Pacifist Play: Is That Possible?

Someone asked us on the Stormreach Shadows guide forum thread for a list of quests in DDO where no kills are required to complete a quest.

It got me to thinking. Are there any quests where killing is not an absolute requirement?

The Results

661054_pw_diplomacyTo answer this question, I needed some time to study every quest in DDO to note any game mechanic that confirmed if at least one kill was required.

Surprisingly, it took me a short time, simply scanning the quests by level list for any names that stood out by memory and then studying the few quests I haven’t done. Most quests are part of chains and it was easy to recall their objectives.

There were some caveats in determining this list.

  1. If a quest has any spiders, bats or oozes, it can’t be considered. No amount of stealth or invisibility or speed will keep these monsters from honing in on you with their special senses. Invis-zerg too much in quests filled with these and you’re inevitably slaying something, thanks to Dungeon Alerts.
  2. Raids and character-creation quests such as “Hall of the Mark” or “The Voyage” are excluded here. In case you think “The Grotto”, quest #1 can be done this way, you must kill the first sahuagin to pull the lever, even if you left your NPC trio to kill everything else.
  3. If a required quest objective has the word “slay” or “kill” in it, it’s also disqualified.
  4. Any rescue or escort quest is disqualified for obvious reasons.
  5. Any progression-only quest is disqualified (such as “Free Delera'”, speaking with Archbishop Dryden in “The Catacombs” chain)

I’m going to note very low kill quests to contrast and compare, especially those I’ve done myself.

And you can’t just leave pets to fight even if you aren’t. Summoned and hired creatures are your agents and represent you.

Here’s what I found.

  • Harbor Toll: A (new?) quest for level 4 and below only where you use non-combat skills to win. No fighting. And if you go to level 5, you can’t pick this quest up.
  • Stealthy Repossession: Absolutely no kills required.
  • Stop Hazadil’s Shipment: I jest here because there are no enemies to slay, only boxes, unless you go all out to find the one and only optional kobold to kill.
  • Home Sweet Sewer: Another aversion as your mission is to pull the dogs to the entrance. Slay one and you fail.
  • The Deadly Package: Agent of the Darguul (Splinterskull #6): I confirmed with Kiricletica that you can do this short quest with absolutely no kills, despite a moderate force of hobgoblins between you and the NPC you must contact to complete. I added the “Insidious Cunning” info to this quest’s DDO Wiki page.
  • Transitions to the last Splinterskull quests: To complete the last 3 quests, you have to get to the inner stronghold gate. This requires no kills if you are clever enough to do it, unless you encounter some spiders in your path in one of these quests.
  • Doom of the Witch-doctor: Zulkash, Herald of Woe: This isn’t a no-kill quest. But I note it here because, despite the army of hobgoblins surrounding the puzzle wheels, it is very possible to make precisely two required kills to complete this one: Zulkash himself, and his totem, rather than up to 75 kills possible. You’ll just have to get the guards around each puzzle wheel to move away from it for a time.
  • Maraud the Mines: Technically, yes, you aren’t required to kill anything. The challenge is that most of the required gems you must collect are in breakables that you must destroy to obtain them, of which the sounds attract attention. Often the monsters are also camping on your objectives, and a few are on your path. I’ve done this one solo several times with a Devious bonus, so I had a few kills. It may be possible to go without kills with a Rogue with invisibility options, fog scrolls and a lot of noisemakers. Or, use a partner that pulls the aggro away and then uses Dimension Door to escape.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: It is possible to slay only the Droaam captain to complete the quest. On Kiricletica I managed to get to the final battle without a single kill, slaying only 3 others aside from the target. (How you escape from the mobs left over inside the fortress or loot the chests afterward is another matter.) (Update: It’s completely doable.)
  • Frame Work: It was possible to slay only the red-named minotaur chieftain to complete this quest. Update 22 had bugs that made enemies practically teleport into the fortress on trying this, but perhaps Update 23 has fixed that craziness.
  • Blockade Buster: Another quest where no kills are possible but very difficult for melees to do. A mage with Flesh-to-Stone could stop the kobolds in the mine bay (your goal on all three ships, nine kobolds total). A very fast Ninja Spy could use a finisher to paralyze all three kobolds for up to a minute, enough time to set the mine controls and escape the mine bay. You can’t use the mine controls without a sound; doing so awakens any kobolds nearby.
  • The Claw of Vulkoor: You must kill Sobrien the Wizard at the game’s start. From there, no kills are required.

And that’s it. That’s all I could find.

Quests like “Eyes of Stone” can be easily stealthed but you must slay the four mages and elementals spawned that hold each Coin Lord, then slay Hesstess herself, while trying to avoid getting killed.

