The Pain of Grinding: Taking It To the Wilds

One should never watch lawmaking, sausages, computer repair, and game leveling being done without knowing how ugly it's going to be.

One should never watch lawmaking, sausages, computer repair, and game leveling being done without knowing how ugly it’s going to be.

Things are slow for me right now as I handle needed real-life activities (a reunion, getting my son ready for school, etc.). Thus, the game has been a little less on my mind.

Part of that reason came with summer guild inactivity (this has improved, especially after speaking with many in the guild to wake it up, in a sense) but also because I’ve become too fixated in getting Ryncletica the Ninja back to epic levels. I’ve even decided to skip visiting Crystal Cove while it’s running for now (I’m sure it’ll be back in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day) until player numbers and pals return.

Unlike Lynncletica, who returned to epicness rather fast since she’s a bruiser that can self-heal, Ryncletica has always been in the slower lane. With the greater XP needs of a first TR, I’ve been struggling to get Ryn through level 18 and 19 quests at almost any difficulty.

It’s not the quests. It’s my impatience. I’m playing Ryn wrong when she tries to act like Lynn. She dies easily enough, too, when I ignore her ninja skills.

So I’ve decided to try something that will waste less time and have a greater measure of XP success: Slaying.

Ryncletica is a rather impressive slayer. Being a ninja might have something to do with that. While quests themselves right now are problematic because of my urgency, wilderness areas force me to slow down, to use Ryn’s natural stealth and fast killing power. Her choice of handwraps might surprise you: A pair of +3 Night’s Grasp of Improved Destruction handwraps. While Ryn hasn’t natural DR bypassing as her Shintao counterparts, handwraps such as Night’s Grasp (like banishers) don’t really care. They strike with negative energy damage while sucking the DEX out of anything they touch. If it’s alive, the Night’s Grasp effect is nasty. Improved Destruction just improves the beat-down. Things get nastiest when I can curse my enemy with Touch of Despair to make them more vulnerable to negative energy.

My two favorite places to slay are the Vale of Twilight and the Devil Battlefield in Shavarath. After picking up a few slayer boost potions, I go to work. To some, it may seem boring to wonder the wilderness, and it can be if you don’t set a few goals.

  1. Take advantage of Encounters that make numerous spawns. In the Vale, there are two cave areas that, if you’re lucky, will spawn a bunch of spiders or bats. With a slayer boost, you can get a rapid number of kills. Rather than spend too much time traveling, you might recall out and reset the area to do that again. That becomes boring to me in the Vale unless I set a pattern to kill only Lammanians like spiders and a few ogres. 
  2. Set specific areas to kill. You waste your buffs by roaming the entire area.
  3. Slayer boosts are your friends. The Major kind gives a 66% boost. Is it a cheat? I don’t see it that way. The boost itself doesn’t give you XP. You still have to work at it.
  4. I’m at my best in solo mode as a slayer. Hirelings often attract too much attention. The enemies aren’t too concentrated and make it easier to handle fights. For that same reason, healing is less problematic. I can fight for 2 minutes at a time, use Wholeness of Body to fully heal up from ki alone, and return to the battle. Monks work quite well since ki can do so much for them and regenerates as they fight.
  5. Get the Explorer bonus. While the total XP might not be all that great, it completely reveals the map, making it easy for you to plan your routes and learn shortcuts that allow feather-falling jumps for quick travel, not to mention easier recollection and travel to Encounter bosses.

There’s quite a lot of XP in the Vale and Shavarath if you’re patient and thorough enough to farm it. I just want to get back to level 20 and won’t necessarily set up camp there forever. I’ll shift my attention from the Vale to the Underdark for advanced XP later.

For now, I’m just happy not to have any hirelings about to commit something stupid, getting me killed and wasting a half-hour or more in trying to level up.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Daniel Haughton
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 02:09:19

    This is a SERIOUS peeve of mine. NOTHING approved of by the game company, such as the aforementioned slayer boost potion, can ever be a cheat. Full stop. Those who argue otherwise are either artificially hamstringing themselves for some imagined Man Points or are rectally pained that they are unable to afford the boosts.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 10, 2013 @ 09:45:27

      Totally agree. I don’t see the point to Man Points, per se, when it comes to earning XP. I can understand bragging rights, but this is a separate topic as getting XP and achievements together are often suicidal.

  2. Mernom
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 06:54:29

    if you want xp,the crystal cove is quite nice when you run it at a higher CR then your party.( 1 or to will do) you can also turn to cannith cahllanges,they can be very fun,and have some nice gear,which can be made for jumping,do you know about the slide bug?by sliding on a wall,and seperating from it while having FF will allow you to move at a supream speed,faster then the monk step ability,for a LONG time.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 10, 2013 @ 09:48:10

      Never seen that slide bug in action. Will have to check it out.

      Challenges for me are a type of grind that I’ve not been attracted to, in general. Likewise, Crystal Cove is fun only with a good party and there have been too few of them to make it worth grinding for now. Soloing challenges is un-fun and the rewards a bit unattractive at present, but I won’t rule it out. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Keavaa
    Aug 11, 2013 @ 17:26:51

    At level 18 you can kick off the epic path. A group of friends all level 18, kicked off with druids curse chain, lords of dusk and jungle of khyber. I was the level 21 and could open it for them. Khyber on eNormal with 50% xp pot, ship buff, server boost, first time bonus is a lot of xp. Eight hours later and they were all level 20.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 11, 2013 @ 22:12:49

      Good advice! If I can grab a guildie, that may be my next set of adventures this week. Slaying DID pay off big time and brought me to 19 in short order. Just a little farther…

  4. ddomicki
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 01:50:25

    🙂 I kind of hate doing slayer, even more doing it on my own. But good advice here, on how to do slayer. The only time I really do slayer, is if 1. I’m missing just a little bit for level, or 2. I’m farming for rares. In the 2nd option, I enjoy most running with someone who knows the spawn spots, and has a routine for which to look for before recalling and resetting. I’ve never really put any time on learning my way around wildernesses either, I only end up learning some of it, by having to make my way to some quests over and over again. 🙂

  5. Kavatch2.0
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 11:45:18

    Yeah having a buddy who knows the paths is really helpful. I shudder whenever I think of how a younger noobier me got lost in the vale for 2 hours, honestly not my best moment.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 12, 2013 @ 18:25:40

      DDO Wiki usually is a godsend here for great maps. It’s keeping your orientation while in the wilderness (can we PLEASE get a compass of some kind?) that’s challenging in some places. I’ll get lost in the Orchard faster (due to running its quests rarely) than the Vale or Amrath (expert).

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