As I Predicted

Last night went down more or less as predicted. I was slightly off on how much xp I still needed to cap out. End of rank 95 is cap not hitting 95. So I needed a little more xp then that. A few IQ runs with Tobril, a failed solo run (which I will blame on Mabar lag, and not on my own miss play allowing the dungeon to red skull) and a quick pass through the Vale and a few stops in Shaverath.

I had time to work in a few encounters with the ghost dragon, both times my group won. And I got one scale but I kept hearing about people claiming to have gotten a few per run. But after a little bit of farming I don’t think that the hold up will be scales but motes…. I drank a Drought of night (not easy to find btw) and did a little solo farming in the 16-20 zone. Think I got about 1k in that hour. The wife did 2 hours of farming and got a lot more then I did per hour. I will have to do better to night.

I need to come up with a want list and an order of importance queue so I can form a plan for what I “need” to farm and what to buy when I start to run out of time.

So lets look at the important person first Samius:
Wants:
Lvl 24 Robe and maybe cloak.
Have:
Lvl 20 robe, cloak, lvl 8 wraps

Plan…. Maybe level the cloak up from 20 to 24. Looking at my caster past lives I mostly used the Reaver napkin, Mantle or wretched twilight. And with Epic GH on the way I am hoping that the Napkin becomes wearable post 20. The robe I can see being used a lot post 20 if I go PM. Enough that I want one at 20 and the bigger one at 24, so new robe is on the list.

Samyus:
Haves: Nothing
Wants: ??? maybe the cloak. 10/good dr is nice the purple set he is wearing now has 5/- so a boost but I see the Adamantine Cloak of the Bear being better over all so I don’t think I am going to bother.

Java:
Haves: Not real sure.
Wants: As he is about to TR into a druid, I want to be sure he has a nightshield clickly before the event is done. But other then that he is good.

400:
Haves: Docent lvl 20
Wants: Wouldn’t suck to have a lvl 24 robe as he did do the race change thing and no longer has the option to use the docent. But he is ½ locked in to the spidersilk robes for now. But I think I will try and make him a 24 robe.

Darth Samius:
Haves: None
Wants: The FR challenge cloaks are just better for my melees and I am leaning towards making him an epic Roc Cape anyway, so nothing for him.

Samiusjr:
Haves: None
Wants: Again the NightShield clicky wouldn’t suck. And I have ½ a plan to TR him either back in to a monk or more likely in to my bowonk build. If I don’t make him some wraps I will kick myself for not making them. If I do I wont end up playing him. That is how I roll.

I can’t think of anything any of the other “main” alts would want really and they just don’t get the play that the above get or would get.

Samiusbot, some day Arty doesn’t need much more then what he has. Butters, the nature of her build makes her gear light. And any of my divines don’t really need the Mabar gear.

So it looks like 1 or 2 level 24 robes for the PMs, an upgrade on Samius’ cloak and a couple of lvl 8 robes for the clickly. And if I happen to have the time; a set of the wraps 20 or level 24 whatever I can afford..

Have you made a list yet, or are you just farming now and will sort it out later?

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The End is in Reach

Even with the our ups and downs last night which I will get into some, I can say the end for this life is clearly in reach. Last night I logged off about 60k from cap. If all else fails I can solo that with a vale/shaverath explorer run and a few runs of “Raiding the Giant’s Vault”. So I can easily finish up to night right on schedule. If Mabar fires up today or tomorrow, then I can take the next few days farming that and be ready to TR when I get back from a business trip that will keep me out of town most of next week.

So this last pre completionist life is all but done.

Lets jump into last night’s story a little bit. I log in a little later then normal but I took the time to eat so I would need to stop for a dinner break. Tobril normally has plans on Monday nights and I wanted to maximize the xp we could earn in with his normally short playtime. Turns out that he is online and waiting for me; the little turd played hooky from work and didn’t tell me.

We buff up and decide to hit the IQ. On the way it dawns on me that Tobril made a comment about liking to run that first silver flame quest on the path to FR. So I bring it up and we run it real fast.

Then we hit IQ. Let me first say now that Sam has the human thing in the monster manual I can see their hps. And on elite I became degusted with the amount of hps on simple trash mobs. I saw at least 2 with 4k+ hps. Trash wizards had 3kish. It is no wonder how they do 100+ point magic missile attacks they are level 400. Frack me. Sometimes not knowing is a blessing.

