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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Trolling break aka der Sequel

Got a bit of time, might as well record down whatever I've learnt thus far... and hopefully add a thing or two for my never-to-born Neverwinter Six. Actually come to think of it, I should have tried harder. I mean compared to the Neverwinter Six, the Neverwinter Nine were actually the truest deal.

Some stuff I realized earlier tonight...
1. Running Icespire Peak can be quite time consuming unless you happened to look around for blokes blessed w/that square diamond halo.

2. Thought I'd have lost the Cathedral of Madness quest for good. The only catch? You need to know exactly which gate to go. iirc there's only 1 Azazel. And we all know he's a horned bastard who happened to be horny for Mystique. Really sucks to be Nightcrawler, here's hoping he will score w/Scarlet Witch.

3. Funnily enough, you'll need to run around in circles if you're not aware enough in terms of your surroundings. Icespire Peak and the Chasm had taught me this much.

4. It may sound weird here, but it seems that earning XP for killing monsters & bosses involve a performance bonus of sorts. Simply put, the more efficient you are, the better your XP profit. I came to this batshit crazy conclusion via Arylos' crazy lvl up speed. Note that I don't ever remember the blokes @Cryptic saying "hey, let's do our own Manhattan XP Market lol!"

5. For the first time in personal history, I actually won against a normal team in Domination. Simply put, my team were all warriors going against a team including 2 magic users. Not that I'm the Indian chief ofc... Oh, and pls dun ask me whether the other team actually suck  b/c I dun have the authority to demand replay vids from the Cryptic blokes....

6. In preparation for Tiamat's much awaited arrival come 18th Nov, it seems that Dagult Neverember has declared a whopping 8K worth of bonus Astral Diamonds, no matter which kind of Rhix's fixtures you decided to do. Yes, you heard me right. Stacked AD profiteering is now not just limited to PvP. Just dun ask me why that racist $$$ grubber from Waterdeep decided to be so bloody generous...

7. Racist Neverember's anti-discrimination bill basically means one thing: you can decide which daily quest to do. No need to like say die die must do everything. Quite a good idea from the Cryptic blokes if I say so myself.

8. If you happen to win a Domination PvP under the daily quest context, it means you'd have earned +1 completion for free. Sounds confusing? Nvr mind, let Minghui-matics do the maths for you.
Normal daily requirement:
4 matches played+lose all 4=8000
Bonus earned per daily:
1 match won=3 matches played=8000
Accumulative bonus:

9. It's official, guys. For every G-Dragon seen alive, there will be at least 4 F-dragons certified dead. And I've just proven this shit via a Thorn Ward/Commanding Shot>Commanding Shot/Thorn Ward>Split the Sky sequence. Just make sure you have two types of wolves in your skill arsenal.

And since I got not much time left...
...might as well go ahead and do my own flawed analysis on the three paragon feat paths. More specifically for the Hunter Ranger class. The special thing abt Hunter Rangers is this: not only is this the only class capable of being a physical ranged spec, but above all this is an absurdly versatile class. This is exactly why switching stance is so important. Ultimately. the manner of your individual play will decide how the range-melee mix up game pans out.

Introduction of the 3 amigas
Come lvl 30, every character must choose his/her own paragon path. For the Hunter Ranger, the correct paragon class chosen will create his/her own unique blend of skills. Because I am still single, alrdy bespectacled, getting horribly fat, and now waiting to go bald, allow me to invoke a surreal parallel here:

Suppose you're single and available. You have 3 girls to choose from, namely Girl A, Girl C, and Girl T. Which one will you choose to be your precious princess till death do both part? Quite obviously you'll need to know what each girl is like, correct? So let's do a breakdown on each choice given.

Girl A is that girl who somehow managed to notice your forest ghost existence first. You may have to contend with multiple crushes, but it seems that Girl A was the first one to smile and giggle towards your direction. Basically, it means either she's for real or you're thinking too much.

Girl C is that girl who somehow managed to share plenty of common aspects as you. Logically, she should be the one for you. Sadly, it seems that you're truly a forest ghost to her. Doesn't help that she's actually a close BFF of Girl A.

Girl T is that girl who somehow first invoked your interest. You know next to nothing about her, yet you verily soon realized she's quite unattainable due to her inner circle. This is not to say that Girl T is the daughter of some local MP, but at least you found out that one of her Facebook friends happen to be a local celebrity.

Just like all three girls are beautiful in their own ways, likewise the three paragon paths are also usable if you're good enough.

Archer:
This is def every Ranger class' first love. Ignore the fact that some of the finest rangers in fantasy happen to be the likes of Drizzt Do'Urden and Aragorn. When we talk abt rangers. we'll be like "oooh!!! Bow and arrows, forest and cover!!!!!"
Not so surprisingly, I've seen plenty of archer HRs, but little to none when it comes to the rest. It's like me choosing Girl A just b/c I perceive her to be the most pragmatic option. The only catch? My life as a ranger fanboy tends to gravitate towards every given technique certified risky. Which now comes to...

