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    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Default 2013 Mabar Endless Night Guide (or: How to Farm w/out Kill-Stealing) NOW WITH DATA!

    This guide has been updated for 2013! There are a lot of new changes. I've highlighted the important changes and new mechanics in YELLOW text below.

    The Mabar special event has returned revamped for 2013, and again, there are a lot of changes. This is personally my favorite event in DDO and therefore I have updated this guide every year since 2010. Since then I have been dedicated to making sure it is the most thorough and complete guide on the Mabar Endless Night Festival available! Originally, I wrote this guide in the wake of 2010 concerns about piking and kill-stealing. Those concerns have been put to rest for the most part with fixes to the mechanics, and the festival has improved significantly throughout the years. While many players still call it Lagbar or other names less appropriate for dinner conversation, that doesn't mean that Mabar is not worth running. Much to the contrary, Mabar has some great items available which you just can't find anywhere else. And this year the devs have introduced the wondrous Signets of Endless Night, a daily Spectral Dragon bonus reward which can grant new and awesome rewards (more below). With this guide I hope to show you how to participate in the Mabar festival quickly and efficiently.

    I've experimented extensively with the Mabar event over the last three years and found a lot more than what was posted in the official guide here. Release notes for the Endless Night Festival for 2013 in particular can be found scattered here and here. I am sharing my observations, strategies, and tactics with you now so that you can participate in the event and craft all kinds of awesome stuff and do so without making a bad name for your toon. The conclusions below have been derived from countless hours of experimentally determined values and probabilities as well as surveys and tips from other Mabar fans. They might not be exact, but they are based on experience and should be very helpful.

    I will start with the basics then move on to more advanced concepts. So you need not read the entire guide to understand the festival. The following sections are broken into three large parts, one for Delara's Graveyard, one for Crafting, and another for the Spectral Dragon (under construction, but I have posted a link to a very good guide by another player in the meantime).

    Delara's Graveyard
    Eitquette
    This deserves to be first on the list because Mabar Endless Night is a shared experience, where, even if you are not in a party, you are participating in a group effort. There are other players moving about and it is always best to be mindful of other players and how to behave properly to avoid getting black-listed (I know it has happened to others before). As I mentioned above, kill-stealing is no longer as much of an issue due to Shared Credit (see below), but it is still bad form and not polite to run up to a monster at 10% for the killing blow. While changes have been made in previous years to try to reduce the negative impact of this behavior, it is still possible to ruin someone else's effort, and that is simply not cool.

    There are other things that might not be so obvious though. For example, it might seem like you are competing with others for relics which give you motes. But the REAL currency everyone is working for is Spectral Dragon Scales, which are required for most high-level items, and NEW! Signets of the Endless Night. Every time you turn in relics for motes, you are speeding along the opening of the door to the Spectral Dragon. So is EVERYONE ELSE! So it is actually in your best interest to help other players you see in the area even if they are not in your party. Now, I'm not saying you should walk around and baby-sit other players. But when you are casting buff spells, it is best to try and include as many players as possible in the area of those spells. When you cast an area heal, it is best to try to include other players. You don't have to go out of your way to protect others, but you ought to be willing to take a few steps to the side to make sure your mass effects are helping as many people as possible. Ultimately, it is going to speed along the turn-in rate for relics and make the dragon door open more often. And other players will often thank you for it. Fighters and barbarians fight better with buffs. Everyone is better protected with death ward. And haste helps everyone move about more quickly and kill more efficiently. It just makes sense. So try to remember this is not the same thing as soloing a quest. It is a group effort on the part of everyone participating in the festival to gather and turn-in relics.

    Ritual Items
    Delara's Graveyard is filled with undead, Shadar-Kai and other monsters of many types. For each monster destroyed there is approximately a 1 in 4 chance of a ritual item dropping (which is placed into your Collectibles Bag as long as you have checked "Gather All"). For each ritual item you turn in to the Night Trader (found in the far east side of Delara's Graveyard), you receive Motes of Night, which can be used to craft all sorts of fun and powerful items. Note that some ritual items grant more Motes of Night than others. Burnt-out black opals grant the least. Chipped skulls grant a moderate amount. Cursed fingerbones grant the most. All three ritual items can be stored in collectibles bags.
    (Special thanks to Angelus_Dead.)

    Vampire Fangs
    You will need 2 of these to upgrade items to level 16 (level 7 and 11 wands also require them). It was previously possible to earn vampire fangs by killing vampires. But this year (2013), this item must be purchased from the Night Trader for 100 Motes of Night (note you will need TWO vampire fangs for each upgrade). However, it is worth noting that in previous years these used to drop fairly often and many players still have stashes. If you really need a pair, you might want to try asking in the trade channel if anyone has any to part with. Sometimes players will simply give them away. Vampire fangs can be stored in collectibles bags.

    Lich Dust
    You will need 1 of these to upgrade items to level 20 and 24 (level 9 and 11 wands also require it). It was previously possible to earn lich dust by killing liches. But this year (2013), this item must be purchased from the Night Trader for Motes of Night. Unlike vampire fangs, lich dust drops in previous years were fairly rare, and they would often sell for 100k platinum. However, thankfully, the Mote of Night cost for these has been greatly reduced to 200. Lich dust can be stored in collectibles bags.

    Ethereal Keys
    After extensive trials, these appear to have a drop rate of 1/100. That might sound low, but if you develop a good method for farming, you can easily get one or two with an hour of farming (I usually get more). So don't buy one unless you desperately need it. At a cost of 1000 motes, they are expensive! Whether an etheral key drops is independent of whether a ritual item drops. You may actually get both at once. When this happens, you will usually only see an announcement on your screen of one or the other. But check your chat log. Ethereal keys also go into collectibles bags.

    Monster Types and Mechanics
    Unlike previous years, there is more than just undead prowling about the graveyard! You will now have to contend with deadly Shadar-Kai and the charming succubi as well (and perhaps others)! Most are detailed in the official guide exhaustively, but note that skeletal giants of all types have been replaced with various types of vampires and Shadar-Kai. You can only earn ritual items from those who are within your level range, generally monsters between 1-4 CRs below your character's level and above. You will not earn rewards by killing monsters below your level range, and you will receive a message on your screen every time you kill such a monster. Furthermore, if you kill too many weak monsters (about 3-5 within a short period of time; roughly 30 seconds), you will catch the notice of the lords of Mabar and your drop rates will be significantly reduced for one minute. However, you WILL receive rewards by killing monsters ABOVE your level range. So feel free to tackle monsters in any level range you feel comfortable with, but don't bite off more than you can chew because death is a bit of an annoyance. You won't have to pay a repair bill just for dying (though you may have a repair bill anyway if you are hitting mobs with weapons or getting hit), but you will need to release to your bind point, thus losing time and therefore losing efficiency.

    Monsters will not attack you unless you attack them first, so for the most part, you can choose your own battles. There is also another mechanic which I have noticed: monsters are invulnerable for a few seconds after they spawn. I assume this is meant to prevent players who just want to run quests in Delara's graveyard from accidentally getting aggro. So if you are swinging or spell-slinging and not hitting anything, wait for a second, then try again.

    Beware the Shadar-Kai! If you haven't played any of the new quests in Wheloon, then you might be in for an unfortunate surprise. Shadar-Kai have a spiked chain attack that can be devastating. Each time the spiked chain hits you it applies a debuff that weakens your attacks and slows you down. If you see them whirling up to swing, get the hell out! Just two or three of these deadly foes can trounce you quicker than you might imagine. While they are whirling their chain, move back and use spells or ranged weapons until their spiked chain animation is over (and it can take a while). Either that, or kill them quickly. Thankfully, the debuff will go away in 10 seconds, but each time it hits you, the timer renews. So engage at your own peril.

    In general, the tougher the monster, the better the chance of receiving a better ritual item. Note this is distinct from the simple chance of receiving a ritual item, which appears to be the same 1 in 4 chance whether you kill a skeleton, a vampire, or a lich. For example, a wight (CR 8) is more likely to drop a better ritual item, like a chipped skull or cursed fingerbone, than a skeleton (CR 4).
    (Special thanks to ccoleman.)

