Hard mode strategies for Dungeoneering

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This article is a hard mode strategy guide for Dungeoneering.
Information on mechanics, setups, and tactics is on this page.

This page is intended to assist players in completing Hard mode as fast as possible. It is also intended to aid players in obtaining the "of Daemonheim" title. While it is not recommended to train Dungeoneering this way, players still have the freedom to train it any way they see fit.

As Hard mode is a reward obtained outside of Dungeoneering, it is meant to amplify the difficulty of the existing dungeon concept.

This page is listed under the Hard mode page as an extension.

The information below is based upon doing 70+ hard mode floors with and without partners.

This page is also assuming that the players have completed the elite task set. Bullet points have been added in certain sections for players who have not. The idea remains the same: complete the dungeon as fast as possible.

Requirements[edit | edit source]

In order to start Hard mode, players interested in accessing it need to have completed the following:

  • Elite set of Daemonheim tasks
    • To fully complete Hard mode, players need 119 Dungeoneering
  • (Unofficial) 90+ skills
    • Players may enter the floor without 90+, but they may experience impossible doors
    • Boosting is possible
    • Portent of passage can be created and used on non-puzzle doors

Keep in mind that not all players meet these requirements, but there is nothing to fear. Players who have not completed the Elite tasks may take part in the Hard mode with another player who has. This requires the player who has completed the Elite tasks to form and lead the dungeon. They will then invite the players without the tasks complete into the floors.

  • if these players have not completed the Elite Daemonheim tasks, then "Hard mode" floors will not tick off.
  • They will be uncredited; for those players, it would read as: "Completed Floors: 0; Incomplete Floors: 0"

How to access Hard mode[edit | edit source]

To start Hard mode, select a floor and the difficulty to Complexity 6 via ring or via ladder. Once the difficulty is set, the player will be prompted with a screen that asks "Activate Hard Mode?"; a simple yes or no follows suit.

Select yes; the player will now have access to Hard Mode.

If 1-2 people are in your party, the floor will be Medium.

If 3-5 people are in your party, the floor will be Large.

Once inside, the floors will look similar to normal dungeons.

Upon completion of a Hard mode floor, the following message will appear in your chatbox: You have completed floor [number] on Hard Mode. Your lowest floor incomplete on hard mode is: [number].

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

In order to optimise floor times, and in order to complete the Hard Mode in a short amount of time, it is strongly recommended to venture the floors with 2 people (a duo).

  • But, if players feel that they work better alone, then a solo is fine.
  • Alternatively, players can do the first few floors as a solo, until they get the hang of it.

Bring Daemonheim aura 4, as you are able to have up to two gatestones (three, if you are using the group gatestone).

  • The player is able to utilise these gatestones to optimise their floor.
  • Strategically placing them outside of key doors and at home are always good options; outside of boss is also ideal.

Because of the tier-2 Dungeoneering rewards, it is now possible to have a potion bound.

  • Remember, this potion can be used once per floor
    • If you lack 90 in a skill, you can boost to the skill by using a bound potion
      • A Strong potion is recommended, if you are a low level

What to do[edit | edit source]

Assuming players have set the mode to Hard Mode, players will go throughout the dungeon as if it were normal.

Remember, every door is now a Guardian Door.

In order to complete Hard Mode, players must apply the basics:

  • Players should also purchase 250 feathers from the smuggler for fishing, just as a precaution.
  • Gatestones can be used to quickly grab the key without killing any monsters in a dead end room
    • Don't forget to optimise the use of Gatestone 2
  • It may be useful to gather a blue charm and a Gorgonite ore or a Promethium ore along the way for summoning a Bloodrager. Bloodragers apply a debuff to lower level monsters' and bosses' defence without any scrolls.
  • Use the loadout that works best
  • Make use of the Secondary Ring that is obtained as a reward from the Elite set of Daemonheim tasks
    • To access, open up the Customise on the Kinship ring while in a floor. Next, right-click a ring that is deemed to be ideal. Then select Secondary.
    • Please keep in mind that the Secondary ring cannot be a "quick-switch" as it is always active.
    • If necessary, set your preferred combat style as main for boss and "Gatherer" as secondary for fishing for food.

Once players feel they are ready, they must begin to identify critical paths. They can ignore doors that are not optimal for boss-finding.

  • Critical paths are usually identified as level 90. The experience is usually above 400 points (usually in the lower 450-475).
  • Anything that requires levels higher than 99 are labelled as a bonus door and may be skipped.
  • Bonus doors will almost never lead to the boss or provide a key for boss. These doors usually have an exp drop of 500+.
  • Once a player identifies the critical path, they will then encounter the boss. The boss must be killed to advance on to the next floor.
    • Teleporting within the boss room is prohibited.
    • Remember to check the loot after the boss is killed for equipment worth binding; hard mode floors have a very high chance for tier 11 (level 99) equipment to drop.

