A while back, towards the end of 2008, I wrote a Guide to the Abbot v1.0. Since 2008, a lot has changed about the Abbot, including the mechanics of it; and it has largely now been deemed bug-free.
As such, I've revised the guide considerably; taking into account all the changes of Module 9 and beyond.
In this version you can find:
- Materials, spells and potions necessary for successfully completing
- How to assemble a group
- Gear that makes the raid easier
- Tactics about the pre-fight
- Tactics for successfully completing the puzzles
- Tactics about dealing with the post-fight, including Inferno
- Other hints & tips that should make the Ascension Chamber generally more doable
The guide can be downloaded from here: (courtesy of Jerry's DDOCast website)
Alternatively, I have pasted the guide below so that you can view it without having to download. Ideally, download the PDF as it is layed out in a format much easier to read.
Apologies is there are little spelling mistakes, or errors in general, however it is quite a detailed guide.
Thanks for your time, and happy Abboting.
A Guide to the Abbot v2.0Overview
The Ascension Chamber (aka The Abbot) was the raid implemented during the second part of the Necropolis installation in 2007.
It is largely an un-ran raid, with less than (approximately) 10% of the DDO population running it on a regular basis; both in the EU and in the US.
While it has surpassed almost unnoticed, quite a dedicated part of the population has spent time working on tactics and methodology for what I consider the most challenging of raids currently in the game.
What follows is a detailed summary of the quest in terms of what happens; how to tackle problems that occur; and advice with regard to approaching the quest. I feel the need to say that this is just my point of view, and to those that question the contents should spend some time in the quest, understanding the mechanics of it.
I hope what follows helps your understanding of the quest.
Setup for Abbot
While there is no right or wrong setup with the Abbot; there are roles for each class to play. One of the most important aspects of the Abbot is that nobody has a passive role; as is the case in some other raids.
Below is a rundown of the three arch-types of classes and the roles to play within the Abbot:
Healers – it is largely important to play a traditional healing role in the Ascension Chamber. Having a cleric who is quick a mass healing is imperative, and even quicker on raising dead companions, and having a cleric who knows they’re spells is also important.
Arcanes – become nukers in the Abbot. Generally most Abbot groups will have lots of arcane casters, due to the loot being more favourable to those classes. Essentially the role of the arcane caster in the Abbot is to help DPS both the boss, and clear the floor of any additional mobs. (Spell Selection for arcane casters follow)
Melee – having a melee with a decent intimidate score is a huge burden off the group, since you can draw the aggro of the Abbot away from the rest of the group. Melee is also the easiest way to take him down in terms of DPS, and as with every other quest in the game, is a good way to take the pressure off the arcane casters and clerics in your group. Whilst ideally it’s good to have a good amount of melee classes in your group, it is largely unlikely because the raid loot favours arcane casters and healers.
All in all, a good blend of all classes in the Abbot makes for the ideal setup.
Spell Selection for Caster Classes
All – Remove Curse, Fire Shield (Cold variation to survive Inferno, and Abbot DBF), Haste
Clerics - FoM, Remove Paralysis, Prot Energy, Greater Restoration, Mass Restoration, Mass DW, Break Enchantment
Arcanes - Jump, Control Undead, Chill Touch, Disintegrate, Delayed Blast Fireball, Acid Fog, Break Enchantment
Rangers - FoM, Jump, Prot Energy
Paladins - DW, Prot Energy
Cleric – Atonement (prevents you being Quelled, and not being able to cast)
• Permanent Greater Fire/Elec/Cold Items
• Raise Dead/True Resurrection Clickies
• Silver Flame Tier 3 Necklace (Absorbing Enervation from the Quells during fights.)
• Firestorm Greaves – one of the most useful items to help when Inferno is called. If you have a pair of these, then this is probably the ideal quest in which to use them.
• Ice Cloak – the casts of Cold Shield again is useful, particularly when Inferno is called (Inferno will be discussed later in this document).
• Jump Item/Clickie - helps for Ice Puzzle & Phase Puzzle jumping.
• Robes – AC is somewhat pointless in the Abbot, as most/all the mobs in there are incorporeal. Using robes instead of armour allows you to switch between interesting combinations more quickly, and give you more mobility in moving around.
