So, once again, it’s been quite a long while since I’ve written anything for this blog. For that, I’m sorry. The one (1) reader of this blog can consider themselves the recipient of my sincerest, most heartfelt apologies.
Or some stuff.
On the other hand, things have been quite hopping on the virtual front. Just last night, on the final quest of the evening, I was able to squee with delight as Mattok Shalefinder, the (still confused) Cleric-Turned-Favored-Paladin Vanguard-turned-sword-and-board-Knight-of-the-Chalice dinged to 28. Woo!
With that project squared away, that means I can finally return to the shocking task of playing my main-main, Tholgrin Stoneforge. He’s seen quite a bit of play time since the last time I made an update, and now has two Divine sphere Epic Past Lives along with two Primals and a Martial. Having just reset back to 20, Thol’s about to embark on the Arcane sphere. I recall with Uncle Tubbs that the Arcane sphere was quite painful – but I’m not terribly concerned when it comes to Tholgrin. After all, he has a habit of making warlocks sweat on the kill counts, even in off Destinies.
On a semi-related note – I finally caved in to the nagging “but I want it!” pressure and sent in my order to Hero Forge (www.heroforge.com) where I designed a copy of Tholgrin Stoneforge as well as Tubbho Lard in mini-format. Thol’s been my dwarven paladin namesake ever since dwarf was a class back in First Edition (yeah, yeah, he wasn’t a paladin then, that came in 2nd edition), so that comes with a pretty heavy dose of gamer gravity. I fell in love with the look I made for him on DDO – after all, it looks far better than my spastic scribbled attempts at drawings – and was able to build a pretty darn close representation on Hero Forge. I was even able to put the eyepatch on the correct eye! And the greataxe available looks an awful lot like Cleaver, Hewer of Suffering for extra woo-woo points.
Of course, I’ll now have to paint them and then actually find a tabletop group to use them, or I suppose they could just provide moral support from my desk. Either works. It’s still pretty darned cool to have a customized mini built around your character. In my book, that qualifies as bad-ass… because none of the pre-made minis really capture everything properly.
But I digress! (That part hasn’t changed, at least. –Ed.)
So now that Tholgrin’s chomping at the bit on his sixth Epic Past Life (almost halfway to Epic Completionist!), Tubbs has started… evolving. I say that because in his past three lives, he hasn’t looked right. Not only has he been forced to deviate from the trademark Tubbho Special build that’s built him a reputation, but he’s also not a dwarf. Gasp! Shock! Forsooth! Some of you may recall, from the depths of your memory, that I had previously written (in passing, of course) about Tubbs’ first Iconic foray as a cleric-heavy Morninglord variant of the Tubbho Special to get both a Morninglord Iconic Past Life as well as his second Cleric Heroic Past Life. Well, I did. And promptly turned him into a confused monk/artificer, followed by an Occult Slayer barbarian (that was fun, with Wolverine-like regeneration in Heroics! I darn near took that one all the way through to 28) to score some more Heroic Past Lives. If it seems like I’m slowly working my way towards a Heroic Completionist, in spite of my stating on multiple occasions that I had zero interest in doing exactly that, then the seem would seem to be correct. I suppose I’ll have to amend my official statement to say “I have no interest, at this time, in achieving Triple Heroic Completionist.” To keep things efficient, his next life was a Charisma-based Purple Dragon Knight Bard.. who was actually kind of fun. So much so, in fact, that within minutes of him ding-ing 28, he was reborn as a Bladeforged Pally-lock. Because, reasons.
As I scroll back through some previous posts, it comes to my attention that a few of the things I thought I had written about since the last update, I haven’t. Whoops! Abandoned posts, oh my! Oh, well.
One of my “tangent goals” for the year was to have Immano of Llawriennal, my perpetually-20 elf clonk, finish out Unyielding Sentinel. When I last wrote about him, I claimed he’d been at Unyielding level 4 – lies! All lies! He was barely (4 XP, to be precise) into US2. And he was painful. Very, very painful.
While glancing through his gear and build, the first thing I decided was that he needed to abandon the wraps. With only three levels of Monk in him, they were doing pitiful damage, even with a set of Elite Level 19 Thunder & Lightning on his mitts. Half of the damage from wraps comes from the Monk levels themselves – so they had to go. I popped one point over into Ninja Spy and set him up to dual-wield shortswords, instead.
