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Ascalonian Catacombs story mode

Dungeon PvE Instance Instanced area

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#1 Lurky

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:10 PM

Hi there Guru,

since more people had a chance to play through the ACs sm last BWE I wanted to make a thread to discus the dungeon and share experience with others.

As I was the only melee in the pug and it felt very hard to stay alive even though I brought heavy control abilities, I had a hard time. My entire group was pure range and I was pure melee. Throwing boulders helped sometimes but those didnt feel effective. So I decided to buff, remove conditions and plant banners while I needed a break waiting for my heal to pop.

Encounter with multiple ascalonian elementalists or ranger were harder than boss encounter due to the heavy damage of the elementalists and the spiketraps of the rangers. One encounter particularly, before ranger master nente, where you engage three ascalonian ranger. We killed one, wiped and then killed the other two. This encounter was especially difficult because the last waypoint was way back. The ascalonian necros were no problem due to my condition removal for the whole group.

So talking about the bosses,

- the melee captain in the coffin was very easy because you could simply cc him like crazy and had the starting waypoint right behind you.

- the ranged captain in the trap room was also very easy once you know how to get across the traps and pull the chain disabling the traps. She was particular easy to me because she was also attacking the ranged players in my group giving me some time catch some breath.

- the fire trap room. We just run thru.

- the mausoleum, a captain + 15 minor ghosts was the hardest encounter imo. The last waypoint was far behind and I wasnt able to deal with all those minor ghosts well. I could rally a few times on the weak ghosts but we always had to retreat back down the stairs. First chest after that fight.

- Master Nente was just easy, despite being far away from the last waypoint. Don't bother with his wolf, he will just resummon him. If you are melee you can walk up his rock over a wooden bar and beat the shit out of him. Second chest and a new waypoint, which makes the rest of the dungeon far easier.

- Ralena and Vassar. Here we died a lot. After two or three people of my group died I just tryed to stay alive. After some time they joined up together and we couldnt separate them again but managed to give ralena the rest. Vassar was easy cake after that. I've been told that Vassar does AoE damage but I'm sure other can comment on this bossfight better than me.

- Kasha Blackblood was also easy peasy. I popped "shake it off", against conditions, at the right time and other than a few adds there is nothing to mention.

- King Adelbern. Don't stand in the blue fire. And if you do, the waypoint is 5sec away. The waypoint killed any difficulty of this bossfight. Here is your helmet, thx, bye.

The chest rewards were disapointing and I'm no fan of the waypoint system in the dungeon.
I would prefer a door somewhere between the area of the boss and the last waypoint that closes for the time the bossfight is in motion. I want to mention that we would not have made it through the dungeon without the ability to rejoin the battle. But that isnt a bad thing.

As events, I encountered the cavetroll and the slik (iirc) nest. I can confirm that the troll is hostile to ascalonian ghosts.

Edited by Lurky, 14 June 2012 - 12:12 PM.


#2 grey_foxx082

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:27 PM

The trash seem to be tougher fights than bosses, in my experience.  As for melee difficulty, it really depends on the group you're running with.  I didn't seem to have any more difficulty playing as melee, but that's because I don't charge in.  I let mobs pick their targets, and support the ones that need supporting.  I'm also defensive/control/support build warrior.  People also seem to think that downing the monk fast is the best strategy.  In my experience, controlling the monk while downing the ele worked better all the time.

For Ralena and Vassar, people need to spread out in this fight at the start, and see who's being targeted.  Those being targeted need to hide behind some cover, like the rocks on top of the bleachers, so the bosses get LOS pulled in separate locations.  Make sure not to LOS pull both in the same location (duh!).  Kiting Vassar is very easy, so whoever has his aggro needs to just kite him (just running around a rock with Vassar chasing you is usually enough), while everyone focus fire on Ralena, who goes down much faster.  They both throw down AoE, but those are easy to spot and dodge.

The waypoint close to the Adelbern fight kinda makes having a gameplan pointless, and the fight cheap.

#3 ShezuTsukai

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:00 PM

I thought I'd snipe the Necro boss from the ledge and got caught in the blue fire. Run back lol. After that we combo'ed tons of aoe's and she and her minions went down fast.

