Yesterday, I helped two of my guildies run a challenging 4 000 XP quest, “The Villainy of Galrath”. I’d previously attempted to aid one of them on this same quest last Saturday, without success.
I was fortunate enough to have found an awesome PUG when I completed the quest myself. For that run, we started from the Bergen Hot Springs. Few of us had the Temple of the Ages outpost on our maps. One of our party, a Warrior/Monk acted as a runner from Bergen Hot Springs up to the Temple of the Ages, where we were able to form a larger party. It was pretty cool to watch a Warrior/Monk runner in action. The journey from the Temple of the Ages to Kessex Peak to kill Galrath was difficult, and we died a few times, but not so many times as to accumulate huge Death Penalties. All in all, it was a hugely successful party with great players, and I completed the quest on my first attempt.
For the run with my guildmates, I was (of course) using my main character, my Necromancer/Mesmer (Level 19). We met at the Temple of the Ages to begin the quest.
Knowing how difficult this quest could be, I asked both of them whether they had any Candy Canes in their Inventories. They had none. I had been hoarding Candy Canes since Wintersday. I don’t have a huge stockpile by any means, but I decided to share. They didn’t know that Candy Canes remove all Death Penalty.
Right after leaving town, the Ranger/Necromancer (Level 16) decided that he wanted to tweak his Skills. Urgh. We had already spent a good amount of time in town salvaging, selling, and chatting, so I don’t know why he couldn’t have messed about with his Skills during that time. I was just talking, and he wasn’t really doing anything except trading with our Necromancer/Monk (Level 17). After that delay, we were off to Kessex Peak.
There was a minor fiasco in the Black Curtain in a battle against some swamp creatures. Everyone in the party died except for me, prompting me to ask, “What the heck were you guys doing?” *sigh* I ran through a nearby gate to the Talmark Wilderness, and returned to the Black Curtain instance. If you travel through a gate, and members of your party are dead, everyone will be alive on the other side after one of the party crosses through.
The journey up to the Kessex Peak instance went smoothly after that. We entered the instance, and this is where things became difficult. The swampy area was filled with high-level Reed Stalkers and Fog Nightmares, as well as poisoned swamp water. My guildmates (and the Henchmen) died several times there. I died once as well. Eventually we reached the end of this swampy corridor.
I was surprised to discover that an area gate no longer existed where there used to be one. These gates denote breaks between instances. Between the Temple of the Ages and just after entering Kessex Peak, there used to be an area gate right after this swampy area. It no longer exists. Not a major problem, but it was annoying, since if we died, the Resurrection Shrine would be that much further away. It also meant that I couldn’t act as a runner from this swampy area to the foothills of Kessex Peak.
We reached another difficult bit in the hills, fighting against Forest Minotaurs, Spined Aloes, and big tree things (forgot their proper names). Everyone kept dying, and I died a couple of times as well.
At one point, the only characters in the party who were alive were myself and the Monk Henchman. I had to fall back, wait for the enemies to return to their patrol routes, and sneak in so that the Monk could rez the rest of our party. I had to do this a couple of times, as the mobs we were aggro-ing were too large, and Death Penalties were racking up. In hindsight, I should have pulled some of them towards the group so we could deal with them a few at a time.
Finally, after clearing a large portion of those guys away, we respawned at the Resurrection Shrine and proceeded on. We were able to make it right up to the Wizard’s Tower, where Galrath and his Bandits lurked. Then everyone in the party, except myself, was killed again. Since I didn’t have a Resurrection Signet to raise the Monk Henchman (I was carrying a Signet of Capture in case we came across a nice Necromancer Boss), I decided to do a Kamikaze run so that we could all respawn, and so I did. We then regrouped a bit.
Since my guildies (as well as the Henchmen) had died many times over, I guessed that they had heavy Death Penalties. I suggested that, since the area from the Resurrection Shrine to the Tower was pretty much clear, now would be a good time to use their Candy Canes. The Necromancer/Monk had already used hers (Doh), so I had to give her another one. The Ranger/Necromancer didn’t know how to use his Candy Cane, so it was explained to him. I decided not to use a Candy Cane, since my Death Penalty was only at about 17%, and I felt confident enough that I wouldn’t die again before completing the quest. Now that the guildies were back up to 100% functionality, we were off again. We destroyed Galrath and his cronies, and the quest was completed, which was a relief.
My guildmates felt a huge sense of accomplishment after that quest, since it’s quite a hard one. I had already completed the quest, so I only got a little XP from the monster kills, and I got one Gold Item drop (an Axe that I’ll give to my Warrior/Monk). However, I was feeling a little underappreciated for my efforts, as no one acknowledged my contribution. I’m not saying that I did everything, because it was certainly a team effort, however my knowledge of the quest area, monster positions, and my ability to stay alive helped the entire party.