Doublestrike Power!


My main, my own, my precious, Syncletica, is a Grandmaster of Wind. Despite the downsides of this (less CON), she kills many foes rapidly and can heal herself just as fast.

Ryncletica, my dark Monk, ran most of the Battle for Eveningstar quests last night with my fellow guildies when my guild leader (and recent Monk convert) got something interesting as a quest reward.

They were “Doublestrike 6% Gloves of Something-Or-Other.”

Needless to say, my ears burned. I’d never heard of this prefix before.

You may remember that I have been trying to increase Syn’s doublestrike ability. She’s currently sitting pretty at a sustained 16% doublestrike in Wind Stance, thanks to Grandmaster of Wind, some help from Epic Destiny abilities, and with the Way of the Sun Soul set that occasionally blasts it up with a 6% Morale bonus to 22%. I was resigned to that maximum because getting the Antipode handwraps seemed a far, far dream.

And then these babies show up.

If this stacks with other doublestrike percentages as the Fabricator’s Ingenuity and Way of Sun Soul’s “Form of the Evening Sun” effects do, wearing such gloves will generate a sustained 22% doublestrike chance with Way of Sun Soul effects adding another 6% temporarily for 28% chance for 10 seconds at a time.

I like those odds. It does have a trade-off. I can’t wear my heal-amplifying Purple Dragon Gauntlets simultaneously with these.

Ryncletica was in a very giving mood last night. Not only did she alert Syn to the existence of doublestrike gloves, but also scored a bound-to-account +3 to +4 Upgrade Strength tome. We know just the Little Mountain Earth Stancer that needs that book.

UPDATE: This old thread on a nice guy that was trying to map out doublestrike stacking effects before they were available within your Character sheet notes, sadly, that Doublestrike gloves (and rings, available too) don’t stack with Way of Sun Soul doublestrike effects. Sad Syncletica is sad.

The Communion of Toonage

Your typical party. But everybody gets Favored Soul wings, and we still know who's the Bard.

Your typical party. But everybody gets Favored Soul wings, and we still know who's the Bard.

After playing now for a bit over two years (primarily with Monks), I’ve settled into what seems to be a fascinating synergy.

Hanging out in a good guild helps quite a bit. There’s sharing of resources, a common gaming experience where people aren’t surprised by unusual behavior or gameplay (beyond the occasional “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that!” moments as one of us learns something).

But the synergy I’m enjoying of late is the power inherent with a diverse set of characters and the abilities present to ensure that I can equip and enjoy any one of them in gameplay (even if the class isn’t quite my cup of tea).

We are nothing without community. That’s true in the virtual world as well as the real one. We can only play for free and solo for so long before we choose to incorporate more of ourselves with others in the game. Since the nature of the game is an “us versus them” fight, cooperation between players yields rewards. As many of us know, however, cooperation requires patience. You’re not going to get your Ring of the Stalker immediately. Other players may only want to farm one quest only a few times before they are quite bored or tired of it and wish to do something else.

I’m Catholic. We believe that God wants everyone, here on earth and in heaven, to “root” for each other. While He’s the guy that enacts all those good wishes and hopes into being, He takes requests. Those requests can come from those who watch over us as well as ourselves. We have our neighbors that watch over the neighborhood and report suspicious activity–and expect you to do the same for their house. My faith believes that those in heaven also watch over us in a similar way as we watch out for each other below. We call this “the Communion of Saints.” Not that all of us below are saintly–but we try to be, at the least, by watching out for each other.

The gaming world is like this when all is well, and has several levels. At a character level, each of my toons offers something to a party. My Rogue removes traps and unlocks doors. My Monks bring the mystical smackdown in various ways. My cleric keeps many hale and hearty throughout the adventure. NPCs throughout the Houses “watch” our work for them and offer us rewards for helping them through Favor.

My toons also aid each other. My artificer is now a high-level crafter and can now craft metalline and Vampirism weaponry. But she’s not one to venture into quests where special ingredients to do this are found. For that, she calls on my most powerful Monk to farm the place to get these items (And with ease. Watching five vampires go “poof” in a puff of Everything is Nothing to immediately complete the quest is a Crowning Moment of Funny.). In turn, my other toons hand over unusable loot for crunching into essences. My artificer also offers to help others in the guild in crafting unbound shards for their needs.

