Saturday, June 30, 2012

Slotting Devotion on my Paladin

I aplaud the U14 nerfing of spell boost clickies. They were a crutch, an easy button, they had to go. DDO is better without them.

That said, it's royal pain for me because spell boost clickies were MY crutch! In particular I counted on Superior Ardor IV for a free 75% boost to all of my healing spells on my past life Ranger and present life Paladin for self-healing.

And so, bereft of my beloved Superior Ardor IV clickies, I did what any self-healer did: I progressed through the seven stages of grief. The first four stages are too deeply personal to blog about without violating the my.ddo ToS so lets pick up after the fifth stage: grinding and vendoring Ardor clickies.

The sixth stage, brainstorming without considering the consequences, was totaly fun. I came up with all kinds of manic fantasies like "Hey, what if I have a two handed staff with a sweet healing bonus that I switch to whenever I want to toss a CSW?" or "What would be realy cool is if I flaunted my ddo wealth by crafting a ToD ring with an incredible potential  Devotion VIII." or "I'll just run Prey the Hunter in my free time until I pull a Soverign Devotion rune."

But now I'm on the seventh stage of grieving about Ardor clickies, dealing with it. The reality is I don't want to make the time to run Prey the Hunter. and I've only got a single spare ToD ring (Morah's Band / Acrobat set) and I don't want to replace my other ring/belt set (Encrusted / Frenzied Berserker) I could see replacing my Kilau's band since the 1d4 slashing is useless on anything with DR. That would free up the neck for... something? I could put my Heavy Fort necklace there and then switch to my non-Heavy Fort Dragon Touched armor.

Pro: Gain healing spellpower +70%, frees up an eldrich rune on the DT.
Con: -1d4 slashing damage, -2 Ex Con
Meh: Swap +1 exceptional Wis for Dex

It's ok, but without knowing what my goal for this character is (Farm 20 completions on raids? Party in FR? TR quickly before the Stone 'o XP evaporates?) I'm lothe to pull the trigger.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Enter the Forgotten Realms

More MotU

Despite my doomsaying, I actualy got alot of DDO time. After my daughters' birthday party they got tired and fell asleep early. As did my wife, who was exhausted from an epic vegan cake fail. And so it was that after I finished scrubbing the insoluble pink cake ring off of our tub, I traveled to Forgotten Realms.

Last time I got a bunch of XP towards Level 21 but not toward my Epic Destiny. I can't tell you how much that buged me to see all that XP going to waste. And so I started up a LFM for "Into the Rift."

Eight seconds later my soul was weary from an eternity of waiting. I changed the LFM to "IP" and charged in with naught but a hireling to aid me. What a mixed bag that quest was. On one hand the scenery is spectacular. Not only is each setpiece great, they're arranged in a spectrum to convincingly present the illusion that you're going on an epic journey. But on the otherhand the combat was absolutely terrible.

Supposedly there was a bug (which was addressed in the latest hotpatch) that makes the difficulties wrong. So even though I selected "casual" for speed, I ended up slogging through epic level mobs. Not that it was dangerous for my self-healing tank-wannabe, but it took forever because my DPS is no match for Epic HP.

It worried me because I've always enjoyed DDO's combat. A while ago, the awesomeness of DDO's combat was guarenteed by Vorpal weapons. Whenever the Devs put too many hitpoints on a mob, whenever clearing trash became a chore, whenever undergeared characters started a land war in Asia, whenever someone went in against a Scilian when death was on the line, the vorpal blades went "snicker snack" and in a blue flash the drudgery died. But now, post vorpal-nerf I'm afraid DDO will be overrun by lazy developers and HP-fat mobs.

Anyway, after the great scenery and hateworthy gameplay of Into the Rift, I got Paladin fatespun. Kinda dumb, since I just wrote about how I need more DPS but it's handy for tanking, which I've enjoyed lately.

Then out into the Kings Forest. Everyone says it's massive, but I had no idea how big this wilderness area really is. I spent hours running around and really enjoyed it. Lousy XP and loot but lots of fun.

Then I went back to house K and ran some Epics. I felt like those were too safe also. I couldn't DPS the mobs, and they couldn't hurt me. Perhaps I don't like the tanking experience?

