Talk:Thunderhead Keep (mission)

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Objective?[edit source]

Don't you also have to kill Confessor Dorian at the end? --Karlos 07:31, 30 Jun 2005 (EST)

When I did it, he attacked at the end. So I guess he's part of the "defend" objective? --Fyren 19:48, 30 Jun 2005 (EST)

I submitted comments on key decisions that need to be made prior to starting this mission. These came about out of my frustration of not finding a group that could trully act as a team (many claim to be willing to work as a team; most mean that they'll work as a team as long as everyone follows them - get two or three people in your party with this attitude, and it's a lost cause). I also expanded on the alternate strategy - after trying both, it does appear to be the easier of the two. Last, I added a tip at the bottom, also brought about by my frustration at the mission start finding people who have used a runner and bypassed earlier missions. They may have armor from Droknar's, but if it's not infused, it's worthless from this point on in the game. I've seen the question "where do I get my armor infused" several times. One of the many reasons I hate runners. -A_Non_Mouse

I've deleted most of the change by Mord for now, since I'm doubtful if the new information is correct, and the writing needs either heavy editing or deletion. (The information in the first three sentences was OK, but I managed to replace them with five words without losing anything useful.) Can anybody confirm whether:

  • The bonus Mursaat fight the other enemies when outside the players' aggro ranges. (If this is true, it sounds like a bug to me—the bonus is supposed to make things harder.)
  • Enemies prefer to attack players carrying torches. (This sounds more reasonable, since some other carried objects have the same effect, but I've never tried it.)

Tariel 12:43, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

I ran through Thunderhead and bonus again tonight. I held the torch throughout the bonus, with no difference in NPC behavior towards me. Also, I question the value of the tips on party formation. Tonight we finished the bonus with no NPC making it into the gate, and killing Dorian while his party was still on the east side, and the party was composed different than the 'tip' party (two monks, two necros, and one each of the remaining). Unless we're going to get into a listing of all possible party formations that work well, this section to me seems common sense and should just be removed. User:Barek
Retried this back in January, and the torches clearly do make a difference now. My guild rarely uses it, but it is a potential method to deal with the mission. --Barek 11:31, 14 March 2006 (CST)
The bonus Mursaat fight the other enemies when outside the player's aggro ranges. That's definetly true. I tried it out a couple of days ago. --betaman 00:52, 6 April 2006 (CDT)

I'm outta here[edit source]

Well, given the difficulty that groups have in doing Thunderhead (I do it for fun, along with Thirsty), the information of mine that was deleted really is essential and useful to others, even though it may be duplicated elsewhere. Expecting people to understand all of the nuances, especially when there are no links (and, no, I have no idea that the information appears elsewhere, or even what appears elsewhere), is unrealistic. If this was a straightforward and standard mission, I can see how redundant information could be unnecessary. However, this isn't a simple mission.

I'm not going to get into yet another wikipedia editing war, and so I'm just going to leave. Don't bother replying.

--Morty 04:23, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

If you are saying that players got to Thunderhead Keep and yet do not know that they should attack boss last (with a few exceptions) or that they should have two monks, then I think you are mistaken. A lot of the stuff you put in was very basic. Now maybe some people need to be told that stuff, but I don't see where it is specific to Thunderhead keep. I do the mission every now and then because my ele needs the bonus and I have not seen any parties that go with one monk or none, nor any parties that attack boss first. That does not disprove your experience, it's just not as widespread as you think.
I think others will agree however that we are categorically against a "tried-and-true" ONE way of doing things. I am sure a group of veterans can do Thunderhead Keep with 4 mesmers, 3 necros and one Earth Ele if they so wanted. Just like a group of not so experienced players might try your tried and true method and fail. --Karlos 04:40, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
I still disagree with the suggested tips on party formations. Since we're comparing background on it: I've completed the mission and the bonus more times than I can count, and my guild has gotten to where we set arbitrary goals just to keep it challenging (like last night's killing Dorian to the east before he ever turns around to the west gate, etc). Our guild used to routinely charge clients to guide them through, but we've temporarilly stopped due to how simplistic the mission is for us now (lack of a challenge).
The only ones that I would insist on using are two monks, and even then the henchies are adequate. For the others, I would prefer at least one tank and one ranger; but no point mandating more, that's optional. The rest of the party can be nearly any profession mix. The main key is keeping a balanced team with a mix of multiple professions; but this is common sense and behavior that the player should already know by this mission. On the currently suggested build: Only one tank is actually needed. The rangers can both be trappers and be the ones pulling the targets. Shutdown Mesmers are a plus, but optional. Necros can use minions in the latter half and still be useful, there are still Mantle, Giants, etc with bodies to exploit. An Ele is a plus, but again optional if other ranged casting is in the party (again, as I said above, a balanced team mix).
Basically, I still feel this section pushes players too much to the author's method, without considering that others have perfectly functional team builds that are at least as effective. --Barek 11:46, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Is it possible to add that this mission might be easier with henchmen as the general PUG quality is not enough ? --Melkor 13:19, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

