Three hundred and seventy-seven days later…

Even checks out her favorite spot in Keep on the Borderlands.

GAH, has it really been more than A YEAR since the last time I blogged?!

*checks date of last post* It has. Oh my.

Like hopefully most of you, I’ve been sheltering in place for the last… month or so? After a week of staying home, the days all start to run together. I’m very lucky that The Guy can 100% work from home and that we’re fine on his salary while I temporarily have no income; it just wasn’t worth the risk and stress of me continuing to go out to work. So I feel extremely fortunate that we have everything we need, and this is giving us more time to spend together and do things we like to do but don’t always have time for… like play DDO!  😀

I’ve been focusing mainly on hardcore server, though we’re still on Thelanis for our Friday guild night. My dragonborn fighter is banking 17, a little more than two ranks away from 18 – hopefully by the end of today she’ll hit that 18 mark.

On hardcore, I’m trying to play it safe… to a point. After all, it’s called hardcore. I’m not going to judge the people from last season who ran their toons to 5 and stopped just to get their names in the Chronicle; we all have different priorities. But that wouldn’t have felt right to me. I don’t care about my name being in the Chronicle. I don’t even really care all that much about most* of the rewards. I love hardcore for giving me a new way to challenge myself.

Last season, in the first iteration of this “build” (I use that term loosely; I’m totally making it up as I go along), I got to almost level 16 (14 banking 15 with only about a rank to go) when I decided to run Into the Mists. I can’t remember if I ran it on elite or reaper, but for some reason I wandered from the main path and accidentally ventured into the graveyard. Ironically, just before entering the quest I was thinking that maybe I should have splashed a few paladin levels for fear immunity… ironically because of course when I reached the graveyard, I stirred up a bunch of very angry wisps, including at least four champions, who killed my healer hire almost immediately and then Feared me literally to death.

It was sobering to see how fast a couple of crown-wearing light blobs could take down a toon who hadn’t had a close call in anything else she’d run, and she’d run a lot, and on reaper. She’d been pretty much soloing since level… 8, I think? when the last remaining Flower Sniffer in the original static group took a trip to the Land of Lost Souls, and in futile hope of managing to get the dretch pet, she ran almost exclusively on reaper.

Major kudos to Comic Relief and Tholgrin, who both hit 20 the first season! *applauds*

*I don’t care about “most” of the rewards, but CLEARLY I care about the cosmetic pets. Sadly, I am never going to rack up 400K reaper XP in three months. This makes me extremely sad. You can cheer me up by sending me pictures of your hardcore reaperlings and dretches.

This time around, my hardcore strategy is to run quests at four levels under my current level (which is the most overlevel you can be on hardcore and still be able to enter). So at 16, I’m running level 12 quests. I’m doing them all on elite, and mostly soloing because most of the other Flower Sniffers have fallen by the wayside. (Tholgrin’s already hit 20 again, although he’s in his own guild of one, and last I checked had another toon well into the teens – VERY nice going!)

I’m skipping quests that have too high of a potential for instadeath, and I’m doing a lot – I mean A LOT – of wilderness S/R/E. XP pot + slayer pot + Sands wildy = major XPs. I’m also usually using a rogue hire for quests with traps. I kinda regret skipping Into the Mists – which I stayed away from since it’s the one that got me killed last time – because now I can’t do any of the Barovia quests, but better that than sitting in the Land of Lost Souls complaining to Harry about the damn wisps, right?

On a personal note, the main reason I haven’t posted in more than a year is that I moved from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts not quite a year ago (my one-year moving anniversary date is one week from today!). This has absolutely been the right move for me, and the people who know me best have told me repeatedly that they’ve never seen me so happy. I’m a lot busier with things in real life now, and I’m not playing DDO (or LotRO, or Minecraft, or anything else) nearly as much as I used to. I gave up my Sunday night show on DDOStream, and my personal streaming has been pretty much limited to Kobold Kindergarten, which is only twice a month. And unfortunately I dropped OurDDO; I just don’t have the time to maintain it.

So, just thought I’d ramble a bit here before I head back over to hardcore and see if I can hit 18 today. Thanks for reading!  🙂