25 Mar 14
Vibranium-level finish for me, so yay for that. It's nice to be back in the saddle of normalcy when it comes to battle levels. Here's the breakdown for the season:
- Final Score: 1296
- Rank 28,487
- top 3.09%
- Total Attacks: 221 (201-20)
- Live Win Rate: 90.95%
- Total Defenses: 2259 (936-1296)
- AFK Win Rate: 42.6%
- A:D Ratio: 1:10.22
The new sparky suit makes my agent look like an electric bondage tomato, which is a bit odd. I'm looking forward to sticking the e-Iso that grants Ethereal Strike on that puppy. I wasn't sure what to expect out of the new mace, since on paper it looked kinda "meh", but I'm regularly hitting PvE mooks for around 10K crits with it.
The attack team I used pretty much all season was Mockingbird & Havok, with the agent in the Tac Power Armor, packing the Warbringer Axe, Synthetic Cube, Mystic, and Transcranial Stimulator. The defense team for the majority of the season was the aforementioned "20-Minute Men" - Heimdall, Rescue, and the agent with Neurotrope, Signpost, Scroll of Angolob, and Synthetic Cube. By the end of the season I was noticing there was a slight increase in the number of defensive losses, so I went ahead and switched to the ever-popular team of Quicksilver & Havok - hey, if it works, I figure it's best to join 'em.
The opponent base was pretty much the same for the last few days of PvP - Havok & Quicksilver, Deadpool & Beast, Deadpool & Rogue, Beast & Rogue, and agents with Gaunt Caress on them so they can get in the free counter-attack, with the Cube thrown in for good measure. This PVP season brought to you by the words "Annoying" and "Boring".
So how'd everyone else do?
19 Mar 14
The current opponent blocks? I believe I'll let my friends here explain it for me:
They're pretty much the name of the game right now. I have a thought on something I want to try on offense, but I'm not sure how well it's going to work. Plus it might cost me some Gold, so I'll have to give it a go and report back. Let's just say it's something I'm surprised that the hivemind hasn't tried with QS yet...
Overnight volume was a whopping ten matches, out of which the away team went 7-and-3, jacking my ranking up into V-league. It was a nice surprise to see when I logged in and did my daily five over lunch.
Both Havok and MB hit the lvl14 XP cap yesterday while I was waiting for Union Jack to get out of the trainer. I went ahead and tossed Bobbi in for her Vibranium bump when it opened up this afternoon, and Havok will be going in for his level max on Friday morning.
On a non-PVP-related note, has anyone managed to pick up the Restored Mk VI Revolver from 2.4.1? If so, have you ever seen its passive trigger? I got one not too long after I tripped 300 and have yet to see the darned thing fire off a single pre-counter-attack.
17 Mar 14
Ok gang - slight flag on the play. I was so stoked about passing 300 yesterday that I didn't bother to double-check my score when I punched it in to the spreadsheet, nor did I really look at PvP until this afternoon on my lunch break. The 1886 I had for yesterday's score is really 1186. I've corrected the error in the chart, so it doesn't look nearly so dramatic anymore. My apologies for the mistake.
On the PvP front, the daily battle chart actually was correct, so there was no need to edit it for clarity. Although there may be some clarity needed on reading it, seeing as how between last night and today at noon I got put in a whopping EIGHT AFK battles. Yep, the current total for today is so low in comparison to the past two days, it makes it look like a big, fat zero on the chart.
No real changes on the opponents front. Still seeing plenty of Speedy Smurf, Havok, PestiBeast, et al. Usually I can walk those teams with no problem, other times it comes down to a matter of lucky procs if the turn order doesn't fall in my favor.
I'm currently looking into the cost of reforging some of my old gear versus sinking some cash into my PvP armory. At this late stage in the game, I'm thinking the armory is pretty much a lost cause and I should wait for next season. The weaponry, OTOH, is probably the way to go. Either that or A-Isos. I'm seriously considering picking up an Ionizing one to stick on Havok's L6 to add a little more bang for the buck when I actually use it.
16 Mar 14
So this afternoon, this happened:
and I gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back. I took a break, had some dinner, and came back to do my five-a-day in PvP, since I'd been holding off until I tripped 300. This is what I was greeted by:
To say I was amazed is putting it mildly.
