Friday, September 24, 2010

Sanada Yukimura

Found this in an old WIP folder, figured I'd post for old time's sake.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

False alarm

Yeah Zot got tired of Aion again. Back to your regularly scheduled nothing...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Back

Long time no post, huh? Gypsy of convinced me to resubscribe with patch 1.9, so I'm here all week. Try the veal!

Maybe I can convince Tora and Lewin to come back, too...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Well, this day had to happen. I just didn't expect it to happen so... quickly. The three of us have now all cancelled our subscriptions. I intended to stay with it until 50, but I'm having huge motivation problems even just logging in.

I won't launch into what I think is wrong with the game... either you already know, or you're too low level to know... all that really needs to be said is that the game turns into something ugly after level 35 or so. I don't want to put anyone off buying Aion as it's entertained me for two months, a bragging right that most games could never claim, so it's definitely worth the purchase. In perhaps a year or so, the game will be fit for release.

Until then... adios!

I will bite no longer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scooby Doo

Where are you?

Mah latest PvP vid 11/13/09 by Zot
Sorcery VII 11/9/09 by Zot
I heard you like wings... 11/8/09 by Zot
Zot vs. Hentai 11/3/09 by Zot

Come on, Tora and Lewin... lazy :p

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mah latest PvP vid

My latest work, this is a compilation of PvP fights from when I was level 42 through 45. Most match ups have the odds stacked against me. Once again, Vegas kicks arse. I think this is the best vid I've made so far :). Click through for the best version.

I've also uh... submitted it... to It's a confusing website and first impressions = it's gonna be worse than YT to publish to. Oh well, do everything once. When it's approved or whatever, I'll edit this post.

Update: It took four days, but Aionmovies finally "approved" it. Clicky here to view at The one saving grace about that website is that you can download the movie to HDD.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sorcery VII

Just kidding, I don't fear gladiators. Ah hah hah.. hah...

It has perhaps been to long since I last graced this blog with my ravings. Perhaps I have simply become too sedentary, the grind of the 40's distorting my perception of reality to think that it normally takes a week of laborious, uninteresting work to get anything done. Or perhaps whenever I think of creating something, my massive unsorted fraps folder immediately springs to mind, putting me off for the rest of the day. But here I am on this fine sunday night... err... monday morning, my desire for Aion sated and usual website haunts depleted, spurred on by an appreciative forum dweller into completing part seven of my ramblomatic column... so let's get to it!

Last week I dropped some pointers about fighting the first four classes on the list: Temps, Glads, 'Sins and Rangers. Today I shall go into fighting Clerics, Chanters, Spirit Masters... and other Sorcerers. Please note that while I PvP a lot, I probably haven't seen the best my realm has to offer and thus my danger-ratings of various classes may be a tad off. In addition, this doesn't cover level differences. Onto the flesh!

vs. Clerics

Clerics are tricky. Depending on the situation, they're either nuts you just need to put some elbow grease into cracking, or inevitable death from above. What are the various situations, you might ask?

Cleric on the ground

Expect the cleric to run, if not immediately then towards the end of the fight. Scroll down to Cleric on the run when this happens ;). Standing there blasting spells won't win this fight for you. You can approach this one of two ways: the usual CC-burst combo with a dash of silence and some conventional spell-slinging to finish, or get in close for wind weaving. Make sure to insert silence and slow into your weaving to prevent running. If silence is unavailable and the cleric doesn't run, wind weaving will outdps their heals. This is a very one-sided fight; the hardest part is keeping the cleric still.

Cleric in a group

Typically a grouped cleric won't try to run, making that aspect of the fight easier, but the issue here isn't the cleric: if you want to kill him, you're going to have to somehow survive the damage and lock downs of his buddies. If you're grouped, great. End of guide -- I'm not going into that aspect of PvP... yet! As a solo sorcerer, your options here are limited. If the cleric's buddy is a ranged class or healer, consider bailing. If it's a melee class then it's not so bad.

The tactics here are essentially running in, CCing the friend with tree/sleep/snares and obliterating the cleric with wind weaving/aether's hold as fast as humanly possible. If the CC breaks then don't bother reapplying -- you'll want to drop the cleric ASAP. If the other class is squishy (scout/mage/possibly chanter) you could do it the other way around: tree the cleric, silence when tree breaks (faster than sleep).

