The Rise of the DPS DoK

Firstly, I made a complete overhaul to the blog site, tell me what you think. Also, I refuse to take down the mildly obnoxious and possibly fruity snow flakes. It helps add to the Naggaroth theme of my Disciple of Khaineness, so it stays for the next month! And that is that.

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As we entrench ourselves in the new game play of 1.4, either by acquainting ourselves back with long shelved renown rank 80s, or by getting our next of kin that much closer, our aspects and long-term plans are probably changing. As so many are noticing, and or crying about (rightfully so) survivability is through the roof. To be a physical ranged DPS or classic melee DPS has become all so tough.

There is multiple reasons for this. One is a great deal of players were used to fighting other RR80s at select times. Their main opposition had been lower than 80s for quite some time. And for most, these DPS classes have been sporting defensive Sovereign sets. Now that everything around them is suddenly 80+ again, they are quick to notice that their ability to kill is lack luster. Before they were cutting through someone’s RR60 alt Archmage, today they banging on a RR82 Knight of the Blazing Sun. Two months ago, they had no problem ripping into a small grouping of miscellaneous sub RR60s, today they are being stopped dead in their tracks beating relentlessly on a Disciple to no avail in the mess of the crowding.

The addition of Hardy Concessions has led me to label patch 1.4 as the ‘Rise of the Healer‘. It took awhile, but Mythic remedied the renown ability to also reduce healing. Still however, with Sovereign, new RR81 Jewelry Pieces, you could make a DOK/WP an indestructible tank of healing magnitude, now maybe just more of a tanky healer. It was only a matter of time before the classes are nerfed in some way, which have been in talks for some time. My growing belief in the inevitable nerf to come to my heal class and the fact I am now battling to get in a good 6 man as everyone has more than enough DOK/WP to choose from now, has led me to trade in some Sovereign and respec to a Glass Cannon (full unadulterated DPS).

Not only was it the sole reason I re-rolled a DOK after having dedicated my first year and a half to my WPs, but the DPS DOK fills a role in the melee DPS chain that many other normal Melee DPS  just don’t have. It’s also the clear separation in the DPS difference between the Wrath Spec Warrior Priest and the Torture Spec Disciple. That is the tactic under the Torture Tree called Curse of Khaine. A 50% Incoming Heal Debuff that procs when ever you critically strike for 5 seconds. When you are RR80 in full Sovereign, it is not hard to have a melee crit at 50%. So there is no wondering if this tactic will crit, it will, and all the time. It’s actual frequency of procing is what makes it even more difficult to deal with, as it basically is always on your target, no matter if a healer is looking to cleanse it or not. Add the fact that it is an incoming debuff, also helps you basically focus on whatever you want, without worry of whom to kill first in many cases. 

It has found me a new place amongst my guild as I’m helping to serve a purpose in the DPS that we just don’t have. Our Sorcs can hit hard, our Marauders are now the respected beast that they should have, and our Squig Herders give more than enough problems, but to have a DPS that can chose a tank first among a premade and eat it under 5 seconds is devastating and unexpected. In many cases, you wait for DPS to engage the Slayer or WL in the front. Sure enough, their guarding tank will reveal themselves. The opposing healers will focus heals on the front DPS, but only provide the tank indirect group heals. In that moment, the DPS DoK moves on the tank, and basically can destroy it. As the tank will be taking damage from both its guard and now you with a heal debuff on them. They can’t detaunt you, they can only ask themselves, “WTF.” Once the tank falls, the DPS evaporates, and the confusion of battle overtakes the other side as quick rezzing takes place.

But that is but one tactic. The beauty in that move is that most tanks don’t expect to be punched in the face first. They are used to being the last touched, but they have fundamental flaws so long as you take advantage of it. There are many other great uses you can make of the DPS DoK. The addition of one in any melee train is a devastating proposal. As I look around our server, I seem to only be 1 of 3 high RR DoKs with this aspect. 1 I have known for a while in my old guild, and the other is a player that is just amazing. They make great use of the 3 DOK, Chosen system. With 2 Heal DoKs, a Melee DoK and a Chosen Guard, the team can take in just about whatever else they want in the other two slots with having more than enough survivability.

