May be too graphic for some viewers

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Now that I’m done ranting, I thought I’d have some fun. So I made another meme. Just because I felt like it.

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Jall’s been using a FvS hireling lately. This is the lvl 18 guy (forgot his name). I LOVE the armor he’s wearing. Anybody know what it is so I can look for it?

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Acanthia’s been a busy girl lately getting herself levelled up to 10, but in between killing duergars and scrags in Ataraxia, she made sure she got time to enjoy the lovely beaches. Oh, and speaking of leveling, Jall’s up to 19.

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I realized I’d never posted a pic of Liai, my favor-farming halfling barb on Ghallanda, so here she is. I think she’s rather lovely!

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Speaking of lovely, I’ve never posted a shot of Merenwynne either, and I meant to make a whole post about her when I unlocked Favored Soul and rolled her up.

Five pictures, only 158 words. Told you this post might be graphic!

Thanks… for nothing

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I made a post way back in May about my views on tipping healers. My views haven’t changed since then; the short version, in case you don’t want to read that whole thing, is that except under exceptional circumstances, I generally don’t see a need to pay healers.

BUT, if I’m on with, say, Victaurya or Acanthia (non-mana-using rogue and monk, respectively) and I find a mnemonic in the chest, unless I’m soloing or the party healer is an ass, I offer it to them even though Jalliria can always, always, ALWAYS use them. After all, Jall isn’t the one keeping Vic or Acanthia healed.

Jall just finished doing elite Devil Assault with a mostly good PUG. She died a few times (darn orthons kept attacking her while she was trying to cast blade barrier), but overall it went pretty well. Except… she went through four greater mnemonics and two majors. Priced those things lately on the AH? They’re pretty outrageous.

So who pulls a major mnemonic out of a chest? The fighter. Does he offer it to Jall? Nope. One friend told me to flat-out ask him – well, I’d need a backbone for that and I don’t have one, so first I tried the subtle hint approach:

“Thanks for the run, guys! I’m gonna go, I have to stock up on mana pots, went through a bunch of them.”

And… nothing. The guy was still in Marketplace, so I tried the trade channel:

“WTB 1 or 2 greater or major mnemonic pots at less than crazy AH prices, PST.”

Still nothing. I screwed up my courage and tried sending him a tell (of which I’m sure he never caught the sarcasm):

Me: “Hey, I just went through a bunch of mana pots and I’m kind of low on plat, the AH is a little steep for me. Would you be interested in selling the major mnemonic you looted?”

Him: “idk i might have a toon that could use it”

Me: “OK, thanks anyway.”

Coincidentally (?), just about that time a new major mnemonic appeared on the AH. I know it hadn’t been there just two minutes earlier because I’d been searching and refreshing for them.

I was thinking I’d never, EVER group with this guy again, but I dunno. I’d kind of like to do a Shroud or ToD run with him in it… and keep only myself and the other 10 people healed.  *evil grin*

Macho, macho man

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OK, all you guys out there who think you’re being all tough and macho telling us “little women” how to play the game, listen up: WE’RE NOT FREAKING STUPID.

Really, we’re not. And yet once again tonight I found myself grouped with a guy who insisted on lecturing me at great length about what I SHOULD be doing with Even. If you’re one of those infamous two and a half people who read my Haters Gonna Hate entry, it’s the same guy who was the worst offender on that occasion. The dumbest thing I’ve done isn’t anything to do with Even’s build or gear, but giving this guy another chance to waste about an hour of my time basically insulting me.

It didn’t start out that way. I was talking with a friend about how I really, REALLY want to get Cannith Boots of Propulsion for Even and how I was about to try to solo Schemes of the Enemy to try and get them. Coincidentally my friend was in a full party running the House C quests to get flagged for the raid, and mentioned that Lecture Dude would help me through it.

So LD sends me a tell asking for an invite, I add him, we head off to the quest. He says that you don’t have to run the whole quest to get the boots because they drop every time. I tell him that getting the completion would be nice but right now I’m really all about the boots, so we go in on elite because according to him, they always drop on elite.

