***Spoilers*** Black Anvil Mines Ore Run - Stealthy Types, Solo ***Spoilers***
"I had this idea..."
And spent a few hours checking it out. Here's the results of my little investigation. Enjoy!
Mostly done under Mod 2, updated parts of it for Mod 3, but haven't done extensive runs since it dropped (too busy in the desert).
Doing this solo tests a great many things:
- patience (takes a while and, since you're solo, no one has your back if you make a mistake)
- persistence (you'll die while learning to do it, perhaps several times)
- build (yah can only do what yah can do...)
- player experience (gotta make a lot of decisions quickly, even with the walkthrough. When to fight, when to run, *where* to fight, *where* to run...)
- gear (I wouldn't try this without at minimum +5 equivalent weapons/armor/items...basic stuff, imho, for a level 10+ character)
Players with all of the above may find this painfully easy; those with none of the above will find it impossible.
Note: Yah, some weapons/gear will make this a piece of cake. Give it a twirl without paralyzing/vorpal type gear.
**** Warning!!! Spoilers!!!! ******************
As a 1/9 bard/rogue, here's how I routinely did it:
- Blind Ward (durn clerics are fond of it!)
- Blind Removal potions to handle the occasional mistake
- Remove curse potion (see above)
- Barkskin scrolls
- Shield scrolls
- Fire Resist 20 item (means you can jump into the lava and swim if you need to)
- Lots and lots of arrows (House D Sturdys ftw!) or my Chill Shard
- Cure potions/wands for healing up between battles
- Striding 15% or better
The only real 'must have' items, imho, are:
1) ranged weapons that can deal with earth elementals (I used a ranged wounder). A '1' fails on Earth Grab 100% of the time, best not to be melee-able when (not if) this happens.
2) self-healing, wands/potions/spells for endurance.
3) 15% or better Striding or similar consistent movement boost for kiting.
4) 17+ ranged to hit (dex 26 + BAB 6 + 3 ranged weapon was mine when I put this together...and ITWF+Wpn Finesse for melee). Easier to hit now in Mod 3, with the lowered monster ACs.
5) Decent stealth (25+ minimum, less if you're lucky and have good twitch skills, more if not). Getting adds while you're looking for the key chest...complicates things.
This walkthrough has nine parts, three dealing with the initial clearing of the main mine area, "The Lava Room"...sounds kinda 70's...then three more dealing with obtaining the mine key from the barracks....then three more dealing with clearing the mine itself and getting to the forge.
***Stage 1: Clearing the Lava Room***
- The Lava Room: First Door, Main Entrance.
- The Lava Room: Clearing to the Left.
- The Lava Room: The Sniper's Roost
The Lava Room: First Door, Main Entrance.
Enter mines, stealth to first door. Any high dex character will probably want to kite. Curespewing/weakening/crippling weapons at range to debuff both guards enough to finish them off with melee weapons is probably the way to go. Haste/Jump/Expeditious retreat are very useful to assist in kiting. There is only so much space to run in and the guards hit very hard even on normal.
A strength based character may (or may not) want to use trip tactics, assuming high + vertigo weapons and/or the Improved Trip feat; this is how I used to do it back in Mod 2, as it was faster to trip one, run back out of agro range, trip the other and finish him than it was to kite.
Folks with Bard levels may want to just sneak up and fastinate the guards; just be aware that if they are still within agro range of you when the song wears off, they'll be comin' lookin' even if you are out of line of sight. I'm using a perform of about 20 (+10 perform item) while Fastinating; the DC of the will save against it is the result of my perform check, so 20 + 1d20 = pretty darn high will save for the dwarves. I've yet to have it miss, as long as I stealth up to use it. Area of effect is about the same as that of Bless.
The Lava Room: Clearing to the Left.
