It’s Getting Hot in Here!

Hi guys, I know it has been awhile but work has been killer with our LDAP/php upgrade/mysql upgrade/server move. Wow that was most likely a lot of stuff I could have just called work junk and everyone would have been just as happy. Well at least the health care exchanges are not my problem… ☺

Even so I have gotten a few hours to play ddo and I want to talk a little about it. First Tobril and I rocked things to 8 last week. And then I had things to do and he jumped up (as planed) and rocked it to 20 with out me (again as planed). Then proceeded to cry that he couldn’t TR again right away. But got to TR again on Monday and I think he is moving a little slower with out me, but not a lot slower.

Basically that means that McGoggles needs to really push this week to try and hit level 16 or so about the time he stones up so to piggy back on mostly his work.

Lets talk just a little about McGoggles. Right now he is level 15 (13 druid/2 ranger) and while the dps is a little lower then I was thinking it would be it is still in solo GH range. Although I will say I have gone a little more caster then melee dps in boss fights in GH. Gear wise he is still fairly light, I found a level 14 rapier that Samius used a ton for trs and normal play back in the day and passed it over to him. The flame blades are fine for most things but as I misread the fire elemental perks thought it was up 3 down 3 for spell level. Turns out it is up 1 down 3. So I am using that rapier and my old caster melee weapon. Think I will upgrade that Threnal war blade to become my off hand caster weapon at some point, I need to see what augments I have sitting around in my bank /AH for my level.

Over all I am mostly a melee caster although I am just a feat away from manyshot and Weapons of Purity is online next level I think so some sweet manyshot action is about to happen.

Just in case you missed it:


Okay I need to get to work,


9 and 2, McGoogles

It is hard to get a feel about a build from reading about it online or tring to extrapolate from other similar builds. Hell for a while I would use the vet 2 status and try to “fake” a sudo lowbi version and hit a few quests as a trial run and even that is only so good.

Why? I am not sure. But I think it has something to do with the act of actually leveling a given alt…. It is something to ponder I guess.

Anyway, I want to talk just a little about McGoggles. The first few levels were like any other build. Use a stick or 2 little sword; pots as needed, try to use the vigor spell for most of the heals. It worked fairly well. Nothing amazing but I was able to solo more or less everything rocking an elite streak. He had 0 deaths until I tried to do the last Grey Moon quest at level 8, that last trap across the bridge just hits real hard and is super unforgiving. I missed jumped and took 3 hits for 80+ and my 20 vigor didn’t make a dent in that, but that has been his only death so far with little to no really worth wild loot other then maybe my one sword (BtA icy burst/shocking Burst/Pure good lvl 4 simmy) and the haste goggles from Chrono…

Those Chrono goggles btw are one of the best leveling items you can have, one day soon I will make a power 9 (or 10) of leveling gear items and those goggles are on the list for sure!

But until last night I really wasn’t having that much fun. He was super tough and between vigor and pots he is mostly unkillable, I had a few run away/tactical retreat moments but everyone does soloing. But at level 9 I had a feat question between metas, I went Maximize. I am waiting for +3 dex tomes to come back on line so both Manyshot and Imp Two weapon were not options (I was looking forward to Manyshot). Turns out to be a blessing in disguise as I toggled it on and set up a few spells to not use it and ran to the next quest.

With Emp Heals and Maximize that vigor now does 80 a tick and call lighting outside does 400ish as I learned by rocking Storm the Beaches. Overall he is starting to step up. I worry some that his total lack of gear and my plan to not have much in the way of leveling gear might be an issue but hey he is a second life, if I need to back down to a hard streak for soloing should be fine, right?

Heal vs Howl of Terror vs Earthquake vs Finger of Death?

Last night the TR Train crossed into level 15 opening up three level 8 spell slots to Javabot among a few other things. The first is auto filled with that level’s summoning spell leaving me with 2 slots.

What to do?

Being Wisdom based my DCs are more then fairly solid for heroic levels and are not bad for eHs and lower epics. DC casting in eE is just not worth the investment in my mind at the moment. I think people could make a go at it, even if they are never really pleased at where things stand at any given time….

Anyway, do I take one or both of the CC spells? Howl was super good leveling up on my own.

This life I have been playing much more aggressively then I tend to do when soloing. Gathering trash until Red skulled before turning to clear and being the first guy in the room when possible. What can I say having Tobril and Tim, as my insurance policy is both help and a hindrance. They let me be a little bolder as my failure does not mean the end of the quest but then our completive nature tend to ramp things up.