The lecturing started kind of slowly, with him insisting on stopping and explaining every little part of the quest. Um, I appreciate that BUT I already made it clear that the boots are all I’m after for now, not to mention that with my Swiss cheese memory, I’m never going to retain this utter overload of info. Turns out the first – and according to him, only – boss we have to fight for the boots is an incorporeal spider. Even lent her ghost touch weapon to Jall a while back and hasn’t needed it (um, yeah, that Swiss cheese memory of mine failed as I had a GT greataxe in my backpack the whole time, but anyway), so she was switching around from her green steel to metalline to smiting to see what worked best.

This started the lecture about how paladins should ALWAYS be sword-and-board and should NEVER use two-handed weapons because it’s just wasting a feat. After I’d rezzed him (since Joe Über Cleric was too busy lecturing to pay attention to what was going on) and killed the spider and NOT gotten the boots in the chest, I checked Even’s feats because I was pretty sure I’d never taken two-handed fighting… well, lo and behold, I hadn’t. And I told him so. Then he insisted that I was taking an attack penalty – sorry dude, wrong again. THEN it was, “But you’re probably doing crappy damage, you’d be doing a lot more if you took two-handed fighting.”

OK, I’ll give you that, but at that point I think if Even had been dealing out 10K damage per swing, he’d still have found SOMETHING to pick on. The constructs in the House C quests are immune to some of the effects on her green steel (triple positive rather than Min 2, but it works GREAT on devils), but it causes respectable damage nonetheless along with rather nice crits.

So of course I should have made Min 2 instead of triple pos (dude, you wanna give me the ingredients to make another GS? Didn’t think so). And then it was her stats. I had to stop and do a reality check a few times because listening to him, it was hard to believe Even got out of Korthos, let alone got to level 20.

Then he started asking me if I was going to TR, and I said eventually I was going to bring Even back as a pally again. He told me I should not TR ANY of my toons until I TR my monk… uh, I LOVE Acanthia. I do. But she’s level 9. I’m not holding Even and Jall and possibly Vic back while I get Acanthia prepped to TR. Even is coming back first. AND she’s coming back as a pally – but oh no! I should bring her back as a fighter with two splashes of rogue, it’ll be JUST like being a pally except she won’t have some of the healing options, and she won’t be able to do this or that… OH EM EFF GEE, SHUT UP ALREADY!

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Is it a guy thing? Because NO female I’ve ever run with – and I’ve run with some awesome ones – has EVER taken that kind of attitude. Advice is one thing. I’m perfectly fine with someone saying, “Have you ever considered this? It might help you do such-and-such.” But standing in a quest doing nothing but belittling me for at least half an hour – NOT cool.

I’ve grouped with people who’ve made build and/or gear choices different than what I would have done. I DON’T CARE. Teamwork and some common sense make for much better party mates than having some awesometastic build or superlative gear.

If you don’t like the way I play my toons, don’t group with me. It’s as simple as that. This guy ASKED to join me; I didn’t ask him. I wonder if he just wanted an excuse to be all macho by telling me about all the stupid girl things I’m doing.

If by chance you’re reading this and realize I’m talking about you, I’m sorry for taking this passive-aggressive route rather than having the backbone to speak up. I just didn’t feel like it would do any good. You know us silly girls – who wants to listen to us anyway?  [/sarcasm]

Second chances

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Poor, lame Dissy. You remember Dissy, right? My totally gimped bard, aka Discordette, aka, “Oh, that’s right, my other Thelanis toon?” Of course you don’t remember her. Until last night, I barely remembered her. She hadn’t completed a quest successfully since June 23, and that was Garrison’s Missing Pack – WAY under her level.

I was going to run Even and maybe Victaurya through Crystal Cove last night, only to sign on and find out it was down. Some of my Monty’s guildies were talking about doing a level 8-ish VoN flagging run. For some reason, my mind skipped right over lvl 9 Acanthia and went straight to lvl 7 Dissy.

“She’s pretty lame, though,” I warned my partymates. “Maybe it would be better if I brought Acanthia. She’s already flagged, but I love those quests and she won’t be a liability.”

No worries, they said, and told me to bring whoever I wanted to bring. So I got Dissy, figuring that if she really screwed things up, I could always log her off and get Acanthia instead.

It wasn’t always smooth and I’m sure she had the most deaths in the group (I thought it would be better if I didn’t count them), but Dissy surprised me by hanging in there. Once I remembered that she has a Cacophonic Verge and switched to that instead of her quarterstaff, she even got in a few kills in between passing out buffs, healing and trying to look inconspicuous when beholders were about.

