Monthly Archives: April 2012

(Toven’s) Hammer time

The cove is back, the original and first fling with mining kobolds and screams of panic. The first look of a ‘wilderness’ public pirate spawn area with all different types of pirates dependent on level of character (who ran by).

Last year I found that the upper end rune arm ruled supreme – and today I checked if Toven’s hammers electric spheres are useful.

The short of it; yes they are. More so for closer up targets where you agro more than one pirate – not always at a distance. And the downside is of course the reflex save – something that’ll happen quite often. The mindsunder runearm is as good as the acid one – homing bolts and all. It does slightly less damage than the acid one so if you have the acid; use it. With the challenge boots you can get 21% crits and that’s well worth it. But that also includes Toven’s Hammer, accept the fact that they will most likely save against the damage.

The other upside of Toven’s is the lightning proc. It’ll fry more than a few pirates throughout the event.

My current mission is to upgrade more items. Just make sure all of them are max upgraded and to add one or two more upper end items for my expanding list of chars. Plus maybe one or two BTA pirate hats – if I find something that makes sense that is.

We’ll see – and we’ll see how often i’ll be running it including soloing the CC part.

Captain Cap

So I capped my second arty and still no GS repeater and I haven’t even run a shroud yet. But what I have works until I make my triple GS repeater and Li II one. But I have made progress on a lot of the other stuff that I like and now it’s the slow climb to get everything else done.

I did hit one snag; first off I use a trinket with Major force lore (Kinetic) and Superior Force damage V. That’ll cover all the additional damage needed for the mindsunder rune arm; but there are better trinkets out there and I kind of would like the Looking glass from the pirate event. It adds 20 spot and search, +2 exceptional int and true vision.

So I remembered that you can craft onto run arms and since I pulled another mindsunder run arm I crafted greater Kinetic lore onto it. It’s still 9% crit chance but the crit damage goes from .50 to .25, so less.

I can live with it given that I’ve found a solution and this allows me to sport much better spot and search than before plus not having to switch between items.

I still want to find a better ring than the stalker ring and there are other slots that I would like to explore adding other things to as well.

But for now minus a good repeater – this is getting a little bit more solid.

Stupid doggie

Sometimes I wish Obama ate my pet too. (I’m kidding – frankly I think that flap is just lame, but some stuff just get stuck in partisan brains and they’ll burn it into the ground).

So my doggie should have a ‘reflex save’. I meaning you can spend point on increasing its dex and adding ‘danger avoidance’. But it still hits traps like its a fly on dog poo (I’ll stop, no honestly).

I like the derpy nature of my pet. Like when it runs after something only a computer can see, then decide to – nah that’s to far and does so back and forth until it explodes in a trap.

Worse however is it’s need to climb ladders. I mean that’s still broken where if a pet climbs ladders it will start levitating. It can move, but it can’t do anything else. I will sure ‘float’ over to any threat and just stand there and die, but nothing else.

I wonder when they’re going to fix that because there are some quests with lots of ladders and a reason for a stupid pet climb them.

And what’s better. So you can dismiss it and summon it again, but then all the buffs are gone so you have to waste SP doing that just to 2 minutes ladder have the bugger try to climb another ladder.

Weekend of low expectations

I really didn’t accomplish much this weekend. I played some on my arti, a little on others and did some deconstructing. The truth is that I really want to do challenges to get all that gear but solo challenges can be a very frustrating process because hirelings are just dumber than normal.
I did in the flesh over the weekend and died twice. I died twice because despite two hireling healers, keeping my arti alive is just not possible.
It’s kind of like doing a quest and you throw out a fire turret and the healer keep blowing SP healing the turret. It’s very nice of it to do so – except my pet and myself are both dying.

At least Mr Turret got to spew fire for a full minute before going away and its blue bar is at 50% and we have about halfway to go before we profit.

So I decided to do the progenitor Crystal challenge and completely choked on the scorpions. I hate those little buggers. Probably because unlike with my sorc or FvS with their web or BB my arti has it’s flame turret and that’s it. They’ll gank that think quicker than you can say ‘FIRE IN THE HO…drat!’ and now you’re trying to desperate shoot 5-6 scorpions with rune arm and repeater while they play guppies by going ‘underwater’ on you making half your shots and all your rune arm shots go to waste.

So I recalled (I hate to waste resources and a instance and get nothing), found a blade barrier scroll and came back mad. Well not until I hit 17 that is and lowered the mindsunder rune arm 2 levels so I could equip it.

The nice thing about the mindsunder rune arm is that except being a force based one, it also comes with Superior Potency VI and arcane lore (6% to crit – that means you Mr blade barrier).

So I went back into the challenge and rocked. Instead of 100 max damage or so per kited hit – now you’re talking close to 150-300 (and more) and a lot more fun.

My hope is that this combo of BB and possible displacement proc (trace of madness docent) will add enough survivability to let me take those scorpion hits like a champ.


The reason why I commented that we were most likely going to fail ending the second quest in the new chain on hard; wasn’t the fact that I doubted my abilites. My WF Arti was about the only person standing upright at times and delivered dramatic amount of specific DPS. Against fire critters I provided cold damage in abundance and everything else got their fair share of additional pain.

