Tag: crucible

Thoughts on Raids, Characters, and Randomness

I’ve been doing quite a bit of raiding lately, nothing too heavy but still far more in the last week then I’ve done in the last year. There are up sides and down sides to this – it’s a lot of fun exploring content that is new to me but it’s also an indication of just how behind I am in some aspects compared to people who ‘really’ raid.

Because I have so many alts it’s difficult to gear them up – I have the mystic as the only character in her full T2 set, with shards to spare. She’s also on my second account, with no alts so there’s no one to take advantage of those extra shards. On the main account shard gear is spread between 7 characters, and of course I don’t have enough shards for all. Take into account that when I moved from Kithicor to Antonia Bayle I also switched from playing my kerran coercer to my dark elf (and then betrayed the kerran over to illusionist) the process slows even more.

In a lot of instances I can get by without having ‘top notch’ gear because the stuff I do have isn’t THAt horrible – but when those AoE’s start to rain down wow do I feel it.

Looking past the gear, there are the achievements. These are almost crucial to any group these days, and again the mystic is sitting at 174 (which is the most I have on any character) while my other characters hover between 120-150 or so. RoK almost completely ruined the “quest grind” for me – and after that expansion I pretty much never wanted to touch another quest again. The only way to level was by questing, and after doing that on so many characters I just completely burned out. As it stands now if I quest for any more then an hour or two at a time I can very literally feel myself falling into a coma.

Having so many alts again slows down the process of questing, as I tend to play whatever I feel like when the mood hits instead of concentrating on a main.

Gear and achievements are just two aspects of preparing for end game raiding – then there is also spells. Now, I easily have expert (the new adept3, crafted) spells of everything, on all of my level 80 characters. A few (the mystic mainly) have the majority of their masters, too. The important ones in any case. A lot of characters do NOT have many of their master spells though, and when you start trying to take down orange encounters, this again proves to be an issue. Master spells have a lower resist rate, and the higher level the mob, the more they will resist. While I may have been fully mastered in EoF – things have changed over time and that is certainly no longer the case.

Trying to gear up everyone, get aa, get spells – is an impossible task. What other option do I really have though if I WANT to raid? Realizing just how far behind I am is not fun. I’ve been exceptionally lucky to take some under geared characters along for the ride lately for raids, but I know this will not always be the case (not to mention my illusionist on Oasis is getting fairly well geared now, slowly. She just really needs to work on achievements and spells).

Last night I visited Korsha – and took down the Overking for my warden’s mythical update. That just leaves her with the Cinder Wasp Queen (and Leviathan in order to gain access to Veeshan’s Peak). I’m happy – but the warden is not a character I’ve been playing aside from these few raids, so she is EXCEPTIONALLY under geared, not even wearing T1 (mostly decked out in RoK quested legendary and some instance gear). After Overking was done and a quick Crucible run took place Paradise Lost noticed that there was a contested epic up in Fens of Nathsar – The Tangrin.

Short their real raid force, I tagged along first on the illusionist and then swapping over to the warden to help with heals. If they had of had their typical force on (Saturday nights are not a raid night for them usually) things probably would have gone different. After giving the mob a few shots, the other raid guild in the area managed to take him down. Ah well, that’s how contested work, and hopefully they will have better luck next time.

Friday night also saw me in Ward of Elements for the first time – the illusionist picked up a T3 chest piece as well as a T3 shoulder piece, and a necklace. It was an exceptionally fun run, and I had a good time. Of coures I had to stand way far back for the majority of the fights so I didn’t get killed at the start, but it was still pretty fun.

Hopefully everyone has an amazing Sunday, and has a great time gaming no matter where you find yourself. See you in Norrath!

A Day of Good News and Good Games

First of all, I got confused and yesterday was apparently not Saturday at all, but Friday – so the book of the day is posted below, hope everyone enjoyed it! In the mean time, while I don’t have any solid answers yet about why I was sick nor am I feeling 100% quite yet – I am feeling better, and that is a huge bonus. In another little bit of good news, I managed to get a little promotion at work! Most readers know that I write for Beckett Massive Online Gamer, I write articles on Sony related games (EQ, EQ2, and Vanguard for the most part) as well as Free Realms, and I also write about Wizard 101, and whatever else they happen to throw my way (I’ve done a piece on Darkfall, etc).  The magazine is published in the states every two months and sold in stores like Barnes and Noble and Walmart. People can also get a subscription, and I’ve been working for them for exactly a year this month.

