Be uncommon

Victaurya

No, this isn’t one of those posts about being awesome and uber and elite and all that. It’s about two traits often referred to as “common” even though they seem to be getting rarer and rarer – courtesy and sense.

Unfortunately, putting people behind their anonymous computer screens sometimes tends to bring out the worst in them. At least I HOPE it’s the anonymity; I’d hate to think so many of them are this rude, arrogant, and/or clueless in their real lives.

PuGs are often a breeding ground for bad behavior. People turn other players down for not conforming to some kind of ideal standard. They kick players who make honest mistakes. They boast, they brag, they argue, they condescend; sometimes they scream and rant… over PIXELS.

Now apply this attitude to real life. Suppose you were planning a long car trip and wanted to find others to go along for companionship and to share the driving and expenses. You have a minivan that seats 12. You know you’ll need some people who can help drive, some people who can help pay for gas and expenses, and some kind of fun or entertainment because there are going to be 12 people cooped up in a vehicle for a very long time.

So you put an ad in the paper or on Craigslist, and people start contacting you. Maybe you get five or six people who can all take their turns driving and contribute a share of cash towards gas and such. Then you get a few who are short on funds, but willing to do more of the driving to compensate, and some who can’t drive but volunteer to buy most of the gas. And maybe you even get one who seems really nice and fun, but can’t drive and doesn’t have much money to contribute; however, he (or she) says s/he will bring all the food and snacks, or even provide entertainment by bringing videos, games, music, etc.

You might be looking only for people who can drive AND pay AND maybe also be fun. But with yourself and 11 others, you probably don’t need everyone to take a turn behind the wheel. If you tried to pick a flat rate of money for each person to contribute, you might end up turning a profit (which nullifies most insurance, at least in the U.S.), so having a few people who can’t pay as much shouldn’t be a big deal. And while it might not be as obvious, you really ARE going to need some entertainment.

So… how would you treat someone who could drive, but not pay? Or pay but not drive? Or couldn’t pay OR drive, but demonstrated that they could still be an asset to the group? Would you berate them or make fun of them or make them feel bad for not being “uber” trip companions?

Now, how do you respond to someone who applies to your LFM and doesn’t have a gazillion hit points or a DR breaker that meets your approval, or hasn’t done the quest but wants to learn it? Would you treat them differently than if the situation were real life, such as the driving trip example? If so, how do you justify this? Are people you know only on DDO less “real” or less important just because you don’t see them face to face?

Dragon

And then there are the people who never stop to think about what they’re doing and how it might affect a group dynamic. I’m all for playing your own way, but when you join a group, you also have a responsibility to the other people in that group to do your best to be an asset, or at least not a liability, even if it sometimes means getting out of your own comfort zone for the good of all.

I’m not talking about honest mistakes here. We’ve all made them (yes, even the egolitists who won’t admit it). I’m talking about – well, stupidity. There’s really no other way to put it.

This is kind of an extreme example, but it really happened. Slvr and Baz and I were semi-PuGging in High Road a few weeks ago. By semi-PuGging, I mean it was us and two guys who were in one of our chat channels, but whom we really didn’t know. I was on Vic, Slvr was on his bard, Baz had his ranger, one guy was on a FvS, and the last guy was a barb.

The FvS said he could heal but was more of a melee toon, so we talked about bringing a healer hire. Slvr had Andaro on timer. I had Luna, but not on timer, don’t think Baz had one. So we’re talking about this, and meanwhile the barb steps in and, without asking anyone ELSE about who was bringing which hire, pops… Wyoh. Seriously? Wyoh? She sucks in HEROIC content… although IMHO the much larger issue was that he didn’t even bother to check with anyone else.

But we shrugged and stepped in anyway. The barb was being – I don’t even have words for it. We’d be fighting some mobs, he’d look over and see some other mobs far enough away that they hadn’t noticed us yet, and he’d run over and aggro them and bring them back so that suddenly we were fighting twice as many mobs. And he kept doing it, over and over; it wasn’t like he accidentally triggered some mobs once and then stopped. We all tried to tell him, nicely, that we’d like to finish killing ONE group of mobs before we had another set land on top of us. His response? “Hehehehe.”

