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  1. #1
    Community Member Crazyfruit's Avatar
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    Default How to solo the Cove for 300 crystals almost every time

    The Crystal Cove dungeon is very enjoyable in a group. But if you're an adrenaline junkie like me, can't find a group <20 levels (my highest character is 14 atm) who want boosted difficulty, or after the 30th time you need to mix it up a little to keep it fun.

    Read another guide for the basics - I'm assuming you've already been there.

    Warning! Not every player (don't need a geared up character at all, but do need twitch skills/fast thinking) may be able to do this, and not everyone may find it fun. But it is an interesting challenge if you like them. Play the way you enjoy the most.

    Warning #2: Skeletons can now cripple you. That can ruin all the fun of playing the Cove this way, so be careful or kill the archers.

    Turning down the difficulty level from +5 is definitely worth considerin for non-self healers, practice or more relaxing runs My level 8 barb prefers 8. My level 8 virtuoso w/ music of the dead loves to crank it up.

    tl;dr basics

    - Scout around for a minute.
    - Make a big line of torches to a place with purple crystals.
    - Kill nothing unless you're waiting for kobolds to mine.
    - If you're a challenge lover or adrenaline junkie, crank difficulty all the way up & run away instead of fighting.
    - Let kobolds die if you have to - prioritize placing torches & gathering crystals.
    - Win!

    Shopping List

    You want:
    Healing potions/scrolls/wands.
    Haste potions are yummy too.

    Maxing out torches.
    Maxing out kobold workers.
    And a teleporter.

    Optional stuff
    If you turn in a requisition form you can get a teleporter for free, that's 5 bonus crystals. You don't need any other forms.

    Hat aura is optional, but haste is always good. You may want to consider a healing torch or two as well. Replace the two nearest to Wee Yip Yip with them if you need to.

    Lose your motherly instincts

    Sure they're adorably cute, and they like to talk a lot... but they're still monsters. You're here to collect crystals, not play daycare to a bunch of blind kobolds. Don't run/DD back when they say incoming if you have torches to plant. Let one die if you have to. You've got a job to do - do it!

    ** You can pick up soul stones and get more kobolds from talking to Foreman Wee Yip Yip if he survives. He thinks he's too handsome to die, but he really isn't. This high HP kobold is a great distraction once you've bought everything you wanted. He's the first casualty on most of my max crystal runs.

    If you're having troubles letting them die I recommend listening to horrible trashy Ke$ha music while doing the quest. It'll drown out those crying kobolds and make you want to kill everything. Here's a few to get you started: Blah blah, Cannibal, Disco, Lipstick, VIP, We R Who We R.

    Barrels are Bad

    Sure, it's fun seeing them wobble around with 5 on their backs. But kobolds are dumb. They're not going to run home after grabbing a purple if they can carry more. They'll stop to look around for the greens, and take the long way home instead of hitting the teleporter. And they'll probably die to hobgoblins on the way. You don't like back pain, be nice to the kobolds and don't give it to them. They're likely about to die anyways - why make them suffer?

    Get some Help

    Hirelings are handy even if it's not quite "solo". You can leave them in the middle to distract the hobgoblins and Jack Jibber, but most of them will simply die. Here's a few that worked well for me:

    Low levels:
    Bards. They can fight and heal themselves. Medium mortality rate.

    Mid levels:
    Warforged casters. Flare and Barrage are okay, as is some other one. Don't set them on attack mode or they will die instead of healing themselves. You can also use their firewalls to take down the ghosties fast. Some of them & bards can haste your kobolds too.

    High levels:
    Any hezrou summoners.

    Don't want a distraction or nannybot? Ok, grab Mikayl the Pious (link) & set him on passive instead. He's a level 11ish fighter that can cast Dimension Door a couple times a rest. Super awesome while alone & for initial scouting. Kobolds can use them too! Make sure you rest him at the shrine after using two. Pirate Port is also useful but not nessecary.

    Where to Look

    Behind you! There's 2 torches sitting on the ground.

