Healing Again in Archeage

I have to say that it’s kind of nice being back in a proper healing roll once more. The games recently it’s more been some sort of damage support situation you had to be happy with. My dragon knight in ESO was focused on Shielding and control and Guild wars 2 really didn’t have any dedicated healer types. Just situational skills on cool down. Wildstar was the same, everyone does everything kind of thing and I ended up going a Warrior to smash things anyway, which was fun but just not as satisfying.

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Modernising Roles and a Lost Love for Healers

The recent Everquest Next reveal has seen a lot of really interesting posts debating it’s apparent lack of holy trinity combat system. I think it all started with a post at Tales of Aggronaut regarding the interests of players who like the trinity system and the developers apparent dismissal of it in the name of fun. I admit after reading that post and thinking about I became rather angry.. I calmed down, deleted the rant that was sitting in my drafts and started again.

I was sad at first as I love being a healer, it is a role I have played for many years in mmo’s with organised groups and without. In PvP battlegrounds, open world, and even in lfg raids. It is a part of my identity in these mmo’s as I first and foremost identify as a healer… Have a look at the blog title, that’s how much I enjoy healing. After playing GW2 for a year I miss healing so very much, trying out my Elementalist made me realise I miss it even more. Aside from that they give people a defined role and a style of play that is meaningful and important to them. It is something that appeals to our base personalities which make them so important to our gaming identities.  Just because it isn’t as popular as a hybrid or straight DPS shouldn’t make it less important as healing offers a certain unique playstyle withing mmo’s that really appeals to me and many others. Here’s why I like it.
-Word Spam Ahoy>

Ready for PvP Rifting?

I really did enjoy my time in rift and hearing all this recent news and playthroughs by Herding Cats and Bio Break has really got my interest back, there just seems like so much that’s new. It’s funny but I found the whole thing rather great from questing, to rifting, dungeon diving and PvP. This is probably due to the fact I have never played WoW beyond a couple hours of a free trial years ago, although to give rift a little credit they did refine the mechanics quite well so that would have hooked me as well.

Shockingly Rift was actually my first serious mmo, I realise that may sound weird but it was only just circumstance in a way. I had finished my degree that Christmas and was out of work for about 6 months mostly due to Rift and being lazy. It was great as I was leveling above the curve with some nice people I met, dungeon running with them was great as it is a time you really get to know people. Mostly though I really enjoyed the PvP and got quite good at it. If you ever faced off against Erinthia the Defiant Cleric on Bro’cliff or Dayblind you knew me.

As the weeks turned into months and those months flittered bye I started becoming very frustrated in PvP because of the gear advantage. It was my job to heal and I was Damn good at it but when players were dying without even a chance of being healed I got angry… Not at those dying, lesser gear because of less time was no reason for that, I got angry at the mechanics. With time it got even sillier and with rank 8 and the expertise normalisation it all just felt retarded. Rank 1 people couldn’t even kill each other and the few that were rank 8 (like myself) with a few consumables were slaughtering whole groups with aoe. I came to the realisation, as did many that the developers really had no idea how to plan and implement PvP.

But now things seem to be slowly changing over in Telara, with many new PvP features being implemented. We had conquest enter the realm a little while ago although going by a review it still seems to need a little work. And now Rift may be getting a rework to the fundamental way these instanced battlegrounds work but a few things to take note (which were ripped from the comments at massively)

1. IT IS NOT COMING OUT IN PATCH 1.10.  IF anything it will come out in Storm Legion. In other words, Rank 50 gear is NOT going to be trivialized come Patch 1.10.

2. This is NOT a concrete plan for them to normalize stats in PvP.   They’re simply testing, gathering data, and figuring out what to do from there.   They’ve said numerous times on the forums + on the PTS when it was being tested that this is just an experiment.

3. The testing will go on the live servers for a week when Trion’s ready to put it out.  It will only go on for a week, and after that the normalization will go away and they’ll figure out what to do with PvP based on the data they gathered.

Also going from the press release the gear probably isn’t going to just get thrown away, my thought is that it will become cosmetic rewards, although they are mostly butt ugly anyway.

It is rather amusing as I was one of the biggest spokesgal on the forums chanting this fact to them, what really annoyed is that there were no announcements or even dev forum posts regarding pvp… Ever. It may be too late to draw back the PvP’ers now though as usually once you leave you pretty much leave for good. We even have GW2 ramping up now who would arguable do the whole no gear PvP far better than Trion ever could as that was their original design and focus.

 

In saying all this though I would probably go back to explore and PvP now and after the expansion, but it has all been too long and I sadly sold my account a long time ago thinking Trion would never wake up. The question is whether to give it a go and what will be on my plate then, maybe in a few months time or even after Christmas.

