Can you solo the Crucible?

Believe it or not I was thinking about this question before @skaggy_the_poet replied to my twitter call for blog topics for today. Mostly due to 2 things, one Samius is now level 14 which means Gh time and @tobril shot me a link (again via twitter) to a forum post, Forums are down for me atm, so I dont have a title but here is the link….

I once saw an animated gif of a 2 man team solving the maze, I think it was by Mr Cow… I will see if I can dig up a link some time. (isilmerel: just tweeted me the link To Mr. Cow’s animated gif)

Any way, this life has been one where I have soloed a quest or two I didn’t think was soloable. Namely The Tomb of the Shadow Lord..This is what the ddowiki has to say about this quest.

“Requires extra player(s)/hireling(s) (mandatory: the party has to split several times in order to pull simultaneously several pairs of levers) “

But with the aid of a hireling and Dim Door, it was/is totally soloable….

There is no such note on the Crucible’s wiki write up, but that doesn’t make it soloable. Thinking through the maze, however, I do think it could be done with a hireling. The trick is understanding the maze and how the doors work..

Each valve controls a set of 3 doors. A door can either be N-S or E-W. Using the valve puts each door it controls in the opposite orientation. Each set of 3 doors has 2 doors that share their default orientation, and 1 door that is odd man out.

For example the three “I” doors (red in the map above thanks DDowiki), if the valve is set for its default you will see that the two most east doors will be in the N-S orientation and the third door will be in the E-W orientation. Solid color means that the door in its default orientation (off), two black lines means the alt (on) orientation.

Now you can use a hireling to camp the valves and switch it back and forth as long as YOU keep the valve targeted yourself. This is where you can get into trouble as you have to pick up crests, but if you keep the door directions in mind, and the path you need to take, you should be able to set the door your working with before locking yourself into a corner.

For example when you are getting the most northern crest, You are working with the I doors. You want to be sure the South I door is in the N-S orientation, or back to its default. Then you can Dim Door.

So soloing the Crucible should be very doable, with a hireling and at least 2 Dim Doors, one behind I and one behind K.

Of course you also have to be able to make the swim, and work the top part of the maze (you have lots of time as long as your fast).

I will try to solo it tonight, watch my twitter feed (@samiusgurobo) for completion details.

Good bye Dragonmarks.

Saturday… maybe late Friday… had to be early saturday…. any way the when is not important. Can you tell I am a little sleepy? Anyway sometime this weekend I uesd a lesser heart of wood taking out the helf dragonmarks. Why? Well after testing them out I decided while they are good… Okay Call lighting storm is good.. look I will get in to the marks in a minute. While they are good, I was being hurt by the lack of a few meta magic feats, and trying to play as a fire savant 1 at level 12-13…

The marks:

The first gives gust of wind, a good spell for limited uses. I need to clear a aoe spell mostly. But I did use it a few times to slow baddies chasing me while a dot killed them. Good on my sorc do to having a small spell list, and swapping in to GoW at a shrine when you notice that casting mobs are a little wall or cloud happy is not possible…

The second mark gives Electric Loop a really great spell. But at the time I had already focused on fire and air and had the spell. A second timer was well and good, with out heighten however, its Dcs are kinda low so 20-50 damage… Still good but just not for me atm..

The third mark, big daddy… Call Lighting Storm. The spell itself is super. A minute of really good spell damage that auto killed guys. Problem was some (most) of the kills are off screen or not right in front of you removing bad guys that are actively trying to kill you. Also one minute? For 3 feats? Wow. Okay you can burn ap and get a few more uses. And 3 minutes is much better. But for that much the dps has to be killer.

I really loved Call Lightning during Frame Work. It is all out side, there are tons of baddies to kill. It mostly one shots every non-boss in the quest. So for 3 minutes you get 1 kill every 3-4 secs…or about 45 kills..I think that mostly sums up the spell. I would totally cast the CLS but devote all those feats and Ap in to 3 minutes? I couldn’t any longer. To solo the kind of content I have to start soloing now my build has to be tighter. And the wiggle room is just gone.

