Even Now

Funz and failz in DDO

Accidental swag, unexpected adventure May 24, 2016

Broccoli and banana

I was lucky enough, on my recent trip to New England, to make a stop in Needham, Mass., and tour Turbine.

‘Twas a very fun trip, and I got to meet a number of devs. Sadly, the banana and broccoli weren’t part of the swag I got, although I must’ve had a jewel of fortune going ’cause I pulled some nice stuff, including a hoodie!

And there was one little item I was definitely not expecting to get, and one that I’m pretty sure no other DDO player has received. But there’s some back story here, so bear with me.

Being an adventurous sort of adventurer, upon completion of my tour followed by lunch (Williamsport needs a Chipotle, dammit!), I noticed that there is a very nice park across the street from Turbine HQ. There’s a trail that goes all the way around a lake. I figured this would be a great spot to stretch my legs and get some pics.

I was not planning on questing. I mean, c’mon, I was in, y’know, REAL LIFE. So I was figuring on a casual saunter with plenty of photo breaks.

But then… but then… well, you know what they say. You can take the adventurer out of the adventure, but you can’t take the adventure out of the adventurer. OK, they don’t really say that, whoever “they” are. It just fits the story to say that they say it.

I heard barking. I heard yelling. And then a medium-sized canine-type monster came bounding up to me.

I stood my ground. He seemed friendly enough and didn’t seem inclined to try to flank me. Shortly thereafter, two adventurers happened along. I’m guessing they were barbarians, although I didn’t know that at the time.

“Is this your canine-type beast?” I asked.

One of them replied, “No.”

I looked at the canine-type beast. “Well,” I said to him, “you’re clearly undergeared, seeing as how you have no leash.”

(I should mention here that for one thing, there were “All dogs must be on leash” signs all over the place, and for another, anyone with an Int higher than 4 should know that, signs or not, no dog should be off leash in an area that’s clearly a habitat for waterfowl.)

“Someone’s probably searching for you,” I added, thinking to myself, “Yes, someone who is clearly not a rogue, because their Spot and Listen both seem to be 0.” And I took hold of the beast’s collar, believing that I was doing its owner a favor.

The two barbarians began to walk away.

The canine-type monster decided to follow.

At top speed.

With my fingers hooked in his collar.

Have you ever wondered what Improved Trip would feel like if you were on the receiving end? I’m betting it would be a lot like the canine-type beast jerking me off my feet and dragging me along the ground for a couple of yards. Turns out he DID belong to one of the barbarians, the one who hadn’t answered at all when I asked if the dog belonged to them.

The trail around the lake was relatively flat in most places, but was covered in dead leaves, bark, small stones, and of course, dirt. My right hand was pretty scraped up, including one good-sized patch that was missing a chunk of skin but had replaced it with trail debris. There was a similar patch on my arm, and assorted little dings elsewhere on my hand, wrist, and arm. And I could feel that my knee was also banged up a bit, but my jeans weren’t torn so I figured that wasn’t too bad.

The two barbarians, or maybe they were warlocks, or maybe just dropouts from adventuring school, proceeded to yell at me about how they were watching their dogs (in the meantime, a second canine-type monster had bounded up) so there was no need for them to be leashed, and generally seemed perturbed that I would dare suggest such a thing. And then they stalked off rather quickly.

I walked on a bit further thinking the gouge on my hand was the worst of it… and then I felt a tickle on my elbow. I thought it was a bug or something, so I swiped at it with my other hand… which came away covered in blood.

You can’t really get a good look at your own elbow, although I tried. And there was a LOT of blood. “The blood vessels are really close to the surface there,” I told myself. “It’s probably not nearly as bad as it looks.”

But I thought I should probably try to at least clean out the trail dirt. And then I realized that, in real life, I have absolutely no self-hjealing. NONE, I tell you! I’d put my wallet, keys, camera, and phone in a little camera bag, and left everything else locked in the car. I had nothing first-aid-y AT ALL with me.

