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

Archive for May, 2012

Video: I Think He Might Be In The Moors

This video isn’t particularly special for its visual content. It’s really just a video of a warg killing lots of freeps (which is no bad thing of course), but the reason I am posting this is the soundtrack. Now the regular reader knows full well my interest in the music players set to their warg videos. Most of the time it’s either clichéd or just annoyingly loud heavy metal or hip hop.

This video takes things to a whole new level. Presumably the players who made the video also had a hand in creating the soundtrack too. The lyrics contain such gold as:

I’m in the moors, I’m in the moors. Look at me because I’m PvP’n.

I’m in the Moors. Take a good hard look at the motherfucking Moors.

I’m in the Moors. Take a look at me, straight killing freeps in the Moors you see.

I’m in the Moors bitch, we’re drinking morale pots because it’s so crisp. I got my class traits and my Uruk heal.

Fuck Bree I’m in the Moors motherfucker!

It’s certainly inventive, but I’ll leave you to decide whether it’s good or not …

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What Wargs Really Think II

I made a post a while ago about what wargs really think of the other classes in the game. That was before Update 6 though so I thought it might be time to update it and see what wargs are thinking these days.

So post Update 6 here is what we really think of …

Visibles

They’re there for one reason and one reason only: bait. We can be chums with them; laugh and joke with them, and have fun with them, but their primary function is to be a bag of meat to attract prey.

Burgers

Wannabe wargs. They’re too clumsy and arrogant to be our equals though. Warg opinion on Burgers is the same as it’s always been: they function better once their faces have been ripped off.

Captains

We actually feel sorry for Captains. Hunters might be easy, but they can at least hit back. Still there is no room for pity and Captains need to have their asses handed to them just like any other freep.

Champions

Tough and hard hitting. However, we know that for every Champ who stands there and smashes your face in there will be another who runs like a little girl at the first sign of danger.

Hunters

They’re still snacks.

Guardians

Amusing to watch them Pledge and our attacks still hit them. Muhahahaha!

Lore-masters

Crap Lore-master: see Hunters above. Good Lore-masters: probably not a good idea to go near these guys.

Rune-keepers

Ah crap the zap zap is back. At least they melt when you get up close to them.

Wardens

Hmmm … this guy doesn’t seem to want to die.

Black Arrows

KB thiefs.

Defilers

Pity the poor sod who tries to rank a Defiler. He does heal you though so this makes him nearly as good as a warg.

Reavers

I hear they’re changing the class description to ‘meat shields’.

Warleaders

Possibly the most boring creep class to solo with, but you’re a damn fool of a warg if you don’t know these guys are awesome. Not warg awesome, but awesome nonetheless.

Wargs

Your brothers are awesome just like you.

Weavers

Is that a spider I see killing freeps? I think it is! Good for you chaps!

QQ

The QQ is getting stronger. Wargs feed from QQ. Wargs are getting stronger.


1vs1 Guide: Burgers

One of the most frequently requested guides I am asked to post is a 1vs1 Burger Guide… so here it is! Unlike the older guides I have used a new format with this guide to reflect the two stances wargs have: Flayer & Shadow. In a sense then this is two guides. The first section will deal with Shadow stance whilst the second half will deal with Flayer stance.

What Is A Burger?

As usual let’s begin with a flippant answer: someone who foolishly thinks he is the equal of a warg. Burgers are a melee class with no real ranged attacks to speak of and little, if any, AOE damage. What they do have though is stealth, high single target melee dps and various debuffs and crowd control measures. They also have a ridiculous number of escape skills to (try and) save their asses when it all goes wrong.

Shadow

The Opening Move

POUNCE! The regular reader of this blog will no doubt be screaming at me right now “Haven’t you always told us never to pounce a Burger?!”. Yes, I have told you that. However, we are using Shadow stance here remember. The only reason not to pounce a Burger is because they will use Find Footing, which shakes off the stun, gives them +50% Evade and a heal to boot. However, our Shadow stance attacks such as Bestial Claws, etc can’t be blocked, parried or evaded! In other words that +50% Evade buff counts for jack shit.

