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.
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!