I Came Here To Be Podkilled: Ataraxia’s Kingdom Edition

Ok, ok, there aren’t any pods in DDO. I didn’t get podkilled. I did get TPK’ed, though. Wiped, if you will. “PK” could stand for “player kill” or “pod kill”, after all.

This happened last week, in Ataraxia’s Kingdom. And in the spirit of ICHTBPK, I resolved to blog about failure, just so that you, dear reader, will get some fun out of my misery.

It happened last week. Yours truly, he of fabulous crimson follicles; Lobilya, trap-mechanic and general back-stabber, Cheeves, a Paladin 6/Rogue 3/Confused lots, and Vironet, Ranger 9.

It didn’t end well. It didn’t even start well. Our hirelings (level 9 clerics), were very aggressive and pulled too many mobs. And at other times, they would go inactive and do nothing until given a command, even though they were set to “guard” or so on. Summoned creatures were similar. This was the overland zone in Ataraxia’s Haven, before we ever got to the dungeon. We also had a kind of “scatter in many directions” issue, and a few deaths. I learned, much to my irritation that in spite of being called “Wildmen”, they aren’t, in fact Persons, and are not susceptible to Charm Person. Charm Monster wasn’t working all that great, either.

The Duergar also swarmed us, but at least they could be charmed. However, I was somewhat slow to target and cast, that didn’t help. But we struggled by, helped enormously by having cleric hirelings who could raise dead, and finally made it to the dungeon.

The first part consisted mostly of killing Scrags, a kind of sea troll. That wasn’t too bad, but I was running very low of spell points. We had decided to do the dungeon on hard. After all, someone (Vironet?) had done it before, and thought it wasn’t too bad. I ran very low of spell points. There was only one rest shrine in the zone, and it being Hard, I could only use it once.

But we managed the Scrags, and we managed to get the two keys that would get us into the lighthouse to where Ataraxia was being held prisoner. That’s when the truly horrible stuff happened. In the next room, we got swarmed by Duergar. Including a named. I charmed several of them, but had trouble picking out the enemies from the friends in the melee. It didn’t help that several of them both had very good sneaking ability, and a very good ability to see through our invisibilty/sneak/etc.

Vironet started backing off and kiting a Duergar Assassin, or so she thought. To me, she was kiting the named. Unfortunately, the named caught up to her and offed her, then went snuck. We had a discussion:

Me: “Did that named get you?”
Her: “I wasn’t kiting the named, it was an assassin.”
Me: “The named ran right past me after you.”
Her: “I never saw him.”

So, we were all dead, but some of us were close to the rez shrine. Like me. I rezzed my cleric hireling. I made myself invisible, then went to look for Vironet. Something like the following happened. I told the cleric to rez her, and an assassin materialized, saw through my invis, and one-shotted me with a backstab. I’m dead now, out of reach of the rez shrine. Vironet gets raised and the named appears in similar fashion and offs her, I don’t think it was a one-shot, nobody is quite as wimpy as Elf of Paper. Quoth she, “Oh, there’s the named.”

Now we’re all dead, and too far from the rez shrine. So we declare a wipe and recall. A short break and we want to try again. This time on Normal difficulty.

It isn’t quite a replay, we get a little farther. In fact, we wiped when we entered the final room, had the door close behind us, and get swarmed by Duergar, including many Flamestrikes.

Ok, the mood of the group is getting a little sour. So we look for something else. Cheeves says, “Hey there’s a quest we can do in the Harbor, something about outsiders invading. It’s way over our head. Beholders are everywhere. Ice Flensers and Blood Reavers, too.

There were some fun aspects to it. Opening the first door, a troop of Fiendish Kobolds comes running down the hall at us, turns and runs through the door and disappears. They had no concern for us, they were fleeing in terror. My reaction was, “Dangit I can’t target them, dang, dang, dang, HEY! Hahahahaha!”

The other fun bit is getting shot at repeatedly by Beholder eye-beams that had NO EFFECT ON ME WHATSOEVER! Muahahaha! I had my saves buffed, and my Deathblock robe on, and was bouncing around getting shot at repeatedly while others were actually shooting it. It all ended in tears, though, when I rolled a 1 or something on my save and was disintegrated. (By the way, I dinged 11 last night and can cast disintegrate now. And I’m just itching for some payback!) We mostly ended up dead and watching Vironet kite things around until one of the dungeon’s tricks spawned a crowd that she couldn’t manage on her own. Third wipe of the evening.

I won’t say we were undaunted, there was some serious daunting going on. But we wanted a win now, pretty bad. And we got it by doing The Church and the Cult in House Phiarlan. We investigated the Temple of Vol, and discovered a horror at the end, a vampire! Our battle with him was epic, he’d turn into bats and disappear for a while, and then reappear elsewhere. He also blinded me. But it didn’t matter, I could tab target him and shoot him anyway.

My biggest damage spell is Lightning Bolt. I have a hat that increases it’s damage by 40%, and it usually hits for about 70. Unfortunately, Adran ir’Karsmore (the vampire) has rogue levels and Improved Evasion, and even when he failed to evade, he has some giant damage resistance, so even when I hit him, I did maybe 10 points of damage. So I went with the tried and true standby – Magic Missile. That did a little better. But we got him, and our feelings were saved, if not our honor.

*************

This week we redid the Ataraxia quest and were successful. But the party composition changed. Cheeves swapped out for Jonnson, Cleric 9. And we added Special Guest Star Jaliera, red-headed high elf Paladin 8. (She looks so much like me, you’d almost think we’re related or something.) And we rocked it. I did much better targeting and charming, etc, because I’m using a new keyboard setup. More on that in a later post.

The main difference was control of engagement. We did much better at letting mobs come to us. With one fewer hireling and a person doing healing, we were much more solid on that front. So, we rocked the joint, freed Ataraxia, and then climbed to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the spectacular view of the island, and do a little victory dance. Later, we did the other dungeon in Ataraxia’s Haven, with similar success. What a difference a week makes.

3 thoughts on “I Came Here To Be Podkilled: Ataraxia’s Kingdom Edition

  1. Yeah, they borked hirelings last update. Our clerics have been doing the same thing: way too aggressive before a fight, standing there idle during.I'm a bit sympathetic to Turbine, as I've been reading about AI for my job and it's not a simple subject.

  2. Our Ataraxia win consisted of direct application of Sun Tzu's Art of War , 14th chapter, “Rest and Recuperation”:When encountering the enemy in his stronghold, don't open the inner door before using the rest shrine.I looked it up on Wikipedia. It's there.

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