Hjeal meh nao!


Abs has a line in his profile that says something like, “Evennote was healed by you for 11,525 points.” Can’t remember the exact number, but that’s pretty close. So I was really proud of Jall when she hit her own not-very-heal-amped self for more than 15K a few weeks back. That’s with Unyielding Sovereignty, not a “normal” heal, just to be clear.

Tonight she was running EE Gianthold with Vey and Ray, and noticed that her aura was hitting Vey for close to 400. That’s some pretty nice heal amp, so when we were done, I decided to see what Jall could hit him for. The picture above is worth a thousand words… or 46,449 hit points.

I don’t get bragging rights with Abs, though, because he hit Sady for more than 50K the other night. But it’s a start… and now I want to try again in Exalted Angel, because Jall has a lot more positive spellpower there than in Unyielding Sentinel.

And as long as I’m talking about Jall… Vey asked me last night if I’d ever finished my March Madness series of posts. That was the first I realized that no, I never did, although I did have the results worked out… and at the time, Jall ended up as the overall winner. My toons have changed a lot over the past six to eight months, though; if I were to do a similar tournament now, I think Even might end up as champion.


DDO March Madness: Championship, maybe


It feels a little strange to be working on something that ISN’T a bunch of code for a change, or a blog post that’s not just a quick update about OurDDO. LOL

But I started this March Madness thing back when it was, y’know, still March, and gosh darn it, I’m gonna finish it!

When last we left our intrepid competitors, Jall and Tirae were about to square off in the championship round final after defeating Acanthia and Even respectively; the latter two dropped to the consolation bracket, where they prepared to face each other with the winner advancing to face the loser of the Jall/Tirae match. Yeah, it confuses me too, but there’s a handy-dandy bracket now in spreadsheet format further down in this post.

So, seen that message on the login screen about the quest “Protect Baudry’s Interests” being closed? Well, remember, I did tell you the tourney was being held in Cartamon’s Shipping Warehouse. Coincidence? I think not. (No matter WHAT Slvr tries to tell me about kobold lichs killing newbies in there. :D)

With no worries about hapless adventurers stumbling in and interrupting the action by trying to prevent kobolds – lich or otherwise – from smashing the big box, Acanthia and Even were the first to hit the floor. With both feeling the sting of their semifinal losses, they were tentative at first; most of the “action” consisted of friendly jibes at each other.

Even: Where are the rest of your hit points?
Acanthia: Don’t need ’em, I have evasion!
Even: I have 133 AC and 122 PRR AND almost 500 more hit points than you do.
Acanthia: Yeah, well, I’m cute and you have no DPS.
Even: Damn, she got me on that one.

Unfortunately for Even, no amount of hit points or AC or PRR could make up for her having, really, no DPS… and being slowed by her DoS III stance, she couldn’t’ve caught speedy monk Acanthia anyway. The little halfling (to distinguish her from the big halflings, right?) nimbly leaped from box to box, occasionally including the big box that didn’t go smash, using Stunning Fist and Kukan-Do to daze Even and then hitting her hard with Drifting Lotus and Orchid Blossom. Acanthia even tried Tomb of Jade, but as Even’s not a tainted creature, it didn’t work… although it would’ve looked lovely with her hair.

Poor Even kept valiantly swinging her epic Hellstroke, but by the time she got the axe to where Acanthia was, Acanthia was somewhere else. The clinching blow for Acanthia came when Even, down to only a third of her HP, accidentally clicked her Cannith boots instead of Lay On Hands and zoomed right into the path of Acanthia’s Grave Wrappings.

The two high-fived and then, after a quick repair, went to sit with the rest of the crew while Jall and Tirae got ready to square off.

Tirae had studied the video from Acanthia’s match against Jall and knew she’d have to try something different if she were going to get the win. The bad news for Tirae – she’s basically a slightly lesser copy of Acanthia with darker hair and skin (and, according to Acanthia, less cuteness). The “slightly lesser” is because Tirae is still banking 25, whereas Acanthia’s capped; Acanthia has a few more destiny twists at her disposal; Acanthia has a full set of +3 tomes whereas Tirae has +3 Wis and +2 in everything else; and Acanthia is a 32-point build while Tirae is an adventurer.

