Thursday, March 23, 2017

UOD: March 23, 2017

You know what I haven't had enough of? The new house craftables. 18.5 hours of work in 3 just days wasn't enough for me. I really enjoyed the repetitious clicking of thousands of tiles of flooring, walls, doors, and gozas. You know what would really make me happy? Someone buying a castle and asking me to build it up.

In case you didn't know, there was some level of sarcasm in the previous paragraph.

Actually, I was the one who let Nestor know that this castle was for sale. I'm the one who told him the keep was for sale, now that I think about it. When it comes down to it, I'm the one to blame for all of the work I take on.

I did not think this castle would be as difficult as it has been. The previous owner had built up the castle, and at first glance I thought I would have minimal work to do.

The previous owner had done what we did with the keep: build the 3rd floor above the tiered roof. What he failed to do, however, was everything that was important (to me) when building up the house.

For one, he did not close any gaps left over from raising the 3rd floor above the tiered roof. At the bottom right of the screenshot above, you can see how the top of the northeast tower has gaps between the short rough walls and the stone pavers.

The previous owner also did not properly set up the build to create a seamless transition from old house to add-ons.

See how the west walls in the above hallway are offset from the westmost walls of the towers? That shouldn't happen if you've raised the floors and built the walls correctly. To give the previous owner credit, the "correct" way is incredibly time consuming and not everyone knows it. It was annoying enough to me, however, that I decided I had to fix it.

This little picture should give you an idea of what I meant from my post about the Keep - go outside the house and place the pavers along the outer edge of the foundation, double click to lock the pavers down, then go inside and use your interior decorating tool to raise the pavers up.

I started fixing the castle by doing this, only I very quickly ran into a very large problem.

The house craftables don't hide when you use the circle of transparency. That means if you're trying to fix the foundations and pavers like I was, you can't even see the foundation.

This is a more recent screenshot to demonstrate what I mean. I can place some of the pavers along the foundation, but if I wanted those pavers along the entire north or west wall, I wouldn't be able to see or place anything behind the already-placed craftables.

There are two ways around this. One way is to empty the client's cached houses (an incredibly time consuming process, as it has to be redone once for every single tile you want to lay down  at the foundation) and the other is to completely tear down the house craftables. If you'd like a tutorial on the first method, let me know.

As for this castle, I weighed my options and decided that tearing down the previous owner's work was the best course of action. Nestor offered to help tear down the house, which really sped up the deconstruction process. Removing the 3rd and 4th floor from the castle took about two hours.

We did leave the 1st and 2nd floor courtyard work, as it didn't interfere with anything I planned to do and Nestor liked how it looked.

While we were tearing down the castle, someone happened to pop a treasure chest nearby. It was interesting turning a corner of the castle and coming face to face with an ancient wyrm.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

UOD: March 22, 2017

I've started feeling a draw to the sea-faring life. When I decided to train my fishing skill, I realized that I couldn't simply train it up on a mule type character. Both training and everyday use would put said character in a variety of situations that would require some sort of ability to retaliate and stay alive. In the end I decided that my main character, a bard, would be best suited for the skill. While training the skill I sacrifice provocation, and when I finally hit GM I will mainly play with fishing on this character.

Part of this decision led me to realize I would finally have to bite the bullet and buy some soulstones. For now, I can load up Fishing on a different character when it's not in use, but if I ever swallow a powerscroll I will no longer be able to hold the skill on one of my skill mules. I mean, I could, but I'd have to buy the scroll for a 2nd time, and it's expensive and difficult to find one 120 fishing scroll, let alone two.

My fishing is barely 60 at this point, so I have time to look for a scroll. Another option I have is to run the Fishmonger quests and hope that I will get a powerscroll as a reward.

Nestor and I have continued keeping the pet stall stocked. Our most popular pet by far is the fire beetle, so every few days we find ourselves in the depths of Yamotsu. Every so often we will go on a hunt for higher powered greater dragons. So far our best find has been a 3.8. We shall keep trying!

I've forgotten a lot of my woes about the game's state while running through Atlantic. As much as I appreciate the history and my time on Lake Austin, I've almost fully transitioned to Atlantic. I very rarely log on to Lake Austin anymore.

As confusing as the hoards of people can be and as loud as chat can get, I love it.

I've finally started sorting through the bags of Treasure Map goodies Nestor and I have collected. I opened up another vendor at the Workshop to place the Alacrity and Transcendence scrolls on, and we've made a modest bit of gold off of the sales. Eventually we will have to go on some more trips. Now that I've realized how much Fel treasure maps consistently sell for (at least 15 mil per), I appreciate that we were able to get such a great deal on the maps included with the Davies' Lockers.

