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About Shield

Guild Information

  • Guild Name
    Celestial Ascendants
  • Position
    Tank Sentinel

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  1. Shield had spent far too much time preparing for the next boss encounter. While he knew the value of doing so, his arms and legs ached with the guilt of being stationary, not having been out clearing quests and dungeons. Still, the newest batch of quests were problematic for a solo run. Either they were designed to be extra tricky for tanks, or else the monsters that one must fight would be an absolute grind-fest for a low damage dealer. With a heavy sigh, he put up his post to the player request forum. "It's not so bad," he thought aloud to Lilith, the multicolored serpent that was currently busy twining about his fingers. "I've needed to get out. I just wish I had more flexibility on these quests. Still. It's not like I'm trying to go it solo." He thought back to his time with the Ascendants and frowned. Had he really been so solitary? It wasn't as if he hadn't tried adventuring with them. Sey and Itzal had been through a few dungeons with him, and in general he had done a number of quests with Hikoru and even with Jonathan back when the tank paladin could stand his presence. Other than that, all of his adventuring had been carries, the occasional dungeon crawl with another front-liner, adventuring with Beat or- "Solo." He sighed to himself. "Do I not trust anyone else to be able to pull through for me?" He had plenty of time to think it over on the way. In the mean time, he needed to get moving or else he'd be keeping whoever took she off for granted. He quaffed an Immolation Potion and headed out the door, navigating the rough terrain of the mountains of the eleventh floor, now practically as familiar as his own hands. By the time he arrived in Tomoika, he was no further along in his musings. He stepped out into the square and found a bench, plunking himself down and leaning back into the backrest. @Hikoru
  2. Shield

    [F22-PP] Floor 23 Boss Meeting

    There were a lot of details all being discussed at once, and Shield was trying to weigh them all as they came. There were many ideas he agreed with. Others he was more dubious on, but he had no reason to be combative. So far, the discourse had been based on real reasoning and best guesses. He leaned forward and cleared his throat. "A couple of thoughts," Shield put forth, sitting a little taller in his chair while he had the floor. "I don't specifically object to Calrex as a point caller. He would definitely be one of the last standing. That being said, there is the matter of personality. I've done my share of adventuring with him." He turned his eyes to Calrex and gave an appreciative nod. "I mean absolutely no insult to you, but I've hardly seen you as the type to take the lead. You are a very laid-back individual, and even on our first quest we took together, I was several dozen levels below you and still ended up taking the lead. It's not that I doubt your abilities, merely your motivation to step up." It likely should be a tank just in case other players have to run. I am comfortable with leadership, but to the real veterans, I'm practically still a greenhorn. The most experienced tank on the front lines who had leadership experience is... He looked over at Jonathan. Recommending him as an alternative might be good for morale and restoring some esteem between him and Shield. Still, with his state of mind and his volatile nature in recent weeks, Shield had a very hard time seeing him as reliable. The very proof behind it lay in the response that Shield expected should he suggest himself as point-man over Jonathan. Utter disdain. He would keep his cool, but that would be the end of it between us. I'm sure he already sees me as an overly-ambitious upstart. That would be the last nail in the coffin. As much as he hated to admit it, the only option he had was to remain silent on an alternative unless otherwise forced to speak up. He leaned forward once again, thinking of a new topic. "Unfortunately, I think that the number of suggestions for inventory slots is getting close to the number of slots player's have available. So far, we have extra weapons, TP Crystals, Safeguards, and Mass Heal Crystals. That leaves normal players with anywhere between one and four remaining slots, tops. Most will only have one or two. We need to prioritize." He turned his eyes back to the gathering. "Tanks, healers and support players in general, I would say only pack yourself an extra piece of equipment if you deem it necessary. With so many targets available, your weapon will very likely still be effective against at least one of them. As far as Mass Heals, I would say that healers are exempt. I believe we have yet to see a fight where healers ran out of energy, and even if they start to, I'm here on Energize duty. As long as there is still even a remote risk of death, a healer with low energy stores will be my top priority." With the new reasoning out on the table he held up his finger. "Every player needs a teleport crystal. No exceptions. A Safeguard I suppose would augment that, but I doubt that our alchemists will be able to produce enough perfect potions for everyone to get one between now and the fight. That needs to be a personal choice on the part of the player. If you can't take hits, then I agree, prioritize a Safeguard potion. If you can and you're low on inventory space, use your best judgment." With a breath, he went on to his final topic. "Then there is the matter of target priority. The problem with focusing a DPS early on in a fight is that if it really does have support, you're playing a long game where the opponent is dealing full damage with their support still in tact after you drop your first target. If there really is both a defender of some sort and a supporter as well, then they will make a very tight defense that replenishes itself. My knee-jerk reaction is to take out the healer first. If the defender is mitigating most of our damage, then keeping that damage on him is imperative, and having a healer standing by could negate our efforts entirely. I think having a flexible strategy is important, but if there really is a healer on the field, I say our default plan is that it goes down first."
  3. Shield

