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. 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.


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

Baba Beats Borg for 135

27 07 2009
Sand Worm Dynacamp in far West Perpetual Wastelands, Baba spotted this on his way from Mort Sentinels to PW Borgs. click for larger view.

Sand Worm Dynacamp in far West Perpetual Wastelands, Baba spotted this on his way from Mort Sentinels to PW Borgs. click for larger view.

Baba returned to Perpetual Wastelands to work on his 135 level this past Sunday.  Having done nothing since hitting level 134 other than sort loot and trade, his experience bar was empty.  This would be a good time to try an experiment, with no experience to loose, he headed for Tir County.  He had seen the Vermin Disposal Unit, a unique Dynacamp many times before as a lowbie traveling around the region.  He could not tell how difficult it would be for him to take it on, so he was going to find out tonight.  Heading west from Tir city, he quickly found it in a narrow strip of green just south of a player city in the west end of Tir.  Perhaps because it looked just like the waste control units back on Shuttleport Island, he thought it would be a push over like they were.  This did not turn out to be the case.

Unusually crowded reclaim in Newland City, click for larger view

Unusually crowded reclaim in Newland City, click for larger view

It was it is a lot tougher than it’s health bar and warning imply.  It turned to out hit very very hard, slicing through Baba’s armor and dealing him 1900 damage for ‘normal’ hits and 2500 or more for crits.  With hits like that, Baba barely managed to cut the unit down to 75% health before Baba was looking at 25% health.  Baba tried to mongo for enough health to let him run away, but he soon found him self back at reclaim, which was unusually crowded tonight.

He stopped off in the Advanced store to give himself a healing pop from the implant machine and then sat down next to the bank terminal to pass the next few minutes.  Checking his skills window he remembered that he still had to allocate out IP points from hitting level 134.  Due to a virus problem with the ether net, his usual spreadsheet was not immediately available, so he had to do this one from memory.

Baba has finally reached the stage where most of his basic skills are starting to max out, so he is beginning to have a surplus of IP points and can start building up a few areas he has had to short change in the past. These have been primarily evades and duck skills.  After topping off all of his important priorities, he put a large amount into evades.  Hopefully at some point, this will result is fewer crits landing on him.

While he as doing this, two kind souls, both doctors in his range, who happened to also be passing the time in the shop ninja buffed him with various heals, which he gladly thanked them for.    Once his IP were saved, he headed out the door and ran for the grid terminal outside the Newland City Gates.

He took his usual route to PW, which is grid to Sentinels in Mort, and then fly due east to Perpetual Wastelands and then across PW to the north east corner.  For the second time in recent visits, he seemed to be arriving just after someone else had cleared the field of Borg, and only a handful of Borg could be seen.  This was fine with Baba, as sometimes, a full field is hard to pull single Borg from.

By the time Baba had hunted down enough of these Borg to reach about halfway on his experience bar, he got an important sub-galactic phone call, that he did not want to miss, so he retired to his safe spot over by the cliffs and went into suspended animation so he would not waste the experience stim he had running.

Close call after bad pull, click for larger view.

Close call after bad pull, click for larger view.

After the call finished, and he returned refreshed, he went back to hunting the Borg.  He had one bad pull that got him a Major and two Generals.  It was a very close fight, with both he and the final Borg being down to less than 20% health at the end.  Fortunately the Borg seem to stop landing crits once you have them down past 30%, so Baba did prevail.  The next pull was almost an exact copy, except the 3 Borg were just Majors, and Baba had no problem taking them down.

Baba has gotten his Borg kiting moves down much better now.  Once he has the Borg(s) kited to the spot where he wants them, and he gets them running in a circle, he first hits his Fast Attack, and then Brawl.  Curiously he has found that his Brawl special will not fire if more than one keyboard button is depressed.  This was preventing him from using it, as he was using the forward and left arrow keys simultaneously to run in a circle.  He found that in order to get the Brawl key to respond he has to lift either the forward or the left key for just long enough to depress the Brawl key.

Baba dings 135 at PW Borg Dunes, click for larger view.

Baba dings 135 at PW Borg Dunes, click for larger view.

