Dirge's Irae -- Whysprr's Adventure Blog

Discussion in 'Dirge' started by ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. ARCHIVED-Priestbane Guest

    Sorry, Whysprr. It's my train wreck, and couldn't figure out a graceful way to exit until after my post. It is rather unfunnily ironic that it did happen in YOUR thread. Again; my apologies. Topanga, there were no hard feelings at all, meant or taken. I was posting an opinion that turned into a dissection I had not intended. I am happy to continue the discussion elsewhere.
  2. ARCHIVED-Topa Guest

    Sorry Whysp. And I too have no hard feelings Sorschae. This was not the place to continue the discussion on AAs, again sorry. Prehaps we could get a post set up and stickied that would outline the AA branches and more so the combination of AA specs that could serve as template for people new to the class or asking about how to spec if they: are leveling, solo, group, raid, PVP... As always the advice can be taken or left, but it does seem the question comes up alot.
  3. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    [p]There's just no entertainment-value in breaking up a fight between bright, sensible people. Where's the drama? [/p][p]I'd merely differ with the word 'unfunnily', and nominate the phrase 'it does seem the question comes up a lot' for the Laconic Understatement award. [/p][p]Thank you, both. [/p][p]Whysp[/p]
  4. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Sixteenth - Pickup Groups, the Weirder the Better!
    First, let me say that I've found inspiration running a bit dry recently. If you have something you think would be a good topic for a blog-entry, drop me a PM, I won't guarantee to use it, but it might trigger something.
    ><Level 60-69>HoF group LFM, need tank, healer, dps.
    It will not have escaped the thoughtful reader that I'm a bit of a loner, endlessly wandering the remote byways of Norrath. It's because my play hours are odd and unpredictable, and I didn't come into the game with a group of reliable friends, and because I've got a bit of a shyness problem, NOT because my incessant attempts at wit get on everyone's nerves and I'm now a social leper. Really.
    I used to envy the folks who mention in passing that they don't do pickup groups (henceforth PUGs) any more, because their friends / guilds / the voices in their heads supply them with great groups and it's too awful making up PUGs then getting some tank who doesn't know how to pull properly. When you're the Lone Redhead of Norrath, PUGs are a mainstay of life. Unless you want to spend your life looking like a spiky grape in the repulsive Melodic Xegonite armor, you've got to get groups so you can watch slavering as stuff drops in Crypt of Valdoon for every blasted class except dirges time after time, and the drool stains the xegonite a much more attractive baby-poop-yellow. At any rate, some recent experiences have entirely changed how I view pickup groups.
    It's hard to beat the canonical group. The tactical logic is impeccable. The tank pulls elegantly, holds the critter's attention away from the squishy and tender (from lack of physical exercise) mages, and attenuates incoming damage via avoidance or mitigation. The healer keeps the tank from getting cut to bits, and the rest of the group pounds the monster into a greasy spew of scales. Of course, it doesn't always go exactly that way, it's not a dungeon crawl unless the ranger dies at least twice, but you know the basic idea.
    I haven't posted on my own ‘The Best You've Ever Had' thread yet, but one of my best times was when I had a couple of good friends in my twenties. We hung out together, the canonical group; dirge, swashbuckler, guardian. Of course, it wasn't quite canonical, but we were clueless newbies and didn't know that, so we rampaged about the countryside, doing quests in Thundering Steppes, smacking around the monsters on the way to our Dwarven Work Boots, and occasionally providing strengthening snacks for the local gnoll tribes. The group broke up when our guardian got too busy at work and home to play, and the swashbuckler got a girlfriend and spent all the time mentoring her in weird places like Stormhold. Giant cubical gooey things weird me out, and they seemed to be up to things that would be inhibited by a third party, so ol' Whysp was back on the trackless paths. We kept up, but at a bit of a distance; Artana (the swashie) and Purrkitty (the gf character - also a swashie, they're not even close to canonical) joined my guild, then left it because they hated grouping, raiding, pressure to group-or-raid, and the fairly R-rated chat we went through a phase of. I think there were other issues too, but wasn't in the loop and am too delicate, or possibly inhibited - it could go either way - to ask. If someone wanted me to know they'd tell me.
