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Okram
08-17-2014, 08:13 PM
So I’ve taken it upon myself to grind out some Epic Reincarnations. Being the mathematically inclined engineering student that I am, I wanted to figure out the optimal path to get the 6.5 million XP required to get a character from level 20 to level 26. Epic experience grinding is slightly different from the Heroic grind which generally involves running each quest at your level and maximizing bravery bonuses as you move up the progression ladder. Epic quests have no maximum level penalty, and once you’ve completed the first time bravery bonuses you get the same amount of experience from a level 20 epic quest no matter if you’re level 20 or level 26. Add this to the daily bonuses and really one only needs to run a couple specific quests each day as they grind their way through the aforementioned 6.5 million experience points.

Seeing as time is the primary investment into the game, and experience points is the primary return, I wanted to figure out the best quests to run to maximize this within a specific, limited playtime. IE: What’s the best quests to run each day if I have only a certain amount of time to invest into the game that day? To do this I would need a baseline to compare each quest, taking into account runtime and total XP return a quest might offer. While there are some resources available regarding total experience points and a general vague notion of how long quests are, there were no exact figures available to make good, consistent comparisons. I set out to fix that.

First I needed to keep as many things constant as I ran each quest. I ran all quests on normal difficulty and did my best to keep the XP bonuses for each quest the same: 20% Daily Bonus, 10% no leaving, 10% no dieing, 1% guild bonus, and a 5% voice of the master trinket worn at all times. Due to the nature of the quests and my attempt to maximize XP for time invested there are significant fluctuations on mob killing and destroyables. In general I killed most mobs I came across that chased me and destroyed crates/barrels/etc. that were in my path but did not go out of my way to maximize these bonuses. I also tried to only go after optional xp bonuses that would have a return above my goal of at least 3,000 xp/min. All quests were ran solo, and only using hirelings when necessary for quests that require players in multiple locations to pull levers. (IE: Prison of the Planes). There are several quests in which a well coordinated group could complete the quest faster than someone working alone, and in general groups working together can complete quests faster than someone alone. However, it is my opinion that unless you are coordinating a group fairly well, most quests can be completed faster than it takes to form them.

I used a well equipped 12monk/8fvs capped Shiradi Champion, shuriken throwing, halfling, speed demon to run the quests. She has a few distinct advantages for increasing run times with monk speed bonuses, 30% striding, and abundant step to help navigate quests as fast as possible. Also with improved precise shot she can slaughter mobs as they chase her single file through the quest. And she has fairly good self-healing so does not require a hireling tagging along to keep her alive. She also has no trap skills, so I missed out on some trap and secret door bonuses (as well as some optionals only accessible with a high search)

While I feel I know DDO fairly well and can run quests quite efficiently I will not claim to be the speed master and best quester in the world. I did my best to play all the quests in a fairly similar manner and provide a baseline to compare which quests are worth running the most.

For tracking the quests experience output, I recorded my character’s total experience amount upon entering the quest and subtracted that from their total experience when exiting the completed quest. My timer started when my character spoke to the quest giver (or in the case of Gianthold walk-ups when I entered the adventure area) and stopped when I received my end reward. This helps to rank remotely placed quests to compare to closer quests. Whenever available I used shortcuts in adventure areas to teleport closer to the quest and tried to minimize my time in each quest as much as possible to maximize XP output.

77 quests (plus 1 solo-able raid), 3,201,287XP, and nearly 24 hours of questing time later I had a comprehensive list to compare all the quests in the game. Without further ado, I present to you, the top ten quests in the game based on xp/min efficiency:

Quest
Run Time
XP
XP/Min

Spies in the House
17:00
84,081
4945.94

Impossible Demands
03:47
17,355
4587.22

The Jungle of Khyber (VoN3)
16:06
68,566
4258.76

An Offering of Blood
11:22
47,727
4198.86

Through a Mirror Darkly
18:45
73,958
3944.43

The Chamber of Raiyum (Wiz King)
25:35
97,111
3795.87

Haywire Foundry (VoN4)
14:28
52,830
3651.84

Breaking The Ranks
10:04
35,913
3567.52

The Battle for Eveningstar
09:29
32,295
3405.45

The Legend of Two-Toed Tobias
17:20
54,786
3160.73

A full list is available here via google docs: http://goo.gl/B6GZye

The spreadsheet has all quests sorted in different tabs by XP/Min, Quest Name, Total Experience Points, and Run Time. You will also note on the XP/Min tab Columns F and G add up total run time and experience points for all previous quests. This means you can see how much experience you would get and how much time it would take to get it each day. The final tab includes a total XP vs total time chart to see the diminishing returns from the more time you spend each day running quests as they become less efficient.

