Even Now

Funz and failz in DDO

Making a splash… screen May 26, 2015

Orchard splash screen

 

Geoff Hanna, aka “Gamer Geoff,” recently posted a blog that detailed how to change some of the splash screens you see when you’re zoning from one area to another in DDO.

 

I take a lot of screenshots. I mean, A LOT of screenshots. Thousands of ’em, possibly tens of thousands. And I get tired of looking at the same splash screens all the time. So this idea really appealed to me.

 

Last night I decided it was high time I bit the bullet and tried it out. Picked 11 screenies kindasorta at random, cropped them to 1024×768, saved them in the appropriate directory with the filenames DDO assigned to the default splash screens, and then booted the game.

 

WOW. SERIOUSLY. JUST WOW.

 

It was incredibly cool to zone from one airship deck to the other and see my OWN picture of our OWN airship while I was zoning.

 

If you try this, you won’t get your own screens on every zone; some zones and quests have specific splash screens that – as far as I know – can’t be changed. But if you’re zoning into a place that uses a generic screen (having a Kraken with a top deck, four lower  decks, and a cargo hold, this happens to me a lot), you’re going to see your own screens for those. And it’s pretty darn awesome.

 

I thought I’d share the first set of screenies I used as splash screens. Since I have so VERY many screen shots, I’ll probably rotate them every so often, just because I can. Feel free to click any or all of them to download for yourself!  :)

 

  ToDFire pit

  WGUEveningstar river

  KrakenLightning globe

  GriffonAirship in Twelve

  Purple wormAmrath

 

Nothing left to prove May 24, 2015

Victaurya

It’s time.

For four and a half years, my poor Victaurya has been running around Stormreach and Faerun sporting a 28-point build and some of the worst feat choices you can make and still be survivable. She followed a path build until she was level 8 or 9 and until now, has never done any kind of reincarnating – not lesser, not greater, not heroic, not epic. She’s been a true first-lifer; she doesn’t even have all her destinies (or even MOST of her destinies) capped. Heck, she probably hasn’t even tried half of them.

Despite that, she’s actually fared pretty well. She’s not particularly solo-able, although she’s made it through some of the easier EEs on her own, but – IMHO, anyway – she’s a pretty good supporting member of a party. She was my very first toon, and I never really had clear-cut goals for her at the beginning, other than, “Try not to die.”

Over the past few years, as she’s slowly (very slowly) leveled to 28 and I’ve learned a lot more about DDO, I’ve sort of formulated this idea of a Vic who could deal with any trap or lock in the game, deal reasonable DPS, self-heal as much as possible, and be able to survive if she drew aggro.

Well, she’s done all that, and more. I don’t think she’s failed a trap or lock in the entire epic part of her life (tbh, the last time I remember her failing a trap was Chamber of Insanity, and I’m not sure she’s EVER failed to pick a lock). Epic destinies – well, mostly Cocoon – have given her enough self-healing to mostly not need any additional help except in EE.

As for the rest… Friday night, our little band of Flower Sniffers decided to tackle What Goes Up on epic elite. There were four of us: Slvr’s druid, Comic’s arty, Seki’s cleric, and Vic. Slvr and Comic each brought a hireling healer as well, although Garret and Erytheia were mostly more drawback than asset. We are probably not really an EE-caliber group overall, but our philosophy is pretty much, “Hey, let’s try it, if we wipe we can always go again on a lower difficulty.”

Victaurya

Vic, being a rogue and not having a hire, probably had the least self-healing capacity, but died the least, by quite a bit (well, except Seki, but he had to leave halfway through). She also dominated the kill count, ending up with nearly half of our total kills (which surprised me, because Slvr’s druid has some serious DPS). Her UMD, besides being enough to lower all the barriers, also allowed her to throw out heals and rezzes. And several times, she went toe-to-toe with angry orcs and survived without taking serious damage.

I’ve been kinda proud of how well Vic does despite her 28-point build. Her performance in EE WGU made me think that maybe she does pretty well for any build. Not that she’s a rock star, just that I don’t think I could ask for any more from her even if she were a completionist. It’s kind of bittersweet; I have to admit I like getting to the end of a tough quest and having someone send me a tell or say something in party chat like, “I just looked at your profile – wow, you’re still an adventurer build? Nice going!”

