Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stat Redistribution - PvP Gear Tier 3

Once again Senior Designer Matt "already beloved by all" Bennett outdone himself by posting  PvP Gear - Stat Redistribution - Tier 3 thread showcasing improved pvp amors for all classes. I can't really speak for others than assassin players because I play only assassin nor I am all that interested in the rest of archetypes, but it seems like the soldiers got hit with huge nerf bat. My stance on that? Hell, it's about time. 

Here is the post for all of yo non-subscribers slackers out there:

 Yesterday, 02:18 PM  Report Post   CirithGorgor is offline   #1
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Funcom PvP Gear - Stat Redistribution - Tier 3

Following on from the changes made to the PvP weapons here is what we are currently looking at in regards to adjustments to the Tier 3 PvP armour. As always, stats are not final at this point in time.

The intention is to make this gear a viable and competitive alternative to T4 Raid Gear. As with the weapons the gap between PvP Tier 1 and 3 will be closed, and as with the weapons the intention is to have the gap somewhere around T1 > T2 (10% difference) and T2 > T3 (5 - 10% difference) with a much higher stat allocation being given to the PvP specific stats on the lower tiers.

Obviously there has been a considerable reduction to the overall protection gained from Medium, Heavy and Plate sets, after evaluation it simply could not be justified to maintain these high levels of armour, constitution and relatively high damage output (particularly for medium) along with the best protection levels.
The same logic applies to the critical rating on the more tanking orientated sets.

Again as with weapons the intention for T4 PvP gear will then be to provide alternatives to these sets for different play styles without increasing the budget by any considerable amount.

Note - Please ignore the +30 Hate Decrease Rating that is visible on the large pieces of the Cloth > Medium sets; this is a temporary bi-product of increasing the power scale and does not use up any of the stat budget allocated to the items.

The following posts are split by Archetype:

Now for the armors:

New PvP T3 armor

Old PvP T3 armor
Of course just looking at armors won't tell you all that much so I took the liberty of doing the number crunching for you:

 New T3 armor totals:
2801 Armor
2152 Critigation Amount
420 Constitution
445      Dexterity
1680     Combat Rating
233      Critical Rating
246      Critical Damage Rating
2407     Tenacity
1680     PvP Combat Rating
215      PvP Hit Rating
0        PvP Armor
1140     PvP Protection

Old T3 armor totals:
2296 Armor
1154 Critigation Amount
+371 Constitution
+483 Dexterity
+700 Combat Rating
+85        Critical Rating
+230 Critical Damage Rating
+2012 Tenacity
+740 PvP Combat Rating
+201 PvP Hit Rating
+264 PvP Armor
+719 PvP Protection

PVE T4 armor totals:
2600 Armor
1921 Critigation Amount
+393 Constitution
+637 Dexterity
+5        Natural Stamina Regen
+1627 Combat Rating
+373 Hit Rating
+245 Critical Rating
+154 Hate Decrease Rating
+275 Critical Damage Rating
+50         Offhand Rating

Armor & Critigation:
Pvp armor value is gone, but armor in total is increased and now even beats T4. Critigation got huge boost and also beats T4. This might give assassins a little more upper hand against rangers which where crit-killing assassins way too often.

Suggestion: good change

Again a pretty good upgrade. New value gives +3360 Health as compared to old +2968 Health. This isn't all that much on melee cloth user, but if you add 2 x +25 const from weapons you will get +3760 Health which translates in 792 HP difference. I won't mind having that extra life.

Suggestion: good change

Dex got small nerf. The loss of dex is compensated by more combat rating. Old set had 483 dex and new has 445 which is nothing compared to whooping 637 on T4 set. If anything the T3 should keep the old 483 or even go beyond 500 dex (with the reduction of overall combat rating). This has a pretty major impact on assassin survivability as the dex is the source of evade rating. PvP armor had already laughable evade chance and now it has even lower.

Suggestion: bring back dex to at least original value of 483 or bump it up to 500. Other solution is slapping some pvp evade rating on the armor.

