Working On Another Week, February 12th and 18th

My quest runs this week included some runs across a mulitude of levels, as well as various outcomes.  To kick the week off, I logged on with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) and Suppply (Level 11 Paladin) and I took them into The Grey Moon’s Den: The Trollish Scourge.  On the way to the quest, they both collected 11 slayers for Sorrowdusk Isle.  Once I made into the quest I ran into some difficulties while playing Harrgon.  Harrgon was ripped apart five times by various champions.  It really emphasized how under geared he really is and I will need to work on that.  Hopefully I can rebuild my stock of essences and have Erdrique (Level 11 Bard) craft Harrgon some equipment.  In the end, I had to have Suppply bail out Harrgon but I was able to get the quest completed.  They also took out Shaman Herpostaw as well as all of the ogre collaborators.

On Monday, I logged back on with Suppply and Harrgon and took them back out into Sorrowdusk Isle for some slayers while I was also playing my weekly digital table top game.  While hunting in Sorrowdusk Isle, they collected 270 slayers out there.  Harrgon hit his 750 slayer mark and Suppply picked up two monster manual deeds, spider (1,200 experience) and scorpion (1,500 experience) exterminator II.  They also defeated the rare encounters Saate (2), Vermilo (2), Teargon, Kremen, Kurmer, Furley, and Noozer.  Harrgon was also able to finish collecting all rare encounters as well.

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Suppply hunting in Sorrowdusk Isle.

I logged on Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) and I took him into the King’s Forest for some slayers.  While out there, he defeated two dire bears, one drow priestess, and came across the random encounters for the Knight’s Plight and Knight’s Collar.  He also picked up a purple dragon knight commendation and 46 slayers.  Shortly after that run, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 20 Fighter/Shadowdancer) and I decided to try The Devil’s Details on heroic elite.  It has been quite a while since I have ventured in here and I was rudely awaken by the onslaught of abishai as I made it further into the quest.  Needless to say I wiped in dramatic fashion.  I will have to try to get my revenge later.  Later that night, I logged on with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and I took him into the quest Impossible Demands on epic hard with my new lioness and my onyx panther and owlbear.  Although Kolll suffered a few defeats, he did complete the quest and picked up 16 commendations of valor as a quest reward.  Kolll also picked up seven slayers in the King’s Forest as his way to the quest as well as the random encounter Money and Life.  He completed the optional objectives for saving the hostages, defeating Warleader Speitar and slaying the spider pet Akorstra.  I still had some time left, so I did a quick favor run with Kolll and ran through the Sacred Helm before calling it a night (picked up the Cloven-Jaw Longbow for the effort).

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Larrs hunting in the King’s Forest.

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Hamllin coming across a puzzle in the Devil’s Details.

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Kolll making his way through Impossible Demands.

During Wednesday, I logged on with Containment (Level 8 Cleric) and Cannock (Level 8) Druid and I took them into Three Barrel Cove for some daily slayer action.  They collected 186 slayers which included Ilmarin Tychoon, Ithun Orenah, Vitia, Dulse, Dybesh Relix, and Strinati.  Containment also hit the 500 slayer mark and found a few more explorer points.  After that run, I logged on with Erdrique and Sttollen (Level 12 Rogue) and I took them into the Grey Moon’s Den: Extermination.  On the way to the quest, they picked up 11 slayers.  They also completed the optional objective for slaying Blizzard and all of the trolls.  Erdrique also picked up a monster manual deed for ooze exterminator IV (account award) while Sttollen picked up a monster manual deed for human expertise (account award).  That was all I was able to get through on Wednesday as I spent the rest of the night with my wife for our weekly date night.

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Containment taking in the bell tower in Three Barrel Cove.

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Fighting the scorpions in Grey Moon.

 

For Thursday, my single quest run consisted of another dual boxing episode with Charlock (Level 16 Fighter) and Stoorage (Level 15 Fighter) who both ventured into the Red Fens.  While out there, Charlock collected 104 slayers while Stoorage collected 107 slayers (with a minor slayer potion).  They also came across Crooktooth, Kar Xyr, and Nab Ren.

