Kevin C. Wong

August 2022

DDO - The Portal Opens - Reaper 10

The Portal Opens is the final quest in the City of Portal arc. I did this solo in 5-1/2 hours. Took me four tries (including one try where I did about half of it and then my computer shut down).

The first part, getting to the central room, is possibly the hardest. So many reapers and champions in my first three runs. Final run I got lucky and very few reapers throughout. This whole first part is too close to the entrance so Dimension Door back they'll still be chasing you. I did this without equipment to preserve them for later and most of my deaths come here.

After this the central room, left part and right part are not too hard. Enemies appear in certain sections and when you open doors so I got used to DDoor'ing as soon as or before it happened. Then it's easy to come back and snipe things slowly.

With the final triangle arena the key is to alternate going upper left and upper right, do a few attacks then DDoor out making sure bad guys don't end up near the entrance portal (btw you can't go back through the portal so you have to DDoor to get out of the final arena). No reapers and no orange champions so everything was fairly easy to kill.

Twenty-seven total deaths, I think 16 in the first part then I put on my equipment and did the rest and went through without losing any equipment.

Diary - Aug 20 to Aug 26 2022

Sat Aug 20 2022

Sleep 0430 to 1130 (7 hours)

  • Gaming at Woo's place. Tiny Epic Dungeons.
  • Bunnies & Burrows #7. Exploring hex #5 and hex #2 of Get Eaten Park.

Sun Aug 21 2022

Sleep 0630 to 1430 (8 hours)

  • San Mateo County at green COVID-19 level.

Mon Aug 22 2022

Sleep 0030 to 0830. (8 hours)

  • I just realized the song is "Cotten Eye Joe" and I always kept hearing it (some Twitch streamers I watch play this song a lot) as "Catman Joe". I mean, Catman Joe sounds like a very Twitch thing.

Tue Aug 23 2022

Sleep 0600 to 1300. (7 hours)

  • Got Popeyes (10 piece meal) for lunch/dinner.
  • CrossOver 22 released. Had to re-install DDO on a new bottle but it still had my configs which is nice -- hate redoing all the UI customizations.

Wed Aug 24 2022

Sleep 0100 to 0200, 0715 to 1415. (8 hours)

  • Started doing DDO The Portal Opens (2nd try) and forgot that Wed morning 0600 there are server reboots.

Thu Aug 25 2022

Sleep 0030 to 0430. 1 hour nap. (5 hours)

  • DDO The Portal Opens (3rd try). Got through one wing then was working on the other and my MBP shut down.
  • Also slowly going through my status reports and noting down projects I was working on.

Fri Aug 26 2022

Sleep 2145 to 0400. (6-1/4 hours)

  • Was tired so went to sleep early then woke up early. Did The Portal Opens and finished in 5-1/2 hours.

DDO - House of Broken Chains - Reaper 10

The House of Broken Chains

Total Time: 3 hours

Not that hard. I used Knock spell to open all but one of the slave pen doors. The last one I smashed then I ran to the ladder and up it to the ledge that leads to the optional tower. From the ledge I could take down the bad guys and did that for those group and a couple of others, though I kept getting shot down on the ladder (once you're on the ladder they stop moving forward so you might have to jump down to the ground floor then back on the ladder).

I didn't bother saving the slaves and killed them if they activated. Room on the north killed two slavers. Room in the middle killed one slaver. Room in the south (with the spiders) killed one slaver and then didn't bother clearing the south room. Slavers were all orange so takes like three Meteor Swarms to kill.

The last room I edged up, took out a couple of enemies, then Dimensioned Door out until there was no one but the main bad guy (and a couple of archers to the side which I missed but killed later). Then it was MS the bad guy and DD away and repeat until he died. Took like 22 cycles to kill the bad guy.

It's a bit annoying that Drow once they see you go into sneak mode so sometimes I would run into one and if I was lucky could Phantasmal Kill him or DD away.

Three or four Reapers and no big Reapers so that was lucky.

The House of Death Undone

Total Time: 4-3/4 hours

This one the undead are not that bad. Zombies are easy to kill. Undead mages are harder though if you can get cover then you pop out and hit them until they're dead.

