Neverwinter: skirmish, foundry and questing compared

I played a decent session on my level 11 control wizard last night. It’s a fun class to play but suffers from the expected squishy-ness if trapped in melee. Firstly I did some questing in the Tower District of the city, this proved very tough.

Why did it have to be orcs?

Why did it have to be orcs?

The orc groups there are on a short respawn timer and there are overlapping patrols and static groups everywhere. I nearly perished several times as teleporting away from a group to open distance could easily set off another.

This class plays very well if you have space to maneuver, it plays very badly if you’re hemmed in. So for a change I popped into some skirmishes, at present I’m still stuck with the Blacklake Terror skirmish. But if you wait for the skirmish event to be active, with bonus rough astral diamonds up for grabs, it’s almost instant to get groups.

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Skirmishes don’t seem that great for XP, I guess it’d be too easy to ‘farm’ them for leveling if they did give good XP compared to questing. I’d picked up a daily from the kobold Rhix to do a foundry daily. So the last stop of the session was to do a randomly picked foundry dungeon. There are plenty on offer that have ‘solo’ in their description, I chose Crypts of Carnage by Chili1179 (short code NW-DCYKI9YZT).

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This dungeon has some lovely designs, especially the use of lighting to create mood.

The only good giant spider, is a crowd controlled giant spider...

The only good giant spider, is a crowd controlled giant spider…

Despite the closer confines compared to the open fields of the Tower District I found it almost universally much easier to solo inside a dungeon. The further in I got the more retreat space I had to open distance with teleport and ice spells. Compare this to the constant respawns of the open zones of the ‘official’ campaign and I’d say the foundry is actually better!

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I’m not sure how the XP/minute compares to skirmishes or questing, but the loot rewards were very good and I did ding level 12 while in the dungeon. I have no fears about running foundry content and not being rewarded gear-wise or coin-wise.

Until I get my cleric companion at level 16 I suspect soloing the main campaign will continue to be somewhat painful. The first few zones are very easy, but now the balance of more difficult monsters to ‘minions’ is shifting to offer more of a challenge, and running away without setting off more groups is not easy. Here’s hoping I make it to 16 soon!

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4 Responses to Neverwinter: skirmish, foundry and questing compared

  1. pkudude99 says:

    In the early levels, Foundry gives way more xp/hour than “normal questing.” My personal favorite is “Bill’s Tavern” as it’s mostly trash swarms, and the few mini-bosses are easily controllable. It clocks in right about 16 minutes, so it’s eligible for the foundry dailies, and it gives a nice chunk of XP on finish.

    I started a new CW this past Thursday to play with a couple of friends. Since I have higher level toons, I “twinked” the 3 of us by buying the cleric companion for each of us, so not only are we running a trio through solo content, but doing it with cleric companions to boot. On weeknights my bedtiime is quite early though (3 am get-up time to be at work by 4. . . ) so I dropped out early. On Friday they told me they’d gotten to level 7 in their continued play, so on Saturday morning I logged in to “catch uo” and before I knew it I was level 13. Oops! CW is just too much fun! I deleted and remade the character then played it back to level 7 again. . . .

    Then I logged in my level 40 CW and got it up to level 54 before the weekend was out. Kind of interesting when you get higher up how much you’re swapping powers out. AE powers for the trash swarms while general questing, but then swap to ST powers for the mini-bosses. Or at least drop 1 AE in favor of an ST, since the mini-bosses call adds and you still need AE to deal with them, anyway. . . . The higher level solo dungeon are a bit ramped up in difficulty, so zone chats are actually rather active with people asking for duo partners for them. Pretty fun.

    Now that you’re past 10, I hope you have Chill Strike slotted in your Tab key? It’s *amazing* as your mastery skill. . . . .

    • Telwyn says:

      I do like the idea of swapping powers in and out for different situations. That’s some impressive progress you’ve made! Yep, I have Chill Strike slotted at the moment as it packs a serious punch. I’m lacking a 4th encounter power but I think I’ll get another at 15 or 20th?

      • pkudude99 says:

        While “Repel” is available at level 15….. it’s a decent for soloing, but if you use it in a dungeon your group will HATE you. I’ve never used it in a dungeon myself, but I’ve been the GF and the TR who’s had mobs “repelled” away from me just as I was about to hit a big strike. I respec’d a while ago and didn’t bother putting any points in it on the re-spec. If i need to knock mobs around I have other tools…. namely Shield (which you get at 20) also includes a knockback if you need it.

        Got to 56 this afternoon. The Rothe Valley zone was quite easy compared to Icespire Peak and the Chasm. Go figure. FWIW, my slotted powers “most of the time” are Chill Strike in the Mastery slot, Ray of Enfeeblement in Q (yeah, I know, you won’t get it for a while, but you’ll be glad when you do. It’s AWESOME!), Entangling Force in E (yup, still awesome at 56…) and Shield in R. Magic Missile and Ray of Frost are still the 2 at-wills. If a mob is controllable, I can keep it locked down 90+% of the time with this setup, plus I have the 2 AE’s in Chill Strike and Shield to use against adds if necessary. Works really well, IMO.

        Open with Chill Strike for the stun, pop Ray of Enfeeblement to increase your damage, then do 1 round of Magic Missile. Pop Entangling Force as the mob is running to you (or to interrupt its spell cast) then go nuts on it while it’s dangling in the air. Once it comes out of that, Chill Spike is available again, so stun it as its feet hit the ground. Ray of Frost while it’s stunned and it drops into Freeze just as it comes out of the CS stun. Another round of Magic Missile and then RoE and EF are up again . . . . And in all of that it maybe got off 2 attacks at you in return.

  2. pkudude99 says:

    FWIW, here’s a post I just made about both the 1-13 leveling experience as well as the 40-57 experience.

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