You get to the Sniper's Roost by clearing 2 to 3 elementals, 2 guards, and 2 clerics. First, enter the main door and look around for ele's. Avoid them for now. Sneak to the left, climbing the first ladder. Kill the dwarven Summoner up there, then kill the spider/elemental he summoned. With the nerf to trip in Mod 3, I've actually found it easier to just work him with duel weakeners, then do the same to his elemental (you'll have to finish off the elemental with conventional weapons or with wounders, though).
Now range the elementals on the ground and the two dwarf guards at the first door using somethingsomething bows/xbows (frost, true chaos(these dwarves are lawful)...wounder's or holy/anarchic are best, but to quote Stalin, "Quantity has a quality all it's own." Bring lots of arrows...I go through ~200 House D returners each trip, unless with my new Quickdraw I feel like using my Frost Shard).
Once you're done with the ele's and guards (and take your time with this; rule of thumb, if you can target the ele from the ledge, it's too close, so take it out), continue to the left until you can range target a cleric on a low ledge. That's the bottom of the Sniper's Roost, and since if you want it (and you know you do), he can't have it. Pull him off the ledge at max range; he'll chase you.
Switch to melee and charge him; if you're quick enough, you'll be out of the area of effect of the flamestrike he's casting at you (given you have evasion, this is more for practice than anything else) and be up on him in melee before he can do anything else. Kill him using your favorite means (have I mentioned weakeners yet?). Also, this guy will summon a critter to help him, so be prepared to deal with that as well. Climb the Sniper's Roost by standing in the camp fire and running/jumping straight on up.
You can make it this way even with a negative jump score.
Put on your best bracer, pull out ol' Betsy, and stage some arrows. Time for a lil' target practice.
The Sniper's Roost: Where you want to get to clear the main map and the mines.
The best pull point in BAM (and perhaps the entire game) is at the top of a steep ramp/spire of rock just past the first door on the left as you enter the mines. Given a little adjusting once you're up there, you'll be safe from everything except fireball/flamestrike/blind; controlling the line of sight will mean that acid arrow/searing light hits the lip of the spire. Controlling the range will mean those nasty, nasty napalm bottles they throw won't reach.
If you *ever* have *any* doubt as to the outcome of an encounter within BAM, just pull 'em here and kill them. Seriously, it's that handy. :-D
Now that you're here, you can target one or two more elementals and two more guards. You know the drill, wack 'em from range. Once done, go down and open the door the two guards were, um, guarding.
Mod 3 Note: The ele behavior has changed; if they don't think they can get at you, they go back to their regular patrol path. So, instead of staying at the top the entire time, you'll want to be moving up and down to lure the ele back into range, then get out of his attack range while you get off a few shots, then lure him back into range, etc until he's gone.
Stand away from the door to one side so you don't immediately draw agro from the guard inside.
***Stage 2: Getting the Mine Key***
- The Barracks' Entrance.
- The Barracks: Finding the Key.
- The Barracks: Getting the Key.
The Barracks' Entrance.
These two doors have levers on both sides, but only stay open for a few seconds. Opening one while you have agro gets very tricky.
So, let's clear out the two guards in these rooms, neh? Two options: kill with melee one at a time (they are in separate rooms), or open the door and pull them back to the Roost. If you're pulling, you'll be tempted to go to the near ledge on the north side of the door. Even with a very high jump skill and jump potion/clickie, the edges of that ledge are buggy, and when you start getting up there the guards will switch to napalm; ymmv, but I'd pass on this ledge if it's your first try at the mines.
Mod 3 Note: The second guard calls for reinforcements more frequently now (like, every time). So you'll need to have plans to deal with him, plus two buddies. Best bet is to open the door behind you, open the door to get to him, then tag him with a ranged weapon and pull him and his newly spawned buddies back to the Roost.
If you agro him *before* you open the door by running up to it, he comes to the door and typically (note: *typically*) doesn't spawn the additional guards.
