A Look Back, Questing July 27th to July 30th

This past week, I had some fun quest runs that ranged across mid-levels through epics.  I started the week off though with some questing with my spirit shaman, Ragnar, in Neverwinter Nights II.  This was because I couldn’t do my typical morning slayer run on Monday because of the release Update 27 and maintenance were occurring that morning and through the afternoon.  However, by the time I got off work, the servers were updated with latest release and the maintenance was finished so I logged on with Erdrique (Level 15 Rogue) and took him out to do some slayers in the Red Fens and then over to the House Phairlan to do the quest, The Desert Caravan.  The Desert Caravan is the beginning quest that directs our characters to the Sands of Menechtarun, my favorite area :).  Later that night, I logged back on with Erdrique and I eagerly made my way out to the Sands of Menechtarun.  While out there I gathered some slayers and explorers and then hit up the quests: Purge the Fallen Shrine and The Chamber of Kourush.  After some other maintenance tasks after completing these quests I called it a night.

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Ragnar casting a spell on the thugs in Neverwinter.

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Erdrique hunting down some enemies in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique preparing to protect the caravan.

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Erdrique enjoying the moon lit night in the desert.

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Erdrique getting up and personal with a cacodemon (fleshrender) in Purge the Fallen Shrine.

On Tuesday, I logged on with Berann (Level 8 Barbarian) and took him out into Tangleroot Gorge to gather up some more slayers and rares for him during my morning slayer run.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him back into the exotic Restless Isles for some ogre and wildmen hunting practice.  That night, I logged on with Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) and I headed out to the Necropolis and was joined by Helldemons and we knocked out three of the four flagging quests for Necro II: Tomb of the Shadow Guard, Tomb of the Shadow Knight, and Tomb of the Lord.  These were all solid runs.  After we completed those three quests, we both called it a night.  Lorrikk now only needs to finish Tomb of the Shadow King to be ready for the Shadow Crypt.

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Berann making his way through Tangleroot Gorge.

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Hamllin defeating the glass spiders in the underwater caverns of the Restless Isles.

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Lorrikk preparing to enter the quest, Tomb of the Shadow Guard.

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Lorrikk getting annoyed at the umbral worgs in the Tomb of the Shadow Lord.

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Lorrikk and Helldemons making their way through the Tomb of the Shadow Knight.

Wednesday, as usual, was my “short” day of questing.  I did my morning slayer run with Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Magister) who I took out into the King’s Forest prior to me heading off to the office.  The afternoon was devoted to Erdrique, who I logged on and checked his mail and auctions and cleaned up his inventory and caught with that annoying “character maintenance” stuff.  I then took him out to the Lordsmarch Plaza and kicked off the Deception of Stormreach chain and ran the quest Diplomatic Impunity.  I didn’t come across any issues while dealing with the initial assault of Droaam forces.  Looking forward to progressing through this chain and the Attack on Stormreach chain as I collect the monster manual awards for ogres, gnolls, and orcs.

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Rimuldar getting stuck in a bear trap in the King’s Forest.

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Erdrique taking on the dangers of the Skyfall Coast in Diplomatic Impunity.

For Thursday, I logged on with Garrrin (Level 23 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) and took him through the King’s Forest for my morning slayer run.  During the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and took him out into the Restless Isles and collected some more slayers for him out there.  It won’t be much longer until he is finished out there as I believe I’m working on my 1,500 slayer mark, which is the maximum out in Restless Isles.  I will then move Hamllin to complete Ataraxia’s Haven and then he will be off to the Desert :).  Later that night, I logged back on with Garrrin, who has seen quite a bit of action lately considering I played him through the Web of Chaos chain on epic hard last Saturday.  This time, I was joined by Hellsbain and we took on An Offering of Blood and Tomb of the Wizard King on epic hard.  We had a good time moving through those quests and ran into only some minor issues.  After we completed the Wizard King we called it a night.

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Garrrin running into a small bunch of dire bears in the King’s Forest.

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Hamllin exploring the Restless Isles and looking for some ogres.

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Garrrin and Hellsbain fighting the scorrow in An Offering of Blood.

I’m hoping that my runs this weekend will be just as interesting.  I’m hoping to take Erdrique through the Cursed Crypt and more of the Desert quests this weekend.  I also have a number of other level 11 quests I would like to catch up on.  We’ll see how it goes.  I hope everybody else had a good week and I want to wish everybody happy hunting in DDO :)!!

