Enemy Profile-Queen Lailat

This past weekend I took Erdrique (Level 26 Rogue/Legendary Dreadnaught) through the quests in the Sands of Menechtarun (excluding the raid Zawabi’s Revenge).  There are a number of notable enemies within this chain but no doubt Queen Lailat is the most powerful and the most dangerous.  Queen Lailat is one of those enemies that you either take down rather efficiently or struggle with harshly.  Lailat is a marilith and she wash the first marilith introduced to DDO.  Since then there have been a few more introduced to DDO, although they are still pretty rare to come across.

Lailat is the pure embodiment of evil.  She rules the Demons Sands with no less than six iron hands and her wrath can be quite devastating.  She has made some pretty interesting “alliances”, if you want to call them that, with the lich king Raiyum, the Firebrand gnolls, and the Vulkoorim scorrow.  She often pits them against each other, well at least the Firebrands and Vulkoorim, and enjoys the chaos she has created.  She makes her current home well south of the Serpent’s Pass in the Menechtarun Desert.

The legend behind the story of the Demon Sands mentions that the arrogant and young wizard king, Raiyum, was an extremely powerful summoner and he used his power to bring forth Lailat to this plane.  Lailat took advantage of this and shortly later dominated the young king and his court and eventually turned them into undead (at least that is what is hinted at).  Lailat also had some dealings with the Zawabi, although I’m not entirely sure how they became such hated enemies of if they were always enemies from the start.  In any case, the ancient djinn and powerful marilith definitely can’t stand each other :).

The Crawlers doing what they can against Lailat in her court.

Lailat is guarded by a variety of enemies in her court.  To get to her you need to make your way through her riddle which is based on the fact that she wields six swords, khopeshes to be more specific.  You have to complete the test of the “six swords” by reading the clues and making your way through the right paths which are indicated by stylized plaques on six different tunnels.  She maintains a little army of outsiders (efreetis, flesh renders, fire reavers, mephits, and rhaksashas), wildmen, gnolls, troglodytes, mind flayers, and vulkoorim.  Although quite frankly, she doesn’t really need them.

Lailat is a ferocious combatant.  Being a marilith, she granted six arms and each one is equipped with a deadly khopesh.  Each attack sequence is really six attacks and each one deals slashing, unholdy, anarchic, and sonic type damage.  She also has the ability, and really likes to use it, to over run melee characters and do a knockdown with her tail.  Oh, did I mention she also casts spells as well.  These include chain lightning, burning blood, unholy blight, and force missiles.  Needless to say, Lailat is just as dangerous as a caster as she is in melee combat.  She also maintains a good number of defenses as well, having some spell resistance, cold iron and good damage reduction, and a few elemental immunities (electrical) and resistances (fire and cold).  She gains even more buffs when her health gets reduced to certain point.

There is no doubt that Lailat is the strongest marilith in the game, even though she was the first.  She is quite a challenging enemy with range characters being her primary weakness.  She can use those six swords against a character she can’t reach :P.  In any case, if you have never been through the Sands of Menechtarun, I would recommend it just so you can get the experience of battling this powerful evil outsider.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in the desert!!

That’s A Wrap, DDO Activities over the Weekend February 5th to February 7th

This past weekend, my quest runs were dominated by two activities: the Risia Ice Games and epic quest runs.  On Friday morning, to kick off the weekend, I logged on with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and continued on my goal of collecting 100 purple coins from the Risia Ice Games.  I had decided the weekend prior that I would play Kolll during my morning slayer runs and my daily afternoon runs to get that accomplished.  Especially since I had a late start in getting into the Risia Ice Games this year.  I did hit my mark though and was able to turn 100 purple coins over the weekend.  So, in the afternoon playing session I continued with Kolll on my way to that mark.  Later on Friday night, I logged on with my main character Erdrique (Level 26 Rogue/Legendary Dreadnaught), and took him out into my favorite area, Sands of Menechtarun.  I wanted to go ahead and start the desert quests on epic hard.  While making my way through the desert, I collected 99 gnoll slayers and 42 undead slayers.  I also picked up and defeated Palumak the Scourer, Vorvand Darkfur, and Commander Errulf as I made my way to the Chains of Flame.

Kolll making his way down the ramp to get some coins.

Kolll soaring through the night sky to get some coins.

Erdrique taking down some undead on his way to the Chains of Flame.

