R1 ToEE Part 1 & 2 Solo Experience

Boy, is this going to be a fun story to share!

Lately I have been writing more about my questing experiences because they have been eventful – which is totally awesome in my opinion! The game should be fun and exciting – full of storytelling material and content. And this is just another one of them.

What inspired me to do these solo runs is a couple of things: solo performance in high level reaper content, and most importantly, the thrill of exploring an expanse dungeon, one that is of preferably and generally unbeknownst to me. This was an excellent learning experience in not just refreshing my memory in how to run the quest, but to immerse myself in a dungeon that I consider to be fun if and only if I am running it for that sole purpose. And this was just one of those days when I needed some solitude and quiet time.

I have to admit, I am thoroughly surprised at my performance. I was farming the rares in ToEE part 2 today solo and I was just not able to survive or play as well as I did in the previous completion run. Something about my attitude and mood greatly affects my play style performance, it seems… as if I was almost in a trance like state playing through the two part dungeon.

But enough of generalities. Let’s get to it!


ToEE Part 1

Let me just say that first and foremost, these two quests were full on exploratory runs – I spent a decent chunk of my evening that day running both parts, and while it was difficult and challenging at various instances, it was also loads of fun. I got to re-learn the quests and re-familiarize myself with the pathing, quest objectives, and other areas otherwise left unexplored in a normal zerging run.

ToEE Part 1 was more of a successful run than Part 2 for many reasons: Part 2’s end fight, lesser death count, and overall, better tactical strategies employed. At first, I was almost unsure about the performance because even the outer perimeter mobs were difficult to deal with at first. But I plowed forward, and did my best. To be honest, ToEE is not much different than Slavers in terms of mob-spawn placement – they are placed in almost every 5-10 feet distance of the next “cluster.” In that regard, the same psychology of difficulty-familiarity, I suppose, was translated here; so I felt as if it were possible after all, since I’ve ran countless Slavers’ runs (a little hard to explain, but that’s the best I can do).

Surprisingly, I realized that the difficulty tier for these types of quests are variable in my experience and level of play. The other day I was trying to replicate a solo rare farming run, but I was killed far more often than the completion run here. Perhaps it was the level of determination that separates the two cases, but I was kind of surprised that the latter performance varied by a large margin.

R1 ToEE P1

As you can see, I spent over 86 minutes, with a death + a Jibbers death due to an unfortunate encounter, and while the first part has NOTHING on the second part’s duration, Part 1 did feel a lot more of a drag because I enjoyed the elemental nodes sections a lot more than running to each elemental area and grabbing their keys. Part 1 was fairly straightforward, and I had to remind myself how to calculate my SP and conserve enough before the next shrine, a bit more dangerously than in Part 2. All in all, the mobs were mostly susceptible to my spells and I was able to dispatch most of them before they could take me out (although there were many close calls + the one instance when I did die). I remember running nearly out of SP at the Water room where we fight the aquatic gelatinous cube and water elemental guardians. There was also another point when I was keeping a good 15-20 meter distance from the Medusa rare near the Earth area location in order to stay alive and physically evade her deadly force blasts. Lots of memorable instances!

ToEE Part 1 is definitely more “do-able” as R1 solo compared to ToEE Part 2, by a long shot.

ToEE Part 2

Part 2 was… very interesting. The screenshot should say a lot in itself.

R1 ToEE P2

In this case, this was maybe a 90% solo. The boss fight was a huge 10% that I needed assistance with (and rightfully so, that end fight is nuts!). But we’ll get to that at the end.

I spent almost 5 hours exploring the entire ToEE map, and I have to say it was quite fulfilling. My favorite areas are the Water and Air elemental node sections, and while Earth and Fire were more easier sections to complete, it was not quite as interesting and Water and Air in terms of environmental design.

However, at one point, I started getting some crazy latency – as in, above 3K with the yellow symbol. My internet very rarely does this where the wifi connection kind of starts losing it ever since we moved and downgraded from high speed. And running R1 solo, as a caster, there is close to 0% forgiveness ratio when it comes to damage intake. I also feared that if I crashed, which at one point I almost did, I’d lose the entire progress – which I was already 3-4 hours in.