Fun to pull off when it works. Embarrassing when it doesn't -- I've only ever managed to win against a cleric-ranger combo once. An element of luck is required (bad cleric? cleric not paying attention to partner's debuffs? bad partner? huge element of surprise? them not taking a single sorcerer seriously?).

Cleric in the air

A skilled flying cleric can give you a real test of skill. Their tactic essentially is to DoT you and run around dispelling/healing themselves. You will have exceptional difficulty getting in range to do the DPS required to bring a cleric down as they can dispel all of your snares and flying's increased speed makes your 25m-range a lot shorter than you'd like.

Something that works for me is to snare them with Frost or Root to buy a couple seconds of catch-up time, during which you silence them and cast your remaining instant snare while closing the distance for either a tree-inferno-shock or going straight into wind weaving.

As with a grounded cleric, if they stop to use their most powerful heals in such a setting, you can close in for wind weaving which, hopefully, seals your victory -- you should be able to out-DPS their healing.

Cleric on the run

As with a flying cleric, an instant snare followed by silence and another instant snare allows you to gain some distance. It's not as difficult as fighting a flying cleric though, as your 25m range counts for more. At any point if you feel confident you can get it off, try for a tree. Aether's Hold, if available, is excellent for putting a panicking cleric into stand-still-and-heal mode.

You'll want to catch them fast though, as their root is on a ten-second cooldown.

Cleric on the run, in the air

Good luck catching that thing. A flying cleric can dispel all of your snares and fly out of range of almost all your cast time spells while healing any incidental damage you manage to do to him. If you're Asmo, you might have some luck with Boon of Quickness combined with an unrecoverable snary-silency-piece-of-burst, but us bleached ravens (to appropriate a Nezekan legion name) really have to hope it's a crappy cleric!

And on to general tips...
  • Clerics have short duration shields such as Blessed Shield. It's not much of an issue -- it's essentially just a preemptive heal -- but it will block an Aether's Hold attempt, so watch their buffs!
  • While a cleric will open with damaging attacks, they usually won't be in a position to recast them if you keep on them. They may not hurt as much as your attacks... but then, you can't heal. Offense is your best defense.
  • If a cleric gets to that panicky stage where they feel compelled to stand still to cast their best heals on themselves, you will probably kill them.
  • In flying group PvP, consider CCing the cleric instead of targeting them first. They are an absolute bitch to catch!
  • Their 4000 DP ability is rather nasty. Fortunately, you can dispel it with a potion.
  • Difficulty: Low.
  • Difficulty to kill: Medium-Impossible depending on circumstance.

vs Chanters

After that mammoth of white space dedicated to the Cleric class, this should be refreshing. Chanters can only heal if standing still, and to less of an extent than a cleric: wind weaving will result in a quick chanter death, especially if you weave silence in. If you need to kill one quick, Aether's Hold works in a pinch.
  • Difficulty: Free Kill
In all seriousness though, look out for them if you have your shield down: their crits can knock you down, interrupting what you were reading or popping your monocle.

And I do have a monocle.

vs Spirit Masters

Spirit Masters are the huntards of Aion, but fortunately one of the less common classes. It is difficult to find an SM that knows how to hold a tome the right way up. In most circumstances you will find these creatures and paste them into the ground very quickly while laughing (until the dot tick interrupts your animation). But do not underestimate... Spirit Masters are one of the most powerful solo PvP classes, if not the most powerful, and if by chance you do run into an SM that doesn't suck... be afraid. Well, you won't need to put any special effort into being afraid... the SM has you covered. (Un)fortunately for me, I haven't run into the best SMs on my server in a 1v1 setting, but I've still run into enough not-shit examples to give some valuable pointers.

What makes them so powerful? A few major abilities stand from the rest:
  • They can dispel your buffs... this includes your shield.
  • Most of their damage is DoT-based, which bypasses your shield anyway.
  • Fear is a godly CC -- imagine if Sleep didn't increase Elemental Resistance or break on damage and you have Fear. They have three spells which has this effect, for 14 (lucky) to 41 (unlucky) total seconds of taking full damage while being able to do nothing.
Fear is somewhat mitigated by two factors: an SM's damage is limited and you move constantly away from them while affected by it. It's classified as a mental debuff, meaning it is dispellable, but only by a cleric who knows you're feared (most go straight for the physical dispel when they see a green health bar).

