So How Frustrating is That….

This past weekend, I was looking forward to leveling up Erdrique to level 3.  This would be the first level that I would be able to use some Cannith Challenge Gear, in particular the Spare Hand and the Ring of Stalker.  As Hellbanisher and I made our way through Korthos Island and started to complete a few of the Harbor quests, it didn’t take long for us to hit level 3.  I eagerly bolted over the House Cannith the low level vendor and started to make my trades.  The first thing I traded for was for the Ring of the Stalker.  At the lowest level, the Ring of the Stalker requires 400 Antique Coins and 400 Crude Talismans.  As I was working through my inventory I noticed that I only had about 550 Crude Talismans.  I quickly realized an issue here.  The Spare Hand also required 400 Crude Talismans, indicating that I was going to be short.  I didn’t worry about it too much because I knew I had a large amount of other ingredients that I could convert over.

Well, unfortunately I miscalculated somewhere.   By the time I converted everything over, I had 399 Crude Talismans to use for the Spare Hand.  I mean really…are you kidding me?  I only needed one more friggin Talisman I would have been fine.  Completely frustrated, I told Hellbanisher that I was logging out and bringing on Hamllin to run Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos to pick up some more Crude  Talismans.  Luckily I didn’t have any issues and completed the quest easily and had plenty of Crude Talismans to transfer to Erdrique to pick up the Spare Hand.

Eventually, I did get the Ring of the Stalker and the Spare Hand and I will be looking forward to slowly upgrading them as Erdrique moves through the level ranks.  I just couldn’t believe that I was just one Talisman short.  Just unbelievable, lol.

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Erdrique working on the quest Recovering the Lost Tome after he finally got his new Cannith Challenge gear.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out there!!

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Taking A Stroll Through the Butcher’s Path

It has been a little while since I took a detailed look at a quest.  Since Erdrique (Level 3 Rogue) is re-making his way through the Harbor I figured it would be a good time to take a look at a lower quest.  The quest I chose is probably one of the more difficult Harbor quests for its level, Walk Through the Butcher’s Path.  Although Walk Through a Butcher’s Path is only a level 2 quest on normal, making it a level 4 on elite, walking blindly into this quest can be disastrous.  There are a number of fun and interesting aspects to the quest that do make it an interesting run besides being tough.

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It is time to explore the Butcher’s Path.

The quest giver is a NPC named Mistress Ahura, who happens to be an elf, and who is located not far from the Fallowcrest Library in the middle of the Harbor.  Speaking of the Mistress Ahura, I always wondered whose mistress she really is, but I guess I can wonder about that at some other time.  Mistress Ahura tells you that many adventurers have tried to rid the sewers of the many evil creatures that inhabit it but not many have returned.  She then tells you the sewer entrance isn’t all that far away.

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Erdrique coming up on the first hidden door in the Butcher’s Path.

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Erdrique watching the first ambush unfold in the Butcher’s Path.

The layout of the Butcher’s Path is similar to the other numerous sewers of the Harbor.  You basically are exploring the tunnels under the surface that are dimly lit and that remind a person of some strange dungeon and you can also tell that these tunnels were constructed by giants from their high ceilings and width.  The quest is actually pretty linear but it is rather lengthy.  The quest also contains a number of mechanics that are introductory to higher level quests including secret doors, ambushes, the use of runes, strength and intelligent checks, swimming into hidden rooms, and fighting in narrow passage ways.  Shortly after you enter the quest you will have the opportunity to spot and find a hidden door that leads to a quick kobold ambush.  Later on in the quest, you have the opportunity to find some other secret doors that have valves you can turn to grant access to levers and runes to obtain another optional.  Another interesting aspect of the quest is that the tunnels will narrow drastically at some points, creating “choke” points which can be extremely dangerous if you can’t swarmed in them.  There are also two locations where you can enter the water to look for two other optional enemies.  One of these you can access by jumping over to a gate instead of swimming under it.  A rogue has some interesting time in here because of the secret doors and ability to unlock a few different things.  However, there is only one trap that I can think of which is located in the water on the way to an optional encounter.

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Erdrique preparing to deal with the narrow tunnels in the Butcher’s Path.

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Erdrique trying to control the flow of battle in the pipeline.

One particular dangerous part of the quest is the second ambush area that is triggered when you loot a chest.  When the chest is looted, some gates drop down and you are attacked by a few waves of kobolds.   Back in the day, the kobolds just swarmed you in mass numbers but now this has been changed so that the kobolds swarm in waves instead.  Once the first wave is eliminated the second wave is released and so forth.

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Erdrique getting ready to go for a swim in the Butcher’s Path.

