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  1. #1
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    Default Basics of the House C Challenges

    Note that for the most part this guide is complete. I need to look into a couple of things but people reading the guide shouldn't worry too much about the minor updates that may be made. As such I'll be posting this guide.

    Prelude

    I haven’t written a guide in a while and it seems there is some demand for information on the House C Challenges.

    Challenges are a new feature in DDO but not one player’s actively participate in and few people will find a party for. The following guide I am writing is to help inform player’s of some general information about them and their benefits and what to expect from challenges and their specific variations.

    House Cannith Challenges

    The Challenges by design are repeatable quest that yield ingredients for you to use in a Barter type system. They are timed instances where you must achieve you primary goal before the time runs out. You can see what challenge drops what specific ingredient from the Challenge Tab in your Adventure Compendium in game. You can see what those ingredients can be used for from the Challenge Traders in the middle of House C.

    The Challenges in House C are partially free to play in that those who do not own the Vaults of the Artificers Challenges pack or have VIP status may use a Challenge Token as an admission fee to participate in the challenge. Those who do own the Pack or are VIP may forgo this admission fee. Challenge Tokens come in 2 flavors, 1 for specific challenges are given out randomly everyday from the House C Token Vendor at 7:01 Eastern Standard Time or as store bought Universal Challenge Tokens which will allow you 1 time access to any of the challenges.

    To sum up some important facts about challenges:

    • *There are 4 Dungeons associated with the challenges with 3 Variations for each how you play the challenge
      *Each Variation has a different ruleset but all have 1 Primary Main Goal and 4 Optional Additional Goals
      *Each Variation has its own level range varying somewhere in a range of 4-20 for you to adjust the difficulty with higher difficulties yielding a greater amount of ingredients
      *Some of the Variations also have an Epic Variation with levels 21-25 where the Mobs are notably tougher and half Deathblock.


    Depending on how many of the goals you complete, you will earn a number of stars. If it is your first time earning a higher star ranking, you get a nice boost to experience for your achievement. Bear in mind however that the main goal must always be completed or you fail the challenge and not be awarded any stars.

    Their is a multitude of items you can exchange at the Challenge Traders. Many of the items are useful regardless of the level of the character using them, and Level 20's will find that challenges yield the highest amount of Epic Dungeon Tokens available. You can also get Epic Dungeon Token Fragments, though this is usually not worth looking into as the cost for a fragment is expensive. Outside of Epic Difficulty content, you cannot get Epic Dungeon Tokens anywhere else which makes the Challenges a major draw for that reason.

    Outside of Ingredients and experience, you can also kill red named bosses to get Supply Chests which appear in your inventory. Opening up a Supply Chest will give you some random loot much like any regular Chest in game. You also get 1 House C favor point for each star you get in your highest star obtaining run, as well as 1 bonus favor point if you get all 5 stars in a single run and do the challenge on the hardest difficulty available. This is important if you are looking to earn the 2nd tier Favor reward for House Cannith, the Artificer.

    If you are looking to get 150 House C favor, you will need to run some challenges to do so along with the quests and raids in Secret of the Artificer Adventure Pack. Duly note though that for some challenges are exceedingly hard and on The Disruptor or Short Cuts it is outright impossible. You will have to use store bought consumables or randomly generated ones from playing the challenges to get some of the higher star rankings on a few of the specific challenges. You also get separate favor for playing a challenge on Epic difficulty though, so you can play a Challenge on normal difficulty for some stars and favor and then again on Epic Difficulty for some additional stars and favor.

    Players may also compete for the greatest rank in a leaderboard where players attempt to obtain the highest score and star ranks on their characters. Sorted by Server and Challenge Level, players are listed based on he end score they get from the challenges.

    Challenge Level Ranges

    The Level Ranges for the Challenge Variations are as follows:

    • *Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Behind the Door - Level Range of 4 to 15
      *Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Moving Targets - Level Range 8 to 20
      *Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion: Picture Portals - Level Range 15 to 20

      *Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos - Level Range of 4 to 15
      *Kobold Island: The Disruptor - Level Range 8 to 20
      *Kobold Island: Short Cuts - Level Range 15 to 20

      *Lava Caves: Circles of Power - Level Range of 4 to 15
      *Lava Caves: Colossal Crystal - Level Range 8 to 20
      *Lava Caves: Time is Money - Level Range 15 to 20

      *Extraplanar Mining: Dragon's Hoard - Level Range 8 to 20
      *Extraplanar Mining: Buying Time - Level Range 12 to 20
      *Extraplanar Mining: Labor Shortage - Level Ranger 14 to 20


    Epic Variations exist for all challenges except Circles of Power, Kobold Chaos, and Behind the Door. Epic Variations are played in a level range of 21 to 25 regardless of the variation.

    Entering Challenges and What to Expect

    First, I highly recommend that you get a feel for each of the challenges and their many variations to see how they all play. Some require a good deal of Defense Work, others Scouting, and all of them Require DPS. I would suggest running through Behind the Door, Kobold Chaos, Circles of Power, and The Dragon's Hoard first as these challenges tend to be the easier Challenge Variation to play.

    Some of the challenges can also be soloed, and I recommend you do so when your just starting them out. Run them at a lower Challenge level and try to complete the main objective to get a completion. This will allow you to go at your own pace and fully learn how to run the challenge before you team up with others, allowing you to understand a bit of what will be needed to win the challenge.

    Before you enter the challenge you should read over the Challenge Rules for the selected challenge. These can be viewed at the Challenge Board for each specific Variation of a challenge. You should also check out the information below to try and get a further idea of what you should do; I've listed a summary for each challenge and all variations associated with it.

