Heavy Petting Baba

21 06 2010
Babaengy and Babaempee, Froobs with pets, set out for the Subway

Babaengy and Babaemphee, Froobs with pets, set out for the Subway

Baba sponsored another pair of immigrants to Ruby-Ka a few months ago,  an Engineer and an MP.  They started out on immigrant island, i.e. Shuttleport Island, much like other immigrants.  Teaming them on newbie island was not very remarkable, mainly due to the wimpy starter pets.

They left newbie island as soon as they hit level 12, and had completed all the various island quests upgrading their weapons, getting belts and backpacks etc.  They then were left in suspended animation for a while as Baba did his best to grind his mostly solo way to 150.  Earning level 149 was a major grindfest, requiring hours and hours of solo Borg kiting in Perpetual Wastelands.  Baba also got stuck in terms of getting any progression out of the new daily missions.  He managed to complete the Smugglers Den inspect crates mission, but was getting no where on the kill 3 of each type of Smuggler other than a collection of failed attempts.

Baba’s HUD was convinced there was a level 150+ Ravager right next to him.  Baba’s eye’s and this screenshot say otherwise.  Smuggler’s Den, another bugged dungeon spot?

Baba’s HUD was convinced there was a level 150+ Ravager right next to him. Baba’s eye’s and this screenshot say otherwise. Smuggler’s Den, another bugged dungeon spot?

This was leaving him with a very strong desire to go back to suspended animation and hopefully dream away his predicament.  Trying to get level 150 and title 5 mostly solo as a Froob Enforcer was proving to very difficult and slow going.

A while back he had sponsored a trader and an NT (Tireen and Babaente) who teamed their way to level 72.  About the only time they were really fighting as a team was during their 250k token run.  The rest of the time, it was Babaente solo kiting while Tireen hovered above safe in her Yalmaha.  They were last at the Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows, but the going was slow and eventually both elected to go back to suspended animation for a while. Further leveling for this pair is mostly dependent on getting outside speed buffs, and heal over time (HOTs).  Baba’s least favorite activity is buff begging.

On Babaengy and Babaemphee’s first outing to the Subway in Athens, things just suddenly clicked.  Counting their pets, they make the equivalent of a 5 member team.  Babaengy and his attack bot take up the pulling and tanking role.  Babaemphee and her attack pet provide extra damage, while her heal pet acts as team doctor.   Of course a heal pet can do no where near all the things a real doctor can, but it can do one key thing and that is to heal the tank during battle.  The only down side to this duo might be for first timers without a higher level main to supply credits.

Both the Engineer and the MP depend a great deal on nanos and have to upgraded them every few levels.  They also benefit greatly from always having good implants which also require credits.  Both professions are also heavily dependent on equipping the highest capacity utility belts for NCU.  While belts and memory are only moderately expensive, they are time consuming to collect due to a limited number of quality levels available from vendors at any time.  It has helped this pair many times already to be able to draw from an inventory of belts and memory built up over the years by Babaoroody and his alts.

A starting out new duo will need to mix leveling and dungeon romps with credit making team missions.  Tireen, Baba’s trader alt has contributed around 2 million credits so far mainly on nanos for this pair, sparing them the need to have to run team missions just yet.

Baba's Pet team Sets off for the Subway for the first time.

Baba's Pet team Sets off for the Subway for the first time.

On their first trip into the subway at level 12 they kept to the west hall where the shops are.  They had no problem with the any of the mobs there and in less than hour had grabbed two levels.  They then exited to a backyard to allocate out IP points and upgrading their pets.  When they re-entered the subway they proceeded to the east hall, and took the left that leads past the shadows section.

This hall goes west for a ways and then turns right and leads to the west side restroom area that is populated with strikers.  On this trip the team only went as far as the bend where it turns north towards the restroom area.  After cleaning out all the shades along the way and quite a few strikers, they both dinged to 15 and decided to call it a night.

To say it went well is an understatement.  Even though they were fighting deep orange mobs, often with 2 to 3 at one time, health almost never dipped below 75% for most team members.  There was one fatality, that of the heal pet when they got swarmed by strikers once.  At this stage, most concentration is going to juggling the commands to each team member, and at this point, its not clear what is the best way to arrange the HUD in order to keep track of the health of all the pets.  A item for future enhancement of the HUD would the addition of pets to the team window.  As it is now, the team leader has no way of knowing if a team mates pet is running low on health points.

After dinging 15 they called it a night.  The next day, rather than go right back into the subway it was decided to send trader Tireen out to collect implant components to outfit Team Baba with QL 50 implants.  Thanks to Implant Helper by Donald Milne, part of Saturday was spent designing QL 50 implants for Babaengy and Babaemphee.  The Implant Helper made it easy to design Agility based implants.  A few agility laddering implants were also designed.

Tireen spent the better part of Sunday shopping for the components.  The laddering implants called for a few basic implants of QL 35 and QL40.  For some reason, (I wonder why)  The basic implant vending machines skip right over implants from 30 to 50.  They offer Basic imps in steps of 10 from 10 to 30 and from 50 to 125, but mostly skip over 30 through 50.  They usually offer one implant somewhere between 30 to 50, so the odds of finding particular QLs in that range are pretty slim.  This translates to hours of camping terminals hoping to get lucky.

After spending several hours with no luck, Tireen decided to try and make do with the closest final implants she could find in the completed implants shop which resulted in less than the desired ladding jump benefit.  This would cause problems later on.

Tireen handed these of to Babaente who had just the right amount of Nano Programming to assemble the implants with out bumping them past the desired QL level.  Assembling the implants took an hour or so, due to her having to terminate often in order to combine some clusters without them being bumped up past QL 50.  Due to the fact that there is no way to reduce Nan programming, the only way to avoid bumping an implant is to terminate and time the implant construction step to coincide with the moment their skill level rises to the target amount.

On Sunday, the completed implants were handed over to Babaengy and Babaemphee.  With Tireen standing by, Babaengy put on a med suit (a gift from Baba), and flipped the surgery clinic switch.  Although the first set of laddering Agility implants went in without a hitch, he soon found that he was shy a few a handful of points to put in the rest.  He ran off to Old Athens grid to seek an Agent for a Feline Grace buff to bring his Agility up.  After about 15 minutes of circulating the grid area and the shop area, he finally located an Agent, asked for and received the buff.  After running back to their chosen back yard, the rest of the implants went right in.

Once Babaemphee got med-suited up, and we checked her stats, it became clear that she was (even if she got a Feline Grace buff) 3 points shy of able to put in the implants.  The called it a night.

The next Monday evening, they checked all of Baba’s various inventories and found a Sekuteck helmet that Babaemphee could equip that would add 1 Agility.  At that point it seemed the simplest and fastest way to get the last 2 points needed would be to grab another level in the subway.  In the mean time, Babaemphee installed a set of QL 30 hand me down implants she found in the shared Baba inventory.  While they appeared to be a set originally put together for a trader or NT, they were still an improvement over no implants.

