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Guide to Moria Lower Deeps - Instances

Posted Sat, Sep 17, 2011 by gunky

Guide to the Mines of Moria - Central Halls
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LOWER DEEPS | DUNGEONS | INSTANCES | DEEDS | REPUTATION


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FELLOWSHIP INSTANCES AND RAIDS

3-Man Instances:

6-Man Instances:

12-Man Instances


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THE WATER-WHEELS - NALA-DUM

Nala-dum

Location: Water-works, 14.2S, 112.8W.

Type: Level 60 Instance, Solo or Small Fellowship

Mobs: Lizards, Salamanders, Caeryg

Description: Deep in the abysses of Moria, the dwarves had once crafted a great waterway to bring water in from the mountains. Something now blocks the great wheels from turning, causing the Iron Garrison concern.

This instance is tied to Volume II Book 8, but can be run as a small fellowship instance at any time. The actual book instance has an option for solo, but the Instance Join version does not.

This is a complex series of tunnels, stairways and walkways requiring activation of switches and wheels to advance all the way through. The usual pattern is 1) kill a few mobs, 2) find a lever or wheel somewhere nearby and use it, 3) backtrack to the door you just opened and move to the next area. There is always backtracking involved, so if you come to a place where you can't advance any further, backtrack a bit and find the lever you need to use or the door you need to open.

There are a few fights worth looking at in detail here. First is the slow-moving rock-salamanders. These mobs have chameleon-like eyes and walk very, very slowly. Having a ranged attacker is a big advantage here - shoot, run, shoot, run, etc. - but melee attackers should be fine also provided they can kill fast. Eventually, the salamanders start moving and attacking faster, and they start hitting pretty hard.

Next up is the boss lizard, (Split-tail??). This guy has lots of poison/acid attacks and summons adds at about half morale. This is a case of "divide and conquer" - pull the adds away from the boss and burn them quick, then finish off the big one. And make sure to clear the poisons DOTs.

For the end fight, you have the option of facing either one big caerog or many smaller ones. Since I can never remember how to get to the room with the many smaller ones, let's look at the big guy.

He appears to be sleeping in his watery room, but wakes up as soon as you come close. He's dripping green goo, and bright green goo is the universal code for acid damage and/or poison. In this case, it seems to be acid damage.

This is not a fun fight. The caerog hits really hard, has big knockbacks which send characters flying back into the giant pistons pounding the floor, and will green out and flee several times during the fight to nurse his wounds. This little scripted event is timed, and if the correct action is not taken in time, the fight resets.

First off, you can counter the knockback attack by standing with your back to the solid wall at the back of the room. Getting knocked into the pistons is bad news - they do a bunch of damage when they pound home and you get stunned from the blow. If you cannot avoid being knocked toward the pistons, try to steer your flight to land between the spots where the pistons will hit - the danger zone is marked by concentric circles.

When the caerog greens out and becomes unattackable, he will flee to a front corner of the room. One person in the group must run to and use the lever in the opposite corner (so if he goes front-left, use the back-right lever, and vice versa). This will cause the pistons to start up again and disrupt the caerog's rest. This happens three or so times during the fight.

Healing is difficult for this fight because of the knockbacks and the pistons - long inductions are frequently interrupted, characters are frequently tossed out of range. The pistons not only cause massive instant damage, but also stun anyone who gets hammered by them. And it's a long stun - if the healer gets caught by one, those few seconds seem to drag out forever when no one is getting healed.

This instance rewards Lothlorien tokens.

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FIL GASHAN

Fil Ghashan

Location: Flaming Deeps at Hudnul-meden,  17.1S, 109.6W

Type: Level 60 Instance, Fellowship

Mobs: Orcs, Uruks

Description: Fil Ghashan is the stronghold of Talug, right hand of Mazog, Lord of Moria. Here, the Orc-general musters an army to make a futile assault upon Lothlórien. Here, he also breeds Orc-warriors of a most deadly skill....

FG is one of my personal favorite instances. When running with a PUG, it will go badly probably 7 or 8 times out of 10. When it goes right, everyone feels like a rockstar.

The challenge in this instance is to defeat General Talug without killing more than 2 of his sentries. To achieve this, the group will need to rely on cunning subterfuge, expert timing and keen observation all the way through the instance.

First Room

The group starts off in a hallway leading into a room with patrolling orcs and a sentry squatting by a large bell alarm. This one is a no-kill sentry, so it's time to employ the first bit of subterfuge: have a Minstrel cast Song of Distraction on the sentry to greatly reduce his aggro range. Once the sentry is distracted, the group can start fighting.

There are a couple ways to clear this room. My personal preference is to range-pull the patrolling mobs on the far side of the room and pull them back into the entry hallway.

Alternately, if the group has a Rune-keeper instead of a Minstrel but has a Burglar, the Burglar can use Share The Fun to sneak the group one by one up the stairs to either side of the sentry (pick one side, right or left), depositing them at the top and then sneaking back to get another person until everyone is in place. Once everyone is in place, drop down and start fighting in the bottom corner of the room.

After the first wave, an uruk chief guard will come charging in with some buddies. When he dies, he drops a wrapped uniform - pick one person in the group who knows what he's doing and make sure he gets the uniform. It comes in a wrapped bundle that can be traded, but once the wrapped bundle is opened, the uniform inside is bound.

The uniforms here need to be intelligently-assigned. The first person to get them will be responsible for making the pulls, so he either needs to be well-versed in the complexities of the instance or tough enough to survive trouble. The group's tank is a decent choice, but a good Hunter can make many of the pulls from a safe range without breaking the disguise, which means less risk of discovery by the sentries.

Once the first room is cleared, there are a couple of ways to proceed. Both methods start with clearing the trash down the back hallway - hide everyone around a corner, use a ranged pull when the patrolling sentry is well out of sight and duck around behind the corner to force the ranged attackers into close range.

Once the way is clear, you have two options: either straight ahead into the mess hall, or prowling through the barracks to find uniforms for everyone.

Prowling for uniforms is quite challenging because of the no-kill sentries patrolling the side hallways, and rather time-consuming. The guy with the uniform has to put it on and pull mobs out of the bunk rooms without melee-attacking (which dispels the disguise) or alerting the sentry. Some uniforms will be found in chests in the bunk rooms, others must be looted from dead uruk guards. If you have hours to kill and are willing to risk the occasional wipe when a less-alert player accidentally triggers a sentry, go ahead and try this method. But it is generally much easier and faster to skip this and head straight to the mess hall.

Mess Hall

Send the uniformed player ahead - he can run past the sentry without alerting it. Everyone else waits in the hallway near the first big room, out of aggro range of the sentries patrolling the intersection. The disguised player enters the mess hall and waits a few seconds for Vrarz the Cook to order everyone back to work. The orcs will leave the tables and begin filing out in a line. The player will need to pick one or two orcs near the back of the room as his "keep" targets. Run near these "keepers" and they will pause for a moment to look at you, then move away quickly so they don't see through the disguise. Repeat this a few times - it slows them down so they won't clear out at the same time as all the others. Once all the other orcs are gone and only the "keepers" are left, attack them and alert the group. Don't kill them just yet.

The group will need to wait for the patrolling sentry to be well out of sight before they go running into the mess hall. Timing is important, so once the way is clear, run fast and kill the last couple of orcs in the mess hall and prepare to face the cook and the kitchen staff, who drop down and start fighting after the "keepers" are dead.

This is a 3-stage fight. Stage one is a dozen or so orcs - not terribly complicated. Keep them away from the healers and kill as many of them as you can.

