Update 27

Today, Monday – update 27 will be released. It follows a similar process to the last 2-3 updates of what seem like a hard target release and then several patches to fix what’s broken.

This was particularly telling with ToEE that was still being polished by the time next update was released and there’s still some issues with Warlock – issues that are not entirely resolved in this patch but being worked on. A few that are plaguing some of the trees and have people upset since Turbine is nerfing some of the power of Enlightened Spirit, while not fully fixing everything that ails Warlock.

I understand the re-balancing – but it is true that Turbine has the tendency of leaving things in a broken stage while still adjusting the needle.

There’s also a promise of a fix to the borked hirelings. I never had a chance to test it while on Lamm so it’ll be interesting to take it for a spin in the Cannith challenges. Apparently when you tell them to stay put it’ll put down a flag – a flag the hirelings then will only move a few meters from.

Personally I’m skeptic. Not that they’re not going to stay in the vicinity of the flag, but given that there are a bunch of other complex things going on – I have a feeling that the hirelings will be perpetually agroed on things you’re fighting instead of worrying about the stuff hitting them. That’s essentially the issue right now – the reason why they come running for you is because they’re agroed on the things you fight. And once you stop fighting what you’re fighting, they’ll end up getting stuck midway between you and where you told them to stay.

So if they’re defending a specific spot, they will now be far away from it. By adding a flag they might just be moving within the area of the flag, but still ignoring the object you want them to fight. You can see that right now at times when shooters and such can attack something not far from them and they will completely ignore that. It was a particular problem in Crystal Cove, where you could have a hireling no more than 10 meters away while the enemy snuck in behind them and slaughtered the kobolds.

Finally – no word on a moratorium on raid time bypasses for new raids.

If there are none the raid will be more or less over within the next few weeks. Just as with MOD and all other raids before it. I don’t know if that’s really something Turbine wants, but unless they at least put an artificial block on using bypasses say until the next update drops, all new raids will be plundered quickly, leaving the rest of us that can’t run the same raid for 24 hours straight behind.

I still would like to get some stuff from MOD for several of my guys. I haven’t seen that raid being run for months.

I still would like some heroic comms to unlock stuff that I have. Including even some of the old dragon armor (now that I finally have enough green scales etc). I can’t since they all require some heroic comms.

And I still would like some items from both CITW and FoT, but they’re not running anymore. The only one still running is the Shroud and sometimes the raids for thunderforged items.

3 different ways to DPS as Warlock

If you look at most classes, there’s usually 1 or 2 – with fighters you have an auspicious 3 but it boils down (generally) to two – tanking or more DPSing, meaning fundamentally a blend of tanking and vanguard or 2 handed. With barbarian you talk mainly about forms of DPS – do you prefer more one subset with temp HP or do you like a similar type DPS but with other features?

Wiz have two – archmage or Pale Master – sure, there might be some that try the Eldritch Knight (as you can with Sorc) but it’s doubtful it’s that widespread. Similar with FvS and Cleric – most will look at either a spell centrist caster or a ‘healer’. Fewer will most like go for the melee type – altho it’s there (I suspect in that case you find more mix of Pally Clerics or Favored Souls than pure with the melee tree).

Bard got 2 – melee (Warchanter or Swashbuckler) or Spellsinger. Druid similarly caster type or melee type. You go down the line and you find the same with Pally’s, Rangers and Artificers. The one exception to this might be rogue that with some well guided hair splitting can be split into assassination (insta killing), Acrobat or Mechanic – ultimately however we’re not talking about a massive difference of form of death – mostly methodology.

Setting aside whether you use ranged, close out or a dagger under a rib into your hearth you can roughly state that most classes method of DPS range from CC, melee, ranged or spell casting with a plethora of methods of those without different classes. To that end Warlocks are not really all that different, only a little bit more limited in spread.

