Blind Invites? Those Still Happen?

When I first started playing DDO back in April 2006, it wasn’t uncommon to be hit up with “blind” invites.  In case you aren’t familiar with a “blind” invite, it is an invitation from a random player/party leader who wants you to join their group but hasn’t bothered to ask if you have the time or even want to group up.  This used to be especially problematic back for clerics, who were in many cases hounded by “blind” invites.  It taken long before the practice of “blind” invites become a social “no/no” and since then they have died down quite a bit, at least for me.

Well, over the weekend when I was playing with Erdrique (Level 2 Rogue) in Korthos Island, the first thing I noticed when I had logged on was that I was sent a “blind” invite.  I wondered about this for a second, as it popped up even more I moved.  It was like the person who sent the invite was camping out the Who Window or something.  In any case, I scrolled through the Who Window to see what level and class this particular character was and to see if I recognized the guild they were in.  I was thinking that maybe it was an alt of one of my friends or something similar to that.  I didn’t recognize the character or the guild and then was even more confused when I noted that this player was level 25.  Now, why would a level 25 be sending me a random invite?  By the time I looked up the player, the invite had expired and he never shot back another one, but then again I had also already partied up with another guildie.

The same thing happened to be again yesterday when I was playing Harrgon (Level 10 Favored Soul).  As soon as I had logged on, I had a party invite waiting for me.  I didn’t even have a chance to move before the invite box showed up.  Once again I searched through the Who Window to see if I could recognize the player and I didn’t.  However, I did note that this wasn’t the same person who had tried to invite Erdrique over the weekend.  But this other player/character was still substantially higher than Harrgon, so I have no clue what they were trying to do.

 photo Harrgon swarmed in Tomb of the Crimson Heart_zpsdfc2gh5e.jpg
Harrgon battling through the Tomb of the Crimson Heart after being hit up by a blind invite.

In any case, I didn’t respond the invitation expired.  I didn’t receive another one.  I always despised getting random invites.  I would much rather prefer to either click on a party in the LFM panel, have somebody send me a tell, or put a group up myself.  I just surprised me to see these “blind” invites when I hadn’t been bothered by them in a long time.

Oh well, I guess I need to start preparing myself for the “blind” invites once again.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Taking Note of an Interesting Banner in the Crypt of Gerard Dryden

This past weekend, I took my character Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) into the Catacombs to continue that story arc.  As I was working through the second chapter of that story arc, Duality, I headed off into the quest, The Crypt of Gerard Dryden.  As I was making my way through the crypt and taking care of the hordes of undead mobs in each room, I took note of an interesting banner that was hanging on the wall next to one of the many coffins in the quest.

 photo Taking note of the banner_zpsmhhy60ao.jpg
Crawlller taking a mental note of that banner besides the coffin in the Crypt of Gerard Dryden.

Now one of the things that I continue to enjoy about DDO, even after playing the game for as long as I have, are noticing these little nuggets of detail in the various landscapes, dungeons, sewers, and crypts.  One of the things I like to do is to speculate about any potential meaning these discoveries could have.  In this particular instance, the banner has five symbols embroidered into it.  The top and bottom symbol appear to be the same design (some type of a shield or tombstone maybe?), the second and fourth symbol appear to be same design as well (some sort of a cross), and the middle symbol is unique and tends to stand out and king of reminds me of a sun or source of holy light.

As I saw this, I wondered if this could somehow represent the whole reason why we are down here exploring this tomb, the Duality.  As you progress through the Catacombs story arc, you learn that the Duality is a belief to involves transitioning from life to the undead.  Gerard Dryden had been studying on this process and became obsessed with it.  I’m wondering if the markings on the banner reflect the “dual” purposes of existence, life and death, and need to preserve that balance by the power of light.  I can easily see the symbols that represent shields/tombstones to represent the dead while the cross type figures could easily represent the living.  The yellowish symbol in the center of the banner could easily be what keeps everything in balance and might represent that light/holy power.

Then again, maybe I just making too much of a simple banner.  I didn’t pay much more attention to see if this banner appears in all of the other rooms or not but this one did catch my eye.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy questing!!

