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, November 21, 2008

Large Bakron Rap

Baubleshire, Qeynos: D.I.R.T.Y. announced a new project today, intended to plumb the mysteries of the nature of magic, and the universe. This project, known as the Large Bakron Collider project, will be led by Fissable Wockle of Baubleshire.

Wockle said that his team would attempt to discover more about the nature of our universe by arranging for very high speed collisions of assorted objects. This will require that they build the largest catapults ever seen on Norrath, capable of flinging a Faeberry pie across Sinking Sands in a tenth of a second.

The project will involve several such catapults, finely calibrated and timed so as to create a collision of pastries over the more empty regions of Sinking Sands. The project also plans to build a Lag Induction device, which Wockle said would be necessary to capture and study the collision in detail.

"It happens all too quickly for us to study otherwise," said Wockle. "The Lag Inducer will create a moment where nothing seems to be happining in the world, even though our perceptions continue as normal. It will be highly beneficial to our research."

When asked what materials they would be colliding, Wockle said, "Well, pies are ideal, since pie is a fundamental constant in the universe, relating the circle and the straight line. Because, you see, pies are circular, but you cut them with a straight line. There are several theoretical particles we expect to observe, such as the pie maysom (short for pie may-I-have-some), and the pie delectron. But really any sort of pastry will probably show us something interesting."

Wockle went on, "We're hoping to get pies from Roselia Goldencrust, who has expressed interest, though she's had some problem with pranksters lately, who have swapped her pies for bags of gold, which is quite useless for our purposes. Now if only they had left her some lead."

Below is a song and video which is a parody of the Large Bakron Collider project produced by some student pranksters in Freeport.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008


There is a brand new web service called Typealyzer which will read your blog and calculate a Myers-Briggs personality type for you. I've taken the test many times, and come out as an INTJ. But Typalyzer has me as an ISTP. Swapping P and J is no biggie, it's always very close between them when I test this. But S instead of N is a huge shift, I'm usually very strongly N.

If you aren't familiar with Meyers-Briggs, let me run this down. N is described as "intuitive" and S is described as "sensate". (That's sensate, not sensual, get your mind out of the gutter.) N's like to go with the world of the mind and imagination, whereas "S" types are all about hands-on, concrete reality, sweat, toil, and axle grease.

I'm definitely N, though I've cultivated my S side some lately.

But when I write this blog, there's nothing obvious that turns it into a game taking place in a good part in my (and others') mind. So I use a lot of words like "hit", "attack", "make", "craft", that are the sort of words that "S" types use.

West Karana is rated as an ESTP, and I'd be willing to bet that it ought to be ENTP. Tipa has mentioned that she has a programming background, and programmers and S types just don't intersect much.

I'm going to be snickering about this the rest of today.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coming Soon: Virtual Divorce

Via Amber, I find this story, which can be summed up as something age-old: Boy meets Girl, Boy marries Girl, Boy has affair with Hooker, Girl hires detective, Girl catches Boy, Girl divorces Boy. You've heard all that before, it's been going on since the invention of sex. Except in this story, all but the last of those events took place online, mostly in Second Life.

That's right, she hired an online detective to follow him. I'd sign up for that job if I didn't have to spend my time dealing with the likes of these people. Let's face it, it's a lot less dangerous than being a real-life detective. Of course, there's a lot smaller likelyhood of getting paid, too.

But the real bull market here is for gossip sheets that rehash this kind of thing for the amusement of their readers. When is someone going to do something like that? Or better yet, an online version of a "confrontation talk show".




"Lords and Ladies, my name is Jheri Springrain, and this is the Jhery Springrain show!", the blond high elf with the pretty teeth announces. "Today's guest is Mistee, a Fury from Willow Wood who caught her husband cheating on her. Mistee, welcome!"

"Hi Jheri," says the pretty wood elf.

"You caught your husband, Buurrp, cheating on you online?"

"Yes, Jheri, that creep was doing it in Kylong plains with some hussy right by the sokokor post near Fens. He thought he was safe because he had all my characters on his friends list, and would know if I logged on."

"How did you and Buurrp first meet?"

"Well, Jheri, we met in a pickup group in Rivervale a few years back, and I just though he was so cute hacking those dryads to bits!"

"And you got married?"

"Oh yes, we had a big wedding in the Temple of Life and then threw a big party at my parent's house in South Qeynos. We had to send people to train the guards away so our friends from Freeport could come."

"So, Misstee, how did you find out he was cheating?"

