Ring of Haste, Key to COH

12 10 2010

QL 70 Rings of Haste boost runspeed by 100 but are no drop.  They are random mob drops but Entwined Soldiers at around level 100 seem to drop them very frequently.  There are two fairly reliable ways to obtain them.  One is the static dungeons at Sentinels.  One dungeon/building has a number of Entwined soldiers inside, and clearing the dungeon will usually net at least one ring.  The other method is to pull level 100 missions with settings for non-casting mobs which for some reason includes Entwined soldiers.  This is rather time consuming in that there is no way to tell what mobs are in a mission without actually going inside the mission.  Babaemphee and Babaengy were recently pulling level 100ish missions and found one with Entwined soldiers, so when the first soldier dropped a ring, Babaengy used Beacon Warp to bring Babaente their NT friend there to loot the ring.  The soldiers were very generous, as two more rings dropped in this mission, one for each TEAM PETS toon.

 

Sunrise Outside The Crypt of Home

Sunrise Outside The Crypt of Home, click for larger view

 

Eventually Babaemphee pulled a daily mission of the “kill 3 of ______ ” type at Crypt of Home.  As leveling off body guards at Foreman’s had slowed to a crawl, they decided to give COH a try.  Babaengy tried to roll the same mission, but got the impossible for them ‘Embrace the Shadows’ which he deleted, once, and the ‘System Intrusion’ again, which they did complete.  The flew out to the City of Home in Broken Shores to find an insurance terminal and save before proceeding to the dungeon out in the desert just a ways north of the city.  The simple entrance set up was a welcome change from Foreman’s.  No having to cast pets and buff up some distance off and then fly to the entrance here.  There ruins outside the dungeon are a nice place to meet and buff up.  Babaengy used his Beacon Warp to bring trader Tireen there for her wrangle.  One of the first things one notices after entering the first door, is that it is very dark, and one needs to have a light source.  Babaemphee fortunately had her light bar in one of her backpacks, but Babaengy did not.  They found that as long as they stuck together that one light was enough.  The first puzzle to solve is how to get in.  The small door opens to a short dark tunnel that ends in a room with 4 doors. The one you enter from, a dark one that is to the dungeon and two side rooms.  Each side room has switch in the far wall.  To open the dungeon door, both switches have to be pulled at about the same time.  The door opens for 5 seconds and then closes.

 

One of the COH Front Door Switches

One of the COH Front Door Switches, click for larger view

 

But before you can try to solve this, another set of problems arise.  Eclipsers, Dark Cenobites, Dark Sanitaryies and Dark Summoners spawn in these rooms.  They appear to be on about a 10 minute spawn rate. So once they have all been killed, your team has 10 or less minutes to negotiate the door before they start re-popping.  They are all between 70 to 75 in level and quite easy for our 90’s team.  They also drop some of the nicest loot in the dungeon, so technically, anyone can enter this area and kill these mobs.  Loot they drop includes, Collar Casero de la Cripta, Cloak of the Revoked, Necromancer Cloak, Anillo Casero de la Cripta.

The team made quite a number of unsuccessful attempts to open the door, with Babaemphee often just steps away when it would close.  They were about to call it quits and leave when some other toon came out through the door.  The door has a switch on the inside that will open it (after a 15 second delay) for about a minute or so.  They took advantage of this stroke of luck and ran quickly in.  Unfortunately the leaving player had also been a training player, as our team was immediately attacked by Bane (one of the 3 dungeon Bosses), and  4 eclipsers.  This had all happened so unexpectedly and unplanned that TEAM PETS had lost track of who the heal pet was on, and even if it was under orders to heal or just follow.  Babaengy’s health was down to about 25% when they got organized and ordered the heal pet on him, while he med stimmed Babaemphee and she med stimmed herself.  Then it was alphas to the rescue.  Both fired off their best short term pet combat buffs, followed by using all of their TOTW damage and debuffing rings.  Fortunately in addition to Babaemphee’s main debuff nano, they both were able to hit Bane with their TOTW blind/debuff.

Once this bunch was defeated, they looted a Bracer of Recondite Flames, which seems to be mainly for Martial Artists.  Then they healed up and proceeded down the long triangular shaped hall to the Blorrg area.  These look just like the floating gas bags found in Steppes of Madness, but do not seem to be as tough.  They were mainly trying to hit the mobs as outlined in Babaemphee’s daily mission, so after killing 3 blorrgs it was forward to the next area to kill three skincrawlers.  Next on the list were 3 abyss serpents.  There just happened to be two in the next area that branched off to the left. The serpents are usually found in a series of very narrow tunnels, so these must have been trained there previously.

These were fairly easy to take down.  Still needing to kill one more, they had to proceed to the next area down some stairs beside a waterfall.  The stairs led to a cavern area with four exits.  The one they came in, a locked door guarded by a Necromancer, a cave above a waterfall, and a dark small sewer tunnel.

According to Faunlore’s excellent guide, they would find another Abyss Serpent in those sewer tunnels.  That they did.  They must have met and killed roughly 8 to 10 as they journeyed to the tunnel crossroads and then took the northerly tunnel which led eventually to a larger cave area where they found plenty of the next objective mobs, Kizzermoles.  Individually they are not much, but they are small and tend to be found packed together in small groups and they socially aggro.  The appeared to be on an 8-10 minute spawn rate, so after the team cleared the cave of them, and they reached the switch that spawns the Awakened Pit Demon (and opens a door further in).  After pulling the switch, the team needs to run back to the middle of the main cave section to find the newly awoken demon who is not too happy about having his beauty sleep interrupted.  As long as there are no adds and the team gets off their debuffs early, this level 100 mob is not that tough.  It dropped a pit demon heart.  They then had to repeat this two more times, giving them a chance to re-cast all their buffs as needed.  After killing the third one, a quick check of Babaemphee’s pet timers showed that they had less than  20 minutes left.  The decided to start heading out, and return some other night to try and get the last three targets Crypt Guardians.

