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@#$!%#%^#@! March 31, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2.
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We raided Tomb of the Mad Crusader and Strange Stalker last night. We killed through the snake in TotMC who dropped the Coercer TSO boot pattern. I only had to win the roll against one other person, I lost. I shall speak no more of last nights raid as it is still a sensitive subject with me.

I’m upset enough I’d love to take a break from raiding but at this point there aren’t many people in line in front of me for loot anymore so I’d only be screwing myself ;)

Gu51 is finally out! New zones! I’m excited about it. Unfortunately Sinnir is leaving on vacation to go visit her family for the next two weeks, so no wife and no Templar for me for twwwwoooo weeeeeekkkksss. I’m trying to decide which I will miss the most. (just kidding honey <3). I suppose we’ll be recruiting a new healer to cover for a bit. Ladies, the line forms to my left. (just kidding again Honey <3)

Two weeks of bachelorhood. I will either play a whole lot of EQ or not play much at all and catch up on some movies and let my frustrations die down.


There was a time when that sentence would look completely different. I just don’t really have the interest for the wild times that I once had. Am I getting old or am I maturing?

Don’t answer that.


Castillion Raid’Killer March 30, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Back in the saddle!

It’s been a busy few days since my last post on Thursday.

First off, Thursday night, or as I shall refer to it, Black Thursday. A guild mate was hosting an open Kor’sha raid to get an update for his alt and asked Second String to come. Now, generally, we would have passed as adding another raid on a 4-day-a-week raiding schedule is just a little much for us, but Seeb needed the Overking as an update for his myth, so Anep, Sasspanz, Taylona, Sinnir, Seeb and I (Castillion) headed over to Chardok. There were a couple of other guildies in the raid that needed updates, but the raid was made up primarily of random people from 70-79.

It’s hard to describe the raid without sounding to braggy about Second String. I will say that it’s amazing how much of an impact one group of people can have on a raid. Anep, Sasspanz and I were making up 55% to 65% of the entire raid’s DPS between the three of us and our group was the MT group.

We cut through the mobs fairly quickly with a couple of fights of note. (as an aside, I know this is going to sound cocky as hell, and like a lot of bragging, but damn it I am proud of Second String.)

First, Aktar the Dark and Uthak the Cruel. Typically for this fight, you have 3 chanters mezzing the adds, and 2 tanks, one for Akter and one for Uthak. We did have two tanks, but we only had one chanter, me. The plan was for me to mez two adds for the entire fight while Anep tanked Uthak and one add and the other tank tanked the harder named, Aktar. Sounds good. We pull, I mez two adds, Anep grabs Uthak, the extra add, and, for good measure, Aktar too and proceeds to tank them all. We blow the first add up in record time, and I figure Anep is good, so I just though snap the other two adds on him too instead of mezzing. I mean, really, mezzing fucks up my parse. He tanked the whole room and we killed them in record time. It was funny. Anep is really quite the tank.

The second fight worth mentioning is the Twins. Now, and again typically, a raid would split into half with two groups on one twin and two groups on the other. This is what the raid leader originally suggested, and I counter suggested that we just let the MT group (Second String) take one mob while the rest of the raid takes the other. I really wasn’t trying to sound dicky at the time, but our group was already doing 60%-65% of the raid DPS, so adding more to us just didn’t make sense really. I still had to break off of our mob and go help the other side DPS as it was ;)

Finally, the Overking. I was a little nervous about this mob. I’ve been in plenty of raids where the rest of the zone goes flawlessly until the Overking, then it’s like running into a brick wall. We strapped up however and got ready for the pull. As awlays, the MT group would be on OK, while the rest of the raid took care of the adds and blobs. I would be responsible for disarming the Overking, which is not big deal as I have pretty much been responsible for disarming the Overking on every Kor-sha raid I have ever been on. So, I equipped my tuning fork, we all said we were ready, and we pulled.

Wait a second…back the truck up..did I just say I equipped my tuning fork?

Why, yes, yes I did. I equipped the tuning fork used on the Maestro in Shard of Hate to disarm the Overking in Kor-Sha. Needless to say, it didn’t work, and two wipes later when I realized what was going on, I switched to the wand and we killed him.