Potions – Remove Paralysis; Haste; Jump; Lesser Restoration; Cure Serious; Remove Curse; Major Memonic; Silver Flame Potions.
Scrolls – Restoration; Greater Restoration; Mass Restoration; Heal; Fire Shield;
The First Fight
Upon entering, you will be presented with a blue force bridge to the Abbot’s domain. That large octagonal platform to which the bridge leads is where the main fight takes place.
When you enter move across the blue force bridge, and just onto the platform. Do not step far onto it because it will trigger the Abbot; and the blue force bridge will drop.
NOTE: The area around the main platform is filled with insta-death acid.
The idea is simple – take the Abbot down to 2/3 of his health bar (66%). That is the stage when he disappears and frees you up to do the puzzles (of which there are 3).
The best form of DPS at the outset is to melee; this ensures the clerics and casters do not have aggro and also means they are conserving mana for the post fight. Use blunt weapons where possible, and if you have an intimitank use him/her to take much of the aggro.
When the Abbot disappears, three dimension doors will appear. These are referred to as ‘Left’, ‘Right’ and ‘Centre’.
Deciding who goes where
Each of the three dimension doors leads to a different puzzle. However which door leads to which puzzle is random each run.
To combat this, groups use different puzzle solving tactics. I will outline the two that I think are the most successful, and the most used.
The ‘Everybody has a part to play’ tactic
In this tactic, as the title suggests, every member of the raid group goes to a puzzle and actively plays a role at completing them. This tactic works best if you have 10-12 people, all of whom feel relatively comfortable with the quest. That being said, as long as you have 6 people comfortable with the puzzles, this tactic usually works first time as well.
With this tactic, before you enter the Abbot, groups and roles need to be defined. These are as follows:
3 ‘Scouts’: These are the individuals that ‘scout’ the puzzles. These individuals need to be familiar with all three puzzles ideally, and their role is to find out which dimension door leads to which puzzle.
3 Asteroids Solvers: These are the individuals that go to the Asteroids puzzle.
1 Ice Solver: This is the individual that goes to the Ice puzzle.
5 Phase Solvers: These are the individuals that go to the Phase puzzle.
All in all, as the 3 scouts get sent to a different puzzle, you end up with the following composition: 6 Phase solvers; 2 Ice solvers; 4 Asteroids solvers.
How to execute this tactic? When the dimension doors appear, the three scouts each take a door leading to a puzzle. When they arrive at the puzzle, each scout says what each door is. For example, the scout that took the left dimension door may say ‘Left – Asteroids’ or ‘Left – Ice’, depending on what puzzle the left dimension door actually is. The Right and Centre scouts also do the same; and from this you are able to tell which puzzle is where.
Once the scouts notify the raid party which puzzle is where, the solvers then take the dimension doors to the puzzle they were assigned at the start.
For example, if one of the scouts said ‘Left – Asteroids’, then the 3 Asteroids solvers take the left dimension door, and end up at Asteroids.
The ‘Sit on your ass and shut up’ tactic
Quite often, due to the low demand of Abbot groups, you will sometimes end up with players less familiar to the quest, and to the puzzles. In this situation, it is quite commonplace to ask these players to take a more passive role in the puzzles.
In this tactic, roles are defined similar to that of the previous tactic, but the distribution is slightly different:
3 Scouts: as with the previous tactics
1 Ice Solver: as with the previous tactics
1 Phase Solver: as with the previous tactics
3 Asteroids Solvers: as with the previous tactics
4 Passive Asteroids Solvers: the role of these people
Here, the ‘Passive Asteroids Solvers’ go to the Asteroids puzzles, but when they get to the puzzle, they just /sleep. The purpose of this is two things: it allows the rest of the group to complete the puzzles unhindered; and it also ensures that when going back to the post-fight, the entire group is alive to take down the boss.
The only downside to this tactics is that on the Phase puzzle in particular, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket. If one person dies, you have to restart.
Actually completing the puzzles isn’t the objective of the Abbot. At each puzzle there are two sarcophagus’; totally 6. To make the Abbot immune to death (which is relative, since he’s already dead), all of these 6 sarcophagus’ must be broken, to remove the Abbot’s invulnerability.
On the Asteroids puzzle, these two sarcophagus’ appear at the end of the puzzle after you have completed it. They can be ranged or melee to be broken. After finishing the puzzle, ensure you do this before continuing.
