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 mission 9 - The Eternal Grove - Kurzick

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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 9 - The Eternal Grove - Kurzick   Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:12 pm

The first thing you will notice about this mission is the additional health display on the top left corner of your screen, which shows the health status of the three Forever Trees. The trees are located at the points 1, 2, and 3 on the map. There are four Tree Singers grouped around each of these trees - each singer makes for one quarter of the tree's hitpoints. When the singers are damaged, the health bar of their tree will degrade, and if a tree singer dies their tree's health bar will not regenerate back up to 100%. When all four singers of one tree are dead, so is the tree. Note that this does not result in a failure of this mission! Success only requires one Tree Singer (out of 12) to survive.

Each tree has an associated Juggernaut in the mission. Each juggernaut will continuously resurrect as long as its forever tree stays alive. In addition to providing the Aura of the Juggernaut, the juggernauts make great tanks and do good damage as well.

Tip: You can get a Juggernaut to follow you by talking to it, unless it is already following someone else. This is a good way to bring the Aura of the Juggernaut with you if you need to leave the Grove.

The mission takes place in a very small area. Usually you will rarely venture very far from the hill with the trees, which is also the starting area. There are two gates leading up to the hill. With a well coordinated and balanced team it is possible to block both gates so that no attacker can enter and be a threat to the Tree Singers. Unfortunately, you will also have to leave the area to dispatch long range attackers. You should only do so when necessary, so that you can benefit from both the Aura of the Juggernaut (which boosts your energy regeneration) as well as the Aura of the Grove (which boosts your movement speed) as much as possible. If you are doing the mission with henchmen, you will of course have to run back and forth between the gates. In this case it will often be advantageous to attack approaching enemies as soon as they come into view and not wait for them all to converge on you.

Both Mhenlo and Danika will always be there as mission NPCs. Unfortunately you will have no control over them whatsoever. It does not matter if one or even both of them die, you will not fail the mission.

First part
The Luxons will attack from all sides, coming down the paths from the north, west and south. The first wave will be the strongest and come from the west. It can be advantageous to intercept this group early, before it reaches the Grove, and splits up. After this, attacking groups will consist of pairs of Luxon Warriors, Elementalists, and Rangers only. Dispatch the smaller groups quickly, making sure not to let any Warriors or Elementalists get past you to the Tree Singers, as they can take down a Singer in a matter of seconds. Do not go after the Siege Turtles as long as there are any Warriors or Elementalists around. The Rangers can be mostly ignored, as they don't deal much damage and will be taken care of by the Juggernauts. The Siege Turtles will come down the paths from all three sides and start firing once they arrive on the small hills, marked with an X on the map. Each Turtle has an escort of three Rangers, which again can simply be ignored, as they will not attack the Tree Singers.

After several waves a second wave of Siege Turtles and Luxon Rangers appears, one for each tree. Defeat the final 3 Siege Turtle groups starting with either the South or North and keeping an eye out for attacking groups spawning on the other side. Killing the final wave triggers the cutscene, which will explain the second part of the mission.

Note: The cutscene is triggered once the Siege Turtle group (turtle plus rangers) attacking the Western tree is completely killed. If any Luxon Rangers remain after killing the Northern and Southern Siege Turtles they will become your allies after the cutscene. Therefore it is advised to only kill the Siege Turtles and always leave the Luxon Rangers (except in the western group). This is simple as the Rangers will remain on the hill.

Second part
This part is mostly the same as the last, however the opponents are both more difficult and more plentiful. The handful of newly-acquired allies you have will not make up for this. One of the best approaches for holding off the Afflicted is to block the gates with one or two tanks and have the rest of the party use ranged attacks and skills, so that not too many are hit by the Afflicted Soul Explosions, which occur whenever an Afflicted dies. The Afflicted do not have any siege weapons, so it is safe to wait for them inside the Grove. Several of the attacking groups will also have a boss with them. If a boss is attacking a Tree Singer directly, it can be very helpful to place Protective Spirit on all tree singers around that tree, as a single boss Afflicted Soul Explosion can easily hit the Singers for 3/4 of their total health.