And then to rub it in, I joined a Stealer of Souls. A couple people failed to flag (after promising otherwise) and so we ended up doing a two-man run on casual. We had alot of trouble DPSing the giants and so although we finished the quest, we ran out of RL time fighting Sorjek.

So, I dunno. My main is a good team player, tanking bosses and gathering trash, but the DPS makes soloing and shortmanning a chore. That lousy DPS overshadows all the upgrades to an otherwise great expansion pack.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Logged in today with very little time.

Spent several miniutes admiring the new UI and reading all the UI customization options. The only surprise is that the focus orb can be set to disappear when it's not selecting anything. I tried it for laughs but fell in love with it. It's so helpful to have the whole orb flicker on target aquire. I love how the UI blends in with dark dungeon environments. 

Didn't have much time so I joined an epic ADQ. Running through sands with the map exposed is a treat. I didn't even know I had done explorers on this life.

In Zwabi's Revenge, we laughed at a rednamed kobold that showed up amongst the Djini. No idea what he was doing there. Reminded me of that poor wight that used to be on the ramp in The Pit.

At the end we grumbled about the unclickable raid token but I was lucky enough to get a real one in the Epic Chest. There was one bit of shard I hadn't heard of / didn't want. The end that rewards the Djini was handing out were all ml 22, way more than lil ol, level 20 me. Didn't see anything I needed so I grabbed deathblock of something. Deathblock deconstructs so nicely.

After that I wandered into Beyond the Rift on casual. For fun, I jumped into the rift. I was surprised to meet Elminster. Never realy got into FR, so I don't know anything about him except that he belongs to the set of punchlines to D&D jokes about being overpowered.

Seems like a nice guy though. I felt bad for him, his audio is buggy (too quiet, even after turning it up it reverts to too quiet) and he's stuck in the Demonweb.

On the downside, he has an odd way of saying "ye." I'm not against saying 'ye.' That's how my God talks too, but Elminster puts so much emphasis on 'ye.' It sounds like he's making fun of ren faire folk. He punches each and every "*YE*" like a pirate who happens upon his first ARR in a long sentence.

Then I ran in and fought some dretch, I was on one of the casual settings and it seemed like an easy fight. Then I had to quit for the day. Some of my daughters are celebrating their birthdays tomorrow (6yo and 1yo) so there's alot of last miniute prep.

If it were up to me I'd just buy them a stack of donuts, a hat full of tokens and drive them down to the localChuck E Cheeze arcade. More fun for them and cheaper for me. But my wife wants to show off her vegan cake recipies and have something classy for the soiree section of the blog, and so my DDO time is gonna be subsumed by hanging garlands and assembling pony decorations. Ah well, at least I have a few days off work.

Friday, June 22, 2012

ToD: First time this life.

When I started DDO in September of '09 the Devils of Shavarath Adventure Pack was the crown jewel of high level (but not Epic) DDO adventures. And of those adventures, the crown jewel was the Tower of Despair -- a raid comprised of a series of fights culminating in the ultimate fight with General Horoth.

Frequently, both in game and on the message boards, people would hold up the battle with Horoth as a touchstone. "Oh sure" they'd say "your hairbrained idea might be situationaly useful, but General Horoth has..." and then they'd shoot the idea down. "Horoth has true seeing so blurry doesn't work on him" "Horoth casts disintegrate for waaay more than you have hitpoints, therefore CON is not a dumpstat." Or most commonly, "No one cares about your special love for your boots. If you're not wearing the Anchoring boots you will eventualy roll a 1 and Horoth will banish you!" That was the big threat: Horoth will Banish you! No one ever said what it looks like but my imagination filled in the blank.

Imagination: Clearly, the choice of phrase "(NAME) is banished" is a reference to Shakespere's "Romeo and Juliet." So, imagine a pitfiend like Harry or Suulomades except wearing a plumed venician hat. Horoth stands over the bloody and broken body of Tibbles decrying to the assembled crowd "Romeo! Is! Banish! Edddd!" And then Horoth gains a quarter billion hitpoints.

Which is to say, I was a noob.

