Coded blue.

Sunday 8 September 2002


Pic of the day: Paladins rule - undead drool! (Screenshot from Dark Age of Camelot. The grail over Itland's head is a symbol of the healing chant.)

DAoC Paladins rule!

Yes, another Dark Age of Camelot entry, at least sort of. It did not really start that way, though. It started with the roleplay novel we were doing. (It is not progressing much, by the way, not during the weekend. Do people do this kind of thing at work and school??) Anyway, I tried to explain how my Lightwielder magic works, and compared it to the DAoC Paladin chants. Until then, it had not struck me so clearly that there was a similarity. I think the reason why I forgot was the peaceful nature of my Lightwielders. They are healers and soothsayers; there really are no offensive songs in the Book of Light. Of course, at higher levels their magic becomes fully intent-driven, dispensing with the need for pre-written songs; it should be possible to shape it into some kind of weapon, but that's just not the way of the Light.

Even so, the Paladin chants are pretty clearly one inspiration for the Lightwielder songs. Paladins get a limited number of chants, which come in gradually higher levels as you train in chants. One is a shield spell, and adds to armor factor. One is a damage add, and adds magic power to weapons in battle. And one is a healing spell, which heals a small amount of damage every round during battle and the first two rounds after. You can start chanting while doing other things, including fighting (indeed, usually this is where you do it). The chant takes no energy from the Paladin while it runs, and you can keep it going for hours.

Thinking about all this, I decided to go back and play Itland the Paladin on the Gawaine server. To my amusement I now noticed that he was called Itland Lightwalker, my original name for the Lightwielders. Clearly this has been brewing in my mind for a long long time – Gawaine was the server I played on during my early time in Albion, before I moved to Kay. I know I played Gawaine in February, as I have some files dating from then with names of some characters.

A small change was added to the Paladins sometime after I started playing the game. At some point they are given an “aggravation” spell, evidently the magical equivalent of itch powder. It has pretty decent range, and the monster hit by it will come running to kill you. Until this spell, Paladins had no way to “pull” a monster out of a herd or pack or any other dangerous spot. It still does no damage, unlike bows and crossbows which other non-mage classes use, or bolt spells used by the mage classes, or even the smite spell of the clerics. Still, the Paladin is usually able to take on a healthy monster his own size. Wearing armor that is next only to Armsman, and allowed most of the Armsman combat styles, the Paladin is also able to cast a shield spell on self to increase armor factor. And then there are the chants. They are quite nice when you hunt alone. But it is in groups the Paladin really shines.

The chants are valid for all members of the group. When the Paladin chants the damage add chant, all members of the group do more damage. The chant comes in addition to enchantments, temporary or permanent, from other sources. Similarly, the healing chant is weaker than most healing spells from clerics, but they work on all group members who are wounded, as long as they are reasonably near. There is no need to break off the fight and select the team mate to heal – it happens automatically. Best of all, two Paladins can heal at the same time, and the healings add up. There has been talk about changing this, but they reversed that after a test period on the test server. I think they did right. In theory you could make an uber group of 8 Paladins, one doing damage add, one doing shield, and the rest doing heal chants. In this group, each Paladin would be a superhero, immune to anything that did not kill at once. But the fact is that this is not being done, as far as I know. There aren't all that many Paladins around, actually. Why? No idea.

So this weekend I have run around in Albion again, gaining a couple levels (now at level 17 ... not all that much admittedly) and enjoying the sheer Paladin-ness of my character. Incidentally, Hibernia was in the lead when I started. Albion had struck back today, though not through any action of mine. I am too low level to do player killing, a thing I resent anyway. All I have done to help my realm is donating a nearly full set of Forlorn armor (magic chain mail) to some guys and grouping with a poor little Sorcerer. What he was doing in Tomb of Mithra (a place infested with undead) is beyond me, but I had to defend him from incessant attacks while he was trying to rest and heal; so I decided it would be easier to just group and heal him with my chant. I guess he helped a little, too. I am not good at teamwork. Overall, I am too cautious for most players' tastes, and they get bored. I am not easily bored. Nor are you, if you have read this far. ^_^


In other news, I have installed MicroGraphx PhotoMagic on the portable (I got the CD as a promotional gift years ago). Downloaded PFE (Programmer's File Editor) from Simtel and set as default HTML editor. Also plugged in the full keyboard (needed one of the extra keys for the screenshot above) and the monitor too (as the small screen came a bit too far away with the keyboard in front). Given that my modem was also fried by the lightning, I may use this machine until I get ADSL, promised for the middle of the month. I may as well have all my usual comforts.

Yes, I run DAoC on my HP OmniBook XE3, with no serious problems. If not for the screenshot, I might not have added the keyboard and monitor. But the trackball (or a good mouse, depending on your wrist) is a must. The touchpad will all too often mistake a movement as a click, setting off spells at the wrong time and generally wreaking havoc.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Country road ...
Two years ago: LHC & the end of the world
Three years ago: More lovely women

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