He usually lifts up on the left key, causing him to run straight for a second.  Baba uses his action panel buttons as indicators to show when the cool down for each of these attacks is reached.  After using one of these attacks, the button is grayed out, and it comes back to full color when the cool down period is over.  Baba had two other keys he uses while kiting Borg this way.  He has his hotbar key 1 set to fire his Flurry of Blows and his hotbar key 2 to fire his library of foul language taunt. He often throws in the taunt while waiting for Fast Attack and Brawl to recharge.

Once again, he had to move south to the uneven dunes section close to the Helipad for more Borg.  Tonights loot take of note was a few Miy’s pieces in the 130-200 range.

Level 134 and Ohtizz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Froob’s Shuttleport Island to Mainland One Page Guide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Double Flags of Righteousness at Dawn

15 06 2009
Goodbye to Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis, click for larger version

Goodbye to Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis, click for larger version

As Babaente and Tireen, ascended in their shiny silver Yalmahas into the clear blue Rubi-Ka sky and the Rhinoman cockpit oasis recedes from view below, they shared a warm feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

They said their goodbyes to this mission location, a lonely desert setting on the fringe of the Newland Desert, just past a huge ridge wall and an acid river.  They probably would not be returning to this place again now that they both had completed their quests for their 250 token boards.

They had chosen to limit their token board missions to Newland Desert so as to limit travel time and take advantage of Newland City’s neutral status, although out in the desert Tireen has to keep a wide distance from any Watchers and other clan sided guards.

Babaente gets her Dawn token board, click for larger view

Babaente gets her Dawn token board, click for larger view

One really nice feature is that when one first gets the new token board, epaulets appear over the toon’s  shoulders showing the symbol for that particular board.  It would be awesome if the epaulets stayed visible for a few days so one could walk around Rubi-Ka cities to show off. Unfortunately, they vanish as soon as your toon zones.

Babaente was awarded her “Dawn” token board, in the middle, not the end of a mission.  How?  She got her 250th token as a Clan Bravery Award when looting a mission mob.  View the larger version of the picture to see that the mini-map shows an uncompleted level.  This is something to keep in mind when running team missions for token boards.  Looting of mobs needs to be rotated or some agreement needs to be made about how the bravery awards are taken.  If an omni player loots the mob, it will be an Omni award and if a clan player loots, then it appears as a Clan award.

Tireen nets her Double Flags of Righteousness token board, click for larger view.

Tireen nets her Double Flags of Righteousness token board, click for larger view.

Since Babaente and Tireen have been teaming as a result of ‘dual-boxing’, it was too much trouble to try and switch back and forth on looting, and normally we have Babaente do all the looting.  As a result she got her 250th token about 2 missions before Tireen.

When Tireen finally collected token number 250, she got a much more impressive token board title “Double Flags of Righteousness.”  Besides the mind-numbing grind that missions can become, this stint has been somewhat profitable for them. Since they had been pulling missions in the 55-60 range, they had come across 2 Grid Armor Mark I instruction disks, fairly valuable finds for title 3 toons.

The 250 token board is the highest level board title 3 froobs can hold.  It gives substantial buffs to the holder.  Here is the breakdown:

Max Health      +500
Max Nano        +500
Add all Off.    25
Add all Def.    35
% Add Exp.      6
Add Damage      10 (Proj., Melee, Energy, Chem., Rad., Cold, Fire, Poison)

It’s hard to think of any loot items that title 3 toons have a reasonable chance of acquiring that offer comparable  or better benefits.

Here is a quick cheat sheet outlining title levels, and token boards:

Title        Levels          Token Boards
1            1-14            10 tokens
2            15-49           30 and 60 tokens
3            50-99           120 and 250 tokens
4            100-149         400 and 1000 tokens
5            150-189
6            190-200
7            205-220

One minor gotcha, is that token boards are for sided players only. Neutrals have no token boards other than Cyborg token boards that are dropped by mid level Cyborgs.  For title 5 and above, there are additional token boards, but the requirements for each are very specific and different quests.

Our pair are now itching to get out in the open, and for Babaente to get back into practice kiting.  Because the levels can fly by pretty fast while NT kiting, our pair need to make sure they stop some time in this short run to title 5 (level 100) that they again run a like number of team missions AGAIN in order to pick up the next token board, which requires 400 tokens. They also will need to make sure they get through Biomare/Foreman’s dungeon as it is level locked to 100 and below.

