Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Weekend at Chardok

I did a couple of runs into Chardok this last weekend, focused on getting an update for the templar epic. Once again, Chardok provided some of the most interesting gameplay in the game. Some of the tricks were legitimate gotchas, but at least one seemed like a big cheat. To avoid too much stress, I'll tell you now: we had many deaths, but none were permanent, and in the end, we got the update.

This anonymous comment was left on my previous post about Chardok:

Just in case you don’t know: When you get in the library, pet pull each book, from each room. Then you pull the Di’Zok. If you pull the Di’Zok first the books will add and you will die they are not linked and the Illusionist won’t be able to mezz the 4 mobs fast enough. When you get to the second room with books, to open the hidden passage there will be a clickable book that spawns on a timer on one of the lower shelves.

Wow, that would have been really useful to know if I had just read the comment before we went back in on Saturday. In order to activate the librarian (a golem), you need volumes I, II, and III of Mutagenica. These drop in an earlier pair of rooms, but on our previous trip, they seemed to be a quite rare spawn. Prices on the broker seemed to confirm this, as volume I was going for about 5 times that of volumes II and III. We had one of them going in.

We got to the librarian without any great mishap, and a couple of nameds killed. But at the far end of the corridor we spotted a named. I don't remember his name, but I remember how the fight went. We seemed to be doing well, burning him down pretty fast when suddenly the entire group was face down, dead. Except for the tank who was alive, but deep in the red. Needless to say, we wiped. Ok, what WAS that he hit us with?

In my log, it said that he hit me for "11,500 points of focus damage" Well, that makes it understandable why I'm dead, 11K isn't quite enough to kill me twice over, but it's getting close. Curiously, the plate-wearing tank took exactly the same amount of damage, 11,500 of "focus" damage. I've never heard of focus damage, what the heck is it?

That ended Saturday's run, it was late, and some folks headed to bed. Sunday we tried again once everyone showed up. Our first try we got to the librarian under a vow to leave that named alone until after we picked up the epic update.

The golem got the books and proceeded to open the secret doors and amble along to the library. So far, so good. We pull the Di'zok at the end of the hall even before the librarian got there, and the books came too. We couldn't control the encounter for some reason. My mez didn't stick well enough, maybe due to AE dots, or maybe because of resistances. Or perhaps we had a big hit, or perhaps folks weren't quite ready for the pull. Maybe all of the above. Mandoralen, our SK tank, did FD on Kat, the fury, so we wouldn't have to go back to the beginning of the zone. However, she died from a dot while FD.

This is when we discover the new respawn point recently added. It's just before the large hanging bridge which is guarded by the two gigantic golems. In fact, it's just around the corner from the two gigantic golems. Thus ensued a comedy of errors while various people pull the golems by mistake and die. We finally got organized, put up a mender bot on the spot, killed the golem (I got killed and went back to the mender bot) and ran across the bridge. It LOOKED as if the war was on, with droag distracting the Di'zok guards, so we raced past them just as they woke up and went straight for us. Another wipe. (Actually, Jioja, our ranger survived since he never engaged with the fight, it happened too fast. Or he's just that smart.)

The good news is that we got to use the new respawn point again, so we revive and the mender bot is still there! Bonus points! Uh, except that it despawns at the precise moment we click on it to heal again. I could swear I heard it say "psych!" as it despawned.

Ok, now we don't have a volume I, so it's back to those rooms to see if maybe, just maybe we might be able to get another. It was our day, we got 3!

Ok, we're feeling better now, so we gave the library another try. We take it really slow, and let the librarian go all the way into the first room and sit down. The Di'zok in that room has wandered off to the left somewhere, so we creep through the room and into the right corridor without getting any aggro, at all.

The next room has a similar setup. A Di'zok that's aggro, and three books that are not, nor are they linked. None of them see invis, but we don't really know how to open the door to get past this room, so we figure we'd better kill them.

