Gag me with a mindflayer

It feels very strange to have so very much stuff going on in real life that Sunday’s stream was the first time I’d logged into DDO since LAST week’s broadcast.

So since I hadn’t been on in a week, I still hadn’t run Desire in the Dark, the capstone of the Update 36 quest arc. I figured, well, no guts, no glory, so I got Even, Slvr got his warlock, and we headed in on legendary elite.

If you haven’t run the quest yet, you might want to wait to read this, because serious spoiler alerts are incoming.

Lots of them.

Right after I type several lines of text.

And separate them with line feeds to give you time to get out now if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Wait.

That sounded wrong.

You know what I meant.

Last chance!

So anyway…

You know what was kinda sad? Probably the toughest time Even had was against the waves of dretches down in the water after talking to the mindflayer.

OH YEAH, THE MINDFLAYER.

HE’S TOTALLY GROSS.

I MEAN, SERIOUS EW GOING ON THERE.

The guy (he? she? they? Do mindflayers have gender?) KEEPS PUKING ON YOU.

YES, I *DO* NEED TO USE ALL CAPS FOR THIS.

BECAUSE MERE WORDS CANNOT CONVEY HOW UTTERLY DISGUSTING THIS THING IS. BUT I CAN EMPHASIZE THEM FOR, Y’KNOW, EMPHASIS.

Anyway.

The dialogue in this quest is flat-out FANTASTIC. (I did feel somewhat like the puking mindflayer when I saw the following message on a debuff: “You’re skin feels very oily since you touched that gold.”

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m an editor by trade. “YOU’RE skin feels very oily?” MAKE IT STAAAAAAAHP! DDO, seriously. It should be “YOUR skin feels oily.” Unless you mean, “You are skin feels very oily,” which makes no sense and is also grammatically incorrect. Now I know why the mindflayer felt so ill.

Other than that, the NPC dialogue was nothing short of stellar. Even liked that a number of menus had paladin-specific options (now my other toons are wondering if their classes have specific options as well).

I also enjoyed all the dretches – even though they tried so VERY hard to kill me and not ONE of them said “glarb” (c’mon, DDO, with all the other great dialogue here, can’t you give the dretches some too?). And the succubi, ’cause I haven’t unlocked the art for them in my MM yet. AND THE PURPLE WORMS! Moar plz!

The mazes weren’t TOO terribly difficult, but then again I was following Slvr. Not sure how well I’d’ve fared on my own, especially since I didn’t have any Bigby’s with me. The dancing succubi, besides helping my count toward the art, were cool. Aside from the dretches, I thought most of the quest didn’t seem as difficult as I expected for legendary elite… even though I disregarded Slvr’s advice and looted a few innocuous-looking gold piles.

The end fight, though – that had some interesting moments.

Me: So this guy is apparently a huge sack of hit points, but unless he’s got tricks up his sleeve, he doesn’t look too terribly awful to fight on elite.

Slvr: HE DOES

And HE DID. Even though…

Me: He doesn’t even have sleeves! He’s wearing a tank top!

Slvr: Then his tricks are up his kilt.

Yeah. NOT going there. Regardless of where they were stashed, Graz’zt (the end boss) indeed had tricks. And Even did NOT like them, not one bit, because…

“You are afraid.”

WHAT?! Even’s a paladin! They’re immune to fear! But apparently NOT immune to being afraid. NPCs cheat! LOL

I actually liked having an end fight that was more than just whaling away on a huge stack of hit points, though. And without that little trick of his, Graz’zt would have been far too easy a fight for legendary elite. Even HE thought so – at the end, he said that the battle had been heroic, but not legendary. Dude.

The end chest yielded a Legendary Deep Demise with a +4 mythic boost for Even. I’m kinda torn on it (Slvr didn’t want it). Sere would love the +18 Int and the weapon boost, but right now I don’t have anyone who both uses daggers and needs illusion focus. Maybe Laegonn, once he TRs into a pale master and does a LOT of leveling up.

With only an hour of my usual two-ish hours used, I pondered what to do next… and then remembered that I hadn’t yet checked to see if my absolute favorite typos in the game had been fixed in the recent flurry of typo fixing. So it seemed the thing to do was to go run Tower of Despair and see if Horoth still called his Soliders of Shavarth.

I’m sorry to report that for some reason, it took us fooorrreeevvveeerrrrrrr to get through the whole raid. But I’m very happy to report that Horoth still has Soliders, and they’re still from Shavarth! Much as I usually hate typos, I’ve gotten kind of attached to this one.

