Falling so Hard

So one of my big fears of playing the Arty class is coming true. I am falling for it fairly hard. I am already thinking of doing a major juggle and switching guys in to different kinds of Arties. I was telling a guildie the other day (think it was Phlor) that they are the most complex class I have ever played. It takes so much concentration to make them sing.

The thing is even with all the things I love about them and I truly love to play this life, I feel I am busy doing all the cool thing and not really watching what I am doing. And that is leading to play error deaths. For example think I died 3 times in Tide Turns last night. WFT? Twice while getting the traps and once clearing the last room. Cleared everything but the water Ellies, while Fopo on his Pally life dropped the boss. Went to get them and took 6 shots from Frost Lance. As I had died earlier I lost my ship resistances and had so much else going on I forgot to cast them on myself so my 2 points of cold resistance from the ranger life stopped 12 points of the 204+ points of damage. Just a lot of things to keep track of over a normal caster.

I want to do a little break down, mainly for myself but you might dig it.

Casting: They have some really good spells, unfortunately they cap out at 6th level. Right now at level 9, I have three slots for direct damage spells. Static Shock, Lightning Sphere and Blast Rod. As I said they are very good. I really love Lightning Sphere to the point I even keep a copy of it unmetaed just for breaking things. Did you know its damage works through walls and stuff? So all those low level quests with 4+ breakables behind a gate can be broken with out having to stop to open things. Making racking up a ransack bonus a ton faster, and it is way nicer to make concentration check for a spell if a million little mobs are hitting for 1 or 2 points of damage vs trying to open a door/valve and being stopped every time you take 1+ point of damage. They are also loaded up with indirect damage spells, with the weapon buffs and haste like armor buff. Think I will be swapping to Lighting motes and carrying Haste scrolls however, as Armor of Speed doesn’t counter slow and at these levels the mobs spam me with that spell.

Wands: Boy howdy. Okay this is really the Artificer Knowledge feats in action but I most notice it with wands. Vendor shield, resistance (when I remember to use them), Fox cunning and other stat boosting wands are all golden. I even have been using a web wand to good effect. And I need to remember to nab an ice storm wand or two. I have the feeling that they will rock.

Melee: Okay this is a lot different now that I am level 9 and swapped out my claw set. I still do 20-30 normal numbers in the first melee slot. But I almost always hit even with power attack on thanks to Insightful Strikes but the trail of other numbers is almost sick at this level, right now I have a Icy burst, Lighting burst of Pure good scimitar from level 4 that I am still using because of this trail of numbers. Base + icy+shock+ good+ rune arm + weapon buff. Most swings of 18+ crit for icy and shock burst effects. That is a fairly impressive list of numbers. I have taken to using a race required paralyzing Sword with Icy burst and still the string of numbers is impressive.

Ranged: To be honest I don’t do a ton of ranged combat this live other then the rune arm. But I made a quick shock of pure good heavy repeater just to have around in case. And I have to say once boosted with Insightful Strikes and acid damage and using the auto reload clickly plus a rune arm the ranged damage is very nice. Did the Pit on Elite last night and I was able to stand up top during the end fight and let Fopo run around and get the mobs and it was very nice.

Pets: So the dog has issues. Mostly with weird bugs. Like if I go below decks on my guild ship I have to leave the boat for the dog to reappear, as well as how the dogs can’t use guild slotted items, or when it just decides to lock up and you have to dismiss it and re-summon it to make it do anything again. There are plenty of none bug related issues like how there is only a weapon and armor slot. They are dogs hello! No dog collar. /shakes head. And once you make a module and out grow it you can sell it or break it down for mats because there are no way to recycle that module as a new module. Oh other pets, have you seen the Flame Turret? Would like to see an something like an auto ballista or a catapult for say boss fights at cap but the flame turret is fun at level so far.

Any way thinks I am doing with my arty that is working and not in the coming days.

Lots of Hate

One of the worries I have/had leveling Samyus (if you don’t remember he is now my AC tank) is having enough Dps/hate to keep agro with out having to spam the Intim button. My first attempt to tank once hitting 20 was a normal tod, where I got to play the Sully tank. And it went very well. Think I did a run down a few days back, even. But there was an arty to make my Sword (eFang) good aligned (Slotting it with good is next on my to do list. I swear) and even though I spammed the intim button I didn’t think holding agro was an issue, but of course that was with arty help. However, on Saturday I got to tank Sully in Tod again. Once again lead by Tobril. But this time he didn’t get an arty, I felt a little hosed….

Lets skip to level two of this run down. We all get started on the boss, the kiter takes off and life it good for 30- 40 secs. When the kiter goes down. Tobril yells for the back up kiter to go and to make with the mass cures until the new kiter gets the shadows off us. Not sure what happened with the healing. There were 3 people with divine symbols and a bard. I know that what your icon is doesn’t mean a lot but come on you can heal some, right?

Anyway, half the part wipes. Let alive is the kiter, Tobril, myself and two of the three healers and I think the bard. Shadows are hitting me for about 103 a tick. At this rate I am dead real soon. But I drink a pot and swing, swing swing, pot and repeat. Meanwhile I am telling the healers to get it together, and through a mass or two. I am down to 110 hp when I finally get a heal and then people start getting raised, and a recovery happened. Think the bard was paying attention and ended up saving us. But were close to taking a ride on the fail train.

