House Cannith Challenge Pack (Vault of the Artificers)

General Comments

House Cannith Challenge Pack is unique in that you can technically play it as a free player (you can get a free challenge token every day, which lets you run a challenge of your choice). This means that you’re afforded the luxury of being able to try out the challenges and see if they’re to your liking before purchasing the pack! Think of it as a free trial.

Experience: 3.5/5

Challenges adhere to a unique experience mechanic. They can be completed at any level in their given range–for instance, Behind the Door can be completed at any level between 4 and 15–but they can only award their maximum experience at the maximum level. Even so, you’re given a lot of flexibility in regards to when you can run these packs (you can run ’em at any level from 4-25), which allows for auxiliary options for those who are tired of traditional questing and want to do something different at any given time. But beware that it’s generally advisable to only complete each challenge once per life, since once you’ve gotten 6 stars on a quest, repeated completions don’t provide nearly as much experience. Still, there are a total of 21 quests here, so even if you only complete each once, that’s a lot of potential experience.

Loot: 4/5

There’s a lot of loot here which is still good today. Though unfortunately, a lot of the level 20 stuff is arguably unnecessary due to the presence of Thunderforged weapons at level 22. Still, you get a wide assortment of items which range from being spectacular niche items to overall powerhouses in multiple areas.

At level 20, Mournlode weapons are almost as good as Greater Disruption Green Steel items. Being much easier to obtain, they’re thus a great substitute as undead beaters.

With Corrosive Salt and Crushing Wave, Calomel Weapons at level 20 even surpass Green Steel, though don’t quite eclipse Alchemical Weapons. Still, being much easier to get, they’re a good substitute until you can get Alchemical Weapons.

Though limited in itemization options, the Cannith Elemental Weapons are all powerful across the board. They’re worth obtaining as early as level 12 (if you don’t have Green Steel, that is), and, like Calomel Weapons, are a great substitute for Alchemical weapons at level 20.

Frozen Tunic is the best level 4 outfit in the game. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. Its Freezing Ice effect is simply too good to pass up, and retains its usefulness all the way to level 20 on some builds. I’d say it’s not really even worth upgrading for a lot of builds, since higher tiers of the item only grant it caster effects like Ice Lore 5 and Glaciation 78. Fire Shield Guard is somewhat nice, though.

Bracers of Wind are similarly an amazing choice for level 3. Permanent blur as low as level 3 is a great effect for pretty much any build out there. Higher tiers of this item upgrade its lightning lore and magnetism effects, making it more suited for Sorcerers and Druids. Higher tiers of this item also grant it Dodge bonuses and the Air Guard enhancement, making it a good item in general.

Blasting Chime has its uses with Bard builds, though it’s one of the more niche items here. While its Weaken Construct effect can be useful for melee builds in general, the rest of its effects seem more tailored to Bards.

Ring of the Master Artifice is probably one of the best items here due to its usefulness at every level. As low as level 3, it has a repair light damage clicky and has the unique “Auto Repair” enhancement, which has a chance of casting repair moderate wounds on the user when hit. As you upgrade it, this effect turns into repair serious at level 11 and reconstruct at level 20. In addition, the item’s clicky is also upgraded to reconstruct at level 15, and its final upgraded form boasts the Repair Systems enhancement as well, making this item one of the best self-sustaining items for warforged/bladeforged players or Artificers with construct essence. Its Archmagi, Reconstruction +90, and Repair Lore 6 also make it well-suited for any warforged players with repair spells.

My personal favorite item here is the Ring of the Stalker. At level 11, it gains the Manslayer effect, and at various levels, it boasts Insightful Sneak Attack Bonus and Seeker effects, allowing for a good deal of supplementary damage which a lot of items don’t grant. At level 15, it gains Ethereal, allowing you to hit incorporeal monsters, and this effect is upgraded to Ghostly when fully upgraded, granting +10% incorporeality.

The Stone Prison and Earthgrab Guards on the Rock Boots make for a really fun item to use as well. I’d love to see someone pair this item with the Earthshatter Warhammer.

I should also note that one of these challenges, Epic Time is Money, is the fastest way to farm for Epic Tokens of the Twelve. EN Devil Assault comes close and has the potential of surpassing it if in a group, however, so bear that in mind.

Fun Factor: 3/5

I love some of the challenges of here, while I feel indifferently on others. A lot Most of the challenges in the Extraplanar Palace and Lava Caves are rehashings of Crystal Cove. I like Crystal Cove, but it starts to feel like Turbine was getting kind of lazy when designing these. A lot of these challenges can also be really frustrating when trying to solo, which presents its own problem because of how unpopular this pack is. Challenges were inherently designed to be run in a group, and this is a huge problem now that DDO’s population is dying.

The Kobold Island and Lava Caves challenges in particular are impossible to milk for their full potential unless you’re in a six-man group. To a lesser extent, this can be a problem with Extraplanar Mines as well. So good luck with them. I do really like the challenge design of the Kobold Island challenges and think that the idea behind them is fairly unique. The only flaw is, again, that DDO just doesn’t have the requisite population these days. Thankfully, it is possible to solo all of these challenges; it’s just that a lot of them are not as rewarding when soloing.

That is, except for the Dr. Rushmore’s Mansion challenges. These ones are my favorite challenges in the game because of the concept behind them, the fact that they can be soloed, and for their experience rewards. True to the dungeon’s name, the challenges involve lots of rushing and racing against time. It keeps you alert and on your toes in a way unlike any other quest in the game.

Popularity: 1/5

I rarely see LFMs for these challenges pop up, and whenever I want to get a group together to run these, it’s a lost cause. This is a true shame, because these challenges need to be run in order to experience their full potential. I only have Turbine to blame, because if they hadn’t ruined the game by splitting it into two, there’d doubtless be a lot more people playing heroic content.

Pricing: 2/5

1,295 TP makes this the most expensive pack in the game that isn’t an expansion pack. I do think the pricing is somewhat justified, though, given the diverse level range, the amount of content you’re getting, and the quality of the loot.

Overall: Upper C-Tier. 

While I really want to put this pack in the B or even A-Tier, it’s too hindered by its lack of popularity. Aside from this, however, it has a lot going for it: great loot, great experience, and mostly fun challenges which are a refreshing break from most of the game’s other content. It’s possibly the only pack below B-Tier which has all the ingredients necessary for a great pack and is held back solely by its lack of popularity. All of the other packs below B-Tier are brought down more by intrinsic properties like lack of experience, poor loot, or boring quests, so in this respect, the House Cannith Challenge Pack is an anomaly.

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