The big plus from this set was that it buffed her computer lit up to put her in range of equipping a 3 slot belt.  The lowest 3 slot she could find in Baba’s shared inventory was a level 62 with a requirement of 187 CL.  On a hunch, Tireen offered to do a quick Basic Shop run of Old Athen’s 3 basic shops to look for a lower quality 3 slot.  She came across a vendor with QL 40s which she quickly bought 3 of.  She made a note to her self to start making it a habit of checking those machines every time she enters a basic shop and hopefully someday find some QL 30 3 slot belts to stock up on for future alts.

Babaempee and Babaengy suit up for the Deep Subway.

Babaemphee and Babaengy suit up for the Deep Subway.

On Sunday Babaengy and Babaemphee managed to reach level 22 by making their first serious forays into the deep subway.  Eumenidies no longer guards the doorway leading to the spiral stairway that leads to the deep subway.  This bothered Babaoroody a bit when he first heard about it.  To long-timers like Babaoroody, Eumenidies was a sort of rite of passage for new toons in the subway.  As a level 24  mob, he effectively prevented casual lowbie solo toons from entering the deep subway.  If you were below his level, you had to have a team to get past him.  This led an additional air of mystery and mystic to the deep subway for  newbie’s.

The rumors are that he has been moved to the cave area past the slum runner room in the deep subway, but Babaengy and Babaemphee did not get to that room to verify that.

Our pair were level 19 when they started this foray, and both had pets a couple of levels above their own.  The problem they ran into was that their NCU capacity was not keeping up with the demand caused by the new pets and buffs.  It took some intricate buff juggling to get both sets of pets up and all of the team buffed.

Babaengy was still a level away from being able to self cast the generic 20 point nano skill boosts, so he was dependent on Babaemphee first buffing him so he could cast his best bot.  Once the bot was cast, he had to kill these buffs to make room for the AC, damage shields and damage boost buffs he usually runs.  At this point he had to leave out a few to still have room for health and nano recharge self buffs.

Both the engineer and the MP classes at these staring levels are very time dependent.  Both of the MP’s pets are limited to one hour.  The pets stick around after an hour, but they become in-effective, unable to deal damage or heal.  Babaemphee has to keep track of this life cycle time line be prepared to start looking for safe places to stop and re-cast pets when needed.  While the engineer’s pet does not seem to have a timer, most of the lowbie engineer’s buffs vary in length from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.

As Babaengy and his bot serve as this teams tank, it is imperative that he have his best AC buff, damage shield, and bot damage booster running on himself and his bot.  In addition, he usually casts the AC and damage shields on Babaemphee also.  This is a major drain on nano, and Babaengy uses up many nano charger kits.  While the loot tables of most average mobs in the subway appear to have been tweaked upwards a bit, nano charger kits seem to have been left out.

The tunnel leading to the deep subway is now guarded solely by a few infectors.  Once beyond the spiral staircase, it is obvious that there has been some major tweaking of mob placement.  The usual suspects are in their usual places, but there are numerous wandering versions throughout the main passageway.  These changes serve to make it more difficult for solo players.  Babaengy observed several solo agents and MP’s pass going deeper in to the subway, only to be seen a few minutes later running out for their lives with a handful of cyborg type mobs in tow.  Babaengy and Babaemphee were more than happy to dispatch these trains, as it simply helped them level up faster.

While the loot tables in general seem to have been tweaked upwards a bit. The cyborg subway mobs seem have had the frequency of Living Cyber Armor drops increased.  In just this one hour long trip, Babaengy had collected helmets for he and Babaemphee, legs for both, and sleeves for himself.

Things went fairly smoothly going in.  The cyborg mobs also seem to cast blinds more often now.  They made it as far as the last doorway leading into the long flat level with Abmouth at the end.  At this point, Babaemphee had to recast her pets.

On the way out, they did run into a spot of trouble.  In the last large room before entering the long straight section, Babaemphee got stuck coming up the stairs and had lost about half of her health before Babaengy realized she had not been able to keep up and had two cyborgs beating on her.  Babaengy had to health stim her while fighting off the mobs.  This pair will have to give extra attention from now on when passing sections with stairs going up.

After spending some time allocating out IP, both had advanced computer skills enough to be in range to equip 4 slot belts.  The lowest QL 4 slots in the Baba group inventory were 72 or greater, with too high CL requirements.  This was a job for Trader Tireen who grided over to Tir city where she camped a basic shop, entering the shop every 2 minutes and trying the terminal for belts.  After about a half hour of this, she did not get the lowest quality 4 slots (60) but did manage to snag two at QL62 which Babaengy and Babaemphee would be able to equip.  Babaengy and Babaemphee ended up with 40+ ncu each once the belts were in and populated with the best memory chips they could equip.  This should help avoid some of the nano juggling Babaengy was having to do.

Another evening, Team pets (Babaengy and Babaemphee)  made a quick run to the lower subway level this past evening and netted level 24.  Again we saw the spectacle of lowbie solo-ers or pairs training a pack of cyber type mobs.  Before the patch, in the long straight tunnel section of the deep subway, lowbies could solo quite easily, as the mobs were less numerous, and spaced out more.  With the patch there are both more mobs and many of them seem to spawn and roam about randomly.  Babaengy and Babaemphee have several times been in a room in this passage, rebuffing only to have several mobs spawn and/or come waking in.  While this has been a boon for our pet team, providing a more steady stream of experience, for solo lowbies, it spells doom.

Babaemphee picked up another Living Cyber Armor Sleeve, which leaves only one set of Living Cyber Armor Gloves left before Team Baba has all the Living Cyber Armor pieces that drop.  The chest and boots are only available via two separate quests, both of which are a bit of a pain to complete and make one question the usefulness of those two pieces.

It was time to prepare for what would most likely be their final subway excursion.  There has been posts on the official boards to the effect that the final level that can enter the subway has increased from 24 to 25.  Both Babaengy and Babaemphee sent our Trader Tireen off to get a hold of what will most likely the final pets they will be able to cast in the subway.  The bot and attack pet are level 37.  The corresponding level heal pet Babaente does not have because it is a mission/boss loot only nano, not available in shops.  Both Engineers and MPs are somewhat hampered by the fact that what seems to be about half of their combat toolbox is made up of non-store buyable nanos.  A search of the common Baba shared inventory drawing on higher level characters Babaoroody, Tireen, and Babaente did turn up a half dozen or so such nanos, but almost all are in the ql100 or above range, so it will be a while before Team Pet can use them.

New things we learned about pets.  Some buffs used by toons can also be of use on pets.  Nano restoration, AC buffs, health restoration work great on the pets.  Damage shield do not seem to take.  MP pets last about an hour before they become of little use.  The may stick around longer, but are completely ineffective.

