Arena Mania

The long awaited Arena has arrived! Thus, unlocking the grey-ed out icon that has sat at our landing screens for a good update (or two). This post will seek to cover the basic mechanics of the arena, answer some commonly asked questions and also discuss some strategies for getting through this new game mode.

As for those looking for the Mastery post or something about the general changes of the update, don’t fret! I’ll be working on it over the weekend and will post it by Sunday (or whatever it’s ready).

Minor Update (16/6): Matchmaking and Daily chest segments updated. Continue reading “Arena Mania”

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A Legendary Evaluation

While I would very much like to talk about the new update today, this post is dedicated to the first two legendary belts, Immortals’ Justice (IJ) and Ice Stalagmites (IS) – something which my guildies and friends have recommended for a while.

This post will assess and discuss the traits, use and viability of these two, showcasing certain strategies of how they are able to be used and which scenarios are good to use them in. It will also do an overall comparison between the two at the end as to why one of them is so largely preferred over the other.

Continue reading “A Legendary Evaluation”

Trial Optimisation

Amidst the SHv2.0 commentaries (and recent update to the fresh new interface of Google Chrome), I decided to work on something currently less spoken about, yet still on everyone’s daily to-do list: Trials of Elements.

(Edited on 18/09 – Corrected map with new info on certain minions and a segment on persistent zone skills)

Continue reading “Trial Optimisation”

Breaking the Voror (Dark)

Mythical guardian spirits of Norse mythological origins (source), the Vorors are worthy opponents to deal with on any battleground. In Dungeon Hunter 5, they come in 3 different elemental colours (Dark, Fire, Water).

In this post, we’ll look at the unarguably most dangerous and overused minion of this season, and see what we can do to stop them.

Be warned, due to my obsessive nature, this is going to be a very long post.
Accompanied by some colorful screenshots. 🙂

Also, if you want to read more on this minion, you can visit this forum thread.


Voror Knight
Defender Type – Dark Element

Upkeep figures (Name) –
25 (T3: Dread Voror);
38 (T4: Obscure Voror Knight);
58 (T5: Grim Voror Knight)

 

Voror knights/ Dread Vorors are undisputed backbones of most strongholds with one of the best minions in terms of skill sets, behavioral AI and raw attack power. Possessing the highest Attack and Defence out of the 3 variants of Voror, they deflect ranged projectiles (spells and ranged attacks) while unleashing serious damage in melee radius. Moreover, their relatively low upkeep means that they’re usually exploited in groups, making them worthwhile in any field.


Strengths and Weaknesses

Voror Knights are strong against ranged attacks and projectile spells, giving them an edge over crossbow or staff users as their ‘reflect shield’ ability is able to reflect any projectile that touches it, back to the same direction it came from (ie right back at ya!).

They can be made more dangerous by the high defence shields from Gelid Vorors and immunity status from the Valenthian Guardhouse towers as this will negate their weaknesses and make them near invulnerable (read on below).

eruption
Be sure to not only take down the rotating light towers, but also the minions around you.

Well…it’s without saying that they are exponentially dangerous in packs and it’s advisable to kite them away from one another before attempting to take each one down individually.

Ironically, as Defender-types, Voror Knights are highly susceptible to Melee attacks and status effects (eg. stun, knockdown, knockback, fear).

Even with their shield on, they can be attacked by a melee weapon user at any range. For example, the final greatsword/ glaive swing that produces a short ‘ranged’ attack is still recognised as a melee attack and can damage a Voror Knight even with shield on.

stun
Voror Knights are vulnerable when inflicted with a status effect, making them drop their shield skill.

Status effects, on the other hand, cause the Voror Knight to lose its shield temporary, making it an easy target even for ranged users.


