Take Out Lab Director – Visit Reclaim

18 10 2010
Lab Director's Office Waiting Area

Lab Director's Office Waiting Area -Note the one toon in the mini map, click to enlarge.

Babaengy and Babaemphee, both now level 100 and pretty much as well implanted and equipped as Babaoroody (level 149) can manage, decided it was time to have their first go at  Biomare’s final boss, the Lab Director.  The good news is that the Lab Director did go down, and Babaengy did get to loot one Custom Desert Reet.  The downside was that the team wiped very soon after the Lab Director went down.

The team enjoyed giving their new Recapture Beacons a work out.  After using a neutral backyard in Borealis to cast pets and buff up in, they then walked out into Borealis proper, and activated their beacons.  In a moment they were just outside the Foreman’s front door.  The ran inside, activated their security clearance badges and made the long jog down to the Director’s Office.  They did find the computer core fully spawned, so they did have to fight their way through that and later two bodyguards in the west tower had to be put away.

As soon as they had hit the Computer Core, Babaengy noticed that his combat chat window was showing that someone was at that moment in a battle with the Lab Director.  They must have been quite seriously twinked toon as Babaengy could only see one white dot in the Director’s Office.  The log at first only showed this player and the Director trading blows.  The mini map showed the guards to be in the room, so they must have been rooted, or stunned or something as they did not show to be attacking the player.  It looked as though the director eventually spawned 3 Executive Defenders.  Once the director must have died, as there were no more entries for the player hitting the director, or the director taking fire damage, the player took down the defenders and the body guards one by one.

By the time Babaengy and Babaemphee had fought their way up to the directors level, the other player was down to only two red dots left.  Babaengy and Babaemphee first took out the two guards outside the doors and then waited at the end of the hall for this mystery player to finish.  The logs show the player was doing melee damage.  The players name was made of up various no alphabet characters, so there Babaoroody could not later figure out how to look him up via whois or Auno.org.  Baba does not have enough to go on to even guess what profession the player is.  One last clue, when the player had killed everything in the office the player just vanished, which means they could have died, logged off, or somehow been warped or meeped out.

While waiting outside the Lab Directors office the team’s reviewed their strategy which was first to take out the two guards at the outside of the office and then try and pull just the Lab Director using a TOTW flame ring. Babaemphee would be waiting back at the corner of the hallway where Babaengy would pull the Director to.  It did not quite work out as planned.

Babaoroody and Babaemphee on a Blitzing Mission

Babaoroody and Babaemphee on a Blitzing Mission -Nice sunrise

Both toons refreshed their attack pets combat nanos, and Babaengy fired off his Area of Effect Blind.  He then snuck up close enough to cause the door to open, and tagged the Lab Director with his flame ring.  Once he could see that the ring hit, he ran back to Babaemphee.   Perhaps he had tarried too long by the door as one of the Bodyguards in the office also ran out after them.  Both Babaengy and Babaemphee unloaded their TOTW Eternal night Rings on the Director and Babaemphee hit him with her main debuff.  They were holding their own with the Director and making good progress on the Director’s health bar, when  two more bodyguards appeared.  They had forgotten that while most of Biomare’s mobs are on 10 minute respawn timers, all of the bodyguards in this final section are on five minute timers.  Then about 30 seconds in to the fight, the Director started spawning the Executive Defenders.

For about another 30 seconds, these seemed to be countered by Babaengy’s AOE blind, causing them to mostly miss.  After about a minute that seemed wear off, and with now four of them spawned, they were rapidly bringing down the teams health.  With some health stim juggling, they managed to hold out long enough to take down the Director, one body guard and one Executive Defender.  Babaengy could see it they were not going to out last the other defenders and bodyguards and with both of their health bars at around 25% and still falling, he quickly made the effort to loot the Lab Director’s corpse to at least make the attempt worthwhile.  The mezz pet was the first to fall, with Babaengy next and then Babaemphee.  Babaengy was still happy back at reclaim as he inspected the Custom Desert Reet and executive order that he had looted.  Note: The loot did not include the “Director’s Identification Card” which only appears directly in your inventory if you are running the specific kill the director mission.

