Helping Hands

I have such mixed emotions about people offering to help me.

Obviously, part of me loves it. But I have very real concerns that some people get involved in this thinking that it will be funny and giggles and hee-hee, lookit Pessum run! And then after about my fifth time of getting them wiped out, the laughter has suddenly died out and they remember an important appointment they had and have to leave, never to talk to me again.

It’s not that I’m stupid. Foolish, unlearned, a bit gullible – certainly. But I’m not completely stupid, despite what Death tells you.

Death says, “Oooooh, yer SUCH a liar!”
You say, “Quiet, slut!”

Honestly, though – I try very hard when I’m with a group. The biggest problem is that a lot of times people offer to take me hunting someplace I have no right to be. And then while we’re there, they assume that I know everything of that area that they know, since they’ve been hunting there for months and know every little nook, cranny and particular quirk of the critters there.

For example: some folks offered to take me into Avalon City. I’ve hunted there before, I feel somewhat confident I can stay out of trouble. I know that when Dragorians are walking by, you don’t hit them. Also, when they’re standing in an area, you don’t go near it unless you want them to come over and say hi. So I figure I’m in good shape, right?

Of course wrong.

What I had no idea of is that there are parts of AC that just by backing up against a wall, you trigger swarms and swarms of monsters to come running and begin poking you with pointy sticks. Which they did, killing everyone that was there to help. The same people that couldn’t figure out what they had done to bring that huge mob down on them. And neither could I – I’d never been there before, I had no idea of that ‘hotspot.’ But after about our fourth time of getting wiped out, someone noticed where I was standing, and suddenly I was the idiot. I guess I can understand their anger – but really, don’t send me frolicking out amongst the tulips and after the explosion remember to tell me that I’m standing in a minefield.

Helping someone out is such a kind act. Really. But it’s also a bit of craziness. You’re agreeing to forego your own fun in order to babysit someone – someone that might very well get you killed – for no other reward than a “Thank You.” It’s one heck of a nice thing to do, don’t get me wrong – I’ve sat at several n00b areas with Pessum and dished out lots of buffs in a mad effort to work of some bad karma myself. Yet that doesn’t come close to the amount of craziness it takes for a person to say, “Yes, I realize that this person is famous for getting everyone in their party killed. But you know what? I bet I can keep us alive!”

This sounds like I’m complaining about people helping me, and I certainly don’t mean for it to sound that way. I want everyone to know that if you offer to take me hunting, I’m very, very grateful. But I’m also hesitant for a lot of reasons. Do I know how to behave/hunt/survive wherever you want to take me? No, do I really know how to survive, and not just think I know how to survive? Do you know everything that you’re going to have to warn me about? I suppose this doesn’t just go for me – anyone wanting to help someone level should be aware of these questions, so consider it a public service announcement. I love it when people invite me along. I just don’t want to end up making everyone in the game hate me.

People that don’t know about hunting areas aren’t necessarily stupid – we just don’t know about that area because we’ve never gotten to hunt there. As another example: a very, very kind group of Mids on another server once asked me along with them on a dragon raid. They said they’d have an empty slot, and I could roll up a newb and come along. I wasn’t going to get anything out of it – I just wanted to see the dragon first-hand and maybe get some cool screenshots. So I tagged along with their very large hunting party, and they managed to keep me alive all the way out there. And once we got out there, I was so impressed, I decided I had to get some cool pictures of that big dragon to show everyone.

Only nobody bothered to tell me that a dragon’s aggro range is roughly five hundred zones wide. I briefly had time to think, “Oh, look, it’s turning towards me! This is going to be a GREAT picture!” before Puff came over and ate my face. And the rest of my party. And then some of the other groups tried to help, and…well, take a wild guess at what happened.

Needless to say, I haven’t been back to see the dragon since.


So I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but some of us have made a tiny guild on Palomides. As Hibernians. Hibbies are a realm that I’ve never played extensively – well, hell, I haven’t even played Albions extensively. They’re just the realm I have the most experience with.