So when I remove the Marks my reasoning for not being an air savant (aka the marks + air S == buged) is gone. Air savant has all the best spells available to it. Ice Storm as always been one of my favorite spells. And is one of the best spells, the cold dot and frost lance rounds out my ice splash, WoF, Fire Ball and Scorching Ray for fire and then there are so many good air spells, Shocking grasp and Elc loop are 2-5 sp clickies but I still pick up Shocking grasp for the second timer. Bolt has become my main spell followed up by Chain Lightning and Ball Lightning, and of course Eladar’s.

Once I was all swapped over, and gotten my bars resetup with my new metas, clickys and whatnots, I thought I needed a good test. Mired in Kobolds is a level 13 quest. Takes about 4 mins to zerg. And has a optional really hard dragon fight that is a real challenge to solo even a few levels over the quest. Is worth about 3k and can drop black scales. Aka $$$.

This fight, while intense, is not super hard for this build. Lots of pack pedaling. Keeping Dots up. Watching the timers and keeping up a few buffs. I ran it solo about 4-5 times. No scales. Just confirms to me that air is the right elemental to focus in as it looses the least amount. And that Helf is the right race for my kind of sorc, even if they are fugly.

Never make Character Decisions While Sleepy

Last night I gathered xp for level 12. Ran over to the trainer and leveled up, got the 3rd dragon mark for the call lighting.

Started taking enchantments and noticed that I had made an error and I didn’t have the right feat for the prerequisites. So I bum a dragon shard so I don’t have to switch around characters. And talk to Fred and swap to Spell focus: Evoc and run to the trainer again and fail????

Spell focus: Ench is not Spell focus: Evoc, Doh!

Okay fine then I wont take my second tear of the savant line. I will just focus on trying out my lightning feats. Lets max out the enchantments. And all done. Run out to an explorer to test them out and it is rocken. The lowest damage I have seen in my limited testing is 119 and the max is 503. Normal numbers in the 220 point range. But I didn’t take any extra uses so right now it is a really good min of damage.

Boy I kinda wished I had just logged off last night and saved leveling for today now… Well I do what I can with what I what I have for the next few days.

Sweet lvl 11

Level 11 is one of those sweet spots for many Trs. Okay I am mostly talking about me here. But I know at least a double fist full of people that also think of 11 as groovy. Its not lvl 12, but 11 is real good.


Well gear, 11 isn’t a feat or a pre-tear or anything like that as far as I know. So it must be gear…. Lets hit the high notes for me.

Lion Headed belt buckle: Str, Con, fear immunity, important for desert quests, and for me normally frees up a ring slot.

Torc, CordOp..Sp regen… I miss you guys, I will rarely take you off again until I TR again….

Min2 helm, 3x water booties, after sp regen these are my 2 favorite items. Hp and guards. Oh and ring of earth here… For stone skin cliklies. I am that arcane caster that wont take stone skin because 5 clikies and the stone skin guard trinket should be good enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I lov level 12 too, Green Blades, and Shroud weapons. I will carry my maul this life but will almost never use it as I am trying to stay as caster based as possible….

I am still way lighting based, Lighting Blot has been super good. I can hardly explain how good. But I just got Ball lighting, and Bolt is still way better. I am hopeing at 12 and the next level of the pre I will see a noticeable damage increase in fire spells. If not I think I will milk Shadow crypt with Wall of Fire then switch to Ice for the other 5th level Dot spell. But I have to do the trial and error thing as this is about 7 levels more then I have ever managed to get a sorc to before….

Okay have a good day and see you in game.

