Thoughts on The General Manager

I have always thought that one of the more interesting encounters I have come across with my various characters in DDO is when they first meet up with the General Manager.  If you aren’t sure about who exactly the General Manager is, you will find him in the quest Bargain of Blood which is part of the Sentinels of Stormreach story arc and is located in the Searing Heights.  The General Manager is actually not one enemy but two enemies.  These two enemies are quite an unlikely pair with the General being a huge and powerful minotaur while the Manager is a wily kobold shaman.  When you come across them at the end of Bargain of Blood, the Manager is perched on top of the General.  As you battle them, you first defeat the General which results in the Manager falling down and then you battle the Manager to finish the quest.  Definitely an interesting sight.

So how did these guys ever meet?

But I always wondered how did these crazy creatures ever meet and how did they form such a close bond.  And on top of that, how did they ever get involved with Captain Tew and the Blood Tide Pirates?  Whenever I think of these two, I can’t help but think about the story of the lion and the mouse.  I see the kobold as being the mouse and the minotaur as lion.  Where the minotaur stumbles across the kobold during his foraging and initially wishes to make a meal out of him.  The wily kobold takes notice that the minotaur seems to be suffering from some type of ailment, that the minotaur seems to be expressing concern about as he prepares for his meal.  By offering to help the minotaur, the kobold successfully heals him and therefore saves his life and then becomes an influential and important friend to the minotaur.  It definitely seems like a plausible theory but is it the most likely?

Another possible, although rather more unlikely theory, is that Manager’s clan might have hired the General’s tribe as a source of protection.  Perhaps these two unusual comrades knew each other from a young age with this type of association and as a result they grew up and headed out into the world together.  The reverse could also be said, perhaps the General’s tribe captured or bullied the Manager’s clan into being their servants and then an unlikely friendship developed.  This friendship and commitment to each other could have been recognized by Captain Tew who then added both of them to the ranks.

So what is the deal with the Manager?

But looking at this connection more analytically, it could also be surmised that the Manager has literally charmed the General.  The Manager is a shaman after all.  It is not improbable for the Manager to know a number of dubious charming spells.  It could be that the General just thinks he likes the Manager, while in reality he is literally charmed to protect and to work as the Manager’s muscle.

Another plausible thought is that Captain Tew recruited both of these villains to be members of his crew.  As part of the Blood Tide pirates, these two somehow developed this strange and powerful bond that Captain Tew was quickly able to pick up on.  He probably noted that they could make a very formidable enemy if they were to work together and so he promoted that growth in hopes of taking advantage of the unique talents of both them.

In tandem, this unlikely pair is a strong and powerful enemy.  Be prepared for them when you hit the end fight of Bargain of Blood.  What do others thing?  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

 

Completing A Saga and Another Story Arc

One of the things I enjoy doing is trying to get back into the swing of things after a relatively long vacation and trying to remember how to make my way back through my favorite game, DDO :).  I recently just came back from spending about a week or so in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville, Tennessee with immediate and extended family.  We had a blast while we were out there but at the same time I was separated from my desktop computer and couldn’t log into DDO.

We made it back home on Saturday and I logged in with Erdrique (Level 30 Rogue/Shadowdancer) later that night and spent a good amount of time just catching up on character maintenance and then trying the quest The Thrill of the Hunt on epic hard but unfortunately came up short on completing it.  Not only was this particular quest one of the lesser known quests for me, I also needed to catch back up to speed with the mechanics of the game.

Things turned out much better on Sunday.  I dual boxed with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) and Suppply (Level 10 Paladin) and they were working cooperatively through the Sentinels of Stormreach Story Arc.  The last quest I needed was The Tide Turns.  I took them both into the quest to take on Captain Tew and his Blood Tide Pirates on elite.  I primarily moved through the quest with Suppply as he was the one I was scheduled to play originally.  This particular quest I know fairly well and its outcome was much better than I had occurred on Saturday night.

