Monthly Archives: October 2010

Unreal

The Mabar event have sure brought out the snipers and overall territory huggers. I’ve been a victim of sniper since Lamannia and after the changes it’s more ‘fair’ in that sense. You always have those that will try to kill stuff you half baked with mass heals. I read about people hunting in packs and wrote about unwanted guests stalking them, but I never thought I would be that guy; the stalker. So there I were – hunting by those rocks close to the chamber. Killing my one and two until suddently things started spawning real good. Turns out a group had moved into it. I didn’t care. I mass healed and we all ‘shared’. Then as I have to go and get more ‘juice’ a guy sends me a tell ‘go away’. The irony had me flabbergasted. They take over the area and instance I was in and I should go away. Oh well – what can I say – after a squelch I hope to never deal with that guy again.

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Half Orcing

I finally pulled the last piece in the Might of Abashai set – the boots, so now I can run around with my half orc ‘safe’ from basic elemental damage. Safe, in the sense that the first 10 fire, acid etc damage won’t hit me, but it can still hurt. Combine that with the elemental protection pots from House of J (120 elemental points of damage for 5 minutes) and it’s at least ‘safe’ enough from that.

The big piece of everything isn’t the set itself, as nice as it is to have profane armor, strength and constitution as well as the elemental resist – no, the greatest part of the raid loot is the infested armor and it’s SR. Anyone that have run elite runs know the danger and the pain of getting held. While having SR on your armor doesn’t stop it from happen, it sure lowers the risk of it quite a bit. The only thing that really sux about doing elite on low level guys is the almost automatic amount of crit damage one take. I ran quests out of the wilderness in the harbor (the one where you have to rescue a bunch of people from a Orc boss and the one where you have to turn out the fire at the farm).

The big difference to me was that the enemy had a tremendous ability to crit; it seemed statistically higher than I could even do it with my two Khopeshes (talking about my ranger here), but also the relative uselessness of the enemy casters. Other than the high end offensive spells most debuffs, holds etc failed. I did get held in the very end (or rather ‘danced’) but my hireling; a little more response, kept me alive.

There’s no question that the new gear, good tactics and the high DPS and ship buffs helps; it’s a lot easier to solo some quests which is inevitable with this kind of power creep but it’s not over dominating the stage. You can still get killed and if you don’t know the quest and have the resources to move forward, you are truly toast.

Nothing illustrates that better than Irestone Island – it used to be the true baptism of fire. If you don’t have the gear, nor know the quests it’s easy to get yourself worn down by the relentless spawning mobs of some pretty hard hitting hob gobs. There are plenty of casters that like to exhaust and drill you with fire and there are plenty dual weapon fighting surprise attacking hob gobs bursting out of nowhere to attack you when you least expect it.

Yesterday I managed to finishing it off with my half orc, a cleric hireling (both level 6) all the new raid gear and some extra stuff and haste and fighter attack speed when needed. It was on hard and it was a hard fought slog from finish until end. And it was great.

Again – the key was the infested armor; without it I would have been held numerous times and prey to the numerous mobs. Instead I resisted (most of the time) and prevailed.

Most ironic thing; me clearing out the harbor wilderness from Orcs. Human fleshies before bros I guess.

 

Me boots

I’ve run the new raid on everything and its grandma (almost mules at this point) to pull the boots. When I did pull the boots it was between those and the gloves, and the gloves won that time since it’s just that good to have on a fighter. My hope was to pull and use them before I hit level 8, since I have other things in storage that is of better value.

I don’t use the axe – why should I when my acid pure good great axe paired with the gloves do fantastic damage. It’s not bad to be able to do 150+ damage on a crit hit. I’m definately having fun with this one and the infested armor is pretty awesome considering that I have a fair chance to avoid getting held, even on elite. Hirelings are still door knob stupid – especially when healing others in the party. Other times they simply stand there (even if you have set them to aggressive) in the middle of a big fight with hands by side doing nothing. You’re hit and dying? To bad so sad.

Here’s me hoping to pull the boots (finally) sometimes this coming week.

Half Orc I am

When I played on Lamannia there was two items that struck me as particularly good to have in the beginning and several others when you hit 5; one was the infested armor and the second the new keen great axe. I found the armor to be more important than the latter – partly because I already had a really good axe – acid with pure good, but also because the armor has spell resist.