Another raid wiped by Castillion. I should really get a statuette or something for this. It has to be an accomplishment worthy of recognition.

Now, in my own defense, I do have a bag full of clickies for raid mobs and I am usually responsible for clicking the damn things. Isydryl’s Wand for the Overking, The Tuning Fork for the Maestro, The Greenmist Orb, the Mystmyrian Soulcube for Venril Sathir, some new thing from Varsoon for Pentaclypse I think, the freeze ray you use on the first two named in Palace of the Ancient One…hmm…I’m surprised I haven’t clicked the wrong thing on the wrong mob before ;)

It was a fun raid though and we were glad we went afterwards, even if we were dreading it a little.

The rest of the weekend was spent in typical SS style. We hung out, we had some drinks, and we killed a bunch of stuff, including Varsoon once or twice. There were a few raids mixed in (I didn’t win any loot yet) and lots of laughs.

Tonight is a raid night, so I’ll fill ya in tomorrow!

Carebear Stare. March 26, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Busy Busy at work, so have had hardly any time for updates the past couple of days. I’ve still made time for EQ2 however, a man has to have his priorities ;)

It’s been a relatively quiet couple of days in-game.

Tuesday night we got a late start, so we decided to just hit Protector’s Realm. We took one group in, and not the most efficient group:

Anep – 80 SK
Castillion – 80 Coercer
Sasspanz – 80 Assassin
Rhesus – 80 Warden
Sinnir – 80 Templar
Taylona – 80 Fury

Yes, one group, 3 healers, and we were still able to kill Doomcoil. We ended up with 3 masters, 3 Crystallized Mana, and we brought Seeb in to loot the sword from Doomcoil. We ended up making about 30 plat each after the manas were sold. Not a bad little run!

We followed it up with Crucible. No exciting drops, but we passed some pieces on to guildmates.

Last night was raid night and we were back in Tomb of the Mad Crusader. We managed to kill the snake again. No exciting drops, at least in my opinion ;)

We then headed over to Palace of Ferzhul and cleared everything but Varsoon as it was late and we were feeling lazy. Anep got the 2 spell crit/2 Spell crit Bonus/GVB cloak as I already had it. He’s now one step closer to realizing his dream of becoming a true caster. He should really just slap on a robe and call it a day; he’s not going to be happy until he does.

Oh, also, I decided to take Castillion out for some dueling. There were a ton of people running around SS dueling and calling each other out. So, I put my cocky bastard hat on and headed over there. I was promptly handed my ass by most of the people over there and I decided that dueling wasn’t really for me and slinked back to the comfortable embrace of PVE meekly displaying my carebear badge.

Tonight, I have no idea what we have on the agenda. I’m sure it will be an adventure,  most nights with these crazy bastards turn out that way.

Blavek lost the Game. March 24, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Woo boy, I am exhausted today for some reason. I’ve had the mind fog since I woke up.

I was having the most awesome dream this morning when I woke up. It was fantastical, it was about some strange voyage/adventure but I can’t remember anything about it now. It sucks because all I have left is some vague feeling of awesomeness associated with it.

Last night the guild zoned into Inner Stronghold to give the Strange Stalker some work. It was our first real time in there and our first pull on the Strange Stalker. He died. It was awesome. He dropped a pattern for the coercer TSO gloves that I didn’t roll on as I have the Dark Mail Gauntlets. He also dropped a really nice melee/ranger ring.

I told you a couple of days ago that some of us were being deviant. Well our plans came to fruition last night. There’s a dirge in our guild, Blavek, whom we all poke fun at. He’s a good natured guy and we all get along, but the running joke is how Blavek Lost the Game. Well, we went through the trouble of making a guild called Blavek Lost the Game and last night during the raid, we made sure it hit level 10 so it was broadcast to the entire server ;) I know it’s funnier to me because I was there, but damn it made me laugh. It was a lot of trouble for a little joke, but it was worth it!

Tonight I think Second String is going to head back into PR to one group it for plat, then it’s off to palace for more gear farming. I’m certainly looking forward to it ;)

Who was the evil version? March 23, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Well it wasn’t a hugely productive weekend, but it was fun non-the-less.

