Baba’s gotten a bit rusty

18 11 2008

This past Thursday evening Babaente and Tireen ran a few more team missions for tokens and Babaente finally reached 120, and was awarded her 120 token board.  The next token award requires 250 tokens, so it is quite a jump.

Not your cookie cutter mission room, but an original.

Not your cookie cutter mission room, but an original.

Tireen also got a step up Thursday evening.  After hitting level 60 she was able to equip a better ransack skills (Ransack skills).  When cast on top of Deprive Skills, her shotgun skill was boosted by about 90 points which allowed her to equip a ql 90 Vektor ND LIZARD.  In the last mission they ran, she was getting crits of 1200 to 1400, which helps cut Bosses down to size.

They tried running a couple of missions with their agg/def slider set to full defensive.
Although we have not yet looked at the log statistics, in practice the added number of mob misses was not enough to counter balance the huge reduction in damage rates for Tireen and Babaente.  The battles took longer and in the end, they both lost more health in each fight.  With each fight taking longer, the mobs were given more chances to land a strike.

Friday evening we read a post in AOFroobs for posting your GUI.  We went ahead and posted Tireen’s current setup and after doing so, decided to take some time to re-organize it.  Now that we have a bunch of levels under our belt with both the NT and the trader toolsets, we thought we could decide which things were really needed, and which had just been put up because we didn’t know any better.  The same evening there was another post at AOFroobs that mentioned a program Keyclone, which intrigued us, as it is for sending keystrokes between multiple windows or dual logging as we call it in AO and the World of Warcraft types call multiboxing.

We spent an afternoon trying to get Keyclone to work for us and like several other utility programs meant to run together with AO, it was more than our aging computer could deal with.  While it ran, and did pretty much what the box says, it was slow and flakey on our system.  After sometime messing around with it, we decided to pass on it.  If your computer is relatively new (ie multiprocessor, at least circa 2006) then it might work great for you.

Not having much luck with Keyclone, we posted a call for help with it at AOFroobs and got the thread locked by the moderator Tarradax which was a bit surprising seeing how he had participated in the previous thread there where Keyclone was discussed and had not said a peep about it then.

Baba doubted he would fit in that.

Baba doubted he would fit in that.

After putting that behind us, both Tireen and Babaente refused to run any more missions for a bit. They were both demanding a change of pace.  Since they both hit thier targets of getting thier 120 token boards and level 60, it was time to give them some fresh activities.  Since Tireen has the weakest back item, she went first and headed out to the Temple of the Three Winds via the portal next to the Newland Dessert outpost whompa.  At level sixty she was alble to breeze through the first hall with-out aggro, but she picked up a massive train running through the right L shaped hall.  She dumped the train using the hop the wall at DOT trick.  She worked her way then down to the guardian of time’s room.  She passed a couple of 60 level players coming the other way, and when she got to GOT’s room it was empty.  She dialed her adddeff to full defense and was then able to by pass the six to eight cultists on the other side of the door out of GOT’s room leading to the Exarch hall.  She moved east towards the east hall that enters the left side of the Exarch hall.  This way she only picked up one cultist to fight before the left hall and avoided Gartuas room with his 4 cultist trox buddies.  After entering the left hall, she went back to full agg and worked her way through the cultists till she was in the exarch hall.  She picked off the windcallers one by one, and was able to handle them fairly easily.  Windcaller Yatilla however was actually harder than the Exarchs.

Then she went for Exarch Ecclese and a sure robe drop.  She got lucky and landed a couple of crits in the 1200 range, and soon was a new owner of an Exarch robe.  It helped a great deal, cutting many temple mobs down to minimum damage.  She took out the other two exarchs and picked up a tattered flame ring,  a weeping flesh ring, a silver ring of three, and a notum ring of three.

She headed over to the east wing for a try at the Reanimator for one of the shoulder items, but ran out of luck there, with the Reamimator makeing short work of her.  We will have to review the logs to see why the reanimator was soo hard after having a easy time with the Exarchs.

It was Babaentes turn next, she and Babaoroody headed down to the Steps of Madness and got as far as the first room with mobs, where things got a bit confused.  Dual logging with Tireen and Babente has had plenty of practice, but Babaoroody and  Babaente together was really a first and we got bit confused since there were a few differences in thier hot bar layouts.  They decided to back out of the dungeon and return later after running a few team missions together to work out thier hot key layout and best ways to work together.

Sunday Babaoroody and Babaente rolled a few missions to get into practice working together.  A good hour was wasted when none of the duplicated mission keys would work when they got to thier destination.  Since they are too far apart to team, one has to roll solo missions and then duplicate the key for the other.  For some reason none of the first set of rolled mission keys would work as duplicates.  After re-rolling another mission, they headed out to Lush Fields south of Harry’s.  They worked out several things. mostly having to do with re-arranging some of Babaoroody’s hot bar keys.

