It’s Been a Long Road

Two Beloved Characters Hit Cap.

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Citira, fine furniture connoisseur. 

A long time ago, on a server not so far away, Citira was created. She was a first level, first life and knew very little about how to a paladin proper. What the exact month and year of her creation was has been lost to the annals of time, but one thing is for certain: long was the journey.

She has gone through one rebuild after another, as the decision as to which build her useless player wanted to follow became what seemed to be an eternal struggle. Then, one day- though unbeknownst at the time- the right build came along, and it all fell into place. The balance between offense and defense fit perfect.

Which build, you ask, was it that made an average player with an average build begin to excel? The Sacred Vanguard.

Now, you may wonder why it took me so long to get this character from 1 to 30 if the build was so awesome. The answer is simple:

Lack of time.

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Citira about to enter a quest in The Night Revels

This is not to say I haven’t played DDO, more than the lack of chance to play on the server in which she resides. Argo is a place where most of my guild mates are overseas, and have lives of their own. Between family, work, and other real life demands, they log in when they’re able, and our schedules don’t always align.

Wednesday afternoon seems to be when fate allows us the best chance to conjoin, though the holidays would at times intervene.

My busiest season out of the way, we were able to run some quests as well as meet some goals out in the Barovian wilderness. Before we began, however, I noted that Citira’s epic experience bar was almost full. This meant that it would not be long before she would be ready to reincarnate.

The question, then, with all points considered, was to what did my wish for her to metamorphosis?

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Tourmalina, Arcane Archer build

I could TR her into one of my new favorite builds, the Ranger, able to take out her foes from afar with precision. But no, such a character on that server thus exists.

Perhaps a necromantic cleric, aka a “bad touch” build. Again, no, that is another build of which I am in previous possession.

I could paladin again. Since I have the gear, it would not be such a horrible proposition. The build is familiar, and enjoyed.

Perhaps, however, it is time for new experiences.

For some time I’ve had my eye on a swashbuckler build, but others have urged the warlock and its benefits. We shall have wait to see what I shall decide. For now, there is still the matter of Heart Seed and Token of the Twelve acquisition.

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Nobody wants to be near me when I Toot.

Then there’s Citivyr, my main main, the one I spend the most time on, and the one with the most experience. Now that he has two paladin lives behind him, it is time to get the last life finished.

You may wonder why someone would put themselves through three of the same build in succession, but in every life I learned more about the build, which has led me to become a better player.

The builds of the past were never followed to the letter, as there was always another feat or skill I wanted. That, however, led to build imperfections.

This past life was followed very close, though the skills were askew, the build as a whole was much more solid. Survival had increased, as did the damage; feats and enhancements never before used were now a major part of the whole procession.

It had all come together. Everything, that is, except the gear.

 

ScreenShot00351The quest for gear has always been a challenge. Raids and PUGs were never a pleasant experience, and- for the most part- standard quests don’t provide gear with the same quality. So there I was, stuck in a sub-par gear hell.

Citivyr’s build has allowed some new measure of confidence. The thought of a Reaper 1 quest terrified, but in the case of the two that were run, as they were completed I was left with a sense of pure amazement.

Now in his 3rd paladin life, Citivyr has begun to do some quests which were considered out of his league, and has succeeded. Even “Stealthy Repossession”, with its 6 Kobold Prophet failure.

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Citivyr and Carnifex, BFFs

Citivyr has reached level four, with two levels on hold, and the Leveling Guide has been the only true issue. Though it is most like a very good guide, the problem arises when a certain player doesn’t follow it exact.

Quests were done early, or parts were missed and a backtrack needed which made them take longer. Thus, I think I shall go back to my typical leveling technique of hit every quest in the level until cap, or all available have been exhausted.

Either way, I think the entire process shall proceed much faster.

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Got any thoughts, tips, advice, or comments you’d like to share? Please feel free to mention them in the comments section below!

Thanks so much for stopping by and partaking of my ramblings. I hope that you’ll return for my next post!

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Posted in Commentary, DDO, Questing | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

A Gamer’s Epiphany

A Begrudged Step Toward Current Game Hardware

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Gaming Keyboards, are they worth it?

I grew up in the 80’s. I had an Atari 2600, just like many people my age. I was still “young” in the early age of computers, and came in right around the time Apple introduced the first Macs. Over the summer of my Junior/ Senior year, I was sent to learn about the new Macs at a special camp. So, to me, a keyboard has always been a nothing but a tool for productivity.

