Warped again in Pleasant Meadows

17 06 2009

Warped again in Pleasant Meadows, sounds like the title for a Hunter S. Thompson bio-pic, but it is only the title of this latest episode concerning Babaente scouting for kiting spots.  There is warping, and it does occur in Pleasant Meadows, but the story starts somewhere else.

Babaente and Tireen spent about an hour or so in Newland City sorting out the last batch of loot from their last run of team missions that completed their 250 token quests.  Besides sorting out things to squirrel away in their banks, Tireen also took the time to tradeskill the bag of monster parts they had collected in this last run by using her Biocommunicator Device on each one.  Once converted to Plasma, each one yielded 7-8 thousand credits from the Newland Trader’s shop terminal.

Crossroads in Pleasan Meadows, click for larger view

Crossroads in Pleasan Meadows, click for larger view

With this chore out of the way, Babaente set off alone to scout out their next kiting spot.  First she went to where they had left off, the small camp just north west of the 20k outpost in Pleasant Meadows.  There are always 10 or so level 60 Eye Mutants milling about there.  Babaente wanted to do a few practice kites here before moving on to finding something more challenging and rewarding.  While these 60 level mobs gave great experience when she and Tireen were in their 40 to 60 range, now that they are both over 70, the experience per mob is less than a standard team mission mob of about 2k per mob.

This was OK with Babaente for tonight as she just wanted to get comfortable with kiting and the  whole kiting tool set.  After running 30 or so missions straight she and Tireen had the moves for that down pat, and it was now time to relearn kiting in the open.

The first thing to attend to was her screen layout.  When kiting, what works really well is to zoom out rather far in the 3rd person view, and look straight down on the scene  This allows one to see where they are going and keep track of the kite of mobs being lead.  It helps to drag much of the usual mission HUD panels away to the edges of the screen or close them entirely.  HUD things like the chat windows, any open backpack windows, etc.  are just potentially leathal distractions when kiting.  This is because NT’s usually kite mobs that are much higher than they are.

These mobs are so much higher in level that it would be suicide for your average NT to try and fight just one toe to toe without kiting.  Kiting is not something you want to do if the weather outside is stormy, and your connection is bad, and your getting any significant lag while outdoors far from large numbers of other players.  Lag can cause you screen to display the mobs in the kite as being where they are not, with deadly results if you collide with where they actually are.  Generally at the first hint of serious lag Babaente usually calls it a day for kiting and starts looking for something else to do.

The next area she concentrated on had to do with getting back into the usual flow of a typical kite.  This involved getting buffed up properly for the job.  To kite an NT needs runspeed first.  For low level NT’s, NTs that is who have yet to be able to cast thier Area of Effect nukes instantly, (or “insta-cast’ as the hip players call it) have to be able to run fast enough to get far enough ahead of the mobs such that they have time to stop, cast their AOE nuke, and resume running before any mob in the kite gets close enough to harm them.  Nanomage NT’s tend to be some of the squishy-est players on the planet, so getting hit by mobs higher than them is not advisable.

For NT’s in Babaente’s level, even if they have always maxed runspeed with IP points, this is usually not enough to outrun higher level mobs.  Some sort of buff is needed.  If you are lucky and social, a Grid Space Freedom from a Fixer,  is just the ticket.   Babaente instead uses a combination of +40 runspeed from her Subway Boots of Infinite Speed, and +100 run speed  from a Hacked Boosted Graft Playful Cub.  She has found that this boost of 140 runspeed is enough to let her comfortably kite mobs 10 to 20 levels higher than herself.   She has tried kiting with Grid Space Freedom, but feels she would need to get it regularly to become proficient with it, because the speed increase is really so much that she has to concentrate on stopping often enough for the kite to keep up.

The first step is the scouting phase:  The NT circles a group of mobs from a distance, sizing them up and determining which ones look the strongest, while also looking for any potential pathing problems that might prevent the mobs from joining the chase.  In this case, the camp is enclosed in a wire fence and is jam packed with a number of small huts and buildings.  While it is easy to aggro almost all of the mobs with a single cast, many often do not end up in the kite because they get stuck behind a building or the fence.  In this situation, sometimes if the mobs are on the side of the camp furthest from the entrance, Babaente may have to enter rather far into the camp in order to get and keep aggro while leading the kite out of the camp and onto the open space nearby.

Bad Lesser Woodwolf, that will teach you to horn in on my kite!

Bad Lesser Woodwolf, that will teach you to horn in on my kite! Click for larger view.

