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Dolven-View Solo Instances Info, Strats
The Dolven-View solo instances are hugely important. I think they're particularly important for minstrels, because they're one of the most efficient ways to level up while soloing, and also confer a variety of other benefits. Based on other posts, I also think some minstrels are finding these instances harder thantneed be. Perhaps this thread will help a little.
First, some basics, for those who've literally never tried the instances before
1. They're in Dolven-View.
2. There are two quest-givers, standing side by side, right across from the Stablemaster.
3. Each gives three different levels of quest. When you first get to Dolven-View, there's a good chance all three tiers won't be offered you.
4. From lowest to highest tier, the three instances from the right-hand quest giver (as you're facing them) are Training Hall, Ghost-Forges, and Spider-Nest (all names approximate).
5. From lowest to highest tier, the three instances from the left-hand quest giver are Mithril Slaves, Morroval-Outcasts, and Library of Steel.
6. There's a price of entry to each quest -- an "infused" garnet, sapphire, or adamant. These are different from other gems in the game. They're random mob drops, mainly (exclusively?) from humanoids. Fortunately, they drop frequently in the instances themselves. They also can be bought on the Auction House.
7. The instances can be repeated daily. You get significant XP each time you do them.
8. Another quest reward is item XP. This scales with tier much more dramatically than XP does. For the highest-tier instances you get 19K or so IXP, which works out with the multiplier to around 6K IXP for each of 6 items.
9. Another quest reward is an enhancement scroll for your legendary items. In my opinion, the most important are increased light damage (right-hand quest giver); damage against "orc-kind", which includes goblins (left-hand quest giver); and maybe damage against spiders/insects (right-hand quest giver). The magnitude of the benefit goes up with the scroll.
10. There's a lot of loot of the sort you'd expect from humanoids -- legendary items, barter items for legendary items, rep items, scholar mats, jeweler mats, potions, infused gems , etc. E.g., while this is definitely at the high end, on my last two runs straight through Training Hall I've gotten 12 legendary items plus 2 Rusted Dwarf Tools.
11. If you fail an instance you can retry immediately, without paying an additional infused gem.
12. If you run out the front door of an instance, aggro resets. You can run right back in and continue, perhaps after healing yourself, clearing inventory, etc.. But if you wait too long, the whole instance resets from the beginning, as if you failed. This is actually pretty cool if you want to farm for loot, XP from kills, and/or IXP from kills. Have two quests open, and alternate from one to the other, and they'll reset every time.
13. In particular, you can run in, kill a couple of mobs, level a legendary item to Level 2, run out, break it down (the relic master is right by the instances), equip new items, and repeat. That's the single fastest way to exploit your excess legendary items.
14. WARNING: Beware of taking a 6000 IXP reward for an item that's already close to Level 10. Unlike the case of IXP gained through kills or runes, IXP over what you need to get you up to the reforge level is wasted. If you're getting to that situation, push up to the reforge level by other means -- e.g., do an Infused Garnet instance first before cashing in your Infused Adamanat instance quest reward.
Now, some general factual details, for those who haven't completed a particular instance.
1. In each of the six instances, the general idea is the same. You kill enemies, then you kill the boss at the end. Then an "Ancient Anvil" pops up -- which you use to turn the "Infused" gem into an "Empowered" one -- and that ends the instance.
2. In each of the six instances, you have some task to perform. In five of the six it's to either kill a certain kind of mob or, pretty equivalently, kill mobs and get a certain kind of drop. The exception is Spider-Nest, where you have to release 6 of 8 dwarves from cocoons along the walls.
3. In two of the six instances, there's also something you're supposed to prevent from happening too many times. In Morroval-Outcasts, you don't want four different Morroval Scavengers escaping out the front. In Spider-Nest, you don't want more than two Ravenous Hatchlings to spawn and eat cocooned dwarves.
4. In Library of Steel, there's a similar negative goal -- you don't want 10 Fire Spirits to be alive at once.
5. In three of the instances, the boss waits more or less patiently at back until you kill everything else. In Spider-Nest and Morroval Outcasts, she spawns after you've completed your other tasks. (In Morroval Outcasts she spawns near the front even though you're likely to be in back by the time you're done.) In Library of Steel he's been waiting on the top floor, which becomes accessible after you've killed four Summoners.
6. In Training Hall and Spider's Nest, the layout is simple and obvious. In Ghost-Forge and Mithril Slaves, there are some twists, turns, and tunnels, but basically the layout is also straightforward -- just keep working your way back. In Morroval Outcasts, there's an anteroom, after which the rest is basically one big loop.