So as much as I sometimes want to keep Vic at 28 points forever, I think she’s earned the right to four more build points (not to mention a much better feat selection). A few hours ago, I took her to Reincarnation Grove for an epic TR.

New level 20 Vic feels a little gimpy compared to old level 28 Vic – fewer hit points, lower skills, and all her cool gear now has red boxes around the icons. But she overcame a lot to level to 28 and make herself a valuable, contributing party member. I think she’ll be just fine until she levels up enough to equip all her shinies.

 

The toon I hate to love May 5, 2015

Getting

A few years back, faced with ever-dwindling inventory space because I’m the DDO equivalent of a hoarder, I rolled myself up a bank/haggle toon to hold some of the stuff I didn’t have room for anywhere else.

I named her Getting Even More (get it?). Banking and haggling were ALL she was supposed to do, but I wanted to get the extra inventory and bank slots on her, so I did some Coin Lords and House K favor farming.

And of course, it happened – I started liking her. And I bought her some gear, and all of a sudden she didn’t have room for anyone else’s items because her inventory was full of her own stuff.

When I unlocked Favored Soul, I didn’t have any toon slots available. So I told myself sternly, “Delete Getting and roll up a FvS. She’s never going to be a serious toon anyway.”

Which I did – delete her, that is. And as silly as it may sound, I felt bad about it almost immediately.

But she stayed deleted for, oh, probably two or three years. Then one night, for some reason, something made me think of her. And just as I was thinking of her, Shin said, “Hey, don’t forget it’s Thursday, last day of this week’s DDO store sales. Character slots are on sale until tomorrow.”

It was a sign! It was destiny! I am a Flower Sniffer of Destiny! (No, really, I am – that’s our guild name.)

I bought another character slot – hey, I only had 15 – and rolled up a new Getting. This time, instead of a helf pure bard with royal blue hair, she’s a sun elf 1 cleric/14 bard.

I laid down strict rules – I will spend NO plat, shards, or TP on her. She will get NO new gear unless it 1) drops in my name; 2) no one else in the party wants it; and 3) none of my other toons need it. And she will run NO quests except for Coin Lords and House K favor. Her function is inventory space, and ONLY inventory space. I maxed her Charisma, mostly dump-statted everything else, and took feats I’ve always ignored (Eschew Materials, Augment Summoning) to make her as un-viable as possible. No way was I going to let myself get attached to her.

Oops.

I’ve broken most of those rules. I blame Billy, Dayja, Geek, and a couple of other Monty’s who invited her to run elite Acid Wit with them. I didn’t think she’d make it through the first fight – I was wrong. Oh, she died a few times, but she didn’t die the most, or nearly as often as I thought she would. And her CC and healing weren’t half bad.

Then I soloed the VoN flaggers on elite with her. And not long ago she ran HE Temple of Elemental Evil with Shin, and again had some nice CC going on along with respectable self-healing. (She couldn’t help Shin out there, as he’s a PM.) Granted, she was over level, but I think her degree of intentional gimpy-ness more than made up for that.

Maybe it’s the writer in me that makes me attached to my toons the way I get attached to the fictional literary characters I create. Maybe that’s why I know the back story of every toon pretty much by the time I’m done rolling them up. And maybe that’s why, despite my best intentions, I found myself liking Getting.

So I bought her a sword, and then I spent some TP for a Bouquet of Roses to glamer onto her new sword. Then I thought she needed her own unique look, so I picked out a blonde hair dye from Sere’s rather extensive dye stash, and shelled out a few more TP to get her a new hairdo as well.

But that’s IT. I swear. I’m not getting her anything else.

… no, that’s not me at the AH. Must just be someone who looks like me. Uh-huh. That’s it.

 

A different kind of permadeath March 23, 2015

Rez shrine

Raid bosses seem to have it all – high DR, massive amounts of hit points, devastating attacks, teeming minions to beat on you while you’re trying to beat on the big guy (or girl).

