Very Busy Weekend, Questing August 28th to August 30

This past weekend was busier that normal for me in game.  I was able to take advantage of some breaks during Saturday and Sunday to run some challenges to get some ingredients for some of my other characters.  The weekend started by taking Garrrin (Level 23 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) out into the deep woods of the King’s Forest out in Eveningstar.  I might need to do a dedicated night with some of my characters to catch up on their slayer areas, including Garrrin.  I’m thinking that maybe I can rotate every third night to be a slayer/explorer run.  We’ll see, something to ponder.  My questing continued that afternoon when I logged on with Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) and I took him into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) and then into the quest Feast or Famine.  I ran Feast or Famine on elite and no issues at all making my way through it.  I took a break after that run and logged back in with Erdrique later on Friday night.  The first thing I did on Friday night was a slayer run through the Red Fens.  Although Erdrique is nearly level 18, I have well over 5,000 slayers and just want to max the Red Fens out.  After that slayer run, I then took Erdrique out into the Sands of Menechtarun and ran through Against the Demon Queen (Pre-Raid).  I was kind of nervous to run through this.  On Thursday, I had taken Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) through Against the Demon Queen and I had some help from Khamels but we still struggled through the end fight with Lailat.  I found myself more on the floor then actually fighting her.  However, Erdrique didn’t have the same issues.  In fact, Erdrique never did get tripped up which saved quite a bit of frustration.  In the end the quest was relatively a non-issue for Erdrique.  After that run, I then decided to do the challenge, Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door to get some ingredients and then I headed out to the Lordsmarch Plaza where I ran the quest Seigebreaker on elite.  I was also curious to see how this quest run would do as well but I had no problems with this quest (which is the capstone to the Attack on Stormreach Chain).  One thing I forgot to do was to get a fireball wand to light up some tents to spawn one of the medusas but I was able to use a gnoll warpriest to cast flamestrike to get them lighted.  Overall, it was a pretty productive Friday night.

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Garrrin fighting the drow in the King’s Forest.

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Erdrique making his way to Feast or Famine and finds Captain Two Stone on the way in the Gianthold.

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Erdrique fighting the orcs in Feast or Famine.

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Erdrique hunting in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique making his way through the desert on the way to fight Lailat.

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Erdrique fighting against Lailat.

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Erdrique coming across Ugg in Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door.

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Erdrique taking care of the medusa in Seigebreaker.

Saturday was also a productive night.  I started the day by running some Cannith Challenges.  I was reviewing the list of potential awards the other day and have decided to work on gathering some of these items for my druid, Cannock (Level 7).  To gather these ingredients I decided to use Erdrique and I took him into the first challenge, Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.  After a short break, I then ran Erdrique through Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos.  As I was finishing up that run, Khamelbush logged in and then helped me with a second run through Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos.  I then didn’t get a chance to log back in until later Saturday night.  The first thing I did was to work on some crafting levels so I worked on building some new shards to raise my various crafting levels.  I then took Erdrique through another circuit of the Red Fens collecting those slayers.  I then headed back out into Ruins of Gianthold and then took on the quest Trial By Fire on elite.  After defeating the Blackheart trolls, I headed off to do another challenge, this time it was the Lava Caves: Time is Money.  Once the challenge was completed I headed back out to Ruins of Gianthold and completed the Maze of Madness on elite.  When Maze of Madness was completed, I flipped back over to the challenges and ran Lava Caves: Time is Money once again.  I then closed out the night by running Mired in Kobolds on elite and taking out the two named black dragons and was fortunate enough to even get a black dragon scale :).

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Erdrique battling a giant in the Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.

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Erd watching his Taken trying to attack the lantern archon in Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos.

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Erdrique moving to protect the extractor in Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos.

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Erdrique working on his crafting levels in the crafting hall.

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Erdrique coming across Beacon in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique making his way through the Stormheart camps on his way to Trial by Fire.

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Erdrique preparing to take on the ancient arachnids in the Troll Lair.

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Erdrique directing the kobolds in the Lava Caves: Time is Money.

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Erdrique making his way to Maze of Madness and running into Tarmor.

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Erdrique and his owlbear dealing with the wolves in the Lava Caves: Time is Money.

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Erdrique making his way through Mired in Kobolds.

