Did You Stand Around and Wait for Me?

Yes folks, I am back from Gen Con. I seem to have made it back in one piece and I am back working hard at work; or is that hardly working and writing a my.ddo post for you all…..

I could talk about Gencon but if you go to ddococktailhour.com you can hear about the first few days of the con. If you do you will get to hear from a lot of other people besides just me. Aka worth it.

So to day I want to talk about something I feel is strange raiding for xp.

With the addition of the epic levels it is super hard to find a raid group on Sarlona that is raiding for xp. It seems to me that everyone is letting 21+ people even if it is 10 guys at level 20 and lower there is almost always at lest one level 21+ guy in the group.

Well last night I thought I might have gotten lucky. There was a pug forming a shroud raid that really only had 19s and lower in the group. With 7 people already in the group I jumped in thinking that I would get a nice tasty boost this life after all. Before epic levels I could count on 200k xp from raiding fairly easily.

I was guy number 8 or 9 by the time I was allowed in and I hit the boat super fast and made my way to the raid. There is all of one guy standing around out side of the quest. And lots of talk about making it X fair this time and reforming and what not… But no one on voice but me it seems.

Before long I notice health and SP bars dropping and I discover that the group is IP. Maybe I missed something while porting?

I asked and they are doing part one over and over until they fill. From the party chat I think that they are having issues…. And this is their 4th or 5th run and they have gotten the chests some of the runs…

Go up to 10. The guys in side start to recall post-winning part 1 and looting. Once out the leader again via the text box says that they will do part one again since they are still not full and disbands the group and starts a new Lfm.

Hmm, pass. I return to the dreaming dark chain and proceed to net a 1k+ a min for an hour or so before making a run to the store. I take a look at the lfm panel and guess who is still hunting for people to fill his Shroud raid…Yep same guy.

I understand not wanting to stand around a waste time while a raid fills. But expecting others to stand around and wait for you may not be the best plan either….

When all else fails, pug?

I think you all know that I have been working on the TR thing with Samius for a while now. And for the last few lives I have had Fopo as my leveling partner. And it works out well for us. This life he opted to use his stone and take a few weeks off to explore the new stuff. I can’t do the same with my stone as I used mine to rush through a TR on one of my Wizards. But before I go down how I am unhappy with how my new wiz is working out; let me just say it leaves me leveling Samius alone.

All has been going well enough solo. Levels 1-11 have been fairly quick even though I have been taking time to run the new stuff also on my “tank.” Which might be tomorrow’s topic… However, getting to level 12 has been a task, mainly because I insist on keeping up my elite streak as well as doing things that are not so easy to solo. And that has made my week-weekend very hard.

I ran a Shadow Crypt flagging quest solo each night I played ddo over the week, surprisingly the swim and forced to split up quests were the easiest to do this life. Sometimes I really miss firewall.

With a happy skip in my step I went to solo the crypt on Thursday. Every thing is going super smooth. I get all the gears even. The path to the flag is not super easy but I find it soon enough and clear my way to the final fight. Where I get my head handed to me. I get the boss to around 20% and he ports out and makes his copies. I have learned however how to tell the copies from the original. The copies have about a 1/3 of the HP of the boss so die a lot faster. As they all spam dispels and hold spells you want them dead as fast as possible. So once you turn back to the boss he ports out and starts the loop again. That first time I DDed back twice using the trinket up to shrine and try again before I realized I had been in that quest for more then 2 hours. Most of that time was in that end fight. Finally I just put my head down and let the vamps have me just to be out of the quest.

Friday was a lot like Thursday, but I only had the 8 gears to open the way to mister vamp dick and his path to him was a lot easier. But the end was very close to the same.

Saturday morning thought I would be able to pull off a win first thing, I didn’t.

Frustrated, I stole my son’s account for a few hours buying him Vet2 and making a new wizard. I have done this quest with hirelings before so having myself at the keys should work even if I am level 7, right?

Fumblebot, simi geared up was ready to go for it. I am not sure how much plat I dumped into him but a lot and he still only had 3 or 4 slots used, but good enough for a burn them in a wall of fire quest. And he ripped that quest a new one. All gears only took a few mins. Had a few close calls when I realized that I didn’t take the enchantment that took his WF ASF to 0% and failed a roll to repair myself. But I had wands and pots ready and was able to recover well enough. I ran out of juice burning the lords, but thanks to the recharge to 12 sp thing I was able to backpedal and ray things down. After all that I fully expected Mister Vamp Dick to roll over to Walls and Scorching rays but he didn’t and I spent a long time trying to end that fight just off the shrines. Until I fumbled hard and got swarmed to death. Samius tried to go in and save him. But the kids laptop is just not able to handle a build as complex as Samius with how the bars are laid out let alone everything else.