So back to the question, Howl is more of a save my nuts or a “hold” spell. Earthquake has a similar function but it does some damage and can pick up latecomers to the party after the spell has been cast. But has a hell of a long casting time for a guy with out quicken…

Finger is a key removal spell, but really it has about the same functionality as Creeping Cold right now, aka kills a guy.

Heal is about the same as Regen but with a larger up front payoff.

So as of last night my prepped spells are Howl and Finger. Earthquake is too slow and Heal’s main functionality can be replaced by Scrolls (if switching forms), panacea and of course regenerate.

I am also thinking about trying to go elemental over dog in a few quests to get a better feel for that form and to build a little personal experience with some of its interactions. And that will change my layout in lots of new and to me at this time unexpected possibilities….


Royal Scimitar, Sleeper Druid Weapon?

So I was just thinking about gear for next level and my brain stumbled into Royal Scimitar (elite).

+5 Enhancement Bonus
Red Augment Slot aka good, d4 elemental dice or some spell power….

Glue that onto the wolf frame +5, 2[1d10] 19-20, Destruction, Bloodletter…

Right now I am using a Lit2 green steel khopesh or +5, 1.5[1d10] 19-20 Shock, Good burst, shocking blast, lighting strike.

Sure there is more damage in the Lig2 but having to deal with no prof penalty means there are lots of missed attacks. So wouldn’t that make the scimmy a little bit better?

But hey, I have a Skullsmasher (elite) maybe it will be the better weapon… But in this lower level content with the less then ideal attack bonus Destruction seems better then Intim +13.

Just food for thought…


Dhakaani Shield?

So last night Javabot took level 11 and the normal 5 min gear up happened when I realized that I was still using the Dhakaani Shield. A simple +2 wooded shield with a blue slot (heavy fort slotted), why is there not a better shield for a druid at this level?

So I have been looking at shields today, with a few requirements to keep in mind: Heavy Fort and cool effects that will work in dog form (no metal).

So first of all, there are not a lot of named shields that are not made of metal between levels 1-15. I count six. Out of those six clearly the Carved Bone Shield is the best, +5, Neg Energy Absorption 20% and a purple slot. Not bad.

But I started thinking what if I crafted something myself with a red or a blue slot?

Tendon Slice 8% stands out assuming that it would enchant all my attacks.
With Takedown being one of my main attacks Vertigo is worth wild.
The shield might be a cool place for a sneak attack bonus or greater false life or native fort allowing that slot to handle fort if blue or a spell power if red.
Seeker 8 also is a real contender… again assuming a blue slot for fort.

What am I going to do? No idea.



My Smok’n Hot Healer Idea

Since the last post I have been mulling over different druid builds. With the TR train in full swing some nights a week, as people have time to play, my motivation to grind out gear/destiny xp for capped alts fades. And for the last few weeks I have been debating what my list of guys brings to the table.

I have:
Samius as my do everything guy.
McPlunderer as my Dps/removal guy.
Darth Samius a pure dps build.
Samyus my tank that hasn’t done anything after doing all the FR quests on EE other then Web which he has done 0 times.
And Java who is returning to the dog form as a tool box dps/healer guy.

Meaning that my bard gets very little play my “healers” get no play and I have at least 2 guys that have used a true heart just waiting for a build to TR into.

So why is that rambling important?

1, I am board now when not working the TR train. Right now levels are close I don’t want to be the one that makes everyone else have to play catch up. But I am in a place where I want the good vibes from the low level Skinner box pushes.

2, Lately there has been a point/place where something was made harder/didn’t happen because our core group was short a healer. I am thinking when we throw up a raid mostly. But there are lots of times I would like to give Tobril and Rachel the option to not have to heal but can’t because my healers are un such disrepair.

Okay so idea in a nutshell, 17/2/1 druid/ranger/x. X could be anything allowing for pairing with druid’s alignment issues. I am leaning fighter or wiz for the feat but an argument could be made for arty or rouge for skills/namely UMD. The core idea is a two weapon fighter using mostly the flameblade spells (as needed) in either Fire ele form or Ice form that also has manyshot/bow str as another dps option. With a quick human build going ranger, ranger druid until I wanted gtwf (bab) where I took fighter then returned to druid I was able to fit in all the feats for TWF tree/Manyshot tree and had room for toughness, power attack and 1 meta before epic levels. If I could loose a feat I could go Helf and take Arcane Archer I think anyway…

I need more time with the planer, but as I was fiddling I got a txt from Tobril that read “xp?” and I spent the rest of the night xping.

As always, thoughts?


Form of a Dog!