7. Library of Steel is the one whose layout is really confusing until you've done it. There's a main floor that looks a lot like Training Hall or Spider's Nest. There are stairs at the back that lead to both a left and a right mezzanine portion, which are not connected to each other. There's a higher floor beyond those that only becomes accessible (it previously has a wall of flame) when it's time for the boss fight. Fire Spirits can float from the ground floor to the mezzanines and back, but you and the orcs have to go the long way, unless you want to jump down and accept a laming.
Finally, some instance-by-instance strategy tips.
There are four kinds of mob in Training Hall:
A. 4 pairs of Orkish Veterans. The first pair is stationary and easy to pull separately. The second pair is stationary and hard but possible to pull separately. The next two pairs patrol, and are hard to pull separately (easier if you run into aggro range than if you pull via a ranged attack.).
B. 3 patrolling Taskmasters. These are tricky because around 1200 HP, they have a buff that leads them to absorb damage. Interrupt this buff if you can. (Piercing Cry for the stun, or Cry of the Valar.) If you don't interrupt it, kite until it wears off. Since the Taskmasters run slowly, that's not hard, but it does suggest you really want to pull them alone until you're way overpowered for the instance.
Training Hall is the only Dolven-View instance where you need to be that concerned about a mob's buff.
C. 4 groups of 3 Orkish Recruits. These are almost impossible to pull separately. However, they have low HP and can be burned down quickly with AoE.
D. The boss.
Basically, you want to fight the Taskmasters alone, the Orkish Veterans no more than two at a time, and the Orcish Recruits in groups of three, otherwise alone. Anything more than that and you might as well run out the front door (which is nearby -- you probably won't even need to bubble to get there) and reset aggro. The patrols are slow and easy to see, so managing pulls isn't hard.
Everything responds to Cry of the Valar, so that can be an important tool.
Mithril Slaves is similar to Training Hall, with Goblin-Slave Miners in the place of Orkish Recruits and Mine Guards in the place of Orkish Veterans. The layout is more confusing, however, and it's easier to get a bad pull. Also, even if you handle your pulls well, you're likely to get a mix of one full-strength mob and 2 goblin slaves, so if you're tackling this at a fairly low level you might want to plan Cry of the Valar to get you through.
Patrols wander considerable distances, so you might want to pull your fights quite far back toward the entrance to discourage adds.
Everything in Ghost -Forge is dead, so Song of the Dead works on most of them and hence can be a great way to start your pulls. (The exceptions I've noticed are the Accursed Armourers, a kind of Oathbreaker that seems immune to all stuns.)
If you time patrols correctly, there's no reason to fight more than two mobs at once, Song of the Dead stuns even aside. But until you've done the instance a few times it can be hard to know what's around corners, so have Cry of the Valar ready in case you find yourself fighting three at once.
The toughest pull is two pairs of orange Evil Spirts. You can easily get the second pair as adds before the first pair is dead. Pulling them back out of the hallway you meet them in should avert this -- if you don't accidentally pull all four at once. If you do, emergency skills may be in order.
If you ever need to run out the entrance, it can be a long way, but it's doable. Also, some of the mobs drop aggro after you've run far enough.
Since they mobs give dread, consider using Tale of Warding for the radiance as well as the armor.
The gimmick to the Morroval-Outcasts instance is that you occasionally get notified that a Morroval Scavenger is trying to escape. She will then proceed sloooowly spawn somewhere in the back and come out one of the two ways around the loop. If you see her, it's easy to get aggro from her. She's squishy, so adding her to your current fight is no big deal. So if you get that notice and don't want to take a 50-50 chance she'll go the other direction from the one that you're standing, you can go to the front of the loop (pulling combat with you if need be) and wait for her.
There are four kinds of mobs in Spider-Nest:
A. Small, squishy white spiders.
B. Bigger normal white spiders.
C. A huge white spider boss who spawns at the end.
D. Orange Ravenous Hatchling spiders.
They're spiders. So they poison you. So may want to use Ballad of the Stout.
The Ravenous Hatchlings are the crux of the matter. They spawn down one of several columns, which incidentally means you may not have easy line of sight to notice them or to pull them with ranged attacks. (They might spawn down a side of the column facing the center or they might spawn down a side facing a wall. The latter causes me more trouble than the former.) They'll try to eat Cocooned Dwarves; as previously noted, it's bad if they succeed very often. So you pretty much have to aggro them as soon as they spawn (give or take a known-bug -- no pun intended -- double-clutch in which they seem to appear, disappear, then appear again). Depending on where they spawn, aggroing Hatchlings can pull other aggro as well, so you don't want to ever be in too tough a fight to start with.
