kaler was guarding, cleared out some more trash that was behind his spot, and moaned about all the harvestable items that were scattered about. None of us had the skills to harvest, but some of us were close. They all required 250 and my skills were in the mid-240s. Next time.
All of this took quite a chunk of time. Giz was getting tired and it seemed clear as a group with only two people in the right level range that we were not going to finish things up. So she bowed out for the evening. The three of us decided to at least push on to the next boss. That lead us through the ice caves.
Again, the trash mobs, even being level 50 elites, were no problem for us. I think the Storm Legion soul revamp might be coming into play here. Hillmar was able to keep people healed, do some DPS, and never once worried about mana. So we made it through to the next boss, Majolic the Bloodwalker.
Majolic started off as a pretty normal fight. He seemed to be going down pretty fast, which of course meant that he had a surprise or two in store for us. Indeed, Majolic turns into some horrific ghost model of the human circulatory system.
This is the main part of the fight. In this form he will hit the group with damage over time infections that need to be cured along with a trap that puts one of the group in a blood crystal that you need to stay away from and have your DPS destroy to save the person who is trapped. Only with three people, and the blood crystal always hitting Zahi, our only DPS, there just wasn’t enough of us to go around. After a couple of tries, we decided to call it a night.
It seems that if we got the full group together and most of us into the right level range, we could make it to the final boss to see what we was about. However, with only one Saturday night left between now and the Storm Legion launch next week, we might not all be able to get into that level range.
And after Storm Legion I suspect that we will see more changes that will make normal mode dungeons even easier, plus I will start to level up again since I have already pre-purchased.
So it looks like we have one more pre-Storm Legion shot. We have to decide where we want to go. Should we return to Abyssal Precipice? Or should we give either Caduceus Rise or Charmer’s Caldera a try?