Once upon a time, long ago on a server I don’t regularly visit, I timidly stepped my toes into the exciting and absolutely frightening world of Permadeath. Sadly, while I enjoyed it, I found myself being drawn back to my regular cast of characters, who would laugh in the face of the evil Lag Monster.
Recently however, the siren’s call of Permadeath has caught my ear once more thanks to Lessah suckering Patrick of DDOCast into playing Permadeath on Thelanis. Once I saw the birth of DDOCasplat, I knew I was doomed once more to have precious and brave adventurers ripped unjustly from my loving and caring stable of characters by the cold face of Death (usually a lowly Kobold or as is often the case now a surprise Mimic(but more on the later).
As I contemplated what kind of character I wanted to play in Permadeath, I thought I’d try a first life version of the Swashbuckler (2/2/16 Ftr/Rog/Bard) I plan on TR’ing my main character into, since it really seems like a fun build. So I painstakingly pulled up Ron’s Character Planner and planned out my Permadeath hopeful’s future. Some might ask why bother planning out the whole build if it will likely meet an untimely and gory death well before it reaches its full potential. The logical part of my brain says there is little to no room for error in Permadeath, so the build and playstyle must be solid, if the character hopes to survive. Thus I need a plan.
So Monday night, I logged into Thelanis, and DDO gave birth to Steinard, the Human Rogue, the newest member of the Sublime. Under Geared, with only a Rapier of Embers and the refuse from the Grottos of Korthos Island, Steinard bravely entered the Village Storehouse on Elite, and squeaked through and defeated the evil Sahaugin bent on stealing the magic scroll, hanging on by the merest of slivers of heath. It was at that point, that he (meaning I) realized he might need some help if he is to Save Korthos Village on Elite. Running with a fellow member of Sublime, he saved Elite Korthos Village, and stepped out into the Wilderness to beat back the evil Sahaugin and the Cult of the Devourer. And shortly thereafter successfully made it safely into Stormreach Harbor. After tackling many quests and odd jobs that would be beneath most adventurers, mostly by the slimmest of margins and with the help of some hired hands, he joined up with Myunael to find the missing Arlos and Venn, who had disappeared somewhere in the sewers beneath the city.
Sorry about the story telling, but I thought it fitting for what comes next. Now as one might surmise about someone who has been playing DDO since it was in Open Beta, way back in December of 2005. I knew the Water Works quest chain like the back of my hand, and in a non permadeath rule set, would easily be able to tackle it on Elite at level with just about any build I wanted to bring to the table. Myunael and Steinard, easily finished part 1, and moved on to part 2. Again which we were cruising through without too much worry. We cleared the left side and defeated Gnashtooth Bloodletter without breaking sweat. After clearing out the zombie infestation beneath the Gnashtooth Prison, we headed up into the prison levels to look for Arlos. Warden Arkik comes to stop us and fails in a spectacular fashion, and we locate Arlos in the upper level next to the ramp leading down to the lower level cells. Leaving Myunael to free the remaining unnamed prisoners, Steinard begins to make sure what I mistakenly though at the time was the most direct route out of the prison is clear, namely the lower level exit to the bridge. Of course I knew there would be Kobolds guarding the bridge, but I have done this quest a 1000 times and could easily handle a few kobolds on my own for a minute. Except I couldn’t because my hired Favored Soul was out of Spell points (he likes to waste them all on Command). I easily dispatch all but 1 of the Kobolds, when I realized that I am toe to toe with a Kobold Champion. Ok I think and this is the whole point of this blog post, I can do this no problem, If I am unable to handle him, Myunael will be here shortly (except not as fast as I would have liked in hind sight, and that is not a dig at her). I became so focused on the Kobold Champions health bar, that I neglected my own, down to20 somethingish Hit Points and a Healer with no magic, I decided to bugout of there and seek reinforcements. NOT FAST ENOUGH it would turn out! Then BAMMMM, -11 and another Permadeath character is welcomed into Duluth.
Ok I guess this is really my point. My default playstyle is somewhere between a straight out Zerger, let’s get to the end and beat the quest as fast as possible, and one who likes to kill everything and complete every optional and break every breakable. I’m also one who likes to live on the edge in DDO, pushing as far out over the edge as I can to see just what amazing feats I can pull off. Unfortunately, that last part is what will likely continue to keep me rerolling Permadeath Characters and becoming the next Mayor of Korthos Village. That kind of play just doesn’t mix well with the discipline required to survive Permadeath and advance with the Sublime.
Step 1 of my 12 steps complete. I admit I have a problem. Now to fix it.