More details added to shops.  Many shops now have display cases containing actual weapons and a few have weapons in slick packages.

More details added to shops. Many shops now have display cases containing actual weapons and a few have weapons in slick packages.

On June 18,  2010, we sent Babaente to do a daily mission to kill borg north of Tir.  She had to kill about 15 to 25 borg to gain the 3 needed parts, and dinged 75.  Trader Tireeen pulled  the “take speed boost stims to guy at end of longest road” to ding 75.  Tireen also shopped up some more memory for Babaengy and Babaemphee, as well as their level 37 attack pets.  With her teachings Babaemphee can also now cast the next up healing pet Salivinious.

Babaengy and Babaemphee made their final Subway run the next night.  Now that Babaemphee can cast her Teachings nano line buffs, both she and Babaengy can cast pets even further above them than before.  They are getting an effective +45 buffs on their nano skills based on +20 from Expertise, and +25 from Teachings.  This requires rebuffing after when they are about to time out, or the pets will become non-responsive (O.E., over equipped).  We brought out a simple kitchen digital timer with a beeper to let us know when it’s time to rebuff.  The one we use has a large lcd display, so we can actually start re-buffing a few minutes before the buffs time out.

They had tried logging off and logging in down in the subway line that is found at the bottom of the stairs that is vacant, but Babaengy ran into our pattern texture glitch that can only be reset with a hard zone, which meant running all the way back and out the main subway entrance.  We did some research, but could find no way to reset the graphics that would work. This meant they went back to their old method of buffing up, casting pets, buffing pets in the next door backyard and then entering the Subway.  This method loses 5 minutes or so to the long run in before they start seeing mobs that are not gray in the deep subway.

They both dinged 25 by the time they had reached the section that overlooks the large room where the giant spider and cyborgs hangout.  They stopped there to rebuff and then proceeded fighting deeper into the subway.  It was late Saturday evening, and they had the dungeon to themselves, which seemed unusual.  This meant that they also had more mobs to take on.  There was some weirdness with Babaengy’s bot Stark-Fist who seemed to vanish for a minute or two in the section where there are cyborgs, infectors and a striker and there is a walkway above.  After clearing this section they then fought further to the room with the sunken water filled area.  There seemed to be more cyborgs here than before and they seemed to be more social.  Attacking one brought them all into the fray.

This seems to be common to the rest of the deep subway.  It seems like there are more cyborgs than before, they are more social, meaning, they aggro from greater distances when any one of them in sight is attacked.  They also appear to re-spawn sooner.  All of these changes are great for teams like Babaengy and Babaemphee, as it just provides more targets, but it ought to make soloing the deep subway a greater challenge than it was before.

They came close to wiping when they took on Virgil Aneid in the last room before Abmouths.  They made the mistake of pulling him and several shades into the larger prior room instead of fighting him in his room.  As a result, many more cyborgs respawned during the fight and piled on.  It was the first time this pair has seen both of their health dip below 50% and without some mutual 1st aid stimming and passing the heal pet around several times, they would not have survived.  They both dinged 26 during this fight.

Hitting 26 meant this was to be their last time in the subway. There was no bling loot here to draw them.  Memory rings would be nice, but just not worth camping for.  They decided to give Abmouth a shot and at least go out in style, rather than camp for rings, or simply run out.

At this point they stopped and recast pets, rebuffed and then went into Abmouths room to try their hand at him.  They first met a few infectors and a stray cyborg.  With them down, they proceeded to look for Abmouth and found him spawned down in his pit.
Babaengy and Babaemphee cast their best pet combat buffs, and then attacked.  They might have had a chance, but the moment they started in on Abmouth, 3 infectors spawned on top of them too.  It was over pretty fast as there was just too much damage for their heal pet HOT-LIPS to compensate for, and they simply could not take down that many targets at once, especially when one of them was a half dozen levels higher than them.  Abby sealed the deal when he destroyed HOT-LIPS.

Back at reclaim they learned that pets don’t die when you do as the bot and the attack pet were still with them.  With 2 levels of IP to hand out, they both will be able to equip some new pets.  While working out their IP allocation, they spotted a nicely twinked level 20 Engy sporting a level 47 bot in the shop they were in.

After allocating out their new found IP, they decided to start pulling team missions in Newland City, so some homework scouring the net is on their to-do lists to look for information about items to look for in missions at their level.


Keep your Rings of Luck On

25 10 2009
Halloween 09 at the Grind, Baba spotted Abmouth, several other bosses, a huge Uncle Pumpkin, and the worst monster of all, the Lag Monster.

Halloween 09 at the Grind, Baba spotted Abmouth, several other bosses, a huge Uncle Pumpkin, and the worst monster of all, the Lag Monster. Click for larger view.

Wear them, or keep them in your immediate inventory, or sell, give away or delete Rings of Luck.  Never leave Rings of Luck in your toon’s bank, or it may prevent you from picking up a much higher quality one later on.

Many players pick up the Ring of Luck (Offensive or Defensive) at low QL levels during their beginnings on ICC Shuttleport Island. While these may prove to be helpful at when first starting to level up, they are often swapped out soon for better buffing items that come along. What many player don’t know is that both the Offensive and the Defensive versions of the ring acquire the unique and no drop tags at higher Quality Levels. We recommend that players either get rid of any low quality Rings of Luck (sell, or equip an alt, give to friend) or keep them in their immediate on character inventory. This will enable a player to pick up a higher quality Ring of Luck that has the “unique tag”. Even though a lower quality Ring of Luck does not have the unique tag, the system will not allow a unique tagged Ring of Luck to be picked up, if ANY QL Ring of Luck is in a toon’s possession. If the low QL item is in one’s immediate inventory, then one can delete it on the spot, in order to then be able to pick up the new, higher quality one.

Here is a brief outline of the status of Rings of Luck at varying Quality Levels:

  • 1-67 – no restriction
  • 68-133 – no drop with some restrictions (unique and/or special)
  • 134+unique and some specials
  • 200 no drop

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.

AO 8th Anniversary Party on RK2

28 06 2009

Party smile

AO 8th Anniversary Party put a big smile on Babas mug

AO 8th Anniversary Party put a big smile on Baba's mug

There’s only one thing that will put a smile like the one on Baba’s face in this picture of him outside the 8th Anniversary Party for Anarchy Online, held on RK2 this past Sunday at the Reets Retreat in the glass floored disco.  Baba got into the swing of things by downloading and installing the GridStream player, which allowed him to dance along with the others to various metalhead tunes played live by the in house GridStream DJs.

The party was just getting started when Baba showed up.

The party was just getting started when Baba showed up.

When Baba arrived just a bit past 10 AM Central time, the party was in full swing.  The DJ’s in addition to cranking out tunes, held contests and gave away some serious loot.  During the 2 hours Baba was there, RK2 toons won tin foil hats, 8 million credits, and a sweet 30 million credits.

