Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Working as intended

Little something I wanted to share with you:

and because we are total noobs "Teh Gaeamei Director" want to give us "a couple of weeks" so we can find the right speccs. You can specc to BEAT THAT SHIT? Everyone of us lasted no more than 4 seconds regardless of class - all they had to do is "clickez" to focus that shit on us.
Oh well, enjoy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Kheshatta: epic fail

Today we and Nukpana did some Tarantia Commons pvp and a little of minis. We have decided that we coul visit old Kesh to see how things are. Please note that we went there at random time, there was no even going - this is accualy how people play this game. Most of them never set foot in Tarantia Commons - they went to Kesh in 1.3 and been there ever since. Every sandy inch of Keshatta is filled with two zerg groups. No questers, no small ganking squads, no lost noobies. Oasis and city filled with zergs with deserted road patroled with everwatching guards. The game seems 80lvl drained because it seems like a A LOT people rolled their free 50lvl and slowily doing the grind while waiting for new patch.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Age of Casters rages on!

The forums are overflowing with two kinds of threads:
1# people pissed of with casters (melee users)
2# people pleased with 1.5 (mainly necros)
Things are getting really out of hand and the threads are getting blown out of proportions. The mods are watching the forums like 24/7 now because if they take a coffie break the F bombs and quitage posts are poping out. Like I said in previous posts: the game is playable for me, but it is far from enjoyable. Minigames for example: I used to be top or second in kills in minigames a lot, and now I am happy if I get 7 kills. On the other hand: necro - 36 kills. Happened once, twice, three times, six, ten. What the hell? If single class gets most kills in every game with diffrent people then we might have an issue on our hands. I would have to agree: too much defence, too much HP, not enough dps. I am curious how FC will handle this and how come no one have seen this coming. I have been in game when I have been the only non-caster and two groups of magicans just stood still and spellwaved or traded blows with pets. That is telling us something.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Seems like Lotus is the only way to go

After doing a lot of pvp in past 2 days I came to the conclusion that full lotus/general might be the only way in 1.5 that suits me. Current build IS very "caster heavy" which means casters are dominant in the minigames both in terms of damage and their sheer numbers.

Here is what a tested:

Variations of hybird builds
Hybrid got hit, a lot. The offhand nerf striped it from it great damage that came from deft blades and corrupting strikes. I don't know why, but 1.5 got even more CC crazy and hybrid is lacking in that departament. The infamous avatar nerf also got hybrid down - not only your target has more HP and you deal less damage, you also have less time to deal with him. No matter how I spread the points I feel lacking the tools (despite the fact that the bar is jam packed with icons).
In solo PVE there is no match for hybrid - it's even better in 1.5. With 4(!) sources of healing you can heal EVERY fight and take on loads of mobs.

You die to casters. As simple as that. With single CC (not counting FTD) being death's gaze and very low magical resistance you are easy pray. I don't know, perhaps I am jaded towards corruption/general - it seems so plain and boring. The soul shard generation is also an issue. It seems like you gain them at much lower rate. Perhaps a good choice for 1.5 build, but not my cup of tea. I see a lot of people using it thou (by a lot I mean 3 assassins that I have seen, where is EVERYBODY?).

Ah yes, the good old lotus. I always loved this tree, but hated the paper armor and being insta-gibed by melee classes like Conqu or BS. With pvp armor lvl4 in 1.5 this is gone (in 1.4 the pvp armor did't help all that much, or didn't help compared to godly unholy armor and pvp armor lvl4). Also the casters went down smooth and easy in 1.4 with hybrid having access to best of both worlds so Lotus wasn't really bringing anything to the table. Here is what I found out to be good in 1.5:

New Lotus Overdose
With this great buff we no longer have to suffer through stupid withdrawl. Also the stamina regeneration that comes from this baby is worth gold in1.5 where stamina goes down faster than...doughnut in the police station.

Corrupted body, arcane backlash and Lotus overload
I have faced demo who keept refreshing my overload while hurting himself with corrupted backlash. What more would you like? This is exacly what we need to stay alive in the storms of "wtf crit" and "omfg fire" that fly around in 1.5.

Blindside + Bewilder
Not only this combo will work when you are totaly out of stamina, but it will also drain the opponent and regen your stamina pool. I have always liked the idea of this combo and its animation, but it was useless in 1.4 with MEGA STAMINA POOLS and it's low damage. I find it very good against soldiers that tend to go low on stamina - fast. Also if your opponent stacks shields up Lotus can respond with GC + Blindside. Hybrid or Corruption doesn't really have anything to deal with shields going up (unless you specc in the upgr. for SDS)

New GC in Lotus stance
Lotus GC > Corruption GC - no doubts here. Not only you buff your melee and SDS, but also help others to deal more damage. What does corruption bring to the table? I guess it helps POMS and DTs to deal more of their already low damage :/

Now, I know what are you thinking "Slith, you have flip-floped builds on this blog so many times that it makes my head spin.Week from now you will be praising other build as "TEH NEW SHIT". I guess you could be right by thinking that. I play for the enjoyment that comes from my game, not for the stats (leave that to the PVE crowd, making speccs to be on top of DPS is something I will never "get", but I can understand it). If I will fall in love with another specc, so be it, but now I am on a honeymoon with my Lotus/general and I digg it a lot.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How I feel about 1.5

