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View Full Version : Making money, self-twinking and soloing in DDO



Mawai
07-24-2008, 10:58 AM
Hi All,

I just wanted to put some tips for newbies into the forums - since it took me a while to learn them and they worked well.

First, I started playing DDO in April. My primary requirement was the ability to play solo since my time is constrained by real life - grouping wasn't usually an option since I might have to stop on short notice and that would not be fair to those I grouped with. I play casually, I have only progressed as far as 7th level - 95% of that from solo play. I've accumulated about 450 favour and completed all the level 3 and most level 4 quests up to Elite. I've done a number of level 5 and 6 quests up to normal or hard. Maybe a couple of level 7 quests on normal.

Soloing - character selection requirements:

Here are some tips for choosing a solo character

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- when I first started I asked on the forums for a good solo character - there were two different ideas expressed - one was a dwarven battle cleric. Clerics have built in healing abilities and with the right stats can have decent melee abilities. The second idea involved creating a character with maximized saving throws since one of the biggest issues with solo play is dealing with traps and casters. My very first character was a rogue/ranger. He only reached level 3 and died frequently because he failed a lot of saving throws - so my personal experience seemed to indicate that the second option might be the better one to try.

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- Use Magic Device is a very useful skill - in combination with a high charisma it allows you to equip race required items which are better than equivalent items at the same level they become usable. This skill should be kept maximized.

- saving throws are CRITICAL. Caster mobs and traps deal a lot of damage. At the lowest levels casters use a lot of magic missile spells so the shield spell or a shield spell item are very important. At higher levels the spells shift to fire direct damage which needs some fire resistance, melf's acid arrow which needs some acid resistance or can be dodged and area effect spells like lightning bolt. There are also a lot of fear and hold spells cast. The DC for these spells on Elite can easily get up to 18 or more. If the will save modifier is a typical value of +6 or +8 - then these spells will be effective more than 50% of the time and your character will die. One solution to this is to splash 2 or 3 levels of paladin into the build and be sure to have a high charisma.

- In combination with good saves - Evasion is an amazing feat. This is available to rogue or monk at second level. If you save against an area effect spell or trap you take no damage. With evasion and good saves it is possible to complete some quests simply by repeatedly training the mobs through the traps in the dungeon. They die and you do not. So another useful option for a solo build is to splash 2 levels of rogue or monk. Rogue is good because of the broad range of skills and facility with Use Magic Device. Take Rogue at first level for the skills.

-Feats that are very useful. ** Weapon Finesse. ** By choosing weapon finesse you can focus on building dexterity for both combat and defense. Also, since light armor is required for evasion - dexterity is very important for AC. High dexterity also improves reflex saving throws and many rogue skills. ** Combat Expertise ** This feat will add 5 to the AC while taking 5 from attack. For most common mobs this can be very useful.

- Healing. If you want to save money it is very important that the character have some sort of self-healing available. The choices here are War forged arcane caster, cleric, or dragon-marked halfling.

- Other classes that can be mixed with the rogue or monk/paladin would be fighter for the extra combat feats and AC enhancements, sorceror or bard for spells and taking advantage of the high charisma, ranger for favoured enemies/bow strength/Two weapon fighting/stealth - in my case I chose fighter since I wanted the feats - that might be avoided by taking monk instead of rogue but then you trade off UMD as well.


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Here is what I did (at level 7):

Halfling - 2 fighter/3 paladin/2 rogue

Starting stats (I think - I might choose differently now - dropping str to 10 and increasing dex/cha):
str 12
dex 17
con 10
int 14
wis 8
cha 16

Feats: Healing dragon marks, Force of Personality (use cha modifier for will saves), Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise

With gear my saves at level 7 are about: fort +18, reflex +23, will +18. The AC is 36 without combat expertise (41 with it turned on).

Halfings have dragonmarks for healing - they get a +1 basic to hit bonus (which is the equivalent of either +2 str or dex in terms of to hit), they have enhancements which boost each saving throw, a level 3 paladin has enhancements to their aura giving +2 to saves as well as +2 to AC - on top of the charisma bonus to saves.

This character solos well so far. However, it may be that soloing at higher levels may not be so easy.

Finally, I try never to run quests more than once at each difficulty level - the game gets too boring otherwise.

