The Fallen Stronhold’s Treasure chest contains free loot for the Mod 18 Infernal Descent launch. Is the loot great? No. Is the loot free? Yes!
#6 The Descent Lockbox
Robert Hrouda, Systems Designer, brings us the sixth developer blog and dives into the Descent Lockbox. If you missed out on getting a Yeti mount and want to ride around on the shoulder of a mount, the Barlgura is for you. At legendary, the mount equip power is +10,000 Power!
Developer Blog: The Descent Lockbox | Neverwinter As we descend into the depths of Avernus, new opportunities have arisen. Starting on January 21, 2020, you will have the opportunity to acquire The Descent Lockbox, and with it som…
#5 The Vallenhas Story
The fifth developer blog for M18, written by Nick Corea, Content Designer, covers the backstory for M18. While some could comment that the blog spoils some of the story you experience as you go into M18, I found the additional context got me more excited about the adventure.
Developer Blog: The Vallenhas Story | NeverwinterThe story of the Vallenhas family is a woeful one. The misguided actions of a desperate man have doomed a good and prominent lineage. This tragedy has engulfed hundreds of innocent…
Joseph Leon, Systems Designer, covers the M18 rewards in his developer blog post. We’re getting a new type of Seals currency, specifically Seals of the Fallen, which can be used to buy the Infernal Forged Armor. We also get a new artifact in the Book of Vile Darkness, but some of the most interesting rewards are from the “Hunts” around Vallenhas. Northside presented farming information on his YouTube channel.
.Developer Blog: Rewards Worth a Devil’s Bargain | Neverwinte…The promise of great rewards comes with substantial risk and is why Vallenhas now descends into hell. A wealth of rewards awaits those willing to risk it all against merciless devi…
#3 Visually Creating the Adventure Zone
The third M18 developer blog comes from Jason Marquez, Environment Artist, and walks through some of the thought process behind creating the M18 adventure zone. Once again the environmental art team has done a fantastic job. Thank you Neverwinter Environment Art team!
Developer Blog: Vallenhas Environment | NeverwinterWelcome back adventurers! Today we will be taking a short look at the Infernal Descent Adventure Zone: Vallenhas. The goal for this zone was to give players a large space to explor…
#2 Campaign Structure
The second M18 blog, written by Jared “NoWorries” Sears, System Designer, covers the Avernus campaign, which features the weekly haul mechanic, four campaign boons and many other familiar endgame campaign elements and mechanics. After you start the opening quests that bring you into Avernus, return to the campaign map (pictured above) and complete the campaign task to continue progressing with the campaign. During preview, there were no queues that interaction with the campaign map was needed during the introductory quests.
Developer Blog: Avernus Campaign | NeverwinterThe tragic story of the Vallenhas family has led them to a most desperate place. A mysterious deal with the devil Zariel plunges their stronghold and village to Avernus, first leve…
#1 The Infernal Citadel Dungeon
The first of the developer blogs for M18 covers the Infernal Citadel Dungeon. Jared “NoWorries” Sears, System Designer, covers the dungeon conceptually but doesn’t dive into any of the specific mechanics. Don’t worry, however, since legendary Neverwinter content creator Rainer already has a YouTube video guide. Thank you to Rainer and the team in the runs and thank you to Rainer for all the hard work put into the video.
Developer Blog: The Infernal Citadel Dungeon | NeverwinterGreetings Adventurers! Let’s talk about the new dungeon arriving with the Infernal Descent module: The Infernal Citadel. As Neverwinter takes its first steps into Avernus we wanted…
The annual Winter Festival will start on December 12, 2019 and runs until December 26th, 2019. The Winter Festival Zenith runs from December 26th 2019 through January 2, 2020 this year. The period for Free Gifts runs from December 19th 2019 to January 2, 2020.
You must be level 15 to enter the Winterfest and in past years you needed to be level 30 to receive Starlight Bags when exchanging gifts with other players.
Once you travel to Twilight Tor, the town where the Winter Festival takes place, from the overworld map there’s a tutorial given to you by Mayor Vario Cepheid. You’ll want to talk to him every day after completing the tutorial to get the two quests that give you free items in the Winter Festival.
