So Where Are All The Women?

Awhile back I was running with Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) through the Searing Heights.  Searing Heights is a challenging explorer area at level (around the level 6 zone or so) found in the Marketplace, not far from the Twelve Enclave entrance.  The Searing Heights is primarily known for two factions: the Blood Tide Pirates and the Sulatar Drow Tribe.  The landscape is marked with one primary point of interest, the huge volcano that serves as the primary base of operations for the Sulatar Tribe.  I actually wondered about this specific volcano a while back here.

As I was taking Suppply through the adventure area, I realized something about the Sulatar Drow.  There doesn’t appear to be any female drow among them.  The whole encampment at the base of the mountain, within the mountain, and along the mountain is composed of male drow warriors, rangers, clerics, and wizards.  This trend extends to the wandering and scouting drow parties.  I’m not entirely sure why this is the case.  There are female drow characters in almost every other area in which they appear that I can think of.  There are women drow warriors in the Red Fens and among the Vulkoorim.  And there are certainly drow women among the drow of the Underdark.  So where are the drow women of the Sulatar Tribe in the Searing Heights?

Suppply coming across some male drow in the Sulatar encampment in Searing Heights.

Thinking about this logically, I wondered if the woman warriors are currently under some type of pilgrimage or if they are conducting some type of warrior-type right of passage.  These particular drow are definitely war-like and it makes me wonder if the different genders are required to undergo a different set of trials to become full fledge warriors within the Sulatar society.  I’m wondering if they have to purify their spirits in some fashion that has required them to leave the encampment in the Searing Heights under the watchful eyes of the male warriors.  I’m thinking that the female drow warriors and magic users have to be purified by some type of holy ritual that involves some sort of commitment to fire, lava, or some other type of flame.  In any case, it doesn’t seem like a very promising situation but I wonder if it allows the female drow warriors to gain some type of prestige over their male counterparts.

Coming across yet more male drow warriors in the Searing Heights.

In any case, it is definitely a little odd.  I wonder if we will ever really find out where they currently are.  What does everybody else think?

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Searing Heights!!

Check Out the Pretty Blue Light!!

One of the newer things that has been implemented in DDO is the ability to find some chests at random that can produce specially upgraded random loot.  A few weeks ago, this particular bonus was active for the weekend, I believe it is called the Treasure Hunter Weekend .  While I was hunting with Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Shadowdancer) in the Sands of Menechtarun I came across one of these chests.

When you are lucky enough to come across such a chest, it will give off a bluish light when it is opened.  The bluish light indicates that one of your party members, if not yourself, has received a rare random loot upgrade from the chest.  Very neat indeed!!

Erdrique coming across a special chest with upgraded random loot in the desert during a Treasure Hunter weekend.

Besides being able to get these lucky chests during a Treasure Hunter Weekend as part of the DDO Bonus days, you can also purchase a Treasure Hunter elixir/potion from the DDO Store to increase your chances of finding or coming across one of these special chests.  Definitely a neat idea.  These upgrades pieces of random loot tend to have an unlisted third effect or a augment slot placed on them without increasing the minimum level of the item.  If you are lucky, you can have the potential of finding some interesting things.  The random loot upgrades are apparent on all items including weapons, armors, and accessories.  I believe during this run I had pulled a morningstar of critical bludgenoing that also had some type of elemental damage effect (I can’t remember for certain, I should have screen captured it😦 ).

I’ll be curious to see what other little tidbits pop up for my characters during future runs of these bonus days.  Hopefully I will pull some truly magical items!! Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the desert!!

Is Thumok the Mad Really Mad?

I have said on multiple occasions that the Sands of Menechtarun is my favorite explorer area.  One of the rare encounters in this area is a mummy guardian named Thumok the Mad who is located in the northern regions of the Valley of the False Tombs (also known as the undead slayer area).  Now when I first came across Thumok, I just assumed the second half of his name was merely in place to indicate how wild and insane he is or was in his past life before becoming a mummy.  However, I happened to pull an interesting item from his chest with Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Shadowdancer) which has made me rethink this theory: a +2 Upgrade Tome of Intelligence (+1 to +2).

Erdrique pulling some a tome from Thumok the Mad.

I mean if he can maintain such a powerful item in his loot and not use it, is he really that mad?  It seems to suggest to me that is pretty intelligent and is perhaps just a little misunderstood.  Perhaps the second portion of his name actually refers to his being bitter and angry, and because he has lost his mind.  Then again, would anybody with a straight mind keep such an item in such an easily lootable location?  Hm…wait a minute perhaps Thumok is Mad :)!!

In any case, don’t forget to take some time to check out those explorer areas folks, you never know what you might find!!  Thanks for reading and happy hunting in the Sands of Menechtarun!!

