Kynn’s recent rampage against everyone has stirred up a lot of controversy, interest, and most importantly, ludicrous and unfounded rumors all around Frostfell.  Here are some of the more interesting ones…

"I hear that Gargamel moved to Darktide."  (Gargamel has been on vacation for a while.)

"I hear Gargamel ordered his who allegiance to go red and kill and loot everyone on the server."

"I hear that Garg and Kynn had a big war, and Kynn one hit killed him, then Gargamel came back and killed him 3 times in retaliation."  (This is one of Kynn’s favorites… "Cool, I’ve always wanted to one-hit Garg.")

"Kynn is camping lifestones and killing newbies."  (Think about the mechanics of this statement.)

 

I tried to start my own rumor… "I hear Kynn has some exploit to turn people PK against their will, and is using it in Shoushi Grotto so he can steal people’s calling stones."  Nobody believed it, although Qui-Gon Jin seemed to take it as an excuse to rant in game around the Arwic LS, stating that "asheron is good.. anyone who strays from his might is a damned fool, and in real life will probably be a murderer".  Awesome!

Naturally, the PK activity in the Arwic area has been on the upswing, and all over the server in general.  With this comes some real glaring stupid problem in the PvP world.  Take for example the "wand killer", one of my personal peeves.  Using a spell off a wand uses none of the user’s mana, and given the wielder is probably a high level mage with mad conversion, very little of the device’s mana.  More importantly from a PK perspective, the wiedler doesn’t have to say anything, and so unless the target happens to see whatever it is heading for him, there’s no warning.  Wand spells also go off pretty damn fast.  This isn’t a problem for your run of the mill Shockwave III Life Magic Mastery III sort of affair (where the spellcraft is reasonable, allowing the target to resist), but when you think of the Wand of Black Fire and the White Virindi Wand, you can see how awesome the attack potential gets.

If anyone was in beta, they will remember when the Wand of Black Fire was introduced, it became the only way to fight.  Arcane 122 required (or something), fired Flame Bolt VI instantaneously, for 1 mana per shot.  Since then, someone must have figured out that this was maybe not such a great idea, and so now the requirements for the WoBF include War Magic 270 or better for the wielder.  Difficult, sure, but not unachievable, especially for those who have specialized war and/or high creature magic to boost their skill.  The Jihad Masta is a WoBF user, and yesterday killed Kynn several times with the following high-thought tactics:

1:  Hit the hotkey for Fire Vulnerability Other
2:  Charge up and use the Wand of Black Fire
3:  If you get hit, hit the hotkey for Lifestone Recall
4:  If you win, spew out some misspelled trash talk like, "Welcoem to the crytp"

Withe Fire Vulnerability Other VI and Fire Protection Self IV on the target simultaneously, the target can expect to take 150 or so damage from a WoBF hit.  If there is no Fire Protection, the target can just expect to die.  This sort of wand killing with the WoBF (and its sister, the Lightning VI firing White Virindi Wand) reminds me a lot of the 5 pool zergling rush in Starcraft.  Why bother with trying to be good at the game, when a fast rush build is usually just as, or more, effective?  Battle.net is full of mindless trash talkers who don’t know how to play the game beyond the 5 pool, and I’m expecting that when AC is full of 40+ level mages who can use the WoBF or Virindi Wand, the servers will be full of wand killers who are just as successful, and just as mindless.

Still, the WoBF and Virindi Wand are not the game killers they once were, for the following reasons:

1:  The wands can be gotten by anyone who goes after them
2:  They require an inordinately high War Magic skill to use
3:  They have a spellcraft of 270, so it’s possible (sorta) to resist them
4:  There is a counter

The counter, by the way, is simple:  War Magic Ineptitude Other.  When Jihad came back to Arwic to kill Kynn again with the WoBF bumrush, it was funny to see him stand still, knowing he was frantically hitting the "twinky wand spell" button over and over, then recall away.  Word has it that he is currently researching Focus, Willpower, and War Magic Mastery Self V+ to preserve the one-trick pony’s one trick.

