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Doing the 10 player Tiamat raid

Tiamat has undergone a change from a 25 player to a 10 player but the challenge is still an important part of the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. Tiamat awards Linu’s Favor(s) which are needed to acquire the last couple of boons in the campaign.

What is the best way to do Tiamat now?

Below you’ll find our recommendation on the 8 key steps to maximize a victory in the Tiamat challenge.

https://i0.wp.com/www.xboxygen.com/IMG/jpg/neverwinter-dlc-2.jpg
  1. Gather your party of 10 (2 healers, 2 tanks and 6 dps).
  2. Instruct all players to make an available slot on the belt to pick up the gems to protect players when killing the heads of Tiamat.
  3. Instruct which party protects which cleric on entering. The middle cleric doesn’t need protecting anymore.
  4. At the commencement of the raid kill the summoners together in a zerg fashion, collecting gems on the way. After the 5 summoners are dead, head back to kill Severin. The heads of Tiamat will now rise.
  5. Split into two (2) groups of five (5) and protect the clerics who are making protective spells for the players. Don’t fight next to/on the clerics or they will need more time to get their spells ready. When they complete their spells the next stage starts.
  6. All players to go to the black head and kill the head down to the last 5 bars. Don’t kill it outright first round. Move in zerg fashion to green, orange, blue and lastly to white leaving last 5 bars. You will have 4 minutes to do this.
  7. The cleric phase will start again, so split into two (2) groups of five (5) and repeat protecting the clerics. After the clerics have completed their spells, you’ll be able to finish the heads of Tiamat if you got all the heads down to five bars in the first phase fighting the heads.
  8. Again, all players head to black and completely kill the head this round and continue on zerg fashion through to white. Death of the heads will complete the raid.
    Note: Sometimes 3 rounds maybe required, if so on the second round just ensure heads are on last 5 bars.

Have fun!

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How We Encountered The Ethereal Shade and Got a Chance At The Long Waited Watcher Set

We all have been a part of the watcher set mystery. There’s been plenty of testing and theory-crafting on how and where to find the set in a master expedition. Today’s patch brought the first time I saw the shade which summons bosses.

I don’t know if this event can be triggered with specific approaches but from what I have been hearing, the appearance of the shade all seems random.

Here is how we encountered the Ethereal Shade.

We got in the master expedition like any other day. We put one rune. (As noted below, this was patched and now requires 3 runes). We found our second set of 3 (6/9) runic objects and were about to head out to the last zone when we saw a shade, much like a warlock pet, appear after killing the zone boss. Interaction with the shade was like any other NPC which we clicked and opened the dialogue box. Shade was asking for an essence. Luckily I had a few of those on me and I placed one in the shade’s hand.

We killed one of the three bosses we summoned but other two were either too hard or too buggy to die so we kited them away from the portal and zoned out the next area to continue our master expedition. You may say, we shamelessly ran away.

Here is what we know so far:

– You need 3 runes to get a chance at finding a shade. (as of 24 May 2019 patch)
– Note that these essences drop from the chest at the end of master expeditions: longing, sorrow, regret, despair, doom.
-We can’t use the same essence twice in a row, it will eat your essence but won’t summon the boss,
– The boss we killed dropped a legendary vanity pet as a group loot, which we all needed.
– Boss we killed dropped one piece of the watcher set to a group member, account bound, which was not for his class.
– Bosses have lots of hit points with special abilities/attacks and they hit very hard, much like end game dungeon bosses.
– The boss we killed was from the essence of sorrow, seems like a safe choice for now.
– Looks like getting the Shade and loot drops are all tied to RNG, yet again, so let’s say “may the odds be in your favor”.

Happy hunting.

Reflecting on Tales of Old (updated)

With the first round of the Tales of Old event, the Lair of the Mad Dragon, behind us, now is a good time to reflect and capture our thoughts. If you missed our coverage of the event, you can check out that blog.