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Charlock hunting down the enemies in the Red Fens.

Friday, I kicked things off by dual boxing with Lorrikk (Level 13 Monk) and Stoorage and entered the Red Fens for some slayers.  They both collected 117 slayers and came across Mudfoot, Fencreeper, Kar Xyr, Nab Ben, Sharkbiter, and Gorger.  Lorrikk also picked up a monster manual deed of monstrous plant exterminator (1,100 experience).  Later that night, I logged on with Erdrique and Sttollen and I took them Free Delera on elite.  They completed the optional objective for slaying the soul lock guardians.  Erdrique picked up 26 mysterious remnants while Sttollen picked up 12 mysterious remnants.  I then took Erdrique and Sttollen out into Searing Heights for more slayers.  They picked up 103 slayers and both hit the 750 slayer mark.  They also defeated Guck, Calcine, and Hazai Haatha.  Erdrique also picked up the monster manual deed for wolf exterminator IV and picked up another 3,390 experience.

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Lorrikk hunting in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique battling a skeleton in Free Delera.

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Erdrique coming across Guck in the Searing Heights.

 

To close out the week, I logged Erdrique and Sttollen during the mid-afternoon and I took them into the Searing Heights in hope to find their last rare encounter.  After a few attempts I finally came across the last rare encounter for them, Smolder.  They also came across and defeated Giallo and Ghamzee.  In doing this, Erdrique also picked up monster manual deeds for drow exterminator II, fire elemental exterminator II, fire elemental hunter, and fire elemental expertise II.  As a result, Erdrique picked up the fire elemental creature companion 🙂 and he and Sttollen completed the Searing Heights.

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Erdrique finally finding Smolder.

Needless to say it was a busier week than the week prior and just as diverse.  Erdrique and Sttollen are now going to finish making their stamp in Sorrowdusk Isle.  We’ll see what the rest of the new week has for me!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

 

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Mixing it Up, Quest Runs January 11th to January 14th

This particular week, I had a nice array of quest runs logged.  I ran characters through quests ranging from low level explorer zones to some epic quests and challenges.  I started out the week on Monday morning by taking Containment (Level 7 Cleric) and Cannock (Level 8 Druid) into Tangleroot Gorge for some slayers.  Later that afternoon, I continued with some slayers by taking Hamllin (Level 17 Fighter) back into the Sands of Menechtarun so that he could continue to work on his undead slayers.  After working my way around the domain of King Raiyum I logged out until later that night.  That night I was scheduled to play Stoorage (Level 14 Fighter) so I also decided to dual box with Tuhnn (Level 15 Bladeforged) as well.  I did this because they both needed to complete Delera’s Tomb.  Blackvale also happened to be logged on and offered to help me.  I also playing during our regular, weekly digital pen and paper session, so it was pretty busy night.  With Blackvale’s help, I was able to take Stoorage and Tuhnn through The Mystery of Delera’s Tomb, The Missing Party, Free Delera, Return to Delera’s Tomb, and The Thrall of the Necromancer.  Even being well over level for the quest, Tuhnn still wound up getting enough experience to level up to 16 (which I still need to do).  After those runs, I called it a night, as we had also finished up our pen and paper session as well.

Containment battling some hobgoblins in Tangleroot Gorge.

Hamllin making his way through the desert.

Making our way through The Mystery of Delera’s Tomb.

Tuhnn looking for closes to the Missing Party in Delera’s Tomb.

Tuhnn making his way to unlock the Soul Locks to free Delera.

Tuhnn approaching Delera in Return to Delera’s Tomb.

Stoorage making his way through the quest Thrall of the Necromancer.

Tuesday, I took Charlock (Level 15 Fighter) out into the Red Fens to continue his slayers out there.  I didn’t get a chance to log in during the afternoon but that night I logged on with Wapoyei (Level 24 Cleric/Divine Crusader) and I took him into the epic slayer area, Sschindylryn.  I then made my way through the Drow City of Portals to the quest House of Broken Chains and completed it on epic hard.  It turned out not be be as difficulty as I thought it was going to be.  However, it did take a good amount of time and by the time I finished it I had to call it a night.

