Oh, 2016, you heartless witch

Even and Victoria

Wow. 2016, huh? Why does this have to be a leap year and make us suffer through one extra day?

Even aside from all the celebrity deaths, this year has seen both of my parents suffer severe health problems, leaving me to mostly take over dealing with my mother (who’s already driven both of my brothers away). And in just the last month, I lost both of my 14-year-old kitties, about two weeks apart. I got my first cat when I was five and since then have never been without at least one until now; it’s the first time since I was maybe two or three that I have no pets of any kind.

I’ve had one really good thing come out of 2016, and a couple of minor things. But overall, it sure has been a tough year.

Just two nights ago, Abs and I were talking about all the celebrity deaths, and I remember saying that 2016 better not take Carrie Fisher (who was at the time reported to be in stable condition after a heart attack).

“She’ll be OK,” Abs said. “The Force is strong with this one.”

I guess it wasn’t quite strong enough.

Carrie Fisher was a remarkable person, and I admire her for being brave enough to share her own struggles with mental illness and to fight so hard for others affected. I’ve battled depression most of my life, and it’s always seemed like something I should hide, be ashamed of. Carrie’s openness about her own issues helped me feel like I’m OK and not alone.

But the one thing I will always remember her for is the very first Star Wars movie. Her character, Princess Leia, has been found and captured by the stormtroopers, who hustle her immediately to Darth Vader.

Vader’s scary enough all by himself. And she’s surrounded by a bevy of heavily-armed stormtroopers. I remember watching and being terrified for Leia. I thought she would cry, or faint, or beg.

Nope. She stood right up to Vader, stormtroopers and all, with jutting chin and flashing eyes and even a bit of snarky humor.

And I sat there thinking, “WOW. Look at her! She’s not even afraid!”

Up until that point, I’m pretty sure I’d never seen a truly strong female character in any movie. Carrie’s Princess Leia was a revelation.

Probably seems like a little thing, but it was something that stuck in my memory, something to hang on to when the people in my life turned on me.

Acanthia and Callie

On the bright side, Even added a solo heroic elite Tempest’s Spine to her solo raid repertoire. Yes, really and truly solo, not using multiple accounts and re-entries and all that; if I say one of my toons soloed something, I MEAN that toon actually SOLOED it. Honesty, y’know? Anyway. I was looking through her compendium and laughing at all the low-level quests she still hasn’t run this life since, being PDK, she started at level 15… and realized she’d never run heroic TS AT ALL.

I somehow missed one rune but got ol’ Sor’Jek down to about 50% anyway before he blew me off the mountain. Picked up the missing rune on my way back through, and from then on, taking him down was a piece of cake.

And how about a happy accident? Logged on last night and there were no other Flower Sniffers online yet. So I was browsing the social panel, and accidentally clicked on an LFM from someone trying to farm a Bonebreaker from Palace of Stone.

“Oops,” I said, “didn’t mean to click that…” And then I thought, what the heck, I’m not really doing anything anyway.

So I stayed, and we had a couple other people join. Did one run each on epic normal/hard/elite, then decided to do one more run on EH. And in that last run, the Bonebreaker FINALLY dropped for the guy (or girl, or non-binary – don’t know for sure). Best misclick ever!

And thank you, Standing Stone, for finally correcting the “animted” mudballs to “animated” ones. That one bugged me just about as much as “an” planar shard. LOL

I was thinking about a year-in-review post and managed to come up with two ideas. Couldn’t decide between them, so I’ll be doing them both. They’re both filks, but entirely different from each other.

Shadowhunters

We Flower Sniffers really don’t ever NEED an excuse to run Tower of Despair. But if we’re offered one, we’ll gladly take it.

Slvr wanted to try shadow tanking on his bard, so we grabbed Comic and Abs and headed out to Amrath to rescue Harry from his hellish prison. Sadie happened along while we were in process and hopped into party to pike a completion.

