Thursday, 17 September 2015

NWO: The Cryptic Method

With the release of the latest module "Grindfest" "Strongholds", Cryptic certainly designed a great way to encourage people to grind in all the end game campaigns to acquire various doohickeys to help construct their stronghold. In addition to this (or I only realized recently) that they also placed some item level "barriers to entry" on some content which I am not a big fan of - mainly epic level dungeons.

Needs a lot of work!

Not that I have a burning desire to do that content, but just so I have the choice for if ever I want to participate - I can. Thus began my quest to improve my gear, and I quickly found there were two paths: farming a PvE instance or farming PvP matches. The fastest method to my goal was simply to do both. It probably also helped keep me sane, giving some variety in game style.

Anywho, as a non PvPer, you can imagine how that went for me in the various PvP Domination matches (fancy name for "Hold this Location" which is standard in many other games). Fortunately you still gain currency to buy those higher level items even if you lose, though at a much slower rate than the victors obviously. What it did make me see though is how people use their various characters, and what combos were most effective since I was usually at the receiving end of them.

Using my ultra-narutard Kakashi skills I obviously then respecced my guys to be more inline with what I would encounter there and wow, taking those builds back out into the PvE environment I'm now showing much better performance than before. My alt ranger character in particular, who was pretty rotten compared to my main rogue, I now slightly favor more because of the combat techniques learned from fighting other rangers: I had no idea he could perma root and stun enemy groups with fast enough rotations.

So now, not only do I have the bare minimum to pass all the gear wall levels but I also have the player skill for my two characters to play better. I think that is pretty awesome. Still doesn't mean I like PvP though, and that's a bad thing since it feels like Cryptic is trying to push it to the forefront with the recently released Stronghold Siege patch, which also happened to remove a major source of Astral Diamonds from the game.

See with Cryptic, "fix" is the same as "hack it off with an axe". Usually as MMO's progress there are more and more patches that release ever increasing content. Neverwinter Online is one of the few where future patches actually take away things from the game like dungeons, profession rewards, the foundry, and who knows what else is to come, and unlike the Living Story in Guildwars 2 there's absolutely no lore reason for it happening here.

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