Aeternum Analytics: Winter Rune Forge

Improve your Winter Rune Forge experience with tips from 2 of your favorite New World content creators.
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Aeternum Analytics: Winter Rune Forge

Improve your Winter Rune Forge experience with tips from 2 of your favorite New World content creators.

We also compiled key insights like player death heatmaps based on community performance. Once you’ve become a master on all things Winter Rune Forge, root for your fellow Adventurers in Runners of Aeternum, a speedrun competition through the Trial.

The Winter Rune Forge is a bone-chilling gauntlet of increasingly difficult enemies for up to 10 max-level players. Overcome Rune puzzles, slay an Ophidian Construct, and fell an Ancient Ice Guardian for unique rewards.


We’ve compiled the following stats based on your performance in the Winter Rune Forge. “Trial completion rates continue to rise above 90% following the most recent weekly reset now that players have learned how the Winter Rune Forge works and are coming back for more loot,” said Level Designer Zach Holm.


“The Ice Guardian accounts for about 74% of deaths between all of its hazards, while the Ophidian Construct accounts for 24.5% across all phases,” Zach said. “Shout out to the players exploring the cavern with .1% falling to their death.”




“It’s nice to see that players are choosing their groups well,” Zach said. “There are very few wipes on the fodder waves, and the bosses seem fairly equal in terms of number of wipes which is cool.”



Enter the Winter Rune Forge and face its awakened guardians.



“Aquamarines gemmed in your armor for Ice Resistance will help mitigate a lot of the incoming damage during these fights,” Dusty said.

“Make sure you have Ancient Combat Trophies and Wildlife Combat Trophies in your houses to increase your damage by 9% to 15%,” Schmeck said. “Bring and use Infused Honing Stones, Attribute Foods of Choice, and Infused Ancient Coatings and Infused Ward Potions for both Beast and Ancient.”




“The best team composition will have one main tank, one off tank (switches to DPS for final fight), 6 DPS, and 2 healers,” Dusty said. “Some groups will be able to solo heal and Void Gauntlet secondary healer, but that’s better suited for speedruns. Newer players are advised to keep two healers for extra safety.”

“DPS players should be centered around raw damage per second, making rapier the best option to fill most of your slots,” Schmeck said. “Ranged damage is not necessary and ends up being less damage per second than any melee weapon. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and run a melee oriented build.”


“As a Hammer Lover and CEO of the Bonk Gang, it’s only appropriate that I designed a Full Rend Hammer Build,” Dusty said. “While my damage may not have been the best in the party, I utilized Armor Breaker for a 30% Rend, added Sundering Clear Out to my Hammer for another 25%, and got an additional 10% from Shockwave on my Armor for a total of 65% Rend on each mob!”

“All players should slot Cut Pristine Aquamarine Gems in armor and use a Frozen Protection Amulet, which gives around 63% Ice Resistance,” Schmeck said. “Use at least 4 pieces of armor with the Enchanted Ward perk to reduce damage taken by 16%. Almost all enemies are 30% weak to fire, so using a Cut Pristine Ruby in your weapon is suggested for most builds to improve your damage.”




“All enemies in these waves are of the Ancient mob type,” Schmeck said. “Use Infused Ancient Ward Potions to reduce the damage you take by 10% and Infused Ancient Ward Coatings to increase the damage you output by 15%. Stack the mobs together to damage everything at once. Great Axes are one of the best weapons to create a ‘clump’ of mobs. Throw a Gravity Well, reap ranged mobs, or Maelstrom to get mobs closer to each other. Be sure to fight on top of ranged mobs like the ‘Runeforge Archer’, since the other melee mobs will naturally walk over to where the group fights.”





“I cannot stress this enough,” Schmeck said. “The Ancient Ophidian Constructs are considered Beast, not Ancient. Use Infused Beast Ward Potions to reduce the damage you take by 10% and Infused Beast Ward Coatings to increase the damage you output by 15%. The Ancient Ophidian Constructs are also 30% weak to fire, making a Cut Pristine Ruby in your weapon the optimal choice to increase damage.”

“The Tank(s) can slightly adjust their Resistances/Protections as the Ancient Ophidian Constructs mainly do Strike Damage with their attacks,” Schmeck said. “An even split of Strike and Ice Resistances will make you feel even tankier.”


“When the Ancient Ophidian Construct splits for the first time, there are two different approaches your group may take,” Schmeck said. “The standard approach is to have the main tank hold one of the Ancient Ophidian Constructs while the rest of the group, including the off tank, focuses on the other one. Healers, make sure to heal your main tank and also support your off tank as needed. When the Ancient Ophidian Constructs split for a third time, the off tank and rest of the group should be able to handle the two smaller ones. Afterwards, go over to your main tank and finish the Ancient Ophidian Constructs off.”

“Make sure you don’t allow the construct splits near each other. They will start to heal and you will not be able to out-DPS their recovery,” Dusty said.

