Planting Better Pets

14 10 2010

 

Babaoroody

Babaoroody

 

Babaoroody has been called out of semi-retirement to assist TEAM PETS with 1) a new net of implants, and 2) to blitz for higher pets for each.  Their previous level 100 implants (which they got when they were in their 50s levels) have started looking puny ever since they got into their 90’s level range, however their treatment still needed to be increased before they could equip QL125 imps.  They targeted 125s because those are the highest level store bought basic imps available.  Imps over that level must be custom made by stripping down looted implants. Making custom imps is not something they can try until Babaemphee is around level 120 due to the high requirements.  After some calculations it was clear that Babaoroody’s Nano Programming (with an additional 92 points from an MP buff from Babaemphee) would only be high enough to make about half the implants.  Trader Tireen was employed to shop for and collect the needed basic implants and the clusters.  She handed these over to Babaoroody, who was able to build about half of them.  Baba then had to ask for help from end-game level guild mates to combine the remaining implants.  Over the course of several evenings, Angels of the Night toon Herschol combined the implants by taking advantage of a Nano Programming boost provided by guild’s player city.  The generous implant combiner gracefully let it pass that Baba had a few errors in implant preparations, however they were fairly minor and did not prevent the completion of the key implants and clusters.

Next came the actual implanting sessions with both Babaengy and Babaemphee going through that involved drill.  This drill involves a)swapping body, arms, leg, glove and boots armor for Omni med suit pieces, b) swapping regular head armor for a Biomech helmet (buffs treatment), c) hitting up a surgery clinic machine, and swapping the old imps out and putting the new imps in.  Then the first two steps have to be reversed.  While QL125 imps may not be considered ‘twink’ level for level 90 toons, they still provided just enough of a skill boost to get them to be able to control pets +20 levels above them self-buffed.  (Note: They still require Babaempee’s Masteries and trader Tireen’s Wrangle to cast the pets.)

With this out of the way, it was time for Baba to blitz a better bot for Babaengy (He had already given Babaemphee a better attack pet that he has had in his bank for quite some time.)  As the new Engy nano was level 146, it would be interesting to see how difficult the mission would be.  This usually depends on the type of mob.  The most dreaded mobs for him now are Slayerdroid types.  A one on one with these can often be fatal given the slightest error or bit of bad luck.  This mission turned out to be packed with Slayerdroids, but fortune smiled and none of them were placed squarely in the path to the mission objective.  He did have to kill a few Infector types but these are manageable.

COH-Empty first section, must be a team ahead

COH-Empty first section, must be a team ahead, click for larger view

Once Babaemphee and Babaengy had equipped their new imps and their new pets, it was time to return to the ‘kill 3 of’ mission that was running for them both at COH.  Tireen was able to log off right away, as they did not need her help opening the front door.  Someone else must have fairly recently opened it, as they strolled right in.  The found the Blorrg and Skincrawler areas completely empty.  This meant there is most likely a good team just ahead of them.  They caught up with the other ‘team’ at the pool area where the entrance to the serpent tunnels is.  It was another ‘pet team’ this one consisting of a 85 crat with droid, and 110 Engineer with Slayerdroid II.  Despite the Slayerdroid firepower, they were not moving very quickly through the tunnel, so TEAM PETS passed them and proceeded to the southern tunnel section to complete their kill 3 serpents objective.  It actually worked out to both teams favor in the Kizzermole tunnel, as it was fully populated, and having two teams prevented anyone from being swarmed.  The other team then went to pull the switch to spawn the Pit Demon.  TEAM PETS had been looking at their time displays and decided that responsibilities in RL4 were pressing so after the other team vacated the switch room to go and kill the Pit Demon, they moved next to the switch and logged off.  A review of the combat logs later showed the new Flawed Warbot critting for 1100 points and averaging 700 point regular hits.  The new attack pet was hitting for around 675 points.  It was also clear that the additional evades from the imps was resulting in more log entries of the ‘Kizzermole tried to hit you but missed’ type.

Babaente Starts Kiting Again

 

Overlooking Claw Camp in SW Pleasant Meadows

Overlooking Claw Camp in SW Pleasant Meadows

 

The last time NT Babaente was out kiting was quite some time ago, before TEAM PETS started.  Her last kite had been at South West Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows.  At that time, kiting there was a very dangerous proposition.  Her net run speed, self buffed with a hacked boosted graft Playful Cub morph, and the Boots of Infinite Speed, was just barely enough to allow her to outrun the Claws there, but just barely.  There was very little margin for error, such as forgetting to right click the boots to activate the ‘Terrain Knowledge’ +40 run speed buff.  The boots themselves only give a +3 boost to run speed when equipped.  The +40 run speed buff only lasts 30 minutes, but can be re-cast as needed.