TIP: Leave all your characters at the campfire next to the mayor to make quick work of gathering the quest gifts each day.
There are two free items to collect each day via the quests from Mayor Cepheid: the Starlight Parcel by using the Starlight Voucher the Zen store and the Star of Fortune you receive by looking through the telescope in Twilight Tor. You must collect these each day; the are not retroactively claimable.
Free item #1: Starlight Parcels
As you can see from the image to the right, the number of gifts you open is tracked (this is the tooltip image from last year). Starlight Parcels count and Starlight Bags both count as gifts and increasethe number counted. (More on Starlight Bags later).
The best strategy is to hold your Starlight Parcels until after the counter reaches 20. As the tooltip shows, after 20 gifts you get the “Highly-Sought-After Rewards”. Another key here is that drops from Starlight Parcels are unbound items and can thus be sold on the AH. Starlights Bags drop bound items. Open 20 Starlight Bags before you open any parcels.
Every Starlight Parcel you open gives you a Gift of Simril (covered later).
So how do you get Starlight Bags? These drop from gift giving parties where players exchange Gifts of Simril. Remember that every Starlight Parcel you open gives you a Gift of Simril.
From the tooltip to the right we see that Starlight Bags are a potential drop from the Gift of Simril.
You slot a stack of the Gifts of Simril in your toolbar and form a party with up to four other players. When you “consume” a gift you’ll see a lantern float up in the air and a message displayed that states something like “Your party members are receiving gifts”. The other members of your party see drops appear that they can step over to pick up. Starlight Bags are one of the drops. Starlight Bags can also contain more Gifts of Simril and extend the length of gift giving parties.
The are two ways for you to open 20 Starlight Bags (before you open Starlight Parcels for the unbound items). One is to join a kind-hearted gift giving party where there is no expectation for you to give gifts and hope you receive 20 Starlight Bags using this approach. Remember that Starlight Bags can drop Gifts of Simril so you may be able to participate in a party without burning Starlight Parcels if you receive Gifts of Simril from Starlight Bags. The second is by trading the second major event currency, Stars of Fortune, for a Gift of Simril.
TIP: Conduct gift giving parties in a contained location, such as under the roof of one of the bridges in Twilight Tor. The drops from Gifts of Simril spread all over the place and conducting the party in a contained location saves running around after each drop.
IMPORTANT: I recommend you only do gift giving parties with Alliance members. There are scammers that will take your gift drops and then bail. There are two popular scams. One is where you join a party and they tell you to open all your gifts first. Then the scammers bail without opening any for you. The second is to use a non-gift giving latern (similar to fireworks, but with lanterns) that look like gifts but don’t release any drops.
Star of Fortune
While the first daily quest gives you a Starlight Parcels, the second daily quest gives you a Star of Fortune. The second quest involves looking through the telescope in Twilight Tor. If you save your Stars of Fortune, you can purchase items from the event store. There’s a chance that you can get more Stars of Fortune during gift giving parties as well.
This year they’ve added a new mount to the Star of Fortune store, specifically a Winter Flail Snail mount.
Previous years’ Star of Fortune items have been moved to the Zen Market. This includes the Twilight Yeti, Frozen Throne, sleds, and more.
There are new Yeti vanity pets:
As mentioned earlier, you can trade your Star of Fortune for a Gift of Simril as well.
The incentive for fishing in the Winter Fesitval is campaign boons. I never completed the Sharandar campaign: I got every boon by fishing during the Winter Festival.
Here’s how this works: when you’re fishing, you can pull up non-fish, campaign specific items that can be used to trade in for campaign currency. In the past, another popular currency was Linu’s Favors to help finish out the Tyranny of Dragons campaign.
Fishing can be especially attractive to newer players who are still working on campaign completion.
The other item of note I saw in the official news release was the fact that there will again be a Last Chance Vendor after the Winter Festival ends on Jan 2 2020. This is great since players who are away for holiday might not have the opportunity to spend their currency.
That’s all for now! Leave comments below if I’ve missed anything good and enjoy the Winter Festival!
