Desert of Vashyk

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  • The Desert of Vashyk is a legendary area intended for parties of levels 45 to 50. The run is split into two parts; Desert, and Dustbone.
  • The Desert run is a free rest zone, Immortal characters will not fugue or limbo in the Desert, however it is possible to accidentally Fugue here if you are unlucky enough to be killed in transit as this strips your immortality. This is due to the Desert being one of the few LL runs where you can change maps with enemies still alive.

Contents

Desert

A sandy region of high temperatures and where the only abundant natural resource is sand.

To enter this region requires nothing more than immortality, though weaker immortals may find it difficult to cope with the enemies found here.

Enemies

Stingers

Found only on the first map of the desert, these foes often prove lethal to the unprepared. Their archers can quickly cut down a party if they do not have adequate immunities. The priests launch large numbers of Implosions followed by Earthquakes. While their DC isn't very high, the sheer number of implosions often overwhelm even people with very high saves. Implosion immunity is therefore recommended for people expecting to be targeted unless they have very high SR or Spell Mantles. Wearing some amount of Positive immunity can help reduce the impact of the Earthquake spams. They are not immune to any element however, and are quickly dispatched if one can last that long. Because the Priests cast a variety of party-damaging spells, they are preferred targets. Nothing here is immune to death magic or Harm so this can make clearing the area relatively fast and easy.

Silt Scorpions

These large mutant scorpions are a basic foe in the desert, but are generally dangerous only in large numbers as they are not immune to any damage types. They inflict Slashing Vulnerability on hit, which if left unrestored can make damage input snowball alarmingly. They have critical hit immunity limiting the speed of killing by physical attacks.

Silt Scarabs

These bugs are quite small, and difficult to target, but are not especially difficult to kill once targeted. Casters may feel an urge to run away as usual when a mob attacks them, but they should not, as when moving, these enemies go from being difficult to target, to near impossible. They are not vulnerable or resistant to any damage types.

Living Sands

The living sands can infiltrate the lungs of even the most prepared adventurer. They do a DC 50 Fortitude check on hit vs. insta-kill, with no immunity. For this reason it is best to avoid being repeatedly hit by them, These are a type of elemental and highly resistant to most damage types with only electrical damage being very effective against them. Fire also has some effect, so melee users should have Flame Weapon and Darkfire. Ball Lightning is a very good mage spell against them which can be cast from a distance, and an AA using an Electric bow is especially effective. If no other Electrical weapons are handy, the set mace Aftershock is good to use on them.

Dust Elementals

These large enemies may seem imposing as they cross the desert sands, but are vulnerable to fire damage. They may do large amounts of damage to the unwary, but with the common nature of Fire spells, they prove little difficulty to a party with any caster presence. Even engaged in melee they are only a minimal threat on their own. However they have an onhit blinding attack so use of UEF is advised if you don't want to be running around in the dark.

Sanders

These stony creatures are quite common, and somewhat resistant to most damage types, while vulnerable to Cold damage. Their most troublesome feature is that they will sometimes petrify a player. Concealment can reduce the number of incoming hits which will help, or of course an item which provides immunity (e.g. Splint of Elril). They have some spell resistance, but not too high. Cold and Bludgeoning damage are effective against them, meaning Ice Storms or AA cold imbue for a similar effect can heavily damage a group. Carrying some Stoneeaters Rings or scrolls of Stone to Flesh can help restore party members who have been stoned.

Drocs

These giant birds are mostly regarded as a mere nuisance, as they are easily killed by death magic, mortal strikes, called shots, or any other instant kill tactics. Even without instant kill abilities they quickly perish in melee. Their only notable ability is to carry off players to their eyrie. Players that are taken there should note that there are 3 loot drops there, but that once you move from the spot where you appear, a number of drocs will spawn and attack. They are especially troubling for anyone attempting to solo the desert, as the map you were on may despawn if you are carried off and do not manage to get back to it quickly enough.

Screelings

These are a type of outsider, and despite their small size can prove quite troublesome. They are fast, hit hard, and somewhat resistant to most damage types, but are vulnerable to Acid. Casters of lower levels may have difficulty breaching their spell resistance of 65. Casters can use Mestil's Acid Sheath and let themselves be hit, which is a very fast way of killing them.

Devarials

These are arguably the worst opponents to face in the desert. Their spell resistance of 70 renders them nearly immune to spells from low level immortals. The archers are lethal at long ranges, and the priests cast large numbers of implosion spells at mid to close range. Worse still is that devarial arrows cast Mordekain's Disjunction on hit, stripping the unprepared of any buffs they may have had.