She returned recently determined to see what a difference a whole additional 100 runspeed from her new Ring of Haste would make.  After scouting the area from her yalm she determined that some one had previously trained off the three Slayerdriods that usually guard this camp.

She only pulled a few Claws on her first kite, and it’s a good thing she did.  Early into the kite, she experienced some control issues that resulted in her momentarily getting stuck and the kite piling up on her.  She managed to get away, but with about 10% health, which caused the rest of the kite to take a long time as she had to be extra cautious since here run speed was reduced due to the low health.  After she sorted out the control issues, the next kite went really well.  At full health, and with the added runspeed from the Ring, she was easily able to pull the entire camp and lead it about with impunity.  This was the first time, self buffed, that she had enjoyed this surplus of speed.  By having more than enough speed, she could easily keep her distance when needed, and had greater flexibility in manipulating the kite to keep it together.  With the extra margin, she could take her time, tabbing through the mobs to find the strongest to use as the primary area of effect nuke target.

This large kite was more than enough to push her to ding level 90 as when she started she already had about 75% of a level built up.  The loot was nothing remarkable,  but she dutifully picked it up and tossed it into backpacks.  She ran a few more kites and then retired to the top of the little hill overlooking the camp to allocate out her new IP.  Besides pumping up her MC for better nukes, she is currently trying to build up her SI so she can equip her next best calm. While her calms are not as reliable as trader Tireen’s they come in very handy in dungeons and missions where kiting is not an option.

Solo NT kiting was a nice change of pace for the complexity of TEAM PETS.  It is quite the opposite kind of experience.  The NT only needs to cast a handful of self buffs, and then it mostly run, stop, nuke, run, etc.  It is very easy to get into action, get a decent amount of experience and then log out in under 50 minutes.  In the time it takes TEAM PETS to simply buff up, cast pets, and buff pets, NT Babaente can complete several kites.

Now that she is confident in the nice speed margin given by her new ring, she will invite trader Tireen to team up and leech experience.  While the Claws still give decent experience, it won’t be long before it will be time to start scouting out a higher level kiting spot.

Advertisements




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.





Token Efforts For Froobs

4 07 2010
Team Sparrow Flight - click for larger view.

Team Sparrow Flight - click for larger view.

Babaengy and Babaemphee reached level 36 recently from a series of team missions around Newland Dessert, and Varmint Woods.  Normally they would only accept Varmint Woods missions if they were close to the Whompa there due to the many ‘higher than them’ mobs scattered across the country side there.  Babaemphee was very close to being able to use a Hacked Boosted Graft  Sparrow Flight (Team), so they decided to accept several team missions located far out in the woods because the rewards were non-shop buyable professions specific items they both needed.  One was a Sympathetic Armor Boost, a nice Engineer nano that boosts by 101 all ACs of friendly toons close by. For Babaemphee, there was a Material Metamorphosis Masteries nano.  While Sparrow Flight is not flying like it is with a Yalmaha, it is faster than running and hence, somewhat safer way to pass through areas with dangerous mobs around.  After Babaemphee dinged level 35 she was able to cast it, so they flew sparrow style to their next Varmint Woods engagement, which happened to require passing through areas with reddish bar Rhinomen about.

First Gladiatorbot, click for better view.

First Gladiatorbot, click for better view.

Getting more confident, Babaengy upped the difficulty level slightly again, this time facing mobs 2 to 3 levels above them.  The experience comes faster at a cost of slightly more time for the pets to take down the prey.  With the lowest Attack Rating of the pair, Babaengy is starting to miss most of the time due to the higher level mobs they are facing.  It is easy to see why experience Engineers talk about sending their pet on hunt and then hiding.  The higher the mobs get in relation to the pet caster, the less effective his personal weapons are and the more likely he is to get critted multiple times by the mobs if he fights them directly.  For now it is not a problem, and he can continue to contribute, but he can see the time coming when “pet hunt” and “pet attack” will be combined with staying out of sight of the mobs.  Babaemphee’s AR is much higher so for now she contributes significantly to the taking down of the mobs.

Babaengy finally figured out how to use an bot trimmer over the last few missions. It turns out that they work somewhat like the flurry of blows item does for melee classes.  It temporarily increases the combat inits of the engineers bot while decreasing it’s ACs.   When the bot has started combat with a mob, the Engineer has to select the bot and then right click on the trimmer in an open bag.  A message then appears in the system chat HUD “The arms of your robot jerk briefly.”

