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  1. #1
    Community Member Deathdefy's Avatar
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    Default Finally Dead - reflections on HC League

    My death
    My level 24 'let's see if I can win the favor comp' character just died in ultra dull circumstances because I'm a fool.

    There was a full party death announcement of a level 4-8 party and I was scrolling through lfms to find where they died, thinking I was safe in EE Belly of the Beast. I'd just killed Phlegm / oozes and didn't notice I was being wailed on by a champ named Rust monster. Heart rate didn't even go up.

    It's super fun
    But HC League was awesome! Absolutely loved it (10 reaper pts and 5k favor is me done) and am dead keen for the next one. The top of the favor leaderboard is insane (>6100 favor right now). I felt my heart race in ways it never does ordinarily.

    The competition is very, very good
    I suspect most of the top 10 had Excel spreadsheets with similar insane to do-lists:

    Raid - Favor - Max Level
    HE ToD - 24 - 24 (the ML 20 quests - Dreaming Dark and ToD (and LoB but it has an epic version anyway) are accessible to level 24 in Epics.
    EN LoB - 7 - 26
    EH MA - 7 - 26 (did HN solo; won't bother next season as it was risky, and that's silly if I'm going to do it again anyway)
    EE CITW - 24 - 28 (repeatedly recalling envisaged)
    EH FoT - 16 - 29
    LN DoJ - 9 - 30
    LN Shroud - 14 - 30
    LN FOTP - 9 - 30
    That would have put me at 6120 after completing the EE drow chain and [haunted halls/sable/forge bros./precious cargo]. I can't imagine getting higher without a dedicated duo raid partner but hope I stand corrected in a few weeks!

    The pointy end of this season was awesome, and I think now people know what the goalposts are, next season will be even crazier.

    Heroic favor I missed
    I got 5553 Heroic favor and only missed:
    - only did 'Demon's Den' on HH rather than HE,
    - only did 4 star heroic colossal crystals, kobold island and a 3 star behind the door (sheer laziness I cursed later; those are all 6 starrable solo. Colossal in particular is much easier than people think; almost half of instances (~40%) can do it with two 6-star-viable circles per crest and a 50% of each circle spawning.)
    - only did VoD on Hard - I think next season it's a case of 'make the lfm happen'. I tried HE VoD solo and the chains + 4 barbazu was slightly too much so I ported out; I think the Orthon spawn after, with the possibility of them physically blocking escape makes it just too big a risk.
    - didn't do any Hound.
    - I'll try and do at least some Eveningstar Challenges to 6 stars in Heroic not just 5 (unless the devs do change them so you can get in in epics).
    That was it though - but as you can see, ~30 favor is actually enormous.

    Actual Challenge Max Levels
    There's still a lot of misinformation on the forum on these. Unless there's a change for next season, the max levels to get in challenges are the following (I have no idea why; I just checked each level as I went up and can confirm this is it):
    ML 10: Circles of Power, Kobold Chaos, Behind the Door
    ML 15: Moving Targets, Dragon's Hoard, The Disruptor, Colossal Crystals
    ML 19: Picture Portals, Buying Time, Labor Shortage, Short Cuts, Time Is Money, all Eveningstar challenges
    (didn't check Epic Challenges to 25, but they're all enterable and doable at level 21 - and frankly they should be your easy intro to epics xp choice anyway).

    Potential Character Ending Quests
    - ToEE part 2 (max level 11) - I think you have to do it on HE if you want to be competitive; EE's even riskier in my opinion. I found it a very hard fight though; sticking close to Zuggy so I can be central and always reach a sheltering mushroom vs. needing to clear stacks occasionally made for an intense fight. It's a great encounter.
    - Tomb of the Unhallowed (max level 15) - I was extremely close to death on R1 in the end fight with the Dollurh debuff and some unlucky reapers. I'll be HE-ing next season.
    - WGU (max level 19) - the end fight is weird with his lightning knockdown. Soloable, but my spidey 'you're gonna die' sense was going the whole time.
    - Terminal Delirium (max level 19) - that mirror room. I think VoD or MA probably had me closer to death more times, but it was waaay more stressful.

