Bailing Out of Smuggler’s Den

27 05 2010
Baba's New Look

Baba's New Look

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

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

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

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

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

Borealis Exit Point From Smuggler's Den

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

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


Baba Beats Babyface

11 07 2009

Babaoroody came out this past Saturday afternoon to roll a few single missions from Newland City. His objective was simply to get back into the swing of things as we have been spending more time with our Nanotechnitian and Trader lately.  Before rolling the missions at the terminals across from the Bronto Burger stand in Newland City, he took some time to sort through all the loot/party favors he received recently from the 8th Anniversary AO celebrations.  He filed away most of the novelty and social items into his bank, and just kept the experience boosting items with him in a backpack so he can have them ready for use anytime he hooks up with a good team.

Mission spot at Milky Way Omni Base, click for full view

Mission spot at Milky Way Omni Base, click for full view

He rolled two missions, one in the very southernmost part of Stret East Bank, and the other in the middle of an Omni base in Milky Way.  The first mission involved a mix of snakes and cyborgs and went by in a flash.  Having gotten used to team missions, single person missions now seem like just a warm up exercise.  The second mission involved more cyborgs, humans, and several Babyface type mobs.  The incongruity of the foreboding look of this mob with the humorous baby talk type audio coming from this mob had Baba chuckling all through the mission.  Baba had been wiped a few times by very high level Babyfaces, so at first it was taken very cautiously, but after about the second one, it was clear these were lower levels and quite easy to knock over.

Flying from Harry’s at Lush Fields, over the inner waterway, Baba enjoyed turning on the AO music which always is a big enhancement to the experience of viewing Rubi-Ka’s lush landscapes.  The outdoors, open spaces music that plays when transversing long distances in AO is very soothing and really adds to the enjoyment of the moment.

Baba beats up on Babyface, click for better view

Baba beats up on Babyface, click for better view

Once Baba completed both missions he headed back to Newland to sort through his loot, starting a couple of bags for monster parts.  He had one interesting drop from the missions, a personal grid beacon which Baba plans on sending over to Tireen, or trader.  It will be a while before she levels up high enough to equip it, but it will be waiting for her. He’s glad he found it as it prompted him to look it up at and there he spotted ‘Walk the Grid’ which is better and which Tireen should be able to equip fairly soon.

His loot included several different cool sounding projectile type weapons, which unfortunately did not turn up on his handy loot only weapons list, so they most likely will be shopfood.

While sorting loot, he made a quick side trip to a backyard in order to buy 4 more backpacks, mainly to serve as bank storage items.

Baba also took some time to think about what his short term goals should be.  He reviewed his current equipment, including armor an implants, back item and weapon.  He definitely wants to step up from his Panther to a Pained Panther, and hopes to snag a team going to Crypt of Home for this.  Although it seems he is over the 110 level entrance cap, he can still get in with an Engineer warp.  Either that, or pony up a several million credits.

Armor wise, he seems to be doing ok, with Miy’s drops of Borgs.  In another 10-15 levels he may be in the range for a higher quality Alby back item.  Eventually, after maybe 20-30 more levels, he may in range to equip a Black Clan Tank Armor, a friend donated.  At this point, implants are his biggest question mark.  Getting implants over Ql 125 is much more involved than getting implants under QL 125 was.  Previously one can shop for store bought implant components when looking for under QL 125 implants.  Over 125 is another story. The highest basic implants stores carry are 125.  To get basic implants over 125 requires finding finished implants in missions and as drops from mobs and then having a tradeskiller strip them and then combine them with the appropriate clusters which are available in stores in Qualities over 125.  For Baba, the process of designing the desired implant set is a formidable undertaking.  Add to this the great effort required to collect the needed parts, and QL 125+ implants become a very daunting expedition.

There does not seem to be a good rule of thumb out there for determining of often one should upgrade implants.  It seems to be more of ‘do it as often as you can stand’ type thing, as the benefits have to be weighed against the costs in time and credits.  Baba does not have the credits to buy a set quite a few levels above his current level.  His best bet we think is to make do with his current ones and in another 10 or so levels start thinking about putting together a set from what he can find and getting it bumped up some.

Baba then decided to update his equipment configuration at  He swapped back in a Notum Ring of Three, that he had replaced for a while with a Ring of Haste.  The Ring of Haste is useful when kiting Borgs in Perpetual Wastelands as it gives 100 run speed, but for missions the Notum Ring is better for the added damage and extra ACs.  After making an up to date equipment configuration, he decided to look back through some of his equipment setups all the way back to day one.  We decided to dedicate a separate permanent page to Baba’s equipment configurations as they display a rather complete time-line of his progress.

See Babaente’s Kiting List

7 07 2009

Just a quick announcement that Babaente, our Froob Nanotechnitian, has compiled a list of her favorite kiting spots on Rubi-Ka.  See the link above in the navigation bar to “NT Kiting Spots on Rubi-Ka.”  It covers mobs level 25 up to level 85 and Babaente promises to update it with higher level spots as she levels up.

