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.





Team Baba Pets Moves to Foreman’s

19 08 2010
Foreman's Front Door Mischief

Foreman's Front Door Mischief, click for larger view

Unceremoniously, Babaengy and Babaemphee’s last trip to TOTW was this past Friday evening.  They have everything on their must have lists, and wanted to give another try for the two elusive Notum rings.  They both have the PM/SI versions but the MC ones would be more useful, however they came across some posts which point out that Rings of Presence usually drop frequently for players as they level up, and they buff from +2 or more (depending on quality), all nano skills.  In fact between all of Baba’s alts, there are about 8 of various quality sitting in their banks.  The nugget of information convinced Babaengy and Babaemphee that it was not worth putting up with the trains and spite camping twinks at TOTW any more than they already had.

On this last trip they saw several variations on the “spite camping” twinks.  These are twinks, equipped with top shelf expansion goodies, much costing billions or only available from higher level players, while in and of themselves are of passing technical interest, stand out because of the actions.  They tie up bosses by camping them for hours, preventing anyone else from getting access while they already have all the items they can equip.  One Enforcer twink who choose to run a circuit around the three main wings and their bosses, when it saw other players coming through Gartua’s room, went and popped several mongoes and trained every spawned Windcaller, Exarch and reverend to the area just inside the door to Aztur’s hall just as our pair were entering.   It actually saved our team time, and just meant all of their objectives were in one spot.  While it did take a little extra work for the healpet, they soon had all the mobs down and looted, but no Notum rings were found.

Babaengy and Babaemphee then ran back to DOTS cross roads, and found a twink and a tagging on lowbie fighting DOT.  Babaengy and Babaemphee waited for the fight to finish and then started to run towards the door to the middle hall where Nematet is.  The twink and lowbie saw this and immediately also ran for that door, exhibiting that ‘me first‘ attitude prevalent in these juvenile epeeners.  Babaengy smirked to himself how well his miss-direction had worked.  He watched them run off towards Nematet, because he and Babaemphee really wanted to go visit Lein.

They had to fight their way all the way down to Lien, which is always a good sign, i.e. that no one else was around or camping Lien.  They did see a curious spectacle play out.  When they had progressed to having just two more corners of Legionnaires left to kill and pass, this 38 or so lowbie with a Neleb’s rod, but not much else, tried to run past the remaining Legionnaires.  The lowbie got all the way to the second set of Legionnaires, aggroed them, and then realized he was in trouble.  He was trapped by six Legionnaires, and they wiped him long before Babaengy and Babaemphee could get near.

Once team pets, had cleared out all Legionnaires, they had a 5 to 10 minute wait for Lein to spawn.  They spent this time, rebuffing, and recharging, so when Lien did spawn, the whole team was primed.  The attack went by the book.  Keeping their distance, Babaengy first ticked his bots positive aggression trimmer into gear, and Babaemphee, cast her attack pets combat buff on it.  Then Babaengy sent the bot in to attack.  After the bot had a chance to get in several good hits, Babaemphee sent in her attack pet and mezz pet.  By keeping their distance, Lien’s Ju Ju dolls were immediately rooted by Babaengy’s root aura and were too far from Babaengy and Babaemphee to hit them.  After the meatballs got in a few hits, Babaemphee cast her debuff on Lien, after which Babaengy and Babaemphee started to let loose with their alphas, various TOTW damage rings for Babaengy, and a cold nuke from Babaemphee.  The team took less damage in this battle than any previous Lien fight.

They were well rewarded at the end, with Lien dropping two dark memories and a memory loop.  This just happened to be exactly what was left on team pet’s Lien checklist.  On their previous trip they had both managed to fill their 5 slot belts, and this trip gave them both an extra DM for when they upgrade to six slot belts.

Babaengy and Babaemphee decided to head out to Biomare, having reset their profiles to start collecting experience again, and looking to get back on the leveling path.  They first stopped at the small base just outside the Biomare facility to grab the first quest from Ace Starr, who hands out the clan Biomare quests.  Entering Biomare, for clan, is a bit dicey, especially for pet classes.  Due to the fact that the base is an Omni controlled area, trying to walk in, will result in attacks from the many well equipped guards.  The best way to get in, is to fly in using Yalms, quickly so that any guards around don’t have time to take any shots.  Neither Babaengy or Babaemphee likes flying with pets cast.  It just seems like a cruel thing to do.  Fortunately the entrance to Biomare consists of a quite long hallway with the first mob at the other end, which means clan can enter, go to the side, buff up and cast pets without getting attacked.

They have spent the last few evenings working thought the first set of clan quests.  Babaente, Baba’s NT, and Tireen, his trader alt, skipped Biomare entirely, relying solely on Babaempee’s kiting to get them to their 70s.  They both are currently stuck trying to do the ‘System Intrusion’ daily mission.  Tireen’s calms just don’t cut it, she rarely gets past the first L shaped hall.  Babaente’s calms work much better, and she can calm her way all the way to the end boss who is level 90.  Babaente can calm her, but not kill her, so she can’t complete the mission as long as she has aggro from this boss.  She is strongly considering calling in Babaoroody to throw his level 149 weight around for help.

