Sunday, July 28, 2013

Essential PVP gear - mouthpice

Sometimes my real world and my MMO world will cross over. Remember my MMO wedding? I sure don't, I was drunk off my ass.

Anyway I have always had very healthy teeth until just a couple years ago my dentists informed me that I am "kinda wearing down my teeth by grinding them". I though "ok no biggie". That was until recently my dentist said "fuck dude, you are REALLY grinding your teeth". So we tried to find the cause of this problem which could be either stress or strenuous activity.

My job can be stressful at times, but I couldn't recall grinding my teeth at any time so we could cross that one out.

Strenuous activity? Well I have been involved with weight lifting for several years now (bodybuilding at first, P90X as of late) and it's very common for people to clinch their jaws while lifting weights. So I have taken extra care to be self aware while trening to see if there is any excessive teeth grinding. Nope, I tend to bite my lower lip, but my teeth are fine.

Then it hit me: Age of Conan PVP *facepalm*.

I am grinding my teeth during PVP when I am trying to get that last second kill before dieing myself. Quite common for assassin class. There is no denying that, I know this, I have seen myself done it. First time the dentist mentioned this issue was when? When I picked up AOC back in 2008. 

Of course I have told my dentist that "yeh bro, this teeth griding? That's from lifting sick weights, dog!". What else could I have told him, that it's from playing PVP?????

Now how to address this issue? Simply knowing that I am doing IT while PVPing won't solve the problem by itself.

As stupid and geeky it might seem I am using underarmor mouthpice to protect my teeht .... during PVP.
Ironically this is the product that I actually would have been using if my sport activity was the source of the problem.

Which brings me to the second issue: explaining it to my wife my the hell I am wearing this high end sports gear while sitting my ass in front of computer and NOT while I am actually working out?

"I am uh....molding it".

Yeah, that excuse is already getting old -_-/

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sand and Jagged Rocks ep.4 - upcoming content

 I am here to bring you the latest and grates info on what is coming down the pipe:

The Coils of Ubah Kan dungeon looks like live ready (almost) and it is already itemized. Since I know that is all you care about here are some fresh screenies of epics and blues:

Assassin mask. I am not big fan of SDS armor design, but it beats HOC and Fort for sure.

Assassin epic legs

More lootie

Let's look at new epic legs stats compared to the most commonly used Blades leggings of the hidden tomb 

Chaos pants
8 more armor
9 less const
468 cr + 25 dex = 468 +75 Combat Rating = 543 = 24 more combat rating
7 more hit rating
no difference in critical and critical damage ratings

So....seems like new Chaos legs are veeeeeerrrrrrrrry minor upgrade to Tomb legs.

The difference in health is +72 HP and whatever stamina loss from constitution is mitigated by +25 dex.

But we are talking here about +0.67 DPS difference, but still an upgrade and a way to gear up faster than "kill & pray" Yag runs.

The dungeon has several bosses and looks neat.

More so there is now a new quest in SDS that will reward you good blue pots for killing the bosses. I don't know if this will be an incentive alone to go into dungeons, but it's good that the Devs even thought about offering a little more than in Khitai.

What else do we know?
Senior Designer
CirithGorgor's Avatar


again thanks to everyone for the feedback, I'll take a look at the Unknown and make sure there are some changes done before this hits live.

A quick note on the loot;
there should be at least 1 guaranteed epic drop per dungeon run which can come from any of the sets, as well as a smaller chance of picking up epics elsewhere in the dungeon (including a possibility of from the trash (albeit very slim)).
There is also a new quest you can pick up outside Coils of Ubah Kan and Sepulcher of the Wyrm, which will provide a consumable stat potion reward for completing it.

We do realize that the itemization of the last few releases has not provided sufficient incentive to do the content (long term) and therefore your feedback is particularly appreciated in this regard for the Coils of Ubah Kan patch (including the repeatable quest).

This is great news, not only epic drops are guaranteed, but also clearing up trash can get you extra drops (like epic hands from Wyrm dungeon). Seems like Funcom decided to that Wyrm won't be re-designed (too bad IMO), but people will still be able to get it's loot via trash mobs in Coils (source).

But the exciting news keep on coming:
 07-15-2013, 02:21 PM  Report Post   CirithGorgor is offline   #13
Senior Designer
CirithGorgor's Avatar


The final version of the Coils of Ubah Kan dungeon is now on the Test Live servers, this includes all the loot for the dungeon (including an additional quest with loot to complete both dungeons in the Dragon's Spine playfield). This version will be staying on Test Live so that we are able to get feedback particularly on the itemization, because as we realize the itemization of some of our last releases has not provided sufficient incentive to go there; we really want to buck that trend with this dungeon (without making it better than T4 of course).

