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.

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Leveling at Biomare Computer Core

11 10 2010

 

Biomare Computer Core Pulling Spot

Biomare Computer Core Pulling Spot, click for larger version

 

Babaengy and Babaemphee returned several times over the next few days to the same spot, the hallway just on the other side of the third golfball, where Babaengy would leave the team to pull bodyguards singly back to the team from the computer core room.  The loot from these mobs is definitely a step up from that dropped by the previous mobs at Biomare.  A single bag, when shopped by trader Tireen, often brings 150,000 credits.  So in addition to a nice leveling spot, it is also a great spot to build up a healthy credit balance.  This is badly needed for pet classes as many of their store bought nanos go for about a half a million credits each.  The bodyguards have a fairly good drop rate on gamma ejectors, and over the last few nights Babaengy has also found several personal safes which are said to often contain valuable items.  Babaengy’s breaking and entering skill was too low to crack open the safes, so he may have to let Babaoroody give it a try.  On a Monday evening, things were rather slow at the dungeon.  They saw one team back before the second golfball which caught up with them much later and passed them at the compute room.  As they were getting close to the end of their current pets 2 hour timers, a twinked level 100 enforcer (Omni) showed up and offered to help out with anything as he was waiting for someone else to show up and had nothing to do. Babaengy and Babaemphee thanked him for his offer but explained that they just needed to level.  They think they need to be closer to level 100 and have the top pets they will ever cast at that level before they attempt the Director or the recall beacon quest.

Both Babaengy and Babaemphee have reached their maximums on Matter Creation and Time and Space, so at best leveling to 100 will only gain them one or two more points.  They did discuss with Babaoroody the possibility of a side trip, with him tanking, to take down Zuwadza for is excellent MP only shirt that gives 22 MC and TS.   They dinged 83 and were very close to 84 when they ran out of time on their last visit.

Babaengy and Babaemphee dinged 85 this past evening at the Biomare Computer Core leveling spot.  During their hour and 40 minute session, they watched at least two teams pass through on their way to either the Director, TIM, the recall beacon quest or perhaps to mix it up with Rik-Rak.

The evening started off a bit shaky, on the first pull, things went totally downhill quickly, as Babaengy was back at reclaim before he knew it.  The problem turned out to be that Babaemphee’s hot bar focus had gotten changed from her primary hot bar, so none of her usual combat actions were happening, things like /assist %t, or /heal.

Babaoroody made a trip out to see Emile Zuwadza, and found out the hard way that he cannot solo him just yet.  Emile hits pretty hard for a 110, like 600-800 or so fire damage every few seconds.  Now Baba is wondering if Babaemphee’s current heal pet is strong enough to out heal this rate of damage.  Currently her Restite heal pet issues heals in the 300 to 400ish range.  So the answer is not quite, but perhaps with the combined damage of the both attack pets and Baba, they can reduce his health faster than he can reduce Baba’s with the heal pet slowing things down.  Baba will also need to dust off and have both his Assault Class Tank Armor Assault Screen (2000 absorbs) and Withering Flesh Skin of the Believer (500 absorbs) absorb ready.  Other tactics, to include will be Babaemphee’s best debuff Rage Abolishment (-156 combat inits), -20 damage.  The Blackshirt of Zuwadza certainly would help Babaemphee get a better attack pet on thanks to its +22 MC and TS.

Team Pets made another trip to Biomare and managed to ding 86 in and around the Computer Core room.  For a Thursday night, it was a rather busy place.  They saw several teams pass through and at one point even stood aside briefly to allow a couple of players to kill body guards till they got their Gamma clearances.  After hitting 85 it is taking longer to level at this spot as the number of points required went up quite a bit.  They were only at around 85% of leveling when they reached the time outs on Babaemphee’s pets, so they had to leave to get rebuffed by trader Tireen.  Babaengy took his opportunity to unload 9 packs of loot to Tireen who quickly fed it to the Newland City Traders shop terminal for around 700,000 credits.  Babaengy banked several more personal safes as well.