Babaengy and Babaemphee are finding Biomare alot more fun that it was for Babaoroody.  When Baba did it, he barely found teams often enough to complete the basic security card guests, but he also had to do alot solo.  Soloing is not recommended there unless you are talking about a twink.  Mobs are placed in close together groups, and most of the time it is impossible to pull single mobs before one gets security clearance.  The sewers can be soloed, as can the second golf ball cave section, but the bodyguards in the third section, are very strong and hit hard, and present quite a threat to solo players.  The three bosses are tough also, requiring a good full team, or a much higher level toon with top level pets cast.

The completed the first quest, disable 6 security cams, by focusing on the 3 cams, the first one outside Rodriquez’s area, and two more further down the same hall.  This required dealing with guards which go down fairly fast when Team Pet’s attack bots have their best combat buffs running.

The next set of quests, kill 6 floaters and then kill 6 bloaters is where they first ran into trouble.  Getting swarmed by floaters and bloaters is common when other players sometime train them on to others, but Team Pet was getting swarmed repeatedly.  The got badly swarmed by bloaters once where Babaemphee got sent back to reclaim, which meant Babaengy had to beat a hasty retreat via the emergency exit. Babaengy had just dinged 62, so after she returned, they spent a good 30-40 minutes killing floaters so she could catch up and also ding 62.  They filled up all their bags about half way through, so Babaengy inspected each corpse and only looted really expensive or valuable items, like battle suits or Notum chips.

Babaoroody had told them that he thought Biomare was much better designed than TOTW.  Things like the security cards and the emergency exits go along way in preventing the epidemic training like what goes on at TOTW.

Later they reviewed their various running buffs and are guessing that ‘Intrusive Aura of Entanglement’ is aggro-ing every mob within 20 meters, so they are going to try not using it on their next visit.   It also has the negative effect of getting Babaengy flagged for PVP, and open to ganking by some opportunistic higher level omni there.

They decided to level up some more before taking on the kill Tri-Plumbo boss quest.  The sewers provides fast leveling for them, and TONS of loot.  The best thing about Biomare, in addition to good leveling, is the income.  Mobs at Biomare drop tons of semi-valuable loot.  A single average bag can easily bring 90,000 credits when vendored by Tireen.  It’s quite easy to fill 10+ bags while getting a level in the sewers.   With all bags full and both hitting 62, they left for the evening.

Later while allocating out their new IP in a Newland shop, Babaengy realized he had just increased his skills enough to be able to use ‘Beacon Warp’ which Babaoroody looted a year or two ago.  This opens up a lot of possibilities, from warping lowbies in for phatz, to warping Babaoroody in for places like Crypt of Home.

They made a short follow up visit the following night, and refrained from using the Intrusive Aura as well as any reflect damage things, and as a result, had a much more manageable time in the sewers, grabbing about 10 bags of stuff, and a level each (level 63).  This finally allowed Babaemphee to be able to cast her first Chant, so she cant’ wait to try it out.  Babaengy however is in one of those stages where it will be several levels before he can bump up a level on his bot or any of his nanos.   They both are also still inching towards equipping level 70 first aid and treatment kits.  Stores only sell these in 50 and 70 steps so they have been trying to make do with some 60s that dropped in a team mission a while back, but these have been used up and they are stuck with using puny 50s now.





Train Stopping at TOTW

7 08 2010
Train Stopping at TOTW

Train Stopping at TOTW, click for full image

The final boss in both the Subway and the Temple of the Three Winds are designed to be a significant challenge to the capped levels allowed in those dungeons.  What is especially devious is how the players are set up to fail by the major jump from the next to the last boss to the last boss.  The progression of mob difficulty in both dungeons is mostly linear.  Players get lulled into expecting each next higher mob to be a few degrees harder.  The jump is a 2-3 levels for most of the progression, at the end however the jump is about 10 levels.

Babaemphee and Babaengy made another run to TOTW a few evenings ago.  They had to fight their way in through solid grays all the way to DOT.  They headed due north to the center wing and were glad to see the halls mostly clear.  They found the Curator waiting in his room and engaged him in a short brutal battle that he lost.  He did not drop any notum rings, however he did fill out Babaengy’s TOTW shoulder piece collection.  They headed next over to Nematet’s room and were taking down their second Windcaller when their neighborhood experienced a brown out, which caused their Net connection to go dead.

