Finding the Forge

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bel-colorsFirst off I have to start this mornings post by talking about the surprise I got last night.  For awhile now I have had my friend AmmosArt working on a series of avatars to use for anything AggroChat related.  When I do the title cards it always somewhat bugs me that we don’t have a set of Avatars drawn by the same person, because I think that would end up looking a lot nicer.  As a result I commissioned her to create a set for the main cast, and we kicked it off with mine…  however I think she has a few of them waiting in the pipes as well.  Since I have “Fantasy Bel” thanks to the project that Tam started, and now “Realistic Bel” thanks to the prize commission from Faebelina I thought it would be kinda cool to have a “Sci-Fi Bel”.  So when she asked me what I wanted drawn for my AggroChat avatar I sent her this overly complex idea for me wearing a bunch of named armor pieces from Destiny.  Here she has expertly rendered that idea with me, a giant flaming Iron Lord axe, my Sunbreaker hammer and Nolandroid.  I could not be happier, and while she was concerned about how the fire effects would feel… I think they work amazingly well.  Thanks once again Ammo for taking mad ramblings and converting them into a picture format.  You should also check out some of her other works on her website or on her daily art tumblr.

I have to say… it is truly bizarre getting back to the task of blogging in the morning.  It is 6:23 and I have consumed my first cup of coffee and am trying to get on about the business of blogging like I know what the hell I am doing.  Today is a day I have been dreading because it means that I have to give up the comfort of my sofa blanket cocoon and venture forth into the cruel and now very chilly world.  Of note… I have been off work since Friday December 23rd.  So I have had two blissful weeks that have allowed me to get completely out of the habit of functioning on any sort of a schedule.  Those weeks have been shockingly busy with only a couple days where I could truly hang out dawn til dusk in my flannel pajama pants and pretend the world didn’t exist.  During that time we dealt with a handful of crisis that involved changing out a leaking faucet in our bathroom… and then ironically rushing some big air mover fans to my mother in law who had a major leak in her front bathroom.  In between that there were numerous Christmas celebrations, and an attempt to properly recognize my father’s birthday…  which also coincides with New Years day.  I have not even really gotten around to making some proper resolutions, and while I don’t really buy into them much, the New Year is a decent time to start new things.  At the moment however my mind has turned towards preparing for Pax South which is coming up in a few weeks.

The Forge Trick

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Yesterday I posted a mammoth Destiny guide of sorts that I had been meaning to create.  I have a number of friends in various stages of getting sucked into the game… and when I try and give them advice it often comes off as mad ramblings filled with a bunch of topics that they don’t quite understand yet.  The guide was my attempt at writing something for someone just getting started but also still focused on pushing through the light levels as quickly as possible.  As I said yesterday…  I failed to do 99% of the things mentioned in the guide but I am following a similar thought process on my Xbox One account since it is largely starting from zero.  One of the things I mentioned doing was Archon’s Forge… and you might of thought to yourself “But Bel, that is a Group Activity… how did you solo it?”.  Some time ago my friend Shadoes gave me some tips on how to reliably make Archon’s Forge spawn with a group in progress.  Firstly you have to understand how patrol zones in Destiny work in order to make this happen.  Each named area is essentially a match made zone that the game tries to pair you with other players also in that area.  However you usually zone in and out too fast for the game to effectively do this, so there are things you can do to force the game to match you up with other players.  Inside of the Archon’s Forge there is a path behind the forge that leads down to an area that a number of missions and patrols send you to, but is effectively open at all times.  You can see this path as the opening with the ride SIVA cables coming out of it in the above image.

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What I find works is to run down this tunnel to the next area, you will be able to tell you have transitioned by a title card coming up identifying that you have entered “The Warrens”.  From here I tend to kill the various splicer mobs that spawn in… which may include a handful of 2-4 Vandals, 2-4 Stealth Vandals, 2-4 Dregs… and potentially a Captain.  The mix varies slightly, but essentially I spend enough time in this area to clear out whatever happens to have spawned.  From there I slowly walk back up towards the Archon’s Forge, and for me personally it helps for me to crouch while walking just to force myself to slow down.  In Destiny I am so used to constantly sprinting that I find myself doing it without realizing it.  Essentially you are trying to give the game plenty of time for it to notice that you are entering an area with an event… and that it should match you up with additional people.

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If it works, you should hear the familiar Fallen Klaxon as you near the tunnel leading out of the area and into Archon’s Forge.  If you make it to the Forge without getting matched into an open world group…  then simply head back down to the Warrens and start the process over.  I would say 99% of the time by the moment I reach the top I hear the Klaxon and am up and running with a viable open world team doing Archon’s Forge.  The longest so far it has ever taken to get matched is three trips up and down the tunnel but your mileage may vary depending on the time of day you are trying and your platform.  I’ve not tried this on Xbox Live, but considering the person who tipped me off to this method plays there I am going to assume it works fine as well.  Basically doing this method is going to allow you to hop into the Plaguelands and farm the forge until your heart is content, just remember to keep going to orbit every so often to make sure you are not losing loot.  Your mailbox can only hold 20 items… and while it takes longer for your inventory to fill up now that greens turn immediately into materials…  it still happens frighteningly fast while doing the Forge.

