And it’s been almost 2 months again. I’ve just not been in a writing mood lately it seems. Such is life, no?
Anyway, Warframe released a new frame this week, and I had a bunch of plat kicking around, so I used that to buy its “package” that also included a cosmetic helmet, a syandana, and her “signature weapon” — the Fulmin. There was also a pack with a sniper rifle and a pistol that I bought and ranked up. They didn’t feel like anything special (and I don’t even remember their names), so I ranked them each to 30 and then put them away as MR fodder.
Wisp though… holy overpowered, Batman!
Her basic stats are high health, moderate armor, low shields, and high energy. She’s also got a fast sprint speed. So her survivability mods she just needs the typical Vitality + Adaptation and she’s good. Primed Flow gives her 850 energy at rank 30, and TBH, I’m not sure she needs that, so that may be a mod that can come off in favor of something else. This is how I’ve got her built right now:
Her passive ability is that any time she’s in the air (not wall latched, but actually “flying”) she’s invisible so if you’re ever in a little bit of trouble you can just jump or bullet jump and the mobs lose track of you. One oddity about this is that visually instead of going see-through like the other frames she just goes a little fuzzy — almost like Baruuk when he’s got his avoidance shield on. It’s a subtle effect, so it was a bit confusing when I was in a group with Octavia and I crouched in time to the music to get her full invisibility buff and it really wasn’t obvious when it was in effect, so that’s something to watch for perhaps.
Her #1 drops one of 3 selectable “reservoirs” that provide a buff to anyone who runs inside their buffing range. Buff 1 is a health boost (300 base) that also provides a health regen effect of 10% of the boosted amount per second, so 30/s at base. The 2nd buff is a haste — it buffs both sprint speed and attack speed. The 3rd buff is a lightning mote that tosses out a microscopically low damage lightning pulse every so often. Seems like about every 10 seconds, but I never actually timed it. But it’s not there to do damage, it’s there to proc the lightning status effect which gives a lovely 3s stun to any mob affected, so it’s a very nice CC. The reservoirs themselves have no duration, just a limitation that you can only have a maximum of 6 out at a time. Any frame standing inside their buff range has no duration on the buffs they receive either. When they move out of the buff range is when duration comes in to play. At Rank 3 (reached at frame rank 18) it’s a 30 second buff though, so it’s plenty long even without buffing duration with your mods.
I think this buff is the main source of the “holy overpowered…” comment I made above. Perhaps making the reservoirs have a duration or be an actual object that mobs can target and destroy — or both? — might help reduce some of that OP-ness. Perhaps some reductions to the effects are in order too, as they’re just very very strong right now and infinitely available without any action on any player’s part other than a brief check-in at the site of the mote every 30-40 seconds.
These are the stats of the #1 using the build above:
Her #2 is a decoy that flies forward away from the frame, drawing fire. At max rank it lasts 4 seconds unbuffed. You can hold 2 to make it fly faster and then teleport to it when you release the key also. Solid defense buff.
#3 says it’s a “surge.” It seems to be a radial blind using your target as the center of the affected area. You can target an enemy or one of your reservoirs. If you target a reservoir it will double the range of the blind and also teleport you to the reservoir. Affected mobs are not only blinded (and thus open to finishers), but they also take a damage multiplier. The description and little video of the ability in use also mention “surge particles” that are released when you damage an affected mob that seem to spread to more mobs, so it almost seems to be behaving like Saryn’s spores and spreading when you hit affected mobs also. Going from memory the base duration seemed to be about 15 seconds, as with my build’s 128% duration it was about 20 seconds and a 3.58x damage multiplier at the 179 power.
#4 is a long ranged (58 meters on my build) continuous fire beam. It does base radiation damage, and if you have the electrified buff from the reservoir it adds in a corrosive component also. In my build it costs about 6 energy per second (adding more duration reduces this, of course), so it’s not super fast drain, but enough that you don’t want to leave it on all the time either. Also, as a courtesy to the people you’re playing with, make your energy color black, otherwise it’s utterly blinding to everyone else. For yourself it always looks kinda orange regardless of your energy color. I experimented a few times and it always looked the same to me — the game actually washes out all other colors making the whole screen have a darker cast with an orange tint — I assume DE did it to help with your won ability to see while using the skill. Other players don’t get that benefit, though. I’ve been in groups with other Wisps and when they used their beams you couldn’t see anything near them or their beam and the one time I had my energy color as white so I could test if there really was a difference in what I saw as opposed to that orange look other players in the group commented about how blinding it was for them. But anyway, you can’t use your 1 or 3 while 4 is running, you can’t jump, and you move at walking speed, so it’s not really fast (though your haste buff and Volt’s speed buff do boost this a little), but it’s not bad. You can use your 2 to fire off decoys while 4 is running for a little defense and I didn’t try it but I assume you can use the 2’s teleport feature to add a little speed also. You can also hold the mouse button to boost the beam’s damage, though at a significantly higher energy drain.
