Review of Quest Runs, January 14th to 17th

My questing activity last week was pretty lite.  On Monday, I joined up with our Fantasy Grounds PNP group and we continued our questing through the Pathfinder campaign.  We had a lot of dialogue that night so I didn’t get a chance to do much in DDO.  Although I did log in with Rimuldar (Level 23 Wizard/Draconic Incarnation) and I had him inscribe one of the new spells, Iceberg.

I didn’t get a chance to log back into DDO until Thursday.  I logged back in with Rimuldar and continued on my quest to get the most favor I can with my characters.  For some odd reason he still needed the Phiarlan Carnival quest chain on elite.  So I quickly took him through A Small Problem, Partycrashers, and The Snitch on heroic elite.  I didn’t have enough time to work my way through Under the Big Top so I will have to work on that next time.

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Rimuldar heading into A Small Problem.

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Rimuldar taking care of The Snitch.

Thanks for reading everybody and I hope others had a more productive week than I did.  Happy hunting everybody!!

Traveling to the Big Top

The Phiarlan Carnival story arc is composed of quests that are fun and unique and include A Small Problem, Partycrashers, and The Snitch.  The capstone to the story arc is a quest called Under the Big Top.  Like the other quests in the series, Under the Big Top is a level 5 quest on heroic normal and level 20 on epic normal.  The quest is unique in that it takes place entirely within a carnival setting and culminating in an end fight in the Big Top of the Traveling Troubadors.

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Suppply making his way through the carnival.

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Dealing with the tiefling tricksters.

In my opinion, the quest is medium in length, making it nice for a relatively quick run.  As I mentioned previously, it occurs entirely within the a carnival back drop.  The majority of beings you initially come across are disguised tieflings pretending to be various game promoters and vendors.  Any actual patrons will immediately depart once the fighting begins and the charade is discovered.  When you first enter the quest you approach the carnival from the outskirts.  It doesn’t take long until you reach your first set of disguised tieflings and the fighting starts.

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Are these disguised tieflings?

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Preparing to deal with hell hounds balancing on balls of fire.

The enemies you encounter in Under the Big Top are primarily various forms of tieflings and hellhounds.  The tieflings include Malefic strongmen, Malefic seers, Malefic knife throwers, Malefic firebreathers, Malefic illusionists, and Malefic trainers.  The Malefic seers and illusionists can be extremely annoying, as these are the types of tieflings that are the arcane casters and clerics in the group.  Other enemies include special zombies called magician assistants that only spawn once you liberate them from their containers.  These containers are identified with numerous swords strewn through them.  There are also a few other optional names that might appear: Herli’nak the Untamed (named hell hound), Kron’zek (named blue abishai),  Maz’il’tilnik (named tiefling), and Yewil d’Phiarlan (charmed House P attendant).

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Which way to go?

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Looks like I came across a dead end, for a magician?

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Battling a Malefic knife thrower.

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Dealing with a named tiefling.

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Still dealing with a named tiefling.

The carnival/fair grounds are divided into varies sections that are separated by special rune wheels called the “Wheels of ill fate.”  To the lower the barrier from one section of the carnival to another you need to set the rune wheels on the right positions.  Every time you turn the rune wheel you have the chance of activating a potent trap or for spawning a group of enemies.  The traps associated with the rune wheels can be disabled, with the boxes sometimes being located in places a distance away from the rune wheel.  Even with the rune wheels being disabled, you can still get random mob spawns when you turn the wheel.  The runes to set the wheels are posted on various pillars in the carnival.  Also, there are a few “high striker” games spread around the carnival that you can play for some other optional experience, although very minor.  These games are based on a random roll to hit the high striker bell and when activated prompt the spawn of some tieflings and once they are defeated you get awarded the experience.

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Coming up on a rune wheel of ill fate in the Big Top.

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The path is now open.

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Another blocked path, time to set some more wheels.

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Wishing for some luck with the rune wheel.

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Finding the runes to set the rune wheels.

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Coming across a high striker game.

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Here is another high striker.