98 of 127

So last night after taping Ddo Cocktail Hour I log on thinking okay I will just get a little xp and log off simi early. I have been so tired lately. I thought a few extra hours of sleep might do me some good. So anyway I get logged in and Stiner shoots me a tell, “Debera part4 – elite- window farm?“

So I say sure, get the invite, and it is me, Stiner(wiz/rog), another sorc, and a fighter. I get to the graveyard and I see that people are in, step in and everyone is standing around. So before I zerg off, I asked if we are zerging, max xps, other? And get told max xp but lets not take all day. Done and Done. I am down the hall pulling levers zerging along cleaning house with the group behind me doing their best to keep up.

I ending up doing some wand healing to keep party members alive. I keep my cure wand in my hand but it doesn’t feel too bad. Ending up with all bonuses and no deaths or problems. I look at the xp chart to check out the totals. And I noticed I have 80+ of the kills. The next closest is Stiner, in the 20s I think.

So I D Door and catch the window. Everyone leaves and get back in. Stiner has to sell, but everyone else gets in and we go. Bang, Bang, Zoom, ZAP.

Keeping an eye on the bonuses again, I can’t help but notice that I am not only leading the kills but dominating. Stiner gets in and he starts cleaning up the traps and then the shrine side. I end up rezing our party leader the other sorc. Good thing I have a 75% chance for a rez atm..We finish up the quest and our fighter picks up the leaders stone and runs him to the shrine. This time he got hit with the Touch of Idiocy and stopped moving to try to figurer out why he can’t cast and got nailed. So totally understand able. And I shoot him some info for fixing that up. But still 2 deaths in Debera’s 4?

I check out the old kill list again and see that I have 98 kills, Stiner (coming in late and then doing the traps) is in the 20s again. The other guys are in the single digits. WTF?

While the group is fun, and the people are funny as hell on mic I don’t need to carry a group that much. So I thank them and take off, I notice that I have one cure wand left…. I emptied a whole wand and change into that group…. I entered with 3 cure critical wands(one only had 10 charges other ones full) and left with one wand with 40ish charges…. Thought I was playing my sorc life, must have been dreaming as I was clearly a clr in there….

Stiner and I headed into an elite pit run. 42 mins and a few hireling deaths and 2 stiner deaths later, we completed for 21k.

Right around 40k in 90 mins, lots of laughs and was able to catch up with one of my busier (in real life) friends and guildies. Couldn’t have been a much better night if I had planed it.

Well I could have gotten that 20 DQ done for Samiusbot…. And you know other things… like a good night sleep would have been amazing

Stalwart Song

A warchanter bard for sword and board people.

If you lesion to to DdoCocktail hour, you might remember I told Lessah that I was kicking around a sword and board bard build that might be right up her alley. Well here it is….

The Stalwart Song Level 20 True Neutral Human
(6 Fighter 1 Barbarian 13 Bard)

BAB: 1616212626
Fortitude: 15
Reflex: 9
Will: 9

Strength 18 all level ups Tome + Human Adaptability 28
Dexterity 8
Constitution 16
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 8
Charisma 12

Tomes Used
+2 Tome of Strength, Constitution, Intelligence and Charisma used at level 7

Balance 3-14
Concentration 7-24
Haggle 5-24
Intimidate 3-34
Jump 4-8
Perform 5-23
Swim 4-8
Tumble 3-3
UMD 5-26

Level 1 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Power Attack
Feat: (Human Bonus) Toughness

Level 2 (Barbarian)
Level 3 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Shield Mastery
Feat: (Selected) Two Handed Fighting

Level 4 (Bard)
Level 5 (Bard)
Level 6 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Weapon Focus: Slashing Weapons

Level 7 (Bard)
Level 8 (Bard)
Level 9 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword
Feat: (Selected) Improved Two Handed Fighting

Level 10 (Bard)
Level 11 (Bard)
Level 12 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Critical: Slashing Weapons

Level 13 (Bard)
Level 14 (Bard)
Level 15 (Bard)
Feat: (Selected) Greater Two Handed Fighting

Level 16 (Fighter)
Level 17 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Weapon Specialization: Slashing Weapons

