Trogs, Trogs, and More Trogs-A look at the Quest Acid Wit

This past weekend I took Erdrique (Level 18 Druid) along with some other Crypt Crawlers and a few PUGs through one of the more difficult quests, Acid Wit.  Acid Wit is located in The Twelve and the quest giver is named Magus Littleton.  Evidently Magus Littleton did some experimentation on a clan of Troglodytes and that clan has sworn revenge on him and are trying to bring down the Tower of the Twelve.  Magus asks for your help resolving this issue.

The quest is a level 15 quest on normal which makes it a level 17 quest on elite.  The enemies you encounter are numerous however the types of enemies you encounter are rather limited.  Within the first few steps of the dungeon/cave you will encounter a group of bats but after that initial encounter, the only other monsters you come across are acid stone earth elementals and acid scar troglodytes.  The acid stone earth elementals and acid scar troglodytes have some acid resistance, as you can imagine, and the acid stone earth elementals are extremely beefy in damage output and in hit points.  There are four types of acid scar troglodytes: acid scar hunters, acid scar warriors, acid scar stalkers, and acid scar shamans.  The acid scar shamans are by far the most dangerous.  On elite, they really like to spawn comet fall and like to heal their other companions.  It is best to knock these enemies out first and to take them out of the equation as soon as possible by either tripping them, hitting them stunning blow, killing them with a instant death spell as soon as they appear, or just ganging up on them.  The most annoying of the troglodytes are the acid scar hunters.  These are typically the archers in the group and they do a good job at range support especially in the caverns where they are pelting you from above.


Erdrique and his party taking on the acid scar troglodytes.

Speaking of the caverns, the Acid Scar Caverns are for the most part linear.  The path does branch out and you basically have to explore all the paths in order to get the number of acid stone earth elemental kills you need to continue on in the quest.  There also becomes a point in the quest where you have to take the splitting paths to activate levers that will open the main door to the final cavern and boss fight.  While exploring the Acid Scar Caverns, take heed to stay out of the pools of acid and fire.  There are also some spots where there are acid jets that spray the party with bouts of dangerous acid mist.  These jets are quite dangerous but they can be times to zip past them.  There are also a number of rooms in the caverns that have ledges you have to climb up and around in order to proceed.  These ledges are typically filled with the acid scar hunters and they just like to rain down their arrows upon you.

Once you get past these sets of rooms you will be able to enter the last chamber.  The last chamber is very large and is transected by a curving ledge that leads to the bottom.  The High Theurge is in this room as well as a number of other acid scar troglodytes and acid stone earth elemetnals.  As soon as they spot you, they will begin to make their way up to you.  The High Theurge can be extremely changeling.  She likes to cast acid fog and cometfall as well as healing herself.  She will also through down a nasty blade barrier as well.  As soon as you see her coming you should hit her as soon as you can.

After you take down the High Theurge, you will be able to enter the treasure room and then you will have the option of finishing off the tribe.  They will begin to swarm from the southern wall in the final cavern, filling it with acid scar shaman, warriors, and stalkers.  You have to defeat a number of waves to complete the optional but if you do you will get access to another chest.

Overall, Acid Wit is a very challenging quest.  Make sure you come prepared for acid damage and fire damage mitigation.   It is also a good quest to hunt down troglodytes for your monster manual!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!  Now get back in game and do some questing in the Acid Scar Caverns!!

Recent Observations in the PUG Scene

One of the things I have been trying to do more and more often is to enter the PUG scene.  I’m trying to be more active in this arena in an effort to continue to recruit players into the Crypt Crawlers and in an effort to help out other players in anyway I can, at least with getting quests done.  The main mechanism I have been using to do this is by putting up a LFM in the group panel.  I generally have a calendar already laid out for what quests and explorer zones I’m looking to do for the week and the vast majority of the time the quests I want to try to run are typically not put up in the LFM panel.  So I typically through a post up there and start my questing.

When I first started playing DDO, it wasn’t very often when a party would venture into a quest (especially on elite) without at least 3 or 4 other players.  I remember putting up a post in the LFM panel and waiting for about 10 minutes or so and then scanning the Who panel for players who were logged in and sending polite tells asking if they would like to join my group.  This used to work quite well.  However, we always got aggravated in having to wait to 20 minutes or so to gather a group together and then hope it stays for more than one quest.

