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View Full Version : Please adjust difficulty of the solo version of Crystal Cove



Annex
10-17-2014, 03:28 PM
I find the solo, on level version of Crystal Cove (16) next to impossible. Often there are not enough purple crystals near the base camp to reach 100. That would not be a problem except that after the first few minutes, waves of monsters come in so quickly it becomes impossible to reset torches to reach remote locations. After 10 minutes the wheels come off as red named monsters arrive in rapid succession, often two at a time, with spell casters thrown in to decimate the kobold ranks. The healer simply cannot keep up, I cannot fight in two or three places at once, and soon there are so many monsters out it is becomes a wait for the countdown timer to reach zero to escape. Running at lower levels helps slightly, but the rewards take a giant hit and the Cove opens so infrequently that doing so becomes extremely frustrating. Please note I have no desire to join a group and watch other people with ultra powerful characters doing everything while I watch. I want a reasonable path to advancement in which I actually get to play. :) Please find a way for newer solo players to meaningfully participate in events like this. Thank you!

unbongwah
10-17-2014, 04:10 PM
Since it's unlikely Turbine will rebalance Cove difficulty this go-round, you may wish to have a look at EllisDee37's Challenge Farmer threads; the advice there (particularly about Lava Caves & Extraplanar Palace) also applies to the Cove.

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/423615
https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/434231
https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/419453-Help-me-craft-an-Iconic-Challenge-Farmer

Violith
10-17-2014, 04:40 PM
I find the solo, on level version of Crystal Cove (16) next to impossible. Often there are not enough purple crystals near the base camp to reach 100. That would not be a problem except that after the first few minutes, waves of monsters come in so quickly it becomes impossible to reset torches to reach remote locations. After 10 minutes the wheels come off as red named monsters arrive in rapid succession, often two at a time, with spell casters thrown in to decimate the kobold ranks. The healer simply cannot keep up, I cannot fight in two or three places at once, and soon there are so many monsters out it is becomes a wait for the countdown timer to reach zero to escape. Running at lower levels helps slightly, but the rewards take a giant hit and the Cove opens so infrequently that doing so becomes extremely frustrating. Please note I have no desire to join a group and watch other people with ultra powerful characters doing everything while I watch. I want a reasonable path to advancement in which I actually get to play. :) Please find a way for newer solo players to meaningfully participate in events like this. Thank you!


soloing was never part of coves design. it doesnt scale at all form what I can tell. Its if your able to solo then fine, if not get a group. the ingredients are all BTA, so use another character who is able to solo if you want to do that... but, its designed for groups in mind and no point in changing that.

as for reward loss at lower levels, its based on the same % the exp loss is. think its 10% per CR lower.

easiest way to solo is to have DDoor (so you can get back to center, ultimately isnt needed though), to clear south of entrance and run line there. then head east (checking if there are purple EN and EEN if none then head ES) There is about a 90% chance that the crystals gotten from waterfall will be enough to get quota. also, get 10 torchers and a tele as soon as you enter, and dont forget to pick up the two free torches behind where you enter. with those 12 plus the 3-4 down below its possible to get as far as you need to go.

theres only 4 red name, 3 of which are casters. the first 2 are easily killed, the first is a ghost that comes from east pretty much as soon as you get there, the 2nd comes from waterfall. Jack usually spawns once you hit quota or ~the 10min mark, down to the wst of waterfall and heads up the western path to center.

Jack is the hardest yet still doable, when your fighting him your best bet is to stay away from line and kill him quickly, and dont worry about running the line at this point until he is dead.

last red name is pure melee, and once you got his agro you can basically wait it out since you should have over quota by now

Douglas21
10-18-2014, 02:52 PM
Working as intended, will not fix, get a group already. A good run of Cove requires the group to split up and divide responsibilities. It is not generally possible for one, or even two, characters to do everything by themselves, simply because they can't be in enough different places at once. Three is workable but pushing it. Crystal Cove is designed fundamentally for group play.