    So, I got a request from Artana recently to help them do Palace of the Awakened (POA) for their Hoo-loh quests. After lagging me levelwise for months, they were in their late 60s, probably both 70 by now. They'd gotten one group to go in there but nobody knew what to do so they wandered aimlessly and died a lot. We made arrangements to meet, and I told ‘em to try to hunt down a tank and healer ahead of time. So when I logged in and got invited, I found that the group consisted of not one, not two, but three, count ‘em, three swashbucklers, me, and a ranger. I guess they couldn't find another two swashbucklers, I don't know. I've alluded to this group in a couple of messages elsewhere on these boards. It wasn't a bunch of tricked-out swashies, either, Artana and Purr are poorer than dirt, I'm pretty sure both still had some cobalt in use. There wasn't a healer or tank to be had online for love, money, or the promise that I'd shut up during the critical encounters.
    Well, what's a dirge to do? I'd already blocked out the time, it seemed churlish to refuse to go in, and I'd never tried to do POA with three swashbucklers and a ranger before. So we did. In the open spaces I pulled with Jael's and all the encounter debuffs and Banshee, then it'd pound me a bit, I'd lifetap, some swashie would grab aggro, and then it was dead, and we'd move to the next while the swash got health back.
    When we got to the third floor it started getting hairy, though. Tight quarters and a dirge who wasn't exactly the most delicate puller - my idea of body-pulling is to dash up, scream ‘I'm covered in Worcestershire Sauce!' and dash back to the group - made things exciting. I pulled a white ^^^ and it was a fierce battle, with people going yellow and orange all around me. Gasping, I mentioned that if we got an add we were done for - remember, in that group I was the only one with rez and no phoenix feathers in sight, I drop and we're back at the door with all the weary work to do over again. So, on the next pull I got two, not one, and it was chaos and madness, I went red, hit elude, one of the swashies bit the dust and I rezzed him but about that time the first droag dropped, Dark Linger did it's sweet magic, I suspect one of the swashies got off a timely mez, and we dropped the second one before anyone else died. Except the ranger, but that was just routine.
    We slowly cleared that level, enough to get to the elevator up. One of the swashies, who'd been there before, had to remind me that's where we were going - so much for providing the expertise. Once we were up, though, sure enough, there were the Bloodscale Dreadknights we were there for. They were bloody orange to us.
    I thought for a moment about seeing if one of them would part with the desired vial of blood for a couple of plat. Frankly, it seemed like a better bet than fighting ‘em. But I work hard for my modest income, hadn't brought along any Vacutainers and droags hate the dagger method, and besides, I recognized some of the Dreadknights from plat-selling spam tells I've gotten in the past - which explains why SOE hasn't banned ‘em, the plat-sellers have hired critical quest mobs to do the work. It seemed likely that the droags were just swimming in money and would turn down my offer, probably after ripping my face off. So, I replaced Harl's with Boon, waited for one of ‘em to wander out of the pack, and let fly with Jael's. It resisted, of course, and bore down on us like a semi on an armadillo.
    The poor critter never stood a chance, sure, my health went to orange in nothing flat, but then it was pincushioned with arrows and knee-deep in maniacally slashing swashbucklers, and I hit CoB, the lifetaps, and stood back and let things take their course, just dropping Oration on a swashbuckler who drew a bit too much aggro. Of course, the swashies got a touch overenthusiastic and cut it into too many quivering chunks for us to actually get the required vial of blood, so we had to drop a few more of ‘em before everyone got their update. I considered clearing the room and taking a whack at the dragon, but it's smart to listen when the universe is talking to you, and going into the red in three straight fights and doing a rez in each one qualifies, so we evaced out and went our separate ways.
    The canonical way is surely the most tactically-effective, but flexibility counts for as much in the real world. One of the most elegant raid-leader moves I've seen recently was in AOA (I think) when we were going along with not-enough healers and one left - the leader stuck all the mages in a group with two paladins to look after ‘em. We still wiped, but it was a great try.
    My new watchword is: ‘Pick-up groups - the weirder the better!' Can you do Crypt of Valdoon with a coercer, a paladin, a necromancer, a brigand, a madly overnuking wizard, and a redheaded dirge known for making sarcastic comments to the monsters during the toughest encounters instead of attending to her button-mashing? I don't know, but I'd like to give it a shot one of these days.
    Sure, you can stick with your tried-and-true set of groupmates and mow through Unrest like a muddy puppy through a pile of freshly folded laundry. But heck, who needs a dirge for something like that? An extra ranger, to die more and keep the healers from falling asleep, would be better. The place you really need a dirge to be the glue that holds the parts together is in some godawful collection of classes that no sane person would take where you're going.
    ><60-69>CoV group looking for members. I'm desperate for those stupid forearms, so I'll take what I can get and we'll make it work!
  5. ARCHIVED-Winterborne Guest

