knives eterna;

My arti says, yes

I’m not going to waste anyone reading this to regurgitate the point I’ve made about MoD but I spent this weekend shaving off 9 runs on my Arti for the 20th and hit it just as I was ransacked. As a result, it is now the proud owner of Knives Eternal.
I…love…it.

Last time I tried it out I was rummaging around on Lam, a month or so before Update 23 popped. I wasn’t afraid of spoiling things for myself since I had already played the quests. Naturally since you could check out the new items for yourself, I tried them out on many different toons, and I was sold on the rune arm from the first time.

True, it suffers the one thing that all rune arms since to suffer and that is giving the target a ‘save’ so they can possible evade it. That’s unfortunate but it’s the basic reality of playing Arti’s in DDO. However unlike most of them Knives Eternal ‘auto’ targets critters (like force and acid) but follows it’s own distinct fire pattern.

If you’ve played around with Arti’s and rune arms you know that there are several distinct fire patters but up until Knives Eternal only 2 rune arms that auto targets (meaning the shots follow the creature you’re shooting at.

You have the electric sphere’s from Toven’s Hammer and the one out of E3BC. You have bolts firing in a line like the cold based ones, or single fireball shots like with Animus. Only acid and force (at least until now) fired up to 5 shots (for the higher end rune arms, fewer dependent on charge level for the lower end).
The force and acid fires in a wide arm. Usually 1 shot forward and each other one wider out. So as I’ve mentioned before some of the shots will hit walls and obstructions. But it’s a far better solution than direct fire rune arms with the notoriously wonky line of fire problems, where shots can simply go bonkers and fire straight up or hit tiny obstructions within line of sights that eats all shots when they would definitely go above them if it wasn’t for the broken line of sight system.

Knives Eternal fires it’s shot in a slow staggered pattern with a much ‘smaller’ arc. Instead of firing ALL shots, like with acid in a parallel wide pattern, Knives Eternal fires them 2-3 at the time until full charge (5 or so I believe). They’re also auto targeting. Altho slow they’ll follow creaters you target until hit. Finally, the knives will hit a target and start flying around in a circle, potentially hitting others nearby, sort of like a circle of flying daggers.

The nice thing is that it’s all untyped damage (which is boosted by force, so this rune arm works like a charm with an Arti’s enhancement boost). Both the imbue and the shots are untyped, with the rune arm boosting impulse spell power and spell lore. Combining everything an Arti need spell power wise (for a majority of it’s spells) in one singe item.

It also comes with 10% chance to add more piercing damage per shot and a 5% guard effect of massive piercing damage, making this the type of weapon that adds a massive boost in very Arti centered damage.

As a result I’ve seen rune arm crits in the upper 1k, many times ranging between 1200-1800 in untyped damage. And since there’s nothing in the game that lowers untyped damage (like spell power specific resistance unless you’re talking about a straight blank DR) most creatures will take a massive amount of damage from it.

In fact I ran an entire chain on EH just to see if I could notice a different between it and the Archaic Device (hitting for slightly below 1k in most cases) and the speed of how I could bring down bosses were staggering (of course hitting for 1500+ per crit shot will do that).

All in all, I’d love to continue running MoD for the necklace and the trinket, but at the moment I got everything I need in that rune arm. It us truly a massive improvement of all other Epic rune arms and well worth the use.

(BTW, the featured image shows the knives after firing, it’s a fairly slow patters, so much so that the rune arm doesn’t even show a discharge anymore since I waited for most of the shots to leave the rune arm but you can see that the arch is must more narrow than an acid or force)

I’d like to post, but what’s the point if I can’t play?

I did get some play in this weekend; a level here and there on my sorc. Until Sunday. The server stability was close to unplayable at times. And since then I haven’t really played at all. And that’s because I can’t log in. And unlike others I’m not going to sit there and keep trying for an hour. I always have other games, both MMO and solo ones.

I also tried to do a Lam run, but after getting in everything stopped working. I tried to tele to the House of K bank and got stuck in a loadscreen. I jumped out, logged in again and it was stuck trying to load. Until timing out. And that was it.

Truth be told, I don’t want to check the quests out anyways. I really want to save that for when it goes live. I like to explore and that first time feel of ‘new’. And doing Lam usually kills it for me. But I do like to see what new toys comes in the new pack and I must say I’m sorta meh about it. Don’t get me wrong; some of the items are not bad – and I’d say very powerful for the level. But this is the third pack in the Xoriat series and none of the items have the same feel as the previous heroic ones. And that’s a pity. Plus the items are sorta in ‘niche build’ territory. The staff is clearly ideal for a staff fighter/monk build. Which I might add is not legio. It’s hard to tell if it’s better than the CITW one or on par with thunderforged.
The armor with +4 Int is very niche. It’s hard to motivate taking that over say thunderforged. Plus as int builds I can only think of a good fit with a rogue int for damage type, not so much a caster who is better served by thunderforged or draconscale.
The Orb is okay; a mix between the ring and libram from haunted halls – if you’re looking for ‘the best of’ edition of those two items. Granted you pull the Mythic version of course. The goggles are okay, but again – niche. And not niche like on Xoriat good and bad niche. But just plain niche. There’s nothing particularly special with these items. And since they don’t have that Xoriat ‘heres a nice feature followed by a typical Xoriat flavored negative’ they’re entirely forgettable at level 26 and fills an even shorter level gap than say CITW gear does vs when you can finally use Necro and thunderforged.

