Interesting Questing this Week, October 27th to October 30th

This week I had a number of interesting quest runs.  My questing started with the typical Monday morning slayer run with Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Exalted Angel) who is currently working through the High Road Wildnerness area.  Later that afternoon, I took Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter) out into the Red Fens to continue that story arc.  He took on the quest, Fathom the Depths on elite and some fun toying around the sahaugin.  During Monday night, I logged on with Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger) and figured out that charm monster can work pretty well in Acute Delirium on Hard.

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Wapoyei fighting the wood woad in the High Road.

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Larrs causing all kinds of disarray in Acute Delirium.

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Hamllin looking at the large red tree in the Red Fens.

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Hamllin taking on Slomnuc in Fathoms of the Depths.

Monday was followed up with a morning slayer run through the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) with Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue/Shadowdancer).  Sludgge is slowly, and I mean slowly, making his way through this area.  I have three level 20 or higher characters working through that version of Gianthold at the moment, primarily to keep testing out there abilities because I don’t play them consistently, although I do play them regularly.  I didn’t log back into the game until Tuesday night (skipped my “midday session”) when I brought on Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul) and tackled some slayers in Tangleroot Gorge, after which I headed to Three Barrel Cove.  I then knocked out the Troglodyte’s Get and Old Grey Garl on elite.  Then I went off to run the Cannith Challenge, Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door and completed that at level 10 after I knocked down the succubus mistress.

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Sludgge explores the Ruins of Gianthold.

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Harrgon taking on the forces of the hobgoblins in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Harrgon checking out the sights in Three Barrel Cove.

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Harrgon having some fun with some gargoyles.

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Harrgon fighting the blackbones in Old Grey Garl.

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Harrgon looking for a boss in Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion.

Wednesday’s questing started with Erdrique (Level 6 Monk) who I took into Tangleroot Gorge for some morning slayer runs.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and continued into the Red Fens and completed the quest the Claw of Vulkoor.  That was the extent of the questing on Wednesday though as I spent the rest of the night with my beautiful wife for our weekly date night :).

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Erdrique fighting his way through the Tangleroot Gorge.

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Hamllin getting ready to challenge Kar Xyr in the Red Fens.

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Hamllin helping out the Raveneye in the Claw of Vulkoor.

Thursday morning I was scheduled to do my morning slayer run with Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion).  I always enjoy those runs because Kolll is currently working his way through the King’s Forest which is just a great and vast landscape area.  Thursday afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique and continued with some slayers out in Tangleroot Gorge.  I then moved off to the Necropolis to start Necro I chain and start with the Tomb of the Crimson Heart.  I didn’t have much problem knocking it out on elite and actually found all of the hidden runes without without having to double back, which was nice.  Later that night, I logged on with Suppply (Level 9 Paladin) and took him through the rest of the Sharn Syndicate series on normal.  Since Suppply is a character from my premium account, I could only open the series on normal until I complete it at least once.  So I got little experience out of it but now he can open the series on hard.  I then got a free challenge token and took him into Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door.  Unfortunately, he moves pretty slowly right now, and I just missed completing the quest as I didn’t make it through the hallways fast enough, not to mention I was having a difficult time getting crests to drop for me from the breakables and enemies.

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Kolll hunting down the drow forces in the King’s Forest.

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Erdrique doing some slayers and hunting in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique fights his way through the Tomb of the Crimson Heart.

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Suppply taking care of the launderers.

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Suppply working to free the Binder family in Bookbinder Rescue.

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Suppply in the bank after hours in the Stormreaver Fresco.

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Suppply preparing to payback Zircon in Repossession.

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Suppply looking to finally take care of the Syndicate.

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Suppply checking out the art in Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion.

So the quest runs for the week of Halloween were definitely fun and interesting, especially the runs through Acute Delirium and Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion:Behind the Door.  I’m hoping the weekend will be the same!!  I hope everybody has a happy and safe Halloween!!  Thank you for reading and happy hunting!!

