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Sarrius ✭✭✭✭✭


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Member, Beta Testers
  • Re: New Engineer Class

    HOW 2 ENGINEER 101:

    After tooling around for the full period in beta and providing input, I feel it would be in the best interest of the game for me to release a quick Primer on how to get off the ground as an Engineer. This is by no means comprehensive.. there are things I don't want to share, there are assuredly things I have yet to think of or test in a practical environment. With that being said, I would like to make sure I impart my knowledge to our would-be artificers of the Neutral variety - it'll be more fun that way:

    Points of complexity
    Here's the short and small of it: this class is actually not that complex. There's only really two areas of nuance:

    1. Trickshots and your management of them; the effects are so strong that just spamming one (namely, Spleenshot or Numbshot) is OK, so lazy or inexperienced people can still contribute effectively in teams.

    2. Chemicals and your management of them; once again, the effects are strong enough, alongside the cure taking toadstool balance, that you can stay on the easy side of things with damage chemicals and do fine. The chemical list is specifically designed to be effects that let you progressively dip your toes further in to the PK Pool; damage is easy and requires no input.. once you reach a 'wall' and start losing to people, you will need to learn from your mistakes and ask what in your kit can help.

    I know that the class looks complicated, what with bullet types.. but here's the Golden Rules for that:

    1. If you want an effect from Focus shot to stick longer, use heavy shot. It is guaranteed to last longer. If you wish some more precise data on timing/damage/etc, speak to me privately.
    2. If you want to go faster/shoot faster, use lightshot. Be aware that lightshot on Focus skillshots will be a shorter dig out time.
    3. If you want to deliver a chemical without using Snapshot, use hollowshot.
    4. Otherwise, just use mushroom shot.. it follows the same numbers as certain other shots, with a lower damage, but a much higher bleed value. The bleed will be effective health and mana damage.

    Ballistics is your straightforward, shoot things list of skills. The truth is that Ballistics is easier to digest once you realize one thing: Ballistics attacks mostly work on a sliding scale of speed to damage.

    You've got QuickShot (qshot) which is high speed, low dmg.
    You've got normal shot, which is in between.
    You've got FocusShot(fshot) which is high damage, low speed.
    You've got RazingShot(rshot), which strips both shield and rebounding in one go at a very fast speed.

    The rest of the shots have their niche place, but overall those are your four bread and butter, 'costs balance' attacks. You will usually be using qshot, as speed often trumps damage.

    You will notice I did not specify blunderbuss skills.. they were a lower priority in beta as a bit of a flavor add, they are not necessarily meant to be super useful. This is not to say they do not have their uses, but flintlocks are assuredly your better option. Similarly.. belchers? don't fall in love too hard. They are likely here to stay, but a lot of their abilities are not particularly useful due to their restrictive timings and lack of in-class flood (see: Boil). Cremate costs a whopping 30s of channel time. Scorch has a similarly restrictive set of properties, but will be useful for clean up or breaking monolith in a big, big pinch outside of combat. You will find the Belcher for be more of a party gag than a class tool.

    A lot of these aren't great for the Engineer. It does not take an engineering degree (lol) to see that some of these shots do nothing for you alone. Here's the ones that DO help your strategies:

    Livershot - worse sip. Since Engineer is a damage class, this is a no brainer.
    Throatshot - worse toadstool balance. Since domecap is on toadstool balance, this is a no brainer.
    Headshot - big damage. Good finisher. My calculations put it at somewhere between 30 - 49% of an average target's total health pool.
    Heartshot - it is very good solo. Can as much as quadruple bleed speed. You can play Engineer as an effective bleed class.
    Wounding - as above, see Heart. Cuts off clot for up to 11! seconds on HeavyShot, which is space for 3 to 6 bleed ticks with a HeartShot up.
    Dualshot - can deliver 2 chemicals on one balance.. there's a log floating around where I stacked up 4 different damage chemicals and then veinshot another beta tester for a billion.

    Niche ones that might help:

    Hand - good in the mirror match or vs. Archer Ranger, Assassins/Renegades.
    Arm - good vs. Str based DPS classes like Defiler, Druid, Knight?, Etc.
    Leg - causes limping like a broken leg.. also pay close attention to HeavyShot's additional power, which is great vs. fast bal classes like Shaman.
    Face - Just good vs. classes with loyals.. so really just Outriders, these days.