Anyway the IQ goes smoothly until we enter Jeets and start on the front of the mine. I zerg off trying to clear the way and beat Jeets to the dreamy ploots! You know if you loot the treasure before him the end fight has a lot less spawns to deal with right? Anyway I zerg off and bam bam take two 395ish point rocks to the head and die…. WTF? Then things start going down hill. I get rezed but Tobril and Stiner get blown into some spikes. I tell them to go ahead and slow down we are already behind and we need to just not die a ton. Moving along we have another slip up, moving along the little path that is not 100% where the graphic says it is and we start rezing getting ready for the fight, which starts before we are ready. And all hell breaks loose. I am almost down to scrolling and wanding people. And things are a mess. But we push on.

Then on the way to the spa shrine I end up in the spa fight proper. So we end up doing that fight next. Which goes well for being buff less and low on stuffs. Moving on we do the back door to the bar and then the bar. We don’t stand in the best spot until late in the fight and we end up taking turns restoring massive amounts of Chr damage over and over again. But finally we win out.

Oddly enough, the final fight goes the smoothest not taking very long at all.

The boat quest also runs fairly smoothly.

We try to do Mindsunder twice before deciding to just skip it we just kept over pulling in places. 5-10 guys are fine. 11+ when ½ of them are casters/neg levelers is my tipping point.

That is when Tobril and I get our heads back in the game and clean up our play. Moving along the back end of the IQ we make good time and that is when I notice that I am way over my set playtime for the night and log to hang with the wife some before bed.

Over all we got a lot of xp in a fairly short time frame. Assuming Tobril kept on after I left he should be in range of finishing up as well. Soon I will need to make some choices as to what I need to work on next. Samius could go and sit on his laurels for a while assuming his Spell Pen is good enough to not need to waist feats on them. Or I could take and TR Java into my druid, a role that I think he will be perfect to fill. This is Tobril’s last TR for while I think. Although he has plans to TR one other guy to change race now that WF suck real bad.

Any way I need to get some work done. Have a great day.

My Name is Samius and I am the 31%

It was a long but good weekend. You can see part of the fun threw Grim’s eyes on her DDoblog. But that only part of this lasts weekend’s story. It was XP time baby!

I was going to roll things back along the week but I am having issues remembering everything. So lets just say Litany was amazing as always. And she left me wanting more. And a bit of aside, I need to start calling my wife Litany so if I cry out in my sleep she will think I am dreaming about her. Man, Litany is the xp.

Saturday was Remmie’s (the boy’s) 13th birthday. Now he is a man if only he would act like one instead of running around and hugging his parents. On another aside I need to pick up a stun gun to keep him in check…. He will be as tall if not taller then me soon and as a father I need to be ready to fight dirty if necessary to maintain power.

So the wife and I had a bit of a short day to hang out with the Brits. But later that night Xp happened. Can’t say what we did or how much it was such a whirlwind. Also we had a few of the boy’s friends over and lets just say that party went late into the night while the wife and I hid in the game room and played. But Tobril and I had leveled to 18 at the end of the night.

Most of Sunday went as planed.

Raided with the Brits even if that meant doing a few more jobs at once then I was used to doing. Ie tanking both Horroth and Sully in ToD. Over all I think loot wises we had a good weekend. Tobril got at least 3 scrolls, Grim’s lady friend (Trapping- which I feel is strange nick name. I never saw her on a rogue, no were any of her alts name even close to Trapping and I think her TeamSpeak name was something like Willowing?? Will need to find a good nickname for her soon.) Got the Von Shield and my wife kicked her the shard for it. I got a the Demon’s Consort Bracers shard for myself in DQ and on the first 6 man flagging I got a Xuum shard which after asking if anyone had a need for it. Tobril said he had been looking for it as he has everything ready to go to make one for his CLr. And the wife said she would like it but had nothing for it. Like a fool I passed it to Tobril. Who can put the think to use any time and I should have passed it to the wife to sit in her bank forever to collect dust. To make it up to her on the second 6man flag we did I passed her my epic fragments. I only had to sleep with one eye open for a little while last night.

