28 February 2012

Rabid Twilight Fans Attack!

I couldn’t help myself last night from making a Twilight joke every time one of these guys attacked us.

Oh, look, more rabid Twilight fans are attacking us!

So, as you can guess, we’ve ditched Necro IV like a dirty shirt that we spilled ketchup on and instead donned a new, fresh, and clean sweater with the scent of Bella Swan all over it. Team Spode has officially broken into the Vale of Twilight! Now where's the vampires!?

The first thing I commented on was that I was getting a huge Guild Wars feel from running around in here. Ulan seconded my emotion.

Pre-searing Ascalon, is that you? Hmmm, not as shiny I suppose, but it just kind of looked like Guild Wars to me. Yeah, maybe it’s just me . . . anyway, one thing is for sure, we like killing stuff in the Vale of Twilight!

Don’t you just love when you first break into an adventure area and it’s like exp starts rolling in left and right for kill quests and explorer points? Team Spode likes that, and that’s exactly what made the night fun last night.

One of the first things we do when out exploring a new area though is look for new dungeon-y destinations. We found our first one under the water as we attempted to best the Let Sleeping Dust Lie instance.

Basically the premise is that you have these awesome spider friends who help keep the natural order of the world of Meridia balanced. You know, circle of life? Anyway, the problem here is that a band of Rakshasas have hired on some Ogre Magi to charm the awesome spider friends into doing their bidding. The Raksashas' ultimate goal? Why bring back the Lord of Dust to life of course!! Who wouldn't want the power of Dustamancy on a whim's notice?

Yeah . . . well, we didn't even get to use the powers of dustamancy against the rakshasas since we failed it twice due to killing spiders (stinking NPCs and Gleek's awesome targeting skills), and it wasn’t until after those two failures that we realized we should have simply avoided picking up the journal until the whole darn intricate cave system had been destroyed. GUILT FREE SPIDER KILLING PLEASE! Meh, next time.

After that we didn’t want to waste all of our game time on the “Let Sleeping Dust Lie” instance, so we moved on to more explorer points and rounded out the night with a few thousand exp points under our belts.

Team Spode will be back for more action in the coming weeks as we work our way through the Vale of Twilight.

Happy Dueling!

27 February 2012

Menace of the Underdark - 27 Feb 2012 Press Release

I just had a copy of the newest press release for Menace of the Underdark come across my e-mail, and it's so good, I just had to share it with you all. Expect this news to hit all your favorite MMO websites today. Awesome!

I can haz druid pup want!



Players may Pre-Purchase the First Major Expansion to the Award-Winning MMO Starting Today!

NEEDHAM, MA – February 27, 2012-- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast announced today Dungeons & Dragons Online®: Menace of the Underdark™, the first expansion to the award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) will launch on June 25, 2012. Players across North America and Europe can pre-purchase Menace of the Underdark to receive exclusive benefits starting today at http://www.ddo.com/underdark.

“The journey to the Forgotten Realms begins today,” said Fernando Paiz, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons Online, Turbine. “Today we introduced the Web of Chaos content update that serves as the prologue to our first foray into the Underdark which makes it a perfect time to introduce our pre-purchase program which offers very cool items that players will be able to use immediately as they prepare for the launch of Menace of the Underdark on June 25th.”


Ø Three New Forgotten Realms Adventure Packs -- Featuring a multitude of epic adventures, unprecedented new wilderness areas with challenging objectives, a host of dungeons, and more!

o The King’s Forest: Explore deep into the King’s Forest and defend the village of Eveningstar from Lolth’s Drow legions.

o The Underdark: Venture down into the Underdark and confront Lolth’s elite followers in the Drow city of Sschindlyryn.

o The Demonweb: Journey to Lolth’s home plane, battle demon hordes and confront the spider goddess herself as you attempt to stop her scheme.

Ø Attain Epic levels to 25! -- Deadly battles and high-speed action continue as your advance your character to the Epic level 25!

Ø Introducing Epic Destinies -- Attain epic enhancements as you progress through levels 20-25!

