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    • vVv Bagzli

      We have moved to Discord   08/04/2016

      There has been a strong desire among the community to migrate to Discord for quite some time. As of today, our community will be using Discord and as a result, we will no longer be actively using our TeamSpeak Server.  The TeamSpeak server will temporarily stay active to help inform all of our move to Discord. Within the next couple of months, it will be shut down completely.  For a quick invite to our new Discord server, you can click here.  
      For a full detailed guide visit http://www.vVv-Gaming.com/Discord
    • vVv Bagzli

      vVv Gaming Presents: ADL Season 10!   08/12/2016

      TL;DR: Season 10 of the vVv Gaming LoL ADL begins Friday, August 19th @9pm EST/6pm PST! Discord Info              Just be on Discord at the check in time and have a level 30 with at least 16 champions to participate! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ vVv Gaming has had a long history in competitive e-sports; and, while the LCS may be a long way off for the organization, we can still participate in semi-competitive LoL activities as a community. The ADL has, and will continue to be, our main way to achieve this. However, let’s be honest, the ADL has had a rough time over the past few seasons. This comes from both participant enjoyment, as well as coordination and structuring of the event as a whole. While I do not plan on completely fixing the system from the start, I do believe that there are some short (and long) term changes that can make the experience better for everyone: ·         We are keeping participation points for this season, as well as the Elo ranking system used for previous seasons. ·         We will have people recruiting more in the game from the community, and attempt to bring more LoL community members to the discord that we feel would be good for the vVv community. ·         We will be implementing new rules for the drafting phase. Some of these rules will be introduced as the season progresses and are covered below. ·         Unfortunately, at this point in time, there is no information regarding a prize. If a viable prize method/opportunity comes about in the future, current season winners will be rewarded retroactively. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Rules and Details (Read if new):          Nights will consist of two matches per night. You must be able to attend both games (Don’t be that guy, play it out).          Be on Discord NO LATER than 8:55pm EST/5:55pm PST for Check In. This will be slowly changed to 8:45pm EST as the season progresses. We want the drafting phase this season to be as smooth as possible.  We want to give people time to announce their roles before hand.           Check in will happen in the ADL Check In Discord Channel BEFORE players move to the regular ADL channel, and at 9:00pm EST people will move to channels matching their Dynamic Queue rank. Missing the check-in deadline means that you will not be able to participate that night and will not receive a participation point.          During the Check In, participants will announce their top 3 preferred roles for a staff member to place in a spreadsheet (Discord does not allow for your descriptions to be changed, that I am aware of).          Have a level 30 account, at least 16 champions, and be ready to have some fun!          Additional Questions? Contact vVv Eternal or vVv Yui        The ADL will last for 10 weeks this season, there will then be a three-week break before the next season starts (Currently scheduled for Nov. 11, 2016).        Cheating or Smurfing in the ADL is not permitted. Anyone caught doing either of these this will be suspended from the ADL, no exceptions. Cheating will result in a permanent suspension, smurfing will result in a 5-week suspension.  New Drafting Process: So, in previous seasons of the ADL, the highest ranked players were given the priority in being team captains for any given night. While this was not a bad system, it did leave some players feeling left out over the course of the season. That being said: ·         Highest ranked players will no longer be automatically chosen as the team captain. ·         Team captains will be chosen by the number of participation points that a player has (you earn 1 point for each night you attend, REGARDLESS of whether or not you are picked). ·         No player can be captain more than once every 4 weeks (depending on overall participation). ·         The first weekend will have captains from an arbitrary division and lower. So here is my logic (bear with me). With some outlying cases, most of the team captains would pick from highest available skill in a role down, until all of the top players (and a few peoples friends) were picked. I don’t expect this to change at all; however, this allows for both new and lower skill level players and community members, as well as frequent participants, to always have a shot at playing. They also get the benefit of knowing (eventually) in advance that they will be captains. Additional Information: I would like to try and address the speed of the drafting process. For now, the primary way of doing this will be the check-in time; however, if another feasible method is suggested, any changes will be updated in this section. After the Games: ·         Players will join the winning team's discord channel, and all players will be given feedback if they desire it. ·         Players may also provide criticism and suggestions for the ADL. (We are still seeking to improve the event if the community desires it) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- More Darn Rules ·         Teams will still be matched by alphabetical order of Discord channel for the time being. ·         The winner of the first match will play the winner of the second (both matches are played out simultaneously), and the same goes for the losing teams. ·         The higher team alphabetically will be chosen to be on the blue side for the first game, and the lower team will get blue side when the second game is played. Leaving/AFK: If someone leaves a game for any reason and does not reconnect, they will be given a 2-night suspension from the ADL. The player may appeal the suspension with an ADL Staff member if there was a legitimate reason for the disconnect. However, all appeals must happen at least 24 hours before the next ADL event. You also may only appeal a disconnect once per season. Pausing: Players may pause the game for UP TO 10 minutes if a player on their team is having connection issues. PLAYERS MUST INFORM AN ADL STAFF MEMBER IF A GAME IS PAUSED. If the reason cannot be resolved in 10 minutes, the team whose player disconnected will concede the match. If the enemy team agrees, they may also use their 10-minute pause to give the other team more time. Teams only get two pauses per game. Replacement Players: Player replacement will be handled the same as in previous seasons. A player may be replaced by another player of the same rank or lower, provided both teams agree to the replacement. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ So that’s it folks.  Thank you for sticking through the whole announcement, we understand it is somewhat lengthy, however the information had to be provided.  You are now ready for the 10th season of the ADL! If you have any questions feel free to contact vVv Eternal     See you on Friday, August 19th at 8:55pm EST/6:00pm PST!     ADL Staff: vVv Eternal   To join the discussion click here!  
    • vVv Bagzli

