Though the loot aspect of this pack is somewhat dated (with one or two notable exceptions), every quest in The Vault of Night experiences a decent degree of popularity. There are multiple quests here which offer phenomenal experience, and since the pack has an epic difficulty, players get lots of replay value from this pack because of how much experience it offers across all difficulties. Add to this the fact that the quests themselves are rather unique and you get a pack which not only is practical, but one which is considered by most to be fun to play as well.
Of the ten highest experience quests in the entire heroic game, this adventure pack hosts two of them. Conspicuously, the other eight quests are all in the level 16-20 level range, with two of them never being run for experience and two of them never being run at all.
The pack itself is comprised of four flagging quests which must be completed in any order. Completing them unlocks access to the pre-raid and the raid itself, in a similar mechanic to the Restless Isles arc. The first two quests, Tharashk Arena and The Prisoner (not to be confused with the British TV series), offer moderate experience–not too great, but not terrible either.
And then you get to Jungles of Khyber, AKA “VoN3.” This quest can easily be rushed in under ten minutes both in the heroic and epic game. In the heroic game tends to give me anywhere from 60k-70k experience depending on how many of the optional rares show up. On epic normal, it’s popular to run this quest twice a day on epic normal, and the experience yield similarly fantastic: something in the vicinity of 80-100k. In both games, this quest is arguably the best quest to run for experience… well, maybe excluding Shadow Crypt in heroic, but still.
Haywire Foundry isn’t bad either, and I’ve seen some people run it twice a day, though it’s nowhere near as great as Jungles of Khyber. It’s still worth running in order to flag for The Vault of Night, however.
The Vault of Night is the name of the pre-raid. You enter the raid, The Plane of Night, straight from The Vault of Night, although it should be noted that groups for the raid itself are somewhat less popular than exp groups for the Vault of Night. This is understandable because of the pre-raid’s amazing experience: 12,699 base on heroic elite and 56,715 on epic elite. A group that’s anywhere remotely competent can complete the pre-raid in around 20-25 minutes, and when factoring in experience bonuses, you can get over 2k experience/hour on heroic and over 4k experience/hour on epic. Not too shabby, eh?
As with many raids, a lot of the loot is pretty bad, but a few items are so good that the raids are running solely for those items.
I guess I’ll start off with the Epic Red Dragonscale armors. Take a look at the robe version. (Keep in mind that all of the different types of armors–light armor, robe, heavy, medium–offer the same bonuses, the only difference being armor type and therefore AC bonus and everything else it entails.) These aren’t so great for casters anymore, but incineration guard and eternal fire make these armors some of the best ones for melee and ranged builds. There aren’t any other items which grant the “Eternal Fire” effect. The only problem with these armors is how rare they are to get: you’ll need 20 Flawless Red Dragonscales, 20 tokens of the twelve, and most importantly, the Shard of the Red Dragon which never drops. It’s because of the Shard that these items are more-or-less impossible to get, sadly…
Belt of the Mroranon is a decent item to get, given its +6 str bonus at ML 9, though Cannith Crafting allows for more flexibility in regards to where you can slot your bonuses. In this regard, the item hasn’t aged very well. Helm of the Mroranon similarly offers +6 wisdom at ML 9. In my opinion, these items aren’t all that great anymore, but I can still see them experiencing some degree of use, so make of them what you will.
The Disciplinator is the only runearm in the game that grants Smiting Weapons, and since you can decrease its ML to 7 via Cannith Crafting, it’s only gotten better with time. Definitely something worth trying to get if you’re intend to make Artificer builds or builds with Artificer splashes in them.
The penultimate item I want to mention is the Kundarak Delving Boots. They’re the lowest level equip which grants continuous Freedom of Movement, and because of this, they’ve experienced a lot of popularity over the years. Personally, I’ve never thought these are all that great. While FoM is a good effect, I tend to slot other things in the boot slot, and I can’t say I’ve ever died due to lacking FoM. In other words, I don’t consider it an essential. Furthermore, right now, I see them as being a lot less useful because of the introduction of the Eternal Flask of Free Movement.
And lastly on my list is the perennial favorite of THF builds since this pack’s inception: The Sword of Shadow (and its epic equivalent). At ML 10, the heroic version offers great base damage, a 18-20 x3 critical threat range, and Adamantine. It’s one of the only weapons in its level range which is capable of eclipsing Green Steel, and it’s not uncommon to see people using this sword up until level 20… and then using its epic equivalent up until level 28. The epic version is similarly great, boasting +10 enhancement bonus, two augment slots, the same critical profile, and heightened base damage. It’s hard to overstate just how good these weapons are, and you should definitely try to get one if you plan on doing multiple THF lives.
Fun Factor: 4/5
I’ve never personally found these quests to be all that fun to run, but I can at least recognize their appeal. While Tharashk Arena and Jungles of Khyber are more-or-less vanilla, The Prisoner and Haywire Foundry are really different from other quests around their level in both setting and in quest objectives. Plane of Night is a really well-constructed raid with a completely unique setting and one of the first dragon boss fights in DDO (it’s ironic how sparse dragons are in this game, considering that this game is titled Dungeons and Dragons online). The Vault of Night features a multitude of quest objectives and is really rewarding the first time you actually figure out what’s going on.
Jungles of Khyber and Vault of Night speak for themselves. The experience is simply too good for people to pass up.
750 TP is a bit on the pricey side, which is why I’m hesitant to rank the “Pricing” rank any higher, but considering how good the experience is and how easy it is to find a group for these quests, it’s definitely worth the money. I think that regardless of your profile as a gamer, you will enjoy this pack. Casual players can enjoy these quests for what they are, since these quests were produced in an era back when Turbine cared about creating quality content. Hardcore completionists can enjoy the experience and some of the loot that it offers.
There’s really something here for everyone, and it’s arguably a necessity if you’re going to do the epic game. There are no real flaws in this adventure pack, and it has all the ingredients necessary to make for a good gaming experience: great experience, some pieces of game-breaking loot, and unique quests, all of which coalesce to create one of the most popular packs in the game.