Moving Through the Jungles of Khyber

Perhaps one of the most widely run quest in DDO is The Jungles of Khyber, or better known as VON 3.  The Jungles of Khyber is also known as VON 3 because when the quest story line for the Vault of Knight (VON) first came it out, the quests had to be run in a certain order to properly flag for the raid and this quest was the third in that sequence.  This particular quest is run pretty heavily because it gives a large amount of experience at both the heroic and epic levels.  Not only does it have a large amount of base experience but it also has a large number of optional objectives that just add to experience totals.  Also, if you happen to know your way through the quest, it doesn’t take a large amount of time, even though it is considered to be a long quest.

To make your way to The Jungles of Khyber, you first have to make it through the mini-quest, The Gateway to Khyber.  The main goal of the quest is to track down another member of Marek’s old crew, Veil.  Veil is currently in hiding because a Marut is after her.  In order to protect herself, Veil has retreated into a complicated series of caverns and has enlisted the help of her drow tribe as well as forming some alliances with the Blackheart Trolls and a clan of beholders.

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Erdrique making his way through the trolls.

After you defeat the encampment of trolls in the mini-quest, you begin the next quest at the start of a cavern entrance.  It doesn’t take long until you start running into the scorpions, drow scorpions, and drow of Veil’s tribe.  In fact the majority of forces you will encounter are drow, drow scorpions, and scorpions.  As you make your way through the tunnels, you need to take a few precautions.  There are a number of cunning traps set up the drow, primarily at door entrances.  Some of these traps can be pushed through while some others can be quite deadly.  You also need to be careful in some instance of the cavern where some drow rangers and casters will be perched on some upper reaches and will hammer down on you while you are engaged with more drow rushing from below.

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Sttollen staring down the caverns of the Jungles of Khyber.

As you continue to make your way through the drow forces, you catch glimpses of the Marut and its destruction while it is on its own path to find Veil.  Eventually, you run through the end of the drow territory and come across an area with some huge mushrooms that are home to the beholders.  This area is behind a set of locked doors.  After you defeat the beholders, in which case you could come across two optional named beholders, you have to activate some runes to proceed further into the caverns.

At this point, you will make your way to another optional fight above a waterfall and then to an air jet that will push you over a rock wall to land in the middle of a final stand of drow and trolls that come in waves.  After the waves are defeated, you then get the pleasure to deal with champions of the three clans: a named drow, a named beholder, and a named troll.  Of the three of them, the named beholder is the hardest to deal with.  Many people will try to fight the three champions one at a time and will try to “pull” a single champion.

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Erdrique battling through the drow and scorpions.

Once you defeat the three champions, the way to Veil opens up.  You find Veil in a protective ring and then you discover that not only is she a drow but she is a also a vampire.  This is why the Marut is after her.  She then tells you that she will rejoin Marek’s group if you can destroy the Marut.  Shortly later, the Marut arrives knocking down another magical barrier with its attack.

The Marut can be a very tough foe.  Not only does it regenerate but it has considerable damage reduction which requires a chaotic weapon to bypass.  The Marut likes to attack with sonic, lightning, and blinding type of punch attacks.  Fighting him in melee can be a little irritating but not impossible.  Once he goes down, the quest completes.

There are three shrines in the quest.  One just after some serious traps and drow archers hitting you from an overhang.  The second is just before the beholder territory and the third is just prior to the fight with the three champions.  With all of the optional enemies, this quest can also have a large number of chests.  In heroic, there isn’t an end quest for the Marut, but there is one for killing the three champions.  In epic, you do get an epic chest after the Marut is defeated.

