Saturday 31 August 2013

Preparation is Half the Battle

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Took a page out of Sisters of Tyria and decided to draw this update.^_^
Basically this stemmed when I noticed I carried some interesting stuff in my pack in Guildwars 2.

Yep. Over 500.  It's how I can solo the smaller invasion events if I have favorable terrain nearby. Slightly surprised more people don't head over to Fireheart Rise and buy them. More surprising is that this doesn't happen as often as you'd think:

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Where to Next?

My brothers and I recently finished Diablo 3 (finally) and of all the enemies it was Belial, the half-way mark boss, that caused us the most trouble. Everything else pretty much got curb-stomped, the titular main baddie included. So what's next outside of Guildwars 2 where all the heroes will ignore Scarlet's threat to Tyria to return to the wacky world of the Super Adventure Box (I know I will) and the slow progress of Neverwinter Online's Fury of the Feywild (it decided to let me log in again)?

I'm not that bad, honest!

Well, there are rumors that World of Warcraft may be going F2P - if that's true then the guild would probably check out Azeroth if given the chance. Funny reading angry subscription players posting on their forums "Well, if it goes F2P I'll stop giving them money!" Yeah. That's the point. Whether WoW actually makes the switch is another matter. Also was somewhat interested in trying Granado Espada out upon stumbling on some of its awesome music again but caught myself thinking do I really need another MMO (which I'd probably play solo) right now? Instead I am just hunting down all the tracks to listen to.

What else am I looking forward to then? The Thief reboot for sure (which looks a lot like Dishonored), and to a lesser extent the next game in the Witcher series. I didn't actually play the first two but I watched my brother go through them and it was cool. Lastly I was introduced to some D&D cosplaying silliness which I found to be rather entertaining and funny: The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. Worth a look especially if you are or were a pen and paper RPG player. :)

Sunday 25 August 2013

The Fury and the Drama/Saga

Wanting to take a break from the zerg overload at the Guildwars 2 invasion events of Clockwork Chaos I decided to try patch up Mabinogi to see what Generation 18, aka as the Drama or the Saga depending on what region you ask, has to offer. For me, not a lot since the downloader wouldn't even begin downloading files. Bummer. Not really in the mood for a full reinstall of the game at the moment, which is what was needed to fix it previously, so that's going back on the shelf for now.

Meanwhile Neverwinter Online has released The Fury of the Feywild with an all new campaign system. This isn't as nice as they make it out to be as it basically forces you to grind longer through a zone to quite literally unlock each new area with keys. Don't expect to do it in one sitting either, the quests that give you the materials needed to get closer to each key can only be done once every 24 hours. These keys also need astral diamonds. Yerp, pay (or grind more) to progress.

The update also made my Foundry created module vanish! No searches seem to bring it back, and when I try to get into the Foundry itself it says "Foundry editing not allowed." What the heck. A quick check on the forums confirmed I'm not alone, and visitors from Star Trek Online (another Cryptic game) advised that each patch usually breaks their module stuff too - it's normal. The only thing you can do is constantly fix it to comply with the new stuff. Sorry, but that's not a system I care to use after all.

To top it off I can't log in now at all - it just does nothing after loading up the zone. As you might be able to tell I'm a little... upset with this turn of events. Just a tiny, tiny bit.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Invasion of the Everything

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Guildwars 2 zones have come under attack by the forces of the seemingly too smart for her own good jester sylvari, Scarlet - who made her grand(er?) entrance during the closing ceremony of the Queen's Jubilee. She's far too interesting to be Trahearne's evil twin, so I'm now guessing she is the "Harley Quinn" to the Mad King's "Joker"... and I'm Batman! Well, no I guess I'm just one of the Gotham PD in that analogy because everyone is a hero and because I'm not rich. :P

Harley is way hotter than Scarlet though.

She's been a busy little plant though as not only does she have the tech and forces of the steam creatures, the sheeply stupid molten alliance and a small country of aetherblade pirates at her disposal - she also has twisted the watchwork knights in Divinity's Reach to her will turning them into... uh... Decepticons? From her barricaded position within the Crown Pavillion she sends them out in huge numbers via steam portals, and joins the forays herself just to remind everyone who is behind the attacks.

Really have to keep an eye on the clock if you want to participate in stopping these though (and to continue the story, you NEED to participate in at least SIX or have a buddy who already did that for you). A window of 10 minutes at the start of every hour is all you have to waypoint to the hot zone and once there expect to be way pointing around more to stop the gazillion foes warping in. Thank the gods Kiel won with her cheaper WP costs!

If you miss the entry window you will be sitting on your hands for 50 minutes, being left out and simply "waiting to have fun". GW2 likes introducing mechanics where you wait to have fun. They really are carefully going through that first manifesto and breaking every point they had. One of the achievements needs you to participate in 13 at the minimum (13 hours on the hour) but likely it will be more since you need to luck out and get 13 unique zones.

