Ramblings (Lounge withdrawal, Barbs, "Players 8")

Ramblings (Lounge withdrawal, Barbs, "Players 8")

Joined: June 29th, 2001, 7:07 am

September 5th, 2001, 6:21 am #1

Here's some of my scattered thoughts, fresh off the mimeograph...

Somebody needs to get those Lurker Lounge forums working. The lack of a site to read and reload (and reload and read and reload again) over the course of an evening is starting to eat at me. It went down Friday afternoon, and it's now very late Tuesday night. I've waited my requisite 24 hours after the three-day weekend ended, and now I'm going to whine about it. Over the weekend, the machine seemed to respond just fine to pings and other network requests, but refused to serve a single line of html. Now, the machine is not even responding to pings. If nothing else, it would be nice to know what the deal is with the forums, and when to expect them back up (the main www.lurkerlounge.com page still works quite nicely).

In other news...finally, West is getting the buddy lists from USEast tomorrow! With a maximum account list of 25, that means we can all be buddies with Charis and...ummm...we could all be buddies with Charis! Too bad Purdue's network geeks cannot give us ethernet subscribers some decent bandwidth/latency. The glut of people online this year (at the new, obscenely low $50 subscription fee), is just killing my connection during peak times (defined as the months of August through May, excluding 3 day weekends), so I've been somewhat involuntarily absent from the nightly RBD games. I preferred it last year when the service cost $180 dollars, you eliminated a bunch of borderline computer users hogging up the bandwidth with MP3 downloads, forwarding lame internet jokes, and gaming. This let us hardcore internet users get really good connections for our gaming, MP3 downloading, and forwarding of lame internet jokes.

Rambling on again, I've been this close at least twice to getting my Untouchable Squad up and running (once it wasn't my fault, the other time it was). We were going to have a 3 man squad, but one guy is going to have to leave after next week. If anyone is still interested in playing a role in this, just show up tomorrow (September 5) on USWest in channel public chat untouchables at 5:00 PM battle.net time (that is 7:00 pm Central, 8:00 pm Eastern) for more details. If nobody is interested, well, a 2 man squad still works, though more is always merrier with team variants. Playing nights are Wednesdays for sure, plus another weeknight that has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, I've been filling the time that I have been spending on Battle.net busting open piñatas and pigging out on the candy that can be found from Mephisto and the Council in NM difficulty. If you are looking for an exceptional unique, doing meph/council runs in Nightmare is a practically risk-free way to get it, and all the magic find you really need is a 4 topaz armor, anything else is just so much more confectioner's sugar on top of all that candy. Without really exerting myself, I managed to stuff two mules full of unique items without duplicates, many of those exceptionals.

These Meph runs are uniquely well-suited for Barbs (no pun intended), since they get access to Find Item, which can be used on the fallen corpses of Council Members for even MORE candy. I've found a Wizendraw, Battlebranch, and whatever the unique Bec is, plus a bunch of other less interesting items just off of using find item on the bodies of super-uniques. Barbs rock, period.

Since my internet connection has been sucking almost universally (it gets okay to pretty good late at night, and was awesome all weekend when all the Purdue students with lives went somewhere else for the Labor Day holiday), I've been playing a bit of single player, specifically trying to take a slightly less-than-uber build throughout at least one difficulty under entirely "Players 8" conditions. My test subject is an elemental Bowazon (I've been specifically told that it is NOT a mageazon, though it amounts to almost the same thing in the end). High levels of Frozen Arrow, Immolation Arrow, and Guided arrow (all auto-hit attacks), low passives besides pierce and maybe valkyrie are all in the plans. I will aim to be able to wield the Exceptional Amazon bows OR a Ballista (in case I strike gold with a Burizo do, of course), but no more beyond that. Anyhow, she is clvl 30 and just beat Mephisto, while skipping most optional areas and not repeating any areas so far.