But on my last life I had twenty successful completions under my belt and that makes me an expert. I had alot of fun in ToD last life. I pulled a +3 STR tome, won a Kilau's band in a roll, and selected 'crusty for my 20th completion. Back then we did everything perfectly and nothing ever went wrong because of our professionalism. But now, there's all these noobs running aroud with a Stone of XP's worth of swagger and a CP's worth of sense ToD is more difficult than ever.

My first run this life was ruined by just such noobery. We failed, just like all ToD fails BECAUSE THE TANK DIDN'T. Didn't hold aggro, didn't get aggro, didn't wear boots, didn't survive the unlucky double disintegration, didn't get a heal, didn't get a rez. Whenever we fail in ToD, we fail because the tank didn't. In this case it was a caster who was tanking the shadows, but from the point of view of the 11 of us who were frozen by shadows instead of roasted by devils it makes no difference. The tank didn't -- therefore we failed.

Durring that particular fail, I tried an experiment. I intimidated to grab the aggro of the shadows, kite them away long enough for the rest of the party to recover. I knew I probably wouldn't succeed, but if I did we could win. I didn't.

Next run was different. The shadowmaster was in a terrible position but thanks to the player's skill and experience he tanked the shadowmaster back to where he needed to be and we advanced to the ultimate fight with Horoth. It was cool. And for me, inspirational, because I wanted to tank someday. A good tank makes all the difference.

We enterered the final chamber. I had a bit of a panic because I've got two boots that look the same. The Boots of Anchoring (correct!) have the same icon as the Jet Propultion boots (You! Are! Banish! Ed!).  I had to read the tooltip to be sure.

The tank established aggro. It took a bit of time but it but it's such an important job it pays to be thourough. Finaly he felt confident and called for DPS. A second later our group of DPS was huddled safely behind Horoth, his hatred focused solely on our mighty tank.

Later on, the raid gets difficult again, but this is the easy part. How easy? Try it and see! Can you find the number 4 on your keyboard? Can you press it? Congradulations! You're better at DDO than I am. I pressed 3.

My character intimidated Horoth.

I hoped for an instant that Horoth would ignore my intimidate, just like those shadows ignored me, and Xy'zzy, and a thousand other mobs. But Horoth immediately turned away from the tank. As he spun clockwise his outstretched claw spun through our ranks of DPS like a scythe. We scattered under his onslaught. An explosion of Running, Jumping, Featherfalling, Tumbling characters. And at the center of this expanding ring of failure? Me DPSing. Horoth rampant.

Everyone with a Mic thought this was bad. They said so loudly. Many blamed the tank for my error but the more experienced players knew that this could have only happened via sabotage. I typed "Ididsorry" into the storm of accusations and tried to find a tactically adventageous place to die. Where was the real tank? I ran behind Horoth where our tank had been but I couldn't see him. Just hear him over the microphone as he fought on three fronts to regain Horoth's aggro, defend his reputation, and lecture me on how I could avoid this problem in a theoretical sense. I say, "theoretical" because his solution required traveling back in time and not doing what I had done. Outside of that we were doomed.

Then, our leader spoke up. He promoted me to main tank, and sent everyone else after Suulomades. Now, the person he picked to heal me is widely regarded as the best healer on our server so I can't take all the credit, but I didn't fail and that's something. I even had a moment of self sufficiency! The healer shouted that she was stunned and couldn't heal. She shouted that someone, anyone, should heal me quick. And so I did, I hit myself with two uninterrupted Maximized Empowered Cure Serious Wounds. I don't always make that concentration roll, but this time I did.

I did, therefore we won.

Afterwards the PUG people said they were cool with my apologies, mostly glad for the chance at the optional chest. The optional isn't guarenteed now with all these stoned noobs on the loose! Several rings dropped. One was cherished by an obscure build. Afterwards four of us shortmanned Against the Demon Queen (ADQ). They asked me, "Do you want to be the healer AND the tank?"

I did. ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A New Invasion -- What in The Flame?!

I learned something new this weekend: change DNS to and Google fixes DDO.

