Liking the Change to Time Bomb

This past week was the first time I have had a chance to log in with Sludgge (Level 21 Rogue/Shadowdancer) since Update 25 was released.  Along with one of the most anticipated quests to be released, The Temple of Elemental Evil, Update 25 also brought with it a significant change to the rogue prestige enhancement lines.  Needless to say it had a significant effect on Sludgge.  Sludgge is primarily focused as a Mechanic.  One of the unique features of this prestige enhancement is the tier 5 enhancement, Time Bomb.  This particular enhancement involves placing a supercharge explosive at your feet and that then explodes in a spectacular fashion dealing damage to all your enemies within its blast radius.

The specific changes to Time Bomb are the following:
*    Cooldown set to 20 seconds
*    Animation for setting the bomb is quick
*    Time before it explodes has been reduced to two seconds
*    Saving throw against knockdown effect is now 10/14/18 per Rogue Level + Intelligence Modifier + Trap Bonus as the DC
*    Action point cost per rank was reduced to one

Shortly after I reset Sludgge’s enhancements I took him into the quest Into the Deep on Epic Normal to try these new things out.  Now I know I was on Epic Normal but I was still very impressed with the changes made to this enhancement.  The quickness in setting up the bomb was a great change.  The only issue I had was that it seemed to take a second or two after I stood back up to re-engage in melee combat.  However, what I really liked was the impressive change to the DC.  When the bomb explodes it deals 10/25/50 Sonic and 10/25/50 Fire damage per tier per rogue level to all nearby enemies.  This was a tremendous boost.  It wound up being an extremely effective crowd control for me as I would wait to have a party of sahuagin gathered around me and would simply drop a bomb and wait for the carnage.

 photo Liking the Time Bomb Changes_zpsgwk7asyv.jpg
Taking a look at Sludgge’s combat log, notice the 1,000 points of fire damage and 1,000 points of sonic damage per hit by Time Bomb’s explosion.

On nearly every set my Time Bomb was dealing 2,000 points of damage to all enemies that were around me.  In many instances this seemed to take the majority of the enemies out and if they didn’t get burned up they then simply fell over because they would fail their knockdown save.

 photo Enjoying the reeps of Time Bomb_zpswg9n410y.jpg
Looking at Sludgge’s combat log after a Time Bomb explosion and after the damage output to see how many creatures went down in a single blast.

Needless to say I was quite surprised and impressed by the change in this ability.  I had liked using time bomb in the past mainly because I thought it was fun to watch the animation go off and see a few things fall down but now it is an extremely useful tool :).

I’ll be curious to see how this works in other instances and quests.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

A Nice Little Prize from the Traveler

Well, today is the last day for the Festival of the Traveler which was turned on to help usher in the special set of bonuses from Air Week.  In celebration of the release for Update 25 Reign of Elemental Evil, the four following weeks are being loaded with special bonuses with each week being called a different element.  During Air Week, I have run the event about 10 or so times (and will probably get another run or two today in).  I first tried the runs with Stoorage (Level 11 Fighter) on my premium account.  On my second run I was able to reach the Ultimate Aura.  Stoorage happened to still have a Blessing of the Traveler as way so I turned in the reward with the blessing and got a very interesting award.

 photo Ruby Eye of Righteouness_zpsycvn91uj.jpg
Stoorage admiring his award for participating in the Festival of the Traveler, a Ruby Eye of Righteousness.

Stoorage was awarded a pretty cool ruby augment called the Ruby Eye of Righteousness.  I would have to say that is probably the best reward I have received out of this festival since it started years ago.  This particular augment has a 2% chance to deal 4 to 16 damage per minimum level of the weapon to all nearby enemies.  I’m guessing I’ll pass this ruby off to Erdrique at some point or another, although he is already using a Meteoric Star Ruby.  In either case, I’m sure I will be able to find somebody who can use it :).

I hope everybody guess does well in the Festival of the Traveler (I haven’t gotten anything else worthy of noting).  Happy hunting and thanks for reading!!

Some More Interesting Banners

I’m not sure what it is with me and these banners or standards lately.  A little awhile ago I wrote about an interesting banner I noticed in the Catacombs and since then I have come across a couple more that I have found quite interesting, for one reason or another.