There’s just one main thing Tirae has that Acanthia doesn’t – Ivy Wraps. So she knew that if she were going to have any shot at defeating Jall, she’d have to rely on her toxic cloud (from the WRAPS! And NO, I don’t mean burritos!).

There was little good-natured trash talk this time; Jall and Tirae are good friends, but being on different servers, they really don’t know each other as well as Even and Acanthia do. Jall, always wanting to make other people feel better (that whole cleric thing she’s got going on), complimented Tirae’s hair before the two got down to brass tacks… or at least wooden crates.

The toxic cloud generated by Tirae’s Ivy Wraps worked quite well – when she could keep Jall in range. While Tirae had monk speed on her side, the cloud didn’t move with her, so a few quick sidesteps were all Jall needed to get herself clear and find a little breathing (literally) room.

Poor Tirae. She tried, she really did. And she gave Jall a few scary moments. But there’s only so much you can do when your opponent fills the room with blade barriers and then starts spamming Divine Punishment on you.

It just wasn’t Tirae’s night. After getting herself Divine Punished to death (“It sure didn’t feel divine to ME,” she was heard to say afterwards), she had to battle Acanthia in the consolation bracket final. Those tomes and build points and destiny twists won out over Tirae’s toxic cloud, although the crowd FINALLY got the all-melee, all-DPS matchup it’d been clamoring for since the start of the tourney. After Acanthia was declared the winner, Tirae headed to the bank to ponder the greater heart of wood she’d stashed. Acanthia, who hadn’t enjoyed that toxic cloud at all, really wanted to go farm Druid’s Deep for the gazillionth time, or at least check the AH, in hopes that she’d finally get her own pair of Ivy Wraps, but she had other things to attend to first.

Because it was time for… The Rematch.

*cue Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” which might make a darn good filk*

Yep, there was undefeated Jall, sitting a bit nervously atop the championship bracket. And there was Acanthia, who’d suffered her only loss to the once-gimpy Drow cleric. Should Jall win, the tourney would be over, as everyone else would have suffered two losses in the double-elimination format. But if Acanthia won, both she and Jall would have one loss each, sending them to the “if necessary” match.


Acanthia doesn’t take losing lightly. So after her upset loss to Jall in the semifinals, she’d put a lot of thought into what might have made the difference. One of her main downfalls had been dealing with Jall’s endless light spells – DP, Searing Light, Avenging Light, Bud Light – well, OK, Bud Light was what Acanthia needed AFTER the semifinals. All that light, plus the glare from Jall’s aura and bursts, had made it hard for Acanthia to see what the heck she was doing, not to mention the spell damage. So she “borrowed” one of Even’s solid fog clickies (she might even remember to tell Even about it if when she returns them) and marched into the warehouse hoping for a better result than last time.

Jall had no new tricks up her sleeve, and can you blame her? All her old tricks had been working perfectly well, and she now had the advantage of two levels in Unyielding Sentinel to beef up her HP a bit. Acanthia was a bit nonplussed to see that Jall had darn near caught up to her in hit points.

Grateful that his big box was unsmashed, Baudry Cartamon himself blew the whistle to start the match. To no one’s surprise, Jall quickly buffed herself, tossed a few blade barriers around the room, and started spamming DP on Acanthia – wait, where WAS Acanthia?

She might not have Ivy Wraps to make herself a nice toxic cloud to hide in, but those “borrowed” bracers cloaked the makeshift arena in a deep bank of fog. Jall’s DPs often went nowhere because she couldn’t find Acanthia to target her.

The little monk, meanwhile, used her reasonably high Hide and Move Silently skills to sneak through the fog, get behind Jall and stun her. That almost backfired on Acanthia as Jall started flailing around with her Forgotten Light and landing a few pretty good headbonks by sheer luck.

“Since when did she get DPS?” Acanthia muttered just loudly enough for the crowd to hear; Even borrowed a quill and a spare scroll from Zak to quickly scribble something that looked a lot like, “Note to self: Ask Jall where to get DPS.”

