Saturday, April 2, 2011

TERA Classes: Lancer Glyphs & Low-Level PvP

First and foremost, I've updated the TERA Fans wiki to include up to date (i.e., taken from the CPE) skills and glyphs for lancers, and also updated the starting stats on the lancer page. For this post I'm going to talk about my thoughts and opinions on a few of the officially translated glyphs and then some of my thoughts on (low level) PvP, mainly duels.

Glyph of Polish (Stand Fast) - Reflects 20% of blocked damage. This one caught my eye straight away. Most likely to be a staple for PvP of any sort. If you have this glyph enabled and you block, say, a sorcerer's firebomb attack the reflected damage will be a good chunk of the sorcerer's health. Not only will it be good for damaging ranged classes when you can't get close but it could even scare your opponent into not attacking you. Imagine a sorcerer being too afraid of you blocking (thus reflecting 20% of the damage) their biggest attacks to even use them. Or a berserker too afraid to do the same.

Most of the other glyphs are nothing special except perhaps Glyph of Energy (Leash) - Reduces cooldown by 20%. Leash is an amazing skill to use against those pesky kiters who just refuse to stay in close proximity to you for longer than a second or two. With this glyph the cooldown will be reduced from 40 seconds to 32 seconds, quite nice.

While not eye-catching, two glyphs deserve honorable mentions. Glyph of Threat (Challenging Shout) - Provides 10% additional aggro. While 10% isn't much extra, threat issues with the lancer's low default threat and healers inciting rage in monsters like you've never seen dictate this to be an essential glyph for PvE. Not so useful in PvP.
Glyph of Spirit (Combo Attack) - Increases MP regeneration by 20%. Lancers eat up MP like there's no tomorrow. At the state of the CPE client version, lancers need all the extra MP regeneration they can get. Recent changes to the kTERA client may have absolved this need for extra MP regen, but extra couldn't hurt. Right?

Level 17 PvP
Lancers are pretty beastly in 1v1 PvP, at least against melee classes. I found slayers to be the toughest melee opponenents merely because just by using their standard attack they can get behind you and, even if they're facing the other direction, their weapon swings will hit you in the back - quite a pain when you're trying to block. On the other hand mystics and sorcerers can cause big problems for a lancer. They each have a good keepaway game which works extra well at level 17 because the only way lancers can close distance is with Charging Lunge, which has a 10 second cooldown. While 10 seconds may not seem like much, it feels like forever when you've got a sorcerer pelting you with fireballs.

I also had some clipping problems with dueling, where I would stun an enemy and then my Combo Attacks would just go right through the opponent. I'm not sure what was causing it though - it's either a hit detection bug or it's lag related. Perhaps a hit detection bug caused by lag.

I won't be writing about what it was like to fight every class as a lancer, as some either weren't very notable or I didn't get enough experience against them to write an informed paragraph. I did get my conqueror title though. :D

They're like rabbits, always hopping around. If I get in close, they jump away. If by some miracle I get in close again within a few seconds, they have another jump to use. While this did cause problems, it was easily solved by doing nothing but blocking. While it's not a permanent solution, it can make an impatient sorcerer get closer to you so they can attack from your side or behind you. That's when you hit them with a stun. With HP/MP regeneration enhancement crystals this is not only a way to force the sorcerer to get closer, it grants you a small reprieve to generate some more HP/MP, and wait out the cooldown on Second Wind while not having to worry too much about taking damage.

Mystics just have too many options. They can kite you all day long. If they're in danger of dying? They'll just sleep you and heal up. If they need to heal while you're right next to them and they don't have sleep? They have a summon that heals them while they avoid you. It's possible to kill this summon, but trying to do that can just leave you open to attacks by the mystic or, even worse, give them a chance to heal themselves up properly and/or drop orbs. That's not to say that mystics are unbeatable - it's just a long, tedious battle. Their damage output isn't the greatest but their survivability tools more than make up for that. They strike me as like lancers in that regard. Just try to stay alive and slowly whittle away at your enemy. In one of my duels against a mystic, I got 3 knockdowns in a row. Unbelievable, right? Unfortunately I ended up losing that duel, as fun as it was.

Heavy hitters, but easy to block. With one exception. Their spinning attack, if aimed a little to the side of you, will just spin right past you and start hitting you from behind. If you don't react fast enough to this and turn around to block the other way, you could potentially be taking a lot of damage from just this one attack. Other than that berserkers aren't really anything special at this level. Their guard is easy to get around and the rest of their heavy hits can be easily blocked if you see them coming. Which shouldn't be hard as they have to charge them.

While I didn't get much experience against other lancers, I felt I had to write here about them because of how fun it was. Perhaps the most fun I had dueling was against another lancer. Though I don't imagine it was too much fun to watch - 50% of the duel was either me or the other lancer blocking. It helped me learn to get around opponent's blocks though. Shield Barrage, while being a decent damaging tool, makes you dash forwards a little before the attack and then you can change the direction for your second attack with the shield. Aim the first swing a little to the side of the blocking opponent and then aim towards their back for the second swing. Not only will it get you behind them and do a decent amount of damage, you'll have a chance to stun them. They're blocking, they think they're safe, then all of a sudden you're behind them and they're stunned.

Death Matches
Personally I didn't enjoy death matches all that much, I feel that at least at level 17 lancers have no place in them. Our damage output just isn't good enough to hurt multiple opponents at once, and it's certainly not good enough to keep people afraid of going after our healer. While having a certain stun and a potential stun is helpful in group PvP, I just don't feel it outweighs the cons of lancers at this point. Later, perhaps, when we get our Leash and AoE slow, we'll find our place in group PvP.

Thoughts? Opinions? Dissenting or otherwise?

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