    After that, make your path to the south and take a look around for crystals. I recommend starting NE. Do a full loop around. If you spot 5 or 6 purples the area is usually worth it, 10+ is the jackpot. If not, start your path West/NorthWest instead. Go back to the start and pay Wee Yip Yip.

    SE can be a good source of crystals (scout it first!), but it's a long run, hard to defend and you're low on torches. It's also totally not worth it if you can't get NE at the same time without a ridiculous # of purps. Same goes for the bowling alley SW.

    In the north west area, make sure you run into the rooms and turn around to look for crystals. Many purples like to hide behind the entrance walls.

    Concentrate on Purple Crystals

    They're each worth a giant handful of greens. Your kobolds are smart enough to go for them first, and with only one barrel, that's all they'll collect.

    These purple crystals like to blow up. Seems to be timed according to a response below.

    Avoid wasting time mining out a couple greens - grab your torches and move on. Can't find purples yet? Keep a line to greens going while you look around. You'll lose if you collect nothing.

    Respect the time limit

    Rush through the place. You don't have the time to dilly dally. This means don't run back home whenever there's an Incoming. You can't always defend the kobolds (but check on them if they stop coming) and still get max crystals without a totally awesome map. Don't kill every skeleton along the way. Don't even kill hobgoblins. Just run and drop torches. Kill when the kobolds are moving down a line instead.

    Swing at monsters along the way or drop some AoE. Cloud clickies & grenades can be helpful. They're not attacking a kobold if they're attacking you. And drink your pots. Keep moving and you won't die. Can't fight them well? Just run away!

    Drop your teleporter and run back once your line is set up. When you pass enough kobolds start grabbing the torches along the way (don't turn around) and start up the next line. Come back for the teleporter & torches after that next one leads to crystals.

    Never stand around doing nothing. If you're waiting on the kobolds, run back along the line to the middle and kill (or distract) monsters. Re-haste them, throw some heals and blurs around if you've got them.

    Monsters to look out for

    Jack Jibbers eats kobolds for lunch. So does the drunken bugbear (vorpal him if under 20) and red spectre (disruption). The minotaur and hobgoblin can be slapped & ignored.

    Your real enemy though... the Dragonmarked Ex-Pirate Spectres. These can eat you with their Irresistable Dances. At low levels you can also get neg leveled to death pretty fast. One of this list also casts Finger of Death according to teammates.

    and that's it!

    With a little practice you can be maxing out your crystals or getting really close every time. No more worrying about those people who can't speak english picking up everything, or people buying 100 crystals worth of stuff in the last minute.

    Once you're done grab all the torches and run back to the start. It's hilarious.

    Bartering your gems (if you kill stuff) can buy you an unlimited supply of Pirate Grog and Compasses. Drink the grog to get map pieces faster & take advantage of the 25% xp bonus instead of hunting outside - I got nearly 150 on a run through STK while it was closed.

    Thanks devs for the awesome event. The Cove is definitely some of the most fun I've ever had in DDO.
    Last edited by Crazyfruit; 10-04-2011 at 01:35 AM.
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  2. #2
    Community Member hityawithastick's Avatar
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    Well done sir. A truly helpful guide. + to you.
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  3. #3
    Community Member Anneliese's Avatar
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    Very nice
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  4. #4
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    I don't plan to solo but this is a super guide, definitely learned a thing or two here.

  5. #5
    Community Member oberon131313's Avatar
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    My only issue in the entire guide is about the unstable purples; I have tried everythig I can think of to make them explode, and they don't. They are timed.

    I have:
    Dropped:
    Firewall
    Acid fog
    Flamestrike
    Torches
    Barrels

    Shot them with:
    Arrows
    Searing light
    Scorching ray
    Necrotic bolt

    Swung at them

    None of the above has caused them to explode.