    [PP-22] Sword and Board (Shield)

    After fighting their way back to shore, the chest fell with a heavy thud on the now wet, grimy ground. Shield searched through his frequently used items and brought forth a single Golden Key. He held the lustrous piece of worked metal to the lock and watched as it's shape gave way to a cascade of golden glitter. With a pop, the lock undid itself and the lid inched open just enough to clearly display that the lock had been dismantled. A display window popped into view, listing out the contents of the chest. Shield gave a lot whistle. "We hit the jackpot here," he said, stepping back to let Baldur see for himself. "We found your materials. And my armor. And a weapon. And then some." Shield had found such treasure troves before, but very rarely, and not often on such a high floor. "I'll take it as a good omen for our future endeavours." With its contents empty, the chest burst into fragments of light, its endurance now depleted. Shield straightened up and gave a satisfied nod before beginning the trek back to town. At the floor exit, he turned to face Baldur. "I'm sure there will be more to say, but we have a start at least." He reached out and cuffed his comrade's shoulder, giving it a firm squeeze. "Go well. I'll see you on the lines. There's a lot left to come."
  4. Shield

    [PP-22] Sword and Board (Shield)

    Shield rose as well, stretching his shoulder as he plunked down the Col to cover their fare. He gave a slight wave to the hostess and made his way to the exit. It took him a moment making up his mind where to look first. In general, he favored the lakes, as they were more concentrated activity centers. The forests were interesting landmarks, but you could get lost in them for hours and never find anything of note. He struggled with the thought of branching out and trying his luck in the forest, but in the end, his statistician mind won out. He led them on towards the water, checking to make sure his earring was properly in place. He felt the hard, familiar loop of metal in his fingers, and no sooner had he done so than the trinket lit up like a beacon, the gold inlaid wire acting like a lightbulb filament and casting bright illumination onto his hand. Glancing down at the water's edge, sure enough, he saw the outline of a wooden chest just below the surface. "There we go," he said with a smirk. "Once again, the numbers paid off. Give me a hand, would you?" Shield waded down into the shallows and grabbed the nearer of the two handles, heaving against the weight of the sunken box. It was impossible to know the quality of the contents, but the coins within were definitely enough to weigh the box down.
  5. Shield

    [F19] Morning Star Alchemy- R7 Alchemist

    Shield returned not too long after placing the order, entering the shop and checking the completed orders. Indeed, he found his Safeguards and gave Jonathan a brief nod. "I appreciate it," he said, tapping the items and selecting the option to store them. They vanished from the counter and Shield gave his paladin a nod of thanks before turning and exiting, not wishing to impose himself where he was not wanted any longer than necessary. He made his way to the floor exit and called out the destination of 'Taft.' He was one step closer to being fully stocked for what would hopefully be the next several boss raids. "I'm sure I'll have to make the rounds again before too long. It's impossible to do anything level appropriate without a mountain of buffs at the ready these days..." [+5 x Safeguard Potions]
  6. Shield

