Mar 232017

Looming Lizards!

Everyone – actually nearly everyone, there is always an outlier or two – rolled up Dragonborn to take the new race out for a spin in new content.

New race, new content, double new!

The new content is level ten on Heroic, while everyone’s characters were first-life level sevens, no past lifes, no TR banks, just pure and innocent and level seven the way it used be back in 2006.

So naturally we ran the quest on Hard.
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Apr 192016

Miss Adventure - unstoppable superhero!

When I first started playing DDO, I didn’t know anyone. I wasn’t in a guild. It was all-PUG, all the time. Me and a bunch of strangers, racing to rack up the kills as fast as we can

And of course, Miss Adventure.

Way back then, I had no idea what I was doing. I refused to play anyone else’s build (a strange personality tic I hold to this day), meaning I had to struggle through until I’d refined one of my own well enough to avoid embarrassing myself. This was before reincarnation, before Fred the Mindflayer, even before character planners. You did what you did, and you lived with it. Or you deleted your character and started over.

Me? I started over. A lot.

And Miss Adventure was a lot of the reason why.

It was okay if I didn’t win the kill count. There was always that one guy who knew everything and had everything and killed everything. I knew I wasn’t going to compete with that guy. But there would be a second tier in the group too, a tier of players that were good enough to carry their weight. That probably wasn’t going to be a soul stone. That might get an important job in a quest or raid that had jobs. I felt like that second tier was a realistic goal.

Except no, there was Miss Adventure. Not even a real person and still out-killing me. Regularly!

It became a near-obsession. “Miss Adventure”, I would say, “I hate that bitch!. But she didn’t care, beating me, mocking me, always competing, never letting me feel good about my character and my playing skills.

“I beat you again”, she would say to me, smarmily, condescendingly, “time to re-roll your character again, noob.”

I really did hate that bitch.
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Mar 232016

A Strangely Satisfying Exercise In Futility
We’ve been running Fire on Thunder Peak every Friday now for about a year. I think? It certainly seems like at least a year. Hard to say for certain. We run it on Normal or Hard, depending on the whims of who shows up that week, filling the last two-six slots with random pickups from the LFM panel.

We are not particularly good at it, but we are certainly better than when we started. Practice does not make perfect in this case but it helps. We use a method that we call “kill the trash”, where two tanking characters each single up on one of the dragons with a dedicated healer. Everyone else does not hit the dragons, but instead kills the random “trash” monsters and heals themselves. It can be a little boring if you are on trash duty, especially at first where there are only the two dragons; no random monsters to kill.

Boring or not, it is a very successful method, even when I have to tank one of the dragons myself on my two-handed mauler Chelena Armstrong (the World’s Strongest Halfling) who is not really a tank at all.

And that is how our Fridays go. A few months ago we started running Temple of the Deathwyrm too, it took us longer to figure that one out, but we have it down now. Although we failed or just skipped Deathwyrm three out of the last four weeks due to the unrelenting lag. Quite frustrating to spend the better part of an hour getting through puzzle after puzzle only to die in the end fight for reasons beyond your control.
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Sep 302015

Soloing VON3 on EE - or Not
Last week, my FeyBuckler/Completionist Mawry ventured into the Jungles of Khyber on Epic Elite. Except Mawry was only level 20, and she got popped like an angry zit on school picture day in the second fight.

Normally I would just write that off. I don’t care for EE soloing, it strikes me as a rather crazy activity that is only for those who are truly devoted to it, which I am not. And it is super-crazy-nuts to try and solo something on EE when you are four levels below the quest. Four levels!

No shame in a defeat like that, right? I am free to go on about Mawry’s current life with no regrets. Except it bothered me anyway, because I didn’t have to die. If I’d played even the slightest bit better, I’d have survived.

As days passed I kept turning it over in my head. What if I’d done this? Or instead, that? Maybe I can solo this thing? At level 21? Maybe the FeyBuckler build is just that good?
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