Monday, October 19, 2020

A luck-filled and grindy week in DCUO -- CR 299

I went a bit crazy last week, team. Crazy. 

It all kind of started back on 11 October when:

  1. I started thinking about DCUO when I read an old article on MassivelyOP about spiritual successor games, which got me thinking about DCUO (and why it wasn't mentioned somewhere in the more "super hero'y" sections of the article
  2. I dropped in on Discord and asked old Team Spode how long it would take to catch up.  My old gaming buddy Tony was like, "pretty easy tbh," 
. . . and that's how it began. 

I've only mentioned my DCUO days in passing on this blog, but crazy enough, I have a whole OTHER blog where I've talked a ton about my experiences leveling through the ranks. All of my previous efforts at DCUO left me at a-one-time-impressive combat rating (CR) of around 180. 

One of my favorite "old" screenshots of my DCUO hero.

A needed sidebar here: once you hit level 30 in this game, all your "leveling" is then done through increasing your combat rating, which is a statistic found on player gear.  As you equip more and more pieces of gear with higher and higher combat ratings, you likewise get a Combat Rating score for your character.  End of sidebar thought.

To put things in perspective, my buddies were all sitting around the CR 315-320 range. From CR 180, that gap seems like it's gonna take forever, but I'm happy to announce that by Sunday night game time on the 18th, I had managed to raise my CR to 299. 

Whew.  

What's so important about 299?  Well CR 299 is the perfect number needed for the most recent DCUO expansion, which is all about the "Wonderverse." That's a magical place where a "sourcewall" has cracked and created a point where all the earths have combined, and you get to chill with a multiverse full of Wonder Women . . . and fight against the gods and a pretty magnificent looking hydra.

~~

Here's how it happened:

1- My timely return to the game was timely, and as it turned out, DCUO was giving away a free bump to CR 255 thanks to Fallfest.  BAM!  I mean, come on, what stars aligned to make that happen?

The Hallowings are pretty great btw.

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2- I began grinding up the Wonderverse Single Player adventure . . . over and over and over and . . . y'all . . . I played that instance about 35-40 times. It takes about 10 minutes per run, which means I spent about 6-7 hours grinding this same instance over the course of a week. Each run would consistently net me 1 to 2 upgrades. Easy.  To do this, I had to use a lot of replay badges, but I actually had a glut of them from when I was playing DCUO all the time.

Me and the wonderwomans in an explosion of color!

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3- Welcome to the magic of the Metalverse! Back in September of 2019, DCUO released an expansion that began a two part series of a "metalverse," where people start to turn into Metal versions of themselves and a crazy Flash / Batman hybrid from the multivese starts tearing up Gotham.  

All my grinding in the Wonderverse unlocked this zone for me and BAM! I discovered a vendor there that sold gear upgrades for sourcemarks.  That's a currency you can earn in DCUO to buy legacy gear. Once again, I had a glut of sourcemarks from my old days of playing DCUO and what is "legacy" to modern DCUO players is all brand new to me. 

Long story short, I bought a complete set of gear from this equipment vendor and BAM! I was CR 282.

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4- The next few days I was able to log in and complete dailies in both the Wonderverse expansion and Thanagar because of my new CR 282 rating. Thanagar was introduced back in December 2019 and was the second part of the metalverse story. 

Sportin that fresh I'm-an-edgey-hero look in Thanagar

Hehe, you better believe I looked for another sourcemark "legacy" vendor in Thanagar, but it's considered current content and because of that, no dice.

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5- New solo encounters opened up as I was grinding up these levels and those also offered new opportunities to grind content, but I gotta tell ya . . . those solos are TOUGH.  In the grand scheme of efficiency vs. upgrades, it was well worth my time to hit the wonderverse single player event over and over instead of running those encounters and dying and dying and dying time and time again.

Red Death is terrifying

I mean, I won eventually, but not after repairing my gear a few times.