Tireen dings 50

18 10 2008
View of NW Mine from Fixed Dungeon Entrance

View of NW Mine from Fixed Dungeon Entrance

Babaente was very busy Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at the NW Mine in Lush Fields.  She had the help of Babaoroody, who would drop in from time to time to give her an Essence of Titan health buff and do some trimming of the Lifebleeder population.

She confirmed her theory that kiting might go smoother if she did away with using the auto-target and auto-attack settings.  Hunting this way, does not require any more key presses.  She usually manually targets the first key mob, and when the kite is getting near the end, she manually uses the next hostile mob button to select the most healthy mob remaining in the kite.  The best part being that she had absolutely no occurrences of the stop, cast fails, and auto turning to face the kite.  This became fairly obvious after only the first 2 or three kites.

Flat road area, Tireen pulls her kites to this area.

Flat road area, Tireen pulls her kites to this area.

The next kiting factor she worked on was spiraling in at the very end of the kite.  This is useful mainly when the kite is very large and if the kite has mobs with varying health levels or the mobs were picked up at different times.  In these cases, running long straight patterns tends to cause the weaker mobs that are getting close to death to fall behind.  If they fall too far behind, they can lose aggro and go back to standing or milling around.  This is wasteful of your time, if not checked and can be dangerous if you happened to double back  on one that may not be exactly where your systems tells you due to lag.  The near death mob then becomes an attacker again, and can inflict some surprise damage to your health bar.

To counter this, a circular or semi circular route works very well.  You have to experiment with the radius of the circle versus the run speed of the mobs that are healthy and the ones that are slowing down. When done right, the slowest mobs will gravitate to the center of the circle, where they will continue to be damaged by the nukes aimed at the stronger ones that are running faster.

It’s a great feeling when you start to see the yellow experience numbers start to flash up in front of you when the tail of the spiraled kite starts to die.  It is also time to be extra careful to insure you do not collide with any of the weakened mobs.

Another thing that Babaente only realized fairly recently is that if you are a kiter, you benefit from putting IP into first aid because you can use first aid kits while running.  Since they lock first aid skill for 40 seconds, the higher the quality level the better.

By the time Saturday afternoon was ending, Babaente was at level 54 and Tireen was at level 50.  They had said that when they were both 50 or above, they would head over to the Temple of the Three Winds.   There are just a few things they need to do before that.  One is that they need to buy and equip the various nanos that they both have increased their skills enough to meet their requirements.  For the trader Tireen this includes Advanced Health Funnel, Capable Health Haggler, Deprive Skills Lesser, Skill Wrangler Commonplace, and Strip Assets Continuously.  For Babaente this includes Crunch Com Compressor and Curtain of Darkness.

In reviewing both of their stats after the recent levels, they also have some other immediate needs.  Tireen has reached the point where she could easily fit into some QL 74 implants which would be a logical progression from her current QL 50 implants.  They would also give her enough Shotgun skill to be able to equip the QL 69 Vektor ND she has waiting in the bank.

So rather than be at the temple Saturday evening, it looks like it will be the excitement of shopping for clusters in Omni Trade for Tireen.

KITE, a new definition

16 10 2008
A Lifebleeder, not welcome.

A Lifebleeder, not welcome.

Kite as in Anarchy Online kiting, usually stands for “killing in transit”.  To kite in AO, is to aggro one or more mobs and run fast enough to stay a comfortable distance away from them and use a weapon or nano to deal damage to them.  This past Thursday morning Babaente learned another appropriate meaning for KITE.

Babaente and Tireen continued on kiting at NW Mine in Lush Fields through Wednesday evening.  Both were getting very close to leveling, and they stopped for a breather.  When they were ready to resume, Tireen logged off so Babaoroody could log on had get rid of a couple of pesky lifebleeders.  There were two in particular that were each in the center of large clumps of mobs.  The was a fairly large conglomeration of mobs on top of the same mountain with the static dungeon, but it had a lifebleeder in the middle.  Baba got rid of it and one other that was not too far away.

Next he tried kiting several using his yalm, and tried to lead them to a far away corner of the region.  This did not work as they, immediately returned to their original spawn points.  Next he tried kiting them to a far off spot and then killing them, hoping they would only respawn where they had died, but this also was unproductive.   Their respawn points seem to be within a set rather small area, regardless of where they die.  For now, Babaoroody will have to settle for dropping lifebleeders mainly when they happened to be located in the middle of the kite field or too close to a large number of mobs, and hope they either respawn much later, or farther away.

After buffing up, Babaente started her run using the clump on the mountain to start with.  The kite was the largest yet she has managed at this location, but the visibility was good, and there was a period of fairly good network performance, so response was crisp.  With such good conditions she decided to lead the kite around a few other areas in the hopes of picking up more mobs in the kite.  This succeeded, but greatly extended the length in time of the kite.  By the time the last mobs dropped, most of her 30 minute buffs were running out.  Both Babaente and Tireen leveled off this kite, Babaente hitting 51 and Tireen going up to 46.