    I'm fairly confident they are simply timed.
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  6. #6
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    You're right. Listening to that music DID make me want to kill everything


  7. #7
    Community Member LazarusPossum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyfruit View Post
    Don't run/DD back when they say incoming if you have torches to plant. Let one die if you have to. You've got a job to do - do it!
    If you DO have to get back to the entrance in a hurry, you can also use Pirate's Port if you have it. I'm still encountering people who don't have any idea what it's for...
    "Why is stuff so hard?" - William Murderface

  8. #8
    Community Member Crazyfruit's Avatar
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    I've gotten a few messages from people following this, saying it's not fun to solo the Cove this way anymore. Apparently the skeletons are crippling them very often. Unfortunately I don't have the time or characters of appropriate levels to check it out & update the post. Does anyone know if this is happening at all levels, or just higher up?

    Also, does any save help against their crippling attacks?
    Last edited by Crazyfruit; 10-04-2011 at 01:51 AM.
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  9. #9
    Community Member Jaid314's Avatar
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    don't believe there's a save.

    however, there is potential good news for some: charm (or better yet, suggestion if your DC isn't quite as ridiculously high as you may wish - also good if you have augment summoning, because they don't get any extra saves) is an excellent way to deal with trash quickly, efficiently, and in a manner that provides additional protection for your kobolds (and distractions for the rest of the trash). should make it a lot easier to solo.

    so strategies like using mass suggestion and symbol of persuasion (sadly they can no longer be extended) should help considerably with your solo runs, if they are available to you at least.

  10. #10
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    Skeletons are ideally dealt with by casting Halt Undead and tossing a Firewall on them. Any wizard running without Halt Undead is failing. Sorcerers should also swap a spell for Halt Undead if they're planning on coving. Fire Shield Cold helps, but won't prevent crippling. Halt Undead + Web? Forget the cripple.

  11. #11
    Community Member wolflordnexus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faent View Post
    Skeletons are ideally dealt with by casting Halt Undead and tossing a Firewall on them. Any wizard running without Halt Undead is failing. Sorcerers should also swap a spell for Halt Undead if they're planning on coving. Fire Shield Cold helps, but won't prevent crippling. Halt Undead + Web? Forget the cripple.
    why would you take up a slot when you can just scroll it

  12. #12
    Community Member fmkeller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyfruit View Post
    I've gotten a few messages from people following this, saying it's not fun to solo the Cove this way anymore.
    I´v run the cove 3 times @20 with my Lvl20 PM and its still doable - lvl25 solo is realy a different story now...

  13. #13
    Community Member brian14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaid314 View Post
    don't believe there's a save.

    however, there is potential good news for some: charm (or better yet, suggestion if your DC isn't quite as ridiculously high as you may wish - also good if you have augment summoning, because they don't get any extra saves) is an excellent way to deal with trash quickly, efficiently, and in a manner that provides additional protection for your kobolds (and distractions for the rest of the trash). should make it a lot easier to solo.
    Last time I ran CC at level 14 with my Virtuoso Bard 14 (not solo), I was surprised how often hobgoblins saved against Charm Monster and Enthrallment. I think one even managed to resist Song of Capering, which has diabolically high DC. So I would be cautious about relying on charms too much.
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  14. #14
    Community Member Bolo_Grubb's Avatar
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    interesting read thanks
    Kill'em all and let their favorite deity sort'em out
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  15. #15
    Community Member Jaid314's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian14 View Post
    Last time I ran CC at level 14 with my Virtuoso Bard 14 (not solo), I was surprised how often hobgoblins saved against Charm Monster and Enthrallment. I think one even managed to resist Song of Capering, which has diabolically high DC. So I would be cautious about relying on charms too much.
    sure, but charming them means that one half will start to keep the other half busy, at the very least. and each time you come by again, you get another shot at charming them. it's much more likely to have a decisive effect than, say, throwing a single wall of fire or acid rain.

  16. #16
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    Difficulty has been increased on the cove since the first run. Using your tactics, there is no way to get 300 crystals in a run. The kobolds will stop when there is aggro around them and if you only have 10 kobolds, though a few will sneak past aggro you won't have enough to actually get all the purples. Also, they will only go after purples that they see, so if they only see greens, they will go after greens. Thus, you have to collect all the greens on the way to purples.

    That being said, there is no reason following your guide will not give a completion each time. 100 crystals is fairly easy to get, just don't spend a lot of crystals buying stuff and keep your lines up and running.

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