While some players may be confused as to the relative difficulty level of this particular scenario, there's no reason to be. This scenario is not a walk in the park. It will not allow you to grab everything in one run. It contains elements that will in fact kill you if you aren't paying attention. But it will also test every sneaky skill you have as a solo player, making the thing ridiculous amounts of fun if you approach it the right way.
And that's where we come in. Let's take a brief look at the Troves of the Thunder King and how best to plunder all that plunder!
In order to enter the scenario, you'll need a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen. There are few different ways to get your hands on a key. If you happen to find a gold chest while wandering around the Isle of Thunder, these chests have a chance of carrying a key. In addition, rare mobs -- both those wandering around the Isle and those that are summoned, have a chance of dropping a key. And if you're completing all your daily quests every day, the cache you receive as a reward for completing the final quest also has a small chance of containing a key.
There are some things to remember, however -- you can only get a key off of a rare mob once per week. Similarly, you'll only find one gold chest on the Isle of Thunder per week. Is it possible to get more than one key a week? Absolutely. But it's rare. In addition to these three methods, you can also rarely nab another key from inside the treasure chests in the solo scenario -- it's possible to chain a couple of runs that way.
Once you've got your key, head to Taoshi in the Diremoor and speak with her to start the solo instance. When the solo queue pops, you'll arrive in a preparation room of sorts. Before you go any further, check your buffs -- if you need to reapply, do so now. Also, make sure you have auto-loot enabled, as it makes nabbing chests that much faster. And if you have any special class talents that will enable you to run faster, jump higher, levitate, stealth, or avoid damage, enable those talents before you begin!
Maps and mobs
If you've done any LFR or raiding in the Throne of Thunder, you may recognize the treasure rooms -- the maps are identical to those found just after the bridge past Horridon leading up to the Council of Elders. Participating in LFR will give you an advance view of just what you're going to be looking at when you zone in, which is good. You don't want to spend your time taking in the scenery, you want to be looting!
Don't expect the way to be clear, however. There are several dangerous mobs and traps you'll want to keep an eye out for along the way, and avoid wherever possible.
- Electrified spires are all over the zone -- you'll see the first two once you open the door to the first room. Every so often, they will flip from off to on, electrifying the ground in front of them to damage and slow anyone unlucky enough to get caught in the area.
- Mogu Statues These statues work much like the statues found in the Halls of Guo-Lai -- run near them and they will haul back, slamming down a hammer and stunning anyone caught in their path. If there is a chest near a statue, your best bet is to enable the trap, get out of the way, and then sneak in and grab the chest after the hammer has gone off.
- Trap tiles are found all over the floor in the various corridors. Levitating will bypass the traps, as will carefully running between them.
- Stone Quillen There are quillen statues scattered throughout the instance that will remain stone unless you happen to be in combat and nearby, much like the quillen statues found in the Dread Wastes. Don't go near one unless you're out of combat.
- Spiders are scattered throughout the instance. These annoying pests take very little time to kill, but they'll root you in place if you're not careful. Avoid them or kill them from a distance -- they don't have much health.
- Saurok wander the halls. They don't drop anything of consequence, they are simply present to slow you down. Avoid or trap them if you can, especially if they happen to be near a quillen statue.
- Skumblade Pillager presents a nasty threat similar to the Treasure Goblins in Diablo III. He'll randomly appear as you're opening a gold chest, stun you, take the treasure and run away. You can kill him for part of an achievement, or let him go.
- Mogu Effigies patrol the later rooms. These mobs have plenty of health and will stun if you're not careful. Avoid if you can, kill them quickly and avoid the stuns if you can't just bypass them.
- Red rune circles litter the ground -- they'll stun you. Don't step on them.
- Detection circles are present starting with the third room. These large green circles are zones see through stealth, and if you wander too close, they'll put you in combat, triggering any nearby quillen or mobs into attacking you. Staying away would be ideal.
- God-Hulk Gulkan is the last boss, found at the very end of the instance in a room filled with mogu statues, red runes and quillen. Pull him to a safe place, preferably behind a mogu statue and far from any quillen, in order to kill him for the achievement.
Hints and tricks
Just because the place is full of angry mobs doesn't mean that you're never going to get anything. Actually, the Troves of the Thunder King is remarkable in that you are actually encouraged to cheat your way through using every resource you can find to bypass things instead of running into them.
- Green rune circles are speed boosts similar to Sprint, and they're scattered throughout the zones. Run over them to activate them.
- Some doors are opened with levers. These levers are usually guarded by mobs. Be prepared to deal with the mobs if you'd like to open the door.
- When in doubt, climb! You can scale the walls to get to the ledges on the sides of the room, jump over dangerous areas, skirt past any traps you'd rather avoid.
- Chests are solid objects. If you need a boost up to a side wall, climb on top of a chest instead of opening it.
- Avoid fighting wherever possible. Never engage a mob unless you absolutely have to.
- Treasure sauroks open doors. However, if a door is already open, they'll shut it behind them permanently. If you find the treasure saurok in the third room and you've got no keys to open the door, let him go -- he'll open the way for you, and there are far better chests to be found in there.
- Grab useful items beforehand. Reputation with either the Sunreavers or the Kirin Tor will net you access to useful items that can help you in the scenario. Levitate potions, trap triggers, sleep dust, rocket boosts, rune traps and even keys can all be purchased from the vendors. These items costs Elder Coins to purchase, but if you've spent any amount of time on the Isle of Thunder, you should have a ton of these to spend.
- If you have a sneaky class ability that will let you cheat, use it. There is no punishment for doing so. In fact, you're encourage to do so. Sprint, stealth, levitate, disengage, teleport -- use it all. Use it as often as you can.
How to approach the scenario
With all that said, there are some things you want to keep in mind about this particular scenario. There are several steps for the scenario achievement -- but you absolutely will not be able to pick them all up in a single run. There are literally hundreds of chests scattered all over the scenario, but you will not be able to grab them all. There are several rooms to the scenario, but you will not be able to explore them all to their fullest capacity in a single run. It's not going to happen. So how do you best do the scenario? It's all about the approach.
Before you head into the encounter, think about what you'd like to get out of it. If you're after a particular step for the achievement, ignore the chests and go for it -- unless you're on the step to collect chests, of course. If you're interested in big rewards, ignore the red chests entirely and stick to the bigger gold ones. If you want to defeat the final boss and make it to the end, focus on getting to the end and ignore the other distractions.
There are plenty of video guides to the scenario available for viewing on Youtube -- feel free to watch a few of them before you give it a try. It'll give you a better idea of what's ahead and what to expect. Keep in mind that once that scenario starts, you have five minutes -- don't let that time limit panic you. Just keep moving and keep your eye on whatever goal you've set. While you can keep the zone music on as you're doing the scenario, I wouldn't recommend it -- it's a very nice track, suitably eerie, but it just gets more and more ominous as you get close to time running out, which can inadvertently stress you out.
But perhaps most importantly, keep in mind that there is no magic "I win" for this particular scenario. There's no big flourish at the end, there's no particular goal that you absolutely have to complete in order to have "beaten" the thing. The purpose of the Troves of the Thunder King is simply to enjoy yourself and nab some free loot. The last two keys I've gotten have been spent merely crawling over every inch of the first room and nabbing every chest I could get my hands on. I came away with about 600g and a ton of parchments to purchase reputation boosts, which I considered well worth my time.
If you find yourself lucky enough to obtain a key to Lei Shen's palace, remember that the scenario wasn't created with any specific goal in mind. It's there to test your skills, and let you nab all the loot your greedy pockets can carry. So relax, enjoy, and above all else have fun with it.