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 Mission 16 - Gate of Madness

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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 16 - Gate of Madness   Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:43 am

Start the mission by talking to Runic Oracle.

You must first get to the area where the shrines are. The main idea is to only fight one group at a time. If you "aggro" two groups your team will be overwhelmed and you get to start the mission over again. This is one of the most difficult missions from all 3 campaigns.

At the start, follow the left edge of the ravine on this map, you'll encounter two groups of Margonites with High priests in each group. You have to kill the first group, but just you follow the second group. Stay left and as you get to the bridge, you'll fight three or four pop-up Torment creatures. If you flag your party to be fighting on the bridge, you can avoid the second group which you followed. Crossing the bridges you'll encounter two sets of two Titan Abominations. There are more Titans that you can avoid. Follow the trail on the above map.

Towards the end of the bridge wait for the two big groups of Tormented patrolling the area to separate. Follow the group going to the right. Stay close, but do not aggro them! Stay to the far right. They slowly make their way up the hill before turning around. (The group can totally be avoided.) When you can sneak past them on the right, do so. Stay to the far right. You'll be making your way towards another group of Margonites with a High Priest. Follow these Margonites until they turn around, then attack and kill them. Another group of Tormented with a Word of Madness may be patrolling the hill. Only if you have to, take on the Tormented group when it comes back down the hill. Otherwise flag your group and hold position where you killed the Margonites, then advance up the hill.

Next you'll encounter two Torment Claws, who are usually immediately followed by 3 Scythe of Chaos pop-ups. Keep making your way up this hill to the gate which Shiro (the main antagonist from Factions) stand behind. He leaves and the gate opens. Three Shiro'ken pop up in front of you; kill the Shiro'ken Elementalist first. When these are dispatched, another three arise. This time, target the Shiro'ken Ritualist first. Another group of Shiro'ken will form behind you. You can ignore these, as they won't move past the gate. Just get through the gate and keep moving forward.

ALTERNATIVE: Once you kill the Torment Claws, have everyone in your party run half way down the hill (back the way you came). One party member should then go up the hill towards the gate to trigger Shiro's speech then run back down to the rest of the group (ignore the pop-ups as they won't follow you far). Wait until the patrols walk by. Once they have moved on, continue down the path to the right through the gate (run by the Ranger Spirit that may be there) towards the chaos rifts.

The Portals
Once through the gate, the Lich Lord (the main antagonist from Prophecies) speaks, five chaos rifts open, and a number of enemies spawn. Wait for all the rifts to form. Each rift, like in Prophecies, is defended by three Portal Wraiths which must be defeated for the rift to close. Enemies, such as Margonites, perodically appear from these portals and will continue to do so while the portal is open. When the Lich speaks stay to the right hand side, but take it slow. You want the Portals to open up first, and then let the enemies set in their patrols. Wait for the patrols to leave, allowing you to fight the 3 portal wraiths. This is easier than trying to take all of them on at once. Taking the portals out counterclockwise is an easy way to mop up this part of the mission.

Portal #1: Stay to the right and you'll come across the first rift, it is possible to pull the Portal Wraiths from this portal towards the wall you're hugging, thus avoiding the Tormented that patrol the same area which spawn from the Portal across from where you are. After you dispatch the Portal Wraiths the portal will close thus giving you a morale boost. Careful timing can get you past the two Tormented without aggro but you must get very close to the next portal to ensure they don't hit you from behind.

Portal #2: Continue towards the next portal which will be mixed with the Portal Wraiths and about five Margonites which patrol the area. Take out the Portal Wraiths FIRST to ensure no respawn of the Margonites happens, then any Monks that might be in the Margonites group.

Portal #3: This portal can be taken a few different ways. It is guarded by an Armageddon Lord and about three Tormented. It is possible to PULL the Titan Armageddon Lord away from the portal towards the portal you just closed. When you dispatch it, it turns into a Risen Ashen Hulk (Necromancer), then into two other Titans--a Hand of the Titans and a Fist of the Titans (both are Warriors). Then, after you dispatch all of the titans, run and take out the Portal Wraiths followed by the Tormented, you should have enough time to do this before another Armageddon Lord respawns. The other way to go with this portal is to watch the two patrols. Sometimes the Armageddon Lord and the Tormented get mixed together in the same group. If this is the case, watch the patrol and when they walk away from Portal #2 go take out the Portal Wraiths or pull them towards you. (You might not have enough time to pull them but you should be alright even if you come under attack by both patrols).

