One of latest challenges with Kiricletica, the solo ninja that completes all quests without any parties and with as low a kill count as possible, is “Redwillow’s Ruins.”
I love the layout of this quest. In the usual way most people play it, you slay stuff, grab the personal effects of the doomed halfling party, visit the Drow encampment and slay them, perhaps enter the caves with a good Rogue to disable traps for some extra loot, and then take on a swarm of giants and kill their boss.
Kiri’s mission is sizably different. The required objectives, in short, are to retrieve all the personal effects and then kill Tor’gahn, the giant boss.
In theory, I shouldn’t have to kill anything except Tor’gahn. John B. noted in my last post to the contrary, however. Each of the effects is guarded by a boss. I’ll need to isolate and kill each boss and then somehow attempt to recover the items while some mobs may still be lurking.
Going in on Elite difficulty on this level 6 quest, Kiri’s Hide/Move Silently powers will get their ultimate test to-date. While the enemies overall have greater Spot bonuses commensurate with their CR (probably 10-12), it’s the giants that pose the largest challenge. Many giants possess See Invisibility, which prevents me from lingering close to them, even hidden. Again, John B. noted that these giants aren’t equipped with See Invisibility.
I figured that if I see a giant less than 3 giant body-lengths to me, I need to move away, fast. I’m pushing 30 to H/MS and hope to move it to as high as 36 or so with the Voice of the Master, the Elite Spider Cult Mask buff, and Greater Heroism potions if needed.
The Hide/Spot check is proportional to the size of the thing looking your way. After the new stealth AI went live in Update 19, I’ve noticed that giants see me and party members from way, way off because their size allows a far longer Spot visual arc.
I’m as fast as I can go with Striding items, gained a bit more Monk movement speed, and have maxed out Faster Sneaking to help in power stealthing this one.
I needn’t worry about the giants until the last part of the quest. For now, the most immediate task was to figure out how to distract the various guards around the personal effects. There are some breakables near some of the effects, so I’d have to use them carefully to lure enemies away and then move in fast to pick things up, almost without stopping.
Kiri will go in at level 9, so her level advantage on Elite at quest level 8 won’t be particularly significant. After a bit of rearrangement of action points, Kiri now possesses better passive ki regeneration to keep Shadow Veil available as she wants it, after maxing out the Henshin Mystic ability, Contemplation, to go with her maximized Ninja Spy ability, Stealthy, for a +2 passive bonus that should give her up to 50 stable ki.
John B.’s intel was correct. The effects weren’t there, but the bosses were around. After studying things a bit, I decided to back up very far and then use a throwing star to piss off the guard.
It worked. I was able to pull the first boss, a troll, away from the pack and slay him. The first personal effect appeared. I grabbed it while invisible and moving after targeting it. One down.
It took a bit of work to lure away two trolls near the effects without slaying them, but I got it done. Two sets of effects to go.
I pulled a relatively solitary hobgoblin boss for the next to last of the effects, but it took some careful targeting (after turning off autotargeting) of the last boss from extremely long-range to isolate and kill him.
A quick use of Shadow Veil and targeting the sealed container in a run and I had all the effects with only 7 enemies killed.
After handing off the personal effects, it was time for Tor’gahn. Buffing up with Sneak and Shadow Veil, I walked forward and into the portal.
Giants and hobgoblins were all about waiting for a fight I was able to deny them. I made a beeline to the boss.
Apparently the bulk of the giants that greet you at the portal make their start from the boss. I confirmed this with a near-nasty surprise as the mob returned to guard the boss–at least 8 giants.
If I could use the terrain and a few obstacles, I could fight Tor’gahn while obstructing the fight from most of the other giants.
It worked for the most part. I got a few licks on Tor’gahn before a few other guards joined in. I broke the fight and then hid near a giant relic. Surprisingly, neither the boss or any others followed. I pulled out my Snowstar and threw.
In a few moments, the boss was dead. I got a Devious bonus for only 8 kills on a quest that has a Conquest for 146 enemies. Guess I need to update the DDO Wiki again with the news.