I went ahead and did my five-a-day and then checked my stats. As you can see from the graphs above the post, things took a major jump on all fronts. Between Friday and Saturday, I faced 622 defensive battles. Between Saturday and Sunday I faced 569 (and the day isn't over yet!) That's 1191 defensive battles over the course of TWO DAYS. Refer to the Wil Wheaton GIF below for my further reaction to that. Fortunately, my AFK team seems to be holding their own with roughly a 40% overall win rate, so we'll have to see how it goes from here.
On another front, Havok & Quicksilver seem to be the belles of the ball - when people aren't dancing with Beast & DP, at least. They're exploiting Havok's high chance to take an extra turn in concert with Speedy Smurf's "always go first" ability. Since Havok's AI seems to have been fixed to properly crank off his L9 > L2 when possible, if the AI gets lucky then you're going to be fighting while down a man. It's not a problem that you can't come back from, but it's still a damned annoyance.
Speaking of PestiBeast and DP, anyone have any suggestions for dealing with Pool's "you're going to have to kill me three times" passives? I've typically been saving him for last if at all possible, but he's really starting to get on my nerves.
14 Mar 14
It's pi-day, pi-day, gotta get down on pi-day... Ok, now that I have that out of my system, on to the commentary.
Tripped level 295 this morning. Had hoped to be at around 297 by now, but real life intruded on my day off yesterday and totally shot my plans to play all day right to hell. It's pretty much doing the same thing today, too. Updated the graphs. Yes, you're reading that bottom one correctly - 197 defensive battles over the course of one night. Finished collecting the puzzle pieces today, so the research is in the hopper. Socked Sunfire into training to level 13, so I'm down to two Blaster (or Blaster-alt) heroes that are lower than lvl 13. At this point, I'm somewhat dreading the slog to get them all to 14, mainly because I have a whole slew of Bruiser, Scrapper, and Infiltrator heroes at level 12 that are still waiting on their turn for training. They *really* need to roll out that double-training room, pronto.
On the battle front, I'm getting so sick of seeing Pesti-Beast, it's not even funny. Same thing for protector agents, and doubly so when they're on the same team. When I finally trip 300, I'm definitely reforging some Psychic weaponry or going to farm a custom hair dryer.
11 Mar 14
Yeah, PKB wasn't kidding about the spike in AFK battles in the level 290 range. I tripped 291 Sunday night and between mid-afternoon Sunday and noon Monday my team weathered just over 100 battles. Ho. Lee. Crap. That's the kind of jump I'd expect on final day AFK volume. Today dropped back down to normal daily marks, though I'm expecting I'll see a bit more overnight given that I finished my Daily 5 on my lunch break. I just topped 292 yesterday, and I'm about a quarter of the way to 293 today. If I continue at the same rate I should be able to top 300 with four days left in the season. I'm hoping to get ahead of the game in that trek this week, though, as I'm using some time off from work (having to burn it or lose it sucks) on Thursday & Friday. With any luck I can score a few extra levels on those days.
Just for kicks and grins I've added another chart, showing my count of daily AFK battles over the course of the season. As you can see, Monday was a bit of an anomaly, with the daily volume dropping back to normal range today. Still, no rest for the weary. Gotta keep at it.
No major patterns to anything yet. Still seeing plenty of PestiBeast, Famine, Deadpoop, and Quicksilver - and man, am I ever sick of seeing the latter two out there. The 'pool is on my Hate List for a myriad of reasons. Bad enough that he can take multiple actions per round that can negatively affect your team with no repercussions thanks to his passive, but adding on his E-Isos which force you to kill him up to three times per battle AND give him that PITA "I'ma jump in front of your attacks at random" passive is just damned annoying. Quicksilver is... well, he's Quicksilver. It's pretty much a guarantee that if you see him on the other team in his blue suit then the next thing you'll see is the words "Morale Boost" floating up above everyone else's heads. BSQS in and of himself is nothing I really worry about. What annoys me is that the Morale Boost buff must use Cap's old Inspiring Leadership buff, because it doesn't disappear when the hero that provided it dies, and it can't be removed.
On the Collectibles front, I got my last Core today, so that puts me in good shape to score the weapon - I already have all the beetles I need and I'm at 110 edge pieces, so three more days and I'll have the necessary 125.
