Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

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Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:29 pm

Writing this for those who enjoying reading of returning player's adventures, views, and childlike wonder at the state of EQ in it's latest incarnation.

Day1

I was never a Paladin Main. I like to think I played all my melee classes as mains. I have played all classes except BST, NEC, SK. No interest in them. After 6 years of retirement Leigh, 72 hiElf paladin pulled her Hopebringer out of her satchel and went to the bazaar to see what upgrades were available. Devoting a life to poverty she only had 10k and could not afford anything extravagant. So the basic Elegant Armor and any earrings/rings for less than 2000pp were picked up. Nothing better than Hopebringer for the level, but a sharp Elegant Battle Axe replaced the Windblade, and an Elegant Maul replaced the hammer CT drops.

Then it was off to the PoK library to hemorrage out the rest of my money to buy spells. Had to ask her druid bot to shell out 5k to complete the holes. "Ward of Tunare?" wtf is that. Doesn't sound useful. I'll get it anyway to have a complete spell book.

Now what MERC could I use best? Cleric is usually paired with Tanks, but I have a lot of AA grinding to catch up on. And they leech alot of xp, but maybe I'll just use one for tough fights. Let's go with wizard... Dark-elves are sexiest. Blue or not, they have the best bewbs.

Alright, let's port up to Arcstone, an old but favorites haunt. What's my SlayVundead at? 4? That's it? Christ. It seems I'm slaying for 6k-ish, that's not that great. And dammit, this stupid new spell Ward of Tunare doesn't stack with my Gobo Rage Earring. What else doesn't stack? Why won't yaulp stick? Stupid game, it's taking too long to kill these zombies. Let me change the druid's spell line up and go full debuff and nuke, I'll heal myself. Looks like WoT is healing me for 300. What a waste of 500pp.

Hrmm, forgot to add a voice trigger to slay procs. Much better with sounds effects. Hmmm, it's going off alot more than I remember. I don't seem to need to heal myself anymore, I wonder why that is. Seem to have no problem holding aggro. Well in that case I may as well summon my wizard MERC and see how it goes.

Wow, mobs are dieing fast now. Oh, 14 AAs already, alright Slay 6 seems to be going off alot. almost 8k dmg sometimes, not bad. Let me ditch the druid and load the 75 wizard and get him paired up with aother wiz MERC. Pally with 3 wizard pets! I wonder how it will go.

Holy shit. I can barely get 10 swings into the mobs when the wizard crits for 27k. I'm running out of mobs fast ... I wonder how much xp these merc bastards are leaching. Lets see, for me it's 100% solo, 60% for duo, 47% for threesome - but in half the time so it's really 93%. 40% for foursome, but it's prolly close to 105% in the time it takes to kill 4 mobs vs. 1 mob as a duo. So with unlimited mobs I'm doubley efficient.

Hrmmm... I wonder what else I can do. I better get some sleep, I'll research zones and class abilities tomorrow at work.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:37 am

Day2

Those 3 damn wizards have made this kinda boring. They need to be nerfed. If'n I'm out by mysef, I need to use some mana and the downtime can be painful. If'n I bring the nukers along, I barely get a few swings in. And that idiot Erudite Wizard merc sometimes draws aggro. Is her concussion broken? Can I make her train SpellCastSubtlety?

It's nice to plow through and get the AA's I need, but I feel like a ranger does when he goes HS hunting. Gettin' monotonous. I think I need to go dungeon crawling like the old days. And I'm terrified of pickup groups. They've been nothing but heartache and downtime in the past.

Stupid wizards. Can't even get 2 slays in these days. What's a happy middleground? Mage? Druid? Bah, neither compares to 20k nukes. I wonder what level 95 wizards are nuking for these days. With focus and crits probably 50k? My wizard has 700 AA and I don't know what else to buy. Guess he'll go 100% regular xp.

Wish I could slow the undead so I can take on tougher ones. Wouldn't that be awesome? I bet the SK's would whine at that, so that's out... unless the slowing weapon is both PAL/SK useable. I also wish I could manage my mana better. I can't even use this stupid elixir of spirituality XII cuz I bought the wrong level! Oh, hey, some mage gave me a mod rod in the Guildhall, lets use it.

....LOADING PLEASE WAIT.

What the 1-900-MixALot!??!! 23,000-DD!!!?! That bastard.
Why am I wearing all my armor still? Gee, this game really has gone to "easy mode".
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Brohg » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:11 pm

If the content you're on is dying too fast, you need to jump up hotzones is all. Tackle something more challenging for greater rewards.

Lack of agro management is the one actual hobble mercs have at all levels. All you can do to maintain them is improve your own agro generation.

Wizards at 95 have 20000 damage *base* on their big guns. Their focused crits are considerably higher than 50k.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby shiftie » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:41 pm

wiz nukes land for 80-100k crit non burn.

The gear on your body after death was a work around with mercs b/c they couldn't have you die with no plat and lose the merc and they couldn't separate the coin from the gear. Likewise with no gear and keeping your plat you'd be encumbered so they gave coin no weight value.

Slay undead with a proc of a specific disc we have can land for 150k iirc. The lower levels are really boring and offer little reward zipping through them is what most people end up doing. the power of 3 boxing with 3 mercs kind of dumbs down the game.