And so with the putrid taste of learning still lingering in mouth I logged into DDO. Checked LFMs... Master Artificer! I still haven't played that raid but I've really been looking forward to experiencing it and aquiring some Alchemical weapons. I joined and cleared the wilderness area but couldn't get in. Share-guy announced I hadn't flagged yet. I coulda sworn that I had finished all three flagging quests but I couldn't get in the door. I finished out and learned was merely a simple oversight, I needed to turn in a Schemes of the Enemy and then talk to another NPC. But I got kicked in favor of a guildy. Stupid learning.

But not a big deal. I can run it some other time and anyway, Against the Demon Queen was filling. Ran into the sands wilderness for the preraid and crashed. Logged back in and I was kicked out of the group. "Sorry, we're already started."

Then I joined a group that was secretly already in progress (thanks for not telling me guys!) Moments later, it exploded in profanity and ended in rage quitting. So I went off to solo the very very easy quest Raiding the Giant's Vault. Stepped inside and the two dork-sorcerers that I always zerg past conspired to neg level me to death. Not my best DDO day.

Some people say that when a day gives gives you lemons, make lemonade. My method is to get it over with ASAP. Get 'er done! This strategy works well with removing bandages, taking a handfull of pills, and swimming in cold water. And today was definitely a lemon kinda day on DDO.

So what's the most unpleasant DDO activity I can think of? Vault of the Artificers? Farming Dragon Touched runes? Clearing out my TR cache? Crafting? Strong candidates but not even close to my own personal hell: A New Invasion.

I had considered letting it slide. Doing it next life. But I really would like to flag for ToD -- I'd kill for a shot at more rings and tomes.

So I put up a LFM and instantly a Bard joined. Very friendly and talkative. "This is an easy quest" he promised. He guarenteed we would complete if I could do the teensy tiny favor of including an arcane. A Wizard pale master joined and the two of them entered on casual.

As I ran through the wilderness to catch up he explained how he would beat what is for me, the most un-meleeable boss fight in all of DDO. His plan was "Always follow the left wall and then go down portals and holes." "Thanks but I don't have problem with the maze" I said, "I have a problem with the crazy traps at the end fight." The caster asked a bunch of questions because this was his very first time in A New Invasion.

The Bard explains the plan but the wizard says he hasn't even heard of a spell called "Dots."

We're doomed.


But after some learning, he knows that Damage Over Time = DOTs. This lemon of a day must be learning day.

The trash fights were challenging for our trio. The Air Elementals throw us. The buggy Dungeon Alert slows us down. Our pale master dies twice but I've got just enough rez clickies (Green steel Pos/Pos/cheapscate) to get him up again.

Then a Red Named beholder gazes me, neg-levels me just short of death. I sure wish I hadn't swapped Hunter of the Dead for Defender of Siberys -- that negitive level immunity was so convinient. But we survive and loot the chest over his dead body.

It's a fun group. We tease the Bard for being a lousy cleric -- He doesn't have remove neg levels. And I'm enjoying my lemony run so much I'm looking forward to running Bastion of Power again for fun. But we reach the end.

We're standing around a hole. The Bard's plan is revealed in all it's glory. We buff our Pale Master and toss him down the hole. The bard sends me a private message: "And if he dies, you jump down and grab his soulstone and escape via my DDoor."

I keep saying that pitfiends are immune to acid and fire, but the Bard says it's just immune to fire. He's done it before a million times on his other character. I asked if his other character was a pale master, like our wizard is. Bard says "no."

We watch our wizard's HP bar. It drops twenty points and then fills up again. Then we wait. After what seems like several miniutes pass, the PM writes that the endboss is immune to everything. They're locked in an eternal stalemate except that we've got families and jobs and school and stuff but Barnzidu the pit fiend just lives in his basement inventing crazy half baked traps.

Then it hits me. This guy is the closest thing ddo has to a gnome.

Some people say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But I say.... oh right we already did that part. CHARGE! I jump down the hole to certain doom. The traps are horrible. But if I avoid the traps I cheat myself out of a chance to hurt Barnzidu. I tried that for a while and used my remove curse spell until I ran out of mana. Then the bard cast DDoor and we fled. Barnzidu was still at 90% health.

The Bard is surprised the Pale Master had trouble. It's never been a problem for him on his Favored Soul. Turns out light damage is kinda different than acid damage.

I discover that I got a bunch of neg levels from fighting Barnzidu. Again I wish I had kept Hunter of the Dead.

