Monday, April 18, 2011
It's Monday, time for another Trickster update! I didn't really level all too much since last week, I spent most of my time grinding in Bonds of Darkness farming the Torturer King dungeon boss. I have a Hunter's Warrant, so I figure I may as well use it and see what I can get outta the fat guy.
I started farming him at level 51, and if you're okay with just holding down one room and waiting every 10 minutes for him to respawn, Trickster isn't too bad of a choice. Going room to room however, can be a bit of a chore and it seriously sucks the HP stones/potions out of you. I decided to farm just the C-4/5 room since it's almost never in use by someone else and TK spawns pretty much by himself, he lacks minions.
Selecting this particular TK is of extreme import to the Trickster farmer because of the fact that he doesn't have minions. By minions, I mean that when he spawns, he's alone. Most dungeon bosses spawn with three regular sized versions of himself and makes the battle much more difficult. If you're farming on a Fighter, the battle isn't too much different since you at least have the ability to Devastate the four of them and get some stuns in saving you a lot of HP. Tricksters lack this ability at this stage. Forced to stand there and take simultaneous hits from all four of these guys at once will really ruin your day. Fighting room to room is also out of the question. You could probably farm maybe 3 bosses at a time per stone run and have to go all the way back to Elderine to restone.
So what I did is basically just sit in that room for hours on end. I could get in about two hours worth of farming on the meager amount of HP stones that the Trickster class is allotted. This also means farming without a buff for at least one of those two hours.
One of the trickiest parts of farming is getting into the room itself. Sure you can just plow your way in, Claws bared, tearing through Bats, Prisoners, and Torturers, but I've found a better way one that doesn't burn precious resources doing so.
I've made a few annotations on the video, but as you can see, it's fairly simple. You basically run in, pull out the entire room, run them back out, wait for them to lose aggro, then hustle your butt all the way back in.
When the mobs lose that initial aggro from you, they will not re-aggro you until they are back to their starting positions on the map. If you have a fast enough mover, you can beat them back to their position, or bypass them completely. In the video, you can see that at the end, all I had left to deal with were the three Torturers closest to TK himself. I bypassed all of the mobs near the fountain, all of the mobs down that hallway, and the pack of mobs just as you enter the room. It takes a little bit of practice to do this, and it is not always 100% reliable, but it works probably 8 out of 10 times for me and when it doesn't I usually end up burning potions and stones fighting about 6-8 mobs at once. So yeah, visualize it working for you, but be ready in case it doesn't. Occasionally, you may get some stubborn mobs that continued following you and either whack you once and leave, or can be sent back simply by you moving around a bit and disengaging their chase behavior. Again, as you get more experienced with this, you'll notice when and become comfortable making adjustments.
Okay so now that you're in the room, now what? Get ready to duke it out that's what!
First off you need to prep the room. If TK is already there then that's a bonus since you can take advantage of knowing when his respawns will be. Keep in mind that Dungeon Bosses respawn on a 10 minute timer, while dungeon mobs respawn on a 5 minute timer. Those timers all start upon death of the mob. On mobs that have linked-aggro, they will respawn 5 minutes after the last mob (typically of the 3) was killed. In the case of a Dungeon Boss with minions, they will also follow suit. So if the minions aren't killed, the Boss will fail to respawn. I saw a lot of this farming Zombie King. Some fighters would run ZK out of the rooms far enough that the minions lost aggro but they were able to maintain aggro on ZK. They'd kill ZK, grab the drops and leave for the next spawn. Problem is that the minions are still there and ZK won't respawn. If you've seen some of the rooms ZK spawns in, it's extremely difficult to tell which mobs were linked to him. So be a courteous farmer and please kill all of the linked minions. Thanks, your fellow farmers appreciate it!
Okay, we've established spawn tmes and linked aggro, so again, you need to prep the room. Figure out what's around you, where you plan to pull the boss, and in the back of your head, keeping the respawn timers. Last thing you want is for you to be mid-fight with TK and have a bunch of dungeon mobs respawn within aggro range. So be sure to fiddle with the death timers on these guys. If you're camping a room, there's no sense in killing TK and then immediately moving on to killing the minions that are around if they're not aggroing you. You'll end up having to fight them again as their respawn timer is half that of TK's. Again, rationing out your resources is a tremendous time, and life, saver.