Infested Armor – +2 Full Plate, Disease Guard, Spell Resistance 19, Light Fortification (level 4)

That’s especially useful when the critter shamen/spell users use hold monster/person spells as it’ll be more difficult for them to do it. The light fortification is nice as well (not bad for a level 4 item) as it gives you some protection against crits. Disease Guard is interesting but ultimately (like most low end guards) fairly minor as my half orc have a tendency to kill everything before the con damage actually does anything.

Charged Gauntlets – Gloves, Shocking Blow, Strength +2, Lesser Lightning Resistance, Might of the Abishai
Envenomed Cloak – Cloak, Constitution +3, Poison Save +2, Poison Guard, Might of the Abishai
Gem of Many Facets – Trinket, Anger’s Wrath, Protector’s Heart, Nimble Hand, Pathfinders, Devoted Heart, Arcane Mind, Archivist, Troubleshooter
Helm of Frost – Helmet, Lesser Cold Resistance, Charisma +3, Might of the Abishai, Frost Lance 3 charges (3 recharges per day) (End chest)
Hellstroke Great Axe – +2 Great Axe, Doublestrike 3%, Keen (Blood Plate chest)
Infested Armor – +2 Full Plate, Disease Guard, Spell Resistance 19, Light Fortification (Blood Plate chest)
Scorched Bracers – Bracers, Fireball (CL: 5, 3/rest), Lesser Fire Resistance, Armor Bonus +4, Might of the Abishai

Battered Marketplace Shield – +3 Large Shield, Haggle +3, Regeneration
Boots of Corrosion – Boots, Greater Corrosion 3, Greater Nullification 3, Lesser Acid Resistance, Might of the Abishai
Diabolist’s Docent – +3 Docent, Intelligence +3, Conjuration Focus, Summon Monster III 1 charge (1 recharge per day)
Diabolist’s Robe – Robe, Intelligence +3, Conjuration Focus, Summon Monster III 1 charge (1 recharge per day)
Goggle of Time-Sensing – Goggles, Haste (CL:5, 3/rest), Wisdom +2, Spot +5, Search +5 [BTA]
Hellfire Crossbow – +2 Repeating Light Crossbow, Scorching Ray (CL:3, 3/rest), Flaming [ML:4, BTA]
Staff of Nat Gann – +2 Quarterstaff (dex attack mod), Dexterity +2, Dodge +1, Sneak Attack Bonus +2
Timeblade – +2 Long Sword, Slowburst, Feather Falling

Here is all the new raid loot. Note that some things have changed (if the link shows the old item before the changes). All items belonging to the Might of the Abashai now have 10 in resistance to whatever element they protect against. And both the time blade and the hellstroke great axe offer cold iron DR breaking. Staff of Nat Gann is +4 in Dex and Silver DR breaking. Hellfire repeating crossbow is flame burst instead of flaming. And google of time sensing is level 5 instead of no level.

Adding 3 items of the set gives a number of profane bonuses and adding all five gives more. Goggle of time sensing is good both for rogue type toons and fighters. Add haste plus attack speed haste to a fighter and you have a whirlwind of death and the spot and search bonus is nice for finding traps.

I managed even to pull boots of featherfalling with no level requirement as the new raid end rewards, but decided to take the timeblade instead (does the same plus it’s always good to have another okay weapon). The end loot is all bound to account so it’s important to keep in mind that even the suckiest loot you pull can’t be sold on the AH. Part of running the new raid on 2 capped toons I also managed to pull Helm of Frost, Scorched bracers and Gem of Many Facets. One that I hope to pull soon is Charged Gauntlets and Envenomed Cloak. The Gauntlets are awesome. On a natural 20 you do additional lightning damage (10d6 with reflex save). On Lamannia I was not only hitting for 50-100 with a crit, but I was adding something like 50 in lighting damage as well. Very nice.

By putting on all five Abashai items you gain 1 guard effect, 1 effect on a natural 20, resist in acid, fire, lightning and frost and with the additional goggles and armor you get haste clickies and another guard effect as well as fortification and spell resist. All good things and perfect gear to take anyone from 4-8ish before having to re-gear. You’re not invincible, but it allows you to avoid having to drink tons of pots for the same effect. And to worry less about always having the right buffs and more about doing serious damage to the ‘other guy’.