Nowadays, I just take care of my character maintenance needs (selling, expired auctions, etc.) and then head into a quest that I want to take on.  Just before I enter the quest I go ahead and scan the LFM panel to see if anybody is actually running what I want to tackle and 99% of the time their isn’t a group up for that quest.  So I go ahead and put one up and indicate that the quest is “In Progress” and whether or not an elite streak/bravery bonus will be applied (currently I have a lot of players running quests a level or two higher than the quest is on elite which prevents obtaining the elite bravery bonus but doesn’t break any streaks).  Unlike the past, I don’t try to hunt down players mainly because my time is more limited, in that I need to try to get a quest run completed relatively quickly during my log ins (not a zerg fest mind you but I can’t wait a long amount of time for a party to fill).  So instead I put up a post and wait to see if others join.

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Hamllin alone in the Haunted Library with his hireling :(.

Over the last week or so, I have run quite a wide array of quests.  One quest I ran was the Haunted Library in House Jorasco with Hamllin (Level 11 Fighter).  I ran this after work at around 6:20 pm EST or so.  I put up the LFM and entered the quest on elite which made the quest level 10.  This quest is a challenging and fun quest, with falling floors, dangerous arcane skeletons, and aggravating zombies.  However, I didn’t get a single request from a player to join.  I assumed because I was running one level higher than the quest level was the reason, meaning that anybody who would have joined me wouldn’t have received the bravery bonus.  Using Hamllin as an example again, I logged in after work and put up a LFM for the Tomb of the Shadow Lord.  This quest is also a level 10 quest on elite but requires the party to split up.  Because of this, I just brought in some hirelings and proceeded on my way.  I had put up the LFM just prior to entering the quest, noting that I was using hires and no bravery bonus streak.  To my surprise, I actually had one player request to join.  I went ahead and accepted his request and he entered the quest and then promptly told me that he was going AFK and that his girlfriend had just come home.  I completed the quest about 40 minutes later on my own with my hirelings, he never moved from the doorway, piking the entire time.  This gave me the sense that this guy was just asking to join to get the favor most likely.

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A party in Acid Wit.

However, on Friday night I had some better experiences with Erdrique (Level 18 Druid).  I was already joined up with a few guildies, but I still put up a LFM for Acid Wit on elite (Level 17 quest on elite) and mentioned that there would be no bravery bonus.  I was surprised to see two more requests to enter the group.  We had a fun time in Acid Wit and then continued out into the Vale of Twilight and ran Rainbow in the Dark and Running with Devils, both on elite, which did give us bravery bonus .  The group was fun and very enjoyable, not nearly as disappointing as the piker that I experienced with Hamllin.

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Running through Rainbow in the Dark with some PUG help :)

And just this morning, I put up a LFM with Containment (Level 5 Cleric) for the Waterworks Slayer area.  I didn’t think I would any get responses but sure enough I had a level 6 ranger join up with me for about ten minutes, which was nice to see.

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Pugging in Running with the Devils.

I guess my main point is, trying to determine trends in the PUG scene is just difficult to do overall.  I tend to put up a lot of groups that don’t get any requests/hits while other times I get pikers.  I’m finding that I’m enjoying the more active pugs then I thought but also being disappointed in those that just sit there and do nothing.  The time of day, the level range, the ability to gain bravery bonus or not, and recognition are all factors that affect the PUG scene.  It appears that many quests just aren’t getting run because they aren’t in the high experience per minute set of quests which is shame because there are so many other quests out there to experience.