Take note Funcom, the future is now and it is totally gearless… remove the grind for better pants. We are a remarkably fickle bunch, us that pvp and Lose us once and you’ll likely not see us again

Nerdier than i Thought

Being a bit of a completionist i wanted to finish up the quests and exploration points for the achievements, the lore can be a bit later. I needed to do it partly becasue i really didn’t want to over level the area too much but mostly becasue I wanted to read and listen to anything i hadn’t yet so as to get a full view of the story before i move along. It turns out I had missed quite a few quests in Kingsmouth and i am very glad i came back, I also got heaps of sp/ap from my explorations anyway soo weee.

Why hello there Commander Tuvok

I met up with Harrison Blake and his partner Anne Hathaway, i really don’t know how i missed them just no quests took me that way and i kind of forgot about visiting there. I was listening to him very intensely as i knew that voice but couldn’t pin it.. then i remembered apart from being a very obvious  H.P Lovecraft reference it is FRIGGIN Tuvok. Such a nerd that i knew it pretty much straight away and it had me really excited. Some of his lines are great as well and it might be my imagination but they tend to be delivered with great similarity to the vibe of the logical Vulcan character, he also drops a very funny star trek meme/reference. One of my favourite conversation parts was “We choose to deal in hard quantifiable science and you… well your the liberal arts”. lool and all i have to say to that is…

Anyway there is a little The Secret World forum post that details all the voice actors and actresses in the credits. I really can’t believe the depth of the talent here as well as the variety of voice people adding there touch, no wonder this is some of the most brilliantly delivered dialogue i have ever encountered in a game. I also found out that one of my favourite characters ever, Spike Spiegal voiced by Steve Blum is no other than Jack Boon, one of the first characters and i missed it.. for shame. Have a look some time and you might find your just as nerdy as me.. maybe more.

I also finally got around to healing a dungeon, it was the first dungeon Polaris and on the whole it is a pretty easy and fast instance. It was only partially easy due to my gear level but the tank was barely taking any damage either and i healed pretty easily with anima shot, groundwork and surgical steel.. i usually had time to add my damage finisher three round burst which is amusing. The last boss was great fun and the mechanic of hiding behind the pillars during certain special times means for lots of running. Unfortunately though my UI decided to play up after that last cutscene so all i had was the map and chat box but before i could get the call out that i needed to reboot the tank had already pulled the boss ><..

I am a Golden God

I actually did pretty well considering i could not see either the ability bar or the Party frames. Due to that fact i kind of kept my focus on healing the tank so my party members dropped like flies without me even noticing. I kept up communication the entire time asking for health updates, and asking if they could please stand next to me if you need heals but apparently communicating via the chat function and avoiding aoe is against the abilities of pugs. Funnily enough the tank and I nearly duo’d the boss, unfortunately though we didn’t have the dps to beat it after the pillars were blasted out from under us.. It had under 4k health left when the tank finally succumbed to his wounds. After resing i explained the problem, said see you in a bit and attempted to restart the client only to come back to a disbanded group.. seriously >< Oh well in the end finished it  (again) and will make my way onwards to finish up Savage Coast tomorrow and then onto Egypt.

I was secretly terrible in pvp

So I finally got around to jumping into pvp, I queued up for el dorado because I haven’t already been there (real world) and went about my merry way while waiting. I was really excited about it as the possibilities and depth of the skill wheel is astounding and bringing pvp into the mix seemed like a match in heaven. It brings out the theorist in you, thinking of the possible ways you could put your build together, who will it be good against, what might be its counter, how well it might go and in what circumstances to utilise which skills. I was also very excited to see how the 3 faction system would work in a battleground setting where objectives are more focused and i always love playing new pvp types.
It didn’t take too long for a pop, something like 10 minutes and of course I chose the healing set. I kind of panicked a little when saw the countdown for the the beggining just about straight away as I was still in my soloing spec and had neither a group healing or single target ready to go. Luckily or unluckily some of the people left and spots needed to get filled and I scrambled to get a semblance of a group healing spec ready to go just in time.

Failure to Launch

I knew I should have read a little about these battlegrounds first because I had know idea what the objectives were or what I should be doing… It was definitely something to do with artifact . Starting off I just decided to follow the biggest group like a little puppy which is pretty much the role of a healer anyway, but as pugs do they tend to split up rather than stay in a cohesive bunch, so my group of 3 (including me) had to be enough but we got promptly slaughtered.