    Engineer was intended to possess some unique tools/properties as a team support. In addition to the above, you will find the following shots fit this criteria:

    Gutshot - Raises herb balance time. If you have a Bard, Assassin, Summoner, Shaman, or Mage on your team, this is your GO TO Focus Shot.
    Lungshot - If you have a Summoner or Templar on your team, this is a very effective choice. Coordinate with your friends. Demonic will especially get value out of this shot due to Enlighten!

    Trickshots - These are where a lot of the nuance will be in your gameplay. It is meant to be a set of skills that give you some pressure during the middle of a fight. Their power is balanced against their unique, shared cooldown. They have a roughly 5 second shared cooldown. Druid players will find them familiar as something akin to wisps. A brief synopsis:

    Spleenshot hurts their next sip.
    Veinshot cures all chems present by 1 level, but forces them to immediately tick. This is clearly the most complicated shot, but the class can handle not using it.
    Numbshot eats their next tattoo touch. This is a deceptively powerful support tool and can lock somebody out of a crucial Shield Tattoo use later in a duel.
    Snapshot delivers a chemical for 'free', no added balance for loading the chemical, no balance cost to fire (as it operates on Trickshot's 5s balance time). This is the trickshot I would emphasize learning the ins and outs of the most, as it will save you a lot of heartache as you try to keep chemicals flowing on a target.
    Hotshot disrupts their rebounding aura.
    Tagshot is a weird one. It's OK, though. It's like a pseudo-engage but not really.

    Focus Buffs - 
    Shooting will be the best, tied with Zeroing. Damage is probably fine in teams. Critical is also probably fine for fishing for crits with artifacts, but nobody is 'there' yet, so who knows.

    Bunch of crafting crap. Chemicals are fairly straight forward, but some notes:

    Cryosite is useful if you team with Outriders.
    Chlorite is probably the best, blow for blow, based on resistance availability. For DPS, anyways.
    Ironite is a chemical you should not write off. It stacks with Zeroing, which opens up more breathing room to take advantage of your skillshots.
    Incendite is the nuts vs. fast balance classes and stacks w/ Leg.
    Neuroite is designed to be your leg up vs. EQ classes. Try combining Incendite with this for some true misery. Just those 2 will force a domecap that is 1.5 to 2x longer than toadstool balance.
    Dystite is your best friend vs. acro boots.

    WyllAssiminikJeremy SaundersOystir
  • Re: PvP Logs

    The truth is we should never be in a position where retirement is the only option. It also no coincidence that most retirees are PKers.. PKers are the only ones that truly ever feel backed into a corner on retirement. Culture and poor design are the reasons we lost so many players to the Retirement Syntax. To underline this, I am currently considering retirement of Sarrius because I'm out of interesting options. I am only out of interesting options because it is not in my power if I am allowed to pursue the options I truly think might compel me to stay. I am also powerless to enact the proper change on Imperian at a satisfactory pace.

    More generally..? Retirement is a commitment to give up half your character's value to go play a new game. IREtirement never means quitting playing IRE games. You don't retire a character to quit the game, so to speak. You retire a character because another game appeals to you or the current one is played out. Often, it is the former.. and often, it has to do with the kind of people running the game you are moving to, as well as the people playing it.

    We should never have reached the point where any of our big names felt that the only way to continue deriving enjoyment from IRE games was to go play one that wasn't named Imperian. A combination of factors led to this and they are indicative of the underlying issues in Imperian. Our player population is small and ruled by toxic, grudge-based mindsets that not only avoid conflict or forward progress, but also actively shut out players. This makes it difficult to break the absolute deathgrip a given circle has on the game.

    The simple truth is that Imperian's players are as much responsible for ruining Imperian as design decisions or admin are. It's just that, much like watching anything fail in IRE, nobody is interested in taking blame. Nobody is capable of enough introspection (or retrospective consideration even) to realize how they might be contributing to the death of the game.

    For proof of this, look at Khizan's retirement post: his character became Too Big. He could no longer pick a side that was not AM, and it was by no true fault of his own. Players held him accountable in the wrong way, forever shutting him out of the other 2 sides in the game.
  • Re: December Stocking Drops

    The sad part is that stockings and phylacteries are decent to great value, but other booster pack/loot crate/gambling promos are not. I hope Jeremy's takeaway is that gambling promos should never have the potential to make you truly regret your purchase, and NOT that phylacteries and stockings suck. The opposite, really: while extravagant stockings seem like a shitty buy, every other stocking level is great. Promos that involve gambling, random chance, or loot crates need to be closer (if not comparable entirely) to the phylactery and stocking level of value.. that's the only way to justify the buy in.