On Sunday, I logged in once during the afternoon and took Erdrique through another challenge, this time completing the Extraplanar Palace: Buying TIme.  That night, I logged on with Charlock (Level 15 Fighter) and I took him through the Red Fens, as he is currently working on that slayer area as well.  I then took him into the quest Fathom the Depths on elite and defeated the sahaughin invaders.  I then decided to have Charlock under a challenge, this one being the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.  I called it a night after that.

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Erdrique fighting Salteska in the Extraplanar Palace: Buying Time.

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Charlock taking out the sahuagin in the Red Fens.

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Interesting sight in Fathom the Depths.

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Charlock protecting his kobolds in the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.

Overall, it was definitely a challenge type weekend.  This happened to work out well as the bonus days this past weekend was for a 50% increased in challenge rewards :).  In any case, it was a nice weekend and a nice set of runs.  I hope everybody else had some good runs as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting.

A Look at Mired in Kobolds

It has been a rather busy weekend for my main character, Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue).  One of the quests he knocked out this weekend is Mired in Kobolds.  Mired in Kobolds is an interesting quest in that it is perhaps the earliest quest where you get to battle a dragon (excluding Auraxylion from the Extraplanar Palace Challenges or Velah from the Vault of Night Raid).  The quest giver for Mired in Kobolds is Smiley Smythe, who is located in open air tavern in the Twelve.  Smiley tells you that his caravan was ambushed by a bad of nasty and powerful kobolds.  Needless to say, he is very upset about the incident and wishes to get revenge, therefore he asks for some help.  He also tells us that these kobolds are not your average kobold and are much more powerful than their sewer dwelling cousins.  To get to the quest you simply click the wagon that is behind him and it transports you to the Driftwood Mire.

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Erdrique in the Driftwood Mire dealing with the swamp fang kobolds.

Mired in Kobolds is a level 13 quest on normal, making a level 15 quest on elite.  The area you are transported too, the Driftwood Mire, is nothing more than a swampy type landscape.  Although area looks to be quite expansive, the map is limited to a narrow pathway through the swamp.  As the quest implies, you come across plenty of kobolds.  However, as Smiley has warned, these kobolds are quite strong and have within their ranks heavily armored warriors, powerful shamans, and annoying throwers.  The most powerful of the kobolds include the black scaled kobold fighters and the black scaled kobold shamans.  The shamans will heal their comrades so it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.  The other kobolds are swamp fang kobolds which are more powerful than the typical kobold but not nearly as strong as the black scaled kobolds.

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Interesting crystals in the Driftwood Mire.

Scattered throughout the Driftwood Mire are a number of unstable red crystals.  These crystals appear to be a source of power for these kobolds.  Be extremely careful when dealing with these crystals.  In many instances the crystals are surrounded by black scaled shamans and they will through lightning at you.  When the crystals are destroyed, they tend to destroy, or to severely hurt, anything that is around them.  It is best to range them whenever possible.  The crystals need to be destroyed because they all control barriers that are released when the crystals break.

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Taking out the crystals from a distance.

There aren’t any true traps in the quest.  The crystals will do some damage to you and stun you if you get to close to them when they exploded and there are patches of thick and spikey overgrowth that will also inflict damage on you so it is why to say out those patches.  There are a few optionals in the quest, two of which require you to cull out the kobold tribe.  One of the optionals is to rescue a wayward prisoner, who just happens to be a certain Wayfinder you have met before, Dael.  Dael supposedly was captured on her way to taking the Seal of Shan-to-Kor to the city of Sharn.  The fourth optional is a special one, where you will be give the opportunity to take on an elder black dragon.

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Look who I found.

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So this is who is leading these kobolds.

Speaking of dragons, as you make your way to the end of the Mire you come across a barrier that is supported by more crystals and behind that barrier is a number of kobolds and a young black dragon, Varath.  Varath is the first dragon our adventurers come across in a standard quest.  Once the crystals are taken down a portal pops up that allows you to warp through the barrier to fight Varath.  Now, this fight is extremely tricky.  The kobolds in Varath’s area include those black scale kobold fighters and shamans.  It is best to take these out as soon as possible, especially the shamans.  Varath uses a number of attacks, including his acid breath attack, tail slaps, and bites.  The area he is in is also littered with those spikey growth plants that do damage to you.  Varath is a tenacious and arrogant fighter but he appears to be easily intimidated as my owlbear seemed to have no problem getting his attention, allowing me to flank and sneak attack.