Attacks/ Moves

Reflect Shield (defensive self-aura):
– Casting/ Animation Time: Immediate
– Constantly renews this spell most of the time if shield is absent
– Immune to all attacks (melee, ranged, spells) during casting animation
– Able to reflect all incoming projectiles (inclusive of ranged attacks and projectile based spells)
– Can cause AOE spells to miss
– Damage reflected depends on tier and level of minion as well as amount of damage the attack is supposed to deal
– Reflected damage is considered as raw attack (shows as maroon font color)
– Can be pierced by melee attacks of all forms/ range

Single Sword Slash (offensive melee attack):
– Casting/ Animation Time: Immediate; Continuous Strikes (up to 3 times in a row)
– Triggers when opponent is within melee striking range
– Deals low to moderate dark damage

Spectral Sword (offensive ranged attack):
– Casting/ Animation Time: 1 sec casting, 2-3 secs of damage
– Triggers when opponents is far away but within ‘visible’ range of the Voror Knight
– A small circle appears under the opponents for 1-2 seconds before sword emerges upwards from the ground with a large semi-spherical bulge from the ground
– Deals single hit moderate dark damage + High Chance of Slow

IMG_0736
It’s a bit difficult to spot, but there will be a small circle under your character’s feet to indicate where the Spectral sword will appear.

Shockwave (offensive AoE attack):
– Casting/ Animation Time: 2 secs casting, 3-4 secs of damage
– Triggers nearly everytime a previously far away opponent approaches the voror
– Voror Knight raises his arms and an AOE attack gets initiated, with the area of damage gradually expanding outwards (ie the ‘danger zone’)
– Characters caught within the animation radius will get hit multiple times
– Deals multiple hits of moderate dark damage + High Chance of Slow (even w/o taking damage)
– Character ‘held’ in place if he/she is still within the radius of attack when it ends, ‘Held’ characters can dodge roll out of the hand
– Temporary removes reflect shield during duration of attack

stun-and-lock
If you stand within the ‘danger zone’ at the end of the attack, your character will get ‘held’ by a spectral hand for about 3 seconds or so.

Strategy

When facing Voror Knights in combat, the general strategy to adopt would be ‘To kill fast, or To kill last‘.

(Actually, I realised that this applies to all minions when I was halfway through this post, but I’ll be specific to the Voror Knight here ;D )


(1) Kill Fast

Simply put, if you are confident that your character is strong enough to take down a Voror Knight in a few hits, by all means, go for the kill. This will prevent unnecessary damage from being taken if the combat drags on or if you have bigger targets to deal with (eg. Etheras, Colossus-es, Mossback Dragons etc.) or have other Voror Knights on the field.

This strategy will work very well against most strongholds at the moment as most Master I/II would have one to two Voror Knights. Existing individually (or in low numbers), these Voror Knights can fall easily if you have a decent nature melee weapon (something like >3.4k raw attack will do nicely).

For this, you’ll need a strong melee weapon, preferably a maxed out T5 Nature Greatsword with high knock-back or stun (equals or more than 10%) trait.

greatsword-nature
Even with a Xinkashi edition Greatsword, this weapon does nicely against Vorors.

Despite their slower attack speeds, I find that Greatswords work well here due to their ability to hit hard and trigger a ‘knockback/ knockdown’ effect on most minions, Voror isn’t an exception. This is great for taking out his ‘reflect shield’ skill which dissipates when a status effect is triggered.

Step 1: Observe and Identify

If he is within view upon entering the stronghold, identify the elements around him before considering to attack. If hes’ surrounded by weaker minions or within a weak trap room, then by all means, go for the kill.

IMG_0733
Probably rushed in too soon. Remember that its best to take him down when everyone else isn’t in the way.

However, should you spot a Gelid Voror, or notice that he’s has the immunity status (shiny ball on his head from Valenthian Guardhouse towers) or if he has stun/fear inducing minions surrounding him, it’ll be best to lure him away or opt to kill him later.

