An Interesting Banner

I have mentioned a few times that one of things I really like about DDO is encountering those subtle and cool things that are in the game that make it just that much more immersive.  I noticed one of these things during a recent run through the Bloody Crypt with Kanndar (Level 11 Paladin) on elite.  I know I have seen this before but for some reason I really took notice to them during this particular run.  All of this pertains to the cool banners that are spread throughout the Bloody Crypt as pictured below:

 photo InterestingbannerintheBloodyCrypt_zps9db70c72.jpgKanndar admiring the banner in the Bloody Crypt and looking forward to talking to Salasso about his choice of banner.

The banner is just an interesting representation of the named boss at the end of the quest, Salasso, and for the design of the quest itself, as the quest is in the shape of a large bat.  The banner is on a brilliant red background, just implying its “bloody” nature, and the picture of the bat indicating that Salasso is a vampire with the ability to shape change into a bat as well as the shape of the dungeon itself.  One thing I am curious about though with the banner is the large “window” above the bat.  I’m not sure what that stands for unless it reflects the high chamber in which the Black Abbott uses to meet with Salasso (which is actually occurring as you enter Salasso’s lair and start to fight with him).   But in either case, this is just another example of one of those small things in DDO that keeps the game fresh .

I hope everybody else see other little things like these and that they make the game as enjoyable to them as it does to me.  Thanks for reading everybody and now get back to slaying the undead!!  Happy hunting!!   

Taming the Flames or The Pit?

Earlier this week, I logged on for a mid-day afternoon run with Hamllin (Level 10 Fighter).  Hamllin is finishing up his level 7 quests and the two he needed at that particular time were Taming the Flames and The Pit.  Both of these particular quests have some pretty interesting reputations.  The Pit has actually grown on me and although it can be quite challenging at level it affords a very large amount of experience.  Meanwhile, Taming the Flames, has always caused me “heartburn”.  For a character that doesn’t have evasion, dealing with the multitude of fire elementals and their dang fireballs on elite can be quite depressing.

However, in terms of quest length, Taming the Flames is considerably shorter than the The Pit and because I didn’t have a large amount of time, I decided to hit up Taming the Flames.  So I entered the quest with cleric hireling (just knowing that she would get cooked in there) and started forth.  I was expecting on having a difficult time in the quest but I actually did quite well.  Through a combination of heroism potions, fire protection potions, and guild buffs I was able to “absorb” a large amount of the fire damage.  I was also able to keep the hireling cleric alive, which was a feat in itself .

Hamllin prepping to take on the elementals photo Hamllinpreppingtotakeontheelementals_zpsb9b6d626.jpg
Hamllin likes dealing with these earth elementals much more than dealing with the dang fire elementals.

In the end, I chose to run Taming the Flames because it was a shorter quest to run but I was happy with my efficiency in it and in my relative ease in getting through it.  I was expecting on having a large number of problems with room where you loot the key to get unlock the door to the mephits.  That particular room with the key is guarded by fire elementals aplenty but the use of a invisibility potion and some scrambling back to the top of the cavern proved good enough .

So now, I only have the The Pit to worry about .

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!! 

Character Maintenance…The Least Fun Part of DDO

I’m a heavy believer that if you play a game, then you should be having fun playing that game.  Now of course in a game like DDO, there are going to be a few things that are less fun than others.  For instance, I find that running quests is more fun than selling items out of my inventory, which led me to this particular topic…character maintenance.  Character maintenance is a broad term but to me it primarily has to deal with three issues: inventory management, bank space management, and mail management.  And these particular categories have sub-categories as well  (I won’t get into those) but in any case I consider this portion of the game to be more grueling than fun.  Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy obtaining loot and selling it to get my just rewards but once your inventory fills up and figuring out which items to keep, which items to sell, and which items to move to other alts takes up time away from questing and before you know it you are trying to figure out what deal with your loot instead of running quests and gathering experience.  Especially when you happen to be a hoarder such as myself  who picks up each collectible he encounters which tends to increase the likelihood of filling up my bags, especially at lower levels.

