Been a While

I have been trying to write but I’ve been busy. And except for some occasional visitors, there are no many readers “yet,” so kind of prioritizing everything else.

Now since a lot have happened since I wrote the last post, I’ll keep u posted and well sort of announce the change of the nature of this site.

Of course the protagonist is Nightdefendr but it changes once in a while. Though I keep player her and she will be in the spot light soon enough, my main focus is on another toon so I’ll also write about him. I also started to play the table top version of DnD so I want to write about it, too.

Now actually my main toon got to level 27 and I think he will TR by the end of the next week. I will play him at least 10 – 15 hours over the weekend (I’ll do other things too like riding my road bike for 5 hours, cook for my family and do the TTRPG…). I’ll be another Deep Gnome pale master but this life I lived pure. Next I’ll take two Rogue splashes and see what difference those splashes and this past life of the wizard will have on this toon. And I can untrap and unlock! I’m thrilled.

So I’ll keep you (future readers) updated!

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First Thing to Do in Epic is SPIES!

So my Nightdefendr got to the epic level! Now the first thing I do when I get to the Epic level (above 20) is running the quest, “Spies in the House.” This is one of the difficult quests but to me, there are so many more difficult quests that are not labeled as difficult. Or maybe since I really practiced like spending a few hours on this one and others, I just back away when I feel the quest is too much so if I practice like I did for this quest, it would be my favorite.

So I went to House D and talked to the guy just outside the entrance. Well, she is good! The only thing that makes me feel she is a tad handicapped is because I didn’t invest on her jump skills at all so even with the jump buff spell, it was a tad difficult to make a high jump but except for that, maybe it was easier to do this quest with her. I have been running quests with monsters from deep woods. I really can’t kill them with my instakill magic so it was a tad harder but against humans, or humanoids for that matter, it was so easy. One click and one goes down. Then I can kill annoying fire elementals with ice magic and my toon is protected by spells. It was so good!

I just can’t believe this is the first life toon. I now cannot control my urge to repeat this class three times, do a little clerics and FvSs for the past life buffs and do this again. Well….

Close to Epic

Nightdefendr, though still struggling, is moving on. She joined a party for the first time. Well it went south. I thought I was able to handle situations but I was worked up and didn’t make right calls. She died a lot but I received a “tell” and I told her upfront that I am a wiz noob. She kindly chose elite for me (first she was going to do r1) and we finished the Druid chain in Eveningstar somehow. After that she leveled. She is 19 now. And she ended the invasion in Storm Horn, What Goes Up quest by herself. Well she used her hire and pets but still I would say no mean feat.

I was still odds whether I would keep her or not but I will. She will be a face of my blog. She would at least do a couple lives of wiz then move on as a caster. Other two toons (one will stay there at lv30 I would say this is my second toon) started out as a melee so it’s fun to see how each toon will wind up.

Chapter 1 : Thus Nightdefendr was born.

Now why did I create the Deep Gnome first life wizard? Yes, I have my main toon on another server. He is in his seventh life but the past lives are all melee like Pally twice, Barb twice and PDK fighter twice. I followed the advice by my master I had when I started the game. I also made another toon because I kind of play safe with the main toon so I wanted something I could play with but I ended up building a toon just like my main one. So after two lives, I decided to leave him capped so I can scout the quests I have never done or collect gears and join raids any time when I feel like it.

Then my original plan was create another toon on the server I have never been on (I only know one server) and test the classes I will do in the future. I have been doing melee classes all along but I started to feel the urge to play all the classes once to enjoy what it is like to see the same quests from different perspectives and be at least one-around completionist first (and then repeat twice). But since I am like a caster (or specialist) noob, I was afraid of doing the new class on my main toon without any practice or experiment even if I use the build some veterans made for new players. So I created several toons like warlocks to rogue splashed wizards and to melee sorcerers. Then I liked this build. I mean Deep Gnome wizard. And there were several types to this Deep Gnome wizard. I especially like the Phantasmal killer SLA based builds. Well if enemies are immune to Phantasmal killer spells, I may lag but I can survive with Prismatic Raying them or web them and burn them or have my hire kill them.

I assign two Phantasmal killer SLAs (from race and archmage) and one real Phantasmal killer spell to my multi- mouse buttons. So with just three twitches of my thumb, index and middle fingers, big dire bears, rock spirits and stout fighters collapse and die instantly one after another. Actually this gives me the same amount of satisfaction as the one I get when I slash and “cleave” mobs to death with two handed axe in hands with Master Blitz on. 🙂

Right now I cannot run epic quests and mostly run hard or normal quests (since I got the hang of this toon, I think I will start to join parties in the lfm list) but after several lives of casters. I am sure this toon can survive many quests on elite.

Thus Nightdefendr was born. She struggled first mostly because the guy who is manipulating her didn’t know how to play casters and let her stand in the middle of powerful mobs aghast. But as I established the starategy : Plan A : Click SLAs and a spell. Plan B : Cast Prismatic Ray and jump away calling a hire and a pet. Plan C : Otto’s dance sphere, the wall of fire, the sphere of cold and start looking for shrine, she was able to survive most quests on normal and many of them on hard. I think she is doing great for a first lifer.

I will have my first toon run through each class asap and maybe have him do each class more deeply after that, I have decided to have Nightdefendr live three lives of each caster class. ATM I have Wizard x 3, Sorcerer x 3, Warlock x 3, Cleric x 3, FsV x 3 and Druid x 3 (Is Druid a caster?) in mind but since I am a noob in those things, all advice will be welcome.

Prologue : Why DDO?

The beginning is the most delicate time.