  • Hugely successful nostalgia win by bringing back an old dungeon!
  • Great dungeon layout design, such as optional rooms for the chance at additional loot, i.e. not every room was mandatory.
  • Great dungeon mechanics that allowed group success to be directly related to their ability to work as a group, without forced interrupts/immunity phases for bosses, or push/pull insta-kill mechanics.
  • Level scaling was generally successful. We know from the Mod 16 information just released that they are continuing to work on scaling.
  • The rewards, at this point in time, feel appropriate to inspire event participation. Update for The Frozen Heart: The gear was increased by 5 (five) IL, which makes the gear much less competitive compared to the gear coming in Undermountain.
  • A great mix of rewards, from gear you want to chase to fashion items and a vanity pet inspired by the event.
  • The availability of time and life extensions in the dungeon was generally successful, but at times not forthcoming. Specifically, some cycles through the dungeon seemed to drop mostly time extensions and very few extra lives.
  • The progress and mechanics of the disadvantages and difficulty modifiers felt balanced and provided a differentiated experience.
  • The penalty to the group for having a team member get disconnected (legitimately for poor internet, which definitely happens) or having a real-life emergency endangers the entire group investment, and needs to be re-worked.
    Update for The Frozen Heart: While this was adjusted, the ability to re-join in the Frozen Heart versus being booted out to PE is haphazard and unpredictable.
  • Allowing consumables before going into the dungeon, even though some could not be used during, is a great way to reward players for thinking ahead.
  • Allowing the use of temporary buff items like the Chain of Scales during the dungeon was a great design choice.
  • The dungeon design was excellent for companions. There was maybe a single instance where companions needed to be re-summoned.
  • The week long duration to achieve enough rewards to fully participate in the event seemed reasonable, however, the number of characters you were able to achieve full participation with was limited by having to participate in real life. One character was certainly reasonable and two manageable. Three characters felt like real life sacrifice was needed.
  • Great design with the availability of the artifact even if not enough Coins were earned to gain a Fabled Chapter. Many players, however, seemed to adopt an all-or-nothing strategy where gaining a Fabled Chapter was top priority. Perhaps if there was an opportunity to gain a Fabled Chapter through some other mechanism more players would have participated in the event to earn the artifact and few power ups. We definitely have disappointed Alliance players who could not reach the required Coins/runs to obtain the Fabled Chapter either on their main or all their desired characters.
  • Interesting decision by the developers to not place a Zen item in the store that would buff the amount of event currency earned through participation. The Tales of Old event seems to differentiate from campaigns in this regard, as well as even Strongholds, where the Stronghold Cleric buffs Influence earned.
  • Several players had passionate discussions about what characters they wanted to bring to a group given the week-long time limit and their availability to play. While many Alliance members have characters who can fill roles like damage, control, healing and tanking, players, for example, would refuse to run their damage, control or heal class due to the need to prioritize their tank. Perhaps running the event for two weeks would alleviate this tension around group forming.
  • Groups seemed to form for two reasons: to farm Trinkets or gain Coins. I believe this was due to the large amount of time needed to target both goals during runs. Another potential reason for avoiding Trinket gathering was perhaps the chance of a mimic getting lucky and killing a party member.
  • A larger-than-normal time commitment is needed, save for the highest performing groups, even if the team is focusing only on Coins. This likely required many players to change their regular Neverwinter gaming schedule. For many Alliance members, participation in the event superseded all other activities like random queues, weeklies, campaign progress, etc.
  • The 16k Item Level requirement meant that for some players, alt characters did not participate. If Coins were account bound, the Tales event could help alt characters gain an artifact that would help them progress.
  • The server or network performance appeared to cause massive lagging when many players were running the event initially. This issue seemed to disappear during the middle of the event, but Alliance members reported performance issues again in the final hours before the event end. Update for The Frozen Heart: This issue has manifested again in a big way. When groups are affected by lag and rubberbanding, the affect can be game-breaking.

The Mad Dragon is back!

The Tales of Old event started on Feb 14 2019 and brings the Lair of the Mad Dragon back to Neverwinter players.

If you’re ready to have adds swarm you while you take on classic dungeon content in a new mechanic, the Tales of Old are for you.

The screenshot to the left shows that the dungeon only runs for 7 days each time the event drops.