The drawback of being the DPS DoK is the arrangement of activities you can do. Simply going to highly contested zone to just join in the mass war, is generally not an option. You won’t survive, especially not without a guard. PuGing scenarios is also a general problem as you’ll never be able to coordinate the people around you to make the proper kills. In many cases just joining on quick scenario groups also then becomes difficult, as you really don’t have the proper mix of a defensively spec’d group around you. But, on the other side of the argument, there isn’t much out there that can take on a DPS DoK solo in the Lakes. Though boring, the renown payout for roaming in AAO areas solo can be very rewarding.

Going from 79 to 80 took approximately 10 hours of play time in a heal spec DoK. The journey from 80 to 81 took about 14 hours in DPS mode.. I would point at the reason being mostly around the healing aspect is able to just steal renown from everyone around them at all times. Out of group HoTs, along with Khaine’s Refreshment seems to give you a steady stream of purple at all times, not to mention a lot less deaths. The adverse effect is that, healing the masses is boring … boring. It’s awful, what you will do to keep getting the purple. When AAO was first implemented I remember being in Reikland for 6 hours straight just healing around the keep walls of Wilhelms, practically asleep with my face resting against the table top. It had made me realized that purple numbers are like cocaine, and there wasn’t much we could do to shake the habit. Overall, DPSing may take a little longer to level on, but it’s certainly showing to be a much better alternative for the stimulation in the game. I die quiet a bit but I also have a great lot of moments.

Just the other day I was wandering about Black Crag, looking for some cheap kills for the mass load of Order trying to take the zone. I spent a half hour unable to ever find a small group, just large hordes. I joined on my guild group and we were amassing in Praag, so I was now looking for a good way to die. On the BO, for some unknown reason (I see this a lot now), there was almost 2 WBs of Order guarding it. I thought to myself, “I bet I could get 2 or 3 BWs before they got me.” I slid down the cliff behind the unsuspected groups of idle Order, mostly mounted. I found the first BW, who died in 4 hits, and never moved. I then started to take out a slayer who quickly freaked out and ran into the center mass of the Order cluster. Unwilling to let the kill go, I followed crazed, slicing rampantly through the air, like a blender of torture gone astray. He fell, but he had accomplished putting me in the middle of 2 WBs all now focused on my presence. Lucky targeting (because we all know how crappy it is to Tab target in the mess) found me another BW, who was nice enough to be squishy and double potted, so that I could actually get a full Rend Soul to provide me full life. He fell, unable to bypass the friendly collision that holding him tight in my blade dance. Now my life was falling fast, 2 health pots and on and off Consume Essense spamming was only delaying the death that should have already come for maybe but 3 seconds ago. Why even waste the pots? But I did. I was frantically tab targeting through a mess of tanks, trying to find a squishier target to get melee heals on. Best I could was a Warrior Priest. Though unable to kill him, the WP did allow me to get yet another full Rend Soul off. This time, I found my next target by clicking. The fact that I was still alive was beyond believable to me, everyone must have been a RR30. And so it was, a WL that gave me my last kill with my Moral 3 cast. I almost thought I was going to go on forever, until an IB knocked that thought right out of me. Or at least for the 4 seconds I was on the ground bleeding out to death.

Don't you dare try to steal this very very official signature.

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Mr. Meh’s Post Patch Wish List: 1.4

Now that we have patch 1.4 and new goals, new systems and a basic focus, what’s next?

As tradition would have it, I have formulated a list of what I want. And really that’s all that matters.

#1 – Forts

Yeah, I heard you when you said you didn’t have plans to do anything about that. I heard you, I just think you’re wrong. Get clever, get creative.

Give us a multi-point set objective battleground. Give us the compact all out fight we always wanted. These servers can handle a great deal now. I have seen the keep takes with 300 vs. 300. This isn’t March 2009 when we were crashing servers. This is almost 2011. You can do it. And as you demonstrated with instancing cities better and revamping RvR, we know you can.

