I think the first thing I can talk about right away is the difficulty. It is UNFORGIVING.
Believe it or not, I actually find this more difficult to do than the vale of twilight, and heck, maybe even The Inspired Quarter. It's difficult, without a doubt, and I frankly would not recommend this pack to a good portion of the population, including myself. Why is it so difficult? Well, to begin, there's so many annoying things out in these quests that it adds up. There's puzzles that you might need a guide to, mobs that turn into something else when you die, mobs that spam annoying attacks, and so on, and so on.
On top of that, the grind in itself is absurd. You have to collect 8 pieces of a sigil and fuse it together in order to gain access to a pre-raid. It doesn't sound too hard, but when you factor in that the quests themselves are a pain to deal with and generally not fun, it gets difficult pretty quick. Speaking of depressing, this place REALLY
does seem depressing when I enter into it. I guess maybe if there's one compliment I can give about this, it's that they did a good job making this place depressing, both with quest mechanics and design. This is another reason why I avoid Necro IV; in addition to not being fun, it's depressing to be in and really puts me down.
If you thought grinding for 20 tapsteries or grinding to get the whole sigil was bad, well...that's nothing compared to some of the things you have to do next, both optionally and as a requirement to advance. After you get the sigil, you get to participate in a pre-raid. Now, let me just begin by saying if you've never done this, your in for a hell of a lot, believe me. It's gonna get ugly and its gonna come fast. At the end of the first part, there's a black dragon that you have to conquer by way of mental riddles, and unless you act lawful good or chaotic good in nature, there's a good chance you'll get destroyed on the spot. No save whatsoever, little chance to escape, and if you f up, then thats it. Even though the quest isn't listed as failed, it has failed, believe me. Even if you ddoor after solving the riddle, a barrier rises out of nowhere and there's no way to go back in. But, I think compared to what else lies beyond, this isn't a big deal.
The thing that really ticks me off is that, once you complete the 'pre-raid', its not over. Not yet. Don't even think about recalling if this is your first, second, third or maybe even forth time in it. Depending on what you fed the dragon in answers, a passageway opens up, and you HAVE
to go through it if you want to participate in the raid itself, because guess what? The optional aren't really optionals; they're a requirement if you haven't done them yet. It's a weird problem, and actually reminds me of Tempests Spine, when getting the runes are a 'optional'. But regardless, it's a bunch of BS, and it means you have to do this stinking pile of undead doo doo quest 4 times in a row at least in order to flag for the raid, because somehow, everyone that you've seen in the pre-quests chickens out, and you gotta bash them upside the head again to get them through it.
Don't even recall out once you defeat the 'optional' boss, you gotta go outside and smash a crystal, and if you time it wrong where someone didn't get out and a PUG decides they have their own plan, you gotta do it all over again. Once you go through that BS 4 times, then your good to go. Doing all that just once is enough to rip my hair out, and, at that point, I just gave up. My patience was exhausted by this quest series, and I decided, "Doing all this BS just to get flagged for this raid is despicable!", so thats when I gave up. I didn't even make it to the raid. But, there's still more to talk about, sadly.
I never got to mention the other two optional collectables(And thankfully they're optional!) but let me just say, they're probably not worth mentioning due to the difficulty of collecting them. One collectable, the Tome of Untold Legends, requires you to collect 8 tome pages from the pre-raid quest and turn them in for a unqiue weapon reward. And let me just say, I am definitely not the only one who HATES
this grind. First off, at the VERY
minimum, you need to do this at least 8 times, since I assume 2 tome pages drop per 'optional' chest. Now, if you thought that was bad, wait until you realize just how borked the drop tables are for these pages. My best estimate is that you'll have to hit the chest 8 times for a tome page or maybe two on elite, so if your lucky, you might be able to get a whole tome in about 64 runs or so, if that. It's a ****** grind, and something NOBODY
, not even a powergamer, should go through, because you'll be doing it a long, long time my friend.
