Fun in Stromvauld’s Mine

Yesterday I wrote up a short article on Gwylan’s Stand, one of the quests that came out with the original release of DDO.  Well today I want to take a look at another older quest but this one was released with DDO’s first Module: Dragon’s Vault.  The quest I want to talk about is Stromvauld’s Mine.  Stromvauld’s Mine is a level 8 quest (10 on elite) and it is located in the House Denith Anvilfire Inn Tavern.  The quest giver is sitting at a table in the tavern and is Laird Stromvauld.  The premise of the quest is to locate and determine what has happened to Stromvauld’s mining crews as they haven’t reported back when they were supposed to.  Two teams have gone missing and Laird asks for your help to discover their fate and hopefully to rescue them.

This particular quest can be quite difficult if you aren’t prepared for it.  When the level cap was only level 10 and then raised through 16, I used to consider this quest a particular test on my various character’s resilience and self sufficiency.  The quest occurs entirely in the mine has a number of furnaces, catwalks, upper and lower levels, and caverns to explore around.  As soon as you enter the quest zone, you notice that the first quest objective is to located a specified number of dead miners.  As you explore the zone, you will encounter the dead minors and have to interact with them to be given credit for their discovery. 

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Erdrique doing the grimly task of located some dead engineers.

As you venture into the cavern you will also notice some gems lying around that you can pick up.  As an optional objective you are given the ability to locate a specified number of gems as well. 

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Time to look for some jewels in the mine!!

There are a few other optional objectives in the quest as well, primarily centered around destroying/defeating enemy monsters.  So speaking to the enemies and monsters in the quest, the things you will encounter include rust monsters, scorpions, earth elementals, fire elementals, and a plethora of drow (some named optional casters, a lot of archers, and a number of drow melee fighters).  I’m not entirely sure how the elementals and rust monsters relate to the lore of the quest.  However, there is no doubt that the drow are the source of miners death and they are probably worshippers of Vulkoor and thus are also the source of the scorpions.  I’m also thinking that the drow casters are responsible for summoning the earth elementals and fire elementals and probably were holding the rust monsters as pets or something. 

Taking on a monarch scorpion in Stromvauld's Mine photo TakingonaMonarchScorpioninStromvauldsMine_zps4bef55dd.jpg
Erdrique taking on one of the monarch scorpions in Stromvauld’s Mine.

On elite, all of these enemies can be extremely difficult to deal with.  Scorpions are extremely deadly on any adventure on elite and the earth elementals are particularly hard to deal with unless you are prepared for them.  The drow archers are perched in strategic locations that make them annoying, with some using a lighting trap as cover.  There are only two fire elementals that spawn behind you from two campfires when you make your further into a quest.  These two are expertly place and will wipe out a party if they don’t know about them.  The campfires are place at a location that overlooks a drow party below, so the initial tactic is to range the drow from the overlook.  As you do that, the fire elementals come out to inflict some serious damage, again if you are unprepared.  After you take out the fire elementals, the drow in the camp below the overlook are relatively easily dispatched. 

Once you get past that point, you go lower into the mine following the length of a mining shaft.  You land on some catwalks and deal with a plethora of drow as you make your way to the lower levels of the mine.  Sometimes you will encounter a optional name and there is a locked chest that you can get access too but the main focus is to continue down to the main hall where the drow leader is located.  Once she is defeated, you can then rescue the sole surviving chief engineer.

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Erdrique taking on the drow leader in Stromvauld Mine.

There is an annoying part to this quest-finding the dead engineers.  They are spread throughout the quest and are located randomly during each time you run the quest.  As are the jewels.  Many times an engineer will be overlooked in the heat of battle and the party will have to make their way back through the mine to located that missing dead engineer.  However, this is a relatively minor inconvenience, as thought who have ventured into Stromvauld’s Mine know that they need to keep their eyes out for those dead bodies.

During my last run through Stromvauld’s Mine I received over 13,000 experience and that didn’t count any optionals.  It did include no deaths, elite streak, first time bonus, VIP bonus, Voice of the Master, Greater Experience Tome, and 2% Guild ship shrine.  I completed four optionals that ranged from 685 experience to 857 experience each, and just as a side note, I had missed one of the gems.

