Train Stopping at TOTW

7 08 2010
Train Stopping at TOTW

Train Stopping at TOTW, click for full image

The final boss in both the Subway and the Temple of the Three Winds are designed to be a significant challenge to the capped levels allowed in those dungeons.  What is especially devious is how the players are set up to fail by the major jump from the next to the last boss to the last boss.  The progression of mob difficulty in both dungeons is mostly linear.  Players get lulled into expecting each next higher mob to be a few degrees harder.  The jump is a 2-3 levels for most of the progression, at the end however the jump is about 10 levels.

Babaemphee and Babaengy made another run to TOTW a few evenings ago.  They had to fight their way in through solid grays all the way to DOT.  They headed due north to the center wing and were glad to see the halls mostly clear.  They found the Curator waiting in his room and engaged him in a short brutal battle that he lost.  He did not drop any notum rings, however he did fill out Babaengy’s TOTW shoulder piece collection.  They headed next over to Nematet’s room and were taking down their second Windcaller when their neighborhood experienced a brown out, which caused their Net connection to go dead.

The only thing that really concerned them was that they had had the room to themselves and it looked like they would have a clean shot at Nematet, so they were concerned that the link death delay could allow some other team to take over the spot before they got logged back in.  When they did log back in a few minutes later (after all flash lights and candles were located) in RL4, they still had the room to themselves, which was a bit of a problem.  They had rezzed back right next to a Windcaller and got instant close vicinity aggro and so had a fight on their hands, without their pets.  After a few minutes, it was clear that their puny weapons were not enough to take this Windcaller down, at least not before several hours had passed.  Fortunately they still had their buffs intact so Babaengy was able to re-cast his bot which quickly put the Windcaller away.

In taking down all the Windcallers, they had to let rot a bunch of very nice Agent only armor. Babaengy really wished he was able to cast Beacon Warp, so he could warp AgentBaba in to collect this loot.  Babaengy is about 20 MC short of being able to cast it. It would require an outside Infuses buff, since Babaemphee herself is a couple of hundred IP points away from casting those.

The main gain of the evening was that Babaengy dinged level 60 after defeating the curator, and Babaemphee hit 60 after they felled Nematet.  They both decided to head back to Newland to allocate out this IP.  After doing so, Babaengy was just 7 points short in MC to cast his lvl 90 bot.  He did an extensive search of all of the Baba’s inventories via Inventory Assistant, for MC buffing items.  The closest thing he found was a Miy’s chest piece which would do the trick, but it required quite a bit more to equip than he could expect to get a wrangle from Tireen for.

After reviewing the Auno database, they decided they did not have any buffing items that would do the trick. The decided that the surest thing would be to go from QL75 to QL100 implants.

They were starting to tire a bit of the Temple, so a break was taken, and a few other of Baba’s alts were logged in to grab a level or two when they could complete daily missions.  Unfortunately about half the daily missions are impossible for the advertised levels.  The only way to complete them is with  twinked paid toons or by having higher level toons complete the tasks.

Once again, new content turns out to be a vehicle catered to end-gamers, in this case a convenient way for end-gamers  to level up their alts.  It is very suspicious how almost all of the new missions allow a higher level character to collect any required items and simply hand them over to the lowbie.  Curious how they went out of their way to keep those items from being no drop and prevent that kind of practise.

The impossibility for leveling toons comes in when the missions require having to kill or navigate through large numbers of mobs that are 10 to 20 levels above the toons current level.  My level 25 got a mission to kill level 55 mobs.  I am sure this has got to be discouraging for new players.

But to get back on topic, why do we dread the temple sometimes.  I guess it is no matter what your business is there, from camping or leveling for hours, or just a quick in and out to grab a single not-so-hard-to-get item, one has to spend 15 minutes killing grays on the way in, and another 15 doing the same on the way out. At least at Foreman’s after you completed a few quests, the guards stop aggroing you.  For toons like our pet classes, it means more down-time stopping to re-buff as needed before ever getting close to the objective.

