Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Slave to the Grind

The title this week is so appropriate to how I have been playing recently and a little bit of good old fashion hard rock (crystalmoonchi thinking you will not enjoy this music video).
Yeah I got some strange stuff in the back pack.
So I haven't been blogging basically as I have been stuck on the grind route of Grouseman the heroic completionist. It just feels old smashing through quests and wildernesses that I have run probably several hundred times. I have been running him though and he is fun as a assassin rogue although he is primarily being played at the moment as a melee character almost fighter like with the different abilities. As I power level  he is currently two thirds of the way through level 18 and soon he will be working his way through 19 and getting ready for 3 warforged lives. I will be doing epic lives with him but at the moment I can't face epic rogue. The WF lives will be artis and 2 of them will definitely be skipped via xp stones. However with update 36 and the changes to Artificers I will be thinking I can do an epic version at some point. One of the great advantages of doing at least 40 more lives is I can pick and choose when to do epic with him and not need to do every one.
I do like the eyes even if it does mean switching with the mask to use it for the benefits.
So artificers are a changing and I have to thank @Strimtom for the video recently on the change. I know that I will have to revisit my artificers and will need 2 more whirling words which is my personal favourite rune arm. I hope that update 36 brings me back to my artificers as they have been quiet recently. My focus has been a rogue and a sorcerer, even my Barbarian (currently a fighter) has gone many days without getting much game time in.
So at level 17 this is how he looks.
With update 36 coming I was thinking about my own personal wish list, certainly 2 heroic wildernesses. I feel we need a level 8 and a level 12 wilderness but that is just me, I love wildernesses and feel a tiny bit aggrieved that I clear all those nasty monsters and yet not an once of favour. I mean slaughtering 7,500 monsters in the Orchard and not a single bit of favour??? Just wrong in my opinion! See okay didn't get on to the players council for whatever reason but I will still get my wish-list up lol.
My favourite Sorcerer finds killing a gargoyle above his head a little worrying. What goes up doesn't come down.
Going back to Grouseman, he has used a +5 supreme tome and is a completionist. So if I run him as a human he get each stat at 11  early and that will rise to a base of 15 for them all. So knowing that where to go with him? I have several bound and attuned Kukris with festival Icy burst and the level 8 ones are still the best choice when running the Vale. So Rogue was a natural choice but I am now thinking Tempest Ranger for his last life. Anyone who reads this blog and knows of a good build that I should look at please let me know as I have the next 40 or so lives planned but when I get there in 7 or 8 years time be nice to have a clue what to shoot at. Although if we get a race in the future that has Kukris for their god's favoured weapon then another choice will be opened.

Heading back to the Grind


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Blood on Blood

So thinking that because of the True Heart of Blood is used for racial reincarnation it gives me an excuse for calling this piece blood on blood and playing some Bon Jovi. So having decided on 3 characters racial reincarnations I started my first.