In terms of game mechanics, the Tales of Old are a combination of the private hunting instances Cryptic tested in the Ravenloft Mod 14 module and the K-team scaling and conditions (e.g. no deaths) developed in Mod 15.

The Mad Dragon

So what do the old dungeons feel like? Running ACT gives us a glimpse to what is going on under the veil of the old dungeon.

Imps have over 1 million hitpoints each and can hit for almost 100K. Legion devils have millions of hitpoints and can hit for upwards of 180K; same goes with the Erinyes.

The new mechanics to the Tales of Old dungeons include:

  • There’s a 9-death limit (however you can find extra lives in the dungeon)
  • There’s a one hour time limit (however you can find extra time in the dungeon)
  • You can’t use consumables (no buffs, potions, etc.); but you can take consumables before you enter your “Tale” aka dungeon, from Protector’s Enclave.

As you progress through each of the 5 runs, new levels of difficulty are introduced, including:

  • Artifacts no longer function (second run)
  • Cooldowns increase by 50% (third run)
  • Melee powers inflict self-damage (fourth run)
  • You get “tiny” which lowers power and defense by 50% (fifth run)

By run #5, anyone can get “one shot” killed being sloppy.

Your rewards increase each time you can run the dungeon in the one hour time period. The total currency, called Coins of Tales Told, earned from 1 round of 5 runs is 32 Coins (not including the one free you get for entering) but there’s a daily cap of 45.

Speaking of rewards, what do those look like? There’s a new waist, neck and artifact with some significant buffs. (see images below). Remember that currency cap mentioned above? The new artifact is purchased and leveled with Coins of Tales Told. While you should be able to get the new artifact and the associated power ups in a single event, you’ll need to participate in each Tales of Old event for a year (there are 4), and complete the daily cap 3 times in each of the 4 events to earn enough currency to complete waist and belt the set. This is because each time the event happens, you can only earn one Fabled Chapter, and the Fabled Chapter is how you buy the waist and neck items that complete the set. You can earn a Fabled Chapter by achieving 135 Coins of Tales Told during a one week event. Click on our images below to cycle through the new set.

There are also Trinkets of Old in the chests inside the dungeon which can be used to purchase a Chest of Tales Told which can contain:

  • Chartillifax (vanity pet – Obtained during Dragon of the Mad Lair only)
  • Hrimnir (vanity pet – Obtained during Frozen Heart only)
  • Woven Tales Enchantment (Rank 8 or 9)
  • Blood Ruby
  • Companion Upgrade Token
  • 10,000 to 20,000 Rough AD
  • Minstrel’s Fancy Shirt, Pants, or Hat

Be warned, however, the chests which contain Trinkets of Old can also be Mimics! After you kill the Mimic, however, you can collect the Trinkets.

Want to see some gameplay of the Lair of the Mad Dragon? Check out our own Greyhastur’s stream starting at 1:12:00 on Twitch.

You might be asking, “What kind of results can I obtain with a ‘meta’-like party including a GWF, AC DC, SW, OP and HR?” After looking back at our test runs, and with a few rounds of practice under our belt, this grouping completed 5 runs with about 40 minutes remaining on the 1-hour timer. So yes, you can power through the Tales of Old content but given how long we’ve waited to get these dungeon experiences back, you might want to take your time and savor the moments.

Feast of Lanterns Guide

Main NPCs for the Feast or Lanterns

The Feast of Lanterns is a new event. This year, 2019, celebrates the Boar, as seen in the banners hanging around Protector’s Enclave.

The Festival Crier appears in front of the event dais in Protector’s Enclave. Festival participation starts with her via the quest to needed to open quests from the other NPCs on the dais.

Behind the Crier, from left to right in the image to the right are: the Festival Vendor, the Far Eastern Envoy and the Far Eastern Pyrobolist.

The Festival Vendor is your point to shop in the Feast of Lanterns store. Items include the Boar Shoat augment companion, the New Year’s Boar mount, fireworks and food buffs.

The Festival Vendor also has a quest you can complete for event rewards. You need to interact with the Far Eastern Envoy and listen to his explanation of the festival in order to complete the quest.