Because of this, we had a few close calls… like when we were fighting something like three wizards, some wolves, a couple of bears the barb had run off, aggroed and brought back, and THEN, during all this, he saw a rare on the map and ran off to THAT in mid-fight. Just what we needed, BOTH Wild Brothers along with everything else. The FvS stopped healing the barb – couldn’t blame him, after all, the guy brought his own (sucky) healer hire and was a total drain on resources to boot. His hit points were pretty low for a lvl 23 barb, and it was plain that he had poor AC and little or no healing amp. He DID drink a couple of Cure Serious pots, which did almost nothing. Now, I don’t mind playing with gimpy toons, but be smart about it. If you’re squishy and hard to heal, you don’t go around aggroing everything that moves and hope to hell that Wyoh keeps you alive… well, not unless you have the IQ of, erm, Wyoh.

Oh, but it gets better. We’re on the flat area near the waterfall and the FvS says he has a crying baby and a sick wife, so he’s going afk for a few. We’re fine with that – at least, Slvr and Baz and I were fine with it. Real life happens, and should ALWAYS take priority over DDO. So we’re standing there waiting for him, and the barb runs off… again. And ran into a pack of bears. Miraculously, he didn’t QUITE die; instead, he came running back TO US with about four angry bears in hot pursuit.

Well, with the FvS afk, Baz had gone for a drink as well. Slvr was reading something on the forums, so neither of them was paying attention to the game. And thanks to this guy’s utter stupidity, they both got killed. Vic went through a fair number of scrolls trying to heal them, but as she was also running for her OWN life, it didn’t work too well. The FvS NEARLY died but got back to the keys JUST in time to throw a heal on himself.

That’s about as close as I’ve come to really unloading on someone. I think I said something like, “You’re the one who ran off and aggroed everything and then expected us to save your butt but got two of us killed instead. That’s why I didn’t waste scrolls on you.”

You know what he said? “Hehehehe.”

Later, when Vic was down a few levels from an encounter with a couple wizards, she failed a UMD check on scroll healing herself once or twice, and this guy had the nerve to say, “You should be using Yugo pots. Why don’t you have any?” Y’know, there’s a right way and a wrong way to say that, and that was the wrong way. The RIGHT way would have been something like, “I know some toons who use UMD carry Yugo charisma pots for when they have stat damage. That might be something that would help you.”

And it doesn’t end there. We went into A Stay at the Inn, by which point the barb was sulking a bit, I think; he certainly got quiet… until it came to the breakables. I swear we could see his little pixel eyes light up every time he spotted a vase or an urn. We’d already been using our private channel to vent about the guy, and when his breakable hoggy-ness became apparent, we decided to try to beat him to the breakables just because we were that fed up with him. Vic with her repeater and Baz with his longbow had no trouble getting to the farther breakables before the barb, who was racing around like crazy trying to get anything that dropped from them. Then Slvr hit a couple of vases with some kind of sonic spell, and out fell a +3 to +4 Charisma upgrade tome.

Now, barbs don’t have any pressing need for charisma. Baz’s ranger didn’t either; it would’ve been nice for Vic’s UMD but hardly a key stat for her. Slvr’s bard and the FvS – THEY were another story. I figured it should either go to Slvr, since he broke the vase it fell out of, or Slvr and the FvS should roll on it since they were the two who’d get the most use out of it.

Nope. The barb swooped in and snatched it up… and then complained because he can’t use it since he’s never eaten ANY charisma tome, let alone a +3. And of course, it was bound, although I doubt he’d have passed it even if it weren’t.

So we ALL pointed out to him that Slvr was the one who broke the vase, and that Slvr and the FvS were the only ones who could REALLY use it. And what do you think the barb said to that? I bet you can guess…

“Hehehehe.”

Diary of a gimpy kid

Discordette

Q: What’s Drow, cute, silly, and just turned 18 (levels, that is)?