But another click of Even’s “borrowed” bracers and Acanthia had disappeared again. She took advantage of her concealment to target Jall and start firing away with her ki strikes while jumping from the top of one box to the next so Jall couldn’t get a bead on where she was.

One Kukan-Do and an Everything is Nothing later, Jall found herself on the receiving end of a loss for the first time in the tournament. Will she find the winning form that allowed her to beat Acanthia in their first matchup, or will Acanthia battle back from the consolation bracket to win it all? Well, I’m not gonna tell you, I’m saving that for the next post. *g*

tl;dr – Jall and Acanthia will face each other for the third time in the championship.

And here’s that handy-dandy bracket, now in spreadsheet form, which should be a lot less clunky than those huge graphics. Not sure why Google Docs turned some of the lines red; can’t be arsed to make them all black again. It’s also a lot bigger than the original; can’t be arsed to shrink it down a bit either.

DDO March Madness: Round 3 results


Just two competitors remain alive in the winner’s bracket after the third round of DDO March Madness concluded, a day late because the Bracket Mistress was really tired the previous night.

The evening began with a consolation round, though, as Char’s high saves kept her sane under Dissy’s disco balls while her Manyshot did some serious damage to the Amazing Gimp-O-Bard. Ranged damage also propelled Vic and her trusty repeater past an overmatched Meren. And I probably should have mentioned at some point that the competition is taking place in Hazadill’s Shipping Warehouse, hence why Jall was able to kite Vic through her blade barriers – Vic had to keep moving to stay away from Jall’s Divine Punishment, so by scattering BBs around the room, Jall was able to do a decent job kiting her through them.

(Yes, Hazadill’s Shipping Warehouse. It had to be somewhere with obstacles to give the lower-level characters at least SOME chance against their stronger opponents, and I ruled out the Pit after a number of hireling spectators fell into the lava pit and died while begging for hjeals.)

With only epic-level toons remaining in the top bracket, the championship round promised to be a good one, and it didn’t disappoint. Tirae and Even took to the arena for a rather well-matched battle of DPS vs. damage mitigation. Level 24-banking-25 monk Tirae used her ki attacks to great effect, but Even’s endless Lay On Hands quickly brought the capped paladin back to full health. The crowd gasped as Tirae hit Drifting Lotus to knock off about 200 of Even’s plentiful HP, quickly followed by Everything is Nothing, but Even made the save and was only hit for 500 points, taking her down to about 500. Tirae zoomed in with a Stunning Fist and then, just as Even was starting to come ’round, the little monk took advantage of her newly-acquired Kormor’s Belt to cast Otto’s. Unfortunately for Even, she rolled a 1 and found herself helplessly dancing while the fumes from Tirae’s toxic cloud (no, Tirae didn’t have beans for dinner – it’s an effect from her Ivy Wraps) overcame her.

“If I had to lose, ad leasd I losd to a gread cobpedidor,” Even said afterwards through a very stuffy nose (those fumes stick with you for quite a while).

More monkish domination was expected from level 25 Acanthia, who faced Jall, a level 24 cleric, in the other championship round semifinal. Jall has passed on her “Amazing Gimp-O” title to Dissy, but she’s still far from being considered a powerhouse… or at least she WAS. While Acanthia’s ki strikes did some serious damage, Jall’s aura and occasional bursts were more than enough to keep her red bar full, and her self-buffing mitigated a surprising amount of Acanthia’s DPS. Having switched back to Exalted Angel after originally competing in Unyielding Sentinel, Jall went for light spells early and often, peppering Acanthia with Avenging Light, Searing Light, and of course Divine Punishment, all the while using Rebuke whenever possible to make Acanthia more susceptible to light damage.

Like Tirae, Acanthia finally went for Everything is Nothing, but Jall had cast Divine Intervention on herself and then used Astral Presence to get back to full health and then some. The crowd sat in stunned silence as Acanthia, the odds-on favorite to win the tournament, succumbed to one final blast of Avenging Light.

