Beating the heat


Air conditioning is a wonderful thing.

Not that I’d know – I don’t have AC in this room. And with the heat wave that’s sweeping much of the country right now, I really, REALLY wish I did.

When I logged on ahead of my Sunday livestream, the temperature in here was 92 degrees. At 10:30 pm. By the time I finished the livestream, did a little PvP with Slvr and a Jibbers run with Citi and Keava, then a quick sell/repair, it was almost three hours later… and the room temp had climbed to 96 degrees (this computer throws off a LOT of heat).

My video card was none too happy about that. The fan started screaming at me about 10 seconds after I started the stream. I wasn’t too happy about it either. C’mon, that’s freakin’ HOT. And not in a good way.

So while pondering what to run for the livestream, it occurred to me that a nice underwater quest might be just the ticket. Unfortunately it didn’t cool ME down any, but Even stayed nice and comfy even in her heavy armor.

Normally I’d do all the optionals, but with both my video card and myself in serious danger of overheating, I chose the semi-easy route – invis to both side objectives and then again to the end fight. But I hate to pass up the chance to fight a big mean pit fiend, so we figured, as long as we were there, we might as well go smack him around.

Despite my frame rate barely or not at all into double digits most of the time, ’twas a fun run! Slvr pulled a Scroll of the Souleater early in the quest, and I had to tell him which item that was… and then I pulled a Souleater from EACH of the pit fiend’s two chests, one of which I passed to him because I probably have at least half a dozen scattered across various toons. The PvP is a story for another blog!

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm 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!  :)

Roid rage


Every so often, usually when I’m in the middle of something else, I’ll get a tell from Sadie…

“EEEEVVVEEEEEENNNNNN!!!!! Come run Abbot with meeeeeeee!”

Sunday I was trying to decide what I wanted to run for the livestream, so I opened up my quest journal and started looking for things Even hasn’t run yet. Lo and behold, though she’s been flagged for, like, EVER, she’s not yet run Abbot this life. Not sure how that happened – I may owe Sadie an apology, because I REALLY thought I’d run Abbot with her at some point during Even’s current life.

I actually really, intensely dislike Abbot. I won’t go so far as to say “hate,” but… it’s close. A long, long time ago, I was in Abbot and was on roids duty. In case you’ve never run Abbot, aka Ascension Chamber, the best way to handle roids is to use mouselook to aim boulders at ginormous asteroids that hurtle toward your rickety platform.

I happen to HATE mouselook. It is just completely non-intuitive for me. And that night, as I was trying to go into mouselook to better target incoming asteroids, I pressed “R” instead of “T”…

Not once.

Not twice.

Not three times.

FOUR STRAIGHT TIMES (because yes, we kept failing roids and had to redo it that many times), I pressed “R” for “autorun” instead of “T” for “mouselook,” thereby running right off the precarious perch and plummeting to my death.

I’ve had autorun disabled ever since that night. Remarkably, two or three years later, the people from that PuG still ask me to group with them.


Even tosses boulders at roids.


So I figured going in there was no way I’d get a completion, because even assuming I could get past roids, there would still be tiles (sheer luck to try to solo since you can’t see the tiles) and ice (that one, with Even’s HP and heal amp, at least I had a shot at).

Head in, beat down the Abbot, portals appear. I figured I’d roll to see which one I’d take first – 1 for left, 2 for center, 3 for right. Rolled a 2, clicked the center portal, and… you KNOW where I ended up. Great.

Oh, for any Abbot virgins out there, did I mention that hjealing of all sorts is disabled in roids? The roids come from all directions. If you don’t hit them with boulders in time, they smack into your little platform, dealing damage that you CANNOT HEAL.

No, I didn’t make it through roids. But then again, I never expected to. I was somewhat pleasantly surprised that I didn’t manage to run off the tiny platform, seeing as how I was in mouselook-that-I-hate, and even more surprised that I managed to take out what seemed (to me) to be a fair number of roids before they finally got the best of me. It was actually pretty fun, which is something I rarely say about Abbot… who knows, maybe I’ll try again sometime!


Keava and Getting do EE Demonweb.
Also this past week, Even continued to NOT get a Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers from yet more Two-Toed Tobias runs. On a happier note, Keava talked Getting the intentionally-gimped bank bard into running Demonweb on EE. I didn’t think she’d survive the first fight… but we made it through Trial by Fury and The Deal and the Demon successfully before we realized it was bedtime.

