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Running a Speedy Justin Augustine TF


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The Justin Augustine TF can be a singularly frustrating experience. The apotheosis of the original game designers' tendency to build as many time sinks into the game as possible, Justin Augustine's "The Saga of Faathim" seems to be made up of 90% travel time. Fortunately, late-game developments like Team Transporter and readily available jet packs and rocket boards make it a lot easier, but most of the missions in Justin Augustine are hunts or FedExes, not compatible with Team Transport or Mission Teleporter. If you don't know what you're doing, you could be spending hours (or at least, dozens of minutes) getting from place to place, and relatively little time actually doing anything.


As it happens, I've had a lot of practice speed-running Justin, and have had time to develop a lot of handy tricks and work-arounds to cut out the worst excesses of the travel requirements. With a little skill and preparation, you can make use of these tricks and run your Justins as fast as I do. My Justins usually run about 45 min to 1 hour, depending on how quickly we can clear the hunts and doors. When Justin is the Weekly Strike Target, that means you can earn 84 Reward Merits in an hour or less—1.5 to 2 Merits per minute, one of the better Merit-per-minute rates of anything you can do in the game. Even 42 merits for an hour isn't a bad return on the time spent.


The biggest trick is fairly obvious: make the most efficient use of time by having someone who can teleport everyone else travel to the next destination while everyone else is hunting at the previous destination. But there are also some other bits of key advice that can help further cut the amount of wasted time down to a bare minimum. So, I will walk you through it step by step.


For this guide, I'll be assuming that you're the one who is actually leading the TF, with the team leader star as well as the ability to tell everyone else what to do. You can, of course, use many of these same tricks if someone else is in charge, but you may want to clear what you're doing with them first, so they know what's going on.



Here are the things you should make sure to have before you begin. Some of them may seem like odd choices, but as I walk you through the process you'll understand why they're all so handy.



  • Reveal
  • Rocket Board, Void Skiff, or Flying Carpet (and optionally Jump Pack or Steam Pack)
  • Jet Pack
  • Team Transporter (for you and at least 3 or 4 teammates)
  • Mission Teleport
  • Assemble the Team
  • Self Destruct
  • Incandescence Destiny


With the exception of Incandescence Destiny, you can get all these at the P2W store. They do cost money—especially Team Transporter, which is a whopping 10 million Inf. But they're worth it. 


For Incandescence, of course, you will need to be an Incarnate with your Destiny slot unlocked. A Tier 1 Incandescence is just fine, since you're just using the teleporting ability for this—so if your main Destiny is something else, just spend 60 Threads to get a Tier 1 Incandescence and switch back after you're done with the TF.



The other important thing to have is a little harder to come by, and that's experience finding your way around the Shadow Shard using the gravity geysers. A lot of people don't bother to pick up this skill, just choosing to jet-pack everywhere they go. And that's certain feasible. However, if you know what you're doing, you can actually beat someone over long distances if you're following a path of geysers going in the same direction. If you really want speed, there are times and places where it will pay to follow the geyser paths.


Also, you should get a good sense for where all the exits go. As I pointed out in my guide to getting around, there are two sets of entrances to the west end of each Shard zone—the swirly-vine that comes from the east end of the previous zone, and the glowy-ball that takes you back to the cluster of portals at Firebase Zulu. If you understand how these entrances can work together, you can immediately jump from the west end to the east end of any zone just by going back through the glowy-ball, taking the portal to the glowy-ball the next zone over, then coming back through the swirly-vine. 


So, before you think about running the TF, spend some time acclimating to the Shadow Shard. Run missions for the Shard contacts, and travel to their doors by geyser rather than teleporter or flight. Make sure you have Vidiotmaps installed; it marks out handy color-coded paths for showing you how to get from one end of the zone to the other. Practice geyser travel, and practice getting from one end of a zone to the other using the two sets of entrances. Learn how jumping off the side into empty space always takes you back to the zone entrance. These things are incredibly easy to do once you take the time to learn how, but nearly nobody does, and the vast majority of people on the teams I lead are utterly lost in the Shard. And that's fine, if there's someone there who isn't lost.


But if you're going to be their speedy flying taxi service, you, at least, need to know your way around.


It can be tempting to try to explain the shortcuts to your teammates while you're running the TF. "Oh sure, jump off into space, then go back through the glowy-ball portal to Firebase Zulu, then take the exit to the Storm Palace…" If you really want to run the TF as quickly as possible, don't. The Shadow Shard is just too confusing to the uninitiated. You'll end up with half of them in the Cascades, and the other half stuck in the Storm Palace with no idea how to get back. This is why you should be spending the time in advance to learn how to get around, so they don't have to worry about it; they only have to wait for you to get there and port them to the right place. Not only will this be useful for Justin Augustine, it will help you out with other Shadow Shard TFs as well.



