...i want to pillage & plunder Altdorf capitol. In the meantime Thulf hit rank 40... yay! The last two levels i did reel in with questing through Greenksin & Chaos chapters. So now what? I'll test my current mastery tree against another spec idea i got, atm i use 0:17:8 and am quite satisfied with it. I really should do some more RvR and bring my renown up. One mission of course has to be to get more Wards for the high-end dungeons. So far i only got the Bloodlord Andsplate and mobs inside the city instances and Lost Vale hit damn hard. Beside gear from PQ loot bags and boss drops, i can't upgrade my gear anymore with quest or influence rewards. There is one influence reward, the Da' Gorfang Bladestoppa I'll switch with my current Witch Steel Bladestoppa, to get but i nearly maxed the influence already. Beside that nothing else i can do beside running instances & PQs and hope for a lucky drop. Easiest way will probably be to do some RvR to be able to buy the rest from those rewards, tho nothing really major there beside the stuff with insane renown requirements. One quest to mention is Helpin da Humies, really easy travel quest and good reward if you did not get a better head piece yet. I got two good blue drops from PQs inside Bastion Stair i use: Gore Covered Sholdaplate and Bloodherd Eadplate (I could also use Eadplate of Demons, but the Bloodherd one looks better - maybe switching it for 'Eadplate of the Stair). The rest is a mix from the best quest, influence and BoE drops i could get my hands on. Overall I'm satisfied with my gear and atm i run around with approx. 11.6k HP (yes, includes the wounds tactic) while maintaining a very good level of mitigation. Once i get more set pieces with Wards my HP will go down a bit, but looks like i should be able to stay around 10k, which should be sufficient.
Overall i have to say the journey from 1-40 was enjoyable, partly also because the humor in the greenskin chapters is fun. I tried to stay away from the elvish chapters as much as i could, as i found them rather boring and too turquoise & pink. Character development felt like it was going somewhere, i gained new skills and new gear on a regular basis and had the feeling it was useful. Although itemization sucks at 25+, it really does. While in the beginning you praise that quest rewards are always useful to you, during later levels it's mainly DPS gear choices - three nearly identical pieces, but no tanking stuff - and like all the other classes you suffer from really weird stat distribution on gear. The gear 32+ being the worst... check out the epic rewards from Bastion Stair influence, WTH?
One thing i thought was rather disappointing is the really easy AI from NPCs. You get a quest to eliminate the boss from another tribe, head over and hes surrounded by his 10 bodyguards... you just get into a good position and shoot him, while he runs mad at you his gang does absolutely nothing. There are very few linked mobs in PvE, or those with smart behaviour or special abilities. This results in the normal PvE game being really, really easy. Starting with Mount Gunbad inside the instances it gets a bit better, but not much. Some of the scripted PQs are really cool, but i wish there would be some more generic intelligence for NPCs.
Talking about the city dungeons, Bloodwrought Enclave & Bilerot Burrow, and Lost Vale finally I'm able to venture into them, which is great. I took a sneak peak right after i turned 40 and in Lost Vale you can explore a bit and even kill a few mobs on your own... looks promising. ;) So beside Bastion Stair, expect to see a few updates and screenshots on those high-level dungeons here soon.
Patch 1.0.4b did hit EU today and introduced a damage reduction if you don't wear enough Wards. Evens out the playing field and everyone has to get their hands on Ward gear now. The random drops inside the dungeons suck tho, going there again and again and only find loot no one in your group can use is frustrating. Mythic should either introduce repairable items that more then one class can use or at least generate part of the loot depending on group setup. I don't think its viable to only drop loot that can be used by all in the group, as people probably will gear up to fast - but at least some way in the middle should be found. GOA also mentioned the EU Realm War pages again and they had run into technical difficulties.. blah..blah. Seriously, no one cares... we want results. GOA does not have to develop the game just provide service to EU customers and it takes forever for them to get stuff done. Answers from CSR to problems/bugs have a backlog from one or two days and the "service functions" they are supposed to provide with their website are non-existent yet. While i acknowledge their job is more difficult then many realize (having to coordinate everything with Mythic) the lack of service since the launch results for me in a state of mind where i don't even bother to read any of their excuses anymore. Go and get the stuff done, then we can talk... win trust back with results.
EDIT: Looks like the ward patch did not only nerf damage a notch, but significantly. People report they do barely any decent damage with only a few set pieces and in addition that bosses only drop one set piece and one blue now.
EDIT2: We've been in Bastion Stair tonight and i can't confirm any nerf in loot drops, looks like it did before patch to me.
EDIT3: Mythic reverted the Ward change back via a hotfix tonight. No word on when this will change for EU yet, but its coming.
Tip of the Day: When you port back into the Viper Pit via the Guild Recall Scroll, maybe to use the Flight Master inside the VP for quick travel access between zones, you don't have to run around the small podest to buy a new scroll. Just stand at the corner and you can access the vendor as well - saves you a few seconds everytime you do this.