When they returned there was a small team pulling in the hallway and another team pulling at the other end of the computer core room.  Team Pets decided to run through the room and explore the rest of the dungeon, but when they got to the next section, found yet another team busy there.  They noticed that the two teams that had been pulling from the computer core room had now left so they returned to the lower hallway and continued to pull and put down bodyguards until they  both dinged 86.  Both have maxed MC and TS now and are using the IP surplus now to bring up MM,  PM, and SI.  Babaengy so he can equip the Neleb’s Master robe, and Babaemphee so she can eventually cast her Infuses.  Babaengy is only 4 points off from equipping his next bot, while Babaemphee still has a huge 30 point gap to close to equip her next QL 129 attack pet.
They both have also been using a few extra IP points (cheap too) on vehicle air, so that they no longer have to use an implant spot for vehicle air.  Both have been able to raise their vehicle air high enough so they are ready to upgrade implants.  Babaengy’s treatment is high enough to allow him to get into level 125 implants, while Babaemphee is still a bit short for 125’s.

 

Vindicator Gulch, Stopping Point For Many Unfortunates

Vindicator Gulch, Stopping Point For Many Unfortunates, click for larger version

 

On Sunday, TEAM PETS made a number of Biomare Computer Core.  On their first run, they passed a full team that was having to fight through the Chemical Vindicator section.  A little while later, in the room that overlooks TIM’s area before the last golfball, TEAM PETS was buffing up, when they watched a different team train what looked to be mobs from the whole length of the Mutant caves.  It was a huge train, including Bio-Constructs, Shadows, Vindicators, and Guards.  A little while later, when TEAM PETS had just pulled a single guard into the hallway just outside the computer core, this training team returned going the other direction, and landed a room full of level 90 guards and techs on top of them.  There were too many of them and Babaengy and Babaemphee could not get to the emergency exit in time to avoid a wipe.

 

The Train Stops Here

The Train Stops Here, Fortunately we have the proper security clearance.

 

TEAM PETS had their first team that included another player recently.  It came about serendipitously when a lone player showed up while TEAM PETS was farming experience at the computer core in Biomare. The most notable outcome was Babaengy spent the first few minutes fumbleling around with his chat windows trying in vain to display the team chat window.  It was only later that he remembered that the team channel is listed in the public channels.  He had to resort to using vicinity chat.  Unfortunately for the new player, TEAM PETS was very close to grabbing the ding they were there for, so they bid the new guy farewell as soon as they both had dinged.

A few hours later, after they had unloaded their loot via Tireen, they returned.  On the run down to the computer core, they thought they spotted the same player getting chased by a bunch of guards in the hangar area where Johnson is.  He must have somehow managed to follow a team all the way down to the computer core previously.

At the end of that Sunday, they were both at level 89.  At level 88 Babaengy was able to squeeze into a step higher bot, and Babaemphee was able to go up a step with her major combat debuff.  With most of her nano skills reaching their maxes, there was very little she could put IP into, so she choose to use this time to up her 1 hand blunt in order to finally equip one of her Howling Skulls.  They are a nice weapon.  When she runs at full aggressive, it deals a steady fast stream of damage.  Dual wielded, with melee init maxed, and related skills maxed, they appear to be a formidable choice for toons like Subway twinks.  Sporting just one, it considerable upped her damage contribution to the team, without causing her to draw aggro on to herself as it is still way less than their attack pets.

Current Foreman’s Twink Preference

Babaengy and Babaemphee, while leveling at the Foreman’s computer core, have seen plenty of level 100 twinks pass through that hallway on their way to either the Director, TIM, RIK-RAK, or the beacon droid, often with a lowbie in tow (friend or paying customer).  The most popular seems to be level 100 crats, followed by Enforcers with battle rods or howlets.  The crats seem to outnumber the Enforcers by about 3 to one.