Not sure how the scene will progress in the future.  I’ll still put up LFMs and see where it goes but it definitely isn’t the same as it used to be (both for the good and for the worse).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Fun Experiences Over the Weekend, September 12th to 14th

This past weekend was a full and fun one indeed!!  It started off with me taking Cantlin (Level 11 Sorcerer) out into the Searing Heights for my typical morning slayer run prior to heading to work on Friday morning.  After exploring the Searing Heights and its thunderous volcano for a little while, I logged out until I came back home from work.  That afternoon I was scheduled to take Erdrique (Level 18 Druid) through the next part of the Harbinger of Madness chain: Fear Factory.  Out of the first three quests in that chain, I think that Fear Factory is the easiest.  I had little difficulty making my way through the quest and had a fun time beating down all of the Taken, mind flayers, and tharaak hounds.  Friday night was a fun-filled set of runs.  I logged back on with Erdrique and was joined up with Khamelkazie and Bofadee and I opened up our party in the LFM panel and we headed off to do the quest Acid Wit on elite.  Acid Wit is a level 15 quest on normal, making it 17 on elite, and since we had a level 18 in the group I figured we wouldn’t get any takers from the PUG scene (because they would advance their bravery streak, but of course it wouldn’t break either).  However, my assumption was wrong and we picked up a level 18 ranger and a level 17 sorcerer and we headed into the Acid Scar Caverns.  It was a fun run, although I did suffer a brutal death from a comet fall from a shaman that I failed to trip.  We also had a stuck player issue when Bofadee got stuck in a spot between a rock and a wall and the was kicked from the game.  But he logged back in, got back into the quest, and the we completed the quest and its optional with little difficulty.

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Cantlin taking his time in the Searing Heights.

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Erd and Fang working in Fear Factory.

After the run through Acid Wit, Bofadee had to log out however Helllinna logged in and took his spot and then we headed out to the Vale of Twilight.  Since we had a nice size party, we decided to hit up Rainbow in the Dark.  We had a fun time in there and had little difficulty plowing through the quest.  Well, we were feeling a little good about ourselves and decided we needed to suffer a little bit of humility so we headed out to Running with the Devils.  However, prior to heading out there I had received enough experience to level up to 18 so I did that first and then we went into the Eladrin Stronghold, where he limped through a number of parts within the quest.  We did finish it but it was a much rougher run than the other two previous ones.  One our PUG members only need 800 experience before he was able to cap (he already had 19 banked) so we recalled out of Running with the Devils and then hunted out into the Vale until I stumbled upon Jukree, which gave him the necessary experience to hit the heroic cap.  After congratulating him on that achievement, we recalled and called it a night.

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Erdrique and his party hunting in Acid Wit.

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Erd taking a stroll through the Vale of Twilight.

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Tackling a dense earth elemental in Rainbow in the Dark.

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Preparing for Running with the Devils.

On Saturday, I was pretty lonely as the other Crypt Crawlers couldn’t log in.  However, I took that advantage to head out into the Orchard of the Macabre.  I had failed earlier at my attempt to run Flesh Maker’s Laboratory (died in the lightning room from just plain stupidity) and decided to knock it out.  My second go-round went much smoother and I was able to hit the runs with my hirelings (Owlbear, cleric, and Fang) and to take down Chain-lightning.  I then decided to try Inferno of the Damned on elite.  I had an interesting time in Inferno of the Damned where I did suffer a vicious death from one of the blade traps in the quest but overall it went fairly smoothly.  Even being level 18, in a level 16 quest, I still wracked up over 29,000 experience :).  After that run, I called it a night.

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Nasty looking day out in the Orchard.

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Looking for a reprieve in Flesh Maker’s Laboratory.

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Erdrique fighting the flamebound servants in Inferno of the Damned.

Sunday, I logged on with Containment (Level 5 Cleric) who was working on the rest of the Waterworks Arc.  So I took him out into the Waterworks and knocked out Venn’s half of the storyline (Venn’s Trail: Clan Tunnelworm and Venn’s Trail: Venn’s Fate).  Since Containment is one of my characters on my Premium account I could only enter on normal.  I did complete it and am now ready to knock it out on hard and then elite.  With that completion, I went ahead and logged out.

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Dishing out some punishment in Waterworks.

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Containment getting annoyed at some oozes in Waterworks.

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I believe Venn has seen some better days.

