Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dagger and a bowl of rice: Khitai report ep.4

I think I have pushed myself too hard with the expansion content. Still I cannot afford even basic blue item (I am at 118 tokens and need 182 totally), but I have came to the conclusion: so what? I am no longer grinding Brittle Blade faction, but rather picking up random quests and enjoying the content as a whole. Yes, factions are important, but those are NOT the content itself. The content is story. Going though the quests I am reading every line of text and I am enjoying it. Back in the days of AOC I have been putting my headphones up, turning on some podcast and while listening to it I have been grinding the quests without much thought. I kinda regret that. My idea was getting to max lvl ASAP so I could start doing 80lvl pvp. With Khitai expansion that doesn't matter at all, there is no end to the content. I don't really need any faction items for PVP and I can do the quests fairly easly with the cultural set I am wearing. So apart from getting mastery points (which is something that happens on it's own, I have no control over it) I found myself just enjoying the locations and the quests and those are delicious. I have found a Hyrkanian girl turned into a Tiger, a guy who pretended to be scholar and tricked me into killing humanoids so he can devour the brains I have brought him before my very eyes, defended Pin-Pin against weaves of Wolves of the Steppes and escorted protitute to the Warlord's camp. While those might not be epic quests I haven't been bored by a single one so far.That is good enough.

Over time I might just get the gear I want (altho prices are OFF THE HOOK), but it will happen as a result of my journey through Khitai and it is NOT the goal of itself for me.

I am almost done with all non-faction quests Grass Land and looking forward to exploring Chosain a little more.
Apart from that I am trying to do every single random encounter on the journey to the Khitai. Those are simply jaw dropping. There are basically 3 types of encounter quests: island ones, boat/diving and desert. So far I have dived to explore sunken temple, fought the Kraken, stole the supplies from the pirates and cured the sick sailors with the herbs I found the the island. I my only wish is that FC allowed us to explore the locations a little more. There is nothing I would enjoy more than checking out every inch of some lonely island in the middle of nowhere.

So if you are still trying to MAX OUT on some faction my recommendation is: don't, take it easy, enjoy the story and reap the rewards...over time.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dagger and a bowl of rice: Khitai report ep.3 EPIC FAIL

It's been a well established tradition at Funcom to NOT quick fix exploits that are game breaking.

Before I spill my guts over latest and loudest lets go over two other most spectacular exploits:

The purple rain - probably most known out of 3: the demons in Potain were dropping epic items like candy. People farmed the demons for days, stuffing several alts with nothing but epic items. The economy took a major shit and FC had removed the world epic drops from the game.

Fixing time: several days

Tarantia Commons Sisters - this is how people got swift horses for all of their mains and alts. You went to the bridge in Old Tarania and jumped down from the one pillar that is climbable. After you swam to the Commons you went to the beach were sisters were. Each mob had 5s respawn time and was dropping several eggs (each worth couple of silvers). That place gave EASLY 10g per hour (for melee classes, casters could pull of even more). To top it off low levels were jumping into water and after being invited to the group they were leeching MAD XP (avrg. 15 lvl per hour on pre 50 lvl and 3-4 lvl post lvl50). There is still quite a number of people with +1000g pices in their banks.

Fixing time: several WEEKS

and we are finally at today's item:

Gloom forest - you get a quest near the infamous gloom forest with a very low cool down. Basically you can get reward every 2 minutes or less.

Allow me to elaborate: for doing one faction quest you might get ONE of those tokens as a reward. Some times a mob MIGHT drop ONE of those tokens. What you can see on the screen above are 100' stacks of tokens - on two pages. You take those to faction NPC and you can trade it for faction rep.

Right now farmers are RANK 4 (top rank) with several factions. Since FC won't patch the game it is almost guaranteed that some will MAX OUT on all factions. This is not some hidden exploit, its a wide spread, well known, THE way to make faction rep. People will LAUGH at you if you do faction quests.

Now you would wonder: how badly would UBER fast token farming would affect Rise of the GodSlayer?

People are already running around geared with faction stuff and their epic mount. Let me dumb this down a little more: people have DONE all the content, it is finished, beaten so to speak.