Things to know[edit | edit source]

Hard Mode is not like normal Dungeoneering floors. Instead, it is a bit more complex and requires players to focus on their skills to complete the floor effectively and efficiently.

Players should expect an estimated total time of around 480 to 1800 minutes [8 to 30 hours] for completion of all 60 floors (see more information below).

  • The times given are an estimate. Players should expect somewhere between those numbers, if they plan to do Hard Mode. The times given are also representative of a medium sized dungeon. If players wish to pursue a Large floor, then they should expect to see an increase in floor times.
    • Generally, if the party-goers are in a Large floor, each floor can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes, no matter how skilled or experienced the players are.
  • Players should also consider that the estimated times are meant to serve as a guide for this mode.
  • Completing this mode is part of a trimmed-comp requirement

Since players need 90+ skills, players should expect to see an increase in Slayer monsters, tier 8+ fish and food, an increase in herb drops, and more boostable doors.

The base-floor size is Medium. As mentioned before, if there are 1-2 players, then the floor will register as Medium. If there are 3-5 players, then the floor will register as Large.

  • Please note: if a party of 3 people enter the dungeon, and one person leaves, the 15 minute timer may appear.

As mentioned before, players who have completed elite can invite non-elite-completers into floors. But, the difficulty of the floor will not change; it will be tailored to the above requirements and the recommended things below.

Players must complete floors 1-60. It does not matter the order the floors are completed in; it will tick off and count. But, players cannot, absolutely cannot, do this:

  • If a player completes floor 44 and attempts to do 44 again, the next available floor in that theme will tick off... but, it won't count as being completed on Hard Mode

Do the dungeon as fast as possible

  • Players can skip pottable doors (assuming the player is exactly 90+, then the boostable doors would be 91+)
  • Players can skip the usual pottable doors, which are generally 100+
  • If a player has defeated the boss, but there are several doors unopened, it is ok to end; it will count as a completed floor.

Bosses are much more difficult, and generally spawn with close to their maximum possible combat level.

  • Hard Mode bosses cannot be chosen with the Daemonheim aura.

Every door is treated as a Guardian door

  • This includes puzzle rooms
    • Necromancer's zombies (Occult) should be treated as a threat, as you cannot progress if they are still in the room
    • Reborn Warriors (Warped) should be treated as a nuisance, as you cannot progress if they are in the room. If left alive, the warriors can travel to previously-opened rooms, causing you a delay in floor progression.
  • If it is a Dead-End, players should make use of their gatestones and drop them outside of that room; players don't necessarily have to complete this sort of room
    • Teleporting is allowed for non-boss rooms (see more below)

Most monsters have been given their maximum combat level

  • The combat triangle still applies
    • Melee > Ranged
    • Ranged > Magic
    • Magic > Melee
  • While the upped combat has been officially stated by Jagex, certain rooms appear to not have been given their boost (although, this may be due to the amount of players in each dungeon):
    • Suspicious grooves
      • The shades and zombies, if any, are still level 2
    • Mercenary leader (sometimes)
      • This includes his minions
    • Monolith (sometimes)
  • Additionally, some non-humanoid enemies occasionally spawn as level 2

In regards to health, players should expect to get hit constantly, as every monster is aggressive (unless a player is using a hood).

  • Food is scarcer. It is rare that a player will find an abundance of food.
    • However, despite this lack, higher-tiered resources can be found:
      • Fishing spots
      • Trees
      • Rocks

Slayer monsters become extremely common; including the 90+ monsters

  • It is entirely possible to see two Edimmu in the same room with a Soulgazer
  • This also means that Slayer-based items are uncommon

Death carries the same penalties in normal dungeon floors, however, it is likely that players will die more often.

  • If a player dies, it is ok; it will not affect the outcome of completing Hard Mode.
  • If a player has an active aura that allows for one death, this death will be spared (but, sometimes, this always does not work)

Critical paths[edit | edit source]

With normal dungeons, players are able to navigate the floor, based on experience drops. The same applies to Hard Mode. But with an added twist.

Since each floor is formatted with "90" as a base-level, players should remember that every door—critical door, that is—will always, always, always be 90. If the door reads as 90, then that door is Critical/Crucial or will be on a Critical path. This should be considered normal.

