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Random Wildstar thoughts:

 

I was going to post a video of the end of beta event a few days ago, but the frame rate sucked.

 

This past week has been Ops week, where the devs are doing final stress testing on the servers and putting in the final patches, one of which was a massive post-beta bug fix patch. They allowed players who were in the beta to participate. It seems like the big bug patch went pretty smoothly. Game's looking like it's in a good state for launch.

 

The game has some great music. I found this posted on the WS forums today: https://soundcloud.com/inhisgroove/sets/wildstar-mmo-ost-cues/

 

One of the things I really like about the game is the sense of wonder you get from just exploring the world. It seems like you're discovering random little bits of goodness all the time.

 

One of the things I dislike is the UI for the Quest Tracker. It takes up way too much space. They need to take a cue from every MMO ever and constrain that beast. Between the quest tracker, the datachron and the various crap that pops up all the time, the UI is just a bit too busy. At the same time, with all the crap going on, it fails to convey key information readily. It's not a deal breaker for me, but it's not a great UI as far as usability.

 

I've been thinking about getting a mouse with more buttons. I don't think I'm going to get one of those MMO mice with the twelve keys on the side, b/c they're just a bit much, but I've been looking at the Logitech 602. It's supposed to have a huge battery life, doesn't cost much more than the mouse I'm using now, and has six side buttons with two more extra buttons up top. Using Shift as a modifier (now that you can bind Sprint to something else), that's 12-16 buttons on the mouse. That should handle the 8 ability load out, plus the gadget and potion slots, and sprint. There really aren't a lot of keybinds in the game, but putting combat abilities on the mouse seems like a good idea after playing around a bit with putting 1-4 on my standard mouse.

 

I'm still torn on what class to pick for my main, which will be the Draken female posted earlier. Since race doesn't have any game mechanic affect, I'm picking based on looks/animation alone. Draken only have three classes currently available. (All classes will eventually be available to all races, but they have to do class animations for all the races. Seems one of the things sacrificed to hit a launch deadline.) That's probably a good thing, because I like all the classes to some degree or another.

 

Draken can be Warriors, Stalkers and Spellslingers. I was going to go Draken Warrior and Aurin Stalker for my first two characters, one for each faction. I'm leaning toward Spellslinger over DPS Warrior now, so that I have one ranged and one melee. This game seems like it may be more forgiving of ranged, though Warrior may actually be easier to level since heavy armor seems to make a real difference if you get stuck in a telegraph. Decisions, decisions. . .

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The Cupcake is a LIE!

 

Headstart began at 1201 PDT. NCSoft login server is dowwwwwwn.

 

Now, I predicted this (on the WS forums), because it's NCSoft.

 

What I don't get is that this is the pre-orders. Aside from whoever pre-ordered in just the last couple of days, they should know pretty much exactly how many users they have to accommodate.

 

While I'm not really upset about it, it just strikes me as shoddy.

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Well, I was able to get on to the game after about half an hour or so (maybe a little more). Not too bad. Made my characters on my main server, and one other server. When I went to switch servers again, I got the hamster wheel (literally) again waiting to display the server list. Oh, well.

 

So, I'll be on Stormtalon (PVE) as:

 

Marama - Cassian Esper

Marzika - Draken Warrior

Ezoeli - Aurin Stalker

Zevulon - Mordesh Spellslinger

Iuplar - Granok Engineer

Izin - Chua Medic

 

If anyone plays, look me up in game, whenever you can get in!

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Note my position in queue, true believers!

 

post-676-0-85364800-1401568733_thumb.jpg

 

Excelsior!

 

So far, so good for the launch. Well, for me. This stuff can get pretty subjective, I suppose.

 

Last night, the NCSoft login servers finally got their act together and started working. I was able to make all of my alt's names on pretty much every PVE server. 

 

I don't typically camp names in MMOs, and I'll go through in a few months once things settle down and delete the excess characters. This is just further insurance against future server mergers. I think just being on the highest population server from the get go will be insurance enough.

 

After making characters, I was able to log in and play a little on Stormtalon last night  and run my Esper (going to do Esper as first main, I just love the special effects for their spells) though the ship tutorials, and run around a bit on the planet. It was 4 am at that point, and I hit the sack. Hopefully, that won't screw up my sleeping habits too much. (I'm a serious night owl, so it's very easy for me to tip into nocturnal mode.)

