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Thread: 10-19 Warfront Bracket, Twinks, and Gear - An Experiment

  1. #1
    Ascendant Kyera's Avatar
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    Default 10-19 Warfront Bracket, Twinks, and Gear - An Experiment

    Amidst all the cries that you can't inexpensively gear a competitive character in the 10-19 bracket, I decided to take the time to put together a set that I deemed 'competitive' as inexpensively as possible. Using a mix of crafted gear, dropped gear (either as I was leveling or from dungeons), planarite gear, and PvP gear, I put together a budget set of kit for a 19 rogue in the 10-19 bracket, and then queued up to run a bunch of warfronts.

    Yes, I understand I'm at the 'top end' of the bracket. Yes, I understand that most of the complaints about this bracket are about how level 10 players, with their empty gear slots and empty sigils owing to not enough drops/rewards/whatever being available, cannot complete with the high end of the bracket. However, a number of posters (and complaints) have been fairly adamant that you need to have best in slot or "high end" gear to even be competitive with twinks, let alone outperform them.

    This gear setup does require you to put in some effort, either farming mats or cruising the auction house. It also requires you to find some friendly crafters who will make the gear for you, since one character likely won't have all of the requisite tradeskills (and, as a matter of fact, cannot). It's still on the extremely low end of the cost scale, and if you find yourself short on cash, try being less anti-social and get into a guild where someone can lend you a plat to help you level. Barring crazy local economies, this kit is seriously cheap. Seriously. In a pinch, you can substitute green/blue drops that you may have acquired (I have a 15 blue helm that's not dissimilar from the crafted helm, for example), especially those from RotF/IT. Since the major cost here is from augments, these can be huge cost cutters without a sacrifice in effectiveness.

    The Gear
    Armor
    Helm: Thin Leather Hood - 2 Thin Leather, 3 Coarse Thread
    Shoulders: Thin Leather Shoulders - 2 Thin Leather, 1 Coarse Thread
    Chest: Thin Leather Brigandine - 3 Thin Leather, 1 Bolt of Cotton, 1 Bone Oil
    Gloves: Thin Leather Gloves - 2 Thin Leather, 1 Bolt of Cotton
    Belt: Thin Leather Belt - 1 Thin Leather, 1 Bone Oil
    Legs: Planar Leggings - 100 Planarite + 1 Corrupted Sourcestone (Silverwood Vendor)
    Feet: Thin Leather Boots - 2 Thin Leather

    Materials & Cost
    12 Thin Leather: farmed (butcher), but AH cost was 12g
    2 Bolt of Cotton: got as drops
    2 Bone Oil: vendor cost 36s
    4 Coarse Thread: vendor cost 80s
    Total Cost: 13.16g

    Weapons
    One-Hander: Scholar's Dagger - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Thin Leather, 1 Enchanted Core, 1 Unstable Flux
    One-Hander: Summer's Flame - no cost (RotF initial clear reward)
    Ranged: Renegade's Musket of the Warfront - got as a drop while leveling; could craft a Hunting Bow at cost similar to Scholar's Dagger.

    Materials & Cost
    1 Copper Bar: AH cost was 3g
    1 Thin Leather: farmed (butcher), but AH cost was 1.25g
    1 Enchanted Core: got as a drop, AH cost was 53s
    1 Unstable Flux: vendor cost 20s
    Total Cost: 4.98g (could make two if you wanted to... pretty solid for 5g, and in theory I have an extra Thiefstone)

    Accessories
    Ring: Copper Ring - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Unstable Flux
    Ring: Copper Ring - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Unstable Flux
    Necklace: Copper Lariat - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Basic Polishing Agent

    Materials & Cost
    3 Copper Bar: AH cost was 9g
    2 Unstable Flux: vendor cost 40s
    1 Basic Polishing Agent: vendor cost 20s
    Total Cost: 9.64g

    Pre-Augment Total Equipment Cost: 27.78g

    Augments
    Admittedly, this is the tricky part from a money perspective. I opted to not go as "pricey" as I have in the past, where I suggested Pure XYZstone, but just went for Thiefstones (the green 225 skill augment). There were a handful of Thiefstones available on the Wolfsbane AH for 25g each (prices were similar on Deepstrike when I comparison shopped), and since I'm crafting ten items, this would have put my cost at 2.5p; however, there weren't ten available, and I wanted to craft them cheaper, so I priced out the cost to produce them. I'm operating under the assumption that someone new to the game might join a game and be able to get a hand-me-down of Thiefstones and/or Enduring Planar, especially since I have a stack of each of them on my crafting mule (and that's after Runebreaking stacks a few times). This could be a leap, but I don't consider it to be much of one.