8 Mar 14
Another day, another round of PvPain. Still sticking to the five-a-day for the foreseeable future. Topped 287 yesterday, about 5/8 of the way to 288 right now. As the graph shows, there was a nice spike in AFK battles again last night (over 60 in less than 12 hours), with a corresponding drop in rank. I just keep telling myself that the finish line is in sight.
Still seeing plenty of PestiBeast in my neck of the woods. FamineRogue and Deadpool are also pretty common. Getting real sick of seeing agents with Gaunt Caress, because the game hasn't seen fit to drop one in my lap, yet, and I really want one.
AFK team is holding steady at an overall 37% win rate, so I'm pretty happy about that. I just need to get myself out of the line of fire from everyone and their dog.
Apparently the game really does love to run in streaks when it comes to handing out drops - either that or they did something on the back end. I've scored three puzzle cores in the last three days. Not that I'm overly-jazzed about this season's PvP Collection Weapon, but it's nice to know that at most it's only going to cost me 20 Gold by the time this is over.
4 Mar 14
Just dinged 283 yesterday. About halfway to 284 now. Defensive volume shows no signs of stopping. This past weekend must've been my turn in the barrel, because between Friday night and Monday noon I fielded 107 defensive matches. I rolled up on Monday at lunch break to do my five and found myself back in Silver league for the first time since I started playing PvP. Yikes! Almost a full third of the total defensive volume I've had to deal with to date this season hit me over the course of those three days. I think Wil sums up my opinion on that quite succinctly:
Sixteen levels to go, friends. That's what I keep telling myself. Sixteen levels and I'll be free and clear of the killing fields.
28 Feb 14
Updated the graph, with a slight bump up from the flatline of the last couple days. That might be in part because I had a good look at my defensive team yesterday and realized that I hadn't upgraded their ISOs since I'd used them on D last, two seasons back. Their ISO were close to 30 levels out of date. I went ahead and updated them, and left it overnight to see what would happen. The team went 9 and 14, for a 39% win rate out of the 23 battles. I'm pretty happy with this, considering most of the wins were against lvl 300 opponents. I don't know if they just got bored and F5'd out of the match or if it was an actual win, but either way it's a notch in the W column.
I'm starting to get a bit sick of chasing the puzzle pieces for the PvP collection weapon this season. Out of the ten spins I've had so far on the PvP roulette, I've received zero Cryptic Puzzle Cores. I realize that ten is a pretty small sample size, but for something that has a drop rate of 20%, I would have expected to have hit at least one by now. Instead, I've racked up 4x Five Battles, 2x Universal Pathogen, 3x Cryptic Puzzle Piece (which I won't need, considering I'm playing daily) and an Ionic Sledge. Big whoop on that last one, considering it was basically a free reforge for me and it takes at least one other weapon or hero to set it up. Sadly, the luck I'm having with the roulette is on par with the luck I'm having getting the Essence of Domination to drop. I managed to score three of them in the first three days of PvP, and haven't managed to pick up a single one since.
Non-PvP Observation: They really need to reword Apocalypse's passive ability descriptions. Absolutely nowhere in his tooltip for "So Predictable" does it state that he has the chance to change to the counter-class of the character who is attacking him. The way it reads makes it sound like he has a chance to change to the counter-class of the character that HE is attacking. I know it's just semantics, but when I'm running attacks against him repeatedly to try and get those damn scarabs, it really starts to grate on a guy.
26 Feb 14
It's weird being in a level range that I'm rushing through as quickly as possible. Before, I was getting used to seeing the same faces over and over. I'd seem to run into the same pool of opponents, repeatedly, over the last three seasons; we were all leveling at roughly the same rate. I had learned some of their play styles, cursed at some of them when they would beat me due to lucky procs when I knew I had defeated them before, and generally knew what to expect out of them.
