Monthly Archives: August 2010

Mineral II and lighting II

First I wanted a mineral II bow, but after talking to someone who had used bows a lot longer it was either a straight earth for the earth grab proc on hit or a lighting II; mix between holy and air. So I thought – it makes sense. Metalline is nice but when it counts – it won’t do much. In reality you need silver arrows against some stuff and cold iron against others. You buy those arrows after you unlock the right favor in house of D.

So I started to change my arrows more actively; take the 10 seconds or so to re-prioritize the arrows dependent on what I do. I could only tier 2 my bow – so that’s holy and lighting burst, but it’s already very efficient against a lot of critters. Multi arrow is almost crazy painful against the right target. It’s going to be nice to see just how many times I can get lightning to proc with multi-arrow. Once or twice within the time span of the multi effect would make it worth it.

In the same run I finally also finished off tier 3 on my mineral II cloak. So that’s 25 more HP (45 total), protection +5 and heavy fortification. I’m still using Minos Legen since it stacks with my cloak and at 437 without buffs it’s very useful. It also allows me to use a different necklace (my old one was a prot +5) and I’ve been using a tier 2 silver flame one from Necropolis – I now only have to upgrade it to tier 3 for the full effect. But it also means that I should start getting serious about flagging for ToD so I can work on my sets and get the rings.

So what’s next? I don’t know. There’s no point working up another GS item yet since I can’t equip it. I should get serious about tier 3 one of my weapons but I’m not sure if I should work on my Khopesh or bow. I’m also considering working up a concordant opposition weapon. I’m really not that squishy in most wilderness areas but there are upper end quests that taxes even my abilities. I figure with a con/op weapon I could possibly ride out the worst of it – but I’d love to combine it with a torc for effect. I noticed that running the hound. Generally I’m pretty okay – but surrounded by 3 reavers and getting de-buffed by one of those tiny beholders – it kind of kicked my butt a couple of times.

With a con/op it’s possible to hold myself above water long enough to survive most of it.

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Epic or epic vampires

I don’t like epic, but I can’t quit it. I mean – I don’t even care for some of the items that I can epify. I have several seals, some shards and some scrolls. But not 3 of the same and I have for stuff I don’t seem to care about. Yet I come back to it – ever disappointed at the ridiculous drop of ‘fragments’. Collect a hundred and get a ‘whole’ token. Beat a guy up for a couple of minutes.

So that I can open  that purple and gold chest and get – nothing.

But that’s nothing compared to my ire over vampire movies and books.

They have whole sections in the library and book stores. And there’s TV shows and movies.

In DDO they’re ugly and die in a swarm of bats. No drama – no – I can’t be with you because I’m a blood thirsty killer. And where are the werewolf’s in DDO? They’re way scarier than vampires – even though they’re kind of wimpy in underworld, except for the vampire werewolf hybrid.

I guess I rather be a vampire werewolf hybrid before I ever play the vampire class. Just because I could only play my guy during the short night phase and there’s not enough Mary’s to go around to make a good drink.

Update 6 and the feeling of doom

I tried out update 6 and I must say that I like it. I haven’t done the final quest yet so I don’t know just how easy it is to solo, but the wilderness appealed to me as well as the three flagging quests.

But before I had the pleasure, I had the misfortune of running a painful shroud run. All I wanted was a chance to some shards. Maybe run it one more time after that before completing.

Have you had that feeling of doom before? I mean the other day I used my FvS and did VoD. That’s a notoriously fickle raid. Two people died before we entered. One fell and another one went the wrong way. Yet despite the kind of (oh isn’t this the way to hound? Lets turn around) we got through the whole thing with only one person dying. Maybe I’m just that good. But it wasn’t me or anything – it was that feeling of sucking it up and getting it done.

This one made me feel doomed. Healer DC’d just as we entered so we waited and finally got the healer replaced. Part 1 was all over the place. One of the casters was new and apparently didn’t have the banshee spell or simply didn’t know much about shroud. So he placed firewalls on all portals which does little to anything spawning through it.

And the dps seemed to be lacking with some people running all over the place instead of concentrating on the portals. But we finished. I didn’t pull any shards so I already knew I had to recall before the end. Part 2 was masochistically bad. The bosses respawned 3 times. First – we almost wiped. Instead of taking aggro and pulling them apart and the healers doing you know, healing – 9 or so wiped. Including the healers. Fortunately enough someone had a res. clickie, got one of the healer up and I kited 3 bosses while the rest of the group came up. We finally killed em, but no one was on the crystal. So we explained, got SP back and pulled again. This time someone was on the crystal but apparently asleep, so again – they all came back and this time we slapped ourselves through it and got it done.

