It seems like it’s been a month since I’ve posted anything new up on the blog. Oh, wait, that’s because it has been.
I’ve been juggling a lot of things in real life and in-game, so here’s a little bit of an update on the small army of characters that occupy my digital distractions from everyday existence.
Whall, the favored soul tank
More than living up to his name, this little “caster that wasn’t” turned out to be quite the heavy tank. He made epic level cap without any struggles whatsoever, due largely in part to having an absolutely ridiculous AC (over 140) and PRR (over 160). Add to that permanent Blur (20% miss chance) from the Warpriest enhancement line, and he almost never needed anything more than an Ameliorating Strike to top off his Hit Points. Sure, he still has kobolds evade his Cometfalls and Blade Barriers, but whatever. He makes for a great sword & board tank and has boatloads of spell points available for buffs and group heals.
Mattok Shalefinder, ex-delusional cleric
When Socks decided he was going to TR one of his alts back into Heroic play and asked me to come along, I mulled about who would come with and in what role. Since Mattok’s performance as an undecided cleric was rather embarrassing, and had no real hope for any form of serious Epic play, he was the natrual choice. I TR’ed him into (ironically) a clone of Whall’s build – after all, he already had all the armor, shields, and divine equipment ready. He’s just taken level 9 at the moment and is quite happily plodding along with Socks’ Venom Master monk build. I know, I know, it’s not very original, but poor ol’ Mat deserved a life where he wasn’t a complete joke.
Uldwena Skyreaver, the untouchable barbarian
It had been buggiing me that I hadn’t given the new barbarian enhancements a solid run-through to see how they did. Uldwena is a CON-focused Occult Slayer (primarily) backed by Throw Your Weight Around; with her Improved Rage and Primal Scream going, she tops out at 74 CON and breaks two thousand hit points when I Like Pain triggers. Thanks to the Occult Slayer’s capstone which gives a spell resistance score equal to one’s Constitution, that also means she has a completely retarded 74 Spell Resistance, too. While I can’t speak on the level progression niceties, I will say that in epic play, the Occult Slayer tree is nauseatingly powerful. As much as it pains me to say it, overpowered. Barbarians should not be able to solo from 20 through 26 on Epic Hard without ever needing a shrine, healing potion, healing spell, or any source other than Fast Healing from Fury of the Wild. They should not be able to take naps in front of multiple beholders, including named ones. (And yes, she’s a first lifer, with the only twist being a single point in Stay Frosty from Shiradi for her throwing axe.) While I appreciate the effort into making barbarians a more solo-able class, that particular tree seems like it overcompensated a tad too much. Or, perhaps, I just happened to luck out on some miraculously exceptional combination of ultimate-ness. Nah, that can’t be it. Uldwena is currently sitting at 26. I’ll get her to cap, eventually.
Felldar, bladeforged palificer
As I anticipated when recapping his Heroic life, Felldar took to Epic play like fish to a bowl of tartar sauce. It was just a natural fit and has been a pantload of fun, even though there was that awkward moment when I realized I still had Needle, Quill-Slinger in the bank from his previous life.. for something like two levels after he could have used it. No matter, however, as he is primarily melee-focused, in any case. I don’t have much more to add to this particular section, as the only reason he didn’t streak all the way to cap was that other toons demanded attention, and I’m notorious for putting ideas on pause for other ideas. He’s parked at 26 at the moment and will probably get picked back up in the not-so-distant future.
Tholgrin Stoneforge, the one-and-only
Lately, my biggest push was to get Thol back into Epics on his third pure-paladin Knight of the Chalice life. (I stated in previous posts, incorrectly, that it was his fourth. –Ed.) One might say he went into them like a bat out of hell. In the course of one afternoon and evening, he blew all the way from level 18 to 23 and has not slowed down since. I had two plans with Thol – the first was to get back into epics, period, and the second was one I have been mulling about for many, many moons, which was to get him at least one rank of passive Epic Past Life Fast Healing (a.k.a “regeneration”). It’s something that is a bit like cocaine, in that once you get a taste of it with one stack, and realize you can add three more, and wind up healing 300+ hit points per minute for free (even on heroic!), you’re hooked. It’s been bugging me that my “secondary main,” Uncle Tubbs, has three ranks of it, and Thol has none.. so I fired him back up and off we go. He’s just made 26 last night and has his eyes set on dominating the distribution of lemonade to orphaned one-eyed dolphins in Faerun in the very near future.
Cupcaque Glitter Sprinkles, the half-orc cluster of random (10 ranger, 1 rogue, who knows what feats)
Sooooooooo about Cupcaque. He’s managed to level to 11, which would be a lot more impressive if I hadn’t vet-ted him to 7 upon creation. I have a feeling my disappointment in him is due largely in part to changing up too many things at once. The idea behind Cupcaque was to play something “new” that I hadn’t done time and again; in that regards, he’s succeeding. His trapping is solid after some gear changes, his weapons are great thanks to some twinking, and his melee DPS is quite respectable. However, there’s just something about the build I’m not terribly fond of; perhaps it’s the punishing mistake I made in assuming rangers can “self-heal” (in the loosest sense of the word) or the fact he’s not a dwarf (that’s racist). I’m just having a hard time getting into the essence of the build; the whole “rangers can melee and shoot” concept has been utterly shattered by the 15/5 paladin/artificer builds I’ve been dabbling with lately. The trapping power from the Rogue level is….. also done by the palificer. The self-healing is completely demolished by the palificer. It honestly gives me the feeling that I’m playing a wanna-be artadin, and usually after a few quests with Cupcaque, I’ll log onto Felldar or Orsyn (my other palificer). It’s not a bad build, per se, but I’d redo a bunch of stuff that I took “specifically because it’s new” if I were to ever take the guy seriously.
Other Toons of otheriness
I’ve had a few one-off runs with some of my other guys. One of the silliest was probably taking Socks’ level 20 sorcerer and my level 21 Spellsinger bard into the Haunted Halls… just for fun. Okay, so we did the short version. On Casual. Whatever! It was still fun. A splish and splash here and there with some of my less “front line” toons in random groups, but nothing much worth really writing home about. Or a blog, for that matter.
So that’s a quick and dirty update on where the toons are at.. I’ll put together a “progress report” on my Goals for 2015 and see how that’s going… soon!