I had decided upon a Valewalker, as I think I mentioned before. Once I overcame my cowardliness and managed to start mixing it up mano a mano (as they say in the streets), I found that I was doing pretty well. Valewalkers seem (to me) to be a very good class. I can land a number of nukes and debuffs (just to clarify: I don’t have REAL nukes/debuffs – just a lifetap and snare; but to me, that’s good enough) on critters before they come within striking distance, and then once they close, I can melee decently enough to finish the job. In the whole group, we’ve got a pretty good mix. Some mages, couple more melee’ers, you know, the usual.

Except for Mistake.

For whatever reason, Mistake is playing a Firbolg Hero. For those of you that don’t know, a Firbolg is a mix of giant and human – very large, very strong. Not as solid as a Troll perhaps, but almost as tall. They stand head and shoulders over every other race in Hibernia. And head, shoulders, arms, stomach, groin and knees above Lurikeens.

They’re big, is what I’m trying to say. Huge. Standing next to one of them while you’re fighting, you can pretty much count on whatever you’re fighting to be more aiming for the Firbolg. Partly because they’re larger than everything else and make a nice, easy target; and partly because they’re strong enough that if you’re fighting something purely melee, the Firbolg’s usually going to do more damage because of their greater strength. Did I also mention their huge, easy-to-hit size? Well, let me just mention it again. Them = BIG.

So imagine my surprise when the goblin we’re fighting takes a mighty swing at Mistake…only to see Mistake flip into the air.

Flip. Into the air. A giant.

I’m not sure of the history of their race, here – maybe the ancient race that bred with humans to make Firbolgs were giant acrobats or something. I mean, hey, who’s to say that some interstellar race of touring giant acrobats didn’t stop by our planet and, uh, “seed” the natives? That’s as good a guess as any, I suppose. In truth, there’s no telling how the Firbolgs came up with their ninja-esque abilities. I’ve got my theories, of course…

I can’t say that I’m an expert on giant – or half-giant – behaviors. But in my readings of Jack the Giant-Killer, I’m pretty sure I never heard about him preparing to stab the giant in the chest and the giant flipping into the air to dodge him.

You are welcome to object. Maybe you’re familiarity with 8-foot tall ninjas is greater than mine own. That wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, silly me, I’ve got this idea of dodging something as a giant being pretty hard in the first place. What with you being giant-sized and everything. What’s the point of being big and tough if you’re going to get out of the way of everything that tries to hit you? Old Ironsides didn’t get her nickname from dodging those cannonballs!

Okay, I understand – you don’t want to get hit. Fine. But where in your giant brain did the idea come to flip out of the way? What Xena-induced madness is this? Did the idea ever occur to you to, oh, I don’t know – step aside? It’s not that bad when you’re fighting something smaller than you. But try that with a Fomorian sometime and they’ll treat you like a giant-sized handball and bounce you off the wall a few times.

Granted, they’ll just step on me. But at least being squished is dignified.

And Now, Mistake Presents a Rebuttal…

There seems to be an issue with my l337 ninja skills. Now I know that on the surface a half-giant flipping about seems to be not just implausible, but also very unlikely to avoid the attack due to the massive size. But think back to how you felt when you saw this improbable act. Your mind skipped a beat as it tried to reconcile physics with what your eyes saw, yes?

Now I’ll go as far to assume that the majority of you have at least completed a high school level physics class. But think about the poor, uneducated creatures of Hibernia. This act of flipping literally short circuits their mind. That is why the dodge is successful.

Now, in order to be able to perform this gravity-defying, mind-fusing, ninja flip I spent many years under the tutelage of one Chun Lee (of Kwip’s ninja article fame, not the streetfighter). While those adventures were not nearly as amusing, I did learn many important truths.

  1. If you really believe you are invisible, you are. Unless Kwip is there.
  2. The laws of nature only apply to chumps.

Alright, two is far from many. But given Chun Lee’s track record, learning anything from him amounts to a fountain of knowledge in my book.

As for how realistic it may be, Kwip is a bundle of sticks. That’s right, sticks. I feel that as a half-giant my flipping about is almost infinitely more plausible than Kwip walking about, let alone casting spells and hitting things with his giant farming implement.

By the way, you will not squish. You will snap and crackle.


What Do You Mean, ‘The Title Got Erased…?’

For a long time, I was convinced that getting to 50 and going out to RvR was the only acceptable path.