Today is may 24th, welcome to the RISE OF THE GODSLAYER.

What FC is doing about this?

Update Notes for Update 2.0.3
**These notes do not necessarily reflect the final version that will be deployed on Live**

* Several quests that did not previously have cooldowns will now have them.

This patch notes are from Test server. The fix for this abomination of an expansion is waiting idly on the test sever. Apparently people haven't farmed enough already.

And to top it off: it is not a KEY quest in game, its a shitty little quest from random NPC.

How about REMOVING the NPC Funcom? Just let people get few more tokens and fix it, kk?

After people have farmed all the rep in the world all they have to do is kill golem (open world boss that is player spawned and very easy to beat) several times and they can afford whatever gear the want. Just like that.

This got me thinking: how on earth would 1,5 years of expansion development could result in such a major screw up? Why wouldn't FC respond to the farming with a SWIFT and DECSISIVE action?
I cannot answer that without dropping at least couple of F-bombs, because I spent last week talking my friend into trying AOC again since FC is a different, more competent company now.

Please keep that in mind when thinking about buying Rise of the Godslayer and  the rest of you - have a nice evening at Gloom Forest,

nothing beats sunsets at Gloom Forest.

just to be on a safe side: I didn't do any farming and inventory shot is not mine. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dagger and a bowl of rice: Khitai report ep.2

Factions, are they great addition to the AOC game play or is faction rep just boring, mindless grind...for itamz!

I am going to say it: I like factions. There, I have said it. Yes, there is an element of repetition in quests (which I don't mind), but you need a lot of rep for best stuff and FC cannot be expected to invent hundreds of faction quests and still keep them interesting. I rather re-do quality stuff than take on "kill 10 snakes" quests. The ROGS content is HARD and getting rank 4 with factions should also be HARD, especially when the gear is really worth it.

Let's go over what I do like about factions:

1. Items for the taking

ROGS brings many different tokens, but it boils down to this: you need tokens from factions to buy faction gear. All factions give same type of token as a reward for quests so it's possible to be doing quests for Yun and still buy Brittle Blade stuff. FC gave players a choice: do quests, get what YOU do like. Don't you hate it in MMOs when you are doing some bullshit quest chain only to find out that your healer can pick from following rewards: Plate of Tanking, Axe of DPSing, and Rings of Stats Useless For Your Class. That's bullshit.

With factions if you put in the time in the end you will get your items. Like always. Without fail.

For me it made all the quests "worth doing".

The amount of stuff to chose from is what I don't like: did FC run out of items? Yes, you can get armor for each tier, BUT not all factions will have an armor for your class, and even if they do have it: it might still not suit your style. You can get Weapons and Accessories, but all of them are RANK 4, so welcome to months and months of rep grind before you can get 1 item. FC should have made the W&A items also with different ranks and scale their power like they did with armors. You are not a raider? Then you will be stuck with your blue culture crafted, gem stuffed weapons and accessories for another couple of months. Sorry!

2. Factions background

The factions are very unique and diverse. You can't mistake one for another. Here is my personal breakdown of factions most interesting for assassins:

Priests of Yun - spooky bastards (ingame quote). I love their dark vibe. They are often found either dissecting the dead or praying to their skull faced emperor of the underworld
You might be interested in: ring and several pets in a form of lotus that damages/stuns your opponents or heals you.
Brittle Blade - coolness factor 11. Not only they are sporting best looking assassin armor in game, but also have amusing NPC quest givers (checkout the guy in Grass Lands - fat assassin :D)
You might be interested in: armor, ring with protection death tree pet (syphons mana and stamina)
Shadows of Jade - they are thieves, plain and simple. I have joined them in the beginning, but after a while it felt like no matter how hard they are trying they are just not as cool as Brittle. Imagine this: Brittle Blade asked me to kill Jade's officer and to stuck Brittle's banner over his body so it looks like "an act of senseless aggression" (I guess quest giver didn't want the Jade to think that Brittle was simply executing some one's contract and that it wasn't personal when it totally was).  
You might be interested in: armor with high dex. Their armor looks very plain compared to what other factions are sporting. I especially don't like the mask.

