Thol’s Goals for 2015, Progress Report #3

So once again, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything here.  Not that I’ve been away from playing DDO, just writing.  Because of reasons.  (Including a move that I’d been putting off for almost eight months that finally came to a head and required attention.)  But I digress.

Since the last time I’ve written, the Trials of the Archons quest pack has been released, and some delightfully tasty loot came with it.  Sadly, I’ve not completed the raid yet – I’ve been focused on other priorities, mostly – but it’s definitely on my to-do list.

I promise some “actual” content in the next few posts, honest.  Maybe.  In the meantime, here’s a bit of a catch-up on the progress towards Thol’s Wickedly Absurd And Ever-Expanding Goals List for 2015:

My apologies in advance if I re-used a picture for one of the toons.  Some I haven’t played in a while and I frankly don’t feel like scouring through thousands* of screenshots to get a “cool” one.

*literally

Mains

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Just hangin’ out in Snowy Gianthold… wait a minute…

Tholgrin Stoneforge, level 28 dwarf paladin

I have once again been reminded why I consider Thol to be my “main main” in spite of Uncle Tubbs having nearly four times the number of lives – Thol still knocks off into the stratosphere like a finishing move from Super Smash Bros. Melee.  He’s back at cap now, waiting to get his first Divine Sphere Epic Past Life, and the serious amount of fun I’ve had playing him makes me toy with the idea of getting Thol an Epic Completionist, as well.  Obviously, without the “rush to finish” that I did with Tubbs – which, at times, compromised my enjoyment of the game – but as an eventually goal.  Since he’s officially met his original goal (get back into Epics) and the optional goal (make 28), of course I had to add more to it.  I’ve decided he’s not allowed to ER until he has a Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers in his back pocket.

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Nana-nana, nana-nana, nana-nana, nana-nana, BAT-PIMP!

Whong Fei-Hung, level 20 halfling shuricannon

When last we visited Fei-Hung the Mini-Pimp, he was sitting pretty at level cap with his flashy new shuriken, the Epic Dawnbringer, and doing…. not much of anything.  Well, I got bit by a bug the other night to play him again, for various reasons.  The “official” one is that I wanted him to have his final stack of Epic Past Life Fast Healing so he can then work towards getting his Doubleshot EPL’s from the same sphere.  (Yes, I’m aware they don’t stack and are mutually exclusive, but I like the versatility.)  The other reason is that I wanted to play something a little more… squishy than my typical divine war machine.  Plus, it’s always fun watching the pages and pages of numbers scream by the screen when playing a Shuricannon.  In any regards, he’s now back at 20 – and I’m going to be a jerk to myself and say he has to make it back to level cap, again, by the end of the year.  Because.   Oh, yes, and Fei-Hung has been promoted to a Main status!  Congratulations be to the fabulously fly four-foot* flinger!

*Fei-Hung is only 3’6″.

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Uncle Tubbs having a wilderness barbecue with some of the local Storm Horns wildlife.

Tubbho Lard, level 27 Morninglord monkleric

Since the last progress report, Uncle Tubbs has since hit his Epic Completionist (ding!) and has climbed his way to level 27 on a wonky hybrid of the Tubbho Special build engine with intent to score a second Cleric past life in addition to the Morninglord one.  At the moment, he’s 9 Monk/11 Cleric, and it’s…. different.  I still play him exactly as if he were in the tried-and-true 16 Monk/4 Cleric variant, I forget that I have “spells” now (well, more than Nightshield and Rejuvenation Cocoon, at least), and sorely miss the Abundant Step feat.  Oh, yeah, and he’s an elf.  Blech.  (Sorry, elf players, this writer is #stumpy4life.)  He’s only one solid push away from level cap, but I’ve been questioning whether I want to go for another Iconic Past Life, branch out into Heroic Completionist, or just settle back into the “final” life… I’m not sure.  Thankfully, that’s not a decision I have to make right this second, since he’s only a few hundred thousand XP away from making (and breaking) every retarded goal and challenge set in front of him thus far.

Alts

Aapex Predator, still level 28 Bladeforged paladin

Nothing new to report here, other than the fact he’s been demoted to Alt status… because I haven’t played him seriously in probably close to four months.  There really isn’t a reason why I haven’t played him – he doesn’t stink, his gear’s solid (not best-in-slot, but more than enough to hold his own), and his build is one I’ve sent through the wringer on more than one occasion to come out shining on the other side.  I think I’m reluctant to ER him more because other projects are keeping my attention than any other reason.  You’ll get your time in the limelight again, Aapex, I promise.