If you’re returning to the game, Mod 16 changed the game you already knew. You’ll need to re-learn you what your character(s) does. If you want a high level guide on what to do day 1, check out our blog:
Puzzled by Master Expeditions? We’ve created a starter guide for Undermountain Expeditions!
Looking for Weave-Touched Fragments in Undermountain? There’s a fantastic post on Reddit complete with maps. Thanks to Reddit’s DamianThePhoenix and all the contributors to the post.
Companions in Mod 16
We’ve also got a Mod 16 Companion Starter to help you with the major changes to companions, runestones and equipment.
Mod 16 Math and Stats
Want to know what calculations are going on in Mod 16? Janne’s mechanics supersite has you covered:
What should my new stats be?
We have created a stats pocket guide for you to keep here called Stats to aim for Mod 16 https://cloakalliance.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/stats-to-aim-for-mod-16/
Interested in a non-scientific view of which classes are being played in Mod 16? Faze has posted information on the three Cloak guilds in our Alliance.
Content creator Rainer has been hard at work creating tools to help with Mod 16. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel for his latest updates. Check out his MOD16 pocket wiki: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/…
If you want to know the history behind where these numbers come from, check out the Cryptic posting with enemy stat levels.
There’s another blog highlighting key mechanics over at the Neverwinter Unblogged website.
What is Magnitude?
You’ll notice that all your Dailies, encounters & At-Wills now list magnitude. What is magnitude? Well quite simply 100 magnitude just means 100% of your weapon damage (that is the damage range listed on your equipped weapon). So 500 magnitude is 5x your weapon damage. 45 magnitude on at-will means its 45% of your weapon damage, etc. Magnitude at a glance gives you an easy way to compare the damage of your abilities. What it doesn’t account for is activation time of those abilities, nor the cooldown. Nor whether they hit aoe vs single target. All of which can contribute to DPS, which is short for damage per second. Anyhow, we hope this clears up what this new MOD16 “magnitude” thingy is.
Mod 16 Ability Scores
Ability Scores are now universal, but magical and physical damage bonuses are now separate. We’ve got screenshots of the new Ability Scores.
Tower of the Mad Mage Anyone?
Our alliance is now running training runs for the Tower of the Mad Mage. For more information click here. Having trouble with the Tower of the Mad Mage (aka ToMM)? Make sure you check out the Tower of the Mad Mage Guide by Lightbringer, Sharpedge and Viral.
Changes to the damage formula are coming
Let’s Discuss Class Balance!
Lord Willow has posted a new video about the “meta”, the current state of class balance and potential options for class balance in the future.
Stardock is here
Join your fellow adventurers in the Stardock quests. Every day you get 2 investigate activity quests. Every 2nd day you will be rewarded with Warden Expedition (WE) quests so you can collect your Stardock Rod sections. Once you have 3 of the same rod section, you will be rewarded with the new Fragment Expedition (FE) quest to acquire a fragment. Once you have collected the four fragment pieces, this should unlock the new 10 man TOMM (12 days of questing).
Want to balance your stats for Mod 17? Check out Greyhastur’s 6-minute video on strategies to balance your stats for M17. You can also read https://guides.jannenw.info/2019/08/03/tower-of-the-mad-mage-guide/
Content creator Rainer has been hard at work creating tools to help with Mod 16/17. You can subscribe to his YouTube channel for his latest updates. Check out his MOD16/17 pocket wiki: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/…
Here’s some of what we see. (from preview check out the new Lord Willow M17 overview!)
- New PVP map with new rewards and a new PVP season; rewards include PVE useable items like Rank 10, Weapon, and Armor Enchantment Choice Packs; Rank 5/6 Stones, and Marks of Potency.
- New PVP gear; Zen store now has IL 1000 (in PVP) gear
- New Gith race (+2 Dex, +2 Str or Int; 2% Stamina gain; +1500 CA)
- One new weapon set (Lionheart Set) – best new base damage
- New Rings of Undermountain (IL 1010) – drop from the new Tower of the Mad Mage trial
- New Shirts (IL 1010)
- New Pants (IL 1010)
- New Artifact (Halaster’s Blast Scepter), Belt and Waist gear from the trial
- Parts of Protector’s Enclave has been visually upgraded
- New Companion Gear (IL 1010) dropping from the M17 Master Expeditions
- New Appearance tab on character sheet with a fashion system overhaul
- New Tales of Old event
- New Lockbox
- New M17 campaign “Uprising”
- M16 Campaign Completion token
- New location: Stardock, which provides access to a “dimension shift” replica of Undermountain for Uprising.
