ddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-underdark-is-vastThe Underdark Wilderness and Adventure area entrance is at the very south end of The King’s Forest. The drow are using this area to begin their surface raids. The Underdark is the home of the drow and the yaun-ti neither of which will be friendly to you as someone from the surface. Besides these threats the Underdark is full of monsters of all kinds that will be looking to make a meal out of you and your party. This deep dark wilderness area is very interesting to explore but can easily be deadly.

The Underdark is a great place to wander around and explore. It is an adventure area that is long overdue for DDO and it is cool to see the traditional Drow and the Underdark finally make a real appearance in Dungeons and Dragons Online.

Dungeons and Dragons Online Underdark Wilderness Adventure Area Map

Click to Enlarge

Series: NA
Level: 22
Patron: Purple Dragon Knights
Length: Very Long
Dungeon: The Underdark
Recommended Party: Standard
MoBs: Drow Warriors, Drow Archers, Slain Villager, Blademaster, Yuanti, Skeletal Puppet, Zombies, Drow Guard, Driders
Dangerous MoBs: Necromancers, Arch-Necromancers, High Priestesses, Purple Worm, Dire Bear, Illithid, Rares
Buffs: Freedom of Movement, Deathward, Standard Buffs
Special Note: Get the Underdark Goggles and Sschindyrylyn as soon as you start exploring the Underdark.
Quest Stats: Detailed Underdark Wilderness Statistics

NOTE: Many of the images have been brightened significantly. The Underdark is DARK. Go figure, but I wanted you to be able to see some of the cool stuff in the Underdark.

A vast and large area the Underdark can be very confusing to navigate due to the 3D nature of the wilderness area. The map provided above can help you navigate but if you are having trouble finding something it could easily be far above you or below you. So make sure to really search around.

Adventuring in the Dark

One of the toughest things about the Underdark is that it is, well, dark. Not only is it dark and gloomy, it is also filled with passages and walkways all over the place. Some of the walkways are so far above the “floor” of the Underdark that they cannot even be seen. I have added a few paths on the Underdark Wilderness map above to help you navigate the more difficult places to reach. Look at the path in advance because for some of these places, you must start making your way up far away from your final goal.

ddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-shrines-spell-wardsThere may seem to be a ton of shrines here. There are, compared to other wilderness areas of similar size. However, you will quickly note that many of these shrines that seem to be close together are actually very far apart. One may be near the top of a walkway while the other “close” shrine is actually near the bottom and not easily accessible. Most of the shrines that appear to be out in the open on the map are at ground level, but there are a handful of shrines that are up on the walkways. These are usually sitting on black areas of the wilderness map.

In the very north eastern corner of the map is a place known as Trader’s Cavern. Here you’ll find a dwarf who can hook you up with some goggles. These goggles will give you Dayvision. This lets you see in the Underdark. Unfortunately they don’t work in any place that doesn’t have the environmental effect Underdark Enviroment, but they are really nice to have. I use these to navigate and explore and then when you get into a fight switch out to your preferred combat goggles.

First Things Firstddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-portal

Head over to Sschindylryn and access that portal. Having used this portal once, you can get back to the Sschindylryn portal instantly from the Eveningstar Cavern. This gives you quick and easy access to the western side of the Underdark. From the Sschindylryn portal, you can go to the portal in the east to move around to other portals in the Underdark.

Second Things Second

The second thing you want to do is head to the north eastern corner of the Underdark and talk to the Optics Merchant. He will give you a pair of goggles that lets you see the Underdark as if it is daylight. These are great for navigating the Underdark and detecting the hidden walkways or for seeing gaps to avoid falling to your death. The goggles will let you see creatures. They will appear with a red outline. They are much easier to see with these goggles in the gloom of the Underdark.

Drow are Everywhere

The other main threat is the Drow. They are out, and they are everywhere.

You will encounter many different groups of Drow. One type of group is the combat group or the standard set of Drow. The combat group will have Drow Warriors, Drow Archers and may have some small Swarm Spiders with them. This group is fairly easy to take out as long as it is a fairly small group.

ddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-undead-priestessAnother type of Drow group is like a combat group but they also have at least one Drow Necromancer. The Drow Necromancers are not too hard by themselves. However, they have a tendency to take what would seem to be an easy encounter and turn it into a real fight for your life. As the name suggests, Drow Necromancers raise the dead. But unlike previous incarnations of necromancers, these will actually raise any fallen ally as a powerful undead monster! The undead they raise are 2 to 4 times as powerful as the living incarnation. So if there was ever any question about who to attack first, it should now be definitively answered: THE CASTERS! The more dangerous and devious groups have two or more Drow Necromancers. If you can, take them out at the same time or they will raise each other. Rude!

You will also run into Drow slavers. Theses usually have a couple slavers, guards and a wizard or two to defend the group. The slaves will also defend the group until the slavers are killed. With these groups you definitely want to try to save the slaves if possible. You will have to have some high skills or stats but it is possible. Here are the ways to save the slaves.

  • Use Magic Device = Unknown
  • Strength = 45 or 46
  • Disable Device = Unknown
  • Unskilled Check = So far I’ve always failed this attempt, so I don’t recommend it
  • Bell of Opening

ddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-high-priestessThe last and potentially the worst groups are those that have a High Priestess of Lolth in them. These crowd controlling, debuffing, healing, red fury Lolth-loving drow can really be tough. These groups are the exception to the “caster first” rule. With the priestesses’ ability to heal and crowd control I have found it is better and safer to actually take out all of the other healers, casters, guards and other minions around the priestesses of Lolth first. Then you can begin attacking her. When the Priestesses of Lolth get below 25% health, do what you can to stun, trip, or otherwise drop her first. They have the ability to call on the power of Lolth to get fully healed and gain big DR. They can do this multiple times but this is rare.

Spell Rune Traps and Bear Traps

ddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-bear-in-trapThere are a few bear traps here and there in the Underdark. However of more concern are the cunning and wicked drow spell traps. These traps activate runes in the air and will blast you or poison you. They also have a slow component in them that will hold you in them. The Drow seem to be immune to them so if you are caught in one make sure to get out of it before you engage any enemies that are attacking you.

Many Monsters of the Underdark

There is a variety of other beasts and creatures of the Underdark but few should challenge you like the High Priestesses of Lolth. They may have a lot of hit points and may take a minute to beat down but they do not pose a huge threat. Though they may not be life threatening they are certainly fun to fight and encounter. Many of the classic Underdark monsters such as Purple Worms, Fire Salamanders and Yuan-ti are roaming the area. The battles are usually well spread out and most are spread out enough that if you need to run, you have room to do so.

ddmsrealm-ddo-underdark-fire-salamanderIf you are looking to rock your slayer count I would suggest going to the Boneyard near the entrance of the Underdark and battle the waves of undead that spawn here. Eventually you will also provoke the named Arch-Necromancer to come forth so be ready. He brings his own friends and will make more if you are not careful.

The other good spot for multiple kills is in the Spider Hatchery. There are lots of spiders here and many more will spawn if you break the egg sacs in the area. Go slow when you are breaking the egg sacs because it is easy to get a really high dungeon alert level here if you are not careful.

All in all the Underdark wilderness adventure area is another great addition to Dungeons and Dragons Online. I think Turbine has done a great job with the art and the feel of the Underdark. The high walkways and perilous edges give the feeling that even the environment is dangerous. The goggles are a nice touch to help navigate and see in the Underdark. Now, if we could only use them in ANY dark and gloomy place!