Planting Better Pets

14 10 2010

 

Babaoroody

Babaoroody

 

Babaoroody has been called out of semi-retirement to assist TEAM PETS with 1) a new net of implants, and 2) to blitz for higher pets for each.  Their previous level 100 implants (which they got when they were in their 50s levels) have started looking puny ever since they got into their 90’s level range, however their treatment still needed to be increased before they could equip QL125 imps.  They targeted 125s because those are the highest level store bought basic imps available.  Imps over that level must be custom made by stripping down looted implants. Making custom imps is not something they can try until Babaemphee is around level 120 due to the high requirements.  After some calculations it was clear that Babaoroody’s Nano Programming (with an additional 92 points from an MP buff from Babaemphee) would only be high enough to make about half the implants.  Trader Tireen was employed to shop for and collect the needed basic implants and the clusters.  She handed these over to Babaoroody, who was able to build about half of them.  Baba then had to ask for help from end-game level guild mates to combine the remaining implants.  Over the course of several evenings, Angels of the Night toon Herschol combined the implants by taking advantage of a Nano Programming boost provided by guild’s player city.  The generous implant combiner gracefully let it pass that Baba had a few errors in implant preparations, however they were fairly minor and did not prevent the completion of the key implants and clusters.

Next came the actual implanting sessions with both Babaengy and Babaemphee going through that involved drill.  This drill involves a)swapping body, arms, leg, glove and boots armor for Omni med suit pieces, b) swapping regular head armor for a Biomech helmet (buffs treatment), c) hitting up a surgery clinic machine, and swapping the old imps out and putting the new imps in.  Then the first two steps have to be reversed.  While QL125 imps may not be considered ‘twink’ level for level 90 toons, they still provided just enough of a skill boost to get them to be able to control pets +20 levels above them self-buffed.  (Note: They still require Babaempee’s Masteries and trader Tireen’s Wrangle to cast the pets.)

With this out of the way, it was time for Baba to blitz a better bot for Babaengy (He had already given Babaemphee a better attack pet that he has had in his bank for quite some time.)  As the new Engy nano was level 146, it would be interesting to see how difficult the mission would be.  This usually depends on the type of mob.  The most dreaded mobs for him now are Slayerdroid types.  A one on one with these can often be fatal given the slightest error or bit of bad luck.  This mission turned out to be packed with Slayerdroids, but fortune smiled and none of them were placed squarely in the path to the mission objective.  He did have to kill a few Infector types but these are manageable.

COH-Empty first section, must be a team ahead

COH-Empty first section, must be a team ahead, click for larger view

Once Babaemphee and Babaengy had equipped their new imps and their new pets, it was time to return to the ‘kill 3 of’ mission that was running for them both at COH.  Tireen was able to log off right away, as they did not need her help opening the front door.  Someone else must have fairly recently opened it, as they strolled right in.  The found the Blorrg and Skincrawler areas completely empty.  This meant there is most likely a good team just ahead of them.  They caught up with the other ‘team’ at the pool area where the entrance to the serpent tunnels is.  It was another ‘pet team’ this one consisting of a 85 crat with droid, and 110 Engineer with Slayerdroid II.  Despite the Slayerdroid firepower, they were not moving very quickly through the tunnel, so TEAM PETS passed them and proceeded to the southern tunnel section to complete their kill 3 serpents objective.  It actually worked out to both teams favor in the Kizzermole tunnel, as it was fully populated, and having two teams prevented anyone from being swarmed.  The other team then went to pull the switch to spawn the Pit Demon.  TEAM PETS had been looking at their time displays and decided that responsibilities in RL4 were pressing so after the other team vacated the switch room to go and kill the Pit Demon, they moved next to the switch and logged off.  A review of the combat logs later showed the new Flawed Warbot critting for 1100 points and averaging 700 point regular hits.  The new attack pet was hitting for around 675 points.  It was also clear that the additional evades from the imps was resulting in more log entries of the ‘Kizzermole tried to hit you but missed’ type.

Babaente Starts Kiting Again

 

Overlooking Claw Camp in SW Pleasant Meadows

Overlooking Claw Camp in SW Pleasant Meadows

 

The last time NT Babaente was out kiting was quite some time ago, before TEAM PETS started.  Her last kite had been at South West Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows.  At that time, kiting there was a very dangerous proposition.  Her net run speed, self buffed with a hacked boosted graft Playful Cub morph, and the Boots of Infinite Speed, was just barely enough to allow her to outrun the Claws there, but just barely.  There was very little margin for error, such as forgetting to right click the boots to activate the ‘Terrain Knowledge’ +40 run speed buff.  The boots themselves only give a +3 boost to run speed when equipped.  The +40 run speed buff only lasts 30 minutes, but can be re-cast as needed.