So the weekend was a fun one indeed.  I got in some PUG runs, leveled Erdrique to 18, and got to knock out some of the more interesting quests.  We’ll see what the rest of the week bring forth :).  Well, thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Going to Miss Mabar the Festival of the Endless Night

Earlier in the week, Cordovan posted in a thread that was inquiring about Mabar the Festival of the Endless night that the Halloween special event that has occurred the last few years won’t be returning to the game.  Cordovan had mentioned that the underlying performance issues surrounding the Mabar Festival couldn’t be resolved.  So instead they will be holding the Crystal Cove during that time.  However, it was also noted that a new event was currently being developed and is planned to be released shortly after Update 24 next year.  The new event will contain the items from the Mabar Festival.

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Erdrique working the lever in Mabar last year.

I know that a lot of people are happy that lag associated with Mabar won’t be returning.  If I remember correctly, the biggest performance issues occurred when the spectral dragon, Eternity, was spawned, which caused some crippling lag issues in other aspects of the game.  This is really unfortunate.  I really enjoyed running the Mabar event and always looked forward it.  The theme and atmosphere that was put into place in Delera’s Graveyard was just special and wandering through a graveyard with random spawns of undead just felt so much like a Halloween event.  I know that some people have asked for at least that part of the Mabar Festival to continue, the pumpkins and atmosphere being put out in Delera’s Graveyard.  Not sure if that can be done but it would be nice.

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Hamllin fighting in Delera’s Graveyard during Mabar the Endless Night last year.

I had a number of fun instances in Mabar over the past few years.  I have taken a number of different characters around Delera’s Graveyard to collect the random collectibles and ethereal keys to enter the summoning chamber.  Fighting the spectral dragon was always fun.  I just hope this new event will not only have the same rewards but will also allow us to use the same collectible pieces (vampire fangs, bones, spectral dragon scales, etc.) as well.  I’m wondering if they will convert the special event to be more like Crystal Cove, where you open up the instance and then can select a level range to enter a special quest and upon its completion you can get a spectral dragon scale as well as some experience and even some renown.

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Erdrique taking a shot at Eternity.

In any case, the realization that we won’t be celebrating Halloween with the Mabar Festival is saddening but understandable.  I just hope the next special event is just as much fun!!  Going to miss you Mabar, who knows maybe in some distant future you might be able to make return.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting.

A Look at My Mechanic Rogue-Sludgge

I was asked to write up a blog about Sludgge, my Mechanic rogue a few weeks ago.  Sludgge is one of my oldest characters who was originally created to be part of a static warforged group.  When I had first created him, our gang had decided that all of our warforged characters for this group would take at least one level of wizard or sorcerer in able to repair ourselves and each other with wands when necessary.  So for a log time Sludgge had one level of wizard.  However, when we received our +20 Lesser Hearts of Wood I was able to take that level out and I was able to upgrade him from a 28 point build to a 32 point build.

Sludgge has always been a rogue and he has always been a Mechanic rogue (since that prestige enhancement was first created).  Sludgge currently stands at level 20 and is progressing through the Shadowdancer Epic Destiny tree.  My play style with Sludgge is probably quite different from most mechanics.  Sludgge is dual wielder who uses weapon finesse as opposed to using his granted abilities to use repeating crossbows.  I do have a repeater or do for any ranged situations but for the most part Sludgge primarily uses rapiers and shortswords.

Sludgge pretty much has maxed out his Dexterity as high as he can and then has spread the rest of his points relatively evenly across Strength, Constitution, and Intelligence.  I didn’t but any points into Wisdom or Charisma and this shows horribly as Sludgge typically fails Will Saves left and right, so that is probably his largest shortcoming.  Currently, Sludgge has only used one +3 Tome (in Dexterity), 3 +2 Tomes (Strength, Intelligence, Constitution), and 2 +1 Tomes (Charisma and Wisdom).  He also doesn’t have the best stat gear, as he still has equipped a number of +5 and +6 items.  So he definitely can raise his attributes quite a bit once I can devote some time in doing that.

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Sludgge’s current attribute scores with guild buffs.

