Me likey

I like u23, in so far that it adds gobs of new toys, some really interesting new things like Mirror of Glimmering (not perfect tho since it appears to be making ‘bad’ copies in some cases) and notably PRR and MRR changes with some nice new boosts to Pally’s. Macabre is what it is; never was my favorite quest chain but it’s a little bit more XP and a new wilderness to pump on XP. Plus toys; did I mention toys? Yeah, toys.

So now I will have to get serious about getting some of that final gear in place like a triple tier thunderforged, especially for my Pally. And just use him to do these Macabre quests over and over until I have some of the gear. And of course flag everyone possible for the new raid. Because some of the raid toys are useful too.

I’m not going to bother with Crystal Cove. I’m very disappointed that they decided to upgrade the loot – I don’t understand why people needed that stuff upgraded to what looks like an incremental benefit but not worth the grind. There’s plenty of stuff in the level 24 range that is either better or easier to get. CC would be best at 20 (nice starter ER gear in spots) and augments would be a better way of grinding CC for something useful.

Currently there are some okay augments, but I see a wealth of possible augments that Turbine can let people make.

So another year without me stomping pirates. It’s been a few ones now.

U23 is almost here

This weekend was completely DDO free. I didn’t even log in once. I felt that with U23 just around the corner it was kind of pointless. Especially since I’m either TRing or ERing a few guys to take advantage of the new stuff.

I did try to play defiance. But those servers are as stable as a bipolar Wolverine. I just don’t feel like investing some time just to have everything crap out at the final moment. So I played Wastelands 2 instead. Pretty much all weekend (except for the half a day when my old lawnmover decided to pass onto into small engine heaven and I tried to take apart the carburetor as before and that didn’t do anything so I had to buy a new lawnmover – probably on the LAST hot day of the fall and the last opportunity to move the lawn).

And it was mostly good. Mostly because there are bugs. And oddities. The kind of stuff where you’re suppose to go from 1 to 2 to 3. But as I stumbled around Hollywood I found 2 (that’s right 2) ways of skip entire story lines. I found the final quest item by chance in an abandoned park – completely skipping pretty much an entire quest line and I found the final slaver area – and again skipping an entire quest line.

It was like, hey, I found those photos you were being blackmailed for, but never figured out since I didn’t talk to anyone except you starting the entire line.

Oh, people are being kidnapped into slavery? Hmmm, lets start by not locating the first guy you talk to and find this manhole and rescue these people after a quick fight. What’s this – a chest with a manifest explaining what the guy I never spoke to are up too? Now go talk to end guy and complete.

Not to mention going in hot and heavy into the final bastion of super fanatic religious people, skipping rescuing the guy the dominatrix is in love with. Not that I ever figured out who he is (or if he was even alive) since I blew everyone up.

It was a great couple of days (and I’m not even done) but it feels like I just stumbled around for a bit here and managed to solve it despite my better self.

Lagom, good enough (sorta)

There are unique cultural understandings that are ingrained in the psyche of anyone from that culture. Words, basic understanding that don’t require explanation for anyone from that culture, but hard to explain in a perfect way to people that are not from it. It’s something that takes generations to form and anyone new to that culture probably don’t get it. If they do, they’re probably from some other culture with a similar understanding.

No, I’m not talking about the land of opportunity. That’s not hard to understand, or even exceptional. I hate to bring culture and politics together, but those are not hard words. You could easily find a dozen or more words that encapsulates the idea of unfettered opportunity. But take something like British humor. There’s a ‘reason’ for it. A reason ingrained to the fabric of British citizens that we on the outside probably don’t understand. Because it too, is a matter of generations – something you’re baked in, that so perfectly encapsulates many things about the British society.

Just as the idea of Japanese cultural loyalty is. The idea that you’re so ‘owned’ by honor to a certain entity that the very idea to kill yourself if you lose that ‘honor’ is a real possibility. Even to this day do you find that type of ingrained cultural ideas. Like that scientists where others in his company was found fudging data and altho completely cleared of any wrongdoing felt so ashamed of these actions that as a head of his lab he committed suicide. Sure, this is not light stuff for what is mostly a gaming blog, but I’m mentioned this as an example of something I personally feel (about games) that has to do with my culturally ingrained philosophy.

Lagom.

Lagom (pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm]) is a Swedish word with no direct English equivalent, meaning “just the right amount”.

