Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alternative Advancement Perks - ultimate guide to AAs

Keep in mind that this guide is geared towards solo pve / pvp. If you want to raid then it might not be the best choice (most certainly it won't). I haven't covered PVE perks that are related to raiding at all.

I will talk about MPs (main perks, aka those you put on your bar) and SPs (side perks, those that are passive).

If you are just starting out..

Here is what you need to know about AA system:

Perks is what you get by investing AA points. Feats are what you get from you class tree and put on your regular bars.Perks need to be put onto your special perk bar before either you can receive benefits from them (passive perks) or put those on your regular bar (some perks give abilities that can be used just as regular feats). Some passive perks doesn't need to be put onto perk bar to benefit you.

There are 3 main "trees" or segments in your AA window: general segment, archetype segment and class segment.

For example assassin can get perks from general segment (all classes can), rogue segments (barbs and rangers can get those too) and assassin segment (assassin exclusive).
When it comes to perks you can only use 2 of each segment at the same time. So for example: 2 from general, 2 from rogue and 2 from asssassin.

Perks are divided into PVE and PVP perks. Some pvp perks work in pve, a lot of pve perks work in pvp and very few pve perks doesn't work in pvp.

You buy perks with 3 kind of points: mastery (you get those for doing PVE), prowess (you get those for doing PVP) and Expertise (special points).

Each time you ding you get 3 points (mastery or prowess) and 1 point expertise. Mastery points can be spent only on PVE perks, Prowess points can be spent only on PVP perks and Expertise points can be spent on everything you like. There are some perks that require both Mastery points and Prowess points.

There are 3 types of perks: Gray, Silver and Golden. Gray ones are passive so you just add points to them and they are providing benefits. Silver ones has to be put onto perk bar and take up 1 slot. Golden ones are sorta "ultimates" supposedly powerful perks that take 2 slots on perk bar.

Right now there are pretty much two viable paths for assassin to take:

Damage Sin and Critical sin.

Damage Sin: specc based on providing constant, high damage while cutting through armor via high amounts of penetration.


Field of War - great source of damage. Upgrade to your pvp combat and magic damage ratings.

Precise Strikes - added penetration. It allows some of your attack to bypass armor/anti magic defences. Its a great addition to your Precise Strikes feat from corruption tree.

Liberation - anti CC and a source of damage. Pretty much the king of perks. Read up on this here.

Tainted Weapons - removes HOTs (heals of time) from your target. Mandatory for PVE, but also great in PVP.

Sins of Flesh - Costs 1 soul shard upon usage. I like this combo because it is better than Swift Strikes. If you use it on healer it also makes his healing less effective with it's debuff. What I also like about this is that you need just 1 point  in this (1/5) to get maximum damage out of it. Even if you are going to get other perks later on you can still get 1/5 in Sins of Flesh to have great replacement for Swift Strikes.

Castration - Grants 2 soul shards upon successful use. It replaces lethargy combo. Bit slow animation, but you have to fill that second slot with something anyway. When it crits this combo can do massive damage and getting two shards out of it saved my ass more than few times. Regardless of points put into you get same damage, but the chance to get shards if higher.

1/5 - if you get 2 shards you can call yourself lucky (and I mean it)

2/5 - some times you can get 2 shards,

3/5 - it gets more reliable, also usable

4/5 - you must be very unlucky to not get the shards. Pretty much always works.

5/5 - shards are guaranteed. Getting 5/5 in this perk requires 900h training!!!! might want to settle for 4/5.

Critical Sin: this build relies heavily on dealing critical hits (with proper gear you can get it over 25% chance to crit) and then making those critics bypass enemy defences.

Pressing Strikes and Decisive Strikes - your bread and butter. It upgrades your crit chances and damage those crits do.

Liberation and Tainted Weapons -
some perks are irreplaceable. See above.

Master Assassin - Passive golden perk. It makes your critical hits harder to mitigate (PVP T2 & 3 and Khitai Gear has critigation stat which this perks pretty much neutralises).

Since the recent CC changes previous golden perk Choking Powder got changed and now it has casting time. It used to be great perk for Damage Sin build, but it seems like its no longer viable. You can still supplement Damage Sin build with Master Assassin perk if you don't like the combos.

