Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Librarian in Grandville

A big round of applause goes to the team I was on this morning.
  • South Freedom - Dark/Dark Defender
  • Psi Force - Radiation/Psionic Defender
  • Noxheraldis - Energy/Fire Blaster
  • InvincibleFlame - Fire/Fire Tank
  • Bleak Forecast - Ice/Storm Controller
  • CHIKAE - Katana/Regeneration Scrapper
  • Flame-Huntress - Fire/Fire Blaster
In Independance Port, Statesman had given us a major task: To uncover Lord Recluse's plans and defeat him. If possible, I try to run this Task Force every day. It is a fun task force, and it is a reason to play my level 50 (I played 50 levels of the char, I *must* enjoy it).

Before I go any further I'll say this - I think any build AT is useful on this thing. I was merely outlining the strategies I've found running a stone tank. I know there are invulns who have successfully tanked Recluse - I just don't know their strategies.

I usually start the STF with NO inspirations. However, as I go through and I collect them I slowly weed through them.

Ideally by the time we hit Grandville, I have 12 Healing Inspirations and 8 Accuracy Inspirations. If I cannot manage to collect that I try to fill the gap with Defense Inspirations. In other words, if you get any insp other than Green, Yellow or Purple - burn it. When you are full on insps, don't let yourself get more than 8 Accuracies.
Today I managed to have the full 20 healing inspirations by the time we got to Grandville. I ended up using every last one of them and needed more (which the team was able to provide).

The Statesman Task Force is rather straightforward until you get to the last mission. In this last one, you need to defeat: Ghost Widow, Scirraco, Captain Mako, and Black Scorpion. After that we tend to Lord Recluse himself. Usually, when we run with Noxheraldis, he pulls each of the four minion AVs in turn so we take them one at a time. If more than one AV comes, I tank the other AV and we take them down in the order I mention above.

Ghost Widow: I think she is the hardest AV of the bunch. She has a mez that is so powerful that it can drop me out of Rooted+Granite if it hits. It detoggles you and does about 400 points of negative energy damage per second for about 10 seconds. Even with my 2326.2 hitpoints, that is enough to drop me. However, having just that is too easy. She also has a self-heal that heals her for between 400 and 800 points for every person who is in melee with her that she can hit. This includes all pets except for "Phantom Army". On top of all of this, she has the insane AV regen. Here are the tactics we normally use to deal with her.
  1. South Freedom runs Shadow Fall. If you are within Shadow Fall when she hits with the hold, the damage is almost entirely mitigated. You will likely survive.
  2. Bleak Forecast's Hurricane debuffs her accuracy so she can't hit with the self heal.
  3. We only allow people in melee if they can cap their defense, again so she can't hit with the self heal.
  4. South Freedom uses Howling Twilight. While this is a resurrection power, it also provides a debuff to Ghost Widows regeneration rate so she cannot heal as fast. From City of Data:
    "-500% Regeneration to Target for 30 seconds if (target = critter) [Ignores Enhancements & Buffs]"
  5. If I tank Ghost Widow, I do it from range. I stand next to South Freedom so I can take advantage of her heals. I run through the attack chain: Taunt, Hurl, Nemesis Staff.
Next up is Scirraco. While he is MUCH easier than Ghost Widow, he has his own problems to overcome. He does endurance sapping, Knockback, and a -Perception whirlwind attack that causes you to lose target.
  1. Granite only is not sufficient to resist his knockback. I need to run Granite + Rooted. Of course, if you have Acrobatics, you are completely immune to knockback (check out City of Data on Red Tomax's Site for proof).
  2. That -Perception is nicely countered with Focused Accuracy.
  3. Rooted and Storm's O2 Boost counter sapping attacks.
Black Scorpion is a pussycat. He is a standard "Hit hard and soak damage" AV.

Finally, Captain Mako needs his butt kicked. However, he has the wrinkle of popping "perma elude" when he hits 25% health. This is often accompanied with a nuke.
  1. Throughout the TF, collect Accuracy Inspirations. Burn them when you get to him.
  2. If you have Geas of the Kind Ones, burn it at that time.
  3. I use both Focused Accuracy and Rage to further increase my to-hit buff.
After this, you get a cut scene where the big bad Lord Recluse himself tells you that you are to late. Thankfully you aren't REALLY too late. However, this encounter is rather annoying. There are four towers that heavily buff him that must be destroyed if you are to complete the TF. They will need to be defeated in the following order: Red, Yellow, Green, and finally Blue.
  • Red provides an incredible Damage Buff
  • Yellow provides an accuracy buff.
  • Green provides a +3000 HP heal ever 10 seconds (and has an annoying noise)
  • Blue does some sort of Endurance buff. It probably isn't necessary to drop it, but we do anyway.
On top of all of this you have the "Arachnos Flier" patrolling the map. If possible, ignore it. It will respawn after defeat. South and I have seen it respawn within 10 seconds of being defeated. However, it will terrorize the team hitting the towers. It was very troublesome this morning.

So, to set up, I charge in and Taunt Lord Recluse. Then I run to the far NE corner of the map. This means I am not near the Arachnos Flier if it comes near. It also means that for that first tower (that gives Recluse a fearsome damage bonus) I'm very close to the team for the buffs as necessary.

When tanking Recluse, run Rooted, Granite, and Mudpots. I know that seems obvious, but it bears mentioning.

Granite - Mitigates damage
Rooted - Heals
Mudpots - Holds aggro and keeps Lord Recluse from spawning hundreds of Arachnos Bosses.

At this time Mudpots is adequate to hold Recluse's attention, but I recommend supplementing with Taunt.As I'm tanking Recluse I burn a green every time I get to 50% health if I can't hit Earth's Embrace.
Well, Invuln has *another* problem against Recluse.

Through Granite, without buffs or debuffs, Recluse DOES hurt and it takes a lot for me to tank him. Unstoppable is slightly better, *but* note what I say about the mudpots.

The fact is that PBAoE damage is just enough to keep Recluse from summoning minions. When I've seen Invulnerability do it, they end up with about 30 or 40 (not exaggerating) level 54 Bane Spider Executioners swinging. If Rachael drops, the tower mob only has to deal with Recluse. If an invuln drops, the tower mob has to deal with an AV and a TON of level 54 bosses.

Sadly, the smashing resists of Increase Density doesn't help that much compaired to something like the debuff that Darkest Night Provides. Usually South Drops this on LR and I can tank him.

When the team is taking down the towers, Arachnos Repairmen come to fix it. Defeat them, don't just knock them away.
On a previous TF, one of the Arachnos Repairmen on the last tower got Knocked away. He landed near the defeated Red Tower. So, he stood up, and turned it back on. Those repairmen repair the tower they are nearest to. Be careful when using Knockback on them.

When the towers are down, we hit Lord Recluse with everything we got. He'll spawn level 54 mobs while you fight him. If you have your Stormie there, you are all set because they can't get to you.

Our record for finsihing this Task Force is 1 hour and 40 minutes. We didn't do that today, but we did finish it in just over 2 hours. Not bad at all.

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