All in all, this is a very powerful kit, with healing, haste, 2 different forms of CC and a high-damage ultimate. I won’t say she’s my new favorite, but she’s definitely a candidate for top 5 or so.
And then there’s her signature “Fulmin” rifle. This is my new favorite primary weapon. It has 60 ammo max and reloads itself automatically without ammo (and it does it fast too). It has 2 fire modes — semi-auto and auto — that you swap using your alt-fire.
In semi-auto mode it is silent, so it will be good for Loki and Ivara to use. This mode is a projectile, but it’s very fast so you don’t need to lead targets much. It’s also a large projectile, so you don’t have to aim perfectly either, which is nice, and it hits multiple mobs on a single shot and appears to have a 3m AE explosion when the shot terminates on the ground or a wall. It uses 10 ammo per shot, so you only get 6 shots before needing to let it sit a couple of seconds to reload itself. It reloads very quickly, so it doesn’t feel onerous to wait for it.
In playing with it on an outdoor map, I discovered that there’s a max range on the weapon like it’s a beam, though. I would have guessed 25-30m, but when I looked it up on the wiki, it says 20m and that there’s falloff going from 10-20m also, not that I noticed it in play. On indoor tile sets that’s not really an issue, but in big rooms or out in PoE or OV it could be a problem. The weapon does electric damage, so it easily can be made to do Corrosive or Radiation damage. It also has a high crit chance, so it works really nicely with the Hunter Munitions mod to proc additional slash damage.
I’ve got mine built like this:
Automatic fire is hitscan, makes noise, and seems to do the same damage over time as the other mode, but there’s no AE component to its shots. There didn’t seem to be a max range, and it now fires 1 ammo per shot rather than the 10 used in semi-auto mode. In this mode, it’s a perfectly serviceable automatic rifle, but doesn’t feel significantly different than any other auto-rifle in the game. It’s the semi-mode that I really love. That said, going vs a Nox in Hydron, semi-auto doesn’t seem to work well even with good headshots, but automatic fire took the mob right out, so take that for what you will. It’s nice to be able to swap on the same weapon to do that — though my main secondary is still my Rattleguts kitgun that also takes out Nox without even trying, so I don’t really have a need to make that swap….
But anyway, I really like the Fulmin, so y’all should try it out too!
In re: Tera Online — I played it to pass the time, and got to the point where I didn’t care to play it anymore, so I’ve stopped playing and uninstalled it. It was ok, but it never quite felt “right” with how the controls worked. Everything about it screamed that movement should be fluid and seamless, but it wasn’t — every attack stopped you cold in an animation lock, regardless of whether you were melee, ranged, or a caster. The result was a very clunky feel to the combat, and it grated more and more as time went on, so I just felt done, so done I was.
A few bloggers who I read have recently given SWTOR a go, and that inspired me to give it another look also. Shout out to Bhagpuss most especially.
When I stopped playing, the level cap was 50, crafting skill cap was 400, and your companions were a specific class, so some of the classes were considered easier to play as they got their healer companion earlier in the story. Each class also had specific gear with a main stat unique to that class, and there were also heavy, medium, and light armors stat’d for each class as appropriate. You also got skill points as you leveled up and could choose to mix and match where you placed them among 3 skill trees. Generally one went “deep” in one tree, “shallow” in a 2nd, and ignored the 3rd.
The level cap is 70 now, crafting skill cap is 600, and any companion can be whatever you want it to be (and they all default to healer). Gear is mostly “adaptive” now, so you mostly don’t need to worry about whether something is heavy, light, or medium. All classes simply use a consolidated “Mastery” stat now, instead of strength, or agility, or what have you, so the only real gear concern is tank gear vs “everything else.” And the skill trees are now absolute paths that you select and it tells you how to play. Over the course of the 70 levels you get 8 skill points to allocate into a shared “Utility” section, but as with all such system, there are really only about 6-10 “decent to good” places to put the points (class dependent, of course) so there’s not that much variation as to where you’d want to put those points anyway, so pretty much all build customization is gone. No more talking about “0/7/28 or 7/7/17 builds” or whatever.