Fortunately the rewards are pretty good, better I think than the Crown Pavillion circuit but that may look more appealing after Kiel's WP reduction runs out after the next few weeks. I know I'll be participating as much as I can, that's for sure. Never had as much gold as now, yet I still don't have enough for a commander tag. I'm poor. :(

Monday 19 August 2013

Mabi improving Guildwars 2

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

For some reason GW2 no longer lets me log on to their forum... I wonder why. Anyway, I feel that they can take a leaf out of Mabinogi on ways to improve the game. Recently they've been adding basic musical instruments into the game which is pretty good, unfortunately they are cash shop items though making them not as accessible to the general public and are a far cry from what you can achieve with the instruments in Mabi. Also I feel they missed out on a good opportunity with those balloon rides being instant teleporters as opposed to actual floating dirigibles that people can fly in, even if they were just "on tracks" to begin with.

Mounts of any sort would be a good addition actually, especially the flying kind. I imagine that would cheapen most jumping puzzles though. "Music and mounts are not needed," I hear you say. True, but they would add another factor to the game. One I think that would be positive, especially when you can do things like this.

They also should put more silly attires in their store, as well as let people fight in "town clothes". If the population of Mabi is anything to go by then at least half the players would prefer to be dressed in cat, cow, or penguin costumes while doing everything from lazily fishing at a stream to fighting giant dragons. Could be an untapped market there! They would also look incredibly cute. :3

Lastly the Living Story in GW2 updates every two weeks with temporary content to generally mixed reviews. Mabinogi also has temporary events  every two weeks that keeps the world "changing" but in addition adds story content in a more permanent fashion in the form of Generation quests. This may simply be possible on how they structured their game though. Sure, it means some NPCs can be seen or not seen based on where people are up to storywise which creates the odd occurence of player A interacting with something player B cannot see (and thrown into instances for story based combat) but on the whole it still works pretty well. If GW2 incorporates this it would certainly lessen the rushed feeling some people are getting at the very least.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Treasures of the Crown Pavillion

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Been playing lots of GW2 lately due to this update mainly because of the amount of gold I'm getting zerging around the Crown Pavillion, and when there is no zerg - upstairs in the arena. I'm not the most efficient farmer but in comparison to my normal income in the game this its like I won the lottery. During my "balloon hunt" I secured Noxious Castrum in Fireheart Rise solo and decided to buy 500 units of deployable mortars as my reward and  have used up half so far in the Pavillion. Their mileage varies, some being destroyed quick or shooting (automatic) in useless directions but when placed properly they sure net me a lot of extra loot!

Other people have been bringing in ember pets or ogre whistles which also help them out (more so in the solo arenas) but the best I've seen is people intentionally TWO manning "solo" arenas. I think they queue up to fight the same guy then one of them runs faaaaar away which then teleports them in together to face one opponent. These two guys fought the Norn and the Dog as a pair and then went in together to face subject 7.

Wonder if they both get rewarded?

Of course it is very bad when two people unintentionally drop into the same arena with different matchups because it seems that both bosses spawn! I'm not talking about the crowd favourite gambit either. I'm talking about Liadri + Dead Eye Dunwell combo. So... just dodge the shadow falls, shades, sniper shot and avoid the mines all at the same time. Goes without saying the two fellas that went in didn't last that long. :P

I also was fortunate enough to get a Royal Pass during a zerg run. This little scroll (which expires over time unfortunately) acts as an instant teleport to the Royal Terrace that really does hold all the handy vendors (except black lion traders) in a tiny area. Crafting stations, bank, guild utilities, a mystic forge and most importantly an asura gate that lets you decide where to go via dialogue prompt. Basically it removes the need for Lion's Arch entirely, and I am still hoping they nuke that city and all its residents into the dirt - sooner rather than later. If you have no royal pass, then just hop to the borderlands -> shop -> drop to character select -> pick same guy to reappear where you last were (prior to borderlands) for a similar experience.

Next update is the Queen's Speech where the "villain" who many assume is Scarlet and whom I believe to be Trahearne's evil gender swapped twin from the steam dimension will no doubt cause a minor disturbance. I'll probably take a look but in the end the path of least resistance to lots of gold will always win out. I also suspect another armor tier will be coming in again due to the current abundance of mithril ore (literally cheaper than carrots at the moment). Lastly I'm still wondering why Liadri didn't just slay Zhaitan on her own and save us all the trouble? They sort of break their own lore by adding ridiculously powerful NPCs in the world like that. Or... she couldn't be bothered doing that but is ok fighting as a spectacle in the arena? Guess she's just an attention whore.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Disquiet Week

Been pretty silent on the blog this week (mainly for one reason below) so I thought I'd post about a few other games I've come across on my travels.