She returned recently determined to see what a difference a whole additional 100 runspeed from her new Ring of Haste would make.  After scouting the area from her yalm she determined that some one had previously trained off the three Slayerdriods that usually guard this camp.

She only pulled a few Claws on her first kite, and it’s a good thing she did.  Early into the kite, she experienced some control issues that resulted in her momentarily getting stuck and the kite piling up on her.  She managed to get away, but with about 10% health, which caused the rest of the kite to take a long time as she had to be extra cautious since here run speed was reduced due to the low health.  After she sorted out the control issues, the next kite went really well.  At full health, and with the added runspeed from the Ring, she was easily able to pull the entire camp and lead it about with impunity.  This was the first time, self buffed, that she had enjoyed this surplus of speed.  By having more than enough speed, she could easily keep her distance when needed, and had greater flexibility in manipulating the kite to keep it together.  With the extra margin, she could take her time, tabbing through the mobs to find the strongest to use as the primary area of effect nuke target.

This large kite was more than enough to push her to ding level 90 as when she started she already had about 75% of a level built up.  The loot was nothing remarkable,  but she dutifully picked it up and tossed it into backpacks.  She ran a few more kites and then retired to the top of the little hill overlooking the camp to allocate out her new IP.  Besides pumping up her MC for better nukes, she is currently trying to build up her SI so she can equip her next best calm. While her calms are not as reliable as trader Tireen’s they come in very handy in dungeons and missions where kiting is not an option.

Solo NT kiting was a nice change of pace for the complexity of TEAM PETS.  It is quite the opposite kind of experience.  The NT only needs to cast a handful of self buffs, and then it mostly run, stop, nuke, run, etc.  It is very easy to get into action, get a decent amount of experience and then log out in under 50 minutes.  In the time it takes TEAM PETS to simply buff up, cast pets, and buff pets, NT Babaente can complete several kites.

Now that she is confident in the nice speed margin given by her new ring, she will invite trader Tireen to team up and leech experience.  While the Claws still give decent experience, it won’t be long before it will be time to start scouting out a higher level kiting spot.





Bailing Out of Smuggler’s Den

27 05 2010
Baba's New Look

Baba's New Look

Before heading over to the mission office in Old Athens, Baba was sorting some current loot, and while adding a few Miy’s pieces to his bank, he spotted a Flawless Organic Armor Helmet that he could not remember ever trying on. He slipped it on to see how it would look in a social slot. He fancied the look of this helmet and  decided to make it a regular part of his ‘look’ for now.   He also decided to dust off the Black Clan Tank back piece that an org mate had given him a few years ago.  He had been finally getting close to being able to equip it, but then he found a good deal on a Veil of the Revoked, so he never equipped the Black Clan piece. Since he was using a plain bright red heavy tank armor in his social back slot, he thought he would try on the Black Clan there.  It has quite a bit more detail than the standard heavy tank armor and one detail that really stands out.  Prominent in the very center of the armor is a distinctive heart shape.   Baba decided he liked the difference the Organic Armor Helmet and the Black Clan Tank Armor made.

He was not as happy with how one of the new Daily Missions is shaping up.  He has been stuck with the same Kill 3 X at Smugglers Den mission every time he goes to the mission office. He gets the mission, tries, fails, cancels it, and then gets handed it again when he asks for a new mission.  The first week of the missions debut, and there seemed to plenty of freelancers showing up at this dungeon, looking for others to team with to complete these missions.  Now that the novelty is gone, and most everyone is familiar with this particularly odious mission, there seems to be far fewer if any individuals to be found roaming the Den.

Baba spent the last few evenings unsuccessfully trying to do the mission solo while looking for a team at the same time.  The second time he did manage to kill two of the first triads on the list, the Den Loot Controllers.  These he found at the entrances to the Smugglers section, however he dared not risk going deeper into the dungeon alone.

Somewhat like Steps of Madness, a solo enforcer cannot sneak around or avoid groups of mobs which he could handle individually, but not as a social group.  He tried but did not have the patience to sit around for twenty minutes for another Den Loot Controller to spawn.  After waiting some more and not seeing a single other player, he decided to bail.  Instead of going out the front entrance, he decided to make a run for the exit to Borealis that can be found at the west end of the Smuggler area.