XP gain has been massively increased. I never had trouble with getting to be 4-5 levels higher than a given planet was designed for before, but now I can get to the 40’s while still on planets designed to go up to 24. They scale you down to a cap for each planet though, so everything’s “always a challenge” and you also get level appropriate XP for kills and quests regardless of the planet that you’re on.
But as with when I stopped playing almost 7 years ago (my final post on SWTOR before this was August 2012) — there’s no challenge in the leveling game. If anything it’s even easier now than it was before, as I recall Heroic missions being scary to try to solo and now they’re simply soloed as a matter of course as credit pinatas. But as I said then “all the challenge has been sucked out of the game, regardless of what class you’re playing. . . . [S]ince the “balance” was so perfect, the game didn’t really feel different from class to class, so only the “4th pillar” could keep it interesting, but that story was sprinkled far too lightly between all the planet/side quests.” This is still true and in spades, since it’s even easier now than it was then. Most dungeons seem to have been redesigned for 2 players plus their companions and have healing items littering the floor of the boss rooms so you don’t even need a healer to do them.
So… I’m playing it for now. I shelled out the $30 for the 2 month non-repeating subscription so I wouldn’t have things locked away, with the plan being that when those 2 months are up I’ll be done again. Or maybe even just finishing the 8 class stories. 6 down, 2 to go… I’ve actually declined guild invitations, telling the recruiters that I’m not planning on staying long-term.
It’s been ok — I mean… I play to relax not really to have a challenge, after all. But this game almost seems designed to be boring. So much of it is “Go halfway across the zone, kill 10 rats, and come back. Now go to this other spot allllll the way across the zone, which we purposely designed as a maze to make it take longer for you to get there. While you’re there we’ll call you and update your instructions, but then when you’re done you have to run alllllll the way back through the maze to get back to me for the turn-in, in spite of the fact that we have these nifty communicators that we even use during the mission.” It couldn’t be more annoying an inefficient if they tried… so I assume that they did indeed try to make it the way it is to give an illusion of size, but the reality is that it simply creates boredom as it just take soooooo loooooong to get to where you need to go. There are some quick travel options, but those are generally just to go back to *kinda close* the to the quest giver, so even quick travel still involves a lot of pulling out the mount and heading on over. It’s made it so that when I’m trying to simply blow through the rest of a class story since I hit 50 already so I’m ignoring all quests but the story that it still feels like it’s taking forever, in spite of only needing something like 4 or 5 quests per planet for the story, so I find myself thinking “I just want to be done.” That’s not the thought of someone who’s really enjoying the game, is it?
So yeah, overall, I’d say “it’s fine” in the same way I said Tera was “fine” — it’s enjoyable to pas the time, but there’s just no weight behind it that makes me think I’d really like to stay in and poke around with all the endgame things once I actually get a character to 70. I mean sure…. I got my old “capped at 50” Vanguard to 59 now. My old “Tankassin” is 54. I’ve got a Sith Warrior to 65 — that class with the Vengeance spec actually really clicked with me but even that hasn’t been enough to make me get it to 70 yet — my old level 39 Sage is 64, my formerly 37 sniper is in her 50’s now and has completed her class story, and I didn’t like how my Sentinel looked anymore so even though I didn’t delete him since he’s my Synthweaver, he’s still languishing at 25 and I created a new sentinel that I took from 1 to class completion (and it’s level 59 in spite of only having done class story quests since I hit 42 on Nar Shadaa so I have tons of content I could go back and do on her if I feel like it).
She’s really the one that I was just thinking “I want to be done” with and I really noticed myself thinking it on Corellia as I was finally almost done. Part of it was also that I’d tried out the Combat and Concentration specs on her and just didn’t like the play style for either of them. I’d avoided the Watchman spec as the guides indicates it’s not the best for leveling since it’s DoT based and so really only shines on longer fights in dungeons and raids. Since I wanted to be able to say I’d given Sentinel the old college try, though, I also spec’d Watchman and oh hey, now I’m actually enjoying it. Go figure, right? But her class story’s finally done so it’s time to start working on the the last 2 class stories — Bounty Hunter and Smuggler are what I’ve got left.
And I’m up to 3100 words on this post, so it’s way too long, but hey, that’s me rambling after 2 months of not posting, right? Happy gaming out there!
I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say lately, and my gaming has been kind of in a rut and not very interesting, so… well, it’s been just shy of 3 months since my last post. Such is life, no?
