Whong Fei-Hung

Projects

I’ve tried to write six different articles already today, and scrapped them all for some reason or another.  Whatever.  It’s Monday.  I’m allowed to be a little bit hazy.

At first, I was going to write up a “re-introduction” to the characters I’m playing, as several have evolved (in a manner of speaking) from their original iterations when I started the blog in 2014.  Also, I’d be willing to wager that the majority of the readers – all four of you! – probably haven’t gone back and read back to the second post ever, especially after being idle for over a year.  But, that was boring.  Or, I thought so, at least.

So, instead, I’m going to just ramble about some of the plans I have in the near future for several of my toons.  More to keep things straight for myself than anything else, but if it provides you with a few minutes of distraction and/or entertainment, then that’s a win for both of us.

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Adipostal (left) and Kemron, the intimi-tank of our static Reaper group and Adi’s bestamest friend for sneak attack damage.

Adipostal  (formerly Immano of Llawriennal)

Level/Race/Class:  8 Halfling Rogue

Weapon of Choice:  Great Crossbows

Song Stuck In His Head:  “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult 

In a former life, Adi was an elf cleric/monk whose job was to stay at 20 and help other toons on that “final push” to 20.  Which was a noble thing, or, at least the idea of it was.  Except that he was barely ever used.  So when a few friends decided to try a static Reaper-only group, with dedicated characters and party roles, he was the first to get “volunteered.”  Nothing particularly special about the build – it’s an Intelligence-based Rogue Mechanic with the Dragonmark of Healing and Healing Words to throw around other folks in emergencies –  which has been proven before on Orsyn Burr’s rogue life and Uncle Tubbs’ rogue life.  But for this particular grouping, we actually wanted proven builds and not experiments.  His current plans are to finish out the Heroic career, provided that irritating IRL Server can stop getting in the way with our scheduled night.

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Bholgrin (right) with some folks in the Temple of the Deathwyrm

Bholgrin Stoneforge

Level/Race/Class:  30 Dwarf Paladin/Monk/Rogue

Weapons of Choice:  Dual longswords and fists

Spirit Animal:  Swiss Army knife

Currently, Bholgrin is working on fleshing out his Epic Destinies.  As of last night, he has his Divine and Martial spheres completed and has started in on Primal with Shiradi Champion.  The long term goal is to start working on his Epic Completionist status.  For the time being, that’s a very long-term goal, as there are other projects which are taking priority.

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Fyrewoman (center) finally found someone else who shares her fashion sense.

Fyrewoman, Pastor of Muppets

Level/Race/Class:  30 Halfling Monk

Weapons of Choice:  Quarterstaves and fire.  Lots and lots of fire.

Notable Quirk:  Guildless by design

Fyrewoman has what is simultaneously the easiest and hardest plan on my current to-do list.  All she is missing for the “2016 Checklist” (which has still yet to be completed halfway through 2017) is to pull a Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers and she’s done!  Of course, as anyone who has tried to pull a Jack’s Blade – let alone twenty-one of them! – knows, they’re a pretty ephemeral thing, and can sometimes evade detection for months at a time.   As with all items from the Loot Gods, I could pull it tonight, or I could pull it sometime in October.  But that’s what she’s waiting on before reincarnating again – the long-term plan is to do the same Henshin Mystic based build again and get her three Monk past lives, all without ever using a guild ship, buffs, or amenities.

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This shot is ancient.  Apparently I haven’t actively played Kil in a lot longer than I thought.

Kiljoen Lorebringer

Level/Race/Class:  30 Dwarf Warlock (but not for long)

Weapon of Choice:  Concentrated blasts of ABBA music  (sonic damage, for those at home)

Spends Tuesday Nights:  Desperately trying to catch up on Critical Role episodes

Kiljoen started his existence as a sorcerer.  He was my first character to hit 20, at which point he hit a screeching, grinding halt.  When the Warlock class came out, I was super-excited and made two!  Kiljoen was the second, a Fey-pact Soul Eater who ran in Divine Crusader and laid waste to pretty much everything.. as warlocks are wont to do.  Nowadays, I’ve pretty much stopped using him, mostly because the “whole warlock thing” got old.  Fast.  Currently, I no longer have a Cleric in my lineup – which is making my “one of every class” compulsion cause eyeball twitching every time I think about it.  Blargh!  There it goes again!  Anyway.. one unused Warlock plus needing a Cleric results in Kiljoen getting reincarnated.  Originally, he was going to be a sword & board Warpriest – but I already have that build in the form of a Favored Soul named Whall.  One comment from a friend and a flashback to a previous life immediately swapped the build around into a 18 Cleric/2 Fighter great-axe wielding Warpriest who plans to spend the majority of his time eyehole-deep in the pit.  (That seems to be a common place for my characters… just sayin’.  –Ed.)  He’s got most of his gear ready to rock and is just waiting for some of my other projects to get some momentum before taking the plunge.

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Smishy, being photobombed by Horace the Pseudodragon.

