29 April 2016

Devil's Gambit, Part 2 -- Orinus Retentive

Ahoy as the sky ship captains say!

My next stop off in the Devil's Gambit Adventure Pack was (after hitching a ride from Drogar Grim) from within the Hall of Heroes. There's a funny fella there by the name of Orinus Arundul, and what do we know of the Oriface, I mean, Orinus? (I'm sorry for that . . . it's just his name has to be a combination of Oriface and Anus and he sends you to the Portable Hole and SOMEBODY HAS TO POINT THIS OUT!) Orinus is a drunkard -- a dirty WIZARD drunkard, and where do dirty wizard drunkards go to practice their craft? A dirty wizard dive named The Portable Hole. Orinus sips the Dirty Kobolds and talks the oneiromancy there, just like all the other wizards.

As it turns out there was an awesome devil raid at the Portable Hole Tavern led by the one and only Arraetrikos, and Orinus lost his Transfinite Compass to him.


That there isn't your normal boy scout's compass, friends. OH NO! That compass is "Transfinite," Despite what you may be thinking (that it finds transexuals in a fast minute), it finds "Magical Items" on any of the "infinite planes." RIGHT, this could be trouble, dig?

Arraetrikos's Checklist so far?
- Planer Awl - check
- Transfinite Compass - check

Got it! So what are we going to do, adventurers? GO GET A DIRTY DEVIL AT THE PORTABLE HOLE TAVERN!  (Is that a drink?  A dirty devil?)

Boom! We're at the tavern. Boom! We gotta act fast! Boom!

Step 1: Slowly prepare ourselves in our personal protected room . . . take your time.

Step 2: Slowly chat it up with Wavelend Tharmus and convince him to drop the barrier to the protected room and oh by the way, he dropped pages to a divination instruction manual in there that really give the deets on Transfinite Compass use.  How convenient for Arraetrikos . . . you wizards really need to up your game, you know that?

Step 3: Rescue four wizards that have been given the smack down by the devils. Which four wizards?

 - Irydn Wendvine, Top Left room . . . she's ms. "I'll do what I can to bring the barrier down. Attack the tiefling the second it falls!"

 - Hasud, Top Right room . . . he's mr. "I will attempt to negate the Tiefling's protective enchantment - but I may need assistance"

- Xanmar Kuth, Bottom Left room . . . he's mr. "I'll try to bring down the Tiefling's magic barrier - but I'll need some help!"

- Granix the Younger, Bottom Right room . . . he's mr. "Very well, I will try to bring down the barrier. When it falls, attack the Tiefling!"

(one wizard, face down, in the center of each sheltered room . . . what is this wizardry? It's like a grand designer in the sky planned this out perfectly for us. weeeeeird.)

Sub-step 3a: Beat up all the devils. ALL THE DEVILS! in ALL THE ROOMS! and in ALL THE STAIRWAYS!"

Sub-step 3b: Look for sparklies on the ground, those are the instruction manual pages. PAPER SPARKLES 'R' GOOD!

Sub-step 3c: Enjoy some light DM-esque conversation from Arraetrikos while you partake in the devil killings.

Dialog-y bit one: "Too late!" thunders Arraetrikos. "The Transfinite Compass is already mine. All that remains is for Fortis here to demolish this tawdry little tavern while I return to Shavarath."

Dialog-y bit two "Fortis - use the Codex page I gave you. That will give you the arcane energy you need to collapse the pocket dimension." With that, the Devil Leader disappears through a portal.

Dialog-y bit three "Yes! I can feel the power!" shouts the Tiefling "I'll snap the spells holding this place together like twigs!"

Dialog-y bit four "Huh. This is harder than it looks! Need to concentrate . . . and that means no distractions!" A magical barrier envelops the Tiefling, protecting him while he works to destroy the Portable Hole's enchantments.

Step 4: Get yourself a Dirty Tiefling! (Is that also a drink?  Is there only a Dirty Kobold? Is there no Dirty Devil?) Yup, that dirty tiefling would be Fortis. He needs several punches.

Step 5: Admire Fortis's rockstar pose when he gets down to half life. *whistles*

(. . . he's all "Shut up, I'm amazing.")

Step 6: Hello more devils!

Step 7: Think to yourself, "OH DANG! This went super fast, did I break all the crates?"

