Oct 072013

DDOGamer Does Favor

Chapter 1: What Favor is and how it works
Chapter 2: Faction Favor rewards, ranked by usefulness
Chapter 3: Total Account Favor and Turbine Points

Favor Rewards
This image has nothing to do with favor but I like it, and I get to choose.

Last week we examined what faction favor is, and how one goes about earning it. Today we’re going to talk about the kinds of things you can earn with favor.

The DDO wiki already has a great article that shows every favor reward in detail. I’m not going to try to compete with that, if you want the details of every reward level for every faction then go to DDO Wiki and read about it.

Instead I am going to pick and choose factions and snipe at the usefulness of what they award. Just because I am snippy and opinionated like that, and because DDO Wiki’s awesomeness releases me from the burdens of accuracy and completeness. They are the masters of detail, and thank the gods for that.

Most factions provide rewards once you reach 75 points of their favor, another at 150, and some have a third reward at 400. Not all do this, but most. I’ll note the progression as we discuss each faction.

Must Haves For Everyone

The Coin Lords offer you an extra slot in your backpack at the 75-point level. Critical, you will definitely want this. Their 150-point reward is another backpack slot. Glorious, even if you need a Portable Hole to cash it in. Their 400-point reward is … a couple of skill points in obscure skills, I forget, bleah, whatever.

House Kundarak offers an extra bank slot. Also critical, get it ASAP. At 150 they offer – wait for it – another bank slot. Yes you want this too, even though it costs a pile of platinum. They don’t have a 400-level yet.

At 75 favor, the Agents of Argonessan offer a pretty gewgaw, your choice between a variety of things which include a Portable Hole. This is the only reliable way in the game to farm a Portable Hole: they are a rare drop which can occur in any chest but almost never do. Nice, but the 150 favor reward is the sweet spot: ten hit points! Ten is not many but there is no other game mechanism that gives you permanent hit points other than leveling up. Nice, very nice. Argo does not offer a 400-point reward.

The Silver Flame awards at 75 and 150 are dismissible, discounts on tavern healers, and increasing theย  rate at which you recover health and spell points in public instances. Yawn. But the 400 award is not dismissible, it is one of the most important favor rewards that exists: you earn the ability to buy Potions of Heal. Not potions of cure, potions of Heal, like the spell. There are negative side effects to using the potion but still, a Heal spell, as many as you can carry in stacks of ten, usable by fighters and barbarians and everyone. Very nice. Totally worth it.

House Phiarlan offers access to an NPC that can cast a bunch of arcane buffing spells on you that each last 30 minutes. This used to be a critical favor reward, but with many of the buffs now duplicated by Guild airship amenities it has devalued (although I still like the 30-minute Jump spell!). We want the 150 level reward, a special trinket that gives you 50% speed increase when in public areas. It is faster than Haste, faster than the best Speed item, better than any of those although you can’t take it on quests. Still, you want this, Eberron and Faerun are very large, and the ability to cross them in a hurry will save you a lot of game time. Plus, the trinket works in public special event areas like PVP brawling pits, the Delera’s Graveyard during Festival of Mabar, and the pirate island during Crystal Cove events.

Must Haves For Certain People Only

House Cannith has a non-standard progression, offering awards at 50 and 150 points. They are both either very important, or completely useless, depending.

  • The 50-point level is for crafters, offering the Mark of House Cannith. The Mark allows crafters to add “Masterful Craftsmanship” to crafted items, reducing their minimum level by two. Very important for crafters, completely useless to anyone else.
  • The 150-point reward unlocks the Artificer class. Slightly less effective than buying the class with Turbine Points (it only unlocks the class on one server), but still, if you don’t have Artificer and refuse to buy it, this is your only other way to go.

House Deneith is the go-to place for missile weapons and ammunition. This used to be very important, but less so now as most of the heavy ammunition users have learned how to create their own ammo on demand. Similarly, the House D quivers were once a big deal but quivers are now available in many flavors, including several that are named items. Still, if you use a lot of ranged attacks and are not an Artificer, Arcane Archer, or are not willing to spend time creating your own Flaming Arrows , then you want the 75-level favor to unlock a merchant with all kinds of ammunition (and the House D “Wide” quiver), or better, the 150-point level which unlocks “Sturdy” versions of the ammo which have a 75% chance of returning when used (and the House D “Thin” quiver).