There is another reason to open with a pounce; it negates the heal from Find Footing. Having pounced them at the start of the fight Find Footing’s heal will be wasted whereas if you pounce later in the fight and the Burger has Find Footing the heal will actually count for something. Better to get it out of the way at the start.

If for some reason the Burger doesn’t use Find Footing to throw off your initial stun then more fool him. Make full use of the stun and do as much damage as you can during the stun.

One additional thing to remember when starting the fight, get Crippling Bite on ASAP! Even if the Burger does pop Find Footing there should be enough of a delay between him being stunned and activating Find Footing for Crippling Bite to take. This is very important for you to prevent the Burger from kiting you whilst he applied DoTs.

Problems

Burgers present numerous problems for wargs due to their extensive range of survival/escape skills coupled with their plethora of debuffs and crowd control options. Not that every option will be used in every fight of course, but there are some main ones to watch out for.

We already know about Find Footing and what it can do, but Burgers have a similar ability called Touch and Go and this skill can be used at any time. It’s on a five minute cooldown so it’s usually a once a fight affair (unless it gets reset, but more on that later). What this skill does is give the Burglar a +50% Evade bonus. Again this is pretty much useless against Shadow stance wargs so we don’t really have to worry about this much.

A more serious concern is an ability called Knives Out. Again it’s a 5min cooldown, but again it can be reset. What this skill does is make the Burger unable to block, parry or evade, however, 80% of all incoming damage is negated and the Burger reflects 30% of that incoming damage back at the attacker. That might not sound like a lot, but it can mean you suddenly find yourself burning your own morale. If a Burger pops this skill the best thing you can do is to kite them for a bit until it wears off, but if you have sufficient morale to stand there and take some hits you could use the time to apply some debuffs. Personally I would suggest icing myself.

HiPS or Hide in Plain Sight to give it its full title. This is pretty much the same as our Disappear ability, only more powerful. Not only does it immediately put a Burger into stealth it makes them undetectable for 10sec (they can still be tracked), and it sets their run speed to 100%, which means that they will negate any slows you have placed on them for 10sec. Like Disappear this stealth cannot be broken by damage for 10sec. If a Burger uses HiPS during a fight there are two possible reasons: a) he is trying to run away or b) he is entering stealth to strike at you again and do more damage with some of his skills. In both cases you should adopt the following strategy to be on the safe side. As soon as the Burger uses HiPS immediately start moving away in the opposite direction to where the Burger just was. Get into stealth as soon as you can and get ready to track as soon as you can. Sometimes the Burger uses HiPS and immediately pops out again as he attacks you. There isn’t really much you can do about this, just take the hit and get on with the fight.

Safe Fall is another Burger escape skill. This skill prevents the Burger from taking falling damage, but it will not prevent death from very high falls. Sometimes Burgers will use this skill to try and escape or even to try and trap you into falling them down a drop and then turning on you when you have broken legs. In either case be very wary of following a Burger who jumps off a cliff, etc. If you have any of the store bandages feel free to follow them of course.

In addition to their escape/survival skills Burgers also have a range of debuffs. One of their most potent is Dust In The Eyes. This debuff will slow your movement speed by 25% whilst increasing your miss chance by 20%. This is a pretty serious debuff and almost all Burgers will try to use it at some point in a fight. Fortunately it can be removed using a standard wound pot so make sure you have plenty on you.

Another ‘trick’ Burgers have, and often use, is Disable. This will increase your attack speed by 15% whilst also reducing your melee damage by 15%. This isn’t the Burger’s preferred trick it seems, but it is still a serious debuff when it is used. Again this can be removed using a wound pot.

One thing to be very aware of when a Burger places a trick on you is that they have two skills they can then use: Mischevious Glee and Advanced Startling Twist. Mischevious Glee will heal the Burger and consumes the trick they placed on you. Advanced Startling Twist will stun you for 8sec (less due to Audacity) and again uses up the trick the Burger placed on you.