Not to mention we need some kind of speed bump to the city. You can’t have peeps booking it at 90 MPH through the parking lot of Altdorf.

#2 – Open RvR Tweaks

You have overlooked too much. Mainly because you test on equal measures and directed the testers what to do all of one time. Instead of letting the little bitches go act like real players … like assholes. You over estimated the zerg and the lay down to the zerg factor. You overlooked small time tactics versus crude power. As a result, zone flips in less than 10 minutes. You are actually at the point in which we could be at the city gates again while it’s in safe mode. Which will most likely cause a system circular reference and send the world into a black hole.

Keep ranks based on resources is awesome to advance offensive, but defensively, ummm … bigger zerg wins. Why can’t I upgrade the keep with my guild benefits? Why can’t I have some NPC support. Why can’t the Keep Lord just be on the bottom floor? Why do the cannons hit enemies like they were shooting kittens’ hair balls?

Put it back and make it better. 

#3 – Guild benefits

So … I like how guild rank is useless now. Actually just overall, there is no longer any real benefit to being in a guild other than being a collection of friends. Which is the point really. But the other more original point was to show how much better my guild was than your crappy one.

Part A: Revamp rewards to mean something. Let us claim keeps and help our realm again. Special merchant items should now be unique awesome things. Crafting items upgraded to useful in between ranked items. Lower cost of guild mounts for our sub RR65 friends. 150 gold is a little steep now. Maybe introduce gear purchase cost discounts at certain guild ranks. Special dye colors anyone?

Part A: Subpart 1: Guilds get to choose from a massive pallet of colors we know you have already made, except the obvious Skull White and Chaos Black. At certain ranks the guild gets to pick upto 3 colors and get this, ‘GUILD COLORS.’ These Guild Colors are sold to guild members only at the guild merchant.

Anybody who reads the above and doesn’t like it, should be shot in the face with a kitten. Also, you should be made allergic to kittens.

Part B: Next, up the guild ranks to 50. Adding more levels and more levels of awesomeness. Like another mount that is even more awesome than the ones we have now. More keep upgrades? Yes please. How about unique item art? Fuck yeah.

Part C: Living Guilds. What was that you just said, Living Guilds? Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, this GAME in 2007! Add in rank decay. Your guilds not active? Cool, log in to a rank 1. Gaining guild rank and maintaining its benefits should be hand in hand.

#4 – Add in Additional Cities

I’d really like to see detail like Hypothetical WAR came up with, but I would settle for basically 4 other city instances just for the sake of diversifying our city instances. These cities don’t need much. Just basics like the other cities, without the PvE and Dungeons. In times of peace, they are another, less crowded city to go to for training, merchants, guild halls and auctions. But in times of invasions, they are a mirrored city instance to that of the cities we have now. Just with a different layout and different heroes. Almost nothing more than a change of scenery. And really, with being able to go to the city 4 times a day now, that may be a good idea.

How would you work in 6 cities? You take out the function of capturing 2 pairings to go the city. Once you capture a pairing/fort if suggestion #1 is taken seriously, you can invade that pairings city. Allowing normal ORVR and Scenarios to continue if for some reason, I don’t know, you are bored with city for some reason. And to avoid always having a giant zerg push in one pairing due to probable favorability for one city instance, you locked down a pairing for a couple of hours after entering safe mode.

#5 – More Class Mirrors

Lets face it. RR100 is nice, but either some of us are going to get a little bored in that grind or we are going to reach it. We may want to play alts or start something new. Hopefully we can make the ‘new’ still stay in this game by introducing new classes.

Now rather than spending and worrying about balance and introduction of new abilities and their effects on the system, what if we were to simply make new art and make mirrors of that that already exist in the game?

For instance, some races generally lack some aspect of class balance. And some of us players only like one type of race. For instance, Empire and Dark Elves lack a medium melee, physical ranged and caster healers. The same could be said of other races, that lack stealth, or magic damage, or medium robe heals. You could be a player that has been playing tanks and melee for the last year, and always wanted to have a healer like a Warrior Priest. But hate the WP’s look in general.

Simple answer is to create quick mirrors of classes, ready for the alt-anitus in all of us.