All of this is compounded even more if you happen to be away from the game from something like a business trip or vacation.  I find this especially problematic when it comes to the mail system.  One of my principles for questing, is to put everything I don’t want/keep up on the Auction House.  If the items don’t sell on the Auction House then I deconstruct them and gather their ingredients.  I also tend to manage our guild bank (not the items in the guild chest mind you) by sending in game mail to my premium account (which was actually made for that purpose).  However, in many instance I will have a good portion of in-game mail from auctions that have sold (yay ) or auctions that didn’t sell and I need to breakdown, or mail that didn’t get “processed” yet by bank characters on my premium account and this is just compounded from a short vacation or business trip.

 photo Erddealingwithmaintenance_zps846b12d4.jpgErdrique dealing with his character maintenance.

One thing that would help with something like this, at least for me, would be to have some type of interface set up that can connect to DDO without actually being loaded into the game that would allow me to check my in-game mail, post auctions, move items around from one character to another, and so forth.  If an interface like this existed, then I could work on these types of things during my down time at work, or during my lunch hour, and so forth.  In either case, its not something we have at the moment so I just grin and bare it and try to has as much fun with the “maintenance” as I can. 

Well that’s it for this blog post.  Thanks for reading everybody and don’t spend too much time working on your character maintenance and get back to questing!!  Oh yeah, and happy hunting too!!

The Questing Resumes, Quest Runs over the Weekend July 25 to 27

Well, it had been awhile since I was able to run some quests in DDO but things were back in full swing this past weekend.  My questing adventures restarted on Friday night with a run through Made to Order with Erdrique (Level 14 Druid).  I received help from Sornea and we had a fun time blasting through the duergar and Haywire’s constructs.  However, that was the only quest I was able to run as I spent a good amount of time working on character maintenance after that particular run.

Erd and Sornea exploring the tunnels of Haywire's Foundry photo ErdandSorneaexploringthetunnelsofHaywiresFoundry_zpsc782e864.jpg
Erdrique and Sornea exploring Haywire’s Grotto.

On Saturday night, I started my questing with Erdrique and took him into the Red Fens to work on some slayers where I got some help from Khamel.  However, I later switched to Containment (Level 4 Cleric) and Khamel likewise also brought in a level four character and we helped my daughter work with her first character through the Korthos Village and Island quests including: The Storehouse Secret, The Cannith Crystal, The Collaborator, Stopping the Sahuagin, and Redemption.  We also try to work on my daughter’s settings, primarily her voice chat settings as she wasn’t able to use her microphone for some reason.  After those runs, we decided to call it a night.   

Hunting down the undead in the Fens photo HuntingdowntheundeadintheFens_zps25abe9ef.jpg
Erdrique on the prowl in the Red Fens.

Containment and gang in the Storehouse photo ContainmentandgangintheStorehouse_zps138e3a84.jpg
Containment watching from above in the Storehouse.

Contaiment and his group protecting the Crystal photo ContainmentandhisgroupprotectingtheCrystal_zps6133924f.jpg
Containment and his group working to protect the crystal.

Looking to protect Heyton photo LookingtoprotectHeyton_zpsa77bba4d.jpg
Grouping up to protect Heyton.

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Smashing some crates in Stopping the Sahaugin.

On Sunday, I logged on with Suppply (Level 8 Paladin) and with help from Khamelblade, I was finally able to complete all of Assault of Splinterkull on elite.  This included all of the quests except for First Strike: Hobgoblin’s Captives, Yarkuch’s War Plans, Whisperdoom’s Spawn, The Deadly Package: The Stronghold Key, The Deadly Package: The Agent of Darguul, Doom of the Witch-doctor: The Way to Zulkash, Doom of the Witch-doctor: Zulkash, the Herald of Woe, The Last Move: The Way to Yarkuch, and The Last Move: Yarkuch’s Last Stand.  So now Suppply can finally move forward to something other than Tangleroot .  After that set of runs, I logged out for the night.

