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.


Inventory, Attack Rating, and HUD Tweaking

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

Sunrise at PW Dunes, click for larger view.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Claw Camp, the NT Magnet

6 07 2009

Our level 72 NT returned to Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows again on the last day of the long 2009 July 4th weekend. Tireen, our 72 Trader came along to make a two person team.

One of Babaentes successful kites at Claw Camp.

One of Babaente's successful kites at Claw Camp.

First Tireen scouted the area in her Yalm for Slayer Droids.  While the camp has been known to have up to six Slayer Droids arranged in guard duty around the perimeter, tonight there was only one, and it was situated about a 100 meters to the south east.  It was far enough away that Babaente could safely run around the outside of the camps fence and not get close enough to pull aggro from the Droid.

Babaente’s pre-kite buff was her usual, with the addition of also popping one of the 8th Anniversary experience boosting items.  Since Babaente had leveled there recently just before the lag canceled visit, her run speed is getting better, so that combined with Playful Cub and Terrain Knowledge, she found she can now comfortably out run the Claws far enough so she can stop to cast securely.

Babaente was greatly relieved as she pulled the new kite out from the camp and to the area next to the small hill to see that lag was not present.  She did experience a re-occurrence of something that seems to be happening fairly often now.  If she gets too far ahead of the Claws, or does not nuke them often enough, some of the kite break off and leave the kite.  This causes problems because although the Claws that break off from the kite start walking back towards the camp, they do it so slowly, that it becomes difficult to avoid them while circling the kite.  Get to close and they may attack and cause serious damage.

Tireen watches Claws leave after sending Babaente to reclaim mainly due to lag the previous day.

The previous day under bad lag conditions, Tireen watches Claws leave after sending Babaente to reclaim.

She was able to manage the few who did break off, by arching the kite wide and bringing it around behind them so as to re-gain aggro by having a nuke go off in the kite when the kite was next to them.  This stills leaves a minor problem because the returning Claws will not drop when the rest of the kite does.  As a result, Babaente missed out on a nice piece of loot.  Even though she managed to bring down the errant 3 Claws fairly soon after the rest of the kite dropped, the corpses from those that dropped first started vanishing before Babaente could get to them.

In one particularly galling case, she opened one corpse to find an Instruction disk for Enfraam’s Major Fortification, an NT nano that usually costs a bit, but her inventory was full so she could not pick it up.  By the time she transfered an item from her inventor to a backpack, the disk and corpse vanished.

It has been quite a few levels since she equipped her current AOE nuke “Limited Shrapnel Spray” and it is really starting to show.  Babaente tried modifying the frequency that she nukes her kites there.  It had been taking her 7 to 8 minutes from start to finish there.  This was at a rate of casting her AOE nuke after every 6 running steps while in Playful Cub form. The seemed to work well in regards to managing nano, as her nano level would rarely drop below 75% at this rate where clearly her buffed nano delta was working well.  When she increased her rate to nuking once every 5 steps, the kite did go faster, ending in about 5 minutes, but the increased nano use rate brought her nano down to around 10%.  When this happened she had to do a quick F1 toggle to target herself, and activate a nano stim, and then toggle F1 back to a Claw so as to resume nuking.  This brought her nano level back up past 50% and allowed her to finish the kite.

Babaente is a bit dejected that it seems it will be another 8 or so levels before she will have increased her Mater Creation enough to equip the next step up in AOE nukes.

Babaente was able to get 3-5 more good kites in before here Playful Cub hacked boosted graft timed out.  During that time, Tireen dinged, and Babaente was at about 95% towards a level.  Babaente still felt fresh, and went ahead and recast Playful Cub when it ran out.  She was just about to go pull another kite, when she noticed that another kite team had shown up and was currently kiting most of the camp.

Babaente retired to sit at the top of the hill and observed the new team for a while.  There were two high level MP’s and an NT at about Babaente’s level.  With various buffs and healing from the 2 MP’s the NT was able to dispense with most of the running.  Babaente decided that the best use of her limited remaining time for this session would be for her and Tireen to return to the outpost to save their experience and allocate out their new IP points.