Those other things that you do outside of the game that make DDO fun!!

Well today has been a busy day for me, this is the third article I have written today and I posted an archive article as well earlier today.  I just need to make up for my lack of writing over the weekend, was just too busy with some real life things to get anything drafted up.

However, the last article I wanted to write up today are about those things I do outside of playing DDO that make DDO fun.  You might ask yourself: what in the world does he possibly mean?  How do you have fun with DDO when you aren’t playing DDO?

I can think of two primary ways to enjoy DDO without actually playing the game.  The first is getting involved with the DDO community out there.  For me this actually has two aspects.  The more immediate aspect of this is coordinating my guild’s website on Guild Portal.  As the Crypt Crawler guild leader, I have taken upon myself to create modify the website to help link to news that happens in DDO, to post links to resources such as Ron’s character planner and the DDOCast, to maintain a guild calendar, and etc. 

Cryptcrawler Website photo CryptCrawlerWebsite_zps830a6c9b.jpg
The Crypt Crawler Guild Portal website.

By maintaining and updating the site I help to keep the Crypt Crawlers engaged in the game as best as I can.  Now this type of activity is community based, but it is limited primarily to those in the guild.  The second way I get involved in the community has been three fold: 1).  Listening to DDO podcasts (DDOCast and DDO Cocktail Hour), 2). Getting my blog added to the OurDDO feed (thank you to Evenote for adding me, and thank you to warm reception to all the regular bloggers), and 3). Trying to get more involved in the forums (although this one is quite tricky at times).  All of these help me to enjoy the game I love to play without actually playing the game.

So what else do I do to keep interested in playing DDO while not actually playing DDO?  I do this two ways: 1). by creating my own personal journals for each character of their quest runs and 2). by using other crafted tools and planners.  When I first started playing DDO, I had a few complaints that the world wasn’t “immersive” and that your character’s actions had no impact to the game world.  But I argued that the impacts are based on how you interpret the events that have occurred.  To expound on this, I started to create my own quest logs for my characters and try to elaborate more on the storyline as well as the dungeon crawl and enemies my characters faced.  It takes me awhile to do one entry but I find it fun none the less. 

Erd's Journal photo ErdsJournal_zpsd82e5ee8.jpg
Erdrique’s journal entry.

The most logical way I enjoy the game though is buy the use of the many player generated tools developed by the DDO Community.  Such tools as DDO Character builder (developed by Ron and his crew), the Epic Destiny Planner, and the myriad of crafting tools have allowed me to play around with things even before I got into the game. 

One thing I can say for certain, the DDO Community is quite diverse and talented and I appreciate all that they do to make the game as enjoyable outside as it is to play in realtime!!

Advertisements

Finally ready to run another TR character

Interesting view in Trial by Fury photo InterestingviewTrialbyFury_zps7d83084f.jpg
Hammy travels through the Demonweb in his quest to gathering experience for a True Reincarnation.  It will be awhile before he sees this area again.

Over the weekend, I was finally able to gather enough experience to max out the Shadowdancer Epic Destiny for my rogue, Hamllin.  I was waiting to cap that Epic Destiny out to make my future plans of Epic True Reincarnation easier in the future.  Now that he has that maxed out, I am ready to take him through his first true reincarnation.

I’m looking forward to moving Hamllin through another life.  The only character I have put through the True Reincarnation process is Erdrique who has gone through a paladin, fighter, ranger, and cleric life.  This will be the first time I will be running two different characters through the True Reincarnation process.  To make things easier for me when Epic True Reincarnation is released later this fall, I’m thinking of working Hamllin as a fighter during his next life. 

I’m really looking forward to this change because Hamllin was the first character I created and he still is a 28 point build character.  Jumping up to 34 points will be nice leap for him.  Also, playing him as a fighter will be different for me, but I like the melee classes so I don’t think it will take me too long to get used too.  Time to bring on the experience grind…luckily it is only his second life so it won’t be too bad.  I imagine by the time he is read to TR again, that the experience curve will be smoothed out some so maybe his next set of lives will be easier to work through when he gets to that point.  

