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New Ascalon Catacombs

ac dungeon ascalonian catacombs

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#1 matsif

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:56 AM

tl;dr: basically ac has become knocklock heaven.  

new bosses have room covering aoe in path 3 that knocks you down, path 1 spawns a ton of scavengers and new abilities on stalkers gives them knockdowns, and path 2 has become a ghostbusters knockoff with detha's traps.  less knocklock on 2.

haven't done kholer or had a troll spawn yet, will report tomorrow if I do ac again.

runs are still kinda fast at 80, but 1 and 3 are definitely more difficult.  2 is about the same but requires good teamwork.

discuss.

edit: more description now that I'm out of the game

overall in 1 and 3 all breeders were removed from final boss room except the 1 hallway.  queen spider has new web blast attack, and the poison fields now last a lot longer and spread more for the most part.  first graveling group in the hall now has a new stalker with aoe knockdown that if it hits anyone in your party gives him like 5 seconds of evade where he doesn't attack.  dodging the aoe attack doesn't give him the evade.  rest of the group is breeder, howler, regular graveling when I payed attention, but this might be variable.  scavengers no longer knock you down for basically an insta-down without a stunbreaker, but they spam a knockdown more often as their attack.  they don't eat you afterwords.

path 1: path is essentially the same until final boss.  he has a laser blast along with scream, and tons of scavengers and stalkers spawn and basically knocklock the whole party.  Gonna need to focus them off with a few party members while keeping some dps on howling king.  Aoe attacks clear them relatively fast, but when they just spawn (they basically cover the room) it is a complete pain unless you have a ton of stability spam until most of them are dead.  They do die relatively fast so having 1 or 2 party members nuke them off is the best strategy I've found.

path 2: first off, defending the traps now spawns 5 ghosts.  once the traps are up and boss triggers, he is ghostly and you can't attack him.  ghostbuster packs spawn and as a party you have to have 1 person lift an ooze that the boss spawns, and another drag the ooze to the trap and keep it in the trap until the trap triggers to power the trap.  Once the trap is powered, you lure ghost eater over to the trap, and when it goes off ghost eater becomes attackable.  2 rounds of playing ghostbusters killed him in my party (all 80s, not meta speedrun party).

path 3: same until final boss.  Final boss's rock drop attack now covers the whole room and the only safe spot we've found is right under the broken pillar thing in the front of the room.  Scream is no longer crazy range or radius, but his regular attacks launch you around like a rag doll.  Finding the safe spot took us the longest, once we found it he was relatively easy.

after a few runs I think it won't be as bad as tonight was, but tonight wasn't pretty for us figuring stuff out on the fly.  we wiped at howling king twice, colossus rumbulus 4 times, and ghost eater once.  as stated, we didn't get a troll and skipped kholer all 3 times, so nothing to report there yet.

Edited by matsif, 27 February 2013 - 04:10 AM.


#2 Nyid

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:19 AM

I've heard similar things about the new AC from guildies. Sounds somewhat interesting, but pug groups will struggle for weeks (my prediction). Might make leveling alts more difficult as well. Thanks for sharing mate!

#3 matsif

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:23 AM

View PostNyid, on 27 February 2013 - 04:19 AM, said:

I've heard similar things about the new AC from guildies. Sounds somewhat interesting, but pug groups will struggle for weeks (my prediction). Might make leveling alts more difficult as well. Thanks for sharing mate!

as to leveling alts, the bosses do seem to have less hp, so swapping in at the end shouldn't be a problem if only 1 person does it (my group only does 1 at a time anyways for speed purposes).  The ghost eater fight is actually more fun imo once we figured it out, but colossus and king were much much worse.  especially colossus, the room-covering knockdown aoe is worse than the new temple of grenth.  we probably would have ragequit if we hadn't found that safe spot.

4 manning ac is gonna be more difficult though, which I've done numerous times.

#4 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:07 AM

Should note that for Path 3, Grast now creates a shield during the boss's rockfall that will protect your party.  He may do it too late if the boss knocks him down right before he rockfalls, and obviously he won't do it at all if he dies.  Basically you just want to keep him alive and on his feet so he can shield while you basically afk the boss at range, because the boss barely does anything in terms of damage other than the rockfall.