Taking a Look at the Quest The Claw of Vulkoor (Heroic)

The Claw of Vulkoor is part of the Red Fens chain.   All of these quests are level 9 on heroic, making then level 11 on elite.  I recently took Hamllin (Level 12 Fighter) through this interesting quest.  The quest giver for The Claw of the Vulkoor is a Raveneye Drow named Croaker, who is located at the refugee camp at the entrance to the Red Fens.  When you speak to Croaker, he informs you that the Raveneye need your help to retrieve a sacred relic of the scorpion god, Vulkoor.  Evidently, Vulkoor will bestow this relic to those in need but in order to retrieve the relic you have to pass Vulkoor’s trial.  Evidently, Vulkoor has sent the Claw down inside the territory of a powerful fire giant clan, known as the Sulat League, and it is expected that they won’t allow any drow into their territory.  The Raveneye are hoping we can solve that dilemma (to negotiatie passage).

Well, as soon as you enter the quest, the drow party and your own adventuring party are quickly met by a named fire giant named Sobrien and he doesn’t take too kindly to the drow in the fire giant territory and doesn’t believe anything that is said about their mission.  Instead, he transforms all of the drow into small scorpions and then unleashes his fury on your party.
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Hamllin watching the interplay between the drow and the warlock.

Curiously, although you are sent in to negotiate, you never really get a chance to conduct a conversation.  Instead, you are quickly thrown into battle and must take out the warlock straight away.  After the battle you need to gather the transformed drow warriors and priestess, as well as her staff, and start to make your way through the mountain in order to find the Claw of Vulkoor.

No matter how many times I enter into the Claw of Vulkoor I inevitably get turned around at least once.  The “main” area is a multitiered level that makes the map difficult to use at times.  Now the layout is full of twisting and winding paths and tunnels.  There are a few secret doors, in fact there is one right after the battle with the warlock in the beginning, that help to make moving through the tunnels and bridges a little easier (however, I believe this is what gets me turned around more than anything else because I can’t figure out the areas I was meant to bypass).  There are also a few powerful and deadly fire traps to be aware of as well, with one right after the secret door in the beginning and one near the end of the quest.

The quest is primarily composed of two types of monsters: fire giants and scorpions.  The scorpions are naturally drawn to the Claw of Vulkoor and one of the optionals is to pacify the scorpion guardians and to avoid being detected.  This is a great quest to test your stealth skills.  However, I typically plow my way through the quest.  Besides the guardians, you will have nest scorpions who heal themselves and others around them, roaming scorpions who are looking for any enemies, and then then ambushers waiting patiently to take any group by surprise.  If you manage to get a number of nest scorpions together you will be in for a tough fight because they will heal each other quite rapidly.  However, if you keep the number of scorpions, especially nest scorpions reasonable, the fights are relatively easy to move through, accept for continuously being poisoned.

Just before you reach the end of the quest, you will have the opportunity to pass through an ancient giant burial ground.  You have an optional to leave the loot the alone or to rob the graveyard.  If you decide to rob the graveyard you will be attacked by a named giant skeleton, Prince Gornard.   To finish the quest you need to find the secret door in this same burial chamber which will lead to the final passage to the Claw of Vulkoor.

Overall, the quest is heavily laden with scorpions.  If you want to pad your monster manual count for scorpions, this is a good quest to do.  The quest can get a little annoying in the area with multiple tiers but overall it is a relative quick quest.  You also need to be cautious of those powerful flame jets as they are quite destructive.  Check it out once you get a chance!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy questing!!

Enemy Profile-Troglodyte Warlock (Troglodyte’s Get)

The Troglodyte’s Get is part of the Old Grey Garl mini-story arc.  As you can imagine by the name, it is primarily composed of your friendly troglodyte tribe.  I took Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul) in here on elite as he still needed to knock out a few of the quests in Three Barrel Cove.  There are four different classes of troglodytes that you will encounter in this quest: plain old troglodyte fighters, troglodyte chieftains (one is an optional named), troglodyte shamans, and troglodyte warlocks.  Of these troglodytes, the most dangerous are the shamans and the warlocks.
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Harrgon in the midst of battle with a troglodyte warlock.