Mort Crater, the circle track of DOOM, click for larger view

Mort Crater, the circle track of DOOM, click for larger view

Babaoroody was prodded by Babaente, out of his title 4 rut, to make 3 passes through the Sentinels base small building with Babaente tagging along.  They are looking for a Ring of Haste to drop from an level 115-ish Entwined soldier, but this week end they cleaned out the static dungeon 3 times, but came up dry in regards to a Ring of Haste.  The ring is a no drop item, but it adds +100 run speed, so it definitely would be a bonus for Babaente when kiting.

It was fun lumbering around and popping Challenger and Mongo nanos when any of the Sentinels mobs put up a decent fight.  Pumped up with the increased size of a Challenger nano, adjusting the camera became a bit of a problem in the tight quarters of a mission setting.  In third person view, the only way to see a fallen mob is to have Baba sit.

It brings us to Baba and why aren’t we leveling him?  After getting past the midway point of title 5, the options seem to have narrowed significantly.  It’s either team missions or PW Borg pickup teams.  While solo kiting PW Borgs is still an option, the experience is slow glowing when you have to kite and kill them one at a time.

We have nothing but admiration and wonder for froobs who have made it all the way to 200, and a ton more if they are ‘pure’ froobs.

Babaente and Tireen are really excited about getting out in the wild again for some fast kite leveling, but first, they will be sorting through and marketing thier loot from this last run of token missions.  Once that is done, they will be out scouting for a nice kiting area suitable for a 71 level NT.

Styling and Nuking

8 06 2009
Babaoroodys more traditional look, click for larger view.

Babaoroody's more traditional look, click for larger view.

Baba stayed in Sunday, his pride still smarting from his noob like actions the day before in a Perpetual Wastelands Borg Team with several org-mates from Angels of the Night.  There’s an old saying that if you want to build up your confidence, wear some nice clothes.  Armor-wise, Baba always wears his best, but what he wears in his social tab is something else.  For some time now, Baba has been sporting a garish white and blue zebra striped jumpsuit with his red Albrecht tank armor.  His real armor, hidden by his social items, is an eclectic mix of found/looted Miy’s of various flavors, and various colors.  He was not happy with that patchwork look and had chosen the jumpsuit to cover the drabness of the mainly dark colored pieces.  After rummaging in his bank inventory for sometime, he came up with a redish looking pair of Flowers pants, some gold gloves and forearm guards, with like colored short sleeves to show off his still impressive biceps.

While Baba was staying in, Babaente and Tireen were out running team missions for tokens.  Both leveled during the day, with Tireen hitting 70, and Babaente hitting 69.  It has been one of those long dry spells for Babaente in terms of getting new Nukes.  The last time she was able to go a step up in her single and area of effect Nukes was before level 60. As the mobs kept getting stronger with each new level, the Nukes got less effective.

NT’s are blessed or cursed depending on the situation, with a huge selection of Nukes.  It’s like having a gun that has an ammo selection switch that allows you to instantly start firing the perfect type of damage ammo suited for the opponents weakest armor types.  The Nukes cover just about every damage type there is.  We have to admit that so far we have not found a way to quickly determine the best damage type to use for each mob.  Babaente has thought of filtering and sorting known armor types for thier weak points, and then try and identify where possible the type of armor used by known mob types.

Until she has something more to go on, she had Tireen make a buying trip to Omni Trade to pick up the next step up area of effect Nuke Limited Scrapnel Spray, which according to      Ramorak’s nuke tables, should give her about 6,700 damage points in your typical 30 second mission clash.  This is roughly 1,000 more that the Plasma Swirl AOE she had been using.

Meetmedere, from directly above, click for larger view.

Meetmedere, from directly above, click for larger view.

Next they pulled 3 missions, all in Newland Dessert, with on at the Rhinocockpit and 2 in Meetmedere, almost door to door.  They came across several rooms with multiple chests and/or barrels which alas, yielded nothing Uber.  The new AOE nuke proved a big improvement whenever they had to fight more than one mob at a time.  Fortunately, all three Bosses were nothing special and were found in mostly spacious rooms.