That’s not me bragging; it’s me realizing that this all came down to our wiz ability to dance critters and our healers ability to heal the other two DPS in our group that died with intense frequency. Sometimes entirely stupidly.

It was after half the group whiped again that I expressed my doubts. Not that I recalled and moved on like one of the group members – but I just wanted to get it out there.

But things did improve somewhat after that. I guess the people dying all the time decided to try something else – like staying together and those disco balls turned out to be our saving grace.

The end fight is always intense and I do wish my toon didn’t take so much agro – but since it could self heal I took somewhat of a load off our healer and maybe spared him/her a gray hair or two.

The end result was a finish and through the 2 first quests in the chain I banked the new helmet, the envenomed blade and the silver slinger. Not bad. I’m guessing the darkstorm helmet should go to a future wiz and maybe the blade itself for the rogue I never made.

Either way; expressing doubt is not the same as giving up – only that I was less then sure about the outcome.

However – I tell you this – two more quests later I hit 16 and I can now use the banishing x-bows and silver slinger. I have less use of the silver slinger but I am going to try it out against undead to see just how useful the blunt damage is on it.

I do wish I had a GS triple holy about right now, but that is a goal for another day.

I’ve decided that I’m going for a con op SP item, possibly HP and 2 GS repeaters (triple holy and a Li II repeater) and that will get me where I want to go. I also wish there was one of those quivers that spawned bolts – it would be nice to be able to use a steady stream of elemental bolts just by getting hit.

Talk to the guns

As a famous person once said “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] — shame on you. Fool me — [pauses] — You can’t get fooled again.”

Do you have that creeping feeling inside that something good might be around the corner but your long abused relationship with Turbine might turn out to be another buggy sinkhope of 30 more materials to collect through another grind exercise until your head explodes?

But then you tell yourself – they’ve been good lately. Working with the community to make things ‘better’. And I agree – why I sorta surrender to the idea that underdark is going to be a very good expansion and all the talk about a PrE reset, Epic levels, auto-grouping features will deliver us into the promise that we feel is what DDO had in store for us.

Yes – that’s me shivering in the corner with my face hidden behind my pale bony fingers. That’s me with a frightened open eye glaring out through spread fingertips towards the light that is the expansion. Am I safe?
Is this truly it?

I hope so. Because if I get another open flathand slap followed by cruel laughter I’m going to slip on combat boots and kick a door down or two and chew bubble gum.

You know the rest.

The grindstone

Running challenge quests for Orthon thingies and scrolls is boring.

Both are 10 minute challenge runs and neither allows you to really solo up a good amount of shards. There’s just not enough material. You get about 150 for short cuts (island shavarath critter one) and 200ish scrolls (extraplanar where you only have 5 guys at your disposal).

And considering that The ring of Master (level 16) require 1800 mats to get and upgrade twice, it is a steep hill to climb.

To think that turbine ‘increased’ the ratio in the past patch makes me wonder how much it really sucked before.

I have therefore decided to upgrade my guy to 16. Partly because I have a couple of banishing x-bows I can use but also for the silver slinger – not bad at all against undead and shavarath critters alike.

I’m also seriously considering making a bunch low grade fire or shock bolts. Fire bolts have a pretty low cost attached to then and it’s just a question of doing some normal harbor runs (such as Irestone) and then deconstruct the +1 quality. Each time you get 100 bolts. You’ll fly through those like crazy, but if you have the silver slinger holy is already covered – add fire bolts to it against undead and shock bolts against the shavarath forces and then add deadly weapons for even more DPS and you have a quick way of dispatching critters.

Point being – you don’t have that much time doing short cuts and the quicker you kill off critters the more shards you can collect.

I really should

I really should flag my caster for ADQ – so I can start the long frustrating journey towards a Torc. But I don’t wanna, you can’t make me (still one of my favorite lines evar next to all the Kobold chatter in challenges).

One reason is the boring mechanic of re-flagging by doing the one part in one place and then doing the main raid.

It bores my skull out – even if it’s not that hard on casual. But it’s the whole run there – doing it and then recall and find someone running the raid.

At least with shroud I don’t have to re-flag some Vale quest just to run the raid.

That’s also one of the reasons why I’m less than thrilled about running Master Artificier and LoB – first you run the wilderness, THEN you run a wilderness inside the ‘raid’ and before you run a shorter raid quest. It’s about impossible to get this done in less then an hour. Shroud generally forms quickly and take about 30 mins or so to run from start to end.

ToD is similar in that way; there’s a possibility to ‘teleport’ directly from the floating rock to the entrance of the raid. Which would be great if they added something similar in both LoB, MA and ADQ. That would remove some of the frustrating parts of those raids.

+20 XP goodie weekend.

The ironic part is that I haven’t added or bought bolts to my second Arti once the new system was introduced to conjure bolts. Makes sense too, especially as long as your x-bow have less of a quality than you’re bolts. Which I’d say is most of the time.

