Filkin’ around: Weird-shaped map

Chalei

Since this is my first post originating entirely on my shiny new WordPress blog rather than on MyDDO, I thought I’d do a filk that pretty much sums me up.

I’m not really a huge fan of Nirvana, and this is the first song I’ve done that I don’t know all that well. But I like the creepy guitar riff between the verses, which seems to lend itself to how I feel when I’m wandering around lost in the wilderness.

So Kurt Cobain, I hope you’re resting in your pharmacologically-induced peace, ’cause I just stole “Heart-Shaped Box” and turned it into “Weird-Shaped Map.”

You think I’m kinda crazy ’cause I can’t find
My way around this weird-shaped map, I must be blind
I’ve been walking ’round in circles, then doubling back
Need some more explorers ’cause my map’s still black

Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind
Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind

Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind
Left behind

Searching for the quest entrance so far away
Getting there might take me at least three or four days
Finding where I want to go, it’s so much stress
If only I could craft a shard of improved GPS

Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind
Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind

Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind
Left behind

You think I’m kinda crazy ’cause I can’t find
My way around this weird-shaped map, I must be blind
I’ve been walking ’round in circles, then doubling back
Need some more explorers ’cause my map’s still black

Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind
Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind

Hey! Wait! I think I’m lost again
You got too far ahead and left me behind
Left behind, left behind, left behind

March Madness will return soon, I promise. With a spreadsheet, even! I know some of the text in the imported posts from MyDDO is hard to read; I’ll be going through as time permits and changing the colors to make them more readable.

Hope to see some MyDDO refugees over here, and welcome to any new readers. 🙂

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Farewell, and a final filk

Even

Well, thanks a lot, Turbine.

Thanks for taking away one of the things that makes DDO fun for me, that gives me a place to rant about things gone wrong and celebrate things gone right. Thanks for taking away the medium that introduced me to some of my best friends in DDO (and beyond in a few cases).

If not for this MyDDO blog, I might never have met Slvr, Shin, Keava, Geoff, Vey, Comic and too many other friends to name (I’m writing this as I’m about to run Shroud, so don’t be offended if I left you out). And if not for them, I might not even still be playing any more. I certainly wouldn’t be playing as much, or enjoying myself as much.

This is where I’ve come since I was less than a noob, the one place I could always get even the stupidest of questions answered without fear of being flamed. I remember when I posted about Vic lugging around stacks of Fox’s Cunning pots and then logged in to find that Slvr – who I really didn’t even know at the time – had sent her an outfit with a clicky on it. Or when Vic got abandoned by a PuG who only wanted her along for the Ingenious Debilitation bonus and then left her on her own to deal with all the mobs they zerged through, and she got killed without ever reaching the chests – Vikkus (remember him?) sent her a lovely anarchic rapier and told her to remember that most DDOers aren’t like that PuG.

Heck, our not-so-little-any-more Cannith guild wouldn’t even EXIST if not for MyDDO. I remember when I got the MyDDO mail from Shin (y’know, back when MyDDO mail actually WORKED reliably) asking if I was interested in joining him and Comic in a little “experiment.” Now I’ve got nine toons in that guild, including a lvl 24-banking-25 monk.

So goodbye, MyDDO. It’s been fun while it lasted. I’m just sorry Turbine didn’t see it that way. Within a day or two, you’ll be able to find me on the new but not necessarily improved Even Now.

And here’s one last filk to close out my final post on MyDDO. To the tune of the Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” it’s “Will You Still Read Me Tomorrow.”

Tonight I blog so sadly
MyDDO is ending so badly
Tonight I write these words for you to see
But will you read me tomorrow?

Is this the last you’ll follow
My thoughts and gear and pathos?
Can I believe we’ll meet in WordPress soon?
Will you still read me tomorrow?

So take this post as a token
Of comments, ratings, stars and fun
‘Cause MyDDO has been broken
So this post there will be my last one

I wish we could all stay here together
But Turbine squashed that notion forever
So tell me now, and I won’t ask again
Will you still read me tomorrow?

{Instrumental interlude}

So tell me now, and I won’t ask again
Will you still read me tomorrow?
Will you still read me tomorrow?
Will you still read me tomorrow?