I still have no idea what the Soliders are solider than, or what’s solider than a Solider, or what’s the Solidest. Nor do I know if there are Liquiders or Gassers… which totally sounded better in my head.

Streamin’ with Even is live on Thelanis 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. Feel free to send me a tell if you’d like to join! Thanks for reading and/or watching! ūüôā

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! ¬†ūüôā

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!

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.

Making a splash… screen

Orchard splash screen

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

WOW. SERIOUSLY. JUST WOW.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  ToDFire pit

  WGUEveningstar river

  KrakenLightning globe

  GriffonAirship in Twelve

  Purple wormAmrath

A different kind of permadeath

Rez shrine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Growing up Flower Sniffer

Flower Sniffers of Destiny

It’s probably been about three years now since, tired of the drama and stress from being successor and roster keeper in a huge guild, I accepted Slvr’s offer to put my semi-sekrit toon Zak in his then-one-person guild.

A few months after that, the rest of my toons followed. It was a great fit; Slvr and I have similar playtimes, similar playstyles, and similar taste in airship colors. I doubt either of us ever expected there’d be more than just us hanging out and dancing nekkid on the airship.

Well, we’re still the two who are most likely to be found cavorting sans attire atop our Stone of Change, but Shin and Comic each rolled up a Thelanis toon so we could have a Thelanis Night in addition to our weekly Cannith Night. I’m not sure if Keava joined next or if Baz moved an alt over (later followed by the rest of his toons) first. Then Sadie asked if she could put her alt account toons in our guild. And Seki, who’d run with us several times, showed up for our Friday group run a while back and took us up on our standing offer of a guild invite.

EIGHT people! Whoda thunk it? So after several weeks of getting people flagged for various stuff, I thought, hey, we should have a guild raid night – I bet we could shortman stuff.

Harahur and Even

It came down to a choice between Shroud and ToD, and we elected to go for Shroud because we didn’t have a proper shadow person in the guild and didn’t really want to PuG. Neither Sadie nor Baz made it, but other than one portal keeper showing up during Phase One, it was one awesomely smooth run. Even shortmanning, we managed to get all four chests in Phase Three, and there were NO deaths (well, y’know. Except that one part with the potential extra chest – wink wink, nudge nudge).

We followed that up with a five-man EH Devil Assault. Would’ve been a full party except Seki signed off because he had to get up early… in hindsight, we should’ve just told him to pike because Shin ended up having to go as well, so that’s what he did. Next time!

It was another smooth run, and again, no deaths. Definitely something I hope we do again soon – maybe this Friday again, we’ll see! I need to get Zak flagged and/or help Shin make a cold stick and teach him how to shadow tank so we can add ToD to our list.

Best part was definitely getting to do a guild-only raid, something I’m sure Slvr never envisioned when he made a guild for himself lo so many years ago. Next Shroud, though, nobody gets to leave until they ALL dance nekkid on the altar! *g*

And yes, the guild is called Flower Sniffers of Destiny. It used to be named after Slvr’s main, but when guild name changes became free, he renamed it – Flower Sniffers to reflect our preferred playstyle, and Destiny because that’s what our Cannith guild is called. Works for us!

Fun for ALL IV: Stop. Think. Win.

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 Рshe 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.

Chasing immortality

Evennote

 

A few nights ago, Vey paid Even one of the nicest compliments she’s ever gotten – “Even’s pretty much impervious.”

 

“Impervious” is exactly what Even is built to be, as much as possible. I like to think of her as a Timex watch – “takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” She doesn’t kill a lot of stuff; after all, she thinks DPS stands for, “Duh, pally slow.” But she doesn’t GET killed by a lot of stuff, either.

 

Sometimes she can’t even seem to get killed when she WANTS to. Last night she teamed up with Vey, Suz and one of their friends (and later Baz as well) for some EE Gianthold questing. Once the end boss in Feast or Famine was down, everybody ran into the tent to loot. Even had a LOT of aggro (well, that’s her job), so she let the others get clear before heading in, and then found herself crowd-surfing on top of a horde of angry orcs. She couldn’t get back out of the tent to get to the DDoor Vey had put up, so he told her to just let them kill her and then release.