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Erdrique flanking Varath in Mired in Kobolds.

After Varath is killed the quest is completed.  At that point you will have access to a number of chests and gold mounds as well as see a shrine emerge.  You also notice that some other quests are still warded and cannot be opened.  At this point you need to decide to stay or leave.  Although the quest is completed, it isn’t over.  In a few minutes after Varath is killed, a huge ancient black dragon arrives, Sinvala.  Sinvala is the mother to Varath and she isn’t pleased to see her son slaughtered by regular mortals.  Shortly after she appears the shrine disappears and she hops down to lay down her own furious attack.  To make things worse, a number of skeleton archers will spawn making this encounter even that much more interesting.  Like Varath, Sinvala loves to use her breath weapon, tail sweeps, and bites.  She is much stronger and has a whole lot more hit points than her son and this fight can drag on for quite some time.  I usually take the skeletons as soon as possible so they aren’t harassing me and then focus entirely on her.  If you defeat her, the other worded chests will open up to you.

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Erdrique is now thinking that sticking around wasn’t a wise idea.

This quest is definitely quite a challenge but the challenge really only occurs at the end fight.  Another thing to note about this quest, is that you have a small chance to get a black dragon scale.  I was actually fortunate enough to get one after I defeated Sinvala :).  In any case, if you want a challenging end fight, check out this quest.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Driftwood Mire!!

Loot From Breakables Versus Chests

I have mentioned this a couple of times in other blog posts, how I enjoy the change that was put into DDO awhile back where you have a chance of getting some nice loot from breakables, which encourages players to take a few seconds to destroy barrels, crates, and vases.  However, relatively recently I have been noticing that I have been getting better loot out of these breakables that in the quests.  An example of this was when I took Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) through the Demon Queen Pre-raid (Against the Demon Queen).  As we made our way through the quest, I broke a stone jug (or ornate jug or vase, whatever is on the platform with all the efreeti that spiders out into the individual paths) and I had a pretty nice longsword drop.  It was a +3 Poison Longsword of Draining.

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Hamllin finding a pretty nice longsword in a jug in Against the Demon Queen.

However, what I realized as we limped out way through the fight with Lailat at the end of the quest, was that this was the best item I looted through the quest.  We got three chests, the one hidden behind a wall with the wildmen, the one underwater, and the end chest (I forgot to go back and get the chest at the scorrow) and I realized that none of the loot I found in those chests was as nice as this randomly created item from a breakable.  I then noticed later while playing with Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) that a Dexterous +6 Belt dropped for him from a crate in Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door which was the best item I came across from supply chests I received when I completed the quest.  Just reinforces my notion to remember to get those breakables destroyed for the potential loot they may drop.  Although I am worried if this will be the source of my “better” loot as opposed to the chests.  Maybe I just have some weird random loot rolls going at the moment!!

In any case, don’t forget to break those crates, barrels, vases, and jugs.  They might be the source of your best loot for a given quest run!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Some Tough Runs This Week, Questing August 24 to August 27

Over this past week, my quest runs ranged from the level 7 to 23.  However, I had to runs in particular that pretty much defined the week for me, a run through Haywire’s Foundry on epic hard and another run through Against the Demon Queen on heroic elite.  To start out the week, I took Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) out into Sorrowdusk Isle for some slayer runs.  I currently have a number of characters that are currently stalled at Sorrowdusk Isle.  Lorrikk is steadily collecting his slayers and I’m hoping to push him through the rest relatively soon.  We’ll see how well that goes.  I missed my afternoon run but took advantage of of my time while I was logged into our digital PNP game session and I logged in with Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) and I took him through the tricky quest Undermine on elite.  This particular run was the beginning of my rough week questing, as I was killed, unexpectedly by a champion gnoll war priest.  But I did raise myself up and did power my way back through the quest for a completion.  I then reviewed my schedule and saw that I was planning on running Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) that night so I logged out with Erdrique and back in with Kolll.  Kolll is currently working on the Vault of Night series on epic hard and the last time I had him on I had attempted to make my way through Haywire’s Foundry on epic hard.  I had decided to try it again.  The last time I had tried to completed VON 4, I had run out of time.  I didn’t have any issues, it just took me too long.  So this time, I decided to try to move through the quest a little more quickly.  I had already lost time because I had logged on with Erdrique first so that didn’t help my situation either.  Well, this time I didn’t fair as well with Kolll as I took him into the Haywire’s Foundry on epic hard.  I was a little more reckless than I should have been and was killed as I was making my way out of room with the second lever to open up the rest of quest.  It was getting late as well so I didn’t chance to complete it again.  I will have to make sure I devote enough time to this run in the future.  So that closed out my night on Monday.