But I was nearly halfway around the lake, so I figured it would be just as long to turn around as it would be to keep going. And so I kept going. Once I finally made it back around to the start (with a short detour to get more pics of a snake that may or may not have been a water moccasin), I headed for the ladies’ room (luckily for me, there was one in the public area of Turbine HQ) to assess the damage.

Well, now I had soap, water, and paper towels, anyway. Jerry, aka Cordovan, was nice enough to bring me some stuff from their first aid kit as well. I never put any points into my hjeal skill, but I figure that was worth at least a +8.

But the worst of the dirt and gunk was still pretty embedded even after an extended period of vigorous washing followed by scrubbing with an antiseptic towelette. Thanks to Cordovan, I now had a couple little packets of antibiotic cream plus bandaging supplies, but I didn’t want to use that stuff until the wounds were clean.

Then some kind woman who happened upon me with my elbow under the faucet told me that there was hand sanitizer in a dispenser in the lobby.

Have you ever poured nearly pure alcohol in a gaping wound? Yeah. NOT FUN. But rather effective once I could feel anything but the infernal burning. The sanitizer was dispensed as a foam, which did a surprisingly good job of foaming the debris out of the wounds. I washed them out one more time, applied the antibiotic cream, slapped the gauze over my elbow, taped it up, and thought that was the end of my adventure…

… and it mostly was. Until I got home and realized… I still have the roll of tape.

I know other DDO players have visited Turbine HQ. I know they’ve gotten swag. But I bet not one of them has EVER pulled a Roll of Adhesive Medical Tape.

Yep. I win the swag war!

(Note: A week and a half later, there is still some gunk embedded in my hand. The elbow wound is finally starting to close and probably should have been stitched. And I really wish I’d put some points in Hjeal and hadn’t dumped Dex!)

 

Filkin’ Around: Umber Hulk Eyes May 10, 2016

 

Update 31 hits tomorrow! YAY!

To celebrate U31, aka “Gnomework,” and the fact that WE’RE GETTING UMBER HULKS!, I thought a filk might be in order. After seeing the glowy umber hulk eyes in this preview video, I thought “Bette Davis Eyes” as performed by Kim Carnes would make a good filk. I used a karaoke version for my interpretation.

Lyrics are in the video captions – if you can’t see them, make sure you have captions enabled!

I was originally going to just use a screenie and paste the lyrics in the body of the post, hence the small image size on the video – I just couldn’t be arsed to go back and enlarge the images after I decided to go with a video instead of a still shot.

And yes, I DO already want umber hulk creature companions…

 

Filkin’ Around: Dragon Bane (She’s a mother, all right) May 9, 2016

 

Paladin Even is probably the toon I play the most simply because, as long as I’m actively trying to stay alive (and sometimes even when I’m trying to die), she’s nearly impossible to kill. But when I was looking for something to livestream earlier tonight, I decided to bring a different toon, because I didn’t think the world needed another video of Even farming wraiths in FoT.

So I grabbed Trici, my seriously underplayed but totally adorable lvl 16 gnomificer, and took a look at her adventure compendium. “Aha,” I said to myself, “she hasn’t run Mired in Kobolds yet. That should be fun!”

And fun it was… until the end. After mostly cruising through hordes of kobolds, Trici just wasn’t quite up to the challenge of a bunch of self-healing casters, plus their melee friends… and oh yeah, Varath, that big dragon who really wanted gnome hors d’oeuvres. It wasn’t until her third re-entry that she finally dispatched them – only to find herself face-to-face with Sinvala, an even bigger dragon who happened to be Varath’s mother. Sinvala was NOT happy about the death of her offspring, and NOT interested in hearing Trici explain that it was all in self-defense. She was, however, VERY interested in turning Trici into a soulstone.

What can you do when your adorable gnomificer becomes dragon bait? You can filk, of course! So I wrote a little ditty about Trici’s experience in Driftwood Mire. Sadly, no lyrics with the video, because I couldn’t find a suitable karaoke or instrumental version of “Renegade” by Styx. Hopefully you’ll know the melody well enough to sing along – if not, well, that’s why I always link the original!