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An hour and a half later, with Dissy newly levelled up to 8, flagged for VoN, and with my Monty’s guildies (who are very cool about running with the toons I left in Emerald Dragons) starting to head off to bed, I started seriously thinking about the terrible gimp job I’ve done on Dissy.

I tried to make her a warchanter but it just doesn’t seem to be in her nature (and oh yes, my toons DO have their own personalities). I’ve never rerolled a character and I hope I never do, but the things I wanted to fix on her – mainly to go from warchanter to spellsinger – were more than what could be accomplished by resetting her enhancements. And as I pondered, I realized Dissy was standing next to the bank in House K… the very same bank wherein reside no less than THREE hearts of wood in Even’s account, courtesy of the MyDDO lottery. (NEENER, ComicRelief!  :P)

Dissy was pretty darn broke, having spent nearly all of her plat on Cure Serious pots and wands for the flagging, so I had to sign Even on anyway to send Dissy some cash. And as long as Even was on, it was a short trip from the House K mailbox to the bank to move a lesser heart of wood into the shared bank (Even was so proud of her little sister, she stopped at the AH and got her a new bow, too).

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After double-checking to make sure her +2 Charisma tome would carry over – well, let’s back up a bit and give that the attention it deserves. When Vic was getting flagged for VoN the other night, she was running through Marketplace when someone asked in general chat if anyone wanted a +2 Cha tome. “Sure,” I said, “but how much?” The guy (or girl) sent me a tell – “Free, it’s in your mailbox.” And so it was! Even’s already eaten one, and neither Jall nor Vic has a pressing need for a higher Cha stat, so I sent it to Dissy and she had it for supper last night before starting VoN flagging. I doubt her benefactor will read this, but still… THANK YOU!  🙂

So I grabbed the heart of wood from the bank and trotted Dissy’s charismatic self off to see Kruz in House J. With some assistance from friend and Monty’s guildie Il, plus a pretty decent Drow elf spellsinger build I found, Dissy was reborn! Lost a few HP, gained about 150 mana, and looks pretty much the same as she did before.

I should have gone to bed then, since DDO tends to seriously cut into my already messed-up sleep schedule. But I had this little idea scampering around in my head, and the more I tried to ignore it, the louder it scampered… which led to Dissy scampering to House D to take on the Pit. Solo.  *gulp*

The whole time she was on the airship buffing, the whole time she was running through House D on her way to Vargus d’Deneith, the whole time she was inside, I kept thinking, “Well, she’s going to get her butt kicked but it’ll be fun to see how far she gets.”

Wanna know how far she got? Ask the Avatar of Juiblex, that’s how far she got – oh wait, you CAN’T ask him (her? it?) because he’s DEAD! She killed him after SHE SOLOED THE PIT! My little lame gimped bard soloed the Pit!

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*sniffles and wipes away a tear*  I’m such a proud mama! (But STILL no Muck’s Doom!)

Freshly perq’ed

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per·qui·site noun ˈpər-kwə-zət

1 : a privilege, gain, or profit incidental to regular salary or wages; especially : one expected or promised   (from MerriamWebster.com)

Going VIP turned out to be such a great decision that I really wish I’d done it MUCH sooner. Access to all adventures, free Turbine points, it’s all well worth $10 a month (I went for the three-month plan). Not quite two months into my subscription, I just found out there’s another perq that I didn’t even know about when someone in general chat mentioned that VIPs get a free guild.

This means nothing to me on Thelanis or Cannith, where my toons are already in awesome guilds, but for my favor-farming toons on the other servers, WOW! So earlier I dusted off Ironica and headed to Sarlona to see if it was really true. And there it was, right on the Guild tab of her social page: just typed in the guild name I wanted and presto! I can haz guild!

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Naturally I named my new guild “Flower Sniffers” (picked out that name AGES ago). So far I can’t figure out how to invite my other Sarlona toon, Vicriia; Ironica doesn’t get a “Guild Invite” option at the mailbox, and obviously I can’t log them on at the same time. That didn’t stop me from running Ironica through a few quests to accomplish two goals: 1, level her to 4, and 2, level Flower Sniffers (Sarlona edition) to 2. And it didn’t stop me from logging in Vicynrae and making an Orien edition of Flower Sniffers as well.