Keep in mind that Master Assassin perk doesn't work in PVE at all.

And now which Side Perks to get:

All "Wards" perks - those are anti magic. Max them out.

All "Resistance" perks - those are anti CC. Max them out

All "Empowered" perks - those upgrade your damage with face stab/combos. Max them out.

Nimble - passive 5% running speed. Mandatory.

Penetrate Armor - added armor penetration. Penetrate!

Exploit Opening - makes passive shields (those ((( around characters and mobs) less effective.

Vitality - more health. You need HP to stay alive.

Invigoration - gives stamina and makes running drain less stamina. Mandatory!

Pit Fighter - gives 10% weapon damage. Very little damage upgrade for assassin, but every bit helps.

Frenzied Strikes - 5% offhand chance. Again, every bit helps

Expanded Sidestep - gives extra evade. Check it out here.

Finely Honed - removes bubbles and shields (but only mage shield and bubbles gained via AA points). Mandatory for PVE and great for PVP. The only passive perk that gives ability that you can put on your bar without it taking up the slot on the perk bar.

Which Side Perks NOT to get:

Quick Step
- PVP evade. Very very low. Sucks!

Immeasurable Empowerment - gives good amount of all stats. Perhaps this is good for hybrid classes like BS and HOX but not for sin.

Empowered Momentum - gives damage if you stun someone with momentum (double tap forward to get "momentum" and attack to have a chance to stun). Fully upgraded it does 250 damage on Chosain Mob. Sucks beyond belief!

Arcane Plunder
- gives magic immunity. Perhaps as we get more gear budget stats in further expansions it will make this interesting.

Elusive Nature - gives chance to mitigate crits. Tank perk.

Dance of Death - upgrades Impede Life combo with hit rating debuff. The problem is that everyone has insane amount of hit rating so this does next to nothing.

Disfigure - returns some stamina and burns mana on face stab. Very little return and no damage upgrade.

Which Side Perks you MIGHT want at some point:

Extended Lethargy and Impede Life - makes debuff from those combos last longer. Very very bottom of your perk priority list. Might want to get it 2 years from now.

Avoid Entrapment - makes root and stun CC last shorter. Meh.

Chromatic Warding
- gives insane amount of anti magic. Might be interesting for sieges.

Fortifying Empowerment - gives good amount of Health. Might be interesting for sieges.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dagger and a bowl of rice ep.8: Faction switch

Can you tell who's chair I am sitting in this picture? Of course you can't. Let me give you a hint: its in Hyrkanians camp and this crappy pice of furniture used to accommodate some very important ass.

Used to, of course, before I slew the owner of this chair - the War Chief -  and by this blood letting I have fulfilled my vengance that I have sworn against the Hyrkanians (aka BULLSHIT faction). Today I have actually completed my total faction switch. That is right: after dinging all factions to rank 4 I have decided to check out every single opposite faction. This is done purely for the story because that is ROGS strong point.

For example I simply LOVE the clever use of lore in Children of Yag-Kosha quest text:

Here is what can be found in the "Tower of Elephant":

Let me be free of this cage of broken blind flesh, and I
will once more be Yogah of Yag, morning-crowned and shining, with
wings to fly, and feet to dance, and eyes to see, and hands to break.'

Quest giver asked me to kill some Yuns and although he hated this act of violence he told me that Yag has feet to dance, but also hands to break. Delicious!

It gets even better: when ask why are they are praying to dead god the Children responded that their players are still working because the death of Yag is not the death of a man.

The life of man is not the life of Yag, nor is human death the
death of Yag. Let me be free of this cage of broken blind flesh, and I
will once more be Yogah of Yag.

I love how much lore Funcom writers were able to squize out of one mere story.

The Wolves are ruthless and it is a nice change from Hyrkanians which seems to be spending their time drag-racing on horses instead of fighting.

Scarlet Circle so far (rank 2) is a little disappointing. It is like the writer is trying too hard to make them look evil enough. I get it, they are evul!!

Since I have re-joined Brittle Blade (previously betraying them and getting rank 4 with Shadows) I have noticed an interesting thing: you cannot re-do the story. Once you have beaten certain faction you can only do the repeatable quests and not the main story. On one hand thats nice because some mundane, low level quests are best to be done once and forgotten, but at the same time I have been looking forward to meeting the Death Goddess again and asking her a question (probably something about next expansion).