#5 HederaHelix

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:17 AM

View Postmatsif, on 27 February 2013 - 03:56 AM, said:

path 1: path is essentially the same until final boss.  he has a laser blast along with scream, and tons of scavengers and stalkers spawn and basically knocklock the whole party.  Gonna need to focus them off with a few party members while keeping some dps on howling king.  Aoe attacks clear them relatively fast, but when they just spawn (they basically cover the room) it is a complete pain unless you have a ton of stability spam until most of them are dead.  They do die relatively fast so having 1 or 2 party members nuke them off is the best strategy I've found.

It should be noted that on Path 1 final boss, Hodgins now has a ring of fire skill from the scepters you help him make through the dungeon

if you pull the little mobs into them the mobs die immediately.  If you look on the floor Hodgin's is spamming that ring of fire all over and it doesn't hurt you just the silver scavenger mobs. It was a very fun fight once we figured that out.  All and all I really like the revamped versions.  It just takes some getting used to.

EDIT: Kholer now spawns adds of ghosts.  His pull attack is the same but still easily dodged. The only problems we had with him tonight were when he had a necro and a mesmer add out at the same time and the necro fearing you right as Kholer did his pull.  It was funny but it sucked.  

As for the troll, well, well well rag doll is what i'd say about him.  He also has a telegraphed one-shot attack that will take nearly all your health away.  He has some lightening bolt attack too on top of his old bleeds and stomp=smash.  He sucks and I hate him lol. Dies fast though.

Edited by HederaHelix, 27 February 2013 - 06:22 AM.


#6 matsif

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:13 PM

View PostGuanglaiKangyi, on 27 February 2013 - 06:07 AM, said:

Should note that for Path 3, Grast now creates a shield during the boss's rockfall that will protect your party.  He may do it too late if the boss knocks him down right before he rockfalls, and obviously he won't do it at all if he dies.  Basically you just want to keep him alive and on his feet so he can shield while you basically afk the boss at range, because the boss barely does anything in terms of damage other than the rockfall.

good to know, I'm pretty sure he died during our attempts so we never saw that happen.  definitely better than trying to hide in such a small area that if colossus attacks your whole party gets launched.  agreed on his damage, other than rockfall he doesn't hit hard but just launches you away.


View PostHederaHelix, on 27 February 2013 - 06:17 AM, said:

It should be noted that on Path 1 final boss, Hodgins now has a ring of fire skill from the scepters you help him make through the dungeon

if you pull the little mobs into them the mobs die immediately.  If you look on the floor Hodgin's is spamming that ring of fire all over and it doesn't hurt you just the silver scavenger mobs. It was a very fun fight once we figured that out.  All and all I really like the revamped versions.  It just takes some getting used to.

as in path 3 with grast, hodgins was dead for most of our fights and since the npc's were so useless before no one thought to rez him.  We did see the rings of fire but thought they were a boss attack, not from hodgins, so we avoided them.  If this is the case then it's nowhere near as tough as I initially alluded to, cause as you said those rings are spammed all over the place.

I think within a week guild/friend teams will not have any trouble with any of them, problems were more from the fact that the new stuff was entirely unknown last night.  Pugs will probably take 2-3 weeks to catch up, and afterwords AC will go back to being the easily spammed 3g a day.  I'm definitely planning on running it again tonight with the information about the npcs.

#7 Coren

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:29 PM

I'm all for harder dungeons, but it sounds like it's overwhelming for non level 80s.

Think level.35s can handle it guys?

#8 Lordkrall

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:32 PM

Yes, it should be quite possible.
Simply requires some tactics, gameplay and thinking ^^

#9 matsif

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:58 PM

View PostCoren, on 27 February 2013 - 12:29 PM, said:

I'm all for harder dungeons, but it sounds like it's overwhelming for non level 80s.

Think level.35s can handle it guys?

if you know the mechanics it shouldn't be a problem at all, the bosses actually have less HP than they used to making them die easier.

#10 Leafar

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

Getting chain knocked is no fun....

#11 GuanglaiKangyi

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

View Postmatsif, on 27 February 2013 - 12:58 PM, said:

if you know the mechanics it shouldn't be a problem at all, the bosses actually have less HP than they used to making them die easier.

Yes, I like this change.  I hope Anet follows the trend of "more unique boss mechanics, less healthsinks" for any future dungeons they do/rework.  Hopefully AC is just the first in many.