    Spawn Points
    Throughout the graveyard there are monster spawn points. You will notice they are typically among groups of head stones or in the front of crypts. With a little bit of practice, you can learn where these spawn points are and use that knowledge to your benefit. There are dozens if not hundreds of spawn points, but they all share a few things in common.
    -The number of monsters is directly related to how many characters are in the vicinity. Characters must be close, i.e. within targeting range of most spells, not just in the same instance.
    -NEW!The CR or level of monsters is directly related to the level range of the instance (this is a departure from previous years when the level of monsters depended the level of nearby players).
    -Monsters will not spawn at any given point if there are no players nearby.
    -Inactive spawn points (those without any players nearby) will begin spawning new monsters almost as soon as a new player enters the area.
    -Each spawn point will produce between 1-2 monsters for each player nearby.
    The implications here should be obvious, but I will spell them out anyway. First, the more players nearby, the more monsters you can expect to see at various spawn points. Second, if you are in an instance designed for levels far below your own level, the monsters that spawn near you are not worth killing at all. But tackling monsters in a higher level range than your own might give you too much of a challenge. Finally, you improve your chances of causing more undead to spawn near you by moving around in a broad pattern. Camping a group of spawn points is not as effective as moving around. So move around a bit and trigger as many spawn points as possible.

    Level-Specific Instances (NEW CHANGES IN 2013!)
    Last year the devs introduced level-specific instances for Delara's Graveyard; but the concept was partially flawed, as the spawns were still based on player level. This is no longer true. The devs took my advice from last year and now monsters spawn according to the level range of the instance only, making choosing a level range within which your character falls virtually guaranteed to allow you to avoid the "too weak" warning. (Yeah, I'm not being too humble here. I wasn't the only one who requested this feature, but either way, it's here and we can all be thankful.) The level bands are 1-5, 4-9, 8-13, 12-17, 16-20, 20-25, and NEW! 26-30.

    The more people participate in the event, the more instances will be created by the game servers to reduce lag client-side and spread out server load. The first time you enter the graveyard, you will need to choose the level range you wish to be placed in, but the game will automatically assign you to the least-populated instance in that range. But this changes quickly. So don't feel the need to switch instances manually unless it begins to lag too much for you. You are also less likely to run into other players if your instance is less populated, and thus more likely to be able to earn your own kills. It has also been noted that from time to time the monsters you kill will be bugged; i.e. even though they ought to be in your level range, they display the "too weak" message. I have heard rumors this can be fixed by switching instances, but I have been unable to replicate this rumor in my own experience. But it might be worth trying.

    Shared Credit
    Scoring the killing blow on a monster is not enough to guarantee that you will receive a ritual item (if indeed the kill grants a ritual item). Rather, any player who damages the undead might earn a ritual item (except see Grouping below). Because of this, "kill-stealing" is neither an effective way of increasing your potential returns on ritual items collected, nor is it a good way to make friends. So don't try this tactic; it is not necessarily a waste of your time, but you will be better off if you try to stick to solo kills. Solo kills will ensure that you and only you have a chance for a ritual item. Bottom line: It won't help you in the long run (I know of people who have made guild black lists for it) and it won't really help you in the short run either.
    (Special thanks to Delt.)

    Grouping
    If you decide to group, there are a few mechanics you need to bear in mind. These will help you decide whether to group, and if you do, how to do so most effectively.
    -Grouping offers the advantage of sharing buffs with fellow group members and also allow voice chat with your group while fighting the Spectral Dragon. However, in my experience, you will farm fewer motes/hour.
    -Every time someone in the group scores a kill against a monster, everyone has a chance to claim a ritual item from the kill. And I do mean everyone. Just like when two ungrouped players cooperate in a kill, it is possible that anyone in the group will receive a ritual item, whether they participated or not. One kill = one drop. Although this had been the case in previous years, it is not possible for one kill to potentially score multiple drops. It is even possible to claim a ritual item from a monster below your level range if it is killed by a player in your group who is within that monster's level range.
    -Ritual item drop rates are distributed randomly for all players in the group. I suspect, based on experience, that the player who scores the kill in a group is slightly more likely to receive a ritual item. I believe this was done to lessen the negative impact of piking. Nevertheless piking a group does offer your group a tangible benefit in that you increase the number of spawns nearby. But if there are too many pikers, it may be too much for the rest of the group to handle.
    When you take these rules together with what we know from before, a few points are important to note. First of all, if you are going to group, do it with other players of similar levels! While you could theoretically send all your high level players to one instance, the mid level players to another instance, and the low level players to yet another instance, this is difficult to manage. If you do find yourself in a group of disparate levels, I recommend going to the highest-level instance possible for that group so that everyone's kills will count. If you put up an LFM, use the level ranges designed for the event as your level range to ensure everyone can participate equally and receive rewards equally. Similarly, avoid joining groups that have broad level ranges allowed, such as 1-28. Such groups are unlikely to be worth your time.

    Second, you need to be aware of pikers. It is completely possible to join a group, enter the graveyard, and go AFK for a whole hour and still collect ritual items while simultaneously lowering every one else's drop rate. Thus, if you create a group, ensure that everyone is contributing with some form of regular check in or at the very least pay close attention to who is fighting and who is standing around. Do not hesitate to dismiss inactive players. Otherwise they are just dead, piking weight. I would even go so far as to say that if someone is going to be AFK for more than a minute or two, ask them to drop group and rejoin when they are ready to fight again. They are lowering everyone else's drop rate while they are in the group. There is one possible benefit to pikers though. They do help spawn more undead near their location. The downside to this is that they are not moving, and thus they are still spawning fewer monsters than a mobile, active group member. Again, I recommend dropping pikers unless they are friends/guildies and you do not mind.

    Finally, standing altogether in one big group around the pond waiting for spawns is all well and good, but it isn't efficient. What is better is 2-3 groups running around the graveyard working collectively. This is especially true if each group includes at least one AoE caster. Not only do you tap more spawn points at once, you also make sure everyone has something to do (it is also less monotonous). You can assign certain areas to each group to ensure less overlap. One group to Delara's Tomb, one to the pond area (where a lot of spawn points are located) and a third near the entrance or the Mote Collector works well.

    Melee Vs. Caster
    Perhaps unfortunately (depending on your point of view), this event grants big benefits to casters with AoEs. It is very efficient to kill big groups of monsters with one AoE and move quickly to check the next spawn point. But both types have advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion a mid to high level arcane caster is the optimal character for this event, but others can be effective too. (I have heard a rumor that a single AoE that results in the death of all undead within its effect will only grant one drop maximum, regardless of the number of kills, however, I have been unable to reproduce this effect, so I cannot prove or disprove it at the moment.)

    For a melee, finding self-sufficiency is key. Light monks do incredibly well, which is good news for those monks who want the Wraps of Endless Night (link is for level 4 version). Your only resource to manage is your HP and your clickies. If you have any form of self-healing at all, you can save yourself countless trips to the tavern to regenerate your health. Just as important, therefore, is damage control. Making certain you reduce the amount of damage you take as much as possible reduces your overall downtime and increases your rate of relic collection. Use guild energy resistance buffs if you have access to them or buy pots. If you are low level, stay away from high level instances. Even though they won't aggro on you, once aggro'd by other players they use AoEs that can hurt or even kill you if you stray too close. If you only need HP, find a cleric with a healing aura up and just stand nearby. There are usually plenty of these clerics around. Only venture back to the tavern when you absolutely need to renew clickies. And BRING DEATHWARD or at the very least DEATHBLOCK. The Visor of the Flesh Render Guards is handy item to have. You could also politely ask a nearby divine caster to cast death ward on you. This is more important for the higher level bands, but all the enemy casters like negative energy, energy drain, and death effects.