But I’m not so sure they rank overly high in intelligence or wisdom.

There are two things you see at the end of many raids:

  • 1. A dead raid boss
  • 2. A rez shrine

The rez shrine’s there for unlucky adventurers who are in soulstone form at the raid’s completion, right? But what about the OTHER death at the end of every successful raid? Why doesn’t the boss just click the shrine and bring him- or herself back to life?

Take First General Horoth, for example, the big nasty guy who shrinks Harry and later attempts to kill or banish you in Tower of Despair. Horoth’s a pretty powerful dude. You’d think that someone who attained the rank of First General would have some smarts. Alas for Horoth, but happily for adventurers, he does not know enough to click the rez shrine after he’s been defeated.

And even if Horoth couldn’t figure this out for himself, wouldn’t someone on his staff kinda poke his carcass and say, “Um, hey, boss, I know this is a bad time, but see that thing over there with the sun symbol carved on it? You’re still in this, big guy!”

Sure, Polperios probably wouldn’t be inclined to help him – after all, when your intrepid band of adventurers shows up in Horoth’s portal room and the First General turns to his high council for help, Polp responds, “This is your mess, General. You clean it up.”

But what about all those Orthons that come to his aid? All the “Soliders of Shavarth?” (Those aren’t my typos; that’s actually what appears in the text of the raid – I don’t know what the Soliders are Solider than, or who’s the Solidest, or who ate the last “a” in “Shavarath,” but that’s a subject for a whole ‘nuther blog.) And what about the other three high council members? Did they all just go afk to bio? Did they all invoke Audience with the Queen? Are they all off saving Lyrilith harder next time? (Because she does so very much want to be saved…)

Arraetrikos, aka Harry, has an excuse at the end of Shroud, of course – he’s not actually dead, just banished back to Shavarath (with or without Soliders). And I’m not sure what effect, if any, a rez shrine would have on true undead beings such as the Black Abbot or the Truthful One; I know I can use one to bring Zak, my pale master, back to life, but Zak’s actually a Drow in undead form, not truly undead, and rezzes as a living, breathing fleshie.

But how about the Stormreaver in Fall of Truth? Xy’zzy in Hound of Xoriat? Horoth in ToD?

The only logical explanation I have for why this DOESN’T happen is that raid bosses are all members of an extreme permadeath group. But what if that changed?

Imagine the scene: your party’s just triumphed – or so you thought. You’re slapping each other on the back, comparing kill counts, eagerly opening the chests… and suddenly there’s a noise behind you, a noise that you DO NOT want to hear. Slowly you turn…

Yeah, this is one scenario where I *really* like permadeath.

 

The TR that wasn’t March 22, 2015

Winnabette

Winnie isn’t really UNhappy with being a Favored Soul, but it’s not really her mission in life. It just doesn’t feel right to be swinging a big ol’ greatsword around when one doesn’t have Cleave, y’know?

So I’ve spent the past few weeks leveling her to 28, because I’m planning to TR her into a Bladeforged 18 sorc/2 pally. As I was doing all this leveling, it occurred to me that I should do some destiny farming to unlock Draconic Incarnation so she can start her next epic life off there.

Theoretically, it was a good plan. She’d already capped Divine Crusader and Unyielding Sentinel and was two levels into Exalted Angel. On her way to 28, I worked through three levels of Grandmaster of Flowers, four of Shadowdancer, and three of Fatesinger to unlock Draconic.

Yay! She’s capped! She has Draconic unlocked! I sent her all the various stuff my other toons have that they’ll want someday but can’t use now (to be stashed in her TR bank until needed instead of taking up inventory space), got her epic heart out of the bank, and headed off to Reincarnation Grove… where I hit a roadblock.

Did you notice the flaw in my plan? She “was two levels into Exalted Angel.” Yep. Two levels. Not five. Not capped. So she was about 1.2 million XP short of having six million karma in the Divine sphere, which meant she couldn’t epic TR.

I could just do a regular heroic TR, but she’s SOOOO close to being able to do an epic one, it’d be silly to not take that as well. Looks like it’s back to the XP grind for Winnie!

