WoW: The basics of Torghast - and how to conquer the tower effectively

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"Man, 'winding corridors' is the understatement of the decade!" The human warrior's boots crunch softly in the metal dust of Torghast. Blue torches light the corridors and there is a chill over everything that eats steadfastly into his limbs and makes his teeth ache. The warrior's mace hits the helmet of one of the armored guards with a hollow clang. Instead of collapsing in on itself, however, the prison guard's empty armor disappears in a swirl of black smoke. "Sure. Only to reappear around the next corner. You know how it is." As he turns the next corner, the human stops, rooted to the spot, and lets out a deep sigh. "Pendulum. Sure. Of course they're pendulums." Three titanic blades of solid steel swing back and forth in front of him, accompanied by an expressive whistle whenever the swaying axes touch his whiskers.

Role reversal for Torghast only?
Does it make sense to switch specializations when tackling Torghast as a Damage Dealer in solo mode? We unequivocally say yes. Tanks have it so much easier that you should definitely enter the tower as a walking tank if you can.Grumbling, the warrior pushes on step by step. "Who the Nether designed this place? Who puts these things in here?" With a crash, one of the guards falls to the ground. "How do the damn architect talks go? 'Oh hey Bob, I was thinking we could have a three ton axe head shoot out of the wall on the way to the bathroom, how about that? What's the point of those darn pendulums?" Another guard dissolves into goodwill with a metallic screech. "I mean, it's not like there are many visitors here! Does the average workday of an evil minion consist of 'standing around dodging flamethrowers'? I don't get it -" Before the human can finish the sentence, the ground bounces all at once. After a short flight and a rough landing, he springs back up into the air with a long-suffering expression on his face, staring at the traps swinging in front of him. "Alright, it was four pendulums instead of three. Happens to everyone." His armor clanks as he settles into the dust and angrily shoves a cheese sandwich into his mouth. "Should have been a paladin," he mumbles between bites, "then I wouldn't keep gaining weight."

Behind the swinging pendulums, the dungeon master's guards stand around indecisively, watching their visitor take the most aggressive snack break they've ever seen. "Hey, Metallimus." The guard's grating voice is quiet, as if she doesn't want to disturb the furiously chewing human. "Do you think we should tell him it makes sense to show up here with a shield in hand next time?" A steely scrape accompanies his friend's shrug. "I don't know, Stahlbert. Maybe the whole thing is his thing? You know, some of the gambler-warriors are always displeased, after all. I think they call it 'furor-skilling'." "No, no. He only has one weapon on his back. Besides, the guy gives off more of a 'frustration warrior' energy. I think he's had enough." Before the eyes of the two henchmen, the muscular hero scrambles back to his feet, grabs his two-handed sword with a firm grip, and runs a running start into one of the pendulums. Above his head, the green life meter drops by half. The ensuing torrent of foul-mouthed expressions causes the guards to grow embarrassed verdigris on their helmet-cheeks - then the player disappears with a soft plop. "Oh no! Stahlbert! I think he's lost it!" "Not so wild, Metallimus." The NPC pats his friend on the shoulders encouragingly. "I'm sure the next player will appreciate our obstacle course. So everyone get into position, we'll be moving in five minutes!" Low murmurs fill the halls of Torghast as the NPCs scurry back to their spawns. Blue flares are lit. Metal dust is scattered on the floor and white scratches are drawn into the ground with pendulums. Cautious optimism fills the halls: Perhaps the next player will appreciate the Guardians' efforts. And come prepared.

Who's afraid of the dungeon man? Niiione!

The dark tower of Torghast represents, both story-wise and mechanically, the navel of the Shadowlands. We've been in it alone, we've made friends, and we've dragged every single class through it: absolutely no one can get past Torghast. The tower is literally the perfect prison, because if you want to get anywhere in Shadowlands, you're going to spend a long, long time inside. So in this article, we'll tell you how to complete Torghast as effectively as possible, and how it works best for different players. You're a solo player? Run! Group lover? No problem! We're basing this on hard facts, like the systems Blizzard has tinkered with in the background: The HP and damage scaling of the enemies is just as intensively examined by us, as mechanically seen tricky bosses. We come to a clear conclusion and a clear recommendation for healers, tanks and damage dealers.