Melusine Down

I’m an Adjective?

There are just some days that it hits me how surreal my life can be.  I seem to be having one of those days.  I talked a bit about being called a “Cult Leader” last night, but apparently somewhere along the line I have become an adjective as well?  If I would say I am most known for anything it would be that I blog each and every morning regardless if I have anything of any real gravity to talk about.  If you follow Jaedia and Simcha you would have found out that this is apparently now termed the “Bel Method” because both of them have been dabbling with it of late.  I didn’t even know I had a method to be honest…  I just do this thing that involves blogging before I am actually awake.  I am pretty sure people were rambling aimlessly long before I showed up, and will continue to do it long after I am gone.  Though I do admit I got a great chuckle when I read that I have transcended humanity and now have become a “thing”.

Which makes it all the more humorous when the other day, I was mentioned in a conversation I was not really even participating in yet.  My good friend Fynralyl mentioned on twitter that she was downloading Final Fantasy XIV, and before I even had a chance another friend… who is not even playing the game chimed in with our server information.  To make it even more humorous Sigtric said the above quote, that the “#BelEffect” was going on.  I am now an effect?  I mean I realize my penchant for gathering people up and trying to get them all in the same place is rather notorious…  but has it really become an effect to be monitored?  Like I said before… it is really surreal to be referred to in adjective form.  I am attempting to take it all in stride, as a sign of affection…  but it is supremely strange.  Now I am oddly cautious to see what other characteristic I have becomes a “thing”, is my traditional “Hey Folks” greeting now going to become canonized as well?

Melusine Down

ffxiv 2015-02-09 21-34-13-41 Last night was of course our regularly scheduled raid night in Final Fantasy XIV.  We unfortunately are starting to have a good problem happen… that quite often on Monday nights we have more than enough people to do our eight man.  As a result since Paragon missed the last one, Cav offered to sit out and with that we zoned into Turn 7 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut.  This was our second week of attempts on this encounter, and last week we managed to figure out most of the bits so it was just down to refinement and polish.  We were teaching Paragon the fight from scratch, but he was a pretty quick study and before long we were back to where we left off last week.  This fight is largely about managing adds, either in the form of the Renauds that need to be frozen with cursed voice or the Lamias that need to be burned down as soon as possible to lower overall raid damage.  On top of all of these things…  there is just a phenomenal amount of damage going out.  There were so many times I was praying for my next cooldown so that I could survive just a little bit longer.

The turning point in our fight was honestly when we wiped because all of the Renaud that were frozen woke up at the same time.  Prior to that the attempt was extremely smooth, and then we watched as the giants ran around wiping the raid.  From that point on we started trying to manage just how many of them we had up at a once, and I started trying to do a better job of centering myself with the wall of them.  These two tweaks lead to me getting frozen significantly less, and the wall of adds being more manageable as a whole.  It was I believe one attempt after we started this strategy that we managed to get her down, and clear Turn 7 of the Binding Coil of Bahamut.  Once again Ashgar remembered to tell folks to pose before we opened the chests, and I am super glad that he did… because this really is the best kill shot yet.  I remembered to be centered in the photo rather than on one of the edges.  We went into Turn 8 shortly after and only stayed long enough to get an idea of how the room works.  Hopefully we can all watch some videos this week and make a good solid attempt next.

I Hate Oregorger

Yesterday I stumbled onto a blog post over on AskMrRobot showing how wipes on Oregorger compare to the raids average ilevel.  I know we are still fairly low ilevel wise as a raid, I personally am only around 660 because we jumped straight from 7/7 normal and 5/7 heroic to doing normal mode Blackrock Foundry.  I am wondering if that is the answer to dealing with the bullshit randomness of his hunger phase is to simply out gear it.  Last Thursday when we were doing attempts on Oregorger we were following the exact pattern that everyone agrees upon is the best way to beat the fight.  In fact multiple times during the night we stopped, rewatched videos to double check that we were not doing anything wrong… and still we kept dying to the damage of the phase.  Either we were not fast enough on killing the crates, or simply lacked the gear to soak the damage.  In any case the charge above would seem to agree that maybe Oregorger is simply a “gearing” thing.  Had we entered Blackrock wearing full heroic gear… maybe it just would not have even been an issue.

In any case my hope is that by some sheer miracle of luck that we can down him because I want so bad to have this fight on farm status.  I feel like both Gruul and the Hans’gar/Franzor encounter are likely on farm status after last week.  I am wondering if there is something else that is low hanging fruit we can pick up while waiting on our gear level to raise before wrecking Oregorger.  From what I understand the other boss we can try is Beastlord Darmac since Blackrock Foundry employs a “wing” strategy to its layout.  Whatever we end up doing, I am looking forward to getting in tonight and smashing more Iron Horde faces.  While much of the shiny of this expansion has faded for me, I am finding that  the raiding is keeping me engaged and interested.  While I may only be logging in to fiddle with my Garrison on nights other than the raid…  I am still very much enjoying each and every boss fight.