 

Quick OurDDO update March 12, 2015

Filed under: OurDDO,Uncategorized — EvenNote @ 3:50 am
Tags: , , , ,

Even, Mizz, Comic

With the Mimic Hunt over and a fresh set of completed sagas under my belt, I dragged myself out of DDO a bit early (for me) tonight and did some much-overdue updating of OurDDO.

Mostly I added some links I was missing and updated a few that had changed  (one of these days I should probably take some time to check all the links and make sure they all still exist). It was tedious and time-consuming, but not particularly difficult.

Finished all the editing, did the icons for the blogs that were added, and uploaded all the shiny new files… and now my RSS aggregator script – the handy little thing that goes out and gets all the blog posts and puts them on the page – is dropping posts like crazy. Again.

As far as I can tell, it’s only picking up the most recent post from each author. So if you posted a blog yesterday and then post a new one today, only the new one will show up.

I’ve changed nothing in that script (I wouldn’t even know how). Hopefully, as last time, it will resolve itself over the next few days.

 

Just lion around January 18, 2015

Even's nekkid Shroud dance

Life is slowly – r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y – getting back to normal. Sort of. I think.

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions, because I’m probably only going to break them, and that’s probably going to happen before the end of January. But as each new year rolls around, I do tend to think about goals and such. While recording DDOCast’s “Leveling” episode back in December, host Patrick asked what I was hoping to accomplish in the coming year. I hadn’t really thought about it, so I just went with the first thing that popped into my head and said that I wanted to work on soloing raids with Even.

Well, after nursing a sick kitty back to health over New Year’s, I got to thinking about my goals for 2015, and it occurred to me that soloing more raids was kind of a dandy idea. And I wanted to solo more epic elite content as well.

A solo romp through Tower of Despair convinced me that this could be a very fun plan indeed. With the changes to paladins, Even’s DPS is quite respectable. She doesn’t have the damage output of, say, a raging barbarian or a sorceror – nor should she, as combined with self-healing and damage reduction, that would make pallys WAAAAY overpowered – but she’s quite capable of beating down a self-healing raid boss (I’m talkin’ to YOU, Nythirios) in a pleasingly short amount of time.

From what I’ve heard from friends who do a lot of soloing tougher content, I have kind of a different approach. Aside from ship buffs (which, granted, are pretty darn awesome, because thanks to having fantabulous people in our little guild, we have a Kraken with every available buff, AND I painted the whole thing green), Even uses Stalwart Pact, Holy Sword, and Death Ward pretty much all the time. She’ll use Divine Favor or Prayer, and sometimes Angelskin, for tough fights when I remember to cast them, and since I’ve somehow neglected to ever get her a True Seeing item, she carries TS scrolls. And that’s pretty much it.

She has pots or scrolls for things like curses and poison and negative levels, and I try to make sure she’s got a couple of mana pots if she has Consecration twisted. Almost nothing that can’t be bought from the House K guild vendors, and definitely nothing purchased from the DDO store – I want to PLAY my way to a completion, not BUY it. For the same reason, I probably take longer than my friends who solo similar content, because I stop and fight everything rather than invising or running through and letting mobs rubberband.

Even loves her thunder-forged gear.

So after ToD, I decided to start small, with a run of Vision of Destruction on normal. Well, that was pretty laughable – Even needed no healing AT ALL. I’m not sure she took any damage; if she did, the total was in single digits. She actually had more hit points when she was done than when she started thanks to temp HP from her stance. Elite VoD a few nights later went nearly as well; I decided to Cocoon her every time she dropped below 1,000 HP, and five Cocoons were all she needed. Actually the most impressive part was that I ACTUALLY FOUND VoD. TWICE. IN THE SAME WEEK.

EH Chrono was a blast. Shroud – not so much. She got maybe six or seven portals down when I got a message that a portal keeper had shown up. I ran around to every single stupid portal and couldn’t find him. Took another lap – still couldn’t find him. So of course everything went coterminous and Even got unceremoniously booted.