Lately, though, I’ve been re-considering this. It started with everyone on the boards signing up to play on Palomides as Hibbies. It really made a bit of a difference to me to not only have a bunch of people that I know playing, but people that were similar level to me. I’ve played forever with Blackspire, but most of my time there is spent being discouraged that I am not nor ever will be level 50. They have alts that are rapidly lapping me. Sure, they try and help me, but let’s face it: trying to help me powerlevel is a recipe for frustration. You’re better off trying to teach me to eat healthy or something.

So the idea of starting out new with a group of friends, all of us newbs, kinda piqued my interest. Sure, none of us would have anything decent, but we’d all be together. Which is good, because nothing helps misery like spreading it around.

The first challenge is leveling to fifth so that I can actually choose a class. I’ve picked Valewalker, because I’ve never played a melee before, and a VW is a hybrid class, so that should be a nice introduction to melee’ing. What I’m worried about is the styles – I can’t even manage to quick-cast a spell when faced with a fight, so having to remember how styles work has me scared. They need a realm ability called “Big Honkin’ Chain” that basically fires off your chains for you. The whole idea of “Do X after Y is successful” makes my head hurt. My idea of a chain is “Start eating Ben & Jerry’s when getting the lid open is successful.” THAT I can handle.

Pessum, my theurg, is the perfect character for me, because I just turn on PBT, /stick to someone, and I’m fulfilling my party duties. But playing a VW, sheesh – I actually have to attack things! That’s SOOO unfair! I can’t go to the bathroom, go get a drink – I can’t even get up for a quick pint! Instead, I have to pay close attention to what’s going on in the game! Man, is THAT annoying… what do you folks that are tanks do to keep from having to actually play the game? Isn’t there a ‘win’ button somewhere hidden?

We had fun forming up this new mob. Of course, there were some scary moments. When I first signed on, I found out everyone had created a character named “MUSTKILLKWIP” or “DEATHTOKWIP” or even “REPLACEALLOFTHEBENANDJERRYSWITHNONFATYOGURT.” Then they all proceeded to send me scary tells. Downright frightening. Of course, I got them all back – simply joining the hunting party killed three of them right off the bat. And then there was the fun of trying to find a couple more people so that we could actually form a guild…

It’s really weird being (somewhat) able to tank, though. I’m so used to dieing quickly that after a mob lands it’s first couple of spells on me, I’m already reaching for the release button, only to realize I’m still at half-health. Kooky. And I’m used to hanging to the back of the group, but I’m not supposed to do that now. Of course, being a coward, that’s a bit harder of a habit to overcome. Now sooner does combat start then I’m running behind the Keens, trying to hide.

That’s the good thing about looking like a tree. Easy disguise in the woods. You might have to deal with getting peed on by wolfs and drunken dwarves, but that’s about the same thing that always happened to Pessum after he got killed anyway, so it’s about fair.

Of Course I Can Solo That…

I just don’t believe in holding myself back for the rest of you cowards, is all.

Just because you want to whine and moan about, “Oh, it might bring friends if we attack it” or “Waaaah, it has an AoE attack” or even “That is a DRAGON you’re talking about soloing!” Don’t try and fence me in with YOUR wimpy little selves. For I am the great and powerful Theurgist! I’m a siege machine!

Why are you laughing?

Yeah, I’m pretty lousy at deciding what I should be messing with. The way I figure it, there are 50 levels. At level 50, you should be able to take on anything. Mathematically, this breaks down to 100% butt-kicking ability. Therefore, at level 39, I have a 78% butt-kicking ability. So what I thought that meant was that 78% of the critters in this game I can crush by myself. Of course, what it actually means is that .078% of the critters I can handle. With a party. Of all 50s.

I suppose this is why I’d never be a great general. For all I know, I was Custer in a previous life or something. “Indians? We can take a few Indians! We’ve got guns!”

It’s not that I don’t think about the fights I pick. I tend just not to think about them very clearly. I think the problem is the whole color scheme. I just can’t get used to the idea of orange = danger. Or purple, for that matter. But orange? I guess it should be some sort of logical chain. Orange = OJ = OJ Simpson = CRAZED KILLER WHO WILL KILL YOU – CRAZY-STYLE! But the problem is that orange makes me think of orange creamsicles. And let me tell you something: if my freezer were a dungeon, I could solo that whole damn thing, even if it were packed with oranges. See what I’m saying?