R1 ToEE P2 Latency

Thus, I had asked a guildie (Jynxx) to help hold the quest down in case that happened, which she so graciously did. I was really glad to ask her because she wasn’t going to help me in the quest (at first) or talk to me nonstop since she was busy browsing around FaceBook, so I was content in just the quiet company of another friend. Of course, as soon as I took such cautious measures, the latency disappeared. With +1 party member scaling too I was noticing a lot more respawns and greater clusters of mobs, which added a little more difficulty, but nothing impossible.

Now, boss fight was just pure hectic. I was really nervous and excited at the same time entering the boss fight arena, only to be shot down very quickly. I lasted maybe 5 minutes before Zuggtmoy took me down with one of her Earthquakes and a barrage of attacks. Spending nearly 300 minutes in the quest, I was not about to give up though. I burnt through maybe about half a dozen Siberys cakes before I finally gave in to ask for help. The biggest obstacle was that I already had the maximum death penalties stacked on Sera, with me being unable to dodge or evade from her Earthquakes once I realized I was in the affected area too late, along with the final mobs that release when she reaches the third HP threshold. The red named Goristro, minimal compact environmental space that I actually had, along with a barrage of other mini mobs, spells, and toxic mushrooms she was throwing at me, on top of her deadly mushroom wave attack, all made it quite difficult to make it through. By the time I got to my 6th cake, I realized I was out of tactical strategies to use to defeat her unless I got help – the fact that I had no other reliable player to help keep some or most of the heat of mob agro made it immensely challenging for me to solo the end fight. As well as no one else being there to raise me when I needed it, hence burning more of my own personal resources, much to my dismay.

So once I got Jynxx’s attention from her semi-afk to ask for some help, she tried her best to come rescue me, as she didn’t fully know her way to end fight. In the meanwhile, I searched through as many alts as I could, and finally found Palieup available to use who was flagged. Dualboxing her, I summoned a hire, invised through the entire dungeon, and met up with Jynxx, right before the end fight. Discussing tactics, we were going to rush in together and raise Sera – but as I read in the wiki moments before (I did have to reference the wiki in Part 2 a few times), Zuggtmoy’s attacks can affect the area right before the entrance. And we basically died right there to the mobs that teleported outside the entrance barrier. Except my hunch told me to park the hire in the previous area before.

With the hire to raise me, I ran all the way back with only 1 or 2 seconds to spare, and got Jynxx up. We eventually dispatched the trash mobs that teleported outside of the area, and then after recuperating and rebuffs, we entered the boss fight together. The rest of the boss fight, with all the trash mobs gone, was mostly a breeze – Sera was revived and restored of all her death penalties from Palie’s Unyielding Sovereignty effect, and Zuggtmoy’s remaining health was depleted to our completion.

The moment of relief washed over me when we finally got it, mostly out of exasperation, so I was just glad that even with assistance at the end it was done. While I didn’t like to use the cakes, I almost never use those cakes in other situations as I have Jibbers and often run in groups where I raise someone who can in turn, raise, or others raise me. And, there are the other 41 supreme cakes that are sitting in my bank. 🙂

All in all, I had a blast, despite running into challenging situations or other “micro-challenges” such as lag. I really hope to do another challenging solo (attempt at least) run like this, particularly in large quests where I can spend my time enjoying the quest. The primary reason for running this on R1 at all was mostly for the first time bonus though – but now, perhaps some other time, I can relax and explore even further at an easier difficulty. Mostly because in some cases, I couldn’t explore 100% because of lack of resources (SP) or out of caution.

This is just one step towards refining the Favored Soul build, as this does indicate a lot of weaknesses (and strengths!) that the build holds. But really, I just had fun simply running solo in the solitude of my own, without any worry for others, or “ruined” by even running with just one other person, at least the entire quest. Learning to be accountable on my own in a high level quest is what I’d like to see and test for myself.

Who Knew a 3-Hour Long Raid…

…could actually be pretty fun?

Never mind a 3 hour long EE Deathwyrm!