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Taking Somebody Through Something New

Over the past weekend, I had the opportunity to take another Crypt Crawler through some content he hadn’t seen quite yet.  Although my guildie (Dynammo) never stopped paying for his subscription, he did stop playing for while.  He actually stopped playing prior to Menace of the Underdark being released and returned back to the game within the past year or so.  He has actually been exploring in a lot of the quests out in Eveningstar and has created and played around with most (if not all) of the iconic characters.  However, there was still some quests he still hadn’t quite seen yet (not counting Update 27 of course, which was just released after the weekend).  Some of these quests include those in the Web of Chaos chain.

Although Dynammo is pretty active, his playing time is sporadic and depends on gaps of time opening up for him around his personal life.  The vast majority of the time, this prevents me from grouping up with him, however this past weekend was fortuitous because he was able to group with myself and a third guildied, Friedrice.  After some quick discussion about some quests, it turned out that Dynammo had never taken on the Spinner of Shadows and so I suggested running through the Web of Chaos chain on Epic Hard.  I then switched to Garrrin (Level 23 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) and Dynammo switched to his shadar-ki, Lethalix (Level 20).  The three of us then headed out to the harbor and started the quest chain.

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Taking Lethalix into the Lords of Dust and the rest of the Web of Chaos for the firs time.

It was nice to group back up with Lethalix once again.  Lethalix was level 20 while I and Friedrice were level 22.  Friedrice and I took Lethalix through the four quests in the Web of Chaos chain (Lords of Dust, Servants of the Overlord, Spinner of the Shadows, and Beyond the Rift) and showed him around the basics.  We didn’t do all of the optionals in Servants of the Overlord, primarily to help save on frustration and time.  In Lords of Dust, I did tell Let about how you can purify the altars with some classes instead of destroying them, which gives you an additional chest.  It was also pretty fun watching Lethalix scramble around the Spinner’s prison collecting crystals to light the pillars being chased by hezerous.  Although Let did get killed a couple of times, he held up quite well and enjoyed using the whip chain attack!!

Overall, we all had a great time.  By the time we completed the four quests, we all had hit new levels.  Friedrice and I hit level 23 and Lethalix hit level 21.  Hopefully we can get him through the rest of the quests that were released with Menace of the Underdark expansion pack.  I don’t believe Lethalix has done any of those yet.  Not to mention we now have a new update to make our way through :).  Looking forward to having some good times :)!!

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Making the Move

Over the past couple of months, I have been in the process of transferring our guild website from one host to another.  Our previous guild website host was Guild Portal.  However, to Guild Portal’s unreliability and instability I had decided to move to a different guild hosting service.  This was extremely unfortunate.  We had bee with Guild Portal since 2009 and I really enjoyed their service and products.  Guild Portal has a tremendous amount of functionality having forums, blogs, guild banks, character pages, albums, calendar, ability to create widgets, and many other items.  Of course that functionality means absolutely nothing if you can’t access it :(.

In the wake of all of these troubles, I went ahead and started to look at other hosting services.  It basically came down to Enjin and Gamer Launch.  I went ahead and created a guild website at each host and started to learn each website’s functionality.  At the same time I sent an email out to the guild and asked for their opinions.  The websites I created were both on a trial basis and therefore they offered some more functionality than a traditionally free version of there service, which in the end influenced the decision to which host to move too.  When I first created the websites, I liked the look and functionality of Enjin better.  One of our senior guild members also liked Enjin while another senior member liked Gamer Launch initially but then switched his mind back to Enjin (he was having trouble getting Enjin to work on his browser).  The rest of the guild was pretty much indifferent and said they would be comfortable with whatever I decided.

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Our new website at Gamer Launch.

So I let the trial periods end and took another look at both websites.  I then learned that an important part of Enjin’s functionality is a premium service and you lose that service if you are only using a free account.  This just happened to be the primary method of guild coordination, unfortunately.  I’m talking about the calendar.  The calendar at Enjin is only accessible if you have a paid subscription.  This forced me to move over to Gamer Launch for our new new website.  We just needed to have a calendar, at least in my mind.

Even though Gamer Launch wasn’t my initial pick, I haven’t been disappointed.  The only thing I miss right now is the ability for guild members to post in a “shout out” widget, which doesn’t appear to be available in Gamer Launch.  Instead I created a new tab at out Gamer Launch site titled “Shout” where I can post “shout outs” but nobody else.  I’m still working on this and hope to figure something out.  I also learned that Gamer Launch has a blogging tool, not only for each guild member but for each character as well.  This will be nice.  Guild Portal had the ability for a player to create character journals.  Neither Enjin or Gamer Launch had this ability, however I was able to rename my character blog’s as their own journals, essentially duplicating that ability.  That is really nice!!  The forums on Gamer Launch I’m still getting used as well but they seem similar to functionality to Guild Portal.  I’m still learning the functionality of the new host but so far I’m pleased.  The things I haven’t bee able to duplicate completely I have found other ways to get around it.