The first banner is probably more of a standard but I’m calling it a banner anyways.  It is the banner you see when you come across the hobgoblin outpost in Tangleroot Gorge.  The outpost marks the outlying boundary of the hobgoblins of Splinterskull.  The banner itself is consists of a deep red backdrop with a black line running down the center which occasionally breaks off in opposite directions to various spikes and curves on both sides.  The deep black line is then bordered by a thinner yellow line.  The banner is hanging off of post that is accentuated by a large humanoid skull.  I’m not sure why I find this banner interesting.  I just think the mixture of colors, the sharp design of the black line, and of course the skulls just symbolized a very strong and confident, and downright evil, clan of beings.  That is probably something a banner should do.

 photo Containment looking around Tangleroot Gorge_zpspxczh4uk.jpg
Containment in the Gorge taking note of the banner representing Splinterskull and its hobgoblins.

The second banner is more intriguing to me.  I noticed this banner when I was taking Erdrique through the great quest, Partycrashers.  As you make your way through the Illusionarium and then into the Chapter House you may seen a beautiful banner hanging on the wall alongside one of the fountains.  The banner depicts a couple serpents entwined with another in the center on a dark backdrop that is bordered by a lighter purplish color.  Along the border on each side is a red line in a swirly design.  Beneath the serpents is what appears to be some type of an anvil or bush or possibly a creature of some sort with a sword thrust into it.  Above the serpents is a leaf shaped symbol.  I believe the symbol with the serpents has something to do with the Mark of Shadows, but I’m not entirely sure what the other figures represent.  Actually after looking at the Eberron Wiki it looks like the bottom symbol might be the Siberys version of the Mark of Shadows.  In either case, it is a great banner to portray the intrigue that surrounds House Phiarlan and its network of spies and assassins.

 photo That is an interesting banner in the Chapterhouse_zpsxcpfpadx.jpg
Erdrique taking note of the fascinating banner hanging in the Chapter House.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Lighter Weekend Than Planned, Quest Runs April 17th to April 19th

Although I had some fun and interesting runs this past weekend, my overall questing activity was less than I had originally planned.  This was primarily because I went out of town to visit my parents who were vacationing a couple hours away from me on Friday night.  Since they live in Florida, I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet them for dinner and spend some time with them .  I had originally planned on knocking out the Phiarlan Carnival Series by the time the weekend was over but instead only got through Partycrashers.

So speaking of questing over the weekend, I kicked off the weekend by taking Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) out into the forest of Tangleroot Gorge.  Crawlller is still making his way through that slayer zone slowly but steadily.  I wound up cutting my work day short, which allowed me to log in with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) who I have diligently working hard on catching up with his slayers by tackling the Red Fens.  Shortly after that is when my wife and I headed out to go to dinner with my parents.  When I got back home late on Friday night, I did log on with Erdrique (Level 7 Rogue) who I took into Rest for the Restless on elite, which was my last level 4 quest to complete and then for a circuit in the Lava Caves: Circles of Power.  After I completed the run through the Lava Caves I then headed out to House P to start the Carnival chain.  I then headed out to Mammoth Valley and took on the tieflings to find Brawnpits as I completed A Small Problem on elite.  It was getting pretty late at that point so I called it a night.

 photo Crawlller exploring the Gorge_zpsq4hd5rwb.jpg
Crawlller exploring Tangleroot Gorge.

 photo Hamllin exploring the Red Fens_zpsyqthzggr.jpg
Hamllin making his way through the Red Fens.

 photo Bring down on comet on the arcane in Rest for Restless_zpsy0gjjdcd.jpg
Erdrique works through the Vault of the Restless.

 photo Erd lining up the Torches_zpsrnowbdme.jpg
Erdrique working to get the crystals collected in the Lava Caves.

 photo Erd looking for Brawnpits_zps5hsandte.jpg
Erdrique looking for Brawnpits in Mammoth Valley.

