Wednesday, January 30, 2013

013 - Beginners Guide : Tip 4 - Learn to farm

A good drop during farming

Bigpoint profiles Drakensang Online as a free to play mmorpg.  There has been much debate whether DSO is really free to play or not.  For me it is certainly possible to DSO for free.  But if you want to compete with the best, you will need to invest some $$ or learn to farm.

What is farming ?

What is farming actually ?  Underneath the definition taken from

The act of accumulating currency or items by constantly killing a mob or repeatedly performing a series of actions.

In Drakensang there are 2 reasons to farm.
  • The first one is to obtain Crystals of Truth, andermant, health potion or blue essence. This is done by clearing, mostly lower level, dungeons.
  • The second is to obtain unique items.  This is done in group by killing a boss over and over again until he/she drops the unique item.

To measure is to know

If you want to start farming it is good to know what to expect.  The question you should ask yourself is where do I get the most of the wanted item(s) in a certain amount of time?  The only way to know this is to note every drop you got and do some statistics on them.  After a while you will notice that not all dungeons have the same droprate. 

note : I will give the droprates of several dungeon in one of the next posts

Keeping statistics about droprates has a few other benefits too.
  • If droprates change you will be able to know soon.  This was the way I know droprates at gorga normal has changed, despite what Bigpoint says.  Read the post about the end of gorga normal farming
  • You will farm more because you will farm in the best places
  • You will farm more because you will often do an extra run to get more number for your statistics
  • Keeping records makes farming less boring.  To be honest, this is not the most exiting part of the game.
Best way to farm at Drakensang Online

Underneath a way to farm for Crystals of Truth, andermant, and so on.  Unique farming, at bosses, is different.

  1. Find the map of a low level dungeon.  You can make one yourself (screenshot and paint) of the wiki pages can help you too.
  2. Study the map and try to figure out the shortest route possible to cover the entire map.  Quick runs are important because you can do more runs in the same amount of time.
  3. Start clearing the map.  While doing so, make note of your drops.  Excel is a good program for this. (make your notes first on paper, import them later in excel)
  4. While clearing, pay attention where the treasury chests are.  Make a mark on the map where there are.  You'll see that the chest are not in the same place every time.  But they do have dedicated 'slots' which are worth reminding so you can find them easily in the future.
  5. Take notes on how long it takes to clear that dungeon
  6. After 5 runs or so, start studying your results.  Use the formula function in excel to calculate the average drop of a certain item per run or, even better, per hour.
  7. When you've done this for several dungeons, you can decide which one is the best for you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

012 - Looking for good PvP Guild

The current event is still running but it's time to look ahead.  Next event will probably be a PvP event.  In my experience with PvP battles, it is very important with who you play if you want to win.   And winning you need to if you want the rewards of such an event.

Therefor I think it's wise to seek for some good PvP players with whom I can do the event.  Instead of just asking around I took a different, more funny, approach :)

Underneath you'll see my 'advertisement'.  I'm looking for a guild with good PvP players who will do the next PvP event seriously.  If you think I'm a good addition to your guild or have some questions, please contact me.

My funny advertisement ;)

011 - Achievements - 2 - Completed Lost Truth Event but ...

End reward of Lost Truth Event

Today I completed the Lost Truth Event my way.  With 'my way' I mean I did it solo and I farmed Temple Sector simultaneously.  My tactics I explained in a previous post : 010 - Tips & Tricks 2 : Lost Truth Event - Tactics.   

It took me about 30 hours to proceed to 2500 Draken, the last 500 only took 2 seconds  :|

By farming the Temple Sector as well, I gained the following during the event :
  • 80 gold
  • 3500 andermant
  • 3200 Crystals of Truth
  • 320 Ancient Knowledge Scrolls
  • 80 Health potions
  • 50 gemstones
  • 15000 blue essence (all used in killing gnome)

Completed ? Yes !  but ...

During the event Bigpoint experienced (serious ?) problems with their servers because of the increase traffic the event caused.  I copied the announcement on the English forum underneath.

Heroes of Duria,

You might notice today a large number of HOTFIXES directly after the weekend.
We just want to let you know why this was highly needed.

We did start the “Lost truth” event Friday the 25th 2013. Short after the start of the event we had a lot more users playing online as expected. Sure, we do expect higher amounts of players during the time we have an event running, but all of our forecasting was still lower than the reality.

On the first place we like to see that the event was so high frequented! But during we smiled and where happy we noticed first user reports about vanishing item and crystals not counted to your event progress.

Bam! The smile was gone and we did checked everything what was possible during the weekend to find out what is wrong.

Finally we were able to identify the problem, hardware. The high amount of users.

The main problem “why” this happened has now been fixed. And no more items should vanish from your inventory or crystals should no longer be not counted to your event progress.

And we also want to ensure for the future to not have issues like that again.

We currently think about a compensation for everyone and will let your know soon what and when this will be booked to you.
We apologies for any inconvenience during your DRO gaming experience this weekend.

On Tuesday hotfix number 4 (!!) was issued.  At the same time Bigpoint revealed the compensation for lost playing time.  And I quote again from the English forum :

Once the hotfix is done and you log in, you will see a little compensation package. This package appears to those players who took part in the event. Players who have not played, won’t get any.
Everyone of those players will get following items as compensation:
- 1500 Andermant
- 500 pure Viscanium as Eventprogress
- 50 Draken
In order to receive the rewards, you must loot or buy at least one other Viscanium. Once done, you will get the additional rewards as shown in the progress bar.
Although the compensation is generous for me (I didn't experience real problems) it leaves a sour taste behind.  I had 2496 pure viscanium when the announcement was made.  That meant I completed the event ...  ... by cheating ??  Didn't feel right.  There was no climax.  No euphoria when i found the last couple of pure viscanium.  On the other hand ... it saved me 6 hour of farming.  Can certainly use that for something else.


Rewards of the Lost Truth Event

Towards rewards this event wasn't great.  Only the 3000 Crystals of Truth and the 340 Draken can help you in the long run.  The skin, emote and horse or nice, but thye won't make you a better warrior.

Emotes, more emotes and even more emotes ... 

This is only the second event I complete and yet I have several emotes, mounts and pets in my inventory.  Inventory and locker space are one of the most precious things in Drakensang Online imho.  You are always short on those and they can only be bought with andermant, no other way to acquire them.  To make it worse, they are not really cheap.  Increasing you inventory with 7 slots costs you at least 1500 Andermant - read : 2€.  When you have more slots, it's even more expensive.

So I asked myself if I really needed those emotes ?  Do I really need 2 mounts.  Answer -> NO !  I could save inventory and locker space just by deleting all those which wont help me becoming a better warrior.  I ended up deleting 6 items, including the 2 rewards from this event.

This is another way to keep your inventory and locker space under control.  An other way can by found in 007 - Tips & Tricks 1 : Increase inventory for free.

Conclusion :

This was an easy event for me because I normally already farm a lot.  So this event was just a long intensive farming session for me.

I didn't like the rewards that much because they don't help me becoming a better warrior.  I would rather have a special gemstone or a pet (other then 5% HP) as reward.

The end of the event was a little disappointing because it came so suddenly.  Although a bummer for me, Bigpoint did gave a compenstion. 

I don't know what to think about the server problems at Bigpoint.  If it's really because of the unexpected server load because there are that many players, than there is still something good in it (more players).  But I really hope it isn't just a shortcoming of the hardware at Bigpoint.  If so, we're getting more of these memory failures in the future.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

010 - Tips & Tricks 2 : Lost Truth Event - Tactics

Yesterday a Lost Truth Event started.
You can see the announcement on the Drakensang Online forum here.

Drakensang Lost Truth Event
Lost Thuth Event

I farmed 550 pure viscanium in the first 9 hours, including making up my tactics, eating and having a break.  Once I had my tactics I farm around 80 (60 to 100) pure viscanium per hour.  In this way the whole event will take me around 40 hours of playing time to complete ... sic

I want to share the way I do this, solo, probably it helps others.

Because I'm level 40, viscanium only drops from worthy monsters.  Playing in a PvE area doesn't seem good because it's too crowdy.  Others can easily take your kills (and viscanium) away.  So I choose the temple sector to farm.

Secondly the Temple Sector is good for farming anyway.  Besides the viscanium it will yield a reasonable amount CoT, andermant, gemstones, health potion and blue essence.  You will encounter some level 40 monsters which give the possibility of a unique drop. (I will do a post about farming and drop rates in different dungeons soon). There are also 3 quest you can do while farming the Temple Sector.  These 3 quests will give you around 1 gold each run, the higest amount of any dungeon.  Because of these reasons I prefer the Temple Sector over a lower dungeon.

1) The first thing I did (and always do with an event) is map the sector I want to farm.

Drakensang Temple Sector
Temple Sector

2) Then I farmed the whole map without geodes.  That gave me 20 pure viscanium.  Because there are 5 geodes in the map which give between 1 and 10 pure viscanium (at average the drop rate seems to be 3 pure viscanium per geode) it was soon clear to me geodes are important.

3) I also located the place where the Gravel-Gobbler Gnome was and confirmed it is in that spot every time.  I takes 200 blue essence for me to kill it. (stats with blue : 770 dmg and 1.5 attacks per second)  I take blue to speed up things a little bit. (and because I farm enough, no need to buy)

Drakensang Gravel Gobble Gnome
Gravel-Gobbler Gnome

4) short route :  When I have less then 5 pickaxes I take the short route.  In this way I try to do as many Gnomes as possible to build up the amount of pickaxes.  No need to go the long way if you can't open the geodes.  This route takes about 10 minutes ( measured from city to city).  I'm not sure how many viscanium it yields me.  I guess it must be around 5.

long route : When I have 5 pickaxes or more I do the long route.  This route gives me 20 to 25 pure viscanium and 80 unpure which can be at Shady John in Kingshill for 4 pure.  This gives me a total of 25 to 30 pure viscanium in a little over 20 minutes.

5) Reset time dungeon.  Every dungeon needs to reset himself before you can start with a new map.  For the Temple Sector this seems to be 4 minutes (probably this is so for all dungeons). 

6) Second gnome.  Because I need to wait around 2 minutes before I can reenter the Temple Sector I go to Mount Suvius and kill the Gnome there for extra pickaxes. (I ride with my horse to the spot, again to speed up things).  On the image underneath the location of the gnome is marked with a yellow star.

Drakensang Mount Suvius
Mount Suvius

This map was taken from the wiki page where you can find the maps of all dungeons with the stones, geodes and gnomes marked.

7) Drop rates :
Stones :  40 opened, 16 pure viscanium (33%), 24 unpure viscanium (66%)
Geodes : 39 opened, 21 * 1 pure viscanim (~50%), 18 * 5 pure viscanium (~50%)
Gnome : 27 killed, 17 * 1 pickaxe (63%),  9 * 5 pickaxes (33%), 1 * 10 pickaxe (4%)

8) Thoughts :  I haven't played in group yet. I'm not sure it's better, but I think you can sweep the temple sector in 10 minutes (or less) with a group.  That way will give you 20 pure viscanium in 10 minutes or around 80 per hour (including the reset time of the dungeon) which is equal to my 80 per hour.  This figure ignores the geodes because viscanium only drops for those opening the geode, not for the whole group.

But in groups you have always a lot of dead time (and I hate that).  You need to wait for others to exit the dungeon ect. ....  Probably the real number will also be close to 80 pure viscanium per hour.  But again, I haven't done it, so I don't know for sure.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

009 - Achievements - 1 - Winter Solstice Festival

Winter Solstice Festival

The Winter Solstice Festival was the first event I entered to complete it fully.  It took me a few days to complete but in the end I had some time left. The event gave me 3 main gifts.
  • The first one was a pet which gives 5% extra health (300 health points in my case ! )
  • Secondly I got the "Solstice Star" which is actually a gem that gives 1% extra health (around 60 health points in my case)
  • And finally I got a reindeer as mount.
My new pet - the diligent gnome
The Solstice Star
My mount - The Reindeer

 I really look forward to the next event.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

008 - The end of gorga normal farming ?

After release 086 Gorga normal disappeared.

An empty sea after R086

 Many were upset because gorga normal  was a good place to farm for gemstones and unique level 40 gear. Very quick Bigpoint communicated that gorga normal wasn't meant to disappear and would be back online asap.  A little later a hotfix for R086 came out which brought gorga normal back.

One can think that things or back to normal now.  But allow me to doubt that for 2 reasons.

First.  An admin on the English forum, in the thread gorga normal is missing, said the following, and i quote :
As a level 39 monster, Gorga will continue to have the same chance as any other monster in the correct level range for unique world drops.
This would mean gorga normal wouldn't drop any level 40 uniques anymore.  However gorga still showed 'level 40' on screen and the admin stated that is comment was a human error and gorga nomal would still be level 40 including unique drops.  But still ... ...

Secondly.  I keep records of all drops I get. (you'll see that within a few posts ;) ).  Since the patch I had 2 drops of 10 Crystals of Truth in 35 runs.  Although this is good, I never had them before.  So something DID change.  Maybe they just added CoT to the drops.  But if they did that, they could very well erased the drop rate for uniques too ...

We can soon know this if someone who has a level 40 unique drop at gorga normal AFTER R086 reports this.  So if anyone had a level 40 unique drop at gorga after R086, please post a comment here ;)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

007 - Tips & Tricks 1 : Increase inventory for free

When I look at images of inventories or vaults of others, I often notice to they have single gemstones in one slot.  Underneath a screenshot of such an inventory (no offense Magicgirl11 ;) ).  You'll see he/she has 6 stones in 6 slots.

drakensang inventory tip
one stone in 1 slot

I put my gems inside items and then put those items in 1 slot.  In that way I can hold 4 gems in 1 slot (+ 1 item).  Maybe a screenshot will make it more clear.  The only disadvantage is that you need to pay gold at the jeweller to get the gems out.  But for high level players, gold isn't a real problem I think.

Drakensang inventory tip
several gemstones in 1 slot
I doesn't really matter which items you choose to store your gems in.  But imo horns are the best because you can store also damage, critical hit value and attack speed gems into them.

It's seems obvious to pick an item with 4 slots.  But writing this article I learned something myself, while reading the wikia page of drakensang.  Adding one slot to a plain item only costs 10 andermant, to an improved item 20 andermant.  So I think it's worthwhile adding one slot to these items.  You can see on the screenshot I hadn't done that (only 4 plain slots).  But after realizing this, an extra slot was added quickly ;)

I hope this helps those who have a shortage of inventory or vault space. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

006 - Beginners Guide : Tip 3 - Do your daily quest

Drakensang Daily Quest
Daily Quest

Besides logging in daily there one other thing you should (read : can) do every day.  When you log in you can choose a daily quest to do.  One quest will have a reward of 250 scrolls of wisdom.  It's important to do this quest daily.  Why ?

There are only 2 ways to gain scrolls of wisdom.  1 are in game drops, but they come in packages of 1 scroll only.  The second one is this daily quest which rewards you with 250 scrolls.  So actually this is the only way the get up on the talent tree 'knowledge' in a reasonable way.

Drakenssang Talent Tree
Talent Tree

That talent tree has a few very nice talents to employ such as :
  1. Teleportation : you can teleport yourself to the last urban area you visited.  In that way you don't have to walk back if you have done a quest or so.
  2. The Vault : Gives you the ability to store items away from your normal inventory.  Actually it's just extra space.
  3. The Seventh Path.  Now you can use a 7° skill in combat instead of 6.
  4. Horse Riding.  Gives you the ability to use a horse.
  5. Cloak of Power.  Gives you the ability to wear a cape.  Capes give you extra damage, life and armor.
edit : a good description of the knowledge tree can be found on the forum of DSO.
Like you see, each of these talent are nice to have.  So besides your daily log in, do that quest, it doesn't take long in most cases and you will profit from it greatly.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

005 - Joined Top Gamers Club

Drakensang Top Gamers Club

Well, well ... I found a mail of The Top Gamers Club in my mailbox today.  Although I'm happy to be a member of TGC and have a chance of getting some in game extras (if they go out), it also tells me that I played A LOT (I'm realising maybe too much) lately.  Otherwise I wouldn't met the criteria.

