Archive for the ‘Mythos Builds’ Category

More About Mythos: Blade Breaker and Meteor

Well, I told you that I would be back with information about these two builds when I had them leveled up a little bit. Soon after that post, I realized that my BB toon was already at 24, and I got my meteor toon to 20 tonight, so I figure I’ll give you all a little write up about what I think of them.

Blade Breaker:
This build is quite fun in my opinion. While it relies almost entirely on passive abilities (increased attack rating, crit rating, damage, etc.) to make it more powerful, it is extremely efficient and can really be a powerhouse. This is the epitome of a kiting class in Mythos since they generally are wearing strength gear (better “armor”) as well as a shield (at least in my case) so they can take a few more whacks than many other builds. I’ll frequently have 50-70 mobs behind me by the time I round on them and eliminate them all with one attack. Something this build and piercing barrage can do that meteor and tesla builds can’t do is speed through an instance. All you have to do in collect up all the mobs, kill the majority of the group, and keep heading to the bottom. This is particularly effective when you are doing random quests because the boss you need to kill is always in the final floor, so the faster you get there, the faster you get xp.

Well there is my brief overview of the blade breaker build. If you want a toon that’s beefy that really makes you feel powerful, this is a great choice.

Meteor:
While I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on this class now, I’m not quite sure what to think of it. It has a very large radius once it explodes, however, it frequently takes 3-4 attacks to kill everything in big groups. I had originally assumed that it would function much like Diablo 2’s frozen orb skill, but there are two big differences that affect it quite a bit. For a bit of reference, frozen orb would be sent into a great big group of mobs. It would explode when it struck your target and send out frozen shards from the explosion. An excellent shot would mean that every shard would strike a surrounding enemy. As I said though, there are two differences.

The first big difference is that meteor explodes on the first solid object it comes into contact with, not the target you picked (in fact, it doesn’t require a target at all, but rather a click anywhere on the screen.) This means that you must be much more aware of your surroundings, understanding how obstacles or other mobs moving around could affect the way your meteor is going to work. More often than not, this simply means that it won’t be nearly as effective as if it exploded only upon impacting a mob that you target.

The second big difference is that the fragments that spread outward from the explosion seem to have a slight gap between where they originate and where the explosion itself occurs. Basically what this means is that grouping mobs tightly together, a tactic used with some other builds, could actually hurt your damage more than if you allow the mobs to stay spread out since those fragments will start out past the cluster and therefore be largely worthless (except for mobs that haven’t quite been collected up.) This really bothers me quite a bit, as it means that you are basically better off shooting blindly and hoping to strike as many mobs as possible than you are if you use tactics to bunch them all together to blow them away. It seems to me that using some skill, even if it is just kiting, should be rewarded rather than penalized.

In any case, I enjoy this build, but I think that it could use some tweaking. This is obviously just an opinion, and I haven’t asked anyone else whether they would prefer a definitive target and/or removing the gap between the fragments and the explosions, but I think they would bring a greater need for skill to the table. I will probably hop on this toon occasionally, but I much prefer the other three builds that I’ve been working with.

On a side note, I’m gradually starting to lose my awe for the tesla build. After switching from this toon to my blade breaker, I realized that I could wipe out a much larger group much faster with the blade breaker because he can kill multiple mobs with the same attack instead of having a limit on the number of mobs than could be attacked at once, which is four for tesla widgets. I still think that this is the most powerful build for epic maps, but seeing as I don’t run these very often, this doesn’t do me much good.

~Kanthalos

Advertisements

Tesla Widgets vs. Piercing Barrage

Having gotten my tesla toon to 30 in Mythos, I think it’s safe to say I’ve seen most of its effectiveness. I also have a level 49 (so close!) piercing barrage toon, which I also enjoy quite a bit. The two are quite different in their styles of play, and both are enjoyable, but they seem to excel in different situations.

The Tesla build seems perfect for epic map situations. They can cut through champion and epic-level normal mobs quite effectively, and in doing, generally can avoid taking much damage if played correctly. The problem with this is that even if you can solo an epic map your level, you still can’t kill things fast enough to equal the amount of experience you would get slicing through non-epic content. Epic maps are built to be played by 3-5 players, and if you don’t have them, you generally aren’t going to earn that much experience. If you are using a tesla build within a group, you are going to be able to cut through mobs like butter and earn a ton of experience, which makes them a perfect class for teaming up. As for single-player maps, they are still quite effective, but are limited to the fact that they can only be attacking four mobs at any given time (only four tesla widgets can be active at once.)