One last trick related skill is Clever Retort. You probably won’t see this used very often in 1vs1 fights because out requires the Burger to be using their Mischief stance, which doesn’t allow stealth usage and can’t be activated once they enter combat. If they do use it on you though it will proc a random effect; a heal, a power restore, straight up damage or a DoT. In other words it procs a random mini fellowship manoeuvre.

Like wargs Burgers do more damage when attacking from behind so always make sure you keep yourself faced towards them. It should be noted that some of the Burglar’s attacks do more damage when used from stealth so the best way to negate this is to make sure you get the jump on them.

Speaking of increased damage Burgers have a skill called Aim that will guarantee their next attack to be a critical hit. There is nothing you can do about this, you will just have to take the hit.

One last thing to be aware of .. Riddle. This is the Burger’s mezzo skill and it can be used from stealth without breaking stealth. The mezzo lasts 30sec and is on a 1min cooldown. The cooldown is reduced to 30sec if the Burger is in Mischief stance, but as above this isn’t very common in 1vs1 situations. If you suddenly find yourself mezzed and it seems no one is around prepare yourself for a fight with a Burger!

Oh but there is one more thing … Ready and Able. This is a reset button that will reset the cooldowns on many of the Burglar’s skills. This a Burglar can use HiPs twice in a row, Touch and Go twice in a row, etc. There is nothing you can do about this unfortunately, but the skill does have a 30min cooldown so it shouldn’t be available all the time at least.

Stealth

It’s worth spending a little time talking about a Burger’s stealth since it is a major part of their class. In this regard we have an advantage over other creeps because we too use stealth so we understand how it works. The first thing to say about Burgers and stealth is that they are not wargs. That may seem a very obvious statement to make, but what I’m getting at is Burgers don’t think or act like us. They can’t move very fast in stealth like we can so they often stick close to other freeps or NPCs. The only time you will likely catch a Burger away from these locations is if they are scouting around the map, doing quests or camping a particular spot.

This actually makes it easier for us to find Burgers because unlike ourselves they don’t tend to roam around the map as much and if they do they are usually on a horse meaning they loose their stealth advantage anyway.

In my experience Burgers, in general, don’t place as much emphasis on boosting their stealth level as wargs do. These are extremely foolish Burgers because they are giving away their single biggest advantage, the ability to get the jump on their opponents. A burger with a poor stealth rating will be easier to spot and thus you have the advantage. We also have the ability to track Burgers in stealth, which is something they can’t do to us unless they buy trackers from the store.

What Works?

The best route to defeating a Burger using Shadow stance is to deal as much damage as you possible can. We are helped in this regard by the fact that our main attacks can’t be blocked, parried or evaded. Just keep pounding away at the Burger as keep your DoTs ticking away. We can block, parry and evade their attacks so not every attack will cause us damage, but every single attack we use will go through and cause damage (unless it misses of course).

Whilst damage is your main concern here do make sure that you use appropriate debuffs. Crippling Bite is an absolute must when fighting a Burger because they will slow you so you need to even the playing field. If you don’t slow the Burger he can apply DoTs and kite you until you are worn down enough for him to engage toe to toe and finish you off.

Bleeds are your secondary damage here after Bestial Claws, but even so they are important to maintain. Make sure you at least keep the Maul bleed active and if you can throw in a Shadow Fangs bleed. These may not throw up the impressive numbers of Bestial Claws, but they will slowly wear the Burger down.

If you have time try and use both Rabid Bite and Flea Bitten. Burgers tend to have poor power management so Rabid Bite can actually be useful here in an effort to force them to burn their power faster. Flea Bitten is useful for increasing their attack duration, but if you only have time for one of these debuffs I’d suggest Flea Bitten as it will indirectly help to reduce the amount of damage the Burger is dealing.