 

 

          Dragon Bane

Oh, mama dragon, run for my life from your big sharp pointy claws
Spiked plants have put an end to my running, they just tear me all to shreds
Oh, mama dragon, hear me a-cryin’, I’m a gimpy little gnome
Fire breath is rainin’ down on my head and I won’t last very long

My time is up, hit points are down
She’s finally killed me
No dragon bane, it’s such a shame
This quest is just silly

Release now and go away
Get revenge another day
On the dragon mom

Oh, mama dragon, sorry ’bout your son but please don’t bite off my head
Hire won’t heal enough keep me alive, now I’m for sure totally dead
Scary mama dragon, hear me cryin’, I’m a gimpy little gnome
Fire breath is rainin’ down on my head and I won’t last very long

My time is up, hit points are down
She’s finally killed me
No dragon bane, it’s such a shame
This quest is just silly

Release now and go away
Get revenge another day
On the dragon mom

Oh, mama dragon, run for my life from your sharp, pointed, scaly claws
Fire breath is rainin’ down on my head and I won’t last very long

 

The unfolding drama… May 3, 2016

 

Oh, Harry, what have you gone and gotten yourself into now?

When last we’d seen Harry, aka Arraetrikos, we’d beaten him almost to death in Phase 5 of Shroud. But we didn’t kill him – no, we just banished him back to Shavarath.

We get to find out what happened to him once we reach Shavarath ourselves and step into the Tower of Despair. Our Harry, it seems, has taken up with a succubus consort by the name of Lyrilith, and he’s told her… a few things he shouldn’t. Lyrilith, when not exhorting adventures to save her harder, went straight to First General Horoth with the info. And the General was not amused.

ToD is one of those raids I’ve run so many times I’ve lost count. It and Shroud are still among my favorite quests in the game. They’re quintessential DDO to me, and I love how the storyline carries over from one to the next.

Most of the ToDs I’ve ever run start with one or two people running in and killing the couple of mobs in the first part. Then one person goes down and pulls the lever while everyone else stands around buffing, chatting, dancing, or doing nothing.

Every once in a while, I like to be the one on lever duty so that I can watch “the unfolding drama” as Horoth shrinks Harry down to itty-bitty baby size and turns him over to the Judge and Jailer. It’s a few minutes of questing time with nothing to do, to be sure. But it’s entertaining and immersive.

From there, you rescue a kindasortabutnotreally grateful Harry from the clutches of the Judge and Jailer, defeat Nythirios and his shadowy minions, and finally face Horoth, who calls upon our old buddy Suulomades when his hit points start dwindling.

Before he summons Sully, Horoth has probably my favorite typos in the game: “Soliders of Shavarth.” What is a “solider?” What is it solider than? Is it the solidest? If not, what is solider than a solider? And what happened to the other “a” in “Shavarath,” or is “Shavarth” a plane that’s solider than “Shavarath?”

I’m not a typo snob, but editing is what I do for a living. So I notice this stuff. And while there are a number of typos I REALLY wish would get fixed (why do the Milders live in Midler Farmhouse? Why is it “AN planar shard?”), I’ve come to enjoy Horoth’s call for support, in all its typoed glory.

Anyway. Slvr and I duo’d ToD last night, just for the heck of it. We took an incredibly long time, mostly because after the Judge and Jailer, we had to rely mostly on Even’s DPS alone – Slvr didn’t have cold absorb for Nyth, and realized once we were well into the quest that he also had never made Boots of Anchoring for his druid. And Even’s DPS is acceptable at best. She went through a couple of pots so that she could keep spamming Consecration and Energy Burst for more damage, but hey, it was ToD, so it was totally worth it.

 

No wraith for the weary (yet) April 26, 2016

 

Even though my cosmetic pet count is up to 93 thanks to some serious hellhound farming, I’m not ready to quit yet. And many thanks to Geoff Hanna for his very nice tribute to my pet collection!  :)

But oh, those last two pets I need – wraith and rust monster from the Monster Manual – are NOT gonna be easy. Or quick.

As far as I know, there’s no good place that has respawning rust monsters. I’d heard the acid part of ToEE2 did, but I spent probably an hour and a half running around in there. Know how many rustie respawns there were? Two. Yeah. I could’ve run the start of Gwylan’s or Stromvauld many, many times in that span. Or even Threnal Arena. Or Rainbow, or Ataraxia. Or even VoN 5.

