Part of Speech: Noun
Definition: The state of mental and/or emotional inflammation caused by loading up a long-unused character and immediately seeing the loads of egregious mistakes made in the build. Often results in the exclamation, “Oh my God, what was I THINKING?”
Last night, I decided Bholgrin needed some new punch. Literally – his wraps had been showing their age for quite some time. While I could have made him some Thunder-Forged wraps, they aren’t his primary weapons, and I already have my Thunderholme resources planned for other projects. So I turned my attention to a similarly-named set that I’d laid my hands on with other monks: Thunder and Lightning, available to Bholgrin in half a level.
I knew my original Shintao Monk, Khail Ironfist (yes, a dwarf), had a set of the level 26 version linked above in his bank that hadn’t been bound yet, since he was only level 21. Since Khail has been getting run lately about as often as one sees a Ford Pinto on the Autobahn, I didn’t feel bad about “stealing” the wraps from him and passing them over to Bholgrin. But then, I noticed.. well, Khail’s got a set of Antipode, Fist of the Horizon from the Raider’s Reward Box ages ago, and he’s almost level 22-ish, so why not just nudge him up to 23 and pack ’em on and see what kind of a whallop they have? After all, it didn’t take that long with Bholgrin, right?
Now, Khail is one of my earlier characters. And by early, I mean my fifth-ever toon, rolled up back in the day when my highest level toon ever was a whopping 12. Back in the day (which was a Wednesday, according to Dane Cook, fun fact) when my login screen looked like:
- Tholgrin Stoneforge, level 12 dwarf paladin
- Mattok Shalefinder, level 8 dwarf cleric
- Felldar Bloodbeard, level 4 dwarf rogue
- Uldwin Skyreaver, level 3 dwarf druid
- Khail Ironfist, level 2 dwarf monk
Which is a far cry from what it looks like now, which is more like:
- OMG BRO U HAVE WAY 2 MANY TOONS LIEK SRSLY
With that in mind, I proceeded to spend the next hour berating my old build. For, you know, little things, like an unarmed-combat Shintao specialist not having Two-Weapon Fighting (increases unarmed off-hand strike chance, which, if coupled with Doublestrike, can actually result in “triple-strikes”) at all because his Dexterity is base 13. OMGWWIT?
Or the fact he was level 20 and only rolling around with 40% fortification – you spellthrowers might get away with that, but not a front-line melee. OMGWWIT??
Or… you get the picture. The bottom line is I kept opening up his character sheet and scrolling through the feats, almost always with a grumbling “do I at LEAST have XYZ? …ok, so I wasn’t a complete moron.”
Now he wasn’t a total failure, don’t get me wrong. After all, he made it all the way to 21 without much outside help, aside from hirelings for healing. In fact, his lousy self-heals were the first thing I noticed – “Monk level 5 or above. Complete Way of the Sun Soul set available? No? Okay, at least I have my Jidz-tet’ka. Where’s my Jidz? I don’t have a Jidz? OMGWWIT?”
(If you aren’t familiar with them, the Jidz-tet’ka bracers are amazingly useful bracers for Monks that provide different benefits depending on which stance you’re in. I tend to favor the Fire stance, which scores an instant +25% stacking crank to your healing amplification. Wind provides a +10 insight bonus to Jump, Earth stance provides a half-step of unarmed die damage, and Water can paralyze and poison targets on vorpals. And just like the Monk stances themselves, you don’t have to “pick” one – while I favor Fire stance for general purposes, nothing prevents me from hopping into Wind stance for a temporary Jump boost to hop onto an otherwise-out-of-reach ledge and then burning right back into Fire a second later.)
So I started plodding my way through some Epics, much more gingerly than I would with my “modern” monks. I was pleasantly surprised when Garos from The Snitch was unable to lay a finger on me due to evasion, dodge, and incorporeality, but that was a short-lived grin. Immediately following that, there was an Epic Elite run of Tharashk Arena that I hopped into which ended with the always-pleasant words “Total Party Kill.” Yup. Totally, beyond not even close to ready for Epic Elite, this guy. Quite a turn-around from my “mains” who go AFK on auto-attack during boss fights on Epic Hard without worrying…. although still not quite as bad as my spellthrowing.
I spent the next several hours plugging away in the King’s Forest to score some coms towards the Purple Dragon Gauntlets and the Sun Soul set, with moderate success. Apparently, I had used up all my luck earlier in the evening when I’d geared up Bholgrin with the same – 17 Villagers coms and 4 PDK coms scored in just over an hour (#winning). Khail still has quite a ways to go for that.. but he did manage to make level 22 in the process, and with a little bit of gear reshuffling, he was able to true solo Impossible Demands in the “brute” fashion on Epic Normal, at least, and could probably pull off Epic Hard with a hire without any real hassle. Considering he has precisely zero epic-level gear, that’s not too terrible, I don’t think.
Impossible Demands “brute” fashion: immediately start the fight with Vicala Szind. When she goes to run away, charge right after her and punch her in the back of the head. Kill her guards, pin her in the corner, and beat her down until she sacrifices a villager. Stop crying about the poor villager, they all had terminal toenail cancer and were going to die anyway. Make sure Vicala stays pinned in the corner and keep on a-whackin’ until she runs out of people to sacrifice. Makes for 3-4 minutes of solid in-your-face boss combat, but pays off a good 18K XP on EN.
I had to call it a night long before hitting 23, although I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to make it tonight, and slap that Antipode, Fist of the Horizon on him and see what kind of pain it brings. This way, I’ll know whether or not it’s worth it to try and get for other toons – or if that level 26 Thunder and Lightning will do the trick.
The best part, though, is I thinkg my OMGWWITitis flare-up should be smoothed over by tonight. I like leaving my toons “rough and ready,” that is, able to log on and immediately charge into a dungeon without having to worry about their gear or setup. Given the expectations I have of my monks currently, Khail would have tripped and fallen flat on his face.. but at least now he’s a little better prepared.