Stage 2 is when Vrarz the Cook enters. He is one of my very favorite instance sub-bosses, attacking with a hot, greasy frying pan and a giant meat cleaver. His surviving minions green out and run away when he enters the fight, so you'll just be facing him. He applies some nasty wounds and fire-DOTs, so be ready with wound pots when he says "I'll make mincemeat out of you!" and "Would you like that pan-seared?"

In Stage 3, the surviving minions come back into the fight. There shouldn't be very many of them left, so take those few out quick and then return your attention to Vrarz. Drop him fast and go loot the chest for a Moria medallion and some decent loot.

If there is a Captain in the group, this is the room for his class quest. The Captain uses the summoning horn next to a pillar near the back of the room, and the group survives wave after wave after wave of battle-crazy orcs. It's seriously a lot of them. Like, you think "that's gotta be the last of them," and then 6 more come in.

Stairwell

The jig is up and the orcs are on to you now. When you leave the mess hall and approach the locked gate at the end of the hallway beyond, you'll see a lieutenant walk up to the sentry and inform him that there are intruders dressed as chief guards. That disguise is no longer useful - for the next bits, you'll need lieutenants' uniforms. Pick your uniform guy before starting the next fight.

This is the first sentry you can kill. Let him go ahead and sound the alarm and meet the assault head-on. A lieutenant will come bounding along and he will need to be taken down quickly.

Lieutenants can perform warband manoeuvers, which are basically the same thing as FMs except that they can be completed by just one lieutenant. They have a variety of nasty effects - stuns and powerful poisons are the most dangerous and most common, so watch out for bright-colored poison debuffs and be prepared to remove them quickly. Make sure the designated person gets the uniform when the lieutenant drops.

The next pull is tricksome. Send the uniformed player up the stairs to make this one; everyone else waits below by the alarm. There is a sentry up the stairs, and two groups of orcs. This is the second killable sentry, but if the pull is mishandled, you end up fighting two groups at once instead of one at a time. Wait for the sentry to be all the way to one end of the hall or the other before pulling the opposite group. A tough, over-level group can usually handle both groups at once, but on-level groups will want to play safe.

Once the top of the stairs is cleared, everyone can head up. Orient yourself so the doors at either end of the hall are at your front and take the left one. You'll be on a walkway overlooking the mess hall. Kill the orcs there and head to the far door. On the other side, you'll see some orcs lounging against the wall by a door and a sentry patrolling the hall. Wait for the sentry to be out of sight and pull those orcs back into the hallway.

Commander Greb

Once those are down, wait again for the sentry to pass out of sight and make a dash for the first room on the right, where Commander Greb waits. Make sure you get well into the room and away from the door so the sentry doesn't see you. The Commander will try to intimidate the group with some trash talk and sends his lieutenants to block the door. Then he grabs up a weapon and fights.

Stage 1 is simple enough - burn on the Commander. After he takes a bit of a beating, he will green out and head over to another weapon rack, and Stage 2 starts. In this stage, melee attackers will want to back away and let ranged and tactical attackers take him down - the commander has a buff that will reflect all melee damage. The icon looks like a wound, so don't hit him with melee while this is up. Melee tanks will want to stick to shouts and taunts to generate threat. After another beating, he will green out again and go get a new weapon.

In Stage 3, the lieutenants join the fight. This is where things get colorful - the lieutenants will run around initiating warband manoeuvers willy-nilly. Focus fire on the commander, then take out the lieutenants one at a time, keeping an eye out for the deadly poisons from warband manoeuvers. Once they're down, loot the bodies for wrapped lieutenant uniforms and the chests at the back of the room for a key, a Moria medallion and some lootz.

These uniforms can go to anyone, and everyone in the group will eventually need one. In the event that someone accidentally wins both rolls, trade one of them to someone else and don't roll on any more of them. The group should have 3 now, and needs 3 more to get up to the general.

The last 3 uniforms are stashed in chests in the rooms around the hallway at this level, or are worn by the lieutenants occupying those rooms. Problem: there are 2 sentries patrolling the hallway, and these must not be killed. Timing the lieutenant pulls carefully is important, and best done with ranged attacks from the hallway while the sentries are well out of aggro range. The rest of the group can wait back in the safe-zone walkways and the lieutenants and the mobs guarding their rooms can be kited back there.

Once everyone has a uniform, head up the stairs. Time to face the general.

General Talug

At the top of the stairs, have everyone don their uniforms. The general's room is straight ahead, but there are dozens of orcs along the way, and several sentries. Generally, the best practice is to spread the run out evenly with ample space between each runner - a second or two works fine. It is also usually a good idea to send the group's healer first just in case. Run straight to the door and buttonhook around the corner once inside, hugging the wall on the left. If the disguise is broken for some reason, try to die near the door to Talug's room... but not so close that the mobs will aggro on the people who made it and are waiting inside.

This fight gets complicated, and a group that has done well up to this point can easily screw up on the fight against the General if the strategy is unclear. General Talug is tough as nails and favors incredibly durable but incredibly heavy armor, which is tough enough to mitigate most incoming damage unless the group manages to exploit a few weak spots.

When the fight begins, the General is standing on the dais with a couple of buddies - the Fang-caster and the Fire-fist. When combat begins, the Fire-fist runs off to a corner, but the Fang-caster activates. This is stage 1. During this stage, the General shrugs off damage until he is led into a trap dropped by the Fang-caster. When he steps into the trap, it explodes and knocks him to his knees, making him vulnerable to damage for a few precious seconds.

The strategy for this stage is relatively easy to master. One player will tank the General, one player will tank the Fang-caster. Tanking the General requires shouts and taunts - damage-based threat doesn't work so well here, so a Guardian or Warden is the best bet for this. Be alert for the General's special attacks - when he says "Mind your legs!" he will do a sweeping frontal area attack that does heavy damage. Duck behind him when he says this and avoid the damage.

The Fang-caster must be kept close to the edge of the dais and in melee range, where his attacks are weaker and his traps will drop in a useful spot. This can be tricky to manage - a Hunter can do this well enough by standing next to the Fang-caster at the start of the fight and smacking him with a melee attack as soon as he activates. The goal here is to keep his attention by doing some melee damage, keeping him in melee range, but not enough damage to kill him. You want to keep this guy alive and in position to drop handy traps. When he runs off to fire his bow (and he will, just about every time), run up and smack him with a weak melee attack again, then inch him back towards the dais a step at a time.

In this Crude Illustration, the red dot is General Talug, the blue dot is the main tank, the green dot is the off-tank holding the Fang-caster, represented by the yellow dot.

Crude Illustration - Stage 1

When the Fang-caster is about to drop a fresh trap, he will say "Mind your feet!" This usually needs to be called out, and the guy tanking the General has to lead Talug into the trap. Everybody must stop attacking the General while he heads to the trap - he moves slowly, and attacks slow him down even further, and the trap has a very short duration. Once he falls to his knees in the trap, lay into him hard. If the group does enough damage to him the first time he falls into a trap, it only needs to be done once. Otherwise, it may need to be done twice.

Eventually, he will enter Stage 2 by announcing that the armor hampers his reflexes and shedding some of it. This is the hard part, and definitely requires another Crude Illustration to explain it:

Crude Illustration - Stage 2

1. Talug says "This armour hampers my reflexes!" and the Fire-fist (purple dot) comes charging in, often heading towards the healer. A second off-tank needs to head him off, and the group needs to burn the Fire-fist to 2-3k morale.

2. When the Fire-fist is at 2-3k morale, stop all damage and drag him over to the General. They need to be practically touching to set up the third step. When the Fire-fist says "And flesh always burns!" make sure he is facing away from the main tank - he unleashes a fire-breath attack that does a strong fire DOT. Pot this off immediately. Hold this position and wait for a fresh trap.

