Kiri and Through a Mirror Darkly

My final stealth walkthrough within the murk of Wheloon Prison concludes with “Through a Mirror Darkly.”

More so than “Army of Shadow,” “Mirror” highly favors a stealth approach. I was able to retrieve most of the eight Orbs, needed to open the path to the boss, with no fighting. In fact, many enemies never knew I was there.

“Mirror” requires you to move through the Netherese headquarters using a mirror clickie that shunts you between the normal and Shadowfell dimensions. One advantage you gain in the use of the mirror is that, while it pulls you out of stealth, the mirror does not affect your Invisibility.

For a Ninja Spy with Shadow Veil (1 minute Invisibility and 25% Incorporeality) and high passive ki regeneration, this is ideal for moving into corner rooms, often filled with enemies, going invisible, using the mirror and sneaking to recover an orb and leaving a room without detection. You still need strong Hide and Move Silently skills to pull this off, otherwise, enemies close by may not see you but will certainly hear your footfalls, even in Sneak.

Moving about this way saved me once after materializing into a roomful of Howlers and their tender, bailing out before I became dog chow.

The boss fight works almost the same as “Army of Shadow,” in that the boss now moves between dimensions and sends minions at you as he leaves.

I changed the fight conditions by delivering heavy doses of Ninja Poison to DoT him while in the normal dimension. But when he switches to the other realm, I never follow him and let the Ninja Poison take points off of him. His Shadar-Kai minions on the Shadowfell side are more formidable than the normal humans I use to rebuild ki and charge up to poison the boss again once he returns.

The video is captioned as the others; click the CC if you don’t see them.

Advertisements

Kiri and Wheloon Prison, Part 4

Wuss.

Wuss.

Continuing our stealth walkthrough of the Wheloon Prison quests, “Army of Shadow” works similarly to “The Thrill of the Hunt.” Thankfully, no hordes of Howlers.

You have but one job: Kill the Shade General there, organizing the Netherese recruiting effort.

On entering, the NPCs are neutral, giving you plenty of time to note the reinforcements that will turn on you en masse after you tell the recruiter to suck ducks.

Kiricletica chose a third option, and it might be something only a Monk can do. After starting the NPC dialogue and returning to Sneak,  I complete the dialogue and use Abundant Step to dive out of range of the enemies. They stand there without an immediate target, allowing you to begin your infiltration plan.

You have a couple of tasks to open the way forward and up the Shade’s Tower where the boss awaits.

First, crash the amorous Netherese “auditions” being conducted by Darobad the bard-stud. Killing him allows you to open the tower key. The second task is to pull the gate lever, lowering a bridge to the tower. Rantha is an optional guard you can kill to gain a chest.

There are several optionals throughout, but I skip them to sneak up the tower. Shadows are generally my only foes as I make my way up.

General Marthir is a wuss. As I do with most other red-named bosses, I use generous amounts of Ninja Poison to DoT him to death. I poisoned him so thoroughly that he died a few seconds after going inactive to let me whack at his pet Nightcrawler.

As before, captions are included; simply click the CC button if they don’t show.

Kiri and Wheloon Prison, Part 3

Howlers look as horrible as they are dangerous, especially in groups.

Howlers look as horrible as they are dangerous, especially in groups.

This third installment in using stealth in the Wheloon Prison series makes many a player cry. It’s “The Thrill of the Hunt.

One word: Howlers. This otherworldly dog-like creatures gang up on you, stick you with stacking howler quills that damage your HP, and create a strange yelp that causes a stacking debuff against your WIS–a particular danger to Monks and other WIS-based classes. Characters with a normally low WIS could quickly find themselves left Helpless and unable to defend themselves.

This time, unlike the first and second quests, Kiricletica goes in alone; no hirelings. Her only central objectives are to get a key to access the boss, and then kill him. A prime quest for a Ninja Spy or a resourceful Rogue Assassin.

Getting to this quest is the second worst challenge for many players in exploring the backstabbing denizens in the town-turned-prison. When you enter the zone, the quest entrance is actually immediately to your right, but it’s behind a gate that can only be opened from the other side. If you are part of a party and have one or more people who can sneak there to reduce fighting time and resources, let them make their way around to open the gate for those less-adventurous in your party. Often there are red-named beholders, night hags or even an encounter boss near the entrance. I’d advise you to just get inside the quest.