From the entrance I went right to the shrine then hook a left to the laboratory. After the laboratory do the library. From both areas Dimension Door'ing back is too close for major Reapers and for the library Panthers. But if you go invisible and run for cover they'll run past you which is great for the Panthers since you can then go and blow up the library cauldron which also dispels the Panthers.

After that I kept going ground floor anti-clockwise to the dining hall and the temple. I avoided the whole middle of the arena and the upper catwalks. So many Reapers and major Reapers in this level (it took me three times and each time lots of Reapers). Luckily kitchen key in the Temple so then go to the Kitchen (mostly zombies so fairly easy).

Panthers guarding the doors were annoying and take a while to kill. The short hallway to the Matron/Priestess chambers had some guards but after you shoot them and DDoor they go back to their alcove -- I was afraid they'd end up stacking at the entrance.

Reaching the final room from the side is pretty nice. You can snipe there and taking out people on the far side of the room doesn't activate others and they don't get turned into undead. The bad guy you have a big wall to hide behind so pop out and shoot and if he starts moving up too much DDoor and he'll go back to his platform.

Hard but I was expecting it to be harder and it would have been much worse if the kitchen key was in the servant's quarters.

DDO - Don't Drink the Water/The House of Rusted Blades - Reaper 10

Don't Drink the Water

Total time: 5-3/4 hours

This one is fairly ideal for my character. Long sight lines. Yuan-Ti have spell resistance but I could overcome with a roll of 2. Final boss doesn't have a lockout or small room.

I only died 6 times, though second run. The first run I died more and got to the third barrier before CSr came online and I had to quit, but it meant for second run I knew where all the monsters appeared.

The dragon is fairly easy. I did have to jump down and attack him. Then I dimension door'ed and came back to the ledge. Whenever he lands you can shoot him from the ledge and you have a big wall to hide from his attacks.

When he's in the air he can't hit the ledge and neither can you hit him. Occasionally he flies up only halfway and you can still hit his lower half while he can't hit you and he'll just do that for half a minute.

Anyways, this one was long and fun catered to my character.

The House of Rusted Blades

Total time: 90 minutes

This one was another easy one.

1. Take the shortest path to the north room (opening just the doors you need) where the battle master's sword rack is.

2. Clear the path to the practice hall. Just walking into that corridor will activate the corridor guards after a few seconds then you can kill them.

3. Use a hireling to apply ichor to the sword rack. You can be in the upper corridor and summon the hireling right after.

4. Dimension door, ring the bell, invisible, walk through dimension door. At the entrance are four guards (2 then 2) who won't notice you (maybe won't notice you if you are not invisible).

5. Kill the guards to clear the entrance. I was lucky and all the guards were Phantasmal Killable.

6. Shooting Teblyn from the entrance then DD'ing doesn't break lock. Too close. I did manage to die not at the entrance then was able to resurrect and go back to entrance then kill people from there.

7. Shoot Teblyn. Retreat through the upper corridor almost back to the northern room. DDoor and step through before Teblyn reaches you. That's far enough to break aggro and you can run back and hit him once then DDoor and repeat.

8. Once Teblyn is dead the chest is in the arena but if the door is closed all the warriors are stuck there. I could shoot them from a distance and they didn't even shoot back, just milled around the door trying to get out.

Since bad guys only spawn once, when you ring bell, I didn't see any reapers.

Diary - Aug 13 to Aug 19 2022

Sat Aug 13 2022

Sleep 1000 to 1600. (6 hours)

  • Spent last night doing DDO Fathom the Depths R10.

Sun Aug 14 2022

Sleep 0545 to 1300. (7-1/4 hours)

  • Logged into my MBP 2015. I increment the password number and it was a lot higher than I expected.

Mon Aug 15 2022

Sleep 0230 to 1030. (8 hours)

  • Drobo is reporting the bottom (5th) drive failed. I think this happened before and removing/replugging in drive fixed it. Will wait until it finishes redoing data protection.
  • Finally read the WARN Act notice. So the whole thing about two months notice and you remain on the payroll is a California law. Not that far from what my company would have done before (you would get vacation as pay and a couple months on the company healthcare) except not being laid off immediately is a bit more comforting.

