Sunday, April 17, 2016

Running on EE

Running with guildies who play more often than you can be a challenge as they will often out-level you.  Fortunately, this was not a problem in the heroic levels with Malowulf, my ranger, because, thanks to a benevolent benefactor (is there another kind?), I was given a stone of XP, which I used.  So, whenever they would level, I was able to keep up.  Epic levels, though, were another matter.

The lower epic levels were fine, but by the time they had reached cap, I was still L28.  And then the talk of epic reincarnating was thrown out.  Since they were running multi-lifers, they had plenty of Commendations of Valor (CoVs) to buy the epic Heart of Wood, but seeing as how Malowulf is a first-lifer (who was the first toon I rolled up with the intent to True Reincarnate [TR]), my stash of CoVs was significantly less than the 4200 needed.  And since I was under cap, I could not directly collect Heart Seeds, yet.

Well, I finally hit cap and have been focusing on running epic content for the express purpose of collecting Heart Seeds, because you'll easily collect 42 Heart Seeds (the number required to get an epic Heart of Wood) before collecting 4200 CoVs.

So, one of my first outings was to run "Unquiet Graves" on EH.  Being a ranger, my first Favored Enemy (FE) was undead (undead is always my first FE - always), and I also had Drow in my list of FEs ('cuz, they're like Chickenman), so I figured I could run that without too much trouble.  And I did.  In fact, I had so little trouble, I decided I would try and run it on EE, solo.  And while "solo" for me usually means "with a hire", I figure I'd try "true" solo.  I got about halfway through before I died.

So, grabbed me a hire and back in on EE and was able to complete.

"Huh."  I thought.  So, next up run the eCarnival chain on EE.  But by this time, guildies were on, so we ran together, which is always fine with me.  I don't need to "prove" I can run EE alone.

And then I'm thinking to myself that maybe I can do some of the original epic content on EE alone (with a hire).  So the next chain on the list was the Sentinels of Stormreach (SoS).  I had already done an EE of "Storm the Beaches", but none of the rest was done on EE yet - ran through that this weekend without too much trouble.  So, I thought I run an EE of "Spies in the House" (SitH).

SitH is not part of the SoS chain*, but it is part of the SoS adventure pack.  If you've never run it, it is a challenging quest.  No really, it is literally one of the "challenging" quests - the ones where you get a pop-up telling you it's a challenging quest and warns you that it may not be possible to complete solo or even with hires.  But more than that, it is a challenging quest.  Most people hate it - possibly even more than "The Pit".  I like it, myself - not as much as I like "The Pit", but I do like it.  Except for the...well, if you've run it you know, if not, I'll not spoil it here.  Hehehe.

Anyways, since there were some guildies on at the time, I asked if anyone wanted to run an EE SitH.  Not surprisingly, no takers.  Three deaths later - all recoverable** - and EE SitH was in the books.  Woot!

And then, for whatever reason, I started thinking about filking Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty" - so here it is:

Looking at all the mobs lying under my feet.
Looking back down the halls and seeing so many more left to beat.
At 21 I knew I'd survive most heroic content alone.
But at cap I did not know if I could really run on

(Running on) Running on EE,
(Running on) Trying not to expire.
(Running on) Running almost alone,
'Cept I got me a hire.

Gotta do what you can just to keep yourself alive.
Trying to use the terrain and other advantages to survive.
At 29 I suppose I thought I might go and try on my own.
Well, except for the hire I'd bring when I'd try to run on

(Running on) Running on EE,
(Running on) Trying not to expire.
(Running on) Running almost alone,
'Cept I got me a hire.

Everyone I know, begged me not to go.
People think it's crazy to believe
That you can successfully run alone on EE.
If it takes all night, that'll be alright.
If I can get the hire to throw a raise when I need.

Looking at all the mobs lying under my feet.
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this all feels.
I look around for the hire that I use to turn to to pull me through.
Looking back down the hall I see them running too...

(Running on) Running on EE,
(Running on) Trying not to expire.
(Running on) Running almost alone,
'Cept I got me a hire.

I see the end fight ahead, just up around the corner blind.
I tell the hire "Stick around." but they're running behind.
(Running on) You know I have no idea if I'm going to survive,
Trying not to expire, running almost alone, 'cept I got me a hire.

* POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT - READ NO FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T RUN THE SOS CHAIN.  The rest of this footnote will be in background color, so you'll need to highlight it to read it.

All the favor text in there hints to "a big attack coming soon".  So if you run it after the capstone quest "The Tide Turns", the 'big attack' already occurred.

** "Recoverable" meaning I didn't have to leave the quest.  So, either I could make it to a rez shrine, or the hire could toss me one...eventually.

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