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October 2014 Lan Session [Fri to Sun]

This was the LAN session that made us buy Guild Wars in the first place....

Friday

I arrived at DeadEyeMikes just before 7am, and hoping that Pelet would be late, had skipped on Coffee and Breakfast. He sadly wasn’t late, so I then make everyone late to get a coffee fix, stealing some Frosties from DeadEyeMike as well.

Soon we are off on the road, as the car was already packed, and within a few minutes, we were already thinking about Breakfast. Wanting to get as far away from London as possible to avoid traffic, we decided to visit a MaccyD’s on the M5 and so with pedal to the metal, and plan in mind, we continued onwards. Until we hit a mass load of traffic just after 8am.

This apparently was due to a Vehicle on fire….and after nearly 45 minutes of 1st gear action we came across a burnt out lorry with melted cab and tires (driver ok, sitting on the verge talking to old bill). Traffic flowed a little better then and around 9am, with Pelet in the back asking about beers. I add that my Corona’s are nearby and the Lime and when he asks “…but do you have a knife and chopping board?” I point him to the pocket knife in my washbag. No board, but he valiantly manages to chop some lime on his lap for us to enjoy as we travel. None for the driver obviously, which means more for us.

Probably prompted by the alcohol, but the question soon arises as to whether we shall make the 10:30 breakfast cut-off. Some math then is discussed - well, I start and they look blank as I begin to work out the average speed versus distance stuck in traffic versus new speed to get to where we were if we were not stuck – to which Pelet suddenly has a lightbulb moment as comprehension dawns as he says “like Ghost Mario Kart?”

This later confuses the hell out of McGlory, as when he rings to find out where we are, we keep over talking his questions as to where exactly are we, by saying, “…..yes, yes, but is Ghost Mario Kart there?” and have a giggling fit as he does not know what the hell we are talking about.

McDonalds is made with 15 mins to spare, and while the pair head to make water, I rush straight in and grab breakfast. I sit down and munch away as they walk over, I spot eyes glazed as they simply can’t see me despite being 15 feet away and in plain view, and even again as they grab food and slowly walk to the seating area until I cry out “cooo eeeeeee, over here!”

Food consumed (and a nice pink balloon taken from a child for McGlory) and we are off again, and at our destination by just after midday. The unpack and setup was done nice and quick – we are pro’s after all, and soon we are all in game and mucking about crafting and checking gear and discussing our next plans.

Its just a free for all during the day, with beer, food, sweets – actually lets go back to the sweets. I open a pack of jelly babies, take a couple pass them on, sit down, piss about, ask for Jelly babies….and they are all fucking gone. This is simply unacceptable, and I don’t shut up about it all weekend as anything even slightly related is twisted back to that. “I have a green spear if anyone needs it” to which the obviously reply is “…nah, but do you have any Jelly Babies?” etc etc.

Time flies by. We explore, we start our personal quests….all of us are Norn, something that was not discussed at all as no-one would have done it – “…..your killing my right to represent the races of [GuildyWarsland] and exploiting the…” you get the idea.

For those that don’t know, we had planned this for the best part of two months, and knew the game we were playing, and had one remit – bring a 15th level character. So we all played various characters before settling on one each – all of us testing between 2 and 6 characters. I played Asura Necro > Charr Thief > Norn Ranger > Slyvian Mesmer then replayed the Norn Ranger from Scratch again as I wanted to get the Dirty Bear that lives near the Asura people.

Its all such a blur now, but it was just brilliant. Stupid things like turning into Bulls to protect something, DeadEyeMike wanting to use his special Bull charge so much that as soon as the gate opened, he charged right off the cliff face and our first proper fight as the mass of people turned a boss into a god and took ages to bring down. We experienced this on a smaller scale with a spider that had around 6 of us battering it for ages as well, then little things like finding googles – which DeadEyeMike wore first and crashed and died on the rocks below as he did not jump far enough.