Tue Aug 16 2022

Sleep 1230 to 1800. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Couldn't sleep. Started playing DDO Don't Drink the Water R10 at 0600 and finished at 1130 or so. Then I was tired enough to sleep.

Wed Aug 17 2022

Sleep 0730 to 1530. (8 hours)

  • Drobo finished rebalancing. Removed failed drive. Looked at it with Disk Utility (not Mac format so wouldn't mount without erasing). Doesn't have SMART (or Disk Utility doesn't read that info yet has that display) so can't tell if it has actually failed. Inserted drive back into Drobo. Drobo thinks it's good. Guess we'll see.

Thu Aug 18 2022

Sleep 0230 to 0830. (6 hours)

  • Director called me to see how I was doing. He really wants me to put together a résumé this week. Then he can review and we can update it and send it out to internal and external teams. He really does want me to land on my feet so I'll feel bad if I don't start working on getting a new job.

Fri Aug 19 2022

Sleep 0730 to 1330. (6 hours)

  • Mistake watching a Captain Marvel scene late last night because then I pretty much watched the rest of the movie then watched Avengers: Endgame, skipping a bit but still ended at 0700.

DDO - Fathom the Depths - Reaper 10

Fathom the Depths

This one started a bit difficult since there are two guys right at the room exit and when I turned the corner there were a couple more guys and a Reaper. Close enough that Dimension Door didn't work to break aggro.

I died four times but one I cleared it I only died a couple more times until I got to the central room, which was also fairly easy since you have a ledge to fight from.

Flip the switch then DD back to the beginning and it's full of bad guys. Now it gets hard. I got into an alcove so I could fight them a bit at a time. The water elementals keep respawning if you venture near the place where you enter (which means that at this point DD will also spawn three water elementals if they're not already there).

Getting to the end room was a few more deaths. After realizing I couldn't DD there was a lot of rush up, do a Meteor Swarm, die. Repeat. But slowly made progress. The end room isn't enclosed so I could go in hit once or twice then die and it really helps that the two bad guys walk back to their start positions. Retreat to my cleric for resurrection then repeat. Bad guys did not heal.

Oh. There is a gate that goes down to block retreats but I guess it comes back up when you die and I never noticed it. Maybe it only counts PCs that go in since my hireling being alive didn't keep the gate down.

Anyways, 88 deaths. Ouch.

Essential Classic Fantasy RPG Collection

Essential Classic Fantasy RPG Collection is a collection of Old-School Essential books and Frog God products. The latter I'm not interested in so is the OSE by itself worth it?

Necrotic Gnome

NG-0014 OSE Classic Fantasy Rules Tome ($10 with 50% off)
NG-0017 OSE Advanced Fantasy Player's Tome ($15)
NG-0018 OSE Advanced Fantasy Referee's Tome ($15)
NG-0019 OSE Advanced Fantasy Reference Booklet (32pp compilation of tables) ($4)
NG-xxxx OSE Referee's Screen Inserts ($6)
NG-xxxx OSE Classic Fantasy Rogues Gallery 1 (21 NPCs) ($4)

NG-0020 OSE Adventure: The Incandescent Grottoes ($7.50)
NG-0021 OSE Adventure: Halls of the Blood King ($7.50)
NG-xxxx OSE Adventure: The Hole in the Oak ($7.50)
NG-xxxx OSE Adventure: Holy Mountain Shaker ($7.50)
NG-xxxx OSE Adventure: The Isle of the Plangent Mage ($7.50)

OSE Zine: Carcass Crawler #1 ($7.50)
OSE Zine: Carcass Crawler #2 ($7.50)

Beyond the Black Wall (adventure)
Catpocalypse Meow (adventure and optional rules)
Highfell (OSR mega-dungeon)
Paths of the Vanished (5E for levels 1-10)
Reaping at River's End (adventure)
Ruins of the Red Moon (solo adventure)
Stoneheart Valley (Pathfinder location with dungeon)
Sword of Air (sandbox campaign for levels 1-20)
Temple of Dagon (adventure)
Temple of Mercy (adventure)
The Weird That Befell Drigbolton (adventure)
Whisper's of the Serpent God (5E adventure)
Winter's Daughter (adventure)

