Home > Dungeons > T1 Dungeon – Hunter’s Vale

T1 Dungeon – Hunter’s Vale

Before I jump into my ‘regularly scheduled programming’ I quickly turn your attention to the September Producer’s Letter. Personally I find it another disappointment – no new information, just a rehash of what we already knew, aside from the information of the PTS going up in October. I guess Carrie spends too much time playing Minecraft to write something informative; at least she could have changed the verb tense to show that the awards for the anniversary were already sent, not will be sent.

Anyway, on to the dreadful discussion of PvE! Don’t worry this is actually leading to something from the innovative mind of yours truly. So I want to go tier by tier in this analysis – actually more like renown bracket by renown bracket which is really how the games progression is measured anyway. What I’d like to do is look at a few aspects of every dungeon and use this information. So what I’ll be rating dungeons on are a few different aspects: time commitment, layout, design, boss mechanics, loot mechanics, lockouts, and as a side dish – lore. Thats right, if you’ve studied etiquette then you’ve got yourself a seven course meal on your way. Sit up straight, no elbows on the table, and never blow on your soup!

Tier 1 – RR1-11

Hunter’s Vale (HV)

So technically speaking Tier 1 does not have a dungeon – at least in the sense that it does not have a dungeon with an armor set attached to it. Until the first year anniversary Tier 1 did not have a dungeon; however, with the overwhelming popularity of the Hunter’s Vale, Mythic toned it down significantly and made it a permanent addition in Tier 1.

Time Commitment – Now we know for a fact that Mythic intended for this to be a brief dungeon (indicated by the PQ timer in T4 which I believe was 35m?) and fortunately in Tier 1 this time frame is still reasonable.

Layout – Here we have a linear dungeon with three ‘wing’ bosses, killing the first gives access to the second part of the dungeon, and killing the second gives access to the final boss. Generally I am not a fan of linear dungeons but for HV it works pretty well.

Design – HV is designed as a six-man dungeon which in Tier 1 proves to be quite problematic, mainly because you level out of it so fast, and for tanks (the rarest of all commodities) to be effective they have to be level 7+ (for taunt). I’ve often felt to ease the population burden on HV that it would be ‘kinder’ of the developers to make it open to a higher bracket of levels.

Boss Mechanics – For the sake of this discussion I will break down HV into its ‘wing bosses’ and ‘mini bosses’

  • First ‘mini-boss’ – The Treekin Twins – To my knowledge this is the first boss in Warhammer with the unique mechanic of alternating which one is active in combat. Every few seconds one will AoE knock everyone back and become unattackable while his twin becomes attackable. I personally find this mechanic pretty cool – one can wonder what its implications would be if it was on a wing boss.
  • Second ‘mini-boss’ – The Sprite Champ! – I forgot his name but his mechanic is also rather unique, and admittedly, rather hard in T1 – he continues to summon regular sprite mobs as long as he is alive. Without challenge and group heals and minimal aoe its a toughy!
  • First Wing Boss – Thanan Tree Lord – So if this is your first boss in Warhammer Online, hes actually a very good intro to almost all the bosses in Warhammer. Here’s a rule of thumb that sticks with you from T1-Vulture Lord: Bosses have an AoE cleave, turn them away and your group is happy! He has a lot of AoE abilities (knock back, root, cleave) and summons trash mobs which tend to harass healer. Not a terribly tough fight but worthy of the RR1-10 bracket.
  • Wing 2 ‘mini-bosses’ – The Three Mothers – So here’s another mechanic which I believe was new to War at the time of HV’s launch. Basically once you enter ‘wing 2’ you are swarmed by dogs, and they don’t stop spawning, that is until you push on forward and find the mommy and kill her. Kill doggie mommy, rinse and repeat with wolves and lions. Again in Tier 1 this is a little harder with less aoe tools for tanks and healers to hold the mobs but I like the mechanic.
  • Second Wing Boss – The Cadaithaine Lion (and Lioness in upper tiers) – So this wing boss is again a tank and spank, rather easy in Tier 1 with the removal of the Lioness. She would randomly attack someone and the only way to manage with her was to dps her down to 50% when she became perma-snared and then kill the Lion first (if you killed her first she enraged). But I guess this was too hard and it was toned down
  • Finals Boss – The Spirit of Kurnous – Again this boss has been significantly toned down for tier 1. He is pretty much a tank and spank. In upper tiers he would go into a portal and shoot lightning bolts on the ground and then change into different animal aspects and you had to burn through his absorb shield. That’s all pretty much out the window in tier 1.

Loot – The only sad part about Hunter’s Vale is that the loot table for the wing bosses and final boss are repairable armor pieces from the PQ armor sets. The plus – they’re repairable by archtype. The downside – you can get the gear doing PQs. I wish this dungeon (at least for T1) would have had another armor set. Also, upon defeating the Spirit of Kurnous you get a Fleet Stag Mantle which is pretty nifty in Tier 1 and you get to roll on bags which have nice toys in them! So all in all despite the lack of armor sets the loot rolls are pretty nice.

Lockout Timers – None!

Lore – Now this one got under my skin a tad. Technically speaking Kurnous is an Elven god and represented in the pantheon of the High Elves, but arguably his role is far greater in the Wood Elf community of Athel Loren. Now if the tree twin mini-bosses weren’t named for Durthu and the Wildwood then I would have no reason to think this wasn’t occurring in Avelorn, but due to those names I feel like this dungeon was meant to occur in Athel Loren – it certainly would have made a fine dungeon in the Wood Elf pairing if it was ever made.

Overall Review – If I was to rate this dungeon out of 5 stars, or moons or whatever, then I would give it 4.5/5. Its a short dungeon and its armor piece drops are repairable by archtype which is a huge plus. Due to its short length, the linear fashion of this dungeon is perfectly fine.

Tomorrow I venture into the Sewers of Altdorf… I leave the Destruction equivalents to another person =P

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  1. October 1, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Hey hey whoa whoa. You aren’t gonna do sacellum?

    Make yourself a destro account and come do sacellum.

    Don’t make me write something SERIOUS and not jokingly, /shudder

  2. October 1, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Pssh Destro is for… angry people. I like my pink trees and green grass over on Order. I have 3 destro toons in t1, no motivation to get them past it =\. You write it =)

  3. October 1, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    It’s true, everyone on destro hates each other.

    And I already did write it 😀

    DARN YOU!!!

    But it’s not serious.

  4. Dilek
    October 2, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    I like your non-serious writeup, Tru. It amused me very much. =) Of course, I also like Eka’s write up here. Btw, Tru, your blog hates me. I can never comment there but I read it.

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