Saturday was a fun, but very expensive day. We ran Ice Claw Village, Sky Temple and Fire Temple. For hours! Due to various wipes (Ice Claw seems to be famous for other groups kiting mobs through people, trying to make them wipe, and as for the rest? To be honest, sometimes I just fuck up) I had an xp restoration bill of over 120k. At one point, I had a grand total of 2 kinah (!!!) to my name. Since then I’ve managed to make some cash back, and I even managed to pay for the next level of my gathering skill, which made me very happy. Now I’m trying to save for my level 34 training.
As much as I hate and loathe goldsellers, the lure of buying kinah occasionally sings a siren song of better gear and profession levelling. I have a warehouse full of armorsmithing mats, and no way to level the profession. Templars are very gear-dependent, and I am still carrying the Big Ladle of Whoopass quest-reward mace, amongst other substandard gear. I resist temptation, not wanting to get banned (hey, I totally admit to having somewhat flexible morals and am entirely ok with hating goldsellers and still wishing I could buy kinah safely). Because I know I would…I just have that kind of luck. Other people play Indy 500 on the freeways, but if I don’t come to a full stop at a stop sign, a cop will immediately jump out from behind a bush to give me a ticket. I just have that kind of luck. So no easy kinah for me, even though there are shops advertising it in front of the bank, and bots outnumber players in Beluslan.
I’m really enjoying tanking. I’m not saying that I’m especially good at it, mind you – but I try, and I have fun. One of the problems that I have is having absolutely NO sense of direction, either in real life or in game. It’s almost a disability; it’s something that I was born without. Spin me around twice, and I’ll be lost, I won’t remember which way I was travelling. So that makes it a bit difficult to lead groups through the maze of an instance, when you haven’t the faintest idea where you are or where you should go next. I’m trying to get runs done faster, but it conflicts with my natural caution. I can’t express how miserable I feel for bad pulls, especially in a game where a death has real adverse consequences and a substantial cost. As I level, I’m hoping that taunts get more effective – once a healer has grabbed a solid amount of aggro, it’s quite difficult to peel mobs off them. And sometimes when you’ve used everything you have, someone gets aggro on a boss, and for too many seconds there’s nothing to use to grab that aggro back – you just watch that skill count down until it can be used again, hoping whoever it is can survive until you do.
Encounters in Aion (so far) haven’t been technical fights at all in the Warcraft sense. Perhaps the higher level instances are, but so far they’ve been extremely simple fights. I rather like the challenge of technical fights (the famous Heigan Dance, for instance), but I do like how casual “raiding” in Aion has been so far. I do think that it would ruin the game for me if there was proper endgame raiding. As it is, we can run Fire Temple a few nights, do some questing, do some pvp, and look forward to the time when we’re a bit higher level, and have more legion members, so we can start fortress raiding. It’s the perfect combination, at least for me.
Ravven is broke. Flat broke. Now this is a girl who has a lot of expenses – vodka and Krispy Kreme donuts don’t come cheap.
I seem to have no talent at all for making money in games. I know people that just seem to accumulate cash out of thin air, through getting lucky drops and gaming the trade broker. I just can’t do it. When Ravven hit 30, I had something like 140k kinah. The level 30 armour questline requires a massive bribe to a mercenary daeva in the form of a 90k Divine Lamp. I have approximately 140k of training to do as soon as I hit 31, and my gathering skill is maxed out at 199 because it requires something like 118k to pay for the next level. Forget doing any levelling of armorsmithing. I’m wearing low-level gear and can’t upgrade it. *cry* I’m really not sure what to do.
I suppose I need to spend a few nights just grinding mobs and gathering mats – that route around the cliffwall in Brusthonin is very good for gold and gems.
But money sink issues aside, we are getting more people in the legion, and we’re having fun. So I suppose I’m poor and undergeared, but still happy.
Ravven is now 29, but prior to dinging I had my first two “real” tanking experiences in the Nochsana Training Camp. Remember, I’ve only played ranged DPS in games…tanking scared the hell out of me. But this is what I wanted to do: something entirely different.
The first run was horrible. I’d never seen the instance before, had no idea what to expect, and the two pug members thought I was pulling too slow so they were pulling things themselves. I got rattled, and did a few really bad pulls of my own. Live and learn…I suppose it’s better to get a really horrible run out of the way at the beginning. It has to get better than this, right?
And so it was. the second run, with only one very capable pug member, was very smooth. No botched pulls, and now that I knew what to expect I was going a lot faster. It was really enjoyable, and made me happy that I had decided to try a tank character. I loved it.
One thing I’ve noticed in Aion is that healing aggro is really, really difficult to divert back. Once a mob is firmly fixed on a healer, it’s fairly difficult to peel them off. I have one main taunt, another one that is based on crit or a successful block or something (yeah, yeah, I’ve never been a theorycrafter!), and my new mass taunt stigma. But if all of these are on cooldown, it takes a few seconds to have anything up that will keep a healer from being beaten on. That said, clerics can wear chainmail and carry a shield – how awesome is that?
So, a fun run over all, even if for no loot from the boss. I find that very strange – in most MMOs, a boss or rare elite should always drop something. This guy has a chance of dropping a blue weapon, but on the two runs that I did, he didn’t have anything of value.
Am I a good natural tank? Not in a million. But I’m having fun.
Aion Open Beta is coming up, and again after I said I wouldn’t play, I know I will. I haven’t read if they’re wiping our closed beta characters – hopefully we’ll still be able to play those during open beta. I want to tank something on my Templar.
I had a conversation with a friend from Warcraft who said that I would probably suck as a main tank, and I was quite offended by that statement. Hey, just because I invariably play ranged dps characters doesn’t mean that I’m doomed to suckage, does it? I hope not.
That said, I admit that I am totally clueless as to what makes a good tank, and would appreciate any input and advice. I’ve played with very good tanks (lookin’ at you, Raz!), and hopefully I can get some noob tank pointers. Since I haven’t had a chance to really group with anyone yet in Aion, I have no idea what threat generation is like on a Templar. I do understand that it’s different from warriors in Wow, for example – who seem to be able to watch TV and hold long typed conversations with people while they tank bosses. Well, really – if you can have a long conversation, I would assume that you’re hitting “2” and occasionally a “3” for variety. :D
One of the main questions I have right now is on the small instances (like Warcraft 5-mans), how do you know which ones to mark? Which types of mobs do you choose to tank, and which do you mark for crowd control?
I’m looking for a new experience…but nobody likes to be totally clueless. Help!