Sunday, April 29, 2012

The epic saga of...COMGALL the barbarian!

Seeing how recently I have been less that satisfied with my game play I have decided to....roll a barbarian on Crom server. An alt in the world of MMOs is nothing really to brag about, but I have a special case of obsessive compulsive disorder where I can play only 1 character at once. No, really, it's a thing, ask your doctor. So I will come clean: this is not an alt. Through this barbarian I intend to re-live my Tortage experience from 2008. Yes, last time I have helped zee Resistance was 4 years ago and I can honestly say I remember nothing of it. In effect this whole Tortage stuff is a wholly new experience for me and one that clearly shows me how people can fall in love with Age of Conan. It is a delicious experience. While endgame in AOC has it's issues the pre lvl80 content, the leveling process is just great. My only regret with Slith character was power-leveling through pre lvl 80 content. Big mistake. If I could have turned back the time (which I can't, mind you) I would have went and read every single little bit of quest text in the game. ALL OF IT. The story of Tortage and the Resistance is rich a deeply stepped in REH lore. This is what I am doing with this character: I am experiencing the Tortage as I should have done so first time around and I am having a blast. However, I had to make a deal with myself right from the start that this is a temporary thing, a guild free pleasure. No plans to do whatever with this character. Early on I have caught myself thinking like this: "I really like this class, oh this feat will be great, but its lvl70, ok I can combine that with those perks...ok so I will get Brittle Blade armor, but which" Oh snap! I have just planned 4-6 months of intense gaming with my barbarian and felt the DREAD of the grind ahead of me. I had to step back and remind myself that I am just messing around in here. I know that this sounds like one of the most nerdy of problems, but I can't really enjoy what I am doing unless I am clear why exactly I am doing it and what for. I am like that with all things in life: I get very good at things that I focus on, but at the same time I lack the versatility. Kind of a double edged sword, but I digress.
Ladies can literally lose their heads for Comgall
The barbarian was not a random pick. I had this idea of playing "what if game" with myself. I remember that back in may of 2008 I was seriously considering rolling one of the two classes: barbarian or conqueror (assassin kind of came out of no were). What would have happened if in 2008 I have stayed with my freshly rolled barbarian? Would I have sticked with the game? Would I have had this blog? Would I have turned more to the PVE side of things? These things I will never learn, but playing a barbarian is a pleasurable experience. So much pleasurable that at one point I felt very awkward: am I enjoying this more than my main? Have I just "wasted" four years playing the wrong class??!! Being the mmo vet that I am I remembered that the "new and shinny" feel of a class quickly wears off. I was not mistaken: around level 15 the barbarian started feeling "just ok". However this brief experience with barbarian made take a long and hard look and this class and it's feats and perks. By Bel, barbarians are unstoppable killing machines. Assassin 2.0!.  The CRUSHING advantage that barbarian has over assassin (apart from superior HP, regen, armor and reach) is especially evident in the Alternative Advancement where their perks make assassin's perks look like pile of poo. PILE I SAY! If anything I will feel less bad now whenever I get killed in PVP by barbarian player.
Halls of the Black Ones. I missed this place first time around in 2008 and I just had to come back here to finish it up
There is one more thing, a feeling that is still present with me after all those years: the generic feel of a barbarian. I simply cannot get it out my head that every barbarian is basically Conan. Conan undoubtedly had so amazing impact on pop culture (see Conan the Phenomenon) that whenever you think of long haired savage with a two hander you think of Conan. Therefor my Comgall lacks the depth of my Slith character because I have so many preconceived notions about barbarians. It is impossible for me to come up with any background story that would make Comgall "not Conan" even slightly. I know that there are (or atleast used to be) some Cimmerian RP guilds out there and that Cimmerians are very different from THE Cimmerian we know and love. There is a lot of room for a good Cimmerian RP but I just don't have it in me. Speaking of which I am penning down my "Slith's background" post. I want to flesh out a real, believable person rather that another "WTFPWN" heros of official roleplaying boards. Don't you just love "I seek bloody revenge for the death of my parents" stories? Seems like 90% of Hyborians are orphans and at least 5% are in fact vampires/dragons/demons that walk the earth in human form.