On the Phase puzzle, one sarcophagus appears after you have completed the first part of the puzzle on the far end. Another sarcophagus appears on the far side of the second part of the puzzle. These too, can be melee’d.
Finally, in the Ice Puzzle, the sarcophagus’ are a little more tricky. The first sarcophagus appears roughly 1/3 into the course. The difficulty with this is that you are trying to cast ice islands, and break a sarcophagus simultaneously. To avoid this, before you start the puzzle take out a ranged weapon, and move as far right as you possible can on the starting platform. Once you are at the further point to the right, look towards the water, and in the distance (provided Draw Distance = high/very high) you will see the first sarcophagus. Smash this sarcophagus with a ranged weapon, before starting the puzzle. The second sarcophagus appears at the far end of the course. Do not worry yourself about smashing this sarcophagus until you have completed the puzzle, as it can be ranged from the end platform.
When you arrive at the puzzle, there will be two wands. Each pickup one. Before you start the puzzle, break the first sarcophagus as outlined above.
The idea is to cast ice islands, so you can cross the water. Bare in mind, the water is insta-death acid, as with the main area. The objective here is to navigate around the course, to the other side of the “maze”. You alternate casting the wand, pointing it at the water, so that it creates island.
This is how it is done:
1. Pick up a wand each. (NOTE: The wand has a cooldown of 12 seconds)
2. Once you have cast/drank jump and haste, and ensured you have featherfall equipped; the first person casts near the start of the water.
3. Jump to that ice island.
4. While the first person’s wand is on the timer, the second person casts with the wand; ensuring the island is a reasonably distance ahead (but close enough for you to jump onto).
5. Effectively, you repeat the casting stages over and over, alternating, until you reach the other side of the puzzle.
6. Once you have completed the puzzle, and get to the other side; pickup the additional ice wands that are situated to the left and the right.
The new wands are a must for the main room fight.
Some noteworthy points:
Be very careful when casting ice islands, to watch for the traps. The traps are in the form of darts that set out from the walls at regular intervals. These traps have no saves, and do damage of around 120 per tick. When casting the ice islands try and cast them in between these traps.
Do not stand on top of each other
Furthermore, when standing on the ice islands, ensure both of you are not standing on top of one another. If you are standing on top of each other, when casting the ice wands, they tend to behave erraticately and shoot upwards into the air. The best method is to have one person standing to the left or the ice island; and one person standing to the right of the ice island. You should establish this before you start casting.
(this is a new puzzle video, including the breaking of the sarcophagus’)
The objective of this puzzle is to survive the asteroids that are hurtling at you for approximately 2-3 minutes. If these asteroids strike the platform you are standing on, party members take roughly 150 damage. The method of executing this is to use the boulders situated in this puzzle, and throw them at the asteroids oncoming; destroying them.
This is how it is done:
1. If you are using the ‘Sit on your ass and shut up tactic’ the Passive Asteroid Solvers should immediate /sleep upon entering the Asteroid puzzle.
2. The remaining four Asteroid Solvers should pickup a set of boulders each, and get into formation on the platform. The best method of doing this is as follows:
Notice how the ‘Passive Puzzle Solvers’ are in the middle; these people must ensure they /sleep to not to be in the line of sight of those with the boulders.
Those with the boulders, face each other from the four corners of the platform, and shoot at the boulders in the area behind the person they are standing opposite. This ensures you have the maximum amount of time to hit the oncoming asteroids; and also gives you the widest view of the puzzle.
3. To ensure no problems occur, hot bar the boulders, and equip them as you would a throwing weapon.
4. When the asteroids start appearing in the sky, aim for them, and start shooting. The asteroids are large in size, and as such, it doesn’t require much skill to get them. Ensure you do not waste many of the boulders, as this puzzle lasts for a couple of minutes.
5. Once the portal spawns towards the end of the fight, you have technically completed the puzzle. However don’t assume that the asteroids stop. For around 20/30 seconds they will continue to fly at you, so its import you keep paying attention right until the end.
6. Once you have completed, pick up the spare stacks of rocks that will spawn; and wait to return to the main fight.
Some noteworthy points:
No spells, absolutely not!
