Saturday, October 31, 2009

Take care everyone - taking a wow vacations!

Recently I have been very very bitter with AOC and quite frankly I am making an ass of myself with all the complaining. No one wants to see that. I have decided to unsub and take a "WoW" vacations (well not really WoW, perhaps some other mmos on the market like DDO or Fallen Earth? No idea yet). Patch 1.5.6 issue have finally broken my back as I can't even PVP with freezes, massive FPS drops (AOC used to be smooth of medium settings for me) and lag spikes. As solo pve and pvp player I have no content to enjoy and I have found myself logging every other day to do one mini and log off (along with bitching in guild chat). Games are to be enjoyed and if the magic is gone then its time to move on. Since I am so into Conan lore and Hyborian world I will be back at some point after more content have been introduced to the game. So this is more of a "good bye" than "farewell". I would like to thank the whole Assassin community - you guys are great, I have greatly enjoyed your company on this somewhat bumpy ride in Hyboria.

All the best,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

[Guide] Critical hits on openers

People <3 big critz. We all do. Assassins have 3 ways of increasing their critical hit chances which are:

Dark Inspiration +25% chance to crit on opener - Swift Strikes
Sense Weakness +25% chance to crit on opener - Slow Death Strikes, Grimm Corruption, Lethargy, Impede life,
Opportunistic strike +500% chance to crit on opener - any non-feated combo

So what "opening attack increase critical chance" really means?

Combo critz and critz
First of all lets get two things straight: in combat regular combo critz are shown as orange. You will see all sort of big numers flying by as you go through your combo animation. The regular critz are shown in white. Go jab someone with a dagger - sooner or later a bigger white number with pop up on your opponent's left side. That is a regular crit. As for "opening attack" or "opener" crit it is the same white damage, but it goes of after you pressed your combo button.

Lets say you have grim corruption which is one step combo: if you press your button that grim corruption is bound to AND your target is within your reach the combo step icon with light up in a green color, which means "opening attack hit the target" and "there is no damage penality if you land your grim corruption by pressing the combo step button".
That first combo damage is called "opener". Sometimes the openers will crit with extra damage, but if you want to see a lot of that happening I suggest you get one of the above mentioned feats.

Sense weakness + Dark inspiration
They are basiclly the same feats, but for diffrent trees and diffrent combos. Those are passive, but NOTICABLE crit chance increasing feats. Once you have those you will see your openers getting those critz a lot more often. Dark inspiration is a lot better than sense weakness for one simple reason: it buffs up your Swift Strikes combos and those are used all the time, unlike SDS and GC which both have horrible cooldown. Just rotate diffrent ranks of SS to see those numbers rolling. Sense weakness on the other hand can grant you "crit chain" when combined with Opportunistic strike (more on that later).

pros: great, cheap passive damage increase for your combos
cons: they won't crit if you really need them to ;p

Opportunistic strike
Despite its description (+500% to crit?) it just critz all the time (like 500% should..). Using OS gives you 15s buff that will work on your next opener, so if you miss it you still will have time to benefit from the buff by using another combo.. There is just one trick: it won't work on combos that are gained through feat trees so no critz for Death Whirlwind, Blindside, Anthropy ,Snapkick or sabotage armor.

pros: great, cheap passive damage increase for all combos. Works when you need it.
cons: way too long cooldown (1m), won't work with feated in combos

How to take maximum benefit from high critz chance?

Crit chain
Since your openers have such hight crit chance it won't be uncommon for you to see them criting one after another. If you go Grim Corruption (crit) + Impede Life (crit) + Swift Strikes (crit from OS) you will see that you have quickly builded up a lot of extra damage with fast combos (both GC and impede are one step combos). If you do those while buffed with Lotus overdose you can get quite the burst of damage.

AOE damage
Critz will go off on any nerby opponent that is within your reach. Opening with Impede life, which has nice cone efect, will first apply crit on several opponents and then damage and debuff them with aoe.