The next phase of a kite takes place after the intial pull.  The NT generally tries  to lead the kite to a wide open area where they can lead the kite in gradually smaller circles.  Once out of the camp, a fairly well zoomed out view is needed to see what is going on and to a keep a safe distance from any high level wild mobs that may wander into the area.  Babaente has lost many a kite due to having a much higher level mob join in the chase. Since the mob is much higher than the rest of the kite, the origninal kite mobs die long before it does, such that by the time Babaente can wear down the high level mob, the other corpses have vanished.

The last phase starts when the targeted mob  hits 50% health.  Now is a good time to tab through the other mobs in the kite to see if any one in particular has more health left than the others. If one does, tab back to it and keep it targeted.  Now the mobs will start showing the effects of their reduced health, and start gradually slowing down.  Some may slow down before others, and when this happens, it is time to start spiraling the kite in to smaller circles so that the slow ones do not get left behind.  The NT ends up leading the kite around in a tight circle focused on the slowest ones.  Depending on how well executed the whole process is, the mobs will start dying at about the same time.   NT’s like to pride themselves when they get them all to drop simultaneously, but that’s more of a style issue.

The kite is then over, and all that is left to do is to heal up from any damage sustained, and collect loot from the corpses before they vanish (hard core, old school players call it ‘rot’).

Crash at Omni Outpost.  Keep your distance from the Generalissimo! Click for larger version.

Crash at Omni Outpost. Keep your distance from Major Woon! Click for larger version.

After several more kites she felt pretty comfortable with the routine again and was ready to try it on higher level quarry.  It had been a while since she had looked around Pleasant Meadows, so she took a quick tour of the region.  After she had checked out the northern half, she was checking out an Omni outpost in the southeast part of the region.  She paused to take some screen shots and was on the east side of the base fairly low to the ground, but a safe distance away when she decided to leave and head west again.  She thought let’s show that Omni Major Woon with the super long health bar what she thought of Omni as a whole,  and putting her Yalmaha at full speed buzzed past the general just a few inches over his head.

As she proceeded west and the base shrank from view, she noticed that the vicinity log showed that  Major Woon had indeed noticed her, and had tried to hit her and missed, twice!  Babaente was chuckling to herself until she suddenly found herself seeing the total white out that always precedes coming to at reclaim.

We are really not sure what happened. But we think the general warped her back and shot her faster than her poor ancient cpu and monitor could keep up with it. Checking the logs a while later it shows this:

-Attacked by Major Woon!
-Major Woon tried to hit you, but missed!
-Major Woon tried to hit you, but missed!
-Attacked by Major Woon!
-Your reflect shield hit Major Woon for 5 points of damage.
-Your damage shield hit Major Woon for 5 points of damage.
-Major Woon hit you for 7390 points of melee damage.Critical hit!
-Nanoprogram CrunchCom Code Sieve terminated...

So she buzzed Major Woon, got about a half mile away, and then the above appears in her log and she finds herself in reclaim.   Whatever transpired, be forwarned, lowbies, keep your distance from Major Woon.  We are subscribing to the theory that Major Woon warped her back to where he was and sent her back to reclaim with one fell swoop, either that or he as very fast reflexes and managed to hit her as she flased by in her Yalmaha at top speed.

This is not the first time she  have been warped but every time it is just as surprising and just as helpless a feeling as she ha sencountered in this world.  A swamp hag near Bio-Domes did this to us once, except she did not hit as fast or as hard, so Babaente could get away briefly, only to be re-warped back, until she got tired of that, and the hag finished the job.  Then there were several different mission Bosses, that when Babaente’s  team tried to retire to the previous level to heal up a bit after putting away the Bosses minions, would have none of that and demanded their continuous presence until it or they  alone were left standing.

So Babaente headed straight out from reclaim back to Pleasant Meadows to the spot she should have gone to strait away after leaving 20K.  It is often referred to as “Claw Camp” in south west Pleasant Meadows.  It is a camp much like the previous Eye Mutant camp except these mobs are around level 80-90.  Babaente had tried this spot back when she was in her 50s and was not fast enough and her nukes were also too weak to make it practical then.  She was about to set down and get buffed up at the small hill just west of the camp when she noticed a level 138 fixer sitting there, perhaps allocating out IP points after some kite leveling there.  It was getting close to our time to log off so Babaente decided to set down nearby and log back on here the next day.

