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Castillion: New Contender for Most Deaths on the Server. September 4, 2009

Posted by castillion in Aion, eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Well it’s been a fun relaxing couple of days in EQ2.

Wednesday night was raid night. We were understaffed terribly with under 3 groups. What to do? Get mythical updates of course! So, we grabbed up the new guys that needed some back updates and some alts and blew up Kor-Sha, Pawbuster, Protector’s Realm (yes we raided it), and Leviathan. We got a few updates and a few people closer to their mythical or alt mythical. It was relaxing and, well, boring as hell. Although, it will be nice for a couple of the guys who have switched to alts for raiding because we needed their class (Jeff’s brigand for example) to have their mythicals.

I wasn’t TOO bad I guess. I got to click the neccesary clickies on Overking and they let me go inside the Leviathan once again, which still entertains me. I am a sucker for making mini-games for myself (like how high can I parse) and seeing how many vials I can set off before the Leviathan pukes me out is fun for me.

Side questions for those raiders that read this blog. Do you use a guardian main tank? If so,does he have issues with aggro?

Last night I was being lazy and not logging in, but Taylona and Sinnir suckered me into it and we hit JW-EA. Taylona was tanking on his berserker and I took along Cilantro for a few. We had Aylyn (our fun mystic friend), Ethar (new fury to the guild), Sinnir on her Illy, and Nugsinoth. It went fairly smoothly. Taylona has no hope of keeping aggro off of any of our DPS classes at the moment. He has his mythical but I think he needs quite a bit of experience and some gears before he can reliably hold aggro off of any of us. So, we died a few times but made it to the last encounter.

I still find this encounter interesting and the 4 lizard bad asses still make me ooh and ahh when we walk in. The encounter didn’t go so well really. We wiped enough to need 2 bots. I swapped over to the chanter and Sinnir swapped over to her templar and some mezzing combined with timely fear prevention/curing from Sinnir finally won us the event.

Switching gears…

Aion Open Beta is due to release on Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it and to exploring more of what the game has to offer with a whole week available to us. Things are shaping up to be very interesting with Aion and I can’t wait to see how they pan out.

I will post some screenshots on Monday if I can figure out how to take them in Aion ;)

See ya then!

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I’m a model, ya know what I mean. May 27, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Last night started off with me logging into Second String finishing up an instance and heading back the guild hall. I don’t know what the hell is up with them grouping while I am at work. They should be standing around moping until I get home.

I was so pissed I immediately started challenging everyone to duels on Cilantro. I was going to kick some ass. I will say is some ass was definitely kicked. We will not discuss who’s.

After we finished trying to kill each other, we grouped up and headed over to Everfrost to hit the instances there. Sasspanz still wants that charm item from the master, even though I am of the opinion that SOE took it out of the game. I brought along Cilantro and we cleared Scion of Ice and the Crucible. The charm didn’t drop for Sass, but Cilantro won the Shard of Codexicon and a pretty nice ring. I also got him another AA, so he’s coming along a bit.

We then decided to hit up Ward of Elements. It went really smoothly despite having a couple of pickups in the group. We cleared through pretty quickly and the T3 Coercer hat dropped! Sasspanz kindly passed the roll to me and Castillion was able to complete the quest to get his Fireborn Circlet of Coercion. Thank you Sass, you know how much I’ve been wanting to get that damned hat. I owe ya! It was late by the time we cleared the lower named, so we decided to hold off on Aiden until later in the week.

It was back to the guild hall and more dueling. I don’t know what it is, but I just get a strange satisfaction from killing Anep. Unfortunately, he usually kills me. I started getting more comfortable with Cilantro and I did figure out how to kick his super-twink Dirge’s ass last night. I can’t kill his Shadow Knight anymore though. Damn dirty overpowered god class.

That was it for Second String for the night. Tonight is a raid night and I’m figuring we will head into Tomb of the Mad Crusader and probably Ykesha’s Inner Sanctum. Afterwards, I am going to stand in the guild hall and make /flex emotes.

Hasta!

Would you say I have a plethora of pinatas? May 20, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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An off night of raiding brought about a Second String run on Ward of Elements, the x2 zone. It sounds strange to speak of a night that we form up for a smaller raid an off-night of raiding. It seems, though, that much of the time we are not in a full blown 24 person raid, Second string is running around x2 zones or trying to conquer at least portions of x4 zones with a smaller group. This is because there is usually at least 8 people on that bear the Second String tag. While I do sometimes yearn for nights of single group adventures, I am glad that SOE has provided us with the x2 zones (even if the lockout is a bit too long) and that we have made our own fun of turning Kunark raid zones and Shard of Hate into our own x2 playgrounds.

