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Lunacy Polish

Member Since 05 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Apr 03 2014 02:09 AM

Topics I've Started

Random Derpy Observations Upon Returning

07 January 2014 - 08:16 PM

Because I am an insane person and a huge derp, I have decided to end my sabbatical and resume playing GW2 at least for a time.   I hope my derpness amuses someone slightly in a parrallel universe where things that aren't funny amuse people.

Upon logging in for about an hour yesterday, I saw much and observed more:

1.  Pretty!  I just got a much better monitor, much higher color contrast, 1080p and all that, bigger size, etc.  Makes me appreciate the graphics more.  I had no idea how much my old piece of crap was holding me back.

2.  I had hoped by now that Ascended items would be available for WvW badges, since that’s the only currency I seem to collect in any meaningful quantity.  It doesn’t seem that this is the case, though perhaps I am wrong.  I often hope to be the party who is in error and this is one of those times.

3.  I am theorizing that the fact all my craft skills are obsolete now means I’m supposed to buy gold with gems and buy overpriced mats from the TP and max those out and THEN maybe afford Ascended tier items.  I haven’t checked so tell me if I’m off target on that one.  But if I am in fact at least partially correct, that’s a big No Thank You.

Are we still ragging on the Cox box?  Is that still a thing?  Because this looks like a giant Cox box to me.

But I’m not really surprised, they screwed the pooch when they didn’t separate WvW gear and PvE gear at the onset of the game and it’s too late now.

4.  I also realized some other odd things.  In the WvW borderlands, only the first collection of a resource counts toward the daily.  You have to go to a PvE zone to get credit for each item gathered.  Or at least I had to, I hope this is a bug.  Please tell me this is a bug.

I do not care for this change at all if it's legit.  I will grant you it’s not that hard to run out Lion’s Arch and hit some nodes and that there are other parts of the daily you can just as easily do instead, but still not a fan of this.  I hope it’s a bug, or I was just harvesting it wrong through the amazing power of my sheer derpitude?

5.  Also… same maps?  Still?  Really?  Okay not shocked, but they could have at least adjusted some of the contours.  There’s a new thing with controlling ruins at least, that’s something.  It’s not a lot but it’s something.  Something derpy.

6.  It appears I am like 120+ WXP ranks behind the curve.  Ecks Dee. Fortunately they’ve kept these abilities niche enough it’s okay to be behind the power curve.

7.  They changed the interface on me.  Please tell me someone if you can still track how far along you are on an achievement on screen any more like you used to with the old interface and I’m just being my usual derpy self?

8.  It’s ironic.  I’ve mained a Warrior for my initial foray, and I remember when it was the true bottom of the barrel profession everyone laughed at and for good reason because all it offered was pure damage for dungeon runs if specced and built a particular way.  Now it’s climbed to the top of the meta, like in the early beta.  Figures!

9.  Sweet Okie of Muskogee, I have forgotten how to play this game.  I’m as clumsy, slow and awkward as I was in the beta.  I was never an amazing player but I was marginally competent enough to stage a decent fight half the time, and gee whiz this is over the top bad.  How do I shot web indeed. It’s back to noobtown for me!

Okay in all fairness part of it is I came back on a character I haven’t played in a long time that’s not intuitive to play, whose spec I was working on, and whose gear is terrible.  That’s going to be a little rough for anyone and harder still on a derp.  But still!

10. Also, we are now literally picking up luck.  Okay I thought picking up good karma was a good meta joke and kind of clever, but picking up good luck kind of broke my brain.  I’m not even sure what to do with it, it’s an Artificer ingredient but for what?  I need to find out what this stuff is this week, I’m sure it’s on the wiki, I just haven’t looked yet.

I almost don’t want to know, I’m so enraptured with this bizarre universe where luck is not only objectively real, it is literally found on the ground as a solid object.  The fact that something so marvelous exists in the same universe as Derper Boy Prime (aka Trahearne) is astonishing.

11. OMG AoE looting!  I don’t remember this from before but it’s awesome!  Well really you ought to auto loot any wallet type items (there’s no inventory space consumed so why not automatically pick up every one you come across?) so it’s not perfect, but big improvement nonetheless.

12.  Still not sure how I feel about the checklist based game play.  I will grant you I had done most of the daily incidentally, but I had to go to places I normally wouldn’t to finish it.  I will further grant this took all of ten minutes, but still.

Anyway those 12 derptastic observations aside, I decided to actually gear up and play that Necromancer of mine and see how much I can derp the place up.  That character never really got a chance the first time after all, I just sort of leveled it and it sat there most of the time.  I might still pay attention to dailies and maybe work up my wee little engi some, but I dunno if I feel that ambitious any more.