I had told myself that I would roll a half orc as soon as I pulled the infested armor (it’s that good to have) and late last night another half orc saw the light of day. It’s going to be interesting using it going forward and I hope to have the other raid gear shortly as I hit level 5 and 6.

Amrath – the con op edition

My goal from the very first time I started playing my ranger was to be able to solo Amrath. As I wrote about it previously someone recommended that I look at this thing called Monk (I guess somewhat sarcastically) but to me that’s kind of silly. If I enjoy a class why should I then look at something else simply because it’s ‘easier’ to do something with that one and forego the challenge with my choice?

If that was true I would simply stick with my FvS since BB and kite works fine wherever I go.

When I talk about solo I don’t talk me, the sunlight in the back and a hireling. I mean we all use hirelings and sometimes they’re more roadblocks than they’re useful. Like if the hireling is ‘close’ enough they’re going to take their time running to you. If they’re not they first have to tell you ‘do I really have too?’ when you it the come hither button 15 times. And then they do so. And you forget telling them to stay put and suddenly you’re in a bloody scrap and your hireling is in the middle wasting all its SP while being clobbered to death.

Hirelings are just the support wheels on the awkwardly put together bicycle we call fully capped toon. And sooner or later it’s time to take the training wheels off.

That’s what I did this weekend.

Just like with the FvS it was a gradual process from everywhere to in specific quests and slayer areas only. Sooner or later that displacement and haste isn’t really that important when it means dealing with waiting for a hireling to give you that 2 minute haste before having to redo it again.

And I think I finally stopped all together with my FvS when I put together my perma blur item.

Enter ranger – my list for being able to solo Amrath boiled down to 2 things – either mitigate damage all together via AC or being able to survive incoming blows by self healing. Using a healer hireling is a death sentence since the healer will be caught in a loop of self healing their own pain when you’re ambushed by scores of devils. Plus as a ranger getting the 65 or so in AC just won’t work that well as even if I could it would severely compromise something else.

That’s why I envisioned a couple of GS items to solve that issue and I was glad that it worked out like expected. First off – being able to self heal. Rangers have a small SP pool and they can cast cure serious wounds. It’s expensive. So naturally it won’t last very long and wouldn’t take your average ranger very far. And pot healing isn’t nearly good enough as the max you’ll get out of it is normally 20-30 and with heal amp 30-50.

So the first thing I did was to get heal amp. 10% on my dragontouched and those 20% bracers with strength +6 out of Subt (VoD I think). That usually gives me 30-40ish HP using cure serious pots and 50-70ish through healing. By using a superior devotion IV ring it’ll get me 70-100 using the spell. And I’m definitely looking to add the epic red fen item that provides another 30% heal amp together with the new epic trinket so you don’t have to use both items to get the set bonus. That should give me an average of 90 to maybe 110ish HP each time which is very good.

Secondly I crafted 2 con op items. Since I have a very small pool of SP it’s not nearly enough even for a partial run. Unlike my 2800 SP on my FvS I’m at about 400 SP or so with my ranger. Con Op gives you a 4ish percent chance to either add temporary HP (30 something) or 15-30 SP. It doesn’t proc as often as the torc, but it can be a steady trickle when you most need it. Combine that with a good 70-100 heal and it’s possible to survive even the worst onslaughts.

With only one item – my helmet it’s a struggle. It’s easy to run out of SP during a thick fight since you only have this small proc chance, but I’ve managed to prove with several close successful runs that it’s enough; if not by a hair. With the added con op Khopesh I can use the nature of my DPS to get another chance to proc, providing enough temp HP and SP to almost always have about 400 SP to heal from. In fact I was so confident that I took on the devil that can chain you (above chains of flame quest). It’s even a pain with my FvS and I wiped with my ranger when running with another guild member and 2 hirelings. Now I took some heavy damage (and I was smart enough to pull most of the trash mobs first so I didn’t have to fight everything at the same time) and then slogged it out. 30 second haste pots – 70-100 heals – even chained I was dishing out some pain.

