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Desolation II

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I thought that blog entry #100 would be full of my whining and complaints about the Desolation vanquishing, but instead, I give you a normal vanquish report.

Ruptured Heart
Well, this map is insane. Half of the mobs are sitting on 10% of the available space or something (all around the vortex - the surrounding wasteland is quite empty.)

SS: 55,326 points
LB: 26,099 points (would have been more if I had found the margonite shrine earlier - before killing one of their bosses, that is)
240 foes.

Anyway, a major change to the team:

Xandra replaced Tahlkora. Rest as before, which is:

Me: Cry of Pain, Pain Inverter, Empathy, MoRecovery, ETap, Drain Enchantment, Guilt, Res Chant

Gwen: Power Return, Frustration, Migraine, CoFrust, PDrain, LSig, EFeast, Res Chant

MoW: Prot Spirit, Sig of Lost Souls, SS, Reckless Haste, Price of Fail, Enf Blood, Blood Rit, Res Chant

Khim, Mhenlo, Eve, Herta.

Alright, the newbie in the team:
Xandra: 12+1+2 Restoration, 9+1 Spawning, 10 Wilderness Survival
Vengeful Weapon, Weapon of Remedy, Weapon of Warding, Blind was Mingson, Life, Frozen Soil, Lively was Naomei, Flesh of my Flesh.

She had 485 base health, because I just gave her two survivor insignia and some vitae runes, and only 36 energy - which means that her starter staff isn't matching her attributes, I guess. Yep. She's specced into Channeling with her starter weapon set. Too bad. I'll fix that and give her the staff of Razah next run.

So, yes, there is a definite lack of synergy between Xandra's Frozen Soil and all the Res Chants, especially as I allowed her to use it whenever she felt like it (that's, like, always.)

Endgame area, hardmode, vanquishing --- and Frozen Soil is a good idea. There's something odd about that, isn't it; what with my history of going for wipes and Eve and MoW always aiming for 60% DP early on. Frozen Soil is the recipe against those awakened mobs though.

So, for the next run, I'll figure out if FastCasting helps with the ashpot skills and go 2x Me/Rt. I probably have to unlock this skill on Lytha Velour first, though.

There were a few deaths, but they were rare. No full wipes at all. Nothing that really made me mad... in fact, it was a quite enjoyable vanquish.

I even think that Dunkoro (the signet smiter) might be a good idea here, because my whole team could basically just wand away at the dervish undead things until they gave in. Undead, smiting, signets instead of spells - obvious, sort of. No idea how much help he would be against the other mobs though - and that's why he will stay home on the next run.

Once more, the junundu shape is definitely NOT faster for killing foes than this team. Junundu shape was quite useful against those annoying dervish undead, though (obviously.) Ah, before I forget: concerning Junundu Shape, I recommend the spear for normal foes (fast attack rate, does 55 damages), and a smiting staff for undead mobs (does 80 damages (40 * 2)). I can't be bothered to change the weapons of the heroes though just for this, so they deal the standard 40 damages of staffs.

Alkali Pan
same team as above, Gwen still with Res Chant, I had switched to Lively was Naomei. I kept the Frozen Soil disabled except when fighting the Mesmer awakened (obviously.)

313 foes.
SS: 57,078 points
LB: 26,933 points

I had killed some more LB monsters in a previous attempt with Lively was Naomei on Gwen. That isn't a good idea - low health, no energy ... as a battle res? NOPE.

Alright, where to begin... it was relatively long (~2 hours, I estimate.)

And for once, I was right about my "this is going to be trouble" forethoughts. The Mesmer awakened (hex eater vortex) IS trouble. He had 2 monks (with a hard res), 3 dervishes (with vow of silence), 1-2 eles (with obsidian flesh), 2-3 mesmers (hex removal), 1-2 necros. And his Cry of Frustration was causing obscene amounts of damage. I tried twice the frontal approach, which didn't work at all.

For those who wonder: this boss sits on an island without junundu access. That's the trouble.

Then I had the idea to drag him and his friends across the northern border of his refugee, because I noticed that his mob liked to hang around where they had caused wipes, even if that was a bit off from their normal starting position. That meant: flagging of everyone north of that rocky terrain border, and someone would have to walk over to the mob and pull them over.