Here is a list of some basic possibilities:

Dark Elves:

Beast Master – White Lion Mirror 

   Melee with Pet Mechanic. Pet should be the new Hydra (pictured), maybe just a bit smaller. A cold one would work too.

Hag – Archmage Mirror

   More offensive than the Shammy. Better options for DPS with lifetapping. Unit can be a charm and dagger based weapon unit instead of a staff.

Repeater Crossbowmen – Engineer Mirror

   Physical Range with stance mechanic to enhance melee as they are light armored, not cloth units. Replace pet mechanic with extra damage and enhanced autoattack.

Chaos:

Khorne Warrior – Swordmaster Mirror

   Offensive Tank with chaining stance abilities.

Bezerker – Shadow Warrior Mirror

   Intense strength and vigor allow the Berzerker to hurl his giant axe the enemy. For ranged cast, in the buildup, the Bezerker looks as though he is stances to do the discus at the Olympics. Because of their fury, they have no problem changing stances and instantly jump into a more melee position.

Bloodletter – Warrior Priest Mirror

   The Bloodletter is a deamon brought to life by the warp energies. Their rage towards the living is for sacrifice of others allows the Bloodletter to be in the fray or near it while granting all around them the blessings of blood for the blood god of Khorne.

High Elves:

Phoenix Guard – Chosen Mirror

    Finally, the Phoenix King answers Malekith’s release of his dread Black Guard with his very own guard. The guard is that of mystic wisdom wrapped in clad resolution. The unique look of the Guard include gold helms, but mainly their ability to use Halberds with Shields. 

Loremage – Magus Mirror

   Like other mages of Ulthuan, Loremages are brought to a finer focus for the times at hand. Where Magic always exist in peace and war, these mages are concerned with dedicating themselves to war. Loremages don’t use pets as much as lay elemental traps. to compensate for the loss of DPS from the pet, the Loremage gains slightly more DPS in their abilities.

Empire:

Archer or Hunter – Squig Herder Mirror

   Ranged with Pet Mechanic. Pet is a hound.

Great Sword – Marauder Mirror

   Medium Melee – Stance Mechanic allows the GS to change footing a position for more vigorous thrust or more precise strikes.

Jade Wizard – Zealot Mirror

   Cloth Cast Healer  

All pictures shamelessly stolen from Games-Workshop’s website. Just some ideas, mostly wishes,

Flying like Mr. Meh: 101

I had a wonderful weekend. Hopefully you all did too. My choice in ‘not ever getting an 80’ is quickly closing the gap as I made 3 Renown Ranks this weekend. And that was only playing Saturday and Sunday. But I guess that is going to happen if you are healing RR80s and 81s, but you don’t happen to be one.

I gotta say, the massive city push is far beyond what I think they intended. So much moaning by everyone. At what point do you people get tired of the QQ. It’s obviously an oversight by Mythic. I mean, how were they supposed to see this coming? They did like one night in testing for RvR. Testing is implementation. Get over it. Enjoy it to your liking, grab those crest now. Who knows, they might put back in Forts or something else, and you’ll never see city again. But instead you are pouting in region and protesting your involvement. I did miss scenarios though. I will allow you to QQ to your desire on that one. Again, we all noticed, obviously it will be fixed.

Like many of you, last week was my time seeing the new RvR. It took a while to understand. But while I was trying it, I discovered my new favorite thing to do …. flying.

However, I watch many of you either flying over me, or in front of me, or around me. And you suck at it. Now, there are only like 4 Manticore/Griffons to fly, so if there was 50, I wouldn’t care. Do what you want. But it’s not. You are probably 1 of 4 douchy Mcdoucheries refusing to either jump off, die, or just use the thing the right way. So as the select elite of the flying death that you should be, I have made you a quick slide show of how Mr. Meh owns face on a mighty beast of pain.

First step: Wait till you’re by yourself. Though fun, your group may or may not get pissy when they die, look on the map and see this one green dot moving a ludicrous speed down to Southern Garrison. That is generally not a good way to make friends. So Step 1a: look that you’re alone. Cry a little at your lonesomeness, maybe even cut your inner thigh. Now go die. Or travel to the keep. Moan. Dying is easier. And they enjoy it!