Step 2: Relentless Attack

Should the scenario be in your favor, immediately run towards him until you’re right in front of his face and pound away with your attacks. Haste would be your best ally here and cast a shield just to be safe.

shield
The Lightning from the Light Shield can hurt a Voror even with this shield up. However, remember not to stand within the ‘danger zone’ of the shockwave attack.

Usually, his first move is to bring his reflect shield up and this gives you about 1-2 seconds of damage before he initiates his deadly AOE shockwave attack (if you’re right next to him on his second move). During this 1-2 seconds, you can disorientate him by knock-back or stun spells (eg. Fireball, Reaching Vines, Predatory Instinct), or rely on equips with high stun/ knock-back rate to bring him onto the ground.

Once stunned/knock-backed, you have about 3-4 seconds before he gets back up so continue to hammer away at his HP bar till there’s nothing left of it.

TL;DR: Observe first. If all’s good, use your nature melee weapon and hammer away!


(2) Kill Last

On the contrary, if they come in swarms or if they are wrecking more havoc on you than you expect, then it’s best to pull out of the fray and take them down later, preferably picking one by one off from a distance.

Use this also when you spot T5 (Grim) Voror Knight(s) on the field as they dish out heavy damage via direct and indirect means. Moreover, if you realise that your character is unable to take out one easily with just a couple of hits (probably it’s a superfused one). Consider abandoning the first strategy as it is insanely reckless to go toe-to-toe as it’s cause more hurt than necessary.

A point to take note would be that Voror Knights do not actively seek your character out when you’re out of their range. More applicable in bigger strongholds (eg. no trap room; Ashkardian Forge; Xinkashi Spring), this means that if you cannot see them on your mini-map (top right corner of the screen), you’re most likely safe from possible assaults from them.

Read more about Trap Rooms in my previous post here!

Step 1: Clear the Way

In this instance, take down everything around them first before engaging them. You don’t want to get knock-downed by a lurker or stunned by a dark sentinel while you’re in the middle of the Voror’s shockwave attack.

Step 2A: Cautious Approach

This strategy involves ‘skirting’ around him (ie moving around his danger zone) and intentionally triggering his Shockwave attack. However, do note that this method is quite challenging and it took me quite a bit of practice and concentration to first initiate properly.

First, edge close to him and dodge roll away instantly to get ready. If he’s in the middle of anything, his next move will be the AoE attack.

IMG_0735
Notice that the Voror Knight on the right removes his shield in the middle of his shockwave (dark circles under him) attack. That’s the time to strike.

Once he triggers it, this will give you about a second (or two) of opportunity to hit him as he will bring down his shield within that window period of time. Immediately hit him with your strongest or stun/knock-back skill (eg. Fireball, Reaching Vines etc.). This might need a bit of practice to get the timing right so the projectile doesn’t get deflected back.

Alternatively, you can opt for a strong stun/ knockdown/ fear inducing AoE skill (eg. Fire Cyclone, Avalanche, Nightmare Burst, Predatory Instinct etc.) that will also do the job nicely.

If the spell connects, then he’ll fall back with his shield down. Like the ‘kill fast‘ strategy, this gives you the chance to pelt him with continuous attacks/spells while he’s lying on the floor unguarded.

However, if it doesn’t, dodge roll aside to prevent yourself from getting hit by your own spell and try again.

*Useful Tip courtesy of Aviq Teig:
It is possible to ‘snipe’ a Voror Knight from far using Ray of Darkness or Frost Cone. As they are not recognised as ‘projectile’ attacks, these skills do not get reflected away and allow your character to damage the Voror from far away, even with their reflect shields on. This is also beneficial if they get feared as you wouldn’t have to chase them to finish them off.

TL;DR: Intentionally trigger his shockwave, stun/knock-back and whack! Repeat if necessary.

