Naked Lab Director

22 10 2010
Killed Lab Director at base of West Tower, with no Executive Defenders spawning

Killed Lab Director at base of West Tower, with no Executive Defenders spawning

Team Pets have been having a hard time trying to get at the Biomare Lab Director.  This past Thursday, they made the run down to his office, only to have a solo level 78 Crat pass them and beat them to it.  We are not sure if the Crat was victorious or sent back to reclaim.  It appeared that lost as when his dot disappeared there were still several defenders and guard dots to be seen on the mini map.

Babaengy and Babaemphee waited until the area had re-spawned and the made their run.  After taking out the two outside guards, Babaengy waited standing on one of the down ramp platforms at the top of the west tower, while Babaemphee with her pets put on wait by the Engy, ran back and from the open door tagged the director with her main debuff and then high tailed it back to Babaemphee.  Once there she put her pets back on guard her, and the team waited.  The director ran right past them, and landed on the bottom level of the tower.  Babaengy’s attack-bot jumped down after him, but when Babaemphee sent her attack and mezz pet down, they took the long way down the ramp.

Golfball or Security Teleporter?

Golfball or Security Teleporter?

She forgot to sent the heal-pet on the attack pet, but soon the attack pets had the director down to about 25% health, and he had not spawned any defenders.  Babaengy has read in some forums that there is an 80% chance of the defenders spawning.  The director managed to take out Babaemphee’s attack pet, but Babaengy’s bot and a lower level attack pet that Babaemphee could cast without trader Tireen’s wrangle were able to finish him off.  Two of the bodyguards at that level were attracted and Babaengy and Babaemphee jumped down there to help the pets finish them off, so they could still loot the director before his corpse rotted.  This time around he only dropped a single executive order, no CDR.

Floating Building in VW, Seen on a practice run with trader Tireen joining TEAM PETS

Floating Building in VW, Seen on a practice run with trader Tireen joining TEAM PETS

The next day, after some thinking it over, Team Pets decided it would be worth it to do what-ever was needed to bring trader Tireen along.  She brings some healthy damage dealing, but most importantly her wrangle so they can recast top pets if needed.  It took several hours to for them to accompany her through the quests to get her alpha card.  The combination for their high level, max pets and the traders extra damage, made the beginning quests a breeze.

At one point  a tool noob trained about 15 floaters and bloaters on to them when they were getting rebuffed in the room just outside the first sewer section.  That was fun, as it just helped Tireen level faster.  They had no trouble putting that train to rest.

Once they get Tireen her gamma clearance, the team can camp there and not have to put up with the boring 10 minute jog down there from the front door.  They mainly want another CDR for Babaengy, but if things go well, they may all try to complete the full quest line for the collar reward.


Leveling at Biomare Computer Core

11 10 2010


Biomare Computer Core Pulling Spot

Biomare Computer Core Pulling Spot, click for larger version


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Vindicator Gulch, Stopping Point For Many Unfortunates

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


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


The Train Stops Here

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


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

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

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

Current Foreman’s Twink Preference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next time, Crypt of Home.

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.

140 Rolls By

8 09 2009
Baba at max detail settings, hunting bots in Omni Forrest

Baba at max detail settings, hunting bots in Omni Forrest

Baba was getting a little tired of PW Borgs and thought he would try some leveling off mobs in the wild.  He found a canyon in Southern Foul plains that looked like it had a mix of snakes, Drills, and big cats, at around level 120 which he thought would be tough enough to give some decent experience, yet not be risking reclaim all the time.  Well it turned out that yes he could handle them smoothly individually, but the layout of the canyon was too tight and it was impossible to keep from picking up more adds while kiting single mobs.  He picked up a train of 4 or 5 120 level mobs which he had to run across half the zone to lose.

He then spent some time hunting low level bots for the last piece in the first part of the Alvin/Dodga quest.  He had started this quest back when he was in his 60s, but gave up after collecting 6 of the seven pieces.  That seventh piece was just not to be found by him.  He killed about 90 in one trip which yielded two drops of quest items, but not the item he needed, the scrap of notum.  The next day he killed about 150 bots in a session which yielded 0 quest pieces.  Somebody noticed what he was doing, and could not resist mocking him for still doing this quest at his level.  I guess compared to expansion shoulder pieces, the ones from this quest are pretty wimpy.  Maybe so, Baba just hates too leave things like that unfinished, so every once and a while, he goes out looking for the last quest item.