There were, of course, the expected quests on the list: Chamber of Raiyum (Wiz King) and The Jungle of Khyber (VoN3) but you’ll notice they don’t rank on the top. If you can manage jumping puzzles, that honor belongs to Spies in the House. And despite so many nerfings, Impossible Demands still manages to hold their own as the second best quest on the list. I was most surprised by The Battle for Eveningstar worming its way in at #9 and now include it on my daily playthroughs. I was able to run the top ten most efficient quests in just over 2.5 hours for a return of just over 560k xp. If I were to do this every day it will take just over 11 days of grinding to get from level 20 to 26 and notch off another Epic Reincarnation.

Some notes: I did look into sagas, at least on normal, epic sagas return at best about 2.5k xp/min. They’re okay but at this level not worth it just for experience points alone. More research is needed to do a better comparison on running them at harder difficulties, maximizing quests that count towards multiple sagas, and looking into non-epic sagas. However, if you do not spend more than two hours a day questing, I am unsure if they will be worth the return. I know this game probably has a dwindling player base but it may be of interest to collect run times and xp returns of quests from multiple players to get a better idea of how long quests truly are rather than going strictly off of the numbers of a speedy monk.

Conclusions: If you’re running solo and looking to grind experience points I offer this list as a baseline to help judge quests against each other on a fair level. Again these numbers are not an end-all be all blank statement for what you should be getting for each quest but more a way to compare them on an equal footing with the least amount of variables. Someone who runs faster or kills faster or is using xp potions will get better results. Likewise, you will get much better results from your first time run bonuses which makes almost all quests worth running at least once per TR.

If there are any quests you think I could be getting a better XP return on (solo mind you) please let me know. I would be glad to take another look at them and revise my numbers accordingly.

Munkenmo
08-17-2014, 08:40 PM
Trial by fire = 2mins
Maze of madness = 3mins. Getting there takes about 1 minute as well, but they're definitely worthwhile solo exp.

Rusted blades = 2min quest, if you don't have ddoor, you have to run up the ramp just behind the blades back towards the start, it means you've got 4 trash mobs + the boss to deal with if done right.
House of Death undone 3mins

Deal and the Demon = 4mins
Trial by fury = 4mins (can be completed on your build without opening a single gate)

Unquiet graves = 1 minute, but takes 4mins to get there

Big top = 4mins
Partycrashers = 5mins
Bargain of blood = 3mins
Von 2 = 3mins solo (oozes > beholder > Maze > Spiders) (you can use Abundant step + propulsion boots to jump from the giant to the last object, skipping spiders)

Fathom the depths takes 2mins with ddoor (shadowdancer, or a level 8 fighter hireling works too.)
Claw of vulkoor takes 2mins if you can search out the secret doors.

Okram
08-17-2014, 08:43 PM
almost all of those, alone are indeed very fast. Bust most of them take much much longer to actually get to them.

Thalone
08-17-2014, 08:45 PM
Your score for Fathom seems extremely low to me. I grab the drow optional and kill almost nothing to the switch (while getting all breakables to the switch), and with Devious bonus this gets me approximately 5-6k a minute. You can get a DDoor hireling (Mikhail, level 11 fighter) to cut out the swimming bits. On your build, it might not be possible to ignore mobs since you don't have persistent CC, but it still shouldn't be taking 18 minutes.

Likewise, a sneak run of Claw will take you 4-5 minutes. All you need is invis and to learn the scorp paths; I'm sure someone's already put a sneak video up on YouTube.

I also try to grab Devious for Mirror by CCing/ignoring enemy mobs, which isn't very elegant. I've seen people using sneak/invis to prevent ratcheting up alert though, so if you can learn how to do that, that should bump up your XP and lower the completion time. The beholder and book optionals are worth roughly 15k in Mirror; not sure if you're hitting them from your numbers.