Stromvauld’s Mine is a challenging quest and is one of the older quests in the game.  It is also one of the oldest quests to have some drow enemies.  Overall, it is a fun quest and worth a good amount of experience, especially for one working on heroic true reincarnation train. 

Thanks for reading everybody and have fun exploring the mine!!  Happy Hunting!!

An Oldie but Goodie, A Look at Gwylan’s Stand

Recently I took Erdrique through the quest, Gwylan’s Stand.  Gwylan’s Stand has been around since the release of DDO back in 2006, and it still remains to be a challenging and fun quest!!  Gwylan’s Stand is a level 7 quest on normal (making it a level 9 quest on elite) and it is bestowed by Coralay d’Phiarlan who can be found in the House Phairlan ward, not far from the Amphitheater.  At one point, Coralay was located in the center of the Amphitheater but no longer.  The basic premise of the quest is to rid region known as Gwylan’s Stand of House Thuranni imposters and their mercenaries.

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Erdrique and Okhamel taking on one of the many mercenary lieutenants in Gwylan’s Stand.

The quest is really nicely designed, at least in my opinion.  The quest environment is primarily in a wooded area outside of some ancient giant ruins.  However, there are a number of mini-caves and ruin entrances that you need to enter as well which give you the classic dungeon crawl like experience as well with the open wooded area sense of adventure.

The mixture of enemies within Gwylan’s Stand is also quite impressive.  You will encounter: trolls, rust monsters, brown spiders, hobgoblins, minotaurs, and elves.  All of these will be encountered in various camps spread throughout the landscape, with some minor patrols.  There are also a large number of named monsters in the quest and as a result it contains a lot of uniquely named loot.  There was a point in time when the Giant Stalker’s knife was a must for dealing with the giants in Threnal.  The class type of monsters you will encounter include a number of brute fighter types, cleric/shaman types, and some wizard/fighter combos.

Besides the variety of enemies, the landscape itself can also be treacherous.  There are a large number of traps scattered throughout the ruins that can be quite deadly if you aren’t paying attention to them (especially on elite) and the ruins at Gwylan’s Stand have a large number of raised platforms and cliffs that you can easily fall off of.  The traps tend to be mostly spinning blade traps or spike traps and some of them are manually set off by roaming patrols if they spot you.

There is one downside to this quest.  It does require that you have enough inventory space to carry the special “powder” that is to be used to lace the Thuranni crates.  But besides that, the quest is quite fun to do.  It is also a high experience quest and players tend to like running this quest under their elite Bravery Bonus streak.  During my last run inside Gwylan’s Stand, I received over 17,000 experience (not including the optionals).

There is no doubt, that this quest maybe one of the older quests in the game, but it is still a fun quest to run, making it an “Oldie but Goodie”!!  Thanks for reading everybody and now get back into DDO and go rid Gwylan’s Stand of its evil forces!!  Happy hunting!!

What are in Kornak’s crates?

I have been working through the Tangleroot Explorer area with Hamllin (Level 8 Fighter) over the past few weeks or so and came across the rare encounter for the Ogre Magi, Kornak.  While I was waiting for Kornak to reappear I began to wonder what is in his crates in the ogre cave in Tangleroot Gorge?

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Hamllin contemplating what are in these large crates.

The crates are pretty big and we can’t bust them like the many other smaller crates in the cave.  Now the the smaller crates tend to have spare change (coins), potions, and sometimes a loot drop (jewerly, clothing, armor, or weapon).  So if the small crates have those types of items, then what are in these large crates?  I’m thinking that maybe these crates are somehow linked to Yarkuch and his hobgoblins.  We already know that Yarckuch has three ogre warmasters under his control, no reason not to assume they aren’t related in some way to these ogres in Kornak’s cave.  Perhaps whatever is in the crates are Yarkuch’s payments for the warmasters (most like some type of oversized weapons or some type of supplies)…then again the crates just might contain nothing more than worg food .

