Wednesday, 25 June 2014

On leave

My GPU is acting up, and it's gotten to the point where I can't play Path. My screen blacks out occasionally and it's cost me a few deaths in SC build testing. And by occasionally, I mean reliably.

Have you ever tried playing Path without looking at all, relying on your last glimpse of the screen to control your character for 5 or 10 seconds? The screen flickers back into life for half a second, allowing you to readjust your strategy, and goes dark again. Repeat ad infinitum. That's not playable by any definition.

I'd fill in the blanks with theory, but what good is theory crafting? There's a whole backlog of Things Kiri Wants To Try, already, from over the months. I'm tired of doing theory all day and never getting to test it, not even when I'm right here at my computer. I'm not even any better at it than anyone who's got a build thread up - and there are a lot of those - I just got here first.

In short. What good is this whole blog thing if I can't play the game I enjoy?

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Where are all the mana nodes?

I put the gear back together for my dual-claws character, now a level 83 duelist, and started joining random map parties. Bought a ring or two, too. But at almost 10 aps with dualstrike, I'm running out of mana all the time.

No problem, take out a couple of points, put into the two mana nodes right near duelist start.

Still running out of mana. Maybe 2% leech isn't enough, maybe now I need 4%. The difference is small but noticeable. So is the difference when I take off my amulet, the one with the 30 int and 30 max mana. Hmm...guess it's time to do math, for the first time in a year. Mostly I don't bother doing exact calculations for this game.


8.57 aps, divide by 3 for multistrike, multiply by 66 mana per cast, is 188.54 mana per second.

11.5k pdps, multiply by 0.02, is 230 theoretical mana leech per second, assuming 100% efficiency. Before the changes to leech, this was sufficient provided your max mana could handle it. Since there is a noticeable difference between 2 and 4, I'm assuming 100% efficiency is not the case, at least in the former.

690 max mana, multiply by 0.125, is 86.25 mana leech per second capped. Huh. Let's try that again, and this time factor in base and increased mana regen. 690*0.14=96.6, approximately 100.

Is that right? I'm losing about 90 mana per second, which drains my 400~ unreserved mana in about 5 seconds total. Yeah, that looks about right.

In order to reach the equivalent point, 14% of max mana should equal about 200 mana. Give or take. Thus, I would need 1430~ max mana to sustain this kind of attacking indefinitely.

I'm looking at about 420 base mana, excluding items. (581 mana at +32% without gear, and there's a flat +mana node at shadow.) The easily available mana nodes are 3 at duelist for +32, 2 at ranger for +16 but separated by Primal Spirit, 2 near point blank for +16, and 3 near Charisma for +32. Plus travel nodes. Total of +96%, with +100% mana regen. I'll still need about 700~ total base mana, or +260 from gear, which is unreasonable when one considers the rest of the gear requirements. This solution is also very skillpoint intensive. EB is much easier, if you don't mind finding endgame-tier ES gloves and belt. Assume rainbowstrides.

I suppose there's a good reason Exalton went soultaker on his offhand. Several good reasons.

Quick and dirty: Cyclone takes 131~ mana, so with a reasonably long cast it'll be sufficient. Reave takes 37~, so all of a sudden we're looking at easy sustainability.

edit: Clarity is probably the answer here, but I'm not going to math it. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

No such thing as an original idea

thread link

It's rather different from most of the RF builds in the guides written for it. It's also rather expensive, like wait why do you need to MF when you have a 6L shav, but other than that the gear requirement is actually really reasonable.

Every post-patch RF setup will be a bit different from how it's currently done (most of the time anyway), since snapshotting will be removed. Well, the above linked won't be, but that's out of my reach too.

I'll likely put Purity of Fire in a +2+1 wand with RM and Empower, to cheat it to 20 from 16. The classic spectre-summoner method of reducing resists applies, which is ele weakness + flammability + EE, and shockstacks on top of that. After all, I'll need all the damage boosts I can get.

The passive tree shouldn't change too much, but I'm holding off on that until post-patch because it might change again. (Grr. I get why they do it, but who likes change really?)

previous post link

Friday, 13 June 2014

How do shrimp and gobies find each other?

It's been a while since guilds were introduced to Path, to great acclaim. It's a good thing, in the sense that more ways to connect with people is good for a multi-player persistent environment. It also serves a unique purpose that was previously absent of in-game support, that is, connecting groups of more than two people in the long term. Even better.

But there is another side to the story. Guilds have a large overlap of functionality with every other form of player interaction. This leads to the situation in which many players, upon finding a guild in which they fit, rarely or never interact outside of it.

All well and good, if that's what they want.