 

Overall, the game was running pretty well, without too many bugs. None of the ones I saw were game breaking. Some chat bugs, being unable to talk in certain channels; the account storage where our pre-order goodies are is bugged, but that was a late beta addition; some bugs with quest item markers for the Settler Path not showing. Just little stuff. The game was perfectly playable.

 

The FPS did not improve by much at launch. I did get a bit of a boost, presumably from the debugging tools being turned off for launch, but nothing significant. Game is playable, even when framerates drop, but the bigger issue is that they bounce around constantly. I can go from sub-20 FPS to over 60 FPS just by taking a few steps.

 

If it doesn't get sorted out, I may put a GeForce card on my Christmas list. Seems like ATI cards aren't doing that well in game, though my HD6850 runs everything else I currently have installed very well. The issue is more driver software, which ATI is notorious for being slow to update. On the third hand, while my card is still pretty decent, for a couple hundred I can get cards with a lot more oomph, for the same power consumption.

 

Overall, pretty happy.

 

Oh, one more fun bug: The queue timer is completely gonzo. It's not at all accurate, so you have to watch your position and do some math to figure out your timing. Not nearly as bad as it seems.

 

 

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OK, I found one game-breaking bug. This is what your character select screen looks like after sitting in a queue for a couple of hours:

 

post-676-0-97628000-1401572188_thumb.jpg

 

 

I have six characters on that realm. Either this is a bug or the most fiendish version of Where's Waldo ever conceived.

 

:snicker:

 

Edit: Well, I rebooted, relogged in, and it let me right past the queue. So, I'm IN! Restarting the game didn't work, but a reboot did, and apparently they hold the door open for you for a bit once you sit through the queue.

 

So, not so bad.

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Well, I canceled Wildstar for now. It has one major flaw: You have to pay attention. :D

 

I really like the game, especially the graphics. I'd rate the launch as pretty darn smooth. The devs are working furiously on squashing bugs, and there aren't that many that are really game-breaking. But . . . if you don't pay attention, you die. That includes leveling. I can't really concentrate for long enough periods to get much done at the moment, so I'm putting it on hold for now.

 

Also in the news this week: I upgraded my video card from a Radeon 6850 to a GeForce 750Ti. Wildstar really, really doesn't like ATI stuff, whether CPU or GPU. The 750Ti is a really sweet deal. It's a lower-cost card that has very solid performance with very low power consumption.

 

I also picked up a new mouse, a Logitech G602. This gives me eight on-mouse buttons, and it's a pretty nice mouse besides. I used to use the MX518 (and my last mouse was its replacement, a G400), and this is a noticeable upgrade performance-wise. It doesn't fill the hand as much as a G400, but that's a minor gripe. The software that's supposed to detect when you're in a game and switch profiles doesn't work, though. Or I'm too dumb to figure it out. It's easy enough to just change the profile over manually.

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I've been mostly playing Guild Wars 2 lately. I'm working on my Guardian. I like Sword/Torch weapon combo, mainly because of the torch. It's kind of fun to light yourself on fire and breath fire on your enemies. As a bonus, it's blue fire, so it's much cooler than the commonplace orange and red fire.

 

I fired up DDO a bit last night. DDO is a bit problematic in one way: If you haven't played an alt character in a long time, and you haven't left yourself some notes, it's possible to forget what your build was. I guess that's the downside to having such a huge build variety possible.

 

Anyway, I decided to play my Drow Fighter 9/ Cleric 7. Now, Drow aren't a particularly strong race in DDO, for a couple of reasons. First, is that their racial Enhancement lines are kind of mediocre. The Enhancement pass didn't do much to improve that at all. Early on in the process, the DDO devs were considering giving Drow the Tempest TWF Enhancement/Prestige Class as a racial line, much like Dwarven Defenders. Combined with their stats, that would have opened up a lot of interesting builds. But it never happened, and the Drow came through the enhancement pass still being mediocre. The second problem with the Drow is that although they're easy to unlock and have a 32 point equivalent point buy build, they're a 28 point build with the bonus points locked to their good stats. That is to say, they get a +2 to Dex, Int and Cha. So, once you unlock 32 point builds (much harder than unlocking Drow), the Drow lose a lot of their shine, and even before then, unless you need those three stats, they're still not that attractive. So, one day I decided that since I had Drow unlocked, I'd make me a Drow.

