A Look at the Attack on Stormreach Chain

Over the last two weeks or so, I took Erdrique (Level 17 Druid) through the quests for the Attack on Stormreach Chain.  This particular chain contains four quests: Assault on Summerfield, Blockade Buster, Undermine, and the capstone quest, Seigebreaker.  This chain is a follow up to the Deception of Stormreach quests which include Diplomatic Impunity, Framework, and Eyes of Stone however these quests can be skipped so that you can run the Attack on Stormreach Chain directly, if so desired.  All of the quests within the Attack on Stormreach Chain are level 13 on normal (the Deception of Stormreach chain are all level 12 on normal) and the story arc quest giver is Darmon Kosh who is located in the Lordsmarch Plaza.  If you have completed the Deception in Stormreach quests, Darmon Kosh will then flag you down and “recruit” you into the Stormreach militia.  At that point you are asked to talk to the Coin Lords in the Lordsmarch Palace and to start off the chain.

The three “flagging” quests (Assault on Summerfield, Blockade Buster, and Undermine) are fun quests of medium and short length, which I think is a perfect because it allows me to not have to worry too much on any time constraints I might have during my playing schedule.  The enemies within this chain are more of the same you encounter from the Deception of Stormreach chain.  Mainly consisting of some brutish ogres, annoying half-orcs, powerful orcs, wily gnolls, dangerous kobolds, a few other medusae, and of course the end boss of Seigebreaker being the green hag, Sora Katra. 

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Erdrique traveling along the rooftops in Sumemrfield.

The end quest, Seigebreaker, is longer than the other three quests and contains a number of interesting optionals, that when completed, bring forth an encounter with a red-named medusa.  The quest contains a few funny parts as well, such as the discovery of the “largest explosive barrel you have ever seen” to the arrival of the Droaam cavalry once you defeat Sora Katra which are composed of ogres riding rust monsters (which of course ends that hilarity…). 

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Erdrique fighting the enemies of the Droaam blockade.

The quest mechanics that are employed with this story arc are also interesting.  For instance, in Assault on Summefield, you have an optional to locate the injured Stormreach guards.  In Blockade buster, you have to blow up the blockade by detonating the bombs from each vessel, and in Undermine you have the huge rolling stone to deal with, reminiscent of Indiana Jones.  The unique mechanics continue in Seigebreaker, where you can set campsites on fire to complete an optional objective.  This puts a little bit of uniqueness to these quests.

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Erdrique making his way through Undermine.

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Erdrique dealing with the invading forces of Droaam before heading down into the tunnels of Undermine.

Another aspect of this quest chain is centered around the named loot that you can obtain from it and in the method of upgrading/crafting it to an upgraded version.  Throughout the quests within this chain, you can gather these special “marks” that can be combined within the Cauldron of Sora Katra that will allow you to fuse some of these things together and combine their attributes.  It is an interesting concept, although I admit I haven’t really used this crafting concept all that much.

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Erdrique taking on the Droaam forces in Seigebreaker.

Overall, the quest chain is fun and capstone quest can be quite challenging.  If you have a chance, I would recommend trying the quests within this story arc out and see for yourself.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting those Droaam forces!!

Caverns of Korromar

Another old quest that I have always liked is the Caverns of Korromar.  Early last week, I took Hamllin (Level 11 Fighter) into this intriguing quest.  The quest giver is Ulfgar d’Kundarak, who resides in the House Kundarak ward not too far way from the auctioneer.  The premise of the quest surrounds a tragedy that happened to a House Kundarak excavation crew that were working the grounds of a holy site of the ancient giant kingdom.  The excavation crew was slaughtered and now reside in the site as undead guardians.

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Hamllin looking upon the Caverns of Korromar.

After you learn of the details of the quest, the quest giver will teleport you to Korromar so you can begin your journey.  This is another quest that is similar to Stormcleave, Gwylan’s Stand, and Redwillow’s Ruins, where you have an interesting mixture of outdoor exploring mixed in with some dungeon/tunnel exploration.  I believe that the the Caverns of Korromar contains more of the dungeon exploration than the others, proportionately.

Now, Caverns of Korromar used to be one of the toughest quests in game and was also known to be part of a loot run as well as a source of some pretty interesting loot pieces.  The loot run used to consist of zoning into the quest and running up a few pillars to defeat a flesh render that guarded a chest that would spawn upon its death.  It took just a minute or two to get to the flesh render and the chest making it a quick loot run.  This was eventually changed where the chest was locked and could only be opened with a key that was obtained later in the quest. 

