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#1 Midnightjade

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

I started running FotM last week and am having some issues.  I seem to be really, really bad at them and could use some tips.  I'm running them in PUGs.

Worst one by far has been Underground Facility final boss.  I am fine with kiting it back and forth, and seldom die (shout/signet Guardian, full exotics, plenty of toughness/vitality, scepter/focus or mace/shield).  However, I keep getting yelled at for not following, or missing the bucket, or, well, pretty much anything.  Last night three of my party members (thief, ranger, elementalist, warrior) were dead and I was still kiting just fine, getting the debuffs on it, and they were STILL yelling at me.  The leader eventually just quit.

I also keep dying in the caverns in the Underwater Fractal, just getting lost.  And keep falling off the jumping puzzles.  However, staying alive in boss fights is not a problem - I can tank them all just fine and buff the rest of the party.

How do I improve?  And is this normal for PUGs?  This event is supposed to be fun but right now I just f***ing hate it - it's horrible.

Advice welcome.

#2 Midnight Harmony

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:16 PM

I'm by no means an expert at Fractals, but here are a few tips I think may be of use to you.

1. Running with pug's is 9/10 times going to end in tears. Try doing Fractals with a small group of friends or your Guild (if you have one). The frustration levels drop and the fun increases, and this applies for any dungeon really.

2. What sort of Guardian build are you running, because ones that work in general PvE content do not necessarily work in dungeons.

3. Communication is key. Read up on how to complete certain parts if you are having trouble, or try using Mumble or Teamspeak so you can all communicate when playing.

4. When it comes to jumping puzzle segments, make sure you aren't getting hit by environmental factors (like wind jets that push you off, when doing the Colossus Fractal), or that you are not crippled by harpies for example, which will reduce your jump distance. Lag can also be an issue here.

5. As stated, pug's are always going to cause frustration, because the players know there is no comeback if they get up and leave.

Edited by Kanikuman, 13 December 2012 - 04:18 PM.


#3 MazingerZ

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

The swamp is the biggest BS at the moment.  Granted, I've only done up to level 2.  Still, BS.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#4 Milennin

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:25 PM

Underground boss is pretty simple if you know how. If you are the one pulling the buckets, then wait until the boss is standing underneath, or about to walk underneath it then pull. As puller you also do not attack the boss to avoid getting boss aggro.
If you are dealing damage to the boss, you have to make the boss walk from bucket to next bucket and make sure you get the boss walking underneath the buckets. So what this means is that you do not stand behind the boss, that only makes him walk back and slows down the process. You do not walk far from the bucket location, instead you try to stand as closely underneath it as you can while being outside boss melee range. Because that lava needs to hit the boss.
Some other tips: Do not summon minions. Minions only slow down the process with the boss wasting time hitting them. If you are mesmer with clones, just use shatter as soon as you see boss aggro's a clone.

Underwater Fractal is easy. Just follow party closely and remember the route. If you are doing the darkness path, just pick up one of the glowing stuffs and swim to the next one you see. The glowing stuffs disappear from your hands after a while, so you have to pick up another at the next spot and move on.
On jumping parts, just take it slow. Better to be slow and not constantly fall.

Edited by Milennin, 13 December 2012 - 06:26 PM.


#5 Midnightjade

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

View PostKanikuman, on 13 December 2012 - 04:16 PM, said:

I'm by no means an expert at Fractals, but here are a few tips I think may be of use to you.

1. Running with pug's is 9/10 times going to end in tears. Try doing Fractals with a small group of friends or your Guild (if you have one). The frustration levels drop and the fun increases, and this applies for any dungeon really.

2. What sort of Guardian build are you running, because ones that work in general PvE content do not necessarily work in dungeons.

3. Communication is key. Read up on how to complete certain parts if you are having trouble, or try using Mumble or Teamspeak so you can all communicate when playing.

4. When it comes to jumping puzzle segments, make sure you aren't getting hit by environmental factors (like wind jets that push you off, when doing the Colossus Fractal), or that you are not crippled by harpies for example, which will reduce your jump distance. Lag can also be an issue here.