We could have waited a while but we stuck with my "all the lemons right now" plan.(Or as Paladins say "All the lemons in the flame right in the flame now!")

I hit Barnzidu with everything I had. I didn't even bother running from tile to tile every 2-4 seconds. I took damage with every trap detonation. I figured at this rate I would last for about twenty seconds.

I was right.

As I was nearing death using my very last Lay on Hands, I glanced at the HUD and saw a curious thing... Barnzidu was at 10% health. Two seconds later he died.

Celebration! Rejoicing! Humorous emoting! Expressing disbelief and shock! We looted the chests, the Pale master got a named belt. At the same time, a new guy, a 19 Paladin hit my LFM. I accept him to spare myself the ordeal of spelling his name. I type in party chat: "Sorry, we just finished".

"What in the flame?!" He shouts. "I hate that what in the flame quest!"

(No, he didn't really say "in the flame" but that's what he would have said instead if he had been a real paladin.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Despite my best attempts to be a DPS paladin, I got recruited to tank HoX.

Well I knew it had to happen...

Something about my 710 hitpoints in Siberys stance  makes me look tanky. But I warned 'em. I said I'd be happy to park my hitpoints in front of Xy'zzy but I'm not geared to intimidate, I didn't even own any intimidate items! "Oh no problem!" they said just get a tower shield and some +intimidate gear and we'll meet you in the Subterrane.

I ran to the auction house and bought some stuff, crafted an intimidate ring but paid AH prices for a tower shield since I couldn't craft as high as what they were selling. Then I ran to the Sub and discovered they left without me. It seems to me that a lack of impulse control never bodes well for a raid. But then again, I knew that it was impossible for a strong an organized group to end up with me as a tank, and so I ran deep into the ancient hallways full of mystery, inky darkness and... RESPAWNS!

And of course since I'm in my Tanking gear I can't hit anything. So, I began the long and difficult task of swapping back into my DPS gear while self healing and fighting my way through a 12 man Raid wilderness. I punch above my weight as a soloer but this was very slow going. After a while I fight past the respawns, but then a "helpful" party member orders me down the wrong path and into the wrong portal. I haven't been to HoX in the last year so how should I know? A while later, I'm back at the start, clearing trash.

Meanwhile the raid is tired of waiting for me. Someone leaps in on normal. "We can do it on normal!" The monks scoff, "sure it's possible" they say, but they're only there for the loot that drops on Hard and up. Finaly, I meet up with some of the raid guys and we fight through the respawns to the portal. There's some buffing, some dire warnings about puppies, and we're off.

Still no instructions for me becides "buy a tower shield" and I haven't had time to check the wiki. In hindsight, I shoulda bought some solid fog clickies or even dug out all those solid fog potions from my TR Cache. But instead there I am with my 41 unbuffed Intimidate and bee spitting dog the size of an asian elephant. At first it goes really well. I'm tumbling around with my Feat: mobility boots avoiding death and kiting all the dogs. Not great, but my trusty healer sidekick is keeping me healed up, well, not letting me die. But my hitpoints keep dropping so low, I keep using up my emergency heals, I'm certain that he's gonna let me die. My self heals arn't working. This is the first time that's happened, I think it's because I don't have the concentration to heal through the agony that these dogs are putting me through.

Then, far off in the distance, almost like a dream I hear the far away sound of onrushing  fail. Or rather, see it in green type.

I Stone NW.

Who took the stone?

Then there's a little mini drama that unfolds. We've got two designated stone runners but there can be only one. Who says there's no roleplaying in DDO? It takes some time, but we're all friends now. It was just a simple miscommunication, but now they've given the stone to the guy who has augmented summoning and bees are eating my face aaah!

And then I died.

I thought it was a big deal, but the healer? Not so much. He focused on healing the dogs exclusively. I haunted him but no dice. A while later someone came by and tossed me a raise. But  my post mortem Intimidates arn't working. A reaver, one of the really big ones that are native to this raid comes in and attacks the healer. I pull the reaver with an intimidate but I can't fight back with all this tanking gear on. Finaly, someone FoDs the reaver, and I'm back to failing to intimitanking the dogs.

