Kiri and the Attack on Splinterskull

Kiricletica, the solitary ninja, completed the Assault on Splinterskull chain using some creative means. Using stealth tactics whereever possible, it was extremely fun to complete these repetitive quests once more.

Since it’s a long chain where combat on some areas is required, I’ll summarize the highlights.

First Strike

On this first quest I reacquainted myself to the main path, learning where I’d have to fight and opportunities not to fight in later visits. You’re required to kill 20 hobgoblins  so I didn’t send any time of significance in stealth mode.

There are always two to three spiders that appear as you enter Splinterskull cave that you cannot bypass. After time I realized I could kill them in Fire Stance for a boost to my ki pool for using Shadow Veil (more on this in a moment).

The Hobgoblin’s Captives

ScreenShot00988This was my first stealth opportunity. I botched an attempt to bypass the first group of hobgoblins but learned a way to do so that I’d apply later.

I wanted to bypass as much as possible in the side rooms to reach the captives. Of the 125 enemies I could’ve killed for Conquest, I needed to eliminate only 14 to gain my first Devious bonus.

The trick was the use of Shadow Veil, here and throughout later quests. It allowed me to move much closer to patrols since its invisibility greatly reduced the Spot bonus unless I got within a body length.

ScreenShot00989I used levers and spoke to each captive to free them.

Those actions made no noise, despite their guards standing very close in front of their cells, completely oblivious.

Yarkuch’s War-plans

This one required combat to obtain each set of plans.

Out of at least 74 enemies available for an Onslaught bonus, I needed to kill only 27 (2 killed themselves).

I didn’t activate any kill bonus, so it wasn’t a poor achievement.

Whisperdoom’s Spawn

More inescapable spiders. By now, however, I’d mastered how to bypass the first mob by using a shuriken to break a box left of their first hallway entrance, then skulking to the group’s right as they investigated. Shadow Veil allowed me to bypass worgs and hobgoblins in the next two halls.

ScreenShot00992But inside the largest hall before the circular caves sat one of the three daughters of Whisperdoom. I threw a star at it to pull it out of the hall and kill it before it revealed me in the larger hall.

The patrols in the circular caves (where you later use the sealed door to the inner stronghold) start at a fixed spot each time, allowing me to activate their patrol and walk behind them if necessary. I was able to completely avoid them and enter Whisperdoom’s cave.

ScreenShot00993After luring out the two black widows that guard the final room, I ranged as many of the 20 eggs before Whisperdoom got in the way and I had to bludgeon the rest. Out of a possible 63 kills for an Aggression bonus, I slew only 7 for another Devious bonus.

I’ve been updating DDO Wiki’s information for this and each quest to add Devious bonuses. Apparently, no one’s tried to try for these achievements before.

The Deadly Package: The Stronghold Key

With my stealth tactics perfected, I needed only 7 kills for yet another Devious bonus out of at least 64 available for Onslaught. I avoided all but the last Hobgoblin Avenger, who died after I reached the inner entrance and had made the completion.

The Deadly Package: Agent of the Darguul

This one is very short but has quite a few guards by the raised bridge. I used a star to drop the bridge and then moved undetected to speak to Lhor-Tragu to complete with no kills and an Insidious Cunning bonus, the best score you can get in a stealth run.

I was feeling cocky for the next two quests.

Doom of the Witch-doctor: The Way to Zulkash and Zulkash, Herald of Woe

I bypassed all but 7 enemies to reach the inner stronghold entrance for a Devious bonus.

In “Herald of Woe” comes the four wheels to set to drop the barrier to Zulkash and his totem. I avoided any kills as I made my way over the guarded bridge and waterway, into the first set of inner halls and past the former holding area of the flesh render.

But how to activate the four wheels?

I tried a variation on my diversion technique. Out of line of sight, I broke a crate, used Shadow Veil and sneaked over to the first wheel to turn it once. To my pleasant surprise, using the wheel neither broke my stealth or invisibility.

ScreenShot01005I diverted the second wheel using another crate to distract, turning it four times. The third wheel was trickier with more enemies and spread farther apart, but I succeeded on this. Still no kills.

The last wheel had too few breakables. Thanks to auto-targeting, I hit two enemies and had to eliminate them. But I was able to skulk to the wheel and avoid dispatching two other guards.

Now for the final room and Zulkash.

ScreenShot01008I buffed a bit and then entered the room, climbing up to where Zulkash stood by his totem. I slew him and, evading others to avoid increasing my kill count, I made it up to destroy the totem to complete this quest.

Out of a possible 75 enemies slain for Onslaught, I killed 4–the totem counted as one itself–for a Devious bonus.

