Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Offhand proc

I was contacted by Mystique (who’s name may or may not have been inspired by Marvel’s X-Men) to do a post on offhand.

Few facts:
- base offhand proc chance is 10% (naked, without gear)
- for every 5 dex you gain 0.1% chance to do offhand damage
- offhand damage proces from Main Hand Weapon , not your offhand Weapon
- offhand damage can proc even if attack is blocked/parried/evaded
- stance damage (+unholy dmg or poison dmg) is added to offhand attacks

Offhand definition:

Offhand damage is an extra damage that can proc from main hand weapon that is used in both combos and white hits.
Offhand damage will proc only once, but for your viewing pleasure it will be broken down into many pretty numbers to clog your screen and stroke your epeen.
In a nut shell offhand damage gives you chance to dubble your damage output.

http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=105050 by pants
for all details visit the provided link – it’s the definitive guide on offhand proc.

Monday, December 29, 2008

PVP lesson in mastery

Everyone had one of those minigames: your team is beaten left and right, you get insta-killed and it seems like everyone sucks. I had game like that today. Unfortunatley I forgot the golden rules of true mastery and made an ass out of myself, for which I had to apologize. Long story short, here are five golden rules that will get you closer to being true master in PVP:

1. Let your weapon do the talking - dagger through the skull says more than thousand words. Don't talk smack even if you can back it up - bad winer is worst than sore loser. Don't be cocky..

2. Accept that you won't change people - Anthony Robbins spent his whole life trying to discover how to affect and change people throu Linguistics - so far he haven't found his holy grail. So if Tony couldn't hack it, sure as hell you won't change people by typing few words on the screen in a minigame that went wrong - especialy if those words are "how come you suck?". People do all kinds of crazy shit like joining 80lvl minigame at lvl63, but they just don't know better and pointing out their flaws won't make them better.

3. Endure and in enduring grow strong - it is my favorite quote by Dak'kon from Planescape:Torment and it's a true one. Bad games happen, there is no way to avoid them - instead of ripping shit apart endure it, the game will end eventualy and you will be glad you kept few things to yourself.

4. When in doubt, say less - this is a good one. In minigames when you are not tying "gg", "gj team" or "flag room" you are probably typing something that will make you look like an ass so just go default and type less, less...

5. Nothing to prove - the most important thing: you got nothing to prove, you are here to have fun. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with a little competition, and having competitive mindset will give you an edge in PVP, but don't let it consume you and get you down.

You know what, screw it, go for #1 and have fun along the way with all skull spliting, but just don't be ass to others. This is what this post is all about.

Upcoming PVP changes

In reply to the [Suggestion] Revamp mini games down at Test Live forums, Didek - Age of Conan Developer - gave us a little sneak preview of minigames changes:

The minigame tiers will be adjusted for patch 1.04. Level 80s will have it's own tier.

PvP exp for participating and winning is in the works but I can't promise when this will go in. Quite a few other changes are in the works as well

Don't forget there is a new GUI for signing up in patch 1.04. This should make it easier to get games up and running.

Sounds good to me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beating the dead horse

The VirginWorlds podcast collective did some more Age of Conan bashing (oh there is a shock). Our only media outlet - Hyborian Herald Podcast - died quite a while ago, but other members of collective came on AOC pretty hard in their yearly review (can't blaim them for that). Check out "Massivley speaking", "No prisoners, no mercy", and "Spouse aggro" for some good podcasts related to MMOs. In "Massivley" they had a part of the show called "new year predictions" and one of the host accualy made a prediction that AOC will go "belly up" in 2009 same way the Tabula rasa did in 2008.
On another subject - I kinda envy the Lord of the rings online crowd - apparently lotro is one of best mmos around and their new expansion is a killer. Too bad I am not a fan of lotro lore.. It kind of sucks when you play the mmo everyone (including yourself) shit on...Crom laffs at all of us..

Friday, December 26, 2008

EU and USA assassin community joint post

Every wanted to post something on US boards? (probably not..) and would you like to ask your EU friends on EU boards a question? (hardly). Now you can!
The Assassin community joint post in US and EU boards - hit the link and post whats on your mind and your friends across the pond will be able to post a reply in their own thread. It's magic!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Minigame bugz

Because I want to do more than bitch and whine I have been doing my share on Test Live forums to help DEVs clean the game from the bugs.

I think that video material will help the Devs much more than just couple of words in the post so here is my report:

1/ First part shows that after respawn my HP is 0, I have pernament shield on me, can't attack, can't be attacked, can't log. It is third time this happened to me over period of 2 months. I have seen this affecting one other player

2/ Second part shows me getting under the map after being knocked back on the ramp. I think FC is already aware of that.


The screen shows Necro spellweaving behind the pillars in the halls minigame. If Necro was blocked by lets say guardian or BS it would be unkillable by melee. It took 3 of us attacking necro 1-by-1 to get him killed. Clearly it is an exploit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

6 months of FAIL

I have decided to do 6 months reviews of Age of Conan development from PVP Assassin perspective - this will be one of many reviews because I am sure I will stick with this game to the bitter end.

The good:
Client - Funcom impoved the stability of client which is like ..."meh" because I have never had problems with it. I guess the FPS rate got better so I can run this game on medium and enjoy fluent PVP. Good job here.
Rating: 9/10

The bad:
Crafting - crafting is nonexistent in this game. All I do is craft some food for my personal usage and thats it. Gems are broken beyond belief so I did not even bother to progress any further.
Rating: 1/10 EPIC FAIL

Itemization - Ever since I did about 15 epic KESH runs I am wearing same gear - Midnight set + PVP lvl2 stuff. If you don't raid you will have nothing to upgrade your gear. Everyone looks the same. Funcom boasted about their freaking 1500 armor sets and social clothing, but I yet have to see them.
Rating: 1/10 EPIC FAIL

PVP minigames - minigames are broken. People play on the same map over and over, Totem Torrent is out of the question and there are no rewards for capturing the flag - if you go for them I usally means you are getting you ass farmed and your team wants to end the game quick. There is no deepth to minigames. I do minigames and I do them a lot, I just wish they were better.
Rating: 4/10

PVP XP - Its harder than HARD to progress in PVP XP - instead of having few tiers where you get new gear and bonuses FC made getting to lvl 5 super hard and time consuming. After all that killing and XP farming you get you assassin set which will make you look like stygian WHORE. Also FC allowed "guild leave + farm your guild mates" which allowed total noobs to farm their lvl4 in matter of 2-3 weeks. FC ignored that issue regardless of player's feedback
Rating: 1/10 EPIC FAIL

Class balance - Just roll Necro or a TOS FTW. TOS got 6 month of non stop ownage with +3k critz while being a healer and Necro get insta crits from spell weaving and there are no signs of nerf coming.
Rating: 1/10 EPIC FAIL

Criminal/murderer system - it is broken. You will get flaged criminal for defending yourself.