3. The Fang-caster drops a fresh trap. Make sure the Fire-fist and the General are right together, then finish off the Fire-fist. When he dies, he explodes oil, and the General needs to be covered with this oil. The splash radius is not very big, so they have to be touching when this happens, and it doesn't last very long, so the Fang-caster's trap has to be freshly-laid.

4. Cease all attacks on the General and lead him quickly to the trap. He must be covered in the Fire-fist's oil or the trap will have no effect. If he is covered in the oil and makes it to the trap on time, he will fall to his knees and become vulnerable. Hit him with Oathbreakers and any other damage-increasing debuffs, everyone switch to high-DPS stance and lay into him. Note that a new Fire-fist will come charging in after the first one dies, and will probably make a B-line straight for the healer.

Hopefully, the group only needs to do this once. Once the General takes enough damage, he switches to Stage 3, where he is no longer protected by armor. Go full-burn on him in this stage and take him down, then kill the Fang-caster and the Fire-fist.

Once the General and his flunkies are slain, go loot the chests. Challenge mode in this instance earns 10 Moria medallions (including the 2 from the sub-bosses). It also earns you one of the very coolest housing items in the game. And now that the challenge is completed, you can roll back through the rest of the place and kill everything that moves.

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THE FORGES OF KHAZAD-DUM

Forges of Khazad-dum

Location: Flaming Deeps at Hudnul-meden,

Type: Level 59 Instance,  Fellowship

Mobs: Orcs, Goblins, Trolls

Description: At the height of Durin's reign, the Forges of Khazad-dûm were once famed for producing great crafts of beauty and majesty. Now they have fallen into misuse by the Orcs which now infest the ancient halls of Moria, spewing forth their terrible tools of war....

Forges is a fun, fast run. While FG relies heavily on keen timing, subtlety and observation, the Forges requires pluck, mettle and determination. There are four bosses here instead of the standard three, so the challenge mode for this instance will earn more Moria medallions than the challenge for Grand Stair. It's a mad race against time... and also fire and trolls, and you get to use explosives.

The first room houses several groups of trash mobs. Clear both sides before starting the group at the back. A fun little tip for these fights: The enemy always opens by hurling fire on the ground, which can be a pain in the butt. To offset this, a Lore-master's or Captain's melee pet can be used to make the pulls. Send the pet charging in while everyone stays back, the mobs throw their fire pots well away from the group, then the tank pulls them into the group for the kill.

The mobs here drop water skins. This is important for later, so make sure everyone in the group has a good number of them. When you get 7 or 8 of them, stop rolling and let everyone else stock up.

The group standing at the locked gate requires an extra bit of strategy. Once they are engaged, they will call in reinforcements from the gates at the sides. Select a member of the group to run the barrels of explosives to the gates and close them off. The runner has to be able to avoid taking aggro - if he is attacked while running with the barrels, the barrels are dropped. Pick one up after the first wave of adds comes in, run it to the side doorway, then repeat for the other side. Once that group and all the adds are killed, the gateway to the first boss opens.

The rest of the instance takes place in a high vertical column. There are tracks running around the outside walls, and platforms in the middle. The tracks are locked patrol paths for enslaved trolls, which are basically trains hauling materials from one forge to the next. The train-trolls don't attack, but they do stomp on anyone in their path, leaving the victim stunned for a moment. The stomp does a few hundred points of damage, and is basically unavoidable.

Narku

The first boss, an Uruk named Narku, waits down on the big square platform at the bottom of the ramp. Once he is defeated, the timer starts - the group has 30 minutes to defeat the three remaining bosses for the challenge.

This guy isn't that tough. The tank stays on him full time, DPS splits off to handle the adds which are summoned forth when the boss hits 25% morale increments. His adds drops big fire puddles during the fight just before they spawn in - avoid standing in these. They do hefty damage. Watch out for Narku to call out your name - "You beg too much for my attention, So-and-so!" When he says this, run around to the back-side of the pillar in the middle of the room, breaking line-of-sight with Narku. If line-of-sight is not broken, he will do a big-damage attack (around 2000 points), but if you manage to get away from him when he says "I warned you!" you take no damage.

Because the add waves are linked to Narku's morale total, it is generally not a good idea to keep DPS focused only on the boss. Three waves of adds is a lot and can overwhelm the group farily easily. Handle the adds as they spawn in, and return to Narku only when they're all down.

Once the boss is dead, a chest will spawn in. Leave it for now, you're on a timer.

Dhaub

Follow the ramp down, and take the left-hand track, being mindful of the trolls. There's a tricky spot on the way to the next boss - be sure to stop at the troll cave just at the top of the ramp leading down to Dhaub's platform, and stay out of the way of any trolls that might come out. Follow the track too far and you will run into a group of uruks on the platform just past the ramp, which makes for an unnecessary and time-consuming fight.

Gather the group together quick and head down the ramp to the goblin boss. This platform is criss-crossed with troll tracks, and the troll-trains need to be stopped before Dhaub will join the fight. Pick a player to run the explosives out along the side tracks to the open tunnels to block the paths.

The explosives runner needs to pick up the black powder barrels in the middle of the room and run them out along the side tracks. Being stomped by a track-troll will cause the player to drop the barrel, and he will have to run back and get another one. There is a pattern to the paths. Assuming you are looking in from the foot of the entry ramp, and the entry ramp is bottom, the sequence is:

1) Top right

2) Top left

3) Bottom right

4) Bottom left

5) Middle two

After the third or fourth tunnel is blocked, two free-range guardian trolls will come into the fight - one from either side along the middle tracks. For this fight, having two CC classes comes in handy - a healthy combination of Burglars and Lore-masters. At the very least, the group needs one dedicated crowd-controller. Ideally, both trolls can be locked down with mezzes or roots at either side of the platform. If only one can be locked down with CC, the other needs to be tanked well away from the middle. Nobody else should be anywhere near these trolls except the two guys responsible for keeping them locked down. The trolls can't be damaged at this stage anyway - Dhaub just heals them - so don't screw with them if you're not a CCer.

When all 6 tunnels are blocked, Dhaub jumps down from his perch and starts fighting. If he is near either of the trolls, he takes no damage. This is why it is important to keep them CCed (or tanked) well away from the middle of the platform. Dhaub has some induction-based fire attacks that can be interrupted, but if he manages to pull it off the fire DOT can be wiped with a water-skin from the trash mobs at the start.

Kill Dhaub fast, then burn the trolls one at a time. Once they're all 3 dead, head down the ramp at the top and follow the track to the right. Don't loot the chest yet - you're still on a timer.

Track Trash and Thrug

There's a tricksome spot along the track that you will want to watch out for. Many players experience a "bump" of graphical lag when running behind the lava-fall in the corner. When you approach it and start to lag, stop moving until the lag passes. Otherwise you could end up running straight off the track and falling to your flaming death in the lava pools below.

There's a group of trash mobs on a platform after the curve in the track. Try to fight them on the platform rather than on the track - the trolls are still active here and can come barreling through, stunning everyone. Get off the track and fight them on the ledge instead, and when they're all dead, continue down and around, and look for the next down-ramp leading to the middle.

At the foot of that ramp, there is a massive jet of flame that appears to be covering a small platform just over the lava. Get down on that platform and belly up to the ramp - it's safer than it looks. If you are taking damage there, move closer to the foot of the ramp. This is where you will fight Thrug, who is patrolling around nearby. It's slightly safer here than out in front of the big flame-shooting column in the middle of the room.

Pull Thrug over and fight him, keeping an eye out for fire DOTs, which can eventually stack up to do massive damage over time. These DOTs can be cleared with water-skins - if you don't have very many water-skins, wait for the DOT to stack to 2 and clear it then. This should be a fairly short fight, so you won't need many.

