Raid Review 5: Reaver’s Fate
History: released with module 4 in April 2007 and slated to receive epic treatment in winter of 2013. The raid has had a few tweaks, mostly to the number of air elementals that spawn. However the raid boss did see an increase to his spell casting via application of metamagics.
In February 2013 Gianthold received the epic treatment but instead of revamping this raid epic gianthold was given a new raid (which had epic versions of the old raid’s loot) called The Fall of Truth.
Quest pack: Ruins of Gianthold
Flagging: first there are 3 quests to run. Then you needed to turn in 9 each of 3 different relics, it used to be 20 but now none are required. Then you need to run the pre-raid, gianthold tor. There is no reflagging of any kind. You used to have to kill the dragons in Tor, but you don’t anymore.
Objective: stop the Stormreaver from using his doomsday device.
Overview: the long awaited return of the Stormreaver is here and he intends to exact his revenge for the Truthful One’s betrayal by activating his doomsday device. You must stop him.
What’s really going on: The Stormreaver is pissed and he’s going to destroy the world. Play with him until he gets 9 big skulls in the sky to spin then kick his butt and deactivate the device. Do all of this as you are being hurled about the room by legions of air elementals. And just to make it fun, the Stormreaver can manipulate the laws of gravity for brief periods of time. Oh yeah, this whole thing is timed.
Best raid features: great use of a puzzle in a raid, necessary to do but easily doable. Those who like puzzles can actually think, those that don’t can use a solver (its literally the game Mastermind). The goal isn’t to kill the boss outright, that’s always more interesting. The boss also has a mechanic that replenishes spell points for players who learn how it works (let him zap you a few times and then don’t get zapped again til the juice runs out). The best part though is you get to fly and at least one brave soul gets to fly through a spike filled tunnel. The penalty box was also a popular form of punishment for dying (if you died you went to a holding room until someone was able to let you out or the raid was completed).
Worst raid features: legions of air elementals. It used to be that each orb being lit would spawn a bunch. That was later changed to only 4 of the 5. When air elementals got nerfed it wasn’t bad, then they got stronger and were given the cyclonic blast ability which clears AoE effects. You also used to need to wait to attack the Stormreaver in case you killed him. Since they increased his hit points this became less of a concern.
Prominent builds/Key roles: it used to be that anyone who got pushed into the role could tank and the game “how low can you go” passed the time, but once the Stormreaver learned metamagics, his disintegrate became a concern and you needed some reasonable hit points and a halfway decent healer.
How we used to run it: if you could you ran it solo. Back then the raid chest always dropped 2 items regardless of how many people were there.
How we run it now: with the first 12 people we can find. If there’s no true healer it just makes the run far more interesting. Although these days there are a lot more self healing options.
Why we used to run it: with no reflagging and the first place to find +3 tomes many people ran this every 3 days. Also, madstone boots were a staple of every melee’s wardrobe until it was changed. The healer gloves and the madstone shield were also very popular and only just recently found popular replacements.
Why we run it now: with the increased availability of +3 tomes and the replacement/nerfing of the popular pieces of gear this raid has very sharply become less popular to run in recent months. However it’s still a short raid and run today for those who still want a piece of named loot.
Notable loot: madstone boots, madstone shield (tower shield that comes with proficiency!), gauntlets of eternity (one of the very few items that came with major healing lore), +3 tomes.
What you need to know: don’t venture into the middle once the 4th orb is lit and don’t hug the walls. Both will lead to death via impaling. Don’t kill the Stormreaver until the fly lever has been pulled. If you try to go for the penalty box lever to let everyone out be warned, its a perilous spike filled route.
Best way to fail: kill the Stormreaver before the lever is pulled (you need him to cast fly on someone to reach it – which he won’t do until all 9 orbs are energized). Bring a puzzler who can’t even use a solver.
Bonus Tidbits: this raid was released when level cap was raised to 14. This raid was the reason raid loot mechanics were changed from there always being 2 items to each individual getting a chance to get their own raid loot. It was so easy to short man and many people were able to solo it, then invite their friends in to claim the loot they didn’t want.
Personal favorite moment: I once formed a group that didn’t get any healers. Someone asked how we could do it and I replied I would heal (I was on my paladin who did not have UMD) and that he shouldn’t be scared. He dropped group, we completed, and no one died. Most of the party even found it more fun. (This was before the switch to spell power).