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

Archive for August, 2012

Absurdities Part II

In the last part I talked about the attitude of some players and how they try to enforce their playstyle upon others. Here I am going to look more specifically at how this applies to the warg.

Most of you will no doubt be familiar with the usual QQ directed at wargs, but this QQ takes a slightly different form in that it seeks to change the way you play. Below I shall walk through some of the more glaring examples of this and I will explain why these people are wrong, not only from the point of view of trying to make others conform to their views, but also from a gameplay perspective.

Cowards

This is an old staple of warg QQ, label the warg you can’t kill as a coward. The most common form of this is to moan about wargs using Disappear and/or Sprint to escape from a fight. The idea here is pretty simple: the freep accuses the warg of being a coward because the warg is about to die and manages to escape from the fight.

Why is it cowardly to use some common sense and get away from a fight you aren’t going to win? Is the idea that if a fight turns against you then it is your duty to stand in place and let your opponent kill you? Nonsense.

There is nothing cowardly about retreating from a fight that is going badly. What the whiners really mean here is that they are frustrated that they didn’t kill you. That’s tough shit. You are doing nothing more than playing to your class’ strengths.

Remember when Hunters could DF in the middle of a fight? I didn’t see too many Hunters screaming about that being cowardly. That was common sense. It’s really no different with wargs. Using the abilities your class has to best effect isn’t cowardly, it’s simply playing smart.

Ganking

Another staple of warg QQ is that it is unfair when a group of wargs jumps out and ganks a solo freep. Again this is labelled as cowardly. Again it is borne from frustration.

Most wargs aren’t even grouped up, there is simply a lot of wargs playing right now. Chances are that when one jumps out there will be another three or four in the immediate vicinity. It isn’t organised, it isn’t planned, it isn’t coordinated. It is just coincidence.

Even when an actual warg pack does jump a solo freep so what? Has every single freep group that has ever existed always passed up the opportunity to gank a solo creep they come across? Of course not. That’s the Ettens for you. It isn’t fair, but it is PvP.

Wargs Are Ruining PvMP

No they’re not. What’s ruining PvMP is people endlessly whining instead of actually playing. Instead of moaning about wargs 24/7 maybe try and do something to counter them. A well balanced freep group where the players actually play to their strengths instead of everyone, healers included, insisting upon doing damage is more than a match for a warg pack.

Taking different routes when there are known to be wargs camping a specific spot works wonders. Not travelling around solo when there is known warg activity in the area helps. Getting friends to help you instead of screaming about being ganked solo might improve your odds. In short some common sense goes a long way. Whining does nothing.

Only Honourable Wargs Fight 1vs1

Tripe. Wargs are in a good position as a class right now, but that doesn’t mean that every warg is equally good, not does it mean the warg, as a class, is equally good against every freep class. A warg trying to solo a Warden traited for survivability isn’t going to get very far. A rank 2 warg trying to take on a Champion probably won’t last more than 10sec. I could list more examples, but you get the idea.

This notion that a 1vs1 is somehow the ‘holy grail’ is a myth and tends to be perpetuated by people who like playing a nice strong class that has an advantage and they know that they will win most times. They are looking to give themselves an advantage, which is fine, but they wrap it up in the guise of trying to be ‘fair’ and ‘honourable’.

At the end of the day the goal in the Ettenmoors is to 1) have fun and 2) beat your opponents. If you can do that 1vs1 that’s fine. It’s also fine if you need to get someone else to help you, or two extra people, or twenty extra people. You are under no obligation to be ‘fair’ to your opponents. How you choose to beat them is up to you, not them.

Summary

What we have are people trying to impose their view of how the Ettenmoors should be. They don’t like that wargs can get away from them or that wargs can gank them or that wargs can act with cohesion. They don’t like that wargs force them to re-evaluate their zerg mentality or cause them to have to actually think in order to beat them.

Instead they reach for the book of insults and start labelling people. If you aren’t conforming to their view of how PvMP should be then you are ‘doing it wrong’ according to them. Instead of getting on and enjoying the game they take it upon themselves to tell everyone else how they should play and what is wrong and what is right.

The best response to these people, as always, is to do nothing. Ignore them. Carry on playing the way you enjoy best. Let them stew and gnash their teeth in frustration because at the end of the day it is their problem. Their whining and screaming will not affect you in the slightest if you pay them no heed.

This is your free time and you deserve to enjoy it in the manner you most enjoy.

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Absurdities

Have you come across that particular breed of Ettenmoors clown yet, the self-righteous preacher who wishes to impose their views upon everyone else? These aren’t normal QQers, they aren’t merely moaning about being killed or that a certain skill is unfair, rather they are seeking to impose their will upon others and have them conform to their own values.

