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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Runescape: Back to the Barrows

... and over all, Death held dominion...
 After all the effort of getting Baby Jad, my next goal is still a bit amorphous.  I realized, even though I finished getting 99 Slayer, it's still fun, and a good way to make money.  Since it still holds interest, and there's no rush any more, I figured maybe go for 96 Herblore.  Then I can make Extremes and Overloads.  That would be good for Slayer, plus assorted oddball things like TzTok-Jad in the Fight Caves, and Tormented Demons.  Until the Overloads/Extremes came out, Monique has always been my go-to girl for Herblore.  She's always liked the skill, and now she's 99 Herblore.  If she could make my Overloads for me, I'd skip the skill.  But, being untradeable, that's not an option now.

After dumping 22 million gold into going from level 89 to 92, it seemed like a good idea to maybe MAKE some money...  so I started flipping like I used to.  Don't know if it was just a bad time/day, or what, but after 3 days of trying, it seemed obvious something wasn't working.  Yes, I made profit, but the margin was small to nonexistent, and reselling was nearly impossible.  Maybe I just picked the wrong items.  Regardless, I started looking for alternatives.

Among many fun options (Aviansies, Abyssals, Dragons) I realized I hadn't done Barrows in years.  It sounded fun, with a lot of potential.  Plus, since I last did Barrows, a lot of new equipment and techniques have come out.  Being me, I started Googling for guides.

You know, there are a lot of guides on the net that haven't been updated in years.  And of the newer ones, even they didn't always account for new options, like Drakkan's Medallion.  There were several with good, but incomplete, information.  Wiki had the best presentation.  They included a lot of recommendations for each way to fight, what to wear, and inventories.  They had suggestions on how to face each Barrows Brother, and pray protect from each.

What I really liked about Wiki was that they had a small labeled map of where the brothers lay buried, right next to a chart showing what they attacked with.  That was good as far as it went, but the chart could have included how we should attack as well.  Another point of difference- I disagree with the recommended order of doing the brothers.  It works, but I use more prayer, and have to sip a potion occasionally.  Since I'm 99 Prayer, that shouldn't be necessary.

So I modified the chart to suit me, added the newest guy's name (Akrisae) after the latest Mahjarrat quest, and re-ordered the sequence.  Now I've got a quick-list of the brothers, what to pray, and what style to attack with.  The new order starts with the hardest brothers, and works down to the easiest.  This allows me to use prayer on the harder ones, and not need it for the last ones.  Plus, their weaknesses, purely by chance and good luck, are grouped together so that I don't have to change attack style as often. Below is the order I like, and how I fight each brother:

My route makes use of Draken's Medallion, the Ardougne Cloak, and the Ectophial.  After finishing, I take the Ardougne Cloak to the monastery for a free prayer refill.  The Ectophial teleport brings me into home territory for Draken's Medallion, which makes all of it's teleports free.  (Kind of like local phone calls versus long distance.)
From the Treasure Chest...
Where I go with the Medallion depends on if I need a bank drop.  Burg de Rhott teleport if I need to bank, or directly to the Barrows if not.  Either way, it's fast, and completely negates the old disadvantage of having to travel so far for a bank run.  Now you can make as many trips as you want, hit the bank easily, and immediately be ready to 'drop in' on the brothers again.

To the Monastery with the Ardougne Cloak
Not going to include the puzzle solutions or a full guide.  I have nothing new or improved to say about those.  Check Wiki for a complete Barrows guide.  But my modifications seemed useful to me, and thought I'd offer them here in the hopes someone else might find them useful.

To Port Phasmatys with the Ectophial. Now it's a free teleport to the bank or the Barrows with Draken's Medallion.
My first 4 runs were just trying things out, tweaking the setup.  Nothing special, but that's okay.  I've been playing with different styles and setups, and slowly honing my approach to something that works for me.  First run-through was all-melee.  It worked, but took a lot longer because some brothers are pretty resistant to melee.  Tried with melee/ranged, no magic, still wasn't satisfied.  Added magic to the mix with Slayer Darts and a Slayer Staff.  My hits were kind of low with that, even wearing Ahrim's top and bottom.  Switched to Fire Blast and a Staff of Light, and that seemed decent.  Finally moved up to doing Fire Bursts.  Now I'm happy with the equipment, still playing with my supplies.  Don't really need as much as I bring, so I may reduce the load a bit. 

After getting some experience, a typical run now takes about 10 to 12 minutes.  Below is my current setup:

Helm of Neitznot
Fire Cape
Broad-Tipped Bolts (5,000 or more)
Staff of Light
Mage's Book
Ahrim's Robe Top and Bottom
Barrows Gloves
Dragon Boots
Ring of Wealth

Ardougne Cloak
Drakan's Medallion
Enhanced Excalibur
Lots of Fire Runes
Armadyl legs and plate
Rune Crossbow
Vine Whip
Dragonfire Shield
Dragon Plate Body and Legs
3 prayer(4) Pots
3 Rocktail
Lots of Airs (over 10,000)
Lots of Blood Runes (over 3,000)
Lots of Deaths (over 3,000)
When I say "lots of runes", it's because I didn't bother to figure out exact numbers, I just grabbed a few thousand for good measure.  The spell is for Fire Wave, from the normal spellbook.

This setup allows me to make quite a few trips.  I usually bank because of space issues, and top my supplies up while at the bank.  Just for the fun of it, I bring my pet TzRek-Jad with me.  After working so hard to earn him, I enjoy having Jad tag along as often as possible.

For a full guide, read the Wiki.  But just for a quick look at how I Barrow, this is it.  I've only been at it Friday evening, and several hours on Saturday, and I've made about 15 million in drops.  When I was flipping, I usually made 3 million gold a day.  For me, Barrows is much better profit, and lots more fun.  As a matter of fact, I'm headed back right now.  If you see someone there with a Baby Jad... that's me!

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