With a QL 17 Trimmer, for the next 5 minutes the bot’s overall offense is increased by 6, and all damage types are increased by 6.  At the same time there is a reduction of -61 to all ACs of the bot.  This also locks the Engineer’s Mechanical Engineering skill for 5 minutes.

Rather than use it all the time and be captive to the vagaries of random chance and the possibility of being locked out when you really could use it, Babaengy has been learning to conserve her use of the Trimmer to Boss fights and other extreme situations.

Token Boards

First Token Boards All Around, click for larger view.

First Token Boards All Around, click for larger view.

Our pet casting pair managed to acquire their first two token boards as an added benefit of the team missions they have been pulling ever since graduating from the Subway.  They have been collecting 2 tokens each mission, and recently collected their 30th tokens each.  The first token board gave them both a extra 30 health.  Token board number two (which required 30 tokens) gave 60 health and 40 nano.  Froobs should get their token boards as soon as they can, to get the most benefit from the buffs.  For non-froobs the buffs may not be as attractive, in light of the many other advantages non-froobs have.  There are not that many items that will buff 60 health and 40 nano available to froobs.  Board number 3 requires 60 tokens and is attainable at level 15, gives 200 Health, 150 Nano, and +1% Experience.  Froob Subway twinks (level 25 max) could certainly benefit from the 3rd Token Board.

Acquiring tokens at low levels is more time consuming than at higher levels, as at higher levels, the number of tokens rewarded increases per mission.   Another reason that farming tokens takes time is that the to get the token reward two things are required: 1) the mission objective is completed, 2) All of the mobs in the mission are killed.  Because of this, identify and/or kill person type missions are less than desirable due to situations where the placement of the mission objective person is such that killing or identifying them is unavoidable before all of the other mobs have been killed, resulting in no token reward.

Name Your Pets or Die

It pays for pet classes to give their pets unique names.  Not only does it make for a more personalized experience, but it provide better control of the pets in hectic combat situations.  MP’s with 3 pets can not give a generic /pet attack command and expect that the command will be heeded by the appropriate pet.  Taking the time to manually select each pet before giving a command, can be hard in combat.  A few hot bar macros can simplify things greatly.

  • Pet Naming Macros.
    Select the intended pet and the hit a Pet Rename hot bar button with this macro:
    /pet rename PETNAME
    with PETNAME replaced with the name you want for the pet. Create a separate naming macro for each pet.
  • Pet Specific Guard Macros.
    Pets, after zoning, do not always seem remember the last commands given to them.   In team missions, after every level elevator, Babaemphee and Babaengy have created a set of pet specific guard order macros.
    /pet PETNAME guard




Heavy Petting Baba

21 06 2010
Babaengy and Babaempee, Froobs with pets, set out for the Subway

Babaengy and Babaemphee, Froobs with pets, set out for the Subway

Baba sponsored another pair of immigrants to Ruby-Ka a few months ago,  an Engineer and an MP.  They started out on immigrant island, i.e. Shuttleport Island, much like other immigrants.  Teaming them on newbie island was not very remarkable, mainly due to the wimpy starter pets.

They left newbie island as soon as they hit level 12, and had completed all the various island quests upgrading their weapons, getting belts and backpacks etc.  They then were left in suspended animation for a while as Baba did his best to grind his mostly solo way to 150.  Earning level 149 was a major grindfest, requiring hours and hours of solo Borg kiting in Perpetual Wastelands.  Baba also got stuck in terms of getting any progression out of the new daily missions.  He managed to complete the Smugglers Den inspect crates mission, but was getting no where on the kill 3 of each type of Smuggler other than a collection of failed attempts.

Baba’s HUD was convinced there was a level 150+ Ravager right next to him.  Baba’s eye’s and this screenshot say otherwise.  Smuggler’s Den, another bugged dungeon spot?

Baba’s HUD was convinced there was a level 150+ Ravager right next to him. Baba’s eye’s and this screenshot say otherwise. Smuggler’s Den, another bugged dungeon spot?

This was leaving him with a very strong desire to go back to suspended animation and hopefully dream away his predicament.  Trying to get level 150 and title 5 mostly solo as a Froob Enforcer was proving to very difficult and slow going.

A while back he had sponsored a trader and an NT (Tireen and Babaente) who teamed their way to level 72.  About the only time they were really fighting as a team was during their 250k token run.  The rest of the time, it was Babaente solo kiting while Tireen hovered above safe in her Yalmaha.  They were last at the Claw Camp in Pleasant Meadows, but the going was slow and eventually both elected to go back to suspended animation for a while. Further leveling for this pair is mostly dependent on getting outside speed buffs, and heal over time (HOTs).  Baba’s least favorite activity is buff begging.