    For a caster, you are pretty self-sufficient whether you are arcane or divine. However you have the added resource management of SP, and this can run out fast if you aren't careful. First rule is to use buffs sparingly. Stoneskin and blur are probably the best choices for an arcane. Energy resistance is useful to a lesser extent but you can easily obtain this from guild ships, House J or House P favor buffs or items. Shield/nightshield is helpful for blocking the occasional magic missile as well. Regardless of which type of caster you play, your main strategy is likely going to boil down to using your most powerful AoEs to take out as many monsters at a time as possible. If you are in a group, let the melees pick off any that survive the AoE while you move on to the next spawn point. For arcanes, your SLAs are your weapon of choice, especially AoEs. Because there are a lot of undead, pale masters may not be optimal due to their relatively high sp consumption for AoEs, the fact that their aura heals undead monsters, and their reliance upon negative energy to deal damage. If you plan to do a lot farming with an arcane who is currently specced as a palemaster, it just might be worth it to respec as an archmage until November 11 or to farm with another toon. While SLAs are your bread and butter whether arcane or divine, acid spray, shocking grasp, magic missile, electric loop, acid blast, chain missiles, lightning bolt, force missiles, ball lightning, chain lightning, and disintegrate are your weapons of choice (note many fire spells are ineffective against certain monsters, such as blackbones). For divines, positive energy burst, nimbus of light, deific vengeance, searing light, holy smite, flamestrike, sun bolt, sunbeam, sunburst, cometfall, firestorm, mass cure, and mass heal are best. Also note divines have access to implosion as well as undeath to death. Arcanes have access to undeath to death. These are the only insta-kills which work on undead. Use them! NEW! Now that the festival includes non-undead monsters, spells like finger of death, destruction, slaying living, and wail of the banshee are now useful as well!

    As a special note for groups, it is extremely inefficient to have a bunch of melees standing around while a single arcane or divine caster calls down AoEs. By the time the melees get up to the action most of the work is already done. Is is best that everyone keep moving, in teams preferably, that have at least one AoE user.

    Speed Tips
    It is worth noting that a quick way to recharge your health, spell points, and clickies is to step inside Delara's Tomb, run up to Delara, then exit (note you will have to drop group to do this if you are in a raid group; let the leader know). But this requires you to have completed the Delara's Tomb series. Other methods include binding to the Open Palm Inn which is just outside Delara's Graveyard and using /death to teleport when you need to refresh. Simply teleporting to a place like the Portable Hole works too, since the House Jorasco teleport destination puts you near the entrance to Delara's Graveyard as well.

    The pendant of time which you receive as a reward for reaching the second tier of favor with House Phiarlan works inside Delara's Graveyard. Thus it can help you get around quickly. Don't forget to use it if you have it.
    (Special thanks to ArgentMage and Killage.)

    Respeccing
    For the supreme festival aficionado, respeccing your character can prove to be one of the ultimate tools available to you. If you plan to devote some serious time to the festival, then you might want to look into temporarily respeccing your character(s) either through action points or even feats.

    For a melee, you should focus on raw damage output (DPS). Of course that is the focus of many melee characters, but recent changes to the game have made tanks viable in certain raids and quests. Tanks are practically useless here, even when fighting the spectral dragon, so bench them when running the festival. Many of the monsters are relatively easy to kill even at your level, especially considering that you can pick them off one or two at a time if you are careful. If you are below level 9 or even 13 then even a feat respec might be called for if you lack a critical damage feat like Power Attack. Beyond that it can get prohibitively expensive to respec feats so only do so if you have more time than plat and siberys shards. If you have enough platinum and astral shards you can just buy your motes through the Auction House, Shard Exchange, or Delara's Graveyard trade channel and skip the festival altogether. Secondary attention should be placed on hit points (racial or class toughness) and energy resistance. Anything else like skill boosting action points are wasted if you plan to spend all your time over the next few days on the festival. Swap these for damage and spellpower boosting boosts.

    If you are an arcane, it is also best to focus on damage output, preferably with two of the following: acid, electricity, or force (many of the undead are immune to fire and cold and the succubi are resistant). Max these abilities out and spend any remaining points on reducing metamagic costs, increasing spell point pools, and increasing HP. Invest in corrosion, magnetism and impulse items since they deal more damage than a similarly powered potency item (but potency works if you are pressed for item slots). You will likely be retreating back to a tavern/Delara's Tomb to recharge your SP from time to time.

    For a divine, similar rules apply, but you won't have elemental or energy damage enhancements. However you do have light spellpower and positive energy spellpower (and for divine disciples force and fire to a lesser degree). So focus on improving the damage from your healing spells first and foremost and light, alignment, force, and fire second. If a cleric, I highly recommend you spec for the Divine Disciple tree, grab the SLAs, spell-power, and spell point bonuses, then put leftover points into Radiant Servant. Just having the occasional healing burst will be a great boost to your undead-killing efficiency. For a favored soul, I both the Warpriest and Angel of Vengeance will serve you equally well, depending on which spells your character has chosen (e.g. if you picked fire spells like flame strike and fire storm, Warpriest would be best).

    NEW! Iconics
    Rather than Respeccing, if you have an open character slot and access to iconics, there are two iconics that work very well for this event: the Morninglord and the Bladeforged. For the Morninglord I recommend either a Divine Disciple-focused light damage caster, a Radiant Servant turning specialist, or a Clr1/Wiz14 necromancy specialist. At level 15, the light damage from Divine Disciple SLAs with full metamagics is very effective and SP-efficient. The Morninglord also has a racial enhancement line that improves your turning abilities to an obscene degree, making Radiant Servant that much more powerful. A Clr1/Wiz14 is incredibly effective as well when focused on necromancy. You can achieve a high finger of death, circle of death, and undeath to death DC with your racial +2 Int bonus and the right feats, and you will be self-sufficient with a pale master shroud and death aura to heal yourself; simply be aware of my previous cautions about palemasters in this event.

    The Bladeforged offers you a quick route to one of the most tried-and-true types of characters in DDO since the addition of the warforged race, a Pal2/Sor13. Not only will your saving throws be incredible, but you will have a huge SP pool, and with the advent of the Elemental Savant changes in Update 19, a large number of SLAs to choose from. I recommend focusing on as many metamagics as possible for feats (particularly Maximize, Empower, and Quicken) and specializing in Earth, as acid damage will work on virtually all the monsters in the festival. Make sure to take at least one repair spell, or choose the reconstruct enhancement from the Bladeforged racial enhancement tree, so that you are self-sufficient.

    NEW! Pet Piking
    Surprisingly effective at low-levels, "pet piking" is something you can do when you can't pay a lot of attention to the game but still want to earn a few motes on the side. A 4th or 5th-level wizard pale master, a druid, or an artificer can do this rather well in the low level ranges as the monsters are relatively easy to kill and your pet can be buffed and set to Aggressive mode to attack nearby monsters while you attend to the infant, cook dinner, or entertain family and friends! Now, there are definitely limits to this approach. First, you need to check in on your pet every few minutes to make sure it is alive and earning you relics, but glancing at the screen from time to time is usually enough. Second, your pet isn't going to be as active about seeking out monsters. It will only attack monsters that have been aggro'd by other players, which means you are sharing in the chance to get a relic from the kill. This might irritate other players, but at the low-level range, few will mind, and your pet is hardy enough to survive on its own for the most part.

    Do not try this at high levels though. It really doesn't matter how many buffs you have on your pet or how many Epic Destiny twists you have to make your pets more powerful. They are bound to run into a Shadar-Kai chain attack within a few minutes and get killed because they don't have the good sense to run away.

    2012 Drop Rate Data
    In 2012 I compiled data on drop rates. This is specifically an attempt to measure how often items drop. To summarize, my hypothesis is that a solo kill has a drop rate of 1/4. This means over a long period of time, you should expect to get 1 collectible to turn in for every 4 mobs you kill. A more detailed explanation of the data is below. I have compiled preliminary data so far on the drop rates in 2013 and thus far have no reason to doubt these drop rates have changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DROP RATE DATA
    I documented the drop rates in the Mabar Festival by conducting a series of individual trials consisting of 100 kills per trial. These trials were conducted using the following conditions:

    -15th-level half-orc monk in the level 12-17 range or a 10th-level elf Ftr3/Rog1/Wiz6 in the 8-13 range.

    -All kills were attempted solo. Though I could not control this with absolute precision, I avoided heavily populated areas and did not attempt to "kill-steal" as this is widely believed to divide the chances of a drop between all players hitting the enemy.

    -Kills were counted in increments of 100.

    -Accidental kills of monsters which were classified as "too weak" were not counted.

