Monthly Archives: February 2012

Soloing Rainbow on hard

So what’ll Rainbow on hard with hard streak, 3% guild shrine, VOM and a 30% XP potion and the greater tome of learning give you?

34k in XP. Now imagine if I had a full elite streak with that bonus. There’s only one thing to say about that.

Thank you.

I’ve enjoyed a lot of return on my tome and the pots I bought when they had the 1500 in the cart 30% discount. So much so I’m probably at my wits end as far as soloing goes (without wasting gobs of time) and keep looking for a good solid group to get some XP farming going.

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Tome of Learning and XP churning

Last night was the first time I had the opportunity to make a bunch of runs with the new greater tome of learning, the 10% special event boost and the 3Hr 20% pot brewing (that you get with the greater tome of learning).

The last quest in the level 15 harbor chain (the one with the taken and Mr. uber squid) on hard gave 24k, Sacrifice on elite gave me 32k, the F2P twelve level 15 quest out of that tavern with the beholders, puzzle and those hamheaded zombies gave almost 20k, hard Running with Devils 27k and the first quest out of the new level 16 netted almost 20k. Now that one was a pain and I blame the hireling.

First off killing cultists are not all that hard. Not even the tiger dudes. The hardest part was the fact that hirelings just don’t want to heal as much anymore. They simply go derpy on you and let you almost die before they go ‘Oh, you’re hurt’. Now it’s not always; some times they do just fine. But then they get that look into space kind of moment when they don’t do squat. Like when you’re getting hurt by traps or slammed to pieces by kitty.

And when I tried to raise my Arti it decided to raise the pet instead (eventhough I was clearly highlighted. 2 Times. Before it tried to clobber the end kitty to death. So I had to eat a cake, go in and finish off the baddie.

Now I don’t know about you; but the end drow seems to have epic weapons in use because I saw several 400+ HP plus untyped damage procs on my pet.

Other then that running all those quested netted me enough XP (hard running was the last one done) and I hit level 17.

And this morning I ran Coal Chamber on hard (solo). It’s generally such a long run anyways that my shrine XP bonus ran out and I didn’t have a pot running by then. But still – with hard streak, bonus and the first time tome bonus I hit 30k. Imagine that on Elite with Elite streak and a pot brewing (and the XP shrine still going).

I can’t argue against numbers like that. Which of course my first time TRer needs since at this point I’m looking for 200k plus in XP to hit the next level.

My hope is to be able to jump on a quest train doing the other two Vale quests left (Rainbow and dust) at hard then do some Reavers Refuge.

In the sea of blue blue XP-mas

Consider me pre-ordered

So I wanted to buy greater tomes of learning; thinking that since it’s 2500 on Lam it’ll be 2500+ (like 4k or something) live.

Turns out they’re 1000 for the lesser, 1500 for the greater and a upgrade from lesser to greater for 600. That’s like; hmm, I smells lots of learnin’ come u13.

However as I was about to install the new version it had a splash screen to menace of underdark preorder page and curious as I was I clicked it. 2 things; June 25th and 79.99.

But as I looked some more that was for the collector’s edition (and I never buy those when I buy games), and there were 2 smaller bundles too. Then I read what was in each.

First it said a greater and a lesser tome of learning for the collector’s. Not bad – I mean I was going to buy the greater anyways. You get 2k, some quests and pets. I really don’t care for the pets. The only functional pet I care for is my Arti’s Metalhead. Then I read the breakdown comparison between the different bundles and the lesser said for life. Meaning any time I create a new person I can start it up as Veteran II (comes with the bundle) level 7 AND it gets a lesser tome of learning.

Which can be upgraded to greater for 600 points.

So I whipped out my CC quicker than someone can make a funny joke about under dark and under britches and Turbine heard lots of KA-TCHING as I upgraded my account, applied it and logged in to see that I indeed had all the goodies.

I immediately gave the chief benefit to my Arti – since I intend to TR him some more but pets and Arti kind of works. And with it you also get a 3 hour 20% experience pot. Making early grinding not all that bad.

I’m very curious to see just what a nice little Elite Vale or Shavarath quest can provide and how quickly I can bag those last 4 levels. And since there’s also a 10% level bonus going on I’ll be awash in XP for the coming week.

Shopping Spree

30% discount whatever and 5k later I have XP pots, some hirelings another character slot etc. All in all a fine haul.

And with my upcoming birthday (and my kids – DDO point cards or else) wish I hope to add to that pile and waste it promptly on greater tome of learning.

That’s right. I want to be able to have a perma +50% first time bonus and +20% bonus for as long as I level.

The hard part is of course to decide whom to put it on. I mean my arti yes – but I could also consider any of my level 20 guys. Most likely my ranger followed by my Fighter.

