Lately, I’ve been taking a break from my mains and refocusing on my personal challenge to take one of every class, pure, through to level 20. First-lifers, so there’s no Past Life “tricks” to help patch holes in my playing.
There are only two characters left on this challenge list: Varjek, my necromantic wizard (shown above, doing his best Sephiroth imitation) and Gorruk, my fighter. In the past week, both of them have opened my eyes quite a bit.
Varjek began the weekend just getting his toes wet in Gianthold PUGs and knocking on 14’s door. As of this writing, he’s currently sitting in Eveningstar, wandering about (alone!) and pointing his Finger of Death at anything that gets in the way of those last few XP to 16. He even finished the Web of Chaos story arc completely alone on Normal at 15 (Skelly doesn’t count!) – that may not sound like much of an accomplishment to most people, but considering two weeks ago, Varjek was struggling to complete The Tide Turns (level 7) on Normal, at character level 13…. I couldn’t be prouder of that necrotic stumpy.
Similarly, Gorruk has been blowing my mind. I’ve yet to pin it down, since his gear is atrocious.. but somehow, he’s been tearing through content on Elite while still wearing such awesome* pieces of equipment like Furor’s Hide and Spear Bane. Yes, at level 11. I really should pay more attention to his gear… but so far, he hasn’t even needed it.
I did several runs of the Shadow Crypt with a PUG, and at first we were breaking off into teams.. then on the second and subsequent runs, the leader just sent Gorruk off on his own with his handful of Cure Serious pots and that was that. Even alone, he was tearing through the mobs like Wolverine with chainsaws, and finishing his four gears before the other group of three did theirs. That was an amazing feeling.. and one I would never have given credit for a plain fighter to be able to pull off. After all, they’re completely reliant on external sources of healing! Right? Right? Well, apparently, the philosophy of “the best defense is DIE YOU SON OF A BISCUIT” can actually be feasible in the right hands. Results? Four runs of Shadow Crypt, 1 cure serious pot drank, repair bill: 13 plat. (If you’re not a primary melee player, front-line toons get a thirteen plat repair bill by just walking into a quest. That’s absurd.)
He hit level 12, took it, then hit 13 and is darn near banking 14 as this is being typed. Thanks somewhat in part to the new toy he had waiting for him, the Great Axe of the Chained Soldier. (Now, I’m aware Green Steel fully destroys this item, but again, this challenge is for first-lifers specifically to avoid such tricks.) If you haven’t played with this piece of delicious, let me tell you – it is one of those items where the performance far exceeds that of just looking at the numbers on the window. Holy cow, does this thing hit like a diesel truck! I wasn’t able to get a screen grab of his peak damage as it scrolled off the Combat Log too quickly, but I did manage to nab this one:
Gorruk went through Ataraxia’s for the Explorers Tour along with the hireling Flagon Moren as “insurance.” Turned out Flagon was pretty bored and mostly was just out of breath trying to keep up with Gorruk.. the only time he was really needed was after the Duergar Ambush by the lighthouse, and that was one of those “excessive hireling over-heals” once you drop below 75%. If you haven’t started doing so, running through the surface of Ataraxia’s Haven just for one quick run of the explorers and killing things along the way will net you in excess of 20-25K xp (depending on pots/rare spawns/etc). It’s great while you’re waiting for someone or just have a few minutes to kill but don’t necessarily want to commit to an entire quest.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a level 13 version of the Great Axe of the Chained Soldier, since that comes with a red slot.. ooooh, now that’ll be tasty!
P.S. On an unrelated note, I got to meet EvenNote Thursday night! I had a blast reminiscing about all sorts of things (including our shared traumatic experiences with wizards hiding behind the shrine in Heyton’s Rest and wiping away our tears whilst the timer ticked down until it was able to be used again) and the pressing, imminent need for Turbine to release a miniature Harry plushie and/or companion. And we were on voice, so of course I opened my mouth, and promptly shoved my foot in it up to the knee. Woo-hoo! My subconscious super-hero, Captain Inner Idiot, is reminding me to stick to text next time. ^_^ Sorry, Even! I’ll send you all the acid green hair dye I find on Orien 😀