You should keep the Paragonwiki page about the Justin Augustine TF open so you can refer to it—as well as this guide. Hopefully, you've got multiple monitors and can have this page up in a browser window on a second screen. If you don't, you'll just have to open it in a browser that you can alt-tab to and from at need.  Until you've got Justin memorized, you'll need to remind yourself where you're going next. 




1) AGREE TO FORM A TF ("Some Task Forces end in tears, but this one begins in (the Path of) Tears!")

The first step is to form up your Task Force team, broadcasting on /lfg for people to come join you. ("Forming up Justin Augustine TF, L44+ blueside, about an hour, 42 merits...")


There are two schools of thought for where you should form up your Justin.


The most obvious place to set it up is, of course, right next to Justin himself, at the southwest end of the Chantry zone. He's got a vendor and a P2W store right nearby, just in case anyone needs to buy anything. The only problem is that it can be hard for a lot of players to find their way there. You can remind people to use the LFGporter to teleport there, but many people don't know how to do that and you'll have to talk them through it. Even navigating to Zulu then going through the Chantry portal can be tricky for some.


The other place is that you can all meet up in Pocket D. There's a P2W store there, and also Null the Gull, in case any Villains need to be something else. (As a blueside TF, Justin is open to Heroes, Vigilantes, and Rogues, but not Villains.) Another benefit here is that almost everyone knows how to get to Pocket D. On the other hand, it will have the added rigamarole of requiring a group LFGport to get to the contact, and possibly a wait while you try to get whoever ended up with the star to pass it back to you.


Either way, you should encourage folks to purchase jet packs at the P2W if they don't have any other method of flight, and possibly some of the other useful powers like Team Transporter, Mission Teleport, or Assemble the Team as well. (When I'm running it, I just flat-out offer to buy Team Transporter for anyone who wants it, and trade them the money if they need it. It's not important that everyone have TT for this, as it wil only rarely be used, but it would be helpful if as many people had it available as possible. And besides, it seems like a fitting reward for taking part in such an obnoxiously drawn-out Task Force.)


While you're inviting people, you may want to tell the people on the team already to spread out and find spawns of Rularuu within the Path of Tears that they can get ready to clobber when the TF starts.


As soon as you launch the Task Force, you should start heading toward the Bastion of Pain. You can use the Rocket Board, but the fastest way is just to use the geysers. It's only about three geyser jumps to get you onto the big island, where you can wait for people to finish up the hunt and call the contact.


2) TRAVEL TO BASTION OF PAIN ("Sorry to leave you all in Pain; if it makes you feel any better, I'm about to be in Denial!")

As soon as they finish the hunt on Tears, you should call it in, then use Incandescence to port the rest of the team to you. You should definitely have Incandescence, because it's a team assemble that's available every two minutes. Recall Friend can also work, but it takes a lot of time to port up to seven other people over.


As soon as they're on the island, fire up your Rocket Board, Void Skiff, or Flying Carpet, and head east toward the Bastion of Denial. This is a case where you can't use the geysers, because the geysers in this section of the Chantry all go in the wrong direction.


3) TRAVEL TO BASTION OF DENIAL ("Now you're all in Denial, and I'm off on a Guilt trip!")

As soon as your teammates finish their hunt and go click on the Monument of Pain, you can port them to the Bastion of Denial for the hunt and monument there. Then take off for Guilt. Lather, rinse, repeat.


4) TRAVEL TO BASTION OF GUILT ("While you work through your Guilt, I've got somewhere else to be!")

As soon as your teammates finish their hunt and go click on the Monument of Denial, you can port them to the Bastion of Guilt for the hunt and monument there—but you need to be on your way again. This time, you're heading for the Chantry proper, the big round building in the middle of the zone.


5) ENTER THE CHANTRY AND SPEAK WITH FAATHIM THE KIND ("Or as I call him, Faathead the Kind of Annoying.")

Enter the Chantry through the gate at the due east, 3 o'clock point, then head north toward the passage to the inner sanctum at the 12 o'clock point. You can't teleport within the Chantry corridors, so you'll have to use your regular travel powers or rocket board. It's only necessary that one of you head that way. You can tell your teammates that after you speak with Faathim, they should head toward the Path of Rage—the islands at the far southeast point, around the exit to the Storm Palace. If they know the speedy ways there, they should take them; otherwise they can fly in that direction, or wait for a teleport from you. As I noted earlier, don't try to explain the speedy ways to them, you'll probably only confuse them.


After your teammates finish on Guilt, then you can call Justin, get the mission, speak to Faathim, call Justin again, and get the next mission. And here's where the first really clever shortcut comes in.