One of the first things that you will notice playing totally players 8 is that it is definitely NOT harder than players 1, even for a magely bow-toter with slvl 1 skills (though to be fair, much of her offensive power came from her prayer merc, Hazade). Playing through the Den of Evil put me ahead of the curve and I've been riding ahead of it in every single spot since then, excepting Blood Raven (she is level 12 I think, versus my clvl 8 when fighting her). Even in Act 4 with a middling Dexterity, her clvl/mlvl advantage keeps her over 90% to hit enemies (if she ever deigns to use a normal attack, which she doesn't) and keeps her below 40% to be hit by enemies despite a middling DR at best and before passives are taken into account. Her only death so far has been to a stunlocking firewall on the part of the Summoner (an unfortunate combination of bad luck with fire resists and a 3-way tug of war for stat points that leaves litte for vit at the beginning). Andariel was slain at clvl 18, Duriel at clvl 26 (at the hands of, of all things, The Gnasher. Go Open Wounds!), and Mephisto at clvl 29 (just shy of clvl 30, which was gained 5 minutes later in the Outer Steppes). With Pierce, Valk, and Freezing Arrow now available, I don't forsee the game getting any harder in the near future, despite 8x the monster hp.

It is also worth noting her luck with drops. So far, Umbral Disk, Felloak, the Gnasher, and Bloodfist have all been found (and this is just through the normal course of playing, no treasure hunts or levelling runs were done). This keeps me hopeful that a Burizo do Kyanon is an attainable weapon for a single player bowazon. What she has been unlucky about is finding Amazon bows. Not one has dropped yet, so she's been sticking with the more plebian war bows until her first stag bow drops. And while she has yet to find a single bow with mana steal or a single mana steal amulet or glove, blue pots drop often enough that she is practically unlimited in firing elemental shots.

In short, players 8 lets the single player ride the realms gravy train without having to put up with any of that "other people in the game" crap, and it definitely makes the game easier from the perspective of just playing through compared to players 1.

And that's all the news fit to duplicate.

-CC
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Joined: June 29th, 2001, 7:07 am

September 5th, 2001, 6:33 am #2

Okay, Network54 has sunk to a new low.

Their banner ads are annoying (bordering on dangerous if you're epileptic), but I can deal with that.

Their in-text advertisements are obnoxious, but not too bad. At least they don't mutilate your posts.

Inserting advertising links INTO their members' posts(MP3! MP3!), however, is just lame. And pathetic, really.

If this is what we are to expect in the future from Network54, perhaps we should be looking into alternatives?

-CC
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Joined: October 23rd, 2000, 8:36 am

September 5th, 2001, 9:09 am #3

I believe it's IE that wants to make sure you know where to go for your MP3's, not N54. This doesn't happen in Netscape (probably will be a new "feature" shortly).

As for the LL, I wish I could tell you something. I assumed it was down because Mavfin wasn't there over the holiday to punch some buttons and bring it up. Now, it seems like whatever the problem is must be more troublesome than I had thought.

The weekend off was rather refreshing, but now the withdrawl symptoms are starting to settle in...

-Griselda
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Sirian
Sirian

September 5th, 2001, 10:40 am #4

"Hardware problems. Disk crash. May be up soon...may not be. Can't say for
sure at this time. Waiting on parts, and then it's a time issue."

So sayeth Mr. Rowland when I emailed him an "Are the Forums coming back?" note last night.

Always happy to be of some (miniscule) use to the lovely Griselda.


In other news, my webhost switched providers over the weekend. Only a couple hours of down time, but he hasn't brought FTP back online as of yet, so my site updates are stewing here on my harddrive.

That the timing on these two matters should happen to coincide? What ARE the odds?? (Hmm. Something about a fellow named Murphy?)


- Sirian
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Joined: August 29th, 2001, 4:26 am

September 5th, 2001, 12:42 pm #5

Now the main lurkerlounge page is down as well. I've had to go to www.pcpowerplay.com.au and firingsqad.gamers.com for some forum goodness. Arrgggg it's getting frustrating.

Maybe it's time sigh for advertising to appear on the lounge. I know it's not what Bolty wanted, but it looks like it may be necessary if these problems continue.
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Joined: June 29th, 2001, 7:07 am

September 5th, 2001, 1:36 pm #6

I believe it's IE that wants to make sure you know where to go for your MP3's, not N54. This doesn't happen in Netscape (probably will be a new "feature" shortly).