The Juggernauts make great tanks during this part of the mission, as long as the forever trees stay alive. They absorb damage well and if killed resurrect almost immediately, very close to the fighting.

Note on Success or Getting Masters Reward:

Having two Minion Masters, one on each side, can really tip the battle in your favor, just don't forget to have Soul Feast or some other way of healing yourself after you use Blood of the Master. Another very helpful tactic is to deploy trappers on each gate.

Skipping the cutscene towards the second part of the mission will delay the Afflicted for a few seconds. Useful for any preparations that you might need to make (such as moving the Juggernauts).

The last wave of Afflicted will attack from the North, but be aware that two Warriors will flank through the Southern stairs and eventually kill a tree singer if you haven't been paying attention and all your forces were deployed to the North.

Self healing and high damage can essentially allow you to assassinate each Siege Turtle and the Luxon Rangers along with it while you leave your party/heroes/henchmen behind to defend the hill. However, do keep in mind that if you die, it will become difficult to revive you.

Note on Henchmen: The second part is quite difficult to do with henchmen. Stick to guarding either the Northern or Southern tree. Stand close to the tree, and do not go down the stairs. It may not be possible to keep all the Tree Singers alive, but you will complete the mission. Spellcasters will have an easier time.

You could also try letting all your Henchman defend 1 side, and you and all the Juggernauts the other. Then when your Henchmen team has defended their side, they could go and help you.

If you have heroes available you can achieve the Master's with 3 heroes and henchmen but it is not easy. For the first part set your heroes to the south and the henchmen to the north. Pull the Juggernauts to the henchmen and set them at the bottom of the stairs. You will have to run back and forth to get the Siege Turtles using whatever group is closer.

After the cutscene put all your heroes and henchmen on the south gate. Pull the Juggernauts with you to the north. Mhenlo will have to be your healer so don't stray from him too far. Using a trapper build makes things easier, since the snares will slow the Afflicted down so the Juggernauts can get in to melee range of them. Keep track of Juggernaut deaths and run back up to the north tree to get them down to the fight faster.

When the final wave comes, both bosses come to the north gate so watch for when the south gate is clear. Release your heroes and henchmen to help you out, but make absolutely sure there are no more foes at the south gate - a single loose enemy will still make short work of the Tree Singers.

Master's Strategy with Heroes and Henchmen: The whole idea for Masters is to never loose a Tree Singer. If a single one dies, Masters is forfeit.

What works well, if you have two Necromancer Heroes (Like Master of Whispers and Livia), is to set them both up a Minion Masters with Blood of the Master and Soul Feast (both very important). For your third hero take an excellent healer (Dunkoro, Ogden Stonehealer). For henchmen take Redemptor Karl (protection), Jamei (healer), Cynn (fire elem), Lukas (tank). For yourself, set yourself up for lots of physical damage (for GWEN players Ursan Blessing (elite) is excellent).

Strategy for both waves: Set flags for one necro and the healer on the left gate (the first gate to be attacked is the left gate. The one Mhenlo stands by is the right gate). Set the flag for the other necro at the right gate. Mhenlo will heal the right gate necro.

Make sure to leave those flags planted for the entire time. It is best not to flag the rest of the henchmen at all, but if you have to do it VERY carefully so that the heroes stay put.

When the Luxon battle commences and the Juggernaut appear, click on one Juggernaut and have him follow you to the Left gate as you engage in battle there. Take the time to click on the Juggernaut again to plant him at the gate. Once the first group is taken care of rush to the next two Juggernaut and get them to follow you to the right gate. As you fight at the right gate, make sure to click on the Juggernaut so that they stay planted at the right gate (two of them).

Main strategy for fighting: Work your way between the two gates by running in front of the middle tree (it does not matter if its on the grass or on the little road up to the tree). When foes arrive at the gates, run close to the middle tree before targeting a group so that your support (you and the unflagged henchmen) is covering the closest foes to the middle tree. You will spend time switching from gate to gate as foes try to enter. While standing close to the middle tree, use "slash space" on your keyboard to target the closest foe. Never let a foe free inside the gates. Always target foes inside the gates before targeting foes outside. Period.

