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  1. #1
    Community Member kmoustakas's Avatar
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    Default Epic wilderness areas: comments

    I have played in five of them and here's my experiences with them. I hope they will help with the design of future wilderness areas. And I must mention I like ddo wilderness a lot because they are amazing while waiting for an lfm to fill or when you have too little time or no time frame to actually run a quest.

    Subterrane. It's by far the most interesting and beautiful of them all, even though I generally dislike underground 'wilderness'. Unfortunatelly, it's not really 'epic', more like raid heroic. The max minimum level is 21 and as a matter of fact is right seeing as how if you enter at level 20 with destinies or at 18-19 on a properly geared/built toon you'll have a walk in the park. Then again, isn't wilderness quite more casual than a dungeon? I would seriously hope to see this reworked into a properly epic wilderness and possibly the xorian side expanded.

    Cannith. Ah, good old cannith. For me it's a direct example of how wilderness should not be. It's right up there with steam tunnels. It's very small, it has very few mobs, it's very unexciting. It has some good loot but is outleveled almost immidiately. And, bottom line, it's boring. All it really serves is extending the time of lob/ma lfms. Just like subterrane, it was admitedly designed in a era that ddo was a different game. In my mind, if anyone ever bothers improving changing this it would be to add teleporters or scrap it completely.

    Gianthold (Epic). Damn this place looks ugly. Certainly, it's a desolate wasteland that suffered apocalyptic destruction. A great improvement over heroic wilderness. More mobs for one that occasionally gang up on you and threat you with real danger. It even has random dragons! Actually, it says it has random dragons. To see a dragon you have to search and search and search... If it was just two of the rares being dragons, I'd understand. But you went and put up and actual 'slayer' for dragons. Kinda reminds me of 'portal fragments' and 'orthon parts' from shroud. Add damn random dragons, not just the two rares! I am tired of seeing the same two giants in all the places where 'rare' encounters might spawn. Or rename your 'rare' encounters into 'mythic' encounters haha. Oh, and the rares here other than the dragons are kinda... unispired? Especially when you get a whole bunch of 'totems' and the rare that wants them doesn't appear anywhere. More dragons please. Did I say more dragons?

    Three-barrel cove (Epic). Remember what I was saying about dragons? Exactly the opposite happens in 3bc. There's always a ship, usually two. They can one shot you if you're not geared AND careful. They can one shot you if you are. They have way too many hit points to fight without balistae even on a furyshotter or artificer. They are almost always out of range of 'shot' runearms and many spells. Granted, the first time you jump onto one and go blow it up from the inside is sooo cool. But not the 100th. If they spawn so much, why don't we have an 'airship slayer'? You guys did this the wrong way around! Switch how often these spawn with how often the dragons spawn in epic gianthold and you're working towards something. It's a shame really as the heroic wilderness is probably the second best in the whole game. The rares make sense but are totally run of the mill, even worse than gianthold rare encounters. My expectations where high and were not met at all.

    * I confess it might be due to the fact that fighting a dragon is a lot more interesting and exciting than fighting an airship. Both in theory and ddo practice. Precious cargo does a good job of that (if it was one fight and not seven almost exact repeats). The airship fights should have been in a quest.

    Thunderholme. So I started exploring this place. It looks like an old dwarven city would. Again, i dislike 'underground wilderness', it feels confined. The rares are cool, the area is nice. I liked the small underdark part. Then a person joined my lfm, then another. Then I was reminded it's a raid instance. Then suddenly we have twelve people, thirty(30) mobs spawn per room and I feel like I'm playing a 3d shoot-em up game! Damn those battles are so exciting! At some point we opened a door at the very bottom and we had like fifty mobs on the screen with the couple of draconic sorcerers partying like it's a eat-all-you-can buffet! You can rack up the kills so fast it's crazy. I've heard a lot of people complain about lag in such situations and thankfully I didn't have any at all there.

