Friday, February 26, 2010

Content with content

Guild Renown
 For the first time in my AOC gaming history (apart from leveling from 1 to 80) I am content with the content presented to me. I am pleased.The guild renown system was the best thing FC could do. I am feeling like my every action is meaningful for moving the guild towards it's ultimate goal of maxing out on renown. Every level of renown seems to be bringing something nice to the table (enjoying my 2m pots I must say) and there is always something to be looking forward to in the near future (my guild - Exalted - is very close to 7th lvl and the tavern that comes with it). Even running a stupid Villas all of sudden is more fun: valor points form quests/mobs and mat drops for crafting.
Apparently now there is a point of going back to old content and doing stuff you missed (check the valor guilde here) - I am soooo doing Ymir's pass!
It seems that when I am not doing pvp I have plenty pve content and when I am not feeling like doing that there is always some crafting to do and epeen to flex (top contributor of Exalted this week is...Slith).
For the first 2 weeks it seemed that artistry is the only way to level the guild as people crafted en masse thanks to their great supplies of crafting mats. Matter of fact 1.500.000 artistry contributions were very common while glory points were like...2300 per guildie. Luckly the "the well of endless resources" is now dry and the prices on trader are out of this world (1.5's most worthless item - Iron Silk, is selling now for 1,7-2g 0_o). The renown system is apparently balancing itself. 

Minigames and Assassin revamp
The minigames are a little fucked as of now (check assassin's hideout podcast ep.13), but participating in them with revamped assassin makes up for any woes one might have. Any.
I am pushing for my pvp lvl 5 with mere 34% left to grind and I am having fun while doing so (don't get me started on how things were back in 1.5).
To top it off the expansion is allegedly right around the corner and it brings the promise of very crisp alternative advancement system and story and gear and open world...
I guess it is a very exiciting time to be an AoC's subscriber. It feels very awkward to be writing stuff like this after shitting all over FC for 2 years. Hell, it's about time!

Of Course there is no doubt that PVP side of things is suffering and has been for quite some time right now - apparently it will suffer some more since the shrines of Bori and pvp towers will be coming probably LONG after expansion. You know, the one which release date isn't even annouced yet...
I am wondering how hitting the pvp lvl 5 will affect me: I will get the gear soon and eventually be caped at 5,5. Will I get bored with pvp or will the obvious gear upgrade only enhance my already pleasurable pvp experience?
Bit of a rant there, but I felt like I should give credit where credit is due and the fact is that Guild Renown and Assassin Revamp are superb, at least for me because I am in great guild and I play an assassi.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

[Guide] Assassindom part.1: gear

Welcome to Assassindom, a comprehensive guide to 1.6 pvp assassin. I will be taking you step by step from freshly "dinged" 80 lvl assassin to a pvp monster that it has become. In this series you will learn most basic stuff so you can build on it and progress to more advanced topics.
So without further bull shit lets get on with the guide.

Leveling process
I strongly encourage you to focus 100% on leveling. Assassin very much relies on optimized DPS output with survivablity staying on the very same level all the time. In other words: the more feat points are available to you the better you get at killing stuff. Also since minigames are going to be your main source of pvp xp being 80lvl will land you much more games. Finally pre 80lvl minigames are often filled with people trying out their alts and they tend not to be as competitive as 80lvl ones where you will be learning much more.

80 lvl
So you are finally 80lvl. This usually means that you are wearing crap gear. Gear is very important. Your combat efficiency will be measured in you ability to stay alive in a pvp scenario and you will be staying alive mostly by quickly dispatching whatever is thrown at you. Speed is of the essence. The proper gear can greatly improve your overall performance and enjoyment you are getting from pvping. 

There is but one common trap:
Go to pvp with crap gear, die a lot, join raids, get epic tier 1, start doing pvp again, die again, get epic tier 2 and so on. 
People often assume that gear upgrade alone can improve your game play. While this is true to some extend the best way to improve your game play is by playing. Do not expect getting better at pvp by doing pve.How sad is that? This is ofcourse not aimed at people who balance their game time by doing raiding and pvp, but at those who would say "I only need hood and gloves and I can finally start doing some pvp". I have had conversations like that 0_o.
If you are going to be doing some raiding in order to get gear for pvp then its fine as long as you activly engage in pvp. My philosophy is doing pvp in order to get pvp gear for more pvp, but thats just me. Either way is fine I guess.

The set
If you cannot or are not willing to raid then you still have one great option: cultural gear. Our cultural gear is called Bossonian Prowler set. In lore the Bossonians were great marksmen, the first line of defence for kingdom of Aquilonia agaist the dreaded Picts. In "Beyond the black river" story by Robert E. Howard Conan literally stalked and killed Picts in the wilderness in a way that is synonymous with assassination. So contrary to the common belief: the name of the set is fitting the lore.
Since the set is missing two pices you will have to suplement it with Steel silk arm straps and bracers. Don't worry - it fits the visual style of Bossonian set.
As for cloak I am using Cloak of Champions for that little survivality boost it provides.

Asuran ceremonial daggers will serve you will till high end epic replacement 

Rings and necklace
Eye of the watcher and energetic band x 2 will add up much needed DPS

The cost
With the introduction of the Guild renown system the price of every item in game has gone up: from the very basic resources to the high end cultural gear. Since culutral gear set can be exchanged for massive renown gain do not be suprised if you will be seeing the above mentioned items on trader for several dozens of gold pices. You have two options:
#1 Find a friend/guildie that can craft the set, farm the mats yourself and get it for a fraction of the prices
#2 Farm the money and buy it yourself

Since option #1 is available to the very few most of us will have to get the set the old fasion way: farming mats. By gathering basalt and duskmetal you can be getting up to 10 gold per hour and thats not ever counting the bonus rare resources: every once in a while you will find some rare that can land you from 50s to 1g extra money. You will be also attacked by 80lvl NPC which drop steelsilk (great coin nowdays) and good gems (another reason to get to lvl 80 before getting into pvp)
Here are some tips on how to get the most bang for your buck:

1# ideally contact someone that can make items you want. Usually when you say that you will be buying whole set from one person you will get a better price.

