Apr 222013

Radiant Bursts are a Girl's Best FriendRadiant Bursts are a girl’s best friend

Ghosts of Perdition can be described many ways. Challenging. Awash in fast XP. Loot filled (it does feature some very good named loot). But I think the best way to encapsulate its essence is to describe the boss encounter, an undead spectral beholder

Yes that’s right an undead, spectral, beholder

Let us consider for a moment what that means. Breaking it down we have:

  • Beholder: A terrifying battery of continuously firing eye beams any one of which can kill you
  • Undead: It’s already dead so you cannot use Finger of Death, and it is immune to many things including critical hits and sneak attacks
  • Spectral: You can’t even melee the thing effectively

It does not look good for our heroes does it?

Nonetheless the quest is full of experience points, and besides this is an old quest, one we have beaten many many times. In spite of it’s gruesome end encounter.

And so, Elite streak in hand, off we go. My Gamer Girl on her incredibly over-powered cold-specialized druid, I on my dexterity-based rapier-wielding battle cleric.

The preliminaries go smoothly as one would expect. These two characters have been dominating content throughout their current TR lives. My Gamer Girl’s druid is hampered by the fact that she is cold-specialized while everything in this quest is cold immune but she makes do with her unspecialized fire spells and we rock merrily along.

Quickly we dispatch the riff-raff and find ourselves facing the boss, who is (in case you have forgotten) an undead spectral beholder.

My Gamer Girl’s druid has trouble finding any traction against the boss. “Four points!”, I hear her yelling exasperation, “That’s it? Four points of damage? That’s all I do?”

Apparently her unspecialized firewalls are not able to affect the beholder enough to notice, although they are very good at drawing the attention of the beholder’s many companions. It quickly becomes clear that this is going to be a long fight for my Gamer Girl.

I on the other hand have Maximized Heals and an underpowered, unspecialized DOT that is effective in spite of the lack of specialization. But since I am the main one damaging him I am also the main one holding his agro; I find that I have difficulty getting any spells off through his anti-magic beam.

I adopt. I make a kamikaze run right into him and hit the Radiant Burst which is immune to the Anti-Magic beam. Can’t tell if it works, my camera is not in position to see damage numbers, but no time for that now, and besides it always works on undead. Doesn’t it? Run out the other side and repeat, throwing Heals whenever possible; in this fashion we are able to defeat the beholder through the first three floors of the end fight.

By the 4th floor though we are pretty drained. We are low on spell points and worse, I am out of Radiant Bursts. He is so close to being defeated though! I chug a mnemonic potion and try to get off something that will do damage.

DING there goes my Gamer Girl’s hireling
DING there goes my Gamer Girl

I’m trying to get my hireling to raise my Gamer Girl’s hireling but nothing is happening.

DING there goes my hireling

Frantic running about and failing to get any Raise spells off on anyone; I am suffocating in the Anti-Magic beam.

DING I’m down

We are down.

I am never one to shy away from eating a cake to complete a quest, and I have some in inventory.

POP I’m up. I focus on my Gamer Girl’s hireling and throw Resurrection
DING Too slow to cast and before I finish I’m back down again

My Gamer Girl thinks maybe she has found a safe spot where we can take a raise and gather our wits calmly. It is a hole in the wall or soft spot? It seems to be made of wall yet our ghosts are able to walk right into it.

I run and enter the wall. I eat my last cake.

DING I am immediately dead, I don’t even think I really raised. There was no POP, just me being dead again so fast my graphics processor had no time to show me alive. Did I get disintegrated? Did I do it wrong? I’ll try again.

I buy three cakes. I eat one.

DING again, I am again dead before I am ever alive

My Gamer Girl gives it a try:

DING Same thing.

Gradually it dawns on us that we can enter this wall in ghost form, but we can’t live in it. Being inside will only give us auto-death. Time for a new strategy.

Another cake, another raise

POP but the floor is full of bad guys and
DING I am killed again before I can get my Gamer Girl up. Aaargh!

I’m four cakes into this now and I’m not giving up. We change the plan, all we need is to hit the beholder a little, he’s all but defeated. I’m very careful about where I take my raise this time, and my Gamer Girl eats one at the same time

POP she is up
POP me too, and my own hireling is raised by the cake as well; a happy coincidence!