Many quests may have levers and switches that must be pulled to proceed. However, often these levers and switches are “wired” to the mobs nearby, just as chests are often locked until you clear enemies nearby (“Irestone Inlet”). Kiricletica discovered this mechanic a lot in her no-kill days.

Since this is DDO and not “Splinter Cell World,” it’s logical that they’re aren’t many quests where slaying is unnecessary. Eberron and the Forgotten Realms are dangerous places where enemies shoot first.

You can get low-kills, but most of the quests simply require you to get your hands dirty…er…bloody.

Got a quest that you’ve think I’ve missed? Tell me about it and I’ll challenge your recollection of it.

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. saekee
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 13:33:46

    good list–maybe also Fathom the Depths (just kill boss at end)
    Possibly Stromvauld’s Mine (will need to try this one), Gwylan’s if you just attack bosses (rather tricky…)
    There is a long list of ‘Honorable mentions’ like Deal & the Demon or Spies in the House in which you can do them with minimum kills.
    You’ve posed a good challenge–I think there was an old rogue thread with mission objectives that were low kill.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 28, 2014 @ 14:13:47

      Fathom the Depths requires you to kill the mini-boss by the lever, I’m sure. That lever and chest stay locked until you do that. You also must kill both the boss sahaugin and his mudman to complete. I’ve stealthed Gwylan’s a lot: You must kill all four lieutenants as well as the three bosses in the interiors. It is possible to sneak by most of guys and use the powder, but that action makes a sound…

      Stromvald’s requires the death of the final boss. Trying to recover the corpses is trying since each acts as a lever, pulling you from stealth/invisibility. The bodies are often in guarded places and fighting is inevitable.

      Spies requires a lot of kills early on in the undead/necromancer area. I’ll verify this as I have a small blog series that needs a video of this run.

      And you’re talking about R.O.G.U.E., which I still have on my to-do list to update for all stealthy classes for the guide:

  2. saekee
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 13:41:35

  3. saekee
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 15:07:40

    Just jumped in for a speed stealth of Stromvald’s. Yes, frustrating that the corpses break your stealth. Got to end boss with no kills though! (lots of Benny Hill running about trying to lose mobs on me…) RL pulled me out though so had to quit.
    Spies–the skeleton/necromancer area is a required kill if you want access to the prisoner #1 optional. Otherwise, only kills necessary are 1) 3 skellies near 3rd captive; 2) red-named caster 3) fire elementals at electric floor.
    Undermine–I think one does not need to kill the kobold engineers unless going for the optional.
    House of Rusted Blades–just end boss kill

    • teachersyn
      Oct 28, 2014 @ 15:25:36

      Ah, Blades. I should’ve had that one. With Stromvald’s,, a Flash Bang with a ninja might help, or noisemaker in the right place. Blinding them is probably the ticket.

      Don’t you have to slay a boatload of Droaam to be able to enter the tunnel in the first place for Undermine?

      • Saekee
        Oct 29, 2014 @ 15:45:06

        whoops I meant Blockade Buster. I do not think you need to kill the kobolds. Of course, it is not really pacifist, since they get blown up…

        • teachersyn
          Oct 29, 2014 @ 16:00:15

          I’m considering how fast I can blind them, and then use Freezing on them to hold them passive for 1 minute. That’s more than enough time to set the timer (but can’t loot chests if chief engineer is alive). If I leave before they unfreeze, I wonder if they’ll still sound the alarm?

  4. Laurel Ann Elliott
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 17:16:30

    Also, you need to slay earth elementals to advance in certain spots.

  5. Lightning
    Oct 28, 2014 @ 18:47:42

    As a note, the “Harbor Toll” quest is not necessarily a quest in the usual sense. You walk up to an NPC and then, persuade them. It’s about as much of a quest as getting the alternate dialogue from Rouge from the Phiarlan enclave, and all done exclusively in a public instance.

  6. DDOCentral
    Oct 29, 2014 @ 04:29:26

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  7. FuzzyDuck81
    Oct 29, 2014 @ 07:20:46

    It’s a shame there aren’t more pacifist options..if not for whole quests, then at least objectives, using various dialogue & other skills – i like the extra variety & flavour that they add. Having full support & reward for the diplomatic approach is a big part of what made Planescape Torment, the Fallout games & Arcanum so great.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 29, 2014 @ 08:06:26

      It’s a D&D element that could use work. But MMORPGs can’t sell themselves by touting that you can *talk* a dragon to death, so I understand. But dialogues could exhibit greater uses of skills to emulate a bit more D&D than it does. Still, DDO does D&D better than any competitor.

  8. erdrique
    Oct 31, 2014 @ 08:55:46

    Interesting list, I can’t really think of any others where you can avoid the killing of more than just the end boss.

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