So I’m hoping my guild website drama will now be done.  I’m now in the tedious process of moving the content from the Guild Port website (characters, forum posts, established links, etc.) to the new website.  One thing I can say about Gamer Launch is that they also seem to have a quick customer turn around as I was responded to via email pretty quickly after I had sent in some questions.  That is nice, especially since Guild Portal staff/service has just disappeared.  The new guild website will continue to grow and I hope to learn more about it as time goes on.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in DDO!!

Some Nice Surprises in the Latest Monster Manual

Update 27 Trials of the Archons was released yesterday and one of the new features what was released with it was a new volume to the monster manual.  I figured that the majority of the monsters that were being added in the latest volume would be primarily centered around the new quests out in Shavarath, focusing mostly on devils and demons.  However, I was quite surprised yesterday when I logged in with Erdrique (Level 15 Rogue) and took him into the Desert Caravan and noticed a monster manual deed going off for scorrow, but then I thought that it meant for scorpions and I had read it wrong.  After I completed the quest I then took a look at what new additions that were added to the monster manual and saw that scorrow were indeed now a part of it.

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Erdrique taking note of the scorrow he has killed.

I surprised to see this and then I realized that this was going to be a nice little boost for me because I have just now made my way over to the Sands of Menechtarun to run those quests, which have quite a good number of scorrow.  I then scrolled some of the others and noticed that other entries included gnolls (another pleasant surprise for me since gnolls are all over the Desert), ogres (finally!!), iron golems, ice flensers, warforged titans, succubi, water elementals, hellcats, and liches.  Definitely not a bad little mix of old monsters and new.  Although I just completed the quest And the Dead Shall Rise last week so I missed out on getting Validus (a lich) but the Wiz-King still awaits me :).  In any case I’m looking forward to gaining these deeds as I make may way through the Desert.  Now if we could only get drow and hyenas added then it would be even better!! 😛

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

A Lot of Questing Over the Weekend, Quest Runs July 24th to July 26th

This past weekend was full of questing :).  I kicked things off by taking Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) out into the Tangleroot Gorge for some relatively swift slayer runs prior to work on Friday morning.  I did miss my afternoon run, as my wife and I went out to eat for dinner on Friday afternoon but I made it up back on up on later that night.  I logged on with Erdrique (Level 15 Rogue)  and joined up with Khamels and Hellbanisher.  We then made our way over to the Necropolis to take on the Tomb of the Tormented, Tomb of the Forbidden, Tomb of the Blighted, and Tomb of the Unhallowed.  We started out with the most annoying of the four quests, Tomb of the Tormented.  As I was moving a rat through the second maze, Hellbanisher lost connect and later I got an out-of-game message from him saying that his house had lost power.  So Khamels and I continued and we finished up the four flagging quest for the Cursed Crypt, which is planned to be taking on next Friday.  After we completed those quests I hit level 15 with Erdrique and then leveled up after which I called it a night.

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Erd and Khamels dealing with the annoyance of Tomb of the Tormented.

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Erdrique fighting the mephits of the Tomb of the Forbidden.

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Erdrique having to deal with undead casters in Tomb of the Blighted.

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Fighting the mummy boss of the Tomb of the Unhallowed.

I got on a little earlier than normal on Saturday night because my wife was out babysitting for a friend.  I logged on with Erdrique and I took him out into the Red Fens for his turn at acquiring the slayers out there.  I complete one circuit out in those bogs and then realized that I needed to upgrade my Spare Hand and Ring of the Stalker and headed off to the do some Cannith Challenges.  I then ran through Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Picture Portals.  After a run through Dr. Rushmore’s mansion, I then went back out to the Red Fens and that was when a few other Crawlers logged on.  Gutterat and Khamels logged in and after a little bit of guild chatting, we decided to run the Web of Chaos Chain on epic hard.  Gutterat hadn’t played through this particular quest line yet since he had returned to the game, although he had run a number of the quests out in Eveningstar.  So Gutterat switched to his Shadar-kai, Lethalix (Level 20) and Khamels switched to his level 22 ranger, Friedrice.  I then logged out and brought on Garrrin (Level 22 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) and we headed off to Lords of Dust.  We rolled through Lords of Dust on epic hard and had some watching Lethalix figure out where the taps were.  Servants of the Overlord went pretty well too, as I was expecting on having some trouble in there.  However, I was pleasantly surprised as we moved through the drow, spiders, and raksashas will little problems.  The Spinnter of Shadows took us a little longer as we had to wait for the spiders to spawn who drop the crystals to relight the torches, but overall it wasn’t a problem either.  The last quest, Beyond the Rift, was also relatively easy, and I was glad to have Lethalix with us to disarm the numerous spell wards.  After we made our way through the Rift and back to Evenigstar to get our rewards, I then called it a night.  It was a good night and I was glad to take Lethalix through some quests he hadn’t seen before.