For skills, I dumped the vast majority of his skill points into the typical roguish skills including use magical device, spot, disable device, search, open lock, hide, move silently, diplomacy, haggle, jump, and tumble.  I splashed a few other points in haggle and balance.  He currently has used a +3 Skill Tome in Disable Device and Open Lock and a +2 Skill Tome in Spot.  He currently has primarily +15 skill items, but they all aren’t equipped in the below screen shots.  I dumped points into haggle, diplomacy, and tumble to help with gathering platinum, for at least one conversation based skill and to help escape during particularly nasty situations.  However, haggle and tumble could probably be redistributed to other skills, such as balance.  When I get a chance I will probably redistribute those skills but at the moment he performs well so I’m good with them for now.

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Sludgge’s skills, part 1.

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Sludgge’s skills, part 2.

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Sludgge’s skills part 3.

For feats, I selected those from the two weapon fighting line and weapons finesse because I wanted to dual wield with Sludgge.  I had originally planned on working with him wielding swords and rapiers and I wanted to keep that theme.  I also took oversized two weapon fighting because I do have some longswords that was I toiling around with as well.  For those rogue based feats I selected crippling strike, opportunist, improved evasion and skill mastery.

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Sludgge’s set of feats.

In enhancement lines, I took spent the majority of my points in the Mechanic tree.  I took Thunderstone, Ooze Flask, and Time Bomb and all of the core abilities.  I also took the construct based enhancements (mechanics, wrack construct, and disable construct).  I wanted to keep up with the theme of Sludgge being able to use his intimate knowledge of constructs to wreak havoc upon them.  I then put points into the Assassin tree to get Shiv, Venom blades, and Bleed Them Out to help with some offensive damage abilities.  I then spent some points into the Warforged tree to boost up my constitution and get some additional hit points.

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Sludgge’s selection of enhancements.

Overall, I really do like this set up.  I didn’t spend many points into the ranged line in the Mechanic tree because I wanted to focus on the melee side of things.  As a result I was able to spend points in the Assassin tree.  The use of the “grenade” abilities I find very interesting.  The Thunderstone enhancement doesn’t seem to work as well as I would like but I do like the Tanglefoot ability as it seems to fit well my Assassin like abilities.  The use of Time Bomb has been interesting for me as well.  I generally try to use it when I’m surrounded by a bunch of enemies.  It isn’t as effective as I would like it to be when it does goes off it does do a good amount of damage to everything in its path.  However, it does take some time for it explode so getting its timing down is also something I’m still working on.  One thing that would make it more effective would be to increase my Intelligent score.  In either case, it does have a fun animation .

So Sludgge is an interesting character.  He is definitely a work in progress but I do enjoy toying around with him.  He definitely isn’t the strongest rogue out there but he can get the job done.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

The Questing During the Week, September 8th to 11th

During this week’s worth of questing I ran three different epic level characters, my true reincarnated characters, and a few others through DDO and even a little bit in Neverwinter Nights II.  My questing started with Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) on Monday morning.  I took Kolll out into the King’s Forest for my regular morning slayer run.  That afternoon, after I got back home from work, I took Erdrique (Level 17 Druid) into the ever challenging quest Missing, which I described in depth here, on elite and was quite pleased with his performance in there.  Although my hirelings and my pet wolf, Fang, suffered a few deaths, I did not.  After that run, I logged out to make dinner and to prepare for our nightly digital D&D table top game.  But I did long in later that night, while still playing our digital D&D table top game, and took Garrrin (Level 21 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) through the quest Partycrashers on Epic Normal.  I would have attempted a higher difficulty however Garrrin is pretty undergeared and my attention was split between DDO and my other game.  However, with that said, I had little issues with the quest.  After I completed Partycrashers, I then did a favor run (completing the quest The Sacred Helm on elite) and then called it a night.

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Kolll taking a look around out in the King’s Forest.

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Erdrique making his way through the quest Missing.

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Garrrin enjoying creating havoc in the Illusionarium of Partycrashers.

On Tuesday, instead of going through a slayer run, I ran my level 5 Spirit Shaman, Ragnar, in Neverwinter Nights II and his party through the mazes of the Highcliff Ruins.  When I got back home from work, I took Hamllin (Level 11 Fighter) into one of the older classic quests of DDO, Haunted Library located in House Jorasco.  I ran into some interesting scenarios when my hireling cleric was killed relatively early in the quest but I was able to pull it out and get him to a shrine and I had no problems after that point.  Later that night,  I logged on with Cantlin (Level 11 Sorcerer) who is still working on his level 6 quests. So I took him out into Caged Trolls and then I took him out into the Forgotten Caverns, I guess I was just in trollish mood that night :P.  After that I logged out for the night.