By this time, thanks to the fact that the “kill 3 of ______” type missions give out their experience awards with the completion of each mob type, Babaemphee dinged 98 while Babaengy was still at level 97 (which he had gotten off System Intrusion missions).  On they way out they did experience a major pet pathing glitch when trying to exit the water logged central room where the main chamber exit is.  Toons on follow and pets cannot navigate the stairs up to the skincrawler and blorrg area.

Both the engineer and the MP had to use their ‘summon lost pet’ nanos to get them  up the stairs.  This could be a major problem if there were mobs there at the time.  The had to kill a few more Eclipsers on their way out, being able to avoid the blorrgs.

The next day Babaengy tried again to roll the same mission, but still got the embrace the shadows mission, which he deleted.   That mission features lots and lots of 70 to 80ish shades in a dense forest.  The objective is to tag a pile of garbage, but you cannot be in combat for the tag to take. The ones who seem to have the most success with this mission seem to be those toons with great mezzes and roots or some way to sneak past the shades un-noticed.  A few crafty NT kiters also claim to beat it by training the shades off to one area, zoning out and then doubling back to the garbage.  Babaemphee’s mezz pet works on single targets only, so they just don’t have the tools to deal with this mission.

They returned to the Crypt Dungeon this time were not so lucky getting in.  They did come prepared this time however.  Babaemphee had packed a few speed stims with the thought of combining the +100 runspeed boost from her Haste ring with the speed stim boost to get to the door before it closed.  After first clearing the rooms of the mobs, she was able to get in the door after about 6 or 7 tries.  Once inside she threw the switch that would then re-open the door for Babaengy, who rushed to join her, however his pet stopped to defend him against an Eclipser that spawns in the exterior room when the door is opened.  Babaengy got through the door, but his pet was stuck on the other side with the Eclipser.  They eventually got the door to open again, Babaengy recalled his pet (/pet follow) and then the group finished off the Eclipser.  They made their way as far as the large room that connects to the sewers, and the exit from the main chamber when some factors in RL intruded and required this telepresence to be curtailed, so they made their way out the entrance, stopping occasionally to kill any respawned mobs.

 

Bio-Inspector Has New Uniform

Bio-Inspector Has New Uniform, Spotted by new bank mule leaving Island.

 

When they next signed on they made a point to transfer any unique items from COH to other alts (collars, robes, pit demon hearts etc.)  Rather than all of the nice items at COH being nodrop, quite a few are not, but are Unique, so that each toon can only have one of each.

Babaengy was able to roll the ‘kill three of x’ at Crypt of Home finally, so the next time they visited he was able to complete the eclipser, blorrg, and  skincrawler objectives, which brought him a ding to 98.  At this time, every IP point is precious, so they left the dungeon so he could take his time allocating out the few IP points he could.  With many of his skills maxed, this is getting to be a challenge.  He was down to 1 point of Time and Space and 2 points of Matter Creation needed to be able to equip his next step up attack bot, a QL 139 Inferior Warbot.  Although he could not increase either directly as they were maxed, he was able to get both up the required amount through trickle down by adding points to Agility and Stamina.

This meant it was time to Babaengy to go out and roll a mission to acquire said Warbot nano since they are all roll/mission only from here on out for Babaengy.  It took him about an hour to roll, and a few hundred k of credits.  It was in a level 140 solo mission and was a pick up the box type mission.  The mission turned out to be populated with Avians and Cyborgs.  He was really happy to discover that the tip he had come heard from Babaengy worked quite well for him.  The tip had been to pull single social mobs from a group, target one, and use a TOTW ring to get aggro from just the targeted mob.  He tried all of his rings during the mission, and found that they all worked quite well for this, except the Ring of Memory Loss, which aggros the mob, but since it debuffs their perception, it cannot find you and so just stays put.  This came in useful at the end of the mission where two high level Avians were guarding the mission objective.   He was quite able to take them down individually by pulling them one by one using the rings, otherwise, two at once would have been reclaim city for him.

At first he was going to blitz that mission and only kill those mobs that were between him and the objective.  After seeing that about half the mobs were Cyborgs, he decided to kill them all for their drops.  They Cyborgs dropped several pieces of Miy’s Scary, Tank, and Melee armor.  He also gained a few nice 140ish nanos in chests, boxes, and skeletons.  After completing the mission he met up with Babaemphee in the city of Home to hand over the nano.  While doing so, he noticed a pair of Boots of the Dancing King, in his inventory, that Babaemphee could now equip, so he handed her those as well.  These were a very welcome addition and timely since Babaemphee had just recently decided to equip the Sacrificial Ensigns of Cerubin which she had recently looted at COH.  It gives +40 to Melee init and Offense modifier.  It also modifies cold and fire damage by +20 which does her little good since her weapon does melee damage.  It also has a -40 Defense penalty.  She was glad to equip the Boots of the Dancing King for its +30 evade close and +60 runspeed.  This helped increase her AR which should offset somewhat the -40 defense penalty. (Note:  She un-equipped the Ensigns a few outings later after it was obvious the net effect was not positive, see the next section.)  The Ensigns are useful for building toons based on offense.

