Castle Highhold


General Information:

Always target “a grimling skinstitcher” first as it’s the healer, if you see it casting “Primal Violence” interrupt it or it will heal and bolster nearby encounters.

Above the doorways to the curtain walls and near the castle gates you’ll find “a Senshali seer” (looks like a black wisp) floating in the air. They function like an alarm and will summon ^^ Akhevans. The faster you kill the seer, the less summoned adds you need to deal with!


Woglok:

Woglok has a buff called “Blood Frenzy” – the more Woglok’s health drops, the harder he hits. This is everyone’s problem, when damage is starting to spike, DPS need’s to ramp up for a quick kill and healers/tanks need to start cycling any immunity or dmg reduction temps they have.Blood Frenzy

Around the 75% mark he will summon a Blade on-top of a random person, this will put an un-curable curse that person (“Wounded Spirit” or “Wounded Body” depending on if it’s the left or the right blade) – around 50% he will summon the other Blade again on a random person. If you want to make your tanks life easier, stack just behind Woglok so the tank can pick them up easily.
Wounded Body Wounded Spirit

The fight gets harder the closer he gets to death (as Woglok will hit harder and harder) – if you’re a high DPS group this likely won’t matter but a low DPS group will want to co-ordinate with the tank, keep eyes open and save the big hitters / temps / heavy heals for as soon as you can see the damage really spiking.

At 10% he will summon both Blades again and put both un-curable curses on everyone in the group.


Va’Tak Telaris:

Ensure everyone is in the room before pulling, it is possible for the gate to close and lock someone out.

Tank on top of the crates, you don’t all have to be on the same crates but obviously you want to be within heal range. Near the beginning of the fight he will cast “Suffering of Nos’Novien” which summons black fog on the ground floor, if you’re stood in this fog you’ll take heavy damage every 3 seconds.Suffering of Nos'Novien
Just after casting “Suffering of Nos’Novien” he will being casting “Symptomatic Dementia”, interrupt it (it’s a fast cast). If you successfully interrupt this every time, it becomes tank and spank. He will attempt to recast “Symptomatic Dementia” every 10~ seconds (an SK with 100% reuse can interrupt this every time with their green encounter taunt, a Dirge with 100% reuse can interrupt with “Hymn of Horror”, I’m sure there are others! With these examples the ability literally comes up about a second before the next interrupt is needed so it’s an easy way to keep an eye on when the next interrupt will be needed and you can concentrate on debuffs/DPS more effectively.).Symptomatic Dementia
If he successfully casts “Symptomatic Dementia” the detriment will appear with an increment of 25%, it increments another 25% on every successful cast. If this increments to 100% you will wipe (I think, have never let it happen!). You can ‘reset’ the “Symptomatic Dementia” buff by having someone jump on top of all of the crates, one of them will say “you have discovered a Relic” at which point a clicky will appear on the ceiling. Click on this and “Symptomatic Dementia” will reset and the black fog on the floor will disappear but the “Nos’Novien’s Revenge” detriment will appear on this person. Every time that persons clicks on a relic, the buff increments. IF the person with “Nov Novien’s Revenge” dies, it will kill x amount of other group members.Nos'Novien's Revenge


Shograh:

Upon pull the group will get the un-curable “Word of Tashakhi” detriment.
Word of Tashakhi

Tank should pull to a corner where he cannot be knocked back. There is a spot “around the corner” where the tank can wedge on one side of the door with back to a plant pot and the rest of the group can do the same on the other side. Alternatively (and especially if the tank is having problems keeping aggro on the adds) everyone can stack on the tank, there are no frontals to be afraid of.

Shograh curses the entire group with “Shograh’s Bane” on pull. Anyone that is cursed has a 50% chance every 20 seconds to spawn a ‘gooey’ add. For every add that is up, Shograh gains 5 increments of the damage reduction buff “Plasmatic Ritual”
Shograh's Bane Plasmatic Ritual

If you’re a high AoE DPS group with a tank capable of keeping aggro on everything, this encounter can be treated as tank and spank and you can pretty much stay on the name as long as the adds are dying in fairly short order, if you’re not struggling to heal you can prioritize curing curse on the DPS instead.

If you’re a low DPS group the priest will likely want to cure themselves first (a living group does more DPS than a dead one!) you’ll need switch to “<Playername’s> gooey goo” as they spawn. They have a buff called “Elemental Vulnerability” so if it isn’t killed with an elemental attack it will explode/knock-back on death, this will likely happen a lot. Elemental Vulnerability

The adds don’t hit too hard but they’re more than capable of killing. They also have a buff called “Bloody Purification”, if the “gooey goo” lands a death blow, the killed player will get the “Purgation” curse which stops them from being revived and another add called “<Playername’s> coagulated innards” will spawn which does much more damage. On the bright side, once the “coagulated innards” add has been killed, the player can again be resurrected again!
Bloody Purification Purgation

It’s not often necessary and makes for a longer fight but if a tank is really struggling to keep aggro on the adds as they spawn, you can all stack on the tank and the DPS can go “Singular Focus”, if everyone targets through the tank aggro shouldn’t be an issue, you can keep burning the adds and cure every curse as cure becomes available, once all the curses are gone no more adds will spawn at which point it’s just a straight burn on the name!

There is an “Elemental Executioner” achievement for the deathblow on Shograh being cold/heat damage based.Elemental Executioner


Sa’Dax Senshali:

Periodically throws ‘Dark Luclinite’ at group members. This will knockback. You can click on the ‘Dark Luclinite’ to disarm it, it’s also AoE blockable.

