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Infected Paw, lvl 73-81+

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:16 am
by Mallorn
Infected Paw was a fun place to re-visit. I started my main character back in the day and hunted a lot in South Karana. I might have grouped for the first time in splitpaw, and I recall it going very poorly, ha. The in-game map can lead you there, the zone is indoor only so no mounts and no speed buffs, but every mob is summoned!

Update: Lvl 75 update and level 77 update lower down.

I roamed into here somewhere around lvl 68, and that is probably a decent level at the entrance. There are a lot of static summoned mobs, low aggro range and most roamers are lower in the dungeon. I didn't stay long on this trip though, maybe it was too hard for my character then, AA-starved and in crappy gear. I love pofire so much I can only recommend heading there until...

Lvl 73 anti-summoned DD, annihilate summoned. The spell, on the surface, didn't look too great. I still love winter's flame (lvl 72 cold+fire nuke), but the anti-summoned DD has a 2% chance to hit for 32K hps. The regular DD does enough damage to remove 10+% total hps from the summoned mobs, which seem to be weak and low hp similar to pofire mobs. When the DD crits it does over 20+% total hps, and obviously has a chance to instant kill anything in the zone 2% of the time.

So, lvl 68 I didn't like the zone, but felt like giving it a chance last night. To put this in perspective, I have been grinding in pofire for so long that it has gotten boring, so with winter's flame I have spent a lot of time on gnolls in The Steppes with a charmed pet. This has been fast action combat, particularly with VoP, which has been a fun change. With VoP and tribute on in infected paw I think I had to sit to med after 15 mobs if I was single pulling. I rarely had to heal my tank, partly due to my quick nuking making the fights very fast. I would lead with our highest level root and chain the DD, usually 3-5 times it seems. I wouldn't be surprised if the fights were about 30 seconds, talk about action! The linear nature of the dungeon makes it fun to crawl down lower levels to hit the named and the higher leveled mobs around.

A couple of strategic notes then, I always rooted first. I have all of the "root won't break with DD's" AA's, so I rarely had an issue. With the power of the DD I would usually get aggro and keep it after my first DD if it wasn't rooted first. If I had adds, or if I was worried about multi-pulling I always rooted, passive the merc and back up, root next mob and aggresive the merc and repeat until I had one at a time. Worked really well, once they are scattered DD like crazy since that is the primary DPS and work back on the waiting mobs. I did have one instance where I had 5 or 6 adds, if there wasn't someone else fighting nearby I would have tried stringing them out but instead I evaced. If I ever had trouble keeping aggro on the merc with multiple adds and didn't root them all I would throw fernspur on merc and go from there. It seemed one mob wouldn't dent my merc's hps, 2-3 would slowly start to work on it. Two steppes gnolls and I have to heal every second or third cast, whereas three of these summoned mobs were doing less damage. Nice!

Named in the zone are weak. I medded up for a white conning "a tidal ..." something and it wasn't much harder than the other other mobs. Water mephits are also summoned, haven't found something in the zone that isn't summoned, but I dislike fighting in water so didn't stay long. There are some spots with 1-2 wanderers and maybe more, so it would be smarter to scout with innate camo a bit before pulling.

later note: out of hundreds of kills I once bumped into a yellow (rare?) named spawn. I was probably lvl 74, so he was probably 75. He was no harder than the other named, and dropped a piece of lore sellable gear like the other named that sometimes pop.

As for XP it was difficult to tell, without lessons or anything else I was getting in the ballpark of 20+% of an AA per kill. Many of the mobs are light blue, darker blue ones might be above that. Not as good as pofire but close, and the fights are much faster as well. Drops are not as good as pofire I don't think, though the named drops are only lore so will be good bazaar fodder. Pofire is hit or miss for me, it can be a busy spot, if I have VoP and a high level DS on my merc I may try to go back to pofire for optimum experience but infected paw is a refreshing break.

UPDATE lvl 75. Ahh, sick days from work, which resulted in a lot more play time. Whoohoo! Anyways, got this place down to a bit of a science. With whatever KEI I can grab on myself with tribute on and embers plus other guild lobby buffs on my merc I gate to my bind inside the entrance. Less than a minutes, by dropping off of walkways you can pop to the bottom of the dungeon with camo on. At this point I know the area well enough to pull 2-8+ at a wack with vineleash up. Focus on keeping tank merc alive with their awesome DS, then focus on vineleash being fresh, and then DD to heart's content. I try not to DD anything below 20% to get the full damage on my DD's, and I try to work with merc on water elementals since they can heal themselves sometimes. Pop AA's for extra damage in large group or extra healing when needed. The kills are so fast it makes the relatively poor drops add up faster. I often get in about 15-20 kills, at 20-40% mana left and med back up before hitting the larger roaming spawn locations. Those are fun because once you weed them out a bit root one mob in the path and the adds come in at a fun rate. I tried to get an AA count during a lessons burn and had 6 @ 10 minutes, when I accidentally clicked off lessons, gah! Probably get 15-20 in a regular lessons setting. Edit: I got 22 AA's in one lesson session last night. This was burning every AA I could, embers, VoP, black wolf, etc. to see how many I could get.

UPDATE Lvl 77. Zone still is working for me. Same strategy as above, but I rarely ever DD and usually try to have 5+ on my merc at all times. When I can I med, but otherwise I am only healing the merc. Focusing all mana on healing means all damage is from the merc's swarm, which is quite managable. The only time I have had a problem doing this was when I had 10+, which I have done many times before, but I was lagging. Anyone who has ever been in a situation where you are spamming heals but have lag has had the same problem. One of the named I see a lot is conning green but everything else is still light blue. I am up a ways in this level and may try to get a few AA's before hitting 78.

Now the disclaimer. To be mana efficient I only heal with our latest fast-casting rk 2 heal spell and only nuke with the one DD. Mana regen rate is high enough then to keep the mana tank full, I don't use fernspur, debuffs, etc. like I normally do. IThis is my first experience with a form of swarm fighting and I'm loving it, lots of action like a good group yet the damage is remarkably low on the merc. Without KEI and embers both on, or if you are low AA/low geared, I revert back to simply grabbing one at a time, rooting and DDing while my merc does the fighting. Still can get in maybe 5-10 kills that way.

UPDATE Lvl 77 part 2. I hadn't bought my spells yet until late in the level, and the new heal is rediculously stronger than our previous one. I'm now scaling up the swarming strategy enough to consider it swarming officially, of a flavor, and started a thread called merc swarming to describe it.

Re: Infected Paw, lvl 68(?) to 74+

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:24 pm
by Mallorn
Quick update. The summoned do not hit hard, and a J1 tank merc does decent damage during a fight. There are roamers, particularly the further you go down toward the named spawns. XP is great, after my preliminary check it appears the dark blues here have similar XP to doomfire mobs, so I have shifted to this location for these levels.