The pair was tough until we lured the ele in between the doors. Separating them then using daze/interrupts on the ele was key. The Mes died in a quarter the time.

The king fight has an epic look and feel but loses the appocolyptic feel because the near res point. Don't get me wrong without the points the dungeon would be near impossible. Maybe explore mode there should be fewer points.

But I truly loved the dungeon and can't wait to do more. The necessary teamwork aspect makes this game.

BTW we did AC with only 4: Mes, Eng, Rang and my Thief. Would have been impossible if not for the npc's. Although Ritlock running in and aggroing the world got old.

#4 Klaleara

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:55 PM

View PostLurky, on 14 June 2012 - 12:10 PM, said:

The chest rewards were disapointing and I'm no fan of the waypoint system in the dungeon.

I sadfaced at this.  Seems to be like that EVERYWHERE

#5 Falcon07

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 01:58 PM

wow....all i can say is that they need to stop letting this graveyard rushing bs. if it stays this way i'm going to be seriously disappointed in this game. who the hell wants to play a game where you can just keep dying and runnign righ tback to the boss. f'ing crap if you ask me.

#6 Lurky

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:07 PM

I expected the waypoints as a hot topic.

As it is right now, jumping back into the fight after you died feels like cheating the fight to me. But for the difficulty of the ACs sm as the first dungeon you have to do it.

Story mode is supposed to be doable for pugs and I tell you, after having done the dungeons with an unexperienced pug, you will not finish the dungeon without rezzing at the nearest waypoint and jumping back into the fight.

Rezzing dead party member takes very long and is not an option, imo.

#7 lolabunnie

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 02:38 PM

I think the waypoints are necessary with the dungeons current difficulty. If they were to remove them or make them farther apart, I think they'd have to make adjustments accordingly. Personally, I didn't feel like it was cheating - I thought the trash mobs were cheating Lol. Screw the monk, we went after the rangers and ele's first.

Anyways storymode is suppose to feel easy. Its regular mode. However, next beta I'm going to try explorable and see how that works out. I have a feeling I'm going to be nothing but thankful for the waypoints.

#8 Red Intensity

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:19 PM

I've played explorable mode AC as a greatsword and scepter/shield guardian. If I recall, my teammates were a warrior, necro, and two rangers. We wiped out hard against a thief boss that had a ranger and ele as AoE backup. I gotta say that was the hardest part of the dungeon.

Look at the bright side; there's an anvil players can use to repair their armors after they've taken a beating, it's all the way at the very first waypoint.

#9 Matsy

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:25 PM

Story mode was what I would call OK, not super easy and not super difficult.

#10 NeonArlecchino

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 03:28 PM

I had a lot of fun with it!

I suggest taking out the Necro boss first since she's easiest and then there's less of a run back if the group wipes.

I can't wait to see the other dungeons ^^

I just wish the rewards were explained better and something was done about Waypoint Charges.

#11 AsgarZigel

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:55 PM

I ran the dungeon with a PUG and it was surprisingly difficult, although not frustration due to the waypoint system. We had quite some problems though, at first we couldn't get everyone in the same instance, then the server/zone crashed for a moment. After that we got in, but for some reason Rytlock wasn't there. We joked he needed a drink and abandoned us because he had to run the dungeon with noobs all day.
The dungeon worked fine though, Rytlock just wasn't there to distract enemies.
We also had some lag problems, even though it ran fine out of the dungeon.

We couldn't do the whole thing because one of the group had to go during the fight with Kasha. :(

I can confirm that the "trash" is way stronger than in other games, you have to be really careful when pulling. Monks are way better fighters than one would suspect, Elementalists hit like a truck (that shoots fire) and the Rangers are really annoying with the spike traps... that they SHOOT WITH A BOW. xD
The others aren't too bad though. Mesmers are fodder in melee, Warriors are pretty easy when unsupported and Necromancers have a limited range and seemed pretty easy overall. (there aren't many of them anyway)
Condition removal works wonders against the rangers, this dungeon really made me appreciate well of power in pve.

We wiped quite a bit since probably everyone had a solo build and we didn't have much of a plan anyway. Was still fun though.

