Utopian Organ logo

Starstone and Genny, Void and Nature

 Starstone and Genny, Void and Nature

So, after waiting until the very end of the mutation rotation cycle to get a chance at the much anticipated Wall, the mutations have gone and changed after one day! I guess if you missed out on the hatchet last week or Blooddrinker a few weeks back, you get an early chance at trying again. Not keen on this idea of randomising the mutations if it means extending the wait between artifacts even more than it currently is. Season 4 can’t come soon enough.

There are three levels of Mutation, as well as Story mode, for each Expedition.

  • M1 requires 650 gear score and is relatively easy, introducing the mechanics of the mutation type at a reduced level of damage.
  • M2 is a little harder and requires 675 gear score, with increased scaling and the addition of the Promotion challenges. It is still quite simple to do with an experienced group and is probably the most efficient mode, with improved loot for little effort.
  • M3 requires 695+ gear score and optimised perks, gems and buffs. It is considerably more challenging than M2, both with increased scaling and the addition of the mutation Curse as well as the Promotion.

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

Mutation specific

The Starstone Barrows is an exotic mashup of our first dungeon experiences, with the expedition taking adventurers through both Starstone and Amrine. We start in Starstone and then instead of ascending the stairs to the central pillar, a breakage appears to our left and we sneak into Amrine to face Simon Grey. Then we work backwards through Amrine until we return to Starstone on the other side of the central pillar. This means we get a fun split of Ancient and Lost enemies, and need to carry double the potions. 

Just like at the end of Amrine, Simon is a heavy hitter with a periodic minion spawn, but now he’s completely buffed. If you don’t manage to dodge his smash-down attack, there’s a good chance of light-armoured players being wiped. On top of that, if you can’t kill his minions, he eats them up for a little heal, prolonging the fight.

Time is tight in this dungeon and there are a few tough fights where the mobs are grouped up or skipped. Keep those Ward potion handy and make sure you have a good healer.

The final boss, Greundgul the Regent, whose voice taunts us all the way through, has a fairly predictable mechanic and isn’t too bad as far as dungeon bosses go. The most important thing here is that everyone sticks together, literally stacking on one another during the jumping phase to help co-ordinate the dodges. Also during the bone throwing phase, it’s good to keep those bones close and take advantage of our AOE damage. If you can get a ranged attack on her face when she lands her jump, it makes everything easier as it stuns her and stops her jumping phase early.

Mutation: Eternal

It’s all purple in Starstone 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 M1 level, everything is a bit easier, so you will be fine with Opals rather than Amethysts, and may not need to use Ward potions or Coatings.

M2 - Barbaric

At M2, 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.

M3 - Censored

In M3, players are Censored with silence. 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

The Garden of Genesis is one of the classic expeditions, having been in the game since release and very popular as a place to raise your item expertise. It’s the only Angry Earth dungeon and can be run pretty fast, although there are a couple of sticky spots that can slow groups down. The worst of these is Alluvium Marl, the Caretaker, who guards his Greenhouse in the middle of the dungeon. He can be seen terrifying those facing him. Our advice for this boss is to just kill him, and do it fast.

Mutation: Overgrown

Overgrown means those mobs are going to be healing one another, which really should be a privilege exclusive to us. Compost mobs drop a healing circle that works like a Sacred Ground for them and looks a bit like one too. This is one of the rare times that disease perks are useful in PVE, so pull out your Hatchet with Infected Throw, or slot a weapon with Plagued Strikes or Plagued Crits. Your Bile Bomb heartrune will also spread disease around, so vomit away to your heart’s content.

Toxic mobs spawn THE most annoyingly friendly little green blob that follows you around, does damage over time that increases at the higher mutations, and casts an area root. We just love not being able to move and getting damaged at the same time! Best bet is to try and stay out of its way. If you get stuck, it might be worth it to have Nature Absorption potions slotted and chug one down. Arboreal enemies are dealing 50% of damage as Nature, and Bramble enemies deal 20-40% base damage as Nature, so Amber slotted in your gear will protect you.

At M1 level, everything is a bit easier, so you will be fine with Opals rather than Ambers, and may not need to use Ward potions or Coatings.

M2 - Oppressive

Once we reach M2, we start seeing Mage Hunters, who drain mana when hit, so healers need to make sure their mana potions are slotted. Suppressor enemies cast a silence zone in which no abilities can be used, but at least it doesn’t have the explosion at the end.

M3 - Frenzied

The real trouble starts when things get Frenzied. At M3, players begin being penalised for dodging, by acquiring a stack of Unstable that does 1.5% of max health as Nature damage per second for 10 seconds and cannot be cleansed. You can get up to three of these stacks, and when you do it drops a 3m radius zone that does 10% of max health per second for 15 seconds – ouch, that’s 150% of your health if you just stand there! If you enter this zone with stacks of Unstable, it will consume them and do 30% of max HP. So, it’s really important to manage your stacks and move away from the group if you can’t avoid dropping a puddle. Don’t poop on the group.

Avatar photo

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *