Why the Shard of Hate is TOO Good

Posted: April 15, 2008 by Kendricke in Everquest 2
Tags: , ,

I’m about to make a post which is not likely to earn me any favor with a majority of guilds out there, but I think the early stages of Shard of Hate is too easy for the loot which is dropping.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not heading up some 5 night a week ubermetaraid guild here.  We’re a second tier T8 raid guild right now – we haven’t even made it to Veeshan’s Peak yet.  So I’m not coming down on the Shard of Hate from some sort of elitist ivory tower, condescending my considerable opinion upon the rabble.  No, we’re fairly typical of what many players might consider the more casual of the raid guild spectrum.

I’m also very much in favor of better content for beginning raid guilds. I’m a huge fan of zones which have easier starting content that scales up to more difficult content.  I don’t think the Shard of Hate should be built around ridiculous entry requirements, either (you must be THIS uber to raid this zone).

That said, the initial stages of the Shard of Hate are practically a gimme.  If you don’t believe me, here’s a quick guide to the first two named of the Shard of Hate…

First off, upon entry to the Shard of Hate, begin pulling singly toward the zone line.  When your healers start to feel a bit bored, have them add to the overall DPS.  When the MT healers start to feel a bit bored, have them assist with overall DPS.  When the healers continue to complain about feeling bored, have the MT switch to offensive stance.

No, I’m not kidding.

Second, once you’ve cleared most of the entry trash, you’ve probably already held your first loot bid.  Start moving to the left and continue clearing anything in your way (leave nothing standing).  ONLY ignore Master P’Tasa (unless you’d like to give him a try, but for purposes of this article, he’s fine regarding his current difficulty – there’s at least SOME thinking required for him).

Once you get past the archway, hug left and go up the stairs.  At the top, you’ll find Demetrius Crane.  Demetrius talks a big game and likes to knock folks around a lot (seems to have a bit of a memwipe as well).  Amazingly, I’ve heard of guilds having an issue with him.  For you, I provide the following, sophisticated, complex strategy:

Step 1:  Dogpile by the wall behind him.
Step 2:  Loot.

No, I’m not kidding.

Pile everyone in your raid – casters, healers, EVERYONE – into the corner next to the door right behind Demetrius.  Keep your backs to the wall.  Don’t range the fight.  Everyone targets through Demetrius.  If you lose hate, don’t worry – the tanks are right there to retaunt.  Now just go absolutely nuts on your DPS and you win.  That’s it.  No crazy AE’s to really worry about, no adds at 20%, no triggered events.  Just dogpile and you win.

Once you’re done here, backtrack to the entrance and move toward Dreadlord D’Somni.  Clear any and all trash on the way.  When you’re done looting your next few exquisite chests, move your raid behind the mender to the wall (it doesn’t really matter where, just keep everyone near each other) and then have the main tank pull the Dreadlord.

Ready for this 1337 strat?

1.  Dogpile by the wall.
2.  Loot.

No, I’m not kidding.

Ok, maybe I’m only partially kidding on this one.  Dreadlord likes to snare people and then kick them.  It’s possble to occasionally watch your MT bounce around a bit, but as a general rule, there’s no real strategy to discuss.  This is another “tank n’ spank”.  The AE’s can be rough if you’re not wearing gear up to the task (though Mastercrafted gear is just fine for this fight).  Even then, there’s not that much to this fight.  If you’re really worried, bring some noxious cure potions for yourself and keep getting back into the fight.  Even the newest of new raiding guilds (from Newville in New Newtonia) should have little problems clearing through these first two names.

So, is that a problem?  By itself, not at all.  There SHOULD be easy to kill beginning raid targets.  With so much of the high end content geared toward raiding, it only makes sense that more guilds are going to want to try raiding, and targets with this level of difficulty help to encourage that.

No, the problem is that the loot which drops from these targets (and the initial non-named trash) is so ridiculously good by comparison that it completely invalidates gear coming from other, much more difficult raid zones.

Will these young raid guilds start clearing the Shard of Hate?  No, but they don’t need to, either.  They only need to clear the first couple of named plus the requisite non-named base population.  With that, they’ll now earn more loot which is already much better quality than pretty much anything they could hope to pull out of zones such as the Tomb of Thuuga or the Executioner’s Throne Room (at a fraction of the difficulty and with half the time investment required).  Frankly, a lot of the loot coming out of the initial stages of Shard of Hate is better than most of the gear you’d find even in second or third round T8 raid zones.

That’s the problem right there.  It’s not that the Shard of Hate is too easy unto itself (and frankly, some of the later targets are going to be simply out of reach for starting raid guilds anyway), but that the gear which drops throws the risk/effort:reward ratios further out of whack.

Personally, I think the solution is three-fold:
1. Cut back on non-named loot drop rates.  Even with reduced rates, the CHANCE at loot from non-named is still better than the 0% chance we get in other T8 raid zones.  Alternatively, drop rates for non-named loot could be increased in other T8 raid zones.
2. Add some additional strategy to the Dreadlord and Demetrius.  You don’t need to dial it to 11, but perhaps require a bit more strategy than “pile it on, pile it on”.
3. Revamp loot in other T8 raid zones to bring the risk/effort:reward ratio back in line a bit.  In other words, take another hard look at “progression”.  (Seriously, would anyone bother with Pawbuster if he wasn’t required for advancement purposes?)

I realize I’m setting myself up for some hate mail with this post, but that doesn’t make what I’m saying any less right.  Besides, in this case, isn’t hate mail all the more fitting anyway?

  1. Tipa says:

    Yeah, Shard of Hate’s first two nameds are easy. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. They are certainly easier than any other T1 raids…

  2. Chase Seibert says:

    Easiest, least popular solution: nerf the over powered gear. The hat that procs a 1500 dmg ward is absolute ridiculous.

  3. Ogrebears says:

    My guild is also in T2 and ya Plane of Hate is much eaiser than some of the other raid zone, and has better loot.

    But i don’t think it is going to stop us from doing other raid zone. The loot might help us beat some of the mobs where stuck on and move forward. So i kinda like it.

  4. Crookshankz says:

    As someone who is just finally getting to T8 raiding and desperately need some gear I’ll have to disagree :-O.

    However, it seems to me that when zones first open they are generally either on the ridiculous side or the easy side. Then through updates they get to the zones that Goldilocks would like…just right!

    Give it time and I’m sure they’ll get the kinks out of it!

  5. Kendricke says:

    There’s a difference between “desperately need some gear” and “need some gear that’s better than most items I’ll see till Veeshan’s Peak”.

    In other words, shouldn’t item progression, well, progress as you fight harder targets?

  6. Rijacki says:

    Shard of Hate’s “trash” and first 2 nameds are to T8 raiding what Timorous Deep is to the itemisation of all other zones up to Kunark.

    It’s way out of whack if the other stuff is “correct” or balanced. It definately needs to be toned down a few notches (including changes to stuff already looted, sadly) OR the stuff in every other raid zone in T8 needs to be improved drastically.

    Talk about a loot pinata. Shard of Hate’s trash and first 2 named is exactly that. The trash doesn’t even hardly do -any- damage (which is what Kendricke was alluding to and I -really- see on the coercer parse).

    I love the look of the zone. I even like the 3rd Named (which we haven’t killed). Too bad it’s.. well.. broken in the monty-haul way.

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