Suppply looking at his rewards for the Sentinels of Stormreach Story arc.

Harrgon also taking a look at his reward list for the Sentinels of Stormreach chain.

I was able to progress both Suppply and Harrgon through the Tide Turns, with some minor deathers in the traps, and was able to complete the Sentinel Story Arc with both characters.  I also had another little bonus with Harrgon.  He had also already completed all of the Three Barrel Cove quests that are part of the The Pirates of the Thunder Sea (Heroic) saga.  In fact, the only quest Harrgon didn’t have credit for was Irestone Inlet but that was because he had that quest completed well before that saga was developed.  So I went ahead and used my VIP ability to skip that quest to get the elite saga award for Harrgon.  I wound up picking up the guild renown and received a nice chunk of 51,000 renown for the Crypt Crawlers.  Nice indeed!!

Harrgon looking into the Pirates of the Thunder Sea (Heroic) Saga.

Harrgon scrolling through his list of quests for the saga.

Scrolling through the saga reward list.

Picking up the guild renown!!

So it was good to be able to complete a story arc with two characters at once and for one of those characters to pick up his first saga award.  I’m looking forward to doing this more in the future!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting down those pirates!!

Experimenting This Week, Quest Runs September 21 to September 24

My questing activity this week has actually been really active.  This has been primarily because I have started to “dual box” with my accounts.  I wrote about my experimentation yesterday actually.  I was actually dual boxing when I first created my premium account but for whatever reason I stopped (can’t really remember why).  In any case, I decided to start it up again and see if I could make my questing in DDO a little more efficient.  So far things have been going well with it.  Now, to start out the week I was scheduled to bring in Containment (Level 7 Cleric) for my Monday morning slayer run.  Containment is a character on my premium account and is working on Tangleroot Gorge currently.  After he was logged in, I brought on Cannock (Level 7 Druid) from my VIP account and I took them both out into Tangleroot Gorge. Now Cannock is much further behind in his slayer runs because I started him out at level 7 so he still needs to complete Cerulean Hills and Waterworks but I went ahead and brought him with Containment to get an early start in Tangleroot Gorge.  So I had both characters in a group but I really taking Containment through the area collecting the slayers.  I did get a rare or too and brought Cannock up to get his free loot.  Cannock now has a small start in Tangleroot Gorge.  In the afternoon, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 20 Rogue/Fury of the Wild) and I took him into the quest Acid Wit.  Acid Wit was one of the last two level 15 quests he needed to complete on elite.  I didn’t have any problems taking on the acid-skar troglodytes or their acid-stone elementals.  Now I just need to complete Litany of the Dead and I’m done with the Level 15 quests on elite.  On Monday night, I had another opportunity to dual box.  I logged on with Crawlller (Level 7 Ranger), another character on my premium account, who was working on finishing up the Catacombs.  It turns out, that on Sunday, I had taken Cannock up to the same exact sequence that Crawlller was on.  After Crawlller was logged on, I logged in with Cannock once again.  I then paired the two up and took them into the Catacombs and completed Setting the Wards: The Lower Cathedral, Setting the Wards: Patriarch’s Crypt, Endgame: Marguerite, and Endgame: Archbishop’s Fate.  Now they both have the story arc completed and on elite.  I called it a night after that run.

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Containment waiting for Cannock to loot the quest in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Erdrique making his way through the acid scar troglodytes.

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Crawlller fighting the undead in the Catacombs to ward some crypts against Marguerite.

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Crawlller making his way to ward the crypts.

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Crawlller making his way up the Catacombs after confronting Marguerite.

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Crawlller dealing with Arkasic Dryden in the Catacombs while Cannock watches :P. 