The following Monday evening found TEAM PETS back at the Biomare Computer Core to grab level 89. They are starting to feel rather confident and beginning to think they may be ready to explore the west tower of the cloning facility.  Baba had been there only once and very briefly, having been splattered by a one or more of the level 90ish Bodyguards who hang out there.  The level 80 Bodyguards in the computer core are very manageable now, and it is taking longer to level up off of them, so it may well be time for TEAM PETS to start working on the bodyguards in the west tower.

A few days later, Babaengy was getting very antsy regarding the monotony of leveling at the Biomare computer core.  They had been there since their eighties, and it looked like they would be there for another ten levels till they approached 100.  First the decided to try moving deeper into one of the towers.  This did not go well as the guards in the West tower are placed such that it is very likely more than two will be aggroed at any one time.
The next idea was to enlist Babaoroody and make a group run at Eliane Zuduwaza for his nice MP blackshirt.  Although he is listed as a level 110, his health bar is much greater than what you would expect, and he nukes, so the entire party takes damage.  This meant that the heal pet went down fairly soon and one by one the rest of the party.  They did manage to get him down to one last health bubble, so perhaps they will try again near 100.

Team Pets then made a trip to Mort Borgs and quickly found out they are not yet ready for them, since they really have no clue as to how kite with pets, and going toe to toe is fruitless.   Babaengy decided to try his hand at a daily mission, and pulled the destroy computer core mission at the Borg citadel in Avalon.  He took Babaemphee along, and they had no problem using their pets to steamroll the 70-90ish level Borg there, and he soon had his 92 level.  This put him 1 ahead of Babaemphee. When she pulled a daily, it was the Embrace the Shadows mission, which is pretty much impossible unless you can either mezz the crowds of Shades, or sneak past them.  It’s a breeze for crats, but a pain for everyone else.  After failing once she deleted that mission.

With his level 92 IP Babaengy was finally able to equip his Neleb’s Master Nano robe, which gave a significant boost to all his nano skills such he was able to get into a higher attack bot.  After another trip to Biomare computer core, Babaemphee leveled also to 92 and bumped his skills up enough so that she was ready to equip a better mezz pet.  They called on Babaoroody to roll missions for the better mezz pet and a better bot heal nano for Babaengy.  He took Babaemphee along for her heal pet, which helped him save on med kits.  She did get sent back to reclaim twice when adds attacked her from behind while Baba was focused on a mob in front.  Baba has to become more vigilant in making sure there are no potential adds lurking nearby before he engages the mobs directly in the path to the mission objective.  They mostly blitzed these missions, going straight for the room farthest from the entrance where the objective can usually be found.

Over the next few days TEAM PETS alternated between daily missions and Biomare.  At their current level range, they get three mission choices.  Two of which they delete asap.  These are the crash site and the embrace the shadows mission.  The shadows mission looks to be only winnable by a mezzer.  The crash site looks like it could only be done with the help of an much higher level player.  The third mission, the one they can do, is the system intrusion mission. They even dragged both trader Tireen and NT Babaente through when they pulled that mission.  Between pulling it themselves and helping Baba’s other alts with it, they are getting quite good at this mission.

This brought them to level 95 for Babaengy and level 94 for Babaemphee.  Babaemphee was able to equip here Quantum Wings and has been trying it out.  While it is nice for flying around cities yet still appearing social, it does have drawbacks.  One is that it gets canceled when using a Whompa or the Grid, so it is not really conducive to traveling.

Next time, Crypt of Home.





BABA BASHES FOR BOTS

4 09 2010
New looks, Links Engergized and Solar Guard, click for better view.

New looks, Links Engergized and Solar Guard, click for better view.

Babaengy and Babaemphee dinged level 75 in the Biomare sewers while working in Tri-Plumbo’s area.  This section has the bloaters placed with much greater distance between them than in the sewer sections where it is common to get swarmed by 6 or more at a time.  There are six bloaters in this section that make a nice loop where the mobs respawn fairly quickly so there is no waiting.  They gave Tri-Plumbo a go and got sent back to reclaim rather quickly.  At this point they decided that it was time to go run team missions in order to roll some much needed new non-shop buyable nanos.

