Tank Girl, the sequel

Horoth

It’s been a really tough week or so – with apologies to Firefall, too many hopes fading that can’t be found, dreams leaving me waiting, and oh, those friends who’ve let me down.

Plus I’ve never had much confidence in Even’s tanking ability. A big part of this stems from her being chewed out by a former guildie; he was looking for a Horoth tank for ToD, I asked to bring Even, he proceeded to rip her apart – in guild chat, on guild weekend, no less – before declining her. (Both of us have since gone to other guilds.)

Saturday night I was doing some favor cleanup with Acanthia and was attempting, mostly in vain, to solve the puzzle in the Siegebreaker end fight (stupid hireling Albus, despite being in “DON’T MOVE, YOU MORON!” mode, kept walking on the runes), when Hitme sent me a tell saying that his party was looking for a tank for hard ToD, and asking if I’d bring Even.

Um. Gulp. I’m down on myself to begin with. The lack of puzzle success is not helping. And the party had quite a few people I recognized as some of the better players on Thelanis. But Hitme was persistent, and frankly I was tired of rezzing Albus.

So off we head to the Tower Cave. Judge down, jailer down, Nytherios down. Nothing left but the big red guy and one very nervous paladin. Raste/hage, boots on, and we were off.

To my surprise, Even not only got Horoth’s aggro right away, she held it. And to my even bigger surprise, she wasn’t taking a ton of damage – which was good, because either the healer assigned to her forgot to put his Boots of Anchoring on, or they glitched, because he got banished shortly after Sully came down. I didn’t even realize it until our light monk started yelling on voice, “We need a healer on Even!” Which surprised me until I found out the healer got banished, ’cause Even was still at pretty much full health (and she wasn’t even blocking).

Our remaining healer did a spectacular job keeping both me and the Sully party healed, although I’m sure we were all glad when Sully went down and everybody was bunched together on Horoth. I think Even might’ve lost aggro for about two seconds once when she got stunned, but she grabbed it right back and never lost it again.

This will probably sound stupid, but like I said, rough week and I’m a stupid emo girl – when Horoth went down and we got the completion, I was so proud I teared up. And then I got a big doofy grin on my face that didn’t want to go away. I didn’t even care that I got skunked on the loot, it was that nice to feel like I wasn’t totally useless/worthless for a few minutes.

Evennote

Say what you want about Hitme (and most people do, LOL) – as much as he annoys the hell out of me sometimes, I can count on him not to cut me down. He might spend too much time showing off his gear, but I’m usually laughing by the time we’re done questing even though I often have the urge to take his name literally and – well, hit him. When it comes to personal stuff, he’s never made me feel like I’m not pretty/thin/rich/young enough to bother with – quite the opposite. I’ve told him many times that would change in a hurry if he ever met me in person, but since that’s not likely to ever happen, I think I’m just going to enjoy those few hours and try to forget the rest.

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Goin’ green

Acanthia

One of the cool things about being in a guild of two people is that you don’t really have to worry much about everybody agreeing when you want to do something. So when the airship started looking a little bland, the convo went something like:

“Hey, we should paint the airship.”

“OK. What color?”

“Well, we both like green.”

“Sounds good. I’ll get the hull stain and interior paint, you get the windsail and elemental ring.”

So now we have a lovely verdant ship (OK, we haven’t gotten the elemental ring yet, but that’s kind of greenish anyway). It even has buffs again. Life is good. (Although it’d be nice if you could dye the flags as well, but looks like they’re destined to stay dark blue.)

Acanthia

As long as we’re talking green, Acanthia realized she’d never run Invaders on elite, so she decided to get that out of the way tonight. After the first few jaded beholders died before she could get a screenshot, she finally found this Gene Simmons lookalike, jaded it, and got the pic before she killed it.

In case you were wondering, yes, this post so soon after my last one is a blatant attempt to try to get my MyDDO page to show up properly again. Most of it was replaced with blank space after I posted the last entry; I’m hoping this one might reverse the process. Otherwise even though this post is about green, I’m gonna be sad and blue (and maybe angry and red, too).

ETA: If you’re reading this, obviously my blog is back. Unfortunately it’s not back as of the time of this posting.

Oh where, oh where have my little pets gone?

Liai

Oh where, oh where could they be?

You might see some of my toons frantically running around Stormreach putting up “lost pet” fliers and asking if anyone’s seen their panthers, wolves, or spiders. Those are the three pets included with the Menace of the Underdark Collector’s Edition, and all of my toons originally received their pets just fine. But since the latest update, they’ve gone missing.

