Ninja Versus Pirates, DDO Style

Now that I have two Ninjas (one a pure Monk, the second a Rogue/Monk), I have some more flexibility in running some favorite mid-level quests where stealth works well.

I often revisit these quests in the Lordsmarch Plaza to complete them on harder difficulties once my toons are more powerful as they remain a challenge to complete the objectives even if you’ll suffer little damage. The Droaam are good enemies to test out your offensive and defensive powers at mid level, particularly solo.

Lordsmarch Plaza

Diplomatic Impunity: In theory, a Ninja Spy should be able to dissolve into the jungle to reach the scout, return to Henrietta, reach the final fight and kill only those inside that area.

Mission complete. Ryncletica entered on Elite recently, summoning one Cleric hireling that was parked for 98% of the adventure. Avoiding cats, wildmen and scorpions, she met the scout, evaded all but two or three Droaam fighters, negotiated a passage through the wildman village rather than fight, informed Henrietta of the invasion, and reversed the route through the wildmen village. Parking the hireling just at the final root wall, she evaded all fighters to reach the enemy fort. Some glitch prevented the hireling and I from slaying the last henchmen before removing the boss. Devious bonus: 16 kills.

Ryncletica is pretty beefy in terms of defense now at level 14. Now with the Icy Raiment, she has persistent 21% Dodge, 25% incorporeality with Shadow Fade and 20% concealed with her Greater Nimble Trinket. Reflex saves are about 24-26. At her level, she’s hard to hit once more.

Frame Work: After recovering enough ballista parts to use on a ballista that launches into the boss’s complex, you use the stone wand on one minotaur, go invisible,  leap over a wall, activate the ballista, kill the chieftain and bail using the ballista inside the complex. If you are very insidious, you kill the minotaur runt inside there who could activate the alarm so that you also get the no-alarm bonus. I used MrCow’s notes and video to come close to doing this with Ryncletica in her first life.

Mission Complete. It was less suicidal to do this on Normal difficulty. The stoning wand is a vital tool. You need stone only one to complete the objective, but you’ll likely need to stone a shaman that’s close to your injector ballista into the fortress, as well as the only runt to the right of the inner fortress who could activate the alarm inside. Once that’s done, I threw down some solid fog around the throne, pulled out some Night’s Grasp handwraps to kill the chieftain, looted and used the inner ballista. Dorris the warforged scout praises you differently for your subtlety if you complete your mission without the alarms activating.

Eyes of Stone: Easy to avoid some fights, but you must kill the four mages that guard the stoned Coin Lords. Of course, the end-fight requires you to attack respawning mobs until Hesstess is dead. Un-stoning the various guards as distractions might be useful, as well as summoning a chaotic monster helper that pulls enemies out of their entrenched locations through the Coin Lord’s halls while I sneak by them.

Mission Complete. Again completed on Normal. I avoided most fights, killing about 83 but still getting the Devious bonus. Hesstess goes down well with Night’s Grasp wraps and good Touch of Despair curses to further the damage. Ryncletica’s damage avoidance miss chance worked well in there.

Assault on Summerfield: You’ll need to kill lots here, but you can use stealth/invisibility as well as a Monk’s agility to sneak up on many individual attackers without drawing mobs. A little solid fog might also obscure others nearby from seeing the slays.  Ryn would do better than Cassie here since Ryn is a fully-trained Monk with Abundant Step to reach the more remote attackers on the higher roofs.

Blockade Buster: The true ninja-versus-pirate encounter. Your stealth and invisibility is tested nicely here. It’s the kobolds in the lower deck that guard the magazines that you must avoid or kill before they activate the alarm. With sufficient INT, you can open the minebay doors and leave there without further provoking any crew that might be awoken from an alarm. It’s very hard to stop the kobolds from setting that alarm, sadly. In her last life, Ryncletica has blown up all three ships, leaving most of the crew asleep, and killed only kobolds to do it. This time, she’ll leave the detonation timer on the first ship at a higher setting and wait for all three to go down. As far as the kobolds–maybe a Hold Person spell or a well-placed stun will stop the alarm attempts.

Undermine: The narrow tunnels make it hard to  avoid fighting, but you can stealth through quite a bit of it. I would recommend infiltration (strategic kills through tactics) since there’s lots of XP gained from the optionals, but stealth could avoid a lot of really nasty fighting–or you can use the det packs offensively. I’ve learned that Night’s Grasp handwraps work better on elementals than elemental bane. Perhaps it’s the maladroit property as well as negative energy damage.

Siegebreaker: Nothing but fighting here, and required to keep your end-fight from becoming a monster-rich disaster. Cassie’s trap disabling skills might make her more useful at the end-fight’s puzzle but Ryn will be a better overall fighter.

The Red Fens

Similarly, the ninjas can have a good time infiltrating two of the three flagging quests there.