The end fight of Siegebreaker does have respawning rusties… but at a rate of only about one per minute, meh. Definitely better than ToEE, but hardly efficient.

Wraiths are a bit easier. I could run part 3 of Delera’s over and over (although I should mention that running anything over and over is totally not my idea of fun… unless it’s the Pit…). I could make laps around Tomb of the Shadow King and cull out the wraiths from all the other respawning undead, which is about as efficient as Siegebreaker for rusties, which is to say not very efficient at all.

But there’s one more place where you can get a few hundred wraiths per hour, IF you have a toon who can handle it. For 18 of my 19 toons on Thelanis, that doesn’t apply.

Luckily, though, I have Even (as in Even the toon, just so you know I’m not referring to myself in the third person). And Even has set a couple of goals for herself, namely to try and solo tougher content, specifically raids and epic elites. So a while back, she made her first stab at soloing Fall of Truth. Didn’t work out – she had only a non-epic Bow of the Silver Flame for a ranged weapon and ran out of arrows looooong before the crystal was shattered. But I noticed that there are a whole, whole, WHOLE bunch of wraiths in there.

Besides, Even loves Fall of Truth, because the Stormreaver shares her chartreuse hair color. (OK, Turbine calls it “acid green.” But close enough. And YES, Slvr, chartreuse is a real color.  :P)

If you want to farm as many wraiths as possible from FoT, it’s actually pretty simple – don’t kill Bjorn the Liar and the Disciple of Lies. Because as long as they’re alive, they’ll spawn wraiths. And the Stormreaver will be nice enough to kill those wraiths for you while you fight the other stuff. I definitely recommend taking down the other two dragon/giant pairs, though – my video card does NOT like dealing with their ice storms and dancy balls.

At a rate of 300 wraiths per hour, I think I need about 12 more hour-long farming runs to finally get my violet wraith pet. And then, rusties, look out, because Even’s gonna be coming for ya!

 

One last party April 19, 2016

 

Alas, poor Jeets, I knew him, Malicia.

I was really glad that Turbine extended the 10th anniversary event by one more day, because last night – when I’d originally been planning to run it one last time – I ended up farming hellhounds to get the hellpup pet. (And finally, success! … yes, that’s 93.  LOL)

So tonight, after a great time running mid-levels with guildies, I started up the stream and headed off to House P for one last hurrah. And hurrah it was. Pretty sure I talked to every NPC, and clicked the Oracle until I’d gotten what I believe are most or all of the tips (well, it took that long before mine came up, LOL).

The resulting video is kind of long as a result, but now I have the event immortalized on my hard drive… and my YouTube account.

I hope Turbine brings back at least the anniversary dungeon every year. I had loads of fun with it, and seems a shame to go to the trouble of developing it to keep it around for a month and a half and then toss it for good.

Many kobold shrieks, slaughtered devs, and creepy Jeets thoughts later, I’ve gotta hand it to DDO for an awesome event. Thank you!  :)

 

All the pets, all the tricks April 13, 2016

 

OK, it’s almost all the pets. I still don’t have the rust monster, wraith, or hellhound from the Monster Manual (working on them, though!). But as far as I know, I have all the others, along with their associated tricks.

In case you were wondering, that’s 92 pets. Ninety-two. Which is a LOT of pets. And every single one of them has a name. All you people running around with unnamed pets make me sad.  *sniffle*

But that won’t stop me from making sure I get any future pets that are released. Among those I’m hoping to see in the future are DRETCHES!, griffons, harpies, halflings, gnomes, succubi, oozes, llamas (no, they’re not in DDO, but neither are toucans), and… a scurvy-infested blowfish. Oh! And dragons! Basically, if it has any pet qualities AT ALL, I want a pet version of it.

I’ve been wanting to make a pet video for a while now. Was going to do it over this past weekend but Stuff Happening, technical difficulties and all that. But it’s done now!