Don’t you just love those classic “ooppss” moments

Catastrophy in Repossession photo CatastrophyinRepossession_zpscd82032b.jpg
Erdrique laughing in his grave as he fails to survive the blasted traps in Repossession.

The other day a guildie and I were running two of our true reincarnated characters through the Sharn Syndicate quest chain.  We were running the quest Repossession and we were having a nice smooth run.  I had brought with me a rogue hireling and as well as a cleric hireling.  For this particular life, Erdrique is a barbarian and my guildie was playing a wizard.  I knew we wouldn’t be able to survive the traps in Repossession on elite so that was why I brought the rogue with us. 

Everything was going good as I was having the rogue disable all of the traps on the pillars for each piece of art.  My guildie had been fighting on the other side of the house dealing with the named dog and his trainer.  By the time he made it back to the art room, my rogue hireling had almost finished disabling all the traps when it happened…

My poor guildie thought all of the traps were down and of course picked the one piece of art that still needed to be disabled.  The next thing we knew, traps were going off, and we were nothing more than soul stones…all of us.  Oh well, we had a good chuckle about it.  He warped out and came back and finished the quest.  Have to love those classic “ooppss” moves!!

The Seal of Shan-to-Kor, Hobgoblins, and the Giant Empire

Originally posted on my Guildportal Blog on 6/25/2013: http://www.guildportal.com/Me/540050797/span/2013/6

Recently posted on the Lamannia forums, one of the developers posted that one thing they are thinking about developing is system that gives credits for what they are calling “Sagas”.  From what I can tell, the sagas seem to tie in together a number of various story lines.  One of the most common story line for beginning players of DDO to complete is Water Works and its corresponding series of Shan-to-Kor.  As the players work their way through these quests, we learn that the Wayfinders (a loosely knit group of adventurers with an unknown objective or purpose) has learned that an ancient artifact from the old Giant Empire from the times of the Stormreaver has been found and is being held by a horde of hobgoblins in the Stormreach sewers.  The ancient artifact is called the Seal of Shan-to-Kor and is supposedly really powerful. 

As a player, you are tasked to fight your way through the quests and to bring the Seal of Shan-to-Kor back to the Wayfinders.  However, we never learn what exactly the seal is used for?  Why do the Wayfinders want it?  How does it fit with the Stormreaver storyline we have now?  Who exactly are these Wayfinders?  I wonder if the saga system will help explain these.

Strangeness about the quest The Black Loch..at leat to me

Originally posted on my Guildportal Blog on 6/25/2013: http://www.guildportal.com/Me/540050797/span/2013/6

Yesterday, I ran Hamllin through the Black Loch on epic normal and began to wonder a little more about the reasoning of the quest and its storyline.  For a while now I have been compiling a document that documents the dialogs for each quest so I could figure out the storyline and lore behind each one (it is a continuing work in progress!!).  However, after I completed the Black Loch I started to wonder why a bunch of ruthless pirates would contract out House Deneith to rid themselves of raiders/invaders.

Isn’t that what defines a pirate?  I would think that the pirates of Three Barrel Cove would be more than capable of handling a little invasion…then again maybe not with all of those undead pirates.  Even so, wouldn’t you think that the pirates of Three Barrel Cove would recruit their fellow pirates from the Crystal Cove to help them out?

I guess the Blood Tide Pirates are just that menacing to require “lawful” help to deal with !!

Trying to determine a link between various clans or groups of monsters across storylines-part 4 Trolls

The next group of monsters I thought I would take a quick glance at would be trolls.  Like ogres, trolls are a relatively common monster that we come across.  Just off the top of my head, I see about six different groups of trolls:

Trolls-Blog photo Trolls_zpsd01400a3.jpg
Different types of trolls in DDO.  (Screenshots courtesy of DDOwiki).