Ultima Forever
Being a big UO fan I was keeping my hopes up for this one, despite the changes to the realm and the simplification of the game. Now it is finally out and guess what? I can't play it. Yep, they decided to not release it for PC instead going for mobile devices. That's nice, except I don't play games on anything BUT PC. Guess I'm the minority now. Oh well - I suppose it was just not meant to be.

Age of Wushu
After my previous write up (featuring castration!) I decided to give the game the benefit of the doubt and downloaded it via a painfully slow link on their website. What's up with that? It's like they don't want people to play. Age of Conan was a bigger download but finished faster? Anyway the first few screens leave a truck load to be desired. Mabinogi has a better login screen, seriously (Mabinogi also recently got guns... and vespas! o_O). On to the game itself and the graphics and animations seem to be pretty good if you can get past all the people flying around (age of wire-fu). The skill system which is much like Mabi where you train them individually would probably work well too.

However I just couldn't get into it. Maybe because the screen is cluttered with names, clunky controls, or maybe because everything is so reading intensive - even skill names and stances are almost small sentences like "Swallow the Whale". It didn't help that latency is an issue as well. One of the tutorial quests is to learn blocking. Basically you tell an NPC you are ready and press right mouse to block. He punched me three times in the face before it registered that yes, I was -actually- blocking already. I'll try it out a bit more sometime to see if it improves but my first impressions aren't good.

Age of Conan
I've occasionally been posting about this and it seems I've run into the forseen lack of content (solo content anyway) to do at higher levels. Not really a bad thing since it IS an MMORPG after all, but being a loner on a free pvp world does make it a bit more challenging to do group content. They don't joke around about group content either. One of the early ones past Tortage is to defeat a Cock Handler (as in chickens and roosters you gutter minded people). He's only around the mid level 20's. I still can't beat him with my level 51, which is where I think I'll leave my "test"(?) character for now. Should be interesting to see if I get a free level 50 in a few months.

Card Hunter
Tobold has been championing this browser based, tactical game of nostalgia for awhile now. Sorry to say it's not really my cup of tea, but hey it works and it's free. Just don't expect XCOM quality stuff from it, nor any meaningful story to tie all your battles together.

Oh no. A 2 dimensional dragon.

Meanwhile, back at the Queen's Gauntlet in Guildwars 2... "DAMN YOU LIADRI!!!!!" >.<

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Contract Terminated

Part of the Tales of Skrmischa in Neverwinter Online!

Started off with a pretty good run this time with...

ELUS DE L'ARENE @ Louwang (NW-DTRP2Q289)
A simple arena (on fire) where I defeated a bunch of kobolds and ogres, followed by...

Dungon Crawl @ Loomon (NW-DBCJA5K95)
A stroll in a gorgeous forest that unfortunately was filled with undead. Completing the mission was super easy though, allowing my to bypass pretty much all the enemies but I decided to swing back and clear them all out anyway.

Alas upon my return to the city I learned that Lord Neverember had issued a Call to Arms - a recurring special event that allows people like my employer to participate in skirmishes they had previously missed. This will probably be happening at a rate of one per weekend starting with the Orc Assault in the Tower District which my boss personally participated in. It is no surprise then that my initial contract to level up and run those myself has been ended. Didn't stop me from running the same skirmish myself though, and the amount of loot I took from those orcs was a good start to fund whatever my next foray would be.

So Many-Arrows!

Sunday 11 August 2013

MMOs: Level Restriction and Threat

[Part of my MMO Design Folder]

Have you ever heard of the tale where a great knight ventured to the entrance of an evil lair then began screaming out to the world for a healer and a wizard or rogue to join him? This happens a lot in MMO's, and is in fact referred to as "the holy trinity" where one person plays the role of "tank" keeping the monster's attention while absorbing the monster's damage, the "healer" uses their skills primarily to keep the "tank" alive, and everyone else being "DPS" (damage per second) either on said monster or crowd control ("CC" used to be "DPS"). Personally I only ran into the "holy trinity" term when I began Guildwars 2, because people were either angry or happy that it wasn't there. I actually had to ask what it was, and now that I know I find it rather stupid.

I can see how it came about though, simply by how some games handle "threat" or "aggro" (as in, which of you the monster most wants to eat) and more so by the definition of specific classes to play "roles". Neverwinter Online's five classes are a good example of this:

Thief - highest single target DPS, quite squishy (killable)
Wizard - highest area effect DPS, but not as high on single target as thief. Very squishy.
Great Weapon Fighter - less squishy than the above and out performs them on their weaker side but is not as good as their specialty.
Cleric - provides healing and buffs and some decent area damage
Guardian Fighter - Tank. Only class with a shield, and only class that "blocks" instead of evades.