Purple’s not much better. That makes me think of Skittles. Mmmmmm. Why not just make things completely above my level brown so I can think of Chocolate Fudge Brownie while you’re at it? Then you can all wonder why you keep getting spammed about my deaths and why I never make another bubble of experience ever. Granted, that’s about true now, anyway…

It’s not like I haven’t had people trying to tell me different. Everyone in Blackspire’s tried to coach me about 50 billion times to leave the pygmies alone until I get older. But I can’t help it. They’re just not intimidating. Have you seen how short these guys are? I might as well be scared of Anson. And besides, it’s not like I ever let size intimidate me…

I mean, sure, it’s bigger than most keeps. But did I mention I’m a siege wizard? I’m built to take down WALLS, man! What’s a ten-story giant, if nothing more than a moving wall?

Oh. Right. A kicking wall. Owwwwww….

I’m All About Helping the Role Play!

This new RP-ing filter thing is a killer idea. I don’t know how simple it was to code, but I’m amazed nobody’s done it before. It allows someone who’s a terrible role-player (ie, me) to not so forcefully intrude upon people that are devoted role-players (ie, everyone that appealed the name “Bottom”).

Okay, I think that’s about enough seriousness. Let’s get silly, shall we?

I’ve got a couple different filter profiles set up that I use. For those days when I’m feeling sad, I have the “Different Strokes” filter, that substitutes such humorous phrases as, “Wha’choo talking ’bout, Willis?” for benign comments like “Pessum stop drawing aggro, jerk!” Then there’s the X-Files filter, which substitutes “Agent Scully loves Pessum!” for phrases like “Pessum has died!”

Another fun thing to do is substitute “wants to give you a long tongue bath” for “is a member of an enemy realm.” Think about it – the world’s difficult enough to deal with when you think of anyone as an enemy. Wouldn’t it be nice if you thought of them sexual deviants with a fixation on you? Of course they’re still going to try and kill you, but hey, that way you can feel like a celebrity for a day! Instead of standing on top of a keep wall and looking out at the horde of Mid barbarians ready to smash through the gates and make all your bases are belong to them, you can instead look out upon an entire army of adorers, all of whom want to reward you in most naughty manners!

You can also make for non-stop hilarity with CSRs. Instead of their boring, “Kwip, if we have to warn you one more time about broadcasting the “I’ve lost my pants and I’m feeling naughty” song, your account is going to be banned,” you can make for THIS enjoyable message:


Now I ask YOU which is the more fun reality to play in? It’s as if the entire world is taking my medication with me! It’s glorious!

The problem with /rpfilter is that it doesn’t go far enough. Oh, sure, you can change the way you hear things. But I think they need to make the filter so that you can change the way EVERYONE hears things! Well, no, maybe that wouldn’t work. Yates’ filters that change the hateful things everyone says about him to praises of his manhood would no doubt interfere with my filters that change people yelling at me to people offering me pints of Ben & Jerrys. And that’s not even taking into account Alem’s filters that change anything said by a female character into some sort of rude sexual proposition…(Yeah, that’s right, I know all about Alem – you just wait till I publish “Alem: XXXposed!”)

Maybe they could make it so that whoever has the most RPs or something gets to have their filters take effect. No, wait, that wouldn’t work – I’ve got fewer RPs than anyone (yes, despite being the Alb RvR TL). Hrm. Well, tell you what, let’s just make it so that MY filters override everyone present. Hey man, you don’t like that? Think of how bad the alternatives could be…

Now come on – wouldn’t you rather listen to non-stop hilarity of my idea of role-playing instead?


I know, try and contain the laughter!

What Makes A Cleric Tick (A Fuse, Maybe)?

So at the start of the evening, I was all excited. See, I had THIS fantastic story to tell you about:

Yup. No photoshop trickery there – I really did kill him! He was a level 49 Shadowblade, down in DF ganking Albs. But with my superior firepower, I brought him down!

Okay, okay, I’m pretty much lying: although I did kill him, there was a couple other guys beating on him already. If it had been me alone, I would’ve gotten killed before I even knew what was going on. But still, the fact remains that “Pessum just killed Rakin” spammed throughout DF. Can you imagine how much humiliation that guy had to face when his realm mates heard about it?

