Archive for July, 2011

So, I’ve been slacking on my blogging, and with much excuse I suppose. I got my first podcast up and then there was other things to do from there. I ended having to increase the bandwidth of the site and upgrading some things including finding alternate methods of downloading for those who refused to download via itunes, for fear of apple or something. My guess is too much Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a kid… Regardless, that all actually went fairly decent, then all Hell broke loose and among connection problems I was having with my computer, my mic seemed to short circuit in the middle of trying to record my 2nd podcast. Boo!

Now I need to buy a new one, and until then… all recording has ceased to continue. Lovely, eh? Anyways, after an infuriating day with my computer among other things going on, I of course logged in to kill some kolbolds. Got me wondering a little bit about how much abuse they must get. Random people going in and wiping them out just because they can whether out of anger, or to get the next batch of xp added onto their little bar. I won’t say for loot.. because frankly, we all know they don’t have anything half way decent.

[Break for Shroud Run]

Gawh! I get out of shroud and I am missing my large devil scales! This seriously CAN NOT be happening. I have come to the conclusion… that good luck does not stack, but Bad luck does. Anywho… Kolbolds shall die tonight!

Podcast take over my brain

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

July is DDO’s official/unofficial podcast month! As an avid DDO player, I love to listen to podcast about my favorite game. DDOCast, DDOCocktailhour, and of course Kalari’s new Kal’s Den are among my favorites to listen to. They are all different in their own ways and I can’t help but tune in to each with every new episode. Recently Kal’s Den has been rocking my socks with her unending rants about many topics in MMOs.

I’ve always wanted to do my own podcast and until now I’ve been to timid too try it. Of course, after some talk with my favorite podcasters, I’ve decided to start my own. KorthosCast is my new Podcast dedicated toward New and Old players discussing the ‘social’ aspects among other things of Dungeons and Dragons Online. I’ve recently started to record for my first episode and after some nervous tensions, I’m really starting to enjoy this anymore. I can’t wait to get my first episode out there.

If you’ve never listened to a DDO Podcast, then I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to get a little more out of the game. There is just some aspects of the game that just don’t seem complete anymore without them. Regardless of the unending rants and discussions we face playing an MMO, we really have a supportive community and I couldn’t do this without you all.

Anyways, I still have some recording and editing to do, so I’ll be keeping this short. Anyways, Love you guys and hope you tune in at Korthoscast.webs.com. 🙂 Here are some other podcast you can listen to.

Kalari’s Den
mmosmacktalk.com/kalsden/

DDOCocktailHour
ddococktailhour.com

DDOCast
ddocast.com

–Kobay (Culver.Civello)

When ‘Fun’ Happens

Posted: July 5, 2011 in Perceptive Gaming


Trixies of Sarlona during Guild Party
(The odd lighting of the Chronoscope gave this picture and interesting look.)

A lot of people seem to differ on their thoughts about the game and there always tend to be a lot of drama due to that and argument about what one players sees in this game compared to another. Yet, none of us are the same people so our definition of ‘fun’ is going to differ. That is just the way it is. Some people prefer power gaming, while more casual players like other things. Some like to Roleplay, and others do some hard core Permadeath. It is one game with many very different people, and even though we may clash when it comes to certain things, we have to understand that regardless, we are here to have fun. When this game becomes ‘work’, then it is simply not worth it anymore.

When I look at fun in DDO, I look at the people that I’m around. I love to laugh and joke with my guildies, and even some friends I’ve met pugging. I game a lot and grind out a lot, and so some people might consider me some type of power gamer, but when I’m questing, I manage to portray a totally different attitude than some may be accustomed to when dealing with similar players.

Yes, I Pug and a lot too. I like meeting new people regardless of what other horrible incidents I’ve been through. I’m met some great players that have the personality of a rock. Maybe a couple that are rocks with a little moss on them, but you get my point. Then there are other players that aren’t so great and are awesome to hang out with and I have no problem teaching them and helping them grow while we have fun together. Recently I met this sorcerer who really is a great guy. He is cool and we are always messing with each other and having fun, regardless of the fact that he is probably one of the most squishy sorcerers I’ve ever met. I’ve kind of learned to deal with it and there has been many times in which he has returned all that patience with him and saved me when I go and do something that I am about to regret.