The other thing we dread about TOTW is some of the other players there.  On almost every trip there one gets to see a new and different way for toons to misbehave.  On this last few trips trip several stand out.  First there were the jumpers.  There is a certain brand of noobe in AO that thinks that the space bar (jumping) is a drug, they cannot get enough of it, and somehow think that everyone else is bound to be amazed by their jumping skills.  When our team rezzed into the TOTW entrance they were greeted by a MA whose sole form of communication was to walk up, stand directly in your face and jump up and down endlessly.  No vicinity chat. Just jump, jump, jump, look at me jump!  It was almost enough to make us want to dust off our emote help screen and program a special emote macro for the next time one of these geniuses show up.  Later while in Nematets room, a distant cousin to the MA, one of million lvl 60 Exarch robbed Enforcers with a Carb Helmet, ran into the room, right up to our team, and started in with the jumping in place.  Yes we see you can jump, and no, we have no openings on our team for jumpers at this time, as soon as the day arrives that combat requires a jumper, you will get the call.  I guess they never heard of vicinity chat.

The next winner has to be Mr. My-Only-Skill is pulling trains, an otherwise unremarkable and forgettable level 37 soldier with a Carb Helmet and Exarch robe.  Mr. My-Only… had been waiting in the entrance area for someone/anyone to display his skill.  As soon he could see us starting to advance after buffing towards the inner door, he burst through it and ran at top speed down the hall into the dungeon.  About the time we had just killed the first pair of cultists and were starting in on the first one that stands in the middle of the hall, Mr. My-Only comes racing back with most of the cultists from the left wing on his train.  I imagine he actually had to stop and hit a few just to make sure they would join in.  Of course as he passed us on his way towards the entrance, he gaily gave us the jumping greeting several times.

On another recent visit just as we were approaching DOT’s central part of the big hall some people refer to as the crossroads, when from of the door to the west wing comes some twink battlerod enforcer, a twink MA with one of those hats that look like an upside down brass wok (official name: Original Mentors Straw Hat.)  There is something about TOTW MAs in upturned woks.  Babaoroody has regaled his alts with tales of upturned wok wearing MAs up to mischief at TOTW.  Now Baba and company make it a policy to not judge a book by it’s cover, but anytime they see one of these upturned wok wearing MAs, a red flag pops up which they try to not pre-judge the wok wearing toon by.

This pair seemed to have a couple of other accomplices in their team, who all executed the TOTW crossroads train escape of jumping the low wall on the north side of the eastern wing entrance and running around behind the entrance to hide.  Bursting forth from the door to the west wing came several Deathless Legionnaires, several Windcallers, a handful of cultists, and Lien.  Babaengy and Babaemphee were suddenly in a fight with the legionnaires which took them a minute or two to clear.  Fortunately Lien had wandered over towards the south wall of the hall and was minding his business.

Custer Did It Better

Since Babaengy and Babaemphee had been on their way to Lien, this was actually not a bad thing, at least, that is what they thought as Babaengy started buffing the bot with his two best combat buffs.  Babaengy gave his bot a wait command, so it would not run over to where Lien was. Babaengy wanted Lien to come to them, at which time he would give the bot an attack command.  About two microseconds after Babaengy and Babaemphee and her pets attacked and aggroed Lien, the Defender of Three spawned right on top of them.  There was some confusion, as Babaengy tried to switch the bot to DOT while Babaemphee continued with the already started attack on Lien.  Babaengy found his bot unresponsive suddenly. He would  target one of the bosses, and then issue a bot attack command, but the bot just stood still.  This went on long enough that Lien was able to knock Babaengy’s health down to 25%.  Babaengy then realized that Babaemphee had recently switched the heal pet to her self after a previous fight and they had forgotten to switch it back to Babaengy.  By the time Babaengy got his bot back under control and attacking Lien, and Babaemphee switched the heal pet to Babaengy, the poor heal pet could not keep up with the damage rate Lien was dealing on Babaengy.

In the past when they fight Lien, they usually have the bot attack first and build up aggro, so most of Liens damage goes there in addition to his AOE attacks that hurt everyone in the vicinity.

It was not much longer before Babaengy was back at reclaim, and soon after Babaemphee.   It was time for lunch in RL4, so Babaemphee and Babaengy logged off for a few hours.  When they logged back in a few hours later and returned to TOTW, they found it with far fewer toons roaming the halls.  None of the mischief makers from before were to be seen.  Perhaps some other victum successfully petitioned them, but that is highly unlikely given FUNCOMS usual performance with petitions.