We all take it in turns with the personal quests – and they start to merge as we go along, but were brilliantly diverse. We all finish up in the late 20’s level wise at the end of the first day (at around 6am) meaning we were up for 24hrs, and gaming for about 16 of them.

 

Saturday

All of us were up at midday, and quickly fuelled with coffee and bottles of corona along with some breakfast (a stack of Sausage sandwiches) then a shower and back on again within an hour or so of waking. The main thing for us was to get to level 30, as McGlory knew there was a dungeon for us to get to. This meant lots of exploring, which for us was mostly hit a new area, and then head from Skill point to skill point, mining, chopping or gathering as we travelled as well as detouring past teleport locations. A little more on the ‘gathering’ needs to be said as this was done with much aplomb at EVERY opportunity. Train through a load of angry bees? No worries, they are biting and stinging us, but that won’t stop us mining – it was comical. Skill point, enjoy a battle or grab the focus, then TREE! Chop chop chop run along towards the next objective…. MINE! Tink tink tink, then as we discover something we just did was contributing towards completing a heart, we decide to finish it off……………. BUSH! Gather gather gather. This was not just today, it happened all day yesterday as well.

With us all now around level 30 (XP is awarded on hitting creatures, so there were times when the highest was 2 levels over the lowest, but things always seemed to even out eventually) we head back to town to clear out our bags, craft and all get past 30th. We all had different trades, Huntsman and Chef for me, Tailor and Artificer for DeadEyeMike, Weapons and Heavy Armour for Pelet, and Leather and Jewellery for McGlory.

All of us had bought the starter laurel kits for our trades, all of us gave (most) components to each other to help out, but we still ended up spending a fortune in the market. At one point, DeadEyeMike and Pelet were close to levelling, and so we spent nearly a gold amongst us on planks. Mental.

We break for dinner – Fish and chips, and being in a near costal town, the chip shop was packed, and wonderfully old school. Once we were back at McGlorys, sitting down eating, we all then discuss the wonderful chip shop assistant, whom I named the Spatulator, as all he did was loom in the background (6’ 4” at the very least and made all the more comically imposing as the old lady behind the counter was 5’ nothing, and he had a splendid mullet) before he would then spatulate a fish or sausage from the heated cabinet to the top of a pile of chips. None of us said a word while there in the queue, but it appears all of us were thinking the same thing. Spatulate became a word used often and in almost any context, as we mimed standing still, then slowly moving an item from one place to another with a clawed hand. Very childish, but very amusing.

Once we have got that out of our system – we hadn’t really, as this and the Jelly babies were a reoccurring theme but still. The big event is here - the Dungeon. All excited we make our way there and ignore the recommended request for a 5th player, and so four fresh level 30-31 players enter to get sucked up into the story of ghosties…..and we get battered. It was brilliant.

A war of attrition occurs as we slowly whittle and wear down these creatures that are simply on another level to what we had encountered before. Popping ghosts off one by one we feel the most badass group of adventurers that ever wandered these halls…….we loved it. Until we encountered the bonus encounter of a Cave Troll. My god, we thought the other fights were bad, this was worse. AoE death, leaping, mass regeneration, Fear…..my god.

We had no idea what condition breaks even where (at this point) and we got pummelled time and time again. We were getting there though, different skill sets tried, different positions – and then I went down and could not be revived as my body was in a different position to my revive point which was really annoying. What was worse was that my camera position meant I could not see the fight where Pelet was standing strong against the Troll who had stuck himself in a corner and did not leap…..so I cheered unenthusiastically as I selfishly wanted to be in on the kill.

More epic fights and then the …pink dildos. There is no other way to describe these creatures that are summoned by one of the bosses and I am sure this was a cunning distraction to make the fight harder as we cried out the Dildos are attacking! Which I am sure McGlory’s neighbours found most amusing.

