Open Those Little Brown Boxes

26 07 2010
Open those little brown boxes, and you just might find this... Instruction Disk for Grid Armor Mk I

Open those little brown boxes, and you just might find this... Instruction Disk for Grid Armor Mk I

Babaengy and Babaemphee (aka Team Pets) have been on a roll and hit the jackpot recently.  It was a QL 60ish team mission where they found a Instruction Disk for Grid Armor I in one of those non-descript small square boxes. AOPriceWatch.com lists the current average asking price to be 15.5 million credits for this item.

This is the third time is similar circumstances, our toons have found a Grid Armor ID.  The small square boxes are sometimes hard to spot, and often are just plain empty.  On the plus side, unlike barrels and chests, they are never locked, so opening them is a simple single click.  When we first started doing missions with Babaoroody, we often skipped those small brown boxes thinking that nothing of worth could be found in them.  We certainly had never read on any forum or web site about valuable loot showing up in those.  After Baba opened the one where he found his first Grid Armor, we require all of our toons to always open small brown boxes.

TEAM PETS, Babaengy and Babaemphee, with matching helmets!

TEAM PETS, Babaengy and Babaemphee, with matching helmets!

Team Pets (Babaengy and Babaemphee, both level 57), also made significant progress over the past weekend, bringing them to within a couple of more missions to getting their 120 token boards and the juicy 350 health, 300 nano, +3% experience, and +10 defense.  Those mission should also put them at or very near their target level of 59 for optimum Temple of The Three Winds phatz.  The more we play this pair, the more it feels like this could be the combination that goes all the way to 200.

Evolving Boss Room Tactics

Due to the many factors in play, there is no ‘typical Boss room’ encounter.  Bosses can special auras that give them extra strong defenses, ranging from reflects, to strong evades, and just plain loads of health.  There can be one or several minions, additional mobs that will aggro you on sight.  The larger the room, the more flexibility the team has in choosing it’s battles.  In a large enough room, some mobs or the Boss can be avoided by distance while the team takes out another hostile.  Placement of the Boss and the minions in relation to the elevator is crucial.  Rezzing on top of the Boss and it’s minion(s) bring with it several disadvantages beyond just getting instant aggro from all.  The worst disadvantage to these scenarios is that it is very difficult if not impossible to quickly identify each mob and then target them appropriately.

Video Glitch, the joys of dual logging.  Requires a hard zone or re-log to fix.

Video Glitch, the joys of dual logging. Requires a hard zone or re-log to fix.

It the room is big enough, one can often run away enough to be able to separate and ID the mobs.  A small room may prevent this and this can lead to a very confusing battle that is likely to end badly.  The MP may not be able to id and target the weakest mob for mezzing.  With Pets on guard mode, their is no telling quickly which pets are fighting which mobs.  The MP also has to quickly size up the situation and decide who to put the heal pet on as soon as possible.

The Baba chart of Boss Room Encounters looks like a reverse geometric grow chart (i.e. it goes down very quickly to a long tail).  The most damage can be potentially done to team members in the first few moments of the encounter.  If targets are not coordinated and attacked in those first few moments, the mobs gain a lead in damage, that it may be impossible to overtake.

We are currently favoring the MP being the lead into the room, mainly because she can enter with the heal pet on her, so that she can afford to take some damage, while the Engy teleports in and takes the few precious moments to target and start attacking.

Once both team members are in the room and engaged, we have also been favoring controlling the MP, due to the fact that she recently acquired her first rally  decent nuke which can really help whittle down the Boss’s health.  It is a nano drain, so we are happy we have been keeping her nano pool maxed.

Aliens City Raid Passed Trekking to Missions

Aliens City Raid Passed Trekking to Missions

She also recently graduated to a fairly decent mob debuff, so we have added it to her standard operating procedure attack (select team leader, hit assist macro, hit attack button, hit macro for debuff.