/LIST only showed 16, mini map shows soo many more...

/LIST only showed 16, mini map shows soo many more...

It got so crowded that Baba had to turn off the option to display names and titles above toons heads.  This helped a great deal keep the frame rate from getting too low to enjoy the scene.  One of the DJs had mentioned that this step would help deal with crowd induced lag.  Baba was a bit puzzled when he tried to use his list command to get a count of those present when it only showed 16.  The crowd must have been in the hundreds.  He was wondering if this was some new limitation introduced with the recent patch so the list command only lists no more than 16 at a time.  He is sure he has seen it list up to 60 players before.

Go Go Mr. DJ

Go Go Mr. DJ

Baba did his best to get into the spirit and after a while was able to remember and dust off his dance macros.  He quickly lost track of which one was playing and how many times he had activated each.  The huge crowd may have also contributed to his dance macros seeming to hang at times.  He saw some pretty impressive dance macros out on the floor that went far beyond stringing a few pulps and a few discos together.  RK2 coped very well with the huge crowd.  Baba is thinking the 18.1 patch may have contributed to how smoothly things went considering how large room was packed with gryrating toons of all sizes and shapes.

Hecks and Fr00b, together at last!

Hecks and Fr00b, together at last!

The highlight of the party, for Baba was getting up close and personal with a bunch of Hecklers that showed up to party instead of fighting.  The group ranged in size and alternated between dancing and running around like crazy to sitting in an orderly row.  Up till now, Fr00b Baba had thought he would never see a Heckler, much less dance with one.  Even though we have picked up an Anniversary 30 day all expansions key, Baba will have to learn second hand from a new Fr00b account toon about what Hecklers are like in their true environment. See our pool below.

Heck, lets dance!

Heck, lets dance!

It turns out the Hecklers really were NOT into dancing.  The were more into sliding around like they were on skates, gliding around and through the crowd.  It was quite fascinating to watch them morph from being just a pile of rocks, to jump up and start running around.  Baba wonders if they can do the ‘Rocky’ emote.

The big K made the scene

The big K made the scene

Baba has no idea if some of the guests were toons sporting morphs or ARK’s having fun.  A look alike to Kahlum from the Temple of the Three Winds showed up to lend the party his distinctive flair.  K was rather subdued, barely moving, so it was no suprise that no one got very close to him.  All the while, below the glass dance floor, a giant yellow rubber ducky commanded the lower floor area surrounded by a circle of birthday cakes and mini-rubber duckys.

Mini Brontos made it there as well

Mini Brontos made it there as well

Not to be outdone, a mini-Bronto or two could also be seen on the dance floor getting their boogy on.  They did look a little nervous though, with all those big troxes around dancing in a way that is sure to work up a big appetite.  Can you say ‘Bronto Burger’.  Even though there was some pretty strong no fighting gas, everytime someone mentioned eating, they flinched.  Just seeing them reminded Baba to run upstairs briefly to the wierd flesh walled room to hit the fry cook up there for a fresh burger.

Abbey aced the dance floor

Abbey aced the dance floor

Just when Baba was running out of steam and thinking of taking his leave, Abmouth Supremous, the boss from the Subway made an appearance  It was quite an opportunity to admire his ‘qualities’ up close at leisure without having to fight for life.  Baba wonders how Abbys dentist copes.

Mule Turns Alt

29 09 2008
Babaente and Tireen, take a break while out hunting.

Babaente and Tireen, take a break while out hunting.

Babaente, Baba’s NT alt, after getting more familiar with kiting, decided to take a break at level 40 and wait for Tireen, Baba’s former omni trader mule/fence to level up to where she can team with Babaente for kite leveling.  That way Tireen can continue to fence loot, but also can start giving some nice skill buffs and use the trader terminals when fencing loot.

So it was back to the subway with another toon.  Since Tireen is an omni, she could not safely go to the subway in Athens, so she chose the subway in Borealis, instead of the one in Rome.  Borealis is more convenient as Babaente or Babaoroody can meet up with her there if needed.

Although the server stats usually show Borealis to have more players present than Athens, the subway in Bor seems to be less populated.  Tireen guesses most players are in Bor for trading, socializing, rolling missions, or just passing through.  It would be nice if the server stats can’t be filtered by level or playfield.

She started out with her newbie island solar shotgun dual wielded with a home defender, but when it came time to upgrade to a higher quality level, she did not want to put IP into multi ranged, so she chose to go with Tekor ND shotgun line.  She started with a QL16, and after some shopping in Omni Trade, and also bought several higher quality ones to grow into every few levels.  While slow, it does pack a nice punch and the crits are very good.  While the icon is somewhat incomprehensible, the actual gun looks impressive and formidable.

It also illustrates a weakness, at least at lower levels of the Trader profession compared to an NT as least as far as IP spending is concerned.  The NT does not have to worry about keeping a weapon skill high, and mainly just focuses IP on nano skills, The Trader has to dedicate IP points to a dedicated weapon skill that is expensive and is useless for anything else.  She is finding IP much shorter in supply as a lowbie trader.  So far the NT has been able to comfortably raise needed skills with out having to put any on a diet.

Another observation, based on another pass through the subway, is that beginning players seem to find the martial arts profession the most rewarding at those levels.  All the martial artists in the subway seem to do really well.  Baba found the subway as a first toon enforcer with 0 twinkage to be somewhat difficult. So far NT has been the most powerful professionat we have experience with in the subway.

After several teams on Saturday she had worked her way up to level 18.  It was a bit disappointing after playing an NT, as trader combat nanos at that level  are rather wimpy, so in the subway, the shotgun does most of the work. At this point she tends to run out of nano, before anything else, so the benefit of having an NT in a team becomes obvious.

Late one evening, there was nobody to team with, and she was getting bored leveling off slum runners and fleas, she decided try out the charm nano line.  Of course having not read up on it before hand, she was rather perturbed at being frozen for 5 minutes, along with the mob she cast it on.

She spent the next day working with Babaente on preparing a set of custom QL30 implants, with Tireen buying and the plan was for Babaente to construct them.  While reviewing the stats, Tireen saw that as a trader, she had lots of nano programming and could make all but 4 of the implants herself.  After constructing the ones she could, Babaente finished off the few the required a little more nano programming skill.  The actual implant creation tradeskill process itself only took a few minutes, while it too Tireen at least 2 hours to find all the desired clusters at the specific quality levels needed.

With her new set of custom implants in and the satisfaction of now knowing how to create them from scratch, it was time to level up some more.  While she could probably handle some of the cyber types in the deep sub, she just did not do enough damage to face some of the gate keeper types like Eumides or Infectors.

