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”.
Thanks to the hard work of our alliance member, Lord Willow. Make sure you check out his M18 Wizard build video.
Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your preferred playstyle, gear, and stats. These level 80 builds, however, are intended to optimize the Wizard for dps.
Wizard Notes: The wizard offers solid play, decent survival with the right stat allocation, and probably does the best “all around” DPS. The Wizard is not the top single target, nor AOE DPS, but when you combine the both the Wizard offers probably the best balance.
Level 80 Wizard build
For level 80 Wizard build information, check out Lord Willow’s Wizard build video. This video is a very comprehensive review of the Wizard. If you want a Module 18 Wizard build, but less comprehensive, check Lord Willow’s M18 Wizard video. He covers both Thaumaturge and Arcanist loadouts. While the concepts below, such as Thaumaturge for AOE and Arcantist for Single Target, still hold true, the video contains the post recent level 80 Wizard build information. Check out the Lord Willow Wizard gameplay video for tips on how to play the Wizard.
This build is all about smoldering everything. You can switch to Chilling Cloud at level 71, but you’ll have to take Magic Missile to start. Every time you apply a Chill stack to a target with Smolder, Rimfire damage is added. Also, to maximize damage with Scorching Burst, tap the mouse button (don’t hold it down to expand, unless you need to apply smolder to a wide range of targets because Fireball is on cool down). If you use this for Mad Mage, put Ray of Enfeeblement on Tab, and replace Conduit of Ice with Icy Rays for boss fights. Your go to At Will is Ray of Frost. This build can kill mimics. You should be at or close to crit cap to maximize this build. You shouldn’t need to worry about applying Smolder at all (Smolder happens).. spam out you encounters, then pick a target to melt with Ray of Frost while waiting for encounter cooldowns.
This build works well for both AOE and Single Target (an Arcanist focused on arcane stacks has an edge in single target, but this build performs well all around).
AOE Rotation is: Fireball > Icy Terrain > Conduit of Ice > Icy Rays > Chilling cloud x 3 > ‘tap’ Scorching burst. Repeat (you can also use daily Furious Immolation as an opener instead of Fireball). Honorable mention for artifacts for this AOE build: Staff of Flowers, Envenomed Story Teller Journal
Single Target Rotation is: ‘tap’ Scorching burst > Ray of Enfeeblement > Icy Terrain > Conduit of Ice > Icy Rays > ‘tap’ Scorching burst (repeat until encounters come off cool down). Repeat rotation. Remember to mix in Daily Ice Knife (try to use only when the target has Smolder, as well as Chill stacks already applied to maximize). Honorable mention artifacts for Single Target: Staff of Flowers, Envenomed Story Teller Journal, Soul Sight Crystal (this doesn’t last long so time it well).
Boons (Applies to pretty much every DPS loadout for every class):
Boons for Wizard
Ability Scores (Applies for ALL Wizard loadouts):
Ability Scores Wizard
AOE Arcanist (designed for group play):
This build DOES NOT perform as well as the Thaum build, but it is a LOT of fun for me to play, and it is still viable.
Rotation: Icy Terrain > Lightning Bolt > Ray of Enfeeblement > Steal Time > Storm Pillar charged to at least 50% > tap Storm Pillar until powers of cool down.
AOE (Arcanist, designed for Party play):
Single Target Arcanist:
This build is all about getting as many arcane stacks as possible, which means everything you do is Arcane damage. Be sure to mix in Daily Arcane Empowerment only when you have a good tank keeping aggro attention away from you so you can fully leverage. Use Storm Pillar only to refresh arcane and chill stacks. Your go-to at will is Ray of frost. Your Daily is Arcane Empowerment. With the right stats, good timing, and a disciplined rotation, this build will put out more damage on a single target than any other class in the game – NOTE: this concept is weak in AOE. Assailing Force is not working correctly right now, once that bug is fixed, then the DPS should go up more.
A quick comment on gear: Radiants in ALL offense slots. You want to stack as much Power as possible, but remember that the damage increase from Power isn’t as effective as a % damage increase from gear like Hags rags. These items (Demo Set included) are without a doubt best in slot.
The rune etchings you obtain during the 3 times a day master expedition quests can be used to obtain the Chest of lost adventurers (after completing the quests for Rhunemaster Sinye). Find Zok under the stairs in Yawning Portal and exchange your rune etching for a box.
Each box will contain 5500 AD and a chance at new mod 16 artefact neck. artefact waist or artifacts, vanity pets including a legendary vanity pet and armour up to 1000 item level. If you are not going to save your rune etchings for upgrading the new Ruined Apprentice Armour that can drop, try you luck with the these boxes.
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!
Note about Basic Builds: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in this new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your prefered playstyle, gear, and stats.
DPS Fighter: This build is intended as a starter build based on the dps build to get you through levelling to 80. (Thanks Hastur)
For Level 80 Fighter information, RJC has mod 16 Fighter build information in two documents:
When you log into Neverwinter for the first time after Module 16, Undermountain, goes live, your see a message that says “Your Powers have been reset”, and there’s lots of gear that was formerly on your companion in your inventory, among other things. You might be thinking, “What is going on and what do I do now?”
Mod 16 Day 1 Guide
Rework your character (Abilities, Powers, Feats, Boons) due to the forced respect
here’s additional information on ability scores. They are not the same as pre-Mod 16.
This is a vague overview of stats to aim for to help get started, but apart from what is written above we have some more footnotes for you:
* You get a natural 5% Armor Penetration, so the Armor Penetration can aim to be 5k less
*Defense only applies to non tanks, tanks get a natural 10% that goes to cap.. so non tanks 66k to cap LMM, 56k to cap for tank
*Aim for power being 50% higher number than crit or CA (for optimal cost benefit ratio)
*If your crit is 61k, you should aim for 91,000 power. If your CA is higher at say 90,000 then you should be aiming for 135,000 power… so if you have 85k CA and less than 127,000 power then you are better off spending points in power till you hit 127k
*The level 70 stats are for starters and may not be reflective of down scaling down from Level 80
Down-scaling: Its important to recognised that any stats you have at level 80 will be down-scaled at level 70. First priority is to work on getting that armor pen back to 52k for a level 70 area. This can be done quickly by turning on the armor pen boon, changing pet or mount bonuses (or by having a load out for level 70 areas). Do your own self test by getting your arm pen to around 86k at level 80 and then jump into Barovia to see how much it is affected by the downscaling.
Basic Build Notes: These guides are not meant to be comprehensive “bibles” on how you must build your class, but offer solid alternatives to get started in the new mod. Each of these builds should offer a solid foundation for you to start playing the new mod, but do not necessarily represent “BiS”, as that can depend on your prefered playstyle, gear, and stats.
Warlock Notes: For level 80 Warlock build information, make sure you check out Lord Willow’s new Warlock build video. For Hellbringer leveling, use the Level 80 Build Hellbringer information screenshotted below and discussed in the Warlock build video.
Level 80 Build
For information on the principles behind the build, plus information on gear (the Lostmauth set plays a big role), boon and companion information, make sure you check out the video by Lord Willow.