    Nice post. It must be a dirge thing to make wisecracks at the most inopportune time, because I do the exact same thing. I half expect to log in one of these times, ready to plunge into adventure, only find myself standing sans guild in a field of chirping crickets.
  6. ARCHIVED-DarkVillian Guest

    [p]Couldn't agree more about pickup groups...Sometimes they are a blast! (i.e. Nizara with a lvl 68 mezzer :-o ) But I will say that no matter what I would take a guild group over a pickup group any day...[/p][p]And don't hate on pallys...Our guild pally has healed the mage group (solo) through Chel'Drak while fighting the tank class specific add...Just have to be ready for a good fight :thumbup:[/p][p]Good post Whyspp...And shame on those swashys for letting a Dirge control agro!!![/p]
  7. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Ainwen@Butcherblock wrote:
    [p]Thanks! And I insisted on pulling to let them do max damage with their positionals. Then one of them usually had aggro, I lifetapped, and with no healer it hardly matters if the mob shifts target periodically, nothing we could do about it anyway. [/p][p]Whysp [/p]
  8. ARCHIVED-Priestbane Guest

    Seritaph@Kithicor wrote:
    That's why I *made* my guild... =)
  9. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Seventeenth - Recovery Operations
    The great dragon lowers above the raid like a thundercloud over an anthill. But these ants sting. Arrows flung with terrible force, spells that cling and corrode, weapons that chip away at the creature's physical and magical defenses. It roars and twists, biting, clawing at the leader. Thongwearer the Troll shouts orders and taunts, while pounding the dragon with a two-handed mallet of absurd size and weight, his plate armor and deep-layered spells of protection shrugging off blows that would otherwise deal instant, gruesome death.
    A group of attackers draws the dragon's wrath. Some flurry of arrows biting deep, a sword-stroke hitting a nerve, some fell poison burning a scale draws the beast's attention from Thongwearer and the haze of spells that defend him. The scaly horror draws a bead and a spray of liquid fire jets from its nostrils, igniting clothing, hair -- and flesh.
    The screams penetrate even the din of the battle as the fiery liquid clings, horribly. Some of the targets have magical defenses; they help, some. Staggering back to the battle, as the dragon returns to the troll, they resume their attacks.
    Not all of them, though. A middle-aged woman whose hair, briefly, matched the flames exactly before it turned black and crispy like the rest of her, lies unmoving on the ground in the midst of the carnage.
    Defilingdan, priest of Innoruuk, assigned to that group of attackers, rushes to her side. A moment's examination reveals that she's quite beyond simple healing. He ponders a moment.
    "Hmm, a dead dirge. I could get three platinum pieces from Nancy the Nifty Necromancer for her if she's fresh," he muses. "A quick portal jump, and ‘I don't know, last I saw she was wandering down the north corridor muttering something about how none of the guild paladins will return her phone calls.'" His fingers flutter, beginning a spell.
    "Defilingdan, don't even THINK about it," roars Thongwearer, casually shattering the dragon's left incisor with his hammer. "Get her back in this, NOW, or the next treasure you see will be inserted in your AARGGH!!" The dragon, taking advantage of the troll's momentary distraction, has stuck its remaining fang through his left kneecap.
    Mentally adding this to his long list of reasons to one day cut Thongwearer into medium-sized, slowly regenerating bits and boil them for six days before feeding them to a fire demon, Defilingdan invokes the powers of his deity, and the dirge's corpse reanimates, still slightly charred around the edges.
    "Well, the mender's going to make his yacht payment THIS month," is her first thought, followed neck-and-neck by "that hurt a LOT!" and "So much for that bottle of hair dye." She looks around and notices that the dragon's still very much alive - right now it's rummaging around in Defilingdan's abdominal cavity with a claw, looking for the toy surprise inside. "Better get back to work."
    This topic hasn't come up in any thread, and it's of modest tactical value but doesn't show up on any parses, so I thought I'd throw it in to guide people starting the fun, fun world of raiding. Raiding, for the beginners out there, is basically about dismal failure and repeated, ignominious death. That's the good part, by the way, the bad part is succeeding and watching all the other characters prance off with their uber goodies because dirge items only drop when I'm not in the raid.
    But anyway, except for the high-end raiding guilds, who mostly don't read the message boards because they got a phone call at 3AM to go take some contested thingie somewhere so they're falling asleep, drooling, on their high-end-game-system keyboards right now, even a successful fight with an end-of-zone raid critter (‘Boss' mob in raid nomenclature) is usually a bloody, chaotic mess. That's the fun of it. The high-end raiders, incidentally, when not drooling on their keyboards, are looking down contemptuously on us lowly noobs who have to wash blood out of our chainmail, and often other substances out of our underpants, after something as hopelessly trivial as a Labs run.
