Another Lite Week, Review of Questing March 21 to March 24

Well after having an abnormal weekend, I turned around with abnormal week and it impacted my questing activities for DDO.  During this particular week, I had to travel to Raleigh for some management training for work and on Thursday my wife had some major neck surgery so needless to say I didn’t log in that day at all.

I did kick the week off with a morning slayer run and taking the opportunity to do some dual boxing with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) from my VIP account and Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) from my premium account through the Searing Heights.  Suppply had already maxed the area out but Harrgon gained another 34 slayers and they took out Shute Ruggzen.  And that was the only run I was able to complete on Monday as I prepped and took off for Raleigh as soon as I got home from work Monday afternoon.

Harrgon and Suppply making their way through Searing Heights.

On Tuesday, I had another dual boxing session for my morning slayer run (yes I took my computer with me to Raleigh 🙂 ).  This time I took Cantlin (Level 13 Sorcerer) and Stoorage (Level 14 Fighter) into Sorrowdusk Isle.  Stoorage has this area complete but I was still able to get him some loot and a little bit of experience.  Cantlin picked up only 10 slayers out there during this run but he also took out the ogre commander, Barxer.  That afternoon/night, after my training class, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grandmaster of Flowers) and I took him into Thorn and Paw on epic hard.  I wound up defeating 9 dire bears but in that process one of them was a champion and happened to stomp all over me.  After I got back up, I finished quest and completed the optional objective for killing all of the druids.  I didn’t complete the optional objective to find all of the spore seeds  though as I was still missing one :(.  I collected four mysterious remnants and picked up 24 Commendations of Valor as a quest reward.  I then headed out to complete the Druid’s Curse on epic hard.  I defeated eight wood woads during this run as well as the optional objective for defeating the drow party.  Again, I picked up four mysterious remnants and 24 Commendations of Valor as a quest reward.  As a result of finishing the Druid’s Curse I also completed the story arc for the Druid’s Deep where I picked up the Forester’s Brush Hook as a reward.  I called it a night after that run.

Cantlin hunting some ogres in Sorrowdusk Isle.

Erd coming across some Vine Horrors in Thorn and Paw.

Erdrique making his way deeping into Druid’s Deep.

On Wednesday, the only thing I was to get in was a slayer run with Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger).  I took Larrs out into the The King’s Forest where he collected another 20 slayers and completed the random encounter to bolster the lines.  After that, I had to pack up and head out for the final class session for the management training and to get ready to head back home from Raleigh.  Wednesday night is also my weekly date night with my wife and because she was having some major surgery the next day we decided to go out after I got home with some friends for dinner and then to relax for the rest of the night.

Larrs hunting in the King’s Forest.

I didn’t log in at all on Thursday.  I took my wife first thing in the early morning to the hospital for her surgery and we spent the rest of the day there as she recovered.  Luckily everything turned out fine and she is currently recovering well. She had some neck surgery to repair some disks and vertebrae that were causing her some severe problems :(.

So it was a lite week, primarily because it was just a plain crazy week with training going on and my wife’s surgery.  The quests I did get in were solid though.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!


A Look Back, Quest Runs March 18 to March 20

This particular weekend was a most unusual weekend for me.  I was only able to get any questing done on Friday.  The rest of the weekend I didn’t get a chance to log to do anything but general maintenance for my characters.  I didn’t log into DDO on Saturday because that was the third Saturday of the month I spend that night with my wife for our weekend date night.  Meanwhile, Sunday I was just working hard on completing some stuff for work, unfortunately, which didn’t allow me to get my usual questing activity in :(.

However, with that said, Friday was a really active day for me in DDO.  I started the day by taking Kanndar (Level 13 Paladin) and Stoorage (Level 14 Fighter) into Sorrowdusk Isle for some morning slayers.  Stoorage already has this area maxed out but I didn’t have another character within Kanndar’s range on my premium account that would allow them to get credit for the slayers as I was dual boxing with my VIP and premium account.  Kanndar picked up 61 more slayers and completed all of the rare encounters after defeating Vermilo, Kremen, Furley, and Teargon.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) and I took him back out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some more of his slayers.  I focused primarily on the scorrow area.  While out there, Hammy picked up 73 scorrow slayers and took out Volrune the Curate and Wokran-Kull.