Of course, once Horoth and Sully were down and everybody’d looted and picked up their underwhelming end rewards, the question was, “What next?” It seemed like a good night to run around in the Subterrane, leading us to Vision of Destruction and heroic Hound of Xoriat.

Prior to last night, Even had either the tanky bracers or the tanky shield, but not both. I couldn’t remember which one she had and which she lacked, but they both dropped and no one else wanted them, so now she has ’em both (and an extra of whichever one she already had, which I’ve been too lazy to check so far). Those will definitely be nice for future tank lives!

Comic doesn’t do much raiding, which turned out to be kind of cool. It’s not often we get a chance to run one of our old standby raids and see it through new eyes. I think everyone passed him their named items and Shavarath trophies from ToD. He did a great job throughout all three raids, which were a lot of fun.

Once the stream was done, I was going to go to bed… but Abs kept being all SHROUD SHROUD SHROUD, and I noticed the other day that Reera is flagged but – at level 24 – still hadn’t run it. I couldn’t allow that to continue! So now she’s got her first completion plus a regular and greater Shard of Power (no supremes dropped, sadly).

If you think getting to 24 without running Shroud is pathetic… I have no idea how long Acanthia’s been flagged this life, but it’s been a WHILE. I’ve been LOVING the changes to monks; she’s maybe a bit more squishy than before, but her DPS has gone up exponentially. So the other night I decided to try to solo Shroud on her. Went absolutely beautifully, even got all four rednames in Phase 2 down on the second try. Looted, recalled, and noticed I had mail… she had Turbine points for passing another favor mark. Checked her quest completions, and sure enough, that was her first Shroud of this life… and she’s 30. Oops!

*A* Planar Shard!

Sunday was the first I’d run anything in Sub-T since the last update, or at least the first time since then that I’d had any t-bags drop. So, notice anything missing in the screenie above?

Not so very long ago, if you got a Sub-T t-bag, you also got a message: “You obtain an Planar Shard.”

Seriously?! AN Planar Shard? That typo always drove me nuts. So I was both surprised and delighted to see that it’s been fixed!

Checked out DDOCast lately? I was honored to be a guest on the Dec. 11 debate episode, and on the “year in review” episode recorded – well, just before I started working on this post. LOL

You can always count on Patrick for interesting guests, thought-provoking topics, and good times all around!

Next Sunday (Jan. 1), there will NOT be a show. Streamin’ with Even will return in its regular Sunday, 11 pm Eastern time slot on Sunday, Jan. 8.

There will still most likely be a blog post next Monday. Maybe a New Year’s post, possibly something along the lines of this week’s A Visit from Sir Picks-a-Lot… possibly something completely different.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time, now on the official DDOstream! The show will still be hosted on my own Twitch channel as well, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel. 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! Β πŸ™‚