Bonus Features-Free to VIPs or with purchase of Collector’s or Standard Pre-Purchase Editions

Ø The Druid Class: Wield nature’s magic or transform into a powerful animal form as you play the all new shape-shifting Druid class!

Ø Eveningstar Challenge Pack: New challenge quests for levels 15-25!

Starting today, players can take can take advantage of three special pre-purchase offers to celebrate the release of the first major expansion to DDO:

Ø Menace of the Underdark Base Edition – $29.99/£22.99/24,99€

Includes access to Adventure Packs and Epic Destinies, plus:

- Lesser Tome of Learning (1 free tome per DDO game world)- Permanently increases experience earned by a character up to level 20. Provides +25% bonus to experience for first-time quest completions and +10% boost to other earned experience points. Stacks with other experience boosts and persists through all forms of reincarnation.

- Pre-Purchase Bonus Item:

· Demonweb Spiderling Creature Companion - A tame little spider from Lolth’s domain. Includes 3 tricks and a collar. Exclusively available with pre-purchase of Menace of the Underdark!

Ø Menace of the Underdark Standard Edition – $49.99/£39.99/44,99€

Includes access to Adventures Packs, Epic Destinies, the Druid class and Eveningstar Challenge Pack plus:

- Greater Tome of Learning (1 free tome per DDO game world): Permanently increases experience earned by a character up to level 20. Provides +50% bonus to experience for first-time quest completions and +20% boost to other earned experience points. Stacks with other experience boosts and persists through all forms of reincarnation.

- 1,000 Turbine Points

- Veteran Status (lvl 4)

- DDO Classics Adventure Pack bundle (Phiarlan Carnival, Attack on Stormreach, The Path of Inspiration, The Dreaming Dark)

- Pre-Purchase Bonus Items!

o Demonweb Spiderling Creature Companion

o Druid’s Wolf Pup Creature Companion - A grey wolf pup as commonly seen accompanying young Druids. Includes 4 tricks and a collar. Exclusively available with pre-purchase of Menace of the Underdark.

o Spider Cult mask cosmetic helmet- Change your helmet appearance to a mask like the one worn by Lolth’s followers in Eberron and receive a stat bonus to character skills and poison resistance!

Ø Menace of the Underdark Collector’s Edition – $79.99/£59.99/69,99€

This limited time offer includes access to Adventures Packs, Epic Destinies, the Druid class and Eveningstar Challenge Pack plus the following items that players can begin using immediately:

– Greater Tome of Learning (1 free tome per DDO game world)

– Lesser Tome of Learning for all characters (1 free tome per character – forever)

– 2,000 Turbine Points

– Veteran Status (lvl 7)- Start a new character at level 7!

– Veteran Status (lvl 4)-Start a new character at level 4!

– DDO Classics Adventure Pack bundle

– DDO Epic Classics Adventure Pack bundle (Vault of Night, The Red Fens, Sentinels Stormreach, Devil Assault)

– Pre-Purchase Bonus Items!

o Demonweb Spiderling Creature Companion

o Druid’s Wolf Pup Creature Companion

o Elite Spider Cult mask cosmetic helmet

o Onyx Panther Cub Creature Companion - A rare dark panther cub from Faerun. Includes 4 tricks and a collar. Exclusively available with pre-purchase of Menace of the Underdark.

o Figurine of Wondrous Power: Onyx Panther - Summon this Level 20 Black Panther Hireling to assist you in Dungeon and Wilderness Adventures! (min level 18 to use)

Players will have access to all of the bonus items including the new companions, veteran status, cosmetic helmet and Figurine of Wondrous Power and Tomes of Learning immediately after purchase. Menace of the Underdark expansion itself will be available to play on June 25, 2012. These special offers will only be available for a limited time. For more information, please visit www.ddo.com/underdark.