I will have to say that 1.5 IS a GOOD PATCH. Here, I have said it. There are tons of small improvments (bugs aswell, but it seems like FC is serious about quick fixes) and overall it seems like game has progressed. A lot. There are problems ofcourse and assasin community is threating with massive reroll or "quitage" (its a word that I have invented, it means posting threads over and over in which the poster threatens to quit the game - it comes from "rage" and word "quit" - quit-age). I am trying to stay away from assassin posts in general - I have spilled my guts giving tons of feedback during 1.5 test and I have nothing more to say. Even if FC won't do assassin revamp for months we still do have a lot of options when it comes to speccing. I can barely decide where to put my points.
With classic hybrid broken (no, cuting out EB won't work in PVP and PVE) people have hard time adapting. I am just glad that my respeccing costs got reseted and that I can try and try and try on TL server before applying it to live. Figuring out what works is fun. It is hard to tell whether we got nerfed badly, we got nerfed some - that is given. It reminds me old days when assassins were total underdogs. I kinda like to see assassin community to struggle and to cut their way up to being good pvpers. It weeds out the weak and the stupid (example: see how many people stuck with their TOSes after it got brought down from god-like to normal). Maybe I am this calm because I have seen this coming in TL build and knew for months how the changes will affect us. Can't blaim people who feel bad about changes - I am guilty of that too. The diffrence is I fought when the 1.5 was on TL (or whined as some might say) and now when its live I feel that there is nothing else I can do, but adapt and put up a good fight.

Right now I spend my time in Tarantia Commons doing quests, ganking people that pass through and jump into minigame when it comes up. This mix of PVE/PVP/PVP suits me. There is so much to do, gotta get my gemcutting up. Also I am SOOOOOOOO looking foward to seeing new 80lvl solo instance. Hope it is replayable. I love this kind of content.

So, to sum it up, I am not dissing anyone, people SHOULD NOT L2P nor should they STFU: the changes ARE drastic so the responce MUST be drastic too. I am sure that as time passes the 1.5 wounds will heal and we can put things in perspective. Keep it strong and stick to your guns.

Oh and necros and their pets can go to hell along with moron who designed them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Play the game, the game gets played

The 1.5 is upon us. Today is the last day that we can "enjoy" previous 1.4 era content. Endure. Even thou 1.5 didn't bring anything great to the "assassin's table" (we got nerfed, plain and simple) I will give it benefit of doubt and assume it is great. New quests, new area, new gems, new new new! Hope we will be GREATLY rewarded for long wait. I will see you cutters on the Tarania Common's rooftops.
Let's leap into the madness...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Slith's cheesy exploration guide episode 3

This is crazy. It seems like all I do is Age of Conan is grind mats for gold (need to buy whole Bossonian set) and explore Khemi - and I enjoy it! Recently Tharik posted some inspiring screenies in Atzels and Khemi.

I was wondering and even attempting "the temple" for some time, but it was today that it "clicked" with me. The girl is the key, seek out the girl.
Getting on first tier of "the temple" unlocks so many possibilities that my head started to spin. I was really excited to get here.So much to try, so little time. Tommorow I will be cracking more on that place. So technicaly I didn't beat Tharik's challenge, but I have it within few jumps...hopefuly.
Then quite possibly go to Tarantia (love that place, but Khemi gots it's own unique style too).
I am thinking about doing some basic stuff on video (mainly showing the most basic of exploration - movment, jumping, wall sliding), but I am putting that in "maybies basket" for future. What is interesting that Aquilonian assassins community seem to catch up with exploration and I see people attempting on their first exploration journey, or whispering me about it. That is good! More people = more places found = more to explore and achieve.
Atleast it takes assassin's minds off whats going on with 1.5: people don't undestand stats that have been put to the game to make it easy in the first place. Can't argue there, its fucked.

Keep the exploration going - check the topic on AOC boards.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slith's cheesy exploration guide episode 2

Last episode on "Slith's cheesy exploration guide": after doin' some basic stuff with Jerco a challenger emerged and questioned Slith's skills by posting a comment:

"Pumpkins said...
Difficulty: ******
(lvl 6? but for sure lvl5!)


am I a Ninja Slith?"

In a great world of professional exploration this kind of comment means: "You suck Slith, thanks for posting baby stuff, now go and show us how to get to the Trader"

Needless to say I was on that building like a hot butter on a toast so here it is:

Khemi port

Difficulty: ****
This is as close to "Assassin's creed" as it can get. It is still a 4 star deal because once you figure the way the jumps as easy as pie. Getting on the tower without falling to your death is the hard part of this exploration quest thats why I have it 4 and not 3.

