Like many of us, our friend and fellow DDO blogger EvenNote donated to Jerry Snook’s Movember fund raiser. Jerry Snook, better known in these parts as Turbine’s Community Manager Cordovan, being the Turbine guy that he is, offered Turbine-flavored incentives to those who donated.
EvenNote donated enough to earn the chance to beat Cordovan up in a PvP session. Clever thought on her part converted this opportunity into something more unusual than just a couple of hours in the PvP pits: a naked Tempest Spine run.
Jerry explained the rules: no one brings in any equipment at all. No armor, weapons, nothing. We would equip ourselves out of the loot we would find. No spell components, although one could cast spells that did not require components, and no thieves tools either. If we ran into a trap before someone looted thieves tools, then we would just have to deal with that trap.
It sounded challenging. And fun! Normally, Tempest’s Spine runs are more of a race to the top than anything else. Who can get to the trap first? Who can solo Ice or Fire? Who can rack up the most kills? It can be fun to play that fast, but it feels like victory is guaranteed, there seems no chance of failure. And in reality, the only way to fail is most likely someone failing us on purpose, hiding one of the required runes or providing Grease in awkward locations.
I and my Gamer Girl felt fortunate to be invited. We weren’t sure about character levels, we assumed we would be at-level meaning 9-12, so we rolled up level 7 Veteran characters on Thelanis and prepared to level them to 9 or 10. While we were in process, EvenNote clarified via email that level requirements could be anything; we immediately abandoned our new characters and instead created new Iconics that wouldn’t need leveling at all. Mine, a druid, loaded up with spells that needed no components. Hers, a rogue, that with no weapons or skill-boost items or tools, would be severely handicapped by the Naked rules.
And then the event happened. It was awesome hanging out with everyone from back in the day on myDDO. ComicRelief, Shindurza, BonnieBew, and of course, EvenNote herself. Others too, if I am missing anyone please accept my apologies (and let me know in the comments!).
It took us a little while to get going, someone was late. No names or anything but his initials are “Jerry Snook”. Nonetheless, get going we did, eventually, and an explosion of fun followed.
It quickly became clear that this would not be a serious naked run. Some people brought epic characters, and they didn’t need weapons or equipment to one-punch a CR10 Drow into its constituent pixels. Scorrow, rust monsters, beholders, whatever, they would appear and just as quickly disappear.
So be it. We didn’t get the challenge of an at-level naked run but we did get the fun of a bunch of people who largely know each other romping through familiar territory. We stopped at each treasure chest and divvied up the loot carefully, and we stuck together as a group, as if two or three of the players couldn’t have run ahead and soloed everything. We paid fealty to the concept of “naked”, even if not the actual structure, and there was much laughing and jokery. A good time was had by all.
Swimming without an Underwater Action item actually was a challenge, and in the rush to get to breathable oxygen I made a wrong turn and missed a chest opportunity. No druid spell components dropped;* many of my spells would be useless (but not all, I planned ahead!). No thieves’ tools either,* so the trapsmithing portion of my Gamer Girl’s character was useless too. Although that didn’t matter, all of the traps were disarmed as fast as the group could reach them.
* Loot distribution got chaotic. Maybe some dropped and I just didn’t see them.
I managed to get a few kills, not many, but enough to register on the kill count, and from that point figured I would be of best value to the group by killing crates. An Iconic Hunter of Boxes. My Gamer Girl helped; the poor boxes had no chance.
It was a weird night for named loot too. Normally I see none, even if I run TS several times. But this night I pulled two different pieces: Goggles of Perception, which I toggled over to my Gamer Girl, and the Choker of the Silver Tongue, which I’d never seen before but put up for roll. Some of these people were playing their regular characters while I might never be on this character again. It seemed only fair to pass on the nicer stuff.
Too soon we were at the end fight. A quick bit of puzzling and then one of the fastest Sorjek kills ever recorded. His hit point bar fell so quickly it looked like he’d been one-hit; I doubt it took even ten seconds to eradicate him once he lost the protection of his warded puzzle vases.
And that was that. Good times!
Nothing left but the group portrait.
Or if you prefer, you can see the group portrait in action – a rather largish GIF – here
Thanks Jerry for making yourself available for this kind of thing! Thanks everyone who ran, it was good “seeing” you again! And especially, thanks EvenNote! For putting this together and for inviting me and my Gamer Girl. We very much appreciated it!
🙂 😀 🙂