EH Against the Demon Queen was a walk in the park until the end fight, when I realized that you have to range the Marilith before she’ll come down. Even’s ranged DPS is… uh… possibly worse than old-style pally melee DPS, particularly since all she had was a non-epic Bow of the Silver Flame. On the first try, she ended up running out of arrows. So I made her a nice thunder-forged throwing axe, got a stack of TS scrolls (since the Marilith likes to cast displacement), and sallied forth again. That did the trick, and I pulled some decent scrolls and shards.

Now that she has that throwing axe, I need to take another stab at Fall of Truth. I really didn’t think she’d be able to handle that, but other than needing three tries to take down the first pair and two to take down the second, it went REALLY well… until it was time to shoot the crystal and all she had was that non-epic Silver Flame bow. Yeah. I don’t think an entire inventory of full quivers would be enough arrows for her to manage that solo. Hopefully the much higher DPS on the axe will make the difference.

I think I may try Fire on Thunder Peak next. I haven’t tried Tempest’s Spine because I know I’ll get lost; same reason I haven’t tried Caught in the Web, and – because of the path to get there – Temple of the Deathwyrm. Definitely not feeling ready for Mark of Death; don’t like Abbot enough to try that; don’t have a solo strategy I like for either one. Also haven’t been able to come up with any decent ideas for soloing Hound of Xoriat. I should give Reaver’s Fate a try, though.

LION!

EH in almost anything is pretty much a walk in the park for Even, so she’s been trying to solo a lot more EEs and also join more EE PuGs… or she WAS, until I found out that NEW COSMETIC PET AND IT’S A LION CUB! Yeah. Challenging oneself is noble and good, but it can’t compare to A NEW COSMETIC PET THAT’S A LION CUB! So I’ve been doing more remnant farming than EE running this week. She did combine the two with a solo run of EE Devil Assault the other night; only got ONE champion who dropped remnants, but he dropped 36 of ’em. He must’ve been pretty high-ranking – the most remnants she got from a single mob in EE Mask of Deception tonight was six, and in several farming runs of EH Vol, she’s never seen more than four drop from a single mob (nor has she seen the Mythic Emerald Gaze she so desperately wants).

BTW, that screenie is actually a mountain lion in the Storm Horns. I don’t have nearly enough remnants for the pet yet, nor have I seen anyone else running around with one so far.

 

Photo album: The High Road October 21, 2014

High Road

Next up in my photo album project: The High Road, one of the most scenic wilderness areas in the game.

I really had way, way, WAY too many photos to try to put them all in here separately, and they’d use way, way, WAY too much of my allotment to let WordPress make a slideshow of them, and I haven’t found a good way to create a slideshow with external images and embed it in WordPress. So I decided to make a video instead. (If I’d known this would be the path i’d take, I would’ve cropped the base images to a larger size.)

I spent about an hour figuring out how to sync captions, and then YouTube decided to ignore them. Bah. There’s another “next time” lesson – crop the images bigger, AND put the captions right on the images.

Anyway, enjoy!

Music is “The Mighty Kingdom,” available at Audionautix.

 

Photo album: Underdark October 15, 2014

Underdark Yuan-Ti

There are some really amazing graphics in DDO, and – in no small part inspired by Gamer Geoff‘s postcards and MMOtivational posters along with Spencerian‘s tourist guides – I’ve often thought of putting together digital photo albums of some of my favorite places.

Underdark acid pool

It used to be that I’d crank up my graphic settings when I wanted to get screenshots, then crank them back down to cut back on lag when I was done. Thanks to a new video card, I now have my settings cranked higher than they’ve ever been cranked before at all times, and I’m amazed at just how freaking BEAUTIFUL this game is. You don’t really get the full impact when you’re just upping your graphics for a few minutes at a time; you have to be running around in permanent sliders-to-the-max mode to truly appreciate it.

Underdark Daycrystals

But enough words – this is a photo album, after all. (A photo album that I was too lazy to put into a slideshow. But whatever.) I’m starting with one of my favorite places in all DDO – The Underdark.