    If you are soloing you should certainly look into bringing a Hireling on many of the challenges as all but the Rushmore Challenges require you to defend something or another. It can be helpful to plant your Hireling at a point for him to defend so you can perform other activities that would prevent you from properly defending what needs to be defended. At the least, the Hireling should prove a temporary speedbump. Scaling isn't a problem with Hirelings so even if their are players in the party, a Hireling may still be helpful.

    Scaling with Players is a problem and should get special mention as well, as it is one of the key reasons people solo or duo challenges rather then partying for them. Mobs tend to increase exponentially with each additional player character party member that joins the party. In Kobold Island for example you might get 2 Red Named Bosses initially guarding the Large Extractors, and in Rushmore's you will get 2 enemies popping out from the Warforged Portraits. You also get bigger parties of roaming monsters that will attack you in the mining challenges.

    You should plan out what your trying to achieve – are you looking to just get ingredients or are you trying to get as high a star ranking as possible? The two don't necessarily mesh with each other so your usually doing one or the other. Additionally, if you are in a party you should understand what your role will be and what your party mate’s roles will be. This is important because teamwork can be very vital to successfully completing a challenge. Even with everyone having a specific role, you should be aware that your role may change accordingly depending on how the challenge flows. Try to plan out peoples rolls before you start the challenge.

    In the challenges themselves, you can expect mobs to throw a lot at you. On higher difficulties, this may include spells like Wail of the Banshee or Finger of Death so be prepared for what they might do. In all the challenges apart from Rushmore’s, you may also periodically experience roaming mobs that will charge towards a specific target that you’ll want to protect. Care should be taken because they will attack the first thing they see or key targets you may be trying to defend first.

    Most challenges also have one thing or another that you’ll have to interact with such as the Kobold Foreman in Lava Caves or Extraplanar Mining, and Extractors in Kobold Island; Rushmore’s will also have you finding Crests and putting them into sockets to open doors to advance further into the challenge. Take a challenge or two to learn what each thing offers or helpful tricks when using such objects or devices (for example, the Time Traveling Foreman in Picture Portals can bestow buffs which may be more useful then an extra minute of time).

    When running the challenges you'll want a self-sufficient character that can inflict good damage on targets or do other things like use instant kill spells, run their hitpoints to 0, or use some form of crowd control. One thing that is certain for all the challenges is that the more flexible characters perform much better then others, as they can perform more duties in a challenge by themselves.

    Bringing certain potions, clickies, and abilities may also be a good idea. Being able to turn invisible in certain challenges or cast Haste on yourself with a potion can be very beneficial in saving time. Having access to Dimensional Door can work really well, especially in Extraplanar Mining and Lava Caves. Look into what you can bring to aid you because sometimes that little bit of extra help can mean the difference between a Completion or a Failure, or even an extra Star.

    You'll also want to practice some solo or duo-ing strategies with your character as to be successful in he challenges you may be on your own or only with one other person. In very few situations will your entire party generally be needed - though it should be noted that when it is needed it is usually to fight a boss or a massive hoard of monsters.

    Finally, one should be aware that luck plays a major role in all the challenges in some shape or form. A great deal of randomness is involved in the challenges to keep you on your toes, but also to prevent the challenges from getting boring. So you never know when that Entropic Giant Skeleton in The Disruptor is going to show up or where that Fire Giant Warlock will spawn in Time is Money. In Rushmore's Challenges as well, luck is always a prevalent factor in finding the right crests for the right sockets to open the gates. Where the Purple Crystals are as well in Lava Caves and Extraplanar mining is also random as well, sometimes one spot has a lot of greens, sometimes a lot of purples, and other times, none of either!

  2. #2
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    Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion Challenges

    The three Challenge Variations for Rushmore’s are Behind the Door, Moving Targets, and Picture Portals. Moving Targets and Picture Portals both have Epic Variations to play.

    The Rules of the Challenge

    In Rushmore’s, you are on the offensive, and you main task is to kill one of the 5 bosses – Crystal the Giant, Ugg, Mistress Temptia, Smiling Sam, and Dr. Rushmore. For all Variations of the challenge, one of the optional goals for an additional star is to kill all 5 of the bosses.

    A big part of the challenge outside of killing the bosses is opening gates with crests. It is such a big part of the challenge that it is actually another optional shared by all three challenges. You open gates both to allow you and your party to penetrate deeper into the Mansion and to extend you remaining time by 2 minutes.

    The crests themselves come in several variations, and specific crests are needed for specific sockets to open doors within the mansion. You can find these crests randomly lying around or you can kill monsters or break breakables to sometimes find them. Some crests may be behind secret or locked doors, and others may require you to solve a tile puzzle in the observatory to get access too.

    As you go deeper into the Mansion, each additional gate will require you to use a higher number of crests. Beginning at the first door you will use only 1 crest, and each subsequent door you approach will require an additional crest to open. When you get to doors that require 4 crests to open, be aware that you’re closing in on a boss.

    Scattered around in the Mansion as well, you will also find Warforged Paintings lining the walls. These Paintings are quite dangerous as getting in front of them will cause its eyes to glow red and Phantasmal Guards to pop out. Mobs will continue to spawn from the Painting in periodic intervals after it is activated but will stop when you open the next gate.

    Variations and Rule sets

    As stated already, all three Variations of Rushmore’s Challenges have the three following optionals:

    • *Defeat at least one boss (has to be completed to beat the challenge)
      *Defeat all of the bosses
      *Open all 16 of the sealed gates


    In addition to these 3 optionals, each of the variations for the challenge all have 2 separate but unique optionals to complete. They are:

    • *For Behind the Door you must Defeat the Mother of the Nest and Open 3 bubbles in the Observatory
      *In Moving Targets you must Activate all 37 Warforged Paintings and Kill one boss in the Bathroom
      *And for Picture Portals you must Sell 2 minutes of Time to the Time Foreman and Not Allow any enemies to go through teleporters


    In addition to the General Rules of the Challenge Moving Targets and Picture Portals also has its own unique rules associated with it.