Liai and the other affected toons still have the icons for all three pets on their hotbars, but the paw tab had completely disappeared from their inventories until they got their cube pets. Clicking on the hotbar icons makes the toon wave her arms as if summoning a pet, but other than that nothing happens.

Thanks to this forum thread, I know that other people are having the same problem and have been for some time. Unfortunately Turbine doesn’t seem inclined to do much; there’s been no official response from any Turbine employee since July 5. The only real suggestion posted was to try logging out and back in. I did that with all of my affected toons – even rebooted my computer – but still no pets. I tried rolling up a new toon to see if she’d get her pets; when she redeemed her MotU pack she got her mask, panther hireling figurine, tome of learning and XP elixir, but no pets.

So, as directed in the above thread, I filled out a separate ticket via the support site for each toon affected (obviously I changed the name and server on each one):

My character Liai on Ghallanda is missing her black panther, wolf and spiderling creature companions from my purchase of the MotU Collector’s Edition. The icons for all three companions and their tricks are still on her hotbars, but the companions themselves have disappeared from the “pawprint” tab of her inventory. I’ve tried logging in and out as suggested by Tolero on the forums, but her companions are still missing. I’d like them returned as soon as possible. Thank you.

That was three nights ago. I got the standard “don’t call us, we’ll call you” autoresponse and since then nothing at all. So tonight I decided to try an ingame ticket, even though I’ve already heard from several people with the same problem that the online support team won’t do anything either:

I have the MotU collector’s edition and originally received all three cosmetic pets (panther, wolf, spider) with no problem. However, when I logged in a few nights ago, all three had disappeared from my inventory; I didn’t even have the paw tab any more, although the icons for all three pets are still on my hotbar and not grayed out. I’ve logged out and back in and even rebooted my computer per suggestions in the forums, but my pets are still gone and have been for several days now. I know I had one of the pets active the last time I was logged in and still had them, but I’m not sure which one (I THINK it was the panther). This has also happened to some of my toons on other servers. I tried making a new toon to see if that one would get the pets; it got the mask, the panther hireling figurine, the tome of learning and the XP elixir, but no cosmetic pets. There has been no official Turbine response to the forum thread since July 5 (yes, I posted there first). How do I get my pets back?

I should’ve listened to them, because this is what I got back:

The issue you have reported requires additional research and is being escalated for further review. We will contact you if we need additional information to investigate the problem, or if new details can be provided about this issue. At times, research can take several days as the In-Game Support team often works with other departments to find the appropriate resolution to your issue. Please be patient while we work to resolve this issue for you.

“The issue,” “this issue,” “the problem” rather than naming it – and the response was sent less than a minute after I submitted it. Definitely an autoresponse; I strongly doubt the GM involved did more than skim it, if that. So I’m not real hopeful that anything will be done there. I suppose it’s a good sign that the GM left the ticket open and didn’t close it.

All of the affected toons were “only children” on their respective servers (Ghallanda, Khyber, Orien and Argonnessen; I had no other toons on those servers); they were all low levels, and none of them has ever reincarnated in any way. None of my toons on Thelanis, Cannith or Sarlona lost any of their pets. I’m not sure if it’s related, but I have at least three toons on each of those servers.

I guess some people will think it’s silly to care about something that doesn’t affect gameplay in the slightest. But for me, those pets really add to my enjoyment of the game. My real life is… “interesting” right now, and not in a good way. DDO has always been my escape, my stress reliever, my forget-about-all-the-crap-and-just-have-fun time. A big part of that is having those pets. On Thelanis in particular, where I have 10 toons and (so far) nine pets, I’ve had a great time deciding which toons should use which pets to match their personalities or roles – Chalei the fire savant has the flame render; Even, who’s the most like me in real life (well, aside from the green hair) has the black panther named after Victoria, my real cat; Vic the mechanic has her little bronze golem to practice her repair skills.

I’ve heard other people make the valid argument that since most of the pets are purchased through the DDO store, they represent real money and the issue should therefore be a priority for Turbine. I agree, but for me it’s more than that. It’s the added dimension they bring to the game.

Please send my pets back home safely, Turbine. I miss them.

