Monday, 3 November 2014

Beginning of a new story

So I've started playing RoD again! After 8ish years away from the game, I found my way back to a shiny new pre-auth area (the Sunless Sea). But let's backtrack a bit...

I started Realms of Despair in 2000 (approx.) because my friend played it and I decided, after some persuasion, to try it out. I was immediately hooked, but most unfortunately, sucked really, really badly. Every time my character died (which happened inevitably because I was too curious to foray into naga/Asp caverns), I was unable to CR, and thus abandoned that character.

Eventually a character stuck: Rentuke, the half-elf mage. Terrible stats. But for whatever reason, I kept with it. I was a terrible noob who didn't know much and didn't learn well, but with some help from Minevra, I was able to join GoM. There I got to know a lot of folks and, after an embarrassingly long amount of time, reached avatar. I enjoyed a good stint in GoM, joined the Newbie Council at some point, avatar'd a thief, moved from GoM to Baali to follow after my MUD-family (the Starsword-Belforte family), avatar'd a few new characters/sold some of those characters, and ended up with a mage (Rentuke), thief (Vedenyx), vampire (Curt), ranger (Adalia, storage character), and a warrior (Riathamus). The characters I sold were my first thief (Arystle), druid (Finnbarr), and nephandi (Trey).

However, when I went for my first year in university, I found out I couldn't really MUD. Any command I typed it had an unbearable amount of least 15 seconds. Which means I can't really help people in need, I can't join runs because I'd be running minimum 10 rounds behind, and I couldn't really chat. So I quit MUDding.

Every so often I'd check in with Rentuke and Curt (I sorta mained on both of them...I was online on Curt most of the time, but I could never give up on Rentuke because he holds a very dear place in my heart). Once every half year...once every year...once every two years..........MUDding faded from my mind. Even though I was able to MUD again, I wasn't even a thing in my brain anymore. I moved on to different games. Not WoW, haha. League of Legends, Dota2, random Steam games, etc.

I got married back in August. I love my wife, we have a great home life, and I pull in relatively steady work as a freelancer. So things are going pretty well. But I was getting one day, while at work, I decided to check out Realms one more time. I wanted to roll a new character and try my hand at a fresh start. I wanted a character that would be self-sufficient for a newbie (ie. not nephandi, not bladesinger (I've never been into pkill...nothing against it, and I do play games with pvp in it...but I've simply never been interested in pkill on Realms), not cleric, etc.) I didn't want a vamp because I still had I decided on a strong melee type: a warrior, thief, ranger, or paladin. I decided against thief because I figured I could level up and then later roll a thief if I ever got around to running things. I decided against warrior because I wanted something that could cast spells (I'm a bit of a caster at heart!)...and back in 2000, paladins weren't exactly the hottest class around. Then again, neither were rangers. But I just had this poor mental image of paladins in my head, so I made a ranger: Foraker!

I was fine for the first few levels, and was about level 10 and in Shattered Refuge levelling up off gnomes and hobgoblins when Sarakin struck up a chat with me, out of the blue. Sarakin is currently the leader of the Order of Arcanes (which brought back memories due to my friendship with Woodruf, an old member of Arcanes and the root behind why I started Realms in the first place, years ago). He said that if I was interested, I could join Arcanes - eager to get into a welcoming group who could help me learn the ropes again, I got my characters outcasted from Baali (thanks, Romani!) and into Arcanes.

Sadly, most of them were gone. Adalia, Vedenyx, and Riathamus had all auto-deleted and could not be restored. And that storage character with a lot of decent to high gear (plus levelling equipment and sentimental items), my above-average gear neut thief, and my above-average gear warrior, were all gone. I was left with a mediocre mage and a slightly above-average vampire...the latter of which can't be inducted into the Arcanes because the theme of that order is mana-using spellcasters, and vampires utilize bloodpoints instead of manapoints.

But I was in Arcanes! And I got to meet some fantastic new people and learn the game again. After reaching avatar on Foraker, I tried to head over to Dragon's Pass to make a Dragon Claw of Legend. I killed one dragon (the red one), then got my butt whooped. Iantine then offered me a helping hand by using his mage to immobilize the dragons. Dragon Claw of Legend was obtained shortly afterwards. I received a lot of help in general beyond that, from a free pair of Ring of Kings, to a free pair of devout scales, to a free Mark of the Beast...along with tons upon tons of advice.

Then I created and leveled up an augurer, Charis. The reason I chose an augurer is because I wanted to be able to join runs, and some people in Arcanes were saying augurers could be useful due to spiral blast dealing nonmagic damage, therefore hitting a lot of enemies and not being reliant on circle. Then I leveled up a cleric, Graham, and made Graham my new main character. I want to re-join the NC, and I think a cleric will make helping newbies a lot easier than being a ranger. Dunno, could be wrong, but I like Graham. Annale, who is still around (and has risen to become the leader of Ascendere, yay!), was adamant about the power and awesomeness of clerics, heh.

