Honor of the Waves (HOTW) is set on the Kodan’s sanctuary, a now ship which has been infested with Jormag’s corrupted servants. Ravaged by the Sons of Svanir, it’s your job to rid the ship of the corrupted icebrood and protect the Kodan’s magical artifacts. Each path can be quite lengthy if you’ve an inexperienced group but with experience, can take as little as 20 minutes. It should also be noted that two bosses are underwater, so be sure to have good trident, spear or harpoon gun at the ready. In this first guide, we cover path 1: “Ginva the Butcher”.
The main enemy you will encounter throughout HOTW come in all shapes and sizes and tend to mirror Guild Wars 2 professions. They’re all classed as Icebrood but with a post fix denoting their “type” such as Icebrood Berserker, Icebrood Seer or Icebrood Hunter. In many respects all you need to do is pay attention to the weapon being wielded by the Icebrood enemy and it becomes relatively apparent what “profession” they are. I’d recommend you target the Seer’s and Hunters first, based on them replicating (to some degree) the ranger and elementalist, which are incredibly annoying to fight against.
Corrupted Quaggan, Barracuda and Jellyfish inhabit two of the three paths, with all of them being silver elite monsters. Contrary to this, they have a lot of health and hit like a truck. It’s best to keep them at range and avoid them at all costs or you’ll quickly find yourself drowning and asking to be revived. Thankfully many of them can be avoided with clever use of skills or just generally swimming past them as quickly as you can. Be careful when trying to escape the Corrupted Quaggan however as they can still attack you on land!
Sons of Svanir
Although technically bosses, the Sons of Svanir are the main legendary mini bosses you’ll encounter throughout each path. They tend to hit hard and have far too much health but most are easily killed in tank and spank encounters. Aldus Stormbringer is particularly annoying due to his immunity shield.
Unlike some other dungeons, HOTW has events inside it. Technically I’d consider this term a little generous, but generally speaking if you see a Dragon Totem (a large vertical iced structured) it will be surrounded by some Icebrood and if you destroy it, you’ll receive a reasonable amount of experience and karma. You are free to not kill the Totems and won’t be penalised for not doing so, but based on how easy they are to kill, you might as well.
Bosses – “Ginva the Butcher”
Champion Icebrood Troll
After killing the Icebrood and catapults in the first room, there is a Dragon Totem in the entrance to the second that can be killed while standing on the small bridge. Once this is destroyed, finish off the Icebrood protecting it and hang to the left hand wall before climbing the staircase in front of you. Once at the top of the stairs and after walking right across the bridge, you and your party should slow down a little and wait for the Icebrood Wolves to finish their patrol. They’ll walk back across the second bridge to the far left platform, allowing you to run forward to the far wall in front of you. At this point you should drop down into the courtyard below and head straight for the locked door that should now be at your back. When in this position the Wolves won’t be aggravated by you and you’ll be free to tank and spank the Troll, saving you considerable fight-time. After killing the Troll, head on through to the next room, ensuring you loot the chest that appears beside the doors.
- Ensure you take the stairs after killing the Dragon Totem to avoid another wave of Icebrood.
- Pay attention to the Icebrood Wolves patrol and only jump down into the courtyard from above when they are all the way over the second bridge.
- When you drop down into the courtyard, move straight to the locked door to fight the Troll. This will ensure you don’t aggravate the wolves.
Aldus Stormbringer is one of the easiest bosses in HOTW and can be killed incredibly quickly. When you enter his chamber, he will be stood on the stairs preaching to a horde of Icebrood. Thankfully these aren’t elite enemies and can be mowed down in seconds by AOE attacks. If you have a mesmer with you, make sure they drop Feedback on the group instantly. It will result in all the Icebrood instantly attacking and killing themselves, leaving only Aldus to fend for himself.
Aldus Stormbringer has several skills:
- A projectile AOE ice attack that can be dodged, blocked and is relatively low in damage.
- Small frost AOE ice shards that spawn either side of the room on an almost continuous basis.
The method to killing Aldus is a little contentious and having killed him well over 30 times, the best method I’ve found is to kill all the guards in the room (as described above) before running past Aldus and up the stairs. All the players should then wait on the gantry above to kill any additional guards that spawn. Once these are killed (if they haven’t run away or de-spawned) you are free to attack him from the gantry above or return back to the top of the stairs. Guards protecting Aldus will appear when he loses 10% of his health but for the most part can be ignored as if you focus just on Aldus, they’ll de-spawn. Ensure you avoid any area of effect attacks and the encounter is little more than a tank and spank.
- Attack the Icebrood as soon as you enter the room with area of effect skills. Once they’re dead, run up the stairs past Aldus and onto the Gantry above.
- Kill any Icebrood that follow you as quickly as possible and return to the top of the stairs.
- Attack Aldus from range, paying attention to any AOE attacks he fires at you.
- When he loses 10% of his health, his guards will spawn. However, if you continue to concentrate on Aldus they will de-spawn. Repeat this process until he is dead before looting the chest.
Although not a boss, I’ve known the Ice Path cause significant problems for groups (I’ve no idea why). When you’ve killed Aldus, a hole will appear in the ground at the foot of the stairs. Your party should jump down to the gantry below where you will see a series of Icebrood and ballistas. To save you significant time, you don’t have to kill any of these and can simply run past them. Hang to the right hand side and climb the small staircase, before double-backing and jumping over the ballistas before heading down the tunnel ahead. In the tunnel are a series of traps that will knock you down and at the bottom of the tunnel is an Icebrood Ranger. The trick here is to walk backwards and when you do get knocked down; your character will fly all the way to the bottom of the tunnel. Yes it’s a bug, but a brilliant one.
- Just down the hole after killing Aldus and have your party move to the right hand side of the room, facing the ballistas.
- In front of one of the ballistas (on the right) is a staircase; have your party climb this and use it as a stepping stone to leap over the ballistas.
- Once past, walk backwards at the entrance to the tunnel and when a trap is triggered you’ll fly backwards to the Champion Icebrood at the end.
- After killing the Champion Icebrood, pull the chain to open the doors.
Ginva The Butcher
Ginva The Butcher is an interesting boss because there are several methods of killing him, with many groups having their own method. When you enter his chamber, you will see 3 Dragon Totems: Regeneration, Retaliation and Protection (Regeneration and Retaliation are next to each other). The 2 main methods of killing him are:
- Pulling him into a corner, away from the totems, and damaging him as quickly as possible.
- Have several members of your party focus on the totems so that he has fewer buffs, with the remainder of the party attacking him.
I would recommend that you ignore the Regeneration and Retaliation Totems as they are negligible at best. However, the Protection Totem does cause the fight to drag on due to the reduced damage he receives. The best approach I’ve found is to have two of your party (who aren’t condition focused) kill the Protection Totem every time it spawns, before turning their attention back onto Ginva The Butcher. Not only will this keep the protection boon from him, but will also allow your party to almost continuously attack him. Alternatively, have all 5 members of your party attack the Protection Totem when it spawns which will allow you to kill it in seconds. A good way of speeding the fight up a little more is to have all your party equip boon removal skills. A mesmer is particularly excellent here with Arcane Thievery, Null Field and Shattered Concentration Trait (that removes boons), giving an almost constant rotation of removal.
- Have all your party equip boon removal skills or traits before entering the room.
- Agree with your party who will focus on the Protection Totem.
- Ensure you call target on the Protection Totem every time it appears so if the rest of the party want to help destroy it, they can quickly switch.
- Try to rotate your boon removal skills between the party, so the regeneration and retaliation boons are constantly removed.