If you haven’t tried VON 3 yet, take a chance on it.  It is a fun quest, with a number of little quests.  Just be wary of those beholders and have a weapon suitable for the Marut.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

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Another Epic Style Weekend, Quest Runs January 15th to January 17th

This past weekend was dominated by another set of epic questing.  However, it all wasn’t just with Erdrique (Level 25 Rogue/Primal Avatar).  With this past weekend accounting for the third Saturday in January, I didn’t log in that night so that I could spend a weekend date night with my wife.  However, I did some more epic questing with my other rogue, Sludgge (Level 22 Rogue/Shadowdancer) on Sunday.  But to start the weekend out, I did a slayer run with Berann (Level 9 Barbarian) and Containment (Level 7 Cleric) through Tangleroot Gorge on Friday morning.  Both of these characters are still working on finishing up this area and I believe they both don’t have much left to go before they can move onto Three Barrel Cove.  I continued that theme on Friday afternoon when I logged on with Hamllin (Level 17 Fighter) and took him through the Sands of Menechtarun for some more slayers out in the Valley of the False Tombs (collecting those undead slayers).  Later that night, I logged on with Erdrique and after taking care of some maintenance issues I took him into The Black Loch and Storm the Beaches on epic normal.  Erdrique had no issues working through the Black Loch but the ballistae in Storm the Beaches did cause me some problems.  Well, actually it wasn’t the ballistae causing me problems, but the sneaky drow pirates that I couldn’t detect that stole past me and used them to destroy me.  However, after restarting the quest once, I did make my way through it.  After completing the quest I called it a night.

Berann making his way through Tangleroot Gorge.

Hamllin making his way into the desert.

Erdrique making his way through Mistral Island.

Erdrique taking note of the pirate flag in the Black Loch.

As I already mentioned, I didn’t log on and play on Saturday.  The only thing I did Saturday was to take care of some small maintenance tasks (daily dice, etc.).  On Sunday, I logged on with Sludgge and decided to take him into the Lava Caves to run Time is Money.  After that run through, I then headed out to do Tharashk Arena on epic normal.  After I completed the Tharashk Arena I then headed back into the Lava Caves: Time is Money for another quick challenge run.  I then closed out the night by completing The Jungle of Khyber on epic normal.

Sludgge dealing with the drow in the Lava Caves.

Sludgge making it behind the enemy gates in Tharashk Arena.

Sludgge coming across the purple crystal jackpot in the Lava Caves.

Sludgge taking note of the Marut in the Jungle of Khyber.

So those were my rather simple runs for this past weekend.  Although it was a light weekend, it was still a fun one.  I hope everybody else had a great weekend as well and I hope everybody has a great week as well.  Thanks for reading and happy hunting!!

Looking Back at My Quest Filled Week, Quest Runs June 8th to June 11th

Well to start off the week, I actually did some adventuring in Neverwinter Nights II OC during this past Monday morning because the DDO game servers were offline for maintenance.  So that morning I took Ragnar and his band further into the city of Neverwinter and into the Moonstone Mask to find out more about the whereabouts of a crime lord.  Later that afternoon, after I got back home and DDO was back online, I took Erdrique (Level 10 Rogue) through the quest Dead Predators.  Later that night, I logged on with Kolll (Level 22 Ranger/Shiradi Champion) and took him into the The Prisoner and The Jungle of Khyber on epic hard.

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Ragnar and his gang in the Moonstone Mask in Neverwinter.

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Erdrique staring down the hallway in the Dead Halls.

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Kolll taking on the enemies of VON II on epic hard.

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Time to move through the Jungle of Khyber.

On Tuesday, I started my questing by taking Kanndar (Level 12 Paladin) into Sorrowdusk Isle.  He is slowly collecting his slayers that area but he is getting there.  That afternoon, I continued with my slayer runs by taking Hamllin (Level 16 Fighter) into the Red Fens where he continues to make his way through his slayers.  However, the more fun experience came that night when I logged back on with Kanndar and took him into The Pit.  I took Kanndar through the Pit on elite an enjoyed making my way through the complicated sewer system of House D.

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Kanndar fighting Barxer and his ogres in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Hamllin taking on the sahaugin in the Red Fens.

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Kanndar starts off into the Pit.