So much for, “She’s JUST a bank toon. I’m NEVER going to play her!” Yeah, she’s now level 23 and one quest away from being flagged for Caught in the Web. despite being OH-so-gimpy. I was surprised that her CC generally worked pretty well on the rather resistant Drow in Demonweb and Sschindylryn… and wow, I also just realized that she can turn in the first saga if she wants to, just skip Reclaiming the Rift, and get credit for true elite. Go Getting!

She really does kinda suck, but it’s fun to play a toon who wears a giant mushroom on her head, beats things up with a bouquet of flowers, and never takes anything seriously.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm 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!  :)

Sleepless in Thelanis

Sere vs. Cenodoxus


Ah, another sleepless night. Good time for a blog!

Even was midway through yet another EE Two-Toed Tobias run when newest Flower Sniffer Citi signed on tonight. We completed that in short order and, after a bit of debate, decided to start flagging for Tower of Despair.

Even’s flagged, of course – heck, she’s been soloing it on elite for months now – but assassin rogue Sere is not. So I logged her in and set off for Amrath with Citi on his cleric.

We had trouble getting the quests to open at first, but at last, while we were, like, MILES away killing random stuff in the wilderness, the dialogue box FINALLY popped up. (What’s going on with that? It’s been happening a lot lately.) We tore through Genesis Point first, nice easy run, and then tackled Sins of Attrition, also pretty easy except for “someone” forgetting that there were undisableable (YES, that’s a word if I say it is) air jet traps and getting blown up into the spikes and killed.  *g*

And I got a pretty nice screenie of Sere fighting Cenodoxus, which sorta makes up for not playing her in so long that when she got to the Twelve, she got a message that she’d completed the Midwinter Festival.




A few nights before that, I’d dropped a Sands guest pass on Amie the free-to-play alt. Citi brought his 13 paladin, and we dashed through the desert side quests. The biggest problem we had there was that Amie had a hard time telling Citi apart from his hireling. Look at that screenie – they’re practically twins! It’s bad enough that I sometimes find myself following a blue dot that turns out to be a hireling. It’s even worse when I can’t tell who’s the real player and who’s the hireling when they’re standing right in front of me!

Amie had enough time left on her guest pass to finish a slayer/rare/explorer run the next night. Citi showed up about the time she’d cleared out the undead area, and I surprised both of us by knowing the way to most of the explorer points. Had to check wiki for the Crow’s Nest – for some reason I can NEVER find that one on my own. Gotta do the flagging quests next, but she’ll need a fresh pass – or I could just move her on to Gianthold, since I bought that for her when it was on sale a while back.


Even and Stormreaver


Even is still Cursed-Blade-of-Jack-Jibbers-less. I’m convinced now that Jack is sekritly a kobold wraith who remembers what Even did to him in Waterworks a little too well.

Meanwhile someone was asking me about soloing EEs and raids earlier tonight, and wanted to know which ones Even had completed. I’d made a New Year’s resolution in 2015 to try to solo more raids, EEs, and generally tougher content. Her list of EEs is at 60-some quests now, so I’m not going to list all those (I’m lazeh like that). Raids, though – she does Fall of Truth on EN on a regular basis, mostly to farm wraiths (about five more runs until she gets the pet), and has done it on EH a few times. Besides wraiths, she also gets to admire the Stormreaver’s pretty hair!

She’s also successfully soloed EE Chrono and Demon Queen, EN Lord of Blades and Master Artificer, and elite Tower of Despair, Vision of Destruction, and Reaver’s Fate. Most of the others I haven’t tried yet. She has issues with the portal masters in Phase 1 of Shroud (which Vic has soloed successfully on heroic normal) – she can’t FIND them. A couple of stabs at Caught in the Web have ended with her getting knocked off by the legs.

And a few nights ago, she made her second try at legendary normal Tempest’s Spine – her first attempt was thwarted because her Int wasn’t high enough to get the runes. So I bought her some +14 Int goggles to swap in, grabbed some Yugo pots and the House D pots that stack with almost everything, and tried again. Went much better this time; she even did the drow optional (although I was cursing a lot in guild chat about those damned drow). She got all the way to the dropdown point right before the end fight, where there’s a big mean beholder you have to get past to get to Sor’jek’s portal – she was running around trying to stay behind the beholder and somehow got stuck on the ladder. Tried to jump off and kept ending up right back on it, to the tune of nine negative levels, one disintegrate, and a very disheartening ding.