    We dirges usually aren't the critter's main targets, we don't have the oomph for it except on rare occasions. The rumors that I got into the top 3 on the parse that one time by deliberately sabotaging my fellow members of the melee dps group are complete fabrications. I mean, anyone could accidentally put Hyran's on the ranger, then mistarget and lay it on the swashbuckler in the middle of the mad rampagings of the battle. How dare they say I...
    Ahem. Where was I? Oh, right, yes, the fact that we're usually not at the top of the critter's loathing-list doesn't necessarily mean that we don't die. AOEs, trivial little misjudgments about when to start buffing, it all takes its toll. One minute you're a brave adventurer singing songs that make your groupmates really want to kill something, never mind what. The next minute you're an interesting and modernistic array of internal organs clashing horribly with the expensive imported Italian-classical tile of the dungeon floor. And then you're standing there in chainmail that's going to make the mender make that annoying clicking sound with her tongue and go, "whoo, wow, looks like a dragon's been chewing on this, it's gonna cost you a bit to repair that, let me tell you, you don't see corrosion like that every day, nosirree!"
    And, you're deciding what to do next. Well, here's my checklist. Uber-raiders will doubtless differ, once they replace their keyboards, but they don't have as much practice dying as I have, so ignore ‘em.
    1. Bria's. You're down, probably others are down too, the cleric's burned a bunch of power, you're down to some pitiful smidgeon yourself, the battle's still raging.
    2. Back away from the mob. Back away from the mob. It's like one of those annoying car-alarms. Do you really want to die again? I didn't think so, it hurt a lot the first time. That selfless cleric passed up a very nice offer for your corpse and spent a bunch of power raising you, and you want to die again, you ungrateful thing, you? Sure, you want to get some measure of revenge and try to claw your way back onto the parse. Not your job. Back away from the mob.
    3. Turn on ranged autoattack. I actually use Harmonizing Shot for this, just in case the critter thought I was particularly appetizing on the first bite. Besides, I've got to get some use out of the silly ability. Ranged autoattack keeps your vulnerable unbuffed rear end out of the next AOE, doesn't use any power, and you're contributing again while you keep casting.
    4. Rebuff defenses if you're using ‘em. In MT or MA groups, parry and percussion are major contributions. Some cleric's spent time they should've been healing raising your sorry corpse, and if you're me you just paid 22, count ‘em, 22 platinum pieces for the Screeching Elusion Master and it'd be nice to get something for the investment. Stop the bleeding.
    5. From here, reapply buffs in order of their overall impact. Hyran's on the tank, if you're the MT dirge, would be tops on the list - but you've got to get in within 10 meters, so be careful. Reapply Luck and DKtM and whatever else you're running. I don't bother with Selo's or my Tunare pet, the former doesn't matter in combat and the latter takes too long to cast for the minor stat benefit.
    6. Reapply the debuffs, if you're responsible for ‘em. Sometimes this comes earlier in the progression, like if you're healer-light and Daro's and Discante are essential for survival - but it's easy to get into a power-hole applying power-sucking debuffs when you start with zilch, and it's slightly pointless to throw down Daro's and Discante and realize you don't have the power to reapply Percussion and Elusion.
    7. Back into the fray. Do a final power check and think about how hard you can afford to dps while still doing your primary debuffing tasks, then storm back into the frothing maelstrom of flying spells, claws, weapons, and other lethal events just in time to eat another attack and spray the tank with your shredded pancreas.
    8. Repeat. Steps 7 and 8 are optional for people who've done their homework better than me.
    With inhuman rapidity, she whips out a mandolin, starts one song, a drum and begins another, throws in a half-dozen lines a capella, screams a couple of suspiciously unlyrical epithets about her mender bill and possible eviction from her apartment, and plunges back into the battle. Daggers flashing, hair still smoldering slightly, which her guildmates privately agree is better than the original lurid color, she joins her comrades in the slow demolition of the magnificent dragon. The Norrathian Endangered Species Protection Agency will take its revenge in paperwork afterward, but for now the raiders celebrate their victory and split the fantastic loot; 74 silver pieces split 24 ways, a Defiler master and two no-trade items limited to classes not represented in the raid.
    The mender, bored with her 70-foot yacht, is pricing a hundred-footer, complete with hot tub and full-time crew of four High Elf paladins trained at Tunare's Grove in Lesser Faydark, where the Dryads teach secret ~ahem~ techniques known only to the most select of Tunare's servants, who get to study the really interesting physiology textbooks*.
    The dirge has to sell off her hideous old Xegonite Melodic armor to pay the next week's rent.
    *Now you know the other reason I took Tunare as my deity, and also why I've been banned from Tunare's Grove on pain of being sold to Innoruuk for parts.
  10. ARCHIVED-Winterborne Guest

