Gag me with a mindflayer

It feels very strange to have so very much stuff going on in real life that Sunday’s stream was the first time I’d logged into DDO since LAST week’s broadcast.

So since I hadn’t been on in a week, I still hadn’t run Desire in the Dark, the capstone of the Update 36 quest arc. I figured, well, no guts, no glory, so I got Even, Slvr got his warlock, and we headed in on legendary elite.

If you haven’t run the quest yet, you might want to wait to read this, because serious spoiler alerts are incoming.

Lots of them.

Right after I type several lines of text.

And separate them with line feeds to give you time to get out now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Wait.

That sounded wrong.

You know what I meant.

Last chance!

So anyway…

You know what was kinda sad? Probably the toughest time Even had was against the waves of dretches down in the water after talking to the mindflayer.

OH YEAH, THE MINDFLAYER.

HE’S TOTALLY GROSS.

I MEAN, SERIOUS EW GOING ON THERE.

The guy (he? she? they? Do mindflayers have gender?) KEEPS PUKING ON YOU.

YES, I *DO* NEED TO USE ALL CAPS FOR THIS.

BECAUSE MERE WORDS CANNOT CONVEY HOW UTTERLY DISGUSTING THIS THING IS. BUT I CAN EMPHASIZE THEM FOR, Y’KNOW, EMPHASIS.

Anyway.

The dialogue in this quest is flat-out FANTASTIC. (I did feel somewhat like the puking mindflayer when I saw the following message on a debuff: “You’re skin feels very oily since you touched that gold.”

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m an editor by trade. “YOU’RE skin feels very oily?” MAKE IT STAAAAAAAHP! DDO, seriously. It should be “YOUR skin feels oily.” Unless you mean, “You are skin feels very oily,” which makes no sense and is also grammatically incorrect. Now I know why the mindflayer felt so ill.

Other than that, the NPC dialogue was nothing short of stellar. Even liked that a number of menus had paladin-specific options (now my other toons are wondering if their classes have specific options as well).

I also enjoyed all the dretches – even though they tried so VERY hard to kill me and not ONE of them said “glarb” (c’mon, DDO, with all the other great dialogue here, can’t you give the dretches some too?). And the succubi, ’cause I haven’t unlocked the art for them in my MM yet. AND THE PURPLE WORMS! Moar plz!

The mazes weren’t TOO terribly difficult, but then again I was following Slvr. Not sure how well I’d’ve fared on my own, especially since I didn’t have any Bigby’s with me. The dancing succubi, besides helping my count toward the art, were cool. Aside from the dretches, I thought most of the quest didn’t seem as difficult as I expected for legendary elite… even though I disregarded Slvr’s advice and looted a few innocuous-looking gold piles.

The end fight, though – that had some interesting moments.

Me: So this guy is apparently a huge sack of hit points, but unless he’s got tricks up his sleeve, he doesn’t look too terribly awful to fight on elite.

Slvr: HE DOES

And HE DID. Even though…

Me: He doesn’t even have sleeves! He’s wearing a tank top!

Slvr: Then his tricks are up his kilt.

Yeah. NOT going there. Regardless of where they were stashed, Graz’zt (the end boss) indeed had tricks. And Even did NOT like them, not one bit, because…

“You are afraid.”

WHAT?! Even’s a paladin! They’re immune to fear! But apparently NOT immune to being afraid. NPCs cheat! LOL

I actually liked having an end fight that was more than just whaling away on a huge stack of hit points, though. And without that little trick of his, Graz’zt would have been far too easy a fight for legendary elite. Even HE thought so – at the end, he said that the battle had been heroic, but not legendary. Dude.

The end chest yielded a Legendary Deep Demise with a +4 mythic boost for Even. I’m kinda torn on it (Slvr didn’t want it). Sere would love the +18 Int and the weapon boost, but right now I don’t have anyone who both uses daggers and needs illusion focus. Maybe Laegonn, once he TRs into a pale master and does a LOT of leveling up.

