Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Altdorf Sewers

So I have been mostly sticking to public quests and scenarios so far in Warhammer, but last night a couple friends suggested trying out the first PvE dungeon. We're lucky that we planned out our characters ahead of time and had great class balance. Warhammer may be oriented on PvP, but it still depends heavily on the trinity of healer, tank and dps. Since I got to the Altdorf sewers first I thought I would explore a little. I've gotten used to being a little bit immortal with my Warrior Priests and thought I could easily tank a level 15 champion mob. Unfortunately, fighting three of them at the same time quickly overwhelmed my divine strike healing and made me realize that tanks were still very necessary.

The Altdorf Sewers are divided into three very small wings which are located in the Slums area near the Bright Wizard college. All of them are filled with varying types of Rat Men who usually come in packs of three. Some of the wings do include priests who will stand back and heal their allies and nuke you with nasty poison attacks. In general the bosses will drop two green items with one of them being part of a class set. The items were generally an upgrade over the public quest gear I found between rank 15-17. Unfortunately, a lot of the gear was for classes we didn't have in the group though our tank did get a set breastplate.

Altdorf Wing 1:
This is the instance furthest away from the flight master and has two guards standing outside. Its filled with level 13-14 rat mobs, but without any of the annoying casters that appear in later wings. They do come in groups of three and can probably overwhelm none tank classes. We actually four manned this wing later in the evening with classes between rank 15-18. The one boss in this wing is a giant Rat Man, whom one of my friends described as Splinter on steroids. He will quite often do a ground pound attack which does a decent amount of AOE damage. If you don't have your resistances through the roof then you really need to run back as soon as you see the dust start to rise off the ground. Other then that its an easy fight as long as you have a tank and a long range healers. Healers who have to deal melee damage might have problems.

Altdorf Wing 2:
We actually ran this instance first since its the easiest one to find. The mobs are slightly higher around rank 15-16 and you'll start to see those annoying priests I mentioned earlier. Always take out the priests first since they have less hitpoints and I think their attack spell is AOE based. This wing is slightly larger and actually has two bosses. The first is a Chaos Mutant called the Bulbous One and is basic tank and spank fight. At the end he did get a couple high hitting crits off on our tank so he might have some sort of enrage ability. Just make sure your healers are awake and you'll win.

The last boss fight is actually the hardest one in my experience. It's two Rat Men commanders who can't be tanked since they constantly aggro dump. To make matters worse whenever they aggro dump they drop puddles of nasty poison on the ground which deal a lot of damage. You need to keep moving and make sure you are not standing on those puddles. Unfortunately, this can be hard since several people in my group reported not being able to see them on their screen. Also annoying is that the bosses also easily get stuck on the terrain and reset back to full life. Make sure you fight on even ground and that should reduce the chance of a reset. The one good thing about this fight is that they don't respawn if you wipe. So you can kill one, wipe, then come back for revenge.

Altdorf Wing 3
This one is actually very similar to the first wing except the mobs are now rank 17 champions at a minimum. They also come in groups of three like the previous wings. I'm assuming that three is the magic number that makes a tank class required for a dungeon run and I wouldn't be surprised to see it in the next set of dungeons. I actually haven't fully run wing 3 yet, since our group broke up before finishing it. Apparently it only has one boss and he's just like the Steroid Splinter you fight in the first wing. Based on popular opinion this wing is easy as long as your group is rank 17.

I'm not sure if the Altdorf sewers is worth the effort of gathering a group together to run it. The experience and money drops was very small throughout all the wings. The loot off the bosses would have been fine except out of the eight pieces that dropped only two were usable by classes in our group. Also the wings looked similar and nothing in particular stood out to make the dungeon cool or interesting to crawl through. I'm hoping this is Warhammer's equivalent of the Stockades and the higher tier dungeons are better designed and look cooler. The twin commander fight in wing 2 is challenging enough to be fun, but is bugged by random resets and certain players not being able to see the poison puddles.

I'd recommend the sewers for maybe a one time run just to stay in practice for future dungeon crawls. I do hear the 20-30 dungeons drop blue items, but the green items from the sewers aren't necessarily bad. The problem is that most of it might not be usable by anyone in the group. I would like to see some changes that reduces the randomness a bit and maybe have the loot tables use repairable items. They seem to change into different items based on whatever class wins them. Also the experience and money drops should probably be adjusted to be a bit more competitive with public quest, scenarios, and soloing. As a finishing touch a dramatic encounter would be nice, something like a Rat Man summoning a giant crocodile.


Saylah said...

Did the Sewers too and the guild-mates were definitely the highlight of the run. Comparing it to Stocks was dead-on. I also hope the future dungeons have more personality and style.

Varakkys said...

I'm guessing the Rat Men are Skaven, by far the coolest Warhammer race imo. I'm gutted they didn't make it into release on the Destruction side. Oh well, fingers crossed for the expansion...

Relmstein said...

I'm sure Warhammer will do well enough to introduce future races in expansions. I'm just crossing my fingers that they introduce the cut classes for free in a furture patch. Order needs another tanking class.

Emelious said...

It was so weird tanking that. Took me forever to really figure out that they were dumping agro. I was going nuts trying to figure out why the hell I couldn't hold agro on these monsters when I had zero issues the rest of the dungeon. It really is a huge difference how much damage I, as a swordmaster, can soak up when compared to the other classes. I seem to remember a certain witch hunter, who shall remain nameless*cough* Rota*cough* , who was getting dropped in seconds by these monsters.

steve said...

Sadly the hero of the entire dungeon, Galdo, also died quickly at times. I need to see if I have a setting off that shows npc effects so I can see the green pools they drop. I really blame Emelious.

Inquisitor Goody said...

As I understand it from reading forums, news about the game. The dungeons will be short similar to the Sewers however there are also longer instance based dungeons called lairs so don't worry - and yeah the Stocks comparison is spot on - great blog