Also included is an even more important recommendation: the one for your preferred playstyle. At its core, Torghast was designed to be a challenging rogue-like experience. Now, as mentioned, you simply MUST visit Torghast if you don't want to just play an angry tourist. However, not all players like badass challenges and not all players gamble at the same level. That's why we're giving tips on how to tailor your Torghast experience to your own preferences: If you like to go slow and methodical, overthink every pull, and stare at your life bar like a gun dog, you'll be just as happy with this guide as a casual player who likes to eat their Torghast level and relax with a round of pet fights afterwards. So put on your crash helmet and sharpen your sword - because today we're going dungeon master hunting!

Death 101:
The mechanics behind the difficulty curve.

We'll start our little digression with the basics, like numbers, and why they're to blame for your misery. At its core, Torghast difficulty scaling is based on a very simple calculation: damage dealers get perfectly normal enemies. Tanks get enemies with a significantly lower health pad, and healers also get enemies that are severely depleted in health. This makes sense, as tanks and healers aren't usually known for their dramatic damage output. So in order to keep supporters from taking forever and three days to complete a single hallway, a little tweaking was done until everything fell into place.

If we take a group of players as an example instead of single players, things get more interesting: Here, the different scaling takes effect as well! So if you're plowing through the Iron Tower in a mob of five damage dealers, you're suddenly dealing with enemies that will take your hardest hits and keep stomping in your direction. If a tank joins the party, the enemies' health cushion drops sharply. Throw a healer into the mix and the sinister tower guardians' Health drops even further.

Note, very importantly, you can only use the scaling bonuses of a single tank and a single healer! To reiterate, only one healer and one tank bonus can be activated in a Torghast group. This means that while you can run healer-only or tank-only groups, you can't stack five bonuses and turn your enemies into ripping paper puppets. Now, of course, the question is what composition will be most effective in dealing with Torghast. Those witnessing such scaling for the first time in World of Warcraft (buy now €14.99 ) might come to a simple conclusion: The tank and healer not solely care about their group, however they additionally push the difficulty down. The optimal composition is therefore the one you also use in dungeons: One tank, one healer, and three damage dealers - right? Well, not quite.

The Flex Tower and its quirks

Traps worthy of the name
Running through Torghast in a party of five doesn't just scale up the damage of your enemies - it also scales up all the traps around you from being annoying obstacles to murderous death machines! Especially inattentive damage dealers without thick defensive cooldown abilities get exactly one Pendulum Blade in the face and lie in the dirt afterwards. One remedy is said cooldown abilities. Retribution Paladins, as always, come out ahead, as the holy avengers can also easily skip the infamous flamethrower traps via god shield. Speaking of skipping: Demon hunters dodge ground traps when in doubt by simply double-jumping around them; mages do similarly, blinking and using quick reflexes to save themselves from almost any situation. Monks simply roll to get out of the way.
Resourceful readers will have noticed that instead of damage reduction, we recommend either total invulnerability or abilities that allow you to quickly escape from traps. There's a simple reason for this, and we're happy to repeat it because it's really important: with five party members, traps are really, really deadly! If you have a skilled Warlock who can help you over traps via Demonic Gate, you're already a step ahead. Priests who can pull their buddies through traps via Leap of Faith are worth their weight in gold. Watch out for white scratches on the ground that will tell you traps ahead of time (and still get ignored). Accordingly, if you want to effectively conquer Torghast in a group of five, be extremely careful helping your friends. Not all players are as adept at the keyboard as you are, so better move a little slower so everyone gets to the objective alive.Old veterans remember the earlier flex raids with horror. Introduced in patch 5.4, flex raids had scaling that was much more usable than it is today: instead of taking a full 25 people, a party size of about 14 players proved optimal. Any less and the raid's damage began to suffer, any more and the enemies' damage became too great. Also, the magic 14 represented the limit at which the boss would target fewer players or include them in its mechanics. The downside to this included guild members suddenly not being picked up for raid night because the number-eating god of optimization decided that a smaller group was more promising.

What does this have to do with Torghast? Well, just like in the old flex raids, there is an optimal group size and composition. Unlike the old Flex Raids, however, no one is left behind, because if in doubt, you're simply allowed to waltz through Torghast alone. If you want to get the most out of your tower visit, take a tank, a damage dealer, and a healer with you on the excursion. This ensures that both bonuses are applied, and it also gives you the unbeatable warrior-healer combo. Third and most importantly, with a single damage dealer, you won't increase enemy health to a degree that would balance your party size. Even if you're well-equipped and attuned, a party of three is better than a standard party of five, because the scaling not only raises the enemies' health cushion - it also drastically increases the damage dealt.