 

The question was, what to make? Well, turns out Artificer is a pretty good fit stat-wise for Drow, though Warforged and Humans make better Artificers. Dex and Int are both very important for ranged Artificers, and Cha boosts Use Magic Device, which is both a class skill for Artys and the strongest skill in the game. So, I played him as an Artificer for a while, but I also had a Human Artificer on the same server who was going to be my crafting alt due to Human Dragonmark feats that boost crafting.

 

Back when Menace of the Underdark came out, there was a perk that let a player give another player a level boost to level 16. You had to boost at least one other person in order to unlock another perk, which I think was a pet or something. After the first few days, people were actively begging for someone to boost in general chat, so they could unlock their pet or whatever it was. So, I let someone boost my Drow Artificer.

 

Now, when you boost (or use veteran status to boost to 4 or 7), you get some free gear. Some of it is decent, but it's not great stuff, so you'll have to spend some time gearing up. A level 16 boosted character is far weaker than one that quested to that level. If you have a higher level main character with a lot of resources, you can always buy stuff off the auction house, but my main in DDO isn't rich since I don't really play it all that much (I fiddle around with alts a lot, because I enjoy the build variety and I like the lower level content). Soooo.... here I am with a really undergeared level 16 character. Every time I log in to the game, I see him sitting there on my login screen, and I think ..... man, there's a real chore.

 

Fast forward to the enhancement pass, and free Lesser Resurrections for everyone! I switched my Ranger over to a DEX-based Arcane Archer (from STR-based), since that looked viable with lower gear. Then I got to looking at poor Komal. He's quite the handsome devil. His bald purple head looks like a little grape. So, I decided to look for a build for him that was fairly viable with lesser gear, something that would still be fun to play while farming for gear, and could handle content slightly below his level better. I considered Paladin, due to the stat bonuses aligning pretty well, but Paladins don't really put out great damage, and aren't really compensated enough in the survival area to make up for it in DDO. Had Tempest become a racial prestige for Drow, I'd have jumped on it, but without that boost, it wasn't very attractive. I typically solo due to generally playing for shorter sessions, and although it's possible to whittle down a lot of stuff if you have good survivability, some fights are a royal PITA due to regenerating or self-healing bosses. So, I did a bit more research on builds and it seemed that a Fighter 12/ Cleric 8 was a better Paladin than a Paladin, with much better damage and much better spell casting. There's even a better Oh S...stuff! button than Lay on Hands, that gives full heal, along with a full Restoration effect, removing diseases, poisons, stat decreases due to same, and level drains.

 

So, we get back to that whole not remembering your build thing . . .

 

The last thing I was working on was farming up some tapestry scraps from a zone called the Orchard of the Macabre. This is a wilderness/outdoor zone (called an explorer zone), and the tapestry scraps drop from rare encounter chests. (Explorer zones have objectives that reward XP: kill X number, which increments with an XP reward for each tier up to a point, usually around max 500 or 1000 kills or so; exploration, finding points of interest on the map; rare encounters, finding randomly spawned monster encounters of varying sorts, which also spawn a chest to loot, typically having at least one or more orange-named mini-boss type mobs that are a bit tougher than the usual). If you turn in 20 tapestries, you get a cool helmet, the Minos Legens. This gives 20 HP that stack with pretty much everything and 100% fortification. So, last night, I went off into the Orchard to farm up some tapestry scraps.

 

Then I came across a walk up dungeon, another feature of explorer zones. Now, I'm still undergeared, of course, but can compensate a bit for it with spells. So, I decide to check it out. Getting to the end is fine, just a bunch of shades, a couple of undead that I can't remember the names of that were new but not particularly tough, and a couple of flavors of vampires that also weren't too tough. Then I got to the final encounter. The first part of that was a gang of six or so vampires that were pretty darn tough. Now, had I remembered my better-than-Lay-Hands ability, I'd probably have been fine. But I didn't, and I was forced to retreat. Except that this was one of those one way dungeons, and I couldn't run to the exit. So, I did the next best thing, I died near the rest shrine.

 

Normally, if you die, the mobs will wonder back to their starting point. Not these guys! They decided to hang around. So, no easy res and recall for me... nope. For the first time, I was corpse-camped by . . . mobs! I ressed a bunch of times and killed the shades a few per res, then died out further from the shrine, which parked the vampires out of aggro range. (I could have recalled to an inn instead of use the res shrine, but didn't want to run all the way back to the zone. )

 

I'm attaching the full sized screenshot, because it's really dark on account of the death effect and being surrounded by shades that are rendered as black shadowy things. The ones with the white hair are some of the vampires.

