Tuesday, 17 April 2018

In The Face of Evil

So I don't write regularly and certainly not one to write to schedules, I only write when something comes along and slaps me in the face. If you are new to the blog I try to start every blog piece with a bit of music that has a tenuous link to what I am writing about. I saw a picture and comments about Paladins and suddenly got the urge to write about my Sword and Board Paladin. I currently have three Paladins but expect the number to drop to two as one is going to be my Iconic completionist with the intention he will finish as a Gnome. Of the other two GrouseRoland is two handed using primarily falchions where as GrouseSturm is my sword and board being bastard sword and tower shield. This isn't too difficult first life as human sees my getting that extra feat.
Should have called him SpookyMcSpooky
Obviously most people will build their Paladins around the weapon preference so choosing a deity was strange as when Sturm was created the deity Helm wasn't even a remote option. What will be a real issue is the fact I will do racial reincarnation and either have to put the swords and shields by till the next time I run a life that is suited or not use the favoured weapon. I look forward to reincarnating Sturm for his second life as it will give me a chance to play with options that were not available when I first rolled him. I have crafted a lot of swords using festival Icy Burst either on other burst weapons or on critical slashing weapons.

So obviously Sturm is gimpy this life, I knew this but I wanted a character that could use hand and a half weapons and as we don't have broad swords in game the bastard sword is probably closest to how I envisaged Sturm and the weapon of choice. The concept of should he remain human in his final life is years away but doesn't stop me planning at the moment for him to end as dragonborn or Aasimar. I will have fun working down the path and keep the last three lives as Human, Aasimar and Dragonborn before choosing how to finish him. I will not plan to give him completionist as that would take me far to far into the future even if I started now. My own completionist took three years before racial options came into play so going to not add that to the racial choices here.
Smash Mouth style brawler?
I will come back to this post each time I reincarnate Sturm so any suggestions, ideas or guidance from Paladin experts will be gratefully received. I would prefer not to change weapons and shield but will not disregard opinions because of that just would prefer this guy to go down the bastard sword and tower shield route in the same way I would prefer GrouseMouser to stick with a rapier and dagger (we don't have poniards so stuck with dagger), weapons and behaviour of the character based on views from books or films or whims but I do like the concept of playing characters based on my reading including bad behaviour but I ramble. Seriously I want to eventually finish with a well rounded character including racial and class reincarnations.

So any ideas? Any choices I should make in race or class to enure the character works? Dragonborn and Half Elf are no brainers but what else? I have VIP and have no intention of ever dropping that so it is just a case of best build for end game with least lives lived so to speak.


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Change of Heart

So an excuse to listen to Bruce Dickinson happens because I am changing my DDO focus. Originally I was going to focus on several toons, but I have picked up GrouseMerlin again using the Shocking Forum Post that I ground in the Anniversary Event and he is just so much fun.
Enough Power?
So Merlin is my Air Savant Sorcerer and I will be focusing on him when soloing. Obviously Charisma is the key factor for playing any sorcerer but I have tried to keep a high constitution and dexterity for hit points and defence. At level nine Merlin's lightning bolt hits for around 145 as standard and is an absolute blessing. Electric loop will kill mobs easily and even sonic blast is effective at chewing up the trash. I am more than happy to just take a cleric with me most of the time. I will be running the red fens for the next couple of levels until I am ready to get back into the Mists.
Does water mix with Electric?
So Air Savant and all that but also taken Water as my secondary choice so fire and acid are not choices I will make as I go on. Air Savant gets feather falling as an ability in the enhancement tree and Water Savant gets water breathing so that frees up equipment usage and I am not having to either switch items or tie up an item with these abilities. The other nice thing is these enhancements are primarily passive so I am not constantly clicking abilities and spells. Makes life a lot simpler to have one active set of combat hot keys.
Three times each class past life.
So Merlin is through 12 past heroic lives and now on his third human life. This will be the first time I take an epic past life so this guy will be running for a lot of the year. After completing the next 21 levels the intention is to run three elf lives next, then half elf and I will see where I am at that point. I would say at the moment one shotting a lot of monsters with lightning bolt is refreshing and I will continue to push to maximise the effectiveness of Merlin. He will pick up his next version of the event club next level and it will be nice seeing how much difference in real terms that make. Doing damage that is over two times the maximum listed at the top end of the spell one level below that maximum is a grin bringer.
Will put an augment in next time around.
So finally yes I haven't find the right augment to use at this low level, I have a bag full with my mule Bard. it is finding what I am lacking and filling that augment slot with the key need at the level he will be when he starts using the club. Just nice to have cover at the lower levels whilst waiting till I can activate enhancement abilities. I am enjoying blasting enemies quickly with very little drama and Merlin has become so enjoyable that I just want to run him as much as possible.