For most of the non-Boss room antics, we still drive the Engineer who pulls targets and sets his bot on them.  Once the Bot had had a chance to get a few good blows in, we have the MP start her attack sequence.  If she attacks too soon, she draws aggro and the Engy ends up having to health stim her, or we have to switch the heal pet off the Engy and on to her.  It would be ideal if we had a good multi-boxing macro that would reliably toggle the heal pet between the two of them, but so far, we have not written one that is reliable enough.

Having the MP select herself is foolproof with the %m chat command.  The f2 key to select the team leader does not always work as expected because if the leader was already selected, it toggles to select the MP.  It’s a shame you can give chat commands directed by name, like you can with Pet commands.

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The Miy’s Man

14 08 2009
The well dressed Fr00b decked out for Borgs in Perpetual Wastelands, click for larger view

The well dressed Borg Hunter in Perpetual Wastelands, click for larger view.

Earlier in the week Baba had made a trip out to Perpetual Wastelands Borg Dunes, only to find it occupied by several higher level toons.  There was a title 5 fixer kiting the Borg in mass out on the main dune.  Baba is not sure why high levels hunt Borg here, as it must not be very good experience.  The best guess is they are farming Miy’s armor for alts, however often these toons don’t bother to loot the corpses.

Baba went south west a little to the town area and started hunting the slightly lower level Borg in that region.  He netted quite a few nice Miy’s pieces which he will be saving for his alts.  He had not trouble with these Borg and could easily kite several at a time with not difficulty.  The trouble he ran into was in the area near where the main road bends westward to go to the bridge.

Target rich Perpetual Wastelands dunes, click for larger view

Target rich Perpetual Wastelands dunes, click for larger view

There is a cliff to the south and Baba had spotted a single Borg down at the base.  He hopped down there to take out the Borg only to find that there were about 5 Borg there and a couple of high level mantises.  He managed to run out of the ravine and up the hill towards the road.  In the process he lost the mantises and the Borg by themselves was manageable.

The next evening when he returned to the dunes area, there was another title 5 Fixer out on the main dune area.  Baba went to the area next to the Helipad, but after he had killed a few Borg, the Fixer rolled in and kitted away all the Borg.

Since about half of Baba’s bags were full from the night before, he choose to go back to Newland city to sort out his loot and sell it.  After he competed this (including meeting up with Tireen who fenced the items at the trader shop) he returned to the dunes to find the Fixer gone.

There was still a problem.  The fixer had left a tigntly packed group of Borg on the main dune.  Baba had never seen so many Borg in such a small area.  Baba tried to slowly approach to just aggro one, but he had to high tail it when the whole pack turned on him.  They stopped chasing him by the time he was just a few hundred yards from the canyon to the north.

At this this dispersed the Borg knot, and when he returned he was able to start kiting them in ones and twos.  He did this for about an hour and decided to log off after his anniversary experience boost wore off.

Ohtizz leveling near central outpost in Newland Dessert, click for larger view

Ohtizz leveling near central outpost in Newland Dessert, click for larger view

Ohtizz our adventurer put in a few hours this week.  He leveled up to 24 in the wilderness around the outpost in the center of Newland Dessert.  He experimented with several different sets of pistols and in the end decided to stick with the upgraded starter weapons for now.  The Electrocutiums did slightly better damage, but were painfully slow.

It is just psychologically unacceptable to get killed while waiting for you weapon to shoot.  Also the lack of any special, makes combat with them a single button push of boredom.  At least with the Surge pistols, if he pays attention, it pays off with additional damage from every Fling Shot.  After hitting 24 he headed back to the subway.

OHtizz almost outhealed Eumidess damage, but not quite, click for larger view

OHtizz almost outhealed Euenides's damage, but not quite, click for larger view

We found him at 24 to be somewhat less powerfull than our NT had been, but better than Baba as a baby enforcer had been.  His damage is about the same as Baba’s then, but his self healing gives him an edge over the enforcer at that level.  The NT definitely out damages both of them.  Our NT could easily solo Eumedies,  Virgil Aneid and Infectors.  Ohtizz had a run in with Eumenides  at the entrance to the stairwell to the deep subway.