I've also received some decent drops from my champion spawn adventures. A couple more dragon turtle eggs as well as some level 3 primers have made their way into my backpack. It's been nice to work on increasing my damage output while still acting as a healer. I enjoy the challenge, though I do wish I had a better ping. I can only imagine what I could do if I didn't have to worry about lag.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

UOD: March 21, 2017

I've spent several hours in Deceit killing mummies. Why, you ask? Small hedge seeds, of course!

Initially I spent some time in the solen hives killing ant lions, but their respawn time is pretty low and each lion nest only has one mob versus this room's two mummies. Twice the opportunity for seeds!

Since we've become addicted to treasure map hunting, I looked into mobs that drop level 6 maps. Miasma seemed really promising, so Nestor and I headed off there to kill to our heart's content.

We ended up getting four chests and four treasure maps after about 40 minutes of killing. Not too shabby, but our packs were full and we needed to unload. By the time we got back, someone else had taken up residence at the spawn and we decided to move on.

We've come to appreciate the frequency of Virtue's Live Auction. If I see the gate and I'm not busy I find myself spending my time sitting in on the auction. I've only bought two things - a fire elemental costume and raised garden bed - but it's fun to see the interactions that take place.

I'm weird about my fame and karma levels. I prefer for them to be in the same range, so if my karma starts outstripping my fame due to unfortunate happenings (read: deaths) I tend to do things that lower my karma.

One of the things I will do is kill cu sidhes. Or rather, provoke anything and everything onto the cu sidhes, sit back, and enjoy myself. If something rare colored ever spawns I will either hop onto my tamer and attempt the tame solo or call Nestor over to tame the pup. Since I am laggy 100% of the time, I usually opt for the option where I'm the support instead of the main. Less deaths overall occur when I do that.

I had a fun random interaction with some bank sitters earlier this month. I was organizing some stuff in my bank when someone came up and started talking to me like a long lost fiend. "Hi, Karma! Come meet my friends! Friends, meet Karma! Come sit with us! Talk!" After some digging around I realized that this person was very likely an alt of someone I frequently run champion spawns with.

The conversation was pretty standard for a long time group of friends, bringing back some serious nostalgia for me. It's been many years since I've played with my old groups of friends, as we've all fallen out of touch. This was a nice call back to those days.

Eventually the person who invited me to sit with the group left and I excused myself. It was a random diversion, but definitely welcome.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

UOD: March 13, 2017

I took on an incredible project for the first few days of March: customizing a keep.

I have had stone stockpiled for several years and never had a chance to use it when the housing craftables system was introduced, so there wasn't much scramble for resources when I got started. As the project progressed, however, I found myself buying up all of the regular granite I could find.

All in all it took 18.5 hours and 8k granite across 6 different sessions to complete the build. Since this was my first time working with the stone, I stumbled a bit with figuring out the North and West walls, since the four corner towers jut out from the base square of the keep and add extra areas that I need to raise up floors from. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just know this: the outermost North and West walls cannot be built on without floors (pavers). To build there, you have to go outside the house and place pavers along the foundation walls, secure the floors, then use an interior decorating tool to raise all of those pavers up to the appropriate level to start building up the house.

I also happened to stumble quite a bit with figuring out how to deal with the roof of the original keep. The unlevel short rough walls around the outside and on top of the towers proved difficult to work around. In the end, I decided to raise the 3rd floor above all of that fun stuff and build above that section of the keep. That proved difficult as I had to make sure to go back and fill in any gaps between the 2nd and 3rd floor.

This kind of shows what I'm talking about. If you don't place/raise/stack floors, pavers, etc. properly, you will end up with this rather unattractive look.

I also had some difficulties on the stairs that led from the 2nd to 3rd floor, where there was a 4-tile space where you could see the old keep roof. After some experimenting, I concluded that I could not hide that section of the house and still keep the stairs. I ended up disliking the look so much that I reworked that section of the house and added house teleporters instead.

In this screenshot you can see what I mean about the north and west wall difficulties by looking at the top left corner. The pavers those short rough walls were on cannot be placed while inside the house; I had to go outside and place the pavers behind the rough foundation before raising it up. Once I had my first layer of pavers done, though, I could build up the rest of the keep normally. Sort of. It's complicated. My head hurts trying to think about how to write about it. LOL!

We also learned that pavers and grass tiles don't play well. My solution was to place down dyed gozas to function as grass in the porch areas.

