Fun, friends and fatalities

Acanthia

Oh, I do love me a challenge!

Lately Keava and Slvr and I have been teaming up to run epic elites in the newer content. We’re usually joined by one or two of Keava’s guildies/friends, and sometimes PuG any remaining spots.

Having cruised pretty easily through the Eveningstar and Sschindylryn chains, last night we set our sights on Demonweb after a quick cruise through the Druid’s Deep chain for commendations. Two of Keava’s friends joined us, along with a great ranger who’d run the Sschindy chain with us a few nights back.

We figured we’d do the quests in whatever order we found them, given the randomness of the web paths. I was pretty happy when we found Deal and the Demon (“Ah,” Ymris says. “You have come to honor our bargain. Good.” – yes, I DO always have to throw that in there. LOL) and Trial by Fury first, since I’m not overly fond of either of those – particularly Trial by Fury, because I always get lost and usually end up falling back to the start several times.

But we handled those quite nicely, maybe a few tense moments here and there, nothing we couldn’t get past, though. Keava’s healer friend had to drop, but we whined loud enough in the Adepts channel to snag First’s attention. We only had Reclaiming the Rift left to go, which made me happy – hey, Acanthia solos that easily on EH. How bad could EE be?

Well, you know what they say about “Ask a stupid question.” And you probably know that the answer is, “Very bad. Very bad indeed.” To say that the end fight was brutal would be doing a grave disservice to the word “brutal.”

Weird thing, though – well, probably weird to anyone who wasn’t part of the group. We were laughing our arses off the whole time. First warned us that he “might be drinking a lot of alcohol” on the way there. I don’t know if he really was or not; you couldn’t tell from his healing, which was excellent (then again, if you’ve run with First, you probably know that he’s a better healer drunk than most so-called “elite” healers are sober). How he managed to keep us all going with only one shrine in the whole quest is beyond me.

Nobody gave up. It could’ve easily been a wipe – I think there was at least one point when all of us were dead (good thing the ONE shrine in the game is right there) – but we laughed and hung in there even though by the end we were mostly playing naked because all our gear was broken.

For once I was glad to be a packrat, because everything Acanthia was originally wearing was completely broken except her helm and gloves, and they were down to a sliver of blue. I kept getting messages that my backpack was overflowing from all the broken gear now taking up inventory space, but thanks to my hoarding tendencies I had other stuff to swap in. The downside was that I didn’t have enough inventory space to take off her outfit at the end so she could be nekkid in our celebratory “YAY, we did it!” screenshot.

I did manage to clear one inventory space, though… and for the best possible reason. I’d been hoping to pull an Embrace of the Spider Queen for Jall; I think that’ll be better for her than her Leaves of the Forest, and although she has the cleric commendations set armor, I’m really not overly impressed with it. I was disappointed to open the chest and not find an Embrace, but First DID pull one and no one else wanted it. I was quite happy to send him 25 major pots from Jall’s stash, and that Embrace totally made up for Acanthia’s 11K+ repair bill.

That’s the kind of night I love. Great friends, great fun, even some great loot for the icing on the cake – hard to improve on that!

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OurDDO, again

Apparently there are a few issues with the new OurDDO site – namely, some people can load the site and some can’t. I think I’ve identified the problem, but it’s beyond my “technical expertise” (and oh, how loosely I use that term!), so it may be a few days before I figure out how to resolve it.

With that in mind, I’m going to continue to maintain the original OurDDO feed as well. Besides being viewable by everyone as far as I know, it also allows people to use an RSS reader if they prefer to keep up with our blogs that way.

Both sites have their drawbacks. The new site is not available to everyone at this time, although everything else seems to be working properly. The original feed uses an outside program that I have no control over; it has some lag and occasionally drops feeds randomly but always seems to pick them back up again.

So, two sites, bit more work but hopefully that will provide the most access across the board.