Stoorage taking out the gargoyles for Kanndar.

Hammy battling Wokran-Kull in the Desert.

Friday night was the most active for me.  As typical, I brought on Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grandmaster 0f Flowers) and I took him out into the Demonweb.  I was joined by Hellorcish and we made our way to the quest Reclaiming the Rift.  As we made our way through the Demonweb I piced up another 11 drow, 24 spiders, and seven fiend slayers.  I also picked up messages 5, 36, 10, 11, 12, 40, 13, 15, 21, 23, and 24.  I also hit the 50 spider and 25 drow slayer mark.  Helloricish and Erdrique ran Reclaiming the Rift on epic hard.  As we made our way through the quest, Erdrique picked up six mysterious remnants and Embrace of the Spider Queen.  We completed the optional objective for completing each test only once.  I did get killed once during one of the tests.  For a quest award I picked up 48 commendations of Valor and for a story arc award I picked up the Planar Focus of Prowess.  With the completion of Reclaiming the Rift, I was also able to pick up the End of Ebberron Saga reward.  I picked up the guild renown, which netted the Crypt Crawlers another 27,300 renown :).

Moving through the Demonweb.

Making our way to Reclaim the Rift.

Hellorcish called it a night after the run through Reclaiming the Rift but I went ahead and started the Druid’s Deep storyline.  Erdrique started out by heading into the quest Outbreak.  I didn’t have any issues making my way through the Eveningstar War Hospital.  I was able to complete the optional objective to cure at least five patients.  For a quest award, I picked up 49 Commendations of Valor.  I then headed over to the next quest, Overgrowth.  I didn’t have any problems making my way through Uthe’s Lodge either and the only noteworthy thing I was able to pick up in this quest was four mysterious remnants.  I picked up another 49 Commendations of Valor as a quest reward.  After completing Overgrowth and taking time to do some maintenance, I called it a night which also happened to be the end of my weekend runs :(.

Dealing with the infestation in Outbreak.

Coming across some traps in Overgrowth.

Although the weekend was cut short because of work issues, I still got quite a bit of done.  I was able to finish up the Demonweb storyarc and to start the storyarc for Druid’s Deep.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Demonweb.

Searing Heights is Complete, Time for Sorrowdusk

Having the number of characters that I do, it becomes quite an accomplishment when I get a chance to get one leveled up, a quest chain completed, or an explorer area maxed out.  I especially find it gratifying when I finish up an explorer area with my characters.  I recently completed an explorer area with Suppply (Level 10 Paladin).  The explorer area he completed is Searing Heights.

Suppply has finished Searing Heights, now time for Sorrowdusk Isle.

The Searing Heights wilderness area is a level 6 area that can be quite challenging.  It is mostly populated with Blood Tide pirate (hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, minotaurs) and Sulatar drow.  There are also some wolves, mephits, elementals, and hell hounds thrown in for some guild measure.  It also includes some interesting explorer points include one point that you can only get to by falling off the side of a mountain.  The area contains a total maximum slayer count of 750, 9 rare encounters, and 15 explorer points.  Overall, it is an interesting zone.

Now it is time to move onto Sorrowdusk Isle to take on the ogres and trolls.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Searing Heights!!

Another Look Back, Quest Runs March 14th to March 17th

My quest runs over the third week of March were relatively light when compared to my typical playing week.  This was because I was trying to catch up on a few other things, which I still haven’t been able to do quite yet (even a month plus out, ugh..).  Luckily the things I’m behind in are primarily my side fun activities but still a little annoying.  Needless to say, I did play during a number of sessions in DDO that week.