As for piercing barrage, they tend to excel at solo content because they have so many arrows flying at once, which can penetrate mobs and continue on through more mobs. Furthermore, they can ricochet off objects and continue doing heavy damage. This means that each arrow is somewhat less effective than the tesla widgets, but strong enough that they can easily slay the average mob with one (or occasionally two) hits. If you aren’t running an epic map, this is going to be more than capable of anything you would want to do. In fact, many of the bosses (such as zivia) have incredibly high resistance to electricity, so if you are hurling nothing but electrical damage at them, it can often take quite a bit longer to kill than with piercing barrage or a handful of other builds.

As for play-styles, they are quite different. Piercing barrage uses one skill to attack with lots of passive abilities and bonuses that enhance your power. This can be nice if you aren’t wanting to pay too much attention while you are playing. The tesla build on the other hand requires that you maintain three (and possibly four) widgets at all times with three or four of each type going at once. Keeping 10 or 15 widgets up constantly can get exhausting, but if you want to do more than hit one button continuously, then this is a great way to go.

Knowing this, hopefully you can make a more informed decision on which of these builds you prefer and ultimately would like to play. If you enjoy running with groups and taking on tougher mobs that come with epic maps, then tesla widgets are perfect for you. Keep in mind that epic maps can dramatically reduce your fps due to all of the mobs, particle effects, and drops. If you don’t have a very nice rig or aren’t willing to turn your graphics down substantially to play in this mode, then you probably are going to want to avoid epic maps most of the time.

If you want to solo most of your playing time, then piercing barrage is going to be a great way to go. It’s incredibly effective in normal maps, and it’s fun to see all of the arrows flying around. If you enjoy kiting, and love to get a huge number of mobs behind you to mow them down, this is an excellent way to do that, and something that can’t really be done with the tesla widgets since they are single target.

I’ll try to go into detail about some more builds eventually. I have a meteor build as well as a blade breaker that are about around level 15, so when i get them to 25-30 I’ll let you know what I think.

~Kanthalos

A Crazy Mythos Build: Tesla Widgets

I had a level 14 gadgeteer on elite mode that a guildmate had power-leveled, so I had 14 levels worth of skill points and attributes do distribute. After looking around at a few builds, I decided I would give tesla widgets a shot. I’d heard that they were impressive, but I’d never tried them or seen them in action, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try them out.

Basically, tesla widgets work by using electrical damage to drain the life of surrounding enemies. Generally the way these builds work is you max the tesla tree and supplement them with suppression widgets (which slow down enemies) and galvanic widgets (which add even more electrical damage.) At first you really don’t need to worry about any sort of weapon damage because they widgets you summon don’t stick around long enough for you to use any other skills. When you first begin, all you have time to do is continuously summon tesla widgets. As time goes on, you can gradually add in suppression widgets, and around 28 or so, you can start adding in galvanic widgets, which basically make you unstoppable. If you have a strong set of minion damage gear to add on, you can easily solo epic maps your level, which is tough to impossible for almost any other class because anything that lives for more than a few seconds will get held off by the suppression widgets.

Once you get to around level 40 and you’ve more or less maxed tesla, galvanic, and suppression widgets, you can either go over to boom zipper widgets, which move to the nearest creature and explode (fire damage to supplement your electrical damage) or use a skill like napalm or piercing barrage coupled with insight/rally (increase defense/attack rating per kill.) In any case, this is a build that I think is a lot of fun. Some say that it’s boring since you aren’t actually killing anything yourself (or rarely that is) but I think that you might as well be since you are constantly summoning widgets to do it for you, and you need to balance the number of widgets you have out, which is fun in my opinion. I will hopefully add a video soon of this build in action, but a) I don’t have Fraps installed and b) I am only 25, so it would be tough to understand the full effectiveness of this build at half the max level. That said, anything other than champion mobs die within two seconds, and everything else I can stay away from until they are dead because of suppression widgets. If you are looking for a new build, I strongly suggest you give this one a shot.

~Kanthalos

More On Mythos

Ok, so I really do feel pretty bad about how harsh I was in my review of Mythos that I posted earlier. In that frame of mind, I’m going to offer up a few suggestions that I think would help improve the situation in several ways. Whether they are the perfect solution to their issues or not, it’s more of an excercise in problem-solving and MMO design for myself than anything else, so I’m going to get started. This post might rival the length of Van Hemlock’s posts so be prepared!