I’ve mentioned that ideally the pact decide much of the flavor in what you’ll specialize in. That’s unlike most (if not all) other classes where utility is a lot more interchangeable. A ranger for example can easily retool to arcane ranger from DPS, given good enough weapons – and very few changes in feats.

Sorcs can easily switch between elements since most feats work just fine with all elements (almost) and it boils down to available gear.

Similarly with wiz – true – Drow is better for Pale Master and most people running Archmage use robots, but it’s not a must.

And since Warlocks pacts adds specific flavor, it’s always better to pick the pact (and featured pact specific items) and blend the trees that fits that pact. Doing it the other way around like you would on say a Sorc (pick sorc and start putting points into the trees), it takes a little bit more initial planning in order to maximize potential.

The current three Warlock options are Soulteater (SE), Tainted Scholar (TS) and Enlightened Spirit (ES). Both SE and ES offers melee options, Tainted Scholar is great for sustained Edritch blasting and Souleater in particular offer many insta killing options.

So in order to maximize pact and tree, look at the pacts first. Fey offers CC (Otto’s), Fiend single CC and a nice insta kill spell and Great Old One, several charm options.

So if you’re looking at CC options I’d go Sustained DPS through Fey, TS and ES, if you’re looking at insta killing I would go Fiend and primarily SE and Great Old One is perfect with a melee oriented ES heavy hybrid or pure build (for melee it’s better to multi class).

So lets talk sustained DPS. To me sustained DPS is a raw output of average high dependable DPS with few high spikes. The theory is that you know the given DPS without relying on particular spikes of burst DPS. Since Warlock have very few big sticks, you’re talking Eldritch Blast. Most of the bonus to that is found in Tainted Scholar which blends higher pact damage, for variants of blast focus and type and also adds a good mix for your CC type activities. You have the ranged AOE for dancing creatures, you have confusion to make mobs turn on themselves and you have blast types that turn the force damage into untyped or evil, or even can slow down creatures or neg level them.

TS is perfectly served with ES. Here you’re looking for the burst and if you want to go tier 5, also a good source of temp HP. And if you want to make it sustained DPS but with a few dots, you can always mix in SE instead. But here I still recommend tier 5 TS – that’s for DC breaking and AOE damage. This combination with be strong against trash mobs but a little weaker against bosses.

With SE you get lots of insta killing options. Add fiend to the mix and you have the fiend Hurl through Hell, the cap stone which adds a soul ripper effect, tier 5 offers a Finger of death SLA and you can always pick the spells wail of the Banshee and Finger of death – adding a lot of sources of insta killing. Many low cost version of killing and 2 spell based ones.

SE also adds 2 powerful evil damage based dots – consume and stricken, both with multiple ways of increasing the potency and other features like one that can do stat damage and transfer ability points (temp) to your Warlock and one that outright steals HP from the opponent and gives it to your guy.

SE can also be combined with any of the other trees but work well with TS due to either can boost DC and the blast combined with dots makes for a good spell casting type Warlock.

However if you’re looking for a solid melee Warlock than ES offers the best options. 2 possible bursts, one damage ticking aura and several ways to boost aura damage (including weapon damage) as well as PRR, MRR and even hirelings.

Add to that a very string tier 5 temp HP source (12x your CON, used to be 15 but that’s changing in U27) every 30 seconds. You don’t need to combine this one with anything else; you’re most likely going to multi class anyways so you get all the melee boosting features on it’s own. The burst will be instead of melee cleaves (shares their cooldown) and the aura is passive and does damage up to 2 seconds per tick dependent on how many core abilities you have.

I’m currently running 3 Warlocks – one operates as a multiclass Vanguard/Warlock. I think most of the issues I got there is the gear choice. It’s not bad, just not as strong as I want it. And to be perfectly honest – Vanguard is probably not the optional melee choice. It’s feat and gear intense and you end up compromise too much.

I also run a dotting, slight insta killing Fey based casting Warlock. So it’s not primarily anti killing – most of the damage is from dots and blasts but no bursts.