In the Asteroids puzzle, you cannot cast any buffs or use any heal related items, including wands, potions and false life. This is to prevent you from ‘cheating’ the puzzle and healing through the damage taken by the asteroids. Generally, due to this, the person to trigger the Abbot fight post-puzzles should not be from the Asteroids puzzle as they are largely unable to buff.
(this is a new video, added as of later 2009)
The Phase Puzzle is the trickiest of the three puzzles, in that it requires you to rely completely on another member of your team.
The idea is simple. You must complete a full run across what appears to be an “empty” chasm. Unbeknown to you however, is what appears to be an empty chasm; is actually filled with invisible force bridges.
The invisible bridges are like a grid – being 4 rows in width, and 12 rows in length (plus a little bit at the end). Unfortunately the reason this puzzle is known as the ‘Phase’ puzzle is because the invisible bridges actually phase in and out; and that is where the difficulty in this puzzle lies. These phased bridges are combined with a number of static bridges which do not phase in and out; these will be referred to as ‘Safe Spots’ for the purpose of this guide.
Begin by equipping the Alpha Goggles (generally the best idea is to give the Goggles to the individual who is better at the puzzle). Those on the east side of the barrier should simply wait for instructions by the goggle wearer.
1. The Goggle Wearer should start by identifying a straight path across the chasm – which does ideally not involve veering left or right at any point. Generally using rows 1 or 2 is recommended for visibility and clarity, however sometimes it is required to use rows 3 or 4. Usually row 1 or 2 will have a valid path, unless it is one of those ‘1 in 20’ runs whereby a path doesn’t present itself as obvious. In these circumstances it’s occasionally necessary to get creative, and use side stepping and lots of jumping.
2. Following this, the Goggle Wearer should simulate running the path a couple of times to ensure that it is runnable for his/her partner.
3. Once sure on the path, the Goggle Wearer needs to line up the Chasm Runner in the correct position to begin.
4. After buffing as necessary; generally involving buffing/drinking haste and equipping featherfall; the Chasm Runner should indicate to the Goggle Wearer they are ready.
5. Without using any voice communications (because of the latency involved), the Goggle Wearer should start when ready, and the Chasm Runner should mirror the Goggle Wearer’s movement across the chasm – stopping where the Goggle Wearer stops.
a. Alternatively, if you do not feel comfortable with mirroring the movement of your partner, then use the minimap/map to do so. In this tactic, simply bring up the map, and instead of looking at the goggle wearer directly, look at their blue dot on the map, and align yourself with that as you move.
6. Once across the Chasm, take a minute…before realising now it’s your turn to switch jobs with the Goggle Wearer! (and don’t forget to break the sarcophagus!)
7. The previous Chasm Runner should run along the corridor up the steps, and equip the Beta Goggles. The previous Goggle Wearer should now go back along the lower corridor, and should stand at the large chasm on the West side of the barrier.
8. The two of you should now switch jobs, and try to complete the aforementioned steps for this part of the puzzle!
9. If you manage to complete this puzzle, a portal will appear on both sides of the chasm for you to go through, and back to the main fight.
The Main Fight
At this stage, it’s generally a good to have an idea of whether you’re going to be successful or not in that run. If you managed to complete all puzzles at the first attempt, great. You now only have to bring the Abbot down to 0% and claim victory (easier said than done however!).
If you managed to complete 2 of the puzzles, then great also. However when you bring the Abbot down to roughly 1/3 (33%) he will again teleport you away, and you will need to complete the missing puzzle in order to complete the quest.
The difficulty is that the Asteroid Puzzle is almost impossible second time around, as the asteroids have started spawning as you enter the platform (and knock you off almost immediately).
It’s generally accepted that if you don’t manage to complete all three puzzles first time around, then it’s better to recall and run it from the start again, instead of wasting resources.
It’s a good idea to coordinate returning to the main room when the time arises.
Always send one person to trigger the end fight through the portal. The main benefit of this is to avoid a possible Inferno, or in the case of Encasement, to ensure the clerics don’t all get encased at the same time.
This person should generally be a caster with firewall, and they should spam firewall to get the area rid of any trash mobs. This person should call out to the group upon entering what attack the Abbot does.
• If the attack is Inferno, the rest of the group should stay at the puzzles until the person that triggered the fight, gives the go-ahead.
