Sorry for the 2-week+ timing between posts. Per my guild rules, real life comes first. Work, as well as a family illness, has made the past weeks pretty tough to post anything of significance.
I’m surprised I’ve not made a video walkthrough of one of the most challenging Heroic quests in the game. That’s probably because it’s a bat-shit crazy idea for any class to complete, much less complete by going solo.
But if they were any character that could make it work in my dojo, it’s Kiricletica, built to solo from the start.
“Invaders!” is a revisit to the central Waterworks sewer system (minus the hidden doors, rare encounters and usual denizens). A Xoriat invasion occurs there, cutting off paths through the sewers, scaring the crap out of the kobolds and, most distressingly, causing many, many beholders to appear.
Flesh Renders and Polar-Ray zapping Ice Flensers routinely spawn from portals throughout the place. Beholders aren’t isolated, often guarded by Xoriat followers, Cyclonic-blasting Thaarak Hounds and more beholders.
Your mission is to clean out the place of everything that shouldn’t be there, of course, primarily the beholders.
- This is a place where a grouped party may not be the best idea. A beholder’s antimagic cone will likely render some in your party defenseless and debuffed before it starts zapping with various things. Enervation. Disintegrate. Telekinesis. It will try to paralyze, curse, burn and instantly kill you. A group will draw a lot of attention, so as a result, the beholder’s effects may not allow you to back each other up as you’re disabled and picked off.
- Death Ward is mostly useless here because the first thing a beholder will do is use its antimagic cone to zap you of any buffs (outside of Monk, Bard and airship buffs, which can’t be dispelled). You MUST wear a Deathblock item to have some protection against Finger of Death and a few other instant-kill spells. Deathblock isn’t a panacea but it will buy you time. Pale Masters might find it a bit easier.
- If the beholders aren’t scary enough, the respawning Ice Flensers love Polar Ray, which can hit at 100-200+ damage. There’s also the hordes of Thaarak Hounds that enjoy mass hits of Cyclonic Blast at 70+ points each, as well as some instant-death and acid attacks.
- Most parties will trod along drawing attention from anything that moves, often near respawn points. Invisibility spells are useless against beholders and many other enemies here as they have True Seeing or See Invisibility. Antimagic effects will debuff them off of you, anyway.
- To increase the randomness, there are many Chaos Orbs circulating about, sometimes bringing you benefit or bane at exactly the wrong time.
- There is only one rest and resurrection shrine.
- Party members with low saves, little or no spell protection or Deathblock will not last long. Especially vulnerable are party members with a HULK SMASH zerging mentality. They may get lucky and nail a few threatening things, but eventually they’ll be in the wrong place and be zapped themselves or attract more attention that a party can handle.
- You have to pass a lot of enemies, including several beholders, to reach each of the elder beholders that hold open a locus used for invasion.
- Enemies do not easily “rubberband” here (return to their spawn point if kited too far). If you’re being chased, expect the chase to buy you time, not escape.
- It’s not impossible for magic party members to fight here against beholders, but it’s central that another party member draw the beholder’s attention first, preferably far away from the spell caster so they won’t get hit by an antimagic cone. From there, spell casters can treat beholders to a taste of their own medicine with instant-death spells, Flesh-to-Stone or related attacks.
- Ranged attacks against beholders here can be both hit and miss, so to speak. If your ranged attack can draw one beholder away from a group of them, you reduce the amount of potential damage or deaths in your party. If your ranged attacks throw off area-of-effect damage, you’ll draw all the enemies in that group to you.
- Attacks that stun or paralyze help a lot. For all their magic damage, beholders have the fortitude of a balloon. If you get the jump on them, removing them is comparably easy.
- This quest supports the power of high stealth, if you use it properly. (Invisibility will not work.) Sewer passageways are narrow. Ice Flensers use Hide. You need a strong Spot to detect them, or at least avoid colliding into them. Some enemies may detect you while Sneaking, such as Thaarak Hounds, so you may need to draw them away to avoid fighting more than need to at any moment. Beholders have 360-degree Spot, but with a high Hide score, you can move to point-blank range and pop them. However, Thaarak Hounds have blindsense, which stealth can’t defeat. Their Cyclonic Blasts in a group of hounds can whittle your HP immediately and/or knock you down. Dispatch them promptly.
- Spell absorption items will buy you time. I carried a Scarab of Spell Absorption but didn’t use it as wisely as I should.
- Champions that appear really throw the dungeon’s power against you. Prioritize their demise over all others.
- The final fight is your only named creature, which can be one of several encounters. It’ll likely have a final entourage of similar enemies guarding it. Before you can fight it, you must remove all the elder beholders.
- The optional killing of outsiders objective is almost inevitable to complete. Portals throughout continually spawn enemies you can kill.
Sewer Cleaning from Hell
Kiricletica was loaded with Heal and Restoration scrolls. Alone, she leveraged high passive ki regeneration and used Quivering Palm to rid herself quickly of some targets. Sometimes with a Tiefling Assassin’s Blade in hand, she used its Wounding powers to make sure that Pain Touch finishers stick against beholders, muting them and making them harmless for a quick finish. Most fights, however, used a Metalline of Pure Good shortsword or a Forester’s Brush Hook. I used Pain Touch and Quivering Palm as much as possible.
Fast ki regeneration helps in frequent use of Shadow Veil for both Incorporeality and Invisibility for times where fighting or evasive action is better.
The hardest part for me involves the respawning renders, especially the deadly Polar Rays from the Flensers. Hounds are also challenging since they can sense me no matter what. They loved to spam Cyclonic Blast. In a group of three or move, those attacks would all but kill me.
I entered two levels higher than the quest. Still, I tried and failed this quest three times early, often downed by hounds, before managing a completion on Elite…and even then, I had to use a raise-dead cake when I moved into a fight before failing to preparing even once, just before the end-fight.
But I did get it done. See the results.
Be sure to click the “CC” button to see the captions. My apologies for the dimness; I’ve already adjusted it to improve it slightly and will do so again later.