Tuesday, November 30, 2010

[Guide] Atrophy

This is EASLY my most favorite feat of all. It has always been since day 1. With the 1.6 revamp atrophy became 2/2 feat that gives -30% melee and magic damage debuff. Its instant, fast, it can crit very well, does AOE dmg/debuff and has extremely low CD.
Best of all: it has its uses both in PVP and solo PVE and costs no shards.

Atrophy as an opener
This is the first and most common usage: atrophy is instant, does pretty decent damage and can debuff greatly so double tap forward to gain momentum and unload atrophy on the opponent.

It’s a win/win scenario because:

1.    if you get momentum stun: you have gained valuable seconds to proceed with another nasty trick and as your opponent comes out of the CC he is greatly debuffed. Note that you can upgrade momentum via AA perks so if it procs it will deal extra damage (so basically its an upgrade to Atrophy damage)
2.    if you don’t get the momentum stun: you still have dealt damage and debuffed your opponent. You can follow up with instant CC or take advantage of the remaining 9s of debuff and save CC for later

Atrophy during CC
The first thing your opponent will do after coming out of CC is most likely CC you back. When your enemy is CC there is only so much you can do: you can apply GC+SS or other miasma combination and the CC duration should be about over. However there is still time for that sweet, instant atrophy to drop. Whatever retaliation your opponent will inflict on you after the CC is over with atrophy it will be 30% less severe. For example that cuts 3000 damage from detonation to 2100 saving your ass from suffering 900 more HP loss.
One common mistake is applying atrophy as soon as CC starts which will lead to the loss of valuable debuff time 

Saving team mates
In minigame scenario I often employ atrophy against people who go after healers. 30% debuff usually is enough for healer to recover and out heal the damage while you keep the DPS up. This way you can keep the valuable CC’s for better moment while still making the difference.

AOE and atrophy
Atrophy does cone AOE damage and debuffing. In PVE mobs will stack up and bunch up naturally so you will take full advantage of this. In PVP this is very situational, but the opportunity might rise when two teams clash in the very beginning when they are escorting their flag carriers (on Blood Ravine this will happen a lot).

Atrophy and PVE
In Paikang you will meet quite the number of bosses that you will have to handle solo. Prime examples will be gray apes (Priests of Yun quest) and the dreaded Dark Legion’s Commander. Atrophy makes those a breeze (almost). Also use atrophy as often as you can because the CD is only 45s and taking less damage will result in less down time and smoother progression. Atrophy really shines in Khitai because the mobs generally have more HP than their vanilla AOC counterparts and they are hitting A LOT HARDER. In vanilla AOC atrophy might have been perceived a bit like an overkill (especially since 1.6 assassin’s revamp giving us uber DPS): why debuff a mob if you can KILL it faster? Such is NOT the case with Rise of the Godslayer. I highly recommend this feat especially for those builds that don’t have Avatar feated in – for extra survivability boost.

Atrophy in PVP
Atrophy debuffs both magical and melee damage so its great against all classes. However as you know there are some hybrid classes that employ both magic and melee. Such class in a Hox. Antrophy is almost designed to kill hox.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

FC's sub offers: why try harder?

So this will be a hot topic for some time (a lot of quitrage on the forums too): FC's new 12 months sub offer.
Before I will give you pice of my mind (not that you care) here are some stats (because I know that thats the only thing you do care about):

Senior Community Manager

Here's the information about the White Tiger:
  • Same speed as a swift horse
  • Requires eastern riding (which is included in this offer too as a /claim item)
  • 9% Sprinting Stamina Drain
  • -30 Staggering Chance
  • Charge ability
  • + health when mounted

Now the offer:

And the quite chubby tiger itself:

credit goes to dawee
So its a faction mount with a paint job? Thats laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame & lazy. And a little desperate after FC's last, pretty sloppy Q report (time to digg deep).

I bet FC would have gotten more subs sold and made less people angry if they actually WORKED on their offer. You know, like did stuff and stuff.

I don't mind those kushy offers (hell, I bought 12m sub during last offer), but please put some effort into it *sight*. FC is cutting corners and refrying old content as much as they can. The tiger mount was iconic for the ROGS expansion and I can understand people raging that its ruined now. Kinda is? Well why anyone who have put time and effort into getting like rank 3 with Tamaris would go for instant white tiger plushie? Why anyone with tiger (after grinding it for months) would get this white abomination? Who gets to win here?
I guess...people without sub and a tiger mount?
I am crazy enough that I would have bough another 12m sub if the offer was good. But I just cannot reward a company for half-assed effort.