I was watching some informal matches on Black Hill earlier today on someone else’s monitor, and saw another twinky wand trick.  This one, however, is very different.  Crossroads readers might have heard about The Staff of the Weeping Witness, a truly unique artifact given by +Sarneho to Caeryn Dryad for something or other.  These are the stats:

Casts War Magic Mastery Self VI (+35 to skill)
Casts Shockwave V
Spellcraft 467
Requires Arcane Lore 60

Think about this for a moment.  This is an item which, far as I know, was a gift from the game administrator to a player which casts a near-instantaneous war V spell at no mana cost, with the skill of someone who has War Magic 467 (unresistable), and cannot be disabled.  There is no way in hell that you can take a 40th level mage’s arcane lore below 60 with any combination of VI spells.

In any case, I watched the first match… The Staff vs. someone else.  The Staff won.  The Staff’s wielder was commenting that it was close, and that she would have died… one can infer that the finish to this statement was "if not for this twinky staff".  The next match was really great… Animal vs. Kynn, their first real match, once which got restarted after Animal got lagged and Kynn asked that he heal and they restart.  A long, drawn out, tactical battle which utilized archery, drains, war magic, a White Virindi Wand, an electric mace (!!!), and complex maneuvering and counter-thinking.  Kynn won after five minutes, an epic battle that had all the observers on my end cheering for both combatants.  Both are very high level players who have worked long and hard on their characters, their tactics, their skills, etc.  What a fight.

Later on, Animal was beaten by The Staff.

+Sarneho needs to be slapped.  Hard.  Sure Caeryn’s work has been interesting and beneficial to CoD and to whomever is looking for the information she gathered, but an apropos "gift" for that sort of thing would be something like a unique piece of clothing, an artifact which is of commeasurate power with other "show devices", or even a goofy twink wand which is like the WoBF but fires acid VI, for example, with the same requirements.  The Staff of the Weeping Witness is at best a ludicrous game breaker which reduces the challenge and potential of AC to that of Furcadia.  At worst, it is a thing which destroys PvP, pisses off observers, and hurts otherwise worthy and skilled combatants who fall before the might of some twink with a crappy god device.  My feelings on The Staff are summed up here:

Kynn tells you, "Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Ah, I’m level 40, the Staff is called Staff of the Weeping Witness, its a gift not meant for ambushing PK’s. But in a tournament I understa"
Kynn tells you, "tournament I understand all’s fair""
You tell Kynn, "fuck, say I resign the tournament, and declare the winner to be the Staff of the Weeping Witness"
You tell Kynn, "or else show up for the tournament by gating in a team of 5 allies to take out your enemy"
Kynn tells you, "lol"
Kynn tells you, "This is going to be a good rant :)"
You tell Kynn, "im not kidding, i would do it :P"

All’s fair right?  Of course this doesn’t apply to jump heal (as illustrated below), or Animal wishing to stop a match which had gotten fairly even (Caeryn admonished, as the "referee" of the tourney I guess, that it was to the death).  In fact, Caeryn did seem to be giving a lot of directions during the matches, even though she had the least experience of those on the hill, which was a site for matches since way early beta.  What authority… oh wait, I forgot… she has The Staff.

Here’s some chat excerpts between Kynn and Caeryn after the second victory by The Staff…

Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Yes that it is.. no one claimed it was balanced"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "Hence, I am disgusted by it’s use.  As far as I’m concerned, any fight you’re in were you use that to win, you haven’t won, nor done anything except exploit a"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "bug."
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "You are not using your own skill in any way shape or form, simply a bugged wand."
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "But, that’s my opinion, no the majorities."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "lol, your opinion suddenly meant much less to me and my peers… having seen Animal use the jump heal bug I’m not sure you would have comented had I lost"
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Sounds a lot like double standards"

Yup, the jump heal bug.  It’s STILL FUCKING THERE!  Actually though, I did some testing and found that Heal Self IV+ is as effective or more so, and doesn’t fill the damn screen with dipshit words of power.