The went back to sitting around a mission terminal rolling missions while keeping an eyeball on Clicksaver.  At level 75 they were pulling missions at around 82-83 level.  They must have seen at least 5 go by with Beacon Warp.  They took one of those, but since Babaengy already has one equipped, it was just as an investment.  The most badly needed nano is the next best healing pet Calling of Restite.  Sanoo can not out heal the damage dealt by level 80+ mobs at this point.  A better mezz pet would help, and a better bot heal could make the difference in Boss fights.  Solar Guard would help immensely with Babaemphee’s survivability since it adds +100 to all defense.

They took break from RK2 and were doing some necro post reading in AOFROOBS in the professions sections.  One post in particular Easy Froob MP formula from Llie pointed out that the measure of a pet profession was the best pet they could command and stay out of OE self buffed, meaning the best pet that even with a outside buff to cast, that they could continue to keep under control with self buffs.  Pets operate under the same Over Equipped rules as many other AO items.  As long as the pet caster maintains their required skill at 80% or more of the requirement, they will remain in control. This meant that Tireen could help them  with wrangles to each cast a higher pet, with the limit being what they could keep out of OE.

Creation: Solar Guard gives 169 to ACs and +100 Add All Def

Creation: Solar Guard gives 169 to ACs and +100 Add All Def

After some calculations it was clear that with a +40 wrangle from Tireen, Babaengy could cast a level 113 bot and Babaemphee could cast a level 111 attack pet and keep them out of OE with Babaemphee’s masteries.  This required a bit of log-in juggling at first.  With Babaemphee first buffing up herself and Babaengy.  She then logged off, and Tireen logged in to put a wrangle on Babaengy.  With this wrangle running he was able to cast his better bot.  With the shell in his inventory, he logged out, so Babaemphee could log in and get her wrangle from Tireen.  This done, Tireen logged off after giving Babaemphee her wrangle and seeing her cast her better pet.  (They later found that triple logging would make this much more convenient.)

With both higher pets cast, team pets then headed out to their missions.  These two new attack pets went through the level 82 mobs like a hot knife through butter.  Even the mission bosses were done away with quickly.  Too quickly, in fact as in one mission, Babaemphee’s pet finished killing the mission target before Babaengy could take the elevator into the Boss Room to ID the target, so they forfeited that mission.  Even thought they did not get the wanted nano, they did nab a few nice pieces of Miy’s and Nova Dillon armor.

As part of their break from Biomare to mission for much needed nanos, Babaengy and Babaemphee invited Tireen to tag along for several team missions.  Tireen is level 75 so she would get experience and she would always be there to help them cast the highest attack pets.  It put a bit of a load on the computer, but it was manageable.  If dual boxing two toons was a juggling challenge, triple logging is even more so.   The three missions they pulled went very well as Tireen’s massive shotgun crits helped put the mobs away that much faster.

The only problem was that Tireen is by far the most squishy of the three, and the team had to be careful to manage aggro by letting the attack bot build up aggro before the rest of the team launched into any particular mob.  There were two fatalities, both caused by the same issue.  Babaengy was running a new hostile AOE nano, and several times it attracted a number opf unwanted adds.  The first casualty was Tireen, and the second time it happened it was Babaemphee.  After that, Babaengy canceled that nano, and will not be running any hostile AOE nanos.  Probably the only time they might be used would be in PVP, which they do not plan to take part in for some time, if ever.

Full set of Links Energized armor (in social tab), click to view larger version.

Full set of Links Energized armor (in social tab), click to view larger version.