It turned out to be a fairly long battle.  As long has his nano lasted, Ohtizz was able to out heal the damage of the mob.  Ohtizz’s damage was too weak, and was not enough to beat the mob before Ohtizz’s nano ran out.  Once his nano ran out, he could no longer use his first aid stims, and since his damage was slower than the the mobs, the mob beat him.  At the end both had just a sliver of health left.





Baba Breaks 136 at PW Dunes

29 07 2009
Start of Babas Tuesday Borg hunt, click for larger image.

Start of Baba's Tuesday Borg hunt, click for larger image.

Baba continued his hunting trip to Perpetual Wastelands for Borg that he started the day before. For the duration of this trip, he camped out there in the dunes, rather than commute back and forth from Newland City. When he approached the main dune area, he found it about 2/3 populated. This was the best he had found it recently. As far as PW Borg dunes is concerned, there is no shortage of players, as the Borg population is frequently culled by hunters like himself.

Baba is motivated to level up to 150 at which point he will be eligible to join in Froob Title 5 group activities. Soon Baba had cleaned out the main large dune and he had to head south to the small hilly section in the pinched area between the Helipad, the acid lake and the cliff wall. Getting to the point where his standard Borg kite attack is second nature, Baba focused on adding another special, the Library of Foul Language taunts. These not only taunt the enemy, but do a small amount of radiation damage as well. With a fairly quick cool down of 6 or so seconds, it can be repeated several times during each kite. A QL 140 Library does 35 radiation damage, so hitting a Borg four times in a kite, nets an additional 140 damage. No where near a crit, but Baba is not going to pass by anything that brings Borg down faster. Also just in the last few levels, the increases to his basic skills and speed stats, he has been able to start using Fast Attack and Brawl 2 to 3 times per Borg. For the longest time the cool downs for these were so long that Baba rarely got to use them more than once per fight.

Main Dune cleared, time to start south, click for larger view.

Main Dune cleared, time to start south, click for larger view.

With his loot bags full, Baba took to the skies in his Yalmaha, and headed due south to the nearest player city’s whompa. As he was passing over the mountain that sits between the Omni Mines and the main Borg base, he spotted a group of players standing around on the mountain top. He put his Yalmaha into hover and looked closer. There were about 5 players standing or sitting at the south east edge of the mountain top, looking down at the strip of road that runs between the Borg base and the Omni Mines. Down on the road he saw the 6th member of the team, an NT, that was kiting Borg.

It was one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that moments.’ If he had been up on the mountain top, safe and secure, he would have not gotten wiped like he did the last time he was on the ground here with a kiting team from his guild. He had been too close to the action, and sent back to reclaim when several Borg took an interest in him.

Baba dings 136 at PW Dunes, click for larger view

Baba dings 136 at PW Dunes, click for larger view

He proceeded on to Newland City, where he needed to sort through tonight’s loot take. Unlike the night before, when he had only gotten a handful of Miy’s armor pieces, tonight he had not only picked up many Miy’s pieces, but it also seemed to be “special guns” night in the loot table of his Borg. He sorted the guns out, but left them for identification at another time. He was more interested in cataloging his new Miy’s armor items, and since he had also just leveled, to look for pieces he could wear. It turned out that most of the Miy’s items dropped tonight were much higher than what he can equip now. He got several 200+ pieces, which he does not recall ever looting items that high before. He filled up a backpack with the new Miy’s pieces.

He placed that in his bank, and later after portioning out his level 136 IP points, he got out all his Miy’s armor bags and went through them looking for items he could now equip. This last level pushed up several of his stats enough that he could now equip a new Miy’s armor legs, arms and boots. The QL 111 carbonum armor arms that he removed were the last pieces of his former all carb armor set that he has worn since around level 90. Roughly 40 levels out of one set of Carb armor, goes to show what great armor the Carb is. It really is great for froob Enforcers as it buffs NCU and nano in addition to providing good AC protection. The Miy’s helps less with the NCU, but adds Health Points. At lower levels Enforcers are struggling with nano, but by the time they level up to where Baba is now, 130-140, nano is more plentiful as long as nano pool has been increased along the way consistently.