Dungeons & Dragons Online®(DDO) is a free-to-play MMORPG featuring the industry’s best combat system, a massive world with state-of-the-art graphics and gameplay, and a rich set of features that until now could only be found in premium subscription-based MMOs. DDO offers an innovative pricing model that allows players to download and play for free, purchasing adventure packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new DDO Store, or to subscribe to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content. Players can download and play DDO Unlimited for free by visiting http://www.ddo.com.


21 February 2012

Waiter? One Pina Colada to the Hell side of Inferno of the Damned Please

Ulan was out vacationing again so that meant the rest of us were left to fend against the wicked Orchard of the Macabre ourselves. Thanks, Ulan. I should have taken out a personal ad so you would have taken me with you.

After loading up our NPC friends we decided to head to a place we hadn't visited in a month: The Inferno of the Damned. Only this time we thought we'd try it on HARD MODE!

We missed our buddy Ulan.

Awwww! we did!

It wasn't really the NPC bard's fault, it was just the instances fault. Inferno of the Damned just kind of sucked. LOL. There was a point where Ophiga got separated from the group in the "hell" dimension and Spode and I had thee HARDEST time finding her. So much so that we wiped and wasted a bunch of time. It wan't a TPK mind you, Spode had like 5 hitpoints left and was standing in a safe spot, so the rest of the group released and came back in. YES! We were finally on the same page . . . only to wipe again because Spode was low on mana and we couldn't find the shrine. OH BRUTAL AND UNFORGIVING INSTANCE!

As with all hard mode dungeons, the real pain of the instance (especially for the squishy sorcerer and the NPCs) were the traps. I swear there was a blade trap that sliced me in two about 3 or 4 times.

The insult upon the injury was that after incineration of Cinnis (you know, the end guy of this instance), Spode and I got duplicate sigil pieces and I don't think anyone walked away with a shred of tapestry.

To be honest, I have to agree with the NPC cleric here:

I too feel awful and hope this doesn't happen again . . .

On the bright side, I think we're just about done with the Orchard of the Macabre and at least Ulan doesn't have more than 10k experience or so to make up.

Cross your fingers and wish us some fun! Team Spode is looking for something awesome as we head into our final levels before the expansion hits.

Happy dueling

14 February 2012

Mentos, the Fleshmaker part duex!

Well, we did it again. Last week I was lamenting the lameness of the evening hitting The Fleshmaker’s Laboratory and the Desecrated Temple of Vol. Mostly the lameness stemmed from it seeming “too easy.” So, we hiked up our knickers (Well Spode hiked up his knickers at least) and went back in on HARD MODE this week to see if Team Spode could keep the same awesomeness about us, earn a little extra faction, and see if any good loots would drop.

The main difference between the two weeks was (as to be expected) the traps were more difficult . . . and that’s about it. I did like the challenge level though, but since Spode and I had both dinged 18, well, we might have skewed that in our favor to the tune of about -25% exp (sorry Ulan and Ophiga!)

Here's how the score card looked for Temple of Vol on Sunday:

And here's how the score card looked for Fleshmaker's on Sunday:

We got a few tapestries for the evening and a couple more sigil frame pieces, but nothing else much of value dropped for us. I did get a Locus of Vol +5 wisdom item with a “taint of evil,” but looking on the wiki tells me it’s pretty much junk loot. I had passed it on to Ulan just in case it might turn into something good. Meh. The night came at the tune of around 20,000 exp when all was said and done. Not bad. I would love to gift wrap about 50,000 exp for Ophiga and just hand it to her for valentine’s day.

We may still have a couple more game nights of the Orchard of the Macabre in store depending on if we really want to try to flag for the Abbot pre-raid or not. I don’t think any of us actually are going to be doing the raid, but flagging for pre-raids is kind of how we’ve been rolling on all of the previous expansions. Collecting the sigil pieces is kind of a pain though. We’ll see though and I don’t think Team Spode is in any hurry.

Um, I *may* be just a tad anxious because I see myself so close experience-wise to 20th level, but that’s just me.