As soon as you've gotten the Path of Rage mission from Justin, fire off Self Destruction. This is the once-an-hour prestige power that makes you explode like a bomb in a high-damage PBAoE, defeating you without any debt. This makes it a handy shortcut out of the interior of the Chantry, without having to go back outside and travel 90 degrees around to the exit to jump off. Once you've gone 'splody, click the option to take you to the hospital. This will put you back at the beginning of the zone, near Justin.


Next, run back to the entrance and click on the glowy-ball portal to take you back to Firebase Zulu. When you get there, run directly across to the Storm Palace portal, and enter it. Then jump through the swirly-vine exit back to the Chantry, and there you'll be in the Path of Rage, probably before any of your teammates have gotten halfway there.


6) BATTLE THE RULARUU AROUND THE PATH OF RAGE ("And can I have two volunteers, please?")

This part is just like the first mission when you started the TF: defeat 50 Rularuu in this small chain of islands. While they're doing that, ask for two volunteers who are good at Shard travel. If you're lucky, you'll have a couple of people who already know how to get from place to place in the Shard, and can do so quickly. If not, you may just have to make do with people who have flight powers. Ideally, they should also have Reveal from the P2W so they can see all the map markers and know how to get to where they're going to need to.


While the rest of the team works on finishing the hunt, lead your two volunteers through the swirly-vine to the Storm Palace, and have them take the glowy-ball exit there back to Firebase Zulu. Tell the rest of the team to wait for you in the Bastion of Shame when they finish the hunt there.


7) HELP DR. BOYD IN FIREBASE ZULU ("And the rest of you, if you want to use the bathroom or get a snack or something, this would be a good time…")

Even if you do this as quickly as possible, this part will probably still take a few minutes.


When you get to Zulu, advise one of your companions to head for Point Sierra (at the 5 o'clock position on the map) and the other to head for Point Tango (at the 2 o'clock position). You head to Dr. Boyd. The fastest way to him is to use the geysers, but your companions will probably take enough time getting to Sierra and Tango that you can take a slower method like flight if you prefer. (Optionally, you may direct one of the volunteers to take Boyd while you light out for Sierra or Tango, if you're sure you can get there faster than they can.)


If your volunteers really know their way around the Shard, they might find it faster to take the portal to and swirly-vine back from Cascades, to head for Sierra and Tango from the east end of the Firebase Zulu zone. But, again, if they aren't Shard travel experts, it's probably not best to try to explain it to them, as the time you lose if they get completely lost will be less than it would take them just to fly or geyser-jump across the zone from the west side.


Once you get to Boyd, talk to him, click on the one glowy nearby, then head back to Boyd and wait. Your volunteers will have glowies to click on Sierra and on Tango; you can advise them that after they're done, they can jump over the edge of the island and wait for you near the portals in Firebase Zulu. When both of them finish, you'll need to talk to Boyd one more time, then call the contact and get the next mission before you jump over the edge yourself. The teammates you left in Shame can get started on the hunt while you-all are still traveling back.


Lead your volunteers back through the Storm Palace gate, and then back through the swirly vine to the Path of Rage.


😎 TRAVEL TO BASTION OF SHAME ("Shame on you! Or…no. You on Shame!")

The teammates you had travel to Shame could well have cleared the hunt and the monument by the time you get there, so you may not even want to bother going to meet them. Just wait in the mob-free space near the zone exit. Once they finish the hunt and hit the monument, call it in, get the next mission, and teleport the rest of the team back to you with Incandescence. Then drop a Team Transporter to take all of you to the first door mission of this TF. (Be sure to let your team know ahead of time you'll be doing this, so they wait for it and don't go running off.)


9) CHECK OUT FAATHIM'S "INTERLOPERS" ("Oh wow, you mean we get to fight something that isn't Rularuu now?")

This is a simple defeat-all Circle of Thorns mission in a small map, somewhere in the Cascade Archipelago; shouldn't take much time or effort to clear. But there's an important shortcut to take after the mission.


After the mission ends, tell the rest of the team to wait for you while you jump over the side and land back near the beginning of the zone. Then…


  • Take the glowy-ball back to Firebase Zulu.
  • Run to the next portal over, The Chantry, and step through.
  • Jump back through the swirly-vine back to Cascades.
  • Activate Incandescence, and put the port target within the swirly-vine. This will port you and everyone else on the team (who accepts the teleport) directly into The Chantry zone. But you're not done yet.
  • Take the glowy-ball back to Firebase Zulu.
  • Run across to the Storm Palace portal and step through.
  • Jump back through the swirly-vine to The Chantry. 
  • Fire up your rocket board and head west toward Sorrow. (Alternately, if you're comfortable enough with them, you could use the gravity geysers to traverse Rage to Shame, then head from Shame to Sorrow that way. It'll probably take about the same amount of time either way.)


It's a lot of complicated running-around, but if you do it right, you'll have everyone back to the Chantry and be on your way to the next hunt area within just a minute or two.