A few hours after we started, we proudly emerge from the other side laden with loot (yes, I simply handed all of my stuff to DeadEyeMike again as all the good parts from this dungeon joined every other piece I had picked up over the weekend)

“Do you need a torch DeadEyeMike?” this was a popular sentence over the weekend, and no he didn’t. So we kept asking. Also, some people had extreme difficulty saying Precession and Ferocity, which turned into many different words, and eventually become ‘the P and F word’ – kids, don’t drink – it does strange things to your vocabulary.

Personal stories next. While all of us were of the Norn race, the three paths have different orders that seemed to be suited to all of us. A warrior for our Warrior, the Scholar for our Elementalist, and the Secret Order for the two people that only wanted to join that as they had looked up armour skins and found that the Secret Order had a nice dress. Yep, none of that “….join us for secrets of untold power..” nonsense, we were all “…..girlfriend, where did you get that dress?”

A quick leap back to previous LAN sessions of DDO, where we all spent a fortune of various things, crafting supplies or cosmetic items…..nothing was spent this time round yet. I knew I wanted the pirate costume, but was trying to find something definitive regarding when and where you could actually wear it – the pre and post wardrobe April patch was confusing me hence my delay. Pelet though, wanted some crafting boosters and was looking at dyes, and so stumped up the £8.50. With this barrier ‘broke’ I then secretly bought my pirate costume safe that I had not caved in first. A small victory, but a win for the fashion world – one has to look ones best for the cut scenes you know!

The quests were brilliant. Lots of fighting and stealth – well, I say stealth, but I got far too excited on my bit and thought I had ruined it for myself and McGlory as I came out of stealth and attacked a massive group of people with an AOE blast of arrows because I thought the boss had arrived. Thankfully I ran off invisible for a second and the game compensated for idiots like me.

Dressing up as robots had me shouting like a deranged poodle, calling out “I am Obertron!” in a dalek voice. I have no idea why, or whom Obertron is, but I was very excited.

Then the cheering quests – again all brilliant. Fights for something, while the rest of us cheered – but we didn’t know what was going on until after the fight when it then dawned on us why hardly anyone was attacking us, nor why we did no damage. Looking at icons to see what they actually do is vastly overrated…..and again we all did this whenever we could. Getting a beer, finding a bush, making a cookie….wayyyyyyyyyyyy woooooooooOO! ! !!!

Jumping puzzles for the Ravens, and Vista’s was a brilliant touch and there was many a “….where the bloody hell do we go now?” moment.

Its when you can’t manage your own inventory that you know its bed time. I thought I had destroyed my epic new boots as they had no stats until you put them on, I destroyed a sword Pelet made me, then destroyed another one that I was holding as it was for the next level up before realising why I had actually kept it, then chuck in some heart quests that involved a ghostbuster gun that I ran round for ages after I had completed my heart pew pew-ing away, and that McGlory even managed to take it into a new zone. Then Pelet and McGlory using rocks and icicles to twat mobs with for no other reason that it was funny……. It carried on like this until 6am again and we all crashed out.


Sunday

Much like a bottle of shampoo, we rinsed and repeated the previous days – up at 12, freshen up, bacon and sausages, and then back on to the game. The day started with more exploring, levelling along the way, picking up the second Trait skills (or first customizable) at 36. We then decide to go back to the dungeon as it was calling us, eager for another tough battle.

Our tactic of slowly dying repeatedly as we worked out stuff was repeated, and the Spider Queen fight was just brilliant, with Pelet at one point nearly killing the spider on his own as the rest of us dropped. I’d say it took around half a dozen to a dozen attempts – and remember we still had not worked out condition break stuff yet, so the battles where brutal and decidedly one sided.

With the Spider dead, we march on, pass through some more fights in a trapped corridor, to then be met with the deadly words “bonus encounter! Cave Troll!”…….the groans were probably heard in Scotland as we wailed and fought and moaned and fought and cried with the injustice (the Cave Troll running away to rapidly regenerate when I was still shooting it so it could path better was the highlight of this) and spent (read wasted) hours on war of attrition before we decided to leave him altogether. Only we couldn’t. Because the NPC who is going through the dungeon with us, and integral to the dungeon was dead under the Troll’s feet and we were unsure if we still needed him. So we had to pull the troll revive the NPC and get the troll in the corner to then have the NPC die in the corner so the Troll could return to the spawn point and then when the NPC was revived, would then be far enough away from the Troll to not attack it….which took more deaths, more moaning, more sweary swear words.