- A modified Master Expedition experience called Warden Master Expeditions; a new third zone and new bosses.
- Class changes: Repel Wizard damage has been reduced and temporary hit point, from any class, now overwrite any previous temporary hit points. Previously, temporary hit points aggregated.
- Professions changes have yet to hit live server. The new recipes have nothing to do with masterwork.
New Trial: Tower of the Mad Mage
- New 10 person trial against Halaster Blackcloak, the Mad Mage himself
- Requires 2-3 tanks; 2-3 healers; 4-6 dps; IL requirement is 24K IL
- New enemy stats (30k) in new trial force player stats to increase (80k; CA 130k)
- New trial against Halaster has very difficult mechanics; dps checks; heal checks; mandatory aggro management
- New Artifact, Belt and Waist gear drops from the trial
- Need 370k HP to avoid the one-shot mechanics in the trial, and that’s on top of receiving some damage mitigation
How do you get started?
Talk to Three Strings on the first floor of the Yawning Portal and he gives you a quest called Shadows and Space. After you get that quest, Kavatos appears in the Yawning Portal on the third floor with a new Expedition quest titled a Light in The Sky. Every day you get 2 investigate activity quests. Every 2nd day you will be rewarded with Warden Expedition (WE) quests so you can collect your Stardock Rod sections. Once you have 3 of the same rod section, you will be rewarded with the new Fragment Expedition (FE) quest to acquire a fragment. Once you have collected the four fragment pieces, this should unlock the new 10 man TOMM (12 days of questing).
New Story: Uprising
Kavatos has a lead on a new disturbance, thanks to the mysterious appearance of a githzerai envoy. Follow this fellow to a newly-discovered location in the realm-twisting depths of Undermountain, find out more about the githzerai and their storied past, and lend your aid in a war against the illithid menace.
New Trial: Tower of the Mad Mage
Halaster’s not too happy about bands of old foes newly encroaching on Undermountain, and it’s up to you to bear the brunt of his wrath and to strike back. This 10-player Trial is the most challenging yet. Can you stand against the reality-shaping powers of Halaster the Mad Mage?
New Player Race: Gith
Not only can you help the githzerai in their fight, you can play as one, too! During Uprising‘s time on NeverwinterPreview, players will be able to create gith characters of their own, and aid Neverwinter just as Neverwinter’s heroes will aid the gith. Further information will come later on unlock requirements post-launch.
Our new Appearance System allows players to add any Armor or Dye acquired in the game into a library of Appearance options available for your character. Players now will be able to choose items and colors from their library to override the appearance of any gear or fashion slot, rather than needing to transmute individual items. No matter what your armor really is or how often you change it, it will always look like the appearance override that you’ve chosen.
Early-Game Content Touch-ups
The opening chapters of the game have been smoothed out for a more engaging introductory experience. Please let us know how you feel about it!
Protector’s Enclave Remodeling
Lord Neverember has invested more gold into Protector’s Enclave’s appearance, hoping to attract more wealth and commerce to the area. Certain textures have been improved, including the sky. The mount display area has been moved to the town crier’s area that previously held the job boards, and the event dais is now more central to the market area, where the mounts display area used to be.
There will be less spam when others gain lockbox rewards! There is now a pop-up element that defaults toward the top of the screen, but can be moved in the Rearrange HUD menu (in the ESC menu). In addition, there is now a “Notification Settings” button in the ESC menu that allows players to set whether certain information gets sent to chat at all, or shown on the screen as visible notifications. Chat channel filters are still where they used to be; the Notification Settings can control whether specific notification types get sent to chat at all.