Tuesday, I was schedule to start the day by taking Charlock (Level 15 Fighter) into the Red Fens for my daily slayer run.  Unfortunately Charlock still has quite a ways to go before he finishes that area out.   For my afternoon run, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 17 Fighter) and took him into the Sands of Menechtarun for some slayer runs as well.  Hamllin was trying to track down one more rare encounter and is working on 1,500 slayers for the gnolls and 750 slayers for the undead and scorrow.  After not finding Commander Errulf, who was my last rare encounter, I recalled and logged out to take care of dinner and to spend some time with my wife before my nightly questing.  That night, I did some epic questing with Larrs (Level 21 Larrs Bard/Fatesinger).  Larrs was working on the Sentinel of Stormreach Series and I was able to complete Storm the Beaches and The Tide Turns on epic normal.  Working my way through Storm the Beaches was pretty interesting and I wrote about that here.  I did get them both done and now I’m ready to move on to the Red Fens with him.

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Charlock collecting his slayers in the Red Fens.

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Hamllin collecting some slayers in the Desert.

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Larrs and his hireling gang taking on the Blood Tide inside the base on Mistral Island.

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Larrs coming upon the Crimson Moon in The Tide Turns.

On Wednesday morning, I had another opportunity to dual box as I was scheduled to take Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) out into Sorrowdusk Isle for my morning slayer run.  Well, Stoorage (Level 12 Fighter) who is another character on my premium account, is also working on Sorrowdusk Isle.  I logged them both in and paired them up and took them out into Sorrowdusk Isle.  I ran Lorrikk through zone collecting slayers for himself and for for Stoorage.  In the afternoon, I logged back on with Erdrique and I started the Vale of Twilight Quests.  After I ran to Meridia, I decided to work on Let Sleeping Dust Lie on elite.  I usually can make it through Let Sleeping Dust Lie with little problems however I was trying to make it through the quest a little more quickly than normal which led to me not being as cautious as usually am.  In the end, I killed to many of the Crimson Foot hive spiders.  So I’ll try to redo that quest this weekend!!  I called it a day after that afternoon run to spend date night with my wife.

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Lorrikk waiting for Stoorage to get his loot in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Erdrique making his way through the Vale of the Twilight for the first time during this reincarnation.

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Erdrique killing too many Crimson Foot hive spiders but swears to return in Let Sleeping Dust Lie.

Thursday I kicked off the morning by dual boxing with Crawlller and Cannock once again.  I was scheduled to take Crawlller into Tangleroot Gorge so I logged on with both characters and had Cannock tag along with him.  I didn’t stay in their long as Crawlller only need about 20 or so more slayers to max the area out.  After Crawlller maxed the area out I took both characters over to Three Barrel Cove to start that area.  In the afternoon, it was Hamllin’s turn to run into the desert once again for his slayers and he finally came across Commander Errulf during this run and now only needs the slayers to max the area out.  That night, I was scheduled to log on with Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul).  Harrgon is furiously working on trying to catch up on his lower level quests and I headed out to House Jorasco to hit up some of those level 6 quests on elite out there.  I also decided to to bring Stoorage with me, so I was dual boxing once again.  However, this time I was grouped up with two guildies, Khamellock and Eeickthegray who were playing their mid level warlocks, level 12 and level10 respectively.  So we headed off into Delear’s Graveyard and completed Dead Girl’s Spellbook and then we knocked out Redwillow’s Ruins and Mirra’s Sleepless Nights on elite.  I was playing Harrgon through this series of quests while leaving Stoorage parked at the entrance to each quest.  I did run into one problem in Dead Girl’s Spellbook where an armored wight just destroyed me with a single hit and I’m still unsure what he hit me with.  The only other issue I had was running Stoorage at the end of each quest to get the chests.  Especially in Redwillow which has a plethora of chests in it.  After we completed Mirra’s Sleepless Nights, we called it a night.

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Through the eyes of Cannock, Crawlller waits for him to catch up and get his loot in Tangleroot Gorge.

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Crawlller makes his way through Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin battling the entombed slave in the desert and noticing the mummy trying to hide off in the distance.

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Harrgon coming upon Valak’s dreadful tomb in the Dead Girl’s Spellbook.

