Monday, March 22, 2010

Ingredient Bags and Hirelings

Okay, two separate topics, one post.

With the ice games, recipes, motes and other items are available to low level guys. But, most low level people don't have an ingredient bag, available for free from the Tower of the Twelve. I picked one up to hold my motes, recipes, and dragonshards, and freed up some inventory slots.

I also want to run Gladewatch Outpost Defense with my small static group. I think a level 11 cleric hireling with heal and DV III, level 9 sorcerer hireling with Wall of Fire and Haste (and extend), and perhaps a paladin or fighter to fill out our ranger, paladin, and rogue group will make it possible. Wall of Fire is key, it seems.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Manticores and You

March 12th, 2010

We stopped our last session just as the manticores were attacking, sending their spikey spikes of doom into the front line fighters, and the wizard casting obscuring mist in order to protect the entire group from the missiles.

This made the combat quite a bit more exciting in my opinion, as everyone had to stay inside the mist, forcing the monsters inside. The 20% miss chance due to concealment made melee combat a little longer, and let the druid's summoned monsters help a bit more than usual.

By the end of the combat with the four manticores which I gave 10 more hit dice (from 6 to 16), I decided to end it. While we could have progressed with the story, it was already later than I had hoped and I was already feeling tired.

On another positive note, the spaghetti and sauce I cooked up was pretty good. Perhaps next time we game we'll be back to our normal fair of pizza.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What happened?

So, I was with my static group with a ranger and a rogue, and we were on the last quest in Sorrowdusk. We had just finished Quench the Flames, which uses the same map.

In that quest, we had a major problem. The fire traps couldn't be spotted or searched by either the ranger or the rogue. Perhaps this was because the rogue was level 10 and it is a level 10 quest we were trying on hard. So, we made it through at great cost of spells and time. And then while fighting mephits, the ranger died. I started healing the rogue with wands and spells, who had collected the soul stone and was going for the shrine. But by that time, the resist fire spell had worn off and she died in the fire trap. I knew I couldn't make it through with my low hp and made a final stand against the mephits.

Luckily, the rogue was close enough to the shrine to res, and she did, and the ranger was able to as well. He then came through the trap and got my stone as well.

It wasn't until after all of that did the rogue get her enhancements, clickies and wands out and find and disable the trap (?!).

But, that is just a foreward to what I am writing about. So we're in the next quest, knowing the traps are a problem. Fire trap: disarmed. Got the collectibles, and the rogue falls into lava. Reason: lag due to slow computer. Can't get her stone, and I am mad at myself again for not having the raise dead enhancement this time around. So she recalls. And her bind point? No, not the ship, which would be obvious...but the spa in ataraxia. So we are waiting for her, and the ranger decides to go to the other side where all the sarcophagus' are and smashes them. Suddenly, I'm surrounded by wights. Don't forget the arrow traps on the way, which we have no way of disabling on our own. either coming or going.

So, the rogue finally comes back, and begins sneaking around, from the start of the zone, into the arrow trap, and dies again. "What, I was stealth?!" I don't really play a sneaking rogue, but I'm beginning to think that stealth doesn't mean you can avoid traps.

At that point, it was better to log off to avoid spouse aggro, then try to press through.

You can probably guess what I'm going to say next: Should a rogue be able to handle the search/spot/disable checks on traps on a 'hard' quest. I'm thinking, yes, because she was able to with the right enhancements, fox cunning, etc.

Comments welcome!

Monday, March 15, 2010

How to catch up?

Okay, my level 10 elf paladin has been working hard to catch up and simply get to level 10 (452,659 xp). I mainly play solo, but when I do group, it's with a semi static group that doesn't have a scheduled time to play. The ranger in that group recently got to level 11, (553,356 xp), and the rogue has been level 10 for a while (476,001 xp).

So, is there a way to make up the 100k xp difference quickly? I think there might be. I've been running quests at Normal-Normal-Normal-Hard-Elite on solo. I've gotten some help from the ranger when doing Elite if possible, as doing it myself is sometimes difficult.

The nice thing about it is that by the time I've run it on elite, I've gotten optimal xp, and if I get help on elite, it's probably the 4th time or more for the ranger, assuming it's not his first time on elite. I figure I can gain ground in about 43K on elite alone this way for level 7 and 8 quests. Add in the repetitions before I get to elite, and I can probably catch up without too much difficulty.

Monday, March 8, 2010

DDO on Netbook? Yes!

Okay, I was feeling suitably geeky this past week, and thought: I wonder if DDO will run on a netbook. Specifically, our household netbook, which is a Dell Mini 9 with 1 GB of RAM, an 8 GB SSD drive and Windows XP.

I knew I would have to install DDO to a flash drive, and since I have an 8 GB usb flash drive that I use regularly, I thought that it would do the trick. I'd have to also find a place for the install files. I knew I couldn't fit both the install files and the install on the same disk, so I looked at another solution.

Now, the other computer in the house is a MacBook Pro with OS 10.5 and Windows Vista. Knowing that Vista <--> XP file sharing has some bad mojo, I decided to use the the OS 10.5 file sharing with SMB turned on. Then I just went to My network places on the netbook, typed in an IP address\user name, logged in with my OS X password, and was looking and my home directory. Ran the .exe for the install (the standard install, not the turbine download manager), and waited for it to install.

(Don't forget to turn off the 'turn hard drive off' feature, as OS X doesn't register the windows file sharing with normal disc activity and will stop your install prematurely.)

So once that was all finished, I let it patch itself up, and was gaming in no time. It's a little slow in parts, especially the marketplace, and with lots of mobs on screen. But turbine was great with the supported 1024 x 800 resolution, and the unofficially supported but works fine running off of a flash drive. A great advantage is that the game is on a different drive then the OS. And the solid state drive helps with the speed quite a bit normally.

If I had to do it over again, I'd get a 16 GB SSD, windows 7 64-bit and 2 GB of ram or more, but hey, it was on sale. And $250 for an ultra portable DDO machine? Not bad.

Any suggestions on getting it to run better? Or have a question? Feel free to leave a comment!