Once you make your way through the carnival grounds, you finally come to the top of the midway and to the big top.  Outside of the big top you will be encountered by a contingent of House P assassins.  Of course they basically tell you that you were being used as a distraction so they could infiltrate the big top and defeat the leader, Malicia.  Feeling a little annoyed, you agree to stand back and let House P handle the conflict to come in the big top.  However, once you enter the big top itself, it doesn’t take long for Malicia to dominate these assassins and get them to attack you instead.

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Making my way to the midway.

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Wondering who set that rune wheel on fire.

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Fighting above the carnival grounds.

So, the end fight essentially starts out with you fighting the contingent of House P assassins and then dealing with Malicia and her tiefling underlings.  Halfway through the fight Malicia will call another group of tieflings to help her.  Malicia herself is a succubus making this end fight quite interesting.

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Suppply making his way to the Big Top.

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Exploring the depths of the carnival grounds on the way to the Big Top.

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Coming across the House P contingent.

Under the Big Top is fun quest and could be quite challenging to complete on elite without a trapper because of the rune wheels.  It is a fun quest and can be completed relatively quickly.  If you haven’t done this quest yet, I would recommend it.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Big Top!!

Questing from April 11th to April 14th

My quest runs from April 11th to 14th contained some epic level quests and slayer runs, some runs through the Anniversary party, some low level quest and slayer runs, and some time in Sands of Menechtarun.  Things kicked off on Monday when I took Rimuldar to Eveningstar and into the King’s Forest.  I didn’t have a whole a lot of time to do some questing prior to work but I did collect another 11 kills, with one of them being a dire bear, and I completed the random encounter for helping out the Eveningstar healer.  In the afternoon, I took Hamllin into the Sands of Menechtarun and ventured into the Valley of the False Tombs and collected another 60 slayers in the undead category.  However, he only came across one of the rare encounters out there, The Thirsty One.  To close the night out, while playing my digital DnD game, I took Wapoyei into the Anniversary Party and collected four party favors after I completed all of the objectives.

Rimuldar entering the King’s Forest.

Hamllin taking on the undead of the Desert.

Wapoyei checking out the Anniversary Party.

On Tuesday, I started my questing with another one of my dwarves, Garrrin.  Like Rimuldar, Garrrin is working on his slayers in the King’s Forest.  Garrrin collected 18 more slayers while roaming around the grand forest including a dire bear.  He also came across the random encounter to slaves of many masters but I couldn’t defeat the drow fast enough and failed that encounter this particular time.  In the afternoon, it was Erdrique’s turn to head into the Sands of Menechtarun and during this run he made his way past the Windlasher Canyon and into the Scar to collect some scorrow slayers.  While out there he picked up six gnoll and 87 scorrow slayers.  He also took down Mendexethazz, Utach Sandcrawl, and Wokran-kull.  He also looted some interesting items from these chests including Frigid 12 (insightful fire resistance 12) of Tumble 12 Bracers (masterful craftsmanship), Sting, and an Alluring 5 (+5 Charisma) Ring of Combustion (66 Fire Spell Power).  My run Tuesday night was a dual boxing session with Berann and Containment.  I took both of them into quest, The Snitch to continue on with the Phiarlan Carnival Series.  They completed the optional objectives for slaying Rusty and in returning the letter.  At the end of the run, Berann scored 700 points of favor and his second rank in House Phiarlan favor and Containment reached 600 points of favor.

Garrrin exploring the King’s Forest and battling drow.

Erdrique battling the scorrow in the Desert.

Berann chasing the snitch.

Wednesday, I started the day off with another dual boxing session, this time with Cannock and Crawlller.  I took them into Tangleroot Gorge, as Cannock was my primary focus for this run and he is still working on that area.  Crawlller already has this particular area maxed out.  While making my way through the jungle along the Tangleroot River, Cannock collected another 27 slayers and defeated the rare encounter Silkweave.  In the afternoon, I took Hamllin back into the desert and into the Valley of the False Tombs.  He collected another 117 slayers and defeated the rare encounters Palumak and Whirling Ozan.  From Palumak, he looted a Dusk Heart.  Those were the only runs I made that day, as it was date night :).

Cannock battling the wolves of Tangleroot Gorge.