If players feel uncomfortable locating the critical path, players can select "Guide Mode" on their ring. This must be done outside of the floor; players cannot toggle Guide Mode from within the floor.

To access Guide Mode, open up the Party Interface via Ring of kinship. Locate Guide Mode under "Floor". Select it. Make sure the "X" is yellow.

That being said, try to rely on your knowledge of Dungeoneering. Since each door has a set level of 90, look out for those.

  • If you lack 90 in a skill, but the door you need to advance is 90, boost to it
  • Doors that are above 90 are not required to complete the dungeon

The experience-drops earned from certain doors are based upon each player's skill level. Since this is geared at 90+ players, the experience-drops will obviously differ from an 80+ player.

There is also the chance that, in Hard Mode, as opposed to normal floors, the experience-drops are based on how many players are in a party.

  • For example, if there is one player in a party, and their highest level is 90 (exactly), then they will be looking out for two things: doors higher than 90 and doors that are beyond 90. If they encounter a door that is 91, then they know that door will not lead to boss.
  • But, if there are two or three players in a party, and their highest levels are 95, then they will be looking out for four things: the experience-drops earned from 90-based doors, doors that are beyond 90, doors that are beyond their max level, and which doors lead to the critical path/which doors gave the keys to the critical path.
    • Since Dungeoneering is based on randomisation and a common median, it is possible that the 90 door may not always lead to boss, but this is usually not the case.

Since the Hard Mode is based on 90+ skills, look to see which experience-drops are common. Note how much experience each skill door gives:

  • 450
  • 460
  • 475

Those numbers should lead you to a Critical Path or Boss

  • The 450 and 460 doors usually give the keys or open up to paths that give the keys for the Crit paths. Although, it is entirely possible to find the boss or the Crit path using those experience drops as guidelines.
  • The 475 door is likely to lead to boss or Crit Path. (Although, it can sometimes lead to a dead-end, if it's right off of Home Room)
    • For example, if a player opens up the room or rooms that are branching off the Home room, they may encounter a Red Corner, a Yellow Shield, and a Green Pentagon. If a player finds Red Corner, first, chances are, that will to a different path that is not boss. They may proceed throughout the rest of the dungeon, too. But, if a player finds a Runecrafting door and the experience received is 475, and there is a Green Pentagon key, chances are, that key is going to lead to boss or will be a crit path.

There are other experience drops that players can experience:

  • 100+
  • 480
  • 500

The 100+ experience doors are considered to be "unnecessary". They usually lead to low-experience skill doors and Dead Ends with nothing of value. The 480 door has a chance at leading to a critical door, but this is a bit unusual. The 500 door, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated

  • The 500 experience door is normally regarded as a door that leads to what is called a "Bonus Path"; this means, that anything beyond this door will be doors that do not lead to boss.
    • The doors found behind the 500 doors are usually skiller-based doors (such as the Crafting rooms) or monster-based doors (such as Monolith)
    • These doors are usually pottable and can be avoided—even in normal dungeons.
  • The 500 experience door, however, has the rare chance at offering a key or a room with a key. This key, if found, usually goes to a non-Critical door nor Boss.
    • This usually happens if the 500 door is right off of the start room and there are no other ways to go.
      • However, out of the 65+ dungeons tested, only one time did it lead to boss. Which is why it is a rare occurrence.
      • But, it can happen.

If a player encounters anything over the 90 requirement, then those doors are considered to be boostable or bonus.

  • Usually, if a door is displaying 92, or if you receive the experience for 92, it is considered a door that does not lead to boss
    • This means the player can skip this door
    • But, there are some situations where the key (if any) may lead to a critical path.
  • Boostable doors also exist, but they should be treated as avoidable
  • However, sometimes bonus-path doors may give the keys to critical paths, but this is rare.

Impossible doors are common; it is entirely possible to experience a dungeon that has a 90-door in home room. But, don't fret.

  • Assuming players do not have the necessary levels, nor the correct potion, there are several things players can do:
    • Since Elite tasks offer a total of 4,700 coins upon starting each dungeon, it is entirely possible to buy the necessary items to boost. Players may also sell the items found on the tables.
    • Assuming the player is trading the Smuggler, to build a farming patch, players need the following:
      • 25 Construction
      • 5 Sleeping Elm Branches
        • Without task sets: 600 coins each
        • With task sets: 540 coins each
      • 5 Bathus ore > bars
        • Without task sets: 1700 coins each
        • With task sets: 1530 coins each
      • Plus, the cost of the seed
    • If a player is soloing Hard Mode, they may not have the necessary items or are unable to get them
      • If this is the case, simply leave the dungeon and start anew

Assuming the player is able to venture through the floor, but they hit a problem where there are too many impossible doors, or if a key doesn't spawn, or if there are too many deaths, or if they are unhappy with the layout, the player can simply leave.