I kicked things off on Monday by taking Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) out into the Sands of Menechtarun for a typical slayer run in the afternoon.  I focused primarily on the gnoll encampment and collected another 62 gnoll slayers and defeated Den Mother Fheena and I also looted the greatsword Whirlwind.  However, that was the only run I made on Monday night.

Hamllin making his way through the dust of the desert to battle some gnolls.

On Tuesday morning, I continued my desert slayers but with Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grand Master of Flowers).  Erdrique picked up another 13 gnolls and 21 scorrow slayers.  During this run, Erdrique picked up two account monster manual deeds, one for Scorrow Exterminator V and one for Scorrow Expertise.  Unfortunately this was the only run I was able to accomplish on Tuesday.

Erd making his way into the gnoll village.

Wednesday was a little more productive for me, which is ironic because Wednesdays are typically my light day in terms of DDO activity.  I kicked things off that morning by taking Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) out into the King’s Forest and to get some hunting in.  While out there, he picked up another 37 slayers which included 4 dire bears.  He also completed the random encounters for saving the villager from the bandits, bolstering the line, and freeing the shopkeeper.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and I took him back out into the Sands of Menechtarun and while out there he picked up another 69 slayers in the gnoll camp which awarded him with his 3,000 gnoll kills.  He also picked up another 27 scorrow slayers.  He also encountered and killed Den Mother Fheena.  After that run, I took Hamllin out into Kobold Island: Short Cuts.  I was able to complete the challenge by collecting 300 dragonshards and received 121 Orthon Metal Scraps as a reward. That completed my run for Wednesday.

Kolll hunting in the King’s Forest.

Hamllin collecting the last bit of his gnoll slayers in the desert.

Hamllin exploring Kobold Island: Short Cuts.

My most productive day of the week was Thursday.  I actually started the day by playing Neverwinter Nights II-OC first thing in the morning prior to work.  I took Ragnar further into the dangers of Neverwinter City and finished clearing out the Warehouse by defeating the mini-boss, Barlowe.  In the afternoon, I brought on Erdrique and I took him into the Cannith Challenge, Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.  I collected one progenitor crystal and completed the objective for clearing out the amphitheater.  Erdrique picked up 147 epic jaded scorpions as reward.  That night, I logged on with Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him out into the Sands of Menectharun for the first time.  He collected six gnolls and 25 undead slayers as he made his way to the Tomb of the Physician.  During this slight travel into the desert, he picked up the explorer point for the Tomb of he Physician and 10 undead kills.  I then took Charlock into the Tomb of the Physician on elite.  He picked up a monster manual deed for Ghast Exterminator II and was awarded 2,300 experience.  He also completed the optional objectives for collecting the Seal of the Soul, destroying 10 servant’s coffins, destroying 10 mummy guardings, and defeating Jezzerae, Kaenis, Uneeou, and UlzarionUlzarion.  After that run I called it a night.

Ragnar taking his group to finish the Warehouse in Neverwinter.

Erd making his way through the Lave Caves: Colossal Crystal.

Charlock exploring the desert for the firs time.

Charlock battling in the Tomb of the Physician.

So although this particular week was abnormal, I was still lucky enough to have the play time to close it out pretty strongly.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Questing Over March 11th to 13th

During this particular weekend, my entire set of questing was done with either Erdrique (Level 27 Rogue/Grand Master of Flowers) or Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter).  In, fact the vast majority of the runs during this particular weekend was dominated by Erdrique.  It was one of those rare times where I was scheduled to play Erdrique during the Friday morning slayer run and during my Friday afternoon run.  To kicks things off on Friday morning, I took Erdrique out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayer runs.  While out there he collected 161 gnoll and 88 scorrow slayers.  He also completed the collection of all of the rare encounters when he finally came across Stinkpelt.  I also took out Lieutenant Ayurro, Vorvand Darkfur, Volrune the Curate, Utach, and Wokran-kull.  I also took Erdrique out into the Sands of Menechtarun during the afternoon foray into DDO.  During this run he collected another 170 gnoll, 84 scorrow, and 97 undead slayers.  In so doing, he collected his mark for 1,500 gnoll slayers.  Erdrique also took out General Tanakh, Thumok, Palumak, Haraja, Lieutenant Ayurro, Utach Sandcrawl, Workan-Kull, and Stinkpelt.  He also picked up a interesting reward from Thumok’s chest, a +2 Upgrade Tome of Intelligence.