Open world PVP - log on, go to KESH, zerg or die. Here is your content, enjoy.

Guild dyplomacy tools - There are none. There is no support for guilds and server politics in AOC.

Guild city - Ghost towns. Same crappy buildings with bare walls inside them. Fun!

RP support - beside GMs that take actions on petitions regarding naming violations there is no support for RP in this game. We got fancy emotes but we can't even sit in a tavern and drink a beer in a WORLD OF HYBORIA FOR FUCKS SAKE! Lack of social clothing makes it even harder.
Rating: 3/10 (for emote system)

80lvl content for non Raiders - you can grind Villas for crap money. If there are no people for minigame you got nothing to do except bitching on guild chat.

Updates - it takes for ever for Funcom to do any update. I understand things take time, but they could do small additions to keep the community happy and they don't. Bugs also take for ever to fix (female attack speed being the prime example).
Rating: 2/10

Keeping the dates/giving out ETAs for updates - they doesn't.

Don't care about:
I don't care about PVE/Raid content. I don't have an alt so I haven't done any Ymir's pass quests. Raids are just not for me.

I know this 2008 review was very negative, but I wrote how I feel about game and FC - in six months they could do SOOOO much better. Funcom has a lot of work to do in 2009 - I hope my next review will be exact the opposite because things will take turn for the better.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cunning deflection will mess you up

See the topic? I mean it, don't even fuck with cunning deflection! Let go over it right from the begining:

Cunning Deflection feat:

It is 15 points into soldier's general tree with 1/1 point investment. The feat's description:

here is what was happening to me: I was whooped by few soldier class players more than once - they have literaly beaten me to bloody pulp in matter of seconds regardless what I did...oh, wait, not really - fighting them was making things worst, I could dance and block their damage for quite a while. Being sad little noobie I never gave it much thought - I beat certain classes easly, soldiers can beat me right? Well no, things were too inconsistent, there were soldiers that I was taking down without much sweat. First I thought - it's gear, it's all about their epiXXXORZs and farmed PEEEVEEPEE itamz, but lvl70-something guardian that was beating me over and over changed my mind. The frustrating thing was that I wasn't losing to CC, or superiror combat movments - death was very sudden.
Finaly THE MAN aka Kamukoira opened my eyes with his [Soldiers] Cunning Deflectionthread.
He have posted screenshot where non damaging fear spell - The curse of the lotus - made soldier proc HELL on him in a form of cunning deflection. Check this:

After reading that I went to my combat logs and saw all that damage procing on me, and not being dealt by the soldier player himself.
1/ Preloaded GC
In this screenshot I wanted to snare my opponent with preloaded GC which did whooping 318 DMG.
I got 1.379 DMG in return. My HP buffed with food is roughly ~3700, meaning I got down to 2/3 HP before the fight even started.

2/ Dots
Turns out I don't even have to "touch" soldier (in a very special place) - mere 66dmg dot proced 626 DMG.

The above screenies are just crap I took in the minigame before posting this, and I wasn't even trying to make CD look so powerful, there are people who did that part for me:

Tests that were done:
Icoyce and Odinffs went out to test the crap out of cunning deflection and here are the screenies- one is for 12 hits proced from the DOT. DT that helped testing confirmed that all damage was done instantly. Hope FC works things out.

Discuss it here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

PVE stats work in PVP

Since I have seen people questioning the fact that PVE stats apply to pvp quite a few times I have decided to post it and create new TAG - PEEVEEPEE aka PVP:

"The PvP stats are PvP-only stats, general stats will work in both PvE and PvP"
- Jayde, Funcom system designer

People don't see stats "stacking" with their PVE ones in PVP tab and assume that assassin's unholy armor ressistance doesn't protect us in PVP - it does.

What you won't get is PVP gear helping you in PVE scenario vs mobs.

to sum it up: PVE and PVP stats stack in Player vs Player scenarios.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lotus 50-60lvl

The build:

1/ First drop 2 points into Kidney Shots and Sense weakness. Those two give most “bang for the buck” as for mere 2 points Kidney shots can add up 118 piercing damage and Sense Weaknes will add +25% crit chance to your combo openers (lethargy, GC, poison strike, Impede life).

2/ Next build up Assassination up to 5/5 – it will grant you +15% offhand when target is close to death

3/ Shift ending up to 5/5 will buff your DOTs like lotus weapon and flesh rot

4/ optionally – if you haven’t already – drop 1 point into excellent balance

As you go on you might feel like your HP is going down too fast when fighting mobs – don’t worry, at lvl 70 you will get additional 3,5% res vs all melee damage which will help a lot.

tip: Kidney shots grow stronger as the buff stacks with every hit, when you get 5x fire off OP for a very big crit. Assassins luv critz.

Moses is not coming (Happy Birthday AOC? )

Yesterday AOC hit 6 months. I have no idea why would anyone celebrate someone's birthday 6 months from his birth also when that someone is an MMO game. I am not going to troll in that "happy" thread but the game is in shit state right now, the servers are bleeding players and the mythical 1.4 patch shapes up to be an ass and not our MOZES. There is nothing to celebrate yet, all get back to work.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chillwhisper Analysis Thread Links

Chillwhisper down at US assassin board made a thread with links to all of his analysis posts. Some of them were not reposted here so make sure to check that out - lots of interesting stuff.