Another major problem with his hot bar surfaced after they had exited from one of the shops in Newland city after restocking Babas med and nano kits.  He was going to put himself on follow, and out of habit hit the 0 hot bar key that Tireen and Babaente both use.  Unfortunately, on his bar this pulled a mongo.  As he was standing right next to three guards, they promptly sent him back to reclaim having been aggroed by his mongo.

The mission turned out to be too easy, with Baba putting down the mobs before we could alt/tab to Babaente and doing any support casting.

That evening they decided to make another run at the Steps of Madness.  Baba realized once they were about 2/3 of the way through the dungeon, that he had removed his long range taunt from his hot bar.  The previous times he has been to Steps, he had relied a great deal on this long range taunt to allow him to take most of the mobs one at a time.  Singlely, they are a piece of cake for him. But since they do fair damage while taking a while to kill, getting swarmed by 3 or more is usually fatal for Baba.  They pressed on anyway, with several near death fights, and actually made it to the final long room. Without his long range taunt the final room proved to be thier undoing.  Previously with his taunt, he would pop his head in the door, and taunt one mob out away from the others.  With out the taunt he and Babaente had to enter the room completely and as a result, they both got swarmed with several mobs.

Earlyer a much higher a few high level players had passed them heading for Nelebs room.  As Babaoroody and Babaente approaced the room they could see on the mini map a good number of the mobs in the final room, getting trained somehow to the part of the room where the entrance they needed to pass through is.  Baba was able to survive, but Babaente succumbed to the swarm and got sent back to reclaim.  Babaoroody then terminated himself so he could join Babaente.

The design of Steps seems to follow a what seems to be a fairly standard AO dungeon plan which is basically a linear passage through a large number of proceedingly higher level mobs, starting with easy ones, but quickly moving into a range that requires them to be taken one at a time.  There are almost no large open places or alternate routes and almost all of the dungeon is very tight and cramped, with lots of mobs in close proximity.

This puts Enforcers at a disadvantage since they cannot use Mongo, one of thier main tools.  If Baba mongoes in the Steps, he attracks all the mobs in whichever room or hall he is in, which is not a good idea.  The problem with the Steps mobs is that they seem to have much higher amounts of health for mobs of the same 50-60ish level.  It seems like they have 2 to 3 times the normal amount.  Since Enforcers are melee and have no area of effect attack, they can only damage one mob at a time.  If, as is the case with the Steps, the mobs take 3 times longer to kill, that means the other mobs in a swarm have 3 times as long to pound on the poor enforcer.  It is also bad news for Babaente, because when they get swarmed she is really at a disavantage as there is no way she could outlast one of these monsters one on one, much less several.  This is because of her pitiful nanomage health bar.

One thing that sets Steps apart from the other dungeons Baba has done is the use of light.  There is one spot about halfway in where as you pass through a narrow door into the next section, the waiting mobs floating in the air cannot be seen because there is a strong light source shining directly in your eyes.  This is a place where Baba used his taunt before with good results.  Without it, he had to blunder into the room, getting attacked by several at once.  Another thing that is characteristic of Steps is there are multiple places where the world geometry is just plain messed up.  On every trip in so far he has seen various mobs stuck in the walls in different places.  There are also many places where there are invisible barriers where although it appears you have a clear line of sight to a mob, the game tells you it’s not there or cannot be targeted.  This combines with the narrowness of the halls and the lowness of the ceilings to make camera use difficult.  In many places it is impossible to use a long zoomed out view. While this may be manageable for solo players who can do ok in first person mode, it makes it hard to keep up with the status of teammates.   These irregularities tend to give an overall unsettled feeling the further you go into the place.

Because of this and perhaps some other issues previously discussed here (how the mobs are actually alot tougher than the given level they are supposed to be) he has yet to see any players of that level there.  Almost every single player he has seen has been title 4 or higher, sometimes like himself with a lowbie in tow.

After they healed up, they pulled another mission for practice again.  Things were going well, however they made one mistake in judgement near the end of the mission.  Even though they really were not concerned with the loot or the mission reward, they found themselves in one of those end of mission quandries.  It was a spot the person type mission, and the target person was in the middle of a hall, blocking the only way to 3 other mobs and rooms.  They should have taken thier lessons from Steps that Babaente is still squishy and if they get attacked by more than one mob at a time, she is vulnerable.  This is because even though Babaoroody easily overpowers mobs in Babaente’s range, as a melee fighter, he can only do damage to them one at a time.  If more than one mob attacks Babaente, Baba is limited to attacking those mobs one at time in series.

Baba made the mistake of trying to run past the target and take on the two mobs just past it.  This did not work out as all three mobs aggroed him and Babaente.  While he tried to fight them off, Babaente succumbed, since she was way overmatched with the single mob that had attacked her while Baba was busy taking the other two down.

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