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

He simply made a run for it, and would not have suffered much damage he had not run into the dead end that is at the end of the main hallway.  Even with having to double back a bit, by the time he exited out into Borealis, he had plenty of health left, so it is conceivable that it could be used as an emergency exit much like the ones found in Foreman’s.  If only Parrot Form was available as a Hacked Boosted Graft, then Baba could quickly get to the part of the dungeon that counts, and have plenty of time left on outside buffs.

After-wards he headed out to Perpetual Wastelands to grind out what experience he could by kiting Borgs.  After about an hour, he had gained about a half a level and decided to head back to Newland City to save and call it a night.





Baba Seizes Suspicious Crate Contents

16 05 2010
Baba Waits Out a Stuck Petition

Baba Waits Out a Stuck Petition during a regular mission. The result of jumping through the ceiling geometry.

Baba was really happy that he had decided to join the Smuggler’s Den team a few nights ago.  Even though he did not have an actual mission running, he gained both a greater familiarity with the Smuggler’s Den layout and was reminded of a few tricks he had forgotten.

It has been quite some time since Baba had been in a team playing tank role.  The last time was back when he was between level 60 and 70 often at Foreman’s.  After that most of the teams he played in were teams hunting Borg in Mort and later in Perpetual Wastelands.  At first teaming Borg only requires one competent role which is that of a puller.  Once a Borg is pulled the ‘team’ runs in circles kiting it, with everyone in constant movement.  It helps to have a Doc or occasionally some crowd control, but mostly its just group kiting.

In these situations there is no need to maintain aggro on the tank, and since kiting is the main form of defense, it pays to set Agg/Def to full Aggressive to speed killing.  In these kind of team environments, Baba lost sight of what it means to tank and instead started to focus on improving his run speed and Attack Rating.  As he leveled up into the 90s and early teens, he found himself often kiting Borg solo, it was fast and reliable way to gain a level then.  As Borg are very social, pulling in usually done out in the wide open spaces where one can use distance and things like hills and sand dunes to tactical advantage.  Because Borgs are highly social, Baba had stopped using taunts to pull because they would bring the entire complement of Borgs in the area running.  Instead he just cautiously approached the most isolated Borg until the Borg would sense him and attack.

Baba had been soloing a great deal then for simple reason that there have been fewer and fewer players looking for teams on Rubi-Ka.  It seems that all of his paying org-mates are off in the various expansions most of the time.  The new daily missions, for the last few days have brought many of his org-mates down to Rubi-Ka which means teaming opportunities for planet stuck FROOBS like Baba.

While no one complained during Baba’s most recent team outing to Smuggler’s Den, Baba was not happy with his tanking performance so he spent some time re-outfitting himself and practicing his pulling and taunting skills in a few solo regular missions.

Enmity Nano

Enmity Nano

He reconfigured his Hot bar to include to items that he almost forgotten about.  While Enmity is a low level generic beginners nano, it can be an excellent pulling tool up through mid-game levels.  The key to Enmity’s value is the 35 meter range.  This range is over double the range of other taunts.  With all but the most social mobs like Borgs, it usually only pulls one mob.  This advantage is very helpful in situations where dangerous mobs are grouped close together by allowing the pull of only one mob far away from the other mobs where it can be engaged by itself.

Baba placed the Enmity button on his top row hot bar for frequent and convenient use in his HUD.  He still keeps his other more powerful taunt on one of his other hot bars for quick access.

Library of Foul Language

Library of Foul Language

The other item he rescued from a his bank was a “Library of Foul Language”, an Enforcer only taunt tool.   The highest level QL he can equip now is a 167, which gives a 714 taunt and 42 radiation damage.  Since it locks Psychology for only 6 seconds, it can be spammed in battle to help keep the mobs attention while chipping away at its health.  The library is for Enforcers only.

Da Taunter

Da Taunter

Other professions can use a similar tool “Da Taunter” but only if they are atrox breed.  Da Taunter works much the same giving slightly less damage and taunt for the same Bio Met requirement.

Friday night issues in RL 4 kept Baba from rezzing back on to Rubi-Ka until rather late in the evening, well past the sweet spot for hooking up with org-mates or others in his time zone.  By then most of them were occupied with various missions, quests, etc, they started in the early evening.  He headed over to the Old Athens daily mission office and was handed the Smugglers’ Den Inspect Crates mission for about the 5th time.

Before he set off for the mission, he made one last adjustment, moving his Agg/Def bar from full Agg back to about 48% which is where the Agg/Def calculator indicated he would get the optimum defense while maintaining his swing rate.