    Thiefstone (x2): 2 Enduring Planar Dust, 1 Greater Dexterity Serum (1 Drakefoot Stem, 0.5 Bubbling Extract, 0.5 Empty Gilded Flask), 1 Inert Gem, 1 Aqua Fortis

    Materials & Cost
    10 Enduring Planar Dust: Used a stockpile (AH selection was crazy overpriced; did have one guy offer to sell me at 15g per, but he only had a handful)
    6 Drakefoot Stem: AH cost was 19.50g (can't do a half craft)
    3 Bubbling Extract: vendor cost 1.44g
    3 Empty Gilded Flask: vendor cost 1.08g
    5 Inert Gem: AH cost was 5g
    5 Aqua Fortis: vendor cost 4g

    Augment Total Cost: 31.02g + the cost of 10 enduring planar (I'd project this at ~1-2p from a reasonable vendor)

    An alternative is to replace some or all of the Thiefstone with Rough Thiefstone. Thiefstone substitutes Shifting Planar Dust for Enduring Planar Dust, Wyvernspurr for Drakefoot, Pure Extract for Bubbling Extract, Empty Crystal Flask for Empty Gilded Flask, Inert Stone for Inert Gem, and Corrosive Blend for Aqua Fortis. On my server, the Wyvernspurr runs 1g per, Inert Stone was 3g per (lesser availability than the Gems), I got someone to sell me 10 Shifting Planar for 10g each, and the vendor mats are a bit cheaper. This puts the total augment cost at ~1p 25g. The complete good was listed at 25g on my server's AH, putting it on par with Thiefstone.

    By opting for Rough Thiefstone instead of Thiefstone, you 'trade' the following for stats: Helm -1 Dex, Shoulders -1 Dex, Chest -2 Dex, Gloves -2 Dex, Belt -2 Dex, Boots -2 Dex, One-Hander -1 Dex, Neck -2 Dex, Ring -1 Dex (x2). So, you lose a "whopping" 15 Dex by going down an augment tier, but you can keep things pretty affordable (especially if you substitute pieces for drops, or can get some help, again, from guildmates or random friendly players).

    Source Machine and Essences
    Source Machine: Sigil of Rebirth - 30 planarite (Silverwood Planar Goods)
    Essence: Affin Fragment - 25 planarite (Silverwood Rare Planar Goods)
    Essence: Lesser Shimmering Brimstone - 100 Molten Gold Ingots (Current World Event)
    Essence: Lesser Scintillating Brimstone - 100 Molten Gold Ingots (Current World Event)

    Rune List
    Helm: Bright Potent Rune - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Perpetual Glow
    Shoulders: Glowing Deft Rune - 2 Flickering Powder, 1 Kinetic Arc
    Chest: Bright Wrathful Rune - 2 Kinetic Charge
    Gloves: Bright Steadfast Rune - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Flickering Powder, 1 Kinetic Charge
    Belt: Silverwood Acrobat's Rune (Silverwood Faction) - 20g
    Legs: Glowing Potent Rune - 2 Flickering Powder, 2 Perpetual Blur
    Feet: Glowing Resolute Rune - 1 Flickering Crystal, 1 Perpetual Blur

    One Handed: Bright Rage Runeshard - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Kinetic Charge, 1 Perpetual Glow
    One Handed: Glowing Rage Runeshard - 2 Flickering Powder, 1 Kinetic Arc, 1 Perpetual Blur
    Ranged: Bright Rage Runeshard - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Kinetic Charge, 1 Perpetual Glow

    Materials & Cost
    4 Flickering Shard: AH cost is 2.6g
    6 Flickering Powder: AH cost is 1.4g
    1 Flickering Crystal: AH cost is 2g
    1 Perpetual Glow: AH cost is 10g
    1 Kinetic Arc: AH cost is 2g
    3 Kinetic Charge: AH cost is 18g
    3 Perpetual Blur: AH cost is 12g

    Disclaimer: I actually acquired all the pieces except for three of the four Flickering shards myself -- the price for mats is insane, and I was leveling RC, so it ended up being a pretty steep savings. Optionally, you could ask for a small handout from another Runecrafter (it's really, like, three crystals and four top tier component mats, if that). A third option, is of course, to just outright buy as many runes as possible, or just asking a crafter to make them for you with their own mats -- given how low tier this kit is, it should be pretty affordable.

