With a little help from my friends

I haven’t been online as much this past week – darn real life anyway. When I HAVE been able to get on, I’ve been spending the time in game and not so much here, so I haven’t been keeping up with various blogs as much as I’d like.

Had a GREAT night tonight, though. Got a pass for Delera’s and ran Even through nearly the whole chain on elite with some of my very best DDO friends, including my most favoritest person who I haven’t had a chance to quest with recently. Some of our party had to go before we did the last quest and I still had about 15 minutes left on my pass, so I logged Even out to make sure she has time to get back in tomorrow. Wish I’d remembered to check her mail real quick first because I saw the little envelope come up, and I know it’s not a favor reward (checked that) or an auction expiring/selling, since for once in her virtual life she doesn’t have anything listed on the AH. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow!

Before that I ran Vic through a couple of mostly-favor quests and got her to 500 total favor and 25 more DDO points. Then after Delera’s, I dragged poor Jalliria out of the mothballs and ran Haunted Library with another good friend. It was kind of cool to be able to turn undead and have everything just vanish. Even’s turns aren’t nearly that effective, even with Seek Eternal Rest cast on her.

A few nights ago I got to run Stormcleave twice, once with a friend on Even just because I couldn’t remember much about the quest at all, and in a PUG with Victaurya. I had a great time in both runs even though they brought to mind the first time I ever ran that quest, which was NOT a good experience and is probably the reason I stayed away from doing it again for so long.

That first time I was with the same group I did Delera’s with tonight plus one other guy who at the time was in the same guild. If he hadn’t been there, I think the rest of us would have had a ball (we pretty much always do, even if we wipe). But this guy… I’m all for respecting other cultures, but he was from another country and had some very definite ideas about women. There were two women in the group (real-life women; I think one or two of the guys had female toons), myself and D, mother of one of the other party members. Since the three non-idiot guys were my then-boyfriend along with the husband and son of the other woman, you’d think Mr. Male Chauvinist would at least have kept his thoughts to himself.

But no. He bitched and moaned at D and me throughout the quest. No matter what we did, it was apparently the wrong thing. We were all on voice and by the time we got to the last room, this guy was just SCREAMING at us. D sent him a very polite mail the next day explaining that his behavior wasn’t appreciated and basically gave him a chance to apologize; as I recall, he chewed her out in his reply and that was the end of his days in our guild, thank heaven.

Remembering that guy now actually made my recent Stormcleave runs more fun, because I could really appreciate having great party members. And it also made it even more special to be able to group up with my old bunch tonight and enjoy their company.

Now I need to get some time to dust off Discordette and take her for a spin, and to head over to Sarlona so I can play my poor neglected toons there.

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When tippin’ ain’t just fer cows

I tipped a cleric last night for the first time ever.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate healing, it’s just that until recently when I saw some posts here on the subject, I never thought of paying for heals. I’ve never solicited or been offered tips when I’m playing Jall (my cleric), and I’ve never been in a party on any toon where the cleric has asked for tips, or when anyone has offered, at least publicly.

But last night I was in a really good group, and the cleric not only did an incredible job keeping us all healed through Stormcleave Outpost, but had a great attitude and was very helpful. Too bad I was on Vic, who doesn’t keep a lot of plat (I make her send most of it to Even, who does the shopping for herself and my other three Thelanis toons), so all I could give our healer was 1,000 pp. But I’m guessing no one else offered anything.

I’ve been thinking a lot about whether healers should be tipped. I know many of them spend a lot of plat and/or DDO points on mnemonics along with cure serious pots and wands. I drop a fair amount of plat on cure pots and wands for Jall, but much, MUCH more on the same stuff for Even, who as a pally is rarely a party’s sole healer (although it’s happened once or twice) but does try to keep herself healed and help out with other “minor” healing so the cleric or FvS can save mana. I’ve spent DDO points buying SP pots for her, plus all the plat to make sure she has cure wands and pots.

Victaurya, being a rogue, can’t heal anyone except herself, but I sent Even to the vendors last night to buy Vic a bunch of pots – cure mods, resists, protection from acid/cold/electricity/fire. I probably spent about 15K plat for maybe a few nights’ worth of pots; Vic will never really be completely self-healing, but for the most part she’s a pretty light drain on a healer’s resources.

A lot of the casters I’ve grouped with have gone through a lot of mnemonics as well, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest tipping them. Then there are the tanks who don’t need mnemonics but tend to have much higher repair bills than anyone else.

So should healers get tips? And if they do, how much? Should the entire party tip them? If so, should everyone tip the same amount?

A while back, I was playing Jall and got in with a group that was doing Gwylan’s. Most of the group was great, but there was one guy who took off running before we were all even inside. He angered the first group of mobs and dashed ahead to the second one. So the rest of us were trying to deal with two hordes of angry trolls and ogres while this guy was tearing around trying not to get killed since he’d obviously drawn a lot of aggro. I tried to throw a few heals on him but he was out of range, and I wasn’t about to abandon the rest of the party to go chasing after him. And then the bitching started. “The cleric doesn’t like me! She won’t heal me! Waaah, waaah, waaah!”

Damn right I wasn’t going to heal him; I was already running low on mana trying to keep everybody ELSE healed from having to fight two hordes at once. I told him I couldn’t heal him if he didn’t stay in range, and he said I should follow him (yeah, RIGHT). The party leader told him the same thing, which shut him up for maybe two minutes. But then he kept right on zerging and stirring up new mobs while we were still trying to fight the first ones, and he kept right on yelling at me for not keeping him healed.