People who aren’t me may well find it extremely boring. Especially my attempts to monologue. But the residents of Even’s Home for Wayward Pets (c/o Good Ship Flowerpot, Fourth Lower Deck, Thelanis) don’t really care as long as they have the run of  their own stateroom, with their friends from Wild Grove on one side, Otto’s Irresistible Dance Hall on the other, and of course the hot tub for relaxing.

 

Think Pink! April 12, 2016

 

Meant to get this posted sooner, but due to technical difficulties… Anyway!

I’ve been lucky enough to get to run not one, but TWO Shrouds with Geoff, Judye, Tholgrin, Bonnie Bew, the good (if short) folks of Halfling Commandos and Torchwood, and – most importantly – Raid Princess PINK!

I rolled up a brand-new (and brand-newly-gimped) bladeforged pally named Foiled Again for the event. She killed a few things. Very few. I’m blaming her starter gear. Uh-huh, yeah, that’s it. I wasn’t the only one in the party with a sword inadequacy… but that’s a story for another time.

We went in on normal (because lag) for our inaugural attempt, and it went amazingly well. Disappointingly few shards dropped, but looked like Pink picked up a fair few ingredients, at least. I presented her with a bouquet of  flowers to celebrate her first-ever Shroud, and Bonnie gifted her with her very own fiendling companion!

In fact, the first attempt went so VERY well that when we went in again a week or two later, we decided to try it on hard. That… didn’t go as well, LOL. We weren’t doing badly until Phase 4 and THE BLADES. OH, THOSE BLADES. At last Bonnie was the only one left alive, and rather than spend time and resources trying to push through, we opted to start over on normal. More ings and a few shards for Pink, and  more fun!

I didn’t stream our first Shroud, but Bonnie did, and you can watch it here!

Pink did AMAZINGLY well – far better, for sure, than I did in my first Shroud or two or 10. Thank you guys SO MUCH for including me!  :)

 

Gettin’ twitchy wit it April 5, 2016

 

“Help, my Archons have fallen and they can’t get up!”
~ Even the pally running Defiler of the Just

Sometime in the semi-distant past, I created a Twitch account and downloaded Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), thinking it might be fun to stream live video when I played DDO. And then I mostly forgot about it.

Until recently, when someone in a PuG was questioning me on the number of cosmetic pets I had, and didn’t seem to believe that I have 92. Yes. Really. Ninety-two. And I said to myself, “Self, you could get a screenie of your pet tab, but there’s always someone who’ll say you Photoshopped it. But if you got VIDEO…”

So I thought really hard until I remembered my Twitch password, and then I fired up OBS. In a rather surprisingly short time, I had my first livestream going. It was pretty boring, just a quick runthrough of the anniversary event. But it was a milestone, because now I was a livestreamer!

But video is not always good. As described in my last blog post, a guildie had jokingly called Even “unkillable” during a shortmanned guild run of Defiler of the Just when she stood amidst the blades and mobs that had killed the other three and took very little damage. The joking continued when we moved on to Fire on Thunder Peak; when it became clear we weren’t going to complete, Even couldn’t recall out because she kept getting hit and interrupted, and couldn’t make it to the door because she was completely and utterly surrounded.

And thus the fun started. At first I thought I’d try to keep her up and kill hellhounds toward the Monster Manual pet. That got tedious after a while, and I was ready to pack it in. Ended up booting my video capture software; details are in the aforementioned blog post, so I mostly won’t bore you with them. Except.

For anyone who read the rather extensive comments on that post, a few clarifications: I did not, nor have I ever, used Eternal Defender to give myself an unfair advantage. I have it on a hotbar along with Power Attack, stances, etc., which I toggle on each time I log in. I try not to let Even’s HP get to less than 50%, let alone less than 0, so I did not know there was a glitch with Eternal Defender because – and apparently this is too difficult a concept for some people to understand – it almost never kicks in. And so I’ve never noticed it, because there hasn’t been anything to notice; it’s never kicked in more than MAYBE two or three times in one quest, and it’s never occurred to me to be all, “Oh, I must immediately see how many turns I have left!” If I’m getting hit that much, my focus is on trying to stay alive, not the number remaining on my turns. I’ve since talked to a Turbine employee about the glitch. Aside from being a big bad exploiter and a big bad non-glitch-reporter, I am also a big bad mean person. If/when that’s refuted, I’m sure I’ll be a big bad something else, because that is the pattern. I have no control over that. Any drama over this is not of my making.