Current state of AOC

Things turned from "nasty" to "sour". *sigh*

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lotus crit rate

There was some oh-not-so-great post on Test life forums calling for assassin nerf because of their combo starter crit damage. The thread starter suggested that assassin with both OP and SW (sense weaknes) which affect crit rate, can deal massive damage (with a little help from other buffs) just by doing combo starters. I called bullshit on this, but then said that I will test it. I did mob test because my rule is "if it ain't working on mobs, it sure as shit won't work on people". I did quite few tests, but here are the most representative results:

Buffed SS (regular combo):

Buffed openers (with chance to crit):

With Buffed SS you get constant damage with 3 keystrokes and buffed openers will give similiar damage with A LOT of "keyboard" dancing.

Also: combo openers do not benefit from +25% range which is granted to last combo step, it much harder to land 3 x openers vs 3 combo steps to SS.

Conclusion: buffed openers crit give a mere chance to deal good damage and even when all of them crit (rate is 25%) - it is still within the realms of buffed SS. Not worth the fuss.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lotus bomb aka Curse of the lotus

This feat comes directly from Rogues in the House by R.E.Howard - there is no doubt about it. Right now the feat says "Detonates small Lotus powder bomb amongst assassin's enemies, causing them to become confused for a short period of time", but it used to have this text "and unable to tell the diffrence between friend and foe" (you can still read the original description on ConanArmory). In the story there is an ape - Thak - that activates a device that traps few "assassins" (not the "real deal" guys, some political cutthroats) in glass walls and then lotus pollen that falls on them drives them mad, causing them to kill each other in most horrid way. Apparently Funcom wanted to give us same stuff, but there must have been problems with implementation that into AOC.

Check the story, it's one of Howard's best.

Assassin lore in Age of Conan

I have decided to write few posts about Assassins in Conan lore - sadly there are hardly any mentions of them in the books except posioned dagger wielding assassins doing megacide . However Lotus tree of assassin character (my love for lotus is great) seems to be deeply lodged in the books. One of devs even mentioned that assassin char is a combination of two characters - assassin and Lotusist (whatever that means - it suggests heavy lotus usage). Keep an eye out for those updates because I am crunching on those Conan books like there is no tommorow and posting lore bits.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Patch 1.4 assassin's review! (test server content)

Long awaited 1.4 patch hit the test server so it is time for some review:

Assassin changes:
Oh nothing major....only FREAKING 50% snare to Curse of Lotus aoe fear! Great boost for both pvp and pve.

UI changes:
- Timers were added for buffs/debuff/food etc. Nice litte feat, but I hope it can be disabled as Lotus assassin has A LOT of timers it tends to be distracting.

- minigames interface allows you to keep track of how many people apply for map/game. Very nice addition and slick ui.

- massive pvp ui got somesort of callendar. I don't know much about it, but looks good.


- Treasure chests spreaded around the world are holding new phat lootz - I found only one chest, but it looks promising.

- mobs can now fatality your sorry ass. Also when you die the camera zooms on you. Nice addition, kudos FC!


I do a lot of Villas (I know most people hate them) when waiting for minigame (I listen do podcast then) - it's very relaxing. There have been two major changes to Villa content:

Welcomed one:
- NPC now drop obsidian egg (generic item, worth 71 copper) which is stackable. It drops from almost every mob, along with green item crap, cloth and 33-40 copper. Yep, Villas just became the place to grind cash - 2 mobs gave me 3 x egg = 2s 13c and
2 x 35 c = 70, so 2s 83c and after few minutes I had 10s in eggs alone. Thanks FC!

Tree of woe:
- This change is NOT WELCOMED! FC yet again made Villas EASER by nerfing "aggro radius". You can now pull mobs one-by-one regardless of how close they are to each other - same mobs used to aggro everytime when I attacked one of them. So now there is no challenge in Villas as you can Shot-to-pull, Kill, pot, repeat. I honestly hope it is a bug.

- Client is unstable. I don't really care about DX10 stuff, I rather have game running. Seems like graphical and client bugs are behind every corner.

Haven't tested the other stuff (pvp drops, new mobs in borders, new solo instance), but so far so good, baby :D

Also: I am sorry about the youtube videos, I had to make them really small because someone on my lan decided that it is porn-downloading-day and my bandwith got slaughtered.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Micro vs Macro

As AOC is very “keyboard” intensive game there comes a point where you have to find proper balance between your micro and macro.
I consider micro the buffing, debuffing feats and defensive stuff/anti cc, while macro will be using your main damage dealers and healing/stamina recovery management..

Micro skills (from now on I will refer to feats as skills as well) don’t have the generic use and in order to be used properly the user has to apply them to specific situation:

Example: droping escape artist in the middle of no were will do you no good (this is no brainer)

Macro skills will be the stuff you will be using ALL the time and whenever it is possible when engaged in melee combat (since assassins are DPS class and doesn’t have supporting skills):

Example: you want to hit with your highest possible SS whenever you can.

Also I consider “macro” the “core” skills – non feated combos.

What you don’t want to do is having whole bunch of crap skills that you forget they are even there. Here is a good example of crap PVP Build:

http://www.conanarmory.com/feat.aspx?id=1#::e2ae2fcf2e2fefe2fefae2f2efe4f25ef2ef2e2fef5efcf2: for Lotus

http://www.conanarmory.com/feat.aspx?id=1#::f30e2aedefebefef2e2fe3fe5f2ef2e2fef5cfcf2: for Corruption

People want to squeeze everything out tree and they end up with a bunch of skills that not fully feated and thus gimped. The point is: micro takes it’s toll on macro – if you overdo micro with bunch of crappy skills you will end up with lower damage output because when you should have been droping SS10 you were trying to land Sabotage armor that will last 3 sec and fade out before you do anything.
I have seen many times people posting their builds where they put 1/5 into the feat just to get it, regardless of how viable that feat will be in fight (EB being the single exception – do get it for 1/5 or 5/5).