In this particular quest, the troglodyte warlocks are frequently grouped with their fellow casters, the shamans.  The different types of casters can be a lethal combination in The Troglodyte’s Get, especially on elite, if you aren’t prepared.  The warlocks tend to throw out three primary spells, at least from what I can tell in this latest run, including fireball, hold person, and bane.  They will repeatedly try to land a hold person on your character and then will back them up with some powerful fireballs.  If you do get held, this becomes problematic as the shamans will tend to cast scorching ray.

The majority of the warlocks tend to have around 215 to 245 spell points.  Besides being grouped quite often with the shamans, they are also positioned in some hard to reach locations, primarily only reachable with the use of range spells or ranged weapons.  Keep this in mind because there is a suspension bridge that is guarded by a warlock and as soon as you start to cross the bridge he will immediately start casting on you.

The best defense against these guys is to have something that helps to prevent being held, high will saves, and good fire protection.  If you see one of the them don’t hesitated to take it down quickly, but also be aware of their shaman counterparts.  You don’t want to be taken by surprise by either type of troglodyte, unless you want your questing to end badly .

Harrgon had no issues with these baddies because he was immune to be being held and I had good fire protection from my guild’s ship buffs.  But other characters have had some challenging issues with these guys.  In those cases I tended to range them as much as possible and being out of range of their spells and in those cases where that wasn’t case I took them down first to avoid being held.

In either case, if you plan on running the Troglodyte’s Get be pre

An Interesting Time in Acute Delirium

Sometimes when I’m running a difficult quest I will have one of those “ah hah” moments and last night running Acute Delirium I actually experienced this.  Now Monday nights I usually play in my digital PNP group, where we get together via Skype and use a third party program called Maptool to play a table top version of D&D.  However, I also am always logged into DDO at the same time, usually doing some questing during the downtime that is common in D&D.  However, with that said my attention is usually divided, which can sometimes be problematic on Mondays.  So this “ah hah” moment was even more unique for me.

Well, last night I was scheduled to play my Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger, Larrs.  Larrs still needs a large number of heroic quests, I don’t even think he has gained 1,750 favor yet.  So I wanted to start one of the heroic quest strings but I wanted to get a little more than just some favor, so I had planned on running the quests in the Reign of Madness quest arc.  The first quest in this particular chain is considered to be one of the more difficult quests, Acute Delirium.   All of the quests in the Reign of Madness story arc are level17 on normal.  Because I knew of the issues with Acute Delirium and because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give the quest my complete attention, I decided to head into the quest on hard.

Now the quest is located in Sleeping Spell Inn in the Tower of the Twelve enclave.  This the same quest entrance for the quest Delirium, although the quest giver for Acute Delirium is Rorry Malcanus, who is located in the open air tavern just across from the Inn.  Now one of the more frustration aspects of this particular quest is the building of an airship with the Inn’s beds and bookcases.  The reason why you need an airship is to chase a super large beholder into Xoriat who has swallowed a mimic that contains Belashyrra’s staff, which is what Rorry lost to begin with.  The beds and bookcases are enchanted and will travel from their current locations all way across the Inn where they get assembled together.  However, they will get attacked as they are making their path to the other side of the Inn and it protecting them that gets to be an issue.  This is primarily because you have to deal with flesh renders, ice beholders, and evil eyes and they continuously spawn.

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Larrs starting the quest, Acute Delirium.

Well after about 15 to 20 minutes of divided attention, I was only able to get two beds to end of the Inn.  I had summoned with me a cleric hireling, my onyx panther, and my level 17 owlbear.  I didn’t have any problems taking the mobs out but they didn’t have any problem beating up on the furniture either.  Well, just as I was starting to send another bed down the path, I finally noticed something on my spells in hotbars, and of course this happened just after I finished a turn in my digital PNP game so I was actually to put forth more attention to the quest in DDO.  I had charm monsters and mass charm monster loaded.  Dang, wouldn’t it be easier if I had some of these mobs charmed so that they fight each other and so that the respawns stop?  Shortly later, I had a group of flesh renders and evil eyes under by charms and even a few frost beholders.