Serpent's Inn

Difficulty: ***
I am on top of a build where the Serpent's Inn is. Great view and you can spit on RPers (jk, don't do that). From here you can make few easy jumps to 3 directions, but it's not worth showing because there is nothing to see there (sea, wall, next building) and you jump down so meh. If you can get here this place is wide open for 3 simple jumps. Nice place, wish this was Serpent's Inn balcon or something. It's stunning at the night time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Corruption lvl 60-70

Last episode on "Slith's guides" http://www.conanarmory.com/feat.aspx?id=1#::f30efe2fefefefef2ef2e5f3af19

You are the Avatar of Death
Arguably best feat in Age of Conan. This feat is made out of "pure win". It will grant you immunity to all forms of CC (but not to knockback) for 20 s, boosting your damage as well (in 1.5 it is nerfed to 15s). Both PVE and PVP opponents will have to agree that for the next 20s you are THE MAN.

1/1 Avatar of Death

From the darkness they came
Apart from GREAT name, FTD will damage & stun your opponent and grant you one soul fragment. It works in both stealth and out of it. One point wonder.

1/1 From the darkness

General tree aka boring part
In PVE you are now basicly at your best. Whatever you add in general tree will boost your PVP performance rather than PVE, but you still got points - gotta add them

Max out Excellent Balance
You will get shorter cooldown.

5/5 Excellent Balance

Max out Natural Protection
Get that magic resistance in. You will really need it in PVP. Unholy armor will take care of melee.

5/5 Natural Protection

Max out second wind
Our longest cooldown - whole 10 minutes. What it does is regening your stamina very fast. It is your saver in duels, sometimes in PVP and its great when you are chasing down fleeing enemy.

1/1 Second wind

Get one point in it so you can open up Agle Mind later on. Small boost, but it will do you more good than Acrobat - 1% evade is worthless.

1/5 Toughness

Corruption lvl 50-60

This is where I left you off http://www.conanarmory.com/feat.aspx?id=1#::f30efe2fefefefef2ef2e2f6af19

Get Death's Gaze
Drop one point into Death's Gaze. Welcome to your first feated CC! You can learn more about this feat here.

1/5 Death's Gaze

Max out Burden to Bear
With this baby feated in you will get a massive DPS boost and FINALLY you will be able to cut through some serious armor. This gets even better in patch 1.5 so this template will stay up to date.
Its a passive stuff so you won't be able to mess around with it, but trust me - its is there for you, working its magic in DPS charts.

3/3 Burden to Bear

Max out Prediction
This is again passive boost, but to your survivality. You will gain massive 10% evade which is well worth 5 points (to compare: stupid acrobat from general tree gives mere 3% evade for 3/3)

5/5 Prediction

Max out Death's Gaze
You won't see much of a diffrence, but you need it in order to open up next tier of your ultimates: avatar and from the darkness

5/5 Death's Gaze

Corruption lvl 40-50

This was our last template: http://www.conanarmory.com/feat.aspx?id=1#::f30efe2fefefefef2ef10af19:

I will honestly say: this is when corruption starts being FUN. It only gets better and better.

First point
Go ahead and drop one point into Death Whirlwind. It will boost your DPS a little and you will have something to burn shards with

1/5 Death Whirlwind

Max out Lunge
This is our first serious damage dealer. Make sure you use it ON THE LAST COMBO STEP. Not before step 2, not on opener, not first step - the moment you will use it is last combo step.
After you have activated it, lunge will buff your combo damage (note: this changes in 1.5 patch, lunge will be simple buff without need for any gimmicks). If the combo is instant (like our good friend - Death Whirlwind) use it before the combo.

5/5 Lunge

Max out Death Whirlwind
Now you can start slowly building up your DW.
Little tips:
- DW will deal less damage to multiple opponents, but it does aoe dmg.
- When using it try to hit the unshielded side for some sweet dmg bonus.
- The more shards you get the better DW's damage will be.
- DW benefits from Lunge

5/5 Death Whirlwind

Both of those feats are very fun to use.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Slith's cheesy exploration guide episode 1

With all that negativity flying around this blog I went out and did something fun for a change.
It began with being reunited with Jerco, old cutter and brother in arms from Leopards of Pointain. For me seeing him again was going back to my roots which to be honest was RPing and not PVPing. We meet on one of Old Tarantia rooftops by a strange twist of fate and instead going into cheesy, bad RPing with made up on a spot plot that sucked I have decited to show Jerco around. In my times (pre 1.4 patch) I did a lot of Tarantia and Khemi exploration with a single purpose of getting higher and higher to places that most players haven't visited yet. Ofcourse my secrets die with me and I suppose with Jerco now (unless he rats me out) so I won't tell you how to get where we got, but atleast you can watch and wonder.

First let's clear few thing out:
#1 some of those places are well explored by other people, so don't bother to pointing that out
#2 I have figured out how to get in all the place by myself. If any guides for this exists I don't know them.
#3 No hacks were used. All 100% legit.
#4 There will be more posts like this, but I have decited to show you the best content right now. This way next posts will be less and less impressive or even interesting. Thats my policy.
#5 Difficulty scales from 1 to 5 starts. One being easy (you only need to find right way) and Five being hard as nails (lots of tricks to pull off)
#6 You are never truely an asssassin unless you got to some unaccesibile place and strike a cool pose.We got to a lot of places and managed to look half-decent while doing it.