Once the Brits where done for the night, we had a fast lunch break and got back to the xps. Thought we would be able to wrap up the xp for this life last night. But as we only really had like 3 hours that was really ambitious. We did a lot of Enter the Kobolds and Monastery runs. And I logged at rank 93 and tobril about 30k behind still at 92. He is still mad that he let his xp pot run out during Kobold’s New Ring Leader and swears that is why I am still ahead. I think there is some of that in it, but I think it had more to do with me running in game 10s and him only using 20s, but I have more first time quests where I don’t loose my ship buffs. I am really good at Litany for example. ☺ So most of the time I am not that much behind despite the pot difference so when I do drink a 20 on high xp/min quests I make some gains.

But earning big xp during with a big bonus is real nice. Now if we can cap by Tuesday that should give me a little Mabar time before my trip next weekend.

<3s

PMs Rule! AMs Drool! Or Do They?

I have been a fan of the PM longer then I think most people know. I was on the PM bandwagon from day one. Before live even, lets say Lam day one. You can go back and check the tapes, but I back on DDocast I described Lich form (back when it was a clicky) as god-mode.

But back when epics were a hold-fest I took on of my wizards and reset him to be an Enchantment AM and it was fun. Not the most amazing build I ever had but fun. Then we had the change to Mass hold monster vs SR and later the change to allow removal spells in epics and I no longer have an AMs.

But I think that might be wrong, at least during the heroic levels. Or I should say pre Lich form….

My break down of PMs:
Undead Forms, are really just a way of saying I will take care of myself until Lich form when being undead becomes more then a self healing perk. Sure each one has an upside and a down side beyond use Sp to get HP. But you don’t see many level 20+s running around in Vamp or Zombie form do you? Before I leave forms I want to rank them from best to worse real fast. Lich, wrath (almost a tie with Lich), zombie, vamp. Some of you might have seen that coming, but others maybe not. But wrath form is really under loved atm, if you have the feats and the points take them both and think about what form would be best for a given quest. I will bet a lot of the time 2 less dcs will be over powered by 25% incorp and +20 to move silently and balance, if your looking at shorting the time in quest. Also getting wrath at 12 vs 18 is huge bonus.

Pets, they have a time and place. But I have a hard time finding points to spend on them. However, the thrill of summing a normal skeleton in a quest with mob skeletons and watching your party members try to kill it is amazingly fun times. Otherwise they are mostly for times when you can perch them and have them range things with out getting hurt while you afk.

Necro Stuff, to me other then the self-healing in form the best part of the PM is Nerco attacks. I use them more then any other attack spell. They are like 4-6 on my quick bar and often I just cycle them when I am in damage mode. More then once I have had to leave form so I could be fleshly healed by a party member while I cleared the room with these attacks.

AMs on the other hand have the ability to be extremely flexible as there is not a clear set path you have to take. You can just run up the line netting you more Sp at each AM tear.

Quick aside: Speaking of those tears there are 5 tears of AMs (every 3 lvls after 6) vs 3 for the other PRE. Mening that you get those tears much faster with splashes then the other PREs. Example, with the PM if I do 18/2 at level 18 (16/2) I still only have PM 2 but with AM I could have 4 tears of the PRE.

Arcane Booms, The AM only gets 2 low costs spam attacks Blot/Blast. They use sp vs hp for their cost but with out the aura doing the constant healing you wouldn’t want to be burning hps anyway. I think the Pms might have it a little better in the cheap spam attack department but I think the AMs being force damage are good too. Hell some PRE’s have run on water as a tear 2 power, force blots are a huge step up.

The Meat of the AM PRE, spell like abilities. Some Schools are better then others at different levels. But over all I think they are mostly good but not worth going too deep into. Do you really need a Pk or a DD SLA at level 15? Not really. That said some of the schools really have some good ones depending on play style.

What am I going to do? Think I am going to try leveling up as an AM. Last time I leveled up a PM I skipped to 16 and while I found 1-9 to be fairly easy as normal. Trying to use the forms just as the mobs really started in on the light damaging spells in a 3-4 party group keeping an elite streak running to be crazy. Opps here is 400+ points of light damage, Splat!

Will I switch back to PM post lich form? Most likely. Also I think I will do evocation focus while leveling with a plan to play a little more aggressive. But keep in mind I have all the toys and all the perks of completionest so I can handle my healing with out having to use my SP.

If this was my first arcane/wizard I would say be a PM. But I would warn you that you don’t always want to be form.

