Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sixth Edition - October 2011

Herald's Sixth Run - Who wants to participate?

Well, sixth issue, pretty much business as usual now.  It's been a half a year since I started running the Herald, and now it's time to expand!  If anyone is interested in writing an article for the Herald, message me with your topic, and if it sounds fun, I'll invite you to wow me with your compositional competence!

Simply message me, Jasvyr, in WoD on Caledonii or Aberon to give it a shot! (No guarantee an article will be run, of course...the big guys upstairs have to approve and all...)

As always, happy dungeoneering!

Upcoming - Nemean Festival

Heroes, prepare yourselves!  The Nemean Festival is up and coming!  Expect it in the next month or so, with unique items and equipment, and potentially some awesome hero-on-hero competition, provided by your friendly local Colosseum Administrator!

Details are forthcoming!

RE-RUN - Intra-Clan Leagues

Do it.  You know you want to!  Who's the best one on one fighter in your clan?  My clan knows.  Does yours?

I promise, it's easy to run and worth the time.

Caledonii League Run-Down - Groups - 2000

It's official, The Heretics are at the top of the groups league!  This time, though, the Warriors of Kesmet didn't participate in the league, so there's a certain air of conspiracy completely-made-up-by-the-author-of-this-article* amongst the groups.

Once again The Heretics dominated the top league, not even dropping a single match against the top groups in Caledonii!  Yet again, quite the tour de force by the group, with strong performances by Ignis and Finmall

The second division of the groups league saw a small change-up of the leaderboard, with The Twelve Warriors taking the top spot from Valor Friends, and The Body Snatchers maintaining their second-place position.

Congratulations to all our participants!


Winning Every Duel Ever

Please enjoy this interview with Dwargon of The Heretics. While some newer players or lower level players may not know him, those of us who have been around since the start of the world know him as "that guy who always beats me at duels".  Lots to learn from him here!

WH: First of all, what made you think of building your knight? Social attacks aren't always what people think of when talking about a knight.

D: It all started with my old rager barbarian and how helpless he was against debuffers, not to mention the item damage he received in dungeons. I wanted to make a unique, universal defensive build that could challenge anyone. I chose Order of Lion knight because he had everything i needed. Talent: Gallant helps against opponents with high social defense, but i don't have to use it very often. Talent: Steadfast is very important, majority of duelists are melee attackers and this is one of the best defensive skills against them. I used it in my first pre-round until just recently. Talent: Convincing Smile is my cherry on the top. A very strong debuff that i use as my first action. Another reason why I chose a knight is a good selection of items. Seal of the General of Nahkpur, brass brush and many others allow me to raise my social skills to high levels; he also has a good selection of armors for both defense and offense, but they aren't exactly suited for this build. I'm using several pieces with maluses to Dodge Blow and initiative. The last reason was that I like unique builds and I haven't seen many social knights around. In fact, I think that I'm still the only Order of Lion knight on Caledonii.

WH: Your knight is designed, more or less, to shut down the opponent entirely. Is that sort of build possible with other classes?

D: I think it's doable with many other classes, definitely with those that have Throw Net. There are also very strong items for skills like Amulet of Weakness or Ancient Wisdom (offensive) - amulet of agony/bone staff of the troll shaman being the best examples, but it's generally harder to make an effective build with focus on those skills. You need to be fast enough to debuff your opponent and strong enough to withstand or avoid a few hits. That's often the hardest part.

WH: How do you balance your emphasis on strong social attacks with being effective in a dungeon (for readers who might not be aware, many enemies in dungeons are immune to social attacks, limiting a social build's use to a group in dungeons)? What skills do you use that translate in both places?