As I can't resist putting my two cents in here, let me say that I think both the team suggestions and the opposition to the suggestions are too strong. Yes, no particular unit (except perhaps a monk and a tank) is absolutely needed, but it is just a lie to say that this mission can be done with any composition at all. Prove me wrong. Finish the mission with one tank and seven healing monks, or one monk and seven stance tanks and post screenshots. Yes, we agree. You are a God among Guild Wars players if you can make do with nontraditional teams; your dick swings mightily. Still, this is supposed to be a helpful guide, and suggesting a generally balanced (though highly stereotypical) team is helpful.
Actually, for all I'm concerned, all of you can quit the wiki in a huff so I can finally edit everything to exactly my tastes. — Stabber 13:35, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
ummm, was your post directed at me? I did say above "The main key is keeping a balanced team with a mix of multiple professions; but this is common sense and behavior that the player should already know by this mission." --Barek 13:41, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
When you temper your otherwise reasonable statements with lines like "[t]he rest of the party can be nearly any profession mix", one is left to wonder what you mean by "balanced team". OK, so you say that you need "a mix of multiple professions". Fine. If you feel so strongly that the article is overadvocating a particular team build, go in and change it instead of griping that "blah blah is a plus but optional" here. Bah. Can you tell that I'm sick of these pointless arguments? — Stabber 13:51, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
No problem, my main reason for putting it here was to try to get a dialog, rather than another back/forth editing process going again. Also, someone else had already irritated the original poster by deleting some of his post, so I wanted to start a discussion before changing it further. Sorry if my background at the keep came accross as bragging; the only reason I put in my background was because the original poster had done so as well, and I wanted to clarify that my comments against his additions were not arbitrary. To avoid a "pointless argument" here, I just went ahead and made edits to the lines that stood out to me most - others will edit my changes further, I'm sure.
Sorry about the misunderstanding. I hadn't read my talk post the way you did; it was meant to state that any balanced team build will work, and the originally wording of the team build tips seemed too forceful towards one potential build. I'll work on my phasing to better clarify my intents. --Barek 14:16, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
All right, thanks, I think we're on the same page now, and I find very little in the article as of this moment to criticize. I am just irritated by the drama, which was ratcheted up several notches by Morty. I never like it when people leave over editing disputes. Perhaps it is for the best: wikis can be very unkind to squishies. — Stabber 14:29, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
How ironic. --Tjoneil 21:04, 27 May 2006 (CDT)
I´ve done the mission with one monk before. Me! But then again, my d**k does swing mightiliy :P 11:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I thought the difficulty of this mission was greatly exaggerated. Maybe I just got lucky, but as a fire ele, I just beat the mission with a group of henchmen on my first try. Never touched the ballistas. Except for the Mursaat boss, it was pretty easy; the Ascension missions were much more difficult for me. So I'd say that the "A party that doesn't work together and communicate will not stand a chance." warning is unnecessary. This is a fairly easy mission to solo. -PKDawson 22:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I just did this mission with as a level 15 Warrior/Ele, uninfused, Yak's Bend armor, and 7 henchmen; attacking only with a Hornbow. The difficulty players have with this mission is due to player error, incorrect team balance, unfocused attacks, or incorrect targeting. I think linking the article to another article about how to play would help alot more than adding sections about how to play to in this one. Alot of people go through the whole game with their pre-searing builds. --Sagius Truthbarron 13:43, 7 March 2006 (CST)

Keep Attackers[edit source]

Just as I was running up to Ironhammer to end the mission I saw some red names - Keep Attacker - anyone know what these are? 3 seconds later the cutscene started so I didn't get to see their appearence =(— Skuld 11:31, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

There almost certainly the creatures you see in the cutscene. As you don´t get to see the names of creatures in the cut scenes; they´re given informative rather than interesting names, so that the cut scene directors can construct them. Or something along those lines, I´m sure. 11:36, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
The cutscene is generated in real-time. During the cut-scene, you see several creatures attack just outside of the east gate while Vizier Khilbron escorts the party to the transport that takes them to the Ring of Fire Islands. The creatures in the cutscene are the ones that you saw suddenly appear for a couple seconds before the cut scene kicks in. --Barek 11:40, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
This can be proven by the fact that it bugs sometimes—Ruins of Surmia is possibly the one that bugs most often, allowing one or two charr to attack the players. I've also seen it happen at riverside province, where one White Mantle knight got onto the bridge as it fell and ran through the air, then attacked our party leader. One of our party members then referred to him as the "Jesus knight." — Lunarbunny 12:34, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Here's an example of "cutscene props left behind:"
Awkward Moment.JPG
This happens if you do not attack the Titan at the end of Abaddon's Mouth. The Vizier and the Lich were used for the cutscene then "left on the side" past the stairs on the left (if you are facing the Titan). The Lich does not attack and the Vizier has nothing to say. I found the Lich immune to attacks, but I did not try health degen. --Karlos 17:52, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Enchanted torches[edit source]

Added tip about the Enchanted torch for Strategy B (Holding the Fort). Just completed this mission using this strategy, after one of our warriors dropped from the mission and we were down to one tank. I credit the protection monk, who was with us, for suggesting it.

I actually tried this once, and the enchanted torches made no difference whatsoever about who the mobs attacked first. They automatically targetted whoever was furthest in front, whether they had the torch or not. At the time, I wrote it off as just coincidence for whoever thought it worked, or just an urban-legend type thing brought on because it sounded plausible (after all, carrying cogs does cause this behavior). I'll try it again (once my video card is working correctly again) and see if the mission was changed to now make this work. --Barek 11:33, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
The enchanted torch trick definately works. I have used it on multiple occasions with very good results. As always hexes might be cast on others and chain lightning is an AoE spell so others will take damage, but not much.
I should've updated this thread long ago. When I first tried it many months ago, I hadn't noticed a difference. When I retried it back in January after posting my comment here, it most definitely worked. Something was changed in a patch at some point, but I have no idea which patch or when. --Barek 11:29, 14 March 2006 (CST)
Bereks original comment is partially true. Attackers will go for the first person they encounter, however, will switch to an enchanted torch bearer after one or two attacks. The exception is King Jalis Ironhammer. Attackers stay on him longer, so the torch bearer should shadow the King after the mursaat/jade boss is killed and the King begins to wander around. --Rohar 12:15, 11 April 2006 (-5 GMT)
Can someone test this again? As a result of recent game updates, the bundle trick no longer works for other items (confirmed on Gears, etc). Someone should verify it no longer works here as well. -- 13:38, 26 April 2006 (CDT)
It doesn't. Bundle tricks don't work anywhere on anything anymore. In any case it would slow you down quite a bit. Entropy 05:03, 24 January 2007 (CST)

On a side note, the wiki info on when its too late to start the bonus seems to be mistaken. I just did THK, lit the torches before the dwarfs say their line about the Great Dwarf, and still didn't get the bonus. The last line the dwarfs said was something about the Mursaat closing in on them, which they said about three times.

Shutdown mesmer[edit source]

Hello, can someone give me a good basic shutdown mesmer build?