Side note: If you're not familiar with our Happy Dueling Hour monthly podcast, please go take a listen! Although the majority of the time we talk about Wizard101, I do mention my recent adventures in DDO along with the other games we play (it's mainly just for fun and to be goofy): If you've got an hour to kill with nothing better to listen to, go check it out! :)

Happy dueling!

07 February 2012

Mentos, The Fleshmaker

Possibly the best pun in the game here in Necro IV, y'all. Jus' sayin'

Yes, Team Spode continued our romp through the Orchard of the Macabre on Sunday, and this included visiting Mentau the Fleshmaker's crazy labratory of stitched together dead body parts. FUN! And just because we were feeling frisky, we doubled up with a skip, hop, and a jump through the bargain-basement casket sale found in the Desecrated Temple of Vol.

We found these undertakers there:

Inevitables are a fun time. They're all, we're here to help you DIE. WHY WON'T YOU JUST DIE, TEAM SPODE! (Never before have I seen such pushy salesmen as the inevitable btw . . . it's like they're driven to make the sale at all costs--including the death of the customer.)

And then we had to kill these vampires:

Vampires are also a fun time. they're all, we're here to help you be UNDEAD! WHY WON'T YOU JUST BE UNDEAD, TEAM SPODE!

Given all that fun and adventure . . . I don't know why, but I found Sunday to be completely uneventful and unmemorable to be honest. I mean, when we hardly even die once and we just slaughter our way through the challenges before us with ease, it's kind of forgettable for me. Call me a glutton for punishment. Call me a ridiculous halfling with bad hair. Call me Susan. But last Sunday needed a little hard mode to make it play out more brutally for me. These two instances seemed completely different than the other two we've encountered in the Orchard of the Macabre to the tune of too easy. /shrug

Kudos to the melee and specifically Ophiga in the Desecrated Temple of Vol btw.

My kill count would have been higher, but I was too involved in trying to make the world a shinier place for all evil humans who crave the disco.

Yeah, I'm all Skrillex to them. I'd totally DJ in a club with pipes, grunginess, and flesh golems.

When I'm less concerned with making the world disco-ier, I kill more stuff, like I did in the Fleshmaker's lab:

I guess the coolest thing that came out of last night was Ophiga dinging 16! Gratz to her! That also allowed me to bump my level to 18 (keeping with our two levels difference rule). It felt pretty awesome to finally get Fire Savant three. :)

As for Team Spode's next adventures? Well, we'd like to get a few more tapestries before calling it quits here from what I'm understanding. Spode himself picked up the Minos Legens helm on Sunday, and I'm pretty sure the rest of us would like to have one just to have one. I'd personally need to find a way to shift that Charisma stat off to a ring. I wish my crafting was higher. :/

Happy dueling!

03 February 2012

DDO Update 13 Incoming!

Heya! Well, pretty much anybody who plays Dungeons & Dragons Online will already know about the upcoming Update #13, aka "Web of Chaos." It is there in the patcher after all.

This update is going to be all about setting up the big upcoming expansion and giving the players some much needed Free quests. That's good mojo for static groups like Team Spode.

"The Lords of Dust" will revisit our old buddies The Silver Flame who are now dealing with the Lords of Dust, an evil cult freaked out by the Rakshasas. Why does it always have to be Rakshasas?

Apparently the Lords of Dust are not a really cool alternative band, but instead peeps bent on freeing some demons.

"Servants of the Overlord" is going to be a romp down into Khyber to stop that nonsense.

And finally "The Spinner of Shadows" sounds to me like some kind of "kill waves of demons" type of event as you fight to hold off the release of the "Spinner of Shadows!" Nothing worse than a spun up shadow. I've played Epic Mickey . . . I know these things.

Also of cool news is that Veteran status will earn you a level 7 character instead of a level 4 character! I think that means I can delete 1/2 of my account. ;)

Gleek is pretty stoked about this new Omnispell Dust and Stone since it always feels like he never has enough bag space. Ingenious! You can use just one spell component! Omnidust is Omniawesome!

It's gonna be great, my fellow heroes of Ebberon!