Questing in the First Weekend of March, Quest Runs March 4th to 6th

Well if the title of this post doesn’t tell you anything else, it does show you how much back log I have since today is March 28th and I’m just now getting to my post about my questing activities over the first weekend of March.  I swear I’ll catch up…maybe…

Looking back at those quest runs, I noted quite an array of runs that included some dual boxing, some slayers, some epic runs, and a look at the Anniversary Party.  I started the weekend runs by taking Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) and Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) into the Searing Heights during one of my dual boxing sessions.  During this particular run, Suppply collected all of his rare encounters, located all of the explorers, and collected 135 slayers.  Harrgon also did fairly well getting over the 200 slayer mark with the same 135 slayers.  They defeated the First Mate, Smolder, Hazai Haatha, Giallo, Calcine, and Ghamzee.    During my afternoon questing, I took Erdrique (Level 27 Rogue/Grandmaster of Flowers) back out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayer runs.  During a quick run out there, Erdrique collected seven gnolls and 88 scorrow.  He also took the following named scorrow: Mendexethazz, Volrune the Curate, and Workan-Kull.  Later that night, I took Erdrique back out into the desert for some slayers before completing some other quests.  This time Erdrique collected 228 gnolls, 91 scorrow, and 104 undead slayers.  During this run I took out Yuurugh, Whirling Ozann, Palumak, Commander Errulf, Haraja, Mendexethazz, and Utach.  I looted the scimitar Mirage from Utach’s quest.  I also collected 750 slayers for the scorrow area and a monster manual deed for zombies (Hunter III for 1,770 experience).  After tromping through the desert, I headed off and made my way through the Anniversary Party.  I was able to defeat all of the developers and the overlord to get five party favors.  I then too Erdrique into Sschindylryn to make my way to final quest of the City of Portals, The Portal Opens.  As I made my way to the quest I picked a few more slayers for both the drow (seven) and the children of Lolth (four).  Within the Portal Opens, I defeated at least one priestess of Lolth, and the following orange named drow Shev’aal, Namajj Hru’un, Utheo Myar, Sorntran Arkenep, and Chaszoj’ryn.  I picked up a commendation for the druid’s of the king forest and one for the purple dragon knights.  I also looted a Blade of the High Priestess when the quest was completed.  For a quest reward, I selected 24 commendations of valor and for a storyarc reward I picked up a Slaver’s Hand Crossbow.

Suppply battling the Bloodtide pirates in the Searing Heights.

Erdrique hunting scorrow in the desert.

Erdrique enjoying the hunt under the moonlight in the desert.

Erdrique fighting Steelstar in the Anniversary Party.

Erdrique taking note of the banner in the quest the Portal Opens.

My quest runs on Saturday were quite challenging.  I first took Erdrique into the quest Don’t Drink the Water on epic hard.  I didn’t run into any issues until I reached the green dragon, Tharmalos, at the end of the quest.  Facing off against the powerful green dragon, I had died twice and once I used a raise cake to get back up.  But I did complete the quest, eventually.  As I made my way to the final fight, I picked up a monster manual deed for mudmen account wide, hunter II.  I was also able to defeat a few orange named dire bears and completed the optional objective of discovering the yuan-ti’s secret chest.  At the end of the quest, I picked up a commendation for War Wizards and as a quest reward I picked up 23 commendations of Valor.  After the rough run, I then took Erdrique back into the Underdark.  I picked up another 33 slayers on my way to the quest In the Belly of the Beast.  This was another difficult quest that I decided to try on epic hard.  Although I did get through the quest, I died four times (three times inside the belly of the great purple worm) and had to re-enter the quest once.  I completed the optional objectives for defeated Zeslyn and bluffing the freedom for the purple dragon knight.  Inside the arena, I took out a few orange dire bears before I was attacked by wave after wave of enemies.  At the end of the quest I picked up two commendations, one for the villagers of Eveningstar and one for the clerics of Amaunater.  As a quest reward, I picked up 24 commendations of Valor.  I also collected another monster manual deed, this one for rust monsters, which gave me the account wide reward for rust monster expertise.

Starting out in the cavern in the quest Don’t Drink the Water.

Erdrique taking note of the fire salamanders in the Underdark.

Coming across a magical barrier early on In the Belly of the Beast.

To close out the weekend, I dual boxed with Suppply and Harrgon once again.  I took  them into Searing Heights and into the quest Bargain of Blood.  In the Searing Heights, Suppply collected his last 138 slayers to complete the area and Harrgon picked up another 224 slayers and reached the 400 slayer mark.  Harrgon also picked up all of the explorer points  The rare encounters I came across were Calcine, Ghamzee, Cruor Russo, Giallo, Hazai Haatha, and Shute Ruggzen.  Although the exploration of the Searing Heights went well, the quest run through Bargain of Blood on elite did not.  This was primarily because I was trying to rush through the quest, which never seems to end well for me.  In fact, Harrgon suffered seven deaths in the quest, who was the primary driver for this run.  I did defeat a first mate and completed the optional objective for destroying the assassination logbook and I met up with the House Deneith party.  Harrgon collected three mysterious remnants while Suppply picked up 16.  Overall, it was just a rough night in the quest.