Assassins need to focus and specialize (which probably is a good idea for all classes) – there is no point getting both burden to bear and soulstrike whenB2B debuffs piercing ress and soulstrike converts combo damage to unholy damage. You need synergy.

I won’t even go over “clickers” – people who use mouse to fire up their micro skills (hopefully not combos too) – taking too many micro skills will literally kill them.

To Sum it up:

Don’t get greedy when picking you buff/debuff skills – your core combos are more than enough to deal with your opponents, focus on upgrading them via feats points, get the passive stuff and then top it off with buffin/debuffing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Voice your opinion on PEEEVEEEPEEE!

Hardly an assassin news, but this will affect us all: Wiesel, member of FC team, made a thread where you can fill up the "form" and let the developers know you preferences regarding PvP. Also you will be asked about type of content you like to play and how important you consider rewards for PvP.

Since the results of this thread (which will be MASSIVE in couple of hours) will most likely shape up this game for the next couple of months I suggest you post yours preferences.

Where would you go with PvP? via Age of Conan Europe Forums

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Since there is nothing else going on...

Yes, you guessed it: bombay assassin time :D
This time I promise it's a good one: Hybrid vs Lotus. Game is sloooooowing down. Less people online, less news, things are getting sluggish in long await for the famous 1.4 patch aka 4.0 goodness. Hope it will go beyond expectaions because we need a miracle right now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Update 1.04 Notes (Preview)?

It seems that Update 1.04 Notes posthas been edited and word "preview" being added. People were already calling the patch down because it turned out that 1.4 is the famous 4.0 patch after all. Seems that update notes are merely a teaser, and far from being the complete thing. I guess that could mean that some more assassin changes are in the works.
Since there is still hope for improvments check the [Feedback]Broken and underpowered Lotus feats and bump it a little so we get dev's attention.

The majority of assassins are hybrid, but buffed lotus will probably result in them being buffed, or in new, great builds.

The Roleplayer - Age of Conan Machinima

The Roleplayer is AOC machinima which is really well done. Since it is an assassin class blog, machinima that is well done is not enough to be in news so I will spoil it for ya - there is an assassin character in there :D.

Apart being funny it shows the sad state the roleplaying is in this game - something I miss very much from my old WoW days.Hope that after server mergers the RP will be back to Hyborian world. Enjoy the movie!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Buff to Lotus tree in patch 1.04

check the Update 1.04 Notes
* Curse of the Lotus will now snare victims by 50% for the duration of the fear effect.

Seems like FC finaly starting to notice that there are other specc than hybrid.
You can see what others think about this change here.

Proc and offhand rates by experiment

The main man down the US assassin boards - Chillwhisper - did another fantastic break down of corruption feat proc chances. Very good read.

Here is an interesting find from mentioned post:
"Dark Weapons proc'd 25 times out of 151 chances, or 16.5%." which is very low - makes you think if dark weapons are really worth the points after all.

There have been suggestions, that after the 3.0 patch which made SS our main, and arguably only damage dealer, to spread Dark Weapons points into:

Soul prison 2/2
Rapid striking 3/3
Life Leech 3/5

I would advocate for 3 points in life leech for 2 reasons:

SS has 4 sec cooldown as it is and 1 sec cooldown between doing same combo prevents you from buffering two of the same SS into smooth two combos so the benefirs of rapid striking are not that big.

2/ SSVIII has 3 steps so that means you would mean you would get all your health from LL just doing the combo and nothing would go to waste*, or at least - no as much.

*if you have 5/5 in Life Leech it means it will give you 5 heals from 5 hits, if you get healed to FULL on, for example, second hit, the life leech will fade away, making you lose the 3 remaning heals that could be used as you get damaged during the combo itself.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

God mode on! (lotus window)

Still playing and enjoying my lotus/general so I though I would share a little story:

It happened in one of the random minigames on the center of the map (that place which every team camps to secure the win ;p). Two teams clashed with each other and I, ignoring guardian and BS on my back, went straight for their POM. I wanted to do a clean, fast kill so I droped OP + KS (opportunistic strike and kidney shots) at once and opened with SS. I got POM down to few HP when she got backed with BS heals and guardian was already on me – needless to say she got full HP in a seconds. Then all of sudden POM started pulsing with meant that Knock Back spell in on the way and both my snap kick and lotus bomb were on cooldown as well as excellent balance – if she knocks me, I die for sure. I have used my lotus overdose buff and did GCIV followed by antrophy. BAM! Never have I seen so many numbers fly around as they literally blocked my view with big, orange crits. Needless to say the POM was cut in half, dieing almost instantly on the spot.

This was what I call “lotus window”, a rare event where lotus assassin have stacked all his buffs into one, unstoppable force.

Def blades (passive) - +10%
Flurry of blows (proc) - +15%
Assassination (proc based on target’s HP) - +15%
Offhand from items – 3,9~ +4%

Kidney shots (proc, stacking) - +102 dps when fully stacked
Lotus overdoes (buff) - +40% dmg

Grim corruption (combo) - -5% poison debuff
Corrupted body (proc) - -5% poison debuff
(helps increasing +poison damage from stance)

The trick was that since POM got up to almost full HP the assassination proc was going away, same for kidney shots, which was already on its fifth stack.

So for 5-8 seconds I was doing amazing damage which melted my opponent. Too bad I don’t get that more often as assassin’s lotus buffs have quite the cooldowns :/

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hybrid vs xxx/general rages on

There seems to be rather heated debate on US forums over how viable is the hybrid for group pvp.
Jcp23 did a SOLID POST about hybrid vs xxx/general specc so if you don't want to cut through 2 pages of crap such as "hybrid rules, and you suck" jump straight to his post.
I have to agree that in 1v1 lotus specc HAS NOTHING on Hybrid, and if hybrid sin opens with FTD and uses shard for avatar it is all over but the crying, baby.
Same goes for HOXes, its very very hard for Lotusins to kill them, where Hybrid just jumps in and outheals the poor bastard while using avatar.

