Friday, July 29, 2011

Third Edition - July 2011

Can't Stop the Herald!

Despite some largely-exaggerated* and more-than-likely-fictitious* attempts to end the running of this month's issue of the Herald, I, your loyal servant, daring adventurer, and life-risking journalist, have delivered.

Please, do not fret about my health or well-being, as simply reading over the exciting news and ongoing developments in the World of Dungeons contained herein gives me the strength to continue my own epic battle with possibly imagined* difficulties and the undoubtedly untrue* conspiracy to thwart the release of yet another breath-taking rendition of your beloved newsletter.


Caledonii Arena News - Intra-Clan Leagues!

Straight from the hazardous smoke-filled basement of *cough* heralded inventor extraordinaire and Colosseum administrator, Hasta, comes a new and exciting way to keep your clan active, lively, and most of all, brutally murdering each other!

Have your clan-leader sign up for an all-new intra-clan league with Hasta, and you can freely bash in the heads of all those you consider your closest WoD friends! Anyone can manage the league in the clan, but the details can be found here!

Tea Party Prize-Fest, Every Two Weeks

Itching for some sapphires, dungeoneers? Well, here's your chance, every other week! Simply sign up for the exciting Sunday Afternoon Tea Party League and write an epic re-telling of the party as you saw it! Write your retelling of either the Tea Party on Sunday the 24th, or Sunday the 31st, and submit it in a WoD PM to Akako Chung by Friday the 5th of August to be entered.

ALL participants will receive 10 sapphires, and one lucky winner gets TRIPLE that amount. After all, what good is a battle without an masterful story to back it up? And don't worry, yours truly won't be entering, so you'll all have a chance to win. After all, my calling is here at the Herald, not on the fields of war!

Caledonii League Run-down - Groups - 2000

As usual, we had an exciting turnout in the groups league this time around in Caledonii. Read on for the gory details.

In the premier league, we saw the Heretics win in a surprising upset, actually taking BOTH matches from the Warriors of Kesmet. Famed sorceress Ignis unanimously gets "MVP" accolades, having dealt over four times as much damage as the next most productive combatant. And people say girls can't compete! After some quality buffing by both groups' trancing shamans, she let loose the her fabled Electrical Storm and dominated any and all who stood in her path. The same tactic brought the Warriors down in both rounds. It seems our resident witch is quite simply a force to be reckoned with.

OOG's Revenge tied up the X-Men in sub-division two, and The Body Snatchers and Senatus Redux shared the honors in the third grouping.

Congratulations to all who participated, the group league is certainly a great source of enjoyment and competition for all!

RAGE! with Shub-Niggurath

Barbarians are a frequently played but seldom mastered class, being a base class in WoD.  That in mind, the Herald sought out an expert in the field (of battle, right?) to help our readers better understand how to best play this readily available monster of a class.  So, without further ado:

WH: You've been seen with some unorthodox builds. Can you describe them?

Raging Barb with 14 actions
A Raging Barb is nothing special however you can make it special. Darkruan has been skilled that way that I could transform him into a 14 actions monster with the following steps:

-    Bring Reaction to 20 which gives +2 actions
-    Bring Raging Boar to 20 which gives +3 actions when used
-    Get main hand and off-hand hatred weapon for +2 actions
-    Wear rage items for up to +7 actions:
o    simple ring with the curse of rage
o    ring with the curse of rage
o    good ring with the curse of rage
o    blessed ring with the curse of rage
o    blessed bandana with the curse of rage
o    blessed totem with the curse of rage
o    blessed bracelet with the curse of rage

The main downturn and that is why this built is not recommended is the negative HP regeneration as well as the defence rolls who seldom are above 0. To give you a feeling of what the group healer would need to do: wearing the above 7 rage items give you a negative regeneration of -54 at level 20. At level 25 that is -68. I had quartz hatred weapons but still a problem of around -40 negative regeneration remains. You are heavily dependant on the group.

Thrower Barb
A Barbarian using throwing weapons is also nothing special but I found it pretty attractive. You are also able to use some rage equipment to get more actions.

First task is to get the boomerang of return, otherwise the thrower built is hardly possible. There are also nice unique throwing weapons like:

Groka's magical throwing axe
assassin's iceblade
flying longhorn
Harietta's throwing axe of anti-magic
acidic fragment

A thrower barb is fast as he focuses on Agility. Still the built of a thrower barb is not that special. But it differs from the image of an axe-wielding maniac screaming like hell when attacking the enemy. Maybe that is what I like about it.