Team Pets had a bit of a rough patch at COH the next few evenings.  On their first attempt, Babaengy got sent back to reclaim just as they were negotiating the entrance.  Babaemphee was fast enough (thanks to wearing her Ring of Haste and using a speed stim) to get to the open door after she pulled one switch and Babaengy pulled the other.  The heal pet was put on her for this maneuver, however once Babaengy ran in, they were attacked by the usual Eclipser that spawns with the door opening and two more that showed up representing the crazy Eclipsers that run around like mad contingent.  In the confusion, they forgot to switch the heal pet over to Babaengy and he got sent back to reclaim.

Babaemphee decided to stay put and at least be able to throw the switch again when he rezzed and returned.  He rezzed in Home and was back in a few minutes.  After refreshing his buffs and they proceeded.  They got as far as the sewers and ran into some sort of lag problem.  Normally they can handle two or even three serpents, but for what ever reason, but we think it was lag, commands to pets seemed to not work and their TOTW rings failed to work.  This sent Babaengy back to reclaim again.  They had to repeat the whole process of her letting him in and rebuffing.  This time they made it all the way to the Pit Demon switch with no problems.  Babaengy was also running the COH kill 3 of mission, so he was gaining a bunch of experience.  The successfully pulled two Pit Demons in a row, and Baba was up to about 75% towards leveling.

Train Twit

When they pulled the third Pit Demon, things went from bad to worse.  When they ran back to the demon and engaged it, it’s health was down to about 50%, and Kizzermoles started respawning around them like crazy.  With alot of heal pet and health stim juggling, they had just finished the Pit Demon and about 6 Kizzermoles when some Twit came rushing through the tunnel, leading countless serpents, Kizzermoles, and even a few Eclipsers on top of them.  They tried to escape by running in the direction they mobs had come from, and this did save Babaemphee, but did not help Babaengy who’s aggressive bot managed to aggro a good portion of the train directly on to Babaengy.  So Babaengy was back at Home reclaim and Babaemphee was alone in the sewer.  Fortunately the sewer was mostly empty (thanks to the previous train) so she was able to get out of the dungeon in one piece.

So Babaengy did complete his kill three Pit Demon objective and was now at the same point as Babaemphee in the COH mission with them both needing to kill three Crypt Guardians next.  He might have gotten level 99, had it not been for the train, so now he had a pretty hefty lost experience balance that would be gained back soon.  Throughout the night Babaemphee had been much more squishy than normal, requiring more frequent health stims.  She decided that the Sacrificial ensigns of Cerubim were not for her now and swapped it out for her original +20 Health band.  She also made a note to only wear the Ring of Haste when needing the speed boost at the entrance, and to swap back in here Ring of Presence that gives +2 to almost everything.

Babaengy and Babaemphee had a very bad streak continued as they returned to COH to go to the third section and kill 3 Crypt Guardians.   Despite a handful of tries, they never even got close enough to id a Crypt Guardian, and only accomplished building up their lost experience pool.  They even took a break and tried some team missions, only to get sent back to reclaim.  Eventually the warning whistles and sirens in their minds, told them to stop and review their setups and see of anything had changed.  What they found surprised them, and does not seem to make sense on paper.  Babaengy had been doing some re-arranging of his heads up display, and somehow had put a reflect in the hot bar spot where he had previous had a team add AC buff (for about 198 all ACs).  It does not make sense that 200 ACs is enough to make such a difference, but once it was back in, they were able once again to run the same level team missions with no problems, and safely negotiate most of the first two sections of COH.

They made one last try at the ‘kill 3 Crypt Guardians’ with the main challenge being how to get through the Kizzermole trap.  Research told them the best bet was to run through to the other side and partially into the next tunnel.  Not knowing just how far into the next tunnel is best and exactly where the Kizzermole trap trigger area is, they ran about half way to the next bend in the tunnel which at first appeared empty.  As they turned to start work on cutting down the 6-8 Kizzermoles that followed them from the trap, they were soon attacked by 3 Necromancers, and 3 Dark Sanitaries.  While they did manage to cut quite a few of these mobs down, they eventually succumbed.  At that point they figured it might be more productive to delete the mission, and re-roll it, just to complete all the parts except the last part.  Some daily missions like this one, give out their experience in steps as you complete the individual objectives.

When they tried this a day later, the experience from completing the eclipser, blorrg, and skincrawler objectives was enough to ding them both to level 99 at which time they retired to allocate out their new IP.

RING OF HASTERing of Haste, Froob NT’s best friend.
QL 70 Rings of Haste boost runspeed by 100 but are no drop.  They are random mob drops but Entwined Soldiers at around level 100 seem to drop them very frequently.  There are two fairly reliable ways to obtain them.  One is the static dungeons at Sentinals.  One dungeon/building has a number of Entiwned soldiers inside, and clearing the dungeon will usually net at least one ring.  The other method is to pull level 100 missions with settings for non-casting mobs which for some reason includes Intwined soldiers.  This is rather time consuming in that there is no way to tell what mobs are in a mission without actually going inside the mission.  Babaemphee and Babaengy were recently pulling level 100ish missions and found one with Intwined soldiers, so when the first soldier dropped a ring, Babaengy used Beacon Warp to bring Babaente thier NT friend there to loot the ring.  The soldiers were very generous, as two more rings dropped in this mission, one for each TEAM PETS toon. 