In any case I am sure I will talk about how things are playing as we relevel and into the post 20 endgame, so things might change or not but either way I will let you know.

Some Follow Up Anwers

I posted a projected build for myself this morning of a 18/2 wiz/rog mostlikely as a Pale Master. This spawned a few comments and questions. So let me see if I can hash a few of them out for you all.

The most common two are: Why is Heighten so late (lvl 17)? Why no Spell Pen feats? Lets look at the Heighten question first.

At level 17 when I will take Heighten that will be my 15th wizard level. Which means before then 7th level was my max level spell any way. Aka Finger of Death is as good as it can get and Circle of Death is only 1 behind it. Making my DCs on removal spells almost or just as good as someone that took Heighten sooner.

Spell Pen: You have to know from reading my stuff for a while to know that I have the max number (for past life gains+) of Wizard lives done already. And as a completionest I have already done a FvS life, so I am +7 over a first lifer already. So I am sure that will get me to 20 with just a few enchantments and an item. If I get to epics and have trouble I can swap out the sorc past life and side in the spell pen feat taking the rest post 20. But I don’t think they will be needed. Tobril was telling me just the other day how a 2nd lifer was getting no fail Spell Pen on eE quests with all the feats and a few twists. I am hoping the extra 5 spell pen I have from past lives will do the work of all those feats and some of the epic twists. If not I can do a few mow FvS lives.

Also real fast something I might have said or should have said is this build is mostly to level with. I don’t know if I will stay 18/2 post level 20 or not. But this is a fairly well rounded build for the first 20 levels.

Lets see some other comments….

On Barb Past life: The sooner you take the Barb past life feat the stronger it is in the over all life of a build. 20 hps and a rage is very strong at level 3. Just looking at the planer level 3 I would have around 60 hp with out items, taking the feat is a third more. Be at -11 to -19 a few times and tell me how you feel about having 20 more hp? Barb past live vs toughness: 20 hp now vs 3+1 per level until level 17 the past life is just plan better and having the clickly is an often over looked perk. Be one point short of pulling a lever and know that if you had this you would have gotten it done.

No Extend?: With the changes to extend I don’t take it on new casters. I just don’t. Why do I need it? Haste and Rage were talked about in one comment, But I offen don’t cast them on my casters, unless I am killing mobs via melee or something.

Empower: This is my spell booster for the low levels. Sometimes I just want to cast a spell once and be done. This is how I help make this happen. Its costs are low enough that paying for it is affordable at low levels, I used to use Max Spell but those lifes often took longer to level up due to having to melee more then I liked.

Sorc past life: I am only taking it for prereqs for like Wrath form and if I go Am to use instead of Mental toughness. If it turns out I can’t use it as a Mental Toughness sub (think it can) I will be taking Mental toughness instead.

The last big comment I see again from Malinza2 (lots of good comments btw) is on why not 2 monk over 2 rog. This is a matter of preference. For starters I have never liked how a 2 monk splash looks on casters. You either make life hard on yourself or run a round uncentered all the time. In my eyes two feats are not as good as Rog skills and a d6 the sneak attack for stunned or held mobs, lest not forget alignment restrictions that monks have to follow meaning you can’t switch to N to take less damage at places and take neg levels to use some items. Also for me it comes down to gear. I have lots of gear that plays well for a caster that plays well with rog levels that doesn’t play nice with monk levels. I mean if I am doing a melee build, monk is easy to fit in I have lots of cool wraps and a fair amount of robes, but as a caster I am just better of using a host of other gear.

Would I say run out and build this for yourself? Not really. This is more of a build for me. But I want to share my thoughts and process in the event that it helps others.

Tomorrow that talk on AM vs PM.

Looks like Fat Halflings are Okay by You

Step two: build layout. Again looking at using a 18/2 wiz/rog PM mostly because I love me some removal spells here are some basic plans. Starting with Stats.

Keep in mind these are 36 point builds on a Fat Halfling Race (aka Dwarf)

Plan A
14 Strength
10 Dexterity
16 Constitution
18 Intelligence
08 Wisdom
12Charisma

Plan B
14 Strength
08 Dexterity
16 Constitution
18 Intelligence
08 Wisdom
13Charisma

Plan A vs Plan B: A has one less Chr but 2 more Dex meaning that there is no starting dex penalty to skills or AC (wanking motion to show how impressed I am with the new AC system) but Plan B will have +1 to Chr skills at odd tome levels ie +1 and +3 so more UMD and Intim aka both good things. Guess my Open lock and ninja skills will eat a -1.