So, when people have ‘fun’, it usually isn’t just whites and blacks, but many many shades of grey I guess you could say. We might just like a little bit of both, and that is ok. The one thing you shouldn’t do though is interfere on someone else’s fun. My sorcerer friend loves playing his build even though his squishyness has been known to grief both him and me. I give him advice to help him out, but never do I tell him how to play his Character. I think like many things in life, when your doing anything with another person, understanding is needed. If you don’t understand them, then try to do so. Don’t immediately fall to your perspective. When your not worrying about them, and you both enjoy yourself.. then Fun Happens. You are successfully playing the game how it was meant to be played.

Other than party members, it is always nice to have guild members too that you can rely on. In both instances, you want people that have close enough to the same views of fun that you do. It makes things much more interesting when you both can relate. I love my Guildies. They are the best and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have people that I can rely on to help me, and they know they can rely on me.

DDO is a game of community, whether in your party or in your guild. The last thing you want to do is make those around you angry, because that not only effects their gameplay, but yours as well. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, which I’m sure many of you know… “Happiness is not found. It is shared.” 🙂

-Kobay (Culver.Civello)

A Fresh Look at Epics

Posted: July 4, 2011 in Perceptive Gaming

I’ve always considered myself a person who was willing to try (almost) anything once. I’m reminded of my first ‘real’ carnival ride. If I recall, it was called ‘The Rainbow’. My mother practically dragged me onto the giant rainbow colored wheel and I stood in horror as I was buckled in and the ride began to spin. It was slow at first, then soon got faster and faster. Eventually, it became fast enough the it began to tilt and then began to rock back and forth and turn on it’s side. I remember my mother and a complete stranger on the opposite side of me telling me to stay standing straight up. I momentarily thought I was gonna puke and watch it go down on the person across the wheel from me. The thought immediately made me laugh and the ride suddenly seemed less horrifying. When I finally got off, I was still white as a ghost.  Honestly it scared me to death, but not nearly as much as I scared myself before even trying it. All in all, it was a very nice thrill and I think I could do something like that again one of these days. I’m not exactly a fan of high and fast rides, but some things just aren’t for everyone.

I felt nearly the same way when it came to doing Epics in DDO. When I finally hit 20 on my first toon it was an exciting time for me, but also a time of fear. Like many other players, I read the forums and was immediately intimidated by all talk about epics and extensive gear needed. I really was not looking forward to them at that point. I was a child again looking at a giant scary ride that I really was not sure if I was even prepared for in the least. I began to struggle with myself about doing them, and if I did do them, was I geared enough for them?

I had the privilege of guildies who were there to answer many of my questions, and several of them that run Epics quite often. They helped me get the courage to do them, and even though I was reluctant, I finally stepped onto the ride. Pale faced, and stomach turning, my first experience didn’t go so well. To be fair though, we were heavily undermanned in Epic Chrono when several members of the party suddenly said they had to go for one reason or another and left the rest to die. Not exactly the introduction to epics you would like to have.

One of my guildies who had been in the run assured me that it was not like that usually. I’m glad he did, or I would probably would not have stepped into another one after that horrible rush into death. He logged shortly after and there I was alone and ready to try and give this another go. I mean… other people do this all the time. Why couldn’t I too?

I learned quick doing more and more epic quest of what it actually took to succeed. I had my share of failures and completions. I faced ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’. It was a learning experience like any. The mobs were tough but I pulled all the stops to try and succeed. My gear at this point became the least of my worries. I don’t think I have really the best gear, but I had decent gear and I learned to work with what I did have.

Soon, I learned the thrill in Epics. I might have still had that pale face, but it was slowly lighting into a fierce fury of excitement. That number ’25’ that had scared me before as a dreadful quest level had opened my eyes and seen it as a chance to do something even better than what I had did in the past.

The difference? The party. There was no one person that ran off and did one part of the quest while the others did another part to hurry and finish it. Everyone knew better and stuck together. Any arguments in my head of what was ‘optimal’ and ‘Mellee vs. Caster’ or whatever petty arguments that I may have seen on the forums when it came to end game was relinquished and I realized it was about how we worked together to succeed together. For the first time in playing this game, it dawned on me that we were in this together. I mean… I knew this before, but I REALLY seen this when it came to epics.