As she keeps telling Jack Jibbers, maybe next time!

The Cursed Lag of Jack Jibbers


This past week’s livestream featured Slvr and I dashing off an epic elite Three-Barrel Cove/Sentinels saga to take advantage of the 30% guild renown boost weekend.

It’s probably the easiest epic saga to get through quickly on elite… under normal circumstances. Murphy’s luck being what it is, “normal” did not describe the circumstances we had.

First there was my crappy Internet, which normally gives me a “fair” connection with three bars. On bad nights, it’s two bars and “poor.” On really REALLY bad nights, it’s one bar and “low” or “poor.”

Last night, the signal bar actually disappeared several times. How I managed to stay connected to DDO, I have no idea. But I made it through the saga (sans Precious Cargo, which I thought I had ’cause it was marked on my spreadsheet, and Spies in the House, because I wasn’t in the mood to spend an hour trying to lag-jump through the blade traps) without a single disconnect.

Then there was my computer, which does not like it when I try to run anything else at the same time as DDO. So it’s really not happy on livestream nights when I have DDO, a browser window for  Twitch, and OBS all going at once. It protested, but managed to soldier on.

And then… there was the lag. If I’d been soloing, I’d’ve probably chalked it up to a combination of bad connection and unhappy computer. But Slvr was getting it just as badly as I was. In fact, we wondered if the livestream was going to consist of us standing at the gate to 3BC twiddling our thumbs waiting for the dialogue box to open so we could actually get in.

At last, get in we did, after what seemed like about half an hour spent dancing with the gate. Garl’s Tomb, Prove Your Worth, Ghost of a Chance, and of course, my old buddy Jack Jibbers in The Legend of Two-Toed Tobias. It took a while with all the lag, but FINALLY! we finished them all and headed off to House Deneith for the Sentinels of Stormreach chain.

And that’s where the video ends, because I decided I’d try to improve computer performance a bit by shutting down OBS and my Twitch browser window.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm 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!  :)

Want Your Blade, Jack



I’ve begged the chest. I’ve danced with it. I’ve hugged it. I’ve tickled the itchy spot behind its ears – or I would have, if chests had ears. I’ve cheered for it. I’ve shown it my right hand so it can see that I still don’t have a Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers. Tonight, I even groveled before it…

… all for naught. The loot gods sit on their lofty perches laughing at my feeble attempts to get that elusive Jibbers blade.

Clearly I need to try something new. And so I thought, hmmm, what says “I care” more than a song written JUST FOR YOU, chest? OK, so I borrowed the melody from “Hit the Road, Jack” by Ray Charles (László Csotye’s karaoke version used in the video can be found here) and put together this little duet between Even-the-pally and Jack Jibbers.

Lyrics are in the captions – if you don’t see them, click the little “CC” button at the bottom. They’re a bit confusing – the captioning I used let me use formatting, so it was easy to distinguish which lines were Even’s and which were Jack’s. Unfortunately YouTube stripped the formatting when I uploaded the captions file, so it’s all ordinary plain Arial 28-pt text. Meh.


Keava gets a Jibbers!


At least now I do have definitive seen-with-my-own-eyes proof that Jack Jibbers’ cursed blade does indeed exist. I was starting to wonder! But the other night, I was about to make my nightly Two-Toed Tobias run and asked Keava if he’d like to come along. Turns out Keava doesn’t even own Three-Barrel Cove and had never run ANY quest out there. No problem, that’s what guest passes are for.

Right before we opened the chest, I told him he didn’t have to pass me the Jibbers if he pulled it… you see where this is going, right?

Uh-huh. On his FIRST EVER RUN, Keava pulled the Jibbers blade. I’m pretty sure Even was crying in the hot tub later that night. I’m a little disappointed, too. Not so much about not getting the blade, though…

Naturally the first thing we did was run around the wildy until we found some likely-looking mobs so we could get Keava killed and see the blade in action. I’d been under the impression that using the blade invoked an animation in which you dramatically stabbed yourself in the chest with it and miraculously rose from the dead. It’s not QUITE that cool. There’s a bit of black smoke, and then you’re just… alive. Well, kinda. You’re undead, and you have a scimitar sticking out of your chest. I would’ve preferred the self-stabbing animation, but it’s still pretty cool.

