Welcome to the New WoW Stratics

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Welcome to Stratics’ new World of Warcraft (WoW) community! We are in the process of re-launching this community, so mind the construction tape.

The mission of WoW Stratics is to publish fansite news, strategy guides, and statistics for the WoW community, with the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor in mind!

SpartanJesters Share Melee Weapons Breakdown

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With permission from SpartanJesters (@spartanjesters), here’s a video breakdown on melee weapons in The Elder Scrolls Online. This highly anticipated game by Bethesda has many chomping at the bit wanting into the Beta. Any peek at the game is well worth watching, especially when it comes to fighting.

 [youtube NevOCxndncg]

Building a Better Warband – Silence!

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So my job calmed down a bit, so I have the energy to write and play games again. It happens every summer.

In this edition of Building a Better Warband, I’m going to take a slightly different approach. In past editions, I configured every single member of warband. There are a lot more heroes available now, so in this edition, I have the warband split into the core group and the counter group. The core group will define the overall strategy of the warband, while the counter group changes heroes to deal with troublesome enemy heroes while still preserving the strategy.

The Silence! warband is built around the tactic Backlash. Backlash grants 20% bonus damage against a silenced target. Silence then becomes a damage steroid in addition to negating use of magic. The core of this group is Archivist, Conrad, and Drulg. Archivist would go Enjoy the Silence, Brute Force, and Backlash. Conrad would equip Inescapable Judgment. Drulg would equip Backlash. The other two mastery slots are player’s choice on Drulg and Conrad. I like Grim Pragmatism and Sneak Attacks on Drulg. I also like Sigmar’s Fury and Eternal Knowledge to round out Conrad.

This leaves 3 spots open. The group needs a tank, a second support, and a third damage dealer. This is the counter group for this warband. These heroes will change to counter enemy picks. For example, if Aessa or Korelei is picked by the enemy to counter Drulg, the tank could counter pick Albodi, the second support could counter pick Glowgob, or the third damage dealer could counter pick Nethys. (Korelei would also be a strong counter to Archivist.) The idea is that these heroes change to protect the strategy. Be creative with your counter picks and try to fool your opponents with it.

Granted, most players, including me, do not play at a level that requires this kind of strategic depth. However, the game can be played at this kind of level should the players desire to do so. I wonder how much longer or what kind of motivation would be required to get us to do so.

WAR Stratics Guide to the Pyramid of Settra

The newest map for Wrath of Heroes can be a bit overwhelming. It’s similar to Black Fire Pass, but different enough to allow more strategies to develop.

When the map starts, there are six relics spawned in the outer circle of the center room of the Pyramid. Players rush out of their spawn location to the middle room, grab relics, and transport them to their treasure room, which is always a left turn from the spawn area. Four additional relics will spawn one at a time every 90 seconds. The 4 relics spawn at exactly 13:30, 12:00, 10:30, and 9:00 left in the scenario. The relic will spawn next to the statue in the very center of the room.

Each treasure room has two approaches. One directly from the center room and one from the stairs behind the treasure room. Standing on an enemy treasure chest will allow a player to steal a relic after standing on it for 5 seconds. Only one relic may be taken at a time. A player may only hold one relic at a time.  The order of players to steal from a treasure chest when multiple are standing on it is first in, first out.

Points are tallied every 5 seconds in the game, at 14:55, 14:50, 14:45, and so forth. A team receives one point for each relic in the treasure chest. Unlike the other three maps, no points are given for kills.

Now onto the meta-game.

The map requires your team to split. Some members will be attempting to steal relics from other teams, while others will defend. Also players will have to be ready for the additional relic spawns every 90 seconds for the first six minutes of the game. At initial hero selection, remember that the first six relics are in the middle for anyone to take. It’s a footrace. The goal is to grab the 3 relics closest to your spawn before the enemy can get them. It’s common to see very unbalanced teams at first and then they’ll balance out later. Common picks for the initial race are Nethys, Ikkrik, Drulg, and Bax. Volrik, Felicia and Ilanya are also common at the start of the map since they can deny an enemy relics on the ground with pull, knock back, and knock up respectively. Some teams like to use Olwyn at the start since she can’t be pulled, knocked back, or knocked up. Gromril armor is tough to take off after all.

Teams then split up into two different roles, attackers and defenders. Attackers go get relics from other teams. Defenders protect the relics already owned by a team. Note that since points are not awarded for kills, there is nothing to dissuade attackers from constantly suicide running into a base to force a defense. Also an attacker that temporarily takes away a relic only to get killed and have the same team return the relic did not fail at his job. While the attacker had the relic, the defender was not getting points from it.