Chains of Flame on epic hard was relatively interesting for Erdrique but it was also relatively easy.  Since Erdrique is currently a rogue, I was able to disable the grease traps that have bothered a number of characters who have tried to make it through this quest on epic hard.  In some instances, I had to exit out and make my way through the quest on epic normal instead (because the grease traps don’t appear on epic normal).  Luckily, this wasn’t an issue with Erdrique.  Making my way through Chains of Flame I was able to complete the optional objectives for killing Unkhor the Gourmet, freeing Gasper Goldpike (which was the first time I was able to do this objective), speaking to Valgrim, killing Valgrim’s elemental guards, freeing Valgrim (this is the minotaur prisoner), speak to Erath, take over Erath’s curse, defeat the ogre warlocks, and free Erath.  I also received Gnoll Exterminator IV for my monster manual which gave us 9,600 experience.  As for awards, I collected 58 Fragments of the Token of the Twelve, a scroll of the Sirrocco, a complete Token of the Twelve, and twenty commendations of Valor.  I did get killed once, when I was fighting one of the Firebrand Overseers who was standing next to a Mordakein’s Disjunction trap.  Overall though, it was a great run.  After I completed the Chains of Flame, I then called it a night.

Erdrique exploring the Burning City.

On Saturday, I did more Risia Ice Game jumps with Kolll.  I worked on this throughout the day and picked up about another 42 purple coins.  I had picked up 50 up to that point.  On Saturday night, I logged back on with Erdrique and this time I headed off into the quest An Offering of Blood on epic hard.  On my way out there I collected another four gnoll slayers and 45 scorrow.  I also took out Volrune the Curate.  I then popped into An Offering of Blood on epic hard.  I didn’t have any particular issues with this quest, although I thought that the stunning scorpions were going to cause me some issues but luckily I was able to last through it and take them out without getting killed.  As I bulldozed my way through the quest I picked up Scorpion Exterminator IV in the monster manual and picked up 3,69 experience.  I took out the High Priest of Vulkoor and Darksting as well.  I also picked up seven mysterious remnants, 47 Fragments of the Token of the Twelve, and scrolls of Pouch of Jerky, Ring of Baphomet, and the Weathered Targe.  For a quest reward I picked up 18 Commendations of Valor.

Kolll making his way up the ramp.

Erdrique taking down Volrune.

Erdrique and his hirelings battling the scorpions in An Offering of Blood.

As I was making my way through An Offering of Blood, Sornea and Blackvale were finishing up the Lord of Stone.  They then switched characters to Hellorcish and Lunarhaze, respectively, and we headed back out to the desert and made our way to Against the Demon Queen to knock it out on epic hard.  While making our way through the desert I picked up 29 more gnoll slayers, 23 scorrow slayers, and took out Mendexethaz.  The riddle we had was Monkey, Octopus, Bat, Snake, Scorpion, and Wolf.  I was a little disappointed as I didn’t pick up a single scroll during this roll.  I did pick up a few monster manual deeds: Troglodyte Exterminator III  (1,800 experience), Efreeti Exterminator III (4,400 experience), and Flesh Render Exterminator I.  I also picked up 49 Fragments of the Token of the Twelve and a complete Token of the Twelve.  Overall, we didn’t have many issues although we did have a death or due in some of the more powerful sonic traps in the mephit area.  We all called it a night after that run.

Erdrique stumbling upon Mendexethaz on his way to the Demon Queen.

Making our way to the Demon Queen.

To close the weekend out, on Sunday I logged on with Kolll and finished my goal of collecting 100 purple coins.  I then spent the rest of the afternoon cashing in my Risia Ice Game coins and then doing some Risia crafting.  I had enough recipes to make five icy burst kits, a snow elemental gem, two “glaciation” weapons, and an eternal wand of ray of frost.  Needless to say it was quite a “wintery” day :).  Later that night, I broke the routine and logged on with Lorrikk (Level 13 Monk) and with Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) for some dual boxing.  I took them into Stormcleave as Lorrikk needed to complete that on elite.  Well, things started out well.  I made my way all the way to General Xanti’lar when I decided to try to be cute and paid the price.  Lorrikk was the primary character I was playing and I took him and his cleric hireling into the last cave.  I wanted to collect as many kills as I could so I went ahead and opened up the mephit rooms and started to take them out.  However, my grand plan didn’t quite work.  I wasn’t paying attention to my health bars or to the fact that my ship buffs had worn out and before I knew it I was a soulstone at the foot of the fire mephits.  I brought in Suppply to the cave but he didn’t fair much better.  So I didn’t get the quest completed but I did complete a number of optional objectives including defeat the raiding force, destroying the magefire cannon crates, destroying more of the forces, taking out the dimensional gate, and gathering all the supply crates.  Lorrikk also had picked up two monster manual deeds: Hill Giant Hunter (2,260 experience) and Troll Exterminator II (1,695 experience).  So after that little bit of frustration I called it a night.

