Saturday, November 26, 2011

Get into (blogging) game

Recently we have lost quite the number of Age of Conan bloggers. This takes me to the main issue of how little press coverage and media Age of Conan gets. Hint: very little. Looking back at what blogs we had I gotta mention: - the grandfather of all blogs. If anything it gave me the idea of running class blog. Evii's writing was more of a "trial and error" type of guides, more of a journal if anything, where he was jotting his notes about his progression with the class. - the blog I loved for it's personalized touch on Age of Conan.Quite a few rants and insights about how the things were back in the days (of high adventure).I still do troll this blog by posting a comment about some major events in AOC. - now that was some major disappointment for me: the guy had such an energy to just go in and write his ass off. And yet here we are :X - a blog dedicated to conqueror's class. It had nice vibe, but it the end it seems like the author wasn't really all that into Age of Conan in the first place - a dear student of mine. Of all blogs this one had the potential to become this great, refined thing. Arcalimon had the dedication and the will to go on. Sad to see him go. - a very interesting and niche project. I have been following "deadly sins" with anticipation. Basically the blog was covering the whereabouts of assassin only guild. 

And the honorable mention goes to this guy: - "Our future is simple to expand, Recruit and to expand our knowledge to help our fast growing users of the website" indeed my good sir, truer words were never written... 

If you are thinking about writing your own blog I highly recommend doing that. No, really do it. Here are few tips about the things I have learned the hard way: 

1. Audience - don't get into blogging if you are not willing to write just for yourself. I find it very rewarding to just type in what I am thinking about and if someone reads that and enjoys it: great. When I started I had like 2-3 readers and now I have about 200 page hits per day. Even if all of you were gone I would still have kept doing it because "one bitten, forever smitten". That is how we roll in the bloggosphere (I HATE that word). 

2. Content - I think most people have problems with finding the stuff to write about. Lets face it: Age of Conan ain't WoW, baby, and if you are going to rely only on re-posting official news you are not only going to bore your readers to death, but also starve your blog and end up like (prime example of what not to do). My rule of thumb is: share knowledge and opinions. Those are the two things that people are really interested in: finding crucial piece of information about their class that will help them to improve the game play experience or read some one's rants and that they hopefully agree with (if not they can always rage in the comments). Don't be afraid to post things that you think are nothing out of ordinary, you don't have to be in world's first T4 Emperor kill to write something interesting. Hell, if anything I am enjoying those "oh-not-so-epic" tales written by low level players that are taking their first steps in Hyborian kingdoms.

3. Persistence - if you are going to write then STICK with it.Just like with everything else by re-engaging in the activity on regular basis you will develop habit. If you are going to do 3 posts in 2 days and then go silent for 2 months then no one (except some crazy weirdos like me) are going to ever read your crap again. 

4. Enjoy it - this is the last, but not least. This is not your second job, this is not your future carrier or gateway to "Internetz famez". It should, optimally, be something that you really enjoy doing. If you have this creative side of you that is screaming to get out then this is great opportunity to express yourself. The blog gives me a chance to vent some feeling about a game (it sounds super geeky, but we all got angry at a game at one point),criticize things that I don't like, give my appreciation to things that I love (so it is not "once I did wrong and that I am hearing ever, twice I did right and that I am hearing never") and finally share whatever knowledge I can with other players. I like giving tips inside the game when someone asks for help simply because I like helping people. The blog lets me to do same thing, but, hopefully, on a larger scale. These things I enjoy. 

Yeah, that is about it, the four key factors. I highly encourage you to at very least give it a shot. Hit the "create a blog" button and give me your thoughts - I dare you.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

[Guide] Lotus Dart miasma

Perhaps the most misunderstood miasma of all: the lotus coated dart is also known as lotus dart. When lotus dart is used with Slow Death Strikes it creates DoT called Lotus Toxin: Deadly Venom, and if Grim Corruption effect is present the Lotus Dart will trigger Lotus Toxin: Grim essence. Wow that is a lot of lingo to memorise!

This is why people refer to both of those effect as simply "Lotus Dart" calling each of those "Lotus Toxins" as Lotus Dart + SDS (slow death strikes) or Lotus Dart silence (lotus dart + GC).

Lotus Dart
This miasma is our only ranged attack. I mean "attack" is really too big of an word: on it's own, without any poison present, it puts a DOT on your target and ticks for mere couple of hundred damage. Really, you can call yourself lucky if  you get 500 dmg out it if. In comparison other miasmas are superior: face stab on it's own does 1 x damage which can easily crit over 1000 dmg (on players!) and soul strike can crit up to 600, but more importantly it applies holy/unholy debuff that can be stacked. So what can you do with lotus dart alone?