I wouldn't be too concerned about being sidelined by other people's ultra powerful characters, because if the group is doing any kind of decent strategy they'll mostly be off elsewhere doing their own thing while you do yours - if you get that type in the first place, instead of other first-lifers like yourself. If all else fails, learn to run the torches and aggressively volunteer to take that role. Torch running is an extremely important role that mostly doesn't care about character power, so if you do that you'll be meaningfully participating no matter how far below your party mates your power is.

Scrabbler
10-18-2014, 03:10 PM
What's not "working as intended" is that the last patch made hirelings stupider, so it's not as easy to set one hireling to guard some Kobolds on his own.

Annex
10-18-2014, 11:30 PM
I was back at it again this evening and the monsters just come too often and too powerful in solo mode (16). At one point this evening I had 9 Hobgoblins, some skeleton archers, and an orange spectre out at the same time in the same small space. I defeated most of them before the red minataur and more shipmates showed up, but could not adjust torches during 6 minutes of continuous fighting and failed by 7 crystals. A win rate below 50% and about 80 crystals per successful run makes for frustrating game play. In my experience, no other Cannith Challenge poses this much difficulty with the possible exception of Colossal Crystals, and even that gets much easier with a bit of practice. The healer definitely cannot handle things at the camp if I run off to clear a path and lay torches, and the lack of teleporter spots makes quick jumps back to camp problematic.

Also, I am almost positive Compasses are not reliably returned after failed runs.

GeoffWatson
10-19-2014, 01:14 AM
They changed the Compasses to give a six-minute "Paid the Navigator" timer, so you can reenter quickly if needed.

My Monk can solo it, an Arcane with haste and ddoor would probably be easy.

The hireling bugs do make it harder.

Geoff.

CernunnosM
10-19-2014, 02:22 PM
I find the solo, on level version of Crystal Cove (16) next to impossible.

My Challenge Farmer is only 13, but I've been soloing CC for quite a few levels now and don't expect any difficulties at 16. This is a first life char that farmed most of its own gear. I did follow EllisDee37's build and challenge guides.

First take

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCxZ8oq0oFc
http://youtu.be/eCxZ8oq0oFc

Second take
http://youtu.be/6zK3PKHQVJw

Not sure what else would help. You do need to be geared appropriately, and you can't waste time. Run speed is important, as is self-healing and DDoor/PPort. I generally follow the same pattern each time, and get the quota out of the way in decent time. After that, you can go for kills to get gems or keep mining crystals to get more dragonshards.

Myrddinman
10-19-2014, 02:45 PM
I will echo most of the advice that has already been given. You will not get all of the rewards that a full group will, but it is definitely doable solo.

I have been soloing CC since it first launched, so I've had some practice. This, along with watching videos from more experienced players and reading well done guides (like EllisDee37's referenced above), I have been able to get pretty consistent results, walking away with 150-250 Green Dragonshards each run.

I sympathize that it is extremely frustrated to have dealt with a threat, only to get back to running your torch line and have another attack occur at the entrance. Like others have mentioned, DDoor is a huge help! I will also say that running on your fastest character (Monk, Bard, Barbarian) helps as well; and the great thing is that all ingredients are BTA, so you can pick your most advantageous one. Of course this doesn't help with the Stolen Gems you need for the different levels of gear, but you can always farm those with an appropriate level character, and just ignore the dragonshards.

Good luck!

JOTMON
10-19-2014, 02:45 PM
I find the solo, on level version of Crystal Cove (16) next to impossible. Often there are not enough purple crystals near the base camp to reach 100. That would not be a problem except that after the first few minutes, waves of monsters come in so quickly it becomes impossible to reset torches to reach remote locations. After 10 minutes the wheels come off as red named monsters arrive in rapid succession, often two at a time, with spell casters thrown in to decimate the kobold ranks. The healer simply cannot keep up, I cannot fight in two or three places at once, and soon there are so many monsters out it is becomes a wait for the countdown timer to reach zero to escape. Running at lower levels helps slightly, but the rewards take a giant hit and the Cove opens so infrequently that doing so becomes extremely frustrating. Please note I have no desire to join a group and watch other people with ultra powerful characters doing everything while I watch. I want a reasonable path to advancement in which I actually get to play. :) Please find a way for newer solo players to meaningfully participate in events like this. Thank you!