Underdark water elemental

The elemental cave is aptly named, as it’s full of earth, air, and water – you guessed it- elementals.

Underdark Purple Worm

See that innocuous-looking pile of dirt? Ever wondered what it would feel like to be digested?

Underdark Yuan-Ti

Remember those human-ish Yuan-Ti and their aversion to tourists? The lizard-ish ones aren’t any better… AND they have “petrifying” friends.

Underdark Bloodrock Medusa

Let your guard slip around this Bloodrock Medusa and you just might find yourself becoming a permanent fixture in Nessaleesa’s Garden.

Underdark Salamander Firebrand

Wishing you’d brought your winter jacket to ward against the Underdark’s chill? Just find some Salamander Firebrands to hang out with!

Underdark Ygglyshek

Go ahead, call him “Uglyshack” – it may be the last thing you ever do.

Underdark Drider

The itsy bitsy Drider climbed up the water spout… and took steroids, and moved to the Underdark, and grew to an enormous size, the better to eat you with.

Underdark Draegloth

Speaking of steroids, either the Draegloth have developed an incredibly effective weight-lifting routine, or they make heavy use of performance-enhancing substances… not that you should take the time to ask one.

Underdark Waterfall

There are several waterfalls in the Underdark, but if that’s your thing, you’re better off going to Niagara.

Underdark webs

It’s a good idea to smash all these cocoons so you won’t fall victim to a swarm of baby Driders, although Mommy and Daddy Drider will fall upon you as soon as you reach their nest.

Underdark Dimaya

Um. Interrupting Under-Priestess Dimaya’s ritual? You went there? Really? Yeah, good luck with that.

 

The fairest of them all October 8, 2014

Discordette

In real life, I like cute clothes and makeup and especially nail polish. But with the possible exception of the polish, I’ve never been overly obsessed with fashion.

Somehow, though, I’ve ended up with a pair of Valley Girl toons. When I sign off of DDO, I just know that Dissy and Chalei head for the mall, where they undoubtedly do a lot of giggling, a bit of squealing, and generally act, well, silly.

Dissy’s the more *whispers* airheaded of the two, although in typical airhead fashion, she doesn’t know it. She liked the way her blue dragonscale armor matched her Skyvault Shield (not sure why the pic on Wiki is different – Dissy has an EE one and it’s *definitely* blue), but it wasn’t the kind of thing she wanted to be caught dead wearing outside of dungeons.

For quite some time now, she’s been ooh-ing and aah-ing over the Elocator’s Habiliment Jall pulled from Mindsunder, oh, aaaaages ago. Poor Dissy, being a bard, only has light armor proficiency, though, and the Habiliment is medium armor. It seemed she was doomed to appearing less than a fashion plate.

And then… DDO introduced the Mirror of Glamering.

In case you haven’t heard of this nifty little gadget yet, it lets you take any armor (or goggles, or helm) and turn it into a cosmetic armor kit. There are a VERY few caveats; Jall really wants the Gleaming Plate that comes standard with iconic Sun Elf characters, but that armor is race restricted to Sun Elves only, and that restriction carries over to any cosmetic kits made from it. And Acanthia’s quite partial to the old pale red/tan Leaf 1 outfit armor kit, but those old kits were BtC and only worked on the original armor they were applied to – while the Mirrors work on armor with the newer kits applied, they don’t work on armor with the older kits.

Still, the 245 TP price is a pretty good deal, especially considering that the armor (or helm, or goggles) kits the Mirrors make are bound to account, AND that the original item is preserved. So you could take, say, a blue dragonscale robe, Mirror it into a kit, and end up with both the original robe AND a BtA armor kit that can be used to make any armor kit look like that robe.

Chalei

And that’s just what Chalei did. Because Chalei, though not quite as fashion-obsessed as Dissy, nonetheless hated the “drabness” of her Spidersilk Robes. Oh, they were fine for Zak; he’s a pale master, so basic black suits him fine. But a water savant with sky blue hair? Uh, no.

So another Mirror went for Chalei to slip into something more comfortable… or at least more color-coordinated. Now that her Spidersilk Robes have been glamered to look like her old blue dragonscale robes, she can focus on nuking the living crap out of stuff instead of worrying about whether black robes make her complexion look too pasty.

