Raid Review 7: The Thirteenth Eclipse
Alternate names: the Shroud
History: originally released in January 2008 with module 6, the Shroud has seen a few minor tweaks through the years, mostly relating to the boss (hit points and metamagics) but also the infamous floating “blades.” Later this quest would get extra chests for hard and elite difficulties and end reward changes to encourage more people to complete. There was also a series of collectible side quests that never worked and were later removed.
Quest pack: The Vale of Twilight
Flagging: first complete the 5 quests in the Vale explorer area and collect the stone from each (stones are not guaranteed on casual). Then complete a crafting tutorial in Meridia.
Objective: Prevent Shavarath from becoming coterminous with our plane.
Overview: the devil army from Shavarath, led by Arraetrikos (AKA Harry), from making Shavarath coterminous with our plane. They want to invade and this would make that really easy for them. To do this you will have to complete 5 separate areas each with a different objective.
What’s really going on: a mad dash to the end: beat up some portals (move, AFK, move, AFK), play a version of PAC-Man (who’s on the crystal? Don’t kill them yet!), do some puzzles and water some fountains (unlock at N 5×5 plz. hey mr looter help run water please. Where’s the last water? Can we get the north 5×5 unlocked?), beat up Harry (look out for blades), beat up Harry again (anyone recalling?)
Or: a slow crawl with massive over buffing at every opportunity. Time difference: 60 minutes.
Best raid features: very customizable raid loot, amazing replay ability, great variance in difficulty for new folks, power gamers, and nudists. Sp generating wading pools.
Worst raid features: the crafting system was quite complicated and easy to make irreparable mistakes (a new ingredient was added later for deconstruction but given a really low drop rate and a high DDO Store price). This was somewhat alleviated by changing the crafting system to the barter system. One ingredient was needed more often than others creating something of an imbalance.
Prominent builds/Key roles: it helps if you have at least one person that can open (very low DC) locks.
How we used to run it: normal folks: taking an extra 5 minutes after each phase to loot, over buff, and roll for shards. Run a little faster than the party and you will be squelched. About half the party will take a dimension door to leave the quest early so they can rerun the raid.
Power gamers: thisisashroudspeedcompletiononlynoddoorlootingchestsattheend style shroud. Should you at any time rock the boat, you will be squelched.
How we run it now: nearly everyone completes and usually on hard, but otherwise much the same.
Why we used to run it: Shroud weapons and gear were the best you could get. If you had all the gear you needed, the ingredients (at least large devil scales) were, for a time, top trading currency.
Why we run it now: mostly to remake our shroud gear, that we aren’t quite ready to part with, because of the introduction of new gear.
Notable loot: SP and HP items, mineral 2 and lightning 2 weapons, concordant opposition gear, cha skill items, +3 tomes (20th end reward list was 1 of each tome, either 2 or 3). Radiance items for rogues. There were also some other options that saw less popularity (like the sundering ooze summoning weapons, that one guy really got a kick out of it).
What you need to know: this raid has the most variance in how groups run it. If you are leading this raid be very clear – if you say fast run you will get people who will run ahead into each part expecting you to move quickly (you said fast). If you aren’t leading follow the party leader’s instructions (no one cares how you prefer to run it, this time we do things the leader’s way). Because most players go into auto pilot for this and with the variance in tactics, its pretty easy to find yourself on a squelch list – fairly so or not.
In part 2 you need to kill 4 bosses (commonly referred to as lieutenants) somewhat simultaneously to destroy a crystal.
In part 3 you get an extra pair of chests if you complete all the puzzles, and putting water into an incomplete puzzle renders it incapable of completing. Breaking the crystal above the door does the same, but you can unlock the levers to open each door.
Part 4 has a penalty box and you only get 1 shot at accepting a resurrection once its complete or you miss the shrine and will have to go back for the 2 chests.
If you leave before the quest is completed, either recall, /death, or teleport. If you take a dimension door you may get a completion by accident and if you have taken the DD, but have not gotten out, you will be unable to loot your chests as well.
Best way to fail: if you actually fail this raid you better be running elite and you better be at least in part 4. Otherwise that’s just sad.
On the other hand, a group with poor coordination could end up having to kill the 4 lieutenants repeatedly.
Best bugs: there was a time where Harry would bug out in part 4 and become inert but very whackable.
When the raid was first released recalling would land you somewhere in the City of Stormreach (like when you jump of a guild ship). Scene at the time options for getting back to Meridia were limited (running through the Vale or /death train) players began using dimension door and then walked out the front door. Even long after this bug was fixed players continued this practice, most not even knowing why.
Bonus Tidbits: this raid and pack were released with a level cap increase to 16. This quest series begins a campaign arc that is prominent at higher levels – the Shavarath campaign. The events of this raid and quest series are a direct result of the Black Abbot’s attempted ascension (which he was unable to do accursedly). The energy released when we defeated the Abbott caused a slight shift in the planes, this is what the devil army is trying to take advantage of.
Personal favorite moment: any time I completely blow a new(ish) player’s mind. Examples are usually to how fast we complete (20 ish minutes) and the ability to solo heal (particularly on a bard). I’ve also gotten off a raise after being raised myself in part 4 a few times.