So we pop out and try again. This time with a stack of store bought greater pots. Did you know that normal majors are level 9? I didn’t. So take 2 with the wiz. Things are going well again, I have all the keys again and a simple path so no issues. Get to that end fight and I just didn’t have the spell dps. I DDed and bought a shrine and redid my spells boosting the number of damage spells, as I had used all of them already. But still DPS fail. Degusted I log and play with the dog out side, a little later I log back on and play in the realms to help a guildie for his first time.

Sunday, I happen to see a group for Church and the Cult or some level 9 on elite shit. I resolved to not fail Shadow crypt again solo I thought maybe if this group is not shitty I could use them to do it. As they were not horrible players, that is what I did. I ¾ soloed zerged that quest and then when the pugs do that “What are we going to do now?” thing I talked them in to doing the Shadow. Only one guy ½ knew the quest, never tried with out a path solver so had no idea how to run it himself and I ended up leading the group but we got all the gears we needed in 9 rooms I think and DDed and took east three times and boom! 54k xps in 15mins. Would have been a great run if wasn’t for all the fails before it.

So there you have it. An example of how when all else failed I pugged. See I can play with others. Well use others. ☺

The Highs and Lows of Puging

Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a fan of the pugs. Just to be clear I mean the pick up groups and not the dogs, although I am not a big fan of the dogs either. My son has one named Xander and it is about 600 pounds and like to wake me up on the weekends by crawling onto my pillow and farting, very unpleasant little fracker.

Anywayyyyyy, Yesterday I worked on my second life TR just soloing and watching Doctor Who. Aside: I like David Tenneat as the good doctor the best, and stopped watching the show originally once I heard that he had left the show. But in a “What is streaming on Netflix that I can watch and play?” moment I have become re-addicted to the show even watching the 11th Doctor at work, which I am starting to warm too.

At some point Tobril logs on and askes to get in for xp. And we are off. I help him do a hard Coal Chamber in 27ish mins, which is not bad. As we complete he sees a hard Lob and is gone.

In a weird mood I look at the LFM panel and see a group for an elite IQ boat ride. I dislike soloing protect the NPC quests as it is too easy for the NPC to do something dumb and get killed failing the quest out of the blue. So having a group when running them is nice. Mean while Fopo was in challenge mode earning mats to trade in for xp and renown pots, so I didn’t want to bother him with my sudden want to do the IQ quests. So I joined up with plans to ride the fail train into some kind of xp.

But it was great, my DCs hit constantly. I danced and weaved killing trash and leading the kill count 2 to 1 over the other 4 group members. And when the red named boss showed the intim sorc took agro via an intim and then died. There was a dwarf defender that intimed also but I took the hate off him before long and he took that time to run off for a heal from his hire and I tanked the little boss. It was good times.

Even ran through the optional netting myself an extra 900xp and 2 chests for 30 sec of work. But the puggers didn’t make it drow are too hard to kill I guess. ☺

The group decides to move on to Elite Mindsunder, as the leader has all the disks. And we fly through the quest. Again I am feeling good cleaning house even kill the Mindsunder at the end with disintegrates, lots and lots of them. It was fun trying to tell the FvS that we picked up that I had it under control as she yelled at melee to kill the Mindsunder and not the trash she was kitting and begging for a heal to fix her stat damage and the rouge kept throwing cure wands at her. It was quite the good times and I felt like a millon plat.

Then Tobril frees up and we regroup and we do hard Mindsunder as I have a few sets of stones from the xp runs on Samius, Samyus and the 400. And I died like 4 times on Hard in one run. Riding so high to fall so low was a shock to my system. I guess if you’re the best turd in a group that doesn’t make you a gold nugget, just a turd from someone that ate glitter the night before.

How the Pug Snatched Defeat from the Jaws of Victory, Elite VoD

Saturday morning I am on Samius and sitting on the last rank to cap out. No guildies or channel people are on. Guessing the domain issue is holding some people at bay. I know Phlor is pissed off and refuses to “hack” his Host file. But I luck out and I don’t have to edit my host file and get on right away. Going to say my ISP is not as shitty as his, although Turbine really?

