Another post within 24hrs!
It’s a (much overdue) request from Aqvi Teig (and also something I’ve been pondering of for a while). Here I present to you the Ashkardian Crypt strategy guide which talks about how to build and how to break them.
Just an overview of the posts, this is part of the trap room series where I’ll write about trap rooms in general and go into each one specifically in weeks to come.
Room Type: ‘Damage Dealer’
(now with stun!) (but now removed)
Upkeep: 5 (T3); 10 (T4); 15 (T5)
*I’ll be reviewing the T5 version as that’s the one which players would eventually have or at least strive to have.
The Ashkardian Crypt is a moderately sized trap room with 3 turrets (faces) that each launch darkness bolts. The turrets are conveniently to allow their bolts to cover the whole map and will only trigger when the player gets within their firing radius, which is a little before you actually see the turrets. The turrets fire at a rate of every 3-4 seconds and reduce from 8 to 3 bolts if you are within a certain range of the turrets.
The bolts are released in a cone shaped arc-of-fire and the 3-8 bolts are within the same scope of the arc. The scope range remains the same but it adjusts itself according to your position (see diagrams below).
Likewise, for every damage dealing trap room, there are certain safe zones within the map itself. These safe zones can be located either at the extreme front (in front of the first column) or the extreme back (touching the exit gate before the keeper).
As of the recent update (Adamant Alliance), these darkness bolts are now able to induce a ‘mild’ stun effect. Unlike the regular stun effect, your character can dodge-roll out of the effect, instead of being held in place until your stun effect wears off. What is tricky though, is that this stun lasts a bit under 3 seconds, meaning that you’ll most probably see another bolt incoming by the time you recover from it, or probably receive a (real) stun status from another minion altogether. Fortunately, to overcome this, you’ll need to be within range of the 3 bolts so the stun effect will not trigger*, but you’ll still get the damage. The range of the 3-bolts, which I’ll entitle as Buffer zones.
(*Can’t recall who said this first on the forums, but thank you so much for pointing it out!)
(This feature has already removed unfortunately)
As of now, and from some testing in the later combat post (see here), staying outside of the buffer zone deals 1.2 times more damage compared to being outside of the zone. Hence, if you’re receiving a ton of damage from the bolts, you might want to take some ‘refuge‘ with the buffer zones to minimise HP loss.
If you are Raiding one…
Like in my previous Valenthian Guardhouse post, there would be the problem of the ‘blind zone’ as well, but not as obvious as the Guardhouse.
As seen above, the outer edge of the trap room on the right most (from which you would be facing), is partially hidden and will fade out very quickly. Hence, it is necessary to pay attention to that location and right before the screen fades to black in case there is a hidden druid or water voror ‘concealed’ within that corner. Larger minions, however, are still greatly visible if set in that location.
Raiding strategies would very much be dependent on the type of weapon you choose to use (ie. melee or ranged). For this, I can’t really say which group has an advantage as you’ll have to
either get hit in the face constantly with darkness bolts OR risk getting stunned every few seconds (for varying amounts of damage).
(A) For Ranged Users
Well, if the overall minion setup is weak or if you’re ridiculously overpowered for that stronghold you’re raiding, you can easily get away by positioning your character behind the first column and fire away until you clear most of those in the front.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the case most of the time and you’ll probably need to keep moving about in the face of incoming water voror + druid setups, dark vorors or even those newly buffed champions that would keep you on your feet most of the time.
That said, your priority should be the support minions first as these will be problematic if they live for too long. This is especially so for the water voror and druid combination, of which you’ll need to take down the druid(s) first, then the water voror, before working on the other minions. Even if this requires you to go out of your way, it would definitely make the rest of the battle much easier without the support minions around.
Okay, say you’re already done with that or if there’s no support types or anything that is potentially threatening.
The strategy here would be to run between the front and the back safe zones, and to keep your dodge rolls charged when necessary. Concentrating on the front and back would enable your character to be relieved of the pressure of having to constantly check whether you’ll be hit by an incoming darkness bolt.
Also, it’ll be good to have some AoE skills or a backup melee weapon (eg. glaive or greatsword) with you to keep these minions from swarming you when you’re running from the front to back and vice versa. Gear equipment with crowd-control skills like slow, stun, fear or pushback all would do nicely here, especially if you’re a crossbow user who finds himself taking minions out too slowly.
