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Enchanter Howling Stones Adventure
These are the adventures of Jamm the Enchanter in the fabled Howling Stones.
Each of my trips into HS has provided an interesting story and interesting lesson. They are documented for you below and I hope they help out all my solo Enchanter/Necro/Shaman brothers and sisters that wish to attempt this fun and dangerous zone.
I started with fairly bad gear. All the Enc Sol Ro quest gear, gobby earring, glamour rod, crude stein, no rings. About 201 Charisma buffed and 131 Int unbuffed. Very little hp gear.
My spells that are always up: Mez (L4), Paralyzing Earth, Mesmerization, Color shift (Don't have the 50's 1.5 second cast time one), ToT, Tash, and then I move Charm, Calm, Invis, and Anarchy in while I fight.
I have Clarity 2 now :)
Also, this takes place on the Project 1999 Red server.
You will eventually become KOS to the outpost, and they are greedy merchants anyways, so bring at least 3 stacks of peridots and a ton of food/drink before you attempt this good time. Probably not as big of an issue on Blue, since porters are everywhere.
Strategy in this zone changes for each set of multiple spawns, and each person I talk to about it has given me a new idea of how to attempt each part of this tough dungeon.
For the Pyre Golems in the entrance that guard the doors to each wing, I calm both, step onto their platform, mez one, tash, Cajoling Whisper and set it to attack the other, which I root at the beginning of the fight and right before breaking charm. Pretty easy.
If I have cleared another set of Pyre Golems, I usually sit on their platform before breaking charm so I can have some distance to mez my former pet before I nuke him.
If my pet is being beaten by the mob it is fighting, I throw Tepid deeds on it to try to even them out. If my pet is owning the other mob...I just let it go.
I always try to get both mobs low enough to kill with Anarchy, which means I need to get them both to 4% or less. Dimentia does about 12% to 13%, so I use it if I need to.
If I am fighting a ton of skeletons, I just use Dimentia. You can ToT the skeletons, so killing faster is more important than mana preservation.
I kill the roamers and then work around killing the Pyre Golems in the zone in room and I have a few minutes to med before the roamers repop. I still haven't had enough time to warrant attempting to pull the East Pyre Golems.
If I have a pet that is above 30% hp when its target gets killed by me, I will usually throw it at the next set of Pyre Golems. I will then back it off and either 1. Root both Pyre Golems on top of each other or 2. Root the two Pyre Golems in a "Conga Line" as Sesserdrix calls it in his fantastic Necro Guide.
So the entrance comes out to about 8 mobs every 25 minutes, not bad exp. Loot is above average platinum, the occasional gem and 51-54 spell.
Day 1, level 55
This is it, my first attempt to enter the sacred zone. Many guildies were polled and begged to join, but a resounding no (with a smattering of curses) was the consensus. Nonetheless, I am determined to conquer this zone, despite its abandonment, and my lack of rechargeable goodies.
I buff up fully, beserker spirit above my rune, I've been told, and throw on IVU (a guildy recommendation). The Scorps all like me at this point, so I wander down and casually click my key against the roiling sphere with a shaky hand.
Right before I command+Q with my heart beat hammering in my ear, the zone pops. I quickly mouse turn and keyboard turn to see if anything is attacking me, but I am safe. I turn and see a devourer very near to me, but not aggroing. I slowly begin to back up, but alarms go off in my mind, "Beware the East pather!!!!". I furiously mash my sense heading button.
You have no idea which direction you are facing.
You have no idea which direction you are facing.
Sweat breaks out on my brow. Eff this game.
You think you are facing South.
I'm safe. I slowly back away, pull up calm and charm.
I calm the devourer and then the skeleton. Congratulations, I have broken and and will probably survive. I keep gate memmed the whole evening though. That's called respect.
I went on to spend the evening killing the North, South, and West golems while avoiding with all diligence the Eastern doors. No loots were had, HP was dropped below 50% many times, and many golems, skellies, and devourers were killed. I called it a night, gated to the outpost, put on an illusion, banked my plat and camped out. With illusion on, I am now apprehensive after one evening.
Lesson: HS isn't that bad, quit being a sissy with gate up the whole time.