If you find yourself calling it easy mode I suggest you leave the boxes and mercs at home and go find some undead zone that is difficult to solo. At 75 frost crypt was hell on wheels, defiant and heroics should make that a bit easier but unless you simplify things the game can be really boring at lower levels. You won't really enjoy tanking things until you press the limits, whether that is swarming or getting to higher level content where the majority of the eq population resides.
Image

This is what I do when I'm not raiding
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Tersur » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:47 am

This thread gave me some good chuckles. But i definately echo shifty. For some excitement as well as a good aa cound swarming is the way to go. If you really push to the limit you can handle your always one second too slow on a heal away from death and the aa is pretty good.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:19 am

Welcome back, Leigh.
Image
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:05 am

Day 3

So I'm in the guild-lobby and some red-con paladins with ridiculously over powered gear (3000hp per piece??) express their sentiment that I need to take on tougher content. One of them was wearing a mantle that distinctly smelled of Ture. I bet he's got more trophies than a Canadian lodge-hunter. Can't agree with him more, though. My wizards look like they need a real challenge anyway. I'm going to quickly ding 73 and head to Direwind Cliffs. I hear the gnolls there might hand me my ass in a sling. Could be fun, if you're into that kinda thing; the four of us definitely need to get our hearts thumping. Like in the old days when I fell off that sky-path in City of Mist and got separated from my guild. Had to take on a swarm of ghosts and nearly had an aneurism...

God I miss those days. I wonder when I'll start slaying for 20k? Show the wizards who's got the big dick.

More later ...
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Tersur » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:25 am

If you happen to be on Rathe look me up.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:33 am

I'm on Bristlebane.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Brohg » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:52 pm

73? screw a Direwind Cliffs in its cliffy ear. Dust off your highest level dispel magic, lead the fiery doom squad charge to Ruins of Illsalin.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby shiftie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:11 pm

Uhmmm... 20k slays are achievable at 70 with maxed SU and epic 2.0 fyi.

Level 73 is important b/c you get access to your first burst heal. They have a longer cooldown than other heals and lock out your spell gems but they are potent and cast in 0.3 seconds.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:22 am

I agree with Ruins of Ilsalin. Just make sure to debuff the mobs to pull, some of them have narsty buff that ups their dmg by a lot.

Thought I recognized your name from DT :D
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:14 am

The reference to Distant Thunder in the title was supposed to be a poetic reference to a rumbling in the distance, but a known storm approaching. I don't think I was in that guild.

Day 4
Instead of xp-ing, I thought I would see if I could take on some old targets solo that used to make me tremble in my boots. There was one that stood out above all, Carprin Deatharm. After seeing him 3 round our uber main tank when the level cap was 65, I must admit I pee myself a little every time I face him.

I ventured to the Ruins of Lxanvom to confront my fear. The puslings lasted long vs. my lame dps. But lo’ the undead army trembled before my mighty Elegant Battle Axe which was imbued with divine nothingness. The first foe, a corrupt knight, was felled within 12 seconds to my holy blade. I recall these fights used to last 2 mins. I looked at my dmg log and saw that I procured 3 times for 8k dmg. “Wow,” I mumbled to myself, “I’ve become a real paladin.”

Next, I laughed at the feeble attempts of the second foe, an undead magi, to put a dent in my armor and scoffed at his ineffective wizardly. He crumbled before he realized it was time to flee.

The third fiend, an unholy priest a little wiser in his decreptitude, was smart enough to CH himself since he reached 50% life within 3 swings of my blade. I eyed my stun spell gem, but heard the voice of my old, dead mentor, “Trust your feelings Leigh. Use the f-, I mean the Slay.” After hesitating briefly I adhered and deftly ducked behind into the Priest’s shadow. He was too consumed with his spell weaving to follow my movement. My Slay procured twice in a single round for a total of 13k dmg.

I did not move. I only stared at the corpse of dust at my feet, almost feeling sorry for it.

Almost. As I raised my head I saw through my visor the target of my fervor, Carprin himself. He saw me too, and I’m sure he smelled me pee myself a little. The bastard did not even flinch as I dispatched the last of his surrounding acolytes. He only watched disdainfully with an arrogant half smirk on his face. His one good eye lazily scanning the environs as would a wolf watching a cat catching rats. It was time to put him to the test!

I invoked my divine barrier so that when I engaged him his surprise summoning of his three sycophants was rendered ineffective. I distinctly heard Brendan’s triumphant shout of, “Aha! Now we got y-,” quickly dissolve to a, “1-900-MixALot paladins,” oath. I led them to the zone in, for it was never my intention to engage all four at the same time. It was my old, dead mentor who said, “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.” Or something about a well thought out strategy can overcome any foe. I can’t recall, I wasn’t listening to the senile old geezer anyway. He kept trying to force his religion, Yetihood or something, onto me --- I often tuned him out. But I digest.

I popped out of the caverns and stood in the Plane of Tranquility, tightening my straps, adjusting my grip on my blade, wiping the pee off my plate leggings, and mentally going over my strategy. Carprin in his vast contempt should have returned to his demesne. Only Brendan, Fran, and Moe should be awaiting my return. I had pulled my 1h sword and shield from my satchel in anticipation of a grueling test of might.

And lo’ when I returned they were stacked on top of each other like the three ugliest wenches in a tavern at closing time. In their ardor for sexy knights they engaged me almost immediately. It was remarkable how flimsy their assault was. I barely felt the ringing noise caused by metal striking metal, and before I knew it the last of them, Fran, was fleeing like a dog with it’s proverbial tail betwixt its legs. I rooted him in spot and harangued him while I loaded up my protective spells. Armor of Experience. Holyforge. Ward of Tunare. Infusion of the Faithful. Intensity of the Resolute. Pious Elixir. Upon the last I rushed the now demoralized undead warrior and smote him with 1 quick slap with the flat side of my mighty Hopebringer.

Carprin immediately manifested, quite enraged at my audacity of razing his three favorites cronies. I barely had time to lift my shield to block the heavy overhand swing of his giant scythe. His second blow got through but was absorbed by this new armor invocation. I quickly counterattacked with an equally vicious jab, followed by a sidestep into his unprotected side and bellowed as on my next swing, my Slay procured for full damaged. The beast was undeterred.

