Thursday 17 March 2016

Got my green wings via solo mastering every dungeon, my thoughts

I got a lot of interest / questions from clanmates so figured I'd write it all down here too :)

First off, before taking on this endeavour I'd only played Crusader, Monk and Wizard. Wizard new for Season 5. In order of difficulty for each classes dungeons, I'd line them up like this from easiest to hardest:
  1. Demon Hunter, easiest
  2. Witch Doctor
  3. Wizard
  4. Crusader
  5. Barbarian
  6. Monk, Hardest


The hardest dungeon by far was the monk's Uliana set dungeon. The map is just too large, the enemies are too few and too spread out, they either don't follow you at all or are too slow, and the fire damage mechanic is ridiculous. You can skip worrying about fire damage with a star of azkaranth amulet, though nothing will help you with the density issue. Blizzard could do a number of things to fix this dungeon's insane difficulty relative to the others:
  • Shrink the map, keep the same amount of monsters thus increasing density
  • Make the spawn locations static
  • Change the monster types to something else. Maybe those frogs / burrowing things, or accursed. Normally annoying enemies that just stick to you like glue and you can't lose them
  • Lower the number of required monsters - raise the required explosions to compensate. Maybe 15, 5 times instead of 21, 3 times.


Definitely the second hardest, due to the ridiculous physical damage objective. Who's great idea was it to have you use a melee attack on monsters you must stack around you, and you cannot get hit - not once, ever, for the entire dungeon? I finally got around this by using ignore pain with the rune that knocks / stuns enemies, sprint with its similar knockback rune, and Madawc's sorrow in the kanai cube - a mighty weapon that stuns enemies the first time you hit them. This let me get in, stomp, rend and get out quickly. Even with all this, I still randomly failed through what felt like no fault of my own. Armaddons being in this dungeon is just the final cruel cherry on top for whatever manic game designer cooked this thing up.

Other problem dungeons

Rolands (Crusader) - It's so huge, and there are so many monsters. Those little tiny bastards who run away from you and are nearly the same colour as the background.

Unhallowed Essence - Another luck-based one, hoping for favourable spawns to multishot big groups.

Jade Harvester - Those invisible snakes though.

Helltooth - Just because the mob damaged seemed quite high, I had to stack lots of defense and still had trouble surviving.

Raiment (Dashing strike set) - The countdown to get to the end of the dungeon would often instantly end for me, I have no idea why. It always happened while fighting. Instead I would just dash to the gold chest at the end to get it over with, and then fight my way back.

Delsere's magnum opus - This was more just a struggle of trying to balance defense and damage. All the wizard dungeons benefit from an aether walker. The folly bracer with a twister in the right place makes bubbling enemies easy. Get the reflecting done quickly, and focus down elites immediately if you can.

General Tips

I found the wreath of lightning gem useful for not just the movement speed boost when procced but also because it ticks and adds HP bars to everything it touches. This made the rolands dungeon much easier - those little shits are much harder to miss as they run away into the distance with a HP bar above them.

Lowering your damage for many of the dungeons helps. Inna's for example went much more smoothly once I had more time to gather up enough enemies close to me without them dying before activating my mystic allies. Part of mastering these dungeons was finding out the right balance of damage.

Set Dungeons

I see some people moaning, calling them a shit idea. And to be honest, I had that impression when I saw their announcement and felt "forced" to complete one at the start of the season to get the stash tab. Now I've done them however, I've changed my tune. Only 2 of them make me think "thank god I never have to do that again", them being Uliana's and Wastes.

Set dungeons have made me try three new classes that I never would have otherwise, and multiple playstyles within those classes. I now have a regular farming DH, and a leapquake barb I take into GRs with friends. Overall I like the idea, though it definitely needs some tuning.

One last piece of advice - don't be a twat and try to solo all of these like I did. Some are pretty solo-friendly like Arachyr's, though others become much easier when you have someone cleaning up stragglers and going ham once you've met your objectives to master it.

If you're playing EU and want some help with one, feel free to add me, Roph#2955.