Filkin’ around: This Land is Our Land

High Road

Two posts in a row! What’s the world coming to? I think I may have finally found a song that Slvr can sing along to, plus it gives me an excuse to use one of my favorite screenshots from High Road, and hopefully this’ll be much less boring than bragging about all the silly little things my toons have been up to (especially considering they really don’t do much that’s brag-worthy, and seriously, does anyone besides me really want every last detail on MY toons? You probably have your own to think about!).

Woody Guthrie, my most sincere apologies for butchering your American classic, “This Land is Your Land.”

Chorus:
This land is our land, this land’s not your land
From the Old Man’s Face Inn, to Greenweald Lane now
From the Lost Soul’s Swamp, to the Beckside Castle
This land was made for the Netherese

Along the High Road, as you’re there marchin’
Better watch out for those sellsword archers
Look out below you, here come some werewolves
This land was made for the Netherese

{Chorus}

That black-robed wizard, he’s never alone
He’s got his rats and his summoned shadows
He’s an angry bald dude who’s out to get you
This land was made for the Netherese

{Chorus}

High Road is thick with bears and brush creepers
Bring your best weapons, you’re gonna need ’em
Against the mudmen, footpads and orc scouts
This land was made for the Netherese

{Chorus}

Along the river, up by the waterfalls
Maybe you’ll see some water elementals
And the bandit dastards will sneak up on you
This land was made for the Netherese

{Repeat chorus twice}

[Irrelevant fact: This also works fairly well to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine.” Hmmm… wonder if the two versions would harmonize well.]

Even’s Guide to PuGging, Part IV: Lone rangers

Victaurya

To say that ranged toons don’t get a lot of love either ingame or on the forums would be like saying that Honey Boo Boo is an annoying no-talent brat – in other words, a gross understatement.

I didn’t know about the ranger hatred when I bought Vic her first repeating crossbow, or when I rolled up Char, my ranger AA. In Vic’s case, going ranged was a matter of, “Well, she’s squishy, but hey! I get repeater proficiency free so she doesn’t have to melee!”

(Side note: When I say “ranger,” I’m referring not just to the ranger class, but to any toon that relies heavily on ranged weapons.)

Char, on the other hand, exists solely because I know some AWESOME rangers, and after running with Slvr, Baz, Day, El (where the heck did you disappear to, anyway?) and a few others, I wanted to try some of that ranged goodness for myself.

Then I started seeing the ranger hate on the forums, and noticing that a fair number of LFMs that are open to every other class specifically exclude rangers. This baffled me. What’s not to like? Depending on the build, rangers can help buff and heal, dish up GREAT DPS, and even do some crowd control. The ranger class gets Manyshot, which has no downside unless you count its two-minute cooldown (and c’mon, that’s really not much).

So I was puzzled. Once I saw an LFM up for any class but ranger and sent the leader a tell to ask why; he replied with something like, “Because too many of them are idiots.” For Char’s sake, I was offended.

And then came the day I ran with a ranger who WASN’T all that awesome. WF AA with a rogue splash, respectable if not impressive hit points as I recall, nothing at first glance to suggest he would be anything less than an asset to the group.

But that’s why you should always take a SECOND glance.

I was on Dissy doing Vale S/R/E on the Shavarath side. While five of us were fighting the stuff that was right there in front of us, this guy apparently had the mindset that if he could target it, then he should shoot at it. No matter how far away it was. No matter how many mobs we were already fighting. In a lot of places, this might not have been such a big deal because the faraway mobs would probably have rubber-banded back to their original locations before getting close enough to do any damage.

But the Shav side of Vale is rife with orthons and horned devils. You know what they do when you hit them? They teleport to you. And this moron just kept targetting everything he could see and shooting it – we kept getting dungeon alerts because he’d hit an Orthon and then, instead of finishing it off, he’d target another one and get THAT one dropping in on us.

Of course, since the WF was the one who shot all this stuff, he was the one it all aggroed on… which he then complained about.

Chartreusia

Poor Dissy – when she wasn’t throwing out heals or playing Spellsong Vigor in an attempt to help our poor overworked cleric – kept trying to put up disco balls, but it wasn’t easy because she kept getting knocked down (damn bezekiras).

Meanwhile our WF AA just kept bringing us more mobs to fight. It became apparent REAL fast that, when his Manyshot was on cooldown, his ranged damage was pretty minor. The party leader asked him (rather tactfully) to switch to melee in between Manyshots. I’m not sure if that was to get a little more DPS or to keep him from aggroing yet more mobs on us or a combination of both. The guy replied that he never melees, but after a bit of discussion, grudgingly agreed.

