A Runepriest guide for Warhammer Online.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Planned changes to Rune of Breaking/Harbinger Mechanic

We'll be making some changes in with next Tuesday's maintenance to RoB and HoD:

  • We'll be reducing the cooldown on both abilities. Now 20s cooldown.
  • Stats will now exchange on a 1:1 ratio.
  • Fixing an issue where HoD and RoB wouldnt persist through death
We're still looking into the issue where the vfx is bugging out.

We're going to continue to observe how the mechanic plays out in a live envinronment and will continue adjusting as needed moving forward.

Andy Belford

Quite a drastic change, should make the mechanic much more interesting to play with now! It's a very brave thing to do on the live version, it's a shame they didn't play around and adjust it on the test servers when they had the chance.

This should also make Conqueror/Invader sets much more viable for those levelling up.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

1.3.6 Final Patchnotes

The servers are down, the patch is being updated. It doesn't seem like they have listened to the massive amounts of negative feedback about the new mechanic. I think many people who don't play a Runepriest, or even Runepriests that haven't tried out the new changes will be suprised how disappointing the new mechanic is. You can read the full patchnotes here. Nothing seems to have changed from the previous versions. At least the sovereign sets are something to work towards!

Balance Changes:
Due to the nature of the changes in this update, all Runepriests have had their Mastery and Renown training refunded. Please visit a trainer to relearn these abilities. 
* Efficient Runecarving: This Tactic will now heal your defensive target for 50% of all direct damage dealt. On PTS this only worked when under Rune of Breaking (see below).
* Immolating Grasp: Fixed an issue in which this Tactic did not always function correctly in conjunction with the Tactic "Potent Runes".
* Master Rune of Adamant: Increased the Action Point cost of this ability and removed the build time.
* Master Rune of Fury: Increased the Action Point cost of this ability and removed the build time.
* Master Rune of Speed: Increased the Action Point cost of this ability and removed the build time. 
Master Runes increased by 10AP to 35AP/cast.
* Rune of Breaking: This new toggled ability is available at Rank 1. While toggled off, this ability converts several damage-oriented stats on items (Intelligence, Magic Power, and Magic Crit Chance) into their healing-oriented counterparts (Willpower, Healing Power, and Healing Crit Chance) at 50% of the original values. When toggled on, it will do the opposite, and convert the same healing-oriented stats on gear into their damage-oriented counterparts at 50% of the original values.
Bug Fixes:
* Grimnir's Shield: Fixed an issue in which this ability did not correctly reduce all incoming damage types.

* Hierophant's Grace: This proc buff will now hasten casting speed by 25%.
You can see screenshots of the new sovereign sets in my previous post.

My take? 

Whoever suggested these changes, didn't stick to Mythic's idea of the Runepriest, nor did they please any Runepriests. Zealots are positively fuming about these changes!

Lets have a look at NateL's understanding of our class:
One of our long-time concerns regarding the Runepriest and Zealot careers is that they ultimately become more limited than other Healer-archetype careers. This is because the other healing careers have their Mastery paths sorted by role - people who play those careers make a decision about the role they want to play, then specialize in the corresponding Mastery path and gear up appropriately. Runepriests and Zealot, however, have their Mastery paths sorted by delivery vehicle ("direct", "over time", and "area", essentially) and then have both offensive and defensive abilities together in each Mastery.  Since there's obviously no such thing as "gearing for direct", though, Runepriests and Zealots then have to decide again whether they want to be offensive or defensive and then gear appropriately - the net result being that even within their chosen Mastery, half of their abilities are ineffective.
 Now compare this to the patchnotes:

Efficient Runecarving gives our direct damage spells a lifetap component. IT IS IN OUR DOT/HOT TREE! Sorry for shouting, but the ignorance of this change is mindblowing.

Rune of balancing/breaking. This mechanic renders half of our abilities truly ineffective by negating all of our Int or Willpower. A Runepriest in the new full DPS sovereign gear is still behind par in DPS terms. Now HALF that power and we still wouldn't push out effective DPS. Go back and read Nate's last sentance. I don't believe this change has addressed this issue at all.

Now when we are geared for healing, we do less damage if we throw out a DOT than we did before. We also get a higher chance for our silence and stagger to be disrupted.

