Thursday, December 27, 2012

[Guide] Getting Gold chest in Refuge of Apostate

Here is how assassin class can beat the time trial in the maze part of Refuge of Apostate.
Timing is crucial of pay close attention to the details of the video - it shows you exacly how to move. In fact timing is more important than speed because, as you will see, you can get sloppy and get frozen one or two time and still beat the clock. Getting burned by flame has no effect on your performance, but if you can't take so much damage then use dull pain to mitigate it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays and a great 2013!

It was pretty strange year for Age of Conan, but for me it is pretty apparent that the game is no were near dieing (as prophesied by many, since 2008). The upcoming Secrets of The Dragon Spine and the crafting revamp are going to be worthy addition to the Hyboria and without doubt those will bring back people and bring in even more. I am sure of it.  While personally I have struggled to keep my interest in this game I have to admit that in the end Funcom got to keep my money...again.

So grab a glass of milk and pull up a chair...I have baked something for all of you!

Yeah is a ginger bread assassin with T 3.5 daggers fighting a HOX. We all know how that duel is going to end :P

 Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2012

"sliths account has been hacked"

image taken from
So it has finally happened: first time since EVER during my online gaming (which dates back to Starcraft 1) my account got hacked. My Age of Conan account to be exact. 
At first noticed that something was off when I logged on and saw my bars being located on the center of the screen which indicates that game was played at different resolution. When I have opened my inventory I have noticed 78 silver left....out of my Hyborian life's savings. Luckily my character nor the items I have were effected in any way which is VERY strange. 
I remember reading about horrible hacking accidents where the characters were left butt-naked and their shit sold to the vendors. Damn, I have even heard about hackers spending hard-earned AA points on stupid perks (wouldn't effect me anyway, I am almost maxed out). I have two theories on this: either the hacker was super merciful and decided to go soft on me, or he was really in a hurry and decided that my gold alone was enough. I have tweeted about my unfortunate hacking and e-mailed with the details. What really surprised me is that a thread poped up on official forums (sliths account has been hacked) which people offering their support and kind words of solidarity. Even more people contacted me in game, whispering that they hope I will get my stuff back. Here comes another surprise: Funcom's GM handled my e-mail in 8 hours so when I got back from work my gold was back on my character. GM even went that extra mile and checked my account for any missing items. All of them were there. 

So I have learned two things that day: contrary to what some may say Age of Conan's community is not shit and neither is Funcom's Support Team. This whole incident caused me almost no inconvenience and the experience left me with warm, fuzzy, carebear feeling that even in MMO space people can still give a crap about such petty things as someone getting hacked. 

Dear I say that there is hope for the humanity? No. Hope for Age of Conan community? Absolutely. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

[Guide] Critical hits and all things related

If anything assassin is defined by his burst damage and such is granted to him via critical hits. Of course what people call "critical hit" is a little bit more complicated and I will try in this post to show you what is going on when you see big numbers flying around your screen.

First of all you have to understand few key stats:

Critical Rating - your bread and butter. Critical rating simply gives you  a % chance to preform critical hit. Considering you have 0% Critical Damage Rating your "naked" critical hit will increase your damage by 50%. 

Critical Damage Rating - it increases the damage of your critical hits.

Critigation Chance - the receiver of the critical hit has a percentage chance to do a critical mitigation(Critigation).

Critigation Amount - it the receiver of the critical hit rolls successfully on hit critigation chance then critigation amount decides on how much of incoming critical damage will be mitigated.

Tenacity - Tenacity counters your targets Critigation it the receiver of the critical hit rolls successfully on hit critigation chance.

With me so far?

Pretty much Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating are what we could call "synergy" stats meaning they are best when stacked together.

Same goes for Critigation Chance and Critigation Amount .

Just having high Critical Damage Rating (bonus critical damage) won't do you whole much good if you have very low chance to do critical hit at all.

Also having absurdly good Critigation Chance isn't worth anything if you have marginal Critigation Amount .

Critical hits and bonus critical hits as well as critigation and critigation chance behave same way both in PVE and PVP. 

Tenacity,on the other hand, is a completely different beast because it works ONLY in PVP. 
There are two sources of tenacity: tier 2 and tier 3 PVP gear and assassin's golden perk called "Master Assassin". Stacking said PVP gear with master assassin perk gives 105% tenacity total which means that your critical damage cannot be all.

So what all that means for assassin class?