The general tactic here is to inflict massive amounts of damage on them and locking down their casts as often as humanly possible.
  • Open with tree and cast inferno when there's 3.5 seconds remaining, or vaizel's wisdom+tree+DB+inferno (make sure to include a half second gap between DB and inferno when using Vaizel's wisdom or the inferno will clip the tree before it breaks, doing pitiful damage). The goal here isn't just damage, it's to kill the SM's shield.
  • Follow with silence, or if you want to risk it, Ice Chain + silence to lower his mobility (an important psychological effect in PvP aside from its practical uses). Expect him to use his dispel potion here.
  • When his shield is down, Ice Chain + Frozen Blast to get your stun in and/or Sleep+Aether's Hold. Don't be afraid to break sleep with AH's initial damage; the subsequent pew pew laser hits will do full damage.
  • Close the gap asap (preferably when you tree him) for freezing wind weaving.
  • Most SMs have their own silence spell (it's a Stigma); save your dispel potion cooldowns for this. Recast your silence whenever it's off cooldown.
  • You can expect them to eventually fear you. If they're any good, it'll be a chain fear. At level 42+ they have an instant fear, too. There's nothing you can do when this happens, just hope you'll ride it out.
  • Blind Leap between/before fears to help trip him up.
  • This is a perfect example of a PvP situation where stacking HP or MR is the vastly superior choice (I'm going to try stacked MB though one day, for the hell of it xD).
  • While you can reapply tree/sleep mid battle for a burst wind up or Aether's Hold, make sure you do it quickly -- their DoTs are still in effect and you're giving his abilities a chance to cool down.
  • Their pet constitutes a lot of their damage. Many abilities of theirs can only be done via their pet. But don't attack it; rather, just root it out of the way or tank it. Don't waste precious seconds and cooldowns on tree/sleep.
  • Wind weaving's exceptional DPS really shines versus an SM, but be aware that they have a 1.5 second cast point blank AoE fear (an essential SM stigma ability). Be ready to blind leap out of range. Don't let this put you off wind weaving an SM, though... even if leap is off cooldown or you're not fast enough, the exceptional damage of weaving will often interrupt such spells.
  • When your shield is dispelled but off cooldown, wait a couple of seconds then reapply it. Their dispel has a cooldown and chances are they won't even notice the reapplication due to DoT damage bypassing it.
  • Ground Difficulty: Medium-Hard.
  • Air Difficulty: Hard. An SM in the air can DoT you up and simply fly out of range. They're at least easier to catch than a cleric, though. No Aether's Hold.

vs Sorcerers

The fairest fight you could possibly imagine and also one of the most fun.

The first thing to realise is that you're probably both going to open with the same thing: Tree and Inferno. It's a good opener; as long as their shield remains up you are unable to Aether's Hold or Shock them. The issue is getting that opener! If you are both aware to the other's presence, you'll probably just end up treeing each other at the same time. If this happens, a good tactic is to Soul Freeze the instant you come out of it then follow into a few seconds of weaving before backing off (they can do the same thing back to you) or sleep + inferno.

Of course, such fights are very fluid; a dispel potion blows the above tactic out of the water for example. One method of securing your tree before them is to backleap into them before they are in range of you, causing them to untarget you. In such a situation you can even opt for a Sleep opener if you plan on needing another CC burst later.
  • If silenced, run out of range or if you can't or are too close, use a dispel potion. If you've saved Leap and aren't too close to him, you can use that to avoid the silence entirely (or get some distance to walk it off).
  • Freezing wind is, as usual, great... but this is an equal fight so you can expect the same on you. You may think that initiating a wind weaving fight to be counter productive, but whoever does initiate it has the damage edge that in my experience can overcome even a large HP pool difference. Often, enemy sorcerers won't even know about wind weaving.
  • Chances are, you'll both have double shields during this fight. Be ready to tree+burst again, or root, silence and weave the shield away. Root prevents him from moving until the shield is gone (or they use a dispel).
  • Use your DoTs carefuly... you might need to CC them in a jiffy.
  • Don't wind up a CC-burst unless you have something good to go with it like Inferno.
  • Don't cast Aether's Hold with their shield up, or without first silencing or treeing them.
  • If your shield is down and he's trying to Aether's Hold you, be quick on Ironclad (this will be tough for me as I'm planning on putting Illusion in its place -.-)
  • If you have Vaizel's Wisdom or Boon of Quickness, you will have a massive edge. Damn Asmodians.
Vaizel's Wisdom: it's like a portable chanter

Spell Tips
Not a brand of cigarette

Root and Winter Binding
Better late than never: The duration of these two spells remain full in PvP. Rejoice! It can of course be dispelled with a potion, but this isn't always an option for your opponent. Especially if your opponent is a Spirit Master's pet.