With only an hour of my usual two-ish hours used, I pondered what to do next… and then remembered that I hadn’t yet checked to see if my absolute favorite typos in the game had been fixed in the recent flurry of typo fixing. So it seemed the thing to do was to go run Tower of Despair and see if Horoth still called his Soliders of Shavarth.

I’m sorry to report that for some reason, it took us fooorrreeevvveeerrrrrrr to get through the whole raid. But I’m very happy to report that Horoth still has Soliders, and they’re still from Shavarth! Much as I usually hate typos, I’ve gotten kind of attached to this one.

I still have no idea what the Soliders are solider than, or what’s solider than a Solider, or what’s the Solidest. Nor do I know if there are Liquiders or Gassers… which totally sounded better in my head.

Streamin’ with Even is live on Thelanis every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time on the official DDOstream! The show is also hosted on my own Twitch channel, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel and/or on DDOStream’s YouTube. Feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! Thanks for reading and/or watching! 🙂

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Two rangers and a rogue walk into Tethyamar…

… and the rogue says, “OW! I hit my head! All the doors here are made for dwarves!”

Indeed, the architecture in Update 36, aka Duel in the Underdark, definitely looks as though it were designed for dwarves, by dwarves, one especially low portcullis in particular.

Vic, being elven and somewhat taller than the average dorf, had to mind her head a few times… and being somewhat squishier than Even, should have minded her red bar a bit better as well. Two days earlier, Even and the Flower Sniffers had had a relatively smooth, painless trip through the four U36 flagging quests on LE. Our gimpier toons, though, had a few struggles on LH.

Melee DPS and/or crowd control and/or better hjealing than Garret and Erytheia might have helped. Two arcane archers and a ranged trapmonkey don’t give you a lot of variety when it comes to dealing damage.

But the Flower Sniffers have never been overly concerned with how much time they spend as soulstones. Mostly we just wanted to have fun with the new quests and maybe pick up some cool new loot.

Yay for us, we did both! I’m really enjoying the new quests. Great storyline, nice variety of mobs (it’s not just dwarves and Drow), and some really cool touches. One of my favorite little extras is the appearance of the undead in your focus orb. Some of them have mushrooms sprouting from their skulls; others appear to have weapons buried in their backs (presumably how they died?).

Vic was wielding the Legendary Heavy Boltslinger Even pulled in Friday’s run. She also, much to her delight, ended up with the Mantle of the Dwarven Commander (which dropped for Slvr, but he passed it to her). And I think we’ve all now pulled at least one Stonework Beam – hope they’re still dropping that thickly when Seki starts playing more regularly in a few weeks, because that’d be great for him! Too bad they’re BtA or I’d just send him mine; I don’t have anyone who uses q-staves. You’d think with 19 toons there’d be ONE who’d want it!

There are a couple of things that could stand tweaking or more. The DM chatter in Tethyamar is a little excessive. It’s “brethren,” not “bretheren.” And there’s that one optional where the door sometimes doesn’t open after you complete it, leaving you trapped unless you have DDoor (or do what we did and complete it after you’ve finished the rest of the quest).

Oh, and there’s a totally idiotic gate/lever combo. The lever to open the gate is… BEHIND the gate. You can get to the lever with a little hand-eye coordination by jumping around the gate (as Vic does in the video), or with Cannith boots from the opposite side. But you needn’t bother, because even if you go through all that, the gate opens to – wait for it – a blank wall.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how my other toons fare in U36. We’ll be running the capstone for the stream this Sunday. I may have spots open, so if you want in, be flagged and on Thelanis!

Streamin’ with Even is live on Thelanis every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time on the official DDOstream! The show is also hosted on my own Twitch channel, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel and/or on DDOStream’s YouTube. Feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! Thanks for reading and/or watching! 🙂

Is there a dragon version of Just for Men?

Something's off with Micahrastir...

You know those “What’s wrong with this picture?” things you see around the Internet from time to time?

