Planting Better Pets

14 10 2010

 

Babaoroody

Babaoroody

 

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

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

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

COH-Empty first section, must be a team ahead

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

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

Babaente Starts Kiting Again

 

Overlooking Claw Camp in SW Pleasant Meadows

Overlooking Claw Camp in SW Pleasant Meadows

 

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

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

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

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

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

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





Leveling at Biomare Computer Core

11 10 2010

 

Biomare Computer Core Pulling Spot

Biomare Computer Core Pulling Spot, click for larger version

 

Babaengy and Babaemphee returned several times over the next few days to the same spot, the hallway just on the other side of the third golfball, where Babaengy would leave the team to pull bodyguards singly back to the team from the computer core room.  The loot from these mobs is definitely a step up from that dropped by the previous mobs at Biomare.  A single bag, when shopped by trader Tireen, often brings 150,000 credits.  So in addition to a nice leveling spot, it is also a great spot to build up a healthy credit balance.  This is badly needed for pet classes as many of their store bought nanos go for about a half a million credits each.  The bodyguards have a fairly good drop rate on gamma ejectors, and over the last few nights Babaengy has also found several personal safes which are said to often contain valuable items.  Babaengy’s breaking and entering skill was too low to crack open the safes, so he may have to let Babaoroody give it a try.  On a Monday evening, things were rather slow at the dungeon.  They saw one team back before the second golfball which caught up with them much later and passed them at the compute room.  As they were getting close to the end of their current pets 2 hour timers, a twinked level 100 enforcer (Omni) showed up and offered to help out with anything as he was waiting for someone else to show up and had nothing to do. Babaengy and Babaemphee thanked him for his offer but explained that they just needed to level.  They think they need to be closer to level 100 and have the top pets they will ever cast at that level before they attempt the Director or the recall beacon quest.

Both Babaengy and Babaemphee have reached their maximums on Matter Creation and Time and Space, so at best leveling to 100 will only gain them one or two more points.  They did discuss with Babaoroody the possibility of a side trip, with him tanking, to take down Zuwadza for is excellent MP only shirt that gives 22 MC and TS.   They dinged 83 and were very close to 84 when they ran out of time on their last visit.

Babaengy and Babaemphee dinged 85 this past evening at the Biomare Computer Core leveling spot.  During their hour and 40 minute session, they watched at least two teams pass through on their way to either the Director, TIM, the recall beacon quest or perhaps to mix it up with Rik-Rak.

The evening started off a bit shaky, on the first pull, things went totally downhill quickly, as Babaengy was back at reclaim before he knew it.  The problem turned out to be that Babaemphee’s hot bar focus had gotten changed from her primary hot bar, so none of her usual combat actions were happening, things like /assist %t, or /heal.

Babaoroody made a trip out to see Emile Zuwadza, and found out the hard way that he cannot solo him just yet.  Emile hits pretty hard for a 110, like 600-800 or so fire damage every few seconds.  Now Baba is wondering if Babaemphee’s current heal pet is strong enough to out heal this rate of damage.  Currently her Restite heal pet issues heals in the 300 to 400ish range.  So the answer is not quite, but perhaps with the combined damage of the both attack pets and Baba, they can reduce his health faster than he can reduce Baba’s with the heal pet slowing things down.  Baba will also need to dust off and have both his Assault Class Tank Armor Assault Screen (2000 absorbs) and Withering Flesh Skin of the Believer (500 absorbs) absorb ready.  Other tactics, to include will be Babaemphee’s best debuff Rage Abolishment (-156 combat inits), -20 damage.  The Blackshirt of Zuwadza certainly would help Babaemphee get a better attack pet on thanks to its +22 MC and TS.

Team Pets made another trip to Biomare and managed to ding 86 in and around the Computer Core room.  For a Thursday night, it was a rather busy place.  They saw several teams pass through and at one point even stood aside briefly to allow a couple of players to kill body guards till they got their Gamma clearances.  After hitting 85 it is taking longer to level at this spot as the number of points required went up quite a bit.  They were only at around 85% of leveling when they reached the time outs on Babaemphee’s pets, so they had to leave to get rebuffed by trader Tireen.  Babaengy took his opportunity to unload 9 packs of loot to Tireen who quickly fed it to the Newland City Traders shop terminal for around 700,000 credits.  Babaengy banked several more personal safes as well.

