Delera’s Tomb

General Comments

Though I really, REALLY dislike every quest in this adventure pack, it is nonetheless one I would recommend picking up because of the experience and loot, though mainly the loot, which it offers. And despite the fact that there are only really noteworthy three items on the loot list from Delera’s Tomb, two of the three are so game-breakingly good that they bring the loot score up to 5/5.

Experience: 3/5

Delera’s Tomb contains a quest chain consisting of four parts: a level 5 quest, two level 7 quests, and a final level 8 quest. This is where you get your named loot. In addition to these quests, there’s a level 6 standalone quest which nobody should do because it’s boring and offers no good incentive to run it, a level 9 quest which requires you to do The Haunted Library, and two level 11 quests, one of which is decent experience, the other of which is somewhat lackluster.

Of the main quest chain, part 1 and part 3 are mediocre, while part 2 and part 4 provide decent experience incentives. Parts 2 and 4 are level 7 and level 8 respectively, and people actually used to run these multiple times as exp farms; however, with the advent of bravery bonus and quest exp ransack, this trend has become increasingly rare. Nowadays, it’s much more common to simply see people run through the chain in its entirety on elite.

So factoring in all quests in this pack, you get quests from both extremes of the exp spectrum, in addition to quite a few which are completely middle-of-the-road: Valak’s, Keeper’s, and From Beyond the Grave should never be run for any reason, ever, while The Missing Part and Thrall of the Necromancer can potentially be very good experience farms, and the rest of the quests in the pack are content with mediocrity in the exp department. All in all, given that I’m writing this in late 2015, where bravery bonus and quest exp ransack have killed off a lot of interest in the exp aspect of this pack, I’m giving the exp rating a 3/5.

Loot: 5/5

It’s not uncommon to see people recommend this adventure pack for one reason and one reason alone. That reason is the Voice of the Master, a level 5 trinket which provides a +5% bonus to all experience so long as it’s equipped, in addition to a +1 luck bonus to saves. The experience bonus is the main reason people like in, not to mention the fact that the trinket slot is great for an auxiliary bonus such as this one. The only other such item which provides this bonus is the Mantle of the Worldshaper, which unfortunately goes in the cloak slot–an often better-utilized slot, for the most part. (It’s also worth mentioning that you gotta run through Threnal for this item, and God knows how much we all hate that adventure pack.) Combining the two can provide you a ML 1 augment called The Master’s Gift which, while slightly better than its level 5 trinket counterpart,  isn’t really worth buying Threnal over, at least in my opinion.

So +5% experience at all times is pretty great. What else could possibly merit as much attention as the Voice of the Master? I’ll tell you: the Carnifex. It’s a ML 4 greataxe with a critical profile of 17-20 x3, meaning that, at level 4, it’s better than any other greataxe or greatsword in the entire game, arguably up until level 10 where you have access to the Sword of Shadow (and even then, that shit’s pretty rare). It’s hard to overstate just how powerful and potent that critical profile is: to put things in perspective, typical greatswords have a profile of 17-20 x2, while typical greataxes have a profile of 19-20 x3 (when factoring in keen/improved critical). Carnifex combines the strengths of both profiles to make for an utterly monstrous weapon which you will doubtless be using on any THF character you create. Although not to the same extent that repeater builds do nowadays, in the past, the Carnifex had a way of trivializing early game content in a way that no other weapon really did. I can’t think of any other weapon that, in its prime, so vastly outperformed every other option out there for as long a time period as the Carnifex did; it’s kind of like the Ken Hoang of two-handed weapons. Even now, as far as melee builds go in the early levels, Carnifex still reigns supreme.

Finally, on a more anticlimactic note, the last item worth mentioning is the Golden Cartouche, a ML 7 Necklace which grants a +3 bonus to UMD. This bonus stacks with a lot of different things, such as greater heroism, the ship buffs, and the Green Steel exceptional bonuses, thereby allowing you to more easily reach that magical 40 UMD benchmark. Not the most flashy or noticeable difference of the three main Delera items, but it still has its uses.

Fun Factor: 1/5

I don’t like any of these quests. They’re all boring and monotonous, with no variance in monster types or setting whatsoever. Running through these is a total drag, and yeah, I get that listening to Gary Gygax as the DM is supposed to be cool and all, but to me it doesn’t really add that much to the game. I’d honestly rather listen to Daniel Dennett talk about phenomenology or free will; that’s how engaging I find these quests. Not to take away anything from Gary’s achievements or anything (all the respect to him), but I simply do not like these quests.

As far as undead quests go, Necropolis 1 and 2 offer more fun and variable settings. On the other hand, every quest in Delera’s Tomb feels the exact same, with the exception of From Beyond the Grave, which is really bland and boring to me anyway. I get why people consider this an essential adventure pack, but I’ll be damned if most people running it actually enjoy running it. No, this is one of those packs that you get because you should, not because you want to.

Popularity: 4/5

Unlike a lot of heroic content, Delera’s Tomb still experiences some degree of popularity. People still run this shit, and it’s hard not to see why. The experience is quite good, meaning that people on their next TR life will run it on the journey, and it offers the Voice of the Master, meaning that people starting a new character will want to run this chain at least once. Though DDO isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be, Delera’s Tomb experiences more success than many of its ill-fated alternatives in the heroic levels. So like it or not, it seems like it’s here to stay.

Pricing: 2/5

850 TP is steep. Especially when you consider that most of the content here is ranged from level 5-8 and it’s not really that much content anyway (only eight quests). I would give the pricing a 1/5 if not for the fact that you can get the Voice of the Master and Carnifex here. Those two items alone bring the pricing up to 2/5.

Overall: A-Tier.

Thoroughly boring pack IMO, but you’ll probably experience very little difficulty in finding a group for it, and as I’ve mentioned already, the loot is considered essential by many players. Personally, though, I think there are several packs that are more essential to buy before Delera’s–packs which offer more well-rounded rewards than the Voice of the Master and Carnifex.

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