Nov 092015

Dear DDOGamer: On Leveling Milestones

Another day, another desperate plea for help arriving in the DDOGamer inbox!

Today’s missive is from Spirit of Alba, who writes:

A thought for a blog. You have posted before about how L12 is a big watershed, because of greensteel. I’ve noticed that there are other significant, if slightly less momentous, loot boundaries.

So, until about L9-11 I find that I basically concentrate on getting max enchantments in the main attributes I need – say +6 dex, +6 health. After that, it’s hard to improve main stats for a bit, so I find I look for gear with additional attributes and / or augments. Now I have just been around Wheloon, a whole load of +8 ML 15 gear is available, and so I find myself going ‘back to basics’ for the next few levels. Things change again at L20.

The dragonscale armours at L14 (IIRC) are another small watershed.

Obviously there are loads of complications with named items and different builds, but I wonder about a chart of the ‘main’ loot patterns L1-28. I couldn’t do it, but I bet you could (perhaps with a bit of crowdsourcing)

Don’t be so down on yourself SofA, in spite of your misgivings, you can do it! In fact, you largely have done it, your missive contains the exact same milestones that I think most heroic players would call out. Certainly, the same ones that I see. Plus or minus one or two.

Leaving the obvious question, why can’t you do it? In spite of overwhelming evidence that you can?

This has to do with your father, doesn’t it? Father issues are common, probably since fathers are themselves so common. Most of us have one, or had one in some form or another. And most of us have our issues with them in some form or another.

For example, my own father completely failed to breastfeed me, at all. Not even once. I’ve heard of issues arising from an early weening, but this wasn’t like that: he never gave me the tit even one time. And yet, psychological journals are full of the importance of breastfeeding; it is an essential element of bonding with your child. Yet, not even one time. Why Father? Why?

But I digress, this is not about me. This is about Spirit of Alba, who has largely answered his own (her own?) question, leaving me ought to do except perhaps elaborate around the edges.

And so I shall: never let it be said that I let an edge go un-elaborated upon here in DDOGamer!

The question seems complex just because it encompasses so many disparate things. Simplification can be achieved by looking at it in pieces: in this case I suggest quests, weapons, gear, and armors. All have their “watershed” moments.

I am leaving out esoteric or very-hard-to-get milestones. For instance, many of my older characters have Titan raid gear, and anticipate level 9 when they can put it back on. But Titan gear is esoteric and very hard to get. So it does not appear in the diagram.

Leveling Milestones in DDO

It looks better enlarged. Click to see!

The quest milestones represent portions of the game where the difficulty ramps up; these are all places where one notices when one is insufficiently prepared. For instance, If you are level 16 but you are having difficulties in the Vale, especially in the quest Running With the Devils, you need more work before you continue leveling.

I think the Gear milestones are pretty self-explanatory.

Some people may wonder why I left Epic Dragonscale armors off, but with a minimum level of 24, what’s the point? You are almost to level 26, and for most builds, Shadow Scale is much better. Hang onto whatever you have for two more levels and save the grind (or auction house expense) of accumulating 20 dragon scales.

Win the LAST COPY of The Stormreach Campaign

Enter as many times as you like

Weapons are a bit less obvious. I did not list old-style Epic weapons at level 20* because I do not consider them to be generally available. If you have them, great, but if not, people just don’t run those quests enough anymore.

* For an amazingly complete discussion of level 20 weapons, may I direct you to Tholgrin’s most exhaustive article on the subject.

Thunder-Forged weapons appear three times because they come in three different minimum levels. Thunder-Forged is so much better than anything else that many of my characters have a level 24 and a level 25 or 26 version of the same item, just so I can get to it as soon as possible.

So there you have it Spirit of Alba, all of the most important watershed moments in leveling, according to quest, gear, armor or weapons.

What does everyone else think? Did SofA and I hit the marks on this? Do you have a leveling milestone that should be added?

Have at us! I can’t speak for SofA, but I can tell you that I have a tough skin, I can take it!

You have to when you grow up with no paternal breastfeeding.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  7 Responses to “Dear DDOGamer: On Leveling Milestones”

Comments (7)
  1. Abashai Set at level 5? My TR trains don’t leave the station without them!

