The wonder of it all

This one’s been a long time coming. And it was TOTALLY worth the wait.

For probably a year or more now, the mighty Flower Sniffers of Destiny have been trying to get all of us on at the same time to have a wonder pot party – step into Chrono or Tempest’s Spine, pass a stack or two of Potions of Wonder to everybody, and start chugging.

The trouble’s been getting us all online at the same time. Shin, Slvr, Seki and I are on Eastern time. Citi’s Central time zone, Comic and Mizz are Pacific, and Keava’s in Australia. Plus Shin works about a bazillion jobs, Seki works a lot of hours, Mizz almost never signs on, and we all have lives, whether we admit it or not.

We still haven’t gotten ALL of us on at the same time, but Acanthia’s stash of wonder pots has grown so much that I had enough to have a slightly smaller version of our planned guild wonder pot party and still have enough left over for that happy day when we actually do manage to get us all online at once.

Seki suggested a run through Dead Girl’s Spellbook – just go in, start chugging, and see if we could make it through the quest in the alloted time.

It was a great choice. There were lots of nooks and crannies and even underwater parts for me to get lost in, which I’ve been told is entertaining stream material, haha. But even more – OH THOSE WONDER POTS!

I Energy Drained myself to death a couple of times, and we had plenty of Shroud blades appear to take us out as well. Plus pumpkin heads, ham, water breathing… the list goes on.

Slvr and Seki and I were partway through when Puffgranny made the transition from Twitch chatter to party member and joined us. Citi showed up later, and we did a bit of Delera’s before Seki and Citi had to log. We still had wonder pots left, and Mr. Puffgranny showed up as well as we wrapped up the livestream with a hilarious romp through the Pit, which is a pretty awesome place to drink wonder pots.

I actually haven’t watched the video yet, but I gotta remember to do that; in Dead Girl’s Spellbook, I’d swear there was a treasure bag that disappeared as I was running toward it, and in Delera’s, Slvr was about to disable a trap when the box – which he’d already found – vanished as well. Not sure if wonder pots can do that or if it was something else.

I always enjoy livestreaming, but I think that may be my very favorite show to date. And we actually did really well, considering two of us were only level five! I don’t think we had any “legit” deaths at all, but our wonder pot death count was rather impressive. LOL

I was lucky enough to be a guest on a very fun and informative DDOCast this past week. The topic was getting the most out of your UI (user interface). Not sure how helpful I was – my hotbars are infamously a mess – but Patrick and Cordovan had some really great tips! You can give it a listen here! 🙂

If you use OurDDO, you’ve no doubt noticed that it’s changed a lot in the last week or so. Some changes are for the better, like how it now has ALL recent posts from ALL blogs instead of just the most recent post for each blog. Some are… less desirable. Luckily that’s mostly cosmetic stuff, and I’m working on that.

It’s gonna change more in the near future. I contacted the support department of the hosting company about some stuff, and, well, let’s just say they were exceptionally NOT helpful – basically got, “Well, we can’t do that on a paid account, but you can delete that account and make a new free one” – um, WHAT?!

I’ll be porting it to a new site within the next couple of days – want to do it before my billing date, because after talking to “support,” definitely not chuffed about giving them any more of my money. I’m hoping to have the new site up and running before the old site goes kaput. Whatever happens, I’ll make sure all the info on the blog and Twitter and such!

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!  🙂

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A change of scenery

Vale splash screen

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far – wait. Wrong realm.

It WAS a fairly long time ago when, inspired by Geoff Hanna‘s post “How To Make Your Own DDO Splashscreen“, I decided to – well, make my own DDO splash screens.

I take an alarming number of DDO screenshots, so finding material was easy. And I really liked seeing my own images when I zoned into some areas rather than the default DDO screens. You can see my first splash screens in this post.

But over the last few weeks/months, I’ve noticed that the places where my own splash screens used to show up are now showing the DDO ones again. This is bound to happen from time to time, as DDO cycles through new screens due to updates and the like.