- Critical Rating is all around great stat and you should always try  get more of it.
- Critical Damage Rating only good if you already have high critical rating, otherwise it has very limited use.
- Critigation chance is only good if you have a lot of critigation. Assassin class should accept their critigation chance that comes from PVP gear and not try to actively pursue trying to make said chance higher,
- Critigation amount - assassin class can't get enough critigation gear and critigation chance to make anything, but minor impact on their survivability. Assassin is not a tank.
- Tenacity - works best when you already have great critical rating, critical damage rating and PVP T2-T3 gear with master assassin perk. In this optimal scenario you will take full advantage of your crits which won't be mitigated by your opponent. It takes significant time and effort investment to get those optimal conditions (gear + perk) but in the end it is worth it (you WILL see the differenece when fighting a tank class).

Now two pvp scenarios that will show those stats doing their thing:

Scenario #1:
"Assassin jumps poor questing Guardian who is wearing his Khitai gear. The assassin, being asshole he is, attacks from stealth and the hit crits adding 50% damage to already impressive numbers. Since the assassin is wearing critical damage rating gear his out of steal th attack gets even more boost adding damage on top of 50% increase coming from crit itself. But the Guardian, being the tank he is, is not defenseless. As soon as assassin launches is treacherous stealth attack Guardian rolls on his critigation chance and since he is in tank specc his roll is successfully and critigation amount kicks in to mitigate assassin's massive bonus damage. But this assassin have not came unprepared either: just as Guardian's Critigation Amount was about to mitigate part of assassin's critical damage the Master Assassin perk grants that sweet 105% tenacity (yes, that extra 5% is an overkill) and the critigation amount get bypassed. Assassin deals stealth damage + 50% damage + x% bonus critical damage"

Scenario #2:
"PvP lvl 2 Necromancer dressed like a clown, in his blue and green trader-trash items, is about to mount his horse. The sneaky assassin decides that nothing says "pro" more than running up to that Necro and using Death's Whirlwind. The Necromancer, blindsided by this unconventional attack, gets crited and since the assassin is wearing critical damage rating gear - the Death's Whirlwind gets even more boost adding damage on top of 50% increase coming from crit itself.
The critical damage and critical bonus damage goes through Necromancer like a hot knife through butter and, since he has not critigation gear, the critical damage and critical bonus damage are dealt in full. The assassin is using Master Assassin perk, but since the Necromancer has no Critigation gear the Tenacity has nothing to counter and has not effect on the outcome of the fight".

So as you can see Critical Ration and Critical Damage Rating will always help you in every fight, while Tenacity will only have an impact on those opponents that can actually have gear with critigation stats to counter your bonus critical damage. 

To sum it up:

- Do always get Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating gear
- Get Master Assassin perk only when you already have at least Tier 2 pvp gear, otherwise settle for much better Sins of Flesh + other perk.


 1-09-2010, 06:16 PM        #17
Systems Designer

Ok, there seems to be some confusion about this topic. Critical chance and critical damage bonus don't really have anything to do with this topic. If you do a lucky roll and get a crit the critical damage bonus is applied.

Now after this is done this is where Critigation, Critigation Chance, and tenacity comes in. The receiver of the crit has a percentage chance to do a critical mitigation(Critigation). This roll is just to check if you can mitigate the crit or not. If you mitigate the crit that is when tenacity comes into play. Tenacity counters your targets Critigation. Because players are the only ones that have Critigation; Tenacity only works on players.

Both critical damage bonus and tenacity will help the attacker in a pvp situation.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

[Guide] Skills & Perks - the pvp essentials

 In this post I want to talk a bit about some skills and perks that are not exclusive for assassin class, but they are pretty much essential for successful pvping as assassin. 

Dash - this skill is available to every class and it taps into your stamina supply in order to convert it for energy. How often should you use it? Every damn time! As of now stamina is almost meaningless resource and it will be super rare for you to be even close to being out of stamina in pvp.  Therefor your energy pool will always be more important than stamina. The best practice is to be watching your energy pool closely and use dash every time your pool is about half consumed. If you use dash too early some of the energy will be wasted. The idea is to keeping your character mobile and in order to do that you have to manage your energy in most efficient manner. Don't be afraid to use dash all the time. It is not a skill that should be used when you are out of energy, but rather one that is there for you so you will never run out of energy. That is the difference.

Rest - post energy revamp rest became ultra effective when it come to rapid (and I mean it: rapid) health and energy restoration. Rest is way more effective than whatever you can get from your average healer. I have rest bound along with my health pot and stamina pot so when I am using it also triggers my heath pot. Rest is the essential tool for assassin's style of play: run out of the fight, rest up, stealth and rejoin the fight. With rest it really pays to be doing the "hit & run" tactic. Just make sure that your are not moving when trying to use rest because otherwise it will go on the cool down. Also you can't have any dots going off and damaging you. Have it on your bar, use it often.

