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.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Scary Beholders

Lately, Phritz (playing as the dwarven bard Profundo) and Karaya (Playing her badass drow rogue Veltena) and my redheaded self have been playing through an adventure pack in DDO known as "The Vault of Night".

Barrow d'Kunderak, in house Kunderak, wants to get his band adventuring party back together again, and asks you to contact his old partners. We did the first two earlier, and in "Prison of the Mind" we ran into beholders. And went splat.

I'm level 8, and Profundo, and I think Veltena are both level 7. So we're a bit under level for these adventures. "Prison of the Mind" ended with a fight with a high level caster that kept casting Disintegrate at us. And no, he never ran out of spell points. Boo!

We beat him, and the beholders, but it was ugly and involved a lot of reviving and drinking of grape juice in bars to regain my spell points.

Which set us up for doing the next step last Wednesday night. We had to travel through the "Gateway to Khyber" zone to do the "Jungle of Khyber" quest. Which was in a cave, not a jungle.

It wasn't in Afghanistan either. Though it maybe vaguely looked something like Khyber pass, pictured at right.

(I have a congenital defect that seems to render me incapable of taking screenshots during an adventure, so the picture of Khyber Pass will have to do. Anyway...)

We zoned into "Gateway to Khyber" We started across a big bridge. It had fallen down, so we had to go back and try the trail. I tried the trail on the right, while Profundo and Veltena tried the trail to the other right. Somehow we were spotted by trolls and attacked about the time I caught up with them. Veltena's hireling healer died. Oops! Assorted bad pulls later, and one nasty trick where some trolls spawn right in a perfect place to stand while you single pull from the next group later, and most of us had managed to die at least once. But we found the entrance and were in. They are trolls after all, we can handle trolls.

Bluff pulling is standard procedure for us. When Veltena bluff pulls trolls, I think it goes something like this: "Come over here big boy, I've got something to show you!"

Once inside, things are still pretty rocky. We lose the healer again at a point where there are drow archers and a mage in elevated positions where we can't melee them. The mage loves to throw ice storms and fireballs at us. We wipe.

So we have to go again, from the beginning. "Gateway to Khyber" goes much more smoothly this time, we have the zone down, and Veltena is still sexy. And she doesn't need a philtre of bluff +30.

We get past the drow mage on the catwalk like this: Veltena throws a dagger at him then dodges out of the way of the return shot of ice storm, fireball or whatever. Eventually he dies. I was dead all the while; during the fight in the previous room I moved a bit too close to the door to the room with that mage. I believe a transcript of the session might go something like this:

Me: "What the....? The ceiling is falling on me!!!? Ouch! Aughhhhhh!"

Veltena: "That was an ice storm, Tolly"

Me: [Silence because I'm dead]

But we get past the trolls and the drow and then we run into beholders. Tower, my melee hireling, can do pretty well against them, as long as he saves versus disintegrate. Unlike me, though, he can survive it if he doesn't. I can't take 187 points of damage, that's about 3x my maximum hit points. Another favorite beholder ability of mine is the anti-magic ray. I get hit with one of those and I'm a spectator. And they are quite liberal with it.

But some of these beholders are in spots where you can't melee them easily. And they won't pull to you either, they will just sit at range and throw disintegrate at you, with negative levels and anti-magic instead of fries as a side dish.

This is where Veltena remarked, "I really like how they made beholders really scary in this game, as opposed to in EQ" Who can remember going to East Karana and just trashing those stupid plushy versions of beholders? These are not your mother's beholders.

Veltena uses the dagger-and-dodge method to take a few more of these out. And we come to a room with a named troll in it, a drow caster, and a named beholder. The drow caster is bluffable, and comes around the corner expecting a warm embrace from Veltena. And he gets one, sort of. One down. The other two are more difficult. But our cause is aided by the fact that there is a resurrection shrine nearby. Of course, your redheaded correspondent stupidly trained the mobs into the room with the rez shrine, only to die there and leave them guarding it. Fortunately, Tower was able to rez and train them back out before dying. Eventually we dropped the beholder, mostly by letting Tower melee him with me repairing Tower.

And then the troll was more straightforward, though tough. Those last two were DC 19 and 17 respectively if memory serves.
(UPDATE: Rita/Veletena claims that the named beholder was CR 17 and the troll was only CR 12. She's probably right.)

And then we were on to the final battle of this dungeon, fighting the gigantic golem named Inevitable, who is pursuing Veil, the rogue that once was part of Barrow's adventuring party. Well, it turns out she's a vampire now, but that doesn't really matter, since she's just going to stand in this circle of protection while we fight the giant golem, M'kay?

The golem bested us. There's no way to revive, since once you start the encounter, all the doors are locked shut. While Tower was meleeing, I alternated between casting Cure Serious and using my wand of Cure Critical Wounds, because I avoid some recast timers that way. It still wasn't enough, I couldn't keep up. Once Tower dropped. I got off a couple of damage spells which found their mark, and Inevitable started chasing me. This went on for quite a while, but Veltena wasn't really able to stick any damage on the golem. Note for future runs: we need Anarchic weapons to avoid Inevitable's damage resistance. I'm not sure how Profundo died. I think it was 2am in my time zone by then, and we called it rather than run the whole two dungeons a third time. But next time we'll get him!

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Blogger Rita said...

Yikes, Tolly. Typos galore! I had a good LOL at "I went right, while Profundo and Veltena ventured to the right." ;)

Also I liked the part where Tower died fighting the Inevitable, and then Tower turned and started chasing you. Oh the horror! ;D

I'm pretty sure the named beholder was only CR 17, and the troll was CR 12. And the named drow with them was made out of cupcakes, it seemed.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Phritz/profundo said...

For the record:

Profundo died heroically. I.E., doing something really stupid.

I got behind the Inevitable, and started wailing on him with a sonic mace. So, ok, not the best of items but I am seeing 1s and 2s going up, instead of a steady stream of 0s from everything else I tried.

Then, for reasons I can't explain, Tower shifted a bit, and I suddenly was in FRONT of the jackhammer, and took wham-wham-wham-dead yet? damage.

Next time, I bring a personal healer.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Toldain said...

@Rita, Ok, I fixed most all of the typos I found. Y'all went to that other right.

2:47 PM  

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