I applaud the group XP idea Turbine put in place this weekend. 10% more for each additional ‘real’ group member in non raid quests.
Brilliant. For the first time in forever I was actually incentive to join groups. Not that it ever stopped me before, but generally I will look for a group and if there is none for the stuff I want to run I solo them. Now I checked once and twice just to see if I could find a similar group, running something within the given levels I run.
So with my level 24 Warlock I first ran VON 1-4 and then later on the weekend, the entire second chain starting with trackers trap. That turned out to be one grueling session that started out okay and ended in a soul crushing, mind numbing ordeal with the remaining for of us beating it eventually.
Here I am level 25 doing the second chain in the Shadowfell pack and at first (trackers trap) things seemed okay. There was a few deaths, surprisingly from the same guy dying over and over, but it’s not unusual given that it’s EE and some of the enemy burst damage (and particularly from champions) can be bad.
Either way; there was no significant drama and we completed within a reasonable time.
Same with the supply convoy one. My guy had 60+ in diplo so getting the Harpy on our side wasn’t all that difficult. And with two Warlocks (me and another guy) there was plenty of black tentacles and such for the convoy waves arriving. In some respect the second quest was a little smoother (with a few deaths, but not many) and where I thought we would fail (blowing up the waves in time) we did very well.
Score one for Warlocks.
The third; dealing with the camps and incoming waves of gnolls, orcs and lastly giants turned out to be something else.
First – we failed the first try simply because most of the group was busy hitting stuff and not raising others when they fell.
So when we failed that, we recalled, got a bunch of scrolls and stuff and redid it again. Yes, it was still painful, but at least with lots more raise scrolls and such (and some more resources) we finally managed in what was a grueling slug fest.
The 4th quest – finding the frost giant – was another rampage from A through Z – and while we had our moments of issues, it was fairly straight forward and less of a pain that the third quest.
But nothing will (at least in my mind) compare to the several hours of painful face to wall gaming that was ‘what goes up’.
It started okay; we romped through the first 2 sections without too much drama. My guy has 72 in UMD so lowering all barriers without setting off the alarms is easy. And while the assassins managed to smack us over now and then, we managed to control most of it collectively as a group. And I gotta tell you; black tentacles are awesome in slowing down enemies and also holding assassins in place.
It was a life saver in most cases.
The real issue came when we hit the final part. We get to the last shrines just before facing the bad guy; we’re now running into the disintegration phase of some grouping where no one comes up with a plan and we all sorta do our own thing.
And the deaths starts piling up.
To my credit I died the least amount of times; 11. But I ended up using 5 or so cakes when we were all but dead, over 40 raise scrolls and many, many, SP potions.
Worst were the champions. Every now and then some type of champion ended up one hit slaughtering one or several of us as we fought at the entrance of the ramp and while we didn’t exactly have a good plan in place, the issue at hand was the fact that trying to pull the bad guy to where we were was increasingly fraught since we also pulled a lot of other things.
This was naturally not the greatest problem; we managed to figure out in the end how to deal with trash – no it was the champion shadovars (or whatever their names are) that added the most pain. They can apparently not only hit you for a grievous amount of spell damage, but also hit awesomely hard in close combat. And once they dispatched all of us and I had to eat a cake they left – many times to the opposite side of the place which meant we had to try to lure them back again, and once more deal with everything else in between.
2 Gave up – one guy had to go to work and the other felt it was pointless and left. In the end one of us had died 30 times and some other people 20 or so – I only died 11 but also used a tremendous amount of resources to see us to the end.
I figured it was one of those cases where I had resources and were going to use them so not to waste all that pain for nothing. A good thing too – I was down to my last 8 raise scrolls and had no more cakes left.
And once we finished I was already nursing a headache and was completely mentally drained. Sure – I hit level 26 in the process, but that accomplishment felt a little bittersweet considering the marathon treatment getting there.