I actually did have fun playing, even in my awful piecemeal gear, and figured out traits I can live with.   I got whooped pretty bad though, only constant Death Shroud usage and Staff 5 kept me alive at all.

Come on trading post, work your magic for me while I’m out and about and offline today.  Even in all blue pieces, I would actually be able to do some DPS without all my points scattered onto random places on the character sheet.  Amazing what happens when you actually add several hundred points to a few attributes that actually do something rather a few dozen points to a bunch that do nothing.

Of course, today I learn I’m going to be out of town next week so no GW2 for me.  Awesome, I resolve to get started again and immediately I’m back to not playing.

I think this sets the tone for Phase 2 of my GW2 playing experience.  Phase 1 was dubbed “Mistakes Were Made.”  

I shall dub the second phase “The Derp Era” because I am going to willfully play like a derp on purpose this time in my craptastic Exotics and maybe I’ll follow the checklists, maybe I won’t, won’t that be exciting as we play GW2 by its new Dungeons and Dragons type moniker: Checklists and Coxboxes!

Incidentally, yes there will eventually be a further sabbatical and a Phase 3, yet to be titled.  Phase 3 is usually marked by a solid month of participation before realizing I’m playing that damn game I swore to quit forever.

All that said, anything a newly returning derp like me should know about?  Can anyone at least please tell me why the resource gathering for the daily is borked now?  Is that actually a thing or was I just an unlucky derp?

Improved Combat Log Functionality

29 May 2013 - 01:02 PM

Here's a simple suggestion: improve the functionality of the combat log.

First consider the current format of the combat log, it basically goes like this:

Quote

You hit Sanctum of Rall Invader for 328 damage with Sharp Stick.
Sanctum of Rall Invader hits you for 9,001 damage with Arrow Cart of Death.

I mean there's a little more to it than that, I probably don't have the exact syntax right, but that's basically it.

What I would like to see is the game support the automatic generation and exporting of the combat log information as a standardized text based delimited syntax.  It could include information that's not practical to show in game such as the time lapsed since you started the log, mean and standard deviation of the damage each attack does, and also the cooldowns present on each ability on your hotbar.  It could also record all boons and conditions and their remaining duration.

I would think it'd make more sense to just render a line with a time stamp (probably to the hundreth of a second) every time the player hits or is attacked than every second personally.

Then there would be a command like /combatlogstart and /combatlogend.  Whenever you typed the first it would start recording, whenever you typed the second it would generate a plain text CSV file you could then throw into Excel/Access or Google docs or whatever.  It could save it with your screenshots for instance.

It might look something like:

Quote

02:56.45, Hit,Sanctum of Rall Invader,328,Sharp Stick,Mean 296,StdDev 56,Slash,5.5,Bash,21.6,Trash, 10.0, Block, 9.1, Smack, 0, Heal, 15, Utility1, 5.6, Utility, 2 0, Utility3, 37.8,EliteName, 164.4, Might 14.5, Bleeding 5.1

Since it would effectively be fields of data in a flat file it could still render in game in the same way, where it makes sense to a human being without any additional formatting.

Some things might be a little ugly to parse out like the number of stacks when each stack has a different duration but it would be forgiveable if we only got an average duration and a number of stacks, or a total number of stacks and total duration.  I'd prefer more precise data of course.

If they don't want to give us more detailed statistical information about means and the like that's fine too, with this kind of resource we can figure them out ourselves, but that way ANet has to neither confirm nor deny how things work.

I admit I'm not an expert at this kind of program functionalty, but wouldn't this trivial to implement?  It seems like all the moving parts are already there.  The game already has a clock obviously, and the basic system for capturing this information has to already exist in some format for the current combat log to function (not to mention the game).  Don't we just need a script that ought to be a relatively simple and very low cost assignment for a professional programmer?

Having this would add a lot of fun to the game.  Imagine the possibilities, you could change your build and then get some actual data about what it did/how effective it was, you could keep a log, publish results and data to the wiki, etc.  The value this gives for no more than it would seem to cost seems tremendous, I wouldn't use this every day but it would be a hoot to have it.

What would be even cooler is if you also had an in game recording utility, you could match up the time stamps to each fight and figure out what attacks worked best against that opponent.

Checking Self Before Wrecking Self

04 April 2013 - 04:17 AM

Oh savvy and kind knowers of yon circuitry, I beseech thee for I am dumb, about to spend a lot of money, and am sans computer and the sooner I replace it the better.