My other Warlock is Old One acid based and blends heavy ES with a solid up to tier 4 TS. The idea is mixing blasts and heavy burst together with survivability through temp HP. Old One offer 2 insta killing spells – phantasmal Killer and Power Word: Kill but it’s not primary features like with my Fey based SE Warlock.

So, if you want to avoid reading all this – just Pact and plan how you will deliver damage. Pact is very dependent on your preferred alignment but it will also set the tone in strengths vs weaknesses.

And finally have fun; Warlocks are fairly maintenance free and will keep on ticking well beyond when classes like Sorcs start running out of juice. But you won’t be king of DPS, just solid in almost all aspects.

Old hunting grounds

I most often Iconic Reincarnate. Much less gear to switch, far less quests to run and you get right into the meat of the newer stuff.

But now and then (such as wanting to play human without wasting +1 lessers on changing that first level) I True Reincarnate and start from scratch.

Like with my now level 9 human Warlock. What I especially like is to see how different classes handles similar type quests. And so far it’s true that Warlock is by far the smoothest way to level up – particularly since the one attack (Eldritch) is such a universal way to destroy critters. Force and most pact damage will work very well against most creatures. And once you unlock something like untyped piercing it only gets better.

Acid is of course particularly effective against most creatures in the beginning but as I mentioned before Sonic is very nice as well. And the best way to get the most out of pact stuff is to invest in Cannith Crafting. Such as the trinket for sonic, the cloak for fire and the boots for acid.

That covers level 3, 6, 10, 14 and 20. And gives each one of those levels a major maximal boost in spellpower and lore. Ontop of that these items are also good with additional benefits. Boots provides immunity against slippery surfaces and a nice stone prison guard. The cloak adds fire absorb that works in conjunction to a possible 33% absorb item you might create (or find such as the named items out there) and the trinket adds benefit against constructs.

The only thing missing is your basic random impulse stick OR if you got it, shadowmail or the Wizard’s ward with impulse. Add to that the sage bracers and you got the 15+ levels covered.

Right now I’m working off Sorrowdusk and if I won’t hit 10 finishing that off I might do the entire Red Fen. Then awaits the 10-13 hole before I can start enjoying the regular mid plus drive from 14 to 20. That one is much easier.

Full Macabre for 14, Gianthold, Eveningstar, Wheelon, Vale, both Harper and maybe even thunder mountain stuff. In fact once you hit 15 you don’t even have to worry finding quests – there are entire chains that’ll take you to 20 with ease.

Until then I will do the few chains I can find here and the odd quests there until I get to that point.

And it’s fun reconnecting with quests I haven’t done for years. Even forgetting where some traps are (and dying). Dying is okay – stupid dying is not. Like when the spastic healer hireling without raise dead (and all the healing) wants to smack a skeleton across a room where traps are going off. And all you have is some cure serious pots.

Micro managing stupid hirelings gets boring for sure.

The human thing to do

As the brief story in my previous post suggest, I have now TR’d my Bladeforged Warlock into a human Warlock. I thought about doing either a Drow or maybe say a morninglord or any of the other Iconic (Shadarkai looks…yum) but I don’t want to waste any more lesser reincarnations to blow away the first level to remain pure.

Plus I like human. Sure – it won’t get the best Charisma but it has a balanced ability sheet and 2 starting feats. Now that being feat starved is the greatest issue, but it helps to diverse.

I’m going to be honest to you – as most people suggest Warlocks are good (if not REALLY good) in heroic. It’s true that doing up to level 7 quests isn’t all that special – currently rounding off level 8 after finishing Deleras – but it’s already a remarkably resource free experience. I barely have to shrine at all. And that’s true with the level 15-28 experience as well, but moreso in the early levels.

Had this been my sorc or wiz it would be a completely different story.

An interesting way of playing the early level where the eldricht blast and pact damage is weak is to supplement with a eternal wand. I used the free one you get in the very first quest – put it in the main hand and impulse item in the secondary – that way you can actually use the wand now and then without switching off eldricht blast.