I started off Wednesday by taking Harrgon (Level 11 Favored Soul) into the slayer zone he is currently working through, the pirate infested area of Three Barrel Cove.  Later that afternoon, I took Erdrique into the quest Graverobber.  Although Erdrique was level 10 at the time, he still had a number of level 7 quests to knock out that included the Graverobber.  He still has to complete the Sentinel Series, Gwylan’s Stand, Taming the Flames, and Tear of Dhakaan as well.  I’m hoping to knock those out this weekend, and of course I’m expecting to hit level 11 too :).  In either case, after the Graverobber I called it a day as far as questing is concerned because I spent that night hanging out with my wife for our weekly date night.

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Harrgon hunting in Three Barrel Cove.

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Nothing like seeing a hallway of shambling zombies.

To wrap up the week, I took Cantlin (Level 12 Sorcerer) out into Sorrowdusk Isle.  I had some fun times burning up some ogres, trolls, and scorpions.  Later that afternoon, I took Hamllin back into the Red Fens and then later that night I took Hamllin into the Cannith Challenges to collect the rest of the Challenge ingredients for Erdrique.  So I ran through Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Picture Portals a few times and I was able to get enough jeweled goblets for Erdrique to upgrade his Challenge gear.  I then took Hamllin back into the Red Fens.

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Cantlin looking to take care of some enemies in Sorrowdusk Isle.

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Hamllin coming across the shadow of a large spider in Red Fens.

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Hamllin coming across a Time Traveling Kobold in Picture Portals.

Overall it was nice set of runs.  I really enjoyed making my way through Epic VON II and III with Kolll and knocking out those quests with Erdrique.  I was also happy to get what I needed from the Cannith Challenges for Erdrique.  Nice week indeed!!  Hoping this weekend is just as good.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

VON 3 on Epic Hard…Take 2!!

As I continue to battle my way through the epic levels, I’m learning more and more about the nuisances between the epic and heroic versions of quests, and even between the epic normal and epic hard versions of quests.  A little while ago I mentioned my struggles in the Tharashk Arena, VON 1, on epic hard with my ranger/shiradi champion, Kolll (Level 22).  Well, another character I have been working with on epic hard difficulty settings has been Garrrin (Level 23 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild).  I struggled with him as well on epic hard with VON 1 but I eventually dogged my way through it with the help of a guildie.  However, I was quite surprised with the ease in which I took Garrrin through The Prisoner, VON 2, on epic hard.  I never ran into a problem while making it through that quest.

So I wondered how Garrrin would do when I attempted to work on The Jungle of Khyber, VON 3, on epic hard.  Well, I must say the result was rather interesting.  I had with me my level 25 owlbear, my onyx panther, and the level 23 favored soul/exalted angle hireling.  The quest started out nicely.  I had no issues with dealing the opening drow forces, scorpions, and trolls.  I also had little issues with the traps, being able to slide past them easy enough.  The only real problem I ran into was a play style issue.  I like to make sure everything is destroyed or taken out before I carry on.  However, when I reached the spot of the first shrine, with the drow enemies camped overhead on that cliff, I realized that I didn’t have enough range damage to defeat them efficiently and actually was killed a few time at this spot.  After dying a couple more times trying to range them down, I realized that I should have just left them there and continued on.  At this point my equipment had sufferred quite badly but I carried on and made it further into the quest where I eventually got held and subsequently killed, as well as the other members of hireling party.

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Garrrin and his panther dealing with an explosion in VON 3.

So I decided to recall and give it another shot hence the “take two” in the title.  So after I repaired all of my equipment, refreshed my buffs, and then I reentered the quest and made my way back to the first shrine and this time I simply ignored the enemies on the overhang.  I then breezed my way through the quest up to the beholder area.  While in the beholder forest, I did take a few negative levels and a nice nasty disintegrate that killed me but that was the only hiccup.  I even breezed through the names without difficulty, being lucky enough to only pull one at a time.  The end fight with the Marut was I little worried about but that went good too.