After thinking it over they may try a few things differently next time.  One alternative will be to try the Pets Only approach which is to have only the pets attack the director while the toons hide.  Team pets was leaning toward this approach, but in thinking it more about it, most of the forum posts about taking down the director, were from people running mochams and using top of the line pets.  The lowest bot we have read about surviving solo with the Director was a 176, while Babaengy’s best bot now is 149.

The other alternative is a variation of the original pull the Director plan with a few modifications.  The got into trouble last time by killing the outside guards and then waiting for the other player to finish meant that by the time they did pull the director, the guards were close to popping again.  This time they will wait until they know the Director is there and pull him immediately after taking out the two outside guards.  Babaemphee will do the pulling using her debuff nano, which Babaoroody reports he found a video on the nets that showed an MP doing just that.  Babaengy will wait at the top of the West tower.  This may be far enough away from the office bodyguards and hopefully the bodyguards at the lower level of the tower will not be attracted.  This way they only have to take on the Lab Director and the Executive Defenders.  It may again be a “loot-before-reclaim” try, but hopefully Babaengy will have his second CDR.  Also in preparation both Team Pets toons scoured their banks and re-equipped their fire reflect bracers.  It may only be a few points but they need every point they can get at their current non twinked state.





Mortiggs, Scorpiods and Beacons, Oh My!

16 10 2010

 

Babaengy's Look at Level 100

Babaengy's Look at Level 100

 

Babaengy had recently equipped a Disruptive Photon Absorber which sends out an Area of Effect blind for 3 minutes, and he as anxious to try it out.  TEAM PETS debated making another run at Emile Zuduwaza or returning to Biomare to either take on the Director or do the Recapture Beacon mini quest.  They eventually decided to do the Recapture Beacon quest a try, as they figured it would be the most likely to be successful.

The Recapture Beacon Quest has three steps.  The first is to collect one (they are unique) SD Power Core.  These drop from many of the mobs in Biomare, and you should have seen at least one drop by the time you make it to the final section.  The second step is to travel to the East tower, and give the core to the Containment Unit System Droid waiting there.  Once the core has been handed to him, it proceeds to start releasing five Mortiggs, one by one, and after them, two scorpiods.  If you can manage to kill each mob fast enough so you do not have to fight more than one at a time, and you survive them all, the dead Scorpiods will drop Recapture Beacons.  The Transgenic Experiments (the Mortiggs) and the Scorpiods are level 90, however the Mortiggs health bar is much larger of the two.

 

The Biomare Jog in Progress

The Biomare Jog in Progress, From Front Door to 3rd Golf Ball

 

When they completed the jog down to the third golf ball they got there just in time to see a pair of tunes taking TIM down.  They then completed buffing up and proceeded to the Computer Core room, and found it occupied by a team that appeared to be farming experience there which meant the way was clear for them.  They decided to try the west tower, as Babengy was not sure if any of his defensive nanos would aggro Rik-Rak.  Previously when they first entered the west tower they were attacked by 3 body guards.  This time there was only two near the first door, and the third was on the other side of the large circular room.  They put away those two guards with no problem and proceeded up the spiral ramp.

