Hard Mode

It’s hard. How hard?

  • Monsters in hard mode respond more quickly to AoE damage.
  • Monsters in hard mode will be more likely to kite for longer periods of time.
  • Melee monsters in hard mode avoid focusing their attacks on one target.
  • 33-50% faster casting, movement and attack speed.

I am going to attempt to complete Hard Mode for explorable areas in Guild Wars Prophecies on my main character. This will put me on the Vanquisher title track. I’m fairly sure I can do it, if I am patient enough. I know it will be very difficult though. I cleared the Traveler’s Vale (an Explorable Area) in Hard Mode, and this presented a moderate challenge. I can’t imagine what the enemies in the Crystal Desert, the Southern Shiverpeaks, and the Ring of Fire Islands (high level areas) will be like in Hard Mode. Sheesh!

I am not sure whether I will be able to complete all the Primary and Bonus Missions for Prophecies in Hard Mode, because I think it will really depend on getting into a good PUG or playing with guildies. Ideally, I would love to, but we shall see how that goes.

Yesterday, myself and three guild mates set out to complete The Great Northern Wall Mission in Guild Wars Prophecies. In Hard Mode. This is the first Mission in the game. It is a very easy mission — on Normal Mode, that is. Hard Mode shouldn’t have presented too many more problems, or so I thought.

My guild is a pretty laid back one. We don’t do PvP, and as far as I can tell, most of us are mature enough not to throw fits and call people names if there is any dying going on. Mainly, we tend to do our own things in PvE and chat to each other in Guild Chat. We’ve got European players as well as North American players.

The Great Northern Wall is a four person Mission. Since we were fighting in Hard Mode, all enemies are Level 22 and higher. Now, I have not completed any of the Titan Quests (a series of endgame quests), but the experience of fighting such high level groups with only four people in a party is probably similar.

Party Composition

  • Necromancer/Mesmer (me, playing a Spiteful Spirit/Arcane Echo build)
  • Monk/something
  • Mesmer/Assassin
  • Necromancer/Monk (fairly sure the Secondary was a Monk; was not playing a Minion Master)

As you can see, it’s not the most balanced of parties. We had no tank, and we had no nuker. I didn’t think that the lack of a tank and a nuker would be a huge problem, and it honestly wasn’t. What was needed at the very end of it were people carrying speed boosting Skills, and there are several Professions that have this. Unfortunately, Necromancer is not one of them. Mesmers have Illusion of Haste, however the drawback to the Skill is probably not worth equipping it unless I feel very lucky. If, at the time, I had known about increased movement speed for monsters in Hard Mode, I might have instead switched my Secondary Profession to Warrior and equipped Sprint.

We had a total party wipe three times. Each time we wiped it was deeper into the Mission, so we were learning to work together better.

From the end of the cut scene in the middle of the Mission, the team has about three minutes to run back to the beginning. Talking to the NPC ends the Mission. Most of us had not done this Mission in a very long time, so after the cut scene we got disoriented. Because of the delay, a couple of my guild mates were killed. I and another were able to regain our orientation more quickly, and we legged it back to the wall. My guild mate was further ahead of me. However, he was slain unceremoniously by a couple of Devourers on the bridge. I managed to get past these Devourers. Less than one minute remaining, and I was nearing the wall. On my compass, I could see the little red dots, representing the Charr, in pursuit. Unfortunately, I have no Skills to boost my speed, so it was just a matter of numbers. Hard Mode enemies have 33-50% faster casting, attack, and movement speeds. The Charr caught up to me and killed me. I was so close as well! If those blasted Ascalonian guards (NPCs) had done their jobs and were able to divert the enemies’ attention, I would have made it through the gate, and up the stairs.

Unfortunately, no one had time to give it a fifth try. I guess we shall have to do it at some other time, or perhaps I will try it on my own or with a PUG.

  5 comments for “Hard Mode

  1. bigwig
    23 April 2007 at 22:50

    Travelers Vale was actually the first place i thought of to try out hard mode as well. Unfortunately I was alone with my heroes and after a few groups i got pretty bored and logged out.

    I seriously can not see myself playing through the game again to work on those titles. Good Luck though.

  2. 23 April 2007 at 23:15

    Thanks. :)

    I think the jungle is going to be a bit of a pain. It’s my least favourite area.

    I have a few things motivating me. The money is just as good as Normal Mode high level areas, and there is the nostalgia factor of revisiting those areas. But yeah, I can see it getting boring after a while, I have to admit. Mapping is tedious enough (still not even at 94%), and killing all the mobs again (on a higher difficultly level) just to get a title is pretty anal retentive, and possibly masochistic. :?

    I don’t think I am going to try to do anything in Hard Mode in Factions. Not sure about Nightfall yet.

  3. Twyst
    24 April 2007 at 06:44

    Just a note about the titan quests. I had a very proficient guild, even strategists that dictated what builds would be played, and the last titan quest was hard. It made brother turn on brother, guildie turn on guildie, and took us probably a week of solid attempts. Maybe we just suck and i didnt know it – but it was hard, tho funny looking back on it now.

  4. 25 April 2007 at 03:06

    Yikes…was going to give that a go last night as a kind of casual ‘we have a bit of time left’ type of thing. Sounds a great deal more serious than that though, and I still have nightmares about some of those missions the first time through – that awful capture the flag one in the jungle place, just before the henge, in particular.

    With any luck, we’ll be dragging our heels so much on Nightfall that the next one will be out before we’re done, so won’t need to do the Hard Mode thing!

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