    -Drop rate was calculated as (Drop)/(Total Kills).

    -A "drop" means any kill which produces one or more items. It does not account for multiple items per kill. This was previously possible for vampires, liches, but this is no longer the case. Vampire fangs and lich dust must now be purchased with motes.

    -Ethereal keys were not be counted as a drop, as their drop rates appear to be independent of other drops. However, I did note how many ethereal keys were dropped per trial.

    -Approximate time for 100 kills was measured purely in the interest of academia. The main purpose of these trials was to determine drop rates. So do not interpret these times as competitive values by which you should measure your own mote/hour gathering.

    Mnk15 Trials at level range 12-17
    01: 27/100, 1 ethereal key (28 minutes)*
    02: 25/100, no ethereal key (19 minutes)*
    03: 28/100, 2 ethereal keys (16 minutes)*
    04: 26/100, no ethereal key, 10 opals/5 skulls/11 bones, 483 motes, (21 minutes, 1380 motes/hour)
    05: 29/100, no ethereal key, 3 opals/10 skulls/16 bones/2 fangs, 648 motes (17 minutes, 2287 motes/hour)
    06: 30/100, no ethereal key, 8 opals/10 skulls/12 bones/2 fangs, 581 motes (18 minutes, 1937 motes/hour)

    Ftr3/Rog1/Wiz6 Trials at level range 8-13
    07: 25/100, 2 ethereal keys, 7 opals/16 skulls/2 bones, 384 motes (15 minutes, 1536 motes/hour)
    08: 29/100, 2 ethereal keys, 11 opals/10 skulls/8 bones, 475 motes (21 minutes, 1357 motes/hour)

    Mnk15 Trials at level range 12-17
    09: 23/100, no ethereal key, 9 opals/5 skulls/9 bones, 391 motes (18 minutes, 1303 motes/hour)**
    10: 25/100, 1 ethereal key, 6 opals/9 skulls/9 bones/6 fangs, 487 motes (15 minutes, 1948 motes/hour)
    11: 22/100, 1 ethereal key, 7 opals/3 skulls/12 bones, 444 motes (18 minutes, 1480 motes/hour)
    12: 25/100, 2 ethereal keys, 3 opals/10 skulls/12 bones, 527 motes (16 minutes, 1976 motes/hour)
    13: 25/100, no ethereal key, 9 opals/4 skulls/12 bones/2 fangs, 467 motes (17 minute, 1648 motes/hour)


    *Starting with Trial 4, I began keeping track of my actual motes and collectibles earned as well as calculating the rate of motes earned per hour.
    **This trial might be a little off. There was a cleric who kept following me around trying to burst stuff I was killing. So he may have taken some of my kills and drops. I tried my best to stay away from him. But I am relatively certain most of those kills were mine alone.

    Side Note: I wish I could have a better comparison for the Level 20-25 instance but the spawn rates when these trails were conducted were absolutely abysmal. There have been many adjustments to Mabar this year, such as no more giant skeletons, which have been replaced with Shadar-Kai and various vampires. So the epic ranges work just fine now.

  2. #2
    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Crafting
    The actual means of crafting is self-explanatory. There is literally an in-game aid that explains it. So I won't go over that. But what I can do is explain what the items do and, more importantly, which ones are worth crafting. Each item below is explained in a bit of detail and, for those who don't want to read details, is also rated by smilies.

    UPDATED for 2013 WITH COLOR CODING!
    Bottom Tier: This item is not even worth your motes.
    3rd Tier: This item is cosmetic, fun to play around with, or doesn't grant a significant benefit.
    2nd Tier: This item might be somewhat useful.
    Top Tier: This item is very useful.

    Also note that many of these items have their descriptions detailed (some with screen shots) at the ddowiki.

    Pumpkin Grenade/Skull Grenade
    Like the icy potion of frost from the Risia games, these make a cosmetic alteration. It is a burst effect that works at range. The pumpkin grenade gives someone a pumpkin head and the skull grenade gives them a skull head. Unlike the icy potion of frost, it doesn't actually do anything useful. It is a temporary cosmetic effect only. If you want to get a real tangible benefit from mote farming, skip these. Otherwise they are fun. Do it after a raid for a nice raid screenshot, or before a raid to make everyone look ridiculous.

    Potion of Death Ward
    In previous years, I have rated this item as a 2nd Tier item, but given the myriad number of death effects in the game and my growing experience with TRs, I have grown to value this more and more. Death ward is an invaluable spell. And if you aren't a divine caster this helps make you a lot more self-sufficient. The only problem is it costs 25 motes and it is finite. I highly recommend making these if you are TRing and do not have other alternatives. A Visor of the Flesh Render Guards from Tangleroot Gorge is traditionally the most common way to give non-divines access to death ward. However, it is a one-shot clickie. Another way is the Epic Dusk Heart. But you should consider yourself incredibly lucky if you have one, and since it is minimum level 20, it serves no practical use for TRing. Potions of death ward stack, clearing up inventory space if you happen to be carrying around 2 or 3 visors "just in case." There are only two other ways to get these potions in the game, and they are either expensive or unreliable. The first Daily Dice rolls. The second is trading a Commendation: Clerics of Amaunator; these commendation trade-in potions are not bound and can be traded or sold, but farming for them takes a while. If you happen to run Forgotten Realms content a lot, you might have a lot of these stashed. But if not, you might just want to grab a lot of these from Mabar. Farming Mabar on a level 28 toon is likely to get you more than enough motes to spare on some of these potions, and in much less time that it would take you to farm FR quests or wilderness areas. I will note however that the Mabar potions are only caster level 10, and thus easily susceptible to being dispelled in higher level content, especially one Elite difficulty. So I would not rely on them much beyond level 15. The Amaunator potions however, are caster level 20.

    Potion of Inflict Critical Wounds
    Given changes in the game environment over the last year, I have downgraded this to a bottom tier item. This is ONLY useful if you are a pale master, for obvious reasons. But even pale masters only need it for emergencies, and you can purchase potions of inflict serious wounds from Quolish Wren at the Feather Fall Apothecary now for plat, which is a much better expenditure of your resources. While they are a bit more effective than potions of inflict serious wounds, and I can envisage these creating a rather interesting drinking game for taverns, I recommend you save your motes for other, more useful and more difficult to acquire items.

    Potion of Restoration
    Like death ward, restoration is difficult to acquire. Unlike death ward, a potion of restoration can often save you AFTER the fact. If your character isn't a divine caster and can't UMD scrolls of restoration, it might just save you some serious hassle to keep a small stack of these around, especially for a TR.

    Sun Flask
    I have upgraded these to a 2nd tier item for one reason. Druids can use them while wild-shaped in order to deal extra light damage AND ghost touch. This makes them very effective at low levels, although they start to outlive their usefulness around 10th level. If you have a low-level druid or are planning to do a wild-shape druid life, I highly suggest investing in a stack of these. But one stack is probably enough. They are reasonably useful for non-druid characters in low-level content against undead as well. But the attack rate is low unless you are playing an unusual thrower build.

    Potion of Irian's Light
    With the changes to spellpower after Update 19, this item occupies a new niche. It is a minimum level 1 item with a 25 spellpower boost to light damage. With the addition of the cleric divine disciple enhancement tree, dealing light damage is now a fairly effective blaster build at heroic levels. I have three clerics at the moment and have experimented extensively with divine disciple and found that at heroic levels, light damage is exceptionally powerful with this enhancement tree. Favored souls also continue to be effective at light damage. The only thing keeping this from being a top tier item is the fact that there are other ways to gain an alchemical bonus to light damage at higher levels, including potions with a higher minimum level you can purchase for plat. If you get a lot of use out of light spells and light spell-like abilities these are definitely worth considering. An empowered maximized searing light is already a potent weapon against undead and with the addition of divine disciple SLAs all mobs in general. This only makes it more so.

    Oil of Incandescence
    This adds +1d6 light damage to a weapon (but NOT handwraps) for a full hour. I don't believe I have to explain why this is so incredible. It stacks with any weapon enhancement and nothing in the game that I know of is immune to light damage (and only golems are resistant). It's a flat bonus to DPS. Stock up on these if you can. They are a bit expensive at 100 motes a pop though so you might have to be conservative. On the plus side, like most Mabar consumable items, they are not bound so you can transfer them freely to other characters.