Smishy the Unfluffed

Level/Race/Class:  16 Dragonborn Fighter

Weapon of Choice:  Khopesh and Tower Shield to the face

Favorite Food:  Tacos

Smishy has had an… interesting history.  There’s a running joke that he is cursed to be, well, smishy, regardless of whatever build and equipment he has.  A joke which he has unsuccessfully avoided on this life – while he can take physical damage like a champ, spells still tend to wreck his face.  Oh, well.  The build I came up with was what some folks would call a “long game” investment – once he hits twenty and is able to step into his Epic Destiny, it’ll be an entirely different toon – but others would say is an “ER build.”  Still others would call it “bloody stupid.”  Ah, well, I’ve never been known to make the most intelligent of decisions.  Only four more levels to go until Smishy (hopefully) becomes less smishy… and then an Epic career follows!

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Riding the Storm Out.  @DDOMicki told me to bring Energy Sheath.  I didn’t listen.  Still… five million hit points on that dragon!

Whong Fei-Hung

Level/Race/Class:  30 Halfling Monk

Weapon of Choice:  10.8 Billion Shuriken to the Faceholes

Preferred Hot Dog Toppings:  Mustard, chili, and onions

Fei-hung (named after a Chinese martial artist and philanthropist), better known amongst my group of ragtag buddies as the “mini-pimp” due to his outlandish getup, has had a wonderful run as a Shiradi Shuricannon.  So he’s staying that way.  I still need to finish some Caught in the Web runs  in order to acquire his Celestia, Brightest Star of Day for his off-hand.  He’s recently finished upgrading his Quiver of Alacrity for when he reincarnates back into Heroics – because we can’t have Fei-hung’s trademark “run faster than The Flash” compromised! – but that will come after he finishes three more Primal Epic Past Lives, so that he can toggle between Fast Healing (keeps hit point attrition down) and Multishot (for peak damage output).  So that’s at least six more lives on the books for the diminutive flinger of frenzied facepaste.

Checklist as of 06-12-2017

Items in parentheses are finished Epic/Legendary versions.

…And the Rest of the 2016 Checklist

The original plan was to have the Checklist completed by the end of 2016, as a “one-up” to the personal challenge I’d set for 2015.  Because we can’t just go on and get complacent, can we?

Of course, as folks who followed along already know, there was this nasty little bout with an IRL raid boss called “cancer” that hit me at the beginning of the year, which resulted in my near-immediate absence from the 2016 Player’s Council that I’d been quite excited to get accepted to.  Dealing with the fallout from that, the disgusting medical bills, and getting back into the work groove just left me with no time or emotional energy to invest in the Council – for which I am quite sad.  Alas, life moves on, and hopefully there isn’t any animosity from the Council. (which basically got ghosted.  Oops.)

Anyhoo, moving on.  The origins of the Checklist came about from my seemingly-complete lack of ability to prepare a character properly for a reincarnation.  As such, I developed a list of items which I wanted to have before I went back to K-town again:  an unsuppressed Ioun stone applicable to the next build, a Temple of Elemental Evil weapon (either mushroom-crafted or named), at least one piece of Green Steel, a Jack Jibbers blade, and finally a Mysterious Bauble for spell point users.  Which is quite a hefty list for a single character – so, naturally, I wanted to get all twenty-one of my characters checked off.

Because I’m insane.

I even made a nice spreadsheet to track the progress – some may have seen intermittent updates on my Twitter feed (@TholgrinDDO).  At present, it’s pretty darned close to getting finished, as you can see below.

Wow.  So, that’s, like, a lot of stuff that I want to do.  And of course, all of it wants to be done right nao, and I don’t have that kind of time.  Blech!  One of these days, I’ll get to a point where I only have one project on my books at a time.

Yeah, right.  Like that’ll happen.

Until next time, happy slaying!

 

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32 Raids in 24 Hours

This past weekend was a holiday one in the United States, and I would like to think I took good advantage of that fact.  Let’s start at the end and go backwards.  Why?  Because I can.

The final thing that happened before I logged off was the acquisition of the one and only Hellpuppy, the Monster Manual creature companion for slaughtering a metric butt-ton of Hellhounds.  When shrunken down to such small dimensions, he kind of looks more like a disfigured chihuahua, but I suppose that adds to the charm in its own way.

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Ain’t he adorable?  I named him Roger.  Because, reasons.

Immediately prior to that was the completion of a completely berserk number of raids in a single day.  Because of course I couldn’t just leave last years’ 20 Shrouds in 24 Hours stunt alone, now, could I?  Of course not.  That would be silly, and while I am silly, I don’t do silly things.  Often.  I’m lying.  Frequently.  But that’s all beside the point.

Let’s take a quick gander at what transpired on Holiday Monday alone:

