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Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:13 AM
The Path to Power

Part 1: A Critical Path

Disclaimer: This guide’s purpose is to clearly lead in an entertaining fashion through the fastest route to power in Stormreach. If you’re new to Stormreach, crave a high-level character expediently and you don’t want to take time to smell the roses, continue reading. If you’re a veteran and have always wondered if there was a quicker way to achieve the goal of levelling, continue reading. All others, I bid you hastened harkening and a swift sunrise in your wanderings – your day will come.

So, you’ve come to Stormreach on a leaky boat after a brief tutorial. The tavern keeper at The Wavecrest Tavern was less-than-competent in keeping stock of his own ale and sent you sprawling in the dark passages beneath his charge, only to find out he has unwittingly been the benefactor of the attempted birth of a new evil cult. Sigmun Bauerson quickly ushers you out to his door and into the arms of a Lord Gerald Goodblade, to whom you quickly enlist your services and fledgling skills in a series of three trials. A paltry reward later, there is nothing but an ornamental sword for show with as much magic as your old grandmother’s corpse, may Tymora rest her soul. It’s time to find a quicker route than working for these tomfoolery hooligans.

The first goal before you go any further is reach level two! You’re nothing without more hit points, and that’s a fact as you’re nothing with no hit points. Do you recall working for Lord Goodblade? Recovering those lost scrolls sure was easy, right? Right! So ask him for more work already! Goodblade has a long clientele and easily forgets who has already worked for him. Be sure to request his job to Search for the Rare Scrolls because it was easy and the hardest part was the puzzle – and that only took you a minute or two to figure out, right on! Wait, you had trouble with that? Someone helped you? Ok, be sure to make the light path flow from each of the four corners. Rotate the blocks until the light paths connect to all four corners.

Hold on! You don’t know how to repeat just one quest out of the Goodblade series? That’s easy! Open up your quest journal and select The Harbor tab on the left. You should see the quest you’re doing, Search for the Rare Scrolls. What you need to do is select it after it’s listed as COMPLETED (you did finish it on hard, right?) and scroll to the bottom of the description. There is an Abandon Quest option. Abandon it! This will let Lord Goodblade have a fit of amnesia and he’ll request that you go Search for the Rare Scrolls again if you speak to him. Outstanding! So keep running this quest and grab friends – on hard and elite the enemies become stronger with more hit points and better to-hit-your-armor-class (THACO), and that slime behind the wall when you pick up the key is going to hurt you pretty easily. Ranging the slime will save your weapons the slime damage. If you can’t, buy lots of wooden clubs from Three-Fingered Thad. These clubs can be tossed every time they break when clubbing the slimes, but be careful! After your third run you should be able to open the elite difficulty, and the slime will have become a Challenge Rating of CR6, and that’s a lot of attacking power against a level 1 like yourself.

Tips: These are the fundamental skills and knowledge required in order to maximize your XP versus Time throughout The Critical Path.

#1 Reaching Elite: Ask someone to let you in on Elite by joining your group and leaving after one of your party members is inside. Even a level 14 character can do this without disrupting your XP flow – all they have to do is join your group and stay outside the quest while someone from your party enters the quest. Then they can leave and the quest is open on elite. Continue to run this quest until you can’t get XP anymore. If you skipped normal or hard, go back and run them now – the xp will reset to +25% and full xp due to the new difficulty level. This only works the first time for each difficulty level!

#2 Your LFM’s goals: Your group’s goals should be achieved as quickly as possible, and therefore you should try to rally other new players or at least players in your level range to your group. If you have to use the LFM to gather yourself a party, be sure to list your goal as “Fast XP, multiple runs until quest is ransacked of XP.” This will give you a good advertisement for the type of players you want to join your group.

#3 One Swing To Rue Them All: You may or not may have encountered the rare ooze spawn named Muck, but the ONLY absolute must-have weapon, Muckbane, is in The Den of the Kobold Brothers, which is also known as Durk’s Got A Secret. In order to run this quest again, collect your reward and restart the quest with Durk at The Leaky Dinghy. If you have a full party, break into 3 sets of two player parties. Each group should go into the instance on normal and dispatch the initial sets of kobolds. Don’t do optionals at all! Beat the slimes/oozes along the way and clear the kobolds to the left when you come to the T-fork and can go left or right. Head left and you’ll come to a turnbuckle valve and door on the left past a group of kobolds. Open it and kill the kobolds and chieftain here. Collect the chest and turn the turnbuckle valve near that chest. A passage opens up – and in that passage is a possible spawn of Muck and his chest! Run back to the T-Fork and head down the right passage, clearing the kobolds along the way. Don’t go right and if you do, be careful – that fire trap is still there! Instead run straight to the door that should now be opened. If Slay Muck appears as an objective at the door, then you don’t need to do anything else except step through the door, look left at the chest and advance to kill its guardian, Muck! He’s a tough slime so let the warriors beat on him.

At this point each group should state whether they found Muck to the main-party leader (the guy leading before you broke up into 3 separate parties). If more than one group found Muck, one person from each group remains in the quest at the chest (once all monsters in the area are dispatched) and the rest recall out and leave party. These recalled players join ONE party leader inside the instance and re-enter for a shot to pull the glorious weapon, Muckbane. Once everyone is inside, they can open the chest (you did keep it closed for now, right? – or else this trick doesn’t work!) and see if anyone gets a Muckbane. Now the entire party leaves the quest and invites one of the other original party members that are currently waiting by another Muck chest. Once he or she is in the group, the party can enter The Den of the Kobold Brothers again and run to a NEW Muck chest to see if anymore Muckbanes can be acquired! This is a great trick and can be maximized for up to 15 possible Muckbanes per run if each party of two encounters a Muck spawn.

#4 Skip Everything: You may have noticed that you’re missing a lot of optionals that are worth some xp. SKIP THEM! The less time you spend in the dungeon, the more time you have to get into a new dungeon and finish it. If you can find a shortcut in a dungeon that avoids fighting, do it! A critical shortcut is in The Bonebite Hideout. This shortcut involves skipping several fights and on elite that’s a lot of hit points you won’t have to worry about losing. Running forward to the first intersection, do not go right. Run straight and jump on top of the crates instead of smashing them. Use them to climb over the larger permanent crates ahead of you. If you’re a warrior in full plate and can’t make the jump, take the full plate off – armor impedes many abilities, including jumping! A jump spell or potion can also assist. Jumping is often the one way you can shave a lot of time off many-a-quest – never disregard this as impossible unless the rogue or ranger cannot jump the obstacle. This tip goes hand-in-hand with Zerging, or being a Zerger, to Zerg -- the act of running fullspeed into the thick of things and continuing your path as fast as possible.

#5 Time is of the Essence: Many quests go slower on harder settings. If you notice this happens in a quest, revert to the fastest difficulty level you can handle at a reasonable rate. Do not sacrifice a half hour or hour for an extra 2,000 xp. Simply run the quest again (and again) and skim the lost top xp. Many state if you're not achieving 200 xp/minute, you're running too slow.

#6 Quest Rewards: Many of the quests listed below are quest-chains or multi-part adventures. There is typically an end reward given by the original bestowing NPC upon successful completion or a series of possible chests protected by named guardians, and these randomly-distributed rewards are often very good! A few must-haves are listed below: Water Works (WW), The Halls of Shan-to-Kor (STK), The Catacombs (CC), Tangleroot (TR).

Acrobat’s Ring – A very useful utility ring reward from The Waterworks’ Guard Tember (WW).
Melt Wood Staff – A decent staff that casts melf's acid arrow 3x/day (WW).
Black Widow Bracers – All fleshling wizards should strive to obtain these early on (WW).
Puzzle Cap – A wizard’s item +2 Int from The Halls of Shan-to-Kor (STK).
Krugg's Spiked Boots - A good set of boots to increase speed with +2 reflex bonus and +10% striding (STK).
Scorpion Staff – A staff that casts level 2 summoning spells 1x a day (STK).
Trapblast Goggles – Anyone can benefit from +4 saves to reflex (STK).
Ring of Feathers - A permenant feather fall item occasionally found in the end chest of part three of STK.
Beserker Bracers - A set of bracers with damage reduction (DR) 1/- and +3 Intimidation end reward (STK).
Spiked Mace of the Elements - A +1 morningstar with Lesser Elemental Bane (STK).
Blade of Inquisition - A +1 Silver Longsword with Ghost Touch end reward (CC).
Dagger of Inquisition - A +1 Silver Dagger with Ghost Touch end reward (CC).
Wooden Prayer Beads - A trinket that casts Bless 3x/rest (CC).
Black Wolfskin Belt – A useful +3 constitution item from Tangleroot (TR).
Black Wolfskin Cloak – A +2 resistance item (TR).
Blademaster Bracers – Bracers with a +3 dexterity bonus (TR).
Blademaster Gauntlets – A fighter’s must-have set of gauntlets with +3 strength (TR).
Crimson Gemstone – A trinket that casts wizardry II to increase caster spell points (TR).
Totemic Staff of Splinterskull - A +1 Quarterstaff with Summon Monster III 3x/rest (TR).
Visor of the Flesh Render Guards - A set of goggles that casts Death Ward 1x/rest (TR).Quest Rewards Notice: Dragon.Star's Definitive Static Rewards and Unique Loot (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=121279) is an updated expansive source of quest rewards and loot for further ganderings during some down time from the rush to level.

#7 Clickies: Many items and weapons or armor have abilities with charges. These items must be worn and then “clicked” on again to activate the ability. Loading these items to the hotkey bars are the typical way of activation via clicking the hotkeys or mousing over them. These items are called “clickies,” and are an essential to zerging on your critical path. A quick list of the most-important clickie abilities for these levels is as follows:

Expeditious Retreat - Moving Faster means leaving monsters in the dust and completing quests in record times for more xp per hour.
Charm – If someone is fighting for you, you won’t have to fight and can continue running by on most quests!
Hypnotism – A “stunning” spell that leaves enemies helpless until damaged or it wears off. Run!
Fear – Most enemies will run away from you when this clickie is used.
Detect Secret -- Don’t have a rogue in the group? This will open secret doors that are required in quests like The Catacombs.
Summon Monster/Animal – Another expendable fighter and kamikaze to assist in zerging and running.
Jump – The definitive spell for those who want to avoid enemies – run and jump over them! Combine with a haste potion, sprint boost or expeditious retreat to clear enemy threats and never look back.
Feather Fall – Falling without this hurts all but the best tumblers. A necessary item.Clickies Notice: Aranticus' Clickies, The Route to Self Sufficiency (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=85729) is an excellent source for future inquiries about all clickies you may encounter.

Objectives:

To expedite your Path to Power, let’s assemble a list of objectives. Here are your objectives and estimated time to completion of what you should be able to achieve in a day of 4 to 10 hours depending on your luck with assembling a like-minded party.