    In Moving Targets, a key difference between it and the other Challenge Variations is that the bosses may randomly ‘teleport’ to different areas of the Mansion. When a Boss does so, it will give you a hint via the DM. Note though that the bosses only have a select few areas in the map that they will teleport too. Smiling Sam as well doesn’t seem to teleport from is crib either.

    In Picture Portals, the key difference is that by all the Warforged Paintings there is a 2 way Teleporter. These teleporters will send you to another point somewhere in the mansion, next to another Warforged Painting. Of course, enemies may also use the teleporters to follow you if you try to run away from them.

    General Strategies

    Generally, you should take the time to break breakables whenever you get the chance. Besides Crests you can also get some temporary buffs which can greatly aid you in Rushmore’s Challenges.

    When you’re not in a higher level Dungeon Alert, you can make use of Invisibility to run by enemies instead of fighting them. Though note that if you kill them quite quickly, they can sometimes drop crests which may make it worth taking the time to kill them. Keep in mind though, if you open a door or get to close to enemies, you’ll be under attack.

    Crests can be removed from Sockets if the connected door has not been opened. If you don’t have the crests to open the door, feel free to remove the Crests to try in another door. Just bear in mind that if your in a group, your group members may have the appropriate crest needed

    Smiling Sam is a passive Boss in that when you talk to him you get a dialogue box. Be careful because you can use social options on him to convince him to help you kill Rushmore, which when you do prevents you from killing him; though if you go to kill Rushmore he will very well come to help you kill him. Additionally if he dies then he's defeated.

    Smiling Sam and Mistress Temptia don’t have Bound Elementals spawn when you fight them. If you are just looking for a completion then these guys are usually the easiest to fight. Ugg is also fairly easy in that he usually just spawns a couple Bound Elementals to help him out.

    You may want to split your party up in this challenge to get additional Stars. Usually a good time to split up the party is from the Courtyard on. Keep in mind though; some bosses can be quite tough so if you split up the party you should account for a bosses difficulty.

    From the Bathhouse to Smiling Sam, and from Smiling Sam to Mistress Temptia, there are several traps lining the pathways. While the individual Traps don’t do as much damage even on Epic challenge difficulty, we’re talking traps in every single direction and it is likely you’re going to be getting hit by a trap no matter how skilled at avoiding a trap you might be. The type of traps in question are spinning bladed traps, slashing traps, and fierier jet traps.

    The Phantasmal enemies are considered Human, apart from the Phantasmal Hounds. A Human Bane weapon will do quite well in dispatching them. Besides the Phantasmal enemies, Rushmore is a Human too. You will also encounter a few Vermin type enemies and Construct type enemies as well where appropriate Bane weapons for those types may also be useful.

    Paralyzers are fairly useful as the Phantasmal enemies can still be paralyzed. Smiting can sometimes be useful as there are a few constructs you may fight. Just note that Epic Difficulty will prevent instant death effects.

    It can be quite useful to use your Daily Challenge Tokens inside the challenge to get additional crests from the Challenge Supply Vaults along with some temporary buffs as well. Since luck is a major factor in Rushmore's Challenges, anything that ups your odds for crests should be considered so you don't find yourself at a door without the proper crests.

    Rushmore’s Challenges tend to favor those who inflict a lot of damage or instant kill enemies. Crowd Control abilities will tend to be limited due to the Phantasmal enemies being immune to mind altering spells. Web will work however the Phantasmal Messengers may burn them if you don’t catch them.

    Shrines are fairly plentiful in Rushmore's Challenges. With more then just a few, you have several options to rest or resurrect dead Party Members available to you. Note their locations and plan their use into your strategies.

    Be careful of walking in front of Warforged Paintings. If the Painting isn't activated yet, it isn't spawning mobs. If you plan to go somewhere else first then it won't begin spawning a number of mobs for when you do plan to pass by it. Bear in mind though that on Moving Portals, it may be beneficial to activate the Portraits for the optional associated with it.

    Planning you route can be very important. Take the time to note the layout of the Mansion, where the Warforged Paintings are and if they can be avoided, where gates are and how many Crests they need to be opened.

    In Moving Targets, it is usually a good general strategy to have some of your party quickly head to the Bathroom if you are looking to do the optional for killing a boss in the Bathroom. Ugg and Mistress Temptia will sometimes appear their randomly for you to kill them.

    In Picture Portals, sometimes the safest way to avoid enemies going through the teleporters is to not use the teleporters. Though you may want to use them if you can’t find the Kobold Foreman as he will teleport to the person he is following if they use the teleporter.

  3. #3
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    Kobold Island Challenges

    The three Challenge Variations for Kobold Island are Kobold Chaos, The Disruptor, and Short Cuts. The Disruptor and Short Cuts both have Epic Variations to play.

    The Rules of the Challenge

    In Kobold Island, you’re quickly attacking kobolds or desecrating their Idols and then going on the Defensive to protect Extractors that will mine Dragonshards for you. Your main task is to mine a set quota of Dragonshards that will vary depending on the Challenge Variation you choose.

    Before you can get Extractors activated though, the first thing you’re going to need to do is get some Machine Parts from those pesky Kobolds. Without those Machine Parts you won’t be able to activate any Extractors which you will need to produce Dragonshards. Machine Parts can sometimes be obtained randomly by killing Kobolds or by destroying Kobold Idols where you always get a random amount.

    Extractors in Kobold Island come in two types, Small and Large, and both are important depending on what goals you are looking to achieve. At the start of the quest, all Extractors will be inactive and you will need to activate them to get them producing Dragonshards. Activated a Small Extractor does not require you to have any Dragonshards but Large Extractors require both Machine Parts and Dragonshards to activate.