Blood time
Merlin was always intended to be a sorcerer, been working on him for some time. Past lives as a cleric, favoured soul, artificer, wizard and sorc means he has plenty of passive assistance in the future. The wiki will tell you what having 3 past lives in each will bring as benefits but it seemed those lives would really make for a better sorc. So we look at what he would need as a sorcerer in terms of racial benefits? Wisdom is not a fantastic help to an arcance but I have already got human 1 because of the last life he was human. Thus makes sense to do two more, well at least to me, then I can add in Gnome, Halfling, Half Elf, Elf and Dragon Born. I have hear the cries from the audience about the benefit of going wooden and dwarf, well while constitution is a nice to have it is not a major part of this build and considering the other characters I have to deal with I am going to save the 6 stones of experience I have to get through Warforged as I prefer squishy toons. I know everyone has their favourites and at the moment Merlin is mine. Breezed through Kothos and as I said on twitter starting to think I can do misery's Peak blindfolded. I estimate I have run it over 400 times so yeah can guess  what is round each corner.
So I got started at last
Next on my favourites list is Grouseman the Halfling Assassin, so rogue that likes backstabbing, 15 past lives including one of each class. So he has the completionist feat or what I guess will be called the class completionist. Now I intend to run 3 of every race but as I am not overly keen on Warforged there goes 3 of my stones. I have no idea where he will finish up in terms of class, factor in the racial bonuses a +5 supreme tome and the completionist feat he can pretty much do any race and class well. But his final life will be left to an impulse or whim, the only surety is divine is the least likely when you have all the bonuses he will have. Choices will be made and getting him through warforged first as an artificer will be the goal. Whatever class he ends up he has a fine collection of Kukris which probably will see him come back to playing as a rogue.
Notice a common thread in the names?
Finally Grouseconan the barbarian. His end game options are already decided but dwarf, warforged, halfling, elf and half orc means another 15 lives not including another Barbarian past life rquired so 16 maybe 17 lifes to come. Not sure of the order apart from getting through warforged... notice a common feature on my characters?
Human 1
So I will need a lot of tokens of the twelve so this means my spare game time (if I have any) is being spent on my favoured soul and my iconic currently bladeforged. They can grind a certain quest and get me many tokens, the intention is if I get the iconic to cap I can start Ziggy's other lives but slowly while I focus on my 3 main.
No matter how many times I see this I still smile, main reason not to blindfold!

Happy rebirth to all those reincarnating.


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Too Much Thinking

I have had an issue with writing this blog piece and it is only because I actually talked to someone who told me to stop worrying about getting this out it would come when it is ready which of course the moment you do stop worrying it all comes back into focus. The gap between this and the last piece show how much dedication other bloggers have considering they published daily or weekly and to those who stream mucho respect. I mean seriously just to get a piece out every week would be too much for me to be sure of doing. And as I write for two blogs one of which is nothing to do with gaming you realise just what a lazy git I can be.
See I had to have 1
So what is this all about and why has it taken so long? Well update 35 came out with dragonborn which many people rushed to have including myself and my guildie but that isn't what threw me. Instead my mind has been struggling with constructing plans to reincarnate characters. Just the sheer immensity of the number of possible combinations and permintations has had me all in a dither. I have 22 characters that will reincarnate at least 3 times, this was before the update and now I am having to construct plans to add in racial reincarnations to characters to either add to their focus or to add in at least a first racial life bonus of a skill improvement.
I haven't even added in my Iconic
So Grouseman has had 15 lives which include every class so has the completionist bonus even though he hasn't has 3 lives in each class. Now we add in the racial bonuses, which considering 10 races with 3 lives of each to racial reincarnate means 30 heroic true heart of blood, plus 29 True druidic heart of wood. So just to get this one character to the point I want him means another 59 reincarnations.  This of course is just one of the 22 characters I am working on. Taking aside the iconic character which has a different focus completely if has just blown my mind about where I go to with each one. Certainly for my specialistions there is a lot more work to come.
Conan, looking like he has a ton more work to do
So Air Savant Sorcerer GrouseMerlin has had 3 past lives of sorcerer, 3 Favoured Soul, 3 Warlock and 3 Wizard. So Merlin has had 13 lives so far but if I am to truly hyperpower him I really will need 3 Dragonborn, 3 Half Elf, 3 Halfling, 3 Elf and then do I take the at least 2 lives of Dwarf and Warforged for the constitution bonuses? Really it just starts to pile up to a level that truly is almost frustrating. And yes I have only covered 2 characters so far and to be honest it is a little overwhelming.
Grouseman part 1
Just to add to the mix is Grouseconan, he has had a past barbarian, 3 past monk, 2 past fighter lives and is on his third fighter. Before update 35 the intention was just 3 more barbarian lives but now I have to really work on 3 past dwarf, 3 past warforged and 3 past lives as Half Orc. So instead of planning for 3 more lives I am now planning 12. So you see already  have at least 75 reincarnations for just 3 characters. And then we have 19 more characters to work on! HELP!!!
Grouseman part 2 much work

So you can see why my brain has been frazzled and why I have been trying to get my head round the real implication of update 35. I am struggling to be honest to work out just how many years it will take for me to get to the point where the 3 characters I have focused on settles down and I can start planning other characters. I am certain the next 5 years will be busy for me and I am not sure I will get to the point where I can start with Grousealden who has taken a +5 supreme tome, if I can focus in the other bonuses from racial reincarnation and the +2 bonus from the ship the fact is I will be looking at least 200 reincarnations to meet every character's demands. In fact It could well be as much as 350 reincarnations as we currently are and that would mean 7000 tokens of the twelve.