AOE debuff
We can all agree that lethargy sucks, no doubts about it. This crap is still one step combo that benefits from sense weakness and applies poor excusse for a debuff (-6% to melee which is marginal at best). Still this is a very fast combo and when confronted with several mobs it will be benefitial for you to damage them with oppener and debuff quickly before going with Swift Strikes

PVE and PVP applications
All three of those feats are valid in both PVE and PVP. Skipping on those in any builds is stripping yourself of bonus, burst damage that might save your hide more than once. They are all 1 feat points and should be squized into your build.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First look at veteran rewards

Lets forget and forgive all about old and to be honest - unrealistic - veteran system (the one with special feats and skills etc.) and see what FC cooked up for veteran rewards.

The UI
You vet points come in a form of tokens. You can check on those via new UI put next to your gold. Clean and elegant. Please note that is says "tokens" and not "veneran tokens". Perhaps FC plans to add some more of special tokens to be traded for stuff.
As you can see I have +200 tokens. I have been subed every month since day 1 so I can aford to go nuts and stack up on everything. A kind gesture of appreciation from Funcom.

The vendor
Vet vendors look like regular vendors. No VIP treatment with red carpets being rolled out before me. If anything I would put the vendor into Conan's castle and make him a cool looking npc. What we got is acceptable and understandable: FC clearly went with accessibility and put the vendor in each of main hubs.

The goods
If you click the screenshot it will bring you up the description of majority of the rewards. They are pretty self explanatory so lets just go over few of them.

The spells

Once bought and learned the rewards are displayed in the compations tab. I have no idea how arm enlargment is an companion, but its rather preferable to keep the social stuff in one window.
As you can see my character is a smaller guy with posture fitting agile assasin. There is a really big ass NPC in Khemi so me standing next to him can tell you just how much the enlargement spells will make you grow. After using enlargment spells you get gigantic. Both spells give you 10m buffs. I can see a lot of people using this - expect roid-rage Barbs to walk bare chested...all the time. Oh and your mount grows with you - imagine what that will do to the already huge mammoth. Not my thing, but cool non the less.

The dummy
It is strangely satisfying to beat the hell out of dummy. Great for passing the time while waiting for the mini...or practiting your circle strafing ruitine. A welcomed addition.


Now you can take part of Kheshatta with you everywere! This pet sadly won't pop your opponents out of stealth (as Kheshatta hyienas do all the time), but beats kitten pets any day of the week. Now you too can have one of these majestic and noble stink bags following you around.

Casilda (or whatever)

Who could resist the charms of this freaked out, pale junky cheering at you gutting people in foregin lands? Well here is the problem: the second you go into combad Casilda disappears! What is the point of her cheering if the said cheering takes place when no bloody deeds are commited?? I think we have all expected her to mirror the first 5 level of Tortage: you slaughter people and she is making you feel good about it. If I would have to complain about something - this is it. I would also give players more generic hoe, it will look kind of silly for everyone to "own" Casilda and have dozens of her clones walking around. But then again we all know how it would feel to get WTF-PWNED by 20 man-zerg with 20 Casildas cheering at your sorry ass getting beaten.

This is what we will probably see a lot for the first weeks: all buffed up, with pimped out swift mounts and Casilda-hoe following people around. Reminds me a lot of GTD: SA where you could also get some pretty freaky muscles. I am just sure that minigames will be filled with all buffed up characters ;p

To sum it up:
FC finally have implemented the system and the core is there. Current rewards are not breath taking, but also there is nothing really to complain about. The swift mounts are going to be fairly common now, but then again they are not that hard to get anyway (3weeks of tier3 mats grinding would easly bring you that ammount of coin). Looking foward to Funcom expanding this in the future with social clothes.Please, no more teleports and thumbs up from me!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Assassin's hideout podcast - ep.5

show notes:
- random thoughts of a bored player
- something to look foward to in the future

title of the post is a link to the podcast.