    As can be expected, Small and Large Extractors mine differing amounts of Dragonshards with Small Extractors yielding a small amount of Dragonshards per second then the Large Extractors. Large Extractors however yield a greater amount of attention, being guarded by red named mobs and when activated it attracts the attention of more mobs and higher difficulty mobs then the Small Extractors.

    Extractors of both types can be upgraded to increase the inflow of Dragonshards you receive. Small Extractors can be upgraded twice and Large Extractors can be upgraded three times. Note that upgrading an extractor will require you to use Dragonshards to do so regardless of Extractor type. Upgrading an Extractor essentially fully heals the Extractors and gives it more hit points.

    You may also make purchases at Extractors as well with some of the Dragonshards you acquire in the challenge. Turrets can be bought from both Small and Large Extractors and you can set them up to help defend your Extractors. At Large Extractors you may also purchase shrines of both types. Note though that using Dragonshards reduces your current amount.

    From time to time, random events may also occur during your challenges. Common to all three however, you can expect Supply Drops to sometimes be given to you by your ‘employer’ and you may sometimes receive a visit from your ‘benefactor’, the Lantern Archon. These random events can sometimes provide a helpful distraction from mundanely guarding an Extractor plus provide some awesome bonuses.

    Supply Drops for example will give you a nice boost to your Machine Parts as well as give you some helpful but temporary buffs. The Lantern Archon will drop bags containing 5 Dragon shards periodically while it’s around (though these bags may disappear if not picked up. Note as well that you can kill the Lantern Archon which will cause it to drop many Dragonshards for you; though killing the Lantern Archon will cause it to stop spearing from that point on.

    The monsters that appear in Kobold Island vary depending on the Challenge Variation to choose. In Kobold Chaos you mace off against such enemies as Sahuagin and Elemental Mud and Water enemies. In The Disruptor enemies will consist of a variety of Undead. In Short Cuts you will be up again Tieflings, Devils, and Hellhounds. All of them of course have Kobolds, though they only become aggressive when attacked.

    Variations and Rule sets

    While you have to mine Dragonshards in all Challenge Variations in order to get a successful completion, the amount you need to mine varies from variation to variation:

    • *In Kobold Chaos you need to mine 500 Dragonshards
      *In The Disruptor you need to mine 400 Dragonshards
      *In Short Cuts you need to mine 300 DragonShards
      *In the EPIC version of The Disruptor you need to mine 750 Dragonshards
      *In the EPIC version of Short Cuts you need to mine 500 Dragonshards


    Apart from the main goal you will have to complete, each Variation of course has its own set of 4 optional goals for you and your party to pursue:

    In Kobold Chaos –
    • *Fully Upgrade All 3 Large Extractors
      *Destroy the Lantern Archon
      *Desecrate 6 Kobold Idols
      *Defeat and Island Djinn


    In The Disruptor –
    • *Fully Upgrade All 3 Large Extractors
      *Leave the Entropic Giant Skeleton Alive for 5 Minutes
      *Have 10 Level 2 Turrets Active at Once
      *Do not let any Extractors get Destroyed


    In Short Cuts –
    • *Do Not Kill any Kobolds
      *Deplete all 8 Portals
      *Kill 25 Orthon Lieutenants
      *Maintain an Extraction rate of 20 for 2 minutes


    As can be expected, in addition to the General rules all these Challenge Variations follow, The Disruptor and Short Cuts have their own unique rules associated with just themselves.

    In The Disruptor, an Entropic Giant Skeleton will appear from time to time. While it is alive, your Dragonshard Extraction Rate will be ‘disrupted’ and you will not earn any Dragonshards until it is killed.

    In Short Cuts, there are Portals that will appear throughout the Island. These Portals may be used as a quick gateway between different points on the map, though note that they may only be used 3 times before they are depleted and made not useable again.

    General Strategies

    Use a Kobold Idol to ‘desecrate’ them but be warned that desecrating an Idol will make all the living Kobolds at that Idol run away and stop them from appearing there.

    Use Turrets to Guard Extractors that no one is guarding or to help Party Mates having trouble guarding an Extractor by themselves. Note that with each additional Party Member, Turrets become less useful by themselves as the additional mobs will make it difficult for the Turrets to defend against.

    In all three Challenge Variations, Mobs will progressively be unlocked and start appearing as your total extraction number increases. Orthons in Short Cuts for example will appear when you reach your quota.

    You can buff your extractors and use repair spells on them to help keep them alive. Note though that some buffs won’t work and upgrading an extractor will essentially remove all buffs, so you’ll have to rebuff it again.

    Extractors have mad agro, don’t be surprised if mobs catching sight of it will entirely ignore you when they see an Extractor; don’t be surprised either if you don’t seem to be pulling their agro off the Extractors either. Intimidate or the Hate Magnet Buff can be extremely helpful for pulling aggro since it puts you at the top of the monsters target list.

    Crowd Control is very effective in Kobold Island. A Bard for example can Fascinate normal non-undead monsters to protect an extractor for a long time. Web, Dancing, and whatever else will all go a long ways in helping to defend Extractors. However, the type of Crowd Control used varies depending on what you fight. Devils have a little bit of Spell Resistance for example, and Undead require their own specific Crowd Control spells, or special Bard songs.

    Monster types of course vary depending on the challenge you enter. For Kobold Chaos, a Monstrous Humanoid Bane and Elemental Bane weapon may be quite useful. In The Disruptor, just Regular Undead Bane Weapon should do you quite fine, but note that Zombies take Slashing DR and Skeletons take Bludgeoning. In Shortcuts, Evil Outsider Bane Weapons are a good sure bet to taking stuff out.

    Apart from The Disruptor, this is another challenge where Paralyzers work great. While you'll find that the Undead in Disruptor can't be paralyzed, you can of course use Disruption on them. Note that on epic you can't instant kill stuff though.

