Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Gathering Gadgets

I spent a late night with goblins in Runnyeye: The Gathering (commonly known as RE2) the other night. It was a unique experience, blending expertise and irritation. Let me sum up. I got a couple of very nice drops, made it farther than I have with any other group in Runnyeye. I also died about 15 times, and watched some of the sloppiest play I've ever seen.

Let me elaborate.

Close to my usual bedtime, I saw in level 70's chat a note from an old friend: "RE2 group needs mezzer, send a thoughtful tell". That's so like my friend, always the clever one, a good player, and fun to be around. So I sent him, "I think therefore I am, I mez, therefore I think you need me." My friend was glad to hear from me, as he'd been away from the game for a while. So I was in.

When I got there, I looked at the group list, trying to figure out where to put my buffs. I like to put Illusory Arm on the tank, it makes it easier for everyone else, who can dps that much harder. But I had a problem. There wasn't a tank class in the group.

"Who's tanking?" I asked. "Me," says the Swashbuckler. "MmmmmmmOooookay," think I. Well, these guys are all showing guild tags that mark them as very accomplished players. And they have good gear and are friends of my friend. So maybe they really are that good that they can do RE2 with a scout for a tank. I've done stranger things.

What followed was a curious mix of expertise and incompetence. We made fast progress through the zone, except for the times we wiped due to bad pulls. Pulls were incredibly fast, and sometimes even took place before the rest of the group had managed to follow into the new room. We took out several nameds, but we didn't ever clear the mobs in the very first room of the zone until way late in the run, and they managed to kill squishies several times after they revived. Mostly I followed someone else who was running back after dying, and sneaking through. Really, it seemed as though the others were not taking the zone very seriously at all.

Communication, a pet peeve of mine, was minimal. Nobody was using group voice chat. When I joined the group, I checked it, then asked, "No group voice chat?" I got the reply, "I seem to have gone mute." Typed messages were very sparse as well. But the group managed to smoothly bring in a two-boxed buffbot troubador when one of the members left without no warning that I could see or hear. I'm thinking they were on a Ventrilo channel. That doesn't exactly make a good impression.

We got hung up on Slamhammer, the minotaur named near the end. The swashie plus the mystic we had single healing couldn't quite hold him, though the group had plenty of AE potential that trashed the hammers when they came. So we juggled the group some and got a tank class to replace another DPSer who had gone to bed. That was sufficient to handle it.

Then the mystic left and we got a templar, a pretty good one, I've grouped with him before. We had some more pull mishaps, mostly due to too many "shortcuts" leaving mobs that probably should have been cleared, and the templar got killed in the first room. So it was cleared finally. Nevertheless, I got to see this, for the first time.

We couldn't handle this encounter, though it was close. My mezzes to pull went well, I could lock down all the adds well enough, and get a Doppleganger in to help keep the tank alive. We were able, several times to get all the side mobs killed and the boss down about half, at which point the healer lost the ability to keep up, even after I mixed some stuns and stifles in. Vohan is highly resistant to them, maybe immune, since they didn't seem to help much. Doppleganger helped, but it doesn't last that long.

I'm not mentioning any names because I still like my friend, and mostly he wasn't part of the problem. Furthermore, I don't really regret going, but I think I might ask who's tanking before I agree to go to RE2. Finally, it made me appreciate my guildies all that much more.

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