Eorzea’s Haunted Mansion
In the upper reaches of the central shroud, near the zoneline to the north shroud lies a mansion. The origins of this mansion are unknown for now, but given its situation so close to the gates of Gridania, one can only imagine that this was the home to nobility or royalty at some point in the past. The manor is no longer occupied by Gridanians, but it is certainly not abandoned.
Haukke Manor is a level 29 dungeon. Designed for 4-player light parties, you enter this dungeon via the Duty Finder. All players in the party must be level 29 or higher and must have visited the front of the dungeon once to load it to their Duty Finder. Additionally, players must have completed the level 28 central story line quest “Secret of the White Lily” which then transitions to the Haukke Manor breadcrumb quest.
Haukke Manor is a haunted mansion and is very much a treat that every FFXIV:ARR player should visit. This is thematically and mechanically the richest dungeon available in the first thirty levels of the game (as of Beta-3). For experienced MMO players, this is the dungeon where things start to get real, the training wheels are off. For new MMO players, Haukke Manor is a test of everything you have learned up to this point. Cutting your teeth and honing your skills in Haukke Manor should prepare you to face the significant challenges which should follow.
Your trek through the manor takes you through three levels of the dungeon. Your initial foray takes you through the first floor of the mansion. Following a mini-boss encounter you travel into the basements of Haukke Manor. Completing a mini-boss encounter in the basement unlocks the upper floor. The upper floor leads you into confrontation with Lady Amandine, the boss of Haukke Manor.
Haukke Manor: First Floor
The first floor of the dungeon is a linear path through the left hallway with periodic stops into side rooms. These side rooms contain treasure chests and some also contain Tiny Keys. These keys are, in turn, needed to open several locked doors along your path.
Right away, Haukke Manor turns up the difficulty by featuring roaming patrol monsters. These Manor Maidservants traverse a wide patrol pattern and move reasonably slowly through their patrols. Because of this, parties can easily find themselves getting a Maidservant add while in the midst of a fight with other manor denizen. Good use of target selection and sleep can be useful.
Maidservants also open fights with a ground targeted pbaoe ability. This can be avoided by running out of it, but even better this ability can be interrupted. Players are advised to use an interrupt ability to counter the pbaoe. As one member of our party stated, “its nice to be able to interrupt things again.” I agreed and replied, “it’s good to NEED to interrupt things again!”
The first floor of the dungeon features a number of three target fights, potentially increased by roaming patrolling Maidens. These fights include a mixture of bats, mushroom and slime which are easily dispatched by the party.
The first mini-boss for Haukke Manor is the Manor Claviger. His room is located in the center of the first floor and at the end of your traverse along the left hallway of the mansion. The Manor Claviger drops the key needed to unlock the basement to progress to the dungeon’s second stage.
The Manor Claviger features two mechanics. First, he delivers a rather nasty cleave attack. This attack does noticeable damage to tanks, you should consider using your defensive cooldown abilities liberally in this fight. Worse, though, this attack can be deadly to lightly armored party-members. It is critical to keep the Claviger turned away from your team.
The second aspect is the Claviver’s use of Void Fire II. This is a targeted ground-effect Fire attack. The Manor Claviger will target this at a random member of the party, although it does seem to favor distant ranged attackers over melee attackers. This ability can be interrupted. While it is useful to interrupt this attack, this is not always possible because interrupt abilities at this stage of your character development are all on the Global Cooldown (GCD). Because of this, party members should also just move out of the damage area.
Haukke Manor: Basement
After defeating the Manor Claviger, the party receives the key that unlocks the Manor basement. The next stage of the dungeon takes place underground, amidst the storage areas and cells. As before, the party is travelling a linear hallway with side along the path. Once again, these side cells contain keys and treasure chests. At least some of these chests contain magic items, so its worth clearing the entire floor.
The monsters on the lower floor consist of skeletons, bats and wisps. In general these are in packs of three, although you will also encounter at least one pack of four creatures. It is useful to use Sleep in these encounters. Remember, the Conjurer also has a sleep type spell. Even better, a CNJ can use Water to knockback a target and then mez it. This makes CNJ lockdowns friendly to aoe-damage heavy classes like Marauders!
One of the locked rooms on this level contains three monsters. These three monsters often aggro the moment the door is opened. The targets can not be targeted or marked until the door is open. This is not a difficult fight, but it is a fight that can be ugly if the party is spread out. The preceding room has an item treasure chest, so teammates may be looking at gear roles and miss the start of the fight. The tank can intercept the whole room at the doorway with a Flash or Overpower, once acquired this is an easy fight.