Happy Reincarnation.


Monday, 6 March 2017

Words As A Weapon

Birdy isn't a favourite of mine but the song title fits so well with this blog entry I couldn't resist. So recently I ran tower of frost and was fortunate enough to pick up a whirling words rune arm. With at least 3 characters expecting to run through 1 or more artificer's lives I found a character who could use it and took it out to play. And I have to be honest it has totally blown me away in comparison to the other rune arms in game. Normally I would not be impressed by a named weapon and in fact I would not be writing this if it performed like so many other rune arms. So what makes this weapon a little bit special?
He was only a 2 book giant
Firstly it's accuracy, so many other rune arms seem to miss or only 1 item hits out of a tier 5. Whirling words will hit with up to all 5 "books" giving a consistent level of damage that has taken down all the rares in Gianthold. At base damage each book does between 23 and 184, however depending on the build you will get much higher scores. Now I didn't screen shot one kill in Gianthold of Chief Ugh but it read book 1 175, book 2 137 book 3 critical 425 and th Chief was down. Now considering the fact I have a reasonable heavy repeater and use a hireling cleric along with my Iron Defender Gianthold has become rather tame.
Shame I can't knock out people with a book or two
I have also tested Whirling in the Desert specifically to use it against the undead. As we know skeletons are a nightmare to ranged weapons and I hate repeater versus bone combat. But with Rune Arm Imbue Bludgeon IV doing 2 to 12 damage per bolt it sort of makes up for the issue. The issue then becomes one of selecting the right repeater but as I tend to carry 5 or 6 around at any one time I can usually find the right one for the job. And recently my guildie got hers which we took into epic devils assault (on casual so she could get use to the charge and fire), she has not really been able to get into rune arms but seeing a stream of books hitting monsters seems to have helped her.
Give me renown now please 
The question is now what is the right augment to put in the Green Slot? I have a list to go through but if people have suggestions then please put them in the comments as I tend to go with my gut and not the maths. And speaking of maths yesterday Sunday 5th March finally got to guild level 65, which when the guild is just 2 accounts and one of us having a real life to deal with isn't too shabby in my mind. What was funny though is that on a guild renown bonus weekend, whilst doing epic casaul, my guildie picked up 2 legendary victories in the end chest. She had a major elixir going so that covered 20k of renown in one go. Made the last bit a lot easier so my thanks to Arlacay and all the other toons in the guildie that are on her account.
Enjoying a night sky
Finally nothing to do with the rune arm but just to agree with Gamer Geoff about something DDO excels at and that is skies and other background items. I have played a lot of games since Space Invaders came out and my early favourite was Defender but over the years and the hundreds of different games I have played the imagery in DDO has always been most excellent. Been playing last 9ish years and gone through 30 or so other games but this one has lasted longest.