You should read the link. Because you’ll soon notice that lagom is almost impossible to describe in one single word – at least in English and at least in anyway an American would understand it (or British or whatever). Because moderation is not lagom – lagom is kinda like Karmatic balance, the idea that there’s enough and not enough and right there is a perfect balance between them. I know right. Who decide this balance? The beauty of the idea of lagom isn’t that you measure it – it’s a feeling. Kinda like once you hit that house, that promotion and that car you have fulfilled the idea of lagom. In essence each individual have this idea of what lagom is, what this perfect balance of too much and too little is and it’s often used as an attack on others for their avarice.

Personally I’m not a proponent of lagom on others, but to me it’s a good balance between having what you need and want and the greed of wanting more then you can possibly need. And it can translate into games just fine just as it does to your average dysfunctional life.

Maybe it helps me to define a limit to my megalomaniac need of ‘more’? Would I mind winning the lottery? No – in fact I’d love too. Eventho it would push me above this self limited balance of needs and wants. Would I self balance myself? Would I suddenly become Santa and give until I get back to the balance? Would you be surprised if I said I don’t know? In fact I probably wouldn’t. Through life I’ve gone from worse to better jobs. From lower to higher salaries. And from little to more money and managed to figure out how to spend that until I’m back to having lots coming in and lots more going out. That’s life.

And just as in games I’ve gone from the guy – my first FvS, with little to no gear to having so many mules and so much stuff that I can’t possibly ever use it. Yet the idea of lagom is still there. That there is a point where I can satisfy all of it and there’s a point where I’ll be completely content with what I’ve done and what I have and what I’ve accomplished that I really don’t need to do anything more. And that, is really the idea behind this post.

There are those that fully admit to themselves that they have no self limitations. That what they do is to live outside their means with an avarice and greed for more because limitations are foolish and you only got this one life. That modesty is false moderation. Others live with simpler moderation – that if you already have IT then giving someone else a similar IT isn’t much of an issue. That’s not an idea of ‘lagom’ – that’s really not a self limitation of thinking there’s a balance. That’s the idea of charity knowing that this particular item will never be used. The greedy would simply take it. Screw the idea of someone else wanting it even if it’s not needed. Doesn’t matter if there’s even 3 in the inventory. The charitable already understand that item x is of no use and they don’t see themselves ever needing it, so handing it to the next man and let them fight over it is a lot better.

In fact the idea of lagom is useless here.

Lagom would dictate that the item is a bastard sword, you already got a good one – sure it’s not the same, but you got one and it’s just as good as any so you don’t need it. But that’s of course not a fair comparison. Any old bastard sword is not the same as another. Lagom would be instead the idea that ‘this bastard sword already accomplishes the needs’ and even if the other one is slightly better in DPS it’s microbial compared to the needs. That’s lagom. And I’m going to be frank here – It’s not greed that makes me want the bigger minuscule enhances in DPS – it’s wanting to see the greater numbers above the critters head. It’s not greed – once I have mine I don’t mind handing over the next bound to someone else. But I like big numbers and there won’t ever be a time when I don’t.

But lagom also tells me that the journey there might not be worth the trouble. That running some content a gazillion times for that perfect thing just isn’t worth it. Because for the minuscule difference and the amount of time doing it, I’m better off letting the off chance provide it for me, then to actively pursue it. Because, lagom – tells me that what I have is doing the job.

So there you have it; lagom is not the driving force behind my loot hording. I love it. No, me sharing the wealth has to do with the reality that I probably don’t need it. Lagom is definitely the motivator behind whether I truly want to waste my time doing meandering grinding. I don’t like it. And while I can’t instill the idea of lagom into developers in regards to just how mindless some grinding can be, it tempers me enough to look at what satisfy me and my needs. That my fun is not derived from new toys or the pursuit of MOA POWAH. It’s in pursuit of an experience, where everything else happens while doing it.

It’s the one time I find myself – alone. Surrounded by the serenity of the experience. Knowing that this one moment, can never be replaced. Can never be repeated exactly like that and when I walk away from that computer I know that I will remember it fondly. It might be an item. It might be the pursuit of an item. It might be the incidental pulling of an item while doing something else. In fact it might be nothing more then doing an almost impossibly perfect thing that you couldn’t repeat in a million years and means absolutely nothing in the big scheme of things, but you know it. I know it. And everything becomes subordinate to that one thing.