Suppply looking for the prisoners photo Suppplylookingfortheprisoners_zps89e3e0ce.jpg
Suppply looking for the prisoners.

Suppply and Khamel looking for the documents photo SuppplyandKhamellookingforthedocuments_zps05f1b3c5.jpg
Suppply and Khamel looking for Yarkuch’s war plans.

Suppply fighting one of Whisperdoom's Daughters photo SuppplyfightingoneofWhisperdoomsdaughters_zps965d7323.jpg
Suppply facing off against one of Whisperdoom’s daughters.

Suppply challenging an avenger photo Suppplychallenginganavenger_zps5597661c.jpg
This dwarf is looking for a challenge from this avenger.

Suppply and Khamel looking for Lhor-Tragu photo SuppplyandKhamellookingforLhor-Tragu_zps71dd11e8.jpg
Suppply and Khamel making their way to Lhor-Tragu.

Suppply fighting a nasty spider photo Suppplyfightinganastyspider_zps2b72803d.jpg
Suppply taking on a spider on his way to find Zulkash.

Suppply fighting a dread zombie photo Suppplyfightingadreadzombieintheinnerfortress_zps6c4dc5a2.jpg
Fighting one of Zulkash’s dread zombies.

Suppply and Khamelbald fighting War Master Muuj photo SuppplyandKhamelfightingtheWarMaster_zps84fcf4f8.jpg
Suppply and Khamelblade toying around with War Master Muuj.

Fighting Yarkuch photo FightingYarkuch_zps9ddf082a.jpg
Fighting Yarkuch!!
So the weekend started out slowly but ended nicely overall .  I hope everybody else had a fun time over this past weekend as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Family and DDO

As I mentioned in a few of my previous blog posts, I recently went on vacation and one of the reasons my family decided to do vacation over the past two weeks was to celebrate my daughter’s graduation from high school.  LOL, to think I have a high school graduate just starts to make me feel old..but then I turn to DDO and I remember how young I really am .

I have been DDO since nearly its release back in 2006.  So, that is just about eight years or so, which means that I started playing DDO when my daughter was roughly 10 years old.  She always thought DDO was interesting but I wouldn’t let her play it because I just felt she was just to immature to play and I also didn’t want her exposed to the more crude and inappropriate statements that could be made by some rather drunk players. 

However, that was eight years ago and she has grown considerably since then and she has played a few other D&D based games with her boyfriend.  So I wasn’t surprised when she started asking more about DDO once we got back from vacation.  My daughter currently lives with her mother which a number of hours away from me and with college starting up in a month my daughter was curious in playing DDO not only for the fun but for keeping up with me and my wife.  So, over the weekend she asked how to download the game so I told her where to go and shortly later she was logged in and running a character next to mine.

Containment and gang in the Storehouse photo ContainmentandgangintheStorehouse_zps138e3a84.jpg
Me running Containment with a character that my daughter created.

Her boyfriend has also downloaded the game and has actually paid for a three month subscription.  I look forward to seeing how well they will take to game and I’m curious to see how this all works out.  As I tried to get my wife to play DDO, as well as my dad, and although they ran a few quests with me they eventually gave up.  My daughter though as a little too much of me in her, so I can see her getting addicted to it as much as me.  We’ll see!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Having an Interesting Time in Made to Order

One of the first quests I took a stab at when I got back home from my vacation and business trip was to run the quest Made to Order.  Made to Order is just one those quests that can make you cringe.  Made to Order is located in the Black Anvil Forest in House Kundarak behind the bank.  The quest giver is Hazra d’Kundarak.  The premise of the quest is to locate and find out what happened to our friend, Haywire, the same Haywire from the Vault of Night Series.  Evidently Hazra hadn’t received any reports from Haywire in some time and the last correspondence House Kundarak received seemed to be a distressful one.  Not to mention that Haywire was contracted to supply them with some golems.

