Posts Tagged ‘MMO’


My Rift Cleric at 40

March 29, 2011

Only ten levels to go… the excitement is building.

These last few levels, if anything like the other MMO’s I have played, will be the longest levels in the game. Well, compared to the first 30 I just played through. I have been thoroughly enjoying the Rift leveling process and have only once been impatient to leave an area and move on to the next – and that was only from excitement that the next are was visually very pretty to play.

Callista, my Cleric, is still primarily an Inquisitor using Vex as my main spell in a 40 inq / 7 warden / 6 sent build. But more and more often, I am finding I need to kill large packs of mobs faster as Vex’s throughput doesn’t heal me enough to keep up with the damage that the higher level mobs are dealing out. This is especially apparent in Invasions where you can’t control how many adds come tottering along with dire intent to maim and murder everything in their path. Sometimes I find myself facing off with up to 15 mobs and it can be a bit too much to deal with. Plus, if Utu pulls threat when he is in his Pyromancer wtfbbqpwnsauce build, I sometimes can’t heal him fast enough to keep him alive with only Healing Breath from the Sentinel tree and Healing Spray from the Warden tree. Even pre-loading the Healing Spray hot and the Healing Current hot on me before a pull can sometimes still be pretty dicey when it comes to outlasting the packs of mobs with only Vex as my DPS heal. I find myself relying on Circle of Oblivion (hereafter to be referred to as Circle of Awesomeness) and Soul Drain between keeping up my Vex dots to burn them down before I die.

I am beginning to yearn for more AOE abilities…

So I have been thinking of switching around. Anyone who has done some serious end-game raiding knows the inverse equation of healing ratio to damage output. More damage output can mean less healing is needed. Conversely, stronger healing can mean less burst damage is needed. Its a balancing act that starts out innocently with merely slotting for class balance in a raid, and ends with min-maxing for hard modes and capitalizing on class stacking and spell rotation usage. But this blog isn’t about hardcore snooze-fest theorycrafting on how to top meters and crush your fellow healing teammates with uber play, its about celebrating being an MMO healer and how much I am enjoying killing things while I level to end game in my current MMO, Rift.

I am thinking I either need stronger heals or I need stronger AOE. The Cabalist tree offers some serious AOE throughput but that would exclude any sort of heals from either my Warden hot or the Sentinel Instant heal. I would have to drop one tree for the Cabalist, and that got me thinking. Why not consider dropping both Warden and Sentinel in favor of an Inquisitor (35) / Cabalist (14) / Purifier (4) build or maybe just drop warden with a Inquisitor (41) / Cabalist (15) / Sentinel (10) build.

Just looking briefly over the numbers, the Cabalist tree offers Entropy which would boost my Vex output, and a spell power increase which replaces the Warden instant ability spell power buff Destructive Tide. The Shield of the Ancestors from the Purifier tree absorbs 658 damage (before spell power modifiers) vs the instant heal of only 304 (before spell power modifiers), but it only has an 8 second CD VS a 30second CD on the shield. The little heal from Healing Flame gives 208 (before spell power modifiers) and its on a 1.5 second CD so maybe it might help, but my instincts tell me that that is too little too slow to really do any difference compared to what I have right now (instant heal and a hot).

So my real dilemma is A) how to get more fat AOE damage without giving up too much healing protection and, B) is the pure AOE output in Cabalist worth dropping the security blanket that the Warden hot and the Sentinel instant heal have given me so far? I guess the only way to see is to spec into the Cabalist/inq/Sent trees and find out.

more details to follow…


We’ll be the Pirate Twins again…

March 25, 2011

Video courtesy of Fallingdown08. No thanks to EMI who relentlessly makes sure no one will ever ever ever see an original video of Thomas Dolby’s early work.