The other collectable, which I really hate to mention because not only are the rewards junk, but the way to collect them is garbage too, is the Shield of Untold Legends. You probably won't even guess as to how to collect these shields. Let's see:
- Get them from end 'optional' chests in the pre-raid? Nope, the tome pages fall under that category.
- Get them from the chests in the actual raid? Nope.
- Get them from end chests in the pre-quests? Nope, the sigil pieces fall under that category.
- Get them from chests in the wilderness? Nope, the tapestries fall under that category.
The answer: You get them from a optional chest by going into a portal of Dollurh. This 'portal' can be found one of the garbage pre-quests, and let me just say, odds are, you'll never guess to get shield pieces in there, and even if you do, you'll be like, "Surely they must drop somewhere else?" Nope. They don't sadly, its the only place. First off, don't even ask me why the portal is there or how the shield pieces ended up in there, and second, good luck getting past the inevitables! I wouldn't even bother with it in the slightest, heck I wouldn't even bother buying the shield pieces, because hardly any of the shields are good. I would just save up for the rewards. The shield of untold legends just is not worth getting if you ask me.
Heh, we've gotten this far in this impressive wall of unholy text and we haven't even talked about the raid itself yet! Well, sadly, like I said, I haven't even gotten to the raid yet, but looking at the DDO wiki, as well as sending tells to the leader of a guild run on my server, it is unforgiving. UN-FOR-GIV-ING.
If the pre-raid wasn't difficult enough, this most certainly would be. I wouldn't pug this in the slightest; heck, I bet a shroud elite will be easier to pug than a Ascension chamber on normal. Why is it so hard, you ask? Well, the puzzles the abbot gives you leave very little, if any room for error. You mess up, and its game over. That means you have to reform the group and try all over again. The Abbot himself is also a challenge to defeat, probably harder than Arritrekos himself. He uses a variety of hard-hitting spells, as well as special attacks with the ability to drain mana in addition to dealing massive damage! Even guild runs have a good chance of failing, so either way, you've got quite a challenge ahead of you!
If it might interest you, despite the fact that both The Shroud and Ascension Chamber raids are both 17, the Ascension Chamber raid actually gives less favor than The Shroud.
Anyways, as for the loot outside the collectibles, its fairly unimpressive to say the least. I wouldn't bother trying to get most, if not all of it, because of the mentioned difficulty and the horrible drop rates in getting it, especially for the raid and pre-raid loot. Granted, not all of the loot is worthless, but for the few that have at least 1 thing interesting about it, its not worth getting if you ask me. I would just focus on getting shroud ingrediants or ToD items than that. The one thing that really disappointed me though was that +2 tomes do NOT
drop in the wilderness area(If your lucky enough to get one.) I know, you might be looking at me funny and say, "Well why did you expect those to drop here?" The answer is that since is level 13-14 or so content, wouldn't you think that around that level, +2 tomes would drop around that level? I don't know, but either way, even if they did drop +2 tomes in the area, I wouldn't farm there for the tomes.
What a depressing adventure pack. So much negativity to say about it. However, despite the fact that the adventure pack is smeared in undead doo-doo, there are at LEAST
a few positive things to say about it, right?
The scarce good.
Not everything is totally fail about the adventure pack. Some of the loot in the area itself is not absolutely worthless. For one, getting the fabled Minos Legens helm is a bit of a grind, but worth it in the end, especially for squishes. The Skiver and Twinblade rewards are nice to possess if you have characters that can use them, and the XP is definately noticable. However, despite the XP factor, I will NOT
bother going here on my TR'ed character because of how depressing and difficult it is in there. It's just not worth it. I'd rather get stuck at a level and advance slowly than quest in Necro IV. Apart from the loot, if you manage to actually finish all the pre-quests on elite, the silver flame favor is tasty. And the developers did a good job of making the environment dark and depressing, much how the adventure pack is supposed to be. The DM at least isn't bad, but nothing too special. I wonder if Tolero voices the DM?