    Bottled Fear
    It's hard enough to make phantasmal killer worthwhile when the save DC is based on your own ability scores. This is like a scroll of phantasmal killer that anyone can use without UMD. In other words, it's practically worthless.

    Draught of Midnight
    First let me explain exactly how this works. Once you drink it, the effect lasts for 1 hour and persists even if you die. While in effect, all undead you kill (whether in a quest or in Delara's Graveyard) have a chance to give you motes of night. The higher the CR, the more motes you can potentially earn, but it is a very small number of motes per kill. However, as of Update 19 Patch 2, Draughts of Midnight now grant Motes when killing non-Undead monsters while in Delera's Graveyard to work with the new Mabar mechanics.

    I have moved this into the 2nd tier column because it seems a few players have found it to actually increase their efficiency at earning motes, but only under certain situations. First of all, it demands that you be very efficient at killing undead. You must be able to kill at least 10 to 15 a minute to be reliable with this. Second, the higher in level you are, the more likely this is to help you. Because the CR of undead affects the number of motes you can earn with this effect, the higher the CR the undead you are able to kill, the better this item becomes. In previous years, with a high level caster, I myself have been able to do little better than making back the 500 motes I spent on it. However, this may be even more useful now that the level cap is 28.

    I do not recommend using this for questing. I have tried it with most of the undead-heavy quests and there is just no way to kill enough undead quickly enough for it to be a more efficient way of earning motes. But if you have the TP to spare, plan to be running undead-heavy content anyway, and don't really want to participate in the festival itself, it might be a little more fun than farming for relics in the graveyard.
    (This section was edited on 2010/11/24. Special thanks to MysteryNotes and Crann.)

    Potion of the Party ****er
    Do you REALLY want to be immune to pumpkin grenades? To the tune of 500 motes or 50 TP??? You mean to say you value the cosmetic appearance of your character for a few minutes more than 500 motes????? REALLY???????
    I happen to love cosmetics and spend a lot of my TP on them, but I'm not about to spend my precious motes on dispelling a temporary cosmetic effect. (Yeah, it's censored. Go figure.)

    Mabar Crystal: Gargoyle/Greater Gargoyle
    The umbral gargoyle is a decent melee summon and might serve you well in Korthos but otherwise skip it.

    Mabar Crystal: Shadow/Greater Shadow
    Possibly the only thing worth summoning and I'll explain why. They can damage the Str score of anything they touch. That means less damage from melee mobs. Still, I hesitate to rate it as 2nd tier simply because it costs either 200 or 500 motes to get something that lasts for only 10 minutes.

    Mabar Crystal: Worg/Greater Worg
    These can trip, which adds crowd-control value. But who really cares as expensive as they are.

    The bottom line on all these crystals is that the stuff they summon isn't any better than stuff you can summon with rechargeable clickies or spells. They might make Harbor quests easier, but Harbor quests are already easy enough, even on elite. Maybe you consider these if you are a newbie and got more motes than you knew what to do with. Maybe...

    Vampire Fang
    Back when Mabar was first released, these were dropping like Strings of Prayer beads on kobolds. But as of Update 19, these no longer drop from vampire kills and the only way to get them is to trade motes. In addition, the price has been significantly reduced. If you are one of the lucky players who farmed Mabar a couple years ago, you may already have a huge stash of these so you can ignore them. But if you are new to the game, this might be your only way to get them, and they are necessary to make the higher-level items. Alternatively, a lot of players with huge stashes of these are still around. You might try asking on the trade channel for someone to give them to you. Plenty of players have more than they know what to do with.

    Lich Dust
    As of Update 19, you can no longer get these from killing liches. And lich dust was never as common as vampire fangs. If you plan to get the highest-level upgrades, you NEED this, and chances of getting it for reasonable prices through the trade channel are relatively low. Hence, this is a top tier item, but only if you plan to make the epic-level gear. If TRing over and over is pretty much all that you do, you probably don't need it.

    Ethereal Key
    It's cool that this is here as a last ditch option if you haven't had the luck to find a key or you just want to go in and kill the dragon without farming motes. That said, if you spend a reasonable amount of time in Mabar, you won't have much trouble getting a few. It is also reasonably affordable now if you are just unlucky enough and the dragon is about to appear. In my experience though, I earn one at least every 15 minutes. YMMV, but the drop rate for these isn't so low that you should ever need to consider this except in an emergency.

    Heroic Deeds
    I guarantee you earn more renown in the amount of time it takes to run any quest in the Harbor on any difficulty as it would take you to earn the 500 motes to buy this. Now if it were a legendary victory token then... nah, no I wouldn't.

    Spectral Dragonscale
    It's cool that this is here, just in case the festival is nearing the end and you have more motes than scales. However, beating the dragon isn't so hard that you should ever have to buy this. But if you find yourself without a lot of time to farm Mabar or seem to always JUST miss the dragon, you can still get this in time to make whatever you need. But I recommend waiting until the last minute because the price is just so incredibly high.

    FlyingTurtle already wrote a good guide to beating the dragon. And I will be writing another one below.

    Cloak of Night
    I have yet to see the level 28 version, but I will update this guide when I do. Nevertheless this is still quite possibly the best item in this whole festival. Every character can use one. It should be obvious, but I will explain why. Invisibility guard (level 4+) is great for deflecting aggro, even though you can't rely on it. Dusk (level 8+) alone is worth it. 10% miss chance translates to 10% less damage from physical attacks, since most characters rely more on miss chance and dodge than AC to avoid hits. It doesn't stack with blur or displacement, but you don't always have an item or caster around for that. Items like dusk hearts have dropped in value since last year and there are more ways to get miss chance on items now, but lots of characters have room for a cloak slot. At level 16+, the dusk ability is replaced with ghostly, which not only gives you 10% incorporeal miss chance (which DOES stack with things like blur and displacement), but also allows you to bypass incorporeal miss chance on mobs. Deathblock (level 12+) is something you want to have anyway and this might help free up a slot for something else. Nightmare guard (level 16+) is nifty for trash mobs. Dodge (level 16+) is incredibly useful with the addition of the dodge stat; 'nuff said. Finally the DR 5/good (level 20+) is hard to beat. It might not stack with stoneskin, but nothing aside from the eladrin in Running With the Devils can beat it, so it's practically DR 5/-. Granted, if you are running Epic Elite, DR 5 is not going to help you much, but I am of the opinion that any damage reduction is good to have. At level 24+ it improves to 10/good, which again is nice. I consider this one of the very best cloaks in the game for almost all levels.

    Eternal Wand of Disrupt Undead
    Perhaps the supreme irony here is that the greatest use for this that I have found is finishing off undead in the graveyard that survived an AoE. I suppose it might make leveling a TR caster or lowbie a little easier in undead-heavy quests like Delara's Tomb too though. But like all eternal wands, its usefulness is limited by its weak power. And it doesn't seem to have a very good rate of fire.

    Eternal Wand of Nimbus of Light
    Ever wish you could have a bigger, better version of the wand you got from Korthos? This is it. The same applies for the disrupt undead wand. This is kinda useful for leveling a lowbie, but loses its punch quickly.

    Docent of Shadow
    If you have a warforged pale master then you MUST make this item. If you don't understand why, you will learn quickly. But the improvement to necromancy DCs alone is worth considering. Necromancy spells are handy whether you are a pale master or not. At epic levels there are better ways to improve your necromancy DC, but all of the other effects on the docent easily make up for this.

    Robe of Shadow
    The same rules for the Docent of Shadow apply here for non-warforged.

    Wraps of Endless Night
    This competes with the cloak for most useful item in the festival. It really only loses because it is most useful for monks and monk-splashes. Especially considering that a large number of monks these days are zen archer builds, melee monks are less common. But it is still the supreme undead-beater handwraps.