Mod 3 Note: Summoners appear to be summoning more frequently; if you're doing a pull back to the Roost, keep your eyes open for an ele respawn so he doesn't burn or, worse, earthgrab you at shall we say an inopportune time.
Now that the Barrack's entrance is clear, it's time to put on our soft shoes and dark clothes. Stealth time.
The Barracks: Finding the Key.
This is a series of doors, paired on both the left and right, up a slighly winding grade. A pair of elite guards patrol between just past the entrance doors and the first set of barracks doors. Decide if you want to pull them out to the Roost and kill them, or just sneak past them. If you decide on the former, you want to pull them while they're on the bottom most part of their patrol route, otherwise they're tempted to go up and get reinforcements. And either have a buddy ready to open the barracks entrance doors, or be very, very quick on the draw with the levers.
If you decide to stealth them, then sneak up the passageway, keeping to the right. Find a little nook on the right side along their patrol path, one deep enough to hide behind the support column. Go there, let them march past, then sneak further up the passageway. Remember, they're behind you and will be patrolling up to the first set of doors.
Once past the guards, keep the the middle of the hallway, stealthing. As you go past each pair of doors, they may (or may not) open on their own. I don't know why, guess the dwarves needed some fresh air in there or something. :-) The switches that open the doors are on the uphill side of the door.
Stealth there, get yourself tight in the little nook, look around to see that the door behind you didn't open. Just wait a few heartbeats before working the switch; I've had a door suddenly open as I was working the switch and had guards agro on my suddenly unstealthed and surprised elfin buttocks.
Ok, have you waited? Good! Now work the switch, and immediately restealth. No time for camo or invis to reapply, just stealth and sit there to see if you got agro. Ok, now sneak back to the center of the passageway, keeping clear of line of sight of the rooms. Once in the center, move back and forth while looking at the room to check for the chest with the key in it. No chest? Ok, same deal with the door on the other side, only even more carefully now because you've got an open door with yet-to-be-agro'd dwarves in it. Repeat. No chest? Move on up the passageway to the next set of doors. Repeat until you find the chest.
The Barracks: Getting the Key.
The simplest way is to haste potion/expeditious retreat, stealth up, go in, open chest, grab key, run like blazes. Gotta have enough lead time to get the doors at the bottom open, though. No matter how you do it, if a guard moves across the rooms and stands on you when while you happen to be opening the chest (not that such a thing would ever happen to a master thief like me...)...things will get a little interesting. ;-)
Bards will find that Fastinate is the wonder ability; sneak in just close enough to get them all (1 mini-boss, 1 guard or caster, sometimes 2) in the area of effect, and sing 'em to sleep. Then grab the key and sneak back out...very classy! Just be careful on your way in to and during Fascinating, they like to move around a lot in there....
Remember that guard patrol? Get past them the same way you did coming up, only be in on the uphill side of the pillar/nook. It's a bit harder, though, so pick your hiding place carefully. Alternately, haste up and run past them as they agro, you should have enough time to do the doors and get out to the Roost to range them.
Regardless of your class, if you stay to melee up near the barracks you're probably going to die from adds, either from the other rooms, from the patrol, or from a weird 'spontaneous appearance' of additional guards...I've seen this happen *twice* (poof! out of thin air, suddenly, when I had agro from the dwarf behind the second door. He ran down the passageway a little bit, then came back with two new friends that weren't the regular patrolling guards...)
UMD monkeys may find that D-Door, snatch 'n grab, then away is the best approach.
***Stage 3: Clearing the Mines***
- The Mines: Clearing the Rail Segment.
- The Mines: Clearing the Forge.
- The Mines: Clearing the Worksites.
The Mines: Clearing the Rail Segment.
Got the key? Spiffy! Time to do some more pulling back to the Roost, continuing clockwise around the main room. Pull one at a time, starting always with the patrolling elementals in the area, follow the Rules of the Roost noted above, and you'll be fine. Open the mine. Kill the first engineer. Hit the lever with a weapon (curiously, I was unable to do this with a melee weapon...I had to back up far enough to unstealth, equip a thrower, and manually point the targetting circle on the lever to hit it) to open the forcefield. Kill the second engineer.