Monday, 6 February 2017

Don't Fear The Reaper

Like I wouldn't have taken this opportunity.... Saw them back in 1983, incredible live show. And now on to the reason your reading this.
Okay time to power up the lift, I am not doing step aerobics
Firstly I want to talk about the new quest Tower of Frost which you get in the Market Place, the quest for which flaming weapons were completely designed. The quest is level 14 on normal and after the first run where you will get turned around it becomes a little easier. Only tried it on heroic so no idea how stressful the epic version would be but so far so good. I only have a couple of characters that are in the right level range to run it so guess there may be more on this in the future. First time round I was running with my preferred Scimitars and realised that festival icy burst is the least suitable ability for a weapon to have in the quest. Fortunately I had a pair of flaming burst Scimitars to use. I did get the rune arm first time round and know a little Gnome that will benefit from it when he hits level 14. So guildie we will need to run this till you get the rune arm for your artificer.
Not telling you all the things you need to do to get here. Minimal Spoilers
The quest itself is relatively straight forward kill everything on the way up, rob the place blind of any treasure you find and pull lots of levers. And I do mean pull lots of levers, the theater area is a challenge to produce a story using the different options on the 3 stages. If like I did first time you pull lots and lots and lots of levers till you get the right combo on each stage you weren't listening to the magic mouth. Make each stage look part of the production and don't stare at the succubus! I am never sure what the plural is to that as she can appear on different stages. You work your way up the stairs as the Cannith made lift has no magic running through it to power it till you are finished climbing all the stairs. There is a puzzle at the end for you to figure out to power up the lift. Fun and once you get the hang of the play easier than expected.
At this point you really hope hirelings have been lucky and appeared with flame weapons
Secondly I want to briefly mention the reason for the title of this piece, Reaper level. To try it out and to try and take it easy to start my guildie and I went and ran the 4 Depth Quests on Reaper 1 skull and then on 2 skulls. Okay we went a few levels over to just try and get the hang of it and we both died, me twice. More a case of me not reading up before hand about the healing so we failed to not fear lol. Seriously though I was thinking why would I spend the time doing reaper when it doesn't really do that much more experience than doing it on elite and more importantly to me doesn't take the favour beyond what you would get on elite. I play 3 games and sort of click on anther facebook game and taking time that doesn't benefit my characters more than the elite version would apart from cosmetics, well with 27 characters to work on and 22 expecting to have multiple lives it killed the drive to do reaper. I haven't even read up on a reaper bravery bonus as yet either.
Look at the cute panda bottom right photo bombing. Note to self find more flaming weapons
But for some people who find the whole thing way to easy I am sure they are going to enjoy reaper and the cosmetics it offers. And I get to play a favourite track in my head every time I try reaper (which wont be that often).

Happy Unfreezing


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Skaters Waltz

A little bit of classical musical to play in my first blog of the year. I have been grinding my Barbarian through his fighters lives and he has reincarnated again having just finished his second fighter life on top of his 3 past monk lives. He will be going back to barbarian after this fighter life, reincarnation can be hard work. It does bring up a point that anyone who reads this and has a connection to the players council or Standing Stones when releasing new content stuff please provide stuff down the bottom end for lowbies it would be appreciated. Kobolds New Ringleader or Finding Arlos can only be run so many times before you start feeling you can run it in your sleep. I have 27 toons and I will be reincarnating 22 of them (yes one more is not going to be reborn). I have done Misery's Peak I can predict where to swing while looking at the tv.... low level content would really really be welcome by this player.

Lucky boy, I was so in shock that I had got them I forgot to picture them in the chest
Speaking of Conan and reincarnating had a bit of luck with a pair of low level boots from frostbite on Misery's Peak. he is the red named Ice Spider in there and got really lucky in the treasure department. Picked up a pair of feather falling boots which wont have mad much difference as I was off Kothos and had access to my TR (true resurrection) cache. But a pair of level 3 boots with speed III on them. Speed I would have been good but this blew me away. And not even master craftsman's work! So very grateful. And thanks to a nurse not turning up I have ground level 1 to level 3 in a day. Not too difficult if you know what you are doing, but now we hit the slow down and long haul back to level 20 for him.
This is getting to the silly stage
So the reason for the choice of music is the fact right now we have th winter games, jumping in the harbour and speed skating in Evening Star. Well already got all the weapons done that I want, unless an interesting weapon suddenly appears the 40 or so that I already have do will see my players well into next year. I am currently doing outfits with glaciation or cold resistance.... I want to leave a nice choice for my guildie as and when she needs new outfits. And it is remarkable amusing to watch on Skype as she suddenly realises she is going the wrong way. I just wish I had of got a screen shot of that.
Plenty to choose from for the alts
So I have particularly targeted weapons that already had burst or heartseeker or similar as an effect to add festival icy burst to. I focused primarily on falchions, scimitars, Kukris and rapiers for the +3 critical (dice roll 18 - 20) and will really benefit with the improved critical. So this has worked really well so far for my melee characters, the amount of damage I have been seeing at level 6 and 7 would impress me at level 12. I have level 4 weapons that are still being used at level 10 simply because I have nothing that will do more damage based on the build I chose. I was tempted to put 20 or so up for auction but realised with the new weapons I will not get better weapons in the future at least till sentitent and then I won't be able to add icy burst.

