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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 12:48PM (Unverified) said

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To sum up my experience, the shadow warrior is an effective, well-balanced class, capable of extremely high burst-damage.

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LOL, pathetic, you played the class how long? please, it's insulting. The class has been borked since the beginning of the game. I cant stand these people like you who play the class for a little time, then have the audacity to say players who have played the class for THOUSANDS of hours are just liars and cry babies.

This is the worst type of reports there is half ass.

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 1:04PM (Unverified) said

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Very good series, may i suggest an SM one next Saturday?

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 1:11PM exLupo said

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What I got out of this experiment was that Shadow Warriors aren't 100% pointless. There is at least one path that is effective at one thing. However, WAR classes are all meant to be able to take multiple paths. Without examination of the rest of the Shadow Warrior's playstyles, declaring it "fine" is premature.

It's passable that they have one niche that you've found to work and, from what you say, work very well. However, with two specializations left to be tested, the state of the class could actually be in dire need. I haven't played WAR in a while but I do keep up with the ongoing development and, from what I can tell, the mid-close game for these elite operatives is still lacking.

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 2:34PM (Unverified) said

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I'm going to have to disagree with you on this.

While I've done some bitching in the last few SW posts, I'll agree with you that SW's aren't AS bad as every says. I've had great times playing as the shadow warrior. However, I don't think that you can say that 1 rotation of skills in 1 tree that's only usable once every 2 minutes makes for a balanced and well thought out class, especially considering SW's max "sniping" distance is closer than many other classes, and most other, if not all, ranged classes do more damage on a more consistent basis than a shadow warrior, as well as having the ability to do similar burst. Theoretically, this should be alright because a SW is supposed to have superior melee/kiting skills than other ranged classes, but with the way that skills and stances are set up, they don't. You're relying solely on one aspect of a hybrid DPS class, and as a result, you're really just a gimped RDPS.

Oh, and have fun if your festerbomb misses. Nothing like having 4 minutes of doing essentially nothing between the time when your last one hit and you can use your next one.

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 5:05PM (Unverified) said

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I have no desire to go into details as I no longer play the game and have no vested interest in summaring the classes many faults. All I have to say is that of all the classes I played in the game the only one I despised more than the Shadow Warrior was the Magus. Either way, the class was not fun to play and I always felt like fodder and easy points for the other side.

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 5:31PM (Unverified) said

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A few months ago I started playing WAR again, I had a level 40 choppa and an unfinished 35 SW from launch day. I decided to play SW because I rolled face waaaaay to easy with the Choppa. When I tried a scenario with the SW I was absolutely worthless, with doing 200-300 eagle eyes against healers. Pathetic. So off to a PvE grind.

I got to RR 45 when I finally threw the towel and said "f*ck it". It was just sad seeing other Bright Wizards being effective all the time while you had to wait for all your cooldowns to pop up to match their effectivity, only just for a few seconds. It's not that I just want to roll face, but do what a class has been built to do efficiently. SW can't do that.

Just for sh*ts and giggles I tried out my Choppa afterwards and rolled face again. I quit a day after that.

Good game, well played WAR.

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 9:27PM (Unverified) said

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Why stop now? Continue into T4 with your SW and then do another week after you have hit R40. I feel you closed this one up too soon, keep going onto T4...

Posted: Jul 10th 2010 9:34PM (Unverified) said

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I'll agree with the author here that Scout stance is pretty much fine as it is. During Keep sieges/defenses, especially in the lower tiers, Shadow Warriors can do a pretty decent job of screwing with enemy healers. I'd like a little more damage, but my Scout never felt gimped (like my Engi) so much as just mildly underpowered.

But, Skirmish and Assault stances are virtually useless outside of 1v1. This is where the real problem with the class is. When combat is moving fast, like in Scenarios, Scout stance is usually a little too slow to be of much use. But, swapping to Skirmish/Assault gimps DPS by a pretty significant amount.

I like my SW, but I think most of that is because its the easiest class to lead with. I can type and direct actions without messing up my rotation or my targeting.

Posted: Jul 11th 2010 11:30AM (Unverified) said

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Shadow Warriors are a Great class if used correctly, look at thsi video for example of a SW in T4 Scenarios:

http://www.retardmafia.net/index.php?option=com_hwdvideoshare&task=viewvideo&Itemid=70&video_id=138

The Main Problem SW's have is they are weak on defense, and most SW's owners think they are some kind of ninja(I guess cause of the way they look) and are always running around with their swords instead of using their bows like they are supposed to, you would be amazed how many times you see SW's in the front line using their swords banging on tanks instead of staying behind the healers Targeting the destro healers like they should.

Posted: Jul 12th 2010 10:41AM ShadowWar said

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I'm happy you played the class, I really am. However, an unfinished job is a job best never started. If you aren't willing or able to put in the time to at least get significantly into tier 4, you can't possibly hope to accurately judge a class and it's performance. Particularly in relation to other careers.

I was thrilled to hear you were doing this, and now dissapointed to see it left undone. You came to a blanket conclussion based on incomplete testing.

Posted: Jul 12th 2010 5:32PM (Unverified) said

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"which took a long-term, in-depth look at the Path of the Scout mastery tree"

Sorry, but I have to agree with everyone else here. Three weeks encompassing only Tiers 1-3 is not a long-term, in-depth look at anything.

The fact that you leveled through those three Tiers in three weeks is actually proof that what happens in those Tiers really doesn't mean anything in regards to the classes and combat involved there or the long-term viability of any class.

