[MMO] Subs Up

My subscriptions for World of Warcraft and Rift are done.

I meant to pop into Rift and give over my trade goods, coin and other trade-capable items to the folks that helped me out over there but I didn’t get around to it.

I did manage to get onto WoW a week or two ago and I dumped about 16k gold onto UFTimmy who says he’ll keep it warm for me until I come back – his way of  suggesting I’ll be back.

Maybe I will be, but I’m not planning on it anytime soon.

I do admit that the Diablo 3 throw in for a year sub of WoW was pretty damn tempting even if I didn’t play WoW for the next couple of months.

Damn you Blizzard.

 

[RIFT] Rank 4 in PVP

I hit rank 4 in PVP the other day. It took a lot longer than when I was in rank 2. Added benefit was a few more pieces of armor and more weapons.

I immediately went with the rifle to upgrade my DPS since I’m running Marksman/Ranger/Infiltrator at the moment. I’m getting used to running with that spec and less so with the Assassin spec. I’ve actually gotten quite good at frustrating melee types with all my movement abilities, reload then all my movement abilities again.

I’ve upped my idiocy in the feedback; rabidly calling for healing nerfs in PVP. They’re probably not needed too much, but rather some fixes. It seems some healers don’t really operate off mana as much as others do and the costs for healing doesn’t dent their mana at all.

It frustrates the hell out of me to see me going one and one with a healer (and I’m sure there is no other healer around fixing them up) as I beat them down they pop right back up, I beat them down again and up they go again. I see their mana bar is still full. That just seems like there is something wrong to me.

Ah well. Not much longer now.

[RIFT] No Resource Management Required

Means this class can just use their abilities without limit. This is bad. It’s even worse with PVP. And it’s worse still when healers don’t have to concern themselves with preserving mana.

Rift has a pretty big issue with healing in PVP right now. Some classes can get away with healing without using Mana because their ‘soul’ doesn’t use Mana to do this. Others seem to use mana but their mana never goes down or if it does, it’s because they’re keeping four or more people alive in one shot. It borders on the ridiculous.

To be fair, it also seems that Warriors don’t concern themselves much with their Stamina and Mages are more concerned about Charge than Mana (mostly).

Rogues? Recent patch changes to our energy regen make it pointless. I can sit there and spam AOEs without worry that I’ll be out of energy for some other ability. That’s bad.

That’s right – pointless. It’s more about the cooldowns and global cooldown than anything else right now.

EDIT: Oh! Another failing is use of damage shields. It appears they fixed Damage Shields not getting triggered for poison procs or ticks. That’s right, when your poison damaged that Warrior you’d get hit back twice; once for the melee strike and once for the poison proc. They fixed this but what they missed was DoT effects that aren’t poison (like Barbed Arrow which causes the target to take damage while they move) and ranged attacks.

I don’t play a spell caster, but I’m going to assume their spells don’t trigger damage shield effects because they shouldn’t. You’re not physically hitting the target in melee or with anything that is attached to you so you shouldn’t be impacted by the rift energy formed around them… 35 yards away.

Okay, given the state of things, I probably shouldn’t assume casters’ spells aren’t impacted by damage shields and maybe even their DoT ticks…

[WoW/RIFT] Accounts Cancelled Early

I just cancelled my WoW and RIFT accounts and both will last until early November – exact same day actually. What are the chances of that? (/troll UFTimmy – I expect the same answer from Evolving Squid that I got from UFTimmy)

I’ll attend WoW raids while the account is still active but I’ll take a back seat on spots and loot to those that are sticking around. I gave the officers a heads up roughly a week ago but I haven’t actually told the members yet. I’ll hold off on that until closer to the subscription end date.

For RIFT I’ll probably pop on at irregular times to do some PVP – much like I was doing before.

There were interesting differences in the cancellation experience for each. For Blizzard they had a survey attached that adjusted based on input you gave and I think some of the points were quite cleverly available even if they didn’t apply. For example one of the reasons was a lack of friends or people to play with. On reading that I was immediately reminded of the people I do play with and how much fun they were to play with. Things like that. Also the survey finished with check boxes asking if Blizzard could contact me if they make changes to the game.

