Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quest Guide: Coldberg

Coldberg is a relatively short zone, which introduces the first of the daily reputation grinds, this one for the Free Traders. As you can tell by the full quest list here, you won't be here for a terribly long time, which is a bit of relief after the very long-seeming Eljune and Coba Plateau.
To get to Coldberg, take the ship from Takalik Harbor in Eljune. Before you head over, be sure you have the quests Coldberg's Mess and Coldberg's Troubles (one from Asee-Teph, one from Novograd). Both of these will send you to Sigurd the Swindler, who will start you on your way through Coldberg. As always keep an eye out for additional quest givers, there are several right in the starting town of Swindlerville. Many of the quests here are straight-up kill or gather quests, but a few bear further explanation.

  • Conspiracy Against the Swindler - You'll pick up this quest pretty quickly, but it will take a while to complete. To finish this quest you'll have to find and speak with several other people, each of whom will have additional tasks waiting for you. The NPCs in question are clearly marked, and most of the required tasks are easy to find. The big exception is Nomarkh Nizamar. To complete his portion of this quest you'll have to find the somewhat hidden NPC near the wrecked ship on the western edge of the Ruined Shore and complete Ship of the Dead for him. Be warned that the skeletons in the ship ruins are tightly packed and prone to attack through floors and ceilings, so bring along a friend and clear your way completely before engaging the boss. As you complete Conspiracy, you'll be rewarded with several single-use items that have a magical effect against the mine guards. Save these items! You'll want them later.
  • The New Sprout will send you to speak with the Orc Shaman in camp in hopes of forming a new sprout. The Shaman has several tasks of his own for you, involving killing lynxes for their souls then freeing their spirits  across the distant reaches of the Allod. You'll find the release sites marked by large stone fangs half-buried in the ice. Once you've completed these tasks, return to the Shaman for his (probably predictable) answer.
  • You'll find The Spirit's Cargo scattered along the shore south-east of Swindlerville, guarded by a number of wandering lynxes.
  • South of Swinderville, be sure you rescue Ironfoot the Dark from the Mountainfolk camp for Captive Mountainfolk. Be warned that the Mountainfolk mages cast a rather annoying debuff that may cause you problems, so be alert.
A word on order here. Most of the quests in Coldberg are level 34-36, a pretty narrow range. You can complete this zone in a single day if you work at it and the exact order of completion isn't all too critical. The optimal order is probably Swinderville and the surrounding area, Snowy Waste, Ruined Shore, then Frost Peak, but there's not a huge difference between the various areas.

As you make your way around the Allod, you'll discover your way obstructed by deep chasms filled with giant astral fangs. These areas emit dangerous magical energies that can affect you with a damaging debuff, so watch your health if you're near the edges. Speaking of astral fangs, as you head north to the Snowy Wastes, you'll be asked to do the quest Astral Fangs. Be warned that as you sanctify each fang it will spawn a demon, along with a skeletal protector, so be prepared for a fight. Also note this quest is rather buggy in a group, with each member having to complete the quest independently and completions from one player interfering with those of another. The best way to do it in a group is have one person finish it completely before the next starts it. The other quests in the Snowy Wastes are pretty normal kill quests, though one should note one of the daily quests for the Free Traders is here. See the reputation guide for details on this and the other reputation quests here. While killing ogres for the reputation quest, you can take care of Gathering Information, which requires you to find a dead demon in the depths of the ogre camp, and killing Bolbru, an ogre boss who is surprisingly easy to kill.

Moving to the Ruined Shore, you'll have to deal with numerous undead as well as trolls. In The Lost Cemetary, you'll have to explore the two troll camps to complete the quest. This is a bit problematic since the 'explored' dings do not seem to be in a fixed location. Look for the two stone troll-huts and wander around each to activate the explored completion, but be warned it may take some time. While you're there you can kill trolls and their leader for Shameless Trolls. You'll also have to deal with undead over by the wrecked ship for Bones of the Undead.

Your last stop is Frost Peak, and a visit to the Demon Hunter camp there. You'll be asked to test Timur's Plan by killing skeletal lookouts, then risk further harm to Test the Protection, which requires you to try out his new artifact in the middle of the skeletal lookouts. Don't worry you can clear an area at the quest marker to try out the protection. While you're here be sure you find the Gibberling sprout on the west coast of the Allod near the yak herd. They'll ask you to kill a number of yaks, including the rather tough boss for Yak Hearts. Note that the boss only drops one heart at a time, so you may have to kill him repeatedly if you're in a group. Once you have the hearts in hand, you'll get to go fishing for demons at the nearby astral fangs. Again this quest spawns demons each time you set a bait out, and again it is buggy in a group, requiring each player complete the quest separately. While you're at Frost Peak you can also complete the zone's treasure quest.

Clean up the remaining kill quests then prepare to enter the Broderen Mine. Remember those items I mentioned before that you wanted to keep? Now is the time to use them. Each item can be used to destroy / weaken one of the very tough mine guards. Allowing you to get past the entry area. Once inside there are two tasks awaiting you:
  • The Elusive Necromancer is further back in the mine. Once you deliver the letter to Striga, you'll eventually be forced to kill her and recover the remains of the letter from her body. Again this quest is buggy in groups. I recommend doing this quest prior to Battle for the Mine so you can insure you get it done.
  • Battle for the Mine requires you to kill a number of fierce skeletal defilers who are working to destroy the mine. These are very tough foes that reflect a significant amount of damage back at melee attackers. This quest is best accomplished with a group.
Once you finish the mine you're pretty much done with Coldberg. As I said, this is a quick zone. Your next stop is Avilon, another pretty short zone. Note that you should probably be level 36 before moving on, if you're short then doing the daily quests here will provide a fair bit of experience each day. Stay tuned for the Avilon guide.

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