Friday, 27 February 2015

On a Dark Desert Highway

Firstly sorry for the gap since the last piece but my inspiration was on holiday so I just played. However I want to talk about the Desert aka Demon Sands. This is a level 11 wilderness with Quest inside and a raid. I will talk about the quests in another piece but want to discuss the wilderness which is realistically three wildernesses. You have the undead to the right as you enter with 5 rares, straight ahead you have the Gnolls with 7 rares and to the left you have the Scorrow with 4 rares but they have a sting in the tail. There are 25 explorers 9 of which are dungeon entrances so plenty to keep you busy. Also it feels like a much bigger space than say the Red Fens but because you have 3,000 slays of each type you will run into a lot of work if you want to complete all 3 types.

Cool Wind in My Hair
 Most of the explorers are relatively simple but there are a couple that are worth mentioning, the Submerged Road is obviously under water and as there are only two lots of water it should be easy to find but the number of times I missed it at first tells me that unless you are glancing at a map you may well miss it by inches, on the upside you don't have to be submerged yourself to get it. The Dead End is a little off the beaten track and involves jumping which you will find as well with the Paragon plunge. The need for reather falling is obvious and I doubt many people who are exploring this area are missing a FF item.

Warm Smell of Kobolds rising up through the Air
The undead are the most difficult as far as I am concerned simply because the different monsters and the annying issue of constantly changing weapon to suit monster. The eternal wizards are particularly annoying if you don't have fire and electric resistance, lightning bolts and walls of fires are their two many attacks. Of course rule of thumb is always take casters down as quickly as possible and at least they don't heal themselves. Annoying mephits will pop up and there are mummies all over the place. If you can hit them before they cast resistance spells you will find those wrappings seem to burn remarkable well, which is why I guess they cast resistance first. The fact that the Skeleton are not that bothered by piercing or slashing does mean that either bludgeon or harder work are required to finish them off.

You can never leave
The Gnoll area is the largest of the three sections and if you are going to only complete one set of 3,000 the Gnolls are the obvious choice. Once again I would suggest fire resistance as the casters amongst them do like fire spells especially ball of fire to follow you round. Like the Hyenas it seems some Gnolls are resistant to cold, and fire. This makes the selection of weapons important if you are using elemental bonus type weapons, which as I am working with burst type as a preference Acid seems the best choice. But if you are well prepared they fall very easily except for those archers set in inaccessible positions. So a ranged weapon is a sensible option unless you intend to run past the archers. It is a pain for melee builds but most characters will have options to combat situations that are not what you are built for.

My Head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
The scorrow are a mixture of drow, little scorpions and Vulkoorim. Once again acid seems a good choice to take these down. The run I take in this area picks up the explorers but does involve a set of 3 jumps to reach the dead end, which if you miss you have to go back and try again! Not a quick run either but does take a couple of minutes and you still have to get your jumps right, worth saying having a massive jump ability won't make much difference here. Also you have Paragon Plunge which is a drop down and then you have 2 options either two jumps to the other side or drop down and run across an area devoid of life to get back to the slaying. So obviously I take the two jump option which sets me up to finish the slayer run relatively quickly compared to the second option.

As a rough guide my runs give me Undead 95, Scorrow 92 and Gnoll 187 which you can increase a lot if you are using slayer boosts. As I saod earlier you can finish the Gnoll quicker if you are only planning on hitting 3,000 with 1 of the slayer types. And having just finished this area with 9,000 slays for Grouseman with a major slayer boost I spent just over a week with a few runs every day to complete the lot.

Happy Slaying


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Assassin (the Marillion track is my favourite)

So here I thinking just how do I explain what I am doing? Everyone will think I am nuts because what I am doing makes no sense, a rogue Assassin can only work if he runs in a PUG but here I go as a soloist using Rogue Assassin and trying to specialise in Kukris with a focus on slashing weapons. Great and all but not fantastic for running by himself.