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Bholgrin taking in the new sights.

Bholgrin Stoneforge, level 28 dwarf romunkadin and official favor-farmer

Bholgrin, paladin-monk-rogue hybrid, favor farmer.  Off on what is proving to be my hardest challenge – or, at the very least, the slowest to progress – scoring 5,000 favor, a completion on every quest, and completion on every challenge.  Ideally, those will be Epic Elite or six-star completions, but given the progress he’s made (or moderate lack thereof), I think I’ll only enforce the “completion” aspect once he hits his five thousand favor mark.  The list is dwindling!  In fact, it’s so short, now, that here’s the complete list of all that’s left (in order of how likely I believe getting it finished will be):

  •         Quests:
  •         The Shipwrecked Spy  (I just haven’t done it yet)
  •         The Crucible  (same)
  •         Tomb of the Tormented   (because I’m not a masochist)
  •         The Cursed Crypt  (requirese the Tomb of the Sadists)
  •         Precious Cargo  (major pain to solo..  gotta get friends in on this)
  •         Raids:
  •         The Master Artificer
  •         Litany of the Dead  (need to put together a sigil)
  •         Ascension Chamber  (still need that sigil)
  •         The Fall of Truth
  •         Fire on Thunder Peak
  •         The Lord of Blades  (seems folks are still more scared of Bladesy than dragons)
  •         The Mark of Death
  •         Temple of the Deathwyrm
  •         The Twilight Forge
  •         The Titan Awakes  (is this still even in the LFM queue list??)

Savvy readers may notice that, as of the last progress report, Bholgrin had six quests and ten raids left.  Well, that has improved, if only slightly, to be five quests and ten raids left (not counting the new pack).  On the other hand, he did flag for Defiler of the Just and has his completions on all three of the new quests, so it only looks like he’s barely moved.  Oh, wait, no, he has… sigh.

Cupcaque Glitter Sprinkles (MHRIP), ex-level 12 half-orc ranger/rogue

Just this past weekend, I gave in to the temptation of something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a while.  That’s right, I rerolled Cupcaque.  No, not a Lesser Reincarnation, a full-scale “remove everything BtA from character, strip all good gear and cosmetics, drop unbound items in guild chest, and head to the graveyard” reroll.  Why?  Frankly, I just couldn’t get into the build.  For those that are new to the blog, I’ve done my fair share of grinding builds out I didn’t like – I’ve got the time in the trenches, there – so for a less-than-serious, part-time character, I didn’t want it to be a grind.  (What, you took a character named Cupcaque Glitter Sprinkles seriously?)  So he’s been scrapped, and already his replacement – another half-orc, I did like Cupcaque’s look, after all – is level 4 and having a blast of silly fun.  Sorry, Cupcaque, you just didn’t cut it.  (Disclaimer:  I’m not saying ranger/rogues are bad.  What I am saying is that in the attempt to do “something new” – see the posts leading up to Cupcaque’s creation – the deviation from established successful patterns wound up being too much to hang in Elite content.  He whalloped on Hard, but the lack of Elite survivability led to mass frustration, which, in turn, led to being “not fun” and his eventual deletion.)

Felldar, level 28 Bladeforged palificer artadin

In all truth, I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve logged Felldar on since the last progress report was to pass an Epic Arm of the Archons over.  So…. inadvertently dusty.  Don’t worry, Fell, you’ll get back on the front lines again, soon.

Gorruk Bouldertongue, level 28 dwarf fighter

Dear lord, this was an exercise in patience!  As Gorruk is a pure fighter, he has no intrinsic self-healing, and is 100% reliant upon external sources.  Or was, until I brute-force mashed his way from Legendary Dreadnought over to Fury of the Wild – while the Fast Healing wasn’t in any way enough to be a main source of healing, it worked out great to keep hit point attrition from adding up too quickly.  In addition, twisting in Momentum Swing from LD made for a tasty axe-whirling wall-o-death, particularly with splashes of Adrenaline Overload and Fury Eternal running.  In short, I have no complaints about the offensive prowess of the build – if you’re one who is used to running with hires and/or a dedicated healer, then the CON-based stumpy great-axe Kensei with Throw Your Weight Around will probably be quite fun.  But considering I can achieve comparatively identical results (and, situationally, superior) with a near-invincible Knight of the Chalice paladin, I’ll spend my time over there.  As it is, Gorruk’s hit cap, found out the Epic Riftmaker is bugged (the Force Burst damage on-hit doesn’t work, but the on-crit does) and is back to the airship to await orders.