The Feast of Lanterns Festival Vendor also has an event quest

Event items are purchased from the Festival Vendor with two currencies: Lunar Coins and Boar Coins. You can earn repeat Lunar Coins by continued completion of quests from the Envoy and Pyrobolist, but Boar Coins are limited to two a day.

The Far East Envoy, Lord Taishi Fei, who says you can also call him Shulun, gives you a repeatable quest to deliver Red Envelopes to specific individuals in Protector’s Enclave. The map below shows where these individuals are located, as indicated by the red circles.

The Far Eastern Pyrobolist also gives you a repeatable quest to prepare the firework mortars for the event and to initiate a fireworks show. The map below shows the locations of the firework mortars:

To initiate the fireworks, look for the sparkling floor between the staircases near the upper fountain in Protector’s Enclave, here:

The Pyrobolist also gives you a quest to earn a new emote, specifically the “Pet” emote:

Find the Cowardly Dogs can be visually difficult

The quest has you find dogs around Protector’s Enclave where you pet them via the “F” interaction mechanism. There are 30 spawn points and 8 are up at any one time.

The dogs are somewhat problematic to see as often they blend in to the environment well, especially given the lower light levels of the festival.

The dogs often whimper when you get close to them and this audible clue can help in finding them, but unfortunately the sound from the fireworks streaming into the air is near the same hertz as the dog whimper, which had me guessing if I heard a firework or a dog whimper.

Finally, there’s a new companion and hairstyles available from the event. Check out the official Neverwinter news posting for images of both the companion and the hairstyles. Here’s what the companion, Yojimbo, looks like as a legendary companion. The Iainuki and Kawari powers are notable!

Best wishes for the year of the Boar and we hope you enjoy the new Festival of Lanterns event! If we missed anything critical, drop your comments below.

Free Gifts During the Winter Festival

If you’ve already checked out our Winter Festival Guide, make sure you also add the following free gifts (which are claimable in the Zen Market) to your Winter Festival To Do list:

Day*

Item

Thursday, 12/20

Free Winter Wolf Mount

Friday, 12/21

Free Refinement Pack

Saturday, 12/22

Free 5x Scrolls of Life

Sunday, 12/23

Free Bahamut Scale & Claw

Monday, 12/24

Free 3x Preservation Ward

Tuesday, 12/25

Free Neverember Guard

Wednesday, 12/26

Free Courtesan Fashion Set

Thursday, 12/27

Free Change Appearance Token

There are also multiple 2X events going on over the holiday period. Their dates are as follows:

Event

Start*

End

2x XP
2x Professions
2x Guild Marks

12/20

12/27

2x Refining Stones
2x Stronghold Shards

12/27

1/3

2x Influence
Bonus RP

1/3

1/17

You can read the official Neverwinter Winter Festival page at:

https://www.arcgames.com/en/games/neverwinter/news/detail/11019323-winter-2018-free-gifts-and-events%21

 

Winter Festival Guide

The annual Winter Festival will start on December 20, 2018 and runs until January 3, 2019 when the Winter Festival Zenith begins and runs to January 10, 2019.

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 (I’m not sure if this will be changed this year).

mayor
Get daily quests from Mayor Cepheid

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 gifts 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.

starlightparcel
Starlight Parcels and Bags both count as gifts

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.

Every Starlight Parcel you open gives you a Gift of Simril (covered later).

Starlight Bags

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.

giftofsimril

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.

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.

How do I get to 20 gifts and access the “Highly-Sought-After Rewards??

 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.

sofStar 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 duringgift giving parties as well.

This year they’ve added new items to the Star of Fortune store, specifically a companion named the Star of Simril and a Twilight Yeti Mount. The augment companion has three rings slots and a +2% gold bonus.

The yeti mount appeared in stream and we get to ride on the shoulder of the yeti!

yetimount

As mentioned earlier, you can trade your Star of Fortune for a Gift of Simril as well.

Fishing!!!

I know what you’re saying: I’m fished out from the Storm King’s Thunder campaign and I never want to fish again. The incentive for fishing in the Winter Fesitval, however, 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.