Erd and his stable making sure that Stinkpelt doesn’t get away.

Erdrique collecting some more gnoll slayers in the desert.

Friday night was quite interesting :).  I took Erdrique into the Anniversary Party to start out the night.  I was able to make my way through this fun event and took out all of the developers and claimed all of the star at level.  I gathered up four party favors as a reward.  I then headed out to the Demonweb for the first time with Erdrique.  I took him out there to make my way to the quest Trial by Fury.  While making my way through Lolth’s generated domain, I collected 14 spider and 15 fiend slayers, giving me the 10 slayer mark for each group.  This also took into account taking down two goristros.  I also came across journals 1, 2, 3, and 4 before I made my way to the quest entrance.  I then made my way through Trial by Fury on epic hard.  I was able to defeat the optional encounters with Shufarix, Tsirrik, Cho’ahz, Nilaphax, and Majuph.  I wound up gathering two monster manual deeds for the yuguloth, one was account wide and the other one was a hunter deed that netted Erdrique over 5,000 experience.  I completed the optional objectives for collecting all of the stones of might, all of the stones of wisdom, and all of the stones period.  I also looted two Commendations: Clerics of Amaunator and one Commendation: War Wizard.  I also picked up four mysterious remnants.  As a quest reward, I picked up 27 Commendations of Valor.

Battling Cordovan in the Anniversary Party Challenge.

Erdrique makes his way back into the Demonweb.

It appears that Trial by Fury will be an interesting adventure.

Saturday, I kicked off the night’s worth of questing by taking Erdrique back out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some more slayers.  I picked up another 172 gnoll, 89 scorrow, and 86 undead slayers.  While hunting down the mephits in the open desert area and around the tombs I picked up the monster manual deed for Mephit Exterminator IV which netted around 3,300 experience.  I encountered The Thirsty One, Palumak, Lieutenant Ayurro, Volrune the Curate, Utach Sandcrawl, and Den Mother Fheena.  The only interesting piece of loot I picked up during this run was a Dusk Heart.  After that run, I took Erdrique back into the Anniversary Party and didn’t have as much success as I did on Friday.  During this run, I suffered one defeat but I did raise back up and completed the quest gaining another four party favors.  I then headed back out into the Demonweb and made my way to the next quest, The Deal and the Demon.  While making my way through the Demonweb, I gathered another 21 spider and 15 fiend slayers.  I also picked up 17 drow slayers.  The slayers I picked up gave me 25 spider and fiend slayer marks as well as the 10 drow slayer mark.  I also discovered the message 37, 38, 33, 32, 31, 39, and 35.  The slayers also accounted for taking down two goristros as well.  Inside the quest, I had some slight difficulties.  I entered the quest on epic hard and took on the battle with the orange named hezrou, Graal’zerub.  I just basically wasn’t paying attention to the fact that my hireling wasn’t with me and had bugged out elsewhere.  I had to go ahead and purchase a resurrection cake to get back up but luckily that was the only hiccup I ran into.  I didn’t run into any other problems with two orange named chosen of Lolth or with Arith’narac and Kishnaurac.  While making my way through the quest, I picked another monster manual deed, this one for hezrou hunter which netted Erdrique over 8,800 experience.  I also completed the optional objective for allowing the mercenaries to be summoned.  As for rewards, I picked up a Commendation: Villagers of Eveningstar, the Spider Spun Caparison, and 24 commendations of Valor.

Erdrique taking on the Den Mother and her clan in the desert.

Heading back into the Demonweb.