Sure, the new keyboards had fancy lighting, special keys for macros, and a slightly better build quality (I don’t know how people can break keyboards, I’ve never broken a single one that I can remember.

I’ll admit it. I was one of “those” people. I dismissed gaming and mechanical keyboards as hype, and a way to charge someone way more than a keyboard was worth. I stuck with cheap, basic keyboards because of my inability to see what others would herald; the arrival of a new tool of incredible utility!

In the past, my keyboard requirements were simple: correct connector, size and shape, the keys, and the ability to type quiet.

 

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Logitech Illuminated keyboard

Then came the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard. I had just sold my laptop, and had gotten my first tablet, so there was a need for the keys to be flat. This keyboard fit the bill. I struggled to get past the $80 price point for it, but I loved that it had a backlight that also caused the letters and numbers to be illuminated.

Needless to say, the money was well spent. I fell in love with the flat keys and the backlit keyboard. I’d used it for the better part of the last five years, and I have to say I could not be more pleased.

However, of late- as with all things- it had begun to show its age. The lighting on the letters had begun to dim, and the keys didn’t press and spring back as nicely as they used to. So I had to ask myself one question: Did I feel lucky? The answer was no. I’ve never had the kind of luck where electronics that began to show their age would last. If I skipped on an immediate replacement, it was always a decision I would later regret.

So, I did my research. I watched videos, read reviews, even asked my followers on Twitter their thoughts.

Then an event happened that put my interest in a new keyboard on the back burner.

My sister decided to move, and as luck would have it, I was available to assist. I was one of two drivers (one for the moving truck, one for the others that would help with the task. No sooner had I gotten on the Highway, and my car’s dash was emblazoned with an alert: LOW TIRE PRESSURE.

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Low Tire Pressure

I thought “Are you serious?”

Before anyone starts in, I did check the tire pressure the day before, and it was fine. I even pumped them up a little over just to be safe. This was just my luck.

As fate would have it, my car survived the trip, and a friendly attendant at the U-Haul pointed out the issue. There was a crack in the side of my tire that I’d not seen in my inspection.

Long story short, new tires: $300. That included an alignment which was the cause of the cracked tires in the first place, and thus my plans for a new keyboard were dampened.

Or so I thought!

After I paid off the tires, I found I still had some money left over from Christmas, so I resumed my investigation. Another thought entered my mind at this point, perhaps a gaming keypad should be thought about in place of a new keyboard.

I did more research to see what the recommendations were on the keyboards vs keypads argument. Turns out, yes; keypads were very useful for MMO players. However, the support for a mechanical keyboard seemed to overwhelm.

I didn’t quite understand. What could a mechanical keyboard possibly do that my beloved keyboard could not? Macros? DDO has built-in keybinds that can be customized. Fancy programmable backlights? I’m too old and practical to care about that. Game Mode? I never really hit the keys that that mode disabled.

So what, then? What was it that won me over? The answer, in short, was a smaller, heavier, awesome switched keyboard that was easier to clean and far more durable!

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Logitech G413 Silver

The final answer was the Logitech G413 Silver. This keyboard had (almost) all the features I desired. If this keyboard was just a slight bit bigger, it could accommodate the one feature I found absent.

The presence of G-keys is what this beautiful piece of keyboard technology lacks.

Available in two colors, carbon and silver, the G413 is a marvel to behold. Made from aircraft grade brushed aluminum, it laughs at drops and other accidents. There’s a pass-through USB so that gamers can plug in their phones, mouses, or- as in my case- wireless headset adapters.

 

The carbon option is glorious in its own right, but for me the dark red backlight was a bit of a brow furrow. My Illuminated keyboard had a white backlight, which made the search for the appropriate keys a snap. The lack of a bright backlight makes just such a search much more difficult.

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The G413 Carbon

The silver version, on the other hand, doesn’t just have the same color as my former keyboard, but is brighter. The light is in the middle of the Romber-G switch (which I shall discuss in a bit), which makes the letters and numbers vibrant. This backlight also spills out onto the face of the keyboard, showing off the lustrous plate even when the room is at its darkest.

The Romer-G switch is what, for me, makes this board so magnificent. Despite all the other attractions this board offers, these are what has me sold. The Romer-G switch is a nice middle-ground, which makes key presses for games or for text their utmost comfortable. I wanted a keyboard that wasn’t as loud as most others, but still had the tactile feel. I believe that Logitech has this part nailed.

