Author Topic: What is: the Ember Steps  (Read 28327 times)

Bue

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What is: the Ember Steps
« on: November 06, 2013, 05:41:13 PM »
Here's a copy of the notes I've made for the Ember Steps for my group (edited to remove some inside jokes and references, heh).  I'm posting them here in case some might find it useful, since Joe Chip hasn't had a chance to update his info post for the Ember Steps.  Forgive the formatting, it's been awhile since I've worked with forum tags  :-\  I've not been to all the levels yet either, so the list is compiled from Salan's patch notes.   The information is not too detailed so as not to ruin the joys of discovery  ;D

Any errors, please let me know.

Regards,
Bue

The Ember Steps

The Ember Steps provide an alternative* to leveling without having to progress through the vanilla Torchlight 2's story line.




The portal entrance to the Ember Steps is located in the Estherian Enclave. Inside this hub area, Drek the Death Dealer awaits to bid you welcome and invite you to venture further by taking the Ember Steps and enter the Realms of Discord. He will give you The Ancient War Titan quest. It is hinted upon turning in this quest that he may have future work (anticipate further quests from Drek in the future.)

There are currently four vendors available in the Ember Steps: Albrech Xul, a transmuter; Gorn Xul, a gem saver; Furl Xul, a gem destroyer; and Duros Xul, who sells potions, identify and portal scrolls, as well as the Potion Catalyst needed for some transmutation recipes -- perhaps in time, he may sell unidentified items for those who like to gamble.

Khan Xul was present in the Ember Steps around Hallowe'en, and requested assistance in getting back his head (The Early Harvest quest). As the peak harvest time is now over, he has left the Ember Steps, but it is possible he may return again during harvest season next year.

The Realms of Discord

Taking the Ember Steps down from the hub will eject you into the Realms of Discord. Uncertainty, reward, or possibly death await. Each realm is relatively small (this was done on purpose to reduce lag and frame rate issues, I believe), and expect to run into normal trash mobs, Elites, Heroes, Champions, and the occasional (sometimes not so occasional!) random World Boss.



The Realms consist of multiple levels, accessed at random, comprised of two different types - regular and boss levels. When the Ember Steps were introduced, it contained the hub level, four regular levels, and one boss level. It has since expanded by several levels, and likely to continue to grow :)

There is no predictable order to go through the individual realms. To go from one Realm of Discord to another, it is necessary to find and slay Dingir Xul the Amelatu. Upon his death, a phase portal will spawn near his corpse that can be taken to enter another Realm. There usually is more than one Dingur Xul in each Realm.

Dingir Xul does not appear on the boss levels. Instead, a portal is provided to return to the hub (not confirmed for the Three Sisters).  Nor does he appear on the Pirate Cove level.  Instead, hub portals are located at the beginning and the end of the level.

The first level entered from the Ember Steps will always be one of the Realms where the Dingir Xul lurks.  This will let the player continue exploring the Realms without having to reroll the world because the boss levels didn't have the potential to travel to another Realm.

Current Levels

Regular
  • Catacombs
  • Generic Cave
  • Desert Cave
  • Bandit Camp
  • Gorge
  • Ice Pass
  • Sewers
  • Dwarven Armory
  • The Nether
  • Pirate Cove
  • Crab Trap
  • Level 7
  • Swarm Point Hive - Temporarily removed for retuning

Boss
  • Peake's Hideout
  • The War Titan
  • Cacklespit
  • Three Sisters
  • Frozen Peak
  • Bloatfang - Temporarily removed for retuning
  • Dragon Tower - This fight has been moved to Darkness Falls

Quests

The Early Harvest -- this quest is no longer available, but it was a rousing good fight to kill that monster Peake and get the Helm of Harvest as a reward.
Quest-giver: Khan Xul
Reward: Helm of the Harvest.



The Ancient War Titan
Quest-giver: Drex
Reward: Magnificent Soul

Notes

* - Selrock, a town also accessible from the Estherian Enclave, is another alternative to leveling outside of the main story line. Quest and maps for leveling are available from the NPCs there that can be used to gain experience and rewards. There are other perks outside of leveling available in Selrock - a means to transfer gold between characters, mimic stash scrolls, and scrolls that will summon various dummies that can be used to test builds and skills. Selrock can be reached by talking to Kelintor.
** - Even though a 'quest accepted' notice is given, there is not a new quest entry in your quest list.

Edit: 2013.11.06 - Hah, Salan already added two new levels since I updated this note after the patch this morning, so updated level list.
Edit: 2013.11.07 - Corrected level list with info kindly provided by Salan.
Edit: 2013.11.09 - Changed the Realm of Discord entry point image as it was renamed; added new levels to list.
Edit: 2013.11.11 - Noted Dragon Tower as moved to DF, removed warning about MP bug when porting to friends since it has been fixed, changed wording to reflect portal offet for Dingir Xul.  Moved edit notes to bottom of post -- with the number of enhancements Salan has been making, the list was starting to disrupt the flow of the post!
Edit: 2013.11.15 - Level list updated for three levels taken out for rework
Edit: 2013.12.15 - Changed Realm of Discord level descriptions.
Edit: 2013.12.20 - Added vendor info
Edit: 2014.01.24 - Added Level 7 to level list
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 12:41:34 PM by Bue »

Ghostblade4802

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Re: Some Notes on the Ember Steps
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 08:52:45 PM »
In my experience, there's nothing 'possible' about death in the Realms of Discord. It's all about how much loot you can take before you respawn... and how many of the sum'bitches you can take to the grave with you.

A note of caution for those going to the Ember Steps/Realms of Discord in MP -- you must make sure everyone uses the same phase portal.  There are issues with TL2's multiplayer implementation that will cause the levels to wonk out sometimes and things will be peculiar, to put it mildly, if you try to get back together by throwing a Waypoint Portal and porting to your friend's location.  If you do get separated on different levels for some reason, it is best to regroup in town or the Ember Steps hub.

Hmm. A possibly unintentional side effect, but it adds to the whole "Realms of Discord" feeling, so we'll say it's a feature.

Salan

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Re: Some Notes on the Ember Steps
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 09:01:14 PM »
I wonder if anyone has figured out the language used to name the phasebeasts and Xul's yet.

11 normal dungeons, 5 boss dungeons btw.  Your missing a few, great write up thou!
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