    The core defining trait that keeps people coming back to these two promos is that the value can't possibly be less than just buying credits for most people. Only the @Justus and @Septus types find stockings less value, because they already have everything anyways.

    In closing? I hate promos. I think they represent a cancer that has ravaged Imperian in a myriad of ways. That being said though, even I think stockings and phylacteries are mostly awesome and really give people a way to buy in to the game at a slightly to much lower price. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, eh?
  • Re: Apparitions Event

    I will preface this entire post with this point, because I have a feeling my posts only get half read when they get long (much like my classleads):

    I would rather we just delete a side than a city. I think the game can't support the way we are going and our binary approach to any event or conflict management seems to agree with that. We turn the game in to a two side affair anyways, just at the expense of 'values-based' roleplay. We don't have the population for three sides. We don't have the PKers, especially, which creates a pretty lopsided environment where one circle completely dominates. We used to have this issue with more people, but then it was about people playing with their friends. The game needs to take a turn and I wish this event had been the way to do it. Please consider the deletion of Anti-Magick or Demonic as a circle. Demonic's actual population is deceptively low, it is basically the same 8 people every day. Anti-Magick and Magick can only fill out one of their two orgs.

    If this complaint continues to ring true, I will consider going out of my way to establish a fake two circle paradigm instead. I am tired of population issues creating tremendous imbalances.

    Now, I don't think the notification was so black and white as to say 'we aren't deleting one'. I recall that Eoghan took great strides last stream to insist that, if needed, they would delete an org, tears or no tears. Jeremy had said they were deleting an org by the end of the year a few streams ago. The proof was all there, we just took it IC as a collective... and Antioch's attitude didn't help.

    I would like to see the end of Antioch because it has very few places to go from a narrative perspective. Years and years of events, infighting, poor leadership, etc wrote it in to a corner. The death of the Gods robbed it of a lot of purpose and players have refused every role that leaders since then have thrust upon it, aside from one. That role, by the way, was 'Killing You Guy'. Furthermore, I think that role was taken up by the necessity of being the global powerhouse it was at the time. Proof of this is that the city has since become irrelevant since the internally arranged diaspora of PKers. Maybe this has to do with the hands that held the reins after that great scattering/dispersal, but I'm not ruling anything out.

    IC, my character had no reason to support Antioch. They'd refused his kindness the past four or five years (citing 'magick use'), had demonstrated a clear lack of worth to his new home, etc. Coupled with the clear historical basis for poor decisions established in his absence​ (see: their Legion alliance, working with Urzog), there was never any doubt that he was going to sell Antioch out and convince as many people as possible to do the exact same. Thankfully, that task did not require much effort as Ithaqua consists partially of people that the previous leadership pissed off.
  • Re: Apparitions Event

    Galt said:
    I do agree that allowing the actions of (mostly) one person to save Antioch feels wrong. 

    .. .. It also doesn't solve the problem of too many orgs, and Antioch being in a weird spot.
    Swale said:
    Antioch is in a weird spot in large part because in addition to some retirements, several people left a city they really liked specifically because that city (Antioch) was WAY too strong.  I like Ithaqua well enough, but Ithaqua was completely irrelevant on the world stage (which is fine, as long as there is an org like Antioch that is a powerhouse).  ...   I will say, if Antioch gets deleted, I will never willingly help break up a juggernaut org again.  Ever. 

    To be honest forcibly redistributing combat assets on occasion should be an admin function anyway..

