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.





Hotkey Bar Basics

22 06 2009
Single Hotkey Bar, replaces 3 previous hotkey bars, click to view larger image.

Single Hotkey Bar, replaces 3 previous hotkey bars, click to view larger image.

All the nifty attacks and buffs can be mostly useless if you can not access them quickly and efficiently, especially if you are in combat and don’t have time to dig through several layers of menus to find them.  In the Anarchy Online world, Babaoroody and his friends Babaente and Tireen, solve this problem with something called Hotkey Bars which appear in the standard AO heads up display that is super-imposed on the view of the person.

The really powerful aspect of hotkey bars is that when a bar is active, the individual items in the bar are activated by the 1-0 keys. There can be up to 10 hot bars on the viewing area, however this can be problematic for two reasons.  The first is the amount of screen real estate they take up. One bar can be tucked to a side or top or bottom. More than one bar starts eating quickly into the remaining viewing area and can make some activities, like kiting which require a wide area view, very difficult.  The second hang up is with multiple hot bars is it introduces another set of key commands in order to switch between active bars.

The hotkey bar settings can be found in the F10, Preferences, GUI, Misc menu.  There is a sliding scale to select the number of hotkey bars to display from 1 to 10.

One other option that is very useful on this screen is the “Lock hotkey bars” toggle.  When it is engaged the hotkey bars cannot be moved from their location on the screen. This prevents accidentally dragging them out of position.  Toggle this off of course when you want to re-arrange things.

There are only 2 commands to learn in order to master hotkey bars:

  • Shift + 1-0
    Shift + any number from 1 to 0, causes the corresponding hotkey to be activated on the active bar.  The active bar is indicated by a light block showing in the small rectangle next to the hotkey bar number.
  • Alt + 1-0
    Alt + any number from 1 to 0, causes the focus to switch to a particular hotkey bar. The active hotkey bar is always indicated by the small rectangle to the left of the bar number being illuminated.  When a bar have been selected using Alt + the bar’s number, then pressing keys 1-0 will activate that bars hot-keys.

Of course, left clicking with the mouse will activate any hotkey on any hot-bar, regardless of which bar has focus.

Right clicking on the hotkey bar number will cause the bar to toggle between vertical and horizontal alignment.  When the options menu “lock hotkey bars” is toggled to off, hotkey bars can be moved and placed just about anywhere on the screen.

Hotkeys can be assigned to:

  • nanos, special attacks, and to use items like first aid kits
  • emotes
  • chat macros which combine emotes and frequently used chat saying
  • macros to display specific custom help screens
  • macros for frequently used commands like /follow

There are two ways to create hotkey items:

  • drag and drop a nano icon from the programs window
  • from the command line.
    Example, at the command line type /macro greeting /greet.  After hitting the enter key, a small button will appear with “greeting” in it.
Visit Anarchy Online Arcanum hosted by aodevs.com for one of the most informative and attractive guides to many things AO.

Visit Anarchy Online Arcanum hosted by aodevs.com for one of the most informative and attractive guides to many things AO.

For a more complete run down of macros and custom help files, visit the Anarchy Online Arcanum hosted by Aodevs.com.

This site is a real jewel of AO information covering a broad range of topics in a well organized, attractive design that is also easy to use.  Here are links to the sections relevant to this posts topic:

When a character starts out in Rubi-Ka, they often fill up one or two rows of a hot bar, and then start additional hot bars, so that  more items are visible on the screen. Many players find that once they get experienced and can remember most of their nanos, commands and other hotkey actions, that they no longer need to have more than one or two bars visible.

Triple Hotkey Bars as used by level 71 NT, click for larger view

Triple Hotkey Bars as used by level 71 NT, click for larger view

Babaente having reached level 71, decided to take stock of her growing hot bar collection and to pare it down a bit.  She had 3 hot bars on screen holding around 50 unique nanos, commands, emotes and other macros.  She had been using this set ever since starting on her last token mission run to get 250 tokens and she knew that she rarely used more than 2 bars during the same relative period of time.