Step 8: Might as well break all the crates and just drag the devils around with you.

Step 9: Finish Fortis off when he drops his rock pose.

Step 10: Profit. Good luck there's more cool "Devil's Handiwork" gear here.

Step 11: Whoa did I just get tons of scrolls?

Guess that makes sense since I'm looting a chest at the Portable Hole?

Step 12: Return to Orinus and give him the bad news about the compass.  He's super disappointed in you . . . enough to give you some free loot! (ok ok, you did save his favorite tavern.)

and there you go . . . that's the end of the Portable Hole quest aka Tavern Brawl.


What did I think? Not bad! It's short! Short can be good, I mean just look at Haflings, right?

There's not much running around . . . it's an easy 1-2k xp or whatever and an easy chest. I'd ransack that.

Until next time . . .

Happy Dueling!

27 April 2016

Devil's Gambit, Part 1 -- But vhat is ze volf's name?

For me, my journey into the Devil's Gambit all began with a conversation with Mogar Drim. See, Mogar is part of a group of Gatekeepers. What are Gatekeepers? Druids! Druids that are trying to keep Eberron safe from Evil Outsiders!

Don't mind that Drim is a Half-Orc, he's as sexy as they come for a druid. He'll even teleport you to the Hall of Heroes for absolutely free, although, he jokes that he's not a taxi service.  I'm sure for many people, that's exactly what he is.

Anyway, Drim tells you about Devils swarming the Gatekeeper's Hostel.  Apparently, they're hot for a Planar Awl and the Gatekeepers have one . . . OH MY GOSH! AN AWL! YOU MUST THINK YOU AWWLLLL THAT! Though Drim doesn't think the devils can even use it properly.

Whoa whoa whoa . . . what the devil is a Planer Awl? Yeah, it's a device that creates holes to the planes so you can travel through time and space, well maybe just space, like a freaking boss. Guess we better check this out, right?


Well, confound it all, Drim should have worried a bit more about the competence of Devils. As it turns out Arraetrikos (ye' old Raid Boss of DDO past) snagged the Planer Awl, totally wrecked the druids in their hostel, and summoned up a bunch of EVIL OUTSIDER buddies to turn this harbor shack turned hippy commune into a hippy commune turned rave party.

Yup! That's where we come in adventurers! It's time for . . . OPERATION SAVE THE DRUIDS AND KILL ALL THE STUFF!

Step 1: Clear out all the devils and the boss on your way to help out everybody's favorite Dire Bear, Barrett.

Step 2: Chill out the animals in the secret mini-zoo.

Step 3: Have Barrett help you smash down a gate that you can't get through.

Step 4: Find everybody's favorite giant rat, Grim. (Hello traps!)

Step 5: Have Barrett once again smash down a gate that you can't get through.

Step 6: Hello cultists!

Step 7: Find the wolf named Volf and admire his prowess. (Clearly a German wrote this quest . . . virst ve vind ze Bear named Barrett, zend ve vind ze rat named Grim, and zend ve vind ze volf, but vhat is ze volf's name? It's Volf you idiot! VOLF!")

Step 8: Hello Cultists!

Step 9: Make your way to the most amazing hidden grove in all of Stormreach.  (How did they sneak a grove in here?  That just doesn't seem possible.)

Step 10: Kill the crazy cleric Molnm and trim his bush . . . es. He kept rambling something about "With the power of my Codex page, and the strength of the Keeper, this place shall fall!" -- Not cool, Molnm.

Step 11: If you're lucky, loot your Laurel Helix.

Step 12: Get on back to Mogar Drim and receive your gift from the druids! YEEHAW!

Boom . . . you're done.


So what'd I think about all that fun and nonsense? I tells ya I liked it!  Why?!

bullet point -- Grim and Barrett? LOL!
bullet point -- Medium length instances are the best for my busy schedule.
bullet point -- Dire Bears breaking down doors reminds me of the police breaking down doors and when police be breaking down doors, PEOPLE GOIN' TO JAIL SON!
bullet point -- LAUREL HELIX!


All in all I give it 10/10, better than going to see Batman vs. Superman.

Thank you . . .

Happy Dueling!

26 April 2016

Devils, Mindflayers, Beholders . . . and whatever this is . . .