The aging laptop computer I bought when I was a poor grad student (it was an absolute beast I spent too much on) that I play GW2 and other games on has finally given up the ghost.  I took it to a repair place and after what I heard there plus with some help from a tech savvy friend I've decided it's time to get a new computer.  I was going to replace it soon anyway but right now I'm without a personal PC and that's really inconvenient.

I have a monitor, mouse, keyboard, headphones etc. so I don’t need to buy any of that.  I want to make this simple with one order from one vendor on one shipment, etc.  I went with Newegg.  I do need the OS, and I have a budget of $1600.

I want things to just be simple as possible too and am trying to get a lot of expandability and good basic components with the possibility to add options like SSD later.  One of the NewEgg DYI combos was perfect, it has a ton of RAM, lacks any “extras” while still offering good basic features, and it has the exact motherboard and processor my internet research says are good choices.

I showed the build to a much savvier friend of mine who advised me of the benefits of the aftermarket heat sink and how to apply it, and he talked me into it the argument sounded reasonable.  But he also advised me the one that comes with the combo is not one he thinks very highly of.  It’s still cheaper to buy the combo anyway despite the one redundant part.  The wireless adapter is a luxury I want, there’s nothing more to it than that.

http://www.newegg.co...t=Combo.1244448

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130768

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16827129074

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16833320074

http://www.newegg.co...Item=35-100-007

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16835103099

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16832116992

That clocks in at $1608 after discounts, so it’s just the tiniest bit over, I can handle another $10 but that’s my absolute limit.  Again bear in mind I have monitor, etc.

Anyway I will be placing the order very soon out of personal anxiety and necessity, but I will also check this before ordering to see if I got lucky with any responses.  I did get one good opinion but it never hurts to get more, I’m mostly just hoping someone can confirm this isn’t a disaster waiting to happen here.  All thanks are a thousand fold and in advance.

"Uptime" in combat - What are your observations?

02 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

"Uptime” is for purposes of this discussion how long your character can partake in a PvP fight at or near peak effectiveness before having to slow down or change behavior to something less effective.  For example if you are using auto attacks because literally everything else is on cooldown, you’re not engaged in combat in a truly effective capacity until such time your other abilities come back.

Since the March patch I'm overall having a lot more fun with my Warrior, but I've noticed a certain behavior emerging now.  I don’t seem to have very good “uptime”.  The best way I can try to describe this thing I’m experiencing is to contrast it with what I experience as other professions.

Necromancer -  I have many  options once I engage.  With my death shroud, plague elite, wide variety of effects and abilities, I can hang in a mass battle for a very long time sometimes.
And the thing is I do it by attacking constantly to keep my Life Force where it needs to be.  If I make the right decisions, I can stay up in a mass battle indefinitely or at least be among the last to finally die.  It’s engaging.

Thief - People are complaining, but to be honest my thief hasn't suffered a lot.  The thing with the thief is I have lots of powerful attacks, some more AE centered, some more single target, which I can switch between easily, and I can repeat the attack I need 2-3 times.

The trick with the thief is to not overextend.  The irony is despite being squishy and not having two life bars or heavy armor or 26,000 hitpoints, my thief lives longer in combat than any of my other characters even post nerf.  I can really hang in there.

Guardian - Bear in mind this guy is new, his gear sucks, etc.  This guy just hangs in there though.  Some kind of aid or recovery is constantly refreshing, and the best part is everyone around me is getting the same stuff as I am when I hit it, so those people can stay in the fight longer too.

I have to manage it and am still learning how, but the options are there.  I can twist my weapon skills, virtues and utilities into flexible and effective solutions for the situation.  But that’s not the best part. All these things I do benefit players around me too, so they stay in the fight with me!

So what’s the problem?

Well as the Warrior, I seem to find myself in a weird cycle in combat where my downtime is sometimes greater than my uptime.  To put this in very general terms so I can talk about it at all, I generally rush in and drop all the hurt I can in the best way I can gauge in the moment.  But what happens after that?  I have to run out almost immediately.  

Now understand I am STACKED.  Toughness on every piece, All Soldier Trinkets, Endure Pain, as much condition removal as I can get, something silly like 20 seconds of Stability, etc.  The thing is that's all great, but the reason I'm so stacked like that is this is what it takes for me to be able to go drop 5-6 attacks and then rush out and not die.

My other characters don’t have all this crap, and can stay in the fight longer.  It’s sometimes not as engaging either because it’s all GRRRR Smash Buttons then GRRRR Smash Other Buttons.

I get kills, I contribute, etc. but when a spellcaster can stay in a mass melee longer than a Warrior can, something is off.  Now at least part of this is on me, I do believe at least part of this is me realizing what's actually going on out there now that culling is no more.  The situational awareness I have now shows me what I’m actually doing.

