Saturday, November 24, 2012

[Guide] Critical hits and all things related

If anything assassin is defined by his burst damage and such is granted to him via critical hits. Of course what people call "critical hit" is a little bit more complicated and I will try in this post to show you what is going on when you see big numbers flying around your screen.

First of all you have to understand few key stats:

Critical Rating - your bread and butter. Critical rating simply gives you  a % chance to preform critical hit. Considering you have 0% Critical Damage Rating your "naked" critical hit will increase your damage by 50%. 

Critical Damage Rating - it increases the damage of your critical hits.

Critigation Chance - the receiver of the critical hit has a percentage chance to do a critical mitigation(Critigation).

Critigation Amount - it the receiver of the critical hit rolls successfully on hit critigation chance then critigation amount decides on how much of incoming critical damage will be mitigated.

Tenacity - Tenacity counters your targets Critigation it the receiver of the critical hit rolls successfully on hit critigation chance.

With me so far?

Pretty much Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating are what we could call "synergy" stats meaning they are best when stacked together.

Same goes for Critigation Chance and Critigation Amount .

Just having high Critical Damage Rating (bonus critical damage) won't do you whole much good if you have very low chance to do critical hit at all.

Also having absurdly good Critigation Chance isn't worth anything if you have marginal Critigation Amount .

Critical hits and bonus critical hits as well as critigation and critigation chance behave same way both in PVE and PVP. 

Tenacity,on the other hand, is a completely different beast because it works ONLY in PVP. 
There are two sources of tenacity: tier 2 and tier 3 PVP gear and assassin's golden perk called "Master Assassin". Stacking said PVP gear with master assassin perk gives 105% tenacity total which means that your critical damage cannot be all.

So what all that means for assassin class?

- Critical Rating is all around great stat and you should always try  get more of it.
- Critical Damage Rating only good if you already have high critical rating, otherwise it has very limited use.
- Critigation chance is only good if you have a lot of critigation. Assassin class should accept their critigation chance that comes from PVP gear and not try to actively pursue trying to make said chance higher,
- Critigation amount - assassin class can't get enough critigation gear and critigation chance to make anything, but minor impact on their survivability. Assassin is not a tank.
- Tenacity - works best when you already have great critical rating, critical damage rating and PVP T2-T3 gear with master assassin perk. In this optimal scenario you will take full advantage of your crits which won't be mitigated by your opponent. It takes significant time and effort investment to get those optimal conditions (gear + perk) but in the end it is worth it (you WILL see the differenece when fighting a tank class).

Now two pvp scenarios that will show those stats doing their thing:

Scenario #1:
"Assassin jumps poor questing Guardian who is wearing his Khitai gear. The assassin, being asshole he is, attacks from stealth and the hit crits adding 50% damage to already impressive numbers. Since the assassin is wearing critical damage rating gear his out of steal th attack gets even more boost adding damage on top of 50% increase coming from crit itself. But the Guardian, being the tank he is, is not defenseless. As soon as assassin launches is treacherous stealth attack Guardian rolls on his critigation chance and since he is in tank specc his roll is successfully and critigation amount kicks in to mitigate assassin's massive bonus damage. But this assassin have not came unprepared either: just as Guardian's Critigation Amount was about to mitigate part of assassin's critical damage the Master Assassin perk grants that sweet 105% tenacity (yes, that extra 5% is an overkill) and the critigation amount get bypassed. Assassin deals stealth damage + 50% damage + x% bonus critical damage"

Scenario #2:
"PvP lvl 2 Necromancer dressed like a clown, in his blue and green trader-trash items, is about to mount his horse. The sneaky assassin decides that nothing says "pro" more than running up to that Necro and using Death's Whirlwind. The Necromancer, blindsided by this unconventional attack, gets crited and since the assassin is wearing critical damage rating gear - the Death's Whirlwind gets even more boost adding damage on top of 50% increase coming from crit itself.
The critical damage and critical bonus damage goes through Necromancer like a hot knife through butter and, since he has not critigation gear, the critical damage and critical bonus damage are dealt in full. The assassin is using Master Assassin perk, but since the Necromancer has no Critigation gear the Tenacity has nothing to counter and has not effect on the outcome of the fight".