The only thing that really concerned them was that they had had the room to themselves and it looked like they would have a clean shot at Nematet, so they were concerned that the link death delay could allow some other team to take over the spot before they got logged back in.  When they did log back in a few minutes later (after all flash lights and candles were located) in RL4, they still had the room to themselves, which was a bit of a problem.  They had rezzed back right next to a Windcaller and got instant close vicinity aggro and so had a fight on their hands, without their pets.  After a few minutes, it was clear that their puny weapons were not enough to take this Windcaller down, at least not before several hours had passed.  Fortunately they still had their buffs intact so Babaengy was able to re-cast his bot which quickly put the Windcaller away.

In taking down all the Windcallers, they had to let rot a bunch of very nice Agent only armor. Babaengy really wished he was able to cast Beacon Warp, so he could warp AgentBaba in to collect this loot.  Babaengy is about 20 MC short of being able to cast it. It would require an outside Infuses buff, since Babaemphee herself is a couple of hundred IP points away from casting those.

The main gain of the evening was that Babaengy dinged level 60 after defeating the curator, and Babaemphee hit 60 after they felled Nematet.  They both decided to head back to Newland to allocate out this IP.  After doing so, Babaengy was just 7 points short in MC to cast his lvl 90 bot.  He did an extensive search of all of the Baba’s inventories via Inventory Assistant, for MC buffing items.  The closest thing he found was a Miy’s chest piece which would do the trick, but it required quite a bit more to equip than he could expect to get a wrangle from Tireen for.

After reviewing the Auno database, they decided they did not have any buffing items that would do the trick. The decided that the surest thing would be to go from QL75 to QL100 implants.

They were starting to tire a bit of the Temple, so a break was taken, and a few other of Baba’s alts were logged in to grab a level or two when they could complete daily missions.  Unfortunately about half the daily missions are impossible for the advertised levels.  The only way to complete them is with  twinked paid toons or by having higher level toons complete the tasks.

Once again, new content turns out to be a vehicle catered to end-gamers, in this case a convenient way for end-gamers  to level up their alts.  It is very suspicious how almost all of the new missions allow a higher level character to collect any required items and simply hand them over to the lowbie.  Curious how they went out of their way to keep those items from being no drop and prevent that kind of practise.

The impossibility for leveling toons comes in when the missions require having to kill or navigate through large numbers of mobs that are 10 to 20 levels above the toons current level.  My level 25 got a mission to kill level 55 mobs.  I am sure this has got to be discouraging for new players.

But to get back on topic, why do we dread the temple sometimes.  I guess it is no matter what your business is there, from camping or leveling for hours, or just a quick in and out to grab a single not-so-hard-to-get item, one has to spend 15 minutes killing grays on the way in, and another 15 doing the same on the way out. At least at Foreman’s after you completed a few quests, the guards stop aggroing you.  For toons like our pet classes, it means more down-time stopping to re-buff as needed before ever getting close to the objective.

The other thing we dread about TOTW is some of the other players there.  On almost every trip there one gets to see a new and different way for toons to misbehave.  On this last few trips trip several stand out.  First there were the jumpers.  There is a certain brand of noobe in AO that thinks that the space bar (jumping) is a drug, they cannot get enough of it, and somehow think that everyone else is bound to be amazed by their jumping skills.  When our team rezzed into the TOTW entrance they were greeted by a MA whose sole form of communication was to walk up, stand directly in your face and jump up and down endlessly.  No vicinity chat. Just jump, jump, jump, look at me jump!  It was almost enough to make us want to dust off our emote help screen and program a special emote macro for the next time one of these geniuses show up.  Later while in Nematets room, a distant cousin to the MA, one of million lvl 60 Exarch robbed Enforcers with a Carb Helmet, ran into the room, right up to our team, and started in with the jumping in place.  Yes we see you can jump, and no, we have no openings on our team for jumpers at this time, as soon as the day arrives that combat requires a jumper, you will get the call.  I guess they never heard of vicinity chat.

The next winner has to be Mr. My-Only-Skill is pulling trains, an otherwise unremarkable and forgettable level 37 soldier with a Carb Helmet and Exarch robe.  Mr. My-Only… had been waiting in the entrance area for someone/anyone to display his skill.  As soon he could see us starting to advance after buffing towards the inner door, he burst through it and ran at top speed down the hall into the dungeon.  About the time we had just killed the first pair of cultists and were starting in on the first one that stands in the middle of the hall, Mr. My-Only comes racing back with most of the cultists from the left wing on his train.  I imagine he actually had to stop and hit a few just to make sure they would join in.  Of course as he passed us on his way towards the entrance, he gaily gave us the jumping greeting several times.

On another recent visit just as we were approaching DOT’s central part of the big hall some people refer to as the crossroads, when from of the door to the west wing comes some twink battlerod enforcer, a twink MA with one of those hats that look like an upside down brass wok (official name: Original Mentors Straw Hat.)  There is something about TOTW MAs in upturned woks.  Babaoroody has regaled his alts with tales of upturned wok wearing MAs up to mischief at TOTW.  Now Baba and company make it a policy to not judge a book by it’s cover, but anytime they see one of these upturned wok wearing MAs, a red flag pops up which they try to not pre-judge the wok wearing toon by.