Burgers will often try and stun or mezzo you so make sure you have plenty of stun pots to use. Do NOT use a stun pot to break the Burger’s mezzo, let him do that for you by hitting you. Save the pot for the stun. Also, it is highly recommended that you use a brand before engaging a Burger to negate their mezzo and stuns.

One important point here is who starts the fight. We have a stealth tracking ability and if you have this skill it means you can potentially get the jump on the Burger. Don’t be afraid to use this ability, but only actually track the Burger if you are ready to attack immediately or else you will simply give yourself away and the Burger can re-stealth and slip away.

So to recap:

  • Don’t be afraid to stun the Burger
  • Keep Crippling Bite applied at all times
  • Spam Bestial Claws
  • Maintain your DoTs
  • Debuff when possible
  • Have plenty of stun and wound pots

The Fight

Here we have an example rotation for a Shadow stance warg versus a Burger:

  • Pounce from stealth
  • Immediately apply Crippling Bite (use Eye Gouge to break the animation if you have to)
  • Bestial Claws
  • Sudden Maul
  • Bestial Claws
  • Apple Shadow Fangs bleed (the Burger will probably try and stun you by this point so use a stun pot)
  • Bestial Claws
  • Flea Bitten
  • Re-apply Crippling Bite
  • Pounce to stun again

What To Look Out For

Slows – make sure you use a wound pot to negate these

Stuns & Mezzes – Only use a stun pot to break a stun do not waste it to break a mezzo. You could even use a root pot to break the emzz.

HiPS – If the Burger disappears don’t assume the fight is over

Positional Damage – don’t let the Burger get behind you

Squishyness – You aren’t particularly tough in Shadow stance so don’t be afraid to use your morale pots and try to eat some food before the fight if you can

What Are The Odds?

It’s hard to say with any certainty because there are so many factors involved here. Your Audacity rating will determine how much of a beating you can take. Low Audacity wargs in Shadow stance will likely not last very long against a half decent Burger whereas a warg with full Audacity stands a good chance of lasting long enough to deal enough damage to kill the Burger. If you get to start the fight then your chances go up quite a bit. For low-Audacity/inexperienced wargs I’d say your chances were around the 20-30% mark. For full-Audacity/experienced wargs you probably have a 50-70% chance. This assumes the same level of skill on both sides.

Flayer

The Opening Move

You could start the fight from Flayer stance i.e. not in stealth, however, that means you loose the element of surprise. Instead I would recommend starting from stealth. Your actual opening attack depends a little on your rank and Audacity. High ranked wargs with full Audacity can start with a pounce to force the Burger to burn his Find Footing and enable another stun later in the fight (specifically Topple). Low ranked wargs, even if they have a decent level of Audacity probably don’t have the morale to survive the Burger’s attacks whilst protected by Find Footing’s Evade bonus so they would be better of using Maul to do some damage and apply a DoT right away.

In either case the initial attack should be followed by immediately Flayer stance and using Eye Gash to break the animation. Once Flayer stance has been activated ry to apply Crippling Bite. This will probably fail if you stunned the Burger because they will now have their Find Footing Evade bonus. If you started with Maul it should take.

Problems

I’m not going to go over the details of each of the skills listed in the Problems section for Shadow stance above, suffice it to say the same problems exist, but there are some differences.

For starters both Find Footing and Touch and Go’s Evade bonuses do matter here because our attacks can be blocked, parried and evaded like usual. However, this isn’t as much of a problem as it would seem. For one thing Flayer stance makes us very tough, especially with lots of Audacity. This means we can pretty much stand there and take a beating whilst not being able to hit back effectively. Even so you would be better kiting during these Evade buffs. Something else that you can try is to use is Howl of Aggression to disarm the Burger. This means part of his Evade buff duration is wasted because he can’t attack you either.

Knives Out is less of a problem too because of Flayer stance’s toughness. Just spam your Raking Claws to apply the stacking bleed effect and ignore the reflected damage. Your bubble and heal will deal with the reflected damage whilst the Burger has to soak up the damage from his morale bar.