Noble Distric

Difficulty: **
This one is no brainer. Find a right way and you are on easy street. We are standing on top of Tavern where the arena quests are and some of Villa's quests.

Conan's castle

Difficulty: ***

If you stand infront of castle you will see the main gates and two smaller doors on the left and right. We got through one of these doors. Its tricky to figure out, but very easy to perform. As bonus we did a little free falling. Yes, the castle is made out of sprites...

Old Tarantia

Difficulty: **
This is a tower near the Temple of Mitra. If you go down the stairs you will get stuck in geometry (the inside is a big mess of squares and such). Easy to find, and the jump is quite do-able.

Market in Khemi

Difficulty: ****
This will never stop to amaze poor sobs below who stare in amaze on people above them. "How the hell did you get up there"?. This is one of my favorite. Damn, it is my favorite. I know that there are more than one way to get there, but was never interested to figure that out (why bash out open doors?). This will require one hard jump and one very precise. You know why /piss_drunk emote was removed? Imagine the golden shower on people below. Yeah...


Difficulty: ****Not all that hard, but takes the most jumping. Lots of it. The view from here is very nice and you have few options on where to jump next.

Me and Jerco had a lot of fun doing this exploration. More to follow. And yes, I know few more places to keep you interested.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Moses says: don't make me come down there

...because when I do I am brining ass whooping with me.
It seems like Funcom have decided to skip revamping assassins and the staff is preparing for 1.5 launch within ...shall we say 2 weeks?

Time to get down to the 1.5 assassins changes:

- aod particle effect (visual)
- vampyric nature combo effect (visual)

- unholy armor nerf
- avatar of death nerf
- Unholy Strength nerf
- Grim Corruption nerf (shared cooldown)
- FTD goes on cooldown if CCed while it was used
- kidney shots nerf (up for debate)
- classic hybrid build nerfed
- heals do not scale with new and bigger HP pools

- lotus overdose buff
- grim corruption new debuffs
- lunge buff (thats up for debate)

- burden to bear fix

Bugs (introduced in 1.5)
- offhands are not working as intended,
- Male/female attack speeds are different,

credit for the list goes to all contributing posters in "Why there are no assassin changes" thread which, despite the fact is 6 pages long with 2k view, have been ignored by FC.

Basicly non of our issues compiled in big ass Assassin Issues and Concerns List & Assassin Suggestions and Wishes have been adressed.
To top if off Silirrion twittered this: "Lots and lots of text to sign off today, but that's always a good thing as it means we are getting closer to release of the update!"
Meanwhile Test live forums are jam packed with Devs anwsering all sort of questions and deliberately skipping whole assassin board (so fucks and shits in the threads are not even moderated, try that in general board and the hammer will fall on ye)

My theory is that 1.5 goes live without touching the unwashed, unwanted child that assassin have always been.

Hope you enjoyed this post, its been a while (still very active on twitter so be sure to check that out)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Surviving Keshatta: meet the zerg

Trust me: members of the zerg will give you most xp and they are always around. The trick is to pick the right zerger as your target.Apart from the obvious like "don't attack soldiers" you are basicly allowed to go after any class, but the trick is to target player, not the class per se.

Here are your 4 best friends, recognize them and use their weakness to your advantage.

First let me tell you how the zerg should perform so you can tell who is not following the crowd:
#1 the zerg stays packed
#2 the zerg stays near the guards if not moving
#3 everyone attacks when the zerg is threaten by any player
#4 the zerg moves as one
#5 classes fill their roles like in raid: Tanks tank, healers heal and DPSes dps.

Here are the types of players that don't follow these rules and thus they are good targets

Bored - bored player is the most competent of all four. Basicly he is not very interested with what is going on his screen or he feels so safe inside the group that he let his guard down. Bored players are sometimes forced to participate in Kesh crazyness (like preraid grouping) and they show little to none interest in neither pvp xp (which is very little with zerg) nor killing others.

How to exploit this player:
Patience wins the game. Wait for the zerg to pick a target and go after him. If you attack a zerger that is active in attacking other players he will have his hands on the keyboard and mouse and ready to fight in general. Bored players usually chat up, mess around and will be greatly suprised by your unpoliteness. Don't mistake bored player for someone who is just hanging at the zergs rear end.

Common signs of bored player:
#his weapons are not out, (which means he probably didn't engage in any pvp for few minutes
#he will not be turned to the direction the zerg is going (sign of chating, both hands on keyboard)
# wearing pure PVE gear despite the fact he is lvl2 or 3 (why bother with puting on pvp gear, we own all in here)
# jumping up and down without reason (most common sign of boredom)

AFK - self explanatory. Kesh is neither time nor the place to go afk. If he wasn't afk he would be chasing your ass with the rest of the zerg so: no prisoners, no mercy.

How to exploit this player:
Kill him.