    Epilogue: Wilderness main point should be exploration and random encounters. Secret areas, hidden places. Not journals please those are lame. Once exploration is done, lots of people splitting up and racking up the numbers, or tons of mobs in one place so you have to stick together to mow them down. Scaling here should be more mobs, not more hit points/different mobs. Large areas. Rewards like thunderholme and to a lesser extent 3bc so there's interest in the loot.
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  2. #2

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    I really enjoy the wildnerness/explorer zones and am a big proponent for them. I haven't done a large number of the higher level ones as of yet. I have primarily explored the King's Forest, Wheloon Prison, Demonweb, Underdark, Sschindylrun, and Gianthold. I don't really consider the House Cannith ones or the Subterrane as an "epic" adventure area. In my opinion, the Gianthold explorer area is pretty. I like the numerous crystalized structures/statues out there and like the rolling hills and sharp rocky peaks. However, I do enjoy the "forested" areas much more. In terms of the locating the journals, I do agree in some aspects of that. I think the explorer areas should be more of locating specific points of interest as opposed to finding journals. The journals I see as describing the lore of the area and not necessarily an exploration point. I think it would be better if a combination of the two were in place.

    The rare encounter system in the newer explorer areas is interesting. I haven't completed enough of them to make a super strong opinion of them but so far I like them. Mainly because they seem to occur through out the map whereas before they were located in specific spots. This makes each exploration just that much more unique. In terms of the spawning frequency of rares, I don't see that too much different from the other heroic areas as there are always those monsters that tend to spawn less than others.

  3. #3
    Community Member tralfaz81's Avatar
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    The subterrian isn't epic, it is heroic and was designed ages before there were epic levels. Still holds up pretty well considering.

    Cannith used to be a fairly tough fight. It got nerfed sometime in the past year. The mobs are much smaller and don't hit as hard. Shame, it used to be a little more fun and a bit of a challenge.

    Gianthold they changed up the random encounter/rare rates too much. It's a bit frustrating, multiple runs and still missing one of the rares. Over all one of my favorite wilderness areas. I think they did a great job on the epic version. Challenging at low epic levels and just huge mobs. I love fighting mobs.

    3bc? The airships are the easiest things to kill in there. I'm saying that as a level 21 melee toon, on a bad destiny and with no ranged weapons. They're a breeze.
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  4. #4
    Community Member Powskier's Avatar
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    in general slayers get underplayed,so anything to increase interest would help.I like Vale where enemies follow you all over the map if they can still see you.All slayers should be like that. One thing that is tough is the area spawns like in Wheelon;enemy spawns there ,with all sorts of spell effects goin off ,hamstring my mainframe or smthin and graphics cant keep up with it all.This only happens to me in Wheelon slayer ,and elite wheelon/stormhorns ...I wish they released those with a warning to older computer users,I woulda never bought that pack...quests are cool out in wheelon,but it can feel like pulling teeth in slayer there.

  5. #5
    Community Member FranOhmsford's Avatar
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    I notice you haven't commented on the terrible High Road, Wheloon and King's Forest Slayers!

    I'm surprised myself that the Devs put a Dragon count on E-Gianthold!

    E-3BC is nowhere near as good as H-3BC!

    Cannith was Bugged - The Artificer mobs in there could spam stuns - which were lethal!
    It's scaling is also horrid with only about 50 mobs in the instance when solo!

    I'm not against Slayer Scaling = More mobs BUT Solo should be Viable and NOT an eye-bleeding GRIND! Especially for slayers which are far more often run Solo than in a Party!

    If the Devs re-scale current SubT to require Maxed Out EDs I'll be exceedingly annoyed!
    In fact I've argued many times that SubT {as it is} should have its max lvl changed to 25 to allow for better grouping! {this was before Lvl 28 came out!}.

    An Epic SubT would be great alongside Epic Upgrades to VoD and HoX {Base Lvl 28 for the Raids and Base Lvl 25 to enter the E-Slayer Zone!}.




    I HATE Journals in Wilderness Slayers - They're great in Cannith and would be fine in other indoor slayers BUT in Wildernesses they're a Horrid Mechanic!

    I'd also like to say that Random Encounters are an extreme annoyance for someone like me who likes to max out the counts - As there's simply no way to guarantee seeing that one encounter you're after!
    At least with static rares you can keep resetting the instance and running to that spot {or in some cases 2 or 3 spots!} But with Randoms - Nope - It's just Blind Luck if you'll EVER complete the set!