    HC Reaper
    - I didn't love Reaper; it either felt random and terrifying when just getting into it (pre ~6 points), or almost safe and just a bit grindy.
    - I did enjoy the chat from people running madness like 'R3 Harbor' on their first life characters, cursing the unfairness of a champ or reaper spawn instead of their own amazing decisions.
    - I liked some of the interesting choices like 'Do I go R3 or R4 for sorrowdusk / desert walkups because that's probably less risk overall than just running more reaper?'- I regret not pushing through to 11 reaper points (so you get the permanent +1 Con - though honestly I could have had +20 con and still would be dead ahaha). Depending on rewards, next life I will probably aim for 11 (or 21 if 20's not a pet!).
    - I used Sovereign XP pots for Reaper xp and regret nothing.

    Other thoughts
    - Grouping was weird. It was fine until about Gianthold, then you really wanted non-randoms who you knew had bothered gearing and weren't just crossing their fingers to hit 20. There was this mix of people doing GH under-level on R1 because that's-what-ya-do on live, and people who had ground out their Loft + Slavers set, and were prepping their Sharn set, and were playing smart and conservative.
    - I ended up soloing a lot. The only groups I'd throw up were for content I couldn't solo like HE VoD - which obviously no one joined; though I think timing's crucial. I'll genuinely plot Raid groups around US Prime Time next season as an HE VoD LFM filled this morning.
    - I really liked that the favor comp was pretty close to an even competition between players with lots of time and those without. You can't grind your way to an HE Terminal Delirium or Master Artificer completion.
    - Every dedicated healer or tank I ran with was dead weight. That style of toon is not a good fit for HC Elite or low skull Reaper pugging. Obviously still make whatever brings you joy, and I'll click accept and not mouth off except in this post.
    - On a related note, some people were very risk averse the point of not entering rooms with the rest of the party and it was weird - I don't think that playstyle lends itself to doing well or hitting any of the milestones, even on the hardcore server.
    - The amount of people blaming everything but themselves for their death was weird. My faves are 'someone dragged back x which killed me', 'party left me alone to deal with x', and 'I was incapped and they didn't heal me'. People need to learn to love the beautiful Sharn Clifftops. A number of destinations accessible via the Rod of Teleport are also very pleasant.
    - 'I lagged over a trap' also gets a mention, that one is genuinely unpreventable and does have my actual sympathy, but it sounds like it happened an awful lot on the hardcore server.
    - Fawn's awesome and enhanced the experience for thousands of players. I'd be very happy to see him get something if the rest of the community and SSG were inclined. Idk what. A red cosmetic robe drenched in the blood of his thousands of dead guild members?

    My gimp
    - I ran a 17 arti / 2 monk / 1 fighter Gnome - with a view to hitting certain cut-offs.
    - I wanted Evasion by level 10 (so was 8 arti / 2 monk) for the swim in Another Man's Treasure
    - I wanted IPS as soon as possible, given the Evasion note, so I was 12 arti / 2 monk / 1 fighter at level 15
    - I swapped from Arcanotech caster Arti to Inquisitor at level 16 for ADQ 2 / Amrath Demon quests - and never looked back.
    - I really like the triple Int based DC incapacitate of Gnome Arti (color spray / tac det / prismatic strike).

    Hirelings
    - I don't get all the strange p2w accusations of 'you need a full party of gold hirelings'.
    - You don't; they increase scaling and don't help. If you're afraid of being murdered by a Reaper you need to gear up.
    - I did use the astral shard Rogues for traps on the pure sorc but mehhh.

    My deaths in full
    - Human Sorc - Level 6 - Elite Tangleroot Pt 2 Hob Slayer Champ while duo-ing with a random (shameful)
    - Drow Arti - Level 6 - R1 Spike Trap in Dirty Laundry in full party (also shameful)
    - Human Sorc - Level 10 - R2 Threnal 'Escort the Expedition' Champ Hound Cyclonic Blast while duo-ing with a random (semi-shameful).
    - WF FvS - Level 18 - Elite Toxic Treatment end fight solo (Alt-F4ed when it looked semi-dicey instead of Sharn tele-ing. Logged back in and was genuinely surprised I was dead. Won't be trying that again.).
    - Gnome Arti - Level 24 (1xTR) - EE Belly of the Beast Champion Rust Monster while soloing (but this is an unfair attribution and he should not be praised or feared).