 

post-676-0-60599600-1405653940_thumb.jpg

 

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Just found out Mechanon is coming to CO finally.

 

http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/08/12/champions-online-brings-the-steel-crusade-on-september-4th/

 

Looks like it will be actual content vs. just an alert or rampage thing. Or maybe content, plus a rampage thing. Also, a new type of archetype similar to epic ATs from CoX.

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Yeah, I posted about it in another thread. New content is sorely needed I just wish they'd announce the Foundry, but since they declined to comment on it, it's not likely to happen too soon.

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Sadly, I think a Foundry is unlikely to happen at all at this stage. MMOs tend to become huge masses of spaghetti code over time, and it's likely to take an expensive archaeological expedition to untangle it enough to add in a major feature. I don't see them spending that kind of money on the game.

 

On the other hand, if Cryptic North is up to making something resembling a comic series/adventure rather than just an alert type of thing, then that could be a hopeful sign that they're settled in and now know enough about how the game works to create even more content in the future. I think it's a good sign.

 

I'd been playing GW2 lately, but this week I've been hiding from the heat again, and CO is easier to play on the laptop, so I've been leveling up a bit. I still have that time card from back in February, so my plan was to get a few more characters close to level cap, then convert them over and grab some character slots by dinging as Gold. My understanding is that you can flip Archetype characters back and forth from Silver to Gold as much as you want, and it's only if you're changing AT or changing from an AT to a freeform or vice versa that you eat up retrain tokens.

 

I may just go Gold now, and try to ding some of the Gold characters before the sub runs out. It'd give me a couple weeks to get some gear on my two 40s before the new content launches.

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Hmm... been meaning to update this.

 

Last week, I managed to get my Marksman (archer AT) up to 39. Mostly just grinding Alerts. I also got him the questionite Armadillo set so that grinding out his level 40 gear might be a bit less painful once I sub and ding him to 40. He's pretty fragile, but  Marksman survivability in Alerts improves once you get Evasive Maneuvers with the Sleight of Mind advantage on it. The only drawback is that the AT has a ton of attacks and no active defense or offense. I'd love to trade a couple of attacks for one of each. There's no heal, either, but since the ATs are designed around holy trinity play, that's understandable. (He does have a small heal on kill advantage on one power that's useful while soloing.) Overall, I enjoy Arrow Guy, it's just too bad I stuck him with that name. :D

 

I also deleted my old Grimoire, Citizen Arcane,  because I'd taken him freeform and I couldn't convert back to an AT. So, I just nuked him and started over. I got him back up to 28 last week, which is where he was when I deleted him. The Grimoire is a pretty fun AT. He has good variety in his power set, and more flexibility than the Marksman. Even Pillar of Poz (point blank area of effect knockback) is fun and useful, at least at lower levels when using the Sigils as the main DPS option. The only real drawback is that his sigils are his main AOE until level 30, and that his energy regen is from standing in a Circle of Arcane Power. This means dropping two casting time spells to set up to DPS, which is slow in a group. Fortunately, I've ranked up his blast now, so the last few levels I've been able to just drop the energy regen circle and start blasting in faster groups. The damage is still respectable, even though Arcane isn't really a high DPS powerset from what I've read. (And from experience, it seems a lot lower DPS than Munitions and Archery). If the group's moving even too fast for dropping the circles, he usually does OK on energy spamming the blast without the energy builder, which I leave off b/c it makes targeting heals a PITA.

 

I'm going to try to get at least Citizen Arcane up to,or close to, 39 before resubbing. But I still need to get heroic gear on my two existing 40s, so I have decent stuff for the new content. I figure I should leave a week of grinding Unity missions and/or Globals for each one.

 

I've been using the guides from here for my AT characters: http://champions-online.proboards.com/thread/2206/tammys-archetype-freeform-builds

Those all seem to work pretty well, although I'll switch a few points around here and there, like taking Sleight of Mind on the Marksman.

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Double XP weekend started yesterday in CO. I didn't play too much, but got my Grimoire to 34 and put a few levels on my Behemoth. I swear the Grimoire makes a better alert tank than the Behemoth. Hopefully, I'll be able to get both of them up to 39 this weekend while the bonus is going. Then I'll convert to Gold and figure out which characters I'm going to gear up for the new stuff in Sept.