Level 1

The Introduction – Euphonia’s Challenge
NPC: Euphonia Teles
Quest Location: Rook's Gambit
Base XP: 1500
Difficulty: Solo
Time of Completion: Zerging 2-3 minutes. Learning 7-10 minutes.
Notes: This quest can now be bypassed. Grab the letter from Trader Skipp and head to Stormreach. Once inside The Wavecrest Tavern, go ahead and give the letter to Trevia for the full 1500 xp you would normally receive bu completing Euphonia's Challenge. This is recommended for those who have completed Euphonia's Challenge at least once.

The Wavecrest Tavern – Sully’s Grog: Taking Stock
NPC: Sigmun Bauerson, Tavernkeep
Quest Location: The Wavecrest Tavern
Difficulty: Solo
Time to Completion: Zerging, 1 minute. Learning, 2 minutes.

The Wavecrest Tavern – An Ancient Evil: Thwarting the Threat
NPC: Brother Augustus
Quest Location: The Wavecrest Tavern
Difficulty: Solo
Time to Completion: Zerging, 3 minutes. Learning, 7 minutes.

The Harbor – Lord Goodblade’s Search for the Rare Scrolls
NPC: Lord Gerald Goodblade
Quest Location: Harbormaster's Warehouse
Difficulty: Normal
Time to Completion: Zerging, 3 minutes. Learning, 7-10 minutes.

The Harbor – Lord Goodblade’s Quest for the Ancient Daggers
NPC: Lord Gerald Goodblade
Quest Location: Crypt of the Guard
Difficulty: Normal
Time to Completion: Zerging, 3 minutes. Learning, 7-10 minutes.
Notes: If you're good at dodging and tumbling away, you can kite every skeleton through the acid trap instead of going toe-to-toe, including the end boss for extra xp. Then disable the trap (if you have a rogue).

The Harbor – Lord Goodblade’s Steal the Healing Elixir
NPC: Lord Gerald Goodblade
Quest Location: Alchemist's Laboratory
Difficulty: Normal
Time to Completion: Zerging, 4 minutes. Learning, 8-12 minutes.

The Harbor – Survive the Low Road
NPC: Guard Heorogar
Quest Location: The Low Road
Difficulty: Normal
Time to Completion: Zerging, 4 minutes. Learning 8-12 minutes.

Note: Return to Recover The Missing Scrolls and repeat this quest. Move to Hard and if your party can handle it, elite. Run this quest 7 to 10 times. If the XP begins to drop too much, move forward to The Low Road again and run it on Hard. Be wary of the shaman at the end – he now casts some nasty spells. Zerge him enforce with your group, warriors in the lead.

Level 2.

The Leaky Dinghy – Durk’s Got a Secret
NPC: Durk the Deranged
Quest Location: Harbormaster's Plaza, Den of the Kobold Brothers
Difficulty: Normal.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 3 minutes. Learning 8-12 minutes.
Notes: See Tip #3 for most-effective strategy to acquire Muckbanes.

The Wayward Lobster – Information is Key
NPC: Shir Clowenks d’Phiarlan
Quest Location: Warehouse District, Osgood's Basement near The Wayward Lobster
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 5 minutes. Learning, 9-12 minutes.
Notes: Use ranged weapons on slimes on elite to avoid damage to weapons, or muckbanes on warriors that can go toe-to-toe. Designate the rogue or ranger in the group to break boxes along the way for the extra ransack bonus. Use the pipes near the end to perch and fire as casters, etc if your party is weak on melee toe-to-toe capability.

Level 3

The Harbormaster’s Plaza – The Kobolds’ New Ringleader
NPC: Guard Jung
Quest Location: Warehouse District, Bonebite Hideout across from The Wayward Lobster
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 4-7 minutes. Learning 10-16 minutes.
Notes: Do not break the boxes in the beginning. Use them to jump over the large unbreakable boxes and cut your time in half! If you cannot go toe-to-toe with the ogre at the end, set your party on top of the catwalk to the right of the doorway. Open the door, run up to the catwalk with them and kill the Kobold that follows. The ogre will trigger and advance with kobolds. The kobolds can climb up, the ogre cannot. Kill the kobolds in single file. Perch on top to slay the one-hit-wonder ogre with spells and throwing weapons whilst ducking in and out of his own ranged attacks (hug the wall, he usually cannot hit you!) Be sure to have opened the resurrection shrine at the far end of the hall to resurrect in case of an unfortunate death.

The Marketplace – The Sunken Sewer
NPC: Aurla Courson
Quest Location: The Sunken Sewer near The Rusty Nail and STK located in The Marketplace
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 1 minute. Learning 4-9 minutes.
Notes: Go right and skip optionals. Dive into the water at the end of the path. Memorize Knock or have a rogue (this is the only way to do this quest in 1 minute).

The Waterworks – The Kobold’s Den: Clan Gnashtooth
NPC: Guard Tember
Quest Location: The Waterworks, Clan Gnashtooth Lair
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quicky as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 5 minutes. Learning 11-19 minutes.
Notes: Mind the first acid trap. If you have fire resist, use the fire trap to slay at least one group of kobolds by expeditiously retreating to the right, grabbing the kobolds (and the ones behind the door if possible) and running them back into the fire trap intersection. Grab the chest key -- it moves either to the spider room or the sleeping kobold room. Open the locked door to the left passage at the interesection. Grab the other key, slay the guards and talk to Chief Eechik. Finish up quickly and avoid the spiders in the left passage of the T-intersection.

The Waterworks – The Kobold’s Den: Rescuing Arlos
NPC: Guard Tember
Quest Location: The Waterworks, Clan Gnashtooth Prison
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 7 minutes. Learning 15-25 minutes.
Notes: People get careless here. Mind the spiked trap and kobolds to the near-immediate left. Disabling isn't a requirement. Clear the left first, then the lower bottom of the drawbridge directly ahead of the starting location. Double-back and clear the right. There are several ambushes in Gnashtooth Prison, so be wary! Finally find Arlos and get out as fast as possible with your party at the entrance.

The Waterworks – Venn’s Trail: Clan Tunnelworm
NPC: Guard Tember
Quest Location: The Waterworks entered from The Harbor's dockside
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 7 minutes. Learning 16-30 minutes.
Notes: Muckbanes initially equipped or ranged weapons for slimes. Open the door at the end of this passage, dispatch all critters, and flip the levers. Send someone with acid resist and/or reflex save and healing capability to the left tunnel to flip the levers at the end -- don't fight the slimes, just run! The rest of the party heads down the right passage, dispatching all kobolds in the way and running the stairs up to flip a lever. Run down the opened passage and take out the critters at the bend. Flip 2 levers (there ARE 2 here) and rondezvous in the center. Drop down in stealth to avoid agro, waterbreathing items equipped. Gather and zerg the rest, flipping the lever and advancing to the end. Fight from the door for safety if required until most kobolds ard dispatched.

The Waterworks – Venn’s Trail: Venn’s Fate
NPC: Guard Tember
Quest Location: The Waterworks entered from The Harbor's dockside
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 6 minutes. Learning 13-25 minutes.
Notes: Keep the party together. Move together quickly, looking in all gated cells for Venn's body. Defeat the final boss and get out. Avoid the ogres on elite unless you're confident your party can handle it. Beware the blade trap in the wolf room as well.

Level 4

The Cloven-jaw Scourge: Blockade
NPC: Aurla Courson
Quest Location: The Steam Tunnels entered from The Marketplace near The Rusty Nail
Difficulty: Normal. This series is not worth proceeding onto elite at this level. Come back at level 14 for favor.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 8 minutes. Learning 17-33 minutes. Skip the optionals!
Notes: There are some undead here including an arcane -- halt undead or command undead helps! Mind the puzzle (don't touch the lighted path to the cornerstones or you'll trigger spider spawns). Blaze through to the end and be ready for a burly hobgoblin end-boss on the bridge. Advance to part two!

The Cloven-jaw Scourge: Caverns of Shaagh
NPC: Aurla Courson
Quest Locaton: The Steam Tunnels entered from The Marketplace near The Rusty Nail
Difficulty: Normal.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 8 minutes. Learning 17-33 minutes. Skip the optionals!
Notes: The beginning fights can be avoided by dropping down the ledge instead of crossing the bridges! Move through this one together. Avoid unnecessary fights. Move as quickly as possible. If a level five caster is in the group, haste and web are the best possible spells with extend metamagic feat. Advance to part three!

The Hall of Shan-to-Kor
NPC: Aurla Courson
Quest Location: The Steam Tunnels entered from The Marketplace near The Rusty Nail
Difficulty: Normal.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 10 minutes. Learning 19-35 minutes. Skip the optionals!
Notes: An immediate assault occurs on load. Take out the harassers. Move together and beware of the multitude of traps. Hug the left walls in large straight-away halls. At the first shrine an acid trap is directly ahead -- use resists or disable! Buff a warrior for the fire trap and they will run to the left advance up and around past the acid trap. All others should move to the right. Once the way is open, contine onward. Another fire trapped bridge will eventually show -- run the ledge for the chest and drop down with careful timing. A fire room and bladed room is near the end. Fire resists and reflex saves are your friend. The spikes can be disabled by a rogue -- 2 trap boxes, 1 to the left and 1 to the right of the far side through the flames. Running straight through will generally score victory if hastened with fire resistance. Stop on the other side -- a minotaur is ahead. Advance with the group and dispatch. Clear the way, head back to the shrine and rest, then advance to the end drop -- a brute giant! Gathering in the corner with warriors in front and wizards Magic Missiling is a favored tactic, but a level 4-5 wiz/sorc can maximize a shocking grasp or chill touch and slay the fella in about 4-5 castings just as easily.

House Phiarlan – Tangleroot: Assault on Splinterskull
NPC: Chief Ungurz
Quest Location: The One-Eared Bugbear Tavern travelled to from House Phiarlan
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as quickly as possible. Haste is a must when casters reach level 5.
Time to Completion: Zerging, every section should require 7 minutes or less in the first 5 sections. The last sections will require more time to run to through the first section. Learning, 10-15 minutes each. Skip the optionals!!!
Notes: Run fast! Run hard! Pay attention! Don't fight Whisperdoom! Don't stray from your party. You will succeed. Luring Whisperdoom with 1 fast runner when you're required to break her eggs is key. Recall out afterwards. Hopefully your runner can outrun her too and recall out after a goodly long run (or run back to the entrance and walk out!)

Level 5
The Depths of Darkness, Despair, Discord and Doom of House Deneith
NPC: 4 NPCs in The Hammersmith’s Inn sitting at a rectangular table. Giggs Elorreathi (Darkness), Neville Stormhammer (Despair), Scholes of Vedykar (Discord), and Keane d'Deneith (Doom).
Quest Location: The Hammersmith's Inn in House Deneith, left of entrance from Marketplace.
Difficulty: Normal to Elite.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 8 minutes. Learning 16-20 minutes each.
Notes: These quests are rather quick. There are lots of undead involved, as well as some shades or ghosts. Move quickly as a group and you should have no problem with these quests.

