Another Look Back In History, Quest Runs April 1st to April 3rd

The first set of questing activities during the month of April was actually during the first weekend of April which actually started on Friday, April 1st:).  Questing started out with a typical morning slayer run with Lorrikk (Level 13 Monk) and Stoorage (Level 15 Fighter) through Sorrowdusk Isle during a dual boxing session.  Stoorage has this area maxed out so I had him in there to gather some chests and rare encounter experience if I happened to come across anything.  During the run, Lorrikk picked up 20 slayers but I didn’t come across any rares😦.  That was the only questing I was able to complete on Friday because the rest of the day and night I spent with my wife as it was our anniversary:).

Lorrikk taking on Teargon in Sorrowdusk Isle.

On Saturday, I started things out by taking Erdrique (who is now a level 1 Bard:) ), into the Sands of Menechtarun.  While out there, he picked up another 319 kills for his gnoll slayers, another 100 kills for his scorrow slayers, and 113 for his undead slayers.  He picked up a monster manual deed as well, gnoll exterminator V (account wide award) and gnoll expertise.  He came across the rare encounters for Den Mother Fheena, Palumak, Haraja, Workan-Kull, Utach, Volrune, and Ayurro.  From those rare encounters he picked up the Vulkoorim Pendant and the Collapsible Shortbow, as well as a sapphire of false life +20.  After the trample through the desert, I took Erdrique into the Anniversary Party.  While in the Anniversary Party, I got defeated by Severlin and his little gang of skeletons but I then came back in and took out all of the developers as well as the Jeets Overloard.  I picked up five party favors as the quest reward.  I called it a night after run and after working on some character maintenance.

Erdrique taking on the scorrow.

Erdrique making his way through the Anniversary Party.

I closed the weekend out by logging on with my first iconic character, Tuhnn (Bladeforged Level 16).  I also took him into the Anniversary Party.  He suffered or struggled quite a bit in there at level.  He was first killed off by Cordovan.  He was actually killed three times.  But during my last reentry, I was able to complete all of the star objectives to defeat all of the developers and overlord.  For his troubles, Tuhnn picked up to pretty interesting items from chests.  The fist thing he picked up was a +6 Venomous 4 Bastard Sword of Draining and then Prudent 8 Goggles of Deadly 6 with +7 Tendon Slice also attached.  Not bad at all.  Like Erdrique, Tuhnn picked up 5 party favors as quest reward.  That was the only run I was able to get done on Sunday night before I needed to head off to bed.

Tuhnn taking on Cordovan in the Anniversary Party.

So the first weekend of April was interesting in that I was taking advantage of running through the Anniversary Event.  It was a nice and light weekend overall.  I hope everybody else had enjoyed the weekend.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

 

Don’t Forget About Those Wands

If you have ever taking the time to open up or to click on any of my normal playing screenshots (meaning those screenshots that I haven’t removed the tools bars and chat boxes from before taking it) you probably will notice that I tend to use a ton of tool bars.  LOL, I typically have tool bars covering the vast majority of the perimeter of my screen.  A good portion of these tool bars are filled with a specific type of commodity: wands.

Since the majority of my characters have some type of spell casting ability or have points put into Use Magical Device (UMD) the majority of my characters will also carry wands.  Wands can be an extremely useful tool for your characters.  There are primarily three different types of wands: buffs, damage, and healing/curative types.  There are also some crowd control wands (such as charm person or charm monster, but there effectiveness is relatively minor).  Using wands can vastly expand a characters spell list as well.

For instance, my level 13 Sorcerer Cantlin has a variety of wands.  Two of the wands he is currently using quite a lot include wands of false life and stoneskin.  One of the good things about wands, is that if you are continuously using a wand of a spell that is on your spell list, that will allow you to load up a different spell into your spell book or to mesmerize, which is extremely useful to classes such as sorcerers, favored souls, and bards that have a limited selection of the number of spells they can learn and load.  For instance, I tend to use wands of stoneskin instead of actually loading that spell in Cantlin’s spell list.  List allows me to take a different spell, such as shout or force missile, which are both at the same spell level as stoneskin.