What I don't like: special mounts (tiger and wolf) are given by factions that are uber assholes: Wolves are dumb, ruthless raiders and Tamarin's tigers are ruthless too, but also cannibals. I don't want to raid barns and make "woo" (in game quote) to the peasant girls nor I would like to "feast on our enemy's flesh" (side note: if you are weak your ass will end up in a stew for all Tamarin's to enjoy for supper). I have picked my factions based on two things: items and how they are relating to my character. Even thou I don't RP in my mind my character is pretty rounded up and I just can't see him joining Wolves or Tamarin's. In my mind its something that he would just not do. I know that it is pretty silly, but I can't commit my time and effort to a faction that I don't like (I have betrayed Jade and Yagkosha while having 20k faction in both, just because I didn't enjoy the story and feel). Still I do want to explore "epic quest" leading to your epic mount. Perhaps one day when I have everything else I will join one of those factions, but as for now - can't see me doing it now.

I have imagined (for some unknown reason) that Tamarin's Tigers will be monk-like faction, more on the spiritual side. Giving epic pets to two "asshole" factions is certainly interesting because I would never even consider joining them otherwise.

3. Quests

Ah the faction quests: there are no "Yes, *click*, yes, *click*, goodbye" dialogs in ROGS. You really have to read the text and think atleast a little bit. While talking with Hyrkanian NPC (those fuckers love their horses) when asked to prove my raiding skills I have ansered: I don't want to ride some stinking animal to prove anything. What happened? The NPC took offence,scolded me for saying it and removed 300 faction rep. Nice! Another time I had to get back stolen gold for Last Legion from...Jade (thieves). They only way to make them pay was saying that the gold will aid Last Legion and in the end will strentghen the Empire. Jade needs strong Empire with it's people's pockets full of gold in order to steal from them.

The quests themself are also pretty interesting game mechanic-wise. In one quest for Hyrkanians you have to get yourself bitten by a cobra 10 times and get back to shamman so he can extract the posion from your wound (they are tipping arrows in that stuff). So you go find yourself a cobra and as it strikes you you get posion stack. The trick is: getting 10 stacks before you die or the cobra dies (you need to hit it in order to get the stack) and to kill or stun/fear cobra on 10th stack because you get 5m debuff that will let any mob oneshot you. The debuff is removed by shamman when you are returning the quest. 
Other great quest to mention is defending Pin-Pin against Wolves of the Steppes raids. You simply go to the barricades with other soldiers from Last Legion and together you are pushing back the wolf raiders.

You can checkout all faction's rewards on

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dagger and a bowl of rice: Khitai report ep.1

The expansion is here and I want to share the good word: FC did not disappoint (as it used to, like a lot, for a long time). Lots of ideas are going through my head because the very first feeling you get when you log in is the feeling of being overwhelmed, but in a good way (as opposed to being overwhelmed with bullshit in Bori).

But lets start from the beginning:

The gates are semi open
Again FC had a rough start. There have been some down times and threads going up to 150 pages filled with complains. I guess some things cannot be avoided and FC have really put in the time and effort to bring the servers back. There are some technical issues like zone crashes, lags, low FPS, but no worse than what patch 1.5. As I type this the servers are down for the update (you thought I would write anything if I could play now? Suckers!). Since the content seems to out-do what aoc have already been (at least in zone size, those things are HUGE) ROGS could might as well be its own game and that is why I am not holding FC accountable for the launch problems (and as influential blogger I could do just that). We will see how FC will address the rest of performance issues.

Road to Khitai

If you wish not to pay for the caravan to Khitai then you can accept the job of a guard. During your travel you can encounter one of 9 random Those are rather short, but very fun and they are adding sooo much flavor to the game. You see, Hyboria felt very very small because traveling from Aquilonia to Stygia took a mere second, when in fact it should have been a very dangerous journey. When going to Khitai you will see the deserts and the Vilayet sea  and that interruption will make you realise how far you are from homeland. I think that it is a superb idea and it adds immersion - something that aoc lacked greatly, especially in the begining.