Recommended Tactics

The desert is renowned for massing, where all of the enemies of a map are gathered together to be eliminated at once. This is rightly so as the geography allows excellent defensive positions where a few tanks or a strategically placed wall can entirely bar entrance, allowing the casters freedom to launch spell after spell on a large mass of enemies while remaining in relative safety. For archers that aren't coming to the party, rangers can use their Called Shot ability to kill the devarials at long range.

Almost all enemies found in the desert are vulnerable to the Harm spell. Earthquake is a good spell for low level clerics to use against Devarials because it bypasses spell resistance. Elemental Swarm is excellent against most of the enemies in the desert as it will do damage of the type they are vulnerable to. Mages have a wide variety of mass damage spells to choose from, though Meteors are the classic method. As there is no kickback in the desert most large area spells are excellent for use against massed enemies.

Recommended Immunities

After the first map levitation is required to avoid instant death as a result of quicksand. This can also be provided by racial ability (e.g. Planewalker, Fallen Angel, Pharlan), the set lev ring, or other items (e.g. Amulet of Adaptation, Ring of Windworking, Ice Climbing Boots).

Instead of levitation, the Ring of Passwall can be used. It only works after resting with it equipped. The ring also provides aprotection against the instadeath effect from Living Sands. Yummy!

Mordenkainen's Disjunction immunity is also recommended if a player has any buffs they consider worth keeping. Piercing resist or immunity is also useful to reduce the damage taken from the plentiful archers. Implosion immunity and petrification immunity are worth considering if this is problematic for your character.

There is one small map in the desert where the party goes inside of a tower. Here levitation is not needed but Cold and Negative immunity are. There are several Lost Souls of Vashyk (plus a couple of Sanders and a Silt Scarab) in this area which do party Cold and Negative kickback.

Areas

The Desert areas can be reached by Town of Ascension -> East Road -> The Crossroads -> then go South.

Vashyk’s Ruin

Only Stingers here. Beware of being imploded.

The Illithid Devices at the start can teleport you to the Thids run if you have the Mentari Mind Still from Dustbone or it can teleport you to the other side of the canyon (the starting area for the Dustbone run) if you have the four Runes from desert.

Speak Mikrum’s Shade to clear the way to the next map.

Note: Non-immortals can enter this area although it is not advisable!

The Great Plateau (I)

You must levitate here and on the following maps or be insta-killed by sand if you move at all.

The Great Plateau (II)

The Devariel Warleader drops a key for the gate at the next map.

Droc Eyrie

A failed str-check from the Drocs bring you here. Climb up to get back to Great Plateau (II)

The Great Plateau (III)

The first of the Runes required to complete the Dustbone run drops here from a stone near the end, be careful not to destroy it with a loot breaking spell!

Devariel Eyrie

Full of Devariel and Drocs. The miniboss called “The Voice” drops a key to let you through the locked door in the temple and a Bard artifact, do NOT pick this up if you already have an artifact in your inventory or you will initiate an explosion destroying both of the items.

Ruined Temple

You need the key the Voice drops to open the door here.

Cinder Flats (I)

A Hulking Sander at the end drops the second Rune.

Cinder Flats (II)

A Hulking Sander at the end drops the third Rune.

Cinder Flats (III)

A giant Silt Scorpion drops the fourth rune, a Gargantuous Sander drops a Key to the tower in which there is a handy set item (would have been very handy if you'd had it at the start of the run for new players!) and a random rare item. Exiting this map brings you back to a side map on Vashyk’s Ruin although in an area not directly reachable from the inital entrance, at this point you can either teleport back to town or carry on to The Harbinger's Trail.

Dustbone

  • Levitation is only required for the Harbinger's Trail maps, you can swap it out once you enter The Furrow, which is probably a good thing as you'll have even more immunities to maximize to help prevent kickback damage!
  • Once entered this is a zone where teleportation using the pc scry is disabled and simple rest is not allowed, to rest one must use the Ring of Planar Traveler, or run back to Vashyk’s Ruin. There is no ring charger at the end of this run, so if you have yet to acquire Zerial’s Token and are not intending to acquire it on this run, then you should attempt to conserve your rests.

Enemies

You now are entering the very landing zone of the Harbinger so many years ago, where it shattered the very fabric of reality, and outsiders are common here.

Screelings, sanders, silt scorpions, dust elementals, and sanders are seen on this run also. There are additional enemies to consider here however, most of which are immune to harm spells.

