Mitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan ColumnThrough the Eyes of Mitra: Age of Conan Beta Journal Entry #2Mitra's Method: Stephen "weezer" Spiteri's Age of Conan Column - RSS 2.0
The Guardian, especially the one-handed weapon and shield spec, it seems, is very good one thing: taking damage. When you can take copious amounts of damage, you tend to have a good habit of outlasting your opponent, so as a Ranger, I conceded that while why inherent DPS was superior to that of the Guardian's, my resistance to damage was close to zilch. As a ranged DPS specialist, this made my task against the Guardian two-fold: keep him at distance; and whittle down his health whilst doing so. Allowing the Guardian to get into melee range would mean disaster for any ranged-based class, because let me assure you, not even the Guardian is a slouch when it comes to dishing out some damage, which is something I've admired Funcom for as my favourite class to play in any MMORPG is the "tank" class. Okay, so Guardians won't be the main damage-dealers of any team in 'Age of Conan', but they appear to be able to hold their own in a fight and quite definitely surprise any opponent with the amount of damage they can do.
So my plan of attack so far: kite the Guardian and keep on spamming my snare to keep him at bay. It doesn't sound terribly exciting, does it? Not being one for tired, old tactics, I thought I'd flip my plan on its head and try something new, because I knew that my opponent, the Guardian, would now probably have it in his head that I was going to continue kiting him until his health did drop. I guess kiting would be a viable tactic in this scenario or those similar, because it's not like you'd want to let a melee combat specialist get within melee range, but I think the main difference here as a Ranger in 'Age of Conan' is keeping on your toes to keep well out of melee range and give yourself enough time and spice to fire off those snare and armour-piercing combos.
At this point, the Guardian was down to about 25 per cent health, but had managed to get me down to about 33 per cent health with a few hits on me as I brisked by him in tight spots in order to gain some ground. The Guardian didn't seem to be regenerating his health very quickly, but I wasn't about to sit comfortably thinking this game was in the bag.
The nice thing about the Ranger is that the class also has a handful of very useful melee combos, and so when I spoke about flipping my plan on its head and trying something new, I meant using my melee combos, but of course at the risk of having the Guardian rip through my light armour with his sword like a lightsaber through a pińata, but no risk, no reward, right? So hitting the shortcut for 'weapon swap' I switched to my one-handed sword - which was particularly nasty itself - back-heeled, and turned to face my heavy-clad opponent.
I didn't waste much time; as soon as the Guardian was in range I triggered my first combo and managed to wipe a further eight per cent off his health (it might have been up to 15-20 per cent had it not been for the Guardian's already-decent damage resistance), but it wasn't shortly after he took a big swipe with his sword to take a solid 15 per cent off my total health; even-Stevens, almost.
It's usually at this point in fairly intense PvP fights where something bizarre happens to me (client-side), like my wireless mouse's batteries running out, my trustworthy broadband connection suddenly cutting out, falling victim to a massive lag-spike (which results in a flash-forwarded death, usually, like "What happened in between 18 per cent health and death? Did the server crit me?"), or an NPC mob suddenly appearing behind me (i.e. getting too close to aggro range) and finishing off the job for my opponent. Thankfully none of these occurred in my battle with this tenacious Guardian, and it actually got to the point where we were at about 10 per cent of our total hitpoints. We were now down to basically our last combo each before imminent death.