Babas New Miys armor that retired his QL 111 Carb, click for Auno.org equipment page.

Baba's New Miy's armor that retired his QL 111 Carb, click for Auno.org equipment page.

The new Miy’s pieces have both improved his stats and his AC protection. Comparing his previous armor set up with the new one, here are some of the highlights:

* Projectile AC +5%
* Melee AC +3%
* Energy AC +7%
* Chemical AC +18%
* Radiation AC +29%
* Cold AC +4%
* Poison AC +18%
* Fire AC +4%

The Radiation should help with some of the Borg guns that do radiation damage. Baba has also noticed some Borg doing poison damage, but he has never looked at the logs in detail to try and figure out the weapon used, he has just noticed poison damage showing up in the combat log window.

His abilities stay about the same, but, max health went up 19%. The only downside is he has 39 less max nano, although NCU remained unchanged.

While writing this, we relaxed to the “Open Plains” theme, which some of you will recognize as the AO in game music that plays while out in the wilderness areas like Wartorn valley.  It reminds me of one of Baba’s first encounters with the Wartorn Valley at level 29 or so.  With no Yalmaha yet, he had pulled a mission in the far upper right hand corner of the WV map.  It was night and he was way out in that desolate stretch of road on foot, just past the player cities on the other side of the mountain ridge that surrounds the plain where Old Athens sits when he first heard this music.  It was calming and yet did little to quell his fears of the many dark red mobs that he had to take detours around   It was a long night, but he did eventually make it back to Old Athens in one piece.

You can listen to this piece and the rest of the AO in game music at AO Stratics here, or download all the tracks at Soundspace, by clicking on Skydrive.  Both sites give some interesting background on the music, including a description of how it is dynamically generated in the game from numerous short clips.  That explains why it is never exactly the same.

Baba 136 at Borg Dunes

Baba continued his hunting trip to Perpetual Wastelands for Borg that he started the day before.  For the duration of this trip, he camped out there in the dunes, rather than commute back and forth from Newland City.  When he approached the main dune area, he found it about 2/3 populated.  This was the best he had found it recently.  As far as PW Borg dunes is concerned, there is no shortage of players, as the Borg population is frequently culled by hunters like himself.

Baba is motivated to level up to 150 at which point he will be eligible to join in Froob Title 5 group activities.  Soon Baba had cleaned out the main large dune and he had to head south to the small hilly section in the pinched area between the Helipad, the acid lake and the cliff wall.   Getting to the point where his standard Borg kite attack is second nature, Baba focused on adding another special, the Library of Foul Language taunts.  These not only taunt the enemy, but do a small amount of radiation damage as well.  With a fairly quick cool down of 6 or so seconds, it can be repeated several times during each kite.  A QL 140 Library does 35 radiation damage, so hitting a Borg four times in a kite, nets an additional 140 damage. No where near a crit, but Baba is not going to pass by anything that brings Borg down faster.  Also just in the last few levels, the increases to his basic skills and speed stats, he has been able to start using Fast Attack and Brawl 2 to 3 times per Borg.  For the longest time the cool downs for these were so long that Baba rarely got to use them more than once per fight.

With his loot bags full, Baba took to the skies in his Yalmaha, and headed due south to the nearest player city’s whompa.  As he was passing over the mountain that sits between the Omni Mines and the main Borg base, he spotted a group of players standing around on the mountain top.  He put his Yalmaha into hover and looked closer.  There were about 5 players standing or sitting at the south east edge of the mountain top, looking down at the strip of road that runs between the Borg base and the Omni Mines.  Down on the road he saw the 6th member of the team, an NT, that was kiting Borg.

It was one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that moments.’  If he had been up on the mountain top, safe and secure, he would have not gotten wiped like he did the last time he was on the ground here with a kiting team from his guild.  He had been too close to the action, and sent back to reclaim when several Borg took an interest in him.