My new job still involves writing articles for them – but also includes working on their newly revamped web site a lot more. Posting news articles, moderating the forums and making sure things are posted there, too. It also includes a lot of public relations and promotions to the site and the magazine via twitter, facebook, and what ever other social media I can get my hands on. So from time to time you may see a post like this one trying to rack up interest. Hopefully I do a fine job (I can’t see why I wouldn’t!) and things go smooth. I’m excited!

Game wise I’ve been playing a lot of Wizard 101, I just can’t help it! My little life wizard has been having fun exploring Krokotopia, her dorm room is now completely packed with house items resembling the ancient land of forgotten treasures. In fact it’s starting to get a little crowded, and I need to move into a real house one of these days so I can move all the items out of my dorm. I have no idea what sort of house I want to purchase – I really want to purchase one of the “big” lots of land, as opposed to the smaller versions. They cost a lot of gold though – I have about 17,000 saved up.

I haven’t really gotten into crafting too much because there have been so many people running around going after the same things I needed it hasn’t been worth it. However, in Krokotopia I seem to find craft supplies galore. I’ll need to find a quiet time to finish my beginner quests one day if for no other reason then to say at least I’m working on it.

I love the newly revamped bazaar – it’s far easier now to search for items that you actually want. I don’t know that I’ll use it all too much never being a huge bazaar person myself, but one never knows!

The sword pictured above is the one from the latest issue of Beckett MOG – although if you happen to buy their Pokemon magazine you’ll also find another code! I love these little items, even if it means everyone is running by me asking where the awesome sword comes from. I’m always happy to point them towards the magazine!

Although it says little Angela Ravendust is level 23 in that picture, she’s now level 24 and part way through. I’ve been trying to take a little break here and there from the game but it’s hard, I find the card game combat exceptionally addicting, especially because it’s just so different from all of the basic hack and slash games that I already play.

I’ve been playing some EQ2 as well (of course) my little illusionist managed to get herself the wand from Crucible – of course it’s not the illusionist I have on Antonia Bayle (I’m still split between two servers, instead of four, making it much easier to handle) but it’s nice none the less. We did a few instances last night for shards and I completely forgot that the key mobs have been removed from Crucible and Scion of Ice for the time being. It would have meant two more (very useful) shards for me. I hope they get them fixed soon!

Ultann was taking his inquisitor on multiple raids yesterday which is fantastic for him. He managed to get his Thuuga update, Leviathan, and as I was headed to bed he was headed to Veeshan’s Peek – to perhaps get his final update of Nexona. I haven’t logged in yet this morning to check how that went, but my fingers are crossed! Calreth didn’t have nearly as good luck with his updates, Leviathan going horribly wrong for the evening (hugs). Fingers crossed that he’ll get his updates one of the times he’s around! I know he’s been waiting forever for it.

I hope everyone else has a fantastic Saturday, enjoy the weekend (more rain here) and happy gaming! I’ll see you in Norrath (or in Krokotopia!)

Did We Just Pull That Off??

Yesterday was the first real day we’ve had Kasul around on his assassin and boy did we take advantage of it. I’ve been constantly grouped up with Wpus and Ultann (and Ultann’s boxed Inquisitor, Nocbot) since late December on the Kithicor server. By now we know how we group, I know what to expect. If things are too easy chances are I’ll go screaming into the next room shouting “BUGABOO” at the top of my lungs and training us. They know that.

Adding a fourth person to the mix (and thus filling out our group nicely since I box the mystic + dirge / illusionist) was something I had a few reservations about. Not because Kasul isn’t amazing but because we (the original three) know how to play together. We’ve been taking down content with three of us that I was exceptionally proud to do. We DID have a lack of dps though, and it was noticeable.

Last time we headed to Guk we couldn’t make it past the third named. Or rather, the stairs of mobs that would never end. It took forever just to get to that part to begin with, so we called it.

Yesterday we bravely headed to Guk once more – and WE CLEARED THE ZONE. That’s right. That’s how much of a difference it made to add a fourth to our 3. So now I call us the 3 plus one guild. Not only did we clear the zone but Ultann managed to get the fungus spores that go for 600p on our server, as well as a new master spell.

I was impressed. I was happy. I can only hope that the others were too.

