A Dawning Realization

Sigh. The more and more I keep thinking about the TR project, the faster I reach this realization that I so dreadfully don’t want to face.

The fact that I will never comfortably settle for at least a decent period of time as a triple everything completionist. The possibility that Aasimar/Tiefling may be iconics. For some reason, this bothers me so – after all, what did I spend almost a whole year for?

A part of me says this is good enough. But if that’s the case should I stop now? I keep having indecisive thoughts fighting back and forth – “but what about those potential bonuses from ERs?” More and more each day, I struggle to fight back that creeping dread.

That part of me that says good enough, I  can understand. Sera has more than 50 lives under her belt. There’s no point suffering through all these lives when I should be playing the one I enjoy the most. After all, time is even more limited for me. The future seems kind of bleak despite how much and how detailed I go into planning these things. But now that Reaper is introduced into the game, it is even more harder to catch up to that “perfect” life. Perhaps this project from the start was a trap.

Either ways, I think comparatively, from the life before as a Favored Soul, Sera will improve by a huge meter. Even more so after I farm for the items I need (Slaver’s most importantly). I absolutely despise farming and juggling gear after I’ve reached a seemingly stable stage, so I hope there is nothing big for a while. I never understood the constant notion that the game needs to keep having updates to make it fun again. Personally, I’m fixated on the idea of playing your decked out main in end content, spruced up to be the best possible toon. Of course, there is no such thing in the latter, but its a fun idea, at least to me.

I say that the project is supposed to be something out of intrinsic motivation to learn each class and build out of my own, but it is hard when there is this other nagging side that wants to play the class she loves best. I was running my bank toon Celesteine, a caster cleric, the other day with a friend, and I felt the aching nostalgia of a divine caster. As well as the frustration of having such poor stats and SP. I can only hope that Sera will be able to garner a lot of Reaper XP along the way back up to cap. I am afraid that I may need to plan multiple lives as a Favored Soul just for that. It bothers me so much to TR without gaining the intended Heroic PLs along with it – now that I will be heroic triple completionist very soon, that is no longer an option. Along with that, who knows when the next class will be released (surely not this year though it seems – seems mostly to be races only). But see, at least classes are much less malleable in release/updates as opposed to races which I would think the devs feel are much more feasible to release in comparison.

In the end, I will have to come to accept the fact that there is no such thing as true ultimate status attainment in this game. That is how the system works. It just sucks having to be so OCD and picky about this sort of thing.


Pass it Foreword

Since it is nearing the season of Christmas, I figured I could write about “nice things.”

Also, I hope you can forgive my punny title. I am about to unleash a novel of feelings and thoughts here about such nice things.

After recently watching Ryan Higa’s latest video about Holiday Ninjas for this year’s edition, he made an honest and realistic point about selfishness. Even though there are many people like him who give generously, realistically part of the joy is the joy we receive when we make others happy. In a sense, when we do things for others, we essentially do it for ourselves to make us feel better about ourselves.

Of course, this perspective has many facets to it – not all people feel this way or has different complex feelings about an interaction. This is especially the case for online environments where our persona psychology even has mixed elements of our real selves versus our online selves. This post will explore these different facets when I give my time or resources to help others online.

First and foremost, I have several feelings and thoughts that run through my mind the first thing someone asks for something. The very first thing I look at is who that person is – is it my good old buddy, or someone I just met? Regardless of how much I know someone, I always try to help everyone out the same. However, that doesn’t mean it is easy to treat everyone the same. Some people I may have bad impressions on, or I know do not really need or “deserve” my help. Still, I cannot help but feel at the very least, obligated to because it has been that way for as long as I’ve been playing DDO, once I came to understand the game and was capable of such “help.”

As a Christian I was raised and taught to be a giving person, so in a sense it has almost become a habit (such a bad way to put it, but that’s honestly how it feels sometimes!). I often do things mindlessly almost, when someone needs help, I just automatically respond as if someone just flips a switch. There is no emotion or feelings sometimes, and when someone is grateful and responds in thanks, online communication makes it easy to make it no big deal when all I need to respond back is with a simple “np.”

