Something Got A Hold Of Me

Something certainly has, I have been looking at the characters I have at cap that are there to run for heart seeds when I need them. I have had them for years but only use them when I have a need and it is for grinding purposes. So looking at what they have done in terms of completing quests they have missed chunks of quests especially those that have come since menace of the underdark.

My guildie is pushing to get the 2500 for favoured soul and I guess it lit a spark under me. Of the three at cap, Grousefly, Grousesly and Grousevoker (I should really rename voker as he will end as a favoured soul), none of these have hit 2500 favour and knowing a certain dwarf on twitter who hits the 5000 with every toon I really need to spend some time fixing this.

I think the first thing for each is to complete Barovia as I know the quests well enough to waltz through all but the Amber Temple and that just takes time and working methodically through quest. Sharn will be after that once I figure out how best to finish the Fourth quest in and fighting on sky sleds. Not sure what will be next but working on the slave lords with my guildie so guess that would be good for the others.

The whole sticking to what I know has made me lazy in dealing with new quests. And also with making the effort to max out favour. So often I am moving on to the next life I have not bothered working the favour but rather I work what quests I know best and how they reward me. Time to get a hold of the quests I don’t know. This is the ramblings of a lazy player who is happy grinding to get the characters I want which sometimes misses the whole point of the game to have adventures where you  don’t know what is around the corner.

Happy Questing

Cogs In Cogs

Well Gentle Giant may not be everyone’s cup of tea but hey I sort of like them and as I am discussing the Sharn Wilderness it is sort of appropriate. Now everyone knows I love wildernesses more than most dungeons. Certainly the sprawls of Barovia have become a fast favourite and so much so that I finish the slayer before finishing the saga.

So first thing about the Cogs is it is  big. But feels even bigger as there is a lot variation in height. From down under the cascade of molten melt to what I assume is an acid bath/shower. This is certainly a wilderness which pays not to get wet. Most people will avoid the molten bits (except certain hirelings who will stand and burn) but there is a lot more in the wild to be careful of.

Stairs and ramps all over the place makes it difficult to be sure of where you are even when looking at the map, places that don’t look to be dead ends stop you dead till you go up or down. Normally after a few runs I am feeling fairly confident about where to go. Well at present I still feel clueless because it is big, dark and multi levelled. I will eventually learn it like most wildernesses.

I haven’t as yet done any of the walk up quests but that is on my list of things I want to do once I finish with my monk and get back to my sorcerer. My inquisitor missed the heroic version but maybe next life when I have routes to the journals/explorers he will run it.


The Inquisitorial Procedure

Todays title comes from the introductory track on Axel Rudi Pells album Into the Storm, it was going to be Monty Python but rock is more my mood today. So the Masterminds of Sharn expansion is here but I have no idea of the wilderness or quests yet. However I have focused on the Inquisitor universal enhancement tree. Which is strange as I tried to find it as soon as I had access but hadn’t realised it could be dropped down and selected from another universal tree. The other thing that seems buggy is that to utilise it I had to accept it with a single point spent before I could fill up the rest of it. Not sure if this is working as intended or just trying to drive me nuts.

Now this is a very different feel to the other Universal enhancements which is great as it adds a totally different flavour to the game. It is also hotkey heavy to maximise benefits as far as I can tell. One life especially as a rogue may not give me everything I want out of the enhancements. I will play it next time as an artificer but using the dual light crossbows.

Dual crossbows is a fun way to play but I find it difficult to remember which hotkey gives the best effect depending on circumstances. Like anyone playing something for the first time it is a challenge and sometime frustrating to figure out what is the best attack. Even selecting crossbows is different but as I practice I improve.

I am almost finished my first Gnome life and improving diplomacy for the next time round will be interesting but I need Karma in the Arcane sphere for my epic reincarnations so certainly artificer is an option. I would also like to see how a Wizard plays with the focus on the Inquisitor enhancement lives. So that is my next two lives planned as a gnome.

Sharpen those masterminds and a special thank you to those on twitter who make me rethink my ideas. And to my guildie who adds a dimension to the game like no one else.

Heroes Are Hard To Find

Fleetwood Mac, been listening to them all morning and this seemed sort of appropriate mainly because I have been running Redwillows Ruin a lot, Simply because of the number of treasure chest and it being mimic season.

If you haven’t play it enough to memorise it then the fact on average there are seven chests per run. Six that will always be there and always at least one bonus chest. If you play it without a rogue or artificer then the chest in the cave where spiders come out when you open it becomes very difficult.  Because of the number of chests in the 16 minutes it takes to run (for me as a melee) it becomes a go to in mimic season.