When they returned there was a small team pulling in the hallway and another team pulling at the other end of the computer core room.  Team Pets decided to run through the room and explore the rest of the dungeon, but when they got to the next section, found yet another team busy there.  They noticed that the two teams that had been pulling from the computer core room had now left so they returned to the lower hallway and continued to pull and put down bodyguards until they  both dinged 86.  Both have maxed MC and TS now and are using the IP surplus now to bring up MM,  PM, and SI.  Babaengy so he can equip the Neleb’s Master robe, and Babaemphee so she can eventually cast her Infuses.  Babaengy is only 4 points off from equipping his next bot, while Babaemphee still has a huge 30 point gap to close to equip her next QL 129 attack pet.
They both have also been using a few extra IP points (cheap too) on vehicle air, so that they no longer have to use an implant spot for vehicle air.  Both have been able to raise their vehicle air high enough so they are ready to upgrade implants.  Babaengy’s treatment is high enough to allow him to get into level 125 implants, while Babaemphee is still a bit short for 125’s.

 

Vindicator Gulch, Stopping Point For Many Unfortunates

Vindicator Gulch, Stopping Point For Many Unfortunates, click for larger version

 

On Sunday, TEAM PETS made a number of Biomare Computer Core.  On their first run, they passed a full team that was having to fight through the Chemical Vindicator section.  A little while later, in the room that overlooks TIM’s area before the last golfball, TEAM PETS was buffing up, when they watched a different team train what looked to be mobs from the whole length of the Mutant caves.  It was a huge train, including Bio-Constructs, Shadows, Vindicators, and Guards.  A little while later, when TEAM PETS had just pulled a single guard into the hallway just outside the computer core, this training team returned going the other direction, and landed a room full of level 90 guards and techs on top of them.  There were too many of them and Babaengy and Babaemphee could not get to the emergency exit in time to avoid a wipe.

 

The Train Stops Here

The Train Stops Here, Fortunately we have the proper security clearance.

 

TEAM PETS had their first team that included another player recently.  It came about serendipitously when a lone player showed up while TEAM PETS was farming experience at the computer core in Biomare. The most notable outcome was Babaengy spent the first few minutes fumbleling around with his chat windows trying in vain to display the team chat window.  It was only later that he remembered that the team channel is listed in the public channels.  He had to resort to using vicinity chat.  Unfortunately for the new player, TEAM PETS was very close to grabbing the ding they were there for, so they bid the new guy farewell as soon as they both had dinged.

A few hours later, after they had unloaded their loot via Tireen, they returned.  On the run down to the computer core, they thought they spotted the same player getting chased by a bunch of guards in the hangar area where Johnson is.  He must have somehow managed to follow a team all the way down to the computer core previously.

At the end of that Sunday, they were both at level 89.  At level 88 Babaengy was able to squeeze into a step higher bot, and Babaemphee was able to go up a step with her major combat debuff.  With most of her nano skills reaching their maxes, there was very little she could put IP into, so she choose to use this time to up her 1 hand blunt in order to finally equip one of her Howling Skulls.  They are a nice weapon.  When she runs at full aggressive, it deals a steady fast stream of damage.  Dual wielded, with melee init maxed, and related skills maxed, they appear to be a formidable choice for toons like Subway twinks.  Sporting just one, it considerable upped her damage contribution to the team, without causing her to draw aggro on to herself as it is still way less than their attack pets.

Current Foreman’s Twink Preference

Babaengy and Babaemphee, while leveling at the Foreman’s computer core, have seen plenty of level 100 twinks pass through that hallway on their way to either the Director, TIM, RIK-RAK, or the beacon droid, often with a lowbie in tow (friend or paying customer).  The most popular seems to be level 100 crats, followed by Enforcers with battle rods or howlets.  The crats seem to outnumber the Enforcers by about 3 to one.