While most MMO's tout that you can be "whatever you want", other people will look down upon a wizard who tries to be the "tank", or a cleric focused on attacking instead of healing, or a tank who chooses not to wear armor (and be squishy) - especially is said people are more interested in being "efficient", the type that sit down and actually number crunch for the best build for their specific role and more often than not the first requirement of which is to max out your level to the highest it can be.

I feel this is the first problem. Skills and abilities can have levels, sure. You get good at doing "stuff" by doing said "stuff". Maybe Bob the sniper is more accurate than Hank, while Hank the messanger can outrun Bob. However, Bob shouldn't be able to magically become a fantastic swordsman  by baking cake. As humurous as that sounds, that is actually possible in GW2 which only has one overall level track, and not many little tracks for skills. In comparison Ultima Online offered incredible freedom. No overall levels, just skills which meant you can be a spell sword, a fisher knight, or whatever. It's a similar case in Mabinogi where skill ranks are more important than your overall level. I'm over level 2000 there but I can still lose to a bear if I don't fight perfectly.

Swordsmanship has increased by 0.1%!

The second problem is monster aggro or threat. Tank classes generally get skills to make monsters pay more attention to them instead of all the other people damaging it. Some games use strange maths to then calculate stuff like if player A did 100 damage to me, but player B healed player A for 200 HP, I should kill player B (Rappelz). For me it should be simple. Just like in real, predators (especially in a pack) should always go after the thing they can kill fastest first.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Bloody Revenge

Part of the Tales of Skrmischa in Neverwinter Online!

Potions are an adventurer's best friend. Good thing I had stocked up before tackling some of these!

This non english task is a simple sweep to clear some bandits in a rather vacant valley. At least they had goods to compensate me for my time.

The Teqa Swamp @ Slytborg (NW-DFYGNILZX)
This time I had to retrieve farmer's sword from orc barracks, a straight forward enough task with a fair bit of combat. Unfortunately, the sword at the end was not reachable. Maybe because I'm short and it's floating high up in a ray of blue light... or under the floor. Not sure.

Have Fun @ Grubberl337 (NW-DRUN8CMYV)
After a very wierd start of poking two barrels in the city to open a secret passage I found myself in a bandit DEATH TRAP! The first room has you stuck with two dozen archers and hexers which actually are the most troublesome lot in the whole tunnel system. Unfortunately what seemed to be the main iron door they came through was locked, making the adventure unfinishable.

Like this, just replace each spike with 3 archers and a mage. O_O

Final: Guard Barracks @ JRGAMER1 (NW-DL6301BE)
In this funny in a bad way quest I was surprised to find Sgt. Knox himself waiting at some guard barracks to ask me to fight (and kill) mad guards. All of whom were nasher rebels. They really ought to check who they hire. Anyway, a locked and unopenable sewer door (thankfully) prevented my progress from things getting any crapper so I left Knox to clean up his own mess.

Must admit that reporting about most of these "bad" ones really inspires my employer to get back into creating actual adventures.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Queen's Gauntlet: Thief Experience

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Decided to leave some notes hidden here which will hopefully help fellow thieves have an easier time through the battles in the Queen's Jubilee. I've not completed it yet myself, so I'll be updating as I go along. If you are a non-thief then Dulfy's general tips will probably be a better place for you to look! :)

Queen's Champions (open world)
These five combatants must be randomly found and fought in the open world one at a time, and are only available via balloon event. You'll probably run into them if you go hunting all the balloons like me. As a bonus, defeating one gives you a guaranteed arena ticket. If you run into trouble, you can always bring help to defeat them. You can also lure nearby monsters to "help" you as they will aggro the champ when you stealth.

Heavy Hammer
Nullify his strong ranged attacks by facing him head on with dagger / pistol using the smoke shot combo to take him down.
Blazing Gun
Has pretty devastating combos but only if he HITS you with his normal shot first. Evasion more important here but don't be afraid to get in his face with smoke shot. If he begins chain combo knock down, hide or use shadow refuge to take a breather. Also try to backstab him... a lot. Getting mobs to assist is recommended as most of his attacks only hit 1 target. Switch to bow if you need a breather to let your skills recharge.

Lightning Blade
Enjoys teleporting, but all her attacks are point blank so just sit in a smoke cloud the whole fight and she'll never hit you.

Whirling Edge
One tough cookie. Use your bow and stay away from her dervish spin. If you evade it 5 times she gets dizzy and falls over giving you the chance to pounce. At half health she starts throwing stuff too but it's her melee you must look out for. Don't count on smoke blind this time since her spin attack is so fast, but you can still use it to go invisible and backstab.