If a hero or hench dies, make sure they get resurrected quickly, specially the necros. If a Juggernaut dies, make sure to go get another one once they re-appear next to a tree. Let them follow you as you fight and plant them only when your targeting needs get you back to the gate they belong.

In the Luxon battle, stand your ground inside the gates till there is an obvious lull in the fight. This is the time to go take out a Siege Turtle. A good thing to do is to take out a Turtle, leaving any surviving Luxon behind. The ones left alive are of little consequence. It is more important to run back inside the gates when one of the heroes health meters starts moving. Never stay outside the gates for very long. Journey just long enough to kill a Turtle (maybe two Turtles if they are together, and maybe a few Luxons if they are fast kills) and back. It is very easy to loose a Tree Singer because a stray foe got through the gates.

In the Afflicted battle, skip the cinematic. Period. You need the extra time to set up. Get your heroes back in their places (exactly as before). Quickly start getting the Juggernaut in place (two on the right gate, and one on the left gate).

Now sit at the middle tree and let them come. As they approach the gates, make sure you select your targets while standing close to the middle tree. This assures you are attacking foes that are about to enter the gates.

DO NOT go outside the gates AT ALL during the Afflicted battle. The Necroes will keep them busy at the gates as you select the targets closest to the middle tree. The last group of Afflicted brings two bosses with them. Make sure the left gate is clear of foes before you attack the bosses at the right gate. Let the first boss enter the right gate a bit. Remove your hero flags, and take one boss out at a time. Make sure to kill the Afflicted Monks first.

With a bit of luck and good healing you will be able to make Masters easily.

It may take a few trial runs to get it right, but the strategy works well. It helps to bring a Powerstone of Courage so you can to remove ALL death penalty from your party half way through the Afflicted battle. Also any attribute raising goodie (Candy Apple, Candy Corn, Golden Egg, etc) comes in handy.

Another way to do this, if you only have one Necromancer hero is is with 2 Monk heroes, and one Minion Master hero, with Erys Vasburg, Jamei, Devona, and Cynn. As soon as the mission starts, flag the two healers anywhere in the Grove, and flag everyone else to where the first Siege Turtle will be coming. Flag the first healer to the tree that is going to be attacked first (2 on the map) and the second one to the one that is going to be attacked next (3 on the map). When the Juggernauts spawn, place two at one gate, and one at the other, while you help guard the gate with only one Juggernaut.

By now, the 5 other Henchmen should be fighting the first group of Luxons while your healer at tree 2 makes sure no Tree Singers die. If your henchmen take too long to kill the first group, and the second group comes, your second healer at tree 3 will keep the Tree Singers alive long enough for your henchmen to kill the first group, so they can move onto the second group and you can reposition your first healer to Tree 3 if two healers are needed, or move it to Tree 1, so it can protect the Tree Singers there from the next group. Repeat all of these steps and continue repositioning your healers so that no Tree Singers are injured too much until all of the Luxon waves are over, which will begin the second part.

Call all of your Henchmen back into the Grove, and in one gate, set 2 Juggernauts, yourself, one Healer and the Minion Master. Send everyone else, including the last Juggernaut to the other gate and wait for the Afflicted to come. Try sending the Juggernauts out at the bottom of the steps leading to the Grove, so they will be the first to draw the aggro while everyone else kills the Afflicted. If any Juggernauts die on your side, quickly flag over Devona to your side to help with the fighting while you bring it back. If the Juggernaut at the other gate dies, flag Cynn to your side to help fight while you bring the Juggernaut back. Be sure not to let any Afflicted get inside the Grove, especially the bosses, you will need to pull forces away from the gate to finish them off quickly, which risks letting even more in. If one gate is in more trouble than the other, move some henchmen to the gate that needs it. Keep this up and eventually all of the Afflicted will be gone.

"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 9 - The Eternal Grove - Kurzick
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