What followed was a blurring dance of blade and scythe as the titan tried to corner me and rally blow upon blow until my magical armor crumbled. But each time he scored a hit, he over-exposed himself and I followed with my own destructive counter attack. His rusted scythe came dangerously close to my neck artery at one point. I realized I was weaking so I cast another Pious Elixir to regain my fortitude. He wasn’t as hurt as I hoped he’d be within the two dozen heartbeats that had passed.

It was then that all the favors I had accumulated with my deity were infused into my soul. My power grew tenfold and I began to procure Slay every second swing. 5k. 7k! 7k! My blade howled it’s glee as it absorbed the life force of the unholy manifestation. 6k. 7k! 5k. 7k! Within seconds the titan was on one knee.

His head drooping, he raised it sideways to glare at me with his one eye. He did not have any remorse. How could he? He is what he is. All he did, as he was within a hair of crumbling, was nod at me with that same arrogant half smirk indelibly forged onto his desiccated skull. “Go 1-900-MixALot yourself,” he muttered.

My blade dropped, vanquishing a long time terror. “Not if I 1-900-MixALot you first,” I said to the dusty colossus’ corpse at my feet. After I cleaned my pee drenched trousers, I proceeded to teabag him.


--Leigh
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:16 am

Day 5

Last night, I tried swarming in Crypt of Decay and got my ass handed to me. I need a bigger sword.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Brohg » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:32 am

have you made a Magelo profile? our forum profile has a slot for you to have it linked with each of your posts
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:52 am

Great read, thanks for posting!
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:29 pm

For those wondering at my gear, it's plain vanilla Elegant Defiant level. I now have a wopping 400AA mixed focused on defensive/swarming and more swings/crits. I weild Elegant 2hs, and Hopebringer 1hs from PoTime. I'm hoping to nab a Bloodreaper in bazaar, I will eventually get off the AA grind and level up once I catch up to about 700AA (should be about 2 more weeks). Have heard life really starts at level 80. Not a fan of using Magelo.

Day 6

This evening I got a request from a ranger friend to help him obtain an unusual stick from Stoneroot Falls. Affectionately called “the Boomstick,” it apparently procures deadly magic that rends the flesh from its targets bones. The ranger was as inexperienced as me and did not want to venture into that spider’s nest alone. So, being a paladin with a map and plan he turned to me. It’s a good thing he forgot about what happened the last time I had a map and a plan… Both our corpses were being camped in the middle of the second field in the Plane of Fire, by a giant frog, giant spider, a giant lava golem, and some fellow who looked distinctly like my evil uncle Lars ... but with big red wings … and horns. So maybe not so much like Lars, more like his wife.

With the plan in place I felt it was time to retrieve my now softening wizard. The ranger hired a merc cleric to keep us alive. He was a dwarven cleric, so I had my doubts. Not that I have problems with the little people, I just don’t trust clerics since that time our raid went to confront Overlord Mata Muram and our group cleric chose to go afk and autofollowed me. I wasn’t sure he was on autofollow, so I ran him around the Citadel of Anguish until he got agro and died. It was funny at the time, he refused to admit to the raid leader he went afk because we were just about to engage some boss. I nearly peed myself laughing when he vocally stated in guildchat that we were playing a spirited game of catch, and he lost. We also brought a hellova train bearing down upon our surprised heal team who died instantly. Regretfully the title “Guild-wiper” was given to that cleric, and not to me. But I digest.

So a paladin, ranger, cleric(merc), wizard(merc), head to Stoneroot Falls to get “the Boomstick”. Once we stumble our way onto the correct shores and obtain the mission, I carefully crawled our team near the City of Xill gates. The first few encounters were ridiculously easy. Our blades parried back and forth against the dreaded Drachnids, but they were not able to subdue us. The dwarven cleric was surprising on the ball and kept us alive regardless of the battering we took. The wizard never complained about her mana, all in all the beasts went down rather fast. Once our confidence was up I took it upon myself to bring a larger number of mobs into the camp. Three at a time became four at a time became five at a time, and once I held their attention the group was able to single out the weakest drachnid and bring it down efficiently.

However we were getting no where fast. “The Boomstick” was notoriously rare, and not a single spider wielded it. The ranger, his frustration mounting, applied the stealth tactics he learned in his rangering school, “How to Pwn or Be Pwnd” I think it was called. He said he was going to “scout around a bit” and “look for a mob holding the staff”. He said he would “need a little time” and “not to worry.”

What he really should have said was, “I’m gonna do something I shouldn’t and I’ll be bringing back a pretty big train so be ready for it.” As he loped off into the uneven terrain, I looked at the wizard and asked if she had learned the evac ability. She just looked at me dumbfoundedly. “1-900-MixALot wizards. 1-900-MixALot rangers,” I muttered under my breath. Then I looked at the cleric and said, “you better not go afk.” He just looked at me dumbfounded. 1-900-MixALot clerics.

Our ranger returned with a handful of mobs, nothing we couldn’t handle. However one was probably the smartest Drachnid I’d ever encountered as it seemed to careen and path away from us before it got close to our camp. We later discovered it was circling the city calling out, “Hey everybody, there’s a bunch of stupid people in a corner of our city, murdering everyone they can get their hands on!”

Slowly but surely – EVERY SINGLE DRACHNID left alive came rushing at us. It was then that I felt the calling. My days of swarming practice were a build up to this event. “Step back everyone! I’ll handle this. Cleric merc, you go on passive AND DON’T 1-900-MixALot HEAL ME.” I clicked on my Armor of the Inquisitor, Ward of Tunare, Self HoT, Guard of Humility, Skinspikes potion. I planted my feet and taunted the charging press to crash itself onto my shield. And crash they did. You can even say they came close to obliterating my shield.

At first it looked as if I would hold, my team was able to pick off a couple Drachnids while my stance held the onslaught at bay. The ranger was particularly impressive at full burn. I heard him shout over the cacophony of battle, “is this all you got?!!” In hindsight he really shouldn’t have said that, as it only seemed to enrage the denizens of this place. Our glory lasted for a few heartbeats more. The wall of zealous bodies climbed higher and higher, their claws reaching for us desperately. Soon after I had to Lay Hands on myself (emergency full heal). The cleric started healing again, but it was all in vain. There were just too many of them.