Anyway, we'll see (and report) what the membership brings (not that much if i read the comments).  Here you can find the FAQ about the Top Gamers Club on the forum.

Play Drakensang a free online mmorpg

Thursday, January 10, 2013

004 - Beginners Guide : Tip 2 - Login daily

1) many smalls make one ...

One of the things that will greatly help you in the long run is to log in on a daily basis.  Why ?

Doing so you will get a daily log in bonus.  One of them is a surprise chest, which is actually not that important. I think you can actually sell everything which pops up from those chests.  Also the extra rewards on day 2 (health potion), day 3 (250 blue essence) and day 4 (a bomb) aren't great either.

BUT from day 5 and afterwards you'll also receive a sack with one gemstone inside.  It will be a low level gem, mostly of flawed of splintered quality.  But when you log in daily those small gems start adding up.

You can combine the smaller gems at the jeweller.  81 gems of the lowest quality make 1 polished gems with a value of 6400 andermant.  That's worth a daily log in in my opinion.

drakensang daily login bonus
Daily Log in Bonus
drakensang combining gemstones
Combining gemstones

 2) Jewel of insight

On the 5the day your gem will be the "jewel of insight".  Don't throw that away like i did, you will never be able to regain it.  This gem, when used in a slot, will increase your gained experience points by 5%.  Meaning that you will level up a little bit quicker than normal.

drakensang jewel of insight
Jewel of insight

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

003 - Beginners Guide : Tip 1 - Choose your character wise

 Contents :
  1. Choosing a class
  2. Making multiple characters
  3. Select a server
  4. Choosing a name 

1) Choosing a class

The first thing you need to do to when you start playing Drakensang Online is choosing a character.  For the moment there  are 3 classes to choose from :

a) The Dragon Knight 
See description, role, pros and cons on Drakensang Online Wike here describes the dragon knight class as follows : 
"Armed with an assortment of heavy artillery these knights are ready for war. This class of fearless warriors has incredible strength. They drink the blood of magical dragons for an edge on the battlegrounds. Rage and sheer skill is their secret to victory."

The Dragon Knight

b) The Ranger 
See description, role, pros and cons on Drakensang Online Wiki here

about rangers says : 
Rangers are not only outstanding archers, but are also apt at melee. Their style is characterized by dynamics, as they stay constantly in motion. They choose their targets from afar, first weakening them with arrows and then striking them down in close combat with their blade bow.

The Ranger

c) The Spellweaver 
See description, role, pros and cons on Drakensang Online Wiki here

Finally the spellweaver is describes on as follows :
These mages tap into the elements and their own spiritual powers to destroy opponents. They have high levels of intellect which aids them in mastering some of the most difficult spells that have been passed down through the centuries. Manna and various enchantments make Spellweavers worthy rivals or allies.

The Spellweaver

Mid 2013 a 4th class, a dwarf, will be added.

The Dwarf

But for now, 3 classes to choose from, each with their own capabilities. In short you could describe the classes as follows :

Class comparison

Which class you choose will have a great influence how you can  / must play Drakensang Online.  To make it even more important, if you want to play with an other class you have to start back from level 1.  You can't level up a dragon knight to level x and then switch to a ranger with that same level. 

 2) Making multiple characters

But you can make several characters in the same account.  Maybe it's a good idea to make from each class one character.  Then play a few days with each character and choose which one suits you the best.  Keep in mind that you have to deal with your characters pros and cons for the rest of your Drakensang life!

Making extra characters

3) Select a server

Somewhere a long the process (i seem to forgotten when :) ) you need to choose a server.  There are several servers to choose from.  You can join any server but again this has great consequences for your future life in Drakensang, the free online mmorpg.  Once your character is on a certain server, you can't switch to an other server!!

server selection

4) Choose a name

Finally a word about your screen name.

Later in the game you will be playing a lot in groups.  To become part of a group another player must invite you. Therefore he must often 'search' for you be typing your name into a search field.  Keep in mind that if you're using strange characters it can be difficult for others to find you.