If I’d heard of tipping clerics back then, I think I would have asked him, or asked another party member to ask him (my then-boyfriend was there, and I KNOW he’d have said something to the guy if I’d asked him to), if he’d like to contribute something toward all the pots I went through specifically because of him.

That’s an extreme case, though. If one person causes the healer to expend that much, particularly if that person could have used some brains and prevented the whole situation, then yeah, I’m all for them having the decency to reimburse the healer.

But if I try to be smart about my play, keep myself healed as much as possible and sometimes help with party healing as well, and generally don’t do anything that would create an unusual load on the healer, then no, I’m probably not going to consider tipping. There’s always an exception – a tough quest with very few shrines, a healer who does an exceptionally outstanding job – but for the most part no.

Where would it go from there? Tipping the caster who keeps me healthy with buffs and casts firewall to keep me safe from the mobs? Tossing some plat to the barbarian whose repair bill is into five digits? Giving the rogue some money because she went through a ton of resist and protection pots so the rest of us could get through the traps safely (thereby conserving the cleric’s mana, btw) and also got us some extra XP and loot?

That said, when I’m looting a chest and there’s something I don’t need, I pretty much always ask if anyone in the party DOES want it and gladly pass it on to them. Overall, though, my vote on tipping is a big nay.

Perdition, indeed

OK, we’re all over my whole small/medium ingredient bag snafu, right? RIGHT?! (LOL)

My very generous friends and former Emerald Dragons guild mates treated me to a couple of guest passes tonight so we could run some Necropolis quests. I dragged poor Even out – she’s probably been feeling neglected sitting so much while I play Victaurya – and let her try out her +49 Intimidate on some interesting new creatures. The new intim animation is cute; kind of looks like she’s going, “Neener neener NEENER!” at the mobs.

We had a great time tearing around getting the explorers and rares while racking up slayers. By the end of the night, I had all the explorers, more than half the rares and had passed the 400 slayer mark. We also had a lot of fun doing Flesh Maker’s Laboratory.

But you might have noticed that the first word in the post title is “perdition,” as in “Ghosts of Perdition.” Per Dictionary.com:

per·di·tion/pərˈdiSHən
Noun: (in Christian theology) A state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and unpenitent person passes after death.

Forget my struggles at various levels with Haverdasher, Proof Is In the Poison, the Pit and even In the Demon’s Den. Whoever named Ghosts of Perdition knew what they were talking about. It’s rated as level 14, so our confident group – a level 17 wizzy, level 17 cleric, level 16 pally/cleric, and Even’s level 18 pally – trotted in on elite.

The first part of the quest – no sweat. We dispatched the two brothers with ease. The undead weren’t a big problem, not with one full cleric, one part-cleric, and Even doing OK on turns since she started using Seek Eternal Rest. Reavers – bah! We laugh in the face of your ice and cold! Resist THIS, you big cold overgrown troglodytes!

Yeah, well, you know that old saying about pride going before a fall. A very, very, LONG fall. Way down into the depths of the Glacial Abyss. You know how far the fall is from the backup generator room of the Pit down to where my old buddy the Avatar of Juiblex lives? This was further, or seemed to be. But hey, that’s what feather fall is for, right?

We had confidence, we had resists, we had feather fall. What we didn’t have was a way to defeat Cholthulzz, the undead beholder who lives down in the icy depths. And he’s got minions, which didn’t help. Antimagic, so we couldn’t heal; Even’s Lay On Hands worked, but she’s only got four of those per rest. Deathblock didn’t help. Every time we’d manage to damage the damn thing a certain amount, the floor would give way and we’d fall even further down, finding him waiting at the bottom for us each time. At least the fall gave us a few seconds far enough from him to heal up and cast Restoration to get our negative levels back.

We wiped. We tried having one party member hold the dungeon while everyone else released and shrined, then all going in again. The only good thing about old Cholty is that he can’t heal himself, so we figured we could just keep plugging away and get him eventually.

But we kept dying, and he kept sitting there waving his stalks at us and grinning. I KNOW he was grinning. We wiped probably five or six times, maybe more, before we decided to give up on elite and start over on hard. The exact same thing happened. As far as any of us could tell, there was no real difference in difficulty from hard to elite, but that didn’t stop us from wiping several times on hard before we gave up on that as well. We ditched our two cleric hirelings for some DPS – the clerics couldn’t heal in that antimagic zone anyway – and we still got nowhere. We didn’t even damage Cholty any more on hard than we had on elite.

Finally we decided to give it a go on normal. This is where you think I’m going to tell you that at last we beat him and got some nice loot for all our trouble, right? Think again. Normal – EXACTLY the same as hard and elite. Then when we tried to have one person hold the dungeon open so the rest of us could release and heal up before trying again, we ran into a weird glitch where the floor wouldn’t collapse, leaving us trapped above Cholty – which in hindsight was probably a better alternative than getting back down to the bottom to face him again.

The weird thing, though, is that we had a ton of fun, at least I did. I’d rather wipe with great people than cruise through a quest with a less friendly bunch.

Later I finally bit the bullet and started looking into the new crafting process. I’ve deconstructed two weapons so far, or I think that’s the term for what I did with them – I don’t have them any more, but their better qualities have been converted into essences. I also had a moment of weakness and dropped way too much plat on a large – LARGE – ingredients bag from the AH for Vic, but at least now she’ll have lots of room for both her trap-making stuff and all the new essences and things.