She instead chose to hunt in the wild outside of Newland City to level up.  She did an insurance terminal save and then headed out the north gate.  She soon found out the hard way that not only Rhinomen, but many other mobs in the desert are social. like rollerats, some of the lizard and salamander types, and sand and salt fleas.  After a few trips to reclaim because of this, she gravitated to hunting in the area around the small outpost that is north of the city.  There are guards there that will bail you out if you come running with several mobs on your tail.

Having read up on the Charm nanos, she found a great use for them.  When ever she encountered pairs of social mobs, she would cast the charm on the stronger of the pair, and then issue the pet command /pet hunt and then sit back while the charmed mob took out the weaker mob, and any other mobs in the vicinity, all the while giving her the experience points.  One does have to be prepared to fight the remaining mob when the charm wears off, but this is usually not a problem as the mob has probably lost quite a bit of health fighting the other mobs.

She was able to level up to 24 quite easily there off a mix of blood reets, salt and sand fleas, rhinomen, and a few others in the area that were all in the level 20-25 range.

At level 24 it was time to return to the subway and try and collect some
Living Cyber Armor, as she had spent quite a few fruitless hours checking shop terminals for something to replace her now out leveled beginners starter armor set.  The tunnel section has a very claustrophobic feel to it, and the whole design is just too linear, steering new players to what is most often a doomed encounter.  At least some of the other dungeons like Temple of the Three Winds and Foreman’s have multiple ‘destinations’ and boss mobs who give up unique rewards.

By the time she arrived at the subway, it was rather late in the evening. The first person she found to team with was a level 18 engineer, who must have been new to the subway, as he wanted to rush right into the deep subway.  Just their luck they were greeted by Eumenides who sent them both quickly back to reclaim.  A while later Tireen returned and after a couple of real close fights with paired infectors, achieved access to the deep subway, where she seemed to have it to herself.  She made several runs from the start of the deep sub to the last part of the tunnel section where the L bend is.  She stopped there because she did not think she could take on the group of 4 or 5 cybers that are found there.  She was able to deal easily with all the cybers up to that point, and after about an hour, she had all three commonly dropping Living Cyber armor pieces, the helmet ,the gloves, and the pants.  She was about to call it quits for the night when a two person team showed up and asked her to join.  She decided to go ahead with them. They were both below level 20 and neither had encountered Abmouth before, so she had a feeling they would want to go all the way to Abby and find out just how tough that boss mob is.  The martial artist did very well as the tank, allowing Tireen to hang back and shoot away with her Vektor.   The other person was an addy or agent, and they provided some very timely heals, especially in a couple of tight spots in the very deep subway.  They made it all the way to Abby.  By this time Tireen had level up to 26.  Since she is not planned to be a subway twink, she had the 3 Living Armor Pieces that drop there, and she was quite ready to put the subway behind her, she agreed to go along with the attack.  The fight with Abby was very short, with the whole team finding themselves back at reclaim in under a minute.

Now that the subway was behind her, Tireen decided to follow in Babaentes footsteps and proceed to the Living Cyber Armor quests in order to fill out her set.

The chest piece quest was quite difficult for Tireen since she is omni, and the 1st quest mission requires a visit to the center of Old Athens.  Since the gates are well guarded, and there is no neutral whompa that connects with this clan city, the grid seemed to be the only alternative route.  It took her 3 tries.  She buffed up and drained a mob outside Newland City and then hit the grid.  She exited the grid in Old Athens, to see no guards close by.  She ran east towards the nearest city wall, and then started south along it when she reached it.  She  was spotted about the time she passed the first apartment entrance on the left and she was able to run all the way to the central square area before one of the guards nailed her and sent her back to Newland City.  On the second try she got further, because she was not spotted by a guard until she had reached the middle of the city, and she got all the way to just outside the mission building before the guard shot her.  The third try, she buffed up again, and this time added the quickness running buff.  The guards spotted her at about the same point but she ran like a halfback between a number of buildings, weaving in and out, and was able to reach the mission and get inside without getting shot.  Perhaps she should have waited a few more levels, as the mobs in the mission were in the high 20s.  She managed to avoid all but one, which was in the furthest room between her and the mission objective.  It was a hellhound to top things off.  It was a very close fight.  She was down to about 100 health, and was having to cast a health funnel between each shot, when her Vektor came through for her and delivered a healthy crit that tipped the final balance and allowed her to outlast the mob.  The second mission was just time consuming, having to run from Newland City, cut across a corner of Varmint Woods and proceed to the center of Wartorn Valley.

The next living cyber armor quest was more accessible for an omni.  This is the quest for the boots which actually involves 2 missions just like the chest piece quest. The first mission is a kill person mission in Varmint Woods, just a short run from Newland City.

The first time through, Tireen got sent back to reclaim by one of the hellhound mobs that are in this mission. The hounds are around level 28 to 30 and about a 5050 chance for Tireen, mainly dependent on how many crits she lands.  Anyway, when she returned she brought Babaente with her for more fire power.  The two together were able to cut through the remaining hellhounds with no problem.  Tireen ended up having to run the mission again because she allowed Babaente to attack the mission target, and since Babaente out damaged her, the mission did not complete, since the mission requires the person who pulled the mission to be the one who kills the target.  So they had to repeat the whole run from Newland City again and fight their way into to the target.  Once there Babaente, waited in the hall, while Tireen engaged the mission target alone in a separate room.  She did have an unusual experience.  The mission target person was standing in the lower level of one of those large sunken mining area type rooms, with catwalks above.  Tireen was on the catwalk above. This particular mob was a martial artist so when Tireen cast her NT blind, the mob stayed put while Tireen continued to pour lead into her.  The curious thing was that as soon as the mobs health dropped to around 60% it would pop back up to full health.  There were several large malle type mobs also down on the lower level and Tireen did not want to have to go down there and also spend time killing them.

She decided to try using her charm and hope the martial artist would attack the malles, and kill them, and lose a good part of its health.  Another curious thing happened. Instead of running up to where Tireen was after being charmed, the mob seemed to be teleported directly up there in an instant.  From there they could not see the malles, so it did nothing when told to hunt.  After the charm wore off, and she and Tireen dueled, the health bar issue went away, and Tireen had no trouble at all finishing the mob off.

With her ‘as full as its going to get’ Living Armor Set now, Tireen went looking for a place to level.  Before going hunting however, since she is now over level 25, she made her first visit to the Trader store in Newland City, and got to view all that the trader terminals have to sell.  There is a wide assortment of easy to equip ‘drinks’ that buff various skills there for purchase.  The buffs are just a few points, but nice to know about and have access to.

Next she went to Lush Fields to hunt,and as an omni, she does not have to worry about the omni slayer driods that lurk about there.  First she tried in and around the Mutant Domain area, but either found the mobs slightly higher than she could handle or too dense and too social.  She found she could get good experience points taking on the higher level Chirops she came across.  One skill that she is now starting to get the hang of, which she now wished she had developed from day one, was how during a fight, to quickly select her self, use an health stim, and the re-select the mob and continue fighting.  On her way to the SW Mine and Shade Pipe area she managed to level to 27.