Krankluk

Once Thrug is down, head around to the back of the forge (that's the giant column in the middle), staying off the troll-track. There you will find Krankluk, master of the forge. He's kind of a jerk - he's been challenging you this whole time to come fight him, and when you manage to reach him in time he screws around and cheats. Time to show him who's the boss, and it ain't him OR Tony Danza.

The first thing he will do is sic his pet trolls on the group. He will start attacking shortly after they do, so keep the tank at the ready to pick him up when he activates. The trolls aren't all that tough, so burn 'em down fast and then turn on Krankluk. He has massive damage mitigation, which makes this fight drag out longer than it should otherwise, but after you beat on him a while, he'll tell you how much fun he is having and then he'll run off to grab 2 more trolls. Repeat the process of troll-slaying and Krankluk-beating, and he'll run off again to start stage 3.

This time, he'll only bring back one troll, but he will start picking on players who "anger" him. He will say "Do not anger me again, So-and-so!" and the named character will be marked with a glaring red eye. When you get the eye, turn your back to him and cease attacking. If you continue attacking or healing while marked with the eye, it will do big damage when it expires. If you turn away and do nothing, the eye expires without effect. Once again, kill the troll first, then attack Krankluk. Drag him close to the central forge during this stage.

After a bit, he will run away again and come back with a final troll, and this time he activates the forge. Jets of flame will begin shooting out of the forge, and these jets cause huge damage to anyone caught within. The jets move in a clockwise rotation around the forge, leaving a small area between in which to fight Krankluk and the troll. Best practice is to try to keep the troll CCed during this stage and focus attacks on Krankluk.

It is important to keep moving for this stage of the fight. Hit Krankluk a few times with fast attacks, then back up a few steps. The jets move fast, so you will only have a few seconds at each "pause" to attack. Don't bother with long inductions or lengthy rotations - just hit and move, hit and move, always backing up and moving clockwise around the forge. Healers may have a hard time with this because of lengthy healing inductions, but try to keep the same pattern going - big heal, run back a few steps, big heal, run back a few steps.

Focus on taking Krankluk down first, then the troll after. Once Krankluk is down, the forge stops shooting fire and the troll is more easily-managed. Once both are down, the group is free to start looting all the boss chests and collecting their Moria medallions.

The Lore-master class quest here takes place near the spot where Krankluk is originally encountered. There is an item here to click on, which summons a 70k fire grim. Nothing particularly noteworthy about it - tank-n-spank and help your Lore-master buddy complete the Light of the Rising Dawn class quest.

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HALLS OF CRAFTING

Halls of Crafting

Location: Flaming Deeps at Hudnul-meden

Type: Level 59 Instance, Fellowship

Mobs: Orcs, Goblins

Description: There were no greater craftsmen than the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. Those days are now gone, and Mazog's Orcs, with the aid of Black Uruks from Dol Guldur, have taken the ancient crafting halls of Moria to forge their vile weapons of war.

This is one of the longer instances in Moria, and that's saying something. It's long enough that it requires 2 maps, and there's a lot of trash between the standard 3 bosses.

Most of the trash fights are fairly simple, with a handful of goblins each. Some of the groups are fairly close together, and many of them have ranged mobs - take this into consideration when making pulls and they shouldn't prove too challenging. After establishing a workable pattern for the different groups, they get pretty easy. It's the bosses that take strategy.

Ambal

The first boss is an uruk slowly patrolling around a column in the middle of a big room. The room is divided into 4 different-colored squares. Stick close to the walls around the outside and you can get all the way around the room to fight him in the square of your choosing.

Each of the squares provides him a different buff during the fight. The red square gives him a defense boost, the green square increases his tactical damage, the blue square and the yellow square do other stuff. They whats and wherefores are not terribly important. What is important is to not let those buffs stack too high.

Start in one square - green seems to be a favorite, as Ambal's tactical attacks are not all that impressive. As soon as the boss is activated, he spawns in a pair of goblin adds. Kill the adds quickly (they heal him) but keep the tank on the boss full-time. Once the adds are down, switch DPS to Ambal and start burning. The longer he stays in one square, the higher the buffs stack, and at 5 or more he can start one-shotting members of the group, regardless of what color his buff is.

The trick here is to move him to a new square as soon as the buff stacks to 5. When that 5th buff comes, immediately kite him to a different square, kill the pair of adds that spawn and resume the beating. Well-geared, over-level groups can occasionally kill him before his buffs get too powerful and can keep him in one square for the whole fight, but on-level groups will want to move him at least once.

Keep in mind that every time he enters a new square, he summons a pair of adds. It's not a good idea to try to bounce him from one corner to another (e.g. green to blue, or yellow to red), as this involves crossing two squares. Move him one square, kill the two adds, repeat as needed. When he's dead, loot the chest and giggle over finding the mighty hammer, Túrdring, cousin of the legendary mace Túrdram.

I feel this needs to be pointed out: the name Túrdring is the combination of Túr (meaning Mastery or Victory) - and the suffix -dring (meaning Hammer, as in Glamdring, "Foe-hammer"). So the name means "victory hammer," and has nothing to do with fecal striation.

Bashkuga

This fight is rather hard. Bashkuga himself is not all that tough, but his environment is killer.

The room is divided up rather like a grid, with big squares on the ground divided by timbers. As you fight Bashkuga, these sections of the floor will ignite, doing massive fire damage. You are given some warning before this happens - the floor will "shimmer" with low flames for a second or so, giving you just enough time to race out and get to a new spot. When the big fire bursts up, it does around 4000 damage per second.

Generally, it helps to use a top-down perspective for this fight to get a better view of where the fire is happening. It also helps to avoid long-induction skills except just after moving to a new square. Getting caught in the fire mid-induction is a sure way to take yourself out of the fight. Rune-keepers can prove their worth here by spamming Do Not Fall to Flame, and Minstrels can help mitigate a tiny bit of the damage with Tale of Frost and Flame, but it is still generally best practice to try not to get hit by the raging floor fires.

Bashkuga doesn't really do anything special besides set the floor on fire, so the bulk of the fight is avoiding the burning spots and dishing out heavy DPS on the single boss mob. 

The Bellows Room

The last trash-mob fight before the end boss takes place in a giant forge room. There are a number of forges along the walls in the lower part of the room, and at each forge is a great bellows. Activating the bellows causes a group of orcs to spawn in at the top of the ramp. Time-pressed groups can fight multiple spawns by activating several bellows simultaneously, or you can just have one guy on bellows duty and have the rest of the group waiting at the bottom of the ramp to intercept the horde.  Activating all four bellows at once is not advisable.

Thaguzg

This fight can get difficult, but if the group is well-prepared it shouldn't be all that bad. Ideally, the group will have 2 members with strong ranged attacks - any combination of Hunters, DPS-spec Rune-keepers or Lore-masters.

Thaguzg stands in the middle of the big room in front of a great forge. There are 4 doors around the room, 2 on each side, and these doors will issue slow-moving buffer goblins over the course of the fight.

Have the tank run up and engage Thaguzg right away and face him towards the forge at the back of the room. Everyone else attacks from the back, and one ranged attacker stands on each side, just in range to hit the boss but located centrally between the doors on his side. When the slow-moving goblins come out, the ranged attackers take them down quickly before they reach Thaguzg. The little buffer guys are not very tough and move slowly, so this shouldn't be a problem for even modestly-geared on-level players. Failure to take out the adds causes the daily challenge to fail.