Yep the other day I TRed Java back into a druid and I am already really glad I did. There is something just pure fun about this animal form melee/caster mashup. All the cool melee attack spells at your disposal and lets not to leave out Blood Moon enchantment line (kill a guy move/attack faster harder). So much fun.

So Monday I took a few hours and cleared the TR bank. Making trips to the barkeep on the boat to sell things that somehow were “special” when really they were trash. Then after the char creation process I started digging through the new TR bank and there are loads of junk items that didn’t need to saved.

How does that happen? EVERY DAMN TIME! I dumped Repair pots and some easy to farm BtC items and some how a +1 flaming shield of mod fort like level 15 made it?

I just don’t understand…..

I will try to talk more in depth about the leveling process on this life and how the build is forming. Maybe I will even do a little “how to” write up at the end, IDK….

But that does bring me to another topic I need to talk just a little bit about, Writing schedule.

For a long time I was every work day quick blog post man, mainly due to hiving been stuck on a soul crushing project that I needed to take 15 mins to think about anything else everyday or I would go insane. And while that project is still on my to do list it is not the main focus for my day everyday all the time.

And that is amazing. But that also means finding that 15 mins is starting to become a challenge. So I am going to change to a Wednesday and Friday update for sure and then try to do smaller updates from home on Samius’ time. And those I can’t promise because would you rather play DDo or write about ddo? Yeah me to.

Well see you for sure on Friday.


Ideal Dog Shield…

As an animal form dps/caster hybrid Javabot relies on a shield unlike most of my other builds. For example for Samius I use the EE Skyvault primarily for its really solid slotting, red, purple and a blue or 114 force/healing/more PRR, so to fill out key spell power amounts.  Samyus my tank, who is chilling, still is using the EE Bastion. Which may or may not be the right shield for a tanky build. It mostly comes down to what do you want to do? I will not be sidetracked! Today is about my druid and his shield.

Java has been using a lvl 15 Wall of Wood, aka the Wow. It is really good at level but has been out classed for a while now. Already having a 30% heal Amp from a claw set, he has been looking for something other then the EE WoW to track down.

And I have been looking for a lvl 22 Wow, 20% vs 30% if a little less devotion then a larger version but Shield bashing and +5 nat armor is not really needed in this build…

So what did I need in a shield for Java?


With a little reading/asking around I learned that if you make a LoB shield crystal the metal type does change and allows a druid to use it with out breaking oath. So what to do… How to do it?

Two important questions “So what to do… How to do it?” as I didn’t get into the House C raids when they first came out as I was on my TR Train with Samius at the time.

So looking at the list both Stunning/Seeker 10 are possible options for a non-bashing melee shield.  And then for the second tear Doublestrike is a standout again with the idea that bashing is not going to be happening.

If you could mix and match Martial and Mystical effects between tears I could make something like a seeker 10 (F-Mar)/ Sup Lighting Lore (A – Mys)/ Greater Evocation (F – Mys) shield and have a fairly tight shield. A little dps and a little casting.

But you can’t (or at least I have been told you can’t) so I have mad a all Martial shield as the Seeker/Dstrike/red slot is too good to pass up.

On Sunday our channel group got me the last binding shards I needed to finish my tear 2. Other then loosing 10% amp I am super pleased. I think next weekend (if I am lucky) I will gather all the mats I need to make it tear 3 when I am ready I can take it to tear 3. Although I am not in a hurry as I think I will be doing a few TRs on Java real soon so having it at level 18 is not the worse place for it. The potency on my belt is currently out doing the shield devotion anyway so win win.

If you have an animal fighting druid, what is your weapon setup?



NOOOOOOO! Oh and a Yes.

Lets start with a little update, thanks to a friend who had a similar launcher issue I tried getting the newest DDo launcher and vs the one we downloaded back around Chirstmas when we got this new PC and everything is working. Amazing! The idea was the Mac support changes did something to the connection server that the old client was missing. So if you don’t need to do a first time install/update your fine. But if you do need that first update you might just want to go and get the newest install files. Not the worse task ever. Just would have liked to see that listed some place by Turbine….

Anyway Victory! We even got everything running and updated time for guild raid night (Abbott and a DQ). Also I was able to get some xp on Javabot. We got enough that Tobril had to level so I got to level also!

So I jumped to the back to get something I was super excited to try. Tod rings + Lig2 + animal form = Badass dps for a caster like build!

I grab my Encrusted Ring hit the tear 2 alter in the battle field added Holy Burst and started trying it out… I didn’t notice anymore damage dice….. What?