Fathom the Depths: Find the Drow hostages and levers to progress requires some systematic killing but you can bypass a number of mobs. Evasion will prevent damage from what few traps exist there. You may get to the last fight with only a few kills but watch out for the red-name mudman and fish-man mage there. The mage is easier to slay. Don’t fight around the platform with all the silly grease traps–move the fight into the last hallway.

Mission complete. On Elite, Ryncletica was able to save the Drow before flooding the area, and used stealth to bypass a few key places, such as the water elementals that will not spawn unless they see you. As far as the boss fight, she dragged the mage into the hallway and then kept her distance from the lesser enemy mages while taking down the huge mudman.

The Claw of Vulkoor: Another perfect Ninja stealth-designed quest, this time with Giants. They see invisibility, which means your stealth is key to making things happen. Avoid being seen by scorpions, pacify the guardian scorpions and a massive XP bonus awaits you. Ryn has completed this on Epic Hard but lacked noisemakers to make it easiest. Where Ryn came up short, I hope Cassie can do better.

Turns out that Cassie joined some fellow guildies on a run here recently and guided them to a victory by pacifying most of the guardians. She successfully used a noisemaker on one of the guardians. It’s Ryncletica’s turn next time.

The Last Stand: Nothing but fighting here.

Into the Deep: In the main wilderness area, you can sneak about a little but fighting to clear out enemies for XP is a better idea (and faster). You must slay quite a bit in this series so infiltration skills to set up better kills are what’s needed.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kavatch2.0
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 14:10:45

    The single annoyance that persists throughout all my characters is my inability to blow up the boulder in undermine. After 122 runs (solo and pug) I’ve only been able to do it 3 times.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 21, 2013 @ 07:14:56

      If you haven’t already, see the DDO Wiki article. There, someone has added a screenshot and details exactly where to place a charge, where to go to activate the boulder and where to run to avoid both det pack and rolling boulder as they meet.

  2. Empress Mizzaroo
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 22:09:58

    That is really cool that you’re able to play the role of ninja in game 🙂 happy ninja-Ing! 😀

  3. BlueSilence
    Jun 20, 2013 @ 23:26:29

    What kind of rewards does Dorris give you in Framework for completing that way? I know she offers an extra chest if you go burger grind on that quest.

    Very nice to read about your gamestyle!

    • teachersyn
      Jun 21, 2013 @ 07:13:46

      Dorris just gives her usual chest on Normal but her comments applaud your assassination and stealthy demeanor. I’ll let you know what she does with the same tactics on Hard and Elite when my courage is up.

      • BlueSilence
        Jun 21, 2013 @ 21:15:23

        I like when she says something like: “On an unrelated note, I am not edible. Unless you happen to be a Rust Monster”. Not the exact words but very funny, a total attitude change.

  4. shiikun
    Jun 21, 2013 @ 13:26:17

    I am still working on Framework. As you said, anything past Normal gets kind of hectic unless very well geared. My monk is going to enjoy her White Dragon Scale Robe during that bit.

    Abundant Step makes for very nice stealthing about with Undermine. 4 out of 5 attempts, I can use it right in front of various mobs, and not have a problem. Usually, my stealth ends up not working when I’m attempting to grab that second set of mines in the large room, just next to the optional. Think it’s the supply room. For speed purposes, I generally run right back up the stairs after grabbing the mines.

    Those Kobolds in Blockade Buster are my most hated things in this game right now. I swear. Even out of line of sight, the slightest tampering with that control panel, and they freak out. My Acrobat is considering a couple Noisemaker traps, to see if they’ll run to that, instead of instantly running for the alarm. One of these days.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 21, 2013 @ 13:47:00

      On Frame Work: The trick, after infiltrating without detection and stoning the one runt certain to set the alarm off, is to kill the chieftain and him only, fast. After that, it’s time to run. If you can loot the chest, cool, but it’s not necessary. Being a red-name, things that sap his STR or DEX may whittle him down faster.

      On Undermine’s large supply room after Rock Wall: Chances are that your Hide isn’t enough against enemy Spot or you are too close (where Hide eventually fails). Alternately, they heard you (lower Move Silently that you need). That’s OK. Work that to your advantage. Just out of their Spot, put down a det pack. Advance just enough to be seen, wait to the last minute and Step the hells out of there. Chances are that you eliminated most of the charging melees with one det pack. (Works also, later, in “Blown to Bits.”) Or, use a throwing star and pull one enemy in at a time and then head in for the archers.

      Good idea on noisemakers. I may have to try that with Cassie, but Ryn will have to settle with strategic throwing stars to make noise and then pummeling as many of the buggers while they’re grouped up and hopefully away from the bell.

  5. shiikun
    Jun 21, 2013 @ 23:23:09

    I’ll have to try something when he gets high enough for that.

    As for Undermine, the problem wasn’t my stealth numbers, it was more that grabbing mines breaks stealth, and then I am seen.

    Welcome.

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