Leviathan – Part 1 Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

As I mentioned yesterday – although some of us had been there before, we headed to the Chamber of Destiny for the first time as a guild last night.

As expected, was all about farming.  It was all about collecting the precious vials of volatile fluid, and allowing our Key DPS to experience what it is like to be inside his belly first hand.

All I can say is – we came, we saw and we pretty much conquered.

We spent about an hour in the zone – and have around 110 vials of volatile fluid waiting for next Monday.

We wiped one time since the ugly one was hungry and no one was suited up to be swallowed… but that fight went for around 15 mins if I recall.  The second pull the encounter lasted just a little short of 30 mins if I recall that correctly also – but I could be wrong since my UI decided to lock up :(  Grrrrr.

In retrospect, it probably would have been possible for us to farm and kill him last night – just by autoattacks we had him down to almost 70%  – but as they say patience is the better part of valour.

The fight felt absolutely controlled.  There were a couple of moments where Arishas health spiked a little but nothing too alarming.  I embarrased myself a little by working a little on Auto pilot and Arisha had to prompt me to stop debuffing at one point…. le sigh.

So now I dare to dream that with my guildmates we shall see inside VP for the first time next week :p   I am hoping that next Monday night will see us walk into the Chamber of Destiny, kill the fishmen and arm our key dps with suits, we walk up to the leviathan and kill him stone dead.  With 110 vials I dont imagine we really need to do any more farming.  I imagine that will take us an hour or so …. and then we can head right on over to VP.

Danonia has already taken his coercer girl inside VP as part of a guild alliance raid last weekend, and I think he has confidence that we will do ourselves proud when we get in there as a guild. 

Since it was so early when we finished raiding,  I joined a few guildmates on a run through Deep Forge for shards.   It was a messy messy run that felt rushed and healing felt panicked.  I had a look and YIPES in Deep Forge killy healed 2000 heals/Second on one fight … and almost 1000 heals/Sec zonewide.

We wiped I think 3 or 4 times in what is arguably the EASIEST of all shard zones cos Kil couldnt keep up with healing … admittedly one time we wiped was when Killy got ported into the Lava when we were fighting the last named.    Not to worry though – 2 shards for our efforts and we called back to the guildhall to salve the wounded healers pride :p

As always I look forward to an enjoyable evening with the boys tonight, perhaps a bit of a retrospective on the last couple of evenings and a little bit of a run somewhere for fun.

Happy hunting and crafting everyone!!

A quiet weekend Tuesday, Mar 31 2009 

I know I missed posting stories of my weekend adventures yesterday – but that was because there really was not a whole lot to post.   I spent most of the weekend feeling miserable and sorry for myself with a headcold – so found it a bit hard to get into anything much.

I know that there was some instances to help get some levelling guildies aa – Achadechism, Crypt of Valdoon, Obelisk of Blight, Vaults of Eternal Sleep, and Maidens Chamber.   If I recall there was also a shard run to Crucible in there too.   Despite not feeling the best, there was still some fun and giggles as always so thank you boys and girls :)

Dotted throughout the rest of the weekend, the dirgeling got some questing in too.  I completed all the solo and one or two of the heroic quests in Steamfont.   I have not done much in that zone on either Kilanna or Nanytya so it was fun to check the place out.   I have also returned to finish off some other quests in my journal dotted throughout the Shattered lands, and at the moment am concentrating on finishing Feerrot before moving to Everfrost.

I have not been wanting to miss out on too much aa as I level this little one, and so at the moment she finds herself a level 47 dirge with 57aa.  I do think that one of my next tasks will be to work through some of the Lore and Legend quests.  I did consider buying her some of the updates, but some pieces are so expensive I figured I could just spend time farming some low level mobs for updates.  The aa for these quests is certainly good :)

So with the weekend over and the start of a new week, we had our regular Monday night raid scheduled.  This week we thaught we would hit PR for one more person to get the greenmist orb who was not going to be in MT group and was not going to be going into Levi’s belly to kill him.  

Nothing much to report – Imzok dropped the lovely shaman wrist piece, and the zone coughed up a bunch of masters which went down well.  

It was very early when we finished, so we decided to head over to SoH real quick.  Once again, nothing really of note – but the Dreadlord did drop the Rune Etched Helm, and Master P dropped the lovely bard earring.    It was then decided that we would call it right there at Master P since time was getting on

It is a sign of how far we have come as a guild that we clear PR and the first three named in SoH in one night ….  Amazing to see how much has changed in a few months.