Harrgon contemplating the majesty of the Searing Heights.

Harrgon battling the Bloodtide in Bargain of Blood.

So it wasn’t a bad weekend overall.  I was able to make my way  through a number of quests that I haven’t had a lot of experience making my way through and one quest I had never completed before, that being In the Belly of the Beast.  However, not all of my runs were successful, which is also good, allowing the challenge to still be there, especially in the lower level quests.  Although I did get my revenges in Bargain of Blood.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Underdark!!


Getting the Lucky Daily Dice Rolls

The daily dice rolls are an interesting little treat for the DDO Players.  Ever since the beginning of the year, I have been tracking the daily dice roll results between my VIP account and premium account.  I have to admit, over the past few months I have received a higher amount of jackpot type rewards than I would have thought, especially on my premium account.  Over the past few months I have picked up the following tomes:

Erdrique getting a little luck with a daily dice roll and picking up a +1 Wisdom Tome.

Stoorage being rewarded with a +3 Upgrade Tome for the Heal skill.

Stoorage getting another upgrade tome, this one is a +2 for Perform, from his daily dice roll.

Picking up another skill tome for Stoorage from the daily dice.

My latest jackpot roll was for the +2 Upgrade Tome for the Perform skill and ironically the day before that I won the +1 Swim Tome.  That was back on March 6th and 7th.  Now, if I can only get those tomes for skills and attributes that need a real boost!! Here’s to hoping that my results get a little more interesting :).

Thanks for reading everybody and happy daily dice rolling!!

Crunching Down the Numbers of My Monster Manual-Part 5

The last two articles I wrote in my series that looks at analyzing the data in the monster manual focused on Erdrique’s statistics (Part 3 and Part 4).  In my next two posts of this series, I want to look at Hamllin’s statistics.  Hamllin is my second most played character and my only other character (besides Erdrique) that I have put through a heroic true reincarnation.  So, I went ahead and compiled the data from my monster manual once again on 3/6/2016.

Looking at Hamllin’s overall statistics, I wasn’t surprised to see that he has slain over 31,000 monsters that are currently recorded in the monster manual, which accounted for 10.51% of all of the enemy kills on my VIP account across all of my characters (Table 1 and Figures 1 and 2).  What did surprise me was how close his numbers, in total, were to Erdrique’s.  Erdrique had approximately 48,000 kills (using the data that was about two weeks older, so that is a factor to consider here) and I play Erdrique more often than I do Hamllin.  However, Erdrique has been working on higher level quests that tend to not have many monsters that are currently in the monster manual while Hamllin is progressing through more middle level quests and adventure areas that do have their monsters recorded in the monster manual.  It appears that Hamllin’s rate of encounter for monsters in the monster manual is currently higher than Erdrique’s.  I’m going to have to work on a way to calculate that type of statistic for future reference.

Taking a look at Hamllin’s statistics by monster type, it looks like the enemies that accounted for Hamllin’s most kills were humanoids, undead, player races, monstrous humanoids, and vermin.  These same five monster types were also the top five across my account with only one slight difference, vermin and monstrous humanoids were swapped when looking at my statistics account wide.  Hamllin accounted for eight to 12% of the total number of monster kills for these top five monster types across my entire account.

Table 1.  Number of kills by monster type for Hamllin and my VIP account and the percent of kills attributed to Hamllin.


Figure 1.  Distribution of Hamllin’s monster kills by monster type from the monster manual.

Figure 2.  Hamllin’s and my account monster kills by monster type for those in the monster manual.

Similar to what I saw in Erdrique’s trends, these five monster types ranking as high as they do is not surprising.  I’m expecting to see this same pattern throughout all of my characters, with the possible exception of Tuhnn who is an Iconic character and started facing off against a higher level of enemies than my other characters.

Breaking the data  down by monster manual volume I noticed that Hamllin’s trends mimic those for Erdrique.  Monsters in the volumes of the Prologue, Volume 1, and Volume 2 accounted for the top three most monster kills for him.  I’m not surprised by these trends as the timing of releases of the various monster manuals, along with the timing of Hamllin’s leveling track, allowed him to collect a higher number of kills for monsters in the fifth volume (especially those in the Desert), very similar to Erdrique’s situation.

Table 2.  Total monster kills for Hamllin and my VIP account by monster manual volume.

Figure 3.  Total monster kills for Hamllin and my VIP account by monster manual volume.