Stony Shield
Reflects attacks and summons small upheaval pillars. Also knocks you back if you're in melee. AoE attacks are best with this guy which also means he takes longest to kill (bring help) since he denies your big backstab later on. If you happen to be using pistol / pistol be sure you time your unload skill properly or it will be you on the floor. ;p

Queen's Gauntlet (main arena)

Basic Tips:
Bring thieves guild to spreads aggro. When on dagger/pistol your basic combo should be smoke shot, heart seeker, regular attack (from stealth). Generally you always want to normal attack from stealth (so shadow heal/shadow refuge/smokescreen heart seeker all valid too) for big damage. When on pistol/pistol your standard combo is body shot/unload, while on short bow I primarily use the normal attack and the crippling shot. Remember you only have 2 minutes before the floor opens! Also, unless your foe is shielded in some way - you should open with your elite skill as your first move. The announcer gives you tips of your remaining time at 1 minute, 30 seconds and last 5 second countdown I think. Lastly eating mango pie before hand is helpful!

Starting traits on 30/0/30/0/10.

Round 1: Hammer Norn
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
This big guy only has one dangerous move which looks a lot like an ettin smash, only this will down you if you happen to be infront of him. Ironically that's the best place to be. Get in his face early with smoke shot, heart seeker then backstab from stealth and repeat. You can eat all his normal attacks, when he winds up for the big one just dodge through him to get around and repeat.

Round 2: Variable size Quaggan
Gear I used: Shortbow, Dagger/Pistol
The more you hit him, the bigger (and stronger) he gets. So what? Bring signet of shadows (+25% movement) and use shortbow headshot to cripple him while you kite/evade. This combined with your elite skill should be more than enough to finish him in time. Use poisons to make it go even faster. If you like you can even tripwire and caltrops him - he'll never hit you. If you feel pressured to finish him off quick due to time limitation and he's near death you can switch back to dagger/pistol for the smokeshot heartseeker combo. Important to smokeshot so that he misses his opening attack.

Round 3: Tornado summoning Sylvari
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
This annoying plant lady summons a ton of tornados which will toss you around the arena. Fortunately she doesn't have much health so open with thieves guild (or your choice of elite) and burst her down quick. I'm not good at dodging her air strikes so I opted to get in her face immediately (which requires some luck to win). She did manage to down me, but with her low health I still finished her while prone. When I fought her again with my second trait line (see below) with the on fire gambit I demolished her easy with dual pistols.

Round 4: Shielded Book Guardian - Tier 1 Boss
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
Don't bother with the scorpion wire, it won't work. Instead just stand on the opposite side of a dark pool and wait for her to step into it to remove her shield. In addition, dip your toe into the dark pool briefly and pay attention to what the "darkness" buff looks like. This is what saves you from her one hit kill solar flare. As soon as it runs out, find another pool quickly - don't ever be without it. Other than that just burn her down with the dagger/pistol combo.

Round 5: Angry Charr
Gear I used: Shortbow
Supposedly he hits harder as he has less health. I wouldn't know because I just opened with thieves guild then kited him with the short bow and signet of shadows. Super easy.

Round 6: Bad Pussy
Gear I used: Shortbow, Dagger/Pistol
The only thing this panther has going for it is it's super high health. Again short bow kite with signet of shadows, but just to cripple it. Thieves guild also distracts him for a bit. Meanwhile, go pick up 25 rage orbs that spawn randomly in the arena while doing so, once you have them you'll have plenty of time to burn the cat down in close quarters.

Round 7: Asura Pyromaniac
Gear I used: Dual Pistols
This guy has four basic attacks: a one hit slaying close quarters one, a ring of fire (that if you cross you die), a slow moving flame that I had a tough time "seeing" and making the floor you stand on catch on fire meaning you have to keep moving. He caused some serious problems for me, until I decided to bring assassin's signet and signet of malice with dual pistols - this burned him down nicely using unload.

Round 8: Pirate Quartet - Tier 2 Boss
Gear I used: Dual Pistols, Dual Daggers
Four opponents, each bringing different buffs for their fellows (including a full heal) means you need to focus on a single target at a time. Bring signet of shadows, caltrops and trip wire then kite the two melee-ers with your guns as they are most dangerous. I killed the captain first, then the first mate followed by the gunner (switching to daggers to burn him down faster once less than 50%) and Stiches the medic last (again switching to daggers). Don't be afraid to steal from any of them either, especially if you have thrill of the crime traited. Time is really against you here.

Round 9: Blue Goo
Gear I used: Dual Pistols, Dual Daggers
Changed traits to 30/30/0/0/10.
Had to change my traits to fight this slime ball. Bring scorpion wire and don't open with thieves guild. Instead kite and use your guns till the main slime (he's spitting out mini slimes at you the whole time)  is down to half, then scorpion wire it away from the little ones - open thieves guild and burn it down fast with your daggers. I still got the blobs, shmobs achievement using this method.

