19 September 2011

Prison of the Pains . . . I mean "Planes" "PLANES"

This week Team Spode took our second journey into the purple crags of Gianthold--this time with Ophiga in tow. Lessah was unable to make it again this week, and that was fine.  We miss her, but it also allowed us to be complete newbies and stumble around a bit throwing caution to the wind.
This shot here is definitely for one of the Stormreach Sentinel’s readers, Ekeiram:

Team Spode in front of the purple dragon statue! 
Throughout our run, Ophiga and Spode kept mentioning they thought they saw that “statue just move.” I think it was a head nod to either Dr. Who or Harry Potter.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t batting 1000 with my brain or my metaphors last night.  Ulan had lost his “push to talk” functionality, and I started saying something like, he’s being Gandhi . . . yeah, that was peaceful resistance that Gandhi was known for not silent resistance.  Although from what I understand, Ulan is silent but deadly.
Eventually we got things underway and ended up at Eberron’s coolest skate park.

This fancy place is known as The Prison of the Planes.  Our buddy Nimbus here let us in on the 4-1-1 about this place.

Basically the giants found a cozy little dungeon that somehow holds portals to all the planes.  For a second I thought we might be in Everquest’s Plane of Tranquility about to step foot into a massive raid to take down Gryme in the Plane of Disease.  Sorry about that . . . once an EQ addict, always an EQ addict. 
This dungeon comes in basically three acts. Here we go . .
ACT I — of giant skeletons and the Attack of Dopey
For the first act, you run all the way up to the top of a spiraling ramp around a central chamber that is locked by magical lightning.  On your way up you have to slaughter many magical dwarves on your way to the Wicked Witch’s house where she is keeping a poison apple.  Whoops.  I did it again.  Sorry about that . . . once a Disney addict, always a Disney addict.

Basically you kill your way up to the top of the tower where there’s a big locked door that you either break into or con a rakshasa into giving you a key.  Once inside, you fight a giant skeleton!  Just in time for the Halloween season!

Once Mr. Bojangles there is dead, you’ll have to mess with a series of levers that you have to arrange “just so” and pull a switch, which unlocks the center chamber.  This center chamber is where the puzzle of this dungeon really begins because you have to take a couple of the double AA power receptors out of their slots at the bottom of the dungeon and begin Act II.
ACT II — Prison brutality
In the second act, you run back through the dungeon from the beginning, but this time you’ll be placing a Double AA battery (or “orb” if you’re feeling like a steampunk) at the entrance of each prison (Daanvi, Dolurth, Fernia, Lamannia, Mabar, Risia, Shavarath, and Xoriat).  Everybody piles into the prison block save for one person who will be acting as the warden.  We felt free to role-play this as a bad prison movie where all of Team Spode’s males had been naughty naughty boys and Ophiga was our domineering female warden. /blush  Ok, that didn’t happen. But eventually we did have Ophiga playing that role since the NPCs tended to suicide themselves on the resulting electrical door that hums to life, trapping your party members into the prison.
The first prison seemed gentle enough.  It was simply a fella who wanted to talk to a lawfully aligned character.  Spode dispatched of the challenge easily and we moved on to the remaining prison blocks. 

Here’s where things started to go south for Team Spode.  We took a few a deaths in the prison areas here as we were pretty unprepared for some of the damage output that we were up against.  We were playing a bit sloppy too and hadn’t fully buffed ourselves up for each challenge, e.g., no fire resistance buffs for dealing with the Djinni.  To save ourselves some time, Ulan and Spode each simultaneously downed a spirit cake and we were back up and killing.
Although it wasn’t really necessary, we finished out all the various prison cells and gathered all the AA batteries along the way.  We had plenty of batteries by the end of ACT II, which were definitely needed for ACT III.
ACT III — Wrap it up SPODE
The third and final act of this instance is where you place all the AA batteries you collected into the bottom floor of the center chamber (that’s the Dal Quor Chamber for you technical types) and then throw the switch up top so that the center chamber becomes active.  Once you do this you face the biggest and the baddest of the entire dungeon, Mr. Cochitlehua. WOW THAT’S A MOUTHFUL, RIGHT?!  He’s a warforged who likes to summon up creatures from each of the planes to attack you.  We didn’t really have too tough of a time with Mr. Cochitlehua as it turns out and TEAM SPODE WAS VICTORIOUS!
At the end of this escapade I was happy!  Like just really happy!  I had honest to goodness FUN in this instance.  Those 16 deaths or whatever didn’t matter in the least. :) 

“I’d do that again!” to quote Gandhi . . . I mean Ulan. We all agreed and as it turns out we all became honorary members of the Storm’s Eye Brigade for it.  That’s one down and two brigades to go until we’re flagged for The Reaver’s Fate raid (which happens to be another raid that we probably won’t complete, but good times getting there regardless).
See you all next week!
Happy dueling!


  1. Now that I think of it, if you are using different buffs and 'barrier' skills, doesn't that take up a lot of mana and aren't there very few shrines where you can rest? I've also noticed that my level one has an ungodly amount of mana for a level one and his health is barely existant. He has 30 some health and over 200 mana. Since he's a wizard, I would expect a large mana pool, but since his armour is practically non-existant doesn't that mean that I need to give his health extra attention when training him?

  2. Yay, i picture for me!! :-)
    I always like to watch at that dragon, but i seem to get in "hurry" groups whenever i get a char into GH. Good thing Team Splode captured themselves with the purple dragon!

    And another great writing! I love these stories about trial and error with an end of victory.
    Too bad i need to wait another week before the next storie comes true...... ;-)

    BTW, is your team gonna peak in at the Crystal Cove event?

  3. @Megalus As a blue-bar-user (arvane/divine/bard/ranger) it is always mandatory to use the mana pool you have available to your best use. Mana-preservation. Know (or learn in your case) how to make best use of the blue power you have. Crowd Control for groups of mobs and single target to eliminate single mobs.
    Especially in the lower levels (up to about lvl 8/10) you can still use melee to help you in the killing. Crowd Control the mobs, then hack/slash/bash/pierce them with weapons.
    But after those levels the difference between melee and arcane/divine really comes to light. But by that time you probably have learned enough about your character to know what it's capable of.
    I highly suggest to take a read on www.ddo.com/forums, specificly the class-forums. You'll get plenty of advice and knowledge just from reading there. If you like peronal help, make a post and let the wonderfull community help you.

    (i don't have any arcane chars myself, so can't give you any better advice as above)

  4. @Mr. Megalus: We were playing the normal setting, which allows for rest shrines to be used once every 15 minutes. We did use the rest shrine a couple of times.

    As for the ungodly amount of mana, Sorcerers will most likely end up with even MORE mana than a Wizard believe it or not.

    Yeah, you can't neglect your constitution score . . . when you level, you need to make sure you dump points into skills that will help raise that score for you and grab items like +constitution belts and +health items. There are also spells that extend your health and add a "skin" layer to help protect you (like stone skin). Here's the trick with + constitution gear though . . . you can't get a +constitution belt and a +constitution ring and expect them to stack on each other. it doesn't work like that in DDO . . . because of this, you really need to make sure you get those points distributed correctly when you level.

    Charisma and Constitution are where I mostly focus since I'm a sorcerer. I did dump a point into the tumble skill though since I use that a lot to avoid ranged damage when I've firewalled an archer.

    thanks for reading, man. And the comment. Always good to hear from you.

    Ekeiram has some good advice too, Thanks!

    @Ekeiram: We did do Crystal Cove once before and I agree, it would be fun to do with the group! It's too bad that it's shut down right now! I wanted to go in tonight and play around in there.