The monster races that accounted for the majority of kills for Hamllin are listed in Table 3 and plotted in Figure 4.  The monster race that Hamllin accrued the most kills for were skeletons and his efforts accounted for over 12% of my VIP account.  Another thing of note was that gnolls were ranked fourth for him and he accounted for nearly 39% of those kills account wide (this is one of the monster races introduced with Volum 5).  Hamllin also accounted for over 10% of kills account wide for sahaugin, zombies, and scorpions.

Table 3.  Total number of monster kills for Hamllin’s top ten, both for him and account wide, and the percent he accounted for.


Figure 4.  Number of monster kills for Hamllin’s top ten monster races (and the number of those for my account).

Excluding the monsters that Hamllin hasn’t had the opportunity to face off against since they were included in the monster manual, the monsters that Hamllin has the fewest amount of kills are presented in Table 4 and Figure 5.  Most of these monsters include those that were released with volumes three through six are are mostly outsiders.  Besides the hell hounds, Hamllin hasn’t been exposed to many of these enemies yet but that will change once Hamllin moves through some more of the mid-level content.  Too bad all of those hell hounds he slaughtered while making his way through some of the lower level content didn’t get counted but he’ll definitely have his chance to make those up.

Table 4.  Number of monster kills for the races that accounted for the fewest number of kills for Hamllin and account wide and the percent Hamllin accounted for those kills.

Figure 5.  Number of monster kills for the races that accounted for the fewest number of kills for Hamllin.

Taking a look at the total percentage of kills that Hamllin accumulated for my account for each monster race, instead of looking at raw kill counts, his top ranking species include scorrow, mummies, air elementals, and gnolls.  It is interesting to see how the relative percentage for these monsters is high for Hamllin but his overall kill counts for these monsters don’t make his top ten.  Again, these monsters were primarily added in later volumes of the monster manual where Hamllin was currently in the process of making his way through quests where these monsters are common, as well Erdrique.  This explains why the overall numbers of kills are low but the percentages are high for the account (only Hamllin and Erdrique have registered a large number of kills for these monsters).

Looking at the opposite statistic, the monster races where Hamllin accounted for the least percentage of kills for my account, we notice that the majority of them are the outsiders, as I mentioned before and those monsters that currently occur primarily in quests Hamllin hasn’t had a chance to complete yet.  These will definitely change as the year goes on.

Table 5.  The monster races that accounted for the highest proportion of monster kills for Hamllin and the number of kills he had and across my account.

Table 6.  The monster races that accounted for the fewest proportion of monster kills for Hamllin and the number of kills he had and across my account.

After looking at Erdrique’s trends, I’m not quite surprised to see these same types of trends with Hamllin.  I can’t but notice the influence of the timing of monster manual volumes and the levels my characters happen to be at during those releases.  It is plainly evident on how these factors affect the monster manual statistics as looking at Erdrique’s and Hamllin’s data has shown.  Thanks  for reading everybody and happy hunting those monsters in the monster manual!!

Questing the First Week of March, February 29th to March 3rd

Well, the first week of March was a special week since it kicked off the 10th anniversary celebration for DDO :).  The week actually began on the “leap” day, February 29th, and the day wound up being quite a unique data for my questing besides the fact that it was on a “leap” day.  It was unusual in that I dual boxed with Cannock (Level 8 Druid) and Crawlller (Level 7 Ranger) for all of my quest runs.  Things started out with my normal slayer run in the morning as I took Cannock and Crawlller into Waterworks.  Cannock was working on finishing this area out (Crawlller already had it maxed out).  During that run Cannock picked up his last 82 kills to complete the area and in that process they took out Dhulokk, Har-har, and Gnarkill.  I didn’t get a chance to log in for my afternoon run but later that night I logged back on with Cannock and Crawlller and I took them out into Tangleroot Gorge to run the first quest of Assault on Splinterskull: First Strike.  Cannock is currently heavily working in this area while Crawlller only needs to find Commander Gharjat to have the entire area maxed out.  While out here, I picked up the rest of the explorer points for Cannock (10 more it total), picked up another 108 kills (pushing Cannock above 400), and found the rare encounters Clamor, Silkweave, Xassak, Jarak, Jana, and Kornak.  I then entered the quest First Strike and completed it on elite, including the optional objective of taking out Blademaster Chagg.  After that successful run, I then headed out of Tangleroot and decided to try the new Anniversary Party.  It was the first time I took at look at the quest and needless to say, I struggled in it.  Cannock was sliced in half by Severlin while Crawlller met his end against Steelstar.  After that attempt, and after the Monday night digital pen and paper game wound down, I called it a night.

Cannock collecting his slayers in the Waterworks.

Cannock battling Clamor in Tangleroot Gorge.

Cannock opening a door in Splinterskull  to deliver the First Strike.