I remember that I had to work my ASS off on test server to beat HOX in fair 1v1 as Lotus (did 1-5), but hybrid got me 5-2 score without much sweat.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Went back to the LOTUS

So I did it - after 3 days of testing on um...test server - I have finaly made a switch from hybrid to Lotus/general and I am loving it. It was a major decision for me because, which I have mentioned already, I am now 13g per respecc. Thats right kids, 13g and that is shitload of gold to make with broken economy and lack of place to grind, but I digress...
Before I go deeper into lotus things let me tell you why I did the switch:

1/ I was getting more and more bored with hybrid (same goes for corruption/general) - I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just doesn't feel right. We, assassins, are NINJAS and NINJAS do cool shit like going posion on your ass and NOT colecting soul shards to unleash some bull shit unholy powers. Here you go, boredom.

2/ Everyone does the hybrid thing - yep, clicky on assassin passing by and chances are he has unholy stance on. The reason I went assassin in the first place was because it was least played class, and now I want to play least played specc with my least played class. There is something stupidly ELITIST about lotus tree that makes you feel LIKE A BADASS when you manage to specure your kill with it. I think it's because GOOD players like Mephwnet lotus and made it look like it was GOD MODE. Well, it isn't but you can still feel good about being lotus specced.

3/ PVE - My pve experience right now is limited to Villa runs (still hoping for that sweet ePiXXXs drops) and hybrid made those runs like a cake walk: tons of ress, tons of heals. When I was testing out lotus in villas and my experience was vastly diffrent: you cut through mobs like no tommorow, but at the same time you have to think out your attack, plan on what skills/feat you will use etc.. With hybrid I did: FTD, Pot, golden lotus, Vampyric, SS till everyone is dead. There are not enough mobs to take you down if there are no ranged/casters involved - Hybrid can in fact outheal any damage done by melee NPC. Lotus can't do that and this is why sneaking up on 3 guards and taking them out is f-u-n (for me at least).

CC in PVP - knockback, root, snare, fear, charm - it what makes hybrid assassins sad. Single point invested in the general tree will not protec you from the mean CCs that are flying around in pvp like aids in a hooker bar (quoting Mephs here ;p).
I got tired of dieing due to CC and not being able to do anything about it. I can't count how many times ranger got away from me because he rooted my ass. Also I have a lot of pleasant memories attached to "lotus escapes" - lotus assassins are masters of getting out of "the shit". I got nice story about by escape in PVP, but it is a story for another post. CCs got me very frustrated with my assassin gameplay over last 3 weeks to the point where I was considering a re-roll.

Damage output - can't mess with lotus when it comes to damage. Period. While hybrid does very well in terms of damage output it is lacking vs heavy armor. Lotus has something fun for everyone - kidney shots rip any armor and lotus overdose provides largest dmg buff in both trees. Those are cooldown skills, but the "bread and butter" of lotus are passive procs "assassination", "swift ending", "lotus weapon" and so on. There is a lot of stuff "in the background" that will help you do your job while hybrid basicly gets you lunge to use at will and the rest needs shards. So - more freedom and more right tools for the job.

6/ hybrid means duel - hybrid is very good when it comes to 1v1 duels. It's a fact. Lotus assassins are not as badass because we can't defend against stuns (which barbs are known for) and we don't have enough of melee ress to soak damage when we are stuned.

So here you go, consider the above when picking your specc.
The plant in the foto is....golden lotus. What a shock!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Evii of Tyranny

To my heart's content I have discovered that world wide famous Evii of Tyranny is back and postin'!
To tell you the truth: I got into „assassin bloging” because Evii quited quite a while ago, leaving big empty spot that no one was filling.
I still remember how 6 moths ago I was reading up all of Eviis posts, trying to learn „the deadly arts”. Evii did most of feat testing/explanation back in the days, and his leveling guides were rigorously followed by assassins on all servers, myself included.
Glad to see you back Evii!

bummed down

I am bummed the fuck down.
One thing is that I am not seeing any other assassins participating in minigames and it is a big change because I used to know 3-4 „regular” assassin pvpers. Bad omen.
Now for the main reason I am bummed: casters are totaly OP right now. Mind you, I hate words like OP, IMBA, or L2P (that one drivers me crazy), but I find no other word that will fit to describe the current state of the game. I have screenshots of TOS criting me for 3562 dmg with my 3600 buffed HP pool. I have necros doting me up and doing 1001 crit dmg per ticks WITH my Lotus blood proc up (giving 95% immunity to spells when someone crits you with them).
And to top this off: minigames seems to be dominated now by groups consisting of atleast 2 casters, 2 healers and randoms (BSes for example). Needless to say those groups rip apart ANYTHING thrown at them (except groups consising of 2 casters, 2 healers and randoms, BSes for example).
So I am getting the feeling of being the lone assassin in the casters game.
Head down to Kruella blog to see screenie of necro racking up 96 kills in a minigame.
I was all about upgrading necros from „free kills” (that is what they used to be in 2.0 pvp) to „DPS”, but things got slighty out of hand. I won't even comment on TOS.
Regardless of my whining I am sticking with the assassin (as I dont have/want alts) and the AOC itself because I am sure it will be a great game one day.
I just had to vent this crap ;]

Sunday, November 23, 2008

nerf avatar of death...

Time for another bombay assassin - nerf avatar of death.
Obvious inspiration for this was this outstanding threadthat has been going for weeks now and just won't die. Imagine this: casters whine about our 3 minute cooldown avatar of death when TOS crited me for mere 3675 dmg today...AOD could save me from that, right? Not...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh yeah, clearly this is the best specc...