    Shrines are an extreme luxury in Kobold Island. While you do have a Resurrect Shrine available to you near the ship you get off of at the start, additional Shrines will need to be purchased at Large Extractors if you wish for them. Thus you will need to weigh the benefits of purchasing a Shrine with some of your Dragonshards for when you might need one.

    Sometimes a useful strategy is to destroy Turrets since you only have a limited amount of them you can place. Destroying a Turret will allow you to place it elsewhere.

    Note that for The Disruptor, you will need 5 Turret Requisition Forms if you want to do the optional for the 10 level 2 Turrets. Not letting any Extractor get destroyed means not letting any of them go to 0% when activated.

    In Short Cuts, and Extraction rate of 20 for 2 minutes is only possible if you have all 3 Large Extractors active. It is likely that if your going for that goal that you may want to abandon all the Small Extractors at some point to guard the 3 Large Extractors.

    Usually players will just aim to get ingredients from the Kobold Island Challenges due to the difficulty in obtaining star rankings in all three of the variations. Getting high star rankings in Kobold Island is the most difficult of any the challenges you can do.

  4. #4
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    Lava Caves Challenges

    The three Challenge Variations for Lava Caves are Circles of Power, Colossal Crystal, and Time is Money. Colossal Crystal and Time is Money both have Epic Variations to play.

    The Rules of the Challenge

    In the Lava Caves, your looking to mine as many Dragonshards as possible with your Kobold Workers. Like Kobold Island, your main task is to mine a set quota of Dragonshards before your timer runs out. It should be noted though that in one of the Challenge Variations, Colossal Crystals, mining Dragonshards is more of a means to your main goal of collecting a very massive Progenitor Crystal to get a succesful completion.

    Initially when you start the challenge, you start with a small number of Kobold Workers, a Kobold Foreman, and a set number of Incense Torches next to a returning Circle of Power point for Kobold Teleporters that you place later on; note that there are also 2 additional Incense Torches at the entrance to the Lava Caves as well. Additional Torches, Teleporters, Workers, and Amenities for your Workers may be purchased with some of your Dragonshards as you progress in the quest.

    Throughout the Lava Caves Challenges, you will be aiming to find Purple Dragonshards for your Kobold Workers to mine. After you find them, you will lay down rows of Torches to guide your Kobolds to the Crystals. Upon gathering the maximum about of Crystals the Kobold will hold, they will then return them to entrance of the Lava Caves where your Kobold Foreman (alive or dead) will be.

    The Lava Caves are an extremely vast series of tunnels, but scattered throughout the Dungeon you will also find several Circles of Power. When a Kobold Teleporter is placed in a Circle of Power your Kobolds may teleport to that location in addition to being able to teleport back from it. This can be useful as you can set Torches from that Kobold Teleporter to the Crystals that are far away from the entrance.

    Be Careful though, those Kobold Teleporters in Circles of Power aren't just usable by your Kobolds. Enemies that come along may also use those Teleporters to jump to the beginning and attack you at the Entrance to the cave. Likewise however, you yourself may also use the Teleporter to jump between the Entrance and wherever the Teleporter is located.

    Scattered throughout the dungeon to impede your mining are also several enemies. The prevalent enemies consist of Drow, Scorpions, Scorrow, Giants, Wolves, and Lions; and what you run into will depend on the variation of the challenge you choose. These enemies will attack and attempt to kill anything that comes close, though they will snap back to their spawn points if they wander too far from them.

    In addition to these enemies, you will also have roaming enemies that will run toward to entrance to attack you, the Worker Kobolds, and Kobold Foreman. Be careful of this because enemies will attack the first target they general see which may include your Kobold Workers deep in the tunnels that are along the path. Roaming enemies may also include Bosses as well, and their difficulty and type may vary depending on the Challenge Variation you play.

    It should also come with no surprise as well that there is Lava in these caves. You must be extremely careful of the Lava because your Kobolds will run through it intentionally if that is where the torches lead them, and in some scenarios that may even be something you'll want your Kobolds to do.

    When attacked, Kobold Workers or the Kobold Foreman will scream, run around in panic, or sit still until rescued. Be aware that they won't attempt to run away and if monsters are left attacking them they will die.

    Without a doubt, it is likely some Kobold Worker or another will die. When they do they drop a Kobold Soulstone that can be picked up and brought to the Kobold Foreman. At a cost of X crystals you can resurrect the fallen Kobold. X+1 represents the number of previous times Kobolds have been resurrected at the Kobold Foreman.If your Kobold Foreman dies, then you can't resurrect your Kobold Workers.

    Variations and Rule sets

    Depending on the Challenge Variation you choose, you will have one main goal revolving around mining something:

    • *In Circles of Power your Main Goal is to collect 150 crystals
      *In Colossal Crystals your Main Goal is to collect 1 Progenitor Crystal
      *In Time is Money your Main Goal is to collect 100 crystals


    Outside of the main goals that you must completion, you also have your 4 additional goals that you can pursue for a higher star ranking:

    • In Circles of Power -
      *Collect 300 crystals above your quota
      *Find all 5 azure motes
      *Do not buy any torches
      *Keep all Kobolds alive

      In Colossal Crystals -
      *Collect all 3 Progenitor Crystals
      *Resurrect 12 Dead Kobolds
      *Do Not Disable any Security Wards
      *Clear the Giants from the Arena

      In Time is Money -
      *Keep all Kobolds Alive
      *Defeat the Fire Giant Warlock
      *Send the Kobolds through the Teleporter 200 times
      *Buy less then 9 minutes


    Along with the General Rules for the Lava Caves regarding mining of Dragonshards, Circles of Power, Colossal Crystal, and Time is Money all have their own rules that they follow.

