Monday 20 December 2010

Quick guide to festive raids.

The key to the Reindeer encounter is fairly simple: isolating one particular reindeer will quickly allow your group to overcome the rest of the mobs and allow you to loot the sleigh. The reindeer and sleigh move around the zone at high speed and can’t be caught under normal circumstances. However, at certain times, fog will descend on the area for a short period; this is when you need to strike. Have your ranged DPS target the one reindeer with a very shiny nose, it should be obvious because it practically glows. When the fog arrives, the ranged DPS should snare and focus-fire that reindeer as a priority. Without the bright nose to guide them, the rest of the reindeer will be forced to land, allowing the tank to pick them up and the rest of the DPS to burn them down, until they are history. Once all reindeer are defeated, Santa will leap from the sleigh and engage the party in a weakened state, and can be quickly dispatched as a standard tank’n’spank fight. If you fail to stop the sleigh at this stage, however, Santa will eventually land on the roof of your guild hall and proceed as in previous years (see our guide for information on Santa’s abilities in this case).

For the Manger encounter there are several stages. Lord Jesus will initially lay down his sweet head and sleep, and cannot be engaged by the party at this time. The first stage involves the stars in the bright sky above the party, which will fire beams of light as they look down on Lord Jesus. The group should watch for the pool of light forming on the ground and step outside of it before the beam lands; anyone caught in a beam of light will take heavy damage over time, which will kill most characters in two to three seconds. The second stage is announced by the sound of lowing cattle, at which point Lord Jesus awakes. Lord Jesus doesn’t make any announcement of his awakening, so players need to watch for him beginning to move shortly after the cattle start lowing. Once the second stage begins Lord Jesus will take up a position in the sky above the party where he will look down upon them. Use the manger to line-of-sight block his stare (signified by a glowing white light around the player and a chorus of singing angels). Failure to block the stare in time will result in a shadowy copy of Lord Jesus staying by the side of the player until the end of the encounter. Stage three begins with all those players who have a Lord Jesus copy close-by receiving the Tender Care debuff, at which point those players are instantly killed as they are taken up to heaven to live with Lord Jesus. After this point Lord Jesus will descend and the remaining party members have a standard tank’n’spank fight, which will vary in difficulty depending on how many players were taken, and whether the party has a tank and healer remaining on the ground.

The Merry Christmas encounter is unusual in that it has no real fight to it. The players will face a group of mobs who will initially be friendly to the party. At this point players will randomly gain the Good Tidings buff which either increases run speed or reduces cooking skill inductions. At some point the mobs will turn aggressive and demand figgy pudding at random, with a timer bar appearing above their head which counts down; note that some timers count down faster than others. Players with the Good Tidings run buff should now collect the ingredients for figgy pudding from the tables on the far west side of the encounter area, and run them over to the ovens on the east side. Players with the Good Tidings cooking buff should then use the ingredients to cook a figgy pudding and hand it back to a player with the Good Tidings run buff. Finally, the figgy puddings should be delivered to those aggressive mobs demanding figgy pudding, taking care to feed those with the lowest timers first. If the timer runs out on a mob demanding figgy pudding, it will immediately dash towards the ovens or ingredients tables and then explode, instantly killing all players nearby. Once a mob has been fed it will despawn, but it will not leave until it gets some. The encounter ends once all mobs have left or all players are dead.

It seems that the Three Kings encounter is currently bugged as there is no way to tell which of the kings has the gold. As it is, follow the star (tip: the star always heads west at the moment, so just run west once you start the encounter) until your party catches the group of three kings, and then engage one. Once one king is engaged, the other two will despawn, after which it’s a fairly standard tank’n’spank fight. Upon defeating the king it’s just a matter of hoping that you loot gold, rather than frankincense or myrrh, which are vendor trash.

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