Day 2, level 55
I decide to return after exping in Seb and KC a bit. I buff up, IVU up and zone in. I are getting eaten! 2 devourers are on me and my beserker spirit is gone. I drop an aoe mez on myself and moonwalk to the north stairs. Roots, tashes, and a Cajoling Whisper fly out and I am good to go for this round, or so I think. After my first rotation, the roamers repop and I prepare my skeleton pet to ambush the next pop. He pops, I root him in the Southeast corner and sick my pet on him. Life is good in HS, we are all having a great evening.
Mid fight though, I notice the Hamal Skeleton on the East platform begins to cast a spell. Interesting...I didn't know he buffed the golems. A plague of disease appear around my pet. Oh no!
The spawn point for the south east roamer is not a safe place to fight, I am invading his realm. Luckily, my pet had almost finished the other roamer, so I let them finish their fight while the Hamal cast on my pet. He then entered the fray. I decided to push the envelope a little bit, lets see how bad this pather really is.
I mez him with my level 4 and back off my pet. It lasts 4 seconds, so I cast again. It breaks mid root cast and he begins casting. I don't have any pots on me, oh no! He lands the magic line dot (boil blood or something), but sadly, it is in the 8th buff spot. Time to flee. I let him fight my pet as I mem gate and recant magic. I then chain cast mez in pure terror until gate pops and gate my way to safety. 2 or 3 casts of recant and I am safe. So I sit down at 50% health and 20% mana, lets call it a night.
Lesson: The east pather is a bad mob, but he doesn't bring his golem friends with him, which is nice.
Day 3, level 56
After leveling, I decided to head down for more fun. I have a similar experience this go round, except a new phenomenon has started to occur. I got some loots! A ruby and Heroic Bond, plus a few other spells. Theft of thought for me to turn in and hopefully snag Clarity II. I also see my first bile golem and make the mistake of charming him. He is not a big fan, MR must be through the roof.
A guildy Necro shows up and we go down into the basement to have some fun. We don't plan anything and decide to wing it, like the best duos do. Good times. He pulls way too many and I am in the middle of my pet tanking something. He trains me with 4, one being an oblation (wizard). I go into a trance and 10 minutes later all the mobs are dead except my pet with around 40% hp. He has CR'd by then and is floating down. I don't really remember what happened, but AoE Mez + PE + ToT + one caster mob = a good evening in HS.
I had a rude awakening after gating out this time, they hate me in the outpost :( Even with collaboration, my banking/selling days are over with my Outpost buddies. I wave a last goodbye to the Cliff Golem and move my bind spot to the top of the canyon above the HS entrance.
Lesson: Enchanters are definitely as OP as people say they are. 6 mobs at once in the hardest dungeon in the game. And watch out for bile golems.
Day 4, level 56
Red population has taken a hit recently and groups have been scarce. Solo exp in HS is comparable to group exp, so I decide to add a long grinding session to my experience and possibly aim for 60 in here. I zone in to aggro from a bile golem and the skeleton jumps in with a quick HT and boy, we are having fun tonight!
After I survive that, get rebuffed and med for what feels like 10 minutes, I begin working on the golems. I make it all the way around for roamer repops. I set my skelly pet on the other skelly and we are going to have ourselves a fight. Charm breaks pretty quickly, and instead of making a beeline for me, this skeleton decided to take a full running tour of the platform.
The East pather aggros, boil blood on me, time to mez and gate. I have the same issue with the pather again. Breaking mez super quickly and being a pretty big jerk.
I escape, completely debuff myself again (notice how I never learn?) med for a few hours and go back in.
Something I didn't mention before, the scorpions that guard the entrance to HS are KOS to me now, so I calm them all before running in with IVU up (unless I know there are only live roamers inside). Another fun thing that EQ gives you to do. Yay!
I make it back in, grab my previous pet, kill the roamer and move on to making the rounds on the golems. I earn about 30% of 56 (on red) in 3 hours. Not too shabby.
Before logging, I decide to try something new. I log out invisible next to the golems guarding a door. I am going to see if I can save myself the trouble of floating down and breaking in. We will see how it works out next time!
Lesson: A mob running at you across the central platform can take two or three different routes, depending on the angle. One of those paths apparently involves right in front of East.
Day 5, level 56
Today I decided to man up and roll into HS North like real men high elf enchanters with below average strength and a sparkly rod with Glamour in the name, do. I had to do a few rounds at the entrance to get a mob with a key on it before venturing in. One thing that was odd for me this go round, was I got multiple resists of Calm. I killed 8ish mobs and had over 10 resists. Usually, I would expect one resist in 10+ kills, so this seemed odd.
