Team Spode vs the Gutter Rats

Team Spode plot with Dr. Fate
Team Spode plot with Dr. Fate

Until Kaptain KY returns from his long sabbatical in the wilds of Canada, his spot in Team Spode is being kept warm by Stingheal’s wife, Stingharm.

Sting’s original character was named Stingite. When he re-rolled as a healer to fill that necessary spot in our group, the new name was Stingheal. Spode joked a couple weeks back that Sting’s wife should roll a DPS and name her Stingharm. Fast forward to last night, where Stingharm exists and was CR 70. The combat rating it took me months to achieve, she managed in a couple weeks.

Kinda makes you think, don’t it?

That’s the kind of progress you can make, though, when you play every night — and you raid. Raids really are DCUO’s secret sauce. Plodding along through solo missions and four person alerts will only take you so far, so fast. If you want to progress at a reasonable pace, raiding is the only solution. Unfortunately, pickup raids in DCUO share the same flaw as pickup raids in any other MMO. And that fatal flaw is… other pickup raiders.

We started the night with the Dr. Fate alert above. Where previous alerts kept you locked away in an instance, these new Tier 4 alerts have you ducking back into the open world cities to kill some baddies before diving back in for the boss battle. We didn’t have too many problems with this first one.

Next up with another iteration of the Brother Eye fight in Batman’s Inner Sanctum. Things went pretty well until the “Garage”, where a crazed cleaner bot that could suck abilities from other bots made our life hell. We would lose our damage, Stingharm, consistently early in the fight, and without that necessary damage we had no hope of taking it down before it became too strong to kill. After several tries, we gave up and signed up for a raid.

In “With a Vengeance“, we once again meet with Dr. Fate. Fate wouldn’t have us, though, until we’d run out the deserter timer we got for bailing on the Batcave. Once in, we were led into a discussion with Dr. Fate again, and we couldn’t help noticing that in this eight person raid, we of Team Spode were four of them — and the others were also from the same league, the Gutter Rats.

How could it NOT be a competition?

We in Team Spode talk through Skype, while Gutter Rats use the in-game chat. Result was we could hear them, they couldn’t hear us. Result was, we heard every little thing they SAID about US.

Now, it was pretty clear pretty soon that we’d never done this raid before. Sunstone Matrix/FOS3? Sign us up, we’re experts on that one. It was ALSO pretty clear that they needed us — they were a healer (their leader) and three damage, while we had our balanced group of tank, healer, controller and damage. We had the necessary roles for the raid.

And things went pretty well for most of the raid. I even got a compliment from the other side. The outside bits where we had to lure mobs into range of Dr. Fate’s ankh proved we hadn’t done this raid before, after which the Gutter Rats decided they’d won this competition and much discussion about everyone’s parses ensued.

Eventually we made it back to the ruined parking garage I last saw battling The Spectre and Eclipso in a solo mission. This time we met just Eclipso, but he was wildly powered, and the fight is a bit scripted. People get cursed and have to move away, you have to spread out and be within a certain range of Eclipso and — well, we died a lot. I think we finally figured out most of what we had to do — and it wasn’t just Team Spode screwing up. Even the Gutter Rats were having issues. Their leader was melting down in chat.

Then someone left, and a CR 100 tank came in to help. And then Eclipso died.

Exhausting, and I wasn’t much help. I guess there’s a way to regen my power without attacking so I can feed the raid without being part of the fight? I need to look into that. I had a huge issue with having to zap Eclipso before I could help anyone else, and that just led to tears.

Anyway, by the end of the night I’d earned almost 3000 marks, which would be enough to buy another piece of T3 gear, except I’m needing T4 gear, and the prices have jumped up exponentially once again. I got a couple upgrades from drops, though, bringing my CR from 70 to 72.

Next magic number is 85. I don’t expect to see that for awhile.

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Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.