Monthly Archives: March 2011

Crafting

Today supposed to be the day (one can only hope) when the Beta version of the new crafting system will be up on Lam. We’ve already seen what’s in the store – from crafting mats, bags, boosters and crafting XP to a blank trinket.

Hopefully the prices of these will remain the same, but as we generally see live – they go up. And if they do I won’t buy em.

There’s so much unknown about it so it’ll be interesting to see the final product. What kind of makes no sense is the division of 3 different things like Arcane, Elemental and Divine and the idea of you having to level in each. I say makes no sense because it feels like some of the stuff (jump) belonging to one instead of for specific item, weapon, armor etc is contra to my idea of crafting. Meaning – I wonder if the ‘idea’ of crafting is a little to metaphysical and less physical? It’s one thing to imbue ‘magic’ into a item (which is kind of like green steel and the Sora Kel stuff – you stick it into the thing and pull the lever). For me crafting is the physical act of putting something together and then imbue the powers.

Crafting in this case seems to involve knowing what lever to pull.

Think about it; so we have this alchemical solution that ‘strips’ a essence or power from a item. Cool. If it’s say a positive effect (pure good) it’ll increase the XP in your divine crafting skill. But what did you do? You put the stuff in the crafting tool and pulled a lever. Physically you didn’t really do anything. Unless you also said Abracadabra or something at the same time. Crafting to me is putting stuff together. In which case using a solution of sort to strip powers of items isn’t exactly crafting. It’s not like you get better without it. You still need the solution. Without the solution you don’t get anything.

I wish they made crafting about WHAT you craft rather than what POWER you deconstruct or construct.

Such as Armor (suits and shields) items and weapons.

That would be a lot easier. You want to be a completely expert in one area you won’t be able to be expert in something else. You want to be ‘okay’ in all areas, fine, but you won’t have the skill to make the best stuff. Say being expert means that you can craft things with less resources (waste) and at a premium quality which includes a little extra ‘elite’ status to a armor.

The adding powers aside doesn’t really matter since that’s what the crafting altars are all about. They do the work to imbue your items with power.

All you do is the physical stuff. In other words – you make the item with quality (1-5) and then the crafting adds the power. You either find, buy or use TP to buy the mats in order to imbue the powers. But the items themselves are made from the random mat bags some critters drop or even ore that quests drop. You want to make a shield of adamantium, then you also have to have the ore to do it. Or Mithril or whatever other material there is. Steel being abundant I’m sure you would be able to buy that in the crafting area.

And that’s it. I want my guys to be specific experts in a given field, but as of now I don’t know what a specific item’s power belongs to – so I might be dragging tons of stuff that are divine to be deconstructed instead of material enough to make a bunch of cool shields to add powers too.

 

Anyways – I don’t mind a crafting system, just that the division of crafting between Arcane, Divine and Elemental feels very arbitrary to me and not what ‘crafting’ is.

Bags that makes me go meh

I’ve taken some time off from DDO this week. Not just because of family and work but because I got a little burnt out running the event. Plus I do want the full stuff to be released on Lam so I can try out crafting. I rather ‘mess’ up there than doing it live when it counts.

As it seems now it’s going to be a mix of stuff you can get in game or stuff you can get from the store. Like a booster to success (in the case you want to guarantee success or even try to do a little higher than you normally can to get some extra XP out of it). You can also by mats. The pricing isn’t terrible; you can get a stack of this and that for under a buck in real money but the new bags (that have a stacking limit of 10k) reaching up to Gargantuan (yeah the new bigger than huge) is 750 points and STILL BTC.

I think that anything you buy in the store should be BTA. Regardless. I understand why; if the bags were BTA you might want to consider moving them to a alt if you’re not happy with that build, just so you might keep it instead and buy another char slot. Cynical? No – think about it – almost everything else is BTA. But bags for some reason is not.