Part 3 was a shamble. Half couldn’t even solve a puzzle for the life of them. By the time the wall came up half wiped including one healer. So instead of opening, getting stones and getting things done the other healer died by the wall. So there was 5 of us left. I decided that we should break the crystals and get it done. Only I and another guy had ranged. But people LOVE to run on those symbols and as I downed one crystal a swarm of blades cut me down. The only ranger left didn’t pay attention and the wall killed him. And that was that.

I’ve run shroud before. Made it to the end just to wipe. One of those things where lag or a meteor storm wipes half the group and it cascades. Or in three when you just can’t sync taking down the bosses and everyone gives up, or wiping in 3 when second wall comes up. Or part 4. A healer aggros Harry with a really good heal and he goes down and it just cascades from there. Or DPS is lacking and it goes into round 3 and everyone is out of SP.

But for most part only one thing sucked and the failure was the one thing that kind of happens. Like a perfect and close fotball game where the quarterback throws to the opponent and the whole thing unravels. Here every single part sucked and it was only by mercy that it ended in 3. Worst part? Healers. I mean I don’t want to blame the healers but no healer seems to have any backup resources anymore. Like scrolls. I’ve run so many quests lately where healers either relies on that cool new aura and have no heal scrolls for that one off. I mean my healer walks around with at least 70-100 on him. A couple of pots at least – but lotsa scrolls to keep the one squishy guy up. Old time clerics don’t do that mistake. They have that aura thingie but they sure know how to heal, first and foremost.

Compare that to the run I had tonight. Smooth. Very few problems. A few deaths in the end but nothing bad. Enough DPS to get the job done. Not a perfect home run but a solid win.

No doom – just a completion and waiting for my next opportunity 3 days ago.

Feat

There’s a feat called combat expertise. You gain as much in AC by using it as you lose in attack – 5. Spells you use while using combat expertise also cost twice as much. Obviously not the perfect thing for a caster or cleric, but useful for tanks or someone who want to squeak out another couple of AC in order to get the most out of that ability.

So I ended up baking tier 2 onto my cloak for 25 HP, had Fred remove one of my toughness feats and swap it out for combat expertise. I will eventually remove my improved critical slashing as soon as I make mineral II out of my Khopeshes (they get keen which doubles the threat range, which is the same as the feat does).

The new difference was that I gained 4 HP and I now have 387.

Tier 3 will add heavy fort and protection +5 and 20 additional HP. And if I run the right quest in Amrath I can pull the occult slayer belt for an additional 30 HP. In other words; until I get the thoughness feat back I will still have around 437.

When I add everything together with bark skin buff, haste and guild level 21 AC buff I end up with 52. With 45 I’ve been successful enough to avoid about 50-60 percent of all incoming damage in the Vale, the main reason why I want decent enough AC. I was curious how 52 would hold out in both Giant Hold and Vale and if that allowed me to run with a caster hireling as suppose to a healer hireling (main difference would be buffs like displacement and haste as suppose to slower runs with strict heals).

Giant hold went perfect; most hits where the low 0 or gracing and the only thing that really hurt were magic. I didn’t even take much damage when I was surrounded by trolls, ogres, giants and minotaur’s. With haste and buffed I took on about a dozen of them and came out with about 3/4ths HP left. Again – most damage came from magic I can’t avoid and a few stray hits. That to me was perfect; I can always pot heal stuff like that. The most damage came from the clerics over by the discord quest. Their light damage can’t be avoided so that took 20-30 HP chunks out of me, but with my haste and good crit range I could easily 3-4 hit kill em and more so with 15% double strikes.

That left Vale as the final experiment and I ended up running towards the earth ellie rare and such.

Net sum was a big success. I took a little more damage from incomings hits; the trogs seems to have a pretty darn good attack value, but it greatly depressed trolls and such hit chance. Making it really hard for stuff that do plentiful damage to even score and everything else could be easily self healed.

I didn’t do a complete run – figured the basic sampling of running a fourth of the Vale gave me a pretty good picture on how well over 50 in AC works.

I can still improve it somewhat. 2 more from adding 4 more in Dex. I’m planning on doing it anyways. 1 more from upgrading to a armor +8 bracers. Something I can do right now if I have the plat. But it’s also possible that I might figure something else out; there are a few armor +8 Epic bracers that looks interesting.

I can also try to get the +3 Dodge rune on my dragontouched. That’s a grind and a half and I don’t feel like ruining my +4 insight AC rune until update 7 comes out and a way to identify what you pull. There’s nothing worse than gimping something functional with something useless.