I have mentioned the feeling of being overwhelmed: it comes from the many layers that Khitai is made of. Virtually every of your action will contribute to some goal and will reward you in the end. I used to be my main woe with Age of Conan: once you hit lvl 80 all I could do is slooooooooooooowly grind pvp xp in minigames and if no minigames were up then I would do villas without any purpose.

Right now everything will reward you in some way. Lets say that Shadows of Jade gave you quest to deal with some Brittle Blade assassins. By killing the mobs and finishing the objective you will get:

1. Faction rep. with Shadows of Jade
2. Mastery points
3. Quest reward
4. Token and other drops from mobs
5. Guild renown points

Mature themes
FC did not mess around. The expansion is not all bloody (aoc is already just that), but it builds on the mature rating of this game.
In one quest Brtittle Blade assassin was insulting me and the quests text was done in such a way that I really took offence and felt like ripping his head off. He did not call me a clumsy oaf, but instead he vividly described how my character's mother mistaken the dog for her customer and how my faction elders- The Children of Yag-Kosha, are molesting new converts (!!!). Another example: one of the NPC mentioned how his mother smiled to him the night she was pulled apart by horses as punishment for the crime of adultery (according to Hyrkanian law). The limbless torso kept smiling in convulsions. What the hell? Now that's some dark shit.

I am, in fact, oversimplifying it, but once you play the ROGS you will see that its much grimmer than classic Age of Conan. 

I am jotting notes as I progress in the new content so I hope to have some structure in these reports. Until now thats all because the servers are up and the Wolves of the Steppes need some killing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Assassin's shideout podcast - ep. 15

show notes:

- first impresion of Khitai content
- AA system

title of the post is a link to the podcast.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wohast shares his wisdom

I am hereby giving you an interview with THE MAN who is using a mouse for everything, he puts the "bling" into "bling-bling", the bruiser and the abuser, the original party starter, the hero of the past that can still resub, pwn ur ass and love ladies at the same time,

now I know what all of you are thinking: Bill Clinton is a clicker?

I am talking about Wohast, the legendary assassin that made using a mouse in pvp look cool (at worst: half decent).

1. You were one of the first 80lvl characters in Age of Conan. Were you power leveling just to get to the end game fast?

1. I leveled to 80 pretty much 100% solo.  Every once in a while I would get lucky and a grind group would let me in...that only happened maybe 3 or 4 times though.  Since it was summer I was able to play a lot and instead of screwing around trying to kill other lowbies etc, I would just find a good lesser known camp and grind my ass off.  Since I was a few levels ahead of the majority, the zones would be very quite and I could go hours without any trouble.

2. You nickname was "the clicker" and in fact in your movies you were using a mouse instead of keyboard. What's up with that?

2.  I first started off as a clicker 100%.  Watching my own videos helped me see the strengths and weaknesses of 100% clicking, so I started adapting to a mixture of clicking and keybinds.  By my last video you can see pretty much everything has a keybind that is very close to the WASD keys, and during fights I use both methods.  Overall I found that the mixture of the two styles was perfect for me and didn't gimp me at all.

3. When did you quit AOC and what was the main reason for doing so?

3.  I quit AoC right around the time when the gem exploit took over, which was also around the time that gems got nerfed.  I spent a bunch of $$ on a few pieces to complete my suit, and later that night I found out that they were all made for pretty much nothing using the dupe method.  At the time I was probably one of the wealthiest players in AoC with around 550g, and losing a hundred or two of that buying duped items that cost the other person nearly nothing really pissed me off.  Funcom did nothing about this exploit and no one was ever punished.  Once Funcom finally did decide to nerf the hell out of gems, all the hard work and money that went into my suit was 100% for nothing.  It had nothing to do with me going from ultra dmg gem suit to nothing and being gimp...I proved in many videos that I could perform the same running around naked.  It all had to do with the fact that Funcom completely took away something from me that I spent TONS of cash and time on and I got nothing at all in return except some armor that was worse then crappy green drops.

4. Tell us a little something about ENTOURAGE? No one dared to copy that idea ever again. It was kinda appealing. How was it working out?