Friday night Palace of the Ancient One was the scheduled raid, but the servers had other ideas. 1.5 hours of server downtime right at the start of raid time is a raid killer ;) So, as that was off the agenda, when the servers came up we decided to Second String Protector’s Realm again. We went in there with 9 people..again..and managed to kill Doomcoil this time.

I forgot to mention that it was Sasspanz’s birthday so we were all celebrating….especially Sass. Where does Second String go when we are feeling no pain? Yes, Palace of Ferzhul. There’s something about being hammered and watching drunk folk try to run up those stairs that just makes us giggle. So after PR we ran over there.

We actually managed to kill everything up to Varsoon but I think Sass had stripped naked, ran around the parking lot of her apartment complex, tried to jump out of a window, sang us some songs on vent that were indistinguishable as far as artist or title, and had finally fallen over and started drooling on her keyboard by the time we got to Varsoon’s room.

Happy Birthday Sass ;) I hope Anep didn’t have too much cleaning to do the next day.

Since Sass and Anep were off the rest of the weekend celebrating, that left Saturday pretty free. We did have a raid, VP, which we finished clearing the zone. It was fun!

I then hopped over to Saynt and did a pick up group for Deep Forge and then Scion. I killed them..a lot. I actually started to feel bad. Here’s a hint though, when tank says stay here I will pull back to you, it doesn’t mean see how close you can get to his ass without touching it when he’s pulling. You die like that. Of course, a lot of the deaths were my fault too, I was newbing it up and moving too fast/pulling too much for the group we had. I had to change the pace a little and we did much better.

That was enough to remind me why I shouldn’t be tanking for pick up groups, so I swapped over to Castillion and decided to try and pug a little on him, at least that way I can make fun of the tank for killing us instead of being the tank that is killing us. I did a couple of small things, then I got a tell from a friend, who is a great Paladin, asking if I’d like to do Palace of Ferzhul as well as kill Varsoon. I immediately said, “Hell yes”.

We formed up and he proceeded to make, what I thought at the time, a pretty weird group setup – Paladin, Coercer, Illusionist, Dirge, Troubadour, and Defiler. I thought to myself “4 utility classes and one healer for Varsoon, this should be fun” Well, it was! That group set up is just sickening with everyone buffing each other’s DPS, it was outrageous. I was parsing higher than I have ever parsed, and higher than I thought I could parse ;) The illy was outparsing me, but I felt ok about that as he was a hardcore raider from one of the new MistMoore high-end guilds and was very well-geared. I was giving him a run for his money though, and beating him sometimes, which is not bad for my poor little no-raid-gear Coercer ;)

Also, he was dressed exactly like me. Freaky. It was like Bizzarro Castillion.

The 4 spell crit, Greater Void Bane bracer dropped from Varsoon and I won it! I think that takes me down to maybe 4 pieces of TSO instance gear that I’d still like to get, with none of the peices being a huge upgrade over what I have – the Veksar2 base Damage Belt (I have the mutagenic belt from Atrebe’s), the forearm piece from Necrotic Asylum, the Obesession Wristlet from Varsoon (although I have the GVB wrist and the Bangle of Portals), and the Ring of Readiness from Najena’s Hollow Tower.

By the time I get those pieces, the Lavastorm update and x2 raid zone will be in the game and I should have more carrots to chase ;)

Tonight I think we are venturing into Inner Stronghold to give Strange Stalker a go. Wish us luck!

Lag Kills. March 20, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Paybacks are hell. Varsoon pwned some newbs last night. We pulled him and pulled him and pulled him and could not kill him. I felt really badly for Anep’s friend that we brought, he didn’t get his update :(

Why couldn’t we kill him? The lag in Palace was horrendous last night and unfortunately this event is not lag friendly. We knew it was going to be an issue and even relogged before we tried killing him, but it just never went away. 1 second spell lag in this event can be the difference between interrupting his curse and not interrupting his curse, and in the blades room that’s the difference between life and death. Lag in the fire room means slow heals, which means dead group. We weren’t able to get him to the life room. It was ridiculous and incredibly irritating. I hope it’s better this weekend.

