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Disciple Pre-History Telon Makeover

In today's entry: A nice XFire Update, Vanguard Disciple Changes, and Exploring the land Southeast and East of Tanvu.

Quite the kick ass XFire update rolled today. Not only did they add Vanguard to the trackable games list, but they integrated the login prompt to an internal screen and allowed it to relog automatically. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that, it used to be XFire would pop up an external screen login that would sometimes steal focus from the application I'm running every time they reset their server. Now if only XFire would stop mysteriously complaining when I eject an install CD and also stop equally-mysteriously trying to catch the exceptions when my games crash, I'd call it a fully reputable piece of software.

Yesterday's Vanguard patch really altered Makkor, my Kojani Disciple. His entire ability set was lifted and replaced with few healing spells as a lone exception. What was left in place of the removed ones, however, left little to complain about.

Makkor has now been granted access to entirely new abilities he never had before, for example: a summon spell (that summons a group member from up to 5000 distance away), a straight up group heal, and an "offensive bond" that minorly damages the foe its cast on every time it attacks. (Some of those Disciples had before, except at later levels.) His melee attacks have heavily changed, even the few familiar ones taking on different levels of potency or functionality. The biggest difference, however, would have to be in the Jin.

As I mentioned a week and a half ago Disciples had a Jin counter but no apparent use for it, but their revamp changes that. Jin is not a misspelling of Gin, but rather points that accumulate when performing some moves that can be spent on performing other moves. Jin slowly depletes when outside of combat. In Vanguard, Jin creates another resource the character can draw on, not just Mana and Endurance but Jin as well. Monks were the first to use Jin, but compared to Disciples have swapped spells for stances and additional attacks. The things that my Disciple, Makkor, uses Jin for seems to be to form spirit bonds, throw additional attacks, and even do a Jin-based single target heal.

The Disciples' combos were totally changed in the revamp. It used to be I'd hit Blessed Wind, Soul Cutter, then either "Torment" (a nuke that no longer exists) or "Breath of Renewal" (a group heal-over-time that no longer exists). Now, it seems that three of my opening attacks (which incidentally add a +1 to my Jin points) are all used to trigger the Soul Cutter same damaging attack. That'd be pretty boring on its own, but then I discovered that Makkor has a sEcREt combo of three moves that can be performed that can land a full (100%) heal on a target. If there's even more of those hidden (perhaps from future gained abilities) I'll have a lot of fun trying to hunt them all down.

Compared to before, Makkor is considerably more powerful. I can solo stuff now I couldn't before, such as Falx (a 3 dot giant bird just one level below me). I was only defeated once when I had three or four evenish two-dot foes on me at a time. However, if this was not the developer's intent, the Disciples will undoubtedly be hit with a nerf (if pre-release adjustments can be called such). I don't know, I've heard a Paladin say he was able to take out the Falx when it was a level higher than him, maybe this is where they want Disciples too.

Revamp aside, Makkor's travels through Vanguard today were somewhat bittersweet. I logged in to find my skills gone and quite a few silver sitting in my inventory to go buy the revamp skills. I had logged in by the "The Nature Of Jin" quest givers, hoping they'd permit me to retake the quest because a bug prevented its completion. Unfortunately no - here's hoping that's fixed by release. I recalled back to the newbie dock (as I've yet to find a bind stone in Tanvu) and bought my abilities. As there were more than before, I really had the juggle the ol hotbar to make it happen. Then I was ready to set off to break in my newly revamped character, perhaps find some quest givers.

My exploration went in a considerably southeastern direction from Tanvu, encountering many a nasty variety of wild cat, lizard, and animated bush. I eventually discovered a monetary occupied by spirits of Lao'Jin that gave me some appropriately leveled missions. Hopefully this means I'm on track with a quest arc even with the Nature of Jin quest stuck. After messing around with that a bit, I followed the road east and then south at the fork, and this lead me to an interesting looking building sticking out of the side of a mountain. Judging by the three-dot imperial scouts patrolling outside of it, it's probably an imperial compound of some kind. It might be interesting to get a group together and raid that later, but this was the last bit of exploring I did today. Honestly, I was hoping to find a horse merchant, and was a little disappointed when I found a dungeon instead of another city.

I decided it was time for Makkor to return to Tanvu and do a bit of crafting. He quickly gained level 4 crafting off of work orders. After a considerable amount of effort, I'm thinking it probably doesn't reward any additional coin for completing work orders with higher quality products, so in the future I'll save myself a lot of refinement and just crank out D-rank products. With level 4 gained, I was finally in a position to craft some adventuring equipment. I managed to get it mostly done, but when I lost connection to the server I decided it was time to take a break, and I didn't log in for the rest of the day.

All this spam over what amounted to only three to four hours of play today, according to my XFire profile. (If XFire always supported Vanguard that'd probably read 30 hours, which is my estimate as to the amount of time I sunk into the beta.)

Tomorrow should be interesting, Sigil is planning another beta server 1 event. As for now, I aught to head to bed.
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