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So, last weekend, I capped Citizen Arcane (Grimoire) and Arrow Guy (Marksman), made a couple of new guys (Archon, a Radiant, and Barnstormer a Squall), and this past week, I geared up some of my 40s and fiddled around leveling some others a bit. I also played around with the costume creator, which is what this post is about. This thread needs pics, so here they are...

 

First up is Arrow Guy. He had a pretty generic (as befitting his name) set of tights. I decided to go medieval on him, and added a pencil-stache to make him fit in with my Golden Age / Pulp gang:

 

waltvk.jpg

 

One thing I like about this costume is that his quiver looks like it's attached to something since it has the shoulder harness.

 

Next up is my flag suit Glacier. I've been playing him a bit, and he seems to be doing well in alerts compared to my Behemoth. I decided to cyborg him out, so he fits in with my late Silver/ early Bronze looking group, which in my head is the legacy group for my Golden/pulp group (I don't RP in MMOs, but in my own head, sure, why not? :P):

 

1ho9s.jpg

 

This costume is heavier on the whites than the original, which seems fitting for a frosty cyborg.

 

Next up is my first 40, commander of her own robot army, Ingenuity Girl. I had her in the Golden Age skirt and jacket suit, but didn't like that I couldn't have a belt with pouches or something gadgeteer-y. I bought the Victorian costume set (legs clip every long boot, btw), and am now able to get a cannister belt on her. Also, the trousers and combat boots seem more ready for adventure. I also respecced her to a DEX primary and swapped her weapon to the particle rifle, so she and her pets are doing a lot better damage now. She's still personally pretty tough, but not running the support aura anymore or Sentinel tree makes the pets a bit squishy. I think it's a pretty fair trade so far. Anyway, here are her new duds:

 

105be5w.jpg

 

I redid Liberty Star's second costume slot. This outfit almost makes her look like she belongs in an Evel Knievel act, or a low budget 70s remake of her exploits.

 

f230cz.jpg

 

I made some modifications to Geist, mainly her civvies. I've used her costume slots to do the stages of her superheroic armoring process: Civvies, Jump Suit, Armor without Helmet, and fully armored:

 

33m50fn.jpg

 

I gave the Smelltacular Skunk Ape some shorts:

 

2s0y3bk.jpg

 

Now for my first new hero, Barnstormer. Really, he's just a guy who flies fast. For CO, I've given him the Squall AT, which is wind control. Close enough.

 

2mwwao4.jpg

 

Finally, my other new hero, Archon, a Radiant AT. I started off with the default Radiant outfit and modified it a bit. I think the goofy belt kind of works here. I like the way he turned  out:

 

adgs4l.jpg

 

 

I also redesigned some of my nemesis costumes, maybe I'll post them later.

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It looks like someone's making a Firefly MMO:

 

https://keepflying.com/

 

I'm not expecting much from this one. Looks like they got the original cast to do some voice acting for it, though, plus Michael Dorn.

 

EDIT:

 

Hmm, I may have ASSumed it was an MMO too soon (saw the link to it on an MMO board). From the FAQ:

 

 


PLEASE DON’T TELL ME THIS IS ONE OF THEM “SOCIAL” GAMES?

Firefly Online is a single player game, supported by social features that give you the opportunity to connect with friends and fellow Firefly Online users in new and unique ways. Got a shiny new Callahan rifle that you don’t need? Send it to your friend as a gift. Ship broken down and drifting? Send out a distress call and one of your fellow Browncoats might just tow you to safety. Have an idea for a Firefly story you’re just itching to share? Create a job using your story as a basis and publish it on the Cortex for others in the Verse to enjoy!

For those of you who get a chill whenever you see the word “social”, we’re right there with you. We’re only interested in features that truly enhance the player experience. We’ll be revealing more on exactly what we mean in the months to come.

 

Sounds more like a Facebook game. :P

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Steel Crusade started today. I made my Reawakened Automaton, Alquist.* (You can call him Al.) I'm not too sure on the archetype, especially the energy form toggle, that gives its benefit on a killing blow. Will definitely have to rank it up to start with three stacks of the buff (frenzy). At least ATs have less powers, so there's relatively more room to spread around advantage points.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*He's from alternate Earth RUR-616.

