More Days Meh

In spite of the absolute lack of content on the blog, I’m still alive and kicking.

Sort of.

Those who follow it regularly might recall my (rather loopy) post-operation post with some details about the hemicolectomy to remove a cancerous tumor on my right colon.  Since then, I’ve had surgery twice more to open up my leg and remove infected tissue – which is still being treated with an open wound with packing changed daily.

Sufficiently grossed out yet?  Hey, feel better – at least you’re not here, looking down at said open wound and the drainage.  Now that’s gross.

Some days are better than others, but we’re slowly getting to the stage where more days are “meh” than bad.  I won’t go so far as to say we’re having “good” days, yet, since being so much as a few minutes late on prescription pain pills results in a lot of bad mojo.  I’ll start saying we’re having good days when I can get off those and dwarf up a bit more.

Since I haven’t been working, though, I’ve had some time to spend in-game when I’m not comatose in bed.  And while I haven’t come up with a “challenge” list to top Thol’s Goals for 2015, I have established something equally crazy which I dub “The Checklist.”

Do not confuse that with Teh Czeqqcklysst, which is something completely different.

Checklist as of 03-19-2016

The Checklist evolved from the first goal I had for the year, which was simply to get wings for everybody.  Then I thought about how I’m notorious for TRing folks before they’re ready, and this time I was going to make sure they had an Ioun Stone before I TR’ed them.

Then that became an Ioun Stone and Green Steel.  Then Temple crafting was added on.  Then… you get the idea, until it grew into its current (psycho) iteration.

The idea is to ensure that every “regularly played” (i.e. not silly toons, such as Smishy the Unfluffed which followers of @TholgrinDDO on Twitter have been introduced to already) toon is not only prepared for the next life, but prepared, stacked, and 100% fully pimped out nerd-style.

I’ve done a bunch of work on it already, but as is clear, there’s still quite a bit of road to go.  Several toons are already “Ready For Wings,” in that everything else is checked off except for having a past life, but they’re temporarily being pre-empted by Gorruk’s current side trip;  I’ve made him take on a Cleric life (currently level 12) for the sole purpose of having the Healing Word past life feat, that he may use that and his Past Life Fast Healing (a.k.a. “regeneration”) to keep kickin’ around as a full-fighter without any blue bar whatsoever.  Because that’s obviously a logical solution to being a full fighter with no blue bar, duh.

Sheesh, get with the program.

And since I don’t feel like typing a whole bunch of new content, here’s some pictures and captions of recent shenanigans in no particular order.  I’m lying, since I posted them as I scrolled backwards, so they’re in reverse chronological order.  As if you cared.


Gorruk the “Cleric” Pseudo-Fighter with his purdy new maul


Mattok showing Harry who’s boss in the Temple of Elemental Evil


Smishy the Unfluffed, obligatory gnome extraordinaire, dual-wielder of the Awesome Broom of Exquisite Pain (left) and Ultimate Sweeper of Death (right)


Soloing The Dreaming Dark, Zoo-Style (and as EvenNote pointed out, the wolf interloper brought Funyuns)


Holy Crapola!  Look at all the people!


For those of you scared of the Epic Temple, it’s totally worth it.  These are some of the optionals on NORMAL.


I introduced Esh, Vonn, and Wreist to Caught in the Web.. so of course we 4-manned it.  Booyah!


+5 CON Tome on my first Temple of the Deathwyrm run?  Don’t mind if I do!


Celebrating Wreist’s first Shroud run.. of course, two-manned, and with a naked victory dance on the altar at the end!  Who needs a full group to learn?  (Wreist’s nerves might tell a different tale..)


Giant… that’s just gross.  Seriously, bro.  Toilet paper.  Just… EW.  Even Mini-Harry won’t look at it.


The Four Musketeers, in increasing order of height and decreasing order of sneakiness.  From left to right, Orsyn (me), Socks, Esh, and Vonn.


Advanced Boss Mocking:  Leave your Pocket Harry juggling fireballs the entire fight.