Lorrikk making his way through Stormcleave Outpost.

So although the weekend closed out a little frustrating, the weekend overall turned out to be pretty good.  Erdrique completed the desert quests on epic hard and I was able to collect a large number of coins from the ice games and get those turned in.  Not bad at all.  I hope everybody else had a great weekend and I hope you all have a great week as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the desert!!

Summarizing the 2016 Risia Game Awards

As I mentioned previously, I started a little late this year with the Risia Ice Games.  However, i focused quite a bit on the games this week.  My was to gather at least 100 purple coins.  Well earlier during the day I hit that mark.  I wound up turning in 100 purple coins, 344 blue coins, and 840 white coins.

Kolll  checking out his earning this year in the Risia Ice Games!!!

I wound up earning 334 motes of winter, 18 Recipes 8/20, 17 Recipes 3/20, 15 Recipes 6/20, 13 Recipes 1/20, and 11 Recipes 7/20.  I also collected 4 trinkets, a number of potions, scrolls, and wands, five candy canes, and three festival twigs (Table 1).

Table 1. White coin turn in results for the Risia Ice Games.

My blue coin turn ins resulted in over 1,700 motes of winter, 18 Recipes 15/20, 16 Recipes 6/20, 16 Recipes 3/20, 11 Recipes 2/20, 10 Recipes 7/20, 6 Recipes 1/20, 8 Recipes 9/20, 7 Recipes 11/20, 7 Recipes 4/20, 5 Recipes 10/20, 5 Recipes 16/20, and 4 Recipes 8/20.  I also picked up yet another trinket, two more festival twigs, 10 more candy canes, and a plethora more of potions, scrolls, and wands (Table 2).

Table 2. Blue coin turn in results from the Risia Ice Games.

The purple coins gave me 8 Recipes 3/20, 6 Recipes 7/20, 5 Recipes 5/20, 4 Recipes 16/20, 3 Recipes 14/20, 3 Recipes 4/20, 2 Recipes 17/20, 2 Recipes 6/ 20, 3 Recipes 19/20, 1 Recipe 11/20 and 1 Recipe 20/20.  I forgot to get the number of motes of winter I collected but I know it was quite a bit  (Table 3).

Table 3.  Purple coin turn in results from the Risia Ice Games.

This year wasn’t a bad year for me with the Risia Ice Games, even with the late start.  I was able to collect enough Recipes 5/20 for five festival icy burst kits.  I also was able to collect enough recipes and ingredients to make one elemental gem.  I’ll go over the crafting in another article :).  I hope everybody else had a great set of Risia Ice Games and I look forward to them next year in 2017!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy

Crunching Down the Numbers of my Monster Manual-Part 1

One of the things I have been wanting to do is to take a more detailed look at the statistics that are collected within the monster manualDDO Gaming and DDO Gamer both did a similar exercise to this but I wanted to take it quite a bit further.  So I want to go ahead and create a series of blog posts  where I look into the details of the monster manual statistics for my VIP account.  With that said, I want to go ahead and take a look at an overall breakout of the number of monsters I have slain with all of my characters on my VIP account.  The first thing I was curious about was how many monsters have been slain by myself and my parties by monster type.

Erdrique taking a look at his monster manual

Taking a very broad look at the statistics in the monster manual, at the time I compiled the data for this post, I had destroyed 289,449 monsters that are recorded with the monster manual.  I had at least one kill in every monster category which ranged from 1 kill to over 30,000 enemies destroyed.  The monster manual currently contains 65 different monster races all of which I have encountered and taking down at least once across my pool of characters on my VIP account.