If it isn't? Well, global chat is full of trolls and rarely gives a good answer to anything, and good luck holding a conversation in there. Besides the PCs and things that should rightly belong in /trade. The public party board is full of trade parties, and anyway the docks and map parties are generally full of people who tend to either die or take ten thousand years to clear a map - or worse, get their partymates killed along with themselves. Trade chat is trade chat, no more need be said. Everything else involves the use of third parties, be it forums, reddit or even RL.

It wasn't always this way. My first few friends, other than the ones I already knew from other games, were out of /global. That was way back when. I also got a couple of good ones out of the friends-list network, which was the only reliable way to build a solid map group. Those were proto-guilds, back in the day, only infinitely more flexible.

The point is, a lot of people who had previously sought interaction by other (in-game) means are now confining themselves to the guild. Means the other channels of social interaction are becoming wastelands. Even if you wanted to make friends there, it would be pretty hard to do, since nobody else does.

I realise this is all a bit exaggerated. Certainly the situation is not as dire as I've made it out to be. And there are plenty of guilds with few or inactive members. On the other hand, is this the kind of multiplayer you want in a game?

(For an explanation of the post title, click here.)

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Crit vs non-crit

It's a different feeling altogether, I swear.

I had this one character, an Aegis Rain one. She didn't get her passives forcibly reset, I made like 20% xp getting carried by the Mjolner discharge guy on my fl, and then I got bored of her and used the 1.1.3 respec. Exactly the same build, except where I had taken 1h damage nodes previously, I now took crit instead. Oh, and I went through Charisma this time, which allows me enough free mana to run my skill of choice on mana rather than BM.

Played solo: three maps this round, two before and one after the respec. The first was a nightmare damage map. Shocking ground, vulnerability, extra damage as fire, minus max, rolled cinder elementals. It was a sharp reminder that Aegis does not equal invincible. The last was a spider forest with Igna and Tinevin, call it play testing. Went off without a hitch, at least in the survivability sense. I'm going to have to work on damage some more.

So that's the story. What did I learn?

The noncrit double striker played almost like RF, in the sense that you walk in pressing a button, and their HP goes down slowly but steadily. The crit one was rather choppy - sometimes it moved fast, and sometimes it didn't. I value consistency, so it "felt" worse, even given similar dps.

Crit multiplier is important. Yes, really. So's crit chance, but given enough aps, it'll average out. I'm currently at 9~aps with 6 frenzies, but 150% multi. The route to advancement is pretty clear, I think! Only fear is it'll exacerbate the above mentioned problem.

To do:

Add crit multiplier. And crit chance? I can't really spare a PCoC unless I plan to use the same attack for single and multi target, and I'm bored of that anyway. So...change amulets, see if I can get enough resists from it to swap in a Romira's Banquet. Wonder if Tempest + PCoC would proc. Though I'd have to switch back to using BM for main skill, since it'll eat all my mana and then some.

And where do I go from here?

    From previous post:
    I'm sure there are ways to make aegis blocking characters that don't also bore me to tears. This just isn't one of them. More when I figure out what is, but Cybil's might feature, or something that takes advantage of Aegis WED.

I might start with flickermulti, that's always good for a laugh, at least until new leagues. The final destination probably isn't even Aegis Rain any more. Might be I'll make a LL character with a Solaris. Might make it a CDT/CWS character even. CI with a Lightbane or what the other one was, do a support character with that one sword. Maybe next reset.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

If I died in my sleep, you wouldn't know anything about it

but thankfully I'm not dead. Just out of town until end of July. No playtest updates until then. (7 May 2014)

EDIT: Something happened, the details of which I will not share, and I fly back tonight. Date of post has been changed to reflect this. (3 June 2014)

Template for build (freeze lock)

courtesy of Lyralei

I don't always do that much math, but in the case of getting freeze chance sky-high and perma freezing, it makes sense to calculate cast speed, freeze duration, etc.

Everyone tries their hand at the coldsnap perma freeze build at one point or another. Sometimes it works. My attempt was nearly a year ago now, before Romira's, and it didn't. I haven't revisited the concept yet...actually IDEA. What ever did happen to coldsnap trapping? It'll probably work. I hope it will.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Thinking of a lazy MF build

Given that I've already played straight spectre summoner twice, that one's out.

For the new leagues after Ambush/Invasion, I want to make a MF farmer in the HC league. For once I'll actually have the time to put into playing, so a farm character and then some interesting other characters without being severely limited by finances.

After discussion with my theorycraft buddy, we settled on RF because why not. It's easy to level as SB, in theory. And doesn't really get lazier than RF. Maybe I'll do a CWS/CDT build in SC but I'm not sure it's entirely appropriate for HC.

RF - AoE/conc.e - IBD - IIR

Or something. I can usually afford a 1ex major item by level 60~ on a new character, so Phoenix is just about right.