Two Mirrors, two very happy toons – hard to beat that!

 

You gotta have hearts October 7, 2014

Zak

Maybe it was how well Even’s recent TR turned out that I decided to go on a bit of a reincarnation spree the past two days.

First it was Meren, who’s been wandering through epic levels kind of aimlessly, not sure if she wants to be a healer or a caster or even a melee. I have a friend who’s starting a new toon and wanted a rogue along; I asked Meren (yes, I do talk to my toons) and she reckoned traps were something she could deal with.

Meren

I didn’t want to make a carbon copy of either Vic or Sere, since they’re all individuals in their own right; instead, Meren is going to focus primarily on trap skills and secondarily on DPS and assassinate DCs. We also have a monk, so Meren’s melee damage won’t be crucial.

Next it was Zak’s turn. I considered just swapping out a couple of feats and resetting his enhancements, but since he had something like five lesser hearts in his bank (thanks, MyDDO lottery! I knew you’d come in handy!), I decided to just give him a makeover. It nearly backfired on me when I forgot to put him back into lich form afterwards and got somewhat panicky that his HP and intelligence were a bit lower than before – in form, though, he’s right where he should be.

Riva

And then Riva decided that her charisma was really a bit low for someone who wants to be an undead specialist, so she headed out to Reincarnation Grove as well. She was originally going to be a divine caster, but being the strong-willed Morninglord she is, felt that her talents would be better suited to blasting the un-living crap out of undead.

Now her charisma is maxed, her wisdom is almost maxed, and the rest of her build points went mostly to Con with a few in Str and Int (for skill points). I haven’t taken her out for a spin yet (hey, it’s tiring doing all that reincarnating and leveling up and spending action points and re-populating hotbars), but I did check out her hjeals, and they’re looking pretty good – she hit herself for 966 on a cure light crit.

Evennote

Meanwhile, Even is still having an awesome time tearing through stuff and laughing at anything that attempts to damage her. At level 15, still in mostly the PDK starter gear, she’s got PRR of 120 and MRR of 86, and her base damage with the standard-issue PDK longsword is in triple digits. Heck, on her paladin life, I was stunned if she could crit in triple digits! (LOL, well, not really; she was mostly using Celestia at the time, and that worked fairly well for her. But still.)

I’m also happy to report that she’s back to her usual acid green hair color. Somehow, Even just isn’t Even until her hair is chartreuse. I need to find her some armor that’s more green-ish. Nothing against the PDK armor (oddly enough, while she got all the other PDK starter gear, she didn’t get the armor cosmetic, just the armor itself – good thing she’s not overly partial to it!), it’s just not really Even’s style. She’d really like to have the Deneith armor, the one the guy on the House D splash screen is wearing, but I’m not sure that’s actually available ingame anywhere.

If you count Even’s epic, heroic, and lesser reincarnations, plus Zak and Meren and Riva, that’s six reincarnations in the past few days, which probably close to doubles my total reincarnations, like, EVER. I’m really surprised at how painless it was. I might have to do this more often!

 

Back where she belongs October 6, 2014

Evennote

I loved – seriously, loved – Even’s first life as a paladin.

Damage mitigation, self-healing, aggro getting and keeping… tanking was boatloads of fun. She was pretty good at it, IMHO, and she got plenty of requests for her tanking services.

There was just the little matter of her little DPS. In parties, it never mattered. As long as stuff was trying to kill Even and leaving everybody else alone, it was all good. But soloing could get tedious because it took her longer than most people to kill stuff. And I’m the kind of player who likes to kill everything rather than rushing through, which made questing solo on Even even longer.

It still wasn’t that big a deal until she started running into stuff that could self-heal – namely Nythirios, the boss at the end of the second phase of Tower of Despair. Solo-wise, it took her a couple of tries to figure out how to damage him faster than the shadows healed him, and even when she did, it wasn’t *much* faster.