Common signs of AFK player:
# taking no action regardless of what is going on around him
#usually afk in COOL places, like on top of a rock, being all COOL
# up the guard's ass, doing nothing

Scared - these people are either new to the game or not experienced in pvp (battle hardened) even thou some of them wear lvl 5 gear (mercy....).Truth be told that we were all little nooblets once that were getting sweaty hands(TM) and uber heart rate(TM) when attacked by other player. Scared players will try to stick with the group as much as possible even thou some classes have no places in the very center of a battle (like Necro standing next to soldier). Their main concern will be not dieing and they will run away everytime when confronted. They almost never fight back or CC you, rather trying to heal themself or escape your cc.

How to exploit this player:
Attack them when the zerg is engaged in a fight. Since their default reaction is "ruan" when confronted in a group they will panic even more because they will not know how to respond (ESPECIALLY when you use avatar). If you attack them when the zerg is static he will just press S over and over again to escape while the zerg pounds you to the ground.

Common signs of Scared player:
#always with group,
#not filling their role (weird positioning in battle, casters or rangers very close to the enemy)
#if attacked he will run,

Clueless - ah the clueless people. They will do stupid shit over and over again despite the fact that it will lead them to their inventable deaths. Clueless, when separated from the zerg, are almost completly defenceless. They are the perfect targets just as they get off the spawn - follow them until their shield is down. They will often run head of zerg, run unstealthed, stay far behind the zerg, cast spells right after getting off the respawn (it gets the shield down) and do other utterly stupid things.

How to exploit this player:
They will literally stick their heads up your dagger

Common signs of Clueless player:
#low level gear with missmatched trader trash pices
#they don't use stealth
#they don't know anything about their or your class
#suprised when attacked

Friday, June 12, 2009

Craig 'Silirrion' Morrison speaks on 1.5 and 1.6

The man who takes it in the chin for all Age of Conan problems spoke on forums about what is in the pipe for 1.5:

New PVE group content:

- Iron Tower (6 man),
- House of Crom (both raid and group most likely)
- Thoth Amon's (raid).
- adding replayability factor to end game content,

New PVP content:

- adding meaningful objectives to border kingdom PVP,
- adding the epic PVP armors (in consideration),

see the sources: here and here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spirit of Nightfall bugged? Exploited? Tooltip missleading?

Seems like my Soul shards guide got PVE players a bit upset because I have stated that getting soul fragments in lotus stance is a bug. Apparently it is not that simple. First of all, regardless if its intended or not, getting SS in Lotus is an obvious HUGE boost to lotus build that rely on offhand - something that Corrupted Strikes excell at. Wonka (tester) replied to a thread regarding tooltips saying that "spirit of nightfall working in both stances even thou tooltip says otherwhise is *known*" . I will go out and admit that I have reported spirit of nightfall giving shards in lotus stance as *an exploit* (I deem all benefitiary bugs exploits). The funny (or not so funny when you think about it) thing is that my report was confirmed 3 days ago by ...tester named Wonka.
I might not be an assassin advocate,but I am sure as hell devil's advocate on this matter. I am fully aware that if this get changed (aka fixed) it might screw PVE players badly, but on the other side it will force FC to reinvent assassins and their tools for high end PVE content. In the end I want people to enjoy well rounded up and bug free class than pulling off crazy stunts and gimmicks from bugs just to dish out enough DPS to be deemed "helpful" but fellow raiders.
If I am wrong and its not a bug then atleast tooltip will get fixed. WIN! I am right and this get fixed then FC will have to compensate for the DPS loss (which, lets be honest, won't be huge since offhand got nerfed so badly). WIN!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

[Guide] Soul Shards

Soul shards (aka Soul fragments) are staple of Corruption specced assassin: they are needed basicly for everything in your tree. I will be calling them SS for the sake of this guide.
Check the window on the left of your health bar: as you go into melee you will notice that white little shards will start to build up - those are SS.

How to get SS?

a/ Stance
SS will be caputured when you are in unholy stance.

Exception: the single exception is using "Soul prison" in poison stance, with that feat active you will have a fair chance of getting SS even without unholy stance on. This has virtualy no applications, its just a "fun" fact.

b/ Melee
You get soulshards from melee attacks.Your every combo and even white hits has a chance of caputing the SS. Usually every combo willl grant you atleast one. Grim Corruption combo is know to be a best way to get more than one SS from single combo. You are not guaranteed to get SS from your attacks,

Exception: "Relish in death" feat will grant you SS if a member of your team performs fatality. You don't have to do anything, you just have to be a member of a group that did fatality.

Exception: Death Whirlwind combo will not only NOT caputure any SS, but it will also consume your SS for damage

Exception: From the Darkness, when succesfuly used, will always award you one SS

c/ Stealth attack
Attacking from stealth will grant you one soulshard.

Spending your SS

a/ SS as requirment for feat usage
Feats that need SS won't work without them. Corrupting strikes, life leeach, Avatar of death etc., when used without any SS avalible, will not work and a there will be a message on the top of your screen informing you that you need to get a SS.