As for the LL, I wish I could tell you something. I assumed it was down because Mavfin wasn't there over the holiday to punch some buttons and bring it up. Now, it seems like whatever the problem is must be more troublesome than I had thought.

The weekend off was rather refreshing, but now the withdrawl symptoms are starting to settle in...

-Griselda
They do their little advertisement popup windows using an (admittedly cool) XML trick. Netscape 4 doesn't speak XML, so that stuff won't work there. There's probably a browser check that they perform, so a person using Netscape may not even see the XML code for those ads in a view source, but trust me, it's got nothing to do with Microsoft (this time). And the ad is for a portable CD player that can read MP3-encoded disks, not with those little files themselves.

Responding to Sirian a bit further down the thread: thanks for the info. That's too bad, though.

-CC
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Visions
Visions

September 10th, 2001, 2:56 am #7

Here's some of my scattered thoughts, fresh off the mimeograph...

Somebody needs to get those Lurker Lounge forums working. The lack of a site to read and reload (and reload and read and reload again) over the course of an evening is starting to eat at me. It went down Friday afternoon, and it's now very late Tuesday night. I've waited my requisite 24 hours after the three-day weekend ended, and now I'm going to whine about it. Over the weekend, the machine seemed to respond just fine to pings and other network requests, but refused to serve a single line of html. Now, the machine is not even responding to pings. If nothing else, it would be nice to know what the deal is with the forums, and when to expect them back up (the main www.lurkerlounge.com page still works quite nicely).

In other news...finally, West is getting the buddy lists from USEast tomorrow! With a maximum account list of 25, that means we can all be buddies with Charis and...ummm...we could all be buddies with Charis! Too bad Purdue's network geeks cannot give us ethernet subscribers some decent bandwidth/latency. The glut of people online this year (at the new, obscenely low $50 subscription fee), is just killing my connection during peak times (defined as the months of August through May, excluding 3 day weekends), so I've been somewhat involuntarily absent from the nightly RBD games. I preferred it last year when the service cost $180 dollars, you eliminated a bunch of borderline computer users hogging up the bandwidth with MP3 downloads, forwarding lame internet jokes, and gaming. This let us hardcore internet users get really good connections for our gaming, MP3 downloading, and forwarding of lame internet jokes.

Rambling on again, I've been this close at least twice to getting my Untouchable Squad up and running (once it wasn't my fault, the other time it was). We were going to have a 3 man squad, but one guy is going to have to leave after next week. If anyone is still interested in playing a role in this, just show up tomorrow (September 5) on USWest in channel public chat untouchables at 5:00 PM battle.net time (that is 7:00 pm Central, 8:00 pm Eastern) for more details. If nobody is interested, well, a 2 man squad still works, though more is always merrier with team variants. Playing nights are Wednesdays for sure, plus another weeknight that has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, I've been filling the time that I have been spending on Battle.net busting open piñatas and pigging out on the candy that can be found from Mephisto and the Council in NM difficulty. If you are looking for an exceptional unique, doing meph/council runs in Nightmare is a practically risk-free way to get it, and all the magic find you really need is a 4 topaz armor, anything else is just so much more confectioner's sugar on top of all that candy. Without really exerting myself, I managed to stuff two mules full of unique items without duplicates, many of those exceptionals.

These Meph runs are uniquely well-suited for Barbs (no pun intended), since they get access to Find Item, which can be used on the fallen corpses of Council Members for even MORE candy. I've found a Wizendraw, Battlebranch, and whatever the unique Bec is, plus a bunch of other less interesting items just off of using find item on the bodies of super-uniques. Barbs rock, period.

