One of my IRL friends who I play TSW with from time to time was wanting to unlock Nightmares and also finish up his story quests. He’s been QL10 for quite a while, but we like to duo and run through the quests and such, so we’ve never bothered to put together dungeon running groups. This changed last Thursday, though. We both got on and I spammed both the #noobmares and the Agartha LFG channels saying “Elite unlocks needed!” Thursday night I ended up tanking, which is fine so far as it goes. Back in the day I tanked 5/8 of the elite dungeons when I went through them and ended up doing the tank challenge to defeat the Gatekeeper. I even have purple tanking gear now, but it’s all dropped gear so that stats are a bit random and I have precisely 0 Hit, which can be a problem when trying to land impairs . . . .
Even so, we got a healer and 2 more dps and did the “18′s” on elite. Overall it went quite well, even though everyone in the group was “noobish.” Pol5 wiped us a couple of times until the dps learned to get off the boss and burn the adds. HR5 got us once when my lack of hit stat meant I missed *3* impairs on the “halo” she tosses out, and that wiped us. HR6 also got us a couple of times — sometimes it’s just kinda random on the red circles and there’s not a whole lot you can do. One attempt I thought was really fun was when we had him down to about 20K hp left and everyone else but me had died. He was to the point where he constantly returns to the center, and I was in there with him dodging the yellow circles and doing absolute crap dps (hey, I’m the tank and in crappy tank gear using a low dps build that doesn’t rely on hit stat) and even with that managed to get him down to about 5K hp all on my own. When I finally died, I was treated to the dps players saying “That was epic!” which, well… not really. The yellow circles are a predictable pattern, after all. But it was still fun to manage to stay alive that long with no healer. We got him next time, so it was all good. And hey, I got an Aux Upgrade Kit out of the deal, so that was nice.
Saturday night we were both on again and he wanted to finish up his story line in the Carpathian Fangs. We ran around and did that for him, but since the main fighting areas are the solo instance under Dracula’s Castle, and then a little bit in the Breach, there wasn’t too much I could help with, so while he was forced to be alone I went into Agartha and joined up with an Into the Filth group. Once done with that, I headed back to CF to at least help with what I could in the Breach, since those nightmare mobs in there can be annoying. And once he finished that up, we both hit up Agartha and spammed for people to do more elites with. Managed to find a tank and a healer, so I got to be dps this time. We did the Ankh, Hell Fallen, and Facility. The tank, healer, and the 3rd dps were 10.4 geared, so they kinda carried us on through even with a lot of screw ups from me (I barely remember these dungeons) and my friend (his 1st time there at all). But hey, an ugly win is still a win. . . .
Last night I logged on before my friend did, so I joined up with an Into the Filth run where we did the normal dungeon 1st then turned right around and did the nightmare version also. By coincidence, the group had 2 bloggers in it who I read — Seth from Megadirge, and I didn’t realize the 2nd blogger until later due to another coincidence. Ya see… after finishing up the runs, my friend had gotten online and wanted to see about getting the last 2 elites knocked out, so we grouped up and started spamming for Elite unlock group doing Hell Eternal and Slaughterhouse. I got a tell from once of the dps players from that last group I was just in saying that he could swap to his healer and join us, and after he swapped it was Nzoth from Superior Realities. Bloggers left and right last night!
Anyway, the runs through HE and SH went very smoothly, and since my spousal overunit had awoken and wanted to watch a movie (The Heat, with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy — quite funny), my friend and I did a quick run into the testing chamber in NY and he tested the dps of his build on a dummy for a couple of minutes. I’d been running a parser in the dungeons as well, so I knew he seemed to be getting 800-ish and sometimes over 1000 on the dps-race mobs, so I thought he’d be fine, but we wanted to test anyway. On the non-debuffed dummies he was getting a little over 900 dps, so it seemed he should be in good shape to go after the Gatekeeper, so I logged out and he went on to, as he put it “I haven’t died so quickly so many times in any part of the main playthrough.”
As we talked about it further this morning, it turned out he was getting killed by the Too Slow attack, meaning he wasn’t getting the 600-ish dps needed, in spite of doing over 900 on the dummies. He’s going to try tweaking his build a bit so he can do better with keeping dps going while he’s moving, and go from there. Hopefully soon — I’m looking forward to running Nightmares with him before too long.