A Guide for the Student on the Ways and Means of the Warg and the Stalking of Prey

Archive for January, 2012

Search Term Find #31

are wargs real?

Very real.


Last Man Standing – An Encounter With A Champion

I posted about the current state of play vis a vis Champions a few days ago. The general consensus in the comments was that Champions are walking gods in the Ettens at the moment and that wargs should leave them alone. I personally think Champions are still beatable, but only under certain conditions e.g. the player isn’t very good, you get lucky, etc. However, this evening I had an experience, which shakes that view a bit.

I was leading a small pack of five wargs (including myself) and we happened upon a Champion and a Minstrel at South Bridge. With a dash of bravado I decided we should go in for the kill. We attacked the Minstrel first and whilst it wasn’t a super quick kill the Minstrel did die. The Champion, however, proved to be a different matter altogether.

With FIVE wargs attacking him he not only managed to survive for a considerable length of time, he almost managed to kill TWO of us! Just to emphasise this point, five wargs attacking one Champion struggled to kill him whilst he almost killed two of us in return.

That can’t be right surely? How can it be considered fair or balanced that a group of five players struggle to kill a single opponent and almost loose two of their number in the process?

Now I can hear the freep whiners reaching for their keyboards to tell me to stop moaning as I type this, but this isn’t a post designed to whine. I am genuinely asking how this can constitute balance.I realise it sounds rich for a warg to be saying he is puzzled/annoyed/upset/whatever that his pack couldn’t gank a lone freep, but leave your views of that to the side for the moment. Consider just the facts: five versus one.

Whether it’s five freeps versus one creep or the other way around it can’t be right that that single player can stand up to that punishment for so long whilst simultaneously dishing out huge amounts of damage. One or the other by all means, but not both.


How To Get Into Warg Packs

For wargs new to the Ettenmoors getting into a pack can be a  challenging experience. Sometimes the established wargs on the server don’t like taking new pups into their packs or it might be the case that packs on a server are being run by tribes as tribe only groups. This can make it difficult for new wargs to experience the great fun that packs can bring. I can’t guarantee that you will get into a pack, but hopefully the following advice will make things easier for you.

Preparation

Before you even think about joining a pack make sure you are ready to join one. It isn’t as simple as just joining a group because warg packs expect certain standards from the wargs that join. If that sounds a bit daunting don’t worry because it is very easy to prepare for the pack.

First of all make sure that you have the in-game voice system activated, You don’t need to have a microphone or to speak, but you must be able to hear what the pack the leader (the Paw) is saying. A sure fire way of being refused entry to a pack is not having the in-game voice system activated.

Next make sure that you have bought and equipped the trait ‘Enhanced Skill: Stealth’. This serves two very important purposes: i) it allows you to keep up with the pack whilst you are stealthed and ii) it makes it harder for freeps to see you in stealth, which means it makes it harder for the freeps to spot the pack. Many pack leaders insist that you have this trait equipped at the very least and may refuse to let you join if you don’t.

The last thing you need to do to prepare is to have a decent supply of consumables. At a basic level this means you should have morale and power pots as well as stun and root pots. These can make the difference between life and death for you, which means they can make the difference between a kill and a wipe for the pack. Make sure you have them!

Get To Know Your Brothers

If you already know some of the regular wargs on your server that’s great because you will already have a link into the existing warg community and the packs being run. However, if you don’t know any other wargs who can vouch for you then you need to start making friends.

The first thing to do is to find out who the regular warg pack leaders on your server are. You want to be nice to these people because it is up to them whether they let you join their packs or not.

You might also want to discretely ask around if your server has a warg only chat channel. Some servers have this, but usually the wargs that use it don’t like it being broadcast for everyone to see. If you are allowed access to this channel use it to introduce yourself and say hello to the other wargs.

Don’t act like a dick. This is a simple piece of advice and really just boils down to common sense. If you annoy people, whether it’s other wargs, or creeps in general, then they will probably start blackballing you from their groups. Be civil towards other creeps and try to help out your fellow wargs and creeps. They will notice this and it will earn you some respect.

Don’t Take Rejection Badly

If you are declined an invitation to a warg pack don’t take it personally. It might be that the pack is full or that it’s a group of friends playing together. Just accept it and maybe you will have better luck next time.

Definitely don’t spam the chat channels asking for invites. That is a sure fire way of annoying people and will probably just result in people putting you on their ignore lists. Similarly don’t keep asking if someone can create a pack you can join. If someone feels like leading a pack they will, but pestering them to do it isn’t going to go down well.


Common Questions For Pups

I get asked many questions by new wargs. Often these are questions more seasoned wargs would consider to be ‘n00by questions’ or to be self-evident. However, there really isn’t any information source out there to cover some of the really basic issues that new wargs find themselves wondering about. Here I am going to try and some of those questions. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but hopefully it helps some of the new pups.

Can the Maul/Bloody Maul DoT be removed?