The following Monday evening found TEAM PETS back at the Biomare Computer Core to grab level 89. They are starting to feel rather confident and beginning to think they may be ready to explore the west tower of the cloning facility.  Baba had been there only once and very briefly, having been splattered by a one or more of the level 90ish Bodyguards who hang out there.  The level 80 Bodyguards in the computer core are very manageable now, and it is taking longer to level up off of them, so it may well be time for TEAM PETS to start working on the bodyguards in the west tower.

A few days later, Babaengy was getting very antsy regarding the monotony of leveling at the Biomare computer core.  They had been there since their eighties, and it looked like they would be there for another ten levels till they approached 100.  First the decided to try moving deeper into one of the towers.  This did not go well as the guards in the West tower are placed such that it is very likely more than two will be aggroed at any one time.
The next idea was to enlist Babaoroody and make a group run at Eliane Zuduwaza for his nice MP blackshirt.  Although he is listed as a level 110, his health bar is much greater than what you would expect, and he nukes, so the entire party takes damage.  This meant that the heal pet went down fairly soon and one by one the rest of the party.  They did manage to get him down to one last health bubble, so perhaps they will try again near 100.

Team Pets then made a trip to Mort Borgs and quickly found out they are not yet ready for them, since they really have no clue as to how kite with pets, and going toe to toe is fruitless.   Babaengy decided to try his hand at a daily mission, and pulled the destroy computer core mission at the Borg citadel in Avalon.  He took Babaemphee along, and they had no problem using their pets to steamroll the 70-90ish level Borg there, and he soon had his 92 level.  This put him 1 ahead of Babaemphee. When she pulled a daily, it was the Embrace the Shadows mission, which is pretty much impossible unless you can either mezz the crowds of Shades, or sneak past them.  It’s a breeze for crats, but a pain for everyone else.  After failing once she deleted that mission.

With his level 92 IP Babaengy was finally able to equip his Neleb’s Master Nano robe, which gave a significant boost to all his nano skills such he was able to get into a higher attack bot.  After another trip to Biomare computer core, Babaemphee leveled also to 92 and bumped his skills up enough so that she was ready to equip a better mezz pet.  They called on Babaoroody to roll missions for the better mezz pet and a better bot heal nano for Babaengy.  He took Babaemphee along for her heal pet, which helped him save on med kits.  She did get sent back to reclaim twice when adds attacked her from behind while Baba was focused on a mob in front.  Baba has to become more vigilant in making sure there are no potential adds lurking nearby before he engages the mobs directly in the path to the mission objective.  They mostly blitzed these missions, going straight for the room farthest from the entrance where the objective can usually be found.

Over the next few days TEAM PETS alternated between daily missions and Biomare.  At their current level range, they get three mission choices.  Two of which they delete asap.  These are the crash site and the embrace the shadows mission.  The shadows mission looks to be only winnable by a mezzer.  The crash site looks like it could only be done with the help of an much higher level player.  The third mission, the one they can do, is the system intrusion mission. They even dragged both trader Tireen and NT Babaente through when they pulled that mission.  Between pulling it themselves and helping Baba’s other alts with it, they are getting quite good at this mission.

This brought them to level 95 for Babaengy and level 94 for Babaemphee.  Babaemphee was able to equip here Quantum Wings and has been trying it out.  While it is nice for flying around cities yet still appearing social, it does have drawbacks.  One is that it gets canceled when using a Whompa or the Grid, so it is not really conducive to traveling.

Next time, Crypt of Home.





BABA BASHES FOR BOTS

4 09 2010
New looks, Links Engergized and Solar Guard, click for better view.

New looks, Links Engergized and Solar Guard, click for better view.

Babaengy and Babaemphee dinged level 75 in the Biomare sewers while working in Tri-Plumbo’s area.  This section has the bloaters placed with much greater distance between them than in the sewer sections where it is common to get swarmed by 6 or more at a time.  There are six bloaters in this section that make a nice loop where the mobs respawn fairly quickly so there is no waiting.  They gave Tri-Plumbo a go and got sent back to reclaim rather quickly.  At this point they decided that it was time to go run team missions in order to roll some much needed new non-shop buyable nanos.

