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Friday, April 24, 2015

The Elder Scrolls Online Xbox One Beta

So I was fortunate enough to be invited by Bethesda to try out The Elder Scrolls Online, which as you can probably guess, is The Elder Scrolls but Online (shocking, right?). Since there's no NDA in place, and they actually encourage talking, I thought I'd share my opinions on the game, and maybe a video.

So first off, the game looks great, not shocking since this is The Elder Scrolls (TES), and next gen, but what surprised me was how smooth it ran, IN BETA, with superb graphics (no freezing, no bugs, no hiccups), this is tough for most games, including TES games in general (or Fallout games, from Bethesda as well). On the rare occasion, textures on people take a moment to load, but they do so very quickly when it does happen.

Load times are pretty good too, some areas load almost instantly (this is generally areas that connect to the main world like houses or camps that bring you to another area). Going from one large area to another takes a few seconds to load, still very impressive.

All script is voiced, so if a character says something, it's actually spoken another amazing achievement for a large game with lots of speaking. The VO's are also well done, with a little more variety (this seems to be Bethesda's kryptonite, they always use too few actors and It's apparent here more than ever).

Character design is amazing from what I've seen. I only made a Khajiit, but there are many skins for them, you can be a tiger, lion, leopard, jaguar, panther, and many other design types. A friend made a Redguard and they said there are many options for skin tone (to some degree, since Redguards are only African American), hairstyles and other vanity options.

Oh, you can make a character with a butt now too!!!! No more flat backsides.

You need to come in to the game with an Elder Scroll train of thought, most MMORPGs throw weapons and armor at you, this plays like TES, as you level, you'll find steel, dwarven, glass, dremora, and Dragon gear, like the solo games do.

Also, it may be because this is the beta, but don't expect to run into hundreds of people in the field, think of it as a multiplayer TES game, not an MMO TES game.

While I've only scratched the surface, this is proving to be a very fun game so far. I'm sure I've missed some things (such as dungeons), so fellow beta testers, feel free to comment and add your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Newbies Guide to Tanking (Neverwinter)

Playing a Tank in Neverwinter isn't quite like other MMORPG's, sadly (or maybe luckily, depending on your stance). I have learned some tips from Neverwinter forum user "dkcandy" that might help those new to NW's Tanking.

Threat is generated on a 1:1 ratio for both Healing & Damage and there are 2 types of threat generation mechanics:

Indirect - Healing
Direct - Damage to a specific creature

The biggest issue I have with holding threat is a result of the above, that from damage, and that from healing, are equal. Healers will generate hate on EVERY creature from a single heal, but you will only generate that for the creators you hit. This causes Healers to pull a lot of hate, easily and quickly.

Currently the Guardian Fighter class is the "Primary Tank" for Neverwinter (although Paladin is releasing soon on Xbox, and they'll likely be a primary candidate too) and we have several feats that help boost our threat generation but remember DPS (Damage Per Second) is the base of all threat generation. So if your DPS is low, so will your TPS (Threat Per Second). This is why DPS geared & built GFs have an easier time holding threat than defensive GFs.

Stats: Primary Strength, this allows you to inflict more DPS, and therefore, more TPS.


Tier 1: Strength Focus 3/3 - Increased Damage

Tier 3: Power Attack 5/5 - 10% Damage Increase

Tier 3: Potent Challenge 3/3 - 15% Threat Increase

Tier 4: Weapon Mastery 3/3 - 3% Crt Chance Increase

Paragon Paths:

Conqueror - My personal preference as you do a lot more damage, and damage equals threat. You'll be using Cleave to maintain threat on large number of creatures and great for holding aggro on single target/boss. 

Tactician - A friend of mine uses tactician and he spams daily's with this feat to hold aggro on large number of creatures and generates lots of threat.

Protector - Damage mitigation vs Damage output, following the above rule, you won't deal much damage, so not much TPS.


Enforced Threat - AoE taunt for up to (5) targets and forces them to attack you for a short time frame.

Fighters Recovery - Must have for survival, tons of self healing

Enhanced Mark - +99% Threat Generation on marked targets - If you have threat issues a no brainier.

Threatening Rush - Marks all targets in a small AOE on target you melee hit. Great skill to use on trash and when tanking adds/boss.

Trample the Fallen + Battle Trample Feat - +25% Weapon Damage as threat + 25% Weapon Damage as physical Damage for 3 seconds after using a CC. (Many of the GF Powers trigger this)

Knight's Valor - A good skill to reduce the amount of damage your entire party is taking which also reduces the amount of healing your Cleric is down and reduces the amount of indirect threat the cleric is generating.

Leo's Guide to Not Being an Asshole (Neverwinter)

So you've picked up (or downloaded) Neverwinter and are eager to play, yeah? Well hold on there, buckaroo, I've got a few tips to make your game much more enjoyable (or at least, not come off as an asshole to other players).

1. As Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said, "Know your role". If you decide to roll a healer, understand that you are a.... well, healer! You are responsible for making sure people stay topped up on health and don't die, a vital role.

DO'S of a Healer:

- Heal people, that's your number one job
- Buff people, boosted attack, defense, etc
- Remove debuffs, poison, slow, etc
- Use Sun Burst to scatter enemies when you or a non-Tank character are taking damage

DON'TS of a Healer:

- Play as a DPS ((Damage Per Second, they deal the most damage) unless everyone is topped up and doing fine)
- Run ahead of your Tank,
- Use Sun Burst when the Tank has aggro/hate on a Mob (group of enemies)

DO'S of a DPS:

- Beat the shit out of things
- Preferably, attack the same target as the Tank

DON'TS of a DPS:

- Run ahead of your Tank
- Pull the entire room, unless the Tank and Healer are fine with it

DO'S of a Tank:

- Grab adds (additional enemies, usually at a boss fight) when they spawn
- Hold aggro/hate

DON'TS of a Tank:

- Ignore adds, they WILL wreck your Healer

These are a few jobs each role has, you should learn yours and perform them. Failing to do so has a good chance of getting you removed from the dungeon, and that's no fun.

2. Don't pick up loot during combat. To be more precise, green or rarer loot, it has to be roled on, and to do so, an annoying pop up.... well, POPS UP. This is very annoying when in the middle of a fight, god help you if it's a boss fight. It won't get you kicked, but it is VERY annoying.

3. Don't be Needy, be Greedy. When you are in a group, you must role for rare loot, but there are three options, "Need", "Greed", and "Pass". I won't explain the last, it should be obvious, but "Need" and Greed" are important, and knowing when t pick one is also important.

"Need" means, "I NEED this, it's better than what I have."

"Greed" means, "I'd like this, I can use it for another character." Or if it's an "Unidentified Item, "This might be better than what I have, so I might need it."

You should really only pick "Need" if your character you're playing as can use it, not an alt.

4. Don't be a douche. Send an invite and get denied? Move on. Don't keep inviting, they aren't interested. Continually pestering someone will get you reported. Don't be a douche.

Don't spam chat with stupid crap. Don't be a douche.

Don't name your character "Big Wang". Don't be a douche.

These are 4 easy ways to be liked in the game, very easy guidelines.

Just don't be shocked when you discover no one actually DOES any of this. :)