So a couple days ago or so, I had been posting for some raids on Meredithium/Seraphemia. Of course, the moment I switch to Sera, things start to look a little ugly… it did not help that Sera was already nearly half the DPS of the group, so the DPS red flag was frantically waving once Sera was out of the picture.

20170715043956_1

It was really rough… Conquest achieved though!

 

While I was happy with Sera’s performance in LH Shroud, it usually is a bad sign. Normally, I don’t have to worry about putting that much DPS but I think group composition, in all of the raids we were running that night, just was not cut out for it.

Afterwards, we had ran a DOJ and FOTP, which were mostly fine. Once we got to EE Deathwyrm, that was the interesting kicker.

I personally am not super familiar with the mirror puzzles like Andy and Psy are, but I’m definitely catching on and learning. This run, I was able to get through them fairly quickly, and there was not too much pressure as we had someone else shadow me to learn it, and the rest of the party either did not know it or did not really care that I was sort of taking my time. At the same time, I also had to explain the raid and what I was doing over voice chat to someone else who was totally new to the raid. Despite these, it was manageable and I think I explained to the extent that I would like, even for the end fight as we shrined up. However, our luck with the intersection rooms (we got Jump + Red/Green Light) was a foreshadow for the things to come…

As soon as I try to assign roles, it was very strained as I only have Koko to depend on as a capped character with actual DPS. Thank goodness he was on his rogue, or else I am not sure if we would have even succeeded! I was at first our tank, and Koko was going to drop off the Kulds. Thing is, neither of us ended up with the same roles at the end of the raid. In retrospect, I think I should have been more aware of our group composition and capability, and organized roles a bit better.

Almost immediately after a few folks head into the shadow realm, the group starts falling apart. Because of the separation between our healers and the others, the few who entered through the portals ended up wiping, without even being able to kill the beholder and helmed horror. I got a tell from Tala about the situation, and so I had to rearrange positions to the worst possible scenario: our new guy, the Favored Soul caster, was in charge of tanking the dragon. In my mind, I had to give the role to him because not only was he spending SP to heal me, he was also capable of DPSing the dragon down, so it would be more efficient that way if he took the dragon himself, freeing my position to go help elsewhere, where he would not be able to due to being new to the raid. Despite being new, he was the only option. Of course, there were little things I noticed about his tanking method; he was in the spawning corner by the south lever which made it slightly harder to tank, while he could have been tucked away in one of the column crevices across the southern wall. When I advised kiting if he was taking too much damage, he almost immediately died. To which I kind of felt bad bringing up that idea in the first place.

Moving on, he took charge of the dragon’s agro, but there was also the other issue of Kulds not being properly dropped. For about 70% of the fight, Kulds were a major issue, and I ended up having to grab agro and hang from the stone ledge – which was highly inefficient. Our poor healers (aside from me when I tried) – one Favored Soul and one Cleric – had to drink so many potions to keep us alive. Towards the end I tried to reimburse, but no one would accept! Haha. Anyways, the Cleric was often away for a majority of the end fight due to getting stranded in R/G room for a while, but they eventually came back. While they did a superb job healing us, I often had to call out for them to heal me or Mez, so I felt like it was a bit hard to delegate that without sounding bossy or anything. Of course, they were so very kind in doing as I asked!

There were several instances where we were close to a full wipe, about a total of 3 or so. Being separated from the main group did not help things when we were trying to destroy the real phylactery – and DPS was very slow so it would take a very long time. At the first instance, when we were getting overwhelmed by too much trash, I called it as the raid leader to retreat and recuperate – grab as many soulstones as you could, raising the important people (healers), and run.

For future reference… never linger if you are outside on the temple floors. Aurgloroasa dragged us back maybe 2-3 times, and people were so befuddled. However, I had noticed that two folks in the shrine room remained there – so I told folks to retreat there as fast as possible. Sure enough, we finally regrouped there safe and sound, waiting out our many death penalties and rebuffing to the best of our abilities. During the hectic tanking, I had also bought SP potions too, which I reluctantly purchased (although looking back on it now, I have no qualms anymore).