Cannock fighting Severlin in the Anniversary Party.

On Tuesday, to kick off the first day of March, I took Tuhnn (Level 16 Bladeforged) into the Sands of Menechtarun.  While I was hunting out there during the morning slayer run, Tuhnn picked up 85 gnoll slayers and took out Den Mother Fheena.  In the afternoon, I took Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) into the challenge Lava Caves: Time is Money.  Upon the quest completion, Hamllin picked up 141 Crystallized Magma Shards.  I completed the star objectives for obtaining 100 crystals, keeping all kobolds alive, and buying less than nine minutes of time.  That night, I logged back on with Crawlller and Cannock, for yet some more dual boxing, and I took them into the next quest for Assault on Splinterskull, Hobgoblin’s Captives.  I completed optional objectives for defeating the Warden and destroying all of the weapon crates.  Cannock was also fortunate enough to loot a Sapphire of Defense +2.  After that run, I took Crawlller and Cannock back into the Anniversary Party.  While inside here, Crawlller got pasted by one of the ogre’s partying with Cordovan but in the end I was able to take out all of the developers (Severlin, Steelstar, Cordovan, and Vargouille) and the dark overlord.  I picked up four party favors as the quest reward.  Not too bad :).

Tuhnn taking note of the moon in the desert.

Hamllin making his way through Time is Money.

Crawlller battling the spiders to free some captives.

Crawlller taking on the Dark Overlord of the Anniversary Party.

I logged on with Stoorage (Level 14 Fighter) and Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) and had another dual boxing session on Wednesday morning.  I took them into the swamps of the Red Fens.  As they ventured out into the Red Fens, the accrued another 56 slayers to add to their growing slayer count and defeated the rare encounter, Beacon.  And while out there, Charlock picked up a monster manual deed for rat exterminator II and picked up 1,769 experience.  During the afternoon run, I took Erdrique (Level 27 Rogue/Grand Master of Flowers) into the challenge Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.  Erdrique completed the optional objectives for collecting one colossal crystal and clearing out the auditorium.  He picked up 227 epic jaded scorpions.  That was all I was able to get done on Wednesday as I spent the rest of the night with my wife for our weekly date night.

Stoorage gathering some slayers in the Red Fens.

Erdrique making his way through the Lava Caves to fight some drow.

To close out the week, I started Thursday morning by taking Hamllin out into the desert for some more slayers.  While hunting out there I picked up 68 gnolls, 5 scorrow, and 72 undead.  I also encountered and took down Lieutenant Ayurro, Haraja the Firedancer, and Palumak the Scourer.  In the afternoon I logged on with Hamllin again I took him through the challenge Kobold Island:Shortcuts.  Hamllin was able to complete the challenge and earned 121 orthon metal scraps.  But the only objective I was able to complete was to gather 300 crystals.  Later that night, I was scheduled to play Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger).  I brought on him on took him into the The Prisoner on epic normal.  I completed the optional objectives for killing all of the arcane oozes, defeated Ingstoldt, defeated the mephits, and defeated the gargoyles.  I also defeated nine quori stalkers and five elder minotaur shamans.  I picked up 29 fragments of the Token of the Twelve, obtained a monster manual deed for elves (elf hunter, 700 experience) and picked up nine commendations of valor as a quest reward.  I then took Larrs into the Anniversary Party where I struggled quite a bit, dying multiple times to Cordovan, Severlin, and Vargouille.  I then got blasted by a kobold’s shaman disintegate which ended my run.

Hamllin enjoying the desert landscape.

Hamllin making his way to an extractor on Kobold Island: Shortcuts.

Larrs fighting Tharahk hounds in VON 2.

Larrs surrounded by bladebarriers from Steelstar.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad week.  I had a nice little mixture of runs: high and low level runs, slayer runs, and dual box runs.  I did have some trouble in the Anniversary Party but I started to get the hang of it.  I hope everybody else had a great week as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Anniversary Party.

Having Fun with Twilight, The Element of Magic

I have to admit, casting classes are my weakest classes to play within DDO.  Caster tend to have so many different spells and feats to click on that makes them playing a little complicated for me, which is why I tend to favor melee characters instead.  However, with that said, I still have my casters and I do have fun playing them.  I currently have Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Draconic Incarnation) and Cantlin (Level 13 Sorcerer).  One of the items that I have found fun for Rimuldar is the quarterstaff, Twilight, Element of Magic.  This quaterstaff is obtained from the Caught In the Web raid.  I actually got mine from Rimuldar’s Raiders Reward Box.

Rimuldar taking a closer took at his powerful quarterstaff.

