The sagas begin

Well, actually, the sagas are already underway, but when you have the chance to make a play on a Weird Al title, you should take it. Right? Right!

I’m really not fond of Lines of Supply unless I’m on a toon with semi-decent crowd control. That leaves out most of my melees. Luckily for monk Acanthia, who’s been working on her sagas of late, Mock was around Sunday night with a very handy Wail of the Banshee and a righteous wicked dancy ball!

All that lovely CC let us complete all the optionals, despite wave after wave after wave of resolute supply carriers and their rather more aggressive guards – and that was even without the aid of net traps, because by the time we were done convincing the harpies to help us out, there wasn’t time to go visit the trap guy. Hope he didn’t miss us too much!

That had to be one of the best, easiest, most fun completions of that quest I’ve ever gotten. Even the cheetah-speed gnolls didn’t stand a chance.

Our all-optionals run of Tracker’s Trap went just as well, although the loot gods seemed to think Acanthia wanted heavy maces – besides some lootgen ones, she pulled TWO Magistrate’s Scepters. Sadly, neither Mock nor I have any toons who use heavy maces, so the named ones got vendored and the rest went to Even for deconning. My essence stack is back up around 15K… which will last me maybe five minutes the next time there’s a crafting bonus weekend. LOL

And then we called it a night. Normally I’d go for another hour, but I was pretty darn exhausted after a busy weekend. I’m also two days behind my usual blog timeframe – silly real life!

Laegonn has some serious headway on his epic Eveningstar sagas. Sere’s got a completed epic Gianthold, and most of my other epic toons have some good progress. I’m really hoping to get the Flower Sniffers to level 150 with the next renown weekend!

Tuna ran Coal Chamber to complete flagging for the Shroud. Solo elite at level 18 – I was really rather proud of her; she’s pretty undergeared (level 7 armor, anyone?) She’s also now banking 19. Gotta get her to 20 so she can run with the epic toons in the guild! I think Keava’s the only one who has a toon around Tuna’s level right now.

AND, last but NOT least… after six years of paying $30 every three months for my VIP, I’ve just ponied up for a one-year subscription! YAY! 😀

My sub ran out on May 3, and I was going to let it slide until I get back from vacation week after next since I most likely won’t be playing DDO while I’m away anyway. But logged in tonight planning on running Coal on Tuna, and… I don’t own Vale. Checked the shared bank to see if I had an XP pot – oh, I can only access the first 25 items (which should be changed; they’re all my items. I should be able to withdraw ANYTHING in there, just not put anything new in). Didn’t have access to Acanthia ’cause I’ve never bought monk; Laegonn or Chalei ’cause I don’t have half-elf; Zak ’cause I don’t have warlock. Yeah, that wasn’t going to work, even if it was only for a week. So now it’ll be a whole year before I have to think about that again!

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time on the official DDOstream! The show is also hosted on my own Twitch channel, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel and/or on DDOStream’s YouTube. I’m usually on Thelanis, usually/often/sometimes on Evennote, and usually have room, so feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! I’m also definitely open to suggestions on what to run next. You can send ingame mail to Evennote on Thelanis, or email me at evennote (at) gmail dot com. Thanks for reading and/or watching! 🙂

Monk-y business

Watching @EvenNote’s stream from last night/this morning is making me want to play a monk again….” ~ grimorde

What a lovely compliment for Acanthia to get, especially since that was the first I’d seriously played her in quite a while!

With changes to other classes, the addition of warlock, etc., monks no longer stand out as the DPS machines they once were. I was shocked a few weeks ago when Acanthia decided to follow in Vic’s and Even’s footsteps by soloing Shroud – her DPS was not as good as Even’s, and Even, while having a few levels on Acanthia, is definitely not a DPS build.

But there’s no denying that, DPS or not, monks are just incredibly fun to play. Who cares how cool a sword looks when you can beat stuff up with your bare hands?

And there all all the fun monk-ish things you can do. Stunning Fist, Kukan-Do (basically a long-distance stun), Drifting Lotus for a bit of crowd control. Dismissing Strike to instantly vanquish tainted creatures such as undead and evil outsiders; Quivering Palm to send nearly anything into oblivion with a single hit. The “sekrit” Shining Star finishing move (Otto’s Irresistible Dance, monk-style).

Acanthia

And possibly my very favorite monk ability: Tomb of Jade, which lets you turn a tainted creature into a green statue (Smite Tainted Creature and Jade Strike also have a chance to do this).

So while it took a bit of time to get used to playing Acanthia again, ’twas definitely worth it! And of course, no matter which toon I’m playing, I always have a great time during our Flower Sniffers guild runs. Having several impromptu ones in addition to our regularly-scheduled Friday guild night made for a most excellent DDO weekend. Didn’t hurt that Acanthia hit level 27, either!