So what are in the crates?  Who knows?  But the thoughts about their contents is quite interesting at the least

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

DDO Activities Over the Past Weekend, April 11 to 13

Well the weekend actually started off kind of slowly.  I had originally planned on logging with Cantlin (Level 10 Sorcerer) and taking him into Searing Heights on Friday morning but instead I wound up spending the morning working on some maintenance issues with him.  Before I knew it I had to head off to work so I didn’t get any actual play time in during the morning.  I didn’t log back in until Friday night.  I logged on with Erdrique (Level 9 Druid) and decided to take a good amount of time to re-gear him.  I had leveled him up recently but didn’t take the time to finish gathering gear for him.  So I spent the first few hours Friday night crafting new gear and hunting Auction House.  I didn’t get everything I was looking for but it will do good enough for the next few levels.  By the time I was done, Okhamel had logged on we grouped up and took on Gladewatch Outpost, Tear of Dhakaan, and Gwylan’s Stand.  Gladewatch Outpost went extremely smoothly as Okhamel intimidated the commander and dragger her around to the other side of the fortress and parked her there.  She didn’t cause any problems at all.  Tears of Dhakaan also went extremely smoothly.  However, Gwylan’s Stand was a little different.  I had misjudge the depth of one of the traps and found myself turned into a soul stone.  Besides that minor issue, Gwylan’s Stand went well.  After that, we both decided to call it a night as it was getting quite late.

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Erdrique, Fang, and Okhamel prepping for there future runs.

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Defending Gladewatch Outpost.

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Erdrique and Okhamel taking on one of the champions of Arzag-khor.

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Erdrique and Okhamel taking on the bad guys in Gwylan’s Stand.

Saturday night was a relatively slow night.  There weren’t many guildies on so I decided to work on the Searing Heights explorer area.  I was able to collect all explorers, all slayers, and all rare encounters except for two.  The two rare encounters I was missing are usually two of the first I typically find in this explorer area, Cruor Rosso and Gluck.  All told I gathered over 25 k experience from that explorer area.  I then checked the auctions and called it a night.

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Erdrique exploring the Searing Heights.

Sunday night was also relatively light.  I logged on with Charlock (Level 13 Fighter) and took on the Tomb of the Burning Heart.  Tomb of the Burning Heart is the one that you need to split the party up by having four people stand on four different pads.  So, I asked for a guildie to help me open up the entrance way before he logged out and completed the quest.  Now, I didn’t get any experience out of it but what I was really doing was flagging for the Bloody Crypt which I still needed on elite.  Once I completed the Burning Heart and I was re-flagged for the Bloody Crypt so I went ahead and took it on.  Now, keep in mind that Charlock is five levels higher than the Bloody Crypt and even with a 75% experience penalty, he still got over 13,000 experience on its completion.  Not bad at all.  After the Bloody Crypt I called it a night.

Charlock taking on the Charnel Wights of the Burning Heart photo CharlocktakingontheCharnelWightsoftheBurningHeart_zpsce14efde.jpg
Charlock fighting the wights in The Tomb of the Burning Heart.

So. like the week prior, it was a relatively light weekend.  But the weekend was still productive, at least to me .  I was able to get some new gear for Erdrique, nearly complete a slayer area, knock out some of his level 6 and 7 quests and I was able to knock out the annoying Bloody Crypt with Charolock.  All in all, pretty good. 

Thanks for reading everybody and now get back in game and take care of the evil denizens of Stormreach.  Happy Hunting everybody!!

Sweet!! I Just Leveled…Oh Wait a Minute..

Recently, I was forced to advance Erdrique up to level 9.  During the heroic true reincarnation train, I typically bank a level in order to get the most experience I can from the lower level quests.  As a result, it usually takes me a little while to get a new level but when I do I look forward to learning more skills, gaining new feats, increasing my stats (saves, attributes when necessary, etc.).  However, I also get that bogged down feeling as soon as I finish leveling at the trainer.  It is at this point that I realize that I need to regear…ugh.

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Erdrique crafting up some higher level gear in House Kundarak.

In the lower levels, I generally craft the gear I need using Cannith Crafting, at least for my weapons, stat gear, armor, and skill gear.  Then I generally augment my crafting by hunting the Auction House for deadly and speed items (which can’t be crafted currently).  This means that I typically spend a good amount of time moving essences from my other characters to Erdrique to craft with (Erdrique is my primary crafter as well) and then I have to spend a good amount of time hunting the Auction House in hopes that I can find the speed and deadly items to fit with my current gear makeup.  To make things more complicated, once I hit level 9 by gear set up generally gets complicated in that I want to use some gear gathered from previous lives that cause loop holes in my current arrangement.  I then get stuck for a few hours juggling gear combinations until I can get everything situated. 

