The Amrath quests are famously difficult, and feature a poor XP-per-minute return. The quests are perceived to be too hard for casual players, yet too long for veterans seeking fast XP. I can speculate about why this might be, but I think it is a combination of reasons:
- Really hard-hitting melee opponents with lots of hit points AND very good saves and immunities
- Unusual quest topographies that seem to be very hard on the hireling AI
- Teleporting opponents makes it difficult to keep them at range
- Enemies come in larger waves than had been encountered previously
- Unique end fights that you can’t build for or become practiced at because you only encounter them here
Maybe I missed some reasons? Please feel encouraged to help me out in the comments.
But I digress. We are not here today to talk about how hard these quests are, but rather how easily they can be defeated by the right combination of characters.
Specifically, the two characters that my Gamer Girl and I took through Amrath over the long holiday weekend.
Both of these builds excel at keeping opponents at a distance (Earthquake, Lightning Sphere/Tactical Detonation), handling mass numbers of bad guys at the same time (Ice Storm/Call Lightning Storm, Flame Turret/Blade Barrier), and dealing out furious DPS (Creeping Cold/Call Lightning, Elemental Prod/Prismatic Strike/Rune Arm).
Between us we have the capability to attack from extreme range (Repeating Crossbow), fire and forget (druid DOT spells), use any wand/scroll/clicky in the game to maximum effect (artificer feats and UMD), and even trapsmithing.
It’s a potent combination. Too potent for the devils of Amrath. Even on elite, these two characters (plus their hirelings, plus their canine companions) were more than enough to defeat every Amrath quest, on Elite, on the first attempt.
- Even Weapon Shipment with its scaling waves of bad guys
- Even New Invasion with its crazy circular track of exploding curse-giving floor tiles
- Even Bastion of Power and the end fight in a tiny constrictive space against a red-named Pit Fiend followed by a red-named Marilith demon
Although we ran these quests at-level (On Elite they are CR20 and 21, we brought character levels 20 and 21), we didn’t rush, and we played pretty well. Especially my Gamer Girl; she is amazingly good at staying alive and saving the party. We had the benefit of Dungeon Scaling since there were only the two of us. And we had been through all these quests before, many times, even if it was back in the distant hazy past and much was forgotten.
We also seemed to have the benefit of some unheralded Turbine bug-fixing: there was no Red Alert at any point, and some of these quests used to toggle from Green to Yellow to Red just by walking through them. Dungeon Alert was your biggest opponent in these quests but that seems to have been cleaned up.
Yay! Really, let’s do that again: a big Yay! for lessened Dungeon Alert.
And so Amrath is defeated, on elite, all but the Tower of Despair for which we will need to watch for a PUG. Victory! I suspect a lot of our success was due to the fact that we didn’t try to melee anything, could handle our own traps without a rogue hireling, and could heal ourselves and each other. It seems unlikely that I’d be tolling our success this morning had we attempted Amrath with a … I dunno … barbarian and a rogue.
But who cares about that, for now, we win!
And winning is good.
🙂 😀 🙂