The Catacombs: The Marketplace - The Soulgate
NPC: Friar Renau
Location: Soulgate, The Catacombs. The Sanctuary (pt 1/2), Library Archives (pt 3), The Dryden Family Tomb (pt 4), Lower Cathedral (pt 5/6), Eastern Catacombs (pt 7) Dryden's Chamber (The Archbishop's Fate, End Game).
Difficulty: Normal to Elite. Skip unnecessary optionals! Halt Undead/Charm Undead a Must.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 1-3 minutes for first 3 sections. 8 minutes for last 4 sections. 1 minute for final section. Learning, 4-9 minutes per section. 16-24 minutes for last 4 sections. 1 minute for final section.
Notes: In The Dryden Family Tomb you should halt everything and unlock all the other chambers, then grab the key and unlock the inner chambers with a quick kill in the central tomb and exit. A high-speed tank can do this in lieu of a halt-casting wiz/sorc. In The Lower Catacombs, when the party is at the bottom of the catacombs and about to open the gated doorway, if you can, summon a creature or two. Marguerite will appear and likely attack the conjured creatures first. Run up the center and exit as quickly as possible. Haste as needed while throwing levers to open doors.

Stormcleave
NPC: Alciana d’Deneith
Quest Location: The Anvilfire Inn in House Deneith
Difficulty: Normal. If you have a tweaked group, hard. If your group is twinked out and ridiculously knowledgeable, this one can be done on elite with level five or six characters. Run this quest into the ground and advance to level 6 or beyond.
Time to Completion: Zerging 14 minutes. Learning or Max XP, 25-45 minutes. With wiping 1 hour 15 minutes or more.
Notes: Hard or Elite runs can be saved in lieu of higher levels. This quest has lots of optionals. Run to the right and continue onward. Avoid the first cave unless you are looking for the named. The second cave near the undead has a shrine that can be useful to switch out spells, etc. A good caster on haste with blur and a firewall or two up can take out the named minotaur at the last rune sigil without cheapening the experience. A tank shieldblocking and intimidating can achieve the same effect while others attack from the sides. For the end-boss, be sure to have the shard that unlocks the earth elemental at the far back right of the four wards. Clear the unnamed giants first and try not to agro the named. Run in and unlock the earth elemental ward quickly, then slay it while one person grabs the named giant's agro. Defeating the earth elemental removes his damage reduction. Next, have your casters unleash hell in the highest non-fire damage spells they know. A maximized (level 5+ shocking grasp or chill touch) first level spell can yield 80-120 pts of damage on average and take him out in 5-7 castings, even with his fast regeneration still active (requires the fire shard to open the fire ward far back left ward, and then slay fire mephits to remove his regenerative abilities -- which usually is way too much of a bother though!).

Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:19 AM
Part 2: The Bear Essentials

Now you've spent a good 10 hours or longer in Stormreach and reached level 6. That's great! Don't get cocky. What you've done so far is really simple stuff. The first true trial of power would be Stormcleave on hard or elite. If you don't think you're ready, save Stormcleave hard and elite for level 8. Meanwhile, grind out your levels from 6+ in Delera's Graveyard!

Objectives:

Below is a list of quests that will expedite experience accumulation the quickest. By now you should be able to use The House Phiarlan Favor Level 1 Reward, which consists of a whole slew of useful spells. Utilize these spells effectively in your continued path. They last for 30 minutes and will remain even after using a rest shrine, unlike all the other spells and potion effects that may be on your chracter when shrining.

Tips: By now you've mastered the basics. Here are a few new pointers.

#1 Multi-Tasking Entrants: The new quests will challenge your reaction time, quick-thinking and alternative-solutions-on-the-fly when something doesn't work out quite the way you planned. When learning a quest, be sure to keep your party together. Only after you're very familiar should you possibly divide into 2 or 3 groups to speed up completion by tackling multiple goals at the same time.

#2 Fight Within the Flames: The old saying, "You bring the Fire and I'll bring the Heat" becomes literal at level 7 when your party wizards and sorcerers gain the spell Wall of Fire. This spell can drastically improve survival of all if utilized at doors with warriors shield blocking the narrow gap. It also becomes the quintessential position of strategic choice against all incorporeal adversaries. Yes, your caster is going to get a heap of agro, but if he casts blur or displacement on himself he can mitigate successful attacks and run a very tight circle or zig-zag paths in and out of his firewall, effectively keeping the assailants "in the heat" and in range of all your warriors who should be standing inside the firewall.

#3 The Heroic Rogue: Heroism isn't necessary to memorize, but anytime a rogue goes for a disable or gambit run through traps of devious nature, be sure he or she has Heroism! This single spell often would have saved disaster for a rogue-attempt-gone-wrong by increasing skills and saving throws just enough to not fail. The heroic rogue is often the most successful rogue.

#4 There's Something in The Air: Again for the casters, Fog and Cloud area spells are often overlooked for their most important benefit -- possible percentage for a failed-hit in combat! If you can't free up a spell slot for a Solid Fog, at least take the second level Fog spell to grant your entire party a 20% miss-chance when they fight within it. Stinking Cloud and Solid Fog offer the same benefits, as well as additional effects.

#5 Overlooked Warrior Tactics: Any warrior worth his stout at this point has looked through his Feats and looked-over the feats Sunder and Trip. Now here's the real challenge -- quicklink these feats to your hot bar and use them for crying out loud! You may not even have taken any of the enhancements to improve the DC on your trip and sunder attempts (Dwarven, Warforged and Fighter enhancements grant these improvements along your level progression), but there's no harm in swinging to hit and possibly scoring a trip or sunder! These abilities refresh for use rather quickly, so you should always try to burn them as soon as the cool-down is gone. A well-placed trip or a sunder on a particularly beefy AC'd opponent often saves clerical spell points and allows the rogue to lay into the backside of a nasty with devestating effects.

#6 Take The Big Guy With You: By now you've realized there are higher-level players interested in running the quests with you quite frequently. For levelling purposes, accept up to 2 levels above the challenge rating of your quest and try to keep your party within 3 levels of each other. Sure, you may take a 10% to 30% hit because the highest character is 1-3 levels higher than you; but in general the extra party levels allows the party to progress through the mission faster, and that is worth it in time vs experience.

#7 Skip to Elite: There are two philosophies in DDO concerning the most XP. One is run the difficulties of a quest in order from normal to elite and hold at elite until the xp is negligible. The second is to skip normal and hard by finding an person that can open elite for your party and holding there until the xp is negligible, and then continue on doing hard and then normal. The path that will yield the most xp is the later, however, you may wind up scoring some massive death penalty xp on a first-run elite if you're lacking in seasoned players on the quest! The best rule of thumb however is if you can't cut the elite path efficiently, don't do it. Running a quest on Hard for speed and xp is generally a safe bet -- just finish up elite at the end and score the 150% run after you've wiped the xp in that quest on hard or normal runs.

#7 Quest Rewards: Many of the quests listed below are quest-chains or multi-part adventures. There is typically an end reward given by the original bestowing NPC upon successful completion or a series of possible chests protected by named guardians, and these randomly-distributed rewards are often very good! A few must-haves are listed below: Delera's Tomb (DT), Gwylan's Stand (GS), and Stormcleave (SC).

Docent of the Tomb - A warforged utility +1 docent with +5 Spot, +5 Balance, +5 Listen, and +5 Search (DT).
Golden Cartouche - Possibly one of the most useful necklaces with +1 Intelligence, +3 Use Magic Device (DT).
Hellfire Cloak - A cloak with multiple resists including: Lesser Fire Resist, Lesser Acid Resist, Lesser Sonic Resist (DT).
Iron Manacles - A set of bracers that grant +4 Protection (Chaotic only, DC 20) (DT).
Linen Handwraps - These gloves are for non-dex PCs granting +4 Strength, -1 Dexerity, and Disease Immunity (DT).
Serpent Branch - A +2 longbow with Poison +1d6/attack, and Proof Against Poison enchantment (DT).
Sigil of Stormreach - A +2 Charisma ring that also grants +5 Diplomacy (DT).
Skeleton Key - A high-powered rogue item allowing a +7 Open Lock bonus (DT).
Sparkstriker - A +1 adamantine Heavy Pick with Shocking Burst (DT).
Wrath of Syberys - A +2 Heavy Steel Shield of Blinding that grants a +3 Reflex Save bonus (DT).
Giant-Stalker's Knife - A +1 Kukri with Greater Giant Bane randomly in Suropox's loot chest (GS).
Gwylan's Blade - A +2 Roaring Shortsword with +2 Perform that Stacks with other items enhacements (GS).
Helm of the Flame - A helm for healers/casters granting Power II and Improved Devotion II at Insgadreer's chest (SC).
Iron Cleaver - A +1 Battleaxe of Acid Burst at Ulagash's chest (SC).
Lesser Boots of Striding and Springing - Speedy Boots granting +10% Striding, +5 Jump at Helos' chest (SC).
Nuushmaar's Adamantine Tooth - A +2 adamantine Rapier for finesse fighting at Nuushmaar's chest (SC).
Onyxhorn - A great +2 Dagger that grants the Finesse Feat located at Onyxhorn's chest (SC).
Robe of Winter - The definitive utility robe for many quests granting Improved Fire Resistance located at Pious' chest (SC).Levels 6-8

Delera's Graveyard -- Delera's Tomb Quest Series
NPC: Derek Grospric
Quest Location: Delera's Graveyard in House Jorasco. Delera's Antechamber (pt 1), Delera's Reliquary (pt 2), Delera's Tomb (pt 3), The Necromancer's Lair (pt 4)
Difficulty: Normal. Hard/Elite by levels 7 & 8.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 9-14 minutes per section. Learning, 24-35 minutes.
Notes: It is nearly essential to bring 1 rogue, 1 cleric, and 1 wizard or sorcerer with command/halt undead and haste for ease of completion and speed. Fireball wands are also a boon against the undead masses. Up your game to hard or elite when you're ready.

Gwylan's Stand
NPC: Coralay d'Phiarlan
Quest Location: House Phiarlan, The Ampitheatre.
Difficulty: Normal. Hard/Elite by levels 7/8.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 19-24 minutes. Learning 35-49 minutes.
Notes: This quest can be hard without a rogue. Bring one! Also, stop the drow elf inside the chamber entrance before he sounds the alarm -- it will save you a lot of fighting. Lastly, utilize traps to your advantage to kill npcs. Fog Clouds, Solid Fogs, Walls of Fire, Webs and Charm Monsters are all very viable utility spells in Gwylan's Stand as opposed to dealing direct damage (and getting directly charged by trolls, hobgoblins and minotaurs, oh my!).

Stormcleave
NPC: Alciana d’Deneith
Quest Location: The Anvilfire Inn in House Deneith
Difficulty: Hard. If your group is twinked out and ridiculously knowledgeable, this one can be done on elite with level six characters. Run this quest into the ground for xp when you can handle elite.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 20 minutes. Learning or Max XP, 25-45 minutes. With wiping 1 hour 15 minutes or more.
Notes: See entry in The Path To Power: A Critical Path (Part 1), Level 5 Quests.

Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:20 AM
Part 3: Enter The Dragon

So you've now spent at least another 15-20 hours grinding out your levels and have reached a hallmark stone of level 9. In DDO's initial release mods this was the pinnacle of a player's journey. You now have access to level 5 spells and high-level enhancements and equipment. It's only fitting that the next few levels are dedicated to the End Game Raid of yore -- The Vault of the Night and Velah, The Great Red!

Objectives:

Below is the summarization of quests that comprise of The Vault of the Night Series (VoNS) and Dragon Raid. To fill in the the downtime of the Dragon Raid Timer and LFM Search-Time for VoN runs, a few other choice XP and loot quests have been included, but are not necessary for the fastest experience. Also during your down time in LFM searching for party members, you may want to consider revisiting the harbor and running as many quests that you missed on elite. These quests will unlock any backpacks you have not attained yet with The Coin Lords Favor.

Tips: Below are a few extra pointers for your journeys through the upper-levels and DDOs hallmark raid.

#1 Self-Sufficiency: Although you've likely been encouraged to be self-sufficient already, now you should be self-concious at all times of your potions, scrolls, wands and funds! A good player nearly always has a stack of serious healing/repair potions at the bear minimal. Try to carry healing wands if you can use them. A smart sorcerer or wizard carries a few fireball, lightning, melf's acid arrow and force-missile wands as a primary attack to reserve spell points for the main challenges of a quest. Heal scrolls will start to become attractive to clerics and a charismatic rogue with a high use magical device skill should try to hold onto a few resurrection scrolls in case the cleric goes down. Other handy potions to keep on hand can be bought in House Jorasco, Kundarak and Phiarlan include the following: Barkskin, Heroism, Haste, Rage, Shield of Faith, Fire Protection and Acid Protection. Clickies of these potions are rare or non-existent -- if you find one, hold onto it!

#2 Be Economically Saavy: You're now raking in looted items on a regular basis of the value 9,000gp - 32,000gp. A lot of these items won't be of use to you or your party, so sell these items! But hold on -- have you checked your haggle skill lately? Make every copper count and increase the value of your sales while decreasing the cost of your buys by buffing up your Haggle skill. One of the easiest ways to do this is to be on the look-out for a Robe of Command. This robe grants a +2 bonus to all charisma-based checks and also functions as a back-up to UMD-checks that are really important (like those resurrection scrolls on your rogue!). Many classes and races are granted the option of 5 skill enhancement self-buffs per rest such as Rogue's Skill Boost or Human Diversity -- utilizes these on your haggle as well. Lastly, a clicky of Eagle's Splendor can grant an additional +2 to all Charisma-based Skill Checks. Heroism clickies are extremely rare, but occasionally found in the upper-echeons of quests. If not, maybe your caster is willing to cast an extended Heroism on you when you go to sell.

#3 The House Rules: Did you know you there are vendors for specific sales and purchases? These vendors grant greater values for specific item sales as opposed to the rest of Stormreach's vendors, and they also retain the stock of player-sold items until they reach their 24-hour reset timer. In other words, these thrift shops may have something really nice that someone else didn't want! Be sure to take all your high-valued items for sale to these shops too. The Marketplace Bazaar offers vendors that will purchase all clothing and jewelry at increased values. House Kundarak thrift shop is across from the teleporter gate and will buy your armors, shields and docents at increased values. Lastly, House Deneith's thrift shop is located to the right bend if you load in from the Marketplace gate entrance, and they will buy your weapons at increased values.

#4 Phantasmal Killer FTW: The Phantasmal Killer (PK) spell is quite powerful against adversaries on the normal settings of these quests. A Beholder can kill anyone in a 1-shot disintergrate, so it is best to put as few people at risk as possible. Here's a chance for the caster to step up (and possibly die). Getsum, getsum!!!

#5 Debuffed by Beholders Blues: Don't let those beholders casting disenchants get you down -- don't even get it up (your buffs, that is!) Aside from something that might increase your magic resistance to defeat the disenchantment, there is almost no reason to buff if a beholder is ahead. Run in with a haste if you're going to melee and hope you get to swing before it casts a nasty 1-hit-wonder spell on you. A rage potion is also a good idea to help maximize your dps and get the beholder down as fast as possible. It only takes about 10 seconds for a beholder to assure a kill if it doesn't kill you the first second it has line of sight on you.

#6 Quest Rewards: Many of the quests listed below are quest-chains or multi-part adventures. There is typically an end reward given by the original bestowing NPC upon successful completion or a series of possible chests protected by named guardians, and these randomly-distributed rewards are often very good! A few must-haves are listed below: Caverns of Korromar (CK), Vault of the Night (VoN), The Xorian Cipher (XC).

Aberrant Robe - A robe granting Spell Resistance 17 and Wizardry II at R'zzix's chest (CK).
Chill Shard - A rare returning +2 Throwing Frost Dagger randomly in Akuul's chest (CK).
Mace of the Wraith - A nice +2 ghost touch Heavy Mace found in Colvis Hammercrusher's chest (CK).
Xoriat Forged Blade - Another rare item is the +1 flaming, anarchic Longsword guarded at Serruul's chest (CK).
Belt of the Mroranon - A very rare moderate fortification belt granting +6 Strength in Velah's chamber (VoN).
Docent of Grace - A +2 Docent granting +5 Dexterity, +5 Tumble, +5 Balance for dex-built warforged (VoN).
Helm of Mroranon - An essential helm for clerics granting +6 Wisdom and +7 Intimidate skill bonus (VoN).
Kundarak Delving Boots - These boots grant Freedom of Movement, +5 Move Silently (VoN).
Kundarak Delving Goggles - Blindess Ward Goggles granting +10 Spot, +10 Disable Device (VoN).
Kundarak Delving Suit - A prized +5 mithril Chainmail (6 max dex) with +5 Silent Moves, +5 Search (VoN).
Kundarak Warding Bracers - Great bracers offering a +3 Constitution, +3 Resistance, +3 Protection (VoN).
Kundarak Warding Shield - A +5 Heavy Steel Shield with +2 Resistance for any warrior (VoN).
Ring of the Silver Concord - A charisma-caster's ring of choice with +4 Charisma +2 Protection Command (VoN).
Ruby Encrusted Gauntlets - These gauntlets cast a caster level 15 flamestrike once per rest (VoN).
Stonemeld Plate - The non-dex build warrior's +4 fullplate of choice offering DR 5/- and Camoflauge 5x/rest (VoN).
+2 Stat Tome - Any ability can be raised once by 2 points by consuming any one of these 6 tomes (VoN).
Chaosguarde - Lawfully-aligned to equip (DC 20) bracers with Chaosguard* and a +2 Dodge bonus (XC).
Planar Gird - A belt with Chaosguard* that casts Greater Heroism 1x/rest (XC).
Reaver's Ring - This quintessential light fortification ring -2 Will is a boon fighting mummies and other fear-inspiring creatures with its fear-immunity properties (XC).Levels 9-11

The Vault of the Night Series

Tharashk Arena - House Kundarak
NPC: Barrow d'Kundara at The Tower of Kol Korran in House Kundarak.
Quest Location: The Ever Full Flagon
Difficulty: Normal to Elite as fast as possible!
Time to Completion: Zerging, 11-19 minutes. Learning 24-45 minutes.
Notes: Take an experienced guide on any VoN. Pay attention to their advice and what "must-be" done. Certain NPCs require certain choices or skill actions throughout this series and could mean the difference of fighting or walking past them without incident.

The Prisoner - House Kundarak
NPC: Mistress Orphne
Quest Location: Mistress Orphne's Haven in the House Kundarak Bank area
Difficulty: Normal.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 9-19 minutes. Learning 29-59 minutes.
Notes: This quest introduces you to your first encounters with dreaded Beholders! A wizard or sorcerer with Phantasmal Killer or a well-buffed Paladin are favored classes to send in for the kill. Keep your cleric well far away so they can resurrect in case a few party members die. If you're alive in this quest, with a beholder trailing you, and you're trying to lose it, just die! If you run towards the cleric, you'll both die, and then the cleric will be very mad about the fact that they have to release and come back into the quest with a 20% hit. The wind tends to blow hard up here and can knock a person off, which causes the quest to fail. Pressing ALT + F4 at the same time during the fall will save your party's progress by crashing the DDO client. This isn't necessarily the right way to do the quest, but so far there is nothing prohibiting this tactic. A character that alt F4s must be booted from the party. When they log back in, they will appear outside the instance and have to come back in with a -20%, but at least the party didn't lose their progress from a slip off the path! Save Hard and Elite runs on this quest for last -- it's just not worth the multiple deaths to try to hold a hard or elite run more than once. Beholders are eeeevil!

The Gateway to Khyber - House Kundarak
NPC: Chactidae Falaknuma
Quest Location: The Gateway to Khyber in The House Kundarak Bank area
Difficulty: Normal and Hard. Save Elite for when the xp is negligible.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 1-6 minutes. Learning, 7-17 minutes.
Notes: It's standard to buff, haste and run to the end, throw down a cloud and some firewalls and dispatch the groups of beastly humanoids. There are some known safe spots. This entry should be easy with some heavy fighters or good spell-casting. Charm Monster also works wonders here on the npc mobs.

The Jungle of Khyber - House Kundarak
NPC: Barrow d'Kundarak
Quest Location: The End of The Gateway to Khyber is the beginning to The Jungle of Khyber
Difficulty: Normal. Run Hard and Elite after the xp is negligible on normal.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 17-29 minutes. Learning, 39-59 minutes.
Notes: This quest is full of nasties including an entire cavern of beholders! The end beyond the geyser (which you use to lift off to the opening of the next room) is filled with even more drow and humanoids. A few well-placed firewalls can score bigtime from here while the cleric spams your wiz or sorc with heal. Then hop down and let the ranged-fighters peck off the remaining HPs. A final fight against a few named creatures including another behold tends to be problematic, but they cannot pass into the large central chamber -- use this as a buffer from the beholder and take him out as you see fit. Finally, the Inevitable is the end-boss. Don't run around because the entire cavern spawns earth elementals that will pummel your party to no-end. Defeat the few that spawn at the entrance to The Inevitable and tear him apart with non-fire spells. Electricity, force bolts, and adamantine weapons are quite useful here.

The Haywire Foundry -- House Kundarak
NPC: Husk, The Apparatus Collector
Quest Location: The Haywire Foundry near The Ever Full Flagon
Difficulty: Normal to Hard and stay at Hard til xp is negligible -- then run Elite.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 15-29 minutes. Learning, 39-59 minutes.
Notes: Use the pits to drop warforged into and avoid. Use the bladed stairs and narrow passageway to lure more warforged to an easy death. Stay as a group once beyond those sections -- it can be rough for the final switch run. Lastly, send a rogue or ranger-rogue through the one shrine's doors (it's trapped!). Disable for the party. The puzzle is based on symbols -- rotate the inner wheels to match the symbol of the outer wheel you wish to move. The correct symbol for the outer wheel is found inside the inner-wheel's gated area. Be ready to fight golems and automotons ahead -- acid and fire don't work well here!!! Force missiles are very useful as well as adamantine weapons. The final run is timed and jump and haste buffs are superb as well as fire resistance.