Charlock collecting some slayers in the Red Fens.

Wapoyei admiring the sights in Sschindylryn.

Wapoyei freeing some slaves in the House of Broken Chains.

On Wednesday, I started out the day by dual boxing once again, this time with Lorrikk (Level 13 Monk) and Stoorage.  I took them out into Sorrowdusk Isle to continue with Lorrikk slayers out there.  In the afternoon, I brought Hamllin back on and took him back out into desert for more undead slayers.  That closed out my Wednesday questing.

Lorrikk battling the ogres of Sorrowdusk Isle.

Hamllin sizing up the enemies in the desert.

To close out the week on Thursday, I had another dual boxing session with Crawlller (Level 7 Ranger) and Cannock.  I took them out into Three Barrel Cove to focus primarily on Crawlller’s slayers.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 25 Rogue/Primal Avatar) and I took him through two iterations of the Extraplanar Palace: Buying Time as he continued to collected some Cannith Challenge Crafting ingredients.  Later that night, I logged on with Berann (Level 9 Barbarian) and Containment.  I took them both into the quest Proof is in the Poison and knocked it out on elite for both of them.  However, that was the only run I was to complete that night.

Crawlller making his way to Three Barrel Cove.

Erdrique making his way through the Extraplanar Palace: Buying Time.

Erdrique taking on more animated armors in Buying Time.

Berann making his way through Proof is in the Poison.

So, my questing over the week covered quite a variety of levels and quests.  Not a bad a week at all, although I did miss some questing opportunities.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Looking Back at This Week’s Runs, Questing July 13th to July 17th

As I took a glance at my quest runs this past week, I really couldn’t come up with a nice theme for the week.  However, now that I think about it, I probably could have said it was the week of undead and giant slaying considering that I had quest runs through the Catacombs, Delera’s Graveyard, Threnal, Red Fens, and the Black Loch.  Well, in any case, my questing started off on Monday morning with a slayer run into the King’s Forrest with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion).  Kolll is slowly wracking up his slayers out there.  I think I need to put in a few extra slayer runs for him to really start making a dent in that area.  Later that afternoon, after I got home from work and prior to dinner, I took Erdrique (Level 14 Rogue) back into the Ruins of Threnal and completed the Threnal Arena and the first quest among the Giant Caves, The Giant Lieutenants.  Later that night, during my digital PNP game session, I logged on with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) and took him into the Catacombs and completed The Old Archives, The Crypt of Gerard Dryden, and Setting the Wards: The Lower Cathedral on hard.  I called it a night after those runs and we closed out our PNP session as well.

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Erdrique taking on the challenge of the Threnal Arena.

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Erdrique looking for the giant lieutenants.

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Crawlller making his way through the Old Archives.

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Crawlller reading the inscription on the Tomb of Gerard Dryden.

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Crawlller opening a lever in the Setting the Wards: The Lower Cathedral.

On Tuesday, my morning questing was in Neverwinter Nights II.  I mix in an occassional run of Neverwinter Nights II with my slayer runs.  I’m currently working on a low level Spirit Shaman named Ragnar at the moment and we are currently exploring the corruption in Neverwinter.  Later in the afternoon, I took Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) and I took him out into the Red Fens and wracked up some more slayers.  Hamllin is slowly accumulating more and more slayers and is approaching that 7,500 mark.  Later that night, I logged on with Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) and I took him into House Deneith and started the Sentinels of Stormreach chain.  I picked up the quest storyline and the first quest Bargain of Blood and headed out to the Bargain Bazaar in the Searing Heights.  I completed the Bargain of Blood on epic normal with help from my onyx panther, level 17 owlbear, and a favored soul hireling.  I didn’t have any problems at all, using charm monster quite effectively to turn my enemies against each other.  I then headed off to The Black Loch, where I took Larrs and his makeshift band against the necromancers of the Blood Tide pirates and I had some fun slicing through those hordes of shuffling zombies and pirates.  I then called it a night.

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Ragnar working his way out of a battle in Neverwinter.

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Hamllin is a twisting whirl of death in the Red Fens.