Taking on Korthos, Quest Runs March 20th to March 22nd

Well, as you can imagine, the primary focus for me this past weekend was to experiment with Erdrique (Level 2 Rogue).  However before I did any questing with Erdrique, I logged on with Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) who was scheduled to take a tour through Tangleroot Gorge.  I took Berann through the jungle prior to work to collect some more slayers.  I didn’t log back into the game until Friday night, when I logged in with Erdrique.  I grouped up with Hellbanisher, who had also just recently went through a heroic true reincarnation (that morning/afternoon in fact), and we knocked all of the quests on Korthos Island except for Heyton’s Rest.  We completed The Storehouse Secret, The Cannith Crystal, The Collaborator, Redemption, Stopping the Sahaugin, Necromancer’s Doom, Sacrifices, and Misery’s Peak as well as collecting slayers, rares, and explorers out in Korthos Island.  During these runs, the only quest that gave us any real issues was the Cannith Crystal when one of the cultists got behind us and destroyed the crystal but we did manage to blow throw it on the second attempt.  By the time we finished all of those we were both ready to hit level 2.  We called it a night not to long after those runs.

Berann hunting in Tangleroot Gorge photo Berann hunting in Tangleroot Gorge_zpss5muvpoe.jpg
Berann hunting around Tangleroot Gorge.

Erd and Hell exploring the Storehouse photo Erd and Hell exploring the Storehouse_zpsvuo1yvte.jpg
Erdrique and Hellbanisher lurking in the warehouse.

Erd hoping to protect the Crystal photo Erd hoping to protect the Crystal_zpshim655f6.jpg
Erdrique and Hell working to protect the Cannith Crystal.

Time for the loot!! photo Time for the loot_zpsxk3wiguo.jpg
Erdrique and Hellbanisher taking time to get some loot!!

Hunting out in the wilds of Korthos photo Hunting out in the wilds of Korthos_zpsaenp7omp.jpg
Erdrique and Hellbanisher exploring Korthos Island.

Looking for Lars again photo Looking for Lars_zpswoqp3bfl.jpg
Erdrique looking for Lars in Redemption.

Erd and Hell working to take on Sahaugin and their allies in the Complex photo Erd and Hell working to take on Sahaugin and their allies in Stopping the Sahaugin_zpsoanjn83e.jpg
Erdrique and Hellbanisher making their way through the Underground Complex.

Exploring the Decrepit Catacombs photo Exploring the Decrepit Catacombs_zps4qnurhya.jpg
Looking for the lost House Jorasco Noble in the Necromancer’s Lair.

I actually wasn’t scheduled/planing on playing on Saturday because it was the third Saturday of the month which I use as a weekend date night with my wife.  However, my wife wasn’t feeling good and went to bed early that night.  This allowed me to log in with Erdrique and to continue working on collecting slayer counts in Korthos Island.  By the time the night was done, Erdrique had completed the entire slayer area.  He is now ready to put forth all attention to the Stormreach Harbor!!

Erd slaying some cultists in Korthos photo Slaying some cultists in Korthos_zpscufxvwnv.jpg
Erdrique wracking up slayers in Korthos Island.

On Sunday, I logged on with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger).  Crawlller is patiently working his way through the Catacombs story arc on normal.  I had to start the story arc on normal because Crawlller is one of my characters on my Premium account and doesn’t have the luxury or opening quests on elite.  So I picked up where I left off and headed into the Library to complete The Old Archives and then I head off to complete The Crypt of Gerard Dryden.  I didn’t have any issues with the quests but during the game play I was also drafting up and sending out our guild’s newsletter so that was the only play time I was able to record.

 photo Death and Carnage in the Library_zpstrret7lc.jpg
Crawlller inspects the Old Archives.

 photo Fighting undead and spiders in the Crypt of Gerard Dryden_zpszyex4ltn.jpg
Crawlller explores the crypt of Gerard Dryden.

Not a bad weekend per se.  I’m having fun so far with Erdrique as I’m learning quite a lot about quartstaves and their use in melee combat.  This week I plan on making some ripples in the Harbor and in the Catacombs with Erdrique so we’ll see how it goes.  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Some Animations are Just Pretty Neat to See

Although I have a few characters that use quarterstaves (primarily my casters, Rimuldar and Cantlin), Erdrique (Level 2 Rogue) is my first character to use a quarterstaff for primarily melee purposes.  With this includes playing around with some of the special attacks such as trip and sunder.  Now, over the years, the animations to trip, sunder, smite evil, and other various attacks have changed quite a bit.  And not only have they changed, they have also changed based on what weapon you use.  There has also been a lot of controversy over these changes in the animations as many people have noted that when you use these attacks they tend to disrupt the your building attack sequences and in many instances actually cause a decrease in your overall damage output.