#12 Testud0

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:54 PM

View PostGuanglaiKangyi, on 27 February 2013 - 03:23 PM, said:



Yes, I like this change.  I hope Anet follows the trend of "more unique boss mechanics, less healthsinks" for any future dungeons they do/rework.  Hopefully AC is just the first in many.

I read somewhere that the dungeons at initial release weren't designed by the current dungeon team.

#13 HederaHelix

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

View PostTestud0, on 27 February 2013 - 04:54 PM, said:

I read somewhere that the dungeons at initial release weren't designed by the current dungeon team.
They were and they weren't. =)  Robert Hrouda (was on the original dungeon team and helped make many of the original encounters) and one other guy now work on the dungeons, and He does a pretty good job, IMO.

Edited by HederaHelix, 27 February 2013 - 05:04 PM.


#14 Rumstein

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

Path 1: Howling will fire a laser and a scream, damage is different for both, laser has ridiculous range, and both cause confusion. Will also summon scavengers (LOTS). Hodgins drops fire walls and fire rings. These will kill off the scavengers and stalkers easily, as well as deal decent damage to the boss (Hodgins is also a tank and will not die). Best bet is to kite around the room.

Path 3: Not really melee friendly due to shockwaves and knockbacks, when Rumblus does his ceiling crash knockdown, you need to stack under the bubble made by Grash(?), the Ascalonian guy that helps (not Tsark, the other NPC).

I didnt do path 2, but my guildmates said it was decently harder, and you have to use the cannons now.

Kholer: Instead of having 2 adds with high hp to start, he spawns 2 more every ~30 seconds (?), which have fairly low hp.

Troll: Shockwaves, more knockdowns, same regen, etc... Troll is just a hassle now.

Spider: Poison AOE deals significantly more damage, and last for much longer (also bigger aoe?). There are less though, and don't seem to appear much in melee.

All in all, the changes make the final boss fights MUCH more interesting, and they appear to have reduced health for all the bosses.

#15 Al Shamari

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

So, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I must say I tried out the new Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon yesterday and I'm having a bit of trouble on my Thief.

Other people have talked about rolling through it, just like before, but I'm just having trouble. These new added mechanics are giving me some trouble, especially the enchanted poison at the beginning of the Spider Queen (from the small spiders themselves) and the knock down function given to the Scavengers (I think?).

What are some tactics I should be using as a Thief to deal with these added mechanics?

Further discussion, just generally talk about additional re-hauled tactics to deal with the new encounters!

#16 El Duderino

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

I, too, did this yesterday and ran in to the same problems.

My first mistake was to go with a PUG.

After I do this with some guild members, I will have a better grasp on how hard this dungeon actually is now. But it definitely got harder.

#17 Al Shamari

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

View PostEl Duderino, on 27 February 2013 - 08:51 PM, said:

I, too, did this yesterday and ran in to the same problems.

My first mistake was to go with a PUG.

After I do this with some guild members, I will have a better grasp on how hard this dungeon actually is now. But it definitely got harder.
Yeah, I went with several PUGs as well, which could have been a mistake since I'm not all that successful in PUGs regardless of the dungeon difficulty.

I should probably run with a stable group as well, hopefully with a few members that know the ins and outs of the re-haul.

But yeah, I've heard of people rolling through it just like before and was hoping it would be somewhat more challenging, but I was getting leveled in certain areas and I've never quite had that problem before.

#18 Digilodger

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

I find that the dungeon generally get easier, with the exception of the Queen Spider and the final bosses of path 2 and 3.

Easier:  
- graveling have less health now.
- Scavenger gravelings no longer spawn at the hall way right after Queen Spider

- Path 2's defending Desha is now piece of cake since the enemies' health are less and they also don't hit as hard

- burrows have less health now.
- burrows dno't spawn breeders any more.

- Troll doesn't hit as hard, totally tankable now.
- Troll's attacks can easily be dodge or reflect/absorb

- Kholer pulls less often now
- Kholer's attacks are much weaker, too


Harder:
- Queen Spider's poison hurts much more now

- Path 2's final boss's AoE is devastating.
- Path 3's final boss is devastating if the team is unable to keep Warmaster Grast alive

Edited by Digilodger, 27 February 2013 - 09:01 PM.


