Posted in Dungeons & Dragons Online

DDO: Haywire’s Foundry

Yet again I’m called into a foundry to save the roguish Haywire, who repeats his M.O. of last time by hiding in a safe room and barking orders at me while I do all of the dangerous work and clean up his mess.

It does not endear me to this gentleman, let me tell you.

The last quest (for now?) in House K, Haywire’s Foundry is an incredibly long, truly frustrating, and occasionally brilliant dungeon that kept me on the edge of my seat for a straight hour. Inside its doors, I find that this warforged factory has gone bad as all of the golems have been infected by some sort of little slimy slug-things. My mission? Shut it all down and blow it up.

Easier said than done.

This is a “very long” dungeon, so you know you’re in for a slog. In this case, I had to explore and conquer two separate wings before even getting to progress further. The first wing was more or less a straight-forward path with tons of mobs to slaughter. Fortunately, the golems of this quest weren’t too tough and didn’t hold any surprises. Often I was able to snipe them from across the room, leading me once again to ponder how frustrating this game would be with a melee character.

In heading to the second wing, the game genuinely surprised me by having the floor collapse on me and send me down to my death in a long shift with lava at the bottom. Only my boots of featherfall saved me, giving me ample time to react and drift over to a tunnel in the side. From there it was a platforming nightmare to get back up to the top and carry on.

I HATE platforming in MMOs. Have I said as such? DDO has its fair share.

And because the mimic event was going on, a couple of the chests that I looted turned out to be monsters. I enjoyed putting them down swiftly and seeing gold explode out of them.

This is the sort of sadistic mission that you keep finding yourself thinking, “It’s not FAIR” when you see multiple jets of gouting flame, spikes coming from all directions, and golems attacking from above and below simultaneously.

After activating both unlocks, the “fun” really begins. There’s a brutal puzzle in this room that requires you to manipulate six rune wheels to unlock the center cage (and access a key). The twist? As you spin the wheels, you keep triggering more oozes to come down and attack. So this was about 30% puzzle solving and 70% taking breaks to kill oozes and mutter, “It’s not FAIR.”

I don’t have any screenshots past this room because everything happened rather fast from here on out. First there was a boss fight with a giant golem and seven close buddies. That was the EASY part. Then I hit the self-destruct button and was told that I had five minutes to get out before the whole place went up.

Initially I thought I’d just backtrack, but no — you have to go a whole new route which begins with YET MORE PLATFORMING over LAVA and ARE YOU KIDDING ME DEVS. Then tons of mechanical dogs attack. And the floor collapses. And there’s more random traps of flame. So I’m running and fighting and saying words that would increase the movie rating of this particular adventure, all while hoping that I’d get to the end in time. Because this quest loves to tweak the player, about halfway through this madcap dash Haywire yells at me that he’s going to slam down a blast door and I’d better get out NOW.

Long (and quick) story short, I made it. Barely. As in, I had about two seconds to spare in finishing the quest.

The good news is that the XP was more than enough to send me to level 11 (Rank 51), which puts me in a good position to start Ravenloft next week!

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