Now, I'm in a block of opponents that can change on a daily basis, and it's a head-scratcher. Some players I can steamroll right over. These are the ones that are usually close to the same level as me and/or don't have their team set up optimally. My team of the one-shot, extra-turn twins (Havok and Mockingbird) can usually pound them into the ground in less than two rounds if I get proper turn order; less than one if I land a couple lucky procs. Others I have to work at - these are usually the guys who are three to five levels higher than me and have a full set of 13's. And finally, there are others where I just sit there and curse at the computer as the AI breaks out every proc it can get, triple-stuns my team thanks to Beast nuking my Mystic and the enemy agent packing Signpost / Hotshot, and then proceeds to Grief my team into oblivion.
Those are the ones that make me want to huck my keyboard across the room.
As it stands now, we're eight days in and my scoring has been abysmal. Understandably so, considering that I'm defending more than three times as often as I attack. I'd have to be playing PvP for an hour or more a day just to keep up with the current rate of defensive battles. I'm almost afraid to see what it's going to be like by the end if I can't get to 300.
25 Feb 14
There's the first charting of the tracking so far. I just dinged level 280 today over lunch. Progress was slow over the weekend due to some health issues, but I should be back on track soon. A:D ratio is 3.41 right now, with an AFK win rate of about 41%. I can't complain too much about that. After some losing days I decided to switch back to the D-team of annoyance, PKB's pride-and-joy, Rescue and Heimdall. Results overnight with them have been promising, but I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch on that front. Time to get out there and do work, and get those levels.
20 Feb 14 - Initial Thoughts
Another season is upon us, and way too soon for my tastes, seeing as how I'm smack in the middle of the killing fields. I've managed to squeak myself up to 277 since the last one ended, making less progress than I'd hoped. Same thing goes for getting my heroes to lvl 13 - I've managed to get a few more Tacs to 13, but I've had to burn more time on the lowbies than I wanted to because they're starting to get into the long-training range. The beginning of this season for me is going to be all about doing the five-a-day while trying to get myself out of the line of fire. I have 23 levels to go, which could easily be done in 12 days if I push it, so I can definitely have that knocked out before the end of the season. It's just going to be a slog to get there, though - I get bored with running the same mission repeatedly, to the point where I zone out on it and don't pay attention to when it's my turn. It's not very efficient to be sitting there with the thousand-yard-stare while your heroes are waiting to move.
Looking over the rewards, I can't say that I'm really all that impressed. Grim Mace looks mediocre, at best. The Blaster e-armor's one advantage over any other Blaster armor is the e-iso slot, but that's about it since you're not really going to be able to use it to turn your agent into a first-turn-one-shot machine like Havok. Hogun... well, he definitely has an interesting power set. Classified as a Scrapper but has both Scrapper and Inf benefits and drawbacks? It's going to make for some weird battles. Beyond that, his power set is a bit odd, too. His L1 is obviously the setup for his L9, so that's a given combo. His L2 is an interesting nod toward Heimdall's debuff move, but until they fix it so that Fumbling trumps Stealthy, it's going to be a moot point. Lastly, I'm assuming they're going to have Fandral and Volstagg as available heroes down the line, based on his L6's wording. I'm hoping we get the fat-ass Volstagg from the comics and not the movie counterpart, but knowing PD we probably won't.
I initially thought that the new Horsemen alts were going to be way overpowered. I'm surprised they nerfed Beast as fast and as hard as they did. Usually they let stuff like that ride until there's a critical mass of BAWWWWWW from the players, but they were quick about it this time. Unfortunately, they did the usual overcompensation nerf on him, and made that thing pretty much useless. I'm still going to try him on my D team with Famine-Rogue, just to see how it handles the load. I'm tempted to dust off the Signpost / Hotshot / Hard Nox combo and see how it fares, seeing as how Beast will effectively nullify the anti-stun properties of the Mystic and let my agent lay a few debuffs on the whole opposing team in the process. If it's a no-fly, I might switch back to the the team to beat from last season, QS and War Machine.
As far as Offense goes, I'm still rocking the Havok/Mockingbird combo from last season. I figure that the best defense is a good offense, so if I can one-shot the opposing horsemen out of the way before they get too deep into their turn sequence I'm good to go. Unless there's a meta-changer in the near future, I think I'm going to ride this team for a while and see where it gets me.
As soon as we get a few more days under the belt, I'll post a graph like I did last season. I'll try to keep this one more up to date, and it'll be at the top of the page. I'll also be updating every few days with new thoughts as they strike me, so be sure to tune back in when the updates arrive!