Eventually Babaemphee pulled a daily mission of the “kill 3 of ______ ” at Crypt of Home.  As leveling off body guards at Foremans had slowed to a crawl, they decided to give COH a try.  Babaengy tried to roll the same mission, but got the impossible for them ‘Embrace the Shadows’ which he deleted, once, and the ‘System Intrusion’ again, which they did complete.  The flew out to the City of Home in Broken Shores to find an insurance terminal and save before proceeding to the dungeon out in the desert just a ways north of the city.  The simple entrance set up was a welcome change from Foremans.  No having to cast pets and buff up some distance off and then fly to the entrance here.  There ruins outside the dungeon are a nice place to meet and buff up.  Babaengy used his Beacon Warp to bring trader Tireen there for her wrangle.  One of the first things one notices after entering the first door, is that it is very dark, and one needs to have a lightsource.  Babaemphee fortunately had her lightbar in one of her backpacks, but Babaengy did not.  They found that as long as they stuck together that one light was enough.  The first puzzle to solve is how to get in.  The small door opens to a short dark tunnel that ends in a room with 4 doors. The one you enter from, a dark one that is to the dungeon and two side rooms.  Each side room has switch in the far wall.  To open the dungeon door, both switches have to be pulled at about the same time.  The door opens for 5 seconds and then closes.

But before you can try to solve this, another set of problems arise.  Eclipsers,. Dark Cenobites and Summoners spawn in all threes rooms.  They appear to be on about a 10 minute spawn rate.  The are all between 70 to 75 in level and quite easy for our 90’s team.  They also drop some of the nicest loot in the dungeon, so technically, anyone can enter this area and kill these mobs.  Loot they drop includes, Collar Casero de la Cripta, Cloak of the Revoked, Necromancer Cloak, Anillo Casero de la Cripta.

The team made quite a number of unsuccessul attempts to open the door, with Babaemphee often just steps away when it would close.  They were about to call it quits and leave when some other toon came out through the door.  The door has a switch on the inside that will open it (after a 15 second delay) for about a minute or so.  They took advantage of this stroke of luck and ran quickly in.  Unfortunately the leaving player had also been a training player, as our team was immmediatly attacked by Bane (one of the 3 dungeon Bosses), and  4 eclipsers.  This had all happened so unexpectely and unplanned that TEAM PETS had lost track of who the heal pet was on, and even if it was under orders to heal or just follow.  Babaengy’s health was down to about 25% when they got organized and ordered the heal pet on him, while he med stimmed Babaemphee and she med stimmed herself.  Then it was alphas to the rescue.  Both fired off thier best short term pet combat buffs, followed by using all of thier TOTW damage and debuffing rings.  Fortunately in addition to Babaemphee’s main debuff nano, they both were able to hit Bane with thier TOTW blind/debuff.

Once this bunch was defeated, they looted a Bracer of Recondite Flames, which seems to be mainly for Martial Artists.  Then they healed up and proceeded down the long triangular shapped hall to the blorrg area.  These look just like the floating gas bags found in Steppes of Madness, but do not seem to be as tough.  They were mainly trying to hit the mobs as outlined in Babaemphee’s daily mission, so after killing 3 blorrgs it was forward to the next area to kill three skincrawlers.  Next on the list were 3 abyss serpents.  There just happened to be two in the next area that branched off to the left.  These were faily easy to take down.  Still needing to kill one more, they had to proceed to the next area down some stairs beside a waterfall.  The stairs led to a cavern area with four exits.  The one they came in, a locked door guarded by a Necromancer, a cave above a waterfall, and a dark small sewer tunnel.  Ac

According to Faunlore’s excellent guide, they would find another Abyss Serpent in those sewer tunnels.  That they did.  They must have met and killed roughly 8 to 10 as they journeyed to the tunnel crossroads and then took the northernly tunnel which led eventually to a larger cave area where they found plenty of the her next objective mobs, Kizzermoles.  Individually they are not much, but they are small and tend to be found packed together in small groups and they socially aggro.  The appeared to be on an 8-10 minute spawn rate, so after the team cleared the cave of them, and they reached the switch tha spawns the Awakened Pit Demon (and opens a door further in).  After pulling the switch, the team needs to run back to the middle of the main cave section to find the newly awoken demon who is not too happy about having his beauty sleep interuppted.  As long as there are no adds and the team gets off thier debuffs early, this level 100 mob is not that tough.  It dropped a pit demon heart.  They then had to repeat this two more times, giving them a chance to re-cast all thier buffs as needed.  After killing the third one, a quick check of Babaemphee’s pet timers showed that they had less than  20 minutes left.  The decided to start heading out, and return some other night to try and get the last three targets Crypt Guardians.

By this time, thanks to the fact that the “kill 3 of ______” type missions give out thier experience awards with the completion of each mob type, Babaemphee dinged 98 while Babaengy was still at level 97 (which he had gotten off System Intrusion missions).  On they way out they did experience a major pet pathing glitch when trying to exit the water logged central room where the main chamber exit is.  Toons on follow and pets cannot navigate the stairs up to section that leads to the skincrawler and blorrg area.

Both the engineer and the MP had to use thier ‘summon lost pet’ nanos to get the  up the stairs.  This could be a major problem if there were mobs there at the time.

The had to kill a few more Eclipsers on thier way out, being able to avoid the blorrgs.

The next day Babaengy tried agian to roll the same mission, but still got the embrace the shadows mission, which he deleted.  They returned to the Crypt Dungeon this time were not so lucky getting in.  They did come prepared this time however.  Babaemphee had packed a few speed stims with the thought of combining the +100 runspeed boost from her Haste ring with the speed stim boost to get to the door before it closedl.  After first clearing the rooms of the mobs, she was able to get in the door after about 6 or 7 tries.  Once inside she threw the switch that would then re-open the door for Babaengy, who rushed to join her, however his pet stopped to defend him against an Eclipser that spawns in the exterior room when the door is opened.  Babaengy got through the door, but his pet was stuck on the other side with the Eclipser.  They eventually got the door to open again, Babaengy recalled his pet (/pet follow) and then the group finished off the Eclipser.  They made thier thier way as far as the large room that connects to the sewers, and the exit from the main chamber when some factors in RL intruded and required this telepresence to be curtailed, so they made thier way out the entrance, stopping occassionally to kill any respawned mobs.