Lots of malicious thoughts run through my mind, believe it or not, every time someone asks me for something. I guess paranoia really does run in the family – I always think my sisters are so paranoid but even I know that some of it resides in me too. Like “What if this guy or that person is just using me (which I know the ones who do)?” or “This person really doesn’t try to do things on his or her own…” Of course, this extends to even the smallest things like when people get too comfortable questing with me and expect me to do everything – and when something isn’t done, someone or some people get confused and/or irritated. This is not a matter of communication – if it was, trust me, there would be an easy solution to that.

It’s important to keep in mind that people are still people no matter what. Despite people being overly greedy or persistent online just to get what they want, some people see things differently. Being helped and helping others may be their token of currency in a friendship. Maybe some people are persistent because they need something, even if its virtual, to hold onto because of whatever reason it may be tied to real life or online. Perhaps people do it for status or reputation. I could keep over-analyzing everything. It could be anything. And its important to keep that in mind.

In a sense, I am unpredictable. I say one thing, but keep something in the back of my mind, and then another after another. It’s like a constant war of black and white in my mind.

Some friends tend to think that something must be X or Y. These are my logical and reasonable friends. Sometimes they just like to point out things for the sake of argument, other times they strongly believe it is so because that is what it must be. The latter tends to strongly disagree with the way I think – honestly, in this world you will never know everything. What makes (general) you think that the online environment, of all places, is the most reliable? Of course, this is half self bashing as I tend to think information regarding game mechanics are this or that way, or something of the sort. Like I said, I say one thing, but I am able to find some perspective of exclusion. Because of this wishy-washy unpredictable mess of whatever you call it, the question of self identity always remains a big one to even myself. Well, all teenagers go through this. Maybe I am just stuck in the mind (and body) of a teenager, considering how much I still make fart jokes. *toot*

But let’s not make this a gloom and doom post entirely. What I meant to write about initially was the fact that giving still never has lost its intrinsic glow, even if it be dim some days. Perhaps I have grown too accustomed to expecting a thanks. That has always bothered me because there is nothing more that I hate when people expect me to do things for them (this even applies for friends, depending on my mood) without even asking at the very least. Maybe I am just too obsessed over the fact that I need something in return (not necessarily physical payback) and at the very least I should be in control of my own will.

Being “nice” to people has always been a part of who I was I guess. Honestly, my entire personality is nothing more than a mirror – when people are happy, I am happy. When things are tense, so am I. This is one of the reasons why group harmony is so important to me because if one person is unhappy, then it becomes a thorn that will always remind me of it.

At the same time, I enjoy helping others. Some friends like to help others too, but for the intrinsic reward of “feeling good” about it. That is a good incentive, but to me it feels so shallow. To be honest, a lot of things that are seemingly good seem shallow – the “reward” of heaven, the “reward” of doing good things in turn to do good things to you (karma). Those are good things, but in itself also a shallow reward. I don’t know how to exactly explain it, but to me, a pure kind heart doesn’t expect anything, not even the idea of even an intrinsic reward, back. And I try to model that because not everything in life has to be about receiving. Of course, this can be a bad thing in the mind of a normal human because we will view the world as always taking from us. Perhaps that is why sometimes I am so bitter when people ask for my help. It can be a purely good thing, but a bad thing for the human nature.

I’ve always never knew how to explain what was purely good. It was just a gut feeling, and I suppose my own definition of what it meant to be that. In a sense, I was measuring such standards in the words and actions of God and what He did for us, through His example.