Hamllin taking on Palumak once again.

To close out the week, all of my runs on Thursday were within the Sands of Menechtarun.  I started out by taking Tuhnn into the Burning Mountain Region to fight off the firebrand gnolls.  While hunting in the desert, Tuhnn collected 89 more slayers in gnolls.  He also found and defeated Haraja, Vorvand, and Lieutenant Ayurro.  By defeating Vorvand and Ayurro, he was able to complete all of the rare encounters in the desert.  He also looted the Gloves of the Falcon from Ayurro’s chest.  He also hit 750 gnoll slayers.  In the afternoon, I took Erdrique into the Menechtarun Desert and back into the Scar.  During this run, Erd picked up another six gnoll slayers and 88 scorrow slayers.  As a result, he hit the 1,500 slayer mark for scorrow.  He also came across Utach Sandcrawl and Volrune the Curate.  For my nightly run, I logged on with Sludgge and he also ventured into the sun baked Menechtarun Desert.  He also made his way to the Scar and to make his way to the quest, An Offering of Blood.  On his way to the quest, he collected 89 scorrow slayers.  Once inside the quest, Sludgge gathered a few monster manual deeds.  He picked up scorpion exterminator I for 423 experience, scorrow hunter for 2,260 experience, and scorrow exterminator for 1,130 experience.  During this run, Sluddge picked up two scrolls: Scroll of the Xuum and Scroll of the Bracers of Deftness.  He also picked up 41 fragments of the token of the twelve and received eight commendations of valor as a quest reward.

Tuhnn battling the gnolls in the Desert.

Sludgge making his way to An Offering of Blood.

Overall it wasn’t a bad week.  I had a nice mixture of quest runs.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Lighter Weekend Than Planned, Quest Runs April 17th to April 19th

Although I had some fun and interesting runs this past weekend, my overall questing activity was less than I had originally planned.  This was primarily because I went out of town to visit my parents who were vacationing a couple hours away from me on Friday night.  Since they live in Florida, I couldn’t pass up the chance to meet them for dinner and spend some time with them .  I had originally planned on knocking out the Phiarlan Carnival Series by the time the weekend was over but instead only got through Partycrashers.

So speaking of questing over the weekend, I kicked off the weekend by taking Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) out into the forest of Tangleroot Gorge.  Crawlller is still making his way through that slayer zone slowly but steadily.  I wound up cutting my work day short, which allowed me to log in with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) who I have diligently working hard on catching up with his slayers by tackling the Red Fens.  Shortly after that is when my wife and I headed out to go to dinner with my parents.  When I got back home late on Friday night, I did log on with Erdrique (Level 7 Rogue) who I took into Rest for the Restless on elite, which was my last level 4 quest to complete and then for a circuit in the Lava Caves: Circles of Power.  After I completed the run through the Lava Caves I then headed out to House P to start the Carnival chain.  I then headed out to Mammoth Valley and took on the tieflings to find Brawnpits as I completed A Small Problem on elite.  It was getting pretty late at that point so I called it a night.

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Crawlller exploring Tangleroot Gorge.

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Hamllin making his way through the Red Fens.

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Erdrique works through the Vault of the Restless.

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Erdrique working to get the crystals collected in the Lava Caves.

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Erdrique looking for Brawnpits in Mammoth Valley.

On Saturday, I took some advantage of the time I had during the day because my wife had to work.  So I took Erdrique out into Tangleroot Gorge on three different occasions to burn up a minor slayer pot.  Erdrique has now hit his 750 slayer mark out there and is currently working on his 1,500 slayer.  He also still needs at least two more rare encounters before he maxes the area out.  Later that night, I noticed that I only needed about 10,000 experience to force me to level to 7.  Since the next quest I was getting ready to do was Partycrashers, I decided it best to go ahead and level up.  I then headed back to House P and had a very interesting time in Partycrashers.  Although I didn’t have a bluff item on, I was still able to get my bluff high enough (with the use of heroism, eagle’s splendor, and the Voice of the Master) to trick the poison master and captain into the library where I took them out (separately of course).  I took out the captain first that way his little troop of brainwashed guards help me to deal with the poison master.  I then went upstairs and took out the tiefling band up there and enjoyed the conversation at the last “fight” when I saw the primary mastermind tiefling get all depressed that all of his troops and plans were foiled.  I really like it when I complete that quest without an end fight .  After I took out Partycrashers, I then worked on upgrading my Ring of the Stalker.  I logged on with Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) and took him into Kobold Island: The Disruptor and made two circuits through there to get the necessary necromantic charms I needed.  I then called it a night.