That’s pretty much all we did last night besides sit in the guild hall and duel each other. Anep is a freaking monster on his SK and hardly anyone can beat him, so we all have to try occasionally. I managed to slaughter him several times though. A Shadowknight getting spanked by a cloth-wearing nerd. How embarassing.

(Ok I had to ask him not to use Death Touch, and after a few deaths he pumped up his resists and killed me, but whatev.)

Switching gears somewhat, it’s that time again. After the guardian experiment, which was followed by the guardian failure, I’ve been thinking of what alt to create next. We also have this shiny new third account that we really haven’t used yet. I’ve created a warlock to sate my DPS needs, but I don’t know if that’s the wisest choice at the moment. I currently have a level 80 Paladin, Coercer, and Swashbuckler. I’d like to add a healer to the mix, as I’ve talked about before, but I just can’t get into the defiler, or shaman in general; I don’t want an inquisitor, and druids really aren’t my cup of tea, that leaves Templar.

I’ve avoided the Templar thus far because of Sinnir and I don’t really want to be schooled by my wife’s mad healing skillz. I’m starting to get the itch though and the more I think about it the more I want to create one. I’m thinking high elf templar. Oh yes. The decision is made. I will create a templar and I will show Sinnir how to REALLY heal. Screw her! I WILL BE THE HIGH PREIST IN THIS HIZZOUSE! (just kidding babe <3)

Yep, gonna do it. I will dink around with it this weekend. Luckily I have Saynt to Mentor and box with, so it shouldn’t be horribly painful leveling. So, we’ve decided High Elf (my warlock is high elf and I have a look I like) Templar, now to think of a name. The hardest part!

We all know I will not stick with an alt now that I’ve made Castillion, but let’s all pretend.

We also have some raids in some zones this weekend. I forget where. Raids are just places I go to punish myself as I watch loot slip through my fingers. It’s my penance. I deserve the pain. It cleanses my sins.


Dwarves have good ideas too. March 19, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2.
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Kilanna over a Dwarven Runes made an interesting post yesterday. She pondered what our choice of character says about our personalities.

I think this is an interesting question and one I’ve thought about over the years too. Just what does our choice of character race and character class say about us?

I’ve typically played two races in my entire 10 year MMORPG career, barbarians and humans. Of course I’ve dabbled with other races, but I can’t “connect” with them and end up going back to something more familiar. Cilantro, my swashbuckler, was my first elf to make it past newbie levels, and he’s only halfelf ;) He was also an off and on character for a long time before I really decided I liked him.

Barbarians are my race of choice generally. I consider them strong yet fun loving, loud and full of life, loyal and dependable – all character traits I admire in people and try to cultivate in myself.  They allow me to “let go” some and be a little gruff and good humored.

Humans always make me feel more like myself. My human characters usually wind up being healers and I suppose this is my time to be more academic and supporting.

I’m just comfortable “in my own skin” I guess. Does this mean I am not very adventurous? :) I just can not connect with races that are too far from the normal human look. Elves are somewhat tolerable for me, but I can’t play things like kerra, ogre’s, halflings or the like.

I basically stick to two classes in MMORPGS, tank and healer. I like to be an integral part of anything I am doing I guess. I like to be a “responsible” class. One thing I have also learned about myself over the years is I like to be a “protector”, in real life and in game. Trust me when I say it’s caused me lots of problems throughout the years and has taken me a long time to realize what was going on there.

Castillion was my first ever mage class. I tried a necromancer in EQ1 when I first started, once, so that doesn’t really count. I never thought I’d enjoy a cloth wearing class but I’ve really fallen in love with the chanter. I would guess it’s because the class is so useful and can impact group success in such a huge way, maybe I’ve always had a mage inside of me, or perhaps I have slowly changed over the years.

That raises another question, does a significant change in preferences for character race/class in MMORPG’s reflect a change in personality?

Yeah, maybe we are getting too deep with this, but I think it’s probably accurate for at least some of us out there.

Interesting food for thought anyway, thanks Kilanna!

