A sticky situation

I’ve never actually seen the Nicolas Cage movie “Wicker Man,” but I’ve seen the infamous alternate ending. If you haven’t, I won’t spoil it; you can always search YouTube (believe me, you’ll find it). If you HAVE seen it, you’ll know exactly why I picked the image I did for this week’s video.

I’m starting to amass quite a collection of Legendary Five Rings, Legendary Chains, and the like, to the point where, even with 19 toons to equip, I’m probably going to have to start vendoring them just to save inventory space. But it’s worth it. Update 32, Against the Slave Lords, is a rollicking good time.

Go ahead, pull the rope (boy, did I fall for that one the first time I ran the quests)! Want some honey? HELP, A BEAR!

After taking the last two weeks off from livestreaming due to pesky real life, I decided I needed a break from reality this week. Even though I probably should have gotten some sleep, Slvr and I headed off to the new quests instead.

I was originally only going to run the first quest, but that went so well – and was so much fun – that we decided to keep going. The second one took us to 2 am, which is my normal cutoff time… and again, it seemed a shame to stop when we were on such a roll.

We completed the entire chain on Legendary Hard in just about exactly three hours, including a pit stop after the second one to sell, repair, and rebuff since Even’s inventory was getting full.

Don’t think Slvr died at all; I deliberately killed Even in the mirror beam once just so I could get video of her using her Jack Jibbers blade. (For as long as I farmed that damn thing, you’d think I’d get to use it more.) Hopefully the video’s as fun to watch as the chain was to run. There’s plenty of what we like to think of as witty Flower Sniffer banter, and we actually do fight everything – no taking exploity shortcuts and then standing around for 15 minutes doing nothing but belching and waiting for the rest of the party to finish the quest, no looking for equally exploity perch spots so that we can hit stuff without it hitting us back. That’s not how we roll. Also, we occasionally often talk like kobolds.

Even though I was pretty tired and starting to yawn quite a bit by the end, I was REALLY glad we decided to stick it out and run the third quest, because I got an OOOH SHINY…

Legendary Ring of Power

Makes a darn nice replacement for the Consuming Darkness Even was wearing (I thought she was wearing an EE, turns out it was an EH – her EE has been, for some reason, collecting dust in her bank. Probably just forgot to get it out when she leveled.)

Had a few other “ooooh shiiiny” moments this past week as well. Seki pulled the Legendary Dashing Gloves from Good Intentions and passed them to Even for Dissy, who’s been yearning for them for a while. Vic helped a random PuGger get a Great Shard of Power the other night; did a few runs of Devil Assault and then four-manned heroic Shroud. I was thinking, gosh, it’s late, I think I’m done after this one, and no sooner had I thought that then I opened the first underwater chest and found the shard. Gave the guy a shipvite so that he could craft his great crossbow, so while it wasn’t MY shiny, still a good feeling.

And then… AND THEN…

If you read this blog on a semi-regular basis – and I’m not implying that you do – you might know that I have this thing for cosmetic pets. There were only two I lacked, both from the Monster Manual – the rust monster and the wraith.

There’s really no good place I can find to farm rusties. I joked about putting up an LFM for Legendary Shroud – “Do NOT kill the book! Keep killing the respawns until I get the rustie pet!” There’s just really no other place where they respawn except the earth cave in ToEE 2 and the end fight of Siegebreaker… and they don’t respawn MUCH even then.

But if you can handle hanging out in Fall of Truth, wraiths respawn there as long as the Disciple of Lies is alive. (You can kill him and he’ll come back to life if Bjorn the Liar isn’t dead.) And they respawn at a pretty good rate, about 300 an hour.

Few nights ago, I was ticked off and frustrated about a couple of things, and I happened to notice that I needed just about 800 more wraiths for the pet. Bit over two hours, I told myself, goferit, you’re too worked up to sleep anyway.

I think it actually took a bit less than two hours, but at last, I saw the beautiful message pop up to tell me that I’d earned 35 Turbine points and… a violet wraith companion!

Wraith pet!

I’ve been trying to figure out which is a better place to farm rusties – the cave at the beginning of Gwylan’s Stand, or the start of Stromvauld’s Mine. There are seven in Gwylan’s, four in Stromvauld’s, but the Stromvauld’s ones are a little quicker to get.

There are some in Ataraxia’s Haven, but the number seems to vary pretty widely and they’re pretty far in. Rainbow has plenty – IF they’re there at all, and again, if you want them all, you have to run quite a bit of the quest to get them. Same with VoN 5, which isn’t soloable because of the lever mechanic, so you’d need at LEAST two highly-coordinated people.

Ah well, 1,713 rusties to go. I WILL get there someday.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at midnight Eastern time. I’m usually on Thelanis, usually on Evennote, and usually have room, so feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! I’m also definitely open to suggestions on what to run next. You can send ingame mail to Evennote on Thelanis, or email me at evennote (at) gmail dot com. Thanks for reading and/or watching! 🙂

Alt-ernate reality

Trici

When your alt-itis is as bad as mine, it can be hard to find playing time for all of your toons even under the best of circumstances.