• If the attack if Encasement, the melee’s should go through the portals; and the clerics should stagger their entrances a few seconds apart to ensure they don’t all get encased.
• If the attack is the Invisible Mobs or Disjunction, then the entire party should go through the portals to the main fight.
This is where the fight get’s interesting. Upon returning to the room, the Abbot will start 4 different types of attacks; for referential purposes, I’ll call them the following: The Invisible Mobs; Disjunction; Encasement; and Inferno.
Bare in mind the Abbot does not cast these at the same time; just one at a time.
The Invisible Mobs
The most unnoticeable of the four attacks, because you can’t see them (unless you’re wearing the Phase goggles). Essentially the Abbot spawns invisible mobs that will attack the group, and unfortunately you won’t be able to deal with them as comfortably as you would like.
If you have a virtuoso/bard specialised in fascination, with you capable of fascinating undead, then this too works against the Invisible Mobs – regardless of the goggles. In the same way, if you are a cleric specced for Turn Undead, then this is an effective place to utilise this.
This attack is probably the least harmful of the three, however can get problematic if several waves occur.
When the Abbot starts encasing mobs, you will definitely notice. Large rocks will appear on the platform, encasing your party members as the fight unfolds. Those party members will not be able to move or cast any spells. Each encasement lasts for 30 seconds, before it disappears.
The way to break these encasements is to use the rocks from the Asteroid Puzzle, assuming you completed it, and to throw them at the encasements, breaking them.
Unfortunately, other than the boulders from Asteroids, there is no way to break the encasements.
NOTE: Freedom of movement or the Kundarak Delving Boots no longer ward from encasement.
You know that rarely used wizard/sorcerer spell, Modenkainen’s Disjunction, that only ever makes an annoying appearance in the PvP pits? Well, it’s a favourite of the Abbot. And he likes to spam it at will.
Fortunately, as it is one of four attacks, he doesn’t have the chance to break all your equipment, but it can be a painful experience when he does cast it in there.
There is no way to prevent this when he does cast it; however one way to ensure you are able to continue unobstructed by this is to carry a second set of equipment with you, so that if you do get disjuncted, you can switch to it quickly midfight.
Easily the most difficult of the four attacks to deal with, Inferno is a large reason as to why many groups don’t complete the Abbot. For that reason, this is the attack we will focus.
When the Abbot calls upon Inferno, he will summon a firestorm that continually causes 150+ damage per tick, for around 20 seconds. Inferno also drains casters of mana at an insane rate, and as such, is the bane of most groups.
There are a couple of methods of dealing with inferno, depending on who you run it with, these people will employ different tactics. We will discuss two tactics; ‘Healing Through Inferno’, and the ‘Ice Islands’ tactic.
Healing Through Inferno
Whilst this may sound a little insane, it’s actually a walk in the park with a good cleric (or two) who has the right gear. The main emphasis of this tactic is to ensure that everybody stays in a tight group, and does not move from the clerics. If you do move from the clerics, be ready to die.
A Cleric’s Role
Healing through inferno requires a cleric with decent hit points; and decent gear to combat the inferno. On my cleric, I have the firestorm greaves; a shroud crafted fire absorption item; a shroud crafted fire resistance 45 cloak; and an ice cloak. With all of these active, healing through inferno is relatively easy, and as long as the other members of the group have some form of fire resistance, the generally surviving Inferno isn’t an issue.
Ensure that as a cleric you have quicken, and any two of empower heal/maximise/empower turned on as a minimum.
The Rest of the Group
After three ‘ticks’ of Inferno (which you can usually tell), everybody must drink a curse removal pot, or cast the spell on themselves. If this is done correctly, at this point you will stop taking damage from inferno even though it seems as though inferno is still continuing. At this point, you can continuing to beat down on the Abbot. This is the main trick to Inferno. Always ensure you carry enough remove curse potions on you.
The Ice Islands tactic is one that presumably the game makers intended us to use. You can’t really compare it to the aforementioned healing through inferno, as it is in fact so different.
When you head back for the post-fight, the two individuals who have the ice wands from the Ice Puzzle should stay to the east of the main platform; away from the rest of the group, who will be fighting the Abbot. The individuals should have the ice wands in hand, ready for when (if) the Abbot calls Inferno.