    In Circles of Power, Azure Motes will also spawn that you can collect for an optional goal you can pursue.

    In Colossal Crystal, your party is looking to mine a Progenitor Crystal. There are a total of 3 and they are all locked behind barred gates which require a Specific Crest to open. The Crest needed never changes so if you know which gate a Crest needs, you only have to head to it. In Addition to opening the gate, each Progenitor Crystal has a socket for a Security Ward Crest. Using a Security Ward Crest will reduce the amount of monsters that will attack you when a Kobold picks up a Progenitor Crystal. Crests will spawn in different locations so it is possible you may find it in one location but find it again in another location the next that

    Your Kobolds will function however like in any of the Lava Cave Challenges. For example, they will still pick up green and purple Dragonshards that they see. Plan accordingly for this because even if you place torches from a Circle of Power to a Progenitor Crystal, they will pick up all the Dragonshard thy see first along the way.

    When a Kobold Picks up the Progenitor Crystal it will be dramatically slowed by the weight of the crystal and not be able to use Dimensional Doors or Kobold Teleporters outside of Circles of Power. Monsters will spawn and attempt to kill the Kobold carrying the Crystal as well, and there numbers scale with the amount of players in the dungeon though their numbers may be reduced by deactivating the Security Ward for the Crystal.

    Should your Kobold suceed in making it back to the entrance, besides beating the main goal of the challenge, each Progenitor Crystal is worth 100 Dragonshards upon collection. In addition to this, you will also be given an additional 2 minutes of time when you bring a Progenitor Crystal back.

    In Time is Money, you start with a very limited amount of time, but can purchase additional time from the Kobold Time Foreman. Each additional purchase will cost an increasing amount of Dragonshards that will be subtracted from your quota. Time purchases costs 5(x+1) Dragonshards, with x equating to the number of previous times you have already purchased time.

    For all intensive purposes, the Time Foreman is really no different from the Kobold Foreman. Time Comes in 3 minute allotments. You can purchase these allotments up to 8 times normally, and 9 times with a time requisition used.

    There is also a boss monster that will spawn as well that you can kill as an optional, the Fire Giant Warlock. He tends to hang around Shrines or in the Arena, but his placement is random everytime.

    General Strategies

    Scouting plays a big role in the Lava Caves, however you should be careful. It is likely you will draw the attention of monsters as you run through the Lava Caves, not matter if you are Invisible, Sneaking, or making every attempt to avoid monsters.

    Watch out for hidden mobs. Scorpions and Wolves like to hide and if your spot or listen is too low won't be detected until they run up and attack you.

    Dungeon Alert is a big concern in Lava Caves. You should generally kill any monsters you get the attention of, lest when you have to face a boss it will be quite strong and hard to defeat with a high Dungeon Alert triggered.

    In this challenge, you need to take care of your Kobold Foreman and Kobolds near the entrance to the Lava Caves; all while searching for Purple Dragonshards and laying down Teleporters and Torches to guide them and return them. As such it is usually a good idea to split your group into defenders and line runners. Sometimes if you have a capable player or party, a third group which can comprise scouters can be formed to search for patches of purple Dragonshards.

    Vermin Bane, Elven Bane, Giant Bane, Animal Bane, and Aberration Bane will all have an effect on something or another. Mostly useful in all Variations though some Banes are more useful then others at times.

    Paralyzers are awesome and will wreck havoc on everything they hit. If you have one then you should look into making use of it on any non red named monster. Just be aware, Freedom of Movement is a buff that can be cast by some spellcasters. Instant kill abilities from effects or spells are slightly less effective due to mobs casting Deathward, and even less useful on Epic Difficulties.

    Crowd Control spells are useful on some mobs, not so useful on others. You'll find Scorpions can't be afflicted with Mind Altering Spells and Drow have good spell resistance that you have to cut through to effect them. Web can be an alright spell to use but watch out for Fireballs from those Drow Sorceress'.

    Shrines are plentiful in Lava Caves. At the entrance and scattered through the Lava Caves are some shrines for your party to use. Note their locations but also be aware that monsters are usually guarding them as well.

    Like in Rushmore's Challenges, it can be quite useful to use your Daily Challenge Tokens inside the challenge in the Challenge Supply Vaults for some temporary buffs as well. If your lucky though, you can pick up some Torches which can save time as well as make it easier on you in Circles of Power where an optional requires you to buy none.

    In Colossal Crystal, you should take the time to buff the Kobold that will grab/does grab the Progenitor Crystal. When he's walk back, mass Crowd Control spells should be used to protect the Kobold and yourself. If you can, intimidate what monsters you can to pull them off the Kobold so he can continue on.

    The Crests in Colossal Crystal will spawn in fixed locations, but the Security Crests have multiple fixed locations they can spawn in. Gates always require the same crest to open.

    In Time is Money, you shouldn't only buy time if you have nearby purple Dragonshards to collect, else it will likely not be worth the purchase.

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    Extraplanar Mining Challenges

    The three Challenge Variations for Extraplanar Mining are Dragon Hoard, Buying Time, and Labor Shortage. All Three Variations have an Epic Variation to play.

    The Rules of the Challenge

    In the Extraplanar Mining, your looking to mine as many Dragonshards as possible with your Kobold Workers. Very much like Lava Caves, your main task is to mine a set quota of Dragonshards before your timer runs out. You won't be mining anything other then Dragonshards either.

    Initially when you start the challenge, you start with a small number of Kobold Workers, a Kobold Foreman, and a set number of Incense Torches north of the returning point for Kobold Teleporters that you place later on. Additional Torches, Teleporters, Workers, and Amenities for your Workers may be purchased with some of your Dragonshards as you progress in the quest.

