Even Now

Funz and failz in DDO

The Cursed Lag of Jack Jibbers July 12, 2016

 

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!  :)

 

Curse you, Jack Jibbers and your non-existent blade June 28, 2016

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.

These people LIE. They are DIRTY DIRTY LIARS with DIRTY DIRTY PANTS ON FIRE.

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.)

 

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.

 

Just killin’ time December 17, 2015

Even

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.

Even

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.

 

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!

 

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.

 

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!

 

Bracing for a new beginning September 20, 2014

Evennote

If you follow Players Helping Players, you may already know that my computer is being particularly temperamental right now, so my playing time until next Friday (when the PC goes in to be fixed) is iffy at best.

Tonight it seems to be running fine, although it took about an hour of running diagnostics and repair to get that way, and I figured I’d blog a bit because, well, I can.

My current project is completing as many sagas as possible on Even before Update 23 hits, because as much as she’s loved her monk life, she really, really, REALLY can’t wait to be a paladin again, especially with the paladin-friendly changes coming in U23. She’s got all of the epic sagas done along with heroic 3BC, so now she just needs to finish heroic Gianthold and the two heroic Eveningstar sagas.

Sadly for my other toons, they’ve been terribly neglected while Even farms sagas… poor Acanthia and some of her sisters actually went three weeks without being logged in. Once Even begins her third life (which will be my first-ever legend build – I don’t TR much – and will be as a Purple Dragon Knight; still undecided on whether I’m splashing fighter on her or using a heart to get rid of that first fighter level), everybody’s playing time should start balancing out a lot better.

Evennote

In almost four years, I really haven’t done much reincarnating. Even did a greater reincarnate a few years ago, and Dissy did a lesser. Even and Acanthia have each done one epic TR, while Even, Jall, Chalei, and Char have each done one heroic TR. TRing, to me, is a lot of grinding with the alt-itis I have. When I find something I want to improve or fix on a toon, I tend to swap out a feat, or reset enhancements, or get some better gear… and that’s worked out pretty well for me so far. I’m getting pretty good at keeping pace with Vey on his multi-TRed legend builds. Even my gimpier toons can solo EE Rusted Blades and Impossible Demands the “easy” way… although the “hard” way is a totally different story for some of them. LOL

Trying to level up Char and Even at the same time after their TRs was a royal pain in the neck, but I think Char is going to TR once she hits 20. I actually felt she was stronger in her first life than she is now, and after watching Slvr eTR his bard into a swashbuckler, I MUST give that a try! Dissy’s a bit too Valley Girl to really be suited for swashbuckling, but I think Char will be a natural.

So I’m off to log Even in and work on the last sagas she needs, then I’m going to drink a renown pot and turn them all in. Hopefully my NVidia card will cooperate and not gift me with the joy that is multiple BSoDs (Blue Screens of Death) in the meantime!

 

Fun for ALL IV: Stop. Think. Win. February 16, 2014

Seregeth

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.

Seregeth

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.

 

I’m thankful… for griefers November 28, 2013

Evennote

Yep, you read the post title right. I’m thankful for griefers. And for newbs, and for mistakes. Probably seem like strange things to appreciate, right?

But if nothing bad ever happens, how will we recognize good when it comes along?

Last night – well, early this morning – Even, Baz, Slvr, Bene and some truly awesome people managed to salvage elite Shroud and elite ToD despite some pretty overwhelming odds against them. The specifics will definitely be a topic for another post soon, but here’s a taste…

Our Shroud group had three griefers who did everything they possibly could to try and make us fail. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt for as long as I could, but by Phase 3 it was obvious that they were definitely out to sabotage us. So I asked the rest if they wanted to recall and reform without the griefers or press on, and the vote was unanimous – keep going and make the best of it. Things got ugly at times, but we persevered and got the completion.

Our ToD group, thankfully, had good people, but several first-timers and no Sully tank. Even’s dual-tanked Horoth and Sully before but not with newbies in the party, so the endfight was… interesting, LOL, and definitely longer than usual. But the real test came in the second part, with Nytherios and the shadows. One of the first-timers apparently had some item with an area of effect spell, because he got aggro from the shadows immediately and kept getting it back. Even, who was tanking shadows, ended up having to go up on the platform and intim everything, including Nyth, to give the rest of the party a chance to rez and heal.

How we made it through, I have no idea. At least once, Even was the only one left alive and was tanking both Nyth and shadows while trying to get Bene raised so he could start getting everyone else up. With both Nyth and the shadows on Even, most of the party couldn’t do anything more than pike so they wouldn’t draw shadow aggro, and Nyth’s health went down REALLY slowly… but it did go down, and when he finally dropped, for me it was an amazing feeling.

So I’m glad there are griefers to make me appreciate all the wonderful DDO players who pitch in to get the job done with teamwork. I’m glad there are newbs and gimps because helping someone learn helps ME learn and often ends up with new friends made. And I’m glad there are mistakes to overcome, because while it’s always nice to get a smooth completion, those aren’t the runs I remember. The ones that stick in my mind, the ones that make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something, are the ones like last night, where a bunch of non-elite players faced some pretty daunting circumstances and still found a way to win.

 

 
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