Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leaving in a huff / you can't have my stuff.

I overplayed DDO. Not that I spend much time at it, I've only reached level 20 once and my TR hasn't reached cap yet. I never got my shintao ring, and I never successfuly swam the Crucible.

And it's not like I'm fail-ragequitting. I've got enough mats in my sack to make doubleshard GS, a new set of Dragontouched armor, and some house C trinkets. I have nine bags from the sub that are brimming with brickabrack and I've got more Plat than DDO has numbers.

And yet, I'm not having fun. Not that I blame DDO. I always get soured on the game whenever the festivus thing comes by. And I always get into a blue funk when all my friends leave Orien to play on the preview server. This time it was a double whammy -- Festivus AND U13 preview. All the time I spent banging my head in an empty server caught up with me. I'm burnt out on DDO.

Which is too bad because there's alot of neat stuff happening now. That new f2p adventure pack is live, and there's some huge sales and new items. In particular the "standard" pre-order looks ideal for me. A greater tome of learning for the only character I play regularly. A bunch of new Forgotten Realms content and three of the four Ebberon adventure packs are new to me.

I'm not much of a Druid fan, but I can't turn my nose up at the chance to multiclass. Not super excited about the pets but I'd consider them icing on the cake. The mask looks like a fun cosmetic. Overall, it looks like an attractive deal compared to the price of buying everything seperately.

So rather than exacerbate my DDO burnout further, I'm going to take a breather.

Anyway, it gives me a chance to play through Mass Effect 2.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My first time : Extra planar mining - time is money

Honestly, I don't remember much about this Challenge, except that I had lots of fun until waaaay past bedtime. I didn't intend to play at all last night. I only intended to do some auction house and inventory management. But out of force of habit, I checked the social panel and was delighted to find an ideal PUG. At my level range, doing the challenge I wanted, and almost full! I joined, they told me they were waiting on me and off we went!

I thought the Time Kobold Forman sounded really interesting but in practice there's not much to it. You exchange crystals for more time. If there was anything else unusual about this permutation of Extraplanar mining, I didn't notice it.

But oh it was fun. I loved running it as a group. First run we were surprised our Kobold's lack of sense. Instead of teleportering home, they chose to go the long and dangerous way. I learned that a great solution is to put a teleporter in their path *and not in a circle of power* -- it acts as a one way ticket home.

After that snafu we were a great team. I scouted early game and spent the rest of the time managing home base and the Foreman. We got 4 stars and all the Magma ingredients I needed to make my Rock Boots (ML:16 tier 3). I wanted the third tier so I could craft a Masterful Craftsmanship onto it and lower the Minimum Level to ML:14.

By chance, that's exactly what one of the guys in the PUG was doing, but he had everything he needed to craft it on the spot. As it turns out, it's even better than I hoped, the minimum level dropped to 13.

Oh one highlight for me was when I was scouting early in the game and aggroed a Redname Cloud Giant and a dozen wolves. Man that was insane! I kited the wolves around but stayed close to the Giant so he would keep trying to shoot me through obstacles with his bow. Then when the emergency at base was over, I dragged the giant home for some assistance.

It was so fun, finaly getting to run these challenges with a full group. I'm really looking forward to more. I notice that there's consistantly PUGs for epic challenges, so that's something to look forward to also.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My first TR, level 15: Oh Gianthold, where is thy sting?

Well! Thanks to some sound advice offered on my previous post I've finally got enough Challenge loot to buy my boots. Originaly I had hoped to do the masterful craftsmanship ritual on them so they'd be minimum level 14 (instead of 16) but now that I'm almost 16 anyway I'm gonna belay that goal until my next TR.

So now I'm running through the Gianthold. Last time I was here I enjoyed the GH but it seemed so dangerous and and my DPS seemed too low to make much of a difference. Now it seems too easy, not only do I have all the raid gear available, but I've been getting so much xp from my other new packs (Vault of Night, Demon Sands) that I didn't even start doing Gianthold quests (level 13) until I was overlevel (level 15). But even with all that, I still had two deaths in the GH which I'd like to recount.

First was in the Crucible. We had three evasion characters and they all died in the water. So for fun I stripped of my heavy plate paladin gear and jumped in, fully expecting to die. I didn't even put on my waterbreathing stuff because I don't carry waterbreathing stuff. Anyway, I made it all the way to the end, and then turned left instead of right and died on a bunch o' spikes. Super fun, makes me want to try again some time.

The other should have been death but I was saved by a healer. At the end of "A cry for help" I ran, recklessly into one of the end chambers with the drawbridge and the archers up top. I had been mostly invincible on my fancy-pants TR Paladin tank. But that room was crazy! Within seconds I was nearly out of HP and then I fell into the water so I couldn't use my Unyielding Soverignty or Lay on Hands. Lucky for me someone healed me long enough to get myself out of the water so I could take care of myself again.

Honestly, I'm not really enjoying Gianthold very much this time around. I should have tackled it when I was lower level. That said, I'd never part with my beloved THARNE'S GOGGLES and LIT II Greensteel Dwarven axes (note, plural! I've got two!). Tharnes is great because it has true seeing -- the perfect solution to the problem of displaced mobs. And the LIT II Dwarf Axes are great for basicaly everything. Oh sure, I could probably find something more ideal for this or that niche, but basicaly LIT II is perfect for most things, and none too shabby for everything else.

 I guess when I look forward to fun stuff in DDO's future, I'm mostly looking forward to Hound of Xoriat and Vision of Destruction. I had alot of fun in those raids but I haven't run them for a long time. I'm not an ideal tank, but I hope that I'll be ok in a pinch. Also the new Lolith stuff is for level 15+ and so I'm perfectly situated to enjoy that when it goes live. I also bought the new house Cannith quest pack, I don't know what's in there but that should be fun when I'm at level 18+. So all and all, it looks like I'm gonna enjoy playing DDO for another year at least. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

My First time: Colossal Crystals. See dwarf fail. Fail dwarf fail!

Ok, so I've done five runs and have yet to get any rewards from this challenge.

First run I used my (steadily improving) torching skills to grab a cornucopia of purples. Easy! Next up I ran out the clock looking for a Progenitor Crystals. I couldn't find them ANYWHERE. So the first run was total failure -- zero treasure.

So, I hopped onto ddowiki and learned that the Progenitor crystals are locked in secret rooms (marked on the wikimap). So for my next run, I fought my way to the bat-keyed progenitor crystal and set up a teleporter and a torch line all the way to the gate. Then I ran out the clock looking for a bat-key. Blast! Failed again!

Third and fourth and fourth runs I tried to get the progenitor crystal from the scorpion-keyed vault, but I kept running out of time.

Finaly on my 5th run I got lucky and blazed a path from a teleporter to the scorpion vault. I even had the keys to turn off security and open the gate! All the while I heard the kobolds getting killed by something. So I ran back, killed the giant and resurected the kobolds. Then I bought more barrels to clear the way through the green crystals first. Finaly, I jumped through the portal and was surprised to see a bunch of drow, giants and scarrows yelling at a kobold. The Kobold was hiding in a little field of kobold soulstones.

So my last run was a fail too. It was such a fail I couldn't even find the progenitor crystal! I didn't see it on any of the kobolds. I didn't see it laying amongst the pile of soulstones. I didn't see it in the center of the vault where I left it just a miniute ago. So I followed the line hoping to see the progenitor crystal in transit, but time expired and I was kicked out. I dunno how close that was, but next time I'll be sure to be there when the kobold grabs the progenitor crystal.