#19 Al Shamari

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

View PostDigilodger, on 27 February 2013 - 08:57 PM, said:

I find that the dungeon generally get easier, with the exception of the Queen Spider and the final bosses of path 2 and 3.

Easier:  
- graveling have less health now.
- burrows have less health now.
- burrows dno't spawn breeder any more.
- troll doesn't hit as hard
- troll's attacks can easily be dodge or reflect/absorb
- Kholer pulls less often now
- Kholer's attacks are much weaker, too

Harder:
- Queen Spider's poison hurts much more now
- Path 2's final boss's AoE is devastating.
- Path 3's final boss could be devastating if the team is unable to keep Warmaster Grast alive
I guess as a Thief, the areas that things do hit harder, really get to me. For example, I always had trouble with the poison during the Queen Spider fight, now it's really hard for me to negate that poison at all as a Thief and if I'm already struggling with the drain, getting hit just delivers a K.O. Also, it's during the fights that you're closing the burrows that the Scavenger's (I think?) added knock down mechanic hurts me. Due to a low health pool, if I get knocked down I'm pretty much going to take it in the rear end.

#20 Gamidragon

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:05 PM

Kholer is MUCH easier now, the adds really only served to make it easier to rally people who didn't dodge his pull.  The graveling burrow parts are quite a bit easier now as well.  I really like the overhauled bosses, they're much more fun and challenging to fight.  Spider Queen surprised me the first time I fought the new her.  I got so used to just face tanking her poison it caught me by surprise when suddenly my health was gone.  Overall, it feels really, really good.

I think my issue is that it feels really, really good as an 80, but it's supposed to be the entry level dungeon.  Doesn't really feel entry level to me..



View PostAl Shamari, on 27 February 2013 - 09:01 PM, said:

Also, it's during the fights that you're closing the burrows that the Scavenger's (I think?) added knock down mechanic hurts me. Due to a low health pool, if I get knocked down I'm pretty much going to take it in the rear end.

They actually already had a knockdown, but from my few runs on the new dungeon it feels stronger, and they use it MUCH more often now.  Stability is VERY important during fights with scavengers because they can easily chain the knockdown, and it'll easily shred even soldiers in semi-tanky gear.

Edited by Gamidragon, 27 February 2013 - 09:08 PM.


#21 Feathermoore

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:06 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 27 February 2013 - 09:01 PM, said:

Also, it's during the fights that you're closing the burrows that the Scavenger's (I think?) added knock down mechanic hurts me. Due to a low health pool, if I get knocked down I'm pretty much going to take it in the rear end.

Scavengers always had the "pounce on you and eat your face off before you can get up" attack it wasn't added. The best way to deal with them is to dodge (really telegraphed leap attack) and have a stun-break skill on your bar to deal with them if they do get you.

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#22 Al Shamari

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

View PostGamidragon, on 27 February 2013 - 09:05 PM, said:

I think my issue is that it feels really, really good as an 80, but it's supposed to be the entry level dungeon.  Doesn't really feel entry level to me..
It's not supposed to be an entry level dungeon though, and this is what people are missing. There have been several times (it was Colin I believe) has stated that "Explorable Mode" was supposed to be the "Hard Mode" equivalent in Guild Wars 2, and he wanted the dungeons to function that way.

So I think they're on the right track.

View PostFeathermoore, on 27 February 2013 - 09:06 PM, said:

Scavengers always had the "pounce on you and eat your face off before you can get up" attack it wasn't added. The best way to deal with them is to dodge (really telegraphed leap attack) and have a stun-break skill on your bar to deal with them if they do get you.
I don't believe this is what I'm talking about. There's an attack during the Path 1 burrows portion that knocks me back and causes me to fall down, and then the mob just comes to finish me off.

Edited by Al Shamari, 27 February 2013 - 09:11 PM.


#23 rukia

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

It's not any different to me, maybe faster than normal for my group. Shadow's Embrace makes spiders poison a joke and for the rest I'm totally used to ANets retarded 1hit instagibs so...

#24 Gamidragon

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:18 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 27 February 2013 - 09:08 PM, said:

It's not supposed to be an entry level dungeon though, and this is what people are missing. There have been several times (it was Colin I believe) has stated that "Explorable Mode" was supposed to be the "Hard Mode" equivalent in Guild Wars 2, and he wanted the dungeons to function that way.

So I think they're on the right track.