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Larrs using the charmed monsters to his advantage.

The ability to charm these baddies made this part of the quest a ton easier.  I was able to start off a bunch of the beds and get them to the end of the inn with little difficulty.  The bookcases went even more smoothly.  Why I didn’t think of this when I first entered I have no idea.  But in short order I had the makeshift airship built and was heading after the primary beholder.  I had never really thought about charming these monsters before, relying more on brute strength to protect the beds and bookcases.  I guess that is just more my style.  In any case, using the charm spells helped immensely and save me quite a bit of time during this part of the quest.

The second half of the quest, the charms didn’t help nearly as much, but defeating the beholder line wasn’t that hard and then finishing the quest was relatively symbol.  In any case, it was an interesting experience and now I’m wondering what kind of success I can have on elite.  Maybe I will try it again the next time I’m scheduled to play with Larrs.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy questing!!

It Was A Cove Style Weekend, Quest Runs October 24th to October 26th

Well, this past weekend I surprised myself.  I didn’t plan on running a whole lot in the Crystal Cove, although I did plan on running some out there because it is a special event that doesn’t come along all that often, but I wound up running it much more than I thought.  Then again, dropping the number of map piece turn-ins to 500 help to make that happen.  In any case I ran the Crystal Cove five times over the weekend.  However, my weekend runs didn’t actually start inside the Crystal Cove.

My weekend runs started with my typical morning slayer runs on Friday.  I brought on a character on my premium account, Suppply (Level 8 Paladin), and took him out into Three Barrel Cove to continue on his march of dominance of the local pirates.  That afternoon, I brought on Erdrique (Level 6 Monk) and completed the Sharn Syndicate series by finishing the quest Come Out and Slay.  I then took Erdrique out into Irestone Inlet and took on Yar-yar and his crew.  I then took Erdrique back into the Waterworks Slayer area and finished that zone.  On Friday night, I started out in the Smuggler’s Rest and then did a few runs in the Crystal Cove.  I had some help from Luchog and from Leefist as we ran around collecting map pieces and doubloons.  I then took Erdrique out into Tangleroot Gorge and started the Assault on Splinterskull chain.  I completed the first two quests in the chain: First Strike and the Hobgoblin’s Captives.  I then headed to the Marketplace and took on the quest Red Fang. I then completed one more run in the Crystal Cove before I called it a night.

Taking on the Sharn Syndicate in the Tenements photo TakingontheSharnSyndicateinTheTenements_zpscadfafad.jpg
Erdrique making his way through the Tenemenats.

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Erdrique running to take care of Yar-yar’s ship in Irestone Inlet.

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Erdrique taking care of Shaman Yiley.

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Surrounded by pirates, now need to take care of business in Smuggler’s Rest.

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Erdrique battling the crew of Red Raven.

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Erdrique looking for enemies in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique making a statement in Splinterskull.

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Erdrique hunting down Red Fang the Unruled.

On Saturday, I did some slayers in the Tangleroot Gorge slayer area and then I did a run through the Crystal Cove.  Later that night, I took Erdrique into the Cerulean Hills and completed the quest The Captives.  I then made my way back to the Marketplace and into the Steam Tunnels to do the quest The Sacred Helm.  I then took Erdrique into one of the Cannith Challenges and ran the challenge: Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door.  I then took him back out to Smuggler’s Rest for another run in the Crystal Cove and then ended the night with some slayer runs in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erd finding some nice crystals in the Cove.

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Time to scout out the orc troops in The Captives.

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Erdrique twisting his way to the Sacred Helm.

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Erdrique taking on the Mother of the Nest in Dr. Rushmore’s mansion.