    Rune Materials Cost: 68g (48g crafted + 20g Silverwood)

    Total Cost (at Prevailing AH Prices): 1p 7g (plus the price of 10 Enduring Planar Dusts or 10 Thiefstones, likely a net addition of 1.5p to 2p), 200 Molten Gold Ingots, 155 Planarite, 1 Corrupted Sourcestone.

    This level of gearing should take you into the next bracket, as you replace pieces with dungeon drops, trash drops, planarite drops, and hopefully some of the PvP gear you now have access to (including awards from completing the PvP quests). There are some viable substitutes in the form of other dropped gear or dungeon drops, but I only ran RotF once on this character and sold the rest of the drops I'd picked up, and I really couldn't bother farming again to see what I got, so I went with crafted. The point is, you could go cheaper than this.

    The Gear Summary

    Glorious pictures! Thousand words!

    The Spec

    To minimize my exposure and maximize my utility, without resorting to the cheese that is Saboteur in this bracket, I opted for a MM/Rgr build that affords me mobility, the ability to keep my distance, and utility in the form of ranged snares and a heal debuff. There's really nothing more to it than that -- it's the safest and most reliable bang for your buck in the 10-19 bracket. Saboteur also works decently well, but having the heal debuff from Marksman helps to offset some of that raw dps lack by offsetting incoming healing.

    Is it optimal? Probably not. There are a few things I'd change around, honestly, after having mucked around with it, such as grabbing the extra 5m of range. But it's pretty good, and the point of this entire experiment is to show that "pretty good" works... pretty well.

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0MNfT.Vzo.xGxR.-6

    The Results

    I transferred the character to Deepstrike, to try and get a feel for a different warfront grouping. I queued ten warfronts before making this thread -- five yesterday, and six (really only five, since the first and last were in progress) today. Here are the screenshots of the outcomes of those warfronts. Each warfront had a couple of twinks per side (which was, admittedly, a higher average than I ran into on Wolfsbane).

    On the first day, after the first two warfronts, I had a couple of people consistently trying to tear my face off -- one guy went so far as to switch to a stealth spec and dedicate his life to trying to kill me. On the second day, some of the same and some new faces seemingly decided to put me atop their priority list (I can only assume this is the case, based on how many times charged into the Danger Zone to finish me off). Suffice it to say, the second day was pretty frustrating, but the twinkier gear adds no survivability and wouldn't have kept me alive through the rdps trains that came after me today -- hell, in the warfront I got merc'd in, I had a 12 twink Saboteur tunnel vision me for an entire warfront. I was identified either as a threat or as a vulnerable target, and being aggressively watched for by several well geared twinks makes 'competing' doubly difficult, though it would certainly be easier if other people were similarly threatening and thus gave me a window in which to operate.

    Day 1 - Warfront #1 - Black Garden: Stockpile - Guardian 500, Defiant 52
    Day 1 - Warfront #2 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 1000, Defiant 200
    Day 1 - Warfront #3 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 651, Defiant 1000
    Day 1 - Warfront #4 - Black Garden: Stockpile - Guardian 500, Defiant 237
    Day 1 - Warfront #5 - Black Garden: Stockpile - Guardian 500, Defiant 214
    Day 2 - Warfront #1 - Black Garden - Guardian 500, Defiant 201 (joined at ~200-180)
    Day 2 - Warfront #2 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 469, Defiant 1000
    Day 2 - Warfront #3 - Black Garden - Guardian 293, Defiant 500 (so much kiting t.t)
    Day 2 - Warfront #4 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 157, Defiant 1000 (got merc'd)
    Day 2 - Warfront #5 - Black Garden - Guardian 500, Defiant 435
    Day 2 - Warfront #6 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 747, Defiant 1000 (joined quite late)x

    I also snagged a screenshot in the middle of that fourth warfront, with me in combat, showing that I'm still wearing the 'weaker' gear set, since I know people may clamor for 'more proof'. I also picked up two other fun screenshots: the first is a comparison of my loadout to another twink I was fighting (crafted + purple); the second, a partial stat array for a 12 twink.