After taking the Newland City short cut (talk to NPC Zyvania Bagh), he was at the entrance to Smuggler’s Den in a few minutes.  As usual there was not another player in sight.  Baba buffed up and ran in.   The passage ways were sparsely populated with low level mantises, evidence that some one had passed though some time ago.  He only met a handful of mantises by they time he reached the indoor stream cavern.  This is the cross roads where one has to choose between the first door on the right that leads to a honeycomb section with higher level mantises, or taking the middle passage way that leads to the mantise queen, or the left most passage way that leads to the Smuggler’s Den. Once Baba headed in the direction of the Den, he figured the previous party must have gone north, as the passageway he was going through were now fully populated with mantises.

About 75% were gray to him with a only a few being orange.  It was slow going, but he at least was being quite successful using the Enmity taunt to pull single mobs away from groups.  When he finally exited into the larger cave where the entrance is to the Smuggler’s Den proper, he was at first relived to see no Smugglers but dismayed to see it was still guarded by two closely placed heavy turrets.   It was such a  close fight, Baba had to resort to using his Assault Tank screen to outlast the second turret.

Thanks to some research at AOFROOBS, Baba had a pretty good idea of where to look for the crates.  Someone had written in response to his query about their location, that they could be found just inside the first doorway.  The crates were there, but another turret was also there along with a Den Loot Controller or two.  Once Baba dispatched them, it was time to see if his 273 Breaking and Entering was really going to be enough to open these crates.  The mission briefing mentioned that at least 250 B&E would be required.  He soon found that he was able to open the creates, however he was a bit perturbed that he could only bring back the contents of one of the crates. Both crates held the same type of item, and when he tried to pick up the second crates contents he got the “You already have this unique item” message.  This left him a bit concerned, but still greatly satisfied that he had gotten this far.

All that remained was to fight his way back the way he came, which was fairly uneventful and a repeat of going in with one exception.  He found the large open area that leads from the left into the cavern with the stream had been fully repopulated with mobs.  He started pulling them one by one and taking them out.  He had almost cleared the area and moved to the edge of the area where the bridge is when he stopped. To his surprise a pair of Mantises dropped down on him from the elevated arch that crosses over the cavern nearby.  Baba had been concentration so much at the job at hand he had never looked up to notice it or to notice there were mobs on it. After dealing with these two, getting through the cavern with the stream was easy and he caught a break when he reached the next section.  A small team with a mezzer in it passed by heading into the dungeon, leaving all the mobs from there to the exit mezzed, so Baba gladly ran the rest of the way out un-impeded.

Baba Dings 147 as a reward when completing the mission back at the mission office.

Baba Dings 147 as a reward when completing the mission back at the mission office.

It was with great satisfaction when he received his level and a half reward (bringing him to level 147) for turning in the contents from one of the crates at the mission office.





Creeping towards 150

17 09 2009

Baba showed up at PW dunes ready for some borg action, only to find a team leeching experience off an NT dominating the spawns. Before he left, he observed for a while, taking notes for Babaente our own NT. Standard practice seems to be to fly around in a yalm to gather up as many of the Borg as possible on the helipad. Once all all the Borg have been pulled from the dunes to the Helipad, then the NT ditches the yalm and starts the usual kiting procedure.

Area of 110-120 mobs in Eastern Foul Plains, click for larger view.

Area of 110-120 mobs in Eastern Foul Plains, click for larger view.

We have not had our NT Babaente out in a while. We have decided to concentrate on getting Baba to 150 and in the process also upgrade his implants. Hopefully once he hits 150, leveling will go faster, as he will be able to participate in the title 5 Froob RL2 Group. Its a loose group, not a organization/guild, but more of a series of organized raids.

With hitting Borg out of the question, with the NT dominating the PW Borgs, Baba decided to try hunting mobs in Eastern Foul Plains. He first tried the an area south east of a player city in the upper north west corner of the region, but this did not work out too well. The mobs there were running from 120 to 135 and they sent him to reclaim several times.

He moved further south east until he reached a patch of desert surrounded by verdant land. This turned out to be a perfect hunting ground. It held a good number of infectors and desert eremites in the 110s and they re-spawned fairly quickly.

Baba fights and kills his first Desert Eremite, click for larger view

Baba fights and kills his first Desert Eremite, click for larger view

Baba had been using his hot key to tab through the nearby hostile mobs and almost panicked when he saw the dreaded words ‘desert eremite’ appear. It was only after he got his breathing back under control that he realized that it was not deep red but, light orange. He had just done a save at a terminal, so he figured he had nothing to lose so even though he could not see the eremite, he went ahead and fired off a taunt at it. In a few seconds the eremite was towering over him while he cycled through his alpha attacks and specials.

During the fight he had time to inspect the eremite to see that it was QL 110. He only lost about 25% health before the thing went down and Baba got to take his first desert eremite trophy shot.