 

Babaemphee's Look at Level 100

Babaemphee's Look at Level 100

 

Next they had to take down two more bodyguards outside the Director’s office.  The then proceeded to the East tower and ran down to stand next to the droid waiting at the base of the tower, surrounded by 5 red dots encircling the room.  Babaengy and Babaemphee used this situation to re-cast all their short term pet combat buffs, and freshen up any other nanos needing it.  Once everyone was ready, Babaengy gave the power core to the Data Collector droid.  At first nothing happened, but eventually after a minute or so, it started to unlock each of the 5 holding pens that ring the room.  Babaengy made sure to cast his Disruptive Photon Absorber and then the team attacked the first Transgenic Experiment (looks like a Mortigg).  The Mortigg had a health bar quite a bit larger than the Bodyguards, and Babaengy drew his breath at first in awe.  After about 20 seconds, it was clear that the AOE blind was quite effective, as none of TEAM PETS, were taking serious damage.  It was clear that they would prevail against this one, but the question was, would they be able to kill it fast enough so that it would be dead before the droid released the next one.  They just manage to slay each one a few seconds before the next arrived, so there was no chance to pause to heal or rebuff.

 

Biomare's West Tower, Cleaned of Varmints For Now...

Biomare's West Tower, Cleaned of Varmints For Now...

 

The two scorpiods did arrive before the last Mortigg went down.  Fortunately TEAM PETS took little to no damage from them, as by not yet attacking them, the blind nano was proving effective at hindering the scorpiods.  The scorpiods seemed to have about half the health of the Mortiggs, but were still formidable since they were released two at a time.  A review of the logs after the battle showed that Babaengy’s Ql146 Flawed Warbot was outdamaged by Babaemhee’s QL139 Superior Frenzy Embodiment by about 60%.

Once the last scorpiod dropped,  Babaengy was quick to loot his Recapture Beacon.  Babaemphee decided to see if she could find one, and did manage to loot one for herself off one of the other dead scorpiods.  Most of the guides out there have been a bit vague about this, and do not say if each scorpiod drops a beacon, or just one.

After they returned to Newland City, the rest of the team logged off, then Babengy headed over to Borealis because he wanted to try this new toy out to see how it worked.  Once in Borealis, he kept his yalm equipped and simply right clicked on the Recapture Beacon. In a few seconds he was hovering in his Yalm just in front of the Foreman’s main doorway.

So he learned that it works with Yalmaha’s equipped, which might be the best way to approach this maneuver, there is still the very dangerous possibility that an omni guard could be waiting in the area just as one zones in.  With the yalm equipped, one can make a fast get-away.  Having proven to himself the utility of this nifty item, he flew out of the Foreman’s base and over to a nearby player city whompa in order to get back to Newland City.

This item will certainly make TEAM PETS remaining outings at Biomare more convenient.  It will also be a boon for any future Biomare twinks.  Now they will be able to meet with trader Tireen in Borealis, cast and buff pets, and then instantly be at Foreman’s front door.  Of course all that remains for them is to take on the Lab Director, mainly for Babaengy who could use the nice CDR pistols.





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.





Team Baba Pets Moves to Foreman’s

19 08 2010
Foreman's Front Door Mischief

Foreman's Front Door Mischief, click for larger view

Unceremoniously, Babaengy and Babaemphee’s last trip to TOTW was this past Friday evening.  They have everything on their must have lists, and wanted to give another try for the two elusive Notum rings.  They both have the PM/SI versions but the MC ones would be more useful, however they came across some posts which point out that Rings of Presence usually drop frequently for players as they level up, and they buff from +2 or more (depending on quality), all nano skills.  In fact between all of Baba’s alts, there are about 8 of various quality sitting in their banks.  The nugget of information convinced Babaengy and Babaemphee that it was not worth putting up with the trains and spite camping twinks at TOTW any more than they already had.

On this last trip they saw several variations on the “spite camping” twinks.  These are twinks, equipped with top shelf expansion goodies, much costing billions or only available from higher level players, while in and of themselves are of passing technical interest, stand out because of the actions.  They tie up bosses by camping them for hours, preventing anyone else from getting access while they already have all the items they can equip.  One Enforcer twink who choose to run a circuit around the three main wings and their bosses, when it saw other players coming through Gartua’s room, went and popped several mongoes and trained every spawned Windcaller, Exarch and reverend to the area just inside the door to Aztur’s hall just as our pair were entering.   It actually saved our team time, and just meant all of their objectives were in one spot.  While it did take a little extra work for the healpet, they soon had all the mobs down and looted, but no Notum rings were found.