TL;DR: Maneuver between safe zones and engage in crowd control. Also, take out the support or weaker but dangerous minions first.
(B) For Melee Users
This gets a little trickier as you’ll need to get into the heat of the combat and that usually translates to running head-first and
getting stunned by the bolts soaking up damage like a sponge. Like the ranged user, you can attempt to fight at the front as much as possible before moving to engage peskier minions (like vorors or colossuses).
As a newly converted melee user, I find that the buffer zones are indeed good places to position your character, even if you are wearing light-based armor. However, if you don’t have the armor or remaining HP to stand within those zones, it’ll be best to follow the ranged user strategy of moving from back to front and dodge roll when necessary to avoid incoming hostilities.
While there are smaller columns within the crypt to shield you from the bolts, these areas are tiny and you’ll need to stand at exact positions to keep your character from getting hit. Also, even if you do manage to get shielded from one side, chances are that you’ll get hit by another bolt from a turret, making it difficult to fight using those as a cover.
Rush skills will help a lot here (eg. Fire Dash, Mal Rush, Dash Strike) as these will allow your character to cover distances quickly and avoid getting hit by the bolts. Also, you might want to have a ranged weapon as backup or add in some ranged skills (eg. Chain Lightning, Fire Ball, Reaching Vines etc.) to ‘reach’ weaker minions who are a distance away, but usually in the arc of fire of the darkness bolts.
TL;DR: Fight within buffer zones and retreat to safe zones if necessary.
If you Own one…
Congratulations, you’ll now probably be fending off raiders a bit more than usually once you have a T5 one equipped, and one (small) step closer to Legendary league. Seriously…I believe this is the second best trap house in the whole game, following the Valenthian Guardhouse of course.
(a) General Minion Types
In Damage-dealing trap rooms, you’ll probably want to look at minions that will keep your opponent moving and not staying in one spot to let him/her recover his dodge rolls. Either those use who engage in heavy artillery and don’t move about much (eg. colossus, voror knights) or those which chase your character to the ends of the earth (eg. Lord of the Eve, Wicker Beast, Succubine, the Dragons, Brawler monkeys, Harpies).
Alternatively, you can also opt for an all-stun combination to keep your opponent in permanent stun. Minions such as Lightning Colossus, Voror Knights, Dark Sentinels, Monkeys, Nagas, Cardinals etc. would dead-lock your opponents from even moving an inch if they were to move out of their safe zones.
(Update: Although the stun factor from the bolts have been removed, having an all-stun combination still works, though probably not as well as before.)
Minions you would want to avoid here would be ranged strikers that teleport around too much (eg. Conjurer, Spectre). These have lower than average HP and will usually appear right in front of your opponent for the slaughter, and hence, are essentially a waste of upkeep.
Row combinations are more straightforward and it’ll be more towards building a radial line of defence to keep raiders from engaging your weaker support minions or from constantly moving from front to back.
(b) Front Row
The front row would be where you would want to place your heavyweights. Champions and defenders go here to form an impenetrable wall to keep raiders from breaking through. Minions to be considered would be those with high defence or high HP, such as the Immortal Gatekeeper, Turtles, Voror Knights, Colossuses, Ethera. Melee strikers with high dodge or evasion skill also do nicely here, such as the Monkey and the Harpy to offer some form of distraction.
Eitherway, you can be an ass and throw in some tormentors to make your opponent run about the stronghold and get stunned without much effort. (Unfortunately, fear reflect for tormentors has also been taken out so this strategy is obsolete. 😦 )
The much-needed water voror can go here too, but at the slots near the back row. This area would enable more minions to be in range when the water shield is being cast.
(c) Back Row
At the furthest point, this is where your druids or ranged strikers go. In fact, you could place a druid at the ‘hidden zone’ (on the second right most of the screen) so unobservant players might leave him untouched if they run the wrong way.
Placing them here would also get raiders in the line of fire of the darkness bolts, increasing the difficulty of taking down a supposedly easy minion.
TL;DR: Load up minions that make you move or stop you from moving, while shielding your weaker minions with strong ones.
Thanks for making it this far! 🙂
Likewise, if you have anything to add or suggest, please leave a comment and I’ll put it in this post after some testing.
Have fun and enjoy the weekend!