  •         Twenty runs (in a row!) of Fire on Thunder Peak (resulting in the Dragon Masque for Whong Fei-Hung the Halfling Shuricannon and Mini-Pimp, which trumps his previously meh helmet (that offered almost nothing), adding Negative Energy each star (which he throws at the rate of 1.2 billion per millisecond), adding Deception (yet another per-star proc), Insightful Sneak Attack (to a Ninja Spy’s already per-star sneak attack), and Deadly XI.  Okay, the Deadly XI is already on the Epic Dawnbringer, but now it’s not star-specific.)  Oh, and (((excessive parentheses))).  I may or may not have proposed marriage to Tharaxata the Dragon while we were having alone time.  Folks that were present in the raid may or may not have heard me bellowing “Why won’t you love me?!?” while flinging my halfling monk at her chest.  It was the bouquet of flowers in his off-hand she was so enamored with, I’m positive of it.  None of that makes sense.  But, then again, none of the whole day made sense.
  •         Three runs of Legendary Shroud, on various toons (Wally the Ghost Archer, Whong the Shuricannon, and Orsyn the Ghost Mechanic).  Lots of materials for Legendary Green Steel, which puts me that much closer to finishing off Tholgrin’s LGS Great Axe.  Also started up an LGS Great Crossbow for Orsyn, and an LGS Shuriken for Fei-Hung.
  •         Two runs of Legendary Hound of Xoriat (two successful, that is, there were actually four, but the puppies glitched out on two runs and had to be restarted) on Fei-Hung and Orsyn.
  •         Four runs of Legendary Tempest’s Spine which resulted in not a single set of the Leathers of the Celestial Archer which Orsyn has been drooling over since they came out.  At least they can be purchased for Xorian Runes, once I acquire enough of them – which in no way led to me running LHoX.  Where the Leathers also have a chance to drop.  Nope, not related at all.  For honests.  I’m lying.  It seems I’m doing that a lot, today.
  •         One run of The Mark of Death on Bholgrin Stoneforge the Romunkadin Favormaster (12 Pal/7 Mnk/1 Rog) which resulted in everybody getting skunked (except for Masterwork Tapestry Shreds).  Sadface.
  •         Two runs of Defiler of the Just on my primary Paladins, Tholgrin Stoneforge (Knight of the Chalice brute) and Mattok Shalefinder (Vanguard hate-tank), which resulted in someone getting lucky and pulling the Boots of Blessed Travels and Mattok still not having a Fellblade. Meh.  I can’t get too greedy, though, as Mat pulled Ultimatum on Friday.  Woohoo!

For those of you keeping track at home, that is thirty-two raids in a single day, with a lot of toon-switching and a lot of bypass timers.  Well, a lot more than is demonstrated above, because as we go back in time, the weekend was still rolling.

Okay, not rolling nearly as quickly as the weekend ended, that’s for sure.  Monday was off-the-wall insane.  There were a number of raids pulled from Friday through Sunday, though, which I’m sure was bolstered by the +5% per-party-member Buddy Weekend Bonus.  (After all, a full raid party then nets +55% XP.)  I won’t bore you with the details of the other three days, as they’re nothing compared to what you just read.

As for an update on the rest of the toons – Uncle Tubbs is now sitting tight at 28 on his “rogue” life, wherein he’s essentially a carbon copy of Orsyn Burr’s build, just with a wizard level that I couldn’t be arsed to Lesser Reincarnate out.  The goal being to rack up Tubbs’ first Deep Gnome past life, as well as score a Heroic Rogue past life, as well.  After that, it’s only Fighter and Ranger left to strike up a Heroic Completionist.

Aapex Predator the Paladin pulled his Jack Jibbers’ blade over the weekend, and Khail Ironfist the Shintao Monk finished his Green Steel Weave Boots, getting both of them marked off the Checklist.  In addition, even though he was “excluded” from the ‘List for Ioun Stones, I went ahead and unsuppressed his.  Now that’s the 20th Unsuppressed Ioun Stone on this account, and I can finally put the Dreaming Dark to rest.  For good.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my pure Artificer, Madfinger Runewarden, is currently a hot bloody mess.  Note I am not stating the class is a mess, just that toon – I did several runs with him whilst trying to get his Jack’s blade, and each one made me feel the need to ingest the contents of a box of dishwasher detergent.  Rather than finish up his farming amidst screaming fits of hateful pseudo-teenage angst, I have decided that Bholgrin’s quest for Epic Completionist (that’d be EC #3 for the account) will be delayed by one Epic Career, during which point I will repurpose Madfinger into a hybrid melee-ranged artificer in much the same theory as made the Palificer Artadin a delight to play.  The only further inquiry is whether to go Bastard Sword or Dwarven Axe for the melee part – there are still a few minor details to iron out.

Hopefully, that will make the rotund engineer more enjoyable to play.  Plus, his skills currently are shot, and “repairing” his build at this point would require a reincarnation to begin with.  Might as well check him off for “wings” and get an Epic Past Life in the process, right?  Right.

Anyhoo, I’m out of time for this lunch break update.  More to come in the future.

Oh, and P.S. – I had no less than eight random people inform me that I probably need to seek professional help.  I also may or may not have been having debates with myself in three different voices at the time.  (It takes a special kind of “speshul” to lose your own argument with yourself. –Ed.)  Oh, well…

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!!

Thol’s Goals for 2015, Progress Report #2

So it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything, and for that, I apologize.  I haven’t been away from the game, though, just away from blogging – mostly since my standard writing time (lunch breaks at work) have been taken up with other things.  Namely, actually eating.

Anyhoo, let’s take a moment and see just where we stand on the Goals for 2015.. along with some updates to the “Optional Epic Challenge” I’ve presented myself of getting every Epic-ready toon to level cap!

“Mains”

Tholgrin Stoneforgelevel 24 dwarf paladin

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Thol having some fun in EDA at the beginning of this Epic life.

His Original Goal for 2015 was to “get back into Epics,” as he was only level 14 at the time it was written.  Since then, he’s hit 20, slid over to Primal, capped those destinies, scored himself a Past Life regeneration feat, and is working his way back up.  While he is technically not currently sitting at 28, I’m still calling the Optional Epic Goal a completion, since he did hit 28 after it was written, and scored his past life.  So there.  Plus, he’ll probably make 28 again, anyway.  Off to a good start!