Frog God Games

1975 (adventure for Swords & Wizardry)
The Black Spot (adventure)
Cat's Cradle (location)
Cat's Cradle and Eye of Itral Player Maps (add-on)
Dead Man's Chest (supplement)
Eye of Itral (adventure)
Fortune Hunters (NPCs)
Grand Duchy of Reme (location)
Let's Get Kraken (adventure)
The Lighthouse of Anan-Marath (adventure)
Rappan Athuk (Pathfinder/Swords & Wizardry)
Rappan Athuk: Players Guide
Rappan Athuk: Adventures in Zelkor's Ferry (location)
Rappan Athuk: Level 5D (dungeon)
Rappan Athuk: Swords & Wizardry Addendum (Pathfinder/Swords & Wizardry)
Rappan Athuk: Expansions Volume 1
Rocky Cape (adventure)
Sea King's Malice (adventure)
Sea King's Malice: Map Pack
Sea King's Malice: Token Pack (VTT tokens)
Terror at Wulf's Head (adventure)
The World of the Lost Lands (setting)

Pacesetter Games

Grave of the Green Flame (adventure)

Planet X

The Phylactery (zine)
The Phylactery 2 (zine)

So not much of the bundle is OSE and there is not that much OSE published anyways. $100 of OSE products for $25 is not bad. But now that I've written this up and read a few of the descriptions OSE is pretty much a B/X clone so desire to buy went way down since I have so much BECMI stuff.

Guess I'll skip this bundle.

Diary - Aug 06 to Aug 12 2022

Sat Aug 06 2022

Sleep 0600 to 1400. (8 hours)

  • Hmm. I think my company locked me out of the "work" laptop. Good thing I didn't install the management software on my main laptop. Or I forgot my password. Seems unlikely they'd lock me out if I then can't access the network to look for internal job postings.
  • After head mod stripped Founder's badge from people who never show up in the channel I now have a Founder's badge in Nemo's channel. I remember she ended stream then I went to take a nap then she started stream to announce she was an affiliate. The alert woke me up and I logged in and subbed but still more than 25 other people had subbed first. But at least I wasn't that far behind.

Sun Aug 07 2022

Sleep 0500 to 1130. 30 min nap. (7 hours)

  • NOC BBQ. About a dozen people showed up.
  • Watched Apple TV+ Luck with C3.
  • Received AirPods Max. A bit tight but not as bad as my Beats Pro (wired).

Mon Aug 08 2022

Sleep 0330 to 1130. (8 hours)

  • Spent six hours doing DDO The Black Loch on Reaper 10.

Tue Aug 09 2022

Sleep 0600 to 1230. (6-1/2 hours)

  • Still goofing off. Spent five hours doing DDO Partycrashers on Reaper 10.
  • Starting to clean my condo a bit. There's stuff on the countertops that's been there since I moved in thinking I'll get around to filing them. Also need to vacuum.

Wed Aug 10 2022

Sleep 0430 to 1030. (6 hours)

  • Listening to The Talk Show and they're talking about M1/M2 Macs using the SSD for swap. I feel uncertain about using an SSD for swap space since they're not rated for a huge amount of read/writes in their lifetime.
  • Then again my MBP has an SSD but also 64 GB RAM so I hope it doesn't swap that much. From my experience 64 GB is way overkill and 32 GB would have been fine.
  • A bigger problem is my MBP has a graphics card with 8 GB RAM which was the most back then but so many things want to use GPU processing (e.g. Chrome and Firefox are the biggest culprits). And I have three screens on so that uses a bunch of video RAM. I wonder if performance would be better if I went down to two screens (you can really feel everything start lagging at times).

Thu Aug 11 2022

Sleep 0830 to 1230. 1 hour nap. (5 hours)

  • Couldn't sleep so tried DDO The Tide Turns R10 and finally got a good start but was a bit tired and messed up the middle game.

Fri Aug 12 2022

Sleep 0300 to 1230. (9-1/2 hours)

  • Epic Games Store captures Page Down key to scroll their Games On Sale list. Annoying. Used StopTheMadness to protect all key presses on this web site which is a bit nuclear but it does fix that UI issue.
  • Two-hour long special HOA meeting. We finally approved bid to redo patio waterproofing; the hangup was what to do with the three big planters (solid stone and built into the patio). We decided to remove them which is the most expensive (waterproof them was other option).

