Remembering When…Tomb of the Shadow King

Earlier this week, I took Hamllin (Level 10 Fighter) into the Tomb of the Shadow King.  As a result, I couldn’t help but think about when this quest first came out.  The Tomb of the Shadow King was released with the other Necropolis II pack quests back with Module 3 Patch 3: Litany of the Dead Part 2 back in January 2007.  At that time the level cap was only level 12 and one of the first times I ran this quest was with Erdrique on elite with another guildie (who unfortunately doesn’t play anymore :( ) and four other pugs.  Boy was that a mistake…lol.

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Hamllin fighting Patice Lornat in the Tomb of the Shadow King.

At the time Erdrique was only level 10, but luckily he was a paladin.  I had warned my fellow guildie that I didn’t think entering the Tomb of the Shadow King on elite was such a hot idea as people were still trying to figure out the quests and the Shadow King was known to notoriously difficult because of its respawns.  But I gave in and followed him into the quest.  Needless to say, after about two hours of frustration, all I could say is that it was definitely an interesting experience.  Our poor band got our butts handed to us by the plethora of shadows, umbral worgs, umbral gargoyles, phase spiders, specters, and wraiths.  It was also an interesting experience in trying to navigate the mummy boss back to the “light room” and trying to keep the light on while the party also fought the mummy.  In then end, we finally did defeat the boss.  However, there was other thing about the release notes that I didn’t point.  And here it is:

Experience debt disappears at roughly 1.5% per hour, whether you’re just relaxing inside one of Stormreach’s many fine taverns or logged off exploring the realms of the real world.  

Yes, at that time we actually received an experience death penalty and I can say that by the time we finished that quest, I had died so many times that I lost experience..It took me a number of quest completions to finally break even, that was how bad it was.

And now, with Hamllin, I was able to move through the quest with only one hiccup…I did die once when my hireling got stuck on her pathing and didn’t follow me.  I didn’t even bother to take the mummy back to the lighting room and just beat him down where he busted out of the tomb.  The times have definitely changed but I appreciate those “older” times as I feel it made me a stronger and more lenient player. 

In any case, here is to all of the “long time” vets who still like to quest and sleigh monsters in this great game!! :)  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

What Are All of the Districts of Stormreach?

I took Erdrique (Level 16 Druid) into the quest Assault of Summerfield and wondered about the city of Stormreach.  When DDO was first released, we only had access to a few of the city wards and districts.  I remember having access to the Harbor/Port, Marketplace, Catacombs, House Kundarak, House Jorasco, House Phiarlan, and House Deneith.  Currently, we now have direct access to all of those previously listed but also to the Tower of the Twelve, Lordsmarch Plaza, and House Cannith.  But awhile back, another way to view some of the districts of Stormreach was possibly by only going into a quest.  The Summerfield district is one of these.  It is a neighborhood within Stormreach that we only ever see when we enter the quest Assault on Summerfield.  Other such areas includes the Satire District which can only be accessed through the quest Missing, the Tenemants (Come Out and Slay) and Tanner’s Ally and Prospect Lane (The Snitch).

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Erdrique running around the rooftops in the Summerfield District in Assault on Summerfield.

So with that thought, what other districts are currently harbored within the vastness of Stormreach?  Looking at the Eberron Wiki, it looks like there are a few other House wards present including: Lyrander and Tharashk.  I think it would it be interesting to see what these wards look like and the potential troubles our characters could get into through these areas.  I would also like to be able to interact with those other districts that you can only access through a quest.  I think it would be kind of cool to see what the Summerfield District looks like when it isn’t being invaded by the Droaam forces and maybe to even meet some of the shop owners and other home owners that are marked on the Summerfield map.  I doubt it will happen anytime soon, but I think it would be neat.  I also wonder what other districts might be present in Stormreach and what treasures and adventures they may contain!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!  

Liking the New Spellsinger Changes

This morning was the first time I logged on with my Spellsinger Bard Larrs (Level 20) since Update 22 Patch 2 was released which changed up the Spellsinger and Warchanter Bard Prestige enhancement lines.  So the first thing I had to do was to respend all of Larrs’ action points which I devoted entirely to the Spellsinger tree.  Since I did this relatively quickly, I might wind up mixing it up later, but as it stands right now I was quite impressed to see the changes.

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Larrs out in the Gianthold and playing around with his new abilities.