Please do not change difficulty.
Stop trying to adapt a team oriented game to accommodate selfish soloers.

Its a online MMO game whose basis is teamwork and group play.
Create your own group and define who you want for the group and find like minded players to run with.

If you insist on soloing, then fine.. find ways to improve your play to fit the multi-player oriented game, don't change the game to make it easier to solo.
Try using gold star hirelings you can have more of those, animal pets like panther/owlbear. multiclass challenge farmer builds, multibox accounts .. whatever...

EllisDee37
10-19-2014, 02:46 PM
My preference is to run with four people, in order of priority:

Torch runner (me)
Center Defense
Scout/Clear
Line Patrol

If I have to solo I can, but it's pretty annoying only because the map is so darn big. It's essentially Lave Caves without circles of power. Even just a second person to do center defense is a huge help. Having someone to scout/clear is big help, and having someone patrol the line is a nice bonus.

btolson
10-19-2014, 06:46 PM
Tip for soloing: since the purple clusters are randomly assigned, I find it very helpful to do some fast scouting on entry and abort any map that would rng me in a bad way.

As soon as I zone in, I run east and make the first right, heading down the winding tunnel towards the waterfall area (stop before the skeletons and just look down the tunnel for what's there, you don't want to fight anything if you can help it because it costs you precious time). Along the way, if I don't count at least 3 clusters of purple crystals (2 clusters if cove access is close to closing), then I immediately recall out and make a new map. You can also peek at the map for where the giant crystal is located.

If you only play "easy" maps, where the crystals are optimally placed, then it is no problem to get 300-400 shards per run (assuming you have fast run speed and good killing power), or closer to 500 shards if you get lucky with a super-easy map.


Edit: stated shards per run are at the maximum bonus crystal percent (running cove at 5 levels above your own). Numbers would be much smaller if you run at-level.

Annex
10-19-2014, 08:26 PM
I can now confirm that the game fails to return Compasses on failure.

A few replies to comments in this thread:
1) I am using the most powerful character I have (16 Thief).
2) When running in groups, I invariably get left behind doing nothing while other players with super characters run ahead and perform all the heavy lifting. I find this incredibly boring and against the very spirit of Dungeons and Dragons.
3) I much prefer playing in a group. It pains me to make a thread asking for not only solo play, but reduced difficulty for solo play, but here I am. This game feels like Dungeons and Dragons, with the same sense of danger and adventure, but only when I play alone or with close friends. The vast majority of group players I meet run through quests like they are playing Super Mario Brothers Olympics and then drop.
4) In all other parts of the game I can dial in the difficulty with some precision, make meaningful progress, and achieve meaningful rewards. The Cannith Challenges lack this degree of control.
5) It took me a year to reach level 16. I have no desire to create more characters given the time investment required. I want to play what I have :)

It seems I am in the minority so if Cannith Challenges like Treasure Cove remain out of reach, so be it. :)

GeoffWatson
10-20-2014, 01:22 AM
I can now confirm that the game fails to return Compasses on failure.

A few replies to comments in this thread:
1) I am using the most powerful character I have (16 Thief).
5) It took me a year to reach level 16. I have no desire to create more characters given the time investment required. I want to play what I have :)

It seems I am in the minority so if Cannith Challenges like Treasure Cove remain out of reach, so be it. :)

If you are willing to make a new character just for it, Crystal Cove is easier on a lower level character. Unless you have great equipment, the monsters HP scale faster than your DPS, especially with a Rogue vs undead (sneak attack). This won't need much time investment.
If you have Veteran 2, I'd suggest a Wizard 7 with Wall of Fire, Dimension Door and Haste.
If not, a Human Barbarian with Dragonmark of Passage. Take the Lesser Dragonmark (Dimension Door) enhancement as soon as possible. Sprint boost is good too. At Fourth level you will be able to use the Greater Gems of Ocean Wind that summon a 10th level Air elemental. Use a Maul on the skeletons, see if you can get a Ghost Touch or ghostbane weapon for the spectres (Check the AH for the Battleworn Sword).