5. As stated, pug's are always going to cause frustration, because the players know there is no comeback if they get up and leave.

Good advice, thanks.  I think I need to find a good guild.  I have been making some mistakes but have also not been very hapy with some of the PuG members.  Both last night and the previous time we had at least one warrior that died 15 or 20 times during the 3 fractals - I am guessing glass-cannon builds.  However, I need to learn a lot more.

Regarding build, it is Mace/Shield and Scepter/Focus, with R10 V30 H30, shouts/signets for healing and condition removal.  Gear is mainly Power/Toughness/Vit with a few pieces swapped out.  It emphasizes survivability, buffing/condition removal and reasonable damage.

I should say I have 8 years MMO experience (FFXI) including raiding and should really be better at FotM but they are harder than I expected.  FInding some folks to run with wil help a lot, as you suggest.  I really need some advice in-game during the run.

View PostMilennin, on 13 December 2012 - 06:25 PM, said:

Underground boss is pretty simple if you know how. If you are the one pulling the buckets, then wait until the boss is standing underneath, or about to walk underneath it then pull. As puller you also do not attack the boss to avoid getting boss aggro.
If you are dealing damage to the boss, you have to make the boss walk from bucket to next bucket and make sure you get the boss walking underneath the buckets. So what this means is that you do not stand behind the boss, that only makes him walk back and slows down the process. You do not walk far from the bucket location, instead you try to stand as closely underneath it as you can while being outside boss melee range. Because that lava needs to hit the boss.
Some other tips: Do not summon minions. Minions only slow down the process with the boss wasting time hitting them. If you are mesmer with clones, just use shatter as soon as you see boss aggro's a clone.

Underwater Fractal is easy. Just follow party closely and remember the route. If you are doing the darkness path, just pick up one of the glowing stuffs and swim to the next one you see. The glowing stuffs disappear from your hands after a while, so you have to pick up another at the next spot and move on.
On jumping parts, just take it slow. Better to be slow and not constantly fall.

Thanks!  Those last two points are especially helpful.

Edited by Midnightjade, 13 December 2012 - 06:37 PM.


#6 soistheman

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:46 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 13 December 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

The swamp is the biggest BS at the moment.  Granted, I've only done up to level 2.  Still, BS.

hahaha i hear you.  when i did lvl1 with my guild mates (my guild mates are not really dungeon players) it took us 1 hour, but don't worry, at higher lvl people knows how to do it.  it normally takes only few tries or even often with the first attempt.

#7 malevolence

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:05 PM

Problem is, people sometimes don't know what to do, and there are people that don't want to listen to experience players. I play FotM 100% with PUGs, and only a few times, 2 out of 10 (I did more than 200 Fractals and currently I am at levels 26+) we just had a bad team. The issue is not PUGs, it is communication, for example, when I am doing lower levels of FotM, I always tell people what are the best options, best tactics etc. We always discuss the tactics before starting the current fractal, it is the best thing you can do. If no one in the party knows the fractals, or are all beginners then you will learn the fractals by trial and error, keep in mind that this dungeon is a Challenge, is not your usual dungeon, and by the way, if you are curious and want to perform the best you can, why not reading wiki or information about the fractals? It doesn't hurt anyone.

View PostMazingerZ, on 13 December 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

The swamp is the biggest BS at the moment.  Granted, I've only done up to level 2.  Still, BS.

Swamp is the easiest of all fractals.

Edited by malevolence, 13 December 2012 - 07:08 PM.


#8 Flaming_Foxx

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:11 PM

View Postmalevolence, on 13 December 2012 - 07:05 PM, said:

Swamp is the easiest of all fractals.

Yes and no. If you have a decent group who knows what they are doing then yes, the swamp fractal is insanely easy. But if you are unfortunate enough to be stuck with people who don't know how to do it effectively or haven't run the level before then you're a bit screwed.
Far too many a time I've been in a group where someone completely disregards us all saying "Don't pick up the wisp until we say go"...

#9 Gilles VI

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:13 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 13 December 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

The swamp is the biggest BS at the moment.  Granted, I've only done up to level 2.  Still, BS.