I always at least log in to Warframe each day to advance the login counter, but I don’t necessarily play each day. I still grabbed the new Hildryn frame when it came out last week. My overall impression is “it’s fine, but doesn’t do anything that makes me prefer it to any other frame.” Having its #1 be its exalted weapon is kinda kewl, as exalteds tend to be the 4th ability, but it’s just a Staticor-analog that pretty much requires you to do charged shots, and costs shields when you use it. I’d rather just use a Staticor with no penalty, thanks. #2 strips armor and shields from enemies and gives them to you as overshields. Mag does this too, combined with a better overall CC kit. #3 is a shield heal for your allies or a shield strip on enemies, all while draining your shields. Most people have the Shield Charger mod on their sentinels so this is pretty useless. And #4 lets you fly slowly around and CC mobs around you while doing some minor damage to them. *grumbles in Nekros/Nyx/Nezha/Rhino/Excalibur/Mesa/and a lot more AE CC frames to boot so I think you get the picture.* So yeah… she’s fine, but to borrow Brozime’s phrase about a different frame — “aggressively mediocre.”
I also tried out the new event. It’s kinda boring. Basically just a mobile defense mission in the Vallis where you don’t get a waypoint marker to your next spot to defend. I soloed it no problem on the run I did, so I imagine doing it in a group will be really easy. I just need to do it 14 more times within the next 10 days to get the amalgam mods and the Opticor Vandal. Can’t say I care about scanning data hashes either, but there’s a map for that, so I suppose it wouldn’t take long to just fly around and hit all the spots.
The new “Wolf of Saturn” daily/weekly goals that replace the alert system are fine, and quite a few simply reward you for playing how you normally would anyway, and give you a bit better control over the rewards you get instead of being totally random and hopefully you’re signed in when an alert with the rewards you want comes up like the old system, so I think this is an overall positive.
My daughter got me to re-sub to FFXIV a couple of months ago. I really only played it since then on a single Saturday. I advanced the MSQ up until I hit a trial where I don’t have the gear level to enter and just didn’t feel like going back and running the new-to-me dungeons that would have the higher gear I would need, so that walled me off at that point. I jumped on Blue Mage that 1st weekend it came out, but since you can’t really use it for anything other than an oddity, I didn’t jump in all the unsync’d extreme primal groups in order to get the last few skills to round out my book, so again, that was a single weekend for me, and I just haven’t felt inspired to jump back in since then. My daughter’s logged in a few times to fly around, but she doesn’t actually play the game, just uses it as inspiration for stories she plays out verbally that sorta reflect what she’s got her character doing on the screen.
I bought the Civ6 expansion in spite of it not sounding like it would be very good, and after a weekend of going hard at it… yeah, I’m not impressed with it. I won’t say more about it here as it deserves its own post, but the TL;DR is exactly the impression I got from their announcement videos — it’s just a bunch more to micromanage and not in a fun way.
And finally…. not really sure why I did this, but I reinstalled Tera Online about a week ago and have been mucking about with it. Since I’m more used to the non-tab-target type of controls anymore I’m enjoying the combat more than I did back when it 1st came out. The new player experience isn’t how I remember it — it might actually be, but you know how memory is a fuzzy thing. But anyway, it now only takes about a half-hour to get through that and you’re level 12 with a decent-ish skill kit when you’re dumped into the actual game world. So where back in the day I was quitting after feeling like it was a grind to get a character to level 6 I’ve now got a Valkyrie to level 52 (in a single weekend and there was still also time for) and a gunner to level 31. Yeah, leveling’s pretty quick it seems. Running dungeons seems to get you about 3-4 levels at a time up until the upper 40’s when it slows down to only 1-2 levels per run. But still…. if you accept the “don’t make a perfect party” option in the queue then you can usually get in to a dungeon pretty quickly and they only take about 20-30 minutes. I still don’t like the Castanic Female running animation, but you’re mostly zoomed out so far you can’t really see it or you’re on your mount anyway, so… not a deal breaker. The equipment looking more like S&M fetishwear as you level up isn’t really a selling point either, but as mentioned… you’re mostly zoomed out anyway, so not too big a deal either.
Anyway… that’s what I’ve been up to for the last 3 months. Happy gaming out there!
Still playing on the Juyo server. . . would say “with friends” but it’s mostly solo. My friends aren’t on as much as I am and tend to be on earlier than I am too, so there’s not all that much crossover. I’m half tempted to head back to Sanctum of the Exalted and the RMC/IMC guilds there.