I look at my heals. I've got zero lay on hands, and my undying soverignty is on a cooldown. Amazingly, I died in that interlude between activating it and getting healed. I do have a bunch of mana for CSW, they hit for 250 with Superior IV Devotion running, but I know from experience that I can't count on them when the dogs are attacking me. 

Not that it matters. We're right at the mark where Xyzzy is vulnerable except that there are two dogs left and only one is charmed. A nec FoDs the uncharmed puppy. I don't understand that strategy. After all the shouting about not killing puppies and now killing them? But no time to get all philosophical,  Xyzzy kills the charmed puppy. And now I'm tanking again.

Except, for whatever reason Xyzzy has absolutely no interest in me. She overruns me as she races from caster to caster. I start to feel embarrased, I mean I can understand that my intimidates are low what with no buffs and a death penalty, but I'm not even worth biting?

Well, turns out she'd bite me if I was the last raider in line of sight. Gee thanks.

Time slows down, and... no, not time, it's just lag. Anyway lag happens I kite the dog for a while and then die before I can rez anyone with my greensteel pos/pos.

It was very sad. But there was no-post raid blaming. I think the whole run was so messy, no one wanted to broach the subject. I wanted to stay and run a second time but my kids made me a father's day breakfast, vegan french toast (because eggs are friends not food! my 4 yo son reminds me) so I bid farewell and spare them the akward task of demoting me to the kill team.

Not that I would have minded the kill team. Really, this is a DPS build.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cannot plan -- Too much good stuff!

I can't stick to a plan with all these sales and bonuses bursting around my head like fireworks. Somehow, Turbine talked me into buying everything they're selling. I've got all the classes, all the adventure packs and I even bought a bunch of expansion pack stuff they haven't released yet! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my purchases. But I'm happy in an analysis-paralysis way.

So here's the options I'm weighing.

* I could take my main (Dwarf Paladin) into the endgame. It's new, it's fun it's an easy way to snag a Divine Epic Destiny. I will use my Stone of XP on my level 7 Cleric so she can skip levels 8-15 and fufill the destiny I created her for:  to be a shroud-mat farmer. 

 * TR into another Paladin. I will enjoy re-doing some of the screwy build choices on my current main and squeeze the maximum amount of XP from the Stone. Then I'll go into the X-pack and snag a Divine Epic Desiny. My first life I stockpiled enough Epic! dungeon tokens for an emergency TR, should the need arise. TRing now so I can use the Stone of XP before it expires qualifies as just such an emergency.

 *TR into Monk. Monks are on sale now for 50% off, I bought access so I might as well enjoy it. I don't know how to build monks and supposedly they're DOOMED in the new updates. But if all goes well, it might be really fun to have a Monk in the endgame content. (Edit: I already have some monk gear: Icy Raiment that I loved to death on my first life Tempest Ranger, and the devotion handwraps everyone always talks about.)

*TR into a Barbaran. I don't like playing Barbarians so this Stone of XP is my big chance to skip the grind from 8-16. This could also be handy since I often play while rocking a baby to sleep with one hand and barbarians require Less two fisted buttonmashing per second than Monks and Paladins. And by the time I'm ready to level again, the dust will have settled on the new enhancments and I'll be able to plan class I'm more invested in.

*Stall for time. I could stay at 20 for a while and finish farming all the Adventure Packs I bought, unlocking the Favored Soul, Artificer and first time Server Favor TP bonuses. While I like the idea of unlocking those classes and having the extra TP for the next bargain hunting crisis, I don't particularly enjoy content that I've leveled past. I'd rather struggle through at or slightly below level. On the down side, that means I'll wait three lives to run through all the content I bought.

*Favor bonuses on all servers. Since I enjoy server bonuses way more than korthos 100-favor dashes, I could take a break from my main and grind out some server favor bonuses that are oh-so tantalizingly easy to reach with all the content I bought.

So really the only thing I've decided is that I'm NOT going to roll a Druid, since those hombres can't benefit from the Stone of XP. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My First Time: Dreaming Dark

So a few weeks back I took advantage on the spectacular MotU pre-order and I got so many points, I bought all the adventure packs. It's amazing how DDO was my favorite video game, even when I have played less than half of it!