As our companions fell to the ground, smitten by the wrath of the Drachnids, the cleric and I stared at each other through our Divine Aura invulnerabilities. With the pandemonium around us, during the last six seconds of my invocation I grumbled, “I hope I live long enough to see you die first, you useless dwarf.”
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:11 am

Hehehehe, great post! :D
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:53 am

Good news and bad news. The bad news is I learned the hard way that Skinspikes XI does not stack with the 2+hour druid dmg shield. I had a fresh druid DS buff, decided to boost the DS ... as historically the DS and potion would stack. But much to my dismay my 2hr12min buff was overwritten by my 20 min Skinspikes. You shoulda heard me swear, my kid came running by and asked if I hit my toe on something.

The good news is the universe has provided! I'd been searching the Baz for 2 weeks now for a Bloodreaper, saved up 10kpp to buy one -- figured that's what it's worth to players my level. Lo' and behold the universe heard my plea and graciously accomodated my deprived circumstance! At a third of the expected cost, no less! I've upgraded from this to this.

Image

Bloodreaper MAGIC ITEM LORE ITEM PLACEABLE ATTUNABLE
Slot: PRIMARY
Skill: 2H Slashing Atk Delay: 35
DMG: 71 Dmg Bonus: 80 AC: 31
This item is placeable in yards and houses.
STR: +25 DEX: +25 STA: +25 CHA: +28 WIS: +19 INT: +30 AGI: +19 HP: +480 MANA: +465 ENDUR: +465
SV FIRE: +40 SV DISEASE: +20 SV COLD: +38 SV MAGIC: +17 SV POISON: +18
Combat Effects: +2 Shielding: +1% Spell Shield: +1% Avoidance: +5 Accuracy: +2 DoT Shielding: +2% Attack: +24 HP Regen +4 Mana Regeneration: +3 Damage Shield: +1
Recommended level of 75. Required level of 70.
Effect: Life Sap I (Combat, Casting Time: Instant)
WT: 6.2 Size: LARGE
Class: WAR PAL RNG SHD BER
Race: ALL
Slot 1, Type 4 (Weapon: General)
Slot 2, Type 20 (Ornamentation)



To those of you wielding 200 dmg weapons it's no big deal. But for me upgrading from 50 dmg to 70 dmg is ... tremendous! Haven't tried it out yet, but I expect to be slaying for 10k+ now.

I'm so exciting! It's going to be very nice ... make - a - sexy - time.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby shiftie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:11 am

I couldn't resist posting this... b/c well LOL. Don't worry I don't have one either.

Pride, Wave of Resplendence

MAGIC ITEM LORE ITEM NO TRADE PRESTIGE PLACEABLE
Slot: PRIMARY
Skill: 2H Slashing Atk Delay: 37
DMG: 326 Dmg Bonus: 83 AC: 142
This item is placeable in yards and houses.
STR: +54 DEX: +73 STA: +50 CHA: +23 WIS: +29 INT: +45 AGI: +70 HP: +4505 MANA: +4122 ENDUR: +4122
SV FIRE: +127 SV DISEASE: +86 SV COLD: +94 SV MAGIC: +127 SV POISON: +51
Combat Effects: +10 Shielding: +3% Spell Shield: +8% Avoidance: +15 Accuracy: +16 Stun Resist: +5% Strikethrough: +4% DoT Shielding: +4% Attack: +80 HP Regen +10 Mana Regeneration: +2 Damage Shield: +4 Clairvoyance: +66 Spell Damage: +43 Damage Shield Mitigation: +4 Heal Amount: +24
Required level of 95.
Effect: Strike of Venom VIII (Combat, Casting Time: Instant)
WT: 6.9 Size: LARGE
Class: PAL SHD
Race: ALL except BAR ELF VAH
Slot 1, Type 8 (General: Raid)
Slot 2, Type 20 (Ornamentation)
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:44 am

Had to blink and rub my eyes, thought I read the numbers wrong. No matter how long I live, how much I raid, who I pay tribute in sexual favors ... I will never weild that.

How much could a level 95 paladin with max slay etc. crit with that?
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby shiftie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:04 pm

depends on what kind of mods you have but 70-90k iirc
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:58 pm

I suppose that's alot. I guess. I was hoping to hear a number like 200k.
/disillusioned
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:55 pm

Day 7 – Sleeper’s Tomb

One of my greatest laments as a paladin is the low ATK we have to endure, but I suppose there has to be some kind of write-off due to the AC benefits of our 2nd to one (warrior) mitigation. With higher atk, we get more procs, more hits, crits, the women love us more, the grass is greener, and the grapes are sweetest. Life is great with higher atk. But sadly we are emasculated compared to everyone else’s atk.

The other day I was in a tavern, and this berserker was showing off his 10inch atk, I felt so small.

Therefore, I decided to venture into the Sleeper’s Tomb to fetch some Avatar procing weapons. Yes, the buff will only last ~10 mins and the atk boost counts towards worn atk, not spell atk. (That’s why we have Enhanced Aggression AA.) blah blah blah, I still wanted it.

Preface to this is the fact that I only began End Game raiding when Luclin came out, so I missed the triumphant trials of Scars of Velious. I joined my uber guild at the end of Velious, as a monk. We killed Dain, Yelniak, Tomax, did NToV, but they refused to go back to Sleeper’s Tomb (they had already released Kerafyrm) and 95% of members already had been outfitted with Primal Weapons so they had no more incentive. Much to my chagrin. No matter how much I whined they refused to go back there. When I asked why, they told me it was the most boring, horribly planned, and grueling zone.