If you’re one of the unfortunate few who read my last post, you might remember that my real-life circumstances have taken a decided turn for the worse. I’d rather not get into too much detail in a public post; suffice to say that health issues affecting a close relative have resulted in some serious quality-of-life changes for myself and my family.

As much as this is having a huge impact on my “me” time, there are two things I refuse to give up. One is my partici… pation in an annual local production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Officially I play Dr. Scott. In rehearsals, sometimes anything goes – tonight I got to be both Dr. Scott and Janet, which was a riot, especially when it came to the musical numbers and I had to switch from a guttural old German man to a pure soprano, sometimes during the same song).

The other, of course, is DDO. Thank heaven for our little band of Flower Sniffers, who’ve cheerfully put up with me bringing somewhat less than my “A” game the last few months as we’ve moseyed our way through sagas, raids, and of course, Against the Slave Lords.

The new update will, hopefully, someday be a topic for its own post, because bears and bees and cheese and so, so, SO much more! But I’m kinda exhausted after a busy day, so I think I’m just going to fill up my weekly post with some screenies I’ve gotten recently whilst giving monk Acanthia and gnomificer Trici a little much-needed playing time.

Trici

Oh dear – Trici fell asleep in the bath house after a tough night questing! Let’s hope she doesn’t drown… and that Minni (her arti dog) and ArrTwoDogTwo (her iron defender companion) don’t rust.

Minni

Despite his feminine name and hot pink accoutrements, Minni is a boy dog. He’s named after a similarly-misnamed kitty – we didn’t discover the mistake we’d made naming Kitty Minni until he was pretty much stuck with the moniker. He seemed to like it, though!

Acanthia

Acanthia found plenty of things to jade when she and Slvr ran Fashion Madness to catch up on some favor farming, including this squelchie in a fetching pirate hat. She also jaded an eyeball, but killed it before I could get a screenie.

Basalt

She thought of trying to jade Basalt, but she was having too much fun watching him dance, courtesy of Slvr’s bard. Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “rocking out…”

Acanthia

A quick trip through Palace of Stone convinced Acanthia that – after dretches – DDO should have pet rocks. Or at least pet “animted” mudballs… or maybe a pet copy editor to fix “animted.” (I volunteer!)

I haven’t done a livestream the past two weeks, but hopefully Streamin’ with Even will be back this coming Sunday.  crosses fingers, toes, eyes, arms, and legs

Ganging aft agley

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Written by Robert Burns, immortalized by John Steinbeck, and now badly conjugated by… me, the post title is a reference to things not working out the way they’re supposed to.

Once in a while, this is a GOOD thing. Take my intentionally-gimped bank bard, Getting. She was never supposed to be viable; her only mission in life was to provide storage space.

Completely by accident, she’s somehow managed to become a reasonably solid toon. Not a star by any means, but she’s surprisingly capable for a first-life Drow bard who dump-statted pretty much anything that wasn’t charisma.

I didn’t fully realize that until I logged in Sunday night to turn in sagas while the renown bonus was still active. Little gimpy Getting, the toon I never intended to play, had not one but TWO epic sagas completed… and on elite, no less. And she’s still only 23!

I’d planned to turn in all 11 sagas on true elite on Even, but that was another plan that went a bit agley. She simply ran out of time; with the quests she already had done, I managed to scrape together eight sagas, but never got a chance to get to the two heroic Eveningstar sagas nor heroic 3BC/Deneith.

And that was because real life has gone very, very agley for me of late. Had been dealing with a family health crisis for a bit now; that was finally starting to get resolved when another one reared its ugly head.

So I’m more than slightly frazzled, and that’s probably not going to change any time soon. That whole “agley” thing really seems to have it in for me lately; my life is definitely going to be undergoing some major changes in the near future as a result of all this.

That’s why you get this lame-ish entry instead of my usual livestream post for this week’s blog. I didn’t even stream this week; did my saga turn-ins but wasn’t feeling up to sounding witty over live video. (Not that I ever do…)

I’m hoping the image won’t go too agley as well; it’s rather larger than I usually use. Wasn’t going to post at all tonight, but woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. Too tired/lazeh to get up and boot the computer, so posting with the crappy tablet and had to make do with what I already had on here.

Monk-y business

Watching @EvenNote’s stream from last night/this morning is making me want to play a monk again….” ~ grimorde

What a lovely compliment for Acanthia to get, especially since that was the first I’d seriously played her in quite a while!

With changes to other classes, the addition of warlock, etc., monks no longer stand out as the DPS machines they once were. I was shocked a few weeks ago when Acanthia decided to follow in Vic’s and Even’s footsteps by soloing Shroud – her DPS was not as good as Even’s, and Even, while having a few levels on Acanthia, is definitely not a DPS build.

But there’s no denying that, DPS or not, monks are just incredibly fun to play. Who cares how cool a sword looks when you can beat stuff up with your bare hands?

