Just like in the movie, I ended up spending an awful lot of time with the undead. If it wasn’t one of the 4 quests it was doing Mark of Death. It wasn’t entirely unproductive per say, but none of the raid loot. I suggest that you don’t expect to pull anything until your 20th unless you’re doing hard or elite, but I doubt you’re going to like that experience anymore than your normal one.
I did spend Monday going through all my high level toons to turn in commendations for potions, mostly for death ward and restoration, but I also spent an hour outfitting my vanguard tank with whatever scroll or wand he might be able to pull off, something that eventually came handy but not in the intended raid. I ended up doing a Heroic Hard LoB, and we 4 manned it, waiting a good old time for the 4th person. I say this; my tank did perform. Brilliantly. Dying only once and mostly for having to take agro from everything away from everyone else and the cleric was a little bit to busy with something (I don’t know what) to bother watching me. Other then that I ended up kiting red named quori around together with 2 doggies and an angry LoB, hitting, jumping, healing and whatnot. Basically doing everything and performing all rolls including resurrecting them in the end.
And for that pleasure I got nothing. No spirits. Basically screwed out of anything I could use other than shards of course (or whatever they’re called).
Shroud on the other hand was more productive. In one run I got 2 regular shards so now I have 2 tier 2 displacement clicky bracers. And while that doesn’t seem like much it adds at least almost 6 minutes of displacement when it counts. In big pitched fights. That’s more survival ontop of survival and it’s an welcome addition to a growing arsenal of scrolls, potions and protection that’ll make my Vanguard tank nigh unstoppable.
Part of the whole ‘go through each high level toon and vacuum for stuff’ was a serious inventory management process, making sure each person had res cakes and such. I had a bunch on the shared bank that I’ve collected from turn ins and such and some had them and others didn’t. And that turns out to be silly at times when I knew I had a bunch in the shared, but only needed one because I got killed towards the end in one quest and just didn’t want to waste the time by restarting (it’s easier if it’s in the beginning).
Ensuring that each and one of my playable toons has soon is just prudence plus it allowed me to find those raid timers I had on several guys but was unlikely to use anytime soon. As of now I only intend to run the new raid regularly on 3 toons while sometimes on others. And that’s primarily my Pally, my sorc and my tank. The rest will be once in a blue moon when I think they’re good and ready. Which is more about being self sufficient than being flagged which really is the least of the issues.
I did end up taking my mothballed horc out for a few runs by freshen up some of the items he was wearing and respeccing a couple of trees. I dropped some of the half orc race stuff and also seldom used main tree items and did a semi heavy investment in the Harper tree for some additional Int to damage stuff. Granted, he’s not exactly the brainiest toon in the bunch, but adding just 9 or 10 additional points adds up. On top of that I maintained the high strength, currently 54 without temp buffs and changed one feat to stunning blow, just to take advantage of another pair of boots that I pulled. Giving him a good almost brutal source of improved trips and stuns. The benefit is that with a regular crit with a greataxe for around 700-800 in average the stun plus crit becomes closer to 1400. And that’s very nice.
My aim is not to add survivability in the form of self healing. Much like my tank has it so I’m first unlocking a few destinies so I can eventually have a third twist slot with cocoon. Sure, it’s not going to be the same as my tank. Who can turtle up and heal through it. My horc plainly takes more damage with his less PRR. But it helps. Being able to be self sufficient is nice and important since there will be a lot of times when you pug without a dedicated healer. And being someone’s SP sponge just isn’t as cool anymore. But it is clear that the difference between my tank and my horc is the DPS potential. You’re basically trading a slower rate of damage taking for a high source of damage and if you play a Pally you’re picking a glut from all worlds with self healing, saves, protection and DPS but not the tactical feats.
Finally, Mark of Death and the Shadowwyrm raids are perhaps the most torturous ones I’ve played in a long time. Yet you need them if you want good gear. The benefit of the Mark of Death is that it can be over quickly. Dependent on group of course. But the random things that happens aren’t of the good challenge type. It’s a derivative of features that strips challenge from you. Like getting encased, inferno and the Lady Vols waves of death after each other while a Beholder strips out peoples abilities to raise others and quells keep messing with divines ability to do theirs.
That’s on top of all the other trash. It’s just too much player griefing in the form of things you can’t control. It’s like running 200 meter hurdles but instead of jumping over them you have to jump over them while someone throws them at you. So now you’re not talking about essential skills but whatever random events goes your way or not.
shadowwyrm is just a boring bunch of puzzles for ultimate pain until you can actually use player skills in the end. To me it would be nicer to skip tons of mirror puzzles and 1 of the special to speed it up and remove the redundancy. The end fight is just fine.