The group we brought along:

Anep – 80 Shadow Knight
Sasspanz – 80 Assassin
Castillion – 80 Coercer
Sinnir – 80 Templar
Taylona – 80 Fury
Seeb – 80 Brigand
Graybone – 80 Defiler
Elonias – 80 Wizard
Smoky (Nugsinoth) – 80 Wizard
Ghreed (Gheeto) – 80 Assassin
Aneuw – 80 Paladin
Deathklok (Chus) – 80 Troubadour

 

We cleared the instance up to Aiden easily, although some of the alts died a few times. Graybone was certainly challenged, being newly minted 80 and being asked to solo heal one of the groups, and also occasionally being moved into the main tank group for warding purposes. He performed admirably considering. We will need to focus with him a bit hopefully this weekend to get him his fabled epic and a few more pieces of gear and shards.

It was late by the time we reached the elevator to the top floor, so we decided to grant Aiden a few more days to enjoy life above ground. We plan on reforming Thursday evening to finish the zone.

Tonight, we are raiding something. I am not sure what as I think most of the TSO zones are locked out. Perhaps we’ll clear some more of our VP instance.

I forgot to mention it, but I brought Cilantro along on our Leviathan kill on Saturday so he is poised to get the Swashbuckler epic as soon as we kill Xygoz again. He will be my third mythical’d character. I’ve been putting off getting his mythical for some reason, but I finally decided that options are a good thing to have and I should at least finish out the hard work I had put into him.

I’ve been kicking around on him a little bit lately, feeling nostalgic I guess. I think I may get his AA up to something respectable and at least gear him out a little bit. Now that we have weapon appearance slots, I owe it to the old guy to at least dress him out and make him a respectable swashbuckler once again.

I also have the templar to finish leveling. I am not certain how crazy I am about him, but him being level 72 certainly suggests I should finish out the run to level 80 at least. Plus, there’s a scary gleam in Sinnir’s eyes, having a back up templar so close to max level. I think she’s looking forward to him being 80 more than I am as I think she has an idea that she’ll be able to move to a different character once there’s a templar to heal in her stead. I hate to disappoint, but I have no delusions that I will be anywhere near her caliber of healer although I will try.

Finding time to juggle all of these characters is a game in itself. Luckily, I thoroughly enjoy my Coercer and really have no great desire to play any other toon at all.

Hasta!

Summertime and the living is easy. May 19, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Whew, can I take a breath now?!?

It’s been incredibly busy both in game and out this weekend.

On the guild front, we’ve been raiding and clicking along. I’ve even won more loot! The TSO fabled forearm pattern finally dropped again and I won it. I’ve also picked up a piece of jewelry or two and master here and there. Overall, Castillion is starting to gear up. I certainly can’t post anymore whine posts about losing rolls. It seems that once I finally won that one roll after 6 months, my luck turned around a bit. I still lose a lot, but at least I win SOME now ;)

There’s been some discussion about cutting raids back a little during the summer. It’s sounds like we’ll be doing away with Saturday raids, at least for a couple of months. I will miss the raids, but I agree that it’s for the best and, honestly, in a couple of weeks Sinnir and I are going to have vacations and family visiting ourselves so Saturday raiding would be impossible for us anyway.

Second String had a little mini-revival this weekend and we got a lot of things accomplished. We cleared PR for the plat. We grouped the first two named in Shard of Hate. The Shard of Hate run was pretty rewarding, while the named mobs didn’t drop anything useful, the trash exquisites were really nice. We killed Varsoon again for Anep’s brother, Theonee. He dropped my master single target mez and the peacock feather charm that Sinnir won. That was pretty awesome. It was nice to hit one of the harder zones again, and I hope we can get back to one grouping a hard zone or two during the week.

We also cleared Thuuga with 9 people.

Anep – 80 Shadowknight.
Sinnir – 80 Templar
Sasspanz – 80 Assassin
Castillion – 80 Coercer
Taylona – 80 Fury
Seeb – 80 Brigand
Aeyanna – 80 Troubador
Graybone – 79 Defiler
Sauki – 70 Conjuror
and I botted Castilian – 71 Templar who just auto followed all night.

