Wednesday, October 31, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalpyse -- Day 61

Sometimes the stupidest bios on the stupidest throwaway characters make me laugh pretty hard.  Here's three that amuse me beyond all reason or logic:

So yeah... I continue to catalog/document all of my many characters.

Anyway tonight was the Crazy 88's fall solstice influence burning extraveganza, which actually turned out to only be four people (that I saw, and that includes myself).  Nethergoat is the one who suggested we hold such an event but he seems to have given up on logging into the game ever again -- I don't think he even logged in for the Halloween event which his son would have loved so much.  :/  But I logged in with Wall Street Brawler and burned somewhere between 8 and 9 billion influence, moving me up to 9th place in the super group (it takes a LOT of prestige to reach the top rankings in this SG!)  We're still the #2 SG on Virtue and probably will remain so, but we destroyed about 38 billion influence or so tonight, for no other reason than we could.

Afterwards I stood on the steps of city hall and gave away 11 Overwhelming Force KD/KB IOs to whoever approached me and opened a trade window.  That was my Halloween gift.

I also spent some time IOing Brute Girl Zero with generic IOs, and then I joined a speed ITF with Eternal Sweeper, which got me one level, up to 43 now.

And that was how I spent the last day of October.  Tomorrow:  one month left to go.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 60

No pictures tonight.  I did three things.  (Well, technically four things, since I spent some time when I first logged in documenting my Freedom characters on my 2nd account.)

First, I joined an ITF being formed by Ragey Cat.  I was very dubious about how this might go since I didn't know most of those involved, and our brute went on about how much her character sucked and how she didn't remember how to play it, and Ragey said his character sucked too, and the defender boldly exclaimed that we shouldn't worry because they only had two attacks and therefore were a perfect, dedicated support toon.  Oh joy, someone who doesn't contribute to the team's damage at all.  Not what I consider great team support, but eh.

But we did surprisingly well.  So well, in fact, that our other brute requested that we "turn it up" for the last mission because we were stomping everything.  Oh, joy, my 2nd favorite thing on an ITF -- trying to run it at too high a level.  It's like the Peter Principle, you turn the difficulty up until you find the level where the team can no longer perform adequately, and stay there.

But this went fairly well too.  I mean, aside from dozens of deaths, mostly by everybody but me I have to admit.  They were level 52 mostly, +3 to me but that's manageable and we did have several 50's on the team.  But it's the battle with Rommy that I was worried about, and that went pretty well.  Our brute who "really sucked" and "didn't know how to play the character" jumped in and demanded everyone attack her targets, which were the nictus first.  We killed Rommy only once, after all three nicti were dead, and it went very smoothly, and we cleared the towers afterwards in record time, so I guess I was worried about nothing.

Second, I switched to Mouse Police and joined CA (Colbolt Avenger!  Yay, see, I know how to spell it!) and Jane and we ran the rest of Ghost Widow's arc, which earned us all the Usurper badge and unlocked the LRSF as well.  Oh, and I almost forgot, when I logged in Mouse I got the Trickster badge for being a rogue for seven days.  Woo!

Third and finally, we ran a quick DFB for badges because Mouse didn't have those yet.  I logged in Squiddy Kitty on my 2nd account and set her to squid form and auto follow with one blast power on auto fire, which almost was a huge mistake when we got to the Vahz AV.  But no worries, we got all three badges and Squiddy only died twice, lol.  Having her float after me shooting everything I was attacking worked pretty well.  ^_^

And... that was it for the evening.  Mouse has 1224 badges now!

And... okay I lied.  Here's a picture, one character with an interesting bio that I'd forgotten about:

Monday, October 29, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 59

First off, I want to say something.  According to the event schedule we were given, the Halloween event was to run from the 26th to the 29th.  I checked it several times.  I added it to the message of the global channel where I'm a mod.  I repeated it when people asked how long the event would last.  I double-checked it to make sure I was right.  I know people who weren't able to log on this weekend who were counting on the event being still live for Monday the 29th.

Why was the event already over when I logged in today?  First of all, why wouldn't you schedule it through Halloween if you possibly could?  But more importantly, why can't you at least schedule it for when you actually say it's going to happen?

I didn't have anything hinging on it myself, I just wanted to enjoy the event one more day.  But as I said, I know people that were very much counting on it and were very unhappy.  Not that anything can be done about it now, I'm sure.  But it was very disappointing.

Anyway... tonight I spent a lot of time documenting the characters on Virtue that I hadn't already done that for so far.  I have my two main accounts done by now anyway, but I do have other accounts I'll have to do as well.  Later in the evening I joined a small team running the Ouroboros Task Forces -- Twilight's Son TF, Mender Lazarus TF, and Mender Silos TF.  I like the Lazarus TF and especially I like the Silos TF with the Jade Spider -- why can't any normal TF have giant monsters like that?  I mean, a couple do, but I've said this before, the Hess TF should have a giant robot striding across Striga Isle, and the giant robots in the ITF should come alive, and... well several more things like that.  Maybe a giant robot in a revamped Citadel TF.  I just don't get why there's such a cool giant spider in this TF that nobody runs, that doesn't give a badge, that can be run at such a weak level that you can defeat the spider with a feather duster.  I've always wished the Ouro TFs gave badges, we even had one person tonight who joined us for the Lazarus but then after realizing there were no badges invovled, did not join for the Silos.  They practically give some badges away for free, sneeze and you get a badge, but for some reason the Ouro TFs were "just for fun" and never warranted a badge, and for that reason alone a lot of people have never run them and they're missing out on some fun stuff.

We didn't run the Tesseract TF, or the Calvin Scott.  I might have to run those on my own later, and I might just have to run Silos again.  I like it.  I do recommend people run through it once if they never have, it's worth it for the spider alone.

I ran the first two TFs on Eternal Sweeper and reached level 40.  The last one I had to switch to a 45+ character, so I used Megami Hime, who is my other Titan Weapons brute with an excalibur.  She's willpower though, but tough and fun to play!

One other thing... I sent a LotG 7.5% recharge IO to Cobalt Avenger tonight.  Only, as it turns out, my friend that I've been playing with for the last 1 1/2 to 2 years is Colbolt Avenger.  I'm really paranoid and always double-check globals before e-mailing anything, but I'm so used to looking at "Colbolt Avenger" and seeing "Cobalt Avenger" that when I opened up my friend's list and looked right at his name and then at what I typed, I saw the same thing both times.

He said that it had happened before, another friend had e-mailed 500 million influence to Cobalt Avenger, whoever that is.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 58

There was a point on Saturday when I was running itrails with Mouse Police where one person sent me a tell.  "I remember you!  We PvP'd in Warburg!"

I remembered this, of course.  It's one of the few times I'd ever PvP'd at all, and it wasn't the reason I had gone there.  I was there, of course, to get a Warburg nuke, and I was right at the launch pad when I was attacked.  This initially made me pretty angry -- I have only a few seconds to launch the nuke and complete my mission, and some PvPer decided to ambush me right there!  But Mouse Police is a well-built katana/regen scrapper with overwhelming recharge and high damage, so she's actually one of my best characters to PvP with.  I turned and killed my attacker, and still got my nuke off, so no harm done.

After that we PvP'd several more times, and she complimented me on my build, and then I switched to my fire blaster Serpentine Fire who I thought of as a very high-damage toon, but in PvP she wasn't actually that good.  But it was a good experience meeting this person, she encouraged me to PvP more, something I didn't actually do, but anyway.  I also remember that Serpentine Fire got a PvP IO drop when I was allowed to kill my opponent (who had defeated me several times otherwise).