VERY grudgingly. His idea of “melee” was to run off from the group, smack a few trogs or trolls with a club that looked suspiciously like Muckbane, and run back to us, hit points dropping and fresh mobs in tow. He might as well have been screaming, “SAVE ME!” because that’s clearly what he expected us to do.

Luckily, most ranged toons I’ve grouped with haven’t been nearly this idiotic. In fact, for the most part they’re not idiotic at all. But sadly, the ones that stick in your mind are the ones like that WF.

After that group, I did a lot of thinking about the way I play Vic and Char. If someone groups with one of MY ranged toons, I want to make sure I represent the genre as best I can. So I made some guidelines for myself.

  • Just because it’s in range doesn’t mean you should shoot it. (This may be the most important rule of all.)

  • If you can’t handle its aggro, don’t shoot it and then expect the party to save your ass. Let the tank types get its aggro. THEN shoot it (plus, this lets you get sneak attack damage).

  • Don’t be afraid to melee if you can handle it, especially when Manyshot is on cooldown. A well-built ranger, even an AA, is a potent melee threat.

  • If you’ve already got stuff to fight, or if people are shrining/looting/afk/etc., don’t bring more stuff to the group.

  • Be ESPECIALLY careful ranging casters that aren’t already aggroed on the party, since once you wake them up, they can do a lot of damage with ray spells even if they’re a distance from the group.

Seems simple, doesn’t it? Apparently it’s not, though. Maybe that’s just my perspective. I look at ranged damage as another form of DPS to fight the mobs currently facing the party. It’s great for taking out mobs on ledges or other hard-to-reach places, like the Drow near the shrine in VoN 3. Unless it’s a truly exceptional build, ranged toons should NOT be trying to grab aggro and tank.

I guess it holds true for any class, really – play smart and be a team player. But it seems like ranged toons might need a reminder sometimes.

Filkin’ around: Lie of the Spider

Acanthia

Ever wonder where DDO NPCs get their names? There’s a pretty good thread that has sources for quite a few of them, and some are really quite clever and appropriate.

But there’s this one rare encounter in High Road that always leaves me feeling a little disappointed. I remember the first time I moused over the orange dot on my map and thought, “OOOOH! Spider of Unusual Size! I can’t wait to see how big it is!”

With a name like that, you’d think the damn thing would be the size of Velah on steroids. But no, it’s a bit bigger than the other spiders in High Road… JUST a bit though, not really all that much. I mean, it’s bigger than Acanthia, but then again, what isn’t?

“Unusual Size” – much like, “The check’s in the mail,” “Of course I’m not avoiding you,” “I’m attracted to personality, not appearance,” and “Really, Officer? I had no idea I was going that fast!” – is a big ol’ fat lie.

Acanthia

And so I give you, set to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” this DDO parody, “Lie of the Spider.”

Runnin’ ’round, out in High Road
Lookin’ for rare encounters
Got those two druids and that giant wood woad
Now a new orange dot’s on the map

I rub my eyes – is this a mistake?
This bug don’t look all that special
It’s not that big, come on, give me a break
Whoever named it is just full of crap

It’s the lie of the Spider of Unusual Size
As boss mobs go, it’s really very minor
I’m unimpressed with this very underwhelming surprise
And I’m not gonna fall for the lie of the spider

It’s got eight legs and red eyes so bright
And it looks kinda hungry
But to call it huge just wouldn’t be right
Even halflings and dwarves would agree

It’s the lie of the Spider of Unusual Size
As boss mobs go, it’s really very minor
I’m unimpressed with this very underwhelming surprise
And I’m not gonna fall for the lie of the spider

The thing curled up and died with a scream
So much for the king of arachnids
This bugged encounter must be some dev’s weird dream
I can still hear its puny death cry

It’s the lie of the Spider of Unusual Size
As boss mobs go, it’s really very minor
I’m unimpressed with this very underwhelming surprise
And I’m not gonna fall for the lie of the spider

The lie of the spider
The lie of the spider
The lie of the spider
The lie of the spider

March Madness will return soon, just been a bit under the weather.

DDO March Madness: Round 3 results

Jalliria

Just two competitors remain alive in the winner’s bracket after the third round of DDO March Madness concluded, a day late because the Bracket Mistress was really tired the previous night.

