Computer crashes and raiding dashes

My current PC will celebrate its 10th birthday in November. In all that time, the only stuff I’ve done to it is to replace the video card and the power supply.

Luckily it’s held up well, since it was pretty darn state-of-the-art when I bought it – quad core, 2.66 mHz speed. But as computers go, it’s getting pretty old, and it likes to get cantankerous.

One of the things it enjoys doing lately is to just reboot itself with no warning and for no apparent reason. Sunday night, I was getting ready to stream and was talking with Shin in guild chat, and the computer decided to reboot itself three times in half an hour.

So I scrapped my plans to run something interesting and meaningful, because if the PC decided to act up during the stream, I wanted to be doing something relatively unimportant. It’d been a while since I’d run Tower of Despair, so I figured a good old-fashioned classic raid night was just the ticket.

Naturally once I’d changed up my agenda, the computer decided to be on its best behavior. But no worries. I love ToD; I’m up for running it any time on any toon. Slvr was on as well and feels the same way about ToD as I do.

We had plenty of time left when ToD was done, so on to Shroud (heroic – I didn’t think we could duo legendary, especially if the computer crapped out again). And then we decided to kill the last 20-ish minutes with ADQ 1 (EN) and 2 (EE), which took us to almost precisely 1 am.

Of course, we both pulled Shards of Supreme Power out of the Shroud end chests – where the heck are those things when I’m on a toon who actually NEEDS them? And I was surprised to pull unbound – well, BtC on equip – Gloves of the Falcon from the epic chest in ADQ 2. Think that’s the first time I’ve ever pulled an explorer item from that raid. They’ll be a nice upgrade for my F2P rogue Genn’s feather falling gloves.

The computer, like Genn’s old gloves, will be replaced in the near future – but probably not until at least mid-August, ’cause I’m saving all my extra cash for Gen Con! My friends are probably getting tired of listening to me enthuse about it, but I’m so excited to be going! It’ll be my first-ever con. I bought a four-day pass and a bunch of event tickets – got my event schedule all entered into my Google calendar tonight. Among other things, I’ll be going to the They Might Be Giants concert, a Mercedes Lackey book signing, an evening with Patrick Rothfuss, “Silly Irish Songs for Cat Lovers,” AND…

A ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW PARTY!!!

So yeah. This computer is just going to have to make it a few more months. LOL

Meanwhile, my six-and-a-half-year DDO anniversary is June 8, and on Monday, Charlotte and Fern celebrated their first birthday! They don’t really like people food or canned cat food, and Fern’s tummy has issues with treats, but they loved their brand-new birthday catnip mousies. 😀

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

Mission accomplished

Alternate title: “How NOT to run Abbot and win anyway.”

If you read last week’s blog or watched last week’s stream, you saw us have a great time totally failing at Abbot.

So for the past seven days, I’ve done what Allen Iverson hates to do: PRACTICE. (It’s a sports reference.)

And practice, and practice, and practice. Because honestly, considering that I almost never run Abbot because I hate it so much, it’s kinda miraculous we got as far as we did last week, when I seriously considered asking if we could change the guild name to “Flower Soulstones of Destiny.”

In all that practice, I managed to successfully solo each of the Abbot puzzles. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to solo them all in the same run. I also managed to die. A lot. And I spent a heck of a lot of time being encased.

Since what I was doing wasn’t working, I made a few changes. I switched from Unyielding Sentinel to Exalted Angel, partly for Leap of Faith (always handy in tiles) and mostly for Reborn in Light (always handy, period). I dug Even’s Shield of Reflecting out of her TR cache because someone told me its “immunity to petrification” feature would prevent the Abbot from being able to encase me (he lied).

But no matter what I tried, one fact remained: Tiles don’t care how good you are. If you’re soloing, and therefore blind running, it’s all about luck.

Luckily for me, Seki showed up just in the nick of time tonight. YAY, no having to solo tiles! Someone else to help throw roids! And lots and lots of light damage to help take the Abbot out faster! (And the trash too – seriously, Seki totally annihilated me in the kill count!)

As it turned out, both of us kinda sucked at guiding each other through tiles, but turned out dying a lot was a GOOD thing, because when push finally came to shove, we each happened to have the goggles we needed in our possessions, so neither of us had to blind run.

And that’s when we finally let ourselves start thinking that hey, we might actually DO THIS!

It was Seki’s first-ever successful Abbot completion; as he said, an accomplishment 10 years in the making, and I think only Even’s second of this life – which would probably be her second ever, because I don’t THINK I ever flagged her in either of her first two lives.