That wasn’t all we did though, oh no of course not. We did our usual Crypt of Agony run and no neither item that we’re after dropped. After that I suggested that we spend our time doing zones that we don’t typically do. We’ll have plenty of time to do the ‘other’ zones while Kasul is at work. So we did Obelisk of Akhzul, Anchor of Bazzul, Najena’s Hollow Tower, Halls of the Fallen (Guk), The Crucible,  and then after all of that our little 3 plus one group headed to Evernight Abby in Loping Plains which was the daily double.

Unfortunately by the time we got there it was after midnight and I still haven’t been feeling the greatest lately, so we cleared the first named and then I camped out in the zone so that we could finish it off tomorrow (today). Not a big deal, and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully everyone had an incredible time, even if they all teased me to no end. Why?

Well, throughout most of the zones (Crucible, Najena’s) nothing but the dirge, troubador, paladin, shadowknight loot would drop. Every single time. Of course I happened to be on my illusionist, which is ALWAYS the case, the dirge who didn’t play even got a master to drop while the illusionist has one single little master to her collection. Ah, the RGN is a cruel mistress some days. Wpus, Ultann, and Kasul had no end of material for teasing me. Each time we defeated a named it was almost guaranteed that it would drop loot for the dirge I wasn’t playing.

I did make off with two nice items, a ranged item for the illusionist as well as a new cloak with a void beast proc on it (that I adore, even if procs are going to be nerfed and it will no longer crit). It was one of those amazing incredible days that I love so much. Good gaming, good friends, great conversation and we got a lot done. Now I just need to work at finishing off those achievement points.

Happy gaming, and I’ll see you all in Norrath!

Friday Night Instances

It’s a lot easier to get groups in EQ2 then it is to get groups in EQ. Sure, they happen but people pretty much stick to doing the hot zones and a few missions that are required for access. In EQ2 there are void shard groups constantly ongoing and even a few pick up raids if you’re so inclined. Although Kithicor has a very elitist view when it comes from doing instances and who is good enough  to do them. The channels are filled with people trying to one up each other by linking their gear and teasing those who may not be as well geared as them. On that note, it’s rare that my little trio actually wants to join three other people because from appearances we don’t fit the mold of ‘cool’ people. My mystic doesn’t even have her epic, we’re not mastered out, and our gear is a mish mash of quested and void shard armor. Not bad by any means, but not ‘uber’ enough to roll with the big kids who are constantly going on about 6-10k parses and linking all of their fabled. 

We started out last night with our daily Ahkzul run (again no shield) and it went a little rough. The bouncy room didn’t seem so friendly but on the plus side the giant void creatures didn’t hit us with any AoE and that was nice. One huge upside to playing my coercer as my main and then leaving the mystic as the background / laptop character. Coercers get lots of stuns (though I’m thinking of betraying her over to illusionist, more on that later). After we were done we figured why not try to snag three other people and go do Anathema for some shards. 

Our group make up was not your typical group and I had a lot of doubts I’ll admit. It consisted of the trio (myself as 80 mystic, Ultann the 80 shadowknight, and Wpus the 80 conjuror) and then an 80 guardian (Ultann tanked so the guardian was dps), an 80 warlock, and an 80 brigand. No power regen (not needed with Wpus’ power procs) and no mezer (hopefully not needed). We did surprisingly well, we wiped once due to one of the ghost children spawning an add directly on top of me when we were already involved in a difficult encounter, and the rest went smooth. The three others died a few times from various agro issues (that’s why there’s a threat meter folks!) and AoE’s but we escaped unscathed and collected our two shards. 

I managed to get the mystic her 3rd piece of T2 void shard armor, a nice pair of pants. This leaves her with 2 pieces of T1 and 3 pieces of T2, so she’s getting the set bonus from each. The effect on the pants is a nice overloaded heal (which also happens to be her 5 set bonus) so I was pleased with the upgrade. 

Not ready to call it a night quite yet, we decided to go to Scion of Ice next except no matter how hard we looked we couldn’t find three others to round out the group. Apparently we’d managed to catch cooties on our last run. Wpus, our fearless leader, decided that we would attempt this zone un-mentored, with just the three of us. 

I was sceptical but never one to back down from a challenge decided sure why not. 

It was an intense run. I ended up bringing along the coercer for stuns and power regen and to mez one of the encounters that has two sphynx that you’ve got to defeat. We actually managed to clear the entire zone, including the named at the entrance just the three of us. I was impressed. I was beyond impressed. It was a lot of fun and although the zone seems to drop a million cloaks and nothing more I was really proud that we’d defeated it. It also gives us another instance that we can defeat for shards if we can’t fill out a group. 