DDO - Partycrashers - Reaper 10


Mark 1 (Entrance) - Meteor Swarm + Shadowblade. Run around. Second MS or SB to finish it off.

Mark 2 (icy Lion room) - Stand on hill on the left. Arcane Storm + Meteor Swarm + Shadowblade + Master Illusionist (95% concealment for 15s). Second MS or SB to finish it off.

If you die then resurrect even close to entrance the lions come after you.

Mark 3 (mushrooms Faery room) - Spike trap which triggers when you pass doorway. Hit guide a couple times (with Master Illusionist for another attack) then Dimension Door to reset. Guides don't snap back though some guides will run back when they lose aggro.

Don't DD in the room since it's too close to quest entrance and won't break Reaper/Guard aggro.

If there's a Reaper sometimes pathing gets it stuck to the corner of doorway as you retreat. DD and wait a bit might get it to return back to it's start.

With faeries hit with SB (or Phantasmal Killer since it's instant -- the faeries move fast) then SB faeries as they meander toward you. DD as needed.

Second set of faeries appear when Mark is attacked.

(Forgot about DD cooldown and attacked too soon.)

Mark 4 (spikes and illusionary marks) - Probably best to destroy mark before you go through doorway, then destroy the first duplicate mark.

Initial mark is too far away for Shadowblade and Meteor Swarm hits the ceiling. Too bad I don't carry a bow.

Mark 5 (Scorpion) - For guide you can retreat then jump from ledge to top mushroom and avoid him (he has an occasional ranged attack). For scorpion DD then MS once. Twice if you have MI ready.

Mark 6-9 (Giant) - You can dash in and out of doorway sniping giant but eventually wrong move and he kills you with one hit. He's also immune to fire so takes forever to kill.

With Master Illusionist you have 15s of near immunity (giant can still knock you down). Enough to rush to a mark and MS it once then get back through the doorway to safety. Do have to be careful if a Reaper spawns and teleports to you once you're "safe". Also some marks have weird walls around them -- sometimes you can MS them from a distance and sometimes it totally does nothing.

Maybe that doesn't work. Looks like Illusionary Wolf cold breath ignores Concealment. Protection from Elements + Fire Shield.

Oops. Destroying the marks does not kill the giant.

Double oops. You have to kill the giant to unbar the exit door. So strategy of going after marks first is unwise.

If you have to go after the giant first I think it's better at the entrance so that it doesn't heal from marks and you don't activate mobs.

Even at the entrance giant heals slowly (or I guess the healing from marks covers the whole room). Arcane Storm every 30s still does more damage but it is slow.

Huh. I don't need to step out. Usually I like the giant on the left side then I dart out on the right side and Arcane Storm. But it looks like maybe I only need like a hand through the portal to cast.

2 hours to kill the giant...


Once you're in the party the first three optionals are easy since I can one-shot the two disguised Tieflings and convincing the guards to leave is also easy. The private rooms are rough because the Tieflings snap back just outside the area so you can't run them around (I did run around two Reapers).

I ended up opening the shrine room then using that as a base. Go out and maybe kill a guy or at least do some damage then die. Since I'm in the area little snap back.

But got unlucky. Light Bearer (Deathblock) Malefic Seer could heal faster than I could revive and hit her. There was also a Light Bearer knife fighter who kept hiding so hard to find and kill and probably would heal faster than I could kill him.

A good effort. Possibly can do private rooms if healer's don't have Deathblock.


Did another run. Very good start because I didn't push and try to hit anybody twice before DD'ing away. Got to the giant with no deaths. Steady Arcane Tempest on the giant until he died. I did try Iceberg since the giant is vulnerable to cold. On a no-save crit it was 2k damage which but more like 600 and Arcane Tempest because of my bonuses was more like 1k damage. But useful get more dps since he's constantly regenerating hp.

In the private rooms I did a lot of go in kill one or two then DD out (was not doing that before because it takes two or three minutes to run back each time). This way I did kill a Malefic Seer (Arboreian) because he'll attack first and then if you DD out he goes inert and so never tries to heal himself.