The evening began with a consolation round, though, as Char’s high saves kept her sane under Dissy’s disco balls while her Manyshot did some serious damage to the Amazing Gimp-O-Bard. Ranged damage also propelled Vic and her trusty repeater past an overmatched Meren. And I probably should have mentioned at some point that the competition is taking place in Hazadill’s Shipping Warehouse, hence why Jall was able to kite Vic through her blade barriers – Vic had to keep moving to stay away from Jall’s Divine Punishment, so by scattering BBs around the room, Jall was able to do a decent job kiting her through them.

(Yes, Hazadill’s Shipping Warehouse. It had to be somewhere with obstacles to give the lower-level characters at least SOME chance against their stronger opponents, and I ruled out the Pit after a number of hireling spectators fell into the lava pit and died while begging for hjeals.)

With only epic-level toons remaining in the top bracket, the championship round promised to be a good one, and it didn’t disappoint. Tirae and Even took to the arena for a rather well-matched battle of DPS vs. damage mitigation. Level 24-banking-25 monk Tirae used her ki attacks to great effect, but Even’s endless Lay On Hands quickly brought the capped paladin back to full health. The crowd gasped as Tirae hit Drifting Lotus to knock off about 200 of Even’s plentiful HP, quickly followed by Everything is Nothing, but Even made the save and was only hit for 500 points, taking her down to about 500. Tirae zoomed in with a Stunning Fist and then, just as Even was starting to come ’round, the little monk took advantage of her newly-acquired Kormor’s Belt to cast Otto’s. Unfortunately for Even, she rolled a 1 and found herself helplessly dancing while the fumes from Tirae’s toxic cloud (no, Tirae didn’t have beans for dinner – it’s an effect from her Ivy Wraps) overcame her.

“If I had to lose, ad leasd I losd to a gread cobpedidor,” Even said afterwards through a very stuffy nose (those fumes stick with you for quite a while).

More monkish domination was expected from level 25 Acanthia, who faced Jall, a level 24 cleric, in the other championship round semifinal. Jall has passed on her “Amazing Gimp-O” title to Dissy, but she’s still far from being considered a powerhouse… or at least she WAS. While Acanthia’s ki strikes did some serious damage, Jall’s aura and occasional bursts were more than enough to keep her red bar full, and her self-buffing mitigated a surprising amount of Acanthia’s DPS. Having switched back to Exalted Angel after originally competing in Unyielding Sentinel, Jall went for light spells early and often, peppering Acanthia with Avenging Light, Searing Light, and of course Divine Punishment, all the while using Rebuke whenever possible to make Acanthia more susceptible to light damage.

Like Tirae, Acanthia finally went for Everything is Nothing, but Jall had cast Divine Intervention on herself and then used Astral Presence to get back to full health and then some. The crowd sat in stunned silence as Acanthia, the odds-on favorite to win the tournament, succumbed to one final blast of Avenging Light.

“All I can say is, Tirae should definitely bring sunglasses to the championship final,” Acanthia said following the match, “because that’s one heck of a lot of light.”

Brackets

Both Even and Acanthia still have a chance to win the tournament, though, as they stayed alive in the consolation bracket. Acanthia’s EiN worked much better against Char than it had against Jall, and Vic was unable to damage Even faster than Even could heal herself. The match was still fairly close, as Even’s DPS really sucks, until Even managed to trip Vic and get in a few good whacks with her Drow Rapier of the Weapon Master, one of few weapons that can actually make Even look non-gimpy.

Jall and Tirae will face off in the championship bracket final, with the winner advancing to the title match. Acanthia takes on Even in the consolation semifinal; the winner of that match will play whichever of Jall or Tirae loses for the other title match spot.

This was actually kind of hard for me to write, because when I came up with the idea, I just assumed Acanthia would easily win all the way through the bracket and defeat either Tirae or Even for the title. I thought Jall would PROBABLY finish ahead of Vic and then lose to whichever of Tirae and Even didn’t play Acanthia. But as I thought about each toon’s strengths and weaknesses, it just seemed that Jall would be able to take Acanthia down, at least the first time… because Acanthia (and don’t tell her I told you this) is sometimes a little too confident and would be likely to underestimate Jall (as I think I’ve done once or twice).