So I started doing some testing. I pulled everything and looked at my damage. Okay poopy good enough added my ring and there was the holy damage. Added the lig2 and there was its damage. Pull the ring off and no change. Put the ring back on and I crit. And I see the holy burst damage, or at least I think I did….

I make a comment and look at my lig2: holy/lighting burst/Lighting blast. Tobril says something to the effect of well you know that sometimes holy and holy burst from tod rings don’t always stack right, don’t you?

Vader Nooooo

Swap weapons to my min2 and yep the holy damage is there. Guess holy and good burst work just fine… Other then my Lig2 all my other one handed weapons are either not finished green steel or a level 1 throwing hammer with acid and cold touch… Not going to work.

So begins the next dilemma, my dps plans had me rocking a set of dps rings when needed. But always my holy burst ring and I had planed to use my lig2 to do so. But that is less then ideal. So now what?

I could add a third tear to some of the other green steel I have in the bank.:
Another lig2 in progress this one a long sword when I was rocking a monk/pally build. But it is shock/good burst.
A Rad2 think it is flaming/good burst.
Other options are:
Make a quick/cheep triple earth would be a fair to good leveling weapon.

Following the thought about a good leveling weapon, do I really want to burn the mats? Not really so what is lying around that I could get?

My first thought is I have been meaning to make a few of the one handed Cannith Elemental Weapons. Would the Water Khopesh be a winner? Maybe the Air rapier would be a better match?

But then I started thinking what other lvl 16 weapons are around?
Envenomed Blade could be good for a few levels.
Fang of Siberys, I have one someplace I am sure.
Those Druid weapons that are caster/dps hybrids that are not amazing at either but touch both are easy to come by, maybe one of them.
I would cash in a tome set if they weren’t about to get a huge upgrade…

The other option is just keep using the Lig2, and miss out on a set of damage numbers it is not like it is worse then what I was using a few hours ago right?

Send in your thoughts. Also if you have any input as to what to add to the other right let me know.

Staring at New Tail

So last night I bit the bullet and TRed Javabot in to my Druid build. I was back and forth on the details but I ended up saying why not go for it all the way? And I went 16 str, 18 con, 16 wis and any other points in int. I was back and forth as 16 wisdom is max on a WF and I didn’t want to change race on Java and I thought maybe I should just tank DCs and plan on pure DPS. But 2 more str wasn’t going to break me and I like the hybrid play style that Samius did on his druid life and that is want I want to recreate.

I didn’t do a lot of planning again for this TR. I know I just did a blog post about taking a sec and getting my shit together b4 a TR and I did some stuff. And I looked for a few things but after 30/40 mins cleaning the TR cache and hitting the AH and the vendors for lvl1 staffs/wraps/collars/leather armor I said “Frack It” and just used the starter flaming touch axe and a stack of pots for level 1.

Speaking of level one seemed to take a long time. Mostly because my summon nature’s trash pet was less then amazing and as I said before my druid dog was less then stellar. Speaking of the dog by the way, I think I have chosen him a name, Syntax. Roboty and yet doesn’t have a bot in the title. Although I tweeted it and Ecgric has a few good options also including Python which is now major contender or maybe just go with my first name: Fin Fang Foom!

Level 2 brought the good stuff, WOLF form and a slew of good weapons icy burst/ holy great axe and a flaming/icy rapier. But the real wining weapon/tip came from DDo cast: sun flasks for Undead/oozes. If you equip them in form you don’t throw them, but get the massive light damage vs guys it hurts and ghost touch, they are such a main stay for this druid from now on!

Level 2 went nice and fast clearing the near the harbor bank quests. Information is key, all those little favor quests and Durk’s, find my backpack and the kill everyone quest.

At 3 I hit New Ring leader and now I have xp for lvl 4. Think I will polish up the favor quests before taking it though.

Okay some thoughts, Wolf form is still amazing, takedown is the nuts! Throw in the WF trip line – vertigo weapon/shield in the off hand and you are a tripping king. Being a WF in form is strange. Some things works like you think they should like healing is amazing. I have a Blood/ Invulnerability docent, which is really good for my atm. Sure I loose some fort but pick up some amp. A (max) lesser vigor in form gives 10 a tick if I cast and open a door it down shifts to 6 until the door is open and then upshifts back again as soon as I return to wolf form. Also sometimes while swimming I have a breath meter and others times I don’t always in form… And finally the thing that gets me is I have some tasty ham oils and turkey dinners from something… And in form I can’t use the oil, which makes sense, but I can’t eat the turkey, which doesn’t. Also while in form I am immune to repair, which makes since, but that means I need to remember to carry normal healing pots now too. ☺

Well back to work, <3s