    Also - Can the Devs PLEEEEEEAASSE get that Bleedin' Werewolf to SPAWN at NIGHT!!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoustakas View Post
    Cannith. Ah, good old cannith. For me it's a direct example of how wilderness should not be. It's right up there with steam tunnels. It's very small, it has very few mobs, it's very unexciting. It has some good loot but is outleveled almost immidiately. And, bottom line, it's boring.
    I can't really disagree with that, but it does have one thing going for it, that I'd like to see elsewhere: either normal parties or raid parties can enter it. Can we get that tech extended to the other wilderness areas that contain raids, please? Specifically, Restless Isles and Shavarath? People should not have to drop from their raid party to run to a raid, Twilight Forge or Tower of Despair.

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    Among others, you missed The Underdark. It's huge, and beautiful...and pointless. There's pretty much nothing in here that you ever need to go to. After an initial unlock, you can teleport straight to Sschindylryn, or very close to In The Belly of the Beast.

  8. #8
    Community Member DANTEIL's Avatar
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    I've recently been slowly leveling up in the Epic levels for the first time, and so I've been starting to venture out into the Forgotten Realms wilderness areas for the first time as well. In general, I really like the wilderness slayer areas in DDO -- like someone said, they are excellent for some more relaxed exploration and XP if you only have a bit of time or don't feel like starting a quest.

    I think most of the new areas that I've experienced have been quite good -- with the best (both visually and creature/interest-wise) being the Stormhorns. The King's Forest is also very nice visually, but honestly I think it's almost too big -- at least it just feels like it takes forever to get anywhere. I thought that the Underdark was *terrible* until I got those special goggles and they made a world of difference!! Otherwise it just seems rather dark with an especially confusing map. Schyndrlyn (sp) is more interesting, but not really big enough to feel like an explorer zone. And most recently I've been out into the Demonweb, which certainly feels different but after you've run across those web bridges for a while starts to get kind of boring. My least favorite of the FR zones is probably Wheloon -- it is annoying to navigate and I inevitably get chain whipped into oblivion. Not to mention the purple haze which make it impossible to see on my computer. EDIT: Oh I forgot the High Road. That was just kind of.... ordinary, I guess. Not that memorable.

    And I really don't like those explorer 'journals' -- at first they seem like a clever way to communicate some of the lore, but having so many journal-based explorer zones all together in a row feels very much like overkill. And why so many --- 40, really? They are good XP but beyond that.. ugh. I do like the new way of handling the rare encounters in the Stormhorns and King's Forest, although I could see that as being perceived as leading people by the nose a bit too much.

    As far as the older zones are concerned, I have always though the Subterrane was cool, but would really like to see them convert it away from a raid-level zone because I would like to explore it more as a solo player. I haven't ventured down there in years. And finally I really truly dislike the Cannith Manufactory zone -- it is an endless fight to get through it and makes running to those quests so aversive that I simply don't do them. I haven't been in new Gianthold or new 3BC yet.

  9. #9

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    Best wilderness with the most fantasy feeling, with music and sounds that convey the feeling....Kings Forest. Second best. Underdark. I don't mind E3BC - it's well done but if you're not evasion build the boats can be a drag, especially since they can see and fire for what seems like miles and way before you can even see them. But going back to Kings Forest and Underdark, whenever I run them I always get this feeling of either exploring something new or that feeling of journey, eventho I've run most of them hundreds of times. They're superbly made and combined with the right atmosphere.

    I have mixed feelings about Stormhorns. It's not a bad wilderness per say but the 'monsters' are boring and the sound and music kind of grates me. I don't know; there's just something about it that doesn't clique, eventho it's a large wilderness. It never invites me to explore it. Wheelon is the same. It's dreary. Burglars, shooters and Shadar Kai and once shadowfell hits I feel like dry heaving.

    Thunderholm is not bad - the fortress portions are kinda boring but understandable. Some of the other areas are kind of cool however - like when you end up going up stares to find the mirrors to open up those huge portals - it gives you a sense of height. Or that off the beaten path area in the cave and where you can find a rare rustmonster. Well done.

    I also like the Vale - its a well proportion wilderness and I agree about GH - it's a boring mess of purple and lava.