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Lorrikk fighting the ogres in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique dealing with some huge and powerful earth elementals in Undermine.

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Kolll taking down the lightning guards in VON 4.

On Tuesday, I started a morning slayer run with Crawlller (Level 7 Ranger) who I discovered needed to go through a quick level up after some slayers out in Tangleroot Gorge.  After Crawlller collected some slayers out there and after I leveled him up I logged out and didn’t log back into until later on that night.  I had missed my afternoon run again but since I was scheduled to take Hamllin (Level 16) through Ataraxia’s Haven I decided to log in during my night play session to start things out on Tuesday night.  I collected some more slayers and all of the rares except for one with Hamllin, as he is currently missing the rust monster.  After I took Hamllin through a circuit of the Haven, I then logged on with Kanndar (Level 12 Paladin) who I was supposed to run that night.  Kanndar is working on the Necro II quests so I took him out into the Tomb of the Shadow Knight.  I didn’t have any issues out there but by the time I finished I only had a short amount of time left to play so I did some slayer runs through Sorrowdusk Isle where he picked up a few more rares and he only needs one more rare encounter, that being the gargoyle.  I then called it a night.

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Crawlller continuing his hunting in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Time to relax in Ataraxia’s Haven.

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Kanndar fighting the mummy in the Tomb of the Shadow Knight.

 photo Kanndar fighting Teargon in SI_zpslzhzj1ie.jpgKanndar coming across Teargon in Sorrowdusk Isle.

Wednesday was a good day for Erdrique.  However, before I played Erdrique, I had logged on with Berann (Level 8 Barbarian) and I took him further into Tangleroot Gorge for some slayers.  But the real highlight for me was on Wednesday afternoon.  I had originally planned on taking Erdrique out into the Ruins of Gianthold but decided I wanted to finish upgrading my Spare Hand and Ring of the Stalker so I ran through the Cannith Challenge Kobold Island: This Disruptor twice.  Those two runs gave me enough ingredients to complete my upgrade.  So as soon as I finished those two runs, I headed over finished those upgrades.  I then called it a night because Wednesday is my weekly date night with my wife.  I look forward to taking Erdrique out into the Gianthold over the weekend though to see his new stuff in action.

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Berann getting surrounded by spiders in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique taking out some thieving kobolds on Kobold Island.

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Erdrique heading over to start an extractor in Kobold Island: This Disruptor.

Now Thursday was a little rough.  I started the day by taking Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Magister) out into the dark woods of the King’s Forest to battle some drow invaders.  My afternoon run went smoothly, as I took Hamllin through another circuit of Ataraxia’s Haven.  The most interesting run, and the most troublesome, of the week was with Hamllin later that night.  I was scheduled to play Hamllin on Thursday night and I had planned on completing Against the Demon Queen on elite.  I had some help with me, as Khamels was also flagged and needed the same quest on elite as well.  So we headed off into the Sands of Menechtarun and made our way to Queen Lailat’s court.  We made our way through the majority of the quest will little issues.  We had into some difficulty with the wildmen mages and we party wiped at that point but I released and came back in and the we cleared them out.  We went ahead and collected the optional slayers as well before opening the passage up to Lailat and the only other problem we had prior to fighting Lailat was forgetting about the dang traps in the mephit ward.  However, we didn’t wipe in those traps and we successfully blasted our way through the efreeties, flesh renders, and fire reavers to make it to Lailat.  We defeated her rhaksasha and her guards and then the real fun began.  We ran into multiple issues dealing with Lailat as she was constantly knocking myself and Khamels on our but.  We almost had her sent back to the hidden room when she finally took us out.  This was actually fortuitous.  It turns out that Khamels was experience capped because he had banked level 17 but was one point away from his 86th action point.  So he recalled and leveled up 17 to allow him to gain some experience and then he came back and summoned forth his owlbear.  He then got myself back up and I summoned my owlbear as well.  With our clerics and our owlbears we were able to send Lailat to the other room behind the throne room and then we teleported to her.  We then knocked her down to just a slither when she knocked us back down and we wiped again.  This time I released and came back in and teleported back to her with my owlbear and my cleric hireling to finish her off.  So, needless to say, it was a rough quest but I still got over 18,000 experience for the quest completion, even after entering twice.  It was definitely an interesting night.