Aapex Predatorlevel 28 Bladeforged paladin

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Ensuring the safety of Eveningstar’s rooftops since 2014.

Aapex.. well, there’s not much to be said here.  He was already capped at 28, and didn’t have any discernible goals (other than “be less pointy,” apparently), so here he sits.  Alone.  Luckily, he’s a Bladeforged paladin, so the only feelings he has are to kill all fleshlings, because otherwise, that might get somewhat awkward and lonesome.  Hold on… we might need to talk about that whole “kill all fleshlings” thing, again…..

Tubbho “Uncle Tubbs” Lardlevel 27 dwarf monkleric

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Uncle Tubbs checking out the Creation Forge.  Hey, that’s where Aapex was born!  Oh, I probably shouldn’t tell him Tubbs is on the way to kick the snot out of his deity, huh?

Uncle Tubbs is within spitting distance of his 2nd Divine sphere life, with only one remaining until Epic Completionist!  Every sphere is capped (although Exalted Angel was a bit like pulling teeth on a melee-centric monk), he’s finished up getting his Alchemical Handwraps to Tier 2 (may of the runs solo), and I even put some forethought out and purchased the Sun Elf Morninglord Iconic race in anticipation for where his build is going to go after Epic Completionist.  (For the record, he’s not switching over to the Iconic race, but rather getting the Iconic Past Life feats, and possibly, two more Cleric Heroic Past Lives in the process.)  In short, things are going well for the King of Corpulence, with less than 7 million XP to earn by the end of the year to have met his goal.

Alts

Bholgrin Stoneforgelevel 28 dwarf romunkadin

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Tower of Despair: Check!

I’ve been steadily plodding along on Bholgrin’s list of quests-to-do.  His Original Goal was to score 5,000 favor, then supplement it with get five gold stars on every challenge.  Whew!  Nothing like a small order!  I’ve narrowed it down to only six (6!!!) quests left to complete.. of course, there’s also 10 raids.  But then, that’s it!  That’s everything!  Totally doable!  I just can’t mark it off as completed, yet.

Cupcaque Glitter Sprinkleslevel 12 half-orc ranger/rogue

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These swords are super-stealthy! The label told me so!

After having some brilliant success with Wally the Ranger (see below) in his Epic career, I couldn’t help but think how much altering Cupcaque’s play style to incorporate stealth would benefit him.  See, Cupcaque has been a bit of a glass cannon – he can lay down some serious pain, but takes it like a hemophiliac schoolgirl.  (My apologies to any hemophiliac female students.  -Ed.)  Even if he can’t ghost to quite the same extent that Wally can, the few seconds of surprise advantage that sneaking in gives you lends Total Encounter Control – I pick who dies first, while the other enemies are coming to their senses and only beginning to react as their comrade’s corpse hits the ground.  Thus, saving him quite a bit of pain and anguish in the process.  The above shot was taken before Socks and I took on Diplomatic Impunity and strolled out with seven kills.  What a rush!  However, he hasn’t finished his Original Goal for 2015, which is to complete his Heroic career – it’s something I’ll have to get back to work on.

Felldar, level 28 Bladeforged palificer artadin

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I believe your interior decorator might be somewhat obsessed with the color purple..

The revamp of the Palificer Artadin build, Felldar was a blast to play right out of the gate.  He screamed through Heroics and nuked his way through Epics, shattering his Original Goal (make it to 20) and the Optional Epic Goal (cap at 28) without much hassle at all.  Truth be told, I’m ranking it as one of my better multiclass builds (second only to the “Tubbho Special“) and is one I recommend to anyone with the Bladeforged Iconic race pack.  Oh, and he finished up both of his goals for the year, so.. awesome!

Gorruk Bouldertonguelevel 21 dwarf fighter

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Grr! I’m a fighter! I’m intimidating! Roar! How does this go?

Gorruk didn’t have any Original Goals for 2015, so in that sense, he’s good as gravy.  However, he isn’t excluded from the Optional Epic Goal, mostly because he isn’t a caster and is otherwise capable.  In that sense, he’s still a ways off, since he’s only level 21, and has a bit of a road ahead.  Should be interesting, what without any real means of self-healing at this point in time..!

Immano of Llawriennal, perpetually level 20 elf clonk

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“So that’s what goes on in the Inspired Quarter behind closed doors,” he says, trying to justify peeping into windows from the rooftops.

I should mark Immano as “excluded” from the Optional Epic Goal of “getting every Epic-ready toon to 28.”  The reason for this is Immano is used exclusively at level 20 to help other players on that Last Push to 20 or to provide introductory Epic Level help (without completely flattening the opposition;  that first step into Epic territory on a toon’s life can be pretty traumatic, but they’re lessons that need to be learned, not steamrolled past).  As such, he probably won’t ever see 21.  He is, however, still supposed to meet his Original Goal for 2015, which was to finish Unyielding Sentinel… which he has not done.  He’s just stepped into level 4, and has a bit of a ways to go.  So that’s one that isn’t finished yet.

Kiljoen Lorebringerlevel 22 dwarf sorcerer

Kiljoen Lorebringer

Okay, so I re-used an image. Sue me!