    Throughout the Extraplanar Minging Challenges, you will be aiming to find Purple Dragonshards for your Kobold Workers to mine. After you find them, you will lay down rows of Torches to guide your Kobolds to the Crystals. Upon gathering the maximum about of Crystals the Kobold will hold, they will then return them to entrance of the Extraplanar Minging where your Kobold Foreman (alive or dead) will be.

    The Extraplanar Palace is an extremely vast series of rooms. Unlike the Lava Caves you'll find that it isn't necessarily as linear, as rooms and levels will connect to each other. Another difference from the Lava Caves is that you won't find any Circles of Power around; you'll have to set Torches for your Kobolds to follow from the Foreman to the Crystals. Kobold Teleporters may only be used to teleport your Kobolds back to the entrance only.

    Only your Kobolds can use those teleporters. Enemies will have to take the long way to get to the center of the Extraplanar Palace. You as well will also be unable to teleport to the beginning with Kobold Teleporters.

    Scattered throughout the dungeon to impede your mining are also several enemies. The prevalent enemies consist of Animated Armors, Arcanaloth Spellcasters, Mephits, Succubus, Fire and Ice Renders, and Jariliths. These enemies will attack and attempt to kill anything that comes close, though they will snap back to their spawn points if they wander too far from them.

    In addition to all of them, there are also some bosses that will show up when you meet quota to attack, and of course the Spectral Dragon himself, Auraxyllon. Auraxyllon lurks deep within the palace and you can choose to leave him alone if you want. He worth an optional to kill however should you choose to fight him. Be aware that he won't lurk too far from where he spawns, and like most of the other enemies will just snap back to his spawn point if he wanders too far from it.

    The other bosses will move around endlessly to kill you and your Kobolds. One of the bosses, a Maralith, will show up automatically when your party hits the Dragonshard Quota, at the returning point for Kobolds using Kobold Teleporters. The other bosses, a Rakshasa and a Night Hag will spawn randomly within the Extraplanar Palace and move towards the entrance, attacking anything on the way.

    In addition to these enemies, you will also have roaming enemies that will run toward to entrance to attack you, the Worker Kobolds, and Kobold Foreman. Be careful of this because enemies will attack the first target they general see which may include your Kobold Workers deep in the tunnels that are along the path. Roaming enemies may also include Bosses as well, though they are far weaker then the Spectral Dragon or the one that shows up when you hit quota.

    When attacked, Kobold Workers or the Kobold Foreman will scream, run around in panic, or sit still until rescued. Be aware that they won't attempt to run away and if monsters are left attacking them they will die.

    Without a doubt, it is likely some Kobold Worker or another will die. When they do they drop a Kobold Soulstone that can be picked up and brought to the Kobold Foreman. At a cost of X crystals you can resurrect the fallen Kobold. X+1 represents the number of previous times Kobolds have been resurrected at the Kobold Foreman. If your Kobold Foreman dies, then you can't resurrect your Kobold Workers.

    Variations and Rule sets

    Regardless of the Challenge Variation you choose, you have to mine a certain amount of Dragonshards to win:

    [list]*In The Dragon's Hoard your Main Goal is to collect 150 crystals
    *In Buying Time your Main Goal is to collect 100 crystals
    *In Labor Shortage your Main Goal is to collect 100 crystals[/list[

    Outside of mining the crystals, a common optional goal you can do in all of them for a star:

    • *Is to Defeat the Spectral Dragon Auraxyllon


    Then, the 3 remaining optional goals for your other 3 stars you can pursue differs depending on the Challenge Variation you choose:

    • In The Dragon Hoard -
      *Collect 300 crystals above your quota
      *Let your Kobold Foreman get killed
      *Slay 120 monsters in the Extraplanar Palace

      In Buying Time -
      *Collect 300 crystals above your quota
      *Do not buy any Kobold Teleporters
      *Buy less then 9 minutes of time

      In Labor Shortage -
      *Keep all Kobolds alive
      *Find all 5 Azure Motes
      *Buy At least 7 powerups for your Kobold Workers


    Along with the General Rules for Extraplanar Mining regarding mining of Dragonshards, Buying Time and Labor Shortage also has their own rules that they follow.

    In Buying Time, you start with a very limited amount of time, but can purchase additional time from the Kobold Time Foreman. Each additional purchase will cost an increasing amount of Dragonshards that will be subtracted from your quota. Time purchases costs 5(x+1) Dragonshards, with x equating to the number of previous times you have already purchased time.

    For all intensive purposes, the Time Foreman is really no different from the Kobold Foreman. Time Comes in 3 minute allotments. You can purchase these allotments up to 8 times normally, and 9 times with a time requisition used.

    For all comparative purposes, it is Time is Money - except it is now in the Extraplanar Palace that your doing it.

    In Labor Shortage, the only real difference is that your Kobolds can't be resurrected, and you can't buy any additional ones from the Kobold Foreman. What you start with is what you get and when they die, they die for good. They still drop soulstones but nothing will come of bringing them back to the Kobold Foreman.

    Azure Motes will also spawn that you can collect for an optional goal you can pursue.

    General Strategies

    Watch the tar at the entrance to the Kobold Palace. While you may think it isn't much of an environment hazard, it is when your Kobold Workers or even your Kobold Foreman panics and runs into it to get away from the monsters attacking them.

    Scouting plays a noticeable role within the Extraplanar Palace, however you should be careful. It is likely you will draw the attention of monsters as you run through the Extraplanar Palace even if you are Invisible, Sneaking, or making every attempt to avoid monsters.

    Watch out for hidden mobs. Mephits like to hide and if your spot or listen is too low won't be detected until they run up and attack you or your Kobolds.

    Dungeon Alert is a big concern within the Extraplanar Palace. You should generally kill any monsters you get the attention of, lest when you have to face a boss it will be quite strong and hard to defeat with a high Dungeon Alert triggered.