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Money in DDO:

However, as was pointed out when I started, solo characters can be very costly to run. They need decent equipment to be as effective as possible and this equipment does NOT EVER drop from the quests you are running. In addition as a new player - I had no money. My first character (the ranger/rogue) very quickly went bankrupt buying healing potions and I couldn't even dream of buying a cure serious wand - it was over 5000gp!

Luckily for me - I stumbled across the one item that consistently makes money in DDO. The following comments apply to the Ghallanda server and may apply to the other servers.

Consider the following - in any MMO, a resource that can be collected by low level characters, which is useful to high level characters can be sold for substantially more money than can be made by a low level character doing anything else. In WOW there are the mining and skining professions. In DDO, there is no direct equivalent. However, there is one item which can not be purchased in a shop which is extremely useful when trying to quickly level a caster character. These are potions of Mnemonic Enhancment

Potion of Minor Mnemonic Enhancement - level 1 - base value 2000gp
Potion of Lesser Mnemonic Enhancement - level 3 - base value 4000gp
Potion of Mnemonic Enhancement - level 5 - base value 8000gp
Potion of Greater Mnemonic Enhancement - level 7 - base value 15000gp
Potion of Major Mnemonic Enhancement - level 9 - base value 30000gp

Never EVER sell these to a vendor - I vendored the first few minor ones I found on my first character - I didn't know what they were for and I could get 100gp for them from a vendor. (laugh) It turns out that these potions restored mana - much the same way that a healing potion restores health. With a good supply of these potions a caster can complete quests solo or in a small group and never needs to rest to regain mana. Using these potions make leveling a caster much faster - at least that is my guess - there might be another important use for them but I don't know what it is - I do know that all of these will sell for substantially more in the auction house than their base value.

Always post on the auction house with a buyout specified - if someone wants these they will want them immediately. Make sure that the minimum bid isn't too low.

Here are the usual minimum and buyout values I have used for these - 90% of the time they will sell for the buyout value I set - they also sell better when grouped so a batch of 5 sells easier than a single one though both will sell:

Minor Mnemonic Enhancement - staring 4000gp - buyout 6000gp to 7000gp
Lesser Mnemonic Enhancement - starting 10000gp - buyout 15000gp to 20000gp
Mnemonic Enhancement - starting 25000gp - buyout 40000gp to 50000gp
Greater Mnemonic Enhancement - starting 50000gp - buyout 70000gp to 80000gp
Major Mnemonic Enhancement - starting 60000gp - buyout 70000gp to 80000gp

Note that the profit margins on Major Mnemonic Enhancement are much lower - this is because it must drop on a regular basis from high level dungeons - everyone gets them. The lower level ones only drop in low level dungeons and are available to new players or those leveling alts. However, those leveling alts often do not loot all the chests since they make more than enough money on their main character and these potions are relatively rare.

Ok - so now you know how much this loot is worth. How do you make more money? After selling a couple you find you will have enough money to start buying on the auction house. Look for people posting these potions within 25% of their base value either as a starting bid or buyout. If it is buyout - buy it immediately - otherwise bid and keep an eye on it. Of course, if it is offered at less than the base value buy it immediately.

Minor - buy at 2000 to 3000gp
Lesser - buy at 4000 to 6000gp
Mnemonic - buy at 8000 to 10000gp
Greater - buy at 15000 to 20000gp
Major - buy at 30000 to 35000gp - I usually avoid these due to competition but they will sell

After winning these auctions - group the potions together and repost the auction using the buyout guidelines suggested. They won't always sell but usually they will. Trade usually picks up from Friday to Sunday.

Once you have collected some money, start looking for other items that can be bought and sold. I haven't found very much that is reliable. Collapsed Portable Holes are typically too expensive starting at 50k but sometimes one will be posted cheap - however, the market for these appears about saturated at the moment. There are almost always some Tomes that are being auctioned starting from their base value. Bid on these auctions since you will eventually win some - you can use them on your character, resell them or bank them for an alt. Get an idea of how much they sell for on your server. At the moment on Ghallanda the typical +1 tome buyout runs about 300k at the low end. There is a good profit possible if you can win one at 100k and resell with a starting bid of 200k and buyout of 300k.

Besides these there are usually bargains all over the auction house. You just need to discover what is in demand. For example, I was looking particularly for light armor - the best available are mithril breastplates and mithril chain shirts - +4 are usable from level 6 and +5 at level 8 unless you can find one with a race required - which will then be usable 2 levels lower. Occasionally, these items will be posted to the AH with a starting bid at the base value and no buyout. What does this mean? You can probably get good mithril armor for 20k to 50k if you pay attention. Typical buyouts for a +5 mithril chain shirt run 800k to 1.2mil gold. However, I put mine in the bank to use a level 8.