Combat Rating:
Superb upgrade which bring T3 almost on par with T4. Nothing to add really.

Sugestion: good change

Critical Rating & Critical Damage Rating:
With it's 233  new pvp armor is closer to T4's 245 which is acceptable. T4 still maintains an edge when it comes to damage (from both combat and critical rating), but suffers greatly compared to T3's survivability (the armor got boost in almost all survival related stats). I think this difference in crits in acceptable, especially considering that only pvp armor has tenacity to REALLY take advantage of those crits.

Suggestion: good change

Protection & Tenacity:
Those two stats might not have anything in common, but in fact both of those values got pretty major buff even thou those preformed pretty good in the past with much lower ratings. Tenacity on old T3 armor was high enough so when assasssin equipped Master Assassin perk (+1800 tenacity as far as I remember) it brought up overall stat to 105% Tenacity. Obviously with the upgrade equipping Master Assassin will give an overkill on Tenacity. This is both good and bad. An overkill on tenacity will be even higher than now so it might feel a little wasteful. However this opens up assassin to new possible perk builds coupled with new possible builds granted with new protection. Right now undisputed king of pvp are the hybrid builds (example here: because it gives assassin best things of all trees: both damage and the protection. With protection being as high on it's own now it can open up the assassin to more experimentation with lotus/general or corruption/general builds. Lotus builds will be more effective because it's biggest advantage, which is protection, got upgraded. At the same time Corruption could be more viable since it's biggest weakness - lack of protection - got smaller. This is nicely coupled with Tenacity change: since master assassin perk is no loner oh-so-best-choice lotus/gen and corruption/gen can supplement their builds with things like castration perk (to generate sufficient shard amount). Sins of the Flesh could also enjoy more exposure, especially now that tanks will get less of a walking-behemoths the -15% healing debuff could come in handy. 

Suggestion: might turn out nicely

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stat Redistribution - Tier 3 PvP Weapons

And so as foretold by Game Director Letter – December 2013 T4 pvp gear is coming and T3 pvp gear is getting an upgrade. Neat eh? Well since this is handled by Senior Designer Matt "already beloved by all" Bennett aka CirithGorgor he simply jumped into the task (instead doing it the usual funcom way) and already posted  Stat Redistribution - Tier 3 PvP Weapons thread on TL. For those of you who don't have access to TL forums (and are milking me for free news) here is the whole post:

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Funcom Stat Redistribution - Tier 3 PvP Weapons

So following on from posting new additions to PvE loot on the Testlive forums I want to continue with this same trend when it comes to PvP items too.

As mentioned in the recent GD letter we do want to look at the Tier 3 PvP gear, particularly the weapons, and make them more competitive in their primary purpose (PvP).

Now bear in mind these are still Tier 3 weapons and so they might not be quite as powerful as T4 Jade Citadel weapons but they should be a lot closer and we do need to leave room for the now announced PvP Tier 4 items to come in (which of course should be more viable in PvP than their PvE equivalents).

That said the following posts will contain the screenshots of where we are at the moment, as always all stats are WiP at this point and please try to keep feedback constructive.

Here are the revamped weapons
In this post I will only cover assassin's dagger "Highlord's Dirk".

The differences are:

78,9 dps vs 81,4 dps
48 crit rating vs 50 crit rating
56 crit damage vs 60 crit damage

Old PvP dagger
T4 level of power

T4 level of power

This is rather disappointing as the dagger hardly changed at all except small DPS bump. I do understand that PvP T4 is intended to be a march for T4 PVE gear (BTW it should be BETTER as PvP weapons should be best for PvP) so I am not setting my expectations to Shiv of the Autumn Night's level, but at the same time in it's current shape PvP T3 is still just "pretty good" as opposed to "the weapon of choice for non-raiding pvpers".

Even if pvp T3 weapons can't reach T4 pve weapons in their current shape those are not even viable alternative to T3 crafted weapons and those are the most wide spread and used weapons in pvp

Since Highlord's Dirk has so little of stats diversity it is easy to compare it other non-T4 daggers.


