Today I’d like to start another history column on the blog that looks back at outdated or removed group content. The reason why we can contribute a full series to that topic is pretty obvious: Unfortunately the game features a lot of it. The main culprit is the Elemental Evil update and its level cap raise. The devs decided to completely take away all level 60 content and reintroduce some of it as level 70. From the original set of eleven tier 1 and tier 2 dungeons only four have seen reworks so far though. The rest is either removed or plays an insignificant role as leveling dungeon.
That’s why we are going back, review and appreciate the content in its original design. Today we are starting off with the “Frozen Heart” dungeon.
Frozen Heart Is Still Around, But Lost Its Original Challenge
Frozen Heart was introduced at launch and lasted until the infamous Elemental Evil update. During its tenure the epic version was one of four dungeons that rewarded players with pieces of the level 60 “tier 2” sets, which were “bis” at that time. Located in Icespire Peak the lore and original design of the Frozen Heart dungeon is still present in its current leveling version. Both the environment and boss fights are the same, but don’t quite feature the challenge they have been in the level 60 era.
Nowadays the dungeon is merely a walk through. Back in the days however even clearing trash was tricky. To be most efficient you had to cleverly group mobs on several ledges and use Control Wizard powers to push them over. It was literally the fastest way to clear them. “Punting” was popular to speedrun other content as well. Additionally skipping certain mobs to not lengthen a run was still a thing. Parties would try to avoid mobs in the section after the first boss and to aggro the Rimefire Golems in the last room before Hrimnir.
While trash was largely about punting, the bosses were about kiting and dealing with adds. The first boss already could feature an annoying amount of adds and certain DPS, normally the Control Wizards, were tasked to deal with them. At the second boss, groups normally didn’t even kill the adds, but just kited them around. The Golems and Trolls were slow enough so that you didn’t have to deal with them at all. Only the ranged adds had to be targeted. So typically one DPS or the tank picked up the adds while the rest burned the boss.
Hrimnir was a beats of its own. The adds were overwhelming and there was no way to deal with them. So what groups were doing was tasking the Guardian Fighter to get aggro of any adds and just kite them around the room. Control Wizards in them meantime killed ranged archers and the melee DPS took care of the boss. It was not only the adds though. The Hrimnir AoE attacks were challenging to deal with and normally could one-shot you. Everything had to work or the fight could turn into a real mess.
After the second and final boss had died, groups just wiped to get rid of the remaining adds.
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Since the dungeon was a hard, people were trying to get any advantage they could. Frozen Heart has always been plagued by shortcuts and the devs adjusted the content multiple times to try to deal with that. At certain times groups could skip the first, the second or even both bosses using a Trickster Rogues or other jump exploits. Also add kiting at the final boss for the longest time was very easy. The GF could just stand on a pillar and aggro all mobs using its Mark. Since mobs couldn’t reach the tank, they would just stand around.
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Frozen Heart’s Place in History
Looking back Frozen Heart was one of the more interesting dungeons to run with a GF (and one of the few tanks actually could get into, but that’s another story). While add kiting and trash punting might seem unintended, there was a lot of skill involved to perform it correctly. I had lots of fun running Frozen Heart back in the day to get my t2 sets.
What are your memories of the original Frozen Heart? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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