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Larrs making his way to the final battle in Bargain of Blood.

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Larrs in the midst of combat in the Black Loch.

Wedensday was my typical “short” day.  I started the day by taking Kanndar (Level 12 Paladin) into Sorrowdusk Isle to work on some more slayers out there.  He is still working on his 750 slayer mark out there.  Later in the afternoon, I took Erdrique back out into the Ruins of Threnal and completed the last two quests out there: The Giants’ Lair and the Giants’ Supplies.  Those were the only runs I was able to complete as I spent the rest of the day with my beautiful wife.

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Kanndar taking care of the ogres in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique taking on the giants in the Giants’ Lair.

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Erdrique working on destroying the crates in the Giants’ Supplies.

I logged on with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) first thing Thursday morning and took him through some slayer runs in Three Barrel Cove.  Later on in the afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin and continued to work on his slayer runs in the Red Fens.  Later that night, I logged on with Harrgon once again and I took him through the quests Free Delera and Thrall of the Necromancer on elite.  I still had some time to kill, so I took Harrgon out into Three Barrel Cove to more on some slayers and then I called it a night.

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Harrgon taking on the enemies of Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin hiding in the reeds of the Red Fens.

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Harrgon being swarmed by wraiths in Free Delera.

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Harrgon taking on the skeletons of Thrall of the Necromancer.

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Harrgon taking note of some more waterfalls in Three Barrel Cove.

Overall, it was quite a diverse week of quest runs.  I had some low level, mid level, higher level, and epic level runs in the mix this week.  I hope everybody else had a nice week as well and I hope everybody has an even better weekend.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting.

Nice Busy Weekend, Questing May 8th to May 10th

This past weekend was perhaps one of the more busy weekends I have had in awhile in DDO :).  I kicked everything off with a Friday morning slayer run with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) who I took out into the pirate stronghold of Three Barrel Cove.  Harrgon is still quite away from maximizing the area out so I imagine I’ll be hunting in there with him for some time to come.  Continuing on with the pirate theme and Three Barrel Cove, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 9 Rogue) and took him through the slayer area as well and into the quest The Legend of Two-toed Tobias.  Later that night, I logged back on with Erdrique grouped up with Hellbanisher and Khamelblade and we stalked around the first two quest of the Delera’s Tomb chain: The Mystery of Delera’s Tomb and The Missing Party.  Hellbanisher had to call it a night after those runs, but Khamel and I pushed forward and completed Delera’s Tomb (Free Delera and The Thrall of the Necromancer) and then took down Dead Girl’s Spellbook as well.  We had to restart Free Delera because we had some issues with the third soul lock where the gate wouldn’t open up so that was a little disappointing.  Khamel and I called it a night after we made it through Dead Girl’s Spellbook.  However, I was able to reach level 9 prior to logging out while doing these runs :).

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Harrgon doing some hunting in Three Barrel Cove.

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Erdrique surveying the wreckage just above the Wheeping Cove.

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Erdrique wondering how real the Legend of Two Toed Tobias really is.

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Erdrique, Hell, and Khamel exploring Delera’s Tomb.

Erd, Hell, and Khamel looking for the Missing Party.

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Erd and Khamel working to unlock the Soul Locks.

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Khamel and Erd making their way to find the necromancer.

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Erd and Khamel making their way through Valak’s Mausoleum.

Saturday was even more busy.  I brought Erdrique back on and took him out into Tangleroot Gorge.  Prior to that, I spent some time working on configuring my gear since I had recently leveled up and had out grown the gear that previously had on.  I’m hoping this set of gear I have now will last me until level 11.  Once I got into the Gorge I preceded to maximize the area out, which I was able to, and then I headed off to complete the Assault of Splinterskull chain.  I wound up completing the Deadly Package: The Stronghold Key, The Deadly Package: Agent of Darguul, Doom of the Witchdoctor: The Way to Zulkash, Doom of the Witchdoctor: Zulkash, Herald of Woe, The Last Move: The Way to Yarkuck, and The Last Move: Yarkuch’s Last Stand.  Once I completed the chain, I then decided to run some Cannith Challenges and completed a run through Kobold Island: The Disruptor and The Lave Caves: Colossal Crystals.  I will still need to complete the Colossal Crystals a few more times to get enough jade scorpions to upgrade my Ring of the Stalker and Spare Hard when I hit level 11.  I then called it a night.