The Free Agents are a sad batch of faction-givers that award you with things you never want, or a feature that is supposed to be reserved just for you but in fact works for everyone. A bad combination. However, if you are the type that likes to build traps, you will want both the 75 and 150-point reward levels as that is the only way* to acquire the special Vials needed for trapmaking.

* I am not certain that this is true; I thought they were also available on the DDO Store. But the game is down for maintenance and I can’t check.

Purple Dragon Knights (PDK) have a non-standard progression that includes more favor award levels than anyone, but most are forgettable and the top-level award isn’t actually a reward: you just get text saying to come back if the award is ever implemented*. But one of the awards is useful – the Key to the City at 125 allows you to instantly teleport to Eveningstar. Not a Must Have, but definitely a Nice To Have.

* By the way, this is Seriously Lame. That was the best that could be done? Sometimes I see things that get released in this game and can only shake my head. Seriously Lame.

On the other hand, if you want to upgrade yourย Planar Focus item set, you must have the 375-point level PDK award. You must.

Not Worth The Hassle

House Jorasco offers the standard favor progression, but only the first two levels, and each of those is utterly ignorable. Both awards are access to 30-minute divine buffs that either don’t stack with equipment you probably already have, or that you are probably going to get anyway in a mass casting. Ignore.

The Harpers share the same progression as the PDK (125, 250, 375, 500) except only the first two levels are available to-date, and each one is the same thing: a once-per-five minute clicky that releases you from crowd-control effects. The 250-point version releases you from more types of crowd control than the 125-point version.

That sounds cool, and in certain circumstances may actually be cool, but the five-minute cool-down limits the usefulness. I’ve found that most of the time, freeing myself from one instance of being danced/held/webbed/paralyzed only allows me to be danced/held/webbed/paralyzed again. The problem is not that I am caught, it is that I am catchable. But maybe that is just me.

The Twelve has a non-standard progression of 40, 100 and 250. The first of the award levels is a required step towards flagging for The Shroud. But it is a redundant requirement; you have to run five quests to flag and doing so will grant you the 40 points of favor needed, it can’t be avoided. So fugeddabouddit. 100 favor awards a large ingredient bag, a nice thing to have but one that is usually also available on the auction house, while 250 is an honorary title that doesn’t ever appear on your character or do anything of any sort. Yes, this is Seriously Lame too, not quite as bad as the top-level PDK favor, but close. Lame, lame, lame.

I may get castigated for putting The Yugoloth in this category, but I am doing it anyway. There is only one reward level, 75 points, at which you become able to buy Yugoloth Mercenary Potions*. People talk about loving these potions because they provide +2 bonus to attributes that stacks with everything. But I wonder how many people actually use them, rather than just sort of loving them in an abstract way and using them in peak Strength calculations.

* You can also buy a crafting ingredient called the Mark of the Yugoloth, but since it is only useful in one recipe (+4 Attack) I don’t think it really counts. And no I am not kidding, one single recipe.

For one thing, they are expensive at 1kPP each. For another they have negative side effects. But more importantly, for me anyway, is the mentality that says “save them for the right occasion”. Because for me, the right occasion never comes, I end up saving that kind of thing forever. I still have all of the DEX and INT boosting potions I got from Deneith Ward Collectors when Update 4 first came out. Hell, I still have Festivult Cookies I acquired in the very first Festivult. Seriously, I do.

And there you have it, all the rewards you need to earn and why. In my opinion. One cool thing about my opinion is that I always agree with it.

And I do, especially this time. What do you think?

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

[Edit] Thanks to forum user xMund who caught my error regarding Artificers being free to VIPs. They aren’t.

  13 Responses to “Ranking the Favor Rewards”

Comments (13)
  1. “So fugeddabouddit”

    Have you been watching Mickey Blue Eyes? {squints suspiciously}

  2. People really need to get out of the “too cool to use” mentality for items – fair enough if its stuff like rez cakes which cost TP, but they’re there to be used, especially when things start going south – the festivult thingies i find are great on lowbies particularly, and there are a few that are great all along a characters life, and the timely use of a statuette of the eladrin, or even better one of the summonable rest shrines for the whole party, can give a significant boost to save an otherwise-doomed run of a troublesome quest.

