Saturday, November 28, 2009

Age of Conan Free Trial

The AoC free trial has lured me back once again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The current state of Age of Conan

So, I promised a big post. I did quite a bit of dueling on Saturday and Sunday and really must say, the strategy around 1v1 has changed *significantly.* We simply lack the killing power to really dominate 1v1 without being extremely cautious with our cooldowns. What do I mean by this?

Well... if you're fighting a ToS (for example, since I just so happened to fight one about 20 times last night...) there are a few major factors that come into play.

1) Did you open in stealth?
-In this case, the answer is no. The answer is no, because we were dueling... so it almost always began with FtD and eating a Charged Bolt which isn't necessarily fair, but neither is starting with SA.

2) Do you have Lotus Overload?
-My specs are a little outdated. Lotus Overload is an ABSOLUTE MUST if you want to fight any caster now. It makes their life difficult, and buys you breathing room to save those heals until after your opponent lands a crit.

3) Did you use your cooldowns correctly?
-Basically from what I've seen... going against melee, you want to use your cooldowns extremely aggressively. You want to get them behind early and use it to your advantage while you're going for the kill. The complete opposite is true against casters. You want to avoid using cooldowns until you can get them at ~50-60%. You want to then lock them to death... which would be the same old FtD->Death's Gaze->SS->Snap Kick->GC(or SS if you used SDS after step 1.) If you think that the fight is going to be decently long, you can blow Snap Kick early and it should be back up by the time you go in for the kill (depending on how much damage you're taking.)

-Take a look at these, and then think- how long is the fight going to last? Take an average of 10 or so fights and see how long they lasted... use that to figure out when you need to use those cooldowns. Things like Snap Kick, Lunge, FtD, etc... these are what effect your burst damage. You're not putting out 2k+ damage with FtD anymore. You have to plan ahead and plan to play perfectly.

Here's my new build. Lotus Overload is IMPORTANT.

These things seem simple but it took about an hour of dueling to even get back in the groove of landing combos and not whiffing like a fool (which I continue to do now and then, still in WoW-style syndrome.) This sort of leads in to my next section for this post:

Someone asked: Where have you been?
Real life: I started a new job in the past month or so. It's been relatively slow but quite time consuming at the same time because you always want to make a good impression. Still in NYC, no change there.

WoW: I played WoW mostly from when I stopped playing AoC until now. I was gladiator in season 3 on my druid... broke top 10 a couple of times in season 4 (shoulders and all) but ended up quitting a few weeks before season 4 end and not getting gladiator.

A new patch has been released for WoW... 3.x, which is absolutely insane. All of the new Wrath of the Lich King talents are in and everyone is silly overpowered. It's fun but at the same time it kind of makes you wonder where the game is going. My fall back has been doing a 5man instance or two to have a little fun or doing battlegrounds waiting for the Wrath release (which is November 13th.) I must say I'm getting that sort of giddy "new expansion" feeling from WoW right now but I'm hard pressed to believe it will last so I'm splitting my time between WoW and AoC. If anyone wants to look me up, I'm Viia or Hiies on Mannoroth now.. having left Hellscream, and then Staghelm.

War: I played War for about 3 weeks. I leveled a warrior priest to 30ish and was extremely disappointed as a whole. The game is very much like WoW, without the polish.. and AoC... without the amazing game mechanics. I just couldn't "get into" this... but it did take up a little chunk of time.

AoC: As I said I've been splitting my time between WoW and AoC the past couple of weeks. I'm primarily waiting on an AoC server merger and then hopefully a "real population" will exist again. I *really* wish AoC were a more popular game. It's phenomenal and completely revolutionary but some of the areas are just really not well balanced (instances and Raids come to mind... as being quit lackluster...) and with the way the game is designed it makes it hard to "keep people around." It's always been the case with MMOs- you want to be where the people are. I think they should have stuck to small scale instances as whole. 10 mans (sort of where WoW is going these days) seem to strike the balance between grouping and manageability. Smaller groups and instances are easier to handle, easier to test, and thus I assume easier to produce. I don't know how to get people back to AoC or how to keep them here, so I'm really at a loss. I'll continue to play the game part time and continue to absolutely love it, but the social aspect just isn't as strong as I would like it to be.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Return to AoC

Hi everyone.

I've recently returned to AoC after a long hiatus inspired by a new career, WoW, War, and a few other little distractions along the way.

My first impressions after returning are, in a broad-to-narrow view:

-There aren't a lot of people. The population is hurting a little, but the game is still just as exciting and fantastic as it was before. I think with the way combat was implemented (even post patch- referring mainly to AoE melee) was fantastic. The design as a whole was revolutionary and it brings with it a visceral feeling when you're in combat.

-Wow, the combat system has changed. If I had to pass judgment immediately I would say it's for the better.

-Assassins still feel pretty good. Combo priority has changed (a lot) and a lot of our broken abilities have been fixed. I haven't quite figured out "how" to PvP or PvE most efficiently yet (again) but I will, and when I do I'm sure you'll see a post here.