Hide - assassins are kings of stealth combat. Why? Because assassin will deal 1 x face stab damage with every stealth attack and still not have face stab miasma to go on cool down. Meaning? Meaning you can do the stealth attack and use face stab at the same time and that translate to instant 2 x face stab. If you are using unholy stabs (+15% critical chance) and necrosis (+15% damage) and are topping if off with +5% damage from passive perk then that can easly translate to some serious spike in your dmg out put. So not only you are destined to be taking advantage of stealth attack/face stab mix, but also stealthing around protects you from being targeted by opponents. Best part is that you can still use avatar/lotus overdose and liberation while stealthed and not have them break it. Meaning? Absurdly buffed 2 x face stab + stealth attack. It is a great tool and one that simply cannot be used too often.

Finely Honed and Tainted Weapons - this is how Ilaliya dev from Funcom explains their usage:

Originally Posted by Viraxis View Post
As anyone gotten these feats? I am wondering because I have a couple of questions.

1. Does Finely Honed let you remove or break through different classes invul "bubbles" or does it just work with stuff like mage shields?
Finely Honed works on mage shields, and the "barrier" spells in the priest AA trees (each priest class gets a barrier spell as a major perk).
2. Does Tainted Weapons remove all HoTs running on target and if so can they immediately get them back if a healer spams them again?
Tainted Weapons removes all "Green Heals" the "Blue Heals" and health potion effects, with a single use of Tainted Weapons on the target. These may be all recast immediately, assuming they are off cooldown / once they are off cooldown.

I have to say that some times I will switch Tainted Weapons for Avoid Entrapment (also pretty nice perk), but I am always going back to TW after a while. I am always using FH and TW at the same time for maximum effect. When fighting healers the usage is pretty obvious: wait for the heal to go off. When fighting other classes I like to use FH and TW early on to soften up the target. The key lies on consistent usage: use it well, use it often. I have those perks bound under alt +2 and alt +3 and smacking them during PVP is my second nature. So much so that I am using it in solo PVE (for no reason at all) and this mind set is some times problematic in group PVE when I will use FH & TW on the Boss but out of habit rather than when needed to (yeah, I caused some wipes because of that :X). 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

[Guide] Critical Damage Rating pets

Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating (along with Critigation and Tenacity) will get it's own post soon enough. Today I want to talk a bit about how to maximize your damage output as assassin in solo PVE and open world PVP via pets. 
If you get proper gear (like Brittle Blade and Hyrkanian daggers) along with proper feats (Corrupting Strikes) and perks (Pressing Strikes) and top it off with Acute Striking potion and a combat pet then you can get around 44% bonus damage to your critical strikes. That is pretty scary when you consider that assassin can get +25% critical strike chance pretty easily. It translates to shit ton of damage. 

Gear can be farmed and Acute Striking potions are common drop in all solo instances.

Collect those potions

What about combat pets?

You have pretty much two options: Kappa or Furious Spirit.

The most important thing about this pet is how easy it is to get. Most people got it for free with ROGS expansion, or bought it via in game shop (there is no way to get this pet from pure game play). The Kappa pet will give it's user one of the three random buffs. One of those buffs is the red one (Kappa's Fortune) with +155 critical damage rating and +31 Hit rating. The biggest advantage of Kappa is that it's buffs are permanent and instant which means that as long as the Kappa is up you will always benefit from it's buff. The problem is that the buffs are random and to cycle between them (to get the one you want) you have to
re-summon the pet. This is super inconvenient. While using Kappa I find myself annoyed trying to finally get the red buff (some times it is first time around and some times it takes 4-6 recasts). When I finally get the red  I feel discouraged from using any other Khitai pet (like one of the Lotus pets), because I am dreading re-summoning Kappa again and getting the right buff. Also using Khitai pet instantly removes Kappa's buff and unsummons Kappa. Kappa is looking OK, but it is super common.

Furious Spirit
This pet, on the other hand, is very hard to get. In order to get it you need to get 3 skulls which are generic loot from House of Crom dungeon. I have only seen the skulls dropping from 5 bosses in HOC (the duelist, the mage, the trapper and so on) and still it is a very rare drop. I might have been very unlucky but it took me and my group about 5-7 attempts on each boss to get 3 skulls (so around 25 boss kills). Those bosses are on 60 minute cool down so don't expect to get all 3 skulls the very first time you go to HOC. After you got your skulls all you need to do is sacrifice them on pillar in the middle of HOC threshold and kill the Cross Roads King boss (the fight, compared to other threshold encounters, is decently challenging). The King will drop the pet that you can then learn and summon - provided you win the roll :X
Furious Spirit is fundamentally different from Kappa. The Spirit only gives one buff which is same as Kappa's +155 critical damage rating and +31 Hit rating. The buff is not instant but rather it is a proc based on Spirit's attacks and it lasts 20 seconds. Yes, the Furious Spirit is a combat pet in true sense because it does 7-31 slashing damage (comparable to other pets like wolf, tiger or bird). The proc is pretty common and yet unreliable: some times it will proc every fight and some times it will be every other fight. I find the buff procing enough, but in that regard Kappa, with it's permanent buff, is superior. Spirit's biggest advantage comes from buff lasting 20s: yes, you can stack it with things like Gray Lotus pet for absurdly high damage gain. Using the Khitai pet will unsummon the Spirit, but it's 20 second buff won't be removed. The other thing worth mentioning is the ease of use: you can cast your pet and always get same buff that you want. Because of this I am using my Khitai pets much more often now.
The Furious Spirit also looks wicked cool (a ghost with a sword in a worn out armor) and honestly would fit Dark Templar or Necromancer more than Assassin. Beats Kappa.
An example of stacking Spirit's buff with other buffs for max damage