Anyway it made me think about how the game would be different if I played only one character, because I probably meet the same people over and over but often don't recognize them.  I only know the people on my globals really, and even then if it's not someone I've starred or play with constantly, I may not recognize them on an unfamiliar toon.  Tunnel Rat recognized me that one time because I was playing AE Baby and she'd been reading my journal.  If you see Golden Girl, for example, you know who it is.  But if you see One Divine Hammer you probably don't know who that is, even if you've teamed with Nina Ballerina before.  (Well... especially in that case because I have two accounts and they're on different accounts -- but you get the idea.)

If I'd played only one character, I think I'd have a lot more friends, and maybe a few more enemies as well.  At least, I'd have a lot more recognition across the Virtue server, for good or ill.

On the flip side, if Mouse Police had been my one and only character I'd never know what it's like to play so many other sets and characters, and that's really what I've enjoyed most about this game -- that I get to try so many different things.  So that's kind of the curse of the altoholic, relative annonymity.

(I think I still have that Warburg nuke on Mouse too.  I'm always saving those things for when I really need it.)

I started Sunday morning on a Trick or Treating league in Peregrine Island -- 3-4 mostly full teams at that one hotel with the multiple doors right near the hospital.  It was pure chaos, in the best way possible.  There were so many people and halloween monsters that at times I couldn't see enemies just 20 feet from me until I moved closer, because the game was having a hard time drawing everything.  But it wasn't like your typical invasion lagfest, there was just enough people for massive chaos but not to grind the game to a halt.  And again, what other game is going to provide an experience anything like this?  So far as I know most games do not allow for massive melees where the players are outnumbered more than 3 to 1.  But it was a blast, Saturn Princess earned most of a level to nearly 48.

After that I spent some time completing Forest Goddess's build.  I hadn't really done anything with her since hitting 50 last week.  I hadn't even done any of her costume missions yet, or turned in halloween salvage for the extra costume slot, so I spent time doing all of that, and Maressa sent me halloween costume salvage since I'd said in a global channel that I didn't have that yet.  She said, "Don't spend it all in one place!"  I sent her 500 million influence in return, but she logged off just after that so I don't think she even knows yet.  ^_^  But my build on Forest Goddess is complete, what do I need with the money now?

Freaky was doing an "SSTF" marathon all weekend -- Shadow Shard Task Forces.  Every time he used that acronym, people were confused.  He ran three Doctor Quaterfields on Saturday, that's the second weekend he's done that since Sept 1st.  I still think that must be some kind of record, who in their right mind does that?  He also ran a Justin Augustine on Saturday, and again on Sunday morning.  I don't know why, but he seems to like that TF.  I've said in the past that it's the worst excuse for a TF in the game, consisting mostly of hunts and "go touch this monument" errands, with five actual door missions and an ending that involves clearing a few CoT out of Faathim's Chantry palace -- no AV, of course, unless you count Faathim standing around watching you.  But I joined Freaky for the Sunday morning run, and on a good team it's not so bad.  We had one person with afterburner and some sort of team transport (the incarnate one I think) and that made everything go fast, we finished in 55 minutes.  But there's not a lot of experience involved, it's mostly good for the badge and the merits.

While the team was still forming I goofed around in Firebase Zulu, posing as one of the soldiers, and then trick or treating.  It's actually a great place to do that, there are a lot of doors in the portal area.  When the TF started I tried to solo a group of watchers with 1 or 2 overseers up in open space, since I'm a flying brute, but here is where SR fares poorly, and you can see the results.

Freaky was planning to run a Faathim later in the day, but in the meantime someone was starting up an Admiral Sutter and that's one that I didn't have the badge for on Mouse yet, so I joined that.  We had a team full of people who weren't familiar with the TF, but we did just fine, and Mouse got her badge, just as Freaky was forming his Faathim.

I parked Mouse back in First Ward and switched back to Saturn Princess, and this time I hit an xp booster and a windfall when we started.  I hit level 49 -- I think I was already 48 when we started -- but I forgot to use a second xp booster after the first hour, and I finished the TF 2 bubbles from 50.  We finished in 2 hours 8 minutes.  I like Faathim, it's a bit long but there's several AVs along the way, so it feels like one of the big top-level TFs like Statesman/Miss Liberty or ITF or Khan, which is what it was meant to be I'm sure -- it's kind of the partially failed first experiment at making that kind of end-game task force, but still enjoyable.

So far as I know, Freaky did not run a Sara Moore all weekend.  I asked at one point but didn't get a response.  I like Sara Moore, far better than Justin Augustine or Doc Q, but maybe I'll get a chance to run it later, since I have the other three badges on Saturn Princess now.

In the afternoon we were supposed to run the CoP.  We could only get 18 people for the blueside run -- I'm not sure how much of that was just fewer people playing these days, and how much of it was people wanting to trick or treat or do other things, or even people unable to log on because of the big hurricane bearing down on the East coast, I know that preventedd Zombie from joining us at least.  After a few problems we managed to complete the first part of the trial, but the AV prooved too much for us, he was always at full health by the time we took down the cubes again.  Either we didn't have enough damage and debuffs, or it may have been one of the bugged AVs, people didn't have a consensus on that one.  But we weren't able to finish and had to bail.  This was extra sad because we'd dedicated the CoP to Sebastian (think I got the name right), Jane's TF Dog, who died on Friday.

I spent a little bit of time ToTing in PI on Saturn Princess before the redside CoP.  I wanted to get those last two bubbles to 50, but finally I logged in to AE Baby to help the redside CoP effort.  Ultimately we weren't able to get enough people to even make an attempt.  But in the meantime I hadn't logged AE Baby in two weeks, and I had 17 sales of blaster ATOs to collect, and I was already over 1.7 billion so I had more money to collect than I could actually carry.  And what was I going to do with it, exactly?  I only play AE Baby for these CoP runs for the most part.

On the other hand, there was one person there named Red Rika (I think it was) who had just said as I logged in that she'd only been playing the game for two months.  "I joined just as the game hit an iceberg," she joked.  She really likes the game too, and she had one level 50 blueside.  I located her and opened a trade window and handed her 999,999,999 infamy, which kind of left her speechless.  ^_^  I don't think she even has any idea how to spend that kind of money!  Also, I offered to give 200 million to anyone who opened a trade window with me -- first four people -- I could have done five or six, but only three people actually took me up on it so I logged off with 600 million still.

I probably would have gone back to Saturn Princess, but Jane and CA wanted to run their mayhem missions and I absolutely couldn't miss that.  I had managed all of the mayhems up through the level 30 one for Mouse, but getting 35 and 40 would have meant PLing my 34 crab spider a few levels.  Luckily for me, CA had already been doing this on his TW/fire brute FIreMight to help Jane out, so he had both mayhems saved -- an the 45-50 one also as it turned out.  We ran all three in a row, slaughtered everything, and Mouse got three explore badges, plus the vault badge, the cop badge, and the Vandal badge for phones/mailboxes/new stands/fire hydrants.  And after that I helped them run the first half of Ghost Widow's patron arc, which I didn't really need but Jane did.  I've run that a lot and Mouse is extremely well suited to speeding through those kind of missions.

Mouse Police finished the night with 1219 badges.  It shouldn't be hard to hit 1250 at this rate.

That would have been my evening, but much later after 9 PM I decided to log back in and try to get that last bubble on Saturn Princess.  I figured I could join a ToT league in PI, and I was right, there was one going, and I did manage to hit 50, but this time it was a lot more chaotic.  It was late at night and people were joining and leaving constantly, and the leader was juggling teams.  At one point I was tanking a large group of enemies and I was instantly dead when I got exempted down for just a few seconds to a very low level.  At another point my team was level 12, and it took forever to get someone to fix that.  I only realized it after being unable to click on any doors -- somehow I avoided dying that time.  But I imagine trying to run a league under those circumstances is pretty demanding.