  • Leaving dungeon floors has no penalty; if a floor is deemed too difficult, players have the option to leave straight away. There is no penalty for leaving when the boss-room is opened and the boss is deemed to difficult.
  • It is entirely possible to leave while inside the boss room, but players must be quick with their ring.

Bosses[edit | edit source]

Upon locating the boss room, it is strongly encouraged to gate outside of the room. Players who are confident enough to gate inside may do so as well. Keep in mind that players cannot, absolutely cannot, teleport out of boss room. This also means that teleporting is prohibited upon the death of the boss.

  • For example, if your boss has their "exit" far away, you cannot place a gatestone there and teleport to it while inside the room
    • But, assuming that you've placed a gatestone at the "exit", and somehow managed to have left the room, players can teleport into the boss room.

As mentioned before with the recommendations, some bosses are easier than others, but upon accessing the higher floors, players may experience enhanced difficulty. This difficulty is not based on research nor anything else; it is based on observation when completing Hard Mode. The order may be different for some players, but this is a good start to consider when going in for the kill.

Frozen (floors 1-11) are considered to be easiest, as the bosses are not at all difficult. The bosses, listed from easiest to most difficult, in this set:

Abandoned 1 (floors 12-17) are considered to be also easy, as the bosses are similar to Frozen. These bosses are listed from easiest to most difficult:

  • Skeletal Horde
    • This boss sometimes displays the skeletons at halved hp.

Furnished (floors 18-29) are considered to be easy, but signs of difficulty become quickly apparent. Again, these bosses are listed from easiest to most difficult:

  • Sagittare
    • Similar to Astea Frostweb, his protection-prayer may not always display
    • If a player has forgotten what he prays against, it is Ranged.

Abandoned 2 (floors 30-35) are alarmingly easy. Especially with two additions. The bosses from the first set of Abandoneds can also be fought, here, but an improved list begins to form:

  • Skeletal Horde
    • This boss still can display the skeletons at halved hp.

Occult (36-47) these floors, also easy, become a bit more challenging as the player progresses. These bosses are listed in the order of easiest to hardest, but with slight modifications.

  • Gravecreeper
    • A bit troublesome, as he moves around a lot
    • His purple-pools are deadly
  • Necrolord
    • Most troublesome, as he needs to be fought with ranged or mage
    • His skeletons also deal quite a bit of damage

Warped (floors 48-60) these floors are the most challenging. These bosses are all difficult in their own right, and some players may have trouble with any one of them, so these are not listed in a specific order. Except for one; the easiest:

The most troublesome bosses, however, are not classed nor organised by level of difficulty; instead, what is listed is what makes them difficult.

  • Blink
    • His abilities are 100% deadly
    • He can kill the player instantly, too.
  • Warped Gulega
    • Although slightly on the "easy" side, his defence and his 1-hp attack can cause a few extra deaths
  • Dreadnaut
    • His pools are 100% deadly if the player is not moving around
  • Kal'Ger the Warmonger
    • Uses many methods to defeat the player
      • Usually takes longest on solo
      • This boss is probably the longest boss to fight

Teleporting[edit | edit source]

Since it is just like a normal floor, players are allowed to teleport. As usual, the teleports include:

  • Group Gatestone
  • Group Gatestone Portal
  • Personal Gatestone
  • Personal Gatestone 2

This means that the three stones can be used throughout the floor. They can be placed outside of desired doors, and even inside desired rooms:

  • Home room
  • Dead-ends
  • Puzzle rooms
  • Guardian doors
  • Boss

But, players are unable to teleport outside of boss room. A gatestone is allowed to be placed outside of the boss room. A gatestone is allowed to be placed inside of the boss room—in case players die and want a quick-way to get back to boss. However, there are two (known) changes:

  • If boss is dead, and you attempt to teleport out, you will be given a message that says something along the line of, "You cannot teleport out of here"
  • Even in Thunderous' boss room, you cannot use "behind the pillar" to teleport.

However, it is possible to teleport out with the Home Teleport.

Teams[edit | edit source]

It all depends on what type of person the player is. If they work well in groups, that is fine. If they work better alone, that is perfectly fine. The following is a guideline and not the "only way" to do it. The following is based on several criteria:

  • The amount of players per floor
  • How well the team works together
  • How well a player is able to identify a Critical or Crucial path

That being said, players must also keep in mind that each dungeon is random and should not expect these results every floor; instead, they should consider them as a guideline.