There you have it: use either Kappa or Furious Spirit, it will really add an edge to your damage.

Friday, November 2, 2012

40.000,00 served

 Another milestone for my character has been reached: 40.000,00 pvp kills. It's a decent number however I have seen some assassins boasting few more back in the days when reported on kills (those were the days...). It took me 4 years to reach this number so it is on average 10.000,00 yearly kills. So how was the "killing business"  back then and how it is right now? I have decided to dedicate this post to my personal ponderings about the state of pvp in Age of Conan.
It is lonely as hell in here...

I still cannot understand the decision to the remove the premade groups from the pvp que in order to make it "noobie" friendly. It does nothing (just like goggles on a cat). The majority of pvp games are still played the old school way: one side has crushing advantage over the other and the whole thing ends up in bloody mess. The only difference is that GOOD games are very rare now days. What do I mean by good games? Competitve matches between two well balanced, well coordinated groups. I had those games back in the premade days when my team was matched against other premade, or better yet: other guild. This was fun on so many levels: the social aspect, the competitiveness and the tactical coordination between group members.

Now days random minigames end up mostly in:

1/ one group crushes other and farms them for 20 minutes on the respad
2/ one group crushes other and then runs the flags asap
3/ one group farms kills while the other runs flags

It is very rare to have a struggle between two groups. Needless to say the randomness of the groups and the perceived anonymity of the Internet encourages jackass behavior. The very second anything goes wrong in the game people are ranting about how "everyone sucks" and "fuck you's" are exchanged freely. I NEVER had this problem with premades: we fought together and either claimed victory or suffered the defeat. We have shared happy moments and bitter taste of the lose, but I was never verbally abused by a team mate. Now days it is a common and my /ignore list is quite long.

Some will say: but Slith, premades are still possible, why don't you go do that? And I will say: it is a cumbersome system that makes you work hard for exactly same rewards as regular games. I like the minigames because it is a easy, convenient system. I don't want to spend 30 minutes putting together a group and then finding other group that have spent same time preparing. It's just bad and that is why no one is using it. Oh believe me: I  CHECK the premade tab on daily basis just to make sure whether there is a group that is waiting for a challenge and there is never a one. And for a good reason I might add: if there is a system put into game and that system is not used then who's fault is that? Players or the Devs? I would say the Devs have created content that is utter most repulsive to the players. Players, not matter how many people post how they "enjoy pvp for the sake of pvp" generally want a carrot on the stick to keep playing. If there is no reward for more time consuming content (putting together premades) then people simply won't be using it.  Make it good and we will come.

But I can manage that. The real problem is this:

A nasty side effect of premades removal is a total isolation of pvper in terms of social interaction. Back in the days of premades I knew tons of people that I was grouping with on a regular basis for PVP. Now days I hardly know people in my guild and the only AOC friends that I interact with are people on twitter/facebook and members of Assassin's Hideout community. This is simply mind blowing considering that I am playing an MMO and that, as my blog/twitter/facebook/forum indicates, I am a very sociable fellow. I want to befriend people in the game, but I simply don't have opportunity to do so as PVPer. I do a PVE grouping from time to time, but those are few and far between. PVP is my bread and butter and there is simply no venue for social interaction withing current PVP content (unless you are considering strangers calling you names a "desirable social scenario"). This isolation of PVPers have lead to many of them leaving the game which only reduced the pool of people that I interact with inside AOC. THIS is my main woe when it comes to current state of the game: I don't get to be social in the context that I want. Yes, I can socialize while doing raids/dungeons but I don't want to do that content. Yes, I can do PVP content which I love, but at the same time I don't get to socialize at all. I miss the days of crazy ventrillo talks between minigames when me and my team mates we were talking over previous games and planing the next one. This aspect of game was taken from me and I miss is dearly.   