Combat:
Def not the safest bet b/c it's like Clint Barton trying to emulate Remy LeBeau. The only catch? Hawkeye is def a certified ranged DPS spec, but Gambit will always be remembered by Nick Fury as that top notch combat artist. Forget what you might have learnt from TV b/c Gambit would always be at his deadliest once you give him time and space w/that metal pole. Flinging kinetic charged poker cards is merely his primary tactic. Using his staff of mass destruction will always become that greatest damage source.
No one should demand your HR to fight like Drizzt Do'Urden, but at least you should understand the term "primary damage source" at the verily least.

Trapper:
This is a feat path for those truly daring. If the first 2 feat paths are meant to go hand in hand, then Trapper is quintessentially straddled somewhere in between. It's like comparing CT-MRI w/mammography. Both belong to the same field (i.e. radiology), but you can't shoehorn both together just like that.
Suffice to say, the popular consensus is playing Trapper sucks. It's not so much on how really sucky is the Trapper path, but rather the insane learning curve involved.

And speaking of being sucky...
I've recently stumbled upon one hell of a dinosaur poster in some random Neverwinter forum post (not the official one, mind you, since the mods would be more than happy to ban the ****er from Cryptic's official Sim Lim Square). Long story short, that person was whining over how HR should be an artillery spec. As some ARPG n00b who somehow managed to master the usage of a decent HR, I find this manner of post laughable at best. At worst, it's like Tony Stark assuming the throne of Wakanda.

Someone actually tried reasoning w/a troll, believe it or not. If it's down to me... well, I'd try doing so otherwise as well. One, if not the most, hilarious lie that living fossil pulled out from his/her sorry ass is the insistence that Oak Skin is practically crap. Why? Because plenty has been spoken abt the minimal amount of HP healed, but nothing abt what truly makes this skill such a wonderful thing. Let's try to see things via 2 diff skits involving 2 same characters...

Me: Wow, you look absolutely pretty in bikini.
Stevia: Anything else?
Me: Erm.. nothing I can think of now.
*next day me kenna sepak by Stevia's friends*

Me: You really look pretty in bikini.
Stevia: And what you're trying to say apart from that?
Me: I think you should try letting others know that you're not all beauty and no brains. You can't blame the average Joe for watching too much Baywatch, right?
*immediately me kenna complimented by Stevia's friends*

When you get a gf who happened to be both beautiful and smart, you don't harp on how hot she looks in her fave two-piece. Likewise, only Stevia's detractors would say plenty of stuff on her outer beauty and totally kosong on her inner beauty.

The one thing granting any HR an absurdly high survival gameplay is activating Oak Skin. Which basically makes stance switch so vital. Coupled w/Stag Heart and you'll get one hell of a monster tank. Now come to think of it, I should test drive this on Arylos esp since I've alrdy gotten that Feytouched enchantment I wanted so badly. Now let's see if I can get Briartwine...

Plenty of signature moves, but which one?
I realized that Split the Sky is best used in dungeon crawling and dragon slaying. I know this is a belated discovery, but no one should also fault Sir Stamford Raffles for being N ages slower than the likes of Sang Nila Utama and Zheng He.

In solo PvE, you'll need to slap in a Fox's Cunning so that your 1st-dodge-for-free can mitigate whatever retaliation big time. Against slow hitting mob, you can get away w/this. Not too sure what'll happen against the fast ones tho. Ofc this doesn't mean StS is totally crap in normal PvE since this the def the most straightforward way to one-shot those annoying quicklings running amok in Sharandar.

Blade Storm is good, but not good enough once you have Twin Blade Storm plus a maxed out Aspect of the Lone Wolf which gives you a base 20% deflection plus a whopping max 10% bonus in addition. The only way to make Blade Storm work is to combine it w/Twin Blade Storm. Which imo is outright bs in a very negative sense. This is NOT to say Blade Storm is 100% crap or even near 70%. But you'll really need to slap in a Lightning epic weapon enchantment in order to get the most out whatever batty amount of chain damage involved.

Stormstep Action is for Stormwardens out to get a quick buck from being a Trapper. For those interested in mixing this up w/Serpent Weave, you're encouraged to do so. Because as a pro Trapper, you'll need plenty of Encounter powers to tide you by.

Cold Steel Hurricane is quintessentially your DM. I don't mean Dungeon Master ofc, but rather the term Desperation Move. Ever played King of Fighters before?

And lastly, but not the least...
The pros and cons of each paragon path.

Archer
Greater Power domains:
Dungeon; Skirmish; group PvE

Intermediate Power domains:
Solo PvE

Lesser Power domain:
PvP (both Domination & Gauntlgrym)

Analysis
Archery is all abt single target DPS. In fact, the only class capable of outgunning a HR range spec in this area is what I'll coin a Scourge Warlock nuke spec. Given Scourge Warlock's relatively new arrival, I believe there are plenty more stuff waiting to be tested out since my perception is that SW is basically the most absurd class in terms of the variety of playing style options.