    Conclusions?

    I'm not going to fill this with a wall of text about how my conclusion supports my hypothesis based on my experience -- I had no problem "being competitive" with the rest of the bracket in my less-than-optimal-but-still-decent gear, even if I did get absolutely worked in one warfront (it happens on my twink sometimes, though it usually depends on the supporting cast on either side). I still feel a character, putting a moderate amount of effort into their kit, can be competitive -- sometimes better than competitive, especially based on my experiences yesterday and today.

    However, it's not like these warfront "performances" (especially today) were a walk in the park. I had to pick targets well, I had to swap targets intelligently to tunnel vision box healers, I had to kite a hell of a lot (ESPECIALLY TODAY), and I had to play passive. I don't know if the average player can duplicate the ability shown (not that I'm amazing, but I'd like to think I'm at least in the upper third of Rift's population). So, players who play like derp might struggle to compete with a moderate gear level, whereas they might have to put a bit of effort in to win in top tier gear, since that extra bundle of stat points gives them an edge -- and I could feel the difference between my two gear loadouts, particularly when trying to finish some people off. Having the extra stats could have gotten me the extra crit or extra bit of damage per hit (especially on RFS) to allow me to get the kill instead of watching someone's lifebar hover at 5% from HoTs/splash healing until they get a crit heal or two.

    This might not convince many of you to change your stance on the 'gear gulf' or other elements of twinking -- I was already 19, a gear loadout with dungeon/planarite drops/15-19 crafted pieces doesn't really help players from 10-15, and if your server economy sucks or people are just plain unhelpful the cost for this inexpensive gear loadout may turn out to be prohibitive, to name some potential points of contention -- but I wanted to put it together to show it is certainly possible to compete with the loaded-to-the-gills twinks on an inexpensive, accessible gear loadout.

    If you had a team of people that put 80% of this effort into getting geared out, hell, they might be able to do some real damage.
    Glaiveheart :: Warrior || Areyk :: Cleric || <Wasted Talent> || Deepwood || Likes Received (1,200)
    Also: Kyerashield :: Warrior || Keirsti :: Rogue || Jariale :: Cleric || Kaliboras :: Mage
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  2. #2
    Rift Chaser MitsuMarty's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyera View Post
    Amidst all the cries that you can't inexpensively gear a competitive character in the 10-19 bracket, I decided to take the time to put together a set that I deemed 'competitive' as inexpensively as possible. Using a mix of crafted gear, dropped gear (either as I was leveling or from dungeons), planarite gear, and PvP gear, I put together a budget set of kit for a 19 rogue in the 10-19 bracket, and then queued up to run a bunch of warfronts.

    Yes, I understand I'm at the 'top end' of the bracket. Yes, I understand that most of the complaints about this bracket are about how level 10 players, with their empty gear slots and empty sigils owing to not enough drops/rewards/whatever being available, cannot complete with the high end of the bracket. However, a number of posters (and complaints) have been fairly adamant that you need to have best in slot or "high end" gear to even be competitive with twinks, let alone outperform them.

    This gear setup does require you to put in some effort, either farming mats or cruising the auction house. It also requires you to find some friendly crafters who will make the gear for you, since one character likely won't have all of the requisite tradeskills (and, as a matter of fact, cannot). It's still on the extremely low end of the cost scale, and if you find yourself short on cash, try being less anti-social and get into a guild where someone can lend you a plat to help you level. Barring crazy local economies, this kit is seriously cheap. Seriously. In a pinch, you can substitute green/blue drops that you may have acquired (I have a 15 blue helm that's not dissimilar from the crafted helm, for example), especially those from RotF/IT. Since the major cost here is from augments, these can be huge cost cutters without a sacrifice in effectiveness.