This time of year I conduct a non-scientific review of our guild membership. As an additional caveat, I have absolutely no formal training in data or statistical analysis. I review our guild data simply out of curiosity and my analysis is not complex. I use data from the Cloak guilds only because I do not have access to the data for the other guilds in the Cloak Alliance. Between July 2018 and July 2019, Spiritcloaks joined the Cloak guilds. Therefore I do not have comparative data from last year for Spiritcloak accounts so my account level comparison begins with only Greycloaks and Blackcloaks.
Let’s take a look at accounts by the numbers:
This time last year, Greycloaks and Blackcloaks had 268 members out of 292 possible members. We always save room for returning Cloaks and never cap our guilds at the 149/150 account limit. We gained more new members (119) than those who stayed (112) to continue playing from 2018 to 2019. I can’t conclude that the slightly fewer number of accounts this year is due Neverwinter’s overhaul in Mod 16. We could easily be at 2018 guild membership levels if we did active recruiting, which we have not done. The fact that our guilds are Level 20 Strongholds, Greyhastur and Beckpetal streaming, and our web presence seems to attract a good number of interested players passively.
Now let’s include Spiritcloaks in the account analysis to generate a view of retention and new accounts based on the “Guild Join Date” included when you export your guild list from the Neverwinter server.
Why is this analysis different from the prior? The “Guild Join Date” is not a reliable measure of tenure of an account in the guild. Many guild members may leave or get trimmed due to inactivity and re-join the Cloaks later. My saved files from year to year allow me to see the farthest back an account has been with the Cloaks since I’ve been collecting data.
The graph above shows that we have three accounts still in the guild (again, they have never left or been trimmed) since 2014. Clearly we’ve had the largest number of new accounts join us in 2019, which is to be expected. What’s new is that in comparison to 2018 (see the historical chart below) the 2019 new players represent 50% of our population, up from 43% in 2018. New players to the game represent a 7% increase in population compared to this time last year.
Interestingly, the largest number of players to leave us were those who joined us in 2017. We have the lowest number of retained players in that year (excluding 2014 and 2015). Our guilds were full in 2017, which was the year of Mod 11 (The Cloaked Ascendency) and Mod 12 (Tomb of Annihilation).
The historical chart shows that a year ago in 2018, players who joined us in 2017 were 30% of our population. This year, they are only 9%. Maybe those 2017 players were the ones who chose to leave with Mod 16, but I don’t have departure data to draw that conclusion. With that said, our 2014, 2015 and 2016 retained player numbers have remained consistent; these are truly our veterans.
I know we had a huge influx of new accounts in 2018 (June) with Ravenloft and we’ve retained a good number of those who joined us then. These are our new veterans and do a great deal to help transfer game knowledge to our 2019 members.
Who knows what all this means? Maybe giving away a full set of gear in Ravenloft helped retain those players since they didn’t feel so big of a gap compared to long term players?
I’d have to do a separate data comparison to see if the 2017 players we lost have come back, or if they’ve left the game all together.
Now let’s look at class data. First we’ll see what classes players chose when they joined our guilds, over time.
Going back in history, our three (3) 2014 classes are the Warlock, Cleric and Fighter (yes, I’m using the post M16 class names even though these were not the class names at the time). Tyranny of Dragons in May 2014 brought the Warlock and one of our guild members never looked back, but the Cleric and Fighter might be as old as 2013.
2015 saw the rise of the Cleric, with that class generating the largest numbers. 2016 was fairly even across the Wizard, Ranger and Cleric, but 2017 saw the Barbarian pull ahead as the most toons created. 2018 is a fairly even spread, with the poor Rogue getting sandwiched down behind even the Fighter. 2019 sees the Wizard, Barbarian and Ranger currently neck and neck. The Rogue is seeing a resurgence in popularity.
Perhaps the almost even spread in 2019 across the classes shows that class balance was successful? Or maybe everyone is creating each class to re-learn the game and find what class they want to play in the post M16 era.
