Ragar throws on his healing gear to test A Realm Reborn's new group-finding tool as well as the low-level dungeon content
Ilithids? I Thought I Reviewed Neverwinter Last Month
For the second dungeon in ARR, we’ve moved from the caves and pirates of Sastasha to… well, Tam-Tara Deepcroft is still underground and cave-like, but now there’re cultists to deal with. This dungeon’s still pretty much an “Introduction to Dungeons” in terms of mechanics, so the bulk of the dungeon doesn’t have any real surprises for veteran MMO players: clear the guards at the orbs, kill the imp-looking monsters that spawn afterward, then deactivate the orbs and move to the next orb. Speaking of the orbs, that is something each of the dungeons and guildhests have in common – a goal list. As you move through the instance, the task list will update with the important tasks for clearing the instance: finding the secret door into the pirate’s headquarters in Sastasha, deactivating the orbs in Tam-Tara, etc. These task lists won’t tell you if you’ve hit all of the side chests in a dungeon, but it is a good rough way to keep track of how close you are to finishing the instance and if you’re running out of time. Oh, did I neglect to mention the dungeons have a time limit?
Don’t sweat the time limit too much. For the three dungeons I was able to run this weekend, we had 90 minutes to clear the instance and our worst clear was around 45 minutes. Barring your group running into some significant issues or someone deciding to take a 20 minute AFK break, you should be fine for at least these early dungeons.
Going back to the dungeon at hand, Tam-Tara has a very good feel to its environments but the variety in encounters is a bit lacking. Learning dungeon or not, there’s actually a bit less variety in boss and mini-boss encounters here than in Sastasha. Sastasha has you going from fighting a giant cat to a pirate and his flunkies and finally wraps up with a hulking lizardman with adds that pop out of grates on the dock. With Tam-Tara it’s just three different fights against the same imp-looking creature before the final boss; there’re enough side chests to keep loot in the two dungeons equivalent, but they could have at least changed the appearance of the orb guardians. The final boss in Tam-Tara looks great though – an octopus-faced caster with appropriate evil dialogue and summoning. The mechanics are a bit lacking for him (same waves of adds as the lizardman in Sastasha but without the grates), but it’s hard to not like fighting an Ilithid.
Two Down, One (and a Trial) to Go
With Sastasha and Tam-Tara Deepcroft cleared, that just leaves one dungeon and a trial left in my Duty Finder tour of the dungeons of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Be sure to come back tomorrow to hear about oozes in mining tunnels, giant primals, and bosses with mechanics you actually need to pay attention for.
Michael “Ragar” Branham