Erdrique and his hirelings starting the Deal and the Demon.

It was on Sunday I switched over to Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) who I took into the Temple of Elemental Evil Part II.  I was taking Hamllin in here to collect the favor on this challenging quest on elite.  Unfortunately things didn’t go as I had planned.  The one thing about the Temple of Elemental Evil is that you have to devote enough time to make it through the quest, otherwise you will most likely not complete it, which has happened to me both times.  I’m sure once I learn it more, the quest will become easier to to do but needless to say this wasn’t the day.  I find it interesting how challenging a level 9 quest (level 7 on elite) is so challenging for a level 18 character.  As I was making my way the through the quest I came across and defeated the ogre chieftainDeggun, Barkinur, and three ogre commanders.  I also collected thirteen yellow parisol mushrooms and an account wide monster manual deed for bats.  However, in the end Hamllin and his hireling died in a grand case of glory while working their way through the fire node.  Looks like I’ll have to complete this one at another time.

Hammy taking a stab at the Temple of Elemental Evil Part 2 on elite.

Overall, it was a rather productive weekend, at least for Erdrique and a very disappointing weekend for Hamllin.  I have a number of other characters that still need to make their way through the Temple of Elemental Evil so I’m hoping if I keep throwing lives at it that it will eventually settled into my psyche.  We’ll see!!  Thanks for reading everybody and I’m doing my best to catch back up with my blog entries.  Happy hunting!!


Legendary Dreadnaught is Now Maxed Out

Earlier in March, Erdrique (Level 27 Rogue/Grand Master of Flowers) completed and maxed out the Legendary Dreadnaught epic destiny.  I’m currently making my way through my first epic reincarnation and as a result I have decided to just move my way through the epic destiny tree. I found the abilities for Legendary Dreadnaught to be a nice mixture with those Erdrique has a rogue acrobat (primarily).  In particular I found Momentum Swing and Lay Waste a nice compliment to Sweeping Strikes.  I also found the ability of Lightning Mace to be a fun melee attack that I could rotate with Quick Strike, Sly Flourish, and Staff Lunge.  I was actually quite surprised at how all of these seemed to work and found myself constantly clicking on various attack abilities.  Needless to say, it was a great epic destiny for my play style and I was a little disappointed as I moved onto the next tree, Grand Master of Flowers.

Erdrique has maximized out Legendary Dreadnaught and has moved onto Grand Master of Flowers.

Erdrique now has all of the Primal Sphere epic destines completed (Shiradi Champion, Fury of the Wild, and Primal Avatar) and the first of the Martial Sphere.  The next one to complete is Grand Master of Flowers and Shadowdancer.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!


Finishing Up Another Explorer Zone

One of the things I find interesting as I play my various characters through DDO is how some of my characters just breeze through some explorer zones while others struggle to collect those last set of kills, especially when it comes to finding rare encounters.  Earlier in March, Cannock (Level 8 Druid) was struggling with this situation with Waterworks.  Cannock had collected all of his actual slayer counts but still needed one last rare encounter.  In this particular instance, Cannock was having a very difficult time finding Gnarkill, the troll butcher.  Gnarkill can be difficult to find at times because he is only located in one spot and to get to him you have to activate a rune (intelligent).  This is a similar situation to the named rust monster, Crumble, who is also locked in a room by a rune (wisdom).

Cannock finally coming across Gnarkill and finishing up Waterworks slayers :).

However, Cannock did finally come across Gnarkill and has now completed this explorer area.  Now he gets to move forward in finishing up Tangleroot Gorge.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in Waterworks!!

