Reign of Madness

General Comments

Reign of Madness is a perfect sequel to Harbinger of Madness in just about every way. With so much of both packs being similar in terms of aesthetic, creativity, loot rating, and the relative amount of experience they each provide, it’s hard to choose between the two.

Experience: 3/5

Three flagging quests which must be completed in order to access a final quest, all of which are level 17.

While its prequel mostly featured average to above average experience across the table, here is more a tale of extremes. Acute Delirium and The Lord of Stone are pretty bad in terms of experience, but the Sane Asylum (not to be confused by that obscure 1988 metal album by Blind Illusion) comes very close to rivaling the Reaver’s Reach quests. This is because the Sane Asylum can be easily rushed in under five minutes, lending itself to easy farms. In addition, the final quest, Lord of Eyes, is fairly high experience for those who know what they’re doing.

Loot: 3/5

As with its prequel, there’s a good amount of loot here which I’d say is above average for its level (mostly 15-16), but which isn’t game-breaking in any way. As such, it hasn’t been ousted by power creep and newer items yet, while at the same time never being on the same level as some of this game’s top-tier loot. I think it’s in a good place right now, and always has been.

Shard of Xoriat is a fun summoning item to use, or alternately, it can be used by Sorcerers who could use another point of charisma. Similarly, the Sustaining Symbiont offers an exceptional bonus to constitution in additional to Greater False Life, making it a good, though not great, trinket. Both drop from the Sane Asylum and are extremely easy to get.

Earthshatter Warhammer is the only item in the game to have the Rock Shattering enchantment, which allows you a high chance of instantly destroying any petrified or stone-based enemy, including gargoyles and earth elementals. Since it also has the “Greater Stone Prison” effect, you can thus turn enemies to stone and then have a chance of destroying them instantly. It’s a war hammer, which is a pretty awful weapon itself, though I think its item effects make it an interesting item to use. It drops from Lord of Stone, which is kind of boring to farm through, but the drop rate is relatively high.

Belashyrra’s Cleansed Scepter, on the other hand, can be frustratingly difficult to farm. It randomly is generated with one of five different elemental combinations (such as Radiance 84 + Greater Regeneration or Combustion 84 + Fire Lore 5), and while these effects are all pretty good, the random lootgen mechanic can make it tough to find the effect you want, if you indeed want this item.

As far as end rewards go, this pack has some notable items as well.

Fang of Siberys is one of the select group of items in this game which is one tier below Green Steel–an honor which is shared by some of the Harbinger loot and Attack on Stormreach weapons as well. I think it’s a good thing that Turbine created items like these because, while not as powerful as Green Steel, they’re still respectable, and they’re much easier to find. That’s how balance in loot should be, if you ask me.

Nature’s Vengeance also belongs to this tier. Its sunburst effect allows for similar usage as Radiant Green Steel items, meaning that Thief Acrobat builds and other staff builds which utilize sneak attacks will appreciate having this item.

Fleshshaper’s Brigandine, Fleshshaper’s Docent, and Infused Chaos Docent are some of the only armors in the heroic game which match Dragontouched, so they’re worth mentioning. As I noted in my Harbinger review, there’s also an option to upgrade these items via the Altar of Insanity with your choice of a nice effect, such as Melodic Guard, Displacement Guard, or +10 resistance bonus to a save of your choice.

Fun Factor: 4/5

Aside from The Lord of Stone, every quest here is very creative and unique. Even Lord of Stone, notwithstanding its straightforward layout, can be argued to be something of an anomaly among DDO’s quest arsenal when you consider its setting. To tell the truth, I don’t mind this quest.

Acute Delirium involves you constructing an airship out of beds and then venturing into the Belly of a Beast, a quest objective which is much better contrived than the quest in this game which is actually titled In the Belly of the Beast. You see, you have to go into the stomach of a giant beholder who ate a chest mimic who ate the key you need, and the only way to chase this beholder through the Xorian skies is to construct this airship out of beds and bookshelves. If all that sounds insane, it is–it is a Xorian-themed quest after all.

The Sane Asylum features an interesting take on the sliding puzzle mechanic which has one of two configurations (randomly generated at the start of the quest). The sliding puzzle takes place within a cube-shaped room, and there is a sliding puzzle on each of the room’s six faces. Moving a piece on one face will move its corresponding piece on the opposite face of the cube. Even though I found this puzzle to be difficult and somewhat frustrating the first time I completed it, looking back, I have to say that it is an interesting variant on the typical sliding puzzle, and I have to give Turbine credit for trying something different.

The final quest, the Lord of Eyes, takes place in the Tower of the Twelve, which has now been overrun by creatures from Xoriat. Similarly to Stealer of Souls, this quest features multiple elemental-themed areas which must all be completed, and a challenging boss fight as well (although this one is mandatory). The Tower of the Twelve is full of surprises and interesting arcane-inspired tidbits, which makes for what I find to be a fun setting. This is the standout quest here if you ask me.

Popularity: 2/5

I suppose others don’t find this pack to be as fun as I find it to be; the only quest here that gets run with any frequency is the Sane Asylum due to its easy experience. Maybe it has to do with every DDO player being too busy rushing to level 28 through the most optimal route possible and not having enough time to play through some of the game’s more well-designed quests.

Pricing: 2.5/5

I’m gonna copy-paste what I wrote for this pack’s prequel, because it applies here as well:

It’s 450 TP for what I’d consider to be an average to above-average quest chain. Like the Carnival and Attack on Stormreach, it’s only four quests on heroic difficulty and nothing more, so bear that in mind if you decide to purchase this pack.

Overall: Lower B-Tier. 

I really like this pack, but like its predecessor, it’s by no means necessary. Still, it has enough going for it that I’m hesitant to label it in the C-Tier and merely call it “average,” because I think that on every front, it’s a good pack–it just doesn’t offer enough content, experience, or loot to be considered essential.

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2 Responses to Reign of Madness

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