The top floor will be enclosed by short hedges, which I'm in the process of growing. I've not put much effort into decorating the keep, as I still have nightmares about all of the work it took to get the house to where it is right now. :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

UOD: March 10, 2017

We have spent a fair amount of time working on treasure maps since I trained up my skills. I've still had 4 or 5 troublesome maps. Above you can see what I do when I get truly desperate. This particular chest was in the middle of nowhere, with all identifying landmarks very far away from the chest. It made it very hard for me to pinpoint the exact location of the chest. Eventually I started placing down cloth to help remember where I had already tried digging. I learned from this map that I can pinpoint harder to find chests by using several landmarks instead of just relying on one.

Nestor picked up a tower in Fel so we could PvP like we used to in years long past. I suppose the same results could be achieved by creating a guild together, but I'm starting to look possibly joining one of the larger PvM guilds on the shard. I wouldn't mind having a group I could consistently run champion spawns with.

I took some time to redo my suit. I've now completely replaced the original mage suit I bought for 1.7 mil and replaced it with a complete suit that has 79% SDI and 27 mana regeneration. Even though I had originally decided that I didn't need the full 3/7 FC/FCR due to my high ping, I thought I would try for it to see if I did notice a difference. It's very small, and during high lag times I may as well not have it any faster casting, but the overall power of this suit versus my previous one made the trouble all worth it. All in all I spent about 4.5 million gold. Perhaps pricey, but I realized that a good suit dictates my success in everything I do in the game. If there's something to splurge on, it would be my suit.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

UOD: March 9, 2017

Nestor picked up a Davies' Locker with several level 6 Treasure Maps in late February. I had fond memories of solo testing the T-Maps on Test Center during the revamp and expressed interest in doing them. Since he remembered liking T-Map hunting, Nestor loaded up a character with the appropriate skills and we attempted to start our adventure.

Unfortunately, the T-Map hunting Nestor remembers is no longer valid. He made an honest effort at trying out the new system, but the amount of skills he would have had to give up only frustrated him. He already had lockpicking and cartography, how was he supposed to add in mining to broaden the window he had to work with to dig up the chest? How was he supposed to pinpoint the location? In the end, he logged out an incredibly frustrated person.

In an attempt to find a way around the situation, I bought several alacrity scrolls, created a character, and ran to a Mapmaker's shop in Britain to begin my journey.

Unlike tailoring and blacksmithing, I couldn't select "make max" and leave the game be with a check in every 5 minutes. I had to actively sell the maps I was making and buy more blank/shop maps to create more maps from. Even so, I was surprised at how little time it took to get my cartography from 50-99.5 - about an hour. From 99.5, I bought a .5 transcendence scroll for about 15k and basked in my new GM Cartogrpahy.

From there, I bought some alacrity scrolls for lockpicking, found Goodman's public training box, and got to work.

It took another hour and a half for me to bring my lockpicking up from 50 to 100. I moved some skills around, added cartography to my bard, contacted Nestor, and got to work.

The last time I did treasure maps in 2010 or 2011, I had a much smaller screen. This time around I found I had to take a screenshot of the map with the plotting line added (the line is more precise than the pin), load up the screenshot in Photoshop, and zoom all the way in.

Even then, there were some maps that I had difficulties with figuring out the exact location. There were two maps where it took me upwards of 20 minutes to find the chest.

Since Nestor wasn't the one doing the chest searching, he was happy to sit around and wait, though. :)

With Nestor's mage and my Bard/Mage prowess, we quite easily conquered all of the guardians for each chest. Even the ancient wyrms were easier than I expected.

I still haven't sorted through our loot. Nestor's trammel tower is completely stuffed full of dryad green bags. Perhaps one day I will finally vendor up/store the jewelry and gear. Until then, the first floor of the tower will continue to be an eyesore.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

UOD: March 8, 2017

I had about a week of being unable to enter the room of the Workshop that stores all of my possessions. The two cocoa trees that I'd planted in the first floor grew to be a little too tall and I didn't want to tear them down early before getting all of their resources. Thus, my lesson about where I can plant certain things in the house has been learned.

I've been stocking up on raised garden beds. Not only have I been placing 1-3 in each of Nestor's homes, I've placed the ones you see here on top of placing as many as I can fit in the new Greenhouse. I've paid anywhere between 14 million and 20 million gold per, but it feels like I'm paying nothing due to the old prices of 60+ million per.

This time when I customized the house, I paid a bit less attention to aesthetics and more attention to functionality. I still didn't make a borg cube, though.

You may have noticed that the timeline for certain things I've been talking about don't quite line up with these posts. Obviously my plants didn't go from infants to fully mature in less than a few days; I'm just trying to catch up on all of the happenings I have failed to post about in the past month.

Who would have thought that I would become so busy playing the game that I couldn't take the time to write about it??