Currently, the monster manual contains 14 primary monster types (refer to Table 1 and Figure 1.).  Across these categories, humanoids, undead, and player races accounted for the top three categories of monsters that I have taken down with my characters on my VIP account.  The least common monster type I have defeated were dragons where I haven’t even eclipsed 100 kills as of yet.  Some of these trends are indicative to the different periods of time when various volumes of the monster manual were released.  However, a large portion of these trends are also due to the frequency of these types of monsters that I encounter during my normal questing routines.  Monsters in the humanoid category include creatures such as kobolds, hobgoblins, troglodytes, and gnolls which are all quite commonly encountered.  Taking a look at the undead category, these creatures are found from the initial quests in Korthos Island and are the central piece in a number of story arcs including the Catacombs, Necropolis I-IV, and Delera’s.  And the player races are spread throughout almost every major quest line.  In contrast, dragons are relatively rare in comparison.  We encounter a dragon in the Extraplanar Palace and then in the Vault of Night and then later in Gianthold, Mired in Kobolds, and then the Stormhorns (with the pseudo dragons).  After that point the majority of dragons you come across are in higher epic levels, which I haven’t run a whole lot of yet.  So seeing dragons being on the bottom of the list isn’t too surprising.

Table 1.  Total number of monsters my characters have killed by monster type from my monster manual.

Figure 1.  Proportion of the number of monsters by type that my characters have killed from the monster manual.

The monster manual currently contains seven volumes, the Prologue and volumes one through six.  I was curious to see how many monsters I defeated by volume (Table 2 and Figure 2).  The oldest volumes of the monster manuals are the Prologue, Volume 1, and Volume 2 which all came out with Update 15.  Couple that with the fact that these volumes contain a good portion of humanoids, undead, and player races it is not too surprising to see these three volumes ranking high for me.  The latest edition of the monster manual, Volume 6, accounts for the least number of monsters slain.  Again this isn’t too surprising, especially since Volume 6 is the newest one released and because it contains a number of monsters that you encounter at higher levels, including dragons, and some other lesser commonly encountered monsters such as the quori.

Table 2.  Total number of monsters destroyed for my VIP account by monster manual volume.

Figure 2.  Distribution of monster kills by monster manual volume for my VIP account.

Looking more specifically at the monster races themselves, the top 10 monsters that have been defeated by my characters are listed in Table 3 and Figures 3 and 4.  My top ten included humans, skeletons, hobgoblins, kobolds, sahuagin, spider, wolf, zombie, scorpions, and trolls.  All of these monsters are in the volumes that were first released with the monster manual (Prologue through Volume 2).  These monsters are also pretty heavily present in the lower levels of the game and quite common through the mid and higher levels.  My top monster type was humans, which accounted for well over 30,000 kills and then followed by skeletons with over 26,000 kills.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Table 4 shows the number of monsters I have encountered and defeated the least.  The rarest monster for me is the warforged titans, which makes a whole let of sense this monster is not very common at all.  The other rare monsters for me included horned devils, liches, hell cats, stone golems, dragons, iron golems, yugoloth, clay golems, and quori.  Most of these enemies were in later editions of the monster manual and many of them don’t appear in our questing until the mid levels of the game.  The rarest monster for me, the warforged titan, I only had one kill of.  Talk about coming upon a monster very infrequently!!

Table 3.  Top ten monsters I have killed by race and fewest monsters I have killed by race.

Figure 3.  Top ten number of monsters killed by race.

Figure 4. Fewest number of monsters I have destroyed by race.

Overall, the majority of my monster kills were from humanoids, undead, and player races.  As you can imagine, looking at the analysis by volume, the majority of these monsters were from the Prologue and Volumes 1 and 2.  Humans were my favorite victims, it appears :).  At the opposite end of the spectrum dragons were my least encountered monster type.  Drilling down more specifically to the various individual monster categories, humans and skeletons made up the highest number of enemies I destroyed while the rarest enemy I came across were warforged titans.

The monster manual has been a very fun addition to the game, at least for me.  I enjoy taking a look at the various types of monsters that I have killed and encountered and looking at the overall tallies.  The next thing I want to look at is many defeats my characters have been handed by enemy monsters.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!



Week of Jumping, Quest Runs February 1st to February 4th

With the Risia Ice Games going strong, a large portion of my DDO activity this week has been centered on Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and doing a large amount of ice jumping.  This week, I have substituted my morning slayer runs and daily after work runs to the Risia Ice Games and collecting those white, blue, and purple coins.  My goal is to have collected 100 purple coins and to turn them in before the Risia Ice Games end this weekend (well actually ending the morning of Monday, February 8th).  So far, I have exactly half that number of purple coins.  We’ll how the rest of the weekend turns out with my jumping :).