What we have with these people is a case of certain players defining what they believe to be a ‘correct’ way to play and anyone who deviates from that is labelled ‘lame’, an ‘ezymoder’, a ‘coward’ or some other silly sobriquet. In short if you don’t conform to the expectations of these people you are persona non gratis.

Absurdities

This attempt to enforce their will is to be opposed because it leads to not only misconceptions, but also to absurdities. As Voltaire famously observed “… qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste” (Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities).

What these people claim to want are fair and honourable fights. There is the first problem, PvMP, and by extension PvP, is intrinsically unfair. The fundamental aim of PvP is to kill the opposition and how do you do that? You look for some form of advantage over them. If two sides were exactly equal then neither would ever loose. There has to be the means to gain some form of advantage over your opponent. That is how PvP works.

As for honour this is a much abused word by these people. Ostensibly they want fights were both parties fight to the death, no one suddenly jumps in to help either side and neither party uses any sort of store buff or ‘over powered’ skill. In short what they want is for their opponent to gimp themselves and allow themselves to be killed.

I’ll give you one example of one person’s definition of what would make a warg honourable:

The criteria are that 1) they have to be willing to fight a full Audacity heavy class (except Captain) 1 v. 1; and 2) not run away when they are losing but finish the fight.

That quotation can be summarised quite simply: a warg should take on a heavily armoured opponent with maximum defences and even when there is no chance of winning the fight should stand there and allow himself to be killed. In other words it’s a fair fight if the warg can be beaten.

Be Proud

There is no ‘correct’ playstyle. So what if you use Disappear or Sprint to get away from a fight? That is one of the functions of those skills, why shouldn’t they be used for that? What’s to be ashamed of? So what if you kill someone who is AFK? Why the hell are they AFK in the middle of the Ettenmoors anyway? So what if you kill someone trying to make their way back from a graveyard? They will just have to find another route. So what if you come across a soloer with your pack? That’s just bad luck for them.

What I am saying is that you shouldn’t apologise for the way you play. If you are having fun that is what matters. Other people don’t have to agree with your playstyle, hell they don’t even have to like it. However, if they have a problem with it then that is their problem, not your’s.

You pay your money the same as they do and you are entitled to play in any way you choose within Turbine’s rules. It’s not for others to tell you how you are to enjoy your free time.


RoR: Rabid Bite

Some of our skills aren’t exactly great at the moment, not the least of which is Rabid Bite. Thankfully this skill will be getting some much needed love when Riders of Rohan launches, but will it be enough to make it useful?

What’s Wrong With Rabid Bite?

The premise of Rabid Bite is pretty straightforward; it applies a debuff to the target that increases the power cost of their skills by 25%. We also have a trait that will boost this effect by a further 15% for a total of 40%. This all sounds fine and well until you realise what a horrible debuff this actually is.

First of all the effect is curable as a disease. Secondly it can’t be stacked. Thirdly it’s single target. Last, but not least, the standard 25% magnitude from the untraited version become irrelevant when a freep has full Audacity because that gives them -20% skill power costs! In other words Rabid Bite will only increase a freep’s power costs by a paltry 5% if the freep has full Audacity. Even the traited version will only increase the freep’s power costs by 20% with full Audacity, which is less than the base value of the untraited version!

In short Rabid Bite, traited or untraited, is a pretty weak debuff. Most wargs I know barely use it. Against non-tactical classes it can have some effect and, but is easily curable. Against tactical classes though,with their oceans of power, it is next to useless.

How Is It Being Changed?

What is changing with RoR is that the debuff magnitude is being increased. Instead of a base value of 25% untraited it will be 40%. This sounds a little more useful all of a sudden! Even with full Audacity that is still a 20% power cost increase, something we would have had to have traited for before. As above this is relatively good for use against non-tactical classes.

Where things get really interesting though is when we look at the traited version. The trait to increase Rabid Bite’s debuff is getting boosted too! It will rise from 15% to 35%! That means that traited Rabid Bite will have a total debuff magnitude of 75%. Even taking off the 20% for full Audacity that still leaves us with a debuff total of 55%.

The non-traited version should suffice against non-tactical classes, but when traited this could be a fairly serious debuff to apply to them. Against tactical classes the traited version should slow them down a bit and they might, just might, see an effect on their power bar.

Is It Worth Using In RoR?

The question is of course will it be worth using and traiting for this skill? That’s a tough one to answer right now without having had a chance to see these changes in action. My gut instinct is to say that the untraited version will probably still remain underused even though it will be more effective, especially against non-tactical classes.

The traited version though is something to consider. This could be a really useful debuff in certain 1vs1 encounters or even in raids to debuff freep healers. It does mean using up a valuable class trait slot though, but with the changes to Disappear and Sprint we have potentially two free slots now. It’s definitely worth considering in my opinion.


Grtz On R13 Bloodspill!