Right after hitting 50 and leveling up, a banner event took place, and people in Whisper's global channel were desperately trying to get those badges and begging for help, so I said I was going to go help friends do the banners and quit the ToT league.  But before I quit I heard the leader ask if people wanted to do the banners, and lo and behold, my friends only had one team but the two-team ToT league came to help, and we joined to form a 3 team league and did a very successful banner run.  I know those badges are really hard to get just because it's difficult to get enough people interested/motivated and formed up in time to accomplish the event, so this might well have been one of the last chances for my friends to get those badges.

And that was a good way to end the night, and as good as an excuse as any to bow out after having hit 50.  ^_^

I'm not sure how many 50's I have at this point, or who I might want to focus on next.  Eternal Sweeper probably, and One Divine Hammer.  But I'm reaching a point where I just want to play characters once more and not focus on leveling up new ones so much.  I think.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 57

This morning I checked the auction house to see if anyone had bought an excalibur recipe recently.  They had, for 1.6 billion influence!  This was important, because I had a 1.6 billion influence bid on that recipe with Sparks Fly.  :D  There haven't been any for sale, I was even thinking I should up my bid to 2 billion to be certain, but I didn't need to.

Hey, it's play money and I have tons of it and it's all worthless in a month, so why not?

So Saturn Princess has a shiny new excalibur sword now.  I spent some time adjusting most of her costumes to reflect this.

Today was the day I set out to get the Halloween Haunted House badges for Mouse Police.  I convinced three friends to join up, and we ran a badge run.  One person hadn't done it before (and I'd only done it a couple of times last year) so we did it the slow way.  I really love that map, it's pretty danged cool.

And the monster you fight at the end is cool too.  Plus I'd forgotten that one of the rewards was the bat change emote.  I have a vampire brute -- Mina Evangeline -- who I figured should have that.  One person in one of the global channels I'm in wanted to do a run so he could video record it -- he's been trying to document as much of the game as he could -- so three of us decided to run it again, and I alted to Mina.

And then... the guy that wanted to record it wouldn't answer to any tells or channel chat.  :/  We had another person who wanted to join, so one of the three left decided to bow out, but then since we couldn't get the fourth guy -- the one we were actually trying to run it for -- to join, we had to find another person, and that took forever.  Finally one of our friends took pity on us and joined, and we made another successful run.

Right after that Freaky was starting up a Doctor Q task force.  He's once again doing all the shard TFs over the weekend -- this is his third or fourth time since Sept 1st.  And there are still people who have never done them that want to join, so we had at least two on our run I think.  It was like the Doc Q always is -- 3 hours and 28 minutes long, nothing really spectacular except the length.  I got into an argument with Freaky on the 18th mission because he said he'd been counting and we were on mission 20, but I had my Paragonwiki open on my laptop so I knew I was right.  I also almost had an argument with someone else about whether a rogue clicking on an Ouro portal woudl have kicked them from the team.  That happens on Dr. Khan, always, even visiting RWZ or Dark Astoria will do  It's a known bug with the Khan TF.  But it's not normal for that to happen on other TFs, I've done it or seen it done on multiple TFs without actually being kicked.  In  fact I've been on a Manticore where the leader did that, and it spawned the next mission redside, and we were lucky to have 3 or maybe it was 4 rogues on the team who could get there and run it, but it was excruciatingly slow without the full team.

Anyway we had a rogue on the team, and he almost clicked on my Ouro portal, and we were 19 missions into the TF, and I said, "I don't think it would kick you from the team, but I wouldn't want to test the theory."  But one moron insisted several times that it WOULD kick him from the team, no ifs, ands, or buts.  I hate people that are absolutely right based on no evidence whatsoever.  Has he seen someone kicked from a Doc Q before in that manner?  If you haven't then you don't know for certain.  Anyway I know this guy from our global channels, but I had to stop and 1-star him for being a know-it-all idiot, people that argue with no facts just drive me up the wall.

Later I joined some incarnate trials with Mouse Police, who I've really never incarnated much.  I didn't know any of the people running this, and I was not expecting great results.  We did a BAF that went okay, some prisoners escaped so we only got the badge for completion which Mouse already had.  We had too many people for a Lam so we did a TPN, and this went spectacularly well -- everyone was very quick and efficient and we got the Mo TPN badge!  I know it's one of the easiest Mo's to get but still, I was really happy about that, that's like five new badges total.  Then we ran a Keyes even though the leader said he didn't know how to run one and nobody else volunteered, so once again I wasn't expecting much but it went pretty well.  I got the badge for completing that, and I got badges for unlocking my Judgment and Interface slots.  I finished the day with 1212 badges on Mouse.

After that I would have liked to run a Lam, we were down to 16 people, but the stupid leader kept inviting more so they decided to run a BAF again.  I bowed out and took a break.  When I came back in the evening, I did some trick or treating on Saturn Princess, but I felt really tired (I'd been up quite early) so I decided to call it a night.

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 56

The Halloween event it live!

Every year, when events have come around, I've spent a lot of time trying to get my main characters as many of the badges as possible.  Finally in this last year I kind of gave up on doing that because it was exhausting, and the result was that Mouse Police does not have the new Valentine tip "love letter delivery" mission badess, and did not, until now, have the Haunted House badges.  Sadly there's no way I'll get the former, but this weekend was my chance to get the latter.

But first, I started by trick or treeting in Grandville.  I did this for a while and was up to about 8 or so costumes, when I decided to heed the Friday night call for Shimmer's Mother Ship Raid.  I parked Mouse back in First Ward and logged on to Saturn Princess.

The Riksi Mothership Raid was very successful.  I gained more than half a level, hitting 45.  I wasn't even aware of which level I was, because I'd logged out in Cimemora without leveling up, so even though I managed to log in and leveled before joining the raid, I still thought I was 43.  I only discovered my mistake later, it was like gaining an extra level instantly!

I may have mentioned in a previous post how I reworked Saturn Princess's build and removed Weave, but still took tough, and had Maneuvers but not Combat Jumping.  Even when I typed this I knew something seemed wrong about that -- Weave grants more defense than Maneuvers, why wouldn't I pick that?  This was one of the reasons I'd logged off without leveling, because I wanted to make sure I had my build right s that I wouldn't have to respec.  And I did, picking up Weave at level 44.

Later in the evening I did tips in PI with Jane and Cobalt Avenger.  Jane's dog "TF Dog" (not his real name, but he always wanted in or out when she was on a task force) had died, so she was depressed, but playing the game for a bit helped I think.  I got a lot of costumes on Saturn Princess and the first costume badge, and all of the defeat badges, and we also ran the Halloween tip missions 5 times for all of those badges.  Saturn Princes wound up halfway to 46.  And that was our evening.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 55

I know a lot of people who stopped logging in the moment the game was announced as closing, and I see a lot of people saying they can't bring themselves to log in because it's too sad.  And a lot of these people also say they can't bring themselves to level any characters anymore, or work on badges, because it's "all meaningless."

I have a lot of different thoughts on this.  First, the two thoughts above are kind of contradictory.  The game meant so much to you that it hurts to play now, but because it's ending it means nothing.  Eh.  The game means as much as it ever did -- really, for me, it means more because these are the last weeks I'll ever be able to play.  I don't want to spend my last weeks wallowing in self-pity and being afraid to log into my favorite game, because then my last memories of the game will be finding out it's going to close and being depressed.  I want to go out on my own terms.  I want to play right up to the end and say I've accomplished something, and if I enjoyed playing the game before then I enjoy it even more now because it's more precious.  And if getting badges on my badger is meaningless, or leveling up a new alt is meaningless, then it was even more meaningless previously, because it was something I could do any time I wanted or put off indefinitely knowing that someday I'd be able to do it.  Now, it's something I do knowing I won't have another chance.