So, leveling is a blessing and a curse.  It is awesome to learn new abilities, get access to new spells, increase your skills, toy around with more enhancements, and train in new feats but boy is it a pain in the butt to gear up, lol.

Thanks for reading everybody and now stop gearing up and go kill some baddies!!  Happy Hunting!!

A Look at the Quest Ghost of A Chance

Since I have been writing about Three Barrel Cove a lot lately, I figured I would continue and highlight an obscure quest that I’m sure many people look over.  The quest I’m talking about is a Level 5 quest, Ghost of A Chance.  I took Hamllin (Level 7) through it earlier in the week.  The quest giver for Ghost of A Chance is located just outside of the Salty Wench Tavern and underneath the support for Idas (quest giver for the Fire Caves quest chain).  The quest giver is unique, in that he is actually a ghost, the ghost of Marteen Worley.  Marteen informs you that he and his brother were trying to get/steal some of Captain Goldhorn’s famed treasure but unfortunately they got caught.  For their troubles, Marteen was killed and his brother Farrier is being held prisoner.  Marteen enlists your help to free his brother.

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Hamllin taking on some of the ancient warforged in Ghost of a Chance.

The quest is located in the northern reaches of Three Barrel Cove, not too far away from Scondrel’s Run and just south of the explorer point for the Rotten Shark.  The quest entrance is actually located under water.  Because of it is located in the norther regions of the Cove, it isn’t really ran all that much.  However, even though it does take a little time to get to it, the quest is actually pretty short.  Once you enter the submerged cavern and resurface, Captain Goldhorn’s pirates immediately see you and start firing at you with their bows.  So straight from the get go, the fight is on .

The majority of enemies of pirates, warforged, and dogs.  There a few optionals in the quest that include slaying a bunch of spiders that are primarily located behind hidden doors, slaying a scrag that is in another underwater cave, and slaying Captain Goldhorn himself.  I’m not entirely sure how all of these optionals relate lore wise.  I’m guess that the pirates trapped the spiders behind some hidden doors when they found underwater caves.  I guess they figured they could use spiders at some point, not sure on that.  But seeing as you can only get to the spiders but activating hidden levers that operate hidden doors seems the most likely.  Now Brekik, the scrag is an interesting conundrum.  I’m thinking that Brekik has made some type of devious deal with Captain Goldhorn and as a result is just considered part of the ranks…extra muscle if you will.

Hamllin fighting Brekik in Ghost of A Chance photo HamllintakingonBrekikinGhostofAChance_zps35ab8939.jpgHamllin taking on Brekik.

The quest is actually pretty linear, throw some levers, kill some baddies and keep on going.  Even if you decided to do the optionals with the spiders and Brekik, you basically just double back on the path you were on and continue forward down the hallway.  If you decided to take on Captain Goldhorn, he is located in a side room off of the main hallway.  At level 5, he is quite a challenge.  He is guarded by three or four warforged archers who are are perched on crates above you and the Captain himself is a spellcaster who immediately casts fire shield on himself as soon as the encounter begins.  If you aren’t prepared for the above assault and for his initial attack you can easily get overwhelmed.  Make sure you have fire resistance on when dealing with him and take his archers out as soon as you can, they get quite annoying.

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And down goes one of Captain Goldhorn’s archers.

Once you take the Captain down, you will encounter another skirmish or two and then you come up to Farrier who is locked behind some type of cell.  Farrier tells you that the cell is wrigged and can only be opened by two methods: 1). solving the puzzle and 2). a key held by the Captain.  Solving the puzzle is another optional for this quest.  It is quite a complicated puzzle and for every incorrect move you make, Farrier takes some damage and will eventually die if you make too many mistakes, therefore resulting in a quest failure.  When you talk to Farrier you can go back to the room where the Captain was and there will be a small lockbox in view that holds the key.  If you use the key, you forfeit the opportunity to get two or three chests, the only end chests in the quests (you do get a chest for killing Brekik and Captain Goldhorn).  I typically just used the key myself.