Portal #4: Watch the group of Margonites that are patrolling. They give you a nice window to slide into the back and behind the Portal Wraiths on the right hand side. This small area should be a good resting point for regeneration and regrouping. Take out the Portal Wraiths when you feel comfortable. The Margonites should pose you little threat even if mixed with the Wraiths. If you have any death penalties, this is a good time to recover from that as well.

Portal #5: Has two patrols: one of Margonites and the other of two Titan Abominations. This portal goes down easy if you pull the Titan Abominations towards the portal you just closed. After you dispose of the titans you should have enough time to wipe out the Portal Wraiths before anything else comes out though you might encounter a Tormented claw near the portal. If you don't want to fight it pull the Wraiths away from it. The Margonites will more then likely be mixed with the Portal Wraiths. Once again, you need to dispatch the Wraiths first. This should not be a problem. However, if you decide to fight the Tormented Claw and the Portal wraiths under the portal, you risk aggro with another group of Tormented.

As you close the last portal, a door opens allowing you to approach the area where the five god's shrines are. BEFORE you go through the door, rest, regenerate, and heal. Now is the time to reaffirm the plan if others are in your group: (Kill the Lich, kill the Margonites in first Room. Rest up behind the Shrine. Avoid Shiro.) If in a group of people, make sure everyone is on the same page on how to proceed. Unfortunately, this area is defended by both Shiro and The Lich. When the party is ready, take out the Lich. Totally ignore Shiro. Once the Lich is destroyed, immediately get the party into the first shrine and take out the Margonites then head behind the shrine to rest.

The Shrines
Start capturing the shrines of the Five god's to gain their blessings. These help you tremendously against Shiro and help you obtain the bonus for this mission. Each Shrine has about two to five Margonites guarding them. Make sure your whole team gets in capping range of the shrines before attacking anything. While capping the shrines keep away from Shiro. Don't let him touch you. And if he gets close to you, run away from him. Flagging Heroes around the Shrine area is a good way to stop them from attacking him. Be sure to kill all the Margonites that guard each shrine or they will re-cap the shrine as you run to the next. You will notice that Abaddon's shrine is in here as well; stay away from it, for it cannot be capped. Note: Moving your entire party to the very back of the shrine (first two on the right side only) will break aggro from Shiro. You can use this tactic to rest and regenerate before moving on to the next shrine.

Alternative with Henchmen
As most suggestions involve at least two players reacting and thinking at the same time, many have problems with pure ai parties. An easy solution, although forfeiting the bonus, is to cap the first two shrines (starting from the right and going counterclockwise). These have the advantage of offering safe zones at the back. Having killed the Lich as suggested above, flag the party to the back of the first shrine, taking out the margonites whenever Shiro is far enough away. Repeat with the second shrine and heal. Then aggro Shiro, staying as near to the back of the shrine as possible. When his health is down under 30% he will start using that dreaded skill. Keep your mouse over the party flag and as quickly as possible move the group to the back of the shrine as soon as Shiro activates, thus breaking aggro, ressing as needed. When the skill is over (disappears from under his name) re-aggro. Repeat as necessary and he should go down in no time. Again, the secret lies in (1) flagging the party to safety whenever Shiro activates, and (2) avoiding mad flagging running away from him due to broken aggro. Possibly, the master could be gained by starting with the left shrine and working clockwise, thus ending at the safe shrine, but enjoying all the boosts and the master title.

The bonus for this mission is to capture the shrines to each of the five gods (all but Abaddon). As you rally each of the gods, they will reward you with Blessings that will help you fight the bosses. While you control a certain god's shrine, you will receive all the generic blessings from that god, as well as the ones that increase your primary profession's attributes. If you lose control of a shrine, you will lose those blessings; however, as long as you have all 5 shrines noted as captured in your quest log, you will get the Master's reward regardless.

Bug! Any players who are dead when a shrine finishes being captured will not gain the shrine's blessings, even after they are resurrected. The shrine will still count toward the bonus condition.