I know what you’re saying: “Faze, even a first year data scientist can tell you that just because someone chooses to create a class doesn’t mean that they play the class”. With Mod 17 on the horizon, I figured everyone has had a good amount of time to level the classes they’re interested in playing (they’ve even had time to invoke to Level 80 if the class is invoked every day), so now would be a good time to look at the Cloaks by class, by level:
Wizards, while having the largest number of toons, seem to have the largest number of toons relatively stuck getting out of the gate even thought they also have the highest number of Level 80 toons across our three guilds. Specifically, Wizards have the highest level of toons still not past level 69. Yes, I know that some of them may be leveling to 80, but I didn’t do the data science to draw any conclusions on that scenario.
There might be a bunch of leveling going with those 27 Clerics between level 70 and 79, however. You’ll see that Clerics are almost tied with the Ranger for the number of toons between levels 70-79. The Ranger (especially the melee Warden) is living up to the DPS role and that’s probably a factor motivating those 26 toons moving through the level 70s on their way to Level 80. There might be an upcoming wave of Paladins as well, with 20 toons moving through the level 70 to 80 grind. More tanks or healers will benefit everyone in our Alliance.
Fighters, Rogues and Warlocks seem similar in popularity. While the Rogue is still the smallest population overall at 70 toons, the number of Level 80 Rogues beats the number of Level 80 Fighters just by a hair and ties the number of level 80 Warlocks at 48.
One special note about Rogues and Fighters: they are the only classes with more toons than immediately prior to Mod 16, despite our lower membership numbers. Here’s a chart with class count right before Mod 16 hit preview:
You’ll see in the historical chart that every class has taken a hit in the total number of players save for Fighter and Rogue, who have increased 2 and 5, respectively.
The Barbarian falls behind only the Wizard in the total number of Level 80 toons, but there’s a large group (24) leveling between 70-80. I wonder if those toons are invoking to 80 while the players have fun exploring the newly revised classes (maybe they’re checking out the Rogue??) or if this is still one of the more popular classes to try for new players. If the latter, that would mean Barbarian appeal extends beyond just doing damage since the Barbarians are no longer designed as a dedicated, Cryptic-defined DPS class (e.g. Ranger, Rogue and Wizard).
I hope you’ve enjoyed the latest periodic analysis of our three Cloaks guilds, Greycloaks, Blackcloaks and Spiritcloaks. If you’re interested in trying any of the classes you’ve never played before, check out Lord Willow’s YouTube channel for great guild videos. If you’re looking to join us, we’ve got plenty of space and would love to have you! You can contact us in game or post on our wall at the Cloak website.
While there’s some variation in boon choices, to start M16 Undermountain, boons can be class agnostic and simply aligned to roles.
Here’s a primer on M16 Undermountain Expeditions. There are two types of Expeditions:
- Done during the campaign; used to advance the campaign and open new areas in Undermountain
- Drop gear associated with leveling (green gear); gear comes from the campaign quests rather than boss drops (which happens in Master Expeditions)
- Done once the Undermountain campaign has completed. You must complete the last task in the campaign tree to participate in Master Expeditions. Obaya Uday (the same NPC in the Yawing Portal that has been giving you the Leveling Expedition quests, gives you a quest called Master the Depths. This is your first Master Expedition. After you complete that quest, you can complete the campaign task and you receive the 3-times-a-day quest for Master Expeditions. You must turn in and renew each of the three Master Expeditions with Obaya Uday.
- Drop purple gear that you will want to equip. This gear is like the Chultan gear that comes with equipment power like “Gain X Power for each ally in your team” but much, much higher in Item Level (around IL 850 – 909). The Alabaster weapon set comes from turning in the Master Expedition quest, but is gated behind RNG.
- There’s more about attuning Runic Crystals below, but if you do not attune Runic Crystals in a Master Expedition, the chest at the end cannot be opened.
Common Expedition Elements
- All Expeditions seek to collect 9 pieces of magic relics in 3 areas
- Boss fights in Expeditions drop the new Seals, which allow you to buy gear in the Yawning Portal
- Boss fights can drop gear (including weapons) in Master Expeditions. Leveling Expeditions do not drop gear. Gear comes from turning in quests during Leveling Expeditions
- You can initiate 3 Master Expeditions a day, but can be in a party supporting a group for more than 3. If you have the Master Expedition quest (one of your three daily quests), you can open the chest at the end. If you are just supporting the Master Expedition, you can still get drops from boss battles.