Yeah, I was amazed. It was pretty crazy and I really can’t believe we did it.

That’s the two minute review of the past couple of days.

Castillion is sporting a new look after last night as well. Trakanon’s robe.

 casttrak

I can’t wait to try that thing out!

Season’s Change May 15, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Another quiet night in game last night.

It seems like a long time since we’ve done anything challenging in Second String.  I can’t remember the last time we did anything harder than the medium difficulty shard zones. We haven’t even cleared the x2 as a Second String event.

I don’t know if people are just feeling a little burnout, are wanting a change in characters, or what. Boredom is starting to creep in for me though. I hope this isn’t a precursor to what we can expect once Anep and Sass are offline. There’s still a lot of content coming out, including a new x2 raid zone, that I will want to see.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a reliable tank outside of Anep. Rhesus’ alt, Tarsir, is very good but I am not sure how well our schedules line up at the moment. I guess that means I will be dusting off the pally, but I have a little bit of relearning to do to get better as a tank. I also don’t know how we will support this without everyone playing different alts or something. It’s difficult to do much without some time of utility/support character.

Food for thought I guess. I know I’ve contributed to it myself. I’ve been so busy with work and so tired at the end of the day I am not good for much in the way of organizing.

Last night was no exception. Sinnir and I logged in late, so Anep was off in another group outside of Second String. That left me tanking for a 5 man group, one of whom was an alt. We decided on Befallen: Cavern of the Afflicted and Halls of the Forsaken.

Caverns of the afflicted sucks without much AE dps by the way ;) We struggled for a little bit trying to get through it with 5 and a Pally as the only AE DPS. Fortunately, Aeyanna logged in and brought his troubadour over which made things go much more smoothly. Halls of the Forsaken went very smoothly afterwards and we all put a few shards in our bags.

I really don’t mind tanking as long as I have at least one utility in the group, a bard or chanter. Unfortunately, my main is usually the only utility on our little group, so when I am tanking we lose that. Taylona and Sinnir both have an Illusionist, Sinnir’s is level 80, but then that deprives me of my healers. What a delicate balancing game we have going on here. I will say that tanking for a group with no utility at all is an exercise in frustration.

Yes, I’m a primadonna.

Tonight we are raiding something. I am not sure what. I don’t think I’ve even signed up as I think I forgot to fill out the rest of the month. Unfortunately I can’t hit the link from work, so I hope they save me a spot anyway! Otherwise, I’ll cheer them on from the sidelines.

I really did want to kill those fishmen. May 13, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Short but fulfilling night in game last night.

The night started with Sinnir needing to kill a few mobs in Karnor’s Castle for her new Illusionist’s epic (yes, she myth’d out her wizard and started a new character…..women). I decided to take her over there with Castillion and show her how an uber chanter solos KC. After getting herself killed a few times, Sinnir asked, “Why don’t you just go get Saynt?” HOLY SHIT!?! She thinks a Pally can solo KC better than a coercer? I was obviously doing something wrong, so I picked up the pace and gave her a good rundown on how to solo through KC. We ended up killing a few named and a few 100 drolvargs (tip, when your wife says “Hey honey I need to kill a couple of mobs for this update, could you come help right fast?” clear a couple of hours on your social calendar). It was actually fun just the two of us ripping through the zone and sniping a couple of named from the regular farmers.

Her next update was to kill 100 Yah’Lei in Jarsath Wastes. I helped her with that too, by taking a nap while she did it.

I woke up from my nap (work has been depriving me of my beauty sleep lately) to find she had already killed all the Yah’Lei and had pulled some of SS together to help her with the Unrest portion. Once they were done, we got the rest of Second String together for a quick PR money run.

I called it as night after that to catch up on my rest and I’m feeling very refreshed today. We raid tonight, although I know not what. I’ll fill ya in tomorrow!

May 12th – The Day I was born. May 12, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Movies, Second String.
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I know, I know. Where’s the damn posts Castillion? Well, talk to my boss and let him know that work is interfering with my blogging and that you don’t appreciate it. Then please send me monthly checks to support my gaming and eating habits after he fires me ;)

While I have been neglecting you, dear readers, I have not neglected my game time. It was a fun weekend.

Friday night was raid night. It sucked. Listen People, just because it’s summertime does not mean it’s suddenly time to “have a life” and “do fun things outside”. We all know that this outside place is imaginary and only exists to provide you with excuses for not raiding. Close your blinds, sit in your computer chair, put your headphones on and forget…..just forget…slip softly into the warm hypnotic glow of your monitor and RAID GODDAMNIT!