Babas first Desert Eremite Trophy Shot, click for larger view.

Baba's first Desert Eremite Trophy Shot, click for larger view.

He went on to spend about an hour at that spot and brought his exp bar about 2/3’s of the way to the top, however his bags were getting full and he decided to head back to civilization to fence his goodies. Back at Newland City, Tireen our trader logged on and proceeded to fence Baba’s most recent take.

The next evening when Baba returned to PW, he found it occupied again with a different NT and tag-along-team. With that avenue blocked he decided to go work on completing the first shoulder pad quest. He had started it more than a year ago, and had collected all the pieces except one, the scrap of notum. Baba spent two nights at the crash site dunes north west of Newland city bopping mechanical mobs looking for the drop, but despite felling over 200 mobs, he did not see a single scrap of notum. He did see several copies of pieces he already had, but over all the drop rate seemed to be one quest item for every 40 or so mobs.

Baba grabs a scrap of notum, completing the first of the Dodga pad quests, click for larger view.

Baba grabs a scrap of notum, completing the first of the Dodga pad quests, click for larger view.

The third night he was about to give up, when he decided to try the junk yard just east of Rome Blue in Galway. He had been avoiding it previously because it is often over crowded with other questers. It paid off because in about 20 minutes after about the 27th mob, the scrap of notum dropped. While he was there he observed another player and learned a nifty way to help out your alts. It was a fairly high level player, (140+) and they were clearly methodically killing the mech mobs and looking for quest pieces. However when they found one, they did not pick it up. They had an low level alt (that they were teamed with) in a yalm set to follow behind them at ground level. It smoothlyh followed them around and when he did find a quest piece, (he was obviously dual boxing), he would have the lowbie pick the item up. So

He then flew off to Wartorn Valley to restart the quest and then hand over the finished object made by combining all the pieces. He was rewarded with the first set of pads, but disappointed when they did not display when he equipped them. He tried taking off all his other armor, and even tried submitting a petition. After about an hour, with not reply, it was time for him to call it a night. Scratch one up again for Funcom’s lousy petition system.

So why you might ask is a level 140 enforcer even worrying about these pads? The do add a very healthy 75 max health and that’s always a good thing, especially if you are a froob like Baba, and are shut out of the really sweet buffing armor and pads that expansion players can choose from. He is is thinking of doing to do the second and third parts of the quest.

Baba has been working on designing his next set of implants. They should be around level 200 and he has most of the pieces narrowed down. He had found three slots to be a puzzle.

  • Leg – Faded cluster: Max Health or Heal Delta?
  • Waist – Bright cluster: Max Health or Body Development?
  • Chest – Shiny cluster: Max Health or Body development?

For the leg, he had no idea which would be better. He did some number crunching and what he found was that taken individually, Max Health looked like a better deal in each slot, however a design that buffs heal delta in all three slots could be another story.

Baba was all set to make these his choices when he stumbled accrose this post which lead him to this thread “Heal Delta and Stamina Tickrate for froobs“. Baba is intrigued with the idea of a high heal delta Enforcer and may decide to give that a try. The arguments seem to be that the high delta set up would be good for RK mobs and missions, while the high health build would work better for raiding where the super mobs hit for insane amounts of damage.

The next evening Baba returned to Perpetual Wastelands and found it deserted of other players. He only had about a third of his experience bar to fill, so it did not take long to take down the required number of Borg and ding 141.





140 Rolls By

8 09 2009
Baba at max detail settings, hunting bots in Omni Forrest

Baba at max detail settings, hunting bots in Omni Forrest

Baba was getting a little tired of PW Borgs and thought he would try some leveling off mobs in the wild.  He found a canyon in Southern Foul plains that looked like it had a mix of snakes, Drills, and big cats, at around level 120 which he thought would be tough enough to give some decent experience, yet not be risking reclaim all the time.  Well it turned out that yes he could handle them smoothly individually, but the layout of the canyon was too tight and it was impossible to keep from picking up more adds while kiting single mobs.  He picked up a train of 4 or 5 120 level mobs which he had to run across half the zone to lose.

He then spent some time hunting low level bots for the last piece in the first part of the Alvin/Dodga quest.  He had started this quest back when he was in his 60s, but gave up after collecting 6 of the seven pieces.  That seventh piece was just not to be found by him.  He killed about 90 in one trip which yielded two drops of quest items, but not the item he needed, the scrap of notum.  The next day he killed about 150 bots in a session which yielded 0 quest pieces.  Somebody noticed what he was doing, and could not resist mocking him for still doing this quest at his level.  I guess compared to expansion shoulder pieces, the ones from this quest are pretty wimpy.  Maybe so, Baba just hates too leave things like that unfinished, so every once and a while, he goes out looking for the last quest item.