  10. #10
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    Wow, is the Highroad wilderness boring or what?? As are the quests attached to them.

    In the heroic version, I ran around the whole thing in about 20 minutes this morning, and got about 40 kills. That's it. A mob here, a mob there. It is super sparse and not worth the time whatsoever.

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    Community Member Loromir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psteen1 View Post
    Wow, is the Highroad wilderness boring or what?? As are the quests attached to them.

    In the heroic version, I ran around the whole thing in about 20 minutes this morning, and got about 40 kills. That's it. A mob here, a mob there. It is super sparse and not worth the time whatsoever.
    Easy Peasy 30K XP plus in 20 mins. Wilderness is underwhelming, but I enjoy the quests.
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    Community Member Loromir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirValentine View Post
    Among others, you missed The Underdark. It's huge, and beautiful...and pointless. There's pretty much nothing in here that you ever need to go to. After an initial unlock, you can teleport straight to Sschindylryn, or very close to In The Belly of the Beast.

    And...I rarely even run out there for Belly of the Beast since I can skip it as a VIP in sagas. Such a waste of a really awesome space.
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  13. #13
    Community Member kmoustakas's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=FranOhmsford;5404702]I notice you haven't commented on the terrible High Road, Wheloon and King's Forest Slayers!

    I don't actually own those
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    Community Member cdemeritt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoustakas View Post
    Snip...
    Epilogue: Wilderness main point should be exploration and random encounters.
    I see you left our Demonweb and Stormhorns...

    Demonweb is a very interesting place... so far, like no other I've seen. some intersting demons as well.
    Stormhorns: Huge! Has satyrs, griffons, harpies, and owlbears... And views that rival or exceed the Vale of the Twilight.

    I typically don't waste much time in Explorer areas, unless there is a good reason, but the Stormhorns is a great place. (even with having to find messages).
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoustakas View Post
    Gianthold (Epic). Damn this place looks ugly. Certainly, it's a desolate wasteland that suffered apocalyptic destruction.
    What's funny is that Gianthold was a little less ugly originally, but when they epicfied it for some reason they decided to adjust graphics and made it worse.

  16. #16
    Community Member Psiandron's Avatar
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    The King's Forest could use more mobs, but else it's okay.

    The High Road is just to small and I kind of hate that I am dependent on a 'rare' to finish my explorer.

    The Underdark is huge and cool-looking and hard to get around in and pretty pointless as someone mentioned.

    Sschinderlind (sp) is tiny, but I honestly kind of like it. There's a fair number of kills, but it isn't tremendously hard to get to quests either so I'm okay with it.

    The Demonweb is just annoying. It's like the Restless Isles, but sometimes the bridges are there and sometimes they're not. It does look like what it's supposed to be I just don't find it all that enjoyable.

    The Stormhorns (shocked that no one else has mentioned them yet) is just flipping amazing. It is beyond gorgeous... really, it is. There are also a lot of mobs and it's probably the size of the next two largest explorer areas combined. I can't really say enough good about it.


    And then there's Wheloon... I hate Wheloon. It's dark, it's dismal, it's ugly, it's putrid and I hate it's rotten, scumbag, chain-whirling inhabitants. Get a death penalty already. Most of all I hate that horrid effect that procs in this area and it's quests. You know how Uska feels about the Realms in general, that's how I feel about Wheloon. Nuke it till it glows and then nuke it again.

    That's all of them I think from my twisted little perspective.
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  17. #17
    Community Member FranOhmsford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psiandron View Post
    You know how Uska feels about the Realms in general
    I doubt there's a single person left on these forums who DOESN'T know how Uska feels about the Realms!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psiandron View Post
    Nuke it till it glows and then nuke it again.
    I'm pretty sure the first nuking is why we have the shadowfell effect in the first place. So we're already half way there!

  19. #19
    Community Member Loromir's Avatar
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    Although technically it's not epic, you can still get full XP from Devils Battlefield up to lvl 24. I like the area for the last 50K or so to get to lvl 20. Quick and Easy XP.
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  20. #20
    Community Member Powskier's Avatar
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    no player really need slayers;they are for fun and testing battle tactics/skils...either you play them or not.Changing them wont get new return of old players to the slayers.I still max out some of them.

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