Leveling layout, again this is with the plan of leveling to 20 as a PM.

Level 1 (Rogue)
Feat: (Selected) Insightful Reflexes

Level 2 (Wizard)
Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Empower Spell

Level 3 (Wizard)
Feat: (Selected) Past Life: Berserker’s Fury

Level 4 (Wizard)
Level 5 (Wizard)
Level 6 (Wizard)
Feat: (Selected) Past Life: Arcane Prodigy
Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Spell Focus: Necromancy

Level 7 (Wizard)
Level 8 (Wizard)
Level 9 (Rogue)
Feat: (Selected) Completionist

Level 10 (Wizard)
Level 11 (Wizard)
Level 12 (Wizard)
Feat: (Selected) Greater Spell Focus: Necromancy
Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Maximize Spell

Level 13 (Wizard)
Level 14 (Wizard)
Level 15 (Wizard)
Feat: (Selected) Past Life: Arcane Initiate

Level 16 (Wizard)
Level 17 (Wizard)
Feat: (Wizard Bonus) Heighten Spell

Level 18 (Wizard)
Feat: (Selected) Quicken Spell
Level 19 (Wizard)
Level 20 (Wizard)

Feat order might look a little out of order but what this layout does is allows us to take PM2 right at 14 and at the same time allows us to skip using Vamp form as the last thing you want to do at level 14 is start using a form that explodes when shot by a laser beam.

Also with just a little tweaking (swapping the Focus Feats) or none at all I could go AM and not PM until 20 when Lich form (aka the good one) kicks in. Tomorrow if I have time I will talk a little about maybe trying out AM for leveling up and why I am leaning that way at least until 20.

Finally the Main stat number, Int. Now this is not all fleshed out. Like I could take the epic +1 stat feats post 20 but for the most part this is everything I have or plan to get easily.

INT:
18base
+6level ups
+3enhcancements
+3tome
+2ship
+2yugo
+1litany once i get one (I like the raid)
+3insight robes
+8int goggles or ring
+2lich (going to assume PM at 20 for now)
+2completionest
+6 wizard destiny
+2 int twisted in from 2 other destinies
+1 int twisted Echoes of the Ancestors: Arcane (Magister)
+1 exp slotted some place easy
——
50 int normally running around with just yugo pot

+ 1-3 house D pots as needed (yeah right)
+1 when I find a +4 tome
+2 Store pots
+2 capstone if I go to pure at 20

I could go drow and have +2 more Int or Human and get +1 more. But really until Turbine makes an Int based Gnome I just like the Fat Halfling look. I mean have you seen their beards?

Well those are my thoughts atm, feel free to comment below.

<3s

Would you Still Love Me if I am Not a Halfling?

Sam is solidly into rank 83, meaning with some luck and Tobril keeping a simi helpful play schedule I think that we could cap out by this weekend. I know that Tobril wants to tree right away again into our “final” builds. He has been chomping at the bit to get back in to the end game. Me? Yes and no. I want to be there and do stuff. But I don’t have a clear plan for my “final” build. But as I type thoughts out may be a clear plan will come together.

I talked a little about Class some last week or the week before and while I haven’t made up my mind 100%. Odds are good that I will be doing some kind of wizard. For now I will assume a 18/2 wiz/rog PM, but is really just an assumption.

Todays thought: all builds start with a race. You can go the other way but the one thing you can’t change right now with out a TR is race.

Options:

Halfling, The normal “Samius” race more nimble but takes on strength and carrying penalties. Also they don’t have cool beards. ;-( But they have glasses! Before the Half elf they were clearly one of the master races. The only ones before that could get some real self-healing via race alone. After a ton of TRs I think I can handle my own heals with out their marks.

Dwarf: Frankly, I am leaning this way. I like the fat Halfling race. More HPs then their thin brothers and in theory a better weapon line…. But mostly they have beards!!!!! And now with show goggles I can have both beards and goggles. Also depending on the enchantment changes and how racial PREs are added one could work in dwarven defender in a PM build some day for even more hps… Sounds sexy.

So anyone have an issue with me as a fat Halfling for the long term? Is so you might need to get over it. ☺