… and I still don’t have one.

Curse you, Jack Jibbers and your non-existent blade

Damn you to hell, Jack Jibbers.


Did you ever farm for a certain item so much that, even when you got to the point when you knew you probably wouldn’t use it much anyway, you still wanted it desperately just as a matter of principle?

I’ve done that a few times. I remember waiting… and waiting… and waiting… and waiting some more as I ran Tower of Despair until I could recite the dialogue from memory, and still not getting a Band of Siberys. Even on multiple-of-20 completions runs, I’d eagerly check my end reward list only to be disappointed – seemed I had my pick of EVERY damned ring EXCEPT the one I wanted. Finally got it in Horoth’s chest on Even’s 80-something completion.

Then there was my seemingly endless quest for a Shard of the Silver Slinger. I thought I’d never get it. I wondered if it existed at all. So I blogged about it, and within a week, I finally pulled it.



For months now I’ve been running EE Legend of Two-Toed Tobias, mostly solo, sometimes with a guildie or friend or piker or two, looking for the Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers. I’ve heard other people say they have it. (I’m lookin’ at YOU, Tholgrin…) Some guy in Even’s EE FoT group tonight claimed to have one – or at least that’s what he said about the third time Even tossed him a rez.


Because I’m convinced that the Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers DOES NOT EXIST. If it did, I would have seen one by now. But the closest I’ve come, as you can see in the screenshot above, is immediately after killing* Jack, when his blade dangles tantalizingly over your head, making you feel like Damocles (“That ain’t no crime…” – cookie if you get the reference) and remaining juuuuuuust out of reach.

* – Since Jack Jibbers is undead, is “kill” the proper verb here? “Unkill,” maybe?

Anyway. In hopes that, as with the Silver Slinger shard, the loot gods will see this blog and respond accordingly, I’m hoping that posting this will result in a Jibbers blade for Even within a week.

Or two… or…

(Also, the post title is a paraphrased version of what I typed in guild chat a few nights ago when I once again emerged from the Wheeping Cove empty-handed. The original version contained language not suitable for decent company, hence the paraphrasing.)

Of pets and raids and EE Shindy

This past Sunday’s livestream featured Even and Gonari duoing the epic elite Sschindylryn chain. Keava couldn’t join in, as he was splitting his time between work and leveling up his newly-TRed warlock… maybe that’s why this week, while there were certainly some laughs, nobody tried to grab Elminster’s thingie, or offered their Pale Rod to anyone, or told everyone to stop beating up Draya Dun’Robar so we could check and see if the Drow commander was male or female. Must work on that!

Next week’s livestream will probably be EE Demonweb. DRETCHES! Yay! You can watch live at 11 pm Eastern time on Sunday by visiting my Twitch channel.


Blonde bear cub


The past week also marked the acquisition of Dandelion, my new blonde bear cub cosmetic pet, aka Creature Companion #94. Just finished a run of Fall of Truth to farm wraiths; still need nearly 2,400  of those for the wraith pet. I don’t get it. Vey doesn’t play nearly as much as I do, doesn’t farm wraiths, and only needs about 900. And then it will be on to the rust monster, unless of course DDO introduces another cosmetic pet that’s easier to farm. *koff*DRETCHALREADY*koff*


Seven Flower Sniffers at once!


But the BEST thing that happened last week was our Friday guild night, when we had seven – SEVEN! – Flower Sniffers on at the same time! And in the same quest! We’d nearly given up on Runn when she finally showed up… and told us she had never, ever run Chronoscope before, ever. We were in the bank fight by that time, so we told her where to find the quest and how to get to the tavern, and then ran back and collected her. And passed her some loot, because she DID NOT PIKE! She told us! Keava made it on despite the U.S./Australia time difference, new guildie Cerah also made it for what I think was her first guild night run with us, and we even talked Citi into rolling up a toon and joining us! The stars must have been aligned pretty well, or maybe it’s the strawberry moon that’s out tonight… we were only short Shin and Seki, who have this weird concept about real life coming before DDO. Pffft.  LOL

‘Twas a super fun run that went amazingly well – elite Chrono at level can be a bit dicey, especially with a first-timer, a transplant from another server with no gear, and two members who haven’t played much DDO in quite a while… not to mention five PuGgers of unknown origin. But I’m pretty sure we had only three or four deaths total, which was less than the number of Hellfire Crossbows that dropped and weren’t wanted by anyone!