Underneath a screenshot of such an 'invite screen'.   The first player on that screen calls 'BØllefrØ' but with the Ø in small letter.  Well it would be impossible for me to search for that player.  I can't type a small ' Ø ' because it's not on my keyboard.  Even to type the capital Ø I had to look it up in a list for special ALT characters.

In my opinion it would be wise for this player to change his name in just 'Bollefro'.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

002 - Unknown Weapon

unknown weapon -> = damnation

I just come out of the arena seeing a mighty unknown weapon of a Dragon Knight called "Shadowgun".  He killed mages with one stroke.  Never seen before.

I made a screenshot.  Does anyone knows which weapon this is, where it comes from and what the stats are ?

Monday, January 7, 2013

001 - List of all Posts in Chronological Order

000 - Glowing Phoenix Egg
001 - List of all posts in chronological order
002 - Unknown Weapon 
003 - Beginners Guide : Tip 1 - Choose your character wise 
004 - Beginners Guide : Tip 2 - Login daily 
005 - Joined Top Gamers Club
006 - Beginners Guide : Tip 3 - Do your daily quest
007 - Tips & Tricks 1 : Increase inventory for free
008 - The end of gorga normal farming ?
009 - Achievements - 1 - Winter Solstice Festival
010 - Tips & Tricks 2 : Lost Truth Event - Tactics
011 - Achievements - 2 - Completed Lost Truth Event but ... 
012 - Looking for good PvP Guild 
013 - Beginners Guide : Tip 4 - Learn to farm 
014 - Droprates while farming
015 - PvP rebalancing
016 - Beat Valordragon
017 - They really screwed this one up
018 - Tips & Tricks 3 : Killing King Heredur of Duria
019 - Old and new Pilgrims Path
020 - Valentine drops ?
021 - Patch R090 ... ... and more 
022 - Patch 089 gives me a headache
023 - New event on it's way 
024 - Quick Riding - Knowledge Tree
025 - Epic Mounts
026 - Cloaks part 1 : Introduction
027 - Cloaks part 2 : Cloak of Initiation
028 - Cloaks part 3 : Cloak of Insight
029 - Free level 40 character on the testserver !!...
030 - List of all posts by Category
031 - Cloaks part 4 : Cloak of Wisdom
032 - Patch R092 - Warrior Groups are here
033 - Cloaks part 5 : Cloak of Enlightenment
034 - Damage vs Attack Speed vs Critical Hit Value
035 - Beginners Guide : Tip 5 - Use Ctrl to see drops
036 - Farming Temple Sector
037 - New event - Event "Awful shadow" - Antonia's abduction
038 - Terrifying Shadows on testserver
039 - Easter Eggs - Terrifying Shadows event 
040 - Terrifying Shadows event - map 2

000 - Glowing Phoenix Egg

Hi all,

first post in a new blog.  One can wonder why a full grown man (read : older boy) makes a blog about a free online mmorpg like Drakensang Online ?

Well first of all I've always maintained some kind of blog or website about my hobby.  I like to share my thoughts and by doing that you are forced to dig a little deeper into the subject as normally.  That way you learn more and faster.

But I would lie if i said this is the only reason of setting up this blog.  Drakensang has a referral program in which you can earn some items when the friends you invite reach level 15.

In the image underneath you see that there are several rewards to be earned. The saphire and the ruby are nice, but the ultimate goal is the glowing phoenix egg.  This item will revive you if you die once per hour.

In normal gameplay this is not that important because you will always revive for free in a town.  Or in many cases you can revive in the dungeon you're in by paying 40 andermant.  But when doing end-bosses this latter options isn't available.  Meaning that if you die you will be relocated to a town (and you need to walk to whole way back to the boss) or you need to pay 120 andermant to revive at the spot. In this case the glowing phoenix egg can be a welcome friend which saves you some andermant.

Underneath 2 images.  The first one of a death in a dungeon.  The second is from a death at an end-boss.  Notice that the second option isn't available here.

edit 19/01/2013 : underneath a screenshot of the phoenix in action. I'm still looking for an image of the button in the inventory that summons the phoenix.  If anyone want to make that, just mail it to me.

Phoenix in action

So said that.  If you want to play Drankensang Online and don't mind signing up with my referral code you can use the following link :