Even so, my Vanguard’s level 48 now and working through Voss. At the rate I’m going, I think I may just make level 50 before leaving Voss. Considering I’ve done no flashpoints, no warzones, only a couple of space missions right after I got my ship, and have skipped 2 full planets, half of another, 3 bonus series, and was actually “at level” when I got to Hoth at 38, the fact that I’m now 2-3 levels “high” and might hit 50 before even getting to the last world should tell you that there’s a metric ton of XP out there in this game (as evidenced also by other characters who I haven’t skipped anything with being 4-5 levels “high” while in their 20’s and 30’s), and yet one of the more common threads in the New Player Help section goes like this: “I’m too low for this planet I’m on, but I’ve done every side quest on every planet. how can I get more XP?” When I bother to respond to threads like that I tell them to actually go back and do every side quest, since they’ve obviously missed quite a few. . . . .
I decided to work a bit more on my “Tankassin.” Sent her some cash from my vanguard to afford the obscenely priced Imperial Trooper armor off the CE vendor. You can see the results above. I am using a mod-able level 19 player-crafted helm, though, since I like being able to see the toons’ face during the cutscenes.
Still enjoying the game, though I’m a tad burnt out too, which is why I didn’t do the push to 50 on the Vanguard yet and went for the different playstyle and story of the Assassin for now.
My only comment about the 1.2 patch is: I like that I can send mail between all my alts regardless of faction now. Other than that, I’ve not noticed much difference in the toons I play.
I’ve re-subbed to Vanguard for a bit for a change of pace also. I’m only really playing it on Saturday mornings for a couple of hours, so don’t have much to report other than it’s kinda nice to have the slower leveling pace of that game to relax with. I’m trying out several classes I never did before — blood mage, necromancer, shaman, dread knight — to see if something appeals to me more than I thought it sounded like it might. I love my disciple and paladin, the druid’s interesting, but hasn’t truly grabbed me, etc. Overall it’s fun to try the new things out and see how they work together. After SWTOR it does feel a little odd not to have a companion. Kinda weird how expectations need to change from game to game, no?
I did the Tera Online beta this past weekend in place of my normal Vanguard play session. I made a sorcerer for my 1st character to figure out the controls and such. For all that it says “you gotta always move” any time you cast anything, even your instant-cast spells you still stop cold, yet the sorcerer is listed as tied with the Archer class for “easiest to play.” Go figure. I made that character a high elf female, and while I thought the breasts on it were grotesquely over-sized and the standing pose of the character was quite overdone, the sexuality of that race didn’t bug me. The world chat was full of people saying that the Elin race was for pedophiles only and that the Castanic races was actually “the best one” looks-wise, though.
In the afternoon, I decided to try out the Mystic class, as that sounded like it had a bit in common with the EQ2 coercer, which I love to death. I made this one a Castanic female, and on the character creation page it looked nice and the breasts were probably “only” a D-cup, which is actually fairly small in the MMO world. Then I got into the world and the way it ran. . . .geez, it was horrid. Bent double, flashing its ass in the air while flailing its arms in a caricature of the “runs like a girl” stereotype. And tbh, I actually didn’t much like the Mystic gameplay after all. Ah well.
At that point, I kinda wanted to check out some of the warrior-type classes, but I felt like I was “done.” Other than the movement style forced on you by the controls it was a very standard MMO, so it didn’t have anything to draw me away from any other game I’m already playing and enjoy. For all that it calls itself an “action game” the only thing that made it such was that I couldn’t lock a target and had to aim my reticle at it in mouselook mode. Other than that. . . been there and done that. I’ve uninstalled that game client from my pc and won’t be looking back.
On the other hand, while I know I don’t particularly care for the horror/goth genre of anything, I’ve pre-ordered The Secret World. It sounds like it’s got just enough elements of similarity to Shadowrun, which game world I love, that I think I’d still enjoy it, and the skill-point-based advancement with synergies between trees sounds enough like SWG (which I loved pre-CU and pre-NGE) that I’m willing to plunk down in advance for it. I’m not sure what direction I’d like to take the character in the beginning, but that sounds like the beauty of the skill wheel is that you can dabble easily and find out what you like, then specialize from there, and then over time add more and more specializations. Concepts sound cool to me, anyway. I hope they’re implemented well. Beta weekends start on May 11th, so I’ll know more after that, I suppose.
Speaking of Shadowrun, there’s a Kickstarter project out there for a small-time 2D turn-based Shadowrun game out there. I’ve kicked in a bit and hope it won’t turn out to be vaporware.