Hardcore Monk IV – The Dark Before The Light

I’ve typically had three active characters on the Hardcore server. A “main,” or leader character with the most advancement, synced with my Ghallanda guildmates who I accompany. A secondary character is played that I tried to keep no more than 3 levels less than the main. A third or even 4th character are warmed up and played to at least Level 5 or 6 in case the worst of the worst happens.

That worst almost happened a couple days ago.

I’ve typically sent characters into quests or chains to farm on Normal or Hard difficulty. The Feywild became very attractive for its set items that would greatly add to survivability for all.

And during my off-days from work I played alone, accompanied by one or more hirelings, to complete some quests on the secondary and tertiaries, although never with the main.

The first to go was Dianacletica, a Zen Friar archer which was left in a performance crisis with the bow changes of Update 49. Losing the use of Ten Thousand Stars for bows, she was enjoying the use of the bow but with no applications available to her from being a Monk, save the passive feats and enhancements. At Level 6 or so she lacked sufficient base attack for Manyshot. So I put her to work on leveling.

I had her in work in clearing “Redfang the Unruled” when I encountered the room with all the poison traps. I had the cute and reliable Rogue hireling Kirsten to assist with the traps. But getting her to each area for the control boxes proved too much for Diana. Lag didn’t help, and Diana fell to “misadventure,” her level lacking sufficient protection or evasion as she was poisoned to death.

I carefully took stock of the situation and returned to Feywild farming on Rubycletica, the Level 7 starthrower, on Normal quest difficulty only.

During one of many runs into “The Knight Who Cried Windmill,” a lovely and short quest with a fun allusion to Dante’s literary knight, Don Quixote, something weird happened. It wasn’t death, thankfully.

On a Heroic Hard run, I encountered my first-ever feytwisted chest.

But wait. Aren’t these things supposed to drop only in Legendary Feywild quests and wilderness area?

Well, I didn’t argue with the game and accepted the reward. It’s too bad that few feytwisted items are suitable for Monks.

Ruby is my 2nd starthrower Ninja Spy attempt. Working with the weakest weapon in game, as well as the most scarce, I opted on stacking many secondary effects to greatly improve her damage. More on her later if she reaches Level 9.

Shortly after Diana’s demise and after logging out from a fruitful farming run on Ruby, I opted to take in Serethetica, my Level 9 Mystic, into an Elite farming run in “The Endless Revels.”

She attacked some pixie in the shrine room, which apparently was a champion, and the Mystic quickly died, likely a Stained or Symbiont of Ysgithyrwyn, which can deliver quickly lethal stacking debuffs.

Losing two characters in two days took me aback.

But for some crazy reason, I put my trust in farming the Feywild some more with my main, the Feydark shortsword wielding Petracletica, currently L10.

Several successful runs in the Part 2 quests yielded a few more great items for her use, including the awesome mage-hating Gloves of Tranquility. I stopped when I was ahead after completing that.

Petra’s in need of more HP (aren’t we all?) to survive hits. I’d love to add a Indomitable Wrappings belt for her and are still considering it, but it would mean I’d give up the powerful Haste effects of my Black Dragonscale Tasset. The Mimic Hunt level 8 reward would add 30 HP, but waiting to use the level 12 version to give 40 HP seems more tempting.

However, temptation has what gotten me killed lately.

Petra is loving Feydark Illusionist. At level 9 or so, her blades upgraded in power. In particular, the blades have Nightmare effect on them, which often instantly kill with its Phantasmal Killer. A bit more AP investment had also added permanent Blur and Shield on her, significantly increasing her innate defenses. She needs more Dodge (and may reach as much as 38% if she survives) and has lots of Incorporeality to help in fights, but she has been surviving well. Another AP point will also allow her to remove her own negative-levels or other effects from her Dragonmark.

In party, Petra’s high stealth leaves her an opportunist assassin, taking on the nastier bosses by flanking any mob and throwing Flash Bangs to buy the party time when we become momentarily overwhelmed. Good stealth often allows us to avoid fights to get to switches and quest items, which I’ve done more often.

The scariest thing Petra lacks are the now-difficult to farm Visor of the Flesh Render Guard Death Ward clickies. I have only one, and am reticent to use. But as it can’t protect me if I don’t have it in inventory, so I’ll have to add it to Petra’s growing equipment stack.

Petra’s Halfling Dragonmark, the healing ones, saved one party member in a surprisingly dangerous Elite “Memory Lapse” when our player Cleric, Sparkpaw, was incapacitated in an expected ambush (of which I neglected to warn about). Fumbling with my toolbar, I was able to throw a Cure Moderate Wounds on her but was too late to save our second player Cleric, Tilla, who took a fireball directly to the face.

After a death, our party often rolls up new tertiary characters.

My two recent deaths were both Light Monks. And there were two more Light Monks before that which met their maker.

But only one of the three Ninja Spies I’ve made have succumbed.

Imagine that. The Monks with no innate combat self-healing are doing well.

I might’ve cursed myself now by saying that.

I’ve rolled up a Warforged Shintao. Let’s see how she works.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hoojo
    Apr 29, 2021 @ 15:41:34

    Can’t help but wonder if the dark monks longevity is related to their tendency to be more on the periphery of combat than light monks (but how else to get those opportunistic sneak kills)? Of course, FI is on my wishlist now.

  2. DDOCentral
    Apr 29, 2021 @ 16:35:27

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

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