Star Trek Online FE304: Coliseum (spoilers)

Vanity, thy name is Reman shields

You can’t think of “Star Trek” and coliseums together without thinking immediately of the original series episodes “Bread and Circuses“, where the Enterprise crew beam into a 20th century version of the Roman Empire, and “Amok Time“, where Kirk and Spock battle to the death on the planet Vulcan. (The director of “Bread and Circuses”, Ralph Senensky, blogs about directing that episode — a must read! Includes bloopers!)

In “Coliseum”, the folks at Cryptic have managed to include nods to BOTH episodes AND to the Star Trek Enterprise episode “Desert Crossing“. If it sounds like there’s a lot going on in this episode, then you heard right. And speaking of sound — make sure your sound and especially your music is turned on. There’s a point in the episode where you expect to hear a certain bit of music — AND YOU DO.

Spoilers after the break. Or, if you read this on my RSS feed, prepare to be spoiled. I’m going to be switching between screenshots of my Federation and my Klingon runs… they were identical aside from the PCs (who were played both times by Longasc and me).
Continue reading Star Trek Online FE304: Coliseum (spoilers)

DDO: The Puzzling Three Barrel Cove

I need to tell you about the picture that heads this article. It was taken right after placing the last piece in the puzzle room in Goldthorn’s Retreat, for the quest A Ghost of a Chance.

When Team Spode encountered the room while finishing up Three Barrel Cove last Sunday, we turned some tiles, nearly got the guy we were trying to free killed, and decided to kill a named in the dungeon for the key and a lesser reward. We moved on.

Okay, so there wasn’t much reason to take a picture, but I wanted to solve that room, so I went back Monday and after 90 minutes, solved it. How can they make this a group adventure? I guess you could cheat or something, but if the goal is to actually finish this, the first time it’s going to take a LOT of time, and you really can’t have people working on their own corners. Like Rackam’s Trials, it’s just a dungeon for people who want to spend a lot of time working on a puzzle.

So I eventually did solve it, but I didn’t realize the room goes dark after the puzzle is solved — missed the shot. Gleek was on, so together we finished the explorations and Gleek got the 750 Slayer achievement for 4K xp.

So Tuesday night, I went back AGAIN. Gleek and Spode were online, tracking rares and finishing Spode’s exploration (including the elusive Elusive Bounty, a pile of gold at the end of an underwater maze). Barely buoyant Spode died, but so did Gleek and I when we went for it the day before.

Anyway, while they were doing their stuff, I solved the puzzle room again, except for the last piece. Gleek and Spode finished up, got the quest, zoned into the dungeon, and I turned the last tile and we all got XP for that, more XP for finishing the dungeon, and the extra loot you get for solving the puzzle.

Of course, I’d forgotten to take a screen shot.

So Wednesday night, I went back for a fourth time, solved the room, watched as the whole room goes HUMMM and KLANG and JUST AT THE LAST MOMENT — remembered to take a screen shot.

I don’t think I ever spent so much time on one.

Anyway, the room really looked cool, all lit up. I can solve the puzzle in minutes now, too, a talent which will undoubtedly come in handy if I wake up some morning, mystically transported to Stormreach in Eberron. “Oh no!” I’ll cry. “The game has become reality! Or, was Stormreach the reality all along, and my increasingly dim memories of another existence just a vision?” Then I’ll run to Three Barrel Cove, swim to the puzzle room, and get slaughtered by a hundred pirates because in REAL life, when you’re attacked by a hundred pirates, you get really dead.

Anyway. That was our exciting puzzle adventure. We also did The Legend of Two-Toed Tobias, the story of a man whose main claim to fame was nearly always hidden by the boots he wore. Could be worse, I guess. We could have done the Fable of Fungus Foot Fred, or the Harrowing of Hangnail Harry.

I mostly remember just one room in that dungeon, that had annoying target levers on high shelves. Just couldn’t flip those. Tony finally had a look at the wiki, and said you had to turn auto target lock off in order to hit them in the correct way. And then we were through. Seems kind of weird to have a puzzle that cannot be solved when the game has the default settings.

Why Did It Have To Be: Rats and Mephits.

Questions: How many quartermasters does one ship NEED?

We did another pirate ship adventure to get Spode leveled to 6 — just in time, the rest of us are closer to level 7.

Next week, we leave the paid content behind and head to Searing Heights. Spode asks, “Searing Heights sounds like a place without much water. I hope it’s not dizzying heights?”

We’ll find out.