24 June 2011

Threnal West and Late to the Party

I logged on last Sunday all psyched for an awesome day of hack and slash with my good buddies in the static group WHEN . . . real life.

My real life friends dropped by to talk and say hello.

Not that that's bad. That's actually really good! I love my friends . . . they just don't play DDO nor would they understand me playing DDO nor would I ever just play DDO while they were here. No, that would be rude, inconsiderate, lame, and dumb. I tend to hope that I'm not defined by any of those words.

The golden rule of gaming is: "THOU SHALT NOT LET THE ONLINE WORLD BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR REAL LIFE WORLD." Remember it, kids. Never let it get that crazy.

although, I must say that I was kind of happy it was only a short 40 minute visit, and I was able to jump back online and catch the static group. They all got double the loot as well since, well, they did everything they had just done the past 40 minutes over again with me and my firewall in tow.

Funny thing, I saw that my spell components were low for fourth level spells as soon as I joined the group, so I just zipped my mouth and decided to spam other skills instead of firewall. I don't know if they noticed that or not. ;)

I actually didn't get many pictures this time either. I did manage to take this shot of Spode slashing at a flesh render's head . . . although it's kind of hard to tell that's what's happening here. I do like the angles though!


I also snapped a picture of me in front of the Dave Arneson shrine in the Ruins of Threnal. I remember when he died, which actually wasn't very long ago.

It's kind of wild hearing his voice over on the campaigns in the Ruins of Threnal and think about what it would be like (in a very very very small way) to have Arneson DM'ing a dungeon for you.

I did manage to grab a small bit of footage as well, so here we are tearing it up a little bit in Threnal West. I should have grabbed something a little sexier like a boss fight, but LOL, you know . . . it's hard enough for me to even remember to press the record button once and take two screenshots.

This Sunday we shall be cracking skulls in the final portion of the Ruins of Threnal. I'm tempted to lead everyone through another run of the Crypt of the Shadowkeeper though because all this weekend we will be getting an additional +25% experience and +1 loot thanks to some customer appreciation from Turbine.


Happy Dueling!

13 June 2011

Threnal . . . another great a-sheath-ment for Team Spode

Yes! The stars over Stormreach finally aligned, did their little starry backflips, and shined down on Team Spode because after a couple weeks of threatening to do the Ruins of Threnal, we finally were all on the same page (and logged in at the same time--CRAZY) so that we could begin our new quest! The main purpose of said quest? To secure a Mantle of the Worldshaper for every good little girl and boy . . . also Spode.

Here we are hanging out in the camp, just chillin'.

Hai. *wave*

After some shuffling around and changing of minds, we decided that the night would be spent in the Eastern Excavation, taking our aggressions out by punching Coyle to the ground and making interesting Olympic-esque formations with blade barrier.

So the deal with the Eastern Excavation is that you basically enter the same instance map three times with three different objectives: kill a fire reaver who's hanging out in a library (we were all quite bummed when we couldn't check any books out of said library), escort Coyle Lovell to the library and once again kill a fire reaver, and finally defend the library (and especially Coyle) from swarms of monsters for 15 minutes. Apparently improvements to the game from Turbine now allow you to keep Coyle knocked out on the ground so he doesn't suicide himself on the mobs. Really, it's for his own good . . . not because he's irritating or fragile like a dry leaf in a forest fire or anything like that.

After all that Coyle nonsense, we decided we had enough time to complete the first quest of the Western excavation route, which we completed without much loss of life and/or limb (um, except for Ulan and Ophiga dying in an elite trap). Truly though, the only thing really dying here were the puns, and there were some bad ones. Spode's sword was made a metaphor and something was said about it being long and double edged . . . a great a-sheath-ment to mankind or some such nonsense . . . I really need to start recording these conversations for hilarity sake. Team Spode, when bad puns happen to good people.

Anyway, we stopped the main quest line there for the night, reserving the remainder for the next couple of weeks. Instead we decided to venture forth into the adventure area portion of the Ruins of Threnal and went on a giant hunt. Lessah continued to gasp at how old this content was and use her punchline "follow me this way like you know who I am" as she guided us from fire giant cave to fire giant cave.