Erd and Sornea exploring the tunnels of Haywire's Foundry photo ErdandSorneaexploringthetunnelsofHaywiresFoundry_zpsc782e864.jpg
Erdrique and Sornea exploring Haywire’s Grotto.

The quest primarily contains three types of enemies: duergar, iron golems, and clay golems.  The quest layout is interesting as it contains a number of tunnels and rails/catwalks that can make things a little interesting.  But the most distinctive portion of the quest has to be the mine traps.  I believe this was the first quest to have these types of traps, which can be extremely deadly on elite if you don’t have a way to disarm them or to simply avoid them.  They tend to have a wide range of damage and area to be triggered.  They also occur in all types of elemental damage (fire, water, sonic, electricity, and acid).  This quest probably led the foundation for Undermine.

I do have a few questions about this particular quest.  First off, why are their duergar in Haywire’s Grotto.  This isn’t explained at all and makes me wonder what the gray dwarves involvement with Haywire actually is.  Second, why wouldn’t Haywire develop a way to turn down his constructs with some type of sequence of command words or something.  These two questions make me wonder, and let’s not forget that Haywire doesn’t bother to tell you about the mines…of course those may have been laid down by the duergar.

But the quest does have a pretty funny ending.  I find it hilarious to see the multitude of doors and gates to unravel and open up once the marut is defeated.  The term “overkill” definitely comes to mind, but then again I guess one can’t be too cautious!!

Haywire and his doors photo Haywireandhisdoors_zps2b2dd03a.jpg
Haywire using a multitude of doors for his panic room.

Haywire and more of his doors photo Haywireandmoreofhisdoors_zpse2045037.jpg
Haywire and more of his doors.

Overall, Made to Order is a fun quest that can be quite challenging if you aren’t prepared for those mines and for the marut at the end.  When you get a chance, go explore Haywire’s Grotto and save his hide from his creations!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!      

Time to Get Back Into the Swing of Things!!

Well, it’s been awhile since I last posted a blog and put into any “real” time into my favorite game of DDO.  However, this wasn’t because of a bad thing or because I was bored with the game or burnt out or anything like that.  Instead, it was due to a rather extended family vacation :).  Just about two weeks worth (actually a family vacation + a business trip with my wife).  But now I am back home and things are starting to wind down which means it is time to get back into the swing of things!!

For me, in the world of DDO, that means logging into my characters, rolling my daily dice and gold weekly dice, dealing with returned auctions, and messing with character mail and inventory.  This is the main dilemma of going on vacation, as I typically do these types of things on a daily basis and generally they take me at most about 15 to 20 minutes.  However, after being out for about two weeks or so, this meant at least an hour of “downtime”.  I have a routine where I break down all return auctions into essences and then I play a “jumble” with our guild bank where I send my “bank” alts items and weapons that would be good for lowbies or higher levels alike but many times I do this by using the mail system (because my characters for the guild bank are my premium account characters).  So I then lose a lot of time working up these mail items.  Needless to say, it is an endless job.  And it isn’t too bad of an issue unless of course I miss out in the game for awhile from something like a vacation.

But now that my vacation is now over (and it was nice!!) I can now get back into DDO 🙂  I spent a good amount of time working on Erdrique’s (Level 14 Druid) mail issues and returned auctions but I was back into the questing with Sornea as we hit up Made to Order on elite and had fun rescuing Haywire once again :).  So now it is time for the questing, the blogging, the forum reading, the blog reading, the podcast listening, the guild website maintenance, the picture posting, and guild newslettering to begin anew!! :). 

 photo ErdriquestalkingintheFens_zps5213ce56.jpg
Erdrique stalking the Fens earlier in the week between the family vacation and the business trip :).

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting this weekend!! 