Somehow, when I clicked on the LFM, we as a party were ‘One’. It wasn’t just ‘roles’ but how we could help one another to succeed, whether that meant you were stuck in one role or you had to become a little versatile and change up your tactics. Before we enter the quest, we had to discuss and make sure we had everything we needed for the quest. We took as much time as needed, going over numbers and stats. It truly became a game of strategy and teamwork like it had never been before for me.

This new closeness has caused me to enjoy Epics now, and when I finally get everything I need and TR for my next life, I’ll be looking forward to doing Epics the next time around. It is no lie that Epics are tough, but when you realize what is needed to compete with the hordes of mobs, it becomes an adventure like it was never before.

I will urge anyone who is intimidated by epics or considering  just passing it up, that you at least try and do more than one because just one might not accurately portray what is really there in Epics. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops, get comfortable with your party, or even use your mediocre gear. Better is always better, but a game is a game and there is always more than one way to complete a quest–even in Epics.

Just like carnival rides, it might not be for everyone, but you won’t know until you really give it a chance and try. The chances are, that you will probably enjoy it as much as I have, so get out there and EPIC AWAY! 🙂

–Kobay (Culver.Civello)

The path of the monk is perilous and full of trials that one must face. I’ve found that one such trial is overcoming one’s self. I can’t really say it is one trial, because it is more than that. We are full of trials that we must overcome. Everything we see and face brings on it’s own luggage. I had been right about the Harbor Master. He too had a task for us and it was not as easy as it had seemed. A few boys get lost in the sewers and we had to go fetch them. Turns out they had bit off more than they could chew. One had made it out barely alive while the other two were being held captive by kolbolds who had infested the sewers and claimed it as their home.

We fought through, facing many traps and hordes of kolbolds who yearned to stop us, yet we kept going and searching. We finally found what appeared to be a leader among them and got him to speak. He didn’t know of one of the boys, but the other was being held in his prison. Without many followers left, we left him to his own grief and found our way deeper into the sewers. We eventually found this Arlos who seemed stirred and not in his right mind. I could only imagine what kind of torture he had to endure. As much as I tried not to let this worry me, I couldn’t help but grieve for the boy.

We took what clues we had and found another clan of Kolbolds in the waterworks. These were even more organized and dangerous than the last. Luckily we were prepared and did what was needed to get through. After we distinguished the leader, we found our way into yet another prison. This time, it was full of death. I worried for the third boy, but all my prayers were in vain as we found the dead corpse of a young boy who simply wanted to adventure in the sewers unaware of what he would find. Searching his body we found marks saying “Shan-To-Kor”. I didn’t know what it meant, but it there was any vengeance for the boy, I would find it.

We searched marketplace for clues as to this ‘Shan-to-Kor’ and ended up finding a man who had lost his family’s signet ring. No doubt valuable to him as a family heirloom. If anyone could get it back, it was us. The man mentioned a sewer system that had been made a hideout for an infamous gang. I couldn’t help but chuckle. Surely it was just a bunch of no good thugs that could be easily dispatched of. I would later find out how wrong I was.

We found our way into the hideout and whipped past traps leading to a a lever that would open the door into the main facilities of the hideout. We stepped in, took care of a few of them and was suddenly bombarded with arrows. Our task that loomed before us stood daunting and laughing in our faces. One by one we fell till the last person went down with a thump. Luckily, we magically found our way out of it thanks to a handy spirit binder we had met in the same tavern where the man who wanted the signet was. After getting out… we prepped to go back in. Even as we did so, I could see the doubt in my comrade’s eyes. Even I admit there was some in me. Regardless we stepped back in a proceeded to where we left off.

Again, we were bombarded with arrows. My comrades started to fall around me when I felt the sting of arrows striking my body and I was suddenly forced to the ground. My body quivered in pain and stared into the face of death… The same face that that boy, Venn must have stared into as before falling into it’s grips. Vengeance boiled up inside we and I knew I couldn’t give up. Even those comrades around me that were still miraculously alive because they hid from the arrows seemed to be facing death in their own ways. I found myself whispering to them nearly unconscious. “I won’t give up. Not like this.” Finally I stood to my feet, pulled a potion from my pouch and chugged it down dropping out of sight of the arrows.