To me, what I'm doing in the game right now has more meaning, because the game will soon be gone.  I've had to narrow my focus to things I really want to do or really want to accomplish.  It's sad that I won't be able to do everything I had planned, and it's sad that I won't get to see all of the cool stuff that was coming, and it's sad how much emptier the game is these days, but it would be even more sad if I failed to do any of the things that I still have time to do.

Tonight I played Mouse Police through several mayhem missions.  Because I have two accounts I was able to do some stuff on my own, and I earned the Steel Canyon, Independence Port, and Talos Island mayhem explore badges, along with the hero defeat badge and the Impounded badge for 100 cars destroyed.  I also  killed a lot of cops and news stands/phone booths/mail boxes/fire hydrants, so I'm working my way through those badges as well, and I did 2 or 3 arsons, that's another badge I'm working on.  In the end, though, I had five badges, and that put me at exactly 1200.  And that's certainly been one of my long-term goals for Mouse Police, to reach 1200 badges.

Since Sept 1st I've also leveled up Princess Ozma to 50, a staff melee / energy aura brute (both sets I'd never played to 50 before) and Forest Goddess to 50, a nature affinity / water blast defender (also both sets I'd never played to 50 -- which makes sense, they were both new since July).  And I've taken a 2nd Titan Weapons character to 50, and I'm working on a third, who will be my second super reflexes character at 50 (and first in several years, and first brute), and I also got one of my oldest blasters to 50.

What I'm trying to say is -- it would be really, really said if I'd stopped playing on Sept 1st and had not done any of that.  I'd always regret never having played a level 50 staff melee.  I'd always regret never having played the rest of the SSA arcs.  I'd always regret never having really played nature affinity or water blast after buying them.  I'd always regret that I spent so much time on badges for Mouse Police, but then I stopped a couple of years ago and never picked it back up, never made that push to 1200 badges or beyond.  And I'd always regret that I didn't take the time to archive my characters, didn't take the time to do things one more time, didn't take the time to finish what I'd started.

Yes, it's sad that the game is ending.  But when it ends I want to have as few regrets as possible.  That's why I can't really chime in on these "I can't play because it's too sad" posts.  I don't think you do yourself any favors by letting your favorite game end on NCSoft's terms rather than on your own  terms.  I know it must be hard, but I think these people are going to look back later and wonder why they didn't log in for one last task force, or one last whatever they liked to do most in City of Heroes.

If you had one month left to play your favorite game, what would you want to do most?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 54

It's amazingly quiet in City of Heroes these days.  Virtue is still the most populated server -- and especially in the later evening -- but when I log in around 4 PM PST, there's virtually no chatter in any of my global channels and only scattered chatter in LFG (which I still tend to not follow).  Yessterday Cally logged on for a bit then logged off saying it was too dead.  Tonight Mr. Trilby was on, said hi, and logged off a bit later, and Freaky logged in to say hi, then disappeared.

Others are doing the kind of things I was doing in the early evening -- soloing, in my case redside Ouro arcs for badges.  I ran Mouse Police through the 2nd and 3rd arcs of Dr. Graves -- The Heart of Darkness, Heroic Measures earning me the Blackened Soul badge, and The Heart of Darkness, The Price of Victory, earning me the Face of Evil badge.  These are the counterparts to the hero-side Twinshot arcs, which I also haven't run on Mouse Police yet.

Let me say two things:  first, the 2nd arc is  phenomenally annoying.  You run between  Mercy Island, Port Oakes, and Cap Au Diable constantly, and because you're at level 14 max my travel powers were limited, and Mercy and Cap are not very friendly to people who can't fly.  I got very, very tired of this arc, and I'm glad that I'll never run it again.

Second, the third arc is pathetic.  Let me tell you why:  You're a villain, you've made a lot of enemies.  You set out to kill Zephyr, but you don't.  You then go to kill Omnicore, but you don't.  Then you're off to kill Crosscut, but you don't.  Then you recruit all of them to kill Dr. Graves, but you don't.  Then you work with Dr. Graves and the rest to take out Dollface, but you don't finish this either.

And then you're awarded the "Face of Evil" badge.  For what?  Failing to kill anyone?  I wanted to kill them all, but noooo, we can't let a despicable villain actually kill any rivals.  That would be bad.

So I declare this so-called arc of evil "wimpy".  Gimme one or two enemies that I'm actually allowed to plant in the ground for good, that's all I ask.  Why would I let people who've sworn to kill me live?

Anyway, I only earned the two badges tonight but it was a lot of work to get them.  Now I've run these arcs, I don't intend to ever run them again.  I wasn't really thrilled with the Twinshot stories but I like them better than the villain ones.

At least Dollface's mansion is cool, if surprisingly similar to Manticore's.

A bit later Rageycat started up an ITF, and I joined on Saturn Princess.  They decided to set it to +1 which... I swear, every single time someone wants to run an ITF on +1 or higher and you don't have a team loaded with 50's, it's trouble come the final Rommy fight.  We beat on him for a good 15-20 minutes to get him dead the first time.  The whole TF took over an hour, and don't get me wrong, we had a very good team, and I was happy to get 2 levels on Saturn Princess, she's 44.5 now, but one thing I will not miss is people thinking we can run our ITF at + whatever with 7 of 8 characters at less than 50, and then being surprised when the final fight is so tough.

Vortron (if I remember the name correctly) has been video/demo recording as much of the game as he possibly can these past few weeks, so while we were on our ITF he formed a Cavern of Transcendence Trial.  I also saw someone trying to form a BAF at the same time... so as I said, later in the evening there are things happening on Virtue, just not so much earlier in the day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 53

Tonight was mostly a quiet night that I spent running badge missions in Ouroboros, there weren't a lot of people online (early at least).  I was working from a list on Paragonwiki that supposedly lists all of the badge missions available redside, but it's missing several.  When I was done I still didn't have Army of Me, Bane of Ajax, Efficiency Expert, or the three Dr. Graves badges, Face of Evil, Blackened Soul, and Dark Heart.  (And I think I'm missing something else too.)  Cobalt Avenger helped me get Army of Me easily enough, and I worked my way through the first Dr. Graves arc and earned Dark Heart, and that gave me a total of 1193 badges.

Then I joined an Eden Trial, which was fun because I hadn't run it in a while and we had at least one person who'd never seen it before.  This is one of those trials that everyone should see once.  I took a lot of pictures:

I took Saturn Princess and had fun, she did just fine and now I'm nearly 43.

Bucket List for Last Six Weeks

As the game winds down, I wanted to lay out a list of my goals for the final weeks.  I think originally all I said was that I wanted to get my staff melee/energy aura brute Princess Ozma and my nature affinity/water blast defender Forest Goddess to 50, and as of last night I've done that.  I may have also talked about getting my staff melee/ninjitsu stalker Eternal Sweeper to 50 as well, which I'm working on.  And of course in the meantime I powerleveled a new titan weapons scrapper named Swift Sky to 50, and powerleveled one of my oldest characters, the energy blaster Liberty or Debt, to 50.  But I still have some things I want to accomplish.

Mind you, I also would like to participate in NaNoWriMo in November, which I can already see is probably doomed to fail.  But in any case, here are the things I'd like to actually do before Nov 30th:

1.  I need to archive two market threads -- my original Zero to Awesome thread, and probably my 30 hero merit random rolls in 30 days thread.  I've already archived my Zero to Awesome 2 thread and will eventually post it here in my blog.  Each one takes time and I took several days to archive one of them, but I've year to start on the other two.

2.  I need to finish archiving the rest of my characters, with bios shown.  I've already done a whole bunch of them, but I probably need to make a list of who I've got so far because there are so many I've become a bit confused on who's left.

3.  I have a goal to play all my 50's one more time.  I've probably played eight to ten of them in the last week though -- Mouse Police, Liberty or Debt, Tiffany Blackheart, and AE Baby among them.  Also Trinkets, Sparks Fly and Megamisama if you count my three farming toons.