Strange clump of mobs in river, click for larger view

Strange clump of mobs in river, click for larger view

While traveling around he came across one of those strange clumps of mobs, this time in Athens near a bend in the river.  It must be something in the virtual geometry that causes so many unlike mobs to congregate in one illogical spot.   AgentBaba our agent alt spotted a similar thing near one of the player cities just north of the Rhinoman valley in Newland Dessert.

Speaking of AgentBaba, she leveled up to around 25 out in Newland Dessert, and then returned to the Subway in Borealis to see how far she could level in there.  The  Gripo-Com AKR 1K21rifles recommended by Hahnsoo’s guide worked out extremely well for her.  She was doing damage close to what several true twinks were getting in the Subway.  The Gripo’s are fairly fast and have a very nice crit.

On her arrival to the entrance to the stairs to the deep subway she was challenged by Eumenides, who she was quite able to put away with little fuss or muss.  To her delight, he dropped the best bit of subway loot, the ring of Nucleus Basalis, so she then had no need to join suicide Abmouth teams.  She then spent a day or two leveling up.  With the great damage from the rifle and her evades, she had no trouble with any mob in the subway.  The only one that was a threat were Virgil Aneid and Abmouth, which she did her best to stay away from.

One of the more curious mobs in the subway is a small female is the deep subway named “Redundant Scan”.  During AgentBaba’s extended Subway experience, she must have fought this mob 20-30 times.  Very often “Redundant Scan” will break off from combat when her health gets to about 40% and start running away.   For a ranged toon like AgentBaba, this is no problem, as poor “Redundant Scan” is unable to outrun projectiles.

After she hit level 32, the number of mobs that would give her any experience was reduced to a very small handful.  The two giant spiders, the shades in the Vergil Aeneid section, and the two cyborgs in the room before Virgil were the only ones to give experience after hitting 32.  It was getting boring having to sit around waiting for them to respawn, so AgentBaba decided to quit while she was ahead and was in the process of leaving when she reached the stairs that go up to the rooms with the sand fleas.  At that point she got a join team pop up.  She had been posted on looking for a team the whole time, and gotten 0 invites so far, so she just as she clicked yes, the ugly form of Abmouth filled her view.  A trox doctor that had been teamed with a semi-twink looked to have lost his team-mate to Abmouth, and was now determined to avoid reclaim.

AgentBaba first impulse was to flat out run away, run away, Monte Python style, but decided to try and help out as best she could.  Not only was there Abmouth, but the doc/trox had also picked up a train of several infectors and cyborgs as well.   AgentBaba was surprised that even though she was pouring damage into Abby, neither Abby or any of the adds, paid her any attention.  The doc/trox seemed to be going into that slow motion, death spiral dance, so AgentBaba knew that it was now time for her to split, or she would be next.  She ran for the exits and was quite surprised that she managed to escape.   I have got to note at this point, after taking an Enforcer, Agent and Adventurer through the subway, that the Agent was by far the most effective.  The Enforcer’s non twink weapons were too weak, they lack self healing, and have no evades.

Player City south of PW notum mines, click for full view

Player City south of PW notum mines, click for full view

Baba did go back to Perpetual Wastelands and resumed hunting Borgs there.  He used to be able to expect to grab a level in about an hour there by himself, but ever since he hit around level 135, the experience each Borg gives has taken a nose dive, and it now takes him 2 to 3 hours to get a level at the same spot.  It has become less dangerous.  He can flub a pull and survive pulling 3-4 Borg at a time.  Baba still has his eye on moving up to a Pained Panther from his Panther.  While trying to compare the two, he ran them both through the Auno damage simulator. The simulator asks for the input of your initiatives and your add/def setting.  This nudged Baba to to check his Agg/Def setting at the Unity of the Rose site.  The Agg/Def calculator told Baba that he could set his all the way back to 25% and maintain the same attack speed.  He tried this on his last Borg hunting trip and it did seem to help with fewer Borg crits landing.  This is an easily overlooked benefit of the Panther weapons, and most likely other fast melee weapons.  Once they are in the less than 1.5 seconds range, they enable enforcers to adjust thier Agg/Def settings quite a bit at no loss in damage.





How Edit Fixed Keys in AO

25 08 2009
The well dressed dyna hunter Baba at level 138, click for larger view.

The well dressed Dyna Hunter Baba at level 138, click for larger view.