What is the best specc for pvp? I sometimes get whispers from people "what specc r u?" and when I tell them (it is no mistery - it is classic hybrid)they are suprised and say "I tried that and it sucks, xxxx is clearly better". This got me thinking "how do you define best specc"? I would argue that there are basic 3 builds: lotus/general, corruption/general and lotus/corruption aka hybrid and all other builds are merely a variation of those - which one "rox the sox off"? Let's go over them really quck:

- great surviviality (Lotus got me safe out of most extrime group gank situations thanks to lotus bomb), amazing passive procs resulting in outstanding damage output

- increased resistance to melee damage, ability to deal quick bursts of damage, great buffs

Lotus/Corruption - best of both worlds for a hefty price - almost defenceless against CC and knockbacks (something that xxx/general speccs can deal easly with).

So how people are rating the builds? Exacly the same way I used to: when asked "why do you think xxxx is best?" I get same anwser "because I played with it yesterday (for 3 days, week, with guild etc.) and I owned hard". People try one specc, get into the minigame and loose it for one reason or another, and,oh what happens? Yeah - LET'S BLAME THE SPECC! You are starting to go over it in your head "if I had Lotus I would so won this fight" and so on. You can't lose the "big picture" which is: you can't specc for every situation, you can't specc for stupid team, fat fingers,bad timing and your own lack of good judgement. The point is: there is no best specc - go with the one you like and stick with it. I have read few forum posts where people were swearing how much they love lotus, but they are using "stupid corruption/general" because (here it goes) "it is the best specc".

You can have tons of heals, but that ranger will root ya and kill your hybrid build, corruption assassin might face soldier with ease, but it lotus assassin who will take all casters to school with 10% magic ress and lotus blood spell immunity. Get my drift? You will never have it all, so respecc few times, check the vibe of each tree, find what you like and enjoy your pvp - soon enough you will know what to do.

And to prove you that "it can be done, baby" here is already classic "Best at both worlds" pvp video by legend himself - Meph. This video is pre-gems era (so pre pvp 2.0 also) and shows assassin KICKING SOME ASS with both trees. Meph was really ahead of his time as he was landing almost all of his combo hits (back then combo preloading was standard for all melees) so his style is in fact closer to current 3.0 patch.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Now is a good time to start an assassin alt

You were thinking about getting an assassin alt for some time now, but never got around doing it because the very thought of re-doing Tortage 1-20 content gives you the creeps, right? Relax, now you can power level though 1-20 lvl with style thanks to this great thread by Neronitheus who shows you how to "[Spoiler] Level 1 to 20 in a day".
It is breakdown of all Tortage quests which are do-able in a stream so you can get from zero to hero in a couple of hours. Both hot and sexy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Assassin from Bombay

Everyone knows Bombay TV right? Just check it, no need to explain it here. Well once in a while I get the "bombay TV" vibe going where I just gotta make some assassin related movie for reason that are beyond my primitive reckoning.

I know that most of them are not funny to the general pop so you have to be REALLY HARDCORE assassin player to "get it" and still it might now be worth a decent "lol".

This is my oldie, bombay TV from the very begining of AOC where assassins where underpowered and pre-70 guardians were UNKILLABLE for us (you could chew on them for hours). Since very few of assassin community were +70lvl at that time the FTD (from the darkness) was this mythical holy grail of assassindom (there is such a word?) so everone wanted to be lvl 70 so they could finaly kill stuff...ah good times.

Check the life before you hit lvl 70
Here is my latest creation: The last Lotus assassin, in memory to my friend, Alex from Siths clan who was the last assassin I know of on my server - Aquilonia - to use Lotus specc and still get that lvl 3 gear. He is gone now.

Just so we are clear on this: lotus does work in pvp, but you can do better with other specc (hit Lotus specc problem compliation thread for great info on this subject)

Get out of lethargy and save the lethargy!

After 3.0 patch the lethargy combo got hit hard by the Funcom and right now it hardly got any usage (it can be easly replaced by other, superior combos both in terms of debuff and damage).

Hit the link for test forums thread that may or may not have been already noticed by Funcom staff (most likely it wasn’t ;p)

Friday, November 14, 2008

[Guide] Death's gaze

5/5 corruption tree feat
This used to be our fear/stun spell - it would randomly fear your target, or stun him, making him stand still. The problem was: the fear was making your target run around like an idiot and stun proc was low (I am not sure if it was charm or stun).

As of patch 3.0 this all changed. Now days Death's Gaze always fears target and debuffs him with snare, making him easy target.

Here is what you should know about death's gaze:

Get those shards!
It needs one shard. Period! If you want to get DG from the very start (which you should) you can easily get it from either stealth attack or FTD. GC is also a good opener for both snare stacking and shard generation.

Chain CC
Since death's gaze is the only fear spell available to Corruption/general, hybrid assassins it can be used to totally Chain CC all classes wearing light armor or less:

FTD(gain shard)->Death Gaze (Slow death strike)->Snap Kick (SS)

1/ From the Darkness opens the chain for both element of surprise and shard generation.

2/ After fearing your target use Slow Death Strike to deal good amount of damage over time (DOT) to spread you DPS a little.

3/ When your target is DOTed use Snap Kick to get him down and then unload on him your highest SS buffed with Lunge or corrupting strikes.

CC breaking (PVE)
As since patch 3.0 all mobs can break fear/charms when you deal X ammount of damage to them. With that in mind use DG on the last combo step (it will not undo your combo!) and then unload SS rather than fearing and going through all the combo steps because the mob will break free.

Combo/skill breaker
Death’s gaze works wonders as combo breaker. If, for example, barbarian is unloading his cyclone of steel on you, use DG to fear him and avoid massive damage being done to you. Same with POMs knockback, oraz heals.

Death's Gaze as snare
Since this feat has range of about "dubble tap forward" you can chase after your opponent and fear him up as you get close to him.

Snare stacking
Death gaze snare stacks with grim corruption snare so you can:
Grim corruption-> Death gaze

this will get your target from "slowly running away" to "baby crawl" speed.

Closing notes
- Death gaze is a spell - it can be resisted by your target.
- When fear breaks/ends so does the snare.
- If you have shard you can use DG while mounted.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chillwhisper taking Assassins to school on DPS

Chillwhisper down at US boards made 3 new topics regarding maximizing your DPS with nice break down of every feat and combos. Great read!