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I’ll probably get around to making guilds for my other favor-farming toons as well so they’ll be able to use gear with augment slots… and to help cut down on random guild invites from the kind of people I think of as “poachers” – you know, the ones who hang out in the Leaky Dinghy or even the Wavecrest Tavern and spam guild invites to everyone they see without a guild tag.

Strange days

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Poor, neglected Victaurya! My first-ever toon hadn’t seen any playing time in a while and, being the very squishy not-very-solo-able rogue that she is, it looked like she was going to be taking a back seat to Even and Jall and Acanthia for a while.

But I’d been working on getting Jall and Acanthia flagged for VoN (Even flagged a few weeks ago, still hasn’t run it yet though). With great help from a couple of Montys, one Emerald Dragon and a few assorted folks, Acanthia and Jall are now set to face Velah… and then someone in the party mentioned that VoN5 requires a full rogue.

“Hmmm,” I said, “I have a full rogue, but she hasn’t even started flagging yet.”

No problem! We had an awesome little group who happily trotted Vic through the flagging quests, and then it was off to the top of House K to enter the Vault of Night itself. VoN5 went mostly very well despite one griper and one general pain in our expanded raid group. Vic got to pick locks and disable traps, which she always enjoys, and her heavy repeating crossbow kept her surprisingly well-ranked in the kill count (I’m happy if she just has more kills than “misadventure”).

VoN6, aka Plane of Night – well, that was another story. We had a number of first-timers, which wasn’t a huge deal in 5 but really showed in 6. Not that anyone screwed up, just a matter of not knowing where to go, what to do, that kind of thing. Vic was with the ice pillar group, and those reavers hit HARD. She lasted pretty long by staying out of the main fray with her trusty repeater, but after a while there was no one left for them to beat on but her. Poor Vic couldn’t gulp Cure Serious pots fast enough to keep herself alive, but it was still a fun run.

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With Vic’s head still reeling a bit from the 20K XP she collected in VoN5, she and her Monty’s buddies and a great player from the original PUG (who has since become a Monty) headed to Gianthold. Vic had never been there before, and she’s definitely not about to try the area alone, but as a group we had a good time and added some nice XP to the night’s totals… even though we did wipe a few times.  😀

Meanwhile the glitches are still glitching. There’s little annoyances, like the way some of the windows flicker on and off. There’s just weird stuff, like the entrance to Siegebreaker – Jall ran it with her friend Baz several times the other night. When we got there the first time, I remarked that they’d changed the entrance from a hole in the ground to a caravan. Baz was like, “Uh, caravan? I see a hole.” So we both took screenshots:

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Same bat time, same bat place, different bat quest entrances. We ran it several more times over two nights. Jall ALWAYS saw a caravan, and Baz ALWAYS saw a hole.

Then there are the, “OK, someone needs to fix this, lyk, NAO” glitches, such as my MyDDO mailbox being gimped. I have messages, but when I click the link to read them, I get a “page not found” error. So if you’ve sent me mail on here and I haven’t responded, that’s why. I know the same thing happened to Shin, who made another account for mail purposes… I don’t really want to do that, so if you really want to send me messages, post something in the comments or on my wall and I’ll send you my E-mail address.

Worse than that, my friend El had a serious XP glitch the other night. He was about 14K shy of capping when he logged in (confirmed via his stats on MyDDO). After spending a few hours in Gianthold, he’d amassed around 19K XP (confirmed via screenshot)… but for some reason that did NOT put him over the leveling mark. It left him JUST short of what he needed according to his character sheet, so Baz and Jall ran Blockade Buster with him to see if the XP from that would do the trick. It didn’t – and now his MyDDO stats show him at around 10K short of capping, which is LOWER than the XP that was showing for him before. Weird, huh?

And one more thing – where’s the kobold you used to be able to beat up in Lordsmarch Palace? I WANT HIM BACK!

Life’s a glitch

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I’ve read a lot of posts and blogs lately about everything that’s wrong with Update 11, but there’s one glitch I really hope Turbine DOESN’T fix – Even can now use her Shard of Xoriat to summon a pet in public areas. Seriously, how much cooler can you get than running around Harbor with your very own Chaos Beholder – even if it tries to eat you?