Baba managed to hit level 138 this past Monday evening. On his way out to Perpetual Wastelands from Newland City, he stopped several times along the way to pick off a few Dynas. The first Dyna was one he has taken down before and has never had trouble with. Tonight it gave him quite a drubbing before Baba’s Panther eventually cut it down to size. While Baba sat healing up afterward, and wondering what went so wrong, he checked his running nanos. He found that he had neglected to cast his absorb nano. Without it, he immediately started taking damage when the fight started. He figured later that the absorb has a very strong effect at the start of a fight when the mob is strongest. By the time the absorb has been used up, the mob has usually been weakened enough that it is no longer needed. He won’t be taking his absorb nano for granted again. The Gird for Punishment nano gives 436 absorb layers.

When Baba arrived at the PW dunes area, he found no one else there, and the Borg looked to be about 90% repopulated. He still had to clear the main dune area and work his way up the ‘Pinch’ towards the Helipad in order to finally level up to 138. After he hit 138, he jumped back in his Yalm and headed south towards the Player City owned by ‘Jacks Violent Crew’ that is situated just south of the Borg’s main mine complex. While passing over the section of road between the mine complex and the military base, he spotted a high level player kiting a rather large number of Borg. A list command indicated that there might be a team in the area, but all he could spot was the single kiter.

HOW TO EDIT FIXED KEYS

After Baba got back to Newland City and after he arranged for Tireen his trader friend to fence the loot, he chatted with Ohtizz our rather new adventurer. Ohtizz was complaining about the HUD interface not allowing the re-assignment of what it identifies as “FixedKeys” This puzzled Baba, because he has his Brawl key re-assigned from the default. He went back and studied his config files and found that he had made some custom edits to his Login.cfg file that re-assigned the Brawl key. The Login.cfg file lists all the HUD actions and the corresponding hot keys identified by ASCII character decimal number. Fast attack for Baba is listed in this file as KEY_BUTTON_FASTA 87 which Baba has re-assigned to 87, the hex EBCDIC code for the letter ‘g’. Baba uses this handy table that can be found here to find the appropriate hex code for any key .  The Login.cfg file is found in your Prefs directory. Be sure to make a back up copy of the file before you start editing it, just in case you hose it up somehow.  Baba has his fast attack and brawl keys re-assigned to be close to the other keys he uses.

While talking to Ohtizz, Baba also passed on another tip to the newbie. The social tab in the HUD can be used as a sort of extra backpack. Baba showed him how it can be used to free up space in your open inventory for more loot collection. Items that need to be in your inventory to use, like hacked boosted grafts, special rings, etc. will also activate from a hot bar key if placed in the social tab. The only limitation/consideration is whether it is something that shows up if you have settings that cause social tab items to display. This does not apply to rings, but does to back items and armor items.

Baba hits level 138 in Perpetual Wastelands. Click for full view.

Baba hits level 138 in Perpetual Wastelands. Click for full view.

Baba spent some time doing research on the net concerning the Pained Panther weapon. This two handed edged weapon is the next step up from his current Panther axe. He was happy to see that he will be able to equip one quite easily. His fast attack, brawl, and dimach skills meet the requirements, while he will need a 131 wrangle plus a few other buffs to meet the 2 hand edged requirement of 1001. He had been around level 90 when he purchased his Panther. The Panther and the Pained Panther drop off of mobs in the Crypt of Home dungeon.

The Crypt of Home is one of Rubi-Ka’s stranger dungeons. Everything about it is a bit odd. First of all to enter it requires two or more people acting together to throw two switches at different places. So unlike the Subway, Foreman’s or even the Temple of the Three Winds, a solo player can’t just simply waltz in and hope to pick up a team once inside. The few times we have been to the exterior, it has been deserted, it is not a gathering place like the other 3 dungeons. The mobs and bosses are said to be in the 90 to 110 range, however, players over 110 cannot enter via the entrance. Players above 110 can be warped in by Engineers. Another odd bit about this place is that almost all the boss loot is free from being NO DROP. Several pieces are Unique so that a player can only have one in possession at any time. In addition to the Panther line, the Cenobite Shadows also drop 3 other prized weapons, the Blackbird line of sub-machine guns, the Howlet line of two hand blunt weapons, and Chiropteras, one hand edged weapons. These are very popular weapons which are amost always in demand.





Inventory, Attack Rating, and HUD Tweaking

22 08 2009
Sunrise at PW Dunes, click for larger view.

Sunrise at PW Dunes, click for larger view.

Baba’s still working on level 138. Ever since he hit level 136, leveling for Baba at Perpetual Wastelands Borg spots has slowed way down. Where he used to get 90 to 100k for each Borg, it is has dropped down to around 60-70k now, so it is taking much longer to level there than it did before. As a result of having to fell more Borg per level, Baba is amassing quite a decent Miy’s armor collection.