A five-tank, five-healer, five-damage dealer party plays Torghast like a traditional dungeon, pumping up the damage and health of the enemies in a way that dungeon aficionados will quickly find their way around. A party of five tanks can also handle Torghast quite well, depending on their self-healing, if they fight their way carefully and use their defensive cooldowns properly. Five healers get into serious trouble in the upper levels at the latest, because the hitting damage can hardly be healed at a certain point - and those who are only busy with disaster management don't do much damage themselves.

Finally, if you want to challenge yourself mentally and spiritually, complete Torghast in a group of five damage dealers. With a high item level and (very) skilled play, as well as a little luck with the anima selection, you'll progress even faster than a well-mixed group of three. In the case of random groups, however, you're much more likely to have an extremely stressful Torghast run where you take one oneshot after another and your damage abilities don't really come into their own - because you're more concerned with running away than hurling fireballs. In a nutshell: For group runs in Torghast, bring a healer, a tank, and a damage dealer so you can get to the end of the tower tour as safely and as quickly as possible. Lovers of challenging but rewarding play experiences try to grind five well-equipped damage dealers through the Tower of the Damned. Death knights are catching up nicely in Torghast: The dark knights possess good self-healing and a host of excellent anima powers ... Source: buffed

Class you'd have to have: A solo career in Torghast

But what if you are one of those players who consider groups to be unnecessary ballast - or you simply don't have the time or the nerve to look for a guild? We've got good news for you, because lone warriors don't have to hide behind the super-effective groups of three. At least if you're playing the right class. Generally speaking, both damage and healing classes do just fine on their own. Damage dealers have to be a little careful, especially in the upper levels, while healers run a steady race against enemy damage. Those who enter the gates of Torghast with a contemporary item level will have an easy time. Soloists who don't get to play often and therefore remain at an item level of around 150 to 170 can make good progress against all odds thanks to cleverly chosen Anima effects.

Tanks, on the other hand, practically play like a different species in Torghast. While the damage of a tank class doesn't come close to damage dealers, it remains solid and is spread across large groups of enemies through lush area effects. You get hit in the face with a pendulum? Catch it in your teeth. Pulling an entire room, complete with elite enemies? Fire up a defensive cooldown and clean up. No matter what fun anima combos your healer and damage buddies bag, we guarantee that with a little luck, you'll become so powerful as a tank that you'll feel like the Lich King - slowly, but absolutely unstoppable. So the status of Torghast currently is this: at the same item level, tanks currently run through Torghast not only safer than the other two game alignments, but also faster. ... and one of the lowest armor classes across all tanks. If you run into a Pendulum as a Death Knight in a group of five, you get to lie down. Source: buffed

The two mighty three: Death Knights and Paladins are ahead of the game

Tanking veterans play all classes that can take damage as well as protect their teammates. Versatile veterans already know what we're talking about: the Protection Paladin, Vengeful Demon Hunter, and Blood Death Knight represent the absolute elite among solo classes. Massive self-healing, strong damage shields, and solid damage output make these solo kings shining examples of self-reliance. The winners' "oh shit" buttons are especially strong: while the Paladin slips out of just about any deadly situation with his God Shield and forward-thinking playstyle, the Demon Hunter even has an ability with Despair Stat that will automatically get him back on his feet in the event of premature exit. The Death Knight has a completely useless version of the same ability in Purgatory, but Bone Storm gives the dark warrior a true "I win" button that lets him come out of any mass battle healthy. Necrolord Death Knights choose Red Thirst instead, and enjoy the excellent synergy between Vampire Blood and Fleshforming.

What comes next won't please the demon hunters among you much: the other two tank classes are far better at exploring the upper levels of Torghast or venturing into the winding corridors. This is largely due to one important class feature that the Demon Hunter doesn't bring: a reliable and instantaneous single-target stun. Where the Death Knight cuts off any enemy at long range with Strangle and the Paladin provides dented helmets with Hammer of Justice, the Retribution Demon Hunter only has two-second delayed area effects to show for it. This becomes especially important on bosses like the Maw of the Maw, which regularly throws players of certain classes into despair.