Also, I AM looking into adding some of the features Baz suggested – forums, chat room, inhouse mail. Please don’t hold your breath on that, though. I’ve already put a rather significant amount of time into getting the blog feed set up, and really don’t want to start messing around with adding more stuff until the kinks are completely worked out.

*sigh* Sorry about all this.

DDO March Madness: Championship, maybe

Acanthia

It feels a little strange to be working on something that ISN’T a bunch of code for a change, or a blog post that’s not just a quick update about OurDDO. LOL

But I started this March Madness thing back when it was, y’know, still March, and gosh darn it, I’m gonna finish it!

When last we left our intrepid competitors, Jall and Tirae were about to square off in the championship round final after defeating Acanthia and Even respectively; the latter two dropped to the consolation bracket, where they prepared to face each other with the winner advancing to face the loser of the Jall/Tirae match. Yeah, it confuses me too, but there’s a handy-dandy bracket now in spreadsheet format further down in this post.

So, seen that message on the login screen about the quest “Protect Baudry’s Interests” being closed? Well, remember, I did tell you the tourney was being held in Cartamon’s Shipping Warehouse. Coincidence? I think not. (No matter WHAT Slvr tries to tell me about kobold lichs killing newbies in there. :D)

With no worries about hapless adventurers stumbling in and interrupting the action by trying to prevent kobolds – lich or otherwise – from smashing the big box, Acanthia and Even were the first to hit the floor. With both feeling the sting of their semifinal losses, they were tentative at first; most of the “action” consisted of friendly jibes at each other.

Even: Where are the rest of your hit points?
Acanthia: Don’t need ’em, I have evasion!
Even: I have 133 AC and 122 PRR AND almost 500 more hit points than you do.
Acanthia: Yeah, well, I’m cute and you have no DPS.
Even: Damn, she got me on that one.

Unfortunately for Even, no amount of hit points or AC or PRR could make up for her having, really, no DPS… and being slowed by her DoS III stance, she couldn’t’ve caught speedy monk Acanthia anyway. The little halfling (to distinguish her from the big halflings, right?) nimbly leaped from box to box, occasionally including the big box that didn’t go smash, using Stunning Fist and Kukan-Do to daze Even and then hitting her hard with Drifting Lotus and Orchid Blossom. Acanthia even tried Tomb of Jade, but as Even’s not a tainted creature, it didn’t work… although it would’ve looked lovely with her hair.

Poor Even kept valiantly swinging her epic Hellstroke, but by the time she got the axe to where Acanthia was, Acanthia was somewhere else. The clinching blow for Acanthia came when Even, down to only a third of her HP, accidentally clicked her Cannith boots instead of Lay On Hands and zoomed right into the path of Acanthia’s Grave Wrappings.

The two high-fived and then, after a quick repair, went to sit with the rest of the crew while Jall and Tirae got ready to square off.

Tirae had studied the video from Acanthia’s match against Jall and knew she’d have to try something different if she were going to get the win. The bad news for Tirae – she’s basically a slightly lesser copy of Acanthia with darker hair and skin (and, according to Acanthia, less cuteness). The “slightly lesser” is because Tirae is still banking 25, whereas Acanthia’s capped; Acanthia has a few more destiny twists at her disposal; Acanthia has a full set of +3 tomes whereas Tirae has +3 Wis and +2 in everything else; and Acanthia is a 32-point build while Tirae is an adventurer.

There’s just one main thing Tirae has that Acanthia doesn’t – Ivy Wraps. So she knew that if she were going to have any shot at defeating Jall, she’d have to rely on her toxic cloud (from the WRAPS! And NO, I don’t mean burritos!).

There was little good-natured trash talk this time; Jall and Tirae are good friends, but being on different servers, they really don’t know each other as well as Even and Acanthia do. Jall, always wanting to make other people feel better (that whole cleric thing she’s got going on), complimented Tirae’s hair before the two got down to brass tacks… or at least wooden crates.

