More than just a pretty face

Acanthia

My name is EvenNote, and I’m a pet-a-holic.

All together now: “Hi, EvenNote!”

It’s true – show me a cosmetic pet I don’t have, and I’ll be running to the store and/or the AH to get the pet in at least one color and all its associated tricks. I’m up to 18 pets on Thelanis, and it’d be more if I always had enough Turbine points to get every variety of each pet.

A while back when lots of people logged in to find their cosmetic pets missing, some of the less pet-inclined players wondered why anyone would get upset over something that “doesn’t affect gameplay at all.” Obviously the biggest reason is that most pets are obtained via Turbine points, which cost money, so generally missing pets equaled lost money.

It’s more than that, though. No, cosmetic pets don’t affect gameplay (unless, as is rumored, they add to lag), but they have a big impact on the game experience for many people, myself included. I can spend an inordinate amount of time just hanging out on the ship putting my pets through their various tricks, or searching for a picturesque spot to get a few screen shots.

Acanthia

Sure, it’d really be cool if cosmetic pets could help you attack stuff, or give you buffs, or useful stuff like that. But as far as I’m concerned, the whole point of playing DDO is to have fun – and gosh darn it, pets are FUN. I love beating up on Harry or Horoth while having my active pet use the closest thing it has to an “attack” trick. This is REALLY cute when it’s a panther using Bat With Paw.

Not everyone is such a fan of pets; lots of people don’t see the point since the cosmetic pets don’t “do” anything. Well, hey, neither does hair dye, and I’m starting to get addicted to that as well. It started with Even’s acid green dye job; Vic won an ebony dye and used that to jazz up her original dark brown locks. Later when Acanthia came along, I decided long, straight, black hair really didn’t suit my cute, spunky li’l monk, and she ended up with an amber bangs n’ bob ‘do. Jall’s been through several hair colors, including burgundy and lavender, but in the end I went back to white hair because it just suited her better.

Tirae looks a LOT like Acanthia did when I first rolled her up:

Tirae

But a couple of looted hair dyes inspired me to change up her look a bit…

Tirae Tirae

Thankfully (and thank Shin for the ebony dye!), she’s back to her original black locks. Azida had better luck at the hairdresser’s, trading her ho-hum dusty rose color and cute but plain pigtail for the same bangs n’ bob style Acanthia wears, in Even’s favorite acid green (thanks, Comic!):

Azida

The bangs do give her an uncanny resemblance to my sister-in-law, but I won’t hold that against her. *g*

And then there are armor kits – Even, Acanthia, Vic and Jall all have them, although Acanthia’s traded in her kitted-up dragontouched outfit for an upgraded Spider-spun Caparison. The nearly solid black caparison doesn’t really suit Acanthia, so I’m thinking of getting her a new kit. It should look great on Tirae, though; I haven’t equipped hers yet, as it’s BtCoE and I’m kinda hoping to find some kind soul who’ll be willing to upgrade it for some plat (really don’t want to lose the set bonus).

Even without kits, having good-looking armor might not affect the outcome of a quest, but can definitely add to your enjoyment. Weapons, too – when Slvr offered to make Char a pair of skelly beaters for Mabar, I ended up going with light hammers rather than warhammers because I was able to find two that matched. And speaking of Slvr, this lootgen armor his rogue/arti got is possibly the nicest-looking leather armor I’ve seen (Vic is envious!):

Oti

Oh, and how could I forget airship color changes? A full ship paint job will set you back almost 2,000 Turbine points and won’t contribute anything to your guild renown or buffs… but if you’re gonna spend hours on the ship trying on armor kits, dyeing your hair and making your pets do tricks, you might as well have a pretty environment to do it all in, right?

Chartreusia

So while cosmetic pets and hair dyes and armor kits and ship paint might not serve any “useful” purpose, that doesn’t mean they’re useLESS.

The cake is NOT a lie!

Victaurya

Has it really been two years since I created a DDO account and rolled up Vic? The calendar tells me that yes, yes it has.

I spent the afternoon doing something mostly non-DDO, though – I attended the TGIO (Thank God It’s Over) celebratory luncheon held by the Williamsport chapter of National Novel Writing Month. Everyone who participated got a certificate; winners also got a ribbon, and the three top finishers got to choose from one of three books on writing. I finished second and kinda wish I’d re-validated my word count, ’cause I’d’ve won – my validated word count on Nov. 25 was 61,600. I’m up over 80K now, and the winner was around 70K. But luckily the woman who won first place didn’t take the book I wanted.  *g*

There was pizza! There were cookies! And yes, there was cake – which, when brought out, prompted several of us to exclaim in unison, “The cake is NOT a lie!”

So in a bit here I’m going to log Vic in and give her some playing time for her birthday. That’ll be a better gift than she got on the forums. A few days ago I stumbled across a thread asking for clarification on whether some advice the poster had gotten was helpful or elitist. The OP had seen someone ridiculed after asking for advice on their build.

I replied to the thread with the (kinda) short version of Vic’s biography, noting that despite her innate gimp-ness (having followed the default thief acrobat path until around level 9 and never LRed, GRed, TRed or otherwise reincarnated), she’s doing just fine in endgame content and hasn’t failed a disable or open lock check since I-don’t-know-when.

Victaurya

Boy, was I surprised when I checked the thread again and found that Vic is a piker because she “doesn’t contribute anything to the fight” – at least according to another poster. No rogue should EVER fail a DD or lock check, according to him. Hey, she’s lvl 22 and can get epic elite traps – I’ve seen lvl 25 capped legend builds blow up trapboxes. Oh, and she’s also piking because of her 28-point build and 450 HP (that’s with no party buffs or +2 Con shrine, nor does she have ANY commendations gear yet).

So I tried to be nice but got just a bit snarky in telling him that, believe it or not, Vic doesn’t just do traps and locks; she generally gets in her share of kills with her trusty repeater, and she has a high enough UMD to buff/spot heal with wands/scrolls/etc. (Hey, she healed elite Acid Wit when she was lvl 14!  *g*) It’s not like she’s standing around with her thumb up her butt if there are no traps or locks, y’know?

His response? He posted a video of his Favored Soul soloing EE House of Rusted Blades and told me to post a similar video to prove Vic isn’t a piker.

I’m tempted – OH, how I’m tempted. But even aside from the fact that I haven’t booted up Xfire in weeks because it’s been glitchy as hell and the quality takes a nosedive when I import it into my video editor, I’m not going to respond. He’s a troll, plain and simple, and I’m not going to feed him. The video clip is a pretty plain attempt to show off; all a response would do is keep giving him an audience.

Victaurya

Luckily most egolitists make it clear in their LFMs that they’re, well, egolitists. I stay away from groups that have descriptions like, “Be uber,” “Have at least ### HP,” “KNOW IT,” and for the most part, “BYOH” (especially since I see so many BYOH LFMs that are open only to clerics and Favored Souls)… and of course, on Thelanis, I never, EVER hit those “STRONGS ONLY, R U CAT?” LFMs (if you’re NOT on Thelanis, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about).

Mr. Egolitist can think whatever he wants of Vic; the only thing he seems to think highly of is himself. I’m proud of Vic because – despite that 28-point build and 450 HP – she does exactly what I want her to do, which contributes a lot more to a party than an ego.