The Reaper Conundrum

A second Look at Reaper Mode

One might ask: “Why look at Reaper again after such a short time?”

I can’t answer that without an explanation for new players as to “What is Reaper Mode?”, and for that I will steal a bit from the DDO Wiki:

Reaper Difficulty or Reaper Mode is the highest difficulty in DDO introduced in Update 34. This game mode has ten sub-difficulties, known as “skulls,” that can further increase the challenge rating.

In short, Reaper Mode supplies the greatest reward per run of the quest, but also provides the greatest risk. There are ten levels of Reaper Mode that determine the level of challenge. The level is measured from one to ten, with ten being the most difficult.



Reaper has the highest XP for quest completion.

Reaper gives its own XP, known as Reaper XP, for quest completion

Reaper XP in turn allows for purchase enhancements from the Reaper Tree, found in the Main Menu.

Reaper enhancements create a stronger character, which in turn allows you to complete at a higher Difficulty, which in turn allows you to push your character harder.



Self healing is reduced by 80%. That’s right, Eighty Percent. For soloists, this is a tremendous hit to survival.

Increased chance for champion spawns. Champions have one of three crowns over their head: Yellow for the weakest, Orange for the next strongest, and Red for the ultimate. Red named enemies can also be champions, and these are the most deadly.

Reaper Spawns. Reapers are new spawns just for this mode, and thus the name, and are extremely powerful. Not only do they do attack damage, but it is typical for them to have a special effects as well, such as a stacking Damage Over Time (DoT).


This whole post is about is my recent attempts at reaper, and my subsequent continued frustration.

The advice I’d read was to start at the lowest Reaper, and increase from there if I felt it was too easy. Not only did I not find the quests easy, but I found myself overwhelmed. I ran quests a multitude of times, and each attempt seemed to get more and more impossible.

The first time I ran reaper with my level 15 third lifer, it was Cabal For One. I do not find this quest to be of any particular challenge on Elite, so I figured R1 would be a good place to start; it was not.

All the preparation and advice I’d been given was of no help at all, as all the spawns cared little for me, and went straight after my healer. Remember, my attempts are “solo” with a hire. Once my hireling healer was dead, of course, my life would soon expire. As a character bred for heroic content, the lack of ability to self heal means I no longer have the usual survivability.

The conundrum appears because I currently find Elite a bit too easy now, and Reaper far too difficult. So I am stuck in the void between the modes, not able to fully enjoy either, and that makes the game- for me, at least- far less enjoyable.


All that said, I have not given up, and am sure that this whole ordeal is just a need to get acclimated. I shall keep up the attempts and learn as much as I can in the meantime.

Time to buckle down!

Edit: After I wrote this, I had success with both Trial by Fire and Cabal For One! Huzzah!


Thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions feel free to post them in the comments section below!


5 thoughts on “The Reaper Conundrum

  1. Pingback: The Reaper Conundrum — Citi Plays DDO | DDOCentral

  2. YAY YOU DID IT! 👏

    I have two toons who can *usually* handle solo reaper up to three skulls. One has hella damage mitigation, the other has hella DPS. And then I have 18 other toons who need adult diapers at the mere mention of reaper.

    The thing with reaper is it’s such a crapshoot. All you need is one fight with more than one each champion and reaper, and your one-skull “hey, this is about the same as elite” feels like trying 10-skull Crucible on a level three weakling.

    Kudos to you for not giving up! Glad you kept with it and got the completions! 🙂


  3. glmfw1 (Bettayne on Sarlona)

    When I want more challenge soloing, I find “HE when I am under-level” works pretty well. One day I will discover an in-game reason for “you walk through a door and suddenly your healing becomes fairly useless, meanwhile monsters unrelated to the quest appear for no apparent reason” that doesn’t break immersion in the world, but until then I can get all the challenge I need from the game without needing Reaper, and the XP for quests when under level works pretty well 🙂


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