Anyway, the Dreaming Dark. I really liked this adventure pack. The scenery is great and the end-quest is a surreal dreamscape. If you liked the quest Prisoner of the Mind (aka EvoN2) you'll love the Dreaming Dark.

I love prisoner of the mind, on epic it used to be my favorite DDO gameplay experience. Now that it's been updated I don't enjoy it as much though.

Just in case someone is reading this and wondering if they should buy it, I've got two answers. Yes and No.

I say, yes because it's a really fun quest, but no because there is very little loot. Perhaps theres something for other classes, but all I'm looking forward to is farming some twink gear: a STR 6 X-STR +1 ioun stone trinket with minimum level 5. That seems like it will be lots of fun at low levels. Other options are +6 +1 Wisdom (so I don't have to continualy recast that dang Owl Wisdom spell while I wait for ML gear to catch up). Of course if I can get the spell absorption 50 charges, that would be the coolest of all. I've got my fingers crossed but I want to TR quickly so I can get my Stone of XP before it's gone forever.

The other thing is that I'm having a really hard time finding groups that want to run Dreaming Dark. Not enough XP per miniute, or loot incentives or something.

There's also a solo quest "Raiding the Giant's Vault." Its really great scenery, easy to complete quickly, and doesn't have any deadly fights (so I can go afk for my toddler w/o having to hide). For now it's my goto quest for when there's not enough time to do a real quest. And I like it more than slayers or house C crafting.

Monday, June 11, 2012

No one expects the Stone of Xp!

I intended to level my Paladin to 20 for Menace of the Underdark. My plans were based on normal experience gathering but I didn't expecte a sort of Stone of Experience! Ahem. I didn't EXPECT a sort of STONE-OF-EXPERIENCE!

Well, while I wait for them, let's talk about my build. Dwarf Paladin 19 Defender of Siberys III with Two Weapon Fighting, maximized empowered Cure Serious Wounds and UMD. Lots of fun, but not really working right. So, item by item:

DWARF. My prefered race. I'll switch when I TR into a sorc, but otherwise I'm happy as a Dwarf.

PALADIN 20. I heard so many good things about DMIV (Divine Might four) and the capstone I thought it would be fun to have a pure Paly for the MotU. But now that I've got a stone in my pocket I am planning on TRing very soon so I can rush back up to level 20 in time to enjoy the expansion pack. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't put DMIV or the Pally capstone on my list of goals.

Nice! I've got over 500 HP naturaly, and with the DoS bonus the total is 698 HP. The bonuses about shields is wasted on my TWF Pally but the increased maximum dex bonus on armor is useful since GTWF needs 17 Dex before other bonuses. I also enjoy the Glorious Stand clicky. It only lasts 30 seconds and the cooldown takes forever, but it's great as a panic button. Of course, I say the same thing about my house C jet boots.

TWF. I have two weapon fighting because I have two LIT II Dwarf Axes and some other TWF weapons.

I love it. I had max CSW on my ranger first life and it's great to be able to quickly heal someone for 250 HP. Usualy that someone is me, but occasionaly the healer is about to die or someone is unconcious, or the tank is not properly cared for. Whatever the reason it's nice to have. And the bonus spell points from my Con Opp greensteel helm is usualy sufficient.

UMD. I've put max ranks into it and wear some +cha skill stuff. I use UMD for scrolls of feather falling, and also for a fully upgraded eternal wand of light I got from Mabar. Neither is essential though and so although I might try UMD on a later character, I won't do it this way again. (current score is, IIRC, 9 skill + 4 cha + 5 ConOpp = 18 UMD?)

So looking forward, I'm not sure what I'll do. I've only got the free classes (plus Druid) but I can't take Druid next life (because Druid levels are incompatable with the Stone of Xp.) I can see going one of two ways: TWF Pure paladin or TWF Paladin with a splash or Shield and Dwarf Axe pure Paladin. So three ways.

Right now I'm leaning towards the Rogue 2 / Paladin 18 because I'd like another chance to play with UMD and Open Lock when it's a non-essential part of my class.

Oh, and since this will be my third life (second TR) I'll have the full 36 build points available. Currently all my stats have +2 except for Str and Con (+3/+3).

Oh well, no time to plan for it, too busy playing DDO. :)