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Harrgon and the Crawlers making their way through the giants in Redwillow’s Ruins.

 photo Making our way into Parthicar Tower Crypt_zpsvfcboz9x.jpgHarrgon opening up the doorway into the Parthicar Tower Crypt to finish Mirra’s Sleepless Nights.

As you can tell, it was quite a busy week!!  My dual boxing has been going pretty well.  The only problem I’m having is moving my other account to all of the chests, which is more time consuming than I would like but I’m not going to pass up free loot :).  I’m hoping that my dual boxing will help both my accounts, especially in the various slayer zones and with knocking out quests on elite for my premium account.  I hope everybody else had a great week and I hope you all have a great weekend as well.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Charming My Way Through Storm the Beaches

One of the things I like to be able to do with all of my characters is to make them self sufficient and to learn what their strengths and weaknesses are.  There is no doubt that my play style favors more of a melee character as opposed to a casting or ranging play style.  However, I still enjoy those types of characters as well even though I might not be as strong or skillful with those particular character types.  I bring this up because my character Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) kind of fits into multiple play style types.  Larrs is currently a Spell Singer focused bard and as a result he has a plethora of songs and some extremely fun and strong sonic based spells.  However, I have also built Larrs to dual wield, giving him some interesting melee abilities as well.  He is definitely an interesting character to play between keeping up with songs, spells, and attacks.

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Larrs using his charm spells at the top of the base on Mistral Island to thwart his enemies.

I just finished taking Larrs through the Sentinels of Stormreach chain on epic normal, minus Spies in the House.  One of these quests includes Storm the Beaches.  Taking a closer look at Storm the Beaches, the most difficult aspect of the quest is dealing with the ballistae.  In the epic versions of Storm the Beaches, these extremely dangerous machines are not only armed but can also be fired by the enemy pirates that stand guard over them.  And when they are fired they do a tremendous amount of damage.  If you can get to the enemies before they arm and fire the ballistae then they are easily taken down.  If you are playing in a party, you can split your team to take on the enemies before they engage the ballistae, however if you are in the quest solo or with hirelings that becomes more difficult.  During this particular run through, I only had my hirelings to help me.

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Larrs and his hirelings facing off against Captain Grim now that the ballistae are destroyed.

Luckily though Larrs has more spells than just his sonic damage dealing ones.  He also has a number of the “charm” spells.  So I decided to do an experiment.  I wasn’t quite sure if I would be able to charm these mobs and I also wasn’t quite sure how these charms would fight.  So to experiment, I entered this quest using the spy passage option and basically came down from the roof of the base and my way around the outpost.  By doing this I was able to see the ballistae and their guards from my position.  In most cases, the ballistae were guarded by hobgoblins.  By standing on the ledge one level higher than the ballistae in general, I was able to through down some charm monster spells and to land most of them on hobgoblins.  I sat back and watched to see if any enemies I didn’t charm would target me with the ballistae or if they would concentrate on the charmed hobgoblin.  Luckily for me, they focused on the hobgoblin.  I then quickly charmed the rest of the enemies and watched as they started to attack the ballistae.  This strategy worked out quite well.  When all of the enemies were charmed I went dow to the ballistae and brought my hirelings with me as well to knock them out faster.  I ran into one situation where we all got blown up by a ballistae and I’m not sure why.  I think one of the charmed monsters must have been broken free that I didn’t notice and happen to activate the ballista we were working on.  I had to buy a resurrection cookie from the DDO store but that was the only major mistake I had.  I was quite pleased to see this work as well.

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Larrs and his gang beating on the ballista in Storm the Beaches.