It was here in the Fire Giant Caves of the Ruins of Threnal that our brave paladin, Spode, finally proved his true devotions by collecting tithes before rezzing the rogue (he totally looted a chest before rezzing Ophiga . . . she let him have it). Again, we wouldn't want to have him any other way. ;)

On a final note for this blog post, I have to point out a new quest reward that was up for grabs for all of us: The Mystical Goblet.

I looked it up . . . it's a yet to be implemented crafting item. Hope it makes something cool eventually. :)

Thanks Team Spode for all the fun!

Happy Dueling!

10 June 2011

Forging the Master's Transmuter Staff

I get excited about epic weapons and weapons with a long list of attributes.

Check me out with my new giant lollipop.

BAM! When I hit you with that it's called getting a sugar smack. BAM!

Oh yeah, that's right, I'm a caster not a fighter . . . I just click my disintegrate clicky a few times instead of giving you a sugar smack with my Master's Transmuter Staff.

I guess I really have Spode from the static group to thank for me getting this weapon. He had been getting me excited about these things after looking at his Blade of Fury (Which he has now crafted into a Vampiric Fury Blade fyi . . . Astral Diamonds *WERE* the trick. ;))

Since I own the Attack on Stormreach Pack, my trick was running Siegebreaker over and over a few times until the Mark of Tzaryan Rrac dropped. After that I was able to combine the Mark, the Scepter of the Ogre Magi, and the Scepter of the Fleshweaver to create my Master's Transmuter Staff.

The Cauldron wasn't too hard to find (unlike when I was crafting the Winter's Wrath). As the DDO Wiki guide to crafting weapons with the Cauldron of Sora Katra says, You can find it in the Lordsmarch Plaza. I'd add that it's specifically the Southwest corner of Lordsmarch Plaza. Just open up your map and look for the purple mark denoting "crafting devices." :)

I guess the only other Cauldron of Sora Katra item that's interesting me right now would be Katra's Wit . . . but that would mean running the Diplomatic Impunity quest all the way to the end a number of times. icky.

Happy Dueling!

06 June 2011

Attack on Stormreach and House K Favor? What?

Much like last week, the static group's intentions were to take down the Ruins of Threnal. Again, much like last week, we were missing our favorite Rogue, Ms. Ophiga. As it turns out she was busy riding roller coasters earlier in the day and was wiped out asleep on the couch.

Now I don't know about you guys, but given the choice between sleep and hanging out with Team Spode . . . I'd totally choose Team Spode . . . or at least Lessah's version of hanging out with Team Spode.

yeah yeah, keep dreaming Lessah! I'm sure the reality is more like this ;p

(Let's stick with the illusion the local illusionist has cast on us for Lessah's benefit. *shiver*)

So since Ophiga was afk, we all decided to finish up the main quest line in Attack on Stormreach. How did that happen? Well stay in your seats and let Gleek tell ya all. Here's the skinny.

Last week Spode mentioned he had acquired a Blade of Fury, which seems to be a pretty nice blade in its own right. He noticed that the blade was "fuseable," which made him think of crafting. I decided to look it up and found that the Blade of Fury was part of an epic weapon from . . . dun dun dun . . . The Attack on Stormreach quest line, and in fact what he really should turn that weapon into was the Vampiric Fury Blade. ooo! Life drain! Now THAT's a weapon.

To make a Vampiric Fury Blade you need to combine a Blade of Fury, a Staff of the Shadow, and a Mark of Sheshka.

Before you knew it, I was on the E-mail emailin' my favorite hippy paladin, and we were plotting ways to secure this blade. Mid-week and out of cycle, Spode and I hit the quest chain: Attack on Summerfield, Blockade Buster, Undermine, and Siegebreaker. By Saturday night Spode and I had finished up the first three and only had the last quest to go.

check it out, I managed to get a couple new weapons myself. ;-)

Now I just need the Mark of Tzaryan Rrac and I'll have my Master Transmuter Staff .

I digress.