Herohenchs leave the junundu as soon as their human boss does it, and I had no protection spells on me anyway - so MoW got the honour to do it. He pulled admirably well - only problem is that the map designer seems to have anticipated this approach and has set a "to here and no further" line for this mob; they won't be pulled into reach of a junundu H+H mob at all. They barely went up to longbow range when I was sitting very close to the rocky terrain border, but I had no longbows for my heroes and it didn't really work anyway.

So, out of the junundus it was. I flagged the H+H down in the northern sandy terrain and pulled the mob to the frontier. Some of them liked to linger just long enough to be killed; and here the frozen soil came in very useful again - that's the strategy I used in Dreadnought Drift, by the way.

It was long and tiresome anyway.

Yeah well. I had "the scourge of vabbi" active, so the Paragon awakened had some extra mobs nearby, but they can be dealt with in junundu shape. No worries there.

Hum hom. 4 maps to go. One is Joko's Domain. Meeep. The other is the map with the Ele elemental (sandstorm).

Joko's Domain
Xandra - change of Weapon of Warding to Resilient Weapon
no other changes

... 2:30h

2 masochistic moments and mobs

Ok, facts first:

SS: 59,774
LB: 27,005

414... foes.

Consumables used: 2 rainbow candy canes, 3 peppermint candy canes.

If you do this, start with the bit south of the bone palace. The nasty ****ty island of rocky terrain. The Ele awakened and the giant ****ty mob of awakened directly south of bone palace, in particular - there are several giant ****ty mobs of these, but the one directly south of the bone palace, on a patch of sandy terrain (but without wurm spore). That's the one. Don't leave them to the end, as I did. Junundu Shape means accumulation of DP in some, and that's fatal with these 2 mobs.

Might of course be that the mob composition is variable, then other mobs may be the problem. I had 2 monks in both of these.

Now well.


Well, Lyssa be damned, this was a particularly NASTY vanquish. More along the lines of Diessa Lowlands and Talus Chute than Sunjiang Explorable, though.

I did this map tonight, because I wanted to finish "the scourge of vabbi" and left the Bone Palace. Turned out that I was in hardmode. Turned out that the first few mobs weren't a problem at all. Trouble really only started at the Ele awakened and that other mob from hell.

Ok, I'll just write down how I did this and leave the improving to anyone who reads it or whatever.

1. sulphur waste north of bone palace. Longbow pulling works in junundu shape.
2. I made MoW pull the paragon boss to the sandy area (he didn't survive the pull, but neither did the mob). I also pulled one giant nasty awakened mob from the southern rocky island onto the sandy beach into the maws of the junundus.
3. sulphur pit in the northeast
4. sulphur pit in the south
5. up the hill onto the rocky island.
6. wiping out all minor resistance.

Xandra put down FS at really useful moments, and then she was very reluctant in using LwN, anyway, the minor resistance was gone. I noticed that there is an Ele awakened boss. And that he had -among other friends like 2-3 dervishes, 2-4 mesmers, 1-2 eles, 0-1 necros- a couple of monks.

I thought that this mob must have a point of "up to here but no further" and evaluated their habits. That meant some more wipes, until I had the sweet spot: On the rocks hill west of the boss' lair (there are normally 2 mobs of awakened and some monoliths) is a dead tree. Next to it is the point of "we'll chase you no further". I flagged the H+H behind that spot and started pulling. More deaths.

Luckily, the mob has a memory or something - while inside of their zone, they'll launch at anyone, even after they retreated back to the lair. Anyway, I killed them off, slowly, one by one.

Did you know that the resurrecting foes only can resurrect their pals as long as the corpses are still lying around? After a couple of minutes, corpses disappear. Then there is no more resurrecting.

That bit of strategy got me past this particular mob. Very, very yucky.

And then I discovered that other giant mob south of bone palace, two monks again, a lot of mesmers, 2-3 dervishes, 1 ele, 1 defiler. Goodness. And wipe after wipe.

Their point of no further is north of their patrol pattern, past the res shrine, and next to the corner leading to the east.

One of them would like to hang around at the corner a bit longer to hex or cast or whatever, and that was time enough to kill them off. Once again, I waited until the first monk's corpse was gone before I pulled the other monk - FS with H+H at 60% DP is NOT a good idea.


That was supposedly the nastiest piece of map design that Elona has to offer, right? (Realm of Torment doesn't count for vanquishing, and neither does DoA.)

I'll go for that other horror map tomorrow. Poisoned Outcrops.

Updated 29-10-2008 at 23:03 by Lytha