Party because I’d like to keep my arti at 20 for a while and get him some more gear but also because he’s the crafter and TRing different type of characters always demand one item or another.

Like when I geared up my cleric and I’m sure I’ll need as I get busy TRing anyone.

So now I have slayer boosts and 30% XP pots stored away and it’s just a matter figuring out what to do next.

You can’t handle the challenge

Don’t let anyone fool you; DDO is about fun, camaraderie and beating heads, but there’s no fun unless there’s some ‘measure’ of biggest stick and good gear involved.

There are those who constantly lament how ‘easy’ things are now. Last I checked butchers path haven’t changed much.

Back when I started I really got butchered there. Now it barely tickles. And the reason it barely tickles is because of a combination of spell resistance item (like the ML 3 Mirror cloak or whatever you make using crafting) and the greater resist guild ship buffs (harder for shamen to hold or fry you)

Those two things plus tons of other good gear makes otherwise noob killers trivial.

That’s not the games or the gears fault; it’s the players fault. Making the quest harder to satisfy people who love the buffs and the gear simply miss the point of how hard work brought us here. Like starting out with Moderate fort armor and the crystal cove trinket that provide +10 fort, making crits rare.

Or a keen of bleed weapon at ML 1 who makes life little more than kobold meet butter knife type scenario. And honestly; do we need our first 10 levels to be a struggle from beginning to end? Isn’t all our gear, skills and buffs the reward for the struggle so our first 10 levels in the next TR grind isn’t a frustrating mess of little kobolds stomping all over brave reincarnated heroes?

Maybe.

I prefer that upper end quests and Epic quests measures the individual more than lower end quests. If anyone want frustration and pretense of superior tactics I suggest permadeath guilds. Personally I’m just not into the idea of challenge all the time.

Or for that matter; the silly idea that grind somehow is the challenge everyone wants and if we ever get the stuff we want easier then 200 runs it somehow demotivates us to ever play again and removes the ‘challenge’.

But Here’s my suggestion.

Make a new challenge level – call it to the death. Where the kobolds just don’t have say twice as many HP and hits for x amount more in damage. But that you start seeing higher end critters. And it has the same level requirement as Elite, but you get more XP and more really good rewards. And that you can only make them once per TR – and if you fail, die and even win – you can’t do them again. And that if you actually die without getting raised you don’t get the XP and the end reward. And if you die you don’t get the bonus XP.

It’s the one time only event at that level. You can only do them at max 2 levels above ML of the quest (so if it’s a level 4 quests the max you can do them at is level 6). And limit the rest shrine to 1. You get rewarded more for doing it under at or closer to the ML.

Now I don’t want a challenge where the critters have over inflated amount of XP or anything; I want a challenge where you can’t use your ship buffs and you rely more on your wits and gear. There’s no harm done to your character or gear, but you only get that one chance and survival brings the bacon while death brings failure and shame.

And I rather see a challenge with more crafty critters, then HP overinflated ones. Where you throw in some randomness and put traps where there normally were none. Which requires more balanced teams or if you solo – guts and skills.
And why not some kind of leader point board. Like a simple statement before you enter the quest that shows a leaderboard – who did what and at what level – something for other players to try to beat. After all, what is the point of a challenge unless it also comes with some bragging rights.

I CAN quit you

Last week I did what I haven’t done in a while; I left a group. I never rage quit. There’s no point doing so. To leave mad is to defeat the purpose of just cutting your losses and move on. I’ve been in groups where people rage quit; for no apparent reasons. Like it’s taking too long or when the group was finally filled the whole group suddenly left because people didn’t get to the quest quickly enough.

This was different.

It started with a really messy Temple of Vol; people dying left and right. Ironically the rogue and the healer. Not just once, but generally from the same thing – traps and such. Meanwhile I wanted just one thing; a Deathward. I figured that would save me from neg levels and insta kill spells.

Of course I didn’t get one, so when we dropped down the baddies neg leveled me and insta killed me.
This could have been avoided by a simple deathward. Then we proceeded in the same fashion. Death in almost every single room and lots of sloppy running ahead fightin’.

You simply can’t get worse than that (so I thought).

Then we decided to go to that quest with the mephits and the fire and normal side.

Anyways – some people actually died on the way there (the rogue and the healer) and once inside the quest the entire group didn’t wait for a late straggler and went through the first portal.

I had enough when I went through – got neg leveled and beat down (despite asking for DW – what was I thinking – and the healer was right there). As I was laying there not quite dead yet the healer ran with the rest of the group (I saw him smacking things instead of healing) and the monk came back and threw me a heal (scroll). And that was it. If a healer in the group refuses to heal a member and moves on and leave that guy behind; I assume that the rest will be more of the same. The group will just leave stragglers behind and most of my stuff would be broken in the process.