I will be running GrouseYogi for a little longer as he is 100k experience short of where I want to park him but that is easily done in the next week or two.

Have fun


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Skate Away

So it is the time of year for my personal favourite event the ice games. A chance to add a few weapons to the guild chest and my own personal store, actually not true really only storing some as I may have over done it. I went stone cold crazy as I have mastered the Leaky Dinghy leap and had over 5m plat in the bank. It is also the time of year I get to tease my guildie abut her skating, she is not as bad as I make out when you consider the amount of time I get to practice. And skating with her is something I could happily do all year.
Need more space, too much equipment
 However I ended up with 76 weapons that have had festival ice burst on them plus two outfits one with fire resistance and one I over did with the glaciation boost, I will scale it back before the event finishes I hope. I have already got 5000 motes of winter stored for next year so I will look to pick up outfits and armour to play with for next year. However I have focused on my weapons, primarily Kukris, Khopeshes, Scimitars, Rapiers, Daggers, Falchions and Dwarven Axes. I have enough spares now that any melee or divine I want to arm should have enough weapons at lower levels that it is fun dropping monsters.
Just before I fill it up completely
I focus mainly on the Scimitars, Kukris, Falchions and Rapiers simply because the ease to extend and improve damage with the festival boost. They have a 15% chance to cause a critical hit plus when toons get their improved attack (Slashing or Piercing) it takes it up to 30% which makes it in real terms pretty likely that you will do critical damage in a drawn out fight. I have focused on critical slashing and piercing weapons so there is yet more damage. I miss the old burst weapons but I had a store of weapons to work on from the auction house.
Riding a Polar bear
It has caused a bit of an issue with the plans of getting Yogi to his druid life but I have made some Festival Icy Burst repeating crossbows. I view it any damage I can add from events is worthwhile so no matter what the naysayers are talking apart this is an event I love, enough that it has taken me away from Ravenloft. However the event is finishing, I have Yogi close to being on track and I have enough weapons to arms a small army.
And speaking of small armies Grouseken the dwarven dual axe wielder has annoyed me. I really don't like the name and want a 6 letter name that I can prefix or suffix with Grouse, he makes me think of Barbie of all things so please help me rename the bugger.


Monday, 15 January 2018


Citi this ones for you. When the discussion turns to reincarnation and if you are running a Warlock life how can you play them? Have to say even for one that is designed for crowd control they make an incredibly good sniper. In fact my preference when I start them is to treat them like an arcane archer. Eldritch Blast is you basic attack, like an archer you pick and choose your targets or as I do just blast the first one you see. You not going to do multiple kills with a single blast till level 6 at the very earlyist. The truth is I rarely use the spell list apart from the defensive nightshield , blur and resist energy. Offensively eldritch blast or the cone shape at level 6/7 from the enhancement tree are my main choices, yes I might use the consume DoT (damage over time) to kill something while I focus elsewhere but primarily I just blast things to pieces.