As for enemies, the Butcher’s Path is mainly dominated by our ever friendly kobold,  The kobold shamans are particularly dangerous with their lightning bolts and obscuring mist spells.  There are also a few oozes, which can also be quite annoying, especially if you don’t have a weapon to deal with them (muckbane or everbright).  Besides these enemies, there are a few rare/optionals as well.  First off there is an optional ogre that is located behind a locked door that can lead to quite an interesting battle.  There is also a troglodyte chief that is behind a door that requires a strength check to open.  Before you get to the troglodyte chief you will come to an area where you can either swim through a tunnel or leap to a locked gate above the water.  Both routes will take you to another troglodyte rare encounter, a dangerous shaman.  Another casting shaman is located past another tunnel in the second area where you can go for a swim, although this one is a warlock.  The last rare encounter is another kobold who happens to be a witch doctor who seems to like to camp out at the sewer exit.

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Erdrique unlocking the gate above the water hoping to find the shaman troglodyte. 

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Erdrique fighting the warlock in the Butcher’s Path.

The combination of these enemies, as well as their numbers, can easily overwhelm a low level party, especially on elite.  The Butcher’s Path gives adventurers some exposure in how to deal with ambushes, how to work with secret doors and their hidden mechanisms, a diversity of rare and powerful optionals, and dealing with narrow hallways.  It is a challenging quest for low levels but still a fun one.  If you get a chance, make sure you take the challenge of the Butcher’s Path.

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Kobold shamans are one reason that makes the Butcher’s Path a difficult quest to run.

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Only fitting to deal with one more enemy at the end of the Butcher’s Path.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Harbor!!

Low and Epic Questing, Runs from March 23rd to March 26th

I had another week’s worth of variable questing last week.  I ran characters through some epic quests as well as taking Erdrique (Level 3 Rogue), who just went under a fresh heroic true reincarnation, through some beginning Harbor quests.  As usual, my questing started off with a typical slayer run on Monday morning.  I took Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Magister) out into the beautiful woods of the King’s Forest.  Rimuldar took his mini-army out and hunted down some drow before I needed to head out to work.  That afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 15 Fighter) and I continued to work on my slayer project with him.  As a result, I took him out in Searing Heights to collect some slayers and to try to find his last rare encounter for that area.  Later that night, I brought on Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger) and I took him through one of the more interest quests in the game, Partycrashers on Epic Normal.  Larrs had a relatively easy time in there on Epic Normal, as we he was able to take out the disguised tiefling who was leading the House Phiarlan guard and to take out the tiefling ambush party by getting the Viceroy’s key.  The only thing I couldn’t do was to get the tiefling assassin into the library, I actually couldn’t even spot here.  So the end fight only consisted of the assassin and the main boss.  Overall, not bad at all.

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Rimuldar hunting in the King’s Forest.

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Larrs making his way through the Illusionarium.

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Hamllin getting ready to have surprise some enemies in the Searing Heights.

Tuesday morning, I started out some questing with Garrrin (Level 22 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) and I took him out into the King’s Forest as well.  He took some hirelings with him too and ran around the forest to take on the various drow who were lurking in the forest.  Later that day, after work, I took Erdrique out into the Cerulean Hills because I still had a minor slayer pot running and I wanted to take advantage of it.  I then decided to run the solo quests, The Miller’s Debt and Arachnophobia to knock them out of the way.  Later than night, I logged on with Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul) and I took him through a round of Three Barrel Cove slayers and then out into Tomb of the Crimson Heart on elite.  I actually ran into some problems with Tomb of the Crimson Heart as I was hit pretty hard by one of the traps in there.  But besides that miscue, Harrgon had little difficulty in there.  I believe that the only quest Harrgon needs now is Tomb of the Burning Heart to get access to the Bloody Crypt.

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Garrrin dealing with the drow in the King’s Forest.

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Erdrique hunting out in Cerulean Hills.

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Erdrique looking for the Miller.

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Erdrique working on eliminating the spiders in the crypt.

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Harrgon takes on the enemies of Three Barrel Cove.

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Harrgon making his way through the Tomb of the Crimson Heart.

Wednesday was a pretty light day.  In the morning, I took Cannock (Level 7 Druid) out into Korthos Island to continue to work on his slayers.  Later that afternoon, I kept on with the slayer theme as I logged on with Hamllin who I took out into Searing Heights and was able to locate Smolder, his last rare encounter in that area as well as finishing up his slayer counts, and then I took him out into Sorrowdusk Isle.  After making a circuit through Sorrowdusk Isle I called it a night.