When they next signed on they made a point to transfer any unique items to other alts (collars, robes, pit demon hearts etc.).

Babaengy was able to roll the ‘kill three of x’ at Crypt of Home finally, so the next time they visited he was able to complete the eclipser, blorrg, and  skincrawler objectives, which brought him a ding to 98.  At this time, evey IP point is precious, so they left the dungeon so he could take his time allocating out the few IP points he could.  With many of his skills maxed, this is getting to be a challenge.  He was down to 1 point of Time and Space and 2 points of Matter Creation needed to be able to equip his next step up attack bot, a QL 139 Inferior Warbot.  Although he could not increase either directly as they were maxed, he was able to get both up the required amount through trickle down by adding points to Agility and Stamina.

This meant it was time to Babaengy to go out and roll a mission to acquire said warbot nano since they are all roll/mission only from here on out for Babaengy.  It took him about an hour to roll, and a few hundred k of credits.  It was in a level 140 solo mission and was a pick up the box type mission.  The mission turned out to be populated with Avians and cyborgs.  He was really happy to discover that the tip he had come heard from Babaengy worked quite well for him.  The tip had been to pull single social mobs from a group, target one, and use a TOTW ring to get aggro from just the targeted mob.  He tried all of his rings during the mission, and found that they all worked quite well for this, except the Ring of Memory Loss, which aggros the mob, but since it debuffs thier perception, it cannot find you and so just stays put.  This came in useful at the end of the mission where two high level Avians were guarding the mission objective.

At first he was going to blitz the mission and only kill those mobs that were between him and the objective.  After seeing that about half the mobs were Cyborgs, he decided to kill them all for thier drops.  They Cyborgs dropped several pieces of Miy’s Scary, Tank, and Melee armor.  He also gained a few nice 140ish nanos in chests, boxes, and skeletons.  After completing the mission he met up with Babaemphee in the city of Home to hand over the nano.  While doing so, he noticed a pair of Boots of the Dancing King, in his inventory, that Babaemphee could now equip, so he handed her those as well.  These were a very welcome addition and timely since Babaemphee had just recently decided to equip the Sacrificial Ensigns of Cerubin which she had recently looted at COH.  It gives +40 to Melee init and Offense modifier.  It also modifies cold and fire damage by +20 which does her little good since her weapon does melee damage.  It also has a -40 Defense penalty.  She was glad to equip the Boots of the Dancing King for its +30 evade close and +60 runspeed.  This helped increase her AR which should offset somewhat the -40 defense penalty. (Note:  She un-equipped the Ensigns a few outings later after it was obvious the net effect was not positive, see the next section.)

Train Twitt

Team Pets had a bit of a rought patch at COH this past evening.  On their first attempt, Babaengy got sent back to reclaim just as they were negotiating the entrance.  Babaemphee was fast enough (thanks to wearing her Ring of Haste and using a speed stim) to get to the open door after she pulled one switch and Babaengy pulled the other.  The heal pet was put on her for this manuver, however once Babaengy ran in, they were attacked by the usual Eclipser that spawns with the door opening and two more that showed up representing the crazy Eclipsers that run around like mad contingent.  In the confusion, they forgot to switch the heal pet over to Babaengy and he got sent back to reclaim.

Babaemphee decided to stay put and at least be able to throw the switch again when he rezzed and returned.  He rezzed in Home and was back in a few mintues.  After refreshing his buffs and they proceeded.  They got as far as the sewers and ran into some sort of lag problem.  Normally they can handle two or even three serpents, but for what ever reason, but we think it was lag, commands to pets seemed to not work and thier TOTW rings failed to work.  This sent Babaengy back to reclaim again.  They had to repeat the whole process of her letting him in and rebuffing.  This time they made it all the way to the Pit Demon switch with no problems.  Babaengy was also running the COH kill 3 of mission, so he was gaining a bunch of experience.  The successfully pulled two Pit Demons in a row, and Baba was up to about 75% towards leveling.

When they pulled the third Pit Demon, things went from bad to worse.  First when they ran back to the demon and engaged it, when it’s health was down to about 50%, Kizzermoles started respawning around them like crazy.  With alot of heal pet and health stim juggling, they had just finished the Pit Demon and about 6 Kizzemoles when some train twit came rushing through the tunnel, leading countless serpents, Kizzermoles, and even a few Eclipsers on top of them.  They tried to escape by running in the direction they mobs had come from, and this did save Babaemphee, but did not help Babaengy who’s aggressive bot managed to aggro a good portion of the train directly on to Babaengy.  So Babaengy was back at Home reclaim and Babaemphee was alone in the sewer.  Fortunately the sewer was mostly empty (thanks to the previous train) so she was able to get out of the dungeon in one piece.

So Babaengy did complete his kill three Pit Demon objective and was now at the same point as Babaemphee in the COH mission with them both needing to kill three Crypt Guardians next.  He might have gotten level 99, had it not been for the train, so now he had a pretty hefty lost experience balance that would be gained back soon.  Thoughout the night Babaemphee had been much more squishy than normal, requiring more frequent health stims.  She decided that the Sacrificial engsigns of Cerubim were not for her now and swaped it out for her origianl +20 Health band.  She also made a note to only wear the Ring of Haste when needing the speed boost at the entrance, and to swap back in here Ring of Presence that gives +2 to almost everything.