Which brings me to another group I would have dropped, but didn’t since ‘death to us all’ came first. We ran TOR on normal with a clonk. Turns out the clonk was less cleric than monk and not very good at both. This was apparent when we hit the first dragon. Half the team was dead within minutes (since the clonk was busy doing next to nothing in damage against the dragon) while the 2 casters we had in the group didn’t consider firewall or fire related spells of any importance.

Meanwhile I died several times and spent the rest of the time scroll healing before finally dying with the rest of the group.

The moral of the story – if you’re a healer and start a group. And you say you’re it. Then heal. Or try to act like one.

Otherwise then stipulate that you’re not very good at it, don’t want to do it or BYOH.

Now, I’m not a expert healer. But I have never truly bombed with my Favored Soul. I wouldn’t use the teenie term ‘beast’ but I can sure heal like a champ with him.

The other day I decided to build a cleric. I’ve had one for a while – level 4, but he ended up as a mule because I didn’t feel like getting him going.

But since my oldest son and his girlfriend play I decided that maybe I could hitch a ride with them – heal em while they level. And I could groom his tactics a little and offer some useful advice while I teach him the basic of the quests.

And boy is it nice to have a crafter.

First off I gave my cleric the Chronosphere Full plate, although I could have given it a level 4 Crystal Cove plate. I figured the Chrono one won that fight because of the Spell resistance 19. And trust me, that’s good since Elite Kobold shamen like to hold you. Which kind of makes healing a little difficult.

My Cleric already had a Wiz II, Concentration +7 Pirate bandana and I gave it a Superior Devotion IV ring along with a Wiz I of featherfalling ring.

I finished that off with a Moderate fort belt, gloves with resistance +3, Shield with Healing Lore +6%, Club with Empower Healing II (lower the use of the metamagic), the pirate vitality trinket with exceptional +10% fort and the stone skin proc and striding +15% boots.

The only thing open would be the cloak and goggles.

Most of the items except the belt I think are BTA and I used masterful to lower the ML required where needed.

This provides my monk with 85% fortification (so very unlikely the critters will crit him), lots of spell resistance, A great chance to heal crit and a lower cost to cast healing spells. On top of that I have tons of wands to get the job done and it’ll be a breeze to stand back and healbot.

I also have a Heavy fort ML 7 belt in the bank along with a Greater healing lore +9% shield (both BTA). So with the Superior Devotion ring and those healing lore items I won’t grow ‘out of them’ anytime soon.

I’m considering making a adamantine full plate (great source of early DR) with some kind of temp HP proc on it. I do believe that would be a ML 5 minimum item and quite useful. I can always make a spell resistance cloak and I’m sure I can find something useful for the goggles as well.

Bring on the learnin’

I never jumped on the TR train. I mean I fully TR’d my Favored soul some time back, mostly because he was kind of broken but also because I felt I wanted to try out what TRing was all about.

Not until recently have I TR’d 2 more – my ranger who is stuck as level 18 right now and my level 14 Arti. I did this because of the changes to Elite and the addition of Elite streak and now I might actually do more of it.
Turbine is about to introduce tome of learning; a lesser and a greater flavor. It’s a permanent XP boost for all levels up to 20 that persist through TR. It’s a 25 or 50% first time bonus with a 10 to 20% for the same quest thereafter. In other words, a way to enjoy a steady stream of XP without drinking XP potions. Except for the fact that it stacks with everything else except itself.

In other words players can now enjoy Elite bonus (80%), Elite streak (50%), Greater Tome of learning (50%), XP potion (5-30%), Voice of the Master (5%), Guild shrines (2-5%) and in quest bonuses like conqueror.

Now there are those who argue against how it currently works and want it to be for 1st or 2nd time TRs only. And there are those who want it to somehow increase with amount of TRs. Personally I feel that is a arbitrary change based on flawed reasoning. One reason I heard was that some people don’t learn to play a character by leveling up the first time and this only means that some can level up quicker and have even less chance of learning.

That might be true for some; but no amount of endless leveling will change that in people. If they don’t get it mid level I’m sure they won’t really get it on TR 2. All games require some figuring out and a perma XP won’t really alter that reality. Nor change that some people are just not and will never be good players. My opinion is that there shouldn’t be any limitations for items you pay real money for.

Personally the way I play the game won’t change significantly because others can get more XP and it’s really a waste of money if anyone buys the tome without also wanting to TR. But that only means Turbine get more money and I get to enjoy more content.

There is one drawback tho. This will only strengthen the cult of Elite streak, not weaken it – eventhough these bonuses apply to all difficulties.