He proceeded on to Newland City, where he needed to sort through tonight’s loot take.  Unlike the night before, when he had only gotten a handful of Miy’s armor pieces, tonight he had not only picked up many Miy’s pieces, but it also seemed to be “special guns” night in the loot table of his Borg.  He sorted the guns out, but left them for identification at another time.  He was more interested in cataloging his new Miy’s armor items, and since he had also just leveled, to look for pieces he could wear.  It turned out that most of the Miy’s items dropped tonight were much higher than what he can equip now.  He got several 200+ pieces, which he does not recall ever looting items that high before.  He filled up a backpack with the new Miy’s pieces.

He placed that in his bank, and later after portioning out his level 136 IP points, he got out all his Miy’s armor bags and went through them looking for items he could now equip.  This last level pushed up several of his stats enough that he could now equip a new Miy’s armor legs, arms and boots.  The QL 111 carbonum armor arms that he removed were the last pieces of his former all carb armor set that he has worn since around level 90.  Roughly 40 levels out of one set of Carb armor, goes to show what great armor the Carb is.  It really is great for froob Enforcers as it buffs NCU and nano in addition to providing good AC protection.  The Miy’s helps less with the NCU, but adds Health Points. At lower levels Enforcers are struggling with nano, but by the time they level up to where Baba is now, 130-140, nano is more plentiful as long as nano pool has been increased along the way consistently.

The new Miy’s pieces have both improved his stats and his AC protection.  Comparing his previous armor set up with the new one,  here are some of the highlights:

  • Projectile AC +5%
  • Melee AC +3%
  • Energy AC +7%
  • Chemical AC +18%
  • Radiation AC +29%
  • Cold AC +4%
  • Poison AC +18%
  • Fire AC +4%

The Radiation should help with some of the Borg guns that do radiation damage. Baba has also noticed some Borg doing poison damage, but he has never looked at the logs in detail to try and figure out the weapon used, he has just noticed poison damage showing up in the combat log window.

His abilities stay about the same, but, max health went up 19%.  The only downside is he has 39 less max nano, although NCU remained unchanged.

old
http://auno.org/ao/equip.php?saveid=139143

new
http://auno.org/ao/equip.php?saveid=140417

http://ao.stratics.com/content/ingame_music/music.php





Baba Becomes Virus Attack Vector

25 07 2009

Baba was influenced by two Virus attacks recently  The Alt virus bit once again sending us back to Shuttleport Island on the flimsyest of excuses.  This was followed by an attack by the Win32.Virut.ce virus on our office PC.

Meet AgentBaba and BabaEmphee, new toons a result of a re-occurring Alt bug. Click to view larger version.

Meet AgentBaba and BabaEmphee, new toons a result of a re-occurring Alt bug. Click to view larger version.

Sorry for no recent posts, we had the unfortunate experience of getting a nasty virus on our PC at work.  This had set us back in more ways than one, and demanded huge amounts of time to deal with.  Our centralized IT services installed a new Windows box for me about a week and a half ago.  Things went fine.  It was nice to have a faster and cleaner machine.  We were just getting settled in, with most of our applications installed and tweaked when the Win32.Virut.ce worm struck.  In just a few minutes it rendered the PC unusable.  It displays Winlogon in a permanent loop that cannot be exited.  It not only wasted my new machine, but thanks to a very bad practise that is NOT safe computing, we managed to transfer the virus to our old PC and ruined it as well.  The transmission vector was our thumb drive.  This virus infects any exe opened by Windows.  We had been using KeePass, a password safe on the thumb-drive and our mistake was to run the executable from the thumb drive instead of independent exes on each computers hard drive.

So, thumb drive is in the infected machine, and the KeePass exe gets infected when we utilize it off the thumb drive.  Then the new PC bombs out from the virus, so we move to the old PC, and in the course of the day, open KeePass from the thumb drive, and bingo, 2nd PC is infected.   Since the virus does not infect data files, we would have been ok, if we had only been using the thumb-drive for the reading the password database file.

AgentBaba and BabaEmphee in all their saturated colors of Shuttleport Island. Click for larger view.

AgentBaba and BabaEmphee in all the saturated colors of Shuttleport Island. Click for larger view.