The toxic cloud generated by Tirae’s Ivy Wraps worked quite well – when she could keep Jall in range. While Tirae had monk speed on her side, the cloud didn’t move with her, so a few quick sidesteps were all Jall needed to get herself clear and find a little breathing (literally) room.

Poor Tirae. She tried, she really did. And she gave Jall a few scary moments. But there’s only so much you can do when your opponent fills the room with blade barriers and then starts spamming Divine Punishment on you.

It just wasn’t Tirae’s night. After getting herself Divine Punished to death (“It sure didn’t feel divine to ME,” she was heard to say afterwards), she had to battle Acanthia in the consolation bracket final. Those tomes and build points and destiny twists won out over Tirae’s toxic cloud, although the crowd FINALLY got the all-melee, all-DPS matchup it’d been clamoring for since the start of the tourney. After Acanthia was declared the winner, Tirae headed to the bank to ponder the greater heart of wood she’d stashed. Acanthia, who hadn’t enjoyed that toxic cloud at all, really wanted to go farm Druid’s Deep for the gazillionth time, or at least check the AH, in hopes that she’d finally get her own pair of Ivy Wraps, but she had other things to attend to first.

Because it was time for… The Rematch.

*cue Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” which might make a darn good filk*

Yep, there was undefeated Jall, sitting a bit nervously atop the championship bracket. And there was Acanthia, who’d suffered her only loss to the once-gimpy Drow cleric. Should Jall win, the tourney would be over, as everyone else would have suffered two losses in the double-elimination format. But if Acanthia won, both she and Jall would have one loss each, sending them to the “if necessary” match.

Draegloth

Acanthia doesn’t take losing lightly. So after her upset loss to Jall in the semifinals, she’d put a lot of thought into what might have made the difference. One of her main downfalls had been dealing with Jall’s endless light spells – DP, Searing Light, Avenging Light, Bud Light – well, OK, Bud Light was what Acanthia needed AFTER the semifinals. All that light, plus the glare from Jall’s aura and bursts, had made it hard for Acanthia to see what the heck she was doing, not to mention the spell damage. So she “borrowed” one of Even’s solid fog clickies (she might even remember to tell Even about it if when she returns them) and marched into the warehouse hoping for a better result than last time.

Jall had no new tricks up her sleeve, and can you blame her? All her old tricks had been working perfectly well, and she now had the advantage of two levels in Unyielding Sentinel to beef up her HP a bit. Acanthia was a bit nonplussed to see that Jall had darn near caught up to her in hit points.

Grateful that his big box was unsmashed, Baudry Cartamon himself blew the whistle to start the match. To no one’s surprise, Jall quickly buffed herself, tossed a few blade barriers around the room, and started spamming DP on Acanthia – wait, where WAS Acanthia?

She might not have Ivy Wraps to make herself a nice toxic cloud to hide in, but those “borrowed” bracers cloaked the makeshift arena in a deep bank of fog. Jall’s DPs often went nowhere because she couldn’t find Acanthia to target her.

The little monk, meanwhile, used her reasonably high Hide and Move Silently skills to sneak through the fog, get behind Jall and stun her. That almost backfired on Acanthia as Jall started flailing around with her Forgotten Light and landing a few pretty good headbonks by sheer luck.

“Since when did she get DPS?” Acanthia muttered just loudly enough for the crowd to hear; Even borrowed a quill and a spare scroll from Zak to quickly scribble something that looked a lot like, “Note to self: Ask Jall where to get DPS.”

But another click of Even’s “borrowed” bracers and Acanthia had disappeared again. She took advantage of her concealment to target Jall and start firing away with her ki strikes while jumping from the top of one box to the next so Jall couldn’t get a bead on where she was.

One Kukan-Do and an Everything is Nothing later, Jall found herself on the receiving end of a loss for the first time in the tournament. Will she find the winning form that allowed her to beat Acanthia in their first matchup, or will Acanthia battle back from the consolation bracket to win it all? Well, I’m not gonna tell you, I’m saving that for the next post. *g*

tl;dr – Jall and Acanthia will face each other for the third time in the championship.

