It seems like just last week, Jalliria was very much the “weaker sister” of Even. Part of that, of course, is because Even’s got quite a few levels and a fair amount of playing time on her.
Another part is just a matter of class – Even, being a pally and sort of an intimitank, can kick some butt, whereas cleric Jall is more of a sit-back-and-heal toon.
Even’s been my go-to girl almost from the moment I rolled her. Jall was originally my “secret” toon, the one I used when my boyfriend was playing HIS “secret” toon so we could get some playing time alone together.
So it seems weird now to be taking Jall on quests that Even did recently, and sometimes still finds challenging.
What’s surprising is how well my squishy little cleric is doing. Her main weapon is a +4 Shock Khopesh of Pure Good that I bought for 25K from a fellow guildie (not one of my “regular” bunch) because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings; he claimed to have paid 50K for it. It’s not a bad weapon at all, although I think 25K was WAY overpriced (if he really paid 50K, he got rooked).
It seems to suit her, though. Over the last week or two I’ve been grinding her through Searing Heights and Red Fens with an occasional house quest or two thrown in as the mood strikes me. Last night she was just a bit shy of leveling to 12, so I thought, “What the heck, let’s go to Ataraxia’s and see what happens. If nothing else she should live long enough to get some XP from slayer and explorer.”
Even was around level 11 the first time I took her to Ataraxia’s, and she went with three or four guildies. We had some trouble, including a brutal wipe up at the lighthouse. But Jall had finished S/R/E in Searing Heights and I needed a break from Red Fens, so off we went.
And… WOW. Armed with a lvl 11 fighter hireling and a summoned bearded devil, Jall proceeded to astonish me by cruising fairly easily around Ataraxia’s. Scrags, duergars, feral razor cats – she did some serious damage with that overpriced khopesh of hers while not dropping many hit points herself. In fact, possibly the biggest problem she had was the giant rust monsters because they broke some of her gear.
As I was marveling at the way she was performing (and trying not to think too hard about the fact that she probably did a lot better than Even in the same area at that level), I found myself outside Scrag Cave, home of Dulk.
Dulk and I go way back. Even could NOT solo him; the darn brute heals himself too quickly. No matter what you throw at him, he zips himself back up to full health in seconds. But I figured I had nothing to lose, and I had a FvS hireling to try to keep Jall healthy (the fighter expired and I lost him when I went into the resort spa to repair her broken gear).
I should have checked Jall’s mana before I went in. She was down to about 20 by the time she killed off the last “normal” mob and braced to meet Dulk. I’d been half hoping he wouldn’t be there, but no such luck; since he was, I wasn’t about to leave without at least giving him a run.
This was where I got to loving Update 9 in a hurry. That whole “Echoes of Power” thing that regenerates mana back up to 12 SP – WIN. With Roshan the hireling keeping Jall healed (although Dulk did surprisingly little damage to her), she was free to use those 12 SP on Glyph of Warding and Deific Vengeance to supplement what her fancy khopesh was doing to Dulk.
Still, he’s – well, Dulk. She’d hit him, he’d heal himself. Over and over and over. It was starting to look like a stalemate. In desperation, I posted the LFM asking for help to finish him off.
One intrepid soul answered right away and joined the party. He was still on his way through the wilderness – a bit disappointed that, “You didn’t leave anything alive!” – when something happened to Dulk.
I’m not sure what. Did he run out of mana? Did he get depressed because the floor of his cave was littered with the bodies of his scrag buddies? Did he just feel sorry for Jall and decide to give her a break? Did he go afk for some chips and a beer?
I may never know, but what I DO know is that even before my newly-recruited party member got to Scrag Cave, Dulk was suddenly lying dead at Jall’s feet.
It was an eye-opener. I remember Even trying to solo Dulk and calling in a guildie for help and STILL not being able to take him down. I remember her dying many, MANY times when she first started soloing Ataraxia’s wilderness. And I remember her utterly wiping the first time I ran Reclamation solo with her.
I hadn’t been planning on trying either of the two Ataraxia’s quests solo with Jall; I just figured she’d never be able to handle it. But tonight I got to thinking about her finishing off Dulk and thought maybe, just maybe, she might be up to the challenge.
So I headed for Mineshaft IV and Reclamation (it was closest to where I was). Thought of going in on casual and figured, ah hell, no guts, no glory, and picked normal instead.
And once again, she cruised. Never even a really close call, all the way to the end. She killed the foremen, she killed Scour, she killed Detritus, she killed the overseer.
Unfortunately she didn’t get the end chests because there were still about half a dozen duergar ganging up on her after all the bosses were dead, and her new level 12 FvS hireling Tanya picked that particular moment to go charging up the corridor, refusing to return when summoned. I tried to charge Jall after her so they could keep each other healed while they finished off the duergar, but that didn’t work; they just kept tripping her up too fast for her to try to hit them and heal herself. I assume they were doing the same thing to Tanya since her HP dropped like a lead brick and she never made a move to heal herself.
So Jall completed the quest successfully and then got killed – hey, it’s still a victory. In hindsight, I think she was still close enough to the shrine that she could have made it back there to rez herself, but I was so pissed at Tanya I didn’t think of that until after I’d released.
So tomorrow night, maybe I’ll try Sykros’s Jewel with her. If I remember right, Even always had an easier time with that than with Reclamation.
Speaking of Even, I had her trade some plat for a Gianthold pass from a trusted acquaintance the other night, and the slayer bonuses got her what she needed to level up to 19. I also ran Trial by Fire with her looking to get the ONE point of Agents of Argonessen favor she needs to get to 75; too bad I forgot I ran that ages ago with some Emerald Dragons guildies, so Even’s still at 74 favor with the Agents.
It was kind of embarrassing; I went in on casual because I wasn’t feeling confident at all, and everything was disgustingly easy. She didn’t even need her hireling – in fact, having to use her mana to give buffs to the hire made him more of a liability than an asset. But… I have no, and I do mean NO, sense of direction. I tend to get lost easily, and Trial by Fire is kind of confusing to begin with. So Even killed everything and then started running around in circles trying to find the way to the end boss.
According to DDO Wiki, there’s a crack you have to drop through. Even has no problem dropping through cracks. It’s FINDING the cracks that gives her (well, me) problems. It was getting pretty late and I wanted to work on her slayers before I signed off and lost access to Gianthold (her pass had expired by then), so I turned to the trusty LFM and recruited a couple of kind souls to help me find the way out.
It must be my luck, or lack of. No sooner had my new party members joined than I noticed a passageway with a glittering collectible and some intact barrels. I try to always get all collectibles and smash all breakables, so I knew I hadn’t been down that way before. Sure enough, it led right to the crack, I dropped through, we all ganged up to kill the boss in about two seconds, we looted, we finished out.
Now that Even is freshly levelled, I need to seriously think about lesser reincarnating her. I thought I was prepared – I’m SO not. I tried using a character planner but my computer doesn’t like the damn thing and keeps locking up on me when I use it. Pity, because it seems to be exactly what I need to get her new life all figured out.
What with grinding XP on Jall and taking a night to level Even, my other poor toons have been sadly neglected. My goal for the weekend is to run at least one quest on every toon – we’ll see.