One instance I clearly remember was when we all wiped but the two in the phylactery room and I almost knew we were going to have to give up then. But right then and there – lo and behold, they got the right phylactery! A new surge of hope shot through me, and we were all so happy. We desperately tried to revive each other, and regrouped once more.

To wrap the story up, I actually enjoyed the raid, in a twisted way I suppose, haha. The thing is, we were all so determined to make it through, even though there were so many close calls. No one dropped or commented negatively that “we couldn’t have done it” – because if we had, I think we really couldn’t have. There is that certain psychology in gaming and groups. But it was that persistence that drove us to grit through, and we certainly paid the resources for it. It was not the cost that mattered, but the experience; and somehow, I managed to yet again lead through a raid that may have been bitterly painful, but still ended in a successful completion. Almost never does that ever happen – the last I recall was an EE FOT raid years ago.

After the raid, I went to sleep easily, thinking back fondly upon it. Another favorite part about the raid was that we were so resourceful – very rarely, do we get to utilize a challenging near -stalemate in any quest or raid that requires us to stop and take a moment. The fact that our SP was in jeopardy (despite SP pots from the store) caused us to be more resourceful and tactful; a couple of us used our Xachosian Eardweller to create some SP munchies, I used my stack of GH scrolls to pass buffs to everyone, and our Fighter even used his Eternal Wand of Cure Minor Wounds to patch up folks in the waiting time. Honestly, this is the sort of experience that was reminiscent of the pre-MoTU days, or the “Golden Era.” And it’s made me realize, I love to be resourceful and the thrill of “barely surviving” is what I love about this game at its core.

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Running these raids lends me to know more about myself as a player, honestly. And you know what? I’m extremely stubborn towards success, almost to a fault, yet somehow these near impossible situations, seem possible.

Keep up the Good Fight.

Abstract Piece

Yesterday, two classmates of mine and I collaborated on a piece of artwork for an assignment but it actually turned out really well! I really enjoyed it and it was probably maybe the first time I actually collaborated with other people together on a single piece of artwork and it turned out just the way we wanted! Without any creative disputes!?

Traditional abstract art isn’t exactly my kind of style but it was very fun and experimental. It felt a little unauthentic though because we mask-taped two poster sheets together, instead of using real quality paper. The class I am in is just a Drawing Foundations course (meaning other major students are included as well so it is not like an advanced course) but it is still a university level course – even my high school AP courses were tougher and more… organized? Nothing against the professor of course, just that the level of the course was not what I expected!

Because of this, I was able to be more relaxed and draw or paint as I saw fit without any restrictions (although less guidance and organization to what I’m used to). Without any further ado, here is the painting!

abstract_dragon

Untitled by Grace Lee, Akshaya Madhavan, and Anna McDougald

I still have yet to clean up the photo so sometime later when I feel like it I’ll update it with a cleaner, enhanced version.

This piece was created with dabbing paintbrushes purely with acrylic paint. At first we were just dab-happy with whatever swirls we felt like painting – but then as we placed our base coat down, our interpretation of it looking like a dragon or the number “2” when viewing from the portrait angle was the leading figure for our direction.

It was still freshly painted when I took this photo, and I wish I had a better camera to detail all the various textures from the thickness of the paint. Maybe in the updated photo the enhancements will show the details better. Even running my fingers over the paint texture was very interesting in that we created this together as a team using the texture of the thick brushes’ ends. I specifically also used the wooden end of the brush to create the dots and finer details.

Overall it was a fun project! We literally made this in the class time it took yesterday, so that was roughly about 2 hours. I was really proud and happy in the way it turned out but also of our teamwork – the other groups pretty much “worked together” by claiming a small portion of the working space and painting their own abstractions. But we (I would say) worked on this equally together; while we did assign main roles and “taking turns” for each important aspect of the piece, we ultimately worked on each stage together, discussing each detail in depth and planned accordingly.