Each mine rail segment has two to three engineers and a pair of patrolling guards. Use the various methods outlined above to pull singles and kill them. Each mine worksite itself is at the end of a short passage off the rail segment; two guards at the doorway. They won't agro (usually, heh) if you stick to the rail segment of the area and keep your distance.
Keep going until you have the rail segment clear of dwarves. You see that blue barrier in front of you now, with a big room on the other side? Congrats! You've made it to the forge; open the barrier by stealthing then wacking the target as above.
The Mines: Clearing the Forge.
Now, either sneak onto one of the two towers here (you can see the ladders from the doorway) or pull the named boss aaaaalll the way back through the mines to the Roost to kill him. Wanted to try the tower? Ok, sneak up, kill the shotfirer up there (and he's a tough lad, even on normal. Debuffing weapons, then switching to damagers or kiting are all your friends...
Now range everything in the room. Do not go down into the room until everything is dead. Repeat: Do. Not. Go...you get the idea. Reason: once you go down into the room, you're committed to either melee everything that's left alive or pulling them aaaaaall the way back to the Roost. If you try to climb back up the ladder with agro on you, you'll probably die. They love their napalm grenades, them dwarves do! And it's a loooong way up that ladder while you're on fire....
Killed everything in the forge? Nice! The blacksmith will now talk to you, and let you process ore into items. Need ore? No problem, there's 15 pieces just lying around the mine. Usually 7 or 8 just in the rail segments and forge room, the rest in the three mine worksites.
The Mines: Clearing the Worksites.
Pull the two guards at each worksite entrance. Kill them. Don't fight them at the worksite entrance, though, as the mine foreman has a high spot and *will* come out of the mine to join the fight with that humougous hammer of his (I think he calls it Bob; hard to hear with my head beaten two feet deep into the mine floor, though, so I could be wrong...), sometimes bringing some additional miners to help, sometimes not.
The biggest issue with any of the hammer wielding dwarves is their stun attack; my 100% fort necklace doesn't stop it, and, as a rogue, my fortitude saves are meh. I was chain stunned and killed a couple of times playing around with meleeing hammer wielders, because even when weakened to half or better they got a couple lucky stunning blows in.
Now that you're at the doorway to one of the worksites, what now? Well, the worksite doors work like the Barracks Entrance; they close after a few seconds, potentially leaving you inside with a bunch of angry dwarven miners.
If you're feeling particularly sneaky, and have very, *very* good stealth (30+), go in without pulling the foreman. Move carefully from pit to pit (tumble, tumble, *tumble*!), collecting ore as you go. Be sure to stay at max distance from the miners while doing this; patience, patience, patience. I've found that, with tumble, I have just enough time to sneak to one of the three mine pits within the worksite, snag a (one, uno, 1, 10 minus 9 ...) piece of ore, then tumble out again back to the door before it closes. You will feel the overpowering temptation to grab more than one per door opening; I do not recommend this, based on my personal experience.
UMD monkeys (like me) may find an emergency D-Door scroll is very useful here....
If you don't have supreme (over)confidence in your stealth, pull the foreman out of there and kill him, then try the stealth techniques outlined above. If you get agro, restealth to minimize adds, quickly leave the mine, then either kite or melee the regulare workers until they're dead.
I started out with pulling to a ledge, worked into kiting, then, lately, I've just been softening them up with a cursespewer then going into melee with them. Faster for my build than using bow-only.
Repeat the above for the other two worksites, and you should have 15 pieces of adamantine ore. Go to the blacksmith and get your goodie!
It helps do have done BAM with a group before trying it solo, so you can get a feel for the layout of the place and the areas you'll be using later for cover, firing positions, and general feel.
The Wavekin Sisters online