Exclusive guide to Rift's brand new raid: Waves of Madness' Hammerknell

Jonathan H. Cooper

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Who's big and gray and purple and about to eat Telarans? You are! That's right!

For the past few weeks, Rift players have been beating back the Waves of Madness with new daily quests, loot, and unique zone invasions. Now, as the event comes to a close, the doors of the ancient city of Hammerknell are opening, revealing the way to the most difficult raid instance yet. But with great responsibility, come great rewards . As huge fans of great rewards, we want to help you deck your character out in those new armor sets, so we put together this exclusive guide filled with info and strategies to help your give your group a heads-up on the bosses you'll be encountering, and how you can take 'em down with ease.

Part 1: Boss: Murdantix (8.5 million hitpoints)

  • Before you even get into the halls of Hammerknell proper, you'll need to get past its guard dog. Murdantix blocks the stairway inside, eager to bite at the faces of the soft and squishy Telarans pouring through its doors. Scared? Don't be. Check out some of the exclusive details we have on this big, bad dog.

Abilities

  • Spirit Capture: When an attacker dies he grows more powerful.
  • Demonic Blast: A multiple-projectile attack with area-of-effect impacts.
  • Demonic Tar: A projectile attack that leaves long lasting damage zones on the ground.
  • Ferocious Pound: A large-radius knockback.
  • Mangling Crush: A ferocious attack that leaves the target with an armor debuff.
  • Summon Tormenters: Murdantix summons minions to fight with him.

Strategies

  • Make sure to keep ranged DPS and healers spread apart so they aren't destroyed by Demonic Blast , or else, well, they'll be destroyed by Demonic Blast.
  • Demonic Tar will aim for, and land on a player, but it should be easy to deal with as long as players are quick to move out of it. Hey. HEY! Are you Alt-tabbed or just blind? Come on, man! MOVE!
  • Ferocious Pound is unavoidable so be sure to have all players topped off before it hits. Though we're pretty sure you're going to try to jump anyway.
  • The longer the battle lasts, the more Mangled Crush will hurt you, so prepare to have at least two tanks switching between off-tanking duties.
  • The Tormentors should just be off-tanked and ignored if you have the healing to support it. You can clean them up when the big bad dog is dead.

Always bet on the giant, scary monster. Always.

Drops

  • Mace: Destroyer of Legends
  • Ring: Survivor's Hope
  • Ring: Drowned Diamond
  • 1h Sword: Savage Beastcarver
  • Chain Boots: Treads of Stinking Tar
  • Chain Gloves: Salvation's Grip
  • Chain Helmet: Gore-Spattered Helm
  • Chain Belt: Gore-Drenched Waist
  • Cloth Shoulders: Mantle of Ravaged Souls
  • Leather Gloves: Cold Dead Handguards
  • Leather Waist: Barbed Tongue of the Beast
  • Plate Boots: Death's Advance
  • Plate Helmet: Slaughter-Forged Faceplate
  • Plate Shoulder: Reaper's Heavy Shoulders
  • Totem: Rune Vessel Remnant

Part 2: The Three Halls

When you first enter into Hammerknell, there are three sections that need to be cleared: the Halls of Knowledge, Shaping, and Command are all filled with enemies to fight and capped off with bosses to destroy. Here's what you should expect to find.

Halls of Knowledge

It looks a bit like a dwarven dance club after a late night rave.

Library of the Runemasters

Zamira's love for salt licks is well documented.

  • Boss: Matron Zamira
  • Waiting in the middle of the large, circular room is Matron Zimera. She's described by the devs as being "pregnant with a brood of dark spirits", which is not only gross and kind of disturbing, but it tells us that the fight is probably going to be based heavily around waves of minions spawns that need to be controlled/contained while you take her down. The developers also mentioned that she has consumed the souls of many dwarves, though we feel like that might have less gameplay implications.

Mausoleum

In short: just imagine that the middle of The Black Gardens has come to life to eat you.

  • Boss: Sicaron
  • Before Hammerknell fell, Sicaron was sealed away to ensure that he didn't escape. But like all attempts to protect oneself from corruption in these sorts of situations, the runebindings containing him fell and the demon of torment broke. Now he spends his time relaxing in the Catacombs, absorbing the corpses of fallen dwarves and growing larger and more powerful as their remains joined with his own. I guess we all need our hobbies.

Halls of Shaping

The Halls of Shaping are easily confused with Castle Grayskull.