But anyway! I’ve streamed several times since getting everything set up. It’s kind of like having a new toy – I want to use it ALL THE TIME. So nearly every night I’ve been firing up OBS and looking for something streamable to run. There’ve been a couple things to figure out along the way – if you’re ever really bored and don’t mind losing five minutes of your life you’ll never get back, there are two incredibly dull videos on my Twitch channel that are basically me standing around in DDO trying to figure streamy stuff out. There’s a video of Even farming wraiths in Fall of Truth, which would be much better if I’d remembered to unmute my mic. You’ll just have to take my word that my commentary was scintillating.

Someday “soon*” , when I have some time to kill, I’m going to find a nice quiet place, boot OBS, and start parading each of my cosmetic pets through all their tricks. It’s gonna take a while; figure at one minute per pet, that’s a bit over an hour and a half. For my next video after that, I’ll probably stream my guildmates hosting my cosmetic pet intervention…

 

Filkin’ Around: “Pally” March 28, 2016

 

Our little band of Flower Sniffers of Destiny has been shortmanning raids of late – raids because they’re fun, shortmanning because of the lag monster.

During a fun but failed (because we let too many good guys die) attempt to four-man Defiler of the Just the other night, Seki said that Even seemed impossible to kill.

He mentioned that again tonight, after a successful three-man Fall of Truth and a not quite as successful Fire on Thunder Peak, also three-manned. We were actually not doing badly in FotP until Even accidentally grabbed the aggro of BOTH dragons and couldn’t shake it. PDK flesh must be a gourmet delicacy to dragons; even when she turtled up and let Seki and Gonari – neither of whom is any slouch when it comes to DPS – go after the dragons, all the dragons wanted was paladin shish kebab.

Sooo, no completion since you can’t damage either dragon if they’re near each other, and with them both aggroed hard on Even, there was no way we were going to get them separated. Eventually Seki had to log – real life, sleep, that kind of nonsense.  ;)

I considered recalling, but RESPAWNING HELLHOUNDS. And I do not – YET – have a hellhound pet.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. A couple hundred hellhounds later, my fingers were cramping up and I was feeling almost ready to pack it in. Almost, but not quite. “I’ll just keep going until she dies,” I told myself. I figured it wouldn’t be terribly long before I ran out of both mana and Lay On Hands. I was right – kinda. The outdated con-op goggles Even wears, although they took a heck of a beating, kept replenishing her spell points when she got too low to Cocoon. Her Lay on Hands regenerate – not terribly quickly, but fast enough. Oh, and she’s using Terminus, which tosses a hjeal on her every so often when she gets hit.

No, Even wasn’t going down without a fight. “OK,” I thought, “I’m just going to stop hjealing her.”

But there was the not insignificant matter of those random shield hjeals, and then there was this nifty thing called Eternal Defender – short version, if Even’s hit points drop below zero but not lower than her range of unconsciousness, she immediately gets a hjeal. And with her crazy high heal amp, it’s a pretty nice hjeal, too. Oh, and I can’t remember the exact number, but her range of unconsciousness extends pretty far.

I stopped blocking. I took off her armor (Breastplate of the Celestial Avenger). I unequipped her shield…

… none of which helped. She still stood there very much alive for an inordinate amount of time considering there were two dragons, a bevy of magma brutes, hordes of skellies, the occasional necromancer, and, oh yeah, those hellhounds, all trying very hard to kill her.

I don’t know exactly how long she actually lasted. She’d been going for quite a while before I got the idea to start up the video capture, and the first capture went for maybe 10 minutes before failing because I ran out of disk space. (Oops.) After that, I tried to stop each video somewhere around a minute; ended up with four short clips I strung together, chopped the beginning off so it’d match the length of the song, and put on my filk hat. (No, I don’t really have a filk hat. Maybe I should get one.)

tl;dr: I tried really hard to kill Even. It took a while.