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Romer-G Switches are the heart of Logitech’s gaming keyboards

I’ve now typed two blog posts on this keyboard, both of them around a thousand words, and the spring with which these keys bounce back is a joy. The Illuminated keyboard was nice to type on, too, but about halfway through a post, my fingers felt fatigued.

So far, on the G413, the fatigue is far less, indeed almost non-existent. I can see that for next week’s post, I will be quite excited. The thought of typing for extended periods of time doesn’t make me want to make new holes in my head with a drill, and that in itself is an achievement!

In summary, if you have yet to get a mechanical keyboard, be it for games or for productive purposes, I would give a very high recommendation. Also a gaming keypad is still possible, though the need is no longer as immediate.

What do you use for your game based needs? Do you use a keyboard or a keypad? Let us know in the comments section!

Have a great day, and I hope you’ll return for next week’s post. Thank you so much for the time you took to read this post. I appreciate you and your patronage.

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-9-19,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-ve

My Logitech G413 keyboard

Edit: edited for the proper spelling of epiphany. Curse my muddled brain!

Posted in Commentary, Hardware | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

More on Gear (Levels 10 – 15)

Gear is a topic with which I, even seven years later, continue to struggle. What do I keep, is there something better, how does one learn the actual gear value? When you get to level ten, this becomes an even bigger issue.

Each update changes the game, some even cause the gear landscape to go through an enormous renovation. The recent expansion of Ravenloft, with its introduction of Barovian and Morninglord weapons, is no exception.

To that end, I have decided to make an endeavor to assist new players make sense of all their choices. This won’t be easy and I’m sure I will miss some things, but let’s give it a go, regardless.

Let’s start with RNG (aka Random Loot Drops).

Ideal choices will differ dependent upon things such as class, Adventure Pack Access, and your ability/ willingness to run raids. As one gets higher in level, the massive amount of options for gear tends to get convoluted.

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Mules area great way to hold all your stuff

Everyone

Regardless of class or build, all characters will benefit from gear that raises their main ability, such as Strength, Intelligence, or Wisdom. Another great gear feature is Sheltering, which will mitigate the amount of damage suffered.

Elemental Damage is a concern in a majority of quests, and one can find gear with specific elemental reduction as frequent drops from quests, end rewards, and set bonuses. Suffice it to say, this will contribute a great deal to your survival.

Fortification is a property that you should be sure your character has or gets asap, with an aim of eighth level for Heavy. Until then, just take the highest Fort item you can find and keep it equipped to avoid one-hit deaths.

Other universal properties to watch for are Search, Spot, Haggle, True Seeing, Blur, Ghostly, Speed or Striding, Death Block, and Blindness Immunity.

Besides the gear I just mentioned, builds work better when their Feats and Enhancements are in complement. To that end, typical properties for RNG gear has been hereafter suggested.

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Paladins need gear with bonuses to Strength, Constitution, and Charisma

Class Specific

Melee: Gear that focuses on your main ability such as Strength, Dexterity, etc, is an absolute requirement. Other helpful properties are Deadly, Seeker, anything that boosts their weapon’s critical profile- including the weapon itself, and Accuracy.

Fighters will want gear that will enhance their combat abilities, such as Trip, Stun, or Shield Bash. They also suffer from a lack of the ability to self heal, so gear that adds Healing Amplification will be a welcome addition for both the fighter as well as the group’s healer. Fighter classes tend to have low Will saves, so feats and gear that can increase their ability to overcome spells that affect the mind. Fighters can wear any type of armor that fits their style, though heavy mail is the choice most typical.

Paladins need good scores in both their secondary an tertiary abilities as well as their primary. As such, they should seek items that grant enhancements to Wisdom as well as Charisma. For weapons, you will want crit focused properties, and will find great return from scimitars and falchions. Paladins have access to healing spells, however their spell point pool tends to be limited, so to aid in this, one should watch for items with the title “Wizardry”. Heavy plate is a usual choice to get a Paladin to flourish.

Melee Rangers are bladed whirlwinds, and get amazing results from weapons and other gear that take advantage of the multitude of strikes Rangers will inflict. Like the Paladin, Rangers also have access to healing spells, but find their resources limited. Wizardry items can help eliminate that void. Rangers will want light armor to take advantage of their agility!

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Sometimes, you just gotta get out of the light

Casters

All casters will want some form item that increases their spell points (Wizardry), DC (Focus), critical chance (Lore).

