Right under our noses, KingsIsle released a brand new $39 card at local Target stores! However, at this point, you've got plenty of houses, and they decided to try something new - a sigil-lit gauntlet with amazing XP rewards, a news badge, and a variety of cool drops!
The card was just released today, so the details on the pet talents and gear statistics are still yet to be discovered, but many users, including myself, got access to the Pagoda Gauntlet! (Remember, throughout this post, you can click for full-size images!)
Me, Kelsey (of Stars of the Spiral), Anthony (of Legends of the Spiral), and Cody all decided to take on the new gauntlet!
Once inside, here's the breakdown of what you'll be doing. The first floor has a bunch of health and mana wisps, so gather them while you can. There are also mini-game sigils if you'd like to play a game or two, fill up potion bottles, etc. You should note that, once inside the instance, you cannot leave back to the house. The exit is a Spiral door.
Basically, you'll have some quick dialogue about a master under a dark spell. You're, of course, sent to investigate.
Inside, there are a variety of creatures. Based on your levels, the instance may be worth more of less experience. With 70-80s, we've found that 47,000 experience is about right. The creatures all have varying amounts of health and different looks, too.
Every battle here will have four enemies. The first two floors are just your classic mobs, but the third floor has a 9,950 health boss (if you have the right levels for it) and three minions. He has several minor cheats, but nothing to really worry about. I believe these involve the removal of shields you place on yourself. He will only use this cheat on the person in the first position.
The third level is more mobs, but the fourth level is a puzzle. You must collect the gravestones in order - oldest to newest. It isn't too hard. Click the image below for full-size and more detail. The one in the front, and to the right is the oldest, the one in the back on your left is next. Then, pick the one in the front to your left, and finally, the one in back to your right.
If you fail the puzzle (*cough* Anthony), you'll have to fight more mobs!
Next up, you'll meet the "master" under a dark spell, leading four of his students. They complain that his ways are evil, but vow to follow him anyway. Yeah, that's a tad inconvenient for you...
They like to use Time Bombs and a number of other cheats. The first round, a mass infection will be cast on you, but won't be replaced, so you can use a minor healing spell or wait for your pet to use Spritely. Then, they will repeatedly use Legion Shields (30% shield to all), so get some Earthquake or DoTs ready!
Despite the fact that there's four, you shouldn't use AoEs if you want to avoid cheats (though they aren't terribly severe). If you do, the Storm will use a Storm Lord with no stun, and the Balance will use Major Blessing (175 healing) on all remaining enemies, including himself.
After that, you've reached the final portion of the gauntlet! This last battle is pretty wild. Here's the real enemy - the on who imprisoned Yoshinobu! Kaizoku, on the end, is the cheater! He'll periodically use a Star-based attack that deals several hundred damage on any number of his opponents. It is still unknown whether or not having certain buffs or debuffs helps with this cheat.
Oddly enough (probably due to a glitch), he will randomly begin attacking himself with basic hits doing 450 damage... over, and over, and over. While this is probably intended, the number of times the hit is performed is not. After using almost anything, he'd begin hitting himself repeatedly. He quickly killed himself off for us. The others do not appear to cheat, so kill them as you please.
Finally, your hard work pays off! You get a lovely 47,000 XP or so, plus a shiny new badge - and the longest one yet! You can now be a Master of Karate and Friendship. As you can see, it looks quite strange in your badge book because it's so long!
Thanks, Kelsey, Anthony, and Cody for the run! It was fun! This is one card I definitely won't be missing out on!
Thanks for reading, and see you in the Spiral!