    The Gear
    Armor
    Helm: Thin Leather Hood - 2 Thin Leather, 3 Coarse Thread
    Shoulders: Thin Leather Shoulders - 2 Thin Leather, 1 Coarse Thread
    Chest: Thin Leather Brigandine - 3 Thin Leather, 1 Bolt of Cotton, 1 Bone Oil
    Gloves: Thin Leather Gloves - 2 Thin Leather, 1 Bolt of Cotton
    Belt: Thin Leather Belt - 1 Thin Leather, 1 Bone Oil
    Legs: Planar Leggings - 100 Planarite + 1 Corrupted Sourcestone (Silverwood Vendor)
    Feet: Thin Leather Boots - 2 Thin Leather

    Materials & Cost
    12 Thin Leather: farmed (butcher), but AH cost was 12g
    2 Bolt of Cotton: got as drops
    2 Bone Oil: vendor cost 36s
    4 Coarse Thread: vendor cost 80s
    Total Cost: 13.16g

    Weapons
    One-Hander: Scholar's Dagger - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Thin Leather, 1 Enchanted Core, 1 Unstable Flux
    One-Hander: Summer's Flame - no cost (RotF initial clear reward)
    Ranged: Renegade's Musket of the Warfront - got as a drop while leveling; could craft a Hunting Bow at cost similar to Scholar's Dagger.

    Materials & Cost
    1 Copper Bar: AH cost was 3g
    1 Thin Leather: farmed (butcher), but AH cost was 1.25g
    1 Enchanted Core: got as a drop, AH cost was 53s
    1 Unstable Flux: vendor cost 20s
    Total Cost: 4.98g (could make two if you wanted to... pretty solid for 5g, and in theory I have an extra Thiefstone)

    Accessories
    Ring: Copper Ring - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Unstable Flux
    Ring: Copper Ring - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Unstable Flux
    Necklace: Copper Lariat - 1 Copper Bar, 1 Basic Polishing Agent

    Materials & Cost
    3 Copper Bar: AH cost was 9g
    2 Unstable Flux: vendor cost 40s
    1 Basic Polishing Agent: vendor cost 20s
    Total Cost: 9.64g

    Pre-Augment Total Equipment Cost: 27.78g

    Augments
    Admittedly, this is the tricky part from a money perspective. I opted to not go as "pricey" as I have in the past, where I suggested Pure XYZstone, but just went for Thiefstones (the green 225 skill augment). There were a handful of Thiefstones available on the Wolfsbane AH for 25g each (prices were similar on Deepstrike when I comparison shopped), and since I'm crafting ten items, this would have put my cost at 2.5p; however, there weren't ten available, and I wanted to craft them cheaper, so I priced out the cost to produce them. I'm operating under the assumption that someone new to the game might join a game and be able to get a hand-me-down of Thiefstones and/or Enduring Planar, especially since I have a stack of each of them on my crafting mule (and that's after Runebreaking stacks a few times). This could be a leap, but I don't consider it to be much of one.

    Thiefstone (x2): 2 Enduring Planar Dust, 1 Greater Dexterity Serum (1 Drakefoot Stem, 0.5 Bubbling Extract, 0.5 Empty Gilded Flask), 1 Inert Gem, 1 Aqua Fortis

    Materials & Cost
    10 Enduring Planar Dust: Used a stockpile (AH selection was crazy overpriced; did have one guy offer to sell me at 15g per, but he only had a handful)
    6 Drakefoot Stem: AH cost was 19.50g (can't do a half craft)
    3 Bubbling Extract: vendor cost 1.44g
    3 Empty Gilded Flask: vendor cost 1.08g
    5 Inert Gem: AH cost was 5g
    5 Aqua Fortis: vendor cost 4g

    Augment Total Cost: 31.02g + the cost of 10 enduring planar (I'd project this at ~1-2p from a reasonable vendor)

    An alternative is to replace some or all of the Thiefstone with Rough Thiefstone. Thiefstone substitutes Shifting Planar Dust for Enduring Planar Dust, Wyvernspurr for Drakefoot, Pure Extract for Bubbling Extract, Empty Crystal Flask for Empty Gilded Flask, Inert Stone for Inert Gem, and Corrosive Blend for Aqua Fortis. On my server, the Wyvernspurr runs 1g per, Inert Stone was 3g per (lesser availability than the Gems), I got someone to sell me 10 Shifting Planar for 10g each, and the vendor mats are a bit cheaper. This puts the total augment cost at ~1p 25g. The complete good was listed at 25g on my server's AH, putting it on par with Thiefstone.

    By opting for Rough Thiefstone instead of Thiefstone, you 'trade' the following for stats: Helm -1 Dex, Shoulders -1 Dex, Chest -2 Dex, Gloves -2 Dex, Belt -2 Dex, Boots -2 Dex, One-Hander -1 Dex, Neck -2 Dex, Ring -1 Dex (x2). So, you lose a "whopping" 15 Dex by going down an augment tier, but you can keep things pretty affordable (especially if you substitute pieces for drops, or can get some help, again, from guildmates or random friendly players).

