As the second part of our guide to Twilight Arbor’s (TA) explorable mode, we’re covering the path “Forward > Forward”. I would consider this route just as easy at “Let’s Go Up” but there are some tricky groups to fight especially with the number of Nightmare Court Knights. Overall and with a little practice, this can be just as quick as “Let’s Go Up” with much of the content easily avoided. As with the previous Twilight Arbor guide, 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 routes “Forward > Forward” and “Forward > Up”.
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. Targeting 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 – “Forward > Forward”
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.
Prior to choosing the path “Forward > Forward” you will need to first select “Forward” when prompted after killing the Greater Nightmare Vine, which will take you down into a small circular room with two raised areas on either side. When you activate the story, two sets of 3 Rangers will spawn on either side of you. Simply kill these one side at a time (they are very easy). After you have cleared the enemies, you will then be presented with the option to go Forward again.
Leurent’s Elite Guard
To arrive at Leurent’s Elite Guard you will need to swim through an underwater area just after selecting the “Forward > Forward” option. Once on the other side of the water, move immediately to the right hand side of the area, hugging the wall. As you do so, you’ll see a bridge in front of you that you need to use, which is sadly being blocked by a Court Warder. Luckily for you and contrary to what many people think, you don’t actually have to kill the Court Warder. All you need to do is stay close together as a group, have someone cast swiftness and run past him across the bridge. Once you’ve run past him, keep running all the way to the back of the Leurent’s Elite Guard room and the Court Warder will reset. Easy.
Now that you are inside the room with Leurent’s Elite Guard, you will see that the 4 Nightmare Court Archers are protected by 4 barriers. Do not touch the barriers or you will die instantly. There are two options for you here: the first is to equip a projectile ranged weapon such as a rifle, bow or pistol which cut through the barriers and allow you to damage the Archers. However, some physical spells won’t pass through. If you’re a mesmer this means your phantasms will die or cannot damage the Archers. As an Elementalist or Necromancer, I’d recommend you take the Staff so that you can ground target the Archer inside the bubble.
The second option is for melee players. You will notice when looking at the minimap a “Gear” icon moving around the room. This icon rotates in a clockwise pattern around the room and when above a barrier, players using the teleport entrances move inside where the “Gear” is located. At this point, you can merrily kill the Archer causing the barrier guarding him to break and allow you to exit freely. You should note that there is a little delay after killing an Archer and the barrier stopping working. Just wait a few seconds after killing the Archer before running out to the next, otherwise you will be killed.
Do make sure that when targeting each Archer that you don’t stand in the middle of the room otherwise all four Archers will target you at once and as they stack burning conditions, they can hurt. Try to position yourself so you’re only being attacked by one or two at the most. Repeat the “Gear” teleporting/ranged damage until all four Archers are dead, at which point a chest will appear.
- After choosing the “Forward > Forward” path make your way through the water.
- Hug the right hand wall immediately and use swiftness to run across the bridge and past the Court Warder.
- Inside the room with Laurent’s Elite Guard, position yourself right at the back and have your team equip ranged weapons. Spell casters should use ground targeted AOE.
- Use the portals in the room to enter the barriers, only when the “Gear” icon is above the Archer you are attacking.
- Do not touch the barriers as you will die instantly.
- Once an Archer has been killed, the barrier surrounding it will disappear. However, don’t exit immediately (wait a moment) as there is a bug which causes the barrier to still be in effect.
- Repeat the process for all four Archers.
The third boss in the dungeon is Leurent himself, one of the most difficult in all of TA. What makes this encounter so difficult is the fact that he is surrounded by three Nightmare Court Knights, all of which will attack you with knockdowns and stuns the moment you attack Leurent. Fortunately he is easy; his guards however are the problem. The easiest method to deal with this is to pull one Knight at a time, using knockbacks and block skills (take a staff guardian!) on the others when they come, causing them to walk back to Leurent. Although it will take some practice and you’ll likely pull all three at once the first few attempts, it’s relatively simple to achieve. Once you have mastered pulling and killing the Knights one at a time, all you then need to do is pull Leurent who deals little damage and is easily killed from range. For the melee players in your party, they should ensure they stay behind him.
- Use a profession capable of quickly one Knight at a time. A thief with Scorpion Wire is great here or a rifle warrior.
- Once you have pulled a Knight, all of them will try to attack you including Leurent.
- Use knockback, cripple and blocking skills to prevent the 2 other Knights and Leurent reaching your party.
- If successful, Leurent and his two remaining Knights will return to their original position allowing you to kill the lone Knight.
- If you are a guardian ensure you bring a staff as you excel here, with the ability to completely block the Leurent and his other Guardians from moving to you.
- Kite the Knight until he is dead as he has powerful stuns and knockdowns.
- Repeat the process for each Knight until Leurent is by himself.
- After pulling Leurent ensure you keep him at range and if melee, stay behind him. Like his Knights he has a lot of health as well as powerful stuns and knockdowns.
The last boss is a Nightmare Tree in the middle of a circular room that differs to “Let’s Go Up” in the enemies it spawns and the skills it uses. For the most part, it is still really easy just a little trickier. The Nightmare Tree will spawn a series of huge Oakhearts that have a lot of health and which are also capable of immobilizing you. The easiest method to deal with the entire boss is to simply ignore the Oakhearts and kite around the Nightmare Tree while damaging it. As the Oakhearts are incredibly slow, they are easily avoided and can also be knocked back and/or crippled. Kiting around the Nightmare Tree avoiding the Oakhearts isn’t necessarily a fancy way of killing the boss, but it is guaranteed to work while being pain free. If you are rooted (happens very rarely) simply kill the binding roots.
- Enter the room.
- Have all members of the party kite around the Nightmare Tree attacking it.
- Be ready to dodge the Oakhearts that spawn.
- Use knockback skills or cripples if the Oakhearts get too close.