Edit: Originally posted after preview event on Tuesday
Edit: I am too lazy to update this/or I dont wish to quote everyone who has contributed to this guide (i.e. read post replies)
Edit: Zistra has made a list of additional information found here How to maximize your Crystal Cove runs
Hi guys, So the Smugglers event preview just came to a close. And im sure we all ran Crystal cove a few times (for those who participated. And we all noticed how many Crystals is required to upgrade those sweet items we all want.
Firstly, for the Crystal Cove instance to open, Enough Treasure maps have to be handed in. Secondly, in order to enter the instance, you need to have a compass, which can be obtained by killing pirates around the area, buying it off DDO Store, or trading in doubloons for it (recommended, trade in your gems for doubloons, you get alot of them)
Im not sure how good people are with thier torch duties (since I did it for all 7 runs I had, getting better each time). So I'd like to help out in getting 200 Crystals in the instance. I myself have done two 200 crystals, nothing special happens, timer keeps going, kobolds do nothing.
So here is my general run down of the instance:
First you need a party, you want them because they kill stuff, and you dont. So its totally cool if your absolutely useless at combat (not really, you enter swarms of enemies if party did not clear up). This way, you can focus on torch duty, and get those crystals effectively.
When starting, I'd like to buy a teleporter first (you want two in the end), and just hop down and put it down for faster kobold expedition in the initial state. Then buy all kobolds, barrels, torches, teleporter (all you need for 200 crystals). You want to do the south cave first.
You also need to be fammiliar with the map (or parts of), especially where purple crystals are likely to spawn.
Below is a general map rundown of where i go. (curtesy of M crystal cove.png by Mjoll from ddo wiki, I forgot to make one myself...)
First thing you want to do clear south cave (barrels delay kobolds when they upgrade, you only need a few torches to start). Then go pick a route you like. I like going South, then West, then East-North, and then East-South.
The image gives a vague idea of where to go. You want to hit the quota at around 13 min left. This leaves 13 min for 200 shards... doesnt seem much does it?
Also, important point. Always, ALWAYS go for Purple Crystals. If a route has no purples, it is worth the risk to ditch it and go to the next one.
Learn to use torches effectively. You want to feel the balance between how far they can go, and how far kobolds can see shinies. I feel that if a torch is high/low it seeminly extends the range (or just the slope makes it look further).
Also, some Crystals are bugged. This may or may not be fixed, but there were crystals that kobolds ignored. Its fustrating if they are a pile of purple too.
Oh, about the routes, South contains your basic several greens, 1-2 purple. You clear this out because its close and you dont have to worry about it, while your party clears east/west.
West area doesnt contain that much crystals (or i get confused with east), untill you hit a long way. There should be several purples around here, and you should reach your quota at this point. You want to ditch this area if there is no purple and if there is 8-9 min left.
East area is much better, especially south. IF YOU CAN REACH IT. the southern bit is your crystal mine, full of shiny purples to get (ive seen a kobold with 5 purples on his back). It is very important to use the torches at its maximal efficiency. If not... then spend 3 poinst for a healing torch....
East north is also quite good, there are usually lots of greens, and sometimes purple (my last run had no purple but still managed 200). Whichever route you take, you should arrive at a nice 200, with minutes to spare... If there are los of purples...
Now get out there and get us some shinies
Edit: Ive completed Crystal Cove 9 times, so after the 5th, I knew what I was doing, hitting 200 by the end of it.