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EE10 Survival Guide

Lisa Stevens
Hey y'all:

I have spent a large amount of time over the past two weeks playtesting both mules and the Nhur Athemon server event that will be launching tomorrow morning, July 10th, after server downtime. I greatly enjoyed both features quite a bit, but figured I might give people some tips to avoid some of the learning curve I had to do. I am not going to give away all of the secrets, but these insights might come in handy once the live game switches to EE10.0.

Let's start with mules. They are really pretty cool and will allow you to move quite a bit of good around the map. I was pleasantly shocked by how much I could load up even the lowest level mule with.

Of course, mules have their downsides. They are slower than you are. Not by a lot, but if you are going at an all-out run (not using speed), you will leave your mule behind in around 30 to 40 seconds depending on terrain. Now the little fella will let you now and you just have to go back to him, but finding the proper pace will keep both of you happy. If you enjoy fighting mobs and doing a little gathering along the way, I found that doing that gave the mule time to catch up to you and I could pretty much do what I normally do. But if you are interested in getting from A to B as fast as possible, you are going to have to play around with AOE buffs to speed your mule up, but he still won't be as fast as you are, especially when he is loaded up to the gills.

Another obstacle for mules is terrain. Running down the road with a mule is easy peasy, but trying to get him to traverse a mountain obstacle course of rocks, steep cliff and such is risky. It is possible for the mule to lose his path and get stuck. I found that if I went back to him, he found a new path and could almost always keep going. The big exception is cliffs and mountainsides. I will say this here in big letter: DO NOT BRING YOUR MULE NEAR CLIFFS OR MOUNTAINSIDES!!! First off, your mule is smart enough to not jump off cliffs and mountainsides most of the time. However, I found a case where the initial incline was steep enough that you couldn't climb up, but you kind of skidded down the side before falling the rest of the way. My mule skidded with me and stopped before the freefall part. That left my mule stranded halfway down the mountainside. He couldn't go up and wouldn't go down and I couldn't get to him to get my stuff off. Mark my words, somebody will lose a loaded mule to just this on the first week. With the frequency with which Ryan and I have had to save characters who have fallen down mountainsides that are next to the Pharasma barrier at the edge of the map, I expect that we will get a call about somebody and their mule doing that. We can save you, but we CAN'T SAVE YOUR MULE! I will repeat that: WE CAN'T SAVE YOUR MULE! Everything on your mule will be lost and there isn't a thing anybody including Goblinworks can do about it. So drive your mule safely away from such places or risk the consequences.

Mules are also very squishy. They are pretty easy for a character to take down. Now the good thing is they don't die, they just go into a state where anybody can grab control of them. But that takes time (around 10 seconds if I remember correctly) and is interruptable. If a person attack your mule, they gain the same attacker flag and reputation hits that they would get from attacking you personally. And remember, mules are slow so they aren't going to be speeding away faster than you can catch them. I expect that bandits may use attacking mules as a form of Stand and Deliver, taking a few choice items and fleeing rather than being hindered by a slow mule. There are armored saddlebags that make your mule less squishy.

Enough about mules, let's talk Nhur Athemon. He and his minions are tough. Lee, Bob, Stephen and I (with Ryan filling in for Bob when he went on vacation last weekend) fought Nhur Athemon quite a bit over the past two weeks. The first time we did the escalation, we died 22 times between us. The last time, it was around 12 deaths. The melee fighters died the most, but they were also necessary to beat the various creatures effectively. So keeping Lee's heavily armored fighter with T2 Greatclub up and swinging became important to us.

We also found that having a diverse group is super important. You need ranged and melee, cleric and wizard. Different obstacles and creatures had different weaknesses. And you will need Tier 2 gear for the toughest creatures. Nhur Athemon will just laugh at anybody not decked out in it. Now there are minion creatures that lower level characters in Tier 1 gear could help with, but they will die. A lot.

It is very possible if you aren't careful to literally get vaporized. Stephen and I once saw Lee get hit with 4 spells at once and one moment he was there and the next he wasn't. It looked to us like he had been hit by the Death Star. Boom! So strategy and tactics is very important if you don't want to die a lot. But die you will. For many of the encounters, it is like running a siege. You have to keep the pressure up on the bad guys and if you die, you have to hurry back to the front lines to keep up the pressure. It is the closest that PVE has come to the PVP experience.

You are going to need ways to buff folks, heal folks, and provide energy resistance to fighters who don't have it. You are going to run through your Power. Fast. Have a way to regenerate it nearby. i found that Tier 2 potions and Greater Tokens worked really well for this. Bring a stash along with you if you can.