I’m doing the same now but with cacaphonic verge or whatever – the sonic blast based want that drops somewhere. It’s excellent for breaking of stuff and fire ahead of you to discover stuff you can’t spot. In all honesty you don’t need that many other items.

I get the pact damage from the rock boots. Cannith challenge item. I have all the related one for level 3, 6, 10 and 14 (normally it’s 3, 7, 11 and 15 but I have unlocked tier 3 and crafted in masterful for a drop in level).

Random impulse sticks are plentiful and if need be you can always find a good alignment stick to boost possible ‘evil’ damage from say stricken and consume.

The reason why I did this is simple; It’s not that bladeforged is bad, but it does cost you lots of enhancement points get the SLA reconstruct. And in Epic levels it’s almost more efficient to twist in cocoon instead. It’s sad that race based enhancements is not a separate expenditure from the class based because as of now I seldom invest in it, even if there are some nifty features there. And that’s truly a pity since the race based ones add great flavor.

To me at least Warlocking is a fleshy thing. Less alignment based restrictions, more flexibility even if it means starting from level 1 again. But given how ‘comfortable’ it seems to rise in levels using Warlock I don’t think that’s going to be the main issue.

Anew

I lean against the thick ancient tree. The shadow, a mere blossom in the rearming heat. A soft salty breeze filter in from the ocean around me, a whisper of sullen waves crash against the rock behind me as seagulls shrieks echo against the steep smooth lime sailing up high and above on the current ramming the island and pouring into the hollowed out caves far below.

I am tired – having saved the Island form the menace of a Mindflayer controlling a white dragon. Cleared out a storage of cultists trying to destroy a power stone keeping the village warm, found a scroll, stopped them from awakening the dead in a crypt and finally confronted a traitor in the underground cellar and ancient cave underneath the tavern.

After that was done I wandered into the interior of the island to find an ally, deep freeze an ancient beast, find the mayors daughter and clear out the threat of the Mindflayer once and for all.

Exhausting. I lean against the bark, close my eyes as the rustle of leaf blend with the whisper of the old ones in my mind. The promise of power – the commands of their will and purpose. I seek knowledge and gave away my free will for the flow of eldricht might that fills my essence.

I’m learning how to tune out some of the loudest voices. When I was reborn the cacophony was deafening. A bowl of insanity as the Old ones poured into my mind and whose dark tendrils and will clawed at my sanity.

Now – like a newborn trying to filter the advent of the morning light through the shade of a hand covering my sight, I see reality. I try to drag myself into it. To exert some will of my own before I succumb to theirs.

They tell me that freeing the White Dragon was all in their plans. That the path I stake out serves their needs.

This is so different from the shadows of my past – the fractious remnant of my previous life. In that one my moral inclination was towards law and good – in this I’m entirely neutral to the ant like civilization around me.

Death – if it furthers my (or their) goals is entirely ambivalent. Life, only matters if it’s a stepping stone. It’s not evil, or lack of good. Evil is as much a matter of explicit will, an idea of shape through chaos, as good is to preserve the state of that shape.

For me there is only their will, and my goals. I know I can’t win in the end. But I try; because there’s a thirst clawing inside me. Be it knowledge, power, ‘things’ or whatever seem to drive me. But I want it and as I sit here and rest against an ancient tree that has seen countless of lives repeat its cycles in in place, I know I will not find it here. But beyond the stretch of briny sea in Stormreach.

Stoooooormreach – the whisper in my mind calls out. A deep guttural noise – more a growl than a utterance. This old one – more ancient then the rest pokes my mind. Makes me stand up. I feel like a puppet on a string when I reach for my pack and start stumbling towards the harbor. Then I steel myself, Nails dig into the meat in my palms, I dry heave. Sweat pearl on my forehead as I slow down to a stand still. The shriek of voices rise to a choir in my mind.