Lagom – all the other things in the self limited balance in my mind – in pursuit of that one thing I don’t know what it is yet. The experience or feeling. That emotional response of contentment. It’s out there. And it means so much more than any one thing can ever provide. That’s why I like, embrace and enjoy the idea of lagom. It allows me to look beyond the toys and the sharp sticks. For that one thing your or I will never know what it is until just like the word Lagom, means something absolutely perfectly balanced in your and my mind.

If if you never get it, if you don’t understand it – don’t worry. You don’t have to. Keep on trucking; do the thing you understand and strive for, but never ever give up that one moment. Because you might not know it until you have it and once you do, it’ll be the best thing that ever happened to you. Just as in real life, gaming provides you with those moments too.

Going pure while taking a break for Wasteland 2

A good quest to try out different builds in, is Servants out of the Web of Chaos chain. A longer quests with lots of diverse critters in many different type of scenarios. Some large mobs, some smaller, a little bit of demons (Hezraus and Fire Reavers), Tiger dudes and a ton of spiders, hellhounds and Drow.

I took my Swashbuckler there to confirm one simple observation; Swashbucklers are very effective on a few big targets but not so much on larger mobs. Granted; when I say not so much I don’t mean it as in impotent – Swashbucklers have plenty of defensive and offensive ways to manage large mobs – but unlike a nuking Sorc or cleaving fighter, much of this capability is ill suited for larger mobs.

The nice thing with Servants is that you can measure this pretty nicely; you have 5 bosses, 4 red named and 1 orange (some optional) and you have several large mobs including 1 with several waves. Here you can effectively measure how this density in various encounters effect your average completion time. Best suited are of course the big bangers, the guys who go in blazing using Shiradi or lots of energy bursts or maybe even blitzing all the way to the end. And the surprising thing is that Swashbuckler prove the point of it’s type of melee in what is apparently the weak and soft spot in others – that the red named Hezrau encounter encapsulates what makes Swashbuckler strong compared to other builds.

Up until this encounter most melee and caster have about the same similar feel; quick and often easy. The difficulties in all other encounters depend on what was used and if there was any cc in place. But none of them represent a significant difficulty (under similar circumstances like operating with a good destiny) other than perhaps the optional chest behind a force wall. This is a large mob that can offer some difficulties without good evasion.

The simple observation show this; the many mobs slows down Swashbuckling, the larger the mobs, the longer it takes. With traditional melee this is not as noticeable. And it’s not really the ‘numbles’. A cleaving Tempest 2 weapon fighter will do it faster than a Swashbuckler, altho the DPS from the Swashbuckler is noticeably higher. Cleave attacks do quicken things up. What makes a HUGE difference in survivability is the big difference in defense. Again, also noted against the big hitters, not so much the mobs.

To give a few examples; the first boss you run into is the Fire Reaver. It hurts and it has lots of HP. Timewise you’re looking at about the same for all melee and caster provided that your main spellpower hit does some damage. But at this stage it can be a real resource drain for say a Draconic destiny player, mostly because it can soak up lots of big hits. As for the Dragon Singer concept, with sonic being the smaller portion of the DPS and lightning being of reduced efficiency against these critters.

On the other had the Swashbuckler is almost ideal. Good high DPS against one target with lots of fury hits (not using the epic moment – I saved it for the mob encounter afterwards). The Fire reaver relies mostly on a bunch fire AOE hits, a few melee hits and the massive amount of HP. All of which the Swashbuckler is eminently useful against. The high evasion will avoid almost all of the AOE fire damage and the displacement will negate most of the few bigger melee hits, with healing through it either by selfhealing or a song.

The big mob afterwards, an optional chest behind a forcewall proves that this build is served well by FOTW and especially the epic moment. First off, it’s a big mob of respawning fire reavers followed by lots of Drow and Spiders. It get’s hectic. And thanks to both Cc in the form of dancing balls and displacement and evasion from fire AOEs when pulling that slow lever, getting the wall down was a breeze. Not always true when you rely on hirelings (like with my sorc, I don’t bother with my melee or divine).

And once the wall came down I hit Unbridled Fury for 30 seconds of mayhem. Simply put, planned encounters like that makes the downside of Swashbuckling easy (namely lack of AOE type attacks).

Perhaps the best and the worst of Swashbuckling was against the hellhound optional and the red named Hezrau. Most types of melee and caster can deal with the hounds just fine. Drop a dancing ball, set off the fireworks or just go in and cleave until things stop moving. Not with the Swashbuckler and especially without that Epic moment. Also, even with it, there’s no guarantee that it’ll last through each wave of hellhounds. It clearly shows that Swashbuckling is not as effective when dealing with large targets. Not because of any danger to the toon – but because of the time it takes to go from critter to critter unlike cleaving yourself there.