A Visit From Sir Picks-A-Lot

was the night before Festivult,Β and high o’er the realm

The airship cruised onward, NPC at its helm.
Our Cannith boots lay on the floor, all in pairs
So jumbled, but we were too tired to care.
From the legacy buffs on up to the top deck
Not one single gift had been opened, not yet.
And the bards with their songs, and the air sorc who zapped
Settled in while the barb dreamed of things that go splat.
When out through the porthole we spied something flashing
That couldn’t be good – we didn’t want to be crashing.
Up, up to the helm I, the paladin, did dash
“If there’s trouble,” I thought, “that’s why I’ve got shield bash.”
The deck was quite slippery, and rightfully so
For the sky had just opened and started to snow.
I rubbed at my eyes – through the flakes did I peer
At a miniature rogue, with a voice loud and clear.
He was little, so tiny, in some gear that he’d nicked
I knew in a moment he must be a… trick.
He seemed to be dreaming, and showed him no shame
As he sleep-called his fantasies, called them by name.
“Oi, Cellimas! Malicia! And you Tidy lasses
“Lift up them skirts and show me yer… stashes!
“From your tops to your skirts, to your waistlines so small
“Now come to me, come to me, come to me, all!”
But the women he called appeared not from the sky
For they were but figments of a mind far from dry.
So onto the deck he spilled, yes, it’s true
With a pack full of trap parts, and some thieves’ tools, too.
Now wide awake, he seemed quite uncouth
And rather a pervert, to tell you the truth.
As I shook my poor head, I started to frown
For he looked like he wanted to shake the ship down.
He glanced all around, as though casing the joint
I told him to leave, but he quite missed the point.
His belt buckle gleamed on a strap of jet black
It was obvious, clearly, that he’d stolen that.
His bag – how it bulged! Almost too much to carry
I’d met him before; it seemed he never varied.
From his thin little mouth his excuses did flow
“Just borrowed,” he swore, “this ain’t stuff that I stole!”
He asked for a drink, and said he was beat
And as soon as I turned, stole the barkeep’s best meat.
I spun him to face me, this sly little fellow
Then fearing my wrath, he started to bellow.
“Jus’ wanted a nosh, y’know, for my health!
“C’mon, you can spare it, this ship reeks of wealth!”
He winked his right eye and nodded his head
And I wished he would leave, as I wanted my bed.
He locked me in the Danger Room before setting to work
And cleaned out every guild chest, that greedy little jerk.
He drank all our broccoli juice, and then picked his nose
I looked away then, because that was quite gross.
He loaded his pockets with all of our treasure
He even stole our bard songs, yes, every measure.
And I heard him exclaim, ere he vanished from sight,
“Happy Festivult to me! Oi, what a great night!”

Oh, that’s just cold!

I’m talking about the weather, of course! Here in north central Pennsylvania, the weather is very cold indeed, and full of nasty things like snow, ice, and people who don’t know how to drive in either one.

Cold and snow make me think of Storm Horns. I wasn’t sure how many Flower Sniffers would make it online for Sunday night’s stream, and I’d done an EE raid train (MoD, DoJ, Shroud, HoX) the night before, and I wanted to keep things under two hours because I had to get up early, so I opted for EH What Goes Up.

Slvr showed up with his warlock, and we had a really rather easy jaunt, even the part with the horrible pink blinding Lagmo Bismol. In hindsight, we probably could/should have done EE, and likely would have been able to get the completion within my two-hour timeframe.

But having nearly an hour and a half to spare wasn’t a bad thing, because we had plenty of time for an EE Devil Assault. CMorrigu made the transition from Twitch chatter to party member on a bladeforged pally. Yay paladins! Even combined, we couldn’t hold a candle to Slvr’s warlock in the kill count, but c’mon, that just shows who hit stuff last the most.

Besides, Slvr is on the naughty list. For the last couple of years, I’ve had to endure him bragging – sorry, gloating, to use his word – about his homemade party mix, which to hear him tell it is equivalent to the nectar of the gods. Not only does he brag/gloat about how good it is, he also sends it out to SOME of his friends. However, I have yet to get even a nibble of the stuff. Please feel free to leave a comment telling Slvr to either send me a damn bag of it, or stop talking about it in my presence! LOL

We had some great people in Twitch chat once again! Among topics of discussion were “Soylent Green,” the awesomeness of paladin tanks, and exactly what “chuffed” means. Any Brits want to weigh in on this? If you’re chuffed about something, does it mean you’re happy or unhappy about it? I’ve heard it both ways.

Depending on the outcome of the “chuffed” definition request, we were either very chuffed or very unchuffed with our loot. The only thing of note that dropped in either quest were the Goatskin Boots Slvr pulled in WGU – pretty underwhelming. Good thing we do this for the fun and not the treasure!

Love DDO? Well, I hope so since you’re reading this! Massively Overpowered is looking for the Most Underrated MMO of 2016. Show your support for DDO by voting here! You’ll have to scroll down a bit; Dungeons & Dragons Online is near the end of the list.

As of the time of this post, DDO has a decent lead over Massively staff pick Final Fantasy XIV. Make sure you vote and help DDO come out on top!