So ten years later when the content is obsolete I figured it shouldn’t be so grueling, right? Right? I can sense those of you who’ve been there are smirking now. Some are even reminiscing and thinking, “It wasn’t so bad.” Let me tell you now, yes it was. It was that bad. They were right to never go back.

I (73) hire a cleric merc, load up my 70 mage and his warrior merc on the 2nd box. Since it’s my first time in ST I figure I might do some bad pulls and need Call of the Hero. I’m somewhat timid at first as the creatures in that zone are HUGE and imposing looking. I plan only to rub off, err rub out the Master of the Guard and the Progenitor and get my Avatar weapon. With some luck I can loot one for my ranger, monk, and zerker too, who are parked outside. I read up on the encounters on ZAM so there are no surprises.

I must admit the eeriness had me excited. All creatures are LB in the zone, some DB. The warrior merc is eager to take agro on every pull and every mob that we engage. We crawl up and clear the area around Master of the Guard. He’s in a hall filled with 12 untouchable golems. He’s supposed to trigger 2 golem adds every 25% to assist him—per the write up on ZAM. Now wait, why are there 12? There should be only 8.
I agro him, run the other way, CoH with mage, and lo’ I get the adds and he resets to his spawn point. But wait … it’s not 2 adds, it’s 6(six)! And the retarded warrior merc runs out trying to get on top of all their hate list. Meanwhile I’m shouting, “get back here you idiot! Let them come to the camp!”

So now all the mobs are scattered, we have some mobs facing his back, the cleric merc is running between the warrior and myself while I off tank. But the retard doesn’t know what off-tank is so he’s running back and forth trying to be numero uno tanko. I summon steadfast servant cuz I know how these things usually end… with us as a stain on the floor. But somehow the mage manages to crit the mobs to oblivion; and we survive that round. The whole time we’re medding up and resting we’re giving the warrior dirty looks. He just stands there counting his toes.

We’re ready for the next round, I look at the field and see 6 untouchable golems. This time I’m ready and plan to root CC. But the CoH trick doesn’t work for this round, I figure the Master of the Guard has to be weakened to ~50%. I pull him solo and we get to work hacking away. At 60% we are rushed by 6 golem adds who are now manifest. And guess who decides to run out and get on top of every mobs hate list?

You guessed it.

The poor cleric is going nuts running back and forth, her mana quickly draining trying to keep the idiot warrior alive. I hear my steadfast servant say, “Wtf is he doing?” I see the mage’s air pet roll it’s eyes and shake it’s head. The cleric quickly runs out of mana and we only managed to kill 1 mob. Once it dies and without any further heals coming his way the idiot warrior soon topples over also,. Now it’s 6 mobs vs. 3 of me. Well 2 of me really since the manaless cleric merc is useless, I put her on passive to med up. Well 3 of me if you count the air pet.

And boy that little air pet put up a bigger fight than anything I’d seen up to this point. It stepped up to the plate and offtanked 3 mobs by itself while I tanked the boss and 2 adds. At this point in the fight it was pretty hairy. I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. A couple of well timed Promised Heal from the cleric went off just at the right time. I had to use every disc and defensive AA and heal potions I could muster. When I used Lay on Hands I had a sinking feeling we might fail.

But the air pet’s health was never in any danger. The mage was able to down his 3 mobs in relatively quick time. I was still on my feet with 40% mana. The cleric has now recovered 40% of her mana, and resumes active healing. Before I know it the mage and pet have downed the last 2 adds and now it’s just us vs. the MotG, who is down to 45%. Once he dropped, I looked at the carnage at my feet and thought … “let’s not rez the warrior”.

He dropped the Avatar 1h’er which I looted, and 2h lance, which my zerker picked up.

The Progenitor was uneventful. Except I had to clear his room twice before pulling him due to the respawn. But once we had him it was straightforward and boring. The only fun was proc’ing the mage’s Burning Aura spell. He dropped 2 Avatar bows, one for me and one my ranger picked up.

Once we zoned out, my 75 monk feign death ran all the way down to (and killed) the Final Arbiter. It was a long, slow and painful run and I could see why guilds would hate this zone. But I can’t image it was as bad as Vex Thall.

With a cleric merc, the monk engaged all 4 Ancient Dragons and put them to sleep. Kildrakun (or whatever) was a painful event with the 50% unresistable slow. Had to put the cleric on Passive in and out to avoid wasting his mana.

It was fun, I’m glad we can say we have now been to Sleeper’s Tomb. Now let’s never go back.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Ughbash » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:23 am

First off I enjoy your stories and your writing style. I wanted to make two comments however. Not sure if it was creative license or how you thought things worked.

Leigh wrote: With higher atk, we get more procs, more hits, crits, the women love us more, the grass is greener, and the grapes are sweetest. Life is great with higher atk.


With higher attack you do NOT get more procs, do NOT get mroe hits, do NOT get more crits (the women DO love us more, the grass IS greener and grapes ARE sweetest). What high attack does is make it more likley for your hits to hit hard then to hit weak.

Secondly Merc warriors are tough (at later levels when T5) but they remain stupid....

When pulling if I am using a merc warrior I tend to put it on passive til the mob is in camp.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:29 am

Well maybe not more procs, most of the time those are set /minute. I threw that in there to make the statement flow better (rule of three). But I have noticed more hits and harder hits. Crits are probably a side effect of having more hits land. The important thing is I think most low atk classes have atk-envy. But since most people by now have played multiple classes they're well versed with what atk does and does not do.

But I do think higher atk does lead to more hits landing. Ie. your ATK overcomes the mobs AC and this leads to hits landing.

But what do I know? I'm only a paladin... I'm already getting chewed up by my peers on this board for preferring a 2h'er over a 1h+shield. [Have you seen the crits!]