Mason's Corridor

Those wings can't possible be very good for flight.
  • Boss: Soulrender Zilas
  • It sounds like Soulrender Zilas is going to be one of those fun bosses that throws nonstop minions at the raid party. Why do we think that? Well, we know he's in the middle of releasing bound demons and building an army of Death inside Hammerknell to launch an invasion on the outside world. It's probably safe to assume that when he's under attack, he's not going to ask them to sit on the sidelines while he takes you on solo. Also expect your souls to be rended. Painfully.

Boundless Quarry

Quick! Guess which of the corrupted demon skulls he uses for kisses!
  • Boss: Grugonim
  • Grugonim is a fatty. He didn't even wait for the runebindings to break, he just broke them free himself and started killing dwarves and eating other demons. His non-stop buffet's got him so full of dark, demonic power he's about ready to burst. His hunger may be "insatiable," but we're fairly confident that enough of your mage's fireballs is going to satiate it just fine.

Halls of Command

I can never remember--is that stalactite or stalagmite?

Throne of the Rune King

Well, at least they have each other.
  • Boss: Rune King Molinar and Price Dollin
  • Determined to go down with the ship, the King of Hammerknell and his Crown Prince stayed when the doors were sealed shut. But instead of being devoured by the other bosses like good little dwarves, they were twisted and warped by the evil and have become the very demonic creatures they swore to protect their people from. How poetic. Kill them. We imagine a lot of the fight will revolve around requiring two tanks to position the two demonic buddies away from each other to keep them from aiding one another. Divide and conquer and all that.

Chamber of Runebinding Quarry

Apparently Kerrigan came over when a rift to the Plane of StarCraft opened up.
  • Boss: Estrode
  • Estrode is piiiiiiiiissed. At one point, the former rulers of Hammerknell bound her to the great wheel that opened and closed the lair's massive doors. But now that wheel's destroyed (and demons are running willy-nilly all over the place) she's out for revenge, and who could blame her? Who wants to be bound to a wheel? That's gotta give you vertigo and totally screw up your back. Expect some crazy attacks from those spiky wings of her.

After clearing these three halls, a fourth will open up for you to explore. Go ahead and do that, we're sure it's not filled with more horrific monsters. Just kidding, it totally is.

Part 3:Halls of Ingenuity

Well, maybe they're just lining up for a game of Red Rover.

Construct Foundry

At the end of this battle we expect to find out that we, too, are Fishmen.
  • Boss: Inquisitor Garau
  • Inquisitor Garau is the Robin to Jonaru's Batman. A technical mastermind, Garau has broken his way into the construct foundry of Hammerknell in order to steal the secrets of their runebinding technology. (And no doubt use it for some nefarius plot that ironically encases the inventors in their own trap.) We don't know for sure that he was successful in understanding the technology, but you have to believe he's going to be using this powerful tech on the players that attempt to kill him. Prepare to be runebound and controlled. Remember the golden rule on fights like this: break out your allies as soon as they're trapped. Especially if they're a healer!

After everything is dead, the last hall will open up to reveal the final boss(es).

Part 4: Halls of Commerce

Well, the Halls of Commerce is sorta like a bank... an evil bank of death!

Stoneborn Harbor

I will run this raid as many times as it takes to get an armor set that looks like that.
  • Boss: Jornaru
  • As you might expect from someone who's lifetime career has been as a bodyguard for a massive floating monster, Jonaru is powerful. The devs tell us that he “stands ready to receive the power of his master as Akylios is unleashed on Telara,” though we're going to guess the raid parties entering Hammerknell are going to do their best to make sure that doesn't happen. It's probably safe to expect some AoE swings from that weapon and a couple debilitating clamps from his massive claw hand, along with some magic granted by his master.

Akylios starts off the battle by eating anywhere from one to six people. Just kidding.
  • Boss: Akylios
  • Here he is, the reason you've been delving the devious dungeon for hours: Akylios the gross space octopus starfish of death. There aren't many situations where we can legitimately say that a raid boss' main strengths are “secrets and knowledge,” but this is one such time. Akylios knows things about things that you don't have never even heard of, and if you've seen what he's seen your brain would melt right out of your ears. We're talking H.P. Lovecraft-scary, here. Gameplay-wise that'll likely manifest itself in some mind-control powers and fear effects. Or he's feeling old-school, he may just slap you around with his tentacles—that works, too.

And that about does it for Hammerknell! So, I'm sure your gorup had no problem clearing the whole place on their first attempt with lag spikes and only two clerics, right? Be sure to let us know how you did, and what you think of Rift's newest raid instance.

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