No. This DoT is incurable and will only be removed when its effect duration expires.

Can I shorten the cooldown of Disappear?

Yes. Disappear normally has a 10min cooldown, but this can be shortened to 7min by using the trait Enhanced Skill: Disappear.

Can freeps hear me moving through water/howling/etc whilst I am stealthed?

No. You can hear these effects, but freeps cannot.

Why do I get an error message ‘Not within range’ when trying to use a skill even though I am right next to a freep?

This is probably due to server performance i.e. lag. Even though it appears you are right on top of a freep the server has calculated your position and the freep’s position and due to lag you don’t see that the freep has actually moved slightly past you and out of the range of your skill.

How do I know if I am being tracked?

You will see a text message appear in your chat tab that says: “You feel as though you are being followed …”. You need to de-stealth and then re-stealth to throw off the track.

I bought the Sense Prey skill, but I can’t track stealthed targets. Why?

The rank 9 skill ‘Sense Prey’ only allows you to track visible targets. To track stealthed targets you will also need the rank 10 trait ‘Enhanced Skill: Sense Prey’. This alters your Sense Prey skill so that you can track stealthed targets.

I created a warg, but I can’t move very quickly. How do I move faster?

You need to buy the trait ‘Enhanced Skill: Stealth’. This allows you to move faster whilst you are stealthed and also increases your stealth level, making it harder for freeps to spot you.

I have all the traits that increase stealth level, but Hunters can still track me. Why?

Stealth level doesn’t prevent you from being tracked by Hunters. Stealth level makes it harder for freeps in general to spot you in stealth if you move close to them. There is nothing you can do to prevent tracks other than to kill the Hunter! See this post for more information.

How can I get the healing howl skill?

This skill is called ‘Rallying Howl’ and you need to have the trait ‘Advanced Skill: Rallying Howl’ equipped. You get this trait at rank 5 although you can buy it from the store before then.

How do I get racial traits?

You need special barter tokens called ‘stones’ to be able to trade for these traits. The first one you can purchase becomes available at rank 5 although you can purchase these traits in the Store. The barter stones you need drop from mobs in the Delving of Fror zone.


What To Do With Champions?

As I have just been updating my Champion 1vs1 guide, and having just got my Champion to level 75, I thought I might share a few thoughts about this class separate from the guide. These are more my views on the class and how it relates to wargs rather than a guide.

What struck me most about levelling a Champion to 75, and from having faced them on my warg, is how incredibly tough they are. This toughness isn’t in the same mould as Guardians with their high armour values and mitigations or Wardens with their high avoidances, but based on skill usage. In that sense Champions are more similar to Wardens with their self-heals, but Champions rely pretty much solely on their skills to survive rather than innate stats. The morale bubbles, self-heals, and self-buffs Champions have meant that I didn’t die once when levelling from 65 to 75. Not once.

On the Moors this toughness presents a real problem for wargs. Our damage output isn’t bad, but it nowhere near the level of a Champion. Our toughness isn’t terrible, but frankly it’s not far off it. Champions, on the other hand, have incredible survivability. So how are we supposed to compare?

The simple answer is that we don’t.

What I’ve found with Champions is that I can be successful against them as a warg in one of two situations: i) the Champion player isn’t very good and/or ii) the Champion has somehow been weakened already.

The first is hard to judge of course unless you have previously fought a particular Champion. The second is easier though. Ambushing a Champion fleeing from a battle, for example, or joining in with other creeps to take one down.

Even when I have taken down the better Champions by myself the amount of time required to do so often doesn’t seem worth the reward. I could have been off somewhere else killing 2 freeps in the time it took me to kill that one Champion.

In short attack them when you see an opportunity, but you are probably better off using your time to attack weaker prey.


Update: Champion 1vs1 Guide

I have updated the Champion 1vs1 guide to reflect the changes to the Champion class that came with Rise of Isengard. There may be some more changes that need to be made to it, but if you spot any errors in the meantime please let me know in the comments!

Champion 1vs1 Guide


Legendary Creep Traits (They Were Real)

I was looking through some of the old PvMP dev diaries (sadly too few in number) and came across something I not only didn’t expect, but don’t remember at all. Buried within the Book 10 dev diary is this rather interesting comment from Orion:

Monster player legendary traits! Cheer! Shout for joy! The mechanism is still under development, but we’re planning on adding monster player legendary traits.

Not only was the idea of legendary traits for creeps considered, it was actually under development! So what happened?

I looked through the subsequent dev diaries dealing with the Ettenmoors, but there is no further mention of creep legendary trait, either to say they were still under development or that the project had been cancelled.

It’s both fun, and disappointing, to wonder what these legendary traits might have been. What abilities might they have granted? How would they have been obtained? How many would there have been? Could this have led to creep trait lines?

Those are all questions we don’t have answers to. What we do know is that at some point in the distant past of the game the idea of giving creeps legendary traits was briefly toyed with, sadly never to be heard of again.