After that victory we decided to complete the shard quest for The Crucible, it was getting late and I knew we probably wouldn’t be able to beat that zone (at least not the final mob that requires people to click objects from the ground as you fight a named) but the void shard quest was to kill 15 creatures within, and the void shard chest is on the first floor so it was simple enough. Today we’re going to attempt the Lavastorm instances and then perhaps the ones in Commonlands just to see how far we can get in them. It’s great to feel so challenged and to get as far as we have in zones that can pose as cumbersome to people. Sure, I don’t see us trioing Veksar or Guk any time soon, but in the mean time this has been really rewarding and pleased that some times it’s NOT all about what gear you have and it really is about the player knowing their class.

Templar hits 80, with LOTS of instances!

Up early yesterday for a family get together and then spent most of the afternoon napping (I wasn’t feeling too well) so when I finally got up around 7pm I wasn’t really expecting to do too much before heading back to bed for the night. Turns out, I was wrong. 

My ‘usual’ group was around, Kasul, Albrta, Eyenstein, and Shadowgeist, so we decided to do some instances. The daily double was Najena’s Hollow Tower, and none of us felt like doing it. So instead we headed to Scion of Ice in Everfrost. Before doing Scion I had done a quick maidens run in Jarsath Waste, first time running Petites (templar) through there so the experience was fairly good. Finished off the weapon quest from the zone too. Anyhow, Scion of ice hurt. Plus our second shadowknight was apparently fairly drunk and left unable to continue part way through the instance. I was the only healer, and everyone seemed to be getting pummeled by AoE’s and my templar (yet) is not exactly geared up for solo healing. But we managed it, cleared the zone. I picked myself up a new healer cloak, as well as a new ring. 

I was a little reluctant to solo heal, but some times you don’t always get the perfect group. After we finished with Scion we headed to Crucible which has always been the easiest of the Everfrost instances, for me at least. We picked up a swashbuckler who was LFG – and for the first time ever I had to ask someone not to use a particular piece of gear. Not because of them, but because of me. 

I was still 79 at the time, solo healing, without very good gear (my own fault I know, but what was the point of upgrading everything when I was wearing the EoF set gear and I’d just be wearing void shard gear before too long) my spells were all adept3 but I didn’t have any illusionist with TC or any of that stuff. Anyhow, the item in question is the Bloodthirsty Choker. If you’ve never heard of this item before it’s the one that quickly drains your health as you dps to boost your attacks with a proc. It drains about 10% health (at least on the swashbuckler) every tick or two. 

Being the only healer, I didn’t feel as though I could effectively keep my heals concentrated on both the tank, and this swashbuckler in group without letting someone die. If I were on my warden, I’d have no issue at all with this. Afterwards, I did learn a few tricks in regards to the bloodthirsty choker. For example, apparently shield of faith which is a magic ward / buff will work on the choker. Apparently so will a few other things, like shield ally. 

Was it unfair of me to ask them to remove the piece? Well, I’m not sure. It really did make me feel like a crappy healer, but I know my limitations, and I wasn’t about to risk heals because someone wanted to boost their dps. Not to speak down about them, but pet peeve of mine is someone posting the dps parse every fight into group chat. It’s fine to want to know your dps, but posting (and they’d only post the ones where they were on top) like that just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe even more so because I play a healer and I’m always at the bottom of that list, with big fat 0’s by my name. 

The fabled healer / mage item from Crucible dropped and Petites won it, all in all it was a very nice day for the templar. That also makes my 5th level 80 character which means my account has a 50/50 bonus for both tradeskilling and adventuring (which is the cap). I started the templar epic, which has been fairly smooth so far. Lots of running around, which seems to be the case for every epic. 

Next? Not sure. I’d like to work a pure DPS class up to 80 simply because I don’t have one. I have two healers, and 3 utility (two enchanters and a bard) and then of course there’s the paladin tank I have at 70. Still on burn out from that one though. So what do I have left? Well, there’s the 61 bruiser, the 61 necromancer (who I’ve had since 2004 and just never leveled), I have the 58 swashbuckler, the 70 paladin, and a 30 warlock, as well as the 74 defiler. It may sound like a lot, but keep in mind the experience from 1-70 was drastically increased, there’s mentor bonus, and there’s experience potions, AND there’s the account bonus I have. It really takes no time at all these days to level up a character in EQ2 and honestly as long as I’m having fun that’s all that matters. 

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and had some great holidays no matter where you game!

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