    NEW IN 2013
    A new ingredient called the Signet of the Endless Night is now available that can be traded with the Signet Trader in House Jorasco (outside of the entrance to Delera's Graveyard). Players can earn Signets of the Endless Night by defeating the Spectral Dragon. Players can earn one Signet of the Endless Night per day. Signets of the Endless Night can be traded for various rewards, including:

    +5 tome (Limited to one per character)
    Cost: 3 Signets of Endless Night
    How awesome is this? I can count on one hand the number of players I know who do not have any use for this and the number is exceptionally close to zero. This should be your very first Signet of the Endless Night trade-in so that you don't forget. And I recommend getting one for each and every character you play regularly. Why? If you're a long-time player you already know, but I will explain for the newbies. These tomes are ridiculously RARE, and when you do get one, it is often not the type you really want. But with this trade-in, you get to pick exactly which tome you want! Just remember the minimum level to use such a tome is level 19. So only get it for characters you have long-term plans for. Heck, if you have time to beat a dragon a day, I recommend getting one even for characters you don't have long-term plans for. You never know when a new update might introduce mechanics that make you want to dust off an old bank toon.

    Cosmetic Hat: Jack-O-Lantern
    Cost: 1 Signet of Endless Night
    Basically a permanent pumpkin head. If you like cosmetics and already have your +5 tome, you might want this.

    Cosmetic Hat: Mabarian Head-Spider
    Cost: 2 Signets of Endless Night
    I haven't seen this yet, but it sounds interesting. If you are a fan of cosmetics, it is one of the only ways to get a pretty unique-looking cosmetic hat without spending TP.

    Ruby of Ghostbane Augment
    Cost: 1 Signet of Endless Night
    This is nifty, cheap, and you might get some use out of it, especially since it is a minimum level 1 augment. However, ghostbane weapons are not that hard to find. Most archers have access to the arcane archer tree which grants them force arrows which negates most of the usefulness for archers. And most melee builds have some means of getting the ghostly or ethereal property on another item. Such items have gone down in price over the last year due to their increasing availability. So this is a marginally useful item, but I would make it low on your Signet of the Endless Night trade-in priority list.

    Ruby of the Vampire Slayer Augment
    Cost: 2 Signets of Endless Night
    Not only does this augment add 1d4 light damage and bypass silver damage reduction, it is minimum level 1! Your typical alchemical silver damage flag ruby augment is minimum level 16! On top of that, silver augments are exceptionally rare drops and can only be bartered for at the hefty price of 20 tokens of the twelve. That said, this augment does not earn a top tier rating because bypassing silver DR is not necessary for a significant number of enemies. If you like to TR a lot, I highly recommend one of these for your main character just to run through Necropolis quests like the Bloody Crypt and the Shadow Crypt, but otherwise you probably won't find a ton of use for this. If you are a crafter, I suggest skipping this item and simply making yourself a metalline of pure good weapon for such purposes. Note however, that metalline and pure good are NOT dropping as randomly generated treasure as of Update 19. So if this is your quickest way to bypass silver damage reduction, you might wish to consider it (after you get your +5 tomes of course). At a cost of 2 Signets of the Endless Night however, this might not be the best expenditure of your signets.

    Ruby of the Endless Night Augment
    Cost: 2 Signets of Endless Night
    Anyone who has used a weapon like the sacrificial dagger will tell you how awesome level-draining your opponents into oblivion is. This is obviously a very cool augment, especially for minimum level 1. It has one fairly large drawback however, it only applies on vorpal strikes. Also, unlike the sacrificial dagger, it only drains 1 level. So it isn't something you can count on. Finally, a number of mobs are immune to level drain, such as undead and constructs. So be careful about which weapon you put it on. Nevertheless, if you have little else to put into an augment slot that you feel you absolutely need, this is probably it.

    Enchant Weapon: Festival Solar
    Cost: 1 Signet of Endless Night (upgrades one weapon)
    Like the Risia games festival upgrades, this requires a non-named, non-crafted, randomly generated item. And for the paltry bonus of 1d4 light damage, I strongly suggest you skip this unless you have done everything else and you have a low-level all-purpose randomly generated item you use for TRing. But then, do you really need an extra 1d4 damage at level 1-4? This game is so easy at those levels it hardly makes a difference. More importantly, this will OVERWRITE the icy burst effect from the Risia games, so if you already have one of these as your low-level beater, the icy burst effect is significantly better in the vast majority of situations.

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    Battle Eternity!
    Or, how to beat the dragon without laggin'

    This is a work in progress. Flying Turtle has a good guide, but I will offer my observations so far.

    General Overview
    As soon as the Night Trader has received 10,000 ritual items, the doors open, and you have 10 minutes to enter the summoning chamber and battle Eternity the Spectral Dragon before the doors close. You will need an Ethereal Key to enter the summoning chamber. Each summoning chamber is it's own unique instance with it's own General Chat specific to your instance with up to 24 other players within a similar level range to your own. You must communicate with them in order to defeat the Spectral Dragon, Eternity. To defeat Eternity, you must activate the four altars and, when Eternity appears in an altar room, activate the lever for that room, bathing the room in light and making the dragon vulnerable to damage. Night Gargoyles will attempt to impede your progress, both by shutting off the light and by attacking the altars. Destruction of any single altar results in FAILURE. As a consolation for failure, your Ethereal Key will be returned to you. Destroying Eternity before the 30 minute timer runs out results in success, which rewards your character with 1 Spectral Dragonscale (and 1 Signet of Endless Night if it is your first success of the day*). Spectral Dragonscales are BTA and stored in your Collectibles bag. Signets of Endless Night are BTC and are stored in your Ingredients bag.

    *The daily timer resets at 8 pm EDT, the time zone for Turbine's offices in Needham, Massachussetts in the United States.

    The Summoning Chamber Map
    The map is relatively simple. Each corner has an altar chamber which is accessed by a lighted ramp (green arrow) and exited via a hole which leads outside to the perimeter (orange arrow). The levers are marked in yellow on the map.


    Special thanks to Depravity for this awesome map, which my pathetic image editing skills are loathe to approach.

    General Chat and Grouping
    Because the battle against Eternity takes place in a shared instance of up to 24 players, you will be able to see whatever anyone else is typing in General Chat so make sure you have the General Chat window accessible as soon as you enter the fight. As soon as you enter either an altar room, or stand watch over a lever, post the status of your area to General Chat. A simple example of how to type this is "4 NE altar," (short for "four players at the northeast altar"). You should watch General Chat and your own area to make sure each area is sufficiently guarded. At the VERY LEAST 1 person should guard each lever, and 2 people should guard each altar. The optimal setup for a 24-person instance is 2 people/level and 4 people/altar. Therefore, if you enter an altar room with four people already, you should move to another one to ensure maximum protection. Ditto for a lever which already has two people. I recommend making sure levers are guarded with 2 first, just in case one of the lever guardians dies, which can ultimately result in failure as the light will soon go out: the dragon will not leave a dark room and is practically invulnerable while the light is off. (More information on levers and altars is below.)

    You should also attempt to form raid groups for better coordination via voice chat, but bear in mind that DDO raid groups consist of no more than 12 players so you won't be able to get everyone, but you should be able to get enough to have eyes on each altar and lever. To put up an LFM for your raid group after you have entered the summoning chamber (be sure to note the level range on the splash screen), follow these instructions:
    1. Open the Social Panel and go to the "Who" tab.
    2. Type your name into the "Search by Name:" field and click "Search." You will see your name and location displayed as "The Summoning Chamber [letter]:[#]." E.g. it might say "The Summoning Chamber B:2." This means you are in instance B:2. This is also the means to determine exactly which instance you are in. The map icon will not differentiate between summoning chambers in the same level range!
    3. Tab over to "Grouping" and click "Create/Edit LFM."
    4. Select the level range for your summoning chamber (which was indicated on the splash screen); note the level range for summoning chambers are not always exactly the same as Delara's Graveyard instances.
    5. In the Comment field, type "Summoning Chamber [letter]:[#]," accordingly. Be sure to let people in your instance know through General Chat to check the LFM so they can join you.

    Eternity, The Spectral Dragon
    The Spectral Dragon has the type Undead, and is therefore subject to the new Ghostbane weapon enhancement, and not Dragon Bane enhancements. It is worth noting that he is also a Blue Dragon, meaning you should have electricity resistance when fighting him, and he is likely to be immune to electricity effects (I haven't tried any electrical effects on him so I can't be certain yet).