Since my internet connection has been sucking almost universally (it gets okay to pretty good late at night, and was awesome all weekend when all the Purdue students with lives went somewhere else for the Labor Day holiday), I've been playing a bit of single player, specifically trying to take a slightly less-than-uber build throughout at least one difficulty under entirely "Players 8" conditions. My test subject is an elemental Bowazon (I've been specifically told that it is NOT a mageazon, though it amounts to almost the same thing in the end). High levels of Frozen Arrow, Immolation Arrow, and Guided arrow (all auto-hit attacks), low passives besides pierce and maybe valkyrie are all in the plans. I will aim to be able to wield the Exceptional Amazon bows OR a Ballista (in case I strike gold with a Burizo do, of course), but no more beyond that. Anyhow, she is clvl 30 and just beat Mephisto, while skipping most optional areas and not repeating any areas so far.

One of the first things that you will notice playing totally players 8 is that it is definitely NOT harder than players 1, even for a magely bow-toter with slvl 1 skills (though to be fair, much of her offensive power came from her prayer merc, Hazade). Playing through the Den of Evil put me ahead of the curve and I've been riding ahead of it in every single spot since then, excepting Blood Raven (she is level 12 I think, versus my clvl 8 when fighting her). Even in Act 4 with a middling Dexterity, her clvl/mlvl advantage keeps her over 90% to hit enemies (if she ever deigns to use a normal attack, which she doesn't) and keeps her below 40% to be hit by enemies despite a middling DR at best and before passives are taken into account. Her only death so far has been to a stunlocking firewall on the part of the Summoner (an unfortunate combination of bad luck with fire resists and a 3-way tug of war for stat points that leaves litte for vit at the beginning). Andariel was slain at clvl 18, Duriel at clvl 26 (at the hands of, of all things, The Gnasher. Go Open Wounds!), and Mephisto at clvl 29 (just shy of clvl 30, which was gained 5 minutes later in the Outer Steppes). With Pierce, Valk, and Freezing Arrow now available, I don't forsee the game getting any harder in the near future, despite 8x the monster hp.

It is also worth noting her luck with drops. So far, Umbral Disk, Felloak, the Gnasher, and Bloodfist have all been found (and this is just through the normal course of playing, no treasure hunts or levelling runs were done). This keeps me hopeful that a Burizo do Kyanon is an attainable weapon for a single player bowazon. What she has been unlucky about is finding Amazon bows. Not one has dropped yet, so she's been sticking with the more plebian war bows until her first stag bow drops. And while she has yet to find a single bow with mana steal or a single mana steal amulet or glove, blue pots drop often enough that she is practically unlimited in firing elemental shots.

In short, players 8 lets the single player ride the realms gravy train without having to put up with any of that "other people in the game" crap, and it definitely makes the game easier from the perspective of just playing through compared to players 1.

And that's all the news fit to duplicate.

-CC
Uhhh... I've done like 100 travincal/meph runs since 1.09 with my 425% magic find character. I have not gotten a single unique. I've gotten maybe two sets, and about five rares. Of those, only one was exceptional (Aldur's Rhythm) What are you doing differently than me that gives you so many more goodies?
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Joined: June 29th, 2001, 7:07 am

September 10th, 2001, 9:15 am #8

No joke...Charis was present to see most of the spoils of these candy store raids (I promised that any duplicate uniques I generated would be donated rather than muled away, and he was egging me on to find more unique swords, but alas not one more unique sword dropped after his request and my internet connection has taking to sucking in magnitudes that were previously recognized as only theoretically possible, so I've been off the Realms since the end of the Labor Day weekend in America, or slightly under 1 week if you think in those terms).

I did this in Nightmare Difficulty with a clvl 76 Whirlwind barb that I rescued from 1.03.

Equipment used for this exercise was as follows: a 4-perfect topaz Gothic Plate borrowed from Cy (I promise I'll return it...maybe), a pair of rare leather gloves gambled from 1.04 that had 10% IAS and about 17% magic find among other goodies, Immortal King's helmet found from normal difficulty Frozenstein (If I ever found a tarnhelm, I would have switched to that instead, but I had to do with IK's...it gave me a better find item %age than tarn would have, anyhow). Charms added about 10% more MF, and no MF was found on any of my jewelry (which consists largely of 1.03 items that are impossible now, like a ruby ring of the bat). My primary weapon for most of these was a Grandmaster's Giant Thresher socketed with an unprefixed jewel of freedom, and later was the Pierre Tombale Couant (found during one of my last candy raids) socketed with a Shael rune (interestingly enough, also found in the same game as the PTC. I like this wonky partizan, it does not have as much base damage as a GM's giant thresher but adds +3 barb skills, mana steal, and deadly strike). Secondary weapons were an echoing sword of a forgotten base type and a berserker's sword, which were used to boost my Find Item slvl, but were not used at the end as their benefit was only marginally more than that of the PTC.