“Pessum? Ain’t that Kwip?”
“Dude – did you just get killed by Kwip?”
“/appeal I think something’s screwed up – someone just got killed by Kwip. Could you check that out, please? We think he’s cheating.”

I mean, think about it – if I got hundreds of appeals about my name alone, can you imagine how many people appealed me getting a kill on someone? Well, if you’re one of the people appealing it to Mythic, please stop. I assure you, it was merely a glitch, and it won’t happen again.

Now then. The rest of the night.

I was pretty happy with that whole thing. So happy, I made the terminal mistake of thinking I might actually know what the hell I’m doing in this game. Which of course was a sin in the eyes of the Gord, and he had to move swiftly to punish me for such arrogance.

The trouble started when I joined a group. Normally I have this speech prepared: “Hi, I’m Pessum, I’m going to get your entire party killed multiple times and do things of such staggering stupidity you will want to blame them on a computer glitch. However, if your party is really good, you might survive long enough to use my pbt. Highly unlikely, but still possible. If you don’t want me in your group, I understand.”

But tonite, with my new-found confidence, I somehow overlooked warning everyone. So now this group of unsuspecting goombahs thought they had just signed on a competent Theurg who was going to actually help them. Sigh. Poor bastiches. Never had a chance.

We descend into Darkness Falls (they had to come get me – that should’ve been their warning right there). Enroute, I got to meet Elrawen, whom some of you might know from the N3 boards as having the best introductory post ever. Now she has stated before that she is a Cleric, and that she will gladly rez anyone.

However, I don’t think she’d ever met someone of my… talents… before.

So my group starts hunting. We’re in the next room over from Elrawen. So she’s close enough to hear the screams when I get my whole party killed the first time.

“Pessum, what the hell are you doing?”
“That’s going to bring ALL of them!”
“Look out!”

Like a good sport, she comes over, rezzes us all, and chuckles at my ‘zany antics.’

After about the twentieth time she had to do that, she was forcing the laughs, I’m pretty sure.

Honestly, I’m someone that’s used to screwing up horrifically and dying often. But even I was amazed at the amount of death I wrought that night. I mean, sheesh, if we start hitting half a dozen, I’m in rare form. But I died six times in less than an hour. Do the math yourselves, kiddos. That’s once every ten minutes. Impressive, huh?

The experience really revealed a new truth to me: people that play Clerics obviously have some seriously deep-rooted guilt they need to work off. Well, no, not Smite Clerics – they’ve just got a lot of pent-up frustration and self-righteousness (just kidding, Phil! Put down the hammer!). But think about it: to spend all your time following idiots like me around, only to pick up the pieces of my own personal catastrophe? How much bad karma can you really have that needs worked off?

I know I couldn’t do it. No way could I follow someone like me around all day and save him from his own stupidity. I mean, I want to choke the heck out of myself now. How do Clerics not spend all their time gloating over corpses? Someone would send me a tell, and I’d be like, “Oh-ho! And silly me, I told you that you were all going to die if you kept trying to fight those big monsters, didn’t I? Guess what you and the career of Winona Ryder have in common? THEY’RE BOTH DEAD AND NOBODY’S GOING TO BRING THEM BACK!” and then I’d gloat over their corpses.

In fact, this makes me want to roll up a cleric and just follow the dumb people around who regularly get everyone around them killed. I’ll make a big point of spec’ing my rez skill. And then I will simply choose not to resurrect their sorry butts!

Death says, “Uh-huh. And you’ve been playing like what, two years now, and are still only 39th level? Yeah, good luck with that plan.”

Hrmph. Well, okay, maybe not. Besides, nobody would deserve that treatment more than myself, so that’d be pretty hypocritical.

Of course, like that’s ever stopped me…

Love Thy Neighbor. With A Big Stick.

So there’s these occupiers. And they’re, you know, occupying the city. Avalon City, to be specific. The story goes that these guys moved in and killed the entire population or something. Or maybe they found it deserted. I don’t know, really. The fact is, they are there now, and nobody else is.

Well, nobody except about a billion Albions.