Twilight, Element of Magic has a number of special abilities.  These include the following:

Spellcasting Implement +21

+7 Enhancement bonus

Potency +80

Impulse +120

Evocation Focus III

Enchantment Focus III

Arcane Augmentation IX

Spell Lore VI

Attuned to Heroism

This particular quarterstaff is really pretty effective for Rimuldar.  This is because Rimuldar has focused primarily in the Archmage prestige enhancement line.  The majority of his damage dealing spells are evocation based and include the magic missile line, the lightning bolt line, prismatic ray, fireball, frost lance, wall of fire, cone of cold, delayed blast fireball, prismatic spray, polar ray, and meteoric swarm.  Also, within the Archmage line, Rimuldar has taken the force spells as spell like abilities.  The Impulse +120 increases the damage output for all of these spells and spell like abilities.  Also, the Evocation Focus III helps with the difficulty check against spells such as lightning bolt, fireball, and chain lightning.  Meanwhile the Potency +80 increases the damage output for my spells that aren’t part of the evocation school such as acid arrow and dragon bolt.  Also, having the caster level for all 9th level and lower spells raised by one helps with the saves against by difficulty checks as well.

Rimuldar ready to tackle the King’s Forest with this Twilight, Element of Magic.

Not only does Twilight, Element of Magic have a number of fun stats for Rimuldar, it is also pretty cool looking.  I really like the way it suits Rimuldar.  I have a Raider’s Reward box for Cantlin as well, which I haven’t opened yet, but he will most likely take this as well.  It will be a nice caster stick for him too, primarily because the majority of his spells are also evocation based (he is a fire savant).

In any case, I don’t have any plans on replacing Rimuldar’s primary weapon anytime soon.  It seems to be working good for me right now.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the King’s Forest.

A Race Against the Clock

One of the more classic story arcs in DDO is the Vault of Night.  The Vault of Night story arc consists of the following quests: Tharashk Arena (VON 1), The Prisoner (VON 2), The Gateway to Khyber and The Jungles of Khyber (VON 3), Haywire Foundry (VON 4), The Vault of Night (VON 5), and the Plane of Night (VON 6).  The last two quests in the chain are raids and to get into VON 5 you have to complete the previous four quests first.  You used to have to do these in a specific order (hence the reason why they are numbered VON 1 through VON 6 by many players) but this is no longer necessary.  One of the quests to complete, Haywire Foundry, requires you to make your way through a manufacturing plant and saving the artificer Haywire in hopes of recruiting him back into the Laughing Knives (I wondered specifically about Haywire here).

Sludgge exploring Haywire Foundry.

If you have picked up the story arc for the Vault of Night from Marek Malcanus, you will eventually learn about Phineas Haywire.  Haywire has lost some of his confidence after the Laughing Knives couldn’t break into the Vault of Night and is now working in his foundry located in House Kundarak.  You also learn that one of his assistants has been spotted waiting for him on the side of the bank in House Kundarak not to far away from the port that houses ships that head out to Ataraxia’s Haven or Three Barrel Cove.  The name of assistant is Arlsie For (a warforged).  When you catch up to Arlsie you learn that the assistant hasn’t heard drom Haywire in sometime and that he is worried about him.  He then tells you where Haywire’s Foundry is located.

Sludgge picking up the quest Haywire Foundry (VON 4).

The entrance to Haywire Foundry is close to the Ever Full Flagon near the entrance to the House Kundarak Ward.  Right outside of the entrance is another warforged named Husk who is actually a collectible turn in trader.  There was a time when Husk was actually the assistant for Haywire, just as a quick side note.  Haywire Foundry isn’t a complicated quest and it doesn’t have a complicated map either.  When you enter the foundry you actually come into a large curvy hallway that leads into an open cavern that is filled with lava and a single stone pathway leading to a locked gate.  Within this room is a  lever, along the cavern wall across the lava, that needs to be pulled in order to raise the gate.  In this room, the lever is guarded by a few elementals (fire and earth).  Defeating these elementals is an optional objective and makes pulling the lever easier.  Once you raise the gate there is another lever mounted on the wall and another gate.  On the other side of the gate is another warforged that you need to talk to, RC-2.  RC-2 tells you he will take you to Haywire and to pull the lever on the wall when you are ready.

Sludgge at the entrance to Haywire Foundry.

Sludgge inside the foundry and getting ready to pull the lever to raise the first gate to find Haywire.

Sludgge waiting for RC-2.

This is when the quest really begins.  Shortly after the next gate is raised, RC-2 goes a bezerk and attacks you.  It is another optional objective to take it down.  When you defeat him, you see some type of parasite leave his body and disappear.  You then realize that you are inside the foundry.  The initial layout to the foundry is like a cross.  After you defeat RC-2 and continue to make your way north, you will come across some more warforged and a speaking stone mounted in the wall.  After defeating the warforged combatants and using the speaker stone,  you learn from Haywire that something has gone horribly wrong and his creations have turned on him.  To protect himself, he has locked himself is in security chambers in the upper reaches of the foundry.  However, to get to that point, you have to lower the shields that have been activated and stop any more travel to the north in the foundry.

