Socks and Uncle Tubbs.

Socks and Uncle Tubbs.

It struck me, last night.

For the most part, I’ve been sticking to my adjusted path of speeding through Uncle Tubbs’ remaining Epic Past Lives, in the hopes that he’ll have Epic Completionist done before the level cap gets raised to 30 – whenever that happens.  Thanks to some hardcore questing and a delicious and nutritious rock, he’s now working on his second past life in the Arcane sphere of things.

Primal, done.  Martial, done.  Arcane, two to go.  Divine, three to go.

Five more lives.. although, to be completely honest, I don’t really consider the Divine sphere to be a “grind,” since his “home” destiny is Unyielding Sentinel.  So that’s more of a situation where I’ll be saying oh, so I get to play through some Epic lives in the destiny I actually want to be in, in the first place?  Sure, that’ll be tough.

But it was during this second Arcane life that I was hit by it – a wave of doubt, making me question whether or not I’m silly for putting all these lives on Uncle Tubbs, when they might be better suited on Tholgrin, my main-main.

It was a number of aspects that led to the feeling, not just any one thing.  Not specifically the defenses he’s missing.  Certainly not any penalty to skills, which there aren’t any.  It wasn’t his appearance (which, except for teeny tiny modifications, has remained almost identical for the past phlorblot lives), nor a significant drop in damage tha

t I was suffering from.

Part of me wants to blame it on the fact that I died a few times – which happens very rarely on Tubbs.  Or, I should say, used to happen very rarely on Tubbs, since he had to bring himself back from the dead with Rise of the Phoenix more than once in the past few days.  His performance has been less than the “stellar” I’ve come to expect from him.

Whine, whine, whine.  Whine and cheese.  Someone call the waaaaah-mbulance.  First world problems.  So you censored died on an Epic Elite quest.  As Socks put it, “oh, you’re comparing your tankiness with that of an actual tank?”  He’s got a point.  The pyjama monk shouldn’t be able to absorb damage like the heavy-armor-tower-shield-Sacred-Defender paladin.  My brain gets that – it makes sense.  But I still can’t shake that intangible feeling, clawing at the borderlands of my brain.

If I’m being completely honest, I’m rather glad I had already completed all of the Eveningstar sagas for the day that my buddies wanted to run, because that gave me an excuse to switch toons and mull things over.  That’s how disillusioned I was becoming with the guy, who I had formerly placed up as one of my favorites, second only to Tholgrin Stoneforge.  (Who will always be my ultra-favorite, even if he only has a fraction of the lives Tubbs does.)

As I’m playing rear-line on another toon, it comes back at me from the other direction,  my half-nutter lump of grey matter always playing Devil’s Advocate for the other side.  Because, clearly, Uncle Tubbs has something magical about him.  After all, I wouldn’t play dozens of lives on the same build engine if it was that horrible, would I?  I mean, I can get illogically attached to things (pandas) that aren’t necessarily beneficial to gameplay (potions of wonder) on occasion, but I’m not completely daft.

So I wound my way back to the original concept for the build that has evolved into the current iteration of the “Tubbho Special,” and started examining what the initial purpose was.

A long time ago, back not long after I first started playing – this was roughly September of 2013 when the conversation took place, and I had started six months before that – a friend of mine joked about having a build that didn’t need to shrine.  Ever.  At the time, she said it wasn’t possible, that it was a pipe dream.  The series of builds leading up to the Tubbho Special were my answer to that challenge.

In its current iteration, I’d like to think it succeeded.  The core concept of the build was infinite sustainability, with no need to shrine.  As it stands, if a glitch happened and every shrine in the game suddenly disappeared, Tubbs wouldn’t blink twice.  He hasn’t used one in six lives now, and working on his seventh shrine-sober one.  He’d probably be the primary toon I would play until this fictional glitch were hypothetically repaired.  So, if he’s my go-to guy, he can’t be that bad, right?

The original idea behind the build wasn’t to be the ultimatest DPS.  It wasn’t to have an AC high enough that you can mock Epic bosses by walking AFK in the middle of the fight.  It was to provide an unending source of mass heals for himself and the party with zero resource management.  Which is exactly what he does.  And he does it well – several divines love having him around, specifically because they can focus 100% on offensive casting and don’t have to worry about the front-liners.  Because “Uncle Tubbs’ll take care of ya.”

This is where the inner drill sergeant/coach rears up.  Time for a good hard kick in the head, Self.  Once in a while, we all need some tough love.  And yes, I’m talking to myself in the third person.  Shaddup.

So Tubbs died a couple of times.  Have you considered the fact that perhaps, just maybe, that it was an off night?  Or, here’s a concept, EPIC CHAMPIONS HURT.  Who’da thunk it?  You mean to tell me that champs in Epic actually drop people?  Pfft.  Get over it.   It happens.  Toons die.  Grow up.  Hell, at one point you were part of a Jarilith gang-bang adult film that had not one, not two, but three champs in it, while you were flat on your back.  That would have turned almost any toon into cat food.  Let’s keep things in perspective, here.

So you’re working on an off-destiny.  Not just any off destiny, a really, really off destiny that provides little-to-no benefit, whatsoever, to the Tubbho Special Infinite Sustain-A-Build.  You already knew the Arcane sphere was going to be rough.  That’s why you left Divine for last, to soothe the ego bruising you knew you were going to take.  How many times have you opened posts for Epic Devil Assault and specifically included “free XP, great for off destinies” in the post?  Yeah, folks were grateful for the free experience.  And now you know, firsthand, just how grateful.  Leveling a horribly off destiny is painful – and you’re not just doing a single destiny, you’re going for the whole bloody sphere.  Three times.

Oh, so things didn’t go 100% perfectly, and you’re going to cry about it?   QQ more, noob.   Cancel that waaah-mbulance and pour that whine down the drain.  Get your sodding ego off the floor and put your game face back on.  Dwarf up!  The sooner you get this grind done, the sooner you’ll be back in the saddle in Unyielding and flexing on top of panda-boxes while Epic Elite Turigulon whiffs you.

Yikes, who knew my inner drill sergeant was so blunt?  But he (it?) is right on point.  I’m grinding out what is a horrible sphere to be in for this build.  Of course I’m not going to perform up to the standards set for my primary destiny.  Of course he’s going to feel “funny” until he gets back home.  And yeah, he might die or get roughed up in the process.  It’s part of the price to pay for the Epic Past Life.

Look out, Xen’drik – because when Uncle Tubbs gets back into Divine in a life and a half, y’all won’t know what hit you.


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