As for how I did it, I'd pick a fight with the Travincal council + everyone in Durance of Hate 3 and I'd just whirl them to death and Find Item their corpses. I never found any exceptional uniques from Find Item, but I did find a wizendraw, a Hwanin's armor, and a few other lesser uniques, rares, cash, and flawless gems this way. Mephisto was the one with the really big payout (with Bremm Sparkfist coming in second), my best find from him was when he dropped both a vipermagi and a lidless wall on the same run, and two runs later dropped another lidless (which, in keeping my promise, I gave away, to KoP).

Perhaps your problem is that you're wearing 425% magic find. My equipment is just about at the threshold that they state where diminishing returns kick in, while yours is grossly over it. Perhaps having an excessive magic find skews the drop ratio to actually hurt you instead of help you when it comes to finding rare/set/unique items compared to regular blue items (It would have to be due to a bungle on Blizzard's part, but it's a bungle that I believe falls well within their ability to commit). Or perhaps I'm just lucky, and have been "blessed" with the midas touch since 1.09. Since the patch, there was a period of about 3-4 days where I would have at least one unique item drop for me per game I played in, even on characters with no MF and while playing for quests and not treasure hunting in act 1 normal (obviously, this stuff wasn't any good, to a clvl 70 character, but it does have gold letters). Take your pick, but there were hardly any runs that I did that did not result in at least one unique, even if it was something weak like duskeep or Blastbark.

-CC
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Joined: June 29th, 2001, 7:07 am

September 10th, 2001, 10:17 am #9

If I said anything that conflicts with the original post in this thread, I'd probably go with the original post. I'm recounting my candy store exploits off the top of my head without seeing my loot for about a week (due to network problems) in that last post, but the first one was made within a day after I stopped doing those meph runs. I was also conspicuously less tired when I wrote the first post than I am now (look at the time on this post, add two hours to reflect the time in Hoosier-land, and you'll get the picture).

I'm done talking, but here's that pic of Creeping Feature again, triggered by reading Sirian's most recent mention of my favorite term in one of his "morpeg" posts.



Creep, Feature, Creep!

-CC
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Ouster
Ouster

September 10th, 2001, 8:31 pm #10

No joke...Charis was present to see most of the spoils of these candy store raids (I promised that any duplicate uniques I generated would be donated rather than muled away, and he was egging me on to find more unique swords, but alas not one more unique sword dropped after his request and my internet connection has taking to sucking in magnitudes that were previously recognized as only theoretically possible, so I've been off the Realms since the end of the Labor Day weekend in America, or slightly under 1 week if you think in those terms).

I did this in Nightmare Difficulty with a clvl 76 Whirlwind barb that I rescued from 1.03.

Equipment used for this exercise was as follows: a 4-perfect topaz Gothic Plate borrowed from Cy (I promise I'll return it...maybe), a pair of rare leather gloves gambled from 1.04 that had 10% IAS and about 17% magic find among other goodies, Immortal King's helmet found from normal difficulty Frozenstein (If I ever found a tarnhelm, I would have switched to that instead, but I had to do with IK's...it gave me a better find item %age than tarn would have, anyhow). Charms added about 10% more MF, and no MF was found on any of my jewelry (which consists largely of 1.03 items that are impossible now, like a ruby ring of the bat). My primary weapon for most of these was a Grandmaster's Giant Thresher socketed with an unprefixed jewel of freedom, and later was the Pierre Tombale Couant (found during one of my last candy raids) socketed with a Shael rune (interestingly enough, also found in the same game as the PTC. I like this wonky partizan, it does not have as much base damage as a GM's giant thresher but adds +3 barb skills, mana steal, and deadly strike). Secondary weapons were an echoing sword of a forgotten base type and a berserker's sword, which were used to boost my Find Item slvl, but were not used at the end as their benefit was only marginally more than that of the PTC.