I don't believe this is what I'm talking about. There's an attack during the Path 1 burrows portion that knocks me back and causes me to fall down, and then the mob just comes to finish me off.

Ah, you are right on the explorable mode, and thinking about it I agree that they are right on track.  I'll have to (finally) level an alt to 35, and see if it's possible to run without a full 80 group on exp.

Also I think I know what you're talking about, where it burrows, does a strong knockback, and auto evades attacks for a few seconds.  That attack is brutal, but the burrow itself is quite telegraphed so your best shot is to back off.  Do you carry a ranged weapon on your alternate?  That's what I was doing to counter it.

#25 Al Shamari

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

View PostGamidragon, on 27 February 2013 - 09:18 PM, said:

Ah, you are right on the explorable mode, and thinking about it I agree that they are right on track.  I'll have to (finally) level an alt to 35, and see if it's possible to run without a full 80 group on exp.

Also I think I know what you're talking about, where it burrows, does a strong knockback, and auto evades attacks for a few seconds.  That attack is brutal, but the burrow itself is quite telegraphed so your best shot is to back off.  Do you carry a ranged weapon on your alternate?  That's what I was doing to counter it.
No, no. Reading up on it, it's not the Scavengers specifically. They basically gave everything other than Hatchlings a knock back or a knock down, so I assume I'm getting into a sort of "combination" situation. But it's the 'normal' Gravelings that have the added knock back or knock down.

I'll figure it out, I just need to figure out a way to continually negate the poison at the beginning of the level and see if I have access to more stun breakers. I normally use a short bow for most instances anyways.

#26 rukia

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 27 February 2013 - 09:22 PM, said:

No, no. Reading up on it, it's not the Scavengers specifically. They basically gave everything other than Hatchlings a knock back or a knock down, so I assume I'm getting into a sort of "combination" situation. But it's the 'normal' Gravelings that have the added knock back or knock down.

I'll figure it out, I just need to figure out a way to continually negate the poison at the beginning of the level and see if I have access to more stun breakers. I normally use a short bow for most instances anyways.

Stay ranged and kite, it's the name of the game. I'm on shortbow 99% of the time, except for bosses.

#27 BnJ

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:14 PM

For us thieves, the new change to NPCs not losing aggro after stealth also adds an extra challenge in PvE we didn't really need.  Just something we'll have to adapt to as well.

#28 El Duderino

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:17 PM

After reading this I am excited to try this out with my guild. Now that I think about it, the fact that I was usually the last to die, as a mesmer, tells me a bit about my PUG.

#29 Solstice

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:06 PM

View PostAl Shamari, on 27 February 2013 - 08:33 PM, said:

So, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I must say I tried out the new Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon yesterday and I'm having a bit of trouble on my Thief.
[...]
Further discussion, just generally talk about additional re-hauled tactics to deal with the new encounters!

In my opinion there is nothing to be embarrassed about as I, plus the PuG I was with, was also caught out by the new mechanics just a couple of hours ago. It does not feel dramatically harder, but some professions and group make-ups are going to have to make adjustments.

Significant proportion of my surprise repair bill was due to the more aggressive knockdown capabilities given to Scavengers while trying to get through the 'corridor run' to the final boss. Although the group I was with did not help as it failed to stick together to help each other through.

At this point, I would best describe it as a period of re-acclimatization to altered mechanics of which the PuG scene will always lag.

Edited by Solstice, 27 February 2013 - 11:08 PM.


#30 Al Shamari

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 11:30 PM

View PostSolstice, on 27 February 2013 - 11:06 PM, said:

In my opinion there is nothing to be embarrassed about as I, plus the PuG I was with, was also caught out by the new mechanics just a couple of hours ago. It does not feel dramatically harder, but some professions and group make-ups are going to have to make adjustments.

Significant proportion of my surprise repair bill was due to the more aggressive knockdown capabilities given to Scavengers while trying to get through the 'corridor run' to the final boss. Although the group I was with did not help as it failed to stick together to help each other through.

At this point, I would best describe it as a period of re-acclimatization to altered mechanics of which the PuG scene will always lag.
Yeah, I feel that's what it boils down to as well... not that it's entirely "harder", just new all over again. I wouldn't say that I did any worse than the first time I stepped foot in the dungeon. The new mechanics will just take some getting used to as they are pretty deadly for a profession that has a low health pool.





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