Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Bold Prediction: What Will The Release of T5 Recipes do to Your Server?

Since we've been eagerly awaiting the release of those missing T5 Comp/Decomp recipes for so long, I got to thinking what would be the financial impact of their release be?  I'm particularly looking at the current cost of T5 Stones as an example.

Currently, on Bijou, the dusts used to create T5 stones vend for about 17-18s/ea for the Shining Gem and Shining Spirit Dusts.  The Shining Soul Dusts only go for about 4s/ea since they can be Comped from Lustered Soul Dust at a rate of 3:1.  T5 Stones sell at an average of about 270-300s for Elrue[5], 2.7-3g for Lix[5], and 27-35g for Xir[5].

So what do you think will happen when these recipes become available?  Will the price of T5 Stones drop because Comping Lustered/Glowing into Shinings will become more common?  Or will you see a huge spike in the price of Lustered/Glowing dusts while the current prices for T5 Stones will remain unchanged?

I, for one, was dead wrong predicting the price drop on T5 Stones when they requirements for Elrue creation were changed (it went from 15 of each dust per Elrue to 6 of each).  I thought the prices would go down, but unfortunately, the buy price on the dusts went through the roof, jumping from 4-5s to the now astronomical 17-18s.

So what are your thoughts?  If you want to chime in on Scroll or Potion productions, feel free.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Journey Into the Secret Lab!

Who says Archers never get Lab parties?  Well, for 99% of us, that's true, even for me.  Fortunately, I ran into some friends in FBZ1 that were looking to do a few runs in Secret Lab and they asked if I'd be interested.  Since I hadn't gone to Lab on my SharpShooter in months (probably closer to a year), I pounced on the opportunity.  Sadly, my time was limited so we could only get two full runs in.  I do want to thank ChocolateThunder, WhutAboot1T, and MorePewPewLessQQ for letting me tag along.  It was perfect timing as I had wanted to do a full-run video and thought activating my Warlock would be my only hope... that or *gasp!* I go in as an HK...

Since I was only available for an hour, I didn't Cookie, I just used a 20% STR/DEF Charm, some of the freebies from Vault, I think.  It was sufficient as both Fighters managed aggro fine.  We didn't add another player and just went with that we had, 110 Gladiator, 110 Knight, 107 SharpShooter, and 106 HolyKnight.  It was the first time I've gone through Lab without a Mage in the party.  We completed two runs, didn't get any weapons (first run we cracked a tube, second run we had an empty chest), but did manage to get a Guardian Shirt and Gladiator Pants, neither of them were all that good.

All in all, I had a lot of fun, got to complete one of my quests in there, so it was definitely worth my time.  The party was strong enough that the shortcomings of the Archer subclasses weren't too much of a detriment.

As far as tips for an Archer heading into Secret Lab?  Well in the off-chance that you are actually invited, don't be a noob.
  • Stay back, play backline, let the Knights or whomever's tanking, set the pace.  
  • Stay alive as much as possible to keep the party buffs at maximum, so that means being fully scrolled.  
  • Be sure to target what the Tank is targeting unless you can handle a few hits in there.  
  • Keep your AOEs to a minimum as you don't want to be the one to mistakenly crack a Tube with a misplaced AOE  As you get more comfortable in there, you can open up a bit.
  • Click to target (or use party window, aggro window), tabbing can be dangerous as you may target the Tube
  • Be quiet. Observe. Learn.
  • Keep all of the above in consideration, but do try to have some fun in there!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Archer Rebalancing - A Continuing Evolution

Well another round of much needed Archer Rebalancing has come and I'm truly grateful for the changes.  While none of the changes are what you would consider game-changers, their subtle improvements are a help to the Archer class.

So what did we see? 

Aimed Shot Changes
The skill Aimed Shot's Power Empowerment effect has been increased - This was definitely a nice addition.  While on paper it looks like a significant increase, in practice, it wasn't too much.  Aimed Shot basically got buffed up to the old Power Shot, but with a faster Cool Down and Cast Time.  I still would like to see the complete elimination of cast times on these two skills for those of us that go SharpShooter.  Overall increase in damage is an estimated 11%.  Again, not great, but it's something.