In the last run by my dagger cleric only 2 out of 7 chests, however it is easy to go back to and grind over the days. It seems to pay slightly better than the depth quests but that just be because I get lucky in Redwillows. There are few level 6 quests that I actually enjoy the way I enjoy this one. You can run it faster and not go for the bonuses or run it fast and avoid the caverns.

And once again I get distracted by an event rather than focus on the character I am suppose to be working on. Saying that I have the mimic cloak and some mirrors of glammering so nothing that I desperately want from the mimic event. I will save the tokens for next mimic event.

Now I am cutting back on the time playing for the next week and no blog so I am rested to focus on Masterminds of Sharn. I am guessing the twin crossbow is going to be fun but that will be part of an enhancement tree so will need to reincarnate someone to play that style.


Fire of the Dragon

The title to this week’s blog happened simply as it was playing in the background as I started to write. Blackfoot may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I enjoy them in small doses. The week is playing catch up to who’s where and doing what. And what I am expecting to do with them. These are basically the four characters I have put most time into in the last year.

GrouseMot: Now Motty was one of my earlier characters and has only recently started his second life. He has been my event character for melee, monks are so capable in my hands so in the hands of an expert I can only guess how much damage they can do. Motty was always useful when the event needs speed and jumping. However this time round I misjudged when the Traveller event would happen and his speed is still too slow at this present time. I will probably just take two more epic and heroic lives so he will do the events like the skating and traveller. It will be nice to have someone that can blitz anything where I need to put my foot down.

GrouseMerlin: Merlin is on his 16th heroic life but will only be starting his second epic life. I will be focusing on heroic racial lives till he fills those that I think will benefit him. I am really not sure it is necessary to run warforged for him just because it will not ramp up the spell damage. Only two more epic past lives for him in the Arcane sphere and I may park him at that point to be my token of the twelve and heart seed gatherer. Plus I feel when new quests come out he is best fitted for running test mode for them.

GrouseConan: Now this guy hasn’t started a single epic past life. I have been working on him as a THF Barbarian for his end game. I am really not sure where this guy is going to go beyond the 8 past lives he has but certainly it will involve several racial reincarnations. I am probably going to park him soon for another caster. I am guessing at the moment it will be either an iconic or my favoured soul.

GrouseMan: My class completionist now working on his race but slowly. Parked at 20 for the moment I was intending him to support my guildie when she reincarnates so I can get her on her way for her second life. I intend to end him as a tempest ranger and given the number of Kukris he already has I am pretty certain what his weapon of choice will be. I have shifted his end goals several times and I have no doubt in the next few years this will occur more than once.

The many faces of grouse.


A Trick of the Tail

Well an excuse to refer to my favourite Genesis song and album this week with the pre-release of the Masterminds of Sharn expansion. Part of the reward of buying early is the extra character slot (I am now at 30 slots) and the ability to create characters from the new player race Tieflings. Also there is a level 15/30 permanent hireling Shield Guardian. It acts like a self healing fighter but shows as a wizard which as it is animated means it uses a repair spell to heal itself. I haven’t tried it with a warforged or an artificer to see if it will automatically heal others but I would assume so.

So I rolled up my first ever tiefling as I have pre-purchased the Sharn pack and it is strange watching a character with a tail. Although with a cloak on only the end of the tail shows. Deciding on what horns probably took the longest time while I was creating Grouseeldr.

I am going full on fire savant first time out and not doing too much with the racial side at least this early in his first life. And because I am working on other characters I am not going to go muck beyond the extra backpack in favour. I don’t want to change my focus so he is just for fun/favour at the present time.

I have highlighted racial enhancements I am looking at having at some point with this build in the screen shots but when is a totally different story. As players we are lucky to have so many build options and chances to flavour our builds. Weapons, feats, spells and enhancements are just some of the ways we are all different. After eleven years of playing I am still not bored and haven’t even explored a quarter of the basic choices in builds.

Looking forward to the new quests and new environments.


The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

While the film wasn’t anything to write home about the music was written by Trevor Rabin formerly of yes. And the blog is about the two first life sorcerers that are parked at the moment. I have run the birthday event to equip them with full sets of the appropriate Forum Post clubs. I also picked up a Ban Hammer but that is for another time.

Grousefrost is obviously is my Water Savant, since the introduction of racial reincarnation I have decided to do the race aspect first with him, it seems sensible to get as many racial action points as early as possible. This will also apply to my earth savant. However they will go in different directions as Frost is going to go heroic and epic.

I was thinking how best to differentiate between the two sorcerers, doing exactly the same thing would be boring so  I will find paths that are different with flavours from the racial path in terms of where they will end. Frost should be Aasimar for his last life. Grousemerlin is planned to finish as a Dragonborn and Grousejoro will finish as a human.

