Inn of the Forsaken: An Illustrated Guide
Update 3 landed with a bang on Monday, and people found all kinds of reasons to run the two new instances: Inn of the Forsaken in the Lone-lands and Halls of Night in Angmar. For those of you who have not yet poked your head into these imaginatively-designed new spaces, here's a play-by-play on what to do when you get there.
Inn of the Forsaken
Business has been slow lately for Anlaf the Forlorn, proprietor of the Forsaken Inn. There are a fairly large number of reasons for this: horrible drinks, numerous health code violations, giant gaping holes in the ceiling and horrible location in a terrible neighborhood are just the tip of that particular iceberg. Strangely enough, Analf is more concerned about the ghostly noises coming from his basement, and is seeking some brave adventerous types to investigate the cause and eliminate the noises.
This instance is not a part of the Lone-lands Quest Pack. F2P players will have to purchase it separately to play it, like a skirmish. And players must go to the inn to get the quest from Anlaf to unlock it.
You start in the late hours after the bar has closed and the few brave patrons have retired to their rooms. Head down the stairs and find the sleepless dwarf complaining about noises coming from the suspicious bookcase in his room. Why is it suspicious, you ask? Look around the place and think about it. People don't go to the Forsaken Inn to catch up on their reading.
Push it open and head down the passageway behind to enter the dank, dripping tunnels. After a short distance, you will encounter a man named Umin standing at a strange rune-carved stone door. Umin has a little story about how he came across the place more or less by accident and is looking for something - it's all hogwash, of course, but play along and pretend you believe him for now. Umin is much less irritating than other escort NPCs you may remember, and you can park him in a safe spot when you suspect there might be danger ahead.
The door is locked with a riddle, and solving the riddle unlocks it. After talking to Umin, examine the door and decipher the riddle, using the proper /emote to unlock it. Failing the same riddle 3 times will reset the lock and bring up a different riddle.
The answer to this one is, of course, /mock. Target the door, use the correct emote, and it opens. There are a few such doors in this instance, and for the most part, each one will have a different riddle, so you can get 5 or so per run. However, there is a deed for solving all 83 of the riddles:
The reward for completing this deed is the title, Riddle-master. Passing through the first door reveals the first in a long series of devious traps. The black holes on the floor are not just for decoration - they are spike-filled murder-holes. Stepping on top of the holes causes big nasty spikes to shoot up and impale the unwary or the clumsy. These are non instant-death spikes like in Skorgrim's tomb in the epic book instance, but do fairly heavy damage - running the level 20 version of the instance on my level 65 Hunter, the spikes do 835 damage per shot, not enough to 1-shot most modestly-geared on-level characters but enough to seriously discourage sloppiness. Just in to the right is a room - head in there and avoid the spikes.
Some things to note about this room: firstly, the spike traps can be temporarily disabled by a Burglar, Captain or Hunter acticating the mechanism in the spike-filled corridor. Secondly, the glowing rune-covered plaque on the wall can be deciphered by a Lore-master, Minstrel or Rune-keeper, and the message inscribed here indicates the presence of a secret doorway "somewhere in the room" that can be pushed open by a Champion, Warden or Guardian. This is important to note for the rest of the dungeon. You will need one of each class "type" - one "aware" type, one "lore" type and one "brawn" type - to use all of the mechanisms and devices throughout the dungeon to beat the Tier 2 challenge.
Also note that there is a journal page here, one of five. Go ahead and grab it. The "lore" guy can read the runes and the "brawn" guy can move the wall behind the bed to unlock a passage to a walkway, where there is another journal page and another trap mechanism. "Brawn" classes really only get two "puzzle" tasks in this entire dungeon, and the door in this room is half of their work. Go ahead and use those, then head back down to the hallway, past the rune-covered door to the room at the end.
There's page 2 of the journal and a bone pile. Bone piles are mob-generators, spawning endless skeletons until they are destroyed. Another part of the Tier 2 challenge is to destroy every bone pile, so go ahead and smash this one, then head back to the riddle door and riddle that sucker open.