I’m not sure what hit me at this point, but I wasn’t ready to give in. As hopeless as it looked, I was ready to fight to the very end. I jumped back up to the path and ran until slamming my fist into the first archer, who suddenly looked so helpless as he stared at the vengeance in my eyes. He went down. Then another.. and another… I ducked back down drinking a couple more pots and then worked my way even further up the past, trying to ignore the pain of arrows ripping into my skin, threatening to send me straight into the embrace of death. I finally found some casters up top who had been tearing my comrades to pieces. The first went down easy. Suddenly, I was freezing as a storm of sleet rose up around me. As much as I suddenly wanted to give up, I couldn’t. My allies were counting on me. I forced my way through the storm trying to keep my unsteady eyes on the caster who had made the storm. I flung my foot out tripping him onto the ground, then slammed my fist full of vengeance into the man finally taking him out.

After taking out a couple more archers, I pulled the valve holding a door shut, and jumped inside as the shadows of a comrade, Trappur appeared holding the soul stones of our other comrades. He had a sudden twinkle in his eyes as he had apparently been watching me the whole time and was impressed. I myself didn’t realize I had it in me, but I had managed. We found a place to rest and revived our allies and easily took care of the rest of the gang and found the signet. Perhaps one of these days when I came face to face to my father, I hope that I have that same courage… because I know I will need it.

Until then… Shan-To-Kor… I’m coming for you!

Dear Alodi Bitterleaf,

Many years have you protected the people of Adar from the influence of the Quori and the Inspired of Riedra. Your services and sacrifices have been great and we at the House of Lyrandar would like to congratulate you on your recent training in the mountains of the Dragons that have lead to the Path of the Monk. You have made this house and your father proud. However, we regret to inform you that we are pulling you from your position in Adar. In this world, there are many evils in which we must face, and sadly there is a great threat on the rise that needs our immediate attention. We are unsure of the severity of the threat at this moment, but we must take what precautions we can. Therefore, you are requested to report to House Lyrandar in Stormhome on the Continent of Khorvaire where you will receive preparations for the upcoming events and take a ship to the Lands of Xen’drik. Regretfully, we are unable to secure a private ship, so you will be taking a public ship. Because of this, we can’t promise safe passage, and can’t risk sending troops for fear of discovery of our plans. In short, however dangerous this mission may be, you are may be our only hope to investigate what is going on.

As you may know, the continent of Xen’drik has been a passage of right for the last years for adventurers seeking glory and treasures. A number of powers have set up a safe haven in the land known as Stormreach, where you may be able to get any supplies you need while you are there. Once you are there, we will be unable to provide any help as it may prove dangerous to the mission, though we may be able to contact you through one of the Houses there… though any messages received will need to be immediately discarded of. You will be on your own, though I might suggest joining many of the adventurers there whom may be an invaluable asset to the cause, though your reasons for being there must be remain private. Be warned however that you should choose your comrades with caution.

From what we know, Xen’drik is a land formally inhabited by a civilization of Giants whom have fought the Quori in the past. You may be able to get help from them, but once again, be wary. Currently, Giants, Drows, and many other fiends crawl the lands of Xen’drik, so without a doubt, this is a dangerous adventure you will be embarking on. We at House Lyrandar trust you to put a stop to these dark powers at work as you have many times in the past. When you reach Stormreach, we shall have our spies return to us with news of your arrival and shall message you whenever possible. We wish you the best of luck, and we know that you shall do Our House and your father proud. Until we then may the spiritual ancestors of our house, Lyran and Selavash guide you on the correct path.

Sincerely,
Baron Esravash d’Lyrandar
Matriarch of House Lyrandar

The others seemed glad to have me back when I arrived, and it was honestly good to be back with them. At least with them, I felt like everything was in the open and there were no secrets to be had. Something I had to live with constantly when it came to House Lyrandar and my father. We wasted no time getting to work and decided to help a poor woman who seemed scared out of her wits end. This ‘Lady Azdel’ had apparently been kidnapped and the city’s guard had obviously been too busy to even mind. Though, I suppose it is hard to find yourself even wanting to listen to some lady running through the streets screaming her head off. They probably thought she was mad. We decided to look into and went searching in the hills to the south of the Harbor to find where she might be hidden.