Saturday our normal raid into SoH was cancelled, so I spent much of the day powerleveling the Templar, who is now 71. I’m having fun with him and it’s time to start getting his Adept 3’s and soon to twink out his gear. Unfortunately his AA’s are VERY low. I will have to put a lot of work into him to fix it. Oh well. I made a ton running through Kylong Plains, so hopefully it won’t be as bad as I expect once I am done with Kunark and Moors. I think it’s going to be bad though. He’s pretty much 30 – 40 AA below what any of my other characters have been.

Since the SoH raid was cancelled, Second String decided to add it to the list of zones we have grouped. Well, kind of grouped, as we took 8 people in.

Anep – 80 SK
Taylona – 80 Fury
Sasspanz – 80 Assassin
Sinnir – 80 Templar
Castillion – 80 Coercer
Seeb – 80 Brigand
Graybone – 78 Defiler
Aeyanna – 80 Troubadour
Rhesus – 80 Warden (boxed by Seeb)

We were able to kill the first two named in there without much issue and got Master P to 70%. That was a bummer as I want that damn HoDD from him already. Master P is a tough nut to crack with basically one group, but I think we could do it with two groups. We are going to try it.

Sinnir and I then took off for a few hours to go to the Mall of America to celebrate Mother’s Day. If you’ve never been to the Mall of America, I envy you.

The Mall outing was just a precursor to the night’s events. Saturday was our in-game celebration for my birthday. We headed to Ward of Elements, which seems to be our new favorite zone to do while drunk. Unfortunately we were short people as my recruiting message of “Hey, we’re doing WoE and have 4 spots open. We would like at least one more healer, but please be aware that we are going to get really drunk and probably die a lot” did not garner much response. So, we did it with 8 people and managed to kill everything but the fire room and the library. Except, maybe we did kill the mob in the fire room, it’s fuzzy. We determined that, due to circumstances beyond our willpower to control, we would not be able to advance any further into WoE and we ported over to PR and cleared it.

Sunday was a little calmer as you can imagine and Sinnir and I called it an early day and went to see Star Trek. It. Was. awesome. I highly recommend seeing it, whether you’re a Trekkie or not.

That was followed up with raids last night. It was a complete reversal of Friday night’s fiasco and we had a great raid force and managed to kill all the easy TSO stuff in preparation for the rest of the week.

It’s shaping up to be fun!

And the beat goes on. May 6, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO, Second String.
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Good night of Second String fun.

I was concerned that Sass and Anep would just call it quits early in preparation for their move, but they were on last night and it looks like we’ll get to at least finish out our last couple of weeks together before their break.

Originally, we wanted to go to Palace of Ferzhul, but since Sinnir is anti-palace, we changed our minds. Instead, We all got together and one-grouped Protector’s Realm through Doomcoil, netting us about 18 plat each, plus another 10 plat or so each once the crystallized manas sell.

We followed that up with a run through the Crucible. Then everyone but Sasspanz switched to alts and I tanked us through OoA and AoB.They were all fun runs and we even got a couple of masters out of them.

Speaking of Sinnir, she’s set up her own domain and moved her blog over there. She’s also set up forums for discussion and all kinds of other goodies. I’m sure she’d appreciate a visit and would love input. I’ll probably mirror my blog over there once I can get it set up.

See her at Gamerzwrath!

Tonight, we are paying the Maestro a visit to catch his show. I am bringing my tomatoes.

Are there any TSO zones we missed? May 5, 2009

Posted by castillion in eq 2, MMO.
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Very very full night of raiding last night.

First, we started off with Tomb of the Mad Crusader. We had an instance that was resettable that had Thet-em-aua still alive in it, so we zoned in and killed the snake in one pull. Then, we zoned out reset the zone killed the first two named and the snake again, this time killing him on the second pull.

We ported over to Palace of the Ancient One, killed the first pair of named mobs in there and cleared all of the trash in anticipation of working on Switchmaster later this week.

After that, we zoned into Ykesha’s Inner Stronghold and killed the Strange Stalker.

It was a busy, busy, busy night, but a LOT of fun and the guild was clicking awesomely on the raid. Stuff was dying in record time. It’s funny actually, because we only had 22 people and we were clearing stuff faster than we ever have and people just seemed to be more relaxed and into it.