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Seems a LOT of people who have a Shard of Xoriat for a trinket had the same idea, because the Wayward Lobster was full of reavers, beholders, Taken, Mindflayers and those floaty eye things. Unfortunately (or not?), they won’t follow you into the brawling area, nor can you summon them when you’re there. This led to a bit of a summoned traffic jam as they all congregated in the doorway and sadly watched their owners duel below.

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Apparently the “Summon Monster” spell does NOT work in public areas, because Jall can’t bring up her Efreeti. Maybe it’s just as well – I’ve already seen complaints about the increased lag from all the metal puppies running around; noticed it a bit myself, and I’m sure having an increase in the number of other summoned creatures won’t help.

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Lag or no lag, my friend Baz and I still had a lot of fun hanging out with the various critters my Shard of Xoriat could scare up.

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Even the really, REALLY gross ones. Taken may be THE grossest creature in the game IMHO. Not only are they utterly disgusting to look at, that squelching sound they make is just – EW.

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The puppies, though – they’re just TOO darn cute. I want one! I want it to stay a puppy and not grow up. If/when I unlock Artificer, Imma gonna roll up a toon and then never level it just so I can have a cute li’l metal puppy. I’m not the only one who got all girly and mushy when I came across this group in Cannith  – so did TygerKatt, who also made a blog post about them.

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Among other changes in U11 is the option to show goggles – meh, definitely not a good look for Even. The option to show both your helmet AND goggles is glitched – your helmet won’t show. And there’s no option to show just your helmet.

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Jall isn’t as thrilled as Even is with the new update. That GUI – well, unless you never read the forums or any MyDDO blogs, you’ve probably heard ALL about the problems with that. The one thing I DO like is knowing how many HP everybody has, which is good stuff for a healer to know; on the other hand, I’m  hearing about people getting kicked out of parties because of low HP, which is sucky to the extreme. Give me a good team player with low HP over an idiot with 900 hit points ANY time. Other than Jall knowing everyone’s HP, which makes it a little easier to prioritize who needs healing the most, I HATE HATE HATE the new GUI. It’s just too hard to see. I also hate that bows have been changed to the off hand – found this out the hard way during an intense battle. Jall was getting her butt kicked trying to melee (before you say, “HEY! She’s a cleric! Why was she melee to begin with?” – she was questing with her friend Baz and a few hires; Baz and I work well together and Jall is not half bad at melee in a party without a typical tank) so she moved back a bit and tried to switch to her crossbow – whaddaya mean, invalid weapon slot? She’d already almost let Baz die once because she hadn’t figured out how to put her own bar up with the rest of the party, so she thought it was her own HP going down and kept healing herself instead of him. (And of course Baz’s hireling Heystack stood there and said, “Hey, your HP’s going down. So’s mine. We could die. It would be prudent to heal me now because even though I am a cleric, I am abysmally stupid and healing anyone, including myself, will not cross my mind until after the party wipes.”)

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But anyway, the new House Cannith enclave looks AMAZING! I LOVE the elevators, haven’t run any of the quests yet but plan to do so over the weekend before tossing everything else aside for Crystal Cove next week. I REALLY hope the glitch that lets Even use her Shard of Xoriat in public areas doesn’t get fixed by then, because I can’t wait to see a Chaos Beholder tossing minotaurs around.

Where the heck AM I?

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Right at this particular moment, where I’m NOT is on DDO. Update 11 and my computer do not like each other, no way, no how. The first few times I tried to boot up DDO, I got stuck on “updating” and eventually had to reboot the computer. After several tries, I started getting an error message telling me something about how DDO either wasn’t designed to run under Windows or was a corrupt file. So I turned to the forums and found that people are having all sorts of problems. Best advice I could find was to uninstall the game, download it and then re-install it.

Well, yippee. What a pain! It took quite a while to download on my Comcraptastic connection. Now it seems to be taking forever to install. I’ve been at it for nearly FOUR HOURS what with reboots and all. Installation right now is about 2/3 done. Here’s hoping it works!

Most nights, of course, where I am is on DDO. But WHERE on DDO I am – half the time I don’t know. I have NO virtual sense of direction. Give me a simple dungeon and tell me, “You can’t possibly get lost,” and trust me, I’ll find a way to get so lost I have a hard time getting found again.

