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Reader Comments (7)

Posted: Jul 3rd 2010 10:18PM J Brad Hicks said

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Yeah. As a former Squig Herder (before I gave up WAR), you have discovered that WAR has something in common with City of Heroes: "lethal" is the most misnamed damage type, because you can't kill much of anything with it, and "piercing" doesn't pierce much of anything at all. I don't know what it is about MMO designers that almost all of them have this blindspot: they balance all the damage types evenly, while giving out a ton of resistances to only one or two of them. (Ironically, my current MMO, Star Trek Online, does the same thing in the exact opposite way, rendering many characters completely immune to energy damage while leaving them ridiculously vulnerable to piercing damage.)

As much fun as modal DPS is in WAR, you have now discovered why Shadow Warriors are the least-played class: all the disadvantages of being a Squig Herder, without the advantage of being able to use pet pathing exploits. It's a shame, really. Once you get out of tier 1, it's fun soloing a Shadow Warrior in PvE, because of the ease of switching between melee and ranged optimization. But who plays WAR just for its PvE?

Posted: Jul 3rd 2010 11:23PM Taawa said

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It's just about the only class I haven't played. Some exquisitely equipped SW's can achieve high burst on soft targets with a rotation that includes festering arrow. I've been tempted to try one. But I'm not renewing my sub. And I feel burned after leveling a magus.

Posted: Jul 4th 2010 1:21AM (Unverified) said

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I actually took some time out since last week to sit down and remember what my problems were with the Shadow Warrior before I quit. Without further delay:

The stance mechanic is borked. Outside of assault stance, the benefits of the stances are minimal, and they reduce your available skillset so greatly they're more of a burden than a boon. As you reach higher levels and acquire more and more skills this'll become more apparent, as you'll undoubtedly be sweating out that 5 second cooldown while stance-dancing to reach skills whose equivalents are available to other classes at all times.

Bugged tactics: Charge Forth and Expert Skirmisher's inability to work together is terrible, and Enchanted Arrows is probably still bugged.

Range: 10% bonus in scout stance... really? That's going to solve our problems? Our longest range (unmodified) is 100 feet, with skills like Flame Arrow being inexplicably and arbitrarily set at 80 feet, while other classes have up to a 150 foot range. Hell, not to make this into a conversation about mirrors, but SH's can spam their equivalent of Spiral Fletched Arrows with Split Arrows at 100ft, while we're trapped at 65. Oh yeah, and they really should ungimp Split Arrows as well (used to not have the 30% damage reduction), it was pretty much all we had. People always bitch about huge Festering Arrow crits, but really, nothing felt better than dropping the R2 double-damage morale skill, getting within 45 feet for Expert Skirmisher and then just using Bullseye to chain crits on groups of softies.

The Skirmish tree: generally useless. Split Arrows and Shadow Sting are great, but Barrage is a carbon copy of Lileath's arrow (and equally useless, due to it only working on completely level ground), Charge Forth is absolute suicide and unable to be paired with Expert Skirmisher, Flanking shot is... a joke? I would hope so. Only usable from behind, marginal damage, and a 10 second cooldown. 20% increased chance to crit if we waste valuable Vengeance time casting this piece of garbage.

Speaking of which, VoN is terrible. What is it, 15 seconds out of every 2 minutes? It's good for a knockdown with Takedown, or maybe with FA (although it feels like a waste, considering how long it takes to get a FA off), but other than that, it's a wholly undeveloped concept/skill that's never there when you need it.

Whirling Pin: it's our root skill, and yet it's constantly blocked or parried. How can you have a root/escape skill whose chance of success is determined by matching a ranged class's strength against a melee class's strength/block rating? The most use I would get out of this skill is when I was chasing down a runner while in assault stance (because I wouldn't want to switch over to skirmish stance to use Takedown, only to be stuck in skirmish when I caught up with the person I was after).

Anyway, these are just some of the issues I remember from playing back in the day, although there's no doubt in my mind that most of them remain. In a 24 class game, if the players are distributed evenly among the classes, every class should make up about 4-5% of the population. Unfortunately, seeing as how SW's are underplayed, the truth is that they probably make up about 3%. What chance is there for 3% of the playerbase to ever get any help when the devs could spend their time working on things that could make the game better for all players, or at least a larger portion of them? The day I realized this was the day I quit.

When you hit tier 4, I recommend you try out assault stance. Not the easiest spec, but it was definitely the most fun for me, and it definitely has the most room to experiment between stats, specs, and tactics out of all the SW specs.


Posted: Jul 4th 2010 1:34AM (Unverified) said

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Ha, sorry about the spelling/grammatical errors and occasional awkwardly worded sentence in there, I'm usually much better than that.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2010 8:57AM (Unverified) said

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You're a bit out of date regarding skirmish - CF and ES work together, and have done for about 18months, and Barrage and Flanking are instant casts now making them pretty decent skills. Skirmish remains the dueling/soloing tree however, with very little to add in warbands or scenario groups (but really, really easymode for one-v-one versus casters).

Scouts fairly solid at high levels - the AP issues with NQ never really goes away, but I like that it keep the SW from spamming the same key too often. Stacking crit (prehaps with Bullseye) and Rep-Strikes makes it fairly managable.

~ Readda. rr80 SW Karak Norn.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2010 8:31PM (Unverified) said

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A few things to think about regarding AP and the SW-

1. AP won't regen while you're in any sort of "cast" (Eagle Eye, Spiral-fletched Arrow, ect). So if you happen to be trying to focus a target down in T2 with EE spam, you won't be gaining any AP at all, even with Hunter's Fervor up. Hunter's Fervor is a good ability, but I always find it better to not use it in the middle of fighting a group since most everyone will be spamming abilities, but rather using it while moving between skirmishes. That way, while moving on to the next group everyone gets an AP regen in your group and makes it that much easier to be prepared.

2. Replenishing Strikes works with EVERY crit. At least when I last played my SW, it worked on DoT crits as well. It says that it can't trigger more than once every 3 seconds, but that's false. So what I used to do to try and keep up not only my DPS, but my AP as well was apply all of my DoTs first then go into my direct damage abilities. That way, I could get some crits from my DoTs for an extra 40AP a crit and have almost full AP by the time I started my DD skills.

3. A trick many SWs use to get a full AP bar is pop Steady Aim (with Replenishing Strikes slotted) and hit Rapid Fire. If each or almost all hits crit, that's pretty much a full AP bar.

Hope this helps!

Posted: Jul 7th 2010 4:21PM (Unverified) said

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Greg, you mentioned the necessity for VoN and Unshakable Focus, but were you aware that UF is almost universally ignored by pre-T4 SW's? I am assuming you looked at the tooltip and saw a 50% increase. I made the same mistake early on. But UF adds 50% of your EXISTING crit rate, not a flat 50% increase. In short, very very little. Your base crit rate is probably around zero at the moment, maybe 3% at most in scout stance, 8% in skirmish. So you are looking at a whopping 1% increase in scout. When you factor in the significant delay added by the ability, you see why it is ignored. Many T4 players never use it either, according to my survey of T4 SW's on my server. It only becomes viable if you are creating a crit-stacked gear build, which is a very long road.

Looking forward to your next installment. Later on you will find the reason why we open up with DOTs and not the other way around as you suggest. It has to do with setting up the (arguably) best ability available to us: Shadow Sting.

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