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Rimuldar and his minions hunting in the King’s Forest.

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Hamllin noting the razor cat trying to be sneaky in Ataraxia’s Haven.

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Hamllin taking out some scorrow on his way to face off against Lailat.

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Hamllin coming across a fine sword out of a stone jug in Against the Demon Queen and being hounded by an effreeti.

So, those were my runs this past week.  I hope everybody else had some exciting runs as well.  I also hope everybody has a great weekend.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Pondering My Reincarnation Strategies

My main character Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) is currently working his way through his heroic lives on his way to completionist.  So far, I have completed  paladin, fighter, ranger, cleric, barbarian, druid, and monk lives with my next plan to do a bard life.  One thing I have noticed over the last few lives is that I tend to reach level 20 well before I get out of the Gianthold area.  This generally means that I’m undergoing a heroic true reincarnation before I even get out into the Orchard, the Vale of Twilight, Harbinger of Madness, and many other quest packs.  The reason why this occurs is primarily the method I used to run quests.  Unlike many players who tend to look for the most efficient route to get through their past lives, I like to learn and adjust to my new class and to explore the variety of the quests we have in game, whether or not they are high experience quests or not.  So I typically just tend to sort my Adventure Compendium by quest level and then start to down the row of quests in order.  Combine this with the experience you gain from the Monster Manual, the daily and weekly dice rolls, bravery bonus streaks, greater tome of learning, experience potions, daily experience bonus, VIP bonus, experience bonus weekends, completing challenges, and completing explorer zones generally allows me to hit level 20 well before I get out of the Gianthold.  For instance, Erdrique is at level 17 (with level 18 banked) and he still has yet to complete Against the Demon Queen Pre-raid (level 14 on elite) and  Seigebreaker (level 15 on eilte).  I actually plan on knocking these out this weekend.

Now, I knew that this would most likely be the case, that I would level up to 20 before hitting a good chunk of the later content (in terms of level).  However, I expected that I would still be playing through those quests that Erdrique tended to miss with my other characters.  But, what I have found instead is that my other characters are running into their own “out leveling” situations.  Most of my characters are single life characters that have lesser experience tomes applied to them but they tend to out level quests as I go up the line in my Compendium as well and I tend to play them much, much less.  So I’m still getting not getting into those quests between the Gianthold and through to Eveningstar.

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Erdrique making his way to an extractor on Kobold Island.  He is level 17 now and it is time to re-evaluate his plan through his reincarnation path.

I then also realized something else the other day.  Shortly after I hit level 17 with Erdrique, I went to check my shared bank to see how many Tokens of the Twelve and Fragments of Tokens of the Twelve I had.  I noticed that I only seem to have a few hundred in my bank.  Now it is possible that my epic characters (Wapoyei, Rimuldar, Larrs, Sludgge, Koll, and Garrrin) have a number of fragments in their ingredients bags but they won’t have enough for me to get the 20 Tokens I need to for my next Heart of Wood which means I will have to play Erdrique through some epic levels to gain those fragments.  So, this makes we wonder if I should change my reincarnation strategy.

Before epic and iconic reincarnations were developed, I was content with hitting level 20 and starting back over.  I wanted to keep that process after epic and iconic reincarnations were released primarily because I was already used to doing what I had planned and once I create a plan I like to stick to it.  I also was hesitant to quest all the way up to level 28 and getting the Karma I need to do an epic reincarnation and then quickly undergoing a heroic true reincarnation.  However, I’m beginning to rethink this strategy.  If I go ahead and start doing an epic reincarnation as well as heroic reincarnation I will be able to experience more of the questing experience with Erdrique, I will gain more experience with that particular class as well as the quests, I will earn another set of abilities to use during heroic reincarnations, and I can work on gathering fragments and seeds at the same time.  However, the big drawbak is the time it will take for me to grind out that extra experience from level 20 to level 28 (and soon up to level 30).