And there all all the fun monk-ish things you can do. Stunning Fist, Kukan-Do (basically a long-distance stun), Drifting Lotus for a bit of crowd control. Dismissing Strike to instantly vanquish tainted creatures such as undead and evil outsiders; Quivering Palm to send nearly anything into oblivion with a single hit. The “sekrit” Shining Star finishing move (Otto’s Irresistible Dance, monk-style).

Acanthia

And possibly my very favorite monk ability: Tomb of Jade, which lets you turn a tainted creature into a green statue (Smite Tainted Creature and Jade Strike also have a chance to do this).

So while it took a bit of time to get used to playing Acanthia again, ’twas definitely worth it! And of course, no matter which toon I’m playing, I always have a great time during our Flower Sniffers guild runs. Having several impromptu ones in addition to our regularly-scheduled Friday guild night made for a most excellent DDO weekend. Didn’t hurt that Acanthia hit level 27, either!

Even

Even’s taken a bit of a back seat while Acanthia and Char got some playing time to take advantage of this past weekend’s XP bonus. She still hasn’t gotten a chance to use her long-awaited Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers, but she did get a bit of a makeover – I glamered an Elemental Victory for her (the gems, especially the green one, really bring out the highlights in her hair) and also made her a green dragonscale armor kit. The glamered Marilith Chain she’d been wearing matched her hair a bit better, but just wasn’t quite Even, design-wise. She likes the little skirt on the medium dragonscale armor, and the fact that it shows just a bit of cleavage – sometimes it’s nice to feel like a girl, especially when you’re a short, stocky Purple Dragon Knight.

The bit of questing Even did this past week didn’t go quite as well as her beauty treatments. She joined a PuG doing EE Deathwyrm and was assigned the role of tanking Aurgloroasa. The party leader was not a native English speaker; maybe that’s why some members of the party chose to ignore him. He was still assigning roles in the shrine room when several people decided to just go ahead in and get started.

There was a barbarian who apparently was miffed that Even got tanking duty instead of him, because he said, “Well, if I can steal aggro, and I probably will, then I’m tanking and she can do trash.” Heh. Nice try. He indeed tried to steal aggro from Even – with absolutely zero success. In fact, he kept nearly dying because even after his attempts to get aggro failed, he didn’t have the brains to get BEHIND the dragon where she wouldn’t be able to hit him as hard. We didn’t have a tank hjealer, so it was just Even and the barb on the dragon (until the party leader FINALLY convinced him to give it up, which took a while), and I wasn’t about to waste my resources hjealing him. Tossed out a few Lay on Hands, Cocoons, and scroll heals to other people who were actually helping the party, but definitely not worth giving them to the guy who was not contributing anything but attitude.

So finally, I was left alone with the dragon, as it should be. Shadows started coming up, people were going to the dark side… and NO ONE, apparently, could find the real phylactery. At this point I stopped hitting Aurgloroasa and just blocked and intim’ed, because once you get her down so far, if the phylactery still hasn’t been found, she just hjeals herself back up. (Which I’d forgotten about, and ended up inadvertantly taking her down a couple of times.)

Some party members apparently didn’t realize this, or didn’t want to take their turns going to the shadow side, because people started randomly coming over and beating on the dragon. I told them to stop. The party leader told them to stop. Two or three other people who actually seemed to have a clue told them to stop. I think some of them just REALLY didn’t want to go over to the shadow side, because that gets pretty nasty on EE – we had something like 57 deaths.

Then the trash handlers got – I don’t know what they got, but it wasn’t the trash. Even had 28 kills when we first stepped into the main room. As she was tanking, you wouldn’t expect her to get more than MAYBE half a dozen more in incidental damage. But once the trash handlers stopped handling the trash, she kinda had to do something – she had no problem dealing with Aurgloroasa on her own, but when you add a couple of casters plus six or eight or so skellies to the mix, trying to keep one’s red bar up gets harrowing. By the end, Even had 63 kills, so 35 while she was tanking… yeah, the trash handlers could’ve been a bit more on the ball. LOL

So I was getting kind of annoyed, and the real phylactery was STILL unfound… and then people started having to leave because we’d been going so long. We’d been in there more than two hours and had zero to show for it. The one thing I’m kinda proud of is that, despite getting no outside hjealing whatsoever – and without having Eternal Defender go off AT ALL, in case any of the egolitists out there were wondering – the ONLY death Even had was at the very end, when I deliberately got her killed because everyone else had left and I was getting hit too much to be able to recall.

Char, who after two ranger lives is spending her third life as a druid, is now banking level 10 after running VoN flaggers and Red Fens with Vey and Seer. She’s not too sure what kind of druid she wants to be. I’d originally planned on making her a caster type, but it’s just SOOOOO much fun to run around as a winter wolf! Ranger is where her heart is at, though, so she might just end up becoming the first of my toons to get a fourth life. That’s quite a ways off, though!

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at midnight Eastern time. I’m usually on Thelanis, usually on Evennote, and usually have room, so feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! I’m also definitely open to suggestions on what to run next. You can send ingame mail to Evennote on Thelanis, or email me at evennote (at) gmail dot com. Thanks for reading and/or watching!  🙂