Kolll on the mast and preparing to jump.

So, although I was doing a lot of ice jumping, I was still also getting some questing in.  All of my actual quest runs occurred during my regular nightly routines.  I kicked things off on Monday night by taking Hamllin (Level 17 Fighter) into the quest Undermine on elite.  Undermine is just one of those quests where you can get through it extremely smoothly or wind up having a rough time.  I figured if I made it through the minefield without any deaths then everything would be good.  I also playing during our digital table top D&D session as well, so I was also distracted.  In any case, I made it up to and through the minefield without a single death.  However, once I made it past the minefield, I got killed three times: once just at the bridge and twice while fighting Kaboom and his cronies.  The first time I got killed was because my hireling wasn’t with me, for whatever reason, and the other two times were just bad luck.  However, I did complete it.  I also picked up 12 mysterious remnants and picked up Kobold Exterminator III in my monster manual for over 1,700 experience.  As for the optional objectives, I was able to destroy Rhyolite (the huge earth elemental), Cascade (the water elemental), and the boulder.  I was quite happy with the boulder as it was the first time I completed that objective on my own.  Now the only quest that Hammy needs to complete the Attack on Stormreach chain is Seigebreaker.

Kolll swimming back to the boat after a successful jump.

Hamllin fighting off the Droaam forces in the beginning of Undermine.

I logged on Tuesday night with Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him into the quest Hiding in Plain Sight on elite, as I would like to get him through the Restless Isles quests.  Although he was slightly over level for the quest (quest is level 12 on elite), I still wound up getting a nice chuck of experience for it.  I didn’t have any issues making my way through the quest but discovered that I needed to use the DM’s Vision (from wearing the Voice of the Master and Mantle of the Worldshaper together) to find the hidden door as my detect secret doors clicky from Teraza’s Sight wasn’t good enough.  Charlock collected three monster manual deeds while working his way through the quest: Halfling Hunter I (1,600 experience), Dwarf Exterminator III (4,700 experience), and Ogre Exterminator I (1,100 experience).  Charlock also completed the four optional objectives: destroy 75 shipping containers, take the documents, defeat the Aurum blockade, and defeat the Aurum officials.

Kolll on the boat house and prepping for another set of Risia jumps.

Kolll sailing up the mast for his attempt in the Risia Ice Games.

Charlock getting ready to battle Hazadill and his goons at the end of Hiding in Plain Sight.

On Wednesday, the only thing I was able to work on was some of the Risia Ice Game jumping.  I didn’t log in that night because Wednesday’s are date night.  Thursday was a different story.  I was scheduled to bring on Erdrique (Level 25 Rogue/Legendary Dreadnaught) and to start the Sands of Menechtarun for some epic questing.  The first quest I wanted to tackle was The Chamber of Raiyum, also know as the Tomb of the Wizard King.  On the way out to the quest, I took some time to take on some slayers and collected another 29 gnoll slayers and 65 undead slayers.  The gnoll slayers boosted me over the 750 slayer mark for that faction.  I also came across General Tanakh, Palumak the Scourer, and Whirling Ozann.  I picked up the Bow of Elements (Air) from Whirling Ozann.  After the quick slayers, I entered the Chamber of Raiyum on epic hard and I must say I had a very good time :)!!  I didn’t come across any major issues at all while making my way through this extensive pyramid.  As I made my way through the quest, I collected Mummy Exterminator IV which netted me about 10,000 experience.  I also completed the all optional objectives which include defeating Akvan, Mehrdad, Rahab, Hafez the Lion, Hami the Jackal, and the Eternal Gatekeepers.  As a result of killing all of the named encounters, I was also able to get access to the treasure room and complete that optional objective as well.  I collected two scrolls, Scroll of Unkor’s Cleaver and Scroll of the Vulkoorim Fighting Leathers.  I also picked up 56 Token of the Twelve Fragments and a +3 Strength tome from a breakable :).  In the chests I looted a Token of the Twelve and Silken Mail.  For a quest reward I picked up 21 Commendations of Valor.  The only thing I didn’t complete was taking out the den mother but she didn’t spawn for me during this run.  Overall, it was a great run indeed!!

It is a beautiful night to do some jumping.

Kolll scanning the Harbor and prepping for his next jump.