There are a few occasions when this new mechanic will allow you to push out more DPS without changing your armour set, but nearly all will be situations when there are no enemy players around. I can do more damage on TOVL Boss 5 urn. I can throw out more DPS on undefended keep doors or on objective guards. I can do more DPS to the NPCs in the city sieges. If there is a sole enemy player running away and not threating my group I can help kill him slightly faster with my inadequate damage, but only once every 30s.We don't even get to twist in and out of DPS stance using HOTs and DOTs because the value is calculated from our current stats every tick.

As they have made the change, it is unlikely we will ever get a more interesting mechanic. I have seen so many interesting ideas around our Runes that will never come to light. The best we can probably hope for are changes to this mechanic:

1) There is no need for a 30s cooldown. We are so far from being effective in both areas that we don't need to be restricted in this way. If the values were increased, as discussed below, some restriction of the sort may be applicable
2) Our stats shouldn't be negated.You are taking stats away from us and replacing them with 50% of their value. Isn't that just called a nerf?
3) The 50% conversion isn't enough. It needs to be upwards of 70% for our spells to come close to being effective. Even at 100% we wouldn't have true parity because of the next point.
4) We need the right tactics to be effective in either mode, and these can't currently be changed in combat. Many of our tactics are bugged or worthless. No tactics are balanced around the delivery methods of direct, over time or area - they don't improve both our heals and our damage at the same time. Dual faced tactics that perform differently under each rune could go a long way to addressing some of our issues.
5) The glowing hands of doom. Does it really need to be made so obvious to the enemy that we are unable to self heal or the role we are performing in our groups?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Gearing up your Runepriest

 As of the maintenance patch 31/8/10 Rune of Burning now transfers 100% of intelligence, magic power and magic crit to willpower, heal power and heal crit. This includes talismans and set bonuses. This makes the conqueror and invader sets viable as the stats become useful. We don't know if this change is going to be permanent yet as it seems like it is 'live' testing...

I can't speak for below tier 4, as these ranks flew by for me and I really can't remember but this guide should give you an idea of how to gear up for tier 4 as quickly as possible.

The goal of gearing up your runepriest, is to maximise your heal crit as soon as possible. When you get to around 25-30% heal crit, from gear, your proc rate for Restorative Burst becomes quite reliable and you will be proccing Blessing of Grungni regularly. Secondly you will want as much wounds as possible initially to keep you alive, and survive dungeon bosses (more on this later). From there you can work towards a high willpower/healpower build or high wounds, toughness, initiative or armour build for survival.

As soon as you get to T4, start joining in with organised guild oRvR warbands. This will allow you to quickly gain your Lesser and Greater wards without equipping the armour pieces. Don't forget to pick up the quests in the zone as they award you medallions which you will need. With the medallion/crest conversion rate being reduced in 1.3.5 it can see some large challenges for players starting T4 obtaining the Annihilator and Conquerer sets.

Buy the Annihilator Gloves/Boots (and Conq/Invader/Warlord gloves & boots and stick in your bank) from the AH. They usually go pretty cheaply: 1-2g each. You want to get to the 4 piece bonus for Annihilator ASAP for the 5% heal crit bonus. Ask guild leader for gold bags from zone locks. Ask in alliance if there are any gold bags for sale. If you are taking a keep ask politely for higher ranks to opt out. When you get the shoulder piece gem it with a +3% heal crit gem. Talisman for wounds until you have at least 6000 HP. 

Go to any City Sieges you can. Try and get your Invader Chestpiece (as this will give you the Greater Ward later on if you can't get your Conq), or the nice heal crit gem from Stage 1. Stage 2 will drop your Warlord and you might get a nice purple staff. In Stage 3 it is polite to opt out to allow the higher realm ranks their Sovereign gear. The purple weapon is rubbish for a runepriest in Stage 3 anyway. You may be able to get the purple gear, from stage 3, to flesh out your set, from guildies/alliance/AH as it is bind on equip. This is called Overlord's. Also check guild bank for Primeval gear to fill out gaps in your armour.

Keep working on your wards in oRvR. You should be able to complete your lesser ward quickly, and soon you will be able to get 4/5 Greater. The final greater ward needs you to obtain your Conqueror or Sentinel chestpiece. Don't spend crests/medallions on Conqueror or Invader gear, as the set bonuses and itemisation are poor for a healing runepriest.

