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Empyrean and Tempest, Fire and Void

 Empyrean and Tempest, Fire and Void

Back to Empyrean this week, with a perfectly synergistic Fire mutation, or back into the deep Void of Tempest’s Heart.

Note: Elemental damage gems in your weapons are simply recommendations based on the elements your enemies are weakest to. Your playstyle may suit non-elemental gems better and you are encouraged to continue using those if so.

Expedition specific

General buffs

The Empyrean Forge is a fire-themed mountain stronghold, with mechanical puzzles and giant gears and pistons. The majority of enemies are Human Varangians, but there are also quite a few Lost ghosties around. Our advice is to stick with Human Ward, the Lost are not significant. Slash weapons are strong, but with the changes adding a 10% bonus to ranged Banes, there is scope for a wide range of character builds here. An interesting feature of the humans is they use weapons just like us and have similar moves. However, they don’t seem to be governed by the same cooldowns!

As you might expect from a Forge, there is quite a lot of fire around so you might either consider splitting your elemental protection, or using the new gear sets to swap out your setup for the boss fights. At the very least, a Fire Protection amulet will come in handy.

The first boss, Ifrit, is a fiery scythe-wielding worm-type boss who likes to throw his flames about. There are a few mechanics to watch out for, but once you have these down he’s not too bad. He stays in the middle of the room, rather than burrowing like some other worms we know.  You can avoid the fiery space invaders by going prone, just make sure the floor is clear when you do. When he starts to project lines of flames, run anti-clockwise around him with them. The closer you are to him, the easier this is. Just don’t get burnt!

Commander Marius is the final boss and he also likes his fiery tortures. At some points during the fight, the floor is literally lava. Thankfully, there are some safety platforms provided in the corners of the room, just watch out if he joins you on them or drops a giant fiery meatball. For the DPS, ranged attacks allow you to stay out of reach from his heavy hitting AoE, so it might be worth considering a bow or magic weapon.

Burn baby burn, this rotation it’s Fire. At M1, we start with the basic Hellfire. Look at the enemies’ nameplates to see whether they are Explosive, and be sure to position yourself well away from edges when they die, to avoid being blown over. Fiery enemies apply Burn, giving you a Fire DOT, so it’s worth drinking some Desert Sunrise before you start. Ignited enemies deal 50% of their damage as Fire, so slot Rubies in your armour and wear a Flame Protection amulet to get your Fire resistance up. Enemies with Enflamed can cast a Burn zone on the ground, so watch your positioning.

When you get to M3, Festering enemies start to appear, dealing disease against you so your incoming healing will be reduced. Remember, debuffs can be Purified in a number of ways. Slicer enemies also turn up, adding 30% base Void damage, so think about diversifying your protective gems in this mutation.

In the higher levels of the mutation, players are Censored with silence. Starting at M6, using abilities causes a meter to build up and when it is full, silence is cast on each member of the group where they are standing. Abilities cannot be used inside the silence zone and when it expires, it detonates with a massive 65% max health damage. So it’s pretty important to keep an eye on the meter and make sure that silence zones are strategically placed, especially in boss battle arenas. While silence is active, natural mana regen is turned off, however you can get 25 mana per 0.75 seconds by standing in the silence. Just don’t be in there when it explodes!

Expedition specific

General buffs

Mutation specific

Tempest’s Heart is the longest expedition, with a generous hour allowed to complete it. Thrust weapons really penetrate through Corruption, so you’ll be likely to carry at least one. Spears not only have that damage bonus but also provide some strong debuffs like Perforate and if you have Enfeebling Skewer you can seriously reduce the damage to your team. Rapier offers fast damage with the bonus of constant bleeds and you can use Leeching Flurry to quickly regain your own health while robbing the enemy of theirs. If you prefer to stay out of reach, the Bow provides ranged damage and added DOT damage.

Isabella taunts us throughout this dungeon, finally remaining to finish the fight at the end. Remember to use your Azoth Staff on her once she falls, or she’ll rise up and you’ll have to repeat the fight. Before you make it to the final battle, you have to go through the fires of Neishatun. He will burrow into the ground three times, leaving you to navigate a series overlapping firey pools. If you’re standing in one when it pulses, you’ll take a stack of DoT damage that cannot be cleansed until the fight it over.

It’s all purple in Tempest this week, with the Eternal mutation transforming the enemies to Void damage, so go with the theme and protect yourself with AmethystsParanoia is particularly annoying, with stacks building up as you hit the enemy. When you reach 4 stacks, a purple pool appears at your feet, dealing 40-70% damage. This is easily dodged as an individual, but when the melee are crowded together, you can end up with some big spikes of pain. It might be an opportunity to try a ranged DPS team for a change, with the tank holding aggro and 3 bow users shooting from afar. Creeping enemies Empower their friends when they die and Oblivion enemies use a life leech that heals them when they hit you. 

At M3, some enemies start being Barbarically buffed. Shattering is annoying for your tank, dealing 40-75% increased stamina damage! It might even be worth stacking more of the stamina perks to keep up. Watch out for those large Enraged enemies, who deal 50% more damage once they get 20 stacks of Fury.

The first of our Fiendish curses is Weary, which starts at M6 and slows down player movement as well as increasing damage taken by 20%. This is on a timer and while you’re meant to be able to delay it by using abilities, it’s been glitchy in game so don’t rely on that.

The other curse is Blood Offering. Using abilities causes a 4.5% Void DoT, which can stack up to 3 times, however while under the influence of Offering players also get a 25% life leech. So as long as you’re doing damage, this curse has little effect. The main person it impacts is the healer, so they may need to focus on healing themselves. Drinking some Desert Sunrise before you start the expedition should help reduce the effect.

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Landi

Landi is an avid furniture collector and regular DPS for Don't Die Alone. She contributes to the Mutation Rotation and Faction Control series of articles.

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