Babaengy and Babaemphee had a very bad streak of getting sent to reclaim recently.  It started when they were trying to complete the last set of ‘kill three of x’ at Crypt of Home.  Despite a handfull of tries, they never even got close enough to id a Crypt Guardian, and only accomplished building up thier lost experience pool.  They even took a break and tried some team missions, only to get sent back to reclaim.  Evenually the warning whistles and sirens in thier minds, told them to stop and review thier setups and see of anything had changed.  What they found surprised them, and does not seem to make sense on paper.  Babaengy had been doing some re-arranging of his heads up display, and somehow had put a reflect in the hot bar spot where he had previous had a team add AC buff (for about 198 all ACs).  It does not make sense that 200 ACs is enought to make such a difference, but once it was back in, they were able once again to run the same level team missions with no problems, and safely negotiate most of the first two sections of COH.  They made one last try at the ‘kill 3 Crypt Guardians’ with the main challenge being how to get through the Kizzermole trap.  Research told them the best bet was to run through to the other side and partially into the next tunnel.  Not knowing just how far into the next tunnel is best and exactly where the Kizzermole trap trigger area is, they ran about half way to the next bend in the tunnel which at first appeared empty.  As they turned to start work on cutting down the 6-8 Kizzermoles that followed them from the trap, they were soon attacked by 3 Necromancers, and 3 Dark Sanitaries.  While they did manage to cut quite a few of these mobs down, they eventually succumbed.  At that point they figured it might be more productive to delete the mission, and re-roll it, just to complete all the parts except the last part.  Some daily missions like this one, give out thier experience in steps as you complete the individual objectives.

When they tried this a day later, the experience from completing the eclipser, blorrg, and skincrawler objectives was enought to ding them both to level 99 at which time they retired to allocate out thier new IP.

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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.





Claw Camp times

5 07 2009
Refraction

Refraction

It was all timing.  First a title 3 Trader, Tireen popped out of suspended animation to sit on top of the small hill overlooking Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows.  She equipped her Yalm and did a quick scout flight of the surrounding area for the bane of kite parties, the Slayer Droids.  She found none, so the server had not been reset since someone had trained the somewhat dim Slayer Droids to the middle of nowhere.  Her duty done, she waited for the title 3 NT Babaente to pop in.

Babaente, as soon as she materialized out of suspended animation, went through the steps to team Tireen and herself.  This done she proceeded to buff up, while, Tireen popped off one of the 8th Anniversary experience buffs, and then re-equipped her Yalmaha and positioned her self 50 or so meters above the batch of dead tree trunks next to the hill where Babaente would be leading her kites to.

blob

blob

After Babaente completed getting her usual set of buffs running, she activated one of the experience buffs just as Tireen had.  Glancing at her NCU panel before closing it to clear her HUD, it was fuller than normal, thanks to the experience buff and an Fixer run speed buff some generous soul had ninja’ed her with as she had been sitting outside the Newland City Advanced Shop.

The extra pressure of having to ‘make the best’ of these timed buffs added more butterflies than usual to her just before the kite starts nerves. The Claws were rather spread out with many outside the camp, making it hard to collect a bunch at a time, so she settled for just two at first, but she quickly found that with the wonderful amount of extra run speed from the Fixer buff, that she could lead the Claws around with impunity as she wished, so she casually routed them around the camp to pick up a good sized kite eventually.

Petals

Petals

She then lead it over to the tree log area and had fun with the wonderfully abundant run speed.  She had ample time to stop and cast more frequently than she had ever had before, so she took advantage of this.  This brought the kite down much faster with her casting AOE nukes about twice as often as without outside buffs. By the time at least half the kite had dropped, her HUD flashed the always welcome ‘new level’ icon. It was just after that that trouble reared it’s head.

Her Nano bar was hovering at around 40%.  In her usual set up, her rate of kiting and nano use (from nukes) rarely put her nano bar lower than 75%.

While she was able to continue at the faster rate, and she completed the kite, she had a rather flummoxing experience as soon as she finished looting the kite’s corpses.  When she sat down to use a nano kit to start recharging her nano, it would not work, giving her a message that she could not be in combat to use the kit.  This was crazy as she was not in combat, but she noticed that her combat logged still showed new lines of “attacked by xx Claw etc.” scrolling up, yet no Claws were near her.

At first she thought maybe one of the other minor outside buffs she had picked up in the city were locking the skills required to use the nano kit, but a frantic inspection of all her running outside buffs, yielded nothing untoward.

So here she was, frustrated and disappointed. With a sinking feeling she watched her NCU panel show the Fixer run speed buff running down while it seemed to take forever for her Humidity Extractor buffed nano delta to recharge her nano to where she could start another kite.

Onus

Onus

She should have been kiting like crazy now, and leveling herself and Tireen up like mad, She was just about to log off and write it all off to some kind of weird server problem, when Bitbomber (lvl 29 NanoTechnician, male, clan, J’avais envie) ran up in Playful Cub form and asked if Babaente was kiting the camp.  Babaente told the fellow NT  that she had been, but that she was having some problems, and could not continue, so she encouraged the Bitbomber to go ahead and start kiting the camp. After several more exchanges so everyone was clear it was OK for the new-comers (several other players in the NT’s team had arrived one by one) to ‘play through’ and take over the field, as Babaente was finished there for now.