Manor Jester and Manor Steward
The mini-boss encounter for the basement is the Manor Jester and Manor Steward. These two occupy a room together, which you will unlock as you clear the basement. The Jester is an Imp who casts magic throughout the fight while the Steward is a gladiator who soaks up a lot of damage.
We typically kill the Jester first. He has fewer hitpoints and dishes out spell damage. However, focusing on the Jester leaves your team open to a pbaoe attack from the Steward. The pbaoe can be interrupted, however with the party focused on the Jester it is quite likely that interrupts will be missed. Because of this, the party should simply avoid the Steward’s pbaoe attacks until after the Jester is downed.
Once the Jester is down, focus your attack on the Steward. With only one target of emphasis, it is far easier to interrupt the Stewards big attack. Stay on him and you will quickly be getting your treasure and the key to the top floor!
Haukke Manor: Upstairs
The upper floor of the Manor is guarded by the Manor Sentry, a large evil-eye patrolling the landing on the grand stairway. The Sentry attacks the party as soon as the barrier is dropped, Since this fight happens immediately after ending the basement boss fight, it is quite possible that your party may be spread out. Make sure you have a tank and healer present to start this fight. The Sentry will run away at about half-health, let him go he needs to wake up the boss!
The opening scene for Lady Amandine is one of the best in game up to this point. She is an imposing figure and your party is likely to want to rush in and engage her. Resist the temptation, though! There are side rooms with treasure chests, including an item chest, to be picked up first. The upper floor monsters are wolves and wisps with several densely packed fights. By this point, though, you should be very comfortable with your mez and target prioritization technique making these fights tense, but manageable.
The boss of Haukke Manor appears to be a vampiric elvaan female. She is a thaumaturge of some power and her fight is a very mechanically rich encounter. This fight features adds, environmental mechanics, ground targeted aoe attacks, a pbaoe effect, and one heck of a finale. This fight requires your DPS to be on their toes reacting to changing events in the fight. DPS with “tunnel vision” only paying attention to the boss are very likely to cause a party wipe.
Amandine’s chamber is a large, square room with lanterns at each corner. The lanterns are intractable environmental objects and countering them is part of this event. We find it best to turn Amandine around where she stands and to have the Conjurer take up placement at a lamp on the far side of the room from your entrance. The other lamps will be the responsibility of the DPS.
During the fight, Amandine will light up her lamps. When this happens, the room is engulfed in a series of aoe damage attacks. These can overwhelm the party and you should turn them off as quickly as possible. Having the conjurer near one makes it a fast switch. Your DPS need to be on the ball and go take out the other three lanterns immediately! The tank should remain focused on holding enmity from Lady Amandine.
Amandine also performs the same Void elemental attacks that the Claviger performed, however these are generally cast on the tank. They can be interrupted and should be if possible. If not, they dish out a large but manageable amount of damage. However, since the Conjurer may be occupied with other responsibilities, the tank should try to minimize the number of the Void Fire/Thunder attacks taken.
Throughout the fight, Amandine will also call Bombs into play. These creatures roam about the room and should be dispatched or kited (having a DPS pickup enmity on the Bomb and then running around outside its range). If left up long enough they go into their suicide mode. The blast of a suicide bomb can kill any party member, including the tank. While the blast radius is easily avoided, network lag can leave you actually inside the radius even if it looks to you as if you are out of the radius. Bombs should be kept away from the tank and healer. Once again, your DPS needs to be very on the ball in this fight.
The grand finale of the Amandine fight is not for the feint of heart. Amandine summons a number of retainers. These guardians spawn in distant parts of the room and almost immediately aggro on your Conjurer! They also appear to be immune to sleep! Your conjurer needs to heal themselves during this point, so the tank really needs to keep some defensive cooldowns ready to help mitigate the damage they are taking.
Your DPS needs to focus fire down the various guardians to lower the heal intensity on the Conjurer. Taking down a couple of these guardians while the tank picks up enmity on the rest makes the fight far easier. While I prefer to kill all the guardians before finishing Amandine, if she is close to death and you can heal through the damage, by all means burn her down.
Haukke Manor is a great zone. It has great ambience, great music, and really solid encounters. The loot is pretty nice looking too. Taking this dungeon and the level 25 guildhest into account, you can really see the game difficulty ramping up from the early game.
It’s clearly not a hard game by this point, but it’s well beyond the low difficulty that was present in the game prior to level 25. I think this speaks admirably to the escalating layers the FFXIV:ARR team has put into their content design. This dungeon really leaves me optimistic about the endgame direction.