Strange clump of mobs in river, click for larger view

Strange clump of mobs in river, click for larger view

While traveling around he came across one of those strange clumps of mobs, this time in Athens near a bend in the river.  It must be something in the virtual geometry that causes so many unlike mobs to congregate in one illogical spot.   AgentBaba our agent alt spotted a similar thing near one of the player cities just north of the Rhinoman valley in Newland Dessert.

Speaking of AgentBaba, she leveled up to around 25 out in Newland Dessert, and then returned to the Subway in Borealis to see how far she could level in there.  The  Gripo-Com AKR 1K21rifles recommended by Hahnsoo’s guide worked out extremely well for her.  She was doing damage close to what several true twinks were getting in the Subway.  The Gripo’s are fairly fast and have a very nice crit.

On her arrival to the entrance to the stairs to the deep subway she was challenged by Eumenides, who she was quite able to put away with little fuss or muss.  To her delight, he dropped the best bit of subway loot, the ring of Nucleus Basalis, so she then had no need to join suicide Abmouth teams.  She then spent a day or two leveling up.  With the great damage from the rifle and her evades, she had no trouble with any mob in the subway.  The only one that was a threat were Virgil Aneid and Abmouth, which she did her best to stay away from.

One of the more curious mobs in the subway is a small female is the deep subway named “Redundant Scan”.  During AgentBaba’s extended Subway experience, she must have fought this mob 20-30 times.  Very often “Redundant Scan” will break off from combat when her health gets to about 40% and start running away.   For a ranged toon like AgentBaba, this is no problem, as poor “Redundant Scan” is unable to outrun projectiles.

After she hit level 32, the number of mobs that would give her any experience was reduced to a very small handful.  The two giant spiders, the shades in the Vergil Aeneid section, and the two cyborgs in the room before Virgil were the only ones to give experience after hitting 32.  It was getting boring having to sit around waiting for them to respawn, so AgentBaba decided to quit while she was ahead and was in the process of leaving when she reached the stairs that go up to the rooms with the sand fleas.  At that point she got a join team pop up.  She had been posted on looking for a team the whole time, and gotten 0 invites so far, so she just as she clicked yes, the ugly form of Abmouth filled her view.  A trox doctor that had been teamed with a semi-twink looked to have lost his team-mate to Abmouth, and was now determined to avoid reclaim.

AgentBaba first impulse was to flat out run away, run away, Monte Python style, but decided to try and help out as best she could.  Not only was there Abmouth, but the doc/trox had also picked up a train of several infectors and cyborgs as well.   AgentBaba was surprised that even though she was pouring damage into Abby, neither Abby or any of the adds, paid her any attention.  The doc/trox seemed to be going into that slow motion, death spiral dance, so AgentBaba knew that it was now time for her to split, or she would be next.  She ran for the exits and was quite surprised that she managed to escape.   I have got to note at this point, after taking an Enforcer, Agent and Adventurer through the subway, that the Agent was by far the most effective.  The Enforcer’s non twink weapons were too weak, they lack self healing, and have no evades.

Player City south of PW notum mines, click for full view

Player City south of PW notum mines, click for full view

Baba did go back to Perpetual Wastelands and resumed hunting Borgs there.  He used to be able to expect to grab a level in about an hour there by himself, but ever since he hit around level 135, the experience each Borg gives has taken a nose dive, and it now takes him 2 to 3 hours to get a level at the same spot.  It has become less dangerous.  He can flub a pull and survive pulling 3-4 Borg at a time.  Baba still has his eye on moving up to a Pained Panther from his Panther.  While trying to compare the two, he ran them both through the Auno damage simulator. The simulator asks for the input of your initiatives and your add/def setting.  This nudged Baba to to check his Agg/Def setting at the Unity of the Rose site.  The Agg/Def calculator told Baba that he could set his all the way back to 25% and maintain the same attack speed.  He tried this on his last Borg hunting trip and it did seem to help with fewer Borg crits landing.  This is an easily overlooked benefit of the Panther weapons, and most likely other fast melee weapons.  Once they are in the less than 1.5 seconds range, they enable enforcers to adjust thier Agg/Def settings quite a bit at no loss in damage.