It almost demotivates you to ‘hand one around’ and motivate you to buy one for all your guys. I wish I could hand one around. And stick it in the shared bank. So I don’t have to have it in my inventory and can just dump it over for anyone to use. I can with medium and even large bags but not the store bought ones.

Look at the pirate event; I refused to buy anything after I noticed that Lam had that seriously flawed collect 10 bazillion map pieces (I know – it was 10k) before they changed it to 5k and later on 3k. Then I spent money – figuring that there was a serious reason to buy hats and spend money on other stuff to get things done. Rather than waiting for hours for the one chance and not get much done.

As it was the quest ran pretty much faithfully often that I accomplished stuff and I rewarded Turbine by handing over money.

I will do so with crafting mats and boosters. As long as the price seems alright and it accomplishes stuff. I won’t do it with bags. I rather dump the mat on mules and in the shared banks than waste money to have a bag stuck on one character that I might not want to keep down the road.

But gripes aside; while I enjoy the time away I look forward to getting some serious time down on the new crafting system. Done right and it’s going to be a goldmine of ideas – done wrong and it’ll be meh and done and over with.

Divine Punishment; chalk me down for it

Finally a reason to play my FvS more.  When lam first came up I made sure I got the Pre. Why not? I mean I’ve only waited for it since I first started playing FvS (but to be fair I did fine and noticed how other builds got the ‘cool’ stuff). I ran through wilderness (Vale and Amrath) and quests like Rainbow, a new invasion, invasion and all the new quests. I noticed something; BB didn’t stay up that long, but it casts really fast. Then I read about divine punishment, but I couldn’t get it right away since I had swapped some spells just before lam went live. Until today; lam up – I think – maybe I should check it out?

This spell works like a gem with the Archon, maybe a BB and the aura. Especially if you get smacked and the aura proccs. I tried this out in Epic Depth – a quests that have some nasty fish people but not swarms of it. I didn’t know what to expect – BB works but it takes some major kiting to dwindle them down but divine punishment works like a charm. Let it build up 3 times and have the Archon snipe at whatever you’re killing and they’re done for. Especially if the Aura procs and you get that additional light damage. Since I have both superior potency and smiting 4 and together with greenblade and light/good spells 9% crit enhancement the thing ticked for a good 100 at first, then the second level around 300 and at level 3 upward to 800-900. But you’ll get smacked around standing there timing them. Note that the cooldown is 10 seconds and it lasts for 16 seconds so you have 6 seconds to add another level to it (max 3).

I like the third level animation – it’s a lightbeam coming down from above that bakes the target.

This is going to be very useful in end boss fights with stacking light damage with a good 500-900 per tick if you keep level 3 going.

I generally turn off Max and Empower when healing round 4 in the shroud, but I can see myself trying to aura tick using the Max clickie on the event dagger just to add that extra damage while healing a group. It’s going to be interesting to see how well that pans out. I definately like the idea and the dexterity of that task. But it also reminds me that i should strongly consider making myself another con op item – a weapon this time. While the torque and my con op gloves proc enough a con op weapon of sort together with my event dagger would top it off.

Lets hope they never hit that with a nerf bat.

Tactilicious #1 – Event Trinkets

I like tactics. I don’t like Epics. I felt I had to write that since there’s nothing tactical about Epics unless of course one single tactic is considered tactical.

But for all other content you’ll find numerous different tactics used to win and profit. Let’s talk Event trinkets; perhaps the most interesting level 4 trinket in the game right now.

 Not terribly powerful but very useful in combination with other items.

So let’s break it down; the Nimble Trinket adds +1 Attack, Plus one AC (Dodge bonus so it stacks) and Dusk. Although right now it seems to be acting as Blurry. Which is absolutely great for a level 4 item. Dusk would normally give you a 10% blur chance unlike blurry which gives you 20.