The Caverns of Korromar is a level 8 quest on normal and is still quite challenging for those who have never run it before.  The quest is composed of a nice variety of monsters, that I’m still trying to figure out how they relate to each other.  The quest is, of course, littered with undead zombie dwarves but also contains a plethora of other undead enemies: wraiths, specters, blackbone skeletons, and wights.  However, the undead aren’t the only baddies you will come across.  To further explore the ruins of Korromar you have to travel through a number of tunnels and digsites.  These tunnels contain spiders, glass spiders, mephits, and slimes as well as their undead companions.  Not to mention, this particular quest contains a very large number of optional named enemies, which makes the quest quite interesting because some of these named monsters are undead minions (wraiths, specters, wights, etc) but also include some named flesh renders. 

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Hamllin dealing with a fallen dwarven worker in the outskirts of the ruins.

The layout of the quest is fun, at least in my opinion.  You basically start out on the edge of the courtyard to the ruins, which has a massive door keeping the courtyard blocked from the rest of the ruins.  You have to travel through a tunnel to come up on the other side of the door, fighting the entire way.  You can then open the door and progress further into the quest.  Once you get past the courtyard and to the main area of the digsites you see four distinct excavation sites.  Each site has an optional objective that requires you to find a journal to learn more about the various pieces of interest in the digsite.  It seems that these holy and magical pieces have been altered in one way or another and this has helped in resulting in corruption of Korromar.  Some of these excavation sites are tougher than others, however they are all linked together.  Once you get through the excavation sites and eliminate their threats and realign the holy and magical pieces together, you open up the way to central excavation site to find the primary source of evil in Korromar.

Now this last fight is where one might first come across a beholder.  But evidently the source of the corruption and evil in Korromar is due to the named beholder at the end, who is also guarded by a contingent of blackbone skeletons.  On elite, this beholder can be tricky and difficult to deal with, especially for newer players.  Now how this beholder is linked to the large source of undead in the area, how he is linked to the flesh renders, and how/why he came to Korromar in the first place is not well known and leaves one to wonder.

A number of fun loot items also comes out of Caverns of Korromar include the Necklace of Contemplation, the Chill Shard, and the Xoriat Forged Blade.  The quest is a fun one and has a number of interesting aspects to it.  If you get the chance to take it on, I would recommend it, but beware of the beholder at the end and make sure you prepare appropriately!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!   

Questing during the Week, August 25th to August 28th

My questing this week was quite diverse.  It started off with a typical Monday morning slayer run prior to work with a character on my premium account, Crawller (Level 5 Ranger).  Crawlller just started exploring the Tangleroot Wildnerness zone and is enjoying taking out his aggression on the wolves, spiders, and hobgoblins in Tangleroot.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 16 Druid) who ventured out in the Ruins of Gianthold for the first time during his druid life :).  While I was out there, I took him through the quest, Trial by Fire (in the Troll Caves) and burned my way through it without any troubles at all on elite.  Later on Monday night, I logged on with Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul) and I took him out into Three Barrel Cove and ran the quests Guard Duty and Prove Your Worth on elite.  He also started the Pirates of the Thunder Sea Heroic Saga.  After those runs, I called it a night and headed to bed.

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Crawlller looking back down the path to the One Eyed Bugbear Inn in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique making his way to the Troll Caves.

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Erd battling an ancient arachnid in the Troll Caves.

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Fighting some cove scorpions out in Three Barrel Cove.

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Harrgon staring upon the second mate in Guard Duty.

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Harrgon taking down Old Ironsides in Prove Your Worth.

On Tuesday I took Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) into the Waterworks Slayer area to look for some rares and to collect some kobold slayers.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 11 Fighter) and I took him into the Caverns of Korromar on elite.  I always look forward to running this particular quest because I remember struggling through it when I first started playing DDO and have a number of interesting memories concerning this quest.  Later that night, I logged on with Suppply (Level 8 Paladin) and I took him into the Irestone Inlet on hard and elite and then I took him into Stand Your Ground.  I logged out after those runs for the night.

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Berann hunting in the Waterworks slayer area.

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Hamllin looking over the courtyard of the Caverns of Korromar.

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Suppply battling the hordes of hobgoblins in Irestone Inlet.

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Suppply working on protecting the Statler brothers.

For my Wednesday morning slayer run, I brought on Rimuldar (Level 22 Wizard/Magister) and took him out into the Vale of Twilight for around 15 or 20 minutes.  After I got back from work, I logged back on with Erdrique and took him back out into the Ruins of Gianthold and tackled the quest A Cry for Help on elite.  The run was smooth and had no issues taking on the raksashas and their zakya cultists.

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Rimuldar dancing in the Vale of Twilight.

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Erdrique hunting out in the Ruins of Gianthold.

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Erdrique and his gang assaulting the zakya cultists.