I wasn’t looking to turn her into a lean, mean, DPS machine. I just wanted her damage output to be a little better. Ergo, she just spent 28 levels as a monk/rogue/fighter. And it was fun. Her DPS got pretty crazy, her trap skills up to EH were adequate (EE traps mostly just laughed at her attempts to find them, though), and her self-healing was usually adequate.

Still, she’s a paladin at heart. And as much as I enjoyed her monk life, I really missed the Even who I knew I could take into any quest, any difficulty, and be standing at the end.

So when I found out that paladins were getting some love in Update 23, I rejoiced. A lot. The day of the update, I took her out for one last monk spin, through the epic Orchard wilderness. And then she headed for Reincarnation Grove.

My plan was to do an epic TR immediately followed by a heroic TR into a Purple Dragon Knight, and then use a +1 lesser heart of wood to swap out the first fighter level and go pure paladin. It almost went off without a hitch.

The eTR went just as planned (I went martial for her PL). The heroic TR also went swimmingly. But it was late (or early, depending on your point of view), I was tired, and I just wanted to get the reincarnating over with and get some sleep. So after the heroic TR, rather than leveling her up to 15, I figured I’d just do the LR right away since I’d be leveling back up from that anyway.

So I opened up the lesser reincarnate dialog, dragged the heart into the box, and got a message that I couldn’t reincarnate because I was banking levels.

Oops, didn’t see that coming. Well, no biggie, I thought; I’ll just go to the paladin trainer and level up as fast as I can, then do the LR. So out of Reincarnation Grove, back through the Hall of Heroes to Eveningstar. Found the pally trainer and leveled up to 15 faster than I would have thought possible, simply by clicking the first available feats/enhancements/skill points/stat increases rather than picking and choosing – after all, it was all going to get wiped out when she LRed. Right?

Back to Reincarnation Grove, open the LR dialogue, and… wait, what? My lesser heart’s gone! Checked inventory, bank, mail, and buyback; even checked to see if it was still in the dialogue box. Nuttin’.

Filled out a bug report and a support ticket, the latter of which told me to contact ingame support. So I sent in an ingame ticket, and then realized that it would be hours before anybody was even in ingame support to look at it. Lucky for me I remembered @DDOUnlimited on Twitter. When I logged in the next day, everything was straightened out.

Thanks to the great customer service, Even’s now a level 15 Purple Dragon Knight pure paladin… and she feels nearly indestructible to me. I haven’t even geared her up yet; she’s wearing her greensteel con-op goggles, a heroic elite Jeweled Cloak, and her Voice, but everything else she’s got on right now is the default PDK gear.

I decided to take her for a spin through Vale just to see what the new and hopefully improved Even would be like… and WOW, am I happy! Her DPS is quite respectable; she was one- and two-shotting a lot of stuff. I wanted to try out her new shield attacks, but it was hard because she was killing stuff faster than I could click her hotbar.

Vey and Mas were doing heroic High Road and Storm Horns after that. I was a little nervous – after all, Even’s several levels under those – but figured what the heck, it was worth a try. And she came through just fine. Mobs died quickly, and Even wasn’t taking much damage at all. I deliberately let her get separated from Vey and Mas several times to make sure it wasn’t their DPS that was doing the trick (because both of them have some pretty serious damage output), and she still did fine. My favorite moment was when she leaped alone into a pack of six griffins, killed them all in rather rapid fashion, and emerged without even needing to throw a Cure Serious on herself.

She’s since done a wilderness fest – Sands, Gianthold, and Orchard – to get her maps cleared. Then tonight she and Vey duo’d the Attack on Stormreach chain on elite where, if I hadn’t managed to blunder her right into a bunch of mines in Undermine, she’d still not have a death for this life yet. (Sorry Even, my bad – I feel like I let her down!)

Even’s banking 16 but I’m going to keep her there for a while, I think; I want to milk as much XP as possible from the lower quests before leveling up. It’s hard, though – I can’t wait to get her back into epic levels and serious raiding again! She feels so solid to me right now, I’d almost like to try running a couple of the easier epics – BoB, Snitch – on her, just to see what would happen… if only she could get into them at level 15!

 

 
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