Last night our alliance took a trip into the newest dungeon added to DF:UW, Sinspire Cathedral. I’d never been, but had heard good things, so I jumped at the chance to join in. In total we had a full group of 10 players, a mix of warriors, skirms, and primalists, all in top-end gear.
When you first zone in you are placed just outside the Cathedral, and need to cross a bridge to get inside. The Cathedral looks massive, providing a very epic ‘first glance’. As you cross the bridge you really get a sense of how large this place is, and just how many levels it has.
You start fighting mobs in the entry hallway, and you need to clear some easier mobs to spawn a tougher mini-boss. Once that mini-boss is down, doors open on either side allowing you to progress further. We didn’t have much trouble here, working well as a group and with most of us using clubs/hammers (best damage type against undead).
Once those doors open you really start to get a feel for how large Sinspire is, and also its complexity. There are multiple paths to take, most leading you around the outside of the main building, but there are also ramps leading to the three side towers. Most of these areas contain mobs of various difficulty, making it more difficult to really stop for people to catch up. The map also isn’t much help since Sinspire is more vertical than horizontal in layout.
We made our way around (one of our members knew the way) to the next mini-boss, who again opened another door, this time to the back tower. Climbing the long spiral staircase of that tower, and crossing the bridge back over to the main building, we found ourselves just one floor from the top. Here we found the first real boss. It took use a bit to figure out his mechanics, but once we had them down the fight wasn’t overly hard for our group. His loot was pretty great.
Killing that boss opens up the door to the dungeon exit, as well as the climb to the final boss. What’s particularity nasty about Sinspire is that if you can’t defeat that boss, you can’t exit the dungeon without dying and releasing, meaning you leave everything you have on you inside the dungeon. More than one member of our group had experienced that, and some were pretty antsy about going back in only to donate a gear bag.
We killed our way to the final boss, who is inside a large circular room behind a one-way portal. Much like the dungeon itself, the only way out of his room is to kill him or release.
Before the boss rises from his throne, you must first clear a few trash mobs in his room. They are not overly difficult, but do take some time. As you are doing that, the final boss gets up and starts attacking you.
He has a few interesting abilities. First he hits like a truck, so anyone he is focused on must parry up, even warriors in dread armor. He occasionally drops a large totem that has an AoE damage pulse. Not too difficult to bow down, but something to watch out for and switch over to when necessary. His other main ability is a PBAoE that he charges for a short time. If you don’t get out of range, it will likely down you instantly. That ability killed many of us multiple times. Finally, he will walk to the center of the room and channel a pull towards him. The damage the pull does isn’t massive, but anyone caught in it will heal him. We messed this up the first time, with multiple people not moving full out of the area, which resulted in him healing about 40% of his HP (he has a ton, so 40% is very significant).
Because of that heal, we had to fight off respawns during the fight, which combined with an AoE blast that killed a few of us, put downing him into question. However we were able to recover, re-adjust our strategy a bit on the fly, and ultimately kill him. A very cool, and very satisfying fight.
The loot from Sinspire is fantastic. Each boss dropped a lot of gold and resources, and the final boss also drops a key to his chest, resulting in even more top-quality loot.
If the mechanics of the final boss were placed into WoW or a similar themepark, it would be an average encounter due to tab-targeting, lack of friendly fire, and ‘easy’ mechanics like ‘click-to-heal’ abilities. Those things don’t exist in DF, so even bringing down a simple totem with some ranged DPS is a bit more difficult due to your more-limited view, the fact that you can’t hit tab to find the totem, and also because you actually have to aim your arrows as you move and adjust to whatever else is going on. It’s by far the best PvE content AV has produced for Darkfall, and hopefully with some upcoming ‘motivation changes’, more players will get to experience it.
And of course, the PvP would also be pretty unique in that place given the layout and the mobs.