The original “Not A Pyromaniac,” Kiljoen did have a goal for 2015:  reach 23, so he can not equip Twilight, Element of Magic (from a Raider’s Reward box, of course).  Yes, I know, that makes no sense, whatsoever.  He hasn’t seen a whole lot of play time – although, I have logged him on a few times (and played in Epic!) just so that it cannot be said I “haven’t played him at all.”  Just not much.  Although there was this one Epic Elite Lords of Dust run…. yeah, thanks for that one, Esh.  Remind me not to let you pick the difficulty when I’m playing my gimpy flamethrower, next time.  In any case, he’s excluded from the current Optional Epic Goal of 2015 (alongside Uldwin, Varjek, and Loghainn*), so is only a little ways away from meeting his requirements for the year, as he’s partway done with 22.

Khail Ironfistlevel 28 dwarf monk

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They always did say the sky was the limit..

Khail’s Original Goal was merely to reach level 23, equip Antipode, oh and cap out Grandmaster of Flowers.  He did that, and Unyielding, finished his Sun Soul Set, lesser reincarnated, rebuilt himself from the ground up, and then skidded into level cap sideways and out of breath.  That’s pretty tricky for a monk, being out of breath, I mean.  In short, both of his Original and Optional goals were met, without even breaking stride.  I may consider ER/TRing him later down the road, but we’ll see.  After all, he plays like a carbon copy of Uncle Tubbs, and I don’t want to burn out on my Shintao fun!

Loghainn Goldstrumlevel 28 dwarf bard

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Dwarf, check. Bard outfit, check. Balizarde, check. Orb of Golden Death, check. Elemental Victory, check.

If you’d asked me two months ago if I’d ever log Loghainn on with the intent of doing anything more than embarrass myself, I’d have laughed.  Quite heartily.  As it turns out, that sort of bothered me, that I couldn’t “find his groove” as a character.  So I did what any logical person would do – no, not reroll him – figure out what wasn’t working and experiment repeatedly (along with some advice from forums and the like) until I found it.  And oh, when I found it, it was awesome.  With a bit of re-gearing and re-speccing, he screamed to 28 without so much as blinking.  This, from the bard I’d previously loathed to play… who now has a Temple of Elemental Evil Tier 2 rapier waiting for level 7, followed by a double-imbued Green Steel rapier for level 12… suddenly having an interest in a possible Heroic re-run to wipe the pain of my original leveling process to 20.  Plus, there’s always something fun about filling your screen with helpless people… but I digress.  Since he, as with a few other toons, didn’t even have an Original Goal for 2015, he met that, as well as the Optional Challenge – oh, wait!  Loghainn was excluded from the Optional Challenge, because I couldn’t stomach the idea of playing him in Epics.  So not just a single, not just a double, but a TRIPLE whammy.  Take that!

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Nobody move!

Madfinger Runewardenlevel 24 dwarf artificer

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My original artificer, Madfinger’s Original Goal – which I was “going to get to sometime in the fall,” was taken care of back in February (equip Needle, Quill-Slinger after attaining 23).  He’s sitting pretty at 24 right now, quite happily tinkering and playing with his mecha-doggy, Fritz.  I have a feeling that he’ll take over my new “rear line” position, since Fei-Hung the Shuricannon and Wally the Ghost Ranger are both capped out… and he still needs to make it to 28 for his Optional Epic Goal for the year, anyhow!

Mattok Shalefinderlevel 12 dwarf favored soul/paladin

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“To combat evil, you must come to know evil…”

Mat’s Original Goal for 2015 was to merely make it to Epics.  Well, he did that, and kinda sorta got TR’ed alongside one of Socks’ side projects.  I had originally designed Mat to be a carbon copy of Whall’s lunatic defense favored-soul-pretending-to-be-a-Sacred-Defender build, but kind of got sidetracked halfway along, and decided to splash in a little bit of Paladin Vanguard… because, why not?  Free Heavy Armor Proficiency, shield rushes, enhanced shield capabilities, immunities, Lay on Hands…. you get the idea.  Granted, that will drop down the number of Spell Points available, but… frankly, who cares?  Whall never got below 80% Spell Points anyway, and thus far, Mat’s appearing to be quite the same.  Now, technically, his Optional Epic Goal hasn’t been met, since he never went all the way to 28… so I suppose he’s now backtracked and needs to make it to 20 and 28 to re-achieve goal completion.  Or I could mark him as exempt.  After all, Loghainn did finish out to 28 while technically exempt… bah, I’ll just play him.  That’s more fun, anyways.

Orsyn Burrlevel 24 dwarf palificer artadin

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Finally, a shot of Orsyn with the axe he carries 80% of the time, instead of a repeater!

The Original Palificer Artadin, Orsyn is still plagued by the fact his successor, Felldar, has completely demolished his successes.  That doesn’t mean Orsyn is a bad toon by any stretch of the imagination.. he’s just… not Felldar.  And that makes me sad, because I really want Orsyn to succeed.  As it is, he’s sitting tight at 24, having achieved his Original Goal for 2015 of capping out Unyielding Sentinel, and awaiting the moment when I can get back around to him for the Optional Epic Goal of capping him at 28.  So that’s another one to chalk up as halfway done.

Uldwin Skyreaverlevel 20 dwarf druid

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His Original Goal for 2015 was to hibernate.  His Optional Epic Goal for 2015 was “be excluded.”  I think he’s finished both of them, quite admirably.. although, I may get a bug in my ear later on in the year to revisit him.  Who knows?