For Trion there was no exit survey no question about further updates to cancel. You just clicked a button.

Also different were the cancellation emails. Blizzard’s was much longer in explaining that I still had time left to play, that if I had other accounts tied to the BNet account I would have to cancel them too and reassuring about keeping your character data around. They just gushed of customer service even when you’re kicking them to the curb (potentially).

The cancellation email from Blizzard:

Hello there XXXXXXXXXX–

This message is being sent to confirm that all credit card information has been removed from the World of Warcraft account XXXXXXXXXX, effectively cancelling its recurring subscription as of 10/4/2011 15:37:51. The account will not bill or renew any further unless new payment information (credit card or game card) is manually entered in.

The account will remain playable for the remaining time it has already paid for. This account’s current prepaid time will expire on 11/3/2011 11:17:49.

Please Note: Cancelling one World of Warcraft subscription that has been merged to a Battle.net Account will not cancel all World of Warcraft Accounts which have been similarly merged. If you wish to cancel more than one subscription, you must cancel each individually.

To check your account status at any time, you can log into your Account Management page at this link, using your account name and password:

https://us.battle.net/account

At this time, Blizzard has no plans to delete or “expire” characters, even if an account is deactivated or cancelled. This means that all of your characters and their progress will be retained on our servers. Should you decide to return to World of Warcraft and reactivate your account, you will be able to pick up your characters again wherever you left off.

In the event you have any other billing questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Billing & Account Services team for support. You can reply to this email directly, or call 1-800-59-BLIZZARD (800-592-5499) for live phone support between 8am and 8pm Pacific Time. Users in Australia should please call 800-041-378, if the standard 800 line does not work for them.

Regards,

Billing & Account Services
Blizzard Entertainment
billing@blizzard.com

And the cancellation email from Trion:

Dear XXXXXXXXXX,

This email confirms that you have canceled your automatic subscription renewal for RIFT. Your service will remain active, and you may continue playing, until Nov 3, 2011.

To restart your service or check your account status at any time, please visit Account Management at this link:

https://rift.trionworlds.com

We’re constantly striving to improve RIFT, and we would appreciate a few minutes of your time to fill out a brief survey. Please tell us about your time playing RIFT and what you thought of our service.

Thank you for being a member of the RIFT community! We hope to see you again in the future.

Sincerely,
Trion Worlds

Not as nice and warm, is it? Oh look, there is the survey! It’s a link in the email.

Normally I’d skip the survey without a thought but I figure I’ll take a look. First few questions were very clinical and not the least bit warm, in fact, once again I got the feeling they didn’t know me and this was just a generic and unfeeling process. Questions like age, hours played, gender and some other generic questions are more about statistics than retention.

It’s definitely clear that Blizzard puts emphasis on retaining players and trying to keep in touch to draw them back in. This is another area that Blizzard has excelled at. I almost felt bad about cancelling WoW while with Rift it was mostly just a click. (Admittedly, I have stronger ties to people in WoW than in Rift).

[RIFT] PVP Rank 3, Addons and Time Changes

I hit PVP Rank 3 the other day and picked up the few pieces I could. It seems I’ll need to grind some more Favor to get several other pieces.

I admit it went quickly, I popped a 100% Prestige awarding potion that had a duration of two hours (I think – the buff said I had one hour but it said that for one hour before it dropped into minutes) which really helped. I also seemed to get on at a good time as Defiants were pretty much rolling Guardians up until about 70 minutes into my potion. Then it seemed the tables turned entirely.

I couldn’t win a match to save my life. It’s like all the bad Guardians switched over to Defiant alts or something. All the stupid mistakes the Guardians were making were being done by the Defiant folks – namely feeding them kills one at a time.

“Gee look! There’s about 20 Guardians down there and all my Defiant buddies are dead! CHARGE!”