Immano of Llawriennal, perpetually level 20 elf clonk

I know, earlier I used “monkleric” to describe Uncle Tubbs, but that’s because he’s traditionally monk-primary with cleric splashed in, while Immano is the exact opposite at 17 Cleric/3 Monk.  His original goal for 2015 was to finally cap out Unyielding Sentinel (as you can continue to earn Destiny XP even while your banked XP is capped), and he was excluded from the optional goal to hit 28, on purpose.  As it is, he hasn’t been on much – mostly due to the fact the handful of friends I run with regularly and semi-regularly have been at offset levels, and he hasn’t been needed.  I’ll probably put his goal off until later, since it’s more of a “minor” goal.

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Kil getting decorating ideas.

Kiljoen Lorebringer, level 28 dwarf Fey warlock (and ex-sorcerer)

After hitting cap with Varjek – Kiljoen’s kiddo in the roleplaying sense – I got the crazy idea to perform an experiment with Kiljoen.  First off, the warlock is a pantload of fun to play, and very much my kind of arcane.  More importantly, I wanted concrete evidence to see what kind of difference pact selection does – and with the Heroic enhancement trees between Varjek and Kiljoen mirroring each other for 78/80 points (Varjek has all three points in Resist Energies, while Kiljoen has only one, and two points in Dwarven Runes instead), the answer is “a bloody lot.”  As of the last progress report, he was stuck in a rut as a level 22 Sorcerer with almost zero play time.. so the decision to TR him was a pretty easy one, and was made in about 34 seconds one afternoon.  More details to come in a later post.  The Heroic experiment completed, I took Kiljoen in a different direction for Epics, as well – Kiljoen is an Unyielding Sentinel primary, while Varjek is a Shiradi Champion, and once again, the differences are night and day.  While Kiljoen doesn’t have Varjek’s unnecessary DPS, he makes up for it in absurd defenses and survivability.  Either way you warlock it, they’re both still a blast… and since Kiljoen’s “official” goal was to hit level 23 so he could not equip Twilight, Element of Magic, he’s made that, and the optional goal he wasn’t even a part of when he was still a sorcerer.  Double ding-burger with cheese!

Khail Ironfist, level 28 dwarf monk

When last we visited Khail, he had already hit level 28 and completed both his Original and Optional goals for the year.  However, it’s bugging me that he’s one of a few characters that can’t ER right away, because his Destiny Sphere Karma is split amongst several spheres.  He was the first to create a “sub-goal,” in that making it to level 28 isn’t enough;  all of the toons must be ready to ER right away, should the notice that Level 30 is impending tomorrow come and they all need to snag their Epic Past Lives while they can.  He’s still roughly two million karma away, which is a bummer, but playing Khail is not.  So it all works out, and I just need to give him some attention here and there while loot-farming, which is precisely what I’ve been doing.  Woot!

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Whoa… cosmic, bro…

Loghainn Goldstrum, level 28 dwarf bard

Soooo.. he hit cap before the last progress report, and hasn’t seen a whole lot of action since then, aside from the occasional Shroud run for Shards.  I guess he’s too busy learning how to play Through the Fire and Flames on his lute in the airship, or something.

Madfinger Runewarden, level 28 dwarf artificer

My first artificer, Madfinger still makes me giggle whenever I play him.  He looks like a complete mad-scientist lunatic with a machine gun, plays pretty much the same way, and things explode everywhere.  It’s more like playing Call of DDO than anything else, and makes for quite a delightful change of pace.  I’ll probably ER/TR him at some point in the future, but that’s down the road – as it is, he’s met his original goal (equip Needle at 23) and the optional to get to cap – he was sitting tight at level 24 during the last progress report.    Ding!

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Demon Hunter Style!

