Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Better Damage through Education!

A common sickness I observe when discussing Warhammer Online with others is big-damage-number-syndrome. Big-damage-number-syndrome is a severe condition in which a player bases their judgment of a player's skill or relative worth on strictly the amount of damage dished out.

Deathblows? Who cares! Player Deaths? Who cares! Kills, teamwork, usefulness to the team, ability to assist, ability to choose targets wisely? WHO CARES ABOUT ALL OF THAT SHIT, IT IS ALL ABOUT THAT BIG TIME DAMAGE YO!

This kind of thinking really pisses me off. Any idiot can run into a zerg of enemy players spamming AOE attacks and get high damage numbers. This does not make you useful. This does not make you skilled. This makes you an unfortunate bumbling retard infected with big-damage-number-syndrome and the first idiot to get targeted.

A classic case of big-damage-number-syndrome can be seen here:

Oh my goodness. The horror! The horror! This sorc literally ran into order bombing and died eight times without killing anyone except himself. I did half of his damage, but killed 10 people and doubled his renown. But according to those infected with big-damage-number-syndrome, the sorc is the best player in the scenario!

What really brought up this rage from me was a recent post on the Gorfang Warhammer Alliance forum. Some new transfer Shadow Warrior recently posted the following screenshot bragging about how good he was.

Proof that I am not just making this up

I am not joking. This is a particularly severe effect of big-damage-number-syndrome as he got his ass stomped in and still thought he was playing well. Makes me want to go cry in my corn flakes for any semi-talented players that ever played this game.

Damage is an important number to check, but really deaths and deathblows are much more important. Deathblows do not tell the whole story either as many people just steal killing blows by auto-attacking people until they are under 50% health and then opening up with instant attack spam for the win. But, if your throwing out hundreds of thousands of points of damage and not killing anything, then you have a serious problem.

In this game single-target damage is everything. You pick a good target, you debuff it, and you kill it. When I play my Shadow Warrior it is not uncommon for me to see me putting my snare, initiative debuff, ranged dot, healing debuff, snare proc, armor debuff, armor debuff proc, and knockdown on a single target before opening up with my 1s attack spam. I like to kill stuff, not let it escape, and most certainly not spam useless damage.


It makes me cry how bad that last one is. Me and my buddy Gorsten the Bright Wizard were having issues cracking through healing in that SC and the damage is way too high to be even remotely efficient. That screenshot makes me sad, not proud.

So kids, do not become infected with big-damage-number-syndrome. Low deaths, high deathblows, and the damage to support your deathblows is what you want. Focused damage: not lol i can hit everyone for 100 damage every 10 seconds for the entire scenario. Tell your momma this it how it is done:

Good damage, excellent killing blows for a pug scenario, and most importantly efficient and effective damage which translates directly to lots of renown and destro face stomping. Word to your mother.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New SW Armor SET!

Mythic just announced they are releasing a redone Shadow Warrior Warlord set! WOOOO. Here are the new bonuses:

2 piece bonus - uhhhh there isn't one stupid; go slot the fail ring and cry me a river
3 piece bonus - +78 initiative
4 piece bonus - +78 more initiative
5 piece bonus - +5% dodge (take that Squigs, you only hit me 95% of the time!)
6 piece bonus - Some bullshit defensive proc that only raises dodge and disrupt by 10%
7 piece bonus - bugged and useless, don't worry about it

Can mythic hire me now?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blast OFF

Recently people have been all up on my case for not being Scout spec, which is apparently the most effective Shadow Warrior spec with the most damage and most survivability and blahblahblah. Well really, the reason is quite simple: I hate the scout animations. Yes, animations.

When you shoot any Scout ability it flys up and over the moon before coming down 2 seconds later to hit the target. The scout animation looks like your shooting some guy a mile away, even if he is extremely close.

Think of it this way; suppose you are trying to throw a baseball into a basket five feet in front of you. You would think that you would, you know, just chuck it right in right? This is how the squig herder animations work. The arrows fly right from the bow to the target very quickly without gaining any height. Just a nice direct shot.

In comparison, the Shadow Warrior looks like he is shooting at something over a mountain range at all times. Even if the target is 10 feet away, the Shadow Warrior's arrows Scout abilities will be launched like rockets way up high and have a huge delay before actually hitting. Mythic's servers have a delay time already and adding in an additional delay time for animations is extremely detrimental to performance in the fast-paced combat this game offers.

The proof is in the ability animation

As you can see from this video Cirashar made whining about Shadow Warrior Auto-Attack numbers, the arrows take forever to actually hit after being successfully cast. Count the seconds between the arrow launching and the arrow hitting. Or go make a sandwich and see if the ability has hit when you get back.

