Ran both a new invasion and Amrath solo (amongst others). Both turned into very sloppy bare knuckle fist events.
Perhaps I’m getting a little too impressed with my ‘permanent blur’ item but the biggest reason why a new invasion turned into such a slog was because I ended up bouncing into several rare mini bosses including the beholder.
Safe to say; nothing sucks your mana like first bouncing into the rare Orthon (you can’t easily kite him through BB’s and his save against energy drain is pretty high) and running low on SP and being de-buffed by the beholder. I ended up drinking 2 pots; not exactly something I wanted to do. Furthermore – I ran into no less than 3 ambushes on the second level. That’s when you end up teleported into the middle of a room full of critters. The first was by my own making; found the portal to the second level which always leads to the middle of an ambush and I’ve ran into other ambushes before – but not 2. It’s kind of like running Rainbow and dropping into a lava pit with several elder fire ellies. There’s the trap randomly placed inside the quest and then there’s the ‘trap’ possibility by the only shrine. The odds of actually running into 2 random ambushes is slim, but perfectly fitting if you have the long slog ahead of you.
I had to suck down the second pot right before I could shrine on the third level. It appears that I ran out of SP and faced a clay golem without a Blade Barrier. I don’t have fancy clay golem killer weapon so my option was to plink away with my GS rapier or drink a pot and BB it to death.
Things didn’t exactly get better from there; I ran into the rare spell caster and managed to pull the rare Troll at the same time. So choking on acid and fire and unable to really see I tried to kite both of them as much as possible while avoiding the triple smack down from the troll. Try doing that and energy drain the caster at the same time while avoiding getting lost in the fog of fire and acid. Not complaining; 2 rares in one go – only thing is that the troll had to come from somewhere and it wasn’t exactly next door. I spent a good 5 minutes trying to backtrack my steps to where I’d pulled it before I found the chest.
The end boss died fairly uneventful and compared to the over hour brutal blow by blow inching along, it was a 5 minute kite through blade barriers without getting curse wound even once.
Amrath felt a little like that too – generally it’s kind of painful anyways and mostly because when you start BBing the rares you still have to take more than one hit to kite them around. The upside was the new found use of invisibility. That allows me to skip by most roaming critters without pulling the whole lot with me and suffer level 5 dungeon alerts. I did my regular loop of going up by the ridge where you have the Weapon Shipment quest to hit the rare Orthon (wasn’t there) but I ran into the smaller devil below by the other quest. I also ran into the larger Devil by the battleforged and tried desperately to lay down enough BB’s to kite him around in it. But I ended up on my back most of the time when the battleforged smacked around.
Things didn’t get better By the battle golem – a darn trog shaman kept laying down BB’s of his own and the nearby battleforged kept having me land on my @ss every 10 seconds. While the battle golem fell, the stupid sergeant bearded devil and a couple of trog stalkers kept evading the BB’s.
I was literary down to a couple of 100 SP when I hit the shrine by the second battleforged and I had to slog through the thick of all of it and ontop of that the battleforged decided that it didn’t like me very much. I rounded it all off by kiting the deamon doggie rare nearby through an un-eventful BB by lowering its save and HP using a couple of energy drains. Luck had it (finally) that the trogs nearby didn’t get involved. Always a pain having to avoid stalkers since they hit you for con damage and have evasion. Only way to kill em is to first energy drain them a couple of times and have them slice themselves in BB’s or go up and close and repair constant con damage while trying to beat them down.
It all works, but it’s a lot of finger dexterity to try to hop backwards and energy drain a trog. Plus paying thousands of gold to repair damage when you sometimes get completely skunked on rares is a little bit of a painful lottery to suffer through. At least both of those events paid for itself and I didn’t suffer any permanent item damage.
Hopefully I’ll be able to do my 20th shroud run tonight and 5th ToD for another chance at the warchanter ring (and one more trophy closer to upgrading my warpriest ring).
On a different note I read the trickle of update 5 info coming out. While nothing really affects me (Favored Soul), there was one part of it that didn’t come as a surprise. The Sentinel quest will now drop Token ‘fragments’. The excuse for not including tokens (when Sentinels was released) were because the quests wasn’t considered long enough. Silly I know, since some other Epic Quests are even shorter, such as VON 1. They’re currently re-aveluating dropping more or less tokens according to the length of the quests so in other words; some like VON 1 will probably get fragments and others like an offering of Blood or the tomb of the Lich King might get 2 full tokens.
Never mind the fact that the scroll, seal and shard system is broken – lets take the only reason why people play VON 1 and remove the insentive. Heaven actually forbid that tokens – the least valued of the things that drop will be an even lesser commodity – since apparently people are running those to get tokens to get heart of wood so they can TR.
If I had a choice between the endless grind of Epic quests to make your stuff permanent level 20 or TRing I will take TRing.
Both are grinds; one is a grind for XP and the other a grind in HP and pain – but TRing is at least rewarding. XP farming is a pain but if you have everything you can think off there’s no real reason to run specific quests to farm items. You do it for XP and be done with it.
I don’t want to gripe about it – I just want to feel like I’m making progress toward something. Such as shroud or even ToD. They’re grind – but every grind get you closer to that one piece you’re looking for. Every Epic grind is just time bashing and pain. Some people do it very well and have guilds that are committed at running them, but running VON 1 for a fragment isn’t exactly my dream.