Pretty number, but here is to 40.000 more!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This Week In Hyboria #6

The Legend of Conan

Big big news! Schwarzenegger is at it again and he is returning to play the role of the old Conan the King in the upcoming "The Legend of Conan". I, for one, am very excited to hear about this. The CTB reboot with Jason "Fail" Momoa failed pretty hard. I even gave this movie a second chance going back to it on DVD couple of months ago only first 10 minutes, skipp another 20 and ebay the DVD.
Nuff said. 

Is Schwarzenegger up to it physically? Lets keep in mind that ol'Arnold is not just an actor, before he became that he was 7 times Mr.Olympia and a legend to a sport of bodybuilding. If anyone, at his ripe age of 65 or so, can still pull of decent, muscle bound Conan then I think it is ONLY Arnold. Also I love the setting: I don't want to see another Conan where he is in peak shape and WTFPWNS everyone, I want Conan to be old and crafty as the  king of Aquilonia. Just please, pretty please: NO MORE DAMN ACHERON! Give the Acheron a rest, will you?

Source: (and the whole damn internet)

Best MMORPG of 2012
Is it Age of Conan? Yeah, right. Look, AOC might not be perfect but we are still playing, right? Show your support for the game and cast your vote for Conan at Pointless you say? Well, it seems like AOC takes #2 so far!


AOC: Active Blocking
What to know a thing or two about active blocking in Age of Conan? There is a vid for that.

Age of Conan stream
Check out AOC steams from spunkki who delivers both PVP and high end PVE to his viewers. A good way to show someone what AOC is all about.


New feat planner(s)
After the fall of the Age of Conan community got left without any tool to plan and share their builds. Then, out of no were, two very well done feat planners showed up. Check out by Nedbee and by Johara.

Source:  1/

New blog!
Yet another blogger join the few and the proud that report on Age of Conan: Ragnarx from Red Nails guild on Tyranny. Always glad to see more writers at it implies game's growth (probably don't).


Friday, October 26, 2012

I am more lost than these souls..

Once again we are here to find that what I hoped would be lost forever: lost souls. I know I that I have said that I probably won't report on this "event" anymore, but I am compelled to do so...Just like the lost souls are compelled to return to haunt me each year. So what is in the bag for us this year? Get this: same stuff. Yeah, it is not even "more of the same stuff", kind sir, it's rather "EXACTLY same stuff". Funcom decided to go 100% lazy and simply re-apply the content from the previous years. Re-apply? Yeah, same quests, same items, hell even the visual effect in villa is same red mist-bullshit.
Old easter egg. Your armor never wears out because the devs made decision not to introduce armor decay mechanic to the game.
So you can now get all the rewards that you have missed for 3 years straight. I find that offensive. I have been subscriber for those last years and I was there for 3 years to repeatedly "find" the lost souls and claim my rewards. That is what makes the rewards unique: those are showing that you are veteran players (big epeen). Remember that cloak we got for 4 years anniversary? Yeah, would you like to see it given away again in two years? It devalues your "old" item while providing no new rewards. It's a double slap on the cheek for the veterans. Hell. You know what? Screw it, FC can give out old rewards again if they want, but I am getting screwed on this deal as paid subscriber. Yes, we got used to your yearly "copy/paste, villa effect, lol" content in the form of "The Night of Lost Souls", but providing ZERO new items is just offensive. Last year FC recycled NPC uniform in the form of Red Hand's tunic. It would have taken next to none effort to recycle some other item too, but Funcom didn't. I am hoping that this "no new stuff policy" is due FC being busy with SDS content updates which would be understandable. 

I am crying but those are not the tears of joy. See you next year, dear forest..
In the future I would like to see major changes to those events, but I am pretty sure that we will see same thing next year. Oh well, you know that I will be here to shit all over it again. See you next year, souls..
Same old same old same old villa effect. +158 headache ratting..
Oh boy, which one to pick? One that I already own? One that is already in my possession? Or perhaps one that I have already claimed...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Assassin patch notes [comprehensive reference]

Please note: oldest patch is referenced on top and the newest patch is in the bottom of the post

Update Notes - 12th of June

* Assassins in Unholy Stance will now generate a Soul Fragment from performing a Sneak Attack.

Update Notes - 16th of June

* Flesh Rot now applies a separate debuff for each player
* Lotus Weapons now applies a separate debuff for each player.

Update Notes - 23rd of June

Core Revision Adjustments

* Kidney Shots will now properly go on cooldown, is now stackable for 12 second from the original 6 seconds and it's stacking buff duration has been increased to 10 seconds.
* Flesh Necrosis has been given a new and improved visual.
* Atrophy has an added persistent effect on the target while the debuff is in effect.

Update Notes - 10th of July

* Golden Lotus Extract now has a new particle effect.