Scholars in Chosain have PAINFULY mirror-like quests to Tigers. Poorly written faction for poorly designed zone. I hate Chosain.

I do have some hidden agenda too: right now I am actively looking for best faction quests to chain together into ultimate 55m minute run that will give MAX moas possible (I hope for something +300 moas and 2-3 rare tokens per run). Once I have discovered the route/factions set up I will be writing a guide on that. So far Children are proving to be great MOA generating faction, superior to all other.

I hope that next episode will include my total review of ROGS which I should have beaten by then. Damn, about time we have heard some stuff about next expansion!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Savage Coast of Turan - who are you, Ardashir?

Couple of weeks ago the "hidden" content has been discovered. It was the Turan zone and Ardashir.Now everyone knows Turan: it was very well penned out Rober E.Howard and featured in many Conan comics. The Turanian Empire is second to none in Hyboria and could rival the jewel of the west itself - Aquilonia. 

What about Ardashir? Well my first reaction was: find it on map! Is it there? Well, no. Damn. se.
After doing a quick search on the Internets (all 3 of them) I have learned that Ardashir was featured in two issues of Marvel's King Conan (comics that are crappy ass hell, don't try it). Guess what...I went online and bought those two issues.

After couple of pages I have started to recognize the plot. The story in the comic was page-by-page Conan the Avenger by Björn Nyberg. Decent book. The story takes place shortly after the events from "The Hour of The Dragon" and Conan is already a King, traveling to.....far away Khitai!

Now the problem: Ardashir is a mere captain of Turanian army stationed in a lousy outpost in the desert.
Ardashir of Akif

We already know that the Savage Cost of Turan will take place 20 years after the events from the movie so if we have followed the time line Ardashir is still a mere captain in Age of Conan. I doubt there is a whole city dedicated to this sad slob.

Then came this announcement from FC:

Slated for an August release, ‘Conan the Barbarian’ tells the tale of Conan and his adventures across Hyboria. The new adventure pack launches players on exciting adventures, as they help Artus unravel the conspiracy and plots surrounding the city of Ardashir in Turan.
City of Ardashir? If you look closely on the artwork you will see that there is even Ardashir Fort.

So here you go, most likely Ardashir is made up by FC and not lore base at all.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

See me bust a move!

thanks to

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Path of Enlightened

I had my eyes on this since ROGS day 1. It is a spell book from Jian Shi faction that gives you a permanent spell (spell, not a PET).

After weeks and weeks (and weeks) of daily Refuge instance runs (not that I mind, its a great content) I have managed to get 139 out of 150 rares needed for this item. It is true what they say: the last 100m dash is the hardest. So I did 2 x Kara Korum run (something that I almost never do) to get to the final 150.

Needless to say I have ran like a madman to the village of Jiang Shi to buy this (on TL of course, always test stuff first before you blow 150 rare tokens :X).

Here are my findings:

After learning the spell it appears in your spell book. For assassin this is our only spell (miasmas doesn't count apparently) so new, separate TAB is created. You can drag the icon to your hot bar.

The spell uses the animation from HOX: a lot of flames and smoke and the *poof* you are a Gnome, ...I mean Jiang Shi. The casting time is very short: about 1-1,5 seconds.

The spell is considered "transformation" so certain classes like HOX can have big problems with it because you can't use demon form and jiang shi form at the same time. Assassins are fine, you can use whatever with jiang shi form.

Now the good stuff. The buffs are very marginal: some unholy damage rating, some magic damage and 5 life regeneration. It is nothing to be boastful about, but lets do some analysis:

1. Unholy damage is our bread & butter. Using soul strike miasma can debuff your opponent against unholy and having high magic penetration only furthers this. So in fact you can benefit from this a lot more than other classes.

2. Magic damage is always good for your detonation.

3. Life regeneration

All that is good, but the real treat is in Kara Korum because this spell removes all created debuffs for the duration. You WILL feel the difference going from -20 life regen to +5. Basically it gives you "Super Hero" mode in Kara Korum both against players and mobs.Seriously, the difference is staggering as crater gives some nasty debuffs. Something to consider for all of yo gankers out there.