So my quest runs this week varied from hitting up a lower lever quest in the Harbor to epic Wizard King.  I also got a lot of Risia Ice Game jumping in and I’m halfway to my goal of 100 purple coins.  I hope the weekend is just as much fun :).  I plan on taking Erdrique back into the Desert for the rest of those quests and would like to get through Spies in the House.  I also plan on continuing with Kolll and the Risia Ice Games.  I hope everybody else had a great week and I hope you all have a great weekend as well.

Kolll wondering how many participants the locals of the Harbor have seen in the Risia Ice Games.

Erdrique making his way to the Tomb of the Wizard King.

Erdrique finding a +3 Strength Tome from a breakable in Epic Hard Wizard King.

Thanks for reading and happy hunting in the Wiz-King!!

Wondering About the Future of Kensai

I currently have three fighters that primarily focus in the Kensai enhancement tree: Hamllin (Level 17), Charlock (Level 16) and Stoorage (Level 14).  The Kensai tree was really based around multiclassing fighters and monks and a lot of its abilities are based around that synergy.  Unfortunately, I don’t really like to multiclass so I inherently loose out on some of that functionality but I still really like this tree.  It has a number of unique abilities that I like to use.

The first ability I like to use is Power Surge.  Power Surge is one of the core enhancements and is actually an action boost.  It is a powerful action boost in that it gives you a +8 Psionic bonus to strength for 60 seconds.  I always tend to use this ability just before a large battle or at the beginning of a boss fight.  This particular boost tends to stack with the majority of other types of bonuses that I have, although the Warforged Titan cookie also gives a Psionic bonus to strength so it won’t stack with that.

Charlock preparing for the end battle with Power Surge counting down.

Another active ability that is just fun to play around with is Shattering Strike.  Shattering Strike can give you up to +3 W damage (if taken three times) and it can reduce an enemies fortification by 15% if the enemy fails a fortitude save.  This is a fun little compliment to attacks such as sunder.

Deadly Strike is another action boost ability that is fun to play around with.  One thing to note here, to use this particular ability you need to also pick up the attack action boost because Deadly Strike expends one of these when it is activated.  Deadly Strike is an attack that is already considered a critical threat if it lands.  And if you happen to roll a 20 (vorpal), then that is an automatic 500 damage for the attack.

Hamllin is another one of my Kensai fighters.

Perhaps the funnest ability for the Kensai, at least to me, is the ability called A Good Death.  When this attack is initiated it increases your critical multiplier by +1 and if the enemy is below 20% health it will deal out 500 damage.  This is an excellent ability to “close” out a battle, especially with an annoying boss.

There are also a number of inactive abilities within this tree that enhance your weapon attacks and damage.  I begin to wonder though how the future fighter enhancement pass is going to effect this tree.  I imagine there will be more of a focus to providing more melee power to many of these enhancements, similar to what was done with the paladin enhancement pass.  I just wonder how the changes will affect the monk and fighter synergy that this tree is purposefully supporting.  I don’t mind the tree providing abilities that really only benefit characters that have a monk splash but I would find it much more useful if those same abilities can be useful to characters that don’t have a monk splash.  The main ability I’m thinking here is One with The Blade which basically allows you to be centered with your focus weapons, of course if you don’t have any monk levels if has no benefit to you.  This is an interesting ability as well because it is a tier 5 ability.  It just seems like a lost high level ability for a pure fighter.

In any case, we’ll see what happens whenever the pass does occur.  Right now though, I do have fun with the tree and its abilities as they are now.  We’ll see what the future holds for the Kensai tree :)!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Looking at Hiding in Plain Sight

Last night I took Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) through the quest Hiding in Plain Sight.  Hiding in Plain Sight, better known as HIPS, is a free to play quest that is located in the Harbor.  This quest actually extends the Baudry Cartamon quest line while at the same time opening up the storyline that leads us to the Restless Isles.  The quest is actually bestowed by an Inquistive Ingaram who is residing in the Wayward Lobster.  The Inquisitive is investigating the issues and troubles of Baudry Cartaman with respect to his shipping business and with his chief rival, Hazadill.  As we learn more about what is going on, we realize that Baudry is concerned that his fellow employees are working against him and for Hazadill.  He asks us to check on this possibility so we venture back into the same warehouse we helped to protect in our early days in the Harbor as a young and bright adventurer.

Coming across Hazadill’s henchmen in the sewers connected to Cartaman’s warehouse.