We came across issues, but we overcame them together. The teal line across the middle of the piece that branches out originally was not interconnected – we struggled with how we should interconnect the lines and where to place more of the focal emphasis and weight (because one side had turned out heavier than the other). But in the end we worked together to make this!! 🙂

We didn’t come up with a name for it, so I just left it as Untitled in the caption. When I was writing this post originally I was going to call it “Abstract Dragon” or something – but it wasn’t just me who made this. I doubt the others would really bother to come up a name for it, and I would have wanted to title it something a little more creative than that. So I figured it would be best to just leave it as Untitled until we decide on something (or if they even remember next next week).

It was an experience I really enjoyed and had lots of fun! I cannot express how proud and happy I was of us when we won the extra credit competition. <nerds out>

😀

Reincarnation Plans Documented!

Today, I wanted to post about how my future TR plans for Sera will look like since I have been thinking about them all morning (DDO withdrawals suckkkk!). Why does it feel like my schedule is so cramped?! Maybe I am too used to 100+ hours of DDO at a time, haha… hmph.

Anyhootooties, I’ve got roughly at least 20 more lives to go including both epic and heroic past lives for triple everything, but I’m debating on how to split it up. Currently, I’m on my final Artificer life, and planning Monk next to knock out the last two for those. So:

  • Monk – 18/1/1 Monk/Warlock/Cleric || Traditional fist fighter, Grandmaster of Flowers/Divine Crusader
  • Monk – 13/6/1 Monk/Ranger/Cleric || Monkcher, Fury of the Wild/Legendary Dreadnought/Shiradi Champion
  • Bard – 12/6/2 Bard/Fighter/Rogue || Swashbuckler, Legendary Dreadnought
  • Bard – 12/4/4 Bard/Cleric/Fighter || Warchanter TWF, Legendary Dreadnought
  • Bard – 17/2/1 Bard/Rogue/Cleric || Spellsinger DC caster, Exalted Angel
  • Fighter – 20 Fighter || Vanguard, Legendary Dreadnought
    • 1 ETR: Doublestrike x1
  • Fighter – 20 Fighter || Kensei TWF, Legendary Dreadnought
    • 1 ETR: Doublestrike x1
  • Fighter – 20 Fighter || Kensei THF, Legendary Dreadnought
    • 1 ETR: Doublestrike x1
  • Ranger – 18/1/1 Ranger/Artificer/Cleric || Deepwood Sniper, Legendary Dreadnought
    • 2 ETR’s: Doubleshot x2
  • Ranger – 18/1/1 Ranger/Artificer/Cleric || Arcane Archer, Legendary Dreadnought/Fury of the Wild/Shiradi Champion
    • 2 ETR’s: Fortification x1, Doubleshot x1
  • Ranger – 18/1/1 Ranger/Artificer/Cleric || Tempest TWF, Legendary Dreadnought
    • 2 ETR’s: Fortification x2

The rest of the epic past lives (Block Energy x2 + Power of Life and Death x3) can be easily obtained as a FVS. But argh, look at how many lives are still left!!

I’ve been debating on just knocking out the heroic past lives and ignore the epic past lives to get them later, but then I remind myself of the point that it is easier to gain XP for these lives that do have first time bonuses as opposed to just the final FVS life where the first time bonuses will run out faster and eventually leave the remaining epic past lives harder to get through. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to fully be playing as a “final” FVS caster life, so… I guess it’s best to just grind them out and just grit my teeth. Ughhh. I even went as far as calculating when I’d finish (roughly 2 weeks per life at this rate with my schedule… GRRR!) and it’d be around May or June. My plan was to get there before Christmas this year. But with the newly added Epic Past Lives on the list, I guess it would be best to just achieve triple Epic and Heroic Completionist at a closer time frame and just be done with this madness.

As for seeds, I should have a good enough supply. 20 x 42 is 840, then remaining past lives (5) means 210 more, so a grand total of 1,050. I can always grind more on alts who are already 30 too at least. Hmm, may have to do some grinding when I think about current supply on alts. Thank goodness for all that prep work in the past year or so!

Welp, I guess we’ll see where I go with this. It’s good to have an outline to see what my general plan is, and to refer to. I’m sure I’ll be making all sorts of changes/updates, but I desperately wish to get back to Favored Soul soon. 😦

Build Reviews: Paladin & Warlock

Welp, it’s DDO downtime again, and on second thought, am not as tired as I thought I’d be, so here I am.