Once again, I was proud to see my Killy doing her part with the healing zonewide.  I am sure that it is a combination of her wearing both the Rune Etched Helm and the Ethereal Mist Gauntlets. 

And so friends, we look to tonight.   Tonight will see us head to the Chamber of Destiny to face the Leviathan for the first time as a guild.  Once again a couple of us have seen the fight and know what to expect, so we shall lead our guildmates and colleages as we endeavour to flag our raid force for VP.

Now I know it is possible to farm vials and kill him in one night.   Whether we can do it with some DPS who has not been in his belly before … I think that would be an unreasonable pressure and expectation.   I do imagine that tonight will be more about letting our Key DPS experience the encounter for the first time and farm for vials – with an aim to heading in and killing him next Monday night.  I do believe Danonia has a few vials already with the blessing of our raid alliance partners.

More news on that front tomorrow then.

Looking forward to the weekend Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

Last night was probably one of the quietest nights I have had in game in the last 12 months.   I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and headache.  I soldiered on, but steadily started feeling more sorry for myself as the day went on.   I headed home early and slept a little.  

When I logged in, various folks were already out and about.   I had scheduled a guild run to a heroic crafter instance, after a short while got a group together and we headed off to the shipyards.

Half an hour later we were all done – and I was not the only tired adventurer in the group so we all went our separate ways.   I tried to get a couple of quests in on Katyya but gave in to the need for sleep :)

I am very much looking forward to this weekend in game.   Thankfully some of the events which had me all in a cafuffle last week have passed and things have settled some.   The boys and I were talking last weekend and had thaught that it was a good idea to try one of the tough instances each weekend.   Whether we try tonight or at some other juncture – that will be fun.

I am wondering whether I might suggest that we also get some folks together and start to farm some vials for Leviathan.   Perhaps if we farm tonight …. by Monday the trash will have re-popped and we can get some more fish suits for the whole raid to farm and attempt at killing him. 

All depends on how Danonia and Arisha feel I guess, and whether or not there is enough interest in guild to do so.   I dont think there is any question that we could farm for some vials with just 2 or 3 groups if we have enough healers.  He hits hard – but judging from heal parses when I have been in this fight, I think we could keep Arisha up with 2 healers in MT group.  We have a guild event scheduled for 7.30 tonight – perhaps if there are enough people I will suggest that.

I really am getting excited.   In honesty I do believe that we will be in VP within the next couple of weeks.  Leviathan will fall at the hands of Pax.  Maybe the success we had with VS has gone to my head lol but I think the only thing that will stop us from slaying him this coming week will be if we can not farm enough vials.     A trip tonight to start would be like a trial run for a couple of our DPS who have never seen inside his belly before.  

Hopefully I am not getting ahead of myself, but I think we really can get our guildmates VP flagged.    If we do not decide to farm tonight, then I guess we farm this Monday and Tuesday, with an aim to killing him next week.  I have not had a chance to talk to Danonia to see what his thaughts are post the success of killing VS.     We also have some newer guild members that we will want to help progress their epics too as they have just hit 80 or are just about to hit 80.

So here is wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend in and out of Norrath.  Happy hunting and crafting all :)

R & R Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

After the busyness of the last couple of nights raids, I logged on hoping for a nice quiet evening with the boys ….  and so it was.

I had been incredibly tired all day. but my little cat nap on the train on the way home had given me a bit of a second wind.  The DD for tonight was Caverns of the Afflicted.   Now this is NOT our favourite zone.  The slow moving and very social mobs with fast repops make for some bleh encounters.   But 4 shards is 4 shards …. so off we went.

Even though I had a little bit of a second wind, I REALLY was not on my game last night.   A few times Arisha was feared and had to prompt me in voice …  sorry bout that m’dear :p

We only really had trouble with one encounter when someone was over enthusiastic and braught 3 or maybe 4 groups of those darn zombies.   Killy went down, the boys evac’d, we dusted ourselves off and continued on. 

Bonegrinder down, DD finished, 4 shards in the bank for the evening :D   Killy also won herself a healer ranged/symbol item with 2 heal crit.   It kinda caught my eye, so I rolled need on it.  No one minded since Kil was the only healer, I guess I will have a closer look at it tonight.