With this in mind she figured she could put all of the items in one hot bar and could manage it using the hot bar command Shift + number of the layer desired, to switch between layers.  She spent a little while moving the items to different layers on one bar.

Babaoroody has used a HUD set up with only one or two hotkey bars before.  When Babaente checked with him for his tips, he told her that it would be up to her to get used to using the Shift + number command to switch hotkey bar layers. WTB (AO shopping channel shorthand for Want To Buy) a single key method for selecting the active hotkey bar layer.  WTB also for a single key method for switching  between two or more hotkey bars.  While the commands are simple enough to learn and remember, they take two hands to execute.  Issuing these commands with one hand IS possible, and certainly would help maintain flow much better then having to free up both hands to utilize more than one hotkey bar. Try holding the left shift key and any number 1-0.  It appears fairly easy with numbers 1-5, but 5-0 look like quite a stretch, literally.

The new set up uses 8 layers with 2 layers still empty.

  1. Layer 1 is for Missions
    • Enveloping Darkness (single blind/debuff)
    • Greater Toxic Field (single nuke)
    • Phosphor Torch (single fire nuke)
    • Mass Claw Eyes (group blind/debuff)
    • Limited Shrapnel Spray (AOE nuke)
    • First Aid
    • Treatment Lab
    • Nano Kit
    • Nano Recharger
    • Follow macro
  2. Layer 2 is for Primary Buffs
    • Crunch code Sieve
    • Enhance Nano Communications
    • Humidity Extractor
    • Enfram’s Superior Fortification
    • Treatment Expertise
    • Regeneration health delta
    • First Aid Expertise
    • Terrain Knowledge
    • Quickness
    • Weapon Augmentation
  3. Layer 3 is for Secondary Buffs
    • Computer Expertise
    • Agility Boost
    • Intelligence Boost
    • Psychic Boost
    • Sense Boost
    • Space Time Boost
    • Stamina Boost
    • Strength Boost
    • Mat Met Expertise
    • Matter Create Expertise
  4. Layer 4 is for Kiting
    • Furious Assault (single long cast nuke)
    • Greater Toxic Field (single nuke)
    • Phosphor Torch (fire single nuke)
    • Mass Claw Eyes (group blind/debuff)
    • Limited Shrapnel Spray (AOE nuke)
    • First Aid
    • Project Calm
    • Notem Splice (nano HOT)
    • Weak Gravity Pull
    • Enmity (taunt)
  5. Layer 5 is for Assorted Buffs
    • Breaking and Entering Expertise
    • Pistol Expertise
  6. Layer 6 is for Emotes, Chat, and Help
    • Macro to Beg for Iron Circle, GSF etc.
    • FBLOCK emote
    • PULP emote
    • GREET emote
    • BALLET emote
    • Macro to shout for help in Team channel
    • Macro to display own custom help screen directory
    • Macro to display additional emotes and chat commands in
      custom help screen
    • Backflip emote
    • Thankyou emote and chat vicinity macro
  7. Layer 7 is for Commands and more Macros
    • Macro post looking for team message in vicinity chat
    • Macro to post Train warning in vicinity chat
    • Macro to emote and say thank you in vicinity chat
    • Macro to display listing of guild members online in guild
      chat
    • Macro to display listing of those logged into Froobs chat
      channel.
    • Macro to display custom help screens
    • pick item up command
    • crawl command
    • Yalmaha activation/deactivation
    • Exit command
  8. Layer 8 is for seldome used actions
    • Weak Gravity Pull (root)
    • Project Calm (calm)
    • Nano Contagion (DOT, damage over time nuke)

Babaente plans to try this for a while to see how it works.  She can always put a second bar up if this the time arises where a single bar does not seem up to the task. If that should be the case, then she will only need to master one more command: Alt + number to make the so selected hot bar the active one.





Warped again in Pleasant Meadows

17 06 2009

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

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

Crossroads in Pleasan Meadows, click for larger view

Crossroads in Pleasan Meadows, click for larger view

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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