Having been given the quest to go visit the Amrine Excavation by Yonas the hermit once we had all obtained the Azoth Staff, and with a bit more time left in the afternoon, we decided to give it a try. What was the worst that could happen, right? So off we went to the first dungeon in New World.
It is just a short ways northeast of Windsward, our current base of operations, so we quickly found ourselves at the front door.
We were going in completely blind. We had not read anything about the place and we had barely begun to work out how to fight as a group. All we really knew was that you had to have at least three people to enter (we had four), that the recommended level was 25 (three of us were there, with Mudstone at 23), and that you needed an Amrine Tuning Orb to get in. We all had one of those and were careful to have just one of us expend theirs to get us in the door.
Our party, such that it was:
- Stannislav – level 25 sword/shield and great axe
- Ulalu – level 25 fire staff and ice gauntlet
- Oswald – level 25 healing staff and musket
- Mudstone – level 23 hatchet and great axe
In we went.
One of the first things we discovered was that there was a map for the place, which felt pretty handy after more than 18 months of mucking around in WoW Classic without that sort of thing.
The place looked very good. Like most of the game it is graphically pleasing.
The first few fights went pretty quick. We were able to figure out the mob difficulty ranking by the name plates pretty fast. The first problem we had was when we pulled a group of three trash mobs that were huddled around what looked like a trash heap, only to find more and more coming at us as we killed them.
It dawned on us that the trash heap must be an entity and was spawning fresh mobs while we stood back and fought them. The new tactic for that became fighting on the trash heap, which has a health bar, with Mudstone and I swinging our great axes to chop up the mobs and the trash heap at the same time.
We worked our way forward to the first seal in the instance, which nicely marked itself on the map as we approached. Before it lay the first named mob, the Tainted Tanner, who we managed to take down on the second try. We ran in to fight the trash around the seal and he spawned and the combined group mowed us down.
On the second try we found we could pull the ads around him and solo them, allowing us to go face him alone.
We brought him down and opened the seal on the door, which you can see in the left of the screen shot above.
There was a bit of trash to clear on getting into the next area, which opened up into a choice of directions.
Off to the right there was a mob that we clearly needed to slay because he had the “I am a quest objective” marker over his head.
This is where our test run almost ended. We ran in to fight him and… well… he beat the crap out of us rather quickly and soundly. Our first run at him wasn’t even close. Nor was our second. We got a little bit better on the third run, but not far enough along to really be sure our being better wasn’t just accidental.
Some of the problem was getting used to the dynamic combat. Moving around and using the various skills is something we’re all still getting used to. You have to aim like an FPS and keep your target reticule on the bad, which can be a challenge even when the mob you’re fighting is big and standing half a step from you. This isn’t WoW.
It also doesn’t help that the UI isn’t always as responsive as one might expect. I had a number of cases where I hit 4 to use a health potion and I could see the slot on my UI react with a slight flash, but then the potion didn’t get consumed. I had to pound the 4 key a number of times to get a heal off. So far as I could tell I wasn’t stunned or otherwise engaged in another action. The UI just needs to sit and think on things at times, which I noticed with my combat skills as well. Once again, this isn’t WoW, because the WoW client is never that bad.
But we were clearly lacking some oomph to get past this guy. I went in and used a free skill respec I had for sword and shield skills and put everything into shield and defense. I had initially put some points in sword attacks, but that was clearly not needed.
Oswald also did a respec on his life staff skills looking for a better set of options. One or both of those changes seemed to help because we were able to knock down the ravager on the fourth try without nearly as much drama.
We made our way along and ended up at a dead end, a gap, with the instruction to do something to deploy the bridge. I ran back to an Ancient Azoth Seal and clicked on that, which seemed to activate something.
It also spawned some more mobs, which was about par for the course.
We cleared those then looked around. The bridge wasn’t up yet, but there was a big circle on the floor further up with four glowing orbs around it. Standing on the middle of it caused it to activate. However, it did not deploy the bridge either. Then we recalled that we had passed two more similar circles along the way, which had said they were locked when we stood on them previously.
Clearly we needed one person to stand on each to activate the bridge, which totally worked. It also spawned some mobs at each of the circles and we were all spread out. Somehow we survived that by running back together. But now the we could cross the bridge. On the far side of the bridge was Safety Officer Richards and a few trash mobs.
I was able to equip my musket and pull the trash mobs solo to us, where we chopped them up. The it was the turn of Safety Officer Richards. I stood on the bridge and pulled him, which turned out to be a bit of an error.
Things started out okay, but in the dance of the fight there on the bridge, I ended up with my back to the edge and had Richard pounding on my shield, knocking me back. To the games credit, I twice went over the edge, my character grabbing it before he fell, then pulling himself back up onto the bridge to keep fighting. That was pretty damn cool to see.
And then I was knocked back a third time, too far, and went over the edge, into a pool of water below. I ran… what other speed to we move at in this game… back up some stairs and around the platform, back to the bridge to rejoin the fight.
We managed to win, though Mudstone went down while I was mucking around and trying to get back. We revived him and pushed on, finding ourselves at a glowing object that said it was our new spawn point. No more running back from the start of the instance.
We quickly figured out that the spawn point was an indication that we were headed into a big fight.
There was another open area with a spectral shrine in the middle. On activating that Foreman Nakashima appears and began kicking our asses all over the room. It was a bad fight and I honestly have no idea what was going on most of the time.
However, when we died and released, we ended up at the new respawn point, which was a quick run from the fight, so we just came back and got stuck back into things. I am pretty sure all of us died at least three times, but we kept coming back quickly enough that the fight never ended so Nakashima never reset. Through that we were able to whittle him down and defeat him.
At this point repairs were starting to become a bit of a problem. I ran out of repair parts and just salvaged everything in my inventory to keep my gear in shape. Some of us went paper doll with gear and had to apply repairs judiciously in order to keep critical items intact.
Beyond Nakashima there were some more trash mobs to fight through, then we hit another respawn point, beyond which was another door to open.
On the map that appeared to be the final boss. We had made it to the last room of the instance.
Of course, making it to the final room and actually defeating the final boss… two very different things. We wandered into the room to look around.
Something we did activated him and suddenly it was on an we were dead.
And, unlike the Nakashima fight, a door closed behind us when the boss started in on us, so there was no running back to derp him through multiple deaths. You have to get him on the first go.
But we died some quickly… a second and a third time… that we were clearly not up for it. We decided to call it a day there, having made it further than we might have expected. We took a group picture at the final spawn point.
We clearly have some research to do before we’re ready to give it another run. Oswald has already respec’d once more to tune up his healing. I need to read up on the tank role to make sure I have the right skills. And a level or two probably wouldn’t go amiss.