Since 2.1 came out, Crystal Tower (CT) has been the content I have probably explored the most. I have chosen to do CT over numerous other pieces of content, even though I’m on item lockout most of the time. I find myself liking the music, the mechanics of the dungeon and the fight itself, and playing with 7 friends at the same time.
During my time there, I found that there were also things in there that drove me insane and other parts that I thought were quite helpful. Here is a list of some of the things that have helped make my CT adventures a little better overall:
1. Make a full premade party if you can. I’ll get into this more later, but it can be quite confusing and daunting when you are in a huge group of 16 other players. You have a lot of unknown variables running about, and sometimes it’s easier to take comfort in playing with people you know. You also get in a LOT faster that way, too.
2. Know you chat commands! Everyone should be familiar with the /p for party chat, but /a allows you to talk to the entire alliance. Make sure you pay attention to the alliance chat, because people will let you know if their group is ready, differing tactics, and other things that might be going on in the dungeon.
3. In your own party, designate a Main Tank (MT) and an Off Tank (OT). In each phase people will go over who is the overall MT and OT for specific fights such as the Bone Dragon and Behemoth. Make sure to know who these people are in case an alliance party is having difficulty and you need to help spot heal.
4. Talk to your party. Make sure you designate one person to be the main form of communication of letting the others knows if your party is ready. It is less confusing when one person is doing it versus several at a time. Usually people will look at what part of the alliance they are in (A, B, or C) and say “A ready!” to let people know it’s safe to pull.
5. Try to stick together if possible. It’s crazy enough with people in there running about, but imagine how frustrated your healers must be trying to get within your range to heal you. Don’t trust the other party to heal you; they may or may not. So just play it safe and stay relatively close to your healer.
6. BE FLEXIBLE. I cannot stress this enough. For the first two fights, for example, I have seen so many different ways of that being handled. The other fights are more linear on how they should be handled, but those are different depending on who is trigger happy, who likes to play it safe, etc. Sometimes you just have to jump in and go guns blazin’ and that’s ok too!
7. BE POLITE. I also cannot stress this enough. It is incredibly frustrating when another party is acting cocky publically or is being incredibly rude and condescending to the other alliance parties. Each party thinks their own is awesome and with just cause, but the other party is also looking at you going “what the fuck” and rolling their eyes hard at your actions whatever they may be. Don’t be a dick. Play nice and be nice. You can’t get the shit done if people are angry and end up leaving or try to troll others in passive and non-passive aggressive ways. If all else fails, if you came in with a full premade at least you can bitch and moan to them and most likely they will be feeling the same way you are.
8. Keep your fingers to yourself. No one likes finger pointing. Not only does it not get us anywhere, but it just builds paranoia, stress, and all sorts of ill feelings. No one needs more of that in an already crazy situation. People fail and make mistakes all the time. If it’s repeated, then start to point out where the problems are but don’t curse the person out. They may just not understand fully what is going on. It happens.
9. Admit you don’t know what is going on; even if you have already done the dungeon. Whether it’s in party chat or in alliance chat, if you admit you have no idea what is going on at least it’s better than going out like a headless chicken running about making things difficult for everyone.
10. This will go against #2, but ignore the alliance chat. You can only control your own actions and not that of the many different players around you. Some are incredibly rude and mean; I ran into players who had no qualms against calling people retards, trolling others to die, etc. Ignore them. You are there to have fun and sometimes it’s better just to ignore the riff-raff and turn your head the other way.
On the technical side, you are able to change colors for the alliance and party members so that you can find one over the other. I made my own name pink and that of my party members green. It’s far easier to find them in a sea of other people versus having everyone at the same color. I also changed my party chat to play a sound whenever a message is sent, since my chat box is usually going by pretty fast with superfluous information.
CT is a fun place. It is something I would gladly do because I enjoy it so much. I hope anyone else who tries the content or has been dissuaded by the other players try it again. And if you’re on Excalibur? Hit me up! I would be happy to do it if I’m available!