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Erdrique battling various pirates out in Smuggler’s Rest.

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Erdrique directing some traffic in the Cove.

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Erdrique doing some more hunting in Tangleroot Gorge.

Sunday was a relatively light gaming session.  I was scheduled to log in with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger), another one of my premium account characters.  The first thing I wanted to do was to do some quick slayer runs with him in Tangleroot Gorge.  I entered the explorer area and I was later joined by Xahtep, a reader of my blog .  We blasted through the explorer zone twice and Crawlller wound up reaching over 750 slayers and he received enough experience to hit level 6.  Xahtep then had to log but I just wanted to pass along that I enjoyed his help!!  After the turns through Tangleroot, I took Crawlller out into the Cerulean Hills and ran the quest Where There’s Smoke on Hard.  I then took Crawlller into House Cannith and got his daily challenge token and ran through the challenge Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door.  By the time I finished the run, it was time to head off to bed.

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Crawlller looking for some wild wolves in Tangleroot.

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Crawlller trying to save the Nash farm.

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Crawlller taking care of Dr. Rushmore’s girlfriend…

So, the weekend runs were primarily lower level runs, with a decent about of Crystal Cove activity splayed throughout the weekend.  Not my most productive weekend but it was still a fun weekend .  I hope everybody else had a nice weekend as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Looking at the Factions in Waterworks

Huh, what do you mean factions in Waterworks?  Isn’t it just entirely kobolds?  Well, not entirely.  I have already taken a look at the factions that are present in the Cerulean Hills, Tangleroot Gorge, Searing Heights, and the Red Fens.  So now I figured I would take a second to take a closer look at those groups of monsters and factions that are found within the Waterworks Slayer area, especially since Erdrique completed that area earlier in the week.

Ok, so what factions are currently present in the Waterworks.  Here is what we have:

1).  Stormreach Guard
2).  Kobold Clan Gnashtooth
3).  Kobold Clan Tunnelworm
4).  Ecru and other black widow spiders
5).  Dhulokk, troglodyte adept
6).  Wolves
7).  Gnarkill, the troll butcher
8).  Crumble, the rust monster
9).  Slimes

So altogether, we have at least nine different types of monsters and/or factions located in this area that is mostly known for its kobold infestation.  So how do all of these factions interact with each other?  Well some of these associations are quite simple, while some others are a little uncertain.

The Waterwork Adventure area is essentially divided into three sections.  The first section, the entrance area, has been secured by the Stormreach Guard and is safe to traverse through.  There a few guardsmen down there with the glorious duty of holding back any kobolds from leaving the sewers and creating havoc in the Harbor.  And you can tell that these guards just love their jobs…

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Erdrique exploring the Waterworks.

The other two “halves” of the waterworks are split between the kobold clans: Gnashtooth and Tunnelworm.  From what we can tell, the two kobold clans tend to “put up” with each other but won’t go out of their way to help each other out.  From out limited interactions within later on while running the Waterworks Quest chain, it appears that the Clann Tunnelworm kobolds are the more dangerous and vicious of the two groups.  We can tell that the kobold clans are “civil” with each other, as their appears to be a shaman emissary from each clan located in other territory in the wilderness area (Shaman Yiley located in the Gnasthooth area and Shaman Har-har located in the Tunnelworm territory).

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Erdrique finishing off Shaman Yiley.

Now the other factions are a little interesting to try to discern.  First off we have Dhulokk, the troglodyte adept.  Dhulokk is a clever and powerful beast, and my best thought on what he is doing here is to peddle his services as a mercenary to help protect Clan Gnashtooh.  Similarly, I’m thinking that Gnarkill, the troll butcher, was recruited by Clan Tunnelworm to keep others from invading their territory,  However, I think they were having issues with him and that was why he was sealed behind a intelligent based rune door.  I could be that Har-har and Bloodletter were working on some type of method to control him better or perhaps to learn how to gain the regenerative abilities of trolls.