Thaguzg hits pretty hard, but his most dangerous attacks are the AoE attacks he does when he has no melee targets. He has a knockback attack with an induction that can be interrupted - be sure to hit him with an interrupt when he begins inductions or everyone in melee range goes flying and is subjected to massive ranged AoE attacks. If you do go flying, run back to him immediately and close the distance.

Thaguzg's loot includes an interesting housing item (Thaguzg's Armour), the coveted Miniature Brass Anvil, and Lothlorien medallions.

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SKUMFIL

Skumfil

Location: Foundations of Stone, 13.2S, 100.4W.

Type: Level 60 Instance, Fellowship

Mobs: Kergrim, Gredbyg, Crawlers, Deep-claws, Spiders

Description: Since the overthrow of Moria, the Orcs have disposed of their dead in the great chasm they call Skûmfil. Over the ages, the rotting pile of carcasses and filth that has accumulated there has also attracted many foul and disgusting creatures, from the vile Gredbyg to the scavenging Kergrim....

Yeah, Skumfil is pretty gross. Heaps of putrid, rotting gore, pestilent mists, maggots the size of your fore-arm... that's just the icing on the cake. The cake-y part of the cake is the giant spider cave underneath it all.

The interesting thing about Skumfil is that it has options beyond the daily challenge. The rough part is that players new to the thing have to run it three times to complete the challenge. The path to Hwandrin's lair is unlocked by defeating the upper bosses and getting the halves of the key from their bodies. You can only fight one of the upper bosses at a time, though, and then you need to reset the instance to get to the other one.

When you first go in, you'll see several groups of mobs fighting amongst themselves - the kergrim versus the gredbyg in a massive power struggle. The kergrim, cave-claws and deep-claws want to eat the rotting corpses hurled into this reeking pit by the orcs, and the gredbyg would rather lay their eggs in them. Mobs so engaged are unattackable from a distance, only activating when the group gets near. You can kill all the trash mobs on the main level, plus either the mini-boss kergrim, Bonetooth, or the mini-boss grodbog, Uammaethor, depending which side you take first. The trash mobs on the main level are a mix of kergrim, gredbyg, crawlers, cave-claws and deep-claws in various sized groups.

Left Side

Heading in and to the left takes you to the "Queen" wing, ruled by Brumbereth. This side is mostly kergrim and deep-claws, but there are also gredbyg - Kergrim Summoners summon swarms of them. Left side is by far the easier of the two.

This side is opened after engaging Bonetooth, a kergrim mini-boss who stands near a sphincter-like entrance with his gredbyg pets. Take him out and head down the nearby hallway along that wall. There are a few pulls in the hallway, groups of kergrim summoners and deep-claws. The kergrim summon swarms of beetles, and these will unvaryingly aggro on the healers unless special care is taken by the tanks. The summoned gredbyg are not particularly strong so much as they are bothersome, but if several of them gang up on a healer, the healer could find himself in trouble fast. The summoning action is interruptible, but the kergrim should usually be taken out first anyway.

After a few pulls, you'll find yourself in Old Gnawer's lair. This kergrim has a couple of mean ol' hounds guarding his little slice of heaven. He will direct his deep-claw pets to attack specific targets marked with an eye. The deep-claws are fairly easy to take down with concentrated attacks - focus DPS on one at a time, then turn on Old Gnawer. From personal experience, I can't ever remember having a problem with this fight. Once they're all down, loot the chest for a Moria medallion and some lootz.

Old Gnawer's room is the location for the Minstrel class quest. There is a stone slab at the top of a ramp at the back of the room - the Minstrel uses that and then faces wave after wave after wave of deep-claws. It's a seriously crazy amount of them, and at the end you will be swimming in a sea of bodies.

The last fight on the left side is against Brumbereth, a giant grodbog hive-queen who will be gloating over the corpse of Grimreaver, the kergrim boss - made possible by the players choosing to take the left tunnel and eliminate the kergrim reinforcements.

This fight is pretty easy: have the tank on Brumbereth full time, and the rest of the group deals with the adds. There are 2 kinds of adds in this fight: nasty little swarms of small beetles, or single spitter-type hive defenders that pick a random character and mez them. The mez lasts as long as the hive defender is alive, so drop them quick and return attentions to the queen.

When Brumbereth falls, make sure to loot the corpse to get the Insect Chitin - one half of the Stinking Ward key needed to get into Hwandrin's lair. She also drops Moria medallions, a housing trophy (Brumbereth's Stinger), some decent jewellery and, very rarely, a nice teal cloak, Pendevig-clog. 

Right Side

Taking the right-hand path weakens the hive-queen Brumbereth by eliminating her chief lieutenants in her war against the kergrim. Start by taking out the big ugly bug Uammaethor, who guards the doorway. There are a few trash pulls in the hallway - mantis-like spitters and hard-shelled beetles, plus some blind drones wriggling around being inconvenient. The thing to watch out for here is those pesky blind drones - they don't aggro unless attacked or hit with stray AoEs, but if they do aggro, kill them fast or they spawn a grodbog warrior, which can be annoying when already engaged in a larger fight.

After the hallway you will reach a large, open room with 4 huge gredbyg in it. These are Grog, Grothulun, Ulugon and Nestaduan. Grog and Grothulun are the bigger ones with 38,000 morale and Ulugon and Nestaduan are the smaller ones with 17,000. This can be a tough fight. 

When all 4 bugs hit with a coordinated attack, it is deadly, so tanking all 4 at once is ill-advised. Split them up between multiple tanks and keep them separated as much as possible. The bugs will burrow every few seconds, and when the come up they do a burst AoE attack that hits anyone standing near the hole. When they dig down, get away from the holes, and run back in when they come back up. The best way to manage this fight is to target-mark all of the bugs before the fight starts and to focus DPS on one bug at a time. Healing is tough for this fight, so everyone will want to have their morale pots handy.

When all 4 bugs are killed, there's a chest at the back of the room with a Moria medallion and some other lootz. Also in this room is the Champion class quest - go to the top of the ramp at the side of the room and use the stone slab to summon an 80k grodbog to fight. Kill that and your Champion friend will thank you.

There is another short hallway with a few more bugs and drones in it, and then you get to the boss room. Taking out the gredbyg sub-bosses gives Grimreaver, the kergrim boss, the advantage, and you will find him standing victoriously atop the giant, disgusting mound of rot and carnage.

Grimreaver is way tougher than Brumbereth. He has a number of debilitating disease attacks, plus stuns and huge knockbacks, and he summons swarms of cave-claws.

Stick a tank on Grimreaver to hold him at the back of the gore-heap full-time, facing away from the rest of the group. Everyone else hangs back and deals with the adds, running up to attack Grimreaver when no adds are up. This fight goes a bit easier with a good Champion in the group to take care of the swarms of cave-claws - have the Champ stand near the healer and pick them all up with some heroic area-effect attacks when they get near.

The knockbacks can be dangerous - if you go flying too far and end up going down the sides of the mound, you end up slowed and unable to block/parry/evade with broken legs. Watch your positioning and give yourself lots of room in the event of a big knockback. And be sure to pot off the nasty diseases - the tank will likely experience some power drains while facing Grimreaver.

Be sure to loot Grimreaver's body for the second half of the Stinking Ward key, Moria medallions, one of the most awesome yard items for your house (a wicked-looking statue of Grimreaver), and some other loots.

When you have both halves of the Stinking Ward key, go to Shadowed Refuge to complete the quest that is bestowed when you pick up the first half of the key. You can now go back for the third time and face Hwandrin, the spider boss.

Spider Nest

After gaining the Stinking Ward key, you are now able to enter the spider cave and face Hwandrin for the daily challenge. There's no challenge mode for this - just get there and kill her.