But I never really explained what I enjoyed about helping others. Is it their token of appreciation, whether verbal or physical? Was it the same joy that my friends feel in helping others they “help themselves”? To me, I think it is a little deeper than that. Again, some of my feelings and thoughts are hard to explain because they just seem so complex. I tend to project myself in other people’s shoes often – again with the whole “mirror” thing. I think this is how I try to understand others too, by always imagining how they feel and trying to replicate that by putting myself in their shoes. Perhaps this can be a bad thing or annoying for others who don’t like it when people do this and act like they know everything. But for me, it is my way of connecting with others, by feeling the joy they feel or whatever emotion it may be. I understand why they need my help, why they are thankful, and sometimes because of this I do not need their verbal thanks. In a way I guess this is the nonverbal “reading” that is rare online since you don’t really get such cues like you do in real life. But they are there in their own subtle way.

The question “Why do nice things for others?” has always been a multifaceted, mixed response for me. Often I don’t even realize that I “help” people anymore. It has just become a part of my (both online and real) life. But I know to be careful of that because it has its own consequences. Some days I fight with my inner self to ignore those who literally send me tells only when they need help. In fact, I’m pretty sure this entire post/rant was inspired by an incident of that which happened yesterday evening. But I wanted to also pour forth my thoughts – both the good and the bad – over this subject for a while. I didn’t realize how much I thought badly of it until I wrote this, while still keeping my reasons for why I still do it in mind.

The best answer I’ve always had deep down to that question was to “pass it forward.” In this case, pass this behavior forward. Pass the acts of kindness forward and apply it to your life. Don’t do nice things for others in front of me just because I have done good things to you, but do it because you wish to, and you want to make others happy. Make yourself happy if you so desire out of its “intrinsic reward” but remember that expecting even that may leave you disappointed one day. Don’t do nice things only once in a while to “pay back” those who have been kind to you. I have had many friends who have done so much for me, but they never expected anything back. The greatest thing I can pass forward is my time. But even now, I am limited on that. Nothing in this mundane world will be stable and everlasting.

There was nothing more than that in my heart that I wanted to teach others. To be an example (on a more spiritual level, as Christ has done for us) to get others to be kind to everyone regardless of who they are if you are able to help. I have plenty of friends who are exclusive to only their friends. A lot of people tell me I have many friends, but it wasn’t just because I extended kindness towards them – I genuinely tried to understand them. This is all easier said than done in real life as opposed to online, so I’m much more extroverted where I am comfortable. This also raises the point that people only want to be my friends because they see that they have been helped and may possibly get more out of me – while initially this may or may not be true, I ignore it. What matters is how they treat me and our relationship – it is human instinct to seek those who will be beneficial to you. Overcoming that means truly reciprocating the friendship. Being a college student, I am surrounded by folks who say “make connections so you can get your foot in the door.” I could not find a more distasteful philosophy than that. It is necessary sadly, but I’m disgusted by it. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I still can’t form healthy and long term relationships from it.

In the end, I hope that people are not kind only during the Christmas season. Kindness should never be a seasonal thing. There is an Indian saying and tradition that couples do not necessarily celebrate Valentine’s Day because love should be spontaneous, every day. That is how I see of this. I am reminded of a guildie who said “Where is your Christmas spirit?!” but when I really think about that saying, it kind of implies the opposite of what I believe. Actually, a lot of my friends believe in paying back what they were given. But that kind of defeats the purpose if the giver doesn’t even expect anything back – it is merely a gift at that point. I tend to be persistent in giving back as well (after all, I always say people have given me many things and I need to pay it back). But deep down, even if I were to “pay it all back” that wouldn’t mean I would stop doing nice things. I think when you reach that conclusion, logically, it would make sense to not worry about these kinds of things. I, as well as many others, have to learn how to truly accept a gift, and the feelings behind them. I’ve gotten a bit better at it, but as with a lot of people, I am sure that there is that nagging voice calling us greedy.

