Ayba has disappeared!

Oric and Ayba were exploring the Badlands and King’s Pass together recently, then returned to Surefall Glade to stock up on travel things and their new spells. Surefall doesn’t have a bank, so Oric waved goodbye to Ayba at Surefall to run to Newport and manage his finances and/or prized monster body part storage. Everything seemed fine and Ayba was… Ayba at the time.

But when Oric returned to Surefall, Ayba was gone. Gone! Disappeared! We know that her teleporting powers are still pretty fresh, but she wouldn’t just *poof* herself into nothingness now, would she?

Oric was sure that something sinister was afoot. In fact, Oric is always sure something sinister is afoot, I think that’s part of halfling ranger training nowadays. He asked around Surefall, but no one had seen anything suspicious. There was a faint cat odor in the air, though. Mixed with Ayba’s favorite perfume: moss juice and pine sap.

Being a ranger, Oric did what any ranger would do when faced with a riddle and a fresh track to follow. Head for the nearest place that sells alcohol.

His mind sharpened from the ale, Oric set out on an investigation. The track had gone cold, but there were paw prints and cat hair, which would do just fine. Oric followed them all the way through the sands of the Badlands, asking his way from guards tower to guard tower, but those guards seem to have problems with their helmets since none of them had seen anything. Until:

This guy had seen it clearly! A cat-person and a halfling woman! Or perhaps a dog-person and a gnome man, he wasn’t sure anymore. But seen it he had, and Oric would be rude to distrust such strong evidence, so over the bridge he went.

At this point, Oric had a clear (if ale-induced) image in his mind of what had happened: Ayba had been kidnapped. By a very large magical cat. Don’t frown like that. It happens every day!

The only cat smell in the area came from somewhere down south, mingled with elephant dung and a lot of parrot poo, finally leading Oric to this place:

Cat-people? This means war.

And soon.

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A shortcut to more platinum

This post is about something that’s an unavoidable evil for most Dalayans: Money.

It’s especially tough for halflings, because what little money they make, they invest in pork ribs and chocolate cake, and they invest those in their tummies. It’s a delicious business, but the returns aren’t so great.

That’s why Ayba and I were intrigued by a certain class of (usually long-legged) merchants of some sort. They’re standing around in many towns, especially those posh ones that have magic guilds. They call themselves unbinders and they might be our ticket to a rich life full of apple pie and lamb cutlets.

Some of the loot we pick off our enemies’ mutilated body parts includes stuff we’re clueless and confused about. Either we can’t use it in the first place (A halfling in a robe! Scandalous) or we need to replace it with something else at some point down the road, but it seems to have grafted to our skin and we can’t let go.

For these situations, unbinders are perfect. Even if they’re not trustworthy on account of they’re ridiculous long legs, they offer two services:

Unbinding removes the No Drop flag from any item and replaces it with a bind to soul type of thing. That way, you can sell stuff you’ve outgrown to other people, and then they will be stuck with the silly no drop flag.

Unchanting strips most magic from an item (including No Drop), making it useless but still pretty. Merchants like pretty things, so they buy this stuff at decent prices. At any rate, beats making absolutely nothing off of it. Unchanting doesn’t even cost anything! A perfect win-lose situation!

Both of these services are incredibly useful if you want to raise your cash level a bit. And with all the food, food-related and food-enhancing products halflings like to buy, every piece of platinum counts. So as soon as we manage to get something that’s hard to sell to players and useless to us, we’ll see you at the unbinder.

“High-level” feelings for the first time — And clothes in my mail

So that’s what it feels like to be a bit higher level – well, I know, we are only halfway through on our way, but still.

Waiting for Oric to finish some trading I found a level ten cleric, a green newbie to me, sitting in front of Newport. Being bored I wanted to spend my time buffing her a bit so I started strengthening her up. But ALL the buffs I had memorized were too high level to take hold.

I felt proud thinking that Oric and me actually had achieved something running around in the last months.

It made me so happy I sat down, pulled out my book and searched for all the lower level spells聽 the cleric might be able to use. After deleting my whole spell bar I memorized the old ones I’d found and buffed her like mad. It was a nice feeling to do this. Unfortunately she did not move at all and seemed to be AFK (away from keyboard) so I hope she still had some buffs on after returning.