Another extremely useful quality of wands, is that they also allow you to expand your spell list into spells from other classes.  For instance, if you have the UMD, your arcane casters will be able to divine caster wands.  This allows you to become self sufficient, especially at lower levels.  You can basically add the cure spells to your spell list being up to use wands to cast cure light wounds through cure critical wounds.  You can also obtain other curative wands that allow you to cast lesser restoration to remove that negative stat damage, cure disease, neutralize poison, remove blindness, and many others.  For many divine warrior characters, such as paladins and rangers, if you have put points into UMD you can also gain access to the use of wands to cast shield, false life, and stone skin all of which can add to your survivability and your resilience.

Cantlin taking a look at his wand of false life.

The damage dealing wands, on the other hand, are probably the least useful.  That is because their damage output is solely dependent on the level of the wand and not necessarily your character’s spell casting abilities.  There are enhancements that increase the effectiveness of these wands but in the grand scheme of things these enhancements are taken more to enhance and produce greater results from casting cure wands.  Even with that said, these wands do allow you to continue to cause damage when you run out of spell points and spell point potions.  In some instances, you can use wands to bypass certain barriers as well (thinking of quests such as Inferno of the Damned where you have light or extinguish the flames).

Cantlin glancing at his wand of stoneskin.

In any case, just don’t overlook the wands you come across during your adventuring.  It is also worthy of note that not all wands are available from the vendors.  Especially those 10th level wands.  If you come across those you should hold onto them or put them on the auction , I’m sure somebody will buy them.  Wands are just those items that help to expand your spell list and to make your character more resourceful.  If you are new to the game, keep this in mind and they can be very useful!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Eberron and Eveningstar!!

A Closer Look At Another Oldie but Goodie, The Prisoner (VON 2)

One of the things I wanted to try to do with my blog this year was to make a little schedule of sorts where I write about different items on particular days.  Of course, it would help to stick to a schedule when you can get the chance to blog daily, or at least much more often than I have been able to😦.  As many of you can tell, I’m still struggling with getting down a real life schedule to work in the time to write, which is unfortunate for me because I really do enjoy writing on my blog and writing about DDO.

In any case, on Wednesdays, I had settled on picking out a quest that I have completed relatively recently from the previous week or so and taking the time to highlight it and in some cases taking the time to basically develop a walk through for it.  I did this for Tomb of the Wizard King and Haywire Foundry (VON 4).  This week I would like to explore another fun and older quest from the first module, Dragon’s VaultThe Prisoner, also known as the Vault of Night 2 (VON 2).

The Prisoner is part of the Vault of Night story arc and is necessary for flagging for the Vault of Night Raid where you take on Velah, the famous red dragon in DDO.  When this story line was first released, The Prisoner was the second quest that was required to be completed as you progressed through the story arc which is why it is also known as VON 2. This is no longer the case, as the four flagging quests for the Vault of Night can now be completed in any order.  In any case, the original designations of VON 2 has stuck with this quest as well as the other designations for the other three quests.

VON 2 is a rather intriguing quest.  It actually foreshadows some later lore items that get released well later in the history of DDO.  This part of the lore also extends into VON 4 as well, and that centers around “The Inspired” as it appears that members of “The Inspired” were responsible for poisoning Orphne and for sabotaging Haywire’s warforged and other constructs.  In any case, VON 2 actually occurs within the dreamscape of Orphne’s mind.  Mistress Orphne is a powerful sorcerer who is a member of the Laughing Knives, the party contracted to test the strengths of the Vault of Night and led by Marek Malcanus (who is the story arc quest giver).  The quest give is named Shen Kulle, who is Mistress Orphne’s protector and body guard.  It is Shen Kulle who tells you that Orphne was poisoned by a member of the Inspired and that she seems to be stuck in an unwakeable dream state.  The only way to free her is to enter her mind and into the world of dreams.