The thing that really saved me during that second run through was not wasting so much energy and time on those initial ranged/casting forces on that overhang and Garrrin healing ability while raged.  The powerful healing ability help me more than anything.  In any case, VON 3 on epic hard was much easier for me than VON 1.  Now we’ll see what VON 4 has in store for Garrrin!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

A Good Week of Questing, August 4 to August 7

Last week, was another fun week of questing in the realm of DDO :)!!  However, the week’s questing activities didn’t begin with any adventures inside DDO, but instead within Neverwinter Nights II (Original Campaign) as I took my Aasmir Spirit Shaman (Ragnar Level 8) into the quests and adventures surrounding Highcliff early Monday morning.  I was playing NWN II instead of DDO because DDO had some downtime due to Update 22 Patch 3 being released.  So after I took Ragnar out into the surrounding wilds of Highcliff, I headed out to work.  When I returned from work, for a midday run prior to dinner, I logged on with Erdrique (Level 15 Druid) and took him into the quest Diplomatic Impunity on elite.  I actually ran into one rough spot while running through the quest as I somehow lost track of my cleric hireling but besides that the quest went well.  Later that night, I was scheduled to play Erdrique again but prior to that I logged on with Stoorage (Level 10 Fighter) who I as supposed to run that morning but due to the downtime I couldn’t.  So I took Stoorage through Three Barrel Cove and completed that explorer area with him.  After completing that, I re-log on with Erdrique and took him through one of my more favorite quests, A Relic of the Sovereign Past.  Since it was Monday night, I was also multitasking with my digital PNP group through Skype and Maptool, so I took my time through the Black Anvil Mines and by the time I completed it, it was time for bed.

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Ragnar investigating Shoudra’s farm outside of High Cliff.

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Erdrique noticing the fence line in Diplomatic Impunity.

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Stoorage locating some hidden treasure in Three Barrel Cove.

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Erdrique exploring the quest A Relic of the Sovereign Past.

On Tuesday, my slayer run was through Tangleroot Gorge with Hamllin (Level 10 Fighter).  I have to laugh when I compare Hamllin’s and Erdrique’s questing paths, as they are both Heroic True Reincarnated players, but Erdrique is much more thorough in getting his slayers completed and closure to his level but then again Hamllin has only undergone one reincarnation and doesn’t need as much experience.  In either case, Hamllin is still working on Tangleroot Gorge and after beating up on some hobgoblins for a little while I head out to work.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin once again and took him through The Prisoner on elite.  The quest went very smoothly, although the quori stalkers did make Hamllin helpless more than once by draining his petty charisma, lol.  For Tuesday night I was scheduled to take Lorrikk (Level 11 Monk) into The Tide Turns to complete the Sentinels of Stormreach Story Chain which I completed easily.  After that run, I logged out for the night.

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Hamllin admiring his work in the Gorge.

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Hamllin fighting some Tharahk Hounds in The Prisoner.

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Lorrikk staring down the Crimson Moon.

For Wednesday, my questing started out with some slayer runs through Three Barrel Cove with Suppply (Level 8 Paladin).  For my midday run, I logged on with Hamllin and got some help from Twotoe as we headed into The Gateway to Khyber and The Jungle of Khyber, better known as VON 3.  We ran into some difficulties in the beholder area and with the named beholder.  We didn’t have any other real issues until we faced the Marut itself, where we were both hampered by some lag issues at the same time we were getting sonic punched.  Needless to say, those two things didn’t match so we didn’t get a chance to complete the quest (especially since I didn’t have time to reenter the quest).  However, the Marut has been put on our hitlist!!  After that run, I called it a night and spent the rest of the night with my wife for our weekly date night :).

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Suppply noting the eerie moon in Three Barrel Cove.

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Hamllin making his way through the Gateway to Khyber to get to the Jungle of Khyber.