I think you all know about my previous experience beating on the Darc… er.. Drak… Drac… sleestaks that live there. Yeah, at the time, I felt kind of guilty about it. I mean, there they were, trying to settle in this new town, and we come charging in, stabbing them in the face.

However, that was before I learnt that the sleestaks are terminally stupid and deserve to die.

Yes, it’s true. The sleestaks are just inherently stupid. I’m afraid it is our Gord-given right to drive them beneath our heels. I know, I know – you’re surprised to hear me talking like that. But let’s just take a moment to look at the facts, shall we?

I’m not any sort of siege expert. In fact, the only way I’ve ever managed to survive a siege – either defending or attacking – was to pretty much not be there. And even then, it’s a risky thing. The other day I was shopping in the middle of Camelot when a boulder launched from a catapult in the frontier smashed me in the face and killed me.

So yeah, I’m not exactly the best guy to ask about these things. However, I’m going to really go out on a limb here and propose the following idea: if we, as a species, ever take over an entire city, MOST of us will react when a party of interlopers enters our city. Especially if they begin stabbing some of our neighbors in the face.

It’s not like I’m Mr. Rogers or anything. I don’t have a clue who lives next door to our guild house, despite having run through the place about twenty times already (not my fault they leave the door unlocked!). But I like to think that if I was standing out in front of my house, and some trolls charged out of the woods and began stabbing one of my neighbors in the throat, I might actually do something. It might only be run out and die, but you can bet I’ll be screaming such bloody murder everyone in the entire landblock will be sticking their head out to see what’s going on.

And look, we might have our own Yellow Rat Bastard (whom we all know and love as Yates), but let’s face facts: even he would get involved if he saw an Albion getting stomped by an invader. It doesn’t have anything to do with being noble or brave – it’s a simple matter of, “When they’re done killing that guy…who’s next?”

Look, we’re not being stealthy or anything. It’s not like we have a scout hiding in the bushes sniping or an infiltrator back-stabbing people. We don’t even TRY and be subtle about it. We run around, a huge crowd of screaming maniacs, stabbing and thwaping pretty much at random. And yet… the sleestaks just sit there watching us. Granted, it’s been a few years since they had to chase Marshall, Will and Holly, so maybe the whole concept of chasing after the foolish warm-bloods is a bit confusing to them, but you’d think after we pounded the crap out of the tenth one of them or so they’d get the picture.

Maybe I’m reading it all wrong. Maybe it’s not that they don’t know what’s going on, maybe it’s just that they secretly hate each other. Or hey, maybe it’s not even that secret – do YOU speak whatever kooky language that is of theirs? Maybe they’re busy telling each other to bugger off and die or other such colorful insults. Maybe they delight in seeing their neighbor’s get their scaly butts kicked.

Come to think of it, HOW many of our relics do we have right now? None? Yeah, I’m not too sure we have room to criticize the sleestaks after all. Sure, they ignore their fellows that are screaming bloody murder for help.

But… ah… I hate to admit it… But I do have a tendency to turn off Alliance chat. It does get pretty annoying, all that whining about our keeps getting sieged. And hey, I’ve been known to giggle a little when I see the death spam of Yates. So…yeah, I guess these guys aren’t all that bad.

Where Do I Stand?

So everyone knows about the Line of Death, right?

No, I’m not talking about any geo-political boundaries or any of that nonsense. I mean that line that you do not, not even if there are a bazillion Mids charging up behind you, go past in the party. That line that the one person in your group who knows where they’re going declares at the entrance of the dungeon, “Okay, NOBODY GO PAST ME!”

But you just know you’re going to go past it at some point. You might blame it on a misunderstanding, or your cat jumping on your keyboard, or demonic possession, or even repressed anger at all those lines in four square that seemed to conspire against you to make YOUR square smaller than everyone else’s through some geometry trick… 

And once you’ve crossed that line, you know the only thing left to do is to draw every single monster in the dungeon down upon the heads of your party and then blame the entire thing on lag.

Yeah, that would be the Line of Death. You might call it something else. But in my guild, that’s what we call it. Well, no, we call it “The Line You Never Ever EVER Let Kwip (Or Pessum – ESPECIALLY Pessum) Go Near!”