Figured I’d get around to doing an informal overview of Sera’s lives so far (7 total lives since her last Favored Soul life), 6 of which I’ll be commenting on – the one Monk life was just a +20 LR heart reincarnation after all, so didn’t actually play that life.

Kind of hitting my head against the wall that I didn’t do these individual reviews while the build life was still fresh in my head but, will give it my best shot!

Paladin
First Paladin life was a pure Knight of Chalice, Two Handed Fighting Bladeforged Paladin. Appearance wise, she had a clean head (so no “hair”), light pink eyes, and smooth double blades as cheek blades and no mouth blades. Inspiration came from playing my older sister’s character for a bit, and thought it would be a great way to start off simple and easy with the Paladin class. I have to say it was a lot of fun and reminiscent of my Warpriest life as a pure Favored Soul; not optimized, but decent enough. I believe this build ran split destinies, part time Legendary Dreadnought then resorting to Divine Crusader for more heals, although can’t remember too well now. This was when I was beginning to run a lot with Sent, so with his advice I went dual-spec in both Repair and Heal Amplification. I have to say this life got me totally hooked onto Reconstruct SLA, and learned some few tips from Joli even in picking up Divine Sacrifice as a free [W] melee attack, etc. KOTC as a tree is pretty solid overall, the heal amp helped me as a Bladeforged immensely for sure (I’ll bet its even more killer as a fleshie) and I enjoyed the capstone, being mostly a pure class player. Sadly, I went AP frenzy in that tree, so I missed out on extra speed and enhancements in the Sacred Defender tree for the stance. Oh yes, I love the Fighter/Paladin stances! 🙂 On a separate note apart from build, I really hated Bladeforged in terms of appearance. It was extremely hard to stomach three Paladin Bladeforged lives, but I did it! I will say though, I took particular note that Bladeforged are not affected by nausea and nausea inducing effects – HALLELUJAH!

Next life was also highly enjoyable – Vanguard 18/2 Bladeforged Paladin/Fighter, primarily DPS spec with tank features. This time, I decided on trying out a metal mohawk which I was doing for a joke but actually ended up looking pretty good and not too manly – looked really cool! Although the usual circlet made her bald so I went with Lich White Eyes instead. Facial features were generally the same in all three lives of Paladin, save for the slight variation in testing out certain styles of cheek blades or similar markings for the facial markings. So not a pure tank like Andy or Sent are, which if I had an extra life to do I certainly would try (perhaps on a Fighter life, though I’m really big about DPS), but quite tanky overall. I admit that there were a few occasions where I had to hop around and kite a bit because 150-200 PRR *still* isn’t enough. This life packed a lot more DPS surprisingly than the first Paladin life – the attack speed was insane, pretty much a tanky Swashbuckler kind of, and I really enjoyed that mixed with the Fighter Haste Boost. This one also ran mostly in Legendary Dreadnought – keeping up with the Blitz was quite easy with its attack speed and many tactical feats/shield bashes. Surprisingly, Sera usually runs builds she has the gear for, and she just happened to have some of the best tower shields (Madstone Shield, Ultimatum) for a Vanguard. Feats were spread across fairly well due to two Fighter levels, and so there was much freedom in that. Initially, I expected DPS to be very low – but this turned out to be much better than what I expected and was a much more enjoyable life than the previous! 🙂

Final Paladin life – ahhh, my good friend Mrazinjo highly encouraged me to play a Shermanator build, which his other toon is a revised version of it. As much as I wanted to try a TWF Paladin/Ranger build, I decided to be lazy and try it out. Much to my surprise, this turned out to be the best DPS out of all three – and this is a heavy repeating crossbow Arcane Archer Paladin dishing out more damage than traditional Paladin-melee playstyles. Of course, it had its disadvantages of herding mobs into a line for IPS (so more intentional prep work) but it was insanely powerful. However, it did use a technical cheat and was clearly designed to be a max DPS toon. I’m very glad to have played it and makes an excellent introduction into my near future Rogue/other repeater build lives! I still hate lining up mobs though – that was like the biggest issue I had with that build, especially since I was so used to attacking multiple mobs at once in the two previous lives. One thing I noticed with this one in comparison was the gear progression – I had been pretty much working with the same level 14 heavy repeating crossbow (Fatal Flaw) until 28, and still held up fairly well!! Guess that happens when I’m too lazy and make do with what I have, trying to get the best of the best is just too much of a waste for me if its not on a final life! xD