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Heads up! Champions Online is having double XP weekend, starting a few minutes ago. It's also time for the annual Destroid invasion. ALSO . . . they're going be doing the giveaway weekend again for the vehicle and costume pack, for those who missed it, starting on the 26th.

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OK, I haven't posted here in a while. Mostly, I've been playing Champions Online, trying to make the most of my subscription time, and checking out the new content.

 

As far as leveling activity, I've capped out Liberty Star. I retrained her from a Behemoth to a freeform Might DPS build. I finally thought of a name for Arrow Guy, and renamed him to Agincourt. The medieval costume I made for him gave me the idea. I've put a few levels on a lot of my characters. My Reawakened Automaton is almost 37 and will be my next capped.

 

First, a quick rundown on the Steel Crusade content. In the nutshell: It's pretty decent, but less substantial than I was hoping for. I had been hoping for something similar in scope to an adventure pack, but it ended up being a pretty short series of quests. Which is OK. It's still something new, and the execution is pretty decent. Except for the breadcrumb quests, the rest are daily quests that reward both Questionite and Mechanon Coalition recognition. They add up to a total of 3750 Q and 4 recognition. You get the initial quest from Defender, then go to Dr. Silverback's location for the quest, which is north of the Dynamic Technologies Research Group building. After the initial quest, you just go to Silverback for his dailies. After you do three quests for Silverback, you get another breadcrumb quest to the Until building for the finale, a longer quest that starts at the new space station. Again, you'll need to just go to Until HQ to get to the space station for subsequent days.

 

Some bullet points, spoiler-free:

 

  • The lowest level I've been able to start the chain is 18.
  • There are a total of four daily quests.
  • The first two quests are pretty easy, the third's final fight may be a bit challenging for squishy characters, and the final quest is fairly challenging. It's a three person quest, but soloable by all of my freeform builds. I haven't been able to solo it on my Marksman or Grimoire, which are the only archetypes I have capped.
  • The keys (to me) of soloing the final fight are having an instant heal of some kind and at least one (preferably two) active defenses. A defensive passive helps, but isn't mandatory.
  • Although most ATs don't meet the above, I think some of the more sturdy ones could do it. I'll be trying on my Glacier in a few weeks (whenever I cap him) and will post the results.
  • Of course, you can always grab some friends, since it's a three man mission. It's pretty easy up to the final fight when you're on a team, even if nobody is a tank or support. (Though having one or the other would be helpful.)
  • The mob mixes for each group are pretty non-standard, which is a nice change of pace. All three instanced missions have at least one challenging pull.
  • The other new thing they've done is a zero-G environment in the final mission. If you have a flight power, you can ignore it, though I don't know if that's intended. Everyone else better use their stability belt (provided).
  • There's a pressure suit device given out. It's purely cosmetic, for the funses. You can keep it and use it outside the mission, too.
  • The only bug I've found is that the destructible objects in the second quest are set to level 40, rather than scaling. It's not a huge deal, but can be a bit time consuming on lower-level characters.
  • The story aspects were handled pretty well, IMO. There's a bit of cheese, of course, but more in the vein of Silver Age nonsense science than bad jokes and puns. I found it fun.
  • The first three quests net 1750 Questionite, the Cislunar Mechanon mission nets 2000. This makes the first three quests a pretty quick source of Q, since they don't take long to do. The final mission takes a bit too much time to be a good farming activity, but it's pretty fun. Definitely a good test of your builds.

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OK, now for a quick review of the Reawakened Automaton archetype. Here are the basic bullet points:

  • The Archetype is available to both Silver and Gold players.
  • You must have at least one level 40 character to unlock it.
  • You'll need to log in a level 40 before you can make an Automaton. Don't log out until you get a pop up message informing you that you've unlocked it. This may take several seconds.
  • The Automaton has three "new" powers. These become available for use on freeforms after you've leveled an Automaton to 40.
  • The powers are: Aspect of the Macine, a new Form power that boosts ranged and melee damage; Rocket Punch, taken from the Destroid become device; Binding Shot, which is Bolas with a new animation.

 

Now, on to the details.

 

In the nutshell: It's surprisingly playable, has some dumb/questionable build choices like most ATs, is fairly sturdy with a CON secondary super stat and a heal, and has some buggy powers. If you're a Silver player, you may actually keep it around after capping it. If you're a Gold player, you'll be better off converting it to a freeform build.