Nevertheless, I opened the door, medded up and peaked around the corner. 2 devourers, a bile golem and a skelly. I think about it for a bit while medding and decide to calm them and invis past. I want to actually get into North, not just mess around in the entry room. So I mem illusion gnome, calm all four mobs and move to the stairs.
I look through and see a 2 skellies, one is a wizard and there is a pyre golem down the hall. I am still unsure about wanderers and I think out my options: 1. Calm, jump down, kill. 2. IVU down, possible pet the golem, something, something, win.
I decide on option one, even though Calm had been odd tonight. I make sure my buffs are up and cast. Resisted...critical resisted. Skelly two begins casting his nuke and I jump down, mash aoe mez and.........
At this point I have 3% hp and you can guess what happened next.
I sit down and scroll through my logs and buff up to reenter. I am pretty pissed that I apparently hit the wrong hotkey and that my second crit calm resist of HS came in this awful situation when I first decided to try North.
I buff up, run down, med up and start calming the scorps to zone in. First calm, critical resist, Heat Blood on me.
I mez the scorp again and mem blur him (he spins around to face another direction...I assume that is a mem blur). I sit to see what the dot damage will be, but it doesn't look too bad.
I calm him right before mez breaks and surprise! No mem blur, please take this HT as the consolation prize.
I mez, root, gate, and camp. Eff this game.
After talking with a good pal Yumyums, and thinking about my process, I should have played it conservative. I had made it far as a solo enchanter mainly by playing it safe. My next try will involve killing everything on my way into HS North and pet pulling through the painting like Yumyums recommends.
I am pretty freaked about zoning in with only Beserker Spirit for protection, but I know it will work out alright.
Lesson: Play it safe. Ignoring the conservative route when experiencing new content in EQ opens you to be screwed by RNG. In a place like HS, this is a tough lesson.
Day 6, Level 56
These are a little old, so I am a bit blurry on the details.
I finally built up the courage to zone in with only Beserker Spirit and IVU for protection. There I was met by two skellies. They couldn't see me so I scampered over to the North stairs and noticed a few other plays on my /who. I keep /who bound to one of my movement key with a dedicated window for it (Red server). One of the players I recognized as a Necro that I had spoken with. He is a good guy named Krovax. I gave an in zone shout out to him and another player I didn't recognize. Krovax (being a stand up guy) asked if I had gotten my corpse out of North yet. I told him I hadn't and he had me consent him. Then he had me consent a few other players, and I smelled there would be a party afoot.
Since the party was coming, and my precious pixels would be saved, I decided to help them out by clearing out the two wandering skeletons. I mezzed, tashed, and petted the first while he was crossing the middle and waited for the second to move from his spot near the East pather.
He started walking, and I sent my pet in. Right then, charm broke on me and both started running toward me. I immediately hit my aoe stun, but it was too later. 2 HT's and a few melees and I am back in OT feeling like a moron.
I zone back in with IVU up and go to the stairs to wait. After consenting a few more people that are messaging me, a buddy pops out of North and holds the door for me. I run in and drag my glorious corpse back to the entry.
There are now 5 people in the zone helping a buddy do a CR in North so I move up to them at the ramp, figuring I will wait till they are done or camp out there. Low and behold, they invite me to group.
We had a wonderful evening killing most of the named in North with 3 Adamantite clubs dropping among other great loot. I finally got the color slant spell from a mob (yay no more 6 second stun) and a few others I was missing. I also walked away with an Adamantite club, so I was beyond thrilled.
We decided to make an evening of it and go for the crypt keeper, the "boss" of North. His pull was pretty tough, but we took him down and got access to West! Sadly we all decided to call it a night.
Side note: While we are grouped on the ramp, I decide to watch "Transcendence". This movie is about Johnny Depp uploading himself into an artificial intelligence deal, yada yada, watch the trailer if you are that curious. The movie is a little creepy, since it involves AI developing rapidly and becoming a part of different systems. I am at a particularly intense point in the movie, when I hear one of the craziest sounds I have ever heard in my life. It sounded like a dryer the size of a ferris wheel running with a semi trailer in it at turbo speed. The loudest grinding sound I had ever heard! I rip off my headphones, hesitate because I think the apocalypse is here and run out into my hallway.
My damned smoke alarm is going off, right outside my sleeping daughters room. I reach up and rip it off the wall like a man and the sounds stops before I throw it on the tile. Glad I have a strong heart, 30 years in the future and that would have been the end of me.