I have nothing against the default DDO screens. Some of them are REALLY nice. But I’d rather have my own to look at when I’m zoning. Not everywhere – many areas have screens that are hard-wired, so to speak, into the DDO code and therefore can’t be changed. But there are 10 zoning screens and a logging-in splash screen that are stored on your hard drive; all you need to do is replace those with images of your choice. Geoff’s post linked above has all the technical info you need.

You’re more than welcome to use mine if you want to, of course! A small version of my login splash screen is above; the other 10 screens I’m currently using follow. Just click the image(s) you want to download their full-size versions. Enjoy! 🙂

  Storm HornsDretch

  Dragon vs. mindflayerCalico tressym

  AirshipFire eles

  Demon LordStormreaver

  Market bridgeCrystals

Mission accomplished

Alternate title: “How NOT to run Abbot and win anyway.”

If you read last week’s blog or watched last week’s stream, you saw us have a great time totally failing at Abbot.

So for the past seven days, I’ve done what Allen Iverson hates to do: PRACTICE. (It’s a sports reference.)

And practice, and practice, and practice. Because honestly, considering that I almost never run Abbot because I hate it so much, it’s kinda miraculous we got as far as we did last week, when I seriously considered asking if we could change the guild name to “Flower Soulstones of Destiny.”

In all that practice, I managed to successfully solo each of the Abbot puzzles. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to solo them all in the same run. I also managed to die. A lot. And I spent a heck of a lot of time being encased.

Since what I was doing wasn’t working, I made a few changes. I switched from Unyielding Sentinel to Exalted Angel, partly for Leap of Faith (always handy in tiles) and mostly for Reborn in Light (always handy, period). I dug Even’s Shield of Reflecting out of her TR cache because someone told me its “immunity to petrification” feature would prevent the Abbot from being able to encase me (he lied).

But no matter what I tried, one fact remained: Tiles don’t care how good you are. If you’re soloing, and therefore blind running, it’s all about luck.

Luckily for me, Seki showed up just in the nick of time tonight. YAY, no having to solo tiles! Someone else to help throw roids! And lots and lots of light damage to help take the Abbot out faster! (And the trash too – seriously, Seki totally annihilated me in the kill count!)

As it turned out, both of us kinda sucked at guiding each other through tiles, but turned out dying a lot was a GOOD thing, because when push finally came to shove, we each happened to have the goggles we needed in our possessions, so neither of us had to blind run.

And that’s when we finally let ourselves start thinking that hey, we might actually DO THIS!

It was Seki’s first-ever successful Abbot completion; as he said, an accomplishment 10 years in the making, and I think only Even’s second of this life – which would probably be her second ever, because I don’t THINK I ever flagged her in either of her first two lives.

Aside from blind-running tiles, the biggest problem Even’s had in Abbot by far is getting encased and then having the Abbot call Inferno.

One thing that’s saved her butt is Eternal Defender, the capstone core enhancement in the Sacred Defender tree: “Toggle: While Eternal Defender is active, if you drop below 0 hit points but are not killed, two uses of Turn Undead are immediately expended and you receive a reactive heal for 250 points of Positive Energy healing.”

With Even’s range of unconsciousness at 85, and with her rather respectable heal amp, which affects reactive heal, Eternal Defender can often keep her alive when she’s encased and in flames. There’s just one little bug; it does NOT take any turns away when it kicks in.

In last night’s run, Eternal Defender kicked in seven times, assuming I counted right. Trying to keep track of stuff like that is really hard when you’re doing a lot of intense fighting, but I think that count’s pretty accurate. Even has 24 uses of Turn Undead, so – assuming I didn’t turn any undead (I didn’t) or use any abilities that take her turns (I think I used Divine Might once or twice), that would give me 12 Eternal Defender kick-ins before I was in *ahem* questionable territory.

Seven < 12, so it's all good. Seven is also Even's new record for Eternal Defenders in a single quest; her old one was five. I sincerely doubt anyone seriously uses it to cheat; if it's kicking in that much, your luck's gonna run out sooner or later!

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!  🙂

Ice ice, roids roids, baby

Yeah. THIS happened. 😀

I’m sure many others have done it earlier and better, but Abbot roids have always been a particular thorn in my side because I. Freaking. HATE. Mouselook. So I really didn’t think I’d ever be able to get through roids solo, considering I can barely get through them with a decent group.