Peeps, parties and Pit

Yttriemme

I’ve been wanting to group with the European contingent of our little Cannith guild for ages, but the time difference was always an issue. They’re usually on Wednesdays and/or Fridays in what’s afternoon in my time zone. Days are always crapshoots for me anyway what with w*rk, family and errands. Not to mention my lack of air conditioning – it’s been a really hot summer here and this room is often still around 90 degrees at 10 pm; it’s downright unbearable during daylight hours even with the blinds drawn to keep the sun out.

But when I saw that the high temperature for today here was going to be a relatively chilly 70 degrees, I resolved to get my butt onto Cannith if at all possible. And while they’d already been on for a while by the time I got there, I had the pleasure of running Partycrashers with Micki, Domfig and Stokrotka1. It was possibly the lowest combined jump score of any party in history (my WF arti Yttriemme, aka Yttsie [pronounced “Itsy,” which I think is a cool nickname for a big ol’ warforged] led the way, or trailed depending on your point of view, with her minus-3 jump skill – good thing we weren’t doing the Pit!).

We fought, we died, we rezzed, we looted (mostly junk) and oh, how we laughed! Domfig is hysterical; there was something about handling a drow’s manhood under a mushroom that’s probably best not pursued further.

In the picture above, from left, Arraetrikos the spider (Micki’s), Keronna/Micki, Humphrey the cube (mine), Minni the iron defender (mine), Yttsie/me, Noob/Domfig, Nessana/Stok, and Laerathor the hireling.

Thursday was a great time as well. Vic managed to finally get all of Elminster’s messages in King’s Forest (YAY for a cleared map!) after joining a PUG to do Impossible Demands and The Lost Thread. Lots and LOTS of traps – she was very happy. While she was trying to kill Drow whilst not getting killed by the Drow she was trying to kill, she got a tell from the Queen of DDO basically saying, “HEY! Let’s do something!” ’cause Mizz wanted to get leveled up to 8 and use a stone on Thelanis.

So Vic called it a night and Meren logged in. We badgered bullied talked Slvr into joining us (he didn’t make it to our Cannith party – I think by that time he was sick of me and decided to skip it  :P), and Mizz wanted to know where the good XP was. Well, anyone who knows me already knows MY answer to that question, so off to the Pit we went! ‘Twas a great run and very nice XP indeed; even Meren, who’s run it several times so no first-time bonus, got something like 15K. AND she pulled a Muck’s Doom, which she passed to Mizz ’cause Mizz didn’t have an ooze weapon. I’m not sure if Mizz has run Pit before; I’m pretty sure she hasn’t run it more than a few times if at all, but you shoulda seen her making the tough jumps in the furnace rooms… and on a big clunky warforged!

And DAMMIT, there is something about running with Mizz that makes me forget to take screenshots until after it’s all over. But one of these days I’m going to run with her and take incriminating pics and post them  here ’cause she kept killing my cube Humphrey!

Wishin’ and hopin’

Acanthia

DDO, I love you. Truly, I do. And I have no intentions of leaving you for another game just because you’re not perfect.

That said, my DDO wish list has been growing lately. No matter how great a relationship may be, there’s always room to grow. Here’s what I’d like to see from you as we continue to evolve together.

  • Acanthia and Vic would really like to exist on MyDDO again.
  • Merenwynne hopes for MyDDO to recognize and accept the fact that there is only one of her, a lvl 7 pure FvS, and forget about the lvl 2 monk/lvl 3 FvS who was deleted ages ago.
  • I wish my MyDDO mailbox would work again (and STAY working this time).
  • You can leave the toilet seat up and forget to put the cap back on the toothpaste. I can live with those. But for the love of Khyber, whatever you’re doing that makes you crash when I’m zoning needs to stop. LYK NAO.
  • I have a hard time pulling myself away from King’s Forest and Underdark, but please, please fix the glitches with the rare encounters. So many of them have NPCs that refuse to interact, and then there’s Uxyndar’s locked, un-knockable chest.
  • Since I love to take lots and lots of screenshots, please make the focus orb disappear when I press Ctrl-Z, ’cause it doesn’t look nice in my pictures.
  • When I find glitches, I’d like to be able to tell you about them. So please make the help screen load all the way instead of just sitting there, an empty black space, because I want to be able to submit a ticket when I come across a bug.
  • Little things DO mean a lot. Watch your typos – “Impossible Demands” takes place in MiDLer Farmhouse, but the last name that appears on the NPCs is MiLDer.
  • Make yourself accessible. Look into the monopolies going on with things like mana pots and green steel ings, and try to come up with a solution so that the greed of a few doesn’t prevent the rest of us from being able to pull up the AH and buy the things we need.