Learn to play really.
It's by far the easiest Fractals ever.
Doesn't matter if I play with guildies or pugs, we're always happy to get that one..

1) Bring speedboosts for running/condition removal to get rid of cripple/stability & stunbreaker to ignore KD's.
2) Just watch the ground, you see all the traps there.

Edited by Gilles VI, 13 December 2012 - 07:15 PM.


#10 MazingerZ

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 07:16 PM

It's not just the traps, but the roots and walls.  There was one instance where the geometry changed to block me, but the wall hadn't grown in yet.  I call that BS.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#11 Midnightjade

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:01 PM

View PostGilles VI, on 13 December 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:

Learn to play really.
It's by far the easiest Fractals ever.
Doesn't matter if I play with guildies or pugs, we're always happy to get that one..

1) Bring speedboosts for running/condition removal to get rid of cripple/stability & stunbreaker to ignore KD's.
2) Just watch the ground, you see all the traps there.

I have trouble with this one as well and am guessing it gets a lot easier with experience.  Have never failed it but it is kind of a pain still.  To get better, I spent a couple of hours just running around the level solo one time, figuring out where all the traps are, helped a lot.  The only remaining issues are speed (Guard has only one buff that adds speed) and the geometry of the level.

Right now I seem to be most helpful covering folks as they grab the wisps and make the run.  I tank anything in the level to leave the way clear for lighter players to get to the objective, and while i'm doing that, I can watch and learn how they do it.

#12 madmaxII

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

View PostMazingerZ, on 13 December 2012 - 07:16 PM, said:

It's not just the traps, but the roots and walls.  There was one instance where the geometry changed to block me, but the wall hadn't grown in yet.  I call that BS.

You can climb over some of the threes even if there is a wall blocking the direct way. If you find some time you should practice this and the fractal becomes a lot easier. Also, you can dodge all the traps. Once you get used to it the whole fractal boils down to a single boss fight.

I definitely agree that swamp has a very poor design, though. Extremely frustrating when you do it for the first times and stupidly easy (when compared to other fractals) when you know what to do.

#13 BnJ

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:45 PM

My biggest problem with FotM is I just don't like running it, BUT if i want to get the best loot it's the best option.

I wish ANet would bump up the loot tables of the other dungeons or even better, the open world.

#14 chullster

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:51 PM

View PostMidnightjade, on 13 December 2012 - 08:01 PM, said:

(Guard has only one buff that adds speed) and the geometry of the level.

Guardians have more than one:
Retreat
Save yourselves (stun/KD breaker too)
staff skill #3 (use this first, it's explained why on the wiki)

#15 madmaxII

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:55 PM

View PostShroomhead Fred, on 13 December 2012 - 09:45 PM, said:

My biggest problem with FotM is I just don't like running it, BUT if i want to get the best loot it's the best option.

I wish ANet would bump up the loot tables of the other dungeons or even better, the open world.

The only problem are the ascended rings. As long as we have no other possibility to get ascended gear you are basically forced to run fractals if you want to have the items with the highest possible stats. As far as gold/hour is concerned fractals aren't better than other dungeons.
Hopefully we will get alternative ways to find/craft ascended gear with the wintersday patch.

#16 Gilles VI

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

View PostMidnightjade, on 13 December 2012 - 08:01 PM, said:

I have trouble with this one as well and am guessing it gets a lot easier with experience.  Have never failed it but it is kind of a pain still.  To get better, I spent a couple of hours just running around the level solo one time, figuring out where all the traps are, helped a lot.  The only remaining issues are speed (Guard has only one buff that adds speed) and the geometry of the level.

Right now I seem to be most helpful covering folks as they grab the wisps and make the run.  I tank anything in the level to leave the way clear for lighter players to get to the objective, and while i'm doing that, I can watch and learn how they do it.

I do fractals mainly on my elementalist, but also did it couple of times on my main character, a guardian.
What helps alot is the staff for speed boost, save yourself shout for a speedboost (and stun breaker), the stability shout and the other regeneration shout, especially when you got the trait which removes a condition per shout (or soldier runes).