Your Trial by Fury also looks slow to me; do you know the shortcuts? A typical run through for me requires only one gem.

A number of other quests also benefit from invisibility tactics. E.g., you're almost guaranteed to get Conquest while doing the minotaur optionals (edited to add: Madstone Crater), so you can skip a lot of the trash fights in the underground. Something I learned earlier: if you're skipping the Enchanter optional, you don't have to kill the enchanters guarding the seers; "killing" the seer will make him interactable and you can head topside after talking to him. Large chunks of What Goes Up and A Break in the Ice can also be skipped via invis.

Lonnbeimnech
08-17-2014, 08:55 PM
Through a Mirror Darkly 18:45
I've invis run this in 8 min, solo. Probably a 6 min quest with a partner that knows it.

Okram
08-17-2014, 09:00 PM
Sorry, I wasn't invis running quests. The point isn't to show off my best run times but just a general way to compare quests on an equal footing.

Nayus
08-17-2014, 09:38 PM
Trial by fire = 2mins
I think you're in the wrong thread, or maybe wrong section, or perhaps you just flat out missed the point of the thread.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this, this is some nice info.

I need to say I had some surprises, although I believe the pre-defined restrictions would result in a much different ranking if grouping, and especially, splitting up was included. One such example is Servants of the Overlord, as I see it Lords of Dust is ranked pretty well in the list so I could go in solo and have a full group with a compelling reason to do Servants. I couldn't try that for standalone quests such as WizKing though, I have seen some people trying to link Von3 to WizKing but the party usually disbands, since it's premium content.
This could be included with a "realistical possibility" parameter, for example I can enter any GH quest and I'll probably have a group ready to split up at the next quest, this isn't a very nice thing to say but you can treat people as more intelligent hireling sometimes.
(By the way, it lists a "T" for Trap in Servant's entry, I checked the wikia just to be sure and those spikes cannot be disable, and to be honest I think they were out of the way you took)

I was suprised to see Haywire listed so high, especially solo. 'nuff said about Wiz King but I don't own the pack either way.

Considering saga XP, would you consider running the entire Gianthold or 3BC sequence optimal?
EDIT: Oops, just saw the "Raw Data" tab, then yeah, running GH saga is a big waste of XP/min.

Okram
08-17-2014, 10:23 PM
Thanks Nayus, I'm glad you appreaciate it and I took the trap marking off of Servants of the Overlord. I re-ran The Prisoner (VoN2) and yeah, I was able to shave off about five minutes jumping off from the giant. Still doesn't get it into my top ten but moves it up quite a bit. Will look into seeing if I can improve Trial by Fury but that quest is just so far from the quest giver, it takes forever to get to it and run it.

Munkenmo
08-18-2014, 12:47 AM
almost all of those, alone are indeed very fast. Bust most of them take much much longer to actually get to them.

I'd say the longest one by far is undying graves:
Despite Nayus' obvious dig at me, I wasn't here trying to brag. I know some of those quests are more viable since I know my way round the Demonweb really well and have unlocked the teleporter in the center of schindylryn. Your spreadsheet times show you're quite competant though and from the sounds of it you've already shaved significant time off Von 2 (congrats)

I'm picking it's likely the times where you're drastically behind are due to not having seen the tactics people like me use to zerg through them faster.
- Energy burst is amazing for EH/EN speed runs, I would not be able to navigate half the quests in the time I do without it, your FVS splash could likely get you some nice spell crits too.
- for TOR, after the first room, do not pull the lever, stand hard against the closed door and summon a monster (scroll if necessary), gate opens and there's no trash spawns when you run to the wall rune.
- In BOB there is a Jump Corner just before the second Closed gate.
- trial by fire - run straight to the closed door, break it, energy burst everything, run straight to the first of 3 trolls, precise shot him, get the lever, energy burst next troll and his group, precise shot last troll, save 10k stars for the boss.
- In Maze of madness there are still multiple jump spots. Use your panther to activate the very very first lever (in the entrance area) that closes the first gate behind you, then you'll see you can proceed solo from there.
- Party crashers is all about running straight to the end fight and just energy bursting and IPS to clear the trash.
- In wiz king sufficient INT will let you know if you have the correct tower or not (but it's still worth doing them all, so moot point)
- In Undying Graves avoid the middle. Kill the first and last incanters in the entrance area, using terain to stop them running to the middle (it's still possible)
- Death undone is simply using bells of opening or learning the route through the kitchen, both methods are super fast so long as you don't care about chests.
- Fathom the depths really requires invis and ddoor for optimal speeds.
- In rusted blades, once you ring the bell, when facing towards the quest entrance, run towards the right hand corner. Range the boss from there and he'll come to you with no additional aggro.
- In claw of vulkoor, after you climb the spiral, you have to stealth one spider, immediately after him though, in the open area you can abundant step to the right, letting you skip the next two.