I check the house and get back to mezzing.
Lesson: My mission was soloing HS with a goal of making it into South and soloing all of the named mobs there. I have grown increasingly frustrated with each silly death and tough CR, but a night chatting and taking it easy in a group is a great refresher. Make friends, ya'll.
Day 7, level 56
After my enjoyable night with some new pals, I decided I should sell some loot and offload the 10+ spells I had on me. As I was making deals and transferring to a mule a Unicorn appeared. The one and only Swish. Now you guys know Swish and his gifs from the forums, but he is an even more standup guy on Red. I have been trying to meet up with him for over a month to get some CHA jewelry made. He said he could do it for me and I cheered.
With an Opalline earring a new player sold me and some shiny new rings, wrists, and a necklace I was at 255 CHA exactly. I sacrificed some intelligence and mana items, but overall nothing much was lost (I was rocking a +10 mana ring and a 2 AC +5 mana ring, so dropping 14 CHA in there was a huge upgrade). I also hooked up with a player selling a ton of Enchanter turn in spells so I bought all he had, turned in a few and FINALLY got Clarity 2. Pras.
I gated out blinged out, G'd up from the feet up.
I zoned back into HS with a goal soloing some named mobs in North and getting on the Solo Artist Challenge page (even if it is only the warmup). When I zoned in there were 4 people in the zone. Two were in South or West (I believe) and the other was a Necro named Grimjaw.
He sent me a message asking if I was the venerable Yumyums, which I informed him I was not, sadly. He said cool and I asked him if he wanted to duo. He was in North and he said come on over. Grimjaw is a class act people. Nothing but undead between the front door of North and the ramp. Absolute class.
Grimjaw and I had a pretty fun time for about an hour as we pillaged the golem master and most other mobs in the wing. I learned quite a bit about the pathers.
One pather goes in and out of the door over and over again to the room with a 3 in it on the map, but stays pretty close. Another pather goes between the rooms with the two named spawns. This one might path elsewhere, but I am currently unsure.
There are also a mess of other pathers all over the circle area that I haven't figure out yet, but I will for my sweet map I want to make.
Grimjaw and I have a grand old time, even though I died while learning about pathers and aggroing 4 mobs at once. He rezzed me like a boss, though.
After Grimjaw and I had played for a while, he logged out, and it was finally time for me to do what I have been trying to do for 7 days!
SOLO MOBS IN HS NORTH
I kill a few mobs, and try to clear out a bile golem that had spawned behind us. The golem was a huge pain and took a few pathers to kill.
At this point, I realized I had done an awful job timing stuff, and I decided to wait until a full repop happened before attempting anything new.
I waited, sitting on the corner above the pitfall trap so I could see down both hallways,
Repops take forever in here. How long? I don't know. 21 minutes according to some, 18-22 according to others. I know, I will time them and figure it out myself.
I run out of the room to grab my watch and run back in.
What's this? A ghost beating me and I have 20% hp left?
I do what any sane man would do and dive at my computer trying to hit the hotkey for aoe stun.
It starts to cast, but alas, I am dead.
I was a little pissed, so I decided to take a break (or give my plat to newbs, delete characters, uninstall, throw computer through wall, etc).
I come back from my break and decide I should do a CR. Besides, all undead are up, so it will be easy.
I get buffed, get down, beserker and IVU up and zone in.
I see a skeleton standing on me and....
Lets pause real quick. I have it set in my system where I do not see mobs hitting me when I have a rune up. I don't know how to undo it, nor have I cared enough to try to figure it out. Because of this, I make assumptions and check constantly for mobs hitting me that I might not know about.
Skeleton infront of me, I hit aoe stun, tab target him and hit aoe mez. While it casts I think about how impressed I am with my reaction speed (very impressed).
When aoe mez goes off, I get a message in red "You cannot see your target".
I hit my gobby earring to refresh and grind the aoe mez key again. At this point, a devourer jumps in. I glance at the target name: "Elementalbone skeleton"
...what the hell is that?
My next mez lands, but again, the same message pops up "You cannot see your target".
At this point the other wanderer has jumped in and I am done.
I head off to the petition forum and decide to call it a night.
Lesson: Never, for any circumstance, go afk in HS in a place that isn't a safe spot, ESPECIALLY if you don't know the respawn timer.