I know it is far to much to expect that Mythic is going to overhaul Shadow Warrior animations but I still feel this is a significant issue with the Scout specialization tree.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Skirmish is the Only Way

For any Shadow Warrior out there that runs with a good premade, you must be almost full Skirmish spec. Notice the use of the word "must". It is a requirement. A few of you out there might disagree, but if you think it over you will see that I am right.

Here is why.

As a Skirmish Shadow Warrior you want to fight within 65 feet primarily and close in to 45 feet or occasionally melee range when needed to boost damage with expert skirmisher. Apply all yours damage over time abilities at 65 feet and then close in for some burst.

You need to always be kiting and moving around to maintain optimal position (which I will explain in detail at a later date). All of your main abilities are usable on the move and you should take advantage of this. Kiting takes a while to master in Warhammer Online, but once you have it down you can keep the DPS coming even while running away. The Q and E diagonal movement keys are what you use to kite due to how the engine works.

The Skirmish damage over time abilities are perfect for an assist train with Shadow Sting, Broadhead Arrow, Eye Shot, and Takedown all being invaluable in focusing down targets with a MDPS buddy. Spiral Fletched Arrow is also fires quickly and travels directly at the target to get quick hits (and killing blows).

The problem with Scout is that you are more focused on staying in the back, not keeping the melee busy by chasing you in circles, not able to support as well with your debuffs as you are more focused on eagle eye spam and festering arrow, and MOST IMPORTANTLY YOUR ABILITIES TRAVEL TO THE MOON AND BACK BEFORE HITTING YOUR TARGET. In a proper premade, an assisted target will be dead long before any three second cast ability (like Festering Arrow) can be built up and launched. Add in that 2 second flight time and you are basically unable to assist with that awesome ability. The same is true of Eagle eye which hogs way to much AP for its damage and has a ridiculous flight time. Eagle eye requires multiple AP tactics to sustain any kind of DPS and it is not worth the hassle.

Assault isn't even worth it until ranger crit converts to melee crit and the armor debuff bug is fixed. Personally, I do not think that ranged power should convert to melee power as Shadow Warriors are fully capable of stacking 300 melee power and therefore have to make a choice between ranged or melee power. Melee crit has to convert though since no Shadow Warrior armor pieces have melee crit.

So go respec Skirmish, Shadow Warriors. You can thank me later.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Tale of Shadowfast

For those of you who do not know, Shadowfast is a RR68 Shadow Warrior on the Gorfang server. He used to be a member of the guild Fight on the Flag, but they basically asked him to leave simply because he was a shadow warrior and "not a good fit".

Now, this really made me upset. Shadowfast was one of the few decent upcoming Shadow Warriors on the server. He does way better in scenarios then any of Fight on the Flag's dime a dozen fail Bright Wizards that no one has ever heard of or been killed by enough to care.

So basically Fight on the Flag kicked one of their few players with actual skill and signs of growing into a great player just because of his class. Now they can get more of their poorly performing warrior priests and bright wizards into groups.

I am sure Fight on the Flag has some weaksauce excuse, but really it all comes down to this: Fight on the Flag kicked a good player on an underpowered class to give preference to horrible players on overpowered classes.

So Fight on the Flag, here is why you are wrong in 5 easy steps:

1) Shadow Warriors have the best group tactic in the game (leading shots gives +15% crit to the Shadow Warrior's whole group).

2) Shadow Warriors have a spammable ranged heal debuff that reduces healing on a target by 50% for 9 seconds. This basically means that DPS is almost guaranteed to overwhelm healing with focus fire and that target WILL die unless the debuff is cleansed.

Did I mention is can be fired on the move from 72 feet away and stacks with other healing debuffs? Speaking of other healing debuffs, Shadow Warriors can spec into a second ranged 50% healing debuff in the scout tree which stacks with the fist. 100% heal debuff = target will DIEEEE.

3) Shadow Warriors require less healing and upkeep overall then a Bright Wizard and put out much more useful damage when played correctly.

4) Shadow Warriors can hit for 5,400 damage with one attack. Can your fail Bright Wizards do that kind of burst? Shadow Warriors also have the only remaining five second knockdown in the game.

5) Shadow Warriors can debuff a target's armor by over 1900 pretty regularly with acid arrow and the proc attack on the Shadowblade sword. This means melee and the Shadow Warrior can hit with almost no mitigation on medium or lightly armored tagets (like DOKS!!!??)

So there you have it Fight on the Flag.

Oh Hai

Well I have decided it is about time I got a blog. I have a lot of thoughts on Warhammer and the Shadow Warrior class in general, and the forums really dont give me enough of a chance to express this. Whenever I post on the forums I always end up just flaming idiotic people, so I figure a blog might be a better idea. Unless, of course, the idiots come here and then I have to flame them here as well on the forums.

Anyways, I am going to try to keep my posts short, frequent, and related to the Shadow Warrior class to start off.