And here’s that handy-dandy bracket, now in spreadsheet form, which should be a lot less clunky than those huge graphics. Not sure why Google Docs turned some of the lines red; can’t be arsed to make them all black again. It’s also a lot bigger than the original; can’t be arsed to shrink it down a bit either.

And finally…

Has it really only been 16 days since Turbine announced that MyDDO would be shut down soon?

 

Somehow it seems much longer… but maybe that’s just because I’ve been spending a lot of hours Googling stuff like “aggregate feed” – well, let me back up there. When I started working on OurDDO, I didn’t even know an aggregate feed was called, y’know, an aggregate feed. So first I had to do a lot of poking around just so I knew what the heck to search for. Kind of embarrassing, really.

 

But I poked, I Googled, I beseeched people for help (and a few of them in particular came through with flying colors), I put off sleep, I even cut into my playing time once or twice, and now OurDDO is pretty much set. There’s one more thingamabob I’m hoping to add, and I might consider adding a few tidbits here and there, but it’s up, it works, and it even bears at least a passing resemblance to a real website.

 

So please check out the new, hopefully improved OurDDO and let me know what you think!

OurDDO has moved!

I’m glad I was already working on a new home for OurDDO, because earlier tonight the feed stitching site I use decided to crash.

The new site is functional but still VERY much a work in progress. Luckily the work it needs is pretty much all cosmetic, but there’s quite a bit of it to be done. Please bear this in mind; I’ll get it looking nicer as time permits, and will also be adding a few fun things for better functionality.

Also, I’ve E-mailed every OurDDOer who uses their own domain name rather than something.wordpress.com, etc., because I need the correct RSS addresses for them before they’ll show up. They’re all still listed in the links; their new posts just won’t appear on the feed until I have the right RSS addresses for them.

So without further ado…

OurDDO’s new home

Constructive feedback is always appreciated!

OurDDO update

It looks like I’m going to end up hosting OurDDO on my own site. I’ve put together a test page and it looks a LOT better than anything I’ve been able to get using various browsers and feed readers.

I’ve done a test page that looks pretty good, but some of the feeds still aren’t showing up. In this case I think it’s probably just a matter of not having the right RSS address; I just plugged in blog URLs for the first one and tried putting an RSS extension at the end of them. Some blogs may have a different system.

Also, I’m really trying to make this all prettified. What I’d like from everyone involved:

1. The address of your blog’s RSS feed. In many cases, but not all, this will as simple as putting “/rss.xml” at the end of your blog’s main address (for example, mine is https://ddoeven.wordpress.com/rss.xml). Best bet if you don’t know what the RSS address is – check your admin page or control panel, or check with the blogging platform you use.

2. Know those little icons we have in MyDDO, such as my green-tinted soulstone? I’d like to have them on OurDDO too. I’m thinking 100×100 pixels. You can either send me the image itsellf and I’ll put it on my Photobucket, or (and this is a better option for anyone who might want to change their icon from time to time) you can upload it yourself and just send me the link.

3. The EXACT username you want to be known by.

4. The EXACT name of your blog.

5. Whether you’d rather have the blogs identified in the feed listing by blog name or username.

You can send all this to me at evennote@gmail.com, and ONLY evennote@gmail.com. MyDDO mail is borked for me far more than it works, and I don’t often check my forum mail – heck, I sometimes go a week or two without even logging into the forums. I do have a life outside DDO, and it’s convenient for me to have all this stuff in one place.

I’ll start updating the test page as I get responses and will then start having a few other people also check it on various browsers. Again, I do have a life outside DDO. I will try to get this stuff done as quickly as possible, but I’m not going to be manipulated into being on anyone else’s timeline. Ninety-nine percent of the time, this isn’t a problem, and I’m sorry I even have to mention it… but that 1% has been a real killer.

Anyway! I WILL be making a serious effort to check Even’s Gmail at least once a day, and I’ll get this going as soon as possible!