Plus the rune arm is garbage. It lacks the flavor (as mentioned now several times) and it’s a lightbased one, level 26 with nothing special on it. First, spiral firing patters are notoriously hard to hit with. Less so than directfire electric based such as Toven’s and the one from E3BC. Second – it’s light. Just as with the better acid based rune arms Arti’s can’t boost the crit or spell power (through enhancements anyways) of light. So at best they can add either an augment or item (and there’s no self respecting Arti that’ll waste an augment slot or item slot on adding radiance). This is even less effective then trying to make acid viable (because at least acid shots are auto tracking).

I can’t wait until I have the MoD rune arm; it boosts force (well supported by Arti enhancement tree) and the damage is untyped. Now THAT is a good rune arm.

Light based isn’t even niche enough to use and I can’t think of any type of critters where I’d use that and the benefit of ‘ghostly’ that it imbues your main weapon with in order to replace my current force based or the MoD with it. Again, it’s a failure to create a compelling reason to even use it.

And lets face it; itemization is a large part of MMO, much more important then the scratch and sniff face that lasts perhaps 1 or 2 runs of a pack. After that you’ll do it to pull items or get XP. Now the benefit of being a VIP is that I can play all this content but this pack smells like Turbine dropped the ball on making it enticing enough for premium players.

Off the MoD train wreck and back into ER

My sorc hit is 20th run, took the necklace and moved on. I even re-specced as a fire savant since so much of the Necro gear boosts fire. And it was a dud. Not a giant dud, but dud nonetheless. Somehow I’ve just gotten used to acid and the fact that acid works in almost all cases, plus trying to break evocation DR is a pain (not that conjuration is a walk int the park either). So I ER’d, found a bunch of good stuff and made the docent of the diabolist. Not a bad armor if you ask me.

The downside is that I’m about tapped out on slayer and meaningful explorer in most wilderness. And without options for streak that bonus XP ain’t happening. I might just have to TR to reset that and I’m half tempted to just do a Wiz or two and drop back into TRing until I got all of that. Or maybe not. TRing and ERing isn’t really all that fun to be honest but with so many newish raids being dead already it’s hard to find much to do at cap.

ToEE

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/451552-A-sneak-peek-at-Update-24%E2%80%99s-dungeons-%E2%80%A6-and-beyond

It looks like the early planned content is now definitely put on the back burner. As is the level cap increase. As both 24 and 25 is more or less fleshed out and 24 is about to hit Lam and with 25 planned as far as time it’ll take to get it out. 25 btw brings Temple of Elemental Evil.

Personally I never played it. In fact I haven’t played most of the iconic modules and that’s because back in my pen and paper days we as a group consumed copious amount of pretty much everything else compared to DnD. Like Warhammer fantasy rollplay (a pen and paper version of the famous tabletop game). Or Traveler. Or a lot of different smaller and larger pen and paper games, but never specifically DnD. Not that we didn’t play ANY, in fact our group famously won several CONS even in DnD (not bad for a bunch of kids only interested in the rollplaying aspect).

But enough about the good old late 80’s and early 90’s. I did play the computer game (see picture). I liked it. Altho to be honest the ending was anti climactic. You half expected it to continue from there and lead to something BIG, but instead if was like ‘over?’.

24 is a continuation and perhaps even end of the Xoriat quest arc. Sounds like fun. I think those quests are perhaps the most interesting and quirkiest in DDO. Plenty of flavor and character. And lets hope they’re just as good as the other ones. There’s also a free quest based on the current high end quest arc. Something about finding a dragon mask. So lots of content (along with the Barbarian revamp).

Crappy games

I told you about Dungeon Keeper. For a bit it was cheating and stupid, then it got better as another studio took over and now it’s shitty again. The computer cheats and you’re not even present when other teams ransack your dungeon (easily). It’s simply terrible design with no control over the idiotic pvp aspect of it.
But I just came across another one that I bought for 60 bucks and got so infernally tired of after playing just about 20 minutes.

The Evil Within on PS4.

I hate button clicking games. Timing, button clicking. You’re not interacting, you’re simply moving, clicking, moving clicking. It’s obnoxious in action games like Call of Duty but it’s not constant. It’s those particular action scenes where things goes in slomo and you have to click specific button in time.
The Evil Within as a game is all that.

Move, click, peril, click, click, crawl, click, move, peril, die, repeat, die, repeat, click button etc. You’re simply limited to pattern learning and playing the game exactly like the game wants it played. No skill, just following the pattern and click the right button.

After 20 minutes and dying once more, this time limp because of course the bad guy caught up to me and hurt the leg. So my guy, without gun, just limps around. He also can’t imagine picking up a weapons. Strike that, you start out picking up a knife so you can cut yourself down. THEN the knife is gone. Apparently everything you do pick up disintegrate after one action. Like knifes and a whole keychain of keys.