That’s all for now! Leave comments below if I’ve missed anything good and enjoy the Winter Festival!

The Masquerade of Liars

The Masquerade of Liars

liarGo to PE (Protectors Enclave)

Visit the Masquerade Master to collect quests.

Secret and lies: go to the Moonstone Mask, speak to the Masquerade Loremaster, and go back to PE to hand in the quest.

The contest master is a red ghost under the big tree, the Tree of Elemental Balance, in Protectors Enclave.  The Cloaks Alliance is choosing the Knotty Roots so talk to Tom Thorn (aka Groot within the Alliance).  You will receive a mask you have to wear as you talk to other ghosts (see the Daily ghost Quests section below). If you’re running Tom Thorn’s quests on a second character choose the option that says ‘I need a mask’.

Trade of treats: trade 5 Liar’s Charms with the masquerade illusionists in PE to receive Illusionist’s Bags, hand in the quest and then get Gathering lies quest that asks you do collect a Liar’s Charm outside of  PE.

Note: the Secret and Lies quest, and the Trade of Treats and Gathering lies quests, are daily, but you only need to talk to the contest master once when you begin doing Masquerade activities.

Daily ghost quests

Make sure you have the mask on. Found in PE, Caer Konig, Port Nyanzaru, and Mantol Derith. Ghosts are big or small, red or blue/white. Be warned! Some give treats some transport you as a trick.

Daily Tasty Treatsmake sure you are wearing the mask.  This is a slow going daily quest and drop every 10-20 things you kill in areas 7 levels of yourself.  It gives the same reward as the ghosts which is a bag of illusionist goods.  Recommendation is not to stress if you don’t complete it.

Getting Masquerade tokens: Collect the pumpkins and trade them for Bags of Illusionist Goods.  The bags will have the tokens and drop the occasional Beholder Piñata. They also drop the Illusionist Mask artifact and the Mask of Veils and Mask of Shadows which are needed to refine the Illusionist Mask artifact.

Illusionist Mask Artifact: There are two versions of this artifact. The first is the same mask you’ve received every year for the Masquerade. You have to fully level this version of the Mask to buy the Empowered version of the Mask, which makes a full artifact giving 1,000 Power and Recovery and 600 AP gain. As with each year, the first version of the Mask requires refining items that can only be received during the Masquerade by doing the daily quests for the Masquerade Master.

Artifact Progression Tip: When the first mask you level up is still blue, you can buy the Memento of Leira and Mask re-agents needed for the artifact mask from the masquerade store for Masks of Veil and Shadows (which drop from Illusionist Bags). Once you upgrade the Mask to purple, however, you can only get Mementos of Leira and Mask as a reward from the daily quests you do for the Masquerade Master.

Getting the Enchanted Broom: (bind on pickup to account, bind on equip to character)

  • You need 200 liar charms to buy the knotty wood;
  • You need to open Beholder Piñatas that drop the Enchanted witch’s sash (1), as well as;
  •  Twenty five (25) enchanted bristles (25) which drop from Illusionist’s Bags;
  • Once you get all the parts and have 50k AD, you can purchase the broom from the store. As noted, the Broom is bind to Account until a character equips the mount.

Other goodies: Dyes, potions, Masks, Fashion and Companions as Splinters. Note, the Splinter broom companion can be great for new players given the three offensive slots and three ring slots.

See the news: https://www.arcgames.com/en/games/neverwinter/news/detail/11010693-the-masquerade-of-liars-creeps-in%21

Free Rank 14 as we head towards the 5 year anniversary of Neverwinter

The Protector’s Jubilee is back this year but with very special rewards and Neverwinter makes it’s 5 year anniversary.  Free preservation wards and coalescent ward and even a free rank 14.

“Free Rank 14 Enchantment! – Players can claim ONE free Rank 14 Enchantment (Bound to Account) from a choice of four. This enchantment cannot be converted into RP or used in a way other than slotting/unslotting. Claimed on Zen Market once per account.”

Pick up the quests during the event and with 5 days worth there are prizes for the taking.  See the link below for more details:

https://www.arcgames.com/en/games/neverwinter/news/detail/10922193

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