So as you can see Critical Ration and Critical Damage Rating will always help you in every fight, while Tenacity will only have an impact on those opponents that can actually have gear with critigation stats to counter your bonus critical damage. 

To sum it up:

- Do always get Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating gear
- Get Master Assassin perk only when you already have at least Tier 2 pvp gear, otherwise settle for much better Sins of Flesh + other perk.


 1-09-2010, 06:16 PM        #17
Systems Designer

Ok, there seems to be some confusion about this topic. Critical chance and critical damage bonus don't really have anything to do with this topic. If you do a lucky roll and get a crit the critical damage bonus is applied.

Now after this is done this is where Critigation, Critigation Chance, and tenacity comes in. The receiver of the crit has a percentage chance to do a critical mitigation(Critigation). This roll is just to check if you can mitigate the crit or not. If you mitigate the crit that is when tenacity comes into play. Tenacity counters your targets Critigation. Because players are the only ones that have Critigation; Tenacity only works on players.

Both critical damage bonus and tenacity will help the attacker in a pvp situation.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

[Guide] Skills & Perks - the pvp essentials

 In this post I want to talk a bit about some skills and perks that are not exclusive for assassin class, but they are pretty much essential for successful pvping as assassin. 

Dash - this skill is available to every class and it taps into your stamina supply in order to convert it for energy. How often should you use it? Every damn time! As of now stamina is almost meaningless resource and it will be super rare for you to be even close to being out of stamina in pvp.  Therefor your energy pool will always be more important than stamina. The best practice is to be watching your energy pool closely and use dash every time your pool is about half consumed. If you use dash too early some of the energy will be wasted. The idea is to keeping your character mobile and in order to do that you have to manage your energy in most efficient manner. Don't be afraid to use dash all the time. It is not a skill that should be used when you are out of energy, but rather one that is there for you so you will never run out of energy. That is the difference.

Rest - post energy revamp rest became ultra effective when it come to rapid (and I mean it: rapid) health and energy restoration. Rest is way more effective than whatever you can get from your average healer. I have rest bound along with my health pot and stamina pot so when I am using it also triggers my heath pot. Rest is the essential tool for assassin's style of play: run out of the fight, rest up, stealth and rejoin the fight. With rest it really pays to be doing the "hit & run" tactic. Just make sure that your are not moving when trying to use rest because otherwise it will go on the cool down. Also you can't have any dots going off and damaging you. Have it on your bar, use it often.

Hide - assassins are kings of stealth combat. Why? Because assassin will deal 1 x face stab damage with every stealth attack and still not have face stab miasma to go on cool down. Meaning? Meaning you can do the stealth attack and use face stab at the same time and that translate to instant 2 x face stab. If you are using unholy stabs (+15% critical chance) and necrosis (+15% damage) and are topping if off with +5% damage from passive perk then that can easly translate to some serious spike in your dmg out put. So not only you are destined to be taking advantage of stealth attack/face stab mix, but also stealthing around protects you from being targeted by opponents. Best part is that you can still use avatar/lotus overdose and liberation while stealthed and not have them break it. Meaning? Absurdly buffed 2 x face stab + stealth attack. It is a great tool and one that simply cannot be used too often.

Finely Honed and Tainted Weapons - this is how Ilaliya dev from Funcom explains their usage:

Originally Posted by Viraxis View Post
As anyone gotten these feats? I am wondering because I have a couple of questions.

1. Does Finely Honed let you remove or break through different classes invul "bubbles" or does it just work with stuff like mage shields?
Finely Honed works on mage shields, and the "barrier" spells in the priest AA trees (each priest class gets a barrier spell as a major perk).
2. Does Tainted Weapons remove all HoTs running on target and if so can they immediately get them back if a healer spams them again?
Tainted Weapons removes all "Green Heals" the "Blue Heals" and health potion effects, with a single use of Tainted Weapons on the target. These may be all recast immediately, assuming they are off cooldown / once they are off cooldown.

