Posted Thu, May 09, 2013 by Dalmarus
In the far reaches of the Tower District stands the Cloak Tower. You don’t want to miss out on any secrets, so be sure to read our dungeon guide before you descend into its depths.
The Cloak Tower is the first group dungeon you'll have access to. It’s designed for a group of five characters ranging in level from 14 to 20. An average group of players level 15-18 should have no problems completing the dungeon. You can queue up to run with a random group of four other players anywhere you're out running around, or gather a hand-picked party and battle your way through to the front door and enter there. The queue system has various level restrictions, but the guts-and-glory method of bashing skulls on your way to the entrance has no limits, either in level or in how few people you bring.
Unlike later dungeons you'll encounter in your travels, this one has no puzzles that have to be solved nor any real strategy systems that have to be used in order to defeat the bosses you'll find within. In your explorations, you’ll encounter plenty of enemies, two puzzles you can unravel for extra loot, two secret doors to discover for even more loot, and plenty of traps. All this while you attempt to make your way down to the bottom level in search of a particularly brutal Orc, Vansi Bloodscar, Commander of the Many-Arrows Tribe. This is a very good introduction to group play and dungeon tactics for players getting their first taste of such endeavors as the higher level dungeons get much more... involved very quickly.
Upon entering the Tower, you'll find yourself standing by a fire pit for healing and a merchant allowing you to sell any loot you may have that's cluttering your inventory at the moment. You'll also be able to purchase class profession kits from him (Arcane, Religious, Thievery, Dungeoneering, and Nature). Whichever skills you do not have (every class has one), you want to make sure you have at least 5 of each other kit any time you enter a dungeon or other instance. These kits will allow you to loot a wide assortment of crafting materials found throughout the dungeon. Don't be caught short. Also, be sure to pick up any health potions you may need; they're the only thing that's going to save your life when the blades start flying and the spells start slinging. This is especially true if you queued in with a pick-up group (PUG) and find yourself without a Cleric.
While the majority of the Orcs you'll fight inside the Tower have the same look and names of their Tower District brethren, don't be fooled into thinking they're as easy to kill. They're faster, stronger, and more powerful in many ways (it's true - we have the technology). Casters may have been a nuisance in the past, but inside a dungeon, it's critical to get rid of them first. For example, the longer you leave that Eye of Grummish Orc standing, the more Drudge Orcs he's going to summon to take part in the bloody festivities. Red warning indicators will show up on the floor during the various battles you engage in. Do your Cleric (or yourself if you don't have a Cleric) a favor and get out of them. You'll have time, and ignoring them will take large chunks of health from you in a hurry. The combat will be Fast and Furious and although I'm sure Vin Diesel would love to be bashing Orc skulls right there with you, he's probably not, so the fights are up to you to finish on your own. Fight smart and you'll be fine.
There are 3 bosses within the Cloak Tower. You have no choice but to fight Makred the Foul (the first boss) and the previously mentioned Orc Commander, Vansi Bloodscar (the final boss). There is an optional boss in between these, named Throg the Ravenous. Each boss will drop a rare (blue) piece of equipment for the party to roll on. They will also drop a pile of Lion Seals that all players can collect that can be used to purchase special equipment from a vendor back in town. While each battle can be survived with just some skill and perseverance, there are some distinct strategy suggestions we can suggest. Be aware that anything that would normally affect a target’s movement or ability to attack will have no effect on these bosses. They are immune to any form of knockback, stun, freeze, etc. You have been warned.
Name: Makred the Foul
Class Type: Caster
Known Loot: Tribal Bracers (Arms - Level 16 - Trickster Rogue)
Makred the Foul is a twisted caster with a taste for blood. He has no aversion to stabbing you with a vicious spear whenever he's not casting demonic spells with the assistance of his skull-covered focus. As with any battle, dodging is going to be the name of the game with Makred. He doesn't summon a lot of adds (mostly Drudge Orcs), so a group should find this battle relatively easy. If things start going badly, the party should focus on clearing the adds and trying to burn down Makred’s health as fast as possible in between summons.
Name: Throg the Ravenous
Class Type: Great Weapon Fighter
Known Loot: Club of Ogrekind (Weapon - Level 16 - Great Weapon Fighter)
Throg the Ravenous can be found by taking the right fork when first entering the Botanical Garden. This boss is optional and can be bypassed by going left at the fork instead. If the party decides to take him on, be prepared for a heavy fight. Throg wields a massive club and will use it to devastating effect. Aside from Throg having a large pool of hitpoints, the main danger in this battle is the amount of adds that continue to be pulled into the fray. The best strategy for Throg is to utilize your DPS classes to burn him down as fast as possible while the fighters attempt to keep him and the adds off the casters. As with Makred, if things start going badly, focus on the adds while avoiding Throg's attacks until you've whittled the movie extra wannabes down sufficiently to focus on your main target again.
Name: Vansi Bloodscar
Class Type: Guardian Fighter
Known Loot: Boots of the Chieftain (Feet - Level 16 - Trickster Rogue)
The moment you see Vansi Bloodscar, you realize this is not going to be a quick or easy fight. She may not be wielding a shield, but she fights like a tank and has the hit points and armor to prove it. Her two favorite attacks are to swing her weapon in wide arcs in front of her and to dash at an unsuspecting target (often in a direction she's not facing) and stun them with a bash. Fortunately, as with all the combat in Neverwinter, the game is very good about giving clear indicators telling you to get out of the way. She uses these attacks often, though, so there will be times when you simply will not have the stamina to dodge. In the other two boss battles, dealing with the adds was optional, but that's not the case with the Vansi fight. There will be a steady stream of Drudge Orcs (and, further into the fight, worse Orcs) making their way into battle. A good way to handle this fight is to take the slow approach. If you have a Guardian Fighter and a Cleric, let them worry about Vansi while the rest of the party burns down adds as fast as they can while hitting Vansi whenever time permits.
In the Labyrinth section of the dungeon, there are two secret doors that can be opened simply by killing all the Orcs in that area. They can be a little hard to find (it is a labyrinth after all), but kill them all and two secret doors will open revealing a chest for everyone to loot.
The two puzzles previously mentioned involve finding three objects for each within the Tower and placing them on altars in the exit room. One altar requires three crystals while the other requires three plants. They can be a little tricky to spot, but as long as your group of fearless adventurers works together and keeps their eyes open, you'll have no problems. Since killing Vansi doesn't result in a loot chest (unless you're playing during a special event), then solving these puzzles is the only way to make any chests spawn before you leave.
The three crystals (red, green, and blue) are the easiest to find. The red crystal is on a table in the room where you killed Mazred the Foul. The green crystal is in that general area. It's on a table within the Apprentice Chambers. The blue crystal is a little harder to locate, but at is at the edge of the pool at the bottom of the blue crystal garden. Walk around the edges of the pool of water and you'll see one crystal out of all the other blue crystals that has floating dust around it. When you get to the exit room, place all three crystals on the altar and a chest will appear.
The three plants are a little easier. The Starflower is on a table, once again in the room where you killed Mazred the Foul. The glow berries can be found at the fork in the Botanical Gardens, where going right and down leads not only to the Throg the Ravenous, but the final plant as well. Grab the Gingershroom he drops and you're all set. Place all three items on the other altar in the exit room and a chest will appear.
And there you go! You've now completed your first dungeon and left no stone unturned. Have anything to say about the guide? Any boss strategies we may not have listed? Located any other secrets that avoided my old eyes? Leave a comment and let me know!