Tuesday 17 April 2007

Time will vindicate us all someday

A while back I posted my Grand Sword-obtaining Plan, and Step 1 was completed when I picked up the Grand Marshal's Slicer. Last night I finally hit Exalted with the Aldor for Step 2, and upgraded the Slicer to a Vindicator's Brand, huzzah!

Well, slightly huzzah anyway. The awesome purple-ness of the sword (partly the colour of the item text denoting it's an epic weapon, but mostly the somewhat vivid magenta of the sword blade demonstrating that Aldor weaponsmiths have a very different idea of terrifying and fear-inspiring colour schemes) reassured me that a single blow from this devastating weapon would soundly smite any that dared cross my path, but, just as with the Slicer previously, the reality was slightly less than a ten percent increase on damage. Nice, but not exactly game-changingly incredible; ah well, that's incremental upgrades.

To give it a proper test, a group of us set off for The Shattered Halls. Unfortunately the composition wasn't ideal, with a lack of tank-y tanks meaning a retribution Paladin was (slightly unwillingly) shoved ahead of the party with the rest of us pointing and shouting "hit him, not us!" Though we got the first boss down, and made it through the Gauntlet of Flame (somewhat singed around the edges), lack of crowd control meant that the groups of five and six elites in the next room killed our poor tank-lite before the healers could get a spell off, so we called it a night at that point.

With a bit of time to kill, I progressed on to Step 3 of the Grand Sword-obtaining Plan, the off-hand. While I'm still hoping for Latro's Shifting Sword to conveniently throw itself at me in the Black Morass, the only way I can really make sure of it dropping is to ensure I have a comparable or better weapon to start with (cf the Helm of Assassination), so to that end I've been doing a bit of 2v2 and 3v3 arena fighting over the last few weeks. I haven't mentioned this before as frankly there isn't much to mention. Neither my team-mates nor I are particularly PvP oriented or epically-geared, so our primary tactic is to really hope at least one of our opponents disconnects, or at the very least gets a particularly important telephone call during the match. This hasn't been too effective so far as we slowly sink down the ratings (well, I say "slowly sink down the ratings", it's more "plummet", really) but we're hopefully not too far from being lowly enough to be pitched up against other suitable incompetents. In the meantime, heck, we still earn arena points for losing ten matches in a week, so I've almost got enough for an off-hand weapon. Originally I was going to go for the Gladiator's Shiv, a 1.4 speed dagger, as the Gladiator's Quickblade, the off-hand sword on offer, is rather slow at 1.8. Poking around some forums, though, it seems one of the undocumented changed in the 2.10 patch currently being tested is that the off-hand mace, sword and fist weapon have had their speed increased to 1.5 (with damage tweaked accordingly to retain similar DPS), which is a much better proposition, so actually the slow acquisition of points worked out quite well there!

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