Round 10: Sniper
Gear I used: Dagger/Pistol
Easiest tier 3 fight, even did it with 3 gambits (fire, exhausted, hamstring). Bring blinding powder and scorpion wire. There are insta-death mines scattered around plus the guy has a kill shot that will down you after he teleports. First move should be to target him and "Steal" then blind him, pop thieves guild and use normal attacks till he warps. Scorpion wire him quickly back to you and proceed the blind stabbing. Once he tele's again shadow shot to him and burn him down till he dies. If he survives to do another tele, you WILL need to dodge his next shot since your other skills will be on cool down.

Round 11: Norn and Dog
Gear I used: Sword/Pistol, Dagger/Pistol
Wasn't going for the extra achievement here so I just brought ambush trap, assassin's signet and blinding powder. Open with thieves guild and tank the Norn keeping the blind up. The dog enrages when the Norn drops but it still couldn't hit me through the smoke. Had to switch to dagger heart seeker to end it faster though since the floor was about to open.

Round 12: Liadri the Bitch of Shadows - Tier 3 and Final Boss
Gear I used: Pistol/Pistol. Full Carrion armor with runes of the Undead, Orrian truffle and meat stew
Changed traits to VI,III / V, VIII/  I  / II, VII / 0.
Skills: Hide, Shadow  Refuge, Spider Venom, Signet of Shadows, Thieves Guild 

Phase One has her immune in a shroud of shadows. Jeromai has a pretty good guide of how to get past this stage, and I highly recommend it since it helped me. Your only attack against orbs here is mug so save it for them. For the last crystal pickup (when lots of shades are chasing you already, drop a shadow refuge that is half in one "red" zone and half in the other. This gives you a few more options and seconds before you move on to phase two to heal a little and to activate the venom and very short lived thieves guild. They last a little longer if you can run to a safe spot before summoning. Goes without saying that each time the venom is ready in phase 2, activate it.

Phase two is when Liadri really turns on the heat and begins chasing you. Basically you want to run towards where the black stuff  last fell while unloading on her, moving either clockwise or anticlockwise using the whole arena. When you are able to hide (gain more ground) or drop another shadow refuge (in the next safe spot, not where you are) you will want to do so - just like you want to dodge away from Liadri when she strafes next to you. Be sure to open with the "1" skill of pistol from hiding to maximize damage. Also try not to waste dodges to avoid shadow falls, as with the signet you run pretty fast. It is still imperative you have that orrian food to get more dodges too - you simply won't last without it. I should mention that I finished just as the "five, four, three, two, one" countdown was ending so it's either not the best build or I'm not the best player. :)

Lastly I tried numerous builds before settling on this one. Don't be afraid to switch it up to favor your play style and don't get discouraged by defeat! I think that's the main point against Liadri. Instead just try to always better your previous result. As an example, here were my roadblocks through 140 tries (yerp I kept count):

1st Day: Couldn't get past 1st crystal throw.
2nd Day: Couldn't get past 3rd crystal throw.
3rd Day: Managed to hurt her 10% on my best run.
4th Day: Managed to hurt her 50% on my best run.
5th Day: Completely screwed up, didn't do as well as previous day.
6th Day: Ran out of time during combat and a few tries later...


Finally a mini worth something. To me anyway. ^_^

Ellen Kieled it! Time to celebrate with the Queen!

Part of my Explorer of Tyria journal - you can find the rest here!

Kinda glad now that my previous post with "art" incentives was overlooked as Ellen Kiel has emerged the victor in the voting for the Captain's Council seat - thrashing the hopes and desires of all of Evon Gnashblade's supporters (and hopefully their wallets too). Story-wise, unless you were playing either an evil aligned, human hating, or charr loving (beastiality much?) character then you -should- have voted for Kiel. A surprising amount of people decided to vote for Evon without RP consideration. They just wanted the fractal he offered which now will have close to zero chance of coming to fruition thanks to their collective failure. ANet did a good job getting players involved in the election so it will be interesting to see if they can keep it up in the next arc: the Queen's Jubilee.

From what I've seen so far it looks pretty fun inside the Crown Pavillion - lots of things to fight and lots of loot for the taking. Ofcourse the aetherblade pirates are still being a nuisance but aside from the opening ceremony most of their antics are with content outside the city. Haven't explored those yet mainly due to the shineys dropping inside the new zone. Also the solo arena fights, which you can watch/be watched by other players are pretty interesting. I've beaten the first three rounds so far and am hoping to make it all the way to the end!

Definitely going to be a case of this though.