The Hezrau on the other hand is quite a different story. Most melee and casters will have an easy time getting there. Cleave or dancing balls followed by AOE type spells. Swashbuckling up to that point just takes longer; having to slice each wave down, taking slightly longer than any other type of attack. The difference is when the red named bosses drops.

Most other types have a harder time (granted – if you get Joy of the Queen it’s just a matter of when, not how). With casters as well as melee there’s usually lots of jumping backwards self healing and such after the Hezrau drops the big hits. Usual lots of slams and chaos hammers. And it hurts. In some cases I end up having to whittle down 40k of HP (EH) by constant back jumping. Now so with the Swashbuckler.

Stand, smack, hit Unbridled Fury. Again – the displacement together with evasion takes care of the Hezraus big hits and the casters nasty cometfalls. The 30 seconds of hurt handles the Hezrau with ease followed by gnawing down the caster equally east with fury hits. The whole final encounter shows both the drawback of the Swashbuckler and the clear strength. Many targets; longer – few big ones, breeze.

On a note – get Wastelands 2. I think it’s a great homage to the original Wastelands and the original Fallouts 1 and 2. With that nice ‘hand painted’ feel of 2D backgrounds and quirky encounters with a good sense of humor. Plus many gruesome ways of dying (like hitting someone and all their limbs fall off). I do like Fallout 3, but I like the feel of turn based combat in a top down view type game. But boy do these weapons jam alot :)

Great voice acting ontop of it. Get it and enjoy it. Lots of playtime with many different ways of getting there. Heck, the game even start with a tough choice – if you decide to go to one spot first the other gets hit and destroyed. And there’s no way around it as far as I can tell. That’s right; you’re already in a moral pickle with consequences from the very first go. I decided to buy it at full price (only got the standard version since the premium didn’t really offer that much more compelling stuff) instead of waiting until it was discounted. I always want tor reward labor of love where everything seem to point at getting the right feel down. And who’d know I’d get hooked on what’s basically a second try with a somewhat retro feel. It hits all the right notes and I hope it does well.

Swashbuckler vs Dragon Singer (or rather Spellsinger)

Before I swashbuckled, I Spellsang. And it was good. Not perfect mind you. But good. Spellsinger got that wailing, heal spell and an assortment of sonic SLAs. Swashbuckler have a singular focus on good DPS. Comparing ‘Dragon Singer’ as a concept against something like Swashbuckler is however not entirely good. Partly because it’s a concept – not one broadly used whereas Swashbuckler is something that exist on a broad spectrum of multiclass builds and even pure. But for me at least it’s a fairly simply comparison.

At its essence Swashbuckler is good – offers lots of reflex save (currently 65 but could be higher), lots of dodge (32% is the cap right now and he’s at 25%) and with both blur, ghostly and Displacement the Swashbuckler is very ‘survivable’. Add a good source of different self healing to booth. And at 700 HP running FOTW, it has enough HP to take a few hits in melee, get some back from the 20 or so heal ticks from the song or just a quick cocoon for effect. And with 300-400 per crit per hit, with normally 41% double strike – 51% when using the clicky Swashbuckler ability (and can be improved with feats and items) he has a good chance of procc’ing additional hits. And with a nice melee attack speed it’s definitely a strong build option.

And then there’s always options for twists – such as energy burst. Adding tons of AOE options while Swashbuckling. In other words; melee strong, defense and evasion strong and HP good. The casting stuff is lacking; definitely not as strong as a Spellsinger but doable. Crowds are a little tougher. You can dance most of them, but it’s not a sweep and destroy like a caster or fighter build. Through cleaves and such. But with coup de grace for single destruction and for lots of 300-400 crits it does the job.

Dragon Singer is more of a crowd control and destroy type. Relying on dance, hold and okay DPS to elevate to great (holds). In other words – not bad at all.

So could Swashbuckler be better? I would be very curious as to take advantage of the greater crit chance and maybe skip coup entirely in favor of the Spellsinger hold SLA instead. I wonder if that would have a much better melee outcome with sense weakness, hold and that extra 50% (plus sense weakness additional bonus) from holds. I know that people like Coup de grace and it is nice, but somehow I feel that there’s more synergy between say hold and sense weakness with the Swashbucklers great melee DPS then there’s the possibility of killing 1 guy every 15 seconds (I think that’s the cooldown).