It was still VERY early but I was in no fit condition to contemplate another zone.   What better way to finish off a nice evening of R&R in Norrath than a little bit of crafting for guildmates, and chatting with friends while doing a little questing on the dirgeling in Steamfont.

Speaking of little Katyya – at level 47, I was mentioning a trip to Mines of Meldrath to the boys last night.   There was certainly some interest with hopes to collect some of those rarer Tier 6 masters.   I have her combat and quest xp turned back off again since I dont want her to outlevel entire zones and miss out on all that aa.    

Having said that, she really is doing pretty well with 54aa already.  Since I have a second account all I need to do is mentor her and colour the zones back up again.  The quicker I can get Katyya to 80, the quicker that she can help Killy with those quests in the Moors … or else I could just ask the boys if they want to bring one of their alts who hasnt done the quests yet and we can do them together :p

Happy hunting and crafting everyone!

Onward and upwards Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

I can barely contain my excitement and my pride.  

After the frustrations of Monday night, and an annoying start to the evening last night – Lord Venril Sathir was finally slain at the hands of the mighty Pax Fatalis. 

Yes you heard correct – DEAD DEAD DEAD *cheers*

So someone added it up last night, and it took us almost 30 pulls all up.  But we did it, and we killed him in the first instance of his lair that we had visited as a guild.   Congratulations to Danonia and all my guildmates & colleagues who got their updates for their Mythicals.   *does a happy dwarven jig*

OK so now I have that out of my system – I have to say that I dont think we shall seek to fight that encounter again any time soon.   It is a very harsh script indeed, but it feels like a rite of passage.  Our success earns us not only our individual flags to Leviathan, but the confidence that VP and our first guild mythicals are now only weeks away.

*Giggles* I was so excited I cant even tell you how long the fight took, or remember everything that was in his Exquisite chest… I know that there was a Master for Arisha, and an altar (I think Marr????).

And so my friends, next week is onwards and upward to Leviathan to earn our guild their VP flags.   Perhaps the success of last night has gone to my head, but after VS it feels as though Levi is MUCH more forgiving as an encounter.   I would like to think that we can conquer him in the first instance we see him as a guild.   I can think of at least 4 or 5 high dpsers in our raidforce who have experienced this fight - Danonia, Topo, Sytiva, Mathayus right off the top of my head.     This will surely mean that we will be more efficient at farming for those precious vials than if we had ALL never seen him before. 

In the mean time, I look forward to a relaxed evening with the boys tonight.  I am sure we shall recount and discuss the events of the last couple of evenings, and hopefully a enjoy a nice little shard run somewhere for the telling.

Happy hunting and crafting everyone!!

If at first you dont succeed… Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

Monday night is raid night for the brave guild of Pax Fatalis.  Last week it was decided that we would attempt VS this Monday instead of visiting Shard of Hate.

Last week was the first time that many of us had ever seen the evil lizard lord – and I think we did exceptionally well.  We got him to a little under 20% so confidence was high that if we all concentrated we were in with a good shot at getting him this week.

Well I must sadly report that last night was as frustrating as heck.   VS is now officially my sworn enemy – and the sworn enemy of my guildmates lol.  

This encounter requires all 24 people in raid to be on their A game – EVERY single person must be concentrating – one person looses concentration just for a moment and it is all over.

Last night I think we pulled him somewhere between 15 and 20 times, and I am dissapointed to say that the best we could do was get him to around 50%.     Each and every time we were going great guns until someone lost concentration and slipped their power too low and we had ghostly iksar adds :(

I am not one for pointing fingers and laying blame – I dont like it and I dont think it is necessary.  It is frustrating and difficult in this encounter when all it takes is one person out of 24 to wipe the raid.    And yet the raid force are being asked to do something that many of them have never done before – everyone must keep their power within very defined limits AND watch for detrimental effects, AND watch for DoT’s AND cure themselves.

We had someone watching to make sure that peoples power was not slipping, calling it out in voice.  I found that really got on my nerves – it felt aggressive – like finger pointing.  I was of the view that everyone knew what they needed to do so why badger them through out the combat.  I know that the thinking was just to help people a little

I am a very capable healer – I know this and am confident in this.   In this fight cures are the key imho not heals themselves.   VS does not really hit that hard – but I was struggling to cure the fear and stun off of the MT Swashy between my power and him getting out of range.   I hope he was not frustrated by how savagely his DPS was affected last night.