The Vault of the Night - The Tower of Kol Korran
NPC: Barrow d'Kundarak
Quest Location: The Tower of Kol Korran
Difficulty: Normal (Raid) Do Hard and Elite later. Can only be completed every 2 days 18 hours and 59 minutes.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 26-49 minutes. Learning, 50 - 90 minutes.
Notes: This quest is intense, long, and full of puzzles. Take a few experienced people with you if you can and follow their lead. Try to keep the party in 2 large groups of 6 or more. Also be sure you have 2 high-wisdom (20+) 2 high-strength (25+) and 2 with ranged weapons (such as a returning weapon). When you have the Voice and the Ring, the holder of the ring & voice must go left. You will need more of your party to go left than right. There are 8 traps to disable in the lightning & blades split (where the voice carrier goes left). Don't forget to disable to blade trap to the west and there are several blade traps in the fire-jet room. Utilized 4 players in a coordinated pull, standing aside from the bottom's jets so they don't burn to death. The player on topside should be a rogue/beef-eater barb or someone that can handle some damage. A good wizard tactic in this room is to cast a firewall on the 4 ranged warforged (and then hide) to save your jet-jumper some woe up top. Don't stand on the jet until after the flame shoots through, then use the steam blast to propel you to the top. Finally, the trapped double-door at the end is a serious problem if the trap in the lower-left corner next to the second door is not disabled. A high reflex save can make it through this and open the door. A party halt can be encountered if no one has a high enough reflex save and the trap box is blown. Also, you cannot complete this raid without the minimum stats on 4 different players and 2 ranged-firing players as well. Aside from that, enjoy this quest -- Velah, the Great Red awaits you upon completion! This is not required for The Path to Power.

The Plane of Night - The Vault of the Night
NPC: Barrow d'Kundarak
Quest Location: The Vault of the Night
Difficulty: Normal-Elite (Raid). Can only be started by completing Von 5 successfully. You do not have to complete this quest -- which allows you to milk VoN5 for xp and it's a very good idea sometimes. Can only be completed every 2 days 18 hours and 59 minutes -- reset begins upon picking up the end quest reward from Barrow d'Kundarak!
Time to Completion: 44 minutes. If you don't complete by then, you fail.
Notes: Here you are, staring at a huge red dragon. Woohoo! Listen to the experienced veterans and follow their instruction. You only have a small amount of time, so cooperate and work quickly. The main highlights of this quest include the three base - first, second & third. Each base has a pillar that must be broken at the same time. The typical tactic is to knock each pillar down to 10% and leave it there until all pillars are "prepared" ie "prepp'd." Finally, the guys waiting at the second base (like a baseball diamond, the rest of the party is at home plate) call the strike & the rangers utilize high-powered bows to target 1st and 3rd's pillars and take them all out at once. A bard's hypnotism song can often be utilized to pacify the elementals at each base so players can man them & wait to whack the last of the pillar. Also note that only 1 player can be running across any bridge at one time or Velah will blast fireballs down upon you (and possibly knock you off, effectively removing you from the quest). Lastly, The Hero Method is the preferred method of choice to take on Velah at ALL levels. Clerics (or wizards/sorcs & clerics in case of warforged heroes) have a much easier time hanging back to the left with the party healing a hero that is smacking Velah upside the head with a dragon bane or earth mineral weapon than focusing on all of the party and keeping each of them up. Velah's breath weapon is a huge AoE attack and this is a problem for most groups to stay alive on hard or elite -- normal it's easy to run up there as a group, but even easier to keep a barbarian hero alive while all others wand heal/heal the "Hero" from just left of the entrance platform. Utilizing the hero method also helps because the elementals do not trigger and spawn, thus saving extra time, hit points, agro & the ability to focus on the goal - taking down Velah, the great Red! This quest isn't required for The Path to Power, but the static named items are often worth the effort to tweak your character's effectiveness.

The Caverns of Korromar - House Kundarak
NPC: Ulfgar d'Kundarak
Quest Location: Locksmith Square near The Liquid Charm
Difficulty: Normal to hard. Save elite until the xp is negligible on hard.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 25-41 minutes. Learning, 39-59 minutes.
Notes: This quest makes heavy use of Fire Wall and ghost touch weapons! When you enter the "arena" looking area, clear the entire outside before you start to duck in and out of the four entry-ways to the dungeon caverns. The end result will pop you out at the bottom and if you haven't slain the shades/wraiths at the bottom, you'll have a rather hard time popping into the midst of them solo. The end boss is yet again our favorite creature, The Beholder! Feel free to station your cleric and wizard/sorcerers on top of the bridge with the lever to open the door to the Beholder while your fighters take positions below. A well-placed maximized firewall or two or three can land on your targeted fighters below you and greet the beholder quite warmly.

The Path to Madenss - House Jorasco
NPC: Gatekeeper Chulkash
Quest Location: The Garden of Respite
Difficulty: Normal Hard to hold. Run Elite after nullifying the xp on this one.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 1-4 minutes. Learning, 5-13 minutes.
Notes: It's standard to buff, haste and run to the end, throw down a cloud and some firewalls and dispatch the pair of drow-scorpions at the top steps. There are some known safe spots around pillars (hint hint). You bypass the archers and everything else has to run to your party. Try to have the drow-scorpions defeated by the time the rest of the trained mobs arrive into a solid fog wall and some well-placed walls of fire to boot!

The Xorian Cipher - House Jorasco
NPC: Gatekeeper Chulkash
Quest Location: The Garden of Respite to The Path to Madness
Difficulty: Normal and Hard to hold. Run Elite after nullifying the xp on this one.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 24-37 minutes. Learning, 39-59 minutes.
Notes: Absolutely take a rogue or trap-wizard with you, or you might as well kiss the end-rewards in the quest good-bye. This quest can be confusing at first, so try to find an experienced guide for your first run or two. Once you get in the groove of this quest, press til your chests are ransacked. Ransacked chests reset 7 days from the first time you initially opened them.

Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:21 AM
Part 4: Welcome to the Next Level

At this point you've logged an additional 15-20 hours to hit level 12. Will it ever end?!?! The good news is, yes, for now the level cap is 14 and you're only two to three heads shy of a full cabbage patch. Luckily, it's also very simple on how to get the last few levels in one of the newest zones added to DDO. That's right, you're going to Gianthold.

Objectives:

Below is a quick listing of quests in Gianthold that will level you faster thank a halfling can shake a stick at a kobold (by the way, that's fast). For optimum results, go Elite right away and continue to run elite of each of these quests into the ground. Get someone that knows the quest to lead your intrepid party at least the first time and always have a caster (you NEED haste here). Without further adieu, start hitting up the main quests beginning with these two for xp.

Tips: Currently waiting for advisory on high-level tips.

#1 Quest Rewards: Prison of the Planes (PoP) offers these quest rewards. Check the Quest Rewards Thread for other Gianthold end quest rewards.

Charoush's Inferno - A +5 flaming burst Bastard Sword found in the Fernia room (PoP).
Kardin's Eye - This holy grail of trinkets provides a +5 Resistance bonus and is found in the Xorian room (PoP).
Ring of Shadow - A power ring with +10 Move Silently, +10 Hide, and 10% Blur located in the Mabar room (PoP).
Ring of the Djinn - This ring bestows Lightning Resistance and 33% Lightning Absortion in the Lamannia room (PoP).
Royal Scimitar - A powerful +3 keen scimitar of Destruction found in the Shavarath room (PoP).
Spiked Boots - These boots grant the wearer a +7 Balance and Immunity to Slippery Surfaces in the Risia room (PoP).Levels 12-14

Prison of the Planes
NPC: Nimbus ar'Yorg
Quest Location: Gianthold
Difficulty: Elite all the way until negligible xp -- then hard and normal!
Time to Completion: Zerging, 15-25 minutes. Learning 24-45 minutes.
Notes: This quest has been raised in difficulty recently, but follow an experienced guide and it should still prove worthwhile. Chests tend to drop on the third/fourth room and sixth/seventh room, so if you're after good loot, plan accordingly. The top room is where Kardin spawns (the beholder) and 2 mind flayers when the room is activated. Activating rooms requires power cell crystals which are found at the lower main room that has the multiple glowing stairs to every level. The best bet is to clear the dungeon of all the living occupants first by sticking together in a group & fighting. A very easy tactic is to draw the agro 1 or 2 at a time downwards to "choke points" of rubble using your ranged fighters with high-powered dps bows/xbows or throwing weapons. The rest of the party stands abreast the rubble & creates a wall that the npc mobs cannot walk through. Unlike doors, the AI for npc mobs has not been reprogrammed to realize a player wall has been created between two pieces of rubble, and effectively pacifies the npcs while a barrage of arrows takes them down from just-out-of-spell-range (yes, most of these enemies are casters). Finally, you take the power cells from the lower antechamber and place them in the socket wall of each room where a lever is waiting to be pulled. You have multiple shots at this, so if a party wipes the guy that stayed outside of the "encounter room" can grab the stones & hoof it to the shrine to get them on their feet. Some of the easiest rooms include Mabar (undead), Fernia (Fire) and Risia (Ice). Xoriat is really hard (Kardin Beholder & Mind Flayers) and the room containing the Marmut (Inevitable-type automoton). When you have enough power crystal cells, take them to the lower room and energize the last encounter. It takes about 15-20 seconds and then the encounter begins -- the end boss is REALLY hard, so keep firewalls maximized along with solid fogs &/or dancing balls. Don't run away from the corner your group decides to fight in -- or at least run a circle while healing & then run back into the firewalls to assist in pulling the boss into a fiery (and very very tasking) death.

Trial by Fire
NPC: N/A
Quest Location: Troll Encampment Entrance
Difficulty: Elite all the way until negligible xp -- then hard and normal!
Time to Completion: Zerging, 7-14 minutes. Learning 15-29 minutes.
Notes: Haste and run. Kill the spiders at the bottom. Haste and run. Complete. Dimension Door. Haste and Run for last Chest you skipped in the fiery pit. Recall out. Repeat!!!

Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:22 AM
Part 5 Space Reserved (Levels 15-17)

Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:23 AM
Part 6 Space Reserved (Levels 18-20)

Kistilan
09-30-2007, 11:23 AM
Part 7 Space Reserved (Levels 20+)

sirgog
10-10-2007, 03:28 AM
One thing I always suggest is to run the best XP-farming quests multiple times on normal before touching normal and hard. In particular, I'll run Information is Key 6-7 times on normal (125%, 100%, 100%, 90%, 80%, 70% and 60% XP), then once on hard (back to 125%, although the next run would only be 40% XP) and once on elite (150% XP).


Normal runs can be done so quickly it's not funny on many quests, especially if you are twinked (i.e. using exceptionally good items for your level like a Ftr4 with a +1 flaming//pure good weapon). In general they take less than half the time of one elite run.


I also save some of the best XP quests until slightly later level than some players. Gwylan's Stand can be completed by a party of 4th level characters, but it takes time. Running it with level 5-8 characters offers 30% less XP, but takes less than half the time.