Hightlord's Dirk needs constitution to be a viable alternative to other daggers. This added survivability is especially important considering that assassin is cloth wearing melee fighter with shortest weapon range in game. In other words: from purely melee mechanics perspective assassin is at biggest disadvantage compared to any other class in game. Both Requiem of Pain and Skirmisher Dirk have constitution and to add insult to injury Skirmisher's Dirk, a pvp T1, is still looking as a viable offhand alternative to revamped Highlord. 

Suggestion: add 25 constitution to Highlord's Dirk

Critical rating and Critical Damage rating:

The adjustment of CR and CDR on Highlord is negligible. It needs noticing that assassin class in PvP is pretty much based on CR and CDR as those stats are needed to take advantage of Tenacity. Assassin players are using master assassin perk which bumps up Tenacity up to 105%, but all of that is useless if assassin doesn't crit often enough.

Highlord dirk with its 50 crit rating and 60 crit damage doesn't even scale up to Spine of Dagon and Blade of the Ancient Sands which both are packing 55-56 CR and 65-66 CDR. If anything Highlord must match those since it doesn't have the massive benefit gemming that of Spine of Dagon dagger can take advantage of. If you look at gemmed T3 crafted dagger it surpasses T4 in few things.

Suggestion: bump critical rating to 56 and critical damage rating to 66 on Highlord's Dirk

Weapon Damage

Weapon damage is very important for Face Stab damage - the staple of assassin damage. Putting it at 81,4 DPS only matches Blade of the Ancient sands (also at 81,4) and is far from Spine of Dagon with it's 84.
At very least get it up to 82 so at very least it can beat some pre-T4 PVE daggers. Putting it up to 82 still places is behind anything T4/T3 crafted.

Suggestion: bump weapon damage slightly to 82 dps

Saturday, January 4, 2014

1 year review - 2013

I am kicking off 2014 with fabulous post about what the hell have happened in 2013 in Age of Conan. Nothing much? Probably. Well we shall see in few paragraphs. Grab your favorite brand of bossonian brandy and dive me into ocean of broken promises and half-assed content.

First thing first lets take a looksie at last letter of 2012 which was heavy with the promises for 2013:

  1. new freaking minigame
  2. crafting revamp
  3. new raid
  4. new dungeons
  5. single server technology
With that feed to us by Funcom who wouldn't go for 1 year sub offer? You did? So did I. And what we did get? We got FUNCOMED. The FC studio dropped the news that it is "re-structuring" and thus we will get fuck all in terms of content. Great timing guys with the sub offers. Masterful job, really.

After the previous game director - Silirrion - stepped down Joel Bylos taken up to the task of game directoring. I don't want for this review to sound like I am giving shit to JayBe here so right off the bat I want to make clear that I think he inherited nothing else than a "shit-storm" (a sandy shit storm to be exact) and he pushed with the cock he got. Given the circumstances (which were beyond his control) I think Joel did a good job.

Keep in mind that I don't even pretend to be objective here. This is my review and so it is written from Fury's PvPer that raids T4 and has little love for all things PVE.

That said I still want to vent few things out so here we go:

Outdoor zones:
  • Dragon's Spine
I have criticized DS on this blog many many times so there is no point in going at it again. The zone itself is pretty, but it lack a substantial content (aka "depth"). One you have completed the main quest chain (which is like couple hours TOPS) there is really no reason why you would want to go back here again (for other reasons than to just get into the DS dungeons). A major major letdown, sloppy job, waste of resources and a thousands curses upon thee. 