At the guild level, we schedule raids and flagging runs and quest chain runs for other guildies. We don’t schedule these just because our toons have a need, but because we like to socialize in chat. As we play, we catch up on a few things in our lives, mostly concentrate on game news and joke about. A favorite game we play internally of late is posting the soulstone of someone who died in a quest–“up for roll.” I recently had the misfortune of death and getting my stone posted to guild chat. Someone offered 2 platinum. I felt cheapened.

When misfortune hits the guild, we rally about to aid whoever needs it. Often these are gameplay matters–someone has a bad attitude or is violating a guild or game account rule. Sometimes its a matter of a real-life issue. We don’t try to counsel each other about these things, but we show support. The game is meant as a fun place. We want people to log in and take a load off, but we worry when someone is playing quite a bit when we in the guild know that there are bigger problems in their real world that might need attention.

So, I guess my point is to give thanks for the Communion of Toonage we share in DDO. Other games allow the nastier ways of interaction to cause interrupts in gameplay (“griefing”). Thankfully, we have a game universe that fosters cooperation and communication, should we choose do so.

In case I don’t post again beforehand, have a blessed and peaceful Christmas, a happy and safe New Year–and stop bothering the Mayans. The end of the 13th Bak’un is just like our millennium year. Hopefully the only thing that ends with December 21 is our indulgence in stupidity.

The Little Mountain Rises

Lynncletica, my Earth Stancer in her second life, continues her makeover.

Thanks to many new voices that help add/correct information in The Book of Syncletica, I’m working in or experimenting with more skills and feats for a stronger Monk.

Lynn and the Devil

Quintessica, my “Avatar,” has also helped flesh out the power of Monk stance diversity. Syncletica knows gear and speed. For Lynncletica, I’ve tasked her to improve her tanking ability.

First on the list was a retooling of skills. In the past I’d just dump points in Hide, Move Silently, Balance, Jump and (of course) Concentration. Lynn is now gravitating to two additional skills: Diplomacy and Intimidate.

Diplomacy seemed a no-brainer. It’s a class skill and I find myself surprised in various guildie runs how very, very few of us have a decent level of it. For some quests, like “The Prisoner” (a.k.a. VoN 2), it can save you the need of a nasty fight.

Intimidate is a cross-class skill. I’m not a fan of these (and my guide emphasizes my distaste in it). However, a little Intim is better than none. While it cannot reach the levels of sword-and-board melee characters, I should be able to reach a good level, combined with an item to add a few more points. It’s enough to attract many enemies before they charge past me and stomp on my friends. Lynn is sacrificing a few points in Hide/Move Silently to make this happen, and I’m sure she won’t miss it.

With Shintao Monk II and Level 13 under her belt, Lynn is back with action with her stunning handwraps, Green Steel goggles, Greater Mountain Stance and soloing guile. She’s plowed out all Explorer points in Atraxia’s Haven and the Sands in 48 hours, just to show she means business. Next: the one area where I’ve never completed Explorers or significant kills: Gianthold. Just in time for her to be wearing some White Dragonscale Armor to make her a happier tanker.

Did I mention that Cleave and Great Cleave in Fire Stance is a ki-generating monster? I’m looking to make Lynn a Grandmaster of Earth and Fire for more power to attacks, allowing rotation from one to the other as needed since Earth isn’t too keen on ki regeneration unless you’re struck. I’ll be doing something new: I won’t move Lynn beyond Adept-level Wind and Ocean Stances and put those action points into something else that I don’t venture through as often until now: Animal Paths. While I like the Way of the Patient Tortoise (More Concentration and HP with no downside), I think Lynn may seriously consider the Way of the Tenacious Badger to add more points to Intimidate  (up to +4) and add ki regeneration when she’s low on HP. The slow Meditation downside is less problematic since Fire regenerates ki all too well.

The last bit involves pumping more WIS into Lynn. She wants Vorpal Strikes when she is back in Epicland. I’m sure this works with natural ability points and tomes, but nothing else, so 23 is the magic number. Since she’s not pursuing Void Strike in any strong level, she could use another insta-kill move.