Also, I strongly recommend skipping the Seal of Shan-To-Kar on elite. Unless you are with good players, the second quest on elite is a nightmare.

Kistilan
10-24-2007, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the input! Updated with more information.

Please feel free to add useful information pertaining to this guide. I'm definitely looking for more Tips that go to specific critical path instances and/or general tips for the level ranges I've coverd so far.

Also, if anyone can capture any corrections or errors, feel free to post or PM me about those as well!

Shout-Outs of Thanks

Thanks to Imphyy of Beyond the Mind's Eye on Argonnessen for retrieving the Dragon's Timer last night.

LeLoric
10-25-2007, 06:57 AM
Maybe throw Xorian cipher in there instead of caverns of korromar its similar xp for time reward and has the options of picking up named loot that is still good at current endgame.

Kistilan
10-25-2007, 07:36 AM
Thanks!

Will add Xorian Cipher.

I was debating on it. I'd like to keep Caverns of Korromar to give a few options when VoNs are not going on to keep the xp going at those levels. It also helps those who need the extra House K favor to open that second bank slot for storage, so CoK definitely is still adviseable. Xorian's rewards are a good payout though -- I'll add as soon as I get in game to get some data!

I also realized I forgot to add the End Quest and in-quest static rewards for other series beyond levels 1-5 and The Catacombs in 1-5. Will add notable rewards very soon!

Tunes_Steele
10-25-2007, 05:26 PM
Let me be the first to say..........

YOU ROCK!!!!

I'm linking this to my guild website!

Kistilan
10-25-2007, 06:23 PM
I found some spelling mistakes... :o And it's still vague compared to my intent. I'll keep working on it.

Critiques, praise and further suggestions all welcome!!! (And find my spelling mistakes for me, I find them and then lose what section they're in when I go to edit... oops!)

Also, names of shops, locations, etc that are vague are welcome if you've got the proper nomenclature for me. Thanks again!

Arianrhod
10-25-2007, 06:34 PM
I didn't read the whole thing in detail, but wanted to make sure, in case it's not already in there, this guide should have a disclaimer that it's only for folks who would rather [do something highly unpleasant - pick the metaphor of your choice] than stay low level one second longer than they absolutely have to. Those who want to get to the cap eventually but like exploring every detail the game has to offer along the way should just...move along ;)

DaveyCrockett
10-25-2007, 11:35 PM
Ring of Feathers can drop in the end chest in STK, but is not offered as a quest reward.

Edit - Gwylan's Stand and Stormcleave offer no quest rewards.

Edit again - there are no quest rewards for 80% of the quests that you list quest rewards for.


Great guide. Helluva job, now just clean it up a bit :)

Kistilan
10-25-2007, 11:40 PM
Ring of Feathers can drop in the end chest in STK, but is not offered as a quest reward.

Right. I didn't clarify that, did I? Ooops! At least I didn't say it was given by the end reward npc. I'll clarify right now! It's likely some of the other loots haven't got the chest-attribute versus end reward npc.

Thanks Davey!

*EDIT*

I need to know what chest/guardian guards the chest in which Gwylan's Blade can be pulled. That is the only attributed chest that is missing for the loots in this guide.

Those are not end quest rewards, you're right -- they're possible chance chests from named creatures. Most of those chests are attributed in the item's description, but I'll see if I forgot to mention an NPC-spawn on any of those loots. Thanks again Davey!

LeslieWest_GuitarGod
10-27-2007, 01:57 PM
I didn't read the whole thing in detail, but wanted to make sure, in case it's not already in there, this guide should have a disclaimer that it's only for folks who would rather [do something highly unpleasant - pick the metaphor of your choice] than stay low level one second longer than they absolutely have to. Those who want to get to the cap eventually but like exploring every detail the game has to offer along the way should just...move along ;)

Are you the Legendary Arianrood from the Ghalanda server???

Arianrhod
10-27-2007, 02:11 PM
Are you the Legendary Arianrood from the Ghalanda server???

Nope, must be someone else. It's a fairly common name, taken from Welsh myth.

Oh, and rereading, I see the disclaimer advising players in less of a hurry to move along is right at the beginning - must have just missed it the first time through :)

LeslieWest_GuitarGod
11-04-2007, 04:03 AM
Nope, must be someone else. It's a fairly common name, taken from Welsh myth.

Oh, and rereading, I see the disclaimer advising players in less of a hurry to move along is right at the beginning - must have just missed it the first time through :)

Ahh ok. That Arianrood is quite the legend on Ghallanda.... right fellow Ghalandrians....... :)

Drak
11-08-2007, 05:07 AM
Nice guide, good job.

As random "static", and I hear rather rare, end rewards for both WW and STK "Featherfall Boots" ML:1 perma FF
Pulled these myself from both quests, so call this confirmed, not hearsay.

the downside is they have durability 10, so you want more permanant versions by the time they break. I.E. GM/CO6 end reward "Mummified bat" XP for which is about 20k at L7, but takes some time to do. Still it is a case of "two birds with but one stone"

eatsmyfood
11-09-2007, 05:00 AM
You spelled THAC0 wrong, and got the acronym wrong.

It's To Hit Armor Class of 0. Also, to my knowlege, it was discontinued after 3E. Indeed THAC0 makes little sense in a world where a higher armor class is better.

Kistilan
11-09-2007, 09:02 AM
Thanks all for the suggestions and critical comments. I'll append the Feather Fall "static" end-reward to CC/WW for sure -- those boots are good for freeing up the ring slot from the ring of feathers.

Also, I spelled THACO wrong on purpose. And if you understand what THACO is, 1. It made sense. 2. It still makes sense even when you are raising the armor class.

Your To-Hit +37 is in reallity a -37 to a given target. If the hit lands at 0 IE 37 - 37 = 0, then it is a hit. If the armor class is lower ie >36, you've gone below armor class 0 and ergo have hit. Remember, negative armor class was added in 2nd Ed and prior. 2 minuses = 1 plus. So you've gone above a 0 and it's a hit in standard 3.0+

For those who are completely lost, here's a quick look at a Pre-3 Ed. Fighter Progression.

Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21+
Thaco: 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 >0

Given these statistics, let's examine a level 5 fighter in Pre-3ed. His Thaco is 16. Currently he has to roll a 16 or better to hit a natural armor class of 0. But wait, his opponent has a -2 armor class (lower is better!). This is 16 - -2 = 18, so now he has to roll an 18 to hit the adversary, which grants him a 15% chance to hit. Oh noes!

However, a second opponent in only a loincloth hide advances at the fighter. This opponent's armor grants him a 5 ac (7 hide armor -2 for a 14 dex). Now the fighter switches to dispatch this opponent quickly before continuing on his primary opponent. To hit the hide-armored opponent the fighter's new Thaco is 15. This can be determined in the same mathematical equation, 16 - 5 = 11. To Hit Armor Class Zero the fighter must roll an 11 or higher.

Third edition created an inverse of this system in which the bonus which lowered the Thaco became the To-Hit Bonus applied against an opponents total AC 10 + armor + dex + enchantment + deflection/etc = total enhancement. In reality a 27 AC in DDO and Third Edition+ is really just a -7 AC in Pre-3d Edition, and the To Hit bonus is just the inverse out of 20 of the THACO of a class level.

ErgonomicCat
11-09-2007, 10:58 AM
THAC0 was an insane measure. The straight +to hit, +AC makes so much more sense.

I still love THAC0, don't get me wrong. But using it in 3.X is gonna confuse people. It's your to-hit.

Garth_of_Sarlona
11-09-2007, 11:51 AM
Nice guide.

Once you know how to speed-run VON3 - it's worth getting each member of the group to advance one at a time - then you can run it six times. Very fast way to rack up the XP while you're around lvl 8 or 9

Garth

Kistilan
11-12-2007, 04:54 AM
OMG!

That's a huge point I failed to include! Thanks willphase. When I'm done vacationing in Hawaii (under the sea!) with my friend Katonya I'll edit the guide about solo-advancing for xp. Thanks again for pointing that out!

Kilzoth_BlackBlade
02-11-2008, 08:55 PM
This guide has been an amazing help in leveling up, any plans on updating it with the new content stuff?

Kistilan
02-17-2008, 12:34 PM
An emphatic YES.

However, I'm still at Officer Training School, so I haven't had a chance to play DDO since October!!! I promise there will be more updates to this beast in the future after OTS.

Itachi83
03-05-2008, 03:21 PM
This is a nice guide!

binnsr
06-27-2008, 02:11 PM
An emphatic YES.

However, I'm still at Officer Training School, so I haven't had a chance to play DDO since October!!! I promise there will be more updates to this beast in the future after OTS.

gratz on OTS.



The Vault of the Night - The Tower of Kol Korran
NPC: Barrow d'Kundarak
Quest Location: The Tower of Kol Korran
Difficulty: Normal (Raid) Do Hard and Elite later. Can only be completed every 2 days 18 hours and 59 minutes.
Time to Completion: Zerging, 26-49 minutes. Learning, 50 - 90 minutes.
Notes: This quest is intense, long, and full of puzzles. Take a few experienced people with you if you can and follow their lead. Try to keep the party in 2 large groups of 6 or more. Also be sure you have 2 high-wisdom (20+) 2 high-strength (25+) and 2 with ranged weapons (such as a returning weapon). You cannot complete this raid without those minimum stats on 4 different players and 2 ranged-firing players as well. Aside from that, enjoy this quest -- Velah, the Great Red awaits you upon completion! This is not required for The Path to Power.

Another valid XP strategy is to run VoN 5 over and over again without actually beating the dragon .. This is particularly lucrative during bonus XP weekends :)


The Plane of Night - The Vault of the Night
NPC: Barrow d'Kundarak
Quest Location: The Vault of the Night
Difficulty: Normal-Elite (Raid). Can only be started by completing Von 5 successfully. If you fail, you have to run the VoNs all over again. Can only be completed every 2 days 18 hours and 59 minutes -- reset begins upon picking up the end quest reward from Barrow d'Kundarak!
Time to Completion: 44 minutes. If you don't complete by then, you fail.
Notes: Here you are, staring at a huge red dragon. Woohoo! Listen to the experienced veterans and follow their instruction. You only have a small amount of time, so cooperate and work quickly. This quest isn't required for The Path to Power, but the static named items are often worth the effort to tweak your character's effectiveness.

The statement in Red is false. If you fail, you can attempt VoN5 again. If you succeed, you go on timer and have to repeat all of the VoNs again.


Any plans to get this guide up-to-date?

Kistilan
06-27-2008, 10:08 PM
Yes and Yes and Yes.

I'm at Nav Training which is very busy, but myself and Kreeper are working on some new up-to-date XP Strategies.

You're right, I wrote the level 10+ stuff on minimal sleep & time. I'll correct the VoN5 vs VoN6 mistake when my Internet is back up. I've actually been running VoN5 Elites for XP lately without doing the dragon.

I've also lately developed some new strategies that actually enable players to level from 1-level X in 12 hours, X being the highest level achievable. It's amazing actually. My guild and allies are still pegg'n out the best quests to use this new tactic, but it's totally viable. I don't think VoN5 can be utilized -- at least not on elite. Hard & Normal, maybe.