4.  Entourage was the main reason I had so much fun in AoC.  We had a full T2 city, we all worked hard to help out, and we all shared the same idea...screw raids, PvP only.  None of us cared about PvE/Raiding, if we wanted that we would play WoW.  All we wanted to do was PvP, and since we were able to get some of the best gear in the game without having to PvE, we saw no point in doing it.  I got the idea from back when I played DAoC.  Stealth guilds were very common in that game.

5. Any good story involving you, Fatwa and Mephs? Any memorable pvp encounters that you would like to share?

5.  It's been so long that nothing really sticks out.  We were always outnumbered in the fights we chose and 2vs4's, 3vs6's, etc were all very common.  The main thing that sticks out with Fatwa is his forum trolling lol.  With Mephs the main thing that sticks out is dueling him a bunch, because I know how bad he wanted to beat me lol.  Unfortunately for him I don't think he ever got that satisfaction haha :P

6.Would you consider going back to AOC? What would have to happen with AOC development for you to return?

6.  Now that I just got a new Alienware M15x, I would consider trying out AoC again if I ever got a free trial or something.  After a game screws you hard twice like it did to me, it's very hard to trust them again with your dollar.  Getting your email the other day made me watch all my PvP videos again and made me miss the fun, and i'm kinda curious to see what my guy still has on him and how the guild city is.

7. What is your history with mmos? Played any before AOC?

7.  Started MMO's with UO played about 2 years till they screwed it up.  Played DAoC as a stealther class (shadowblade/hunter), and played that for 2-3 years and again quit when they screwed PvP up.  This is where I knew that assasin/hunter/stealther class was what I loved played.  Played AO for a few months.  Played SWG a few months.  Played WoW as a Hunter and got 80.   Then went to AoC and played that till till they screwed it up.  Right now i'm messing around with Mortal Online beta since its free.  Gonna give SWTOR a shot when it comes out.

8. Why assassin? That class was generally considered gimp.

8.  As I said before, stealther class is what I loved and had the most fun with.  The only thing I didn't like about stealther classes in AoC was that they couldnt see other stealthers.  In DAoC if you were stealthed and you ran by another stealther person, depending on your skill lvl you would see him for a split second and could attack and bring them out of stealth.  Made assassin vs assassin battles a lot more common and funner.  I played the gimpest of the 3 assassin classes in DAoC and made it work, so despite hearing all the talk about Sins being gimped, I knew I could do it.  After seeing our abilities end game, I knew this class was gold, and it was just a matter of using all our abilities and showing the community how overpowered we really are :P.

Never heard about Wohast?

Obsessive–compulsive pvper and pvp movie maker

[PvP Movie] "Gems McGee" - Starring Wohast
[Video] Wohast Present's his FIRST REAL PvP Video: "WohTF" - Did that just happen?
Wohast’s “Almost Deleted” PvP Movie  

Leader of most unique guild in recorded aoc history:
[ENTOURAGE] Wohast’s Tyranny PvP *Almost* Exclusive Stealther Guild (It has Begun)

The video in the beginning is Wohast's very first "gank and spank" video and it's been a great source of inspiration in my quest for lvl80

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Step lightly...and carry a sharp pice of metal

I swear it: the wait is killing me. What wait? THE wait for the freaking RISE OF THE GODSLAYER is killing me.

What else is killing me? Expansion bill for Collectors Edition, all the addons and hosting bill for What was I thinking? I might not be broke just yet, but I just spent good coin on my "internetz hobby". Way too much. You can all feel bad about yourselfs (no donations will be accepted, go away).

In other news: I have offically quited doing any Bori and my time is split between doing little Villa/Cellar and the minigames. I am enjoying this mix of solo PVE/PVP and the expansion will supposidly enchance this experience so things are looking up.

I am also very pleased about doing fine (close to 100 users now). I am suprised thou that no trolls showed up...yet :P Seriously, we have good thing going there.

Furthermore I am experimenting a little with Lotus/general build with mixed results.

So thats it for this little update - I will be doing reports on ROGS and AA system for Sins once the shit hits the fan and the gates to Khitai open >:D

Until then: step lightly...and carry a sharp pice of metal.