“All I can say is, Tirae should definitely bring sunglasses to the championship final,” Acanthia said following the match, “because that’s one heck of a lot of light.”


Both Even and Acanthia still have a chance to win the tournament, though, as they stayed alive in the consolation bracket. Acanthia’s EiN worked much better against Char than it had against Jall, and Vic was unable to damage Even faster than Even could heal herself. The match was still fairly close, as Even’s DPS really sucks, until Even managed to trip Vic and get in a few good whacks with her Drow Rapier of the Weapon Master, one of few weapons that can actually make Even look non-gimpy.

Jall and Tirae will face off in the championship bracket final, with the winner advancing to the title match. Acanthia takes on Even in the consolation semifinal; the winner of that match will play whichever of Jall or Tirae loses for the other title match spot.

This was actually kind of hard for me to write, because when I came up with the idea, I just assumed Acanthia would easily win all the way through the bracket and defeat either Tirae or Even for the title. I thought Jall would PROBABLY finish ahead of Vic and then lose to whichever of Tirae and Even didn’t play Acanthia. But as I thought about each toon’s strengths and weaknesses, it just seemed that Jall would be able to take Acanthia down, at least the first time… because Acanthia (and don’t tell her I told you this) is sometimes a little too confident and would be likely to underestimate Jall (as I think I’ve done once or twice).

Because of the double-elimination format, any of those four could still end up winning it all. I’m debating having third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches as well, just for the heck of it… and still no spreadsheet. I was too wiped out last night.  😀

DDO March Madness: Round 2 results


After another night of grueling competition, the original 16 competitors have been whittled down to eight of Eberron’s best and brightest… well, OK, they might not be the best and some of them definitely aren’t the brightest, but they’re all I’ve got.

Second-round winner’s bracket matches got the evening started. To no one’s surprise, the two monks – level 25 Acanthia and level 24 (but banking 25) Tirae won handily over Meren (12 FvS) and Dissy (18 bard) respectively. Besides the level difference, there was no way that either of the two lower-level competitors stood a chance against Drifting Lotus. It didn’t help that Dissy kept playing mostly useless songs just because she liked the way they sounded.

Jalliria had a bit of an easier time against Vic. The level 24 cleric had a few tense moments when Vic, a rogue who’d leveled to 24 just two hours before the match, used her Slaver’s Hand crossbow to make Jall fall asleep. Rumors that a Slaver’s Hand was used on spectators during the previous night’s matches were unsubstantiated; experts attributed the snoozefest to the total lack of DPS in many of the first-round matches. Jall’s aura kept her health up while she caught her 40 winks, and once woken and refreshed, Jall made quick work of Vic by casting Avenging Light and then kiting her through a blade barrier.

Char came close to scoring an upset in the last winner’s bracket match of the night. Though the arcane archer was giving up eight levels and a buttload of HP to level 25 Even, Char’s quickness and superior DPS kept Even on her stubby paladin toes. Using a combination of Manyshot and paired Envenomed Blades, the elven ranger chipped away at Even’s 133 AC and had her at less than 50% health at several points. Even, meanwhile, being a DoS pally, intim’ed Char like crazy but hit about as hard as – well, Dissy. However, that extra 800-ish HP cushion Even had on Char paid off in the end.


All four competitors who lost their second-round matches earned redemption – no, they didn’t win dates with Lars Heyton; they redeemed themselves – by winning their consolation matches. Vic easily romped over Zak, as her evasion kept her safe from his firewalls and her ranged ability, besides doing plenty of DPS, kept her far away from his negative aura. Char’s evasion also came in handy as she downed Chalei, who was slowed toward the end of their match when she became bloated from drinking too many mana pots too fast.

Azida got some nice shots in on Squishy – er, Dissy – but couldn’t stop herself from dancing once that big disco ball went up. Dissy took advantage by firing off Greater Shout and Soundburst while flailing away ineffectively with her scepter.