On Babaengy and Babaemphee’s first outing to the Subway in Athens, things just suddenly clicked.  Counting their pets, they make the equivalent of a 5 member team.  Babaengy and his attack bot take up the pulling and tanking role.  Babaemphee and her attack pet provide extra damage, while her heal pet acts as team doctor.   Of course a heal pet can do no where near all the things a real doctor can, but it can do one key thing and that is to heal the tank during battle.  The only down side to this duo might be for first timers without a higher level main to supply credits.

Both the Engineer and the MP depend a great deal on nanos and have to upgraded them every few levels.  They also benefit greatly from always having good implants which also require credits.  Both professions are also heavily dependent on equipping the highest capacity utility belts for NCU.  While belts and memory are only moderately expensive, they are time consuming to collect due to a limited number of quality levels available from vendors at any time.  It has helped this pair many times already to be able to draw from an inventory of belts and memory built up over the years by Babaoroody and his alts.

A starting out new duo will need to mix leveling and dungeon romps with credit making team missions.  Tireen, Baba’s trader alt has contributed around 2 million credits so far mainly on nanos for this pair, sparing them the need to have to run team missions just yet.

Baba's Pet team Sets off for the Subway for the first time.

Baba's Pet team Sets off for the Subway for the first time.

On their first trip into the subway at level 12 they kept to the west hall where the shops are.  They had no problem with the any of the mobs there and in less than hour had grabbed two levels.  They then exited to a backyard to allocate out IP points and upgrading their pets.  When they re-entered the subway they proceeded to the east hall, and took the left that leads past the shadows section.

This hall goes west for a ways and then turns right and leads to the west side restroom area that is populated with strikers.  On this trip the team only went as far as the bend where it turns north towards the restroom area.  After cleaning out all the shades along the way and quite a few strikers, they both dinged to 15 and decided to call it a night.

To say it went well is an understatement.  Even though they were fighting deep orange mobs, often with 2 to 3 at one time, health almost never dipped below 75% for most team members.  There was one fatality, that of the heal pet when they got swarmed by strikers once.  At this stage, most concentration is going to juggling the commands to each team member, and at this point, its not clear what is the best way to arrange the HUD in order to keep track of the health of all the pets.  A item for future enhancement of the HUD would the addition of pets to the team window.  As it is now, the team leader has no way of knowing if a team mates pet is running low on health points.

After dinging 15 they called it a night.  The next day, rather than go right back into the subway it was decided to send trader Tireen out to collect implant components to outfit Team Baba with QL 50 implants.  Thanks to Implant Helper by Donald Milne, part of Saturday was spent designing QL 50 implants for Babaengy and Babaemphee.  The Implant Helper made it easy to design Agility based implants.  A few agility laddering implants were also designed.

Tireen spent the better part of Sunday shopping for the components.  The laddering implants called for a few basic implants of QL 35 and QL40.  For some reason, (I wonder why)  The basic implant vending machines skip right over implants from 30 to 50.  They offer Basic imps in steps of 10 from 10 to 30 and from 50 to 125, but mostly skip over 30 through 50.  They usually offer one implant somewhere between 30 to 50, so the odds of finding particular QLs in that range are pretty slim.  This translates to hours of camping terminals hoping to get lucky.

After spending several hours with no luck, Tireen decided to try and make do with the closest final implants she could find in the completed implants shop which resulted in less than the desired ladding jump benefit.  This would cause problems later on.

Tireen handed these of to Babaente who had just the right amount of Nano Programming to assemble the implants with out bumping them past the desired QL level.  Assembling the implants took an hour or so, due to her having to terminate often in order to combine some clusters without them being bumped up past QL 50.  Due to the fact that there is no way to reduce Nan programming, the only way to avoid bumping an implant is to terminate and time the implant construction step to coincide with the moment their skill level rises to the target amount.

On Sunday, the completed implants were handed over to Babaengy and Babaemphee.  With Tireen standing by, Babaengy put on a med suit (a gift from Baba), and flipped the surgery clinic switch.  Although the first set of laddering Agility implants went in without a hitch, he soon found that he was shy a few a handful of points to put in the rest.  He ran off to Old Athens grid to seek an Agent for a Feline Grace buff to bring his Agility up.  After about 15 minutes of circulating the grid area and the shop area, he finally located an Agent, asked for and received the buff.  After running back to their chosen back yard, the rest of the implants went right in.