Fortunately all is not lost.  We had most of our daily work related documents and notes mirrored on the Syncplicity web service.  We also found that the data files on both PCs are still intact, using a live CD of Dam Small Linux which we were able to boot each machine with, we could see that the file structure is still there, so one of our tasks is to transfer these to a safe place before the techs come to wipe the boxes and re-install Windows.

Before the virus struck we had spent the weekend back at Shuttleport Island creating two new alts AgentBaba and BabaEmphee.  We are infected so badly with the Alt virus that the slightest thing can send us back to nubi island to roll a new toon or two.  This time, we were reviewing our new Adventurer toon Ohtizz, who we had rolled in order to have an account to give the Funcom free 30 day offer a try.  We got cold feet when Funcom asked for our credit card number.   We would have gone through with the trial, if it had not been for that requirement.  We just do not turn over our credit card number unless we fully intend to incur whatever charges are involved.  We knew full well we would be cancelling at the end of the 30 days.  It feels like tempting fate to hand over your card number in this kind of situation.  Events have a way of arranging themselves such that somehow at the end of 30 days our cancellation does not go through and then we have to deal with the hassle of trying to get it cancelled.

So we breezed the agent Ohtizz through the island and up to level 13 on the mainland.  Outfitted him with a vagabonds coat, and realized we had forgotten to get him a range meter back on the island.  So that’s what sent us back to the island.  The need for a range meter.  We thought that if we had to go back there why not roll two more professions we had also always admired.  Next thing you know our agent and meta physicist are teaming Dyna’s like there is no tomorrow.

Our new agent and MP complete the armor quest. Click for larger view.

Our new agent and MP complete the armor quest. Click for larger view.

Impressions from 3 more professions follow.  Adventurers are EASY to play.  After going through the agony of being a AO newbi and doing it as an Enforcer, we can see that everyone should start out in AO as an Adventurer.  They truly are a bit of everything, but have no serious drawbacks like some professions.  Baba was really jealous of how the Addy can self heal putting to shame our Enforcers measly healing tool kit of first aid stims and eventually hacked boosted grafts for some very limited self healing in combat.  It was also interesting to see a profession where evades actually do something.  Our addy fighting mobs shows one mob hit landing for every 6 or 7 shots given by the addy.

Up next is the Agent.  One shot kills with aimed shot is a rush.  Having evades that work is a plus too.  The MP at least on the island is way overpowered compared to the others.  The starter MP gets a 1 hand blunt weapon that gives just as much damage as the starting Enforcers weapon plus the starting MP has the additional benefit of an attack pet contributing damage, practically doubling the total damage to the target mob.

In addition to farming parts and then trade skilling together a modest supply of range meters, we set out to get both new toons the sided newcomers armor.  We know from past experience to not try these quests until your toon is level 8 or above.  The mobs that have to be killed will be too much for toons below level 7 or 8.  So we ran most of the other island quests that give experience first, and actually ran several more than once.  The backpack and weapons upgrade quests can be repeated.  For the weapons upgrade, just buy the suitable weapon from Stacklund and use that when asked for a weapon to upgrade.

We did discover an early progression problem with the MP.  Every profession in AO has periods where their weapon, or combat nanos are getting progressively weaker in comparison to the mobs that must be over come to level.  The next better weapon or nano will have a level requirement that results in this situation where the toons offensive capability is getting weaker in relation to the mobs that have to be killed to level.  Our MP ran into this at around level 9.  Almost all the mobs on the island were gray to her, so killing them, would not help her level, yet the remaining mobs were way too strong for her attack pet, so she could not successfully level up off of them.  In her case the only way we could level her up so she could equip the next better attack pet was to repeat several quests just for the experience points.

Our simple suggestion to this problem, which seems to be prevalent across all classes and levels, would be adjust the damage done more aggressively upwards as one levels, due to increasing expertise.  We hold out no hope for these improvements, but it never hurts to dream.  Maybe someone, somewhere is coding the next best MMORPG as we speak, and this meme somehow makes it to them for consideration.