I’m going to have to give this some more thought and see how it goes.  I was actually planning on this type of path with Hamllin, who is my only other reincarnated character.  Hamllin only has one past life and is in a perfect position to play with this type of mindset.  I guess it all depends on strategy and which I think is more efficient to do.  My original plan for Erdrique was when he finished his heroic lives he would then focus on epic reincarnations.  Maybe it is time to start combining these together.  Looks like I have some planning to work on in the near future :).

Thinking About Auraxylion and His Recruiting Mechanics

Over the past few months, I have been running quite a number of Cannith Challenges lately.  In particular, I have been running the three challenges that are based on the Extraplanar Palace.  These include the challenges The Dragon’s Hoard, Labor Shortage, and Buying Time.  The Extraplanar Palace is a wondrous building that has been created by the powerful spectral dragon, Auraxylion.  The Extraplanar Palace is located between the various planes and is basically Auraxylion’s home and repository for his crystal hoard.

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Taking on Auraxylion in the Extraplanar Palace.

One thing that I noticed while running through these challenges is that the enemies you encounter in the Extraplanar Palace are quite a mix of creatures.  The majority of these creatures are outsiders of one sort or another.  What makes this even more interesting, is that some of these outsiders are known to not to be too friendly with each other.  Some of the outsider enemies you will encounter include mephits, ice flensers, fire reavers, succubi, jariliths, and yugoloth arcanaloth casters.  There are also three powerful boss outsiders that may appears roaming around including Devashta (a red named Marilith), Salteshka (an orange named rhaksasha), and Graezil (orange named hag).  There appears to be only one type of enemy that you will come across that doesn’t appear to be an outsider and those are the animated armors (constructs) that you encounter frequently throughout the palace.

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Erdrique tripping Salteskha in Extraplanar Palace.

Taking a look at this interesting set of monsters, I wondered how Auraxylion was able to pull together these powerful and prideful outsiders together and better yet how he was able to get them to work with each other.  I would think that a spectral dragon such as Auraxylion would be able to build an army composed of more “agreeable” monsters.  Perhaps those type of monsters that would hold dragons in high esteem or are known to be comparative would have been more of a wise decision.  Auraxylion must have a powerful incentive for these monsters to work together.  I’m guessing that these monsters have either left or have been banished from their original plane or homeworld and Auraxylion has found a way to recruit these wayward troops into his service.  I’m also wondering if Auraxylion has somehow established a alliance with the demons in Shavarath and maybe that explains why Devashta and Salteska are within the palace.  They could be acting as emissaries for him.

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Battling some of the animated armors in the Extraplanar Palace.

In either case, his ability to recruit these forces is quite impressive and is a testament to his strength and his abilities.  I’m also guessing that the animated armors belong to those would be raiders and adventurers who suffered a slow and agonizing death at the teeth of Auraxylion and now have been raised and animated by Auraxylion to support his outsider army.  A nice little addition to his forces indeed.

 photo Erd battling the mephits and flenser in Labor Shortage_zpsycdju8yc.jpg

Taking on the ice flensers and mephits of the Extraplanar Palace.

It is interesting to think about the possible ties Auraxylion has to the other areas we have come across in our adventuring.  I wonder if this will be explored further.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Extraplanar Palace.

There Are Just Those Quests…

I have come to realize something relatively recently.  What I realized is that there are just those quests where no matter how well you plan or how well you know the quest you are just destined to get killed.  These quests vary from player to player, and possibly even from character to character, but nonetheless they definitely occur.  For me, this particular quest appears to be Undermine. I just don’t quite get it.  Anytime I run this quest, I suffer a humiliating defeat in one way or another.  I just took Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) through Undermine and found myself as a soul stone more than halfway through the quest.  Undermine is part of the Attack on Stormreach Quest Chain.  This chain includes the quests Assault on Summerfiled, Blockade Buster, and the capstone quest, Seigebreaker.  You can run the three quests prior to the capstone in any order but if you do follow the story line then Undermine will be the third quest in the chain.

Undermine is a devious quest.  It centers around the forces of Droaam bulding a very rough and unstable tunnel to conduct a surprise attack on Stormreach through the Lordsmarch Plaza and Palace.  The quest begins with your character defeating the initial waves of Droaam troops and then hopping own into the tunnel to thwart any other further attempts at an invasion.  The initial invading force is composed of Droaam gnolls, orcs, half-orcs, and orges.  When you enter the tunnel, you have to deal with these same enemies and more including the various Droaam kobolds and some angry earth elementals.  There are also a few other optional monsters to encounter.  As you character makes their way through the mine, you learn that the chief engineer is a wicked kobold who has no qualms sacrificing his brethren to save his own hide.

 photo Erd and his owlbear dealing with kobolds of Droaam_zpst44u4tmo.jpg

Erdrique and his little party making their way through Undermine prior to him getting killed.