Now I’m assuming doing this quest on a harder difficulty I wouldn’t have had as easy as a time.  Of course, Larrs lacks in a large amount of gear as well so that wouldn’t have worked.  I had also had a few other crowd control options under my sleave if this wouldn’t have worked.  In any case, it did work and I was able to make it through the quest with little difficulty and it just showed my versatility with Larrs.  That is something I always like to see.  Now Larrs will get the chance to check out his skills in the Red Fens and in Spies in the House.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Overview of the Sentinel of Stormreach Quest Series

I currently have a few characters working on the Sentinels of Stormreach Series and few others who have recently completed that interesting set of quests.  This particular adventure pack contains five quests, four of which are required to complete the story arc while the fifth quest is just an additional quest thrown into the mix that involves the primary enemies of the storyline, the Blood Tide Pirates.  The quests that are included in this storyline include Bargain of Blood, The Black Loch, Storm the Beaches, The Tide Turns, and Spies in the House.  The capstone quest in the chain is The Tide Turns and while Bargain of Blood, The Black Loch, and Storm the Beaches are required to get into the capstone quest (at least during the first run through).  Spies in the House is the fifth and additional quest and is considered to be one of the hardest quests in the game at heroic levels.  These quests are level 7 quests, except for Spies in the House which is level 8, and they have an epic version that are level 20 and 21.  The story arc quest giver is Taggart d’Deneith who is located just outside of the House Deneith Tower.

 photo Using charm person to help take care of the enemies_zpsruvuhwma.jpg

Larrs making his way through the Bargain of Blood and the Blood Tide Bazaar.

These quests are relatively simple and straight forward, except for Spies in the House.  Excluding Spies in the House, the quests have relatively simple maps to follow and they take place in some interesting locations.  The quest entrance to Bargain of Blood is located in the Searing Heights and the quest takes place in the a Bazaar that the Blood Tide Pirates have set up to sell the loot they obtained by attaching the ships sent to the merchants of Stormreach, where slaves are also sold, and where assassinations can be arranged.  Talk about finding a Bargain.  The Black Loch is actually within Three Barrel Cove although you don’t go through Three Barrel Cove to get there, you are teleported there by the quest giver.  The Black Loch is the central gathering place for the pirates of Three Barrel Cove who, ironically, have hired House Deneith to repel the invasion of the Blood Tide Pirates.  The Black Loch is a subterranean adventure with some interesting tunnels within a mountain and a large underground lake.  Of course the whole area is littered with undead pirates and regular pirates of the Blood Tide Horde.  In Storm the Beaches, you are teleported to a unique island called Mistral Island.  At that location, you are required to take the ballistae on the stronghold for the Blood Tide Pirates on this island.  You basically travel around the outskirts of the stronghold, then along the outside of the stronghold (basically in a square) and then within in the stronghold where you take a planar gateway as well as the ballistae.  In the Tide Turns, you have to travel to the House Deneith Tower, and confront the leader of the Blood Tide Pirates (Captain Tew and Ahraatz-Ri) who have taken and embarrassed House Deneith by taking over the Sentinel Tower.

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Larrs making his way through the caverns of the Black Loch.

Unlike the other quests, Spies in the House contains a very complicated dungeon design.  When you make your way through this quest, you will have to go through a number of different vertical levels which is what makes the map complicated.  You actually start the quest by dropping down a tunnel and then have to make your way back up.  It contains a number of traps and has a wider variety of enemies, including mephits, gargoyles, and elementals.  In some cases you have to kill a number of undead pirates to open gates to get to levers to continue forward and you have to use a few air jets to shoot you further upward as you progress forward.  Dealing with these air jets can be extremely annoying.  You will also have to deal with a few levels that have electrified floors that you can’t turn off and that deal a good amount of electrical damage.  It is by far the hardest of the quest chain and luckily isn’t necessary to complete to get to the capstone quest.

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Erdrique looking for the ballistae in Storm the Beaches.

The types of loot you can received while making your way this quest chain can be interesting.  The end reward list contains a number of items that have “Unraveling Enchantments.”  The end chests of the quest will drop a type of sigil that can be applied to these quest and story arc rewards that can release these enchantments and reveal their true potential.  These items unraveled items can also be upgraded to epic version with the scroll, seal, and shard mechanic.