      Changes to Community Game Nights   09/13/2016

      Thank you to everyone who participated in week’s survey.  After reviewing responses from the survey sent out to tournament participants the previous week, staff availability, and looking at conflicts with other tournaments, we have decided to make changes to our Wednesday Night Tournaments.  Moving forward, as of Thursday, September 22nd, team tournaments will be hosted on Thursdays as opposed to Wednesdays. We hope with the new schedule, the overall participation will improve, as there will be fewer conflicts between tournaments being hosted.   If you have any further feedback, please leave us a comment in the following thread:  http://www.vvv-gaming.com/forum/topic/72439-supersonic-series-feedback-thread/
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The Price of Progress: Pre vs. Post Beta Thief Class Discussion

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The Price of Progress Part 1 : Pre vs. Post Beta Thief Class Discussion

Welcome vVv members, to the first regular Thursday blog that I will be putting out here on vVv, obviously called "The Price of Progress". As the title says, This particular blog is going to be a Pre Vs. Post beta shakedown of my original assertions compared to what I know now from playing a thief over the beta weekend, as well as the stress test last Monday. That being said I will also be covering everything from class discussion to breaking competitive news on the Guild Wars 2 and vVv front in this series of articles, not one specific topic. Let's jump into it.

The "Crip Walk" Build.


While being able to execute the correct moves, in the correct positions, at the correct times is a solid chunk of what makes a great player tick, the other 50%

of the equation is one that a lot of people do not put enough emphasis on. If you do not enter the battle with the correct tools you're doomed from the start, and

today that's what I intend on preventing.

Weapon Choice

Pre Beta Speculation: Now coming from an Aion/WoW background, I'm initially leaning towards a dagger/dagger heavy build, both for the attack speed of the dagger and damage from the Leaping Death Blossom which our build in particular will need due to our general focus on survivability and constant CC. But Anet had to throw a monkey wrench of a variable in for us and they added ranged weapons to the equation. So now the question we're going to have to answer : "What does more damage in the most effective way possible?"

Well originally i thought this was going to take some deliberation, but after watching a few beta videos I've seen the burst potential of d/d and s/d in upwards of 4-5k crits, and the pistol just cannot compare to the conditions and sheer burst that you can put out with two melee weapons. That being said, the pistols place is DEFINITELY in PvE. Your ability to shoot, move and kite mobs much slower than yourself is undeniable and it is definitely an advantage worth having, but the PvE discussion is one to be had at another time.

Post Beta Speculation: This particular explanation held its ground over the beta weekend and stress test, although I will add that every time I was in a capture point and in a stand off with neither me or my opponent moving, I would switch to my pistol to get a few free potshots in before they came at me. Other than that, I'll hold firm on the same position that D/D or S/D is the most optimal weapon choice, although I didn't have time to check out S/D during the stress test. For an in depth explanation of the impact of D/D vs P/P, check out the following:

As you all have probably discovered, GW2 PvP will not be based on APM like it was in say, Aion for example. It's 100% decision making. People who played exceptionally fast in Aion were rewarded for their insane reaction time with being able to out think their opponents on the fly. I.E. playing an Assassin and Ambushing into a Ripclaw Strike, dancing them until Remove Shock buffs wore off from the Ambush, and finishing a kill whilst kiting the other party in question. I don't know if that means anything to you because I have no idea if you played Aion, but the point is the GW2 playing field is very fair, and in order for a fight to go in your favor, you will not be able to rely on speed or gear, you will have to show up with the correct skills and book reading done before hand before you can hope to outplay your opponent. As far as ranged weapons go, they will probably never be tier 1 in competitive PvP on thieves for several reasons besides the lack of damage and CC, and I'll explain why.