We actually did log both Baba, Babaente and Tireen, over the past weekend.  They spent their time disposing of Baba’s loot gained from hunting Perpetual Wasteland’s Cyborgs for his 134th level.  In addtion to sorting out Miys and other items to keep, There were several packs of monster parts which Tireen was able to convert to blood plasma for a much higher profit.    This took up the better part of an evening with Baba sorting, Babaente acting as mule, and Tireen fencing the items with a Omni trader terminal.





Level 134 and Ohtizz

19 07 2009
Ohtizz, old friend of Baba, reacts to request for credit card, click for larger view.

Ohtizz, old friend of Baba, reacts to request for credit card, click for larger view.

Baba stared out across the lake next to Newland City, watching the holo-advertisements for the various flying vehicles spin, as his long time acquaintance Ohtizz filled him in on his arrival on Rubi-Ka.  Ohtizz had been on another planet when Baba sent him a ‘free pass’ to Rubi-Ka that was supposed to include access to Jobe and what mainly interested Baba, access to the Global Purchasing Terminals.  Baba never got his access via his pal to the terminals.  The sponsoring corporation, in return for the ‘free’  30 day trial of these services, required your credit card number and the right to start charging it once the 30 days were up.  Ohtizz explained to Baba, that even though he really would have liked to see how the Planet wide shop terminals work, it just was not worth handing over his credit chip number.  Ohtizzes world had a funny way of shaking things up in such a way that he sometimes forgets to cancel free trials before the 30 days is up, and ends up getting charged.

Addys are Easy!  Ohtizz makes short work of a Boss, click for larger view.

Addys are Easy! Ohtizz makes short work of a Boss, click for larger view.

Ohtizz explained to Baba that he still enjoyed the trip to Rubi-Ka and how he had chose the Adventurer class when required by the bureaucracy running the welcome/processing orbital station.  “It’s like 10 times easier than Enforcer, or NT or even Trader.  Practically all my skills are green and unlike these professions, the starter IP allotments are more then enough for keeping the basic abilities maxed.”  There is only a handful of important skills to raise, so the IP goes much further than they did for Baba’s Enforcer, or Babaente’s NT, or Tireen’s Trader, at least for title levels 1-2.

The Shuttleport Island has been quite easy for Ohtizz thanks to the advise Baba, Babaente, and Tireen had laid out for him. They had laid out for him the following:

The Froob’s Shuttleport Island to Mainland One Page Guide

  1. Talk to Brandon Thorn, do as he asks, get a light bar,  a belt and a level.
  2. Kill beach mobs in the immediate area to level up to around level 6, be sure to loot everything.
  3. Give Thorn monster parts, he will give you first aid stims, health and nano kits. You will be outgrowing these soon, so only get a few.
  4. Take the belt to Stacklund who will upgrade it. Aslo ask him about weapon upgrades.
  5. Sign up with Clan or Omni, then trade your loot with your sides equipment vendor.
  6. Talk to  Adri Afeli by the docks and get your weapon(s) upgraded.
  7. With the cash you earned from all the mobs you killed leveling up. Buy you beginners nano package.
  8. Do Travis Molen’s sided shoulder pad quest twice to get a pair.
  9. Do Travis Molen’s 5 quests for the Newcomer’s Armor pieces, gloves, pants, body, sleeves and boots.  (There is no helmet). Use the best helmet you find looting mobs.)
  10. Buy sided badges and upgrade each of you Newcomer’s armor pieces.
  11. Don’t waste your time doing the backpack or other quests. You can buy a backpacks cheaply on the  main land.
  12. Optional, kill all the Dyna-camps you can find on the Island.  You may get a decent buffing item or two, like a Ring of Power (extra damage), Ring of Offense (extra offense points) and a few others. These are nice to have, and only cost a few minutes it takes to kill the mobs.  Not worth camping for however. If you need experience in order to level up so you can equip something new, then do these quests, and repeat them if more experience is needed.
  13. Go to the Mainland. Ignore the drunk.  Enter the subway, find the Vagabond that hangs out in the passage way between the 2nd and 3rd set of doors beyond the entrance.  Kill him and loot the Vagabond cloak.  If it drops, place it on your back slot. The +25 all defense is golden at these low levels.  If the cloak does not drop, take note of the time, proceed to the left wing off the large main hall.  Kill robots, muggers, looters and Vagabonds (the other Vagabonds may also drop the Vagabond cloak) for 20 minutes, then return to the first Vagabond and kill him again.  Repeat this process until you get a cloak. This cloak and the newcomer’s armor is all you need for the next 15-20 levels armor wise.
  14. Get a Bio Communicator to turn monster parts into more valuable blood plasma.  For sale in shops for a few thousand credits, or get a free one by talking to the woman standing near where you first arrived. Agree to return her Bio Communicator to a guy over by the shops.  He will end up giving you one for your very own.

