Thinking About the Quest Reclamation

One of my quest runs over the past weekend was in the quest Reclamation.  Reclamation is one of two quests in Ataraxia’s Haven, a fun but tough explorer zone at around the level 7 to 14 area that is chalk full of duergar, scrags, wildmen, hyenas, scorpions, rust monsters, spiders, and razor cats.  The two quests in that area are both level 10 quests on Normal and Erdrique (Level 13 Druid) is currently working on finishing those quests up on elite, which promptly brought him to the Ataraxia’s Haven explorer area.

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Erdrique and his earth elemental fighting the duergar in the Mineshaft in Ataraxia’s Haven.

Reclamation is an interesting quest but can be extremely difficult on elite if you aren’t prepared.  The quests has three primary types of enemies: duergar, adamantine defenders, and rust monsters.  There is also a named, but optional, earth elemental at the end of the quest.  The duergar have among their ranks a variety of melee forces and a number of duergar scouts who seem to have an affinity for pelting unwary adventurers with acid doused arrows.  The main objective of the quest is to destroy the mining operation by defeating the duergar in the dungeon, which is named Mineshaft IV.  The quest giver is a druid by the name of Leros Levithas right at the entrance to Ataraxia’s Haven.

There are a couple things to remember about this quest.  First, as soon as you enter the quest take care not to run forward.  If you do, you will fall down a very well disguised pit to the bottom of the mine into a pool of water.  Then you will have to make your up the shaft.  Second, make sure to never draw too much aggro as the duergar are swarmers and really like to dominate you by sheer number and to attempt to overwhelm you.  Not to mention duergar cannot be paralyzed or held which makes their aggro management a little tricky.

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Erdrique going for a swim in the Mineshaft to find the final chamber.

However, one thing that came to my mind while running through the Mineshaft has to do with the bottom of the mind.  See to open up the last room you have to activate three large valves which control a large door that is located at the bottom of the mine.  However the bottom of the mine is actually a small pool, that is relatively deep.  To get to the last room you have to swim through this small pool and come out another hole at the bottom of the mine.  This particular room not only has the last named bad guy but it also has a plethora of other enemies.  Now, I’m not sure, but I was under the impression that the duergar aren’t the best of swimmers and I wonder how in the world did they get all of their mining gear down there, as it appears to me, that the primary door is the only way into the last room.  However, there is a large earth elemental in this room as well.  Perhaps the earth elemental was in service to the duergar and helped them establish their stronghold…hm…maybe.

In either case, if you enter the Mineshaft IV take your time with the duergar and don’t run immediately forward when you enter.  The Mineshaft is quite challenging and it makes me wonder if there are three other Mineshaft 😛 ?  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!!

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Having a Fun Time in the Desert

I have always found the Sands of Menechtarun (better known as the Desert and also known as the Demon Sands) to be a fun and thrilling quest zone and I always enjoy taking my characters out there.  Last week, I had two characters doing some adventures in this fun pack: Erdrique (Level 13 Druid) and Rimuldar (Level 22 Wizard/Magister).  For Erdrique, it was his first time out in this wilderness/explorer zone during his druid life.  Of course, I have taken Erdrique out into the Desert plenty of times prior to this particular life, and I have set route for each of the areas to farm out slayers, rares, and explorer points.

The Desert holds a close place in my heart because of the number of experiences and fun items and loot that can be found out there.  The Desert explorer zone is where one can pull the Bloodstone, Dusk Heart, Spell Storing Ring, the Firestorm Greaves, Xuum, Bow of Elements (Air), and the Dynastic Falcata.  All of these items are fun things to have and these are just a few of the named items that can be found out here.

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Erdrique prowling the desert and having run of the irony of winter wolf enjoying the heat.

The lore behind the Desert is also quite interesting.  Learning about the conflict between Zawabi and Lailat and Lailat’s influence over the Raiyum, the gnolls, and the drow is quite interesting.  During my run with Erdrique last week, I took him into the Tomb of the Physician (Chamber of Rhamat) which is one of five “side” quests in the zone.  An interesting aspect of the Tomb of the Physician is that after the end fight, you can pick up a seal that can then be used in the “flagging” quest, Chamber of Raiyum, to destroy one of three named guardians (who guard the chambers to the Lion, the Jackal, and the Wizard King Raiyum) allowing you to avoid a fight and save resources.  The layout to the Tomb of the Physician is relatively straight forward as well, and not nearly as confusing as that of the Wizard King. 