Power Shot Changes
The skill Power Shot's Power Empowerment effect has been increased - This along with Aimed Shot was, in theory, another nice change, but, just as in Aimed Shot, what we got wasn't that dramatic.  All told, we saw an increase of only about 9% in raw damage.

Blindshot Animation - I think it changed at some point..
Blindshot skill now reduces target's hit rate. SP consumption changed - Since I couldn't test this on mobs, I headed down to FBZ1 today to see what this was exactly.  I ended up testing on several different players, a capped Gladiator, a capped full DEX Knight, a level 65 Archer and a level 41 Cleric. 

In test #1, the Gladiator went from 1601 Aim down to 859 a drop of 742 points. 
The full DEX Knight went from 1941 down to 1241 a drop of 700 points.
The Archer went from 650 Aim to -65, a difference of 715 points.
The Cleric wend from 316 Aim down to -384, a drop of 700 points.

So while those numbers are great, unfortunately, they only last for the duration of the debuff, so about 5 seconds.  As far as SP consumption goes, if it's not a skill I'm able to spam, it just doesn't matter much.

Success rate for Poison Shot skill increased - I didn't see a noticeable difference in this, didn't really pay attention to Stick Rates on my single-target DOTs.  More times than not, they work unless against Boss mobs.

Bleeding (DOT) for Piercing Shot skill increased - This was a nice change.  DOT damage went from 96 or so up to 218 every 3 seconds.  Too bad it's not per second huh?  *wink*
The poison, bleed, and disease damage over time (DoT) skills now act independently - FINALLY!!!!  We can now stick all three kitable AOE DOTs!  They all work independently of each other!  There's also a new icon for the Multi Blood Shot DOT, kinda looks like the HP Regen Pot icon.  Oddly, this DOT only does about 69 damage every second.  Low compared to the 96 that a similar Nature's Mist provides per second.  But still, a nice, long-awaited, fix.

So is there more?  Well we can only continue to hope.  Archers are slowly moving back into respectability thanks to changes like those mentioned above.  While none of them were game-changers, they do help round us out a bit more and give us hope that there is still more just over the horizon.

Special thanks to [GM]Kobal for his continued efforts to level the playing field for the Archer class.  Without his help, we'd be much worse off.  Thanks again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Another Solo - Mara KQ (Mage)

I decided to record my last Mara KQ attempt since I'd be leveling out of it shortly and didn't have a Mage perspective on this. Unfortunately, I was the only one in the KQ so I figured I'd try and solo it. Here's the video:

I didn't think I could do it with my current base gear so I went ahead and activated a 2hr +30% HP/SP Extender (old Watch-this-commercial rewards) along with a 20% Charm of Strength (also a reward). Midway through, I went ahead and emptied my vault items, activating a 7-day Butterfly Wings +5% Crit and a 1-day Sakura Costume +5% Crit. I forgot to use the Cat Ears.

My HK buff ran out before the final fight with Mara and Marlone, unfortunately. I had run a Gold Hill KQ just before this one started and didn't have a chance to re-buff. I only had time to restone, didn't get a chance to pick up my level 25 skill upgrades either ... or switch out my junk rings for KM ones.

I'm using decent +0 Fire Set armor and pants along with a level 24 green boot. Weapon is a +9 green staff.

I know it's not a HUGE accomplishment by any means, I was extended and charmed, but I recorded it anyway, figured I'd post it. Thanks for watching!

Oh, about that dancing pirate.... well I was looking at some of the stuff we got recently, it looks like the Caramelldansen dance is already in the files... figured I'd toss that in there for fun.  =)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tough Cookie Video Challenge! Level 20 Archer Promotion

I'm pretty sure most of you that frequent my blog know that I enjoy challenging myself, that I take the mundane and sometimes throw in a wrinkle just to liven things up a bit.  Well the level 20 Promotion Quest is one of those things.

Typically, I'm able to overcome these self-imposed challenges, but for the life of me, I just can't get past this one without altering my own parameters.  Here's the rundown of the challenge:

Level 20 Archer Promotion Quest
Weapon:  Level 15 NPC Bow, clean, no license
Armors:  Nothing
Jewelry:  Nothing
Scrolls:  None
Buffs:  None, Guild Buff is acceptable, Power of Love is not.
SparkCash:  None.
Potions: Tier 1 Only

My Archer has a 12str, 8dex build currently and I was unable to complete my challenge, oftentimes dying at the end Shadow Boss or mistiming my pots/stones and dying at the beginning....