He went to try and organize it some and turned to a program he has used for several years, the Anarchy Online Inventory System from halorn. Unfortunately it does not recognize Miy’s armor and only identifies the quality level, but not the type. As an alternative, Baba tried out the Anarchy Online Backpack Parser found here.

The AOBP is actually more convenient to use than the AOIS because it only requires you to move a bag from the bank to inventory to get the contents. The extra step of having to actually open each back pack is eliminated. When going through an entire bank, this saves a good deal of time. The program also offers quite a few options in terms of output formats, csv, txt, html, etc. What made Baba happy, is that it does recognize his Miy’s armor and another big plus is that it parses the backpack names which makes it easy to actually locate the items.

Baba relied on AOBP to help him come up with his current almost all Miy’s armor outfit. Using AOPB it was easy to copy the Miy’s entries over to a spreadsheet where he could further sort and organize it.

When he was done he had a list sorted by Miy’s type of his collection. He was able then to pick out and quickly locate the highest level Miy’s ranged pieces he had.

The reason he choose Ranged my surprise you. Why not the Tank, or Scary? Tank would be ideal but for one factor. It buffs 2 hand blunt skill, which is useless to Baba. The Ranged is almost identical except it buffs two useless skills to Baba rather than one, but, the equip requirements are Agility and Strength. With Ranged, Baba can equip higher quality levels than with the Tank that requires Stamina and Strength. Baba can equip QL 172 Ranged and QL 133 Tank, so for the time being, Ranged is the better choice since it yields higher buffs and AC protection.

Another detail Baba became aware of during this exercise was how items that buff your primary weapon skills, increase your attack rating. He had been wearing a pair of 130 Rhinoman leather gloves. When she switched them out for some 172 Ranged gloves, his attack rating went down a point. The Rhinoman leather gloves have buffs for 2 hand edged, Fast attack and Dimach which are supported by his current weapon, the Panther. This also highlights one other reason for using the Ranged or Tank Miy’s. They both buff strength and stamina, which have very strong trickle down to his weapon skills.

Since Ranged and Tank Miy’s buff 2 enforcer primary skills, strength and stamina, Baba realized that it would be in his best interest if he cast all his self buffs in order to be able to equip the highest level Miy’s he could. Once he did that he was able to get into pieces ranging from 184 to 168. See his latest set up here.

Baba has also been working on his always engaged HUD layout and made a few more tweaks recently. He moved several attack special rings out an open backpack to sit in his main inventory. The reason for doing this, is so they can be made into hot buttons on his hot key bars. He moved his health kit and nano recharge hot key buttons to a secondary hot bar. He then put the hot keys for the rings into the recently vacated primary hot bar slots. Now when kiting Borg or in any combat, he can use these rings without having to change hand positions or using the mouse. Baba has found, and others report in the forums that mouse control can lag at times, at least compared to hot key response.

Now Baba’s attack specials available to him on his primary hot bar include,

  • Flurry of Blows
  • Library of Foul Language
  • Ring of Eternal Night
  • Tattered Flame Ring
  • Bloodleech Ring
  • Weeping Flesh Ring
  • Memory Loss Ring

Baba uses Flurry as often as he can, but due to it’s cool down, it works out to about every other Borg.

He uses the Library of Foul Language only when everything else is on cool down, or when in teams and then it is used to get and keep aggro. Because of their cool down rates, Baba cycles between Eternal Night, Tattered Flame, Bloodleech, and Weeping Flesh, so that he can use at least one in every fight. He rarely uses the memory loss ring, keeping it around for team situations where it could be used to wipe a mobs hate list so Baba can then hit the mob and become it’s new number one on the hate list, and hopefully saving the squishy that the mob may have been attacking. None of these are knockout or even equivalent of an average hit from his current weapon, but they do help shorten the time it takes to bring a mob down.

Baba usually carries 6-7 loot bags currently, so when they fill up, it’s time to transfer the good to our Trader Tireen who fences them for top credit amounts. Recently while feeding loot to the Trader shop terminal in Newland City, another player noticed her Solar Powered Backpack and commented favorably on it. Baba now sees them listed on the shopping channel for 40 million credits. Then just a few nights later, while waiting for Babaente to show up, Tireen spotted a level 50 twink sporting the same back pack. This twink was an enforcer, so the Solar Powered backpack actually grows or shrinks according to the breed that is wearing it. When worn by an enforcer, it appears to be twice as big as Tireen’s.