Hello fine denizens of Stormreach! How the heck are you today?

Doing good?


As promised by the title . . . I've got a plethora of amazing screenshots from the past couple of days to share with you today.

We've got DEVILS!

Oh so many Devils!  So, the Devil's Gambit Adventure pack is one that I completely skipped last time I was playing DDO.  Actually, I don't even think it was available when Team Spode was playing DDO.


Yup, verified . . . this here is 2015 content. Nice!  I should go back through the four adventures and really give this a good review then, shouldn't I?  I will do that . . . for now . . . just know that I enjoyed the devil slaying very much and took a few great pictures while I was at it.

. . . on to the MIND FLAYERS . . .

Well, at least the only Mind Flayer that really counts in my mind (aside from Fred). I love that picture of Yaulthoon.  It looks like he's really feeling the Psionics there as I put my targeting circle right on his armpit.

BTW, bonus points for anyone that can tell me how to remove that targeting circle while taking screenshots.

Anyway, as evidenced from this screenshot, I finished up the quest, In the Flesh, and I had an amazing time doing it if I do say so myself (shhh, bonus screenshot at the end of this post)

. . . on to the BEHOLDERS . . .

And not just any Beholder, that's Dead Pykzyl.  I guess that technically makes him a Doomsphere, but hey . . . a beholder is a beholder to The Friendly Necromancer. eh?

I was just happy to snag some extra loot and exp, and survive. Especially with that scary warning that this is an extreme encounter tuned for a balanced group when you're in there solo.


. . . on to WHATEVER THIS IS . . .

Seriously, I'm sorry for that, but when I found that in my screenshot folder, I just jumped for joy. Apparently that's an Orthon.  It's a new kind of Devil, uh, Evil Outsider, uh, Lawful Evil type of monster that's packed into Devil's Gambit pack.

I was playing dentist.

Unfortunately for him it was a very cruel dentist that needed to defeat him and take those pearly whites as treasure.

Yup, it's decided . . . I need to give a full review on The Devil's Gambit.  That picture sealed the deal.

Speaking of cool pictures from The Devil's Gambit . . . how about this shot of House Cannith at night during the Multitude of Menance quest?

That's a good bonus.  I always love when I can look up and admire a night sky.  Thanks, Turbine!

OK, and here's bonus screenshot dos . . .

Oh man, I missed that Fashion Show so much.  I had completely forgotten about it, and . . . 10/10 fashions there.


Well, thanks for joining for this quick screenshot sharing post.  I'm sitting at level 14 in game and rising. I hope to have more posts and fun for you soon.

until then . . .

Happy Dueling.

19 April 2016

Been Missing Missing.

Hey all!  Have you missed me the past couple of days?

Yeah, I didn't think you had, but that's cool. I found what I was missing, and it was the quest, Missing!

But before we talk about that . . . I've had this crazy idea rolling around in the my head the past week that I want to stream some DDO, but I haven't made that a reality yet.  At the time I was (and still am) level 13 and decided to start trekking through ye' old Ruins of Gianthold.  I'd load up OBS to preview my stream, get super crazy, and wreck the place up without breaking much of a sweat smashing giants left and right in the wilderness area -- and be out of time while still testing if I liked what I was seeing on the screen.  (I promise I'll get to the point with this soon because I realize this has nothing to do with the Missing quest.)

The timing never seemed right for DDO streaming, and I dunno . . . it was just all so purple.  If you know Gianthold, you'll know what I'm talking about. Aside from that I found a super cool beholder gif that I was also sticking over the top of my head in the stream preview and listening to funk music . . . and the idea came to me that this could be my shtick.  #DDO funk hour with Stingite.

It's solid, and who doesn't love funk music and DDO, amiright?

I even downloaded a voice changer so I could sound more evil, like a beholder. I may or may not use that.

Anyway, still . . . time was not right, and I just couldn't bring myself to stream just yet.  I'm a soloing noob in game, and I don't even know if people want to watch that kind of a trainwreck . . . and before you know it, people will be asking to look at my gear and my stats and then it's like . . . gah . . . do I even want to stream?

ANYWAY, the beholder-on-my-head-gif got me craving some beholder killing, and I remembered how much I dug the whole Harbinger of Madness quest line.  I looked it up, and it's level 15.  I'm level 13, so I figured I could tackle it on normal mode, and that I did!