When you are fully lesser warded, it's time to get a decent weapon. Get a group together for Bastion Stairs centre PQ. If you can get some guildlies who don't require the weapons it can take 15 minutes to complete the PQ and get the gold bag master looted to you. This will earn you Runestaff of the Bloodmoon (34 will, 27 tough, 25 wounds and +7% heal crit). You probably want to equip this with a willpower and a wounds talisman. This weapon could last you until you get your royal weapon from scenarios.

Check the AH for Darkpromise Runesash and also pick up the Warlord or Sovereign accessory if it's going cheap.

You can now do the city instances, Sigmar's Crypts and Warpblade Tunnels, to work on your Sentinel gear. Unfortunatly this set requires 5 pieces to get to the heal crit bonus, which makes it time consuming to grind. If you are lucky you might compliment your Annilator gear. I skipped this step and went straight to Lost Vale for my Darkpromise Gear.

Lost Vale is doable with 4/5 Greater Wards. The key thing to remember is to keep bosses detaunted throughout the fight so you don't get fragged by their abilities. The same is true for Tomb of the Vulture Lord, I did up to boss 6 with only 4/5, but it was with a strong group and required some strong play from myself. You should aim to get 3 pieces of Darkpromise gear, the belt from the AH counts, to get the heal crit bonus. Ideally you will pick up the clogs, as they have a 3% heal crit bonus. If you are lucky and get the whole set quickly it is a good one to wear, and allow you to mix it with Warlord when you get that. Otherwise 4 piece Darkpromise with 2 piece Annhilator nets you decent bonuses. At this point you should be quite competitive in T4. You may also be lucky and get the Runestaff of the Greatbeard from LV.

Working on your jewellry I would advise getting the Land of the Dead accessory sets which require Silver Ankhs and Golden Scarabs. You can do the Airship PQ to try and get your Conqueror chest (for the last Greater ward) and also get a  Silver Ankh. Another way of gathering ankhs is from the LOTD kill quest or by completing the LOTD quest line. If you are fully lesser warded you can do Tombs to obtain them whilst also obtaining some nice pocket items which absorb magic or melee damage. Alternatively, if you join a TOVL group, you can get the 14 or so ankhs you require from a few bosses. If no-one else needs the ankhs have the bags from bosses masterlooted to you. Gaining these accessories is a strong boost to your healing power.

From Darkpromise, the next upgrade is your Warlord gear, keep going to city sieges and try to win stage 2. Save up your medallions by not buying Conqueror/Invader (except chest if you need it for the greater ward). Mixing this with Darkpromise 4:3 will get you 5% heal crit, 150 willpower, and 78 wounds from bonuses. Try and keep the Darkpromise Clogs and the Warlord Runecuffs as they both have nice heal crit. You might wish to stay will a full Darkpromise set as the Warlord set doesn't feature a heal crit bonus and the 6 piece bonus is poor.

From here on it's end game gear you are looking at. Try to get your Glyph set and Tyrant gear from Tomb of the Vulture Lord. Start working on your Sovereign set. Grind scenarios to get your RvR weapon. I did not buy any of the lower weapons, and went straight for the Royal Weapon by buying the trophys as soon as possible. I did not get my weapon untill RR77 and I did mostly scenarios during this time. That said I did a lot of levelling during the 100% renown bonus from the EU merger. Without this I would have gotten the crests just before 76. I would suggest sacrificing the warlord weapon as although it's very nice, its a lot of extra scenarios to grind. If you do get your weapon early you will have something nice to look forward to when you hit RR75.

To sum up your progression should probably go along these lines:
  1. Annhilator and Runestaff of the Bloodmoon, with Overlord/Primeval or Sentinel mix.
  2. Annhilator and Darkpromise mix with LOTD accessories.
  3. Darkpromise and Warlord mix with TOVL Glyphs.
  4. DP/Tyrant/Warlord/Sovereign mix (depending on what you can get your hands on). Royal scenario weapon. TOVL Glyphs.
You can see a summary of all the Runepriest sets at WarDB here.

With the changes in 1.3.6 using some Invader/Conqueror gear may be beneficial due to the conversion of int and magic crit. With only a 50% conversion you will have to look individually at any changes you make to your set as they are likely to be only marginal improvements.

Saturday, 7 August 2010