Aside from blind-running tiles, the biggest problem Even’s had in Abbot by far is getting encased and then having the Abbot call Inferno.

One thing that’s saved her butt is Eternal Defender, the capstone core enhancement in the Sacred Defender tree: “Toggle: While Eternal Defender is active, if you drop below 0 hit points but are not killed, two uses of Turn Undead are immediately expended and you receive a reactive heal for 250 points of Positive Energy healing.”

With Even’s range of unconsciousness at 85, and with her rather respectable heal amp, which affects reactive heal, Eternal Defender can often keep her alive when she’s encased and in flames. There’s just one little bug; it does NOT take any turns away when it kicks in.

In last night’s run, Eternal Defender kicked in seven times, assuming I counted right. Trying to keep track of stuff like that is really hard when you’re doing a lot of intense fighting, but I think that count’s pretty accurate. Even has 24 uses of Turn Undead, so – assuming I didn’t turn any undead (I didn’t) or use any abilities that take her turns (I think I used Divine Might once or twice), that would give me 12 Eternal Defender kick-ins before I was in *ahem* questionable territory.

Seven < 12, so it's all good. Seven is also Even's new record for Eternal Defenders in a single quest; her old one was five. I sincerely doubt anyone seriously uses it to cheat; if it's kicking in that much, your luck's gonna run out sooner or later!

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time, now on the official DDOstream! The show will still be hosted on my own Twitch channel as well, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel. 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!  🙂

Shadowhunters

We Flower Sniffers really don’t ever NEED an excuse to run Tower of Despair. But if we’re offered one, we’ll gladly take it.

Slvr wanted to try shadow tanking on his bard, so we grabbed Comic and Abs and headed out to Amrath to rescue Harry from his hellish prison. Sadie happened along while we were in process and hopped into party to pike a completion.

Of course, once Horoth and Sully were down and everybody’d looted and picked up their underwhelming end rewards, the question was, “What next?” It seemed like a good night to run around in the Subterrane, leading us to Vision of Destruction and heroic Hound of Xoriat.

Prior to last night, Even had either the tanky bracers or the tanky shield, but not both. I couldn’t remember which one she had and which she lacked, but they both dropped and no one else wanted them, so now she has ’em both (and an extra of whichever one she already had, which I’ve been too lazy to check so far). Those will definitely be nice for future tank lives!

Comic doesn’t do much raiding, which turned out to be kind of cool. It’s not often we get a chance to run one of our old standby raids and see it through new eyes. I think everyone passed him their named items and Shavarath trophies from ToD. He did a great job throughout all three raids, which were a lot of fun.

Once the stream was done, I was going to go to bed… but Abs kept being all SHROUD SHROUD SHROUD, and I noticed the other day that Reera is flagged but – at level 24 – still hadn’t run it. I couldn’t allow that to continue! So now she’s got her first completion plus a regular and greater Shard of Power (no supremes dropped, sadly).

If you think getting to 24 without running Shroud is pathetic… I have no idea how long Acanthia’s been flagged this life, but it’s been a WHILE. I’ve been LOVING the changes to monks; she’s maybe a bit more squishy than before, but her DPS has gone up exponentially. So the other night I decided to try to solo Shroud on her. Went absolutely beautifully, even got all four rednames in Phase 2 down on the second try. Looted, recalled, and noticed I had mail… she had Turbine points for passing another favor mark. Checked her quest completions, and sure enough, that was her first Shroud of this life… and she’s 30. Oops!

*A* Planar Shard!

Sunday was the first I’d run anything in Sub-T since the last update, or at least the first time since then that I’d had any t-bags drop. So, notice anything missing in the screenie above?

Not so very long ago, if you got a Sub-T t-bag, you also got a message: “You obtain an Planar Shard.”

Seriously?! AN Planar Shard? That typo always drove me nuts. So I was both surprised and delighted to see that it’s been fixed!

Checked out DDOCast lately? I was honored to be a guest on the Dec. 11 debate episode, and on the “year in review” episode recorded – well, just before I started working on this post. LOL

You can always count on Patrick for interesting guests, thought-provoking topics, and good times all around!

Next Sunday (Jan. 1), there will NOT be a show. Streamin’ with Even will return in its regular Sunday, 11 pm Eastern time slot on Sunday, Jan. 8.

