Monthly Archives: October 2012

I hope I will be able to wrap it up before Monday

I really don’t want to waste my time running Mabar all day long, even though the event is made ‘funner’ in a full raid group and quite intense when everything spawns at the same time. Nothing like seeing a forest of giant skellies and what can only be the equivalent of a WW II battle scene in regards to things exploding.

But truth be told I don’t really need anything out of it other then the wraps. Question is do I want to make several wraps – say one level 12 and one level 24 – so that if I TR my Monk I can just use those 2.

But what I don’t get is the arbitrary nature of all events and challenges. The pirate event have all items BTA and BTC when fully upgraded. Sounds good. With the winter event the items remain the same status as before when you add frost to them. Good, as it should be. In Mabar all items are BTC and you can’t just make level 24 – you first have to create them level by level constantly upgrading it. That’s different from everything else including Cannith Challenges.

Of course Eveningstar Challenges follows Mabars spastic nature with the exception of all materials being BTC when it’s not with Mabar.

It would be nice if it functions like this instead. All material unbound. Let people sell them as they see fit to anyone. Second, all level 20 items BTC. They’re considered Epic. Before then BTA. I mean pls – I don’t mind having a few cloaks between level 8-16 but I don’t want to make more crap to fill up the inventory with in the case I TR. Flexibility is good; I have no idea why Turbine have this arbitrary nature in place considering the level 8 wraps ain’t that special.

So please Turbine; make ALL material unbound and BTA where it makes sense. NOT bound. The time is spent anyways and the less arbitrary you make the grind the better. Second, no item UNDER 20 bound. It’s not like people will stick with playing level 12 forever. Having unbound named items also means flexibility and less inventory space taken up with redundant stuff. Grind okay; meaningless grind not okay.

And finally – it’s alright if level 20 stuff and above are bound on equip. Yes – bound on equip. That way I don’t have to trade around mats here and there; go through mules a billion times. Then whomever carrying the stuff can also create the Epic item and drop it in the bank. And whomever picks it up and equip it gets it.

It’s all common sense. It adds flexibility and not this switching between toons just to drop mats in the bank so someone else can run out into the event and make the wraps. And then switch over to the one I’m running with, do some more runs and then go to the bank etc. I like flexibility. I like not wasting time.

Less waste of time, less arbitrary, me happier – and spend real money.

The flexibility of exactly what you want (almost)

Sure, we all want some kind of livestock animals that lay golden eggs – but short of that we have Cannith crafting. Like with my wiz; took him and my wife for another run yesterday – getting the most out of 31% XP boost. I kept noticing that a good portion of my spells failed (like when I need to drop a firewall and you get nada other than some irate critters about to punch a hole in your wooden head). So I checked and my ‘home made’ armor (power X) also comes with 5% spell failure. So today I redid my wiz gloves (BTA Concentration +13) into Lesser arcane dexterity gloves of Concentration +10. Add a lil’ Masterful Crafting and ML 11 turns into ML 9 – enough for my level 10 Wiz to use them and eliminate those pesky miss-fires.

Imagine what I would have to do in order to find a random item that fits the bill and add those two functions without moving around gear. Short answer – very very hard. And at the right level as well.

I can only hope that turbine will further improve the crafting system and to include some of the new things they’ve added. Not so you can make those wonderful named items – but to use some of the added features to your gear – to further increase the flexibility of choices when you can’t find that item that would fit the gear slot perfectly.

The life of the unwilling mule.

I have way to many mules and they carry way to much stuff. I must be the original horder of DDO. And it have come to the point that toons I started and will eventually cap is now carrying a bunch of stuff (a matter made worse with underdark since some of those items are just way to good to auction).

Which is why I’ve wasted good time and XP yesterday running things under level in order to unlock another inventory tab. My hope is that I can get that done shortly since I’m running low on space carrying all the stuff my wiz is uncapable of using.

On a side note my wife was first kind of disapointed over her Horc – cause her dwarven fighter with two axes ‘seemed’ better (never mind that she was also fighting skellies with a maul – not exactly rewarding at level 8). And besided, that maul sux.