So to understand how I play my ranger/artificer/warlock I have my right hand on the arrow keys of the keyboard and my left hand hammers the U key. If I want to use a spell or enhancement from the hot bar it is easy to slip the left hand onto a number. This assumes a standard desktop qwerty keyboard but each player has their own way of playing, I rarely use the mouse unless it is to empty chests. Anyway lets looks at the build.
Looks simple doesn't it
Standard 32pt build with the focus on charisma, as this is a first life he hasn't got high enough to have a tome yet his bonuses come from items and airship to buff his abilities along with taking charisma in the enhancement tree. You pact with a great power determines what abilities and spells you have available to you. I prefer Fey which gives you sonic damage or in this case Great Old One which gives you bonus acid damage. It also has one of my favourite little bonuses that you get the SLA (spell like ability) of knock, saves finding a rogue to open those locked treasure chests. Another SLA is Phantasmal Killer which can kill instantly if your lucky. However although I have these I still prefer my Eldritch blast shape cone to fight with unless I am fighting a single powerful boss.
Great Old One, sort of sounds like me
In terms of enhancements I find the Soul Eater my personal favourite because it gives me the cone shape blast at enhancement tier 3. The eldritch blast is made up of force and with great old one acid, the cone a nice arc in front of you to tear through most opposition. The wiki will give the full list of choices for Soul Eater but consume is one of the key powers you get and gets hot key one at the lower levels simply because it backs up your blast till you get higher and your powers improve. I would point out the other lovely ability you pick up[ on the tier 3 enhancements is dark feeding and my personal choice is blood feast as constitution is something every monster has so is effective against plenty of targets. The tier two consume sight is something I tend to not choose. Why make something blind when you you have so many other options?
I Love Eldritch Wave
I could drill down much further but once you hit level 12 and get to the tier 5 abilities you get to focus on eldritch blast and Eldricth Wave is a room cleaner, my hot bar for GrouseNinga has wave on 1, undead to death on 2 (for Barovia, elsewhere it is finger of death) and depending on what I am running I switch it round. The tier four Steal Life Force with 12d6 damage and 12d6 healing is a very nice when your cleric is in hiding or dead. I dislike most of the tier two enhancements but that is very much personal choice. Sort of writing a book on how to play it this is a down and dirty quick guide. If you find it hard to use hot bar clicking or are a mouse user (guildie I am looking at you) the eldritch blast is your main focus so you will be needing items boosting your pact, fiend with fire is easy to find combustion but at higher levels fire seems to be difficult. However I will try fiend for Ninga at some point just to see how it goes, probably with a red scaled dragon born.
Note the combat chat, three destroyed at the same time
Hope this at least encourages a look at using a Warlock life because they are very moreish and I have to force myself to stop playing them to focus on my long term goals. Certainly dragonborn would have a natural affinity for meshing with the pact.

Happy reincarnation day


Friday, 12 January 2018

Victims of the Future

So sitting here assessing the 28 characters I currently have and the future of these characters. Some will become victims of my plans and look unlikely to feature in the forthcoming year. I am not an end game player yet, my focus has been and will continue to be building characters for end game but mainly just to enjoy playing. So what I am doing is putting to paper so to speak those characters I am going to work with consistently over the next year or so. I am going to reincarnate several for the first time but this is to set them for guild renown weekends where I farm my favourite renown quests. So here we go with characters I will play a lot of this year.