However, as I continue to play along with Erdrique, I decided to use the attack sunder to see what it looks like.  I have to admit, I think the animation is pretty fun and cool to see.  I have never seen that type of animation before as your character sweeps, twists, and swings his/her quarterstaff around for this animation.  I tried to catch the twisting behavior of attack with a screenshot below but it didn’t really do it justice.

 photo Erd Sundering with his Quarterstaff_zps4es20rvm.jpg
Erd using a sunder attack on some sahaugin in Korthos.

In any case, I just thought that the animation was fun to see.  I’ll be curious to see what cleave looks like.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out there :)!!

Duplicity in Guild Buffs?

Earlier this week, I was taking Sludgge (Level 21 Rogue/Shadowdancer) out to do some questing, but first I went to our guild airship to refresh his guild buffs.  As I was collecting the buffs and rotating the various hold rooms I noticed something:

 photo Duplicity in Guild Buffs_zpsnokieggj.jpg
Sludgge gathering some guild buffs and having some double buffs?

It appeared that some of buffs appeared on this buff bar twice.  Instead of the fresh buff timer overriding the older time, I actually had two timers for the same buff.  In this case it was for the Black Abbot’s Shadow and also the Chronoscope buff.  Looking at the Black Abbot’s Shadow buff, you see that the expiring timer has 36 minutes on it and the fresh buff has almost 4 hours.  Kind of weird, not sure I have seen that before but found it interesting.

Has anyone else seen this before?  I guess its better to have double the buff then not at all :).  Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!

Beginning a New Life, Quest Runs March 16th to March 19th

This week’s quest runs included the beginning of Erdrique’s (Level 2 Rogue) new career as a thief-acrobat rogue. My questing began on Monday morning with my typical slayer run. That morning I was scheduled to take Containment (Level 6 Cleric) through Tangleroot Gorge. Containment is slowly racking up his slayers out in that area. My afternoon run included me finishing up emptying Erdrique’s reincarnation cache after which I heroic true reincarnated. After I set up Erdrique up, I then went out and completed the initial quest, The Grotto. I have to admit, it will be quite interesting playing Erdrique as a rogue J. That night, during my digital PNP playing session, I then took Wapoyei (Level 23 Cleric/Exalted Angel) into The Spinner of Shadows on Epic Hard. Unfortunately my distractions with the PNP game resulted in my failure in completing the quest. I had saved the Silver Flame Guardian, and received over 6,000 experience for that so it wasn’t a totally wasted run, and I probably could have completed the quest if I had enough time to zone back in but unfortunately I did not. So I called it a night after that.  photo Containment exploring Tangleroot_zpscno39rws.jpg Containment hunting in the Gorge.  photo Erd making his way through the Grotto_zpstvumt52s.jpg Erdrique starting out as a rogue in The Grotto. On Tuesday, I headed out into the Red Fens with Charlock (Level 14 Fighter). He still has quite a bit to go out there but I will continue to take him through the slayers out in that area. I missed my afternoon run, but that night I logged on with Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) and I took him out into the Tangleroot Gorge explorer area and then I took him out into the challenge quest Kobold Island: Kobold Chaos to gather more ingredients for Erdrique’s challenge rogue gear. After a couple of runs of that I called it a night.  photo Charlock obscured in the reeds of the Red Fens_zpsy0jsg6vg.jpg Barely notice Charlock through the reeds in the Red Fens.  photo Berann talking note of the canopy in Tangleroot Gorge_zps4wqjxtsa.jpg Berann hunting in Tangleroot Gorge.  photo Berann protecting the extractors in Kobold Island_zps4up1rzqr.jpg Berann working on the mud men in Kobold’s Island. Wednesday morning I logged on with Lorrikk (Level 12 Monk) and took him out into Searing Heights. The only thing Lorrikk needs in that zone is the named fire elemental. Which is ironic because that afternoon I logged on with Hamllin (Level 15 Fighter) and he is also working on Searing Heights and he as well needs the named fire elemental. It appears that the fire elemental has become quite elusive for me. I also logged on that afternoon with Erdrique and I took him through Heyton’s Rest after I crafted him an acid quarterstaff. After that run, I called it a night to spend date night with my beautiful wife J.  photo Nothing by mephits_zpsntlefyzk.jpg Lorrikk looking for the named fire elemental in Searing Heights.  photo Hamllin taking note of the beautiful scene in Searing Heights_zpsqshmt0vg.jpg Hamllin enjoying the scenery in Searing Heights.  photo Erd taking on Heytons Rest_zpsy1seolo2.jpg Erdrique exploring Heyton’s Crypt. I logged on with Crawlller (Level 6 Ranger) on Thursday morning and took him through Tangleroot Gorge. It appears I have a lot of characters working through that area!! That afternoon, I attempted to find that fire elemental in Searing Heights with Hamllin once again but unfortunately he refused to show up once again for me. That night I logged on with Sludgge (Level 21 Rogue/Shadowdancer) and I took him through the Claw of Vulkoor on epic normal. I didn’t have much problem at all. Now Sludgge is prepped to take on Into the Deep.  photo Crawller fighting off Clamor and his wolves_zpsdkgy8kn9.jpg Crawlller taking on Clamor in Tangleroot Gorge.  photo Hamllin fighting his way through Searing Heights_zpsdibcdpwl.jpg Hamllin looking for some action in Searing Heights.  photo Sludgge taking it to Sobrien_zpsyomfhinw.jpg Sludgge taking it to Sobrien in the Claw of Vulkoor. So overall it was an exciting week as I start Erd’s new life. It was also a challenging week as I’m getting used to playing Erdrique as a rogue, I struggled with Wapoyei, and have had some problems finding some of elusive rare fire elemental but then again that is what keeps the game quite interesting. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting out in DDO.