There was also a champion knife thrower at the end who was concealed. But once I got him in a place in the first hallway from the entrance I could edge up, DD, Meteor Swarm then step through DD so he was always where I expected him to be.

DDO - The Black Loch - Reaper 10

Doing The Black Loch took me six hours. My gnome illusionist is not so good with undead, though at leas TBL zombie wizards can be Phantasmal Killer'ed and there are some bugbears and kobolds.

For me the key was disarming that one disarm-able trap (I used Iessin who can search then disarm the trap). With the trap out of the way Dimension Door is a viable option again. There was a whole lot of cast DD, run around corner, Meteor Swarm and Shadowbalde then run through the DD. Tthe last part of the dungeon takes like two minutes to run from the entrance so a bit tedious.

There were more Reapers than usual including I think three high level Reapers. This time I consistently made a Vengeance Reaper dance so maybe their Wills aren't as high as I thought.

With the running back I noticed you can shoot bad guys on the boat from the ledges that overlook the boat (the ledges near the entrance to the optional chest). That save some time running back, though I couldn't hit the last boss from there. Still the boat is the easy part as you can hang back and shoot from cover as the bad guys (other than Reapers) don't come out of the boat.

Diary - Jul 30 to Aug 05 2022

Sat Jul 30 2022

Sleep 0330 to 1030. 1230 to 1545. (10-1/4 hours)

  • Sleeping last night in the guest bedroom I had forgotten about the distant rhythmic machinery noise you can barely hear (and feel) when it's really quiet. Almost as if an alien space ship landed not too far away.
  • Was tired and took a 3-hour nap. Guest room is dark so I think that's why it was so long.

Sun Jul 31 2022

Sleep 0615 to 1415. (8 hours)

  • Wanted to get some work done today but got up late then late start so nothing much done.

Mon Aug 01 2022

Sleep 0330 to 0900. (5-1/2 hours)

  • Director called me (manager's manager) and said I'm going to be laid off Oct 03. I'm still at the company but should stop doing normal work and concentrate on applying for an internal transfer, if I want to. Apparently this will affect a fair amount of people so maybe there'll be a lot of people looking to transfer.
  • This is a "restructuring and workforce reduction" and I'm guessing this two-month period is to satisfy California law. I remember previous layoffs have been pretty immediate.
  • Well, if I do leave my company I'll finally be able to upgrade to latest macOS.
  • Walking pretty much normal now though a walk from the garage to my condo was a bit much. That base-of-toe area still not quite 100%

Tue Aug 02 2022

Sleep 0530 to 1530. (10 hours)

  • Took me almost five months but finally finished downloading all the stuff from's Bundle for Ukraine. I hope to never again buy a bundle with about a thousand separate products.

Wed Aug 03 2022

Sleep 0630 to 1430. (8 hours)

  • Even though I'm in danger of being unemployed I ordered an Apple AirPods Max for $473 with discounts, Amazon points and tax. It was on sale for $450 list price.

Thu Aug 04 2022

Sleep 0600 to 1200. (6 hours)

  • Keep saying it but still true that my foot is not quite 100%. Mostly the base of toe area a bit sore after a 10-minute walk around the building.

Fri Aug 05 2022

Sleep 0600 to 1230. (6-1/2 hours)

  • I forgot Friday Night Baseball start from beginning is only for latest iOS TV app not on Mac. Also it sucks that they show the current score in the preview window.
  • Bought Halls of Arden Vul Complete from Bundle of Holding. $110 PDF regular price for $25.

DDO - First Two Reaper 10 Wins

I'm level 26 and just did Bargain of Blood and Storm the Beaches at Reaper 10. Both are base level 20 quests and the 6-level difference is max for Epic Reaper.

Both are good for me since most enemies are non-undead non-SR creatures therefore easy to snipe with Phantasmal Killer even if a good number have Death Ward (I wonder if I can knock it down with Dispel Magic). Also there are no big battles in a confined room (I skipped optionals).