D: Before i joined my group i told them what kind of knight i want to play. It's best to clear thing out at the beginning, it's not a good thing to pour hundreds of thousands of EP into social and defense skills when everyone expects you to raise leadership skills. It also helped that i played a second pure support hero in the group.
At the beginning i thought that there would be a few dungeons where I could be useful with my social attacks, but in reality, those skills were totally useless. At least that was the case with my build. I'm also a decent attacker, so with a poison coated Skalantie the dusk blade in my hands and a lecture from our scholar in my head, it's almost a sin not to attack. Dead monsters can't kill you, not to mention that debuffs must hit first and you need to be really fast which is not my case. Most common monsters aren't worth the trouble and when it counts, they are either immune or have such high social defense that even mockery bard would have a hard time. Of course I also have a few skills to help my group. Captain is always above master rank as i use it in duels against armored opponents and archers. It's my default pre-round skill in dungeons. I also raised Field Marshall and Vassals Loyalty when needed. With bonuses from items and other skills, they can be on a decent level without going past the master rank.

WH: I've started to see some people finally able to challenge you in duels recently; it seems your debuffs help, but don't COMPLETELY shut down opponents anymore. Do you see a natural fall-off for debuffs in the game currently, or did you just change your build around?

D: My opponents got better. While I have to spend my EP in many different areas, fast attack builds just have to concentrate on attack and initiative, plus some decent hp. It's only natural that they act first and often score a hit. My gear is heavily focused on melee defense, so it's not THAT uncommon that I dodge the first hit, but they have the upper hand there. If they can take me down with two hits, it's problematic for me and that's the case here. They have quite a high damage so they just need to get a lucky second shot - either by getting a very high attack roll or a very low defense roll on my side. The same can also happen with initiative. Mostly I get to act before their second action, but sometimes they get two actions before i can even debuff them and that's trouble. If I get to my second action, it's over. It's still probably possible to hit me, but I've never lost a duel versus a melee opponent when I got that far. The following debuffs and buffs on my side are just to make sure they don't have even the slightest chance to hit me. So the duel is usually decided after our second actions. I wondered why I constantly beat them before, even though their builds should have won at least some of the duels. That's what's happening now, the differences in our rolls got bigger and I'm starting to lose some of the duels, but that's how it should be. I think I still have the upper hand, not to mention they have problems against many builds that I can deal with. And then there are archers and ranged hunters. I have to knock them out before they defeat me and it isn't that easy, even with Alawins ring of agility. I also have to prepare for a duel against them so it's normal to lose some of these duels too every now and then.

WH: What other interesting, and potentially rare, builds are there out there? Any other ways players can take a fresh approach to an old class and try to make it new and exciting?

D: I think there are still many unique duel builds out there that can be deadly in the right hands. There are many new combinations thanks to the new grafting system and the reworked classes could also offer new options in the next world. You can make a similar debuffing build to mine with a brawling gladiator or a juggler. Especially juggler can be very versatile as he has access to many strong skills, items and debuffs. I've been thinking about one for the next world - dexterity based with focus on Use Throwing Weapons and nets. People usualy go for agility with this build so it could be interesting. Another build i've been thinking about is a Demosan priest. I did some math on his skills and he could be a real killing machine at higher levels, although you'll have to sacrifice defense, especially against ranged opponents, which also means nets. So he probably won't be as versatile as other builds and his damage won't be that great, which is also a problem against armored opponents.  But, he could be very fast, maybe even the fastest, with a good amount of HP and actions. Then there's the drifter. Not many people play him, but he can be made into an excellent duelist. A duel bard is also a very unique and versatile class with good buffs, debuffs and healing. He can be fun to play in the right hands. When making these builds, it's important to know what you're doing. Plan your skills, find suitable items and make some basic calculations to see what you can expect at the end. It's not a good thing to blindly build your hero as you go, not knowing what skill or items you want to use only to find out that you're useless or that you can't raise even half the skills you wanted.

The Herald Wants YOU!

Got an interesting build you'd like to share?  An idea you want to get out there?  Too much bundled up creativity and no outlet?  The Herald is looking for interviewees.  To sign up, send a message to Jasvyr and shout your glorious information to the world (figuratively...there's no yelling allowed in journalism...)!!!  Seriously, message me in game, I want to interview you (assuming you have something even REMOTELY interesting to say)!

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