After capping Felldar, the Palificer Artadin 2.0, and Uldwena the Barbarianess both at 28, I finally logged Uncle Tubbs on again last night to work towards getting his final three Divine sphere Epic Past Lives and finishing up Epic Completionist.
Well, that was the plan, at least. It sort of got.. sidetracked partway through, for a very strange reason.
Socks was working on his final Martial sphere past life towards his own Epic Completionist, and was rocking around at level 26 compared to Tubbs’ level 20. So, of course, I ran content set to his difficulty, because, it’s Tubbs.
Aside from one minor mauling from a CR ten million dragon which resulted in little more than an “oh, I suppose I should actually pay attention,” I started wishing I were playing… well, my Accidental Shuricannon, Whong Fei-Hung.
It’s not that I’m having doubts about Uncle Tubbs again. Far from it – he’s back in his Divine sphere and bringing the whallop with a vengeance. There was just something missing.
It took two whole arcs – the Sschindylryn “Houses of” chain and the Demonweb – for me to put my finger on it.
I was actually missing being squishy.
Uncle Tubbs and Fei-Hung are two different peas in a pod. Tubbs is a 16 monk / 4 cleric Shintao Warpriest with the (totally achieved) goal of being infinitely sustainable. He’s a front-line, mass-healing, frighteningly fast flinger of frenzied facepaste that plays with an attitude akin to that of the Crazy Nasty-Ass Honey Badger on PCP. Fei-Hung is pure Monk, almost exclusively Ninja Spy except a few splashes to score extra Dexterity, and has about as much damage mitigation as a Marshmallow Peep.
Uncle Tubbs dives face-first at the Hezrou of the Demonweb wearing a demonic grin like Wolverine. Fei-Hung squeals like a schoolgirl and frantically runs about the room.
When it comes to an objective analysis, the “Badassery Level” is unanimously weighed in favor of Uncle Tubbs. Fei-Hung carries a Bouquet of Flowers in the off-hand (well, cosmetically, over a Star of Day), because it’s “pimp.”
And yet, I found myself more and more wanting to play the squishy guy. Specifically because he was squishy.
Being a squishy rear-line character is still a “new” way of thinking to me. His damage output is retardankulous with a Spelltouched Shuriken that includes force burst and bleed damage and Good Luck and CON damage on every throw, plus precisely ten point two billion other random effects – and it’ll only go up when I get his Thunder-Forged shuriken finally crafted. But I’m forced to play differently with Fei-Hung, and that’s what is still intriguing me.
Any time an enemy rushes him, I have to make a lightning-fast calculated decision: Can I drop this fool before he turns me into Halfling Hustler Jell-O? Is there a vantage point I can use his eye-twitchingly fast speed and general monk-liness to get to that would provide a safety barrier? Does Socks have some crowd control up that I can Abundant Step to?
Uncle Tubbs… well, frankly, he doesn’t need any of those considerations. Tubbs’ response to more folks joining the mosh pit is a (slightly modified) phrase from DMX: “I just love when a [drider] bring his whole crew / it’s just a bigger piece of cake for me to chew a hole through.”
And that is what has kept Fei-Hung interesting. It doesn’t mean in any way, shape, or form that I dislike Uncle Tubbs. Far from it – he’s still going to hit Epic Completionist and will, probably for a long time coming, be the toon who holds the majority of my total play time. But every now and then, you just need something different.
As of late, that’s been aimed at being squishy. Which is probably why Fei-Hung is already back to 25 on his second Epic life… and with the level cap going up to 30 still a ways off on the horizon, I have a feeling he’ll stay in my rotation for a while. Uncle Tubbs has no need to be jealous, either.
Now if only I could find a more gaudy-yet-color-coordinated cosmetic robe…