A: Discordette, my poor neglected little spellsinger.

It’s not that I dislike playing Dissy. She’s actually a lot of fun. She’s just really not very solo-friendly. Once she gets done playing her mad lute and tossing out some buffs, there’s not much for her to do except hang back and pretend she’s part of the scenery so Orthons don’t eat her.

She’d been level 17 for aaagggeeesss – seriously, for MONTHS. There were times I got her out and tried to get some XP but gave up because it was just too grindy. So I kept trying quests at lower and lower levels…

An Offering of Blood – that wasn’t gonna happen; those darn scorpions kept spawning too fast and mostly ignoring her Otto’s, and she kept getting harried. Oh, she might have been able to get to the end if I’d kept at it, but there was just no joy in running in slow motion and trying to heal herself while hordes of scorpions ganged up on her.

Prison of the Planes – well, she found out the hard way there was no way she was getting through that second room, the one with the construct and a bunch of undead, because constructs and undead merely laugh at her attempts to dance them or mass suggest them.

A Relic of a Sovereign Past – Survivability was no problem, and the eles – and even the duergar, mostly – were happy to dance for her. But the grindy-ness was just too much. The closest thing Dissy has to DPS are her sonic spells – Greater Shout and Soundburst Stun. Or, if there are enough mobs to make it effective, she can always toss out a nice Mass Suggestion and let them beat each other up. Even with Spellsong Trance going along with Spellsong Vigor, she can churn through mana at a truly alarming rate when she’s on her own, and then she has to stand around twiddling her pixel thumbs while Spellsong Vigor   s l o w l y   fills her blue bar back up.

Oddly, though, she had no trouble with Mired in Kobolds (although she didn’t try Mama Dragon, ’cause she and her FvS hire were both out of mana by that point, and all the kobolds were dead). Kobolds like to dance and seem to love beating each other up when Suggested. I was a little worried about whether she could deal with Dragon Jr., but by keeping all the kobolds charmed, she was able to sit back and let them do all the work while she looted the gold piles.

Discordette

She also got herself through Spinner of Shadows without much difficulty. Hang out by the flame, beat on the big bad spider queen until the baby blue spiders show up, go kill them (now THOSE she liked, as one Greater Shout could bump off two or three if they were close enough), grab the glowy things, light the torches, repeat. I think she’s the only toon I have who had far more trouble with GETTING to the end room than with the end fight itself.

And she surprised me by being able to survive – sometimes just barely – doing Cannith S/R/E. Constructs don’t dance, and I was planning to save that area for at least another level or two, but she was only about 30K from level 18 and I really, REALLY wanted to get her there (Cannith boots! ToD boots – she finished flagging about a week ago! Panther hire!). She and the lvl 16 FvS hire made it all the way through without either one dying, though they had some close calls. The non-construct stuff was actually quite willing to fall under the spell of her Suggestion and attack the rest. She got all 12 journals, 150-ish slayers IIRC, and even met – and killed – Wrack.

It was still a little tedious because it takes her so long to kill stuff. Using a FvS hire seemed like a good idea at first – some DPS and some healing – but that trip through Cannith made me long for a way to damage stuff faster. A LOT faster. And I’d noticed that Dissy, though not really a healer, was doing at least as much healing as her FvS hire. So I thought, hmm, why not try a fighter hire and see how it goes?

That turned out to be one of those ideas where, once you see it in action, you smack yourself on the forehead and say, “Darn, why didn’t I think of that sooner?” Anal Warts – erm, I mean Arnal Swartz, the lvl 17 fighter hire – mowed down stuff at a very nice rate in Thorn and Paw. The XP from that left Dissy around 2K from leveling, so she and Arnal headed out to Orchard, ’cause I never finished getting her all the explorers out there. (Whyizzit when you really need just a LITTLE more XP for a level or rank, you’re nowhere near ANY slayer marks?) Edeva Yllka was gracious enough to be gliding around his home near the Family Burial Grounds for that last bit of XP to get Dissy to 18.

