May 282014
 

Weapon Shipment end fight
It’s handy when the end-fight fights itself

It’s been awhile since I ran anything in Amrath other than the occasional hopefully-Bauble-filled Weapons Shipment. And even that, even Weapon Shipment, doesn’t get run often.

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.

Kitalea: my Gamer Girl’s druid, featuring the Freezer Burn build

Sparksy: my OMG artificer, featuring the Spell Tinker build

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.

🙂 😀 🙂

  7 Responses to “Amrath Elite, Easy. Wait – Easy?”

Comments (7)
  1. It has been way too long since I have been in Amrath. Need to head back out there. I just tend to bypass those quests because I hit level 20 and go through a True Reincarnation before I get a chance to get out there. Glad to hear that the dungeon alert issues may be corrected though!!

  2. Gratz!

    Not to play one-upmanship, but good tactics that you and GG do are reflective of what you have to do for Amrath. My greatest success is soloing 3 of the 4 flaggings on Elite, no hireling support (that’s Kiricletica from the blog posts). I wanted those Yugo potions, dammit, and nothing was going to stop me. Of course, Kiri specializes in not fighting and was pretty much a ghost to avoid being attacked. I wimped out and did New Invasion on Hard, however, I’m not a masochist. 🙂 Same for two others. I’m determined to take my Zen Archer through Elite on all of them.

    I love the Battlefield for the very disadvantages you describe (although I think the XP is adequate). If your build can survive, even thrive out there, there’s not a lot in the game later that will oppose you sufficiently. There’s no happiness greater than b*slapping a Horned Devil.

    As for Weapons Shipment, that’s my monastic crucible. If any character I have cannot survive there with a light or no party, they get turned into a bank or slated for reroll.

    Oh…after you added your “Share This” buttons, something wacky has happened to your “Like” button, which I see as only half a button (although it still works).

  3. [rant]
    I don’t believe the nouns Amrath and Shavarath are entirely interchangeable; devils of Amrath, you say?
    [/rant]

    The variety given by the Shavarath quests are quite nice, it does sound suspiciously like the dungeon alert is either broken or patched for solo caster play styles. The stories told in these quests, Weapons Shipment end fight for example, are fun (and for some more important than the XP/minute).

    • The above comment was poorly written, the proofreaders over at Bob Industries should be fired, and Bob should be taken out and shot.

  4. Geoff, you inspired me to tell me to MAN the hells up and do what you did, if nothing more than for bragging rights. (http://orderofsyncletica.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/sympathy-for-the-devils/).

    “Yeah, yeah, you can fight some prissy Drow maiden in a skimpy outfit. When you drop the head of a pit fiend at my feet, soldier, THEN I’ll be impressed!”

  5. Out of interest, were you running EDs?

    (I might also point out druid and arty is a very potent combination, and more importantly, they didn’t exist when The Devils of Shavarath pack came out…)

    • Sparksy has 3 levels of Shadowdancer. Kitalea has 2 levels of Shiradi. No one has any epic past life feats.

What do you think?

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