Because of the double-elimination format, any of those four could still end up winning it all. I’m debating having third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches as well, just for the heck of it… and still no spreadsheet. I was too wiped out last night.  😀

DDO March Madness: Round 2 results

Ironica

After another night of grueling competition, the original 16 competitors have been whittled down to eight of Eberron’s best and brightest… well, OK, they might not be the best and some of them definitely aren’t the brightest, but they’re all I’ve got.

Second-round winner’s bracket matches got the evening started. To no one’s surprise, the two monks – level 25 Acanthia and level 24 (but banking 25) Tirae won handily over Meren (12 FvS) and Dissy (18 bard) respectively. Besides the level difference, there was no way that either of the two lower-level competitors stood a chance against Drifting Lotus. It didn’t help that Dissy kept playing mostly useless songs just because she liked the way they sounded.

Jalliria had a bit of an easier time against Vic. The level 24 cleric had a few tense moments when Vic, a rogue who’d leveled to 24 just two hours before the match, used her Slaver’s Hand crossbow to make Jall fall asleep. Rumors that a Slaver’s Hand was used on spectators during the previous night’s matches were unsubstantiated; experts attributed the snoozefest to the total lack of DPS in many of the first-round matches. Jall’s aura kept her health up while she caught her 40 winks, and once woken and refreshed, Jall made quick work of Vic by casting Avenging Light and then kiting her through a blade barrier.

Char came close to scoring an upset in the last winner’s bracket match of the night. Though the arcane archer was giving up eight levels and a buttload of HP to level 25 Even, Char’s quickness and superior DPS kept Even on her stubby paladin toes. Using a combination of Manyshot and paired Envenomed Blades, the elven ranger chipped away at Even’s 133 AC and had her at less than 50% health at several points. Even, meanwhile, being a DoS pally, intim’ed Char like crazy but hit about as hard as – well, Dissy. However, that extra 800-ish HP cushion Even had on Char paid off in the end.

Brackets

All four competitors who lost their second-round matches earned redemption – no, they didn’t win dates with Lars Heyton; they redeemed themselves – by winning their consolation matches. Vic easily romped over Zak, as her evasion kept her safe from his firewalls and her ranged ability, besides doing plenty of DPS, kept her far away from his negative aura. Char’s evasion also came in handy as she downed Chalei, who was slowed toward the end of their match when she became bloated from drinking too many mana pots too fast.

Azida got some nice shots in on Squishy – er, Dissy – but couldn’t stop herself from dancing once that big disco ball went up. Dissy took advantage by firing off Greater Shout and Soundburst while flailing away ineffectively with her scepter.

In possibly the most even match of the tournament so far (and Even wasn’t even in it), Meren faced Winnie in a battle of level 12 Favored Souls in the last consi match of the night. While Winnie will probably be able to kick Meren’s butt once they reach epic levels, at this stage in their careers it was all Meren. The little elf with the ever-changing hair color had better DPS, better self-healing and better offensive casting, giving her the edge as she advanced to the next round of consolations.

Spreadsheet rather than humongous bracket graphic is still in the works. Ai iz lazeh.

DDO March Madness: Round 1 results

Chalei

Last night’s Round of 16 in the 2013 DDO March Madness Tournament began with a mild upset but ended with a lot of predictability.

No. 8 seed Chalei, a fire savant newly leveled to 14, was a clear if not overwhelming favorite over Merenwynne, a level 12 Favored Soul who held the ninth seed. Chalei’s Scorch kept Meren backpedaling through much of the early going, but the elven divine healed herself quickly and – after casting Resist Fire – rallied with blasts of Searing Light. Both eventually depleted their mana pools and resorted to hand-to-hand combat in a messy scene one spectator called “the worst example of melee DPS I’ve ever seen.” Meren’s paralyzing shortsword proved to be the catalyst, as an immobile Chalei was unable to fight back or drink cure pots.

Level 12 Warforged Favored Soul Winnabette, the No. 10 seed, was hoping to pull off her own upset in the next match. Sadly for Winnie, she’s designed for endgame content and isn’t yet much of a healer. While her melee DPS is acceptable, her only offensive spell is Soundburst. Seventh-seeded Chartreusia, a level 17 ranger, used terror arrows to strike fear into Winnie before wrapping up the match with her dual Maces of Smiting.