When you're using a ranged weapon as a melee character, it's hinting at some underlying general deficiency in your ability to survive for long periods of time. Thieves do not have this problem. So we have to come back to the drawing board as to reasons why we want to MAKE them work, as at this point we are forcing the desire for ranged into our build. For now all we have left is the mobility that comes with using ranged weapons, and you say to me, "Well Talon, I think I enjoy being able to kite and shoot in an effective manner more than I enjoy being stationary and using daggers." To which i would reply, Do you not already solve the same issue when you're using a skill such as Leaping Death Blossom or Heartseeker Strike? I'll elaborate on this.

When using a pistol you lose an element of unpredictability, which in turn hampers your ability to survive. As you saw in my video, at a point when the opposing teams Thief walks up the stairs to try and contest the objective point that we were holding, I used Cloak and Dagger to switch off of my current target that I was attempting to keep under control (the Warrior), and used that quick stealth and boost of damage to inhibit the thieves ability to inflict any serious hurt on me or any of my teammates at the start of the fight, with a Heartseeker that crit for about 2.2k damage. Now that this initial blow has been dealt, the warrior doesn't know where I am, the thief cannot turn and hope to engage me in a fight that he knows he will lose, and I'm in a position to cut off any reinforcements that will be coming up to support their teammates. With a pistol, you do not have the ability to hot swap to a different target with the same amount of pressure in the middle of a fight like with Cloak and Dagger, I have no ability to firmly plant myself in between the opposing squad and a particular objective due to my inability to force pressure and evade attacks with the animations of Leaping Death Blossom, Heartseeker, and Cloak and Dagger, and I cannot force any sort of presence on the fight no matter how much damage I do because let's be honest, the pistols damage when compared to the 2-4k critical strikes of dagger/dagger is seemingly insignificant.

The real trick here is positioning yourself in a manner that allows you to use the skill you would like to use, and to land in a favorable spot in a particular engagement. You'll see several occasions where I'm able to use what would normally be deemed a useless skill in a given situation to my advantage, like Death Blossom. Getting the most out of the basic movement of your skills is incredibly crucial to learn and master, and it is something that ArenaNet has specifically said will add an all new element to GW2 PvP. It may not be a blatantly obvious advantage at first glance, but I assure you when I'm able to completely avoid direct conflict whilst still crippling and sending out AoE bleeds, coincidentally doing massive damage, without being touched? People will feel it in their knees. Movements like sprinting full blast, rolling left and gaining swiftness for 3 seconds, death blossom over 2 opponents and thus cutting hard right with the animation, evading towards the back left of their line without ever being in danger and effectively creating a sandwich out of an otherwise heads up engagement, are simply not possible with ranged weapons.

Always look to get more ahead. I never want to see anyone committing themselves to stagnant stationary combat because they think that was the game's limit for their class. Be ballsy, make big plays, and take chances. You certainly won't die with dual pistols, but you sure won't get any closer to winning.

Trait Selection

Pre Beta Speculation: As you can see in the link above, my trait selection is as follows : Deadly Arts, 30. And all the rest at 10 a piece.

The reasoning behind the Deadly Arts at 30 is pretty simple. If you go through and read the bonuses achieved from every spec tree, there is no other tree that has as much of an up front obvious effect on the fight as DA. Power + a 30% boost to any condition you put on an opponent is too much of an advantage to ignore. That being said if you wanted to say go for an all out smash and slash type of build, DA 30 and Crit 30 with say, 10 in Trickery might be your best bet. However i believe putting some amount of emphasis on your survivability is key while still keeping a desired standard of damage, especially in scenarios that you will inevitably run into with zero team support. Something else to note, achieving "Grandmaster" in DA with a fully filled tree grants you extra damage when a target has a condition, poisons a target when you Steal to them, and applies a free weaken on the Steal jump as well due to the poison achieved from the first 10 points of our DA tree, which is what the core of our build is based around.