But there is a lesson my Mother taught me.  If at first you dont succeed, try and try again.   And try again we will.   Tonight in fact – for the second night in a row we will try  to kill him.   With the complexity of this encounter, the victory will just be that much more sweet.

Our strategy is sound, so we are just depending on everyone to be on their game.  It is within us – I have no doubt of this.   We have the dps andhealing power – all healers just need to be on the ball with curing that fear and stun, so people can cure the noxious. 

I think that if we are going to continue to have someone calling out peoples power, then we need to make sure it is not a healer,  so all healers can give their absolute concentration to those cures and watching their own power too.

So once more to the lair this week with my brave companions – wish us luck!!!

Happy hunting and crafting all.

What a hoot!! Sunday, Mar 22 2009 

As always, another sensational weekend of fun and games in Norrath to report :D

On Saturday morning I stumbled out of bed.   The sore head and empty bottle of Champagne by my PC told me I had a really fun night on Friday.

One of my regular groupmates in guild has a son of 8 who is also in the guild with an Assassin.   We took him for a run through a couple of instances real quick when we logged in Friday evening.  After we had done that and the little one headed to bed, I popped my bottle of Champers, a few of the boys grabbed their beverage of choice – and it was off to Veskar 2 followed by RE2.

I was completely amazed – I think we only died once when Arisha pulled 3 groups of mobs in RE2, but my memory cant be trusted by that point *giggles*   I dont think I have laughed so hard in a long long time – bless you boys!!!

This of course meant that Saturday was a very sedate day in game.   I took the little dirgeling to Feerrot for some questy goodness, and started her on the “By hook or by…” HQ  I had turned her combat and quest xp back on.  I picked up the nightblood L&L, together with the other quest in Rivervale to kill 100 nightblood.  Unbelievably, Katyya earned herself 2 levels while killing those 100 nightblood,  so I have switched just her combat xp back off again.  She is still earning healthy xp and aa from handing quest in though.

Saturday evening saw us take some guildmates to Chelsith for Epic updates followed by a run through Crucible.   Nothing much of note, just a nice quiet evening of fun.

Sunday evening rolls around all too fast doesnt it???… And what better way for us to end the weekend than a couple of fun shard runs through Mistmyr Manor and Evernight Abbey.   I was very happy to say that Killy even broke 2000 heals per second on one combat in Evernight WOOOOT!

All in all, what a hoot I had this weekend.   Killy even earned herself another aa point, putting her on 170.  Now it gets exciting and I can start putting aa into the uber last line of her shadows aa tree.  Katyya also earned herself a few more aa, and now sits on 47 Dirge 52aa – not bad for the little one huh!

Hope everyone else had a weekend of fun and games in Norrath too.   Happy hunting and crafting!

Balance and perspective. Thursday, Mar 19 2009 

As is usual, I logged in last night and was soon hooked up with the boys.  We mused over what to do – and it was decided that we would hit Nur’oga for the DD.   

A glass of wine in hand for Arisha and a rum in hand for Kilanna,the group was destined for success :D   We had a little trouble with the drake dispelling the stoneskins on the two goblins … other than that the zone was uneventful.  A few of our colleagues got aa dings, and the zone was done and dusted without much ado.

It was still early, so a quick run through the crucible to follow up, a few alts through to pick up what we colloquailly refer to as “chocolate bars”, and six shards for the evening for Killy!!

Despite the fun and games, I have been deeply affected by some things that have been going on the last few days in my own part of Norrath.  It isnt appropriate for me to discuss the substantive issues here, but I have been questioning whether I have lost balance and perspective on some of my priorities in life.

The G in MMORPG stands for GAME, but some of these issues we encounter are not a game, they can be and have been lifechanging.  Sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse.  I am a mature and sensible woman, but the last few days my whole world has been affected by what has been happening in game.  I dont care if that makes me sound lame, it is how it is.

So the next few days will likely be a struggle as I come to some sort of equilibrium between the intellectual and emotional.  A balance between self respect and respect for others.  Thank goodness for my closest of gaming friends who look out for me.   Simply having them there and having a laugh makes the world of difference.  Thanks boys, thanks Stephanie.

What does your character say about you? Wednesday, Mar 18 2009 

Today is not my usual kind of post, and I hope it does not come across as all pretentious, or make me look like a completely sad fool :p

Something that I have often wondered is how much of ourselves we invest in our online avatars, in the sense of how much our personality and experiences influence our choices when we are creating or playing one of our online characters.