Once Babaemphee got med-suited up, and we checked her stats, it became clear that she was (even if she got a Feline Grace buff) 3 points shy of able to put in the implants.  The called it a night.

The next Monday evening, they checked all of Baba’s various inventories and found a Sekuteck helmet that Babaemphee could equip that would add 1 Agility.  At that point it seemed the simplest and fastest way to get the last 2 points needed would be to grab another level in the subway.  In the mean time, Babaemphee installed a set of QL 30 hand me down implants she found in the shared Baba inventory.  While they appeared to be a set originally put together for a trader or NT, they were still an improvement over no implants.

The big plus from this set was that it buffed her computer lit up to put her in range of equipping a 3 slot belt.  The lowest 3 slot she could find in Baba’s shared inventory was a level 62 with a requirement of 187 CL.  On a hunch, Tireen offered to do a quick Basic Shop run of Old Athen’s 3 basic shops to look for a lower quality 3 slot.  She came across a vendor with QL 40s which she quickly bought 3 of.  She made a note to her self to start making it a habit of checking those machines every time she enters a basic shop and hopefully someday find some QL 30 3 slot belts to stock up on for future alts.

Babaempee and Babaengy suit up for the Deep Subway.

Babaemphee and Babaengy suit up for the Deep Subway.

On Sunday Babaengy and Babaemphee managed to reach level 22 by making their first serious forays into the deep subway.  Eumenidies no longer guards the doorway leading to the spiral stairway that leads to the deep subway.  This bothered Babaoroody a bit when he first heard about it.  To long-timers like Babaoroody, Eumenidies was a sort of rite of passage for new toons in the subway.  As a level 24  mob, he effectively prevented casual lowbie solo toons from entering the deep subway.  If you were below his level, you had to have a team to get past him.  This led an additional air of mystery and mystic to the deep subway for  newbie’s.

The rumors are that he has been moved to the cave area past the slum runner room in the deep subway, but Babaengy and Babaemphee did not get to that room to verify that.

Our pair were level 19 when they started this foray, and both had pets a couple of levels above their own.  The problem they ran into was that their NCU capacity was not keeping up with the demand caused by the new pets and buffs.  It took some intricate buff juggling to get both sets of pets up and all of the team buffed.

Babaengy was still a level away from being able to self cast the generic 20 point nano skill boosts, so he was dependent on Babaemphee first buffing him so he could cast his best bot.  Once the bot was cast, he had to kill these buffs to make room for the AC, damage shields and damage boost buffs he usually runs.  At this point he had to leave out a few to still have room for health and nano recharge self buffs.

Both the engineer and the MP classes at these staring levels are very time dependent.  Both of the MP’s pets are limited to one hour.  The pets stick around after an hour, but they become in-effective, unable to deal damage or heal.  Babaemphee has to keep track of this life cycle time line be prepared to start looking for safe places to stop and re-cast pets when needed.  While the engineer’s pet does not seem to have a timer, most of the lowbie engineer’s buffs vary in length from 20 minutes to 45 minutes.

As Babaengy and his bot serve as this teams tank, it is imperative that he have his best AC buff, damage shield, and bot damage booster running on himself and his bot.  In addition, he usually casts the AC and damage shields on Babaemphee also.  This is a major drain on nano, and Babaengy uses up many nano charger kits.  While the loot tables of most average mobs in the subway appear to have been tweaked upwards a bit, nano charger kits seem to have been left out.

The tunnel leading to the deep subway is now guarded solely by a few infectors.  Once beyond the spiral staircase, it is obvious that there has been some major tweaking of mob placement.  The usual suspects are in their usual places, but there are numerous wandering versions throughout the main passageway.  These changes serve to make it more difficult for solo players.  Babaengy observed several solo agents and MP’s pass going deeper in to the subway, only to be seen a few minutes later running out for their lives with a handful of cyborg type mobs in tow.  Babaengy and Babaemphee were more than happy to dispatch these trains, as it simply helped them level up faster.

While the loot tables in general seem to have been tweaked upwards a bit. The cyborg subway mobs seem have had the frequency of Living Cyber Armor drops increased.  In just this one hour long trip, Babaengy had collected helmets for he and Babaemphee, legs for both, and sleeves for himself.

Things went fairly smoothly going in.  The cyborg mobs also seem to cast blinds more often now.  They made it as far as the last doorway leading into the long flat level with Abmouth at the end.  At this point, Babaemphee had to recast her pets.

