As the third part of our guide to Twilight Arbor’s (TA) explorable mode, we’re covering the path “Forward > Up”. I would consider this route a little trickier than the other two based on the second to last and last boss being difficult. Thankfully most of the “trash” enemies are Husks, making for a relatively simple run through. This path still has the potential to be incredibly quick (I’ve completed it in as little as 22 minutes) but has certain sections that can cause a real headache. As with the previous Twilight Arbor guides, I’ve listed below the very basics you will need to know for the dungeon. It should also be noted that you will always need to kill the Greater Nightmare Vine for each path.
TA is a condition heavy dungeon that also has a large amount of pack enemies, from spiders to hounds. Everyone in the party should have at least 1 condition removal skill and all party members should also ensure they have a ranged option as well as a melee weapon capable of dealing with these groups quickly. If you have AOE skills, taking at least 1 is also a must. Due to the Blossoms (see below), it is also recommend to take skills which grant quickness so you can kill enemies easily before they respawn.
These are small flowers that litter the paths and walkways of much of the dungeon and if touched or not-quite-killed, will release a poisonous gas in a large radius. Thankfully they are incredibly easy to kill in just 1 or 2 hits however they will re-spawn after around 10 seconds. If you are caught in the cloud it is highly likely you will die unless you immediately dodge or move away. However, you must be sure that when you move away you don’t actually trigger another Blossom that has respawned. An effective method is to kill all Blossoms but have 1 member of the party keeping an eye out for them. Alternatively, using swiftness/stealth to bypass them is the safest bet.
These are the hounds I described earlier and are an evil version of the rangers pet. They are silver elite enemies and will attack as a group of 4. For the most part they deal very little damage but can poison and pounce. The Mastiff’s also tend to be in areas where there is a large quantity of Blossoms, meaning you have to damage them incredibly quickly. Using a Time Warp or other quickness skills is the best method, but it’s also viable to pull them to safe areas before the Blossoms.
The giant Ent type creatures aren't anything to be particularly worried about as they move slowly and attack very little. They do however have a powerful knockdown so be careful. You'll only really encounter them in large groups on the third route of TA.
Twilight Arbor is full of spiders but mostly on the route “Let's Go Up”. Some of the spiders (Undergrowth Stonetouch) can completely freeze you in place, that isn’t actually a condition (it simply isn’t classed as anything) so you are entirely vulnerable for its duration. The best method to deal with these is to focus on the Jumping Spiders first, while AOEing the others. Ensuring you also keep your distance with ranged weapons is also a good approach.
Pro Tip: After the second boss, on “Let's Go Up” you’ll encounter the second webbed area, indicating spiders are near. If you have a Mesmer or Thief in your party, cloaking as you run into the room, while continuing to run forward, will allow you to avoid a whole host of enemies.
These are arguably the most dangerous enemies in the dungeon as they will erupt from the ground and spew projectiles at you and onto the floor. When the projectiles land they’re indicated in a series of small red circles. If triggered, they deal a huge amount of damage. It’s actually incredibly hard to predict or avoid their fire as the red warning circles only appear half a second before the blast. The best method to deal with vines is to actually get up close and personal as the only attack they can then do is a sort of stomp which is easily dodged.
Nightmare Court Knight
The equivalent of a Hammer Warrior, they are capable of dealing huge damage, knocking you down constantly and generally being a real pain. Targetting and killing these quickly is critical to surviving as they will lock you in to a permanent knocked-down state if you aren’t careful. Keep them at range and nuke them down.
Nightmare Court Duelist
The equivalent of a Dagger Thief, the Duelist will deal massive damage if left unchecked and is capable of stealthing regularly. If you see them stealth, dodge to avoid their attack and once they have appeared, focus them down as they do die quickly.
Nightmare Court Archer
The equivalent of a Longbow Ranger, the Archer hits single targets hard and from afar. If you have skills that deflect projectiles (such as Feedback Bubble) you’ll quickly kill them, but be sure not to leave them at the back firing away. Thankfully they don’t drop traps, which is a relief.
Nightmare Court Sorcerer
The equivalent of a Focus Elementalist, these can hit incredibly hard with their AOE and single target attacks however they seem to attack very little meaning they aren’t the first priority.
Nightmare Court Cultist
The equivalent of a Focus Necromancer, they really do very little besides using Locust Swarm and casting a few poison blasts, so are easily killed and easily ignored. Leave these until last.
Please note that the Twilight NPC’s above are in order of kill priority.
Bosses – "Let's Go Forward >Up!"
Greater Nightmare Vine
The first boss encounter sees you enter a bowl shaped area. To the left of where you walk in is a raised section overlooking the bowl below. When you enter the area, a single vinewill appear in front of you towards the centre of the bowl. Like other areas of the dungeon there are Blossoms just before the vines and surrounding the bowl. The best tactic here is for your melee players, after the Blossoms have been killed, to charge in and kill it quickly.