Update Notes - 17th of July

* The following abilities now have new effects: Cat's Paw, Opportunistic Strike, Kidney Shots, Avatar of Death, Lotus Overdose, Necrotic Leech, Corrupting Strikes, and Lunge.

Update Notes - 31st of July

* Combos granted by feats should now deal significantly more damage than before.

Update Notes - 19th August

* Grim Corruption I's debuff will now stack with the other Grim Corruption debuffs.
* Grim Corruption will now debuff Unholy and Poison Invulnerabilities by 5% at each rank.

Update Notes - 28th August
Assassin Epic Tier 3 chest piece no longer hides arm pieces, and texture clipping on shoulders has been fixed.

Update Notes- 17th September


* Assassination (2) buff will now properly appear in the Buff GUI instead of the debuff GUI.
* All Assassin combo damage and stamina costs have been rebalanced to match some newly adjusted animations.
* From the Darkness and Ambush should now occur correctly, when performed from stealth.
* When executing From the Darkness in stealth, you should now properly leave stealth.
* Clarified the tooltip and combat log for the Blindside ability to show that the target is the one losing the stamina specified.
* From the Darkness can be used while visible again.
* Feat ability From the Darkness' charge combo attack now has 100% crit chance.

Update Notes - 29th October

* The way crowd control and immunities work has been changed. All player stuns, fears, roots, snares, and charms will now break if the victim's health is reduced by a certain percentage (depending on the effect type).
* Immunity buffs will now, in general, last a bit less time, since they are applied at the start of the crowd control, and not at the end.
* It is no longer possible to apply a new crowd control debuff of the same type before the previous one runs out and immunity has been applied.

List of Crowd Control abilities that have been changed:

* Death's Gaze
* Curse of the Lotus
* From the Darkness

Update Notes - 18th February

* ‘Curse of the Lotus' should now snare victims by 50% for the duration of the fear effect.
* ‘Death's Gaze' has a new casting animation.

Update Notes 1.06 - 4th February

Assassin Revamp

Update 1.06 introduces a number of improvements we could make to the Assassin class in several different areas. We have generally taken a somewhat different approach to the class revamps which have occurred since the 1.05 update, and this was applied to the Assassin during the course of its revamp. Among other things, it involves giving a revamped class some unique set of mechanics that encourage meaningful tactical choice on the battlefield. But also a distinct identity in how the class feels and plays to the player, as well as opponents facing the class and also how the class is viewed by group members.

This article describes the Assassin revamp in detail (

Update Notes 1.06.2 - 16th February

Venom Spike toxin should now apply the intended major crowd control immunity effects.

Update Notes 2.0 (Rise of the Godslayer Expansion Launch) - 11th May

The Lotus Overdose effect can now only be triggered once every 10 seconds.

Update Notes 2.0.5 - 30th of June

Fixed the particle effect for Choking Powder.

Update Notes 2.0.6 - 1st September

Cover of Dusk will now be removed if a soldier switches to frenzy stance.
Cover of Dusk should no longer affect characters that have Distraction running.

Update Notes 2.1 - 14th of December

All silences now follow the same rules for breaking as other Crowd Control effect. They have also had their immunities changed to 40 seconds:
Assassin: Choking Powder and Miasma: Lotus-Coated Dart

Added a new icon for Sins of the Flesh.
Swift Strike I has had its combo-starter changed from UP to UL.

Update Notes 2.1.1 - 20th of December

Distraction will no longer cause non soldier classes and soldiers not in defensive stance to get the increase hate from Cover of Dusk.

Update Notes 2.1.3– Dreamworld Technology Update - 8th of March

Fixed an issue that caused the assassin miasmas to have an incorrect cooldown.

Update Notes 2.2 - 4th of May

Curse of the Lotus is now classified as a fear.
Vampyric Nature is now classified as a stun.
The animations for Grim Corruption ranks I to IV are now all equally long.
Added an extra attack direction to Snap Kick - UP. The finisher direction is now UP.
The debuff effect of Impede Life will no longer stop the Natural Stamina and Mana regeneration on targets for up to 30 seconds.
Avatar of Death will now give 100% resistance to knockbacks.

Update Notes 2.2.1 - 11th of May

Added a casting animation for Curse of the Lotus, and tweaked the visual effects slightly.
Added a casting animation for Opportunistic Strike, and added some basic visual effects to show the effects of the ability.
Added a casting animation for Death's Gaze, and added some basic visual effects to show the effects of the ability.
Added a casting animation for Vampyric Nature, and added some basic visual effects to show the effects of the ability.

Update Notes 2.7 - 20th of July

Grave's Blossom and Death Whirlwind have been adjusted. They will now scale somewhat differently for 1-4 Soul Fragments, and should still do about the same for 5 Soul Fragments. Both these combos will now also hit a second target with full damage, but will follow the normal rules for damage reduction on any targets beyond the second.
Grave's Blossom and Death Whirlwind damage has been reduced, but will now hit two targets with 100% damage.
Fixed an issue where the cone for Grave's Blossom was skewed and would pick targets on the assassin's right side.