The money made is used to self-twink your solo toon. I have no higher level character to pass things down. Here are some suggestions on weapons to look for - I have all of these - I haven't paid more than 30k or so for any of them. As a paladin the "pure good" effect is a very useful way of dealing extra damage - I haven't found any enemies who are good - they are either evil or neutral. Even monsters requiring adamantine weapons are still vulnerable to pure good.

+1 ghost touch crossbow of pure good
+2 shock short sword of pure good
+4 adamantine rapier
+1 holy light mace of pure good (awesome against undead)
+1 ghost touch light mace of pure good
Muckbane (or an ooze bane weapon - for use against oozes)
+1 shock club of pure good (for use against rust monsters)

Ok - so how well has this strategy worked for me? I have 200,000pp in the bank, I have purchased 7 +1 tomes - used 3 (dex, cha and wis) with 4 in the bank - and my character is about as twinked as I can make him at level 7 - all so he can play the game solo when he needs to ...

Keep in mind that my suggestions may or may not continue to work when this becomes commonly known. However, there should always be a market for these potions as long as people want to power level caster alts. It is possible that the resale market will dry up - on the other hand there may be quite a few more people selling these potions for 25% over base value just to get a quick return. In any case, the extra money made by selling these potions will certainly help the true newbies while the L16s who are leveling alts seem well able to afford the costs.

Good luck and safe travels!

CSFurious
07-24-2008, 11:08 AM
your advice about potions is good

at end-game, i often choose a major as an end reward & usually immediately put it on the ah with a 10,000 to 20,000 buyout

they often sell by the next day

i have no comment as to the rest of your advice other than that this is a group game & i would encourage all new players to make in-game friends & to attempt to join a reputable guild

urwormfood
07-24-2008, 05:13 PM
Thanks for the post. I am new to the game and am frustrated by the lack of income gained from quests. Still below lvl5 so I guess the rewards will get better. I cant figure out why monsters do not drop some coins?

~worm~

ArkoHighStar
07-24-2008, 05:21 PM
Thanks for the post. I am new to the game and am frustrated by the lack of income gained from quests. Still below lvl5 so I guess the rewards will get better. I cant figure out why monsters do not drop some coins?

~worm~

the chests represent the treasure drops, cash from the chests is not what you are looking for, items from the chests sold at brokers will fill your pockets much quicker. If you are serious about getting cash always go to a broker, at your level they are all in the rusty nail, they will give you more cash than a vendor or a bartender will.

Draccus
07-25-2008, 07:36 AM
Good advice.

However, I think there's an easier way to make money than reselling. Reselling is risky so here's what I did to build a nice little bank account.

Scan the collectables section of the AH to see what's selling. Look for multiple stacks of low level items all selling for around the same amount of gold. Examples are vials of Pure Water and Funery Tokens. Now head back to those easy, solo, level 1 quests you ran and run them over and over grabbing every collectable. Put them on the AH with a buyout about 90% of the highest buyout you see and you should make money.

This worked wonders for me. I went from 20,000 gold to 1.2 million gold in just a couple weeks and have fully equipped my character with top level gear in the process.

Other suggestions:
- Run Durks for Muckbanes and sell them on the AH. I've sold 5 for around 50,000 each but haven't sold one in a while so I'm not sure what the going rate is. Again, using a buyout of 90% of the highest you see is a good start.
- Selling a ring of feathers from the STK quest is a huge boost. Some will say to keep it but I don't think a lowbie will benefit more from the 500,000 gold than the ring. Take some of that 500,000 gold and buy a Feather Fall clickie for 50,000 if you have to jump off high places and don't have any tumble skill.
- Certain collectables sell for an obscene amount. I was reading the forums a few days ago and saw someone offering 500,000g for a Lightning Split Soarwood. That night, I checked my bags and, sure enough, I had one. I sold it for 500,000 (well, 300,000 or so after the Coin Lords took their share...grrr).
- Don't sell items to bartenders! Putting something on the AH for half it's listed value is still better than selling it to a bartender for 5% of its listed value. I only sell to brokers or bartenders after something has expired on the AH.
- If you're a rogue and have the skill boost enhancement, hit it before buying and selling. It will improve your haggle skill for a bit more coin.