Master Expeditions are akin to Hunts in Barovia. You can use Crystallized Resonance (think of those like Tarokka Cards) to attune Runic Crystals (think of the three slots Madam Eva gives you during Barovian Hunts) to increase the difficulty and reward of the expedition.
Resonance is the “building block” of attuning crystals for Master Expeditions. Resonance can be obtained running Runic Encounters (RE) (think about these like Heroic Encounters) in Undermountain. Runic Encounters that spawn in Undermountain drop all types of Resonance. In order to collect Resonance for the first time, you must complete the quest from Runemaster Sinye in the Yawning Portal called Boundless Runic Corruption. During that quest, you will collect three types of each Resonance type and an unrestored piece of Artifact gear that you will need to turn back in to Runemaster Sinye to complete the quest after you restore the Artifact gear with the Resonance you just collected.
Resonance is also used in the process to restore Apprentice gear. If you don’t want to grind all the Resonance to restore the Apprentice gear, the gear that drops from the bosses in Master Expeditions (or from an attuned Master Expedition chest) is more than adequate.
If you’re level 80, and you’ve completed the Boundless Runic Corruption quest mentioned above, to acquire Resonance simply enter the Runic Encounter (you will see the area underneath a transparent half circle dome inscribed with Runic symbols) and as you fight and kill enemies, Resonance will drop into your inventory. Resonance comes in five forms: Chaos, Balance, Empowered, Rage, Sacrifice. You need 10 Resonance of the same type to create Crystalized Resonance to attune Runic Crystals in a Master Expedition.
Attuning Runic Crystals is a two step process which can only be done in the first chamber after entering the Master Expedition. First, you sacrifice 10 Resonance to create the Crystalized Resonance (menu item #2), then you use the Crystalized Resonance (menu item #1) to attune up to three Runic Crystals. You must interact with each pedestal in the chamber individually to attune more than one crystal.
When you attune Runic Crystals, which can only be done by the party leader (just like Tarokka cards with Madam Eva), the challenge of all creatures increases on the Expedition (think about the Tarokka cards that increased enemy stats to Epic dungeon stats, like the Donjon High Card) and Runes will appear in the Expedition that have negative effects when any player walks into the space where they are hidden. The effect may give you a damage over time effect, or slow you, etc. but you will see a message on screen that the runic energy has been triggered. Each runic energy cannot be triggered a second time but there are multiple in a Master Expedition run.
When you attune Runic Crystals, you have a chance to gain Rune Etchings (see below) from Master Expeditions in the final chest.
Each of the Crystalized Resonance (as a reminder, that’s 10 Resonance) add the following rewards when used to attune Runic Crystals (just like the bonuses from the Tarokka Cards):
- Chaos: 3000 Astral Diamonds
- Balance: 8 Gold
- Empowered: 1 piece of equipment, not guaranteed to be useable by your class
- Rage: 1 piece of equipment, guaranteed to be for your class
- Sacrifice: 4500 Refinement Points
After attuning the Runic Crystals and successfully completing the Master Expedition, you have a chance to acquire one of four Rune Etchings from the last chest in Master Expeditions. Dark, Pulsing, Swirling and Glowing Runic Etchings can be used for two things:
1. To buy Rune-Etched Orbs used in restoring the Apprentice gear (IL 965) – this is much like how we restored gear in Mod 10, Storm Kings Thunder, versus using the Ampules from CoDG in Module 12/13 Chult/Omu.
2. To purchase a chest from the vendor in the Yawning Portal with Level 80 Artifact equipment – this is much like the chests you gained from using Tarokka cards in Barovian Hunts that gave gear. These chests can contain the Mod 16 artifacts, vanity pets, AD and potions.
As a final note, restoring gear also requires Runic Energy Sealers, which each cost 100,000 AD. These can be purchased from the same vendor where you purchase Rune-Etched Orbs in the Yawning Portal, Runemaster Sinye.
Good hunting on your Runic Encounters! Hopefully you’ll get great gear and if you’re really lucky, new weapons!