It is such great fun giving gifts to others passing by. And I at this place want to thank all of those who gave and keep giving us buffs and presents at short meetings here and there.

Oric and I would like to especially thank the mysterious Joli who had sent both of us leggings and a tunic made from Wyvernhide. They are major upgrades for both of us (and look good at the same time 馃槈聽 ).

Bones, bones and more bones

Whew, what an afternoon!

Just seconds after logging in on Sunday, Skogs sent me a tell asking whether I’m still free for a King’s Pass group. We hadn’t met before, so I told him that I only come in a double pack with Ayba. This was fine as they had four people. It turns out this was the lucky group of the month for us 馃檪 We headed over the giant’s bridge towards King’s Pass, carefully avoiding the slaughtered guards that seem to, well, guard it. Slightly out of breath we arrived at the top of the mountain, ready to enter the pass:

EQ000008

Grim and foreboding? Nah, not in the midday sun.

It seems the undead of King’s Pass never sleep, though, so even entering the place proved more challenging than we’d thought. There are skeleton guards all over the entrance area, many of them white or higher to us lowly level 31s. Skogs came to pick us up and the next thing I remember is that it’s two hours later and we’re both standing in Surefall again, exhausted.

This is what had happened: The very second we arrived in the group, Skogs pulled, pulled and pulled some more. There was not a single second of downtime and all around us the air was full of bone fragments. We were standing hip-deep in ribcages, tibias and assorted other body parts, while chopping at those skeletons like madmen and -women. Yeah, I know “hip-deep” isn’t all that impressive when it’s said by a halfling, but don’t ruin the excitement now, please.

It was a beautiful afternoon when we started, and if you look at this gallery, you’ll see the sun was going down in Dalaya while we were doing our thing with the undead. This means we’ve spent several hours pounding the local residents into bone dust.

Our group was composed of:

  1. Skogs, 30-something ranger
  2. Oric, 31 ranger
  3. Ayba, 31 druid
  4. Baxar, 30-something rogue
  5. Krith, 30-something shaman
  6. Malifus, 30-something necromancer

And here’s a record of the destruction we brought:

We had a great time, and this gave a jolt of energy to our leveling. We went from 31 to 35 in one session, almost 36 now. And with Ayba’s new group teleports, it’s finally easy to get back to Surefall to stock up on archery stuff and spells when we reach a spell level. I’m only sad that Skogs, Malifus and Krith will perhaps have outlevelled us once we find time to play again.

In the meantime, this afternoon has restored my faith in the group-based game design. When your group is chewing through cubic tons of undead without any major incidents or downtime, you feel like you’re part of a well-oiled machine. Or a well-choreographed ballet, for those less into mechanical metaphors and more into puffy skirts. This is a feeling no other game has yet managed to reproduce in my opinion.

Ayba got a few teleports to places I haven’t heard of before. A very curious little halfling can’t wait to get killed there in the near future.

Kaladim – now with group

A second round in Kaladim, and this time we found a group just ten minutes after logging in!

The exp group was short but cool, and we nearly managed to ding, just a little left to level 32, yay.

Compared to our struggle the first time, when we had scared ourselves silly entering the city all alone, this time seemed like a holiday. At least for me. Oric did get a scratch or two, but nothing serious. Poor little me just got kicked in the back a few times by a hyperventilating ghost dwarf with a smoker’s wheeze. Nothing to worry about, because I had two gentlemen fighters jumping at occasion to cut into some ecto-dwarf butt right away.

And how they cut:

One_down

And chopped:

Now_who_is_losing

But the ghost dwarves tried valiantly to survive.

They should really get themselves checked once in a while, some of them appear to emit smoke trails out of their nether regions:

Get_a_catalyzer

Smelly, but a lot of fun to hit!

Too bad we can’t show you their best feature: When they try to hit you, they go “hoooooot-hoo-oot”.

Even though we had a lot of fun in (upper) Kaladim, it seems that people keep suggesting we go somewhere else, and that this place is no good. We’re not yet finished enjoying ourselves in there, but perhaps the others are right and we should take a look at the other dungeons for this level.

Stay tuned to find out what (and where) is up next.