After I redistributed his enhancement points, I headed off to the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic version) and worked on some of the Stormeye Slayers.  One of the enhancements I took was the tier 5 enhancement, Horn of Thunder spell like ability.  I was quite surprised to see triple digit numbers being racked off on the mobs as I sent it forth.  Up this point, I never considered Larrs to be an offensive caster, but more of a backup healer, a buffer, and a crowd control specialist.  Now with thse spell like abilities, I feel like he contribute as a decent spell caster as well.  I also took the spell like abilities for shout and sonic blast as well, which means I can switch out sonic blast from my spell list and load up something different.

So, with this respect I like the changes.  I’ll be curious to see how well he does in higher level content.  In any case, I definitely feel he is stronger, which is a nice thing :).

Thanks for reading everybody and now get back to hunting!!     

A Light Weekend of Questing, Quest Runs August 15th to August 17th

This past weekend, my quest runs were relatively light.  For my typical morning slayer run, I logged on with my warforged favored soul, Harrgon (Level 9) and took him into the Tangleroot Explorer area.  Harrgon was finally able to come across his last rare encounter out there, Silkweave, and now only needs to finish up his slayer runs to be completed with the area.  Once I got back from work, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 16 Druid) for my mid-day questing and took him into the Devil’s Assault on hard.  I had a fun time experimenting in there with earthquake and a few other abilities and enjoyed taking down the final orthon boss.  Friday night I was back on with Erdrique and working on taking down Maldetto in the Cursed Crypt.  I had an interesting time in there and I wrote up those runs here.  By the time I took down Maldetto it was pretty late, so I called it a night.

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Harrgon getting ready to have some fun in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique having fun in the Devil’s Assault.

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Erdrique working again in the Cursed Crypt.

I didn’t log on Saturday night, as it was the third Saturday of the month and I’ve decided to spend that day with my wife so that we can watch our movies and TV shows that we have a plethora on our schedule to watch.  But I was back on Sunday with Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Exalted Angel).  Wapoyei was working on the Vault of Night Series on Epic Normal, so I took him into Haywire’s Foundry.  I entered it on Epic Normal and brought with me a rogue hireling, my two owlbears, and my onyx panther.  Overall, the quest went relatively smoothly, although I did seem to be standing in a large number of firewalls through the quest, which bothered me.  But besides that, I had little difficulty in making my way through the quest.  However, by the time I completed the quest, it was time for me to head to bed.

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Wapoyei and his mini-gang in VON 4.

So, the weekend was relatively light, primarily because I didn’t do any questing on Saturday and because I had to try the Cursed Crypt a couple times before completing it.  However, it was still a fun weekend and I hope everybody else had a good weekend as well.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!   

Oh the Dreaded Cursed Crypt

One of the more challenging quests I have completed with Erdrique (Level 16 Druid) is The Cursed Crypt.  The Cursed Crypt is the capstone quest to the Necro III quest chain and has two mechanics that are challenging: 1). it is timed and 2). it has a limited number of “enemies” that can be slain.  Both of these types of mechanics make a quest challenging, and often times irritating.  The quest giver is Sir Pythias the Radiant (just have to like that name..) and he mentions to you that the Cursed Crypt boss, Maldetto, has is a powerful vampire who has the ability to take control of your mind if you stay within the crypt for too long (hence the time limit).  He also tells you that his last party he sent in there hasn’t returned and when you enter the quest you come across a Silver Flame survivor who tells you that the party has been dominated and that you shouldn’t kill them because they are unaware of what they are doing, hence you get the quest objective of killing no more than five of the dominated Silver Flame members.

When you enter the quest, you see that you have about an hour to complete it.  That sounds like a lot of time, and it is if you know what you are doing, but please take note that the quest layout is quite large.  If you haven’t done this quest before, one thing that you need to keep in mind is that you need to locate a key that will free a set of specters that will “help” you.  This part of the quest is probably the most time consuming because the key can be located in two separate locations that are, of course, on opposite ends of the map.  The key can be located in one of the “cloisters”, which are just rooms of Maldetto’s followers (and possibly of some of the dominated Silver Flame guys).  Once you get the key, and unlock the specters, the rest of the quest isn’t to bad, in terms of taking a large amount of time.

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Erdrique fighting his way through the Cursed Crypt.