WTF.

Regroup people!

I suffered the remaining 50 minutes with the Prestige buff (I wish I remembered to pop a Favor potion too) only winning a couple of the matches with a few being pretty close.

The new Warfront is very basic and very small. It has one glaring flaw that Trion needs to fix which can be done by encouraging movement more. The crux of the problem is if your side dies or suffers a serious loss it’s toast. It’s almost impossible to recover from big losses of players once the enemy holds the middle.

A few thoughts to improve it:

1. When someone teleports down from the top have a PBAE go off killing opposing enemies near by. This prevents people from farming at the teleporter.

2. Falling damage needs to be present. People shouldn’t be able to jump off the top. This goes hand in hand with the first point.

3. The center area needs to explode periodically. I think this could be intermittent but also triggered when two or more carriers are in the middle or close to each other. Have a visible timer or pulse that increases pace (countdown goes faster) when two or more carriers are close.

I think #3 adds an element of strategy other than “stand in the middle if you want heals!” since you can now control (somewhat) the middle exploding if you carry more than one relic.

Back to the “couldn’t win a match” – it seems Freeholme has certain periods of times where the good players log off and bad players are on. Generally during the week, this appears to be around 4:00pm to 7:00pm ET. After about 9:00pm ET things turn around. It’s uncanny.

Rift recently allowed addons and some have sprung up already. I’ve tried three; a DPS meter, buff bar replacement and unit frame simplications.

They don’t work really well  just yet and I don’t entirely blame the addon author.

The other day when I had three going I started lagging in Port Scion really badly. So I logged out and dropped the unit frame and DPS meter (this one was throwing all sorts of errors in my chat window) addon. I then popped back in again and still had horrible lag – as in everything just about grinding to a halt.

I’ve played Port Scion several times previously and NEVER had any performance issues with it even in the thick of things with all sorts of effects going off everywhere – not a hitch.

I popped open Task Manager to see what was eating memory. Rift sat at a hefty 1.5gb of RAM (I have 16gb of RAM in my system ;)) but there was another process running that was an error handling  process for Rift.

I popped out, removed the buff bar addon, then removed them from the directory entirely and logged back in.

No performance issues.

I’m going to guess addons are not quite ready yet.

I know some other DPS meter software have been know to cause performance issues, but when I disable it – it should be properly disabled and not be an issue. The buff bar replacement was a massive simplification (looks sort of like Elkano’s Buff Bar) which shouldn’t have been an issue either.

Ah well, I’ll hold off on the addons for now.

[RIFT] Mage is the New Rogue!

I’m talking about Rift, you can stop reading now.

Apparently patch 1.5 hit last night (I was sleeping – went to bed at 7:30pm) and Trion swung the pendulum that is class balance towards rogues.

To be fair, it’s more like each class has their own pendulum and you swing between being “over powered” and “victim”. Right now the Rogue pendulum is in the OP side with the Warriors and Clerics (somewhat behind them) while the Mage is sitting in the middle of OP and Victim.

That is relative.

If everyone else is into the OP side of the swing except Mages, then the Mages are thereby the new Victim.

This was confirmed by my co-worker coming over and QQing at me about how Rogues are now smoking him despite his T6 PVP gear and he doesn’t stand much of a chance.

Warriors got slight nerfs though some specs weren’t impacted at all and they’re still somewhat monstrous in PVP.

Clerics didn’t get too many changes from what I understand – at least nothing ground breaking.

Mages got some nerfs but not a ton from what I hear. They’re mostly the new target to get your, “I just killed someone,” buff from.

Why do I suddenly want to roll a Mage?

Ding 50!

In Rift.

My Rogue finally hit 50 in Rift, though I admit I didn’t get to leverage the XP bonus from the celebration as much as I would have. I did make somewhat liberal use of the XP bonus potions mailed to me afterwards – though I still have two of those potions left.

First thing I did?