The next room past the door is kinda rough. At the far end, next to the locked doorway, is a lever, which causes bone-piles to spill out of the sarcophagi around the room and spawn waves of skeletons. The Incantation Stone in the middle can only be used by "lore" classes, and will stun every skeleton standing within the radius of its burst. While the skeletons are swarming around, the spikes in the floor will activate (unless someone clever activated the trap mechanism above). The bone-piles will not spawn endless skeletons, but will peter out after a few waves, at which point the door opens. But you will want to smash all of the bone piles in the room anyway for the challenge... and don't forget to destroy the three bone-piles in the upper "mezzanine" area. They are not obvious from the lower floor, but if you get all the way to the end of the instance and still haven't smashed all the bone piles, it's likely that these are the ones that were missed.
Moving on, you will next find yourself facing a "gauntlet" style twisting passageway lined with giant rotating blades, which are triggered by the big pale stone squares on the ground. Again, this is not an instant-kill trap, exactly. Characters with a lot of morale can barrel through recklessly and occasionally survive, but don't count on it. The blades do abou 800 points of damage per hit, and they hit fast. Step lightly between the squares, and keep your viewing angle high so you can clearly see your position relative to the pressure plates. There's another trap mechanism in here for "aware" types, but you probably don't want to step on any pressure plates after using it, just in case. As you tiptoe your way through here, you will be attacked by undead Shipsmates who will spawn in when you get near. It's safest to take these down with ranged or area-effect attacks because they're usually standing very near to the pressure-plates.
At the end of this first gauntlet, you will go one of two ways, depending on the difficulty tier. Tier 1 groups will hang a right and ignore the locked gates along the way, but Tier 2 groups will have no option but to go through the maze on the other side. The maze is similar to the gauntlet - spinning blades activated by pressure plates with undead Shipsmates popping up to shoot - but there is a key difference. In a few of the spots, you actually WANT to activate the blades. Some of the pressure plates are in safe spots where the blades don't reach, and when the blades stop spinning, they are pointing in different directions than they were at the start. You will need to wind your way through the maze to find a rune-covered wall plaque for "lore" guys and another hidden doorway for "brawn" guys, behind which lies the 4th page of Captain Rabghul's journal.
After navigating through the maze, and guiding Umin along, you come to another riddle door, and beyond that is a burial chamber. Umin takes a great interest in what he finds there, but has failed to grasp the lessons taught by all previous rooms and finds himself buried beneath an avalanche. The rock fall not only buries the annoying NPC, but also opens up a hidden side-passage which is - surprise! - loaded with more traps. Grab up that last journal page and put on your dancing shoes.
What you have here is your whirling blender blades, your floor spikes and your endlessly-spawning bone piles. The blades and the spikes self-activate on separate timers, so you have to watch for openings and take them quickly. The bone piles are all in "safe spots," so the goal is to race to them while the way is clear. The traps damage the skeletons as they run through them, so that will help a little bit, but the timing is important here. Most characters will be able to take a couple of hits from the traps and still be ok, but you don't want to be standing directly in the path of the whirling blades fighting a bone-pile at the wrong time. And the corridor is long enough that simply barreling through and soaking the damage probably won't work.
At the end of the blade-and-spikes-and-bones hallway is a tomb that is remarkably trap-free. The walls are lined with sarcophagi and plaques bearing the names of those entombed within. The ancient letter on the floor names 3 of the interred, and those 3 tombs contain levers which open the door at the end. Of course, if you're doing the Tier 2 challenge, you're going to open all the tombs and smash all the bone piles anyway. But if you're doing Tier 1, you only need to open the 3 tombs named in the letter. Opening the tombs causes a bone pile to spill out and spawn skeletons. Kill and smash at will, and then throw the levers. On Tier 1 difficulty, the door at the side of the chamber opens, and on Tier 2, it's the door at the far end.
On Tier 1 difficulty, the next room is not opened and you don't need to worry about it. Tier 2 groups need to pass through this last trap room to get to the end. This room has 4 bone piles, one in each corner in the lower part, which spawn skeletons whose job it apparently is to run around the upper walkway stepping on all the pressure plates that activate the traps below. There are a few trap mechanisms for "aware" types in here and the incantation stone in the middle for "lore" guys. The "brawn" guys will likely spend all of their time smashing bone piles, tanking swarming skeletons and trying not to get murdered by the traps. Pass through this room, solve the next door riddle and you come to a dead end.
