I think it took a lot less time for me to hit 17 and 18 than me dragging my knuckles from 15 to 16. The reason is simple; I’ve been running tons of Vale quests to flag for the shroud and get stuff to craft with and ended up doing some IQ quests this weekend. For most part it was around 8-10k a pop and at least 6-7 when I ran with higher leveled people. Compared to complete Sands Gnoll and Undead slayer to hit 16.
I enjoyed a full party wipe at least 3 times that lead to us redoing some quests on casual – first in the Reaver’s Kobold quest where the living spell had us die time and time until we redid it on casual (and still ‘enjoyed’ dying a couple of times) and then in IQ.
Something must have happened to the difficulty settings because I’ve run IQ plenty of times but never had such a pain keeping people alive. We did the ship one and wiped until someone re-logged as a cleric and even then did we die left and right. We never used to die like that and I never ran through 2300 SP until I was down to heal scrolls. And talking about heal scrolls – I bleed through at least 40 of those in that quest where you’re in the dreamscape and you’re defending your will.
When we wiped the first time before doing casual the group was kind of miffed at me for not being able keep up with the healing and mass cure light – saying that me running out of SP like that was the main problem, but even on casual the critters and end bosses had us running dangerously out of HP and even dying a couple of times – that should never be the case with a good solid group on casual.
The weird thing was that high hit point tanks were getting hit for 50 or more in dam so that I couldn’t just use wands or lower spells to top off – I had to resort to expensive heal scrolls and outright heals to keep up with the rate of losses. And someone actually fell into the pit on the island and died right away. It was like we were running on elite while getting normal XP and favor.
Hopefully they’ll fix that because there’s no way I’m running IQ for the shield if I have to put 10k plat into heal scrolls every quest. I can’t afford that.
18 meant another thing for me – I now have implosion, over 2400 SP and greater spell penetration feat. I’m still hoping to be able to move away from my Protection +5 necklace in favor of a wisdom +6 necklace. I can only do that if I get the light and darkness shield. That would be great.
I’m also noticing how more successful I am at running certain quests/wilderness due to a much better chance at using destruction. I’m certainly not optimized using it since I only have 22 in wis, but being able to run through giant hold while using destruction on casters (before they de-buff me) and smacking a few heads with my rapier with the aid of bloodstone – I am fairly good at taking on most critters without help.
That’s not entirely true with the Vale – my AC seems to still be too low for the Ogres. It’s just fine for any other critter there. Their raged triple club slam will easily hit me for a 30-50 HP whammy and if you have 3 of them doing it you’re in for a world of hurt.
I’m wondering just how much better my AC have to be in order for most of those attacks to miss – especially since I ran the Gholan Fan (spelling) quest for the teleport mask and it was fairly easy stomp with my better AC. And with my better rapier I managed to cut through most Ogres without the use of overwhelming amount of magic. I rounded it off with a few blade barriers here and there.
So I’m going to start running it every few days until I get the mask. I assume at level 18 I can probably run through it a lot more efficiently and I’ll check if I can find a better hireling to go along that adds maybe another pet.
I’m thinking that the best I can hope for is to get that permanent blur item built. And with its 3 displacement clickies. That’ll last me through the Ogre area in the Vale without major loss of HP and SP and hopefully I’ll be able to add another 3-4 more in AC down the road that negates most of that damage in the future. All I have to do now is to find a way to survive the battlefields of Shavarath and given how I couldn’t get past the mobs by altar when soloing a lifetime ago I’m not confident I will ever be able to do it.