So, I've run the Missing quest about four times now, and I dig it more each time I do it.  It's just so gosh darn creepy.  An order form for a dozen kids and a suite of cages? Cripes.  That's the stuff of nightmares - and this is especially emphasized by how the game gets all black and white and freaky during those moments of insanity.

Also creepy?  The taken.

See, now this is what I love about DDO.  Weird, strange creatures.  And this quest is chock full of evil outsiders that are just weird and scary. You're not playing some kill 10 rats quest here (although, you can actually find a few rats in this quest -- also awesome).

Can I just say how much I love making the Taken look like beautiful ice sculptures?

And those Xorian Renders as well . . . that's one beautiful Ice Sculpture.

Anyway, much to my delight, the final boss in this instance is a guy whose head looks like a beholder . . . and I'm like . . . that's totally me on my future DDO stream.  The guy with a beholder on his head. It's fate.

The beholder eventually loses his really really bad disguise and it's a beat down for the ages amongst the cages.


. . . now THAT scratched the DDO itch.

I may still go back to Gianthold and kill a few more things in the land of eternal purple, but . . . there's also this.

OH YEAH, and I totally scored the Turbulent Epee!  Um, I can't use it until I ding 14, but still . . . that's one of the two pieces of epic loot from the instance, so I'm happy with that.

and speaking of happy . . .

Happy Dueling!

11 April 2016

Spooky Ghost Mans vs. Kooky Monkey Mans

YO! How's the party people doing?

So . . . I'm all evil looking now, floating around in a T-pose like I'm some kind of spooky half man / half undead.

And that picture pretty much sums up what I've been doing. After dinging 12, I decided to take the much needed Cannith break to trade in my old gear for new gear. I made my big list before ever stepping in to a Cannith mission of exactly what I needed and struck through them as I accomplished each.

600 mephit wings
800 scorps
400 coins
400 crude talismans
200 manuscripts
200 arrowheads

WOOT! All my gear has been upgraded now, and I'm doing great. I have been kind of eyeing the Elemental rapier of air, however . . . that'd be 400 scorps, 400 mephit, and 400 talisman . . . ugh, maybe later.

For now there's baby dragons to be slain!

I had the gumption to try and solo the black dragon that spawned afterward. Um, without using the rest shrine even! Yeah. Well that didn't work out for me, but at least I got some xp for the mission.

Outside of that, I've been feeling like taking down a few more wilderness areas! I'm currently hanging out in Ataraxia's Haven looking to shake down some evolutionary science . . . GETTIN' JIGGY WITH THE PRIMITIVES!

Is it just me or are their clothes super awesome? Monkey mans are one of my favorite mobs in DDO.

I'd wear that . . . or at least admire you as I kill you because I like your fashion sense. Wait a second, I'm sounding like necromancer over here.

After I do the Ataraxia thing, I'll probably hop over to my old hunting grounds of Gianthold. I loved that spot! It's been a lot of fun re-familiarizing myself with all the old haunts. Good times.

Happy Dueling

07 April 2016

DDO -- The Lava Caves: Colossal Crystals Walk Through


Well, my good DDO buddy (and favorite Twitter cheerleader), Mari from The Thieves Guild on Argo, requested a walk through of a few Cannith missions . . . so here is the first of possibly many?

If you don't see annotations along with the video, try heading over to YouTube to see it here.

. . . if only I had a full crew of six people to back me up and who also knew this instance! I dare say 5-stars would be a possibility then. ;)

I mostly solo these and shoot for 1-2 stars . . . 3 stars if I get lucky. :)


Happy Dueling

05 April 2016

Late but still writing in the present "Tenth" -- CONGRATS DDO!


DDO TURNED 10 YEARS OLD! (yup, old news)


Thanks, Turbine! (And if I didn't want the xp, there were a ton of old school iconic gear items I could have chosen from . . . all pretty amazing . . . these weren't cheap gifts.)

Not only that, I also got the opportunity to undertake an amazing quest so full of meta and inside jokes that any old fan will find something to entertain them. Behold the Anniversary Party quest splash screen.