ScreenShot01009That completion was absolutely incredible; I never thought you could complete that section with so few kills.

After this run, I was only 1,000 or so points from level 7. A quick series of slays in the Searing Heights completed that requirement so I could boost my skills and wear a Cloak of Shadows to bring my Hide/Move Silently scores to nearly 30. I was going to need that advantage. The last two quests were completed on Hard,  a level 7 difficulty I completed at level 6. Going in on Hard again for the final quests, I’d be a level 7 in a level 8 difficulty.

The Way to Yarkuch and Yarkuch’s Last Stand

Time for the last two quests in the chain. For this last run, I decided to capture the entire run for your review, specifically, how to evade the mobs on the path to the inner stronghold, and then the final quest itself.

The final quest mixes things up to avoid fighting. I managed a Discreet bonus. I couldn’t add the last minutes after completion due to YouTube video time constraints, but it’s clear how few enemies I had to kill to reach it.

Kiricletica is getting pretty versatile. Adding more Sneak Attack damage will help to quick-kill some things in the future. She should be able to move to Elite quests on a regular basis as she approaches level 9.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erdrique
    Jan 19, 2014 @ 23:01:38

    Nice job Spence!! I enjoy watching players who have designed unique builds excel in the game!!

    • teachersyn
      Jan 19, 2014 @ 23:49:17

      I’d say that the build really isn’t unique. Except for the longswords it’s pretty stock ninja. What’s different is having to use everything I know within to beat, rather than throw gear or TP or a larger party at it. I’m entering the levels where death spells and heavier mobs hurt. Also learning where I bug quests temporarily because I’m able to bypass their activation points for enemies that appear that must be killed for things to proceed. I’m becoming better at sneaking than before.

      • John B.
        Jan 22, 2014 @ 06:59:14

        Usually when I inquire about them, I’m largely more interested in where their skill points went, and how much they put into intelligence at the beginning. Especially on a character like this, where skill points really matter.

        Recently, I was running through Redwillow’s Ruins on my Monk, to farm out some items for another character of mine, when I saw something pop up for the listen skill that didn’t work on my Fighter. Was some dialogue bit, but still. I’m starting to think of rolling up a ranger for my stealth challenge with some points tossed into Listen, to see how it influences immersion for little things like that.

        I just suppose that lower level quests have a skill of about -2 in order to make their check (such as Collaborator, for Spotting the chest and finding the hidden door without the secret lever). So, this should be fun.

        • teachersyn
          Jan 22, 2014 @ 09:24:30

          I haven’t added Listen points but a Monk often gets a couple somewhere that helps. Being Half-Elven is probably why I have better Listen. Spot is a biggie since it reveals hidden enemies. I was just reading up on how to stealth Redwillow’s area for tonight. I shouldn’t have to kill *anything* except the boss giant at the very end if I can lure away guards around the personal effects and as long as collecting each doesn’t break stealth (picking things up usually doesn’t). I know I can enter in stealth into the giant’s portal and then take off fast for Tor’gahn if my H/MS skills are good (invisibility is worthless on a giant). An Insidious Cunning bonus is possible.

          • John B.
            Jan 22, 2014 @ 13:29:37

            Monks tend to get a few extra points into it as well, simply due to their nature of generally having more points into Wisdom. I decided on Ranger, largely, because of the higher base skill points (Six base as opposed to Monk’s four) so I can grab spot, listen, move silently, hide, heal and possibly swim. (Currently undecided on last skill.)

            So, just ran it real quick for you. 😛

            Personal items don’t spawn unless you kill the boss “guarding” them. This will require about 4-5 kills. This might prove to be a difficult task without the Precise Shot feat, as you could simply strike the main target.

            None of the giants in Redwillow’s Ruins (tested on elite difficulty) have see invisibility. Your use of Shadow Fade should work just fine. Though with such an open area, with patrolling giants and hobgoblins, this may prove to be an interesting task. I think only Giants of a particular species, or ranking (or location) have the ability innately.

            All of the above was done on my level 23 Monk, who lacks stealth ability.

            • teachersyn
              Jan 22, 2014 @ 15:54:00

              I recall the effects sitting about in past runs, so I hope you’re wrong or I’ll have to try a different tactic than the one I have in mind: the “Hate Bunny” (a summoned monster while I’m in stealth to lure things away).

              • John B.
                Jan 22, 2014 @ 20:46:53

                I didn’t see them during my run, at least.

                I remember seeing Ghoste use the summoned dog like that in Invaders, I believe. Mind blown, back then. Wonder if he’ll ever come back, seeing that there’s a new stealth system.

  2. ddomicki
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 02:31:01

    🙂 Very cool.

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