    Requests for SSG:

    Death announcements request
    As requested by lots of posters already, next season please include the Quest characters died in if it's code-viable! Monster or type of trap would be even better.

    Premium lockout
    - I have the season pass, but dollars to donuts you'll clean up financially and culturally across the community if you let premiums in next season (or have them buy access as a one off).
    - I hope this is an item for review even if VIP exclusiveness does end up remaining in place.
    - The main thing that would provide the biggest boon to an already awesome idea is just more population - as grouping sort of 'died off' (sorry not sorry) as you got higher level - which Premiums would do!

    Eveningstar Challenges
    - Potentially revise the 'no epic characters in heroic quests' on this?
    - Part of this being sad was that we couldn't make the only viable (we ain't goin' scroll/seal/shard hunting) Sentient Imbuable level 20 light/heavy crossbow (or maybe we could if we'd thought of it earlier, but it caught me by surprise).
    - Alternatively I'm not super upset if it stays as is. Weird new challenge of trying to 6 star any of these for 1 bonus favor, since they all have dps check red names at level 30, while still level 19 without an ED, honestly sounds kind of fun.

    Conclusion
    Honestly, awesome job again SSG. HC League outright brought me back to the game.
    Last edited by Deathdefy; 10-26-2019 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Poor word choice

  2. #2
    Founder & Hero cdbd3rd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    ...

    - On a related note, some people were cowards and it was weird, and they'll never be on the leaderboard even fleetingly.....
    Enjoyed your write-up with the exception of my quoted bit.

    That bit was quite unnecessary.

    Condolences on your 24.

    [[ edit: Like the re-write in the OP. Narrows down the scope of the player types you were referring to. +++ ]]
    Last edited by cdbd3rd; 10-27-2019 at 02:30 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    - Fawn's awesome and enhanced the experience for thousands of players. I'd be very happy to see him get something if the rest of the community and SSG were inclined. Idk what. A red cosmetic robe drenched in the blood of his thousands of dead guild members?
    +1
    LOL...lol...lol...

  4. #4
    Community Member Deathdefy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdbd3rd View Post
    Enjoyed your write-up with the exception of my quoted bit.

    That bit was quite unnecessary.

    Condolences on your 24.
    Thanks and agreed - it reads very harshly. I'll leave the quote in your comment but change it in the main as the intent isn't quite that bad.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    I didn't love Reaper
    Same here. It it just too much randomness to be worthwhile on HC, at least on the first life. I remember that death of my Rogue a few days ago, where we did "Where there is smoke" on R2, and on the very first group, where usually 3 orcs jump out of a bush instead 2 reapers jumped out. All melees died instantly. I simply gave up on Reaper on HC, at least until I get that 5k favor done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    I ended up soloing a lot
    This is one of the sad things in this league. Since people are not doing things for XP but for favor, the already thin crowd is spread out even more on all those quests. Finding someone to group with is tough if not outright impossible. Any character that is not solo-viable has serious issues in HC. On the other hand basing that league on favor is a good thing, because it requires people to face all kinds of challenges, and only well-rounded builds will be able to make it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    Every dedicated healer or tank I ran with was dead weight
    Totally agree. Everyone is going for maximum survivability so people rarely get hit at all, which makes a dedicated healer practically worthless. Also tanks are not needed because everyone is already pretty tanky, and the general meta is to kill everything at range anyways. There are a few situations where having a tank wouldn't be too bad, but then using a hire or a summon is still the better option, because they are expendable.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    Every dedicated healer or tank I ran with was dead weight. That style of toon is not a good fit for HC Elite or low skull Reaper pugging.
    Hey, would you mind elaborating on that? I am considering bringing dedicated healers in next round.

    Detail the problem. Are we doing something wrong we can fix? Or is it just a lost cause?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrisulven7 View Post
    Hey, would you mind elaborating on that? I am considering bringing dedicated healers in next round.