1).  Lower/mid-level quests (Harbor, Caged Trolls, Gwylan’s Stand, Stormcleave, Red Willow, Threnal, etc.)
2).  Scrags (Three Barrel Cove, Red Fens, Ataraxia’s Haven)
3).  Deathblood Trolls of Sorrrowdusk
4).  Blackheart Trolls of Gianthold
5).  Trolls in Forgotten Caverns
6).  Trolls of VON 3 (Gateway to Khyber)

For the most part, I think the majority of the trolls in lower and mid-level quests are independent of each other.  Like the ogres, they seem to be more like mercenaries or prisoners in some cases.  However, there does seem to be five groups of trolls that seem to have their own unique clans.  The first of these trolls that adventurer’s come across are mostly the trolls that inhabit the Forgotten Caverns in House Kundarak.  This particular quest seems to have its own tribe that have over run the area and I see no indication of them being linked to anything else.

The next set of trolls are the Deathblood trolls of Sorrowdusk Isle/Grey Moon/Cult of the Six.  These trolls seem to be aligned with those rebellious Grey Moon ogres and the fanatical Cult of the Six human worshipers.  They don’t tend to have any other allegiances to other trolls in Eberron.

The next set of trolls seem to be a tribe that are helping the drow in VON 3, the Gateway to Khyber.  This tribe, again, seems to be independent from the others.

The next set of trolls are the Blackheart trolls.  This powerful can is located out in the Ruins of Gianthold and are part of the Stormheart Brigade.  They seem to be masters or aligned to the ancient arachnids that are also located out in the Gianthold.  Unlike the Runetusk ogres, I don’t seem them in any other storyline.

The last set of trolls are the scrags.  The scrags are a unique subrace of trolls that are associated with sea/aquatic habitats.  There is one scrag in the quest Ghost of Chance out in Three Barrel Cove and some scrags out in the Red Fens.  However, the majority of the scrags are located out in Atraxia’s Haven.  Because the scrags appear to be relatively rare, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were linked in some fashion.  The scrags in the Red Fens seem to be enslaved by the sahaugin out there and I wouldn’t be too surprised to learn that the sahaugin captured some of the scrags from Atraxia’s Haven to server their purposes (although a wrench is throne into that theory because their are no sahaugin in Ataraxia’s Haven).  It’s hard to determine the link to Three Barrel Cove but it wouldn’t be surprising if there was a wondering scrag from Ataraxia’s Haven.

There is another set of unique trolls, fiendish trolls but I relate these more to Shavarath because their blood has been tainted.  I seem them to be unique and to themselves.

I wonder if these tribes ever communicate elsewhere in the lore.

The Seal of Shan-to-Kor, Hobgoblins, and the Giant Empire

Originally posted on my GuildPortal Blog on June 25, 2013: http://www.guildportal.com/Me/540050797/span/2013/6

Recently posted on the Lamannia forums, one of the developers posted that one thing they are thinking about developing is system that gives credits for what they are calling “Sagas”.  From what I can tell, the sagas seem to tie in together a number of various story lines.  One of the most common story line for beginning players of DDO to complete is Water Works and its corresponding series of Shan-to-Kor.  As the players work their way through these quests, we learn that the Wayfinders (a loosely knit group of adventurers with an unknown objective or purpose) has learned that an ancient artifact from the old Giant Empire from the times of the Stormreaver has been found and is being held by a horde of hobgoblins in the Stormreach sewers.  The ancient artifact is called the Seal of Shan-to-Kor and is supposedly really powerful. 

As a player, you are tasked to fight your way through the quests and to bring the Seal of Shan-to-Kor back to the Wayfinders.  However, we never learn what exactly the seal is used for?  Why do the Wayfinders want it?  How does it fit with the Stormreaver storyline we have now?  Who exactly are these Wayfinders?  I wonder if the saga system will help explain these.