Also, if you have a DDO blog, or a blog that’s at least partly about DDO, and you want to be included in OurDDO, please send me an E-mail or check out the OurDDO info page.

Reflecting

Even

so many tasks, so little time

It’s nice to get some time to sit back and work on a blog post. The last couple of weeks have been pretty full of stuff both real-life and DDO – dentist visits, escaped cats, leveling Dissy and getting OurDDO going, for starters. So while I’ve got plenty of IDEAS for blog posts swimming ’round my head, I just haven’t had the time to actually do anything about them. It’s probably a bit late for the April Fools’ Day post I had planned, complete with screenshots of my new Invisible Stalker pet. And if it’s past due for April Fools, the remaining saga of March Madness is way late as well, but I WILL be finishing that. Soon. I hope. Maybe.

Anyway, my dental work is now complete – YAY! And I was rewarded with Reese’s peanut butter cups (maybe a silly choice for someone who just had a lot of major stuff done to her teeth, but TOTALLY worth it), nail polish, and the latest issue of “Math Puzzles and Logic Problems,” which was doubly cool because 1) I hadn’t seen it in ages and wasn’t even sure it was still around, and 2) This issue’s cover is CHARTREUSE!

With everything going on, besides not writing anything on my OWN blog, I’m way behind on pretty much everybody else’s too. I’ve tried to skim through here and there but mostly I’m feeling very out of the loop. I still need to send Baz the screenies I got of him in his new armor kit, and I’ve owed Keava an E-mail or two or three as well.

 

just call her sherman

Even

‘Cause she’s a tank. Based on something Samius commented on one of my older posts, I decided to see if Even could dual-tank Horoth and Sully at the same time. Yeah, yeah, I know, you don’t even need a tank for ToD if you’re superduperuber – well, Even is NOT uber in any way, shape or form. So what’s trifling to uber folks is rather a big deal to her… especially because not only did she tank them both successfully, holding aggro while taking very little damage, that run also marked her first official stab at tanking shadows. That’s always intimidated me mostly because I’ve seen some damn good parties wipe when just one or two shadows made it up onto the platform.

No worries, though; a shiny new GS cold stick, a stack of fire shield scrolls, a solid fog clicky, and Even cruised. From the start of the quest to the end, I don’t think she used more than maybe five or six Lay On Hands, and really didn’t need any additional healing even though one of the healers kept cures on her every time she got under a thousand HP – but hey, I’ll take a little overhealing over underhealing ANY day.

And speaking of healing, I got Jall for Baz’s 20th ToD, which was HIS first time tanking shadows – I was all ready to keep him healed up, but he never needed it at all. VERY nice work. 🙂

I did have to laugh the other night, though – I was on Dissy running the Web of Chaos chain with Vey (OK, Vey was pretty much dragging Dissy’s gimpy li’l butt through). Vey had LFMed to fill the last couple of spots. At one point Vey called me “Even.” No big deal; no matter which toon I’m on, most people who know me call me Even. But one guy goes, “Even? As in Evennote? The uber pally?” I thought at first he was being sarcastic or something, but turns out he was in the party when Even soloed Harry in elite Shroud. That may be her finest moment, but I still cracked up hearing someone call her “uber.”

 

ourDDO takes off

TiraeI might have neglected some other stuff, but AFAIK everyone who’s asked to be added to OurDDO is on there, and I think I got all but MAYBE one within 24 hours (and that wasn’t even the one who is apparently ticked that I didn’t get them sooner). I’m calling that a good start, but I’m definitely looking at ways to make it better. I’d like to spiffy it up and do a lot more customizing. The trouble is, free sites to consolidate feeds don’t give you a lot of options. It was hard just to find one that didn’t limit me to only three or five feeds.