Popped back to Meridan to train, then remembered I had a soul point to spend so I did that and trained again. I then raced over to the PVP section and bought up the PVP gear I could; boots, belt, gloves, ring and a dagger.

I was all rearing to go but realized it was getting late so I went to bed instead.

Such is the life of old people who have to get up in the morning to chase the kids off to school then get themselves to work.

I’ll go sacrifice myself to the PVP ‘gods’ another time.

In other Rift news, there looks to be some pretty cool changes for Rogues coming. I was seeing more success recently in Warfronts as Assassin/Riftstalker/Nightblade but I realized that was likely due to being on the higher side of the 40-49 bracket.

SOULS
* Normalized stat contribution across all Callings:
* Warrior: Attack Power is now 50% Strength and 50% Dexterity (was previously 75%/25%).
* Warrior: Melee Critical Hit is now 100% Strength (was previously 100% Dexterity).
* Rogue: Attack Power remains 50% Dexterity and 50% Strength.
* Rogue: Melee Critical Hit remains 100% Dexterity.
* Mage: Spell Power is still 50% Intelligence and 50% Wisdom.
* Mage: Spell Critical Hit remains 100% Intelligence.
* Cleric: Spell Power is now 50% Wisdom and 50% Intelligence (was previously 75%/25%).
* Cleric: Spell Critical Hit is now 100% Wisdom (was previously 100% Intelligence).

Cool change there isn’t for Rogues, instead it’s for Warriors but it benefits Rogues because now they’re less likely to steal our Rogue gear.

ROGUE
* Rogue Energy regeneration rate has been increased to 22 Energy per second, up from 20.
* General gameplay goals for the rogue update:
– Competitive PvE Alternatives to Sabodancer, both melee and ranged.
– Competitive PvP DPS. You should fear seeing a Rogue the same way you see a Warrior. Of equal Prestige Rank, the two should be capable of providing a similar amount of PvP threat.
– Survivability improvements. Some self heal improvements and vampiric-type Healing Siphons – Abilities that reduce the healing intake capacity of one’s target, with a portion of the stolen amount going to the rogue.
– Better synergies between souls.
– More utility without giving up the majority of their DPS to get it, bringing them closer in line to the flexibility that other callings have.
– Large pack tanking improvements – Improvement to threat on multiple mobs
– Running capacity remains — BUT, Double-teleport-invulnerable runner (the “bugged” one) goes away.
– Reduction in required reliance on “unfair” tactics (invuls, slips, etc) via adding true competitive power

ASSASSIN
* Gameplay goals: More up front damage, less reliance on super-long, annoying DoTs. Better poisons. Less “waste a finisher to apply a short buff.” Slip Away should not be a requirement to compete.
* Virulent Poison, Lethal Poison, Leeching Poison, Debilitating Poison, and Serrated Blades no longer trigger damage shield effects.
* Baneful Touch: No longer a combat finisher ability. Now a self buff that increases the damage of all weapon enchantments by 20%. Unlocked after spending 20 points in Assassin.
* Leeching Poison: The healing granted has been increased. Now unlocked after spending 14 points in Assassin, with an additional rank added at level 50.
* Poison Mastery: Now also increases the Attack Power of the Assassin’s poison-coated weapons by 15-75%. The chance for it to trigger has been increased to 4-20%, up from 2-10%.
* Enduring Brew: Ability changed – now instantly heals the Assassin for a large amount of health, with a 1 minute cooldown.
* Backstab: Attack Power damage bonus increased to 150% from 100%.
* Assassinate: Now ignores 50% of your target’s armor.
* Exposed Weakness: The additional damage taken by the target is now increased by the Assassin’s Attack Power. No longer on the global cooldown and has a 20 second ability cooldown added. Energy cost reduced to 10 from 20.
* Physical Trauma: Ability changed – now increases the damage of Puncture, Jagged Strike, and Impale by 20-40% , and the damage of Final Blow on an impaled target by 15-30%.
* Slip Away: Changed slightly – the Assassin is no longer immune to damage after using Slip Away. Any damage taken while Slip Away is active will not bring the Assassin out of stealth.
* Cut and Run – New Ability: Available after spending 20 points in Assassin. Removes all control and movement impairing effects. Not on the global cooldown.