I don't think shut down mesmer is effective for this mission... interruption + backfire probably work better. -PanSola 06:46, 13 March 2006 (CST)
There's also the article Shutdown Mesmer. --Karlos 06:24, 6 April 2006 (CDT)

I just did it with leak+spike and blackout and they weren't needed Skuld Monk 11:56, 11 April 2006 (CDT)

Exploit?[edit source]

Has anyone tested the "mysterious rumor" that is listed as an exploit? Does it work? I've never seen it used, and I've done this mission with many different groups. -- 12:13, 20 April 2006 (CDT)

You are right. Unless someone can confirm it, preferably with screenshots, it doesn't belong here. GW:NOT a rumormill. — Stabber 12:17, 20 April 2006 (CDT)
Thanks, I was hesitant to remove it myself as it appeared to be added over a month ago by Foo, who seems to be a fairly reliable and regular contributor. -- 12:25, 20 April 2006 (CDT)
Omg! The ninjas abducted her and are now controlling our minds! Run for your lives and for the sake of humanity! *panic* --Gem Gem-icon-sm.png 12:28, 20 April 2006 (CDT)

Well, I got it from a reliable source, but haven't had the energy and partners to check it for real. when I'll do, I'll let you all know. and 161.88, thanks for the vote of confidence. Foo 17:34, 20 April 2006 (CDT)

There were many problems with that note. You're lucky I didn't get to dismiss it with one of my super-dismissive reverts. :) First of all, when you start out any piece of information with "mysterious rumors say that..." then you KNOW that piece of information is just not worth stating. I can't recall what Wikipedia calls it but it's basically something like "Don't be a chicken." If you're gonna put something in a wiki be honest and clear as to what the source is. Expressions like "It is believed" or "some people say" are just too gray, and are actually often used by people who want to give more weight to their opinion than there actually is (not saying that's the case for you).
On a second level, the note actually did not "say" anything. It said: Light the beacons and go back and the mission will be a lot easier. Very vague. How much easier? Why? Will the Mursaat fight the Stone Summit? Who? When? How come? Anyways, don't mean to give you a hard time, but I thought it's a good opportunity to bring up that note about "some people say." --Karlos 21:20, 20 April 2006 (CDT)
I wanted to give people a chance to check something that might be worth noting. I guess you would probably prefered that I would put it in the talk page rather then the article. I can not see how I am 'Lucky'. Foo 05:00, 21 April 2006 (CDT)
This particular exploit, unlike the Enchanted Torch trick, still works as of a day after Factions came out; I tried it while I was uncovering the Thunderhead Keep map. I am hesitant to actually put it back into the article as I don't know Guildwiki's stance on exploits, but it does work. I wish people would try to prove things themselves rather than hope someone else does for them. - 16:08, 14 May 2006 (CDT)
Okay, that was me above. :/ -Savio 16:09, 14 May 2006 (CDT)
You might want to explain better how it works. In the normal mission, most of the attackers of the fort are teh Mursaat/White Mantle. The regular spawn of Stone Summit attackers get quickly wiped out by the Mursaat. Lighting the beacon should attract more Mursaat, not Stone Summit. So does this mean the attracted Mursaat will fight the regular mission Mursaat? Or does lighting the beacons somehow unexpectedly attrack Stone Summit who will fight the regular mission Mursaat? etc etc. -PanSola 19:57, 14 May 2006 (CDT)

As you know, lighting the beacons draws additional Mursaat forces into the keep. Specifically, six Jade Armors and Bows enter the keep and stay in the middle area, by where Dagnar stood earlier. These "rogue Jades" will attack anyone, whether it be your team, Stone Summit, or other Mursaat. As long as you stay well away from their wandering area (usually by King Jalis) they will take out the first waves of enemies for you. Your enemies are not infused, so the Stone Summit and White Mantle just crumble against Spectral Agony. Even Mursaat and Jades aren't infused, but since they too use Spectral Agony the rogue Jades start dying while fighting them. Eventually the rogue Jades are wiped out by other Mursaat and the bosses, but not before taking out all of the Stone Summit waves and a few of the Mursaat. -Savio 22:01, 14 May 2006 (CDT)

Cool, thanks for the details. It now makes sense. (-: -PanSola 22:07, 14 May 2006 (CDT)

Have they made THK easier?[edit source]

I recently did this with my two Canthian chars (a necro and a mesmer), and a with my Tyrian warrior (finishing up bonuses), and I have an uneasy impression that they've made it easier. By a lot. In the last try, the one with my warrior, we were in 5, only one monk, and the ele's nuking consisted of spamming Fire Storm. And yet we made it without any considerable trouble. Same impression on my necro and mesmer. There was just so many gaps between the groups of Mursaat and White Mantle, that we didn't feel rushed at all. Even took our sweet time killing the monk boss. Any ideas? --Dirigible 17:38, 18 May 2006 (CDT)

I hope not! If it's easier to the point that people are no longer willing to pay to have someone get them through it, that would hurt one of my sources of income! --I am 161.88 17:52, 18 May 2006 (CDT)
I had the same impression recently, while doing the bonus. The time between attacks is plenty and apart from the first group, you never get attacked at 2 gates at once. --Xeeron 04:43, 19 May 2006 (CDT)
I remember a time when lighting the beacons would have brought in an additional Mursaat boss or two. They stopped doing that a while ago. THK is a joke these days. 04:50, 19 May 2006 (CDT)

It was never hard to begin with. :) All my chars got through it fairly easily. My necro even did it with just another human player. :) --Karlos 06:02, 19 May 2006 (CDT)

My trick is get everyone to stick at the top defending the king, don't really use the cannons and if we do, we have everyone come back when the enemy reach the stairs. with this slow and steady strategy we never fail if we have all active players (or henchies), it really isn't hard at all just tedious like that bit where you protect Confessor Dorian in the "mending ring" in Kryta... - snoooore - --Jamie 06:15, 19 May 2006 (CDT)

Hmmm, didn't seem any "easier"; but then it was simplistic enough already. As Jamie said, it was always more tedious than anything else being especially hard about it. Maybe everyone has just done it so many times that the original challenge is gone? I started using strategy C many months ago just to add a twist, and even that has gotten dull from repetition. --- Barek (talk • contribs) - 08:52, 19 May 2006 (CDT)