Just a little bit of Derring Do…
One of the most fun moments Utu and I have had so far in this game, aside from the spontaneous Rift Raids (informally called Rifting by those of us playing the game) that you get when you are out in the zones was a quest called, “Just a Little Off the Top“. this quest, started by the NPC Helena Brass, asks you to go upstairs and pilfer some off the protection money the local mob boss took from the merchants of Lantern Hook. Seems simple enough, right? Utu and I headed off to grab the cash and get some easy exp.

Well, what we hadn’t realized is this guy here doesn’t want us to pop into their little cave of ill-gotten lewt and make off with the goods. No, instead, he wandered in like a normal NPC, noticed what we were doing and kicked our butts. He trampled Utu and almost got me before I could run away and reset him. It was pretty cool because we didn’t expect that level of NPC interaction in a game; after all, he is yellow tagged and that usually means he is neutral hostile.

Well, after we ghost walked and got back to the cave we had a fun little time taking turns playing look-out and calling out to each other when it was safe while we each hopped over the wall a few times to grab the quest lewt. The bully/guard doesn’t pat away very far, and as a result we had a few tense, but fun moments making sure he didn’t see us as we pirated the goods. We got back safely to the quest NPC and turned it in. Both Utu and I throughly enjoyed being pounced on and running around like kids stealing candy.

Hopefully our sacrifice wasn’t in vain and we wont have to rescue these folks again. Maybe they will learn their lesson and not let bullies extort them for “protection money” again. Luckily for them, Mr. Paws is on the job protecting the good people of Lantern Hook from danger.



March 11, 2011

Well friends, the launch of Cataclysm came and went. Over the ensuing months since November’s release, I spent many long hours grinding heroics with my end-game toons; a feral/resto Druid named Lionesse, and a shadow/holy priest called Hyacinthe. It took me a bit of time to get them to a point I felt they were raid ready, but by Mid-February I had a feeling I was there. Unfortunately, I also felt burned out and bored – right back to where I was in Wrath just months before.

There are many reasons I was bored, some of it was the badly implemented cross-server Dungeon Finder Tool and the over-abuse of the Vote-to-Kick function that made each gear run such a grinding horror. As well, some of it was the lack of viable raiding spots in my new casual guild on Proudmoore that would support my commitment to reduce my online gaming time to a responsible level and still give me enough time to live a meaningful life outside of virtual reality. And finally, it was also due in part to the simple fact that I had been there, done that, with the same classes, and the same mechanics, and the same story telling methods, time and time again. Seven years of World of Warcraft is a long time folks.

So to alleviate the boredom I decided that I was going to play a game I spent some time last Fall alpha testing. That game is called Rift. Although I have beta tested quite a few MMO expansions and even had a chance to beta review one before it launched, I have never had the honor of participating in an Alpha test. It was a pretty cool experience and my thanks goes out to the folks over at Angry Guild Leader for the MMO testing opportunities they bring me over and over again.

As of this week, I have a level 23 Cleric called Callista and a level 17 warrior called, you guess it, Hyacinthe. I dont know yet if I will stop playing World of Warcraft, or go back after a few weeks, all I know at this point is that I just dont feel like logging in to my characters on WoW. Not at all – not even to say hello to friends, not even to run dungeons with my son. I guess I am just too burned out to care about WoW right now.

Stay tuned for further adventures and minor blogging as I explore a new MMO for the first time in over a year.


The tradition of oral story telling

April 4, 2010

Some say that if a tale didn’t reach you via the written novel, that it doesn’t rank with the greatest stories of all time. But I say, it doesn’t matter if you learn of a story in a Tolkien novel, or related to you by a great story-teller like Michael Wordsmyth, or experienced in a MMO. If a story touches your heart and stays in your mind, and changes your very soul, that my friends, is the mark of a damn good story.

The story of Pamela Redpath of Darrowshire is one such tale. Offhand, I can only think of about a dozen stories, yes, most are in books, that move me to tears and send chills down my spine every time I experience them. This is one of them.

I am of the opinion, that in the coming years, this story will become one of those stories that people refer to when they talk about things that moved them in a special way. I encourage everyone to hear this tale at least once.