Even

Even’s taken a bit of a back seat while Acanthia and Char got some playing time to take advantage of this past weekend’s XP bonus. She still hasn’t gotten a chance to use her long-awaited Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers, but she did get a bit of a makeover – I glamered an Elemental Victory for her (the gems, especially the green one, really bring out the highlights in her hair) and also made her a green dragonscale armor kit. The glamered Marilith Chain she’d been wearing matched her hair a bit better, but just wasn’t quite Even, design-wise. She likes the little skirt on the medium dragonscale armor, and the fact that it shows just a bit of cleavage – sometimes it’s nice to feel like a girl, especially when you’re a short, stocky Purple Dragon Knight.

The bit of questing Even did this past week didn’t go quite as well as her beauty treatments. She joined a PuG doing EE Deathwyrm and was assigned the role of tanking Aurgloroasa. The party leader was not a native English speaker; maybe that’s why some members of the party chose to ignore him. He was still assigning roles in the shrine room when several people decided to just go ahead in and get started.

There was a barbarian who apparently was miffed that Even got tanking duty instead of him, because he said, “Well, if I can steal aggro, and I probably will, then I’m tanking and she can do trash.” Heh. Nice try. He indeed tried to steal aggro from Even – with absolutely zero success. In fact, he kept nearly dying because even after his attempts to get aggro failed, he didn’t have the brains to get BEHIND the dragon where she wouldn’t be able to hit him as hard. We didn’t have a tank hjealer, so it was just Even and the barb on the dragon (until the party leader FINALLY convinced him to give it up, which took a while), and I wasn’t about to waste my resources hjealing him. Tossed out a few Lay on Hands, Cocoons, and scroll heals to other people who were actually helping the party, but definitely not worth giving them to the guy who was not contributing anything but attitude.

So finally, I was left alone with the dragon, as it should be. Shadows started coming up, people were going to the dark side… and NO ONE, apparently, could find the real phylactery. At this point I stopped hitting Aurgloroasa and just blocked and intim’ed, because once you get her down so far, if the phylactery still hasn’t been found, she just hjeals herself back up. (Which I’d forgotten about, and ended up inadvertantly taking her down a couple of times.)

Some party members apparently didn’t realize this, or didn’t want to take their turns going to the shadow side, because people started randomly coming over and beating on the dragon. I told them to stop. The party leader told them to stop. Two or three other people who actually seemed to have a clue told them to stop. I think some of them just REALLY didn’t want to go over to the shadow side, because that gets pretty nasty on EE – we had something like 57 deaths.

Then the trash handlers got – I don’t know what they got, but it wasn’t the trash. Even had 28 kills when we first stepped into the main room. As she was tanking, you wouldn’t expect her to get more than MAYBE half a dozen more in incidental damage. But once the trash handlers stopped handling the trash, she kinda had to do something – she had no problem dealing with Aurgloroasa on her own, but when you add a couple of casters plus six or eight or so skellies to the mix, trying to keep one’s red bar up gets harrowing. By the end, Even had 63 kills, so 35 while she was tanking… yeah, the trash handlers could’ve been a bit more on the ball. LOL

So I was getting kind of annoyed, and the real phylactery was STILL unfound… and then people started having to leave because we’d been going so long. We’d been in there more than two hours and had zero to show for it. The one thing I’m kinda proud of is that, despite getting no outside hjealing whatsoever – and without having Eternal Defender go off AT ALL, in case any of the egolitists out there were wondering – the ONLY death Even had was at the very end, when I deliberately got her killed because everyone else had left and I was getting hit too much to be able to recall.

Char, who after two ranger lives is spending her third life as a druid, is now banking level 10 after running VoN flaggers and Red Fens with Vey and Seer. She’s not too sure what kind of druid she wants to be. I’d originally planned on making her a caster type, but it’s just SOOOOO much fun to run around as a winter wolf! Ranger is where her heart is at, though, so she might just end up becoming the first of my toons to get a fourth life. That’s quite a ways off, though!

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at midnight Eastern time. 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!  🙂

Life gets real

Jaded kobold

Been kind of a while since I blogged, huh?

Real life has an annoying habit of interfering with DDO. Various surgeries for both parents, trying to get established as a serious freelance writer, dealing with some medical issues my kitty has… it all takes a toll. I *need* my playing time to decompress; unfortunately that means my time for blogging and working on OurDDO gets cut.

Months n’ months n’ months ago, the lovely and talented grimorde coded a rather brilliant carousel for OurDDO, much like the “Featured Blogs” section on the old MyDDO. I uploaded her test file to the site, admired it… and kinda left it there, because there was still the drudgery of updating a ton of links and finding/making icons for 40+ blogs.