Lots of nice sounding Assassin changes! This is my preferred playstyle for Rogues and PVP.

Here’s a little poetry for you:

I, Assassin

I am the sneaky prick that pops up behind you while you’re barely hanging on to a PVE pull gone wrong then ruining it for you.

I am the Rogue that saps you when you’re trying to cap a point but doesn’t appear and when you AOE because I am out of range.

I am the Rogue that appears behind other Rogues that appear behind members of my team and kills them.

I am the Rogue you almost killed but gets away then taunts you zone wide about it.

I am the Rogue who causes your nerd rage where you destroy some component of your computer.

I am the Rogue that makes the shadows a darker and scarier place.

I am the Rogue that puts the ‘ass’ in ‘assassin’, twice.

Riftstalker bonuses sound neat too – I might have to try setting up for tanking some things (with a different spec).

RIFTSTALKER
* Gameplay goals: Offensively synergizes through +AP and reflect shields. Some new multi-target threat coolness here too. You should be able to take some Riftstalker without flooring your DPS, as melee souls’ ability to close all currently lives in this tree.
* Due to the below changes, characters with soul points spent in Riftstalker have received a free soul respec.
* Guardian Phase: Threat generation increased to 200% from 100%. No longer purgeable.
* Stalker Phase: Effect is no longer purgeable. Now adds a 10% damage bonus when activated. Plane Shifting adds another 15% damage bonus for 10 seconds.
* Planar Strike, Phantom Blow, Rift Disturbance, and Shadow Blitz: Reduced the threat generated by these abilities.
* Shadow Blitz: An additional 50% damage bonus from Attack Power has been added to this attack.
* Shadow Stalk: Now removes all control and movement impairing effects.
* Annihilate: Damage increased. Now adds a buff that increases Attack Power by 20%, rather than a fixed value.
* Stalker Phase: Effect is now triggered after using any Plane Shift abilities.
* Rift Barrier: Now absorbs both physical and non-physical damage. Additionally, the absorbed damage is reflected back on the attacker.
* Improved Rift Barrier: Removed.
* Planar Vortex – New Ability: Whenever the Riftstalker Plane Shifts, they gain Planar Vortex which lasts for 4 seconds. Deals 50% of your weapon damage every second to surrounding enemies and generates a large amount of threat. Effect can only be triggered when the Riftstalker is in Guardian Phase.
* Hasted Time: Increased the speed buff granted after Plane Shifting by 25-50%, up from 15-30%. Can be triggered once every 10 seconds. No longer stacks with the Bladedancer’s Sprint and the Marksman’s On the Double.
* Freedom of Movement: Effect is triggered after Plane Shifting and can only occur once every 10 seconds.
* Shadow Assault: The damage bonus from Attack Power has been increased to 100%, up from 50%.
* Shadow Mastery: Now a 2-point ability that reduces the cooldown of your Plane Shift abilities by 10-20 seconds.
* Phantom Blow: Now has a 10 second cooldown. The stack size has been reduced to a single stack and reduces damage taken by 6%.
* Rift Guard: Now absorbs damage up to 250% of your maximum health, up from 150% for a 51-point Riftstalker.
* Defer Death: For the next 4 seconds, the Riftstalker’s health cannot drop below 1 hit point. When the effect ends, gain an absorption shield that absorbs all incoming damage for up to 50% of max health for 10 seconds.
* Shadow Guard – New Ability: Available after 25 points spent in Riftstalker. Reduces physical damage taken by 1-5%. For every 1000 Armor, you take 1% less physical damage up to a maximum reduction of 20%.

No poetry for that.

I suspect I’m going to have to adjust my specs a lot when this patch comes out.

Good times.