The spectators began to grow impatient as the match between the sixth and 10th seeds wore on. Underdog level 11 wizard Zak used undead form effectively for healing and damage-doing, but Discordette, a heavy favorite despite her bard gimpiness due to her level 18 status, had her own healing ability. While her damaging spells were limited to Greater Shout and Soundburst, she used Grease and Otto’s to great advantage. The match wore on for quite a while to scattered boos from the crowd, who clearly wanted more melee fighting and less gimpy casters running around pointing wands at each other.

Things got a bit more interesting as level 23 Victaurya, a rogue with the No. 5 seed, faced off against 12th-seeded artificer Yttriemme, at level 8. It still wasn’t a good old-fashioned melee throwdown, but at least the dueling repeaters made for a break from the casters. While Yttsie had the advantages of a rune arm and Minni, her arti dog, she was no match for Vic’s Slaver’s Hand crossbow.

No. 13 seed Azida never stood a chance in the next match. The spunky level 7 Tempest ranger has the misfortune to face level 24 cleric Jalliria, the fourth seed, in a meeting that was over so fast, some spectators didn’t even know it had happened. Jall charged into the arena and hit Azida with Divine Punishment, although afterwards she rezzed, healed and buffed her fallen opponent.

Brackets

The crowd was finally rewarded for its patience as the last three matches of the night were all melee, all the time. A pair of monks – third-seeded Tirae, banking level 25, and level 7 Rhennie in the No. 14 spot – went hand-to-hand in a brief but satisfactorily violent matchup. Already nearly overcome by the toxic cloud generated by Tirae’s Ivy Wraps, Rhennie went down for good when Tirae hit her with Drifting Lotus.

The penultimate first-round match also featured two competitors of the same class, in this case a pair of paladins in level 25 Evennote, seeded second, and 15th-seeded Nekah at level 7. There was melee and lots of it, although since both chose the Defender of Siberys path, there wasn’t much DPS to speak of. Even’s high AC made it hard for Nekah to damage her, and Nekah had trouble healing herself with her very limited spell point pool. In the end, the girl with the green pigtails emerged victorious, albeit with a few new scratches on her Bastion. (It’s a tower shield, you pervert, not a body part!)

While she lost rather spectacularly, 16th-seeded Ironica got a standing ovation after her match against level 25 monk Acanthia, the top seed. The crowd roared when the level 5 fighter/barbarian strode confidently into the arena with her greataxe held high. Despite getting neg-leveled to death by Acanthia’s Grave Wrappings, Ironica never stopped swinging or tried to retreat, though to be fair most of her swings passed well over halfling Acanthia’s head. Several people speculated that Acanthia’s bangs are now a bit shorter.

Following a short intermission, the eight competitors who lost their matches returned to the arena for the first round of the consolations. Since the tournament follows a double elimination format, each player stays alive until he or she loses twice. In the consi first round, Chalei’s firewall quickly burned Ironica’s tourney hopes; Azida’s evasion allowed her to score a minor upset over fellow Cannith dweller Yttsie; Zak’s use of Eladar’s Electric Surge shocked Rhennie into defeat; and in a crowd-pleasing melee match, Winnie’s greatsword made Nekah’s night not great at all.

On the bracket file – yes, it’s huge. And yes, it’s hard to read, especially the consolation bracket (which I just realized I forgot to label). Hey, YOU try fitting all that in a 500-pixel width! I’m working on doing it in spreadsheet form – in hindsight, I shoulda just done that from the start – and uploading the worksheet to Google Docs so I can link the image to that… which is a hell of a lot of work for something that’s supposed to be frivolous and fun.  LOL

Speaking of frivolous and fun – I usually try not to use a pic more than once, but I think that Dretch might make it into another blog at some point.

DDO March Madness: Preliminaries

Dretch

I like sports, but I’ve never gotten particularly into basketball. So when March Madness comes along every year, I think the name is appropriate – it’s in March and it makes me mad because they’re always taking off the shows I want to watch and putting on basketball instead. Nothing against basketball, I’d just really rather watch “Once Upon a Time.” Plus I’ve never understood why it takes half an hour to play the last two minutes of the game because both coaches keep calling time-outs no matter how lopsided the score is.

Meanwhile, I somehow got to wondering the other day about which of my toons could kick which of my other toons’ butts in a (reasonably) fair fight. And I thought, hey, I could do my own Eberron version of March Madness. Plus it gave me an excuse to use a picture of a Dretch looking like he’s about to dunk the ball.