Okay now make an empty spot on your hot bar.

Step 2: Show-off your old school Battlefield 2 and 2142 skills by taking the flying machine before some nub that had been standing there before you can. Quickly manual emote something mean and horrible.

Steb 2b: Wait in region for one of the screwed out of flight, to try to lecture people about being respectful of the line to get on the Manticores. Be a trollface and reply with something extremely obnoxious. Like a reference to Roller Coaster Tycoon.

Step 3: Drag the bombing function you just learned to your hotbar. This will allow you spam it like you were a Ravage spamming Chosen. RAVAGE!!! You are now 733Ts with uber smash button power of amazingness. Congrats you win the game.

Step 4: Find nubs from the opposite realm. Fire spam loads on their heads like unsuspecting dirty girls that you don’t respect. Remember the fire actually stacks. The more you fire the more they die faster!

If not able to kill them all, you can at least bask in the overpowered numbers you’ll see. Enjoy, you are now a floating Bright Wizard.

Step 5: Travel all the way to the keep. There is always at least 4 idiots that went afk.

Step 5b: At the center flight point over the keep oil, you can shoot the fire to the spawn point of the inner keep. You won’t be able to get enough there to really kill anyone, but sometimes people spawn, start taking damage, freakout and jump off the side to their death. The hilarity is worth your time trying to arch it that far.

This has been a Mr. Meh Production,

Welcome Back: Day 3

Day 3 back to Gorfang Destro. Only 2 more days till 1.4.

Logged on to an immediate guild invite. My peeps had indeed been working some politics. But this invite was what I always had in mind. The other guild in my former guild’s alliance, Mourne. There have been times in the game where I felt like I was a good player, other times when I felt like one of the best, but anytime I was in one of their Warband, there was no feel, it just was.

You have probably one of the best accumulation of RR80s and the soon to be. Now sure enough, RR80 does make your life easier. But at some point, skill is required. And I don’t see too much lacking here. Now it does make it awkward for my other friends, as they are in a guild that’s in an alliance with their former guild of years. But that’s their problem. I just get to grin.

It was a grand night. Immediately after logging on, accepting a guild invite, I was right back in a high RR vented warband in Reikland. Our roaming effort to disrupt Deathwatche’s and Munchara’s try to ruin our city push for destro might have not been succesful if not for Elf unlocking 2 minutes before the Reikland zone lock. I have no real complaints, I got a ton of renown.

We then would break warband and form 3 (three) whole and balanced premade SC groups. Well, 2 of them stayed balanced, mine was a makeshift. But I like those, so I’m always happy being the only healer in a group of DPS. At one point we were actually a group of healers. Which was odd, because it still worked in most cases.

As we talking about the past, I realized that I was underpowered, as I was beat in healing by another DoK I’m growing only slightly more accustomed to. A month ago, I was out Healing this guy in Cities while he was the champ, and now he’s got almost a 100K spread on me? Hmmmmm… it was at that point I remembered, I’m not a RR75 with 3 piece Sovereign and Royal Chalice. I am a RR74 with all those item sitting in my bag waiting for that ding. So then I was sad. But then I got all happy in my rush to get to 75. What a magical rank for DoKs and WPs (healing). You get another +5 SE. That’s a big deal.

It’s all about small goals. And now I have a guild to get there.

Welcome Back: Day 2

It was excited first couple of days back. Seeing faces and names I had not seen since I first came to the server. I finally met up with my old guildmates after missing them my first night back. We tried deep diving back into our old skins, trying to determine either what toon was going to make the rush to 100 or just trying to figure out how not to suck.

Thankfully it seems, that must be where everyone else is at as well. Many times I saw names on Order that used to send chills up my spine months ago, only to face them now a shrug off their attack like they were R30s.

In many cases, this feels like an awkward homecoming. Many coming back to no homes, reformed guilds, falling outs. Probably not the best time to once have been a poor political player. What once were the top guilds a month ago, seem but a shadow in the wake of even older guilds reforming.