HiPS is a little different when using Flayer stance. Unlike Shadow stance you do NOT want to get back into stealth if you can. If you do this it means you have to drop Flayer stance and the Burger might attack you whilst it is on cooldown. Better to just stay in Flayer stance and let the Burger hit you if he comes back to attack. Obviously if the situation has taken a turn for the worst and more freeps have shown up, etc then by all means get back into stealth. Also if you get out of combat stay in Flayer, but do use your track ability if you have to locate the HiPSed Burger.

For the other problems listed above in the Shadow stance section use the same tactics for Flayer stance.

What Works?

Where Shadow stance is all about battering down the Burg as quickly as possible Flayer is more about a war of attrition. The main thing to focus on here is stacking your DoTs. Use Raking Claws as often as possible as well as your Agonizing Maul DoT. I would also highly recommend maintaing the Brutal Fangs DoT, not just for the DoT itself, but because it will also increase the Burger’s attack duration by 10% as well as potentially lowering his armour value, meaning he takes more damage.

You need to keep the Burger slowed just like when using Shadow stance. To do this make sure you keep Crippling Bite applied at all times, but also use Muscle Tear. Again the slow is only one part; Muscle Tear’s attack duration debuff will help you out too.

Make sure you use Snap! and Howl of Aggression when possible and, perhaps more importantly, when useful. Howl of Aggression should probably be saved for when the Burger inevitably pops Touch and Go or Find Footing. Disarming the Burger is a great way to buy yourself some breathing room and reduce your incoming damage, even if only for a few seconds.

Debuffs are important and with Flayer stance’s increased toughness you will have time to apply some. As above Rabid Bite will help to burn the Burger’s power pool whilst Flea Bitten should be used whenever possible to increase the Burger’s attack duration. In fact using a combination of Brutal Fangs, Flea Bitten and Muscle Tear will seriously diminish the Burger’s ability to use his skills quickly.

If you have stunned the Burger at the start of the fight feel free to keep stunning him throughout. Tendon Shred is a great one for applying a quick stun if you need it. Topple should definitely be used, BUT only if you are absolutely positively sure the Burger has burned his Find Footing cooldown. Topple makes a great finishing move if this is the case as the Burger will be knocked down for a minimum of 5sec if not more. This should be ample time to finish off an already weakened opponent.

So to recap:

  • Stack as many DoTs as you can
  • Debuff as often as you can
  • Use disarms as much as you can, but wisely
  • Keep the Burger slowed at all times
  • Don’t be afraid of stunning the Burger if you have the morale to survive the Evade buff that will follow
  • Have plenty of stun/wound pots

The Fight

Here is an example rotation for a Flayer stance warg versus a Burger:

  • Pounce/Maul
  • Activate Flayer stance (use Eye Gouge to break the animation)
  • Apply Crippling Bite
  • Raking Claws
  • Agonizing Maul
  • Brutal fangs (the burger will probably try to stun you at this point so use a stun pot)
  • Raking Claws
  • Rabid Bite
  • Raking Claws

What To Look Out For

This is pretty much the same as above. The key differences here are to be wary of Find Footing and Touch and Go. Either kite the Burger whilst these skills are active or try and disarm him. Alternatively you can stand toe to toe and try to get some damage through the Evade buff (Swipe is good here), but only if you have sufficient morale to withstand a pounding.

Do watch out for your morale dropping. If this happens simply kite for a bit and let your self-heals restore some of your morale before re-engaging.

What Are The Odds?

Again this depends upon Audacity, but even with low Audacity a Flayer stance warg stands a decent chance of beating a Burger of similar skill level. If you can keep your cool and trust in the protection Flayer offers to get on with the job of stacking DoTs and debuffing you probably have at least a 50% chance of winning. If you are reasonably high ranked and/or have full Audacity your chances are probably more in the region of 75%+. This assumes a similar level of skill on both sides.