Throwing Down the Reign

There is no doubt that when I play DDO I feel much more comfortable playing melee and ranged characters as opposed to casting characters.  With that said, I currently have quite a stable of characters, with many of them level 20 or higher that range across all types of character classes.  The more comfortable I am with my character, the higher the difficult setting I will play.  For example, with my main character Erdrique (Level 28 Rouge/Grandmaster of Flowers) I tend to run things on either heroic elite (when going through his heroic lives) or epic hard.  However, for my arcane casters such as Rimuldar (Level 24 Wizard/Draconic Incarnation) I tend to stick to epic normal.  Characters that I tend to run quests on epic hard include Garrrin (Level 24 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild), Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion), and Wapoyei (Level 24 Cleric/Divine Crusader).  My other characters in the epic levels are focusing on epic normal, which includes my bard Larrs, (Level 21 Fatesinger).  However, the Fatesinger epic destiny tree has some powerful abilities that are starting to make me more comfortable in playing Larrs and I’m beginning to think I should step up his challenges.

One of the abilities I’m thinking about is called Reign.  I talked about this ability a few months ago when I talked about Larrs and the Fatesinger epic destiny.  That particular post was more broad in scope that looked at all of the fun little features of Fatesinger (at least those I had access too at the moment :)).  For this post I wanted to focus more on Reign itself.  Reign is a powerful tier three ability.  It costs one point per rank (with up to three ranks being available).  It is essentially a song, although when you activate it your character doesn’t go through the motion of playing and strumming a lute but instead it just activates immediately, spending a song use.  With Larrs being primarily a Spellsinger a shortage of songs is never an issue for him!!  Also, all of the special enhancements and abilities that Larrs gets from the Spellsinger enhancement that extend the length of songs also apply to Reign, which is also very nice.

Larrs battling in the King’s Forest.

Reign is essentially a two tiered buff.  First off, upon its activation, it gives your character up to 60 temporary hit points (at the third rank).  Getting extra hit points is always a good thing and is indeed a nice little plus to add to other extra hit point buffs such as Greater Heroism, Aid, and Rage (just to name a few).  The second tier of the buff is a damage boost  to your vorpal strike attacks (and this works across melee and ranged combat attacks).  When you land a vorpal strike, you bring forth a tremendous thunderclap.  The thunderclap comes down and appears like a large lightning strke and it does two types of damage.  Its damage is split between delivering 11d20 sonic damage and 11d20 electrical damage.  I don’t believe there is a save against the effect either.  This ability is a nice boost to Larrs’ overall damage output and it is always great to see a powerful lightning bolt to come streaking down on top of the enemies I’m battling.  Of course, their downfall with the vorpal strike requirement, besides needing a vorpal strike to begin with, in that you don’t have a lot of control when a vorpal strike will occur and it is likely to proc just as often when your enemy is nearly defeated as it is at the beginning of the encounter when it is much more useful.  But that is relatively minor.

This is definitely one of the more fun abilities in the Fatesinger epic destiny tree for me.  There are plenty of other buffs as well, but this one is just plain out right fun:).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Another Lite Week, Review of Questing March 21 to March 24

Well after having an abnormal weekend, I turned around with abnormal week and it impacted my questing activities for DDO.  During this particular week, I had to travel to Raleigh for some management training for work and on Thursday my wife had some major neck surgery so needless to say I didn’t log in that day at all.

I did kick the week off with a morning slayer run and taking the opportunity to do some dual boxing with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) from my VIP account and Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) from my premium account through the Searing Heights.  Suppply had already maxed the area out but Harrgon gained another 34 slayers and they took out Shute Ruggzen.  And that was the only run I was able to complete on Monday as I prepped and took off for Raleigh as soon as I got home from work Monday afternoon.

Harrgon and Suppply making their way through Searing Heights.

On Tuesday, I had another dual boxing session for my morning slayer run (yes I took my computer with me to Raleigh:) ).  This time I took Cantlin (Level 13 Sorcerer) and Stoorage (Level 14 Fighter) into Sorrowdusk Isle.  Stoorage has this area complete but I was still able to get him some loot and a little bit of experience.  Cantlin picked up only 10 slayers out there during this run but he also took out the ogre commander, Barxer.  That afternoon/night, after my training class, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grandmaster of Flowers) and I took him into Thorn and Paw on epic hard.  I wound up defeating 9 dire bears but in that process one of them was a champion and happened to stomp all over me.  After I got back up, I finished quest and completed the optional objective for killing all of the druids.  I didn’t complete the optional objective to find all of the spore seeds  though as I was still missing one😦.  I collected four mysterious remnants and picked up 24 Commendations of Valor as a quest reward.  I then headed out to complete the Druid’s Curse on epic hard.  I defeated eight wood woads during this run as well as the optional objective for defeating the drow party.  Again, I picked up four mysterious remnants and 24 Commendations of Valor as a quest reward.  As a result of finishing the Druid’s Curse I also completed the story arc for the Druid’s Deep where I picked up the Forester’s Brush Hook as a reward.  I called it a night after that run.

Cantlin hunting some ogres in Sorrowdusk Isle.

Erd coming across some Vine Horrors in Thorn and Paw.

Erdrique making his way deeping into Druid’s Deep.