Working on 138

18 08 2009
Mr. Baba. Click for larger View

Mr. Baba. Click for larger View

Baba spent some time recently studying his stats and the requirements to equip a Pained Panther. He has been thinking of pursuing going to the Crypt of Home, so he thought he should get familiar with who drops what there as well. He is within fairly easy range of equipping a Pained Panther without being over equipped now. To stay out of OE he would need to have Skill of Viking running. To equip it all he needs is 131 wrangle, his skill of Viking, and Rhinoman Leather jacket, the combination of which will bring his 2 hand Edged skill up to the required 1001.

It was time again to fence loot, so Baba met up with Babaente an NT to transfer the loot bags to Tireen, a trader. Tireen dutifully went to the Newland City traders shop and proceeded to feed the loot to the terminal. While there a passing player noticed and commented on her Solar Powered Backpack. Then Tireen split the proceedings with Baba and Babaente.

Once Baba had his bags back, it was time to head out to Perpetual Wastelands again. On the way across PW from Mort, he swerved North just past the two level 105 Cyborg dynas to scout out the area north of there which he had never really looked at. There were quite a few 140+ mantise type mobs with a few lower level ones at around 120-130. He did not find what he was looking for. He had heard some players refer to hunting scorpiods in PW, but so far he has not located any scorpiods in PW. From an area just east of the Mantis hive he proceeded east towards the Main Borg base. Before he got there he found a lone Cyborg Colonel way out in the middle of no where. Baba figured he must have been trained there, away from the small base that is north of the base with the Helipad.

Stranded Colonel in the middle of PW, Click for larger view.

Stranded Colonel in the middle of PW, Click for larger view.

When Baba arrived at the PW dunes site, he touched down and buffed up. He did a quick face palm when he realized he had not brought an experience boost stim. He still has some left over from the anniversary celebration, but they were in his bank. Without the extra experience, it was doubtful he will hit 138 tonight.

He went to work on the Borg on the main dune. Now that they are less of a threat, and give less experience, he does not have to try hard to avoid pulling several. He can handle two or three rather safely now. Tonight he was experimenting with some added alpha attacks. He moved the ring of eternal darkness and the weeping flesh ring to his social tab, so he could place hot buttons for them on his hot bars. The added damage from the weeping flesh was welcome and worth the effort. The Eternal darkness was somewhat flaky. The first few times it worked great, but then after a while it would lock up and not return when it should have. Baba had to go back and see if something else he was casting is conflicting with it.

Baba dings 137 by himself in Perpetual Wastelands, click for larger view.

Baba dings 137 by himself in Perpetual Wastelands, click for larger view.

By this time it was getting late and Baba was starting to think about logging off. By now he had cleared the main dune section and moved down to the ‘pinch’ section. The ‘pinch’ is where section of small dunes between the Helipad and the large dunes. Along with being a great place to level, like many popular leveling spots or dungeons, Perpetual Wastelands also attracts it’s share of undesirables. One of them showed up next and trained practically all the Borg in the North East sector of PW on to Baba.

Baba had been there for about a quarter of an hour taking Borg down in ones and twos when he notices something odd in the distance. Back on the main dune he could make out what looked like a bunch of Borg all standing still together in a clump. A few minutes later he noticed it was moving towards him. It turned out to be a level 126 NT using their yalm to aggro Borg on the ground and collect them into one huge kite. The NT trained the Borg on to Baba, so Baba had no choice but to make a run for it north. Once he had left the main dunes behind, the NT pulled the kite/train back to the dunes section. After Baba was sure he was safe he jumped into his yalm and flew back. Back at the Dunes he watched as the NT flew around the entire North east corner of PW collecting more and more Borg in his kite until he had collected just about every Borg there.

Once all the Borg were in the kite the NT dropped out of his yalm and started running circles on the Helipad while nuking them standard NT kite style.

It is a petition-able offense to deliberately train a group of monsters on you. This evening Baba was too tired and just did not feel like staying up another 45 to 90 minutes that it sometimes takes to get any action from a petition. If there is one consistent criticism we have of AO, it is that reporting harassment is a huge hassle in it self. One has to read the help file on the obscure petition command, then create the petition, and then respond to the auto followups and then wait 45 minutes to an hour for a ARK to show up. After that it could be a while the ARK can make a decision or find someone who can take whatever action it is that needs to be taken. It was late and Baba had been thinking of logging off just before this whole scene erupted. He had managed to fill several bags with loot that included a number of great Miy’s armor pieces and he had managed to bring his experience bar to about 70%. He decided to log off while looking forward to more closely inspecting the new Miy’s pieces soon.