Lyrics are NOT in this post because I FINALLY GOT CAPTIONS TO WORK! GO CAPTIONS! If you don’t see them, click the little “CC” button near the bottom right of the player.

Sadly, I don’t know how to contact Dolores O’Riordan to see if she’d sing my lyrics to the Cranberries’ hit “Zombie.” I used Karafun’s karaoke version for this video.

 

Show me the way March 26, 2016

Lost again, Even?

 

I knew it was going to happen eventually.

When DDO introduced Bigby’s Guiding Hands, I rejoiced. An aid for people who get lost! That’s me! Also, the Hands are based on one of my old blog posts that suggested something like a bag of bread crumbs for those of us who are navigationally challenged.

But I also cringed, just a little, because my friends and guildies (and sometimes even myself) are fond of saying that I get lost in Market Barracks. Which isn’t quite true, although it’s one of the very few places in DDO where I haven’t gotten lost… yet. But I knew that eventually I was going to step into Devil Assault and be greeted by a Bigby’s or two.

Tonight, it happened. Devil Assault, a break somewhere around the third or fourth wave. I turned around, and voila – there was the Bigby’s, pointing the way to the exit door so I’d be able to find my way out when we were done.

Well played, sir, well played. LMAO

 

Boldly going… March 7, 2016

 

… where no Flower Sniffin’ paladin has gone before.

Even is my go-to toon for – well, pretty much everything. Out of all my toons, she’s the one I get for the tough stuff. She’s the one with 60-ish EE solos and a fair number of solo raids under her belt. I’m not trying to brag; Even happened by accident – I didn’t plan her build  at all, just made it up as I went along, and it ended up working out nicely. I have 18 other Thelanis toons who can’t come close to doing what Even does.

But the one thing Even hasn’t yet been able to do is solo the Shroud. She’s only gotten past Phase 1 once. Darn portal keepers – for some reason, she NEVER seems to be able to find them. Killing them isn’t a big deal, since they go down in one hit. FINDING them – that’s a whole ‘nuther story. So Vale ends up going coterminous and Even gets booted. The one time she DID make it all the way through to Phase 2, she couldn’t beat the fire ele back to the crystal, and I finally got tired of having to prep and kill everything all over again and gave up.

Vic is no Even. She’s a little first-life squishy mechanic rogue with one epic past life. I had never even thought of trying to solo a raid with her. But the other night, she was in a shortmanned heroic Shroud (’cause she was bored and someone was farming shards), and I noticed that when she was on a portal by herself, she was taking it down WAY faster than Even ever did.

“Hmmm,” I said to myself, “I wonder if she could solo Phase 1 at least, because she probably wouldn’t get nearly as many portal keepers as Even does.”

And so, once she was off timer, I gave it a try. Phase 1 went beautifully. Phase 2 went far better than I’d ever expect it to go. But in Phase 3, I made the mistake of trying to solve all the puzzles, and ended up running around a corner straight into the Prismatic Wall of Death.

So tonight I gave it another whirl. Easy cruise through Phase 1, bit more trouble in Phase 2 – think it took me about half a dozen tries to get all four rednames down at once AND beat them back to the crystal. Changed strategy in Phase 3 – didn’t even try to solve puzzles, just shot all the crystals and then ran water to the rooms in the north. And then I sat in the middle and waited… and waited… and waited for the wall to come up, because I didn’t want to risk it dropping on her head.

Once the last fountain had water, I pretty much knew that, barring something REALLY weird happening, she was going to get the completion. She had to kill three or four rounds of gnolls in Phase 4, and the rednames weren’t overly cooperative about separating at the start of Phase 5, but finally it was just Vic and Harry.

And then it was just Vic.

I got the last bit of the end fight on video. Muted the audio, not sure what’s going on there – the game sounds didn’t come through, but there were some loud clanky noises that sounded like bad plumbing.

There are plenty of people who can solo Shroud faster, on a higher difficulty, or both. But it’s not something I ever thought Vic would be able to do at all. So yeah. It feels pretty good!

 

 
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