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Shadowlands: Torghast

One of the new features of the expansion.  It’s a randomly generated dungeon that you fight through, and you get many special powers as you go through that _may_ make you absurdly powerful.  The powers all go away at the end of the run.  Some of the story quests require going into Torghast.  While items don’t drop (well, rarely world drops), things you need for building your legendary do.  Some people love the content, some don’t.

Each week, two of the possible six wings are available.  To start a Torghast run, you walk up to the glowing portal and you’ll be able to choose a ‘layer’.  This is just a difficulty setting, as the layers increase the mobs have more health and do more damage.  Starting at layer 3, there are additional environmental effects (e.g. fire damage every 10 seconds, assassins that spawn if you’re out of combat for 30 seconds, etc.).  You can only choose a layer difficulty up to one more than the most difficult you’ve completed on any wing.  So, first time you walk in has to be layer 1.  If you succeed there and go to the other wing, you can choose to do that at layer 2.

The main reason for doing wings at higher difficulties is the soul ash you gain.  This is the major material needed for building a legendary.  When you are selecting a layer at the start, hover the mouse over the layer emblem, it will show you how much soul ash you’ll get for doing that layer.  You can only get soul ash from a specific layer once per week; but, the nice part is that if you start the week out by doing a layer 3, you’ll get the soul ash from layers 1 and 2 as well.  To follow the example of the first week, if you did wing A at layer 1 and got 120 soul ash, then did wing B at layer 2, it would give you 220 soul ash.  If you then go back to wing A and do it at layer 3, you’d get the soul ash from layers 2 and 3 there, but you’ve already gotten the amount from layer 1 so it won’t give you that again (total of 185).  The game will do the math for you.  Layers 3+ also have the possibility of generating additional followers for your covenant. Layer 4+ if you want Meatball.

Each Torghast run has the same overall layout.  There are two floors of enemies, then a third with no enemies but a broker.  Two more floors of enemies, then a floor with a broker and the end boss.  You have to kill the end boss and loot him in order to get your soul ash. 

When you zone in there will be a floating ball that is an anima power.  Click on it, choose whichever power seems best to you.  Special mobs will often produce extra anima powers, and if you find a side passage that looks like you can skip it, it will have at least one.  You can stack most of the powers up to some limit.

As you kill things, you get phantasma, a currency that can only be spent in Torghast and goes away at the end of the run.   You spend the phantasma at the broker.  The broker has a random selection of items to buy, get what seems to help you the most.  Some things to look for in particular:

Plundered Anima Cell—gives you a choice of random anima powers.  One person in the group can buy it, everyone in the group gets to choose a power from it.

Ravenous Anima Cell—Throw it at a non-elite mob to transform them into an anima orb.  Note: brokers are not elite mobs, but please wait to throw it until everyone has had a chance to buy things.  It gives you a big pouch of phantasma and is probably not the best way to use it.  Using it on other non-elite mobs can give you useful anima powers not available any other way, related to the mob.  For example, in the Soulforges (a wing with lots of fire damage), using this on any of the Fire casters (Firecaller, flametender, etc.) will give you a power that reduces fire damage taken by 65%.  The other important use of these is in Mort’regar, use them on any of the “Dreadsoul” mobs to get a power that changes the goo they drop when they die from damaging you to healing you.

One last thing to note about the brokers—they have a blue field around them that lets you change your talents and specs and keeps you safe from the environmental effects.  This is the only place that’s safe to take a quick break.

Each floor also has lots of jars, smash them to get more phantasma.  If you find souls, click on them or the cage they are in.  Each soul remnant will give you 1% more of your stats.  Most people clear each level, at least on the first few runs.

Many of the floors include traps and puzzles.  Traps are usually pretty obvious, big swinging axes or fire, but some aren’t as obvious.  Watch them a bit to see how to pass them.  Some traps have switches on the far side, so the first person across can shut them off.  Some of the Covenant movement powers are helpful for getting across traps.  Sometimes what looks like an anima orb is secretly a mimic.  There are three common chest puzzles:

Keys scattered around the level—small white glowing keys on the ground, when you click them you get “a lock has opened elsewhere” message.  Find all the keys and the chest will be unlocked.  If the chest has a chain on it, there’s still a key to find.

Lever puzzle—four levers in front of the chest, get the right combination and the chains all go away. To solve it: [spoiler]click the levers from left to right in the following order: 1234-1232-1234-123.  It will open somewhere in that sequence. [/spoiler]

Colored runes puzzle—four switches, same thing, get all four chains to go away and the chest can be opened.  To solve it: [spoiler]One switch will change itself and 3 others, one switch itself and 2 others, etc.  Start with the switch that controls 3 others, click it until its chain is removed.  Then move to the switch that hits only 2 others and do the same thing, etc.[/spoiler] 

Once a chest has no chains on it, click on the chest and it will turn into an anima orb.

Sometimes on a floor you will find an npc chained up.  These NPC’s will assist you in fighting until you find what they are looking for.  Then they will take the item and disappear, leaving you an anima orb for your trouble.  They are not much dps, but they are free.  They are also not much use against the boss, so go ahead and free them when you find the item they are looking for.  Note that these mobs will sometimes join you in your covenant.

You have a limited number of deaths allowed in each Torghast run.  If you exceed the limit, a grue comes for you.  That’s a good sign that you should maybe choose a lower layer or go with friends.  Sadly, you can’t add people to a run already in progress.