"Well, I hired an online investigator to follow him for me."

"So the investigator got you screenshots?"

"Actually, Jheri, I went over to his office. His name is Isneek Forpie, by the way. I went over to Isneek's office. And I watched the whole thing over his shoulder. It turns out Buurrp was very predictable."

"Now we have a little surprise for you Misstee. It turns out Buurrp is here, and he has something to say to you."

In walks a dwarf, with hammer over shoulder, beard neatly combed, hair slicked down, and a clean chain shirt. "I'm really sorry, Misstee, won't you please forgive me?"

"You jerk!"

"Really, Misstee, it was a mistake. She didn't mean anything to me! She was just a pickup group!"

"You think you can just say 'I'm sorry' and that's the end of it? I've had it with you!" Misstee's hand begins to crackle with energy as she gesticulates.


"Ouch, Misstee, that hurt! But I can take it, I'm a great tank, everyone says so, and I'll tank this if it will win you back."

"That didn't hurt half as much as you hurt me! Want some more? Because that's what you'll get if you keep trying to get back in my life. I used to think your beard was all cute and stuff and I loved that funky smell until I figured out that it was just vomit."

Jheri cuts in at this moment, "So now that we know how Buurrp feels, we have one more person to hear from. Our next guest is the third person involved, and she goes by the handle of V'xyn, and she hails from Neriak."

"Hi Jheri!"

"Welcome to the show, V'xyn! Now why don't you tell us how you got involved with Buurrp."

"Well, it's simple Jheri, very simple. We both had something that the other wanted. For my part, my body, my attitude and my pet."

"Your pet?"

"Well, you see Jheri, I'm a necromancer, and Buurrp really loves it when my pets play with him and tickle his, ummm, toes."

"That's GROSS! Did you really have sex with a skeleton?", Mistee shrieks, looking revolted.

"Umm, errr, ..." stammers Buurrp.

"No dear," cuts in V'xyn smoothly, "He was much more interested in the succubus. It made for kind of a 2 and 3/4ths-some. He was incredibly turned-on by it. Which is more than you can manage, from what I hear."

"Why you!..." Misstee's hand crackles again.

"You seem just a little bit stuck on your Energy Vortex, Misstee, dear. Maybe you should have thought about using your hands for something other than casting Lightning Bolt? You've heard of Dire Salve, haven't you?"

"I'll tear your eyes out, you bitch!" screams Misstee as she lunges for V'xyn.

Just then there was some odd music as Jheri makes a quick gesture and Mistee stops dead and stares off into the distance.

"Don't touch, her, and call off your pet." Jheris says firmly to V'xyn. "And no AE's from you either," he says to Buurrp, who has both arms out and is about to spin. "And especially no DOTs!!!" V'xyn and Buurrp sit back in their seats after a moment.

"And what did you see in Buurrp?", asks Jheri.

"Well, I could see that he was an awesome tank, and a man of means, and he had what I was looking for...plat!"

"So it was a commercial transaction? Is that what your saying?" Jheri raises his eyebrows.

"That would be illegal, Jheri!" V'xyn says and her eyes sparkle.

"Well, Buurrp, what do you have to say? What attracted you V'xyn?"

"Well, she sent me some tells that were really smoking, and well, just look at her!", says Buurrp, staring at V'xyn.

Misstee seems awake again and has been pacified somewhat. "Yeah, she sends tells to every single guy at Fish's Follies, I bet. She's the warmup for the Antonia Bayle lookalike stripper."

"Don't be silly dear," says V'xyn, "that is the real Antonia Bayle, and we of course give the Queen the place of honor in our show."

"Yeah, and I'm Lucan D'Lere. I'm through with you, you loser! Don't ever talk to me again!" Mistee says to Buurrp and then walks off the set.

"Well, Buurrp, what now?"

"Well, I guess I'll go grind some faction with the Rylissians, those lizard girls are kind of hot."

"And you, V'xyn?"

"Jheri, my dear, I will be available for private performances, I mean pickup groups. I mentor to any level. Just check out my website at"

"That's our show for today, folks. Tomorrow we will have some members of a guild accused of bypassing content on our show. See you then!"

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There is Joy in Mudville

While I'm quivering with anticipation for The Shadow Odyssey, I glanced through the notes for LU50, which also goes out today. And while there's nothing specific to Illusionists, and only one small change to Coercers, there are several items of interest to Bruisers.