This pair seemed to have a couple of other accomplices in their team, who all executed the TOTW crossroads train escape of jumping the low wall on the north side of the eastern wing entrance and running around behind the entrance to hide.  Bursting forth from the door to the west wing came several Deathless Legionnaires, several Windcallers, a handful of cultists, and Lien.  Babaengy and Babaemphee were suddenly in a fight with the legionnaires which took them a minute or two to clear.  Fortunately Lien had wandered over towards the south wall of the hall and was minding his business.

Custer Did It Better

Since Babaengy and Babaemphee had been on their way to Lien, this was actually not a bad thing, at least, that is what they thought as Babaengy started buffing the bot with his two best combat buffs.  Babaengy gave his bot a wait command, so it would not run over to where Lien was. Babaengy wanted Lien to come to them, at which time he would give the bot an attack command.  About two microseconds after Babaengy and Babaemphee and her pets attacked and aggroed Lien, the Defender of Three spawned right on top of them.  There was some confusion, as Babaengy tried to switch the bot to DOT while Babaemphee continued with the already started attack on Lien.  Babaengy found his bot unresponsive suddenly. He would  target one of the bosses, and then issue a bot attack command, but the bot just stood still.  This went on long enough that Lien was able to knock Babaengy’s health down to 25%.  Babaengy then realized that Babaemphee had recently switched the heal pet to her self after a previous fight and they had forgotten to switch it back to Babaengy.  By the time Babaengy got his bot back under control and attacking Lien, and Babaemphee switched the heal pet to Babaengy, the poor heal pet could not keep up with the damage rate Lien was dealing on Babaengy.

In the past when they fight Lien, they usually have the bot attack first and build up aggro, so most of Liens damage goes there in addition to his AOE attacks that hurt everyone in the vicinity.

It was not much longer before Babaengy was back at reclaim, and soon after Babaemphee.   It was time for lunch in RL4, so Babaemphee and Babaengy logged off for a few hours.  When they logged back in a few hours later and returned to TOTW, they found it with far fewer toons roaming the halls.  None of the mischief makers from before were to be seen.  Perhaps some other victum successfully petitioned them, but that is highly unlikely given FUNCOMS usual performance with petitions.

They made a beeline for Lien, and after slogging through the Legionnaires on the way down, they took on Lien, this time on their terms, better coordinated and according to a strategy that works for them.  After pulling and taking care of all the surrounding Legionnaires, Babaengy buffed his bot, and then sent it to attack Lien.  After they bot had had enough time to land several high damage hits, Babaengy attacked and Babaemphee sent her attack pets in, while throwing a debuff on Lien.  Babaengy then unloaded his three TOTW damage rings on Lien to help bring his health bar down faster.  Babemphee, after landing her debuff, launched into throwing her single nukes on Lien.  The heal pet had no trouble keeping Babaengy’s health up.  Babaengy gave Babaemphee a first aid stim shot about half way through.  They simply ignored the little doll things that spawn, as they do little damage, and they go away once Lien dies.  After Lien went down, it was Babaemphee’s turn at his goodies, and she took away a Dark Memory and a Memory Loop!  After rebuffing, they fought their way back out of the temple and returned to Newland City for the day.

Friday night, Baba’s trader alt Tireen was enlisted to try and sell one of the Grid Armor I ID disks our teams have found, to further finance Babaengy and Babaemphee’s progress.  The credits were needed to bump up their store bought implants from 75ish to 100.  Sitting in the grid near the OA exit, it did not take long for Tireen to advertise the ID, find a buyer, dicker over price and agree to a deal.  They met at OA grid and the infusion of credits Tireen took away will help equip team pets next set of implants.

Both team pet toons were outfitted with store bought 100 imps.  It was necessary with both to purchase a couple of extra implants for treatment laddering.  It was nothing like the multi-step laddering real twinkers do, it was simply, put in a 75 treatment right hand, then put in a 100 eye treatment, take out the 75 hand and replace it with a 100 with treatment.  Next the 100 treatment eye could come out and a more useful 100 eye put in followed by the rest of the QL 100 store bought imps.

Notum Defender

Notum Defender, click for full image

The imps made it possible for Babaengy to equip a one more step higher bot (level 90) and allowed Babemphee to be able to use her Notum Defender.  The Notum Defender, to other players looks like a gimp weapon.  It is a gimp weapon, but MP’s at her level don’t rely on their weapons, but their pets.  The Notum Defender gives her 370 nano and a nice -3 nano cost reduction.  The modest 104 points to all AC’s helps with her overall defense.