So Babaente retired to the hill near by, while the new team went about kiting the camp.  Babaente noticed that her combat log was still showing the new NT’s mobs as attacking her, so she could still not recharge her nano.  She eventually moved to the opposite side of the hill where the server finally figured out she and the other NT were two separate toons, and the ‘attacked by x Claw’ lines stopped appearing in her log.  Rather than run out her excellent run speed buff just sitting there, she decided to log off and return some time later and hopefully when the camp was free again.

Later she reviewed the log to find:

Other hit by nano
Claw-C27 Outlaw was attacked with nanobots from Bitbomber
 for 185 points of projectile damage.
Attacked by Claw-C27 Outlaw!

Babaente is wondering if these Claws aggro every player in sight when anyone attacks them.  It has to be that or some sort of weird server or lag problem that was causing the system to not recognize that she was out of combat and should have been allowed to use her nano kits.

Babaente returned the following evening determined to get some leveling out of her Fixer Run Speed Buff, but fate said it was just not in the cards.  The lag demon was out and about Pleasant Meadows and Babaente got wiped twice in a row before she decided to stop trying.  Both times her HUD showed her well ahead of the kite, when suddenly, with no warning, her scrolling combat log went dark red with “Claw hit you for xxx damage” lines and the reclaim white out took over her HUD.  After the second time she resigned herself to spending the rest of that evening allocating out her IP points gained when she dinged 72 the previous day.





AO 8th Anniversary Party on RK2

28 06 2009

Party smile

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

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

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

The party was just getting started when Baba showed up.

The party was just getting started when Baba showed up.

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

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

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

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

Go Go Mr. DJ

Go Go Mr. DJ

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

Hecks and Fr00b, together at last!

Hecks and Fr00b, together at last!

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

Heck, lets dance!

Heck, lets dance!

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

The big K made the scene

The big K made the scene

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

Mini Brontos made it there as well

Mini Brontos made it there as well

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

Abbey aced the dance floor

Abbey aced the dance floor

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





Claw Camp, Pleasant Meadows, Classic Kiting Spot

23 06 2009
Claw Camp, Pleasant Meadows kiting spot with level 80 Claws, click for larger view.

Claw Camp, Pleasant Meadows kiting spot with level 80 Claws, click for larger view.

Almost every up and coming Nano-Technician hears about Claw Camp as one of “the” must do kiting spots on Rubi-Ka.  The average Claw level of 80 places them as a major next step up after graduating from the mutant mining camps in south west and north west Lush Fields.  The jump from 50-ish to 80 is big enough that most NTs will need to level up some or get outside buffs in order kite at Claw Camp.  This is not meant to be an ultimate guide to kiting or to Claw Camp in particular.  It is meant to simply describing how one NT experiences it.

Last night Babaente popped in after re-animating from suspended animation to find herself sitting on the small hill overlooking the south west Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows.  The weather was clear, and there were no other players in sight, plus there were no Slayer Droids to be seen.  She put in a telecommunication to Tireen who eventually showed up in her Yalmaha.  Tireen parked her Yalm a few hundred meters up directly over one of the large tree logs that are scattered next to the hill side.

This provides Babaente with a visual aid on the mini-map so she can circle her kites around Tireen’s location, therefore insuring she gets experience via proximity and being teamed with Babaente.  Babaente next got out her tool box of hacked boosted grafts, activating Hasty Augmentation for added damage, Glowing Retribution for protection, and Playful Cub for 100 run speed and +7 damage. Lastly she cast her regular NT buffs like Humidity Extractor, and lastly her Terrain Knowledge for +40 more run speed.

Slayer Droids protect Claw Camp during an previous visit, click for larger view.

Slayer Droids protect Claw Camp during an previous visit, click for larger view.

After this ritual is complete, it was time to grab her first kite of the day.  She approached the camp, and tabbed through the various claws looking for the one with the highest level.  Once it was selected, she cast a Mass Claw eyes, which aggros every Claw within range, and it is time to start running in the opposite direction.  She led the 8 or so Claws towards the small hill, veering to the left at the base in order then start circling the various dead tree logs and tree stumps that litter that area.  These are useful at the beginning of the kite to slow down and encumber the kite when it is most dangerous.  The Claws have a pretty good melee range, so it is important to not let them get to close.

So far, there had been no lag, and soon the most treacherous part of the kite has past, the beginning when the hunter is trying to wear down the mobs health to at least 50%.  The slightest trip up or stumble in this phase can quickly lead to death or loosing 50-75% of the hunters health as the result of coming too close to several Claws.  Once the mobs are at 50% or below, the kiter can relax somewhat, and start to tighten the circle as the weakest Claws start to trail behind the stronger ones.

With the first two kites behind her, she felt the tension in her shoulders dissolve. Usually in the first kite or two, if lag is going to bite, it will happen then.  The combination of her base run speed skill of 365, plus 100 from a Hacked Boosted Graft Playful Cub and 40 from Terrain Knowledge for a total of 505 run speed, gave her just enough speed to stay out of melee range of these level 80+ Claws.

Starting to get a feel for the overall speed and how the Claws give chase, she continued to pull kites, now putting more effort into setting up the initial pull in order to get as many Claws as possible in the kite. She used the layout of the camp to do this.  Since it is circled by a low fence she found the most productive way to collect a large batch was to start outside the wall at the back of the camp.  From there she would tab through the Claws to pick out the one with the darkest red target highlighting.

With the strongest Claw targeted she would cast a group area of effect blind/taunt nano and start leading the aggro-ed mobs around the perimeter of the camp towards the entrance.  While doing this she would time casting area of effect nukes so they exploded when the kite was passing close to mobs not yet in the kite, hoping to aggro them as well.  By the time she led the kite out the entrance/exit, she would be heading south west for the base of the small hill.