Necro IV fails to impress or satisfy me in so many ways. It makes me cry to think about how badly they messed this up. I think someone said that at the time, this was supposed to be 'endgame' content, but really? This was end-game? As you can tell by my join date, I am fairly certain I was not around when this was end-game, but if it was, I would just quit my subscription immediately because of how much Necro IV fails. This content pack needs a major overhaul or major update, but I don't see this happening in the near future, which is fine since I look forward to some of the new content Turbine puts out.
However, I am not going to totally blame Turbine for making such a failure of a adventure pack. At the time they made it, I am sure that they were having a lot of trouble with this game, because updates were slowing down and there were a lot of financial problems with fueling the game. Odds are, the DEV's who made it at the time were under a lot of unneeded stress and negativity, which is why they messed up badly on Necro IV.
I know that people like this, sure, and they'll want to wring my neck for what I have to say, which I really don't care, but hey, what works for one person doesn't always work for another, and this is a great example of that. I just wanted to criticize how bad Necro IV was, as well as offer some improvements below to someday make it a greater adventure pack in the future. If you really have a problem to the point where you'd rather use profanities against me and rather not add something constructive, well, prepare to fall on deaf ears, my friend.
Speaking of suggestions, here's a few for Necro IV id like to offer in the hopes of being revived as a great adventure pack:
Suggestions for content improvement
The very first thing I can think of for Necro IV is to simply replace the flagging mechanic so you only need to do each quest and the pre-raid only ONCE.
No need to get a BS sigil, destroy 4 crystals and the guardians of them, or any other BS like that. The shroud is a great example of a raid flagging mechanic, and maybe even most of Demon Sands. The current flagging mechanism for Necro IV causes too much bad than it does good, both for the developers and players.
The difficulty also needs to be toned down. For a adventure pack that is supposed to be lower level than vale, this certainly is difficult, and definitely needs a tone-down in difficulty. Some of the mobs in the wilderness can be toned down too, such as the mobs that spawn a spectre or wraith upon death. I believe those undead should not spawn if killed by a assassinate or instant-death spell while unaware of the enemy. While some of the annoying enemies such as quells can stay, some of the annoying mechanics, such as the one in Inferno of the Damned, need to be rethought of.
As for the collectables, it would be nice to see the shield of legend drop in more than one place. Since the shields aren't worth much compared to the weapons, why not make it a chance to get part of the shield as a end chest reward? And the Tome of Untold Legends drop rates need to be raised by a lot: Elite drop rates should become the new normal, while the new hard and new elite drop rates should be higher than the current elite drop rates. There's a difference between too common and too rare, and I definately see the tome pages being too rare of a reward, especially when compared to other quests.
Apart from the pre-raid needing to be ran only once, and the optionals REALLY
being optionals, there isn't much to change. The raid itself, however, needs a change. It needs to be more forgiving for players, since the puzzles themselves require little or no room for error. While I don't want to see this being super-easy, it doesn't have to be super-hard as it is today. It should be easier to figure out the raid if this is your first time by looking at clues, giving some free range, and so on. Even for shroud, you didn't need to look at a guide to solve the puzzles if it was your first time, but it sure helps if you don't know what to do. That is similar to how I would like to see the Ascension chamber raid. I can't suggest much for the loot because every content pack has its own form of junk loot, but maybe they can take a loot at that to see if they can do it better(Such as the ogre femur inflicting a 18 second silence effect on vorpal strikes, for example, with no save.)
Overall, the things I would like to see changed for the Necro IV adventure pack for the good of the community would be:
- Easier Difficulty
- Less grind
- More improved drop rates for collectibles
- Tweaks for far less annoying quest mechanics
- Easier to do and figure out raid
Maybe when Necro IV gets a big update, or when epic comes out for Necro IV, I might be willing to give this another shot. But until then, I won't step foot in it again unless I need a minos legens for a new character, and even then, I minimize my time exposed in there. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone except die-hard players, and even then, I must warn them they might be disappointing in a few ways.
Here's to hoping Necro IV doesn't go down the undead doo-doo pile even further if Turbine makes a update to it.