This is of course the famous opening line in Dune by Frank Herbert.  And in the world of DDO, it will be a grave mistake you will be sorry for the rest of “your toon’s life” to choose a wrong build.

I started to mention this so I can explain why I created this toon, Nightdefendr, the protagonist of this blog.

I started playing DDO last July. My son loves playing games. Since he is not good at English (actually to understand and communicate with other players, you need to to be a fluent speaker of English. My son is playing Final Fantasy XIV, the all time favorite of Japanese people. As I watched him play, I have started to be intrigued by MMORPG. Then I have one game on my mind. Dungeons and Dragons.

I am a middle-aged man. When I was young, it was just when Wizardry I and Ultima came out. In Japan, there were many RPGs but since I love English more than anything else, I eventually came to play games only in English.  That’s how I learned English. I read books in English (like I read 75 paperbacks a year one time), watch dramas and movies in English (I am a subscriber of Netflix and CBS USA) and I play games in English. I liked Dungeons and Dragons. WoW is new to me. If there is one game that might have beaten DDO, it would be Wizardry. But I am glad that I started DDO. Since people praise WoW and Neverwinter, I tried them a couple times but my thought was “Meh. I don’t want these fancy movies as rewards. And the toons are done when capped? C’mon! I get bored. I’d rather have more complicated builds that I can meddle with like forever, action-based fights where I feel my blood boil and life after life after life than just movies somebody made for me!”

Yes, I like TR. Some people criticize DDO, saying “you just keep on playing a toon over and over and it just gets a tad stronger in the next life. That sucks. We like more realistic graphic.” Well, I like having a tad more stronger toon and can go on like forever. Overtime I played a traditional RPG program, I felt sad toward the end because my adventure ends. I can start again but I cannot get anything from the experience I had from the last play. And how like life! It all ends right there!

But in DDO, even if I screw up my build, if I reach level 20, it means something. And you can make your own toon with all those experiences. There are more than 10 classes, many races and Epic Feats. The combination will be infinite!

So to me, DDO is the only option. Where else can I have all those? This is the game for me. So two hours after I played the game, I started subscribing. Yes, some people think paying money for games or entertainment in general for that matter is inconceivable deed. Well to me, it is the opposite. Why am I working? Yes, first to live and support my family. But living means just breathing? Heck no. I want to enjoy, have a good time.

Then when do I feel ecstatic? When I am having fun! I can play this game that has everything I want (and in English :)). It is not just a program full of NPCs. There are real people behind adventures. This is a most fun part! I will mention that later but I met so many amazing people who helped me out. DDO has a wonderful community. SO I want this to last. This world does not come out of thin air. People programed it. People made it. And they are not volunteers. I feel they love it because no one can make this happen without love for the world and they did it as work. I like English and I am teaching it but if I can’t get paid, I can’t live! I need people to evaluate my work and pay me! Then I pay to people who make food for me, build houses for me and drive trains and buses for me. So I will pay for the wonderful games partly because I want to evaluate the work people dod for me and by that I hope they will keep on doing the job and make this game world last from now on, too. I drink bear on the weekend, sometimes spending 10, 20 bucks. I pay Netflix about 10 bucks. I spend more time playing this game than watch Netflix. So I subscribe, pay that is fair to me (I can get points too) and buy packs.

About the Author

I am a Japanese middle-aged guy living in Japan. I fell in love with American English, culture and its people. So I spent most of my life learning English (and I chose a job of teaching it partly because I cannot think of life or jobs without English and partly because I like helping people out and teaching English is the best way to help people out for me) I stayed with a family as an exchange student in Shell Knob, MO., I studied at a grad school in Vermont and recently I spent two months in my favorite city, NYC, learning how to teach English better (and got the certificate to finish the program to teach it not just in Japan but outside the country). So at least I learned English enough to attend Master courses and teach it to other people.

Though I have always wanted to live in the States, since I have families (mostly this) and other things that tie me to Japan, it is difficult to do it atm. Then the Internet happened. As my Canadian friend put it, I digitally migrated (there’s no such thing officially. I just changed the language of my computers, iPhones and everything to English and basically I use English only on the internet (and I try to get online almost every moment I am awake, which means I am using English most of the time).

Then another wonderful thing happened. I came across DDO. I played Ultima, Wizardly and probably the off-line version of Dungeons and Dragons on my Mac before the age of the Internet (actually the thing that saddened me most is the fact that I can’t get to play the table-talk version of it. To do this, I need to be in the States. Oh of course some Japanese ppl play it but I WANT TO DO IT IN ENGLISH). So, I love games and with Dungeons and Dragons, I can enjoy games, using English, with being a part of the community.

Now I have other “toons” on another server: the seventh lifer and the third lifer but I played melee classes with those toons. So I created another toon, Nightdefnder, She is a first-life Deep Gnome wizard (I used a popular build from DDO Forum). I chose an Iconic character because I can see the result of the builds on the spot. Actually I created several toons including a pdk rogue-splashed wizard but they weren’t appealing to me. As for the rogue-splashed one, it was not bad and quite alluring but I have already decided to play each class at least once pure in order to learn each class well, at least till I become a completionist, Then I can see what splashed attributes will do to the toon and I can understand more.

So this blog is about how she (might be he in the next life but thinking about keeping her female so I can tell the difference between my first toon and this toon) will live in the world of Eberron (Eveningstar is actually my favorite atm) and I hope some seasoned players will look at this blog and give me a lot of pointers, suggestions and even lessons (I will really and truly appreciate it if u do!). I am still a noob after a total of 9 lives of melee classes.