Mean while I noticed that I had taken agro of the main boss from Tobril. Kinda surprising as I know he is mostly geared out. But I don’t think he was trying to hold agro over trying to stay alive. My hate on the other hand just happens. My efang is fully powered with the dragon marks and being in stance makes a lot of hate, so other then swapping to a smaller sword (and lowering my AC in the process) there is not a lot I can do to lower my hate. And I really didn’t want to lower my AC just then.

Moving on to part three, I was worried that with out a good I would loose agro against some of the barbs and other fighters in the raid. So I kept power attack on with the bard buffs I want to say my AC was again in the 86 range. So I was good with that. This time I watched a lot closer to when I was getting heals and whatnot. Looking for how well my AC is working and instead of hitting the intimidate button for the extra hate, I let it roll waiting until I needed to intim to regain the agro if I lost it.

On the healing, I never had more then 100 points of damage when a heal was cast. Most of the time I was in the 20-30 points of damage range. Never missed the extra 5 ac from combat expertise. So Ac is working well enough for normals well enough.

As for Hate/Agro I never needed to Intim, even with my yellow numbers. Didn’t need to swap into my Swashbuckler for the extra double strike. Don’t remember seeing a Disintegration proc. So all in all hate was working. And am very pleased with how easy someone can build an Ac tank. Yes I gathered a few epic items, the sword and the Cavalry Plate, nothing super hard to get.

Need to do some testing against Tobril soon and I want to finishing slotting a few little things (Good on the sword at least, would like to slot Dex on my slayer ring).But I don’t want to go nuts before the new pack hits. I think there might be some real winners coming with the level cap raise.

GenCon 101:

I have had a few questions for how to handle a first trip to Gencon. So here is my advice in a nut shell.

1, Listen to this ep of the CtH, DDO Cocktail Hour Episode 21, Gen Con Indy 2010

End of list. 🙂

If you don’t want to listen to a whole show to get the over all scope I will try and knock out a quick list for you.

1, Stay busy. But not super every hour of the day is planed, busy.

2, Try not to do more then 6-8 hours in a row with out a break. If you wouldn’t work for that long with out a break why would you try and game like that?

3, Have snacks handy. Con food is pricy, and the lines are long. Sometimes a quick snack is just the ticket.

4, Same as above for drinks. There are normally water containers for “free” (you all ready paid) ice water. Have a bottle you can fill from time to time.

5, Stop to eat, sleep and SHOWER. You will already be a stinky geek. But try and help yourself out and be less stinky.

6, Have cash/budget. There will be stuff you want to buy. Be careful not to break the bank. Have a budget either in cash (can’t spend what you don’t have) or a mental amount. What ever you have planed add in an extra 20-30 % for didn’t plan to play this items…

7, Dress right. Walking shoes, light dress and have a pack with a hoodie. (some rooms will be cool others will me quite hot.)

Think those are the main things. If you have other thoughts for the con newbs use the comments.

Tank at Work

So Wednesday night between Epic runs Tobril and I ran a ToD. He on his tank and me on mine. And it was a blast. This is how it went down.

Before we start we had one divine, a bard an an arty for heals. So more then enough if everyone has their B or better game on. But that was not how we started. We started with Lolz.

Part One, Tobril took wings and everyone else was on the Jailer. However he was in a throwing mood and for a while it was get to him or have him port to me and then work my way to the angels and get thrown again. We lost one or two squishy people to getting thrown into spikes. But once the Jailer died the judge went down fairly quick as everyone was full on dps at that point.

Part Two, I am not 100% sure what happened as just as we were wrapping up the Judge my battery back up started going full on nuts beeping and squealing to no end. As the modem as well as the wife’s computer both use it, a swap must be handled carefully. So she shutdown her computer and I logged out of game as soon as possible with out hurting the party and after looting my chests. 🙂

As soon as everything is off we swap things and plug things in to different places and get back in game. I get logged in and started running to part two as things started going poorly. People started to die. And then it was me standing outside the door to part two and a room full of shadows and a boss at 8%…. Thats okay. Think we will try again.

This time part one and two go much smoother. No deaths and all fights are a lot more under control.

So I get to play tank for real.

Right before I started to worry a little as I didn’t have another Dex item to swap into when booting up. But I bought some cats grace pots and had the Yugo pots when the AH didn’t have a +6 ring for sell. Thankfully after drinking up, my AC stayed the same.

Tobril took Horoith and I got Sulo. Don’t know how much damage I took from Sulo but it didn’t feel like a lot. I was always full or mostly full in the Hp department. My hate was in good form. Having some of the hardest hitters I know about going full on dps mode vs my AC mode and I was able to keep the agro so that felt good.

Sulo was dead with 30+ sec left on the only haste that was cast. And the Arcane was trying to get a fresh one cast when we defeated Horoth. So there was much Dps. 🙂

As for rings I got a Gnawed ring, not the Cinder’s I am hunting; but a fair swap ring until I pick one up. And a good ring for “I NEED MORE AMP” over Ac ring for later.