Some advice for adventuring on the cheap:
- Don't solo. I don't follow this advice as much as I should but soloing is ridiculously expensive. I can go through 15 Cure Moderate Wounds pots in one solo adventure (I'm a squishy pure rogue) but often use ZERO in a group. I know soloing is the prefered play style for a lot of people but if you're focused on coin, you should avoid it.
- If you have the UMD feat, wands can be a way to reduce adventuring expenses. At level 8, my rogue has about a 65% chance to succeed with a Cure Light Wounds wand. I should get about 32 cures with that wand. I think a CLW potion costs something like 60gp but the wand costs 800g. So I'm getting about 1920g worth of cures for 800g.
- Another tip that I'm surprised more players don't know: Unlike most MMO's, you don't necessarily get XP for killing individual monsters. People coming from WoW or EQ or DAOC habitually want to "clear the dungeon" because you get XP per kill. While killing all the monsters does give you an XP boost through Conquest bonuses, it may be more cost effective and efficient to bypass encounters when possible. This is often easy for rogues who can stealth past monsters but there are a lot of optional parts to dungeons that anyone can bypass. You may lose 15% of your xp but if you're looking for profitable adventuring, that may help.

Osco
08-08-2008, 08:24 AM
On Sarlona, the floor has dropped out of the market on minor mnemonics and Muckbanes. Prices have dropped some on the prayer beads and Vials of Pure Water as well. Noticably, but not as bad as mnemonics and Muckbanes.

Sue_Dark
08-08-2008, 08:58 AM
Good advice.


- Selling a ring of feathers from the STK quest is a huge boost. Some will say to keep it but I don't think a lowbie will benefit more from the 500,000 gold than the ring. Take some of that 500,000 gold and [b]buy a Feather Fall clickie for 50,000 if you have to jump off high places and don't have any tumble skill.[/]




Little note, for the new player. The avg low level feather fall clickie only lasts about 10 seconds. Practice (cliff diving into water, which only hurts if you hit the side) hitting it at the last 25-50% of the drop. Nothing sucks more than having one shot of FF left, using it and realizing that you arent falling fast enough to make it safely before the spell wears off.



Fighter vs ranger... Fighter gets no self heal capability, but does get a coupla more feats. Ranger gets self heal at level 1 (same as pally) via Cure Light Wounds wands. Yes, for the solo new guy/gal wands are expensive, but they can often drop in chests or end rewards AND collectable turn-ins.

Tho wands are expensive, pots are alot more so. Initially use nothing but the starter and quest rewarded pots. They're free and work just as good as anything in teh store. Try to save up to get a CLW wand or two. Dont however, allow yourself to go without completely, no healing = dead character in time.


Money. How are ya gonna get some scratch? When running about Stormreach, grab every collectable you see. When you get done with an adventure or two, look in your bags. Some of these collectables require one each to turn in, some require two and others require three. The one for one are the best items available, *enemy* bane ammo and weapons, magic armor, wands and robes. Great starting equipment, great selling equipment.

Remember that +1 rapier of lesser reptilian bane you got for the Icon of Khyber? Not gonna use it? AH! Those high levels running alts will pay a premium price for NO-LEVEL or LOW-LEVEL elemental damage/burst/bane weapons. Dont go too crazy on the prices, but these toys can make you rich quickly and they can be useful as well.

So, if you must solo at low level...

DO - take a self healing class level, if only one level you can still use wands.
DO - look at options for trap and spell damage mitigation (rogue 2 or lots of resist pots, again ranger/pally/cleric/mage can use wands)
DO - grab collectable items like a lunatic
DON'T - Blow all your cash on pots, be frugal and try to learn where shrines are. Use the shrine instead of pots when you can.
DON'T - Rely on the AH to make you rich. Every item you post has a fee to post and a feww when sold. If you dont sell, you are out the posting fee.
DO - Practice sneaking and build some sneak skill if you can. Sometimes the best won fight, is the one you didnt fight.
DO - Use terrain, doors, corners and the like to your advantage. Never charge into a room full of monsters on a wing and a prayer.
DO - look for a returning throwing weapon. These fall from crates and barrels and can also come from collectables and quest rewards. Save money on ammunition, great for pulling and dont take damage from oozes or rust monsters.

I could go on, but the boss is lookin at me funny...

rimble
08-08-2008, 09:13 AM
Making money, self-twinking, and (high-level) soloing...