Going for a Stroll

Part of the Tales of Skrmischa in Neverwinter Online!

Unlucky run with quests this time around as all of them were unfinished/unfinishable.

The Unholy Crusade @ leasius (NW-DTHFLZ3YZ)
This "crusade" starts off with me being trapped in a chest, and doesn't really go anywhere from there. Who the heck posts these missions?

This accurately sums up the entire "crusade".

Undead of Misty Cavern @ Miretles (NW-DPOIYRE4F)
After battling a bunch of undead pirates I was supposed to find their mind flayer boss in a cave clearing. He must have heard I was coming though because when I got there he was long gone.

Grund Karte @ smilechen (NW-DFMSA9ZRP)
This german language mission is a very short and simple "kill some spiders" for the folk of a nice hamlet and some (famous) hobbits. No reward trunk for such a menial task, but the rest of the environment looks really well done, despite being empty. Definitely returning when more things are happening.

Mystery of the Raventalon @ FeyrinRavenTalon (NW-DOH2TW8BH)
Like the previous one this takes place in a super detailed map with great atmosphere. Nothing to fight or do in here yet during my visit, but certainly another one I'll come back to once Raventalon finishes building (and populating) his manor.

Alas, I don't really get XP for seeing nice decorations but this should give my employer ideas of what to do with his own foundry stuff in the future. :P

Monday 5 August 2013

Highs and Lows

Part of the Tales of Skrmischa in Neverwinter Online!

With the Blacklake Terror out of the way it was time to gain experience on more missions starting... in space?

The Assault on Xiloborg @Rawklawbstar (NW-DAHW7N6PW)
No idea how I got onto this alien landscape but there are lots of spiders and driders that needed killing. First to get past their web shield, then under a space bridge and finally into a furnace chamber with exploding platforms. Interesting mechanics and environment but, no nice reward chest at the end.

Goblin Raid @ Prettz77 (NW-DPUB2D0HF)
At least this was more down to earth. A large group of goblins led by an ogre had invaded the Blacklake district and it was up to me to clear them out. An easy task, though the boss was a bit more challenging. Fortunately they also had a nice treasure box which made killing them all the more fun!

A Tale of Banditry @ Aerudengineer (NW-D13PIQ602)
Then it was off to rid some bandits from a some strange farmland with floating houses. Once inside I encountered "Ghost Fighter Human 1" again, and just like last time could not open a door meaning I once more abandoned him to his plight.

Honestly the first thing this task involved is examining a plate atop the tavern spirit tower in the Tower District. Not sure where it lead next as there were no hints, but while up there I fell into the spirit well into an ominous secret area filled with the bones and spirits of other people that fell down the hole, including an arch mage. How does one become an arch mage when you are silly enough to fall down holes anyway? Fortunately his ghost was nice enough to teleport me out!

They obviously forgot their rings of feather fall.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Arrival in Blacklake

Part of the Tales of Skrmischa in Neverwinter Online!

That's the last time I come to Neverwinter by boat. Haven't heard of one actually making it to the city - instead everyone seems happy enough to be washed up on shore and fight through a piece of Valindra's undead army just to reach the city gates. To top it off my new, somewhat handsome, employer is a creep, skulking about in shadows and seemingly always staring at people. His gold is good though and given my low level of experience I was thankful to find work so quickly. It wasn't long before I was sent out on some missions...

Hall of Doom @ vertygerk (NW-DEN46WWLZ)
First one was a nice warm up, just clearing a few goblins from a random hall. Didn't have a nice treasure chest to loot though.

Dusk Deeps @ duskroma (NW-DBLVC4HGC)
I was then sent into some abberant filled caves to aid a mysterious spirit named "Ghost Fighter Human 1". Despite clearing out all the enemies I couldn't open the last(?) door and was forced to abandon the awkwardly named ghost to his misery.

Daydream Believer @ laura16 (NW-DJNW9WQNA)
Took a short nap next to a fountain afterwards, and suddenly found myself in the dreamscape of Elysium. The queen there wanted my help eradicating the random threats in her windy realm. An easy task for which I was rewarded a belt. Oddly when I awoke it was still in my inventory.

ZWorld Issue 1 @ Skumb7 (NW-D02C89G4G)
Lastly I went to investigate a strange house in a twisted forest, meeting the undead man Skumby who lived there. Turns out the place was an arena, and before I knew it I was fighting many waves of zombies mixed with various other undead. I defeated the gauntlet though, and Skumby begrudgingly gave me a prize for my efforts - a shield.

Once that was done I was finally eligible to participate in the Blacklake Terror skirmish, where an evil sorceror was summoning hordes of undead to attack the lake side from the safety of his boat. Truth be told it was child's play compared to Skumby's arena, especially with four other people helping. First skirmish done. Eleven to go.