The next day, they returned to TOTW, and made their way down to Lien with little incident.  They came across a couple of low level 30-40ish toons, and enforcer and some other toon we did not have time to identify.  They seemed to be unsure if they wanted to fight Legionnaires.  They pulled a few, while Babaengy and Babaemphee were fighting others, but eventually that pair left.  Later when team pets made it to the last Legionnaire before Lien’s room, they came across a toon sporting one of those spiffy Perennium Beamers.  Being too busy pulling and taking down the other Legionnaires around Lien, they did not identify the player but it could not have been a twink, as it was taking it forever to take down each Legionnaire it fought.  That player stood around to watch as Babaemphee and Babaengy prepared to take on Lien.  The fight went pretty much like the last battle with Lien.  This time, after Lien was down, it was Babaengy’s turn to loot, and he took away his second Dark Memory.  There was also a Urn which Babaemphee was allowed to take and several Howling Skulls, which they left for some other players loot.

After rebuffing, they again fought their way back up the ramp that goes down to Lien.  As the were going through the room right after the grotto area, a 33ish solo toon went running by and down towards Liens hall.  They proceeded and eventually stopped in the wading pool area near DOT to recast some of their pet damage buffs for the final set of outgoing hall fights.  This area is a good one to pause, rest, or anything in comparative safety.  It is far enough away from DOT and the three wing entrances, that if someone does pull a train out of them, it is easy to make a run to the exits or run behind one of the entrances to hide.

It was quite humorous to see the previous 33ish toon come running like crazy out of the west entrance at DOT’s crossroads, with several Legionnaires in tow.  He made a beeline for the exit hall at the other west end of the big hall, but stopped when he realized he would just pick up more cultist if he attempted to run through there. He was already starting to go into that slow death run, and we assume the Legionnaires finished him off.  Babaengy and Babaemphee then proceeded to fight their way out the east exit hall.  Some one must have just come in and taken the west wing, as all the cultists in the central exit hall were dead, making it easy for our pet team to stroll out the rest of the way.





Temple of Twinks Working

31 07 2010
The once busy meeting place that was the Temple of the Three Winds, deserted.

The once busy meeting place that was the Temple of the Three Winds, deserted.

A few years ago, a Friday evening  visit to the Temple of the Three Winds would find the area outside the entrance crowded with low level 1-60 toons and high level 120+ toons.  The lowbies were there for the Temple and the high levels were there for Inner Sanctum.  Babaoroody, our Froob Enforcer has many fond memories of evenings spent there.   Showing up as a sub level 61 player, one first had the challenge of finding a team in the crowd.  On busy nights, this could take a while as many people were just sitting around chatting, or waiting for someone else to show, or looking for a specific person or team.  It was a great exercise in people watching, and listening (vicinity chat).  Most TOTW pickup teams were usually just 6 toons running from mob to mob and wailing away on said mobs.  Occasionally, in the top Boss room, teams would emerge that actually functioned as teams, with tanks tanking, healers healing, CC toons controlling adds, and damage dealers, damaging.  Once and a while a twink would show up to “pwn” Azzy, but for the most part, these were leveling new toons.

Back then, the Guardian of Time was far more likely to be camped by one or more twinks and their customers/friends.  The fact that every mob there, even low 30s cultists, will aggro every player including level 60s combined with the design of the place and the many new players, led to frequent massive trains.  These trains were lethal only to low end players, and a nuisance for every one else.

Babaengy and Babaemphee (at level 59)  made their first visit this past Friday evening, and things have definitely changed.  TOTW could now very well stand for Temple of Twinks Working.  After teleporting in from the portal in Newland Dessert  they were first struck by how deserted the outside area was at prime time.  There were perhaps 4 players to be seen, and each of those was a level 60 solo twink. Not a team to be seen.  After entering they did not see another player until just before the Defender of Three’s hall, where they spotted a level 60 twink with a baby crat in tow.  Inside DOT’s hall, the only other players to be seen was a smattering of low level solo Enforcers leveling up off of cultists.  Those were the closest we saw to new players for the evening.  After easily wiping the floor with DOT, our team headed down to left wing.  Here they had a short fight with the Re-animator and netted Babaemphee a Skull of Lamentation for future use.  Once they made it down to Lien, they found he was being camped by another 60 Enforcer twink.

Coming back out from Lien’s , they passed another solo Enforcer leveling on Deathless Legionnaires.  A couple of the Legionnaires aggroed our team and after putting them down, Babaengy looted a Frosted Scythe just for the fun of it (if he changes his mind at some point to go 2 hand edged.)

Next was the north middle wing, where they had a short and victorious fight with the Curator that  netted the rock crusher gloves but no notum rings.    Nematet had just been killed by the only full team we saw all night.  They appeared to be systematically camping Nematet-‘s room.  Our pet team decided that was enough for the evening, and headed out and back to Newland City via the player city whompa just  west of the Temple.   It had been a good excursion.  They were basically doing recon this time around, mainly to get a feel for how their current set ups would fair.  The set ups were doing very well.  They never lost a pet, and no one every saw their health dip below 75%.

Babaengy and Babaemphee are now debating adding level 60.  They may very well need it to equip slightly better pets and nanos to take on the top Bosses at TOTW.

