Don’t fear the (giant) reaper

Another one of my gimpier toons introduced himself to Twitch and livestreaming Sunday night as Zak the super-squishy pale master rounded up some friends and headed to Gianthold for some reaper mode fun.

I think having five Flower Sniffers for the stream, including Comic Relief in his “Streamin’ with Even” debut, was also a first! And DDO blogger Luedwig Bait’Hoven joined us for the first time as well. Even Citi managed to make it on!

Two-skull Prison of the Planes turned out to be a bit beyond our reach, although Zak surprised me by being the last one left standing (mostly because he spent a lot of time RUNNING AWAY, which is a perfectly valid playstyle when you’re as gimpy as he is). One skull, though, turned out to be just about right – oh, we still died, and not infrequently. But compared to our two-skull effort, piece of cake!

Finally getting to be on the livestream was Zak’s reward for finally getting to level 30 the previous night. Now I need to get Laegonn, who is proof positive that not all warlocks are overpowered, or even powered at all, to 30 as well, because they’re going to swap – Zak’s going to TR to a ‘lock, and Laegonn will be reborn as a pale master in training.

I’m also considering TRing Jall. She’s pretty solid up to about EH, but she really needs some better gear to be viable above that. Plus, healbots are coming back into style thanks to reaper mode, and that’s always been her primary focus (although she did surprisingly well in the killcount running EE Demonweb for sagas tonight).

The prospect of trying to level up three newly-TR’d toons is a little daunting, especially since Char’s only gotten to level 11 since her TR and Meren’s still stuck at 6. But I think, in the long run, it’ll be worth it for all three of them. And I expect Jall in particular should have a pretty easy time racking up reaper XP as she levels up.

Got some cosmetic work done on OurDDO, still have a bit to do… mostly just need to redo a couple of things in Photoshop so the header isn’t encroaching on the slider. I’m trying to match, sorta, the general look of this blog.

Also still looking for feedback on the possibility of having some minimal ad space available at even more minimal cost to DDO blogs and fansites. So if you have any thoughts on that, please let me know in the comments, or send an e-mail to evennote (at) gmail (dot) com!

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 and/or on DDOStream’s YouTube. 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!  🙂

(Swash)buckling down

Having already completed the Three-Barrel Cove portion of the epic Pirates of the Thunder Seas saga, the Flower Sniffers took a break from reaper mode to get started on the Sentinels of Stormreach half.

It was a good opportunity for me to dust off poor, gimpy swashbuckler Reera, who’s not gotten much playing time lately, since she had Seki and Slvr around to help keep her squishy butt alive. Reera’s *really* not cut out for soloing much.

She’s also not overly cut out for epic elite, but we tried it anyway – and hey, we didn’t do half bad! Had a pretty easy cruise through Bargain of Blood and The Black Loch before Seki had to log.

… also, I just realized that, considering the saga name, I should have talked like a pirate at least once or twice. I did talk like a kobold several times – maybe I could say I was talking like a kobold pirate?

Citi had shown up in the meantime, so we dragged him off to the Subterrane to run Vision of Destruction. For one thing, I still had about an hour of stream time left. For another, I thought it was something Reera could handle. AND, I wanted video evidence that I CAN INDEED FIND VoD.

Side note: The very first time I ever found VoD by myself, I was on Tirae, my Cannith monk, farming planar shards. I was just running around with no clear idea where I wanted to go, when I suddenly realized that I was standing next to one of the runes you have to light up to open the barrier to VoD. Figures the first time I ever managed to find it on my own was completely by accident!

Poor Citi didn’t realize we were schlepping him into a raid. Citi has a deep-seated aversion to raids. We shanghai’d him in there anyway. Glad we did, too, because 1) with Slvr tanking and Reera gimping, we REALLY needed his DPS, and 2) he was on his pally and got Divine Vengeance! The toon’s a bit overlevel to get a WHOLE lot of use out of it, but definitely a great thing to have sitting around for TRing.

Reera’d hit 25 whilst running 3BC the other night, and she’s now off to a good start toward 26. I’m hoping to get some sagas done this week; I have a feeling it won’t be long before we get a renown weekend, seeing as how it’s been a while since the last one. And I need to get Zak and Laegonn to 30 (Zak’s almost there, just needs about another 450K) so they can TR and switch places – Zak’s going warlock while Laegonn will become a pale master (because right now, Laegonn is absolute proof that all warlocks are NOT OP).

Since this past weekend featured a crafting experience bonus, I considered doing some crafting for the stream… except I’ve never really gotten into crafting all that much. But that bonus was too tempting to pass up, so after we finished VoD and I closed out the stream, I logged in Even to take advantage of it.

Slvr and Citi told me to do the tutorial in House K so I could get a 75% crafting XP booster – and now I kinda wish I HAD streamed it, or at least recorded it, because it was a great example of what NOT to do. Accidentally used the disjuncter instead of the dissolver on the second step and couldn’t get the tutorial to advance. So I bought a cheap quarterstaff from the AH and tried to do it again… but it STILL wouldn’t advance. Citi and Slvr kept suggesting new things to try, none of which worked. It wasn’t until I thought, hmmm, maybe I should just trash the original q-staff, the one I disjunted instead of dissolving, that I was able to complete the tutorial. Guess the Maker was pissed at me for ruining the weapon he gave me!