Not bad for a first day's work!

Odd Jobs of Neverwinter

Previously called the "Tales of Skrmischa", named after the character who began this journal, this has now been re-purposed as a quest listing for the many (player made) adventures in Neverwinter Online.

Below are the chapters available, and each list which foundry missions attempted within. The ones listed in light red are/were unfinishable when they were attempted!

  • Hall of Doom @ vertygerk (NW-DEN46WWLZ)
  • Dusk Deeps @ duskroma (NW-DBLVC4HGC)
  • Daydream Believer @ laura16 (NW-DJNW9WQNA)
  • ZWorld Issue 1 @ Skumb7 (NW-D02C89G4G)
  • The Assault on Xiloborg @Rawklawbstar (NW-DAHW7N6PW)
  • Goblin Raid @ Prettz77 (NW-DPUB2D0HF)
  • A Tale of Banditry @ Aerudengineer (NW-D13PIQ602)
  • The Unholy Crusade @ leasius (NW-DTHFLZ3YZ)
  • Undead of Misty Cavern @ Miretles (NW-DPOIYRE4F)
  • Grund Karte @ smilechen (NW-DFMSA9ZRP)
  • Mystery of the Raventalon @ FeyrinRavenTalon (NW-DOH2TW8BH)
  • The Teqa Swamp @ Slytborg (NW-DFYGNILZX)
  • Have Fun @ Grubberl337 (NW-DRUN8CMYV) !!! DANGER !!!
  • Final: Guard Barracks @ JRGAMER1 (NW-DL6301BE)
  • ELUS DE L'ARENE @ Louwang (NW-DTRP2Q289)
  • Dungon Crawl @ Loomon (NW-DBCJA5K95)
  • Friendly Dragon Canyon @ lelua01 (NW-DPQZC8ARH)
  • SANCTUARIUM v2 @ ooroome (NW-DJBCYCFS8)
 8. Change of Alignment
  • Tired of Being the Hero @ Stebss (NW-DGTCLL4N74)
 9. Agent of the Enclave
  • Jump Test @ Vashsama01 (NW-DF7WS108M)
  • Monster Hunter Version 1.03 @ 11MIRAGEX (NW-DDSFQ9KSA)
  • A Simple Request @ OoKeNnEThOo (NW-DIC2E7M92)
  • Valia's Last Stand @ Lorheith (NW-DHNRM4CR3)
  • Towers and Trolls @ choose4me (NW-DIXHTZ2JH)
  • The Chicken Maze @ pegasus666 (NW-DD4KQBB3Y)
  • Part One - Learn the Basics @ xxkamasangelxx (NW-DINUOMOTR)
  • An Unmarked Grave @ xTripleshotx (NW_DHOTQVHUK)
  • Hired Blades @ isojourner (NW-DQN2UP745)
  • The Marked Queen - Part 1 @ rph4ze (NW-DBVWAZNU)
  • Prueba01 @ currolordofcaos (NW-DD6YF8RF3)
  • Against the Red Wizards @ GuitarZan698 (NW-DEX75VHLQ)
  • Shadowfell Disciples @ orangefire (NW-DEBISCCCR)
  • Crimson Descent @ mymecoleon (NW-DRWNLMGYV)
  • Kolde Acres: Grandmother @ koldelegacy (NW-DDKURMXWQ)
10. End of the March Report
  • The Deserters Tower @ Horvay [NW-DQ89RVF9W]
  • Wizards First Rule: Chapter 2 @ reichlyn [NW-DR8MXWH45]
  • Towers of the Night @ rabbitfear [NW-DHUAT52RB]
  • Entertainment for our Guests @ P3rsian [NW-DL419VVPU]
  • Troubled Spirits @ kaykachyna [NW-DEJL85AE5]
  • The Heroes Tomb @ redfireee [NW-DSDJQCUC]
  • Temple of Elements: Water @ Tumbuk7 [NW-DP20WEP96]
  • Rescue in the Silver Marches @doctorbadger [NW-DTSKK80J9]
  • Back to the Past @ OoKennethoO [NW-DIP7QSSUT]
  • Uncovered in Swampland @ Waynemando [NW-DQWLC2CT8]
  • Barbara's Mansion @ svena2 [NW-DLMJGTCOF]
  • Marrovyre's Mansion @ Happilujah [NW-DIMNVNT99]
  • Guardians of Helm Guild Hall @ Candle71 [NW-DA7GMOY3W]
11. Cryptic of Kelemvor
12. Drowned Shore Disembark #ds#
13. Sage Ramiel goes to War #ds#
14. Tidal Redux #ds#
15. Eldarth's First Three
  • Old Magic
  • Calimport Arena
  • Under Siege!