In any case, this was a deep topic to post about, and very personal too. The important thing is to ultimately be yourself – if being nice to every stranger on the street is not you, then that’s not you. But if you agree with the sentiment and thoughts here, perhaps that could be you. That is what makes a part of me, and I can always strive in hopes that others may follow. Wow, I am making this sound like more religious than this post already is, haha! Either ways, I want to respect the choices of others even if I don’t agree. I wonder if people can truly feel this message through my actions, all this time and up until now. That is, now that I have articulated these feelings out.

The Problem of Avoiding Drama

So I had a random thought hit me today when I was prefacing what our guild was about to a recruit – and one of those things included a “tendency to avoid drama” and other good stuff. But I thought to myself suddenly right after I pressed the enter button, is it really a good thing? I thought more critically about this and I came to the conclusion that a guild or a player who avoids drama isn’t really a good thing at all at its core.

There’s this stigma around drama both online and in real life – that it’s just a pain to deal with it because the assumption is that everyone’s had gone through countless drama filled experience and it is not pleasant. And that is true all in all – they really aren’t joyful experiences and indeed rather a headache. We’re so tired of hearing about them and facing them. No one wants to stay up late worrying about friends fighting with each other (or you in a dispute with someone else, whatever the situation is). But the truth is, no one can escape “drama.” There’s no such thing as a drama free guild because that implies absolute freedom from such experiences, and we as humans know inherently that that is just close to impossible. Perhaps there are exceptions to the rule – solo guilds or small guilds composed of family, real life friends, or folks who just agree on close levels and have that common understanding of boundaries. But to me, it feels like 90% of the guilds, especially ones that are “public” (meaning open recruit for the player base that is a conglomerate of various kinds of people), face at least some kind of drama in their time of activity.

It is the inevitable, and so my conclusion is that we should acknowledge it and face it – to work through them and arrive successfully at a point of ease. The phrase “to avoid drama” is basically synonymous to “don’t start anything in the first place” – which is a very good practice. But the part I am getting at here is that the possibility of failure to doing that is always there – and to ignore that is to be ignorant of imperfect natures. Most guilds who promote a drama free policy boot as a result of failure to comply with the policy. It makes sense at surface level – but the more I think about this, the more it seems wrong. So I ask, what then do people really learn from this “rule”? This social stigma that drives guilds to be so harsh in regards to dealing with drama? I think we place too much emotional value behind this seemingly laughable, easily dismissed issue.

We should be teaching others by our actions that it is OK for some drama to happen. Sure, there is indeed a limit on how much drama is too much drama. But sometimes, people don’t reach a greater point of understanding until they make a mistake and then learn to overcome it. It is especially important that people who join a guild are capable of doing just that (or even willing to). To me, it feels as if the current way of things is paralleled to a time bomb – a temporary fix, bound to ruin. Would it not be better to learn to disable the time bomb instead of moving it to another place? Essentially, we aren’t doing people a favor when they are booted because of drama reasons. From firsthand experience, I have seen it, and would never want to resort to that ever again.

So then, why do I still feel like I’m obligated as an officer of this guild to offer that as an explanation or reason for joining the guild? Perhaps I too have fallen in this trap, the socially acceptable idea that all (social) conflict is poison. Or perhaps one could argue that this rumination doesn’t establish a true grasp of what drama means – its subjectivity however is another topic.

Nonetheless, I’ll apply the same idea to my own conclusion: to work through it all the way to the end and arrive at a point of clarity. Who knew I could turn a totally random, laughable thought into an essay!

I just wanted to close saying that BBA as a guild is fantastic. Well, in my opinion that is an understatement honestly, haha. I mean, I can’t say that there was no drama, but there were very few cases, and only one that ended without much of a solution. As much as I want to think that the guild is all good and all perfect, it would be foolish to claim so. Many people would think so, but every guild has their own problems. Not that I am saying this guild has problems inside at all, and not particularly now (it is rather the opposite of that – lack of people playing the game/active in guild means nonexistent “sparks”) – no, that is not why I made this post. I felt strongly about this particular matter because of cognitive dissonance – the new conclusion resonates with my thought of logic and beliefs. BBA as a guild has done so much for me, and in turn I do the best I can for them. I’m amazed at how well the guildies click, as if it weren’t purely coincidence/chance in the recruiting process. It truly speaks a lot of our officers’ recruiting abilities, and even of their own values. After discussing guild stuff with the officers in a meeting today, I can’t help but want to continue to strive for better and help the guild grow.