Divine casters will also want to take advantage of heavy armor, since they will not be affected by its Arcane Spell Failure. In regards to defense, divine casters lack strong Reflex saves, and may want to invest in gear that alleviates this weakness.

Arcane casters may want to take advantage of a buckler, since 5% ASF is all they will be subjected to; less if they utilize Arcane Fluidity. Fortitude is not an arcane caster’s strongest suit, so they like gear in which this is fortified.

For offensive caster classes, you will want gear that enriches your ability to surpass spell resistance (Spell Penetration), as well as something to raise certain spell types of damage output. Just as with melee builds, you’ll also want something to boost your chance at getting that ever important spell critical, so you can dish out some major punishment.

Healers will want to be on the lookout for Healing Lore and Devotion. Some healers use light spells as offense, in which case be on the lookout for the gear properties Radiance Lore and Radiance.

Support casters will want items that not only boost their element of choice damage, but also some Enchantment or Necromancy Focus.

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Ranged characters can be so much fun!

Ranged

Ranged builds can get good elemental damage if they choose a type of elemental arrow, and then pick “Elemental Arrow” from the Arcane Archer enhancement tree, and thus benefit from elemental spell power. Gear with the corresponding elemental spell power adding to your ranged damage is equal parts awesome and insane.

Once the character reaches level eight and can wield the Silver Longbow, there isn’t much need for other gear, save for what’s already been recommended.

 

Utility

Utility builds such as a rogue or artificer not only need the gear to boost damage/ backstab capability and the same gear everyone else needs, but they also will need items that will help them find and disable traps, as well as to unlock the doors that lead to whatever lies beyond. This is where the ability to craft begins to shine.

Rogues make the best use of daggers and shortswords, while artificers are dangerous with crossbow repeaters and runearms. Both find light armor to be the best fit for their needs. Either can enjoy gear with “assassinate +#” trait, if their build can accommodate.

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Wrath of Sora Kel set brings a lot to the table

Named Gear/ Sets

There’s so much info on these that there’s little point in going over each piece that could be of any use to any possible build, so I will just focus on some of the ones that have been recommended or that I have found useful in the past.

Greensteel- Though complicated to understand and a pain to farm, Greensteel weapons and other gear seems today to be just as relevant. If you have access to The Vale of Twilight, you should start the farm process asap. Not only will it take a while to get the ingredients for the base weapon, but then you have to get the ingredients to upgrade.

Barovian/ Morninglord Weapons- I mentioned these before, and once you reach the Barovian wilderness, there is a “vendor” that just gives you one of these weapons, and- if you remember to talk to him a second time- you get a choice of a sentient jewel. If you can get to this area around level 10, you’ll be gifted with a weapon of great power. That is, if you have Ravenloft access.

 

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Dragonplate White, perfect for that special tankbody in your life.

Dragonscale Armor- If you have the Gianthold Adventure Pack, you’ll be able to flag to run Tor, which will give you Black, Blue, or White Dragon scales if you defeat the dragon that corresponds to the scale. The most you’ll get from each chest is three, and that means it’ll take a few runs of the quest, but I can attest that it is worth it. The quest isn’t long, and can be run at any difficulty. The number of scales you receive is related to the level it is run at (Normal, Hard, or Elite). Black dragon armor is good for dps builds, Blue for casters, and White works well for tanks.

 

Giantcraft/ Dragoncraft/ Elfcraft armor- Gianthold is a great source of gear. In this case, only 20 of the corresponding artifacts that are a random drop from wilderness kills. All three of these armors have varied types, and give different benefits. I consider these a great to use until you get your hands on a set of Dragonscale.

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Dragoncraft Leather, ideal for ranged builds.

Crafted

The Vale, Gianthold, and Tor are only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other areas to get what you need, one of which is the Tempest Spine.

However, there comes a point when it’s just easier to craft your desired piece. This is very clear when one looks at roguish/ artificery gear to discover and disable the varied traps that have, on more than one occasion, been the source of my character’s death.

As mentioned before, this is the area where crafted gear stands above the crowd. Yes, you can make your own weapons and armor besides, but the sheer amount of ingredients required will result in rapid depletion.

As a newer player, it will be better to farm most of your gear in-game, and save your precious ingredients for your next life, or- if able to disarm traps- limit your crafted items to this focus.

 

That appears to be all I can think of at the moment. Readers, if you’ve more to add, please do so in the comments section below.