The cool down is 10 minutes and the buff is 1 minute. You heard me. First of all 10 minute CD is nothing extraordinary: remember second wind? Second thing is that the spell has a chance to refresh itself for another 1 minute upon melee or melee spell. So far I was able to chain-refresh this buff for whole 6 minutes. The best part is that the spell CD will go on even if you refresh the buff. After 6 minutes of  using the buff the spell it self had only 4 more minutes for a complete cool down.


It is "free". Get it. It might not be fabulous or ass-whooping damage, but it is:

1. permanent upgrade to your character

2. doesn't cost feat points or perk slots

3. pretty damn cool

4. Kara Korum god mode.

 Tokens come and go and what is an epic item today might not be so epic 6 months from now, but getting spell/pet is something that you will always benefit from. I have  bought it on live and I don't regret it.

Some updates:
1. the buff will last through pvp death, but will fade away on pve death (as all other buffs do, like corrupted body).
2. you cannot use your Khitai pets while the buff is running (weird, huh?), but you can use the pet and THEN use the buff and you will get all the bonuses.
a mug that only mother could love

so keep your mask on at all times

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Assassin's Hideout goes 300! Spartaaaaaaaaaa!

I have posted 300 times yesterday. Can you imagine this? I know I can't. Looking back at all those years it seems so unlikely that I would have stuck around for this long.

So how did it all begin? I remember back in the day I have been done with WoW for several months and been messing around with Starcraft. Honestly I have sucked at SC (since ever ;p) so I have been looking around for something to play in my pass time. One day I have found some random crap on Age of Conan. Age of freaking Conan? Uh? Conan? You mean like that movie?

 The hype machine must have been switched to "Erling Ellingsen crazy" because AOC was popping up in almost every MMO site's post. I have decided to give it a shot when it comes out. I have even read some of the Dark Horse Conan comics. It was a amazing read. I remember those two very vividly: The halls of dead and The Book of Toth. Both great and those made me hungry for more.

While going through some other Dark Horse Conan stuff I have came across a name....Robert E.Howard. I have NEVER associated Conan character with books before. I was under impression that it was the movie that started it all. I have bought the very first Conan book, Lancer edition with stunning Frank Frazetta cover. It blew my mind. Even thou the books were translated to polish (very good translation BTW) the unique and energizing Howard's writing style poured from every single page. It was this very moment that I knew I have been bitten, that I came across something that will cherish till the end of my days. Indeed the black-haired, sullen-eyed barbarian and his brutal world of Hyboria captured my imagination beyond any of my expectations. During those 3 years I have bough and read all the original REH books both in polish and english coupled with a lot of comics (both Dark Horse and Marvel).

So before Age of Conan went live I have already went through couple of books and I could really appreciate Hyboria for what it was.

The start was very bumpy. Even thou I have never experienced anything game breaking with AOC client its been very sluggish. First I have bough new computer and then new video card and processor. If AOC does something right its getting my money.

I came across a lot of bullshit in this game. A LOT. There is no chance in hell I would have put up with even half of it if it wasn't for it's Hyborian setting.

Now the blog it self. It was my way to give back to the community that have provided me with so much. Back in the days of Mephs and other  AOC superstars forums were not filled with QQ and nerf requests, but rather helpful, insightful posts and even instructional videos. When the old school players quit I have decided to step up and re-distribute whatever knowledge of the game I have gained on my own and learned from others. That was my initial intention, but obviously it grew beyond that.
It became a place for me to share my ideas, hopes and yes, to vent some of my frustrations (a lot less of those as of late, this ain't 2009 ;p). Of course there were many times when I was like "fuck it, no one reads this" but I have pushed on. At last I have reached "critical mass" when I have poured enough of time and content into it and it became self propelling, a part of my life style and gaming. But it was always about the community. Friendly comments both on blog and in game kept me going because as it turns out I dig when people enjoy what I create. Furthermore the Hideout grew into a forum that apparently is more known that the blog itself since it got mentioned on

It's been a fun ride and I can only wish I will be here for the years to come.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank YOU, teh read0rz : without you I would just be an angry weirdo talking to his iPhone on his way to work. It is you who make it "podcast done by angry weirdo" and this site an actual blog. Thank you, keep on readin' and I will keep posting.