There will still most likely be a blog post next Monday. Maybe a New Year’s post, possibly something along the lines of this week’s A Visit from Sir Picks-a-Lot… possibly something completely different.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm Eastern time, now on the official DDOstream! The show will still be hosted on my own Twitch channel as well, but if you’re watching live and want to chat, DDOStream is the place to be. Videos are archived on my YouTube channel. 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!  🙂

From flagging to firsties

 

Our efforts to get all the Flower Sniffers flagged for all the things continued with this past weekend’s livestream, when Citi, Rayne, and Even (who was already flagged, but likes the area) headed out to Thunderholme to get flagged for Fire on Thunder Peak and Temple of the Deathwyrm.

Naturally, I got lost and ended up leading them to Sarva first when we’d intended to start with Dagan. Along the way, there was much laughter, a  sprinkling of DPS, and far more bad 80’s songs than one usually finds during late-night groups. And we ran, we ran so far away, we just ran, we ran all night and day-ay-ay… couldn’t get away from the Song That Never Ends, yes it went on and on my friends, one night we started singing it even knowing what it was…

You get the idea.  LOL

Also this past weekend, I was Patrick‘s guest on DDOCast #439, New Player Tips, along with the lovely BonnieBew and Propane. There was some really excellent advice for new-ish players handed out – it’s well worth a listen!

And it got me to thinking. As excellent as the advice was, a lot of it would have been completely over my head when I first started. So I started pondering the idea of doing a second livestream each week, with accompanying blog, aimed at the really, truly new and inexperienced player. Talked it over with Keava, who was totally supportive, and then, purely by coincidence, Citi made a great post about rolling up your first character.

Probably should figure out what else I need to do to get on the official stream list first – already had to bump my start time an hour later to accomodate another stream that IS on the list and wants to bump its time forward an hour, which would lead to an overlap with the start time I’ve been using for the past few months – but what the heck, I’m gonna be streaming whether I’m on the list or not.

So, plan is, pick a night – probably somewhere between Monday and Thursday – and a time – probably midnight – roll up a brand-spankin’-new 28-point free-to-play (something). Probably a rogue, ’cause Citi’s making a paladin, and despite his assurances that his paladin will be fully capable of finding traps via face, it’d be nice to be able to disarm them. No twink  gear, no loans from other toons – 100% newbie compatible. Start with the character creation screen and go from there. Should be fun!

In other news, you might have noticed that OurDDO has been UPDATED! Tried to streamline it a bit, and the blogroll should be pretty current. Removed a couple of blogs that no longer exist or violated the rules. AFAIK, other than blogs in violation, it now has every DDO blog in existence.

Streamin’ with Even is live every Sunday night at 11 pm  MIDNIGHT Eastern time. I’m usually on Thelanis, usually on Evennote, and usually have room, so feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! I’m also definitely open to suggestions on what to run next. You can send ingame mail to Evennote on Thelanis, or email me at evennote (at) gmail dot com. Thanks for reading and/or watching!  🙂

To twinfinity… and beyond!

Sere and Taurriel

 

Talk about déjà vu!

Got my first glimpse of Keava’s new Shadar-Kai Taurriel tonight, and she looked… strangely familiar. I knew I’d seen that rogue before, but where?

Right on my login screen, that’s where. The hair color is different, and Taurriel’s eyes are darker, but otherwise she’s the spitting image of my own Seregeth.

This could come in handy when questing. One sneaky rogue sidles up and gets the enemy’s attention. The mobs whirl around to attack – and see what they think is that same sneaky rogue waaaaay on the other side of the dungeon. While they’re scratching their heads and going, “Wait, what?” the twin rogues whip out their trusty daggers and start assassinating. I like it!

 

Even and 3BC airship

 

Just some random thoughts tonight, because I had a most awesome weekend-into-Monday and I’m exhausted. Slvr discovered that if you climb the bell tower in Three-Barrel Cove when the rare encounter airship Ill Fate is up, you can get a great look at it from above. You can also land on it, which I didn’t get a chance to do because Slvr blew it up too fast. Sure beats trying to fire a ballista when a horde of angry pirates are swinging their whirly chains at you!

 

Meren and death_adurnac

 

Had a strange, slightly cool, and slightly creepy thing happen in a guild run of heroic Shroud Friday night. Everything had been perfectly normal – well, as normal as things can be when the Flower Sniffers of Destiny get together – until Phase 5. My gimpy li’l rogue Meren had grabbed Adur-Nac and was pulling him away so that he could be killed when she noticed that something weird was going on with his name.

He had the correct floaty text in Phase 2, but he kept his “death_adurnac” moniker throughout Phase 5, or at least until we killed him. No one noticed if his “ghost” form also had the glitch. I’ve never seen that in Shroud before, and as many times as I’ve run Shroud, that’s saying something. So it was kinda neat… even though seeing “death” in front of Adur-Nac’s name didn’t settle gimpy Meren’s nerves any.