So the entire point of the Attack on Stormreach module is to fight off the invading Droaam armies. Droaam is basically a giant city of monsters. They are led by the Daughters of Sora Kell. Last night we were able to uncover that Sora Katra herself was leading the invasion.

Oh she's a tricky one, lemme tell ya. That last fight with her is "something special." Thanks Turbine devs! Basically, the boss fight involves dragging Sora Kell down to three points: 75%, 50%, and 25% health. At each of these points, Sora will become untouchable and spawn portals to drag in her Droaam buddies to kill you while you face an evil pentagram puzzle. OH MAN, this puzzle sucks. Also sucks? The description of how you solve it from the DDO Wiki. let me quote this for you.
To solve the puzzle you must doing as following, not same as the picture below, if start from step on 1 then 2 and 5 then 4 and 3, or if you step on 3 first then 2 and 4 then 1 and 5

Rather than using the aforementioned puzzle-solving method(s): As long as the puzzle hasn't been touched upon spawning, simply touching each plate and going around in a clockwise (or counter-clockwise) fashion, touching each plate only once, will also solve the puzzle.

Summoned pets, hirelings, and monsters will toggle the puzzle plates.

Oh my word.

What the wiki doesn't say is that every time you touch that puzzle point, you spawn a trap. I imagine those traps can be removed by a rogue . . . but ours was asleep, and if she was awake we wouldn't have been here.

One of the traps (let's not talk about the exploding barrels that killed me and Ulan earlier) is this amazing gush of air that shoots you up to the ceiling and drops you. Talk about being disoriented. Here I am mid-air trying to solve this puzzle from crappy directions. I think I wasted about 15 minutes of everyone's lives there.

In the end we finished it up and Spode got his Staff of Shadow . . . now to hunt down the mark. Astral diamonds might be the trick! (I think you just need to combine five to make that mark).

OH, before I move on though, Siegebreaker has this nasty nasty rest shrine located right in a cesspool of muck that decries itself as "a (very) public bathroom" Here is Lessah not caring.

egads. The smell.

Also of note in Siegebreaker is the abundance of loot! I think this may become one of my favorite farms. You end up having access to about four chests in a matter of 10 minutes. You just have to deal with a few of these ladies . . . that's all.

Loved running into a medusa finally in DDO, and the Medusa of Droaam are nasty customers. As to be expected, they can in fact turn you or your hirelings to stone. Luckily the effect is only temporary (or I could use my stone to flesh clicky ... Same same).

The rest of the night was spent running a couple of level 5 and 6 quests on elite from House K with LESSAH GAME CHANGER at the helm. Lessah has this little cautionary note for all those who idolize Spode.

Awesome are his ways. Do you choose dismantle the trap, or do you go for the loot. LOL. I wouldn't take him any other way.

And since I haven't even mentioned Ulan in this post. ULAN! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE HEALS! Ulan is so solid in the group and just always does such a great job that he may go unnoticed, but the man in women's armor is definitely appreciated.

Happy Dueling!

02 June 2011

Update 10 -- Crafting Unbound! (and other stuff)

I logged on to DDO today to find the patcher proclaiming information about Update 10!

Egads look at that nasty chest with teeth. I'm suddenly taken back to my days of Everquest fighting haunted chests. (Picture below lifted off of Illia's Everquest Beastiary . . . )

(. . . hehe, Everquest graphics.)

All the info that's currently fit for public consumption can be found here. I'm sure much much more information will be forthcoming, but I was extra excited by the last paragraph of that update information:
Crafting Unbound
The crafting beta continues with the introduction of unbound items which may be fashioned in the Kundarak Enclave Crafting Hall. Create shards that can be traded or auctioned to other players. Forge unbound weapons for sale or trade. Craft new items for your guild, outfit your friends, or just make a few coins for yourself. The choice is yours!