Here is the February 23rd Atlantic EM event Nestor and I happened to stumble upon while trying to get his Spellweaving quest complete. Nestor is realizing more and more that there is a lot of content he hasn't touched. Spellweaving is one of those skills he had no experience with, but he had seen enough to know that he wanted the skill. First, though, he had to train it.

That's how we stumbled upon this gathering in Heartwood! So while Nestor continued looking for his questgiver, I plopped myself in the middle of all of these happenings.

Yet again, I found myself in the middle of a story line I wasn't all that familiar with. All I know is a bunch of stuff spawned and I found myself healing more than doing direct damage to anyone. The big boss for this event happened to deal a lot of damage so I concentrated my heals on as many dragons tanking him as I could.

Nestor and I have an ongoing disagreement about our playstyles. I opt more for a support/help playstyle, forgoing greater rewards for the knowledge that I kept those around me alive or resurrected them if I failed to heal them in time. Nestor opts for concentrating on the mob and how much damage he can do. That's not to say he doesn't heal or rez, but that's not his priority. He has frequently told me that I should worry more about myself and stop trying to help everyone.

So far, I have received better loot than him due to the heals I dished out. Besides this EM event item (which, admittedly, was probably more random than based off of contribution), I have gotten a small soul forge from a recent Scalis that I exclusively healed for.

Take that! LOL

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

UOD: March 7, 2017

Nestor has an... interesting way of decorating. I call it the "throw it where it fits" method.

We've taken to keeping several orange plants growing at all points in time to stock up on the orange petals. Since we do Humility so often, it's come in very handy to have some increased poison resistance. The bonuses aren't as noticeable for the Turtle spawn due to the level of poison the Dimetrosaurs inflict, but we use them anyways for the off chance the petals do their job.

At one point we hopped on Heroes of the Storm with a mutual friend to get the promotional mount for World of Warcraft that Blizzard has going on. It took us about 4 hours to get all 15 games required.

Every day is usually speckled with a champion spawn run here or there. I can't say I get anything particularly good, and I know I could build up a character that would deal higher damage and have a higher chance of getting good items, but it's so fun playing my bard I really don't want to change.

I finally set up several vendors at the workshop. Down on the front steps I have a vendor for repairs, some miscellaneous jewelry and gear I pick up from our adventures, armor refinements, and some scribed goods. I'm still trying to work out some prices for the stuff I want to sell, but as I go I find myself adding more and more vendors. Soon I'll add in a natural dye vendor and seed vendor.

As part of my preparations for the natural dyes, I've started harvesting silver serpent venom from serpents in my free time. I checked the vendor prices for silver serpent's venom and it just wasn't worth it when I can make the ingredients myself and especially since I plan to sell pigments. Any extra costs I incur would be passed on to the customer, and eventually they would decide they do not want to pay the price I can give them.

UOD: March 6, 2017

Nestor accidentally started us on champ spawns again.

I'll admit, I've had limited knowledge of what's available in Ilshenar for a very long time. The only spawn I had run before (in Ilsh) was Lord Oaks, and even then it was back in the days of White Wyrms and my very sub-par mage suit.

Nestor stumbled upon the Humility spawn while trying to find somewhere to use his brand new Smuggler's Edge. While he was checking out a place near the Humility shrine that he was told would help, he realized he had stumbled upon a champion spawn.

What was even better, someone seemed to be trying to run it. I decided to join in, and before I knew it we started consistently running the Humility spawn.

I've learned a lot about how Humility works since then, and realized the basic methods participants use to take out certain bosses.

One of the fun things about Humility is the spawn itself is random. Sometimes we'll get Semidar/Abyss, sometimes we'll get Neira/Unholy Terror.

So far we've managed to get several minor artifacts, level I and II primers, and lots of gold.

The population feels like it keeps going up. More and more I feel like I'm lagging out because there are lots of people on running champion spawns or simply bogging down the server.

There's a consistent group of people I see at the champ spawns, and we all help each other out when we can with heals, cures, etc.

Somewhere along the line someone called for help with the Dragon Turtle spawn. I had never done it before, but I was willing to check it out, so check it out we did.

There's a major method people use to handle the creatures - kite them to a nearby river and use the river to create physical distance between us and the mobs. It works for the most part. We just have to be careful at level 2, when there are banana-slinging gorillas who pack a mean punch.

Since my first successful Dragon Turtle run, I've managed to get one egg for myself. Outside of that, I've gotten yet more artifacts, gold, and some Time of Legends receipts. 

As of today I still haven't checked out the new mechanics for Doom. I worry my connection isn't good enough to do so.

On the plantgrowing/vendor font, I've recustomized my former apartment complex into my main house and plant nursery. It even has some vendors. The main house has been redesigned to be exclusively a plant house, while still keeping away from the Borg Cube of Doom.