Thx for reading!

edit: I just felt it noteworthy that I parsed my Slay "procs" with 1000 more atk (base 1800, experiment 2800 with ranger buffs & champion) and I did notice a dramatic increase in Slay procs. Which was my initial meaning for my prose. Slay procs are supposedly set to 5%. So in 1 minute if you have 20 swings you will get 1 slay. 6% with Holyforge. Anyway my belief of why higher atk makes Slay "proc" more is because, iirc, Slay is programed as a crit check (the first) and a hit needs to land in order to crit. So if your atk is overcoming the mobs AC more often, you'll have hits land more often, and ergo thereby more Slays. The end.
Last edited by Leigh on Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:25 am

Great post again Leigh. :D
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:38 pm

Day 8 – Sir Echuod

I’m not a smart man. Never did I ever pretend to be. I am a regular grown man who thinks he’s a paladin, who revels in his own immaturity and hopes those around him will tolerate it long enough for him to get a few laughs in. I’m a paladin who enjoys provoking reactions in others, and I try to say unexpected things much like Napoleon’s advisor, Talleyrand, who liked to stir the waters to catch fish. Like him, I would fire an arrow into the air to see who jumps out the window. I enjoy good company and friends who have wit enough to make fun of me in return. To show me when I’m being a fool. It’s important for a knight, no matter what his station or his accomplishments, to check his ego. Sometimes it improves the character and makes him a better man.

And that brings me to my tale. One evening I trudged through the narrow streets of the quiet city. Twilight had passed, the rain had stopped, and the only sounds came from the raucous din outside smoky taverns. I was pondering my betterment, how to gain strength and take on higher, riskier adventures. As yet I was unable to cross a certain threshold… and I was worried it was due to a lack of knowledge. I wished I could find a mentor, a knight of unsurpassed skill who could guide me and strengthen my abilities.

As I passed one particularly smelly dive I heard what as probably a drunken roar, “You’re wrong, you idiot! That’s not a spoon! You don’t know anything, ahahaha!!” Followed by a crash, which sounded a lot like a man in armor falling off a chair and crumbling into a wooden floor. My ears perked up and I took my gaze off the muddy shallow pools of water at my feet. My old dead mentor told me I would find an Oracle of Wisdom where I least expected it. He told me to watch for the words of providence, “there is no spoon.” Or maybe he said, “don’t be a poon.” But I think the words just bellowed came close enough to warrant my investigation.

I abandoned the serenity of the streets to immerse into a deafening cacophony as soon as I stepped through the creaky wooden door. The crowded but wide room was filled with an unsavory and dirty bunch of mercenaries who were orbited by the ugliest wenches I’d ever seen. Most of these were snaggle-toothed, wiry-haired, and horse-faced. My heart sank, in the past my experience with mercenaries had been … less than favorable.

The focus of the dimly lit and smoky room was in the center, where sat an invisible man. Upon closer inspection he wasn’t invisible, just really small. Dwarf small. So small his beady yellow eyes barely peeped above the table; and his monstrous birds-nest hair was clearly attempting to aggrandize his meager height.

He singled me out right away, almost as if he saw me before I saw him. “You there, pup!” he bellowed loud enough for those around him to hear and follow his gaze, “I kin see yur still a litt’l wet behin’ yer ears. What’ll ye have, cup o’ milk?” This was followed by more of the same raucous laughter I’d heard from outside.

“Nay,” I muttered somewhat amused by his deamenor, “just looking fer someone.” This group, as disheveled as it was, reminded me of my circle of fellow scholars from my days at the academy. There was this one time .. wait, let's not digress this time. Long story short one of us ended up in the hostpital, the other a strip club, two others passed out in the gutter.

“Izzat so? Who then? You won’t be findin’ any great men in here!” came the bold retort.

“Obviously,” I mumbled under my breath. Then louder, “I was told a brilliant knight likes to haunt this tavern,” I bluffed. “I overheard you say something about a spoon from outside –“

“Fancy yerself statured enough to speak with the likes of me, do you!” he cut me off in a hoarse bellow.

“From the looks of it, I think anyone is statured enough to do that,” I chuckled, but then instantly regretted it. “I’m sorry, that was unworthy of me. Let me buy you a—“

“What do you think you know about stature, you bilge rat!” Bilge rat? Was this guy a pirate? Oh crap I’d better be careful. Pirates are horrible, and dangerous. The only thing more dangerous than a pirate is a ninja. And I was no ninja. “I am Sir Echuod," he continued, "and I’ve seen more things and done more women than you could ev’r fathom!” I flinched at the thought of that last claim.

“I apologize, little sir. Clearly I am no match for one as experienced as y—“

“Cummere and let me show you how little and what a match I am,” his ire was clear in his eyes.

“I’d rather not.”

“Are ye yellow?!” he challenged me, hoping off his stool and taking a step clsoer. The room instantly fell silent as all eyes turned to me.

I knew I was in for a world of hurt. Thinking fast, I came up with the only plan I could think of at the time. “Well clearly I’m no match for your strength,” I said, looking at the sinewy ropey muscles of his arms. “But I’m quite sure you’re no match for my wits. I wonder if your mind is as sharp as your blade?”

“Ooooooo,” the room echoed.

His sneer had an almost delightful if malicious curve to it. “Then what do ye suggest, litt’l pup?”

How do I always get myself into these situations?? “I suggest a battle of wits. What I have here in my hand is some Sunshard powder. It is a poison. Odorless, tasteless, invisible to the eyes –“

“Don’t bother with that trick,” he cut me off.

“What trick?”

He grunted impatiently, “You put it into one of two glasses behind your back, I choose one, we both drink. I know that trick! You put it into both glasses!” His voice rose a few octaves higher than I thought he’d be capable of.

But damn, he saw that play too. “Ok …” I stalled, “How about we answer each other’s riddles? I’ll go first, what is the airspeed of an unladen sw—“

“African or American?” he cut me off again. It seems he was always a step ahead of me. Damn, outsmarted again. It seems he had been around quite a bit and had all the answers! His satellites of ugly wenches were clearly aroused at his mental caliber – they crept closer and began to stroke his hair. (One of them got her fingers stuck in it and had to twist out).