The problem is I can't really think of a way to have that consistent "rolling" recovery I seem to have on my other characters.  These guys are constantly attacking and constantly recovering, it’s like a smooth harmonic motion.  It's all spikes with the Warrior, I either have tons of defense and recovery up, or none at all.  With the others it's much smoother once I get the rhythm down.

It’s like I can take a ton of hits, I can take a ton of abuse, but then I’m done.  It's like the Warrior can sprint 100 yards faster than anyone alive out of the starting gate, but then can't finish the marathon.

It's just that if it's a skill issue, I play the Warrior more than all those guys combined, it's the same player, why can't I do the same thing on this character?  It’s just really weird to me that playing other classes I don’t play as much, I can really prolong my combat engagement time so much longer.

Thoughts?  Am I alone in this or has anyone else experienced this problem?

An Incomplete WvW Build

07 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

So here's a WvW build I'm working on that is not complete yet.  Amaze me you purveyors of all things Warrior.  Warning, this is long, because no one can give me specific pointers without specific information.

Still there's TL DR At bottom.

I repeat this is for WvW.  I don't think I'd try this in sPvP at least not without considerable changes.

Purpose:

Famous investor Warren Buffet famously quipped "Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful".

In Guild Wars 2, I think of the "Greedy" as the DPS machines, be it via conditions or burst (mostly burst here lately it seems).

I think of the "Fearful" as, well, the opposite of that to the extent it's possible to be in GW2 (damage and condi mitigation).

Most of the opponents I run into in WvW fall into "Greedy".   I've noticed as I've gone through my own version changes I have slowly become more "Fearful" with more defensive utility choices, so I thought it was time to take things to the next level of Fearful.  The idea is to go against the grain and negate the abilities of most commonly encountered opponents, and to screw with expectations while still having a plan for dealing with opponents.

The purpose is not uniqueness for its own sake however, let's keep that in mind.  I hate hipsters.  Any uniqueness is incidental and with limited combinations of things in the game no one is a snowflake. Also I'm still trying to refine this concept, so I present an incomplete build for critique and suggestions.

Core concepts in order of priority:

1. This build is anti burst first and foremost.  This will probably be a function of dodging and invulnerability bursts most likely.

2. We also can't Dodge all the bursts all the time due to the game's mechanics limiting how many rolls we get, so we're going to stack gear defensively and over conservatively.

3. This build is anti conditions.  Duh.

4. I believe movement speed is essential in the game now due to recent patches giving most characters a 25% movement signet (not that it's not a boon so they can never lose it).  The Warrior doesn't have this unfortunately.

5.  We're going to carve out the best damage support system we can after these three bases are covered.

6.  Lastly, we're going to try to work in elements not typical of Warriors to screw with our opponents psychologically, and make them face something not commonly encountered so they will be less prepared to deal with it.

The (Incomplete) Build:

http://www.gw2db.com...0|0|0|0|0|0|0|0|

At the Heart of this build is the following set of mechanics:

1) The Traited Warhorn

The Warhorn is pretty much what I started to build this whole setup around.  It's the best source of vigor we have (core concept 1) and it's our speed (core concept 4).
Additonally the Trait Quick Breathing makes it better still, and also allows us to address core concepts 3, 5(the weakness it inflicts helps if we go as shown) and 6 (not a lot of horn warriors around).

2) Mainhand Mace with Traits

While the Mace itself is not a great weapon, it looks like the right tool for the job.

Mace 1 by itself is just an auto attack but with the Traits selected we are getting what we can out of it (core concept 5), plus we are spreading around a lot of Weakness.  Weakness Spam is conducive to core concept 6.

So the auto attack is not great on its own but I think it fits the overall mission, I hope the whole is more than the sum of its parts in the end.

However the Block and Daze (2 and 3) are perfect.  They both relate to core concept 1 (negate hits and keep people from attacking at all) and 6, because who uses a mace?

3) Shouting, Boon Duration and Empowered

I noticed at this point the WH is spamming buffs.  I think the Warhorn + the Shout + Boon Duration ought to keep a lot of boons up.

Yeah I know Necromancers.  There's always a counter to everything I can think of though and most people are not a necromancer.

So you might as well get some extra damage for having boons up with a trait.  Individually these things aren't that good perhaps but I'm hoping the sum total will address purposes 4,5, and even 6 because most of these boons are going to spill out and hit other players too.
It's sort of an accidental support function.  A happy accident, Bob Ross style.

4) Gear

With purpose 2 and 3 in mind, I'm going to get at least half Soldier stuff, probably Orrian karma accessories with Soldier Crests.