Day 8, level 56
The best part about my double exp deaths from the night before: I was 4% from 57 the first time I died. So there I am staring at 78% or something like that.
I devise a new plan. Don't zone in without a Rune up.
I begin to advertise in OT: Clarity 2 for a peridot and some food/drink.
I get some food from an old pal Greybeard, buff an exp group for a dot and gate back to OT. I will be prepared this time.
This also inspired me to come up with a great new idea. I am going to camp a character in OT with a stack of peridots that can toss me one every time I need to zone in on a CR. Brilliant! Now to execute that plan....
I zone in with my Rune, dispatch a devourer and skelly and grab a key. I Invis past the golems and get around the corner before the first room.
Bad respawn: 2 greater plaguebones, a bile golem and a devourer.
I don't have my 255 charisma, so the skellies make me a bit nervous since they are a bit higher and much more resistant.
I am contemplating burning my one peridot trying to break that room with no gear on and I glance at my hotkeys.
Hmmm, I click it.
"Summoning a corpse" (Or whatever the hell it says).
I was able to summon it directly through the wall without killing a single mob in the North wing!
I gear up and decide to break in, but I aggroed the two golems through the door (Don't sit near it), had issues with the plaguebones resisting, and just generally had a crappy round of play.
Of note, I had around 8 calm resists between the two greater plaguebones while lulling the room, but I did not get a critical.
Then server GM, and pal, Aussie asked me if I wanted a rez from the night before with the odd issue with the Elementalbone, I said yes and got 9% exp back!
By the time i ran back down, that first room was beginning to repop, so I decided to call it a night.
Lesson(s): If you die on the south side of the ramp in North, you may be able to drag your corpse from the entry room. 255 CHA is very nice, and I still believe I will never have a crit resist again! (Let me dream)
Entry 9, Finally level 57
I logged in and killed a few mobs, dinged 57 then went through a day or two of dinging and undinging over and over. So much so that I have my new tash and my old tash pretty close together in my spell book.
HS has been a growing experience over a few days and I died many times, luckily a few rezzes were involved.
I still don't really know how to pull the room with the pather that paths between them. My first experiment was mezzing him while he was in between the rooms. This seems to work with the other pather that goes in and out of the south room. I can mez him, pet him and have him fight people.
This pather has lead to quite a few deaths, since I usually aggro his whole room when I pull him, mez him, anything.
I tried a new approach tonight, and it worked quite well.
I moved a pet by him and sent the pet in when he came out the door. I hoped I would be able to pull it back...and out came 5 mobs. With a pet though, this situation is pretty manageable, since they all go on the pet, and a pet in HS has a ton of hp.
With them all on the pet, I AOE mezzed and backed him off to think about the situation. Then I noticed a little friend had come to play, the Spectre Sepulchre was in my mez group.
Since I didn't want to lose the chance at a named in a great position, I decided to take the quick way out: suiciding pets.
To do this, I simply rooted all of the mezzed mobs on top of each other and sent my pet in to die. Instead of breaking invis and killing I let the pet die and made a new one.
With the Spectre Sepulchre in there, each pet went down pretty fast.
2 things on this: 1. I didn't want to risk death and the loss of my first named for some exp. I will probably not try to employ this again in the future though. 2. This made me really want a Gobby ring. Memming Invis and going through the steps to remove charm is nerve racking when you have so many mobs mezzed.
I did notice a huge issue with him on how long PE would hold, he was breaking them pretty fast. Once he was the only one left, I rooted a bile golem pather that had aggroed and I ran back to the ramp to grab a skeleton from the top.
After that, it was pretty easy to take down the named with root, slow and a pet.
Boom, I am finally on the board for the solo artist challenge!
Also, I killed the crypt wurm as well. He was up in the south room with three spawns and he was pretty easy to take down.
I noticed he was up and he was super easy to pull and slow.
On another pull, I made a pet, and decided to send him into a room of three to pull them out and make a conga line. I did this, pull him way back to me, and noticed i had pulled an extra five mobs. This time, I decided I would kill each one.
It took a bit, but with skellies in the mix and ToT, I was able to get an exp kill off of all 5 mobs, and my pet. I was impressed at this new tactic.
I think this is a pretty legitimate tactic, but I noticed the named I pulled the first time resisted my aoe stun once. This makes me want to mem two all the time, like it is recommended, and it also makes me wary of "trying" to pull this amount of mobs again.