One thing I hope they do in the future is to turn these side quests and the explorer zone itself into epic versions, just like they did for Gianthold and Three Barrel Cove.  They could even allow you to pull seals and shards of those Desert items from the explorer zone, that would be a nice thought!!

In either case, if you ever get a chance and haven’t explored Desert, I would recommend in doing so.  The explorer area contains a large amount of experience, some beautiful landscaping (especially at night), very interesting loot, pyramids (who doesn’t like pyramids?), and some fun quests that are cunning and dangerous!!  I expect I will be spending a large amount of time out there over the next few weeks as Erdrique will probably be working on those quests at the very least.

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Erdrique enjoying the night of the Sands of Menectharun.

Thanks for reading everybody and not get back out into the heat of Desert and start doing your hunting!!     

A Week’s Worth of Questing, June 23rd to 26th

Last week’s quest runs started not with questing in DDO but instead in Neverwinter Nights II instead.  This was because DDO was undergoing its period of maintenance.  So I took Ragnar (Level 5 Spirit Shaman) and his party into the town of Highcliff to gather information about lizard man blockade that is preventing all ships from leaving the harbor in Highcliff.  After running around the town for a little while and picking up some side quests I needed to head out and go to work.  Once, I got back home from work, I took Hamllin (Level 9 Fighter) into Tangleroot Gorge and then I logged on with Erdrique (Level 13 Druid) and I took him into the Restless Isles and ran the Slayers of the Shrieking Mines.  After that run I logged out for a little while and logged back in that night but only worked on character maintenance as I was also playing our weekly digital table top game.

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Ragnar and his party in the midst of battle in Highcliff.

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Hamllin enjoying the starry night in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique dealing with the glass spiders in the Restless Isles.

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Erdrique feeding on some mind flayers in Slavers of the Shrieking Mines.

On Tuesday morning, I was scheduled to take Suppply (Level 8 Paladin) into Three Barrel Cove.   I ran around out there and collected some more slayers prior to work.  Shortly later I logged out and headed off to work.  Once I got home, I took a little advantage of my wife having to work a later shift than normal and logged on with Hamllin who took on Gwylan’s Stand on elite and then I logged on with Garrrin (Level 21 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) and took him into the final quest of the Sentinel Series, The Tide Turns on Epic Normal.  After a quick dinner break, I then logged on with Cantlin (Level 11 Sorcerer) who is still working on his level 6 quests.  So I took him into another one of the “oldie by goodie” quests, Redwillow’s Ruins.  I had time taking Cantlin through those jungles and ruins and burning up the trolls, ogres, bugbears, scorpions, and hobgoblins.  After taking out the named hill giant at the end of the quest, I logged out for the night.

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Suppply takes a stroll through Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin having a fun time tripping the trolls in Gwylan’s Stand.

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Garrrin staring down Captain Tew in the Sentinel Tower of House Deneith.

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And boom goes the bugbear in Redwillow’s Ruins.

Wednesday I was scheduled to take Wapoyei (Level 22 Cleric/Exalted Angel) into the High Road to deal with the multitude of half-orcs and Netherese agents.  After traversing the High Road for a little while I headed out to work.  My afternoon questing session was dominated withe Erdrique running through some Red Fens slayers and then heading out the Sands of Menechtarun for the first time on this life and taking on the Tomb of the Physician.  I always enjoy running around the desert and had a fun time taking on the mummies and other undead forces in the Tomb of the Physician.  I logged out after that run but logged back on later that night with Rimuldar (Level 22 Wizard/Magister) and took him into the desert as well to run the Tomb of the Wizard-King on epic normal.  This was my first attempt at the Tomb of the Wizard King on epic difficulty and I had a great time running it.  After that run, I logged out and called it a night.

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Wapoyei and his party surrounding the sellsword in the High Road.

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Erdrique doing some hunting in the Fens.

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Erdrique prowling in the desert.

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Erdrique doing some hunting in the Tomb of the Physician.

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Rimuldar having fun with Prismatic Spray and stoning a clay golem.

Thursday started out with a slayer run into the Ruins of Gianthold with Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue).  I took Sludgge around the heroic version of the Gianthold landscape and had some fun toying around with some of the Stormfist.  Later than afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and ventured into Three Barrel Cove and took on the Scondrel’s Run on elite.  Hamllin had no problem dealing with the minotaurs and scorpions that are prevalent throughout that quest.  My wife was off on Thursday so we switched our data night from Wednesday to Thursday this week so after my run through Three Barrel Cove and the Scondrel’s Run I called it a night.

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Sluddge assaulting the Stormfist in Gianthold.

