Making a splash… screen

Orchard splash screen

 

Geoff Hanna, aka “Gamer Geoff,” recently posted a blog that detailed how to change some of the splash screens you see when you’re zoning from one area to another in DDO.

 

I take a lot of screenshots. I mean, A LOT of screenshots. Thousands of ’em, possibly tens of thousands. And I get tired of looking at the same splash screens all the time. So this idea really appealed to me.

 

Last night I decided it was high time I bit the bullet and tried it out. Picked 11 screenies kindasorta at random, cropped them to 1024×768, saved them in the appropriate directory with the filenames DDO assigned to the default splash screens, and then booted the game.

 

WOW. SERIOUSLY. JUST WOW.

 

It was incredibly cool to zone from one airship deck to the other and see my OWN picture of our OWN airship while I was zoning.

 

If you try this, you won’t get your own screens on every zone; some zones and quests have specific splash screens that – as far as I know – can’t be changed. But if you’re zoning into a place that uses a generic screen (having a Kraken with a top deck, four lower  decks, and a cargo hold, this happens to me a lot), you’re going to see your own screens for those. And it’s pretty darn awesome.

 

I thought I’d share the first set of screenies I used as splash screens. Since I have so VERY many screen shots, I’ll probably rotate them every so often, just because I can. Feel free to click any or all of them to download for yourself!  🙂

 

  ToDFire pit

  WGUEveningstar river

  KrakenLightning globe

  GriffonAirship in Twelve

  Purple wormAmrath

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Nothing left to prove

Victaurya

It’s time.

For four and a half years, my poor Victaurya has been running around Stormreach and Faerun sporting a 28-point build and some of the worst feat choices you can make and still be survivable. She followed a path build until she was level 8 or 9 and until now, has never done any kind of reincarnating – not lesser, not greater, not heroic, not epic. She’s been a true first-lifer; she doesn’t even have all her destinies (or even MOST of her destinies) capped. Heck, she probably hasn’t even tried half of them.

Despite that, she’s actually fared pretty well. She’s not particularly solo-able, although she’s made it through some of the easier EEs on her own, but – IMHO, anyway – she’s a pretty good supporting member of a party. She was my very first toon, and I never really had clear-cut goals for her at the beginning, other than, “Try not to die.”

Over the past few years, as she’s slowly (very slowly) leveled to 28 and I’ve learned a lot more about DDO, I’ve sort of formulated this idea of a Vic who could deal with any trap or lock in the game, deal reasonable DPS, self-heal as much as possible, and be able to survive if she drew aggro.

Well, she’s done all that, and more. I don’t think she’s failed a trap or lock in the entire epic part of her life (tbh, the last time I remember her failing a trap was Chamber of Insanity, and I’m not sure she’s EVER failed to pick a lock). Epic destinies – well, mostly Cocoon – have given her enough self-healing to mostly not need any additional help except in EE.

As for the rest… Friday night, our little band of Flower Sniffers decided to tackle What Goes Up on epic elite. There were four of us: Slvr’s druid, Comic’s arty, Seki’s cleric, and Vic. Slvr and Comic each brought a hireling healer as well, although Garret and Erytheia were mostly more drawback than asset. We are probably not really an EE-caliber group overall, but our philosophy is pretty much, “Hey, let’s try it, if we wipe we can always go again on a lower difficulty.”

Victaurya

Vic, being a rogue and not having a hire, probably had the least self-healing capacity, but died the least, by quite a bit (well, except Seki, but he had to leave halfway through). She also dominated the kill count, ending up with nearly half of our total kills (which surprised me, because Slvr’s druid has some serious DPS). Her UMD, besides being enough to lower all the barriers, also allowed her to throw out heals and rezzes. And several times, she went toe-to-toe with angry orcs and survived without taking serious damage.

