I’ve updated the Zen Archer build information with the final results of my experience with it. Without sounding my own gong too loudly, it’s got to be my most versatile build. That’s not saying much since I’ve only designed two builds. (The Poison Master is the second.)
Pynthetica, reaching level 30 some time ago, is accomplishing what I’ve not achieved with no other character: 5,000 total favor.
Okay, okay, you may snicker. Just cheer for me a little, those of you who’ve made many Heroic and Epic Completionist characters. I’m a slower player. (Perhaps that’s because I’m an older player, one who has played Pong on Atari in the Seventies, and Space Invaders in arcades, oh, long before many of you were born.)
Sometimes I celebrate things that may seem mundane to the power-gamers among the player base. I’m cheerful because the build has defied what some critics claimed it could not do. In short, she’s not only a survivor, but a dominating solo and group attacker as well as a strong raid character.
I won’t go over the hows and why again: You can find that easily on the build thread, as well as by searching for “Zen” in the search bar of this blog.
Getting 5,000 favor, as Gamer Geoff and Girl have done not long ago, gives you the choice of a +5 ability tome, as you may know. I’m getting a DEX tome for now.
After researching what I’d have to do get that much favor at the time I read Geoff’s article, I was heartbroken. I’d yet to get into the recent raids with groups I felt comfortable with. Some quests and most raids are virtually impossible to solo.
And I’m hitting that same wall that Geoff did once you got to around 4,700. My game-fu is nearly sufficient to climb that wall.
But lots of fresh new content has raised the total possible favor to 5,518 as of Update 30. That’s plenty of room to skip some raids and a few quests that just aren’t fun or practical to do.
If there’s one thing that Pyn can do for most quests with skill is sneak right through them. As long as the objectives don’t require mass slaughter, she moves through many adventures as unnoticed as a draft from a flying bug.
Of course, you can “cheat” to get Elite favor for several quests. Rather than sweat blood by diving into an Epic Elite quest, you can complete the Heroic Elite version if one is available. This works for chains such as The Red Fens and Magnificent Cabal, where the quests are the same but the difficulty is boosted. But it won’t work for modified versions of similar chains (and good on it, too, since these offer additional favor) such as Epic Gianthold and perhaps some quests in Epic Three-Barrel Cove.
It appears you can’t complete a quest on Heroic Elite and gain credit if you’ve already completed the adventure on any Epic difficulty as well. So, for quests I’ve already done on Epic difficulty that will hand my butt back to me in small to-go cups on solo play (such as the latest Codex and the Shroud flagging quests and the Archon’s Trial series), Epic Hard will have to do unless I can gather a few friends to help.
Thankfully, a number of folks from the Raiding Party of Greater Awesomeness have offered to help me (and help themselves, in turn) when we are able to connect, so that’s a plus.
I was greeted by something I’ve never seen before in my game mail that sparked all of this.
Reaching 4,000 has only emboldened me to get it all done. It’s rather fun to mow through some quests that were a bit harder at level. It’s more surprising when some upper-level Heroic quests try to hand you your head when a Champion at level 35 shows up in a Level 19 Heroic Elite adventure.
What’s amusing for me are completing quests I’ve really never completed before. Mostly, these are Necropolis quests. I’ve done Necro 4 quests before (but not the raids) but never have delved into Necro 3. That’s changing. I’m flagged for “The Mark of Death” so I’d love to take a stab at it.
I may also complete as much of the favor available from challenges as well.
I still need to complete “The Temple of Elemental Evil, Part 2,” on Heroic Elite, but it’s still bugged and uncompletable as of this writing and Update 30.
As of this writing, Pyn is at around 4,700 favor. There are a handful of raids I could do to help. After watching a YouTube video where some level 28 monkcher completed “A Vision of Destruction” on solo (enjoying his Adrenaline boosts), I think I’d have no problem taking down Suulomades on Elite with a bit of care–and friends, if available.
Pyn’s ability to kill at long range may seem mundane, but she’s easily the best character I’ve played in terms of balanced defensive/offensive simplicity. She’s no Szyncletica the Shroud Beater, but Pyn can actually survive and beat several places that even the Shuricannon can’t do. While my Poison Master’s DPS easily outpaces the Zen Master, her defenses are not as strong as Pynthetica’s complete miss-chance and higher PRR and AC. Much of that for the Poison Master might be rectified through a bit more epic gear, yet my Drow Ryncletica is limited to only 3 minutes of Displacement from a Green Steel clicky, while Pyn’s Elven Dragonmarks and Harper Agent’s Magic of Patience enhancement gives her 3 uses of Displacement at nearly 6 minutes per use.
As for comparisons with Artemistika, my all Elven Ranger Deepwood Stalker, their damage is very comparable, but Pyn’s all-Monk features generate stronger defenses to last longer than any Ranger. I think Misty should have a DPS edge with Improved Archer’s Focus and a few other ranged feats and Ranger-unique powers, but her general defenses suffer no matter the epic destiny, while Pyn’s defenses stay good no matter the destiny.
As I’ve said, a build’s viability is really a matter of play style, not how hard or many enemies you can hit or how many classes you glom together.
Let me know any tips or tricks you can share about getting 5,000 favor, especially if you are a Completionist or Reincarnation vet.