You tell Caeryn Dryad, "You can also use the jump heal bug.  There is a difference.  If animal were to use it fighting me, I would cancel the duel."
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "however, you’re free to form your opinion however you like."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "I just did"
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Double standards are very unfair things"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "How do you feel I have double standards?"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "As far as I know, I exploit no bugs to fight, nor support it"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "I don’t follow your reasoning."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "You claim that my staff given to me for my work by turbine is unfair, yet you let Animal use the bug in battle"

If Turbine is actually giving out god devices to players, I’m going to have to take another trip up there.  With a baseball bat.

You tell Caeryn Dryad, "You expect me to stop the fight and tell animal he’s a bad boy?"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "No, I wait until it’s over then tell you both you’re lame :P"
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "I see a vast difference between a staff given as a gift between me and a real exploit.."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "I can’t believe you put them on par with each other…"

Note:  they are not on par.  The jump heal bug does suck, and I wish those dumbasses would get off their chairs and take care of it already… only been around since late beta.  However, as far as I know there is no way for anyone else to get The Staff.

You tell Caeryn Dryad, "Simple, both ruin pvp in the same way."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "I am newer than he is AND i’m much lower level"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "Both are an unfair advantage."
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "Both are ‘cheep’."
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "Both are used when a person can’t win by convential means"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "to give them some sort of an edge, that the other can’t use"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "I dislike that, some feel it’s a part of pvp."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Sounds like the bracelets and rings we use my friend.."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Maybe we should strip down and rely on our pure ‘skill’ to protect ourselves"

I wish I had a bracelet or ring which let me cast unlimited V’s, usable from level 8 or so.  Oh it’s "newbified" too.  Can’t be lost (after an unfortunate incident where The Staff Mark I was lost).

You tell Caeryn Dryad, "*chuckles*  You’re equating jump heal and your toy to using bracelets?"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "I suppose no warrior should use a bd bow either, if he does’t have item"
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "actually you’re equating jump hael to my toy.. and then I’m using your reasoning to equate my toy to a bracelet"
You tell Caeryn Dryad, "This conversation just turned ridiculous.  You have your beliefs, I have mine.  Good day."
Caeryn Dryad tells you, "Mmm I agree with that much. Good luck."

It is my belief that Caeryn may actually not realize the implications of The Staff, since to the best of my knowledge she was never PvP+ before The Staff, never experienced firsthand the problems that came in beta from +600% damage bows and the 1 mana 122 arc WoBF, never felt as small and insignificant as the person who has played a character for months only to be cut down at any time by any jackass with a balance-killing device.  I may be wrong… if she did have PvP experience, then fuck her.  But I don’t think this is the case.

The Staff is a big mistake.  They should know better after braindead moves like the old WoBF.  I just hope that the mistake gets corrected and never happens again.  Here’s the gist:  DO NOT GIVE GOD DEVICES TO PLAYERS.  You want to reward a player for doing something cool on a site, or hosting an event, or sucking miles of cock, or delivering chinese take-out to your offices?  Think first.  A volunteer advocate only gets a cool-looking Aegis shield and the restriction that they cannot go red, and an obligation to hang out in newbie towns and answer questions like "hwere do u get teh soll???///".  They don’t get a free Armor VI Everything Protection VI set of long underwear and an instakill weapon for their services.

I’m a little calmer since I watched all this bullshit unfold, and so my current feelings are:  Fuck The Staff.  Fuck +Sarneho for making such a boneheaded mistake.  I have nothing personal against Caeryn, since I believe she doesn’t really understand what’s happening.  But if she does… well, you know.

Yet one more day of stupidity which keeps me playing more StarCraft than ever.

 

 

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