I’ve been kinda proud of how well Vic does despite her 28-point build. Her performance in EE WGU made me think that maybe she does pretty well for any build. Not that she’s a rock star, just that I don’t think I could ask for any more from her even if she were a completionist. It’s kind of bittersweet; I have to admit I like getting to the end of a tough quest and having someone send me a tell or say something in party chat like, “I just looked at your profile – wow, you’re still an adventurer build? Nice going!”

So as much as I sometimes want to keep Vic at 28 points forever, I think she’s earned the right to four more build points (not to mention a much better feat selection). A few hours ago, I took her to Reincarnation Grove for an epic TR.

New level 20 Vic feels a little gimpy compared to old level 28 Vic – fewer hit points, lower skills, and all her cool gear now has red boxes around the icons. But she overcame a lot to level to 28 and make herself a valuable, contributing party member. I think she’ll be just fine until she levels up enough to equip all her shinies.

The toon I hate to love

Getting

A few years back, faced with ever-dwindling inventory space because I’m the DDO equivalent of a hoarder, I rolled myself up a bank/haggle toon to hold some of the stuff I didn’t have room for anywhere else.

I named her Getting Even More (get it?). Banking and haggling were ALL she was supposed to do, but I wanted to get the extra inventory and bank slots on her, so I did some Coin Lords and House K favor farming.

And of course, it happened – I started liking her. And I bought her some gear, and all of a sudden she didn’t have room for anyone else’s items because her inventory was full of her own stuff.

When I unlocked Favored Soul, I didn’t have any toon slots available. So I told myself sternly, “Delete Getting and roll up a FvS. She’s never going to be a serious toon anyway.”

Which I did – delete her, that is. And as silly as it may sound, I felt bad about it almost immediately.

But she stayed deleted for, oh, probably two or three years. Then one night, for some reason, something made me think of her. And just as I was thinking of her, Shin said, “Hey, don’t forget it’s Thursday, last day of this week’s DDO store sales. Character slots are on sale until tomorrow.”

It was a sign! It was destiny! I am a Flower Sniffer of Destiny! (No, really, I am – that’s our guild name.)

I bought another character slot – hey, I only had 15 – and rolled up a new Getting. This time, instead of a helf pure bard with royal blue hair, she’s a sun elf 1 cleric/14 bard.

I laid down strict rules – I will spend NO plat, shards, or TP on her. She will get NO new gear unless it 1) drops in my name; 2) no one else in the party wants it; and 3) none of my other toons need it. And she will run NO quests except for Coin Lords and House K favor. Her function is inventory space, and ONLY inventory space. I maxed her Charisma, mostly dump-statted everything else, and took feats I’ve always ignored (Eschew Materials, Augment Summoning) to make her as un-viable as possible. No way was I going to let myself get attached to her.

Oops.

I’ve broken most of those rules. I blame Billy, Dayja, Geek, and a couple of other Monty’s who invited her to run elite Acid Wit with them. I didn’t think she’d make it through the first fight – I was wrong. Oh, she died a few times, but she didn’t die the most, or nearly as often as I thought she would. And her CC and healing weren’t half bad.

Then I soloed the VoN flaggers on elite with her. And not long ago she ran HE Temple of Elemental Evil with Shin, and again had some nice CC going on along with respectable self-healing. (She couldn’t help Shin out there, as he’s a PM.) Granted, she was over level, but I think her degree of intentional gimpy-ness more than made up for that.

Maybe it’s the writer in me that makes me attached to my toons the way I get attached to the fictional literary characters I create. Maybe that’s why I know the back story of every toon pretty much by the time I’m done rolling them up. And maybe that’s why, despite my best intentions, I found myself liking Getting.

So I bought her a sword, and then I spent some TP for a Bouquet of Roses to glamer onto her new sword. Then I thought she needed her own unique look, so I picked out a blonde hair dye from Sere’s rather extensive dye stash, and shelled out a few more TP to get her a new hairdo as well.

But that’s IT. I swear. I’m not getting her anything else.

… no, that’s not me at the AH. Must just be someone who looks like me. Uh-huh. That’s it.