It was a bit disheartening to see TOTW, SO once lively and full of newbie’s reduced to a handful of leveling solo Enforcers and polished level 60 twinks farming items.

The next day, Saturday, our pet pair were back for their second TOTW run.  This time they headed for the East hall hoping to net some Exarch Robes.  This did not happen however.

Where is Azzy?  He was too much for the lvl 60 soldier and crat that did so well with Uklesh and Khalum.

Where is Azzy? He was too much for the lvl 60 soldier and crat that did so well with Uklesh and Khalum.

They were prevented from farming Exarch robes when a twink 60 soldier and a crat friend or dual log started in on the final three bosses.  It took them quite a while to fight the first two placeholders successfully.  During this time Babaengy and Babaemphee took down all the mobs in the south, west and east parts of the final hall.  They even pulled a couple of Exarchs while the soldier was still busy with Khalum.    Once Azzy came out, the soldier and crat seemed to really have their hands full.  Babaengy and Babaemphee kept their distance and watched as Aztur eventually sent the soldier and crat to reclaim.  In retrospect this would have been a great chance for team Baba pets to take on Azzy due to the first two mobs being out of the way.  They had not really even started to think about what their strategy might be, so they decided not attack Azzy and went looking for Gartua the gatekeeper instead.

They did find one notum ring on an Exarch corpse left by the Soldier, so that was a plus.  The did find Gartua the door keeper, but after a short fight, he dropped nothing.  They then noticed that the Guardian of Time was blocking the exit door.  After topping off all the teams buffs, including the pet combat buffs, they rushed GOT.  They were surprised on just how easy it was.  Neither toons or pets took much damage, with only one heal had to be given to the attack bot during the fight.  For their efforts GOT dropped a Guardian Circuit board, amplified bracelet and a damage ring (ring of tattered flame).

After fighting their way out through the obligatory halls of grays, it was back to Newland City to peruse their take for the day.  Babaemphee got a nice ncu boost from a platinum ring of three, plus some ac, health and damage.  Babaengy equipped the Guardian Circuit board to enjoy the additional 15 NCU it provides.  They also turned experience back on, hoping to tick 60 for the benefit of a few more IP points.  Babengy is 12 BM points away from equipping Beacon Warp, which Tireen and Babaente looted during their token mission grind and gave to Babaengy.





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.





AO 8th Anniversary Party on RK2

28 06 2009

Party smile

AO 8th Anniversary Party put a big smile on Babas mug

AO 8th Anniversary Party put a big smile on Baba's mug

There’s only one thing that will put a smile like the one on Baba’s face in this picture of him outside the 8th Anniversary Party for Anarchy Online, held on RK2 this past Sunday at the Reets Retreat in the glass floored disco.  Baba got into the swing of things by downloading and installing the GridStream player, which allowed him to dance along with the others to various metalhead tunes played live by the in house GridStream DJs.

The party was just getting started when Baba showed up.

The party was just getting started when Baba showed up.

When Baba arrived just a bit past 10 AM Central time, the party was in full swing.  The DJ’s in addition to cranking out tunes, held contests and gave away some serious loot.  During the 2 hours Baba was there, RK2 toons won tin foil hats, 8 million credits, and a sweet 30 million credits.

/LIST only showed 16, mini map shows soo many more...

/LIST only showed 16, mini map shows soo many more...

It got so crowded that Baba had to turn off the option to display names and titles above toons heads.  This helped a great deal keep the frame rate from getting too low to enjoy the scene.  One of the DJs had mentioned that this step would help deal with crowd induced lag.  Baba was a bit puzzled when he tried to use his list command to get a count of those present when it only showed 16.  The crowd must have been in the hundreds.  He was wondering if this was some new limitation introduced with the recent patch so the list command only lists no more than 16 at a time.  He is sure he has seen it list up to 60 players before.

Go Go Mr. DJ

Go Go Mr. DJ

Baba did his best to get into the spirit and after a while was able to remember and dust off his dance macros.  He quickly lost track of which one was playing and how many times he had activated each.  The huge crowd may have also contributed to his dance macros seeming to hang at times.  He saw some pretty impressive dance macros out on the floor that went far beyond stringing a few pulps and a few discos together.  RK2 coped very well with the huge crowd.  Baba is thinking the 18.1 patch may have contributed to how smoothly things went considering how large room was packed with gryrating toons of all sizes and shapes.

Hecks and Fr00b, together at last!

Hecks and Fr00b, together at last!

The highlight of the party, for Baba was getting up close and personal with a bunch of Hecklers that showed up to party instead of fighting.  The group ranged in size and alternated between dancing and running around like crazy to sitting in an orderly row.  Up till now, Fr00b Baba had thought he would never see a Heckler, much less dance with one.  Even though we have picked up an Anniversary 30 day all expansions key, Baba will have to learn second hand from a new Fr00b account toon about what Hecklers are like in their true environment. See our pool below.