Okay back to the story. Post people check I hit the LFM panel, hey you never know. I might pug something. Low and behold there is a 1 from full Elite VoD looking for something or an artificer with silver weapons. I have silver weapons and even with out the first time bonus Elite Vod is a ton of XP and is worth doing. The group looks fine. I know a few names, as fair to alright players. And I jump in thinking this is going to make a dent in that last pile of xp.

I get in and the path to the raid is clear, win. And the chest is unopened even. I short wait for someone that didn’t make it into the sub yet and we go. No one types out buffs. After I ask for them 3 times both over mic and in chat. So I start giving out deadly. If someone wants silver they better ask. I am about to shrine when someone hits me with GH and blur. I am only down a little sp so why not just go.

As we start to zone in I start getting tells from people asking for silver…. Great…. There is a time for request people. And that is when the rest of the buffs are being handed out. But I go ahead and hand out silver to people that asked via tells. And we start.

The Orthons go quickly, as the leader starts to tank. For the record I don’t think that the leader should tank in pugs unless that leader has a clear second that can give orders for times the leader is busy.

Any way the raid is going nice and smooth. Sully is falling and those HPs are falling off. The healers are healing nicely and all is well. Until the second wave of Orthons hit at the same time a wave of trash devils hit. And there is no clear trash tank or a second to get people focused. People spread out the healers are over taxed and the CC is shitty. And people start to die. I start to give orders (not that it mattered) and rez people. My stack of scrolls started to drop quickly. Some people started to rack up the deaths. And one guy at least that most Sarlona people would know if I typed it out went afk dead and didn’t say anything in chat so I wasted 4 or 5 scrolls on him (btw he never returned).

But we got things under control and started moving again. And sully dropped and dropped. BBs started going up and I said let me BB as I still have 400 sp and the healers claimed to have drank a pot or 2. But still BBs that were not mine kept going up. And we took a few waves of bats and all was fine. Sully dropped and dropped we had some losses but we still had fair dps. And I started to notice that mine were the only BBs. And that I was siting kinda low. But I saw one of the clrs right behind me casting. Then bang took chain lighting to the face and died and then I saw the mass go off. I don’t know if the clr didn’t have quicken on or was trying to use a scroll or what but the heals just slowed to a crawl and people started to die. Right after I died it was the tank, the bard and an healer. And the take fell. Sully was at that sliver of life that you can’t even see. Someone threw the tank a rez and he he retook agro for a bout 4 secs as buff less and at half hp he didn’t get any heals. The healer died right after and the bard ran around like a little girl and died screaming. Or that was my take on it anyway.

After a moment I got a tell from the leader asking me if I knew what happened and I gave my quick summary of the heals slowed to a crawl and we died. Back on the boat and after I dropped group filling up as I let the auto attack kill the training dummy I got a few follow up tells from the former leader. He said that the healers refused to use pots.

I am cool with that but if they said something I would have healed myself and I could have scrolled the tank I think long enough to finish it. But no commutation kills groups more then any raid boss. Also in hindsight if that one dps (who had an Esos) would have returned I think we might have had the extra dps to but us over but like I said it was right there. Hell if one of those divines doted sully vs throwing BB after BB on top on my BBs it would have been enough.

I don’t know. There were a lot of things that could have fixed things. But I think if there was more helpful commutation and less unhelpful chitchat I think we would have won.

Werds that Suck!

Language is a funny thing. It only works when people share the meaning of the words we use. Tobril and I use a short hand while driving, as I am not super good with right or left directions (Just part of how my brain is wired). So we have a system using the turn signal for following directions aka up or down and follow the arrow. It works because we share meaning/experience of those words. But if I told you to go to X Street and go up with out that meaning would you know what I meant? I don’t think so. This will make sense soon, stay with me.

Yesterday I told a story about how I spent Wednesday night tilting. And I quoted Tobril saying, “I will stay in.” He commented on that by saying he felt that he was not helping as much as the wife and or I. And could best help by keeping the quest alive while people filled back up and jumped back in. Granted that is a fine motivation and some times even worth wild tactic. But the truth is DDo players say some things that piss me right off. “I will stay in.” is one of them.