“Ok, how about this,” I suggested, “magic!” This got everyone’s interest. I picked up a spoon from a nearby table and approached. “Who-so-ever can make this spoon disappear, is the champion. You go first. Age before beauty,” I smiled unctuously.

He snatched the spoon from my hand and glared at it with squinted, bloodshot eyes. Wiping his nose on his sleeve, he handed it back to me. “No, yu go ferst. I want to see what yer up to.”

I took the spoon and placed it on the floor between two floor-boards so that it was standing upright. I slowly circled around the dwarf and recited a story about my old dead mentor. “It was my dear old tutor who once told me, ‘It matters not what others claim to know, nor what you know. And in all your arguments you will never convince them otherwise; for they have too much pride and too much face to lose at admitting defeat. Hence no man will ever back down from an argument. This is fact. The only chance you have of convincing your opponent of your viewpoint is by showing him through actions, and letting him discover it for himself.’” I kept pacing, doing my best to take everyone’s attention off the spoon which was now standing upright exactly one pace directly behind the dwarf.

“And what do yer opponents invariable learn, pup?”

“That there is no spoon!” I yelled, and slammed into him with my full weight, driving him to sit backwards directly onto the upended spoon.

I recovered 2 weeks later, when the doctors put the pulp back into me.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:20 am

Hehehe :shock:
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Ughbash » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:53 am

*laugh*
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:15 pm

Day 9 - the Druid's charisma

Nothing fantastic to share. However I've learned to stack dmg shields properly and feel like a Shadowknight with my druid bot boosting my DS past 1100. Convergence of Spirits, Spirit of the Wood, Regen for ~100, has allowed me to double my swarm size.

No wonder SKs are have such big heads! They really are the swarm kings. Wishing I'd rolled an SK now, but they were so lame back in the day!

It's actually a little boring waiting on repop now when every nearby mob is down. Druid box (level 72, 500AA) has easily caught up in levels and AA playing super casually. When I say super, I mean twice per week at the most. I remember he was level 68 with 250 AA when I came back last month.

Loving this easy AAxp. Will miss it. Going to RoI as soon as I max Healing Boon! (lol @ myself).

Picked up a level 80 rapier, Quizicotl's something, same stats as a Jumpy Axe, for 500pp. Why are they so cheap when the Axe is 20k??

Cheers.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:21 pm

Day 10 – Beauty and the Beast

One of my old nemesis was Tantisthala Jaggedtooth. Yes, the notorious giant crocodile who guards the backyard of Plane of Earth. Why is he my nemesis? Because I’d read that certain pairs of level 75s used to duo him 6 years ago. However when I tried to duo him with my 75 mnk/clr combo (6 years ago) I only got him to 30%. I added a 3rd box 75 wizard to my menagerie and I still did not finish him off. What was wrong with me? The croc would go ballistic on me around 20% and I never had anything left in my arsenal to finish him off! It’s like he had a “/disc go ballistic on their sorry ass”.

So I decided to venture into Vegarlson, 6 years later as a 73 paladin (and clr merc), and with the added help of my 72 druid and his Bloodbone merc I thought it would be easy to finish off this troublesome reptile once and for all.

We got to him without any issues. I buffed up, loaded my cure disease spells, and charged. Druid stood a distance back, debuffed, while I balanced tanking with the skele merc. My cleric merc dropped her mana like it was on fire. After a while only promised heals were being cast. The druid had to give up on dps and resorted strictly to healing. Amazingly his crit heals went off 80% of the time. That was spectacular.

Bloodbone merc died around 35% of mob’s health. I held my own till 20% at which point Tantishthala went ballistic and I was yelping as the hits pounded into me like waves of surf into a fragile shore. At some point the druid drew too much healing agro and I could not taunt back off of him and he perished. I had to use every defensive ability in my arsenal.

All that was left was my useless cleric and her empty promised heals. If crocodiles could chuckle, that one must have with a, “see you later and better luck next time, old friend.” He smote me with a quick snap of his jaw. I decided to return to bind and not watch him devour my cleric as well.

In the guild lobby I realized I forgot to cure the slow off my bloodbone merc for the entire battle. What a stupid mistake.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:49 pm

I killed the stupid crocodile few weeks back. Had to use mage box and 2 cleric mercs. Mage air pet is the greatest rampage tank - sent him in first.
Fun fight, this time I was prepared at 20% and saved my disc for then. Felt trivial ... ya know that feeling you get when all your AAs are up and mob is at 25% and you think to yourself, "oh yeah, I got this."

I hear that changes when mobs quad for 13k, though.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:03 am

Revenge is always sweet :mrgreen:
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:26 pm

RoI - Day 60

Fast forward 2 months. I'm finally level 80! I'm ashamed to say, though, I did not swing my sword once from level 76 to 80. I just PL-ed myself on tow with my 80 wizard and bard in hot zones. Good grief level 76 through 79 are just heinous! The person who invented those was probably the same guy that invented level 45 back in 1999. I actually calculated that xp amounts required to level from 75 doubled every sequential level. So L80 = 2xL79 = 2xL78 = 2xL77 = 2xL76 = 2xL75. Seriously SoE? Double to acheive the next level? Next time just send over a mallet to my house so I can beat myself with it.

Well I'm finally L80, and I admit I cackled with glee as I donned all the armor and weapon upgrades I bought dirt cheap in the bazaar. My 1h weapon base dmg pretty much tripled. My 2h doubled. My AC jumped from 2600 to 4400. And I'm not even fully geared yet! And what better way to test my new mettle than to try Ruins of Illsalin for the 1st time!