Bold Trinket adds +1 non stacking damage, +2 Seeker enhancement bonus (should be stacking but apparently don’t) and Shocking blow. That’s 10d6 loaded dices similar to that on charged gauntlets.

Cunning trinket adds +30 SP that stacks (according to the description – right now it adds 50), +1 in Necromancy and Enchantment and Lesser Maximize I.

Finally Stalwart trinket provides +5 stacking HP (but right now it works as 10), 10% stacking fortification and earthen guard.

I personally use the cunning trinket on my FvS for the stacking SP, the necromancy and enchantment bonus is nice but I have better items. And the lesser Maximize is nice but will have a greater impact when the spell adjustment goes live due to the lowering of a lot of spell costs.

I don’t use the nimble trinket (yet) but I will have one in storage for the odd day when I either TR into a rogue or cap a rogue. Stacking AC is always good and have a low level blur item is useful.

The bold trinket is a very interesting item even for high end toons. It’ll work with Epic charged gauntlets (until changed) and is perfect in combination with a +6 Seeker hat and something like Epic claw set. Or as I mentioned, Epic Charged Gauntlet. I use it with my Half Orc fighter; seeker pirate hat plus trinket for seeker bonus, the Epic event gloves upgraded once for the +7 Str bonus and of course the trinket shocking blow for additional DPS.

My Ranger use the trinket in combination with a Seeker pirate hat, Epic claw and rounds off the trinket shocking blow for additional DPS.

The stalwart trinket is a excellent low to mid game trinket, not only for the stacking fortification but for the earthen guard in combination with the event plate.

I currently have a level 2 moderate fort robe that I use until I can start using the moderate fortification pirate hate (level 5). Combine that with the stalwart trinket (level 4) and you have 85% fortification until you can start using a level 9 Heavy fortification item (such as the event pirate heavy fortification hat). That’s better than using the bold trinket and mostly because I have a +4 level 1 strength ring (end reward from the Droaam u8 series) so I don’t need to swap out the gloves with other strength gloves. That allows me to keep on using the charged gauntlets for Shocking blow, the stalwart trinket with its added fortification and earthen guard and the event plate with life shield and false life.

Combine them together and you have a nice blend of DPS and HP/Stone skin procs and a useful set of items until you find something better in either the Droaam series of armor or other trinkets. I’d say around 11 or 12 (if you’re TRing and have banked GS items) or similar for some of the midlevel better gear. In which case I would switch over to the bold trinket for continued DPS via shocking blow.

There are of course a host of other trinkets in the game, but these items can work all the way until cap or until you find something that work better with the gear you have. It’s undeniable that for level 4 items, they’re pretty useful for a big part of the game and even until the very end.

Pirates once more

It’s strange how much I look forward to the pirate event. What can I say; I’d love to try out the new crafting system and the FvS Pre or even level a sorcerer to check out Savant. But 10 days of pirate smashing and Kobold protecting works fine too.

I’m going to try to get in a shroud run here and there. Partly because I raided my bag of larges when I created my last con op item, but too much pirates kind of wear you down.

I’m guessing I’d love to upgrade my FvS hat and fully upgrade skills on all of my capped toons hats.

And to finish the last different pieces and possible upgrade a couple of lower level too. See, I’m thinking about TRing as soon as my 4th guy is capped and having a bunch of good items as I TR can only help. And who knows; if there’s any truth to the rumor that they’re making some quests level 1-25 then I will be able to TR much quicker without feeling constraint by the relative number of quests people usually run.

I doubt I will end up hatin’ the pirate event as I felt after the second round of Mabar. The mechanics are similar but Turbine was smart enough to set the actual map turn in target relatively low. Mabar was just too high and the raid part dysfunctional that after killing a bazillion undead, I seriously didn’t feel like joining another failed scale run just for the sake of it.