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Exploring the ogre cave in Tangleroot Gorge.

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These heavily armored avengers might be challenging.

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Erdrique looking to speak to the Darguul spy.

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Erdrique battling the glass spiders on his way to take care of Zulkash.

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Erdrique doing what he can to put Zulkash in his place.

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Erdrique preparing battling war master Muuj. 

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Erdrique tripping the warmaster in Spinterskull.

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Erdrique directing traffic in the Lava Caves: Colossal Crystals.

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Erd doesn’t appreciate this giant skeleton disrupting his extractor from harvesting shards.

On Sunday, I was scheduled to play with Erdrique once again.  This time I took Erdrique back out into Three Barrel Cove and completed the quests Ghost of a Chance and the Scondrel’s Run on elite.  Once I completed those, I then logged on with Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger).  I finally had a chance to catch up with him since major downtime event with Update 25, when I was supposed to play Larrs but couldn’t because servers were down.  I look Larrs through The Snitch on epic normal and then I called it a night.

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Erdrique running the beaches of Three Barrel Cove.

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Erdrique fighting some ancient warforged in Ghost of a Chance.

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Erdrique running into some scorpions in the Scondrel’s Run.

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Larrs fighting off the enemies in the Snitch.

So not a bad weekend of questing at all.  I got Erdrique moved up to level 9 and redid his gear and I was able to get back on track with my quest runs with Larrs.  Hoping to have just as much fun for next weeks runs :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Catching Up Over the Weekend, Questing December 12th to December 14th

As I mentioned in this blog article last week was an off week, so I used the weekend to try to catch up on my play schedule.  However, I started the weekend off with my typical slayer run on Friday morning, although it was later on in the morning as I was still recovering from being sick on Thursday night.  I took a character from my premium account, Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) out into the hoboglin rich forests of Tangleroot Gorge to gather up some slayers and rare encounters.  For my mid-day run on Friday, I took Hamllin (Level 13 Fighter) into the lair of Whisperdoom and completed the quest The Spawn of Whisperdoom on elite and had my first look at the monster champions.  Later that night, I brought on Kanndar (Level 11 Paladin), who I was originally scheduled to play on Monday, and took him through Storm the Beaches on elite.  After I completed that run, I then logged on Charlock (Level 13 Fighter) and took him through Stormcleave Outpost, which I was supposed to do Thursday when I was sick.  At that point I was caught back up, so then I brought on my main character Erdrique (Level 10 Monk) and took him through Free Delera to continue the Delera’s Graveryard story arc.  Although I encountered a plethora of monster champions, I completed all of these quests without any issues.

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Crawlller hunting in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Hamllin taking on Whisperdoom in her lair.

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Kanndar stunning a Blood Tider archer champion in Storm the Beaches.

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Charlock encountering an orange named championed in Stormcleave.

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Erdrique fighting a skeleton arcus champion in Free Delera.

On Saturday, I logged on relatively early to take advantage of my wife having to work during the day and because I really wanted to finish the Delera’s Tomb chain, so I then completed Thrall of the Necromancer on elite with Erdrique and finished that chain.  Later that night I brought Erdrique back on and worked on completing the Grey Moon Waning Story arc.  I went ahead and knocked out The Iron Mines: Justice for Grust, The Grey Moon’s Den: The Trollish Scourge, and The Grey Moon’s Den: Extermination.  I didn’t run into any issues here and advanced to the Cult of the Six Story arc.  I then decided to run some of the quests in the Red Fens.  As I headed out there, I went to the quest The Last Stand.  This was the first quest I ran into that caused me some issues with Erdrique in quite some time.  However, the issues were more surrounded on issues wit my hireling.  For some reason, the hireling refused to heal themselves and promptly got killed.  I tried it twice and then realized that I have way to many level eight and lower quests to complete before I try to tackle to many of the level 9 quests.  So I then moved off to complete the Necro I series by finishing up the night with The Blood Crypt on elite having no problems in there.