This is life 14 and Grouseman has already taken one life in Rogue but that was as a mechanic. So this time around I wanted to try something different. Yeah I want to be a trapper of sorts but the key is making things drop dead very very fast. The intention is for improved crits with Kukris so 30% of the time I should be getting boosted damage. At the moment I am waiting on my next feat to get critical damage up but still get 15% of my hits up there. As my focus is built that way I have gone out of my way to get burst damage Kukris, to which I have add festival Icy Burst as per my last blog entry including the grind.

I was going to be sexist here. Still they are work well
I was going to go into epic mode when I hit level 20 but with the expectation of another class being introduced I am probably going to just hold at level 20 and wait. I have plenty of other characters I could be working on. I have gone down the route of dexterity for chance to hit and damage and at level 11 he has what I think is a reasonable 35 including 2 from airship buffs. I really need to bump it up one but of course I will hit level 12 very soon so I think I will be okay there. And for anyone who is new to the game at level 4/8/12/16/20 you can increase a stat by a point. So constant investment in dexterity seems sensible.

I know not that Uber
Because I "solo" I don't get as many back stabs in which is a shame because I think 10d6+1 is an okay amount to add to a lot of burst damage. I have taken to using a cleric and sometimes a gold seal fighter to send in to draw aggro. I can usually take 3 or 4 monsters down almost straight away before they realise I am there and start on me. Because of this though I haven't taken the poison options and instead I am working with just venomed blades. I may choose to do the poisons later but it certainly isn't a priority. I must admit I do think I might have been better off if I had chosen to go Halfing and worked around the lack of a feat.
Look ma no poison attacks just venomed blades
So at the moment I am heading for 5000 slays in the Fens from which I will hit my level 12 and see where he goes from there. I have an idea of what I wanted but as the situation has changed because I am now not going end game with him I can perhaps put in one or two tweaks just to see how they might play out. But think once I am through warlock (if it is warlock they give us) I will still go back to rogue after all the trouble I went to with the Kukris. A kukri wielding Tempest Ranger? A kukri Kensei Fighter? Not really options I want but never say never.

So safe sneaking


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Daily Grind, Chore or Pure Fun?

Over the years of gaming I have been wondering when I should stop playing games. Once I completed Sonic the Hedgehog and had a time I could find no way of beating I stopped. When I mastered the original Streetfighter I stopped playing each character when they were no longer a challenge. I have played played many games and they have all had life spans but with DDO I am still playing after all the years of Pen and Paper and now the online version. So why does a game still hold my attention after all the years I have played?

One of the more romantic rooms on the Airship
Well I have a guild that is me, a very charming lady and thats it. But because we are in a long distance relationship the game has become an additional way to interact. But before we joined forces to deplete Eberron of monsters I was still hooked on ddo.

So many times I have run certain quests I do wonder if I could run them in my sleep, certainly I can recite how many monsters and what types are waiting around many corners. So why hasn't the game dragged for me?

Dancing with my pet
I guess because apart from the quests themselves I have found other things to enjoy from mucking around and dancing in the stupidest places to crafting, although I still have a long way to go with that. I don't craft raid items because I don't raid but that hasn't stopped from making useful tools. 

Did Some Just Play Bon Jovi
And of course we have the various festivals including the one that is running at the present time the Winter Festival/Ice Game which has been my favourite. And this time I have actually spent a lot of time avoiding the regular daily grind and spent time running the skating even to do the odd jump in the harbour.

Think I missed some

Nice Festivult Image?

It is events like this that do help keep the game from getting cold (or not with this event lol). I actually have put in the time this year including sniping a lot of motes at the last second. This is the first time I have actually really worked at using the motes to add festival burst to weapons. At the time I am writing this I am now at 15 weapons that I have added burst to. This includes two of my first lifers who I will bind and attune the weapons so they have an easier time when they reincarnate although it will mean my ranger won't go deepwood sniper. So I will have to decide if I need to take another toon through it.

Can you show me the way to Amarillo?
So over the last few days I have abused my fun aspect of my game playing and stopped grinding certain quests. Depths, Stormcleave and Epic Fens have been amongst my daily quests. So perhaps after this I need to find another set of quests to grind out and improve the toons that I am currently working on.

May you be overstocked on Winter Recipe 5

Grousemot (the short arse monk).