So do you think you can do it?  Show me.

First person to send me a video response on YouTube showing their completed start-to-finish level 20 Archer Promo Quest matching the parameters I set above will win a Tough Cookie Pack. (THIS HAS ALREADY BEEN AWARDED, SORRY!  Congrats to Darknightofwind!) Oh, and yes you have to have your weapon equipped when you enter the Shadow Dungeon (yeah I'm looking at you Ian!)

I will not accept a series of screenshots for this challenge. There must be video. If you can't record your run, sorry, you won't be able to participate.

You can try whatever build you want and whatever skill empowerments you choose. I only have full CD on Aimed Shot and as stated before am using a 12 STR, 8 DEX build.

Your statwindow MUST appear at some point in the video during your run.

Best of luck to all that choose to participate!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wow, I Actually Won Something!

I consider myself fairly lucky when it comes to in-game mechanics, enhancing notwithstanding, but I swear I never, EVER, win anything that has to do with any kind of raffle or giveaway.  Until today!

Whether I'm buying multiple Iron Cases ( >. > ), multiple Mounts ( >. >;), gifting X number of people ( >. >;;) stocking up on Summer Boops (>. >;;; I ended up buying/gifting over 20 of them, FYI), I just never win.  It's been so demoralizing... just once, I'd like to win a nice permanent costume thing or another mount, or a new Graphics Card, or an Xbox 360, or whatever!  At least once!  For the almost-four-years of my support, bless me with winning something please!

But hey, I won 700sc.  A buck.  Woot?  LOL.... well I'm not demeaning the value of that 700sc, I mean it's 700sc more than I had when I woke up this morning, but man... I wanna win something big!  Congratulations to the 1,000 other winners!  If you want to know if you won, check this thread out:  Winners List.

But really, I am grateful for it, even though it's small, it's still *something*.  =)

Oh, and ironically, I won twice... I also won on an alt account.... sadly, I don't remember the email address linked to it!  *sigh*

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Reason for Optimism? Hunter's Kingdom (Japan)

I don't think many of you have ever played the original Japanese version of Fiesta Online called "Bright Kingdom", I never did, but from what I've heard/seen it was fairly similar to what we had with a few tweaks here and there.  Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, at some point Bright Kingdom failed and its doors and windows boarded up and shut down.  This was probably back in 2009 if I remember correctly.

So with great surprise did I find out that "Fiesta" is seeing a revival, or as the trendy Hollywood-types call it, a reboot, in Japan!  Going with the new name, Hunter's Kingdom, I'm guessing they kept the "Kingdom" part to evoke some familiarity with their players of old, while changing the name slightly to make it appear fresh, new, and exciting.

So what does this mean for us on OutSpark's service?  My hope is that we start seeing more updates and on a grander scale.  Looking at the screenshots on the Hunter's Kingdom (I'll refer to it as "HK") website, there are some variants to the game we enjoy, like this update to Roumen:

Carrier Pigeon system and the New Roumen
Roumen looks... WOW.  Different!  Gone is the sorta half-and-half Town/Battle Zone where the Slimes and Mushrooms are.  The town is simply that, just a Town.  It has the familiar kind of bullet shape of most traditional port towns with the widest area being the ocean side.  The architecture has also seen what looks to be a tremendous upgrade over the old.

Introduced in HK is also the "Carrier Pigeon" system, known here as the AutoRun feature for the low level questers.  Perhaps this feature was developed for the JP market, and just test driven by us.  I haven't had a chance to try this feature out myself, but having used it in other MMOs it has positives and negatives.  Positives are that you don't have to spend time searching for places, mobs, maps, etc.. just click and you auto-run there.  Negatives are that you don't have to spend time searching for places, mobs, maps, etc.. just click and you auto-run there.  Haha, no I'm  not going mad, yes, I said the same thing twice.  Having this feature, in my mind, discourages exploration.  We already have a feature that highlights where mobs are on your map, I thought that was enough.  Anyway, it's both good and bad, just depends how you want to see it.