I have to say that some times I will switch Tainted Weapons for Avoid Entrapment (also pretty nice perk), but I am always going back to TW after a while. I am always using FH and TW at the same time for maximum effect. When fighting healers the usage is pretty obvious: wait for the heal to go off. When fighting other classes I like to use FH and TW early on to soften up the target. The key lies on consistent usage: use it well, use it often. I have those perks bound under alt +2 and alt +3 and smacking them during PVP is my second nature. So much so that I am using it in solo PVE (for no reason at all) and this mind set is some times problematic in group PVE when I will use FH & TW on the Boss but out of habit rather than when needed to (yeah, I caused some wipes because of that :X). 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

[Guide] Critical Damage Rating pets

Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating (along with Critigation and Tenacity) will get it's own post soon enough. Today I want to talk a bit about how to maximize your damage output as assassin in solo PVE and open world PVP via pets. 
If you get proper gear (like Brittle Blade and Hyrkanian daggers) along with proper feats (Corrupting Strikes) and perks (Pressing Strikes) and top it off with Acute Striking potion and a combat pet then you can get around 44% bonus damage to your critical strikes. That is pretty scary when you consider that assassin can get +25% critical strike chance pretty easily. It translates to shit ton of damage. 

Gear can be farmed and Acute Striking potions are common drop in all solo instances.

Collect those potions

What about combat pets?

You have pretty much two options: Kappa or Furious Spirit.

The most important thing about this pet is how easy it is to get. Most people got it for free with ROGS expansion, or bought it via in game shop (there is no way to get this pet from pure game play). The Kappa pet will give it's user one of the three random buffs. One of those buffs is the red one (Kappa's Fortune) with +155 critical damage rating and +31 Hit rating. The biggest advantage of Kappa is that it's buffs are permanent and instant which means that as long as the Kappa is up you will always benefit from it's buff. The problem is that the buffs are random and to cycle between them (to get the one you want) you have to
re-summon the pet. This is super inconvenient. While using Kappa I find myself annoyed trying to finally get the red buff (some times it is first time around and some times it takes 4-6 recasts). When I finally get the red  I feel discouraged from using any other Khitai pet (like one of the Lotus pets), because I am dreading re-summoning Kappa again and getting the right buff. Also using Khitai pet instantly removes Kappa's buff and unsummons Kappa. Kappa is looking OK, but it is super common.

Furious Spirit
This pet, on the other hand, is very hard to get. In order to get it you need to get 3 skulls which are generic loot from House of Crom dungeon. I have only seen the skulls dropping from 5 bosses in HOC (the duelist, the mage, the trapper and so on) and still it is a very rare drop. I might have been very unlucky but it took me and my group about 5-7 attempts on each boss to get 3 skulls (so around 25 boss kills). Those bosses are on 60 minute cool down so don't expect to get all 3 skulls the very first time you go to HOC. After you got your skulls all you need to do is sacrifice them on pillar in the middle of HOC threshold and kill the Cross Roads King boss (the fight, compared to other threshold encounters, is decently challenging). The King will drop the pet that you can then learn and summon - provided you win the roll :X
Furious Spirit is fundamentally different from Kappa. The Spirit only gives one buff which is same as Kappa's +155 critical damage rating and +31 Hit rating. The buff is not instant but rather it is a proc based on Spirit's attacks and it lasts 20 seconds. Yes, the Furious Spirit is a combat pet in true sense because it does 7-31 slashing damage (comparable to other pets like wolf, tiger or bird). The proc is pretty common and yet unreliable: some times it will proc every fight and some times it will be every other fight. I find the buff procing enough, but in that regard Kappa, with it's permanent buff, is superior. Spirit's biggest advantage comes from buff lasting 20s: yes, you can stack it with things like Gray Lotus pet for absurdly high damage gain. Using the Khitai pet will unsummon the Spirit, but it's 20 second buff won't be removed. The other thing worth mentioning is the ease of use: you can cast your pet and always get same buff that you want. Because of this I am using my Khitai pets much more often now.
The Furious Spirit also looks wicked cool (a ghost with a sword in a worn out armor) and honestly would fit Dark Templar or Necromancer more than Assassin. Beats Kappa.
An example of stacking Spirit's buff with other buffs for max damage

There you have it: use either Kappa or Furious Spirit, it will really add an edge to your damage.