So I put together my own version of the Sweet Sixteen (because even I don’t have enough toons to fill out a bracket of 64; I could probably do 32, but way too many of them would be level 2 favor farmers). I used my 10 Thelanis toons, my top Cannith toons (Tirae, Yttsie, Azida), two of my highest-level favor farmers (Nekah and Rhennie), and Ironica just ’cause she was my very first toon outside Thelanis and I like her. I seeded them based mostly on their levels and a bit on their class. And then I drew up a handy-dandy bracket.

Bracket

The players:

1. Acanthia, level 25 monk
2. Evennote, level 25 paladin
3. Tirae, level 24-banking-25 monk
4. Jalliria, level 24 cleric
5. Victaurya, level 23 rogue
6. Discordette, level 18 bard
7. Chartreusia, level 17 ranger
8. Chalei, level 13 sorceror
9. Merenwynne, level 12 Favored Soul
10. Winnabette, level 12 Favored Soul
11. Zak, level 11 wizard
12. Yttriemme, level 8 artificer
13. Azida, level 7 ranger
14. Rhennie, level 7 monk
15. Nekah, level 7 paladin
16. Ironica, level 5 fighter/barbarian

The bracket is a pretty standard 16-team deal. The little blue numbers represent each competitor’s seed, while the red numbers preceded by a parenthesis designate the game number. If you’re sharp, you may have picked up that some of those numbers seem to be missing – unlike the NCAA, I believe in second chances, so my March Madness is a double elimination tournament. What that means, if you’re not familiar with stuff like that, is that even if you lose your first-round match, you’re still in the tourney; you drop down to the loser’s bracket and start anew. I’d post the graphic that includes both brackets, but… uh, it’s memory-intensive. Yeah, that’s it. It’s not because I haven’t finished it yet. 😉

I’ve already worked out the entire bracket on paper, and I know who wins it all. (It’s not who you might think… but then again, maybe it is.) It was really a LOT of fun imagining my toons going up against each other and how each one’s strengths and weaknesses would come into play. If you’re bored enough to want to fill out a bracket and see how your guesses compare with my results, I’d love to see it. 😀

Filkin’ around: Old Cannith Ruins

Lars

Some things should just not be. This is one of them.

I’d apologize to Barry Manilow, but why? This song just BEGS to be filked. I apologize to you instead, if you’re reading this, for getting the melody stuck in your head, but twisted though it is, this is my favorite of the filks I’ve done so far. So, set to the rockin’ music of “Copacabana,” here’s “Old Cannith Ruins.”

Her name was Kaja
She was a young girl
She always hung out by a crypt – if you ask me, that’s kinda sick
Her lover left to fight the Devourer
He hadn’t been back for a while ’cause those fish could drive him wild
While she searched near and far
It’s so peculiar
The fish people were gettin’ it on
With her lover Lars

In the Old Can, Old Cannith Ruins
I can’t believe what he was doin’
In the Old Can, Old Cannith Ruins
Townspeople talkin’ about the Sahuagin fetish Heyton
Had going on

His name was Lars and he was a pervert
Chasing a girl just half his age and catching fish in kinky ways
Even Amalgam couldn’t control him
He beat them off again this time and he liked it, that old slime
He had an urgent itch to have his way with fish
So he ran off to Korthos Island
Where he got his wish

In the Old Can, Old Cannith Ruins
I can’t believe what he was doin’
In the Old Can, Old Cannith Ruins
Townspeople talkin’ about the Sahuagin fetish Heyton
Had going on

Her name is Kaja
She’s all alone now
‘Cause Heyton spent every day re-reading “Fifty Scales of Grey”
Till he got caught with some underage fish
That was the end for Lars ’cause he got life behind those bars
Poor Kaja never knew he shagged Sahuagin dudes
Every man has his little secrets
What’s a girl to do?

In the Old Can, Old Cannith Ruins
I can’t believe what he was doin’
In the Old Can, Old Cannith Ruins
Townspeople talkin’ about the Sahuagin fetish Heyton
Had going on

I had to use a little imagination with the phrasing. But hey, that’s nothing compared to the kind of sick, twisted imagination it took to come up with this.

Filkin’ around: Don’t Trust Your Hirelings

Zak

First it was “99 Mad Kobolds.” Next came “They Can Dance.” And then, with no small trepidation, since it’s territory already covered by the Grandmaster of Filk, Weird Al Yankovic, I took on “Beat It,” which became “Keep It.”