Therefore any feedback on the dungeon loot is particularly appreciated and important to us. As mentioned in the last GD letter we are looking at longer term solutions for itemization for later releases.

What it does mean is that the dungeon will be on testlive for a couple of weeks so that we can acquire sufficient feedback; while I do understand it can be frustrating that the content does not go live when its so close to being finished I do think it will provide a better experience in the long term if we do take the time to get the loot right first and really provide something polished and balanced.

Of course this does not mean we are just sitting around doing nothing while this dungeon is on testlive. Other content is in production at the same time and while you may not see the immediate benefits of that it should mean we can get the next batch of content (revamped & unchained versions of Halls of Eternal Frost, the Scorpion Caves and The Caravan Raiders Hideout) onto test live not too long after Coils goes live. (This is in addition to other unannounced content which is being worked on too).

and FYI I'm not taking any vacation this summer, nor do I spend my time on TSW (I'm dedicated to this project).

We get to learn a lot from this post:

  1. Funcom is aware of itemization problem.
  2. Funcom is working on new content that we don't know anything about yet! I can't imagine that it is PVE content (with so so soooooooooo many dungeons coming) so it might just be....*gasp* ARENA SYSTEM???
  3. At least 1 Funcom Dev is dedicated to Age of Conan only and he doesn't slack during summer (wow, just WOW!).


What about the mergers? According to this thread paid server character transfers are as of now disabled because of pending merge. This was supposedly confirmed my a GM.

Mergers in September? Could be!
There you have it. I think there is a lot to be looking forward to.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sand and Jagged Rocks ep.3 - changes are needed

I have been thinking a lot lately about Dragon's Spine (because I have nothing else going in  my life, obviously :D) trying to nail what is really wrong with this content. Although I am not a big fan of deserts DS looks very fine. But with all this eye candy comes very little content and whatever we have now gets topped easily by ROGS expansions which is still "go-to" zone for lvl80 characters.

What I do like about DS is that it is a harsh, unforgiving land with tough mobs. I got the same vibe from Kara Korum (back in the days of wearing blue items :X) and I like to be challenged by the environment rather than walking over whatever inhabitants of the zone I can get my daggers into. The second thing is overall design of the zone which feels very much hand-crafted with a lot of attention to the details. Nothing seems randomly generated. Sadly, that is about it.
Dragon's Spine is simply thin on content. Yes there is "epic" chain of quests, but apart from well written, Kull based stor,y DS can be "beaten" in one sitting and pretty much there is no reason to return to the zone. EVER.

What can be done about this?

MOA rewards and bags - with recent changes on TL quests in DS got MOA rewards and caravan bags. That is a step in the right direction, but far from what is needed to make the DS a destination for veteran players. Right now DS is offering few repetable quests that are on par with Chosain and Paikang so that is pretty good, right? Wrong. Not only questing in Chosain and Paikang is easier (quests givers and quest objectives are close to each other), but also you can level up you factions at the same time. More so in Paikang you can also hunt nightmare bubbles while questing and get a rare token for it. Simply jacking up MOA value per quest in DS is not the way to go so it has to be that second factor that is making ROGS more interesting: factions.

Factions - Lack of factions in DS is simply staggering. Faction game play doesn't have to be as elaborate as in ROGS, but many players enjoy the progression that comes from leveling faction (access to new items, quests and story). What factions we could have in DS? Expedition Guards faction and Bandits. Expedition Guards quests are ready as we could have whatever is now in DS. Bandits are also present in DS zone, but the current story doesn't even mentions them. Expedition Guards would give "protect" type of missions and Bandits would give "raid" type of missions. Rewards? Take whatever social armors you have crammed into Wyrm (there are 3 or 4 dropping there I think) and make them faction rewards bought with few rares. Add a buy-able camel mount (there is no in-game one currently) and a guard/bandit combat pet that deals some damage (like wolf/tiger) and gives a minor buff (like Kappa). Funcom doesn't need to give players more power via armor sets, but at the same time people like me are sitting on hundreds of rare tokens with NOTHING to spend them on. Give us stuff to buy.

Rare spawns - I have always enjoyed the thrill of killing a rare spawn monster that can drop blue/epic loot. Adding a random spawns to DS would make questing in DS more exciting, just like hunting for nightmare bubbles in Paikang.

Dig sites - ROGS had hidden treasures that you could dig up with a shovel. The problem was that those treasures were bags that gave us crap items. Take the same concept in DS, but at the same time upgrade the rewards so the searching for lost treasures is worthwhile. C'mon, this is ancient dig site, there is bound to be some cool crap laying around.

This zone has a lot of potential, but it needs some work to bring it up to speed. For the love of Mitra DON'T LEAVE IT AS IT IS because it will be a huge waste. The current version of DS offers so little value to the players that you can't even justify it being a premium content.