  • 10 Points in Crit Strikes feeds us extra burst which our build is lacking overall

  • 10 points in Shadow Arts gives us a free regen shield in the form of Shadow Refuge automatically when we hit 25% health, as well as giving us a third stealth utilizing our Steal to its full potential

  • 10 Points in Acrobatics nets us 10% increased movement speed in our respective stealths, on top of a temporary movement speed boost upon evading.

  • 10 Points in Trickery allows us to make our Steal a formidable weapon in battle causing it to net us 3 Initiative as well as dazing our target, on top of the poison, stealth, and weaken it already applies due to our previous traits.

As you can see spreading traits out is by no stretch of the imagination not worth doing or "weak" in any way. It allows us to balance out our builds general lack of damage with the sheer amount of CC we can generate in a short amount of time on several different targets. On that note, let's take a look at our skills chosen for this build.

Post Beta Speculation: I wound up keeping almost none of this original speculation in my final build and I'll explain why. While I was correct in my initial "cc and move" train of thought, I didn't really understand to what extent. Imagine the scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker sends his goons to kill batman when they're at Harvey's party or whatever it was. Thugs move in (Thieves Guild) and we work around them to deal as much damage as we can. You have to play like a passive-aggressive pansy, burst, cc, burst, cc, whenever you see them about to switch to go aggressive on you, don't let them. In order to reflect this play style, we need more evasion. A LOT more.

Knowing what we know now with the Thief's desperate need for speed, let's see how that reflects on our Trait Selection. This is definitely not exact as I didn't write down my traits from the beta, but it's close.

Revised Post Beta Trait Selection

20 in DA :

  • Steal applying Poison
  • Crits causing Vulnerability as a condition
  • Weaken automatically applied on Poison with our Steal
  • Dagger Damage increased by 5%

10 in CS :

  • Crit chance increased by 5% when we're over 90% health
  • 50% Crit Chance buff out of stealth <-- Huge

10 in SA :

  • Automatic Blinding Powder thrown out when we hit 25% health
  • Gain 2 Initiative on every stealth <-- Also huge

30 in ACR :

  • Gain swiftness on evade <-- A big part of what makes us such a threat on capture points
  • Move 10% faster in Stealth
  • Dodging returns some endurance <-- That actually means 25% on evade which is just insane. This is what allows us to roll so many times consecutively.
  • Dual skills return initiative <-- This will become the movement speed sword buff during the next beta for us.
  • Increases damage by 10% when endurance is not full
  • 2 extra initiative every 10 seconds <-- Amazing for constantly Cloak and Daggering

While Acrobatics proves incredibly useful for keeping an available stealth up at all times, it also gives us a solid 10% damage boost when our endrance is not at full, which should be all the time.

With this setup we can roll 3 times consecutively with a 3 second swiftness as an after effect, without hitting zero endurance. This makes our thief, when paired with skills like Shadow Refuge and Hide in Shadows, a slippery pickle to say the least when it comes to capturing points and getting away unscathed. I originally had all 30 points in Deadly Arts without the split into Critical Strikes, but after realizing that a small 10 point investment would result in an almost 100% chance to crit out of stealth and a free Blinding Powder when we hit 25% health, I caved and threw 10 points into the tree. Also as you can see in the Stress Test video i switched to Needle Trap from Caltrops for the damage on top of the cripple, which makes perfect sense considering the reduced AoE on Needle Trap has no impact on us when we're packing our handy dandy Signet. The only difference as I said before between the two outside of the damage, is needing to make sure you signet, then needle right next to your opponent as it is an instant cast with very low range. Along with that, working on your ability to cast it under pressure while on the run and using it effectively is a skill that will be necessary for success with a Thief come release.

My plans for the next beta with this setup will consist of swapping Combined Tactics for Martial agility in the slot of "Master" under the Acrobatics tree, for extra damage on the Sword/Dagger build. Using a sword gives us access to Infiltrator's Strike, a teleporting shadowstep effect that we can chose to undo in order to port us back to where we jumped from, which in my mind is the perfect bread and butter for our end goal of staying alive in 1v1s and applying appropriate pressure.