After allocating out their new IP points, even though it was late and time to log, Babaente wanted to use the occasion, i.e. having zero experience, to try and kite one of the lifebleeders as a purely information gathering exercise.  The information the exercise provided was that low title 3 NT’s have no business trying to kite level 81 lifebleeders because not only do they have a very fast run speed, but they appear to be able to cast their ranged energy attack while they are moving.   The lifebleeder deals damage at a much greater rate than a low title 3 NT, and after a very short chase, Babaente was back at reclaim with the knowledge that she needs to give lifebleeders a wide birth.

Only 4 more levels to go, until Tireen is level 50 and then they will be off to the Temple of the Three Winds.

The trio returned briefly Thursday morning before work to get a kite in.  Determined to make it count, Babaente collected her largest kite yet at the top of the mountain where an unusually large number of mobs had gathered again.  She then led it down through the east part of the mine area, and then out to the west side of the mine.  All was going well, until the weaker mobs started breaking off.   This was a new occurrence for her, previously when her run speed was less; the weakening mobs would keep up the chase until they dropped.  With her better run speed now, if the fall too far behind, they break off the chase and go back to wandering around.    This has been manageable when dealing with 10 or less mobs, but it just became a big mess, with this kite of over 20 mobs.

It also did not help that there is a very wide range of different mob types at NW Mines.  There is a mix of shades, and most of the mutant variations, such that they all have different run speeds, and health bars.   This had not been a problem at SW Mines, so we are not sure why it is here.

She was trying to run circular patterns so the weak mobs would get picked up again.  It kept getting harder and harder to avoid the many strays, plus lag was turning up with the result that out of the blue, she would see her health drop down to 10 percent.  She recovered several times, and got the kite back together, but there were just too many, and it was too difficult to keep such a big kite together. Finally after getting bitten hard again by lag, or perhaps a few weakened mobs that did not show up on the map, she took a huge hit to her health, and decided to run for the fixed dungeon to survive.

She made it to the dungeon, where she logged off safely, vowing to keep her kites at NW Mines to more manageable groups of 5 to 10 in the future.  She also vowed to clear out the central section first, so as to have a wide open kiting area and not have to worry about unwanted adds.  Babaente’s new interpretation of KITE is “keep in temperate enumerations”.

Back to Lush Fields

16 10 2008
Curios Bronto near NW Mine in Lush Fields

Curios Bronto near NW Mine in Lush Fields

Babaoroody found himself back at NW Mine in Lush Fields this past Tuesday evening and Wednesday.  He was there running Lifebleeder control for Babaente and Tireen who were kiting the mutants there.  The Lifebleeders do re-spawn, but as long as they spawn away from the central area at the base of the mountain with the fixed dungeon on top, they don’t interfere with Babaente’s kites.

Now that Babaente has leveled up to 50 with a base run speed of 290, and the combined buffs from Quickness, (30), Playful Cub (100) and Terrain Knowledge (40), she can safely kite the 50-60 level mobs strewn about the NW Mines area.  This area is unlike the SW Mine, where the mobs are more concentrated in a smaller region.  Here they are spread out, with it being a rare situation when 5 or more are within targeting distance at any one time.  When it is daylight and visibility is good, Babaente can lead the train all around the mine area and pick up more and more mobs, all the while keeping a respectful distance from any lifebleeders that may have respawned since Baba made his last extermination sweep.  When it is nighttime or the weather causes visibility to suffer, the size of the kite goes down, as Babaente has to be more cautious, since the Lifebleeders profile does not stand out.  When Babaoroody inspects them, the info window says they are level 81 or above.

It looks like Babaente and Tireen will be here for a while, at least until, Tireen has reached level 50.  They may also take a few change of pace breathers and run team missions occasionally.  They overall plan is to go to the Temple of the Three Winds, once they are both 50 or over.

The TOTW train station, despite all the grief often associated with it, is the only source for several nifty items.  They both could use an Exarch robe back item.  Babaente would really like to get a Notum splice off the Defender of Three.  They both could also make use of the various memory devices that Lein drops.

We are not sure at this point if they will go individually, or try dual logging in the temple.  We are leaning toward individually at this point, but we may still consider the alternative

Tireen stands on top of one of the shapes over Harrys.

Tireen stands on top of one of the shapes over Harrys.

Hitting level 50 has it’s upside and it’s downside.  The upside is more IP points awarded with each level, easing some allocation problems.  The downside is that it takes a growing amount of experience points to level up, so while getting over 2k per mob on a regular basis is routine now, it is going to take many many  more kills to reach level 51.  After about 2 hours, Babaente and Tireen had both gained about 75% of the experience needed for their next levels.  When they first started kiting together, Tireen was leveling much faster the Babaente.  The rate seemed to be at least 2 to 1, with Tireen getting 2 levels for every 1 of Babaente.  Now that Tireen is much closer to Babaente in level, her experience bar still raises faster, but only by a degree, such that they both are leveling at about the same rate.