Nicholas The Traveler – Roaring Ether Hearts

week-38-traveler-thumbnailWeek 38 of Nicholas The Traveler’s scavenger hunt was a bit nostalgic for me. I remember fighting elemental monsters in the Mirror of Lyss. Back in the day, I was farming points for the Lightbringer Title. For each slain Djinn or Roaring Ether equaled, I was two points closer to my title. That’s why I was pleased with this week’s item – Roaring Ether Hearts.  A lot of people seem suspicious when I tell them that I’ve been playing Guild Wars for almost six years. (I started in February 2004.) But it’s true, just go back into the archives of this website. The years just seem to fly by. If you go back to May of 2007, you’ll see some familiar territory.

Roughly two years ago, I was farming in the Mirror of Lyss. So this week’s adventure should be cake, right?! Here’s the official mission text…

Wow, now that’s a gorgeous view! It’s truly astounding that such a place can exist amid such a parched landscape. That reminds me: desert nights feel like they’re chilly enough to freeze one’s innards, and tonight will surely be one of the colder ones. Maybe there’s a chance you can find me a Roaring Ether Heart before nightfall? They’re quite reliable fire starters, and I know I will be in desperate need of the warmth.

With each passing week, well almost, I seem to trust Nicholas less. If he’s cold and he wants to start a fire, why not get a fire wand? Considering that one of the professions is “Elementalist” shouldn’t there’s like a thousand ways to start a fire in Guild Wars? No, he wants five Roaring Ether Hearts. I’m suspicious. It’s a cold day in New York City, but I’m not running down to the Home Depot for monster parts.

Target: Roaring Ether
Target: Roaring Ether

While Grand Court of Sebelkeh is closest outpost to the traveler’s location, I prefer to start in Dzagonur Bastion. I can chat with the Whispers Informant for the Lightbringer bonus. The tricky part of this run is controlling the Resurrection Signet. Your fiery lion enemies can return from the dead. Your first response might be Frozen Soil. But as Lost In Ascalon #43 illustrates, that means you can’t res either. When you’re trying to farm for items, you want to lower your party size as lean as possible. That will maximize your chances in getting the loot you want. It’s a delicate balance. If the party is too large, you might not see enough loot. If the party is too small, it takes much longer to kill the monsters.

For this week, I started out with my mini-zookeeper build. Four pets and three heroes was working well, but I wasn’t too happy with it for this week. I added Mhenlo for extra healing. The enemy Elementalists hit hard. Even though they’re in a group of four, it’s still an insane amount of damage. One monk wasn’t enough. But with Mhenlo, I felt that I wasn’t getting enough loot. I eventually settled with Ogden Stonehealer, Gwen and Tahlhora. With two healers, I had enough defense to live. Gwen would interrupt the Resurrection Signets and I would do much of the damage.

I snagged two hearts on my first run, but then it slowed down dramatically. Nicholas is hanging out on the West side of this map. Monsters are on the East.
I snagged two hearts on my first run, but then it slowed down dramatically. Nicholas is hanging out on the West side of this map. Monsters are on the East.

With the slim party size, I had to be maximized for damage. I went with an effective combo – Lava Arrows and Mark of Rodgort. I also used Meteor Shower to help Gwen with interrupts. The reward for my hard work was pitiful…

  • 10 Bottle Rockets
  • 10 Aged Hunter’s Ales
  • 5 Mysterious Summoning Stone
  • 5 Mysterious Tonics
  • 5 Mysterious Tonics

Just for fun, I tried selling the five Roaring Ether Hearts for 50,000 gold. No buyers, but some people volunteered to insult me. I don’t know how the community settled on 4,000-5,000 gold per gift, because it took me a long time to get the five items. I think it’s insane when 5+ hours of farming is common. I spotted a lot of complaining in the Dzagonur Bastion outpost. It’s no wonder Guild Wars is a target for account theft. The economy is brutal. I get the feeling that I would have gotten five gifts faster if I simply bought the gifts from players, and then punched dwarves to replace the gold.

6 thoughts on “Nicholas The Traveler – Roaring Ether Hearts”

  1. The community farms it as Assassin (no heroes), as Spiritspammer (no heroes) or as monk (1 hero). So the drops are much higher and therefore they want ~4,000 gold.

    I also farmed my first lightbringer points here, those were the days!

  2. Since loot scaling was implemented lower party size doesn’t have an effect on the total drops you get. The aforementioned builds are quicker because they rely on bad monster AI that requires the monsters to attack only one target and stay bunched up.

    It may seem a bit faster without a full party, and that is because if you kill enemies in too close of a time to each other only a few will drop anything.

    And you probably have a good reason to mistrust Nicholas…

  3. I’ve heard about loot scaling, but I seem to get better loot with smaller party sizes. While this is empirical data, I don’t think loot scaling applies if you’re playing the game normally. I think this way because of what I’ve seen from Kilroy’s Punch-Out. It’s a normal mission, a solo one, yet that’s where I go for farming holiday items. I don’t get as many while I’m doing an 8-player mission with heroes and henchmen.

  4. That is because holiday items are one of the few items exempt from the loot scaling process, along with gold items, unique items, tomes and rare materials. For a complete list:
    Note that Common(white) items are effected, colector trophies such as the ones Nicholas asks for are effected while holiday items are not.

  5. Maybe I’m not killing monsters fast enough to be hindered by loot scaling. Once again, clearly empirical data, but I don’t think the penalty really kicks in until you’re doing some insane farming. When fighting with Kilroy, even regular loot is pretty good. I fight hard to keep him from kill stealing from me. I don’t slow down and let him get a few, just to control loot scaling. It feels like I get the best loot when I’m solo in the circle of Dwarves, just punching them down and picking up the spoils.

  6. Right, loot scaling does not decrease or increase the number of drops for scalable items, it only decreases for non-scalable as your party size goes up. Most Nick items fall into the scalable category so party size has no effect on how many you personally get. However something like festival items you will get more the fewer people that are in your party.

    It takes multiple enemies droppingdead silmultainiously to have a reduced ammount of loot overall. The only way to really show how much more loot drops is to form parties of real players to kill the same groups just with a different number of people, there are far more overall drops when there are 8 in the party than when there is only one, the tricky thing is, which drops get assigned to you?

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