Epic Education Episode 1: Introductions

Since I tend to script my DDOCast segment Epic Education I thought more people could benefit from the segment by posting my scripts on MyDDO.  Over the next several weeks as I remember to I’ll post the episodes starting with the first.  Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments – I may or may not read them (I’ll be honest, I’m not the kind of guy who spends a lot of time and energy into social media)


Hello and welcome to Epic Education – a show of tips and tactics for surviving epic content.  I’m your guide Shamgar and this is Episode 1: “Introductions” alternatively titled “Epic What?”


Before we get into epic content I’d like to take a few moments to talk about who I am and what this show will and won’t be. 


My persona is Shamgar – you can find me on Khyber more often than I’ll publicly admit – and yes, I am a power gamer.  While I have a few ongoing “leveling projects” I am solidly at that phase people call “End Game.”  My game time is usually filled with high level and epic content.


I’ll be discussing tips, tricks. tactics, strategies, loot and general topics relating to epic content in DDO.  At times that will mean pretty heavy spoilers – so if you want to experience epic content with a blank slate you are in luck, you won’t need to listen to me drone on with crunchy talk and occasionally big words.  For those of you who find some enjoyment and useful information here, there is something you should know up front:  I am only one Warforged.  Anything you may hear me say in my blabbering is by no means inerrant, exhaustive, unable to be improved upon, or a wide range of experiences.  In your travels you will surely find others with different and sometimes better strategies, opinions and preferences.


 Sooner or later you will hear me giving advice and think to yourself “Hey, that’s not right” or “That’s not how I run that quest!” and even “That Shamgar is a fool!”  – and you’ll even be right – sometimes.  But that’s one of the best things about DDO – there’s plenty of valid options and tactics available to players as we adventure.  And because there are many flavors to the game you wont often hear me talk about absolutes.  I know first hand that there are many ways to run epic quests and they don’t all include a cleric or FVS.


My goal for this show is to serve as a guide, particularly for newer folks just starting, or about to start, experiencing Epic content.  I have no delusions of being the quote “Epic Expert” and in reality I’m mostly dispensing that which has been taught to me by several quality players and friends.


And as your guide let me give you an idea where we are going.  These first several shows will be about the basics and generics of Epic Questing.  Those of you afraid of spoilers wont find many until I actually start discussing specific quests. 


So what exactly is epic?  Epic is a difficulty setting, like elite or casual, and is available for only a small selection of quests.  Currently it is the highest difficulty setting available and it raises the quest level to 25.  You can enjoy epic content with the Vault of Night, Sands of Menchtarun (AKA the Desert), Sentinals of Stormreach, Red Fens, Phiarlan Carnival, and Devil Assault adventure packs.  On Epic these quests are generally very similar to other difficulties but there are occasionally new surprises like extra monsters, traps, or other twists on your old favorite quests.  You’ll want to make sure you are prepared before you step in though, because if you leave the epic instance you wont be able to get back in.


The monsters you will encounter will be tougher, beefier versions of themselves.  They have more hit points, higher saves, they hit harder, and almost all have “Epic Ward.”  This static buff represents the “massive amount of experience against adventurers.  They have special attributes that make them immune to death effects, banishment, and mid fog, and have a good chance to ignore stat damage effects.  In addition, they regenerate negative levels quicker than standard creatures and cannot be charmed for long periods.”


So what does that mean exactly?  It means any “save or die” effects, such as banishing, disruption, death spells, and yes, even vorpals have no effect on these creatures.  And all those shiny weapons you have that do stat damage – they will only be effective about 10% of the time.  For those of you with charming personalities – you’ll find yourself less engaging as monsters break faster than normal.  Because of these immunities the most prevailing tactic is to put the monsters into an autocrat state – typically through stunning or hold spells.  Other mediums of crowd control are perfectly acceptable as well, the faster and more reliably you can neutralize monsters the better.


Edit: In update 9 most blanket immunities were removed from DDO and “death weapons” (vorpal, disruption, etc) were changed.  These weapons now only instantly kill a monster if they have less than 1000 hps and they do additional damage against the appropriate creature types.  Death spells can now be used on trash mobs as well.  Epic mobs hps were also decreased by a fair amount, but their saves were increased slightly.  In update 9 patch 1 orange named mini bosses will get deathblock on epic difficulty as well making them immune to death effects.


So if epic quests are harder than the quests on normal why run them?  Well aside from the arguments for challenging yourself, enjoying DDO and having fun, there are added loot benefits and epic tokens to be had.  Many of those old favorite named items from these quests can be upgraded to epic versions – most of which have customizable crafting options.  To upgrade an item you will need to find a scroll, a seal and a shard of that specific item.  Scrolls have a low chance to drop into a random party members backpack as monsters are killed and are fully tradeable items.  Seals and Shards are found in chests and are BTA.  Not all chests in epic content drop seals and shards and in many cases they are chest specific.  And by the way, items upgraded to epic BTC, so make sure you upgrade items on the characters you want to use the epic gear.


At the end of every epic quest and raid there is an epic chest and on that epic chest is either a epic raid token, an epic dungeon token, or a variable number of epic fragments – what you get depends on the quest.  Raids give raid tokens, shorter quests give fragments and a few quests even give 2 dungeon tokens.  And all those treasure bags on the ground have an epic fragment in them on epic so be sure to pick those up along your way.  100 fragments can be turned into a dungeon token with the epic altar in the twelve and raid tokens can be turned into dungeon tokens using the stone of change, but you cannot turn them back into raid tokens.  Tokens can be turned in to Misty next to the Epic Altar for epic crafting options.  You can also turn in 20 epic tokens for a True Druidic Heart for a true reincarnation – but note that these bind to character


Its only a little taste, but that will end this weeks Epic Education.  If you have any questions, comments, or corrections you can email me at   Join me next time as I discuss playing a DPS character in Epics.

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