Warlock
I have to mention Leela as my inspiration and direction for staying with Fiend pact for three whole lives. While I really did want to try the other two, I fell in love with Hurl Through Hell so hard – it just really appeals to the instakilling side of me as a traditional caster player. Except HTH is much better – it works on Golems!! And the Shroud crystal (I feel special!!!); with no Spell Resistance qualification, DC check, SP cost, AND a 30 second cooldown, making it very viable, I was spam happy with that baby. Excellent champ killer. Anyhow, first Warlock life was a Deep Gnome 19/1 Warlock/Wizard split – at this point I had enough TP grinded out to afford Deep Gnome iconic, so I thought I’d do Warlock lives next (might as well grind out caster lives despite my preference for them, for sake of gear management). Appearance wise was a huge change and effect on me – don’t forget I just finished the dreaded Bladeforged lives lol!!! This life was a cutie pie! Although not as adorable as regular Gnomes I’d say, the Deep Gnomes had an interesting look – they somehow remind me of the moon in persona or something with their pure white eyes and celestial tones!

However, I have a story to tell before I get into actual Deep Gnome looks for this life. Ughhhh just thinking about it makes me want to just go to sleep now! xD This incident has caused me to become uber cautious now when character creating. Basically, I clicked too fast after the skills page and guess where that “Next” button happens to be right on top of in the next screen? The “Create” button. So I had pretty much prematurely created my character which mainly affected the looks and some build choices (being Lawful Good ruled me out of Fiend pact). I was pretty devastated, and inside I was kind of freaking out and kind of not, mainly because it wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t what I had wanted. Once I started talking about it to the group chat channel I was then starting to kind of freak out, although I managed to keep things under control and salvage what I could. At that point I had submitted a ticket and started leveling up (since I was kind of expecting an LR heart or something, so you’d need to level up anyway). As I was leveling, the panic pretty much faded away because I was actually doing something to improve the mess I was in so, I guess, psychologically it would make sense or something haha. I also reminded myself that it was just a temporary life and that I’m doing it to get it over with (for the most part) and that my sister’s alt actually went through the exact same thing (except with no GM help, she just sucked it up) and the fact that I was the one doing the reassuring gave the the direction and comfort in knowing what to do. Still, the looks bothered me a lot. That’s when the GM (+Moose+) responded, kindly gave me an alignment change to TN, and since I had a plain LR heart in the bank I was happy with that. I was almost tempted to actually just hold onto the alignment change but the ethics side of me said no – this guy took the time and effort to help me so I should use it. And back into the Reincarnation Grove I went; out came out an adorable Deep Gnome! She had straight, platinum blonde hair tied in a bun with curls from the sides, pale lavender facial markings in the shape of wind symbols billowing from the sides of her eyes and temples, and pure white eyes. I was relieved that I could amend my mistakes and take the intended path I wanted to, and it really was the leading path for the rest of my Warlock lives. The first life was definitely a lot of fun, even though I died a lot more than I expected (or compared to the other two Warlock lives in comparison). One thing I remember struggling with was SP management, surprisingly, for a Warlock. I guess I was channeling my inner traditionalist caster, which most would think would be in alignment but Warlock is really its own class in itself.