Geoff.

Tscheuss
10-20-2014, 01:48 AM
I can now confirm that the game fails to return Compasses on failure.

A few replies to comments in this thread:
1) I am using the most powerful character I have (16 Thief).
2) When running in groups, I invariably get left behind doing nothing while other players with super characters run ahead and perform all the heavy lifting. I find this incredibly boring and against the very spirit of Dungeons and Dragons.
3) I much prefer playing in a group. It pains me to make a thread asking for not only solo play, but reduced difficulty for solo play, but here I am. This game feels like Dungeons and Dragons, with the same sense of danger and adventure, but only when I play alone or with close friends. The vast majority of group players I meet run through quests like they are playing Super Mario Brothers Olympics and then drop.
4) In all other parts of the game I can dial in the difficulty with some precision, make meaningful progress, and achieve meaningful rewards. The Cannith Challenges lack this degree of control.
5) It took me a year to reach level 16. I have no desire to create more characters given the time investment required. I want to play what I have :)

It seems I am in the minority so if Cannith Challenges like Treasure Cove remain out of reach, so be it. :)

To be fair, Cove is big materials run. The actual challenge is on a timer, the frequency of openings is dependent on the number of players grinding for map pieces (and turning them in), and the event occurs only once or twice a year for a limited number of days. It is therefor unsurprising that they are sprint sessions for most players.

When you end up in a group of Cove vets, and you do not get a specific assignment, you are free to do whatever. Go kill mobs and contribute to the bonus for kills. I have seen that bonus get missed by as little as one mob, so every kill can make a difference. You can also scout. Take the opportunity to learn the map in person, call out locations of purps and warn of incoming mobs before they get close to being a threat.

Consider the possibility that when everybody runs off and leaves you behind, it may be your job to guard the center. If it's not clear what your role in a Cove party is, use the party chat to ask. It is possible that you joined a group who already have a routine down, and they didn't think to discuss it when you joined.

Above all, have fun with it. :D

ETA: On one of the servers, there is a guild called "We do not run through dungeons". If you can find a guild with a similar theme, it may enhance your general party experience.

Myrddinman
10-20-2014, 08:27 AM
When you end up in a group of Cove vets, and you do not get a specific assignment, you are free to do whatever. Go kill mobs and contribute to the bonus for kills. I have seen that bonus get missed by as little as one mob, so every kill can make a difference. You can also scout. Take the opportunity to learn the map in person, call out locations of purps and warn of incoming mobs before they get close to being a threat.

Absolutely! I ran with a full group last night for the first time in years, but had a weird disconnect issue after joining. Once I was back inside, everyone else was off and running. So I just headed to mob areas and started killing. When I heard the "Incoming" alert, I DDoor'd back the start and aggro'd mobs away from the main the torch line. I would then call out that I had the "Incoming" so no one had to run back and could continue to concentrate on what they were doing. If a boss showed-up, I called that out and others would come back to help take him down. If there were no mobs, I would also work the line using my Haste Aura on the Kobolds and protect if needed, DDoor'ing back when needed.

We ended up with 4 stars, 370 dragonshards, and about 65K in XP...easily about 200 more shards than I would get on a great run by myself with perfect conditions, and much easier with less hassle :)

Livmo
10-20-2014, 11:29 AM
There aren't very many groups or PUGs around anymore for CC. Post one you say? Sure let's see if it fills or how long it takes : ) )

I got into and posted several groups over the weekend, but with player base declining it seems the CC if becoming more of a solo affair.

I can empathize with the OP for L16-18 range in that when you solo the trash and baddies come at you in a fast rate as if you were in a group. It doesn't help that the hires lost their minds. However, I'm still able to solo and get my greenies without a hire. Just more difficult now with out my crutch/hire guarding the base. You really notice it when you don't have ddoor and no hire in getting back to the base : ) )

Maybe more people will Cove as the event continues.