    Thongwearer the Troll? I don't know if I should be excited or vomit. But your priest sounds like he's got his head on straight. I always like to read tips on how to effectively play my class, even if it is from wood elf with an "I heart Paladins" button on her lapel. I figure she keeps coming back, so there must be something there. It's good to know that once I evolve from groups to raids, I'll have a resource to fall back on. For that, I thank you. But let your priest know I have a fence for the parts he doesn't use. And I pay well.
  11. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Seritaph@Kithicor wrote: [p] >But your priest sounds like he's got his head on straight. [/p][p]Had his head on straight, actually. We had a little 'conversation' about that incident after the raid, me and some of the scouts and the bruiser who really like dirge buffs. It's not-straight by about 30 degrees now. [/p][p]>I always like to read tips on how to effectively play my class, even if it is from wood elf [/p][p]NOT a wood elf, that's Sorschae, butterflies and all. I'm Ayr-dal, thank you very much, got the piercing to prove it. No, you can't see it. Because you can't, that's why. [/p][p]>with an "I heart Paladins" button on her lapel. [/p][p]Do you think that would work? Hmm. Where can I get one? [/p][p]>For that, I thank you. [/p][p]You're welcome. >But let your priest know I have a fence for the parts he doesn't use. And I pay well. Be glad to. I'll send Greenshaft and Brigawhomper and Darkdeath and Whongor around to pass on the message. What was that address again, my dear? [/p][p]Whysp[/p]
  12. ARCHIVED-DarkVillian Guest