Undermine has a few features that make the quest somewhat unique.  First off, as you chase the chief engineer, he will create miniature blockades that will require you to find and obtain other explosives that need to be charged and placed to blow the rubble away so you can continue on.  One thing to note here, is that if you don’t move you’ll blow yourself up as well.  Now this mechanic isn’t new and is in a few other quests but it is unique to this chain of quests.  The other unique feature is the huge minefield you have to cross to get to the end of the tunnel.  You eventually come upon a very large minefield where you have three different methods to cross it: 1). blow up the mines with various charges (same as those used to blow up the rubble), 2), disable them with a ton of thieves tools, or 3), jump on the ledges that are littered throughout the minefield.  Oh to top that off the minefield is also full of Droaam forces on the ledges waiting to harass you.  You could also try to run across the minefield assuming you have a high reflex save and evasion but I wouldn’t do this route.  In any case, I tend to get killed her most often as I attempt to blow up the mines and always wind up missing one.  Although I admit, I didn’t get killed here doing this last run.  The next and final unique feature of this quest, is the large rolling boulder that comes down upon you, very much like what happens to Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  You eventually hit a specific spot in the tunnel when the a huge boulder is unleashed and sill smash you unless you move off the side quick enough or destroy it (destroying it is actually an optional objective).

The combination of these situations and the enemies you encounter make the quest interesting.  What killed me during this particular run through was a gnoll warpriest champion.  I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realized that the champion was there and before I new it I was a soul stone after taking its punishing magical attacks.  I actually got killed just before the minefield.  However, I was able to get back up and to limb my way through the rest of the quest.  Although my pride was broken, I did make it through the quest.

In either case, Undermine is just that quest.  No matter what, I end up as a soulstone at least once during that quest.  If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend it.  It is interesting and has its funny moments as well as its frustrating moments.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Undermine!!

Challenge Type Weekend, Quest Runs Aug 21 to Aug 23

Over the weekend, I ran quite a number of challenges with Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) as I continue to work on gathering ingredients to upgrade my Spare Hand and Ring of the Stalker.  However, prior to hitting up those challenges, I started my questing on Friday morning by taking Charlock (Level 14 Fighter) out into the Red Fens.  Charlock is slowly gaining ground out there with his slayers but still has a long way to go before he maxes that area out.  I didn’t get a chance to log on during the afternoon but to make up for that quest run I missed, to start the Friday night out, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him out through Ataraxia’s Haven to hunt down some more rares and slayers.  After I moved Hamllin through Ataraxia’s Haven, I then logged on with Erdrique and took him for his slayer run out into the Red Fens.  Erdrique is much further along that Charlock and is well over 5,000 slayers.  It shouldn’t take him much longer to get to that 7,500 slayer mark.  I then too Erdrique into the Cannith Challenge Extraplanar Palace: Dragon’s Hoard and then I took him into the Lordsmarch Plaza and the Harbor to complete the quest Blockade Buster on elite.  I called it a night after the I took down the Droaam blockade.

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Charlock dealing with the sahuagin in the ruined Raveneye village in the Red Fens.

 photo Hamllin preparing for Bororo_zpsjryovhph.jpg

Hamllin preparing to fighting the duergar.

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Erdrique coming on down to defend the kobolds in the Dragon’s Hoard.

 photo Erd battling a half orc in Blockade Buster_zpshs6fplam.jpg

Erdrique battling the forces of the Droaam in the Stormreach Harbor.

Now Saturday was a little unusual for me.  I had originally planned this Saturday to be a date night with my wife.  My wife had to work during the day and because I was able to get ahead in my yard work and my chores, I took the liberty to log in sporadically throughout the day on Saturday.  As a result, I ran through the Cannith Challenge Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal five times with Erdrique in order to gather more ingredients.  Those were the only runs I was able to knock out on Saturday.

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Erdrique watching the kobold do his work in the Lava Caves.

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Erdrique dealing with a drow rogue in the Lava Caves.