Babaengy and Babaemphee then ran back to DOTS cross roads, and found a twink and a tagging on lowbie fighting DOT.  Babaengy and Babaemphee waited for the fight to finish and then started to run towards the door to the middle hall where Nematet is.  The twink and lowbie saw this and immediately also ran for that door, exhibiting that ‘me first‘ attitude prevalent in these juvenile epeeners.  Babaengy smirked to himself how well his miss-direction had worked.  He watched them run off towards Nematet, because he and Babaemphee really wanted to go visit Lein.

They had to fight their way all the way down to Lien, which is always a good sign, i.e. that no one else was around or camping Lien.  They did see a curious spectacle play out.  When they had progressed to having just two more corners of Legionnaires left to kill and pass, this 38 or so lowbie with a Neleb’s rod, but not much else, tried to run past the remaining Legionnaires.  The lowbie got all the way to the second set of Legionnaires, aggroed them, and then realized he was in trouble.  He was trapped by six Legionnaires, and they wiped him long before Babaengy and Babaemphee could get near.

Once team pets, had cleared out all Legionnaires, they had a 5 to 10 minute wait for Lein to spawn.  They spent this time, rebuffing, and recharging, so when Lien did spawn, the whole team was primed.  The attack went by the book.  Keeping their distance, Babaengy first ticked his bots positive aggression trimmer into gear, and Babaemphee, cast her attack pets combat buff on it.  Then Babaengy sent the bot in to attack.  After the bot had a chance to get in several good hits, Babaemphee sent in her attack pet and mezz pet.  By keeping their distance, Lien’s Ju Ju dolls were immediately rooted by Babaengy’s root aura and were too far from Babaengy and Babaemphee to hit them.  After the meatballs got in a few hits, Babaemphee cast her debuff on Lien, after which Babaengy and Babaemphee started to let loose with their alphas, various TOTW damage rings for Babaengy, and a cold nuke from Babaemphee.  The team took less damage in this battle than any previous Lien fight.

They were well rewarded at the end, with Lien dropping two dark memories and a memory loop.  This just happened to be exactly what was left on team pet’s Lien checklist.  On their previous trip they had both managed to fill their 5 slot belts, and this trip gave them both an extra DM for when they upgrade to six slot belts.

Babaengy and Babaemphee decided to head out to Biomare, having reset their profiles to start collecting experience again, and looking to get back on the leveling path.  They first stopped at the small base just outside the Biomare facility to grab the first quest from Ace Starr, who hands out the clan Biomare quests.  Entering Biomare, for clan, is a bit dicey, especially for pet classes.  Due to the fact that the base is an Omni controlled area, trying to walk in, will result in attacks from the many well equipped guards.  The best way to get in, is to fly in using Yalms, quickly so that any guards around don’t have time to take any shots.  Neither Babaengy or Babaemphee likes flying with pets cast.  It just seems like a cruel thing to do.  Fortunately the entrance to Biomare consists of a quite long hallway with the first mob at the other end, which means clan can enter, go to the side, buff up and cast pets without getting attacked.

They have spent the last few evenings working thought the first set of clan quests.  Babaente, Baba’s NT, and Tireen, his trader alt, skipped Biomare entirely, relying solely on Babaempee’s kiting to get them to their 70s.  They both are currently stuck trying to do the ‘System Intrusion’ daily mission.  Tireen’s calms just don’t cut it, she rarely gets past the first L shaped hall.  Babaente’s calms work much better, and she can calm her way all the way to the end boss who is level 90.  Babaente can calm her, but not kill her, so she can’t complete the mission as long as she has aggro from this boss.  She is strongly considering calling in Babaoroody to throw his level 149 weight around for help.