Grousejoro is my Earth Savant and he is about to heroic reincarnate to support my guild as she starts her first reincarnations. I am only required to make sure there are no slip ups on Misery Peak. Once she hits the Harbour she will be fine running quests that she has probably forgot. But is will give her a chance to develop her ranger.

Joro will at some point move forward but he will get attention when Merlin is finished and as I want a Warlock further on GrouseAlden is likely to get the attention in terms of hours invested. I am also running a Monk and a fighter at the moment but I try to have a caster and a melee option available.

Anyway this is a rambling where I am now. I will pick up the development of my monk who was reincarnated a few weeks ago but got dropped while I zapped my way through the birthday quest.


Happy Birthday To Ya

Happy 13th Birthday to DDO remarkable that the game has been going so long. As I was originally on the European Servers run by Codemaster I almost didn’t make it. So officially I have been playing 9 years on Ghallanda and still loving every minute. I have been playing practically every day, in fact it is hard to remember a day off. Other games have come and gone because games have a lifespan.

I suppose like many I came here from the pen and paper and that has given me a level of loyalty. The updates and expansions have kept the game fresh and made me want to spend more time than I should playing. At least I can say I have never felt like stopping.

And of course we have the birthday quest, which at the point I am talking about it has become a little grindy (inventing words). I set out originally to get the full set of Caustic Forum Posts’ and the Captain Bling cosmetic hat. Hat obtained but I cot a complete set of Icy Forums instead. The intention is to suffer the grind to get the caustic and flaming clubs as well as the Icy so I am only about a third through my target. Going to get there though, you can see what I have done so far.

The Sharn expansion is going up for pre purchase this much and those who buy it (who me lol?) will have early access to Tieflings. Looking at the information about them they seen to make for a natural fire savant. So need the flaming forum posts, I already have the shocking ones and he is grinding the party favours to get the rest of the goodies I want this year.

Happy Birthday DDO looking forward to at least another ten years.

Clan Grouse

Street Fighting Man

Today I want to talk about Grousemot the Monk leader of Clan Grouse. He was at cap for several years and had to step up each cap change to stay there. He has been a hunter or tokens of the twelve and heart seeds for everyone else but I decided it was time for him to get on the past life path. He was my skater and runner for the events but I have other options for most and hope by the next mid winter festival he will at least be back at cap for the third time.

I have pu the images in order so it gives you a visual clue of what I did to reincarnate Motty in terms of process. The real thing here is the epic past life, the heroic past life benefits feel better after a second reincarnation. Once I have the 3 past lives epic and heroic I am not planning to add any more epic while I am doing racial. Just want those three levels of double strike.

Racial reincarnations are important for a monk as the race will decide on what stance. Wind stance is for dexterity which works well with Halflings. If I was running Mountain Stance then Half Orc would be a better choice. If I can get through all the races the final choice is like to be to come back to my favoured Wind Stance and work through a dex build. And just because wind is my preferred monk stance I know enough to work in any stance.

The week back as lowbie character has taken time to adjust to. One punch kills are not an option any more. Need some more levels to get that. I am enjoying running the Harbour again. I could have got though it quicker but I am not a reaper fan, although if I want the reaper wings guess I better get off my butt and try to gather reaper xp. At the moment though I still enough smelling the roses and enjoying the scenery.

It is fun to come back to the lower levels and having an overpower character during the birthday event should mean I can get several forum posts, however this time I want caustic rather than shocking. I have a Earth Savant that has turned level 20 and he may be the best choice to help my guildie off of Korthos when she reincarnates. The other choice would be my cleric who is also sitting at level 20.

Too many toons never enough time


Shortcut to Somewhere

So the Midwinter Festival and Risia Ice Festival are upon and I am up and down from that ramp way to often. This is my favourite festival as of all the options to improve weapons Festival Icy Burst is the best choice IMHO. So I was almost down to half a chest on the ship and now it is full again and several characters have taken more equipment.

In general I make sure this weapons are bound and attuned to avoid permanent damage so I try to plan that most of the reincarnations and the end life will be able to use the weapons. So a lot of planning on who gets what for my characters but I am sure everyone is the same in working  on characters to make sure they are best equipped for their futures.

I have a Dwarf for all my axes and a b Sword specialist (not swearing lol), Kukris for the completionist, a rapier for my swashbuckling bard etc. By planning carefully I can select weapons at the outset that should last my characters.

And now thanks to planning decided this a good time to reincarnate my dex speed monk Grousemot. He does all the ice jumps and has a habit of over jumping into the tower on the Island where we land from Korthos. Certainly easy to spin round once ready for the next ice festival maybe even twice if I focus less on my sorcerer.

This is what I love about the game, there are so many options it is difficult to see how one gets bored in game unless it is the daily run of devil’s assault for some characters. I still love it enough to not worry about that yet.

Happy Festival Grousemot