Like a Boss: Torghast has terrifying bosses for every class

The Maw of the Maw's most infuriating feature is its special ability: with Unnatural Force, the damage dealt by the Slime Bolt increases by ten percent per stack starting at the third level. The Maw of the Maw can stack the ability ten times, but it doesn't stop there. If it does happen that the boss accumulates ten stacks of Unnatural Force, it becomes immune to damage when combined with the Obleron Equipment Devour ability. Not against magic damage or against physical damage, but simply invulnerable! If you stun the boss regularly, you can remove the stacks of the effect this way. However, should you not have a stun ability, the boss fight abruptly becomes a DpS check. Damage classes can usually drag themselves to the end by the skin of their teeth, but tanks or healers without single-target stun effects are looking down the tubes.

Another candidate for the title of 'Son of a Bitch of the Year' is the boss "Synod". The Gargoyle General has the Intimidating Presence debuff and it packs a punch: the debuff reduces your speed by one percent, your healing received by five percent, and your movement speed by five percent. The ability has a hard-to-counter one second cast time and lasts a whopping twelve seconds. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention that the effect can be stacked infinitely (!)? Synod is often the wall that solo runs and groups of five crash into. This is where the power of the damage/tank/healer trifecta becomes apparent, as the bonuses of the two supporters weaken Synod to an extent that enables your Damage Dealer to win the DpS check. Should you not possess this ability, you exploit a nasty trick: You reset the boss's aggro without resetting his health bar. To do this, you'll need an ability that takes you out of the fight, such as Night Elf Shadow Mimic, Mage Invisibility, or Hunter Death. You will also need to bring a companion. If you can't select a talent specialization with a companion, you can use summoning trinkets such as the Elementium Dragonling or the Barov Worker Caller. These guys don't have to last long at all - just make sure the boss doesn't reset. As soon as you reappear, the debuff stacks disappear and you get to take bloody revenge on Synod. Make sure you do this quickly, though, so that the debuff doesn't skyrocket to unreasonable levels again!

Finally, the pinnacle of frustration is Observer Zelgar. As an armored, floating eyeball, this guy doesn't look like much, but when he blasts you out of existence in a matter of seconds after 18 corridors and three hours of play, your opinion changes abruptly. Although you'll have to take the Observer apart in a damage race as usual before he accumulates too many stacks of Unnatural Power, he has a small but mighty ability that groups and single players alike despair of: not only does the Ocular Beam reach absolutely murderous damage spikes, but it also knocks you back with every hit. To make matters worse, the beam will hit you with a 100 percent chance of being hit, and from that point on, it won't let you shake it off. So what now? Our first piece of advice is to interrupt Zelgar before he can use the Eyepiece Starahl. You have exactly one second to interrupt the spell, so save both interrupt and stun abilities for that one moment. If the eyepiece ray hits you, fire up whatever defensive abilities you have - you're guaranteed to survive one use of the ability this way. Lastly, stand with your back to one of the stairs to avoid being thrown off the platform. Your cooldown abilities won't do you any good if you end up as a pancake on the floor of Torghast after umpteen floors. Are you a demon hunter? Then your hour has come: Double jump to counteract the recoil effect of the eyepiece beam. Good luck!

Strong, alone or in a group

Either way, you should always keep one thing in mind whenever you visit Torghast: Blizzard has built the tower on the Rogue-like principle, which means that the journey is the destination. Even if you leave Torghast "empty-handed" after three hours after a single unfortunate boss fight, that doesn't mean you didn't get any fun out of it! There are no second places in a true Rogue-like either: Death or glory is the name of the game. And if things don't go your way, you'll remember that one near-perfect run a week later in a glowing conversation with guildmates. Torghast creates stories of glory and hard loss - just the way a visit to the Sanctum of Incarnate Death should be.

Our advice is to build up your strength slowly, because if you really want to run Torghast effectively, play it safe: if you feel like the next level might be too hard for you, it probably is. Challenges like the Mage Tower have already taught us one important truth - never get greedy. Greed is the death of efficiency ... and your character, for that matter. If you stay alert, don't overreach yourself, and take competent friends with you, you'll be fine, and you'll empty Torghast's treasure troves as efficiently as possible. Choose your legendary items wisely, make sure to invest some of your resources into your toughness instead of putting it all into damage. And the most important tip for effectively steering your hero through Torghast: have a little fun with it, and everything else will go easier. Carry the wrath of Azeroth into the House of the Dungeon Master, Champion - with friends or alone.