On Saturday, I took some advantage of the time I had during the day because my wife had to work.  So I took Erdrique out into Tangleroot Gorge on three different occasions to burn up a minor slayer pot.  Erdrique has now hit his 750 slayer mark out there and is currently working on his 1,500 slayer.  He also still needs at least two more rare encounters before he maxes the area out.  Later that night, I noticed that I only needed about 10,000 experience to force me to level to 7.  Since the next quest I was getting ready to do was Partycrashers, I decided it best to go ahead and level up.  I then headed back to House P and had a very interesting time in Partycrashers.  Although I didn’t have a bluff item on, I was still able to get my bluff high enough (with the use of heroism, eagle’s splendor, and the Voice of the Master) to trick the poison master and captain into the library where I took them out (separately of course).  I took out the captain first that way his little troop of brainwashed guards help me to deal with the poison master.  I then went upstairs and took out the tiefling band up there and enjoyed the conversation at the last “fight” when I saw the primary mastermind tiefling get all depressed that all of his troops and plans were foiled.  I really like it when I complete that quest without an end fight .  After I took out Partycrashers, I then worked on upgrading my Ring of the Stalker.  I logged on with Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) and took him into Kobold Island: The Disruptor and made two circuits through there to get the necessary necromantic charms I needed.  I then called it a night.

 photo Erd taking in the scene of the Gorge_zpslfyahipn.jpg
Erdrique taking in the view of Tangleroot Gorge.

 photo Erd dealing with the Marks of Shadow in Partycrashers_zpsamgfmox2.jpg
Erdrique destroying a Mark of Shadow in the Illusionarium. 

 photo Lorrikk running around Kobold Island looking for the undead_zpsindfuun2.jpg
Lorrikk working on Erd’s behalf in Kobold Island: The Disruptor.

On Sunday, I continued to work on upgrading Erdrique’s Ring of the Stalker.  I wanted to upgrade it to Tier 2 which requires me to have jaded scorpions which come out of the challenge Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.  This time I decided to run it with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter).  I tried it twice, once by myself (with a hireling) and once again with Helltwister (with two hirelings) and unfortunately failed both times.  I’m going to have to do a little more playing around in here to go the flow of this challenge (or I just do a different challenge to swap the ingredients).  Later that night, it was time to do something different so I logged on with Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Divine Crusader).  I was joined by Friedrice and we hit up the Spinner of Shadows and Beyond the Rift on Epic Hard.  Wapoyei actually got killed once in each quest and I’m not entirely sure by what but we did make it through each quest.  I also wound up gaining enough experience to cap out Exalted Angel and now moved over to Divine Crusader.

 photo Hamllin dealing with the wolves in Colossal Crystals_zpsqvxqtjgb.jpg
Hamllin trying to find the Colossal Crystal.

 photo Hamllin and Helltwister making their way through Colossal Crystal_zpsrxfgss7l.jpg
Hamllin and Helltwister working in the Lava Caves to find a Colossal Crystal.

 photo Wapoyei and Friedrice in Spinner of the Shadows_zps55iv4wut.jpg
Wapoyei and Friedrice fighting a Raksasha in Spinnser of Shadows.

 photo Taking in the Sites of the Rift_zpszxorfdub.jpg
Wapoyei and Friedrice exploring the Rift.

Definitely an interesting week.  My goal for right now is to run a number of various characters to get Erdrique enough of the Cannith Crafting ingredients to upgrade his Ring of the Stalker and his Spare Hands.  We’ll see how that progresses throughout the week.  I hope everybody else had a fun weekend as well and I wish everybody an even funner week!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Getting the Hang of the Challenges

Erdrique (Level 7 Rogue) is currently working through heroic true reincarnation chain.  During this particular life, I decided that I wanted to play around with some gear from the Cannith Challenge Quests.  In particular, I decided to gather up a Ring of the Stalker and the belt Spare Hands and planned on upgrading them through the levels.  So just before I heroic true reincarnated Erdrique I ran some some of the lower level Cannith Challenges and got him a level 4 Ring of the Stalker and Spare Hands.  I had also been running a few other challenges as well to get the minor guild renown elixirs for my various characters.  The primary challenges I had been running were Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door, Extraplanar Palace: Buying Time, Lava Caves: Circles of Power, and Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos.

However, this weekend I noticed that I needed to run a few others that I either hadn’t run before or that I haven’t run since shortly after the challenges came out.  One of these Kobold Island: The Disruptor.  I needed this one to get the Necromantic Charms to upgrade the Level 4 Ring of the Stalker to Level 7.  So I brought in Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) to see how this challenge progressed.  Luckily, I didn’t have too many issues.  My first run through was a little difficult because I didn’t realize that the giant skeletons were actually marked on the map.  This made my second run through much easier so challenge shouldn’t be a problem for.

 photo Lorrikk running around Kobold Island looking for the undead_zpsindfuun2.jpg
Lorrikk taking on the undead on Kobold Island.