On Thursday, I was scheduled to log in with Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Exalted Angel) so I brought him on and took him into the High Road.  I took him around the area and was a little disappointed as I made my way to the Winter Werewolf rare encounter at the camp where he seems to only spawn at night.  So I waited as long as I could but I eventually had to logout to head to work so I didn’t encounter him :(.  For my midday run, I logged on with Erdrique and took him into the quest Frame Work.  Erdrique had a fun time taking on the plethora of minotaurs and had little difficulty completing the quest.  That night, I logged on with Garrrin (Level 21 Barbarian/Fury of the Wild) and took him into the quest, A Small Problem on epic normal.  Garrrin didn’t have any issues with the quest but it was apparent to  me that I need to upgrade some of his gear. 

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Wapoyei fighting in the High Road.

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Erdrique looking out at the minotaur fortress.

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Garrrin taking on the enemies in the Mammoth Valley.

So, that was my week in review basically.  I had a pretty successful week’s worth of questing and quite a diversity of run.  The weekend has also started out quite nicely and I hoping it ends just as strongly.  Hopefully all of you have had a fun week as well!!  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!   

Good Times Over the Past Week, May 26th to May 29th

This weeks questing activities were varied and fun .  The week started off with some runs during the night of Memorial day when I took Stoorage (Level 10 Fighter) into the capstone quest of the Sharn Syndidate Series, Come Out and Slay.  Stoorage happens to be one of my characters on my premium account and since I wasn’t grouped with anybody who could open the quest on elite, I had to run it on normal, hard, and elite.  Shortly after I completed my elite run, I joined up with Hellbanisher who was working in the Searing Heights exploring area and was having problems locating one of the explorer points, the Lone Tree.  So I popped in there with him and took him to his last explorer point.  Shortly there after he had to log out for the night so I then took Stoorage out into Three Barrel Cove and ran the quest, The Stones Run Red.  After having some fun with the ogres and mephits I called it a night myself.

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Stoorage taking on Talon of the Sharn Syndicate.

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Stoorage floating down on top of a Bloodtide pirate.

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Stoorage wondering what is behind the door in the Stones Run Red.

Tuesday morning brought back the normal work routine and playing schedule, which meant my morning slayer run before work.  That morning I was scheduled to run Suppply but the game was down for some maintenance so instead I ran my Ragnar, my spirt shaman, in Neverwinters Nights II.  I finally finished the Fort Locke quests and made my way to High Cliff where I now need to prep to take on some lizardfolk.  At that point, I logged out and headed off to work.  When I got back home I logged on with Erdrique (Level 12 Druid).  I was planning on taking Erdrique into the next quest of the Threnal East Chain but I still had a minor slayer potion pot with about a half hour of time still on it.  So instead I headed off into the Red Fens and collected slayers until the slayer potion ran off.  After I ran through the Fens for a little while, I logged out for a little while.  After a few hours after dinner and spending some time with my wife, I logged back on with Wapoyei (Level 22 Cleric/Exalted Angel) and took him through VON 3 (The Jungle of Khyber) on Epic Normal and was pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of the run !!  After that I logged out for the night.

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Ragnar making his way to High Cliff gets ambushed in Neverwinter Nights II OC.

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Erdrique hunting in the Red Fens.

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Wapoyei breezing throug the Gateway to Khyber.

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Wapoyei and his gang taking on the drow in the Jungle of Khyber.

I logged back on for morning slayer run on Wednesday morning with Wapoyei (again).  As far as slayers are concerned, Wapoyei is working on the High Road.  I took Wapoyei up and down the passages of the High Road fighting a number of half-orcs and Netherese baddies and then logged out to head to work.  Later that afternoon, I logged back on with Erdrique who hit up the Red Fens once again and then headed out to take on the “original” vampire in The Church and the Cult.  I was initially worried about the traps in here on elite but I was able to bypass them pretty well and was able to make it to the vampire with little problems and to complete the quest.  After that run, I logged to spend the rest of the night with my wife.

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Wapoyei exploring the High Road.

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Erdrique and Fang toying with a mudman in the Fens.

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Erdrique having some fun in the Church and the Cult.

