20 December 2011

Harbinger of Madness vs. Diablo II

You have a lot of madness in DDO. Madness seems to be a Turbine developers favorite psychosis. The Path to Madness. The Maze of Madness. Madstone Crater. And now The Harbinger of Madness, which is really just a setup for the Reign of Madness, right? There's so much madness that it's enough to drive someone to the Chamber of Insanity!

I don’t blame Turbine for all this madness though, I blame . . . Madness!

Insider's perspective: when Madness sings "Our House," they're talking about the House of Xoriat they're trying to establish in Stormreach.

So, I can tell you right now, that Team Spode LOVES Harbinger of Madness. I made the comment over e-mail today that I think Harbinger of Madness is less about the exp (which is “ok” not “killer” though), and more about the loot. We had three unique drops on Normal mode from random chests that were some of the best pieces we’ve seen yet in our little ragtag band of mid-high levelers.

Spode got a nice sword named Insanity (who doesn't want to fight madness with insanity?), and we saw some other loot that made us wonder what else we could find, DDO wiki has some promising items listed.

What else was nice is that the difficulty wasn’t too bad! At least on normal mode. There were a few mishaps here and there, but nothing horrifically ugly that we didn’t overcome. If hard mode brings better loot (as one would suspect), sign us up tenfold. The quest chain in total seems like it would take around 3 hours to complete. We only had two, so we left the last instance for next time we meet.

(The general consensus was that we weren’t planning on meeting Christmas day, so we’ll probably be meeting up on the evening of the 26th. And if that doesn’t work, we just may take a couple weeks off until the holidays are over.)

Ophiga had a great summation of our experience in Harbinger of Madness, and to be honest, I don’t have a whole lot more to add. I would like to say that this quest series so far has been creepy awesome! Two thumbs up! Children missing from a school? Cocoons harvesting flesh golems? Beholders? Mind flayers? Undead? Strange Camera seizures as you pass through particularly haunted rooms? Yup, Harbinger of Madness has exactly what I like!

I love quest series like this that evoke a certain mood and succeed while giving you challenging game play that isn’t too punishing and then finishing it all off with rewarding loot. That’s an art, and I feel the developers at Turbine did a great job right here. In a way, Team Spode has been playing through a lot of aging content where GOOD loot has been hard to come by in areas that were tuned to drop loot in a different age of DDO. Most of the gear we are wearing hasn’t come from the chests we’ve looted, but from sales at the auction house.

And that’s why Team Spode loves (Or at least why I love) Harbinger of Madness so far. It’s awesomeness is perfect for our little group. Please give us more of this. Yes, PLEASE. Failing missions in Cannith sucks. Failing Blue Dragon fights sucks. Complicated crafting recipes that require extensive farming sucks. Harbinger of Madness ROCKS. YES, PLEASE! I completed the dungeon, now give me the awesome loot. DONE. I don’t have to craft loot. I don’t have to cleanse loot. I don’t have to improve loot with a raid. I don’t have to do anything but profit. It’s like freaking Diablo II. YAY! The only thing that would make this better is if awesome loot and health potions just squished out of monster’s bodies when they died.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you Turbine for the Harbinger of Madness. If this is what’s on the menu of the future, sign me up for seconds and thirds.

Happy Dueling

1 comment:

  1. Wow, i just ran Harbinger of Madness yesterday with 2 of my guildmates (me on rogue, others on FvS and Paladin, all lvl 16, 1 TR). We went the elite route to keep up the streak for one of the guildies and it wasn't all that bad till the final fight. We did wipe once in the 1st quest but luckily the FvS had a cake in his bag to save us the reenter-penalty.
    The last quest went well untill the final boss...damn...it was only the 2nd time ever i ran this, but that fight is a pain. So i hope you'll succeed the next time you run it with Team Spode. Maybe on normal it will be a bit more forgiving.

    The loot, yes, the loot in this chain is awesome and fairly easy aquired. There is something good for every class (Turbulent Epee, my rogue loves this one. Staff of the Fleshmaker is nice for a FvS, Insanity is sweet for a fighter, and even rangers get some love).

    Twas good to see you enjoyed the quests as much as i do. And to add to your hoping, when you get your characters near cap, the new House C quests are just as much (or even more) fun and filled with some awesome loot aswell!

    Merry Christmas Gleek and Team Spode!