Sep 282015
 

Orchard of the Macabre
It may not look like it, but this place is loaded with endgame loot

I have 17 active characters on my main server, thirteen of which are actively played. Ten of them are or have been Epic. If this seems like a lot, it is! I could have the greatest character ever if I focused on only one. But no, I spread the love around, and instead of one truly great character I have ten moderately adequate ones.

This has made me something of an expert on equipping said characters; not because I know so much about equipment but because I have to do it so often.

Update 23 The Mark of Death

Or as I like to call it, “Kmart for the Endgame”

“But wait”, I hear you saying*, “end game equipment is hard. Hard to know what you want, you need spreadsheets and stuff. And then, once you know, it is harder still to get the items!” Except it doesn’t have to be that way.

* Yes, I know you are out there, both of you who regularly read this inane drivel, and I hear you. Sorry that all you are going to get is even more vapid meanderings. Hey, it may be drivel, but at least it is useless! And there is lots of it, more every single weekday.

It can be easy. Or at least, easier than you are thinking. All you need is Orchard. One adventure pack. Four quests. You don’t even have to run the raid, although the raid contains some truly delicious equipment. But still, you don’t need it.

The Orchard is special for three reasons:

  • It has a lot of loot, a lot! And the loot is just fine for level 28 characters. Not “barely adequate”, but actually good. +11 stats. +20 skills. That level of good
  • It has a unique reward method that makes it actually possible to target an item that you want and get it without grinding your eyes out
  • The loot is Bind to Account. You can loot it with whomever but use it on whomever else. You can even use it for awhile and then pass it along; epic hand-me-downs

That second point is the key: unlike every other adventure pack in the game, Epic Orchard rewards you just for trying. Every time you complete the four-quest pack, you get a story arc end reward, and it always contains at least one of the rare drops that are available in the pack. It can be any of them. Any! And the ones you can get from the story arc are just as good as the ones that drop from quests (caveat: I do not think the mythic versions of the helms drop as story arc rewards. Only the epic versions. But that is still plenty good. Plenty!).

So … you run four quests. Each one has a chance to drop something special (I’ll go over the details in a moment). Then, when you are done, you are guaranteed to get something else special, even if you are like me and have no loot luck at all. Obviously there is no guarantee that you will get an item that matches your character, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a special item, and if you are like me and have a lot of characters, odds are that someone will want it. Badly. And they bind to account, so it doesn’t matter which character does the looting and which does the wearing.

Pretty good odds, eh?

Looking at the items, all of them are seriously good items, many remain at or near the very top of the list even now, five updates down the road. There are several armors that are not as good as their Shadowscale equivalents, but just about everything else is so good it will go directly onto your character. Let’s look:

From the Epic Desecrated Temple of Vol:

There is also a Mythic version of the Emerald Gaze but it is super rare and I don’t think it has a chance of appearing as a story arc reward. Which puts it in the “grind your eyes out” realm of items, a category I don’t even bother to chase.

Oh no! It looks like Mawry may have already lost an eye to the grind!

Oh no! It looks like Mawry may have already lost an eye to the grind!

From the Epic Inferno of the Damned

Seraphim is also available in Mythic, if you are one of those people who pulls the lucky item.

From Epic Fleshmaker’s Laboratory

Another mythic helm, apparently they are all like that. Except this one actually dropped, for me of all people, and one of my characters was disappointed to learn that the unbelievably rare Mythic Minos Legens is really not that much better than the regular old Epic version. But it is better, slightly, and she feels extra fancy wearing it (or at least so I imagine), so there’s that.

From Epic Ghosts of Perdition

The mythic version of Muffled Veneer includes 9% doublestrike, and that is a pretty nice bump, but you have to decide for yourself if it justifies losing your eyes to the required grind. Me, I like my eyes.

Many of the items are caster-specific or melee-specific or best for wizard/artificers/bards or what have you. Some of the items are situational. But all of them are good, very good, and many of them are good for anyone. Every character would benefit from an Epic Belt of Thoughtful Remembrance. Every character could use an Epic Glimpse of the Soul.

One last tidbit: all of the items get even better with the application of 150 120 Epic Tapestry Shreds [Edit: correction thanks to astute reader Qeistalan, who provides further detail in the comments, below]. Which you will have if you run the Orchard quests. They drop in most of the chests, including all of the wilderness area chests (I think that is right isn’t it? All of them?)

No more excuses. No more whining. You can equip your character to be successful in the endgame. You can. All you have to do is run the Orchard quests a few times. Yes, repetition is grindy, but the amount of repetition required here is not grind-your-eyes-out grindy. It is reasonably grindy.

Even I can put up with that amount of grind. It is hardly grind at all.

Unless you have 13 characters to equip. On one server.

Ai yi yi.

🙂 😀 🙂

 

  6 Responses to “Orchard of the Macabre – How to Equip Yourself for Level 28”

Comments (6)
  1. “all of the items get even better with the application of 150 Epic Tapestry Shreds.” Incorrect.

    Upgrading a Primary Augment slot on Necro4 epic items requires 120 Epic Tapestry Shreds. This unlocks a Yellow or Blue slot on armor/accessories, Yellow/Blue/Red slot on shields.

    Upgrading a Secondary Augment slot requires 120 Masterwork Tapestry Shreds, which can ONLY be acquired by successfully completing the epic raid Mark of Death. This unlocks a Green slot on all items, but shields have the option of a Green/Orange/Purple slot.

    Items that drop from the Mark of Death raid also have Primary & Secondary augment slots, same as the items which drop from the Necro4 quests and end reward list. Raid reward items ONLY drop from the raid, and never populate in the end reward list.

    • “Incorrect.” I like that. It is so Dwight Shrute-ish. But regardless, thanks for the correction. It is 120, not 150.

      Now that I think about it, it is black stone that comes in batches of 150. Not tapestries at all. Black stone. From the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar.

  2. maybe someday I will run these with my group. As it sits, I was only recently told about the “Ratavan” method for the 20 tapestries for heroic helms. :/

    Thanks for this! I will use this as a resource when/ if I ever do get to run these. 🙂

  3. Um, doesn’t the arc also follow the established “run 3 times and you’ll see all items possible” mechanic? So even if you don’t get what you’re looking for the first – or even second – time you run the arc, you should see it on the third, yes? No? Maybe?
    😉

  4. Nice write up and totally agree that it’s a great place to find top tier gear. Having had to farm for the Epic Inferno Bracers to replace the Epic Belt of Thoughtful Remembrance for my 130 CON build (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/461264-130-con) I can confirm that eye gouging is just one of the things you will want to do to relieve the pain. 18 year old Macallan also works. 🙂

What do you think?

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