The went back to sitting around a mission terminal rolling missions while keeping an eyeball on Clicksaver.  At level 75 they were pulling missions at around 82-83 level.  They must have seen at least 5 go by with Beacon Warp.  They took one of those, but since Babaengy already has one equipped, it was just as an investment.  The most badly needed nano is the next best healing pet Calling of Restite.  Sanoo can not out heal the damage dealt by level 80+ mobs at this point.  A better mezz pet would help, and a better bot heal could make the difference in Boss fights.  Solar Guard would help immensely with Babaemphee’s survivability since it adds +100 to all defense.

They took break from RK2 and were doing some necro post reading in AOFROOBS in the professions sections.  One post in particular Easy Froob MP formula from Llie pointed out that the measure of a pet profession was the best pet they could command and stay out of OE self buffed, meaning the best pet that even with a outside buff to cast, that they could continue to keep under control with self buffs.  Pets operate under the same Over Equipped rules as many other AO items.  As long as the pet caster maintains their required skill at 80% or more of the requirement, they will remain in control. This meant that Tireen could help them  with wrangles to each cast a higher pet, with the limit being what they could keep out of OE.

Creation: Solar Guard gives 169 to ACs and +100 Add All Def

Creation: Solar Guard gives 169 to ACs and +100 Add All Def

After some calculations it was clear that with a +40 wrangle from Tireen, Babaengy could cast a level 113 bot and Babaemphee could cast a level 111 attack pet and keep them out of OE with Babaemphee’s masteries.  This required a bit of log-in juggling at first.  With Babaemphee first buffing up herself and Babaengy.  She then logged off, and Tireen logged in to put a wrangle on Babaengy.  With this wrangle running he was able to cast his better bot.  With the shell in his inventory, he logged out, so Babaemphee could log in and get her wrangle from Tireen.  This done, Tireen logged off after giving Babaemphee her wrangle and seeing her cast her better pet.  (They later found that triple logging would make this much more convenient.)

With both higher pets cast, team pets then headed out to their missions.  These two new attack pets went through the level 82 mobs like a hot knife through butter.  Even the mission bosses were done away with quickly.  Too quickly, in fact as in one mission, Babaemphee’s pet finished killing the mission target before Babaengy could take the elevator into the Boss Room to ID the target, so they forfeited that mission.  Even thought they did not get the wanted nano, they did nab a few nice pieces of Miy’s and Nova Dillon armor.

As part of their break from Biomare to mission for much needed nanos, Babaengy and Babaemphee invited Tireen to tag along for several team missions.  Tireen is level 75 so she would get experience and she would always be there to help them cast the highest attack pets.  It put a bit of a load on the computer, but it was manageable.  If dual boxing two toons was a juggling challenge, triple logging is even more so.   The three missions they pulled went very well as Tireen’s massive shotgun crits helped put the mobs away that much faster.

The only problem was that Tireen is by far the most squishy of the three, and the team had to be careful to manage aggro by letting the attack bot build up aggro before the rest of the team launched into any particular mob.  There were two fatalities, both caused by the same issue.  Babaengy was running a new hostile AOE nano, and several times it attracted a number opf unwanted adds.  The first casualty was Tireen, and the second time it happened it was Babaemphee.  After that, Babaengy canceled that nano, and will not be running any hostile AOE nanos.  Probably the only time they might be used would be in PVP, which they do not plan to take part in for some time, if ever.

Full set of Links Energized armor (in social tab), click to view larger version.

Full set of Links Energized armor (in social tab), click to view larger version.

Babaengy used these occasions to demonstrate the worth of the Beacon Warp nano, by bringing the team mates back from reclaim much faster than them having to revive and then make their way by grid, whompa and flying.  Out of six or so missions they netted for Babaemphee the following nanos, Creation Solar Guard, and Creation Summon Absum.  For Babaengy they netted Rebuild Casing, while Tireen bought him an Overdrive Combat Array from a store.  At the end of the missions, Tireen had dinged 76, and Babaengy had dinged 77 to catch up with Babaemphee who had just hit 77 before Babaengy’s trip to reclaim.