I really don’t know what the danger is. I mean, look, let’s be honest here: I’m just as likely to draw a thousand screaming ogres at us from the back of the party as I am from the front of the party. In fact, I’m liable to have things breaking down walls or jumping out of holes just to attack us. Or even spawning in such ridiculous places as my back pocket. All eager for the chance to smear me (and anyone around me) on their boots. So what difference does it make where I’m at? Personally, at least if I’m in the front I can see what’s coming. And look at it this way: not only will I spot what’s coming from in front of us, but when I turn around and run screaming back to the rest of the party, I’ll see what’s behind us, too! It’s like two birds with one stone! And another thing: the person in the back is supposed to be acting as some sort of “Rear Guard.” Aside from the crude jokes that immediately leap to mind, let’s talk about how effective I just might be at this.

For starters, my reaction time. While we all know that my reaction time is somewhere roughly between that of a garden slug and moss, I’d say that even the slowest of us can react when a ten-foot behemoth of a ogre is heading for the party. The problem is how we “react.” Some of you with really quick reflexes might shout a warning. Some of you really REALLY quick goombahs might actually shout a warning and get off a spell or two.

But this is me we’re talking about.

Considering that I do any complex action with roughly the same grace as say, an epileptic hippopotamus, we can probably assume that I’m going to cast the wrong spell. That means that not only is a monster ogre heading for the party, but now it’s heading for the party with theurg buffs, thanks to my stupidity. That’s if I actually manage to get off a spell, mind you. Normally, I’ll be busy trying to scream in a oh-so-funny Three Stooges tribute.

I think the most productive use of my many talents is to send me screaming into a dungeon ahead of you. Oh, I won’t kill a single critter or land a debuff or do anything remotely productive. But hopefully my pitiful shrieking and screaming for my mother will accomplish one thing: it’ll throw the monsters into such a state of confusion that even the largest party can make it in mostly unnoticed.

Just be careful where you step. I tend to die in really messy ways.

As Your RvR Team Lead, I Promise…

So I don’t know if you guys heard yet, but Mythic’s looking for three new Team Leads. For RvR.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why, Kwip – one of those slots is YOURS!”

Death says, “Actually, I was just thinking about that time you were defending at Bledmeer Faste and died by falling off the wall. Hoo, what a hoot that was.”
You say, “Shut up!”

You’re correct, though – one of those spots is certainly for me. I mean, when you think of Realm vs Realm combat, who else could possibly come to mind?

Yates says, “How about me? I’ve got about fifty BILLION more RPs than you! In fact, the ONLY RPs you ever got were the ones you earned while I let you tag along with me!”
You say, “Wha..? That is a complete and utter lie! I killed LOTS of people.”
Yates says, “Name one.”
You say, “Urm…you probably never heard of him. He was… uh… Canadian…”

Sometimes friends are entirely over-rated, I tell you.

Anyway, I think it’s pretty obvious the help I could lend as the Albion RvR Team Lead. For example, I’ve got this idea about Theurgists. Being the siege experts they are, I think that they need a special skill in RvR: “Devastation.” Basically, how it would work is this: any time the Theurgist gets involved in RvR, he clicks this button and all of the enemy around him are killed (devastated – get it?).

Death says, “You’re kidding.”
You say, “What?”
Death says, “Gee, aren’t you making it too hard for yourself?”

Oh, hey – that’s a good point. Better than that, let’s make it like this: If a Theurge gets attacked in the Frontier, all enemy units within five landblocks around him get wiped out. Oh! And since we ARE the siege engineers, after all – we should be able to knock down walls. Not just gates, either. I’ve noticed that a lot of times there are a LOT of defenders just hanging around gates inside keeps, waiting for them to come down. I resent this. In the REAL world, I’d never walk into an ambush. Frankly, I’m pretty disappointed Mythic hasn’t done anything about it. After I get them to see the light regarding the Devastation skill, I’ll be sure to begin working on the Siege skill.

Hey! How about this: since it wouldn’t really be fair for Theurges to just knock the walls down right away, what if the FIRST level of the skill just let you dig a BIG tunnel under the wall! And then the SECOND level of the skill let you knock the walls down? Yeah, that’s pretty clever, I must admit.