As always, I cannot thank you enough for the time you took to read this blog. I hope you’ll come back next week!

Have a great rest of your day, everyone!

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Time for a break!

Posted in Advice, Beginner, DDO, Farming, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Holiday Greetings

Whether or not to write this post has been a bit of a struggle. Of late, time has been a bit of a jumble, what with the holiday season upon us and the great many things that must be accomplished. My thoughts turn from games and work, and turn now toward family and the very things that encompass the season’s essence.

Thus, I will not focus on which quests, nor recent DDO events, nor even the type of gear I find appropriate.

Rather, I wanted to write a quick note to all of you, be you near or far, and perhaps join  hearts as we celebrate. For the moment forget our disagreements, our different opinions, and focus on what we are: Fellow humans.

So, regardless of who, what, or where you are, I wish you the absolute best of holidays!

May this season bring you peace, love, happiness and tranquility.

Sincerely,

Citi

Posted in Commentary, DDO, Holidays | 1 Comment

Thoughts on Ravenloft

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Castle Ravenloft

Random Useless Notions on the Recent Expansion

The original idea behind this post was to be about gear for characters between the levels of 10 and 15, but with the acquisition of the newest DDO expansion “Mists of Ravenloft”, I figured something based on it would be most beneficial.

I had decided that I would stick with the basic bundle, as the majority of what was offered I considered “fluff”, by which I mean cosmetic items/ companions. The raven, the cat, the two outfits, and the weapon aura all gave little encouragement to spend extra money.

The benefits I was most interested in were the hirelings (levels 10 & 30), and the Aasimar race as a permanent fixture due to the purchase. The area was what mattered most, of course, but it is always nice to have another racial option as well as help for solo adventures in the form of extra bodies.

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For the Night is Dark, and Full of Terrors

My choice did not matter in the end, as it was purchased for me as a gift, which still has me baffled. I was given the biggest bundle, and any/ all my protests were stifled.

So, Ultimate Fan Bundle codes “in hand”, I claimed my very own Ravenloft-based goodness though the way the bundle cosmetics were handled has me rather perplexed.

On to the core of the expansion, Ravenloft itself.

 

Initial Quest:

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First off, I don’t recommend doing the quest to get to ravenloft alone on elite.

I tried this and was squashed in short order, thus I recommend the hard difficulty for non-elite solo players, even in heroics. Unless, of course, you’re one of the players that can solo Reaper modes with little to no issues.

 

Wilderness:

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My favorite “event” in Ravenloft includes waves of zombies. #ZombieApocalypse

Once you have gotten to Ravenloft, don’t be surprised by the fact that the wilderness is shown in its entirety on your map. Not sure if this is by design, or was just missed and will be missed later.

Also, the rumors are true: Ravenloft wilderness is an overwhelming expanse!

There are plenty of explorers and slayers, but the rares-which bring an “easter egg hunt” feel to every wilderness- have sparse spawn points, and the chance of no spawns could mean hours of your time wasted.

Still, some people (myself included) will enjoy the wilderness for those exact same reasons. For punishment, as they say, we are all gluttons.

 

Sentient Weapons:

 

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I’m still torn on this idea. On one hand, it is new concept that may bring old players back, and new players to the fold. On the other, the intermittent chattering of a weapon that has only one of three (initial) personalities can grate on the nerves. Thankfully, you can mute the weapon’s voice if you do get perturbed.

 

Free Weapon:

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Talk to this guy, he’ll hook you up!

The first time out in the wilderness brings with it a sweet reward in the form of a free Barovian weapon! This thing is sweet! It is silver, has a lot of properties that are great for hunting undead/ lycanthropes (werewolves, etc), and since it is named, can be used as sentient jewel fodder if you already have a better weapon! I could go on and on about this free item, but that perhaps is not the best course of action.

I have yet to test if you’re able to get a weapon in epics if you received one in heroics, so not sure if you should grab that heroic version or wait for the epic. If it considers heroic and epic versions seperate, like most wilderness areas, then you should be safe.

 

Music:

The one thing that I feel that the Devs got 100% right was the music. If you enjoy many forms of music, you will just love the Romani feel brought on by the expansion’s score. It is typical for me to play DDO with the music off or low because other music is preferred, however Ravenloft will continue to be the exception.

 

Difficulty:

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As usual, wilderness isn’t much challenge when you’re at level.