Even was still 53 points shy of unlocking Favored Soul when I logged in last night (you know, last night when DDO ACTUALLY BOOTED FOR ME  *grrr-face*), so after a ToD wipe, an awesome Shroud and a fun though Muck’s Doom-less Pit run with a guildie (a very generous and awesomesauce guildie who gave Even the last few ingredients she needed to upgrade her green steel greatsword to Tier 3!), I pulled up her adventure compendium. She still needs The Tide Turns to finish out the Sentinels of Stormreach arc, but I got – guess what – hopelessly lost a few nights ago when I tried to solo it and my Pit-running guildie wasn’t flagged, so I moved on to Necro 2.

Started with Tomb of the Shadow Knight and – you guessed it – got lost. Well, maybe “lost” isn’t the right word; I basically knew where I was on the map and where I needed to go, but it turned out I missed a hidden chest that had a key in it, and I ran around for two hours trying to figure out how to get through a locked door. DUH.

By then another guildie joined me and we moved on to Tomb of the Shadow Guard. I thought he knew where he was going – turned out he didn’t have much more of an idea on that than I did. We swam around for a while, often in circles; he even recalled and came back in so he could try again from the start since we were both only after favor and not XP. That didn’t help, so I finally put up an LFM and got two very awesome, not to mention very PATIENT, people who got us through Shadow Guard and then through the other two flagging quests in the arc, which put Even at 2507 total favor and got me Favored Soul on Thelanis, which I intend to check out ONCE I CAN LOG INTO THE FREAKING GAME AGAIN! (Turbine, I love you, but GEEZ!)

I’m not sure why I have such a hard time finding my way around in DDO. It took me three or four tries before I could get through A Small Problem when I first got the Phiarlan Carnival pack. I ran around Sands for a good hour and a half looking for the entrance to Chains of Flame – I could SEE the little yellow blinking door on the map and even stand right on top of it, but I couldn’t figure out how to get up on top of the mountain to the actual quest entrance and finally had to get a guildie to lead me there. And don’t even get me started on Vale. If not for awesome friends and guildies, I’d probably still only have five or six explorers.

Maybe it’s got something to do with my real-life navigational issues. I used to be pretty good at getting from Point A to Point B, even with less-than-stellar directions. Then I got a concussion in a car accident in 2005. Messed up my short-term memory a bit, and now I have a much harder time figuring out where I’m going. My brother lives about 10 miles from me. I’ve driven to his house probably hundreds of times and did so automatically. Now at least once or twice each trip, I have to stop and actually THINK about where I’m going. I’ve passed the right exit a few times and had to double back, and there have been times I’ve looked around and wondered if I’d made a wrong turn because I wasn’t sure where I was.

Anyway. Wasn’t going to bring this up on my blog, but since people I’ve never even spoken to sent me tells last night asking about it – I’ll just try to be non-specific and not add to any potential drama. Even and Acanthia are staying in Monty’s (and my other Thelanis toons are staying in Emerald Dragons). I feel extremely lucky to be part of not one, but two GREAT Thelanis guilds (plus a very awesome Cannith guild!). For those very good friends of mine who have gone elsewhere, I truly wish you the best and sincerely hope we’ll still be running together often. I’ve had ZERO problems with anyone on either side of recent events and I’d like to keep it that way. Many of you have helped me out tremendously with advice, gear, ingredients and so on. Even more than that, you’ve helped me with ME. Until very recently, I thought of myself as a pretty poor player. Especially in groups, my focus was mostly on keeping up and not screwing up rather than enjoying the run and seeing how well I could do – after all, most of what I learned for the first five or six months when I was starting this game came from someone who told me what to do and when to do it, made sure to point out if I deviated from his plan, seemed surprised whenever I actually did something right, and was more than a bit pissed off when Even levelled past him. To have people tell me they WANT to group with me and WANT me in their guild means more than some typed words on a blog can ever express and, believe it or not, has made a positive difference in my real-life confidence level as well.

DDO has booted! I’m off to check mail and auctions, then see how quickly I can get my about-t0-be-rolled-up Favored Soul/Monk build hopelessly lost.  😀

Hot(bar) mess

Even can haz green steel!

Now that Jall is moving up in the world (she hit level 18 tonight!), I’ve been noticing things that were OK at lower levels but are less than ideal for her now.

Like Heal Mass. Used to be she never used it (except when I clicked it by mistake…), but lately I’ve found her needing it on several occasions. And the thing with Heal Mass is, when you DO need to use it, you need to use it RIGHT THEN. Or somebody’s probably going to die. Trouble is, it takes FOREVER to cast – has to be a good three seconds from the time I click the icon until Jall gets done waving her arms around and actually casts it – and it’s got a cooldown that’s at least equal to the arm-waving timeframe.