I did this mission last night, with 7 guildies and 1 random monk. One guildie (a wells necro) dropped out so 7 ppl did the mission and bonus FLAWLESSLY! Not a single death. Only time mursaat managed to enter the fort was when they had a monk boss. And yes, they dont attack at both gates at once in large numbers anymore. So yeh, it seems they made it easier (or maybe we just got better :o) ) - Greetings from Norway ^^

It's definately easier and a piece of cake if there's a ritual lord and just camp the king.--Bane of Worlds 21:24, 10 September 2006 (CDT)

Was THK ever that hard? The only things that I ever had problems with were what I like to call "Jalis Accidents", where some lame Mursaat slipped through the chaos of battle and Spectral Agony'd the King. However they've even made this easier - Lina the Protector Henchman now casts Prot Spirit immediately on the King if she's in range when this happens. So, no more problems. ><

When I did THK with my ranger i was in a group with a tank who let everyone past him, an ele who only used AoE spells when there was only one enemy and spammed flare at all other times and 5 heroes. The only part where we had any difficulty was when the ele left during the fight with the mursaat boss and his 2 monk heroes and his MM started running about at random. This is perhaps the easiest mission since chahbek village.

Defending the Gates much harder than Camping at King?[edit source]

Is it me, or is splitting the groups between each gate actually much harder to pull off compared to just camping at the king?

I've had roughly 15 failures with groups trying to defend the western and eastern gates, and two out of three successes with groups who just camped at the king the entire time. The failure in this case was me alone with henchmen. I think it's just easier for most groups to kill wave after wave of monsters at one spot compared to shuttling back and forth between two spots.

Advantage of gate defense is you don't risk Chain Lightning and Spectral Agony hitting the king at all. The king is pretty fragile against them. I personally run between the gates when I hench, watching carefully to see the other gate is clear. I find that as long as I have aggroed a group of mobs at one gate, I can run to the other gate and aggro new incomings and they'll all fight my party instead of running to the King, so I get best of both worlds. Most of the time I don't have to do the run-between as my 7-hench group got enough power to beat the mobs as they come. It's especially easy with my Domination mesmer, using only Echo, Backfire, Empathy, and Cry of Frustration most of the time. Guarding by the King works similarily, there is just less margin for error. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa.png) 04:03, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
It is much easier imho to defend the gates. You need one man on both walls using the ballistas and one monk on each side to heal. Rest of the group professions are irrelevant. A mesmer on the side which gets more enemies and the boss is nice. The other 4 members should always move to the center after they have killed the current enemies so they can help the side which needs it. --Gem-icon-sm.png 04:05, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
I find camping at the king is fine and i've never had any problems that PanSola pointed out, the only problems i have with camping at the king is people straying away from the core group. if people stray thats the end of it because you need the whole team to act as a wall. --Jamie 04:07, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
I have never camped at the king, but I have a 100% success rate at the gates if I have had time to discuss the plan beforehand. I once took a PuG with no planning and they failed miserably, thou a poor party can still make it. We did the bonus yesterday with 2 players afk. :) --Gem-icon-sm.png 04:11, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
I've never succeeded in dozens of attempts with groups to camp the king successfully. I have, however, done (even did the bonus one time.. didn't even notice we were doing it!) the gates really easily by splitting how Gem said. Conversely, a friend of mine was unable to do the gates a few tries then succeeded camping the king. *shrugs* - Greven 04:43, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
I am sure it depends on the team set up and player play styles. --Gem-icon-sm.png 04:53, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
I've had the same overall impression as Jamie. I've done THK more times than I care to remember, and camping the king has undoubtly worked much more successfully than splitting the team. With PUGs, you can never know who's competent, and who isn't. You split the team as per your designation (monk on each side, manned catapults, etc), everyone's happily hacking through the first few white mantle, and then wham! one side starts dropping fast. You can say they got overwhelmed, or it might also be that they weren't skilled enough to deal with their foes. It's irrelevant. All that matters is that they got mowed down.
The way I see it, if the team splits, the probability that (at least) one side will prove unable to hold their ground quadruples (not a full party of 8 now; you have two smaller groups of half that)! If they stick together at the top of the stairs, near the king, they can compensate for each other; one monk is spamming HB instead of wisely throwing WoH/Dwayna's around? The other one can step in and try and compensate. Being together helps with that.
In my entire experience, only once has the king died before the rest of the party, when we had decided to camp him; that time was when we got a bit carried away, overextending to one side, as some Mursaat sneaked past us to the King. He usually is far enough from the attackers that neither Chain Lightening nor Agony hits him.
Just my experience. :) --Dirigible 04:56, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
Thats why I said that the party should always move to the center after defeating the foes. They can easily move to the other side to help. The monsters usually aren't attacking both sides at the same time, and when they are, there is only a small group on the other side. When I play with incompetent or unknown players I assign them to the sides and run from side to side alone or with one friend. No problem ever, not even with the 2 afk guys. --Gem-icon-sm.png 05:16, 22 May 2006 (CDT)
The problem I've seen when working the gates is that someone (usually more than one) inevitable gets over-ambitious and starts chasing down the mobs that are just outside the gate; then a just a bit further, then further. Until they're either too far out to make it back to the safety of support. With the team at least partially split, sometimes it's possible to recover/compensate, sometimes it's not. When working closer to the king (actually, working the stairs and ramps near the king) you can keep everyone in just a single group, so it's easier to compensate for afk or over-ambitious players. I've never lost due to the king getting taken out by chain lightning or crippling anguish.
I now usually use strategy C; which is currently written as a variant of strategy B, but could probably also work as a variant of strategy A. The plus of that strategy is if timed correctly, by the end the group is still in a single group and also well clear of the king - the best parts of both A and B!
Regardless, I do recommend removing the recent edit re: "A PUG should probably use this strategy as it requires much less coordination to execute successfully compared to watching over two gates". I do agree that the chance of success with a poorly coordinated group is better; but it's a subjective call that should be left to the player. --- Barek (talk • contribs) - 09:04, 22 May 2006 (CDT)

I did the mission and bonus about a month ago with 2 monks and 6 wars. We pretty much all camped in the middle and rushed from side to side. It's not especially important what classes you take with you as long as the people playing them are skilled. Personally, I hate camping the king, because he's weak and easily killed. I would rather use any other strategy than that one, but to each his/her own. --Tjoneil 21:21, 27 May 2006 (CDT)

Blocking the gates requires slightely more coordination and team work. So poor teams wont last long there. But defending gates is just more safe and you have more room of error if initial defense fail. (can run back to king) Also two trappers trapping above gates , while monks on catapults makes this quite easier.