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Erdrique making his way through the Tide Turns.

The quest line overall is quite interesting, especially if you are a fan of pirates.  You can see some of the creativity in this murderous band of pirates who seem to employ just about anybody including humans, drow, minotaurs, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, and even undead.  Captain Tew and Ahraatz-Ri are definitely not afraid to use some ingenuity when it comes to boosting their ranks even having necromancers add zombies and skeletons to their force.  It is definitely a fun pack.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting while quest through the Sentinels of Stormreach Storyarc.

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.

 photo Erd slaugtering the Aberrations of Threnal_zps9h7poddm.jpg

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.

What Kind of Deals Can You Find in the Bargain Bazaar?

I mentioned in my blog yesterday that I recently took Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) through the quest Bargain of Blood.  Although I was making mockery of the House Deneith attitude, the quest itself is rather interesting.  Bargain of Blood, being a part of the Sentinels of Stormreach Storyine, is primarily filled with pirates and monsters who serve Captain Tew’s Blood Tide Pirates.  When we learn about the situation that is occurring from Taggart d’Deneith and  Lile d’Deneith, we realize that this Bazaar can be quite a dangerous place and needs to be shut down.

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Larrs looking out over the bazaar and prepares for the incoming pirates.

The Bargain Bazaar is located in a secluded place within Searing Heights.  As you make your way out to the Bazaar you will encounter a number of the Blood Tide encampments showing how influential their presence is in the Searing Heights.  The Bazaar is located southwest of the entrance to Searing Heights, just south of the Crumbled Archway explorer point.  When you enter the Bargain Bazaar, it doesn’t take very long for a scouting kobold for the Blood TIde Pirate to recognize that you are trouble to pull the alarm.  We also see a number of “customers” mingling around and buying and selling items.

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Larrs clearing the path through the Bargain of Blood.

The Bazaar itself is an open air market.  You have to pass through a number of gates to make your way further into the Bazaar and to make your way to the General Manager.  The gates are opened by hitting raised levers with ranged weapons.  The vast majority of the selling at the bazaar occurs at the lowest level while other nefarious activities seem to be occurring on ledges and ramps that above the primary selling area.  As you make your way through the bazaar you see a ton of crates, vases, boxes, paintings, desks, and other goodies that the Blood TIde have looted from ships that merchants and purchasers used to get their items shipped to them.  It makes you wonder what types of “discounts” the Blood Tide pirates are offering for these wares.

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Larrs running around on the perimeters of the bazaar fighting the Blood Tide.

The enemies within the bazaar are primarily composed of hobgoblins.  However, you will also encounter some drow pirates, orch shamans, and minotaurs.  You also have to deal with two kobolds (the first monster in the quest) and the Manager.  You also have a named bugbear and drow assassin to deal with.  The are a number of traps within the Bargain Bazaar, primarily composted of spinning blade traps or spikes.  You do have a few optional quest objectives that are relatively easy to complete, including rescuing the prisoners of the bazaar.

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Larrs fighting the General Manager at the end of the Bargain of Blood.

The enemies are primarily problematic when there is a drow sorcerer or other caster nearby.  The General Manager is an interesting boss.  The General Manager is actually a kobold (know as the Manager) riding on top of a Minotaur (referred to as the General).  This boss fight actually requires you to kill the General and then to kill the Manager.  However, be prepared.  When you throw the last of the few levers to get to the end quest, some water elementals might spawn (I believe this depends on the difficulty).

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Larrs dealing with the Manager.

The quest is pretty fun.  The map is relatively small the quest time is also relatively short.  Things can get annoying if you fall of the raised paths on the permiter of the bazaar, but overall it isn’t a bad quest to run through.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in the Bazaar!!