So What Critters Lurk in the Jungle Canopy of Tangleroot Gorge?

The other day I was taking my half-orc, Berann (Level 7 Barbarian) through the wilds of Tangleroot Gorge and as I was wondering around the area I happened to stare up into the dense trees of the forest and wondered what types of critters could be leaving up there in that canopy?

 photo Berann talking note of the canopy in Tangleroot Gorge_zps4wqjxtsa.jpg
Berann staring up into the jungle canopy of Tangleroot Gorge.

I get the sense that Tangleroot Gorge is a semi-tropical, if not tropical, area.  This suggests that it would be teaming with all kinds of wildlife from numerous annoying insects to glorious jungle cats.  Of course this is assuming that these environments would sustain the same type of wildlife that exist the real world.  So what types of creatures could be lurking in those dense branches, leaves, and vines.  I would have to assume that a number of interesting and fun reptiles and amphibians would be zooming around up there.  That area would be a perfect for lizards, tree frogs, snakes, and possibly even salamanders.  These critters would probably be feasting on all of the annoying insects that would also inhabit that zone of the forest.  But what would these creatures look like?  Would they have a drab coloration pattern?  Would they have spots or stripes?  What they have any remarkable adaptations that allowed them to specialize in anything?

Besides reptiles and amphibians, that area would have to be haven for birds.  I could easily see a multitude of birds residing and using the canopy in Tangleroot Gorge.  I would imaging birds ranging from small wrens, sparrows, and finches to macaws, parrots, and cockatoos to raptors such as owls, hawks, and eagles.  I could see these birds exhibiting plumages of various colors, shades, and patterns.  I can just imagine the adaptations these birds would have from having beaks that can break into seeds and nuts, those that have bills for spearing insects and small animals, and beaks that can be used to tear into meat for those birds of prey.

But the canopy would also be home to a variety of mammal species as well.  One can’t think of an exotic canopy without thinking about monkeys swinging around from branch to branch.  Not to mention the presence of other small hunters, primarily in the form of sleek and agile cats.  One would also think other mammals such as sloths would also be present.

There is little doubt that the canopy of Tangleroot Gorge is beautiful but what types of wildlife still remains to be seen, at least by our characters.  The only “wildlife” we see are wolves and spiders we see on the ground level.  I wonder if any of the manuals, scrolls, and tomes inside Splinterskull document the types of creatures in the Gorge?  That would be an interesting thing to discover, at least to me :).

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!