My issue with “I will stay in” comes from the meaning I take away from hearing those words post wipe. Try to follow this train of thought. I just died. (While I don’t take deaths as personally as others I really don’t play to die. I do enjoy pushing myself but I expect better of myself at all time and don’t really expect to die.) And I hear “Hey we all just wiped, so I will stay here and you go lose more XP so I can get as much as I can. Thanks. You might as well ask me for my TPS reports.

Like I said above I know what he Tobril was thinking, because he told us. But that is not how I heard things. I don’t really have a fix. Other then slow counting to ten after someone says something that hits your anger button. And ask yourself what did they really mean?

Any way some other things that ddo players say that get my goat:

“I just want a completion.” Aka I have giving up on trying and now let just finish so I can be done.

“I don’t think we can.” This one pissing me in pugs not from friends or guildies, because pugers have no biases other then perceived one by class break down to judge what we can do.

“X class/player is not DPS” Again, perceived bias.

“”X is over powered” I have never seen a compelling argument for what is over powered in dnd or ddo. Now before playing DDo, MtG was my game of choice and I still think a lot like a Magic player. Damage spells, Removal spells etc… And we had a banned and restricted list in tournament play. How did I know those cards belonged on that list? Numbers and math. There is a card Sensei’s Divining Top and when it was tournament legal it dominated decks. Such a large number of decks used it that it was like the rules were changed to four tops and 56 other cards in a magic deck. Something like 90some% of decks were using four of that card in their decks and 100% of the top 24 in the different Pro tours. The only other card that was as damaging back then was Umezawa’s Jitte. So popular that some decks ran copies just to kill the other players copies. So numbers and math proved that something was too good. There are no clear numbers as far as I know in DDO. There is nothing saying 60% of all epic kills are from Wail or 70% there are X number of 95% ac tanks and quests that they do they complete 99% of the time.

Any way I have gone long. Use the comments to let me know what werds that you hear get thrown around DDo that pisses you off a little.

I’m Not your Mama, take your Drama Someplace Else!

Sorry but person A can’t play with person B. B wont play with C. C will play with both as long as we don’t do quest X or put person A or B in roll Q. And both A and B want to do quest X only….

Or in other words when I have the star, Frack my Life.

Ever have one of those nights where everyone seems to have brought their baggage to the party? I travel fairly light any more. I have two people I don’t play with and I don’t think either play anymore. But if they did/do and they act like a human beings and keep their mouth shut I don’t think I would notice they were back in my group.

That said I know people have reasons not to want to play with others. I don’t even care what those reasons are. If your reason is good enough for you it is good enough for me. If you don’t want to play with person B don’t. And I will defend you for leaving when your gone. But if your desire to play with me is less then your desire not to play with person B what am I to do? Especially when person B is a guildie with a reservation via mails that you don’t happen to get…

I have to give preferred treatment to members of the guild. It sounds like crap but it is true. Or otherwise my guild wouldn’t be what it is (one of the best ones around). I expect all my guildies to do the same for the other members.

That doesn’t mean you, a person on my friends list, can’t have my loyalty too. But I have to be a good leader within my guild.

It is not fair to me (or anyone else) that I secretly hope that person B doesn’t long on while playing with person A or vice versa.

I don’t have an easy answer for people when this happens. If people can’t talk it out and learn to be civil for the sake of a third or forth person, I don’t know what to do…

My wife’s best friend, hates me or did enough that she tried to stop my wedding right up to the walk down the isle, and I believe she has tried to talk my wife into leaving me more then once (Thankfully my wife is dumb and still loves me 🙂 I am an ass after all.). And I don’t like her because of that fact and some other things that I happen to feel strongly about but wont talk about on an internet blog post. The point is we have worked out a system for my wife to be able to see and hang out with her best friend. Once and a while I will even recommend a visit (and offered her my rental house so she could move closer) because I know what spending time with a friend means. All awhile I don’t put her head on a stick on my front yard while she is “visiting” sleeping on my couch and she hasn’t been successful in talking my wife into leaving me.

If two people can work things out enough to be civil to each other that has as much bad blood as she and I do then I think that there is hope for everyone to put their feelings aside for the other person/s that they do care about.

But hey if you can’t, No problem. But if I slip up and forget you let you know that players on your do not group list are planing on tagging along then well sorry. I don’t even check my dnp list any more….