When the Abbot calls Inferno, everybody moves to the East, and the Ice Casters drop islands off the edge. The entire group should jump onto the ice islands.
As Inferno spawns, as with the previous tactic, count three ticks of Inferno; or just 3-5 seconds.
After this time is up, jump back onto the island as a group and get to DPSing the Abbot.
Anything else to note?
• Where possible, use a tank to intimidate him in the direction away from the rest of the group. This means the clerics can spam heals on the entire group, whilst not having the Abbot attacking the group directly.
• Any additional mobs should be dealt with by Wall of Fire/Acid Fog/DBF, by the casters; to free up the melees for hitting the Abbot.
• Occasionally except to encounter some difficulties with Inferno. It’s important to realise that Inferno causes a lot of damage, and sometimes clerics may need to use a few mana pots to raise dead people that can fall into the acid etc.
• Have fun. The Abbot is a buzz-quest for me personally, and even after 200+ runs, I still get a sense of purpose upon completion.
Additional General Notes
• The DC for the Abbot’s spells on normal requires a saving throw of 28. Investing in saves is definitely an option in the Abbot.
• You cannot cast any spells on Asteroids, including healing spells. Some clickies do work however.
• Inferno lasts for 12 seconds, does 200-250 damage per tick, and drains 100-150 spell points per tick.
• The Abbot has a 20 second timer for using his abilities. That means from the time he starts casts one spell, it takes him 20 seconds to cast another.
• Always assign roles before the Main Fight. Cleric A does all the raising. Tank A does the intimidating. Wizard A clears trash mobs.
• The wands and boulders from the respective puzzles are tradable. When you die, they drop to the floor. This differs to previous Modules of the Abbot whereby the wands and boulders would disappear upon death.
• Use the Encasements. As a caster, it is a good idea to use the Encasements to your advantage. When you are hidden behind them, the Abbot cannot attack you with spells. Time it right, and you can duck and weave behind the Encasements to cast spells at him without any repercussions.
• If you happen to die a number of times, Unyielding Sovereignty removes any death penalties instantly.
• Intimidate. The Abbot’s intimidate DC is very low – around 40.
• Don’t use Madstone boots. The Abbot is a quest when you will need to “cast” something at some points, be it Remove Paralysis with a pot, or a raise from a clickie.
• Use bludgeon weapons. These bypass the Abbot’s DR, and make damaging him much quicker than using a gimpy slasher. A Triple Pos warhammer/mace/maul from the Shroud crafting is the ideal weapon.
Fact is, the quest is brilliant in that it separates the good players from the excellent players. When I originally wrote version 1.0 of this document, I had just spent around 6 months or more trying to figure out every aspect of the Ascension Chamber; and had only a handful of completions to my name.
It’s a tricky quest, and can be very frustrating at times. If you are new to the quest as a group, don’t expect to complete it from the outset. It isn’t a Vision of Destruction, or a Hound of Xoriat type quest. It’s more something you have to chip away with over time.
That being said, once you have the first couple of completions, it gets easier. At this time of writing, I am approaching my 250th Abbot completion; and on my main cleric recently hit the 100 mark. I saw that not to brag, but to offer you the insight that I have learnt over the course of what has been a seriously steep learning curve.
If nothing more, use this guide as a ‘checklist’ of items you should try to attain if you want to do an Abbot. Don’t be that idiot who forgets Remove Curse Pots, or Haste Pots. Even if you don’t want to learn the in’s and out’s of the quest, don’t be a burden on the rest of the group.
The Abbot requires player skill; coordination; and the ability to perform under considerable pressure. And in all honesty, I can’t wait until they bring out an Epic version of the Ascension Chamber.
I hope this document has been beneficial to you, I said at the time of publishing version 1.0, that this guide really puts the quest into perspective for me personally. The Abbot is a raid that is perfectly completable; but what it misses are players who understand the quest, and are willing to put some time trying to understand it.
Playing on Thelanis as: Paradisio, Ataris, Deztiny, Mydas, Genesyz, Pentance, Diesell, Enygmu.
Formerly of Keeper: Enygma, Paradisio, Mydas, Genesyz, Ataris, Laycious, Diesell, Hyroshima, Carnegie, Aizure, Cruz, Sphinx, Sky.