DCUO: The Death of So Crates

Keep It Safe

My favorite Greek philosopher? “So Crates”.

I’ve been hearing about this feat, “Keep It Safe”, for awhile as various combinations of league-mates tried to do it. 50 points is a lot of points for a feat. It’s simple, really. You just have to carry a crate from the start of the duo instance to the end of the instance without breaking it.

However:

- if the the two players get too far apart, the crate breaks
- the crate is instant aggro to any monster that sees it, especially harpies and dogs. If they get close, it breaks.
- if you light the beacons that are the object of the instance, a timer starts, at the end of which, the crate breaks
- if either player dies, the crate breaks
- if you drop the crate, and then go out of line of sight of it, the crate breaks
- occasionally mobs will spawn from nowhere and fly right to the crate and break it
- Sting insists that the player holding the crate must never stop moving, or the crate will break, but I don’t know if that’s true.

A lot of mythology has sprung up around this feat. Sting and Blighted tried a run where one of them just carried the crate the entire time, staying just out of sight of the mobs the other player soloed, moving the entire time. And they got it!

Lots of us were just hanging out last night, working on stuff. I was working on new hard light combos to improve my dps. Blighted asked if I wanted to try the feat that few of the league had. I was dubious, but why not?

We did it just the way he and Sting had done it, me carrying it, keeping it safe, running around in circles, while he soloed everything. I was able to cast my group shield (my “group hug”) while carrying the crate to give him some breathing room. I dropped the crate in the rafters of the last boss room, helped with the final battle, then dropped the still-unbroken crate in the center of the room and got the feat.

Our Beloved Leader, Lord Spode, still does not have this feat. He and Sting tried it right after our successful run, and the box mysteriously broke in the last room.

So, here’s my plan: Wait until Spode is on and I am on — then buy this feat for my level 20 rage tank.

You know. Rub it in :)

—-

P.S. Spode did end up getting the crate feat in a run with Blighted.
P.P.S. Welcome Skeery to the league!

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Neverwinter: Through Fire and Flames — Foundry Night!

Heaters gonna heat!

Despite storms both here and in Columbus, the potato salad capital of the world, Kasul and I managed to fight our way through the thunder for another FOUNDRY NIGHT! YAYYY!

Only the Young by @lakatoi7

Petre’s village is inhabited only by young people! Older people disappear when they reach a certain age. Petre’s parents are just now reaching that certain age, and she is afraid for their lives.

We were hoping for a riff on Logan’s Run, but instead were treated to a very short and rather predictable adventure. Corrupt mayor makes a pact with a demonic dog, and has hundreds of retainers imprisoned in a dungeon to keep people from saving the couple sacrifices each year. Kasul and I both wondered why the mayor didn’t just feed the dog all those useless guards. Dog fight itself was super easy. We finished the quest in just a few minutes and expected more. First time foundry author.

Kasul and I both gave it three stars.

Heaters Gonna Heat by @akariyo

Oh no! Neverwinter’s not-so-natural nuclear nano-reactor is out of control, and the fire elemental Lord Flameous has returned from vacation and is mad as hell!

This puzzle-based adventure plays fast and furious with puns and dancing elementals. Some of the riddles were perhaps too easy, and there were some geometry issues with certain items being bumped way too high, requiring Kasul to use his approach power to reach them.

We both had a lot of fun. I gave it five stars; Kasul gave it four because of the geometry issues. Picture up top is from Heaters Gonna Heat.

Black Heart’s Barbecue Dilemma by @BoydofZINJ

You can’t make world class barbecue sauce from just any old ingredients. You need the most prized herbs and peppers and stuff from the most dangerous of foes.

So deadly are these foes that the author spends a great deal of time telling you just what sort of beating you will get, and gives many ways to tone it down to make it easier, AND gives advice on skipping and pulling encounters. This is SUPER HARD and you WILL DIEEEEEEEEE!

Kasul and I ramped up the difficulty every way we could, but the fights just weren’t that hard. I gave it four stars because I loved the concept and the effort the author took to tune the encounter for both group and solo.

Lost Brother by @deathsight911

Some dwarf miners were run out of their mines by goblins and other critters. The mines are mazes, with a lot of searching and backtracking as you’d expect with a maze. I’ve seen better mine mazes. The ending was a bit of a disappointment, but I gave this quest four stars for just being a good example of a mine maze.

Kasul had just unlocked Icewind Dale, so we spent the rest of the night playing in the snow :)

There are so many foundry missions out there that it can be hard to find any decent ones. But you get a sense, after awhile, about the ones that will be worth the time. Kasul typically picks from the quests in the New tab. I usually do an advanced search on quests which are tagged with Group Friendly and are NOT tagged with Solo Friendly, then choose from among those.