Be sure to check out:

Feat Contributions to DPS
Chillwhisper's guide to calculating combo damage and DPS
Chillwhisper's New and Improved Combo Review

Hats off to the "main man" Chillwhisper for outstanding pice of work.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nipple set gotta go!

our pvp t1 armor looks horrible on male avatars because of our assassin nipples proudly displayed for our opponents to quake in fear at. Not cool!

For full description and petition to give us re-modeling go to this link:

Now is the time to say no to man boobies, or for the next 500.000,00 pvp xp we will be the laughing stock until we get next tier armor…act now!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Still waiting for patch 3.0

The pre patch hype is peaking - all test live forum's class boards are FILLED with complaints and good old whine.
I myself tried the test live servers, but quited for several reasons:

1. I will not pay Funcom to beta test their stuff,
2. I will not get into Kesh just to get jumped by 2 Necro and 1 POM (you know who you are..)
3. I will not ruin my fun - I would like to enjoy endproduct, not the beta that is subjected to change.

From what I have seen we are getting two major buffs:
1. Grim corruption now aplies snare (so no more running away from us)
2. Death Gaze gives 50% snare and always fears (yes, you can stack GC + DG for 90% snare)

Too bad I can't do anything with this blog now - I won't test the 3.0 patch for reasons stated above, I can't write about old stuff because it will get a pretty drastic change and the boards are hardly overflowing from great posts ;p
Good times!

See assassins boards

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Word on the streets of Old Tarantia is that...

Welcome back everyone, it's been a whole

I have decided that since upcoming 3.0 patch changes are so massive that I will focus on other stuff for now and get back to guiding your leveling later.

I have come up with “word on the streets” type of news where I will point you to the most juicy US/EU forum posts for your reading pleasure.

We begin with this jewel - Chillwhisper's Level 80 Assassin Combo Review.
Chillwhisper actually sat down and tested the damage of every single combo we have so you can decide on what to use in given situation.

Too bad patch 3.0 changes everything and that post will be useless, but for now it is a great read.

One more thing – is any one really following this blog at all? I tend not to post anything because...meh...who reads this shit anyway?

Give me the sign in comments....I still need a single comment....coz I am such a needy bastard!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lotus 40-50 lvl

This level gap is simple:

get Lotus weapon and get Flurry of Blows. Save the rest and enjoy!

Flurry of Blows is a proc buff that will get you more offhand - +15% - it’s a solid and passive buff. Proces often.

Lotus weapon gives stackable DOTS like flesh necrosis. Passive damage that will help you with those armored bastards.

Stay alive!

Next gap – lvl 60 – will get you to your best, passive damage feats and baby, the numbers will fly across the screen!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Corruption lvl 30-40

Here is where I left you

go ahead and add:

2 point to dark weapons (full feat)-> save points -> 5 points into unholy armor-> 1 point excellent balance -> save the rest


Now we are talking!

With 5 points in unholy armor for the first time you will be able to take a punch in both PVE and PVP. There are no words to describe the +10% resist you will get from UA and the impact in will have on your gaming experience.

You can PVP!

From now on you stand a chance in PVP that is why you are getting one point into Excellent balance. There is also a chance you might already ran into some kind of mob that had knockback.

Do not expect much in PVP.

You are still far from “the zone” and might not be able to take on guardian classes, or healers. This is normal as your heavy hitters buffs/debuffs are further down the corruption tree.

Clear sailing ahead, matey!

You next upgrade will be at lvl 50 when you will get Lunge buff and your AOE attack. From level 40 up to 70 you will be getting great feats every 10 levels...

3.0 on test..

Check out the new 3.0 patch changes and what is means for us, assassins.
Hit the link for AOC forums

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lotus 30-40 lvl

So you got snap kick and lotus heal and you build looks like this:

time for the upgrade, and it will be a solid one:

2 points into Lotus Tainted Blood (giving total 3)->5 into antrophy->you are lvl 37 now, save 3 points till lvl 40-> Opportunistic strike->Lotus overload->save the rest for level 50


Full anti-magic potential

With Lotus Tainted Blood and Lotus overload you have reached your fullest vs casters. Yes, you can expand on this further via Arcane Backlash (reported bugged for now) or Natural Protection from General tree (giving a total of 10% magic rest), but with the build I am presenting you are all you can be. Congratulations!

Survivality boost

Antrophy will give you an amazing survivality boost because it can debuff with -30% damage several mobs/players at the same time. If you are taking too much damage, drop antrophy and watch the damage drop. Antrophy is instant and does little damage, but sometimes it can crit and the results will warm your cold, assassin’s heart.

On a side note: there is nothing you can do that will make you smile more than killing someone in PVP with well timed Antrophy.

Damage boost

Opportunistic strike aka OP works a little like dark inspiration only its active...and lotus...and works with several combos...and its way better. You will use it with Grim Corruption and it will crit every time you use it. Nice short cool down and long buff duration.

Hang in there!

This (meaning lvl 40) isn’t *IT* for assassins, you will evolve into so much more. Hang in there, and keep reaching for that lvl 60 because things will get a lot more fun.

Monday, September 29, 2008

To save or not to save?

Sooner or later (sooner THAN later) you will run into problem that next feat worth any points is like 8 lvls away and there are only two things to do:

1. dump points in crappy feats and respecc later,
2. save your points and get a HUGE boots once you hit the level needed

I need you to focus now and remember this: threat your respecc costs with ....respect because it is not capped right now.

“Not capped? The hell you mean Slith, it’s like 2s per respecc for me and that is SHIT money”

Well first of all you are talking to the KING OF RESPECCERS because I am 8g per talent change, baby and cannot state clearly enough how important it is to make WISE decisions when it comes to feat points spending and how important it is to save them to get your specc right.

The first time you will need to save points will be lvl 32 because the next feat worth 5 points is Unholy armor and you need lvl 40 for that sucker (for corruption anyway)
Yes, you can dump points into dread weapon and dark inspiration, feel good about it and respecc on lvl 40....but it will bite you in the ass later on when you will have to bust your guts in order to farm gold for yet another respecc...