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Cannock wreaking havoc in Korthos Island.

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Hamllin ruining the day for the kobolds in Searing Heights.

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Hamllin working on cleaning up Sorrowdusk Isle.

Thursday was also a really light day.  In fact the only run I was able to get in that day was a slayer run in the morning with my iconic, Tuhnn (Bladeforged, Level 15).  I took Tuhnn out into the Sands of Menechtarun and continued to wrack up some gnoll and undead slayers.

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Tuhnn hunting down some Windlasher gnolls in the Desert.

Not a bad set of runs at all.  I think these weeks where I play a wide variety of levels are the most interesting.  I hope everybody else had a fun week as well and I hope your weekend is even better!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

So That Was Why He Was So Hard to Find…

I find the Searing Heights Wilderness area to be quite an interesting zone.  The mix of drow, the Blood Tide pirates, and wolves creates an interesting dynamic out there.  Hamllin (Level 15 Fighter) just recently finished that area and I have at least one other character, Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk), also exploring the area.  The one thing that Hamllin and Lorrikk had in common with their respective quests in Searing Heights was that they had difficulty in finding the named fire elemental, Smolder, to complete the rare encounter list.

Smolder is always located in a fire cave with the entrance to the cave being located in the Sulatar drow village.  Well at least I would call that portion of the zone as a portion of the village.  In any case, if isn’t there then you have to hope he is there the next time you come into the adventure zone.  Well the other day, I took Hamllin back out there in hopes of coming across the elusive fire elemental.  Luck was on my side this particular instance, as Smolder was there and I didn’t waste time cashing in.

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Hamllin taking advantage of finally coming across Smolder.

As soon as Smolder was defeated, I received a notification that came across my screen.  Evidently by killing Smolder I had actually accrued a new monster manual deed for fire elementals, The deed for “Fire Elemental Hunter” which registers the number of unique fire elementals that you have defeated.  So then it dawned on me that must have been the “real” reason why finding Smolder was so difficult.  He was last fire elemental I needed to advance in that monster manual deed :).  Now it all makes perfect sense.  I wonder if Lorrikk has the same situation…hm…

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Hamllin notices that he received a special award when he took down Smolder.

LOL, that really isn’t the reason why Smolder was such a pain for me to find.  It was purely just dumb luck and that gracious random generator.  I just found it funny that once I did get lucky enough to have him spawn that I also was awarded with a monster manual deed.  Can’t really complain about that :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in Searing Heights!!

Blind Invites? Those Still Happen?

When I first started playing DDO back in April 2006, it wasn’t uncommon to be hit up with “blind” invites.  In case you aren’t familiar with a “blind” invite, it is an invitation from a random player/party leader who wants you to join their group but hasn’t bothered to ask if you have the time or even want to group up.  This used to be especially problematic back for clerics, who were in many cases hounded by “blind” invites.  It taken long before the practice of “blind” invites become a social “no/no” and since then they have died down quite a bit, at least for me.

Well, over the weekend when I was playing with Erdrique (Level 2 Rogue) in Korthos Island, the first thing I noticed when I had logged on was that I was sent a “blind” invite.  I wondered about this for a second, as it popped up even more I moved.  It was like the person who sent the invite was camping out the Who Window or something.  In any case, I scrolled through the Who Window to see what level and class this particular character was and to see if I recognized the guild they were in.  I was thinking that maybe it was an alt of one of my friends or something similar to that.  I didn’t recognize the character or the guild and then was even more confused when I noted that this player was level 25.  Now, why would a level 25 be sending me a random invite?  By the time I looked up the player, the invite had expired and he never shot back another one, but then again I had also already partied up with another guildie.

The same thing happened to be again yesterday when I was playing Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul).  As soon as I had logged on, I had a party invite waiting for me.  I didn’t even have a chance to move before the invite box showed up.  Once again I searched through the Who Window to see if I could recognize the player and I didn’t.  However, I did note that this wasn’t the same person who had tried to invite Erdrique over the weekend.  But this other player/character was still substantially higher than Harrgon, so I have no clue what they were trying to do.

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Harrgon battling through the Tomb of the Crimson Heart after being hit up by a blind invite.

In any case, I didn’t respond the invitation expired.  I didn’t receive another one.  I always despised getting random invites.  I would much rather prefer to either click on a party in the LFM panel, have somebody send me a tell, or put a group up myself.  I just surprised me to see these “blind” invites when I hadn’t been bothered by them in a long time.