4.  I want to get Mouse Police to 1250 badges.  This is an ongoing goal that I've been working on for the last two weeks, but it shouldn't be that hard to manage, I'm already at 1182 and I have a lot of things left that I can do pretty easily.

5.  Final Fifties:  First and foremost I intend to get my newest alt Saturn Princess to 50 and Eternal Sweeper as well.  After that, there's One Divine Hammer my mace/shield scrapper who is a lot of fun to play. All three of those are between 39 and 42 so it shouldn't be difficult too mange getting them to 50, but beyond that it's anybody's guess what I can accomplish.

6.  I have a lot of other alts, and if I can't get them to 50, then I'd at least like to play one more time and maybe gain a level with them:   Black Snake Goddess, Barbie Bane, Sorceress Shinobu, Earthsinger, Stalker Girl One, Brute Girl Zero, Storm Girl Ten, Blaster Girl One, Summerland Fairy, Tesla's Cat, Death Ace, Dog Aggro, Cupcake Overdrive.  Probably a few others.

7.  I've pretty much played through all of the hero SSA 1 and 2 since September (2.3 and 2.4 were on someone else's team) but I have yet to play through the villain SSA arcs.  That's something I hope to do before the end as well.

8.  Things I'm pretty sure I'll never do:  I've never taken a character from 1 to 20 in Praetoria.  I actually would have liked to go from 1 to 50 without leaving Praetoria, that was one of my "someday" goals, but it's clear I'm not going to do it now.  I've run almost every trial and task force in the game, but I've never been on a Diliema Diabloique or Mother Mayhem trial.  There's probably still a chance I can catch a MoM, who knows, but DD is not as likely.  I don't have any characters with T4 incarnate slots across the board, in fact I don't have the newest slot opened up on any character -- just not that important to me I guess.  I've been on a few successful Magesterium trials though, no worries there.

Monday, October 22, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 52

Tonight was a Penny Yin night.  It was the last night of Yin as the WST, and lots of friends wanted the extra experience and/or are working on the helper badges, and of course it's a TF that can be run in around half an hour (faster if you're so inclined).  So I was on three of them in a row.

But first!  I logged in Mouse Police and ran several of the easier (1-3 mission only) badge missions for villains from Ouroboros.  I gained a couple of gladiator badges along the way too, so I finished the night with a total of 1182.  Getting close to 1200!  I think I should at least shoot for 1250 by the end of the game, especially since there's a badge for that mark.

And... I remembered to log off in First Ward.  I'm at about 26% complete on my Day Job there.

For the first Yin TF I ran Saturn Princess again and got to level 42.  She's turning into a fun character to play.    But I do agree with the one person who told me yesterday that Titan Weapons in flight looked kind of silly and cartoony:

After that I ran two straight Yin TFs on Forest Goddess.  The first landed me less than two bubbles from 50, so I stuck around for the second and hit 50 in the third mission.  Haven't done the Alpha unlock yet, still need to finish up her build, but I'm glad to get her to 50.  She's a fun character, both Nature Affinity and Water Blast are pretty awesome sets and fun to play.  It remains to be seen if I play my plant/nature affinity troller at all though.  >.>

Ack, poor dog!

And I came up with a bio for Saturn Princess so here's a closer look at my newest alt:

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 51

I feel like I failed to take advantage of the double experience weekend on Sunday.  I have a lot of characters that I would have liked to get to 50, but instead I focused a bit on my brand new alt that I created on Saturday, then played mostly level 50's the rest of the evening.  In a way that was disappointing.

But to start with:  all Saturday I had been planning to run Mouse Police through five rogue missions, with the idea that I could turn rogue on Sunday and join a Yin TF, which would yield two badges -- the one for the TF, and also the WST helper badge.  Late Saturday night after I got home I realized I'd failed to do this, so at Midnight I logged back in and ran my five rogue tip missions.  And then I was so tired that I did something stupid, and logged out right there in Grandville instead of going back to my spot in First Ward where I'm working on a day job badge.  I'm not even sure if I can manage two day jobs in the time we have left, but failing to log out in the right place certainly isn't going to help.  :(

So Sunday I spent some time working out my new alt's build and then went back to PI for two more runs through Council Earth, which got her to level 40 (I had to begin a third run to hit 40, I was just shy).  Then I began IOing her in earnest.  But Pyro was working his way through the SSA 2 stories, and I still hadn't done #3 or #4, so when he said he was going to start #3 I joined him.  Saturn Princess was still not fully IO'd so I was worried about how I'd do -- and with good reason.  I died several times.  The problem was we were stealthing missions with malta in them, and A)  I didn't have stealth, B) even when made invisible by Pyro I forgot that brutes have a natural taunt aura, so running into guys made me visible to them, C)  anytime I was seen I invariably hadn't hit Practiced Brawler and so was mezable, and D)  anytime I was surprised I invariably didn't know where the sapper was until I was already at zero endurance.

So, yeah -- recipe for multiple disasters right there.  Pyro finally told me to not move while he did everything.  Let's not forget, I'm on an SR brute with only about 25% defense or so at the moment, so I'm not very survivable in fights unless I plan them ahead of time -- pop some inspirations, target the sapper first, then I'm probably fine.  But I felt less than helpful.

But I learned a few things about my build.  Like, for example, that I'd forgot to factor in Titan Sweep into my actual build in mids, even though I had it in-game (and wanted to keep it).  Also, flying TW brutes cannot use Arc of Destruction, something I hadn't planned for.  This sort of thing isn't insurmountable -- Shinobu Eden, my Super Strength/Invulnerability brute, flies, but I don't hover in combat because I needs mah footstomp.  Luckily none of my electric melee or shield defense characters were intended to be flyers, because those sets suffer from the same problem.  But Saturn Princess made sense as a flyer, I didn't want to give that up.  On Shinobu Eden this meant that I took both flight and combat jumping, along with tough/weave and manuevers, which made it impossible to take hasten.  But I managed to make it work for me.  In the case of Saturn Princess, it ultimately meant taking tough (need to slot Steadfast Protection and Gladiator's Armor for defense bonuses) but not taking weave, and skipping manuevers but not combat jumping.  I still wanted hasten on a TW brute, that's absolutely necessary.  And I can mostly fight in hover mode if I don't mind avoiding my T9 power, or I can drop down and fight on the ground and I still manage to have softcapped defense, an absolute must on an SR.  And I did all of this mostly without set bonuses, so I was free to slot two purple sets and use sets like Crushing Impact and Scirocco's Dervish that I normally wouldn't use.

Anyway Pyro wanted to read all of the text so it didn't matter to him, but the role of the second banana on one of these SSA's is different, you miss half of the story and they're all about the story.  I'll definitely have to run through them again solo.

The run through SSA 2.4 went better because we had a third person and because I switched to someone useful -- Princess Ozma, a very tough tanking brute.  This, of course, meant I was playing one of my 50's on a DXP weekend, but I was able to taunt and tank all the ambush waves in the last parts of the story arc, which was a good thing, things might have been much messier otherwise.  And I was able to follow more of the story this time, and the ending map is a very cool lab, I took some pictures of it.  But it's disconcerting when your leader dies in an ambush, and you finish it off, and it immediately jumps to a cut scene where the last guy is falling dead at the feat of the leader, not you.  :D  Second banana again, we don't even get support roles in the cut scenes.

The suprise at the end was cool.  I'm very much looking forward to being able to play SSA 2.5, I'm told it should appear in a few weeks just like 2.4 did.  That's a bit of good news for the ending of the game at least, if we're able to play through the full SSA 2 story, it's well worth it, believe me.