As you enter the quest, the first thing you realize is that the map is basically useless.  The landscape is composed of a variety of floating platforms that seem to originate from a center platform where Orphne is sitting in this dream.  The other platforms have bridges that extend off of this primary platform.  There are barriers up to each of these platforms that don’t come down until you talk to Orphne.  Once you do, you are tasked with finding a number of relics and to bring them back to her.  These include a silver mirror, a golden locket, a wooden dagger, and Memnos blossom.  These items were important to her in some way or another.  The characters you come across in this area are all beings that Orphne has somehow associated with.  You see shadows of characters of Shen Kull, Marek Malcanus, Haywire, and others for example.

There is any particular order in which you need to collect the items.  When this quest was first released, there was a mechanic that would make the party automatically fail the quest if any player fell off a platform.  Because of this, many people would start the quest by walking aross the bridge that has a number of air jets that attempt to blow you off.  Man that was a very annoying mechanic.  That has now changed and if you fall now, you simply get sent to a closed off room where you have to fight a quori stalker that opens up a portal once defeated that takes you back to the central platform.  In any case, the three primary platforms will be guarded by a beholder, at some point.  Other enemies you will encounter whill include tharaahk hounds, arcane oozes, quori stalkers, minotaurs, a fire giant named Ingstoldt, mephits, and gargoyles.  In heroic settings, you can avoid fighting Ingstoldt if you have a high enough diplomacy, bluff, or intimidate.

Larrs taking on some tharaahk hounds in VON 2.

The platform that is connected to the bridge with the air jets leads to a secondary platform that has a shrine.  But as soon as you round the bend from the shrine, you better be ready for a beholder.  The beholder blocks the path to some secondary platforms that you need to cross.  Once you beat the beholder and his barrie goes down you will jump on a ladder and continue on to these other secondary platforms.  As you make your way you will encounter some tharaahk hounds, that need to be defeated to have access to another ladder, and then you come across some arcane oozes.  The arcane oozes need to be defeated to open up another ladder, even though the ques considers this part to be optional objective.  You then come across another bridge with another set of air jets to knock you off.  At the end of the bridge is a chest containing one of the items.  You can feather fall from that general area to land back on the main platform.

Another platform leads you to another beholder right away.  Once you get past the beholder you come across a ladder that leads to a skinny path that has a quori stalker or two in it.  It then opens up into a circular secondary platform and that requires you to defeat a number of quorit stalkers for another ladder to reappear.  Once the quorit stalkersa re defeated, the ladder appears and you an then make your way up the path to pick up a second item needed by Orphne.

Fighting a beholder and his helpers in VON 2.

The third platform leads to another behold right away.  This beholder guards another chest and, as you can imagine, it contains yet a third item for Orphne.  Once that beholder is defeated, you can loot that quest and they continue on to another ladder that leads to a maze.  This maze is guarded by minotaurs, tharaahk hounds, and a number of traps.  The traps include spikes, darts, and force waves.  There are a few quests spread though out the maze at random as well.  In epic settings, you have to activate three runes in specific locations in the maze.  The maze will lead you to another platform that will eventually take you to face off against Ingstodlt.  Once you get past Ingstodlt, he will either drop a key or you obtain a key from him, you will have access to another quest with the last item needed by Orphne.  The quest will be guarded by mephits an gargoyles as well.

Once you get that last item, you can then feather fall back to the central platform and turn them in.  Once you turn them all in, the shadow of Orphne comes out and tries to defeat you.  Once you destroy that shadow you have completed the quest.  There is one more quest to obtain before you head out though.  It was right down the path on the central platform from where Orphen was sitting.  The only catch, it is guarded by a pretty vision blade trap.  So if you can’t disable it, make sure you can get raised in some fashion after you set it off, if necessary.

The quest itself is not long or very difficult to complete.  Although I do admit, I constantly get turned around in that dang maze.  It is a fun quest and quick quest to run on either heroic or epic settings.  On epic settings for hard and elite, you will have also have to deal with the rest of the Laughing Knives as well as Orphne, so be prepared for that.