-I am missing a chunk of detail. I don't know which items are good, which tradeskills are good, where to farm for gear, where to raid for gear, who is raiding and who isn't, and so on. Keep that in mind regarding anything you read over the next few weeks.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Updated Hybrid PvP Build

Since I'm respec'ing back to Hybrid from Full Lotus, I figured I would share the small changes to my previous build.

Evii's Hybrid Build

I've made two changes:

Old: 5/5 Cat's Paw
New: 2/5 Cat's Paw and 3/3 Accelerated

Impede Life was made useful with a -500 to natural regen, it basically eliminates non potion regeneration. Impede Life also happens to have a long 60s CD, Accelerated helps out with that. It also helps with Grim Corruption and Slow Death Strikes.

Old: 5/5 Unholy Armor
New: 5/5 Dread Weapons

I've more or less moved away from playing defensively with this hybrid build with the exception of Golden Lotus Extract. When you're deciding which of these talents (Unholy Armor or Dread Weapons) to pick you're looking at two different concepts of defensive... one being healing and the other being mitigation. Mitigation to me hasn't proven to be "that" useful... at least not for this build. So you're trading mitigation for offensive power as you have GLE to backup your leeches and make up for the ~10% invuln loss. For a full corruption build I would certainly recommend 5/5 Unholy Armor and the general feats to increase it even further because you lack GLE for burst healing.


Obviously the state of these builds will change as bugs get fixed and skills are reevaluated but as of right now I see zero fat or questionable feats in this build. Everything looks very tight, with the exception of the 10 "necessary evil" lotus points required to get deeper into the tree. I stand by what I've said before that the hybrid spec is by far the most effective PvP spec out there for an assassin.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Assassin Resurrection

So, I'm back from my gladiator run. I'm playing my Assassin again and there are a few things I would like to cover.

Female Attack Speed:

Funcom has stated in no uncertain terms that the "white damage fix" is in, and that they've normalized it. The "combo damage fix" is significantly more complicated and will take awhile.

Okay, the way I understand it is they didn't adjust animations at all yet and they simply made white damage normalized (ie we swing slower as female characters, we hit for more damage...) The problem with this, especially when PvPing is that a lot of time is spent white swinging (ie slower swings) so you can build up combos, the combo time itself doesn't actually matter much (it still matters)- because when it lands, if you don't move... all of the hits land regardless of how fast the combo fires off.

So, this fix isn't really acceptable... not to mention the fact that if I press Q for LL attack, and then strafe and press Q for LL attack, the animation is still significantly faster resulting in 2-3 additional LL attack swings every 15s. Now, I'm still leaving this up in the air until we see the final fix but as of now I'm not impressed.

Full Lotus PvP:

I did some mild testing tonight with this spec:

Full Lotus Build

It's been quite an interesting experience. The build definitely doesn't have the one shot "oomph" that you get every 1 minute with full corruption/corruption hybrid but it certainly has its perks. The build for me has been mostly about DPS'ing someone (even healers) until their hots drop/they've used their big heal, throwing down curse of the lotus (so they don't re-hot themselves) and going in for the kill.

The DoT damage does add up if you have SDS IV/GC 4/GC 3/Lotus Weapons/Flesh Rot/Kidney Shots... I went primarily with spell invulns in the general tree due to the fact that I don't (and haven't really had) any problem with melee classes as it seems to come down to skill/knockdown resist cooldowns a lot of the time.

One PoM fight in particular went about two minutes where we were sparring back and forth... all of the sudden he didn't have HoTs on and his big heal/immunity was down. ~15s later he was dead on a Kidney Shots->GCIV/SDSIV/SSX.

Female attack speed is still up in the air.

Everyone needs 5 points in Excellent Balance. I don't care WHAT spec you are, having 5 points in this talent is invaluable.

Escape Artist really is extremely useful, despite how much I've ignored it in the past. It's more useful I feel in a full Lotus build where you don't have From the Darkness to close the gap when the root wears off. In a full corruption/corruption hybrid I still see it as "fluff."

Curse of the Lotus is extremely fun/easy to use- the AOE fear/ranged fear catches most people off guard and it's a good way to make sure HoT's run their duration.

As expected, Swift Ending and and even moreso Assassination at 80 are extremely potent when combined with Flesh Rot/Lotus Weapons/Deft Blades. I knew this at 60 when I first tried them out, but wanted to reaffirm this position at 80.

Lotus Overdose is much how I originally predicted- more or less a stamina regen skill, which if you use correctly can also be used for burst. That being said, I've used it for mostly keeping ahead in stamina and chasing people down.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Chase Corporate Challenge

During my blog lockdown one of the activities I've participated in was the Chase Corporate Challenge. Check out the details here.

Chase Corporate Challenge

3.5 mile run through central park. A great time was had by all. I look forward to putting in quality assassin posts when I'm back on Tuesday!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Blog Lockdown

My blog is on hold for one week and will be back next Tuesday.

So in the place of a long, informative, detailed post... you get a good one liner:

If you Double Tap S and hold Active Block, you evade. A lot.