After that I went back to IOing Saturn Princess and managed to get her fully set up the way I wanted -- I had to rework her build a bit, but I didn't need a respec so that's good.  And right after, I managed to join a Penny Yin TF with friends, one of the few things I actually did on a non-50 that I really had planned to do.  With the experience bonus I got to level 41 and more than halfway to 42.  And she played just fine.  In fact, both of our meatshields were women with giant swords, as someone on the team pointed out, so I had to get a picture of that.

After a break I managed to come back in time to join the blueside CoP, first time in weeks that I've caught that.  I used Saturn Princess again and again she performed well -- better than my experiences with Swift Sky I think.  She's going to be a better TW than Swift Sky currently is.  We trounced the CoP and I finished a sliver from 42.  It was still early evening, and I had reason to think I'd make at least 42 if not higher by the end of the eveing, but as it turned out I only played 50's after.

For the redside CoP I was planning to bring AE Baby, but this is where I discovered that Mouse Police was parked in Grandville.  This made me very upset, so I logged Mouse in immediately, and I decided to run the CoP with her.  Afterwards I took her to First Ward and parked her there, of course.  The redside CoP took forever to form, it's hard getting enough people to join, but once we'd managed it we slaughtered it in just a few minutes.  That's generally how a Cathedral of Pain trial works -- an hour to form, five minutes to destroy.

At this point I was hoping to do some more stuff blueside with one of my less-than-50 alts, but my friends wanted to run a SIlver Mantis.  One of the problems with me playing redside is that I only have a few characters as options -- I have four 50's, AE Baby, Mouse Police, my War Shade Squiddy Kitty and my Mastermind Mia Nevermore (who I almost never play).  For sub-50's I mostly have a handful of characters that I never play who are probably IO'd with generic IO's if that.  I know that many people use SO's to 50, let alone generics that don't expire, but for me I always feel incomplete on just generics, like I'm not pulling my own weight, which usually means being one of the strengths of the team.  But then I remembered that Tiffany Blackheart is a vigilante, and she's fun to play so I settled on playing her.  And I realized after this that Mouse could get the helper badge on a second Silver Mantis, but I still had my plan to take her rogue and join a Yin.  Anyway, Tiffany was perfect for this -- a willpower scrapper with softcapped defense, she can tank pretty well.  Even at level 25, with team buffs I was above the defense caps.  She did much better than Mouse had done on the same SF several days ago, in the last mission when you're trying to destroy the big guns on the raider platform and you're being swarmed by sky raiders, Mouse ran into trouble and died.  Tiffany did not have any problems.  People say that a regen always has those "oh shit" buttons when things go wrong, and willpower suffers because they don't have anything to turn to when they're taking too much damage -- but when things go REALLY wrong, a regen can't heal fast enough.  Meanwhile, a willpower supplementedd by enough defense is virtually untouchable in most situations -- and the few situations where they're going to get their defense debuffed, such as amid swarms of Cimemorans, a regen would't fare any better anyway.

So yeah, Tiff's incredibly tough.  But here I was playing one of my 50's again.  But I'm glad I did, every team needs one or two good characters to lean on, especially on a DXP weekend when some people are likely playing without having worked out their build or having taken time to IO.

Right after the Silver Mantis it was 8 PM, so I switched back to Mouse Police and ran my five rogue tips and turned rogue, earning me another badge.  I was pretty tired at this point, but a friend was starting up another Yin, so I went blueside and joined it.  This earned me two more badges, so I finished the night at 1175.

And I remembered to return to First Ward before logging off.  ^_^

The ghost ship was sailing through IP after the Yin TF.  I still think it just looks amazingly cool.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 50

I spent my Saturday morning powerleveling.  Nothing really exciting to talk about -- many of my friends were logging in for the first time in a long while, lots of task forces were being run, the Extra Life campaign was in full swing -- but I just wanted to take advantage of the double experience to work on a few alts.

I took Stalker Girl One to 25, then I created a Brute Girl Zero and took her to 22.  I'm not even sure why I did that, except I have at least 10 buffbot girls and a Scrapper Girl One and Stalker Girl One who are former buffbot girls, and I still feel compelled to make more.  I don't know that I actually plan to get any of them up to level 50 in the next month, but I guess we'll see.

I used Trinkets for the first run, but then I couldn't get the mission to reset, so I switched to Megamisama, my street justice/shield brute.  So if I'm trying to play all of my 50's before Nov 30th, there's another.  :D

I had other alts to consider PLing -- a beast master named Dog Aggro, a plant/nature troller on my 2nd account named Summerland Fairy or something like that, a titan weapons/electric armor brute on my second account as well named Tesla's Cat.  But instead I kept thinking about that cool costume I saw the other day, and wanted to make a star guardian/solar sentinel/Sailor Pluto or Saturn type of character, tall and slender.  Preferably with that big glaive or time gate key, but that's not possible.  The character I'd seen was a staff fighter with the tech staff with the blade at one end, that looked pretty cool, but ultimately I think I like titan weapons better than staff melee.  I created another brute, titan weapons paired with super reflexes, and named her Saturn Princess.

I ran the tutorial -- quite probably my last time doing that -- and then logged in Sparks Fly and headed to Peregrine Island.  One run of the Council Earth map set to +4/8 got my new brute to level 20.5.  A second run got me to 26.

At this point I took a break to level up, get my Ouro portal, and sell of in Ouroboros.  I ran into the teenager from the DFB the night before -- several people on that DFB had decided to global friend everyone, and he was one of them.  He asked if I remembered him, and then didn't believe me when I said yes until I gave more details.  He wanted to do missions together but I said I was busy with a project.  He also noticed Saturn Princess and said (to her) "Dang, I saw you this morning and you were only level 2!"

I never really know what to do about inviting people to my farms.  On the one hand, I feel kind of silly asking friends in my global channels since a lot of them can PL when they want, and are more interested in task forces, and so I often don't bother offering, but that also seems like I'm being selfish or not very friendly.  But the few times I've mentioned it confirmed for me that most people in the channels I'm in would rather do other things if they can.  On the other hand, I could probably fill out a team by broadcasting in LFG, but then I'm PLing strangers and in addition run the risk of some idiot deciding to click all the glowies and try to ruin things for me.  So usually I'd rather just help people I know, or PL myself.

But this kid on my global friend's list is smart, so he figured out what I was doing and found me again in Peregrine Island, and asked if he could join.  He was polite about it so I said sure.  I had already done another run, Saturn Princess was 30 now.  I did two more runs and got Saturn Princess to 36, and my friend's tank from 29 to almost 35.  He asked if I could help him with his aura mission after and so I did, quite easy on my tricked out level 50 electric/shield scrapper.  ^_^

After that it was hami time, so I headed to Eden on Liberty or Debt.  I wanted to take the blaster because I've only ever run one hami raid on a blaster and that was about two years ago with Serpentine Fire.  Also they had very little blasting going on last week, the melee team had to help take out the blues after the yellows were down every round.  But tonight there were a lot of people online and we ran a full-sized hami raid that went very smoothly -- just like old times.

Maybe next week I'll try to bring a support toon, I've never done that on a raid.  Forest Goddess would be a good choice, I think.  I'm not entirely sure what I'd have to do though -- hit my buffs at the right time, watch the hami taunter, and play blaster on the blues I guess.

Anyway that was my day.  ^_^  Liberty or Debt is another 50 played before Nov 30th!  Ha!

Friday, October 19, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 49

I totally failed to get any pictures of anything I did tonight.  Which was:

1.  Four DFB runs on Stalker Girl One, my new buffbot girl / kinetic melee/super reflexes stalker.  This was enough to get me to level 19.5... not quite 20.  Meanwhile friends were running TFs and trying to get me to join, but damn it, I'm gonna play one new character from level 1 this weekend if it kills me!  Which it didn't really, I just missed out on a Synapse and a Manticore, and a couple of Yins, and I don't know what else.