Babaengy used these occasions to demonstrate the worth of the Beacon Warp nano, by bringing the team mates back from reclaim much faster than them having to revive and then make their way by grid, whompa and flying.  Out of six or so missions they netted for Babaemphee the following nanos, Creation Solar Guard, and Creation Summon Absum.  For Babaengy they netted Rebuild Casing, while Tireen bought him an Overdrive Combat Array from a store.  At the end of the missions, Tireen had dinged 76, and Babaengy had dinged 77 to catch up with Babaemphee who had just hit 77 before Babaengy’s trip to reclaim.

They estimated that it would be 3-4 more levels before they can equip higher attack pets, and there was not much else they needed that they could roll so they were about to head back to Biomare, when Babaoroody showed up and offered to pull a few missions for their level 123 combat pets.  123 is at the lower range of what Baba can pull, and should be pretty easy, however he asked Babaemphee to come along to provide healing support.  Baba knows all too well that having to self heal after every fight with health kits is very tiresome.  They were a little concerned that Babaemphee would be too squishy around 120+ mobs.

Baba was successful in pulling missions for the desired items, however, Babaemphee was too low to team with him according to the team mission machine, so Baba had to pull regular solo missions.  He did duplicate the keys and gave the copies to Babaemphee so she could accompany him in the missions.  This went way much better than any one of them had thought.  Any time a mob even looked sideways at Babaemphee, Baba would mongo and keep Babaemphee safe.

While Babaemphee’s current heal pet may still be somewhat weak against 120+ mob damage, it did very well.  While several times it had a hard time keeping up with the healing, Baba’s health never dropped below 60% in each fight, and was usually back at 100% by the time the next mob was faced.  Babaoroody the Enforcer is fun when he does not have to worry about self healing.  It gives him the freedom to use things like rage and mongos more freely.  He can see that it may be worthwhile to start putting IP into Nano Init so he can cast his Rage and Mongos faster.

Baba Loves His Black Clan Tank Armor, (even if it is just social and Veil of the Revoked does the work)

Baba Loves His Black Clan Tank Armor, (even if it is just social and Veil of the Revoked does the work)

It was also great to have the extra damage from Babaemphee’s attack pet, especially in those unavoidable times when two or mobs are found close together in a mission and have to be fought at the same time.  It might be different in a team mission, however Babaemphee does so little damage comparatively, that there is little trouble keeping the aggro on Babaoroody.    Baba still has the daily mission kill x smugglers in Smuggler’s Den running and he is seriously thinking of bringing Babaemphee with him.  Tireen would be useful, however she is on the same account as Baba, so they will never share a team.  Babaente might be useful if her calms and/or roots will land on the 120ish Mantis crowds that have to be waded through to get to the heart of the dungeon.

In addition to acquiring an Inferior Frenzy Embodiment level 123 for Babaemphee and a Semi Sentient Guardbot level 123 for Babaengy, the was an added bonus of finding a Creation Living Shield of Evernan in one mobs loot.  The shield provides around 140 ACs, some parry skill and 342 health.  It is odd that even though it is a higher quality level than the Solar Guard, it provides less protection and cannot compare to the +100 add all def provided by the Solar Guard, so we suspect Babaemphee will be using the Solar Guard for some time.  There also turned up a few pieces of Miy’s and Rhinoman armor, which Baba let Babaemphee loot as they were too low to do him any good.

Tireen is going to be busy shop fooding most of loot Team Pets and Baba netted recently.  Babaengy and Babaemphee are now planning on heading back to Biomare for some more levels.  They make take a shot as Tri-Plumbo after they level enough (80ish) to equip their QL123 pets, and may even ask Tireen to help out.  They are also starting to think about when they should make a run to Steps of Madness for Neleb’s robes and later COH for even better robes, and to Beacon Warp Baba in so he can farm some phats.  Baba smiled as he watched Team Pets discuss these things with enthusiasm.  He envied them. For FROOBS, level 70-100 is a very good time to be on Ruby-Ka, with several dungeons open at that level offering serious buffing items both for use and selling for profit.





Open Those Little Brown Boxes

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

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

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

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

TEAM PETS, Babaengy and Babaemphee, with matching helmets!