 

A quick rundown on the three "new" powers, then I'll go over the build in detail.

 

Aspect of the Machine: This is a Form (toggle) power that builds up to five stacks of the Frenzy buff. (I guess heroic robots are berserk killing machines?) The Frenzy buff gives +15% ranged and melee damage per stack. (On my character sheet.) The buff scales with the greater of your EGO or STR score. You get one stack per rank, and you build stacks based on killing blows. This means on a boss fight, you'll probably be using your base stacks, so you'll want to rank it up all the way. Killing objects gives stacks of Frenzy. The form will shut off at random, usually when zoning.

 

It's not a great form. It does give equal bonus to ranged and melee, but the trigger condition pretty much blows. Does it at least fit in to the archtype? Not really. If you use Gauntlet Chainsaw, maybe, but this is a ranged role build, and I don't think Chainsaw is worth it. Verdict: Not worth taking, because the triggering condition is pretty bad. Even if you're going for a melee/ranged hybrid, there are better choices. The triggering condition is too harsh, and only comes into play in group content on trash, where you generally don't need the extra damage anyway. Soloing, you'll blow stuff up so fast you don't need a form at all, and on boss fights you're stuck at +45%.

 

Rocket Punch: This is a 100 foot ranged blast power that does decent damage with a line shaped area of effect. The line is very narrow, so they're pretty serious when they say "in a line." It can hit up to five targets, if you can find five targets standing lined up perfectly. It's not too hard to find three lined up. If you can't find two targets in a group lined up . . . you need geometry lessons. :D The power has a one point advantage to add knockback to it. I took it off for alerts (and b/c I took Chest Beam at 11), so I'm not sure right now, but I think the knock takes effect even on a tap. This makes it a better "get off me" power than Chest Beam due to energy cost and charge time, but Chest Beam is a bit wider cylinder and can knock three mobs off you at melee range. Overall, a decent power. I like it. I like the animations, too. You get a vaguely fist-shaped thing (it moves fast) with a contrail and flames blasting off on a curved, almost spiral, trajectory, and there's some smoke from your hand at the end of the animation. This is cool stuff. I don't know whether it's higher DPS if you tap spam it or if you charge it. Some blasts do more dps one way vs the other. Just eyeballing my damage numbers, it seems close. It fits well in the build as the primary damage power, but it makes Power Gauntlet completely redundant. It's almost exactly the same power, but with a line effect and a KB advantage added. Power Gauntlet does carry Crippling Challenge, so if you PVP it might be useful for that. For PVE, I don't have it on my bar, and I'm happily punching my way to 40.

 

Binding Shot: This is a reskin of Bolas. They basically just changed the animation. It's a decent single target hold. You can charge it, but just tapping it is very effective, and makes it a good way to buy time for you or your teammates. I use it on big bruisers to buy time to knock them away (and most of the way out) with Chest Beam, or if something is about to put the beat down on another player in an alert. It's also handy for stopping those annoying chain-swinging mobs that tend to interrupt your charged powers. Overall, a decent power, and also very useful for an Archetype.

 

Ok, taking a break here. Will continue later with the full build rundown.

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OK, here's what ya get, with notes from me. Not that I'm an expert, mind you. Just my impressions:

 

Super Stats:
Level 6: Ego (Primary)
Level 10: Recovery (Secondary)
Level 15: Constitution (Secondary)

 

Notes: Overall, a good set of super stats. You'll definitely want the Recovery, since it's a power-hungry build. CON is always nice to see on a DPS Archetype, as it helps survival. The EGO tree has some synergy with REC secondary, though I didn't go that route.

 

Specialization Trees:

Ego Tree: Solid tree for ranged DPS.
Overseer Tree: WTF? Weird choice of tree for a ranged AT, but does have some synergy with blasts, holds, and heals, which we have.
Vindicator Tree: An OK tree for boosting damage.

 

With these trees, it's really going to be down to your play style. For example, you can go for damage or survival or energy management with the EGO tree. Here's what I'm doing:

 

Ego:

Insight (3/3)
Aggression (2/2)
Follow Through (3/3)
Sixth Sense (2/3)

Overseer:

Administer (3/3)
Ruthless (2/2)
Conservation (2/2)
Enhanced Gear (3/3)

Vindicator:

Aggressive Stance (2/2)
Merciless (3/3)
Modified Gear (2/2)
Mass Destruction (3/3)
Ego Mastery (1/1) <-- I don't actually intend to play this AT as a 40, so this one is a moot point. Seems better than the other choices to me, though if you use the chainsaw, you may want to take Vindicator mastery instead.