Thursday morning saw me log in with Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue/Shadowdancer) who I took into the Ruins of Gianthold (Heroic) for some slayer in the Stormfist area.  After collecting a few slayers, I headed out to work.  Later that afternoon, I logged on with Hamllin (Level 9 Fighter) and took him into the quest, Dead Predators.  I had some fun tripping wight priests and cleaving through a huge mess of dread zombies :).  I logged out after that run and came back on with Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) who I took through Walk the Butcher’s Path, The Sunken Sewer, and the Baudry Cartamon Story Line (Protect Baudry’s Interest, Stop Hazadill’s Shipment, and Retrieve the Stolen Goods).  I had fun with Berann, who was wielding his acid of pure good falchion through countless scores of kobolds :).   

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Sludgge getting ready to surprise some of the Stormfist in Gianthold.

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Hamllin prepping in the Graverobber.

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Berann taking the challenge of the Butcher’s Path.

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Berann annoyed at the bridge in the Sunken Sewer.

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Berann working to protect the crate.

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Berann enjoys making a mess!!

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Berann looking for the stolen goods.

So, as you can see, quite a diversity in runs from low levels, to middle levels, to an epic quest run.  Not a bad week at all :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!!

Taking a Stroll Through VON 3 on Epic Normal

Although I do have a good number of characters, the vast majority of them are below level 20, with too them going through the Heroic True Reincarnation train (Erdrique and Hamllin).  This has resulted in few epic content runs for myself.  With that said I do have a few characters that are level 20 and higher including Wapoyei (Level 22, Cleric/Exalted Angel), Rimuldar (Level 22, Wizard/Magister), Kolll (Level 21 Ranger/Shiradi Champion), Garrrin Level 21 (Barbarian/Fury of the Wild), Sludgge (Level 20 Rogue/Shadowdancer) and Larrs (Level 20 Bard/Fatesinger).  However, although these characters are in the epic levels, I have never really concentrated on their gear and I have always considered them to be quite lacking in that area, especially Rimuldar, Larrs, and Sludgge.  I also always feel “queezy” when I play Wapoyei or Rimuldar because they rely more heavily on their spell casting abilities, which I admit, I’m weak on, both in terms of gear and in figuring out the right toggles and buttons to push at the correct moments of time.  The melee and ranged classes have always been more favorable to me.

With that said, I was little worried taking Wapoyei in VON 3 on Epic Normal.  Now, I have to admit, it is epic normal, not epic elite, but I always tend to pick the challenge in difficulty to what I think I can handle, at least for the most part, and based on the reasoning I laid out above is the reason why I entered on epic normal. 

Wapoyei and his gang dealing with the enemies of the Jungle of Khyber photo WapoyeiandhisgangdealingwiththeenemiesoftheJungleofKhyber_zps29e0f1c1.jpgWapoyei making his through the Jungle of Khyber of Epic Normal.

Even with my limitations and experience in epic questing and what I would call minimal gear and lackluster skill, I was pleasantly surprised at my ability to get through The Jungle of Khyber on Epic Normal.  I had with me a Shadowdancer hireling to get the traps, my Onyx panther, my level 17 Owlbear hireling, and a my summon monster with me.  I thought for sure that I would have problems with the multitude of casters in the quest but my only real scare was when I had trouble taking out the optional named drow in the part of the tunnel where you drop down and see him guarded by a plethora of clerics and wizards.  I thought I had gotten in over my head but I was able to back track out of the dead end up the ladder to regroup and was able to head back in and take him out.  I didn’t have any issues at all with the beholders, or the three red names at the end and the Inevitable caused me little problems.

Wapoyei’s healing aura from his Radiant Servant enhancement line, divine punishment, and his light based spells augmented and enhanced his weaker melee attacks.  I was pleasantly surprised at his ability.  Like Kolll, who breezed through his last quest on epic normal as well (The Claw of Vulkoor) I think it is time to start working on Epic Hard difficulties.  We’ll see how it goes but I’m very pleased with his performance through their.  Now, I just need to work on my comfortability with Larrs and Sludgge..who are by far much weaker .

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!