If you got that it's a walk in the park, even over lvl10. :)

#17 Midnightjade

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:05 AM

View Postchullster, on 13 December 2012 - 09:51 PM, said:

Guardians have more than one:
Retreat
Save yourselves (stun/KD breaker too)
staff skill #3 (use this first, it's explained why on the wiki)

I use Save Yourselves all the time and Retreat occasionally but had totally overlooked the Staff skill since I don't use that weapon very often.  I'll grab one and add it to the rotation generally and especially for that fractal.  Thanks!

#18 farkov47

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:04 AM

Swamp is a walkover with a mesmer.

View Postsoistheman, on 13 December 2012 - 06:46 PM, said:

hahaha i hear you.  when i did lvl1 with my guild mates (my guild mates are not really dungeon players) it took us 1 hour, but don't worry, at higher lvl people knows how to do it.  it normally takes only few tries or even often with the first attempt.

Avatar of Melandru.

#19 cookieeater1

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:29 AM

View PostKanikuman, on 13 December 2012 - 04:16 PM, said:

I'm by no means an expert at Fractals, but here are a few tips I think may be of use to you.

1. Running with pug's is 9/10 times going to end in tears. Try doing Fractals with a small group of friends or your Guild (if you have one). The frustration levels drop and the fun increases, and this applies for any dungeon really.

Not really. I've pugged up to scale 26 and have only failed maybe once or twice due to DCs. Maybe I'm really lucky but it seems most people PUG no problem

#20 HawkofStorms

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:48 AM

View PostGilles VI, on 13 December 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:

Learn to play really.
It's by far the easiest Fractals ever.
Doesn't matter if I play with guildies or pugs, we're always happy to get that one..

1) Bring speedboosts for running/condition removal to get rid of cripple/stability & stunbreaker to ignore KD's.
2) Just watch the ground, you see all the traps there.

This isn't really a "learn to play" issue, as much as its just an experience issue.

#21 Bloggi

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:56 AM

View PostHawkofStorms, on 14 December 2012 - 03:48 AM, said:

This isn't really a "learn to play" issue, as much as its just an experience issue.

Yes. A first timer who is reasonably adept with his/ her toon will be able to do the fractals with some guidance at the first go. As they say, teach a man to fish, and he will feed himself forever.

#22 Arquenya

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

The biggest problem with fractals is, of course, actually finding agroup that does exactly your level in order to be able to progress.
It has really divided the commuity into 100 "fragments".

Swampland, I don't like it. It's not hard - it's annoying and time consuming with most groups.
I'd rather have a short and hard one.
I was really happy when I actually capped one a few days ago, though.

Yes I never fail to die underwater either. I just don't see what is safe and what isn't. Sometimes I'm on top of some light and I still die.
I just lack any sense of direction and I find the darkness quite confusing, even if I swim behind the rest.
Tip: swim in your underwear, at least it saves you repair costs.

As a former GW player I really dislike the one where you have to play a Charr that slaughters Ascalonian humans.
I find it really distasteful.

I think my favourite is the one with the eccentric cat-loving asura. What's its name, Unthemed?

#23 Xunlai Agent

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:07 AM

View PostArquenya, on 14 December 2012 - 09:17 AM, said:

As a former GW player I really dislike the one where you have to play a Charr that slaughters Ascalonian humans.
I find it really distasteful
You cannot be serious, wow!

#24 Sword Hammer Axe

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:08 AM

Being in a pug where you do the best, still get yelled at, yet ask how to improve your own performance? You're either a saint or full of BS :P

Well, strategies are the most important part. If you want to avoid yelling and confusion, then plan ahead for the parts you already know about. If someone refuses to plan or follow the plan agreed upon by the group, then it's their own damn fault.

#25 Gilles VI

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:08 AM

View PostHawkofStorms, on 14 December 2012 - 03:48 AM, said:

This isn't really a "learn to play" issue, as much as its just an experience issue.

There are pugs who still failed at it at lvl12..
Doesn't matter if people did it alot or not, if they can't watch the floor or use their skills well they will not be able to complete. :)

So in my eyes it's a skill issue, and only for a small part experience.




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