Preparing to deal with RC-2 as he gets ready to go beserk.

Battling some defiant drones in Haywire Foundry.

So where is this painting at?  Just something Sludgge notes in the hallway to the speaking stone.

Coming upon the speaking stone in Haywire Foundry

At this point you can either go east or west.  I typically go east first.  If you have a group, you can split up into different directions.  Each direction poses different challenges and each one has a main control lever that needs to be flipped in order for the force field blocking the passage to the north to be lowered.  The passage to the east leads to a curving hallway that leads up into the foundry.  This path has a number of pitfalls to be weary of, literally.  These pitfalls are actually areas of the floor that completely break away and to a fiery lava pit below.  The first one of these pitfalls can be actually be disabled.  However, the second pitfall cannot be avoided.  But, with that said, you can skirt the left side of the wall in the tunnel and when the floor breaks away you will land a some pipes that you can use to cross the gap.  Speaking to this, there is an optional chest about halfway down this particular pitfall.  Like the first pitfall, the bottom of this pit is covered with a pool of lava.  About halfway down this fall is a tunnel that leads to a chest.  The chest isn’t trapped or anything and ripe for some looting.  However, once you loot the chest you need to enter a second tunnel that leads back up the shaft you just fell down in.  As you make your way through the tunnel a number of acid spray traps will activate that will need to dodge.  If you do happen to come down this way, then having jump will be useful as well as acid resistance as you make your way back up the shaft by jumping and climbing back up various pipes.

Sludgge preparing to go down the eastern half of the foundry.

Making my way down the path to the eastern side of the foundry.

Dealing with some mithral defenders down the hallway.

Staring down the second pitfall along the winding tunnel to the eastern side of the foundry.

In the first tunnel leading to the chest down the second collapsible floor pit.

Time to get some loot from the chest in the pitfall.

Now having to deal with the acid traps as I make my way out of the pitfall.

So more of those same acid traps.

Warforged casters, otto’s ball, and mithral defenders…yay…

Once you make your way past these two collapsible areas of the floor, the hall will cycle around to a door.  This door is the entrance way to the creation, forge, or production area  (however you want to term it).  The room is shaped like a large rectangle with two levels, essentially.  On the ground level, there will be a number of fenced in cages, each housing a newly created warforged.  There will also be some stacked crates along the walls also have some warforged casters and rangers prepared to attack.  Along the western wall, in the center of the wall actually, will be a ramp leading up to a catwalk, or the second level.  This ramp is trapped with the control box under the ramp itself.  As you make your way to the catwalk you will be assaulted by a number of warforged enemies.  You will also encounter a series of flame jet traps which can be turned off by pulling various levers scattered along the catcalk.  There is an optional objective to turn off all of these jets.  But be careful because use jet you turn off will free a warforged enemy from the cages below.  Once you make it around the catwalk, taking care of flame jets and warforged along the way, you will encounter one of the levers that controls the force field blocking the northern passage.  Be wary here, this particular lever is protected by two sets of traps.  The first set of traps are easy to find but the second is a little more difficult.  To deactivate the second set of traps, you need to hop onto the ledge that the lever is on and then snake around corner.  The second control box will be in this location.  Once you disable the second control box you will then be able to pull the lever without any repercussions.

Sludgge pearing inside the broken down door to the forge area of the foundry.

Inside the forge area ranging some warforged who are perched on some of the stacking crates.

The dangers of firewalls in the forge area.

The lightning guard golems here are only present on epic difficulties.

Fighting to get to the catwalk.

Looking for the trap box for the catwalk.

The flame vents look quite intimidating. 

One of the levers that turn off the jets.

The lever that is needed to unlock the northern passage is heavily trapped.

Don’t forget about this trap box on the power lever either!!

Once you have pulled the lever, you can make your way back to the floor level and deal with the warforged you just freed.  You will also notice another lever on the eastern wall. This lever raises a set of gates that block two tunnels.  These two tunnels lead to a shrine and to another set of tunnels that can take you to the other half of the Foundry, although at this point the bars are still up on this side.  Once this portion of the foundry is clear, you need to make your way back through the winding tunnel and across the pitfalls so that you can enter the western portion of the Foundry and activate the second switch.  Unlike the eastern portion of the Foundry, which is asked by taking a winding tunnel upward, the western portion of the Foundry is accessed by climbing a flight of ramps that are trapped throughout the climb with some large blade traps.  At the top of the ramp, you will enter a small hallway with another door.  This door leads to another rectangular shaped room.  This room is a storage and shipping area.  Like the eastern side, this room has two levels.  The second level consists of various alcoves that are directly above the storage alcoves on the bottom floor along wall.  Each of these alcoves, bottom and upper floors, are sealed with a force barrier. This room is crawling with warforged that you will to take care of.  Also, a short distance from the entry way to the room you will see the lever that raises the gates to those same tunnels from eastern room that leads to the shrine.