Just so we are clear on this: not capped respecc cost means the reset will get more pricey every time you do it...

...and that is cool.....not!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The community just doesn't care anymore...

With this blog I was hoping to teach few new players "the assassin way", but mainly I wanted to spark up the conversations in our boards with topic raging from lvl 10 to 80. I wanted to do in-deepth feat analiss with my peers from forums, but they act like they ate too much of purple lotus...they just doesn't care.
I will be fair: it's not just the assassin community - the WHOLE Age of Conan crowd has gone to SHITTER. The game lies in ruins and it has lost it's charm way to early.
I am pissed off about it - not with community, but with Funcom because at the begining this game had the BEST forums (especialy US ones) in any game I have seen and now they are empty. Sad, sad day it is...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Up to level 30 with Corruption

Before we begin...

There is a MAJOR problem with soul shards management early on: once you hit the “Spirit of Nightfall” feat you will basically generate as much shards as you will at lvl 80 except you almost won’t have things to spend them on. This is one of the reasons why people go Lotus over Corruption for the early game.

Corruption build

this is how you spend your points:

Improved Unholy Stance -> Corruption Strikes -> 1 point in Spirit of Nightfall -> Unholy Strength -> 2 points in Dark Weapon -> 2 points in Spirit of Nightfall -> Necrotic Leech -> Vampiryc nature -> 1 point in Dark Weapon

Lets go over your feats:

Corruption strikes
Your main “shard eater” up to lvl 30. Gives whooping +20% offhand buff and has a low cool down. Buff yourself whenever you can.

Unholy strength
+10% damage boost for you swift strikes (SS) combos. Passive and great.

Spirit of Nightfall and Dark weapon feat dancing
As you could tell I did quite a bit of feat dancing with those. There reason before adding one point in SoN early on is to generate more shards while not generating too much of them. Dark weapon gives nice damage boost so you will benefit more from having just one point in SoN early on and with added damage from Dark weapon than having fully upgraded SoN, lots of shards sitting in your UI and no damage.

Both, vampiryc and necrotic are considered “leeches” meaning they will give you nice health return for the damage being done to your enemy. For best results use them both at the same time on bigger group of mobs.

Your survivality suffers when you go corruption early on. You have NO defensive feats and all you can do is “SPRAY AND PRAY” the crowd hoping for the best – Lotus is clearly superior in that sense.

No points in Life Leech?
Life Leech doesn’t scale so sooner or later you will find it doesn’t give enough back for 5 points invested. Word in the assassin community is – Life Leech sucks.

Variation builds?

There are none. Corruption is pretty straight forward.

Shards burning aka Consume souls

If you cannot use the shard because of cool downs on your shard using feats – burn them with consume souls for that sweet stamina boost. More stamina means less down time.

Up to lvl 30 with Lotus

Lotus tree

Here is what I would take early on by adding points the following way:

Improved Poison Stance -> Flesh rot -> Deft blades -> Cat’s paw -> Golden Lotus -> Snap kick

Let’s go over the most common questions:

Flesh rot vs Vile poisons

Which is better? This is a valid question since vile poison get a whooping +25% dmg boost while Flesh rot’s damage is noticeable at best. Well Flesh rot is passive which means every combo that you can dish out will add some flesh rot – a big plus. Second thing is that most mobs might in fact die before you could even finish your poison combo, and sure as hell they will die before the +25% extra damage kicks in. Another thing is that far down the lotus tree you will get swift ending feat that will boost flesh rot’s damage.

Deft blades first or cat’s paw?

Deft blade will give you +10% passive offhand while cat’s paw gives defensive evade boost with long cool down. When choosing survivality over damage, go for damage because it will let you level faster.

Variation of the build

This build gives you access to the Antrophy combo – amazing feat that will debuff your enemy for -30% damage and -30% magical damage (when fully upgraded)

Comparison of the builds

Please notice that with second build you don’t excel at any of your feats, which is bad since both deft blades and cat’s paw lose a lot of their offhand/evade when not fully upgraded with points (deft blade loses 3% for example). Another thing is lack of magic resistance Lotus blood and casters are quite common in Hyboria.

There is hope at level 30!

If you, during your 28 lvls, felt like crap in both PVE and PVP wait until you are lvl 30 and have access to Golden Lotus and Snap Kick – they will get you from zero to hero and those are most beloved feats from Lotus tree. Hang in there!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

excellent balance

5/5 general tree feat

This is a common mistake for a lot of new players: they pick feats from general trees waaaay to early and thus gimping themselfs. General tree is considered supplemental and there is no way to be successful by focusing on the feats from it, especially early on when we assassins need all the help we can get. If fact I would say that there is ALMOST no need to pick feats from general tree at all except for one – you NEED one point in the excellent balance or EB to avoid being knocked back and ripped apart in both PVE and PVP.

As a rule add ONE point to the EB or FIVE. That means not 2, not 4, and sure as hell – not 3.

One point

One point early on will allow you to do a little bit of PVP so do it after you have hit lvl 20.

Do not: put more than one point early on – it’s a TOTAL waste

Five point

If you have 5 points in EB that means you have picked one of the trees, be it Corruption or Lotus and combined it with general tree. Those are the “main builds” corruption/general and lotus/general. Five points in EB will open your way further down the general tree where you will pick other feats based on your “main” tree (corruption needs natural protection ft. and lotus – toughness).

Do not:
go deep into the general tree before you reached the very bottom of your main tree. Add five points if you have another five free to add to another feat otherwise those points could be better spend and help you level up faster.

Salutations fellow assassins!

I have created this blog to help new players in the Age of Conan who picked assassins to find their way in the game. I remember how helpful I was fining other “assassins blogs” that, sadly, are not updated anymore. So I have decided to pick up the slack and give you a little bit of wisdom I have gathered during my quest to get to the damn lvl 80.

Subscribe and stay tuned because updates will be coming.