Questing into the Second Week of March, Quest Runs March 7th to 10th

During the second week of March, my questing was pretty much with mid-level characters or epic level characters.  It was also an abnormal week for me because I had to do some traveling for work to get some management training so I didn’t get as much questing in as I typically would.  I started out the week with my typical slayer run on Monday morning.  I took Wapoyei (Level 24 Cleric/Divine Crusader) into the High Road.  While out there I collected another six slayers and defeated the specter, The Eternal Wanderer.  Needless to say I didn’t have a whole lot of time to play that morning.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 18 Fighter) and I took him out into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayers.  During this session, Hamllin focused on the gnolls and collected another 62 slayers in that area as well as taking down Stinkpelt.  That night, I logged on with Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) and Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) and I took them into Searing Heights to run the quest Bargain of Blood.  It was another dual boxing session and I wanted to get my revenge from my horrible attempt at Bargain of Blood from the night before.  On the way out to the quest, I picked up another 13 slayers for Harrgon.  In Bargain of Blood, I was able to the complete the optional objectives for destroying the assassination logbook, meeting up with the House Deneith Party, and freeing the slaves.  After completing Bargain of Blood, and getting my revenge, I then headed off and to do the quest Under the Big Top.  As I made my way through the quest, I only picked up one optional objective and killed Maz’il’tilnik.  In the end chest, Harrgon picked up The Big Top and Diamond of +5 Hide while Suppply picked up the Antique Greataxe as a story arc reward for completing the Phiarlan Carnival Series.

Wapoyei hunting in the High Road.

Hamllin battling the Windlashers in the desert.

Suppply making his presence felt in the Bargain of Blood.

Suppply taking note of the artwork in Under the Big Top.

On Tuesday morning, I was scheduled to play Neverwinter Nights II instead of the usual DDO.  I took my level 7 Spirit Shaman Ragnar further into the Warehouse in the Dock District of Neverwinter City.  For my afternoon run, I took Erdrique (Level 28 Rogue/Grandmaster of Flowers) into Sands of Menechtarun for some more slayers.  I also wanted to get something quick in before I headed out to Raleigh for my training.  While out there, I collected 57 gnoll slayers and came across Den Mother Fheena in the Windlasher Village.  That was all I could get in on Tuesday as I left shortly after that slayer run.

Ragnar participating in the battle in the warehouse.

Erdrique making his way to the desert.

I took my computer with me on my training trip in Raleigh and was able to get a few more runs in during the week.  On Wednesday, I logged on with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and I took him into The Lords of Dust on epic hard.  Kolll picked up 54 fragments of the Token of the Twelve, eight mysterious remnants, the Golden Guile, a monster manual deed for Rhaksasha Hunter for 2,260 experience, and 17 commendations of valor as a quest reward.  However, that was the only quest I was able to complete.

Kolll taking down the cultists in Lords of Dust.

For Thursday,  I started out the day by taking Sludgge (Level 22 Rogue/Shadowdancer) into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) for some slayers.  Sludgge collected 51 Stormheart slayers, two Stormfist slayers, and one Stormeye slayer.  He also defeated the ogre mage, Uthger Runetusk.  That night I logged on with Kanndar (Level 13 Paladin) and Stoorage (Level 13 Fighter) and I took them both into the Tharashk Arena (VON 1) for another session of dual boxing.  The completed the optional objectives for defeating Angog the Champion, Myr’dril, the drunken ogres,  troll enforcers, Smashjaw, and Grogan.  I picked up a number of monster manual deeds during this run.  Kanndar picked up two monster manual deeds, one for minotaur hunter and another for kobold hunter, each awarding him 446 experience.  Stoorage collected a troll hunter monster manual deed for 1,943 experience.  Stoorage also looted a Diamond of +3 Intelligence.  That run closed out my activity for the week.

Sludgge doing some hunting out in Gianthold.

Kanndar battling the drunken ogres in the Tharashk Arena.

So, although it was an “off” week for me, I still had a number of interesting runs.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!


Scorching Ray, A Simple But Fun Spell

Although playing spell casters isn’t my strongest skill or my preferred set of classes to play, I still enjoy playing them and experimenting with them.  I currently play two arcane casters, a mid-level sorcerer (Cantlin, level 13) and an epic level wizard (Rimuldar level 24).  One of the spells that I have found useful for both of them is scorching ray.  In particular it has been especially useful for Cantlin as he is a Fire Savant.  As a result, Cantlin gets extra spell power and damage boosts to all of his fire based spells.

