Friday, October 30, 2009

The Flight of the Vulture and the Reverse-Gank....mmm....PvP

So by now I have had a ton of fun playing with the PvP in Aion (both rifting and abyss) and I have to say that I could see myself sticking around for this for quite a while.  The PvP strikes me as one part rock, paper, shotgun style class setups mixed with two parts positional and terrain strategy.  That is correct, from my experiences so far your surroundings seem to make a big difference in Aion.

There have been several times where terrain and gravity have been my arch nemesis, enabling a class that may not normally dominate me to do so with relative ease.  One time I was caught on one of the pointy and serrated edges of the hair-like structures on Sulfur with a glancing knockdown and ended up having to flee once my flight timer returned.  Why? Because my opponent was so far at arms length (with me unable to fly up and over the edge) that whenever one of my swipes became too deadly for him he simply stepped back, gave me the finger, and healed himself.  In the end I had to drop out of the sky like a roofied pilot to escape the wrath of my opponents stick of pain.

Not all of the ganking has been on the receiving end though, sometimes I am the pain pitcher.  My favorite tactic so far is to stand high in the sky on some protruding structure watching an unaware player fighting mobs, until he gets into easy striking distance.  Then I swoop down on him like a hungry vulture and make quick work of him.  The sheer confusion it causes is worth the "boo" and "bad form" comments I may get from other players.  The Chanter isn't the king of pvp by any stretch, but boy is he good at peeing in people's cereal, and that in the end is worth it. 

Another fun tactic is to use the enemy mobs nearby to your advantage.  You just stand with your back to a clump of mobs so that any enemy willing to come up behind you has to put himself dangerously close to the enemies in the background.  2-Handers have a natural knockdown chance, and holding your ground for that luck skill-proc, or sometimes flying around nearby mobs causes frothy battle-rabid players to walk right into a clump of mobs as they overzealously strike at you in the hopes of taking you down. 

Granted, you can't always count on the mobs to jump them, but when they do, watching them flail around in an attempt to deal with both you AND their newly aggroed mobs is just priceless (it's like watching a man run around on fire while you beat him with a fire extinguisher).  And that is just.....just...great.  It is well worth the risk of pulling the mobs yourself and looking like a Shaolin level noob.

That being said the level discrepancy in this game makes a HUGE difference.  I have fought people that were maybe two or three levels above me and could easily withstand almost anything I threw at them.  I am not sure if this is the Chanter or just a general rule, but I have heard several times that the game is balanced for endgame and so I am relatively confident this balances out in the end.  Besides, one thing I have noticed is that the superior advantage awarded to a person a few levels higher is easily cancelled out by going and finding a friend (even if that friend is even weaker than yourself), which is really as it should be, and comforting to know.  Plus, thus far I have found many situations to be escapable, even after being hit with crowd control, unless of course there are several players, in which case you pretty much end up a dusty chalk outline in space.  We will see if this remains true as the levels increase and the classes grow and develop. 

I will post a picture of my vulture style gank-fu as soon as I remember to take some screenies.  Usually I am far too busy humming "Flight of the Valkyries" and giggling.

Am I juvenile?  Definitely.  Is it fun?  Definitely.  And isn't that really why we play games?