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Erd hunting down the necromancer.

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Erdrique taking on a champion shaman in the Iron Mines.

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Fighting the Black Sun Ogres of Grey Moon.

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Erdrique fighting a holiday, championed version of Blizzard in Grey Moon.

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Approaching one of the peaks in the Red Fens.

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Erdrique preparing for the The Last Stand.

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Time to explore the Bloody Crypt.

Sunday, I was scheduled to take Erdrique out to do some more hunting.  This time I was scheduled to run Spies in the House.  Generally I have out leveled the “elite” streak range by the time it get to this quest, but the stars seemed to align just right this time.  I was joined up with Khameltoe and we went ahead to take on the Blood Road.  Although I did get killed twice, overall the quest wasn’t much of a problem.  I died once from an unknown source, a necromancer killed me with some type of bludgeon damage, I’m still not sure what happened there.  The second time I died I was blown onto the electrified floor on the mephit level when I thought the blower jets were turned off….oops, lol.  But besides those, the quest was a success gaining us well over 30,000 experience with the elite streak.  After that run, Khamel and I decided to run a Cannith Challenge, Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door on Level 10.  We took out the succubus and blackguard before our time ran out.

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Erdrique have some fun “jading” a mephit or two in the Blood Road.

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Erd and Khamel running through Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion looking for some bosses.

So, unlike the week prior, the weekend was quite productive and fun .  I ran into some issues with The Last Stand but I will knock it out soon (I promise my revenge!).  It was a good weekend and hope everybody else had a nice weekend as well.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

My First Thoughts on Heroic Monster Champions

With the release of Update 24 Heart of Madness last week, a new version of some of our favorite enemies were released called monster champions.  The intent of monster champions is to make running quests on hard and elite difficulties, both hard and elite, more of a challenge.  The DDO developers are using monster champions in an effort to acknowledge comments that with recent game changes, and prior to changes, that DDO has become to easy.  By putting in this new system into the game, the DDO developers were hoping to give the player base more of a challenge when they run quests on hard or elite difficulties.  I was quite interested in seeing how this would pan out myself and I thought it might be a nice wrinkle into the game.  I typically do run the majority of quests on heroic settings on elite with my characters (besides on my Premium account because none of those characters have unlocked the ability to open quests on higher difficulties on initial play through).  However, as for epic quests, I typically do those on normal or hard, as I know my limitations with my characters :).

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Hamllin facing off against a Whisperdoom’s Daughter champion.

Another Spawn of Whisperdoom champion photo AnotherSpawnofWhisperdoomchampion_zps619035a8.jpg
Hamllin encountered a number of champion Spawn of Whisperdooms.

Well, one thing I have to say, I don’t think I have seen nearly as many concerns and comments on the forums about a single mechanical change in game since the change to the armor class system.  The DDO General Forums have exploded and a new thread was developed in the Official Discussion Threads to help steer all of the comments.  The comments spread throughout that focused thread and throughout the rest of the General Discussion Forums have been quite wide and varied.  Many people enjoy the new difficulty while a lot of others have had some serious concerns.  There have been reports on the forums where monster champions have been killing characters in “one shot” and that they seem to be spawning more than they should.  The different views expressed on the forums have been quite polarizing with those in favor of the addition to monster champions basically commenting that those who don’t like the change shouldn’t be running quests on hard or elite.  This of course has created some heated discussions on who should be able to run quests on what difficulty.

Hamllin dealing with a dark fang champion in Whisperdoom's Lair photo HamllindealingwithadarkfangchampioninWhisperdoomslair_zps207abc71.jpg
Dealing with my first monster champion, a darkfang spider in The Spawn of Whisperdoom.

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Hamllin challenging a champion Kar-thul enchanter (ogre mage).