  2. Your dad too? At least I’m in good company, but I digress…

    Let the crowd sourcing commence:

    Lvl 5 I agree – abashai set can be worn up to lvl 10ish. Also at Lvl 5 are ioun stones for +6 stats and/or the vibrant purple which gives a MASSIVE boost to spell point pools (especial for sorcs, and fav souls). Ioun stones are very simple to require especially if you can run a lvl 24+ toon on casual. 3 runs gets a drop in end loot, so even if there aren’t groups up running it one time a night for a couple of weeks should get you your stone. Additionally they’re on the shard house fairly in expensively…

    Lvl 11 actually you get green steel items. This can be a huge boost to both spell points (con op item) and to Hit points with the +45 green steel boost. Not so much a necessity anymore with hit point pools averaging in the 800’s or higher, but still nice for the squishy rogue/wizzy characters at lvl 11 with 200hp’s.

    Lvl 10ish? – Gianthold armor – not dragonscale, but the ones crafted by the easily attained dragon, giant, and elf relics. Good enough armor to get you through to dragonscale stuff.

    Lvl 7 and 14 – the mysterious remnant cloak / bracers. Great addition to hamp as well as the slots – Personally I throw heavy fort on one slot and a Masters Gift so I can forget about my voice.

    Lvl 4,8,12,16,20 – all the items in the cove have 4 level differences so a rogues spyglass upgrades, or the buckler for a bard, etc. Additionally I believe this same step is good for the cannith crafted items – blurry wind bracers, elemental weapons (if you don’t have better yet), and thinks like the fozen tunic, ring of the stalker, blasting chime, etc.

    For me my equip leveling through heroic goes something like this:

    1-3 whatever appears in chests (maybe a crafted weap with bleed on it if I can find a nice crafting friend).

    4 – pick up any cannith items pertaining to that character (frozen tunic, wind bracers, etc.)

    5 – voice, abashai set (or as much of the abashai set that helps / doesn’t replace other items).

    7 – toee weaps if there aren’t named items better.

    8 – mystic cloak (mine’s 8 due to heavy fort augment but this can be at 7 for hamp) Another option here is the mabar cloaks. Also upgrade any cannith/cove items to lvl 8 version if needed.

    10 – gianthold armor of some type.

    11 – greensteel items (bracers, goggles, cloaks, etc.)

    12 – greensteel weaps / lvl 12 versions of cove/cannith/mabar

    14 – dragon scale

    15 – wheloon stuff that fits

    16 – cove/cannith/mabar upgrade

    20 – cove/cannith/mabar upgrade

    Everyone has their own system, but these are the ones I look for.

    By the way Sir Geoff – Could you please use your substantial pull in the DDO world to argue for a sortable/searchable TR Cache? I’d even pay for that addition (and I’m a cheapskate πŸ™‚ . I ask you for this knowing how your mouse look crusade worked so well so…

    TR Cache sort/search and a named dwarven throwing mug that applies a stack of “drunkeness” on a succesfull hit is all I want for Christmas…well maybe a +10 supreme ability tome…but I don’t think I’ve been anywhere near that good this year!

    Thanks for reading my small book here. Guess I should do some work today.

    • LOL you understand that my Mouse Look crusade took something like SIX YEARS to succeed, yes? And even then was probably more coincidence than crusade.

  3. There is also the Alchemical crafting from The Master Artificer and Lord of Blades Raids. If you get the alchemical prototype you want form Artificer then completing the LoB raid is a relatively easy grind, only 10 completions to get the full end reward list rather than the 20 completions for the Shroud and other raids.
    And Artificer is on 5 completions for the full list. Running them with experienced groups can get LoB’s done pretty quickly. Getting experienced groups running may be the only problem here

  4. This looks like a good progression to me. I typically though “craft” my way through most of these levels until I hit 20. I’m still learning the gear for the epics though :).

  5. Thanks Geoff! I have been offline with work, but been itching to see the post. And lo, a coloured chart – result. You see, that’s why I asked. That and because epics to me are low 20s levels where I scurry about collecting enough tokens to TR.

What do you think?

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