Update Notes 3.0 (Savage Coast of Turan) – 31st August

All ranks of Swift Strike and Sins of the Flesh changed to 3 second cooldown

Due to shorter animations we have buffed the following combos:

Death Whirlwind
Graves Blossom

Update Notes 3.1 - 13th of December

The Corrupted Poison feat now also lowers the reuse time of the Grim Corruption combos.
Increased the finisher bonus damage of the Slow Death Strike combos.

Update Notes 3.3 – 29th of March

Removed the soul fragment consumption on Sins of the Flesh.

Update Notes 3.3.8 - 22nd of August

Impede Essence will now allow the Impede Life combo to prevent an enemy from regenerating Energy
Bewilder will now allow the Blindside combo to prevent an enemy from regenerating Energy

Update Notes 3.4 - 11th of October

Lotus Overload now has a 10 second cooldown after it expires.
Increased the resource burn feat upgrade of the Blindside combo ('Bewilder').
Increased the resource burn feat upgrade of the Impede Life combo ('Impede Essence').

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Epic stories, Big Epeens - TEH HAX0Rz!

 As you know I am PvPer and in pvp things happen that can make you want to grab your keyboard and smash it against the wall. That's cool. I can respect that quality of character. Matter of fact I always keep plastic bottle of water near me when I am pvping. Why? One is hydration is good for you. Duh! Second: I can smash that bottle in anger and not be regretting that later (like smashing  50 EURO mouse..). What makes people angry in pvp? Well, bullshit in general, but to be more exact: losing to bullshit....lets just say losing in general. Losing is not cool. There is nothing good about losing duel, minigame or whatever. Lets just say that is universally NOT desired outcome of any pvp encounter. We can all agree on that, RIGHT? And what do people do when they lose? Most suck it up with silence and dignity and I salute those brave men and women of Hyboria. Then there are some that, THE VERY SECOND things don't go as expected, they get up and scream: HAX! HAXORZ! Cheats! How else those unbeatable heroes of Conan's era would lose in PVP if not for obvious hax?
I AM being snarky here because the truth is: sometimes you fuck up and die, deal with it. Therefor I have never played the "blaming game" when it comes to PVP. Since 2008 I haven't seen one pvp encounter in which I would clearly say: that is someone running third party software to alter the game (aka "ZOMG THAT IS HAX!"). Sure, we all have heard epic stories of people doing some funky stuff in pvp and the forums are filled with videos of so called teleports. Are those true? In most cases I would say it is a lag that is desyncing the player's client and the server resulting in game not registering all the movements. I like to believe that, it keeps me sane. If I lose in pvp I just assume it is my very own fault, smack the water bottle around and move on with my life. That is smart thing to do, that is right thing to do. 

Well after that rather lenghty introduction I am going to drop the epic story on you: I have witnessed the real hax! It was few days ago on the map Lost Temple. My team kinda overpowered the opponents so we were holding the bridge and they were on a nearby cliff that leads to their spawn (mages like to stand there and spell weave and this is what they did). There was this ranger that pretty much was trying to snipe our cloth users (with little to none success I might add). In one of our merry chases after this ranger he did strange thing: when cornered and with about 50% health he turned around and simply jumped from the bridge straight into the lava. Now you know me, I am sadistic stabby stabby kind of guy so it was natural for me to go to the bridge just to watch him burn. To my deepest disbelief he landed in the lava, took several steps this point he should have been crispy, fiery and umm...burny. And what happened? He literally LOOKED UP and SWOOOSH next thing I know (literally in a second or so) he was standing near the necro and that cliff, raining arrows at us!!!!

Pwnt? Turns out: not so much.

I made a quick petition and oddly enough in 2 minutes the GM was talking to me and promised to take immediate action on this matter. I have no idea if that ranger got banned, but having GM respond so fast was super nice.

My "PVP" bottle...

