Thursday, 5 June 2014

Neverwinter Online: Fast Campaign Strategy Tips

If you play Neverwinter Online to the latter stages you will find yourself in "Campaigns". Areas such as Sharandar, the Dread Ring and Icewind Dale that require you to complete a (small) variety of daily tasks to push the quite literal completion bar to 100%. Unfortunately even the most stalwart player will feel the grind of these things after awhile so I thought I'd put up a quick post on some tips of how to clear each zone faster and spend less time in game grinding, specifically if you are a Boon Hunter (purchasable unlocks at specific stages of each campaign that improve your character) like myself. If you are chasing equipment drops then some of this might not apply to you.

LeadershipLevel this Profession up since it can provide a consistent stream of Astral Diamonds for you, which is required to unlock some of the Boons.

The Early Bird
Learn what time the daily and weekly quest resets. Much like newly released content, it is often fastest and easiest to do it as soon as it resets because a whole bunch of other people (also the ones who just want to get it over with) are doing the same things. Group up to gain credit faster or if you don't like grouping then you can still benefit by having less random monsters to deal with as they often get cleared by the high traffic player paths of the day. It also makes it easier to run into a more "common" heroic encounter in Icewind Dale that has people wanting to complete it.

Avoid Fighting
Fights take time. If you have a "kill" mission try to always do it in or near a zone where you need to accomplish something else as doing the other task will often net you all the kills you need. When avoiding foes take the path already traveled by others (and help them clear it if you catch up) to have an easier time. This is also true in dungeons. Make use of that Cloak of Lesser Etherealness you got from the Whispering Caverns!

Fast Travel Route
Do not forget to use your mounts. They often can be used in any open air instance such as Witch Fen or Warmakers. If you aren't fighting and are on foot just try to mount regardless of where you are. Also pick the best path to complete everything without having to double back. In Dread Ring and Sharandar, you can switch instance to instantly teleport you back to the nearest camp fire to save even more travel time.

Daily Prayer
While you should already do this in-game for the pretty cool rewards, if you manage to keep it up for 6 real days in a row you can spend your Celestial coins on a Cache of Campaign treasures that will remove some of the grind time for you. Remember that missing 1 day of invocation will make all your Celestial coins vanish, but it literally takes less than 5 minutes to do if that's all you have time for each day.

Set Your Targets
Each campaign requires set "currency items" to advance, but especially in Sharandar, you don't need all of them all the time. Do the maths and figure out just how much of each you actually need then unless you are intentionally after the EXP you can start skipping the daily quests that you no longer need to do! For example, all the Sharandar dungeons just give Crescents which you will be drowning in later from all the other tasks in the region. Unless you really want them, the EXP or the item rewards that the dungeons drop then you can save a lot of time by simply ignoring them.

Dungeon Running
It's fastest to clear content in a team so use the Looking For Group chat channel and even if you really don't like teaming up, I highly suggest doing so for the Dread Ring dungeons and Biggrin's Rest in Icewind Dale. The Dread Ring dungeons are easily soloable (especially Phantasmal Fortress) in give or take 10 minutes. In a party you can clear it in under 5 (even with just ONE other person). Just announce what group you are looking for and you'll probably get an invite pretty quick, especially if it is the daily.

"LFG DS" (Dread Spire)
"LFG DF" (Death Forge)
"LFG PF" (Phantasmal Fortress)
"TT/AB LFG BR" (Ten Towners / Arcane Brotherhood faction Biggrin's Rest)

Patience beats Griefing
Sharandar and Icewind Dale have some poorly designed quests that reward griefers who sneak in an interact with the one use objective while someone is off fighting the guards legitimately. It's not too bad in Sharandar since these objectives are clustered together and only lightly guarded. Icewind Dale is more punishing. If this happens to you there then my advice (other than "do unto others" if you can catch up to them) is to simply wait as close as you need to be to where the objective will respawn which is all of around 2 minutes. Trigger the item as soon as it pops up and walk / ride away. Escaping the respawners aggro depends on what is respawning, but at least you got the objective.

Mining Nodes
Icewind Dale requires you collect 300 raw black ice daily. While you gain this from doing heroic encounters the faster way is simply to mine every node you encounter, especially if the node is unguarded. They spawn in specific spots so each time you find one remember where it is so you will know where to look the next day.

Bare Minimum
Some days you just won't have time to play. That's fine. Some days you might think you don't have time to play. Well, given you can just stack (pick up quests but don't do them) three days worth of dailies from Dread Ring and Sharandar here is the bare minimum that you should do to not "lose" a day of progress. This is also the order I do it (on my ranger alt) in to make the most of the other players helping or at least clearing the way. Afterwards I do Icewind Dale again on my main rogue. :P

1 - Pray and if available, purchase Campaign Coffer
2 - Icewind Dale - complete 1 encounter/collect 300 ice, faster in Dwarven Valley
3 - Dread Ring Daily Dungeon 
4 - Battle for Sharandar (mass murder powries to get 3 Feywild Crystals)

Hopefully these tips are of some use to you so that you can spend time doing the other things you like! :)

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