It’s good to be bad. March 19, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Well, we rolled though VP last night, at least up until Silverwing. The raid went really smoothly and all the named dropped without any issue. Coercer set wrists dropped and I lost the roll again. I discovered last night that maybe my attitude about raid loot had not reset as much as I had thought because, boy, was I frustrated losing yet another roll.

It’s frustrating because there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t attend more raids and make more DKP, I already attend them all and we don’t use DKP. I can’t try harder and be more deserving. I just have to wait for my luck to change. I just have to bite the bullet, like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven said, “Deserves got nothing to do with it.”

I don’t begrudge those who win loot, or who beat me on loot. I don’t blame them at all and I don’t think I am more deserving than most who do win. Every piece of loot that comes into the guild helps us get more loot that much faster next time. Good grief though, throw me a frickin’ bone, I’m going on a 5 month dry spell here.

Anyway, I am done whining about that. I’m starting to sound like a broken record ;)

On the plus side, I was parsing really well with a high parse of 8600 and #1 zw for the night. There are several guild members that outparse me greatly (Sasspanz and Zahrn being two of many), but I am fairly consistent from mob to mob, so that helps keep me high on the zw parse. I’m excited about what I’ll be able to do when I get a couple of pieces of raid gear and get my spell crit up to respectable levels. Castillion should be a monster then. I can at least follow Sasspanz’s a little more closely when she’s not slacking.

After the raid, a few of us got together to be devious. I can’t speak about it yet, but when plans come to fruition you all will be the first to know. This is going to be good.

Tonight’s an off night and I think Anep is wanting to take a friend of his through Palace for a Varsoon kill, which would be fun. We shall see!

Back to our regularly scheduled programming March 18, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, Second String.
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Ok, whew, what a busy couple of days but I managed to squeeze in some time in Norrath.

Monday night was our regularly scheduled raid night and we found ourselves back in Tomb of the Mad Crusader for some snake hunting. The fight went well and Thet-em-aua died again. We moved over to Palace of the Ancient One to give the Switchmaster some work and made some good progress. I do believe he’ll be the next raid mob falling to us.

So, it was late after the raid, but Second String decided to run Ravenscale Repository to do a fast kill of only the last named as Anep needed the TSO signature quest update on his dirge, Worknemangel. That means I was tanking. No worries, I’ve tanked him before, in and out, easy peasy. Oh yeah, and there was only 5 of us, still, should be fast right?

It wasn’t. T’Lon is a hard mob to 5 man without our main group. So, we skipped him and moved over to the big guy. The big guy that AE’s at 20%..that guy. Now we HAVE 5 manned him before with me tanking. Should be easy right?

Well, it wasn’t. We did eventually kill him but SOE really screwed us on this event and made it nearly impossible to beat. How you ask? I’ll tell you. A shiny spawned right next to the named mob. Sasspanz killed us twice trying to get it before we were buffed for the mob, and we died once laughing at her for it. I really, really, really, think Sasspanz has a real problem with shiny addiction. Not even shinies alone, if there’s anything clicky in her field of vision she must click on it before she can do anything else.

It’s a sickness that needs to be addressed. Please, for the rest of us, donate to Shinyholics Anonymous, you can send all donations to me. I promise to use it to buy booze.

Last night, we ran alts through Korsha and Atrebe’s laboratory for TSO updates. We made poor Taylona dust off his berserker and tank Veksar. It was fun, and I actually had to mez!

SOE is currently running promotion for Legends of Norrath where, simply for logging in, you can claim one free loot card per day for the next five days. It’s a great little promotion that you can get some cool illusions and items from. Unbelievably, someone was complaining in chat that had to log in to get the rewards. I swear, if money fell from the sky, some people would complain that their hands weren’t big enough.

Tonight we are back in VP to clear up the remaining mobs. It should be fun!

Still kicking! March 18, 2009

Posted by castillion in Excuses Excuses.
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I’ve been super busy the past couple of days at work. Yesterday was a great day at work, although very busy, until right before I was finally going to head home and I made an  incredibly stupid mistake that undid all of my, and several other people’s, work for the day.

Needless to say, I wasn’t in much of a writing mood when I got home last night and, since I have to do all the work over again, I will be just as busy today ;)

I will update about our adventures in Norrath tonight though!