I usually combine that Khopesh with a vorpal since there’s only a few red named bosses and the rest lack death ward (except bezekiras I think). So that generally translates into an average of less need for DPS since I roll enough 20’s for the vorpal to do its job. For everything red named I switch over to my tier 2 min II to be khopesh and the con op. It’ll take big chunks out of anything and I do have construct bane stuff for the constructs.

Over all I’m not looking to solo quests instead and see what kind of damage my weapons can do in those. I still want the torc – it procs more often than con op and it would provide a reliable if not ‘endless’ pool of SP that can only be outstripped if I’m incapacitated (say knocked down). That’s where those temp HP comes in – it’s only 30 or so but it’s enough to keep me afloat until I can self heal. Good thing too.

I get no respecc around here

With my shiny 6900 TP I bought myself a lesser reincarnation. I felt like I had a less then optimal FvS, which is true – not so much because he’s no good at anything, far from it. But I had 32 points in charisma, 4 extra points in Dex and less in CON and less in STR.

I could still kick @ss and at higher level I don’t really fisty cuffs, but I did try to join in the boss fights since I have to mass heal anyways.

So with my new and shiny +2 exc charisma on my ToD ring with minimal change in overall SP I decided to respecc. Turns out that starting with 10 or 18 in Charisma have about 10%  difference overall by the time you hit cap.

I did redo my enhancements slightly with a little bit more on SP giving and less on other things, just to get my SP back to where it was. At 2803 I’m 7 SP shy of my former self with more Wisdom, more Con and more Str.

I also did some rearrached my spells. I had some low stuff I never used but didn’t do much for me and I replaced my firestorm (reluctantly) with Summon VIII. When update 7 hits I’m going air ellie – that thing can knock the seige golems in Amrath on it’s clay behind.  And if that’s any indication I hope the same in quests everywhere for effect. Imagine 2-3 of those suckers in Sins of Attrition disrupting the waves of ambushing critters. Perfect way of saving some SP.

And finally – after creating and played around with a con op helmet managed in short time put together 5 more large scales. That means another con op item; Khopesh to round off my arsenal. Give me torc and Amrath is going to be bliss

Having a blast

I’ve spent tons of time levelling up a half orc and a half elf; the half orc being a fighter and the half elf a level 2 rogue and the rest bard.I figure I would do that now and get an idea of how I should level up in order to get the most out of it.

I also managed to scrape together enough large devil scales to make a con op helmet. First I wanted a straight immunity helmet – alot cheaper than making a con op. But then I started to think about how I always wanted to solo places like Amrath and other hard to solo quests (at least for a ranger). I already had stuff to give me death ward and I could always use my deathblock necklace in a pinch. Plus I could use pots or such to remove poison.

So I ended up with a tier one negative, renegeration every 30 sec as tier 2 and good guard as tier 3. Adding con op as the final. I even took it for a spin in Amrath – surviving against all odds against a couple of really hard hitting bosses – including the red named one by the titan.

It certainly doesn’t proc as often as the torc; another item I’d love to have. But it proc’d enough for me to self heal and survive. Between pots, slow regeneration and cure serious I managed to stay alive long enough to ‘win’ if there such a thing.

I now want to add a con op weapon. Adding 2 chances to proc – one on hit and when I hit. I don’t want 2 con op weapons since I want to keep the DPS up. Ideally I should have made a tier 2 lower end guard and tier 3 high end regeneration. With all my heal amp I now get 3 HP back every 30 seconds – and adding another 30% heal amp will bring that to about 5 every 30 seconds. Not bad considering. That is of course a lot of material and I’m sure someone could argue that it’s no worth it – spending so much time and so much gold getting the stuff together for a almost marginal 4% chance to proc. But taken together with my other gear they become part of a much more useful machinery of items that in the end will make survivability a perfect feature for my Ranger.

I’m definately going to run the new level 6 raid to get stuff for my half-Orc that I’m making. Having the level 4 and five stuff as a start will make leveling (in the beginning) a much quicker affair. Especially at level 5 when you can put on the gear that add +10 protection against a lot of elements – such as fire; a constant danger from the very first quests to the last. Or those goggles with 3 haste clickies. Add that and fighter attack speed and you have massive chopping machine.