Discordette

So tonight she was going to run her very first ToD. Baz was planning on shadow tanking, his first time in that role. Slvr hopped in on his ranger, two more people hit the LFM, and… *cue crickets chirping*. Not sure what was happening, or NOT happening, on Thelanis tonight, but there were almost no high-level LFMs, not a lot of high-level players in the Who tab, and we finally gave up.

Seemed a shame to waste the nice buffs Dissy had gotten from Baz’s ship, though, so I considered running something else with her when I remembered… she’d never been to In the Demon’s Den.

Demon’s Den for me is kind of like Pit and Coal Chamber. I HATED it when I first ran it and never wanted to go near it again. But gradually it’s grown on me, so that now it’s almost a rite of passage as each toon levels up high enough to run it. Arnal still had six minutes left on his hireling timer (it never even occurred to me to use the panther, and the 10% XP penalty for his level 20-ness wouldn’t have bothered me at all), so in she jumped.

I remember the first time I ever did that quest; I was on Even, who was level 16 at the time, and I ended up with a battalion of Gold Seal hires to get me through. Knowing the quest makes a HUGE difference. Dissy and Arnal did just fine. She danced stuff, he smacked it until it was dead, and when the last Efreeti had been turned into a pile of glowing orange dust, they ran pell-mell back to the shrine (just in case, y’know) to battle the Marilith. Dissy made Arnal keep using intimidate, so the big bad snake lady was fixated on him and ignoring Dissy. While this meant poor Arnal spent most of the end fight on his back getting tossed around the shrine room, it left Dissy free to spam Soundburst and Greater Shout. While those weren’t GREAT DPS by most standards, it was still gratifying to see the Marilith’s red bar drop when they hit. It actually didn’t take all that long to get the kill (Dissy still had time left on her Song of Arcane Might) and go grab the mostly very crappy loot (loot bonus, Turbine? Really? REALLY?!) and then finish out to get her equally crappy end reward.

Now, just another 350K-ish XP before she caps and can start working on Fatesinger…

WWAD?

Acanthia

Sometimes when faced with sticky real-life situations, I find myself wondering, “What would Acanthia do?”

My plucky little monk, unlike the rest of my toons, has almost nothing of me in her personality. She’s kind of my alter ego – outgoing where I’m introverted, bold where I’m shy, outspoken where I’m reticent.

Real-life me has always been terrified of dentists. This is bad, as I’ve had a lifetime issue with a mouth that’s too small for my teeth. Yes, really… and yeah, the first time a dentist told me that, I thought it was bunk too, and ignored it. Well, until the pain of having the roots of my bottom teeth touching a nerve canal while the roots of the top ones burrowed into my sinus cavity got to be too much to overlook.

So over the past several months, I’ve been having a LOT of dental work. It has not been pleasant. Yesterday – yep, I spent Valentine’s Day at the dentist, but what the heck, I was going to be going through that “lovely” combination of pain and numbness anyway, but more on that elsewhere – I was having some relatively minor work done, just two fillings. The trouble with “minor” dental work from my standpoint is that I have to be conscious and therefore aware of everything that’s going on. This leads me to think of everything that could possibly go wrong. So I’m lying there absolutely rigid and panic-stricken in the dentist chair, fists balled up, shaking, heart pounding, while the dentist keeps telling me over and over to calm down and unclench my jaw so he can do what needs to be done.

And this is when I made myself think, “What would Acanthia do?”

Because Acanthia is fearless. After Horoth and Arraetrikos and Velah and Lolth, a skinny guy wearing a lab coat and wielding a drill wouldn’t faze her a bit. I can just imagine her striding (as much as a halfling with short halfling legs can really stride) in, flopping down in the chair, and angling a mirror so she could watch the whole thing. She might even ask to try doing the drilling herself.

It didn’t turn me from a dental chicken into a nonchalant patient boldly vegging out in the chair, but at least it helped keep my mind off the whole thing somewhat. If only I could really channel Acanthia’s spirit… she’d never stand for my mother’s attention-whoring histrionics, hypochondria and guilt trips, for starters.