By doing so I can bake a +4 insight bonus as tier 3 to a green steel weapon. That’ll remove some DPS but I’m fairly comfortable with what I have right now.

That would add a total of 6 more points and 58 in AC. The question would of course be if that’s enough to run Amrath without taking too much damage. Probably not, but it’s sure a interesting idea.

Finally, if 58 allows me to at least avoid some damage I can add the torc and something like a concordant opposition item or weapon for a small but relevant chance to add temporary hit points and spell points. If 58 allows say a 50% miss chance, I have permanent blur item on, concordant opposition on something else and the torc – it sounds in theory like I can not only avoid some damage but also self heal from con/op proc’s and self heal using SP.

I like the idea and would really want to see if I could pull it off. That would allow my Ranger to solo Amrath without a full group. A challenge I’m willing to take on

Con/Op to be or not to be very very flat

I don’t have to play a game for years to know certain mathematical limitations. All it takes is a run to figure out that some places and bosses are way over the ability of my toons. Be it healer type or fighter type with the current gear.

So I asked myself – what will it take to be able to solo Amrath with my ranger?

Since getting 60-65 in AC is out of the way I started looking at the other things; assuming I will take 95% hit (5% chance for something to roll a 1) how can I avoid or survive the rest?

There’s always blur. But blur is like a flotation device in a sea of shark. It’s like do I die from drowning or the fact that the sharks are hungry and it’s 100 miles to shore.

There’s also extra XP and cure serious pots. But let’s be honest;  I’ll take something like 3-4 hits at 30 something in damage and I chug a pot for 20-30ish. That brings me back to the skinny dipping with hungry sharks.

There’s always offensive stuff; vorpals works good on most things. You take a bunch of hits and hopefully with double strikes, haste and such you’ll get that natural 20 and down whatever critter you’re fighting. Then chug tons of pots to get back to full health and move on. But that’s expensive and not a very good long term survival prospect.

Of all the items I’ve planed I got more reflex save, additional HP and all immunities. So they won’t give me the funkies, they might miss me and I live a little longer, but it seems like the losing end on a bell curve. At one point or another incoming damage will outstrip my ability to heal myself.

So I thought about torc and concordant opposition.

Let’s assume that I have all the gear I need; 2 mineral II, reflex goggles with perma blur, HP cloak with heavy fort, the all immunity helmet and occult slayer belt with its con +6 and greater false life. That’ll give me 400ish HP and someone a good headache.

I’ll make a GS bracer of con/op which replaces my current armor bracers. Since AC is as useless as a third nipple when dealing with Amrath, con/op makes much more sense than a drop of armor. However, if I truly like the idea of keeping my armor at 45+ I can always make a neg/holy Khopesh with the same con/op effect on hit.

Add the necklace out of the white dragon chest, the one with 10% attack speed and I’m not entirely dependent on haste potions for that extra close quarter kick.

My hope is that between a con/op device and the torc I’ll be able to gain enough HP and SP to stay alive and keep self heal myself with cure serious spell; providing more HP than a pot.

Greensteel thoughts

Do you have when you get something in your head and then realize that MAYBE you want to do it differently?

Right now I’m debating whether I should complete my HP, heavy fort, Prot +5 mineral II cloak OR do my +8 Reflex Save goggles with permanent blur.

Both have their merits; more HP, possibly replacing Minos Legen and adding occult slayer belt for a combined +75 HP in 2 items. I could drop my prot +5 Necklace and remove Minos Legen for a different item.

On the other hand I could keep the helmet and do the goggles and get that permanent blur and more reflex save. It’s either adding more HP or avoiding taking damage. A truly interesting dilemma. In either case I COULD keep the helmet until I find a replacement. I might not be able to get the use of the Heavy fort part (if I make that cloak) but I can use the stacking HP since it’s toughness and tier III is elemental.

Silly thought

You know what I’d like? The ability to look up stuff in the AH without being in the game. Kind of like E-bay for DDO. Log in using your smartphone/laptop/computer and spend the combined pool of all your toons gold with the item dropping into the shared bank. Color me silly but I don’t see how that can be impossible to code. I think it would a lot cooler than having a twitter feed to what’s new in the store.

And the ability (coming to some extent in update 7) to search. I just want the cheapest whatever item and I bet this will drop down the cost of some things that are way overinflated at the moment.

I would find it absolutely awesome to browse the AH on a smartphone, on the train home so I can get that final thing I need before playing.

Crazy awesome.