Sludgge on the ramp to the hallway to the western half of the foundry, this is heavily trapped as well.

Breaking down the door to the western half of the foundry.

The western half of the foundry is the shipping and storage facility.  You can also find the blood rage symbiont in this room, if you are lucky, from a breakable.

Fighting our way through more warforged to another catwalk.  Notice the barriers as well.

And the fighting continues on the top level along the catwalk.

Unlike the eastern half of the Foundry, the western half doesn’t have any traps but it does force you to fight in narrow and restricted hallways.  As you make your way to through this room you will come across a staircase that leads to the second level.  You will then make your way along a narrow catwalk tunnel that wraps around the room and eventually takes you to the second lever that needs to be pulled to open up the passage to the northern end of the Foundry.  However, when you pull this lever, the power that was being used to generate the force fields for each alcove is turned off letting out a number of warforged.  These alcoves also contained large crates, with may of them exploding when you approach producing even more warforged.  This room is much more straight forward than the eastern foundry room but is just as dangerous because of the tight fighting spaces.  As you make your way out of the western foundry room and back to the staircase, you will encounter another large blade trap that is only detectable after you pull the power lever and make your back towards the stair case.  It is actually just before the staircase.

Making my way to the next lever.

Finally coming across the second lever.

Now the northern passage to the foundry is open.  This passage is another tunnel that leads to another intersection.  It doesn’t matter which way you go when you reach this intersection because the tunnel at this point will form a small square.  You can go completely around the square to take out all of the enemies just to make sure everybody, and everything is accounted for.  When you reach the top of the “square” you will might detect a hidden door to the south.  This hidden door leads to another shrine that is also protected by two more traps.  This will be the last shrine you will have access too.  Opposite to the shrine, to the north, is a gate.  That gate is controlled by a lever and a little while after the lever is pulled it will reset and the gate will close.  Once everybody passes the gate, they can’t go back (unless you use a dimension door spell or something like that).  The room on the other side of this gate contains a number of rune wheels.  In the center of the room is a chest that is sealed by another set of gates controlled by the rune wheels.  The sequence to turn the rune wheels is based on the symbols that are on the pillars that are above the inside rune wheels as well as the symbol above the chest.  The first thing to note is the symbol above one of the inside rune wheels.  Then rotate the two outside wheels that are on either side of the inside rune to that symbol.  When you do this, the inside rune wheel will be unlocked.  This will then allow you to rotate the inside rune wheel to the symbol that is above the chest.  When all three inside rune wheels are set correctly, the gates protecting the chest will lift up allowing you to access the chest, that contains a key.  One thing to take note of, as soon as you enter this room, oozes will continue to spawn, including arcane oozes, until the gates are lifted.

The path to the north is now open and it is time to fight our way through it.

Expect some trouble soon.

These mithral defenders once guarded the next passage to the north blocked by the portcullis in the picture. 

The hidden shrine in the northern half of the foundry, protected by traps as well as a secret door.

The key that you pick up opens a locked door to north.  This particular locked door essentially holds the “final” fight.  Inside this room is the Master Control Unit (basically a powerful red named iron golem), a couple iron golems, and a few large adamantine defenders that need to be destroyed.  Once they are destroyed you can get access to another chest that contains a second key that unlocks a portcullis that is protecting yet another control switch.

Time to enter the rune wheel room.

More lightning guard golems in the rune wheel room.  These only appear on epic settings.

Time to activate the rune wheels.  Take note of the symbol above one of the inner wheels (here it is a capital H for the yellow wheel) and set the two outside rune wheels (one to each side of the yellow rune wheel) to that symbol to unlock the yellow rune wheel.  Then set the yellow rune wheel to the symbol above the chest and move onto the next inside rune wheel.

We can now reach the chest protected by the locked rune wheels.

Time to the battle the guardians in the master control room.

Need to take down the master control unit.

The battle ensues in the doorway to the master control unit.

Now, up to this point, Haywire Foundry has been pretty straight forward.  This is where it starts to become the mad dash against the clock.  As you loot the chest, you get a dungeon master narration that is mimicking Haywire telling you to listen up and that when you pull that particular lever the self destruct mechanism of the Foundry will be activated.  When you pull the lever, you will have a few minutes to make your way through the rest of the foundry and to get to Haywire before you get blown up.  It is best to buff yourself up with jump, haste, rage, fire resist, fire protection, acid resistance, acid protection, neutralize poison, greater heroism, and mass aid if you can before you pull the lever.  When you pull the lever, a section of the way on the eastern side of the room will open up exposing a broken stairway.  You need to make your way through this broken stairway and up the shaft jumping out of the lava covered shaft floor.  When you get to the top of the shaft, you will come across another winding and up sloping pathway.  This pathway is lined with a few acid and poison traps as well as number of mithral defenders.