I gonna have to check that out.

Now I like both type of builds. I like Swashbuckler in many scenarios. It’s not perfect in all but you never dislike it’s DPS, just the time it takes compare to other melee options. On the other hand a fighter have to rely on incoming heals and melee DPS than the Swashbucklers survivability of it’s own plus great DPS. I mean I did a mob dense Wheelon quest on EH (the one in the sewers with both my horc on legendary blitzing and on my Swashbuckler and the horc was quicker due to legendary hitting for 2-3k per swing, but it was dicier since there was no crowd control and the mob density eventually did it in twice (hirelings just can’t help themselves from not healing you and firing of light missiles instead).

On the other hand my bard took longer but never felt like he was in danger – partly because of self healing but also crowd control when things got hairy.

In other quests however, where there are mobs but the density is a little lower, the singular aspect of single weapon fighting with good dps and crowd control works like a charm. In all of these scenarios however CC and caster DPS reigns supreme, at least in how quickly it’ll get done. Anyways, I like both builds and I’m still trying to fine tune both to see how I can make them sharper in terms of when things are not perfect, but once U23 hits I think I’ll bring out my Pally instead to take advantage of those changes and see if I can’t do some smithing instead.

Swashbuckled out

I don’t mind Swashbuckling. It’s potent. Combine a pure bard with lots of reflex saves and you have a nice little melee option. The problem is of course the idiocy of spell pen, making the potent dancing ball and such hard to use in harder difficulty – and if you go full Swashbuckler you won’t have many feats for that stuff.

There’s also one thing more with Swashbuckler. It’s singularly devastating on a singular critter. Unlike my tank, my horc, my pally, my tempest ranger etc. All use cleave and greater cleave with gusto and their carnage is on a very different level than my bard Swashbuckler. Sure, my tempest wont hit for more then say 200-300 on crit (moreso when using adrenaline) – but his ability to combine multi arrow for burst and cleaving through critters with easy, makes him more effective on many targets as suppose really good on one.

And with 400 crits on a regular basis the CiTW rapier and Swashbuckling is king; making quick work on a lot of things, combined with adrenalin it’s a lot of destructive power, but it’s one target, at the time. I like coup the grace. It works nicely against regular critters. But the saves on the orange stuff seems silly high. At almost 60 in Charisma this should be small works, but it isn’t.

There are times when it’s super destructive – and others where the mass of enemies simply overwhelmes it. Where some fights are short and to the point and others are long and grinding. So I am a little reversed to soloability. Not that you can’t, you absolutely can – but that it’s quick and efficient like with a horc going full on axe’tard.

I also played Defiance on and off – the instability of the servers drains me of any energy. Mostly because once you get to a certain point and having spent lots of time (and doing well) you suddenly lag out. It just grates me.

And I also played some World of Tanks. Nothing has changed, with the same idiotic visibility rules. I watched this autoloader tank go into hiding. I observed it moving to a bush and then stand still and go invisible. Then the same tank destroyed my heavy tank destroyer because it used premium ammo. Every single thing that makes that game stupid in one encounter. I realized that after half a dozen fights I was done. So much time spent unlocking tanks just to realize that they will never fix this very detrimental and idiotic thing about this game.

And I got Wasteland 2, turn based goodies. Out after several years in the making. I look forward to playing it, just like the first one back in the day. It was my digital drug back when. Played it often. Hardly any graphics. But so much fun.

But back to DDO. I look forward to U23. I need a good reason to take my Pally out for a spin and to start looking for that stuff. I got lucky today and yesterday by first pulling the seal to the ring from Carnival – so now I have myself a complete set for an early good Shiradi proccing ring. I also pulled another pirate hat from E3BC, running several EHards. The Ghost never gave me that sword resurrect clicky, but I did get the hat from Prove your Worth. But I absolutely hated doing Ehard with those snake critters.

Good lord; high spell resist, making dancing almost impossible on my Swashbuckler and they drop that cloud all the time followed by tons of light damaging dots. I just hated it. I did fine, but since Swashbuckler is one single critter at the time it takes long, and keep having to deal with those clouds and dots just makes life miserable.

I don’t need to ever do that on anything but EN again. Just too stupid designed like that. At least not with a Swashbuckler. With my Sorc it would be Shiradi proc heaven followed by a quick brutal destructive run. But the real ace comes out in Prove your worth for the Swashbuckler. 65 in reflex helps. And there’s not a ton of enemies in there. Most of it is traps, turrets and the occasional encounter. And with 83 something in Diplomacy (yup) the end boss couldn’t get any of his taunts in. I set off with a whirlwind of hits and before he could try to taunt my bard a third time it was over. On EH. Done.