PVP With a Poor Class

I’m pretty sure I ended a post with something like, “watch me pick the worst class for PVP but only realize it near max level…”

Well, my Rogue is level 47 (I think) and I’m stunned at how poorly they perform in Warfronts – open world PVP, okay – especially because you can wait until some PVE mob has almost killed your target then finish them off and run away. But as soon as there are two or more you’re in deep crap.

You basically try to avoid attacking multiple players – makes sense right?

So why bother queuing up for a Warfront because you’re almost never going to catch someone alone and half dead?

I know, I’m doing it wrong.

Here’s a few suggestions for Trion.

1. Fix poisons. Make them matter and things to be feared. They should have more of an impact than they currently do. Instant poisons should do large damage. DoT poisons should last longer.  Virulent would be cool to be an AOE poison that spreads to nearby enemies.
1b. Separate Poisons from the  ‘weapon enchantments’ count. This benefits the Assassin class and Infiltrator class.

2. Fix stealth. You shouldn’t be able to knock a rogue out of stealth by a lucky AOE cast. Doing so eliminates the effectiveness of the class (where stealth applies). For stealth dependent Rogues, you kinda need that stealth for your opener – if you don’t have it, you’re pooched.

3. Give Assassins and other melee Rogues a leap attack ability (from stealth for Assassins) allowing them to spring into combat (no, specing Riftstalker and far up the tree to be able to get the TP to the back doesn’t work for all Rogues – I’m currently doing that, but lose a little too much on the offense because of it).

4. Fix dagger DPS numbers. Less DPS on a faster weapon is still less DPS…. think about it. Damage Per Second. As an Assassin you want fast weapons so you can get poison procs popping, but (see point 1) you can’t rely on poison procs alone.

FWIW, I’m currently running two specs: Assassin/Riftstalker/Nightblade and Bard/Riftstalker/Infiltrator.

I generally use the Bard in WFs because the Assassin is nearly useless unless I step in as the dust is settling for clean up – up to which point I’m doing little aside from being another target. Most healers can solo heal over our damage even if we’re targeting them and using interrupts (which is pretty sad).

I’m starting to think I should have rolled a Warrior or Cleric.

Ah well, I’ll settle with ganking half dead people in Open PVP, harassing people in /yell and pissing off Guardians as much as possible.

I escaped a ganking attempt from a warrior. I was half dead from fighting stuff for a quest when he leaps at me, stuns me and starts melting me. I pop Slip Away and the DoT neutralizer (fortunately, Warriors don’t have wickedly long DoTs like Mages and Clerics do) then Rift Walk a distance away so he can’t get me with AOEs. I then hide, heal up and taunt him mercilessly in /yell.

He started it.

I enjoyed pointing out that he couldn’t gank a gimpy Rogue that was 4 levels lower than he was and half dead. Clearly he wasn’t too bright because the best he could come up with was calling me a kid.

Idiot.

Another guy (a.k.a. Shurt) got involved and pointed out that I didn’t kill the Warrior. I pointed out that I was already half dead and he was several levels higher. He failed at ganking a half dead, lower level rogue. Fail is fail.

I later ganked that other guy (Shurt) when he was half dead but he was pretty quiet in /yell after that. Dude pulled four mobs (he’s a Warrior – I couldn’t even imagine doing that as an Assassin) and burned three down before being half dead… at which point I helped the remaining mob, then killed it.

Good times.

It’s just sad that I sort of need the Warfronts to level my PVP ranks (at least once I hit 50).

I actually don’t see myself lasting too much longer. Trion’s making a classic mistake of creating a huge gap in one level 50 to another. At first it was through the rank gear (effectively rank 6-8 could almost one shot new 50s or rank 1-3s but they changed it so the damage mitigation was front loaded on the rank gear but the other stats are higher on the high end gear.

This is a good change for new comers.

The other thing they’re doing is added in Alternate Advancement Points. This, again, will be used to tilt the playing field in favor of people who are already level 50 and hanging out up there while new 50s are, again, going to be behind the curve.

AAXP != new content.