Place of the hover-dwarves

Since a long time Oric wanted to pay a visit to a place he remembered from a life before. For that reason every now and then he asked me, when we would finally travel to mighty Kaladim. Those of you who don’t have a halfling husband telling you the story will find only little information on the wiki (http://wiki.shardsofdalaya.com/index.php/Kaladim ).

But briefly said Kaladim used to be ‘the main city of the dwarven race’ a long time ago, as it says there. As far as I have been told the evil Kaezul invaded it with iksars and killed all citizen living in there back then. Since those days Kaladim is haunted by the dead souls of those victims and being heavily defended by them against any one entering.

As you all know Oric by now, this seems to be the perfect playground for a suicidal halfling and his pulled-along wife.

Here are some touristic impressions as proof that we’ve been there (and survived):

At the entrance (I think that’s the size they would have liked to be):

Entrancestatue

And that’s their actual size – finally someone our height, even though they try to cheat by hovering around. Sillies.

Hehe, cheating doesn't help
Hehe, cheating doesn't help

A nice (extremely high level) person we met. He gave us the tip of going to Lare of the Paw to have fun and level up a bit. (Hope Dagmar and Angior are still waiting for us in the 65ies.) And: he gave me a Silver Cepter as a gift, thank you again 馃檪聽 It’s fun hitting things over the head with it.

Anonimous

Here that Silver Cepter in use. Those sentries are strong, myohmy… But not strong enough against double halfling power:

geronimooo

Little detail: If you ever have to fight one of those, next to hitting them pay attention to their great hitting style. Their head doesn’t move, just tries to scare you with a grumpy stare, whilst the rest of their body swooshes around and makes pirouettes underneath.

Oric has made some artsy fartsy pictures of our travel but hasn’t had time yet to post them.

We are sorry anyway that postings are rare at the moment, it’s that we’re extremely busy and have a hard time even finding some time for travelling and adventures.

The day we win the lottery we’ll play forever, promised. Until then:聽 please don’t leave us 馃槈

Be safe.

How to make a fool out of yourself 鈥 or how to let everyone know you鈥檙e a newbie, part 2

ayba_beginners

On its own my newest newbie outing isn’t that bad. Actually, it’s not bad at all, just silly. But, oh well…

The situation is the following:

After logging in, I am happily sitting at the entrance to Shrouded Isle, waiting for my other half (-ling, haha) to finally log in.

In the mean time I follow the discussion on main chat and look who’s around.聽 So I聽 entertain myself reading the comments popping up, including one saying something like “Mister Nice* tells you: Hello, could you give me SOW, please?” (*anonymized, person’sname known to the author of this post).

Well, I read this, too. Some lines later again: “Mister Nice tells you: I will meet you anywhere in the zone, okay?”…

Slowly it sinks in – ooh, ooh, ooh, someone is talking to me. ME! Oh my god, how do I answer? What do I do? What’s SOW again? Help! Oioi.

I manage to talk to the guy in the end, tell him where I am and get waved at by him some minutes later. All nervous, I fumble around in my buffs bag and hand him the Spirit of Wolf he asked for. (Meanwhile I had remembered)

In the middle of my casting my inventory pops up and another window that I later recognize as trading window.

Didn’t get that then. Just felt horribly disturbed by the sudden appearance of聽 things in my way, so I quickly look and think “What? I don’t need my inventory” and close it. Then I look at the second window and think “Well, what again? Ten platinum? I don’t have that much money. It’s not mine. Away with it.” and I click the X to close that one as well in a rather annoyed way.

After a giving me a puzzled look Mister Nice says “Thank you” and storms into Shrouded Isle. Happily I wave after him in relief.

(Probably again killing that chief guy in Shrouded Isle that Oric is so fond of and that we are trying to kill meet since a week or more.)

So, after my beloved husband finally pops up next to me I tell him what happened and for the next 20 minutes I just get to hear comments like “What? Ten platinum?”, “That guy wanted to give you ten platinum just for casting one little spell?”, “And you didn’t take it?”, “Do you know how much stuff halflings can get for that money?”…. And so on.

So, if you ever meet someone that is nice and suddenly get jumped at by a window popping up where things that don’t belong to you are listed, have a second look and maybe consider accepting the deal.

It might come in handy once.聽 馃槈

I will collect stuff now where ever I can to get me ten platinum. It will make Oric happy. Just takes a bit longer.

Be safe, all of you.