In possibly the most even match of the tournament so far (and Even wasn’t even in it), Meren faced Winnie in a battle of level 12 Favored Souls in the last consi match of the night. While Winnie will probably be able to kick Meren’s butt once they reach epic levels, at this stage in their careers it was all Meren. The little elf with the ever-changing hair color had better DPS, better self-healing and better offensive casting, giving her the edge as she advanced to the next round of consolations.

Spreadsheet rather than humongous bracket graphic is still in the works. Ai iz lazeh.

DDO March Madness: Round 1 results


Last night’s Round of 16 in the 2013 DDO March Madness Tournament began with a mild upset but ended with a lot of predictability.

No. 8 seed Chalei, a fire savant newly leveled to 14, was a clear if not overwhelming favorite over Merenwynne, a level 12 Favored Soul who held the ninth seed. Chalei’s Scorch kept Meren backpedaling through much of the early going, but the elven divine healed herself quickly and – after casting Resist Fire – rallied with blasts of Searing Light. Both eventually depleted their mana pools and resorted to hand-to-hand combat in a messy scene one spectator called “the worst example of melee DPS I’ve ever seen.” Meren’s paralyzing shortsword proved to be the catalyst, as an immobile Chalei was unable to fight back or drink cure pots.

Level 12 Warforged Favored Soul Winnabette, the No. 10 seed, was hoping to pull off her own upset in the next match. Sadly for Winnie, she’s designed for endgame content and isn’t yet much of a healer. While her melee DPS is acceptable, her only offensive spell is Soundburst. Seventh-seeded Chartreusia, a level 17 ranger, used terror arrows to strike fear into Winnie before wrapping up the match with her dual Maces of Smiting.

The spectators began to grow impatient as the match between the sixth and 10th seeds wore on. Underdog level 11 wizard Zak used undead form effectively for healing and damage-doing, but Discordette, a heavy favorite despite her bard gimpiness due to her level 18 status, had her own healing ability. While her damaging spells were limited to Greater Shout and Soundburst, she used Grease and Otto’s to great advantage. The match wore on for quite a while to scattered boos from the crowd, who clearly wanted more melee fighting and less gimpy casters running around pointing wands at each other.

Things got a bit more interesting as level 23 Victaurya, a rogue with the No. 5 seed, faced off against 12th-seeded artificer Yttriemme, at level 8. It still wasn’t a good old-fashioned melee throwdown, but at least the dueling repeaters made for a break from the casters. While Yttsie had the advantages of a rune arm and Minni, her arti dog, she was no match for Vic’s Slaver’s Hand crossbow.

No. 13 seed Azida never stood a chance in the next match. The spunky level 7 Tempest ranger has the misfortune to face level 24 cleric Jalliria, the fourth seed, in a meeting that was over so fast, some spectators didn’t even know it had happened. Jall charged into the arena and hit Azida with Divine Punishment, although afterwards she rezzed, healed and buffed her fallen opponent.


The crowd was finally rewarded for its patience as the last three matches of the night were all melee, all the time. A pair of monks – third-seeded Tirae, banking level 25, and level 7 Rhennie in the No. 14 spot – went hand-to-hand in a brief but satisfactorily violent matchup. Already nearly overcome by the toxic cloud generated by Tirae’s Ivy Wraps, Rhennie went down for good when Tirae hit her with Drifting Lotus.

The penultimate first-round match also featured two competitors of the same class, in this case a pair of paladins in level 25 Evennote, seeded second, and 15th-seeded Nekah at level 7. There was melee and lots of it, although since both chose the Defender of Siberys path, there wasn’t much DPS to speak of. Even’s high AC made it hard for Nekah to damage her, and Nekah had trouble healing herself with her very limited spell point pool. In the end, the girl with the green pigtails emerged victorious, albeit with a few new scratches on her Bastion. (It’s a tower shield, you pervert, not a body part!)

While she lost rather spectacularly, 16th-seeded Ironica got a standing ovation after her match against level 25 monk Acanthia, the top seed. The crowd roared when the level 5 fighter/barbarian strode confidently into the arena with her greataxe held high. Despite getting neg-leveled to death by Acanthia’s Grave Wrappings, Ironica never stopped swinging or tried to retreat, though to be fair most of her swings passed well over halfling Acanthia’s head. Several people speculated that Acanthia’s bangs are now a bit shorter.