Uldwena Skyreaverlevel 28 dwarf barbarianess

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“This camp fire blue. That one over there red. Wut?”

When last we visited Uldwena, her Original Goal was to “get three points into Fast Healing.”  Well, she did that, and completed her Optional Epic Goal of getting to 28, too, without so much as batting an eye.  Must’ve been those sexy dwarven hips!  Through it all, she even found time to write some poetry.  In short, done and done!

Varjek Lorebringerlevel 20 dwarf wizard

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“I look dark, brooding, and ominous. That isn’t enough for you?”

Ahh, Varjek… son of Kiljoen, necromancer, crappy arcane.  Well, of course he’s a crappy arcane, he’s one of my arcanes.  Ergo, he is crappy.  As such, he was excluded from the 2015 Optional Epic Goal to reach level cap, and didn’t even have a goal to begin with for the year, other than playing poker with Skelly and a Wight Priest and maybe drawing a moustache on the Black Abbott’s statue on-board the airship.  There was a brief moment where I danced with the idea of TRing him into an Eldritch Knight, but luckily, I was quickly able to squash it with a Brussell’s sprout to the head.

Walreign Aggronlevel 28 dwarf ranger

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Walreign is in this photo. He’s the Splinter Cell-looking shadow in the center. Look for the glowing green eyes.

Previously, Wally’s only goal was to get to 23 and to equip Pinion, Cloud-Piercer.  In a twisted course of events that involved not posting until after I played, he managed to make that goal before the post even graced Teh Interwebz.  Oh, well.  Part of his charm has always been his ability to “ghost” out of combat – and so, I decided to take him into a full-time role as a ghost.  Modeled visually (and playstyle-wise) after the Splinter Cell games and armed with a three-digit Hide skill (not shabby for a first-lifer), nobody saw him do anything.  Seriously.  The only time he ever got caught was when I accidentally bumped someone or mis-timed a jump and landed on their shoulder while trying to bypass them in a tiny corridor.  This is the fool that did a Temple of Elemental Evil run with only 18 kills (almost all of which are required if you don’t have Dimension Door).  His goal having already been met, he landed the optional of “get to 28,” and I had so much fun ghosting with this guy, he’s already begun lining up gear for a Heroic career as someone who doesn’t exist.

Splinter Wally

You never saw it coming.

Whalllevel 28 dwarf favored soul imitating a Sacred Defender

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Yeah…. ’nuff said. No caption necessary.

He had already been capped at 28.  His original goal was just to cap out Unyielding Sentinel… yeah, did that, too.  So both of the goals, the original, and Optional Epic Goal, have been met.  But, of course, that wasn’t enough, was it?  No, I had to go and get him to “epic retarded” capacity on a first lifer.  See, it turns out AC isn’t completely useless in Epic Elite.  Nope, sure isn’t.  You just have to get it psychotically high enough to where folks start going cross-eyed.  I don’t have any current plans with Whall, other than to keep him around for farming purposes.  I might ER him, I might TR him.. who knows?  But I have a few other toons that have snagged my attention, as of late.. most notably, the “surprise out of left field” Loghainn, and Wally, the “I don’t exist” ranger.

Whong Fei-Hung, level 28 halfling monk Shuricannon

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From left to right: Von, Fei-Hung, and Socks.

So my “accidental” Shuricannon has proven his worth time and time again.  He’s now one of my more favorite toons to run, and the evidence is logged in him having capped out his third Primal life, merely awaiting a whim to earn his third stack of passive regeneration and venture back into the world.  I’m kind of leaning towards doing an ER/TR combo to see how it works in Heroics… while friggin’ regenerating, of course!  Seeing as how he didn’t even have any goals when I first established them for 2015, he’s blown that requirement completely out of the water, and then blown the “get all Epic-ready toons to level cap,” as well.  Three times over.

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One more shot for Fei-Hung, because he’s awesome, to show off his off-hand Bouquet of Flowers, and his rust monster Pympin’s fly top hat. Because, pimp is as pimp does, yo.

And a Recap

So what’s left on the agenda for 2015?  Here’s where I stand with who and what, for both goals lists – because who wants to settle for an easy challenge?

  • Tholgrin Stoneforge – reattain 28 (currently 24), purely for bonus points!
  • Tubbho Lard – attain 28 (in less than 800K), ER, reattain 28, ER again for Epic Completionist, kick the Lord of Blades in the nuts a few more times to finish the Tier 3 Alchemicals
  • Bholgrin Stoneforge – six quests, 10 raids, a bunch of challenges left to complete
  • Cupcaque Glitter Sprinkles – attain 20 (currently 12)
  • Gorruk Bouldertongue – attain 28 (currently 21)
  • Immano of Llawriennal – finish out Unyielding Sentinel (currently 4)
  • Madfinger Runewarden – attain 28 (currently 24)
  • Mattok Shalefinder – attain 20, then 28, but purely for bonus points on both counts!
  • Orsyn Burr – attain 28 (currently 24)

So, there you have it, folks.  The first list of “lol ur never gonna do this in a year” was mocked, challenged, and raised to “lol no wey bro” levels.  And even that raised-up goal is looking like it’s about to topple… Sweet!  And there’s still half the year left to go!