Stat-Bonus Title Sytem
Also seeing a difference is their Title System.  Currently, our titles are just that, Titles.  They provide no benefit to wearing them other than it shows some exclusivity in that you accomplished whatever parameter it was to acquire it.  In some other MMOs, whatever title you currently wear provides some benefit, possibly an EXP boost, a drop boost, bonus HP, whatever.  It appears that HK is following suit.  Looking at the images, you notice there are bonuses down at the bottom as the character swaps titles out.  Hopefully, we see some port of this also.

Reputation System
Hunter's Kingdom also features a Reputation System.  I don't know if this differs from our Monarch (Master/Apprentice) System at all, but it appears like you can earn different items through an NPC which includes some armors and Mounts.

Old "New" Charm Icons (bleh!) and Trickster Artwork
It looks like the HK players will be using the "New" buff icons that we protested so profusely about.  I'm so glad that we got the old ones back.

There are several really cool anime-style drawings of each class (like the Trickster [Joker in HK] posted above), but unfortunately, only the Archer looks true to the in-game character.  Geez, I wish my Mages looked like that!  That Cleric reminds me a lot of Belldandy.... hmm.

So how will their version, as far as skills go, differ from ours?  I really have no idea.  The previous version, from what I heard, had some skills that we never saw.  I don't know if what they are offering is the same or not.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Now, I'm sure you're asking if I plan to play there, well honestly, I doubt it.  It would be nice to maybe play for a day, or a week, just to see the differences, but the OutSpark servers, and Bijou specifically, will always be home.

Personally, I do think that this launch back into the Japanese market will be a win for us here.  With a new influx of players generating more revenue, I'm hopeful that OnsOn can hire more in-house developers to meet the demand.  Cynics of course will think that this will just stretch the existing OnsOn staff members more and result in less updates and less fixes, but hey, I'm always optimistic!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Just Some Updates -

Curious what I've been up to?  I'm kinda directionless at this point.....

After that "Hmm.. what to do next?" post, I decided to activate a bunch of stuff on my 9x Fighter, WinterLace, in the hopes of moving her up the ranks to Gladiator.  As of this posting, she's level 92 with about 26% experience gain.  I've completed all of her worthwhile quests and mainly just stick to participating in KQs.

I refuse to be a puller in a Black Bear or Snakes party, so I'm pretty much left to solo.  My own stubborness and aptitude for boredom has me somewhat defeated and deflated.  I just really lack the motivation to carry on with her.  I spent one 50+20% charm grinding, and did around 20% I think, splitting time between Wind Nepilims and Fire Titans in Dark Land.  Of the two, at 91, the Titans were faster experience simply because they die faster and are packed in closer together.  They also hurt more though.

I had previously saved my Cursed Knight string of quests, the "Luna" ones, if you've never done these, just be aware that the drop rate is H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E.  I finally got them done over the course of two or three days.  I earned quite a bit of experience just grinding on Cursed Knight Golds while waiting on the drops to fall.  I also was fortunate enough to pick up a BKR 1h from the Cursed Knight Lord, but sadly the stats are pretty fail, High STR and High SPR, not ideal for a Tank.

I've come to the realization that I honestly hate the 9x grind.  I think part of my problem is that I'm stuck in that "been there, done that" mentality since I already have three other characters that have hit prestige (Warlock, SharpShooter, HolyKnight).  This whole experience with WinterLace just feels like more of the same.  True, it's a different class and a different play mechanic, but it's the same mobs giving the same crappy experience.  I thought I could make it to at least 95/96, but everyday that passes, it seems like less and less of a possibility.  I've got only 11 days left on my activated items, I have doubts I can even make it to 93 with my current state of mind.

Now just because I haven't been fully committed to leveling up WinterLace doesn't mean I haven't been busy... you know me by now, always doing something.  Anyway, I've been just spamming Kingdom Quests mostly on some other alts, continuing KKP on FatalRemixed and playing through Mara and Gold Hill on my newbie Cleric, FatalExperiment.  I also have a 55 Archer that I'm outfitting for Mini Dragon.  I'm hoping to do some Archer-tank/Aggro-stealing videos at some point.  Character is as-of-yet-unannounced as I use her to vend from time to time.  Her name will probably be exposed on the video.  Bleh, oh well... I'll make new vendors!

So, if you happen to see a purple-ponytailed 5x Archer yanking aggro from the "Tank" that might just be me!  And hey, maybe you can be in my next video project!
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