Mattok Shalefinder, level 15 dwarf favored soul/paladin

After getting dragged kicking and screaming to level 20 in a wholly embarrassing pure cleric life, Socks decided he was going to TR one of his toons, and Mat was the natual choice to come along.  He had no promising Epic career as a pacifist healer, any way… but I digress.  Since the last progress report, I’ve added five of the planned six paladin levels (final concept – 14 Favored Soul Warpriest/6 Paladin Vanguard) and am so far pretty pleased with the results.  His DPS isn’t up where a fully offensive build would be, but, that isn’t his intent – he’s more a mashup of defender/healer/hate tank, and is working that job quite well, and his damage output is still pretty solid.  Plus, he looks cool.  And that’s what’s important, right?  Granted, he still has to make it to twenty, and then to level cap in order to qualify as having met his goals, so… after a lengthy string of dings, Mat gets to look bad (again) by breaking the streak.  Sorry, Mat!  I’ll get to you soon!  For honests!

Murq, level 4 half-orc paladin/monk intern

After Cupcaque went off to the Happy Animal Farm in the Sky, I replaced him with Murq.  As his bio states, “Murq, and his brother Hwukk, were both lovingly named after the two primary sounds made when dry-heaving.”  At level 4, the build hasn’t come into its own yet and hasn’t had a chance to shine, but he’s still been having fun in the Harbor Elites wrecking shop.  As of right now, the idea is to go for a dual-longsword 18 Pally KotC/2 Monk, but that is subject to change at any time and without prior notice from the management.  Since I iced Cupcaque before he met his goal, I should probably do the “honest” thing and slide Cupcaque’s slot over to Murq, and have him finish out a Heroic career.  We’ll see.  For the time being, Murq is a no-expectations fun toon.

Orsyn Burr, level 28 dwarf palificer artadin

As of the last progress report, Orsyn was level 24 and not getting much game time.  Honestly, I wasn’t really thrilled with his performance – as I’ve said before, he’s not Felldar, the same exact build but in Bladeforged – and the differences between races in this build make a night-and-day contrast.  What I’m getting around the bush to saying, is that I sat down with a sov pot and ground the hell out of Orsyn until he was 28.  The summary between the two stories is this:  Felldar the Palificer – screamed to level 28 without blinking;  Orsyn the Palificer – limped and dragged his chin on the ground until level 28, with a triumphant “Oh thank GOD that’s done!” at the end.  The Palificer Artadin build is amazingly powerful in the hands of a Bladeforged on both Heroic and Epic;  the dwarven version is still pretty bloody brutal in Heroic, but the jump to Epic was less than smooth.  But, he’s done!  So we’re back on the Ding Machine.

Uldwin Skyreaver, level 20 dwarf druid

Whooooooo buddy… Uldwin here is going to need his own entire post to express the feelings that washed over me last night, when I decided to toss caution to the wind and log him on.  Originally, he was exempt from all goals for 2015, but… it was bothering me, having a dwarf (of all things!) at level 20 nestled between a veritable list of 28’s on either side.  So I logged him on……. I might still have to keep him exempt.  More coming in the next post.

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Cold weather? Solution: AXE.

Uldwena Skyreaver, level 28 dwarf barbarianess & poet

Uldwin’s younger sister has none of the same compunctions that he does.  She hasn’t seen much action since hitting level cap before the last progress report, aside from picking up an Epic Riftmaker from the shared bank that was set aside for her (yes, I scored two!  Woot!) and to strut about with her new toy for a few minutes.  Since then, she’s been awaiting orders.

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“Hey, doc… listen.. yeah, I know you said my hands would burn for a while, after that weekend in Vegas… but, could you do something about the giant laser beam coming out of my head?”

Varjek Lorebringer, level 28 dwarf Pit Fiend warlock (and ex-wizard)