But now when she does her cleaves and greater cleaves she’s slowly getting into the groove of liking her horc which comes across like a living tornado (she’s into doing a lot of jumping now adays which have me calling her a destructive monkey). Although I can’t really say I’m doing that badly either – my wiz respecced for force damage manages to hit fairly okay with his 1SP magic missiles and tops it up with fireballs that touches upper 200’s (not bad for a level 8).

The key is of course having good gear – such as the level 8 flame cloak (still want to upgrade it twice), rock boots and a Major Kinetic lore trinket along with a scepter with 54 force spell power.

That allows me to not only web, but to firewall, fireball, magic missile and scorch everything in my path. Except for the whole only 850 SP.

Ironically; other than my flame cloak, ring of master and rock boots – everything else is ‘home made’. Like Con +6 necklace, Int +6 Helmet, Concentration +13 gloves, greater evocation braces and a docent with power X. If I can only remember to get some large guild shards with SP for the bracers I can add even more SP to the bottom line. Which is not bad considering that at this stage on my first toon I was barebone using pre-underdark and guild ship random bad stuff.

Ma – look at me now.

To Guild the Goose

I was going to write about adding a couple of levels to my low level archmage, but I figured that’s pretty trivial stuff. The nice thing about Cannith crafting is of course the ability to start level 9 with Int +6 and Con +6 items as well as an assortment of greater focuses and such. Or why not a Major Kinetic lore trinket to boost those 1 SP Magic missiles.

But as I wrote; that’s kind of trivial and something experienced TRers go through every single day and most experienced players pull out of their bank while they level a new or old toon.

I will instead spend a few moments thinking about the current guild change.

I’ve always found the idea of renown decay kind of silly. Partly because it goes against the basics of any economic model through history. What is a guildship? Apparently it’s completely a method of ‘fame’ versus a method of ‘resources’. That someone out there only offer these ships to guilds because of ‘fame’ and not because they have the resources. Although you pay for everything with resources; if you’re not famous you can’t keep it.

I understand the function and the reasoning behind decay but it’s silly. It’s so arbitrary that I kind of laughed when our guild was stuck between 72-73 for over 6 months because a few people took a break around the release of Star Wars the Old republic and other new games hitting the market.

Leaving me and another guy being the only ones playing for most part. A few more are back so we now can play fairly often and have slowly climbed up a few more levels in 3-4 months period.

The only saving grace have been our small guild size; if we were a larger guild we would’ve been screwed.

And that’s the crux.

Notice how many different attempts Turbine have made to ‘fix’ the issue of decay. From guild size, to adjusting renown decay according to guild size or even ‘bonus’ renown based on guild size. And not the removal of guild size decay because of how this affect larger guilds dramatically.

Personally I’m in favor of removing all kind of silly things like decay from leaving a guild, decay completely and everything designed to punish a guild from losing members or increasing guild side with casual players.

Remove it. It’s arbitrary. Add instead a different thing like plat sinks. That in order for a guild to keep their boat they have to rent it (or rather pay a ‘port’ fee of sort) that is taken from all members of that guild on a daily basis. Make it small. Or that it cost so much per boat and that everyone in the guild puts plat in the ‘rental’ coffer. There it takes the cost for all the items on the boat and the port fee for the boat.

So all the cost is taken from a central point for all the stuff on the boat and the boat instead and you don’t ‘add more time’ to the stuff on the boat. It simply pulls plat from the central collection point. That makes it less tedious to constantly have to check if something is about to expire and figure out what expired and it acts like a plat sink for the boat.

Make leveling the guild slightly steeper, but without decay no worries about having to maintain decay during events. Personally it should always be about resources. Not about fame. If anyone can affort to pay for the stuff and the boat they can keep it.

Or to explain it differently; most wellknown rich people are old money. What was a wellknown famous dynasty in the past might not be known today BUT their resources and money is still influencing things and partly because being known is not the same things as have resources.