If you’re a Forgotten Realms fan, you might want to check out this contest, featuring trivia about Ed Greenwood’s novels (Greenwood, in case you didn’t know, is the original creator of the Forgotten Realms – and also the guy who narrates Haunted Halls of Eveningstar). E-mail your answers to Jeff Thetford – his address is at the top of the question list – and you could be one of 20 winners picked to receive Ed’s latest Mirt tale! You can also check out TheEdVerse on Facebook for more info.

Program note: There WILL be a Christmas night stream on Sunday, Dec. 25. However, there will most likely NOT be a New Year’s Night stream on Sunday, Jan. 1, so that Even can spend Quality Time With a Guy. πŸ˜‰

The Christmas night stream is tentatively slated to feature Even and LrdSlvrhnd duoing Tower of Despair so that Slvr can tank shadows without having anyone deliberately try to steal aggro. ToD is likely to be followed by some combination of Shroud, Chrono, VoD, HoX, and/or FoT.

And don’t tell Slvr, but if he’s still bragging/gloating about party mix and still not sending ME any, he might be wrong about Even not deliberately stealing aggro from him. Just sayin’. πŸ˜€

Last but certainly not least, congratulations and best wishes to the DDO team as they make the move from Turbine to Standing Stone Games! As far as I can tell, things should continue as usual from the players’ standpoint, although I guess now we won’t be able to say, “Because Turbine” about stuff that doesn’t make sense to us.

I think this will be a great thing for DDO. I can’t imagine a company investing in a game if they didn’t intend to keep it around for a while, and with Turbine rumored to be focusing more on mobile games, the move might be just what DDO needs.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time, now on the official DDOstream! Assuming I did everything correctly, the show will still be hosted on my own Twitch channel as well, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel. 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! Β πŸ™‚

Lost and found in ADQ

Leave it to me to be all noob on video…

If you read last week’s blog, you might have noticed a hint about possible changes coming to my Sunday night livestream. There was just one small hiccup at the start of the show… a couple of people told me I wasn’t streaming. I said that I was. Turns out we were both right – I was streaming, but I’d forgotten to change the stream key from my own to the DDOStream one.

I followed that up by boldly asserting that I knew the way to ADQ part 1… and then forgetting which pathway I took at the beginning. But this is what guildies are for, and fortunately I had Seki and Slvr to get me pointed in the right direction.

Once those little glitches were over, things went really quite well as we three-manned EH ADQ 1, EE ADQ 2, and just for fun, heroic elite Shroud. (Harry needed a hug.) Three smooth completions seemed kind of at odds with several wonderings of, “What could possibly go wrong?” and “What’s the worst that could happen?” – both of which generally lead to disaster.

It was great to have a lively chat session going on! Even the parts about “nice finger” and “grabbing Elminster’s thingie…” πŸ˜‰

With lots of real-life stuff going on, I didn’t realize until mid-Shroud, when someone in Twitch chat asked, “Is this game good?” that my sixth DDO-versary was December 8. So yes, I’d say this game is VERY good – I wouldn’t still be here and so involved if I didn’t think so!

Maybe I should do a belated show to celebrate and run some of my favorite quests… and/or get all the Sniffers on for our long-planned-but-still-not-happened wonder pot party. evil grin

Once again, DDO made for a great distraction. After losing my kitty Callie the day after Thanksgiving, my other girl, Victoria, took a sudden turn for the worse Friday night. She was in pretty rough shape Sunday, and as much as I wanted to be with her, I needed a little break, and I think she did too. Good times with guildies were a welcome respite.

Victoria fought hard and somehow managed to keep going until Monday morning, when she made her final trip to the vet. I swear she made herself hang on because she knew how much I was going to miss her. This is the first time since I was five that I haven’t had a cat; it’s already beastly hard.