    [p]The "Back away from the mob" had me laughing...But what if you are on Treyloth? Seriously no where to go! Just pop Et'Sipe BP and go to town!!! Screaming and clawing...and maybe re-applying buffs. [/p]
  13. ARCHIVED-Winterborne Guest

    a) My mistake and apologies. You're half a wood-elf. b) As for an address... *emits an evil laugh*...you should as a dirge should know better. EDITED: for atrocious spelling.
  14. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Seritaph@Kithicor wrote:
    [p]You don't have an address? How does your agent find you to tell you he's booked you for five sets a night for the next week at Gnarbl's House of Flying Vegetables by the docks, and you should bring a bucket for tips, preferably one with a top that locks, and don't wear anything you can't wash, and remember his 60% comes off the top? [/p][p]Whysp [/p]
  15. ARCHIVED-Winterborne Guest

    Seritaph@Kithicor wrote:
    Actually, scratch that. I'll be in the floating citadel of the overlord, checking out his new 80" plasma high definition scrying device with 3D positional surround sound. We like to watch things like: Chaos and Crime: Criminal Intent, CSI: East Freeport, Antonican Idol (my money is on Jordan this year), and Everybody Loves Grimwell. I'll let the Freeport Militia know your friends are on their way. I'm sure they'll get a warm reception. Tell them to bring a case of beer and some of those little cocktail weenies. EDIT: Sounds like you need a new agent!
  16. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Seritaph@Kithicor wrote:
    [p] NEW Agent? Are you mad, Rapacious is the best agent I've ever had. At least he gets me singing jobs, unlike Alice, who just took her monthly fee and never returned my calls, or Ralph, who got me the job dancing at Bzonga's Babes in Nettleview and I was hounded off the stage by the cries of 'put it ON, put it ON!', and then he booked me to do a night at Lese's in Starcrest, don't ask, or Morthron, who tried to sign me up to play Cazic-Thule during the Festival of Blood. [/p][p]But, I'm just a working-dirge, not some Overlord's poodle-bard, so I've got to get gigs. Rapacious gets me gigs. [/p][p]Whysp[/p][p]P.S. Brigawhomper and Darkdeath are IN the Freeport militia, my dear, everyone likes dirge buffs. You've got to get out more. Or perhaps not, accidents are so common when you're going to the Stop-N-Shop-N-Slay for chips, dip, and more Jell-o. [/p]
  17. ARCHIVED-Lornick Guest

    Whysprr_Wyrd wrote:
    Got a good chuckle out of that one. Thanks Whysprr.
  18. ARCHIVED-Priestbane Guest

    [p]*absently chews on a knife*[/p]
  19. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Sorschae@Najena wrote:
    Hey!! Point that thing somewhere else!!
  20. ARCHIVED-Whysprr_Wyrd Guest