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Hamllin hunting in Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin fighting the scorpions in the Scondrel’s Run.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad week’s worth of questing at all.  I was actually on a little more than normal because of my wife’s work schedule.  I hope everybody else had a nice set of runs last week.  Thanks for reading and happy hunting everybody!!

Enjoying the Druid Winter Wolf Form

Erdrique right now is level 13 with level 14 banked in his druid life.  Since I tend to favor melee builds, I decided that I would primarily use the wolf and winter wolf change shape throughout this particular life.  And needless to say, I have enjoyed that decision quite a bit!!  I really enjoy the run speed in winter wolf form and various attacks, including Alpha Strike which I find to be really fun to use.  I also like using the spells Frostbite and Jaws of Winter which are available to you in winter wolf form. 

Perhaps the most fun I have though is when I use the trip spell ability.  I ran Chamber of Rhamat (The Tomb of the Physician) in Sands of Menechtarun the other day and I enjoyed watching my trip land on one of the hyenas:

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Sit down like a good little boy…

Of course a short while later I was also reminded by another pack of hyenas that I can be tripped too.  However, those other hyenas don’t have the spells or the winter wolf abilities that I do so I was able to make short of them.  I also find it fun, or at least ironic, to run around in winter wolf form in places such as the Sands of Menechtarun or a fire based quest like Taming the Flames

The one thing that I have realized during this particular life with Erdrique is that I really do like a druid, which fits in well this week especially with a portion of DDOCast 341 talking about various druid builds.  With Erdrique inching his way up to 20, I think I need to plan out another druid build for one of my available character slots.  Time to start planning!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Where Are His Weapons?

Hamllin (Level 9 Fighter) is currently working on his level 7 quests on elite.  One of these quests includes Gwylan’s Stand.  Gwylan’s Stand is just one of those “oldie but goodie” quests that a lot of people really enjoy and that gives out a lot of experience, especially if you are running an elite streak.  The back story of the quest is surrounded by a conflict between House Thuranni and House Phiarlan.  While running the quest I came across a rather unusual House Thuranni elven warrior:

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Hamllin taking on an elven warrior without a weapon..

Although the screenshot above isn’t the best to indicate what I noticed but that particular elven warrior doesn’t have a weapon.  No longsword, no shortword, no dagger, just nothing.  Now, I’m not sure why this is, heck even all of the barbarian shamans had their quartstaves.  LOL, I guess I completely caught this warrior so off guard that he didn’t have chance to grab his arms…or maybe he had a bet with another elf saying he could take down any intruder with his bare hands?  Well, in any case it didn’t happen, Hammy took him out, especially weaponless, lol.

Just thought I would throw this out there.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!   

Adventuring into the Shrieking Mines

Perhaps one of the least played quest packs in DDO is the Restless Isles.  The Restless Isles is home to the Titan Raid (The Twilight Forge and The Titan Awakes) but since the loot available from that raid hasn’t been updated in some time and has become primarily obsolete, it isn’t a heavily sought out adventure pack.  To get access to the Restless Isles, you first must complete the quest Hiding in Plain Sight and take care of our favorite bugbear, Hazadill.  The Restless Isles also contains a unique explorer area and two other quests, Slavers of the Shrieking Mines and Bring Me the Head of Ghola-fan, which are needed to get access to the raid.  These two particular flagging quests are both level 10 quests on normal and are next up for Erdrique (Level 13 Druid).  So, I took Erdrique into the Restless Isles and made my way to Slavers of the Shrieking Mines.

Now, one of the more annoying things about the Restless Isles is making your way to individual quests the first time.  If Restless Isles are composed of a series of islands either connected through underwater tunnels or by long suspension bridges.  If you don’t have a rogue, you have to take out a number of ogres to get their keys to unlock the doors in the underwater tunnels.  This can make your first run to both quests in the area a little aggravating at first.  However, once you complete the quests once, you can then use the respective “guides” to take you to the quest givers.  Up to that point though the “guides” will just shrug you off.

The Slavers of the Shrieking mine is an interesting quest.  It is a challenging quest if you have hirelings and summons with you because you cannot kill more than 11 miners (who wear a red set of clothes) meaning that you often have to set your hirelings to passive so that they don’t inadvertently kill the miners.  However, the miners will be “freed” if you can kill their ogre captures.  Using Greater Creeping Cold and Creeping Cold, I was able to draw the majority of these ogres to me without disturbing the miners so this was a minor issue at best for me during this run.