The second challenge I needed to run was Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.  This time I decided to bring on Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) to see I could figure this particular challenge out.  I need the jaded scorpions out of this challenge to upgrade the Level 7 Ring of the Stalker to Tier 2.  I didn’t know much about this particular challenge but I did realize that I did do this at least once before because I did have some jaded scorpions in my inventory.  I popped into the Lava Caves and then started to hunt down the colossal crystals.  I quickly realized that this challenge is significantly more difficult than Circles of Power.  Although I found almost every dang crest, I never did come across a gateway for a colossal crystal.  So I failed in my first attempt.  I then looked on the DDOWiki to see that the colossal crystals are always in the same place, however the crests to unlock them are place at random.  I entered the challenge a second time with some help from Helltwister and this time I found one of the colossal crystals but I didn’t find a crest for the door until about 2 minutes left in the quest.  Needless to say, I failed again.

 photo Hamllin dealing with the wolves in Colossal Crystals_zpsqvxqtjgb.jpg
Hamllin looking for a colossal crystal in the Lava Caves.

I’m not sure I will be able to get the timing for the Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal down.  I’ll probably give it a few more shots.  It looks like the ingredients from Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Moving Targets can be traded for jaded scorpions (the illuminated manuscripts).  It also looks like Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Moving Targets is very similar to Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door, at least with the primary objective, you just get a smaller amount of time to complete it in.  I might wind up having to go through this route instead.  We’ll see how it goes.  I might try running Colossal Crystal with a few other characters first so see what I can do.

In either case, I’m getting the hang of these challenges and look forward to plowing through them to get the Ring of the Stalker and the Spare Hands upgraded.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in those challenges!!

Any Hidden Messages with the Skulls in the Sanctuary?

One of the most well known quest story arcs in DDO is the Catacombs.  This particular story arc has been around since DDO was originally released.  The Catacombs is an interesting set of quests in that the majority of players either like it or just simply can’t stand it.  I, for one, happen to like the Catacombs.  I believe it contains one of those classic D&D storylines of power, corruption, and betrayal filled with undead enemies within the confines of a religious order.  Another thing I like about the Catacombs is that every time I venture into those quests I happen to notice something different with the surroundings.  For example, I wrote a blog about noticing a banner that was hung in Crypt of Gerard Dryden.

Well, recently I took my lowbie cleric, Containment (Level 6) through the first two quests of this founding chain: The Friar’s Niece and To Find a Witness.  Now if you aren’t familiar with the Catacombs, the first two quests basically have you searching the mental asylum housed within the Catacombs to look for Archbishop’s daughter, Marguerite, and for any potential witnesses that might help describe what has happened.  Well as I started the quest, I took note of the floor.

 photo Whats up with the skulls_zpsnhs8zib6.jpg
Containment working his way through the Sanctuary and noticing the skulls on the floor.

Now I’m sure I have seen those skulls before but it just didn’t register in my little mind until now.  I began to wonder if there was any significance to these skulls being inlaid throughout the floor.  My first inclination was that these skulls are simply just a marking to folks to let them know that have entered a mental institution.  However, I’m not so sure a skull conveys to anybody that you are in a mental institution. When I see a skull in something I see it as a warning of something dangerous.  Which I guess during times of the Middle Ages an insane asylum could be viewed as a dangerous place.

I’m just wondering if these skulls have some other significance or are supposed to tip us off to other issues that we might encounter in this story arc.  Could these skulls have some type of meaning to the Duality?  I’m not sure on that either.  I need to ponder this aspect some more…

Does anybody else have any thoughts?  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Catacombs!!

Wide Array of Questing, Quest Runs April 13th to April 16th

Over the past week, I had quite an array of runs.  I did some quest runs with some higher/epic level characters, some low level characters, some mid-level characters, quest runs on my VIP and Premium Account, slayer runs and quest runs, and across a number of characters.  I started my questing on Monday morning by taking Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger) into the Heroic Ruins of Gianthold for some collection of more slayers.  Larrs is currently working on collecting his Stormfist slayers.  After work, that afternoon I logged on with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) and took him into Sorrowdusk Isle where he finished up his slayers out there.  On Monday night, while also playing in my weekly digital tabletop PNP group, I took Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Magister) into the King’s Forest to start on the Darkening Story Arc and to run the quest Impossible Demands.  It had been awhile since I ran this particular short quest but really reinforced how evil the Forgotten Realms drow are.  I did my best to get all of the hostages out of the house alive but as I was distracted while playing PNP it didn’t succeed but I did take out the priestess.