At this point you are on your own.  You should know how to play your character, how to kill mobs to level and how to earn credits.

Ohtizz breezed through Newbie Island and hit level 13 on the Mainland without ever once visiting reclaim.  Poor Baba got to know reclaim at starter Island right away as did Babaente and Tireen. “It’s so easy” he told Baba, “I hardly take any damage, and the mobs are usually dead before I break out a sweat.”  With evades maxed, and dual wielding a pair of fairly powerful pistols, Ohtizz rarely has to use an many med kits and first aid charges as Baba did.

Baba listened patiently to his old friend.  He had know Ohtizz, long ago, on other planets in other solar systems, other times.  He was glad his friend had finally found something at which he could excel.  Not wanting to bring up some of Ohtizz’s previous less than glorious undertakings, Baba encouraged him to continue with the Addy thing.

Baba would never choose the Adventurer route, but he did feel a bit cheated.  Newbie island has been a somewhat difficult undertaking for him.  He was mostly envious of the Adventurer’s solo/self healing nanos.  You would think that a profession that is designed to take damage, would have nanos to replenish the health lost while tanking.  All Enforcers get are nanos that increase the overall health point base.  The problem being that once it’s used up, in battle, there is nothing except first aid stims, to keep his health for running out in a hard fight.

Baba shook Ohtizz’s hand, wished him luck, and hopped in his Yalm.  Baba had some leveling to do in Perpetual Wastelands with some Borg.  When Baba arrived over the dunes in north east PW he was happy to find no other hunters there to compete with.  There was evidence however, that someone had recently left there.  The main dunes section, that has a somewhat elevated altitude to the extent that one can see far in all directions, was itself only about half full of the usual complement of Cyborg soldiers and officers.

Baba quickly buffed up, and popped a anniversary experience boosting stim and went to work.  It did not take long for Baba to clear the rest of the main dune section, however he could swear that his experience bar was hardly moving.  The combat log clearly still showed massive experience being awarded with each Borg downed, so it must have been one of those time/reality dilations that occur sometimes due to stress or excitement.  Baba had to move further south to the section of undulating dunes that sit next to the acid lake and the Heli-pad.  He greatly reduced the distance by which he would kite his prey away from the main body. This helped speed up the process, but also caused him to catch unwanted aggro from Borg which re-spawned close to where he was recharging or looting resulting in multi Borg kites, and/or sustaining 50% or more damage before dispatching the Borg involved.

Baba hits level 134 at PW Dunes, click for larger view.

Baba hits level 134 at PW Dunes, click for larger view.

By the time Baba dinged 134, darkness was falling.  He hopped in his Yalm and few north just a bit to set down in his usual safe spot where he could sort his recent loot and heal up via his health and nano deltas rather than use of costly kits.  There were several Miy’s armor pieces in this take, but nothing he could equip any time soon.  While not in his loot bags, he did cogitate a bit over seeing not one, but several Experimental Cyborg token boards dropping during this outing.  It was a shame to have to let them rot, but since they are no drop, and he already had a clan board, they were of no use to him.





Claw Camp, the NT Magnet

6 07 2009

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

One of Babaentes successful kites at Claw Camp.

One of Babaente's successful kites at Claw Camp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Claw Camp, Pleasant Meadows, Classic Kiting Spot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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