Anyway, I finally buckled down, spent several nights updating links and such, and then blew off NWO with Shin and Comic tonight (sorry, guys :/) to do all the icons and port everything over to a new site, because I’m having some issues with the hosting on the current site and want to make sure I have a backup plan. The new site’s got a small display issue I haven’t figured out yet, but it’s functional. I’m going to keep both sites going for the time being.

Sadly, I’m *not* going to continue updating the feed at present. I’ve had too many issues trying to find a site to handle it – small limits on the number of feeds you can add; serious unreliability; not being able to add/edit feeds; etc. I had high hopes for Yahoo! Pipes, but 1) it’s no longer actively supported by Yahoo!, from what I’m told, and 2) it kept “dropping” feeds because apparently the way it pings sites looking for new posts tends to get it flagged as malware. The current feed is operational, but doesn’t contain recent additions to the blogroll. I’m hoping to eventually have the time and ambition to come up with another solution, since I know a number of people like to use feed readers.

Acanthia

And now for some really awesome news – I’ve been participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the past several years, and I’m a member of a NaNo group that meets a few times a month. My friend and fellow NaNo-er Carrie submitted her novel, “Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree,” for Amazon.com’s Breakthrough Novel Award this year.

“Officially,” there were 10,000 entries for the award. So we were excited when she was named a quarterfinalist (top 100 in each of five categories). And we were REALLY excited when she made it to the semifinals (top five per category).

And now… SHE’S A FINALIST! She won first place overall in the Young Adult category, which guarantees her a $15,000 advance and a publishing contract with Amazon.com. Now she’s facing the winners in the other four categories for first place overall!

While Amazon.com made the selections from the start of the contest through the five finalists, now it’s up to a public vote. You can download and/or read free excerpts from all five finalists and cast your vote here.

I’m lucky enough to have read Carrie’s whole novel, because she E-mailed it around to our group for critique before she sent it off. But I’m not giving any spoiler alerts! If you have time, please do check out the finalists and vote… and if you happen to vote for Carrie’s entry, consider yourself gifted with virtual cookies from me! 😀

Armed and dangerous

Club of the Holy Flame

If any members of the Players Council try to give me any problems, I’m ready for ’em. See, my DDO friends take good care of me.

At least a few times a week, I’ll log in to find that someone’s sent me Potions of Wonder for Acanthia’s ever-growing collection, or hair dyes (especially sage). Sadie sends me Tasty Hams, just because (I think she’s hoping I’ll fry them up into bacon in the airship wok).

But the longest-standing wacky gift tradition I have is with some members of Monty’s. I don’t even remember any more just how it got started, but a few of them – Geek in particular – like to send me Clubs of the Holy Flame. Best dang weapon in the game! I occasionally reciprocate by passing back a few Clubs to them.

It had been a while since anyone had sent me a Club, but tonight, to my delight, Even found one in her mailbox when she logged in.

I freaking love this game. 😀

Hanging up the plow

Victaurya

 

I’d been SO good.

 

After my last post, I resolved to stay away from Spinner of Shadows for a while. I was just Spinnered out. And until last night, I’d kept that resolution. Not ONCE since I made that post had I set foot in that webby, columned room.

 

I’m not sure why I decided to give it another try. Maybe it was because Acanthia looked so bored, just hanging out on the ship sorting through bank stuff. Her Neverwinter alter ego had already gotten a fun couple of hours playing with Shin, Comic and Bonnie; Even’d run elite ToD before that. It just didn’t seem fair to stick poor DDO Acanthia at the bank.

 

“Just ONE more try,” I told myself sternly. “I don’t care what drops or doesn’t drop. You’re not running this damn quest more than once tonight.”

 

But once was all it took, because gleaming at me from that beautiful pink epic chest was my long-sought-after Shard of the Silver Slinger, the last piece Vic needed to epickify one of her favorite crossbows.

 

I think Garret the Fainted, I mean Tainted, er, no, Sainted jinxed me. Usually when Acanthia solos EH quests, she brings him along for deathward and as a failsafe in case of lag spikes and such. But the last few times, I noticed she was using her healing ki to keep HIM up far more than he was healing HER. So Garret stayed in the hireling folder, playing poker with the owlbears, panther and the level 24 rogue hire. (It may have been strip poker. They didn’t say, and I didn’t ask ’cause I didn’t really want to know.)

 

With no Garret around to worry about, the quest itself didn’t take long. Once the fighting was done, Baz and Slvr jumped in to give me a few extra chances at the shard, and then I put up a “free loot” LFM.

 

I’m not sure who passed me the shard – I’m almost positive it didn’t drop in my name, because I didn’t see it when I first opened the chest. Or maybe I’d just gotten so used to NOT seeing it that I didn’t realize what it was. Then someone said, “The shard dropped!” And I looked again… and there it was.

 

Victaurya

 

And now I’m really, REALLY never going into Spinner again… until it’s time to epickify Char’s Bow of the Silver Flame.