An Active Weekend, Quest Runs June 12th to June 14th

I must say that this past weekend was a relatively busy weekend for me in DDO.  As usual, the main focus was completing some quests and activities with Erdrique (Level 11 Rogue), but I did get a chance to play two other characters as well, Larrs (Level 21 Bard/Fatesinger) and Charlock (Level 14 Fighter).  My weekend actually started by taking Larrs through a morning slayer run of the Ruins of Gianthold prior to heading out to work.  Larrs is still diligently working on his 1,500 slayer mark out there for the Stormfist horde.  After he reaches that, I might transfer his slayer efforts to one of the epic zones, probably the King’s Forest.  Later that afternoon, I took Erdrique into House Deneith and picked up the Sentinels of Stormreach chain.  I then headed out to the Searing Heights to tackle the first quest of that chain, the Bargain of Blood.  The Sentinel Series was one of the last set of level 7 quests I needed to finish up on.  After a short break, I relogged on with Erdrique and leveled up from 10 to 11 and then I upgraded my Ring of the Stalker and my Spare Hand as well as upgrading a number of my other items by pulling things out of true reincarnation cache, purschasing some upgrades from the auction house, and by crafting upgrades with the Cannith Crafting system.  I did this while chatting with Hellsdemon and when I finally finished I headed off to complete the rest of the House Deneith Sentinel Series by completing the Black Loch, Storm the Beaches, and The Tide Turns on elite.  All of those runs went smoothly, besides my hireling cleric getting stomped on a couple of times.  I then closed out the night by running through Sorrowdusk Isle for some slayers and rares.

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Larrs taking the time to preform on the run in the Gianthold.

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Erdrique enjoying taking the First Mate for a Trip in Bargain of Blood.

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Erdrique is eager to upgrade his gear!!

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Erdrique exploring the mysteries of the Black Loch.

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Erdrique doing his best to Storm the Beach!!

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And Erdrique thought he was done with the zombie pirates when he went through the Black Loch.

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Erdrique closing out the night with a run through Sorrowdusk Isle.

On Saturday, I logged on with Erdrique and got up with Hellbanisher and Twotoe and we completed a number of quests.  The first quest we completed was Taming the Flames on elite.  Again, one of those few level 7 quests I still needed to put away.  After we completed Taming the Flames, Hellbanisher switched characters to Helldemons and we then hit up the last two level 7 quests I needed, Tear of Dhakaan and Gwylan’s Stand.  But runs were extremely productive, even with being a couple of levels higher than the quest (level 9 compared to level 11).  Once we finished up with Gwylan’s Stand, Hell decided to call it a night but Twotoe and I continued on.  We first went to the Anvil Fire Inn, and entered the quest Stromvauld’s Mine.  We must have gotten a nice random pull because all of the engineers and gems were relatively easy to find, making the quest easy to get through.  We then decided to take the on the next level 8 quest in there, Stormcleave.  By the time we finished up with that, I was ready to call it a night myself.

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Battling the elementals in Taming the Flames.

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Erdrique going to work in Tear of Dhakaan.

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The Crypt Crawlers coming across some spiders in Gwylan’s Stand.

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Erdrique and Twotoe making their way through Stromvauld’s Mine.

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Erdrique making his way through the outskirts of Stormcleave Outpost.

On Sunday, I logged on with Erdrique a couple of time throughout the day to do some more runs through Sorrowdusk Isle.  He is now working on his last slayer mark (1,500 slayers) and only needs one more rare encounter (the specter).  That night I logged on with Charlock and was joined by Khamels and we ventured into Faithful Departed and then headed over to the Caverns of Korromar and completed those quests on elite (they were some of the last level 8 quests Charlock needed).  Now Charlock is ready to continue with Threnal.

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Erdrique looking at the ruins above in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Charlock slicing through some scorpions in Faithful Departed.

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Charlock being stoned in Caverns of Korromar :).

All in all, a pretty nice weekend indeed.  I hope everybody else had a great weekend as well.  Thanks for reading and happy hunting!!