It is unfortunate that I have not been able to spend more time in this expansion, as I cannot really speak to this topic. I have gone through one quest, and a majority of the wilderness, but that is the extent of my experience. I shall leave this topic for other, more knowledgeable players.

The one thing I can say about the difficulty is that the initial quest borders on ludicrous.

 

Models/Textures/ Shading: 

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I cannot express how delighted I am over  the graphical nature of Ravenloft. Every visual aspect of the expansion has me impressed. Some of the creatures can look a bit cartoonish (Vargouille, I’m looking at you!), but that has more to do with D&D and its the nature of its creatures.

 

Summary:

Is the expansion worth the $40 price point (basic bundle)? Yes, without a doubt. The Devs have outdone themselves with Ravenloft, and it was well worth the wait. Should you go out and get it right now if you have not already done so? Yes, without a doubt, though not at the cost of your ability to feed, clothe, and house yourself. As always, real life over virtual!

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Posted in Advanced, Commentary, DDO, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

There’s Something About Delera(‘s Tomb)

Adventure Pack Highlight: Delera’s Tomb

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Delera’s Tomb Loading Screen

First off, let me apologize for the lateness of this post. I started putting it together early in the week, but things didn’t work out, and now it’s late due to my indecision.

You see, I began this post as an attempt to give a list of easy to acquire gear for new players around the levels Four (4) to Nine (9), and wound up realizing there was no such thing except for the random loot gained from chests and end rewards. It became obvious that that would not make for a very good subject, since the possible variations were endless, and there was no such thing as a guarantee.

Instead, I decided to take this opportunity to highlight one of my favorite adventure packs in DDO; Delera’s Tomb. There are many reasons why this pack has long been one of my favorites: Great XP, interesting story, fun quests. However, I think the biggest reason that players continue to visit Delera’s Tomb is the great loot!

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Delera’s Tomb

 

Not only does the quest chain have many chests that may provide players with some nice items, but the end rewards for the level range are some of the best. This is especially true for new players or those that never took a shine to the game’s integrated Cannith Crafting, which not only needs many ingredients, but sports a bit of a learning curve.

Thus, I have stuck to End Reward gear for this list as the chance to receive the desired item does not balance on the chance of a rare spawn or hard to acquire/ open chest. I make no pretense that these items are better than Cannith Crafted gear.

You can find all the information provided here and more on the DDO Wiki.

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You should trust this guy, he’s totally not shady.

That said, here’s my list:

  • Carnifex: Greataxe with amazing damage capability and even better critical hit profile. Two-Handed Wielders will get the most use out of this item, however any character with the ability/ UMD to use Master’s Touch spells or scrolls will also enjoy this weapon’s capability of destruction!
  • Voice of the Master: This trinket is undoubtedly the most valued. Once equipped, the Voice of the Master provides its wearer with an additional five percent to ALL experience (+5% XP)! This is the only item on the list that is a guaranteed drop. I recommend it to any/ all players, even if you have to run the chain a second time because you found something else you want that does not have the same guarantee. Five percent may not sound like much, but when you add it all up this item becomes necessary!ScreenShot00334
  • Serpentbranch: Longbow, 1-6 poison damage, one red augment slot, one purple augment slot. I love this bow. This is great for sixth level archers, or characters whose ranged attacks need a little extra damage.
  • Boneshard Flute: Necromancers and characters that use simple weapons love this club. It has a better damage profile (1.25), +2 magical enhancement, and three uses per rest of Command Undead.
  • Devotion: These handwraps are a good option for a monk or monk/ cleric multiclass, as they come with a +3 enhancement, devotion 48 to aid in healing spells, and a red augment slot. The only real detraction is the alignment requirement.ScreenShot00329
  • Obsidian Dagger: Bad touch casters such as the Pale Master will enjoy the benefits of this dagger. It has +3 enhancement, a better damage profile, 48 equipment bonus to nullification (necromancy) spells, and both a Red and a Purple Augment (can be used as a Red or Blue) Slot.
  • Sparkstriker: Wielders of heavy picks will like this item. Sporting the popular better damage profile of 1.25, Sparkstriker is made out of adamantine, which will bypass metallic damage resistence. This weapon also has the Shockingburst quality, as well as a red augment slot.
  • Delera’s Vestment: Delera’s Vestment is a +4 robe with a +4 bonus to charisma, and a blue augment slot. Many Charisma-based builds that can’t or don’t wear heavy armor (like the Warlock) will find much use out of this robe.ScreenShot00332
  • Rusted Shirt: This chain shirt grants a +3 bonus to armor class, as well as a +2 bonus to Constitution (that’s another point of health for each level while this item is worn), and a blue augment slot. As a light armor, this can be used by Rangers and Rogues to great effect.
  • Silverflame Hauberk: A +3 half plate armor piece that provides a devotion bonus of 48, as well as a blue and clear augment slot.
  • Wrath of Siberys: This is a very nice heavy steel shield with a +3 enhancement, +4 to reflex saves, a constant passive Lesser Heroism bonus of +1, 3/ rest Blinding Flash clicky, and a purple augment slot. I have used this on Paladins, since once they reach level 8, I can socket in a Sapphire of Heavy Fortification (+100 to Fort, which protects against critical hits).ScreenShot00331
  • Coronach: Rune arm with Light Spirals, Life Shield, Rune Arm Imbue of Light II, and is craftable. I don’t use runarms, so I won’t pretend to understand what any of that means, but it sounds impressive.
  • Golden Cartouche: This necklace provides a +2 bonus to Intelligence, a +3 bonus to Use Magic Device (UMD), and a Yellow Augment Slot! Perfect for a wizard, rogue, or any character that could use +3 UMD (hint: all characters can use +3 to their UMD).
  • Sigil of Stormreach: Ring with +2 Charisma, +5 Diplomacy, and the much sought after Green Augment Slot (allows either yellow or blue augments). This would be a great addition for either a Cleric, Paladin, or even a Warlock that didn’t want to replace their armor with Delera’s Vestment.ScreenShot00326
  • Trapsmith’s Toolbelt: Though you can Cannith Craft better options, new players with rogues or artificers, or those that aren’t able to craft, may find the +7 to Disable Device handy. If their character happens to be a Warforged, the +7 to Repair is nice, too. This item also has a Blue Augment Slot, in case said player finds just such an augment in their possession.