This level provided her with enough shotgun IP points to equip the next higher QL Vektor ND shotgun in her inventory.  She found the mobs around SW Mine to be way to high for her now, and so she then went to the Shade Pipe area.  These mobs are in the 20-29 range and she can solo them one at a time quite well, especially with the additional punch of this latest Vektor equip.  The shades are social, so she has had to take care in selecting her target, and how to approach it so that the other shades in the area do not ‘see’ her.  This involves the basic military”crossing the T” or flanking maneuver.  If there are 3 shades, approach them so that they appear a line from the end.  By the time she had to log off, she had gained about 3/4 of her next level.

Thursday Tireen was quite active.  She did some exploring around Lush Fields and found the Northern edge to be mostly devoid of mobs.  She made several more unproductive forays into the Mutant Domain, but still found them to be too tough.  While traveling she did gain about a half a level mainly off level 25-30 minibulls, and Hammerheads.  She eventually gravitated back to Shade Pipe after where she eventually dinged 28.  She has been practicing the use of health stims in combat and almost has it down pat.  Too bad the stims do not recharge faster.

Once she passed level 28, she stayed at Shade Pipe and over a few days, leveled her self up to 32 which is high enough so that she and Babaente can team.  They met at SW Mine, and on Friday and Saturday Babaente kited the mobs around SW Mine, raising her level to 45 from 42, and raising Tireen from 28 to 35.  Eventually, the level 40 mobs went gray for Babaente and they spent most of Sunday looking for a suitable new kiting ground.  The mobs at the NW mine in Lush Fields proved to be too high.  The mobs there are in the 60 to 70 range, and hit too hard for Babaente to survive anything but a perfect kite.

Meanwhile, Tireen, made a supply run in to Omni Trade, and came back with the highest quality Vektor ND made, a QL 69 one.   Right now she is using a 48, which gives some nice crits.

They enlisted Babaoroody to scout out a new hunting ground using his Yalmaha.  He first sent them to a field of Hammerheads and Goelfs, level 55ish, in 4 Holes, but they took too long to kill because of their very large health bars.  Babaente could easily outrun them, but it took over 10 minutes to bring one down.

Dragonrider, when mounted on a wingless dragon, is known as a Ragerider

Dragonrider, when mounted on a wingless dragon, is known as a Ragerider

Baba basically scouted all the neutral territories.  Although he did not find any suitable 50ish groups of mobs in Mort, he did come across a very unusual sight, a creature he had never heard or read about on Rubi-Ka.  Think of a wingless dragon, with a Lien like rider in a throne like saddle with a triangular awning overhead.  The riders are known as Dragonriders, and look much like the Lien boss in the Temple of the Three Winds.  When mounted on a wingless dragon, they become a Ragerider.  Not only is their health bar red and long, but of the 3 that Baba spotted separately in North West Mort, they bring an entourage of several giant sand worms, a clutch of anuns, some gun beetles, and even a cyborg or two.

Next Baba found them another spot in Pleasant Meadows.  It took some running interference on his part as there were a few pesky omni guards who seem to have been trained there previously.  They were in the 100 level range, so Baba did get some experience out of it.   We will divulge the exact location of this kiting ground, after Babaente has outgrown it.

The going was slow, as Babaente seems to have hit a weak patch in the NT’s AOE nuke progression ladder.  While her run speed has progressed suitably for the level 50-60 mobs.  She currently has Matter Creation maxed, and if she continues to max it every level, she will not be able to equp the next AOE Nuke until well past the level 50.  The problem is the current AOE nuke, while sufficient against level 40’s, is just too weak on 50s and above.  It takes quite a few applications to take the mobs down.  The progression of NT leveling is not all as easy as some might think.  This is going to be a slow and painstaking number of levels.  Hopefully once it is past, Babaente and Tireen will, be back on the fast track again.

Subway to Shade Pipe

15 09 2008

Babaente started this past weekend as a level 24 NT.  Friday night she laid out her plans for the rest of the weekend.  She had spent the  last few nights as a level locked 24, slaying cyber types in the deep  subway for Living Cyber Armor drops.   After countless kills, she came to the conclusion that the only Living Cyber Armor to drop there were the helmet, gloves, and pants.  She made several inquiries on OCC Clan Chat and AOFroobs chat, where her suspicions were confirmed by several other players.

With this background the Living Cyber Armor Quest started looking good,  so she enlisted Babaoroody’s help.  Babaoroody agreed to run the  chest quest for intelligence gathering purposes, since the armor is no  drop and the max quality of 50 makes the reward useless to him.  He  ran the chest piece quest which involves:

  1. a find item mission in Old Athens.  The mission is generated in a random building in Old Athens,  so omni may have to do some sneaking about and running from guards. Once inside the mission, the mobs are about level 50, however the  mission itself is short and small and can be blitzed since it is a  pick up item type mission.
  2. a fix item type mission next to Foreman’s in Longest Road.  Besides being a long run for the yalmless, which most toons are while under level 50, the mission is located within the Biomare Omni installation.  While there are only a few guards, and a bunch of level 50ish mobs, it provides clanners with their challenge, while omni can breeze through.  The task is to get inside the mission, find a carbon rich rock on the floor, and use the item gained in the last mission on it, then take it to a NPC out in the middle of Wartorn Valley.

Once Babaoroody had done it once, Babaente was able to complete the mission in one go, knowing exactly what to do, where, and where the bad guys are to avoid.  Babaente then ran the quest for the last remaining item she needed, the boots.  This quest involves a kill person mission out in the middle of Varmint Woods which required some cautious navigation to reach.  The mobs were 50ish level in the mission, and the target was a human mob that was easy to take down.  The quest then required her to take the mission reward to a NPC out in Newland Desert just north east of the lake outside of Newland City.  While this quest was not particularly difficult, it was time consuming, and by the time she completed them, Friday evening was over.
Babaente started Saturday, outfitted with her Living Cyber Armor armor set.  First she paid a call on the Strike Foreman, and he dropped another set of construction sleeves, which she left to rot, or for some lucky Nubi to find.  Then it was on to the Deep Subway. On the way she found a Eumenides corpse with a set of Living Armor Gloves which she left for some other Nubi.  She was about halfway to the bottom, when she came to one of the smaller rooms on the way.  Inside was what looked like a smallish team duking it out with the 4-5 cybers in the room.  She should have looked closer. Instead she assumed they were just cybers and went ahead and tried to run through.  Big mistake!  It turns out one of the cybers, was Virgil Aneaid!  The boss mob that has wiped Babaente more than any other.  Even though she did not aggro it, for some reason it came after her, and forgot about the small team, which high tailed it towards the exit.