Over this past week, it took me three different tries to complete the Cursed Crypt on elite.  The first attempt, I was running it with my companion and my hireling and made it all the way to the final fight with only the death of one of the Silver Flame members and with plenty of time (as I lucky enough to find the key right away).  However, it was during the final fight when I messed up.  In the final fight, Maldetto is protected by four members of the Silver Flame.  To complete the quest, less than five Silver Flame could be killed.  Well, the Silver Flame priests, and their constant barrage of comet falls, were aggravating me so I kill them.  I did this with the assumption that my cleric hireling wouldn’t be able to kill the other Silver Flame warriors before I killed Maldetto.  Well, I underestimated the cleric’s ability and just before I finished off Maldetto she had finished off the Silver Flame warriors and I had the quest failure message splash up on screen…ugh…how frustrating. 

Over the weekend, I tried the Cursed Crypt once again.  This time I decided that I would use the spell Earthquake to sit the Silver Flame body guards on their buts while I dealt with Maldetto.  Again, I made it to the final fight without any problems, but this time I had accidentally killed two of the Silver Flame members.  So now, as I entered into the final fight, I laid down an earthquake but I did the fatal error of having the spell maximized and empowered.  Before I even got Maldetto halfway down the quest failure message popped up again as I noticed all of the Silver Flame guys die at the same time from my earthquake.  Now I was just irritated.

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Erdrique dealing with the eternal wizard in the Cursed Crypt.

So, I reentered the quest once again.  However, this time I was able to make it to the final fight without a single Silver Flame member killed.  Now there was no way I couldn’t complete the quest unless I actually died because there are only four members in the last fight.  However, I had to make a point.  This time I laid down a regular earthquake and immediately took Maldetto and ran him around away from the Silver Flame members.  I assaulted him with everything I had and I was relieved to notice that not only did I complete the quest, I also noted that I didn’t even lose a single member of the Silver Flame!!  So after three attempts…this time I had a flawless victory :).

I guess my point is to keep persistent and to keep trying different tactics.  Eventually you will make it through that stubborn quest :P!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

A Good Problem?

My main character, Erdrique is now a level 16 druid (with level 17 banked) and as a result I started to ponder creating a new character who was going to be a dedicated druid in my arsenal of DDO characters because Erdrique will soon be prepping for his next heroic true reincarnation.  I have actually started to work on a druid that is more focused on spell casting as opposed to melee, which is what Erdrique is more focused on.  However, as I was thinking about this over the weekend, another “problem” came to my mind.  The problem of having a large number of characters.

Between my two accounts, I have 18 characters and this new druid would make it 19.  Nineteen characters is just a lot of different characters to maintain.  I like to think that I do a good job in splitting up my game time between my characters.  I have developed a schedule where I rotate through my characters each morning through various slayer areas prior to work.  I have also split up some play time for my true reincarnated characters, Erdrique and Hamllin, that I call my afternoon runs right after work.  These runs I do just before dinner during the weekday.  During the weekday nights I rotate through my characters and do some quests as opposed to slayer runs and on the weekend nights I typically just play Erdrique.

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Stoorage facing off against hellhounds in Three Barrel Cove.

The primary problem with this method, is that it generally takes me a long time to get any particular character leveled up.  This typically wouldn’t bother me all that much but I have also come to realize that although I play each character, the time between the play spans for each character is quite a bit, and as a result I tend to forget the characters various abilities, spells, and attack capabilities, especially on my casters.  Besides that, the majority of these characters are typically under geared, basically because I haven’t devoted the time to properly gear them.  Because of this, I tend to run quests on easier difficulties. 

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Cantlin enjoying the Searing Heights.

This makes me wonder if this is the “best” method to experience DDO.  I like to play each character class and to understand how each plays.  Some of my guildies tend to “focus” on one character for a good amount of time and then to move onto another one.  Some others have just reduced their arsenal of characters to only one.  While others tend to spread some time around their characters not to unlike myself.  For me though, the “best” way to experience DDO is to play a characters from as many classes and races as you can.  This gives you an idea on the capabilities of the classes and races and just keeps the game fresh.  However, to do this you definitely have to be patient and not put in a lot of stock in quick character advancement.  That is why I titled this particular blog as “A Good Problem”. 

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Erdrique questing in the Cursed Crypt.

In any case, I do enjoy the plethora of characters I have and I’m still working on ways to keep them fresh.  Who knows, I might even adjust my scheduling once again, we’ll see. 