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6- One hour before the scheduled start time of the Sunday night game, I had resubscribed to DCUO and had 500 premium station cash to burn and about 40 lockboxes in my inventory. I'd need 3,600 station cash to open ALL the lockboxes, but I had enough to buy 5 lockboxes, which contained just enough gear inside of them to push me up over the edge and get to 299 just in time.

299!!

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So there I was, game ready and ready to go one week later. It felt pretty awesome, and Team Spode didn't fail to provide a fun night as we instantly started the raid circuit in the Wonderverse expansion. It's pretty smartly done and definitely deserves a blog post of its own to explain how it works. I had enough upgrades by the end of the night that I was CR 302 and feeling a lot tougher than I was a week ago.

Happy Dueling!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

of Love and Wardens In Project Gorgon -- When Pigs Fly

 The past week in Project Gorgon I decided to finally take a look at the animal only sub-class in the game that was added about . . . when was that? a year ago? Anyway . . .

THE WARDEN!

Wardens are like animal cops and being an animal cop is a legit gig: you get your own warden-specific quests, your own special currency, you have access to a special wardens-only area of the game with a special wardens-only vendor that has warden-only food . . . you get the power of flight and electricity . . .

Off we go! Into the wild grey yonder! Off we go! Above Kur Mountains!

You heard me right, you get to fly! At level 40 there's a skill you can unlock that gives you 12 seconds of flight every two minutes. It's just enough time to get you to troublesome Z-axis locations you wouldn't have access to otherwise.  I dig it. Not to mention the big electricity thorns damage and the cool fire chain pulling trick. (I love the cool fire chain pulling trick! It yoinks mobs right to you!)

Even better, you start the class at level 30. I guess they did that since you went to all the trouble of leveling an animal class and doing the lengthy prequest?  I'm not sure actually.  

DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! (You get the idea)

About that prequest . . . they really have you running everywhere for this thing. You see, it all starts with a suspicious cow. Literally that's the name of the NPC, and it's an NPC that will only talk to you if you're in animal form.

The cow sends you off to talk to a spooky door in Kur. 

Creepy Door is Creepy!

I've passed this creepy door several times in the past and thought to myself, hmm, "future content thing?" And merrily skipped along my way. Now I know better.  That's the door way to the Sacred Grotto of the Warrens.

When you get there, someone behind the doorway asks you for the secret phrase "Horse-Rabbit-Maelstrom" and then . . . doesn't let you in. Apparently they're short staffed and the best they can do is give you the name of the "External Resource Coordinator," which happens to be a pig named Norbert in Animal Town in Sun Vale.

"A little sullen, for a pig."

Ol' Norbs tells you that the External Resource Coordinator title was just an inside joke title that Pickles the Panther gave him. Then he realizes they must be in really dire straights and does his best to make up a "ritual" to get you in. It involves collecting 10 bananas and killing some ranalon (frog peoples). After this, you take vows to protect intelligent animals, defend nature, and always side with intelligent animals.  After that, Norbert sniffs you and you pass the nose check. You now smell like an animal cop, gratz!

This time when you go back to the spooky door in Kur, they literally smell you coming and let you on in. Milton, the head sheep around the place finishes the process of becoming a warden and you're given a handful of delivery quests that will earn you the precious Warden currency that allows you to purchase things from the shop and train your spells.

The whole thing is quite charming, and I have to say I love getting the new Warden-only quest every day. They seem to typically just be a kill quest, but still, it's kind of fun, and after doing today's daily Warden quest, profitable as well!  Trekker laid down two Vervadium for me as a quest reward.

VERV YEAH!

I think what I'll do with this class is kind of level it on the side after the big exp buffs you get at the Saturday Poetry Jams. I don't think I have the fortitude just yet to grind up a new class beyond that. Those poetry jam buffs is how I raised the class up to 41 and unlocked flight.

. . . of course Project Gorgon has flying animals . . . of course . . .

Happy Dueling!