Friday, November 2, 2012

40.000,00 served

 Another milestone for my character has been reached: 40.000,00 pvp kills. It's a decent number however I have seen some assassins boasting few more back in the days when reported on kills (those were the days...). It took me 4 years to reach this number so it is on average 10.000,00 yearly kills. So how was the "killing business"  back then and how it is right now? I have decided to dedicate this post to my personal ponderings about the state of pvp in Age of Conan.
It is lonely as hell in here...

I still cannot understand the decision to the remove the premade groups from the pvp que in order to make it "noobie" friendly. It does nothing (just like goggles on a cat). The majority of pvp games are still played the old school way: one side has crushing advantage over the other and the whole thing ends up in bloody mess. The only difference is that GOOD games are very rare now days. What do I mean by good games? Competitve matches between two well balanced, well coordinated groups. I had those games back in the premade days when my team was matched against other premade, or better yet: other guild. This was fun on so many levels: the social aspect, the competitiveness and the tactical coordination between group members.

Now days random minigames end up mostly in:

1/ one group crushes other and farms them for 20 minutes on the respad
2/ one group crushes other and then runs the flags asap
3/ one group farms kills while the other runs flags

It is very rare to have a struggle between two groups. Needless to say the randomness of the groups and the perceived anonymity of the Internet encourages jackass behavior. The very second anything goes wrong in the game people are ranting about how "everyone sucks" and "fuck you's" are exchanged freely. I NEVER had this problem with premades: we fought together and either claimed victory or suffered the defeat. We have shared happy moments and bitter taste of the lose, but I was never verbally abused by a team mate. Now days it is a common and my /ignore list is quite long.

Some will say: but Slith, premades are still possible, why don't you go do that? And I will say: it is a cumbersome system that makes you work hard for exactly same rewards as regular games. I like the minigames because it is a easy, convenient system. I don't want to spend 30 minutes putting together a group and then finding other group that have spent same time preparing. It's just bad and that is why no one is using it. Oh believe me: I  CHECK the premade tab on daily basis just to make sure whether there is a group that is waiting for a challenge and there is never a one. And for a good reason I might add: if there is a system put into game and that system is not used then who's fault is that? Players or the Devs? I would say the Devs have created content that is utter most repulsive to the players. Players, not matter how many people post how they "enjoy pvp for the sake of pvp" generally want a carrot on the stick to keep playing. If there is no reward for more time consuming content (putting together premades) then people simply won't be using it.  Make it good and we will come.

But I can manage that. The real problem is this:

A nasty side effect of premades removal is a total isolation of pvper in terms of social interaction. Back in the days of premades I knew tons of people that I was grouping with on a regular basis for PVP. Now days I hardly know people in my guild and the only AOC friends that I interact with are people on twitter/facebook and members of Assassin's Hideout community. This is simply mind blowing considering that I am playing an MMO and that, as my blog/twitter/facebook/forum indicates, I am a very sociable fellow. I want to befriend people in the game, but I simply don't have opportunity to do so as PVPer. I do a PVE grouping from time to time, but those are few and far between. PVP is my bread and butter and there is simply no venue for social interaction withing current PVP content (unless you are considering strangers calling you names a "desirable social scenario"). This isolation of PVPers have lead to many of them leaving the game which only reduced the pool of people that I interact with inside AOC. THIS is my main woe when it comes to current state of the game: I don't get to be social in the context that I want. Yes, I can socialize while doing raids/dungeons but I don't want to do that content. Yes, I can do PVP content which I love, but at the same time I don't get to socialize at all. I miss the days of crazy ventrillo talks between minigames when me and my team mates we were talking over previous games and planing the next one. This aspect of game was taken from me and I miss is dearly.   

Pretty number, but here is to 40.000 more!