They estimated that it would be 3-4 more levels before they can equip higher attack pets, and there was not much else they needed that they could roll so they were about to head back to Biomare, when Babaoroody showed up and offered to pull a few missions for their level 123 combat pets.  123 is at the lower range of what Baba can pull, and should be pretty easy, however he asked Babaemphee to come along to provide healing support.  Baba knows all too well that having to self heal after every fight with health kits is very tiresome.  They were a little concerned that Babaemphee would be too squishy around 120+ mobs.

Baba was successful in pulling missions for the desired items, however, Babaemphee was too low to team with him according to the team mission machine, so Baba had to pull regular solo missions.  He did duplicate the keys and gave the copies to Babaemphee so she could accompany him in the missions.  This went way much better than any one of them had thought.  Any time a mob even looked sideways at Babaemphee, Baba would mongo and keep Babaemphee safe.

While Babaemphee’s current heal pet may still be somewhat weak against 120+ mob damage, it did very well.  While several times it had a hard time keeping up with the healing, Baba’s health never dropped below 60% in each fight, and was usually back at 100% by the time the next mob was faced.  Babaoroody the Enforcer is fun when he does not have to worry about self healing.  It gives him the freedom to use things like rage and mongos more freely.  He can see that it may be worthwhile to start putting IP into Nano Init so he can cast his Rage and Mongos faster.

Baba Loves His Black Clan Tank Armor, (even if it is just social and Veil of the Revoked does the work)

Baba Loves His Black Clan Tank Armor, (even if it is just social and Veil of the Revoked does the work)

It was also great to have the extra damage from Babaemphee’s attack pet, especially in those unavoidable times when two or mobs are found close together in a mission and have to be fought at the same time.  It might be different in a team mission, however Babaemphee does so little damage comparatively, that there is little trouble keeping the aggro on Babaoroody.    Baba still has the daily mission kill x smugglers in Smuggler’s Den running and he is seriously thinking of bringing Babaemphee with him.  Tireen would be useful, however she is on the same account as Baba, so they will never share a team.  Babaente might be useful if her calms and/or roots will land on the 120ish Mantis crowds that have to be waded through to get to the heart of the dungeon.

In addition to acquiring an Inferior Frenzy Embodiment level 123 for Babaemphee and a Semi Sentient Guardbot level 123 for Babaengy, the was an added bonus of finding a Creation Living Shield of Evernan in one mobs loot.  The shield provides around 140 ACs, some parry skill and 342 health.  It is odd that even though it is a higher quality level than the Solar Guard, it provides less protection and cannot compare to the +100 add all def provided by the Solar Guard, so we suspect Babaemphee will be using the Solar Guard for some time.  There also turned up a few pieces of Miy’s and Rhinoman armor, which Baba let Babaemphee loot as they were too low to do him any good.

Tireen is going to be busy shop fooding most of loot Team Pets and Baba netted recently.  Babaengy and Babaemphee are now planning on heading back to Biomare for some more levels.  They make take a shot as Tri-Plumbo after they level enough (80ish) to equip their QL123 pets, and may even ask Tireen to help out.  They are also starting to think about when they should make a run to Steps of Madness for Neleb’s robes and later COH for even better robes, and to Beacon Warp Baba in so he can farm some phats.  Baba smiled as he watched Team Pets discuss these things with enthusiasm.  He envied them. For FROOBS, level 70-100 is a very good time to be on Ruby-Ka, with several dungeons open at that level offering serious buffing items both for use and selling for profit.





Train Stopping at TOTW

7 08 2010
Train Stopping at TOTW

Train Stopping at TOTW, click for full image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Custer Did It Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notum Defender

Notum Defender, click for full image

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

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

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

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





Bailing Out of Smuggler’s Den

27 05 2010
Baba's New Look

Baba's New Look

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

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

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

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

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

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

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





Baba Seizes Suspicious Crate Contents

16 05 2010
Baba Waits Out a Stuck Petition

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enmity Nano

Enmity Nano

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

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

Library of Foul Language

Library of Foul Language

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

Da Taunter

Da Taunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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.