Bargain of Blood I died 24 times. A few Reapers and one Despair Reaper (the Despair was paired with a Fear but I got them far enough apart that after I died I was able to pull the Despair with a Shadowblade attack -- Shadowblade is a fairly quiet attack unlike Meteor Swarm which has a large attraction range). Solo at high Reaper levels there aren't like a whole lot of Reapers -- could be a function of number of PCs.

The final fight in Bargain of Blood is fairly easy. The final combat area has this anteroom and the walls are vertical poles so you can see the big bad. He can't hit you or charge you and when he's doing a charge I can dash out and hit him with Arcane Tempest and eventually he dies. The little guy is harder though you can kind of do the same using the anteroom to buy yourself a few more attacks before he kills you. Eventually he dies.

It was during BoB that I realized Dimension Door usually breaks aggro. Harder with Reapers since their detection range is fairly high. But that means for tough guys that don't snap back (and most in BoB don't snap back) I can hit a few times then DD out and reset. Storm the Beaches I can kind of do the same but ballistae have insanely high detection so even though you DD out of the map into a Deneith tavern you can come back and still be shot by a ballista.

Storm the Beaches I can take the enemy ship even if all I do is jump out of the water shooting bad guys with my Shadowblade (and if I hadn't used Meteor Swarm could have done it without alerting the bad guys in the aft tower). Then it's slowly killing the people at front and making your way up. Take out the ballistae with Meteor Swarm. I like doing the right side (facing the entrance) first.

Then go in through the back. I did at lower Reaper and was able to throw Meteor Swarm into the last room without activating other rooms but at Reaper 10 I attracted everyone. That good a bit tough but I got lucky against the big bad. From the bottom shrine to the main room there is a room with boxes and the form an L-shaped wall that you do a u-turn to go around.

The big bad was on the shrine side and I resurrected on the main room side. Then when I faced him he was too aggroed to go around the boxes and he got on a step so I could see his head. Not enough to shoot him with Shadowblade or Meteor Swarm but Arcane Tempest worked fine and I killed him easily.

Still I died 18 times doing this level. Once again not that many Reapers and all singles. Not sure if I saw a Vengeance Reaper this time or if it was my last run (at Reaper 6).'

I do run with a healer who stays back and resurrects me. If something goes wrong and the healer dies I also have Jack Jibber's Blade to resurrect myself and get to a shrine or raise the healer. I have a permanent Elleri Thistledown who can Divine Vitality me for about 200 spell points and top off my healing. Also have Epic Ring of Spell Storing for three more 200 spell point refreshes.

DDO - Level 26 Deep Gnome Wizard

I've been feeling really good about my Deep Gnome Wizard, an Illusion specialist. My main attack is two Phantasmal Killer innate-spells (so they're cheap to cast) with a DC of 65.

For generic attack I have Improved Shadowblade ranged which also knocks down SR by 9, though I seldom need it for that. It has a Draconic Destiny Mantle rider so it does a bunch of extra fire damage with four ticks. That's also an innate so cheap.

Mass damage I have Meteor Swarm (fire + force) and Arcane Tempest (force). Not innate so kind of expensive and I try not to use them.

Crowd control I have Greater Color Spray (innate illusion), Otto's Irresistible Dance (one target but no saves, I use this against Reapers as a backup to Greater Color Spray), and Otto's Sphere of Dancing (not that great a DC but it's a lasting area effect so you can run bad guys in and out until they fail).

All the above are my main toolbar, along with Arcane Insight (+6 DC and SR for 30s) and Master Illusionist (everyone in party has 95% concealment for 15s).

For undead work I replace Sphere of Dancing with Halt Undead. It's not that effective and it centers on where the target was at the start of casting so if I'm being chased it often misses. Much better with a second party member make the undead stop at a spot. Otherwise against undead I have to go heavy with Meteor Swarm and maybe Arcane Tempest if it's an undead that stays still. Sometimes I can snipe with Shadowblade.

For constructs it's also Meteor Swarm and maybe Arcane Tempest. Against things that heal with fire then I have to turn off my Draconic Mantle and rely on Shadowblade which is a hard row to hoe. Luckily construct people and dogs Phantasmal Killer works fine. It's things like mechanical golems and floating drones that suck.

In both cases I keep Greater Color Spray and Irresistible Dance because those are mostly for anti-Reaper work.