Saturday night I participated in my first PvP Shroud run.
Or at least, that’s how it was billed, but it could not be “true” PvP; the game worked the way it always does, and no one was able to directly attack anyone else. But the point was to do whatever you could to eliminate other players before Harry died in Part IV.
And we did. Tricks with Grease and Sleet Storm, Greater Dispel, badly-timed pulls, giant monster trains… in other words, griefing everywhere, with all twelve players feverishly pitching in with both hands.
Phidius came up with the idea and supplied the prizes (two Red Dragon scales). My guildie Pugster (on Pugtastic) and I both signed up. At the last minute there were vacant slots and we snuck in a stealth healer in the form of Telright, a guildie but on a non-halfling alt (and a non-Halfling Commando guild tag).
Pug and I prepared for this for a couple of weeks before the event. Expecting that no healing would be available, I accumulated enough Silver Flame favor to obtain Silver Flame healing pots (250 points of healing but also applies -10 to all stats except CON). I had to redo my kit loadout so my wizard Sparksy could use them without being made helpless. Ultimately a +2 WIS tome was required as well.
Pugster and I had an alliance, we agreed not to kill each other unless no one else remained. Since there was to be two prizes, we didn’t expect to actually have to kill each other at all. When Telright joined we added him too.
And then the event commences. A late run, almost midnight before we are underway. I am fortified by lots of tea and Girl Scout cookies.
Part one goes slowly, everyone is sort of checking each other out, no one wants to commit all their attention to the quest. But it quickly becomes apparent that everyone is saving their “best” tricks for later, or maybe just couldn’t think of any great tricks that might kill someone off in part I.
It is also apparent that everyone has brought top-shelf characters. Killing anyone is going to require some effort.
The gloves come off in Part II. Two different people have independently come up with a plan to train the red names instantly and try to wipe as many people as possible. Anyone dead won’t be eliminated (the rules of the event stipulate deaths must be in Part IV) but death does remove ship buffs. The plan is effective and there are many deaths. Including Pug, who was one of the two players executing the plan!
But not including me. I called dibs on the crystal before we entered Part II, which meant I was hiding invisibly in the center of the maze, safe from the mayhem. After a few minutes we realized that everyone who was going to be killed had been already; it was decided to solve the second part of the quest, and we did so quickly and almost casually.
In Part III Pug stayed on the mic the whole time offering to help anyone who needed puzzle assistance but in reality he was just dancing around on his own puzzle and hoping to stall long enough to bring out the wall. I stayed in the middle spamming Grease in the blade paths. Neither of our plans worked though, no one died in the grease and everyone figured out Pug’s scam and solved his puzzle for him.
But now was my best trick. I shrined in a hurry, minor buffs, and ran to the portal. It was already activated. I waited until a group was approaching the portal, then jumped up and cast a DDoor.
I hear “What the…?” followed by riotous laughter. My trap worked! Only snagged one but still, success! One competitor is out and cannot be raised or otherwise brought back into the competition.
We need a “fist pump” emote.
I should be disappointed that I only removed one competitor but I am not, I am laughing too hard and really enjoying that the trap worked at all.
Part IV is where the serious griefing comes out for display. No one is able to hold a buff. Grease and Sleet Storm everywhere. A couple of people have brought their Staff of Arcane Power and there are glowing purple lozenges of Invulnerability around Harry the whole time.
My personal combo is Greater Dispel/Grease/Gust of Wind. I try to get behind the other casters and nuke Harry for attention but everyone is wise to this and all I end up doing is attracting meteors for myself. In fact they are trying to get behind me too! Moves and counter-moves.
Several rounds pass, all the same. The survivors kill the gnolls and then set to furious griefing mode. A couple of people take on Harry but most of us are taking on each other.
Telright is the first to fall. Then another. Then Pug. I am the last of our alliance.
After several rounds (6? 7?) it again becomes apparent that everyone who is going to die already has and we might as well just take Harry out and end it. He goes in a hurry once we focus on him.
Six survivors rolled off for the two prizes. I didn’t win, but I so don’t care.
- I didn’t die stupidly which is what I expected
- I didn’t even suck
- My trap worked!
- I survived
Part V is an afterthought, with the competition ended we just blast everything in record time. Really good characters in this competition.
Lots and lots of fun. I hope we do it again, but I imagine people will be inspecting the portals before they jump through them forever more.
🙂 😀 🙂