TEAM PETS, Babaengy and Babaemphee, with matching helmets!

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

Evolving Boss Room Tactics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aliens City Raid Passed Trekking to Missions

Aliens City Raid Passed Trekking to Missions

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

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

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





Off to the Skys of Ruby-Ka

18 07 2010
Running, running, always running between missions.

Running, running, always running between missions.

Babaengy and Babaemphee have been working away at a steady pace on their team missions bringing them to level 48.  One of their prime objectives has been to roll loot only nanos for their professions.  Babaemphee has had the best luck recently as she added a Greater Deranged Mindreaver, and 4 of her masteries nanos.  Some of each toons skills are starting to be capped, which frees up IP somewhat for secondary skills.  In Babaemphee’s case, this has allowed her to up her MM, PM and SI.  This helped her be able to cast the new masteries nanos, which in turn allowed both herself and Babaengy to cast higher pets and nanos.

Babaemphee shows off her new Vital Buckler, click for larger view.

Babaemphee shows off her new Vital Buckler, click for larger view.

The diminutive MP also acquired as mission loot an MP only weapon, (The Crotalus) and a MP only shield (The Vital Buckler).  The Crotalus has a rather ominous reading description that new MP’s should pay heed to.  Babaemphee’s tip, do not attempt casting the Crotalus unless your toon is 1) at max health, and 2) in a safe environment, (i.e. not likely to be attacked), and 3) ready with a heal pet with orders to heal you.  When one casts this nano, you lose 98% of your health.  The Buckler provides 72 all ACs and +150 health.

Team pets is slowly evolving their Boss Room strategies to include more use of the Mezz pet for crowd control.  Babaemphee first orders the heal pet on her before jumping in first.  Once in the room, she first tries to run to a spot that is away from the elevator, and hopefully can isolate one or more of the mobs.  This also helps to hopefully put some space between the mobs, so it is easier to identify and target them individually.  If there are three or more mobs, she orders the mezz pet on to the weakest mob, and the attack pet onto the strongest.  She keeps the heal pet on herself for the time being and she also attacks the strongest mob.

Bosses are getting bigger and tougher, click for larger view.

Bosses are getting bigger and tougher, click for larger view.

Then it is time for the Engineer to enter.  He jumps in and sets his attack bot on the same mob Babaemphee’s attack pet is on.  He makes note of the MP’s health and stims her if needed.  The MP monitors the health of all and switches the heal pet to any team member that needs it, including her attack pet.  She also is ready to health stim her self or the Engineer when needed.

This method works fairly well, but the first few seconds are the most crucial.  The longer it takes to sort out the individual targets and categorize them, the more damage the team takes before starting to fight back. Sometimes if the room is very small and there are multiple mobs, and they will all be on top of the elevator.  This makes it very hard to select and differentiate them.

Babaemphee only recently started setting her mezz pet on the weakest mob, but has found this to work really well when the pet is strong enough to effectively control the mob.

You know all we need is  a couple of  QL 90ish Nav Air eye implants and a pair of low quality Yalms, and we could say bye bye to this running business.

You know all we need is a couple of QL 90ish Nav Air eye implants and a pair of low quality Yalms, and we could say bye bye to this running business.

Babaoroody wanted to help this new team out, so he posted a question for them on the AOFroobs board.  So far they had not been able to find documentation of the duration of MP and Engy pets.  They did find some very old posts that indicated that the pets had really short durations under a half hour.   Babaemphee knew this was not the case, as both she and Babaengy had kept pets over an hour.  The AOFroobs replies indicated that MP and Engy pets have a max duration of 2 hours.  Since both Babaemphee and Babaengy rarely are logged on for more than 2 hours, they have not run into this limitation.

Running to missions on foot is starting to get really old for the pet team.  It adds a great deal of extra time, limits where they can accept missions, and often results in canceled missions when the way is blocked by multiple red mobs.

That has to be the longest hall Babaengy has seen in missions.