Babaente quickly decided to do the same and once she got up to speed, hit her Terrain Knowledge buff from the Boots of Infinite speed.  By the time she got to the upper subway, she could no longer see Virgil behind her, but her system window still showed him attacking.  She ran all the way out the exit and sat, healed and rebuffed.

When she re-entered, Virgil was there waiting along with a couple of Infectors.  Nice set up she thought.  She could hit him with her best nukes, and then step outside to heal.  After about 3 cycles of this, she had him down to about 50% health, so it looked like it was going to take quite a while.  The next time she entered, there was a full team with a tank and a doctor beating on Virgil.  Babaente joined in, and soon, Virgil was no more!

The next time you see someone train a dungeon end boss to the entrance; do not assume the toon was doing it maliciously.  Babaente had been minding her own business when someone else trained a boss up from where it belongs, and she was just trying to escape to save experience.
This time when she go about half way down she got an invite to a 4 man team and joined up.  The team had a doc, and while not the strongest team, was doing ok.  They fought down to Abbmouths area and cleaned out the area while waiting for him to spawn.  Babaente got her first request for an NT buff!  The doc was asking team mates if anyone could give him nano.  Hello Humidity Extractor!

While waiting for Abby to spawn, a twinked out 24 Enforcer showed up sporting Neleb’s rod ect.  and the team joined up with him.  Babaente wanted to get at least one Abby kill under he belt before she left the subway.  She already had the ring, so this was just for bragging rights.  Rather than sit around waiting for Abby to spawn the team went around the deep subway thining out the other mobs for experience.

  • Heavensgates  32 opifex male MA, clan
  • Ajrimmer 24 atrox enforcer, clan  – twink
  • Sithsold 27 atrox soldier, clan
  • Darlema 22 opifex female MA, clan
  • Hoshikagelee 24 solitus male Doctor, clan
  • Botijo  26 solitus male soldier, clan
Abmouth trophy shot, Botijo, Hoshikagelee, Sithsold, and Babaente, proud hunters.

Abmouth trophy shot, Botijo, Hoshikagelee, Sithsold, and Babaente, proud hunters.

After fully clearing the level, they returned to wait for Abby.  When it did show, the team was ready and buffed.  The fight went very well, and luck was with the team, as there were no additional spawns to deal with.  The Doc and Babaente stood back a bit, while the rest of the team, and the super enforcer grabbed aggro. Babaente used this occasion to unload several of her 12 second uber nukes that do around 200 damage.  It was encouraging to see Abby’s health bar shrinking at a brisk pace.  When it was all over, the team leader oversaw handing out the goodies.  The only drop was the ring, and Botijo seemed to be the only person who wanted it, so it was his.

When she returned later in the day, it was with the goal of seeing how high she could go in the Subway.   After getting one last Essence buff from Baba, and buying up the NT nanos she might be able to use in the next few levels, she entered the Subway for the last time after hitting F10 and turning experience back on.

She fought her way solo down to about half way to the deep subway, when she hooked up with a small but feisty team.  They proceeded to roll over every mob in their way, and in the process Babaente dinged 25 and then 26.  Quite a bit of the experience for 25 had been gained previously.  They had just cleared out the large room and hall section where the large bloodcreeper usually can be found, when Virgil Aneaid came at them.  Unfortunately, they also picked up a number of additional spawn mobs, a mix of shades, cybers, and slum runners.  At first Virgil homed in on the team’s soldier, and Babaente was trying to help him, when Virgil turned on her.  Omegahunter and Willk were occupied elsewhere, so it was just Babaente and Botjo against Virgil.
Babaente’s Last Subway Team

  • Botijo 26 solitus male soldier, clan
  • Omegahunter  21 solitus male adventurer, clan
  • Willk 22 opifex male fixer, clan

Babaente unloaded quite a few 200 point 12 seconds to cast nanos, but her nano ran out before her health.  She tried sitting to use her emergency nano kit, but since she had auto attack toggled on, she could not sit long enough to use it, as she would stand right back up too soon.  They did have Virgil below 50%, and she feels that if she had known how to use the emergency nano kit, they could have beaten him.  The green flash of Virgil’s blaster was the last thing Babaente saw of the Deep Subway, for when she rezzed back at reclaim, she was level 26 and no longer able to enter the subway.

Take away lesson for nubies; learn how to use battle health and nano kits.

With the subway now behind her, Babaente had to decide where to go next.  The temple of the Three Winds is out, at least until she gets to the upper 50’s.  At 26 she could now equip a better AOE nuke and several stronger single nukes.   After getting them, she set out to become familiar with the stock and trade of NT’s, kiting.  She had heard of several sites for title 2 players to get started in kiting.  Both are located in Lush Fields, so she made a quick stop in a shop to pick up a copy of the area’s map.  Babaoroody did her a favor and scouted the area out first by Yalm, and he came back with some good information on how to find the areas and potential hazards to avoid.

When she got to the Lush Fields grid exit, she discovered her computer lit skills were too low to exit, so she had to grid out, and then cast the computer lit expertise buff before she could exit at Harry’s.
At Harry’s she took advantage of an insurance terminal to make a quick save, and then she headed west down the road.  Baba had not flown low enough at one point and had not taken a look at the outpost that lays on this road.  Babaente is still not too clear about the status of Lush Fields and she learned a hard lesson.  Since Harry’s is neutral, she thought most of the northern part of Lush Fields was neutral, so she got a rude awakening when a omni guard popped her when she approached the omni outpost.

Shade pipe, just north east of SW mine in Lush Fields.

Shade pipe, just north east of SW mine in Lush Fields.

After rezzing back at Harry’s, she set out again, this time giving the outpost a wide berth.  He destination is a location known as Shade Pipe.  Shade Pipe is north east of the SW Mine.  It is hard to miss as it is literally a large pipe on top of a large hill. The area is populated with around 60 level shades.  She quickly found that her run speed was too slow to kite.  Her speed was about the same as the Shades, so she really could not put any distance between them in order for her to have time to cast.  She determined to fight them one by one, and start putting IP into run speed as she leveled.  This worked well and after leveling twice, she was able to max out her run speed, and then she was able to start kiting.

Kiting involves hitting a mob that is close to some others and then running away.  Once there is a wide enough gap between your toon and the mobs, stop and cast a AOE nuke, and start running again ASAP.  After 3 or 4 tries, she had it down, and before she knew it the day was done, and she had leveled up to 33 with 5 of those directly as a product of kiting.

Subway Payback

9 09 2008
Senpai Tertius Decus Armor Coat, gift from Baba

Senpai Tertius Decus Armor Coat, gift from Baba

Over the past weekend Baba continued to hunt dynas and help Babaente now and then.  He had no luck in finding the elusive Skill of Highlander. He thinks he can perhaps stand another week of this before it will get to be too much.  In between dyna camp trips he stopped off in Athens a few times to check in on Babaente and provide her with a few gifts.  These included a set of ql30 store bought implants.  He checked his bank but could not find any armor items that had low enough requirements for her, so Baba’s omni trader Tireen made the rounds of Omni Trade basic shops and returned with a nice set of mostly worn cyber armor that should hold Babaente until she levels enough to equip some nice carbonum.  Baba also helped purchase another round of NT nanos that she should be able to equip while under level 25.