    Night Gargoyles
    There is a lot of misinformation about these guys and I want to set the record straight where I can. Some, but not ALL, of the gargoyles are of type Undead. This means, among other things, that they are immune to enchantment effects. Do not waste SP and lag the instance by trying to throw Otto's dancing ball all over the place. The lag created by this effect is perhaps worse than the fact that it simply does no good. On the other hand, some of the gargoyles are of type Monstrous Humanoid. These gargoyles are susceptible to enchantments like Hold Monster. Nevertheless, I do NOT recommend using DoT AoEs like ice storm or dancing ball because these cause a lot of lag. AoEs like fireball, chain lightning, and acid blast should be sufficient. If playing on epic levels, dragon breath and energy burst from the draconic incarnation epic destiny and judgment from the exalted angel epic destiny work very well.

    My working theory is that there are simply two different kinds of gargoyles which spawn at different locations. They might depend on level range but it seems to be random at this point. I try to take screenshots when I can, but it can difficult sometimes to Examine a gargoyle and take the screen shot before it gets killed. I have seen both types of gargoyles (monstrous humanoids and undead) at both the altar and the lever. So lessons here?
    1. Because some gargoyles might be undead, do NOT use enchantments (esp. Otto's dancing ball) if you are guarding the altar. The lag there is bad enough
    2. While enchantments may work on some gargoyles, try to only use one-shot effects like hold monster. Avoid Otto's dancing ball because it creates lag.
    3. Ultimately, it is best to clear gargoyles with AoEs like fireball, acid burst, and chain lightning, as well as epic destiny abilities noted above, if applicable. DPS is always superior to CC in this raid as it creates less lag.

    UNDEAD GARGOYLE (altar; level 26-30)



    >>>

    MONSTROUS HUMANOID GARGOYLE (altar; level 20-25)



    >>>

    MONSTROUS HUMANOID GARGOYLE (lever; level 20-25)



    Guarding the Lever
    First, some basic mechanics. When the dragon enters a corner altar room, at least one person in the room should call out that the dragon is there, so watch General Chat. If you are near the lever, you also ought to be able to see the purple-colored spectral dragon in the room through the grate as he is very large. Activating the lever floods the room with light and makes the dragon vulnerable. It is NOT advised to keep the lever always on. This spawns more gargoyles near both the lever and in the corresponding altar room. Gargoyles spawning near the lever will immediately rush to the lever and attempt to shut it off if not otherwise aggro'd. So it is important to either kite them or kill them quickly. Obviously, killing them (DPS) is preferred. If the gargoyles shut the lever off and the dragon is still in the room, you need to make turning the lever back on your priority, whether this is by killing the gargoyles with burst DPS, or relying on miss chance effects like incorporeal and displacement while you re-activate the lever. Again, killing is preferred.

    When guarding the lever, I have found it is always best to play an arcane with SLAs which are cheap and SP-efficient. I prefer my air savant warforged sorcerer for this duty, but almost any flavor of arcane caster will do well, including artificers. Divine casters with blade barrier, undeath to death, implosion and the like are viable as well, but they may run low on SP or have their spell timers cooling down at inopportune moments. At epic levels, judgment and light SLAs are very effective. It can be done reasonably well with a melee character or archer, but they are not preferred because they often do not have the burst DPS required to clear the gargoyles out of the lever area so they often must kite. However, very experienced and well-built melee or archer builds may be able to handle lever duty. The key is to make sure the lever is thrown only when the dragon is in the altar room and that it stays on for as long as the dragon is in the altar room, but not for longer.

    Guarding the Altar
    The first and foremost important lesson in guarding the altar is to make sure it is invisible. There is only one means of accomplishing this, since it cannot be targeted after activation, but it still considered an ally: the mass invisibility spell. If your character is in any way capable of casting this spell, whether by having it prepared on your spell list or being able to use scrolls (don't forget UMD!) then you should carry a handful of these just in case. Before an altar can be made invisible however, it must be activated. Doing this will make it untargetable, but it will now be able to receive the mass invisibility spell. Why does it need to be invisible? The gargoyles which spawn in the room after the lever is thrown will not automatically aggro on an invisible altar, although they will run to the center, and if they bump into it before someone else gets their aggro, they will begin attacking it. Remember: any destroyed altar is an automatic failure! Thus, when guarding the altar, it is of crucial importance to make certain any gargoyles do not get to the altar and are eliminated quickly and with extreme prejudice!

    When you are guarding an altar, your primary duty is to lay as much hurt on the dragon as you can as soon as the lever is thrown and the room is bathed in light. Of course this requires that you have good communication with your teammates in the summoning chamber. So as soon as the dragon appears, let your lever mates know by typing, for example, "D at NW" (shorthand for "dragon at northwest altar) or "pull NW lever," whichever you prefer. If you are in a raid group with a party member at your lever you can also alert them via voice chat. The dragon will use the gates to move from altar to altar and doesn't like to stay in a lighted room for long, so stay on your toes and pay attention to General Chat.

    Always remember that protecting the altars is your NUMBER 1 PRIORITY. A destroyed altar means a failed battle. Do whatever you can to keep aggro from gargoyles and Eternity away from the altar.

    The Two-Minute Rule
    Any character who dies while battling Eternity has 2 minutes to be raised or else that character is booted out of the fight and cannot receive rewards. If you see someone nearby has died, raise them! You would want someone else to do the same for you, wouldn't you? If you cannot raise them, type the character's name in to general chat with their location (i.e. [character] SE altar needs rez) as soon as it is convenient. If you are in a group of players who are all in the same instance and you die, let them know exactly where you are so someone can come raise you.

    The Spectral Laggin'
    More tips for avoiding lag to come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samthedagger View Post
    ensure that everyone is contributing with some form of regular check in or at the very least pay close attention to who is fighting and who is standing around. Do not hesitate to drop inactive players. Otherwise they are just dead, piking weight. I would even go so far as to say that if someone is going to be AFK for more than a minute or two, ask them to drop group and rejoin when they are ready to fight again.
    I think you are incorrect, as least as regards the acquisition of Lich Dust.

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    Good stuff, seems to be pretty close to what I've experienced.

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    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelus_dead View Post
    I think you are incorrect, as least as regards the acquisition of Lich Dust.
    Could you be a little more specific on which part you think is incorrect? I welcome your feedback on this and I can do a little more testing on whatever you think it is.

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    Community Member ArgentMage's Avatar
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    Assuming you have finished the Delera's quest chain at least once, you can pop
    into Part3, talk to Delera, and on exit, you will be fully healed, full SP, and full clicky reset.
    Boy, does that save time.

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    Community Member Delt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samthedagger View Post
    Could you be a little more specific on which part you think is incorrect? I welcome your feedback on this and I can do a little more testing on whatever you think it is.
    He either means Lich Dust is 100% drop (and it is, unless my 20+ lich dusts were flukes or they changed it from last time) or...well, there was another guess, but I'll be damned if I didn't just forget while typing.

    That aside, I don't believe your "partial credit" theory is correct (for drops, not mote potions). Nor are any of the other theories people bandy about (last ~2 seconds of damage get drop chance, etc). I farmed over a 1k drops last night when I realized the festival was back and I ONLY get drops if I tag the spawn first. Period. Doesn't matter if my competitor just does a sliver of damage and then I one shot it after -- they get the credit, because first to damage owns the mob.

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    Excellent post, but I've found one part not quite accurate...

    Quote Originally Posted by samthedagger View Post
    Delara's Graveyard
    Undead Types
    There are many undead in the graveyard, but you can only earn ritual items from those who are within your level range. You will not earn rewards by killing undead below your level range, and you will receive a message on your screen every time you kill such an undead. However, you WILL receive rewards by killing undead ABOVE your level range. So feel free to tackle any undead you feel comfortable with, but don't bite off more than you can chew because death is a bit of an annoyance. You won't have to pay a repair bill, but you will need to release to your bind point, thus losing time and therefore losing efficiency. Undead will not attack you unless you attack them first, so for the most part, you can choose your own battles.
    Yes, I'm afraid you do. Equipment does indeed get damaged in the Mabar event and I haven't had a death/release yet where I didn't have to do some kind of repair.