The chest that was protected by the master control unit and his guardians.

The mad dash now begins.

Hurrying up the path to Haywire.

One of the optional objectives in this quest is to destroy ten of those mithral defenders.  It is best to pull a number of them to a safer place along the pathway (outside of the traps) and to take them out as quickly as possible.  It is good to do this to keep dungeon alert down.  You can completely ignore them but it can get quite messy if you don’t take any of them out.  Eventually you will hit a portion of the hallway that is split down the middle that leads to a large cavern.  When you get to the cavern, it is best to hang off to the side of the room (as you enter the room hang a left and hug that wall).  This is because once you enter this room the blast doors will close and the explosion from the foundry will generate a huge flash of fire that will shoot right down the center of the cavern.  Keep in mind too, that when you enter this room, fire elementals will spawn.  Just make sure to battle them on the side of the room.  Eventually the draw bridge in this room will drop down allowing you to continue on to Haywire.  The quest completes once you talk to Haywire and pick up the Lightning Rod.

The cavern where the backlash of the foundry explosion will occur.  Oh, and don’t forget the fire elementals.

Speaking of fire elementals…

One thing I haven’t really mentioned yet are the types of enemy you will encounter in this quest.  This quest is dominated by various types of warforged and their construct cousins.  The various warforged include engineers, surveyors, troubleshooters, and drones.  The engineers and surveyors are especially troublesome as they are the arcane and divine casters of the group, respectively.  The surveyors are rangers and really like to cast barksin on themselves and the drones are fighters.  Besides the warforged, you have the elementals in the beginning and end of the quest, various forms of defenders (metal dogs), iron golems, oozes, and in epic settings you have the lightning guard constructs.

The most striking thing about Haywire Foundry is that race against the clock at the end.  I remember when I first did this quest had some many panicky situations when I tried to jump out of the initial shaft that starts the “mad dash.”  However, as long as at least one party member reaches Haywire and picks up the Lightning Rod then you will get the quest completion, even if you are a permanent fixture Haywire’s exploded Foundry.  Overall, it is a fun quest, that can be a little hair raising, especially at the end.  Give it a try if you have never completed Haywire Foundry before.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Haywire Foundry!!

Trying to Figure Out Haywire

As our characters make their way through their adventuring and courageous careers they will come across so other intriguing adventuring parties.  One of these parties includes Marek Malcanus’ disbanded party known as the Laughing Knives.  The Laughing Knives were hired to test the weaknesses of the Vault of Night and in so doing the group’s failure to get past the security of the vault broke them and they disbanded.  Marek will ask for your assistance in pulling the party back together and one of these party members includes an interesting character named Haywire.

Haywire has an exceptional mind and is an extremely clever artificer.  He enjoys tinkering and working on constructs and in fact you will need to rescue him in two different quests (Haywire Foundry and Made to Order) because his tinkering with constructs has led him into some sticky situations.  However, the first instance wasn’t really his fault.  Especially since those from the Inspired Quarter have penetrated his foundry and sabotaged his constructs with mind altering parasites.  The second ordeal though, well he should have known better that trying to reanimate a Marut.

Haywire at the end of Haywire Foundry.

I always wondered what it would be like to have Haywire as a party member.  Marek comments on how Haywire had saved the Laughing Knives a number of times with his inventive gadets illustrating Haywire’s resourcefulness.  However, I have to wonder about the stress Haywire puts himself under.  My concern comes from the fact that Haywire has replaced his flesh and blood arm with a construct arm at the end of Made to Order.  Not to mention his obsessiveness with being “discovered.”  This last note can be illustrated when the Marut is destroyed in Made to Order and Haywire opens up his security measures to let you into his safety room.  I don’t think you will even see so many different doors activate and unlock.  Talk about being a little paranoid…

Being a dwarf, there is no doubt that Haywire would be a faithful and loyal companion  I don’t know of too many dwarves who would turn their backs on a trusted party member but it might take some time to garner that trust.  Haywire is also pretty stout.  I mean dang, he literally had his arm removed and replaced.  That had to take quite a bit of constitution to maintain that, even if it was magically enhanced.

Haywire would be an interesting party member.

As a party member, I bet you Haywire would be fun and complicated.  I think he would be good and capable of getting the party out of a tough spot but I also think he would be one of the reasons why a party got into a tough spot to begin with.  His ability to tinker and develop new gadgets would be extremely useful, especially with setting up traps and ambushes.  I wonder how he would be as a hireling :).

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Haywire Foundry.