Exception: Death Whirlwind combo will still do damage without SS

b/ Feat/skill usage cost
Almost all feats/skills will use up ONE SS

Exception: Death Whirlwind combo will use up all shards that you have collected

Exception: Consume Souls will will use up all shards that you have collected

Shard managment

a/ SS decay
You SS will disapear after short period of time (couple of seconds). It's best to move for another kill while you have advantage of having few SS already.

b/ Non combat SS usage
The only skill that is non combat and still benefitial is "Consume Souls". When activated it will transform your shards into instant stamina gain. Consume souls is usable in both in and out of combat

c/ Boosting your SS gaining rate
You will notice a HUGE diffrence in SS gaining rate when you have specced in "Spirit of nightfall" feat that is 3/3. This feat is MANDATORY for any corruption or hybird build and there is no valid reason to not get it.
Soul prison feat (2/2) will grant you boost every 2 minutes - it is a solid feat, but often not used in builds other than corruption/general. It's best to get soul prison later on (at least lvl 50) because until then there aren't many things to spend shards on. Do not get Soul prison too early, its a waste of points.

Interview with FURYBlakhart: advocate, novelist, raider...

FURYBlakhart, the cutter from across the pond, took his time
to talk to me about his ongoing adventure with Age of Conan
and assassin community:

> 1. How does it feel to be a flag bearer for assassin community?
Feeling any pressure? We all have faith in you.

FURYBlakhart: I guess I shouldnt say it feels "good" so much as
I enjoy it. It IS a lot of pressure...I want to make sure I am
always covering basesfor the bulk of the community and accomplishing
things. You'll never appease everyone but it is important to me I
make an impact, for the better, for as many as possible. You are
also working to provide feedback to a variety of QA Staff for Funcom,
so you need to convey material in a way that it receives the
appropriate understanding and yet is concise. It's a bit of a juggle.
I dont mind the pressure though - I enjoy being an advocate for the
class, making sure we have a voice and, admittedly, being a little
more hands-on than most.

> 2. How do you gather our feedback? Do you have a system for it or do you
go with the guts?

FURYBlakhart: I know other advocates seem a bit more organized or Vocal; Lara
for one who has made some incredibly lengthy posts. For me, it's
about paying attention and letting the community provide a lot of it's
own feedback without me polluting it with my own biases and opinions.
I easily read ten times the amount of posts I actually get myself
involved with. Basically I just sit and watch whats being said, what
the biggest or most recurrent complaints are and take it from there.
If I need more info I'll post, or if I feel like convoluting the pool
to get more insight I'll do so.
For me it's more about letting it flow without a lot of intervention
and then finding the important bits or prodding for more info if

> 3. Are you getting confirmation from FC when submiting new stuff? Are they aproving it any way?

FURYBlakhart:All I can really say on this is that while my personal wish
would be for a larger flow of information - that I think FC is working
with the advocates as best they can and that the program is bearing
some fruit. It isnt like we say "Hey, go fix this" and it's done the
next day - but I believe complaints are being heard and addressed,
discussed internally, etc... I can't say for sure but one would have
to assume that, just as with me, the devs hear a lot more than they
ever provide concrete feedback on and likely discuss more issues than
we will ever know.

> 4. How assassins have progressed as a class since launch?

FURYBlakhart: I missed the first few months of the game so I dont have a bearing
since launch. Looking back I would have to say that the Patch which
changed combos was likely the biggest change to sins. It really
staggered the burst killing power we used to have, I think. A lot of
combos have just felt weaker than before that time, plus the penalties
for moving and pre-loading combos obviously had a large impact on all
melee classes.
Overall though I think Sins have seen fewer changes than a lot of
other classes. Likely one of the least changed since the Combo Patch.
So, I guess, for me I havnt seen us as having "progressed" a whole
lot. Getting Stealth improved alone would be a huge progression for
us, as would having Lotus fixed up.

> 5. What is your philosophy when it comes to trees? Do you feel that lotus and corruption should be working best only vs certain classes or should they just provide diffrent ways to achieve same resoults vs all classes?

FURYBlakhart:I've always been a fan of having flexible trees that give you the
tools to do any job, but are focused particularly for one area.
Having Talent Tree's or specs that play the same or basically do the
same things is boring....why bother having different trees then? One
thing that has kept me playing the Assassin is that I believe we are
one class that is strong in this area. Both Trees we have give us
tools to kill anyone - although one is better suited to melee and the
other better for casters.
I wouldnt ever want to see a tree so focused that it prevents you from
fulfilling multiple tasks. Nor would it be fun if they both provided
the exact same playstyle. And again thats one of the great things
about Sins - speccing one way doesnt completely negate your potential
for doing other tasks and yet both trees can play out quite

> 6. Do you feel that assassin contribiute enough to groups in PVE? Should we get some something that helps group in other ways than DPS (assassins were designed to cure poisons at some point)

FURYBlakhart: Given that lethality is supposed to be our niche, it's hard to
give us a lot of other abilities that provide group buffing. I mean
our main role is simply to provide lethal doses of Steel. We NEED to
have something other than "just" damage, but I'm sure the devs always
struggle with these kinds of issues; how to give a high damage class
some group utility without making them OP.
Impede Life is a pretty mean debuff. Grim Corruption isnt half bad
either. Some of the feats we have can be very helpful as well...
Sabotage Armor is a great group utility tool. The new Burden to bear
in 1.05 is killer, especially since it procs and stacks without
Overall i think that short of having some form of Group Buff that we
have more than our fair share of group helping tools. The largest
issue, I think, when it comes to AoC is finding room for melee in