 

Talents:
Level 1 (Innate): The Scourge (Con: 10, End: 8, Ego: 10, Rec: 10)

 

For the rest of the talents, I went with everything that gives CON. I'm using the heirloom set from Nemesis tokens and whatever secondaries I come across. So, I have plenty of EGO and REC, and pumping CON keeps me alive a bit longer while leveling. Basically, between Talents and Gear, I always try to get a) energy management, B) super stats and c) survival sorted out, in that order. Though, I'm not terribly fussy about it while leveling.

 

Powers:

Level 1: Wrist Bolter: Buggy. It randomly attacks furniture sometimes, and sometimes it won't go off unless in melee range. Sucks.
 

Level 1: Power Gauntlet: This does basically the same damage as Rocket Punch for the same energy cost. I can't see a reason to take any levels in it or put it in my power tray. 
 

Level 6: Rocket Punch: Ranked to 3, didn't take KB. See notes in last post.
 

Level 8: Targeting Computer: Useless while questing, b/c targets die too fast to get lock on. Otherwise, it's so-so. Ranked to 3.
 

Level 11: Gauntlet Chainsaw OR Chest Beam: I went with Chest Beam for two reasons: First, it's my "get off me" power. High damage with KB, and can get more mobs off me than advantaged Power Gauntlet. Second, it's got a nice damage resistance debuff on it. I went Rank 2 with Point Blank Blast on it. I'm not sure if that's actually higher damage than R3, but since I only use it at point blank anyway, I went with it. I've never used Gauntlet Chainsaw, and didn't test it on this character. I can't see it being better for a panic button or boss fight though.
 

Level 14: Aspect of the Machine: Ranked to 3. See last post for details. Second buggy power.
 

Level 17: Binding Shot: I like this. No ranks, works fine as a Rank 1 power.  See last post for details.
 

Level 21: Reconstruction Circuits: Our third buggy power. Often shuts off if you block too soon after activating it. Which makes it iffy if you're in a real jam. This may be more of a latency or server lag issue than a bug, but it's still unreliable. It has a nice visual effect, though, and is way better than not having a heal. While it's active, you'll only be able to use your hand slot power. With the cost reduction to heals specialization and a decent amount of Recovery, I can shoot about three Rocket Punches while it's running before going out of energy, so it is possible to use it a bit while attacking. Usually I just turtle while it's running, or use it between pulls.
 

Level 25: Overdrive: This is our energy unlock. It procs off of Power Armor Maintains. Which on this archetype is Gauntlet Chainsaw (if you take it) and Reconstruction Circuits. Which means it's basically useless. Despite the tooltip, it scales off of REC as far as I've been able to determine. I think there was a pass a while back that made all energy unlocks use REC and the tooltip wasn't updated.
 

Level 30: Lock N Load or Ego Surge: If you're using Gauntlet Chainsaw, there's an argument for Lock N Load with the Two Smoking Barrels advantage. Otherwise, Ego Surge with the Nimble Mind advantage is far better since you have a CON secondary super stat.
 

Level 35: Orbital Cannon or Energy Wave: I went with Orbital Cannon at Rank 2 with Anvil of Dawn. It takes longer to set up, but Energy Wave seemed underwhelming damage-wise, though it would give you an alternate "get off me" power. Seems a lot of people do like Energy Wave, so this looks like a playstyle choice.

Level 40: Implosion Engine: If you keep the character at 40, you'll want to rank this up to 3. I have it on a couple of characters and it's pretty nice.
 

You'll notice one thing missing here: A block replacer. These are pretty useful to archetypes, especially DPS ones. It would have been useful here, but it hasn't been too hard to level without one.

 

Overall, not a totally worthless build, but there are some buggy things in it, and trying to give it a melee and ranged option  to go with Aspect of the Machine is really hard to do on an AT, since they have so few power slots. They may have been better served with offering options of ranged vs laser sword attacks if going that route. Then you could either focus on one or the other or mix them up. Gauntlet Chainsaw seems like a weird choice to me, and some of the other odd choices seem to be based around it.

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