Your spreadsheet seems like it could be quite useful, there aren't really alot of up to date xp/min resources these days.
As a suggestion, could you add a column based on What House a quest is associated with, I find it's nice being able to sort quests by favor/area aswell sometimes.

EG seeing that House K has von3/von2/depths/last stand confined in a small area helps me see that said area is an attractive one.

Oxarhamar
08-18-2014, 04:57 AM
Well done

not how I would rank the quests as some of the ones you have in top ten I would never bother with for XP

Though I mostly run static at least 2 man and we always split up objectives.

Linear quests with few objectives don't speed up much since you can't slit up much but, others the times can be cut way down.

Saekee
08-18-2014, 08:15 AM
I'd say the longest one by far is undying graves:
Despite Nayus' obvious dig at me, I wasn't here trying to brag. I know some of those quests are more viable since I know my way round the Demonweb really well and have unlocked the teleporter in the center of schindylryn. Your spreadsheet times show you're quite competant though and from the sounds of it you've already shaved significant time off Von 2 (congrats)

I'm picking it's likely the times where you're drastically behind are due to not having seen the tactics people like me use to zerg through them faster.
- Energy burst is amazing for EH/EN speed runs, I would not be able to navigate half the quests in the time I do without it, your FVS splash could likely get you some nice spell crits too.
- for TOR, after the first room, do not pull the lever, stand hard against the closed door and summon a monster (scroll if necessary), gate opens and there's no trash spawns when you run to the wall rune.
- In BOB there is a Jump Corner just before the second Closed gate.
- trial by fire - run straight to the closed door, break it, energy burst everything, run straight to the first of 3 trolls, precise shot him, get the lever, energy burst next troll and his group, precise shot last troll, save 10k stars for the boss.
- In Maze of madness there are still multiple jump spots. Use your panther to activate the very very first lever (in the entrance area) that closes the first gate behind you, then you'll see you can proceed solo from there.
- Party crashers is all about running straight to the end fight and just energy bursting and IPS to clear the trash.
- In wiz king sufficient INT will let you know if you have the correct tower or not (but it's still worth doing them all, so moot point)
- In Undying Graves avoid the middle. Kill the first and last incanters in the entrance area, using terain to stop them running to the middle (it's still possible)
- Death undone is simply using bells of opening or learning the route through the kitchen, both methods are super fast so long as you don't care about chests.
- Fathom the depths really requires invis and ddoor for optimal speeds.
- In rusted blades, once you ring the bell, when facing towards the quest entrance, run towards the right hand corner. Range the boss from there and he'll come to you with no additional aggro.
- In claw of vulkoor, after you climb the spiral, you have to stealth one spider, immediately after him though, in the open area you can abundant step to the right, letting you skip the next two.

Your spreadsheet seems like it could be quite useful, there aren't really alot of up to date xp/min resources these days.
As a suggestion, could you add a column based on What House a quest is associated with, I find it's nice being able to sort quests by favor/area aswell sometimes.

EG seeing that House K has von3/von2/depths/last stand confined in a small area helps me see that said area is an attractive one.
thx I have some fun studying to do. I've always fully stealthed claw; never occurred to me to leap over...

Spoonwelder
08-18-2014, 09:27 AM
thx I have some fun studying to do. I've always fully stealthed claw; never occurred to me to leap over...
I'll give you my pointer for Spies.....once you get past the Fire ellies you can just run to the end from there (invis)....ie. once you pop up to the water ellie zone just run to the ladder and then just hop over the two ellies in the next spot then climb that ladder (with evasion on eN/eH you will be fine vs/ the spells they cast) then keep running - run to the levers - hit one then the other if unlucky....then invis again to end and I teleport out from there (usually get the epic chest)....this can shave one or two minutes off.