Quickly I try to hit the Beholder with something, a Heal, a Cometfall, anything, but I can’t. Stupid Anti-magic ray

DING there goes my hireling
DING there goes my Gamer Girl
DING there goes me

So frustrating! That stupid beholder is almost dead (sort of? does one “kill” undead?), holding onto a mere sliver of hit points. If only I had some Radiant Bursts left!

Suddenly I remember how to play this game. “Oh wait”, thinks I, “I don’t have to endlessly consume cakes. I can release and refill and return.”

And I do, finding myself in the all-but random location where I last used the spirit binder. In this case, Zawabi’s Refuge. I must not have died in a few levels.

But regardless, no way I am giving up now. I run back to the quest, formulating a new strategy. One that involves hitting the beholder – a lot! – with dual disrupting rapiers while throwing one Radiant Burst after another. Anti-magic ray that, dude.

It takes forever to fall back down to the bottom floor where the beholder waits, but that’s okay, I’m using the time productively. Divine Power! Divine Favor! Divine Might! One buff after another. I am so ready, thirteen Radiant Bursts and dual Disruptors, you are going down beholder dude!

Finally the beholder comes in into view. I lob in a Heal spell because I can and prepare to unleash the fury; fingers flexed, damage waiting, and … and … and …

And the fight ended. That one Heal was enough to finish it. That’s how close we were, one good Heal from winning and saving seven raise cakes.

Nonetheless. We have our elite completion; we should have no trouble farming the quest for XP on normal. We got some loot. And even after my recall and return we still got a nice chunk of experience. So it’s a win.

Sort of.

Although one has to wonder .. can anything that required seven raise cakes really count as a win?

We need a special term for this kind of win. Phyrric victory is technically accurate, but fails to fully illustrate the cake-based frustration of it all.

Baker’s victory?
Seven-cake conquest?
Siberys Spirit success?

I guess I will just stick with “a completion”. Because it is, albeit a super-expensive completion.

I need to hurry my battle-cleric up to a high enough level that she can learn Death Pact. These cakes are really starting to add up.

🙂 😀 🙂

p.s. I was supposed to write part 2 of the DDO Wiki appreciation today but instead this happened. Look for part 2 of the DDO Wiki interviews either tomorrow or Wednesday.

  6 Responses to “A Seven-Cake Victory”

Comments (6)
  1. A heroic effort! When I used to play the Palladium RPG and Rifts (pen and paper), we had a special category of experience you could get for being “brave, but stupid”. I’m afraid I received that award many, many times! I know I’ve consumed a few of those cakes myself — I think three is my max.

    • I find that one of the best options against beholders is to buff to high heaven (including death ward for sure) and then wear a spell absorb item when assaulting. The antimagic cone would normally dispel all your buffs, but it is apparently considered a level 1 spell effect, as it drains 1 charge from a pale lavender ioun stone (or worldshaper mantle or what-have-you)

      That being said, with as long as the encounter is, even an ioun stone AND a mantle used in tandem are likely to be depleted before the end. I always try to make sure I have my old trusty level 16 version of the Mabar cloak of night on any melee life, or put on ethereal bracers or spectral gloves, just so I can do meaningful damage.

      Grats on the completion though! Would hate to see so much cake get eaten and nothing come out of it!

  2. You forgot “undead, spectral, LAWFUL GOOD beholder”.

    Aside from sheer insanity of that description, it means your holy/pure good weapons do not work against it.

  3. Did you have any Coffee to go with All those cakes?

  4. Yeah, I found that wonderful wall of ice thing too, I think the combat log calls it something special. Someone should update the wiki “You may think the space behind walls are safe to use a res cake in…it’s not!” Good news though, some of the undead that aren’t immune to ice, like the wheeps I think, can actually die back there too.

    I like all the other necro 4 quests, and especially Litany. I especially like Kai-Teng_Fairuza and his wide arsenal of weapons.

    • “You may think you are clever, but my Wounding sword of Greater Dwarf Bane will cut you down to size!”

What do you think?

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