Before I started to read any of these threads, I decided to see how these monster champions would work.  From what I can tell from the release notes and discussions on the forums the total number of monster champions you face off against in a quest should be about 10% of the total number of enemies.  A regular monster or mini-boss (orange named enemies in general) has a chance to be spawned as a monster champion.  Mini-bosses have a higher chance of becoming a monster champion.  Monster champions will receive a few buffs to make them more challenging and these buffs can differ over time.  Monster champions will also see an increase in the damage output as well as a heavy increase in their hit points.  Some of the buffs I have seen so far included blur, true sight, extra elemental damage, and attacks to make you vulnerable to different effects.

Lieutenant Kaptsht champion photo LieutenantKapshtchampion_zpsc5ae0e3c.jpg
Kanndar dealing with a championed Lieutenant Kapsht.

So what are my thoughts?  Please keep in mind that my perspective is from somebody who plays more on the heroic side of things than on epic and that my heroic characters are not fully geared or maxed out builds.  The first character I used to take a look at these enemies was Hamllin (Level 13 Fighter).  Hamllin has one heroic past life.  I took him and a hire into the quest, The Spawn of Whisperdoom.  The Spawn of Whisperdoom is a level 11 quest on normal making it 13 on elite.  I figured this would be a good quest to test the monster champions because it has a large number of enemies, the enemies you face are varied from melee, to ranged, to caster types, and the quest is quite lengthy and spaced out with various densities of mobs.  I was kind of worried when the first enemy I encountered was actually a monster champion darkfang spider (monster champions can be identified because of the crowns floating above them).  In my initial attacks on it though I was surprised by a few things.  First off I was able to land Shattering Strike on it without a problem.  I was concerned that with the monster champions that our tactical feats and enhancements would become limited, if not useless, against them.  However, I didn’t find this to be the case at all.  After I landed the Shattering Strike, I then landed a Stunning Blow and although it had over 1,500 hit points it still didn’t last to long.  Further on into the quest, I came across a number of other monster champions.  Running through ogre village I came across a few monster champion mystics, impalers, and melee ogres.  They did indeed have more hit points and blur but overall they didn’t really impact my game style.  I was able to hit the monster champion ogres with Stunning Blow, Trip, Sunder, and Shattering Strike the vast majority of the time.  I was more worried about the Whisperdoom Daughters (orange named black widows) and the orge magi.  The majority of the daughters were crowned making them monster champions.  Although I was worried about them, they didn’t really cause me many problems, especially with Stunning Blow.  That, and for some reason, a large portion of these enemies were actually spawned with reduced hit points.  It looked they had already been beat up on before I got there, I’m sure that is a bug and I noticed a few others reported the same thing.  It was like their hit point were expanded but they weren’t filled to max health for whatever reason.  The ogre mages were also not bad.  I was expecting on getting hit with some other more dangerous spells but they seem to use the same abilities that the regular ones did.  I also noticed that I received a few more random chests from the Whisperdoom Daughters champions.

Whisperdoom's daughter champion low hit points photo Whisperdoomdaughterchampionwithhitpoinsalreadylost_zps382802d1.jpg
This Whisperdoom’s Daughter gave me advantage by starting out with reduced hit points.

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A Spawn of Whisperdoom champion also giving me an advantage by starting out with reduced hit points.

Hamllin taking on an ogre mystic champion photo Hamllintakingonaogremysticchampion_zps595a13ec.jpg
Hamllin facing off against an ogre mystic champion.

Hamllin fighting a Kar-thul Impaler champion photo HamllinfightingaKar-ThulImpalerchampion_zps55fd39b3.jpg
Hamllin hitting up a Kar-thul Impaler champion.

Chest from the Whisperdoom daughter champion photo ChestfromtheWhisperdoomdaughter_zps4acecc28.jpg
Receiving a reward from his hard work, chest from a mini-boss champion (Whisperdoom’s Daughter).

After that run, I logged in Kanndar (Level 11 Paladin) and took him and a hire out into Storm the Beaches on elite.  Kanndar is a first lifer with so-so gear.  Now Storm the Beaches is a level 7 quest on normal making it a level 9 on elite.  So in this instance, Kanndar was slightly higher than the level of the quest but not so much so to get an experience penalty.  While running through Storm the Beaches, I encountered a variety of monster champions: wildmen, wolves, Blood Tide archers, three orange named mini-bosses (First Mate, Lieutenant Kapsht, Boatswain Jared), and a few others.  As with Hamllin, Kanndar was able to land Stunning Blows, trips, and sunders.  He didn’t experience any issues here.