Having done this mission many times with full hench parties, I can say that both ways have their pros and cons. Sitting near the king minimizes the chance that an enemy unit might accidentally slip past your guard and kill him. However at the same time it leaves him vulnerable, since you're waiting for foes to pile up basically at the foot of the stairs and then they all charge in. It's a Defender-friendly map, that's for sure...but you've got to be well prepared for a defensive battle to camp the king.
On the other hand, running back and forth between the gates to defend against each new wave of attackers is also feasible. It's a little bit harder but much more fun and exciting. Since you take on groups far away from the king, he is never in danger of dying. However if you're not fast and efficient, enemies will start to slip past you and the King will die. So, doing the gates takes a good Offense.
But, what I do is really a combination of both. :) I like to run back and forth when I can, taking out units in ones or twos before they pile up. When I see the Mursaat boss, though, I head back and camp because I know I'm in for a minute-long battle of endurance. After that point, though, I mostly go back to rushing back and forth, defending well away from the King. Enemies arrive in pairs, and so slowly that it's really no problem to take 'em out and rush clear to the other gate and wait. Sometimes I even have time to run outside the gates and fight, but not often.
I've never attempted to hold the gates with two simultaneous parties, but I suppose with Heroes I can try that sometime. Probably won't be too hard, although the Mursaat boss may catch me off-guard. Anyways, I'm of the opinion that Camping vs Attacking is really based on your team composition and general effectiveness with strategies. Entropy 05:03, 24 January 2007 (CST)

Good Teams[edit source]

Would it be a good idea to have "workable" team layouts?

True example: I got Mission and Bonus the other day with 2 Nukers, 2 Healer Henchies, a MM, 2 Warriors and a Ranger. (Strategy A was loosely followed)

A workable team of that kind is actualy the usual balanced team, and I'm sure that's something noted in this wiki, and that is known in a way to every player. Foo 20:33, 27 May 2006 (CDT)
2 Healer hench, 2 Warrior hench, Mage hench, Enchanter hench, Archer hench. Player runs anything they want, mission = win and bonus. You can probably even AFK at the King and let them do most of the work, though I wouldn't bet money on it. Entropy 05:03, 24 January 2007 (CST)

By my own experience I'd set up as follows: 1 prot monk, 1 healer (Rt or Mo), 1 support (command paragon, Rt Lord, warder, MM etc, you get the pattern), and remaining 5 as damage dealers regardless of class. It would be helpful if at least one of them would have some sort of shutdown/interruption capability, not necessary though. I find tanks overrated as a skilled prot monk can transfer any squishy into a tank, instead I tend to bring in extra damage to dispose of the mobs faster.

Completing Mission[edit source]

I'm of the opinion that the current strategy to beat the mission is not the easiest. I usually complete the mission for people and have done it about 200 times now. I complete the mission using 5 henchies whilst 2 other people go afk and do nothing. I can confirm the easiest way to beat the mission and dispell some questions brought up here -

Before you take over the Fort, you must catapult the Tundra Giants that are to the left side of the fort using the left catapult lever. Do this before you even engage any of the enemies in the fort.

1) When the defending stage begins, light both beacons and run behind the king. Simply camp from this point onward, the bonus Mursaat *will* act as a line of defence below the steps and kill any other monsters that come, be they giants, bosses, mursaat or jade. The bonus mursaat will not, under any circumstances, come up above the steps and engage the party if everyone is standing behind the king. There is a 50% chance the Mursaat will also kill the first boss and its group, effectively meaning you have to do nothing until the Mursaat Boss comes apart from killing the occasional enemy. It is important that catapults are not used during this period as doing so may aggro the bonus Mursaat. Remember, the bonus mursaat can be your friends as long as you don't agro them, and they do make the mission a lot easier. They are much better than the phantoms.

2) Simply camp the King and kill enemies as they come, you will never be overwhelmed if your party simply stays behind the King and follows called targets starting with Jade, then Mursaat, then Mantle.

3) When the Mursaat Boss comes this is another major downfall for parties. I complete this part with 5 henchies, that's 2 healer henchies, 2 damage dealers, and myself. If I can do it with that little group, then anyone can do it with 7 henchies or a PUG that follows targets in the correct order. It is important to understand, do NOT engage the Mursaat Boss at any time until absolutely every other enemy has died. Start by killing the Jade and Mursaat first, then the White Mantle, and once every other enemy is off your radar, you may then move onto the Mursaat Boss. If another enemy comes whilst you're fighting the boss, disengage the boss and fight the new enemy. If you don't kill off new monsters as they come then they will pile up and may overwhelm you.

After that simply go back behind the King and camp like you were before, only engaging enemies as they come. Note that the king may wander around randomly, be sure to follow it so that he doesn't get ambushed.

Myth dispelling from my experience in this mission:

1) You will not be overwhelmed at any time if you stay behind the King. I can confirm that standing next to the King and defending that as one point with every party member is indefinitely easier than splitting your party onto two sides of the fort, or having "scouts". Nothing of that sort is needed, do not make the mission more difficult if you don't have to. Camp the King, that's all that is required!

2) Don't use the catapults at any time, they're pointless and may leave you open to attack. If you can't kill a group of enemies without having to resort to the catapults then your team is not following called targets.

3) The Bonus Mursaat will engage the enemy even if you're at the other side of the map. I light the beacons to complete the mission not because I want to get the bonus, but because it actually makes the mission a lot easier.

4) Holding a beacon (torch) used to cause enemies to aggro you, making it ideal if you had a tank to carry the torch. This has since been REMOVED in an update. I can confirm 100% that holding the torch will not, in any way shape or form, cause enemies to aggro you any more than they would if you weren't holding it. The torch, be it dropped, held or anything else, does not effect aggro in any way.