Babaente at the Temple

10 09 2008
PM mole hunt interupted by Alien sighting

PM mole hunt sights aliens

Baba spent a few hours Tuesday hunting Mole bots in the woods between 20k and  the player city south of 20k.  In 2 hours he only found 5 and there was no Notum Saturated Metaplast plates to be found.  The plates are said to be very rare by long time 200+ players, so Baba is thinking seriously of just getting back on the leveling path, and forget about rare drops entirely.

Babente had an exciting 2nd night at the Temple of the Three Winds, notorious for its trains.  Having learned previously that at 24, she is too squishy to even think about going in solo, she had to wait for a team to form.  Her first team of the evening was:

  • Warrell  – 30 solitus male Crat, clan
  • Kruzifix –  24 opifex male Fixer, clan
  • Leione – 28 solitus male Adventurer, clan
TOTW evening started out slow.

TOTW evening started out slow.

They had just entered the first large entry hall, and taking on one of the cultists there, when a huge train including a few bosses from Aztur’s room engulfed them.  With health bars dropping dangerously fast, the team retreated back outside.  The next try a few minutes later was more productive and they
had made it as far as just entering the first L shaped hall on the left, when Babaente was hit with Link Death (LD).  From her perspective every thing just froze.  Fortunately for her, since the hall had been fully populated with mobs, by the time she was able to re-log, she was able to catch up with the team which had just entered the room at the joint of the L.  From there she helped fight the rest of the way to the first large hall where DOT (Defender of Three)
holds court.  They had to pause for a teammate to take care of something in real life.  When the teammate returned someone outside the team pulled DOT out into the end of the hall where they were.  The team tried to stay in a corner and continued fighting cultists.  Babaente made a fatal mistake.  She had moved so that her back was facing the direction of where more mobs were, instead of keeping the mobs they had killed to her rear.  While fighting a mob with the team, a mob from behind her attacked her and killed her.  There was no more chatter in the team chat as she rezzed back at the Clan outpost nearby, so she assumes that DOT had wiped the team as her team window showed no names.

From this Babaente formulated this Lowbi Squishy rule.  Always keep your back to mobs you have killed. Another Lowbi Squishy rule is try to keep the teams tanks between you and the mob the team is fighting.

Babaente had quite a wait, after returning to the Temple entrance area, for another team.  To pass the time, she inspected the other toons there.  What she finds interesting is how so few people make use of the social tab, especially since it costs nothing extra, but adds to much.  One of Babaoroody’s biggest irks when he started was the lack of the ability to individualize your character.  Baba went through the temple before the social tab was available as it is now.  The crowd out front of the temple was a sea of black and brown temple robes, with everyone wearing the same basic armors etc.

A second team formed up eventually that included Babaente.

  • Samenanny – 24 nano male Doc, neutral
  • Megasis – 33 solitus male Doc, omni
  • Aquatica – 17 solitus male Doc, omni
  • Samexer  – 23 opifex male Fixer, neutral
  • Peanut____????       – (a lowbie trox who said nothing in team chat, so no record)

The lone tank ran way ahead of the team to about half way into the first hall, where he was quickly surrounded by several mobs, while the rest of the team drew agro from the cultists near the door.  Before the team could regroup sufficiently, another train showed up.  Everyone except the trox tank made it back outside.  The tank left the team.  And after another similar attempt meeting another train, that team broke up.

After waiting for what seemed like 30 to 40 minutes Babaente got onto another

  • Chiumi – 27 solitus female MA, neutral
  • Gjchan – 35 opifex male MA, neutral
  • Lchan – 35 opifex male MA, clan
  • Arcini – 31 opifex male Fixer, clan

The MA’s were all around level 24 at the time, the levels above are what anarchy onlines official database lists them to be at the time of this writing. This brings us to Babaente’s second Squishy Lowbie Player tip of the day. Always accept a team with multiple MAs at the temple.  They seem to be far superior at tanking in the 20-30 range at the temple than trox enforcers.  With 3 MAs the team cut through the cultists like butter, and had no trouble getting all the way to the middle boss hall, Nematets room.  They successfully took down all the mobs in Nematets room, sparing Nematet.

Babaente came out ahead with an Acolyte robe and one of the Notum Rings of Three.  By the time they reached Nematets the team was working well, with the 3 MA’s tanking while the Fixer and Babente hung back and provided support with heals, nano, etc. Babaente would debuff each mob with Claw eyes, and then once the tanks had started in, she would hit the mob with one of her fireball type mini-nukes.