I totally missed this so apologies Bloodspill! A belated grtz on achieving rank 13!


Video: Introduction To The Stalker

This won’t be of much interest to anyone who has played a warg for any length of time, but for those thinking of creating a new warg to play it’s a nice wee introduction to the class.


Site Update: Store Stuff

Just a note to let you chaps know that I have updated the store pages with the recommended skills and traits to buy. You can find the updated pages under ‘The Store’ tab at the top of the page.


RoR: Disappear & Sprint Cooldowns

Two of the changes coming to wargs with Riders of Rohan are a reduction in the cooldown of two of our skills: Disappear/Topple and Sprint. Each skill will have its base cooldown reduced to 5 minutes whilst each skill will have an associated trait that will reduce the cooldown further to 3 minutes. Given that freep tears over these two skills could fill an ocean you would imagine that there would be a hefty dose of QQ associated with these cooldown reductions. You’d be right.

What’s the Problem?

I’m not going to go over every individual piece of QQ because this post simply isn’t long enough, but it will suffice to encapsulate the general idea behind the QQ. What it comes down to is that some are worried that with shorter cooldowns these two skills can be used to allow wargs to escape more than they do at the moment and that such cooldowns will promote a ‘low risk/high reward’ style of gameplay as a result.

Why This Isn’t A Problem

Freeing Trait Slots

The first thing to say is not every warg is actually going to slot these traits. I can hear the guffaws at that statement already, but let’s examine the issue more closely. At the moment wargs have a number of traits that are generally considered to be necessities. These include: Enhanced Skill: Stealth, Shadow Fang, Enhanced Skill: Sprint and Enhanced Skill: Disappear. Many wargs simply never unslot these traits because they are so useful that they border on being vital.

Now what if wargs had the functionality of both Enhanced Skill: Sprint and Enhanced Skill: Disappear without having to trait for it? In other words both skills on a 5 minute cooldown as standard. Well that would mean that the warg has just managed to free up two very valuable class trait slots. That’s no small prize let me assure you and there will be many wargs who are perfectly happy with the standard 5 minute cooldown and use those two trait slots to work in other traits to vary their build.

The Status Quo

Now some wargs will of course slot these traits and have the reduced 3 minute cooldowns for both Disappear/Topple and Sprint. That still isn’t a major problem though. There are two main reasons for this and the first is that it will make really very little difference compared with warg gameplay at the moment.

As things currently stand both Disappear/Topple and Sprint can be on 5 minute cooldowns. Taking another 2 minutes off those cooldowns really won’t alter how a warg plays in any substantial way. Those who keep both skills purely for escape and never fight without them will likely be the sort of players who will go to Grams and wait for the cooldowns to reset after each fight. A reduced cooldown won’t alter that to any great degree, they will simply have to wait 2 minutes less and they will still have both skills available for escape just as they do right now. Equally if the cooldown on these two skills was increased to, for example, 20 minutes, those same sort of payers would do the exact same thing, only they would be waiting a bit longer.

In either case a warg who is absolutely determined to use these skills to escape can do that right now, just as they can with Riders of Rohan and just as they can if the cooldown was 10 times as long. For wargs determined to escape this really isn’t a major alteration to their gameplay.

Aggression

The second point to make here is perhaps the counterpart to the above point. For those wargs who don’t use these skills purely for escape, but use them offensively too these changes are actually a major boost. Reduced cooldowns actually encourage more offensive use of these skills.

A skill on a long cooldown is usually seen as ‘something to be saved for an emergency’. You don’t burn a 10 minute cooldown just for the sake of it, you tend to try and save it for when you feel you really need it. A skill on a 3 minute cooldown though doesn’t feel quite so sacrosanct, it isn’t such a long cooldown that you feel that you can’t press that button unless you absolutely need to. That means that you feel a little easier about using such a skill on a more regular basis. In the case of these two skills that means that you can work them into an offensive role more easily.

Counter Tactics

It’s worth briefly mentioning the fact that neither Disappear nor Sprint is an automatic escape card. Both skills can be countered by freeps who use their heads. No skill is completely infallible and likewise both Disappear and Sprint have their weaknesses. Instead of looking at these skills as magic buttons that let a warg always get away it would be a better idea to look at what works against them. There are plenty of ways to mitigate their effectiveness (and no I am not going to share those ways with you!).

Conclusion

These changes are a good thing, not just for wargs, but for PvMP in general. There will always be some wargs who absolutely will not use either skill for anything other than escape and that isn’t going to change. However, there are many wargs who use these skills for both escape and offensive manoeuvres, but with relatively long cooldowns they sometimes feel they shouldn’t/can’t use them offensively. Reducing the cooldowns frees up these wargs to use these skills more often. That means that not every warg is always going to get away, but it also means that wargs have a chance of getting kills more often too.