Larrs putting the smackdown in Gianthold photo Larrs putting the smackdown in Gianthold_zpskbhg1ik8.jpg
Larrs collecting some more slayers in the Gianthold.

 photo Ejoying the spoils of Sorrowdusk_zpspwm9lhum.jpg
Hamllin reaping the rewards in Sorrowdusk Isle.

 photo Rimuldar making his way through the Kings Forest_zpsgd4lju8r.jpg
Rimuldar and his hirelings making their way through the King’s Forest.

 photo Rim not liking those spell wards_zpsaikndgn0.jpg
Rimuldar not liking those spell wards.

On Tuesday, I started out the day by taking Containment (Level 6 Cleric) out into Tangleroot Gorge to collect some more slayers.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 6 Rogue) and I took him out into the Gorge as well.  However, I also took him out into Assault on Splinterskull and completed the quest Whisperdoom’s Spawn.  That night, I relogged on with Containment and took him back into Tangleroot Gorge to collect some more slayers and then into the Catacombs and completed the first two quests: The Friar’s Niece and To Find a Witness.

 photo Containment coming upon on the hobgoblins_zps3ltihxha.jpg
Containment coming up on the hobgoblin outpost.

 photo Erd being challenged in Tangleroot_zpsgzya8kyt.jpg
Erd making his way to Splinterskull.

 photo Erd fighting one of Whisperdooms Daughters_zpsi7hjnvn3.jpg
Erdrique taking on one of Whisperdoom’s daughters in Splinterskull.

 photo Containment weeping the rewards_zpsv9foxl7y.jpg
Containment looting some goodies in Tangleroot Gorge.

 photo Contianment looking Margeurite_zpsmnjqu9gy.jpg
Containment making his way through the Sanctuary looking for Marguerite.

Wednesday, I kicked the day off by taking Charlock (Level 14 Fighter) out into the bogs of the Red Fens.  He still has quite a ways to go before he completes that slayer run out there.  I’ll probably have to get some assistance by downing some slayer pots to help collect those kills.  Speaking of the Red Fens, I also took Hamllin out into the Red Fens as well since that is his next slayer area to catch up on.

 photo Charlock hunting in the Fens_zpst1rge7qb.jpg
Charlock looking for some trouble in the Fens.

 photo Hamllin in the midst of battle in Red Fens_zpsda06mxfo.jpg
Hamllin hunting around the Red Fens.

To finish up the week, on Thursday I took Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) out into Searing Heights and tried to find his last rare encounter out there, the fire elemental Smolder.  He didn’t have any luck after two or three quick looks.  Once he finds the last rare, he will be able to go back to Sorrowdusk Isle.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique and took him into the smelly quest, Freshen the Air.  I was expecting on having some issues with this quest on elite, but I breezed through it .  Later that night, I logged on with Stoorage (Level 11 Fighter) and took him out into Three Barrel Cove to complete the quest Ghost of Chance on hard and elite and then I ran through the Troglodyte’s Get.  After I ran through the Troglodyte’s Get, I then did a couple circuits in the Festival of the Traveler.

 photo Lorrikk looking for Smolder_zpsilyqceoa.jpg
Lorrikk looking for his last rare encounter in Searing Heights.

 photo Erd battling a trog shaman champion in Freshen the Air_zpskjlrvj4j.jpg
Erd battling a troglodyte shaman champion in Freshen the Air.

 photo Stoorage fighting the spiders in Ghost of a Chance_zpsaj2vofd0.jpg
Stoorage making his way through Ghost of a Chance.

 photo Stoorage hunting in Troglodytes Get_zpsfrguwsco.jpg
Stoorage making his way through the Troglodyte’s Get.

 photo Stoorage hunting for some eggs_zpshiphutg5.jpg
Stoorage working through the route for the Festival of the Traveler.

So that was a wrap up of my quest runs over last week.  Not a bad set of questing.  I’m still a little behind in some quest runs from the downtime last week so I’m still working on catching those up.  I hope everybody else had a fun week of questing as well and I hope everybody has a fun weekend!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!