Here’s a DDO one for you. Can you spot what’s wrong with the above image?

I’ll give you a pretty humongous hint: Read the DM text carefully. Then take a good long look at the dragon.

I KNOW, RIGHT?!

When did Micahrastir go grey? C’mon, it says, “The great RED dragon, Micahrastir!” He’s always been red! At least, every time I’ve visited him, which is a fair number of times ’cause a) I love Underdark, and b) I once spent a lot of time farming his chests to see if I could get a red scale. (Never did, don’t know of anyone who ever has, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.)

I sifted through some old screenshots and found this one from when Reera made her first trip to Underdark, back in November of last year:

Something's off with Micahrastir...

Yep, he’s pretty darn red, and that was less than eight months ago. One must wonder just what’s happened in that short time to turn a fiery red dragon into a boring lump of blah.

Causes I considered before rejecting:

  • He got too frustrated trying to find a definition for “covfefe”
  • He’s stuck on level 59 of Crunch Time, the new Simon’s Cat game (that one took me about three dozen tries)
  • He accidentally turned his saturation all the way down

And then it occurred to me that there’s something in particular that’s got a lot of DDO players worried right now, AND up until now, we haven’t known what class Micahrastir plays…

Dude. It’s OK. The upcoming warlock nerf is a little scary, but c’mon, it shouldn’t be enough to turn you grey overnight. Buck up there.

ERMAGERD ERNDERDERK

Update 36 is coming “soon*”™. Considering that U36 is titled “Duel for the Underdark,” and that the most adorable gnomificer, like, EVER has recently leveled to 20 and finished a King’s Forest S/R/E run, it seemed only right to take Trici, the aforementioned gnomificer, on a tour of that vast realm, where darkness pervades and danger lurks at every unseen corner.

Armed with her trusty arti dog, Minni, and decked out in possibly the most boring-looking armor in all of DDO (Arcane Armor – great armor, terrible appearance), Trici and Slvr managed to get that whole vast realm explored in less than two hours, despite getting blown off Micahrastir’s perch within three seconds of getting up there.

Minni and Albus the hireling were parked there and set on attack, but the dragon eventually got the best of them, even though they were dressed far more fashionably than Trici – Minni’s got a somewhat outdated but unabashedly bright hot pink docent, while Albus has fun turquoise trim on his armor*… which reminded me that I forgot to enter the DDO fashion show. Sigh. Must stop procrastinating – I’ll work on that next week sometime.

Trici had a blast blasting away mindflayers, draegloths, and purple worms (all of which would make great cosmetic pets – just sayin’). And for a change, I had hardly any connection issues at all!

Somehow we got on the subject of player housing. Probably it was a subconscious thing, wondering where we were going to put all the pretty armors. Might also have come from a recent conversation with a friend about playing Minecraft (which I’ve never played, but would like to check out), which got me to thinking about the stuff I used to build when I played Second Life, and so on.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking that one way DDO could implement player housing would be to have small “personal” airships available for TP. No buffs or anything like that, although maybe some purchasable, upgradable storage. And decorations! The petrified dire bear in Nessaleesa’s Garden would be cool. And the Standing Stone monolith from LotRO. And the fictional stuff in this comic by DDO player Nirelle! (Does she still play? Is she still in Inferus Sus on Thelanis?) I know I’d be happy to shell out my DDO points for a beholder rug, Black Abbot coat rack, soulstone chandelier, bouncy dragon, and… Harry plushie, either virtual or literal.

So c’mon, SSG, shut up and take my money. LOL

*I didn’t notice that the title screen on the video was a closeup of Albus’ spiffy turquoise-accented armor – the part covering his, uh, torso “and such” – until after I’d already written that part. 😀

Streamin’ with Even is live on Thelanis every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time on the official DDOstream! The show is also hosted on my own Twitch channel, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel and/or on DDOStream’s YouTube. Feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! Thanks for reading and/or watching! 🙂

VoN 2 3/4

So our pre-stream Sunday night guild chat went something like this:

Me: Wow, the tablet’s cooperating, OBS is cooperating, I’ve got everything set up and ready to go, and still have plenty of time before the stream.