Level 18 (Fighter)
Feat: (Selected) Improved Shield Bash

Level 19 (Fighter)
Feat: (Fighter Bonus) Improved Shield Mastery

Level 20 (Bard)
Enhancement: Fighter Armor Class Boost I
Enhancement: Fighter Haste Boost I
Enhancement: Barbarian Sprint Boost I
Enhancement: Barbarian Power Attack I
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack I
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack II
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Attack III
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery I
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery II
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Bravery III
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage I
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage II
Enhancement: Bard Inspired Damage III
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song I
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song II
Enhancement: Bard Lingering Song III
Enhancement: Bard Warchanter I
Enhancement: Bard Warchanter II
Enhancement: Fighter Stalwart Defender I
Enhancement: Human Adaptability Strength I
Enhancement: Human Greater Adaptability Con I
Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery I
Enhancement: Human Improved Recovery II
Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
Enhancement: Racial Toughness III
Enhancement: Improved Intimidate I
Enhancement: Improved Intimidate II
Enhancement: Bard Charisma I
Enhancement: Bard Charisma II
Enhancement: Fighter Strength I
Enhancement: Fighter Strength II
Enhancement: Fighter Toughness I
Enhancement: Fighter Toughness II
Enhancement: Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery I

This concept combines a few main ideas:
added dps of the Bastard sword + the THF feats
stacking double strike % from the Inspire Recklessness + the Swashbuckler
the lessened Physical damage vulnerability (aka the shield feats) to take even less damage while keeping up this builds max dps and hate.

I got a rough hp total at about 538 = 20(hd) + 78 + 12 + 60 + 10(A) + 60(base con) + 20 (+2 tome) + 60 (+6 con item) + 20 (+2 exp con) + 45 (GS hp item) + 30(GFL) +10(SFL) + 20 (rage or stance) + 23(toughness) + 20 (Fighter Toughness II) + 30 (Racial Toughness III) 20 (toughness item)

Feel free to check my math, and/or add in things like Guild buffs and yugo pots…

Okay well that is my bard.

The Best Arcane Spell/s, I Bet Your Not Using

So Sorc life Samius is level 10. As I said before I am doing fire savant with a even split fire and lighting. Okay maybe a bit more lighting even. But there are 2 spells that stand out, Lighting Bolt and Gust of Wind.

Okay first of all Gust of Wind is coming from my dragon mark. I would not use one of my so few spell slots on it as a sorc. There are quests I would swap into it as a wiz…

Any way if you want to read the description for here is a link to the ddowiki.

I have been doing von 3-4 a lot (solo) to power though levels 9 and 10. And believe it or not I have been finding myself in a place that I need to use GoW. Just tons of cloud spells, and bad guy AOEs. I have even used it to put out my own firewalls to stop healing Iron Golems.

GoW is a fine spell and probably way under used but the spell that has become my bread and butter right now is lighting bolt. First of all double strike. Wow. In pnp it would be like casting a forked spell. Hits them twice and deals double damage 50% of the time. In my case I am seeing 300+ points at level 10, counting the double strike fairly often. At this level that kills most bad men.

Also the range, it is naturally a long spell. And with the last update it is now doubley as long. For 12 sp it has become ranged death. At a max range a to get 2 shots on a beholder before it gets you in range of the anti magic zone or any of its other ray attacks, if it is charging you at a full float… Is that how a beholder runs? Any way zap zap dead beholder. Von3 has become a lot faster now that I can just stand way over there and kill them in 1 or 2 shots with out them being able to shoot back.

How to line up bolts to hit at least two guys at once. Hard target one guy that is not going to be moving. A caster or an archer is best. Any one in a long standing still pose will work. Then side step so there is a bad man not your target between you and your target. Bolt.

Then you have a moving target it is the same idea pick one that will be at the rear of your line when you cast, cover him with another guy and fire. Often I will target the guy closest to me and then run past him turn sight a 2nd or 3rd target and fire. There is a bit of timing involved but not too bad.

I say take the time to try out different spells then what is on your normal list once and awhile. Who knows when you will find another “permanent” addition to your list?