Monday, 4 December 2017

Spectral Masquerade

Titled after a spooky little number, the only problem was finding the right choice out of so many.

So after running Ziran for several quest chains and hitting 400 favour I think I finally have a grasp on what I will be doing with my Aasimar. The intention is to run him as a Paladin while doing racial reincarnations but when doing class reincarnation I will probably not stick to Aasimar but go with different races best suited to the class I play. So whilst I have been playing around with the Iconic having two Iconic completionists seems overkill.
Just testing
However till I am ready to run Ziran I will use him to go with the name and test builds to see what works for Aasimar. Obviously the warlock class is not going to be one I play but there are so many options I am struggling to find time to play everything.
Not sure how celestial he is
Grousemerlin is ready for a racial reincarnation just a matter of deciding when I have the time and interest to drive him through the low level quests. And the same pretty much goes for GrouseYogi, he will finish as a bear form druid but I am pushing through 3 lives of artificer for the bonus, just a matter of do I go with racial reincarnation? However the right weekend bonus will see me take both characters into their next lives.
Favour run to test build, okay so far
Because I have focused on Yogi, my completionist has go on hold at level 27 (power leveled so 28 really). I will go back to working on him the moment Yogi is ready for his reincarnations. 27 characters is enough to keep anyone busy but I tend to stop with one and jump to another. I will be going back to my level 23 wizard at some point. He has been doing nothing but work on his crafting for the last 2 years which is scarily long.
Light maces? Not my usual choice so going to have to shopping me thinks
We see the launch of the Mist of Ravenloft expansion on the 5th (tomorrow) but it will be Wednesday before I go look at the new wilderness. And the strangest thing will be in a wilderness without a route. Wondering if I will get all the rares on day 1? Probably not but will be fun trying.

Finally I want to try the new Vistani Knife fighting class tree. I was always going to go with the ultimate pack so first reaction is halfling paladin following the blood of vol. No idea how feasible it is to have what I need out of it but certainly an experiment for Ziran in the near future.

Welcome to the Mist

Grouseziran

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Heroes, Saints and Fools

This is a chance to discuss the new race we are getting in the new DDO expansion, the Aasimar the descendants of a celestial or angels. Now I was intending to take a break until the new year with blogging but with the expansion guess there will be a lot to talk about. New quests and for me the thing I am looking forward to is a new wilderness, the backgrounds and imagery I hope will excite us all. Of course this is supposing you buy the expansions, me well I am a glutton for punishment and bought the ultimate on the day of release. And chose the title as the Aasimar could have good builds as each, the fool being the bard of course. So looking forward to the release on 5th December (last date I heard).

Before I start a basic discussion of the race just want to being up a couple of bonuses that I got buying the ultimate bundle. Firstly is way too much in the way of cosmetic armour, having 28 toons now I have 2 sets of cosmetics (armour and hat) for every character, considering the point cost of cosmetic items this is pretty generous if not a little boring after a while but I do have some characters using the outfits. Also as per the other expansions we have received the equivalent of a gold seal fighter (aka Animated Scarecrow) as a level 30 for end game and a level 10. For those of us who run short manned at the best of times this provides additional support.

Now as soon I got the chance I decided to at least try the Aasimar out and see how they perform, as there is a new Iconic with the expansion I went with the Tempest Ranger wielding light maces. This should see an increase in demand for light maces so lets hope the devs have added a few in the expansion. The racial bonuses seem to suit a combat divine so Cleric, Favoured Soul or Paladin look to be the preferred options which explains the choice of ranger as the two most suitable and available generally classes already have Iconics so can see why the choice of ranger.

One of the nice things about the Aasimar is that the choice of wisdom, charisma or strength in the core racial abilities certainly gives flexibility in builds so I am feeling a Paladin build might work well. However we are at the testing stage and it feels natural to test the variations which is why I am calling my Aasimar GrouseZiran. Firstly because of the meaning in Daoism of Self so which can be read as naturally or freely and secondly Ziran was the tester in the celestials in the marvel universe. Now I haven't made the Paladin yet and won't till I get my head around the racial abilities and where they fit with builds. I am tempted when I go back to working with GrouseSturm to plan as finishing as Aasimar rather than dragon born and it feels a better choice.

My cup runnenth over so to speak but I will talk more about the Iconic Ziran next time as I intend to test him in low level quests for favour and see if I can be comfortable with maces over blades. Certainly fits with my views on Paladins in that they should not try to shed blood so a mace may draw blood but is not designed to do so where a sword is.