She was running Trial By Fire with her Emerald Dragons guildies a few nights ago and I noticed that fellow cleric Crys seemed to be casting Heal Mass rather quickly. He said he’d just picked up the Quicken feat the last time he’d spent action points. “Hmmm,” I thought to myself, “Jall needs that!”

And then I got to playing Even and having an uproarious time upgrading her new green steel greatsword to Tier II (that’s definitely a subject for a future post), and poor Jall sat home alone for a few nights. I got her back out tonight; we were supposed to meet up with some friends for Necro questing but that fell through, so I looked at her XP (10K from lvl 18) and then at her favor (closing in on 400 with the Coin Lords) and decided to make a run at both. Zerged through the Sharn Syndicate chain on elite (those quests give disappointingly little favor) and then decided to try the Attack on Stormreach arc. She cruised just fine through the first three on normal. I checked her Coin Lords favor again and realized that if she ran Siegebreaker on norm as well, she’d be  at  398 CL favor with no more CL quests left except hard/elite Attack on Stormreach and then the Inspired Quarter quests.

I didn’t want her to end the night two favor points shy of a benchmark, so I put up an LFM for Siegebreaker on hard (that quest drives me nuts because the end puzzle takes me forever). Got no takers so decided to give it a solo whirl – well, that didn’t last long at all. And one big  reason was that slow, slow, SLOW Heal Mass;  a second or two sooner and I might’ve been able to save at least one of Jall or her merc, maybe both plus Jall’s summoned Efreeti.

Ow.  :P

Maybe if she’d had Quicken for Ghosts of Perdition, Cholthulzz wouldn’t have turned her and Ayron the hireling into soulstones!

Meanwhile I was chatting with LrdSlvrhand and talk turned to feats and enhancements. Long story slightly less long, I was about to go level her anyway and decided to reset her enhancements, seeing as how I’d put a fair number of points into mostly useless stuff back when I knew even less about what I’m doing than I do now. That went quite well and she ended up with about 20 more hit points and almost 200 – yes, TWO HUNDRED – more spell points than she’d had before, plus an extra turn undead and some other cool stuff. Also dropped Follower of Vulkoor; she uses khopeshes so the weapons enhancements don’t make a difference to her, and her summoned scorpion was great up to about level 12 but can’t compete with the Efreeti now. I had her take Follower of the Silver Flame instead (Banishment FTW!).

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself because I think this is a very improved Jall, and I’m anxious to see how she does in an at-level quest. But she STILL needed that Quicken feat, so I trotted her down to House J to talk to Fred.

Now a little back story: Jall already has eight hotbars (nine when she has a merc). Much like her inventory, when I get something new I just throw it in an available space, so she has weapons next to necklaces next to spells next to feats next to skills in no discernible order. Her whole hotbar situation really is a hot mess.

Anyway, I mosey up to Fred and say, “Yo Fred, I need Quicken and I need it BAD. How much is it gonna cost me?” And Fred just looks at me in that cute Mindflayer way he has and shows me a list of my feats. “Hmmm,” I say, “which one should I drop to take Quicken? Maybe I should – waitaminnit, why is Quicken on the list?”

Yep. Jall already HAD Quicken. I don’t remember when she took it, but it was right there. Too bad it couldn’t make me a little quicker on the uptake.

It’s not easy bein’ green

Even can haz green steel!

Ever since I broke down and went VIP, Even has spent a lot of time in Vale – flagging for Shroud, running Shroud, farming for ingredients. After enviously ogling the green steel items crafted by her friends and guild mates, Even really wanted her own. And not just to match her hair.  😀

Last night I went through Even’s inventory and made a list of what she had, then booted up a green steel planner to see what she wanted to make and what would be needed to make it. When I realized that all she needed for a green steel greatsword blank were one Lammanian lily petal and one green brier twig, I resolved to start to get Even’s butt out to Vale ASAP.

She got the chance tonight – well, after a fun few hours which involved nekkid dancing on the airship, a request for a lap dance and a crazy way-over-level guild Pit run (no Muck’s Doom for anyone). We were pondering what to do next when someone suggested Coalescence Chamber. “YEAH!” I yelled (probably hurting a few ears). “I need green steel ingredients!”

