The Journey is Half the Fun – Zek

Four stages down, three to go!

I ran out to Zek and spoke to Soci Esign to get the quest.  She is in the tower on the right side of the gate that leads out to the orcs.  As I was coming in to get the quest, two players were just SoW’ing themselves up and starting the run.  I figured that it would be an interesting test to see if I could catch them or even pass them, using my mighty fae powers, my knowledge of the route, and my pathfinding speed buff.

So I hit go and the quest began, 15 minutes to make the tour of Zek.

The first target is the Druid Rings.  Your choices for getting there directly are pretty, off to the right from the gate, follow the path, mind the luggers on the road.

Through the druid ring… and I forgot to check if there was a lit bush in the ring, is it an active teleport ring… I get the feeling it isn’t… and then off to the Charred Vale, which is way up on the way to Deathfist Citidel. 

I managed to catch up to the two other runners along the way to the Vale and actually passed them by pathing more efficiently than they were.  However, once in sight of the vale, I stealthed to walk through all the orcs and get the update. 

As I got the update, the other two showed up.  I have to guess that they were not bothering to sprint, while I was poring it on whenever my power got close to 100%.  

I got clear of the major tangle of orcs, unstealthed and headed for the Deathfist Lookout, that tower west of the Charred Vale and the logging camp.  I stopped to pick up the Bootstrutter quest at the marker really quick and then pressed on.  I stayed ahead of the other two runners until we got close to the tower, then stealthed again and headed up.  About half way up, they passed me, though they got tangled up on some of the outcroppings I guess, because they were only just turning around as I got to the top and got the update.

And then I sucked their headlights out.  They started back down the spiral.  I, on the other hand, unstealthed, jumped off the tower, and glided away.  Go, go fae glide!  One of them, a barbarian, saw me flying away while he was only half way down the tower, so he jumped as well.  But that only brought him to the base of the tower.  I was through the gap and near the orc loggers when I set down and headed for the bridge to Deathfist Citidel.

The bridge update is easy enough to get right at the ramp.  However, the orcs that spawn when you run across the bridge used to follow you forever, so in the past I have always avoided crossing the bridge.  Following this past plan, I jumped up on the rock to the left of the bridge and, on the run, jumped, completely clearing the water over which the bridge sits.  Fae glide for the win!

Onward for the Deathfist Citidel update.  I screwed up a bit here.  Rather than looping around to the left and avoiding all the orcs, for some reason I decided to stealth and run through them.  Not a horrible choice, except that a named that sees invis was walking the road, so I got hooked up behind him.  Meanwhile, the two other runners took the correct route to the left, so we actually all ended up getting the Deathfist Citidel update at almost the same moment. 

At Deathfist Citidel it was a tie race.

Then our courses diverged.  There are two general thoughts on when to use evac on the Zek run.  One is to use it at Deathfist Citidel, then run back to Spiral Lake, over and down to the bottom of the quarry, back up again, and to the finish line.

The second is to run back to Spiral Lake, head over to the quarry, ride the elevator down, get the update, evac, and run to the finish line, which is the gate of the outpost.

I have run Zek using both methods, but really did not have a good feel for which was the better course.  So when the other pair evac’d out at the Citidel, I knew I had to run the other route, just to see would win the race.

So I headed back, taking the looping route around the orcs in front of DFC, jumping the water next to the bridge (I should have gone the with the left side on the return trip, as I got hung up on a rock trying to get onto the bridge on the right side), and running fast through the orc waiting room along the road back.  I hit sprint, towed a gaggle of orcs for a ways, but got clear without trouble.

I sped through the wastes, keeping my pathing as efficient as I could, looped around the rocks, up the hill, and had Spiral Lake in site.  But the other two runners were nowhere to be seen.  I thought they must be ahead of me, so I put up the sprint again, got the update, and turned to the quarry.

As i did that, I saw the two other guys coming down the hill from the druid ring towards the lake.  I had beat them back.  On to the quarry!

I stealthed my way through the orcs that are on the other side of the pass between Spiral Lake and the quarry, then throught I saw another short cut.

Deathfist Quarry looks like a big, rock, flower when viewed from the top.  There is an open part at one end, where the bridge to the elevator is, but there are other visible gaps in the flower as well.  I thought I could get through one of those gaps and cut my distance to the quarry by a considerable margin, as the nearest gap was facing me while the bridge was 90 degrees off around the circumference of the flower.

Unfortunately, you cannot get through those gaps.  Or at least *I* could not get through that one gap.  I tried, jumped, moved, jumped some more, but there is a barrier there that keeps you from getting through.

All that wasted time.  The other two runners were through the orcs and ahead of me.  They hit the bridge before I did and were waiting for the elevator when I set foot on it.

And then I jumped off and glided down to the bottom.  Fae glide saves the day.

I already had evac in progress when they hit the bottom of the quarry to get the update.  I appeared back on the docks, ran for the outpost gates, and finished up with just under three minutes left on the clock.  I turned in the quest then stood around waiting for my two competitors to show up.

So I could not say definitively which evac point is the most efficient in general, but if you are a fae, avoiding that elevator ride back up through the quarry cuts some time off your run.

So there I was, done with the run.  Two more stages to go and I will have the Legendary Journeyman’s Boots.  And in only five more levels, I can actually wear them!

Next stop on the quest is the Enchanted Lands and the annoyance of getting that Goblin Pass update!