 

Well, I was fine with that. But Even apparently had other ideas. Her HP would drop into the teens or even single digits… and suddenly jump back up by a few hundred. I checked her combat log and found that Reactive Heal was responsible – except Reactive Heal is an enhancement in the cleric Radiant Servant tree. We didn’t have any clerics, nor any Favored Souls, or anyone with splashes in either class. Even was the closest thing to a divine in the party. So after a bit of discussion, we surmised that maybe it was a glitch where the buff stayed with you even after it should have expired. (I remember hearing about a buff that did that, just can’t remember which one.)

 

I mostly forgot about it until a few hours later when I decided, for reasons I don’t even know, that I wanted to try a solo ToD run on Even. She’s attempted it before, but can’t get past Nytherios – not because he kills her, but because the shadows heal him faster than she can damage him. But the last time she tried, she didn’t have Celestia or a Shamanic Fetish or con-op goggles.

 

Bold, who was in the middle of his own solo attempt in EE Tracker’s Trap (and he succeeded!), offered me a ship invite but no one was on his boat at the time. Luckily for me, Sady’s party had just finished a dungeon, although Meli beat her to the shipvite button.

 

A nicely buffed Even marched out to Amrath. The Judge/Jailer fight was a bit tedious – stand and swing, stand and swing, stand and swing, get thrown across the room, stand and swing, drink a curse pot, repeat¬†ad ¬†nauseum. But their red bars went down a lot faster than on Even’s previous two attempts, and she was taking a LOT less damage. Last time I had to carefully meter her Lay On Hands to make them last and went through a fair number of pots (well, by Even’s standards) keeping her mana up for Cocoon, Avenging Light, and replenishing her buffs. This time she used NO pots and was never down more than two Lay On Hands.

 

So I was feeling cautiously optimistic as Even uttered the disconcerting passphrase, “Eberron burns,” and stepped into Nytherios’ chamber. I had Celestia in her main hand and her green steel cold stick in the off one, Energy Sheath twisted in from Draconic Incarnation, and a stack of fire shield scrolls in case she ran low on mana.

 

Well… it didn’t start off on a very promising note. Just like before, for every little dent she’d put in Nyth’s red bar, the shadows would quickly heal him back to full. I was talking to Sady via tells, lamenting Even’s lack of sufficient DPS, and said that I figured I might as well just let them kill her instead of spending hours on a lost cause.

 

That should’ve been easy, right? Heaven knows my toons often find it discouragingly simple to get killed when they’re trying to stay alive. You’d think getting killed when you want to would be a piece of cake.

 

But Even’s HP would drop… I’d see her actually fall to the ground… and suddenly she’d be back up with a few hundred HP. I was pretty darn puzzled. Not complaining, mind you. Just puzzled. So I stopped Cocooning and started looking through her gear, feats, EDs and whatnot, trying to figure out what was going on.

 

Turns out that one of the core abilities in the Sacred Defender enhancement tree is a nifty little thing called Eternal Defender. Not sure who came up with that name, but they sure got it right…

 

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.

 

I’m not sure it’s working quite as intended; I didn’t notice Even’s turns going down, but her smites, which should regen once per 90 seconds, hit zero and never came back. It was amazing to watch – I really wish I’d gotten video. (Maybe next time!) Over and over again, Even’s HP would drop below 0 and suddenly, without me doing anything at all, she’d have 500 HP and be back up swinging.

 

And miraculously, maybe from continuing to spam Cleave and Great Cleave and Sunder and Avenging Light (woulda been nice to have had those smites for DPS too, but can’t complain with the unexpected healing she got instead)… Nyth’s health started to drop. V-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, but just a little bit faster than the shadows were healing him. All I really had to do was make sure she either had Energy Sheath or Fire Shield active so the cold spells hit her for small amounts; that way she’d drop below 0 HP but wouldn’t be killed, giving Eternal Defender a chance to kick in and save her.

 

Except it was REALLY boring sitting there just watching her swing away. This went on for probably a good half hour or so; meanwhile I was talking to Sady and working on the last little bit I needed for my NaNoWriMo project this year (which paid off, as I’m now at 50,012 words for my third straight win)… and I forgot to pay attention to the timer on her Energy Sheath.

 

Oops. She was down to about 25 or 30 HP and I was thinking her Eternal Defender was going to kick in at any second – but then she was dead, hit by a shadow that did 73 cold damage instead of the 10-15 they’d been doing.

 

But don’t get too cocky, Nyth. I have a feeling Even will be back for you tomorrow night.