And since they’ve plugged the easy plat hole I’m going to spend my gems on buying up air elemental gems. Those are absolutely awesome in must low level quests as there’s nothing more efficient than a air ellie to flat face pretty much everything that’s not red or purple named. I won’t spend any more resources on the slay living grenade. It’s a cool feature and I managed to kill some Kobolds with it, but the mechanics of actually launching and aiming is so broken that most of them are just wasted.

Some more details about Update 9

http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/03/14/pax-east-2011-stalking-through-ddos-update-9/

Found this review snooping around looking for more details. It does contain some spoilers in regards to the new quest pack, more information about the PRE’s (especially the sorcerer) and the crafting.

Sorcerer seems interesting. You get a free casting spell in the element you pick (say fire) and a 2 level bumps in all fire related spells and reversly you get weaker in possible the opposite elements or all (3 level drops). So a sorcerer could become the glaciation expert (with a free cold spell, hopefully something other than the absolute lowest level) but at the same time be a fire inept. Seems like a very interesting trade off.

Crafting seems to be Item level (+5), prefix (paralyzing) Item (Scimitar) suffix (of Pure good). That’s what you can deconstruct. If I take it the right way, if your item has a lot of other things on it you won’t be able to do anything about that. So if your item has say acid and pure good, only the suffix in the item description might be able to be deconstructed. Maybe I say because it’s possible that it has nothing to do with what’s in the description and that all the things that are considered suffix can be pulled.

My guess is that it’s these items only. So I assume that means that you can’t do anything but the same in constructing an item. If you want to add another prefix you’ll replace the one that’s already there. If it’s holy you can replace it with say holy burst. While it gives you some room to perfect items, it might limit items that are already pretty good. Like a pure good holy item and replace both those suffixes with whatever you’re adding. On the other hand you could potentially add a prefix to something that only have a suffix. Or bump up the quality of the item from say +1 to +5, but that would undoubtly also increase the item level.

Then it’s the matter of items, not just weapons. From one picture I’ve see it looks like you can do shields and the many rooms hint of other deconstruct possibilites too. Having the ability to deconstruct everything will be a good thing and how to get the most out of the prefix and suffix limitations will depend greatly on just what kind of item you deconstruct and the limitations on the construction side.

Could we have some more details please?

I understand that the devs don’t want to talk about things that haven’t been nailed down yet; like when people were playtesting one update and found a gateway into the next, red fen, and the devs warned that the items might be subject to change. Makes sense.

But during PAX they already spilled the beans on the FvS Pre and supposedly the Sorcerer Pre and the news about a new adventure pack. All very cool. But they also gave us the greatest teaser of all; a new crafting system with some very interesting potentials.

Please – lets give this a much better playthrough. You already know the details and we don’t. I don’t think you guys are changing much at this point other than fixing bugs. So why not stop the speculation and give us better details on how it actually works? Right now no one knows other than you can take one effect and put it on something else. But not in regards to just what you can take, what’s required for you to take it, how you level up and what the limits are.

Discovery is one thing, but a new crafting system like this is a little bit more than experimenting. It’s about having an idea.

The reason why I ask is simple – I would like to know just how deep we can go. Is it only weapons or is it for everything random? What’s the limit on what I can deconstruct and what I can construct? Can we sell these items we create? What’s the cost? Is it a plat sink to deconstruct and construct? What does Element, Divine and such mean as far as crafting?

There are many unknown here and more details makes it possible for people to get an idea if this is useful for them or not. Especially if this is something people have to buy like a pack. If this is something people have to invest in (not I, I am VIP) then I’m sure they’ll like to know if this is worth their money, just as players probably wanted to know if green steel is worth it before buying Vale. I see potential here, but do I hold onto a bunch of stuff I have in the bank thinking I can use it for something else or am I wasting my time here since the crafting system ‘won’t go there’. I understand that it’s subject to change and that it’s not something that will be released (all of it) in update 9. I can live with that. But giving us more details about something potentially complex and where you see yourself going won’t break the silence; only give me something to look forward to and plan for.