Attackers need to be quick and/or resilient. A tank Nethys is one of the best options for this role. Use Rapidity or Acceleration with Endless or Eternal Knowledge and either Warped or Hardened Flesh or Desperation or Temerity. The cool down reduction makes her sprint available more often and the movement speed bonus has great synergy with the sprint. The third tactic helps her survive long enough to grab a relic from an enemy stash. Bax is also excellent for this role, although Flee, a chance to sprint on being hit tactic, would likely be better than cool down reduction on him. Drulg is a good attacker, especially with his alternate 5 Overwhelming Bellow and Momentum, which increases the duration of his Bull Charge, and Endless/Eternal Knowledge, reducing the cool down of those abilities, but he is a little squishy and needs some support. Ikkrik is also a good choice, but remember that hitting Smoke Bomb makes you drop a relic you are carrying, so have someone with you to pick it up if you get in trouble. Olwyn is good attacker if the enemy is using defenders with crowd control. Lucian can be a good attacker with Rapidity, Flee and Vigor. Kindly enough, all three of those tactics are in his mastery tree.

Defenders keep a players off the treasure chest completely, prevent an enemy from escaping with a relic, or just kill an opponent quickly to make him drop the relic. Ilanya is an excellent defender. She has amazing burst damage and a knock up to prevent a player from getting to the chest or escaping with a relic. Felicia is also an excellent defender. Use (Massive) Blasting and Cripple or Maim on her to make it difficult for an enemy to stand on the chest or get away with a relic. Volrik is excellent for defense with his pull, root, snare and heal debuff. He needs someone to help him with damage, but not many can defend quite like Volrik if he gets that help. Amenadresh is a great defender since his dots can prevent escapes and the armor debuff will help your team deal with the tanky attackers like Bax and Olwyn. Conrad with his alternate 5 Divine Cleansing is also a great defender when dealing with attackers that use staggers to ensure escape with a relic like Nethys and Drulg. Good luck trying to escape with a rune with Aessa around. Between her snare/root and Pounce or Fetch, it’s probably not happening.

Here’s a non-wall of text version of the last two paragraphs.

Hero

Suggested Role

Suggested Mastery spec

Alternate Mastery spec

Nethys Attacker Rapidity, Endless Knowledge, Desperation Rapidity, Endless Knowledge, Warped Flesh
Bax Attacker Rapidity, Flee, Desperation Rapidity, Flee, Agility
Drulg Attacker Overwhelming Bellow, Momentum, Endless Knowledge
Ikkrik Attacker Rapidity, Flee, Endless Knowledge Rapidity, Flee, Agility
Olwyn Attacker Relentless, Rapidity, Flee
Lucian Attacker Rapidity, Flee, Vigor
Ilanya Defender Brute Force, Blasting, Grim Pragmatism Brute Force, Grim Pragmatism, any other damage increase
Felicia Defender Blasting, Cripple, Endless Knowledge Blasting, Fiery Winds, Endless Knowledge
Volrik Defender Flaring Chaos, Concussion, Endless Knowledge
Amenadresh Defender Blasting, Cripple, Endless Knowledge Eternal Legions, Divine Shielding, Endless Knowledge
Conrad Defender Divine Cleansing, Inescapable Judgment, Balance Divinity, Divine Cleansing, Balance
Aessa Defender Eternal Protector, Endless Knowledge, Cripple Eternal Protector, Endless Knowledge, Fetch
Glowgob Either Life Steala, Divine Shielding, Desperation

The perks Massive Smash and Unholy Ward can also be invaluable on defense. Feel free to replace a tactic with one of these perks. Glowgob is Glowgob. He’s almost always useful anywhere.

In the case where a team has no relics, or if a team is majorly behind in relic count like the others have 4 each and that team only has 1, defenders should go support attackers in taking relics.  If the center screen message pops up saying a team has 5 relics, and the others have 0 or 1, both teams should abandon all defense and attack that team. If a team ever gets the 7 or 10 relic message at any point in the game, the other teams should immediately abandon all other efforts and attack the dominant team.

Watch this video for more information:  http://youtu.be/56io7wjyiOM

Discussion thread: http://6v6v6.com/topic/375-pyramid-of-settra-match-commentary-ft-tarelther-and-gaarawarr/

★ Blog Banter #35: The Public Perception of EVE Online ★

Please join me in the celebration of the 35th installment of the Blog Banter! (its funny because Im 35 too :P)

Welcome the the thirty-fifth EVE Blog Banter.