    Source Machine and Essences
    Source Machine: Sigil of Rebirth - 30 planarite (Silverwood Planar Goods)
    Essence: Affin Fragment - 25 planarite (Silverwood Rare Planar Goods)
    Essence: Lesser Shimmering Brimstone - 100 Molten Gold Ingots (Current World Event)
    Essence: Lesser Scintillating Brimstone - 100 Molten Gold Ingots (Current World Event)

    Rune List
    Helm: Bright Potent Rune - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Perpetual Glow
    Shoulders: Glowing Deft Rune - 2 Flickering Powder, 1 Kinetic Arc
    Chest: Bright Wrathful Rune - 2 Kinetic Charge
    Gloves: Bright Steadfast Rune - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Flickering Powder, 1 Kinetic Charge
    Belt: Silverwood Acrobat's Rune (Silverwood Faction) - 20g
    Legs: Glowing Potent Rune - 2 Flickering Powder, 2 Perpetual Blur
    Feet: Glowing Resolute Rune - 1 Flickering Crystal, 1 Perpetual Blur

    One Handed: Bright Rage Runeshard - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Kinetic Charge, 1 Perpetual Glow
    One Handed: Glowing Rage Runeshard - 2 Flickering Powder, 1 Kinetic Arc, 1 Perpetual Blur
    Ranged: Bright Rage Runeshard - 1 Flickering Shard, 1 Kinetic Charge, 1 Perpetual Glow

    Materials & Cost
    4 Flickering Shard: AH cost is 2.6g
    6 Flickering Powder: AH cost is 1.4g
    1 Flickering Crystal: AH cost is 2g
    1 Perpetual Glow: AH cost is 10g
    1 Kinetic Arc: AH cost is 2g
    3 Kinetic Charge: AH cost is 18g
    3 Perpetual Blur: AH cost is 12g

    Disclaimer: I actually acquired all the pieces except for three of the four Flickering shards myself -- the price for mats is insane, and I was leveling RC, so it ended up being a pretty steep savings. Optionally, you could ask for a small handout from another Runecrafter (it's really, like, three crystals and four top tier component mats, if that). A third option, is of course, to just outright buy as many runes as possible, or just asking a crafter to make them for you with their own mats -- given how low tier this kit is, it should be pretty affordable.

    Rune Materials Cost: 68g (48g crafted + 20g Silverwood)

    Total Cost (at Prevailing AH Prices): 1p 7g (plus the price of 10 Enduring Planar Dusts or 10 Thiefstones, likely a net addition of 1.5p to 2p), 200 Molten Gold Ingots, 155 Planarite, 1 Corrupted Sourcestone.

    This level of gearing should take you into the next bracket, as you replace pieces with dungeon drops, trash drops, planarite drops, and hopefully some of the PvP gear you now have access to (including awards from completing the PvP quests). There are some viable substitutes in the form of other dropped gear or dungeon drops, but I only ran RotF once on this character and sold the rest of the drops I'd picked up, and I really couldn't bother farming again to see what I got, so I went with crafted. The point is, you could go cheaper than this.

    The Gear Summary

    Glorious pictures! Thousand words!

    The Spec

    To minimize my exposure and maximize my utility, without resorting to the cheese that is Saboteur in this bracket, I opted for a MM/Rgr build that affords me mobility, the ability to keep my distance, and utility in the form of ranged snares and a heal debuff. There's really nothing more to it than that -- it's the safest and most reliable bang for your buck in the 10-19 bracket. Saboteur also works decently well, but having the heal debuff from Marksman helps to offset some of that raw dps lack by offsetting incoming healing.

    Is it optimal? Probably not. There are a few things I'd change around, honestly, after having mucked around with it, such as grabbing the extra 5m of range. But it's pretty good, and the point of this entire experiment is to show that "pretty good" works... pretty well.

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0MNfT.Vzo.xGxR.-6

    The Results

    I transferred the character to Deepstrike, to try and get a feel for a different warfront grouping. I queued ten warfronts before making this thread -- five yesterday, and six (really only five, since the first and last were in progress) today. Here are the screenshots of the outcomes of those warfronts. Each warfront had a couple of twinks per side (which was, admittedly, a higher average than I ran into on Wolfsbane).