Hopefully this Friday we’ll get another good Flower Sniffin’ turnout for guild night. Hmmm… I’m not normally much into PvP, but a guild one might be fun. I might even stream that!

A little break from reality

Sundays at 11 pm Eastern has been working out quite well as a livestreaming slot for me. Still waiting to be added to the official schedule – maybe “soon*” ™?

Listening to, watching, and reading the news over the past few days… well, “depressing” is an understatement there. Forget that the two likely candidates for President of the United States are people of, erm, questionable integrity at best, IMHO. That’s old news. The election hasn’t happened yet. There’s still a chance for a happy ending. (Yep, I #FeelTheBern.)

Senseless violence, though… different story there. Was about to go to bed Friday night when I saw a headline that former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie had been shot by a fan and was in critical condition.

I’ve been watching the show for several years now. I remember Christina. I liked her when she was on. She wasn’t my favorite, but I was happy that she ended up in the top three. The last thing she tweeted that night was, “ORLANDO!! Come out to the show tonight at the Plaza Live! Starts at 7:30!😎”

She never got the chance to tweet again. She was signing autographs after the show when a man walked up to her and shot her. Just like that. I stayed up that night waiting for news of her condition. Unfortunately, when word finally came, it wasn’t good. Bright, talented, 22 years old… gone. Just like that. No reason. Incredibly freaking sad.

And just one night later, a shooting spree in a nightclub, also in Orlando. Fifty people dead. More than that injured. Because some douchebag thought he had the right to kill people who didn’t love the way he thought they should.

It touched a nerve for me. My best friend is gay; I’m going to her wedding in July. My brother is gay. Some of the people I care about most are gay or bi. I am having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the fact that there are people who want to kill them – KILL THEM – for being who they are. And I simply cannot understand why so many Americans vehemently, even violently, oppose any form of gun control.

But this is supposed to be a blog about DDO, not a soapbox. So I’ll get to that in a minute. First, though… be kind to each other. Cut the negative people out of your life and focus on the ones who make you laugh, who inspire you, who support you, who love you. Appreciate them. Cherish them.

So after everything that went on, it was a good feeling to log into DDO Sunday night, fire up the livestream, grab Keava and Slvr, and laugh our way through the Eveningstar chain. Slvr and I were over level, but SAGAS. I probably should’ve brought someone other than Even since Even can cruise through that stuff solo, but Even was who I wanted to play. She’s the one who’s the most like real-life me, and sometimes that matters.

Sunday’s run was just what I needed. In between liberating the Midlers (or are they the Milders? C’mon, DDO, a little consistency!), ridding Eveningstar of evil necromancers, leading Ana around (she wandered off and got lost once – maybe she needs some Bigby’s Guiding Hands), lighting bonfires, and comparing giant bebeliths to Herb Tarlek’s top account on “WKRP in Cincinnati” (yeah, you’re gonna have to watch the vid if you want to know about that one), we had a running gag about Elminster’s… thingie.

See, the night before, we’d taken a jaunt through King’s Forest. Keava and Slvr had already done a full circuit, but my intentionally-gimped bank bard Getting had never set foot in there, so she needed allllll the explorers. Y’know, those little snowflake things with messages from Elminster. I’d taken a quick side trip to pick up one I missed, Keava asked me what I was doing, and without thinking, I said, “I’m just over here grabbing Elminster’s thingie.”

So even a night later, we were still laughing about that. And then Keava opened a chest and asked if anyone wanted a Pale Rod… yeah, I think that probably deserves a Button of Winning!

Thanks, guys. I needed that.🙂

Just killin’ time


I was going to play some DDO tonight once I finally got to the computer, but alas – DDO is down; YAY! – it’s because U29 is getting up and running!

So then I remembered, “Hey! I have a DDO blog! A sadly neglected DDO blog… but a DDO blog nonetheless.” And I figured, even if I’m the only one who reads it, this is a great way for me to keep a record of what my toons have been up to and what they’re planning on being up to next.

I’m now up to 18 – yes, EIGHTEEN – toons on Thelanis, which is pretty much the only place I play any more. Even had taken a bit of a break for a while as I worked on leveling up a couple of her brothers and sisters, but after being caught off guard by the last two guild renown weekends happening at very inopportune times for me, I resolved to GET SAGAS DONE NAO. Next renown weekend, I’ll be prepared.