On Wednesday, the only thing I was to get in was a slayer run with Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger).  I took Larrs out into the The King’s Forest where he collected another 20 slayers and completed the random encounter to bolster the lines.  After that, I had to pack up and head out for the final class session for the management training and to get ready to head back home from Raleigh.  Wednesday night is also my weekly date night with my wife and because she was having some major surgery the next day we decided to go out after I got home with some friends for dinner and then to relax for the rest of the night.

Larrs hunting in the King’s Forest.

I didn’t log in at all on Thursday.  I took my wife first thing in the early morning to the hospital for her surgery and we spent the rest of the day there as she recovered.  Luckily everything turned out fine and she is currently recovering well. She had some neck surgery to repair some disks and vertebrae that were causing her some severe problems😦.

So it was a lite week, primarily because it was just a plain crazy week with training going on and my wife’s surgery.  The quests I did get in were solid though.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!


A Look Back, Quest Runs March 18 to March 20

This particular weekend was a most unusual weekend for me.  I was only able to get any questing done on Friday.  The rest of the weekend I didn’t get a chance to log to do anything but general maintenance for my characters.  I didn’t log into DDO on Saturday because that was the third Saturday of the month I spend that night with my wife for our weekend date night.  Meanwhile, Sunday I was just working hard on completing some stuff for work, unfortunately, which didn’t allow me to get my usual questing activity in😦.

However, with that said, Friday was a really active day for me in DDO.  I started the day by taking Kanndar (Level 13 Paladin) and Stoorage (Level 14 Fighter) into Sorrowdusk Isle for some morning slayers.  Stoorage already has this area maxed out but I didn’t have another character within Kanndar’s range on my premium account that would allow them to get credit for the slayers as I was dual boxing with my VIP and premium account.  Kanndar picked up 61 more slayers and completed all of the rare encounters after defeating Vermilo, Kremen, Furley, and Teargon.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) and I took him back out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some more of his slayers.  I focused primarily on the scorrow area.  While out there, Hammy picked up 73 scorrow slayers and took out Volrune the Curate and Wokran-Kull.

Stoorage taking out the gargoyles for Kanndar.

Hammy battling Wokran-Kull in the Desert.

Friday night was the most active for me.  As typical, I brought on Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grandmaster 0f Flowers) and I took him out into the Demonweb.  I was joined by Hellorcish and we made our way to the quest Reclaiming the Rift.  As we made our way through the Demonweb I piced up another 11 drow, 24 spiders, and seven fiend slayers.  I also picked up messages 5, 36, 10, 11, 12, 40, 13, 15, 21, 23, and 24.  I also hit the 50 spider and 25 drow slayer mark.  Helloricish and Erdrique ran Reclaiming the Rift on epic hard.  As we made our way through the quest, Erdrique picked up six mysterious remnants and Embrace of the Spider Queen.  We completed the optional objective for completing each test only once.  I did get killed once during one of the tests.  For a quest award I picked up 48 commendations of Valor and for a story arc award I picked up the Planar Focus of Prowess.  With the completion of Reclaiming the Rift, I was also able to pick up the End of Ebberron Saga reward.  I picked up the guild renown, which netted the Crypt Crawlers another 27,300 renown:).

Moving through the Demonweb.

Making our way to Reclaim the Rift.

Hellorcish called it a night after the run through Reclaiming the Rift but I went ahead and started the Druid’s Deep storyline.  Erdrique started out by heading into the quest Outbreak.  I didn’t have any issues making my way through the Eveningstar War Hospital.  I was able to complete the optional objective to cure at least five patients.  For a quest award, I picked up 49 Commendations of Valor.  I then headed over to the next quest, Overgrowth.  I didn’t have any problems making my way through Uthe’s Lodge either and the only noteworthy thing I was able to pick up in this quest was four mysterious remnants.  I picked up another 49 Commendations of Valor as a quest reward.  After completing Overgrowth and taking time to do some maintenance, I called it a night which also happened to be the end of my weekend runs😦.

Dealing with the infestation in Outbreak.

Coming across some traps in Overgrowth.

Although the weekend was cut short because of work issues, I still got quite a bit of done.  I was able to finish up the Demonweb storyarc and to start the storyarc for Druid’s Deep.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Demonweb.

Searing Heights is Complete, Time for Sorrowdusk

Having the number of characters that I do, it becomes quite an accomplishment when I get a chance to get one leveled up, a quest chain completed, or an explorer area maxed out.  I especially find it gratifying when I finish up an explorer area with my characters.  I recently completed an explorer area with Suppply (Level 10 Paladin).  The explorer area he completed is Searing Heights.

Suppply has finished Searing Heights, now time for Sorrowdusk Isle.

The Searing Heights wilderness area is a level 6 area that can be quite challenging.  It is mostly populated with Blood Tide pirate (hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, minotaurs) and Sulatar drow.  There are also some wolves, mephits, elementals, and hell hounds thrown in for some guild measure.  It also includes some interesting explorer points include one point that you can only get to by falling off the side of a mountain.  The area contains a total maximum slayer count of 750, 9 rare encounters, and 15 explorer points.  Overall, it is an interesting zone.

Now it is time to move onto Sorrowdusk Isle to take on the ogres and trolls.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Searing Heights!!