Easier said than done. The cave is jam-packed with densely-crowded spiders with a fast respawn rate. This is a decent place to go for the Moria spider deed, provided you have a willing and patient group.

The trick here is finding a space where the constantly-respawning spiders will be manageable while fighting the big boss spider. Typically, this means finding a spot with few spawning points near a fairly wide area in which to fight Hwandrin. There are a couple of okay spots for this, but the one we will be discussing is just to the east of her starting position.

The mushroom, looking at Hwandrim

Getting there is a bit of an adventure, as there are many clusters of spiders along the way. This involves stick-and-move tactics: follow the left-hand wall, pick a spot, take out the mobs there, then advance to the next spot well out of aggro range of the respawns. Engage the spiders one group at a time - usually 4 of the weaker tenders and 1 or 2 of the more powerful guards - very close to their spawn point (the area in which they are clustered when first encountered).

Take out the tenders first, then work on the guards. Only kill one of the guards, and burn the other down to 2000 morale or so. When they hit that mark, run to the next spot taking that one with you and kill it there. The reason for this is that you want to be gone from that spot before everything respawns - the guards have significant morale pools (22k), and taking the time to kill both could take longer than the respawn time. You don't want to be stuck perpetually fighting the same 6 spiders indefinitely, so drag a half-dead guard to the next spot and stay mobile.

The spot you're aiming for is to the east of Hwandrin's post (on your left looking in) in a little nook behind a mushroom. Get the group here, behind the mushroom, and finish off the spiders, then send the tank out to engage Hwandrin in the middle. A small group of tenders will keep respawning off to the right, but there are no guards to worry about except for a couple of patrollers, and if the ranged group stays behind the mushroom, those tenders won't aggro.

Hunters are a major asset here - poison removal and strong ranged attacks help immensely in the boss fight. The ranged attackers and healers need to stay tightly clustered behind the mushroom, and the melee attackers need to get out into the middle and keep Hwandrin faced away from the others. Everyone but the tank needs to focus on the smaller spiders that enter the fight, and to keep them off the tank.

The best place to tank Hwandrin is between the two mounds - to the right and a bit behind the one directly ahead of the mushroom nook. There are patrolling guards in this area, but these can be pulled early on and handled by the ranged group. This spot is far enough away that her poison clouds during the later stages of the fight won't be so dangerous to the group, but close enough to be in range for healing and ranged attacks from the safety of the mushroom nook.

Hwandrin goes through three stages in this fight. The first stage is standard tank-and-spank - the tank holds her out in the middle of the room, the rest of the group takes care of the adds and then turns on the boss. She has some knockback attacks and some strong poisons, but as long as the tank keeps her facing away from the group and a safe distance away, this shouldn't be a problem. When she is taken down a few notches, she will retreat to her post and then come back with some small spiders, which starts stage 2.

For stage 2, she adds a neat trick - every few seconds she will rear up her hindquarters and drop a cloud of poison. The cloud is highly corrosive, and the effect is slightly larger than the graphical representation, but all it takes for the tank to get out of it is a few steps backward. Just remember to keep her faced away from the rest of the group, and keep her away from the mushroom. You don't want her to drop a poison cloud right in the middle of the group.

She also comes back with a small swarm of little spiders, which have strong poison attacks and heal her when she eats them. Take these out right away, and deal with any respawns in the area before burning the boss again. Once she's down to the last 3rd of her morale, she will retreat again and enter stage 3.

Stage 3 is the same as stage 2, but the poison puddles are dropped more frequently - every 15 seconds or so. The tank will be busy backing out of puddles, but be sure to know where you are going when you back up - there are a few groups of spiders around the mounds that can prove problematic during this stage of the fight. The ranged group will have their hands full with respawns and the little spider adds - make sure to take these out as quickly as possible before switching back to finish off the boss.

When Hwandrin finally drops, go loot her egg sac for some Moria medallions and other loot, including some outstanding jewellery. 

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DARK DELVINGS

Dark Delvings

Location: Foundations of Stone, 15.8S, 97.3W.

Type: Level 60 Instance, Fellowship

Mobs: Nameless, Glow-worms

Description: In the deepest delvings of Moria dwell nameless things which shun the light and feed on the darkness. The Elves of Lórien strive to constrain the vile creatures, but led by the evil Gurvand, they may be too strong to hold back forever....

This place is... unpleasant. Skumfil is pretty gross, sure, but the Dark Delvings just feel unwholesome. It's all the bad stuff that makes the Foundations of Stone awful all crammed together, plus some very difficult boss fights and hanging tendrils of iridescent goop. This is one of the least popular Moria instances, owing primarily to its difficulty.

The dark in Dark Delvings is oppressive. Fighting in the dark debuffs the players (slowing run speed, lowering damage) and buffs the monsters (they are faster, and hit harder). You'll want to stay as much as possible within the pools of light surrounding the strange glowing runes - the mobs are debuffed when they enter the light, and players are unaffected. Some of the stones must be activated manually by clicking on them to start them glowing. The other reason to stay in the light is the stacking effect of the Gurvand's screams. These come slowly at first, applying a small-ish incoming damage debuff, but this debuff stacks with itself each time it is applied, and if a player gets 5 on him at once, the debuff lasts 10 minutes and adds 100% damage from all sources.

The scream is announced in advanced with on-screen "banners," giving you time to run to a light source. You want to get to the light before the next banner comes up saying that a vile wind sweeps through. That's the debuff.

The mobs here usually come in groups of 3 - 4, and all are of the Nameless variety. It's usually best to take on as few at once as possible - make liberal use of root-type crowd-control on the trash mobs, and focus fire through DPS target assists.

The hanging, iridescent tendrils can be a real hazard in some spots. Try to avoid them when possible, as stepping into one summons 3 glow-worms. In a busy, brutal fight, this can get overwhelming. Also, the tendrils root the affected player in place for a moment, potentially locking them in darkness. This can be bad news if it happens during one of the Gurvand's screams. On the other hand, if you want to complete the Glow-worm slayer deed here in one go, you can. And then you never need to fight the damn things again.

Void Eater

After bashing your way through a few trash groups, you will come to a large dark room with three unlit stones and a Void Eater inside it. Wait at the glowing rock just outside for Gurvand's scream to pass, then head in and get to the nearest stone. The Void Eater will come charging in and start the fight.

Have a non-tank player activate the stone, and everyone stand with their backs to it to prevent being knocked back over the sides. The big brute likes to hurl his victims around, so if you don't watch your positioning, you will go flying over the edge of the platform and down into the water below. This is an ankle-breaker drop, and the fall injury lasts annoyingly long.

Another hazard of the knockback is getting tossed into one of the masses of tendrils hanging from the ceiling. Affected players will get stuck in the goop while the glow-worms go chasing after their buddies below. It's actually kind of amusing to watch, but you probably don't want it to happen often.

After taking a set amount of damage, the Void Eater will green out and smash the glowing runestone. Get the group over to the next one quick and light it up. You'll need to repeat this process once more after the second runestone is smashed, and then you get to fight the beast in the dark.

Fighting in the dark is really not much different than fighting in the light, except the Void Eater is much faster and everyone else is much slower. Watch your positioning, interrupt any of his inductions and keep wailing on him until he dies. Then go loot the chest for a Moria medallion and some goodies.

This room is the site of the Guardian class quest. The Guardian uses a slab of stone near the back door, summoning a giant 70+k glow worm. Kill it and get your Guardian his level 60 Legendary trait. He will thank you for it.

Doom Speaker

There are a few touch trash pulls between Boss Room 1 and Boss Room 2. Again, use roots for CC, focus fire and interrupt anything interruptible. If the trash is killing you here, you might as well back away now because it doesn't get any easier.