First, the defensive stances of all Brawlers have been improved defensively, with a bigger boost to parry and agility. The combination stances also boost parry. Parry boosts are nice because some percentage of parries can be turned into ripostes. We even have AA abilities that make our parries more frequent and deadly. So that's good, maybe it will mean these defensive stances actually get used.

I note that Shield Block chances have stopped being uncontested, and instead have become a multiplier. So Brawlers are getting something of a boost to avoidance, while plate tanks are getting a bit of a nerf. It kind of almost feels like someone was listening to my rant on avoidance vs. mitigation. Nahhhh.

The Bruiser raid-buff Brutality has been changed so that instead of providing a raid-wide damage adder, it increases base damage raid-wide. Since damage adders are limited to 50 percent of rolled damage, and most people can hit that cap with their own gear, this will be a lot more useful, and most groups and raids with Bruisers will see an immediate boost in DPS with this change.

Another big change is with the Brawler AA Strength line. Many of the abilities in this line could only be used when the brawler was completely unarmed. Which meant, for example, that they couldn't be used with the epic weapon. For example, Relentless Punches gave a DPS boost, only when unarmed. Claw Reversal gave an uncontested Riposte chance with no Parry precondition. Up to 5% at full power. But only when unarmed. It wasn't meant to be something that any high-level brawler would want to put AA points into, but something that could help the new brawlers level up without spending a lot on weapons.

But this expansion is adding more AA points, and making leveling of all lower level toons faster, so that's less of an issue, and it's been a sore point with Brawlers since, well, forever. So there is much rejoicing in Brawlerland, or, as I like to call it, Mudville.

The Bruiser level 80 signature ability, Divide and Conquer, has a position boost and is uninterruptible. I'm not sure if the position boost applies to the entire encounter, or just the half that you are snapping, but it couldn't hurt.

Bruisers now have 3 solid snap-aggro tools, since D&C will work on a single mob. And we have several "you can't touch me" abilities that last for a short period, cancelling stuns, roots, mezzes, stifles, etc. as well as a spell. And a better raid buff. So maybe they will be a little less unpopular with raiders.

After all, a bruiser could be a premier puller, since they excel at not getting stuck on the pull, can drag the mob around, and shake off a big leadoff spell, like a harm touch. Then they can FD and hand it over to a plate tank, who isn't as likely to get one-shotted. D&C might be good for soaking off a swarm for a few seconds. Much depends on the design of the raid encounters in TSO.

UPDATE: Karaya informs me, in comments, that the change to mezzing of possessed essences is a good thing, not a nerf. She oughta know. I've updated the text to reflect this.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

The People's Republic of Glory

My guild on Butcherblock, formerly Highkeep, was founded by players and friends from an old Everquest guild, Blades of Glory. We called it Shards of Glory, to link to the old guild, and to, er, celebrate the shards we were leaving all over Norrath. (Remember shards?). In those days, our guild leader Phritz made all BOG members into officers, and basically anyone he trusted became an officer.

Times change. The leaders (we have 3 coleaders, Phritz, Milia and myself) and some officers were discussing changing the structure so that members wouldn't get the feeling that they were second-class citizens because they weren't officers. We wanted the officer position to only go to people who were actually going to do some kind of administrative chore for the guild. So we made some changes and I sent out this mail to the guild, which I am now sharing with you. Just because.

The People's Republic of Glory (PROG) has taken over the guild formerly known as Shards of Glory. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of leftover stationary with "Shards of Glory" printed on it, so we will continue using that name on all official correspondence.

PROG will be ruled by a triumvirated of Tyrants: Phritz LePurr, Milia Flibertigibbet, and Toldain Darkwater. Any resemblence to your former leaders is purely coincidental, as we are nothing like those bourgeois decadents. We are really mean, I'm telling you.

We have also reorganized the titles for our membership. We recognize three co-equal ranks of members: Pirates, Ninjas, and Vikings. We have arbitrarily assigned you to one of these ranks, though we could switch you, for a suitable bribe, er, gratuity. Probably even for a smile, or a kind word. Or a cookie.

We have renamed Officer to Minion to better reflect the meaning of the rank. Many inactive members have been moved out of the Minion rank, since we don't want any Minions who aren't at our immediate beck and call.

We will be placing inactive members in the Exile category, and new members will be Rabble until they have shown themselves worthy of full membership.

That is all.

Kudos to my RL daughter for coming up with the category Viking to go with Ninja and Pirate. Lobi (my RL wife, and another founder of SOG) suggested, after the fact, that instead of People's Republic of Glory, we should have been Free Republic of Glory--FROG

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