Pulling - I find it a great tool to pull mobs with out switching to cross bow. It is very fast (instant) and has quite a reach.

Chasing - it can be useful if you are chasing after someone in open world PVP. If your opponent runs long enough unmolested he can re-stealth which pretty much makes your kill go bye-bye. Throw lotus dart at him and he will again be marked as in PVP so not being able to enter stealth.

Lotus dart + crossbow
- man, that is REALLY reaching for it, but yeah the sweetest kills you can get in PVP are those made with crossbow and since you can use your dart while holding and shooting crossbow why not add those pitiful damage numbers to whatever you can do with your ranged attacks.

Killing critters - nothing like using dart on chickens...*sigh*

Lotus dart + SDSIf the dot from SDS if present on the target (it will stay only for 5 seconds) and Lotus Dart is used then SDS dot is consumed and replaced by two new dots: Deadly Venom and Lotus Dart crappy dot. What is the main difference between SDS dot and Deadly Venom apart from damage? Well SDS does unholy damage and Deadly Venom is poison damage which means it is checked against armor. This means that deadly venom will take advantage from armor debuffs like burden to bear. Back when patch 1.6 that brought assassin revamp was on test server deadly venom did so massive and constant damage that your screen was almost blocked by flying damage numbers. It was nerfed pretty badly. Nevertheless it is still a very potent DOT. You can get 2 upgrades for this:

Steeped Lotus Extract - +15% damage and +10 spell critical chance. It is decent, but essence detonation gets one more stat which is Spell Critical Chance. This is why detonation based builds are turning out more devastating damage. It is decent upgrade, if you are going to invest heavily in lotus tree then take it.

Baneful venom - this is a second dot that gets added along with SDS dot. The trick is that Lotus Dart consumes only SDS dot and Baneful venom will stay. I like this upgrade.

Vile Corruption
- this adds instant unholy damage when SDS dot is consumed by Lotus Dart. It is like mini (and I say MINI) detonation on top of your dot. I like this upgrade better than Baneful venom because it also works great with Face Stab. Face stab does instant damage and this Vile Corruption is in sync with it since it is also instant which creates great spike.

When to use Lotus Dart with SDS
After essence detonation - as explained in previous post about essence detonation it leaves the target softened up and vulnerable. Both armor debuff & poison debuff help the Deadly Venom poison damage and unholy debuff help SDS dot damage and Baneful Venom/Vile Corruption damage. This is why opening fight with essence detonation is superior to any other combination.

When the target has low armor - with armor up to medium lotus dart will have better effect than with heavy/full plate.

When there is high chance the target will run - I wouldn't count on Dark Templar running away from assassin, but you can pretty much expect this from ranged casters and rangers. The problem is that your target can be running away as you are going through your grim corruption animation which means the opponent will be far out of reach of your soul strike miasma. Same is not true for lotus dart: not only you can use SDS rank II to apply DOT super fast (it has no effect on how strong the DOT from dart will be), but also with dart's super long reach you will still be able to consume the dot with your miasma.

When target is trying to pick up a flag - nothing interrupts picking up the flag than constant DOT damage

Lotus Dart + Avatar of Death - DOT's ticks provide great, constant stream of healing if you have Avatar of Death running.

Lotus Dart silence (lotus dart + GC)
It lasts mere 3 seconds. Really, it is a waste most of the times. I guess it has it's uses when it is bundled with SDS so your opponent has both DOT and silence on him, but when it comes to quickly silencing your enemy I still favor Choking powder perk

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Second assassin advocate steps down

FURYBlakhart, action movie star, philanthropist and raider has made this announcement:

Not going to go into huge amounts of detail but I wanted to let the Sin Community know I have told Sil, Funcom, etc that I am no longer going to be the sin advocate and will probably not renew my sub past its current cycle.

In short; too many issues with varying aspects of the game and also trying to rationalize spending the extra time not only playing the game but also doing the Advocate stuff vs real life.

It's been great fun and this has been one of the better communities around in my opinion.

Hope for those who are enjoying the game that you continue to do so and have fun!

Take it easy everyone.

 This was our second and only advocate after Chillwhisper who quited long time ago.

Personally I am very surprised because I have always considered FURY one of the die hards. I am sure that real life stuff was a major factor in his decision however his bitterness about the state of the game is also evident (which I find totally justified).

Live long and prosper FURY, you will be missed.

You can check more on FURY in this interview I did with him a while ago.