That has to be the longest hall Babaengy has seen in missions.

Between missions, the toons have been making it a habit to check the shop terminals for low quality Yalmahas.  Babaengy hit pay dirt first with a QL35 Yalm he found in the trader shop in Newland City.  He had to call in both Tireen and Babaente for help with credits which enabled him to walk out with a shiny new Yalm.  He still needed a small set of air navigation buffing implants in order to be able to equip it.

Babemphee lucked out Saturday evening, when Tireen was hitting the shopping rounds in Old Athens looking for a set of better looking Energized armor sleeves for Babaengy.  Tireen knew something was up when there were several other toons parked beside the vending machine.  As soon as she opened the shop window and saw the QL 30 Yalm, she called Babaemphee, who quickly made the few whompa hops from Newland to OA.  After both Tireen and Babaente lent credits to Babaemphee, she  bought the Yalm, and now is in the market for a set of air navigation buffing implants.

With their Yalmahas successfully equipped, our pair take a break before rolling up some missions.

With their Yalmahas successfully equipped, our pair take a break before rolling up some missions.

This will allow them to no longer have to turn down some missions because those mission entrances are guarded by high level mobs.  The Yalms solve this problem in two ways.  One is that the superior speed of the Yalm can be used to train the mobs a safe distance away from the entrance.  The other way is that it allows them to fly quickly right into the mission entrance, usually to fast for any mobs around to react to.

Babaoroody logged on for a few minutes on Sunday to assemble the two Eye implants.  It turns out a single QL 80-90ish eye implant with a shining Navigate Air cluster and a Time and Space Cluster, was all that was needed (40+ Nav Air) to allow Babaengy and Babemphee to equip their new Yalms.

They also shared one other achievement over the last few days.  They both earned their Blossoms of Summer token boards, which gives a tasty 200 health and 150 nano, and a +1% experience increase.





Miysa Likesa Dis Armor

14 07 2010
Looking for mission entrance, North East Wartorn Valley, click for larger view.

Looking for mission entrance, North East Wartorn Valley, click for larger view

It was about their 40th team mission since Babaengy and Babaemphee began using mission slider settings said to favor collecting Miy’s armor when it finally paid off.  Although the settings (CHAOS FULL RIGHT) consistently provided missions with non-human, non casting mobs, and a several other breeds known to drop Miy’s (Aquans, Mantises, Cyborgs) this was the first mission to see any Miy’s drops.

This quality 47 mission yielded a total of 5 Miy’s pieces ranging from QL 35 to 54.  Babaengy was able to immediately equip a pair of QL35 ranged armor boots for some nice buffs to max health, strength, and duck explosives.

Babaemphee recently cast her first MP only weapon,  The Crotalus.

Babaemphee recently cast her first MP only weapon, The Crotalus. Click for larger view.

The problems is both an engineer and an MP do not generally raise strength, stamina or sense that much, which tend to be part of Miy’s requirements.  This means the only Miy’s they can equip is going to be levels below what they could equip of regular junk shop food armor like Cyber Armor and Sekuteck Armor.  It does show that, even using the optimum mission settings, Miy’s drops are somewhat rare (once out of 40 outings).  Babaoroody an Enforcer tells us that the most plentiful place for Miy’s is either PW Borgs, or Mort Borgs.  For example, clearing the main dunes area north east of the Main Borg base in PW is always sure to net 2-3 pieces (approx 40 Borg).

Alien city raid nearby a recent mission entrance.

Alien city raid nearby a recent mission entrance. Click for larger view.

It was on team missions over this past weekend that Babaengy and Babaemphee met their first individual and their first team wipes in mission Boss rooms.  Once they hit level 42, the difficulty settings they were using on the mission terminal was giving them QL 47 t QL 50 level Bosses.  Both team members are stuck at a plateau where it will take 3-4 more missions to level up enough to equip a stronger pet.

