Sep 102012

Scary, very scary

WARNING: there are spoilers in this post regarding the quest The Dreaming Dark. If you haven’t run the quest yet, skip this article and come back later.

My completionist Mawry is hitting the final stretch of her monk life, rank 92, about 300K XP to go. Which means (among other things) multiple runs through the Inspired Quarter and Isle of Forgotten Dreams chains.

Fast and not too difficult, these quests don’t grant a ton of XP overall but they do pretty well in terms of XP per minute. Instead of running Sins of Attrition for thirty minutes and hoping you don’t lose, you can run Reclaiming Memories four or five times for about the same experience.

They are pretty easy, even I can solo all but one of them on Hard and I am not a very good soloer. This is a plus, my play time has gotten a bit fragmented since I went back to work and is not matching up well with my guild. With everyone off to Eveningstar, I am generally unable to find PUGs running anything I need at the correct difficulty, and solo-ability becomes important.

They have “interesting” loot, and not “interesting” in a good way. There are several unique named items in the first chain and they are unusually accessible; one can grind out most any choice in an evening. But it is minimum-level-18, and most of the items are not better than similar items that can be obtained at lower levels. The two or three that do compare favorably to lower-level items have since been upstaged by minimum-level-20 loot in the MotU Expansion. Why grind like crazy to get an ML18 robe when you are just going to replace it with a nicer ML20 robe over in the new world?

Ioun stones (such as this one), available in the Dreaming Dark quest, are a notable exception, especially for TR characters, because they are minimum level five. The Stones are overpowering at low level, and remain useful enough to keep equipped throughout most of your TR life.

The Xachosian Eardweller is an item that is worth equipping even into Epic levels, although the changes to Spellpower have reduced its awesomeness somewhat. But it is not a reliable grind target in the way that the other magic in this chain is; the Eardweller is a rare drop; you might get one right away, or you might not see it in a hundred runs through the chain.

But my favorite part about the two chains is not the loot and not the experience. There is one moment in this chain that I just love no matter how many times I encounter it. Not just my favorite moment in these chains but one of my favorite moments in the entire game:

You are running the quest The Dreaming Dark. It is already a different and creative quest; gravity is variable, you can jump in ways you never have before. Optionals are hidden overhead. It is a really interesting (and this time, “interesting” means good) quest but quite difficult and disorienting if you haven’t done it before.

You fight your way into some sort of amphitheater. You turn and note that the seating area is filled with enemies. Your stomach tightens as you realize just how out-numbered you are.

Then one of the creatures speaks: “Wait, I recognize the mortal … is that Mawry?”

A dramatic pause. Then another creature asks “Mawry the agent of dragons that slew the Stormreaver?” Another pipes in “the Mawry that defeated Sor’jek?” And another “The Mawry that traveled to another plane to destroy Velah?”

Another dramatic pause, then “The Devourer of Dreams must be informed. I shall go!” and the monster that last spoke flees the scene.

“Wait, we shall withdraw with you!” and most of the remaining monsters flee as well, leaving behind only a foolhardy band of monsters, determined to show their loyalty to their boss by their sacrifice, because they all know there is no hope of actually defeating the mighty Mawry.

How cool is that. She really is the mighty Mawry, she really did to all of those things, and it is a very validating to have this acknowledged. Not just one more grind, not just a never-ending series of quests to save this from that, but now and then, we get to be heroes. My little Halfling gets to be the mighty and feared Mawry the hero.

Tiny Mawry. Dread Slayer of Evil.

This is why we play this game.

🙂 😀 🙂

What do you think?

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