    So, Imperian's in between a rock and a hard place right now. Here's the skinny:
    1. Stavenn genuinely needed deletion. The statistics were supposedly overwhelmingly in favor of deletion and were so obvious that we did not need an event to tell that.
    2. The death of Stavenn caused another, smaller wave of retirements because Stavennites couldn't cope with losing 'muh Imperial RP' (but apparently did not care about it enough to log in!)
    3. This left circle distribution lopsided.. Demonic 1, Magick 2, Anti-Magick 2.
    4. There is now a serious expectancy that Imperian will slim down their orgs. Jeremy encourages this expectancy based on what he has said at multiple junctures - namely, Twitch streams.
    5. We reach an event that clearly has global stakes. The event continues forward.
    6. The Final Day comes. Grashella apparently did enough to save Antioch's bacon (which makes not much sense, because they're telling us as a pbase: 'Grashella's efforts were enough to justify the existence of an otherwise dead org')
    7. Anti-Magick as a circle gets sold up the river with this move. We took all the signs that Antioch was dying and decided it was within Ithaqua's RP at the time to decide not to help. The choice not to delete Antioch effectively guaranteed some kind of infighting, sure.. but between who, really? No matter how you look at it, not deleting Antioch after Ithaqua took moves to say 'fend for yourself' doesn't really generate any reasonable conflict or infighting because you're asking a healthy person (Ithaqua) and a bed-ridden cancer patient (Antioch) to duke it out.
    8. Nothing that the rest of the world did is going to have much consequence - Celidon continues being Magick-but-not-really (they use magick, but don't side with the global power that is Kinsarmar), Khandava continues fighting Kinsarmar (as they primarily have done for a month and change now).. the only way I could see this being wrong is if Celidon continues having a positive relationship with Khandava for the sake of screwing Kinsarmar.
    9. A dangerous precedent is set by Antioch's survival: "if we wish hard enough, we can avoid actions necessary for game health!"

    I cheer on org destruction for a lot of reasons.. 

    • Population consolidation.
    • Narrative consolidation.
    • Newbies get help they deserve because ultimately they should always have somebody around.

    .. but I also dread it for two reasons:

    • Swale's point of 'combat redistribution' becomes even more difficult. Circles are locked out/inaccessible to certain players if each circle only consists of one org (the one that happened to be healthiest at the time, specifically).. to elaborate on a personal example, if Kinsarmar is the healthiest when it becomes Magick's turn, I can never access Magick's classes ever again in any reasonable capacity. By deleting the 'safety valve' option in each circle, you're damning notorious or dangerous players.. that are often combatants.. to be restricted to less options as players. This eventually takes a HUGE toll on body count per circle. The deletion of Antioch means that none of us can ever piss off Ithaqua so badly that Ithaqua decides to permanently enemy us. Permanent enemies of Khandava are likely feeling this in real time - if they wanted to play Demonic, what options do they now have?
    • Potential retirees because 'muh org RP' - this seems like an empty con, because they clearly did not care enough about the org to log in anyways. This is just people sucking at writing their way to a new path in Imperian's storyline.. see: people that cried about the death of the Gods.

    My solutions to this would be radical and probably widely opposed:
    • Delete all cities and councils. Delete all sects. Start from scratch and make shard skills, etc applied via sect membership. Their theoretical 'flux' should handle the concern of being locked out of a circle, if we make some adjustments during the shrine war review that will inevitably happen. Why is this a good idea? Because sects are player-created constructs. They could be in flux much more often, rising and falling with the size of their circle. The multiple sects serve as safety valves to ensure that everybody gets to play everywhere, which makes balancing out combat teams a lot easier in theory. Their concepts are more digestible than 'what is Kinsarmar?' or 'why is Ithaqua Ithaqua?'.. 'oh sweet, the Order of Conquest, wonder what that's about?' in comparison should illustrate this point. It also gives our entities some more relevance, I guess.. though that doesn't matter as much to me in the grand scheme of things.
    • OR, even more radical - delete Ithaqua and Antioch, then subsequently DELETE ANTI-MAGICK FROM THE GAME. Their professions can be handwaved as neutral. Neither circle has historically cared about Anti-Magick's nebulous 'not-magick' power source. Give every current AM player a 'free circle swap' and cut them loose. Give one of the AM orgs to Demonic (probably Antioch, because it's right next to several undead things). Re-establish the safety valve approach. With four orgs instead of six and AM's population distributed appropriately, we shouldn't need to delete anybody else. Why is this smart? Truth be told, I thought this was coming.. but for Demonic! With Khandava the only one on the 'weaken' side, I foresaw them getting ground to dust by their decision combined with the collective moxie of the world. Turns out we hate Kinsarmar way more anyways and Khandava has the manpower to avoid such a fate in any case. There's no active reason in the narrative to be Anti-Magick anyways. Anti-Magick's power has clearly not been able to avert plenty of catastrophes in the past, from meteors to demon invasions all way up to Legion and Urzog (both of whom Antioch chose to side with, which is telling from a narrative perspective). It also avoids the drama of another mass retirement due to org deletion, the tears that come with it if they don't retire, etc. Anti-Magick is the weakest narrative link anyways and Imperian cannot support three sides any longer

    Maybe some smart guy will look at the 'puzzle' I've laid out and come to an equally effective conclusion. Truth be told, I can't really figure out an amenable solution to the tendency for players to join the Winningest Team.