When ever she was able to pull 10 or more Claws (i.e. most of the camp) the kite would be a bit more demanding and technical, requiring more attention to keeping it together.  She found the often when leading a group of 10 or more over an obstacle like a tree or tree log, several could get their pathing confused and they would sometimes drop out of the case.  These then became a danger, that she needed to take special care to not come to close to them before leading the kite by them and popping another AOE nuke to get their aggro again.

Claws appear to be somewhat social to the extent that when leading a bunch of aggro-ed Claws in a kite, a stay lone Claw will attack if the kiter passes too close to them.  The fact that you have aggro from a group of them is enough motivation for them to put the kiter on their hate list.

When the satisfying end of each kite rolls around, Babaente enjoys clicking on each corpse to inspect them for loot. after a full 60 minutes (the duration of a single Playful Cub cast) and roughly 10 to 12 successful kites, Babaente had several backpacks of monster parts and assorted shop food.  While the shop food is not as plentiful as what was typical in Biomare, the monster parts represent a healthy flow of credits after conversion to plasma.

With a just a few minutes left on her Playful Cub, she decided to retire to sit on the hillside to think a bit about her experience here as she waited for the nano to time out.  Although the Claws gave pretty good experience, they also have a fair amount of health.  Babaente’s nukes are too weak at this point to bring down the kites fast enough to satisfy power levelers.  It takes her 5-6 minutes or more per kite now.

She has been having such tunnel vision while concentrating on her kites, she had forgotten about Tireen hovering a few hundred meters above.  When she asked Tireen to check her experience, she said “it looks like my experience bar hardly budged.”  After Tireen inspected her stats more closely, it became clear that she had leveled to 72 during this time, so she clearly had some work to do soon in allocating out IP points.

Babaente had gone from having about 1 quarter of her experience bar full to around 95%.  She is looking forward to returning for another round and hopefully pick up another level.





Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows

21 06 2009
Claw Camp in south west Pleasant Meadows, click for larger view

Claw Camp in south west Pleasant Meadows, click for larger view

After scouting out most of Pleasant Meadows as described in a previous post, Babaente returned to the Claw Camp in the south west corner of this region to give it a few trial run kites.  She wanted to see if she could do well enough here kiting these 80+ level Claws so that both she and Tireen, our trader, could get some leveling here.

To find it from 20K, the main whompa station and neutral outpost in the center of the region, she simply follows the road in front of the outpost east a bit till it angles southwest.  This passes the Foggy Hill location and leads eventually to a ferry landing with an Omni outpost next door.  Heading due south along the coast will lead to Claw Camp where a small hill sits just to the right of the camp and next to the shore.  In the south distance the City of Omni Trade looms, with much local air traffic and several huge floating space vehicles that glide back and forth over the city.

Claw Camp overview, click to count Claws in mini map

Claw Camp overview, click to count Claws in mini map

The camp is home to about 8-10 level 80+ Claws and is sometimes guarded by two Slayer Droids.  The Droids are fairly high level. They will destroy any clan individuals that try to attack the camp.  To make the camp accessible is it necessary to train the Droids away.  This is possible because they are not programmed to return to post if they are led astray.  They only re-appear at the camp when ever there is a server reset.  Players with Yalmahas can easily get the Droids to chase them and then lead the Droid to any spot outside of sight range of the camp.  They quite happy to be lead either to west for a refreshing dip in the river (they do float/swim) or to be led south to-wards the city walls.  Players with out Yalms can with the Droids in chase, run south until they hit a zone at which point the Droids will stop and stay put.  The running player only then need to double back a ways east or west of the point where they zoned so as to avoid passing close to the now stopped Droids.

Slayer Droids a long way from thier duty posts, click for larger view.

Slayer Droids a long way from thier duty posts, click for larger view.

Babaente landed on the small hill next to the camp and got her kiting buff kit out.  This includes her usual combat and NT buffs plus a hacked boosted graft Playful Cub for +100 run speed and Terrain Knowledge for +40 run speed.  Read all about where and how to obtain the item that gives Terrain Knowledge here. She was not sure if this would be enough speed to safely kite these claw mobs.

The first pull she tried netted about 6 claws in hot pursuit.  Right away she realized she should have studied the area a bit more before starting.  She could not find a good area in which to lead the kite.  The area to the south was out due to the Slayer Droids lurking there.  The area to the west was too small being hemmed in by the river bank.  The area just north west of the camp looked open, but was not flat.  It had a raised area that was not large enough to be considered a hill, but was enough that the Claws could lose aggro there if she got too far ahead of them.

To make the situation worse, lag started to appear, and within a minute Babaente was back at the 20K reclaim cursing about the fact that those Claws were nowhere near her, when he log shows 5 of them clobbered her repeatedly.  Not wanting to give up, she returned after she got over the reclaim sickness and tried again.  This time, she was able to avoid getting clobbered, but she was having trouble keeping the kite together.  If she kept a safe distance from the Claws, the mobs would start breaking off one by one, until only one or two were left in the kite.

She took what she could get, but was not happy barely getting less than 10,000 experience points  after two Claws dropped.  She is hoping that the next time she logs in that the area that it will be lag free and she will be able to keep that kites together.  Hopefully, with lag abscent, Babaente will be able to pull fuller kites there so that she and Tireen can gain several levels.  If she finds that even in good conditions that her run speed is still too low, it will be buff begging city for a while.  Between org chat and Borealis, getting Gridspace Freedom should not be a problem.





Warped again in Pleasant Meadows

17 06 2009

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

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

Crossroads in Pleasan Meadows, click for larger view

Crossroads in Pleasan Meadows, click for larger view

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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