Been playing since Europe merged so not to bad
 GrouseMan:- Having the completionist feat I am now working towards 33 lives so we get completionist racially. I know there isn't a feat or reward for this but time to kick through the rewards for race. He has been a assassin focused rogue but planning his future I am looking at a kukri wielding tempest ranger. Racially not sure what would be best but I can test over the next few lives. I have 6 Otto boxes to help as I am not a warforged fan so will only do heroic lives with them and get through as quickly as possible.
I like this big ugly but guess he needs to race a bit
Grouseconan:- My Half Orc barbarian, current he is a fighter and has two more barbarian lives to go. In terms of racial lives Dwarf, Half Orc and Warforged. Once again the boxes will allow me to skip through the wooden lives much quicker (and if you want to debate wood versus squishy happy to do so on another blog piece. I could probably get to where I want with Conan inside this year if I focus on him. Certainly the new Mists of Ravenloft covers ranking for him in a way that is a lot more enjoyable than previously. I have probably killed over 50,000 in the Red Fens nice to have an alternative.
At least this is well under way?
GrouseMerlin:- Currently on his third human life after completing three favoured soul, three Warlock, three Wizard and three Sorcerer. Merlin will need the three Human lives along with three Aasimar, three Drow, three Elf, three Halfing, three Gnome and Four Dragonborn. Yes my intention is to have Merlin finish as a Dragonborn Sorcerer. This could be the most fun character in terms of end game performance.
Doesn't look much compared to the others but this one is for fun.
GrouseYogi:- Originally I was only intending to run one druid bear form life but decided to go for three past artificer lives. I need to make this my priority so Yogi can work with my guildie and her Suzy druid. So will be logging in daily for this one, Once I am in the fens and mists I will blast through levels as I am very comfortable so far with both and see no issues of using wildernesses to help level me quickly, yes I do get through a lot of slayer boosts.

So whilst I have a lot of characters that will have multiple lives these are the four that will get most focus, probably I will get through Yogi by mid Feb, sort of appropriate that Yogi and Suzy can run together again, I hope by Valentines.

Heading back to Barovia with Yogi after the weekend.

Happy Hunting

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Black Blade

So having had a weekend off the Mists I am heading back in and looking to try for an Sentient weapon. Having never played one in pen and paper this is completely new to me and I almost regret not having a slot available to create GrouseElric. And those who enjoy the fantasy books will know exactly who I mean and what this title refers to. However the characters I have at the top end of the game are limited as I have just reincarnated 3 characters and this might cause an issue for me getting a worthwhile sentient weapon especially as I don't raid. Probably means a trip or three to the auction house and a lot of luck. The idea of a sword talking back does has the sense of comedic value but the work to create a workable weapon means I will be very selective of who I aim to supply with a weapon like this.

Bigby better start making big signs for this maze.
Realistically it comes down to one character at the moment and he is down at level 13 on his 7th life. So the grind is going to me massive but as always the end product is the focus and is why I will put the hours in to get the weapon and abilities I want. Grouseconan is currently running his third fighter life and after this he will focus on 2 more barbarian lives then he will work his racial lives. I have kept him 2 handed weapons and so far the falchion is the weapon of choice. Looking at the options of weapons to make sentient it does seem limited and the "best choice" would be Windlasher although now debating if that should be the weapon of choice?
Thought there was a coffee shop up here.
I do wonder if any weapon will operate against the character if the alignment is wrong. A chaotic sentient jewel is not going to appreciate a Lawful good character, though how Standing Stone have programmed the function of the weapons versus alignment not sure if we will see effects like this as we go along. I would need to see a list of sentient jewels their function but at present this doesn't seem to be part of the design so just going to think about the how, where and why to get one. Looking at the time I will need to spend to get a jewel it may be a year or two before I get there. Yes at the moment sentient weapons are not going to change the game but thinking the Devs will want to have a serious conversation about alignment and using weapons. Maybe even a minimum requirement in will power as these weapons could overpower a weaker minded toon.
I left my fishing rod at home... regretting that now!
Quick run down of the weekend sees GrouseMerlin start life 13 and now he is working on his racial lives. GrouseYogi (he will end as a Bear Druid) start his second life, his first was Artificer as is his second, I hope to put some hours in so he can do his third Artie life before becoming a druid and working with Suzy (and anyone who knows the adult yogi bear song will figure this one out). Finally GrouseTanis is taking his second life, this time rather than tempest he will run as an Arcane Archer. Once I get Conan into his epic lives (he is only level 13) Grouseman can finish his epic lives and reincarnate epic and heroic and start his racial lives, nice that he has the completionist option to really make life easier.
3000 down just a few more to go.

Enjoying more of the Mists


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.

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