The strange runes affixed to the back wall inform you that this room is the end of the line, but the lever on the wall begs to differ. Give it a good yank, hold your nose and ride the waterslide to the final chamber, an underground cove housing an old, ruined ship.
The devs deny that this idea was cribbed from the Goonies, and I believe them. With all the skeleton pirates and whatnot, I think they borrowed it from the Thieves Den in the Knights of the Nine expansion for Oblivion. Bethesda is the one that stole the idea from the Goonies.
Anyway, when you board the ship, you meet your old pal Umin once again. He was not killed by the avalanche after all - probably because of the crazy necklace he has. While he's nattering away at you, revealing how he simply used you to bypass all the traps and take care of the undead and whatnot, pay attention to the layout of the ship's deck. The main mast has a spinning blade, triggered by a pressure plate on the aft deck, and the floor is riddled with spike-holes, triggered by a pressure plate on the fore deck. There are also 2 trap mechanisms, one starboard and one just under the aft deck, and an incantation stone on the starboard side.
Umin's necklace kicks some serious ass. He surrounds himself with the image of a red giant and proceeds to stomp the crap out of you. The first part of the fight is fairly straightforward: interrupt his big inductions and beat him up. After he loses a bit of morale, the fight changes a bit and he begins using the necklace's damage shield power, rendering him essentially impervious to damage. Stick with auto-attacks when he has the green buff and conserve your power as much as possible. When he says "I'll pound you into dust!" make sure he is standing over top of one of the spike holes - he punches the ground and his fist gets lodged in the boards, and using the fore pressure plate causes the spikes to shoot up, disabling the damage shield temporarily. When the shield is down, he has a red buff - unload on him then, and keep the pressure on until he reactivates the shield. Do this enough times and he will run to the main mast. He pauses there long enough for someone to run up to the aft deck and trigger the pressure plate for the spinning blade, knocking him over.
This is the end of the instance for Tier 1 difficulty. Speak to him and he will grudgingly admit defeat, and you can scamper off to claim your reward. For Tier 2, it's just the beginning - the spirit of Umin's uber-necklace doesn't give up so easily.
This one is an endurance fight. The spirit will race up to one of the pressure plates, activating the traps for a moment, and fight from there. He stays in that one spot for several seconds, then races to the other end of the ship, triggering the other pressure plate. The spirit uses a lot of fear-based attacks and has an aura of dread, so make sure you have fear pots and hope tokens. He is also very fast when he races to the other end of the ship - a Guardian using Brutal Charge can sort of keep up with him, but anyone else attempting to engage the spirit in melee will find themselves dodging traps while pursuing.
At about half morale, the spirit begins opening the sarcophagi, one at a time and alternating between fore and aft. If the bone piles are ignored, the skeletons can add up very quickly. Best strategy here is to ignore the spirit and destroy the bone piles - you need to anyway to complete the Tier 2 challenge. This fight can be a healing nightmare - the freshly-spawned skeletons often go straight for the healers, and the tank
The group's "lore" guy can stun the skeletons with the incantation stone if they begin really piling up, and the traps can be temporarily deactivated by an "aware" guy. Once the bone piles are handled, resume beating down the spirit of the necklace and don't let up until one of you is dead. Preferably the spirit.
Beating this instance plus the challenge on Tier 2 difficulty will net you 3 chests. At level 65, each member of the group will get 1 gold plus a bit from each of the chests, plus assorted "trash" skirmish rewards (bounties, Guardsman's marks, etc) - typically, total reward comes to around 4 gold at level 65 for a Tier 2 challenge run. The Inn of the Forsaken Mark, however, is rather more rare, so you'll have to run the instance several times to get enough of those marks to barter for the outstanding pocket items. But that's not likely to be a big deal - this is a fun instance, and for 4 gold per run, it's not likely anyone will mind running it a few times.
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