If you get a chance, check out VON 2.  It is a fun, intriguing, and different quest to make your way through.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in VON 2!!

Questing Highlights March 28 to March 31

During the last week of March (March 28 to March 31), I completed a variety of quest runs.  I started out the week on Monday morning with a dual boxing session.  I took Containment (Level 8 Cleric) out into Tangleroot Gorge and I had Cannock (Level 8 Druid) tag along.  While hunting out there Containment maxed out the area by completing all slayer marks and taking down all of the rare encounters.  Cannock collected another 19 slayers at the same time.  They encountered and defeated Gharjat and Kornak.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) and I took him back into the Sands of Menechtarun and into the Undead area.  While he was out there he collected 36 more slayers and a new monster manual deed for zombie exterminator II and gained 1,789 experience.  He also took out the rare encounters for Palumok and Thumok.  Monday night, I was out for revenge with Lorrikk (Level 13 Monk) and Suppply (Level 11 Paladin).  I suffered a humiliating defeat in Stormcleave Output, primarily due to a lag spike, but I also had realized that I didn’t use Lorrikk’s ability to resurrect himeself either (duh…he has Rise of the Phoenix, the joys ofer playing too many characters and not realizing all of their capabilities) on Sunday night.  In either case, I was out for revenge.  I took them both back into Stormcleave for another dual boxing event and this time I didn’t come across any issues.  In fact, during the run, Lorrikk gained a new monster manual mark, Hill Giant Exterminator I, and gained 1,130 experience. I also completed the optional objectives for destroying six magefire cannon crates, the giant’s dimensional gate, and destroying giant’s raiding force.  Needless to say, revenge was granted.

Containment coming across Gharjat in Tangleroot Gorge.

Hamllin preparing to venture out into the Desert.

Lorrikk getting his revenge in Stormcleave Outpost.

On Tuesday, I started out by taking Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) and Stoorage (Level 15 Fighter) out into the Red Fens.  During that morning slayer run, they both gained 42 slayers and Charlock picked up a monster manual deed for mudmen exterminator I with netted him 1,179 experience.  In the afternoon, I took Erdrique (Level 30 Rogue/Shadowdancer) out into the Sands of Menechtarun. I picked up another 9 slayers for gnolls and 91 scorrow slayers.  Erdrique also took out Wokran-Kull and Utach.  Tuesday night, I took Garrrin (Level 23 Barbarian/Primal Avatar) out to Eveningstar to run the quest Don’t Drink the Water on epic hard.  It was a relatively rough run.  I suffered three deaths and had to re-enter the quest twice.  But, I was able to complete it.  Making my way through the quest I picked up 15 mysterious remnants, took out two dire bears, picked up one commendation for the druid’s of King’s Forest, and picked up 19 commendations of valor as a quest reward.

Charlock admiring the raw beauty of the Red Fens.

Erdrique looking out over the desert from one of its many cliffs.

Garrrin exploring the well in Eveningstar.

The rest of the week was limited to a single slayer run with Hamllin through the Sands of Menechtarun and a single quest run with Cantlin (Level 13 Sorcerer) who was dual boxing with Stoorage.  Hamllin was working his way through the undead area of the desert and he gained 91 more slayers.  He also took out The Thirsty One, Whirling Ozann, and General Tanahk.  Cantlin and Stoorage, in the meantime, worked on getting through the The Path to Madness and Xorian Cipher.  They both still needed this quest on elite.  I had no problems taking them through The Path to Madness but shortly after I started into The Xorian Cipher, my computer crashed and by the time it took me to get it booted back up, I had to call it a night.  So I will have to come back to it!!  So those were the only other runs I was able to get in for the rest of the week.

Hamllin continuing his assault on the denizens of the desert.

Cantlin making his way through the Path to Madness.

Overall, the week might have been less than normal in questing activity but it was still a good and fun week.  I hope everybody else had a great week as well.

