DDO: Plundering Crystal Cove

Last week we had a nice change of pace by eschewing our normal dungeon runs in DDO and spending time romping around the Treasure of the Crystal Cove event. As I’ve never, to my knowledge, done this before, it was pretty cool to see a different part of the game in action for a limited time.

Plus, pirates. Pirates always make things better, especially if they’re PIRATE KOBOLDS. Maybe I’m prejudiced, but DDO has the best video game kobolds of all the kobolds.

I was in for a surprise when I showed up to the event instance, because this incredibly nostalgic sight greeted me — the initial tutorial zone for DDO! I know this is old hat to experienced players, but I never knew that the devs repurposed this area after creating Korthos Island. I had unexpected flashbacks of going through those houses on the harbor there, learning about the game and generally feeling lost. Still feel lost, but that’s just how I roll.

I noted that out of all of the MMOs I play, DDO’s NPCs seem to talk the most outside of quest chatter. I actually love this. I love seeing random mobs, both good and bad, chatter and throw out flavor text. It’s amusing and makes me see them as something more than loot buckets.

Speaking of loot, we spent a good deal of time running around and killing things in the hopes of getting both treasure chest maps and compasses. The latter were needed to access an instance that I’ll talk about in a bit, but I greatly preferred the former, because I like my loot to be as accessible and strings-free as possible.

I gave my Druid an upgrade by purchasing the new Falconry enhancement tree! I haven’t looked into it too much, but it’s nice to have a snowy white falcon pet in addition to my wolf, and I appreciated how there’s some healing buffs in the tree.

After a while, we dove into the crystal cave to run this peculiar instance. Basically, you need to enlist the help of very enthusiastic kobolds to mine a bunch of crystals — and the more crystals you get, the more currency you’re awarded when the instance ends after 15 minutes. But you’ve got to clear out the cave of mobs, protect the kobolds from new mobs (and bosses) that arise, and guide the kobolds to the crystals using torches and teleporters. It’s a lot of running around, basically.

And a bit of fighting, too. We almost had a full party wipe on our third try thanks to a powerful boss, a flame trap, and four out of five of us hitting the dirt. His flame trap managed to kill every kobold in the place, but fortunately we staged a comeback and could rez all of the kobolds for another shot at life and endentured slavery.

Want to say that, hands-down, the best part of this instance is listening to the kobolds. There is a TON of voice acting here, and all of it is hilarious. They’re quipping, they’re joking, they’re humming little tunes, and they’re all doing them constantly, so it’s like you’re in the middle of a group of hyper toddlers. I was laughing a lot.

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