Oh, and another thing: I’m tired of wearing a robe. It’s making me too vulnerable. I think that theurges should be able to wear platemail. Only we need a SPECIAL set of platemail – one that weighs the same as cloth. On account of us being weaker than Armsmen and Paladins. (Duh!)

You see? You’re not just talking to Joe Newb here. I’ve BEEN on the Frontiers, man. I know what it’s like. I can keep it real, yo. But I promise you I will only use my expertise and experience for GOOD!

That reminds me: I’m sick of getting sniped. Yes, I know, once Devastation is in place, snipers will die as soon as they attack me. But what if they get in a lucky shot? That would totally be unfair. I mean, if they shoot me in the back of the head – like some wuss or something! – then why should they be rewarded? That is TOTALLY unfair. And as the new Albion RvR TL, I promise you to do something about it.

For starters, Theurges will get another skill, which we’ll call Spider Sense. What it will do is make this buzzing noise if someone is aiming at you! And with this skill, if you hit your jump key, you’ll jump OVER the arrow! And THEN land on the sniper, crushing their head and killing them instantly! (As well as all the enemy in the surrounding five landblocks, don’t forget that.)

Yates says, “Good grief. What about us mages?”

Woah, there, sparky. Let’s not get too hasty! I mean, I’m the Albion RvR TL, sure – but we have to keep the game balanced, right? Sheesh! These mages. Always looking out for themselves! But don’t worry – I wouldn’t go and do anything CRAZY or anything. I’ll keep a FIRM sense of balance!

Oh – and did I tell you about the Nuclear Cruise Missles? They’d only be available at the THIRD level of the Siege skill, of course. And you’d need at least 100 RPs before you could get that skill.

I mean, I wouldn’t want to unbalance the game or anything.

Pet: Latin for “Gleefully Willing To Stab You in the Back”

There are two kinds of pet classes: those that help you kill monsters, give you power, help your party, act as a batter, or otherwise just generally serve some purpose.

And then there are MY pets.

I think the problem here is that I’ve grown too used to playing a Necro. A Necro’s pet is pretty simple – you point him at something, he meanders off and attacks it. He might even possibly kill it. If you’re lucky.

However, now that I’m back to playing Pessum, my lovable theurge, I have a whole new set of pets. Pets I like to refer to as “Complete and Utter Bastiches.”

Having a pet zombie isn’t the greatest thing in the world. They tend to wander off, become easily distracted by shiny things, drop bits of themselves off into your soup, leave behind mysterious odors, and generally make having house guests one embarrassment after another. But they are friggin’ DRAGONS compared to elementals.

Oh, sure, elementals have this great casting distance. You know why? That’s so you can fire them off and then run like hell before they start causing problems! And you know why you can spam-cast twenty of the little bastiches? You HAVE to cast twenty of them, because the first five will run completely past your target playing grab-ass and totally ignoring your instructions. The next five will take up a position behind you, for reasons not yet know. The next four will immediately fall over dead. The next three will trip over the bodies of the preceding four and kill themselves. The next one will charge off after you target, who by now is just starting to return from chasing your first batch of grab-assers, whom all have died. FINALLY, your next one will charge straight at your target. Only to fall over and die two feet in front of it.

Your last one will appear in time to watch you die and stand there giggling.

Don’t even get me started on their “effectiveness” in PvP. You try and launch a few earth elementals at an oncoming enemy, and the genius paladin in your party will assume it’s a cross-breed between a dwarf and a troll, and stab it in the back of the head as it runs past, all the while screaming about “abominations in the Eye of the Lord!”

And it’s no use trying to motivate them, either. You summon them, barely get started on your pep talk, and they’re dead. You could even bake a tray of cookies, and before they get a chance to knock them all over and grind them into the carpet, they’re dead.

At least a zombie has enough sense SOMEWHERE in that rotting skull to notice that a monster beating on you is bad. They may not do anything to stop it, of course. But they might notice it.

Not an elemental, though! They’ll stand idly by, listening to you scream, curse, whimper, and generally make a poor show of things. THEN, after you die, they’ll drop over dead, muttering something like, “Woah, that guy really kicked our butts, didn’t he? You probably didn’t see, cause I was really laggy there, but I got in some REALLY good shots. Too bad I couldn’t stick around for five more seconds!”