At this point I want to wish all the teams at Standing Stone all the best, personally I never played Ravenloft during pencil and paper days but a new expansion would be great. Instead of the Panther or Owl Bear how about a phoenix which will act as a cleric? Not another fighter type as it does tend to unbalance parties that I run "solo". I hope that a more compact organisation that is not a corporate stool pigeon should be better for us players. And whenever you arrange for devs to run things just remember that us in Europe often miss out.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Be Yourself

Well this piece took it's own sweet time coming. Will admit to having a bad case of altitis recently and focusing on the characters that I am enjoying because of their multiple lives. However the past weekend's bonus days was on crafting which meant I picked up my crafter for the first time in a long time. And then went through the other 3 first lifers that will never see life beyond the one they are living. So let me introduce you to my little gang of 4.

Just hanging around
Grousesor who was my first character that I had any real affinity for, he is a level 22 Wizard. The original intention was to start out as a wizard and finish as a sorcerer, however that got side tracked with the "need" for me to buy more character slots. He is also intended to be my crafter. Which okay he has gone up 16 crafting levels over the weekend but I had a massive shortfall in essences. So I bought out 10% of the epic equipment that wasn't special named, and they turned the lot into essences. In total over the weekend I got through about 10,000 essecenses. So he will slowly grind through to 30 with the intention of being chief guild cratfer by focusing on unbound shards.
Devil's Assault? More a case of queue up and die
Next we have Grousefly level 30 Sorceror Air Savant. He could be much mnore powerful but that is for Merlin, this guy is the one I go to when facing a new quest etc and I want to learn it. I know him inside out and all the things he can and can't do. Which makes a massive difference in how he is played. Certainly he is my go to guy when I need tokens of the twelve. His fall back is water which means I have innate water breathing and feather fall from my savant abilities which frees up an equipment slot. I have on a couple of occasions though about a TR or even an ETR but I am really comfortatble with him as he is so going to stick with him as is.
I use to have friends till I found out they had pockets
Thirdly we have Grousesly level 28 Rogue with the acrobat abilities and he primarily uses quarter staff. He will be the guy I go to when learning a quest that is trap heavy. I want to know where the trap is and where the control panel is. Yes it spoils the fun of finding it using a toon as a bomb detector but it is more efficent. Strange thing is at the moment with the armour he wears he really looks like Garrett the Sainted hireling. He was created before I ever met Garrett but who is going to believe that lol. I am happy with the quarter staff he got years ago and he can clear out most things below 23 without any real help. Nice to see he out kill anyone in Devil's Assault.
Ahoy me hearties
Finally we have Grousemuse level 17 Bard, single weapon fighting. I don't much care for bards but he will be my chief mule and also the key seller of goods as he has a great(ish) haggle. Just slowly easing through the levels but with him I struggle sometimes even though I personally like the build but dislike the class. And there in lies the problem, he is more fun when I treat him as a swashbuckler rather than a bard. I have elected to go down the route of rapiers just because it seems more appropriate. Against the living he has next to no problem.... however the undead are a bit of an issue. Still when he finally caps I know where he will run for treasure and tokens of the twelve so not the worst issue.
This is a real case of photobombing

Some people just have to get in on the act

If I don't get round to blogging before Happy Holidays.