There are some challenges that are fairly easy to solo – like the portal one. You don’t need to shepherd a bunch of kobolds or guard extractors. You simply have to go from room to room and find a boss or two and presto – profit.
The kobold ones are for most part not all that hard – the palace one is the easiest since the top 2 rooms usually have everything you need to hit your goal. They’re fairly easy to clear with any class and the rest is just waiting for the demon queen to drop and survive that.
I don’t like the extractor ones at all; it’s not impossible to solo but not very rewarding either. They’re meant for groups and they punish people who rely on the poorly coded hirelings. (what else can you say about a hireling that stands there while the extractor is getting shot at, or even just stand there while being shot at?)
The Lava caves is a mixed brew, other than the Jade scorpions the other stuff is easy to get. Especially since the basics of it is to meet a goal, while making sure no one kills off the Kobolds. The sorpions however is about something else; you have to pick this big a** shard up and make sure the kobold gets to the base or else the whole thing is wasted. Just one of 3 and when that’s done the amount of shard collected are yours. So no goal, just that one shard.
The problem isn’t so much finding the 2 sigils needed to open the door (yes, there’s that) – most of the time you’ll find them fairly close to each others and if not they spawn in predictable places.
No the issue is when the kobold picks up the shard. That’s when the ambush hits and you’ll have to fight off drows, large lions and a giant shaman. And doing that solo is a pain.
Now true enough you can always use hirelings. And for most part they’ll actually do something – but the ambush is about 3 parts deep and the one hireling won’t do it. Most of the time it takes 2, unless your toon can nail all of them very quickly.
The issue I have is that I have 3 toons that can do the level 15 quest, the rogue is out of the question since there’s tons of scorpions to clear out and drow (even 1 giant if you go top) and you don’t have time to try sneak attack everything. And a rogue is not ideal when surrounded.
And my Morninglord just don’t work – he’s not good enough to insta kill and doesn’t have the gear needed to either BB kite stuff or insta destruction drows.
And finally I now have a Wiz and he’s okay but lack the blue bar to spam all emp and max’d spells. So I use hirelings. Ideally I’d group – but no one runs challenges and barely when there’s challenge mat weekends.
The best method is using my wiz – go up, web and firewall all scorps, deal with drow and giant, farm out enough to be able to get to the gate. Find sigils, Ddoor back and shrine then go do ambush. Place a Skeleton knight where the giant spawn and the level 15 FvS where the lions spawns. He likes to use destruction, cometfall and greater command. Over and over. He’s like one of those drow priestesses out of MOTU. And good enough for the encounter. And usually it works, netting about 400-500 jade scorpions provided you get a good instance with shards.
Personally I wish I had an arti ready for it. Because repeater plus rune arm takes care of all issues. And if you’re into Epic challenges my ranger does short work out of the ambush with a multiarrow furyshot session. It’s dead easy if you can set off 20 seconds worth of multishots and fury at the same time. Just shoot straight through most stuff and hit them with 1.5k worth of damage times 4 and it’s a done deal in no time.
Even my Shiradi sorc can do it fine – put out a couple of dancing balls and start slamming those spells.
But now I’m dreaming; I still have thousands more scorpions to go and whatever else I need to make a few BTA cloaks, bracers, rings and boots. Just so I don’t have to do this again (so I think.