The times, they are a-changin’! Streamin’ with Even is still live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time, but you can now find me on the official DDOstream! I KNOW, RIGHT?! Assuming I did everything correctly, the show will still be hosted on my own Twitch channel as well, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel. 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! Β πŸ™‚

How to train your dracolich

I knew at least a few Flower Sniffers weren’t going to be able to make it for last night’s livestream, so I was originally planning on running F2P alt Genn to get her some XP and maybe some favor – she’s 49 TP shy of being able to buy Vale while it’s on sale.

But I logged Even in first to check mail and such, and nearly instantly got a Deathwyrm party invite from Abs. That sounded pretty good, so I stuck around a bit and hoped we’d fill in time for the stream.

It was close… but we made it about 30 seconds before I was about to log Even off and get Genn. Abs uncharacteristically let Even keep Callie, her calico tressym, out (generally he doesn’t allow pets in his groups), and also uncharacteristically didn’t mind being on the stream. Even better, he assigned her to tank Aurgloroasa. Win!

You should watch the video above for two main reasons: 1, it is documented proof that I MADE IT THROUGH THE TRICKY JUMPING PART! And 2, because you get to hear me talk like a kobold to Aurgloroasa. I mean, c’mon, if THAT doesn’t grab her aggro, NOTHING will. I also may have called and whistled to her as if she were a puppy…

I would’ve liked to have done EE, but our EH run went very well. Biggest problem Even had was getting tail-whipped all over the place by Ms. Dracolich, which just meant that she spent a lot of time flat on her back (because she was KNOCKED DOWN, you pervs!).

I still had plenty of streaming time left, so I decided to get Genn and run Stormcleave when Deathwyrm was done. The bad news: I pushed “Start recording” instead of “Start streaming,” so it wasn’t streamed. The good news: Since I did push “Start recording,” I still have a video record of it.

Not that it was anything amazing, and Slvr’s ranger annihilated Genn in the kill count (by the time she ran up to stuff, he’d already shot it dead), but I was sort of proud that my gimpy little F2P rogue survived two-manning (plus our healer hires) elite at level, and had no trouble opening the locked chests. Plus she’s adorable, so it’s always nice to get her on the stream.

I didn’t livestream the LH Shroud PuG I joined tonight… and I’m kinda glad, because something embarrassing happened. For the first time EVER, Even died on LH. She was working on her circle puzzle – got the pattern that always had ONE rune unlit no matter what I did. Hadn’t even been at it that long when all of a sudden the Prismatic Wall of Death was in the room with her. Boom! Dead paladin. Had to double-check that we weren’t on elite, because I’ve NEVER seen the wall come up that fast on hard.

But she used her Jack Jibbers blade to bring herself back to life, quickly finished her puzzle, and made it to the fountain before her 60 seconds of life (or is it “unlife?”) as a zombie were up. This was also a first; she’s killed herself on purpose just to use the blade before, but until tonight, had never had a chance to use it for a non-intentional death. So… yay?

Reera the swashbuckler is up to level 23 and just finished flagging for Caught in the Web. I also keep forgetting that I never finished flagging her for heroic Shroud – really need to do that one of these days. Seldom-played fighter Thangerie, who hit 20 months ago and really hasn’t done anything else, got out of the mothballs this past week and did S/R/E tours of King’s Forest and Underdark. I’m not sure why I don’t play her more; I had a lot of fun with her. I’d like to beef her saves up a bit – she’s rather susceptible to dancy balls, holds, and Greater Command – but her DPS surprised me, especially since she’s still mostly wearing the ML 15 PDk starter gear.

And… there may or may not be a change coming to my livestream beginning next week. Not gonna say too much, don’t want to jinx it – but it’s a good thing, and something that’s been a looooong time in coming. I am not going to count on anything until/unless it actually happens, and until/unless I feel confident that it’s not going to happen for, say, a week or two, and then have someone be all, “Uh, no, forget it” again, ’cause once was enough for THAT. So. We’ll see…

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel. 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! Β πŸ™‚