Rough Holiday Weekend, Questing November 28th to November 30th

Well, I had the grandest plans for this past holiday weekend.  I was planning on completing the Delera’s Story Arc and the Sentinels Story Arc and hitting level 10 with Erdrique (Druid).  However, my video card decided it wanted to keep crashing on me all night Friday night.  Not sure what was happening there but my video drivers kept crashing preventing me from doing much.  Eventually I was able to get on after working on a few things and I logged in with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) who completed the quest Where’s there smoke on elite.  By that time it was after 4 am and needed to head to bed for the night.

Crawlller coming upon a shrine in Nash's Farmstead photo CrawlllercominguponashrineinNashsFarmstead_zpseb0c303f.jpgCrawlller coming up on shrine in Where’s there smoke.

Saturday was a much better day.  I was able to log on with Erdrique and I was able to knock out the Sentinels of Stormreach Chain by completing the Bargain of Blood, The Black Loch, Storm the Beaches, and The Tide Turns.  Upon its completion, he was also able to turn in the heroic saga, The Pirates of the Thunder Sea and to claim the guild renown reward which netted the Crypt Crawlers another 80,000 renown .  I then joined up with Jovianus and we tackled the quest, The Tomb of the Shadow Lord.  We had some problems in there, especially with me getting energy drained by the wraiths and shadows.  But we did get through it.  I called it a night after that run.

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Erdrique taking on the Blood Tide Pirates in the Bargain of Blood.

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Erdrique fighting the apprentices in The Black Loch.

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Erdrique learning the battle strategy.

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Erdrique admiring the Crimson Moon before it explodes.

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Erdrique and Jovianus fighting the undead in the Tomb of the Shadow Lord.

For Sunday, the only questing I was able to do was a quick slayer run with Erdrique out in Sorrowdusk Isle.  This was because I had to travel back to North Carolina (I was visiting my parents out in Florida for the holiday).

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Erdrique fighting the ogres out in Sorrowdusk Isle.

So, it was kind of a disappointing weekend .  But I did get a few things completed.  I hope everybody else had a fun weekend!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

So the Undead and The Blood Tide

Well, I just completed the Sentinels of Stormreach Chain with Erdrique (Level 9) over the holiday weekend and started to think about the use of the undead in the Blood Tide pirate army.  You first come across the undead servants of the Blood Tide in the quest The Black Loch.  As you are making your way through the quest you learn that Dheren Kiettuc’s and his apprentices are “experimenting” and creating undead pirates.  However, what is interesting is that the only undead are humans (possibly elves).  With all of the kobolds and hobgoblins, you would think Dheren and his necromantic crew would have actually started to experiment on the other races as well, especially withe kobolds.

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Erdrique fighting the Dheren’s apprentices in the Black Loch.

It would surprise me if Dheren and his apprentices would see kobolds as nothing more than fodder for their experiments but we never encounter any undead kobolds in the Black Loch.  This is really interesting when we come across the undead Manager in The Tide Turns.  This particular kobold is a strong caster when we come across him while he is actually alive in Bargain of Blood.  So what makes him so special to be raised again?  It actually makes it seem that the human pirates were just the fodder to raise the Manager.

However, my reasoning behind this is that the Manager made a deal with Captain Tew and Dheren Kiettuc.  I’m guessing that the Manager wanted the chance for ever lasting life and gave himself to Dheren Kiettuc in the event of his death.  Of course, I’m sure the Manager didn’t see that Dheren would be killed as well…good thing Dheren trained his apprentices well…since you can encounter both, an undead Dheren Kiettuc and an undead Manager.  They had to be raised by somebody….

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Erdrique fighting an undead Manager.

In any case, I wounder why there aren’t any zombie hobgoblins in the ranks.  Perhaps they are just too hard to control while they are undead.  That could be it…they aren’t the brightest things in the world and I’m sure making them zombies won’t make them any smarter, therefore just making them harder to control.  In fact they could be a detriment instead of a positive addition.

Well, I just thought it was interesting.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!