5) If you want to complete this mission, USE HENCHIES. PUGS are often doomed to fail this because everyone has an opinion as to what the correct method of beating the mission is. Too many chiefs, not enough indians. If you follow what I have typed, using henchies, you will find this mission to be among the easiest in the game. Simply camp the king, that's all that is required. No scouting, no catapulting, no splitting of groups. Just simple, camping the King.

I'm not going to edit any of the main page with this information, I'll leave it up to anyone else who wants to use it and maybe change a few things. You are welcome to debate anything I've said here, however I currently beat this mission for people with a 100% success rate using the method I've stated above.

Sounds nice. Now that I could read the whole strategy explained, I'll go immediately test it with my girlfriend. It happens that we just got 2 characters to THK, so your timing is perfect. :) Although I have had no problems with my own 3 man tactic '2 hold the catapults, one runs from side to side with henchmen', this might make it possible for me to complete this aloneif it works as you described. --Gem-icon-sm.png (talk) 01:26, 31 August 2006 (CDT)
And forgot to mention: I will add this to the article after verified. --Gem-icon-sm.png (talk) 01:26, 31 August 2006 (CDT)
These tips are old news, and most of its already in the article in some form. The problem is that everyone has their own system that they're accustomed to using and which works for them - so the article has been kludged together to accomodate everyone's opinions. The only item blatantly wrong in the article is the mention to use the catapults after clearing the fort - anon's right, do it first thing.
I've used a variant of this, and I agree that it's far easier to camp the king with henchies than it is to do almost anything with a PUG. I usually diverge some - if you correctly prioritize targets, it's really not much harder to kill everything that approaches rather than rely on the bonus Muursat. I also usually diverge into what's listed as strategy C part way through - partly because camping gets dull, and partly because it ensures the king will never get anywhere close to an aggro from that point on - but it can be done just as well camping the king for the whole thing. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 01:37, 31 August 2006 (CDT)
I tried this. The bonus mursaat is the only thing new in this actually, now that I rad through the article. And they didn't actually survive to fight the mursaat boss at all, they died to the group before. After that we waited at the fort center, killing anything coming in. I'll rewirte the strategy section a bit. --Gem-icon-sm.png (talk) 03:13, 31 August 2006 (CDT)

Just did this mission + bonus with 3 players and filled out with henches. Camping with the king works like a breeze, no sweat at all. Just stay near the king and take out groups coming up the stairs, prioritizing mursaat over the other attackers. Sometimes the king moves to the stairs, in that case just stick with him. Also enjoyed seeing the bonus mursaat stopping the first waves, it was almost boring... [MM]

Man, ty for this. I tried normal way with PUG groups 10 times or something, didn't came far at all(maybe not everyone infused armor). Tried this strategy and it works perfect, no more then 1 group at the time(1 mursaat and 1 jade mostly, very easy). Almost got too boring:P(UnexistNL 08:39, 11 October 2006 (CDT))

Camping the center of the courtyard, occasionally running from side to side to aggro invaders, has worked very well for me the last couple times I did it. As soon as the cutscene starts, just hang out in the center. It isn't really much of a hassle- not once in the entire siege does Jalis come even close to the attackers, and it's not hard to get a flawless with almost entirely henchmen. I'm somewhat surprised this strategy isn't listed in the main article. I would add it but I don't think it adds anything particularly of value, as apparantly the current strategies handle it for most people... —Aranth Mesmer 03:50, 15 October 2006 (CDT)

I would have updated the article, but I don't see the point in the strategy guide anymore. This mission is nowdays so easy that I haven't seen anyone failing it. What a shame. --Gem-icon-sm.png (talk) 05:45, 15 October 2006 (CDT)

I have heard that lighting the beacons, would give you a chance to get the dwarves in the towns outside into the fort. and that they would man the siege machines, making the mission A HELL OF A LOT easier. does anyone know if this is true, or can anyone test this by doing the bonus and attempting to get the dwarves into the fort.I'm not sure I could pull it off. JFSOCC 19:39, 7 December 2006 (CST)

No, it's not true. Lighting the beacons just calls in the monsters from those villages so that they don't kill off the dwarves, but the dwarves remain in their villages. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:42, 7 December 2006 (CST)

The Lich[edit source]

An anonymous user added the following to the article: "The lich can be seen at the northern most point of the map but does not do anything and does also not make sence because he is an enemy of the mursaat." Although I haven't seen the Lich myself, it is possible that he is there. Everyone remember how poorly the cinematics are sometimes done? For example in the end of the Abaddon's Mouth mission you can see both the Lich and the Vizier after the end cinematics. Therefor I think that this _might_ be true. However, please don't add it back into the article without a screenshot. --Gem-icon-sm.png (talk) 03:58, 21 October 2006 (CDT)

I've seen it glitch once and place him there; same as I've seen it glitch twice to leave the Vizier near the king after the initial cut scene. They're not usual occurances, and not something that the majority of users would ever even see, so I don't think they should be in the article.--- Barek (talkcontribs) - 10:26, 21 October 2006 (CDT)

Smoke Phantoms[edit source]

They behave oddly in Thunderhead Keep...

  • Sometimes the ones summoned by the Vizier "magically" teleport onto the bridges above the gates, which is very strange.
  • In the end cutscene, where the Vizier "summons" them from Dorian's body...well, it glitched, and I saw them appear before he even started talking. So much for summoning.
  • They don't seem to cast any of their Lightning spells, either during the mission or in the cutscene. 02:32, 29 December 2006 (CST)

Hard Mode[edit source]

Has anyone tried this MB on hard mode? I'm pretty well prepared for most missions, but I'm truly DREADING this one.