Step 2B: All-out Attack

This is more like the step 2 from the previous strategy. However, instead of rushing in for the kill, you can trigger his shockwave skill first (as mentioned in Step 2A) and dodge roll out of the ‘danger zone’, before closing the distance (preferably with a nature melee weapon equipped). This will cause the Voror to rely more on his melee attacks after one full round of the Shockwave AoE attack, which does significantly less damage to your character.

Think of the Voror Knight having to recharge this skill before he can use it again. Of course, if you leave the melee striking radius and enter it again, he might activate the shockwave attack. Be sure to be on guard and dodge roll away in time.

TL;DR: Trigger his shockwave, then close in the distance. Repeat if necessary.

Most importantly, NEVER EVER initiate a Chain Lightning spell if you spot a Voror Knight in the room even if he is a mile away. Chain Lightning is an auto-targeting projectile-based spell and should it ‘lock-on’ to the Voror, the Reflect shield skill can reflect the stray bolts entirely back upon your character (ie. all 20 hits).

reflect
Reflected Damages show in maroon color, meaning that they are non-elemental damage.

The higher levelled/tier the voror knight, the higher the ‘reflected damage’, with the damage being a non-elemental fixed damage (ie. deals a certain fixed damage regardless of your elemental armor). Consequently, this means a deflected chain lightning can severely injure or kill an unaware user (dealing about 230+ damage per bolt on a 3.8k raw armor value).

Okay, phew, that’s about it.

If you guys have any other strategies, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll update this post accordingly. Thank you and have fun breaking those Vorors!

Effective Farming & Sweet Spots

The daily (in-game) grind of events to obtain crystals, runestones, evolution materials, fusion boosters, experience points are some of the familiar necessities which players within Dungeon Hunter 5 often have to engage in. However, one question players might ask: Is there such a thing as an effective way to farm?

*Disclaimer:
– This strategy is meant for players of all levels.
– Timings and figures below are to be used for reference only and the below strategy is to adopted at the player’s own discretion. 

To achieve an ‘effective’ farming method, we target for the player to fulfill 2 conditions:
(1) Little to No effort from the player’s part;
(2) Fastest completion timing.

For those entrapped by work, auto-mode might be the way to go. Pressing the big ‘Auto’ button at the bottom of the screen allows one’s character to be handled effortlessly by an AI which will run the course of the mission, while you go about your own daily grind in reality.
(Awesome Youtube video by Kobo Joon inside this paragraph)

Nonetheless, the immediate core disadvantage that one might point out would be the time needed to complete each daily mission. As the AI usually takes the longer route by trudging around the whole map, this would be assumed that the AI takes longer to achieve what a normal human player might take. Hence, it can be said that auto-mode might not be effective in terms of time.

On the contrary, while human minds might beat the AI in terms of speed, having to engage in the game does inevitable consume brain-power, resulting in the player spending some effort by focusing on the game.

Nonetheless, there is a way to find a middle ground between auto and manual mode.

What you’ll need:
– A decently levelled ranged weapon (crossbow or staff)
– Optimally >4k + global stats for both attack and armor
(optional) A friend who also has about 4k+ global stats

Fundamentally, there are 2 major maps that are used for the daily missions, of which I’ll fondly term as the ‘Valenthian Arena’ and the ‘Ashkardian Trials’ maps.

In each map, there is a ‘sweet‘ spot where players can position their characters and tap the attack button till the mission finishes. This drastically reduces the time and effort taken by a human player in getting the job done.

In the spirit of research, let’s examine how both auto and manual modes fare in each map and determine which mode is most effective:

*Note:
– This experiment was done by only constantly tapping on the attack button right after moving to the target ‘sweet’ spot. After-which, I did not look at my screen until it was time to open the chest.
– Taking into account reaction time, 2 timings were taken for the manual mode: when the boss falls & when the chest is opened
– My global stats and gear at the time of this experiment were 5.1k/6.0k; Shocking Thundereye/ Prestigious Skybridge Armor. 