Oh and I haven't checked your list but What Goes Up is superb xp - 120k ish in well under 30min(on my blitzer anyway).

AtomicMew
08-18-2014, 06:01 PM
Spies should be ~7 minutes, but requires some practice. I think my best time there was around 5 mins.

- for TOR, after the first room, do not pull the lever, stand hard against the closed door and summon a monster (scroll if necessary), gate opens and there's no trash spawns when you run to the wall rune.
.
Neat trick, you can also just invis this section and then ddoor. Invis is insanely useful in tor. After the entrance fight, you can literally just invis everything except the skellies to open up the dragon rooms.

Wipey
08-18-2014, 07:11 PM
Timed some quests on my silly Cleric in Shiradi ( not that useful ). No 1st time bonuses or anything, just Voice and 5% ship.

All Whelon ( mainly for Wondrous ) EH with 20 pot was 280 k in 70 minutes, including running, 4 k /min
All Stormhorns EN ( for Wondrous reward again ) with 20 pot - 350k in 65 mins, 5.4 k /min.

Whelon with 50 pot and with a buddy 340k in 57 minutes, almost 6 k / min.

If you cherry pick the best quests like Tracker, Break in Ice, Mirror, Friends in Low Places, some are really good if chain rewards don't interest you.

Legend of Tobias EH with 50 pot is 122k in 9 minutes - 13.5 k / min. I think it's the best. That, Mirror with buddy that knows what he is doing or Tracker with Devious. If Spies get on your nerves.
WGU with Discreet and 20 pot is 152 k in 20 minutes - 7.6 k / min.

Some toons can do those quests much faster too.

Claw, Fathom, OOB and others are cool, but really far and no loot to speak of.
Even WK sucks with not resetting optionals and if you don't have three people. ADQ+raid is also really fast then.
Don't forget to play EE now and then too, you start to suck after doing EHs all day :D

Saekee
08-19-2014, 07:38 AM
I'll give you my pointer for Spies.....once you get past the Fire ellies you can just run to the end from there (invis)....ie. once you pop up to the water ellie zone just run to the ladder and then just hop over the two ellies in the next spot then climb that ladder (with evasion on eN/eH you will be fine vs/ the spells they cast) then keep running - run to the levers - hit one then the other if unlucky....then invis again to end and I teleport out from there (usually get the epic chest)....this can shave one or two minutes off.

Oh and I haven't checked your list but What Goes Up is superb xp - 120k ish in well under 30min(on my blitzer anyway).

Spies should be ~7 minutes, but requires some practice. I think my best time there was around 5 mins.

Neat trick, you can also just invis this section and then ddoor. Invis is insanely useful in tor. After the entrance fight, you can literally just invis everything except the skellies to open up the dragon rooms.
How are you doing Spies so fast? i guess my only delays are the needed kills since my burst dps is lacking. Any traveling shortcuts? Do you do all the optionals?

I did the summon monster methid ftpOmen mentioned in Tor and was stunned how well it worked

Jeromio
08-19-2014, 09:33 AM
How are you doing Spies so fast? i guess my only delays are the needed kills since my burst dps is lacking. Any traveling shortcuts? Do you do all the optionals?

I did the summon monster methid ftpOmen mentioned in Tor and was stunned how well it worked

It can be done very fast, especially if you skip the optionals. Here's an example (not mine):

Spoonwelder
08-19-2014, 09:40 AM
Spies - on a high DPS toon who is just running for ETR(ie. maxed destinies already) sub 10min is easily possible if you don't miss any jumps/blasts. In an off destiny or on lower DPS build sub 15min is still a good target and still gets you 5k+/min. If you are bad at Mario skills this quest will just frustrate you and can take 20min or more basically just from missing jumps.

I do the optional of freeing the people since it is on the way and nets you just over 20k.

The key to speed is knowing the best path up to the big skelly fight - ignoring traps and zerging past the skellies on the main floor (invis does work on those skellies).