The end result is that I can now fire +4 Conjured bolts on my Holy Burst of Pure good x-bow.

Not shabby. What also helps are good rune arms. Such as the store bought ones. I kid you not. You can start using charge level 4 acid, cold and force ones at level 11 (masteful will bring it down from 13 to 11). I say acid cold and force; sure there’s also fire and electric, but those are both close distant flame/electric thrower type stuff and I like to shoot from as far away as possible (call it trying to stay alive).

Force and acid share the same ‘lock on’ type fire in the general direction and see the bolts ‘home’ in on the target. Cold bolts are straight forward where you aim.

I use the old Khyber rune arm as well for some explosive damage – perfect for blowing up bundled up barrels.

At 15 however you can start using Glorious Obscenity – normally a level 17 acid based rune arm but you can lower that using masterful.
Those 5 charge levels will have anyone smart enough to spend points on the acid line hit 300-500 crits around level 15.

That’s not bad.

And it helps when you’re trying to stay competitative with other players DPS for quick resolutions to quests.

This weekend I truly took advantage of the 20 XP – started at level 8 and ended with 15. I wasn’t even trying to level as quickly as possible but with XP pots, greater tome of learning and nothing but Elite streaks in my back one 10k after another 15k rolled in.

And you can’t really argue against 49k worth doing Von 3 on Elite – and that is after losing 10% due to death.

Rune Armery and thinking back

I love my rune arm and especially Tovens – but there’s no arguing that despite it’s capabilities, the greatest liability is the reflex save.

And what is there not to love?

Every single rune arm have it’s speciality. The cold ones shoot several shots in a straight line generally at one target (where you aim) unless you happen to get two with those shots. Most fire based ones fire one exploding shot. So as long as critters are fairly bunched up it’s possible to hit many of them. But it’s one single explosion and while it can target many it also means less overall damage compared to say several shoots.

The acid based ones are all ‘heat seeking’. Meaning you target them and as long as you fire in the targets general direction the shots will follow and hopefully hit. But the shots are fired wide for most part so you’re most likely going to hit walls and pillars in small spaces.

And all force based ones function the same as the acid based ones, except the base damage for each charge level is lower – I guess the general idea is that acid can be resisted and therefore do higher damage per shot while force that can’t (for most part) is balanced by doing less.

Tovens hammer is a little bit of everything. It shoots in the direction you aim – it doesn’t look on and it fires up to five lightning spheres. The cool thing with the shots is that everything in the close area of the shot will get hit. It’s a much closer area effect than exploding fire shots, but in most situations you can end up hitting many targets with up to 5 pretty damaging shots.

Except for the fact that each can be saved against, partly or wholly. Like the shrould Kobold dude always saves completely (rarely do I see any registered damage) and for most part Harry will at least save against half the damage.

It’s still pretty good – most hits are for 150+ and crits can range all the way up to 1k in lightning damage – which is better than the average of 90-400 I get with force bolts.

But the combined effect of being able to hit several targets with potentially very damaging shots is where its at. I just wish there was a way for me to boost the DC of those shots. I don’t know if ‘higher’ intelligence will do it. It would be nice however if it was as simple as have a focus of some kind together with high intelligence so I could make my rune arm a really crippling weapon.

The other day I wrote about possible gear that I’d like to put together for my sorc. I stated that I was seriously looking at the Epic Diabolist robe and a alchemical glaciation and laceration scepter. I think I’ll go with fire and laceration instead. I right now use a level 16 challenge flame cloak. My thought was that if I ever TR into a FvS/cleric the it would be better to have a fire/laceration than glaciation. At least if I keep it at tier 2 so I can use it for level 18-20.

The Frozen Tunic will still be the most useful cold based spell booster for me and adding +1 to Conjuration (Epic over Greater) isn’t going to game breaking in the end.

That way I can add tier 3 to the alchemical scepter and get greater conjuration without feeling like I ‘wasted’ something.

Now I have thought about all of the tier 3 effects

Efficient Metamagic Enlarge II, Greater Enchantment Focus, Spell Focus Mastery +1

Spell focus mastery is nice but the reality is that I have almost all relevant focuses covered and the spirit sight covers Greater Enchanment.

Efficient Metamagic Empower II, Greater Conjuration Focus, Greater Spell Penetration IX

This makes the most sense to me. Spell pen is always important when you try to land something nasty and given my slot situation it fits the focus need.

Efficient Metamagic Extend II, Greater Transmutation Focus, Greater Elemental Spell Power

I don’t use extend and while transumation is cool it only matters in the case of some spells that I rarely use. Like flesh to stone. And as mentioned – I’m already adding greater elemental spell power to a pair of con op gloves.

Efficient Metamagic Maximize II, Greater Evocation Focus, Arcane Augmentation IX

This one is interesting. Epic flameward comes with Greater Evocation but arcane augmentation seems useful. I really need to find out exactly what spells would be effected here – would that cover web? I know that the earth savant ToD ring boosts acid based spells. It would be interesting to know just what other spells that would be covered under this one so I can get as much as possible out of anything that can boost other things than pure DPS magic.