Bargain of Blood — or “Bob” as I like to call it — is another one of those House D quests that my DDO leveling group did not too long ago. Thus, it’s fairly fresh in my mind, although I certainly didn’t have any problems running it again. It’s a fun setting, that of a bazaar where pirates are reselling stolen goods back to people. It’s a dungeon where the setting is an outside mall. Kind of like fighting your way through IKEA.
There are plenty of places for me to snipe down and afar at enemies, so I was in my natural habitat. Nothing like the feeling of gunning hobgoblins or whatevers down as they try in vain to close the distance and hit me. There was a lot of ranged fire as well, although in DDO you can actually dodge it if you see arrows and spears coming and move out of the way.
I’ve been working hard to make my Artificer as self-sufficient as possible (although I always have a Cleric hireling on hand because it never hurts to have healing and a free rez nearby for those one-shot-kill moments), and she’s shaping up nicely. I can self-heal for large amounts, shoot with the best of them, and even run and jump much better than on my Druid. Plus, I’ve got really great spot, search, and trap disarm skills (the Gnomish bonuses help there), so the occasional trap gets foiled. As long as I don’t get in over my head with the difficulty level, I’m usually pretty good.
Call it the Goonies Syndrome, but any time a dev team tries to do a pirate-themed mission in an MMO, chances are that they’ll end up putting a pirate ship inside a cavern. I’ve seen it in at least four MMOs so far, and I haven’t been looking that hard. It’s too oddly specific of a trope to blend in, so stuff like this really calls attention to itself.
That said, The Black Loch is a pretty enjoyable adventure. I mean, pirates are good, but pirate zombies are even better.
I mean the captain might have lose some of his color, skin, and an eye, but he’s still sporting that bushy and luxurious muttonchop pairing. Not to mention very rich fashion indeed.
Annoying platforming elements aside, The Tide Turns is an expertly crafted quest from both a narrative and design view. Continuing with the struggle against the Blood Tide pirates, this mission takes place in House D’s tower where the pirates have taken it over — and only one Gnome can single-handedly wipe them all out.
That’s right. It’s Die Hard, DDO-style.
It’s really a blast to fight your way upwards in the tower, finding ways around the pirates’ obstacles and cutting them down until you blow up their ship (not shown) and kill the leader. Who, in a fun twist, turns out to be a gigantic Ogre mage in disguise for some reason. I had a great time start to finish with this one, as it’s just the right length and difficulty while throwing plenty of little scripted moments to keep the story flowing.