Comic: You know you just jinxed yourself, right?

Me: Haha, yeah, probably.

This is what I get for thinking everything was under control – after having various technical difficulties throughout the stream, the video froze an hour and 20 minutes in. I was going to chop it off after that point, but the audio continues. So if you want to listen, it’s all there; if you want to watch, you’re only going to see VoN 1 and 2 plus about 3/4 of VoN 3.

Just as it freezes, you can hear me saying something about my screen doing weird things. Those “weird things” involved flashing a few times. No idea what happened there. It may have been something to do with my lousy connection – if you watch the little box in the upper right corner, you’ll see it go to yellow a fair few times. Or maybe it was my video card, which was VERY unhappy; the fan kept kicking into Super Ultra High Gear.

Unfortunately I didn’t realize what had happened until someone brought it up in Twitch chat when we were nearly through Haywire Foundry. I had to reboot DDO after The Prisoner, but it was working fine once I signed back on… at least until it, y’know, wasn’t. We’re a bit shy of the beholder area when it goes out.

So you’ll just have to take my word for it that Comic and I were one-shotting mobs left and right with 200K damage rolls and 500K crits. Yep. That really happened. Uh-huh. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

I was actually hoping to pull a Seal of the Sword of Shadow, but – spoiler alert – I didn’t get one. Comic definitely expanded his scroll collection, though! And I don’t think I got too loopy (for me, anyway…); having a bit of a fibromyalgia flare-up after a busy weekend and took a muscle relaxant, which helps but makes me spaced out and groggy for a good 24-36 hours.

If you’ve been to OurDDO since Saturday-ish, you might have noticed that the icons look different, and not in a good way. Back when I still used a free server for it, I stored all my graphics on Photobucket so I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of storage.

Apparently Photobucket, with no notice (or at least none that I ever saw), has changed its policy and no longer allows linking from free accounts. So all of the icons now have a Photobucket message that says, “PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT TO ENABLE 3RD PARTY HOSTING.”

This did not make me happy, but I thought, well, I’ll see how much it is, maybe I’ll just pony up and get it over with.

Nope. Not gonna happen. If you want third-party hosting from your Photobucket, it’ll set you back $39.99…

A MONTH.

Sorry not sorry, I’m not paying $480 a year to be able to link a few dozen icons. So in the near future, I’ll be moving the OurDDO icons to my own server space. They’re icons; it’s not like they’re going to eat up a lot of storage, and I bumped the account up to premium anyway so it’s got scads of space now. Hopefully I’ll get around to that sometime this week. Sucks that Photobucket adds long random character strings to all your filenames; if not for that, I could just do a quick bulk upload and then search/replace the base URL. Wonder if those strings were implemented to try to keep people from doing that?

Oddly enough, the images on this blog that are linked from Photobucket are still working.

It’s been suggested to me, more than once, that I do some kind of fundraising to cover the cost (not specifically the Photobucket thing, but OurDDO in general), but… meh. No one asked me to put OurDDO together (well, OK, back when MyDDO was being taken down, people asked, but I was already in the process of doing it anyway). I used free servers for it for the first couple of years, and it’s really not that expensive for the account I have now. Plus, it was my choice to upgrade the account to premium. It would be, at best, not at all fair to ask my readers and/or viewers (all, what, two of you? ;)) to foot the bill. At worst, it would be… something I probably shouldn’t say if I want to keep this PG-13-ish. Suffice to say I will never be lazy or ignorant enough to beg people to bankroll any aspect of my DDO experience. 🙂

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time on the official DDOstream! The show is also hosted on my own Twitch channel, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel and/or on DDOStream’s YouTube. I’m usually on Thelanis, usually/often/sometimes 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! 🙂