Scorching ray is a second level spell.  It deals 4d3+12 fire damage per ray.  The number of rays your character will cast depends on their level.  At level 7, you can cast two individual rays and at level 11 the number of rays increases to three (maximum number you can get).  The great thing about scorching ray though is that it has double range, like all ray based spells.  This makes it a great spell to use from a distance.  I typically use it to take down enemies from a distance and in many instances I am able to roast them completely before they realize what is happening.  It also most be noted that it doesn’t have a saving throw against it, unlike spells such as Niac’s Cold Ray or Polar Ray.  This makes it extremely useful against those enemies that have high reflex saves.

Cantlin using scorching ray on Bladebreaker in the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Scorching ray does have its limitations though.  It does produce a smaller amount of damage that some of the other higher level ray spells,. especially when enemies fail their saves against those particular spells, and it can be “avoided.”  If you fire at an enemy and it moves, you can literally miss the enemy hitting the wall or other barrier instead.  Also, if another enemy steps in the path of your intended target, you will wind up hitting the other enemy instead.

But overall, those drawbacks can be noted and dealt with.  It is still a great low level, low spell costing spell, that can deal a good amount of damage at a ranged distance giving your character ample opportunity to take out the enemy outright or to lure it in for a more devastating spell :).

So keep scorching ray in mind when you pick out your spells for your caster.  Unless of course you are a Water Savant, then that would be a little counter productive :P.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!



Taking a Glance at An Offering of Blood

There are three flagging quests in the Sands of Menechtarun that must be completed to pick up the quest, Against the Demon Queen (pre-raid for the Zawabi’s Revenge, better known as the Demon Queen).  These include The Chamber of Raiyum (The Wizard King), Chains of Flame, and An Offering of Blood.  I have written about the Chains of Flame and did an in-depth walk through for Tomb of the Wizard King.  This afternoon, I want to take some time to write about the third quest, An Offering of Blood (keeping up with my desert and scorrow theme today as I already wrote about Volrune the Curate).

An Offering of Blood could be argued to be the easiest of the three flagging quests.  It is by the far the shortest of the three flagging quests but the length of the quest can be extremely misleading when it comes to judging difficulty.  In my thinking, An Offering of Blood is just as difficult as the other two if you have never been in the quest before and don’t know what to expect or how it flows (in other words, until you learn the quest’s momentum, this quest can be extremely difficult).  An Offering of Blood is a level 11 quest on normal and level 21 quest on epic normal.  The quest giver is Calyx Shattermoon, who is located in Zawabi’s Refuge, not far from where you turn in Antique Bronze Token Vendor.  You can definitely tell you the Calayx has a score to settle with the scorrow and Vulkoor.  In any case, she tells you about a holy ritual that is currently occurring in the Vulkoorim Spiral.

The Vulkoorim Spiral is located on the far eastern edge of the explorable area of the Menechtarun Desert.  It is on the other side of the Windlasher Canyon and southeast of the area known as the Scar.  The Vulkoorim Spiral is the center of operations for the Vulkoori drow and scorrow of the Menectharun desert.  The entrance to the quest is at the bottom of the large crater like spiral through a huge crack on the ground surface.  To get there, you will have to battle your way through a number of drow, scorrow, and scorpions.

Once you enter the quest, you start out on a ledge.  You quickly realize that you have to fall down a considerable depth to get into this dangerous stronghold.  Make sure you summon any hirelings and you apply whatever buffs you have at this point.  Also make sure to equip your featherfall item on.  You will bounce off the walls as you fall down into the tunnel and will eventually land in the middle of a large chamber.  In this chamber, you will see a fiendish gnoll that has been sacrificed by the drow to Vulkoor along with an offering of the gnoll’s blood.  As soon as you grab this offering the fun begins.