I will update the Path to Power on Advanced XP Levelling, but I am afraid I cannot publish The Chronotrigger Initiative yet. It may never be published on these forums, actually, due to personal reservations. It will be published on Stormrune.Com for all Argonnessen Chronotrigger Iniative Affiliates prior to the Druid & Half-Orc update.

Daedalis
06-30-2008, 09:22 AM
Hi Kistilan,
I've actually been running through the low level quest in an attempt to get some stats on the quest. But I just though you might want to know that the base XP for Euphonia's Challenge is actually on 246. The 1500 XP you will get if you skip the quest but you will have 1746 if you go through the quest (if you break all the breakables you do get the ransack bonus and I think it's 25% bonus). From what I can tell, the 1500 is to get you the XP needed for your first action point.

Just FYI....

thanks,
Dae

Kistilan
07-02-2008, 06:06 PM
Hi Kistilan,
I've actually been running through the low level quest in an attempt to get some stats on the quest. But I just though you might want to know that the base XP for Euphonia's Challenge is actually on 246. The 1500 XP you will get if you skip the quest but you will have 1746 if you go through the quest (if you break all the breakables you do get the ransack bonus and I think it's 25% bonus). From what I can tell, the 1500 is to get you the XP needed for your first action point.

Just FYI....

thanks,
Dae

Yeah man, you're right.

However, the purpose of the guide is to be faster than heftier in xp at times. It's much faster to bypass this one if you know what you're doing. Good stuff though for those that want an edge on xp from the beginning -- it'll take longer, however. I've never had a problem gett'n capped before level 2 and meeting my speed requirements. I would recommend only capping if in a solid level 1 group -- else, advance to level 2 and run with a group of level 1s and 2s through Info is Key to reach level 3 and then at level 3 max xp on Info is Key and Bonebite henceforth with an occasional elite Bringing the Light if creature control is available (wiz level 3/Sorc level 3/bard level 3/cleric level 3).

cyadra
07-15-2008, 01:21 AM
The quickest way to level 2 is to do the Bonebite quest twice. Run it once on solo for 1300xp (a little more if you don't zerg it and kill the spiders, etc.) then run it again on normal for 1800xp. The trick to defeating Bonebite is to make sure you have that last shrine door open, he might kill you once or twice on normal but you can always keep rezzing. You could also run the quest twice on solo, which will leave you a 200xp gap, at which point just go and run Home Sweet Sewer which takes 30 seconds to get all the dogs out and you should have enough exp to gain a level. (This isn't bad since your level trainers are right there at Aspirants Corner)

At level 2, you run the same quest again 2 solo, 4 normal, 4 hard and you should be level 3. This however you can do only with good melee types, casters can't solo this quest on hard. Or just find a good group willing to zerg it.

With a tricked out barb you can get to level 3 in about 45 minutes. Also, the lobster is directly across from the quest which makes for mana/health restoration fast.

Lewcipher
07-15-2008, 02:06 AM
However, a second opponent in only a loincloth hide advances at the fighter. This opponent's armor grants him a 5 ac (7 hide armor +2 for a 14 dex). Now the fighter switches to dispatch this opponent quickly before continuing on his primary opponent. To hit the hide-armored opponent the fighter's new Thaco is 11. This can be determined in the same mathematical equation, 16 - 5 = 11. To Hit Armor Class Zero the fighter must roll an 11 or higher.

Great guide man, but the fighter's THAC0 is still 15. His THAC5 would be 11. I hate it when I can't just move on. :D

Kistilan
07-15-2008, 06:01 PM
Great guide man, but the fighter's THAC0 is still 15. His THAC5 would be 11. I hate it when I can't just move on. :D

EDIT: I just reread what I wrote and what you wrote. *_* To Hit Armor Class 5. C'mon..... that's like, digging into the weeds for a piece of bark to chew on.

So, THACO = 20. Armor Class = 7 (Natural 10 -3 for Hide = 7) and Dex was 14 for a -2 to AC: 7 - 2 = 5. I added 2 to 7 to get 9 and sub'd from THACO. The correct guide is 20 - 5 = 15 THACO. A player then needs only roll a 15 or higher to schwack the brigand. HOWEVER: A 5th level Fighter has a base THACO of 16, so 16 - 5 AC = 11. To Hit Armor Class 5 (which is a modified THACO, TYVM) is 11.

THACO means literally the following: To bypass all protection and strike into the flesh (or whatever you're prenetrating) with an attack. You're not really swinging to hit a ZERO, it's just the standard by which you do successfully connect to create damage. In most cases, this means penetrating armor or finding a chink in the armor or catching a nimble opponent with a swing and dealing damage beyond their physical and/or magical protections.

Or you can do it the D&D 3.0 way, which is 10 (Your Skin) + 3 (Leather) + 2 (Your Dex) = 15 and roll a 1d20 + To Hit to find out if you SCORE! Love the new math.

Note:

I've been doing a lot of research the last 3 weeks. The guide will be updated soon, sans Chronotrigger Alliance Initiatives (these are hosted elsewhere).

PS: To Cyadra's post 2 above, yes, that'd work, but Information is Key can be run on elite with a group of level 2s in 5-7 mins a run with little to no death failure. The same results can be achieved. Save Bonebite for level 3 and milk the elite xp. To reset the Bonebite instance (to run it again) requires running to the Guard in the Harbor Master's Quarters, which is a LONG run. The Lobster is much closer to reset Info is Key & allows for repairing and selling loot all in one stop.

sirgog
07-16-2008, 02:40 AM
Here's a couple of suggestions for higher levels (13-16).

Level 13: Immediately on hitting level 13, get Shroud flagged. This involves running each of the following quests once on normal (all of the quests are good XP anyway):

Running with the Devils
Ritual Sacrifice
Let Sleeping Dust Lie
Coalescence Chamber
Rainbow in the Dark

I recommend allowing level 13-16 groups here - less XP than an all-13 group, but you'll do the quests far faster. Once you have done these quests, you want to run The Shroud to completion (30K XP for first run and lots of great loot), and start running it on normal every time you come off timer until you are capped. If you are not in a powergamer guild, you may have trouble finding a Shroud group at level 13 unless you are a pure-classed Cleric, but it is possible to make one yourself.

Also, if you have not already, make sure to flag for the Reaver's Fate and run it every time you are off timer - it's a lot of XP and also has good raid loot. If you know the quest well, at level 13 or 14 you can start also running Hound of Xoriat the same way - also excellent XP.


While you are on raid timers, I recommend choosing one of the following paths for XP running.

Option 1: The Necropolis path (requires significant quest knowledge but is very efficient in a good group)
Run Desecrated Temple of Vol, Inferno of the Damned, Ghosts of Perdition and Fleshmaker's Lab once each on normal, then hard, then elite. This will award a lot of XP and you should also have a completed Sigil by this time. Once you do, start running Litany of the Dead (the Black Abbot preraid) over and over - that quest has utterly insane XP, can be easily done on normal, hard and even elite, and has excellent loot as well. As an added 'bonus', this makes you flagged for the Abbot raid, so if you are feeling suicidal, you can feel free to jump in there too.

Option 2: The Gianthold/Meridia path (more PUG friendly, but slower)
Do any remaining Gianthold quests once each on elite, then do the Shroud flagging quests an additional two times each on normal, once each on hard, and once each on elite. Bring your A-game to Running with the Devils elite, that one can be mean.

Kistilan
07-16-2008, 05:55 AM
Thanks Sirgog!

Yeah, I ran all the Shroud content last weekend. I need to run it a few more times to be able to hand-pick the quests and give critical tips, but I definitely agree level 13 on normal. I did it with a level 12 character, but he was supported by level 13-15 characters.

Reaver's Fate & Gianthold will definitely be in the level 11-16 range. I have to run the Necropolis high-level stuff to be able to determine if any of these fit the PtP mold.

So far I've got Ritual Sacrifice & Let Sleeping Dust Lie pegged for high-level zerg fests. Rainbow and Coalescence required more knowledge. Running with the Devils was harder (but I ran it on hard at level 12 too). Maybe that one is good -- seemed straight forward.

Continuing to gather info on quests for faster speeds and Chrontrigger Alliance Initiative too! Feel free to post "speed tips" for the high level quests in Shroud, Gianthold, & High-Level Necropolis! I need to update this thing after all. ;)


Here's a couple of suggestions for higher levels (13-16).

Level 13: Immediately on hitting level 13, get Shroud flagged. This involves running each of the following quests once on normal (all of the quests are good XP anyway):

Running with the Devils
Ritual Sacrifice
Let Sleeping Dust Lie
Coalescence Chamber
Rainbow in the Dark

I recommend allowing level 13-16 groups here - less XP than an all-13 group, but you'll do the quests far faster. Once you have done these quests, you want to run The Shroud to completion (30K XP for first run and lots of great loot), and start running it on normal every time you come off timer until you are capped. If you are not in a powergamer guild, you may have trouble finding a Shroud group at level 13 unless you are a pure-classed Cleric, but it is possible to make one yourself.

Also, if you have not already, make sure to flag for the Reaver's Fate and run it every time you are off timer - it's a lot of XP and also has good raid loot. If you know the quest well, at level 13 or 14 you can start also running Hound of Xoriat the same way - also excellent XP.


While you are on raid timers, I recommend choosing one of the following paths for XP running.

Option 1: The Necropolis path (requires significant quest knowledge but is very efficient in a good group)
Run Desecrated Temple of Vol, Inferno of the Damned, Ghosts of Perdition and Fleshmaker's Lab once each on normal, then hard, then elite. This will award a lot of XP and you should also have a completed Sigil by this time. Once you do, start running Litany of the Dead (the Black Abbot preraid) over and over - that quest has utterly insane XP, can be easily done on normal, hard and even elite, and has excellent loot as well. As an added 'bonus', this makes you flagged for the Abbot raid, so if you are feeling suicidal, you can feel free to jump in there too.

Option 2: The Gianthold/Meridia path (more PUG friendly, but slower)
Do any remaining Gianthold quests once each on elite, then do the Shroud flagging quests an additional two times each on normal, once each on hard, and once each on elite. Bring your A-game to Running with the Devils elite, that one can be mean.

sirgog
07-16-2008, 06:33 AM
Thanks Sirgog!

Yeah, I ran all the Shroud content last weekend. I need to run it a few more times to be able to hand-pick the quests and give critical tips, but I definitely agree level 13 on normal. I did it with a level 12 character, but he was supported by level 13-15 characters.

Reaver's Fate & Gianthold will definitely be in the level 11-16 range. I have to run the Necropolis high-level stuff to be able to determine if any of these fit the PtP mold.

So far I've got Ritual Sacrifice & Let Sleeping Dust Lie pegged for high-level zerg fests. Rainbow and Coalescence required more knowledge. Running with the Devils was harder (but I ran it on hard at level 12 too). Maybe that one is good -- seemed straight forward.