The commander was a brilliant fight, but the Cave Troll encounter had done its damage. Again, we still had not all quite worked out Condition breaks to remove the Fear etc, and with time ticking away on the last day, we left the dungeon, defeated.

A crafting break as we beavered away at our tables and bought supplies etc, and a real life dinner of Toad in the hole is on the menu. As the official Chef (in game, don’t let me near a frying pan) I suggest pigs in toad in the hole blankets which is contemplated, but not sadly made.

A needed computer break as we collapse and once more bitch about Trolls, more beer, then eating. DeadEyeMike has sloped back on the computer at this point, and there is some confusion as McGlory tries to say in a fatherly way “get off the computer else you will go to bed without any dinner!” as we all eat, but instead manages to suggest sending him to bed with dinner while playing the computer…..its been a long weekend and no one could speak properly…

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Its now time to get silly. We poke our head in a 50-60 area, and all of us kill a Wolf, feel like Heroes, and then attack another, that calls a wolf out of his arse that crits me once and knocks me down to about 4 health from full. We all scream and run separate ways (like heroes!) all the while running towards mining, before running away again when a creature comes near. Every creature there is dangerous, and we are unable to hurt it, with either the creature taking single digit damage or nothing at all. Pelet had ran the wrong way and while encouraging him to run through the forest towards us, we all get up high on a vantage point to watch as he trains Ettins and Bears after him – so funny and was a brilliant cathartic to the Troll an hour or so before. We even manage a boss event – other players fighting while we lingered in the background and I don’t think I did more than 12 damage during the whole fight. It gets worse as we looking into the dangerous river and see loads of lizards and as McGlory and DeadEyeMike splash into the water and have them all aggro, I say why not use this bridge just on the outskirts of their fog of war. It didn’t matter as I got more bears on me, but at least I was not wet.

With that out of our system, we head back to more level appropriate lands to hit level 40 for the next part of our personal quests. We find some pirates and have some excellent fights and getting bored with the bow I run in with Sword and Horn and put Pelet off as he suddenly bursts out laughing as the Pirate he has kicked in the nuts has dropped to the floor with seagulls in his hair.

More pissing about and I think it was part of a secret quest for someone, we had to cross a windy area. McGlory was up first and he got blown down a hole, my pet went flying, and we watched McGlory, jump jump fly off as we all huddled in the corner. McGlory got the hump and went to the bathroom and I ran across first time. McGlory comes out saying “….its bugged, you can’t do it, there must be another way..” while DeadEyeMike was trying to say you can, “…Theydon’s there, cheering!”

And the last few hours went by too quickly and soon it was 6am once more. We crashed, and it seemed not five minutes before I was being woken up by DeadEyeMikes alarm going off on repeat. He still snored away, but it was me getting up to his alarm – a trick to wake us all up. Bleary eyed, we slowly round up all the PC’s to throw in the bin, pack our rubbish in the car (I think that was what we did anyway, I was on autopilot) and settle down for a drink before we go. It really did look like a load of tramps just burst into a house and squatted there for a few days with empty bottles, chip shop wrappers and jelly baby packets (I am sure not all wino’s drink Meth and eat Cider, some must Drink Meth and eat Jelly babies) scattered around.

We stop in the village shop for some Cornish Cream and Scones to placate the missuseses, and then we are back on the road to Lundon town like Dick Wittington (or was it the cat?). One last moment was 4 hours into the journey, with me dozing in the back, Pelet and DeadEyeMike silent for a while and on the radio, R Kelly comes on, and the car erupts as we all sing “I see nothing wrong, with a little bump and grind!”

Roll on the next!