Now, if you excuse me, I have a Barachian Isle to save from a tyrant. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Assassin's Hideout Podcast - ep.27

show notes:
- what is going on?
- AA system and new content
- dungeons revamps
- my raiding experience
- AOC facebook integration

Friday, April 13, 2012

Content in Age of Conan? Doom & Gloom!

All Right, time for some good old QQ. You haven't seen THAT on the hideout for a while, now have you? You have been warned! Nerd rage inside.

Recently I am very bitter about my Age of Conan. It very much feels like I just don't have anything to do inside my MMO of choice. This is 2009 all over again and it makes me bitter. You see I am a progression whore. I love to progress my character, to expand it, to grow it. If I don't get to do that I quickly lose interest and get annoyed. If  I can get anything out of my gaming time, even a shitty piece of vanity armor, it gives me a great satisfaction. I can play less and be satisfied with my gaming when I am making any kind of progress. Example? I wanted to get "darkslayer hood" drop from Amphitheater of Karutonia purely for my vanity. Had a blast doing low level quest chain in Ymir's Pass and then solo farming the Boss 5-6 times until the desired loot dropped. See? I am a reasonable man and I don't expect purple candy showers from every mob. Whatever content will do just fine.

The problem is that I am out of content to do. Completely.

PvP - hitting pvp lvl 10 made me very bitter about minigames. I have lost my focus. With random people in my team (that don't even speak English mind you) what difference does it make whether I win or lose? I won? Gee, I get token that I don't have anything to spend on and prowess gain that I can spend on perks I don't need or want. And it is not like I farmed my ass in Bori: pvp lvl 5 to 10 content lasted me TWO YEARS. I think is is reasonable for me to expect new stuff to do in pvp after 2 years. And lets say I lose a minigame? I don't need pvp xp anyway, can't read group's chat rage  coz it's in russian and minigame wins/loses are bugged so those aren't even tracked anymore.I am pvp lvl 10, the deed is done, but I learned the hard way that current pvp without friends is a pvp for the sake of pvping. Just not fun, lonely and pointless struggle.

AA System - I like AA system. It lasted me for a very long long time. But, alas, I am done. I don't have IT ALL, but I got all I wanted or needed. Whatever addition to my perk collection won't add any more passive power to my character nor I will ever use said perk. Maxing out all the perks for the sake of maxing them out seems like less that desirable goal.
Khitai Factions - another aspect of AOC that I have enjoyed thoroughly. During my "crazy years" in Khitai I have leveled up every faction to rank 4. Every single one. Brittle Blade and Shadows of Jade twice even. It is done.

Dungeons - I got my full epic Brittle Blade armor from Khitai. Also got me that sweet cloak from House of Crom. Beyond that there isn't just anything I might want from 6-men dungeons. Fort in Ardashir and House of Crom are also very poorly itemized with crappy blue stuff Sure, those are great for vanity, but apart from that you are BOUND to be wearing something better already. Otherwise if  you wouldn't have killed the Boss to get them dropped in the first place. There is just no incentive to re-do those "new" dungeons and Khitai stuff after 2 years is farmed to the death.
Rare tokens - Funcom already gave us Apostate and Iron States from which you can get rare tokes for solo play. In the upcoming patch also "Lost city" and "Dead man's hand" will  yield same rare tokens rewards. More ways to get tokens is good, right? But what good are those if there isn't anything to spend them on? Again, after 2 years I got every single item from faction vendors and I got my tokens very very slowly from solo play. Took me like a year since Apostate launched.

- I am not a raider. I can't commit 3 hours straight to raid on a weekly basis. Sure, I will sign up for the raid from time to time, but this isn't my cup of tea. I am in a guild that raids T4 so I can't feel very privileged. Hell, I am "elite" of AOC's population because for what I know people are still stuck in T1 & T2. Whatever. This content is just out of my reach for scheduled reasons alone.

ALTs - I am 1-character player. You should know that by know :D. The very idea of re-rolling some new class seem nightmarish for the AA leveling alone. But main thing is that I like to play one character. My brain is just wired this way.

There you are. If there is something else to do in Age of Conan than I would like to hear about in the comments because I am out of options. And my play style is something I would have described as "dedicated regular". I don't achieve things in the game because I am hardcore and I burn through content, but rather because I play regularly and am dedicated to the one game and one character. I reap the benefits over time. So if I got out of content with my "turtle's crawl" slow play style no wonder so many people quit Age of Conan out of sheer boredom. MMOs shouldn't be boring, those should be addictive.

