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.
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.
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…