There’s always going to be fantastic foundries that we’ll never see because we cannot find them, though. That bugs me.

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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Troll bridge

I picked Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons up during the Steam summer sale, after remembering hearing good things about it when it came out last year. The very day after I bought it, I lost internet for almost a week. This was my opportunity to play through some offline games, and this was top of the list.

The game opens with the younger brother remembering witnessing the drowning death of his mother, leaving him bereft and ever after fearing water. The shouts of his older brother bring him back to the present — their father is ill, and to save him, they must journey to the Tree of Life and bring back some of its health-returning sap.

Developers Starbreeze Studios calls Brothers a “single player co-op game” — you control both brothers independently at the same time. They must often work together to solve puzzles, using the older brother’s strength and compassion together with the younger brother’s speed, agility and small stature.

On a wing and a prayer

The world through which the brothers travel is one torn apart by war and ruin. Trolls and giants battle, normal people devolve to savagery, monsters stalk the frozen lands. Love and compassion are the only weapons the boys have.

The game is short, the puzzles fairly easy (only one gave me any trouble), the landscapes breathtaking, and the emotion is real. If the ending doesn’t leave you in tears, you have no soul.

Highly recommended.

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Neverwinter: Foundry Night!

Benny Hillgiant

My internet troubles delayed our weekly Foundry Festivities, but the stars aligned and once again set off into the hinterlands of player-written adventures.

The Eternal Darkness (Golf) by @freddykidd

Kasul led off with this one, a fairly newish quest with an interesting premise — what DO vampires get to in the long, cold dark of night? Why, they play golf! The adventure was mostly an excuse to let loose with punny names, like “Benny Hillgiant”, above. I was disappointed in not being actually able to play golf at any point, but both Kasul and I marked it up for decent level design and puns that just wouldn’t stop.

Kel'thalun

The Retribution of Kel’thalun by @Guerilla

This was a leftover from last week. The short description: “Storm the Citadel and reclaim the throne of Kel’thalun from Alncacer. Groups are recommended for this quest.” Could a lowly fighter and a rogue manage?

The quest had an excellent story, the fights were challenging for a duo but not overwhelming, the level design wasn’t the most innovative but served the plot. We both gave this quest five stars.

Blacklake THING

In Blacklake It Waits, Dreaming by @Wezbob42

I’d be surprised if this foundry wasn’t written originally for that contest where foundries had to take place in Blacklake and reference the sludge, as this does both. This adventure has slightly different paths for different classes; Kasul and I did our individual tasks for guardian fighter and rogue before joining up in a final assault, chasing a mindflayer through dungeon after dungeon. I gave it four stars.

Part I: The Shadowfell Disciples by @orangefiree

I’d played this quest before, back when it was in review and not yet finished. It was completed since then and recently even featured! I was grouped with orangefiree in a Kessel’s Reach run, of all places. We recognized each other’s handles, and at the end, we got talking about foundries. He urged me to play through his quest again, and its sequels, of which there are many. On the list it went.

The plot is a little confused, but what sets this quest apart is its level interaction. Things explode, things fall from the ceiling and so on. The plot alone doesn’t make me want to continue, but the level design has me wondering what else is in store.

Pleasure in Pain (Party) by @Ezli

The description promised a fight against the Queen of Pain’s armies, tuned for a duo who wanted a challenge. Well, that’s what we got, and nothing more. Just huge mobs of… mobs, many (most) with annoying AEs. It was a challenge for a duo, and we fought armies, so what did I expect? Plot? Any level design? Nope. But Ezli never said those things would exist. I gave it two stars — admitting it was challenging, but unfortunately, not fun.

Black Ice Capades by @Winin

Just recently published by +Todd Edwards . This wasn’t part of our official foundry night.

I’d really hoped that with a name like Black Ice Capades, I’d be skating at some point. But, as with Vampire Golf, my dreams were crushed. Capades is a straightforward quest using the Icewind Dale maps and assets (which, luckily, does not require having unlocked the IWD expansion). The two IWD factions, Ten Towns and Arcane Brotherhood, are trying to take the black ice that you discovered! Fight through their ranks and take back your ice. Once you have given up and relinquished your claim to the faction of your choice, you start on a second quest to save a caravan from dragon cultists. And you talk to a horse.

I found it to be an excellent farm quest for the current event. It’s in review as of this writing.

Next week: Well, who knows?

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