Following a short intermission, the eight competitors who lost their matches returned to the arena for the first round of the consolations. Since the tournament follows a double elimination format, each player stays alive until he or she loses twice. In the consi first round, Chalei’s firewall quickly burned Ironica’s tourney hopes; Azida’s evasion allowed her to score a minor upset over fellow Cannith dweller Yttsie; Zak’s use of Eladar’s Electric Surge shocked Rhennie into defeat; and in a crowd-pleasing melee match, Winnie’s greatsword made Nekah’s night not great at all.

On the bracket file – yes, it’s huge. And yes, it’s hard to read, especially the consolation bracket (which I just realized I forgot to label). Hey, YOU try fitting all that in a 500-pixel width! I’m working on doing it in spreadsheet form – in hindsight, I shoulda just done that from the start – and uploading the worksheet to Google Docs so I can link the image to that… which is a hell of a lot of work for something that’s supposed to be frivolous and fun.  LOL

Speaking of frivolous and fun – I usually try not to use a pic more than once, but I think that Dretch might make it into another blog at some point.

DDO March Madness: Preliminaries


I like sports, but I’ve never gotten particularly into basketball. So when March Madness comes along every year, I think the name is appropriate – it’s in March and it makes me mad because they’re always taking off the shows I want to watch and putting on basketball instead. Nothing against basketball, I’d just really rather watch “Once Upon a Time.” Plus I’ve never understood why it takes half an hour to play the last two minutes of the game because both coaches keep calling time-outs no matter how lopsided the score is.

Meanwhile, I somehow got to wondering the other day about which of my toons could kick which of my other toons’ butts in a (reasonably) fair fight. And I thought, hey, I could do my own Eberron version of March Madness. Plus it gave me an excuse to use a picture of a Dretch looking like he’s about to dunk the ball.

So I put together my own version of the Sweet Sixteen (because even I don’t have enough toons to fill out a bracket of 64; I could probably do 32, but way too many of them would be level 2 favor farmers). I used my 10 Thelanis toons, my top Cannith toons (Tirae, Yttsie, Azida), two of my highest-level favor farmers (Nekah and Rhennie), and Ironica just ’cause she was my very first toon outside Thelanis and I like her. I seeded them based mostly on their levels and a bit on their class. And then I drew up a handy-dandy bracket.


The players:

1. Acanthia, level 25 monk
2. Evennote, level 25 paladin
3. Tirae, level 24-banking-25 monk
4. Jalliria, level 24 cleric
5. Victaurya, level 23 rogue
6. Discordette, level 18 bard
7. Chartreusia, level 17 ranger
8. Chalei, level 13 sorceror
9. Merenwynne, level 12 Favored Soul
10. Winnabette, level 12 Favored Soul
11. Zak, level 11 wizard
12. Yttriemme, level 8 artificer
13. Azida, level 7 ranger
14. Rhennie, level 7 monk
15. Nekah, level 7 paladin
16. Ironica, level 5 fighter/barbarian

The bracket is a pretty standard 16-team deal. The little blue numbers represent each competitor’s seed, while the red numbers preceded by a parenthesis designate the game number. If you’re sharp, you may have picked up that some of those numbers seem to be missing – unlike the NCAA, I believe in second chances, so my March Madness is a double elimination tournament. What that means, if you’re not familiar with stuff like that, is that even if you lose your first-round match, you’re still in the tourney; you drop down to the loser’s bracket and start anew. I’d post the graphic that includes both brackets, but… uh, it’s memory-intensive. Yeah, that’s it. It’s not because I haven’t finished it yet. 😉

I’ve already worked out the entire bracket on paper, and I know who wins it all. (It’s not who you might think… but then again, maybe it is.) It was really a LOT of fun imagining my toons going up against each other and how each one’s strengths and weaknesses would come into play. If you’re bored enough to want to fill out a bracket and see how your guesses compare with my results, I’d love to see it. 😀