Raids and Dungeons:

  • Sepulcher of the Wyrm
The dungeon remained broken for several months and it offers really sub par loot (unless you are a DT). The visuals are quite nice, but that is pretty much it. Did it twice, never finished it.
  • Coils of Ubah Kan
A miniature raid that takes hours to complete. Stupid amount of Bosses and needlessly complicated. This could have easily been broken into 2-3 smaller dungeons. Did it once.
  • Halls of Eternal Frost
  • Scorpion Caves
  • The Caravan Raider's Hideout
I can't really tell since I haven't done them. Fury is stuck in LFG Palace/KK/Monastery mode and the unchained dungeons are considered "too much of a hussle". I have to give a honorable mention to the loot and it's distribution since it is a major improvement over the itemization in SDS dungeons. The loot is delivered in form of quest reward which comes in a form of a personalized loot chest. I like that as it prevents loot rot. Also, to my surprise, FC dev  posted all the items on TL forums and asked for a feedback on them. Furthermore he actually implemented the suggestions (mine too)! This new approach is a welcomed one.
  • Temple of Erlik loot changes
As with unchained dungeons TOE got new loot (adjusted accordingly to players feedback). I guess this might be a good incentive for some guilds on Crom to re-visit this raid.
  • World Raid Bosses
I am a little torn on this. On one hand the bosses are like gigantic pinata that you whack until candy (loot) falls out, but on the other hand it is a content that is undeniably very popular. I will admit that I have done the bosses more than once already and the quest to kill all 12 bosses that gives legendary loot only sweetens the deal. It is far from what I would call a "good" content (for example why dragons, yetis and such? Why not nemedian general or pictich warlord as boss?), but it is a content nonetheless and one that I am actually taking advantage of.

  • Yothian War Mare
I call it the biggest blunder of 2013. Not only this mount is a sickening money grab, but it is also seriously underdeveloped (lack of animations, can't attack etc.). Luckily this monstrosity backfired on FC as it is considered pretty vulgar for anyone to buy this mount yet alone ride it around. Why not horses thou? Why Funcom hates horses? What is wrong with horses?  I can't think of 5 different horse designs on top of my head. No...lets ride gigantic lizards instead...

Community and Marketing:
  • Forums merger
I can remember a post from one of the devs in 2009-ish saying that they will NEVER merge the forums (EU + US) because of how the billing works. Lies. Forum merger was rather successful and it worked out great for the community.

  • Age of Conan’s 5th Anniversary
Solid event. Funcom then re-used this tech to create world raid bosses. This wasn't my dream anniversary (we don't get nearly enough Conan in this Conan game :X) but it lived up to the expectations.
  • By the Light of the Moon
The event was a bit cheesy (shouldn't all of those Halloween events be that?), but it was a good addition after years and years of lost souls crap. Decent story, decent rewards and a promise of more events to come in the future as JB's stance on events is to add something new every time, but also to keep the old stuff.

  • 40 AA points to level 80 characters on Membership 
  • Age of Conan is on steam
  • Account wide unlocks (social armors, bags)
Very good changes. I think that JB is pressing maybe just tad too much to give people more AA as you literally can't fart these days and not to get some prowess or mastery out of that (depends if you fart around players or mobs). Events and dungeons are loaded with AA experience and free 40 AAs are only sweetening the deal. I have nothing against this apart that I sure hope it is done with purpose aka to pave the way for new AA systems to come in the future (JB mentioned this in one of his first posts on AOC forums).

  • Server Merge & server move
A smashing success and a biggest achievement of new game director. The process of moving every EU server to US and merging all of them to create big ass Fury, Crom and Rage went very smooth and was very beneficial to the community as a whole. I can honestly say that I can't even remember when the servers moved to the US as my latency is much better now (not necessarily lower, but there are less hicks-up on the server side which happened a lot on Fury-EU). 

Ok ok, so far this looks like a super positive review? Well it might seem so, but for me it was by far worst year since 2008. Apart from doing some world bosses and 3  hours worth of quest chain in Dragon's Spine I was pretty much doing...well minigames and some raiding. That is it. There was no crafting revamp (third year in a row!), no class changes and not a single addition to the pvp. I want content that I wish to do, not a content that I do because there is nothing else.

Regardless of that I am very hopeful for AOC future as the development team showed some new approach to content creation and the communication with the player base is very good as of late. 

Here is to another 5 years AOC!