Valenthian Arena
Used in: Monday’s Fusion Booster; Tuesday’s Evolution Materials; Wednesday’s Relic; Friday’s Runestone/Heirloom
Map size: Small

Mechanics

The Valenthian Arena sports 3 consecutive different waves of monsters that will appear along the perimeter of the map. Once all 3 waves are cleared, a final champion boss will be revealed in the center. Defeating it will spawn the chest in the same location.

‘Sweet’ Spot

Having a small area, the trick would be to stand at the edge of the middle circle, just below the base, where your field of vision is just slightly touching the end of the map (see image below). This will allow you to see all the monsters when they appear and give you enough range to reach them.

IMG_0136-1

Do note that every single minion will swarm upon your location as you are equally as visible to them as for them to you. Thus, you can easily pick off all the monsters within the map with minimal difficulty (if you have at least the recommended 4k stats).

As you’re not within range of the final chest that spawns, the character will not accidentally open the chest, allowing you to initiate the ‘pause‘ trick* to see what you have gained at the end, which is especially useful for Tuesday’s (evolution materials) and Friday’s (Rune stones/ Heirlooms) events.

However, if the final reward is guaranteed (ie. Wednesday’s relics) or if you disregard the type of item you get, you can position your character in the center of the circle for the same effect. This time, he/she will automatically open the chest upon clearing the boss.

*Note: This works only if you’ve killed most of the minions on the map. If your ally has been doing that for you, then you might see only 0-1 out of the 2 items. 

Time Comparison

Auto Mode
Average Timing: 52 seconds

Manual Mode
Average Timing: 50 seconds
(Champion boss falls at 47 seconds)

Timing between auto and manual mode differs by only 2 seconds. Hence, in terms of effective farming, auto mode takes the cake for this map.

However, if its a specific elemental material you’re looking for, manual mode would be more viable so you don’t lose unnecessary energy on drops that are not of value to you.

Ashkardian Trials
Used in: Monday’s Quartz & Experience; Thursday’s Crystal
Map Size: Large

Mechanics

Similar to the Arena, the Ashkardian Trials has 3 waves of monsters to clear. However, as this is a big map, each wave will spawn according to where your character’s position is and they will ‘linger’ there until defeated. Should any one of the minions be left alive, the next wave will not spawn. Each wave is signified by an animation sequence where certain platforms on the map are elevated/dropped.

Likewise, the champion boss(es) will spawn in the middle of the map and the reward chest will appear right in the center upon clearing all foes from the map.

!! Caution !!: Because of the change to the walk-able terrain, there is a (slight) possibility that the auto-mode AI might get ‘stuck’ at certain corners that used to have platforms. This is not a major glitch, but you’ll need to manually disengage auto-mode, move out far from your current location, and seek out the next target before activating auto-mode again.

‘Sweet’ Spot

In this map, situating your character in the lower left quadrant of the grilled center area allows a full reach of all the monsters that will spawn around you. Typically, you’ll be facing monsters from all around (360 deg), but let the auto-targeting do the work and just sit back and tap.

IMG_0135-1

A drawback would be that you’ll need to go to the center of the map once the final champion boss(es) have been defeated. Thus, this presents the need for checking back at around the 1 min 15 secs mark.

Time Comparison

Auto Mode
Average Timing: 1 min 40 secs

Manual Mode
Average Timing: 1 min 18 secs
(Champion boss falls at 1 min 14 secs)

As mentioned previously, the large map size proves disadvantageous to users of auto-mode as the AI will attempt to ‘seek out’ foes throughout the whole map. On the other hand, manual mode ‘draws’ monsters to one single location, saving much needed time to find new enemies on the map.

In conclusion, manual mode prevails in this map with its fast speed of clearing with minimal effort required.

Hope this helps and happy holidays!

Battling the Ethera

As a Dark Champion minion released in the 2nd Kenashi Update, Ethera is not one to be trifled with. It sports a good 140 upkeep and a plethora of moves and a complex AI that is able to overpower any  unsuspecting player.