The Doom Speaker is in a large room with several lit rune-stones. When the fight starts, he deactivates all but one, and only one will be lit at any time during the fight. That's where you want to stand, so be ready to move often.

This is one of the most difficult 6-man fights in Moria, primarily because it uses some random elements that can potentially screw things up big. The Doom Speaker summons random adds throughout the fight, and if the wrong sets come at the wrong time, he can seem unbeatable.

The trick to this fight is in paying close attention to the Doom Speaker's fighting habits, and knowing when he is about to summon a new add wave, or do his big AoE burst attack, or start his massive-self-heal induction. You want solid, reliable and fast interrupts in the group - Champions with Clobber, Guardians with Stamp cooldown legacies, Burglars with Addle cooldown legacies, etc. Interrupt every induction the Doom Speaker starts, and prepare to cover lost ground if the interrupt misses.

The adds he summons have different effects on him depending on which ones they are:

  • Darkling adds make him immune to melee damage
  • Overseers make him immune to ranged damage
  • Darkmaws make him immune to tactical damage
  • Worldeaters doesn't give him any immunities, but he will keep trying to fully heal himself.

If the group is heavily-weighted towards one type of damage (for example, mostly melee with few ranged or tactical), multiple waves of the same add type can really screw the group over. Focus on taking the adds down when they come in. Additionally, the Doom Speaker has a corruption that he keeps applying, which can be dispelled.

Once you've slain the Doom Speake, you can loot the chest there for a Moria medallion and some goodies.

The Warden class quest is in this room. There's an altar that can be used to summon a powerful Nameless. Fight him in the comforting glow of a lit runestone and nudge your Warden pal towards victory.

The Gurvand

There are a few more trash pulls before entering the final chamber, and then you're at the boss. The Gurvand will be screaming more often now, so stay in the light as much as possible and wait for a fresh scream to pass before heading in. You don't want to go into this fight with heavy debuffs, this fight is already hard enough.

The Gurvand - which is basically some kind of two-headed mutant troll-like Nameless thing - is standing near the back of the chamber. The group can safely get into position around one of the runestones at the sides of the room without triggering him.

Ideally, you will want a high-morale tank and a healing-heavy group. Captains and Lore-masters will want to spec for healing power for this fight, and main-healing classes will want to use traits and gear that decrease their induction times. Challenge mode for this instance involves fighting the Gurvand in darkness without using any of the runestones. This gets pretty crazy - characters are slowed by the darkness, the mobs do more damage and attack faster, and the Gurvand's screams - which come at a rate of about 1 per minute now - stack up quickly, making the mobs even more powerful.

The group's tank will trigger the Gurvand and bring him near the group, but keep him facing away so that everyone else is attacking his back to avoid frontal AoEs. The Gurvand has knockback attacks, so stay in a position that will not get you punted over the side to your death - stay with your back to a runestone.

The Gurvand calls in adds to aid him, and these will invariably head straight to the group's healer. Protect the healer always - he's going to have his hands full keeping the tank alive. If the group is attempting challenge mode, the tank will eventually be taking +100% damage from the Gurvand's attacks, and this will be tough to keep up with just one healer. The rest of the group needs to handle the adds - let the tank worry about the boss, and the healer worry about the tank.

There are a few things to pay particular attention to in this fight. Firstly, the Gurvand will periodically receive a buff that reflects 200% damage against his attackers. When this pops up, stop attacking immediately and wait for it to dispel. Secondly, the knockback attacks can be interrupted - no one needs to get punted. Thirdly, the Gurvand does a brutal full-AoE attack for massive damage to everyone in the group every couple of minutes. Be prepared to unleash lots of group heals when this happens, but save the really big ones for the last 20k or so.

There's no real reason nowadays to do the challenge mode for Dark Delvings, except to say you've done it. This used to be the place to get the non-set Moria radiance helmet coin, and that was only attainable by completing the daily challenge... but those days are long gone. The only reason to come here at all is for quests or deeds, and you can complete those by defeating the Gurvand in the light. If you want to do the challenge just to say you've done it, go ahead and give it a shot in the dark. But for the rest of us, it's not really worth the extra effort now that you don't need the challenge to get the raid helmet. So go ahead and activate the runestone.

If you do, though, be aware of 2 things:

1) If you activate the light before the fight starts, it will go out when the Gurvand activates and summons in his first couple of adds. You will need to relight it.

2) If the Gurvand is near the runestone during the fight and ends up facing it, he will smash it and the group will need to run to another runestone. And this time, keep the Gurvand facing away from it.

Should you manage to take this hideous brute down, go loot the chests for Moria medallions, a housing item (the Gurvand's Head, to mount on your wall and spit at) and some other loot.

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FILIKUL

Nornuan in Filikul

Location: Water-works, at Gabil-munz (15.4S, 113.7W).

Type: Level 60 Instance, 12-Person Raid

Mobs: Nornuan

Description: Hasta went forth to discover the meaning of the strange happenings which occurred but weeks before. He has not returned, and his companions are becoming worried that something may have happened to him...

The description that comes up when you enter Filikul tells you pretty much nothing at all about the place. Filikul is a chamber within Gabil-munz in the Water-works that has fallen into some serious disrepair since its new resident moved in. Certainly Nornuan didn't cause all of the damage within the crumbling hallways, but his presence there makes it hard to find maintenance crews willing to go in and clean up.

Nornuan is a giant turtle with 688,378 morale. As in, the size of a house. Big enough that it's the only living thing in the place, besides the 12 brave adventurers sent in to kill it.

There's really not a lot to this one. It's one mob that takes about 5 minutes to kill. Some groups can kill it faster than that, but 5 is about average for a standard PUG group. You'll want 2 healers (Minstrels with Rally! and Fellowship's Heart, heal-spec Rune-keepers), a Captain with Wrath of the Oathbreakers, a Burglar with traited Reveal Weakness, at least one sturdy tank, and loads and loads of DPS.

For Hunters, this is one of the few examples of group content where traiting for Cool Burn really pays off. Same with Lore-masters traiting Master of Nature's Fury, or Captains with Master of War, or any other class that normally goes with Blue or Yellow trait lines instead of Red ones for group content. The goal for this place is to crank out the damage - survivability and support is more or less secondary. And when the DPS is at the right level, it takes longer to explain the fight than to actually win it.

In a nutshell - or perhaps in a turtle-shell - the fight must be completed before the turtle's raid-wide damage-over-time bleeds stack higher than the healers' ability to keep everyone standing. The wound ticks damage every few seconds, and when this gets up over 800 or so per tick, it's too much for most healers to heal through.

Many groups go with 2 Guardians for tanking, swapping aggro back and forth when the DOT stacks too high to heal through. Guardians will want to use their forced-attack skills often to compensate for all the Hunter aggro.

It's also popular to double up on Captains for consecutive Oathbreakers. The damage boost from this skill makes the fight go much faster. Hunters are often requested to use Burn Hot (or Cool Burn) as soon as Oathbreakers goes up. Burglars can stack multiple Reveal Weaknesses, and Lore-masters can use Sticky Gourd to make Nornuan more susceptible to fire damage from Hunters' fire-oil.

If the fight lasts longer than 5 minutes or so, people will start succumbing to the wounds. Fallen allies who receive in-combat rezzes (Rally!, Escape from Darkness, etc.) will clear the heavy wound, starting over with only the small DOT ticks. This is pretty handy for the tanks, who will be able to come back and resume their duties without worrying about the wounds. Healers will want to save their big group heals for the last 150k or so, when things start getting serious.

Minstrels can start this fight in War-speech, dropping to healing stance when the DOT starts to seriously affect the tanks (after the first 100k or so).