    [F22-PP] Floor 23 Boss Meeting

    Shield paid little mind to Beat, focusing rather on the substance of the discussion. Beat knew him well enough by now to know how he would feel about his attitude on the meeting, so him saying anything would only derail things. His eyes followed the speakers, and he nodded, leaning forward on his elbows with his mouth resting on his hands. There were a lot of things to go over, and the discussion was already divided on opinions, which was not surprising. A lot of people tended to bring a lot of different perspectives to the table. However, there was one thing that he definitely agreed with so far. "I think Baldur is on the right track," he began, inclining his head slightly towards him. "Whatever we think the most likely situations are, we prepare as best we can for all of them at once. I have my suggestions for how to arrange parties based off of that principle, but there's probably still a lot to discuss before we get there. In general though, just because there are so many possible sources of status effects, in addition to a piece of backup equipment and a TP crystal, everyone needs to have Antidotes at the ready. If people are short on inventory slots, I will remind them that merchants do sell Dimensional Backpacks to give you a sixth slot." Leaning back in his chair, he took a deep breath. "In any case, there is another option, though I do not know how likely it might be. It is possible that The Council are not treated as separate entities; each round, one of the members could either be proc'ed by player actions or else trigger randomly, perhaps by way of the dice weirder. In that scenario, it is very much possible that we will fight all 'six' at once, where The Queen is actively fighting as a main boss and the The Council serves as a single support. Whichever situation we think is the case, it will dramatically change the roles and how they function." He ran his fingernails through his stubble, trying to figure out if there was some sort of clue that might indicate whether any of their theories held more water than the others. Unfortunately, the only option he had was to meta-game. "I suppose we just have to weigh possibilities of which trend we think is most likely to be violated," he said. He extended a finger, beginning to count the possibilities aloud. "There is the trend of exceeding target limits. We have already seen this violated even as recently as the Freylise fight. If we want to use that as a precedent, Freylise's crows were only minions. It is very much possible that a similar relationship exists, where Queen is main and Council are adds with low HP and weaker attacks." He held up another finger. "There is the tendency of number of actions, where generally there are only one or two main things that seem to be happening at once. I think it unlikely that this principle will be violated. Even Bialas, who was one of the most complex bosses to date as far as I know, only had battlefield effects and then attacks, so I think it most likely that their actions will be limited." He put up a third and final finger. "Then there is the tendency of a single entity counting as a single target. If the council were to act as one, with a single action among all of them and a single hit point pool, then that would violate the trend. There isn't a precedent for this being violated in prior fights to my knowledge, so likely the only way to gauge this is how likely we think the others are to be violated." He put his fingers down and looked around at those gathered. "The way I see it, one of those is going to be violated regardless. With five council members, we can't have all three maintained. So which do we think is most likely?"
  7. Shield

    [F22-PP] Floor 23 Boss Meeting

    The room was filling quite nicely, with many veterans now joining in as well as a few floor boss rookies. It was both worrisome and encouraging at the same time to see the new faces. The front lines needed motivated players, but at the same time, there were always risks, and experience was one way to help balance them. There are a lot of X factors on the field... Let's see how this plays out. Beat had not yet joined them, nor had Teion and some prominent members of other guilds, but there was much to discuss. Shield stood and raised his hand to request that the conversations wind down. He waited until those gathered had noticed before speaking. "I realize that not everyone is here yet," he began, gesturing towards the still open chairs so that whoever had not yet found one could do so if they desired. "However, there is much to discuss, perhaps more than usual, so I feel we should call the meeting to order." He opened his prepared document and his dark eyes lowered to the display window to skim its contents as he spoke. "The aesthetics of the boss room, though potentially inconsequential, are striking for a number of reasons. It's typical for boss rooms to be dark and silent before entering, but even the outside door itself is so ominously dark that the torches around it did not illuminate the surface. Furthermore, the silence we heard was preceded first by unintelligible whispering that ceased as we drew near, and it seemed that there were multiple whisperers. It is also worth noting that the field bosses seemed to be some manner of official guard and made mention of a council, the idea of which was supported by the round table inside of the boss room itself. There were five chairs, and on the table five objects which I will get to in a moment. Also within the room was a garish, crowned skeleton of some queenly figure, accompanied by a carven message in the stone wall behind her, 'Long Live the Queen.' I think most of you will agree, this is already an intimidating set of circumstances." His tone was steady as he relayed the details of the boss room, but there was a weight to his words. Many players present had been in many boss fights. He did not want them dismissing this fight as old hat. "It is unclear if 'the Queen' sat in one of those seats, but given her separation from the table and that she was chained to the wall, it seems more likely that the council overthrew her. "Now. To the items," he continued, scrolling down on his notes. "There were three rolls of parchment, a pair of dice, a glowing shield trinket, a handful of potions, and a crystal ball." He paused to let the others process the new information before proceeding. "Five types of items, five seats. If I had to make guesses, the council is likely meant to parallel raid parties and their different roles," he continued. "The shield trinket likely belongs to a tank, which may either intercept hits or punish players who attack other targets. I would assume the potions likely belong to a healer. The dice weilder likely has a wide array of either attacks or battlefield effects. The scrolls likely belongs to some wizardly being, which could mean anything from high damage to battlefield control to status effect dealing, or perhaps a different scroll for each." Again, Shield paused to allow the information to set in before finishing his thoughts on what they had seen. "The crystal ball... I must admit I am at a loss over. Predicting the future seems impossible in such a setting, though I suppose it is possible for Cardinal to read attacks and actions in real time and then cancel them as a trigger. A cancel caster could be devastating in crucial moments, but that's pure speculation. "Finally, there is the matter of the number of opponents," he said, his tone indicating that he was nearly finished and would be opening the floor to discussion shortly. "It's unclear if the Queen will be involved in the fight at all, and even if she's not, there's no saying for sure if we would face targets individually or all at once. However... seeing as councils are not councils without being gathered together at the same time, I would suspect that we will be fighting at least five targets at once, if not a sixth. That exceeds the cap of AoE sword art targets, not even considering the possibility that attacking the others while the tank still stands could carry real consequences. We may be forced to whittle the council down individually while still taking fire from multiple targets. No matter what, this will not be a typical fight." He sighed, reducing the size of his notes to bring his attention back to the assembly. "If you have thoughts on what we may be facing, please share them. We can decide how to arrange parties and prepare resources once we have our guesses on the table." With that, he sat, relinquishing the floor and becoming just another member of the gathering.
  8. Shield

