Twilight Arbor (TA) seems to have a reputation for being difficult and having ran the dungeon for the first time with guild members on Tuesday it was living up to its reputation, with the first route taking over 2 hours. What was most surprising to play it through for the second time yesterday, was just how easy it actually is. I've now completed all three routes with the second being much longer (about 40 minutes) compared to 20-25 minutes for the first and third routes.
If you are intending to farm the Twilight armour sets or the Nightmare weapons, I’d recommend you run all paths based on the fact you will be rewarded with a total of 180 Tokens. This guide covers the "Let's Go Up" route, with a further two guides coming soon.
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 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.
The second boss encounter (after battling through many spiders) is a relatively large spider that descends from the ceiling. Unlike the Wurm encounter, this is relatively simple. The Spider has two attacks: a conal AOE attack that deals large damage and poison, the second is a ranged AOE poison spray the fires across the room. For the most part all you need to do is attack the spider from behind (if you are melee) to avoid the poison cone, and if ranged be ready to dodge when the poison attack is fired. The tricky part with this boss is that it gets more powerful the weaker it gets, meaning by the time it’s a ¾ health, it can kill you in one hit. Reviving your team mates quickly is key if they go down while there are some additional spiders that appear, so be careful.
- Be ready to avoid the spiders two sets of attacks: conal poison or ranged aoe. If you are melee, attack it from behind. If you are ranged, just be prepared to dodge.
- The spider gets stronger the weaker it gets so be sure to save your dodge for when you really need it or you can be killed in one hit.
- The spider does have some additional spiders that come to its aid but these are easily killed with a little bit of kiting and AOE attacks.
- The two attacks from the spider are poison so save your condition removal for when you really need it.
The third boss is a corrupted Sylvari that transforms into a giant spider half way through the fight. As you walk down the ramp into her spiders nest, the circular room is littered with eggs. Do not touch the eggs! If you do they will break and release a series of spiders. The best tactic here is for one person to walk down the ramp into the egg room (while the others wait in the ramp room) and pull the Spider Queen to your party. You can then pull the Spider Queen up the ramp and away from her eggs, while backing her into a corner. All you then need to do is attack her as quickly as possible with all that you’ve got. The only thing you will need to be aware of is that when you first pull her, a very small group of silver elite spiders will come with her. Secondly, she will spawn tiny spiders that when killed erupt in a cloud of poison. Having one member of your party deal with this makes life much easier.
- Have your party stay in the enclosed ramp room and send one member out to tag the Spider Queen to pull her into the room with you.
- Back the Spider Queen into a corner in the ramp room so that you can pin her down and avoid the egg room.
- Be aware that she spawns small spiders that erupt in poison clouds when killed. Have one of your party deal with these quickly with AOE attacks.
- Be aware that she turns into a Spider half way through the fight, and is capable of dealing more poison damage. Have your condition removal skills to hand!
- Do not go into the egg room until she is dead! Once she is dead, walk through the egg room without touching any.
The last boss is a Nightmare Tree in the middle of a circular room that spawns lots of turrets, similar to the Sylvari racial skill. Luckily you can avoid 99% of these by standing in the entrance and simply dodging the thorn attack when you notice the red ring under your feet.
- Enter the room.
- Stand in the entrance.
- Dodge the thorns when you see the red warning ring.