Weeks Questing Before Vacation, July 7th to July 10th

This week I had a nice set of quest runs. My questing began with some slayer runs early Monday morning prior to work with Cantlin (Level 11 Sorcerer) out in Searing Heights. After burning up a few of the Blood Tide pirates and some drow, I logged out to head to work. I logged back on after work for a little while with Erdrique (Level 14 Druid) who took on Whisperdoom once again in The Spawn of Whisperdoom. I had a good time in Whisperdoom’s Lair taking on her brood and her ogre captors. I logged out after that to take of dinner and then logged back on later that night with Crawlller (Level 5 Ranger) who completed Missing in Action on normal, hard, and elite. Crawlller is one of my characters on my premium account so that is why I ran the quest on all three settings. I was also multi-tasking on Monday night as I was also playing in our weekly digital PNP group. So after those runs I called it a night and logged out.

Cantlin soaring over the Searing Heights photo CantlinsoaringaboveSearingHeights_zpsded6b9b8.jpg
Cantlin soaring above Searing Heights.

Erdrique taking on the Kar-Thul Ogres photo ErdriquetakingontheKar-ThulOgres_zps2fa5a3ac.jpg
Erdrique taking on Whisperdoom’s ogres in the Spawn of Whisperdoom.

Crawlller exploring the Foul Chambers photo CrawllerexploringtheFoulChambers_zps8d23ce42.jpg
Crawlller having fun exploring the sewers in Missing in Action.

On Tuesday, the only questing I was able to get done was my morning slayer runs through the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) with Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger). After taking out a few of the Stormeye I logged out and headed off to work. Since my wife had to work a later shift on Wednesday, we decided to have our date night on Tuesday which is why I didn’t get any more questing done.

Larrs slashing through a sky giant photo Larrsslashingthroughaskygiant_zps721eba15.jpg
Larrs slashing down a Sky Giant in Gianthold.

Wednesday though I had some fun . That morning I logged on with Containment (Level 4 Cleric), another one of my characters on my premium account, and finished up the Cerulean Hills Wilderness area and started the Waterworks Slayer area. When I got back from work, I brought Erdrique and took him through Tomb of the Blighted. I logged out after that run and logged back in later that night with Hamllin (Level 10 Fighter) and took him through Storm the Beaches on elite. I had originally planned on doing that on Tuesday when I got back home from work but my wife side tracked me on that run by convincing me to take a nap with her . Wives are like that you know . After I caught up on Hamllin’s questing, I then logged on with Larrs and took him into Outbreak on heroic normal since I only did that quest string once. I wanted to make sure I learned it before tackling it on epic difficulties. I called it a night after that run.

Containment enjoying the view in the Cerulean Hills photo ContainmentenjoyingtheviewintheCeruleanHills_zps5071ddcc.jpg
Containment looking around the Cerulean Hills.

Containment fighting Gnarkill photo ContainmentfightingGnarkill_zps3ff797f7.jpg
Containment fighting Gnarkill in the Waterworks Slayer Area.

Erd enjoyoing the scenery in the Tomb of the Blighted photo ErdenjoyingthesceneryintheTomboftheBligthed_zps2317fe8c.jpg
Erdrique enjoying the scenery in the Tomb of the Blighted.

Hamllin making his way through Mistral Island photo HamllinmakinghiswayupthroughMistralIsland_zps465fc88d.jpg
Hamllin following the hidden passage in Storm the Beaches.

Larrs fighting in the War Hospital photo LarrsfightingintheWarHospital_zpsa696dc8c.jpg
Larrs taking on the Outbreak in the Evenigstar War Hospital.

Thursday started off with me running a slayer run with Charlock (Level 13 Fighter) through Sorrowdusk Isle which he is nearly finished with. Later that afternoon, I took Hamllin through some Tangleroot Slayers where he received enough experience from monster manual kills and slayer marks to hit level 10. I then took him into The Tide Turns on elite and took down Captain Tew and his Blood Tide pirates. I then logged on with Harrgon (Level 9 Favored Soul) and took him into Three Barrel Cove and completed the Brood of Flame on elite.

Charlock dealing death in Sorrowdusk Isle photo CharlockdealingdeathinSorrowdusk_zps2b158805.jpg
Charlock putting down some death in Sorrowdusk Isle.