Our little band of Flower Sniffers is up to level 95 – not bad considering only two of us play most nights. Even’s nearly done with the epic Eveningstar sagas, all on true elite, and is rather proud that she soloed her way through most of the quests. She just needs two more Wheloon quests to have them all done. She’s also halfway through a true elite epic Gianthold saga, and hasn’t started epic 3BC yet. I’m thinking that just with the sagas she has completed, and a few scattered ones that other toons are holding on to, with renown pots (which I’ve stocked up on thanks to some really nice sales) and our small guild bonus, I think we have enough renown banking in sagas to get to 100. Hopefully we can get all of us on for the guild fame announcement… and then I think we should all strip naked (our toons, that is… anything else is a personal decision *g*), head into some quest we’re wildly over-level for *koff*PIT*koff*, and put a serious dent in Acanthia’s stash of nearly 1,200 Potions of Wonder.

Even also finally realized her goal of soloing Fall of Truth, even though it came about in kind of an odd way – I originally only went in there thinking it’d be a great place to farm wraiths for the Monster Manual pet. But after a while, she noticed that the wraiths really weren’t spawning any more. I was going to recall, and then I thought, ah, what the heck, let’s see how far she can get.

After she got each of the dragon/giant pairs down on her first try, I started thinking maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. When her handy thunderforged throwing axe made much shorter work of the crystal than her non-epic Bow of the Silver Flame had in her only previous solo attempt, I let myself get cautiously optimistic. But it wasn’t until I realized that the only two mobs left were the Stormreaver and the Truthful One, and they were both down to a sliver, that I really thought she’d make it. Sadly, no violet cube in any of the chests, but still a great feeling to get the completion.


And speaking of cosmetic pets, not counting any potential new ones from U29, I have just four left to go – wraith, rust monster, and hellhound from the Monster Manual, and violet cube from FoT/Caught in the Web. Even has made two tries at soloing CitW; first one, something was glitched because Ana wasn’t there, and the second time she got whooshed over the edge by one of the stupid legs.

I really like Even’s soloing style. It’s very resource-INdependent – no store items, no hirelings at all (unless absolutely needed for stuff like lever-pulling, and then used ONLY for that purpose), no multitudes of buffs. She’s been twisting Energy Burst for some AoE damage (very helpful in places like Wheloon), so Jall mailed her a few dozen mana pots to help her keep that going. Stalwart Pact, Holy Sword, Zeal, Death Ward – that’s pretty much it. When I remember, I’ll use Prayer and Divine Might; once in a while she’ll whip out a Blur wand or a True Seeing scroll if the situation warrants. No invising through quests; she stands and fights everything (although she’s been learning to kite because trying to stand one’s ground in a horde of angry Shadar-Kai assassins can be a bit TOO exciting sometimes). She Cocoons if she gets down to around 900 HP and usually doesn’t need more than one Cocoon per fight, if that. I have to admit, I’m really liking the thought of a level 30 Even.

I debated epic TRing at least some of my 28s before the update hit, but aside from Even, they all have a lot of saga quests to run, and that should help them all get the last two levels. Maybe if I’d been seriously thinking of TRing any of them to begin with… but I wasn’t. The next two to TR will be Meren (from rogue back to Favored Soul) and Ivy (from paladin to arty).

Char is enjoying her third life; she’s now a lvl 5 druid, although sometimes she kinda misses her ranger days. Vic is back up to 28 after an eTR a while back, joining Even, Jall, Dissy, and Zak at the (old) epic cap. Chalei’s still 26, and Laegonn just hit that mark as well; Acanthia’s up to… OMG, I forget, 24 or 25 after a semi-recent eTR. Meren, Riva, and Sere are also 25; Ivy’s 24; Winnie’s banking 19; Thangie and Getting-the-bank-bard-I-never-intended-to-play are 18; F2P alt Amie is 13 (and soloed her way through the LoD chain at lvl 12 because she wanted to see Eveningstar); Reera’s banking 7, and my new barbarian Tuna (short for Niituna) is 7.

OK, that’s actually 19 counting Amie, but she’s on her own account and doesn’t get much playing time, although she HAS managed to get her little guild of one up to level 20 and is the proud owner of a Windspyre Sparrow.

*sigh* Blogging is fun. But I have somewhat less free time than I used to, and I’d really rather be playing DDO.

Nothing left to prove


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.”


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.