2.  Joined a Manticore right after.  For this I switched to a level-appropriate character, and selected Barbie Bane, my bane spider.  She was level 35 (I think) and she got to level 37 or 38 (I think).  We steamrolled every mission, no stealthing, and finished in about an hour.  I didn't get the chance to train up after, because an ITF was starting, so next on the agenda was:

3.  ITF.  Freaky formed this and I knew pretty much everyone on the team.  I was going to join with Barbie but she doesn't have Midnighter's access and I was too lazy even to run to Night Ward, so I switched to Eternal Sweeper who was already parked in Cimemora from yesterday.  We got eight people and started the TF, and I even leveled in the first mission (I must have been very close to whatever my next level was), but our entire team consisted of several scrappers, two stalkers, one not-very-tanky tank, a warshade, and a blaster.  No support at all.  And it became very obvious in the first mission that we were going to need support, so we quit and reformed.  I switched to Forest Goddess my NA/Water Blast fender, and the tank switched to a kin troller, and off we went again, and  thing went much better, although we had no tank/brute so it was pretty easy to steal aggro if you weren't careful.  The blaster died like 20 times, I got a lot of use out of my rez.  We were also pretty slow, I forget the actual time but it got very late before we finished so we didn't even do the towers.  Forest Goddess went from 46 to nearly 49 (about 1/3 bubble shy) and if I hadn't been so tired I could have joined another ITF that Whispy was forming and hit 50, but I was beat.

So that was my evening!

Probably my best story was one of the guys on the DFB runs.  He said "Stalker Girl... I think I dated you in college!"  Har har.  Then when I died on the first run he yelled out, "Claudia!  No!"  And from then on he called me Claudia.  I was wondering if that was the girl he dated in college, but he seems very inclined to say weird random things and call other people odd names too.

One of the others on the DFB asked if anyone had a level 50 yet.  Uh... yeah, over 40 of them.  He didn't, and then he asked if anyone was still in college yet.  Turns out he was in 9th grade, but had been playing the game since age 8 or 9.  Seemed like a cool kid though.  Several people on the team decided to global-friend everyone, and he was one of them, I saw him later when I was running off to join the ITF.

Also there was one person on the team who just had a really cool costume that I completely failed to screen capture, but I could probably remake it as it was mostly mecha pieces with chainmail underneath and a hood and clockwork face or maybe it was a carnie mask face... looked cool though.  Isn't it sad when you decide to level up a new alt, and the first thing you do is run across someone else with such a cool looking character that you want to stop and make a completely different alt?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 48

It's Double Experience Weekend, for the last time ever!

Tonight I started off by doing another villain ouro badge mission.  This one was with -- Willy Wheeler I think his name is -- and the Ouro mission actually has you run through all of his short missions, only one of which is a badge mission.  But even after I got the badge I wanted to finish all of them because that's the only way to get the 17 merits.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

First, Zombie and Gems and company were starting up an ITF.  I wanted to join that so I parked Mouse back in First Ward and switched to Forest Goddess.  We ran a very successful ITF, trounced everything, and I went from level 44 to level 46.5.  :D

After this I attempted to switch to one of my brand new lowbies in order to gain some quick levels via DFB, but this also failed.  First, I was blind invited by another person standing at Miss Liberty, then they apparently attached our two-person team to a Magesterium Trial League that was attempting to form in Dark Astoria, then they quit.  I didn't realize I was in a league until people started talking in league chat.  I quit immediately, and before I could do anything else, Cobalt Avenger told me that we were about to start that Lord Recluse Strike Force that we'd talked about running the night before.  So I switched back to Mouse Police, and I had to quit my Ouro TF without finishing and collecting my merits.  Boo!

But the dirty secret that I didn't tell my friends was that this was the first time I've ever been on a LRSF.  It's virtually the only TF/SF in the game that I'd never done (still haven't done the villain version of the Kahn/5th Column Strike Force either though, probably never will).  Once again we had a very good team with all people I've played with for a long time -- Zombie, Gems, Cobalt, Jane, Diviverse, and joe.  Zombie used his 2nd account to give us 8 people, and everything went great.  I was able to follow people and look like I knew what I was doing.  ^_^  I got three badges from this, so I finished the night at 1169.

After that I was planning to play a lowbie again, but Whisper was forming another steamroll ITF and how can I refuse ITF n a DXP weekend?  This time I brought Eternal Sweeper, and things did not go quite as smoothly as the other ITF but in the end we were fine, we had a great tank and also no hero's tank who was also very good, and two not very good tanks.  We finished in an hour.  But it made me laugh when people complained that we'd pulled the two AVs in the third mission while taking down the computer.  Most ITFs I'm on do this and we're fine, but apparently on a team of four tanks it was a dangerous thing to do.  Whatever.

Eternal Sweeper gained almost 4 full levels on this ITF -- from 36 to nearly 40.  Nothing to complain about there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

90 Days to t he Apocalypse -- Day 47

There were no Task Forces or Strike Forces for me today, although a lot of friends tried to start different ones and some finally ran a Silver Mantis, and I probably should've joined because I could use the WST helper badge.  But anyway, I spent most of my time badging and barely teamed at all.

First were the five defeat badges for Dark Astoria.  This took me quite a while and earned a little bit of incarnate experience for me, but eventually I had five shiny new badges for my trouble.  Next, I went to Cap Au Diable and killed gremlins until Deathsurge spawned, then talked five friends into joining me to beat him down, which went very quickly.  I was surprised that I didn't have this badge already, but it was easy enough to get.  Then I stayed to help some of the other people take down the Ghost of the Scapyard for that badge. He was up again less than four minutes later.  :P

I finished the evening by running the villains's ouro intro arc, which netted me Jail Bird (explore badge), and then running the four 10-14 level villain badge missions from ouro.  One of those got me a gladiator badge as well -- I finished the evening with 1165 badges.  :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 46

We're past the halfway point so now it really feels like I'm counting down to the end of the game.

(I've archived all of my Zero to Awesome 2 thread btw -- still haven't started on the original Zero to Awesome thread.)

Tonight was a 2nd night of villain badging.  I started by collecting all of the defeat badges in First Ward and Night Ward.  Was still working on the last one, Black Knights, when CA and Jane came on.  Our plan was to run a Silver Mantis TF and then 5 villain tips for Jane.  So that's what we did.

We had 6 people for the Silver Mantis, and that went pretty well, not really too much to say about it except that one mission near the end where you have Paragon Protectors and teleporting Sky Raiders, and it's a defeat all on a 5 level map?  Yeah, Devs hate villains.

And the last mission is fun too, Sky Raiders everywhere.  But we finished, and we killed Scrapyard Ghost just because he was there, and we ran the five villain tips and did the morality mission -- the one where you blow up Croatoa.  That's my favorite, it's fun to blow stuff up.

The plan for tomorrow is to try a LRSF.  I need that one, and one other too.  I finished the evening with 1153 badges on Mouse.

Things I still need to do for badges:  Dark Astoria Defeat Alls, Dark Astoria missions, Ouro villain missions, Ouro First Ward and Night Ward, Finish my patron arc, do a ton of bank heists.  I need the explore badges from those but with 2 accounts I can work that out myself.  Also I need Caleb, and maybe Deathsurge still?

Then I also need to go hero again for the round trip badge, and I don't have Penny Yin or Admiral Sutter yet either, or most of the incarnate trial badges.  Suffice it to say, I have more than enough badges left to get that I can get over 1200 pretty easily.

Monday, October 15, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 45

Today was badge day.  I don't pick my spots for these things well, because we're coming up on a DXP weekend and I might be getting ready for it, but what I wanted to do was earn badges on Mouse Police.  I had something like 1117 badges on her.  She's villain at the moment, has been for a good long while, and I have nearly every hero-side badge you can get short of Master of badges, and I have all the explore badges and defeat badges you can get redside and in old Praetoria, but I haven't done much in First Ward or Night Ward or for that matter Dark Astoria.  I haven't done any villain mission badges through Ouro, I haven't done a lot of the Strike Forces, I've only done one incarnate trial, a BAF.  So I have some stuff I can definitely do to up my badge total.