We managed it by mezzing/petting the Di'zok while killing the books. That seemed to work, though it was a bit dicy. We find the switch and open the door. The corridor leads to a "T". To the right is a room with a bunch of nameds that the bruisers need to get into for their epic. But we don't have a bruiser, so we avoid that, at least until after we get Milia's update.

To our left, there it is. At the back of another room is an afflicted Di'zok, which Milia must cure with an item that she has concocted to get her update. However, there are three more "non-aggro" books in this room, plus a Di'zok that hates our guts. This time, the troubador, Phritz, charms the Di'zok and Milia races in and hits her cure. At which point the Di'zok breaks charm. It only lasted maybe 5 seconds, but it was enough. Interestingly, the books didn't aggro until the charm broke.

Of course, seeing how she got her update, we engage the fight that is upon us, and we manage to win, by mezzing the Di'zok while killing the books first. Close, but we got it. Now, to try for the other room.

There is a named Di'zok and 2 named books, along with the usual "non-aggro" books. Mandoralen was able to body pull the two named books singly. Alone, they are easy pickings for us. Next, he says, I'll try something. He takes out a bow, and shoots one of the books. It comes, with nothing else!!!.

It's at this point I realize that we've been had fair and square by the dungeon designer. A very worthy trick, that exploits the player psychology. Who kills things that they don't have to?

So, to my anonymous poster, I say, you are right, a pet pull will work, but it isn't necessary. The books don't aggro for other books, just for the Di'zok. The Di'zok doesn't care about them either. Knowledge is power.

Unfortunately, we wiped on the way out of the library, as we were rushing to get to a named. At that point we packed it in, happy for the update.

This is my idea of a really good time in an MMO. It starts with good comrades with good attitudes. Add in puzzles, the need to scramble, using our abilities in interesting ways, and the threat of respawn.

The RoK instances have many of these elements, but the threat of respawn, and a long fight back to where you were make dungeons that much more interesting. And it's a good thing I like them, since next we will be going deep into Sebilis to get more updates.

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Anonymous Milia said...

Thanks for helping me get my update!

OMG! I can't believe we didn't see that comment before we hit the library. Thank you Anonymous!

I don't feel comfortable saying none of the books are social. I'd want another run to test it - oh, it is to laugh. I'll just try to get confirmation via someone else who has lived the dream. You're not getting me in there again until... well, maybe it is kind of like childbirth (I hear) after a few years one thinks, "It wasn't really that bad."

It's funny, reading this I actually truly did LOL. I think I didn't appreciate the comedy of errors when I was living it. I was thinking, and perhaps saying, "Can we never do this again?" (Quoting Livy after our first kill of the Amorphous Drake in DT.)

Kara, Jio and I started Seb already - if it's anything like Chardok, only 70 more deaths until I get the next step done. In two days (only about 2 or at most 3 hours total) I've gotten 0 updates. And that's CotT to them once they are almost to the slave pits. (We won't address the impact my frugality in re invis totems has had on that total.)

Totally unrelated, I liked someone's shout yesterday while we were in Seb. "Skipping Content since 2005, %t CotH."

10:33 AM  
Blogger Grump said...

Focus damage is an unmitigated damage type. Physical, Arcane, Elemental, Noxious and other such resists don't block, check or protect against it.

It should always hit for the amount intended, provided there are no wards up.

I have had experience with the mob you were talking about and it seems if it's not killed in a period of time, it blasts the 11.5k focus AE.

The "Focus damage" type is a fairly recent addition to the game, I believe it was put in around GU44 or GU45 and it is often seen on high end raid mobs like some Avatars and on Trakanon.

It is also a "penalty effect" on some items; such as the Bloodthirsty Choker for example. It gives you a base 10% damage increase on each combat art or spell you cast in exchange for 5% of your health in focus damage.

Grump, Inquisitor of Dracos Argent

2:21 PM  

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