So not a bad set of quests just before a summer vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida!! I hope everybody had a nice week as well. I won’t be on the blogging scene for about two weeks as my family is going to be in Florida in Walt Disney World for a vacation and then I have a work conference in Charleston, SC right after that. I will be back once I return home :). Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Thoughts on the Tomb of the Blighted

Erdrique (Level 14 Druid) is working on wrapping up the level 11 quests on elite, which include the quests that are required to flag for the Cursed Crypt : Tomb of the Tormented, The Tomb of the Unhallowed, The Tomb of the Forbidden, and The Tomb of the Blighted.  Of these four quests, The Tomb of Blighted, in my opinion, is the easiest to complete.  All four of these quests have some type of “nagging” aspect to them that can frustrate and annoy those who haven’t been exposed to them before.  In Tomb of the Tormented you have to lead a bunch of rates through mazes that have traps and monsters in them, Tomb of the Unhallowed has zones where you get shifted to other planes, Tomb of the Forbidden makes you split the group to pass gears through gates to open opposing doors, and Tomb of the Blighted is covered with a horrid, putrid water that when touched will disease you unless you can get to some blessed/holy water. 

 photo ErdenjoyingthesceneryintheTomboftheBligthed_zps2317fe8c.jpg
Erdrique enjoying the scenery in the Tomb of the Blighted.

The Tomb of the Blighted, in my opinion, is the easiest of these quests to deal with.  Primarily because you get to carry the cure for the “blight” with you in satchel.  The quest giver for the Tomb of the Blighted is an Emerald Claw named Hallestorm.  Your conversation with him is a relatively short and curt and one where he basically says you can’t help him and you just say “want to make a bet”.  The only thing he tells you is that the tomb is filled with these thick vines and that is covered with stenchy water.  He offers no advice in how to handle the branches/vines or what the stenchy water does…like I said he is real helpful. 

The Tomb of the blighted is relatively straight forward dungeon.  The map is basically a large square with a few little alcoves that offshoot from it.  When you enter the quest you discover a dead Silver Flame agent and you find an endless satchel.  The satchel can be used to hold ten vials of pure holy water from the fountain located in the beginning of the quest.  This becomes very important because you will need to use these vials to cure yourself of the blight and to weaken some of the vines/branches in order to move forward in the quest.  To use the satchel you have to put it into your hot bar and then it is equipped as a throwing weapon.  The vial will break on the ground where you can run across the water and get cured.  You will typically through a vial at the base of some vines/branches and weaken them and cure yourself at the same time.

The main focus of the quest is purify the other fountains in the crypt which have been corrupted.  There are three more fountains to purify, one in the north, one in the east, and one in the west.  The fountains are corrupted because each is covered by a huge gelatinous cube.  Once you destroy the cube, the fountain is purified.  There are also smaller altars that can be purified for addition optional experience.  When a fountain gets purified, you can then use it to refill your satchel.

The enemies inside the crypt are primarily blighted zombies that turn into blighted skeletons when they are destroyed.  So essentially you have to kill each undead monster twice.  And some of them turn into blighted friars or blighted magi, which can be annoying.  The most annoying monsters in the quest though are the blighted slimes.  Mainly because they spawn continuously and are always around the zombies causing weapon issues.  Other monsters include a few spiders, that seem out of place because they only spawn in one part of the dungeon and the troglodyte guardians that guard the gelatinous cubes at each fountain.  The only other monster (besides the cubes or course) is the named mummy guardian who you need to destroy to complete the quest.

When you enter the Tomb of the Blighted, make sure you bring with you a number of lesser restoration potions and be prepared to deal with the large number of slimes.  Also, if you are druid, realize that you can’t use the satchel in animal form, so you either have to switch to an elemental form or back to your base form…which annoyed me. 

The Tomb of the Blighted isn’t a hard quest but it can be annoying with the “blight” and with the slimes.  You will have to double back to refill your satchels and when you do expect the slimes to respawn.  However, this is a minor annoyance.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Tomb of the Blighted!!    

