Grrr… This guy…
Looks small, packs a punch.
It struck me that the one part I was enjoying out of Wildstar’s dungeons – besides trying to get interrupts off successfully fast enough to save the group from a dismal wipe – was the amount of movement and reflexive dodging needed and the sensation of practicing and getting better at one’s timing, plus needing to understand and analyze exactly what each mob attack was doing because it was so punishing to ignore it.
By chance, while doing my dailies in GW2, I walked by the perpetually up Champion Risen Archmage in the Cursed Shores (assuming no champion train running, that is) and decided to give him a go.
I ended up spending an hour there, by choice, and respawned about fifteen times from the nearby waypoint, having recreated a very similar feeling to your run of the mill PUG in Stormtalon’s Lair, with the added bonus of not having to wait 15+ minutes to even begin to attempt it, or having any ‘weak link’ scapegoat excuses that someone else was to blame.
This champion has it all, on demand.
A very quick firing small lightning bolt AoE… which hurts.
A bigger lightning storm AoE circle… which hurts like hell…
A lightning projectile that also freaking hurts…
And seemingly one or two other minor attacks that I haven’t really bothered to read yet, besides knowing one of them sorta corrupts the ground and applies two conditions.
He will test your dodging skills and mastery of timing intently, and punish like crazy if you screw up.
Which I did, often.
I am neither a condition thief with the benefit of toughness and lots of dodges, nor a zerk warrior utilizing an area where there were no respawning mobs and able to unleash heaps of damage in close range while still having a big health reservoir, good health regen, an evade and a block (ie. the two successful solo videos out there,) so I may have been trying this on voluntary hard and not-very-strategic mode.
What I ended up trying was just to plink away at range with my one-hand crit scepter and try to dodge every damn tell it had, staggering reflects, blocks and signet healing to recover from the many many accidents.
(In retrospect, maybe I should have tried shelter too.)
I was keenly aware that my timing wasn’t as picture perfect as it could have been, in theory.
Soon, the standard torch I ran around with in casual open world PvE was swapped in favor of the focus and the three blocks it provided.
I ended up staring at my traits and swapping the unused Powerful Blades (after attempting melee and blinds with it, I ate a couple of its projectiles and AoEs at such close range and decided against practising that at the time) for Signet Mastery, which boosted my signet heal recharge.
I started thinking I was running out of endurance way too quickly because I was so clumsy at this, and ate a 40% endurance regen food and put on an undead slaying potion, for kicks…
Biggest progress I made was around 50% of its health bar solo so far, but not for lack of trying, and I’m still dead certain I’m not staggering stuff properly (I tend to panic and start spamming when things go wrong.)
Most amusingly though, was that this attracted one or two Orr farmers when the archmage’s health started dropping, who seemed to be game enough to give a duo or trio a go.
It was somewhat gratifying to see that I was managing to survive long enough for them to take uninterrupted potshots at the champion, up until the point where I rolled a bit too far away and lost aggro from proximity, at which point they started being the focus of attention. And tended to drop after 2-3 AoEs they failed to dodge in time.
However, one ranger was fairly helpful and we actually successfully killed it in our impromptu duo attempt, as his pet actually took aggro some of the time and he managed to roll out of the AoE around 50% of the time.
Having that attention diverted from me gave me some breathing room and for my skills to recharge, ready to take over when the ranger inevitably went down. Since running to rez him would only mean unfriendly skies lightning aoe on both of us, I just ended up solo dodging it from the opposite side of the downed ranger and let him rez up again via his pet. Between that trading off of aggro and the additional damage from him, we managed a successful archmage duo.
Some day though… pulling off a solo would be fun.
And there’s also other classes and builds to try if my casual weak sauce one just isn’t up to the task.
Guess I know what else I can do when I get bored and want to get gud at dodging.
At a couple silver per waypoint (if you really screw up and don’t just flee to reset the fight) and no repair costs, it’s a lot cheaper in money and time spent than wiping repeatedly in Wildstar.