    In this challenge, you need to take care of your Kobold Foreman and Kobolds near the entrance to the Extraplanar Palace; all while searching for Purple Dragonshards and laying down Teleporters and Torches to guide them and return them. As such it is usually a good idea to split your group into defenders and line runners. Sometimes if you have a capable player or party, a third group which can comprise scouters can be formed to search for patches of purple Dragonshards.

    Construct Bane and Evil Outside Bane are you main weapons of choice within the Extraplanar Palace. Useful regardless of what Challenge Variation you play.

    Paralyzers are subpar in that monsters are immune or quite resistant with will saves. Smiters have some use in taking out the Animated Armor. Instant kill abilities from effects or spells are slightly less effective due to mobs casting Deathward, and even less useful on Epic Difficulties.

    Crowd Control spells are limited but still useful. You'll find you can't afflict much with Mind Altering Spells due to immunities or low saves but Fascinate can work fairly well as well as Music of Makers. Web works really well on mobs.

    There is only one shrine in the Extraplanar Palace, and it's a Resurrection Shrine at the entrance. Plan your actions accordingly because this can become a resource intensive challenge if you don't.

    In Buying Time, you shouldn't only buy time if you have nearby purple Dragonshards to collect, else it will likely not be worth the purchase.

    In Labor Shortage, you should buy Extra Barrels for your Kobold Workers immediately since you can't buy or resurrect Kobolds to speed up production.

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    The Barter System

    There are a variety of useful things you can do with the barter system, below are some of the key notable things.

    Ingredients and Resource Trading

    First, if you want you can exchange specific resources for other specific resources at a ration of 2 to 1. For example, you can exchange 20 Orthon Metal Scraps for 10 Arcanaloth Scrolls. This can be good for getting other ingredients from challenges you may be having difficulty getting ingredients from. It should be noted though that by specific resources for other specific resources, I mean you can't exchange any 20 ingredients of one type for just any other 10 ingredients of another; however you can keep exchanging resource to eventually get it. So those 20 Orthon Metal Scraps you could exchange for 10 Arcanaloth Scrolls, and then 20 Arcanaloth Scrolls could be exchanged for 10 Jeweled Goblets. This can get expensive but it's an option to consider if you need a lot of a specific resource or a lot of a resource you don't need. Epic Resources may also be exchanged much like the normal ones, but every trade requires 1 Epic Dungeon Token Fragment.

    Epic Tokens and Epic Token Fragments

    A very important trade you can make with your Epic Ingredients is for Epic Tokens or Epic Token Fragments. For any type of Epic Ingredients, you can take 300 of the same Epic Ingredient and get yourself 1 full Epic Dungeon Token. As can be guessed, this provides a nice and even better alternative to running Quests on Epic, especially since you can repeat Challenges immediately unlike Epic quests. You can also get 1 Epic Dungeon Token Fragment for 5 Epic Ingredients though compared to the Epic Dungeon Tokens and the fact that you can pick up plenty of Fragments in quests that run on Epic (like Snitch and Bargain of Blood) it is generally not recommended.

    Consumable Items

    Perhaps not looked into as much, something you can do with your normal ingredients is exchanged them for Consumable Potions. This can include an array of Potions such as your basic Cure Pots and Tumble Pots, but some of the major ones to note are the Minor Experience Elixir, Minor Guild Renown Elixir, Minor Crafting Experience Elixir, and Minor Slayer Count Boost Potions. Often overlooked, these can be a nice way to spend excess ingredients you have stocked up and don't know what to do with. It should be noted that Certain Potions require specific resources but the major ones like Experience Elixir you can trade with any resource.

    Equipment

    Of course, probably the main thing that people look for in the barter system are the equipment pieces you can get. These come in weapons and other wearable equipment of varying uses and abilities. Some are really nice and they vary in level of use, and by this I mean that you can level up your challenge equipment for higher leveled characters or upgrade the weapon to higher tiers for additional abilities. They even come in Epic versions, though you'll be needing your Epic Ingredients to upgrade them to tier 2 and 3; can make the tier 1 though with normal ingredients.

    Other Items

    For you Crafters out there, there is one more thing you can possible trade your challenge ingredients for, crafting ingredients! For 300 ingredients of any resource you can pick up Crafting Satchels of varying sizes - small, medium, and large. Note that I mean 300 ingredients of a specific type of a specific size - you can spend 300 Jeweled Goblets for a Large Crafting Satchel but 300 Jade Scorpions wil only get you a Medium Crafting Satchel. Still, it can be a nice way to pick up some essences if you need another source for them.

    Guide Writers Note: A lot of people seemed to be clueless as to the Challenges and I don’t see a whole lot of information for them outside of the DDOwiki and none on the forums. Thus this guide was written to generate interest in the Challenges as well as to provide information about them that one could view from within the game client.

    Disclaimer: Feel free to reproduce portions of this guide as you wish, but please give me credit when you do so. This guide may be updated should I feel like it, or if edits need to be made to information that is inaccurate. Feel free to point out such inaccuracies in this thread.

    Credit: Some information is derived from in-game knowledge and experience, the rest is based off information appearing in the DDOwiki.

  7. #7
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    Extra Space in case I wish to update the guide with additional information/new information/updated information....

    Whatever else.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavionFuxa View Post
    Extra Space in case I wish to update the guide with additional information/new information/updated information....

    Whatever else.
    +1! Excellent use of time & effort! +2 for being a fellow canuck! :P! ! HOLLA!
    http://dillonpfaff5.wix.com/theob Sign this!!!: http://goo.gl/vS6htg

    DDO toll free support phone#: 855-WBGAMES (855-924-2637)

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    +1 for the well presented and informative guide!

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    Very good stuff. +1
    Returning player who is struggling to catch up with all the new changes.

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