First the appearance of our character.    In real life I am just a little under 5 feet.  My ancestory is Scottish, so imagine Brown hair, fair skin and freckles, with a medium build. 

Next the race of our character.      In real life I have a strong will, definite views, a strong sense of family and friendship, and a passion for some of the good things in life (read good food and good wine :p)   I really am not a complicated person, what you see is pretty much what you get.   I am open (sometimes too open I think) and so you will always know where you stand with me.

And finally the class of our character.   In real life my nature is to nurture and support rather than lead.   I am not one to come up with revolutionary ideas, but rather I like to take care of detail and implement.   I also have a very very strong belief in social justice and doing right by people.

And I give you Kilanna the Dwarven Templar :D

My point is that for some of us, our avatar reflects quite a lot of our experiences and who we are.   Yet for some, an avatar gives us the opportunity to be something completely different from our real life  …..  A mighty warrior to lead from the front, a brave bard giving the group its inspiration, a skilled predator dispatching  with evil and injustice, or the stalwart healer to help fix the wrongs of the world.  

To each of us our avatars mean different things.   Even among my various EQ2 girls there is a huge difference.  I am very comfortable when playing Kilanna.   I am comfortable knowing that my tank and dps can rely on me to do my part and watch their back.    I sometimes find that playing my Palladin feels awkward because I am not naturally a person to lead from the front.    I find that I have been very much enjoying the little bard too – since her place is very much a support / utility type role.

Perhaps I am thinking about it and analysing too much, but these are just some random thaughts, and it would be interesting to hear if people think I am a complete and utter mad woman :p

VS still lives …. but only for now. Wednesday, Mar 18 2009 

OK so there are no points for guessing … we didnt kill VS.   The lizard lord lives – barely.

Last night we headed down to his lair as a guild for the very first time.  We zoned in and killed the trash.  Many of us had read strategies and a couple of us had even experienced the fight ourselves before, but this was different – it was all down to us now.

We probably pulled him around 15 times I think through the course of the evening.   We had everyone stocked up on cure noxious pots. 

There is a difference betweeen reading a strat and actually attempting the encounter yourself.  First couple of pulls, we were working out the use of the soulcube to stop the statue adds from spawning.  Do we just click the statues in VS room or do we use the actual item??? So turns out the statues in his room intermittently glow green at which point you have a few seconds to right click them.   This will stop the huge statues in the hall from animating and killing the raid.

We toyed with the idea of deliberately allowing one of the adds to spawn and have the MA tank them – but after the first couple of pulls when the statues did spawn it was decided that these guys were too tough to do that – mem wipe and a lot of hit points so the raids power would be all over the place for VS.

After the first one or two pulls, we also got to actually see and experience him watching our power pools and identifying those detrimental effects that he put on to either use power or replenish power.

OK so now we are up to maybe pull 4 or 5 – and this is how the rest of the evening went.   We would settle in to the combat after the pull, the statues kept in their rocky slumber.  We would be doing a fantastic job of burning VS down, one fight we got him to between 15-20%.  Invariably then someone would be feared and/or stunned with the noxious DoT, loose power when the AoE went off, spawning adds and wipe the raid.

We did not get him down last night, I had no expectation that we would, but  I am very very proud of my companions efforts.  It is no small task to take him down to under 20% the very first time that most of the raid have ever seen him.   It was always going to be about learning and experiencing the encounter. 

The fact that we came so very close to killing him, I know that we have it in us.  VS still lives – but only for now.  Next week we have decided that we will NOT go to SoH, instead we will go to his lair both of our regular raid nights.  At this time I FULLY expect that we will get him.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from the many people who have beaten this encounter – what are some of the small things that have made a difference to your raid getting him down?  How have you overcome the issue of people being unable to cure noxious due to stun or fear?  Is it reasonable to call everyone stop dps for 5 seconds prior to him putting on the noxious DoT?  This would help with the fear but does not much help the stun.

Until next time VS you big nasty lizard !!!!

In other news, I was very heartened to read THIS letter from the devs on EQ2Players today.   It gives me confidence that we are not going to see a repeat of the events surrounding the NGE in Star Wars Galaxies a few years ago.

Happy hunting and crafting as always folks.

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