After that it went quite well, though, and Even’s crafting level went from 90 to… 134, I think, aided by approximately half a million plat spent on essences and gear to decon. I even remembered to decon all my lootgen from tonight’s questing instead of vendoring it… although it was a little discouraging to find that yielded only enough essences for not quite three shards.

Another side note that probably isn’t interesting to anyone but me: I won all the auctions I was bidding on, so my stash of Bigby’s Guiding Hands is starting to look pretty respectable. I have at least 50-ish of every color… except red. I have no red – yet. But I can make a lovely colorful display with my blue, green, orange, purple, white, and yellow ones!

I still need to prettify OurDDO. I’m just lazeh. And I have an elderly, attention-demanding, hypochondriac, guilt-tripping mother to deal with. AND two new kitties to play with, when they’re not amusing themselves by shredding rolls of paper towels everywhere. (They’re lucky they’re so cute!)

Meanwhile, I had a bit of an idea. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m not keen on the suggestion to add a PayPal donate button or anything similar to the site. But I’m kinda considering adding some ads. Not generic intrusive spammy ads, but something in the right-hand column, just some small-ish boxes, that would be available for DDO bloggers, etc., for a nominal fee – a way to promote DDO blogs, livestreams, podcasts, etc., and cover the cost of server space and domain and all that.

They’d have to fit into specified dimensions, and I’d be happy to make a graphic at no charge for anyone who didn’t want to do their own.

So I’d like to get some feedback on this. Good idea or not? Is it something you’d use? I’d like the ads to rotate rather than have the same ones all the time, so what duration should they be? I’m thinking by the week or by the month. Any thoughts on rates?

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!  🙂

Reaper-ing what we sow

Forget cool gear. Forget fancy new enhancement trees. Forget goals and accomplishments. The ONE thing DDO could have done to absolutely guarantee that I’d want to run the hell out of reaper content was… to throw a cosmetic pet into the mix.

And DDO went one better – well, no. THREE better. Because there are FOUR new reaper pets. FOUR! Reaper mode, here I come!

To that end, the Flower Sniffers decided to cautiously get their feet wet with some reaper questing for Sunday night’s livestream. Even had already soloed a couple of reaper quests just to get a feel, and we’d done one-skull Vol for Friday’s guild night (and STILL no Mythic Emerald Gaze, dammit!). So Seki suggested continuing with our Orchard questing by trying out Inferno of the Damned, reaper style.

The 300-ish reaper XP we got was… a bit discouraging, LOL, considering that the reaper XP for the *lowest* reward tier is 625,000 (then 2.5 mil, then 5.625 mil). Granted, we were only on one skull since we were three-manning and were looking more to get a feel for what reaper would be like than anything else. I really hope the XP increases A WHOLE FREAKING LOT as the skull level goes up.

One-skull doesn’t seem, to me, to be much if at all different from epic elite, except for having to defeat the occasional reaper… and so far they’ve gone down pretty easily. I actually think that EE Vol was a tad bit easier on one skull than on EE. Even’s not had any trouble with her self-healing while soloing, although I’m sure that would change if she tried to, say, solo eight-skull What Goes Up. LOL

I normally am not fond of Inferno – with my penchant for getting lost, it takes me FOREVER to solo it. But Seki pretty much knows it cold, and when you get a couple of Flower Sniffers together, it’s pretty much gonna be a fun time whether we cruise or wipe. Fortunately, while we maybe didn’t quite cruise, we didn’t come close to wiping! 😀

Following Inferno, Slvr mentioned that he needed some High Road quests for sagas, so he and I duo’d Detour and escorted Bunsen Honeydew – er, Benson Virandsen – successfully to the end, despite Bunsen/Benson’s admonitions that it would have been easier with actual Harpers by his side. I don’t know why. All the Harpers ever seem to do is run their mouths a lot – case in point, Elminster. But at least Bunsen/Benson actually helps out in between his lectures. Plus, that scroll he’s carrying spawns DRETCHES!

Also, I’ll DEFINITELY be filking *Don’t Fear the Reaper.” I will almost definitely mention cowbell in there somewhere. And I’ll post it “soon*”™!

People who know me well might be going right now, “OMG SHE DIDN’T EVEN MENTION THE LIONESS, WHAT THE ACTUAL, ISN’T SHE VIP?!”

Yes, I’m VIP. Yes, I eagerly logged in to find my new lioness hireling tonight! And then I spent probably an hour taking screenies of her. But ’twas a long day and I need sleep soonish, so I’m going to blog about her probably Tuesday or Wednesday. LOL

I was hoping to have OurDDO up and running again by now, but… real life and all that. I have all the files, I have the server space, I just haven’t had a decent amount of time to sit down and get it all set up. Plus, still trying to figure out that pesky bug that prevents the new aggregator script from pulling any feeds at ALL if there are any Blogspot feeds in the list. Might have a workaround for that if I can’t get it figured out.

OurDDO absolutely WILL be back, and I’ll definitely be working on it this week. 🙂

Unfortunately one thing I completely forgot when cancelling the old OurDDO account was our Flower Sniffers message board, which was also stored on that server. Oops! Sorry, my fellow Sniffers, but I’ll get us a new one set up in the near future!

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!  🙂

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!  🙂

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!  🙂

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!  🙂

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. 😉

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’. 😀

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!  🙂

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…” 😉

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!  🙂