Be warned – most of what’s got me so down is not my mother – I’m used to that – but personal, silly-emo-girl stuff. Sometimes I need to vent. I’m not sure why I decided to (kind of) share it; maybe it’s because of a few supportive, encouraging messages I got yesterday from MyDDOers who don’t know the situation, but just knew I was feeling down. I hope if they read this, they recognize themselves, because thanks to them some of the tears I shed yesterday were the good kind.

Anyway, I doubt many, if any, people will WANT to read this, so it’s stored here and password-protected. If you want the password, drop me a mail; if I don’t give it to you, it’s nothing against you, it’s just that it’s intensely personal and I’m hesitant as to who I share it with.

Healing on a learning curve

Jalliria

I’ve played this game for more than two years now, but I often still feel like a noob. Sometimes it frustrates me. When that happens, though, my surefire way of getting back on track is to remember when I really WAS a noob – a totally clueless silly noob with absolutely no idea what she was doing, except that she thought it was fun to kill stuff.

When I rolled up my cleric, Jalliria, I knew NOTHING about healing. Not “almost nothing.” Not “next to nothing.” Just NOTHING – nada, zip, zilch. I took the battle cleric default path (back in the day, ALL my toons started on a default path – told you I was a real noob). I didn’t know about PrEs. I had no idea what “devotion” was. So I had this cleric who ran around swinging her khopesh at bad guys – and using a cleric hireling.

Back then, the OMG-thank-heaven-he’s-now-an-EX-boyfriend and I joined a small family-run guild along with the ex’s son and nephew. We ran a lot of stuff with the husband-and-wife team who led the guild and their teenage son. They all knew WAY more than I did, but if there weren’t enough of us on to make up a full party, we made up the difference with cleric hires, even if some of us were already on our clerics. I never knew this wasn’t the usual way of doing things. I just liked beating up mobs with Jall’s big ol’ nasty khops.

It wasn’t until after the ex and I broke up and I joined another guild that I realized… Jall kinda sucked. By that time I’d been running with Baz and a friend of his for a while. Baz will probably tell you otherwise, but he’s just being kind – Jall REALLY sucked. I had not the faintest clue how a healer SHOULD be played, and now that she was running higher-level stuff in a guild that did a lot of high-level stuff, it showed.

I worked on her, to a point. I remember back then being criticized because I melee’d with her; now healers get ripped if they DON’T melee. I got criticized because I preferred using mana rather than scrolls to heal, and was actually told that no one should EVER use mana for healing, just scrolls.  *shrug*  I didn’t mind drinking pots and I never asked to be reimbursed for them, so I don’t know why anyone cared. But I got her to the point where she could go into Shroud or ToD and not totally embarrass herself (she even solo healed a really ugly Shroud once when the other cleric, who was drunk as hell, passed out at the start of Phase 1 and never came back).

But I never felt really confident in her. I stuck to guildies and friends, avoiding PuGs like the plague because I didn’t want to get ripped up again for not fitting someone else’s idea of what a healer should be. I couldn’t wait to get her to 20 just so I could TR her and try to right all the wrongs I’d made the first time around.

My friend Purp put together her new build for me, partly because the character planner and my computer have never gotten along, but mostly because he knew a hell of a lot more about it than I did. He made me promise to stop calling her the Amazing Gimp-O-Cleric, even though he did tease me that no one should ever play a Drow cleric unless it’s just a roleplay character. I TRed her. I scrimped and saved to get her tomes and beef up her gear and build up a rather impressive stash of mana pots – in her first life, and for most of the heroic level part of her second one, she was a serious mnemonoholic.

But I still had a hard time being confident playing her. It wasn’t her stats or her enhancements or her armor or her spell list. It was ME – there’s something about playing a healer that just doesn’t come naturally to me. And I WANTED to play a healer. A REAL healer – you egolitists can scoff at me if you want (and I know at least one of you who does, but whatever), but I wanted to play a character that was, first and foremost, a healbot, or at least put healing far above ALL else. I have melee toons and specialist toons and casters. I didn’t want to turn Jall into, say, another Even but with mass cures.

