Portobello’s Campaign Challenge Review: Trial Of Traps

The first week of the month-long Portobello’s campaign is over and with it, attention is shifting towards the new Artificer’s Workshop queue. So it’s about time for our review of the first event queue, Trial of Traps:

Trial Of Traps Scenery

Swinging Blades
Swinging Blades

The first queue in Flabbergast’s evaluation didn’t disappoint judged by its name. It is indeed a trial spiked with traps and the dungeon has potential to annoy the party in several ways. Some are intentional, others not. The swinging blade hits felt random at times, getting you when they were not even close. But in the end it is easy to figure out the pattern and if all failed, you could still just jump the spikes as outlined by puddles in our forum and avoid the blades altogether. It’s a bit of a shame though that bypassing is actually the fastest way of mastering the first section.

Not sure why they enforced the cutscenes in this one by the way. I understand they want to add a bit of tabletop atmosphere to the whole thing, but not being able to skip them turned out to be huge downer.

Dice Hunting Adventurers

The dice tribute to Indiana Jones actually presents a challenge to lower level toons (and to Portobello figuring out the correct name). A few times we were waiting at the Drider entrance for one party member that had major trouble to bypass the corridor. This could be really annoying when you wanted to get a quick run in and then got stuck longer than necessary. Unfortunately there’s not even something you can do to help. Either they figure it out or you wait.

Adventurers Fighting The Drider
Yeah… not quite…

After the monster dices the next big challenge is just around the corner, because little players seem to understand that you have to pull the boss into the explosive runes. The best way probably is letting one player handle it, aggro the boss and pull him, but of course in a pug everyone has their own ideas. One random way of handling the issue was to trigger runes until one would eventually spawn under the boss. That led to some players just running around wildly to activate them while others tried to pull strategically. Which resulted in chaos galore. It’s amazing how players can fail with such a simple mechanic, but probably only 10% of the runs went smooth in that area. Meaning you would enter, back off behind a rune, attack the boss, wait until the Drider approaches and then trigger the rune. Companions could also bug the next room by pulling enemies, making it impossible to open the door.

I’m pretty glad they deactivated injuries in the dungeon, because otherwise you can imagine the cryfest that would have ensued. It also fits the theme of the event, which is fun first and injuries simply doesn’t meet that criteria. On the other hand, the final corridor before the last boss was pretty trivial, because you could just walk through without paying attention to the traps. It was still the right decision, also to avoid claims that all they want to do is sell VIP.

Trial of Traps Beholder

The Beholder has nothing special to it. Just a fast and clean kill. You probably could have switched the bosses based on their challenge, but that’s only a side note. Overall getting the needed Accreditation for the first week didn’t feel too much of a grind. You can get 21 by doing the daily at the Burrow Dawn Inn and if you pay attention to the Heroic Feats of Heroism you should be good doing 2-3 runs per day.

Trial of Traps continued the tradition of the event with an innovative design and a focus on fun. I can’t narrow it down to something specific, but overall it nonetheless couldn’t induce the feeling of the original Respen maps. It was cute, charming and all, maybe the effect has just started to wear off a little bit. Overall however I like what they did in the Trial of Traps and I hope the Artificer’s Workshop will be equally exciting and surprising.

What’s your opinion on the first queue of Portobello’s Campaign? Share it in the comments or visit the corresponding forum thread!


j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.