Combat: I realize that this is how combat in action-rpg’s is always going to be based primarily around 1-3 skills and never really get much more in-depth than that simply because it is so fast-paced. You are either kiting enemies around spamming a skill or one or two shotting them, so there really aren’t the long, face-to-face fights that last 30-45 seconds like a typical MMO. That said, there are a lot of skills within the game that simply aren’t effective enough to be considered in the vast majority of builds. For instance, there are three skill sets for each class, and in the gadgeteers case those three are marksman, grenadier, and tinker. I’ll look at each of the three individually so it’s easier to distinguish.

Marksman:
The marksman panel almost without question is going to be where the majority of your skill points are going to go because it has the two most popular skills (piercing barrage/napalm) and almost all of your passive skills (increase crit, weapon range/speed, etc..) This is by far the best-executed tree of the three, even though there are still skills such as rapid refire and seeking shot that, while decent, can’t come close to the power of piercing barrage and napalm, and therefore won’t be used much if at all.

Tinker:
Tinker is where you can get skills for widgets that you summon to stun/damage/slow your enemies. Typically one or two of these are used with a build, though there are also skills that allow you to drop turrets. In my opinion turrets really don’t have a place in this game, and a new skill should be considered to replace them because this isn’t the type of game where you sit around and let a turret destroy your enemies. Players are powerful enough without them that they are unnecessary and would rather put those skill points into a skill that is more useful or a passive skill that they can use with their primary skill rather than balancing another skill to use. How about a widget that reduces enemy attack speed or reduces elemental resistances instead? These would be far more useful than an immobile turret.

Another skill that seems to be rather worthless is the servant widget which turns an enemy in your favor for 15 seconds. This can’t be used on champion mobs (elites if you will) which means that the benefit of this skill would be truly minimal. As stated before, with the ability to one or two shot enemies in a matter of one or two seconds, what benefit could an average mob possibly have? The only time this could potentially be worthwhile is if the mobs had a silencing/poisoning/stunning skill, but what are the odds that the widget will actually work on that mob instead of an average one? If this skill were to be kept, it would have to work on say up to 5 enemies. You can create multiple widgets, but if you are using a build that already utilizes one or two widgets (which you summon multiple versions of) you aren’t going to have time to summon 15 widgets and then start firing at them, it just isn’t efficient.

Grenadier:

This is by far the most underused skill panel of the three. Basically the way it works is dropping grenades or bombs. The problem with many of these skills is that they are geared towards constant kiting. For example latchbomb explodes when enemies get near it. The noxious grenade does poison damage (that takes far longer to kill than a simple shot from a rifle.) Bauble trap absorbs some of the damage of enemies (that, again, you could kill with a shot from a rifle.) Another skill that doesn’t really seem to have much use is fire sentry (drops a wall of fire that the enemies run through.) Elemental walls are something that have baffled me constantly in these games. Unless you run the mobs back and forth through it, they are only going to run through it once. This skill is set for damage over time, not a burst of damage, furthering my confusion. The thing that gets me the most about this panel is that there aren’t any plain-and simple grenades. You can find them and use them, but why let this be a skill used by a class that has a “grenadier” skill set? The only skill that I find to have potential use is the mute bomb, which can silence enemies for up to 15 seconds. The problem with this, though, is that to maximize it takes 14 skill points just to silence an enemy (even though it can still use basic attacks on you in the process.) Make this 5-6 points instead, or else it won’t get used.

Ok, there’s the combat section. Perhaps I’ll go through the Bloodletter and Pyromancer in the future, but I have a lot more to talk about besides just combat so I’ll leave it at that.

Crafting:
Crafting is something that should be a part of any MMO today, just as it is in Mythos. The problem is that it is very confusing and uses far too many ingredients. You get a lot of space for ingredient space, but the many ingredients that you can buy can also be dropped by mobs, and your space fills up quickly, leaving you unsure which ingredients to keep and which to drop to make room for others. Not only are a good deal of the drops purchasable at NPC’s, they are spread out throughout the three zones, so it can be a pain figuring out what all materials (which happen to be extremely cheap) are buyable and which are not. As I mentioned in the previous post, crafting items that aren’t from the top tier is a waste of time. Not only do you have to find the ingredients, but by the time you hit level 20-25, you can already use the best gear in the game, so why bother crafting something for less than that? I see two options here: either make it so ingredients that you can purchase don’t drop off mobs, or cut out 25-50% of the crafting ingredients and make the remaining ingredients usable in more of the crafting recipes.

Gear:
Like I said in my review, gear is most frequently obtained from random quests once you get up there in levels. I’m not sure exactly how it would determine what quality of items it should generate (perhaps it could check what your top attribute was and base it off that,) but this ability to keep generating new items needs to stop. For one thing it’s a waste of time to the player, and it’s an exploit that shouldn’t be allowed. It should generate gear that is appropriate for your level (and possibly class) and even if you abandon it, it would still keep those 3 options. This way you have a pretty good chance of finding gear that you will use (or be able to trade) but not have complete control over the situation. Also, once the gear set to your level, the quests need to take more than the 5-10 minutes they currently take to complete or have a daily limit of one or two.