As for how I did it, I'd pick a fight with the Travincal council + everyone in Durance of Hate 3 and I'd just whirl them to death and Find Item their corpses. I never found any exceptional uniques from Find Item, but I did find a wizendraw, a Hwanin's armor, and a few other lesser uniques, rares, cash, and flawless gems this way. Mephisto was the one with the really big payout (with Bremm Sparkfist coming in second), my best find from him was when he dropped both a vipermagi and a lidless wall on the same run, and two runs later dropped another lidless (which, in keeping my promise, I gave away, to KoP).

Perhaps your problem is that you're wearing 425% magic find. My equipment is just about at the threshold that they state where diminishing returns kick in, while yours is grossly over it. Perhaps having an excessive magic find skews the drop ratio to actually hurt you instead of help you when it comes to finding rare/set/unique items compared to regular blue items (It would have to be due to a bungle on Blizzard's part, but it's a bungle that I believe falls well within their ability to commit). Or perhaps I'm just lucky, and have been "blessed" with the midas touch since 1.09. Since the patch, there was a period of about 3-4 days where I would have at least one unique item drop for me per game I played in, even on characters with no MF and while playing for quests and not treasure hunting in act 1 normal (obviously, this stuff wasn't any good, to a clvl 70 character, but it does have gold letters). Take your pick, but there were hardly any runs that I did that did not result in at least one unique, even if it was something weak like duskeep or Blastbark.

-CC
I believe I saw some of that raid as well. It was a marvelous sight!

I just wanted to put in my two cents about this Players 8. Since my highest level char online is only 42, I figured I would have more items open to me with my SP clvl just-turned-80 sorc (79 when I started the treasure runs). I had a frustrating time trying to dispose of Bartuc the Bloody on Hell, by myself, with only Warmth maxed out. I mean I like a challenge but using all one's full rejuvies and dying enough times, only to have M. Bartuc all the way back up to full health at this point seemed more time consuming than anything else. Needless to say, I have not yet beaten Baal on hell. sissy. NM mf did not return the quantity and was not challenging enough to be worth it. Enter Players X. To be quite honest, I never did much mf per se before it. I just played, and stored any worthwhile items I found. The "stuff" I (and my companion in MP/LAN) have collected since the day DII came out has amounted to a ridiculous number of mules, even with items being rotated out.
I decided to "try out" Players X when I read that it was supposed to increase difficulty and quantity of drops accordingly. My first NM Meph outing with no mf items returned enough to get me interested. That was less than three weeks ago.
I equipped some mf items (while trying to balance resistances) starting with a little over 100 mf (keeping the diminishing return in mind), and even now has not exceeded 260something, including the 3-perfect topaz ethereal wire fleece I handed off to my merc because it took a beating on hell lvl, (which btw, did not return as many uniques). Like you, I have had few runs that did not result in at least one unique/set item in NM. I have since replaced a few "old" uniques and set items and have accumulated more new (to me, since I tend not to "window shop" on the items pages for goodies I could have) uniques than in months of straight playing/questing. These include: Steelclash, Stormguild, Wall of The Eyeless, Frostburn, Snakecord, Tiamat's Rebuke, Infernostride, Waterwalk(2), Azurewrath, Soulflay, Boneslayer Blade(wow), Earthshaker, Hexfire, Cloudcrack. New set items include: Tal Rasha's Hodradric Crest, Hwanin's Justice, M'avina's Tenet, Sanders Taboo/Riprap, Rite of Passage, Aldur's Rhythm.
I only tried Players 9 once. I did not want to test the Karmic repercussions (i.e. game freezing and the like) by being "greedy".

The point to all this SP ranting? It's just fun for me to find items I sometimes believe "exist" only for other players. I would happily share all my goodies sorry sojs do not exist here with any RBD players who have SP chars and don't mind playing on OpenBnet. At least you know you won't be getting a hacked item. That's all.

Ouster
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