I mentioned this before; but the premise of ToEE is to explore for rare encounters and therefore greater chances for named items and more mats.
You do this by slaying hordes of mobs and usually to fight a pile of HP.
Note only named rare encounters give you that chance (and an assortment of ‘lone’ mini chests and such. None of the permanent named encounters, such as the gargoyle, troll, locked up chest, chest in the corner in part 2, chest in the water in part 1 etc does. Those are random trash loot chests and you can safely avoid them.
Same with Red Ogres. The only thing you get form them, eventho most of them are random placements is a chest of vendor trash. And they’re on ransack to for some unexplained reason – so while you are most likely going to run into them in part 1 and definitely in part 2 they’re quick to ransack if you run ToEE a few times – making the experience of clobbering a mountain of hit points just that more tedious.
However the entire premise, despite the fact that set encounters are pointless and random ogre spawns don’t add anything worthwile, it’s still fairly useless to do full runs.
Let me explain; I’ve done a few full runs (more than I care to admit). Both when it was first released and until patch 3 and after. Now with more rare, it still remains a fairly useless thing to do.
Partly because you won’t really run into that many more encounters (20% higher chance on a very low chance makes for about what seems like 1 or 2 more encounters ‘maybe’). You still end up slaying trash mobs by the bucket and nothing has been done to the overall HP balance on some of the encounters. But even with that the world is mostly full of trash mobs with a few rare instances of ‘WOOHOO RED NAMED’.
I recently ran 2 full node runs, one run was completely bust with not ONE single yellow named prisoner (free yellow mushrooms) or red named boss. The only thing I recieved that time was the end fight for each node – 3 mushrooms in 3 of them and 6 in one. Now that was a 2.5 hour run clearing out every nook and cranny and I was completely skunked with only end fight chest for each node.
The second run was ‘slightly’ more productive with 2 bosses in the earth node, nothing in the rest of them and with 1 yellow named prisoners in the water node.
That’s it. That was by large another 2.5 hour unproductive run.
Then I figured I try part 1 again – same deal. Slaying galore, 1 small chest, 1 large locked chest, the rust monster encounter and the dude with the frog and in the second section the Lava golem.
That was well over an hour running carpal tunneling my hands through button mashing with a few encounters to show for it.
Time wise the only suggestion I can give is that if you can run on EE either solo or with friends, do it. Take the critical paths to save money and you might run into something along the way and profit. Don’t worry about nook and cranny stuff. It’s not worth the resources you spend and it’s not worth the material. Same with EH and EN. But with even less incentive to explore.
Until Turbine seriously up the rare encounter rate AND increase the material drop in those chests I suggest make it quick and cash out in the end chest. Everything else is bound to disappoint you.