A Look Back, Quest Runs March 25 to 27

So, I have made it a personal mission now to do everything in my power to catch up in my backlog of blogs.  I’m currently about 70 blog posts behind where I should be😦.  Needless to say, this year has just been rough for me in trying to stay on top of everything.  This has been primarily because of my hectic work activity this year.  All of the time I was able to devote last year during work downtime has literally disappeared this year and I still haven’t found a good way to compensate.  But I’m slowly doing what I can to make it happen.

In any case, I’m going to continue with my series of quest runs that I have gone through, primarily because I took the time to document what I did and because I have the screenshots to show the questing.  I also find it fun to look back at what I did.

So, back during the last weekend in March (starting on Friday, March 25th) I didn’t run any quests during the morning or during the afternoon.  I actually didn’t get any questing in until Friday night, when I logged on with Erdrique (Level 30 Rogue/Shadowdancer, that is what is now, not then) and I took him into The High Road (Epic) on my way to try the quest Detour.  While hunting out there Erdrique picked up 13 slayers allowing him to hit the fist slayer mark of 10 kills and he found one scroll, number 6.  In Detour, Erdrique was able to complete it on epic hard.  While he was making his way through the quest, he picked up a monster manual deed for human exterminator V and picked up 3,459 experience for that effort.  I also was able to knock out four dire bears during the quest and I was able to defeat all of the mercenaries.  I also picked up three mysterious remnants and received 28 commendations of valor as a quest reward.  That was all I was able to get done on Friday night.

Erdrique making his way through the High Road to quest Detour.

Erdrique dealing with some enemies in the Detour.

Moving to Saturday, I logged back on with Erdrique and I took him back into The High Road (Epic) to continue on that quest string.  While hunting in The High Road, Erdrique picked up another 57 slayers.  While roaming around the High Road I completed the random encounters for Spectral Sightings, Trader Travels, Tree Full of Spiders, Spider of Unusual Size, Rebels Underground, Orc Intuition, and the Druid Brothers.  I also found Oriphaun’s 5th journal and collected the slayer marks for 25 and 50 slayers.  After completion of the random encounters I collected one Village of Eveningstar Commendation, two clerics of Amaunator commendations, and two purple dragon knight commendations.  The reason I was heading back into the High Road was to take on the quest Rest Stop.  I entered on epic hard and didn’t come across any significant problems.  I completed the optional objectives for talking to the adventures, finding the missing party, and defeating the Umbral Gargoyle Lord.  I picked up 14 mysterious remnants defeating the monster champions I encountered and as a quest reward I picked up 27 commendations of valor.  I called it a night after that.

Erdrique back in the High Road and making his way to the quest Rest Stop.

It is time to explore the abandoned and rustic castle of Rest Stop.

To close out the weekend, my quest runs were light on Sunday.  I was scheduled to log on with Lorrikk (Level 13 Monk).  So I also brought on Suppply (Level 11 Paladin) who is one of my characters on my premium account and I decided to dual box questing with them.  Lorrikk still needed to complete Stormcleave so I attempted to make my way through the quest.  I had started relatively late as well, so I was running late on time to get the quest done.  Everything was going well, up until I made it to the raiding party optional objective.  At this point I hit a very large lagspike.  By the time the spike recovered, I was dead.  Instead of trying to recoup the lost time, I just decided to call it a night and try it again later.  So the weekend ended on a sour note😦.

Lorrikk having some issues in Stormcleave.

However, it was still a good weekend overall with Erdrique knocking out a few more quests from the High Road and making more progress to his first epic reincarnation.  I hope everybody else had a good weekend as well.

Completing A Saga and Another Story Arc

One of the things I enjoy doing is trying to get back into the swing of things after a relatively long vacation and trying to remember how to make my way back through my favorite game, DDO:).  I recently just came back from spending about a week or so in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville, Tennessee with immediate and extended family.  We had a blast while we were out there but at the same time I was separated from my desktop computer and couldn’t log into DDO.