They made a beeline for Lien, and after slogging through the Legionnaires on the way down, they took on Lien, this time on their terms, better coordinated and according to a strategy that works for them.  After pulling and taking care of all the surrounding Legionnaires, Babaengy buffed his bot, and then sent it to attack Lien.  After they bot had had enough time to land several high damage hits, Babaengy attacked and Babaemphee sent her attack pets in, while throwing a debuff on Lien.  Babaengy then unloaded his three TOTW damage rings on Lien to help bring his health bar down faster.  Babemphee, after landing her debuff, launched into throwing her single nukes on Lien.  The heal pet had no trouble keeping Babaengy’s health up.  Babaengy gave Babaemphee a first aid stim shot about half way through.  They simply ignored the little doll things that spawn, as they do little damage, and they go away once Lien dies.  After Lien went down, it was Babaemphee’s turn at his goodies, and she took away a Dark Memory and a Memory Loop!  After rebuffing, they fought their way back out of the temple and returned to Newland City for the day.

Friday night, Baba’s trader alt Tireen was enlisted to try and sell one of the Grid Armor I ID disks our teams have found, to further finance Babaengy and Babaemphee’s progress.  The credits were needed to bump up their store bought implants from 75ish to 100.  Sitting in the grid near the OA exit, it did not take long for Tireen to advertise the ID, find a buyer, dicker over price and agree to a deal.  They met at OA grid and the infusion of credits Tireen took away will help equip team pets next set of implants.

Both team pet toons were outfitted with store bought 100 imps.  It was necessary with both to purchase a couple of extra implants for treatment laddering.  It was nothing like the multi-step laddering real twinkers do, it was simply, put in a 75 treatment right hand, then put in a 100 eye treatment, take out the 75 hand and replace it with a 100 with treatment.  Next the 100 treatment eye could come out and a more useful 100 eye put in followed by the rest of the QL 100 store bought imps.

Notum Defender

Notum Defender, click for full image

The imps made it possible for Babaengy to equip a one more step higher bot (level 90) and allowed Babemphee to be able to use her Notum Defender.  The Notum Defender, to other players looks like a gimp weapon.  It is a gimp weapon, but MP’s at her level don’t rely on their weapons, but their pets.  The Notum Defender gives her 370 nano and a nice -3 nano cost reduction.  The modest 104 points to all AC’s helps with her overall defense.

The next day, they returned to TOTW, and made their way down to Lien with little incident.  They came across a couple of low level 30-40ish toons, and enforcer and some other toon we did not have time to identify.  They seemed to be unsure if they wanted to fight Legionnaires.  They pulled a few, while Babaengy and Babaemphee were fighting others, but eventually that pair left.  Later when team pets made it to the last Legionnaire before Lien’s room, they came across a toon sporting one of those spiffy Perennium Beamers.  Being too busy pulling and taking down the other Legionnaires around Lien, they did not identify the player but it could not have been a twink, as it was taking it forever to take down each Legionnaire it fought.  That player stood around to watch as Babaemphee and Babaengy prepared to take on Lien.  The fight went pretty much like the last battle with Lien.  This time, after Lien was down, it was Babaengy’s turn to loot, and he took away his second Dark Memory.  There was also a Urn which Babaemphee was allowed to take and several Howling Skulls, which they left for some other players loot.

After rebuffing, they again fought their way back up the ramp that goes down to Lien.  As the were going through the room right after the grotto area, a 33ish solo toon went running by and down towards Liens hall.  They proceeded and eventually stopped in the wading pool area near DOT to recast some of their pet damage buffs for the final set of outgoing hall fights.  This area is a good one to pause, rest, or anything in comparative safety.  It is far enough away from DOT and the three wing entrances, that if someone does pull a train out of them, it is easy to make a run to the exits or run behind one of the entrances to hide.

It was quite humorous to see the previous 33ish toon come running like crazy out of the west entrance at DOT’s crossroads, with several Legionnaires in tow.  He made a beeline for the exit hall at the other west end of the big hall, but stopped when he realized he would just pick up more cultist if he attempted to run through there. He was already starting to go into that slow death run, and we assume the Legionnaires finished him off.  Babaengy and Babaemphee then proceeded to fight their way out the east exit hall.  Some one must have just come in and taken the west wing, as all the cultists in the central exit hall were dead, making it easy for our pet team to stroll out the rest of the way.

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