It was fun. I even won loot again! Well, kind of won, it’s a pretty nice wrist item that everyone else had already won, so it was defaulted to me. I went in on it as a secondary piece as the nerf of Greater Void Bane items has opened up a few slots to alternate pieces of gear for me. I need to parse it and see if it’s a replacement or something I will use situationally.

It’s that time of year though, when raid sign ups seem to slow down. the past week or so of raids it seems we’ve struggled a little to fill the raid. It’s always been like this for as long as I have played MMORPGs. Springtime means less people logging in or people making other changes with their game time. It might be time to open recruiting back up, but that’s always a scary proposition. I think we also have some members that are wanting to raid more and are willing to roll needed classes, so we’ll see.

I’m not sure what kind of trouble I will get into tonight, but I’ll give you the details tomorrow ;)

I get by with a little help from my friends. May 4, 2009

Posted by castillion in EQ2, everquest ii, MMO, Second String.
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Much has happened since last we met. It was a very full weekend which brought some good news and some bad news. We’ll start with the good news.

Aiden is dead. We cleared the Ward of Elements!

Sunday I had made plans with Stormraven to do the x2. The set up we took was:

Stormraven – 80 Shadowknight
oogg – 80 Defiler
Wolfette – 80 Swashbuckler
Sinnir – 80 templar
Castillion – 80 Coercer
Callous – 80 Guardian

Kaflor – 80 Templar
Wylee – 80 Troubadour
Chus – 80 Necromancer
Nugsinoth – 80 Conjorer
Rhyanna – 80 Fury
Erienne – 80 Wizard

We had planned on forming up early in the morning to give ourselves ample time to clear the zone and work on Aiden. The zone clear was uneventful and we killed all the named up to Aiden with little issue. I wore pants the entire time. they did add some neat charms to the zone, but I lost the roll on all of them ;) We pulled Aiden. Then we pulled Aiden again. Then we pulled Aiden for an hour and decided to take a break for lunch.

90 minutes later we regrouped, minus Chus, whom I assume fell asleep folding laundry again. We replaced him with Blaveklostthegame – 80 Dirge, and continued on. We pulled Aiden, and pulled Aiden and pulled Aiden. Yeah, that’s a lot of pulls, but we refined our strat on every one. Finally, we all had our Super Mario jump-on-the-flaming-tornados skillset honed to perfection and we pulled him for the final time. He dropped the templar/Shadowknight/someotherclassthatisnotcoercer arms, which Kaflor won.

It did feel good to finally kill that bastard, but more in the “haha we beat your stupid hoop jumping event” way that in the “wow that was cool” way. The Varsoon event still wins in my mind ;) I do feel confident in repeating our win there, but it will take a lot of training every time you bring someone new in or change your raid setup around.

I do have to give our little raid a ton of credit. It took fortitude to hang in there and die as often as we did on Sunday and be willing to stick it out for the duration. It was certainly a comment on teamwork and everyone deserves to pat themselves on the back. There are no slackers on that kill for sure.

It was a pretty full weekend besides just the x2, with some TSO raid zones, SoH and grouping mixed in. Last night we spent the night grouping the Kunark instances with me tanking and everyone playing alts. We had a good time.

Now, that bad news.

Anep and Sasspanz have decided to take a break from the game. They’re making some changes in real life and it will prevent them from logging in for at least a couple of months probably. We will miss them dearly and I wish them well with whatever is coming up for them in the immediate and distant future. We love you guys.

That’s half of the original Second String down. Snappe was the first to go, now Anep and Sassy. That leaves Taylona, me and Sinnir left of the original gang. I have to say I have had a blast this entire time. We’ve had our ups and downs but far far more ups than anything else. You guys have all made the game what it is for me today. Of course we’ll all stay in touch in the real, but I’ll miss our adventures in Norrath.

I don’t know what this is going to do to us in game yet. Second String has expanded enough we can still blow up zones. Rhesus’ tank has really come a long way so we have him to abuse. I just don’t know right now as I think most of us are still in a state of disbelief. I know that some members of SS are wanting to explore different classes too, so this may be a time of reforming and altering our group builds. We’ll see.

Snappe, Anep, and Sasspanz, how many months has it been since we first started grouping? I know if we counted the laughter as days it would be decades. Thank you guys for the fun. You all know my email, even if Snappe is the only one that ever writes <sob>

Good Journies friends.

(I know Anep and Sass may be on occassionally while their subscribtion runs out, but I’m putting this out there now damn it ;)