Renown decay is as silly as XP penalty in quests. We don’t need it. What we need is a common sense system that allows players to build their guild in their own pace without worrying about strategy like guild size or whether or not someone can play every waking hour.

And who cares if there would be more 100 level guilds out there? How’s that different from having 1000000 level 25 toons, geared to the hilt and with more money then Uncle Scrooge. I think we’re focusing on the wrong thing here and that being a level 100 guild as rare as it can be is not really what it is cracked up to be.

It only means that someone has the resources no one else has but ultimately it doesn’t change what anyone is playing and how.

This constant focus on e-peen measuring wastes a lot of opportunity for fun. Or as someone else put it he/she was not willing to buy renown pots if the effort would be wasted on decay.

And I agree. I refuse to buy something that’s wasted based on whether or not the rest of my guild plays at all. That’s throwing good money away better spent on something else.

With stunning results

This weekend my wife and I did some XP farming out in the The House of Rusted Blades to give me a chance to pull the right Seal and to get something like 6-8 runs done as quickly as possible.

So the first 3 times we did the optional Matriarc and the other times we did the end. And luck had it that my wife pulled the seal with stunning +10 (and gave it to me since I pleaded real nice and she didn’t have any use for it – note I didn’t tell her that she could have sold it for a mill easy) and although it have +2 insightful Con on it and not the strength as I wanted it, it sure will be very useful to my Monk.

Now I can finally use any type of wraps and stun like a champ and when I combine it with Adamantine Cloak of the Bear and the ML 24 Mabar wraps or even Ivy wraps, I’ll be doing all kinds of hurt.

The lessons of fatherhood

This story is simple; how to not listen to those who know – for no other reason then not wanting to.

So my son have played DDO on and off for years – mostly off being F2P and therefore have very little content to pick from. Sure, he added a pack or two now and then but not to the extent he could play from 1 to 20 without massive repeat of F2P content and the few packs he owned. So he played sporadically. Meanwhile his girlfriend, also into DDO plays now and then with the same issue; F2P.

My son finally gets a job and decides to go VIP for 10 bucks a month and as a nice gesture he offers to pay for his girl friend. He ask me about sorc; I tell him specifically about playing a caster. Now we’ve had discussions about stuff before and I’ve tried to instill him some basics, but it’s my son and as all good kids he doesn’t listen.

I’ve also offered him to join our guild – being a level 78 guild we have all the essential stuff – really important if you want to run things on Elite. Especially the different resists. But again his girlfriend have a small guild and it’s special to her. Not that he was invited into it on his sorc. I told him that he could be part of our guild and invite her onto our ship so both of them could get the buffs and she could still keep and build her guild. But no dice.

So suddenly he said that he doesn’t want to play his sorc anymore so I ask. Turns out it ‘dies all the time’ (note that they’re doing things on elite, have no resists other than whatever the sorc can add at level 5 (10 resist for 5 minutes). I gave him tons of money (half he must’ve given to his girlfriend) so he should have any problem buying wands as backup and such.

I check out his sorc to see what’s the problem.

1. No fortification item. I’ve told him how important that was, so I make him one – moderate fort. No concentration item and no lore. No conjuration or no evocation focus. And no web. He said he tried it but it didn’t work so he removed it (doing elite quests with +1 in Charisma item, no fort, no rests other then spell, no focus item basically spells doom).

2. He’s using his SP to heal his girlfriend who created a warforged barbarian instead of a fleshie (like Horc). And since the hireling cleric isn’t healing that good he’s wasting all his SP healing her, instead of buying tons of wands and wand heal her instead.

So I set him up with conjuration and evocation. Mod fort, concentration item. +3 Con and +3 Charisma item and a acid lore together with corrosion and combustion item. And I gave him a membership to our guild so he could get the good buffs.

But as a good teenager he doesn’t want too. True to nature it’s more important for him to be part of his girlfriends guild and he’s going to make something else.

