Friday, January 27, 2012

My player versus player evolution

Seeing how close I am to pure, mini game grown pvp lvl 10 made me think about my own, personal progression as an active pvp player in Age of Conan. Did anything change in my style, tactics, builds - the works? Well, it most certainly has. 

The controls
I am still using same setup which is G110 gaming keyboard and MX 518 mouse (known as G400 now). Right off the bat: G110 keyboard is a gimmick. I haven't found a SINGLE useful application of this gaming gear that goes beyond what regular "trash" keyboard can do. Perhaps "Microsoft key" locker is a nice feature, but I am always pulling those keys out of any keyboard (yes, with a dagger!). The MX 518 is no gimmick thou, it is quite essential to my gaming. So much that I have 2 spare, mint condition mices in my drawer, just in case (TM). Yes, I have broken one MX mouse before and can't imagine playing AOC with anything else. That is the curse of veterans you see, our brains are so wired to "tried and true" gaming gear that I don't think I could have switched to anything else and not bitten my own hand in frustration at the same time. I am using mouse buttons to execute all my combo steps plus some other stuff. Logitech software really allows for total customization of buttons. Over the years I have tried the legendary Nostromo gaming pad, but it lacked the essential "alt" key under my thumb.I have returned the pad to the store and got a refund. 
Few weeks ago I have tried to swap some abilities with another with same key setup, but it has proven itself to be inefficient. I am quite sure that I have a solid key setup and I am not missing anything. 
As for my UI I am using standard AOC UI. Weird huh? I just find it very clear and see no need to mess around with other UIs out there. The unique thing is that  I have put one bar in vertical position in the right corner of my screen. I have put all my abilities, CCs and miasmas there so I can quickly glance over what is available to me in a given scenario. I think this one change made the biggest impact on my performance many years ago.

The tactics
I think I have matured as a player over the years. My goal in minigames now is to win and not slaughter for the most kills. Optimally I can do both. One big change is that I am constantly trying to grab the flag, something that I have despised in my younger, salad days. Having both accelerated and lotus overdose can grant you unparalled speed and massive stamina boost. No other class can measure up to that. Sadly I am using avatar based hybrid, but still taking advantage of that accelerated buff. Assassins should go more for the flag. Really, nothing feels as satisfying as you rushing with the flag to your base only to see enemy tank already in progress of picking up your flag. What do you do? From the darkness that fucker and during your charge animation you will score. Happened to me several times. Great stuff. 
I often encourage scenario in which I am dueling the opponent during the minigame. As you can imagine more often than not his team mates will come in and not be very respectful of our dueling. This is one of my weaknesses. The weak spot is epeen. 

The behavior
I have defiantly more relaxed, laid back, but still competitive approach to my gaming. I will always try to do my best, but I have learned to accept that sometimes you will end up with a group that might slightly underperform and thus get.. murdered. When it is only a disadvantage and the difference in performance is not humongous I will fight the good fight to the end. If it is a slaughter? I will leave the minigame rather to be frustrated by it. You have to keep your sanity. I am also more "troll-proof" for I have mastered the fine art of ignoring. I try not to get into any chat-fights and if someone whispers me with something obscene, insulting or just rude I will kindly inform them that I don't want to talk to them, and that from now on they are on the ignore list. Yep, my ignore list is quite long. Corpse jumping is a behavior that I simply cannot accept, but it no longer gets under my skin. It is all about sportsmanship. Yes, it is a game, but also a competitive environment, so I cannot see why I should behave differently here than in other competitive scenarios I get thrown in. My real life job is set in very competitive enviroment where very clear win-lose scenarios are happening on a daily basis. In this job virtually no team work is present (or needed) and it is you that either win or lose. Could it be the reason I am naturally drawn to the PVP? Well, we all know what is best in life, right?

The builds
I am not alternating my builds anymore. Current state of the assassin doesn't really support vide spectrum of viable choices and so I have settled for the avatar based hybrid. I have learned to pick and play only the build that gives me confidence. For example Lotus based build with 6 points in general tree just makes sense: it is rich in power and anti CC. But the avatar hybrid is a power horse and one that runs from no man. While lotus hybrid might struggle with soldier class the avatar knows no bounds. Sure, avatar is not without its flaws, but assassin is about efficiency - not cloak and dagger bullshit and gimmicks. Yes, we all like to maintain that romantic image of assassin jumping out of the shadows, doing what the Brittle Blade worships "the clean kill, the silent kill, the untraceable kill". Bah, that is rarely true in cold day-to-day pvp and when virtual metal hits the pixel flesh you better have the tools you need to make it bloody, loud and fully traceable your dagger wielding ass in the kill score.
I have also decided to specialize a little more and changed my stance on pvp perks and went from damage assassin to critical hits assassin when in comes to perks. 
So there you have it: 30% more to ding pvp lvl 10 and I am fully ready to embrace whatever future PvP content that is coming down the pipe. One thing is sure: I am here to stay. Old love never rusts.

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