I'm also missing three day job badges, with no progress on them.  Nothing I can do about that now; I might be able to squeeze in two of them by Nov 30th, but maybe not.  My fault for not working on it harder in the last six months.

So first I went to First Ward and grabbed all the explore and history badges there, and then on to Night Ward for the explore badges in that zone.  That pushed my total to 1139.  Next I started my patron arc, and I worked my way through the first part to the power pool unlock, which gave me two more badges -- Crab Spider Longfang gladiator badge, and Spider's Kiss.

At this point Cobalt Avenger and Sapphire Jane wanted to do some other badging redside, but with Silver Mantis set to be the WST tomorrow we decided on a Mortimer Kal.  We couldn't coax anyone else to join us -- there weren't a lot of people on tonight -- so I logged my second account (you need 4 to start) and then we did the SF with 3 people, which went quite well, finished in 39 minutes.

That was another badge for me -- Prometheus.

After that I helped Jane get the 333 Consortium Guards, then before logging out at the compound in First Ward I killed D.U.S.T. Rangers and got that badge.  So I finished the evening at 1143.  ^_^

And I  guess I can claim to have played one of my level 50's today.  ^_^

Sunday, October 14, 2012

90 Days to the Apocalypse -- Day 44

Sunday morning I logged on and decided to do a little more PLing.  I had in mind getting Earthsinger and Vashti Ahandra to 35, but mostly it's something I can do when there's nothing else to do that's relaxing and doesn't require me to think very much.

I got Earthsinger up to 35, and by that point there was someone in Whisper's channel who was talking about what badges he wanted to get on his main before the end, including Head of the Hydra, which is the explore badge in the Abandoned Sewer Network mission.  You only need 4 to start and it was suggested that he could start the mission and then drop down onto the hydra for the badge.  Since I had two accounts logged in, I offered to be two of the people needed to start.  But by the time we wound up in Atlas Park, it turned out that he had other people and they wanted to run the trial properly.  That was cool too, though it took a few minutes to explain why Tiffany Blackheart had quit the team -- I wasn't about to try and play two characters at once on an AST.

I was using Trinkets on this because that's who I'd been PLing with.  She might not have been my first choice otherwise, since she's a shield scrapper, all defense, but she's very tough anyway.  But as it turned out, not tough enough to take on a Hatched Kraken GM alone, or even with 1 other person.  I used my Return to Battle power and was up long enough for the other person to get back up before I died again, then I attempted to rez twice more but died instantly.  Then I waited to be ported somewhere safe, where I waited several minutes for someone to give me a wakie,  finally had someone rez me instead, and this failed because the rest of the team decided to pull the baby kraken over to where we all were, so I died instantly again to its footstomp.  I got frustrated at that and just hit hospital and ran all the way back, to choruses of "Where did Trinkets go?" and "We could have given you a wakie!"

It turned out virtually no one else had run the trial recently or at all, so I wound up directing people once we got to the bottom.  This was a bit frustrating as well because instructions like, "We need to clear the rikti and then take down the pods.  But first we'll need to take out the kraken and the tentacles," lead to people pulling rikti while I was still trying to finish instructions.  We also had a lot of people taking pods down to 20% while we were still trying to clear rikti from other pods, and a couple things like:

"Okay, take the pods to 20%."
"Is everyone at 20%?"
"Mines already down."
/em sighs.  "Take them down then, now!"

All of this, of course, is complicated by having no map or anything interactive to show health of the pods you'd find in a modern trial, and probably by somewhat disorganized instructions since I hadn't been prepared to be in charge.  But we had a good team and finished in plenty of time, and everyone got their badges.

Right after this I joined a redside team to help take down some AV that I'd never heard of -- a part Coralax priest kinda guy.  It was a mission with a lot of freakshow.  There was no badge involved, at least for the rest of the team, not sure about the mission holder, but it was fun anyway.  I used Mouse Police for that.  With all the badging discussion I was tempted once again to try and earn a few more badges on Mouse, I have over 1100 and I'm missing a lot of ones that wouldn't be hard for me to get if I worked at it.  I kind of want to rework her build once more and try to go for a good defensive build on a regen scrapper one more time, but we'll see.  There's only so much time left to do all of the things we'd like to do.

I spent some time after that checking various of my marketing toons that I've ignored for the last month.  I have a lot of money lying around on some of them.  I also moved a few characters from Virtue that I don't expect to ever play again, which freed me up to move any characters from other servers that I might want to play.  I had this idea that there would be several, but mostly there aren't any.  I did one major character move -- I have an ice/ice blaster who is one of my earliest characters ever, who was created as Jalia Ice on Pinnacle in early 2004, eventually reached 27, was later transferred to Freedom and became Mouse Police of Freedom and made it to 42 there, and now I've transferred her to Virtue and remade her again as Blaster Girl One, a clone of all of my buffbot girls because I'm still kind of in love with the look and backstory of those characters.  I also transformed my recent "Shin Random" and then "Vashi" storm/water blast defender into "Storm Girl Ten".  I'd never actually made a storm-based buffbot girl, and I like the parallel with "Storm Force Ten" which amont other things is the title of a Steeleye Span album.  Also, I created a "Stalker Girl One" who is kinetic melee/super reflexes.  I've never played kinetic melee to 50, I'm not a huge fan of it overall but it's supposed to be amazing on stalkers, and I've only played super reflexes to 50 once.  But no guarantees I'll get this character to 50, of course.

I still don't have a "Brute Girl" buffbot.  >.>

When I came back later in the day it was once again too late to catch the hero side Sunday Cathedral of Pain Trial, but in time to catch the redside version.  That's cool of course, the hero side runs have been going well and they don't have any trouble finding enough people to join, but the redside ones are always a bit iffy.  This time around we had three teams of six, which is getting close to the minimum you'd want for one of these things.  I brought AE Baby, who is a 50 + 1 fire/kin corruptor and is a huge asset to any team if I do say so myself.  And the trial was completed flawlessly, killed the AV on the first round.

I spent a lot of time after this reworking Blaster Girl One's costumes and build, but eventually I joined someone who wanted to take down Lusca.  We were contemplating trying to 2-man or 3-man the big octopus, and I decided to switch to someone who had more defense and less endurance issues -- my Blaster Girl One is not fully IO'd yet after the respec -- so I switched to Jennie Nova, my beam rifle/radiation corruptor, always handy in a GM fight.  But we eventually had 4 or 5 people and things went pretty well.  Right after that we headed to King's Row to stop the building of the Paladin, and then hunted for other GMs, eventually finding the Kraken, and then summoning Adamaster, and then running a late night Posi 1 and 2.  In between the two TFs we also put out a fire in Steel Canyon.   I stayed on Jennie for all of this -- she didn't have the Posi badge yet either.  Jennie is a fun character to play.  I've never managed to incarnate her in the way I intended -- she was supposed to be my best answer for all of the Really Hard Way Magisterium Trials that were being run back in June -- but just as with AE Baby, she brings a great deal to any team.

This is the bio of one of the people I was doing all the GM hunts with.  ^_^

One of my new big ideas is to try and play all of my level 50 characters once more before the end.  This is probably impractical -- I have more than 40 level 50's, so if I wanted to play 1 a day before the end I'd have to start immediately, and I also want to get other characters to 50, and I kind of want to do some badging on Mouse Police.  I can't do all of those things so we'll have to see what I can manage and what I can't.  But I can at least try to run short missions on each of my level 50's one last time, just for closure I guess.