There are other ways of playing Barbs but either they are just normal in WoD or can only be played at higher levels. Roundhouse is a good example. There are many roundhouse barbs in WoD and the main advantage is of course hitting multiple enemies at once. Combine RH with a Raging Barb however and you will get a mass melee attacker which clears the battlefield after the ranged attackers hit the spot. Just to give you an example how devastating this can be:

Initiative 73
Action 3 of 10     Shub-Niggurath attacks (Roundhouse/248/6 MP,ornated quartz dwarven axe of hatred)   
Drow Warrior5 (Use Polearms/83): critical success - struck down
49 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior2 (Use Polearms/89): critical success - struck down
41 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior7 (Use Polearms/87): critical success - struck down
47 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior4 (Use Polearms/87): critical success - struck down
42 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior6 (Use Polearms/98): critical success - struck down
52 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior1 (Use Polearms/110): critical success - struck down
38 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior8 (Use Polearms/88): critical success - struck down
49 [+12] cutting damage
Drow Warrior3 (Use Polearms/88): critical success - struck down
44 [+12] cutting damage

If we assume an average done damage of 45 per hit, that makes 362 damage per action. 10 actions mean 3620 total damage if we further assume that there are enough enemies.
The most crucial point is the mana support of your group. If you have 10 actions, probably because you also have raging boar at level 20, it means that apart from the 60 MP needed for roundhouse, you need at least 20 MP for the use of raging boar. And to regenerate 80 or at least 60 MP per round is nearly impossible. Like healing a Rager who wears 7 rage items at once. Still an impressive way to go.

Also a HP meat shield is a fun build, you just need many items which increase the amount of HP your hero has. If I remember correctly, there were Barbarians with around 600 HP. As I did not go this way for several years now, I do not know how this built currently can be managed. Just don’t know what kind of items here in Caledonii make this built possible.

There are also other builds but they mainly are based on the rager with using different skills.
The only type of Dwarf I have not played yet - and I don’t regret it - is a blocker.  Why? Well, maybe I just like wielding axes.

WH: What unique skills/characteristics make barbarians so versatile? We've all seen the two standard builds: raging barbarian and roundhouse barbarian, but you've seen success with a couple other builds. What makes this possible?

SN: Attacking with axes (or other weapons) is not the only thing a Barbarian can do. Battle cry makes it possible to debuff the enemies melee attackers and slow them down. And it is a Barbarian speciality.
There are of course other social attacks in WoD but the image in your head of a mighty Barbarian screaming their battle cry into the faces of the tiny enemies is the one I like best.

At higher levels Summoning the Ancients might be a great addition to your built. It is not Barbarian only but fits into the greater picture. I liked using it in my WoD-past. Summoning a helper like Shamans do everyday now is a nice way of protecting yourself or the group.

There are many other skills available for a Barbarian. Some might say it is a boring built but it can be interesting when you explore the limits set only by your imagination. Sounds like nonsense? Maybe you are right.

WH: You've become quite successful in the arena lately. How do you prepare for duels on DarkRuan? On Shub-Niggurath?

SN: I do not prepare in a special way for duels. That counts for all of my heroes I just invite comrades and group members. Also the town crier and the arena forums are a good way to attract some worthy opponents. I mainly issue a challenge when I want to test something new, like new equipment or the use of certain skills.

Success maybe comes from the nice items I find together with my group and our merchant who is able to acquire some in trade. As I have played Barbarians for a long time now, there is not much room to improve my skilling I would assume.

I can only recommend to everyone to participate in the duelling leagues. Be it skill or class leagues or group leagues. You can only improve your own heroes, your group and the game.

WH: We've noticed you branching out a little bit into some other classes, particularly a drifter and a gladiator. Why experiment? Are you moving away from barbarians, or just figuring out how best to beat up on "lesser classes"?

SN: After years of playing the same class and race combination, I realized that WoD has more to offer than just Barbarian Hill-Dwarfs. The main reason I created a Mag-Mor Elf Drifter a few months ago was that I wanted to see if there is a class/race combination I would like better than my usual hero.

Those who helped me with the drifter built know that I was struggling with it. It was not my first ranged hero, but my first hero belonging to the – what I call them – consumable classes.  Restocking with black powder and bullets was not the only thing making it hard for me. My group those days might remember I sometimes found myself with empty pockets in front of a hungry troll, just being able to wield my tiny saber at it.

I was also irritated that I had to reset my skills/attributes as I was changing from single shot to master shot. I do not criticize the game or the way the classes are made, I just wasn’t able to play the Drifter as I was able to play a Barbarian. Maybe I was frustrated of the outcome or just needed something else, but I converted my drifter into a Gladiator.

With support of my groups, I was able to equip him with some basic items and began to study the dungeon reports. I liked what I saw and currently am a level 13 brawling Dinturan Gladiator. Still I am not sure if I would create a Gladiator again. The next class for me to test would be a knight maybe. But I also have no experience with this type of hero.

But that still does not answer the question. The main reason – as already stated – was to create something new. Maybe I was just bored by the Barbarian Hill-Dwarf. But other classes and races made me understand the game better. It is a good thing that WoD offers a variety of classes and races, there is something for everyone.

But still the one and only class and race combination I would play if someone would force me to choose one until the rest of my WoD-life, would be a Barbarian Hill-Dwarf. The most basic but most interesting combination of them all.

WH: Thanks for your time!

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