So what I’ve learned is this; when he asks me again what to do I’ll tell him to figure it out. Because if he’s not going to learn the basics of what I’ve told him (like running stuff on hard instead of elite, get fort item, concentrate of a few good spells and specially in some. Tell your girlfriend to get on a fleshie barb instead until she knows how to run one and TR into a warforged later) then there’s no point for me to waste time giving him the basics.

Let him figure things out instead. You can sometimes lead people to the water but you can’t make them drink. If they want to make it exponentially harder for themselves and fail and get discouraged and give up then they will. If they want to be smart and play smart then I can help them out.

Meanwhile my wife is benefitting from the fact that I know most quest inside and out and that I have several toons that makes her life easier. It’s harder when I play my arti since arti’s are behind the power curve in 20+ quests. But it’s much easier when I play my fighter or Sorc since they make her life easier.

I had hopes that I could run with my son and his girlfriend but I have a feeling that they won’t. They might not even get to 20 (which you can do today playing everything on normal so easily) because he’ll keep redoing his character over and over without realizing that the fundamental reasons he’s failing is that he’s doing things on elite without the equipment and skill to do it.

Solutions

I like learnin’ stuff. I like pulling loot. I love new adventures, challenges and most of all – I like the shinies.

But more then anything I like solutions. When Turbine release a new type of ability/feature I always try to figure out how it fits my builds. Because ultimately we all want to improve everything and sharpen the advantage we have over the game.

So the other day my rant basically broke down into 2 type arguments – one in favor of the coming Wizard Orb (Epic Normal Glaciation version) OR use Twilight that is getting an improvement in the upcoming update.

Not to rehash that conversation; but basically with the Orb I don’t need to use greater stuff like evocation etc and with twilight my primary Savant element gets more potent (not to mention Major Evocation and Enchantment Focus).

But then I started thinking about the new challenge cloaks and I took another look. Like the Adamantine Cloak of the Dragon. Primarily spell focus Mastery +2. And until I manage to upgrade twilight (when I manage to pull that one) it also has spellcasting implement +18.

The best thing is that it would replace my sorcs level 16 Flame Cloak and wouldn’t be missed.

If it wasn’t for the many hours I need to waste my time running those challenges I would almost be excited right now.

Irony strikes

I wanted to get the final quest in update 16 done to see what kind of end rewards I would pull and while I won’t tell anyone about what I think about all the quests something very ironic happened as I was halfway through the end quest.

A world wide broadcast announced that someone was handing out XP and Kookie was handing out random items.

So I finish the quest, get my end reward and hurry over to both spots. First I get XP that knocks all the destinies out of the park (on my fighter that I switched over to) and then I ended up pulling a bunch of stuff from all the things that was dropped (items and weapons). Some really new cool features.

And then I upgraded and twisted to my hearts content to the things I wrote about yesterday and wanted to try out; that new druid tier 4 thingie that proc’d HP on hit.

I can tell you right now – it’s not worth it. A low level barbarian or ranger auto HP is far more relient then the 10% chance to proc 3d8 HP. In fact the 10 percent felt more like 1-2 percent to me. It happened so seldom that it was more a ‘cute’ feature rather then something you can rely on and definately not worth the hassle and time to twist.

That’s my take anyways – it’s possible that I’m dead wrong and others find it super useful, but it seemed to proc as often as a lightning strike does and that in my book is not competitative with other tier 4 abilities.

Like the barbarian one where you get cold iron and add evil outsider bane to your DPS or the one that adds more damage to held critters. Both of those are worth it. Heck – even a thing like energy burst would be. Sure – you had to add something that boosts a element and then some crit chance, but at least that’s something you could depend on every 30 seconds in addition to all the carnage.

As it stands I won’t be drudging through that destiny just to get that feature – I would only do it for more fate points.

I’m getting that itch again.

I want to TR. I’m at that point where I’m done milking the same upper quests over and over and my frustration and itchy feet want to travel again (and then I will dread the long walk to 20 and cry rivers over the many stubbed toes getting there).
But this time I want to TR with my wife so I need to pick a first lifer and something that can run in lockstep with her and someone I don’t feel like soloing for myself leaving her char behind. That leaves me with only one – my warforged arti. Which is perfect; I kind of wanted to get that guy fixed up a lil’ and he still need some gear. I mean he’s level 20 and he’s using the madness level 15 something docent for pete sakes and he doesn’t have a single green steel item to his name.