This post is best understood by where I’m coming from and the kind of person I am. There’s nothing more anxiety inducing to me than when there is a sharp dispute or atmosphere among people, not even just friends but with anyone in general. Social harmony means a lot to me, so anytime there is a conflict that threatens that, my first instinct is to try and resolve it myself. I know that to be one of my greatest flaws as a person online. But to organize my thoughts in this post/ramble, this is where I am coming from – just as another person striving to understand others the best she can.


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!

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

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.

❤ ❤ ❤

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

Ugh… DDO Withdrawals Suck

What the title said.

It’s been what, officially 6 hours trying to get DDO to work. Tried everything: adjusted proxy settings, restarted multiple times, tried suggestions from the Turbine help site and other forum threads, checked firewall settings multiple times, and now, verified the integrity of the game cache through Steam… and STILL no luck. I’m pretty patient as a person, so I’m not really to the point of blowing up or anything, but I’m pretty irritated. Pretty much, I think it just boils down to Windows 10 being the issue. I can’t think of any other reason why DDO just won’t get past the “Searching for log on server … Attempt X out of 20” issue.

This started happening yesterday when I got home from campus, and after three tries I was successfully able to log on. So I thought, “OK, this might just be an internet or server hiccup” and continued to play normally. The game ran just fine. It was when I had to restart client after swapping too many times (it was raid night) and I couldn’t log in for an hour straight. It was frustrating that I couldn’t log in because 1. I was the raid group leader and 2. I had already experienced this issue previously, and was starting to panic. Finally, after logging in fine from my other sister’s laptop, I tried my own laptop and it worked! YAY!

Not so much. I woke up today pretty late in the afternoon (because of raid night and all) and started up DDO. EXACT same issue. I’ve pretty much been in panic mode all day today, especially because this is a brand new laptop (only a month old) and I’m already having problems just trying to launch the client. Maybe it’s because of Windows 10 and its sucky compatibility with games and other programs in general. Maybe it was Skype (I read voice over communication programs or whatever it’s called can cause issues for running the client) and so I uninstalled it. Maybe it was me dragging my suitcase style bag across the ground a tad bit too hard and it messed something up inside the laptop and internally damaged some files. But my best bet is that Windows 10 giving DDO issues, despite other guildies and friends running Windows 10 themselves (and some even in my raid group that I was in).

I’m trying to think back to yesterday if I did anything that caused any issues for my laptop. I was able to run DDO just fine, no issues restarting client. But the more I think about it, I realize that I didn’t do much swapping because, what else do I do at school other than just idle around, run a couple quests or so, and mostly chat? It could be an internet issue or something, who knows. Whatever it is, I’m just trying to organize some thoughts and events – maybe I’m missing huge. I could also see and figure out if it’s an internet issue by trying to log in from school – but the worst thing would be me unable to play DDO from school. Why else did I buy this heftily priced gaming laptop (well, to be more accurate, my older sister bought it for me… close enough)?

It is what it is I suppose. Somehow I’ll figure it out – I’m awfully persistent after all, especially when it comes to DDO. Steam is almost done with it’s file verification – a part of me desperately hoped that it was on Turbine’s side with it’s servers, but it appears no one else is having the same issue currently, as I tried posting on the forums. At least I got a piece of advice that might work if the Steam verification fails. I just want to play, argh! /DDO withdrawals

It’s officially 10PM, and I’m blogging. And you know there’s something wrong when I start working on the blog. A perfect free Saturday ruined. At least I got some assignments and stuff done, I guess.