SQUEE! You know, I was complaining to myself just yesterday that I wished I could make shards and gear for my friends. It's looking like soon that will actually be possible! YES! I suppose this means I need to crank my concern for crafting up from "generally excited" to "vehemently excited." ;-)

Also "Squee"-worthy was that I entered my first DDO lottery, and it was cake to enter. From my Google search, I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time DDO has had a lottery, but for some reason an announcement about DDO lotteries from the DDO Unlimited Twitter feed caught my eye yesterday. I must say, some of the prizes they're giving away are pretty cool!


Thanks for the fun, Turbine!

Happy Dueling!

01 June 2011

Of Owning and Of Being Owned

In a complete 180 of the group’s plans to begin running Demon Sands, the Sunday night group decided over e-mail that we would now set foot on a new adventure in the Threnal Ruins.


Well, it's actually something that Ophiga had talked about way back when we were getting our Voice of the Master trinket from Delera's. In the same breath she had mentioned the Mantle of the World Shaper being part of the set, but we got carried away on an exp hunt and totally forgot about this Mantle (well, at least *I* did) until Lessah mentioned that she wanted that particular piece of gear. BOOM! OH YEAH, THAT THING! Our plans changed.

It's a great piece . . . permanent True Seeing is pretty cool.

Anyway, Lessah and I were camped out near the NPC that ships us off to the Ruins of Threnal in House Phiarlan when Spode logged on and asked if we had read Ophiga’s e-mail. Ahhh, Memorial Day surprises were upon us! Ophiga’s relatives had dropped by, and standing true to the immortal code of “Real Life First Duh,” she would not be joining us. No problems.

We debated doing Threnal on normal so we could unlock hard mode, but that was before we realized we had Lessah with us, who is obviously a VIP player. That’s one of the great things about VIP players, they can just up and select any old difficulty they want on an instance and just waltz on in. The rest of us have to work a touch harder to unlock stuff. That’s ok, and especially since we have the power of LESSAH GAME CHANGER with us. ;)

I like that title, LESSAH GAME CHANGER!

We decided to run through Shadow Crypt again for more experience, and this resulted in Ulan dinging 11th level. There was an awesome moment when Ulan asked the group, which would be more beneficial for the group, a mass heal or raise dead. I said, "Knowing the way this group plays . . . both." In this case, Ulan decided on the greater of two goods, and we secured another Raise Dead spell for the group. We are so covered! That makes Lessah, Spode, Ulan, and the NPC cleric all have a raise spell for Ophiga and me. ;) We can just up and die whenever we want! YES! It’s totally time to overnuke! Sure I may end up running an instance naked by the end of the night, but that should be per normal considering this band of floozies. *eyebrows* you know what I mean, you know what I mean? *eyebrows*

So as I was saying, Shadow Crypt was so good that Ulan dinged 11, and this led to Lessah bearing a solemn oath she would be 11th level by next Sunday; therefore, this resulted in Spode and I leveling to 12 as we were both sitting on a level (or two *cough*). But it’s all good. I picked up the Disintegrate spell and Fire Savant 2 (OH YES I GET A LOW COST FLAME THROWER SPELL) and Joe snagged a level of fighter! WOOTAH! It’s time for ownage!

Speaking of ownage. After Shadow Crypt we decided to take on the INVADERS! Instance on normal just to see how we’d fare. The result was bloody. Freaking bloody as we each died multiple times until finally we were completely whooped by the beholders (we did manage to take out a few on our way to realizing we were out gunned by the floating evil heads of evilness).

We ran around and tried to find a few quests that we could do and managed to only see mostly level 13 quests in the Lordsmarch area, so we ended up opening up our adventure journals “GASP!”, and Lessah pointed us toward a House P level 4 quest we could rock out on Elite (think it was Rest for the Restless), which we did without many worries. I even earned Noted reputation from House Phiarlan and got a whole slew of 30-minute buffs. (Seriously, this was an amazing night for me).

While we were in the “Bongwater” tavern as Lessah called the “Bogwater” tavern, she ran me over to a couple of notable NPCs who were having a conversation. Basically it was Velah (The Red Dragon) in human form talking with Arach d'Kundarak. This archived thread here has the full text of the conversation. I personally think this quest text should be updated to the lyrics of Like a G6, but that's just me.

Happy Dueling!