Even Now

Funz and failz in DDO

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

 

Filkin’ Around: Steelstar Killed My Gimpy Bank Bard March 22, 2016

Alas, poor Getting.

 

My unfortunate, intentionally-gimped bank bard wishes she’d not chosen DDO’s 10th Anniversary Party for her debutante ball.

True, Scrag the kobold was happy to see her. And the Coin Lords gave her a nice salute when she arrived.

But then… but then…

Being a bard, she chose to describe her experience at the party via song. Not just ANY song, mind you, but a filk. Thus, my latest creation, to the tune of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles (which was the first video ever played on MTV, in case you didn’t know), is the Amazing Gimp-O-Bard version. While you’re reading the lyrics (and hopefully singing them in your head – or aloud – to the melody), try to imagine them as performed by a somewhat plaintive sun elf wearing a big mushroom hat and strumming her lute with a bouquet of flowers…

 

   Steelstar Killed My Gimpy Bank Bard

I should’ve buffed her hitpoints past one fifty-two
Played that one song to get her DCs up there too
But she got stunned and there was nothing she could do
Ow ow ow

She ran upstairs and tried to dirge that dev arti
His robo dog just knocked her down and bit her knee
Wish she’d dumped Heighten for a toughness feat or three

Ow ow ow
She’s now a soulstone
Ow ow ow
He silenced her notes

Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
He shot her up, it broke her heart
Ow ow ow ow ow ow

Her party favors – well, I guess they’ll stay with Jeets
The other devs she’ll never get a chance to beat
That oatmeal raisin cookie wasn’t such a treat

Ow ow ow
Some celebration
Ow ow ow
She’s bruised and achin’

Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
His lightning blast zapped her health bar
His rune arm tore her all apart

Ow ow ow ow ow
Ow ow ow ow ow

Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
His lightning blast zapped her health bar
His rune arm tore her all apart

He shot her up, it broke her heart
She missed him with her throwing dart

Oh, my gimpy bank bard
Oh, my gimpy bank bard

Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard (Oh, my gimpy bank bard)
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard (Oh, my gimpy bank bard)
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard (Oh, my gimpy bank bard)
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard (Oh, my gimpy bank bard)
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard (Oh, my gimpy bank bard)
Steelstar killed my gimpy bank bard (Oh, my gimpy bank bard)

 

Getting vs. Steelstar

 

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!

 

Another Ten Years February 29, 2016


The 2.31 people who read this blog are probably familiar with my love of writing filks, or parody songs. Mostly my efforts have been funny, or at least were intended to be funny (whether I succeeded… yeah, jury’s still out on that one). There have been a couple of serious ones.

 

But I’ve never written a love filk. That is, until now.

 

The cosmetic pets, the Potions of Wonder, the hair dyes, the Valentine’s bouquet, the Clubs of the Holy Flame, the naked Shroud dances, the dragging of my gimps through sagas, and so, so much more…

 

I offer you “Another Ten Years,” set to “One Hundred Years” by Five for Fighting. (For the instrumental version I used, by Jewel KARAOKE, click here.) Lyrics follow, since the captions ARE. NOT. WORKING.  *grrrrr*

 

   Another Ten Years

I’m level 1 for a moment
Stuck on this beach, oi, no, I ain’t undead
Braving the cold
Finding my way ’round Korthos Island

I’m level 8 for a moment
Through Waterworks, kobolds gonna hate me
Next up, the Pit
I’m getting lost, enjoying the ride

DDO, good times with you
PuGs and friends and guildies true
DDO, would you ask the djinn to grant me one wish
For another ten years just as good as this

I’m level 12 for a moment
Now I’m VoN flagged, time to run my first raid
Getting snick-snack vorpaled
Killing still more minotaurs

I’m 16 for a moment
Defeated Tor, heading out to the Vale
To flag for Shroud
Can’t wait to make a Lit II longsword

DDO, good times with you
PuGs and friends and guildies true
Can’t wait to check out Eveningstar

DDO, I salute you
DDO, would you ask the djinn to grant me one wish
For another ten years just as good as this

Quests flash by on my screen
Now I’m banking 19
Inside Jeets’ dream
Epic quests still to come
Think of places I’ve been
I’m playing on

I’m epic capped for a moment
Looking back, what a journey
And I’m just dreaming
‘Til it’s time to TR and start anew

DDO, good times with you
Party wipes and rolls for loot
Dancing nekkid in the Shroud
Oh, the joy that I’ve found

DDO, oh oh ooh
DDO, oh oh ooh
DDO, oh oh oh, DDO

DDO, good times with you
PuGs and friends and guildies true
DDO, would you ask the djinn to grant me one wish
For another ten years just as good as this

 

DDO – the game, the players, the staff, and most of all my friends – this is for you. Just my own little homage to something that has had a tremendous impact on my life. A very few of you know some of the things I’ve struggled with over the years. (If you want to know, you can always ask; if I know you well enough, I might tell you.) It’s kind of ironic that some people, particularly non-gamers, think that my DDO habit means I have no life, when it is the amazing, wonderful, supportive friends I’ve made here who have helped me conquer my demons and start to really live.

 

I love you all, and I love this game. A very happy 10th anniversary to DDO, and a heartfelt wish for many more to come.

 

Note: I actually wanted to write an original song, but a) time constraints ’cause I wanted to have this published on the actual anniversary date (which I missed by a bit over an hour anyway, darn it), and b) I can’t find the cable for my MIDI keyboard, so it’s just a keyboard for now.