“A more advanced strategy is to have one tank hold all of the Ancient Ophidian Constructs after they split,” Schmeck said. “In order to achieve this, the group should wait until your tank gets aggro and stacks the Ancient Ophidian Constructs on top of each other. Bring some forms of disease to reduce the amount of healing the Ancient Ophidian Constructs receive when they are tethered together.”





“Swap back to your Infused Ancient Ward Potions and Infused Ancient Coatings after defeating the Ancient Ophidian Construct Beasts in Wave 4,” Schmeck said. “The final boss does not have a back, meaning there is no way to do critical damage reliably. All players should attempt to increase their Critical Chance by using Keen Awareness on their Ring. Builds that use Dexterity weapons should run 350 DEX to increase their Critical Chance by 15% when they are Empowered. Healers can run Keen Beacon on their armor to increase the critical chance of the group and Rapier players can use Keen Tondo on their weapon or armor to increase their own critical chance.”


Schmeck shared the following breakdown by role:

  • Tank: Use Slash Protection. The Ice Guardian has a very high damage attack that is pure slash, so some slash resistance will help keep you alive. As a tank, try to always stay one one side of the boss, and never move.

  • DPS: Always stay on the opposite side of your tank to avoid the Ice Guardian’s melee attacks.

  • Healer: Free cast Sacred Ground on the center of the boss, so that the Tank and DPS get the healing and fortify bonus.




“Early in the fight, have your main tank hold aggro while some of your DPS look for Icicles on the ground,” Dusty said. “These icicles can be thrown at the runes on the wall. Once the runes match, the Ancient Flame buff will spawn. Listen for a special audio cue to know when the fire is available instead of constantly looking.”

“Bring the buff to your group and use it on as many members in the AOE as possible,” Dusty said. “The Ancient Flame buff will reduce ice damage and prevent Hypothermia (reduces movement speed, increases ice damage received, and damages you over time).”


“As the fight progresses, safe spaces are few and far between, and you have to be ready to move at a moment’s notice,” Schmeck said. “If you stand in a circle and one of your allies didn’t cast it, you’re going to get hit very hard. Once the Ice Guardian gets to 30% health, he will spawn a smaller Ice Guardian. Eliminate him quickly, or he will do a lot of damage to the team. Once the smaller Ice Guardian is eliminated, move back to the Ice Guardian boss.”

“My groups have had the most success stacking Rends and Weakens against the bosses in the trial,” Rusty said. “The Rends allow us to scale everyone’s damage, while the Weakens allow us to misplay just a little bit and survive to tell the story.”


“New content is meant to bring new challenges, and if you’re not getting this trial down on your first try, that’s okay,” Dusty said. “Keep your consumables handy, watch those dangerous circles of doom, keep those abilities flowing, and you’ll be spinning to win before you know it!”




Our second Runners of Aeternum competition will go live on May 3 at 8AM PT until May 6 at 8AM PT. Tune into your favorite New World Twitch streamers as they race through the trail live or catch their highlights on YouTube after the event.


  • Chiapets, Cronicc, Mewziqal, Heemstar, Dustayyy, Heywood Jablomi, xbam, itsMadix, Bluudi, Schmeck

  • Substitution: BrurBlack

  • Merquiezo, HUMANIMALANIMAL, jayDe337, kaesepowl, Kollexx, alecfromgalac, CallOfMutti, qwplk, Thandria, N4pStylezZz

  • Substitution: kmcpascall

  • MrMojitoII, Smarty, Drexen, lR lE A P lE R, Humms, OMGHanaTV, joorah, Pudim, Keetuh, ADliN

  • Substitutions: Gerry, Sanya_Jacuzzi, Funky



Learn from these tips and speedruns to conquer the Winter Rune Forge for trial-specific rewards like an Artifact, 6 Named Weapons, and 3 Named Armor Sets.



Every time you overcome this trial you’ll earn the following:

  • A random weapon or armor piece at your level from the Frostforged set

  • Sapphire Gypsum


Twice per week you’ll get even more rewards for completing this trial, including a chance to uncover the Tempest Fury Artifact. You’re guaranteed to net 1 piece of Named Gear (all upgradable), 150 Dark Matter, and 4 pieces of Frostforged gear upon each of your two completions. Weekly rewards reset at 5 AM local time on Tuesday. For example, if you grab one special cache at 4:58 AM, you’ll be able to earn another at 5:01 AM.

  • Tempest Fury Artifact – Great Axe (10% chance)

  • Momentum: Successful attacks gain 3% movement speed for 3s. (Works on both weapons and stacks up to 10 times.)

  • Endless Spin: Whirlwind no longer needs to hit targets to continue spins, and can spin up to 12 times.

  • Faction Token Bundle (50% chance)

  • Icecleaver – Warhammer

  • Frozenpoint – Spear

  • Snowburst – Musket

  • Chilled Meteor – Flail

  • Moon of Healing – Life Staff

  • Sun of Knowledge – Fire Staff

  • Frostweaver – Light

  • Freezeframe – Medium

  • Ice Guardian – Heavy

Make sure to follow each content creator for more guides, tips, and other original New World content:

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