I might need to reach a little deeper into thin air to come up with some more madness.  We’ll see!

Wanted: Squishy

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.

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“What’s gravity?” asks 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…

The Accidental Shuricannon

I had a pretty severe bout of alt-itis over the weekend.  It was a productive one, however.

it all started off with Tholgrin sliding up to level cap in the Primal sphere and then Epic Reincarnating into his first-ever stack of passive Fast Healing.  I know some might disagree with taking that over Colors of the Queen, but I for one am fond of regeneration, which takes hit point damage attrition pretty much off the table.  Plus, a few stacks of it during Heroic leveling makes for a wicked solution to brain-dead hireling AI on builds that aren’t prone to self-healing.

Following that was several other characters getting some play time:  Khail Ironfist, my pure Shintao monk, made his way up to 25.  I did get a little irritated with his build, though, and LR’ed him to be more in line with my current Shintao expectations;  after all, he was my first monk, and there were a lot of things I wasn’t exactly pleased with.  After his reincarnation, he’s vastly more enjoyable to play.  There’s nothing special here – he’s somewhat akin to an “Uncle Tubbs, Jr.,” just without all the extra tricks.  Having made that connection, of course I had to log Tubbho on for a little while and got him up to 24.. although, while I was lucky and scored a Mysterious Bauble for Orsyn Burr (the original palificer artadin) Friday night, I wasn’t so lucky after several runs with Tubbs.  Sad face.

I found myself gravitating towards Whong Fei-Hung, my halfling stick-monk, repeatedly over the weekend.  I’m not sure why – perhaps it’s simply because he hasn’t found his “epic groove” yet.  In Heroic play, the stick-build flattened everything in its path at absurd speeds and left nothing in its wake.  In Epic play, however, his lack of defenses and equipment left me whining about it in quite a few previous posts.  Sure, he has more gear, now, but there was still a distinct lack of… something that left me unfulfilled.

(Sidebar:  Whong Fei-Hung is named after a Chinese martial artist, physician, and philanthropist.  As is the case with Chinese names, the family name goes first, and his given name which he would actually be addressed by is Fei-Hung.  This is in spite of the hundreds of phallic comments that get posted in Harbor General whenever he says something.  There, cultural education in a DDO blog – who’d-a-thunk it?)

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Well, this is just awkward. You need to fire your action photographer, Fei-Hung.

It wasn’t until I was running a Caught in the Web that I happened to see on the LFM panel – and thought to myself, “hey, maybe I can score a Sireth (lol right)” that it started to sink in.  Whong simply didn’t have the defensive capabilities to hang with the rest of the melees, so I found myself hanging back with the raid’s “real” Shuricannon and pretending alongside him.  Now, Fei-Hung already had a large chunk of the important feats for the build from when he was levelling – Shuriken Expertise, Ten Thousand Stars, and Improved Critical: Thrown Weapons were all in his catalog.  He also had a nice level 20 Spelltouched Shuriken to chuck around (he was level 23 at this point), and his passive ki generation was more than enough to keep spamming Ten Thousand Stars.

Then I started thinking – hey, this is pretty fun.

Mind you, he wasn’t originally built as a Shurcannon, so his stats weren’t optimal.  He had an acceptable* (more on this later.  -Ed.) Dexterity, but by no means cranked to the max.  His Wisdom, likewise, was not maxed out, and he was in Grandmaster of Flowers instead of Shiradi Champion.  So by no means was he a “killer” during the raid;  aside from two instant deaths where he got flung from the platforms (one by Lolth’s legs, and one by a Goristro at the final platform that thought Fei-Hung looked more like a softball than competition), and a third-and-final near-instant death when a replacement wave of Portal Keepers spawned all around him while running back, he didn’t’ take much of any damage during the whole raid.

And, as luck would have it, he’s now the proud owner of a Sireth, Spear of the Sky.  Wow, that thing is tasty.. the irony is that it popped into his life right around the time I was thinking of repurposing him.

Having already had some experience in Legendary Dreadnaught from when he first hit Epic play, it wasn’t much of a chore to hop over into Shiradi.  Getting that leveled up, however, was a bit of a pain.  I swallowed my pride a bit and joined in some “pity PUGs” that didn’t mind having a “baby Shuricannon” in an off destiny basically pike while running alongside the real crew.

It was between two of these PUGs where I found myself reading through some of the original post about Firewall’s Shiradi Shuricannon build.  Reading that and taking a closer look at how Shuriken Expertise and Ten Thousand Stars worked in conjunction with his current build lead me to my second Lesser Reincarnation of the weekend – although this one was less “I’m unhappy with the original build” and much more “I’m going to take this character in a completely different direction.”  (Plus, Khail was allowed a refinement, considering he’s almost two years old on the same life and was my fifth toon, ever.  –Ed.)  After some restructuring which tripled his Dexterity and doubled his Wisdom (at the cost of 24 hit points), he re-emerged from the Reincarnation Grove, and picked up a delightful new Spelltouched Shuriken for his new life.

Force Burst (this exists on randomly generated items??? –Ed.) for 1-6 force damage on hit and an additional 1-10 on crit, Lightning Strike as the static proc which hits for 600-900 electric damage, Wounding for -1 CON per star, and Hemhorraging for 2-16 bleed damage per star.  Plus, as a Spelltouched, four other random effects every star.  What.  Yes, that just happened.  While it’s not a “perfect” star with Improved Paralyzing as a static effect, holy cow-sauce, that’s damned close to second place.