Something I noticed: Knockbacks don't work on most bosses, but they still seem to stun them, so can be used as an interrupt. These little touches are what really makes me have respect for ANet, because lets be honest - in every other game knockback-skills would just be useless against bosses.

What is your experience with group heals in the dungeon content? The Engineer in my group complained that his healing turret didn't do anything, but he probably hadn't much compassion (never seen it on early pve gear). Were party heals useful to your group?

#12 grey_foxx082

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:20 PM

View Postlolabunnie, on 14 June 2012 - 02:38 PM, said:

I think the waypoints are necessary with the dungeons current difficulty. If they were to remove them or make them farther apart, I think they'd have to make adjustments accordingly. Personally, I didn't feel like it was cheating - I thought the trash mobs were cheating Lol. Screw the monk, we went after the rangers and ele's first.

Anyways storymode is suppose to feel easy. Its regular mode. However, next beta I'm going to try explorable and see how that works out. I have a feeling I'm going to be nothing but thankful for the waypoints.

For explorable, make sure to bring lots of money with you as well, don't want to end up naked with no repair money.  Tip, stay alive (it's mostly not a DPS race), stick together so mobs stick together, concentrate your fire.  Split up, the mobs split up and harder to kill, you die one by one.  Also, don't forget condition removals. LOTS of condition removals :P

Edited by grey_foxx082, 14 June 2012 - 06:22 PM.


#13 Wild Turkey

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:51 PM

I did it once with a PUG and we only had anyone die until the King, but we used the waypoint to run back in. I hope they remove that in exploration mode. I can kinda see how story mode should be easier to facilitate PUGs being able to get it done for the sake of story progression but I agree it feels really cheap. The other fights we all just spread out and kept moving, I thought that mobility and shooting on the move were key. Also having melee builds alternate rushing in for a bit until health got low then pulling back to heal and go back to range while another melee went in.

I actually like that even the typical trash mobs as one would call them in other games were tough. I like having just a few really challenging fights between bosses rather than a bunch of crap that we can just button mash through.

#14 John F Kennedy

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:14 PM

I really enjoyed story mode, it wasn't really hard, but it seemed like it was because my entire group wasn't use to working together, after the first third of the dungeon nobody died on trash or bosses because we had finally figured out how to play together... after party chat went down. Wait I take that back, two people died on the lovers... But that was because we had a little bit of trouble separating them... Boulders didn't work that well.

#15 kalendraf

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:43 PM

I did the dungeon story mode with a PUG and found it to be extremely difficult.  I was level 39, but the other players were around 30 to 31.  IIRC, our group included 3 eles and 2 guardians.  I'm not sure if we had issues with builds or simply being uncoordinated, but virtually every battle, even the first non-boss ghosts, seemed challenging to us.  At several points along the way, we suffered complete party wipes and had to make a run back from the very first waypoint.

The toughest foes for us seemed to be the rangers.  They used interrupts and knockbacks that proved hard for us to deal with.  Even with the eles swapping to skills for defense against arrows and blinding attacks, they still proved hard for us.  They also seemed to have some kind of uber bow shot that was dealing upwards of 2500 dmg per hit.  I had about 4K health, and 2 hits were enough to kill me.

We actually seemed to do better against some of the bosses.  The Kasha Blackblood battle was actually easier for us than several of the non-boss fights.  We also didn't have any difficulty against Ralena and Vassar.  Nente was extremely hard, especially because the random Troll boss spawned right as the fight began.

The final battle against Adelbern was very annoying.  All of us kept dying almost instantly, even when we tried to avoid the flames.  The problem was his pull attack.  All of us probably died about 10 times during that fight as it turned into a sequence of Rez, run to king, activate 1 skill, get pulled, die, repeat.  His pull attack seems over-powered as it doesn't allow players to position themselves to avoid the flames.

As others have mentioned, the worst part of the dungeon was the poor loot.  From each chest, I never got anything besides crap.  The final headgear was simply not worth it for the time and work involved.  I realize our builds and tactics may not have been optimal, but based on my experience with the dungeon and the poor loot, I have little incentive to try it again.




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