 

There are many more options available to players within the Delera’s Tomb, but I find that these offer the most benefit with little to no penalty to new players. If you have any questions or even something to add to my list, then by all means do so in the comments section!

Thanks for stopping by and for the time you took out of your day to peruse my rambling. Have a great day, and I hope to see you back next time!ScreenShot00327

 

 

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Starter Gear and You

The New Player Guide to DDO First Level Gear

Every so often I think to myself “How did I ever make it off of the starter area in DDO without my current set of knowledge? The answer to this is easy: the game pretty much gave me what I needed to survive.

What I didn’t know then, I now have set deep in my brain. The DDO starter area is not just a good way to get from levels 1-4 on a new character, for new players it’s also an undeniable absolute necessity. Why? Simple, it is a great way to teach new players how to play.

Tool tips, Lingo, and easy quests made just for beginners, make the starter island of Korthos an ideal place for new players to start their adventure. Another a bullet point, and one I consider to be the most important, to consider is gear.

For the sake of clarity, I want to express that this list will focus on gear for new players that is both useful, and easy to acquire. Any “Twink” gear is unlikely to be available to new players, and will thus be an obvious omission.

Here are 10 items from Korthos for new players that I highly recommend:

 

  1. Ember Weapons/ Eternal Wands/ Soren’s Handwraps: Let’s start with the first quest and the lovely weapons provided as end rewards: The large list of weapons presented have an added one point of fire damage. Eternal Wands have 50 charges that reset when you rest. Soren’s Handwraps for the Monk provide 1 additional point of acid damage. Granted, one point may not seem like much, but at the first few levels a big difference can be made with any amount of additional damage.Ember_Great_Axe
  2. Amulet of Inner Focus/ Amulet of the Brute: For casters, the Amulet of Inner Focus is a very nice boost to concentration, which will help maintain your casting if you get hit. The Amulet of the Brute is a boost to your Con (health), but at penalties to your Intelligence and Wisdom, so not as useful for most classes. The Barbarian makes the most use of this item.Amulet_of_Inner_Focus
  3. Spear Bane: All characters can do with more resistance to ranged damage, since archers are deadly at these levels. Another point for this item is that Sauhuagin are what you will come across most in Korthos, and they use spears. There are other choices for an end reward, but four points of damage resisted from every piercing attack, which- for new players- makes this item rather indispensable!Spear_Bane
  4. Rugged Belt: What keeps characters alive in the game? Health, also known as Hit Points (HP). What is better than a level 1 belt that provides more HP? Very little. Get this early (I do this quest right after Heyton’s Rest), and equip it with all speed.Rugged_Belt
  5. Fintan’s Bite: Regardless of your build (unless you play a monk), at the first few levels you will probably need to swing a weapon at some point. While there are many decent choices for this quest’s end reward, Fintan’s Bite has the chance to provide an additional 15 points temporary HP that last for a minute. Unless you are a 2-handed wielder, this is a very powerful weapon at early levels. Though slated as to when you are able to run this quest, this weapon can make your early DDO life a whole lot easier.Item_Weapon_Fintan's_Bite_Description
  6. Anger’s Step: One of the biggest issues with early levels is the speed at which your character runs through a quest. These boots give two five minute “Expeditious Retreat” casts upon activation, which will help you keep up with the more experienced/ geared characters in your group. Or it will just make sure you don’t get the urge to bash your head against a brick wall due to the run speed. You can get these as an end reward from the quest “Sacrifices” out in the Korthos Island wilderness, and they provide a 25% boost to your speed. Run the quest twice, take these each time, and put them on your hotbar to avoid a boredom attack!Anger's_Step
