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 Mission 6 - Arborstone

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Lorn Wintersmith
Guild Leader
Guild Leader

Number of posts : 195
Age : 48
Location : Nottinghamshire, UK
Registration date : 2008-03-12

PostSubject: Mission 6 - Arborstone   Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:09 pm

Getting the Urn
Follow the road to the rear gate of zu Heltzer Cathedral (point "1" on the map). You will find mixed groups of Warden in this area. Some of the giant mushrooms emit Stone Spores.

After a short dialog, Danika will open the gate, allowing the party into the cathedral. In order to be able to pick up the Urn of Saint Viktor (point "2" on the map), you first have to defeat five groups of Warden. Two will await you in the water at the bottom of the stairs, both groups will attack you as soon as you enter the water (it is not possible to aggro only one). Two more groups guard the stairs leading upward to the main cathedral. Those four groups are easily defeated, as they consist only of warriors and rangers, but the fifth group, on top of the stairs, will include two Warden of Earth, two ritualists and a boss (either Ryver Mossplanter or Milefaun Mindflayer). Take heed not to accidentally aggro it while fighting one of the groups on the stairs.

After you pick up the urn, a cinematic will play and Mhenlo will be trapped outside the building, leaving the party and Danika to escape through the collapsing cathedral. Note that if you skip the cinematic you may have to wait for Danika to catch up with you.

Falling Stones
From now on, fragments of the building fall at a regular rate, causing minor damage to the whole party and interrupting skills and attacks. Fast Casting, and skills that prevent interruption, like Mantra of Concentration, Tranquil Was Tanasen, and Glyph of Concentration are recommended for members who are carrying resurrect spells. Mantra of Resolve may also help, but will be very costly if it is active in the wrong places (see below). In general it is recommended for spell casters to focus on spells with a relatively short activation time when preparing for this mission.

Several areas of the cathedral have the environmental effect "Cathedral Collapse", in which the above described effect will occur more frequently. (This is why Mantra of Resolve may be too expensive.) You should avoid fighting in those areas whenever possible, especially when venturing with henchmen. If party members should die in such an area, henchmen healers will often be unable to resurrect them, as they are unable to time their spells right so that they are not interrupted.

The party will be back at the stairs where they entered the cathedral. A group of Stone Rains and Stone Reapers will spawn in the water below. Focus on dispatching the Stone Rains quickly, as they are capable of massive damage dealing, should they gang up on one character.

There are three routes from the cathedral sanctum to the atrium and exit (point "3" on the map):

The Southern Route
The southernmost route (purple path on the map) is populated mainly by large, coordinated and balanced teams of Dredge, which can be quite difficult to defeat. If you choose to take this path, be sure your team is similarly coordinated. This path is guarded by the boss Dark Fang. This is perhaps the shortest route to take, as far as time constraints are concerned.

The Northern Route
The largest danger on the northernmost route (yellow path on the map) are the five groups of Oni that will ambush you. Each group consists of two to five Oni. The first will attack you in the vicinity of the doorway leading out of the cathedral, after you climbed up the collapsed side of the sanctum. Outside in the cathedral garden are two groups of three or four Stone Scale Kirins, patrolling at high speed and three larger groups of Undergrowths. Further in the back you will encounter the boss The Ancient, who is accompanied by one regular Dragon Moss. Take care not to over-aggro. All these groups are quite weak when fought separately, but together they may overwhelm the party by their superior numbers. Try to take out the Kirins first, so that they can't swarm you with Vampiric Horrors later. If you happen to aggro the boss, kill it quickly as it is a potent damage dealer.
After you have cleared this area, the path leads back into the cathedral. The doorway is guarded by a pair of Stone Reapers that will become active when approached. Inside the doorway is a collapsing area. You should either try to rush trough it or lure the group of three or four Stone Scale Kirins waiting behind it to the outside.
Now you will find yourself in another large area with two more large groups of Undergrowths and another pair of Dragon Mosses. Again, those groups can, and should if possible, be fought separately.
There are two ramps leading upward, one at the wall to the south-west, one at the north wall. Both ramps are guarded by a group of Oni. You should take the southern ramp, because if you do so it is often not neccessary to engage the group of Undergrowths which is closer to the north wall of the area. Also, the path leading south from the northern ramp is guarded by two Stone Crushers.
In front of the doorway leading to a short flight of stairs, you will encounter the third group of Oni. The stairs and most of the corridor behind are covered by collapsing areas, only a small section at the foot of the stairs is safe but here the fourth group of Oni awaits.
The fifth, and last, group of Oni will attack you at the end of the corridor, on top of the rubble sloping down to the atrium.

The Center Route
The center route (green path on the map) is the shortest. Proceed upward via the stairs from where you defeated the Warden boss. At the end of the stairs, a pair of hidden Stone Reapers will come to life and behind those a small group of Warden is waiting. Dispatch them quickly and move on to the left. If you linger here, another group of Warden will come at you from the right. Although they don't pose any threat, they slow you down unnecessarily.
It is recommended to cross the cathedral hall from the left, as here the collapsing areas are placed slightly differently and are less unpleasant than on the right. Fight your way through some more small groups of Wardens until you reach the stairs leading down to the main hall floor. From now on you have to proceed more cautiously. In addition to the Warden patrolling this area, there are two hidden Stone Rains at the end of the stairs. Take heed not to over-aggro. If you are fast and lucky, you can slip past most of the Warden populating the hall.
The stairs leading up towards the atrium are guarded by two hidden groups of Oni. Unfortunately, large parts of the stairs are also covered by collapsing areas. The first group of Oni will reveal itself while you are crossing the first collapsing area. Clear this area before engaging the Oni, even if this means to leave the initiative to the Oni. The second group awaits at the very top of the stairs. There is a small patch on the topmost part of the stairs, which is not collapsing. You should be about on it when the Oni reveal themselves. Wait there for them to engage you, do not charge up at them, as this would mean you would have to fight in a collapsing area again.