On the way out, they did run into a spot of trouble.  In the last large room before entering the long straight section, Babaemphee got stuck coming up the stairs and had lost about half of her health before Babaengy realized she had not been able to keep up and had two cyborgs beating on her.  Babaengy had to health stim her while fighting off the mobs.  This pair will have to give extra attention from now on when passing sections with stairs going up.

After spending some time allocating out IP, both had advanced computer skills enough to be in range to equip 4 slot belts.  The lowest QL 4 slots in the Baba group inventory were 72 or greater, with too high CL requirements.  This was a job for Trader Tireen who grided over to Tir city where she camped a basic shop, entering the shop every 2 minutes and trying the terminal for belts.  After about a half hour of this, she did not get the lowest quality 4 slots (60) but did manage to snag two at QL62 which Babaengy and Babaemphee would be able to equip.  Babaengy and Babaemphee ended up with 40+ ncu each once the belts were in and populated with the best memory chips they could equip.  This should help avoid some of the nano juggling Babaengy was having to do.

Another evening, Team pets (Babaengy and Babaemphee)  made a quick run to the lower subway level this past evening and netted level 24.  Again we saw the spectacle of lowbie solo-ers or pairs training a pack of cyber type mobs.  Before the patch, in the long straight tunnel section of the deep subway, lowbies could solo quite easily, as the mobs were less numerous, and spaced out more.  With the patch there are both more mobs and many of them seem to spawn and roam about randomly.  Babaengy and Babaemphee have several times been in a room in this passage, rebuffing only to have several mobs spawn and/or come waking in.  While this has been a boon for our pet team, providing a more steady stream of experience, for solo lowbies, it spells doom.

Babaemphee picked up another Living Cyber Armor Sleeve, which leaves only one set of Living Cyber Armor Gloves left before Team Baba has all the Living Cyber Armor pieces that drop.  The chest and boots are only available via two separate quests, both of which are a bit of a pain to complete and make one question the usefulness of those two pieces.

It was time to prepare for what would most likely be their final subway excursion.  There has been posts on the official boards to the effect that the final level that can enter the subway has increased from 24 to 25.  Both Babaengy and Babaemphee sent our Trader Tireen off to get a hold of what will most likely the final pets they will be able to cast in the subway.  The bot and attack pet are level 37.  The corresponding level heal pet Babaente does not have because it is a mission/boss loot only nano, not available in shops.  Both Engineers and MPs are somewhat hampered by the fact that what seems to be about half of their combat toolbox is made up of non-store buyable nanos.  A search of the common Baba shared inventory drawing on higher level characters Babaoroody, Tireen, and Babaente did turn up a half dozen or so such nanos, but almost all are in the ql100 or above range, so it will be a while before Team Pet can use them.

New things we learned about pets.  Some buffs used by toons can also be of use on pets.  Nano restoration, AC buffs, health restoration work great on the pets.  Damage shield do not seem to take.  MP pets last about an hour before they become of little use.  The may stick around longer, but are completely ineffective.

More details added to shops.  Many shops now have display cases containing actual weapons and a few have weapons in slick packages.

More details added to shops. Many shops now have display cases containing actual weapons and a few have weapons in slick packages.

On June 18,  2010, we sent Babaente to do a daily mission to kill borg north of Tir.  She had to kill about 15 to 25 borg to gain the 3 needed parts, and dinged 75.  Trader Tireeen pulled  the “take speed boost stims to guy at end of longest road” to ding 75.  Tireen also shopped up some more memory for Babaengy and Babaemphee, as well as their level 37 attack pets.  With her teachings Babaemphee can also now cast the next up healing pet Salivinious.

Babaengy and Babaemphee made their final Subway run the next night.  Now that Babaemphee can cast her Teachings nano line buffs, both she and Babaengy can cast pets even further above them than before.  They are getting an effective +45 buffs on their nano skills based on +20 from Expertise, and +25 from Teachings.  This requires rebuffing after when they are about to time out, or the pets will become non-responsive (O.E., over equipped).  We brought out a simple kitchen digital timer with a beeper to let us know when it’s time to rebuff.  The one we use has a large lcd display, so we can actually start re-buffing a few minutes before the buffs time out.

They had tried logging off and logging in down in the subway line that is found at the bottom of the stairs that is vacant, but Babaengy ran into our pattern texture glitch that can only be reset with a hard zone, which meant running all the way back and out the main subway entrance.  We did some research, but could find no way to reset the graphics that would work. This meant they went back to their old method of buffing up, casting pets, buffing pets in the next door backyard and then entering the Subway.  This method loses 5 minutes or so to the long run in before they start seeing mobs that are not gray in the deep subway.

