I’ve spent the better part of a week failing to finish the Tower of Frost on solo, using a character that ought to be able to solo it successfully. Yes, I am out of practice. Yes, this is a first-life character with a slightly vanity build. But that just isn’t enough explanation. Something else is going on.
I take a look back at my deaths. The third and fourth deaths were by champion. Is that a coincidence? The first death is too much of a closeup, I can’t see what killed me. Fortunately I have broader view of the same shot. Oh ho – not just one, but two champions, one of which was Tier 2. I don’t have a better shot at the second death. But at least three of my four fatalities have been champion-related.
Maybe it’s time I look into exactly what changed in Update 34.
Here are the relevant parts of the release notes:
- The Champion system has been updated. Champion crowns will now designate whether the Champion is Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3. Champion buffs now randomly pick between a set of template themes after the Outer and Inner Planes where they get their boost.
- Champions still do not appear on Normal, and will only be Tier 1 on Hard. Elite will have Tiers 1 and 2, while Reaper difficulty will have up to Tier 3.
- The global damage modifier for champions has been reduced to account for new abilities. This does not affect mini boss champions.
- Players can see the kind of Champion they are fighting by looking at the creature’s title. Additional detail can be found in the examination window.
- Red-named bosses can no longer be Champions.
- Fixed some stacking damage-over-time effects on Champions that were not applying correctly.
- Champion damage-over-time effects on players now last for ten seconds per stack instead of six.
- Most defender NPCs and allies will no longer be eligible for Champion status.
- Champion titles appear when overhead health bars are visible.
Well that’s clearly not entirely correct, the picture above shows a Tier 2 champion appearing on Hard. I only recall seeing a couple of them, but they do appear.
The part I cannot tell from these notes is precisely what the Champions do now. They used to get a random selection of abilities. Now they have interesting names that look like guilds but actually point to their champion type. Let’s have another look at the Topiary Lion from yesterday:
According to this chart*, each type of champion progresses through more powerful buffs as they gain Tiers. But I am only seeing Tier 1 for the most part, they must also hit a lot harder than they did! Or at least some of them must.
Let’s check out the entry for Flame Born:
|Plane||Theme||Tier 1||Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Tier 3||Vulnerability|
|Flame Born||Fire – Fire||On hit: Fire||Resist Fire||Deathblock||Fire DoT||True Sight||Cold|
I was taking flame damage every time I hit the lion. With my little caster daggers, I was probably doing more damage to myself on each hit than I was doing to the lion, and dual wielding means I did it that much the more quickly.
I burned myself to death.
I did not have Fire resistance in place, did not see a need for it in the Tower of Frost. But now I know better. Champions mean I have to be alert for most any sort of threat.
Sadly, “alert” is not my strong suit. It goes along with “being aware of your own hit points”, and “playing well”, and other things like that which have proven, after 10+ years, to be beyond my reach.
<to be continued>
🙂 😀 🙂
* And thanks, once again, to the the peeps at the DDO Wiki for staying on top of this, as they always do, as they always have. I cannot say this enough: the DDO Wiki is the best thing about DDO. It is the number one reason this game is still going.