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Erdrique taking in the view of Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique destroying a Mark of Shadow in the Illusionarium. 

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Lorrikk working on Erd’s behalf in Kobold Island: The Disruptor.

On Sunday, I continued to work on upgrading Erdrique’s Ring of the Stalker.  I wanted to upgrade it to Tier 2 which requires me to have jaded scorpions which come out of the challenge Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal.  This time I decided to run it with Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter).  I tried it twice, once by myself (with a hireling) and once again with Helltwister (with two hirelings) and unfortunately failed both times.  I’m going to have to do a little more playing around in here to go the flow of this challenge (or I just do a different challenge to swap the ingredients).  Later that night, it was time to do something different so I logged on with Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Divine Crusader).  I was joined by Friedrice and we hit up the Spinner of Shadows and Beyond the Rift on Epic Hard.  Wapoyei actually got killed once in each quest and I’m not entirely sure by what but we did make it through each quest.  I also wound up gaining enough experience to cap out Exalted Angel and now moved over to Divine Crusader.

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Hamllin trying to find the Colossal Crystal.

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Hamllin and Helltwister working in the Lava Caves to find a Colossal Crystal.

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Wapoyei and Friedrice fighting a Raksasha in Spinnser of Shadows.

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Wapoyei and Friedrice exploring the Rift.

Definitely an interesting week.  My goal for right now is to run a number of various characters to get Erdrique enough of the Cannith Crafting ingredients to upgrade his Ring of the Stalker and his Spare Hands.  We’ll see how that progresses throughout the week.  I hope everybody else had a fun weekend as well and I wish everybody an even funner week!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Malicia, What is Her Backstory?

There are a number of fun and interesting bosses in DDO that our characters will encounter during their questing careers.  While questing with Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul), I came across one these bosses and wondered a little more about their backstory.  The boss I’m talking about is Malicia, who is the final boss for the Phiarlan Carnival Series in the quest Under the Big Top.  I find Malicia as an interesting boss, not only because she is a succubus but because we really don’t know much about her.

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Malicia is an intriguing boss.

Malicia is a powerful succubus from the plane of Shavarath who is leading the Maleficient Cabal and their siege on House Phiarlan.  The vast majority of the forces of the Maleficient Cabal are tieflings, however we do encounter a few others, such as the abishai in The Snitch.  However, the overwhelming composition of the Maleficient Cabal being teiflings suggests to me that Malicia has somehow become extremely influential in their circle.  Being a succubus, we know that Malicia has a number of “wily” abilities that she can use to gain the influence of others.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Malicia has worked (or “influenced) some of the more influential members of the tiefling clan that compose the troops of the Maleficient Cabal.  However, it could also be that this clan of tieflings sought her out and recruited her to lead their troops.  In either case, the relationship and link between Malicia and the tieflings is probably intricate and quite interesting.

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Harrgon preparing to fight Malicia.

But what exactly drives this enemy?  We are still not clear as to the motives of Malicia and why she has targeted House Phiarlan and in particular the Stormreach contingent of the house.  It makes me wonder if she or the tieflings, or both perhaps, have been disgraced by the spies and agents of House Phiarlan in one way or another and that she is acting on a path of redemption or revenge.  Or it could be even more sinister.   Perhaps Malicia was hoping to infiltrate House Phiarlan in order to gain access to their spy, informant, agent, and assassination network to server her own purposes and she was attacking the weakest link in the house, the Stormreach contigent.  If this was the case, the motives behind Malicia’s intent are still unclear.  What would she do if she got this type of infiltration?  Who or what is her primary target?  So many questions…

This particular storyline could have a lot of potential directions.  Makes me wonder if it will be picked at some later point.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!