I was very cautious, as I had ventured into RoI at level 74 and got my proverbial butt handed to me. But now that I was armed with a rapier that looks like a Star Wars lightsaber, and buffed to the teeth from lobby mgbs, I was feeling mighty confident.

I pulled the first mob and it died faster than I could have imagined to 2 quick Slay procs. I had to blink, as I thought it must have gated or warped. But no, on second look it died and I gained xp! Next I pulled 2 mobs, results were equally satisfying. Then I pulled 4, and though I took a beating it was not significant as the new Sustanance of Tunare proc kept me comfortably refreshed. I did notice I was getting a great heal rate with my Healing Gift/Adept/Boon AAs, which are only at level 8. Particularly healing boon, as Sustance of Tunare (which is pretty much running constantly) would crit and heal for over 1000hp, and the Cleanse heal over time would crit for over 2000hp. I was also thrilled to see crit heals for over 11k!

I highly recommend to any paladin not using these 2 macros to set them up:

1) Self Blast - This allows you to blast heal yourself and switch back to your swarm in 0.5 seconds.
/tar self
/pause 2
/pause 1, /cast #Burst of xxx
/cast #Burst of xxx
/xtar 1

2) Self HoT - This allows you to heal over time yourself and switch back to your swarm in 2.0 seconds.
/tar self
/pause 2
/pause 1, /cast #Solemn xxx
/cast # Solemn xxx
/xtar 1

I feel pretty clever for figuring this out. However I’m sure I’m not the first. Nor the 100th.

Anyhow, mobs were dying so fast I had to put in audio triggers for deaths so that I could change targets instead of locking a corpse. After learning the center island I brought up my bard to passively enhance me. Used these songs:

-overhaste aura
-psalm of veeshan (dmg shield)
-war march of meldrath (dmg shield, atk, haste)
-dirge of darkvine (melee mitigation)
-AE slow/or mana regen, depending on chanter buff.

Mana regen not needed with c10 chanter buff. So I would load AE slow. Right now I think I need something better for the last song. As AE slow is not really needed, nor is mana regen. As I get better and when my swarms grow I will drop all dmg shields, and just use selo’s and overhaste.

My fun meter was quite topped up, at 40k hp I had little reason to panic and always had plenty of time to heal. Swarming in RoI is everything it’s cracked up to be. I felt like Neo when he took on Agent Smith at the end of the first Matrix in that hallway where Neo got shot. I was parrying and riposting with little effort and would end each fight with a powerful sidekick to Smith’s sternum.

Although with a bard xp flow was great, center island was too slow on repop. Yet I am fearful to venture beyond center island as Shilly mobs are buffed with Bolster. I need courage, like that idiotic lion from that movie. Why should I be afraid now? I’ve got a blue lightsaber.

Weeeeaaaoownn!
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:33 am

Sounds like you're having fun, and Congrats on lv 80! :D

Leigh, shoot me a tell on BB and we can run get you a raid (Pure) powersource flag. It will help you with some more AC/HP with your gear. Maybe half hour tops (takes longer to set up than to fight in Steam Factory Raid).


Magelo doesn't show other than on first post in this thread, but my name is Elricvonclief. I"m on most evenings.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:04 am

I know you Elric, I've seen you around. And thanks! I'd appreciate the Powersource aug. We'll hookup.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:58 am

Day 65

The hardest thing about swarming, is not the actual fight vs. 20+ mobs. It's the pull and it's the cornering. Particularly when the mobs have huge hit boxes, ie. arms much longer than yours. And they summon. And they are masters of ping pong. All this combined means the swarmer must have actual placement skills. And when the swarm is really massive, don't forget to LoH!

Like I did.

Pulled with DA. Thought I was tough enough to not need a corner. Fight starts and mobs are not nicely packed. Dmg shield weakens mobs at far end of huddle below 96%... and all of a sudden my swarm starts to rough me up like the SNL skit of the party guys with Chris Kattan and Will Ferrel. I was the chick in the middle getting bounced around. With LoH I can usually recover and stun push all far mobs into the swarm circle. But my HoP key is right next to my LoH key. Guess which one I pushed? I went down surprisingly fast. Couldn't even hit Deflection because I had Holyforge running.

Did I mention I just turned on LotD? Well anyhow, now I'm in GuildLobby, awaiting MGB buffs. It's good to die once in a while. Reminds you that when you elevate the reward, you're also elevating the risk.
Unless you're a Ranger. Or Shadowknight.
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Elric » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:08 am

Sorry Leigh, I"ve very rarely swarmed, so no advice there. :shock:

As for PS flagging, you know I"m a late night player, just let me know when you'll be on late, and we'll knock it out. Takes longer to form up in FM than to do the actual SF raid.

Good luck, and keep the faith !
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Re: Distant Thunder: Leigh's Return

Postby Leigh » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:15 am

Day 100 or whatever.

Dinged 85. Picked up some ridiculously high dmg 2hnder (200/37 iir). With the heal twincast, undead dps, and mitigation abilities at level 85 swarming has become trivial in RoI. So much has changed in 1 level: Went from pockets of small swarms of 7 mobs to pulling the whole area and doing small pockets of 30 mobs. The only time I have to pay attention is if LoH is down. Amazingly, the AA return in 30 mins of continuous game time (LotD) exceeds anything else I've ever done in EQ. I've ripo'd 60 mobs with a zerker, that can only be done once every 30 mins, and yielded 30aas. Meanwhile 30 mins on a paladin gives 40 aa's (currently at 2200). If I can recommend anything to swarmers, it's to obtain a +ripo% item. I'm currently using a PoP era BP [Trydan's Chestplate] and for swarming the extra 8% (30max) points of riposte makes a huge difference in swarming dps. Of course, your healing should be sufficient.

The paladin is trully an invincible class if played right. Sadly I need to move out of my current haunt and explore Frostcrypt next.
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Paladin Main
Druid - Alt/Box
Wizard - Alt/Box

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