But first I want to make sure my wife finishes off the draconic destiny and maybe a third one (by running the update 16 quests) so she can twist energy burst (requires 7 fate points) and use that as soon as she hits 20 again). And that also allows both her and I to run cannith challenges for mats on our way to 20 – enough to get all those level 20 items done for when we cap again. Like flame cloak etc and then eventually run the epic challenges at level 20 but probably as level 23-24 just to add extra mats as she’ll be rolling good with all those destinies unlocked and maybe even start working on the Ranger one as we hit 20.
One of the reasons why I’d like to TR is the fact that unlocking destinies is hitting a brickwall on all my guys. The repeat penalty is insane – after 4-5 runs done on the same quest it’s starting to add on 20%+ penalty making most runs a time/xp loss in my book. That makes the whole idea of unlocking all those destinies and twisting abilities more of a challenge then to run the same upper end quests over and over.

It’s fine in theory but the idea is marred by how it’s executed and I think a better way would be to add a decaying penalty instead. Like with looted chests. After 7 days you can happily farm them again. Only that you could make a slower decay on heroic quests (so that people don’t run x quests, then wait a couple of days and run them again – most people who TR for a ‘living’ won’t wait that long since the whole point is to reach 20 as quickly as possible). The benefit would be that someone like me unlocking destinies could do one char one week, hitting all those level 20+ quests then as the penalty hits, switch to another and wait for the decay to remove the penalties. That would stop people from ‘abusing’ some quests for a quick level and alternate toons over time.

It’s far better than to ‘force’ someone to TR because there’s not enough level 20 plus quest you’d like to run and maybe stick around and unlock destinies, twist abilities and pull loot. I’d like options; not brickwalls.

And that’s why I’d love to TR with my wife. Hopefully get her on the idea that getting better and improving and trying different classes in the process is more fun that ending up with a doorstop farming loot only.

We’ll see – but I still like the idea of incorporating decay in every single quest so that people who play at a slow pace can redo the same quest throughout their lifetime or for TRing people to move on and level up.

But one thing is for sure; I can’t wait until update 16 hits and the new destiny. I found the perfect thing to twist for my fighter. If I read it right it’s roughly ‘You and nearby allies have x% chance to heal x amount (3 ranks possible) when attacking enemies’. In other words it’s like the monk ability but with the sporadic nature of gaining x amount of HP, but sure better than nothing.

I wish I could join one of those leveling events with my fighter (on Lam) and have a chance to unlock it, twist it and see what it can do for a fighter with a fully unlocked fighter destiny. I’d love to figure out if that’s at all useful before I plunge the time and effort into unlocking it.

There doesn’t seem to be anything else worthwhile for my fighter (maybe ranger but not much in that case other then this healing feature) but it warrants at least a ‘peak’. I am curious to know if this would work for ranged as well as melee but I don’t know if I rather twist this (tier 4) over energy burst on my Arti. It’s a tough call and energy burst makes the need of healing myself redundant if I can just kill everything around me with a nice little AOE.

Arti and Sorc revisited – the update 16 version

I’m currently abandoning Toven’s hammer. While the DPS is good and the added lightning strike to the main repeater is nice it’s still marred by the reflex save that even held plant zombies can shake off. It’s a bizzar turn of event just how often held stuff (through web or otherwise) still gets a save. So to me the experiment of the Toven’s hammer have met a wall where there’s just not enough DC that can be squeezed out of INT and no other thing seems to help when added (like destinies that add Evocation).

The end result is a Toven’s hammer effect that will sometimes be entirely saved (like with some red named stuff) or mostly half damage – which is no better than using the sure to hit force based rune arms anyways.

What it boils down to is 2 rune arms – Corruption of nature and Archaic device. Although I do like the mindsunder one a lil’ better until update 16 Named items drops.