The Nhur Athemon escalation pretty much can only be taken down by doing the various events. The good news is that a group of 6 Tier 2 characters should be able to do the whole thing in 2 to 3 hours if they are effective. There are other creatures in the hex outside of the events and they drop nice loot, but killing them is a super ineffective way to beat Nhur Athemon.

You will have to decide how much loot you want from the escalation. If you kill all the mobs along the way, you will end up with a nice haul. If you skip them, it will be not quite as good. The best loot drops from Nhur Athemon naturally. Beating him is the motherlode. Lots of Tier 3 stuff. The rest of the escalation drops nice Tier 2 stuff with some occasional Tier 1 for color.

We weren't able to test having a large group. I expect that you will have less losses and be able to speed through the escalation quicker, but of course, not everyone will get the sweet loot drops from Nhur Athemon as only the party that actually kills him will get them as per the usual. If you are sharing all the loot with each other, this probably isn't much of an issue.

Well, that is all I can think of off the top of my head. Have fun exploring these two new things this weekend!

-Lisa
Tyncale
Awesome stuff, thank you Lisa. smile

I have been wondering about the usefullness of the better "armored" mules. It seems to me that killing the Muleteer (player) is a much faster way to gain access to the Mule then to try to kill the mule itself, since the mule will immediately get into a "free" state when the owner dies. I do not really see the advantage of using a better armored mule since the owners will always be targeted too. I am looking at this from a crafters viewpoint and right now I simply do not see how a better armored Mule will turn the odds for a Muleteer (alone or in a group) when they get attacked.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Bringslite
"The Nhur Athemon escalation pretty much can only be taken down by doing the various events. The good news is that a group of 6 Tier 2 characters should be able to do the whole thing in 2 to 3 hours if they are effective."

Thanks for the tips, Lisa!

That quoted part stood out for me. Duergar, Mordant Spire, etc… seem to take much more work than that. At least for us. I hope that doesn't indicate that we are below average escalation smashers.

I do like it. I have always felt that the work should take relatively the same amount of time/effort, i.e. well geared T1 characters should take "X" amount of time vs. T1 escalations and well geared T2 characters vs. T2 the same. All things being relative in comparison.
Virtute et Armis
-Unknown
Duffy Swiftshadow
Really curious about the effort thing, hope we see similar numbers to what your saying. I could get behind that kinda of effort for the 'difficult' escalations.

On the mule topics: Hope's End's personnel are available for hire as mule escorts (and possibly as mule interdictors *restrictions may apply*)! Check our contracting section or contact me for details!
Ryan Dancey
Btw, the last thing I saw was that you probably can't buff a mule for speed can affect mules with area of effect spells but you can't target them with beneficial effects because the mules are treated as hostile. There is an ongoing discussion about it though.
Lisa Stevens
Tyncale
… since the mule will immediately get into a "free" state when the owner dies.

Actually, it only goes into a mule state one minute after the owner dies, as long as the owner doesn't make it back to the mule in that minute. Basically, it enters that state when it has been abandoned by the owner for a minute.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Ryan Dancey
because the mules are treated as hostile.
So very realistic, then?
To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
Decius
Are mules affected by AoE healing?
Tyncale
Lisa Stevens
Tyncale
… since the mule will immediately get into a "free" state when the owner dies.

Actually, it only goes into a mule state one minute after the owner dies, as long as the owner doesn't make it back to the mule in that minute. Basically, it enters that state when it has been abandoned by the owner for a minute.

Ah, that makes more sense, since the owner can now run back within a minute and still own the mule. So "killing" the mule itself becomes more important, as will armored saddlebags.

I think one minute is not very long though, considering that you sometimes respawn in an adjacent hex that is at least 2-3 minutes away from where you died. In these cases, taking the owner out of the equation (i.e. sending him to a far away respawn point) will still be much more efficient then trying to kill the mule. I guess group-dynamics can change the scenario, since I can see a few of your group keeping the muleteer and his group busy while one of your group kills the mule and tries to bond it.

I guess this will all be tested in the next months so we will see which scenarios happen most. And wether it will be worth it to make the better saddlebags. Right now the amount they can carry seems quit abundant. Though I guess the higher level Mules will slow down less fast then the lower level mules: i.e. a Mule that has 500/1000 Enc walks slower then a mule that has 500/2000 Enc? That would be a serious benefit of the higher level saddlebags.
Regalo Harnoncourt, Leader of the River Kingdoms Trading Company, High Council of Callambea.
This is the character that I am playing almost 100% of the time. (Tyncale is my Sage/Mage)
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Tyncale
I think one minute is not very long though, considering that you sometimes respawn in an adjacent hex that is at least 2-3 minutes away from where you died.
I don't think it's intended that way. More likely to give help a chance to arrive. Remember that in the final game, we will not be spawning at random nearby shrines. You'll need to thread shrines, and almost every death will send you more than a hex way.
To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
 
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