Getting to 20 again was more than a bit of a grind, even though I used an XP stone on her, just because I had this fear of what I called “taking her out in public.” Even after she hit 20 and embarked on Exalted Angel as her first epic destiny, I tended to go for Acanthia or Even or even Vic when I saw a nice juicy epic LFM.

I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but sometime during the process of flagging Jall for CitW I realized… she’s just fine. Oh, she’s no superstar “I can do everything you can do and do it better” type of healer. She just gets the job done, quietly and without fanfare. I could post screenies of her stats and kill counts and all that, but why? I leave that stuff for the people who are conceited enough to need their bragging rights… although I do get a kick out of Baz and Slvr teasing Jall about being a “battle cleric” when her kill count is reasonably close to what they get on their rangers.

It was a really pleasant surprise for me to take her into level 24 High Road when she was level 22 (she’s up to 24 now) and find that somehow she’s become more survivable than I ever thought possible. I figured she was too squishy to keep herself alive without blowing through a ton of spell points, and I expected her to have to stand back away from the mobs to avoid getting hammered. I was wrong on both counts. With her aura going and her con-op necklace, she can jump right in the middle of a couple of bears, melee them to death, and come out at full health and a very respectable amount left on her blue bar. On one trip through High Road, her con-op proc’ed so often that I ended up switching from her HP trinket back to her SP one because her blue bar completely refilled.

For me, though, her HP and SP aren’t the numbers I’m most happy about. It’s her healing numbers – remember, I WANT to play her as a healer. When Jall’s aura hits herself for 60 – and she doesn’t have a ton of healing amp – I’m happy. When she throws a mass cure light and hits Slvr’s very non-heal-amped bard for 200+ points on a NON-crit, I’m really happy. When Baz tells me her aura’s hitting him for a good 10 points more than any other cleric he’s run with, I’m happier still.

So happy, in fact, that I saw an elite ToD LFM up Wednesday night and, instead of getting someone else, joined on Jall. Aside from a former guildie, I didn’t know ANYONE in the group. A few months ago, I’d never have had the guts to jump into an elite raid full of strangers on Jall, but she came through for me in her own little quiet Jall way. We had one guy die when a shadow got onto the platform in Part 2, but the Cure Serious Jall tried to toss him (unfortunately just a BIT too late ’cause he was blocked the first time she tried) was the only time she used any mana for healing at all. She nearly emptied her blue bar in Part 3, but that was all Divine Punishment and Holy Smite and other offensive spells (along with buffs, because the other healer accidentally clicked the portal instead of the shrine, and a fair number of Remove Curse spells during the Sully fight because curse pots were being glitchy for a lot of people).

Later that night she got her first level in Unyielding Sentinel – I REALLY like Exalted Angel, but I can already tell I’m going to love US on her as well. Makes a nice change from Even and Acanthia, both of whom hate their second (and in Acanthia’s case, third) EDs. Poor Acanthia may be stuck in Shiradi forever because I just can’t stand to use it and keep switching her back to GMoF.  LOL  (Nothing against Shiradi, it’s just not Acanthia’s style – I can’t wait to get Char capped and start her on it.)

And I really hope nobody clicked this post thinking you were going to read all about some uber elite healer, ’cause if you did, you’re TOTALLY in the wrong place. This is just my little story about my very non-uber, non-elite cleric and why I love her. If you just want to brag about YOUR cleric, please do so elsewhere and let me have my little moment. Thanks. 🙂

Why cry when you can laugh?

Frelga

There’s so much angst on the forums and blogs any more. “Boo-hoo, there are too many glitches!” “Boo-hoo, we lag wiped!” “Boo-hoo, the people in my PUG were dumb and gimped ’cause I’m just way more smart and uber than everybody!”

Oh, I have my fair share of gripes  – egolitists and i2049 high on the list. But sometimes, when the world turns upside down, putting a good spin on things makes for an awesome experience.