10) TRAVEL TO BASTION OF SORROW ("Flying taxi, en-route!")


After you get to the Bastion of Sorrow and teleport everyone, you'll have two choices.


The simplest method is to go ahead and hunt Rularuu with the others, then when you're finished, gather them all together and use someone's Team Transporter to get you to the next door mission. However, the next door mission will always be in exactly the same place—the island at the northeast corner of the Bastion of Shame (even though the mission title references the Bastion of Guilt). So, if you feel like showing off, you could immediately hop the geysers back toward the Bastion of Shame, and from the big island of Shame toward that smaller one. If you don't miss any geyser jumps, you'll arrive right about the same time your companions finish the Sorrow hunt, and be able to port them as soon as your Incandescence is up again. (Or you could use Assemble the Team, if you haven't used it yet already.)


11) INVESTIGATE THE CIRCLE'S ACTIVITIES ON THE BASTION OF GUILT ("Wait, what? But this is the Bastion of Shame, isn't it?")

This is a free-the-hostages mission, not a defeat-all, but there are enough hostages that you're probably not going to be able to stealth it any faster than you could just fight your way through it. Whichever way you want to do it, complete the mission.


This is the one time on the TF that you're not going to be able to get to the next spot ahead of everyone else, so now you all have to head for the Bastion of Regret at about the same speed. It's a long way to fly, so if you're good with the geysers, you can probably still get there before the others—or at about the same time, in any case. That being said, you may wish to skip Regret entirely yourself, and instead fly toward the Chantry to get ready speak to Faathead again.


12) TRAVEL TO BASTION OF REGRET ("I'm starting to Regret signing up for this Task Force…")

This is another bog-standard hunt-and-glowie pairing, nothing new here. You should be heading to the Chantry while the others hunt. Remember you can get in from either the east or west, but the door to meet Faathim is at the north. Double-check the map to make sure you turn the right way once you get inside.


13) ENTER THE CHANTRY PROPER AND SPEAK WITH FAATHIM THE KIND ("Or as I still call him, Faathead the Kind of Annoying.")

This is basically just a repeat of the earlier task. Call Justin, take mission, talk to Faathim, call Justin, take next mission.


After that, the quickest way to go is for you to use Mission Teleport to get you to the next mission, then Incandescence to get everyone else to you. Alternately, you could use Incandescence to gather everyone up in Faathim's chamber, then have someone use Team Transporter (and if you've already used Mission Teleport earlier, you'll have to).


14) INVESTIGATE THE CIRCLE'S ACTIVITIES ON THE BASTION OF PAIN ("This TF is all about the Pain, isn't it?")

Another free-hostages mission that might as well be a defeat-all. You're going to need two more uses of Team Transporter from this point on, so you might want to ask for volunteers for that now, and get them lined up so they can go in order starting after this mission. The first one will fire off Team Transporter after you get done here.


15) DEFEAT THE CIRCLE'S PLANS IN ORANBEGA ("Ah, the ghost-filled caverns of Lou Bega…")

This mission only needs you to clear the last room. Some sturdy type like a Tanker or Brute who has Incandescence or Assemble the Team should run through the mission to the last room and then yank the rest of you there. Clear the room, and this mission is done.


Now it's time for one last Team Transporter use. You might want to remind your teammates not to miss this Team Transporter ride, and don't try using Ouroboros or Supergroup Base porters to travel to the Chantry that way instead, because the mission door is in a no-teleport zone. The only ways to get to the door quickly are Team Transporter or Mission Teleport. If they miss this port, hopefully they'll have their own TT or MT available.


16) ENTER THE CHANTRY AND DEFEND FAATHIM FROM THE CIRCLE OF THORNS ("Because of course the godlike being of unimaginable power can't defend himself.")

This door is at the south point of the round Chantry building, though if you used Team Transporter or Mission Teleport you wouldn't have to get there the old-fashioned way. When you go in, some of you will end up on the west end of the room inside and some on the east end. You may want to use Incandescence to group up before attacking.


Clearing the room doesn't present any major challenge; there's no archvillain involved. However, you should be aware of an annoying glitch—and warn the other players about it, too.


At the end of this mission, you will get badges awarded and the "Task Force Complete" notice. However, Reward Merits are not awarded yet, so warn your teammates ahead of time not to quit the Task Force when they get that message if they also want the Reward Merits they earned. After you break Faathim loose and defeat all the mobs in the room, everyone needs to exit the mission, then someone needs to run 180 degrees around the Chantry to the north entrance to go in and speak to Faathim there. That will reward the Merits, and truly complete the Task Force. Call it in to Justin, and you're done.



I hope this guide helps you run Justin Augustine as quickly as possible! Please feel free to offer feedback or additional suggestions; if you see something I missed, I'll be happy to incorporate it into the guide. And remember to check out my other guides at the link below!

Edited by Robotech_Master
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