At 75%, 50%, 25% he will “teleport” away in a Purple/Green/Orange column and drop 3 colored orbs. Click on the primary colors of the column to teleport to him. While on the platform, he is practically immune to damage due to the “Barrier of Va Ha’Ra” buff.Barrier of Va Ha'Ra

Green = Yellow, Blue
Orange = Yellow, Red
Purple = Blue, Red

If your brain has a tendency to go blank in the middle of a heroic (am I the only one?), the following ACT triggers will tell you which colours to click on.

<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;&#35;00FF00Green lights glow about Sa'Dax as he teleports skyward\." SD="Yellow and Blue" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />
<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;&#35;8000FFPurple lights glow about Sa'Dax as he teleports skyward\." SD="Blue and Red" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />
<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;&#35;FF8000Orange lights glow about Sa'Dax as he teleports skyward\." SD="Yellow and Red" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />

You get a different un-curable detriment depending on the colour of the column he telported away on.

Green = ‘Vex Poisoning’, 400k poison damage every 4 seconds. Orange = ‘Kelorra Spikes’, Reduces healing received by 25% Purple = ‘Xakra Toxin’, Massive power drain.
Vex Poisoning Kelorra Spikes Xakra Toxin

If anyone decides not to use the orbs (to avoid the detriment), they will get an un-curable curse “Distortion Field” which turns their screen greyscale so they can no longer click on the orbs .. they must kill “a Va’Xin operator” that only they can see in order to remove the curse.Distortion Field


When moving into castle proper you are immediately given “Blackhand or Bust”, a quest to kill 24 Blackhand Loyalists before the time expires (between 7 and 8 minutes), there are roaming Akheva’s in the same area that don’t give updates and you’ll find some “Grimling Skinstitchers” are in some of the encounters, they AoE Bolster/Heal which is a nightmare when you’re mass pulling. To complete this quest you’ll need to clear the ground floor (including behind the stairs) and the side rooms upstairs.. you’ll either need to be fast pulling 1 or 2 encounters at a time, or mass pull everything, completely depends on the DPS you’re capable of.

I’d prioritize killing any “Grimling Skinstitchers” first to avoid heals, after that kill the “shifty supplier’s Importer” as they cast “Importer”, a really annoying knock-back. Finally, the surgeons who cast (a curable noxious) “Unsanitary Incision”.
Importer Unsanitory Incision

Gudre Blackhand:

Upon pull the group will get the “Keep your Enemies Closer” un-curable detriment, the further you are from the name, the more damage you take.Keep your Enemies Closer
Tank should pull him straight to one of the tapestries on the outer wall (or just tank him where he is depending on whether you’re ignoring the tapestries or not). At 93% Grimling Vialtossers will start throwing Vials and causing the “Smouldering Combustion” detriment on players to increment. The higher the increment, the more elemental damage you take. At release, it was a fail condition if this reached 10 for longer than a few seconds, now you can simply heal through it. If you are struggling to heal through it, click on the tapestries to burn them. Each tapestry burned causes 2 adds to pop. As tapestries are burned the tank should move the name and adds to the next tapestry.Smouldering Combustion
There is an achievement for healing through rather than burning the tapestries, “The Fire is so Delightful”.The Fire is So Delightful
He casts “Stunning Thresher Shark”, “Pelican Dive” and “End Around” fairly regularly. At release, if “Pelican Dive” was up for too long it was a fail condition, these days it may as well be called the memwipe from hell.. “Pelican Dive” and “Stunning Thresher Shark” really needs to be cured as quickly as possible to avoid memwipes/power drain.

“Diving Pelican” and “Stunning Thresher Shark” are AoE blockable and pot cure-able if needed. “End Around” is an un-curable de-target.

Diving Pelican Stunning Thresher SharkEnd Around
He will occasionally emote and cast “Centien Favor”, 3 people must click on him to stop this and they should do it immediately, he casts this every 20% after 85%. 85%, 65%, 45%, 25% – if you do not interrupt him he becomes enraged and starts dealing heavy damage and healing himself, if you’re slow and the 3rd person clicks near the end of his cast bar, he’ll sometimes emote like the interrupt was successful but still gain the Centien Favor buff! If everyone interrupts him successfully he is stunned instead (and gets the “Sundered” buff) and will not heal. If you miss an interrupt (i.e at 85%) and he heals up, he won’t need interrupting at that % the next time.
Centien Favor Sundered

The following ACT triggers will tell warn you when the Grimling Vialtossers are going to start and when to interrupt the name (if you’re not paying attention).

<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;aNPC -?\d+ [^:]+:Gudre Blackhand&#92;&#92;/a says, &quot;I am not the only one serving the Akheva!&quot;" SD="Tossers incoming" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />
<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;aNPC -?\d+ [^:]+:Gudre Blackhand&#92;&#92;/a says, &quot;I've wielded a sword longer than you've drawn breath!&quot;" SD="Interrupt name" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />
<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;aNPC -?\d+ [^:]+:Gudre Blackhand&#92;&#92;/a says, &quot;My sword\?!&quot;" SD="Interrupt successful" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />
<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;aNPC -?\d+ [^:]+:Gudre Blackhand&#92;&#92;/a says, &quot;You cannot hope to escape here with your lives!&quot;" SD="Interrupt name" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />
<Trigger R="&#92;&#92;aNPC -?\d+ [^:]+:Gudre Blackhand&#92;&#92;/a says, &quot;You shall not take from me what was promised!&quot;" SD="Interrupt name" ST="3" CR="T" C="Castle Highhold [Heroic]" T="F" TN="" Ta="F" />

At 20% he will summon some more adds from the doorway but by that point it should just be tank and spank. Around 6% he will port into the middle of the room and then die.