  7. Goggles of Insight: Much of the length of early level battles comes due to how often a character misses their target. In this sense, every little bit can help, and this is where the Goggles of Insight shine. As with additional damage, any amount of additional to-hit chance is a huge boon. Gained as an end reward from the quest “Necromancer’s Doom”, these goggles provide a passive +1 competence bonus to-hit, which stacks with weapon and other equipment bonuses (which I will talk about later in this blog), which-as a piece of starter gear- makes these goggles invaluable.Goggles_of_Insight
  8. Battered Helm: Finances for new players tends to be a large obstacle. Costs for repairs, upgraded equipment, and hirelings all eat away at a character’s funds. One thing that helps is to have the skill “Haggle”, which will bring players better prices when they sell equipment they deem no longer necessary. The quest “Stopping the Sauhuagin” is not just a fun quest, but provides a lot of experience. The best part of the quest, however, is the end reward. The Battered helm has two traits, but the one that brings a benefit to all players is the +1 to “Haggle”. No need to keep this item on, as there are plenty of good helms and hats to use, but put it on your hotbar and swap to it whenever you sell your extras and you’ll notice an increase in your available funds. [Screencap Unavailable]
  9. Feather Cloak: The “Redemption” quest is necessary to continue the Korthos storyline, but it also has an end reward that is a sleeper gem! After you’ve helped beat back the Sauhuagin invasion and kept Lars Heyton alive throughout, speak with Ursa (the quest giver) again to receive your end reward, and choose the Feather Cloak. Unless you’ve gotten your first Feather Fall item, the Feather Cloak fills a necessary void in your gear. Upon activation, it allows you a relaxed slow float to the floor rather than a breakneck fall at the speed of death. Place this on your gear hotbar, and get ready to use it in the next quest (and- most like- a lot of quests afterwards), for it makes the journey back to the gem-locked door much easier.Feather_Cloak
  10. Anger’s Gift/ Archivist’s Necklace: Misery’s Peak provides so much XP, it is worth how long it takes to run. Whether you’re with a group or solo, there’s just so much XP that to skip it is ludicrous! However, there’s another reason to run this quest, and again it’s the end reward. If you’re a caster, you’re going to want Archivist’s Necklace for the two mnemonic enhancements, as they’re a way to get some extra spell points when you run out. Regardless of your build, however, if you use Anger’s Step, it is best if you go with Anger’s Gift. Alone, Anger’s Gift provides +1 to Strength and a +1 resistance bonus to all Saving Throws. This item is part of a set, however, and together with Anger’s Step provides an untyped +2 bonus to-hit that stacks with the competence bonus provided by the Goggles of Insight! That’s a +3 to hit that doesn’t even include any bonuses from weapons! [Screencap Unavailable]

As newer players get more experienced at playing the game or just get better gear, these may fade out, but for your first character, or even just one you don’t want to “Twink” (use gear that is powerful and uncommon for the level).

If you have other advice for new or uninformed players on how to best gear up for the levels 1-5, or are a new player and have a question, let me know in the comments!

As usual, I appreciate the time you took out of your day to read this blog, and your continued readership! Hope you all have a great day, and that we’ll see you back here again soon!

*Disclaimer: Any/ all screenshots of the gear description in this blog were used from the DDO Wiki, all credit goes to them.

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