Heck, lets dance!

Heck, lets dance!

It turns out the Hecklers really were NOT into dancing.  The were more into sliding around like they were on skates, gliding around and through the crowd.  It was quite fascinating to watch them morph from being just a pile of rocks, to jump up and start running around.  Baba wonders if they can do the ‘Rocky’ emote.

The big K made the scene

The big K made the scene

Baba has no idea if some of the guests were toons sporting morphs or ARK’s having fun.  A look alike to Kahlum from the Temple of the Three Winds showed up to lend the party his distinctive flair.  K was rather subdued, barely moving, so it was no suprise that no one got very close to him.  All the while, below the glass dance floor, a giant yellow rubber ducky commanded the lower floor area surrounded by a circle of birthday cakes and mini-rubber duckys.

Mini Brontos made it there as well

Mini Brontos made it there as well

Not to be outdone, a mini-Bronto or two could also be seen on the dance floor getting their boogy on.  They did look a little nervous though, with all those big troxes around dancing in a way that is sure to work up a big appetite.  Can you say ‘Bronto Burger’.  Even though there was some pretty strong no fighting gas, everytime someone mentioned eating, they flinched.  Just seeing them reminded Baba to run upstairs briefly to the wierd flesh walled room to hit the fry cook up there for a fresh burger.

Abbey aced the dance floor

Abbey aced the dance floor

Just when Baba was running out of steam and thinking of taking his leave, Abmouth Supremous, the boss from the Subway made an appearance  It was quite an opportunity to admire his ‘qualities’ up close at leisure without having to fight for life.  Baba wonders how Abbys dentist copes.





Froob Docs and Trader Pwn Azzy

22 10 2008
Female Froob Trio Downs Temple Boss Trio of Uklesh, Khalum and Azztur

Female Froob Trio Downs Temple Boss Trio of Uklesh, Khalum and Azztur

This past Monday evening, it was time to take Babaente to the Temple of the Three Winds.  No more preparation, leveling up, researching, but time to get real and just do it.  To simplify getting there she went to the Newland Desert whompa and bought a pass off the cultist there.  With the pass she can right click on the portal there and be instantly teleported right in front of the temple’s front door in Tir.

Babaoroody also planned to be there to provide Essence buffs and moral support.  He thought he would try the portal route as well.  This did not work out.  It turns out that, even though the cultist will sell the pass to players over level 60, the portal itself will not accept them.    Baba then used the grid to get to Tir and then flew out to the Temple where he cast Essence on Babaente.

When she tried to enter the temple, she could not.  She got a message saying the playfield had the maximum number of players in it.  This happened once a week or so ago.  Is this a good sign?  After a few minutes there were a handful of toons trying to get in the door.  She kept trying and after about 2 minutes she got in, along with the other 7 or 8 players.  This worked to her advantage as she hung back at first and allowed them to forge ahead and engage any cultists ahead.

At level 50, she found she did get instant aggro from the cultists in the first hall, but she killed a few just as payback.  Here first cultist that did not fold easily was a big trox with a hammer that guards the place where the main hallway runs into the two branches.   This took several of her strongest individual nukes to take down, and when it was over, she noted that her nano level was down to about 25%.

All this time kiting, when she was relying on a fairly nano efficient area of effect nuke, did not prepare her for this.   Nano management was going to be a problem tonight.  She used her mini-map to scope out the two branching hallways.  The one on the right seemed to have the fewest cultists present, and a team fighting their way through, so she chose that hallway.  She managed to get as far as the corner room, where 2 docs and an adventurer were fighting several cultists that had been trained into that room, plus the regular 4 cultists with Katanas that guard that room.

Babaente jumped in and started taking down cultists.  As she was fighting she got an invite to join their team, which she accepted right away.  One of the teammates commented that it was an all female team.  You don’t see that very often, especially in the temple which seems to be a magnet for male melee types more than any other.  There is always lots of troxes and martial artists.  The layout of most of the temple favors close in melee fighting.  It can be challenging for ranged professions.

Team make up, Monday evening 10-20-08

  • Ilione – 53 solitus female adventurer omni, Random
  • Kirelyn  – 60 nano female doctor Neutral, Heretic’s Creed,
  • Lovelucy – 49 opifex female doctor clan

The team easily fought its way down to GOT’s room, where the Guardian had just spawned.  They forged ahead immediately and attacked GOT.  Babaente really had not had time to inspect any of her new teammates, so she as yet had no idea if they had a chance against GOT.  She was still under 50% towards her next level, so she had nothing to lose, so she was not reluctant to go ahead with the GOT attack.  That was when she started realize some of her teammates were a cut above the average temple toons.

Before this team, GOT wend down quickly, with hardly a dent in anyone’s health bar.
All that dropped was the Guardian’s circuit board and Ilione spoke up for it first.  Next they fought their way through Gartua’s passageway, with Gartua and about 4 trox types, which gave Babaente an excuse to break out her AOE nukes.   Gartua did not drop anything this time around.   About this time Ilione had to leave due to some Real Life emergency.

