Astral Diamonds come into the system through Daily Quests and events. Since the AD are used to buy everything on the AH and do a wide majority of character customization, you need lots of em. Heck, the best pet in the game costs 980K AD and at level 38 I’m sitting on 50K.
The skirmish event was on, meaning that completing one gave me a chest with 1,000 AD. When this event is NOT active, even as a Cleric, I can wait 20 minutes to get into a queue. When the event is active, it’s under 5 minutes. My tank, level 18, seems to insta-queue no matter the time. The daily quest for skirmishes gives you 2,000AD but past level 30 you need to complete 2 of them. This is hard to do when there isn’t an event. Plus, if you’re on a quests and get into a queue, you lose all non-overworld progress. Overworld meaning the 15 or so locations you see on the big map, which is only about 10% of the content. Last night my queue came up when I was on the last boss on a hard quest. Hard to restart
Anyways, here’s a quick video of the current skirmish someone else took since I didn’t get FRAPS installed until after I was done.
The entire event is in a room that my AE spell covers 25% of the space. As usual, the last boss has what seems to be infinite timed add spawns – in this case 1 caster and 2 wolves. The run I had last had such poor coordination that there were always 2 casters up aiming directly for me and 2-3 wolves chasing me around. And no tank on either run, in fact one had 2 wizards and the second had 3. Fun times!
Since I hit level 35, I’ve gained a new AE heal spell and my gameplay has changed dramatically because of it. Group content is harder, I have more powerful skills that dramatically affect the gameplay and it’s like a new game is opening up. What a massive difference from every other MMO out there.
The downside is that nearly every group I’ve run with has had at least one person just quit the group and due to the in-game mechanic change and they are listed as disconnected and the spot stays blank. I could use that extra body. Neverwinter seriously needs a vote kick option or some way to manage this. Grouping tools should be a priority.
I should mention that gear drops in the game are a strange affair. I think WoW has brainwashed people to think that Green << Blue <<<< Purple. Here are comparative items, at my level. I mean there’s a difference, sure but it isn’t massive.
The fun part here is that since people don’t understand that gear is replaced in a day and that there is a massive price difference (800 vs 50K), you can make a pretty penny if you play the cards right. The downside is that people roll /need on gear that they can’t use. Greedy buggers.