Sufferin’ sarcophagus!

It seemed like such a great idea at the time – just a measly 200 Turbine points for the Catacombs adventure pack, which would give Even her 75 favor with the Silver Flame and be a decent source of both favor and XP for everyone else.

Well, meh.

Maybe it’s just that I’ve run the whole series four times on various toons in the past couple of days. Maybe it was slogging my way through it on hard with Vic, who mostly sucks against undead. Maybe it’s just the absence, the past few days, of my favorite questing buddies. Maybe I’m just crabby because I’m waiting to find out something in real life that’s been constantly on my mind with nothing I can do to speed it up.

Or maybe it really is just THAT tedious.

I’d run the series once before with Jall on a guest pass. I was with my buddies and we had fun. Now, though… not so much.

For starters, what’s up with all this running up and down stairs? Why do you have to talk to Friar Renau, go in, do a quick quest, go back out to the Marketplace and talk to the friar again, go BACK in, do another quest, run up and talk to the archbishop, run down a few flights, do a quest, run back up and talk to Dryden, run down… on and on and on and on.

There’s also not a lot of variety; you’re fighting undead with the occasional spider, bat or scorpion. Poor Vic doesn’t do a whole lot of damage to undead. Her level nine cleric hireling, Marissa Lorle, doesn’t have an available turn undead command (although it looked like she did turn a few of them here and there, completely at random).

“The Crypt of Gerard Dryden” could stand to be a LOT shorter. I think that was the one I enjoyed the least because it’s just so repetitive. Smash a hallway full of sarcophagi, kill the undead, smash a room full of sarcophagi, kill the undead, lather, rinse, repeat. Maybe I’ll enjoy it more when I take Jall in there since she’ll be able to turn them and won’t have to whale away doing 10 points of damage at a time like Vic does.

Likewise, “Endgame: Marguerite” could do with cutting out a level or two, because each one is pretty much a repeat of the one before it. And on the whole chain, the jump from normal to hard doesn’t seem to require much as far as strategy or gameplay. You just have to beat on stuff longer before it dies, which gets kinda boring after a while.

On the plus side, there are a fair number of chests in some of the quests, not to mention a goodly number of collectibles and treasure bags. There also seems to be a good chance of finding gems when you smash stuff, but don’t get too excited over that – Vic had a full gem bag (small) plus an overflow seven or eight more, but got less than 2 pp for the lot. Also, is ONE Khyber dragonshard fragment much use to anyone? Even on hard, that seemed to happen a lot – smash a vase, get ONE Khyber.

Vic did pull a small Eberron dragonshard from a clump of moss, which was probably the highlight of the experience I’ve had since buying the pack. I wish now I’d gotten a different pack, maybe one of the Necropolis ones.

In fairness, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t been soloing (except for Even, who at level 18 is pretty much just zerging it for favor). I need to get more confidence in my other toons; I thought of putting up the LFM but who’s going to want to do that chain with a squishy rogue who sucks against undead?

Discordette would be even worse; she sucks against undead and doesn’t have the redeeming feature of being able to open the locked doors and disarm the traps. She’s still only got Cure Light, which isn’t a huge help – Cure Mod would definitely do her more good if she’s going to be healing more than herself (and she STILL can’t solo “Missing in Action” on elite, which is sad). She’s only got a few bard songs and can only use them seven times per rest – OK for soloing, not so great to help buff a party.

However, I’m kind of proud of Discordette; I took her through some of the low-level quests she hadn’t done on elite yet and got her levelled up to seven tonight. It’s Jall’s turn next; she’s darn close to level 10 and I haven’t run her through Catacombs yet, plus there are some lower quests she still needs. I’d really like to turbo-level her up to 14 or 15 so I can take her questing with my favorite wizzy, who’s at level 15. Even would unfortunately put a serious dent in his XP, so though she’s within striking distance of level 19 (a few runs of Acid Wit and In the Demon’s Den would probably do it), I’m not rushing to level her up until he catches up a bit.

I’ve started Ironica through the Korthos quests on elite and she’s done pretty well. I did break down and pick her up a fighter hireling because she had some REALLY close calls and one death, but she’s mostly still cruising right through stuff. I thought of getting her a healer instead of another fighter, but the extra muscle helps her get through quests faster.

Meanwhile Even crafted her first weapon tonight, just for the heck of it. She’s made a bunch of shards, and tonight she stripped down a shortbow, added a couple of shards and ended up with a Shocking Touch Crossbow of Shattermantle… which is not in the least useful to her, but good for her crafting XP.

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3 thoughts on “Sufferin’ sarcophagus!

  1. raladnahs

    I could not agree more. I have several toons spread across a few servers, and many of them are at the level to run The Catacombs, and I simply cannot bring myself to do it. The Necropolis 1,2, and 3 are not any better. Spend 4 quests, one of which cannot be solo’d unless you buy gold seals, killing massive amounts of undead to unlock the 5th quest in which you kill massive amounts of undead to get to the boss. Necro IV is much better, but that is WAY up the level scale. To make killing undead more worth your while Delera’s is usually the choice. The main attraction with that is the guarantee of a Voice of the Master in your final rewards list, which grants you +5% XP on every quest, and the XP from Delera’s alone is pretty good. The only drawback is that the final quest is level 8, not level 4 like the Catacombs, so it’s a bit tougher 🙂

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  2. LrdSlvrhnd

    Yeah, I can only handle one round of Catacombs at a time also, unless I’m specifically going for a particular reward. Fortunately, my main characters are a ranger with Undead as a favored enemy, and a light monk *g* Depending on your bardic build, you should still be a good help in a party – make sure to up the length of your songs, and 7 should get through ’em well enough. Just get yourself in a support/light offense frame of mind, and find yourself a good undead bane weapon. (Alternatively, find yourself a good shield and maybe some DR – adamantine armor, or an Ironweave Tunic – and just turtle up with intimidate. Not an IDEAL build for that, maybe, but that’ll give the rest of the party a chance to wail on things)

    Avoid Tangleroot Gorge… it’s a similar concept to Catacombs, except almost all the quests use the EXACT SAME MAP. And the other three use the same second map.

    Go in, kill hobgoblins, recall out. Go in, kill hobgoblins and rescue some prisoners, recall out. Go in, kill hobgoblins and grab some loot they drop, recall out. Go in, kill hobgoblins and smash some spider eggs, recall out. Go in, kill some hobgoblins, and go into the next map, yay! Go in, kill some hobgob… wait, you’re done already? (seriously. Even going in stealth, you should be able to finish in 2 minutes)

    There are some good rewards at the end (+3 CON belt, +3 DEX bracers, +3 STR gauntlets, Wizardry 2 trinket, etc.) but it’s so TEDIOUS. And the quests themselve range from L3-L7, so either you’re getting crap for XP the first several quests, or getting your butt kicked the last several (unless you’re lucky enough to find a party).

    There’s also a buttload of chests, but if you go through the entire chain N/H/E you’ll end up ransacking them (The chests are literally the same in every quest on the same map, so the count goes up to 7 just on one run through). But… yeah. Just avoid Tangleroot…

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