The Generation Gap:  Wreist’s first melee life, playing as a copy of Tholgrin’s KotC build.  These two were utterly *terrifying* when side-by-side.


The most secret of Dangerous Artifacts kept under tight (?) security in The Twelve’s secret storage facility.


Thol’s collection of vorpal weapons, pulled from end reward lists in the Harbor over fifteen minutes.  Because it will totally remain a rare effect when it is extended to level 1 for availability…….. (that’s sarcasm)

And that’s all the photos I feel like posting for now!  The meds are starting to kick in, and I feel the need to go put peanut butter on a graham cracker and eat it.  And if you haven’t tried it, yes, it’s bloody delicious.  Go do it.  Now!

Get to the choppah!  The choppah of graham crackers!


I was going to put some stuff about the medical condition here, but apparently WordPress doesn’t want me to, because it’s wiped it twice.  So pfft.  I might type it up later, but at the moment I’m feeling more of the “sod it” variety.  Happy Saturday!


Friends in OMGWTH Places

So, it may or may not have come to the attention of my buddies on Orien that the Full Moon Fury blog was featured in the DDO Chronicle recently.

Socks, my TR buddy, decided that our recent escapades in The Lords of Dust Elite at level 12 just wasn’t, as he said, “enough.”  That we could top it.  In my highly inebriated state, I agreed.  We could do more.

So, both of us took a few minutes away from keyboard to consider, individually, the thought of “what is the most brutal level 16 quest DDO has to offer?”

My suggestion, which (unfortunately) was the one we went with, was Friends in Low Places.  Part of me almost wishes I wasn’t that honest, but, I was.  Let’s be real.  Without crowd control, that quest is pure evil on Elite, even at-level.  Why, oh why, then, was I suggesting that two level 12’s could come at it without hires and walk away?

Ten minutes later, I find myself on the Wheloon Docks, with Socks, about to step into the prison.  We make our way to the quest – no surprises there – and hop in, on Elite.

(Sidebar:)  Dear Socks,

Why do you enable me?



(End Sidebar)

If you’re unfamiliar with Friends in Low Places, it’s a quest in the Wheloon Prison, part of the Shadowfell Conspiracy pack.  Speaking frankly, the Wheloon Prison loot is some of the best gear you can put your hands on in Heroic levels, being the only way to score +8’s to your stats or achieve otherwise insane boosts (Kinetic Lore VIII, anyone??) long before they would otherwise be available.  If you’ve seen things like The Morning Star on the Auction House, Wheloon’s where it came from.

The problem with Friends in Low Places is the absolutely insane number of mobs, the intensity of said mobs, and at the end, the frequency of the mobs.  Crowd control is survival, here.  And I’m not talking like Escape Plan crowd control, where if a few get away, it’s all fine and dandy.  I’m talking literally hundreds of rough-and-ready opponents just dying to sink their swords (and possibly teeth) into your backside.

About the only quest in a comparable level range with the number of kills is the Coalescence Chamber, but since a good chunk of those are bats or otherwise-inconsequential enemies, I’m not counting them.  And they’re spread out.

But I digress.  The long and short of it is, we stood inside Friends in Low Places (FILP), on Elite, at level 12.  It was about to go down.  Hill.

FILP - Smacking Porto

Smacking the first mini-boss around.

Well, it was, soon enough, I suppose.  Everything went smoothly until after the Eastern Camp, which I always head to first;  at that point, I realized that as vastly underleveled as we were, and without a trapper, there was no way we would make it through that short spell-warded tunnel alive.  So, I hauled us back all the way through the other tunnel just to progress.

No problem, no problem.. a little bit of round-about navigation (thank the Maker I know this quest like the back of my hand!) and that saves us from untimely death via Poison Spell Wards.  Granted, we still had to walk backwards through the Poison Trap And Archer Ambush*, but that’s a finite thing and not guaranteed demise in two-point-negative-ninety seconds.  A little bit of cleverness with the ambush at the shrine near the Southern Camp let us walk into the tunnel to the end boss with mostly-full Spell Points.