Now approaching its tenth year, the EVE Online player community has matured into an intricate and multi-faceted society viewed with envy by other game developers, but is frequently regarded with suspicion by the wider gaming community. 

Is this perception deserved? Should “The Nation of EVE” be concerned by its public identity and if so how might that be improved? What influence will the integration of the DUST 514 community have on this culture in the future?

[Unrelated and random bonus question sponsored by EVE News 24: What single button would you recommend be included on an EVE-specific keyboard?]

 

When cornered or faced rather with these kind of statements, what I would take away from it is that people have propably heard about EVE in some way. Perhaps you know a player or you’ve stumbled upon an article online mentioning the game.

 

You, the player, propably know what I’m talking about already. The game (yes, I’ve lost, I know).

The perception may be undeserved, and likely due to ignorance. And possibly not at all. While players may be right in being somewhat suspecious about it, they partake in the same on a bigger level every day as pawns being shuffled around by the 1%.

The first layer is the game itself. Beautiful and vast universe. One shard. Graphics and gameplay. Appealing PVE with a smidgeon of piracy and PVP. Risk vs reward and all that jazz. Even the practicality of nullsec warfare.

 

Amarr Battlecruiser Propechy

Prophecy Battlecruiser missioning in space

 

The second layer is the tactics of fleet battles. The reason why a null-sec fleet suddenly cynos into your system and starts bringing down towers. Resources and grunts following orders.

This is where Fleet Commanders (FC’s) round up willing grunts to go out on roams and kill stuff. For winnage and the fun of ship combat, sometimes massive fleet combat involving capital ships. Goodfites and entertainment.

Tactics are short term. Strategy is longterm. FC’s and grunts do not make strategic decisions. Managers do.

Influence Map

 

The third layer is the human dynamics of the overall chessgame that is EVE. People shuffling other people around based on strategic decisions and order them to do stuff, to game the system. To make things happen. To flex their social muscles to test the boundries of the game itself. How far can we push people and if we do this, what happens? To a large extent, this comes in as psychological warfare, but really transcends even this.

People may have a reason to be rightfully suspecious, but thats really what makes EVE what it is. The layers. You can’t really just take one and say “This is EVE”. You can’t take a snapshot of a miner and say with every fiber of your body: “This is EVE, look how boring it is”.

You’ll have to realize that killing the ratting faction BS happened because it was simply in the way of a fleet that was heading to another system to take out a logistical supply chain, because taking out that supply chain meant taking over the system a week later from a pet. Stealing the system from a Pet has a discourating effect on other pets, and the network of pet territories are more easily taken as a result affecting thousands of people. People are less willing to fight. End result is that the winning fleet can dominate the market of a niche product and many people make a ton of money because everything they are involved in, is affected positively.

If youre playing the game and reading the same news I am, you propably know what the paragraph above means. For the non-eve player, that was an example of a combination of psychological warfare with territory control in a game of resources and economics. This is what you know as Metagame. What eve players know as the sandbox.

 

Influencing the Sandbox

Jita being the biggest tradehub in EVE pulls in goods worth trillions of ISK  (the ingame currency) in revenue. The recent player orchestrated event; “Burn Jita” took place to test the boundries of the player run economy. And for profit.

The result was that thousands of ships were destroyed. Ships made by players, from materials aquired by players using industrial materials that has been freightered around thousands of systems to end up in a ship, in Jita, to kill other ships.

 

I asked the community here on Stratics, which are mostly non-eve players about their perception of EVE. Most are unaware of the metagame. Most likely because they are used to their game being a game of grinding, collecting, fun events in an upbeat atmosphere. The kind if game you sit down with, after a long days work or to wind down with – while your brain slows down before bedtime.

EVE is about dominating you, till you reach the end and are on the verge of quitting. Breaking your game, not the game. It is entirely different, or at least it can be.

Most players never really realize their pawn status in the EVE Nation, while some are well aware. You have to stand up for not being shuffled around in the metagame and in order to do that you have to be able to see through the BS that ranges from smacktalk in local, to the public character assasination. Because breaking your game means that something good could happen to the friends of whoever is trying to do just that.

Someone is using human psychology to get to you. Not everyone is ready for that. But then again, this stuff doesn’t happen in the real world – Right?

 

Rupert Murdoch reading the final issue

 

The bonus question really puts the whole thing into perspective. When youre aware of how the sandbox works, do you realistically believe that one button will have any influence at all? But I guess I could come up with one to make the life of the thousands of trolls a bit more easy.

 

Of course, this needs to be hooked up to a Text to Speech function in teamspeak for all the FC’s out there with global grunts.