That said -- when you see them, pull the Hatchlings no matter what. If the resulting fight is too tough, use emergency skills or run out the door if necessary. Note that if you wait outside very long, Hatchlings will spawn in your absence, eat dwarves, and cause you to fail anyway.
You may want to hold back Piercing Cry just to have more range on those pulls.
My strategy is to get to the center as soon as I can, and pull/kill spiders radiating out from there. I actually release Cocooned Dwarves only fairly late in the process, for fear a hatchling spawns while I'm doing so. Or sometimes I release the two in the anteroom earlier on, so that I don't have to worry about hatchlings spawning in that direction. (Oh, any hatchling that spawns needs to be killed quickly. But if they first go to a spot on the wall where a now-released dwarf formerly was, you have quite a few extra seconds before you need to engage them.)
One recent time through I released six dwarves, causing the boss to spawn in the center, before I'd killed all the other mobs. She aggroed me on my way across to try to clear them -- I should have tried Song of Distraction on her -- and I wound up fighting her with a couple of other mobs on me. I just concentrated on her, hoping to burn them down as an AoE byproduct. Bad move; the resists were ridiculous, and they were still alive when she died. I had to use a long-cooldown emergency heal.
It's easy to lose a Cocooned Dwarf to the first or second Ravenous Hatchling that spawns. If that's all that goes wrong, you did fine.
Since spiders aren't humanoid, Spider-Nest loot is different from and generally inferior to that in the other instances. But you do often get IXP rune drops.
Library of Steel
There's a whole other thread on The Library of Steel. That said, there are basically four kinds of mobs:
1. Generic orcs. If I've figured it out correctly, there are two in the ante-room, one in dead-center, two patrolling the center, one patrolling each side of the main room, two on the back stairs hidden behind bookcases, two patrolling widely along the stairs, and one patrolling each of the mezzanines.
2. Summoners. These are orc defilers. They don't patrol, although it is possible to pull them if you really want to.
3. Fire Spirits. These are spawned. They'll kill you in a few hits. Fortunately, you can kill them in a single hit (they have under 100 HP).
4. The boss.
A. There's a lot of fire damage, especially Melee Fire. Ballad of Flame and Tale of Frost and Flame should be seriously considered for use. But the boss at the end hits for common damage, so if you use that Tale, you can drop it for him.
B. You can one-shot Fire Spirits with any ranged attack skill. Do it.
C, Fire Spirits' spawn points are near but not on top of the Summoners. Learn to recognize them. Stand as far from them as you can.
D. It's never that far to the exit. You can probably run out if you have to.
E. If you're outside the instance, Fire Spirits continue to spawn. Stay out long enough and the instance fails.
F. I don't know of anybody who's totally sure, but it seems that the spawn rate of Fire Spirits varies in a binary way. I.e., it is what it is until all four Summoners are dead, after which it goes to zero.
G. If you have your quest tracker active, you can see how many Fire Spirits are alive, and get a sense for how quickly new ones spawn.
H. If only 5 or fewer Fire Spirits exist, you're in no immediate danger of failing.
I. If 6 or more Fire Spirits exist and you can't see any of them in the area where you are, several must be having a party together in another room. Go elsewhere, and you should be able to reduce their number quickly.
J. If a Fire Spirit attacks you, your screen will fill with a huge orange flaming bird kind of thing. That's not actually the Fire Spirit, which really is attacking you at range. I.e., attacking what's on top of you doesn't kill the Fire Spirit and avert subsequent hits. Being confused about this has gotten me killed in Library of Steel more often than anything else has.
My preferred strategy is to clear the center of the main floor, front to back and up the stairs. Pulling the stationary orcs on the stairs into the already-cleared center of the room makes it possible to avoid ever fighting 3+ orcs at once.
If you're not in a fight, you should kill any Fire Spirit you see. If you're fighting one orc, it may be a good idea to kill any fire spirits. If you're fighting two orcs, it's probably best to finish the fight you're in, unless you're sure killing the spirit won't draw any extra aggro -- or, of course, if the fire spirit has actually decided to attack you.
Once the center is pretty clear, it's actually practical to roam from room to room reducing the number of Fire Spirits to a comfortably low level.