    Detail the problem. Are we doing something wrong we can fix? Or is it just a lost cause?
    See my post above. Everyone is planning his character in a way so that he is taking zero damage through the entire dungeon. Sometimes things go wrong, then you need a single heal or maybe two, but a full heal specced healer would just be standing around doing nothing most of the time.

    On the other hand if that dedicated healer would be another dps instead then mobs would die even faster. At some level of burst damage you reach a threshold where all mobs die nearly instantly, at which point healers are no longer needed at all.

    In summary: bringing a good yet defensive DPS class instead of a dedicated healer would be a lot more beneficial to the group.

  8. #8
    Community Member Deathdefy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoThe View Post
    See my post above. Everyone is planning his character in a way so that he is taking zero damage through the entire dungeon. Sometimes things go wrong, then you need a single heal or maybe two, but a full heal specced healer would just be standing around doing nothing most of the time.

    On the other hand if that dedicated healer would be another dps instead then mobs would die even faster. At some level of burst damage you reach a threshold where all mobs die nearly instantly, at which point healers are no longer needed at all.

    In summary: bringing a good yet defensive DPS class instead of a dedicated healer would be a lot more beneficial to the group.
    Yes exactly! My experience of HC league was that people focused around Elite and 1-3 skull Reaper - you'd always just rather have more dps.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenrisulven7 View Post
    Hey, would you mind elaborating on that? I am considering bringing dedicated healers in next round.

    Detail the problem. Are we doing something wrong we can fix? Or is it just a lost cause?

    Thanks.
    I agree about dedicated healers but disagree about dedicated tanks.

    Any FvS, Cleric or Bard with sufficient levels can handle healing in HC. The style of play is 90% ranged DPS, so incoming damage is just not that high. It's mainly spike damage that needs to be accounted for. A dedicate healer type is not only a FvS or Cleric, but one that has dumped a bunch of AP into being an even better healer. That's a waste of AP. They could instead spend AP to help kill the mobs quicker, or CC mobs, which leads to less incoming damage and less of a need for a healer. Anytime a saw a cleric running around with RS aura up I knew they would be worthless DPS and would regularly overheal (because there was never a situation that I encountered where constant HoT was needed)

    I ran a cleric to both the 5K reward and 10 reaper pts as a first life toon. I did it with a focus on ranged DPS though ranged feats (including IPS) and enhancements in tier 5 INQ and a good amount of FAL with a secondary focus on defense by splashing 2 monk for evasion and spending the AP in Aasimar for 10% more hp and in Fal for 5% more hp and taking animal domain for even more hp. I ended up with 7 healing hands that hit for over 900 hp, so spike damage is well covered. I was often the group healer and I would often lead kill counts. I also soloed at least 50% of the quest I ran on R1 (and it was nice having healing hands hitting for almost 300 as a self heal in reaper). Other than equipping devotion and healing lore, I didn't make any other effort to improve my ability to heal. My blue bar was more than sufficient to buff and heal every group I was in.

    Conversely, I ran quite a few quests E-R2 grouped with dedicated tanks, particularly lv. 15-19 content. They are all worthless DPS, but I love having someone manage agroo. It just made questing significantly safer, far more than another DPS would. My DPS is sufficient to timely clear mobs in up to R3 content. A good tank would control the mobs so that they stay in one place to be lined up and killed with IPS. It may not have been the quickest completions, but they were much less stress inducing compared to solo or while grouped with only additional DPS. (Compare kiting a tier 3 hero or stone guard mob vs. the same mob beating on your tank while you calmly unload all your clickies on the mob and throw an occasional heal, which would you prefer?)

    I would not advocate playing a tank, as you are 100% reliant on groups to complete anything elite or higher. But I am happy to group with them (and I actively seek them out for groups). Conversely, while I wouldn't actively avoid grouping with toons I knew were dedicated healers, I never actively sought them out for groups.

  10. #10
    The Hatchery GeneralDiomedes's Avatar
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    You folks are far too picky. I was happy to group with anyone who wasn’t a d**k and played as a team.
    Last edited by GeneralDiomedes; 11-08-2019 at 07:29 PM.

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