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Project Pinkbottle: Trust In The Shroud

In my last blog post, I listed the heroic quest chains I focused on during my three-week crash course to “wear in” my new melee character on the Argonessen server, Primzy Pinkbottle. Thanks to the lure of the Fling static group, Argo seems to have

Project Pinkbottle: Stonewash Those New Jeans

In my last blog post, I touched on the Fling static group I’ve been participating in on the Argonessen server. (There’s usually one or more streams on twitch.tv, starting around 1:30 pm EST Wednesdays.) I talked about how I came to switch out the character

Fall Fling and the Character Cakewalk

Since June-ish of 2014, I’ve been participating in the Summer Fling static group on the Argonessen server. Started by Lessah of ddococktailhour.com fame, the group also includes Samius Gurobo, Grimorde, Rach from the Sarlona server, and Turbine’s Cordovan. Kantouch from my home server, Cannith, put

Are You Experienced?

Update 19 brought a lot of big changes to Dungeons & Dragons Online. Some of these changes, you couldn’t escape hearing about through word of mouth, like the enhancements pass, Iconic Heroes and the Shadowfell Conspiracy adventures. I didn’t check out the Lammania beta server

Project Pinkbottle: Trust In The Shroud

In my last blog post, I listed the heroic quest chains I focused on during my three-week crash course to “wear in” my new melee character on the Argonessen server, Primzy Pinkbottle. Thanks to the lure of the Fling static group, Argo seems to have become my DDO ‘home away from home.’

My initial goals for Primzy were pretty straightforward: get this first-life character to heroic cap ( level 20) so she could take a fighter past-life, and try to do enough of the Shroud raid to make a green steel weapon before Update 23 came out. At this point, I had about two weeks left to reach my goal.

Perhaps I should interject at this point that Shroud, like Twilight Forge, is one of those raids I will do for the hell of it. The last time I’d run a Shroud with a true urgency of needing ingredients was 2010. I’d gotten into the mindset of not caring who was in the group, laughing off little mistakes, or just giving people those last precious items to make their first piece of green steel, because hey, it’s Shroud: you’ll be doing more. Hundreds more. Because SHROUD.

Trust_in_shroudThe tail end of my heroic leveling centered around Vale quests, ransacked experience be damned. Base item ingredients were the order, and I’d dumped more platinum than was wise on my airship buffs. I was going to have to earn those bits of chipmunk funk because I couldn’t afford them on the Auction House. Without them, my quest for green steel would never get off the ground.

Sometimes bottlenecks like that make me manic. By the time I hit level 20, I wound up with plenty to make green steel goggles and long sword base items, so it wasn’t really what I needed to worry about. What I needed to worry about was Shards of Power.

By the time I was ready to start running Shroud on Primzy, it was the weekend, and I’d already gotten a few epic levels. I knew that particular weekend was the main time I was going to be able to hunt for Shroud ingredients. Playtime during the week is sporadic and not guaranteed for me, plus there was the question of Would I stay motivated on my self-imposed goal?

One of the first things I noticed when trying to do repeated Shrouds was server population might have been a factor. My Cannith home server has been the default server for a lot of 2014 and we’ve been on the busy side compared to many other servers. I also have the advantage of people on Cannith either knowing my main characters or guild tag. I have friends on the server I can lure into doing things. When I post an ad for Shroud on Cannith, it usually fills pretty quickly.

I didn’t have that kind of luck on Argonessen posting a Shroud group. I had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get things going. Luckily, Argo had a bunch of kind strangers.

The following may read a little like an Oscar acceptance speech, but I could not have accomplished my goal of getting green steel in a week without help from the players of Argonessen server. Some of the guilds I noted that helped or let me into their raid runs included: Psychopathic Saints, barbarian’s guild, Synergia, Order of the Silver Dragons, Married With Children and Knights of the Phoenix.Thank you so much for letting me raid with you!

I know the above list is not exhaustive, and I know I have forgotten people. I was not perfect at making a note of everyone that I should. Forgive me. I am easily distracted by shiny things.

I will note that the player Kyva was especially helpful in doing multiple Shroud runs and offered to try a two-man run at one point. (It went pear-shaped at part three, because I should have unlocked rooms more and solved puzzles less. We took too long and died by the Wall of Doom.)

I had really good pulls in terms of large ingredients. I kept trying to think back 5 years and 500 Shrouds ago to when I was trying to make my first green steel item on Zoesha. The poverty of my larges back then seemed so profound. Then I remembered that we didn’t get ingredients as end rewards back then, and before Update 12, we only had 2 chances at larges, rather than 4 on elite.

In the end, whether or not I pulled enough Shards of Power, Great Power and Supreme Power became the deciding factor in my quest for green steel. Between pulls and winning rolls, I acquired two Great Power shards and one Supreme after three Shroud runs. Then I hit a Shard Desert. Three more shard-free Shrouds. I started worrying a little about ransacking chests, so I did two runs of epic Devil Assault. This scored me two more Supreme shards and several more ingredients.

By Saturday, I mainly needed the first-tier Shards of Power if I was going to craft anything. I did two more Shrouds, one solo of just part 1 of Shroud, then two more Devil Assaults. Nothing but ingredients. By this point, I started passing things I didn’t need, hoping for some karma.

By Saturday evening, I was ransacked on Part One’s chest, so the only option I had was if someone passed or I won a roll. Then I joined just the Shroud group I needed. The person leading the group was super helpful and offered to do more Devil Assault if the Shroud run failed to produce Shards of Power. Ultimately, they and another player passed me the shards I needed. This is what kills me – I didn’t make a note of their name! It may have been Revesjr or Shortnfugly, I think they were in that run, but I honestly can’t remember. Whoever passed Primzy those beautiful shards, THANK YOU! I wish I wasn’t so terrible and could give you a proper shout-out.

I wound up doing two more Shrouds on Sunday and one on Monday, but mainly to pay it forward. By this point, I’d gotten what I needed to make a Mineral II longsword and goggles with Disintegration guard. Woohoo!

I’d also reached level 27. This made me start to brainstorm other crazy goals, but I’ll get to that in my next, hopefully shorter, blog post.