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Erdrique waiting for the kobolds to collect the Progenitor crystal.

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Erdrique moving to take care of the rude cloud giant.

Sunday, like Saturday, I was able to log in throughout the afternoon while my wife was at work.  This time I took Erdrique through the Cannith Challenge Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.  During some of these runs, I grouped up with Okhamel who was doing the same type of thing me, logging in throughout the day between chores.  All told I ran seven iterations of the Labor Shortage challenge.  Later that night, I had a change of pace.  I logged on with Suppply (Level 9 Paladin) and took him through The Depths of Darkness on elite and then I grouped up with Khameltoe and Clairique and we knocked out Stromvauld’s Mine and Stormcleave on elite.

 photo Erd battling the mephits and flenser in Labor Shortage_zpsycdju8yc.jpg

Erdrique dealing with the mephits and ice flenser in Labor Shortage.

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Erdrique and his owlbear dealing with the animated armor in Labor Shortage.

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Erdrique and Okhamel fighting the powerful spectral dragon in Labor Shortage.

 photo Erd and Okhamel making their way through Labor Shortage_zpsrjsljal2.jpg

Erdrique and Okhamel making their way through Labor Shortage.

 photo Erd tripping Salteskhka in Labor Shortage_zpsj8ynwbke.jpg

Erdrique taking down the raksasha in the Extraplanar Palace: Labor Shortage.

 photo Supply preparing for the Undead_zpsqjdpolj4.jpg

Suppply preparing for the undead in the Depths of Darkness.

 photo Making our way through Stromvaulds Mine_zpswlcjmyyv.jpg

Suppply and his group fighting a scorpion in Stromvauld’s Mine.

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Suppply andh his party making themselves known in Stormcleave.

It was a fun weekend overall.  I only need to make my way through Kobold Island: The Disruptor now and I will have enough ingredients to upgrade that Spare Hand and Ring of the Stalker.  Hopefully I can make time for that this week because I would like to have that upgraded.  I hope everybody else had a fun weekend as well.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the challenges!!

Red Fens and DDO Store Loot

Over the last two weeks, I have been taking Erdrique (Level 17 Rogue) through the Red Fens slayer zone.  He currently is working on the last slayer mark, having eclipsed the 5,000 kill mark a last week.  In any case, one thing I have noticed lately is that I seem to be pulling more DDO store loot from the rare encounter chests than in other areas or quests, at least recently.  For instance, this past week I took out the Nab Ren, the named sahuagin on top of the Ziggurat, and in his chest I pulled 100 Omnispell Stones.

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Erdrique coming across some lucky loot in the Red Fens.

Now prior to that run, I was taking Erdrique through the Red Fens and I took on Sharkbiter, the name scrag in the hidden cave under one of the plethora of waterfalls in the area.  Out of his chest I pulled a Mark of Yugoloth.

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Erdrique coming across some rare crafting loot out of Sharkbiter’s chest in the Red Fens.

I’m beginning to wonder if I should have characters permanently parked out in the Red Fens to farm DDO Store loot ::!!  In any case, I thought it was pretty interesting to note and thought I would pass it along.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in the Fens!!

Coming Across a Spectral Dragon

Last weekend, I was taking Erdrique (Level 16 Rogue) through the Extraplanar Palace: The Dragon’s Hoard where I encountered for the first time the spectral dragon Auraxylion.  Up until this point, the only spectral dragon I have encountered was Eternity from the Mabar of the Endless Night Festival.  During that first encounter with Auraxylion, it brought back some memories of the Mabar festival and it made wonder what we can expect this Halloween.  But refocusing my thoughts on last weekend, I thought the encounter with Auraxylion was quite interesting.  I found him hanging out in one of the large and spacious rooms in the eastern edge of the palace.

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Erdrique encountering the impressive spectral dragon, Auraxylion in The Dragon’s Hoard.

He was surrounded by a number of his minions which included some succubi, ice flensers, animated armors, jariliths, and a few mephits.  His room was actually littered with crystals as well, primarily purple.  His transparent form gave the impression that he was “electrified.”  I thought that the encounter was quite fun and nostalgic with reference back to Eternity.  I wound up finding him in my next four or five runs through The Dragon’s Hoard and I look forward to hunting him down later.  In any case, I was happy to finally come across him :).

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Extraplanar Palace!!