    On the first day, after the first two warfronts, I had a couple of people consistently trying to tear my face off -- one guy went so far as to switch to a stealth spec and dedicate his life to trying to kill me. On the second day, some of the same and some new faces seemingly decided to put me atop their priority list (I can only assume this is the case, based on how many times charged into the Danger Zone to finish me off). Suffice it to say, the second day was pretty frustrating, but the twinkier gear adds no survivability and wouldn't have kept me alive through the rdps trains that came after me today -- hell, in the warfront I got merc'd in, I had a 12 twink Saboteur tunnel vision me for an entire warfront. I was identified either as a threat or as a vulnerable target, and being aggressively watched for by several well geared twinks makes 'competing' doubly difficult, though it would certainly be easier if other people were similarly threatening and thus gave me a window in which to operate.

    Day 1 - Warfront #1 - Black Garden: Stockpile - Guardian 500, Defiant 52
    Day 1 - Warfront #2 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 1000, Defiant 200
    Day 1 - Warfront #3 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 651, Defiant 1000
    Day 1 - Warfront #4 - Black Garden: Stockpile - Guardian 500, Defiant 237
    Day 1 - Warfront #5 - Black Garden: Stockpile - Guardian 500, Defiant 214
    Day 2 - Warfront #1 - Black Garden - Guardian 500, Defiant 201 (joined at ~200-180)
    Day 2 - Warfront #2 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 469, Defiant 1000
    Day 2 - Warfront #3 - Black Garden - Guardian 293, Defiant 500 (so much kiting t.t)
    Day 2 - Warfront #4 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 157, Defiant 1000 (got merc'd)
    Day 2 - Warfront #5 - Black Garden - Guardian 500, Defiant 435
    Day 2 - Warfront #6 - Library of the Runemasters - Guardian 747, Defiant 1000 (joined quite late)x

    I also snagged a screenshot in the middle of that fourth warfront, with me in combat, showing that I'm still wearing the 'weaker' gear set, since I know people may clamor for 'more proof'. I also picked up two other fun screenshots: the first is a comparison of my loadout to another twink I was fighting (crafted + purple); the second, a partial stat array for a 12 twink.

    Conclusions?

    I'm not going to fill this with a wall of text about how my conclusion supports my hypothesis based on my experience -- I had no problem "being competitive" with the rest of the bracket in my less-than-optimal-but-still-decent gear, even if I did get absolutely worked in one warfront (it happens on my twink sometimes, though it usually depends on the supporting cast on either side). I still feel a character, putting a moderate amount of effort into their kit, can be competitive -- sometimes better than competitive, especially based on my experiences yesterday and today.

    However, it's not like these warfront "performances" (especially today) were a walk in the park. I had to pick targets well, I had to swap targets intelligently to tunnel vision box healers, I had to kite a hell of a lot (ESPECIALLY TODAY), and I had to play passive. I don't know if the average player can duplicate the ability shown (not that I'm amazing, but I'd like to think I'm at least in the upper third of Rift's population). So, players who play like derp might struggle to compete with a moderate gear level, whereas they might have to put a bit of effort in to win in top tier gear, since that extra bundle of stat points gives them an edge -- and I could feel the difference between my two gear loadouts, particularly when trying to finish some people off. Having the extra stats could have gotten me the extra crit or extra bit of damage per hit (especially on RFS) to allow me to get the kill instead of watching someone's lifebar hover at 5% from HoTs/splash healing until they get a crit heal or two.

    This might not convince many of you to change your stance on the 'gear gulf' or other elements of twinking -- I was already 19, a gear loadout with dungeon/planarite drops/15-19 crafted pieces doesn't really help players from 10-15, and if your server economy sucks or people are just plain unhelpful the cost for this inexpensive gear loadout may turn out to be prohibitive, to name some potential points of contention -- but I wanted to put it together to show it is certainly possible to compete with the loaded-to-the-gills twinks on an inexpensive, accessible gear loadout.

    If you had a team of people that put 80% of this effort into getting geared out, hell, they might be able to do some real damage.
    Fantastic post, thanks for your hard work on this.

    However, I did find one problem that will blow all of this hard work out of the water. The world event items, one of these QQ'ers will be in here once the event ends shouting "joo cant get taht anymoar! itz not fair to teh noobz!"

    All seriousness though, great great post

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    Quote Originally Posted by MitsuMarty View Post
    Fantastic post, thanks for your hard work on this.