Our cleric wanted to play his rogue, which WOULD have left us without a cleric, but I decided to let Even relax a while and take Jall, who was about 30,000 XP shy of level 18 at the start of the night. Figured we needed a cleric, Jall needed XP and Shroud flagging, and she could pass any ingredients to Even. She got about 20K XP all told after my Monty’s buddies took a detour to pick up a few explorers and we encountered a few rares along the way, plus some slayers and of course the quest XP. She got the last Lammanian lily petal Even needed, and a very kind guildie passed her a green brier twig.

So YAY! Even has a green steel greatsword! Nothing on it yet, gotta go back to Vale and run Shroud for more ingredients, but at least the process is started!

Eventually what I’m hoping to make it into will be:

Tier I Effect: Holy, 2d6 vs Evil – Positive/Dominion/Material

Tier 2 Effect: Good Burst – Positive/Dominion/Material

Tier 2 Bonus Effect: Aspect of Positive Energy (Either) ::: Raise Dead (1/day)

Tier 3 Effect: Good Blast – Positive/Dominion/Material

Tier 3 Second Shard: Undecided (the planner didn’t give me any options for this)

Tier 3 Bonus Effect: Aspect of Positive Energy II – Greater Disruption (Weapon) ::: On-hit 3~5% chance undead destroyed, will save DC unknown

I’m always open to suggestions, so if you have any other ideas I’d love to hear them – preferably with a little explanation of the pros and cons of what I have planned compared to what you would do.

Shrouded in secrecy – and laughter

Even's guildies from Monty's are always there for her, whether it's running Shroud or standing nekkid atop the XP shrine.

Consider this a spoiler alert: If you’ve never run the Shroud before and you’re planning on doing so, I beg you, STOP READING NOW. You won’t find any tips on getting through it in here, just an anecdote of something that happened the night I lost my Shroud virginity. Your first Shroud will be MUCH more fun – I guarantee you – if you do NOT know what I didn’t know the first time I ran it. So bookmark if you must, then go get flagged and run Shroud with a group of your best friends, and THEN come back and read this.

You’ve been warned.

Even ran her first Shroud recently, after a long, long, LONG period of anticipation and a brief period of trying to cram in all the flagging quests as quickly as possible (ample help from her Monty’s guildies got her flagged). I was going to keep the experience to myself, but reading a very funny account of Kobayashi_Hatoko‘s first Shroud inspired me to share my own story.

Seriously. If you’ve never run Shroud, leave this page, like, NOW. I repeat, you’ve been warned.

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Party leader: “OK guys, Even is a first-timer, so that means we have a shot at the extra chest!”

Party: *general cheering*

Me: “Extra chest? Cool!”

Party leader: “Now listen close. When we get to the last portal, everybody wait and let Even go first. Even, stand on the altar and jump into the exact center of the portal. If you click the exact center, we get an extra chest. But if you screw it up, we wipe.”

Me: *gulps* “W-w-w-wipe? Wait, there’s a JUMP? I suck at jumping!”

Party leader: “Aw, you can do it, we have faith in you!”

Party: *general cheering*

Flash ahead to party standing at portal, waiting on my momentous jump.

Miscellaneous voice in background (muttering): “I hope she doesn’t screw this up.”

Me: *swallows hard, reminds self to breathe, aims pointer at portal, switches in and out of mouselook several times trying to get perfect angle, tries to steady shaking hands and tune out muttering voice, and finally… JUMPS*

Party: *dies*

Me: “OMG guys, I’m SO SORRY! I thought I had it. I TOLD you I can’t jump!” *crawls into corner feeling miserable*

Party leader: “Wait, don’t release, I have an idea!”

At this point I thought he was going to pop a spirit cake on one of the healers and get us all rezzed… and then I realized that we were all miraculously alive with full mana and health bars.

Me: “Wait, what?”

Party: *general uproarious laughter*

Me: *realizes she’s been had and cracks up*

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The rest of the run went great, we pounded Harry into a pulp, and my party members were very generous in passing me green steel ingredients from the chests, especially after the “party wipe.” Every so often someone STILL mentions that in guild chat:

“Hey, anybody wanna run Shroud? Even, you wanna come help us wipe again?”

These guys are great.  😀