Lore-masters will be expected to dish out the debuffs and act as batteries for power-starved healers, Captains and Hunters.

Hunters with Cool Burn and power to spare can unleash a second round of hell during the last stages of the fight.

Once the turtle is down, help yourself to a Bright Emblem of Nimrodel (the barter token used to buy lvel 59 and 60 First Age LIs), several Moria medallions, the occasional First and/or Second Age LI (with a Filikul name modifier and a unique, shell-like appearance), and some other goodies.

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THE VILE MAW

Watcher in the Water

Location: Water-works, at Harazgund (17.6S, 116.9W).

Type: Level 60 Instance, 12-man Raid

Mobs: The Watcher in the Water, plus his tentacles

Description: Whither did the Watcher in the Water flee when it was driven from its lake? The Vile Maw would be my guess. Beneath the waters of the dark flood are ways which lead into the black depths of Moria....

After beating on the Watcher in the Water at the Black Pool during the Moria introduction quest, the beast retreated within the mines to nurse its wounds, and probably to plot some kind of fishy revenge. This is another one-mob raid, but this one mob has a great many appendages - far more than your average squid or cephalopod - and you get to fight 'em all.

This raid requires fast reaction times, coordination and clear communication. Fast reaction time is dependent, partly, on smooth graphical performance - disable cosmetics, particularly cloaks, and that will help some. Fluttering cloaks may be pretty, but they also take up GPU cycles, and even if your machine can handle a room full of people with cloaks flapping wantonly in the breeze, there are 11 other people to consider, and they may not all have uber-machines.

Another thing you can do to improve response time - and which will also help you find your footing later on when you need to find submerged strctures to stand on - is to disable post processing. The shiny water is great, but there are things underneath that you need to see:

post-processing comparison

As a single-mob raid, this one is less casual-friendly than Filikul. It takes significantly longer and there's much more to do. Even Dar Narbugud is more casual-friendly, with locks for the various bosses - spend an hour killing one or two, come back the next day for the next few. The Watcher raid is all-or-nothing.

To prepare, make sure you have some kind of acid mitigation. The water inside the instance does acid damage over time: the shallow water does 104 damage per 5 seconds, and the deep water does 188. The teal Moria armor set has a 3-piece acid defense bonus, which definitely helps. You will also want hope tokens - even though dread is no longer the issue it once was, you still want to have a couple in case you fall - and loads of morale and power pots.

Stage 1

For the first part of the fight, everyone needs to stay fairly tightly grouped together. Timing and position are keys here. Group up on the leader and run forward to activate the Watcher - he will rise up from the water, and you will get a "billboard" in big white letters across the screen saying "The Watcher shakes with anger!" This is your cue to move - cut fast to the right-hand bank as soon as you see this. The Watcher will expel a big cloud of deadly acid-breath, and anyone caught in its path dies instantly.

When the cloud passes, run back out and engage the nearest tentacle, but stay in a tight group. The Watcher picks targets for those breath attacks, and if the group is spread out, there's no telling where it will go. Grouping tightly gives the players some measure of control over where the breath goes.

Engage the nearest tentacle and kill it fast. A tank will want to pick up aggro on the second tentacle so it doesn't start blasting the healers, but otherwise leave that second one alone for now and help kill the first one, staying balled up tight. You want to have the first one down before the Watcher breathes again and be ready to move on short notice. If a fellowship manoeuver pops up while fighting these first 2 tentacles, ignore it.

Once the first tentacle is down, stay grouped and wait for the next breath attack. When the banner pops up again, run for the left-hand shore, wait for the breath attack to pass, then head back out and kill the second tentacle. Again, you want to take it down fast, before the next breath attack. If you're fast enough, there won't be another.

If anyone dies during this stage, either from moving too slowly when the Watcher shakes with anger or from other misfortune, you should probably reset the instance. It's too early to waste in-combat rezzes just yet.

Stage 2

Once that second tentacle drops, you enter stage 2. The Watcher pulls his ugly head out of the water and flops out two more tentacles. A Hunter will want to pick up aggro on the Watcher's face to keep it from attacking healers, and Hunters will also be tanking the 2 big tentacles in the deep water with mighty ranged aggro. Burn the right one first and get the left one down to 5k or so.

While the ranged guys are wailing on the deep-water tentacles, the rest of the group needs to stay in the shallows and take care of the small tentacles that pop up there. These will grasp their opponents, doing damage over time. If people venture into the deep water, they will get ganked by other tentacles that grab them by the ankles and dangle them. Rooted or dangling characters need to be freed quickly.

When the second big tentacle is down to around 5k morale, everyone needs to group up behind the back of the wall on the left-hand bank. The hiding group needs to stay in a tight ball, and only one Hunter should be out killing the tentacle. When that tentacle dies, it will spawn one small ranged-attacking tentacle for each member of the raid, right underneath where they're standing, so once that big one goes down, the hiding group needs to dash forward around to the front of the wall to break line of sight. Here's a Crude Illustration to show this:

small tentacles pop up

If there are any graspers or danglers holding anyone down at this point, be sure to kill them before the Hunter drops the big tentacle. When the big sucker drops and the little suckers spawn in, the fight enters Stage 3.

Stage 3

This is where things start getting rough. The Watcher pulls down an elevated walkway into the water in front of him, and everyone needs to swim out there. Beware of the roving tentacles patrolling around the deep water - these are called "sharks," and they hit pretty hard, so avoid them whenever possible. Ranged attackers and healers need to stand at the very edge of the sumberged walkway, and melee attackers will swim in and hit the big tentacles. One tank will head around to the back on the C-shaped section and attack the face, keeping the face turned in that direction rather than at everyone else. 

This part of the fight involves cycling between the tentacles. While both tentacles are up, the Watcher heals himself, so you need to keep one tentacle down. There are a few ways to do this, but this method is pretty common.

A Hunter will tank one tentacle and keep burning it, and the rest of the group kills the other one. When the first one is down, switch DPS to the Watcher until a replacement comes up. When a fresh tentacle comes up, the Hunter switches to that one and the rest of the group burns the one he was tanking. Rinse and repeat as each new tentacle comes up.

Keep debuffs on the Watcher all through this phase of the fight, and keep hitting it with corruption removals to clear the corruptions that can be wiped. Watch for and call out when the Watcher begins an induction for an area-effect attack - this cannot be interrupted and must be avoided by getting out of range. Step back off the submerged platform, wait for the blast and then get back into position, freeing anyone caught by a dangler. The tank will have to take this attack head-on, and healers will need to stay on top of the tank's damage.

With a bit of luck, a lot of healing and a great deal of coordination, the Watcher will eventually fall. Go back and find all the dead dwarves for the deed and loot the chests for Moria medallions, Bright Emblems of Nimrodel, the odd First and/or Second Age legendary item, and the barter coins for the Moria teal set helmet and shoulders.

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DAR NARBUGUD

DN

Location: Foundations of Stone, 16.3S, 96.9W.

Type: Level 60 Instance, 12-Person Raid

Mobs: Goblins, Orcs, Trolls, Nameless, Fumaroles, Bugs

Description: The Elves of Lórien have uncovered Dâr Narbugud, the lair of the Mistress of Pestilence, the vile creature responsible for the plague spreading among the creatures of Moria. What heroes will overthrow the queen of the nameless? Who will put an end to her plague?

A sprawling complex of fungus-lined tunnels, jam-packed with dark horrors corrupted and mutated by disease and the evil emanations of the Nameless, and featuring several complicated boss fights and epic Lothlorien loot, Dar Narbugud lies outside of the scope of this guide and requires one of its own.

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LOWER DEEPS | DUNGEONS | INSTANCES | DEEDS | REPUTATION


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