Wondering About the PUG Scene

This past weekend I ran Erdrique (Level 14 Druid) through two of the desert side quests, Maraud the Mines and Raid the Vulkoorim, on Saturday and Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue/Shadowdancer) on Sunday who I took him through Under the Big Top on epic normal.  I hadn’t been in a PUG group in awhile so I put those particular runs up into the LFG panel.  I was kind of surprised that I didn’t get a single hit on either of them.  This made me wonder about the PUG scene.  I think the primary reason why I didn’t get a hit for Maraud the Mines and Raid the Vulkoorim is because I was level 14 and those quests on elite are only level 13 (I had specifically mentioned no BB in text in group).  This means that people wouldn’t get their elite streak bonus with those runs, although it wouldn’t break their streak.  For the Under the Big Top run, I was doing it on epic normal, which also wouldn’t help people on their elite streaks and could break the streaks for those who are levels 20 to 24 if they hadn’t done it yet.  I wasn’t all that worried about not getting any hits, since I had my pets and hirelings, but I was still a little surprised.

Sludge making Boom photo SludgemakingBoom_zps53f842e1.jpg
Sludgge making his way through Under the Big Top.

When I put up my LFG, there were a number of other groups already put up across my level range and extending beyond it.  When I looked at the “Who” panel there were plenty of players on line as well.  So I don’t think it was an issue of available players, then again I could be wrong because I didn’t pay to much attention to the level ranges in the “Who” panel. 

It doesn’t take one very long to search on the General Discussion DDO Forums to see somebody calling for a server merge because of the lack of available groups.  I’m not against a server merge per se, but I’m against a server merge based solely on the lack of available groups.  I have seen plenty of groups during my play times on Thelanis and one thing I always mention in these threads is that it appears to me that people tend to be running more quests solo or in select groups or they are running quests that others don’t want to run at the time or the level ranges of available players doesn’t match what some players are looking for.  So does this facilitate the necessity of a server merge?  I’m not sure, however after not receiving any hits on my LFGs I begin to wonder about that topic.

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Erdrique in Maraud the Mines.

I think one thing that might be contributing to the “grouping” issue is the current grind for heroic true reincarnation and epic true reincarnations.  One thing that I do with Erdrique, is that I just open up my Adventure Compendium, sort by quest level, and start doing the quests down a line and I typically only do a quest only once during a reincarnation.  I think I am in the real minority in this case, as a large number of players who want to work through their “past lives” will hit up the highest experience giving quests per there level range again and again.  This limits the number of quests that are really available for a PUG group because most potential PUGgers are looking for those higher experience quests.  Quests like Maraund the Mine and Raid the Vulkoorim, although quick to run, are not high in experience, and are therefore not going to be attractive to PUGgers.  There is also a large number of players that seem to be soloing quests during their reincarnation paths through the Harbor, Market, and most House Quests. 

So will a server merge help a situation like this?  The only way a server merge would help with the above scenario is if the number of players who solo through reincarnations isn’t proportionately same across the servers.  Now no doubt there are a number of other factors going on here as well.  Many players just like to solo, others only like to group with friends, and some have limited playing availability.  I have seen all of this.  This year, I decided to make a concerted effort to recruit more players into the Crypt Crawlers and one of my methods was by looking for unguilded players in PUG groups and seeing how they ran.  However, I was actually able to recruit more players into the guild by advertising throughout the Harbor, Market, and House Wards and not by recruiting from groups, which I thought was pretty strange.  However, the players I recruited and who remained in the guild are primarily players who like to solo and chat through the guild channel, who play at “off” hours, and who have limited availability. 

So I’m not sure what this says about the PUG scene.  Is this just another evolution in the DDO playing community?  Is this a trend that will stay?  I admit that I solo a lot but that is mainly when I don’t think I will have enough time to participate in PUG group efficiently (such as being low on playing time).  I have no problem putting up groups and usually I get a few responses.  Maybe it was just some bad luck, not sure but it does make me wonder…

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!!