Just got through it myself, complete with 10% Morale Boost. It's not actually that much more difficult, if you exclude a boss or two. (The Necro and Monk can get nasty, you see.) Just take something such as a tank, two monks of course, and anything that does a lot of damage, like an MM (which I was doing). It's not all that hard if you have a team of people who can work together. Just fight to the keep, activate bonus, and hide by the king. Wait for the bonus group to aggro on everything else, and watch as most stuff gets killed for you. Kill anything that aggros on you, but if you hang back you should be safe until the bonus group goes down. Honestly, the trickiest bit was Dorian's mob for size, and even he went down with relative ease. No worries, it's doable. Not sure if it's PUGgable, though. -- Elveh 11:46, 13 May 2007 (CDT)
Have fun raising minions from non-exploitable Jade corpses. Minions also die to Mursaat and Jade awfully fast, as they're not infused. If you draw the necro boss, I'd consider that fairly good luck, as it halfway kills itself with blood renewal, and its hexes are easily removed. Dorian's group can vary wildly in difficulty, depending on how many savants and sycophants he brings. Quizzical 03:19, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I ran this mission with a friend (quite easily even) using one Jagged Bones MM, HB monk, SoR monk, me being barrage ranger with "I am the strongest", my friend SH ele with Great Dwarf Weapon, and 2 hero SH eles and a UG ele hero. The minions didnt last long, but worked as meat shield bombs. The clearing the city and fortress part was very easy, most mobs died within the first 5 seconds. We wiped once in the defence part due to some bad luck and bad tactics the first try. The second time all had morale boost, and we just stayed at the king, nuking all that tried to come up. Only the perfected armor took some time to kill. After the jade boss mobs came one by one into the fortress making it very easy, dorian didnt pose a threat either. Breintje(P/T) 08:02, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Black Bear[edit source]

I found an interesting bug during this mission: gw044dg3.jpg ...too bad I didn't bring charm animal.

They usually wander around just outside the keep. They don't normally turn hostile, but sometimes they wander into range of the ballistas, and if they get hit by an attack they turn hostile. (All creatures need to be hit 4 times in order to die, regardless of their level. I've tried. One hit will not kill the bear.) Why it came with the Jade... no idea, but they are part of the mission. :) -- Elveh 13:09, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
His point was it was actually a jade bow. It's the bug where the name and level of mobs in an area get mixed up. --Fyren 13:25, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
Ugh, totally missed that. I shouldn't try to make sensible posts when tired. Yes, it IS weird. -- Elveh 07:04, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
I've seen plenty of those glitches before. The AI messes up and u get the name and level of a pet instead of the monster.--Marcopolo47 sig.jpg (T)(C) 21:56, 27 August 2007 (CDT)
Might it be possible to charm it? I hope not. Though it might be cool to have Jade Bow as a pet... - Jope16 19:07, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
No, you can't, because it's a Jade Bow, just it's named improperly --Gimmethegepgun 19:14, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Objective: "Clear the Fort" Made Easier[edit source]

The Stone Summit packed inside of THK can be a bit difficult if you over-aggro the two groups of 3x Stone Summit Heretic and 1x Summit Giant Herder in the central courtyard. It gets especially painful if you also aggro Dagnar Stonepate at the same time. With King Jalis Ironhammer unable to ever break aggro, you usually end up wiping in this kind of fiasco. Well, thankfully I have found a solution:

Dagnar Got Pulled.jpg

I have never been able to do this before, but I guess a recent update changed things. A player with a Longbow or Flatbow (Nevermore Flatbow works nicely) can now hit Dagnar from the top of the hill on the way into the fort. It's the one before you face groups of 3x Stone Summit Gnasher. Since he is a caster boss, he will advance and try to attack, and you can kill him from the safety of the hill. This makes things that much easier once you're inside the fort. Also, this is a lot like the Dunes of Despair Exploit. Theoretically, you could use Necrotic Traversal or Consume Corpse and then teleport everyone inside. Or perhaps a Shadow Step would work, since there are no obstructions. Either way, it is a cool little tip and I think I'll add it to the mission strategy. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 15:29, 21 July 2007 (CDT)

I'd never thought of pulling from there before. I have tried pulling him from the bottom of the stairs, but he won't move very far from his spot. I've never really had trouble with the "clearing the fort" part myself, but I'm sure this will be very helpful for others. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken.gif 23:02, 21 July 2007 (CDT)

Glitch[edit source]

I had this mission glitch on me today. We fought into the fort. Cleared it out, lit the torches, and stood back to watch the Mursaat kick dwarf... um, hindside around. And started with doing just that. And then the popcorn grew old. The soda ran out. And that annoying tall lady with the bee-hive hairdoo got bored and went home, letting me see quite plainly that nobody was coming to siege the fort. As it turns out The Judge's spawn aggroed on the dwarves sittting safe in their outpost. Unable to kill the dwarves, and unable to be killed by them, this did not resolve itself quickly like any bad-guy aggros ally scenario should. After spotting the problem and quietly clearing them out of the way, the siege resumed normal operation, at the cost of no more show to watch (we killed the Mursaat defending the fort before venturing outside). Yamagawa 21:47, 27 August 2007 (CDT)

This page is too looooooooong[edit source]

It strikes me as rather odd that this should have the second longest mission page on the wiki, as it's not a hard mission. It trails only Raisu Palace, which is at least hard if you want master's reward with only henchmen (not heroes) and haven't been through several times to know all the little details. I'm guessing that the length of this page is primarily for historical reasons that no longer apply, and the page could (and should) be shortened considerably.

Someone above commented that after playing Factions, this mission seemed easier. I'm guessing that you get used to escorting idiot NPCs around a lot in Factions, which makes escorting a relatively stronger one here seem not so hard. And the reason why it doesn't seem hard is that it isn't. I'm also guessing that the mission was originally deemed hard by people who got lots of runs and had tried this mission with little experience at the game, which can make an awful lot of missions seem hard. Worse, a bunch of uninfused characters can make this mission really hard. But none of those are justifications for such an intimidatingly long page today.

For starters, the party composition stuff is useless junk. Unless henchmen builds happen to match up with the mission a lot better than I think they do, the only useful party composition advice that rises even to the level of slightly unusual is to bring some armor-ignoring damage to tear up the mursaat boss, in case you draw the monk. But even that isn't really necessary, and it's also not on the page at all to begin with.