On they went to the main hall and cleared it quickly of the various windcallers and reverends.  A trox type got to the exarchs before they could, and must have looted the robes, as when Babaente checked she found none.  Once everyone was ready, Kirelyn charged Uklesh.  Babaente also attacked directly and helped as much as she could when Kirelyn got stunned.  Uklesh’s stun did not stop Babaente from being able to cast nukes.  It was amazing to see how the two docs were able to out heal the bosses damage.  About the time Uklesh was going down, Babaente was out of nano, and just got a recharge in before Khalumn spawned next.  Khalumn seemed to go down faster than Uklesh.  By now Babaente was resorting to battle prepared nano kits to recharge.  It would give her enough nano to cast 7 or 8 nukes before she had to recharge again.

Again the two docs had no trouble keeping the teams health close to 100%.  It was taking a while to bring these bosses down, but considering the level of the team, it was impressive.  Aztur was just like the previous 2 bosses except his health bar was even longer and he seemed to take longer to wear down.  Babaoroody has seen Aztur go from 50% health back up to 100% if you give him a short breather, so he must have a fantastic health delta.

Kirelyn, Lovelucy, and Babaente stand over the vanquished bosses.

Kirelyn, Lovelucy, and Babaente. Click for larger image.

Babaente had to break out in dance to celebrate when Aztur finally hit the marble floor.  Since none of the team use edged weapons, the Styg was going to rot, or some lucky bystander might find it.  Babaente did get a ring of tattered flame off his corpse.  Babaente mentioned that what she really needed was an Exarch robe, and before she could finish her sentence Kirelyn had engaged one that just popped, and Babaente was soon the proud wearer of an Exarch robe.  Kirelyn asked if there was anything else anyone on the team needed from the temple.  Babaente spoke up that she still needed to get a Notum Splice off DOT.

So the team headed off towards DOT.  On the way, Gartua and his gang challenged them again, and when he dropped, Babaente was allowed to loot Gartua, and bingo, a Keepers Vitality.  Babaoroody could only shake his head when he heard about it later.  He must have camped and killed Gartua 70 times and never seen it drop, and Babaente gets it on the second try.

When they passed through GOT’s room, it was not present, so they proceed on, cutting a swath through the various cultists.  When they got to the last hall before the up ramp, they were confronted by GOT which must have been trained there.   Soon it was history, and Babaente got the go ahead to loot, and again she got lucky finding a Guardian Circuit Board.  It had taken a number of kills before Babaoroody had gotten his.

When they finally did get to take on DOT, it dropped two Notum splices, of which Babaente picked up one.   Babaente inspected Kirelyn‘s setup and was really impressed with the 140ish implants on a level 60.  Other goodies included a Neleb’s upgraded robe, and a Neleb’s battle rod.  The nuube Babaente asked Lovelucy why she had locked experience at level 49, and not 60 like Kirelyn.  It was interesting to hear that it was done for Battle Station where classes are determined by title level, hence 49 is the highest title 2.   When nuube Babaente commented that as a froob she did not pay much attention to Battle Station, both Kirelyn and Lovelucy revealed that froobs can do Battle Station and they both have some Battle Station experience.

By now several team members mentioned that they were running out of time and had to log soon, so Babaente thanked the team and made a beeline to exit.  On the way out she ran into a problem with zoom.  An overly active shove on the zoom scroll wheel, sent her zoom way out and she discovered an interesting new problem in AO.   We have only witnessed this recently, and are surprised we never saw it before.

When zoomed out in any of the 3rd person views and changing rooms, sometimes the camera gets stuck and tries to pass through the wall unsuccessfully.  The only way to fix this is to hit the function key 8 to get back to first person view.  Of course this happened to Babaente when she had a fairly good sized train of cultists around her.  Yes, she had trained a few, but this huge mob was someone else’s handiwork.  She kept peeking at her health bar while frantically looking around for the key to bring about first person view, since her external zoom was stuck and offering an unhelpful view of a wall.

Back at the clan outpost, she sat down to review her new items and to determine what she could equip.  She also took a while to think about how inspired she was by the super froobs (Kirelyn and Lovelucy) she had just teamed with.  Perhaps someday, after Baba, Babaente and Tireen have leveled up to 200 or close to it, she will be in a position to start twinking out low level characters.

She also took a while to review her performance and realized that she really needed to do something about her nanopool.   She felt pretty useless and helpless when she ran out during the temple boss fights this evening.   The first thing she did was equip the Guardians circuit board, and then, plug in a CPU upgrade that gives a nano cost reduction.  A six slot belt with a nano formula recompiler would not hurt either.   Neleb’s robe is starting to change from a vague idea to a definite need to get.   Her stats are high enough now she could equip it and stay out of OE (over equipped).  She also was able to get the Notum Splice in with a little help from Baba.