And one more thing… could you duct tape the snout of that dragon in Underdark so I can fight him without being whooshed over the side? (OK, that one’s kind of in jest… kind of.)

Pros and cons

Acanthia

OK, DDO, there are a couple of things I need to get off my chest.

First off, MyDDO. First characters stop updating. Now they’re DISAPPEARING?! Acanthia and Vic apparently no longer exist in the MyDDO realm. Might be coincidence, but they both disappeared after leveling to 21. C’mon, a few little glitches are understandable, but this is ridiculous.

Then there’s this whole airship buff thing. I know, I know, I shoulda read the forums fora. Then I’d have known that airship amenities were going to be wiped – AGAIN – before I went and replaced all ours and put a month’s worth of time on them. Free TP for new amenities is indeed a nice gesture, and I thank you for it. But it doesn’t replace the plat I’ve now shelled out SEVERAL times, and frankly I’m not in any hurry to put new amenities on the ship not knowing if they’ll still be there the next day.

Acanthia

Naturally glitchy glitches are glitchy. Was it really intentional to have the breakables in Underdark drop Cure Light pots? At epic levels, there’s just not enough healing amp in the world to make those useful. There are still a number of “string table errors” when mousing over things on the map in King’s Forest.

And apparently the glitch with Uxyndar’s chest that was reported in beta hasn’t been fixed. I came across ol’ Uxy along with his little horde of water eles. Just me, my panther and Albus, the lvl 20 FvS hire – it was a tough fight, and I EARNED the loot from his chest. Alas for me, the chest was locked. I was annoyed, so I blew some of my precious few remaining Turbine points on a Gold Seal lvl 22 rogue. One of the things I really like about Gold Seal hires is that you can summon them from anywhere, not just at the start – or so I thought. But when I tried to summon my newly-purchased rogue, I got an error message that I needed to be closer to the start of the dungeon. Now I was REALLY pissed annoyed, so I went the retail therapy route again and bought a bell of opening… and got, “The chest cannot be knocked.” A long, aggravating fight, 80 TP and nothing to show for it – not cool.

Acanthia

So if DDO is really that bad, why did I stay up way, way, WAY past my bedtime playing it?

Because while it’s got its share of annoyances, it’s still cool as hell. I had an awesome time a few nights ago when Keava helped Acanthia explore King’s Forest and get almost all of Elminster’s messages. We checked out Underdark for a little while after that, and I think I probably said, “Holy crap!” at least a dozen times – the whole area is amazing.

Tonight I was tired and only planned to run Acanthia through the forest long enough to pick up the last few messages she didn’t have. But darn it, that was so much fun that I decided to kill “just a few more things.” And then a few more, and a few more, and… you get the idea. Then I found myself right by the Underdark entrance and thought, ah heck, let’s head in there and pick up a few slayers.

Acanthia

MANY slayers plus a few rares and explorers later, I’m finally thinking I should obey my drooping eyelids and head to bed. Not that I wasn’t sorely tempted to stay up and go for 750 slayers; while I love King’s Forest, Underdark is just incredible. Plus there’s lots of stuff in there that’s susceptible to Tomb of Jade, and it’s ALWAYS fun to turn your enemies into green statues. Next time I need to try to get a shot of a jaded Drider.

Since I’m, y’know, me, I did get lost a few times. First was in King’s Forest trying to guide Coyle’s sister the lost villager back to the safety of Eveningstar. It took me forever to FIND the lost villager, and when I did, she was on the wrong side of the river from the Eveningstar entrance and flat-out refused to cross the water. I dragged her all over the map with me looking for a way around, but she ended up getting herself killed when she ran off and aggroed a couple of dire bears while I was fighting some other members of their clan.

Then I came upon a group of scoundrel types who claimed to have saved some villagers from Drow. They asked me to find the leader of the other group so they could figure out how to divide the loot. Trouble was, I looked all over that whole area and never found the villagers.

Acanthia

But the worst getting lost episode happened in Underdark, when I picked my way high up on a ledge and came across a snoring dragon. I really didn’t think Acanthia could beat him but I sure as heck wanted her to try. Too bad for me that he blew me right off the ledge, far down to the bottom, and though I spent a good two hours or so exploring, I never could figure out how to get back up there. Wait’ll next time!