    However, I did find one problem that will blow all of this hard work out of the water. The world event items, one of these QQ'ers will be in here once the event ends shouting "joo cant get taht anymoar! itz not fair to teh noobz!"

    All seriousness though, great great post
    Yeah, the world events are the one exception, but we have a world event seemingly with every patch cycle now that offers a comparable set of essences for the same currency cost. Whether the currency will be as accessible as it is in this patch is another question entirely.
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    freaking NTJs
    Fluent

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    Excellent thread! I appareciate you taking the time and making the effort to show that it's not that hard to do. It just takes a little effort.

    After all, just like the guy in my sig says:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyera View Post
    I took scissors and snipped it all!
    Seriusly, wish I could like this a dozen times over.

    +1 rep

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    What are heals like in the 10-19 bracket? Enough healers or not enough? I don't have a character in that bracket, but I'm toying with the idea of making one.

    Healer is my favorite role to play <3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misun View Post
    What are heals like in the 10-19 bracket? Enough healers or not enough? I don't have a character in that bracket, but I'm toying with the idea of making one.

    Healer is my favorite role to play <3
    A good healer wins matches. Just make sure you roll a Mage, because Cleric healing in 10-19 is boring as all hell, that is unless you intentionally gimp yourself by not running, say, Inquisicar.
    Last edited by Topology; 05-21-2012 at 05:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyera View Post
    Yeah, the world events are the one exception, but we have a world event seemingly with every patch cycle now that offers a comparable set of essences for the same currency cost. Whether the currency will be as accessible as it is in this patch is another question entirely.
    I know lol, was just giving you crap, because as you know, someone actually complained about world event items saying they weren't available to new players. I lol'd in real life.

    on topic though, I think this needs a sticky so the new players searching for answers, finds them right at the top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misun View Post
    What are heals like in the 10-19 bracket? Enough healers or not enough? I don't have a character in that bracket, but I'm toying with the idea of making one.

    Healer is my favorite role to play <3
    As Topo said, a good healer wins matches. You can never have too many healers, but set up an Inquisicar or Inquisitor build for those situations where you do. ;)

    Really, the only reason I had major issues dropping target today was because there was a twink cleric on the other side -- would save the bacon of the terribads who otherwise relied on Side Steps to make up for their terrible play.
    Last edited by Kyera; 05-21-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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    Holy cow! A twink thread that's been open for 5 hours and not one "You just wanna roll noobs!" retort.

    Something must be broken.

    On a more serious note...

    Great post Kyera.
    Last edited by Meina; 05-21-2012 at 08:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meina View Post
    Holy cow! A twink thread that's been open for 5 hours and not one "You just wanna roll noobs!" retort.

    Something must be broken.

    On a more serious note...

    Great post Kyera.
    Yeah, I was expecting some more hostility/backlash/whatever to have hit by now, but idk. I do think this is my new counter-point screenshot of choice tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyera View Post
    Yeah, I was expecting some more hostility/backlash/whatever to have hit by now, but idk. I do think this is my new counter-point screenshot of choice tho.
    I was expecting at least one tl;dr. The Rift community has surprised me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misun View Post

    After all, just like the guy in my sig says:
    I miss Licentia.

    Awesome post Kyera


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    Good effort and analysis.

    However, although I suppose this is irrelevant to the specific "complaint" you're referencing, if I were looking into gear and my intention was not to XP lock, I would not be looking at expense, so much as at convenience. I would undoubtedly ask myself the question, "Is it worth it to go out of my normal path to get these gear upgrades?"

    If Trion can make level appropriate gear more convenient to obtain, without needing to hunt down crafters or search the AH, I think the answer to my question would be, "The upgrades are in front of you." The problem is, everything about Rift's design leads me to believe that Trion designed it around a much slower leveling system than what we have. (Faction progression rarely keeps up with the items you can gain from it in relation to level, crafted items can be replaced by questing equivalents almost immediately, quest rewards take many levels just to get a minor upgrade for each slot and any deviation from a chain is guaranteed to lose you an item upgrade to a slot or two - I'm sure I could think of more if given the time.)

    Leveling 100% through warfronts may be the only leveling speed in this game that fits the design of item and faction progression, and yet you need to hunt down little bits and pieces if you want to have decent gear from just warfronts. Considering that I doubt Trion has any plans to make leveling take longer, they need to adapt their system to the speed(s).

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