Slvr and I ran The Riddle last night. We got swarmed with animated armors and vine horrors during the end fight; one of the hires died and both of them blew through all but a small fraction of their mana. We were OK with that, but even though Slvr’s combat log clearly showed we’d killed Frelga (OK, his panther did – point is, she was dead), the quest-completing objective – defeating her – still wasn’t checked, and the quest wouldn’t complete.

So I filled out a ticket. In a surprisingly very short time (hey, Turbine, my last few ticket response times have actually been quite prompt – keep up the good work!), I had a GM. While things didn’t QUITE start off smoothly, they sure got better. (AFAIK, Turbine has a policy against identifying GMs so I won’t use this guy’s name, but he was AWESOME.)

GM: Greetings, Evennote! I am a Game Master for Online Support and will be with you momentarily. You can reply to my messages by typing /r and entering the message.

Me: Thanks, that was pretty quick! 🙂

GM: One moment, please, while I investigate this issue.

GM: I am going to attempt to reset Frelga. Be ready to fight.

Me: *gulp* OK, but can you make her less mean? LOL

Frelga respawns, but is completely unresponsive. She just stands there staring around with a blank look on her face.

GM: Sure. In fact, I seem to have made it so she’s completely brain dead.

Me: You turned her into a hireling! :O

GM: Apparently so! I will advance this quest for you. Who are the members of your party?

Me: Can you make her stand there and bleat, “It would be prudent to heal me now?” LOL

Me: Just me and [Slvr’s ranger]. Other three are hires.

GM: You should have completion now. Check to see if you can open that chest.

Me: Thank you! Gotta say, from time of ticket to problem solved was faster than I usually get a response. 😀

Me: And yep, we’re picking up our boxes of rockses.

GM: Excellent! Is there anything else I can assist you with?

Me: Nope, that did it! And wasn’t being snarky, when you said “brain dead” I just automatically thought “hireling.” 🙂

GM: Haha, no worries. I was half-expecting her to do that. These guys can be trivial sometimes.

Me: Could be worse – you could’ve turned her into Coyle. *shudder*

GM: You’re right! Thankfully (or unfortunately, however you look at it) my powers don’t let me transform anything 🙂 I must head off, though. Enjoy your night, and good luck on your future adventures!

Maybe you had to be there, but that just made my night. So it took a little longer to finish the quest – the laughs I got out of that exchange were TOTALLY worth it.

Sometimes I wonder why so many people who play this game don’t seem to enjoy actually PLAYING this game. It’s like a race to see who can get to the end the fastest… but for me, DDO is a journey, and I want to enjoy the ride.

Tank you very much

Evennote

Months n’ months ago, I posted about the first time Even tanked Horoth on hard, and how it was especially sweet for me because I’d been told that she wasn’t good enough. Not too long after that, I blogged about Acanthia getting a very brief solo crack at Harry. And in my last post, I got all happy about Even tanking Horoth on elite, and then tanking Xy’zzy in Hound.

What I never expected was for Even to get a shot at going up against Harry all by herself – at least not for more than a few seconds. Every so often, though, Even surprises me. Sometimes the surprises aren’t great – “Where’d my DPS go? Oh right, I gave it up for better AC.” But sometimes, just sometimes, she leaves me beaming like the sun.

And to think, I almost went to bed instead of hitting the LFM… but Slvr’d been about to head to bed as well before he decided that an elite Shroud was too good to pass up. There were a few other people I recognized in the LFM, so I switched to Even just in time to grab the last spot and away we went.

Rounds 1 and 2 went smoothly, even though Slvr’s bard was our only arcane (which led to a bit of a dilemma trying to figure out who was going to take the crystal). Round 3 brought issues when several people couldn’t solve their puzzles and we realized that we had no rogue, no arti, and no one with Knock. Slvr managed to get one or two rooms open with a Greater Dowsing Rod, but the wall came up, lots of hit points went down, the death count skyrocketed, and finally I suggested that we just break the crystals and forfeit the two underwater chests – after all, you can’t loot if you’re dead!