 

DRETCH!

 

Yes, it’s a picture of a dretch. Because I can. Grabbed it from a splash screen because I was too tired lazy to dig through all my screenies looking for a good dretch shot. Dretches rock, and we need more of them. And we especially need dretch cosmetic pets. I have it on pretty good authority that this won’t happen for a long time if ever, but I’ll never give up hope. C’mere, little dretch! Glarb! Eat my sorrow and drink my pain! NUM!

Citi wrote about dretches in a blog post a while back, suggesting that they need a little theme music when they fall under the spell of Otto’s Irresistible Dance. The cool thing about the DDO blogging community is that, with a few exceptions (as anyone who’s read some of the comment sections on my blog knows, heh heh), we enjoy helping each other out. The lovely grimorde obliged Citi with a video giving dretches their right to party. It’s 18 seconds you’ll thank me for, I promise!

Potions of Wonder

The Flower Sniffers are getting down to the serious business of trying to get everybody flagged for everything. Keava made us a cool spreadsheet in Google Docs (we tried using forum posts first, but the alt-itis some of us – yes, ME – suffer from kinda made that too clunky) so that we can all put in our characters and what they’ve run. Slvr added a few quest arcs… now all I need is the ambition to go through all of my toons and see who’s flagged for what.

And at some point, we really need to have a nekkid guild fun run/raid night with EVERYBODY. Because Acanthia’s bank is starting to fill up with Potions of Wonder. The pic is from a couple of weeks ago; she now has close to 1,500 wonder pots. The plan is to get the entire guild on, take our clothes off, head into a raid, pass a stack of pots to everybody, and start chugging. That’ll definitely be one for the livestream!

Speaking of the stream, I’m moving to midnight (Eastern) Sundays from 11 pm so as not to conflict with any other streams.

Last, but certainly not least – today will mark the 200th issue to the DDO Chronicle! May you have many, many more!

A Tale of One Citi

Flower Sniffin' Shroud

 

Shroud is one of those quests that pretty much everybody in our little guild will run any time, any toon, for any reason or no reason at all. We don’t care about loot or XP or making greensteel. It’s Shroud. It’s fun.

So imagine our horror when we discovered that newest Flower Sniffer Citi had NEVER RUN SHROUD. NOT ONCE. NEVAR, to use his catchphrase!

Well, we couldn’t let that continue. So we got him flagged, and tonight he, Slvr, Keava, Rayne, and I trotted him out to Meridia. And boy, were we excited. Because while it’s really not about the loot, we had a genuine first-timer, and you know what that means – EXTRA CHEST.

We did have one semi-failed attempt first – there were just four of us because Rayne had to step out. I was on Super Gimpy Meren, the rogue who can’t decide if she wants to be an assassin or a mechanic and isn’t great at either one (and who somehow made it to level 25 without ever running a Shroud this life). Slvr was on his 18 barb, who had great DPS but no curse pots. Keava was probably the most “together” of us on his talented ranger, and Citi, despite his protests to the contrary, kept us in it long after we probably would have otherwise perished.

But trying to pull the rednames apart in Phase 2 was too much for the four of us. By that time Rayne was back, so we recalled and started anew.

And this time it went SOOOOO much better! I switched to Vic (way better DPS than Meren), Slvr switched to his warlock (ditto), and we quickly annihilated Phases 1-4.

But then… but then…

We did our damnedest to give Citi the best possible shot at netting us that extra chest. We explained it to him, step by step. We buffed him – oh, how we buffed him. Jump, of course. And Deathward, blur, resists, FoM… sadly, no one had Water Breathing as a spell. Slvr demonstrated proper jumping technique.

We waited with bated breath. Citi jumped…

… WTF. How the hell did we all end up dead in Harry’s big stone chamber?

Thanks a bunch, Citi. See if we ever run Shroud with YOU again.

In other words, you were a great sport! And we’ll probably run Shroud again for guild night Friday ’cause we’ll all be off timer by then.  LOL

Last but not least, once Harry was banished, the altar was clicked, and the chests were looted, we all stripped (well, Rayne was already running around nekkid anyway), jumped up on the Altar of Devastation, and had ourselves a Flower Sniffin’ nekkid Shroud dance party. WIN!

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.

 

Twins!

 

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!

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!

The unfolding drama…

 

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.

Think Pink!

 

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!  🙂

Filkin’ Around: “Pally”

 

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

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.