> 7. You have mentioned that you had some experience with similiar position (related to community managment) in the past , tell us more about that

FURYBlakhart:Back when Star Wars Galaxies was new SOE had positions similar to
these Advocate spots that FC has with AoC; they called them
Correspondents. The original Squad Leader rep stepped down and I was
one of those who applied for doing that. Believe me when I say you
have never seen an MMO class in such a bad state...it was the red
headed stepchild no one wanted to acknowledge. I was not picked for
it but continued to post a great deal about the class and had some
interaction with their lead community manager and one or two of the
more active design staff.
I was in beta testing for both SWG and the Jump to Lightspeed
expansion they did. A while before development of "Trials of Obi-Wan"
the SOE staff held some internal discussions and testings for this new
Combat System they were implementing - completely changing the way
combat mechanics worked. I was one of maybe 2-3 dozen non-staff
initially selected to take part in that.
The shortfall of it all is that I gained quite a bit of insight into
the thought processes behind this type of feedback program and while
not being extensive, I felt I knew what could be expected.

> 8. Are you a number cruncher or do you go with trial and error when it comes to getting best results in PVP and PVE?

FURYBlakhart: Both. Sometimes I beat my head against a Wall until the
solution presents itself. Other times I do the math and cycle the
numbers and facts. Right now there's an issue that was brought up on
TL where White Hits may be doing as much as Combo damage....
something like that I will definitely crunch some numbers on. A lot
of the raid content I have done has been trial and error; "hey, I
wonder what happens if I try this ability first instead of this," for
I also lead raids and that is pretty much a lot of trial and error,
going by feel, thing for me rather than crunching numbers or doing
incredible amounts of research.

> 9. This will be personal: assassin pvp set is looking good or does it need a total revamp?

FURYBlakhart:LOOKS Wise: I Like the THOUGHT of the PvP set...I believe the
individual who designed it had "Arabian Nights" or something similar
in their head when they did it. However: something obviously went
very wrong lol. I wouldnt mind them sticking with the current theme,
but making it more sleek and sin-like (trashing the clunky boots for
example, changing colors around...making it look like flowing silk)
STATS Wise: I think they are on the right track with it but could
use some more tweaking. Im not really happy with any of the gear
stat-wise to be perfectly honest, but I am hard to please when it
comes to gear and itemization. PvP gear should be THE BEST for PvP
and they still need to add some edge to it.

> 10. How did your adventure with Age of Conan start?

FURYBlakhart: I had been playing LOTRO and EQ2 when AoC came out. I'm a gamer,
so I'd obviously heard of AoC. I had read a lot about it and looked
it up but I decided not to get into it. Actually, at the time, some
personal issues came into play and I toned down a lot of my MMO play
to begin with. I was barely playing LOTRO and had stopped playing
It wasnt until a friend of mine started telling me more and more about
the game and her guild that I finally took the leap and bought the
game. the "new mmo smell" caught me and on top of that, the basis for
her guild sounded very attractive. So, my journey started with a
friends prodding, the promise of an excellent and brutal new MMO with
some flair, and a great guild to belong to.

> 11. Are you interested in AoC lore? Have you read any comics or REH books?

FURYBlakhart:I have been meaning to get into some of Howards books. Ive read
bits and pieces and I do find it intriguing reading. It's my style of
literature anyway and I am surprised I havnt picked it up before now.
I am a huge fan of the lore for any game as it is. Ive spent hours
reading WoW lore, countless hours on LOTRO Lore ( I am a big Tolkien
fan), and lore for any other RPG I have played.
RPG's and MMO's offer a depth and variety of stimulus that other games
If I just wanted to run around and slash things or let everyone know
how awesome I am with headshots...there's plenty of Shooters to do
that in. If I want to prove tactical superiority, theres a lot of RTS
for that. For me, MMO is about melding a lot of gameplay together
and enjoying the depth of the environment.

> 12. Is Age of Conan yours only MMO or do you play other titles aswell?

FURYBlakhart:AoC is the main dish. I do have side courses but AoC always
remains the center piece. I am way too involved in it for anything
else to become a main priority. I play games other than RPG's and
MMO's as well, like the Call of Duty series, Dawn of War II, Total War
and others. But AoC always takes up the majority of my time and I
kind of snack on the others.
I play LOTRO from time to time still. I hadnt played WoW for ages but
I checked out the Wrath expansion then quit again after leveling up
and doing some raids. Im playing a bit of Guild Wars presently, think
I've played it about 6 hours this week.
> 13. What was your first MMO?
FURYBlakhart: My first real MMO was Earth and Beyond. I had done MUD's and
things like that prior - but that was the first real MMO experience.

> 14. Are you settling to Age of Conan for good or are you also looking foward to other titles that are on the horizon?