And then, immediately noticed he didn’t have any of the Two-Weapon Fighting feats. What was I thinking?? Oh, well, I’ll just LR him and set him straight… wait, I have to take those two Epic levels that are banked? But what if I don’t wanna? Sigh… fine, I’ll just not take them when I rebuild him.
…great, I have to do that, too. So, it turns out you can’t bank Epic levels when LRing… although, for the most part, I can’t imagine why you’d want to, save for doing something completely bizarre like I was doing with Immano, trying to keep him specifically at 20. The only solution, then, since he was now 22 after a Lesser Reincarnation, was to keep on plowing through to 28 and wrap back around.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to spend the time needed to gear him up for “proper” Epic play. He was supposed to stay at 20. So, of course, I did what any sane person would do.
I decided that I wouldn’t gear him up at all. He would go from 20 to 28 using only level 20 gear.
Now, I know that might sound completely nuts. And it was. But there was logic behind it – namely, that by the time he finished out an Epic career, that level 20 kit was going to be bulletproof. And it is. Having finished his challenge, Immano is now the proud owner of a new set of threads (that doesn’t look quite so ‘twinkle-toes’ as his previous outfit), a pair of Stars of Day, and looks like a ninja Jedi. All of which are wins. Oh, and he doesn’t suck any more. Also a win.
Oh, and after feeling guilty about ignoring him for so long, I took Aapex Predator out for a spin, as well. Now I’m going to feel guilty about reducing the entire thing to a footnote paragraph in passing. “Oh, yeah, and Aapex was a disgusting death machine again. Here’s Tom with the weather.” I promise to try to maybe perhaps attempt to be less dismissive in the future, Aapex. Please don’t slaughter my entire family.
As you can see, even if I haven’t been writing about it (shame on me), I’ve still been quite busy on that delightful Orien server.
And, last but not least, to wrap up this rambly post – an update on where Thol’s Goals for 2015 stand. Don’t panic, I’m not going to do one of those needlessly long per-character rambles that all say “done” over and over again. Just the facts, that’s all we’re after.
Here’s what was left outstanding as of my last update:
- Tubbho Lard was to get back to 28 on his Morninglord life for bonus points. Well, that’s done, two Heroic lives, and an Iconic life stacked on top of that. Currently a Bladeforged Pallylock at 15, and he’s many lives past his triple-extended goals. Done!
- Whong Fei-Hung was to get back to 28 for bonus points. Done! And now he has a cosmetic love letter to go with his cosmetic bouquet of flowers… so he’s now a mini-pimp deliverer of romantic sonnets of death. Awww, yeahhh.
- Bholgrin Stoneforge still has four quests and ten raids to do. It’s an improvement over his previous predicament, but he’s mostly been “maintaining” by completing the new packs. Right now, Bhol is my biggest concern about being completed before the end of the year.
- Immano of Llawriennal was to finish Unyielding Sentinel. He did that, made a few levels in Grandmaster of Flowers and Divine Crusader for twists, went to 28 using only 20 gear, and wrapped back around. Ohh, yeah, he’s definitely qualified as “done plus.”
- Khail Ironfist only had to finish out the karma in Divine – that’s done.
- Mattok Shalefinder had to finish getting from 16 to 20 first, then have a complete Epic career, which he did, and finished up last night in proper fashion (watching a glacier explode). Done!
- Varjek Lorebringer is missing some karma in his Primal sphere to get his 6M. That’s.. not done.
So, in review, all that’s left is… wait, really? All that’s left is Bholgrin’s missing quests and racking up some post-cap XP on Varjek? Holy cow sauce, there’s still two months left of the year. I can’t be done that early. Two weeks, sure, but not two months.
What’s a player left to do? Expand the goals once again!!! (This is getting nuts. Why not just play quests on elite eight levels under? Oh, right. Nevermind. –Ed.)
Since Tholgrin is trying to get his Epic Completionist out of the way before Level 30 drops.. let’s make that happen before the end of the year. He’s a fresh 20 starting on his sixth life – five down, seven to go – so that’s only adding 46.2M experience points to earn in 59 days. Shoot, that’s only 783K per day. That’s totally doable. Hardly a challenge at all… except stacked on top of Varjek missing another million-and-change and however long it takes for Bholgrin to finish his challenge.
Now things are getting interesting – and the clock is ticking!
And next – the fruits of a lot of research into low-level Epic Weaponry!