What better iconic creature to represent DDO than the ever lovable Kobold? I remember asking a friend of mine why she stopped playing DDO, and she said (and I'm paraphrasing despite using quotes), "Well, after a while all it felt like I was killing was kobolds--it was like it should just be named Kobold Hunter instead of Dungeons and Dragons." OUCH! Obviously she didn't make it past Waterworks. But, given that, I frickin' love kobolds, so it's no problem for me, and they're full of funny banter as always in the Anniversary Party quest.

There's also things like this . . .

What party would be complete without an appearance from Coyle Lovell face down on the ground?

In fact the whole thing centers around Jeets . . . you know the halfling rogue from the tutorial quest? (Well, and a handful of other appearances in game.)

He's taken to calling himself an Overlord and made a horrible decision to be the king of the Kobolds all because (. . . seriously, did some people on the DDO forums try to ship Malicia and Jeets? Is this some kind of weird inside joke? It smacks of it lol) he's got a thing for Malicia the Succubus, another iconic NPC/Boss from a handful of quests like Under the Big Top. If you don't know who she is . . . just think succubus in a top hat and fishnets, and you'll be getting the picture.

Anyway, by the end of the instance you're inside Jeet's head, helping him shake off the bad thoughts.


And to get the full five stars on this particular anniversary quest, you'll also be taking out a handful of devs in their various game forms. Cordovan? Severlin? Steelstar? Vargouille? ALL DEVS SHALL FALL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF THE PLAYERS!

If you'd like to read more about it, definitely check out the wiki page. It'll point you in the right direction. Just make sure you do these quests before April 17th, 2016. It's all going away soon. Make it so!

As for my own personal feelings about the event? Well, first, I liked it. I had a lot of fun, and I forsee me running this quest a few more times before it goes away. It's good. The rewards are cool, and I dig it. I really think they did a great job with it. You can tell Turbine wanted to make this special, and they did! The hard work was noticed and the care given to those who've played the game a long time was shown. From my point of view, this was perfect.

Now, it did feel very meta and full of inside jokes as I said earlier, but that's TOTALLY FINE! It's a 10 year anniversary--meta that thing up! AMIRITE?!

Thanks Turbine for letting me join in this celebration, and I think it was done extremely well.

Happy Dueling.

03 April 2016

Death Aura -- Don't Leave Stormreach Without It!

I just wanted to give a huge virtual high five to "frimless" who left a comment on my "welcome back" / "I'm a necro now" post!

"Lesser Death Aura does a pretty good job of healing you up (and your skeleton too). I still miss the days when it lasted a bit longer... You can buy potions of Inflict harm at the Portable Hole & maybe somewhere else. But yes, there were a couple of times when I was lying on the floor with -5 hit points that I really wished there was another mage around with the death aura active. I think a party of necromancers with skeletons and summons would rock. - Frimless"

That's the key I was missing. DEATH AURA. And to make things even sexier, Lesser Death Aura stacks with Death Aura. I've been having a blast running around with my amazing heal-over-time while in vampire mode and smacking things to death as a necromancer.

HE'S GONNA BE SINGING AN OCTAVE HIGHER! *sings* "Pelvic punch man!" I was having so much fun punching things with my handwraps, that I started to feel like I wanted to take a level of monk. (Oh wait, there's that whole "lawful" alignment thing . . . um, maybe fighter?)

As I get deeper into the skill trees, I'm getting more and more excited about this necromancer. I'm level 11 now, and things just seem to crumble. So much more fun with that death aura / vampire combo running.

Anyway, I'm level 11 now. On my way here I've conquered the usual fare of foes . . . like beholders in need of a little trim off the top . . .

Yup, I did the whole Vault of Night / Laughing Knives suite of quests as well as headed over to the Red Fens and conquered the ziggurat . . . inside and out. There are some amazing screenshot moments in this quest series btw. Here's a few I snapped that I felt were worthy of a share (click on these to enlarge):

PRETTY! (Also deadly . . . I didn't survive that pit)

Also, remember last post where I was going off on how hilarious the kobolds were with their one-liners. Yeah, the Blessed Drow Scorpions just don't pack the same punch with their one-liners.


Anyway, I've ventured into the Menechtarun Desert for the time being and hope to grab more stellar screenshots while there . . . like this one I snapped earlier today! Check it out:

Now that's worth the price of admission. Am I right? Did I mention how much I love snapping screenies in DDO?

Happy Dueling!