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Ragnar and the rest of his party waiting for Neeshka to explore the ruins of Highcliff.

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Hamllin taking notice of the banners in the Haunted Library.

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Cantlin using electric loop to stun the Emerald Claw enemies in Caged Trolls.

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Cantlin dealing with trolls in the Forgotten Caverns.

Wednesday morning I started off with Kanndar (Level 11 Paladin) who I took out into the Searing Heights for some slayer runs.  After collecting some kills among the Sulatar Drow, I headed out to work.  When I got back home, I logged on with Erdrique who continued his questing within the Harbinger of Madness chain and completed the quest Sinister Storage.  After that, I called it a night to spend the rest of the night with my beautiful wife for our date night :).

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Kanndar looking around in Searing Heights and gazing at the volcano.

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Erd listening to Morley complain in Sinister Storge.

I was scheduled to play my level 10 Favored Soul, Harrgon on Thursday morning who I took out into the wilds of Tangleroot Gorge.  I didn’t log in for my typical afternoon run after work, but I did log in later that night with Rimuldar (Level 22 Wizard/Magister) who I took out into the quest An Offering of Blood on Epic Normal.  I didn’t have many issues until I got to the last fight.  I didn’t position my party appropriately and the stunning scorpions took care of us.  However, I was able to use a raise cookie and to get back to life and finish the quest, so it wasn’t a complete lost.

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Harrgon hunting out in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Rimuldar dealing with the scorrow in An Offering of Blood.

So this week saw me running more epic level characters than normal, which was good because I’m lacking in those runs to be perfectly honest.  We’ll see what the weekend holds!!  I hope everybody else had a strong week’s worth of questing.  Thanks for reading everybody and now get back in game and do some hunting!!

Enemy Profile-Sulatar Wizard

A random idea that popped into my head earlier this week was to start a blog series that profiled specific enemies and monsters.  I just thought it might be fun and something that could augment or supplement the work the folks at the DDOWiki have already compiled.  Since this random thought occurred to me while I was running around the Searing Heights, I figured I would start with an enemy from that area.

Not too long ago I wrote up a blog looking at various factions that are found in Searing Heights and hypothesized how they interact with each other.  A primary faction within this area is the Sulatar Drow.  Among their ranks, are some vicious spellcasters, including the Sulatar Wizards.

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A Sulatar Wizard approaches for some combat.

Sulatar wizards are primarily encountered around the Sulatar settlement on the western side of Searing Heights at the base of the volcanic mountain peak.  They are typically scattered throughout the area around the settlement ranging from the Ominus Cave explorer point and west from that point and then extending all way from that point to Guck’s hidden cave in the North.  These clever enemies are normally encountered with Sulatar Clerics but they can also be clustered with other Sulatar forces.

Like other drow, they have spell resistance and like other Sulatar they have fire resistance (makes some sense since they worship fire giants).  Once they spot an enemy, they tend to cast invisibility right off in hopes of being able to hide from their enemies.  They also like to cast web in order to ensnare any unlucky adventurers.  There main offensive spells seem to be scorching ray and lightning bolt (although I could be mistaken on lightning bold, I thought I remember a second spell being cast at me).

Sulatar Wizard 2-Invisible photo SulatarWizard2_zpsb60a3819.jpgSulatar Wizard casting invisibility before attacking.

From what I can tell, they have approximately 40 to 60 hit points.  They also seem to move pretty quickly and rapidly to engage enemies.  Combined with their companion clerics, they can be quite annoying and dangerous, especially for lower level characters who are not prepared for fire based attacks.  Luckily, they don’t bother to try to hide their presence and can be spotted quite easily afar, allowing you to attack them with ranged attacks for some time before you get forced to engage them and any surrounding enemies.

Keep these things in mind when you encounter one of these enemies out in Searing Heights.  If you have fire resistance, you should be able to take them out without too much of an issue, as long as you don’t get overwhelmed.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!