Sneaking works for infiltration through most of the quest, but there are Shadows that sense your presence. While you’re in Sneak, you may see the “Eye” appear over you, indicating you are in line-of-sight of something. The problem is that the Shadows, typed as undead creatures, are invisible until you make yourself known. Be mindful in many places where swarms of Shadows will jump you.

The quest begins with a Shadar-Kai and Netherese mage bickering over how their Shadar-Kai leader (Karleth) is totally bat-guano crazy, even for a Netherese agent. Once you move past them, you find yourself in a narrow hallway with four rooms, all doors closed. Ahead is a locked door going deeper. A stealth master can easily enter each room and rummage through a table in each room for a key to use, leaving any Shadar-Kai inside each room unawares. A Rogue Assassin should be able to simply pick the door lock. If not, that Jeweled Key is required.

You’ll find the sadistic Karleth mewing with faux lamenting on how he regrets using his howlers to gnaw his Cormyr magistrate prisoners to bits. The first to stop is a single howler, Kryll (above). Howlers are best killed with ranged attacks but with care you can just hack them up before their quills or WIS debuff becomes a serious problem against a single dog. You’ll gain a chest and some XP by saving the first magistrate.

Moving on, there are Shadar-Kai patrolling through the halls, often in stealth, along with some Shadows. They’re often too bunched up to distract away, but you should be able to take them out provided you change up your attack if one or more pull out their spinning chain attack, which damages and debuffs.

A second larger room has Karleth changing his terror target to you, but this time there are more howlers. This time, their combined WIS debuff is highly dangerous to low-WIS characters, and not a walk in the park for higher-WIS characters. Howlers have no particular immunities, so blinding them, using Solid Fog, or other control techniques may help a larger party. In Kiri’s case, she sliced and diced, using a Ninjutsu skill to mass negative-level the mob.

A few places offer a chance to use a Flaming Sphere to lure enemies away from tight spots to move forward without fighting. But if you reveal yourself at nearly any location, Shadows will take advantage. By the time you reach the second and last shrine, there are several rooms you can search to find Kuttar or Yzthmeth , red-named Shadar-Kai that drop a gold key when dead. You’ll only find one or the other, and the rooms either might inhabit are random.

With the gold key, it’s the boss fight. As you enter, a stealth master should go into Sneak immediately without moving and invisible if possible. Approach Karleth, start the NPC dialogue but return to Sneak as you click-through the selections. When Karleth goes hostile, head to the back of the hapless prisoner’s cage in Sneak, to keep the howlers from being lured to you, and fight Karleth there. Kiri can’t save the prisoner (this requires a Rogue or Artificer) and wouldn’t try if she could: The howlers will be overwhelming even for a full party.

When Karleth dies, the quest is complete. Your end chest spawns right by the howler cages. Kiri uses a trick to loot the chest and escape out the door you entered to fight the boss.

Kiri gets to use more ninja and stealth tricks as she’s tasked to kill another Netherese leader in “Army of Shadow,’ next time.

Captions are included; click the CC button on the YouTube toolbar if you don’t see them.

 

Wait for It…!

My gaming heart made a happy dance after an exhausting work day and had to make a quick post.

It just wasn’t about the good news from developer Vargouille about Update 29’s incoming changes, specifically:

  • Legendary Shroud. I learned about that accidentally when using /quests completions and saw the placeholder for the new raid.
  • Legendary Green Steel. We’ve heard notes about this also coming with the Epic Shroud.

My monastic tranquility became pleasantly disturbed with the words

Legendary Tempest’s Spine

It was my first raid, and is often my favorite in many ways.

And now I get to watch everyone kill themselves in more Epic ways than ever before.

Looks like a Legendary Hound of Xoriat is on the way, too. Oh, my word. That’s still a nasty one even with an Epic character, although my Ghallanda guild recently pulled off a 45-minute long run to get Xyzzy down, surviving anything coming at us. And I did it on one of my Zen Archers to boot.