There you have it: my epic hax story. Do you have your own to tell? But please  GOOD ONES :D

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sand and Jagged Rocks ep.0 - before it goes live

Since my "dagger and a bowl or rice" series have ended I have decided to start a new one for the  Secrets of the Dragon's Spine content updates (SDS). Before I go into what we already know about SDS I would like a ponder a minute about Savage Coast of Turan: it was SUPER BAD. Months after it went live I can tell that it failed in almost all areas. Right now mine and, I dare to say, my fellow players biggest woe is painfully evident lack of content that Turan failed to provide. First of all the two solo experiences: Dead Man's Hand and Isle or Iron Statues were an overkill. Iron Statues dungeon is a master piece and most clever use of the lore I have seen so far, hands down the best thing that came with Turan. Dead Man's Hand, on the other hand (see what I did here?) is just weird and unnecessary. The weirdness comes from the size of DMH because it is largest solo experience so far. BUT at the same time DMH is super thin on content and can be beaten in one play session. To add insult to injury the instance is still solo even thou many RPers asked for it to be opened to two people or so. With it's pretty decent design I see now reason why this place is only for soloers.I deem the DMH the worst addition in Turan pack. Second thing that got under my skin is the Fort dungeon. Same as it was with recent House of Crom blunder the Fort is just so poorly itemized that it takes 2-4 re-runs to get what you want and never come back. Yes I know there are blue items there and yes I know some use it for vanity. The problem is that at the same time people can run Khitai HMs and still get epic gear and tokens the easy way. Why would anyone go for harder stuff? Fort is still very challenging, more so than any Khitiai HM except Pillars (maybe).  I have to give honorable mention to Turan's Boss Area because devs managed to create very hard boss encounters for mediocre gain resulting in absolutely zero interest from the players. What were you thinking?
The nail in the Turan's coffin was lvl 50 zone. If I had to point to a SINGLE mistake that costed Funom dearly I would have say: making Turan outdoor area for lvl 50. If there is one thing I can say about quests it's that there is an abundance of them. I am currently in the process of playing with my Comgall the barbarian because I want to experience the pre 80lvl content I have so eagerly pushed through in 2008.  I cannot really understand why there was a need for another pre lvl 80 area. The only thing I can think of is Funcom wanting to draw in players with free lvl 50 character offer and lvl50 zone that is tied to the Conan the Barbarian movie. Seen the movie and loved it? Now jump into Savage Coast of Turan and help Conan's friends to do stuff. Too bad the movie sucked. Guess FC bet on the wrong horse there. As a direct result of that decision many veteran players (me included) are stuck in the limbo of no content: Khitai is loooooooooooong beaten and played to death and the Turan doesn't provide entertainment for lvl80 + people.  Last thing is T3,5 raiding. I have no say on raiding since I have done so little of it (completed T3 and 2 bosses in T4) but Temple of Erlik seemed to be a very weird concept when T4 was unfinished. Bah, no matter.
Now we are ready to go to the Keshan and to face new challenges. As you know recently Game Director did some SDS reveal and talked about the features of the add on.

First of all there will be no new means of progressing your character. The secret addition is NOT what I have predicted (leveling up weapons) but rather set bonuses to the new armors. I remember that back in 2008 set bonuses were a hot topic and the devs said that not putting them in AOC was a conscious design decision so people don't feel forced to always get the full set. With the vanity armor system in place I can see why FC would like to bring back the set bonuses. The idea is OK but I wouldn't say it's a means of progressing the character. However the crafting system will allow players to level up the professions and  I think THAT will scratch the progression itch that I have (I am lacking 5 perks to be maxed out on AAs).

The SDS will have a big out door area just like in Turan. Since the add on is advertised as "aimed at lvl 80+ people" I think it will be on par with Paikang zone when it comes to difficulty. I wouldn't mind it being even harder. The area won't have Khitai style faction game play, but it might have faction mechanics as a means of progression through story and a limitation of access to items. Turan had it with it's hidden Hand of Glory faction. 

I am not big fan what I have already seen in terms of armor design. The tribal influences on already Stygian-a-like armors are not really my thing just like Turan didn't bring anything I liked even remotely. In terms of power the items will be on par with T 3.5 raids and set bonuses might even bring it closer to T4. Sadly it means that PvP armors will get more and more out dated when it comes to stats budget so we will see more PVE armor in PVP. Or will we? The crafting revamp WILL bring components that will only drop from players so we will be able to craft pvp dedicated items. Perhaps the crafting will help the bridge the gap between  more and more powerful PVE items and PVP armors that are stuck in 1.6 reality. 

Sadly PVP (apart from pvp related crafting) will be the last addition in the SDS series and it will be only 1 new minigame map (either 6v6 or 12v12). It very much so feels like too little, too late, but at the same time I have to admit that I rather like the system changes we had this year. When it comes to system that have large impact on PVP we will see Siege revamp and Stealth revamp at some point in 2013. I won't beat the dead horse here, it's pretty bad and the future looks grim for the seasoned pvpers.

The Future
The new dev letter hints at Funcom planing to continue to revamp old content and introducing new modes for old dungeons. This is smart. I really hate when good stuff is left in the dust just because it is no longer relevant. SDS has a great potential to finally get people out of Khitai and straight into new stuff. I, for one, am optimistic about AOC's future, but defeniatly nothing I have seen about SDS got me far.