Now the primary objectives for the Shrieking Mines is to destroy the a number of ogre magi and mind flayers who are forcing the miners to dig up these crystals.  All told, their are three mind flayers and 5 ogre magi.  Navigating through the mines can also be quite a challenge.  The mines are layered and the paths on your map do cross back over each other.  Their are also some blade traps which can be annoying but the most dangerous traps are the gong traps which emit very powerful sonic damage.  The gong traps are actually operated by miners and if you can damage the miner he will turn the trap off.  Otherwise you have to navigate your through the sonic trap from the gong.  I did kill a few of these of minors and in other instances I lightly damaged the minor with a ranged attack and then tripped or stunned him and left him behind.  These minors do count against your total if you do happen to kill them.

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Erdrique feasting on some mind flayer in the Shrieking Mines.

The three mind flayers are always behind a door, which I find interesting.  The ogre magi are either in the various hallways or down pits.  The ogre magi are frustrating, in that they will do their little disappearing trick when they take a large amount of damage and will come back with full health.  All the while, you will have miners trying to attack you as well.  To avoid this, I hit the ogre magi with creeping cold and greater creeping cold and when they phased out they were still killed by the slow dotting :).  The mind flayers can be equally as annoying with their mind blasting ability but I didn’t have any problems with them during this run.

This quest is also known for a few unique things.  First off, their is an optional quest objective to kill two beholders but ever since the quest was released, their has only been one beholder, so this optional objective is never completed.  Second, the Ring of the Ancestors comes out of this quest, which contains a nice little raise dead clicky.  And third, the Horrid Figurine can also be found in this quest, which is needed to find an explorer point and a possible rare encounter in the explorer area (it was also used to bypass fights when making your way to the raid before the use of Greater Teleport and before the zone was turned into an explorer area). 

The one thing that always gets me about Slavers of the Shrieking mines is that I always have problems finding the last mind flayer.  It never fails that I will run around the mines for another 20 minutes or so looking for that last passage I missed in my scoutings but eventually I do find it.  The quest itself has some interesting mechanics (the gong traps, not killing too many miners, etc.) is an interesting experience overall. 

I hope that they take a look at this adventure pack and rework it so it will be more desirable to run.  If you get a chance, check out the Restless Isles and the Shrieking Mines.  Those wildmen could use your help from those ogres and mind flayers!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Lighter than Usual Runs This Weekend, June 20 to 22nd

The runs over the weekend were relatively light for me.  Mainly because we lost power due to strong storm on Friday night and because I got on late on Saturday night.  However, I did get some questing in :).  My questing began on Friday morning with a typical slayer run in the new heroic Three Barrel Cove.  I was scheduled to stake Stoorage (Level 10 Fighter) into the pirate island to gather some slayers.  It was my first time venturing into the new area and I thought the development team did a wonderful job with Barrel’s Bottom, the new public city area on Three Barrel Cove.  After gathering some more slayers, I called it a morning and headed out to work.  I didn’t get a chance to do an early afternoon run but I did get a chance to log in Friday night after the storm passed by and the power came on.  I logged on with Erdrique (Level 13 Druid) and joined up with Khamels and we took on Hiding in Plain sight on elite.  Now Erdrique is ready to head out to the Restless Isles.  After that run we both called it a night.
 Stoorage takes a look around Barrel's Bottom photo StooragetakesalookaroundBarrelsBottom_zps775551be.jpg Stoorage ventures into Barrel’s Bottom.

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Erdrique and Khamels swimming through the spinning blade traps in Hiding in Plain Sight.

On Saturday, I logged back on with Erdrique and joined up with Rosnia.  We ventured out into the Red Fens and I worked on my slayers while Rosnia flagged for Into the Deep.  Once Rosnia flagged for Into the Deep we both moved out to the underwater sahaugin base and had a good time fighting the deep water elite soliders and many shaman and casters.  We completed the quest without any issues and decided to try the Hezerou.  Unfortunately the Hezerou had other ideas for us, lol.  In either case, we did complete the quest, which was Erdrique’s last level 9 quest to get done.  Time to him up the level 10 quests.  After that run, both Rosnia and I called it a night.

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Erdrique hunting in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique and Rosnia exploring the sahaughin base.

On Sunday, I was scheduled to log on with Lorrikk (Leve l1 Monk).  Sunday was a late night as well, but I did get Lorrikk through Storm the Beaches and he is now ready to tackle The Tide Turns.  I also spent some time playing around on the guild airship and messing around with the guild amenities.  After that, the weekend runs were done and I logged out for the night and headed to bed.

Definitely a light weekend for me.  Hoping I can catch up on some of missed scheduled runs later this week.  We’ll see how it goes.  Hope everybody else had a nice weekend as well.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!