Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gutting the Ghost Ship

While the handful of level 90+ players we have in our guild is not enough to successfully run a high-level Guild Dungeon yet, it did make us an attractive commodity to burgeoning Nations. We kept getting offers to join from a number of them. Our first priority on finding a suitable Nation to join was their ability to run and successfully complete Nation Dungeons. While they would all promise the ability to do so, very few Nations on our server possessed the organization and manpower to actually complete ND's. A secondary consideration was the willingness of the Nation to help us out in completing our Guild Dungeons with the temporary loan of some high-level players.

With this in mind, we decided to join a relatively new Nation. New as in date of creation, but they had plenty of guilds and players that had been around for a while. Most importantly, the leading guild in the Nation had previous experience in successfuly tackling ND's. They were also willing to help us out in the matter of Guild Dungeons. Our guild leader took a vote and the overwhelming majority agreed to join this nation; innocuously named Peaceful.

We barely had time to greet our new Nation-mates in chat before plans got underway to run the Nation Dungeon, Ghost Ship of the Carribean. This was no coincidence as we had been invited to come along on this run beforehand to see exactly what it was we were getting into. Ghost Ship is the first and easiest of the series of Nation Dungeons and it is in here that access to the much-coveted Pirate mercenary is determined. Instructions from the Nation leader flowed as groups were assembled and reported in. I have to admit most of it went right over my head and I just focused on the immediate role of my group and what we had to do. I later found an excellent guide to this dungeon here that explained much of what our organizer had to say. Even with my extensive raiding background in WoW, I was impressed at the level of organization needed to succesfully conquer even this most basic of Nation Dungeons.

My guildmates advised me to stock up on Ambrosia and a Blessing Potion but I balked at their high market prices and determined to gut it out on regular food and the buffs provided by my various titles. I did spend some gold completing my level 90 armor set so I didn't look so mismatched. Finally the preparations were done, we were able to zone in, and I got my first look at the zone. I wish I would've taken some screenshots but I was so focused on making this a successful run that I didn't dare take the time to sightsee. Maybe next time. It was very much Pirates of the Carribean themed with mobs ranging from octopuses to crusty crustaceans to pirate ghosts. The end boss was none other than Davy Jones himself. We traveled from the ghost town to its docks where we boarded the famed Ghost Ship itself and scoured it decks clean of all the mobs.

One of the features I love about raiding in Atlantica Online is that they are timed events. You have 2 hours after starting the Dungeon to finish it. No more banging your head learning an encounter for 8+ hours only to find you still don't have what it takes to beat it. Even after you have a Dungeon on farm status, the times are saved so beating a previous record can be motivation for some guilds. My group quickly fell into a groove as we fought the mobs we were tasked with clearing. There were a couple of tricky pulls as sometimes we bit off more than we could chew but my groupmates were able to cover for my underpowered self. My thanks go out to my guildmates, fateii and Clematis, who were in my group for this inaugural ND run.

Looking at our progress compared to the timer counting down, it became obvious that we were going to successfully complete the ND unless something went horribly wrong. I probably stayed up for the event longer than I wanted to but there was no way I was missing out on the successful conclusion. When the success banner and music flashed on the screen, a collective cheer went up in Nation chat.

What a great way to lure prospective guilds to your Nation. Treat them to a great ND run and the phat lootz from same. Now, you're never going to get rid of us.

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