Babaengy and Babaemphee are finding Biomare alot more fun that it was for Babaoroody.  When Baba did it, he barely found teams often enough to complete the basic security card guests, but he also had to do alot solo.  Soloing is not recommended there unless you are talking about a twink.  Mobs are placed in close together groups, and most of the time it is impossible to pull single mobs before one gets security clearance.  The sewers can be soloed, as can the second golf ball cave section, but the bodyguards in the third section, are very strong and hit hard, and present quite a threat to solo players.  The three bosses are tough also, requiring a good full team, or a much higher level toon with top level pets cast.

The completed the first quest, disable 6 security cams, by focusing on the 3 cams, the first one outside Rodriquez’s area, and two more further down the same hall.  This required dealing with guards which go down fairly fast when Team Pet’s attack bots have their best combat buffs running.

The next set of quests, kill 6 floaters and then kill 6 bloaters is where they first ran into trouble.  Getting swarmed by floaters and bloaters is common when other players sometime train them on to others, but Team Pet was getting swarmed repeatedly.  The got badly swarmed by bloaters once where Babaemphee got sent back to reclaim, which meant Babaengy had to beat a hasty retreat via the emergency exit. Babaengy had just dinged 62, so after she returned, they spent a good 30-40 minutes killing floaters so she could catch up and also ding 62.  They filled up all their bags about half way through, so Babaengy inspected each corpse and only looted really expensive or valuable items, like battle suits or Notum chips.

Babaoroody had told them that he thought Biomare was much better designed than TOTW.  Things like the security cards and the emergency exits go along way in preventing the epidemic training like what goes on at TOTW.

Later they reviewed their various running buffs and are guessing that ‘Intrusive Aura of Entanglement’ is aggro-ing every mob within 20 meters, so they are going to try not using it on their next visit.   It also has the negative effect of getting Babaengy flagged for PVP, and open to ganking by some opportunistic higher level omni there.

They decided to level up some more before taking on the kill Tri-Plumbo boss quest.  The sewers provides fast leveling for them, and TONS of loot.  The best thing about Biomare, in addition to good leveling, is the income.  Mobs at Biomare drop tons of semi-valuable loot.  A single average bag can easily bring 90,000 credits when vendored by Tireen.  It’s quite easy to fill 10+ bags while getting a level in the sewers.   With all bags full and both hitting 62, they left for the evening.

Later while allocating out their new IP in a Newland shop, Babaengy realized he had just increased his skills enough to be able to use ‘Beacon Warp’ which Babaoroody looted a year or two ago.  This opens up a lot of possibilities, from warping lowbies in for phatz, to warping Babaoroody in for places like Crypt of Home.

They made a short follow up visit the following night, and refrained from using the Intrusive Aura as well as any reflect damage things, and as a result, had a much more manageable time in the sewers, grabbing about 10 bags of stuff, and a level each (level 63).  This finally allowed Babaemphee to be able to cast her first Chant, so she cant’ wait to try it out.  Babaengy however is in one of those stages where it will be several levels before he can bump up a level on his bot or any of his nanos.   They both are also still inching towards equipping level 70 first aid and treatment kits.  Stores only sell these in 50 and 70 steps so they have been trying to make do with some 60s that dropped in a team mission a while back, but these have been used up and they are stuck with using puny 50s now.





Bailing Out of Smuggler’s Den

27 05 2010
Baba's New Look

Baba's New Look

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

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

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

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

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

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

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





How Edit Fixed Keys in AO

25 08 2009
The well dressed dyna hunter Baba at level 138, click for larger view.

The well dressed Dyna Hunter Baba at level 138, click for larger view.

Baba managed to hit level 138 this past Monday evening. On his way out to Perpetual Wastelands from Newland City, he stopped several times along the way to pick off a few Dynas. The first Dyna was one he has taken down before and has never had trouble with. Tonight it gave him quite a drubbing before Baba’s Panther eventually cut it down to size. While Baba sat healing up afterward, and wondering what went so wrong, he checked his running nanos. He found that he had neglected to cast his absorb nano. Without it, he immediately started taking damage when the fight started. He figured later that the absorb has a very strong effect at the start of a fight when the mob is strongest. By the time the absorb has been used up, the mob has usually been weakened enough that it is no longer needed. He won’t be taking his absorb nano for granted again. The Gird for Punishment nano gives 436 absorb layers.