Epic Tuesday is Dead, Long Live Epic Wednesday

For the last few weeks Tobril and I have been talking about moving Epic night to another night. For a few reasons, but the mainlyTuesdays never really work all the well for him/the guild.

The night started off well. As soon as I logged on Oncler asks me to join a eDQ. The run goes fairly smooth in my opinion. But as a bard (Butterz is my main Epic person with Samius in TR land) I didn’t drink any pots to heal. I just used what I had when I felt I needed to and meleed most of the time. There were a few shards and whatnot in the box for people but nothing but a much needed token for me.

There was talk of more raids but I need seals and a shard to round out Samyus’ gear in the short term. So we broke off and picked up Phlor and did the normal epic runs for seals and shards.

Snitch and Tide Turns went fairly quickly for three people. Picked up a scroll in each. A Big Top and a Edge. No seals or shards. 😦

After Tobril wanted to Tod. What the hell I said. And swapped to Samyus. Tobril had me tank Sulo. I will tell the Tod story later maybe as a bonus for today, idk… But I had lots of fun and lets leave it at that for now.

I know we switched to our FvSs at that point and did Snitch again. That run was very funny. In the first room right off the bat Tobril got Greater Commanded. While I took a Comet Fall and got knocked down. When I stood up, I triggered a symbol of stunning and rolled a 1. And was stunned to death. With me dead all the mobs turned on Tobril who was still laying down. When he stood up a comet fall finished him off also. Restart, This time with Magic Circle.

Take two goes super smooth, at least until the chest monster. When we both broke our smiting weapons against its head. I had my not as good back up of a holy smiting maul for Shroud portals and ground the last little bit out. And right be for Crateous we killed a rat with an Vest scroll with my name on it. Yep, it was a three scroll night. And they were all good/useable. 🙂

Wrap up in good order and we both get seals, but for the Wand and not the Great axe, aka why I keep running this quest.

So over all it was a super good night. I got to hang with both Tobril and Phlor. Got some good scrolls, and the wife was very happy all night playing the Beta. Btw I don’t know what I can say about things I saw over her shoulder. But I can say she was very pleased with things and what I saw looked very cool.

Maybe I will read the NDA and see what I can say for those of you that can’t check it out yourself.

Starting FvS Build using Vet Status 2

Phlor has been thinking about branching out of Paladin as his “only” class. It took a lot of convincing but now he is splashing for evasion on some builds and seems to really like it. And now he is thinking about a “healer” class. I have talked him in to doing a test run before he Trs his main. I am afraid that he might hit a tough spot while leveling and bolt. But if it is just a throw away alt then I think that is less likely. And I think that if you don’t see the core ideas behind a class in the first 7 levels then you have deeper problems.

Anyway thinking about my own play experience and thinking back to when I was first leveling the different divine classes (play styles) the one that was the fastest/funnest to level was Javabot as the WF FvS. And while I still have 4 or 5 capped divines, Java gets pulled for many tasks. For example over the last few days my wife as decided to cap out her main so she can TR. It has fallen to Java to help her through the quests she has left to finish this life.

With all that in mind I give you (first 7 levels) my idea of a simple WF FvS. Btw it looks like almost everyone’s first life WF FvS…

Level 7 Warforged Favored Soul – alignment something good at least until standing umb is 20+
Hit Points: 160
Spell Points: 527
BAB: 5510
Fortitude: 10
Reflex: 5
Will: 4

Starting Stats, 32 Points
Strength – 17
Dexterity – 8
Constitution – 18
Intelligence – 1
Wisdom – 6
Charisma – 12

Tomes Used
+2 Tome of everything at level 7

Skills
Concentration full ranks.
And one other I like Intimidate or Use Magic Device. With a Tomes early or with a lesser after eating a +3 tome you could lose a point or 3 from Concentration to get two cross class skills maxed.

Feats
Level 1
Feat: (Diety) Favored by the Lord of Blades
Feat: (Selected) Power Attack

Level 3
Feat: (Selected) Toughness

Level 5
Feat: (Favored Soul Bonus) Energy Resistance: Electricity

Level 6
Feat: (Selected) Maximize Spell

Level 7
Enhancement: Favored Soul Damage Boost I
Enhancement: Favored Soul Damage Boost II
Enhancement: Bladesworn Transformation
Enhancement: Racial Toughness I
Enhancement: Racial Toughness II
Enhancement: Favored Soul Prayer of Life I
Enhancement: Favored Soul Prayer of Incredible Life I
Enhancement: Favored Soul Smiting I
Enhancement: Favored Soul Smiting II
Enhancement: Favored Soul Life Magic I
Enhancement: Favored Soul Life Magic II
Enhancement: Favored Soul Toughness I
Enhancement: Favored Soul Toughness II
Enhancement: Warforged Constitution I
Enhancement: Warforged Healer’s Friend I
Enhancement: Warforged Power Attack I

If you have a Question you want me to answer, you can use the comments, send a PM in game or here, or email me @ samius@ddococktailhour.com