I should’ve stopped there, but I had this idea. Unfortunately for my fellow fans of bad 80’s music, I mangled the Bangles. To the tune of “Walk Like an Egyptian,” I give you… “Don’t Trust Your Hirelings.”

Post your LFM, then you wait
‘Cause healers are so hard to find
Party’s slow to fill (oh-way-oh)
Your ship buffs are running low on time

All the merc vendors in House K
Are happy to trade for your plat
Hired hands they sell (oh-way-oh)
From noob right on up to level cap

All the vets with cosmetic pets say
Ay-oh-way-oh, ay-oh-way-oh
Don’t trust your hirelings

Rent-a-clerics take their sweet time
To heal ’cause they’re just NPCs
They waste SP fast (oh-way-oh)
And then they get stuck in a tree

They’ll stand in the blades and not move
Their hit points fall, then you hear the ding
Wish they’d get a clue (oh-way-oh)
They’re dyin’ ’cause they’re dumb hirelings

Arti dogs and even trogs say
Ay-oh-way-oh, ay-oh-way-oh
Don’t trust your hirelings

{replace whistling with “ding” sounds}

Switch their mode thinking that’ll help
Active to passive, then put ’em back
But it does no good (oh-way-oh)
They still stand right in the sonic trap

All your Turbine points went to buy
That Gold Seal who blew the trap box up
Another bonus gone (oh-way-oh)
He can’t even save his own damn butt

Not much else to do once they’re dead
‘Cept grab their stone, run like anything
Retreat to the shrine (oh-way-oh)
In time to rez your dead hirelings

All the monks and the barbs and clonks say
Ay-oh-way-oh, ay-oh-way-oh
Don’t trust your hirelings
Don’t trust your hirelings

Somebody stop me, please – I’m already working on another one. No, I didn’t take ComicRelief‘s suggestion to filk Frank Zappa’s “Call Any Vegetable” (maybe someday, but I really prefer to work with songs I know well so I can tell how well the words fit the melody). I’ll just say that it involves a well-known Eberron couple, and if I get it done and posted, you may never forgive me for getting the song stuck in your head.

Filkin’ around: Keep It

Guild chest

Spencerian really needs to stop daring me to do stuff. I had a lot of fun doing “99 Mad Kobolds,” a DDO parody version of “99 Red Balloons” (or “99 Luftballons,” whichever version you prefer). But Spence used the comment section to suggest that I take on “Safety Dance,” which became “They Can Dance.” But was that enough for him? Nooooo!

Spencerian: Next challenge: “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. That one should be easy!

Oh yeah? Well, at the risk of sounding like Barney Stinson: “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

Open the chest to find it’s nothing but rocks
You need that spell pen necklace but you’re outta luck
The fighter pulled it though, and you know what really sucks
He’ll keep it, he’ll keep it

He says someday he’ll do a wizard TR
But earlier he said his next life will be barb
You’d bet your last plat he’ll never have a blue bar
But he’ll keep it, just because he’s a tool

He’ll keep it (keep it), keep it (keep it)
Even if he’ll never need it
No matter the item, he’ll always roll
Even vendor trash lines his pockets with gold
He’ll keep it (keep it)
He’ll keep it (keep it)
He’ll keep it (keep it)
He’ll keep it (keep it)

He’s not self-healing but you know he ain’t got
The class to buy the cleric a few mana pots
Don’t ask to roll on his loot ’cause he’s such a little snot
He’ll keep it, he’ll keep it

His guildies hate him ’cause he robs the guild chest
And puts it on the AH for the price that’s best
Helps himself to all the good stuff and he never will confess
He’ll keep it, just because he’s a tool

He’ll keep it (keep it), keep it (keep it)
Even if he’ll never need it
No matter the item, he’ll always roll
Even vendor trash lines his pockets with gold
He’ll keep it (keep it)
He’ll keep it (keep it)
He’ll keep it (keep it)
He’ll keep it (keep it)

This was semi-inspired by a guy in my old guild, who – while on a rogue with no blue bar – rolled against Jall for a ToD cleric necklace because he “might TR into a healer someday.” That was his standard excuse for rolling on pretty much everything – “I might TR into [insert class] someday.” If he kept even a small fraction of the stuff he rolled on and won, he’d be making Turbine rich with all the bank and inventory space he’d have to buy.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking “Walk Like an Egyptian” might make a good DDO parody song… 😉