But hey, persistence pays off! Pally Even easily solos ice and has, by sheer dumb luck, successfully blind-run tiles. If I can manage to string both of those together with roids, that elusive solo Abbot may be added to my collection someday “soon*.

And because someone asked me this the other day – NO, I will NOT use alt accounts to “solo” anything. Even if I had any alt account toons who were flagged, which I don’t. To me, “solo a quest” means “solo a quest.” If I use alts, hirelings, re-entries, rez cakes, etc., I’ve “run a quest,” not “soloed a quest.”

So. One video of soloing ice and roids in Abbot!

Potentially interesting note: If you use up the stack of boulders in your hand during roids, even if you have another stack in your inventory, you may find yourself suddenly wielding bottled tornadoes, bottled heals, or pumpkin grenades (I’m guessing skull grenades would be the same; possibly also sun flasks) should you possess such things. It would be totally worth failing Abbot to pitch a pumpkin grenade at an asteroid and have the roid turn into a pumpkin.

Be vewwy, vewwy quiet…

… we’re hunting (w)Abbots!

The past week saw Vic finally – FINALLY! complete her sigil and then, along with Seki and Slvr, do the required four Litany runs to finish flagging for Abbot, aka Ascension Chamber.

Vic’s not great against undead, though. And she got killed really fast trying to make it through the poison water in the ice puzzle while she was doing solo puzzle practice. AND of the very few Flower Sniffers who’ve completed flagging, Seki and I were the only ones who made it on for Sunday’s show.

So Vic stayed on the airship polishing some silver she’d stolen – she’s a rogue, after all – while Even buffed up for what turned out to be a most entertaining night with Seki and later Slvr along with some random PuGgers and folks from Twitch chat.

For me, the most notable thing about the evening was that for the first time ever, I did tiles during an actual completion attempt. I’ve done them in practice runs a few time, but never “live.” Our one random PuGger didn’t know how tiles worked and I wasn’t having much luck explaining where he needed to go, so I decided to just make a stab at blind running…

AND IT WORKED!

I KNOW, RIGHT?!

And it’s on video! Incontrovertible proof!

Sadly, while I was watching the other side to try to find the pattern, our other guy slipped off the side onto a spot with no tile and plummeted to death. There was nothing for Even to do at that point but go back and jump off the edge herself so she’d get back to the main room, use her Jibbers, and raise Seki so he could get the other guy up and then rez Even once the Jibbers effect wore off.

I think if it hadn’t been for that misstep, we might’ve been able to pull it off. Even had no trouble soloing ice in a subsequent run, and with three of us, we’d probably have had a fair shot at completing roids. Who knows, maybe we’ll try Abbot again for next week’s show!

Our PuGger departed after that first failed run, but Seki and I had a lot of fun trying again. And then he got the brilliant idea that we should try to solo Mark of Death… at which point my computer decided to shut itself off (it does this on occasion – it’s temperamental like that).

So there are actually two videos from Sunday’s show: a short-ish one of our heroic Abbot attempts, and a much longer one of Seki and I attempting to duo Mark of Death, and then Even running EE Devil Assault while a bunch of friends pike* in the main room. Alas, had a few technical difficulties with the longer vid, but I’ll plug it in here as soon as those are resolved. Technical difficulties are resolved. Yay! 😀

* – They THOUGHT they were going to be piking, but a couple of devils teleported through the door!

If you use OurDDO, you’ve probably noticed that it’s been having some issues lately. The script that pulls in the feeds is no longer pulling in the feeds. Couldn’t figure out why at first; I haven’t changed a thing. So I tried re-uploading everything (even remembered to change the year to 2017 when I did) – still nothing.

Turns out Google Feeds API, which powers the scripts I use, has been retired. I have new (and hopefully improved) scripts, but it’ll take me a bit to get everything re-coded, tested, and re-uploaded. OurDDO WILL be back, though – have no fear!