Overall, the quest is sweet and simple.  It can be challenging if you aren’t prepared.  Lore, wise I’m still trying to figure out how Captain Goldhorn came across these ancient warforged.  There aren’t may others in the game which makes these one stand out to me. 

Well there you have it,  quick run down of the quest A Ghost of A Chance.  Take a look at it when you get a chance.  Happy Hunting everybody!!

A Look Back at Activities During the Week, April 7 to 10

My DDO activities over this past week varied from general character maintenance to some epic quest runs and a variety of heroic runs, including some runs with my two Heroic True Reincarnation characters, Erdrique and Hamllin.  The week started with a Monday morning slayer run with my level 20 Ranger/Shiradi Champion, Kolll.  Kolll is currently exploring the wilds of the King’s Forest.  I took him around that area for about 10 to 15 minutes before I had to go work.  Later on Monday Night, I logged Kolll back on, as I was scheduled to take bring him on for routine nightly runs.  I took Kolll into the quest Fathom the Depths.  I entered Fathom the Depths on Epic Normal and had a good time taking on the sahaughin in the quests and rescuing the Raveneye Drow.

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Kolll exploring the wilds of the King’s Forest.

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Kolll paralyzing three sahaugin in a roll in Fathom the Depths on Epic Normal.

On Tuesday morning, I had originally planned on taking Rimuldar into the High Road Wilderness zone, but instead I wound dealing with some inventory issues.  However, I did get some questing in when I got back home from work.  I brought on Erdrique and completed the last two quests in the Assault on Splinterskull Chain (The Last Move: The Way to Yarkuch and The Last Move: Yarkuch’s Last Stand).  After I took Erdrique through those two quests, I logged out to make dinner.  I logged back on later that night with Kanndar (Level 11 Paladin).  I took him into Devil’s Assault and had a fun time in there, playing around with his snow elemental.  After Devil’s Assault I was able to hit level 11 so after I leveled I took him into Tomb of the Crimson Heart so that I could start to reflag for the Bloody Crypt (because I still need that one on elite).  After that, I logged out for the night.

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Erdrique using salt ray and call lightning in Splinterskull.

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The  war master trying to take on Erdrique.

Kanndar and his snow elemental having some fun in Devil’s Assault.

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Kanndar taking down the undead in the Tomb of the Crimson Heart.

My runs on Wednesday start out with Kanndar again.  I was scheduled to take him into Searing Heights for awhile.  So I brought him on took on the Blood Tide and other denizens of the Heights before work.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and took him into Three Barrel Cove.  While in Three Barrel Cove, I took him into the quest, The Legend of Two-toed Tobias.  I then logged for the rest of the day to spend date night with my wife .  

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Kanndar exploring Searing Heights.

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Hamllin taking on Scortchtusk in Three Barrel Cove.

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Hammy having fun stunning the rats in the Legend of Two-toed Tobias.

Thursday started out with Harrgon (Level 9 Favored Soul) and I took him into Tangleroot Gorge prior to work.  Later that afternoon, I brought on Erdrique and was joined by Hellslonging and we entered Sorrowdusk Isle and took on the first two quests of the Grey Moon Chain: The Iron Mines-Freeing Achka and The Iron Mines-Justice for Grust.  After that, I logout to make dinner.  I logged back on later that night with Hamllin and I was joined by Hellslonging once again and we took on Three Barrel Cove and the quest Ghost of A Chance and took the pirates of Captain Goldhorn.  We had little trouble and got the quest knocked out.  After that Hellslonging had to call it a night so I took Hamllin into Tangleroot Gorge for about a half hour to gather some slayers.  I logged out after that for the night.

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Harrgon slicing through the enemies in Tangleroot Gorge.
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Hamllin exploring Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin fighting Brekik in Ghost of a Chance.
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Erdrique and Hell taking on the Black Sun Ogres in the Iron Mines.
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Erdrique enjoying the victory in the Ion Mines and looking down the tunnel from Grust’s lair.
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Hamllin fighting Clamor in Tangleroot.

So the activity for me in DDO wasn’t quite as active as normal but it was still quite diverse, which makes it fun.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!