When the warlock was first released, of course I wanted to try it immediately, if not sooner.  At the time, Kiljoen was still a sorcerer at level 22 with the chance of completing his original goal (hit 23) without having to TR;  Varjek didn’t even have a goal, and as such, he was the natural choice.  And so was Pit Fiend for the first go, because, hello?  Devils?  Killing things?  Fire?  That was a no-brainer.  He went from “having no goals” to TRing to completing a Heroic career at record speeds (“sure, I can hang in Elite Gianthold at level 9”) to quite literally lighting Epic content on fire and watching two worlds burn.  I can’t tell you how many giggles and squees I had playing this build – Pit Fiend pact, Soul Eater primary, Tainted Scholar for chain/pact damage/crit damage, and eight or so points splashed into Enlightened Spirit for Resist Energies and Perma-Shield.  Getting Double Rainbow from Shiradi just made things that much more comical, and his Shiradi procs regularly hit in the 5,600-8,000 range.  Completely.  Unnecessary.  Damage.  On the other hand, the cost for all of that firepower was that he was a touch on the squishy side, but only for things that actually survived long enough to hit him.  Which was less often than one might think.  In short, I’m counting him as a double-ding, since he didn’t even have goals and has since finished out a Heroic and Epic career…… now, only to get the three million and change remaining to cap out the Primal sphere so he can be ER-ready.

Walreign Aggron, level 28 dwarf ranger ghost

Wally had already hit both of his goals – equip Pinion at 23, and the optional to get to cap – before the last progress report had been written.  Since then, nothing much has changed, aside from the occasional sneak through content as a ghost, for the sole purpose of actually pulling it off.  In short, he’s still done and done.

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“Hmm, what’s this do if I poke it? D’aww, it don’t do nuthin’ but tickle..”

Whall, level 28 dwarf favored soul

Still capped, still better-armored than an M1A1 Abrams tank.  And jumpier, too!  Whall finished his goals out long before the first progress report even came out.  As such, he hasn’t done much aside from an occasional BtA loot run here and there.  But, hey, that’s still a completion, right?  Right.

And the Recap!

So what’s left for the intrepid adventurers from Full Moon Fury to accomplish in 2015?  For no other reason than I get to jump up and down and say “Yay, I did it?”  Well, except for the jumping, because that would require effort, and I’m pretty sure the floorboards wouldn’t appreciate it.  Hell, they don’t appreciate me now, as-is, even sans jumping.

Plus, I think my personal Jump skill is somewhere in the negatives.  Alas, I digress.

So here’s how things stand, for :

  •         Tubbho Lard has to do… absolutely nothing at all.  He’s finished every goal laid out for him.  I’d like to get him back to 28 again, but as he’s already partway through 27, that won’t take long, and is purely for bonus points (1.275M, give or take a hundred thousand or so).
  •         Whong Fei-Hung has to do…. absolutely nothing at all, aside from get back from 20 to 28, again, purely for bonus points (roughly 6.5M to go).
  •         Bholgrin Stoneforge appears to have the short end of the stick, requiring completion of five quests, ten raids (not counting Defiler of the Just as it just launched), and a bunch of challenges, as well as finish out the last ~300 or so favor points.  Something tells me I’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the coming months.
  •         Cupcaque Glitter Sprinkles is dead, so, pfft.
  •         Immano of Llawriennal needs to finish the last level of Unyielding Sentinel.  Last time I checked, he had just achieved US level 4, so that’s probably nine ranks (5 to make level 5, then 4 more to cap it; give or take 900K).
  •         Khail Ironfist needs to wrap up the 6,000,000 karma needed for the Divine sphere;  pretty sure it’s approximately 2M left, and just for bonus points.
  •         Mattok Shalefinder still has to get to 20 to finish his Heroic career (currently 15) and then take it to 28.  That’s approximately 7.875M total XP.
  •         Murq is undecided whether or not he’ll enter the fray or not.  If I do, he’ll need to get to 20, first, and then decide things… which is roughly 1.85M XP away.  No big deal!
  •         Varjek Lorebringer, much like Khail, needs to acquire approximately 3.6M XP to finish up the Primal Destiny sphere, even though he’s already at cap, for bonus points.

And that’s it!!  22.15M XP to go in total, with 13.375M of which being for bonus points!  It may sound like a lot, but considering at one point not so very long ago, Uncle Tubbs alone had over 40M XP to detonate, that’s not terribly daunting at all.  Of course, if I include Murq in the list – which I probably should, since Cupcaque was dropped out – then it’s still only 20.4M XP to earn in just over three months.

After the last three progress reports.. twenty-two million XP in three and a half months is reminiscent of RuPaul saying “Gurrrl, Please.”  The only one that I’m moderately worried about is Bholgrin’s challenge – one would think that only a handful of quests and raids wouldn’t be so bad.. and if I actually set my mind to it, it might turn out to be that way.  Who knows?  I’ll keep you posted – but next, DRUID DRAMA!!

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