You can enjoy Tiers 1-3 on just about any class. There is always going to be at least one Mastery Path that makes that trip enjoyable. However, Tier 4 is a different beast. No longer are you artificially supported by the Rank/Renown Rank caps in place in the lower Tiers.

Shadow Warriors have a lot of issues. That doesn't mean they're not a viable class. However, in your position, to state what you have does a disservice to the actual Shadow Warrior community.

Posted: Jul 13th 2010 4:52PM ShadowWar said

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I just noticed something as well. There seems to be a continual assertion that the Skirmish skills reside at 45'. They do not. They are at 65'. There are tactics that you can optionally spec for and slot that MAKE them 45'. Additionally, in Scout stance, they will have a 72' range. So, class defining, insanely important skills like Shadow Sting are almost always still taken by scout spec.

The value of the Shadow Sting debuff is phenomenally higher than the one from Fell the Weak. Firstly, Shadow Sting only requies an ailment on the target. BHA, Acid Arrow, Eye Shot, Takedown, Throat Shot, and so on are all ailments. Applying it will not be an issue. Secondly, it's incoming heals, as opposed to outgoing heals (unless that has changed recently and I wasn't made aware). As a general rule, incoming heal debuffs are vastly superior, particularly in assist trains. It can gaurantee reduced effectiveness on that one person. Whereas if two healers are around and you're using outgoing heal debuffs, you've doubled your workload.

Posted: Jul 14th 2010 10:14PM (Unverified) said

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As a member of the MMO press, you are doing the class a disservice by pronouncing the class A-OK on the basis of pre-T4 play. As a WAR player, you must be aware that the majority of a character's life takes place in T4, and it is also where any glaring defects in a class will show up most strongly. You do a further disservice by basing this assertion on what has become a topic of derision amongst the class's critics, the "Festerbomb". Why derision? Because it is dependent on the synchronized used of a host of cooldowns which at best is only possible once every two minutes, requires the use of a rank 2 morale ability for anything resembling success and consumes a large amount of time for it's successful execution. I find myself wondering what your renown rank was, in comparison to other classes with the same play time spent. I imagine it to be poor, seeing as you are taking the time set up one perfect snipe, followed by expending every single decent cooldown ability in the entire arsenal followed by the attack with the longest cast time in the game.

Your ignorance of Skirmish attack ranges indicates that I am correct, and that you need to continue your SW experience well into T4, while varying your builds to reflect the remaining two Mastery trees: Skirmish and Assault. You made virtually no mention of either, and they are in the game for a reason. The fact you believe Shadow Sting, which appears very low in the Skirmish tree and is a must-have for nearly every SW in existence, has a range of only 45', tells me you probably did not even spec the tree once. Incidentally, it is must-have as opposed to Fell the Weak because in order to debuff heals FTW requires VoN...you guessed it, a two minute cooldown again. In RvR, that is a very long time indeed. And weren't you going to use that VoN for your Festerbomb? There seems to be a disconnect somewhere, several in fact, and I am wondering how much attention you really paid out there in the lakes. We already progress quite slowly in renown in relation to others, and if I were to take up your recommendations I would be wearing Annihilator for a very long time.

To follow up on your reply to my previous comment: There is a great debate amongst SW's that has yet to be resolved on the actual functionality of Steady Aim. Perhaps you would be interested in testing the actual Crit rate with some form of combat logger. Many well-known players in the community do feel that SA only adds 50% of the existing crit rate rather than a flat 50%. I discovered after my original post that this is somewhat of a hot topic, and as yet unresolved in either direction.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 5:06AM (Unverified) said

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I just got around to reading this, and i must agree with the above comments... you can't say if a class is balanced/broken unless you play it all the way. Imo, for the SW the min level you can get a correct impression over the class is at least rr50.
I've been playing scout since day 1, i love it, it suits my playing style, and i will always be a scout SW. but i do not agree with you that skirmish is useless... Skirmish post patch 1.3.6 is fotm. is very versatile, has a much higher damage than scout stance, higher survivability, and aoe is simply wonderful. Assault is the weakest stance imo, but there are still few very very good SW's that make it worth while. and with the changes brought in the latest patch that make the conversion from BS and Range power to Str and Mellee Power, it's become even better.

Yesterday's city siege, order lost all 3 stages in my instance as we did not have enough healers, best 3 order damage classes in the instance : 3 sw's - first 2 skirmish with more than 1.2 MM damage, me 3rd, scout, with 800k. below the skirmish sw's... sorcs galore. below me, SH's. How can anyone turn around and say SW's are useless will always be a mystery to me.

I'm not gonna get into whines regarding bugged tactics and WPin, but i will share my personal opinion about SW class.
First of all, SW got some pretty nice love in 1.3.6, sure it has still many bugs and it is still weaker than it's mirror class. But SW is not a class for any player, for any easy moder that picks 3 abilities, spams them no matter the order and wins.
Secondly, SW it is a class that truly requires patience and above all, skill. It is fun and simply worth while.

MistressDark SW rr80 - Karak Norn

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 5:14PM Greg W said

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Thanks for your comment, LisaDark. I just want to point out a few things though. First, I was playing the Shadow Warrior pre-1.3.6. Second, you should check out my supplemental column to this series (issue #4). I took some extra time and checked out the other trees.

And remember, Waging WAR comes out every saturday afternoon. Hope to see you in future articles as well.

Thanks for reading.
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