The Atrium
As soon as you reach the atrium, several Stone Rains, two Stone Reapers and one Stone Soul will come alive and gather around the boss Stone Judge. You should try to intercept and take down one or two of the Stone Rains spawning next to you before they can join the group, as this will make the following fight reasonably easier.
Eliminate the regular mobs before the boss. Have a warrior tank the Stone Judge during this fight, as his attacks can be devastating to less armored characters. As soon as the Stone Judge is eliminated, Danika will start the ritual to open the door. Two Stone Crushers will awaken next to the door. Prevent them from attacking Danika, as their attacks will interrupt her ritual. As soon as the door is open, Danika will leave and a cinematic will show the end of the mission. It is not necessary to have killed the Stone Crushers or even to carry the urn out of the cathedral.

Hint: Don't forget to use the Urn of Saint Viktor for protection. Put a caster on "urn duty" and keep dropping the urn around Danika et al. Remember to pick up the urn after each fight, as Danika will not follow the party while the urn is on the ground.

Hint: Try to keep Stone Judge alive as long as possible - preferably until all other mobs are eliminated. This way, you keep Danika in action (healing your party and, more important, herself). After the boss is defeated, Danika will start her ritual - which will be interrupted when there are mobs around. Also, if you have dispatched all of the mobs before killing the Judge, the ritual is completed BEFORE the additional Stone Crushers join the fight, thus saving you additional time to achieve masters. This way, you can hench/hero the mission with little trouble.

Notes on the Urn of Saint Viktor
The urn is charged through damage received by its bearer. When dropped, the urn summons Viktor to protect your party, creating a blue shield effect. Characters under this Shield are enchanted with the Shield of Saint Viktor.

Progression and division of the Shield of Saint Viktor

Level\Party 1.. 2 ......3 ....4 ....5 ....6 ....7 ...8
1 ..............80 40 ....26 ..20 ..16 ..13 ..11 .10
2 ............160 80 ....53 ..40 ..32 ..26 ..22 .20
3 ............240 120 ..80 ..60 ..48 ..40 ..34 .30
4 ............480 240 160 120 ..96 ..80 ..68 .60
5 ..........1280 640 426 320 256 213 182 160

This table shows the exact damage shield each party member receives when affect by the Urn. Find the level of the urn dropped on the up/down axis and cross-reference it with the number of party members affected to get the number. For example, a level 3 urn dropped on 2 party members will give each 120 points of damage shield.

If you drop the urn and do not pick it up again rather quickly, Danika will soon start to complain: "Hey, this urn is one of my family's most prized possessions. You can't just leave it here unattended!" She will not venture far from where the urn was dropped until it is picked up and carried again. It is therefore essential, when fleeing from a near-wipe situation, to ensure that someone picks up the urn. Otherwise Danika will not follow and will be killed.

Tip: You can use this fact to your advantage by leaving the urn behind before the final boss fight. Danika will stay behind while you clear the room (keeping her safe)and not charge through enemies to try to open the doors until you defeat the Boss or return to her location and pick up the urn

Additional Notes
Unlike in some missions, killing the final boss (the Stone Judge) does not end the mission. In fact, going straight for the boss is a bad idea, because killing him will spawn additional enemies who may overwhelm the party. It is better to kill his minions first to reduce the number of enemies the party has to fight at once.

Though the objectives do not mention this, Danika must survive or the mission will fail.

Sometimes Danika gets stuck by a chest thinking that it is the urn and will refuse to move.

Danika can also get stuck on the broken pillars just past where you fight The Ancient. If this happens, it is possible to lure her off of the sticking point by using wounded players or henchmen, though it is certainly difficult to do so and it will take so long that you will have no chance of getting the Masters rank. Run past her and to the East with as many critically wounded players or henchmen as possible, and she will follow in an attempt to heal them. If you have cleared out the monsters in the final chamber, she will then run in that direction in order to open the final door for you.

Players seeking a Grandmaster Cartographer title should note that after the mission the area becomes explorable, and additional areas can be accessed. Therefore, there is no need to work on the title during the mission. Furthermore, the quest Charting the Forests becomes available after the conclusion of this mission, and combines well with efforts to explore the area.

It can be quite easy for an unprepared party to wipe in the final section of the north-western route. The spawned Oni and interupts mean the backline may be unable to prevent damage, and resurrecting using anything other than a Resurrection Signet will be interuppted by the falling rubble.

You do not need to be holding the urn to complete the mission. So long as Danika is close enough to the gate and can open it, once it is opened you will go to the cut scene (sans the Urn). Apparently this does not affect the success of the mission.

Bug! Mhenlo and Danika sometimes mix up their dialog and speak in the wrong order

"Gentlemen, no fighting please. This is, after all, a council of war." - Lord Havelock Vetinari Patrician of Ankh-Morpork (JINGO)
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Mission 6 - Arborstone
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