Oh well, I guess I need to start preparing myself for the “blind” invites once again.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Taking Note of an Interesting Banner in the Crypt of Gerard Dryden

This past weekend, I took my character Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) into the Catacombs to continue that story arc.  As I was working through the second chapter of that story arc, Duality, I headed off into the quest, The Crypt of Gerard Dryden.  As I was making my way through the crypt and taking care of the hordes of undead mobs in each room, I took note of an interesting banner that was hanging on the wall next to one of the many coffins in the quest.

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Crawlller taking a mental note of that banner besides the coffin in the Crypt of Gerard Dryden.

Now one of the things that I continue to enjoy about DDO, even after playing the game for as long as I have, are noticing these little nuggets of detail in the various landscapes, dungeons, sewers, and crypts.  One of the things I like to do is to speculate about any potential meaning these discoveries could have.  In this particular instance, the banner has five symbols embroidered into it.  The top and bottom symbol appear to be the same design (some type of a shield or tombstone maybe?), the second and fourth symbol appear to be same design as well (some sort of a cross), and the middle symbol is unique and tends to stand out and king of reminds me of a sun or source of holy light.

As I saw this, I wondered if this could somehow represent the whole reason why we are down here exploring this tomb, the Duality.  As you progress through the Catacombs story arc, you learn that the Duality is a belief to involves transitioning from life to the undead.  Gerard Dryden had been studying on this process and became obsessed with it.  I’m wondering if the markings on the banner reflect the “dual” purposes of existence, life and death, and need to preserve that balance by the power of light.  I can easily see the symbols that represent shields/tombstones to represent the dead while the cross type figures could easily represent the living.  The yellowish symbol in the center of the banner could easily be what keeps everything in balance and might represent that light/holy power.

Then again, maybe I just making too much of a simple banner.  I didn’t pay much more attention to see if this banner appears in all of the other rooms or not but this one did catch my eye.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy questing!!

Taking on Korthos, Quest Runs March 20th to March 22nd

Well, as you can imagine, the primary focus for me this past weekend was to experiment with Erdrique (Level 2 Rogue).  However before I did any questing with Erdrique, I logged on with Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) who was scheduled to take a tour through Tangleroot Gorge.  I took Berann through the jungle prior to work to collect some more slayers.  I didn’t log back into the game until Friday night, when I logged in with Erdrique.  I grouped up with Hellbanisher, who had also just recently went through a heroic true reincarnation (that morning/afternoon in fact), and we knocked all of the quests on Korthos Island except for Heyton’s Rest.  We completed The Storehouse Secret, The Cannith Crystal, The Collaborator, Redemption, Stopping the Sahaugin, Necromancer’s Doom, Sacrifices, and Misery’s Peak as well as collecting slayers, rares, and explorers out in Korthos Island.  During these runs, the only quest that gave us any real issues was the Cannith Crystal when one of the cultists got behind us and destroyed the crystal but we did manage to blow throw it on the second attempt.  By the time we finished all of those we were both ready to hit level 2.  We called it a night not to long after those runs.

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Berann hunting around Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique and Hellbanisher lurking in the warehouse.

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Erdrique and Hell working to protect the Cannith Crystal.

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Erdrique and Hellbanisher taking time to get some loot!!

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Erdrique and Hellbanisher exploring Korthos Island.

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Erdrique looking for Lars in Redemption.

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Erdrique and Hellbanisher making their way through the Underground Complex.

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Looking for the lost House Jorasco Noble in the Necromancer’s Lair.

I actually wasn’t scheduled/planing on playing on Saturday because it was the third Saturday of the month which I use as a weekend date night with my wife.  However, my wife wasn’t feeling good and went to bed early that night.  This allowed me to log in with Erdrique and to continue working on collecting slayer counts in Korthos Island.  By the time the night was done, Erdrique had completed the entire slayer area.  He is now ready to put forth all attention to the Stormreach Harbor!!

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Erdrique wracking up slayers in Korthos Island.

On Sunday, I logged on with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger).  Crawlller is patiently working his way through the Catacombs story arc on normal.  I had to start the story arc on normal because Crawlller is one of my characters on my Premium account and doesn’t have the luxury or opening quests on elite.  So I picked up where I left off and headed into the Library to complete The Old Archives and then I head off to complete The Crypt of Gerard Dryden.  I didn’t have any issues with the quests but during the game play I was also drafting up and sending out our guild’s newsletter so that was the only play time I was able to record.

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Crawlller inspects the Old Archives.

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Crawlller explores the crypt of Gerard Dryden.

Not a bad weekend per se.  I’m having fun so far with Erdrique as I’m learning quite a lot about quartstaves and their use in melee combat.  This week I plan on making some ripples in the Harbor and in the Catacombs with Erdrique so we’ll see how it goes.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!