2# trade resources for the set. Some people will be willing to make the set in exchange for the tier 3 resources with a higher price. So let say that basalt in 3,5g per stack you could easly make an agreement that your stack will be counted as 4g when trading for Bossonian set

3# do not sell your resources all at once: some times the prices will be a little lower because there are a lot of resources on the trader and sometimes the price will get bumped up a bit (basic rule of supply and demand)

4# undercut for quick coin. Always check the the lowest price and trader: if it higher than the usual then put your resources on trader with a price 1s lower. Since there is no quality diffrence between resources people will always go with the cheapest mats.

When you have your set completed then it is time to gem it. There is no magic formula: stuff the set with combat rating gems and call it a day. The gems will come cheap so don't worry.
As you go aquire your pvp/epic pve pices feel free to upgrade and wear them over the Bossonian set.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Assassin's hideout podcast - ep. 13

show notes:

- minigames = farming
- some sugestions for the changes

title of the post is a link to the podcast.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Assassin's hideout podcast - ep. 12

show notes:

- 1.6 is now live
- new minigames and pvp xp
- revamped assassin

title of the post is a link to the podcast.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The community is going to shitter

This was supposed to be a 2 part post on how all of sudden everyone is an expert on assassin in all of its development stages.
Bist du expert assassin? Clearly everyone on assassin forum can anwser "OUI". And I don't think it is an epeen issue were I am god like and everyone else is a vermin, but when freshly rolled insta-50 assassin which took his time to grind up to...lvl 51 starts complaing I don't really know what to say. I don't post much lately on forums. The reason for that is I am feeling very very disconnected from what assassin community has become. Back in 1.4-1.5 we were this menagerie, a gathering of people passionate about one specific class. Just as 1.6 went live the boards got turned into this
whirlwind of complains, trolling and misconception. Posts of people I know are swept under an avalanche of bullshit coming from people who clearly rolled assassins recently or dusted off their assassins from like 1.3 era.
When I have saw the claim that 1.5 was "the killerz skillerz" and 1.6 is ez-mode I have almost got an hart attack: where were those "killerz skillerz" in 1.5? I have seen only handfull on boards and a couple of assassins on servers. Of course there is always a temptation to warp yourself in "assassin veteran" flag and spit on newcomers/resubers/latercomers/newbies, but what good will come out of doing so? There is no value in that nor it will bring back that old sense of community. I think assassin players have to do what they have always been doing so far: endure and in enduring grow strong. Eventually the trolls will get bored, the chronic rerollers will ....reroll next revamped class and the inexperienced ones will gain in game pvp-wisdom.

To be honest I am not THAT worried that the above mentioned process will take loads of time because assassins have three fatal "flaws" that will eventually make people go back to their mains: 

1. PVP gear dependant
Unless you are sporting a full T3 (T3 has protection stats, right?) you will burn like paper when facing casters. In 1.5 you could justify wearing T2 over pvp gear because of armor and benefits coming from unholly armor. With no armor bonus the pvp armor protection and it's synergy with corrupted body is what saves the day. And what if you are wearing only culture armor or less? You are fucked. Since getting pvp gear is as hard as ever I can't see many progressing fast with their assassins.

2. Survivability
I personally can't see anyone used to the Conq level of survival or even demo going cold turkey and switching to class wearing paper armor. The "lower dps and buff armor" threads are really showing that trend.

3. Melee
The cute demo/necro/tos rerollers can't really handle melee, especially one with shortest ranger and weakest armor in game.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Specc to melt faces

I have been contacted quite a few times already about "the best specc" for pvp. Seems like people still believe that there is an ultimate specc - a specc to end all speccs. I don't have the answser nor do I know of that ancient secret of "best pvp specc". Hell, I didn't even claim that I knew that back in 1.5 . What is my specc right now? Well if you must know I am in between speccs, mixing it up and enjoying diffrent flavors from pure xx/general to the most extreme hybrids. The best thing is that I am not noticing any huge performance increase or drops regardless of my specc: almost all feats are great hence it is very hard to accually gimp yourself (something that was super easy in 1.5).

Just because I don't want to be a cheap ass and leave you hanging - here are the most basic speccs and some with a twists:

Comment: still going strong with the offhand. The philosophy behind this build is that Lotus's miasma deals great DOT and its damage is suplemented via SS/GC buffed with extra offhand. The Agile mind is shaved off in order to get best anti caster performance. You can take point off second wind and put it into natural protection.

Comment: this is slightly cheating because we still drop 5 into Lotus tree, but it is best bang for the buck. Agile Mind is a great suplement to the AOD which doesn't offer protection against stun/fears. If you run into a caster then you better hope you can keep him stunned or you will burn. Explosion is your bread and butter and it does wonders.

Hybrid - face stab

Comment: I have had a lot of fun with this specc. It focuses on Face Stab as primary damage dealer suplemented with great anti cc.

Hybrid - Overdose

Comment: this build focuses on Face Stab buffed with Overdose. With two buffs (overdose, kidney shots) you will be having great burst damage.

...and many many more. Let's just say that "assassin dust" is still setteling and there is still a lot to check out and to test. I will be doing atleast several guides on 1.6 assassin, but first let me enjoy the 1.6 reality with whatever limited gametime I have :D

Until then keep experimating - there is always potential gold to be mined from presumably "stupid" speccs