 

And then there were 89 February 10, 2016

Violet cube!

I thought February had already been a pretty good month for cosmetic pets. First the fiendling companions – standard, magma, and shadow – and they JUGGLE! Then the invisible mini-stalker; I’d like to take credit for that, since back in early April 2013, I wrote a blog post that included the line, “It’s probably a bit late for the April Fools’ Day post I had planned, complete with screenshots of my new Invisible Stalker pet.” But I think it’s just coincidence that there is now indeed an Invisible Stalker pet. (If they ever release a dretch pet, that is TOTALLY on me – but that’s a topic for a whole ‘nuther post.)

The three fiendlings and Claude, the Invisible Stalker, put me at 88 pets. I had just four left to go: the wraith, rust monster, and hellhound from the Monster Manual, all within reach if I want to do some serious grinding, and… the violet gelatinous cube-let, which drops only in the raids Fall of Truth and Caught in the Web.

Claude the Invisible Stalker!

And from all accounts, the violet cube is a very, VERY rare drop. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anyone with one. Wiki says that it drops on all difficulties, so I’d taken to farming EN Fall of Truth (because I think that even if Even could survive EH solo, it’d be too grindy to bear, and I get too lost in CitW). Then a friend told me that it only drops on elite. I despaired. I almost never see FoT LFMs, and I knew damn well that Even was not ready to try to solo that on EE.

So I gave myself a break from FoT and started working on getting some more solo raids and EEs done. Managed to add Belly of the Beast, Chamber of Raiyum (aka Wiz King), Desecrated Temple of Vol, Master Artificer, and Lord of Blades to Even’s list.

The pillars in LoB glitched – everything was dead except Ol’ Shiny himself, but the pillars wouldn’t go “live” so I could kill them. And as long as I couldn’t kill them, I couldn’t kill the LoB. Took him down four or five times, but he’d bring himself right back at full health. So I finally sent in a ticket and got a great GM who got that solved for me.

Juggling fiendlings!

Was fighting the flu and feeling pretty poorly, so I was thinking of going to bed after I got done selling and repairing from LoB. And then Slvr said something like, “Hey, wanna do an FoT while my bard hides in a corner?”

Oh, what the heck, I thought; I can’t sleep anyway, my head’s too stuffed up. So off to Chez Stormreaver we went.

Maybe it was the flu, maybe I was rolling badly, but it was the most freaking worst time I’ve ever had in there “solo” (since Slvr was, as promised, hiding in a corner). The Stormreaver killed the Silence dragon while I was still working on the Confusion pair. I was getting lambasted by one “boom” after another. And there were about 10 times more air eles than I EVER remember seeing in there on ANY difficulty. I had to redo Confusion because once the giant was down, the eles blew me across the room just before I could give the dragon his final cleave.

Same thing happened when I thought I was about to finish – had the Stormreaver and Truthful One both at such mere slivers, you couldn’t see any red in their bars. Killed the Stormreaver and went to hit Light the Dark, which would most likely have done in TO, and the stupid air eles tossed me to the other side of the room.

By the time I finally managed to get them both down within a few seconds of each other, Slvr had gone from a bard hiding in a corner to a soulstone hiding in a corner, and I had gone from, “Sure, I could go for a FoT” to “DEATH TO ALL AIR ELES! NEVER AGAIN!”

We opened the first three chests. Nothing of note save one lonely heroic comm for Even.

I opened the last chest. Nada.

Slvr opened the last chest. And linked…

A VIOLET GELATINOUS CUBE-LET PET.

I squeed. A lot. Loudly. And named her after Slvr’s bard, who loves purple.

Claude the Invisible Stalker!

Five new pets in about a week – yeah, that’s a damn good week, LOL. That brings the total number of pets in Even’s Home for Wayward Creature Companions to 89.They can often be seen on the fourth lower deck of our ship, where they like to head over to Otto’s Irresistible Dance Hall and boogie with the various creatures who wander in from the Wild Grove across the way. And even though 89 is a LOT, they all get a shot at having fun. Some of my toons have “preferred” pets – Even tends to run with the black panther cub a lot, as it looks like (and is named for) my real-life kitty. Vic the mechanic loves having her bronze golem to tinker on; Ivy the BF pally likes the steel golem because it’s nearly as shiny as she is. Dissy has a special bond with the pink fire ele, which looks marvelous paired with her lavender hair. Reera the swashbuckler, like any good pirate, has a parrot – a scarlet macaw to match HER hair.

Incidentally, Claude, as shown in the inset, is not invisible to everyone. Sadie got this snap and sent it to me via Facebook. Slvr said he can see Claude’s outline as well. But all I can see are his pirate hat and floaty text. I’m OK with that – after all, he’s an Invisible Mini-stalker, not a Nearly Invisible Mini-stalker.

Not that they don’t switch things up now and then; Vic and assassin Sere appreciate Claude the Invisible Mini-stalker’s transparency when they’re trying to sneak past enemies. Reera really likes Claude too – he looks great in his pirate hat (sorta like when you kill pirates in 3BC and their hats float in midair for a while afterwards). The violet cube goes with Dissy’s hair at least as well as the pink fire ele.

Mini Harry gathers power!

Eighty-nine down, three to go – anyone want to do some Monster Manual farming with me on Thelanis?😀

 

 
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