The hills were covered in bugbears and hobgoblins just waiting for some poor innocent soul to wander out into their terrain unsuspectingly. We found hints of their work out in some farmland nearby. We stopped by there to find the farmer Nash who was too scared to make his own way to his home. Apparently the hobgoblins and such were threatening him and his home. It set us slightly off track, but we hoped maybe for some clues of this Lady Azdel. We quickly mopped the beast from the farmland with only a couple close calls and saved the man’s house from being burnt to the ground.

After finding nothing of interest, we graciously accepted a reward from the man and went back to searching. Finally we discovered a Grull encampment and decided to check it out. They were instantly hostile, and we defended ourselves as much. It was quite a fight through the outpost, but we finally made it to the main camp where the prisoners were kept. Lady Azdel and two of her lackies were imprisoned, and after we set them free, they were more than helpful taking down the outpost’s commander, ridding Stormreach of yet another problem. I felt kind of sorry for Flashpointe, who obviously had some sort of interest in the Lady, but was more or less turned down. Perhaps the next lady in distress will be more pleasing toward him. I didn’t really say to much to him about it, figuring it was none of my business… plus by the time we got back to the Harbor, we had more important things to worry about. Harbor Master Zin had summoned for us. Probably to put us to work like everyone else in this forsaken city who was crying about one thing or another. Well, I suppose someone needs to put their foots down and defend the innocent.

Alodi didn’t know what Lyrandar expected from him. He had spent all those years in Adar without contact from them and then out of no where they had decided to pull him from his home for all these years and were sending him into the hellhole of the world. As far as he was concerned, it was a death sentence. He had heard the stories of Xen’drik. It was a battle ground for adventurers fighting the corrupt and ancient evils that haunted the continent. Though most of them sought only fame and fortune, very few would find it, and even fewer would survive the evils they were forced to face. Just my luck

He turned peering out the porthole of the ship into the deep sky. He wasn’t going to give them the satisfaction of his death. Xen’drik was a dangerous place, but he would do whatever he needed to do to survive. They hadn’t even given him any specifics of why he was going there, just that there were evils there that needed to be dealt with. Everyone who heard stories from Xen’drik knew that much. Though they did have some sort of civilization there, most of the place was just rural areas full of monsters of all sorts waiting to haunt his dreams. The only reason he was on his way now, was because he wanted to know what his father had to do with this. His father who had been nothing but an oddity in his life was flaring back into it with this move.

Alodi closed his eyes feeling his ki moving through his body. It was suddenly that he felt something pierce it. He opened his eyes quickly starting out the window to catch the glimpse of something suddenly pass by the porthole. “Dragon!”, he heard one of the crew members above deck scream. Before he heard anything else, the boat suddenly cracked and darkness washed over him. Just my luck.

The glass came to his mouth as he stared into the darkness of the tavern waiting.

If he hadn’t been washed up onto Korthos, none of this would have been happening now, and who knows what might be left of that little village now. After falling off the ship, he’d been saved by a quick witted wizard who was casting spells left and right on several other passengers who had been on the ship. Luck would have it that these same passengers would become his allies in defending the village of Korthos. Why he had decided to join them, he wasn’t sure, but they had purpose and that was all he needed to know he was doing the right thing. Together they squashed the Cultist and Sahuagin that had a tight grip on the people, and even when they came face to face with the dragon once again, purpose had filled them.

Luckily with all their work, they had managed to secure passage to Stormreach. Alodi pulled his hand into a fist, gripping the cup tight. Although the little group they had formed in Korthos had been successful, there were some things he had to do on his own. He had left a note with Flashpointe, the wizard that had saved him and the others… who was know kind of an unannounced leader of the group. After sneaking off the ship, he was left sitting here in the tavern just waiting. Surely he would be here soon.

Just as he had seemingly been called, the shadows bent and a lengthy Half-elf erupted from the shadows. Alodi wondered momentarily how long he had been there, but the thought was gone as fast as it came and the rogue sat in the seat across from him. The man’s lips thinned before expressing a crude smile. “Hello brother.” the rogue spoke. Alodi laughed at his luck.

The conversation was short and yet oddly felt cruel. No doubt his father’s hand in things. Alodi walked from the tavern with a new sense of purpose. His own sense of it. Now he needed to find the others. Whatever sense of loneliness he had felt before with the group was now gone. Fate had dealt him a twisted hand, but he was going to make of it what he could.