I normally like to mix in more offensive things, but I think I'm going to try something new and stack very defensively.  I don't believe you need to stack Vitality past a certain point, I think the bonus from all Soldier accessories will be plenty.

I'll avoid any more Vitality bonus.  Condition damage gear doesn't seem to fit here and I need something with Toughness. I won't have enough natural precision otherwise to justify crit damage, therefore I will go with Knight's.

I could do my usual approach of Knight's/Beryl instead, but that's pretty much what I do now and I'm looking to be more defensive than that; I need +Toughness on every piece.
I may have to eat crow due to what I've said in the past about the conservative Knight's/Soldier's setup.  Well pass the salt.

Alternatively, I could go straight Knight's/Emerald and that would probably be viable too.  That wouldn't be as anti condition but it's a thought.  Right now I think it's going to be Knight's/Soldier since karma is easy to get, then if that's too defensive I will just throw on some Knight's Accessories.

Probably sigils of Force and Debility on the Mace and Warhorn, not sure about the other set yet.

Runes would probably be 2xMonk's, 2xWater, and probably 2 Emerald orbs.

With the shout bonus and general goodness they offer, Runes of the Soldier isn't a bad idea either necessarily, but with the Warhorn and the potential to have other condition removals and the high Vitality (remember the Trait gives me a lot too), do I really need that?

So here's some (big) problems.

1)  The build revolves around mace and warhorn and as such isn't going to depend on the rest as much, but the best way to play sometimes is to blow everything you have, switch and do it again.

I have no idea what the switchout should be.  

Ideas:
A. Rifle.  I am just used to it and it's the best thing we have for an opener, and against stragglers trying to escape.
It really does nothing great in this build though.  It's still situationally good.  I wouldn't use it the majority of time though.
B. Longbow.  Just a thought, adding some AE around and screwing with expectations again, but the Longbow just continues to fail to impress me and I don't want to Trait for it.  It might fit though, it does add some capabilties I don't otherwise have.
C. Shield.  Blow the Warhorn, put up the shield.  Gives another stun and another block.  Problem is traiting for the shield means losing Ignore Pain (could be a fair trade though).
D. Axe and shield.  Could switch out to say Axe/Shield, which I think would add some more diversity.
E.  Hammer.  Another source of Weakness.  Old favorite of mine, a lot of control spam.
F.  Offhand Mace.  It has cool skills.

I'm leaning A so far, but I'm really not sure.

2) I have no idea what to put in the Elite slot.  The Signet is usually the best answer, and if I'm going to stack boon duration I might be able to consistently but not always have 8 stacks of Might going.  It's kind of a waste in the sense that the horn should give swiftness, but more Fury uptime is always good.

I like the banner in concept but in execution it's just too fiddly for me.  Juggernaut might be an interesting choice here, but the problem with transformation effects is people instantly target you.  It's the same reason I don't use Lich Form, how good it is doesn't matter if everyone attacks you for it.

3) I am not sure what to do with the last 10 points.  Strength 10 for Restorative Strength perhaps?  Maybe Arms 10 for Unsuspecting Foe since I would have the mace stun burst, and the occassional bleed proc.

Discipline has some interesting choices too however:  Mighty Defenses could work with this really well especially if I go with a shield on the switchout.  Inspiring Shouts would be pretty solid.

Signet Mastery could be quite interesting if I go with the Elite Signet.  With 60% boon duration and For Great Justice that 8 stacks of Might all the time with a lot of Fury too.

It kind of makes the Swiftness on the WH redundant though.  Also I might be tempted to swap Dolyak Signet (which normally sucks) for Balanced Stance if I did that since the CD on Balanced Stance basically makes it a "once a fight" thing anyway.  I know the passive reduction isn't that much but it's a thought.

4) I am not sure which Heal to use. If I used the 10 points to get Restorative Strength, Mending would be the obvious choice and I'm kind of leaning that way just for that.  However the other two may be better depending on my other choices.

Related to 3 above, I could potentially use Strength 10 to get Berzerker's Strength then take Healing Surge, that could be effective.

5) I am not sure what Defense 10 trait to take. The one that enhances stances seems potentially good since I am doing the dual invulnerabilities, but I may need adrenaline from Embrace the Pain.  Just not sure about this really.

6) I'm not sure there's not another alternative to MH Mace/WH that I'm not seeing to accomplish all those things better.

TL DR

So there's a link to part of a pretty defensive build I've made, I highlighted some problems I see above and I'm not sure quite how to finish it up.  Well there it is, tear it apart or complete it as you see fit ladies and gentlemen!