Over the past few weeks, I have been taking a few of my epic level characters into quests on epic hard just to get a feel for the increase in difficulty scaling. I have no issues with heroic quests but epic questing is still a rather “newish” thing for me. I have a few epic level characters but I’m most comfortable playing either Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Divine Crusader), Garrrin (Level 22 Barbarian/Furry of the Wild) and Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion). Now none of these guys have the best gear but my overall confidence in executing their abilities is stronger than some of other characters. So I decided to use these characters to start tackling these epic quests on elite.
Not too long ago, I took Garrrin through the rigors of the Tharashk Arena (VON 1) on epic hard. Prior to my attempt, I had tried taking Kolll through the same quest and learned very quickly how annoying the kobold and minotaur shamans are as well as realizing how detrimental the dungeon alert scaling is in epic hard. So when I took Garrrin I was a little more prepared to deal with the situation. However, even with that said, I had to reenter the Tharask Arena many times before I was able to get it completed on epic hard (I was duoing with another guildie, well we did have our hirelings with us).
Well, this past weekend I scheduled to bring on Kolll and I really wanted for him to complete VON 1 on epic hard. As I was preparing for the quest, another guildie logged on, Friedrice (another Ranger/Shiradi Champion), and together we entered the quest. We had no problems whatsoever dealing with the enemies in the hallways leading up to the arena. We also didn’t have any issues with the first wave of enemies either. However, our troubles immediately began with the second wave.
Now, before I talk about what happened let me point out that neither myself or Friedrice no which gates each set of enemies spawn from. But one thing I did pick up was that if you can get into one of the gates as soon as they open you can stall the eventual dungeon alert, if you are lucky. Unfortunately we weren’t that lucky. When the second wave began, our owlbear hireling took off and grabbed the ire of incoming mobs. It didn’t take long for the dungeon alert to immediately go from green to yellow and then to orange, although the orange lasted briefly. The resulting influx of enemies was just too much. We tried to bottleneck the enemies into one of the other gates but before we knew it we had minotaurs, air mephits, and air elementals all over the place. To make matters worse, the large increase in spawning mobs caused a large amount of lag for both of us.
The most irritating aspect of the arena fight wasn’t the ability or the types of monsters were were fighting but the immediate spawn of dungeon alert as soon as they came out of the gates. Not only did that buff the monsters and increase the number of enemies it also caused some lag spike issues which just made the whole encounter so frustrating. Poor Fried got stuck by lag in a few places and when it finally let up he was just left as a soul stone. We tried to reenter the quest two more times but when we died our third time during the second wave we gave up.
We then entered the quest on epic normal. Now I knew it would be easier on normal that on hard but I thought the scaling mechanic would be the same, at least with respect to the arena. Evidently not because we didn’t do anything special during the last fight in the arena and just waited for the enemies to come chase us down in the center of the room. Not once did we get a dungeon alert. Now in most cases I don’t have an issue with dungeon alert. If you have zerged past the whole dungeons and got spotted then I would think the enemies would know about you and be prepared. However, when the dungeon alert just spawns because of a mechanic of the quest (such as the monsters being released from the gates in the arena) then I feel that is just wrong. Oh well, at least we got it done on normal.
I just hurts my self pride more than anything else. I think I”m going to reevaluate Kolll’s gear, which is admittedly weak. But I’ll be curious to see how The Prisoner (VON 2) goes. When I took Garrrin through it on epic hard, he breezed right through it. I wonder if Kolll will have the same luck.
Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Vault of Night quests!!