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.

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Getting Goo

9 05 2010

Baba Outside the New Clan Daily Mission Office, click for larger view.

When Baba rezzed back on to Rubi-Ka after an extended (over 6 month) absence, he found a long list of things he needed to fix before he could be back on the leveling trail.  When he went to check his stats progression against his list of Enforcer nanos, he realized that not all of his files has come over successfully from his old computer to his spiffy new one.  Files like his HUD layout and key commands as well as many of his spreadsheets were missing.  He had been forced to rush the move from the old computer to the new one because there was a need to give the old one to someone else that really needed it.

Interior Clan Mission Agency

Interior Clan Mission Agency, click for larger image

He did manage to have some backups of all of his files, but it was time consuming finding and un-archiving them.  Despite all this hassle, Baba can now enjoy Rubi-Ka with a much larger heads up display now with plenty of space to arrange chat windows and hot bars. Between the multi-core CPU and the respectable graphics card and plenty of memory, things like zoning are only momentary, not 20-40 second delays like his old computer displayed.

Ironically, upon Baba’s return to Rubi-Ka, he was having more fun NOT going out on the planet, but working on his implant plan.  This involved getting a handle on is inventory another thing that got whacked with the new computer.  For some obscure technical reason, Halorn’s Anarchy Online Inventory System (AOIS) just would not work on his new gear.  He gave Fjeldstad’s Item Assistant a try and was very pleasantly surprised.  IA keeps a running inventory with great search and sort capabilities that can span the inventories of multiple toons.  This was fantastic for finding and gathering together many faded clusters from his various accounts as well as locating his best candidates to be stripped to create basic implants over QL 125.

Babadoc and Babafix

Babadoc and Babafix

We also took some time to create a new pair of FROOB toons, a doc and a fixer. Both were a blast to play, and of all the alts we have created so far, the most intriguing.  While leveling them up on Shuttleport Island, we greatly enjoyed the huge new display offered by our new computer, but did come across one quirk.  If we duel log, sometimes the ground texture disappears on one of the instances.  At first we thought tides had been added to the natural features of Nubi Island. This only happens when using windowed instances and is something we will have to iron out before we attempt any serious dual logging.

High tide on Nubi Island

High tide on Nubi Island

In addition to enjoying the new faster computer and spiffy display, Funcom introduced a new patch that introduces Daily Missions, and gives FROOBS access to org buildings.

Baba heard there was a new game in town, Freelance missions were available for clanners in Old Athens, so he made his way to the oddly festooned offices and signed up.  His first mission was to inspect some crates deep in Smuggler’s Den.  This did not go well.  Baba had only gotten as the top of the S type bend close to the entrance, when two 180+ mantises were trained on to him and sent him back to reclaim.  Baba has never had much luck with this place.  It seems to never have other players there in any numbers, at least not like TOTW or Foreman’s where it is possible to get a pick up team in a reasonable amount of time.  Baba tried going on LFT but got no responses.

Sandworm Hunting Grounds In NW Tir

Sandworm Hunting Grounds In NW Tir

He decided to delete the mission and instead went to the Northwest corner of Tir to hunt giant sandworms for a pair of wrist pieces know as “Sandy Pieces of Goo” These items 12 Evade Close Combat each.  The sandworms can be found spread around an area between a tower field and the west and northern zone boundaries‘.  They are around level 133, and individually no problem for Baba at level 144 to take care of.  The main thing Baba has to be careful of is staying away from several that are close together.

It’s not possible to kite them like Borg, because they have a very long melee range.  If he accidentally pulls two, he can survive if his Assault Class Tank armor special and Dimach special are charged up.  Several times after pulling two, he would be down to about 20% health by the time the 1st mob was dead, so popping the Assault Class Tank armors, 20000k layers was just enough to keep him alive long enough to finish off the 2nd sandworm.

In his first outing there, after killing about 30 sandworms, the only drops of note were the Sandy Boots.  He returned 3 more evenings, netting both shoulder pads, and found his first Sandy piece on the 2nd evening and the 2nd piece on the third evening.  So he had to roughly take down 120 sandworms to net the desired 2 pieces of Goo.

Notum Cannons in Clondyke

Notum Cannons in Clondyke

A day after the first daily mission he returned to the office in the hopes of pulling another mission.  No such luck.  It turns out that even though one can delete a daily mission, that delete does not take until one returns to the agent who gave it.  So now he would have to wait another day (18 hours)  before he could get another mission.  When he did return the next day, the agent handed him the exact same Smuggler’s Den mission.  Baba decided to give it a try, and went to the dungeon by way of the NPC that will teleport you from Newland City to the Steps of Madness, which is only one zone away from the Smugglers Den.  Things went a bit better this time.  Although there was nobody around to team with, he managed to get as far as the first large area with the stream running through it.  At his point a pair of toons rushed forward ahead of him, and one of them was a calmer who calmed a large room filled with mantises.  Baba foolishly tried to pass through the room only to get swarmed when they all came out of stasis just as he hit the center of the room.

Strange Statue of Galway

Strange Statue of Galway

After rezzing Baba headed back to Old Athens and managed to delete the mission by visiting the mission agent and then canceling the mission in front of him. With this out of the way he proceeded to go back to Newland city to roll some plain old school single missions.  Baba has been looking at possibly putting together some Apocalypse Armor for the nice evades it gives, so he put his missions sliders at a setting that is supposed to yield non-human mobs in the missions.  He tried RRMMMM (Right, right, middle, middle, etc.) getting missions to Home.

On top of equipping the two Sandy Pieces of goo he recently added a pair of Lya’s Slippers he had picked up from Uncle Pumpkin head last Halloween.  These slippers added an additional 12 Evade Close Combat.  He only pulled one mission because he wanted to try increasing the difficulty level that he hoped he could deal with due to the better stats.  The mobs he met were in the 125-130 range and quite easy for him to put down. The next mission he rolled with a slightly higher difficulty setting sent him to Clondyke and what turned out to be mobs at around the level of 135.

The next day he returned to the Daily mission office and was handed one of the super ‘easy’ missions, ‘train 100 roller rats in Shadowland’s.  FROOBS get a glimpse of Shadowlands, which in this case is Serenity Island, which is rather like the rest of Rubi Kay except your health stims and pack don’t work there.

Neuters R Us Grid Exit, Familiar To All After Completing Missions on Rubi-Ka.

Neuters R Us Grid Exit, Familiar To All After Completing Missions on Rubi-Ka.

The mission was easy once he located the exterminator, who was some distance off and easily missed.  Baba equipped his yalm and flew around at ground level collecting roller rats in a train which he would then lead back to a killing device next to the exterminator.  After about ten minutes Baba checked with the exterminator and it he had managed to help kill about 125 so far.  This caused the mission to complete and he immediately dinged and gained almost a half a level as well.

The next day he returned to the daily mission office only to be handed the pariah Smuggler’s Den mission AGAIN!.  Baba did not have the patience for this so he promptly deleted it and went back to rolling regular missions.  He ran three regular missions and netted several pieces of leather and Sid’s leather armor.  After these missions, he figured that he should up the difficulty a bit the next time around.