Without a SW, however, you can be very sure the Archer HR will most likely take the cheesecake in terms of all things Greater Power domain. This is due to the whole Predator-Prey mechanic. Try this w/Feytouched against any bigass boss/dragon. Shit will go purple and 120% catastrophic. iirc I've seen before 1 dwarf Devoted Cleric and the other bloke taking down a dungeon final boss+his kahkia for Spellplague Caverns all for free. No prizes for guessing who's that other person.
Ofc as anyone will tell you, Control Wizards tend to bake the biggest cheesecakes. Just that they're not built to outgun range spec HRs in terms of damage.

Solo PvE wise, Archers do have a decent survival level. The only problem lies in timing the CC execution. That plus there will always be higher end enemies (bosses and non-bosses) which are quintessentially immune to non-magic CC effects unless on a lower health (fyi, ensnaring effects tend to have the least powerful impact). For every manner of PvE, defender type companions are strongly recommended. If you're interested to become a Jeff Hardy, Wayward Wizard is actually worth more than just 2 pops of gold.

PvP... well, they nerfed Predator effect for this very occasion, so....

Combat
Greater Power domains:
Solo PvE; PvP (both Domination & Gauntlgrym)

Intermediate Power domains:
Dungeon; group PvE

Lesser Power domain:
Skirmish

Analysis
Arylos belongs to this archetype. HRs are known for being survivors due to superior options in defensive buffs (the only offensive buffs melee-wise would be Hawkeye & Throw Caution). For range specs, effectiveness would have been effectively halved. This is due what I've said on the CC front just now. In addition, combat HRs tend to have better defensive/healing feats. Deflection+Wild Medicine+life steal x 2 would virtually guarantee your survival in a 1 vs 10 against Dragon cultists. Let alone pulling off an Oak Skin.

In terms of PvP, a lot has been said on combat HR being absurdly imba. Such statement is nothing but nonsense. I can easily identify Scourge Warlocks and Control Wizards as the showstoppers and gamechangers ffs.
The only reason why combat HR is such a prized asset in any PvP team is what I've stated above: high survival rate. PvP is all abt how long you can last, NOT how many you can kill. I've pulled off some crazy bs tantamount to half-assed suicide bombing and the next thing I know, my buddies arrived to avenge my idiocy on those more deserving of party wrath. It's not a sin to die like a moron so long you are able to pull one enemy or more down together w/you. Only a matter of directly or indirectly. Also, it helps a lot in terms of mass deflection and Aspect of the Pack since that means giving your team better tactical options.

Then we have Dungeon and group PvE in general. These 2 categories belong to the group attrition aspect where individual survivability is 2nd priority. The key is to heighten your chances of survival via body count and this is where combat HRs fall horribly short.
You see, combat HR tend to place survival first (just like the general HR). This is due to higher end defensive buffs made available (which now makes me wonder what the paladin class will do if Cryptic decide to put that in. Or even druid for that matter). Damage input wise, combat HR will lose out to the likes of SW and Great Weapon Fighters. Coupled with any Trickster Rogue pulling off a possible mass mob slow and you'll get my drift.

When it comes to Skirmish, it's even worse b/c Skirmish is all abt pace and aggression.  Individual survivability means nothing next to shit, I can assure you that.

So how should a combat HR deal w/this manner of handicap? Very simple, folks. You have 3 Encounter slots, try to even things out by creating a tactical balance between direct AoE damage, CC, and group buff. Don't try to be hero b/c you won't ever be one. In fact, chances are you'll need to chip in from afar instead of getting up, close, and personal.
Take a leaf from Drizzt Do'Urden. We all know his exploits starting from Menzoberranzan. Doesn't mean he's always the one winning major battles at the most forefront. That kind of accolade belongs to Bruenor Battlehammer and Wulfgar.

Personal tip: Commanding Shot+Feytouched=GG 

Trapper
Greater Power domains:
Dungeon; Skirmish; group PvE

Intermediate Power domains:
PvP (both Domination & Gauntlgrym)

Lesser Power domain:
Solo PvE

Analysis
Survival is not everything. Trappers are capable of surviving solo, but only when it comes to group warfare will this particular gem truly shine. Appreciating Trappers is a bit like appreciating pretty girls. 'Tis far easier for guys to be attracted by girls blessed with sexy legs and/or beautiful boobs. Supposedly we have a beautiful girl where the only visible asset happens to be her derrière. Would guys take notice ala first impression basis? Or would it be easier for them to notice an equally attractive girl with legs/boobs/both?

What I'm trying to say is this: Trappers tend to be under-appreciated. That's all. Due to Neverwinter being far more group friendly than solo friendly, Trappers are capable of being your BFF. However, a gross lack in options  when it comes to solo-survival tends to hurt the Trapper. A lot of the Trapper's game tend to focus on CC damage. As I've said again and again, the CC factor for HR isn't really a big deal since even a TR can outgun any HR in this area.

And a word on PvP. Trappers need tactical cover to work their magic. Which is why I put PvP under Intermediate domain.

Most ideal companion? Go get a Leader type. The easiest one to get is Apprentice Healer, the easiest Epic grade to get is also a Leader.