    Interesting trick with the trapmaking vials though, is that they count as cannith crafting ingredients so you can use them instead of essences for stuff like the shards of potential, or the shards of masterful crafmanship which just require a stack (or multiple stacks) of any ingredient – just be careful when stocking up, as an issue with how they’re loaded into your ingredients bag on purchase can cause a lot of lag while it sorts them out.

    House D arrows can still be useful for particular material types if you want to maximise the dps on your ranged weapon – just switch to the DR-breaker arrows/bolts you need then you can stick with the phantom arrows imbue or deadly weapons spell etc. for extra doubleshot chance.

    Coin lords favour is +2 to diplomacy & intimidate – handy in places but nothing to write home about, still no harm in having them.

    Twelve favour is admittedly the most disappointing, i find – personally i think it’d be cool if it gave a special teleport token (like the key to eveningstar) that could take you to, say, a “members only” area of the portable hole with extra spells, potions, vendors, teleporter, (maybe even a couple of things like guild buffs to benefit the unguilded) etc. that’d be pretty handy.

    • Are you serious? I can use those vials instead of the essences to craft?! I must try this out!

      • Well only for the recipes that don’t need a specific ingredient type ๐Ÿ™‚ A good & very cheap way to grind out a few crafting levels though.

  3. Nice summary of the favor options – my characters go for Coin Loads – House Phiarlan – Coin Lords – House Phiarlan in that order. House Kundarak would be next and then House Deneith if an archer of some sort. The sturdy arrows are a real boon until (if ever) you get the summoned arrows.

    I was gleefully surprised at the first offering from the Argonessan faction.

    As always, great write-up. I’m a faithful daily reader – keep it up!

  4. Geoff, I feel the same way about many items. I always try to save them for a better time, but that time never comes. I have stacks of xp pots just waiting to be used “on a harder life”… Great post

  5. I totally use the endurance Yugo pots on TRs if I’ve unlocked them. I stockpile, because it’s a bit of a drag to unlock every life, kind of like the Silver Flame pots – buy in bulk. The HP bonus is significant on lowbie characters, and the attack speed penalty is negligible im most situations. I’ve also used the +2 Wis pot on Clerics to maximize DCs at endgame.

    Of course, I also have a stockpile of cookies and Mabar pots that I use to make TR leveling cheesier, which underlines the theme that some of these favor rewards aren’t that useful if they’re on a character parked in epic levels, but pretty awesome when you’re leveling a character.

  6. Yugo pots are good for casters, I use the Int one on my necro caster fairly often when I have them in stock. But far from essential, just +1 DC.

  7. Great roundup!

    The first time I used a SF Heal pot I became helpless in combat (low Cha) and ended up dead quicker than I would otherwise and I haven’t touched one since. Perhaps I’ll revisit them sometime (the extras are still in the bank) but it seems like they’re a ‘stop and recuperate’ remedy than a life-saver due to the massive stat and speed penalty.

    Geoff, how do you rate the overall favor rewards? I found the 1750 great for gap-filling +2 stats over the course of a few TRs on my main character. The others were great the first time through as a premium account; subsequently they’re more notches in the proverbial belt.

  8. Acanthia was incredibly disappointed to reach 500 PDK favor and find that she got nothing for it except a snarky message to come back later.

    The thing with the Silver Flame pots is to make sure all of your stats are higher than 10, because drinking one gives you a -10 to all stats except Con for (I think) 30 seconds. And even if your stats are NORMALLY higher than 10, make sure you don’t have stat damage before drinking one, as I’ve found out the hard way; Acanthia’s not-overly-impressive Cha had been damaged down to 8. I drank a SF pot and she was effectively paralyzed and helpless for 30 seconds, which of course ended up in her being dead.

    I have yet to ever use a Yugo pot, or even to buy one. They just seem awfully expensive considering their drawbacks.

    (PS – Geoff, my ratings widget is the standard WordPress one, I think.If anything, I’d think that I’d be the one getting the ads rather than you since you’re hosting your own blog. I’d give you my widget if I could. :D)

  9. Excellent article Geoff!! I pretty agree with your assessment. I really wish they would make the House J and House P buffs worth while to get. The ship buffs pretty much put these out of commission. However, I do like to grab the jump and false life from House P at times.

What do you think?

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