It wasn’t exactly a fair fight but that hasn’t stopped me before. I kept up groundwork on the primary target, I used anima shot and some of the fist tree heals on their main target but compared to the amount of damage incoming my heals were equivalent to a bandaid on a gaping bloody stump. Each fight this happened again and again.. admittingly I am new to this but it really felt like I was not contributing and more of a nuisance to the team.
Whereas I was using a build mostly comprising of the inner wheel I think most joining the battlegrounds now have a full deck complete with advanced tree skills and that makes a big difference I guess

Raging Hard

I go rage so watch out

Some of their abilities hit very hard and there was many that had some very strong impairment cc built into their builds. Regular large chunks of health being taking away while you cannot retaliate, and often not even run is poor design in my opinion.At one point a grew of my fellow Illuminati came out of the spawn area and were promptly massacred in seconds.. all 4 of us.. by one person. I have no clue what it was but as we came to the top of the steps he jumped into the middle of our group cc’d us and then promptly spun his sword around and around until we were little pieces. It would have been rather hilarious being the one dishing it out but after just rezzing and being a little disenfranchised with the experience so far i was anything but amused.

I now call that little stretch around the mausoleum “the killing fields”, after each spawn it is like d-day all over again and running for the trenches, comrades falling left and right but you kept plowing onwards..fall behind and it is another wait to play. Except for this point the maps are very well designed, open spaces in areas,  choke points, ledges and lots of nooks and crannies. It feels as though having actual spawn points for each faction would be a better idea, i understand that in regards to the mechanics it is better for opening up the field for the defense of the artifacts but still the middle just turns into this wretched area of chaotic death..and not the good kind. In my opinion having our own spawn points would make teamwork far more important and would promote tactical play since your are then effectively raiding the enemy base.

The match did become a little better at the end where the teams were starting to work more together, their were better strike teams doing hit and runs and when one team had the 4 it was an all out war. But even in all that hectic mass i felt it really didn’t matter or to say more correctly, it felt like COD and that is all kinds of wrong feeling in an mmo. I did ok anyway as it terms out having the highest healing, with damage not being to bad but my healing compared to the top dps was ludicrous.. funnily enough my damage was higher than my healing even though it wasn’t my focus.

The Round-Up

Coming from pvp’ing in the GW2 battlegrounds it feels as though something isn’t or out of proportion when it comes to either health or damage. I had some great fights in gw2, they went on long enough that you had to be quite tactical in the use of your skills, utilities and weapon swaps. Fights in tsw however are over in the blink of an eye… This is actually one of the reasons why I left Rift when the implementation of rank 8 gear occurred, with the consistent expertise value damage started scaling too much in terms of defence and players health.. it was carnage, lots of aoe carnage.

Cat says “Wtf is this shit”

This is the founding part why I like mmo pvp rather than an fps. Mmo pvp has a nice in combat feel since it is usually a little more prolonged, sure you have the circumstances of quick death occuring sometimes but as a whole it gets more tactical. It involves utilising the right skill, surveying the field, and a feeling of an ebb and flow as the fight progresses. Without that feel I would honestly rather play an fps, I am not bad mouthing fps at all… In fact I love them. It is just that twitch based combat is not suited to mmo’s, otherwise why have a plethora of skills and a detailed character sheet. Why have the rigidly defined and controlled class/skill selection if in the end it comes down to who pulled the trigger first.

It’s funny I wasn’t planning on making this pvp post into a rant of sorts but this is me talking from the heart. It just left me completed perplexed and perturbed as the pve is so flawless, from the environment to the missions, characters and wide array of monsters. It is thoroughly enjoyable and the difficulty and complexity of encounters is wide ranging, then you get into pvp and well…bleh
This only after a very small play session and in the grand scheme of things gw2 and p2 is coming for my pvp kick and i will keep playing TSW for the pve regardless. I always get passionate like this for the games I play, just like with Tera I get sooooooo angry when great systems are underutilized. I will continue to engage in activities of a pvp nature now and then but i might wait till i have a complete build, or i may just jump into fusang soon.

Also sorry about the the no screenies I was focusing on the peeveepee

Still Waiting for a Secret

It seems as though my purchase for The secret World still hasn’t been finalised by the banking gods, it shows as being completed on my account page but apparently that is meaningless. I was quite late to the party this time around, i played one of the beta and even after that i was entirely unsure as to if i wanted to play or not.. after Tera i kinda felt like a break from it all but not today. With reading the current news and from a little guild based coercion i succumbed and purchased last night.

So i have been spending my time with a neato little Secret World skill builder, it is a little rough at the moment and buggy but it is easy enough to use and gives me something to tool around with while waiting for a digitally switch to flick. It allows you to make a deck with actives and passives but you can’t change it around very easily and  it cuts of the description at the left hand side.

And here is one i made earlier…. Assault rifle/Fist healing build working on afflictions