There’s a reason for that; the Epic Elite version of Corruption of Nature solves a lot of things. First it adds 114 Spell power without the need of other named items or random pulls (such as rings and helmets for Spell power). It also adds +3 insightful Int – an item you can get on the planar focus but if you’re not going for the focus and want to use another trinket, this allows you to skill that or find one with a different attribution. Such as +8 int instead (I’ll explain).

That together with Cannith challengen boots (Rock Boots this provides almost maximum potential spell power together with maximum amount of crit chance (21% with enhancements). And what you’re talking about is crits above 1000+ per acid bolt – many times over 2k in over all damage if all 5 bolts hit. Enought to toast anything.

But there’s also another reason; if you’re smart enough to twist in Energy Burst you can take advantage of all that acid spell power goodness for a devastating acid blast that’ll melt all those critters who get to close for your own good.

Now there’s even a solution to the issue with force (impulse) based stuff. With the Mindsunder runearm (Lucid Dreams) an arti can boost their force damage as well as blade barriers with 48 spell power (potency) and crit chance with 6%. By baking into a greater kinetic lore shard you can increase the crit chance on everything rune arm and blade barrier related (it still maintain the arcane lore) and there’s always an option to use a random lot ring or helmet to increase impulse spell power.

Only problem is the loss of 10% of your SP due the rune arm mind drain and Will -2.

You can always use the force based Archaic device but there’s no cannith crafting option so now you have to find a different way of boosting lore and there are far less options to boost lore for an Arti then there is options to boost impulse spell power.

Enter Shadowmail. Shown is the Epic Hard version, epic elite is probably going to have 120 in spell power.

This comes in all elements plus impulse flavor, so this solves not only the issue of using the Archaic Device but also provide a crit chance boost to all spells due to the greater arcane lore.

But that mean that your arti have to give up Spidersilk robe and the option of +8 int or +3 insightful int (at least on that item alone). But that’s where the insightful +3 Int comes in on the Epic Elite Corruption of nature in combination with a +8 Int Planar Focus or random loot gen. You still get the higher int and while you don’t get the wiz set bonus that’s less of a biggie for an arti then say a SP intense caster.

And while you don’t get the concentration nor the potency that is of less importance given that impulse drives most of the better spells that Arti’s uses anyways (like Tactical detonation or blade barrier).

So how does this help Sorcs?

How about Wizard Orb? It’s a new hand held item that also works as some kind of magical ‘shield’ when the caster use the block function (to be explained by devs when it’s functional).

This is perfect for my earth based savant (seen is the Epic Normal version – the Epic Elite will most likely have 120 spell power).

First it adds the spell power – and when used with Rock boots it gives max spell power together with max crit chance. Second it adds spell focus mastery +2. So no more need for Greater Evocation, Necromancy etc. Buh bye my 2 crafted rings and switching trinkets for stuff. In one single item I’ve managed to remove several other items used and freeing those slots for other things. It also mean that I don’t have to work on trying to get Epic Spirit sights. Which I was mainly working on because of greater necromancy, ironically trying to add it so it could free up the greater necromancy ring I’m using.

But this is of course not the solution if you as a caster would like to use the therelic staff (twilight) in order to get the planar conflux bonus.

However there are changes coming does fix that – like 2 upgrades. Upgrade 1 adds +8 quality to the relics and upgrade 2 in this staffs case allows you to add one + 120 spell power of choice (Combustion, Glaciation, Corrosion, Magnetism, Nullification, Devotion, Radiance).

So something for everyone. This would work as well. Higher over all spell power due to the +8 quality (that translates into better universal spell bonus), 120 Impulse, 120 Corrosion and 80 potency. And with greater arcane lore it does add something to everything. It’s true that my secondary spell of choice (glaciation) takes a shave compared to the current 120 spell power and superior lore scepter – but it’s a great boost to my primary spell power and a nice boost to evocation. I still have to continue finding a solution to the other stuff but at least my sorc’s main function is properly boosted.