The result is that rather than having pets that are much stronger than the team Bosses, the match up is more equal, which means factors like small Boss rooms and strong Boss minions count for more.  There was a repeat of the situation where Babaengy takes the elevator in first, and gets pounced on by both the Boss and it’s minion.  By the time Babaemphee and her heal pet have zoned in, it is too late to heal up the health deficit Babaengy has suffered by then.

In the wipe scenario in that followed in the next mission, there was some difficulty in identifying if team members were fighting the same targets at the same time.  When all team damage dealers are not focused on a single target, they lose, as comparatively, they cannot stand toe to toe individually with these mobs that are higher in levels than they are.  It was actually a bit of a shock, for the last 20 or so missions have been relatively easy, with no team member ever dipping below 75% health.  It is clear now it is time to use different tactics when

Matchin armor sets in progress, MP is done, Engy needs Energized sleeves.

Matching armor sets in progress, MP is done, Engy needs Energized sleeves. Click for larger view.

Babaemphee is going to have to step up to the plate and be the first one in from now on.
Her first task will be to debuff if possible the Boss and it’s minion(s) and initiate her pets attack on the weakest mob, while starting the heal pet on herself.  Babaengy will then follow, sending the bot to attack, and then attacking himself on Babaemphee’s target.
It then becomes a game of alt-tab and first aid stiming where necessary.

When commanding such a team in combat, so many things are going on at once that it is not a time to be trying to devise strategy.  They need to have several plan B’s in place so they can quickly react to new and different threats.  There were also several times when the pets did not seem to respond.  In particular, they seem to have some problems with line of sight and sometimes getting stuck behind pillars.  Babaengy’s bot sometimes seems to be not paying attention and unresponsive.  Babaemphee found that the follow command seemed to be useful to get a pet to come out from behind a column.

Tag Teaming The Boss

Curiously both Babaengy and Babaemphee since reaching level 43 have started to see their Time and Space and MaterCreation skills capped.  This restricts them to a single point increase with each level and has put a crimp in their usual ‘equip a much better pet’ every few levels progress.

The big switch in strategy has been for Babaemphee to enter the Boss room elevator first, and to debuff the Boss and any minions first thing.  Babaengy follows and sets his pet to work on the Boss or minion depending on the situation.  If Babaemphee’s attack pets are holding agro, she puts her heal pet on her attack pet, while Babaengy and his bot take out any minions.  While mopping up minions, Babaengy takes care to health stim Babaemphee if needed.  Babaemphee has to be ready to switch her heal pet to whoever the main aggro switches to.  At this period, the pets seem to be able to hold aggro fairly well.

Stuck in a Spider Hole

Our pet team found itself trapped in a recent mission.  They normally would have never accepted the mission due to its location, but as the reward was an MP mission/loot only masteries nano, they choose to take the risk.  The mission was located in a cave at the same location as a level 65 Dyna-boss and a group of minions.   Getting in was fairly easy, run quickly past the mobs and Dyna into the cave and perhaps suffer a hit or two.  Getting out would be harder as there would be no convenient escape hatch nearby. The has completed the mission and has logged off sitting in the mission entrance.  They knew that when they logged back on, they would either still be there and have to run out, or worse they could materialize under the noses of the spiders, and be easy pickins while their clients spooled up. They enlisted trader Tireen (level 76) to fly over in her Yalm and train away the Dyna and a few other spiders.  She trained them over the hill to the Rhinoman village where it ought to take them a while to find their way back.

When our pair logged in separately, Babaengy first, who found himself still in the mission entrance.  He buffed up his defensive buffs and ran out.  He ran due east to the nearest player city.  Several spiders chased him, and at one point a human Omni hunter snared him, so that the spiders had a chance to beat up on him for a few moments.  Fortunately his AC buffs keep his damage low, and once the snare wore off, he was able to outrun the spiders, and make it to the player city whompa that took him to Newland City.  Babaemphee materialized next, but outside the mission.  She easily outran several spiders and got to the player city whompa without any further drama.





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