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Erdrique floating around in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique making his way through Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion in Picture Portals.

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Garrrin taking note of the travels through the Lords of Dust.

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Garrrin getting up close and personal of a fireball from a raksashasa lord.

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Garrrin noticing an eerie crevice on the way to the Spinner of Shadows.

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Garrrin battling the drow in Beyond the Rift.

Sunday was relatively quiet compared to Friday and Saturday but still quite active.  I logged on with Charlock (Level 14 Fighter) and decided to take him into the Ruins of Threnal where I completed the Threnal Arena.  I was little embarrassed to get destroyed by the last beholder but I got my revenge when I came back and took him down.  I then joined up with Khamels and we headed off for the Eastern Excavation and completed the quests: The Library of Threnal, Escort the Expedition, and Hold for Reinforcements.  After we completed Threnal East we decided to head over to Ataraxia’s Haven and to complete the quest Reclamation.  After we convinced the Duergar to leave the mineshaft, I logged out and called it a night.

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Charlock battling in the arena in Threnal.

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Charlock and Khamels looking for the library in Eastern Excavation.

So, definitely a nice set of quests this past weekend and little bit of a shift in my questing where I didn’t stay with Erdrique for the majority of the time  But it was good to group up with Lethalix.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Now That is a Familiar Banner

Awhile back, I wrote a blog post wondering about a particular banner I noticed while running the The Crypt of Gerard Dryden with my low level ranger, Crawlller (Level 6).  I had originally thought that this banner was some type of indication of the Duality, that Dryden family has been trying to understand.  However, now I’m not so sure.  Over the weekend, I took Erdrique (Level 15 Rogue) into the Tomb of the Forbidden and the Tomb of the Unhallowed and came across the same exact banner.

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Erdrique coming across a familiar banner.

When I noticed the banner in the Tomb of the Unhallowed I also noticed that it was behind a large symbol of the Sovereign Host.  This made me wonder a little more about this particular banner.  Its kind of unusual to see the same banner being represented in two different religious orders.  I’m not quite sure what to make of this.  Symbols on the banner don’t really represent anything I can think of for either the Silver Flame or the Sovereign Host, which is why I was originally thinking it was symbol for the Duality.  Most likely as some type of a warning to those who venture into Gerard Dryden’s Crypt.  However, with this banner present in the Necropolis, this seems to break down.  The Necropolis is ancient burial ground for the elite of Stormreach before Delera’s Graveyard was established.  This suggests to me that this tomb has been here much longer than the Catacombs in the Marketplace.

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Erdrique coming across the banner again in the Tomb of the Unhallowed nicely placed behind the symbol of the Sovereign Host.

There is one possible explanation, which opens up some interesting thoughts.  I’m wondering if the Dryden family ancestors, when they migrated to Stormreach, learned of the Duality and discovered that the secrets were within the ancient tombs of the Necropolis.  Perhaps Gerard Dryden was lured out into the Necropolis and explored the tombs to learn what he could and as a result he brought the banner back to the Catacombs during the early days of Stormreach.  This also makes one wonder if the Abott was using the Dryden family in some fashion to further his ascension to godhood.  This is a very loose link between the Catacombs and the Necropolis but it does hold some intriguing thoughts.

In any case, it was just something I noticed this weekend.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Necropolis!!

Haven’t Encountered That Before

This past week, I was running through the King’s Forest with Wapoyei (Level 24 Cleric/Unyielding Sentinel) and had Dirtyrice (another guildie) with me.  We were making our way to the quest, The Lost Thread when we came across an encounter,  The encounter we came across was called Lights Out (Investigate the Suspicious Tree).  As we approached we had to deal with a little swarm of Will-o-Wisps.

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Wapoyei approaching the mysterious tree.

Once we defeated the Will-o-Wisps we continued on when something strange happened.  Well at least to me.  We came across the same random rare encounter again, Lights Out.  I haven’t seen this before in a single wilderness instance.

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And we have another mysterious tree.

I didn’t realize the newer explorer zones had the ability to respawn those encounters you have already completed during the same instance.  I wonder if this applies to all of them or to only a few of them.  Definitely very interesting.  I guess I need to run around the King’s Forest, The High Road, Storm Horns, and Wheloon a little more than I currently have.  I’m always learning something new in game :).

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the King’s Forest!!