Thursday was a “shorter” than usual day for me.  I did a morning slayer run with Garrrin (Level 21 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) who I took out hunting into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic).  I didn’t get a chance to run a quest prior to dinner, which is why my gaming session was shorter than usual.  However, I did get on Thursday night with Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and I was joined up with Hellsbain and we took on the Bargain of Blood on Epic Normal, and in retrospect we should have tackled it on Epic Hard.  We had no issues taking down the General Manager and his cronies.  After that run, I took off and logged out for the night.

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Garrrin hunting out in the Gianthold.

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Kolll and Hellsbain fighting the Blood Tide Pirates in the Bargain Bazaar.

So this week was a nice week of questing.  A good mixture of lower, middle, and epic questing.  I hope everybody else had a strong week. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Glad I’m not That Guy

Taking our characters around and adventuring in the dangerous environs of Stormreach in DDO is quite rewarding but can also be quite enlightening as well.  The other day I took Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul) out into Three Barrel Cove and ran the quest Guard Duty.  Now, if you haven’t run the quest Guard Duty before, it is a simple quest where you are asked to protect a ship from some marauding pirates.  As you make your way through the ship to help fend them off you come across a grisly sight. 

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Harrgon thinking that he is glad he isn’t this guy, the second mate in Guard Duty.

The grisly sight is the second mate who was perished in a fiery blast and had some rubble crush him.  It just makes a player appreciate how the abilities and strengths his character to has and to power of exacting retribution on those evil souls running around Eberron and the Forgotten Realms!!

Enlightening indeed!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy questing!!

The Chains of Flame-Fun or Frustration?

This past weekend I took Erdrique (Level 16 Druid) through the quest Chains of Flame.  Chains of Flame is one of the flagging quests for the Demon Queen Raid where you obtain one of the necessary items to give to Zawabi so that he can empower you to take on the Demon Queen (you actually trade the orb you get from the Chains of Flame to the quest giver who give you a different orb).  The quest giver is Jaefan Druz, who is located in Zawabi’s Refuge and is supposedly a strong wizard or spellcaster of some sort (although we don’t really learn of what).  The quest is a level 12 quest on normal and it is located in the far reaches of the Sands of Menechtarun.  The quest is primarily full of the vicious firebrand gnolls with a numerous archers laid out in strategic places just waiting to rain down arrows upon us adventurers.  The gnoll archers can actually lie in wait for us because the quest is located in a mountain and you have to travel up inside the mountain to get to the final fight, thus providing plenty of overhangs for the archers to puck away at you.

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Erdrique, as a winter wolf, taking on the denizens of a number of fire monsters…water over fire :).

The other enemies in the quest are primarily mephits, some orge magi, some fire elementals, a few air elementals, a few hyenas, and a named efreeti at the end (as well as a vicious red named gnoll).  The quest is laid out with a number of bridges, tunnels, and outcroppings and contains a number of dangerous traps as well as a large number of optionals (including rescuing a number of slaves, freeing a minotaur, removing a curse, etc..).  The quest is pretty long, so if you plan on running this quest make sure you plan appropriately. 

Now, although this particular quest is quite fun and is quite challenging, it can also be quite frustrating.  First off, it is perhaps the hardest quest to get to in the Desert.  It is located deep inside the Firebrand mountains and nowhere near the entrance to the Desert.  It does take some time to learn the route for newer players and this can lead to some frustration right from the get go.  Another source of frustration, is that you have to double back the entire time you are in the quest.  What I mean by doubling back, is that you have to go down one set of hallways to obtain a key to unlock a door in the opposite side of hallways.  In doing this, the paths get more and more complicated and one can easily get lost and/or turned around.  Couple this with rather long length of the quest, it can actually grate on some people’s nerves.  However, once you learn these paths and the general layout of the map for the quest, it does become much, much easier.

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Erdrique entering the quest, Chains of Flame.   

I really enjoyed this last run through the Chains of Flame with Erdrique.  I had little problems with the quest and actually made a good amount of time through it.  I did have a rogue hireling with me that I had purchased for a different quest so I brought him along and that helped out quite a bit with the traps.  The traps are avoidable but one of them can be really tricky, a room filled with spinning blade traps that generally don’t even show up visible on my screen when they get activated.  So having a rogue is quite useful.

The Chains of Flame also gives out a good amount of experience, as I earned well over 20k experience and I was level 16 in the quest, therefore I wasn’t getting the bravery bonus.  But even without that, it was still a great chunk of experience.

If you get a chance and can make your way out to the Burning City, then I would recommend hitting up the Chains of Flame!!  It is a fun, although long and potentially frustrating quest, but one that will certainly give you some interesting memories and some fun experiences.  Thanks for reading everybody and now get back to slaying some gnolls!!  

