Two events happened this weekend that reminded me just how awesome the community of people that play DDO can be. But first, you need some background.
The Mantle of the Worldshaper is a cloak that provides an XP bonus. It was added to the game in tribute to Dave Arneson, one of the inventors of Dungeons and Dragons. This is why Dave provides the voice of the DM in the Threnal quest chain.
The Voice of the Master is a trinket that provides an XP bonus. It was added to the game in tribute to Gary Gygax, the other inventor of Dungeons and Dragons and the one who made the game famous. This is why Gary provides the voice of the DM in the Delera’s quest chain (and one other quest as well).
Both items are minimum level five and have other small bonuses which are quite useful to level five characters. If you wear them both, you are granted the DM Vision set bonus which is True Seeing. And True Seeing is quite powerful at level five.
Later, a new colorless augment called “The Masters Gift” was added. This augment is minimum level 1 and provides the same 5% XP bonus that one can get from the Voice of the Master or the Mantle of the Worldshaper. Except you can use it right from level 1, freshly off of Korthos beach.
The recipe for the Masters Gift: one Voice of the Master, one Mantle of the Worldshaper, and five Greater Tokens of the Twelve.
When you TR a lot, and especially if you are speeding up the TR process via use of a Stone of Experience, the first five levels can be the most annoying. You have to work through them manually, one quest at a time, in order to get to level five where you can use your Voice or your Mantle to make the most efficient use of that Stone of Experience.
Mawry has tried other tricks to skip those first five levels. One of those tricks, saving up Daily Dice XP, works, but requires quite a bit of time to acquire enough XP (and quite a bit of storage space to hold all those XP gems). No question, having a Masters Gift and being able to use the Stone of Experience immediately after TR would be a lot faster and a lot more efficient.
Except … they are only awarded from a handful of Epic raids that are rarely if ever run. Demon Queen. Chronosphere. Vault of Night. That’s it, just those three. [Edit] Clever reader Ausdoerrt indicates that they may drop from epic House Cannith raids as well!
And so the Master’s Gift remained out of reach while Mawry completed life after life chasing completionism. Later, she jumped on the Heroic TR train again, this time for specifically targeted past life feats. But no Master’s Gift still meant lots of time “lost” running low level quests.*
* I use the word “lost” in quotes because time spent running Harbor quests is not actually “lost”, it is still playing DDO. But I think it is fair to say that I have run those quests enough in the past eight years; some of them are still fun, but some are not, and it takes longer to earn the first five levels of a heroic life than it does to earn the last 400,000 needed after consuming the Stone of Experience.
But enough background. On with the story.
This past Sunday, something happened that never happens: an LFM for the Demon Queed raid! I jumped in. The pre-raid and raid would both be run Epic Elite. I had Coin Serf, my HaggleBot with benefits, who I normally wouldn’t expose to PUG play (especially on EE!) since she’s built around the concept of maximizing Haggle. Yet she was ready for the raid while most of my more capable characters were not.
So, Coin it would be. She did well at first, although she kept getting disjointed which was completely not helpful. Nonetheless, she played okay and remained surprisingly alive right until the mephit room. Oops, forgot to stay out of the middle of the path. Ding, Coin is dead.
After that first death it was like the floodgates had opened and I just completely lost the ability to keep her alive. Ding. Ding. Ding. One after the other, lives lost as quickly as the rapid fire of a machine gun. Finally I just pulled her out of the fray and waited for the gate to open so she could shrine and then dash for the end fight.
In the raid itself Coin was fine. Throwing cold at elementals, DoTs for the Queen, Prismatics for everyone. Coin’s evasion played a part, or maybe I was playing with better focus, but for whatever reason Coin remained upright and contributing throughout. Soon, victory! And an Epic Chest.
During the quest, someone mentioned that they joined up for the Torc. Someone else piped in that they were there for the favor. I said that I was there for the Greater Token. That caused some questions, which I answered, talking about the Master’s Gift. Which apparently most of these folks had already earned.
So there we are, at the end, looking in the chest. Where I find six Greater Tokens. Six! From random PUG people who don’t know me at all but watched me die repeatedly in the pre-raid. Six!
Later, my Gamer Girl and I would join GingerSpyce and the High Lords of Malkier for their weekly Demon Queen run. This time I was on Ejecta, a much more capable character, and the High Lords were running the pre-raid on Normal.
No deaths this time, just victory. And three more Greater Tokens! Thank you High Lords!
One Master’s Gift later, Mawry TR’s into her third Paladin life. This time she goes straight to the bank, not Korthos, not the Harbor, but the bank. Drink the right potion, get the right ship buffs, put on the right ring. Use the Stone.
zzzzzooooooooommmMMMMM! 18th level, nearly 19.
Then on to the Orchard of the Macabre, then the Vale of Twilight, then the High Road. Then two quick Cannith challenges. Then level 20.
That fast, all in one day. All in a couple of hours actually. Thanks to the Master’s Gift.
Which in turn is thanks to the High Lords. And thanks to the random people in that DQ pickup group.
You all rock.
The Master’s Gift indeed: generosity. The Master’s Generosity.
I think Arneson and Gygax would be proud.
🙂 😀 🙂