All in all a good weekend with some frustration. Swashbuckler is not a one fits all type melee. Not like some other melee. But what it does it does really well. Good single target massive damage. With daze and dancing coup de grace is brutally effective. But fighting large groups is a bore and take time.

Swashbuckling for Goblets

I don’t like to ER just to be able to get some challenge mats, but I wanted to finish off some items and this was about the best way I could do it. Plus I was interested in trying to make a Swashbuckler out of my pure bard; just to see how it works. Fighting a flawed challenge system is one thing – but doing it with a new enhancement with a toon that only have basic gear is another. The experience have definitely been mixed.

Worst is of course that Challenges bottom out at 25. Making it impossible to use capped toons. Sure – there’s the Eveningstar challenges but I don’t like those at all. Plus the items aren’t all that great (there’s one cloak of course but that’s it). The bad part is just how wonky the challenge system is. You’ll get a nice amount of mats for some challenges – by design and others, especially the terribly timed ones you get a pittance. I really loath that type of nonsense. Like the Eveningstar Arena ones. A while back when they had the challenge bonus I decided to do one of the Eveningstar cloaks. I did it with a level 15 guy, 2-3 levels above level and I got something like 150-170 mats with bonus and gave up. That’s simply not worth it.

Other times I’m frustrated with the fact that you can find the right sigil. Like today. I run up to the FIRST door and I had to use a Skeleton Key. FIRST. We’re not talking about the ones that require 4 sigils and 3 of them are of the same type nonsense. No the VERY FIRST door you unlock. Requiring ONE sigil.

THAT is just how broken this challenge system is. And today I also tried to get some Orthon ones and that means the Island. With my bard I figured that with the faster running speed (Swashbuckler) plus haste it would get places fast. I still only received enough to make it before the clock ran out. And something like 140 mats. And you need those stupid mats for a lot of items. It’s frustrating and nonsensical. We’re not talking about a challenge here. We’re talking about a challenged mechanic.

I can do a lot of them. The crystal palace. All of them are possible to do, including the Epic. The worst one – the one that’s relatively short and where you only get 5 kobolds can be done for about 200-300 mats per time. And that’s fine. That’s generally 2-3 runs for one item or tier. The portal one requires luck. You can spend 5-10 minutes just running to get enough sigils just to hit a door that require 3-4 sigils, most of them of the same kind and you can’t get through. It’s frustrating and stupid.

I don’t do the island ones. They’re borked. The turrets are for most part worthless at defending anything and there’s not enough time.

Some of it has to do with buff time. On the shorter ones it hurts you to buff. You’re basically stealing your own time. It would be better if there was a pre-room, say a small room before entering a portal to the place where you could get ready. And that the timer don’t start until you’re ready.

There’s also something profoundly silly about rewarding the more challenging quests LESS then the easy ones. Take Crystal Palace. The scrolls one offer the least amount of time to do it with the fewest possible Kobolds. Yet you do not get a lot of mat from it. On the other hand you get tons of time doing the armor bits one. Even the one where you have to buy the time can go on for as long. As long as you find the good crystals, there’s no reason not to buy time.

Lava caves are ‘easy’ enough. If you know where to go you can do all of them even the Jaded Scorpions. Of course if you want to do the scorpions you’re better off with a ranged toon or caster. But not the Orthon one. Shortest island quests and least rewarding. You will fail more often from lack of time then anything. And once you DO get something it’s such a pittance it’s disheartening.

And finally; the arbitrary cut off between what challenge can be run at what level is just pure stupidity. I don’t know what the plan was but it was dumb. There’s about no worse way to create a system then to let some challenges only work between 1-12 and others from whatever to 20, then make a special ste of them for Epic, between 21 and 25 and no way to ‘downgrade’ Epic mats for heroic.

A much better system would be to drop all the different levels requirements and do like Eveningstar. Do them from 1 thru 30 and 1 type of material per challenge. No division between heroic or Epic. Figure out how the mats scales with level and make a simple system. It would cut down on material and it would allow people to freely run these challenges as they want, just as any level 15 and above can run the Eveningstar ones without (other then a min level 15 requirement) restrictions.

And maybe even make a ML 24 version of the Cannith loot. That would be great.