    [F22-PP] Floor 23 Boss Meeting

    Shield nodded to the two paladins as they entered, being very careful to maintain an air if cordiality with Jonathan in particular. It was taxing always feeling now that he needed to walk on eggshells around him, but he knew better than to expect that particular hatchet to be buried any time soon. There was still the matter if Hestia's questions. "Which role you play will depend a lot on whether we're short on healers it short on tanks," he said, trying to assess the situation as best he could. "Usually, we're short on healers, so you likely won't be put in the position of main tank unless we get more people playing support. If things get bad, we need people who can focus healing on the main tanks. You would have to either burn consumables to get in a solid heal or else pull heals from another group." He frowned. He had hoped Hestia might be able to main tank as well, but the more he talked through it, the messier that seemed. "In any case, this is just personal opinion, but my thought on healing in boss fights is 'heal early, heal often.' The closer the boss gets to death, the worse things will get, so staying on top of damage early means being in less of a dangerous position once the big hits start landing." Next came the matter of Jonathan's question. "Hestia, Beat and I found it," he said, nodding towards Hestia as he mentioned her. He did not know what else to add to the answer, so he let it go at that. With Jonathan, there didn't seem to be any real right answers anymore, so he stayed to the point as much as he could.
  9. Shield

    [F22-PP] Floor 23 Boss Meeting

    Shield raised his hand in greeting to Hestia. Upon hearing her question, he shook his head. "You did fine inviting Domarus and Pin. I know both and don't know that anyone has qualms with their attendance." He sat forward in his chair, thinking through how best to sum up what Hestia might need to know ahead of time. "As far as what to contribute, you'll know when the time comes. Generally, the planning is more or less simple. We form raid parties around tanks, then assign a support too each and distribute DPS around them. There's usually some nitpicking and shuffling around of players, but that likely won't be the bulk of the meeting. Most likely it will be a lot of theorizing and coordinating of resources." He checked the time in his menu display. It was still early, so there was no need yet to worry about tracking anyone down. "I've invited as many of the regulars as I could think of, as well as everyone who attended the prior meeting. Let me know if you think of anyone else."
  10. [Before You Post:] The morning was crisp and chill on the wooded hill beside the Celestial Ascendants' guild hall. It had been a while since the Ascendants had hosted a proper planning meeting in their own halls for anyone other than guild members, so Shield was making one last lap around the homey little building before sending out the notice. With a nod of satisfaction, he pulled up his messaging window and sent out the message he had been drafting: He dismissed the window and headed inside to the meeting room, summoning out a dozen or so extra chairs from the guild's storage. It had even been some time since so many players had simply gathered around the table together. The last time had been in preparation for Tesseleth, which had also been the fated meeting where they had learned of the passing of a long-lived and well respected member of the guild. It was difficult to put his finger on why, but a part of him felt that the guild had never completely recovered from that incident. Since then, one Paladin had stepped down and left entirely, one had fallen away from his brethren - to the point that he no longer seemed able to be in the same room as Shield - and the others Shield had barely heard from other than in passing. He glanced down at his hand, extending the palm to invite his colorful serpent familiar to venture out onto his palm. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us if we wish to properly rebuild, Lilith, let alone keep moving forward. I just hope we can make some sense of all of this." At the previous meeting, Shield had attempted to make sense of those who were going to be donating supplies and lending their crafting skills to supply the front lines, but it had proved to be less helpful than he had hoped. The only notes he had up and prepared were the details he had recorded from the actual boss room. Nothing more. "I'll make some suggestions as we gather, but it's not productive to try to police all of that. We'll just see how this all goes." Lilith stared blankly up at him with her slitted viper pupils, flicking her tongue in his direction. "Oh, what do you know?" He lifted his forearm, indicating that it was time for the lither reptile to return to her refuge in his sleeve. He took a seat at the circular, polished table with its rising sun crest in the center and waited for the others to begin to arrive. @Beat @Hidden @Sey @Hakai @Calrex @Teion @Hestia @Morgenstern @Jomei @Stryder @Zandra @Telrenya @Hikoru @Itzal @Baldur @Ariel - The Crowned Lion @Macradon @Hirru @Ruby
  11. Shield took a deep breath. He had already begun settling back into the zen state of mind that came with a fishing trip when he saw the familiar face enter the hidden area. He raised a hand to greet Pinball just as his line snagged something. He moved both hands back to the pole, straining against what was clearly a decent sized fish. He landed the creature which fell apart at his feet into two thick, meaty cuts of fish. He tapped the air in front of them, bringing up their menus and selecting the option to store them away with the other things he had managed to find. Finally, he was able to turn his attention back to Pinball. "Good to see you again. I trust you've been well. How's my order coming in your shop?" The manner in which he asked was not an urgent one. Merely a matter of curiosity since he had not personally checked in on the matter since placing the order.
  12. Shield

    [PP-22] Sword and Board (Shield)

    "I have to admit, it's a little strange to hear you potentially leaving the mercantile trade," Shield said, shifting back in his seat. "Granted, I know you haven't been super active in your shop, but still. In a lot of ways, it was watching you work that inspired me to start my little empire. Feels like the ending of an era." He chuckled to himself a little at the thought. "Still, I daresay we could use an alchemist on board. Those who are currently active are good at what they do, but they're hardly top rank." Shield did not wish to sound dismissive of their crafts, but it was costly to get an order out of any serious size. "I will definitely make use of your shop if you open it to the public." The matter of their fourth player troubled him a little, but that was not likely to change on its own without proper investigation. He sighed and looked down at his hands. "In any case, regarding Zandra, I will... talk to her. Perhaps I am making more of her connection to Ariel than is there. Still, it pays to be cautious. I will need to have a very frank chat with her." With that, Shield turned his cup upside down on the table. "Well, there's no reason we can't make the most of our time up here. We've gotten a lot done, but I always like to poke around a little. What do you say we poke around the wilderness and try to find a chest. I can split the Col and materials with you 50/50 and any weapons and consumables are yours as long as I have claim to any armor. What do you say?"
  13. Shield

    Benjamin's Trades from his shop

    Picking. Thanks, my guy!
  14. Shield

    Housing Evaluation

    Guild Name: Celestial Ascendants Guild Hall Name: Ascendant Hall Location: Mountains of Floor 22 Meeting Room Guild Bank Treasury Storage Vault
  15. Shield

    [PP-F4] A Deal's a Deal <<Absolute Zero>>

    With a snap of his fingers, Shield's serpent familiar popped up out of his collar and sank her fangs into his neck, injecting him with the healing 'venom' that she naturally produced. "Thanks, Lilith." His hand closed around the blue crystal that formed in his hand, and as he crushed it, his body dissolved into the air just in time to miss the snapping jaws of the massive fish monster. He rematerialized just in front of Pinball, sighing with slight exasperation. "Waste of resources, but there was nothing for it. Without my gear even I have weaknesses." With that, he turned to the other player. "Shall we keep hunting then? There's bound to be something around here." He turned towards the lake, following its edge and keeping his eyes on the water to see if his eye could catch sight of anything submerged below the surface. "There's got to be something around here."