Bah, what happened to you Age of Conan, you used to be cool....

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

[Guide] Picking your dagger

Assassins, when it comes to melee, are limited to daggers. In this guide I want to cover what should you be looking for when picking your pair of daggers. Please note that I wrote "pair" and not a "set". Very rarely a "set" (two same daggers) will be preferable over two different daggers, hand picked for their individual roles.

Main dagger and offhand dagger

Is there a difference? Yes there is. The main hand's dagger's DPS is what is counted towards your overall DPS score. On the other hand your offhand dagger is only as good as it's stats, the DPS doesn't matter.

Main Hand Dagger
You main hand dagger should have as big DPS as you can get, the other stats are secondary at best.Your main hand dagger's DPS is what is affected by +% Weapon Damage (Lotus Blades feat). It also makes your face stab damage whole lot better.

Offhand Dagger

You offhand dagger should have stats needed for your build, raw DPS of the dagger doesn't mater at all. Two good things to have on your offhander is +combat rating and +constitution.

Confused? Lets do some math on PvP T1 and T3 dagger.

Which one should you have as a main hand dagger? This is no brainer, Highlord's Dirk has superior DPS. Now the tricky part: should you be using 2 x Highlord dirks or perhaps Main hand the Highlord and offhand the Skrimisher dirk? Lets do some MATH!

Highlord's Dirk

64 Dex = 192 Combat Rating
250 Combat Rating + 192 Combat Rating = 442 Combat Rating

Added stats from dex:

+32 Evade Rating
+128 Stamina
+3.2 Natural Stamina Regen
+9.6 OOC Stamina Regen

Skrimisher's Dirk

485  Combat Rating

Added stats:
+160 Health
+3 OOC Health Regen
+40 Stamina
+1 Natural Stamina Regen
+3 OOC Stamina Regen
+26 Stamina Tap Rating

So as you can see Skimisher's Dirk is superior when it comes to both useful stats and damage. There will be some loss on Critical Rating and Critical Damage Rating, but those differences are not big enough (+8 critical rating is super marginal) to sacrifice your overall damage output. This simple example illustrates how your should think about what are you REALLY getting out of your daggers.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools - TL trade skill revamp

First batch of promised trade skill revamp is finally on the TL. Strangely enough now there is a split between classic "crafting" and "gathering skills". The core crafting changes are far from ready to go TL, but we can already play around with some of the gathering skills. Right now on live servers you can pretty much pick up every gathering profession from skinner to miner. The revamp will add depth to those, but at the same time it will limit your choices to just 2. If you check out the latest patch notes you can take first two of the many to come: fishing and skinning.


There is not much to skinning right now. If you have "skinner's knife" in your inventory then after you have slain an animal that is "skinnable" an icon will pop up and you will have an option to gut it. As of now every animal drops "generic leather" since the new ingredients and materials are not yet implemented.


This I like. I have no idea how will this profession generate materials for other professions (you can bet it will for alchemy and cooking), but it is obviously more of a money maker: stack of 10 trouts (took me about 10-15 minutes to fish) sold to NPC for 50s. The real fun begins when a combo bar pops up which means you have cough a special fish. You need to quickly and without any mistake go trough combo motions and if you succeed you will fish out either more valuable fish or a loot box. I got this on my second attempt and the loot box had pretty neat blue ring in it. The best part is your chances to catch fish/get boxes rises the more difficult is the area you are trying to fish. In Paikang fishing was much better, but I have failed a lot of times because the fishes were exceeding my level of skill.
Even with this muddy waters the best fishing spot is in Paikang

Skinning is definitely far from being done, but fishing is fun and engaging minigame of itself. Sitting in the Old Tarantia port and trying to catch "the deadliest catch"? With this system I can imagine myself doing it. Also check out the video by Kehml from AOC Test Live Servers featuring fishing combos.

EDIT: yes, so this was APRIL FOOLS joke. There is no fishing in AOC, nor there will ever be (most likely). I made this screenshot about 1 year ago and just had to use it this way. The rod is just sticked into the ramp and my charactered is doing /danglefeet emote. Oh well, enjoy!! :D