Continuing to gather info on quests for faster speeds and Chrontrigger Alliance Initiative too! Feel free to post "speed tips" for the high level quests in Shroud, Gianthold, & High-Level Necropolis! I need to update this thing after all. ;)


Speed tips on Meridia quests:

Running with the Devils: All melee-oriented toons should dualwield Wounders (W/P optimal, but Wounding is sufficient). Arcanes play a support role (especially if running this underlevel where SR is a killer) and save their SP for the boss fights. Eladrin have low Con scores, they go down like butter. For the final fight, make sure to fight them one at a time unless you are feeling very, very cocky. Can be speedrun. Bring Transmuters for the rednamed eladrin. He's a mongrel.

Ideal party makeup: 1 melee bard, 3 TWF melees with wounders, 1 Cleric, 1 Arcane with Acid Fog and Firewall
Classes that shine: Ranger, Cleric
Spells that shine: Haste, GH (if no bard, the +4 to hit helps a lot), Recitation (same reason, some foes have high AC)



Coalescence Chamber: Get a WF 16 Wiz or 16 Sor to solo it. Stand at the entry. Run to chests if you can make it without falling.

Ideal party makeup: 1 WF caster, 5 anything
Spells that shine: FoM or Fire Shield (prevents Web), Symbol of Persuasion, Firewall (latter two for crowd control in the corridors)
Spells to avoid: Jump (actually makes the jumps harder in places due to hitting overhead obstacles)
Items that make the quest much easier - Kundarak boots, Resist Lightning 30 on an item


The others I can't think of any particularly fast ways to do, but on the plus side, many of them are frequently lootrun by level 16s who will happily take another character along.



The Necropolis stuff is faster for levelling but requires a lot of quest knowledge (for instance, Inferno of the Damned can be run in 10 minutes by a group that all know it backwards and are prepared to split the party - a PUG may take 90 minutes and not complete)

Arianrhod
12-16-2008, 10:27 AM
Just thought I'd get this back to the first page, since some people might not have known about it...no need to keep rewriting the same guides when excellent ones like this already exist ;)

sirgog
12-16-2008, 11:36 AM
Another tip for powerlevelling, using a quest few people ever consider.


Inferno of the Damned powerlevelling guide:

Recommended group level: 13-14 or 13-15 (highly twinked lower level toons welcome too)
Ideal party makeup: 2 Clerics, one of which can at least hold their own in melee, 1 Arcane with D-Door and Haste (can be a bard), 1 Arcane with Flesh to Stone (can be the same person as the other arcane if they are not a bard; Web and Discoball are both inferior but acceptable substitutes), melees.
Items that make the quest easier: Disruptors, Con damage weapons for Fire Eles only. If the first Arcane is a Bard, they must have UMD and Fireball or Burning Hands wands.
Spells that shine: Banishment (should be named Mass Swat Mephit), Fear, Flesh to Stone, Mass Suggestion, Suggestion

Strategy:

First, kill as little as possible. Everything that is killed on the Light Side is reincarnated as an undead on the Fire Side. These undead are tougher than their live versions and mostly fire-immune. Charm spells create excellent distractions - either charm one mob and run past as the others turn on them, or mass charm a pack and run past while they salute you.

This quest is organised like a bicycle wheel with four spokes. To make things more confusing, there's two copies of the quest (it helps to think of one being vertically above the other, that's the way the game engine has it) and you must frequently port from one to the other. I will refer to the quest as though it were a clock face - you have the centre, north is 12 oclock, east 3, south 6 and west 9. The two levels will be referred to as the Light Side and the Fire Side. Some passages are blocked on one side but notthe other. Oh, and the wheel isn't perfectly round, but is pretty close to it.

You enter the quest at Light Centre. After buffing (Resist Fire, Cold and Lightning, GH on those not immune to fear, Deathward on all, Stoneskin on squishies, extend nothing), split into two groups. Group 1 has to have the melee-capable cleric and the D-Door caster; group 2 optimally is the other 4, but you may want an extra melee with group 1.

Group 1 and 2 both go west to Light 9 o'clock, then port to Fire 9. Here they split.

Group 1 goes counterclockwise toward Fire 6 (they get stuck at Fire 7), ports to Light 7, then walks to Light 6, CC's the mobs there (Charm effects are optimal here), lights the four torches with Fireballs, and kills the Fire Elemental that spawns. Then, they D-Door, and run to catch up with group 2.

Group 2 goes clockwise toward Fire 12. At Fire 10½, they'll be able to port to Light 10½ and they should. They then return south to Light 10, light torches and do a Fire Elemental fight. Then, they port back to Fire 10½, go to Fire 10 and use cold spells (Cone of Cold scrolls, Ice Storm wands) to put out the torches, summoning a Cinderspawn (these are killed rapidly by Disruptors even on Elite; DPS is a solid option too).

By this stage the groups should have reuinted and you are probably low on SP. Keep progressing clockwise until you reach Light 11 and a fork in the road. Northeast leads to a shrine and a chest that can easily be screwed up. Take that path first.

In the next room (Light 12), you can see a resurrection shrine but no rest shrine, and several human mobs. One is named Acolyte of Flame - when that mob dies, a once-only teleport to the Fire Side happens within a Haste radius of that mob. Optimally, you want to immobilize that foe without letting him leave the room, gather the whole party on him, then kill him so you all port to the Fire 12 room - a locked room with a chest, and a rest shrine. (If you fail and only some party members get the teleport, they can open the locked door from inside Fire 12 - if you fail badly and noone gets the teleport and survives, the shrine and chest are lost (probably costing blue bar folks 1 mana pot each) and anyone dead inside Fire 12 must release and reenter). Flesh to Stone is the best spell to immmobilize the Acolyte, but Web or Discoball will also work in a pinch.

Once you finish, return to Light 11 or Fire 11 (can't remember which, but the one that allows you to leave via the southeast exit, think it's Fire 11), and run through that to 1 o'clock. The north wall has a secret door holding a portal, use it (if needed) to reach Light 1 and do a Fire Ele room, then port to Fire 1 and kill a Cinderspawn.

From here on, the quest is much easier. Just keep to the outer rim of the quest, and go clockwise. Port only when forced to, kill as little as you can, and you'll have the Light 3 fire ele down in no time, then the Fire 6 Cinderspawn (there's also another Acolyte of Flame room at Light 6 leading to another chest and another shrine), then run north to Fire Centre, kill everything, then east to Fire 3 for the last non-rednamed Cinderspawn. Then rebuff if needed (Fire and Cold resist, DW) and pick a fight with Cinnis, the Cinderspawn that will not disrupt. Use Cone of Cold, Bladebarrier, melee DPS and Heal to kill him.



Once you are done (probably takes 30 minutes if you are using this guide but not experienced; 35 if you don't split into two groups early and instead have the whole party do Group 1's job), return and repeat it on normal. Over time, you'll get it to 15 and maybe even 10 minutes. 3 normal runs, 1 hard, 1 elite and BAM - you have the hardest to find Sigil piece, 40000 XP and 15 chests (20 if you do the optional I haven't covered).

Arianrhod
07-20-2009, 11:15 AM
Any plans to update this guide for mod 9 (many quests have had their XP values changed, and several new quests have been added in the low level range, like the Sharn Syndicate series)? Might be of use to the expected influx of new players (though it may need to include a guide to which Adventure Packs free players would be advised to pick up).

Yargore
07-20-2009, 12:22 PM
You have a thing or two to learn about power leveling and zergin...

Kistilan
07-21-2009, 12:18 AM
Any plans to update this guide for mod 9 (many quests have had their XP values changed, and several new quests have been added in the low level range, like the Sharn Syndicate series)? Might be of use to the expected influx of new players (though it may need to include a guide to which Adventure Packs free players would be advised to pick up).

Yes. I've written a version 2.0 in my mind with a lot of corrections, clarifications and stream-lining plus blatant removal of out-dated or unnecessary quests.

I also am considering incorporating The Chronotrigger Alliance Initiatives into version 2.0, although I'm worried about how it will be moderated.

Yargore - This guide is essentially 2 years old. I know a lot more about power levelling and zerging than this lets on. For instance, I know how to reach level 16 in about a day (25 hours). And yes, that's a lot of serious playing and preparation to do.

Uberbaby
09-27-2009, 11:03 AM
Kistilan, nice post... I have been using it as a guide as I have been leveling! +1 Rep.

Kistilan
09-28-2009, 12:10 PM
Kistilan, nice post... I have been using it as a guide as I have been leveling! +1 Rep.

Thank-you! It's waaaay out of date. I'm still getting settled into my new house, but it will be updated Soon™! *L* Seriously -- I've new strategies (some which probably need to remain off the forums) but many many fast-levelling & favor-acquiring. Many of the quests are to be re-evaluated too.

One thing I did in less than 10 hours of play was level 6 and 400 flat drow favor-grinding with a 28 pt build on Cannith with next to no resources and without touching Tangleroot and only one STK (elite). STK is a much-more viable run now with the changes to the end-boss and worth the effort (Trapblast, Puzzlecap, etc).

I've also noted that xp in certain quests has been raised. The Depths in House Deneith will now make the list of top-speed quests due to adjustments to monsters (fire & earth elementals are not party-wipe, nor are hobgob clerics in part 2 of 4).

The Catacombs now makes the A-List for XP now too (even slow part 3). A party and I completed elite 1-7 with levels 4-7 in the group and heaps of xp in approximately 35 minutes (a fella's house P buffs that he picked up for the first quest onward ran out on the final battle with Lord Dryden).

Zephyriah
10-10-2009, 02:38 PM
Thanks for making this available to everyone - I've been using it as a guide also to leveling my characters but can't wait for you to modify to reflect the newer content with Mod 9.

curiousgis
10-16-2009, 12:33 PM
I am new to DDO and your guide is awesome. It is helping me enjoy higher level content and keeping things interesting. I hope you have the time to update it someday soon. :)

poonce
10-26-2009, 03:03 PM
This should be Bumped for all the new players! This guide helped me out alot last year.

Andron
11-12-2009, 02:55 PM
I await the update as well. Lots of good information here and I've put some of the principles to work to gain some fast xp. While I'm not a total power leveler, I do like to advance every few days at least while otherwise playing as I'd like to. So I do have to zerg occasionally to make some quick xp. This post and others like it really help. Thanks :)

drwranck
11-13-2009, 02:11 PM
Any ETA on the update?

Nodoze
11-16-2009, 10:04 AM
I too like the guide and would love to see it updated. Will gladly give rep for updated version.

Kistilan
12-03-2009, 01:35 PM
Any ETA on the update?

Still taking notes.

I'm also in the midst of writing a Sci-Fi Short for the L Ron Hubbard. Deadline is 1 Jan (should be done before 15 Dec) and then I will refocus on the rewrite. I've been replaying the levelling game since the content shifted dramatically.

azumakazuma
01-28-2010, 09:41 AM
*crosses fingers*

any word on if this guide is going to get an update? :D

barlion
01-13-2011, 11:59 PM
for 15-17 lvls i suggest orchard quests litany and abbot along with some reaver raids.

DrenglisEU
01-14-2011, 12:39 AM
nice one!! :-D