Babaente started the weekend at level 19 which is an awkward level for NT’s.  This is because many of the lower level mobs are now gray to her, and the new yellow level mobs do damage faster than the puny nukes she has at this point.   A quick perusal of the auno.org nano chart showed that in one or two levels she would be able to equip nanos that would do twice as much or more than what she had been doing.  Fortunately she did not have to solo at this stage and hooked up with a small team that actually made it all the way to Abby.

On the way she got totally lost at the spiral stairway.  She had paused while her teammates ran down it first, so when she got to it, a trick of perception caused her to run UP the stairs, which go up and then drop you off back where you started.  At first this was totally confusing because it is partly an optical illusion.  It looks like you are going down, and it looks like you have reached another level.  Only after some head scratching did she figure out the down side was on the right.  Babaente picked up at least one level before they were wiped by Abby.

Long stairs, leads to dead end hide out.

Long stairs that lead to a dead end hide out.

When she returned on Saturday evening, she was killing slum runners down by the deep subway entrance, when a MP with dual skulls asked her to team which she did, on the way they picked up one other player.  This MP was incredible, killing practically every mob in the deep subway in seconds, so fast that Babaente rarely got a single cast off before they were dead.  It was not enough for Abby, which quickly flattened all three.  When checking Auno.org it seemed to at odds.  It showed the team mates as being much higher levels, and being at those levels  a week earlier, so we will not trust that data for now.  There is no telling where the problem lies.

There was the usual occasional team chat lag and even a few link deaths over the weekend, but no more than usual.

This player was just incredibly fast.  Babaente was pressed just to keep up in the same room, much less have time to inspect their information or send bot inquiries.

Later that after noon, she leveled her self up to 23 mainly off slum runners and the fleas in the farthest back washroom on the right or south.  She frequented the striker area, but the teams there were too low for her now.  Finding a room full of lowbies leveling off strikers did have a payoff. She was able to proceed to the Strike Foreman and take him down without getting swarmed by other strikers.  This was sweet payback for all the times Baba as a lowly enforcer had been wiped here.  To make it even sweeter, there was the drop of Boots of Infinite Speed, which is a bit of a misnomer.  The boots do not have to be worn, but have a temporary speed boost that can be activated when the item is in your inventory.  The actual speed boost is +30 run speed for 10 minutes, not infinite, but still useful for lowbies.

Once she got several AOE nukes, she practiced kiting muggers in the main entry hall for a while.  Another sweet payback came when she paid a visit the Shadows the bunch up in the central section.  She was able to kite about 7 and drop them all using her second nuke, and came out of it with more than 50% health.  While it was slow progress, it was exciting since Babaoroody had always had to avoid this bunch when solo.

Later in the evening she got a chance for some Eumenides payback, when someone trained him to the upper subway hall just near the dead end next to the strikers room.  There were several teams there, plus a few solo players, and everyone jumped into the battle.  It was Babaentes first time to really contribute towards putting this bad guy down.

Later she did hook up with another NT, Weth, who suggested the go out and ‘nuke something‘.  They were a pretty good team, having no problems with dealing damage, but a bit squishy, requiring plenty of stops to heal and recharge nano.  On the way they collided with another small team, and once they both reached Abby’s area, the two teams joined.  The team made a pass around the level, taking down just about every single native mob until all that remained was Abmouth.  The Doc protested, but secretly Babaente thinks they all knew that they probably would not be successful, due to their newbi skills and lacking any tanks.

Babaente got a bit nervous as she dinged to 24 after reaching the bottom level, and the action was so non stop, she had not been able to get to her settings screen to turn off experience.  She did not want to level to 25 and then be stuck in the dungeon.  Since 24 is the highest level one can enter the subway, she did not want to hit 25 yet because she has not had her fill of the deep subway yet and she would like to leave with at least one positive Abby outcome.

Babaente is a very reinforcing influence for Babaoroody, providing first hand experience on why tanks like Baba are needed.  Yes Enforcers may not deal as much damage, but they keep the aggro off the squishies long enough for them to do their major damage.

The group paused for this debate about attacking Abby, that Babaente was finally able to get to her setup screen and turn off experience.

  • Weth – lvl 20 clan nano male NT
  • Lovelucy – lvl22 clan opifex female Doc
  • Mezzedj00 – lvl20 clan nano male Crat
  • Princexavord – lvl22 clan opifex male Eng
  • Rotpada – lvl22 clan solitus female Crat

The team got blindsided by several adds right away, so that by the time Abby was strolling around, they had their hands more than full.   Before she could get of his line of sight, Abby clobbered Babaente so hard that she could barely move. While she tried in vain to reach a hiding place Abby sent her back to reclaim with another massive blow.

Tree landing after high altitude de-yalm over Athens

Tree landing after high altitude de-yalm over Athens

On Sunday  Baba was not able to pick up a single team, and spent most of her time just exploring the upper subway and trying out some nano combinations.  At one point someone trained a huge batch of infectors up and Babaente used one of her recent hidden type areas as an escape route.
In the old subway station area facing in the direction of the strikers room, take the 1st door on the left.  In the small hallway, turn left through a small door and proceed down a very long flight of stairs.  Go through a door to another abandon subway tunnel that proceeds north and dead ends with a few crashed cars, and a non working ticket dispenser.  Due to pathing issues only one of the infectors managed to make it that far, making it easy pickings for Babaente.

That evening Babaoroody showed up again with some gifts that included a set of Worn Cyber Armor the Baba’s alt  omni trader Tireen bought at Omni Trade, a few more purchased NT nanos that she can now equip, and several that required buffs from Baba to equip.  The armor was needed since the nice newcomers armor stops upgrading at level 15.  In addition Baba brought a Senpai Tertius Decus Armor Coat to replace that ratty vagabonds cloak.

After trying unsuccessfully to find a subway team, Babaente took the grid, (thanks to comp lit expertise buff), to Tir and then used the Boots of Infinite Speed buff to run to the clan outpost near the Temple of the Three Winds.  She made a insurance save there and then proceeded to the temple.  She got as far as the ramp up, when a huge spider sent her back to reclaim.

When she got over rezz sickness and she was able to return to the Temple.  No one there was interested with adding a lowbi 24 to their team, so she eventually tried going in solo.  This did not work out as just inside the door to the main entrance hall she was greeted by 7 or 8 already agitated mobs, who sent her back to reclaim before she could get more than one cast off.  She thought it was at least a try to see if she could get an Exarch robe before returning to see Abby off.