Torturer King isn't too hard of a dungeon boss. He does have a pretty bad DOT attack that punishes you for 221 HP every 3 seconds or so and he's extremely stun-happy. He'll often chain-stun you for 3, 4, 5 times in a row. Knowing this come prepared with your full compliment of T3 scrolls and T3/T4 HP potions. Again, as a Trickster, you have no stun (yet), and no arsenal of debuffs like a Fighter does, so be prepared to take a lot of hard hits along the way. You'll also have to deal with the bleed debuff that you probably got hit with from the Torturers. I think that's about 71 or 73 damage per second.
Once you're settled in, take a deep breath and get to work.
The TK battle is pretty straight forward for the Trickster class. For purposes of this video, I'm using +9 GGK Claws, a +9 Assur Armor (Level 45), +0 Compelling Pants (Level 55), and +0 Compelling Boots (Level 55), my hat is an unenhanced Leverl 46 green hat. Earlier I was farming with 48 +0 pants and +0 Assur Boots, more on that later.
I chose the Compelling Set specifically for its Set Effects. The two-piece effect of this set is a 20% reduction in the cooldown of Claw Swipe, one of your two soul grabbing skills. With a full CD empowerment of this skill you're looking at 6.0sec - 2.1secs - 20%. It's not quite fast enough to be spammable, but it works well enough. The stat window on the video is actually wrong. I have about 100 more DEF than what I had posted. I inadvertently put my stats from using +0 Kalidin Set along with T3 scrolls. So just keep that in mind. My DEF should be 7xx. I'm too lazy to go back and re-edit that picture and re-upload the video.
So let's talk combos and fight progression. I use a pretty standard combo on TK, starting with a soul grab, using either Claw Swipe or Lacerate, to open, it doesn't really matter as I go through a bunch of different skills before I get back to soul grabbing.
One neat thing about the Trickster class is that even if you miss on damage when attacking, you can still grab a soul. I'm not sure if this will be changed in future patches, but for now this is how it is.
Okay, so attack one is in the books, I have one soul. With that first soul, I immediately cast Claw Lunge to put a DOT poison onto TK. I follow that with Enfeeblement (another DOT), Venomous Strike (which increases poison damage), and Infection (which increases poison duration). Getting these DOTs in quickly is important because you're gonna get stunned. A lot.
Once all of those skills are casted, I'm back to soul grabbing. Alternating between Claw Swipe and Lacerate until my Soul Meter is full at 7. Once those 7 lights are lit, I unleash Razor Claw. In a perfect world where I don't get stunned, I can get two full 7 light Razor Claws onto TK before his poison is done. But of course it doesn't always happen this way, in fact it's rare that it does.
So what to do when you get stunned mid-soul grab? Well first off is you hope that your DOTs are still going. If not, I quickly re-evaluate the number of souls I currently have vs. whether the DOTs are still running or not. If I have 4 or more souls, I typically spam my soul grabs until my meter is full and then use Razor Claw. If it's 3 or less, I just opt to stick Claw Lunge's poison back on him then cycle through my normal combo.
It is really important, at least to me anyway, to always keep TK "in the green" so to speak. This means having that reserve of poison ready should the effect wear off. As you get more comfortable battling this boss, cycling through the combos and dealing with all of the stuns, it gets really easy.
So what about Flame Slash? I do carry a +0 CG Dual Sword that I have hotkeyed with my GGK Claws. I toyed around with this switching them out to get another DOT on TK along with poison and Enfeeblement. It works, but it's cumbersome for me so unless I'm extremely bored, I leave it out and just go with claws the entire fight. Typically the fight lasts about 2-3 minutes.
I've pretty much farmed TK as much as I've wanted to already. I'm currently sitting at level 58, the majority of my experience in the 5x levels came from clearing out his room and occasionally travelling to other rooms and clearing those out as well. I did do a bunch of quests at 57 and finished that level in another 30 minutes in 7x Abyss. I will probably just level into the 60s at this point spending most of my time in 7x Abyss.
I'll talk about the benefits of 'Abyss Jumping' in a future post and show you why 7x Abyss (and 8x and 9x) is a lot better than most people think, especially for a single-target character.