I am not your meat puppet, I tell them, not sure if I’m strong enough to stake out enough ground to stand on. At the apex of the struggle, when I’m about to break and I feel a trickle of hot, metallic blood trickle from my nostril down over my lips the war in my mind suddenly ends and the whispers die out.

I feel dizzy and weak. My limbs tremble as I steady myself against a rock rounded by eons of exposure to the elements. My hand slips against the dry moss and the brown crust breaks and turn into dirt smelling vapors.

Slowly my strength comes back and I can hear the villagers go on and about as if nothing ever happened. The clangs and songs from inside the tavern and the haggling of some loud adventures calling shenanigans on some of the pricing of local goods.

You may Walk your own path for now the deep voice comes back. A tingle run up my spine. Of fear. Of trepidation. There was menace and anger in that voice. I had defied it and won for now. But I would never be my own again.

5 more raid loot and some art

Some of these items are level 13 (quest BTA) but I included them to show art. There are some basic changes – the greataxe (below) will have a crit of x4. And there are some other changes happen like lifting up +5 ability score on some BTA loot to +6, as appropriate for level 13.

One of the raid items have +2 vertigo stacking (the cloak) – that should be a green augment instead.

Ultimatum

Ultimatum

This is from last post but this time with art. As you can see the shield is large (Tower shield) and cool. The lighting is a little poor but it’s very Archon like. A definite mirror even if I prefer other shields.

Divine Artillery

Divine Artillery

This is the level 13 version of the great crossbow. It’s clear that they’re aiming for the mechanics out there.

Small Shield or Buckler of the Demonic Soldier

Small Shield or Buckler of the Demonic Soldier

The small or the buckler has the same stats and shares the same art. Here’s the buckler version. Cool art.

Riftmaker

Riftmaker

The new Greataxe. Clearly a monster and very nice art. It’s not showing the x3 crit range so that’s in an upcoming update. All weapons are also getting the appropriate metal version, such as flametouched I think or maybe it was cold iron. Anyways – they’re going to be the appropriate type  according to the ‘race’.

Light Unending

Light Unending

This unfortunately reminds me of the q-staff from thunderforged. I think it would be much more awesome if it had a few spikes in the end – otherwise it’s too much of a ‘lamp’.

Bleeding Edge

Bleeding Edge

I’ve yet to pull the bastards sword from ToEE – but here’s another great looking art. I’m glad that despite creating so many new items they already had time to make some original art too. ToEE had some, but most of it was ‘reskinned’ from other released items.

Shield of Tireless Aid

Shield of Tireless Aid

I like it, except for the yellow augment. The Epic version has a green augment slot. I so wish they made sure all hand held had either an orange, purple or red at a minimum. The art is also from ‘random’ shield that you can pull. I don’t think it’s original (I’m pretty sure I mirrored something similar).

Rod of the Mythant

Rod of the Mythant

The Rod of the Mythant seems to be aimed towards Warlocks (and there are a few other items like that too). This is BTA – there are a few other new items that add other type focus. This is a must for both my Warlocks (there’s a rumor that each item also drops as a Mythic, with a similar mythic bonus added instead of unique stats – similar to ToEE).

Eloquence

Eloquence

This is one of those switch in helmets but terrific art. Excellent for rogues, good for everyone else. Very nice in that Epic 3BC quest that requires bluff, diplomacy or intimidation.

Halcyonia

Halcyonia

Another helmet with some really awesome art. Clearly a divines best friend.

Strange Tidings

Strange Tidings

This is a new raid ring. Seems geared towards rogues. Altho UMD is always good for everyone.

Visions of Precision

Visions of Precision

Clearly a monks best friend. Covers fairly much all needed monk stuff – combine with the raid boots (last post) and you good pretty much everything covered.

Countenance

Countenance

Nice Charisma item. I wish it had +4 insightful Charisma instead of radiance lore – considering all other major stats now has an item with +4 insightful (intelligence, constitution, dex, strength and now wisdom).