Executing the "CC and Move" mentality in our build

Pre Beta Speculation: As a note, while this build allows us to handle 1v1s without much trouble due to the amount of cc we're dishing out, our damage is probably going to be mediocre at best and as such it is probably a safe bet that this particular build will be an active support role as a thief. Now that we've taken care of our initial emphasis on behind the scenes traits and trees, it's time to discuss the rotations for proper execution of this build. The way we've organized the build thus far allows us to hold our own in 1v1 engagements and contribute to the support role of team fights if necessary, so lets organize our skills accordingly. Begin the theorycrafting.

  • Rotation in a 1v1 : Steal --> Death Blossom (Our primary concern is immobilization as fast as possible) causing opponent to evade out wiping conditions --> Heartseeker --> Dancing dagger --> Double strike/DB spam until worn off --> Caltrops --> Double strike/DB spam until worn off --> Dancing Dagger --> Death Blossom/Dagger Storm accordingly to apply constant bleed/burst.

  • The goal in a 1v1 is to apply as much pressure as possible without using any notable cooldowns until necessary. Play reactively not proactively in a 1v1 scenario.

  • If you're ever in a situation where you're in a 1v1 scenario against an opponent and they don't have constant cripple/bleed on them you've got serious problems. Save your Cloak and Dagger for incoming 2v1s and switching in team fights along with your Hide in Shadows and Roll for Initiative.

  • Never use your Dagger storm if your target is not crippled. Make sure to maximize its effect i.e after Heartseeking or Stealing into 2 people and immediately Cloak and Dagger out of danger.

  • Do not be skittish with your damage rotations i.e 1,1,1 -> 3 -> 4 repeat due to your ability to skirt around the fight with your multiple stealth and healing cooldowns.

  • Use your escapes preemptively. Do not wait until you're at half health and you have an ele and a warrior on top of you with loads of conditions pouring onto you to stealth, do it before the damage comes.

  • If you see gaps in a line of defense, abuse them accordingly i.e Steal to opposing teams Guardian --> Cloak and dagger stealth to another outlying target --> 1,1,1 --> Dancing Dagger --> Heartseeker to switch back to guardian --> Dancing dagger.

  • Look for over zealous dps on the opposing squad, but instead of punishing them for it, punish their supporting teammates who will have to put themselves in poor position in order to help out. Create 2v1 scenarios for yourself.

This is all speculation and speaking from previous MMO experience. All of this is subject to change at all times due to the development process being an ongoing one and I would love to hear opinions on preferable traits. For now I won't bother covering map movement and advantageous positions to find yourself in because that entirely depends on what type of role you plan on playing in a squad. Cheers.

Post Beta Speculation:

Obviously the parts about Daggerstorm no longer apply, but the conditions under which you should use DS and Thieves Guild are exactly the same. Don't freely use Thieves Guild without the Signet/Needle Trap, Signet/Dancing Dagger, or just Dancing Dagger if you absolutely have to. Remember, Thieves Guild applies blinding powder in two directions upon landing.

  • New kill condition is waiting for them to pop an escape after applied pressure, roll at them, DB to bleed, Dancing Dagger to cripple, Signet, Needle Trap on top of them, Thieves Guild, HS/DB/HS/DB.

  • Our change from Caltrops to Needle Trap is to emphasize our time for dumping a one time damage sink onto someone. Needle does about 1.2k damage in bleed and a 5 second cripple, which along with Thieves Guild is enough to get the job done.

  • Gaps are easier to close to Heartseeker from a comfortable distance with Acrobatics.

  • Instant roll into Cloak and Dagger to roll through a group of people or distract.

  • Having the ability to bait people away from fights, Shadow Refuge, and then throw down the Signet/Needle/Guild combo on them is really devastating.

  • Think of this particular build and play style like a Mesmer with burst.

  • The rest applies. Go get a cookie.

  • As a note, I was using Daggerstorm for the entirety of the Beta weekend with some success until i switched to Thieves Guild on a trial basis during the video shooting.

Now that you have your cookie let's wrap this up. New build, new skills, new tricks. This build gives you the ability to retain superior map movement, along with keeping an indefinite kill condition in your Signet/Needle/Thieves guild combo when you see a lack of escapes up on their end. Use it wisely. I hope you enjoyed this recap from then and now, and i most certainly

hope that I see you all during the next upen beta weekend where I will be trying out the Sword/Dagger version of this build, hopefully with much success. I tried to keep this article

as wall-of-text free as I could, and I hope you guys learned something, transitively enjoying it. I also hope I covered everything, but at this point I can't feel my butt and can't care. I'll give it a once over in the morning.

Pre Beta:

Post Beta:

Until next time.

- vVv Rinzler

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