They both dinged 25 by the time they had reached the section that overlooks the large room where the giant spider and cyborgs hangout.  They stopped there to rebuff and then proceeded fighting deeper into the subway.  It was late Saturday evening, and they had the dungeon to themselves, which seemed unusual.  This meant that they also had more mobs to take on.  There was some weirdness with Babaengy’s bot Stark-Fist who seemed to vanish for a minute or two in the section where there are cyborgs, infectors and a striker and there is a walkway above.  After clearing this section they then fought further to the room with the sunken water filled area.  There seemed to be more cyborgs here than before and they seemed to be more social.  Attacking one brought them all into the fray.

This seems to be common to the rest of the deep subway.  It seems like there are more cyborgs than before, they are more social, meaning, they aggro from greater distances when any one of them in sight is attacked.  They also appear to re-spawn sooner.  All of these changes are great for teams like Babaengy and Babaemphee, as it just provides more targets, but it ought to make soloing the deep subway a greater challenge than it was before.

They came close to wiping when they took on Virgil Aneid in the last room before Abmouths.  They made the mistake of pulling him and several shades into the larger prior room instead of fighting him in his room.  As a result, many more cyborgs respawned during the fight and piled on.  It was the first time this pair has seen both of their health dip below 50% and without some mutual 1st aid stimming and passing the heal pet around several times, they would not have survived.  They both dinged 26 during this fight.

Hitting 26 meant this was to be their last time in the subway. There was no bling loot here to draw them.  Memory rings would be nice, but just not worth camping for.  They decided to give Abmouth a shot and at least go out in style, rather than camp for rings, or simply run out.

At this point they stopped and recast pets, rebuffed and then went into Abmouths room to try their hand at him.  They first met a few infectors and a stray cyborg.  With them down, they proceeded to look for Abmouth and found him spawned down in his pit.
Babaengy and Babaemphee cast their best pet combat buffs, and then attacked.  They might have had a chance, but the moment they started in on Abmouth, 3 infectors spawned on top of them too.  It was over pretty fast as there was just too much damage for their heal pet HOT-LIPS to compensate for, and they simply could not take down that many targets at once, especially when one of them was a half dozen levels higher than them.  Abby sealed the deal when he destroyed HOT-LIPS.

Back at reclaim they learned that pets don’t die when you do as the bot and the attack pet were still with them.  With 2 levels of IP to hand out, they both will be able to equip some new pets.  While working out their IP allocation, they spotted a nicely twinked level 20 Engy sporting a level 47 bot in the shop they were in.

After allocating out their new found IP, they decided to start pulling team missions in Newland City, so some homework scouring the net is on their to-do lists to look for information about items to look for in missions at their level.





More Leveling at PW Dunes

16 07 2009
Tightly packed Borg at PW Dunes, view larger version here

Tightly packed Borg at PW Dunes, click image for larger version

Baba rubbed the sleep out of his ancient eyes and rose from his sleeping couch to lurch into his ‘living room’.  He moved slowly, so as to not aggravate his sore muscles, out of practice and a still a bit out of shape, following his recent leveling PW Borg Hunt.  As his hands groped in his closet for his new Miy’s Scary Body armor, to start suiting up for another outing, a small portion of still active brain cells reminded him that there was another task which needed his attention before he faces the Borg again.

Grabbing some hot Java from his ‘kitchenette’ that folds out of one wall, and a toroidal sugar encrusted calorie delivery ring some crazy archaeologist claimed recently on ‘In the Ether Tonight‘ that ancient cultures called a donut, Baba sat down and activated his HUD display for allocating IP points.  As an Atrox Enforcer, the process was fairly simple, always max his basic skills and his combat skills (2 hand edged, Brawling, Fast Attack, Physical Init). Baba only gives a point or two to Dimach, as the weapons requirements for it are generally low and it has not been that useful to Baba.

Baba always reviews a section of his IP spreadsheet that lists in order of quality, all of the Enforcer nanos, along with their requirements and these are coded to change color to indicate when he has enough IP points to equip them.  He was delighted to find that he was within striking distance of equipping two nanos.  The first improvement was with the jump from Essence of Cyclops to Essence of Titan which heaps on 189 more health points (Essence of Titan total is +590 health points to the +401 of Cyclops.  It also adds +3 more to Stamina and Strength, plus another +1 to scale. In his Shields line, he would be able to move from Barbaric Blades to Lightening Shield which adds another +54 health, +5 more to all Shield ACs and +160 to Energy AC.  (Total health for Lightening is 310).  Together with the additional ACs and health he gained the previous visit to PW from his new Miy’s Scary Body armor, Baba should be somewhat less squishy when hitting +175 level Borg at the PW dunes.