Xevils

One of these is seen on the last map of the desert, but likely didn’t prove much more than an interesting bit of variety. These outsiders are vulnerable to Sonic, and barbarians enjoy raging against them. Xevils are not much of an opponent, with no kickback, and the only thing to note is that occasionally they will stone a player who failed a save.

Barbed Devils

These creatures are the first enemy you will encounter on the run that does kickback damage, in this case Piercing and Negative damage to the hitter. They are vulnerable to Cold damage, and the kickback is only against the player that attacked them. For arcane casters, they are easily dispatched with death magic spells such as Wail and COD.

Fleshers

These enemies do personal kickback of Acid damage, and will attempt to unequip the player’s armor versus a discipline check. Casters may find themselves without clothing fairly often, but it is only removed to their inventory so once combat ends they can easily re-equip it. Fleshers are vulnerable to Fire damage and to Harm. Clerics or Turners using Harm on the fleshers is greatly appreciated by tanks.

Abimanders

These often cause parties of otherwise prepared adventurers trouble. They do 100 Fire and 30 Magical damage kickback to all party members each time they are attacked. They are invulnerable to Fire damage, and many a Bloodfire Mage has found out to his party’s seething rage that whilst brand does no damage to abimanders, it can decimate his own party. Abimanders are however vulnerable to Cold damage. These also possess spell resistance of 65.

Lost Souls of Vashyk

These enemies do party Cold and Negative kickback. They in turn are immune to Negative and Cold damage. However they possess all of the typical weaknesses of undead. Branding can once again cause a party dirt nap, and anyone that has forgotten to neg pot will die quickly. When resurrected, immediately drink a new neg pot or you will die again. They also possess spell resistance of 66.

Recommended Immunities

Fire and Cold are critical to have as near to 100% as possible. Neg pots should be up at all times as well. Magical immunity and resist is also highly desirable to protect against abimander kickback, but the Fire damage is larger and so should be a priority if it is necessary to prioritize. Acid immunity is also needed if you intend to attack fleshers, as these will do personal Acid kickback. Many are the BFMs that have killed themselves as well as their target by branding fleshers without having enough Acid immunity or resistance.

Harbinger's Trail (I)

Desert fodder minus Devariels

Harbinger's Trail (II)

Desert fodder minus Devariels

Harbinger's Trail (III)

Desert fodder minus Devariels and the first encounter with an Abimander

The Furrow (I)

Lots of Abimanders and your first encounter with Fleshers

The Furrow (II)

As The Furrow (I)

The Furrow (III)

As the Furrow (II) plus some Lost Souls

Vashyk’s Fall

As The Furrow (III) This area has four exits, The Lair of Dustbone at the top on the North side, Axis Erundia at the bottom on the East side, The Bore at the bottom on the West side which allows access to The Workshop if you are at least level 55 and have the Illithid tag (Note: No reverse transit from the Worksop to the Bore is available) and once the Chain of Climbing (found in Dustbones chest) has been used Vashyk’s Ruin in the middle on the West side next to a large boulder, avoiding the need to fight respawned enemies on the way out.

Lair of Dustbone

Dustbone is a powerful opponent and a contingent of Lost Souls lays in wait with him. Dustbone as with all dragons possesses a breath weapon of terrible power. He deals out Magical, Electrical, Fire, and Negative damage with every attack and his breath weapon can do hundreds of points of damage of all of those types. Fear immunity is also a must have, as with any dragon battle. Having Cold immunity for the lost souls, and then switching that out for more Electrical, Fire, or Magical immunity once they are dealt with is a good strategy. He also deals Negative kickback to the hitter, which makes Negative protection doubly important.

Dustbone is immune to Acid, Cold, Electrical, Fire and Negative damage. Sonic, Divine, Magical and Positive damage are thus necessary. Clangs and barbarian rages are useful for tanks. Casters may find it difficult to deal with Dustbone’s spell resistance of 80. At a minimum Dustbone should be Morded, and it is preferable that if a druid is around that he be Nature’s Balanced or Frailtied. This will allow spells to land more often. Alternatively if his spell resistance cannot be dropped sufficiently, Earthquake is an effective spell to use against him.

Dustbone also heals himself once, so do not despair if he seems to have healed completely, he only does so once. Once Dustbone is reduced to just dust, you gain the key to his sanctum. There you will find three Dustbone Weapons, which are some of the best weapons in the game, and a Dustbone AA longbow. There will also be a Mentari Mind Still which is the consumable key required for the Illithids run.

An observant adventurer will also note Dustbone’s table, and the stool he liked to relax on.

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