By the end of the 3 missions, they had increased their token counts by 9 each.  When they got back to Newland City, they sat atop the Miir shop to people watch for a while.  Targeting individuals as they pass below and hitting shift right click brings up the basic identifying information. They usually try the info pages link to the person’s equipment layout, but it seems quite a few players disable this feature so as to keep their AC holes a secret from potential PvP contenders.

3 things to open, click for larger view.

3 things to open, click for larger view.

When the inspected toon turns out to be level 150 or above, our pair likes to also then do a !whois command to one of the games bots, like AOFroobs (/tell AOFroobs whois xyzperson) to get more information such as the players history.  It is interesting to see that on average the higher the level, the longer the person has played.  It seems to be a geometric kind of increase.  Where many players show fast progress from 1 to 50, 60 to 110 seem to take a bit longer, and then the period from 120 to the 200’s seems to require many months and for some years.

Many of the most popular game titles yield little more than a few days or a few weeks of game play.  Anarchy Online offers a truly outstanding extended game-play that can last many years.

Small square Boss rooms

5 06 2009

Babaente and Tireen are so close to thier 250 token boards, they can almost taste it.  It won’t be much longer till they reach it, and can go back to Kiting and possibly the Biomare dungeon.  They may even take a vaction, while Babaoroody gets back to leveling.

Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis - Click for larger image

Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis - Click for larger image

June 4 found them rolling team missions in Newland Dessert City.  After the drubbing of the previous outing, they have dialed down the difficulty level a few points. They completed three team missions Thursday. The first was left over from the day before, and the other two were new rolls.  All three were in mine type locations with an odd mix of mech dogs, mutants, and mantises.

Using the north gate mission terminals in Newland Dessert City, they have been pulling missions located mostly around Meetmedere or to the east near the Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis on the other side of the acid river and the high flat top ridge.

Small square Boss Room with obstacle - click for larger image

Small square Boss Room with obstacle - click for larger image

They also had a run of the the smallest type Boss rooms.  This room type is immediately recognizable for it’s small square layout and a large square rock/pillar in one corner from which the team can often conveniently hide and lure minions to without aggro-ing the Boss.  Generally this room is one of more easy and flexible Boss battle grounds.  There is one variation that they ran into with the first Boss room of the night that was not so easy.

It is one of our least favorite Boss room arrangements, where the  Boss and minon(s) are waiting practically on top of the teleport spot.  This presents a curious bit of a strategy conundrum.  Should the team concentrate on one mob at a time and if so which one?  The popular consensus seems to be that the team is most effective if it concentrates fighting one mob at a time, in what order however is up for debate. In traditional real time strategy scenarios, the rule is eliminate the greatest threats first.

This may not be wise in the Boss room scenario, because some Bosses may take quite a long time to down due to thier special abilities or defensive strengths above that of normal mobs.  Long enough that if not stopped a minion could go through the health of one or more players in that time.

So far in most scenarios our pair have faced, the best strategy has been when faced with the necessity of fighting the Boss and one or more mobs at once, has been to focus on the weakest target first, eliminate it, and then retreat to the previous level to heal before returning to take down more minions, or if none are left , the Boss.

What about crowd control?  What about using calms and roots you say?  These topics are rather sore with our pair at this stage in thier career.  From levels 1 to around 40, the calms and roots they could equip seemed to be mostly unreliable and ineffective.  Around level 50 they found that roots started actually working, at least 50% of the time.  Even if one lands, the longest lasting they currently have is about a minute

Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis mission entrance - click for larger image

Rhinoman Cockpit Oasis mission entrance - click for larger image

We have not been able to determine from our reading and asking around if this is par for NT’s and traders in the 50 to 70 range.  So far the most success our pair have has been with roots in mission situations where a mob can be spotted from a fairly good distance, like a mob in a room at the end of a long hall.  At thier current levels multiple re-casting is out, either to get a landed cast or to re-root a mob that is about to have its root time out.

This is mainly because roots take a pretty healthy chunk out of Babaente’s nano supply.  This is not advisable because nano is Babente’s ammunition.  If she uses up 50% or more of her nano with more than one root cast, she does not have enough nano left to bring the mob down.  The few times she has tried this, she was able to escape by using her Notum splice to refresh her nano supply, but this is not a routine strategy since the splice has a 30 minute cool down.