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Babaente at the Temple

10 09 2008
PM mole hunt interupted by Alien sighting

PM mole hunt sights aliens

Baba spent a few hours Tuesday hunting Mole bots in the woods between 20k and  the player city south of 20k.  In 2 hours he only found 5 and there was no Notum Saturated Metaplast plates to be found.  The plates are said to be very rare by long time 200+ players, so Baba is thinking seriously of just getting back on the leveling path, and forget about rare drops entirely.

Babente had an exciting 2nd night at the Temple of the Three Winds, notorious for its trains.  Having learned previously that at 24, she is too squishy to even think about going in solo, she had to wait for a team to form.  Her first team of the evening was:

  • Warrell  – 30 solitus male Crat, clan
  • Kruzifix –  24 opifex male Fixer, clan
  • Leione – 28 solitus male Adventurer, clan
TOTW evening started out slow.

TOTW evening started out slow.

They had just entered the first large entry hall, and taking on one of the cultists there, when a huge train including a few bosses from Aztur’s room engulfed them.  With health bars dropping dangerously fast, the team retreated back outside.  The next try a few minutes later was more productive and they
had made it as far as just entering the first L shaped hall on the left, when Babaente was hit with Link Death (LD).  From her perspective every thing just froze.  Fortunately for her, since the hall had been fully populated with mobs, by the time she was able to re-log, she was able to catch up with the team which had just entered the room at the joint of the L.  From there she helped fight the rest of the way to the first large hall where DOT (Defender of Three)
holds court.  They had to pause for a teammate to take care of something in real life.  When the teammate returned someone outside the team pulled DOT out into the end of the hall where they were.  The team tried to stay in a corner and continued fighting cultists.  Babaente made a fatal mistake.  She had moved so that her back was facing the direction of where more mobs were, instead of keeping the mobs they had killed to her rear.  While fighting a mob with the team, a mob from behind her attacked her and killed her.  There was no more chatter in the team chat as she rezzed back at the Clan outpost nearby, so she assumes that DOT had wiped the team as her team window showed no names.

From this Babaente formulated this Lowbi Squishy rule.  Always keep your back to mobs you have killed. Another Lowbi Squishy rule is try to keep the teams tanks between you and the mob the team is fighting.

Babaente had quite a wait, after returning to the Temple entrance area, for another team.  To pass the time, she inspected the other toons there.  What she finds interesting is how so few people make use of the social tab, especially since it costs nothing extra, but adds to much.  One of Babaoroody’s biggest irks when he started was the lack of the ability to individualize your character.  Baba went through the temple before the social tab was available as it is now.  The crowd out front of the temple was a sea of black and brown temple robes, with everyone wearing the same basic armors etc.

A second team formed up eventually that included Babaente.

  • Samenanny – 24 nano male Doc, neutral
  • Megasis – 33 solitus male Doc, omni
  • Aquatica – 17 solitus male Doc, omni
  • Samexer  – 23 opifex male Fixer, neutral
  • Peanut____????       – (a lowbie trox who said nothing in team chat, so no record)

The lone tank ran way ahead of the team to about half way into the first hall, where he was quickly surrounded by several mobs, while the rest of the team drew agro from the cultists near the door.  Before the team could regroup sufficiently, another train showed up.  Everyone except the trox tank made it back outside.  The tank left the team.  And after another similar attempt meeting another train, that team broke up.

After waiting for what seemed like 30 to 40 minutes Babaente got onto another
team.

  • Chiumi – 27 solitus female MA, neutral
  • Gjchan – 35 opifex male MA, neutral
  • Lchan – 35 opifex male MA, clan
  • Arcini – 31 opifex male Fixer, clan

The MA’s were all around level 24 at the time, the levels above are what anarchy onlines official database lists them to be at the time of this writing. This brings us to Babaente’s second Squishy Lowbie Player tip of the day. Always accept a team with multiple MAs at the temple.  They seem to be far superior at tanking in the 20-30 range at the temple than trox enforcers.  With 3 MAs the team cut through the cultists like butter, and had no trouble getting all the way to the middle boss hall, Nematets room.  They successfully took down all the mobs in Nematets room, sparing Nematet.

Babaente came out ahead with an Acolyte robe and one of the Notum Rings of Three.  By the time they reached Nematets the team was working well, with the 3 MA’s tanking while the Fixer and Babente hung back and provided support with heals, nano, etc. Babaente would debuff each mob with Claw eyes, and then once the tanks had started in, she would hit the mob with one of her fireball type mini-nukes.