  • It is entirely possible to experience floors that take little to no time.

Players should also make sure they have everything they deem necessary for a successful completion. Keep in mind that every player is different and may want to do it their own way

Players in a Party[edit | edit source]

Since players are no longer able to choose the desired size, players must keep in mind that the Hard Mode floors are not like normal Dungeoneering floors. While they look similar, there are several differences:

  • Every door is a Guardian door
  • Highest possible monsters
  • 90+ Skills

Assuming that the estimated times below are what a player deems to be ideal, it will take a total of 480 minutes to 1800 minutes or 8 hours to 30 hours.

Players are most likely to experience Hard Mode completion somewhere in the middle of those hours. But, of course, this also depends on the amount of players in each party. If players choose to Solo the entire way, then the duration it will take to complete the Hard Mode will be closer to the 30 hour mark (due to the bosses they will face on Occult and Warped floors).

Depending upon the team, there may be more things to worry about. Players may experience difficult rooms, overcrowded puzzle rooms, and too many monsters. There may not be enough food drops nor ample fishing spots to keep players at full life points.

If players are quick, they should expect to see short floor times. But, upon progression, they should expect to see extremely lengthy floor times. The suggested party layout(s) below is based upon three things:

  • If players are able to ignore non-critical doors
  • If players are able to ignore dead-ends; unless there's a key
  • If players are able to work well together

Floors 1-29 may be extremely easy. Floors 30-35 may also constitute as easy. But, once players start to get into Occults and Warpeds, namely Warpeds, players may experience difficulty.

Solo: Average floor time: 8–30 minutes

Players may want to consider doing the first few floors on their own so they get an idea of what to do. So that they may feel comfortable with doing forced-gds and looking for critical paths.

This method is not advised, although some people may prefer it. Some players may want the challenge of taking on a solo-Hard Mode. Some players may prefer to do the work and rely on themselves.

The "8" minutes is on the low side, as it is geared at Floors 1-29. Maybe Floors 30-35, depending upon the bosses. The "30" minutes is on the high side, as it is geared at Floors 36-60. The bosses, namely, are going to hold the players up.

Duo: Average floor time: 8–25 minutes

Advised, as it allows for easier completion and faster times. But, keep in mind the other person you are partying with.

With two players, it is easier to keep track of who is doing what. If it is with someone the player feels comfortable with, then the floors will get done a lot faster.

Trio+: Average floor time: 8–30 minutes

Advised. To a certain degree. While it is acceptable to have a full team, players may run into too many monsters to fight. Typically, a trio is ideal; maybe even a quad.

The longer time is based upon how well the team works together, how quickly they are able to cooperate, and if they are able to pinpoint crucial paths. It is also depending upon the levels of the players. The boss may also factor into the time, if the team does higher floors. Players should also be aware of each floor they are on. Floor 1 will be vastly different than Floor 60, in terms of monsters encountered and the time it takes to kill the bosses.

Checking Progress[edit | edit source]

Thok can display which floors have been completed in hard mode via a table, with completed floors being checked-marked in green and incomplete floors in gray. Players may also check the Hard as Daemons achievement in the Achievements interface to see their completed floors.

Players do not need to reset their current progress to take part in Hard Mode. If a desired floor has already been completed as a normal floor, players can still do that floor as a hard mode floor.

Currently, there is no way to reset progress of hard mode floors. Assuming a player has completed all 60 floors, the Hard Mode will remain at 60/60 complete. This does not stop players from continuing to access Hard Mode though. Additionally, resetting progress on normal mode floors does not affect hard mode floor progress.

Tidbits[edit | edit source]

The information provided is based upon observation, having a working knowledge of Dungeoneering, and completing 70+ floors. The majority of these floors were completed upon the release of the Daemonheim Taskset update. The latter half of the floors were completed during the 25 September Update, and a few were completed in October.

The research gone into this should allow players to experience Hard Mode with ease, and allow them to complete the floors with little to no trouble.

  • Players should not expect the same results all the time, as these times are estimated and offer a valuable insight on what to expect.
    • The times are based on an average and "clearing out" of the guardian doors.
  • Every player's time may vary, not to mention the floor layout and how well the players are able to cooperate with other members and the actual floor.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When Hard Mode was released with the Daemonheim task set update, players were able to select their floor size and choose which boss to encounter.
  • During the week of 25 September 2013, players were unable to choose their floor size. It would always default to large, and occasionally bug-out and switch to medium.
  • The title received at the end of completing Hard Mode becomes immediately unlocked upon completion of the last floor and is a requirement for the Trimmed Completionist cape.