Ecru and his spiders are also a little interesting.  I would like to believe that he is somehow linked to the spider Misery.  Misery is not only guarded by other black widow spiders but also by regular brown spiders as well.  With Ecru being a brown spider, but the other spiders being small black widow spiders, it seems feasible that somehow these different spiders species are uniting their broods to help kobolds…or to save them for fodder later :).  The thing with Ecru is that he can be found on either side of the waterworks, in either the Gnashtooth or Tunnelworm side.  However, he is spider, so being able to crawl from one location to another wouldn’t be difficult for him to do, even using the ceiling as mode of transportation.

Now what is the deal with Crumble?  I’m not sure what to make of him.  My best guess is that he was an experiment, probably of Har-har’s.  I’m not sure what he would have been experimenting with, unless he was trying to learn how to control rust monsters to do his bidding.  Having a metal eating abberation in your forces would definitely be helpful :).

That essentially just leaves the wolves and slimes.  It is plain to see that the wolves are purely the pets to the kobolds, who use them in scouting missions and as guardians.  The slimes were probably already in the Waterworks prior to the kobolds settling in.  I’m guess the kobolds have figured out a way to manipulate the mindless globs into willing guards and have learned how to pacify and/or avoid them.

While the Waterworks might seem like a relatively straight forward place, it does seem to have some interesting social dynamics between the various clans.  I’m a little surprised we don’t see an ogres in the area but the troll kind of makes up for that :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Man Do Those Ballistae Hurt!!

Earlier in the week, I took Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue/Shadowdancer) out into the quest Storm the Beaches.  It was my first real attempt to try Storm the Beaches on any epic difficulty since it was updated with the release of Update 22.  Since I didn’t really know what to expect, I entered on epic normal.  I was joined by another guildie, Khameltwo, who also hadn’t seen how the ballistae worked since Update 22.

Now, with that said, I knew that the ballistae packed a huge punch from reading other bloggers and forums posts.  However, I had no idea on how they actually functioned.  Prior to taken Sludgge into Storm the Beaches, I had tried very briefly with Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) but he didn’t last long because I had somehow gathered the attention of one of the ballistae and was soon blasted to oblivion, at which point I had to logout, which is why Sludgge was my first real attempt on how to deal with them.

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Sludgge and Khameltwo dealing with the Blood Tide Pirates in Mistral Island, prior to encountering the ballistae.

Well, the one thing I can say about this particular experience was that patience was important, and a ballista does a boatload of damage!!  When Khamel and I got to our first ballista we took it down quickly and without any real issues.  We didn’t really pick up anything on how they actually worked.  It wasn’t until we hit a set of two ballistae where we started to learn how dangerous these things were.  We quickly found out that a ballista can spot you from quite a distance and that the missile it fires can reach you extremely quickly!!  However, we still didn’t really pick up on how long it takes the ballista to reload and fire again.  We definitely found out that they do reload and will fire multiple shots but how quickly this happened was still undetermined.  We eventually “bulled” through those two and then ran into the next set of three ballistae, where we finally learned how the loading and firing mechanism seemed to work.

It took me a while to learn that the archers actually man and load the ballista.  After a short period the ballista will raise into the arm and will “light.”  After a few more moments, the archer will fire the ballista.  For some reason, I was thinking that the ballista were auto targeting us on their own, I didn’t realize that they were actually being operated.  I also learned that as soon as you kill the operator, the ballista will power down, however, if there is another available archer, they will try to reman it.  So basically, if you can take down the archers (or other bad guys who can operate the ballista) then it will leave the ballista vulnerable to destruction.  I also learned that you can hide behind some areas to prevent the missile from hitting you.  However, you have to move fast, otherwise you will the ballista will turn you into goo :)!!

In the end, it took us quite a bit of time and deaths to figure it out.  I had to reenter the quest four times, but with that said we did finish it.  Knowing how the ballistae work, should help me in the future, we’ll see how some of my other epic level characters take to them.

Thanks for reading everybody and now get back in game and get some hunting done!!