There’s also a big difference in what you see depending on what browser you’re using. I mostly use Chrome, which has serious issues with feeds. Safari gives me a much nicer display with some options in a sidebar. If you’re having trouble viewing the feed, try searching for “RSS feed reader” along with your preferred browser name. Anyway, the options I’m mulling over are:

  • Pay to upgrade this WordPress account to give me more customization options (pro accounts have access to plug-ins that can handle RSS feeds elegantly, but I’m definitely not thrilled about the prospect of spending real money on this)
  • Make a new page and update everything manually, which would be a CRAPTON of work and make it impossible to get instant updates
  • Port it over to my existing site and host it there

Option 3 is kind of looking like the way to go, and if I do that, I’ll probably move the whole blog over as well, but I have to decide if I really want anybody and everybody from DDO having the address of my personal site. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’d be no big deal. It’s the 1% that scares me – my blog’s linked in my profile on all my toons; do I really want the guy standing next to me at the AH on my personal site? I s’pose I could just add a domain name, but there’s that real money thing again.

Point is, though, I AM going to find a way to make OurDDO easier to read and use. Also, if you’re not on the OurDDO feed and you want to be, let me know! I will NOT add anyone unless they specifically ask me to. Best way to reach me is via Gmail; my username is Evennote. And I’m making a serious effort to actually check mail there at least once a day instead of once every month or so like I WAS doing. 😀

 

epic bard is epic

Dissy

… and I’m talking about Dissy, so when I say “epic,” I mean “epicly gimped.” LOL But she IS now level 20, so she’s epic in that respect even though she’s still squishy as hell. She surprises me at times… the Shavarath wilderness is a painful grind with her. At level 18 (I banked 19 until she capped), a lot of her CC didn’t work overly well because those darn Amrath mobs have such high saves. Not to mention, she thinks “DPS” stands for “Drow, Pretty, Singer.”

And yet she did OK in Cannith Manufactury slayers even before I reset her enhancements to get Music of Makers. As level 20 got close, I decided to try a couple of the quests in there, starting with Schemes just because it’s the one I know best. Aside from me somehow getting lost (gee, imagine that), the only close calls she had were when the panther started the beeeeeg fight by attacking the door you’re not supposed to attack. THAT got hectic, but she used her bow to take out the cannons one at a time until they finally stopped respawning. After that, the end fight was cake, just kinda long and tedious.

I didn’t try Power Play with her yet – don’t know why, I’ve never really had trouble with that quest but I’ve never liked it – but after signing off Friday night with less than 50K to go for level 20, I scrapped my usual Saturday errands, got up early and took her into Blown to Bits. She had a lot of fun with that and even did the extreme challenge optional, then headed back to Amrath and s-l-o-w-l-y got the last four explorers she was missing along with a few more slayers to get her to… 400, I think.

If she’d remembered to get her deathblock necklace out of the bank, she’d have capped after running Acute Delirium later Saturday (after a few hours spent on, of all things, real life). Darn beholders… she ended up about 350 XP short of cap; I noticed she still needed a few Ataraxia explorers, headed there, got Mineshaft IV and the Mining Cave, and then the rare wildman was nice enough to be home, which capped her with a whopping 12 XP to spare. My little bard has grown up!

 

on drama

Acanthia OK… I really, REALLY didn’t want to have to address this at all. And I appreciate the concern, I really do.   But here’s the thing. I’m already aware that there are things being said behind my back. No one else needs to tell me about it. And no, I’m not going to address the issue.

If someone else wants to start drama, I can’t control that. All I can control is my own involvement. IMHO, the best way to deal with stuff like that is not to deal with it at all so as not to add fuel to the fire. As Mark Twain said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.” My mouth’s not the one that’s open, so to paraphrase LOLcats, “All ur dramaz are belong 2 U.”

I’ll settle for Acanthia winning DDO with her shiny new Easy Button. For 25 points, I just couldn’t resist the urge to give this a try. It sure beat hearing anything more from anyone else about drama.

Now if only I had a “You Win Blogging” button, something I could just push… have it go through all of my old posts imported from MyDDO and update the colors and fonts and all that stuff that I really want to do but just haven’t had the time or ambition.