Fixing the Neverwinter Dungeons: Temple of Tiamat
After quite some time I’d like to tackle another dungeon in my ongoing series about fixing some of the Neverwinter group content. In case you’re unfamiliar with this series, here are my suggestions for Malabog’s Castle and Prophecy of Madness. This time we are looking into the Temple of Tiamat. The first Epic Trial dates back to Module 5 and hasn’t aged too well. Just like other group content from the earlier stages of the game it doesn’t feature mechanics that handle the overall power creep too well.
A quick intro
In case you’re new to the game or the fight, let’s start with a raw overview. Temple of Tiamat offers a large-scaled (and often laggy) fight against the dragon goddess Tiamat. It features two stages. In the first you need to defend clerics from the dragon. In the second dps down the five heads of the queen. The first phase is rather trivial as you just have to fend off mobs long enough so that the clerics can charge a spell.
The dps phase however is timed, you only have two minutes to fight the heads. Additionally you have to kill all in the same phase, otherwise they might regenerate a portion of their HP. Since the whole encounter has a time limit of 20 minutes and the DPS and Cleric Phase alternate, groups normally only have three to four attempts to get the heads down.
Temple of Tiamat offers no challenge, just zerg
What sounds like an interesting mechanic is unfortunately rather boring. Right after the release of the Temple in Module 5 players realized that zerging down the encounter is actually the best way to beat it. Groups just get through the cleric phase and then move from head to head with the full raid. I think the legit channel and some others were initially running so called “tactic” runs where each group inside the raid got their own head assignment. This strategy however didn’t prevail and nowadays everyone just zergs. You dps the heads down for one or two phases and then finish them off in the last. With the insane endgame damage high item level group even regularly one-phase the Trial.
I’m not opposed to zerging the Trial, but it shouldn’t be the best option, let alone the only one. At least not splitting between heads should come with a distinct disadvantage. But first things first, and that’s the Cleric Phase.
The Cleric Phase
The first phase is boring as hell. The main reason is that the phase is designed as control heavy, but ends up being a dps check. You don’t really have to pay attention to keeping mobs away from the clerics. In the vast majority of groups you can just dps everything and you’re good. Here are my tweaks:
- Spawning mobs are invulnerable for 20 seconds and cannot be rooted, immobilized, disabled or frozen. Instead a minor slow is applied. All other Control Powers work normally.
- During their invulnerability players cannot aggro the mobs.
- After their invulnerability mobs continue to rapidly build aggro towards the Clerics and a hard taunt is applied when they are not damaged for five seconds.
- Cleric’s channeling is 10% faster.
- Each opposing hit subtracts 5% from the Cleric’s channeling process.
- Any enemy within 15′ completely stops the Cleric’s channeling.
- Any enemy within 20′ slows the Cleric’s channeling by 50%.
- Killed enemies respawn after two seconds.
- The dragon breath attacks are slightly reworked. They still spawn on top of a random player, but similar to Svardborg now move with that player until fired off.
- Three breaths are active at the same time with a cooldown of five seconds.
- All Soul Gems reset after the phase.
This actually makes this a control phase. Players have to fire off everything they have and ideally push back the storming mobs beyond 20′. After 20 seconds they can kill and aggro the mobs, but have to choose between a new wave of invulnerable mobs or continued control / aggro management to sit out the phase. Depending on the strategy DPS does still help, but it’s no longer the deciding factor. To comfortably win this phase you need a healthy dose of CC and Tanks.
The reworked breath mechanic is also slightly more challenging. Pretty much at any point three players are targeted and have to choose between bringing the breath away from the group or getting help from a player with the right Soul Gem.
The Head Phase
The head phase as said suffers from the fact that zerging is the only, because most effective, option. I don’t want to start logic in a game, but it always amazed my how the Dragon Queen allows the raid to cut heads off one by one and just looks around with the others. It doesn’t make tons of sense. Onto the tweaks:
- When there is no adventurer on a head’s platform, that head will use it’s breath attack on a player on another platform. It will prioritize the platform with the max players on it. 20 second cooldown.
- Other than in phase one, the breath attack will not follow its target.
- After the first/second head phase, heads regenerate to 50%/25% in case Tiamat is not killed.
- After the third phase, heads do not regenerate.
These are simple changes, but actually have a major impact. Raids can still choose to zerg, but have to deal with breath attacks from other heads. An alternative strategy would be to send players to the other heads to keep them busy. Also the penalty of mindlessly slaying heads has been increased. If the raid fails to get Tiamat down in the first phase, all heads reset to 50% after the first phase and 25% after the second phase. The third phase though, relevant for lower item levels, doesn’t heal the heads. That way players are able to finish off the encounter in a fourth phase, which they can achieve by properly mastering the Cleric Phase.
With these changes, a proper strategy and group composition becomes much more important. Those high DPS groups can still choose to ignore everything and zerg, but have to deal with some more mechanics while doing so. The first phase however can no longer be mastered by DPS alone. Lower item levels also face upped challenge, but get a little help on the damage front. In case they properly run the Cleric Phases, they have two phases without any HP reset to finish off the heads. Of course the rewards have to match the new Trial, but that’s a different topic.
Do you like my Tiamat or prefer the current version? Share you thoughts and suggestions in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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4 thoughts on “Fixing the Neverwinter Dungeons: Temple of Tiamat”
Clerics as Control phase with pretty much all the controls listed as disabled on them? Are you really sure? I expect these changes would make it kinda too long to complete and still be able to run 3-4 head phases.
Also heads firing on other platforms could use different colors for their aoe indicators, so players would know which gem they have to fire.
All pushes etc would still work. I just wanted to make sure you couldn’t sleepwalk through phases with Icy Terrain etc.
I would like to see one change in Tiamat. Raise the gear score requirement. When I load in with a bunch of randoms with an average 2k gear score you know it was a waste of time. If it went to a 2.5k req like edemo at least there is hope.
I love your “Fixing” series, j0shi. 🙂 Your words into the devs’ ears. Keep writing them!
Maybe instead of making the mobs immune to control, how about highly resistant? That would give control classes a few more options to chose from. Also, I would add a low unavoidable DoT and/or massive damage debuff when players are on a platform that doesn’t correspond to their equipped dragonsoul gem. That would give them an added incentive to play “tactics” style.
Tiamat used to be one of my favorite fights in this game. But lately it has become so easy, it makes me sad. In the past several months, almost all of the trials I have been in were over in 1 or 2 rounds, and I usually run a “no IL required” queue.
btw, hey Razor 🙂
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