    Entry the Eighteenth -- Pickup Groups, Reprise
    A couple of nights ago I had another, let's call it interesting evening. I signed on and was finishing up the solo bits of The Wondrous Inventions of a Crazed Gnome, when a guildmate dropped me a /tell, asking me to come to CoV to help out a group that was having trouble. Well, despite having metaphorically shaken the dust of CoV off my feet when I got the forearms a week ago, a guildie is a guildie after all, so I started the long slog to Loping Plains.
    I couldn't really figure out why they'd be having trouble after I got the invite. 70 paladin to tank, 70 inquisitor, 70 necro, and a warlock and ‘zerker in the 68-69 range. That kind of team should be marching through CoV leaving a rich mix of vampire and werewolf residue on the walls, ceiling, and floor so the next group to enter will have to face millions and millions of tiny vampire-werewolf cockroaches. I sure hope nobody from the development staff reads this blog.
    Aggro problems, maybe, with a ferocious necro or a madly overnuking warlock? When I zoned in, they were talking about being close to having all their equipment so beaten up they'd have to quit. Well, that kind of talk doesn't go around ol' Whysp, especially since I carry around four, count ‘em, four repair kits after a particularly stressful Den run a few months back convinced me it was a good idea. I asked my guildie what was wrong, privately, and he wasn't quite sure. He thought the tank might be it, in mere mastercrafted equipment. We're such snobs these days.
    It took me awhile, and a couple more wipes, to figure it out myself. With a group that balanced, no single problem is generally enough to make things fall apart. A weak tank, OK, but with enough firepower that can be overcome and a necro, ‘zerker, and warlock certainly qualifies, especially when you add in the disease debuff for the warlock and all the other dirgely goodies.
    A teensy little hint, of course, was that the ‘zerker kept running around and jumping like a three-year-old who's been slipped a 20 oz Coke by an evil grandparent. He kept taking damage, occasionally even dying - he wasn't supposed to be the tank. I asked him if he was taunting, he said ‘no, why would I?' He was, however, cutting loose with whatever attacks he had to cut loose with just as the MT was pulling. That explained that little anomaly anyhow. It didn't bother me much, if he wanted to die it'd help me raise my ministration skill.
    But that wasn't the only problem. We wiped once when we were heading for a new area and a couple people, I couldn't quite tell who but had my suspicions, went tripping on ahead of the tank and all of a sudden we were knee-deep in those skeleton guardian things and then the priest pulled aggro and dropped and as soon as I rezzed him I died, and without their dirge a group's practically helpless, of course, so it was revive again, pass out a couple of repair kits, and go back after a stren lecture from ol' Whysp about letting the tank go first and get pounded, that's what he's for.
    Everything was harder than it should've been. Pulls were a problem; I've been in CoV groups where we chain-pulled everything in sight, but in this group that meant the inky struggled to keep up, got aggro, and then it was another wipe, usually, though we salvaged one when that happened with dirge-rez and teamwork. The tank was definitely too aggressive for the situation. He also didn't turn the mobs, which made me grumpy. I stopped bothering to combat-raise the ‘zerker, because I focused entirely on damage-attenuation; Cheap Shot, Stabby stab, the three encounter debuffs, Lanet's, Verlien's, and Tarven's all before even thinking about doing damage myself; the necro and warlock were solid, no need to worry about output.
    Near the end the pally lost his equipment, there went my third repair kit, and I was getting a bit nervous about my own stuff, though it was at 40%, I'm just compulsive and don't feel right unless I've got a backup for my backup.
    We finally worked our way to the last room. The four gargoyles were a bit of a fire drill, but we took ‘em. Then it was out and around through the oven - I hate that part - and we set up for ol' Valdoon the Long-Winded.
    In a group with some margin for error, Valdoon's big honkin' stun AOE is a modest inconvenience. With us, by the time the stun wore off we were deep in a hole we couldn't dig out of, and wiped again. We revived, got into position, then spent a long time bickering about how to get target again. I wanted to smear the berzerker with hollandaise sauce, tie a string to him and send him through the outer room - which would make him medium-rare and appetizing -- then pull the string when Valdoon sank his fangs in, but I ran out of egg yolks. Eventually the necromancer took matters in his own hands and ran in, got target, came out, got healed, and we pulled again. I triggered CoB, hit Cheap Shot, and we descended in a slashing, err actually mostly piercing mob, and took that tedious puppy down.
    The berzerker got the Legendary set-armor drop. If you ever had a notion that there was justice in the world, well, draw your own conclusions.
    My total haul from that CoV trip was 70% armor damage, three repair kits used that nobody even offered to pay me for, and a moonstone amulet. My guildmate apologized profusely for involving me in that shipwreck, while thanking me for taking charge and getting us through it.
    I'll grant you, not everyone would calmly accept a fifteen minute run across Norrath to take a 90 gold piece net loss on the evening, but I am, if not rich as a pig, certainly comfortable, despite having made the economically ridiculous decision to start skilling up in transmuting. The only important Master I don't have is Percussion, and I haven't seen it on the broker at any price in months, the only other thing worth buying is adornments on the rare occasion that I get an equipment upgrade, so I might as well drop a few gold on a worthy cause.
    I told my guildmate I hadn't had that much fun in ages.
    Attitude isn't everything in life, but sometimes it helps. I don't play a tank for a reason. I don't like bossing people around, it's always made my teeth grate to tell grown-ups what to do, deep inside I think they ought to just know. But I like to teach, and it was a hoot getting those folks out of CoV not only alive, but more-or-less triumphant.
    Next time you go in, if you're attacked by millions of vampire and werewolf cockroaches, it is not my fault.

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