Our two characters are now caught up with their Cleric companion and ready to push onwards to level 10 – my husband expressed wants to see the Ravenloft content that I’ve told him about, so onwards to level 10!
Catching up meant getting a couple more ranks (part levels) worth of experience. We chose to rerun some older quests together to avoid ‘spoiling’ later zones that we’ll be wanting to run with our trio soon enough. We still had some of the zone quests from the Waterworks left to complete (slayer and rare encounters), so that seemed like an obvious choice.
The ‘outdoor’ explorer zones, which includes the two branches of the Waterworks tunnels, are locked at normal difficulty – which makes farming them easy enough for rares or the kill totals. As we discovered when we later popped into Cerulean Hills, another explorer area we hadn’t fully completed, this also has a disadvantage because we cannot up the difficulty to raise the effective level of the content to keep it relevant longer.
Running Cerulean Hills we noticed quickly that we had a ~65% experience penalty for being over level (level 6 now) – running one of the dungeons that you reach within Cerulean Hills we could select Elite level and have its effective level raised to 5 to avoid any penalty within it.
The system works well within this logic – you have control over the difficulty level of each dungeon within a certain range, though as we discovered previously it’s certainly possible to be over-ambitious!