Belt of the Braided Beards

Belt of the Braided Beards

This belt can be used by lots of different classes, particularly for the spell resist and lesser displacement. Not a bad item, if not for the teleport clicky.

Sightless

Sightless

And finally the art for sightless. A little bit whing-y for me. I don’t mind the art itself but it would be nicer with something else covering the face and then as an added feature immunity against blindness (replacing say the deathblock).

There are more items – but you can easily check them out by login onto Lam or checking the Lammania forum for posts on loot.

 

Update 27 – Goodies, Raid loot

First, I’m not going to talk about the quests – but I mention that it’s 3 flagging and 1 raid. They’re not part of a wilderness and clicking on one quest giver will open a quest window. So don’t expect Epic Shavarath slayer area.

Second – Turbine seem to have ‘spiffed’ up the graphics somewhat. Tweaked directX 11 if you like. At least it seemed that way when I ran it. For such a war thorn blown up area it seems okay.

But lets instead talk items.

Turbine have gone all out and released a bunch of items this time – seems they have more than the dojo let you get – and we know that some of it will change over time, but it gives you a basic idea of their intent.

Also – all new artwork. They have gone out of the way to make some really interesting items. No armor as far as I can tell which is unfortunate since the items are very Archon like and cool looking. I have a feeling that a lot of this stuff will be mirrored.

At present time they have lots of weapons, lots of shields and one of each item including rings.

Below I will present some of the stuff I took screen shots of just to give you an idea.

Lets start with Raid loot (raid was not open yet, but the items – at least some of them – were).

Ultimatum

Ultimatum

Ultimatum is one of 4 shields in the game – this is part of the raid loot, the others are part of BTA quest loot.

This adds things like Petrifying Immunity, but it’s uncertain if it’s better (or similar too) the purple knight shield out of Haunted Halls. It does come with 2 augment slots so that’s nice. The artwork is splendid.

Sightless

Sightless

Sightless is a raid helmet with what looks like interesting art, but when you put it on it’s the look of the Mushroom cap, so I’m sure the next build will give you the right look.

As you can see it’ll add significant power to melee and ranged and it’s an odd mix of helmet abilities. Certainly nothing special outside the raw power boosts.

Resonation

Resonation

More Raid loot. This time a necklace. This has some interesting qualities.  As you see with this and other items there will be a lot of additional small stacking boosts. This can be good for both Bards and Fey pact Warlocks (or anything else that like sonic based damage to their spells).

Many-Hooked Greaves

Many-Hooked Greaves

These raid boots are a mixed bag. Higher strength than any other items (except the Mythic helmet from E-temple of Vol, but it is directly competing with the boots out of E-Necro and not in a winning way.

First off it does have good amount of strength and a new stacking Vertigo, but the E-Necro boots have perma greater heroism and boosts to all tactical feats. So if you want good strength and be able to trip, this is nice (I assuming in this case for Acrobat or q-staff monks) but if you need stunning and such nothing beats the E-necro boots.

To me this is not making the choices very hard. Given the lack of other diverse stunning tactical items (of this caliber anyways) these boots are going to be second to what’s out there.

Again – some classes might like these better, but as a tactical vanguard player the boots of the innocent are king.

Memoriam

Memoriam

This is an interesting trinket. Adds LOTS of heal amp and several unique boosts.

Gauntlets of the Arcane Soldier

Gauntlets of the Arcane Soldier

These raid gloves are an arcanes wet dream however I hope Turbine is going to change it to also include Warlock (for Arcane aug).

More SP, more DC breaking (I wonder if this is the same that’s on the thunderforged armor, pity if so) and spellcraft. This is a solid casting item.

This is it for the raid items so far. It’s possible that there will be another type of crafting system, such as for rings and these are just additional items you can find. Who knows. This was just a first preview of the pack and things will change or be added. And since we never had the chance to try the raid, we don’t know what the ultimate feature of it will be.

Next post will be about the BTA items.