When Baba arrived at the PW dunes area, he found no one else there, and the Borg looked to be about 90% repopulated. He still had to clear the main dune area and work his way up the ‘Pinch’ towards the Helipad in order to finally level up to 138. After he hit 138, he jumped back in his Yalm and headed south towards the Player City owned by ‘Jacks Violent Crew’ that is situated just south of the Borg’s main mine complex. While passing over the section of road between the mine complex and the military base, he spotted a high level player kiting a rather large number of Borg. A list command indicated that there might be a team in the area, but all he could spot was the single kiter.

HOW TO EDIT FIXED KEYS

After Baba got back to Newland City and after he arranged for Tireen his trader friend to fence the loot, he chatted with Ohtizz our rather new adventurer. Ohtizz was complaining about the HUD interface not allowing the re-assignment of what it identifies as “FixedKeys” This puzzled Baba, because he has his Brawl key re-assigned from the default. He went back and studied his config files and found that he had made some custom edits to his Login.cfg file that re-assigned the Brawl key. The Login.cfg file lists all the HUD actions and the corresponding hot keys identified by ASCII character decimal number. Fast attack for Baba is listed in this file as KEY_BUTTON_FASTA 87 which Baba has re-assigned to 87, the hex EBCDIC code for the letter ‘g’. Baba uses this handy table that can be found here to find the appropriate hex code for any key .  The Login.cfg file is found in your Prefs directory. Be sure to make a back up copy of the file before you start editing it, just in case you hose it up somehow.  Baba has his fast attack and brawl keys re-assigned to be close to the other keys he uses.

While talking to Ohtizz, Baba also passed on another tip to the newbie. The social tab in the HUD can be used as a sort of extra backpack. Baba showed him how it can be used to free up space in your open inventory for more loot collection. Items that need to be in your inventory to use, like hacked boosted grafts, special rings, etc. will also activate from a hot bar key if placed in the social tab. The only limitation/consideration is whether it is something that shows up if you have settings that cause social tab items to display. This does not apply to rings, but does to back items and armor items.

Baba hits level 138 in Perpetual Wastelands. Click for full view.

Baba hits level 138 in Perpetual Wastelands. Click for full view.

Baba spent some time doing research on the net concerning the Pained Panther weapon. This two handed edged weapon is the next step up from his current Panther axe. He was happy to see that he will be able to equip one quite easily. His fast attack, brawl, and dimach skills meet the requirements, while he will need a 131 wrangle plus a few other buffs to meet the 2 hand edged requirement of 1001. He had been around level 90 when he purchased his Panther. The Panther and the Pained Panther drop off of mobs in the Crypt of Home dungeon.

The Crypt of Home is one of Rubi-Ka’s stranger dungeons. Everything about it is a bit odd. First of all to enter it requires two or more people acting together to throw two switches at different places. So unlike the Subway, Foreman’s or even the Temple of the Three Winds, a solo player can’t just simply waltz in and hope to pick up a team once inside. The few times we have been to the exterior, it has been deserted, it is not a gathering place like the other 3 dungeons. The mobs and bosses are said to be in the 90 to 110 range, however, players over 110 cannot enter via the entrance. Players above 110 can be warped in by Engineers. Another odd bit about this place is that almost all the boss loot is free from being NO DROP. Several pieces are Unique so that a player can only have one in possession at any time. In addition to the Panther line, the Cenobite Shadows also drop 3 other prized weapons, the Blackbird line of sub-machine guns, the Howlet line of two hand blunt weapons, and Chiropteras, one hand edged weapons. These are very popular weapons which are amost always in demand.





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.