Once his IP were doled out, Baba strolled over the the Advanced Shop in Newland City to pick up the Lighting Shield Nano (he already had a Essence of Titan he had found as loot.)  A furtive check of the Enforcer nano terminal told him the nano he wanted was not there, he needed to be shopping in a superior shop.  Superior shop usually means superior prices, Enforcer nanos jump from tens of thousands at the advanced shop to hundreds of thousands at the superior shop.  This was a job for his trader friend Tireen who could buy the same items for a considerable discount compared Baba.
He sent her a quick personal tell request and logged off.

Tireen, an omni trader not above dealing with toons from any side (credits are credits), took the ICC whompa from Newland City and then to Omni Trade.  She made a bee line from the Omni Trade whompa to one of the superior shops and made sure to cast her trading buffs before opening the Enforcer terminal.  She found the Lightning Shield nano listed there for 300,000 credits and she purchased one.  She then made her way back to Newland City where she passed the item to Babaente, who then met up with Baba.  Babaente gave him the new nano, and Baba gave her the 300,000 credits to cover the cost.  Baba was not going to freeload off those at lower levels than him.

Baba equipped his new nanos and added them to his hotkey bars.  He then headed out to Perpetual Wastelands determined to spend at least an hour hunting Borg.  When he arrived at the dunes, he found plenty of Borg and no competitors.  He touched down at his usual spot north of the dunes by the cliff wall and proceeded to buff up. It was his usual buffs including the hacked boosted graft Hasty Augmentation Cloud, and his two new nanos, Lightning Shield and Essence of Titan.  Popping another anniversary experience stim, he set off down to the southern end of the dune to say Hi to a Borg.

Close call, click image to for better view of what is left of Babas health bar.

Close call, click image to for better view of what is left of Baba's health bar.

The random dispersion of Borg at the dunes always seems to vary.  Today they appeared to be somewhat more closely packed than they usually are.  Baba had to exercise more caution during the first half hour, trying to avoid pulling more than one Borg at a time.  They were all so close that at least on three separate pulls, he ended up with 4 to 3 Borg on his case.  The 4 Borg kite almost sent him back to reclaim.  Baba was down to 25% as he wore down the last Borg in that kite.  If he had not be able to use a first aid stim while on the run, he would not have made it.  The problem with kiting multiple high level Borgs, is that it only takes a few mistakes to use up Baba’s absorb layers, and after that all it takes is two solid hits and a crit, to obliterate most of Baba’s health.

The PW Dune Borgs seem to have 3 types of damage, melee, energy and projectile (depending on type of gun.)  During this outing Baba’s logs show Borg melee hits averaging 436 damage, their Energy shots averaging 449 damage, and their projectile shots doing around 490. He did wince when he saw a 936 melee critical from one of the Generals.  This of course will vary for others due to differences in player armor and protection buffs.

Ding 133 off Borg at PW Dunes, click image for larger view

Ding 133 off Borg at PW Dunes, still over 3 mil in experience pool, click image for larger view

By the time 45 minutes had passed, he had chipped the Borg down to handful.  Baba started pulling his Borg a shorter distance from the rest, to avoid running out the clock. He wanted to level on a single charge of the experience stims.  He only has a handful of them and he wants to make them all count.  Near the end of the hour he could see two things converging.  His experience bar was edging toward being full and gaining a level,and his experience stim count down was down to 5 minutes.  Pausing only to  re-cast his damage buffs, and his major nanos, and he went to work the remaining Borg.  Things went well and he dinged 133 with 2 minutes left to go on his  experience stim.

Baba strolled back to his ‘safe’ spot north of the dunes, and proceeded to sort through tonight’s loot.  While in the field, he usually just sorts out the Miy’s armor to a separate bag so he can inspect it in detail and equip then and there of possible.  He was quite happy to find the Miy’s Tank Body armor piece was both a higher quality level than his current body armor, and had requirements he can meet.  He took a minute to bring up his equipment HUD panel and go through the technical part of equipping it. With that done, he took the actual previous Miy’s piece off and the put on the new QL 168 Tank Body armor. The Miy’s Tank piece offers some nice improvements over his previous 151 Miy’s Scary Body part. The new Tank gives +12 health, +102 all AC’s +13 Stamina, +10 Strength, +21 max nano and a really helpful -3 nano cost reduction.





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 Auno.org 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 Auno.org.  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.





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.