After Graham, I leveled a thief, Grayson. Unfortunately, I got terrible, terrible luck with his base hp. I got a single 17 in 50 levels, a pair of 16s, about eight 15s, probably twelve-ish 14s, and the rest were 12s and 13s. In the final ten levels, one was a 16. One was a 13. The other eight were 12s. So I ended up with a legendary base of 698.......definitely will have to roll a new thief and hope I get better luck next time.

I was frustrated with leveling up due to Grayson's crappy base. It was really demotivating to see 12 after 12 after 12 on levelup, no matter what I did. I tried changing luck, changing equipment, trying to level up while ip2, ip3, or difference. So I felt fed up with levelling....but then I started a new paladin anyway because Maall seems to be absolutely DESTROYING things solo with his paladin....and I reached avatar in 3.5 days. Which is unheard of for me. Other people can do it faster...but for me, this was new ground! Paladins were really, really easy to level, despite needing a lot of exp in the later levels.

But I stripped some of the better equipment off of Foraker (a partial storage character now, anyway), and slapped it on my shiny new paladin, Arstotzka. And now I'm ready and eager to learn how to kill things again!

Today my target was Ben. One of the changes during my absence was the concept of "eqsets"; pieces of equipment that belong to a set that, when several pieces are worn, grant an extra bonus. I decided to get the fighter eqset because the Arcanes donations already had the shield. There are four pieces in the fighter eqset: the shield, the boots, the visor, and the (layerable) body mail. With the shield in my possession, I moved on to the boots. It was a simple enough fetch-quest out in The Mire, which I've never been to before. But this is where I realized something about myself, which I'll outline later.

Now with the shield and the boots, I only needed one more piece between the visor and the mail; even though the set has four pieces, it only requires three to be worn in order to gain the bonus. I inquired about the mail to see how tough it would be (as it is generally the better piece of equipment), but found out the mobile that I'd have to defeat to get it is currently way out of my league. So I settled on the visor, which was on a wandering mobile that is probably low to somewhat below-average difficulty. The mob in question is Ben, who spawns in the Town of Solace.

Directions to the Town of Solace from Darkhaven Square:
nw, 2w, 4n, e, look painting, open north, n, 23w, 4n

My first real mob-run since returning! I looked Ben up on Rodpedia for some advice on how to best take on Ben. First, I would have to disarm him using my thief or vampire, then steal the weapon from his inventory. The reason for this is because if Ben is wielding his sword, Dragonslicer, he would regenerate hp faster, land more melee hits, as well as activate his damage program more often, which can get really nasty. His damage program ranges from a simple 100ish damage hit to a 700ish damage hit. To put this in context, my paladin has 1500 hp. So yeah, I needed to get his sword off him.

I used my thief, Grayson, to disarm and then flee out. I slowly logged out/back in to reset Ben's aggro, then moved in to steal...only to find out, just before starting the fight, that he had re-wielded his sword. Cue another disarm and flee, then a quick log and voila, a successful steal! Now that I had his Dragonslicer, all I needed was for him to be..well, dead.

Ben is IP1 (not sure what the consequence is for multi-IP, probably just hits a lot harder/heals a lot faster), so I switched over to Arstotzka, made sure my spells were all up, and then started the fight. It was still surprisingly tough at first; a few other random mobs of no consequence joined the fight, but I got into a rhythm and it was no big deal. I was slowly chipping away at Ben and was feeling good about it...until something invisible entered the room and attacked. I still don't know what it was because it remained invisible during the fight, meaning it's likely mobinvis/wizinvis. Sadly, I was gouged and then quickly dispatched.

I waited for a while to see if Ben would leave Solace, so I wouldn't have to risk the invis mob again...but I was short on time, so I asked Maall if he could hit for me while I tanked, to speed it up. Fortunately he had some spare time and, with his help, Ben went down! The visor is now mine and I have three pieces of the Dragonlord equipment set, and more importantly, my first real mobkill under my belt!

I have to get going, but here's the two things I learned:
- I have an irrational fear of exploration. Even in The Mire, I felt apprehensive walking around, afraid I was going to die at any step. I need to get a grip. Dying isn't the worst thing that can happen in the Realms.
- I need to prepare more for fights. I tried to manually manage my true sights during the fight with Ben, but still messed up a few times and was lucky to survive despite getting blinded a few times. I need to do more preparation pre-fight, starting with true sight triggers to make sure I have virtually 100% uptime on trues.

Anyhow, that's about it for my first post! Glad to be back and running around the Realms again!

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