Sadly, the devs are still looking to rewrite the nature of handwraps, since they planned to add Legendary Green Steel Handwraps but the development of the fundamental non-legendary design won’t let that happen.

Kiri and Wheloon Prison, Part 2

In this second installment, Kiricletica enters “A Lesson in Deception,” the second of the five-quest Wheloon Prison series.

Like the first, “Friends in Low Places,” this quest requires some fighting to proceed. But that doesn’t mean your characters have to fight on the enemy’s terms. Here, I’m able to use stealth with more tactical effect.

You start with greeting several NPCs whose sole purpose is to get captured so you can save them from a snarky Netherese mage. Then again, have we yet met a non-snarky Netherese mage?

After the building collapses near the entrance, a mob chases you down. Using stealth, you can maneuver away and use a single footstep to lure and dispatch enemies one at a time.

In the alleys are several squads you must dispatch to open a couple of gates that lead you to the sewers. I sneak behind some camping enemies and, without moving, kill each one of them as they stare away or sit. They simply won’t move or react to your presence unless you cause a glancing blow, make a footfall, or get in their line-of-sight.

In the sewers, I use a combination of quick movement and ninja invisibility to use the two levers that clear the way out of the sewer–without having to fight the many guards that suddenly appear at each one. You know how the Batman seems to vanish when you glance away for just a second? I managed to do that. Twice.

Once out of the sewers, no kills are required except at the last gate. Your only shrine is behind a guarded door. As with all alternate paths that could save another poor innocent, using this shrine puts you at risk at losing an ally–and the extra chest you get for saving all your allies.

I use a hireling, parked entirely through the quest until the end-fight, to create a hate-magnet to allow me to kill off the orange-named mage, kick away the ladders that bring reinforcements, and then finish off the red-named boss.

Captions are included–be sure to click the CC button to read them.

The last three quests will not require a hireling. Next installment: “The Thrill of the Hunt.”

Kiri and the Wheloon Prison, Part 1

ninjaWork is murderously long and my game time is proportionally less, among other personal challenges with the family. I wish I could go back to my halcyon days of youth when I posted more frequently.

Still, posting something once every two weeks at the latest is better than nothing at all. And, I’ve been saving up.

Update 28 and the Night Revels event brought a few but intriguing new items for players to enjoy. In the next posts, I’m going to show you how one new item makes a difference in stealth gaming. It’s the Long Broom of Mystery.

Teacher Saekee is familiar with it as he’s the progenitor of “The Flaming Sphere scroll Fan Club” on the DDO forums. He learned that Flaming Sphere is an incredible hate-magnet that lures enemies from a wide distance and gathers them around it. It’s a great tool to move mobs away from switches or tight passageways. Like Charm or Sap, however, any aggression to anything near the Sphere and enemies will ignore the Sphere and attack you. Now any non-arcane or low-UMD character can make a distraction. The twist is that you still need good Hide/Move Silently skills to walk past the curious enemies.

I wanted as well to enjoy the soloing adventures of Kiricletica, still in her second life at level 17. She takes on the entire Wheloon Prison chain on Heroic Hard difficulty as a demonstration, starting with “Friends in Low Places.”

Now “Friends” isn’t a stealth-dominant quest. You must fight through this to clear out enemies that attack the camps. I decided to add Isadora the Cleric, as her Blade Barrier will add some crowd control that lures enemies to her while inflicting damage where I can mop up, especially at the nasty end-fight where a red-named enemy keeps a series of respawning mobs coming until she dies. I generally don’t use hirelings with Kiricletica, respecting my own self-imposed solo parameters. But the end-fight of “Friends” is relentless, exceeding Kiri’s Single Weapon Fighting. She’s very good in escaping a horde as large as that, perhaps even luring the red-named away to fight her alone. But for brevity in the video, I opted to use a hireling. I’m hireling-less in the latter 3 videos.

Each of the videos highlights the central objectives. I tended to avoid the optionals for brevity.

Captions are included. Be sure to click the “CC” button on the toolbar to see them.

Here’s part 1. Next time: “A Lesson in Deception.”