We made it back home on Saturday and I logged in with Erdrique (Level 30 Rogue/Shadowdancer) later that night and spent a good amount of time just catching up on character maintenance and then trying the quest The Thrill of the Hunt on epic hard but unfortunately came up short on completing it.  Not only was this particular quest one of the lesser known quests for me, I also needed to catch back up to speed with the mechanics of the game.

Things turned out much better on Sunday.  I dual boxed with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) and Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) and they were working cooperatively through the Sentinels of Stormreach Story Arc.  The last quest I needed was The Tide Turns.  I took them both into the quest to take on Captain Tew and his Blood Tide Pirates on elite.  I primarily moved through the quest with Suppply as he was the one I was scheduled to play originally.  This particular quest I know fairly well and its outcome was much better than I had occurred on Saturday night.

Suppply looking at his rewards for the Sentinels of Stormreach Story arc.

Harrgon also taking a look at his reward list for the Sentinels of Stormreach chain.

I was able to progress both Suppply and Harrgon through the Tide Turns, with some minor deathers in the traps, and was able to complete the Sentinel Story Arc with both characters.  I also had another little bonus with Harrgon.  He had also already completed all of the Three Barrel Cove quests that are part of the The Pirates of the Thunder Sea (Heroic) saga.  In fact, the only quest Harrgon didn’t have credit for was Irestone Inlet but that was because he had that quest completed well before that saga was developed.  So I went ahead and used my VIP ability to skip that quest to get the elite saga award for Harrgon.  I wound up picking up the guild renown and received a nice chunk of 51,000 renown for the Crypt Crawlers.  Nice indeed!!

Harrgon looking into the Pirates of the Thunder Sea (Heroic) Saga.

Harrgon scrolling through his list of quests for the saga.

Scrolling through the saga reward list.

Picking up the guild renown!!

So it was good to be able to complete a story arc with two characters at once and for one of those characters to pick up his first saga award.  I’m looking forward to doing this more in the future!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting down those pirates!!

How Long Did it Take to Build King Raiyum’s Tomb?

Ever since I was a child, one of the greatest mysterious to me have been the pyramids of Egypt and the step pyramids of the ancient central and South America culture.  I have always found it fascinating to wonder how these magnificent structures were built.  Now reflect that thought onto DDO and my favorite explorer area, the Sands of Menechtarun, where we now find the ancient pyarmids and tombs of Wizard King Raiyum.

These structures are similar to their real life counterparts, being roughly triangle in shape and they are impressive in terms of size and attractiveness.  Of course the most magnificent of these structures is Raiyum’s personal tomb, being the defining structure of the Valley of the False Tombs.  I guess it would be equivalent to the Great Pyramid of Giza in ancient Egypt.

While I was taking my bladeforged, Tuhnn (Level 17) out into the desert, I came across the impressive structure for the Wiz-King and I started to wonder, how long did it take for this structure to get built?  There is no doubt that the real life pyramids took a substantial amount of time to build.  However, that was primarily driven by manual slave/serf labor.  In the realm of Eberron we have a slight difference, the power of magic.  We already know that Raiyum was a gifted and powerful mage, but we also know that he was a cruel and vindictive ruler.  So one has to wonder if Raiyum used any magic in the construction of his pyramids or if he chose to force his peasants to use nothing more than physical labor.

Tuhnn admiring the massive structure to the Tomb of the Wizard King, Raiyum.

Using physical labor would take substantially longer amount of time, I would assume at least.  Using magic, I would pressume he could simply raise the pyramid up from the ground or shape a large hill into the shape he saw fit.  I’m not sure how long would it take to cast and prepare such a spell but I would assume it would be faster the than waiting on his servants.

But, to be honest, Raiyum probably split the difference.  He probably enchanted his servants to work faster, with something like a haste spell and had minor wizards and casters create the foundation and blocks of the pyramid while the servants placed them in sequence.  He then probably put the finishing pieces/touches on the pyramid, because it is his structure after all!!

I imagine this could have taken less than a month or so to complete and is probably most likely how it occurred.  What does everybody else think?  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Desert!!