Jul 152015
 

My Favorite Monsters is a showcase of some of the beautiful artwork Turbine has provided so that we have interesting things to kill.


I remember the first time that Mephits made a serious impression on me. I was in a pickup group on Adar (yes, way back when there still was an Adar) and we were flying through the Cult of the Six story arc on Sorrowdusk Isle.

CO6 (as it was abbreviated in LFMs) was a serious loot run back then, with end rewards that were amongst the most sought-after loot in the game. The Mummified Bat, the Bubble Belt, the Cesti gloves that had +3 STR and +3 DEX together in one item! This was prime stuff.

So anyway, back to our intrepid PUG team trying to complete all 10 quests in the Grey Moon/Cult of Six story line as fast as we can. The first eight quests fall with no trouble, everyone basically running at full speed the entire time. But then, then comes The Sanctum: Quench the Flames. Voices lower. People plot how they are going to get through the first door. Someone is supposed to pull something, I can’t hear what, but very carefully and not pull too many.

Buffs are passed out. Characters approach the doorway. the designated puller runs through and quickly runs back. No! Too many! The world erupts in fire and darkness and … I don’t even know what all is happening, my entire game field has filled with particle effects, and then suddenly we are soulstones. All of us. Total wipe.

I can’t see much of anything. And all I can hear is this:

Bleh! Blergh! Blablabler!

“Thanks everyone”, I hear, “maybe next time”. And just like that, what once seemed to be an invincible party is split asunder and I am alone.

Stupid mephits!

First-Edition Lava Mephit from the original Fiend Folio

A First-Edition Lava Mephit

It is astounding how deadly mephits are in DDO. In the pen and paper world, they are the elemental equivalent of Imps; interesting, maybe funny in a comic-relief sort of way, but never scary. Yes they look a little demonic, but most humanoid things with leathery wings look demonic. Really they are Ice Imps or Fire Imps or what have you. A tiny little breath weapon that does the same amount of damage as a long sword. Their tiny claws do only 1D3 of damage – less than a dagger! Half of a D6!

But in DDO they can be quite formidable, especially en masse. Their breath attacks are very significant, and their claws can rip even heavily-armored characters to shreds. They all seem to have the ability to go invisible at will.

But the most fearsome thing they do is gate in additional mephits. Where there was one or two, suddenly there are four or five. They multiply like dandelions. Soon your screen is filled with them, blehing and blarging and obscuring your view with particle effects.

Stupid mephits.

You would think that mephits are one of those legendary creatures that have existed in lore for centuries. But no, at least according to Wikipedia they were created as recently as 1979, specifically for Dungeons and Dragons.

They make their first appearance in D&D canon in the form of 1981’s Fiend Folio, a collection of odd and oddly-European-influenced monsters that was published by TSR U.K. and included the Adherer (a mummy-looking creature that was actually made of glue), the Throat Leech (self-explanatory) and the Blindheim (a frog with laser beam eyes).

So yes, British D&D players clearly have some vivid imaginations.

But I digress. This is not about British D&D players nor scarily strange Euro-Monsters. This is about the mephit. Look at the Lava Mephit illustration; Imp-like, but not demonic. Kind of cute actually.

Meanwhile, the Turbine DDO mephit is off-the-charts demonic. Check out this guy:

Fire Mephit, in closeup!

A Fire Mephit close up. Click the image to see the HD version.

Clearly he is enjoying himself as he attempts to toast our favorite FeyBuckler. And very, very demonic.

I have three tips for combating mephits:

  • A high Spot will allow you to see where they are even when invisible. Which will be all of the time that they are not actively attempting to separate you from your spleen
  • Fast action is important: try to disable or defeat them before they spawn new mephits! This doesn’t always work, I think they sometimes gate in new ones as they die. No matter how fast you kill them. Nonetheless, less mephits is always a good thing
  • They seem to be particularly vulnerable to common area-of-effect crowd controls like Soundburst and Otto’s Sphere of Dancing and especially, Mass Hold Monster. When disabled. they fall to the ground and lay there, easy pickings

And a fourth tip: if they get out of hand, run! It won’t get better, there will only be more of them the longer you wait. Run!

The D&D SRD shows about a dozen different kinds of mephits. But not in DDO, no, here we have (according to the wiki) 53 different mephits. And every one is a painful little obstacle to your success. 53! I won’t bother to list them, go check it out for yourself.

53! 53 stupid mephits!

Speaking of which, I wonder what one calls a group of mephits? A cackle? A hordette?

I propose that we refer to multiple mephits as a “Blerg”. As in, “hey, look at that blerg of mephits!”

A Blerg of Mephits

A Blerg of Mephits. Click the image to see the HD version.

Because their sound is their essence, to me anyway, I cannot separate the concept of “mephit” from the sound effects.

Bleh! Blarg! Now that is a mephit. Suddenly no, it is not one mephit, it is a blerg of mephits. Blerg!

🙂 😀 🙂

 

  10 Responses to “Look Out, It’s a Blerg of Mephits!”

Comments (10)
  1. Yeah I remember our guild run of that quest years ago when we first started playing and had no idea of what was to come…

    *ding* *ding* *ding* *ding* *ding*

  2. To clarify – the Fiend Folio was not technically written by TSR, but instead by staff writers at Games Workshop (yes, the “Warhammer” one), in the late ’70s. Many of the monsters were originally published in their “White Dwarf” magazine. Interestingly, they were originally called “Imps” as well (i.e. Fire Imp, etc.), the name changed for the Fiend Folio itself.

    It took 2 years (and the launch of TSR’s UK division) before TSR finally published it.

  3. Hey! You used my name in vain (sorta). Hehehe. And just to be “that guy” (hehehe), technically it should be “fewer mephits” not “less mephits” (Great blerg! Less mephits! Great blerg! Less mephits! Great blerg!…).
    😉

  4. Everyone should try to trip a mephit, at least once. But beware; try it once and you may, to your continued and mounting frustration, return to do it again, and again, and again…
    Stunning though satisfyingly deliscious brings the added danger of one soul stone turning to the other soul stone and observing in hindsight, that; “…assuming that something is dead is apparently still not the same as observing that something is dead”.

  5. Ah, the lovely mephit massacre in Co6. I remember them days on Tharashk!! Anything I can do to knock mephits out of the air and prone on the ground I do as soon as I can!!

  6. Pesky mephits, I find flavours of stun, paralysis and banishment works well, but quickly, before they summon all their buddies!

  7. I agree on the high Spot. That makes archers your best friends. “Chains of Flame” is so easier that way.

What do you think?

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