The graphics seems okay, the characters seems okay but you have absolutely no control over your own actions. And therefore the game is completely worthless. I’ve mentioned this before but once you can’t control something and it’s all chaos the mechanics are just rotten. It’s a complete waste of time doing something you can’t control.

A challenge, or for that matter, using skills is about control. A game completely void of control is like a movie, except the consequence of going off script is death and repeat. Following the prompts is about as exciting and interesting as watching a bad movie, but at least a bad movie doesn’t end and repeats itself if you fail to watch. Bad games do.

So that was 20 minutes and 60 bucks wasted. I doubt I will ever finish it. That’s just how bored I got from it.

ember

Farmin’

There are many ways to farm – like challenges. 50% mat bonus is a strong incentive, except for this little thing called ‘borked hirelings’. It’s well enough when I did some Eveningstar challenges with my now level 21 Horc, but it’s still a terrible way to do challenges. Under normal circumstances I’ll barely break 150 per run, despite being under level. And that’s because the 2 in the Eveningstar cavern are terrible for mats. But with 50% I could at least pull about 300-400 per run. Not astounding (compared to the Enchanted grove one I did later on and hit 1000 mat).

You can also do some of the Cannith ones; particularly the palace ones. On one run I hit over a thousand so that was a sweet pull, but as I tried to do others where you leave some hirelings to guard the homebase, they end up running all over the place and get stuck further away from home. So in other words – not so good. I did want to farm most of them – maybe 1-2 runs each but I gave up on that idea after a few micromanaging chaotic ones where they ran off and I had to go back and get them to guard the homebase again. Just to see them run off again.

At least I managed to get enough mats for the Cloak of the Bear – an okay ML 24 item. That one is going to my tank for when he ER. I always wanted the cloak for one of my guys and I managed to pull enough wins out of the bag to get it all done.

The other farming event was doing Mark of Death over and over. 10 times on my Sorc. I didn’t get lucky and pull another item but at 20 I got the Ember so now I’m done with him. I got both the good stuff so I’m onto getting the runearm for the Arti. And with him I got in 3-4 more runs until I got tired and dropped out. Of course I pulled the ring on my last run. What else – and I put it up for roll since I just don’t see any use of it on an arti. It would be nice to pull the necklace or the trinket (or for that matter the runearm) but I’ll settle for the runarm if that’s the only thing I manage to pull.

BTW, having pulled the Ember I’m half tempted to go fire savant. I don’t know why but I’m sorta tempted. Especially with so many items boosting fire out there. I said tempted; it’s still a pain in the you know what to respecc and start looking for more items but I’m wondering if it’s a potent setup for most of the high end stuff.

mah shield

A brief non game related message followed by new cosmetic shield

Vote.
It’s your civic duty. I don’t care if you don’t see an ideal candidate, the line is long and you’re busy doing stuff. Ideally you’d vote early if you can. But if you can’t, then vote. Voting is a unique privilege. Sure, our body politics is an entrenched mess fueled by big money, but voting is something the candidate with the most big donors fear and something small local candidates need. I don’t care what you vote for, but you should. People all around the world die for the right to determine their own future and history is a long sordid mess of people dying for it. The least our latte generation can do is to vote. One day, a short interruption of our carefree life and then on with it like nothing every happened.

I don’t write about politics here because I like to keep my entertainment separate from my ideals. But I humbly ask that if you didn’t plan to vote, you do. Because as little as we care for it (and god knows we have good reasons looking at the current squabbling pack) it’s something our ancestors fought dearly for. And it’s something that define democracy more than anything else. Forget all the corny simplistic notions of ‘freedom’. Forget the hand wrangling, the flag waving and all that. Remember that even if you don’t think your vote count it does. If not to show the rest of the world that we care. We care about our civic duty. And it also shows the cynical game to limit our right to vote to a privileged few that we want it and we’re ready to mantle that duty.

So never mind if people tell you that ‘you don’t know the issues’. That doesn’t matter. Voting was never a measure of ‘issues’ – it was always about representation. Not perfect representation mind you, but represented by someone from your own ranks. This is far from other nations authoritarian rule. Yes we squabble. But we have the right to squabble. There are those that don’t. Whatever arbitrary rule of the day is what they’re forced to live under. So while our democracy don’t like all that good and we get frustrated by the inertia. We at least have choices – limited and not always that good. Others have those choices made for them. Things that are not a consensus of regular folks, but a small clique of sheltered elites.

Anyways – vote. Please don’t leave comments about political views and all that. I really don’t care what you vote for as long as both of us at least share the importance of our civil duty. Voting and politics is not about who’s right. It’s just about who got the helm and where we want to go.

So to leave on a less ‘real life’ note. I finally got my hands on the last shield piece and after much deliberation I picked the shield in the picture. It’s actually not all that good compared to say Talon but it’s only for mirroring anyways. So now it looks like my tank is using a more impressive shield, instead of the small purple knight.