Evennote

So after rezzing and shrining and looting the two chests that WEREN’T behind a barrier, it was on to Phase 4… where all Khyber broke loose. We had a few people who didn’t understand the concept of saving the last devil until the blades were gone, and refused to listen to the other people yelling and typing, “STOP HITTING THAT ONE!” And that happened EVERY round. Our DPS wasn’t half bad to start, but we had about five sets of blades still going when Harry dropped the first time, and they took out a goodly chunk of our melees. Round two, same thing; lots of blades still going, someone killed the last devil anyway.

By about the fourth round, it was down to Even, a ranger and a monk who was prone to bragging about how great he was (and who was also responsible for killing a lot of those last devils). Then the ranger succumbed to the blades, and finally the monk ended up as a soulstone as well.

Harry was down to about 20%. Even was really wishing she’d finished her Silver Flame favor farming, because SF pots would’ve come in REAL handy, and/or that she’d gotten around to trading in some more Villager commendations for Draughts of Hearty Apple Cider, ’cause those would’ve been pretty nice to have, too. Alas, all she had were some Cure Serious pots, her Lay on Hands ability, her Unyielding Sovereignty, and the ability to cast Cure Serious. Harry flew up to the top and tried to dive-bomb her with Delayed Blast Fireball, which she mostly shrugged off, and then four devils descended on her.

Now, Even’s DPS is, well, lacking. She’s kind of built that way. It’s not that I WANT her to do less damage, I just sacrificed that for stuff I think is more important to the role I built her to play. Even is designed to take a beating, keep herself healed and hold aggro. She can’t beat stuff up in a matter of seconds the way Acanthia can. She can’t keep a party healed the way Jall can. Yes, yes, I know the egolitists out there are probably laughing at me because their uber toons can heal and DPS and CC and every other thing under the sun. (Why do people like that even bother to group? Is it just so they can show off?)

Evennote

But what Even CAN do is survive. Unbuffed (which she was, I didn’t even ship buff before heading to Shroud), she’s at 1100+ HP, 133 AC, 122 PRR, with respectable saves as well. So while she didn’t exactly make short work of killing off the devils, she DID manage to take them out, one at a time… except when she got down to one devil left, something went a bit haywire again. Despite having a devil still alive and well and hell-bent on serving julienne’d Even for dinner, Harry decided to drop in again anyway, complete with gnolls and at least four sets of blades besides the circling ones. I’m not sure if it was a glitch or if she just didn’t take the devils out fast enough, but I said a few choice words upon finding myself dealing with a devil AND Harry AND gnolls AND so many blades that I wanted to buy stock in Schick.

I decided to go for the gnolls first, because I knew there was no way Even could damage Harry faster than they could heal him. They actually went down pretty quickly – only took two or three hits per gnoll – and I figured I’d ignore the devil and focus on Harry since the devil wasn’t really doing much damage to Even anyway. But she’d only gotten in a few hits when Harry flew up to the top again, made a few passes overhead and then threw yet more devils at her.

Same thing happened – got down to one devil, which I wanted to save so Even’s LoH could regen, and Harry decided to come roaring back in with more gnolls and more blades. I made it through one more round of this and finally ran out of Lay on Hands and mana. Unyielding Sovereignty put off the inevitable for a little longer, but all those blades were just too much to overcome with only Cure Serious pots.

Y’know what, though – DAMN, that was sweet. Oh, it was like being in a maelstrom of blades and fireballs and devils, but Even lasted for at LEAST 15 minutes by herself, at least according to what the rest of the party was saying… I didn’t have time to look at the clock, LOL. I’m not going to post the stuff they were saying about Even and her build; I started to type some of it and it sounded kinda braggy, and I’m NOT trying to brag. Even’s far from uber. She has a specific role she’s designed for. Last night she ended up in a situation almost tailor-made for that role, and because of that she got to shine.

But I gotta admit, one of the best things was that several people in the group were guildmates of the guy who turned Even down for his ToD run because “she’s not good enough to tank.” I really hope last night’s run comes up in their guild chat when he’s online.  *g*