A Fun Time in Overgrowth

Early this week, I took Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger) into the quest Overgrowth.  Overgrowth is the second quest in the Druid’s Deep Story arc.  The quest has a heroic and epic version with the heroic normal version being a level 17 quest and the epic normal version being level 23.  Since I have only done this quest a couple of times, I decided to tackle it on heroic hard, making it a level 18 quest.  The quest giver is Eolynn Arva who is located in Eveningstar.  The quest location is in a lodge on the outskirts of the village, which I found to be interesting because it is the lodge of a well known ranger, Peron Uthe, who you had to destroy in the previous quest Outbreak.

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Larrs scanning the lodge.

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Larrs fighting a vine horror in the beginning of Overgrowth.

The layout of the quest is pretty straightforward.  I found the atmosphere in the lodge to be creepy and that was enhanced when Larrs and his party of hireling was attacked by a bunch of vine horrors and red musk zombies.  As I moved through the lodge, the other enemies I encountered where primal wisps and wolves.  I was a little disappointed as I moved into a few of the rooms with the optionals to spawn forth some wood woads because I didn’t get a chance to encounter them because the enemies were spaced to far throughout the room and I couldn’t kill them fast enough (to spawn the wood woads you have to kill all of the enemies in the room within a specified amount of time).  The other thing I found interesting while running through the lodge were the bear traps.

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Larrs fighting a primal wisp.

I did get a chance to face off against one wood woad, Falcata, and found him to be fun.  Not quite sure why but I just found him to be interesting.  I also found it interesting that throughout the quest we were chasing a Harper “bard” that looked more like a ranger than he did a bard.

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Larrs and his group fighting Falcata.

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Larrs wondering who this guy is.

The end fight consisted of some vine horror and red musk zombie spawns and a red-named dryad.  I have only faced off against a few of these and enjoyed chasing the dryad back to her tree and being forced to destroy her tree to destroy her. 

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Larrs and his group attacking the dryad’s tree.

The quest length I thought was nice.  It wasn’t a long quest and you had plenty of time to really take in the scene at the lodge and to move through the quest at a comfortable pace. 

I really enjoyed running it and look forward to trying in in a few more levels on epic settings.  It is a fun quest with some interesting dynamics and characters.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

A Weekend of DDO, August 22nd to August 24th

As typical, my questing for the weekend started with some slayer runs on Friday morning.  I took Lorrikk (Level 11 Monk) out into the Searing Heights to collect some rare encounters and slayers, he also located all of his explorer points.  When I got back from work, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 11 Fighter) and took him into Stormcleave Outpost and had a blast making my way through that area.  I wrote a separate blog post on Stormcleave with Hammy here.  Later on Friday night, I took Erdrique (Level 16 Druid) into the Sands of Menechtarun and completed the quest Chains of Flame on elite.  Now the only level 12 quest Erdrique needs to complete is Against the Demon Queen.  After that run, I took Erdrique into Blockade Buster, where I got thoroughly humbled and where I got destroyed in the hull of one of the ships.  After that humiliation I decided to call it a night.

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Lorrikk relaxing in the Searing Heights.

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Hamllin fighting Helos in Stormcleave.

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Erdrique making his way to the Chains of Flame.

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Erdrique fighting in the beginning of Chains of Flame.

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Erdrique swimming through the Blockade.

On Saturday, I took Erdrique into the Blockade Buster once again and got my revenge from my disastrous run the night prior.  After Blockade Buster, I then moved over to Undermine and limped my way through the tunnels.  I was kind of disappointed with how much trouble I actually had in the quest.  However, it looked like the majority of my troubles were due to my hirelings not responding or losing focus.  Just another reason to try to form up real life groups instead of hireling based groups.  In either case, I did complete Undermine and now the only quest I have left in the Attack on Stormreach Chain is Seigebreaker.  I then did some more Cannith Crafting and then I logged for the night.

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Erdrique fighting the Droaam forces in the Harbor.

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Taking on a combat engineer in Undermine.

Sunday, I logged on with Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger) and ran the quest Overgrowth on Heroic Hard.  I have only ran Overgrowth a couple of times so I didn’t want to take it on elite or on epic settings yet, not to mention I’m still learning what Larrs can do with his new abilities now.  However, I didn’t have any issues at all exploring the lodge and dealing with the various vine horrors, wolves, and other enemies there.  I enjoyed taking on the wood woad and the dryad at the end.  After that run, I called it a night.

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Larrs fighting the dryad in Overgrowth.

So the weekend was relatively light but I did get some longer quests completed.  I also moved through a quest I haven’t done all that much which was a good thing.  I hope everybody else had a good weekend as well.  Until next time!!  Happy hunting everybody!!