Just lion around

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.


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.

Fun for ALL IV: Stop. Think. Win.


I’m a firm believer in the idea that a reasonably intelligent player on a gimped toon beats an idiot on an ubertwink 99.99% of the time.

Sere, my Shadar-Kai assassin rogue, definitely fits the “gimped” category. I really need to do some shopping and/or farming for her; at level 22, she’s still wearing mostly the stuff she came with. What few things she has that I’ve gotten her are still nothing to write home about – for example, I put her in a Parasitic Breastplate about five levels ago and still haven’t gotten her anything better. And she needs a +2 Con shrine to reach the 400-hit point mark.

So the other night, when Vey asked me if I had anyone 20-24 to run EE Carnival, the last toon I was thinking of was Sere. I told Vey I’d bring Chalei, and he said, “We could really use a trapper.”

Well, Vic’s a dandy trapper, IMHO, but she’s lvl 27. So I said, jokingly, “Great, I’ll get Sere and you can carry her stone from trap to trap.”

And Vey was all, “Bring her.” Which made me all, “OMG NOOOO, she’s gonna diiiieeeee!” But Vey kept being all, “BRING HER. She’s not gonna die. You’ll be fine.”

Oh, and did I mention we were short-manning without a healer? This had disaster written all over it.

Except it didn’t. Sere died a total of twice in all four quests combined, once when Crateos one-shotted her (which also took out one of our other party members). I can’t remember what her other death was; think it might have been a caster in Partycrashers. She needed a GH to find the traps a few times (and oops, she probably wouldn’t have if I’d remembered to swap in her search/spot item) but had no trouble disarming them.

And no… she did NOT pike. In fact, in three of the four quests, she finished second in the kill count, and definitely had enough kills in each of them to show that she was contributing.

Sere’s ability to be productive in epic elite content was definitely not the result of her build or gear. Nor was it any great skill on my part. I didn’t do anything that required a genius IQ or uber playing ability. But, I didn’t do anything *stupid* either.


I know Sere’s HP is low. I know she probably won’t survive pulling aggro. So I kept her in sneak mode most of the time, let the rest attack first and grab aggro, and only then did I move in. Pretty simple, really – but my gimpy toons have more than once carried the soulstones of better-built, better-geared characters played by people who rushed into a fight without thinking about the best way for them to approach it.

It helped that by the time we got to Big Top, we had a paladin who tossed a few Lay On Hands Sere’s way, and someone – think it was the bard – threw her a Cocoon from time to time. And it really helped that the rest of the party were smart, experienced players who were very good at keeping a gimpy undergeared rogue alive.

Sere was still about 20K short of level 22 when we finished the chain. A quick two-man EN Snitch with Vey almost did the trick – she was still 137 XP shy. Vey DDoored back to the start while Sere was still trying to figure out what she could trash to make inventory space for her shiny epic loot, and did one of the optionals to get her to 22.

I think a green steel HP item would be a good first step in un-gimping Sere. She flagged for Shroud a while back but hadn’t run it yet. Seemed like every time I put up an LFM, we filled without a healer so I ended up switching to Jall. (My groups are always gimp/first-timer friendly, so running without hjealz is not a great idea.) Last night she finally got her chance, and again managed to get a decent number of kills without dying herself (well, y’know, except for that one part after Phase 4). People were great about passing her shards of power, and she ended up with one regular, one great and one supreme. Looks like I’ll be doing some GS crafting tomorrow!

Earlier last night, Chalei ran her first ToD and had a great time once she managed to get and stay online. In the first run, we’d just dropped down to the doggie doors when I got a blue screen of death. Once I got the computer back up and running, it took me several tries before I could get all the way on DDO without crashing, and it was a nice surprise to find that someone had grabbed Chalei’s soulstone from the penalty box and carried it along so I wouldn’t be stuck there when I got back. The party was in Phase 2 by the time I got back on, and I crashed again about 10 seconds after I got rezzed, so I was kinda glad to get back on yet again and find out that there’d been a mishap with the shadows and they wiped, because that meant another chance for Chalei.

Second run went much smoother, except that Chalei was kinda forced to pike against Nyth. Any time she hit him with anything, he immediately aggroed *hard* on her. So she ended up having to stand off to one side blocking; I had some cure scrolls at the ready figuring that maybe she could at least be useful that way, but our two hjealers did a great job keeping everyone’s red bars up.