Due to our regular DDO playgroup taking up most of my attention in that MMO, it’s been a very long time since I played my solo Artificer, who I last stranded somewhere toward the end of Ravenloft. However, I’ve been meaning to check back in with her, and since I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for LOTRO’s progression server to unlock, I figured this was as good a time as any to get another mission in!
I picked up on the druid chain I had last left, although getting to the instance in question required a long trip through the wilderness. It was not pretty, as I kept getting ganked by all of the mobs, especially these flameskulls that would whittle me down from 200 to zero hit points in seconds. I tried to rez and run, but they dogged my every step. Even Mr. Devil up there wanted to get in on the Syp corpse camp action.
Sheesh, man. Time and polygons have not been kind to you. Also, you need a new dental plan.
I won’t lie: This quest thrashed me on normal difficulty. Oh, I was more or less fine until the final boss encounter, when I got trapped inside this circle with gobs of spellcasters and other unsavory druid types. That led to a quick death and some stern reevaluation.
It’d been a while since I last played this character, so I went back and leveled up, spent action points, got a hireling, equipped an elemental protection spell, the works. I thought maybe I had just been rusty, but no, even with all of that going and the cobwebs from my finger memory blowing away, I lasted mere seconds in the final battle. This meant either defeat or a try again on an easier difficulty. BABY DIFFICULTY.
At least I got it done. And I managed to redeem myself with a following overland trip and a blast through normal mode of Raven’s Bane. Perhaps I just needed to shake off the rust and get back into the groove of playing my Artificer, but I didn’t have any problems with this one at all. And I genuinely enjoyed going through this mission, which had me combing through a semi-sunken town full of mist, scarecrows, and wereravens (the latter who were the good guys).
It also had this lady, Mama Strahd. Don’t really know what kind of look she was going for here, but Glamour Shots she is not. I don’t think anyone would pay to use that hairstyle on the DDO store, if it ever showed up.
I was having such a good time, in fact, that I kept on rolling into the third quest of the day — and what turned out to be the final one of Mists of Ravenloft. The Abbey is a surprisingly easy romp through a small monastery. It’s almost downright tame compared to some of the sights and stories I’ve witnessed in this expansion, although the “Bride of Frankenstein” was a neat touch.
The final fight here against Strahd was pretty strange, to tell you the truth. While the Abbey was well done, this fight takes place in a fenced-in lot that looked kind of crude, like something from EverQuest circa 2003 or something. And Strahd went down easy, as long as I got him into the holy pool of water and turned on my machine gun bolts.
So with Mists of Ravenloft finished, what next? I quite like the idea of getting back into this solo character, and after looking over my adventure log, I see that I’ve missed a lot of lower level quests. Thus, the next order of business is to tidy things up and complete all of the quests from level 1 to 12!