On the plus side it's a good living down the FC's marketing: you boys and gals have A LOT OF STUFF TO PAINT before you will be out of ideas for next 12m subs offers.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dagger and a bowl of rice ep.7: Solo PVE in Khitai

Ah the glorious Khitai, hands down the hardest solo content you will face in Age of Conan.
Contrary to what some people think assassin, if played the right way™, can handle Rise of the Godslayer easily. Personally, at the time of writing this, I have taken Brittle Blade to rank 4, Yun to rank 3 and Last Legion to rank 3 effectively completing all the quests for those factions from Grass Lands to the Paikang – solo all the way.
So how does one get started with the expansion’s content and live to tell the tale? This guide will take you from trader-trash wearing, noobie GC+Soul Strike to the expic set wearing assassin that can pull several +83 mobs  and still stand his ground.
Specc > Gear
I don’t know how vital the specc is to other classes nor do I care. For assassins the specc can make or break you in every aspect. The very foundation of your survival and progression in Khitai lies in Avatar’s healing. Healing and healing alone will let you live through the punishment some mobs will inflict on your. The ability to deal damage is secondary at best: no matter how high your dmg output will be it will never be enough to drop several mobs before they drop you. Where full Lotus build struggles to take on 3 mobs the hybrid can easily dismember 5 or more. True, you can carefully pull mobs and blow all of your cool downs, but the key to progression, and let face it: pleasure of gaming, is ripping the shit out of mobs in a fast and constant manner. This the hybrid can provide.

The specc: Hybrid with Avatar

Of course there are many variations to this build, but nevertheless avatar should and must stay as the cornerstone.
Lets go over the details:

How to deal with pulling 1 mob
As with every pull the CCs are your friend. If you are facing really resistant mob with large HP pull then use the CC chaining.
GC->SDS->Soul Strike (this will apply both stun and explosion)->CC->Swift Strikes

How to deal with pulling 2 mobs
Atrophy is your friend. This will effectively reduce the damage output of 2 mobs into…1.2 mob. It really makes the difference.

How to deal with pulling more than 3-4 mobs or Bosses
This is where the hybrid build really shines and where all other fail miserably. First open with SDS and use lotus dart while activating avatar of death. This mob with the dart will feed you the much needed HP so DO NOT KILL HIM, turn to the next mob and apply GC+Soul Strike. The explosion will deal AOE damage providing much needed spike and HP leech. At the last second of avatar use Death Whirlwind to get the last spike of HP and damage. If there are any mobs left use snap kick and finish them up. There is a good chance that some mobs standing near the ones affected with Soul Strike and Lotus Dart will get splashed with GC or SDS – use Face Stab to take advantage of this and consume those effects for large damage.
With relish in death specced in (+15% fatality chance) there is also a good chance you will fatality at least one mob which can only help you to deal with the rest faster and with less damage taken.
The following procedure allowed me to take down the Dark Legion’s Commander in Paikang, loot his head and still run away to safety. I have to yet face more worthy foe than him.
There is more than meets the eye in that build so check my other guides for more details on some of the feats:
Once you have your build all sorted out you can prepare your gear. Needless to say Khitai faction’s gear works best for Khitai. If you do not have T1/T2 epics then get yourself Assassin’s cultural gear (Bossonian set) along with some pieces from City Crafted Gear.

Contrary to the pvp set up the Khitai requires two things from your gear: a lot of Hit Points and Hit Rating. Without HP you will die fast and without hit rating stats you will miss a lot and as a result: die a lot.
I myself have started my journey through Khitai with cultural gear made for pvp (see the guide above) but I have used collector’s edition rings (epic one and blue one with LOADS of HP and hit rating) and also the necklace reward for killing Grim Gray God. Those have made OCEAN of difference.
You can get pretty decent ring by doing “simple”, but rare quest given by the Emissary of King of Zamora. This quest will spawn at random when you chose to defend the caravan during your journey to Khitai. Just keep taking the road to khitai quest and dieing until you meet the Emissary.
This quest involves killing 500 demons (you can kill those in Grass Lands) which might sound really tedious (and it is!), but its not THAT much  of a grind (like hell its not..) and the ring has nice stats on it.
Upgrade your gear pieces as soon as you can get a replacement from your faction of choice: I went with Brittle Blade.
Do NOT worry about MOAs! As you progress through content the tokens will be more and more easy to acquire. Right now I am getting exactly 55 MOAs in 46 minutes  (solo PVE!) and I have heard its very  much possible to reach 100 MOAS per hour mark. Time will tell.
Funcom did a great job at making perks progress your character horizontally. Trust me: after upgrading a couple of perks you WILL feel more powerful.
My perks are PVP focused, but that didn’t really hinder my progression – there is hardly a need to be switching perks from PVP to PVE mode.
I recommend getting choking powder, liberation (there are very few CCs, but this perk gives great damage) Tainted Weapons and Finely Honed (very few mobs will use shields, but it will come handy both in PVP and Group PVE)
See the guides here: http://forums-eu.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?t=114374

Once you get to lvl 4 with Brittle Blade and Yun you can start buying REALLY awesome pets that will take your damage and survivability to the next level.

And that is it!  May your blades never dull!


new links to builds:
Hybrid with Atrophy
Hybrid with Grave Blossom