Once you get up to the 10 skelly fight (to open the first optional gate) it is a quick run to the next optional(just past the traps/grease) - run to the ladder (dont fight skellies and mephits) go up ladder - clear next area(required) and free prisoner - invis run from there to next rednamed (past the electric floor and water ellies) at the lever - kill everything you agro around there then invis run to last prisoner (don't forget the valve). Get the airjet working - fly up to first electric floor - kill the 5 fire ellies (time it so you have manyshot for this part). Hit the valves and then go over to the airjet and once up to the next level just run to the end from there (the only part that slows me down here is getting the wrong valve at the gargoyles and sometimes getting hit when hitting the next valve and having to kill stuff to move forward but with abundant step you could skip this and just jump across).

Spoonwelder
08-19-2014, 09:42 AM
It can be done very fast, especially if you skip the optionals. Here's an example (not mine):
The optionals are worth the 2min extra (max) required to get them (4-5k per prisoner +6-8k for getting all 4 - range depends on difficulty and repeat).

Saekee
08-19-2014, 11:42 AM
It can be done very fast, especially if you skip the optionals. Here's an example (not mine):

Spies - on a high DPS toon who is just running for ETR(ie. maxed destinies already) sub 10min is easily possible if you don't miss any jumps/blasts. In an off destiny or on lower DPS build sub 15min is still a good target and still gets you 5k+/min. If you are bad at Mario skills this quest will just frustrate you and can take 20min or more basically just from missing jumps.

I do the optional of freeing the people since it is on the way and nets you just over 20k.

The key to speed is knowing the best path up to the big skelly fight - ignoring traps and zerging past the skellies on the main floor (invis does work on those skellies).

Once you get up to the 10 skelly fight (to open the first optional gate) it is a quick run to the next optional(just past the traps/grease) - run to the ladder (dont fight skellies and mephits) go up ladder - clear next area(required) and free prisoner - invis run from there to next rednamed (past the electric floor and water ellies) at the lever - kill everything you agro around there then invis run to last prisoner (don't forget the valve). Get the airjet working - fly up to first electric floor - kill the 5 fire ellies (time it so you have manyshot for this part). Hit the valves and then go over to the airjet and once up to the next level just run to the end from there (the only part that slows me down here is getting the wrong valve at the gargoyles and sometimes getting hit when hitting the next valve and having to kill stuff to move forward but with abundant step you could skip this and just jump across).

The optionals are worth the 2min extra (max) required to get them (4-5k per prisoner +6-8k for getting all 4 - range depends on difficulty and repeat).

Ok thx for the video and tips. I thought I had this thing down...I counted that I pulled about 7 valves and levers that I did not need to do. I usually do EH since it is easy and you get some BB and better xp

Saekee
08-19-2014, 12:14 PM
Let me add to this list Old Tomb, New Tenants. You can stealth it easily, according to my thread here (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/444079-Stealth-Old-Tomb-New-Tenants), and you get really good xp. There is an old screenie there from my past epic life on EE; I typically fly through it on EH with ease. I use stealth, though, not invisi running. There is only one lever that you are seen pulling; from there you are dropping down anyway to a lower level so you just get hit by a magic blast.

Seikojin
08-19-2014, 01:55 PM
Thanks for all the work. It definitely helps in planning. Glad to know most of what I can do in a night is already in the top ten. :)

arminius
08-19-2014, 02:06 PM
I posted a similar thread last week, with very similar numbers. I was also bombarded with the "Trial by Fire in 2 mins, etc" people. It's good to know that what I saw wasn't that far off from what other people are seeing on relatively normal runs. I'll have to review that video, I don't doubt that I'm doing stuff in Spies in the House that is unnecessary.

jakeelala
08-27-2014, 10:26 AM

A+, would zerg again

Portalcat
08-31-2014, 06:47 PM
Interesting to see Two-toed Tobias there at 17 min.

I got my invis runs down to 6-7 min for farming the Jack Jibbers Blade, which I would presume would make it one of the highest XP/min on the list.

Tuffgar
09-03-2014, 08:10 PM
This is an amazing thread, and exactly the kind of info a returning player like me needs. The main addition I would request is for people who are claiming exceptionally fast completion times to either make a video of their speed run, including explanation/commentary; or provide a link to a similar run, like the one earlier in the thread. Also useful would be a qualifier of how well geared and past lived the build doing the run is.

Nothing is more frustrating that someone saying "You can do X easily!" And then not saying how.

But overall this info is superb!