Not only do the randomly generated quests need to be fixed, but the drops need to be fixed as well. For one thing, your luck skill doesn’t provide the option for normal items to become magical, but only affects those that already have magical properties, and it only kicks it up by one level. This means that you end up with an unbelievable amount of normal items, a good deal of green, blue, and yellow items, but still with very few purple and orange items (the best.) They need to cut out about 25% of all gear drops (at least those with no magical properties) and find a way to make it so your luck can increase the modifier by more than one setting. I understand that not every piece of gear should be uber, but as I stated, the 4 pieces that I haven’t upgraded through random quests haven’t been replaced in over 12 levels. This isn’t right.

Also, there are a number of unique items in the game, which are obviously items with set stats that aren’t randomly generated. The problem with these items is that almost none of them have excellent stats. They generally have two or three stats that don’t fit the class that would be using them, or they are just stats that people don’t want. If you are going to take the time to make unique items, at least make them desirable to the players.

Quests:
As I said, the quests are basically written well and are usually entertaining, but the objectives are completely dull and uninspired. I understand that it can be difficult when you are dealing with mostly random maps, but there are still ways that you can have fun with these quests. For instance, one quest could be that you need to trap a warg and bring it to someone to study. You need to lay a trap and lure one into it/throw a net over it/shoot it with a tranquilizing dart. Even something simple like an NPC left an heirloom on a broken-down cart in a zone after being attacked by hollows, but he was flustered and doesn’t know where exactly it is. This at least gives you a bit more purpose than “foozles infested the forest, kill 10 of them and bring me proof.”

PvP:
It’s clear that the PvP system didn’t work out they way it was intended. Very few people are participating, and those who are are using junky gear so they don’t lose their good equipment. I have one solution that I think would work much better than dropping actual gear from a corpse. It also prevents punishing those who unknowingly killing a lower level toon. Instead of dropping actual gear when a player is killed, they drop some sort of trophy or token.

Killing a player 10+ levels above you: 15 tokens
Killing a player 7-9 levels above you: 12 tokens
Killing a player 4-6 levels above you: 9 tokens
Killing a player +/- 3 levels: 6 tokens
Killing a player 4-10 levels below you: 3 tokens
Killing a player 11-14 levels below you: 0 tokens
Killing a player 15+levels below you: -3 total tokens per kill for the next 3 kills
After killing a person three times for tokens each day they no longer yield tokens.

You could then turn in the tokens you received for things like idols that would improve your stats while in your pack with higher token rewards being more powerful. Of course the actual levels could be altered depending on balance issues, but I think this would be a great way to increase participation in the Shadowlands. You would no longer have to fear losing your gear, and you would also have the potential to obtain very nice items. All is better.

Wow, so there you have some of my suggestions and more in-depth description of several aspects of this game. Again, this is a game that I truly enjoy, I just wanted to formulate some of my thoughts on what I think can be improved and ways I think this could be achieved (though I’m no expert.)

~Kanthalos

New Mythos Review – 4/28/08

I see that my post about my Mythos review that’s around nine months old is still getting quite a few views. Taking that into account, I’m going to write up another little review and talk about how the game has changed since then.

Combat: Combat in the game is still as fast-paced as it ever has been, which is one of the things that many people enjoy it for and the main reason it is touted as a Diablo 2 clone. It’s always fun to be able to plow down 30-50 mobs at the same time, however it suffers from the fact that there is generally one skill used depending on the class you pick. Occasionally builds are created that utilize multiple skills (gadgets for gadgeteer for instance) but by and large it’s one skill you’re using the vast majority of the time (piercing barrage.) This is something that generally grows old after a while, even with the crazy amount of mobs you face. In fact, most classes are built around the idea that you gather up as many mobs as you can behind you, turn around, and blow them all away. It’s actually pretty inefficient if you kill mobs as you see them, which is a bit unusual I think, but that’s the way the system is built. Obviously it’s not something that’s going to break the game as I’m still playing it.

Crafting: Crafting is rather chaotic and unstructured right now. You can craft items that you will actually wear, but with the high chance of breaking (if you want them to be as good as possible) coupled with the fact that finding all of the materials to create it is a big hassle generally is putting people off crafting. I think this will be remedied a bit with the marketplace they are working on currently, but right now it’s not really something that is living up to its potential. Also, crafting anything but the top tier is an outright waste of time.