Second life, I really wanted to try another Sun Elf life, so I went 19/1 Warlock/Cleric. I decided to put Deep Gnome streak on hold to test it out, and it was so. freaking. addicting. In opposition to last life, I had little to zero issues with SP management (better adjustment to class playstyle, in addition to changing out the two foci feats with Mental Toughness and Improved Mental Toughness, not to mention Fey Energy Tap on top of that). Blessings of Amaunator (Mass Aid, Spell Resistance, and Deathward all in one bundle ability) was just TOO ADDICTING that’s for sure!!! I know I’ll be doing mostly Sun Elf lives for sure because of it, haha! The primary differences in this life and last life in terms of class (so looking at Wizard and Cleric) is really not that much, just minor ones such as being able to heal slightly better (with Cure Light Wounds, lol! and enhancements of course) as 1 Cleric, and having Religious Lore for the two quests that it matters in. On the other hand, Wizard grants an extra metamagic feat which honestly would be the superior build path. Thus, this life’s highlights mainly focuses on the enhancements, which really gave me such a hard time leveling up because I was so enhancement starved with Sun Elf racial tree being just that good!! Appearance wise, this life stuck to the usual Seraphemia look but in Sun Elven form: layered blonde hair with soft gray eyes, lightly tanned skin tone, and vivid pink lips (probably should have toned down the saturation on the lips though lol!). Kind of makes me jealous as a mostly Human player that Elves are much more graceful in form. 😦

Final life, which I am still in progress in and may add more to later on! 😀 A friend of mine suggested 1 Artificer for traps and while I do like having Howl of Terror as a level 19 Warlock, thinking deeply about it, I HATED having to rely on Rogue hirelings or players even because speed was key in getting through these lives fast, and every second counted. I also thought about Enchant Weapon and having an Iron Defender for multiple body quests, and that was pretty much what sold me. I also missed doing traps a bit since my third Paladin life (which was fully trap capable!) so I knew how to get around building one without having first level as a Rogue or Artificer (being a multi-lifer toon, this was made much easier). One pet peeve about Deep Gnomes in general that I thought was fixed until now since I’m back to Deep Gnome was their physics accuracy – not being able to fully visibly grasp a ledge or swim properly TOTALLY bothers me. Gives me half a split second heart attacks if I’m going to make the jump or not. Still, gotta grind ’em all! This life’s appearance I changed to be slightly different – this time she has shoulder length hair that’s split in the middle and laced with lower-arched braids hanging like vines. Her facial markings are also different – went with a blade shaped mark painted across her cheeks in a lighter lavender-bluish tint. One of the major differences this life is that I went cone-based instead of chain shape – first two lives were actually chain shape stances due to total lack of AP (and knowledge in the first life). As much as I want to say “Cone shape stance is better!” I can see different preferences and points of view for the two. Cone shape is better in overall aspects with a great range (if not just visibly inaccurate, so annoying but nothing crippling to playstyle) and damage scale (130% compared to 95% with no additional enhancements for shape stances). Yet, similarly when comparing melee to ranged, it requires slightly more crowd management and “herding.” Chain shape’s range is technically greater than Cone’s with it’s projectile motion (meaning its also slower in reach) but does not require any sort of micromanagement in play style. I’ve had mobs in all sorts of pattern formation, from “Z” to wayward, erratic patterns and Chain would still hit all of those mobs. Chain also has that 10% shape alacrity and 130% damage scale upgrades so technically it would be greater DPS. With Cone, it is slightly different in that one has to line up the mobs – not even herding them into a cluster, as Cone shape is more linear range than peripheral. Still, that does not make it any less effective (certainly not at all) than Chain as it is, as my friend calls it, “Eldritch Bursts in waves” essentially. This life has been a total DPS machine, at most 2 shotting enemies with this stance and between bursts. I’m glad to have finally tried it, and I know many friends would totally get on my case about how I’ve been missing out (which in a sense I have!) but I have mixed feelings and almost a bias for Chain, or maybe not, Cone is really good too. I don’t know! 😀

Anyhoo, my early morning blabbering is done, when DDO is on downtime during the summer when my sleep schedule is messed up to where I’m writing at no sleep… yeah this is going to be interesting to read later in how messed up I actually sound LOL. Peace.

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For those interested in delving more about the specific build choices, I’ll post a link later of the link to my triple completionist build notes document. Mostly for my reference, so I don’t have to keep opening up GoogleDrive every time I make a build review type post, gah! Hahaha!

Hope this post was… legible in comprehension for all you other peeps out there! And maybe even interesting! xD