I decided to do some investigation myself and figure out Ethera‘s movesets while battling against one of my friend’s stronghold. For one, I must say that I’m really intrigued and impressed by how much effort GL has put into this new champion minion.
Here are my observations:

When in normal mode (chained up and walking):

*If she loses her chain shield in this mode, she will not be able to initiate her chain attacks.
*As of the first Forsaken Sands update, she has increased health regeneration in this phase, making it important to ‘break’ her out of this mode fast.

File:Ethera.png
Ethera in Chained Mode (source)

Single Slash
Short-ranged single-target attack. Like the dual blades ending attack, she sends a single stroke shockwave in the direction she is facing in a semi-circular range. Deals low-moderate damage
*This is when you’re very close to her.

Chain attack (Ground)
Long-ranged homing point-damage attack. A single chain comes up from below the ground. Deals moderate damage, with damage over time and chance of slow.
*This is often done when you’re not in her field of vision.

Chain attack (front)
Long-ranged point-damage attack. Her chain is aimed straight towards you. Deals moderate damage with chance of stun.
*This is done when you’re within her field of vision but not very close to her.

 

When in transformed mode (floating around with hair up):

*Animation Model here
*Instantly gains the chain shield back if she lost it in her normal mode, she also becomes significantly bigger with a larger aura.
*Even without her chain shield in this mode, she can initiate all of her chain attacks.

Single Large Slash
Similar to the Single Slash move, she sends a larger one, semi-circular range shockwave in front of her. Deals moderate damage.
*This is when you’re very close to her.

Chain attack (Ground)
Long-ranged homing attack. Chain erupts from underneath 3 times instead of once. (ie, if you’re moving, it’ll appear in 3 locations according to your last-walked path) Deals heavy damage with damage over time with chance of slow.
*This is often done when you’re not in her field of vision.

Chain attack (front)
Long-ranged, single target, Extends her chain outwards in a straight line and if it connects to you, she pulls herself to your location. Target takes heavy damage with damage over time and chance of stun.
*This is done when you’re within her field of vision but not very close to her.

Dark Burst
AOE multiple damage attack, the burst erupts from a single point and radiates outwards, target takes multiple damage if caught within the blast radius with damage over time and chance of slow.
*This is done when she is about to change back to normal mode and if you’re relatively close to her.

In both modes, her chain is offensive and defensive: giving her the chain attacks (as above), and her protective shield.

If she loses her chain in either mode, she will regain it when she transforms to her alternate mode. (eg. if no chain shield in her normal mode, she will gain it in her transformed mode)
However, if she has her chain on in either mode, she will NOT have it when she transforms to her other form (*take note of this as it can be used as a tactic to take her down).

Interestingly, her chain shield functions like a Lurker’s shell, giving her high level of defence and will break off after a (large) number of hits. It also acts like Voror knight’s shield, giving her the ability to reflect all ranged attacks (including launched spells/normal attacks, except AOE spells).

Here’s my suggested strategy:

(1) Clear off all the other minions first (important!) and keep running about especially to be not within her field of vision.

(2) Do NOT damage her at all in her normal mode, let her keep her chain shield on so when she transforms into her other mode, she will lose it.

(3) When she transforms, immediately go in for the kill by:

(a) close-ranged melee OR
(b) your ranged attack/spells from far but keeping a safe range while moving around her. Use stun/slow equipment if possible.

Alternatively, after clearing off the other minions, you can opt to destroy her chain shield first in normal mode so she can’t initiate her chain attacks, making her very weak against ranged. But you’ll risk her gaining the chain shield back, making her rather invincible in her other mode.

Hope this helps. And let me know whether there’s any corrections as I was trying out a lower level Ethera (T4) and only battled a few T5s. Thanks.

*Disclaimer: Images used in this post were taken from the Dungeon Hunter 5 Wiki