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!  🙂

Filkin’ Around: Black Abbot

Maybe I should stop listening to that binaural beats/lucid dreams stuff to fall asleep. It actually works pretty well… but the resulting dreams can be a bit, well, strange.

Sunday’s livestream featured semi-gimpy rogue Vic discovering anew just how VERY badly she sucks against undead as she tried to get herself flagged for Abbot along with LrdSlvrhnd and later Retsans (and even a bit of Citi thrown in for good measure).

Orchard was kinda sobering for Vic. When I say she sucks against undead, I mean she really, REALLY sucks. Badly. She’s 30, running level 14 quests on heroic elite, and struggling with stat damage and neg levels. Not pretty, and far from the generally-very-capable-even-if-she’s-no-Even Vic I’m used to.

She’s still never finished the heroic Orchard wildy, and I’m pretty sure she’d never run any of the quests on heroic, either. So she had nary a sigil piece to her name. Fleshmaker’s was pretty easy. Ghosts, mostly the same, until we got to Cholthulzz… and Vic, who almost never uses featherfall, beat Slvr down the falls by a wide margin, making her the sole target of ol’ Cholty’s wrath and resulting in her spending much of the end fight sequence completely helpless thanks to her 0 Con score. Yeah. Stat damage sucks. Would’ve been embarrassing if she’d died. LOL

Slvr was already spouting a good deal of maggro (mephit aggro) even before Vic headed to Orchard, because he’d been soloing Inferno on another toon and was somewhat more than heartily sick of trying to chivvy the right mephits to the right places. He’d already informed me in no uncertain terms that he was NOT going to run another Inferno… but luckily for me, Retsans took pity on me, Slvr ended up staying, Citi logged in, and we had actually a fairly enjoyable run.

We followed that up with several sigil-piece-farming runs of Vol. Poor Vic. I think now she’s got at least two or three of every sigil EXCEPT #5, the center frame. Luckily it can drop in any quest. Unluckily, that probably means a lot of Vol farming and neg levels from the quells.

I’m probably going to be doing a lot of heroic Orchard runs, because as much as I really do still hate Abbot, I seem to hate it just a little less every time I run it, and now I’m actually kind of hoping to get us all flagged and run it for guild night. Even’s the only toon I have who’s flagged, and until recently, she hadn’t even run it this life. You’d think with 19 toons on Thelanis, only two of whom are below level 16, I’d have flagged at least a few more… but no, they’ve all led blissfully Abbot-free lives so far. Acanthia did run the occasional Abbot during her first life, but has yet to flag in this one.

But anyway, about those binaural beats and isochronic tones and lucid dreams meditation audio files… I was sort of half waking up very early this morning, and somehow I started hearing Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in my head, and I kinda felt like I’d been having a weird dream about Abbot flagging, so I donned my filk tiara (which was actually my prize for having the highest word count in my region for 2016 NaNoWriMo), and came up with “Black Abbot.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the original – first, shame on you! Luckily, I try to always link the sources of my inspirations, so here you go. For those who like to sing along, I used Karafun’s karaoke version in my video.

I was lucky enough to see Starship perform “White Rabbit” live, oh, many years ago. Grace Slick sounded even better live than she did recorded, and Mickey Thomas played a couple of riffs with his teeth. The next day, as my friends and I were leaving the hotel, we saw a guy walking across the parking lot and singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” at the top of his lungs. He walked right over a parked car, grinned and said “good morning” to us… and then we realized we’d just met (kinda) Mickey Thomas. Good times!

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!  🙂

How to win Christmas

DRETCH MUG!

I really don’t want to start off 2017 by missing my first weekly blog post, but I didn’t livestream last night and haven’t even been on DDO since… Thursday, I think? I’m such a slacker!

I do have not one, but TWO year-in-review-ish posts in the works, but they both have associated videos that aren’t quite done yet, and I’ve had a fantastic but busy weekend and am feeling somewhat lazeh right now.

But I *do* have…

A MUG WITH A DRETCH ON IT.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!

Best. Christmas. Present. EVER. *beam*

Streamin’ with Even returns LIVE this Sunday, Jan. 8! The show airs every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time, now on the official DDOstream! It’ll 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!  🙂