Panzermeyer
10-20-2014, 04:48 PM
Since it's unlikely Turbine will rebalance Cove difficulty this go-round, you may wish to have a look at EllisDee37's Challenge Farmer threads; the advice there (particularly about Lava Caves & Extraplanar Palace) also applies to the Cove.

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/423615
https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/434231
https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/419453-Help-me-craft-an-Iconic-Challenge-Farmer

I took my PDK Bard challenge farmer (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/419453-Help-me-craft-an-Iconic-Challenge-Farmer?p=5420267&viewfull=1#post5420267) that I posted on one of these threads into the Cove. I did bring out a cleric hire and my owl bear defender. The changes to hirelings have definitely made them super stupid and I was not at all happy to learn about that. First couple of runs I ended up spending at least a quarter of the time managing the hires. I worked out something in the later runs.

I did 3 or 4 runs just to see if I could. I completed all three fairly easily starting with something around 220 crystals reward with the final being 330 crystals and on level 18 rating (farmer is only 16 level).

No red named was difficult. The speed, haste and DD of my challenge farmer made this possible.

However running lvl 30's in pugs on my caster druid, yielded averages of 500 crystals per run with the highest being just shy of 600.

If I am just running for fun, I can run on the farmer, but to actually get ingredients I have stuck with my druid and pugs. Just more worth my time.

When the cove quiets down, and if I still need ings, I will likely switch to my challenge farmer to run them group or no.

EllisDee37
10-20-2014, 05:28 PM
Yeah, I've been in the 500 per run range in good pugs on my epic paladin, who isn't particularly built for challenges. He usually either runs torches or does scout/clear duty. The key is that in epic cove you get to collect the progenitor crystal. In the runs where we do, it's typically 500 per run, 1000 per instance.

Myrddinman
10-20-2014, 05:55 PM
Yeah, I've been in the 500 per run range in good pugs on my epic paladin, who isn't particularly built for challenges. He usually either runs torches or does scout/clear duty. The key is that in epic cove you get to collect the progenitor crystal. In the runs where we do, it's typically 500 per run, 1000 per instance.

Yeah, we tried for the progenitor crystal last night, but it didn't happen. The communication left a bit to be desired, so I'm not sure what happened. Hopefully I'll get into a well-run group that makes it happen :)

Buddha5440
10-22-2014, 12:57 AM
Soloing Crystal Cove (with or without a hireling) all depends on your build and how you play it. I have soloed CC lv 24 with my lv 24 Paladin, without hire, several times and averaged around 160 dragonshards as a reward. Granted, you sometimes get a map that makes it harder but, usually, it is very doable. Most of the time, you really don't have to stray far from the main chamber to get you 100 shard quota. I've found running east and down to the waterfall (after clearing the small south cavern) to work best. While they are clearing the south chamber, set torches down to the waterfall then place a teleporter near the first decent sized batch of crystals (purple or green), and gradually advance it to the waterfall.
If you find you can't solo, try posting for a group. You will almost always get at least one other player willing to join (although this may be more common at epic lvs). Good luck

Robbenklopper
10-22-2014, 09:11 AM
Difficulty for CC to farm is like it should be: challenging. The Intention to run it solo is not really given. I tended to do a few times (and ended up with about 100? or so mats) but you can achieve more when you Team up. That´s what it used to be. For what reason running it solo? You can´t divide yourself to be everywhere at the same time, that´s what your team-Buddys are for. Assign roles or Jobs to do and run cove easily. Why calling it zerging? everyone has to do his Job.
You Need a torcher, one Center, Scout, linerunner and bestly a supporter (buying kobos, bringing torches to torcher etc) and a jack-in-all-trades to clear/accompany torcher/do whatsoever. If you don´t have tendencies to be a misanthrope or Masochist, Play it in a Party. No Need for a Special fix to make it run more easy IMO. Contribute to party-playing and don´t stay away. Other i suggest a fix for solo-Players to collect their maps for their own indivual Counter to open the cave. that would be only fair.