If you don’t kill it quickly, other vines will begin to appear around the bowl. After you have killed 3 vines the giant vine at the centre of the bowl will appear. Like the others, attacking this in melee range will see that it is unable to use its projectile attack, significantly reducing its damage potential. It should be noted that vines will continue to appear after the main boss, so tasking one person of your party to focus on the Nightmare vine and the other 4 on the additional vines is a good tactic. The moment you kill the Nightmare vine the smaller ones will also vanish.
- Vines appear in sequential order around the bowl, with the first appearing just in front of you as you enter the area.
- Killing the vines quickly is incredibly important as more will appear around the bowl the moment you start to fight.
- It is best to kill the vines in melee range as this stops them using their ranged AOE attack.
- After killing 3 vines the Nightmare vine will appear. Like the smaller vines, jump in at melee range to attack it.
- Be wary of Blossoms, these spawn in and around the bowl every 10 seconds. Having 1 member of your party stay at range to focus on these is a viable option as the individual can then aim at the other vines or Nightmare Vine when the Blossoms are dead.
- Vines will continue to appear as long as the Nightmare Vine is alive. If you kill the Nightmare Vine, the others will disappear.
- Having 3 of your party attack the smaller vines, 1 on the Nightmare Vine and 1 at range (focusing on the Nightmare Vine when they can) works incredibly well.
- Run past the Defiler to the grassy mound behind it. This will allow you to avoid the blossoms.
- Once on the mound, focus on one Flametouched Husk at a time.
- Once the Flametouched Husks are killed, focus all damage on the Defiler (tank and spank).
- During the fight, you’ll become attached by Bees (you can’t really see them) indiciated by a small green icon next to your health. Remove the Bees by dodging.
I’d like to be able to say that this section of the dungeon is easy, but it really isn’t. There are however some tricks for doing it efficiently while preventing your entire party from wiping. After you’ve killed the Defiler, over the bridge is a slope with water erupting from the floor. Above the water are a series of Bee hives which will swarm and instantly kill you the moment you get too close. Over the bridge before the slope is a fountain which you can interact with that will provide you with a sap to turn invisible. However, although the Bees won’t attack you while invisible, the water will wash it off if you touch any of the erupting puddles.
If you’re a defensive guardian it is possible with swiftness and Aegis to make it past the Bees even after your invisibility has been washed off but this takes skill and practice. To be on the safe side, it is easiest for one player to stand on the left side once invisible and be patient. Wait until the circular indicators for the erupting water disappear before moving up the ramp.
Once you’ve made it to the top of the ramp, continue to run forward and do not stop. This will trigger the water to stop flowing, allowing the rest of your team to pass through freely. I should add that an experienced mesmer using portals is excellent here as they can quickly place a portal, run past the bee hives and place the portal exit at the top, bringing their entire party to them in an instant.
Vevina is a tough boss as she stacks a lot of conditions, can turn invisible and her Chaos Storm deals a huge amount of damage. This fight is much easier if you keep Leurent alive by using splash heals and a guardians tome. Quickly killing the Husks that guard Vevina so they don’t finish of Leurent is key if you want the fight to be much quicker as Leurent will soak up a lot of Vevina’s attacks.
Generally speaking all you and your party need to do is be aware of the Chaos Storm and to dodge immediately out of it, stop attacking when you are stacked with Confusion and don’t use Haste skills (you might get caught with a Confusion stack and kill yourself). Other than that, simply damage Vevina down.
- After exiting the tunnel, fighting through the waves of Nightmare Pups, head straight to the boss and begin attacking the Husks.
- Try to keep Leurent alive (this makes the fight easier) by using splash heals or a guardians elite tome.
- If Leurent does or doesn’t survive, begin attacking Vevina as soon as the Husks are dead.
- Be careful of her Chaos Storm as this can kill you in seconds.
- Be aware that she stacks considerable amounts of Confusion so avoid using Haste skills as you will kill yourself.
- Vevina will apply boons to herself, if she does ensure you remove or steal them.
The last boss is a Nightmare Tree in the middle of a circular room that spawns lots and lots of poisonous spiders. Similarly to the path "Let's Go Up!" you don't have to venture very far into the room. The easiest method to defeat this boss is to simply stand in the entrance and attack it from ranged. When some spiders appear near you (only one or two), simply kill them and return to attacking the Nightmare Tree. You will need plenty of condition removal and be aware the spiders do hurt and the most important thing is to not use AOE attacks. This attracts more spiders!
- Enter the room.
- Stand in the entrance.
- Attack the spiders when they appear, continuing to attack the Nightmare Tree once they are dead.
- Don't use AOE attacks!