Tripping a blood tide archer champion photo Trippingabloodtidearcherchampion_zps06baa5c8.jpg
Kanndar laying low a champion Blood Tide archer.

Stunning a blood tide archer champion photo Stunningabloodtidearcherchampion_zps30519d85.jpg
Kanndar landing a stunning blow on a champion Blood Tide archer in Storm the Beaches.

Kanndar stunning an island wolf champion photo Kanndarstunninganislandwolfchampion_zpsa1ad79c4.jpg
Kanndar knocking some senses into this island wolf champion.

Fighting a Wildman Champion photo FightingaWildmanchampion_zpscec980bb.jpg
Kanndar taking on a wildman champion.

Boatswain Jared Champion photo BoatswainJaredchampion_zps56e743bd.jpg
Boatswain Jared has also been championed.

Upon that completion, I logged on with Charlock (Level 13 Fighter, first life) and took him into Stormcleave Outpost on elite.  Stormcleave is a level 8 quest on normal making it a level 10 quest on elite.  Charlock’s level was on the high end of the level range for this quest.  However, I was curious to see how his paralyzing bastard sword would work on these monster champions.  I faced off against a number of different champion types (not surprising because of the large variety of monsters in Stormcleave).  I was surprised to see that a monster champion scorpion had a much higher number of hit points than a monster champion minotaur.  I was also surprised to see that my paralyzing bastard sword was surprising efficient at holding and stopping the monster champions dead in their tracks.  Also, the majority of the orange named enemies turned out to be “championed” as well, including the minotaur lord Helos.  Even with this, I had no problems.

Paralyzing a minotaur champion photo Paralyzingaminotaurchampion_zpsb781f7a2.jpg
Chalrock paralyzing a champion minotaur in Stormcleave.

Champion Helos in Stormcleave photo ChampionHelosinStormcleave_zpsd79953a6.jpg
Figures Lord Helos would be championed.

A night scorpion champion photo ANightScorpionchampion_zpsb1fa01ff.jpg
Scorpions are bad enough without being championed.

My last run was with Erdrique (Level 10 Monk, 36 point build, multiple past lives) who took on the quest Free Delera.  That quest is level 9 on elite.  I encountered a number of the monster champions in here as well.  I believe two of the soul lock guardians were “championed” and one of the dropped a quest.  But like in the other quests, these champions didn’t really hinder me that much.  I was able to trip skeleton champions and still hit them with my special attacks.

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Erdrique taking on a Skeletal Arcus champion in Free Delera.

Overall, I haven’t found the monster champions to be that much of a detriment so far to my questing.  After the initial runs I described above, I ran a few other quests and didn’t encounter many issues.  I did suffer a humiliating defeat in The Last Stand in the Red Fens with Erdrique but this was more because I prepared rather poorly and not because of the monster champions.  As long as we are able to still land our special attacks to nullify these powerful enemies then I think questing will be normal for me on the heroic side of things.  Another thing that I noticed, is that those enemies that are being stealthy that happen to be championed are visible to the players because of the crown icon indicating them as a champion.  I have read some reports that some of the monster champions in the VON flagging quests have been quite devastating on heroic hard and elite.  I also don’t know if scaling has any effect on the monster champions as I hit these quests up with my character and a hireling, making me wonder if these champions were naturally scaled to be weaker than in a regular party.

First mate champion photo Firstmatechampion_zps12118e65.jpg
Kanndar taking on the First Mate champion.

Fighting a spawn of whisperdoom champion photo FightingaSpawnofWhisperdoomchampion_zpsf11fcfca.jpg
Hamllin dealing with another Spawn of Whisperdoom champion.

In any case, I have to admit that the change hasn’t effected me that much.  I do like the chance to get extra loot and extra guild renown but I’m curious to see how things will be changed in the coming weeks, as I’m sure some tweaks will be made.  Thanks for reading this long and drawn out article everybody and I hope everybody has some fun times hunting down these champions!!