Hiding in Plain Sight can be quite challenging at level.  It is also a relatively long quest, which is a little ironic concerning that the Protect Baudry’s Interest quest is extremely short.  One thing about Hiding in Plain Sight is that it is laden with breakables.  One of the quest optional objectives is to destroy 75 shipping crates.  I also find it funny that Baudry doesn’t seem to mind that you destroy a large portion of barrels in his warehouse and I even wrote about that a while ago here.

Charlock taking the opportunity to break some barrels in Baudry’s warehouse.

So what else is Baudry shipping?

The vast majority of the quest occurs in the Stormreach Sewers under the Harbor.  As you enter the warehouse you catch notice of two individuals hanging out by a secret door and then see one take off.  As you defeat the lone worker and descend down the bath to the sewers, you encounter a wide variety of things.  First off, it doesn’t take very long before you start running into various types of traps.  Hiding in Plain sight contains some wicked traps that include acid spray traps, poison spray traps, spinning blades, sliding blades, and large slicing blades.  There is also at least one hidden door in the sewers that hides a contingent of cartel forces and conceals a room filled with breakables and a chest.

Charlock meditating for his next battle in the sewers.

Charlock making his way through the sewers to find Hazadill.

Charlock exploring the sewers on his way to find Hazadill.

The vast majority of the enemies you encounter are humanoids of some sort.  These include halflings, humans, warforged, elves, dwarfes, bugbears, and ogres.  There are also a few other critters including a slime or two, some defenders (mithral and adamantine), and a nest of darkfang spiders.  We basically run into two different factions when we make our way through these sewers, those from Hazadill’s cartel and those from the Aurum, who appear to be working with Hazadill.  The Aurum representatives appear to be casters while the cartel enemies are more melee oriented, including a number that can sneak up and attack you like a rogue.  Hazadill is a bugbear and he is protected by two of his bugbear buddies (Froz and Radek) as well as a member of the Aurum team.

Taking out some of the members of the Aurum who are helping Hazadill.

This particular quest contains a number of “highlights” that make the quest memorable.  First off, it actually carries you through a few of the low level quests that you made it through when you first came to the Harbor with those being Protect Baudry’s Interests and Information is Key.  It is curious to wonder if Osgood has anything to do with Hazadill.  There is also a part of the dungeon where Hazadill’s forces are actually dealing with the dangers with using the Harbor sewers as you stumble upon them fighting off some slimes.  That always brings a smile to my face, watching another enemy having to deal with slimes for once.  Another memorable point for this quest is nest of darkfang spiders that make their home about halfway through the quest and behind a trapped door.  I’m not sure how the Hazadill’s troops move back and forth through this area but they have to move through these spiders to get to Hazadill’s lair.  Makes one wonder if Hazadill has accrued some pets over the years.

Charlock waiting for the goons to deal with the slimes.

Stumbling across some spiders in HIPS.

The quest also contains a small by notable swimming portion to it.  To make it Hazadill, you have to swim through a series of tunnels that are lines with spinning blade traps that raise up and down from the base of the floor.  This tunnel is just past the spider nest.  At the end of the tunnel is a super huge blade (actually a few blades) that conceal the bottom of the shaft.  At the bottom of the shaft, there is a possibility that the trinket Bottle of Air can be found.  Another fun factoid, in one of the side rooms just before the end fight with Hazadill, is a stash of explosive barrels that evidently come from the explosive expert Philver Sharpwood, who has been having issues with the Quickfoot gang, if you remember from the quest An Explosive Situation.  Makes you wonder about him as well.

Charlock isn’t looking forward to going down there.

Luckily these spinning blades are avoidable with some patience.

Now that is a vicious looking set of blades.

Charlock blowing up a bunch of explosives that are marked from Philver Sharpwood.

When HIPS was first released, the end fight was quite challenging.  Hazadill tended to through up a lot of Otto’s Sphere of Dancing and he has the ability to self heal as well as some of his fellow groupies.  It isn’t as difficult now as it used to be.  But, it can still be challenging at level.

Finally encountering Hazadill and his lieutenants.

Charlock fighting Hazadill as he heals himself at the end of HIPS.

If you are interested in a medium length quest for the level 10 to 14 range, HIPS would be a good once to try.  It has a diversity of traps, some potentially lethal enemies, plenty of breakables, and some fun little lore mechanics.  Check it out when you get a chance.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in HIPS!!