Getting the bonus with heroes & henchmen
It is easy to get the bonus in this mission with heroes and henchmen. Follow the walkthrough above up to the point where you come to the entrance to the room with the six adjoining Shrines. Make sure all heroes are set to 'defend' or 'avoid combat', and NOT 'aggressive'. Run in to the large open room, and kill the Lich, but do NOT attack Shiro! Run to the first shrine on the right, kill the margonites, and then kite Shiro by running in a circle around the shrine until it is capped. Shiro will leave, so now if you need you can rest. Proceed to the next shrine, kill the margonites, and run in a circle around the shrine while it is capped. Rinse and repeat until all five shrines are capped (avoid Abaddons shrine, it can not be capped). With the blessings of all five shrines you will find Shiro easy to kill, completing the mission.

Tips for Defeating the Lich
The Lich is relatively easy to kill. He is weak to holy damage, water damage, and to fire damage (50 AL vs fire). He will not withstand focused fire from the team. Take care as he can hit hard and has some area of effect damage.

The Lich deals AoE damage through Life Vortex, the radius of this skill is approximately 3/8 of the aggro bubble range.

A Dervish planning on dealing scythe holy damage to the Lich should consider using Avatar of Balthazar over Heart of Holy Flame, as the Lich can remove enchantments with Hunger of the Lich.

Tips for Defeating Shiro
As a general unfortunate note, most of the following tips involve skills you won't find in the Nightfall campaign, especially in regards to necromancers.

A Necromancer carrying Spoil Victor or Spiteful Spirit, Insidious Parasite, Cry of Frustration, Complicate, Price of Failure, Web of Disruption, and Energy Management spells can be used to ensure victory. Not only would he deal tremendous damage by spamming Spoil Victor or Spiteful Spirit and Insidious Parasite, it will nearly nullify the benefits Shiro gets from Battle Scars, and use Shiro's extremely dangerous Impossible Odds skill against him. Awaken the Blood also makes a good opener to boost curses by +2 for a little extra punch. Be warned that Impossible Odds will remove a hex so be sure to cover up the important ones.

For all professions Pain Inverter is a good way to let Shiro kill himself. The effectiveness of this is increased greatly with a bunch of minions and Shiro's use of Impossible Odds.

Use stance ending skills, such as Wild Blow and Wild Throw immediately, to remove Battle Scars. This skill is extremely dangerous in conjunction with Impossible Odds, in addition to healing Shiro at your expense. Hexes such as Spiteful Spirit, Insidious Parasite and similar can be effective in negating any benefit Shiro gets from Battle Scars.

Try focusing Shiro on a blocking tank: negating most attacks limits damage but more importantly negates the effects of Battle Scars. An assassin using Way of the Assassin and Critical Defenses may be incredibly efficient for this. An assassin can also use Wild Strike to end stances making him/her even more useful for this mission. Combine this with Price of Failure and Spirit of Failure and Shiro might only strike the occasional blow.

Consider waging the combat at the temple door. This is about the limit up to where Shiro will follow you. Run outside the temple before actually engaging Shiro and prepare yourself for the coming battle. You may find useful to disable some useless skills on your heroes at that time to ensure they only use the critical ones. You should pre-position you team around the door (uses flags for heroes), spaced on a quarter-circle to minimize Impossible Odds effects. Place a tank at the door itself to provide a target within reach for Shiro and who will more or less anchor him. If you feel things are going badly, you can also easily run away. This strategy should also work with only henchmen and heroes. If not at the temple door, then wage the battle in the middle of the temple. There you can spread out sufficiently and sometimes confuse Shiro on who to attack, as he will start to go one way and then decide to go the other this can prove very useful if your party is in danger and trying to resurrect everyone. It is also possible to perform hit and run tactics this way.

Skills like Hidden Caltrops and "You're All Alone!" tend to confuse and devastatingly hinder Shiro's abilities.

Tactics to Avoid
Skills which disable target foe's skills, such as Blackout, do not work on
Shiro as monster skills cannot be disabled.

Conditions, such as blindness, are good but Impossible Odds allows him to spread these back to your team. Use with caution.

He cannot be knocked down.

He is not affected by Lightbringer's Gaze.

"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 16 - Gate of Madness
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