When you pick up the offering, you will be attacked by the first of three aspects of Vulkoor.  This aspect is a large Menectharun scorpion, Aspect of Wrath.  Once you defeat the Aspect of Wrath, the drow will begin their assault as they realize that somebody has infiltrated their compound and is trying to disrupt the ritual.  Now this is where the real challenge to this quest begins and what makes it extremely challenging your first few times you attempt this quest.  These drow, drow scorpions, and scorpions will continue to respawn.  Wave after wave of these enemies will continue to assault you.  Whatever you do, do not sit and wait for them.  You need to move forward!!

Erdrique fighting the initial scorpion spawns before he collects the offering in the beginning of An Offering of Blood.

Once the first Aspect is slain, the doors in this large chamber will open up, allowing the drow to enter and allowing you to leave.  You want to take the passage to the north, the other two passages are just dead ends.  This will be the path you will stay on for the rest of the quest.  In this fashion, the quest is quite linear.  The path is essentially a tunnel.  It has a number of doors spaced throughout that will need to be opened up by pulling a lever.  These doors will be guarded by drow and you will also have to maintain with the respawns.  The tunnel will loop around as you make your way back up to the surface and out of the spiral.

Now, although the primary tunnel is obvious, there are a number of smaller side rooms that you can enter if you choose to do so.  They are not a mandatory part of the quest and will require someway for you to unlock these particular doors.  As you continue along the tunnel you will eventually hit a bridge.  Be wary of this bridge as it is trapped, I believe with flame jets.  Once you cross the bridge you will come up to another large chamber.  This chamber contains a powerful red named drow scorpion, the second aspect (Aspect of the Hunter).  You will need to defeat him to open up the door that he guards, meanwhile having to deal with spawns and another powerful drow scorpion named Darksting.  Darksting is an orange named enemy and isn’t a require kill.  Once you make it past the second aspect, you will continue along the tunnel and will eventually hit another large chamber.  This particular chamber is extremely challenging.  First off, there is a small path that leads to a small underwater pond that hides a shrine.  This is an excellent place to take refuge and to hide in if necessary.  The rest of the room is designed to be scaled like a stacked staircase.  On each step are a number of drow archers and to make things even more interesting lightning traps are spaced throughout the steps.  Having electrical protection and resistance is highly recommended as well as having a high reflex, evasion, and/or high hit points.  One member of the group will need to make their way up above this wall.  Once they do so they will be able to lower a bridge that will allow the rest of the party to completely bypass the wall.

Erdrique dealing with multiple attacks on the bridge, take note of the fire traps (red nodes on the wall) that he disabled.

Once you are past this particular point, you will continue along the tunnel until you reach the last aspect, the Aspect of Cunning who is a powerful drow caster.  Of course you not only have to deal with him but also his respawning minions.  Once you defeat him, access to the surface open up as his flame barrier disappears that keeps it guarded.  Whatever you don’t dwaddle because the drow, drow scorpions, and scorpions will continue to spawn.  Once you enter the passage you will come across Calyx and when you hand her the offering the quest will complete.

Now something worth of mention.  In the those locked side rooms are a number of quests and another optional named drow scorpion, the High Priest of Vulkoor.  One of these side rooms also contains another shrine and one of the chests has a change of producing the Spectral Gloves.  Another point of note, on epic settings when you get to the last aspect, he is helped by some powerful construct scorpions that spam a powerful sound bursting effect that could be extremely detrimental to your success.  In fact on epic, you have to defeat these before the last aspect activates.

An Offering of Blood can be a quick and fairly simple run, if you know what to expect.  Otherwise, it can be quite challenging.  Check it out and prepare yourself of those respawns.  Also, as for buffs, keep in mind that you will probably be dispelled quite a bit since the drow scorpions love to spam dispell.  Don’t wast to many spell points on rebuffing accept for those cases where it will be extremely helpful, such as the lightning trap room.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Vulkoorim Spiral!!