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Hitting up Some Quests, August 11 to August 15

This week’s questing began with my main character, Erdrique (Level 16 Druid), who I took out into the Restless Isles for a typical morning slayer run prior to heading to work.  I had just completed the Ataraxia’s Haven explorer area and now plan on finishing up the Restless Isles before heading out to the Desert.  After I returned home from work, I was scheduled to log on with Erdrique once again for my afternoon run before dinner.  So I took Erdrique into the quest, Eyes of Stone.  I had little difficulty making my way through the Lordsmarch Palace and to the medusa but I did run into some stumbling blocks with her but nothing I couldn’t overcome (Fang died, but surprisingly my hireling did not).  Monday night, while I was also playing my weekly digital D&D game, I logged on with Rimuldar (Level 22 Wizard/Magister) and was joined up with Friedrice to take on the Chains of Flame on epic normal.  It was quite a run, as I was constantly being distracted from my other game, which frequently lead me to do some stupid things and to get pulverized a few times.  However, Friedrice pulled us through and we completed the lengthy run.  After that, I had to call it a night and logged out.

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Erd exploring the Restless Isles.

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Erdrique taking on the Droaam forces in the Lordsmarch Plaza.

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Rimuldar and Friedrice taking on the Chains of Flame.

On Tuesday morning, I logged on with Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and took him into the wilds of the King’s Forest.  I really enjoy running out there and exploring that particular wildnerness area and look forward to taking other characters out there.  After work, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 10 Fighter) and took him into the Tomb of the Shadow Guard.  This particular run opened my eyes about some aspects of the Cannith Crafting system.  Hamllin didn’t have a ghost touch weapon so I crafted him a ghost touch shortsword of pure good that a lesser ruby of acid slotted in it.  I took that into the quest to realize that the crafter shortsword wasn’t doing a lot of damage because it was being affected by the damage reduction of the incorporal enemies.  It then dawned on me that I needed to add the +1 enhancement bonus to the sword in order to bypass that reduction.  So, although it was painful, I did weed through the Tomb of the Shadow Guard on elite, primarily with the strength behind my Sunblade.  Definitely an interesting run and a learning experience.  Tuesday night, I logged on with Containment (Level 4 Cleric) and took him through many of the solo only quests (The Miller’s Debt, An Explosive Situation, and Arachnophobia) and then I joined up with Zalexia and Rheagon and we hit up the Waterworks and started that chain.  After we finished the first half of the chain, I had to call it a night and told Zalexia and Rheagon I would catch up with them later and then logged out.

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Kolll exploring the King’s Forest.

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Hamllin noticing the strange iconic face in the Tomb of the Shadow Guard.

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Containment looking for the Miller.

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Containment looking to thwart the Quickfoot gang.

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Containment fighting the brown spider queen in Arachnophobia.

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Containment taking Zalexia and Rheagon into Waterworks.

On Wednesday, I ran my spirit shaman Ragnar in my Neverwinter Nights II Original Campaign game.  He is currently hunting around the city of Highcliff.  After I got back from work, it was time for me to log on with Erdrique once again.  This time I took him into the Cursed Crypt.  I had an interesting time during this particular run that lead to a little bit of frustration.  Everything was going fairly well (except for some disconnecting/lag issues) until I hit the last fight.  I misjudged the ability of hireling, who managed to kill the remaining Silver Flame warriors just before I could take out Maldetto.  Oh well, I’ll take him out this weekend!! :).  After than run, I called it a night and spent the rest of the evening with my beautiful wife for date night.

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Ragnar and his gang on the outskirts of the Highcliffs ruins.

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Erd attacking an eternal wizard in the Cursed Crypt.

I was scheduled to log in with Kanndar (Level 10 Paladin) and take him into the Searing Heights for my morning slayer runs Thursday morning.  After running him through the Searing Heights and locating the rest of his explorer points I logged out and headed to work.  For my afternoon run, after work, I logged on with Hamllin and took him into the Tomb of the Shadow Knight.  However, this time I upgraded this ghost touch shortsword with a +1 shard and so he was now dual wielding a +1 ghost touch shortsword of pure good with a lesser acid ruby and a Sunblade.  The attack sequences went much easier and the mobs went down much faster :).  I did have some fun avoiding the traps but overall this quest run was much better than in the Shadow Guard.  During my night runs, I logged on with Stoorage (Level 10 Fighter) and ran through the Fire Caves on hard and elite.  Once those runs were completed I called it a night.

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Kanndar in front of the peak in Searing Heights.

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Hamllin enjoying his upgraded shortsword in the Tomb of the Shadow Knight.

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Stoorage facing off against the ogres in the Fire Caves in Stones Run Red.

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Stoorage fighting hell hounds in the Brood of Flame.

In review the week’s worth of runs were challenging at times and informational :).  Not a bad week’s worth of questing in my opinion.  Well, thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!