(It should be noted at this point that if you drop an opponent’s Constitution down far enough, they get stunned for several seconds, during which they take Helpless bonus damage.  With doubleshot, Shuriken Expertise, and Ten Thousand Stars active, plus every star having a chance of doing not one, but two points of CON damage (there’s nothing preventing Spelltouched effects from “doubling up” during the random part), and people are dropped to minimum Constitution at alarming speeds.)

Armed with his new toy and a rebuilt character, I set off.  The first thing I noticed was that cranking his Dexterity through the roof did wonders for his Armor Class – while that’s pretty much an obvious assessment, it never struck me the extent of how much his defenses had been crippled by what I had previously thought of as an “acceptable” Dexterity.  It also never registered how much of a gap existed between what I thought of as Fei-Hung’s “acceptable” Dexterity and Khail or Uncle Tubbs’ agility and their significantly higher Armor Classes.  I won’t be making that mistake again.

Two runs of Spies in the House later – which I admit to hating in the first place – and I was able to click “Accept” on the destiny window to unlock Double Rainbow.  And then really see what this build could do.

Okay, give me a second to gather my thoughts.  Because, whoa.

First things first – Firewall, you’re a bloody genius.  Even without being Drow, this is a star-chucking machine gun of death and cultivated chaos.  There are procs everywhere.  People are getting neg-leveled, turned into frogs (yes, “Single Frog” instead of Mass Frog is a confirmed Shiradi effect), instantly killed, disintegrated, struck by lightning, fireballs, meteors, force explosions, you name it.  And that’s in addition to random sonic damage and the four extra effects from the Spelltouched shuriken which also run the gamut from disintegration to paralyzing to establishing four or five different kinds of DOTs.  Add into the mix that Whirling Wrists gives a jaw-dropping 60% thrown attack speed increase (are you kidding me??) with the halfling thrower racial enhancements, and the pages and pages of numbers never stop scrolling.

 

Don’t even try and keep track of everything that’s going on.  You won’t be able to.  And even if you check the combat log to try and scroll back and figure out just happened, the odds are pretty good that unless it was the last star you threw, it’s already scrolled off.  Yes, the effects fire off that quickly.

For you number junkies:  Remember, each star has (and this is before Ten Thousand Stars):

  •         Base damage
  •         Quiver of Poison damage (if you have it)
  •         Force burst base damage
  •         Force burst critical damage (on crit)
  •         Lighting the Candle fire damage
  •         Lighting the Candle force damage (on crit)
  •         Wounding for -1 CON
  •         Lightning Strike damage (approx. 1.5% proc rate, from what I can tell)
  •         Hemhorraging damage
  •         Spelltouched random on-hit elemental damage (changes every throw)
  •         Spelltouched random proc (changes every throw; rate varies depending upon individual procs)
  •         Spelltouched random debuff (changes every throw)
  •         Spelltouched random special ability (changes every throw)
  •         7% chance for 10d10 Favorable Winds sonic damage
  •         7% chance for 2d100 Force damage
  •         7% chance for 2d10 stat damage (possibly to CON as well for extra stun power)
  •         7% chance for 1d100 random damage type
  •         7% chance for random effect
  •         7% chance to paralyze with no save
  •         I’m probably forgetting at least one thing
  •         and practically guaranteed to create at least one additional star per throw between Shuriken Expertise and doubleshot

I’ve tested it, and literally rolled my entire combat log off in two (2) throws with Ten Thousand Stars on.  Granted, that was a total of seven hits, but that’s not the point.  The point is, the list of effects that happen each star is completely, and utterly, retarded.

He doesn’t even feel like a “rear line ranged” fighter.  If they get close, good, now they’re getting hit with Point Blank Shot, too.  Although if things do get sticky, I can always switch to Sireth – now with Dex to-hit and Dex to-damage, thanks to a few points put back into Henshin Mystic.  Squee!

So Fei-Hung has found his “epic groove,” so to speak.  Heroic stick-fighter and backup star-chucker, Epic star-chucker and backup stick-fighter.  How’s that for a bit of twisted irony?

Although there is one thing I wasn’t able to find (uncertain if it was asked on the forums and I just didn’t read far enough, yet), and that’s regarding the “off hand” weapon.  Everyone seems to agree that it needs to either be Celestia or something with Devotion slotted;  I’ve already got Devotion slotted elsewhere, but was unable to find the purpose why.  I experimented with a few kamas in the off-hand (and plain shuriken, with all toggles off, for control), but noticed nothing different.  None of the damage effects or procs ever fired off.  Which leads me to wonder – what’s the point of the off-hand, except for effects that are not directly related to combat?  Celestia has none, that I can see, just on-hit combat effecst and procs.  While not entirely satisfied with my choice, I settled for a Rahl’s Wrath for the Greater Cold Resistance and a slot to put something in later.  Is Celestia bugged, in that its effects work with throwing weapons, or am I missing something entirely, here?

Even with that question unanswered, I’m having a complete blast with my reworked little stick-monk – er, Shuricannon.  In the event you, too, have a halfling or drow monk that you’re not entirely sure where they’re going in Epics, I’d highly recommend giving the build a shot… it’s quite tasty!