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    Community Member MysteryNotes's Avatar
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    Excellent post, very informative.
    However the part about the Draught of Midnight not being useful isn't true.
    On my caster i spend 500 motes on it, and usually end up with 800+ more than i spent on the draught,
    since if you dont use the draught, you only get motes from turn ins.
    One thing though - Draught is best used on a caster

    When God gives you lemons, find a new God.

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    Community Member FlyingTurtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysteryNotes View Post
    Excellent post, very informative.
    However the part about the Draught of Midnight not being useful isn't true.
    On my caster i spend 500 motes on it, and usually end up with 800+ more than i spent on the draught,
    since if you dont use the draught, you only get motes from turn ins.
    One thing though - Draught is best used on a caster
    On a high level caster, since drops scale with mob CR. Still useless on low-mid level casters.

  13. #13
    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delt View Post
    He either means Lich Dust is 100% drop (and it is, unless my 20+ lich dusts were flukes or they changed it from last time) or...well, there was another guess, but I'll be damned if I didn't just forget while typing.

    That aside, I don't believe your "partial credit" theory is correct (for drops, not mote potions). Nor are any of the other theories people bandy about (last ~2 seconds of damage get drop chance, etc). I farmed over a 1k drops last night when I realized the festival was back and I ONLY get drops if I tag the spawn first. Period. Doesn't matter if my competitor just does a sliver of damage and then I one shot it after -- they get the credit, because first to damage owns the mob.
    I will log in to test both of these theories, but I am quite certain your second at least is incorrect. I will find some people to help me test both of them though just to make sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by ccoleman View Post
    Excellent post, but I've found one part not quite accurate...


    Yes, I'm afraid you do [pay a repair bill]. Equipment does indeed get damaged in the Mabar event and I haven't had a death/release yet where I didn't have to do some kind of repair.
    I usually have some kind of repair bill as well, but that is usually a function of suffering damage to equipment, not from death. If you /death in a public area, there is no repair bill for the death itself. I will edit this to be more precise though. Thanks for pointing it out.

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    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysteryNotes View Post
    Excellent post, very informative.
    However the part about the Draught of Midnight not being useful isn't true.
    On my caster i spend 500 motes on it, and usually end up with 800+ more than i spent on the draught,
    since if you dont use the draught, you only get motes from turn ins.
    One thing though - Draught is best used on a caster
    Let me see if I understand you correctly. You are saying you paid 500 motes for a draught, then ran around Delara's for an hour and received ~1300 motes just for killing undead (not counting turn-ins). Because that was not my experience, and I consider myself to be pretty efficient. I didn't even make up the motes I paid for it.

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    The Hatchery samthedagger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delt View Post
    That aside, I don't believe your "partial credit" theory is correct (for drops, not mote potions). Nor are any of the other theories people bandy about (last ~2 seconds of damage get drop chance, etc). I farmed over a 1k drops last night when I realized the festival was back and I ONLY get drops if I tag the spawn first. Period. Doesn't matter if my competitor just does a sliver of damage and then I one shot it after -- they get the credit, because first to damage owns the mob.
    Okay to follow up on this, I did a trial and Delt's observation does indeed appear to be correct. Here is the experiment I conducted.

    I paired up with another player, but we did not form a party. We located undead that we could both receive credit for; those that were below us we ignored. The other player always struck the first blow and I always struck the killing blow. The other player never dealt more than 50% damage to the undead. Out of 35 undead, he received six relics. I received no relics. Because of this trial, I am comfortable saying that there is probably a "first blood" rule in effect. Whenever two players who are NOT grouped cooperatively kill an undead, only the player who struck first is able to receive relics. I will edit my guide to reflect this.

    I do believe this is a change to the festival since it was first around, which is quite possibly why I didn't notice it. And this is a GOOD change. It offers a very real reason not to steal kills from other players. One thing I observed was that the other player had a drop rate of about 17% or about 1 in 6. It is possible that there is still a mechanic in place that reduces your chances of scoring a relic if another player does the majority of the work even though you struck the first blow. If this is indeed the case, then kill-stealing is still a form of griefing. But the sample size (35) was very low to determine something like a drop rate so anyone who knows anything about statistics can tell you that we might have simply been a little unlucky.

    I welcome more feedback on this issue though. If you have noticed it or noticed the opposite it would be helpful.

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    Hi OP,

    Interesting guide, very well put together and laid out.

    A few things from my own experience you may wish to think about.

    "Throughout the graveyard there are undead spawn points. You will notice they are typically among groups of head stones or in the front of crypts"

    I am not sure what you meant by typically. I have found that a huge number of spawn points occur in the wilderness area behind the main graveyard. You may want to think about changing that phrase to indicate this.

    The Draught of Midnight is very efficient for mote collecting IF you are an efficient undead killer. I typically farm around 700-800 motes by using one, however, if you are not able to easily find and kill 15 - 25 undead a minute your level and above, then spending 500 motes on it may prove counter productive.

    I see a lot of clerics using their RS Burst in the Graveyard. A note for any clerics out there. If you have the Radiant Servant I enhancement, then anything you turn you destroy. The advantage of this if you are moderately well spec'd for turning (Good CHA, sacred item, Seek Eternal Rest spell), is that if you walk up to a group of undead your level and higher and hit turn, then only those mobs you actually turn/destroy notice you. You can be a low level cleric and walk into the middle of a group of Vampires, Mummies and skellies, hit turn, destroy 2 or 3 creatures and the rest just stand there doing nothing. If you hit the burst, then everything you damage (but don't kill) will start smacking you.

    To illustrate how effective this is, I am a 7th level TR cleric and farm around 2500 motes an hour just using my turn undead. I can turn/destroy everything that spawns except the red names, and as nothing ever tries to hit me, I have no need for any deathblock, deathward, protection of any sort as I never take any damage. So start at Delara's part 3, run a route round the graveyard, end up back at Delara's, recharge turns, rinse repeat. If you are a low to mid level cleric, then maybe try this tactic and see if it suits you.

    Anyway, good work on the guide
    Regards
    Wolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by samthedagger View Post
    I am comfortable saying that there is probably a "first blood" rule in effect. Whenever two players who are NOT grouped cooperatively kill an undead, only the player who struck first is able to receive relics. I will edit my guide to reflect this.

    I do believe this is a change to the festival since it was first around, which is quite possibly why I didn't notice it. And this is a GOOD change. It offers a very real reason not to steal kills from other players.
    It can also be kill stealing if you had first blood. That is, if someone reacts first and dings the undead with a weak AOE, he is stealing credit from the later players who actually go through the effort to kill the monster. That's only a small problem currently, because it's not as if any of the undead (except maybe Lich) have enough hitpoints to notice.

    An amusing thing some people do is to setup auto-target and auto-attack with a bow aiming at a spawn area, and then walk away AFK so that their arrows hit undead as they pop. Other players will kill them with spells, giving items to the turret-archer.

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    Community Member Killage's Avatar
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    Sorry if this was said elsewhere, but you all may be pleased to know that your speed trinket works in here, the one you get from having good favor with one of the houses. Perfect for running around in this chaos.
    KILLAGE KILLS!!!

  19. #19
    Hero uhgungawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samthedagger View Post
    Let me see if I understand you correctly. You are saying you paid 500 motes for a draught, then ran around Delara's for an hour and received ~1300 motes just for killing undead (not counting turn-ins). Because that was not my experience, and I consider myself to be pretty efficient. I didn't even make up the motes I paid for it.
    On my FvS I get at least that in a full party
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    Hatchery Founder Glenalth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samthedagger View Post
    Let me see if I understand you correctly. You are saying you paid 500 motes for a draught, then ran around Delara's for an hour and received ~1300 motes just for killing undead (not counting turn-ins). Because that was not my experience, and I consider myself to be pretty efficient. I didn't even make up the motes I paid for it.
    That's slightly more than I made last event on my ranger running around solo, best payout was around 1100 before turn-ins. Found the quietest instance I could and just killed mobs one or two at a time until I wore my hammers out. Also had 100% chance at pulling Lich Dust from liches I killed, worked out rather well.
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