* See Photos from the Sock Drawer, below.

Of course, there were Spell Wards in that final tunnel, too.  Employing the Leapfrog Technique seemed the safest and most reliable fashion to cross through, so we exploited it.  (The Leapfrog Technique is when one player intentionally dies, lets themselves receive a Raise Dead spell, and then maneuvers their ghost into a more advantageous position before clicking “yes,” with full intention of passing the favor along to the next member of the party who does the same thing, in order to bypass a trap or other obstacle.)

Okay, so we had a couple of deaths.  You expected us to walk out of Friends in Low Places at level 12 without a few bumps and bruises??  Srsly, bro.  Check yo’self.

FILP - All Hell Is About To Break Loose

All of the Nine Hells are about to break loose.  It’s okay, though.  Fluffy is keeping an eye on you.


After some wrangling, we managed to make it to the Final Walk.  Those who have played this quest know this hallway like the image above was born embedded in their brains.  This hallway simultaneously haunts and taunts you – come on, you’re so close! it says.  Don’t give in to the torment.  Don’t you have to, I dunno, fix the toilet or something?  That’s way safer.  Both to your ego and your game persona.  This is one of those times where it’s a smart idea TO listen to the gibbering lunatics in the corner.  If you are even the tiniest bit unprepared, if you are slightly out of step, or the smidge-a-mest out of alignment, this final fight will eat you for breakfast.

And if you’re the crowd controller, make sure your graphics card can handle it.  Otherwise, you will lag out in the middle of the fight, and your party will (most likely) wipe because of it.  It’s not pretty.

I’d love to say we made it through the fight smoothly and waltzed away.  Nobody would believe me, though, because we didn’t.  We died.  A lot.  Even keeping the boss occupied while focusing on each wave of trash didn’t seem to help – this “trash” comes out of the gate looking for blood and is fully-equipped to get it.  Without any of the higher-level crowd control (Mind Fog + Disco Ball = survival), we were forced to manage with less-powerful tactics that half of the mob flat ignored or just “zombied” through – one or two got stuck, but the rest just climbed over the stuck one to the point the stuck one didn’t really matter that much.  At one point, we had to run out and regroup in the hallway so Socks could fix a little problem with accidental nudity.

FILP - Stuff got Real

This is one time when you don’t want to be nude.


FILP - Thol is Dead!

Yup. That’s me. Dead.  Again.


But, thanks largely in part to some sheer tenacity and refusal to give up, we managed to thin the herd out enough to focus on the boss.  Without her posse, she really isn’t much more than a bag of hit points.

FILP - Hangin' Out, Victorious

Having a sit-down after the dust settled.

And here is our (rather embarrassing) victory card.  Yes, it took us over two hours to pull off.  But, as with any rough victory, the point is we did it.

FILP - Victory Part One

This part still looks good.


FILP - Victory Part Two

This part, not so much. Please ignore the completion time and death counts.


Although we did something new, this time – Socks took a bunch of screenshots of his own, to see things from his angle!

Photos from the Sock Drawer!

FILP - Socks and Lag Problems

So I may or may not have been having some pretty bad connection issues on my computer’s end that required some censoring…..


FILP - Socks on Being Asian

In the middle of the Trap And Archer Ambush hallway, I heard Socks get clipped pretty hard, followed by.. “If I had been Asian, I’d have been fine.” Well, it turns out he was talking about having Evasion. I’m sticking with his belief that all persons of origin in the Far East are immune to poison traps. 😉


FILP - Socks in the Afterlife

Oops…..  Must have been because of all those hotbars.


FILP - Socks' Pet is BA

Socks’ own caption for this: “A CR8 pet lived through that….?”


FILP - Socks has Evidence on Thol

In Thol’s denomination, it is perfectly acceptable to molest the back of someone’s head with an audience. This is totally not inappropriate behavior at all.