Vaizel's Wisdom
Is this stigma worth it? Short answer: yes. Long answer: yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees. In addition to its usual faster-spells funk, it also speeds up your animations... this not only means it's a blanket +25% casting speed, it also means more Aether Flames in one Aether's Hold! Be wary when using this with Tree, DB and Inferno though: Inferno will go off before Delayed Blast by about 0.5 seconds and clip the tree, so pause briefly after casting DB. What it won't do is lower cooldowns... so don't use this with Freezing Wind weaving unless you want to weave longer cast time spells.

Wind Cut Down ranks II, III and IV
At present, WCD 2 and 3 stigmas are very expensive. Too expensive in my humble opinion. The small increase in damage for a temporary stigma simply cannot be justified at that price. Rank IV is the highest level WCD however, so there's no harm in aiming for that if you are fantastically wealthy. Rank I remains effective up into the 40's but I will also forgive you for swapping it out for something else for the time being.

Ice Harpwn
As if we didn't have enough harpwn in our lives, we get this sexy beast. This technically does slightly less damage than Wind Cut Down does total, but it does it instantly and will do full damage to monsters that are immune to bleed effects. It does significantly more damage than Flame Harpwn and is on a separate cooldown. Its long cast time makes it umm-ahh for PvP but I won't know until I've actually tried it. For PvE however, this thing is sex.

You can get this spell from an instance (Aetherogenics Lab for Elyos, Alquimia Research Center for Asmodians) or with a ridiculous amount of kinah from the broker. I was lucky and got it on my first run. Aside from looking exceptionally cool, it has many uses. Its damage is nothing to be scoffed at; it's like a ranged Freezing Wind in that aspect (and is a great spell to weave into Freezing Wind, too). It is a brilliant burst spell when combined with other spells. Its slowing component is great for snaring runners or slowing persuers, but it's also great for something else: breaking glide. I still laugh hysterically whenever I frost someone's wings away as they glide off a cliff. The awesome spell animation just adds to the effect!

It's not all good, though: the slowing component of this spell seems to be at the bottom of the snare food chain. Not only will Ice Chain and Robe of Frost's slow effect both overwrite Frost's slow, they also prevent Frost's slow effect entirely. One second left on Ice Chain when you cast Frost? Frost's slow won't take effect. Gladiator hit your robe of frost just as you use ice chain? Apparently, Robe's 4 second slow is more important than Frost's 12 second slow. If you want to use this spell for its slowing effect, make sure your target doesn't have any other slows on it already. Wait for them to wear off before you use it.

Soul Freeze
The silence effect of this is fantastic for most classes.
Gladiators: No real effect (prevents their self-heal but they probably won't die before it wears off).
Rangers: Prevents silences, sleeps, evasion.
Assassins: Prevents ambushes, aethertwisting, evasion.
Clerics, Chanters, Sorcerers, Sprit Masters: Prevents everything.
Templar: I haven't experimented enough to know what silence blocks for them :(

Magic Fist
This spell is worth two Aether Flames. If you normally are able to get 4 Aether Flames and a Fist off, all good... but if you seem to only get 5 shots sometimes and 4 most of the time, consider using fist one shot earlier than you would. Only managing 4 flames and missing the fist is really lame.

Boon of Quickness (Asmodian)
A godly spell, every Asmodian sorcerer should aim to acquire this Stigma. Two second Infernos. One second harpoons. 0.75 trees and 0.5 second silences. In addition, it stacks with a Chanter's Word of Quickness for... you guessed it... instant-cast spells. You will literally run out of damage spells to cast. It doesn't stack with Wisdom stigmas though, so you can forget about using Vaizel's at the same time ;).

Boon of Strength (Elyos)
500 MB = about +41% damage. It does not stack with Wisdom stigmas. Given that its cooldown is 20 times longer than Zikel's Wisdom for a mere +16% on damage, I cannot recommend this Stigma.

Jump Casting
When fighting a melee player, jump casting every spell can add up to a few meters of distance. How do you jump cast? As you finish casting any timed spell, just before it ends, tap jump in a direction. You will continue to finish the spell animation as you jump. Not worth it if you'd be jumping up hill but it really does allow you to get another spell or two in.

Next issue of Sorcery: Sorcerer Stigmas: an overarching review and preview.