The best thing I ever did in this regard was make a cookie-cutter Drow Sorcerer (with UMD for self wand healing). Every game I can think of is implemented where casters have much easier equipment requirements than other classes. So, they frequently make excellent first characters. Mine wasn't my first, I ended up making him specifically to solo and acquire cash. Now I can pull him out to run the Vale for vendor loot (sometimes get something nice), the Orchard for tapestry pieces for an alts Minos Legens, and the Desert for the Bloodstone and other goodies. His equipment still sucks, but it doesn't matter, especially in the outdoor areas where you can just recall for spell points. Was probably the best thing I ever did, and really, he was fun as all get out until the recent high-level content really castrated casters.

Kaldaka
08-11-2008, 06:41 AM
DON'T - Blow all your cash on pots, be frugal and try to learn where shrines are. Use the shrine instead of pots when you can.


This is a good one ... I would also recommend getting bracers/gloves/etc. of sustinence (the one with the heal skill boost on it). And always switch to it right before you shrine, then switch back after you shrine.

At higher levels, you can add 50+ hitpoints to the shrine use just by following this advise.

You can save plenty of heal wands/potions/etc. in the long run.

Vagabond
08-14-2008, 11:55 AM
Use your ranger/rogue/human skill boost before shrining if you need health, too. It's at least +2 to heal. Same with using that before selling for the haggle boost. You can also sell off all your loot to a bartender to clear space while you're busy questing, and then use the vendor buyback feature to get the items back and sort them out with brokers. It takes longer but I do this so I don't have to run all over east jesus between quests.

Shrines regen in 5 minutes on solo and 15 on normal. If you think you may not win a fight, you can always go get a cup of coffee and a sandwich, or twiddle your thumbs for a few minutes. It is far better to wait a few minutes than to die and suffer a big repair bill and lose experience or possibly fail the quest.

Try to die within 9 seconds of a rez shrine. You can self rez while solo as long as the shrine door isn't one that automatically closes. If you are expecting a very difficult fight and the shrine doors do automatically close, you can try pulling them back to the shrine and getting inside. You may be able to hide behind the health shrine and recover even with monsters in the room - or if you're dragonmarked halfling you can rez and mark yourself easily.

I say 9 seconds because if you click a rez shrine right as you teleport you will pop back to your soulstone's location alive with 1 hp, probably dying instantly.

Edit: Also, wands are cheaper than potions are cheaper than repairs. 'Just one more hit........' will always go wrong at the worst times.

A cloak of fire resistance (10) is an excellent all purpose item to wear with how prevalent scorching ray is. Ranger resist boost is an incredibly useful life saving ability and since you're already taking ranger 1 for wands, be sure to use it. It renders you immune to acid arrow and greatly mitigates scorching ray. It's a lot cheaper than downing potions.

branmakmuffin
08-14-2008, 12:05 PM
DO - look for a returning throwing weapon. These fall from crates and barrels and can also come from collectables and quest rewards. Save money on ammunition, great for pulling and dont take damage from oozes or rust monsters.
I can't recall a returning throwing weapon ever dropping from a crate or barrel in a "low- to mid- level" quest. The best way to get a returning throwing weapon at low- to mid-levels is to farm marks of the keeper in Dryden's Tomb. You get so many of those things in that quest you can't help but get a returning throwing weapon from Drumdoom.

ShaeNightbird
08-14-2008, 12:13 PM
I've seen the occasional +1 throwing weapon drop from barrels or crates, in low-mid level quests but I can't recall a returning one dropping from these sources.
I'd say that Yannik Drumdoom is definitely a good bet, other than buying them. Jacoby, the weapons broker in the Rusty nail sells them sometimes too.

Draccus
08-15-2008, 08:06 AM
I got a +1 returning adamantine shirunken from Dundroom the day after Great Mod 7 Monk Invasion. I put it on the AH with a 75,000gp buyout and it sold in 10 minutes. I probably could have gotten 200k for it!

branmakmuffin
08-16-2008, 12:24 AM
I got a +1 returning adamantine shirunken from Dundroom the day after Great Mod 7 Monk Invasion. I put it on the AH with a 75,000gp buyout and it sold in 10 minutes. I probably could have gotten 200k for it!
I think monk weapons still sell at a bit of a premium (though not like that, probably). Actually, they probably always will sell at a bit of a premium, because there're only so many choices a monk has, especially a finesse monk (I realize your post is about shuriken, not kamas and handwraps).