FURYBlakhart: I am always looking at other games and things down the horizon.
Hard not to. I have to say that I do like how the new Star Wars is
shaping up (have to love Bioware).
However with that said I am in AoC for the long term. I'm really
invested in the guild I am with plus this Advocate position. And hey,
lets face it.... AoC has a LOT of promise. Theres tons of negativity
to go around about AoC and Funcom, but anyone who can't see the
potential for this game isn't looking. Let's just hope that FC gets
this next patch right and continues to fill out the game and realize
it's full potential. There's no other game on the market which has as
much future potential as AoC. WoW has its niche but its an old beast
and caters to the masses and is VERY dumbed down. LOTRO has it's lore
and good gameplay to keep it going. Both of those seem a little
"locked" in though. AoC has lots of room to go - FC just needs to
keep things in the right direction.

> 15. Stealth, should we get some exclusive features related to it?

FURYBlakhart: I believe assassins should indeed have some kind of benefits
associated with stealth. Rogues are better at stealth than
non-rogues, and Sins should be the masters of stealth. Whether that
come from inherent bonuses for our hiding or being detected...or some
new abilities we get to increase our hiding, resistance (notice I
didnt say immunity) to tracking, or something similar I'm not sure.

on march 23th Fury was announced assassin class advocate.He is an
established raider.
Currently Fury is the only assassin class advocate.
This text was ASS to edit (spaceing, html) and it was a battle lost by me, so hope you don't mind
this "professional" format.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Surviving Keshatta: pvp xp farming strategy

Where to farm
Keshatta is THE only viable place in AOC to farm pvp xp and level up within reasonable time. Accept this and move on.

As for now (1.4 build) minigames are horrible for pvp xp and usually packed with premade groups consisting mostly of casters and healers (or both: TOSes). Do not run minigames because they are waste of time. This could change in the future.

How much pvp xp you will need
Getting from lvl 0 to lvl 2 is a breeze.
It takes 72.000 xp to gain lvl 3, 148.000 xp to get to lvl 4 and whooping 232.000 xp to achieve lvl 5. Thats is just shitload of pvp xp. In order to ammass such great ammount of pvp xp you will need a strategy and dedication: a lot of both

Farming strategy
If you are not "teh hardcorez" like me (job, home life, chores, walking the dog, cooking and all that crap) you can probably pull 1-2 hours of gameplay a day (3h if you are lucky). That time must be spent wisely. Follow these tips for best results:

rule #1 "Set a daily ammount of pvp xp to gain"
This might sound like a very basic stuff, but trust me: the ammount of xp you will need is overwhelming. You need to "cut" the progress bar into tiny little pices and "climb the ladder". Setting ammount of xp to grind will give you a

sence of daily achievment and a slow, but steady progress. I went with following:

1) 1.000 xp - this is what you need daily. Its a reasonable ammount and its a breeze to farm. Let's do a little math: 148.000 : 1.000 = 148 days which is 5 months. Sounds horrible? Yes, but you will level up eventually.

2) 2.000 xp - not every day in Kesh is the same, somedays it's easier, someday its hard as nails to get kills (especially when zergs are tighly packed and close to guards, or there are lots of lots of soliders and healers). If the first 1000 xp is easy to get, pull another 1.000 to get a "boost". Lets do the math:

Lets assume that only 1/3 of your days in Kesh are "good days" when you can get 2.000 xp
that means: ~50.000 xp will be gained at 2.000 xp speed. So 50.000:2000= 25 days. Thats like a month. 5 months - 1 month = you have just cutted a whole 30 days of grind out of your schedule.

3) 3.000 xp - those will be rare, but still can be done. Let's assume that only 1/5th of your time in Kesh will grant you such a gain. Lets do the math:

148.000:5 = ~30.000 xp that means that you will do that ammount in 10 days

5 months - 35 days = 3 months and something. Now that is reasonable.

Can you get more than 3.000 xp in Kesh in one day? Hell yeah! Will you have time to get more than that? Its up to you.

rule #2 keep it reasonable
Farming pvp xp is a tiresome and at times can be boring. Do not overdo your farming sesions because you will crash and burn. Rather can half-killing yourself in order to farm 5k xp in one day and then not play for 4 days, go for easy wins with steady 1k xp pace with occasional 2k boost.

rule #3 keep the kill/death ratio out of Kesh
I will never understand people that care for their K/D stats. I have 7470 kills and 7420 deaths. So what? It only shows that I worked hard for my level and that I have killed more times that being killed. When you are doing solo or 2 man group pvp YOU-WILL-DIE, a lot. For every kill you make you will most likely die as zerg members gang up on you. There is nothing you can do when you get instantly KB, feared, stuned and charged by 5 people at the same time.
Even if you go so low as for running to the guards, they will pull the guards and then deal with you. Accept that you K/D ratio goes to shitter and move on.

rule #4 set a goals
Do not look at your progress bar as a whole - its depressing. Instead aim for getting 10.000 xp chunks. Your goal is to get another chunk of pvp xp and press on. Getting to lvl4 takes 1480 clean kills (target gives 100 xp), if you look at it this way you may aswell just quit now.