For the next few sections, we really don't need several paragraphs to say pull one group at a time and kill it. Maybe some warning that Ironhammer won't run away is appropriate, but that shouldn't take several paragraphs.

Some length comes from giving three strategies to hold the fort. None of them strike me as flagrantly dumb a priori, though I haven't tried A or C. I did let some mobs get within range of Ironhammer yesterday, and they didn't attack him, but went after nearby henchmen instead. I'm not sure if keeping all mobs away from Ironhammer is necessary, or if all that matters is keeping party members in range of any mobs that come. If the latter, then there wouldn't be anything to be gained by taking strategies A or C. Perhaps I'll see in the next few runs.

So are there any objections to making the page more succinct? Quizzical 22:46, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Hmm.. A looooong complaint about the page being too looooong, interesting... -- Elisa Angelstine sig.pngElisa Angelstine (talk) 22:48, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Added cleanup tag RT | Talk 22:48, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
This isn't so much random complaining as saying that I'm going to do something about it. I'd rather not get into a revert war when someone gets upset that I chopped his precious useless tip. I'd also rather not cut out information that is actually important and useful for reasons that I didn't catch. I made notes like this before carving up the bonus sections to Dunes of Despair and The Dragon's Lair, too. Quizzical 01:48, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Go for it. The whole thing suffers from bloat - some sections more than others, with everyone trying to fit in more-and-more tips. For specific issues: I objected to the addition of the party formation tips when they were first added, it's stuff that any player should understand by that stage of the game, no loss in removing it. The "reaching..." and "clearing..." sections can be summarized as "Talk to the king to start, be careful with your aggro, the king is slow to disengage when in battle, the king must survive." For the holding the fort strategies, all three ended up in here because many people are strongly attached to their method, convinced it's better, so all three were left in to avoid edit warring. To me, they're all functional. A and B are the easiest, C is the safest, but trickiest as leaving to the choke point must be timed correctly. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 05:39, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
There, it's done. Now it's only the eighth longest mission page (sixth longest if you exclude competitive and elite missions). Quizzical 22:20, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Very nice job :) Buzzer 06:59, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
And now that I try the mission in hard mode, the strategy that I end up using isn't one of the ones listed. It's easy enough to add it, but I get the nagging feeling that this is how the page got to be bloated in the first place. I think it needs a link to a "heal while outside of spell range quick reference" page that doesn't exist. Quizzical 09:25, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Bonus Glitch[edit source]

Upon doing this mission four times, I noticed that even after correctly lighting the beacons on time and killing all foes that intrude into the keep, including Confessor Dorian's group at the end, I was not given credit for the bonus. Twice this happened; the other two occasions (once in normal mode, the other in hard) when it was time to talk to Ironhammer, I ran out from the fort and noticed six Jade foes (two groups of three) completely stationary in the area north of the fort, where all the rest of the Jade and Mursaat would have been initially positioned, before they came to the keep. I killed them and only then did I go back and speak to Ironhammer, who credited me for the bonus.

My guess is that these six foes are the additional Jade enemies that the guide mentions, and maybe this is the bug that prevents people from successfully completing the bonus even when the torches have been lit on time. If this is the case, I believe this information should be included into the guide. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (contribs) .

How do you know that you lit the beacons on time? If you're lighting both yourself, you have to be fast; that the extra Jade come in does not necessarily mean that you were fast enough. Once I figured out the fastest route to do the beacons, in 10 times in easy mode and 10 more in hard mode, I always got credit for the bonus. Quizzical 17:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I understand that. All four times I was by myself. The first time was in hard mode, and I lit them without using any speed boosts at all. I was fast, but I admit there was room for improvement. Even so, I was credited with the bonus, but I only talked to Ironhammer after defeating the six Jade who I found sitting in their camp after all the waves had past. After that, I failed it during normal mode. Thinking I was not fast enough, I then equipped myself with a running skill, and I was fast as possible lighting those beacons. However, I still failed it. So remembering how I obtained credit for the bonus during hard mode, I attempted it one last time, which meant also killing the extra Jade remaining in their base. This granted me the bonus. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (contribs) .

Getting the Bonus[edit source]

Discussion indicates this is problematical. From experience, the problems seems to be real.

First, try ending the cutscene right away, then run to the East beacon, get the torch and light the beacon.

Next, quickly drop the torch and run to the West beacon, get the torch there and light the beacon there.

However you do the mission, if the King survives to the end, don't talk to him until you have scoured the northeast and northwest area (order is optional). See if the dwarves in the two areas have survived.

If those dwarves have survived, you should get the bonus when you talk to the king.

Why bother looking around? You can't change it and using your method you didn't save any time. 20:57, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Found one group of three Enslaved Frost giants with one Summit Giant Herder which didnt appear at the beginning and in the end (cleaning everything up) those where attacking the dwarfs on the west side. One still survived (the enslaved frost giants were hitting the house and the summit giant herder wasnt strong enough it seemed. One survived and i got the bonus. One might want to pay attention to that :)

omg bug[edit source]

You don't have to kill all the groups in the city. In fact you may not have to kill any of them at all. I left the group containing the boss and went straight to the gate; Jalis used Claim Resource and the mission went on. However, the quest log updated after I had killed all the groups on the "ramparts" plus the few patrols that come running towards you. Once I got to the fort, the rest of the mission proceeded normally.

It's not like there is any reason not to fight the groups in the city, though; none are dangerous and most are impossible not to aggro anyway. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 22:12, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

You am use exploit! I is will report. Felix Omni Signature.png 22:13, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I've personally found more bugs, exploits, anomalies, and other such things than most/all other players I know, and I am proud of it! Especially when they save you money (my favorite one). Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 22:17, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

THK Bug.jpg

There. Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 07:16, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Siege Weapon Lolz[edit source]

I just noticed this during my THK run with my paragon:
You can see the fading trail from the siege weapon to the explosion as if it was wanding with a Holy Rod! The sc isn't as clear as I would like, but it's definitely there. King Neoterikos 05:04, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Ballista Snowball Hax.jpg

Too slow Entropy Sig.jpg (T/C) 05:23, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I think that should fix the picture spacing. Quizzical 09:19, 11 December 2008 (UTC)