I can only imagine it must suck right now to be under RR60. Everything around is RR80 right now, and you, you still have lots of catching up to do. On the other hand, you can view it as even more renown for you. Depends on your veiw point. But I can tell you, my first night back was suck. PuGing Scenarios and running about with Open Warbands was not at all fun. Just being in a 3 man group on my second night made a world of difference from just the day before.

Still guildless, but my peeps are already working their politics.

Meet the Plinks

About 3 weeks ago when I started my little Dwarfen expedition on Gorfang, I ran into an interesting setup in T1 on my first night.

I ran into a 6 man team of Gobbos. 5 Squig herders and a Shammy. I think any Order players knows, that SHs are just annoying if not deadly. By far, the best implementation of ranged and pet use in the game. Going one on one with a good Squig Herder tends to make or break a Shadow Warriors will to continue on that toon in many cases. And sure enough this 3 to 6 man team, depending on when you find them, is sure to make quick work of your face. Because despite their ability to play their classes well at low levels, they are also able to be focus fire well against their enemies.

I’ve been watching them leveling with me for the last 3 weeks. I’m not exactly sure who they are, as they take no guild association, but this team of Gobbos have got their act down. Last night in T3, they constantly went off from the destro herd and solo defended keeps, and would give up their own keep takes just to camp Order’s WCs.

These crafty little Gobbos have got all of T2 and T3 Order on Gorfang convinced SHs are the most uber class in the game. And I will give them credit, they are pretty decent. But just like any player, they still are easy to lure away from their safe areas to get the kill. I spent most of my night last night, exchanging rounds with the 3 of them that were on in T3. It was great fun.

So, just incase you any of you happen to read this blog, here is a hat tip to you plinkers.

I’m not exactly sure who’s who, or how many they actually have. But so far I think I have seen the following names:

Commanderplink – SH
Generalplink – SH – Seems most active
Captainplink – SH
Privateplink – SH
Lieutenantplink – SH
and Nurseplink – Shammy

I hope you all choke on mushrooms,

WAR Bloggers: Hypothetical WAR

One of my favorite old hobbies while doing this blog was to dream the possibilities in WAR. From expansion suggestions to improvements, I love seeing ways of expanding this game. I have kind of deterred from that lately. As once the RvR packs were announced, I would rather see the changes happening there. And believe it or not, most of the changes are actually suggestions I’ve been seeing for the last 2 years from bloggers. So someone’s watching.

Though I read many blogs on WAR, I’m not especially good at keeping up the rapport and communications like many other bloggers. I read you, but I do it from my iPhone, which means I completely forget to add you to my blogroll or ever link you on my blog. Which is pretty shitty I will admit. I just like to rant, I’m not actually very good at the blogosphere thing and networking.

Anyways, though I’ve really been holding back on suggestions and ideas for WAR, there will be some things I really want to see a push in WAR for in the next year. 1 is more classes. I’m not talking major advancements or balancing act issues. I’m just talking about making mirrors and some more art additions. But besides that I really, really want the other 4 cities added in.

I know, I know. It’s been laid clear by the current producer, that’s definitely not a concern. But … it should be. Ultimately you are giving us a ton of more end game. And it’s becoming very clear that T5 just won’t ever be possible, so … there has got to be more to life than Altdorf and IC. Not that they aren’t fun. It’s just that, a slightly better mix of end game would be nice to see eventually.

I’ve been reading a certain blogger lately that has really and I mean really taken an in-depth look at just that possibility. To the point that, short of him just happening to be a gaming graphic designer and programmer, he has basically done all the lore and character story writing. Short of stealing a bunch of already existing in-game terrain art, you could almost pull his ideas together. He outlines it in such a way that he uses screenshots of different already existing terrain to illustrate such.

He’s really been pulling some amazing ideas together. So if you like to read a little less rant and little more of just awesome ideas, go check out Hypothetical WAR. Then throw a shit ton of comments in the articles, then go link it everywhere. Let’s make sure Mythic sees it. I want to see these ideas come to be, and I’ll think that within your first minute of reading you’ll feel the same.