Have fun in the Mists

GrouseZiran

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Take No Rogues

So haven't been blogging for a while. Always a problem when I am not seeing my guildie on line, I do the daily play which is 30 to 40 minutes but I am not doing any more daily so when you are going through epic only doing 70k to 80k of experience each day slows the process. Don't know why having my guildie around encourages me to play more but the last few weeks not really feeling the inspiration I normally get when I have had time running with her.
I never noticed that Rainbow in the fens before
 I have been focusing on Grouseman the assassin Rogue who is on life 17 and each life I have been able to take completionist has been a little easier than when he didn't have it. I am now taking him through his first epic life now. It was always my intention that completionist and a plus five supreme tome would be a priority before starting epic lives as part of the project. Grouseman has another 30 heroic lives minimum so plenty of time to get the epic lives done as well.
Spot the difference
The next 30 lives will be Racial Reincarnation although I expect the number will be at least 34 before I get there. As I have said before I am not a fan of playing warforged so I intend to cheat my way through the 3 lives with stones of experience and to anyone who buys an Otto box my personal suggestion is save the use for a race or class you don't get much enjoyment from. I know roughly the point I need to take the stone so will grind the early levels as either a warlock or artificer. Certainly no way I feel up to taking them through epic, bad enough getting through the early lives as it is, just a personal opinion but my Iconic Ziggy has not got the play time I originally intended.

I will save ranger till last as the plan seems to be tempest ranger as a final life (if that ever happens). So 34 lives of racial before finishing but make every class triple completionist. I have made kukri's Grouseman's focus and will carry on making the best Kukri's I can find into absolute stars with festival icy burst or any other improvement I can find. I am now searching for critical slashing at the auction house a lot. I have other characters that have been parked for a while as I work on Grouseman.
If you didn't get it first time try again
Now whilst Grouseman is a fun assassin rogue dual wielding Kukris sometimes you just have to stop and have a break. It is convenient to do the break with Grousemerlin  as it is never hard to find the other one when I stop for a change of pace. Merlin is working through the Desert having just finished the 7,500 slays in the Fens and 1,500 in Ataraxia. As a solo player a lot of the time the wilderness feels a better option rather than quest and it is easier to break off at will rather than the need to finish a quest.
See token of the twelve (in joke)
Finally my signature hair colour has always been white but I have been picking up hair dye a lot so decided to go different colours for fun when I can.

Happy Grinding

Grouseman.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

It Ain't Easy


One of the things that freaks me out when watching streams or videos playing it is the number of hotbars people have open. I find it easier when there are only one or two hot bars open including the active one that you are keyboard bashing. I know everyone has a different way to play and it makes for differing approaches on how to kill monsters. So my left hand deals with the numbers and my right deals with movement.

Easy to remember hot bar.
Now for example lets look at the combat set up for Ziggy the bladeforged, this is relatively easy because I limited the number of combat keystrokes. 1 = Avenging Cleave, 2 = Exalted Cleave, 3 = Strike Down, 4 = Exalted Smite, 5 = Holy Retribution and 6 = Divine Sacrifice. The other keys are healing focused. I know many players will point out that strike down has a longer cool down and should probably be further up the numbers. However the damage between 1/2/3 should clear a lot of mob trash. Now this is my personal style and I am not a big fan of clickies... using a charge from an item is fine if you are not having to swap in one item for another.
Non combat spells.
It is strange when you consider how complicated the game can be at the best of times but this really adds to having to think long and deep about what you need. I do understand as running the Grey Moon Waning chain I realised I could really do with more elemental protection for my warlock and perhaps I need to make clickies and have a hot bar. But this is a real issue for someone who is a little older and on some heavy duty meds. So I simplify where possible.
You should avoid these spells hitting you
Now Merlin is doing a sorcerer life (4th one) which was meant to be his last however with racial reincarnation I have had to make new plans. However still want it simple so I have the defensive spells on 1 and cycle through to 2 for the combat of helpful spells. It is really to make it simple for me and it seems to work. 1 = Ball Lightning, 2 = Electric Loop, 3 = Sonic Blast, 4 = Lightning Bolt, 5 = Frost Lance, 6 = Fireball, 7 = wall of fire, 8 = Knock. at level 9/10 I tend to grind the Stormcleave quest will just a Hireling most mornings about 9am UK time.
Layout works for me
I have worked with many hotbars on the board but get distracted and often missed the bar I want. So for me simplification is the best approach to dealing with speeding things up especially in combat. NOT saying may way is the best just if you struggle with too many hotbars maybe the simple way is he easiest way.

Enjoy you Questing.

GrouseZiggy.

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

Grouseman

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.

GrouseMerlin.

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.

GrouseMan