Gear: Gear is a major problem with the game right now, for several reasons. First and foremost, they didn’t create a scale of gear from levels 1-50. To illustrate my point the top requirement for gear is basically 140’ish (strength, dexterity, wisdom) and my dexterity at level 48 is 210. To me, this means that gear requirements should be capping out at about 200, or 215, but the foresight didn’t really seem to be there when they first created this system. This is understandable really, since they were just getting the game out the door when the gear system was set up and it hasn’t been changed really since. Obviously, it’s still in beta and they are going to perform at least one character wipe before now and release so this could change, but right now, a level 25 character can basically have as good of gear as a level 50.

Not only is the gear itself a problem, but the obtaining of gear is another problem entirely. The way the majority of higher level players obtain their gear is through random quests. These quests are generated with 3 potential rewards (which scale from basically from garbage to really good gear.) If you don’t like the choices you are presented with, you can simply abandon the quest and retake it with three new rewards. If you do this 20-30 times, you are generally going to find really good items one of those tries. This is the way that I have obtained 9 of my 13 pieces of gear that I use, and the other four pieces I have not found upgrades for in over 12 levels. I don’t have the max amount of luck on my character, which is 200 (luck increases the modifier on the item when it drops from uncommon to rare to unique, etc.,) however it is at 175. Even with my rather high luck, I still find tons and tons of items that I have absolutely no use that I leave on the ground. I understand that if they drastically increase the amount of really good gear that can drop, the player base would be flooded with items and their value would drop to almost nothing, but this isn’t really an issue anyways because there is virtually no trade economy to speak of. You basically have to give your gear away if you don’t need it because the currency has almost no value right now and the odds of finding another player with an equivalent piece of gear that you want is slim at best.

Quests: Quests are pretty much terrible right now to be perfectly honest. The writing for some of the quests is pretty entertaining and worth reading, but almost all of the quests are the typical “kill 10 foozles/find 10 foozle hides.” I understand that this is part of the problem when you are dealing with a game in which the vast majority of the maps are randomly generated, but there has to be some way of spicing things up a bit. There are only 2-3 uniques in each zone really, so the possibility for quests there are pretty minimal. It goes without saying that quests cap out at about 25 because the three zones are built to sustain 10 levels of play, so getting from 25-50 is done either through running epic maps which you buy or find, running random quests, or running two maps that scale from 20-50 (one for solo play, the other for a group.)

PvP: PvP was just added to Mythos in the form of Shadowlands, and I must say that it didn’t really work out the way it was intended. The system is set up so that all of the towns are shared among players and every map has the chance that another player can enter it (and fight each other.) When a player is killed, they will drop a piece of gear. If you kill a player who is significantly lower in level than you, you get a karma rating which means that there is a chance that you will drop more than one piece of gear.

The problems with the system are many:

  • It can be extremely difficult to determine what level a player is with a quick glance. By the time you figure out whether you should kill them or not, they could have killed you already. That said, you don’t want to kill just anyone because it could cause you to drop even more gear the next time you die.
  • Players are generally running around with garbage for gear for fear of losing equipment that has taken an immense amount of time to acquire. What fun is PvP if you can’t truly put yourself to the test and see whether you were the better player? Constantly wondering whether you would have won a fight with better gear can be frustrating.
  • There are literally no safe areas in the Shadowlands (an exact replica of the normal world) so unless you head out to the gate where you enter/leave the Shadowlands when you need to take a break or go afk or whatever, you are constantly in jeopardy of being killed and looted.

*TAKES DEEP BREATH* I realize that sounded pretty harsh, but understand that I still do enjoy this game and am spending about 4-6 hours with it a week, there are just some issues that (at least past level 30) are really sticking out at me. Most of the problems stated here aren’t affecting the core of the game, they are just opportunities that aren’t being taken advantage of. Many of these issues will likely be either improved or fixed altogether before its release. Up until level 30, the game is very enjoyable. There is just enough variety between the classes that you can try them all and enjoy each one. A word to the wise, however: If you start in hardcore mode, make sure you read up on the build you want to try, as you won’t be able to respec at all. If you want to start on normal, you will level a bit slower (less mobs = less xp) but you will have a bit more money to throw around for potions and such and you will be able to try out as many builds as you want (though you can’t change your skill point allocations.) If you’re going for uber pwnage, you’ll probably want to go with a gadgeteer (piercing barrage) but there are powerful builds with all classes. If anyone has any questions they would like me to answer, feel free to ask away. Hopefully soon I’ll post some suggestions for these issues that I have, but this is enough for now.

~Kanthalos