Honkai Star Rail: Everything You Need To Know About E0 Blade - Relics, Planar Ornaments, Light Cones & More
Posted: Jul 19, 2023
Posted: Jul 19, 2023Source: IGGM
Blade is an interesting, and a much needed wind character that consumes his own HP to give himself more damage with enhanced attacks.
This guide will cover his optimal relics and light cones, to general playstyle and best team practices.
Blade is unlike any other damage dealer we have in our Honkai Star Rail Account so far in the sense that he’s technically dual scaling. What I mean by that is all of his attacks have both an ATK% multiplier and an HP% multiplier.
However, it is crucial to note that the HP% multipliers are the focal point of his damage because it scales much better numerically compared to the ATK multipliers.
The ATK multipliers are nice for adding a little of extra damage when combining your light cone stats, light cone passives, and relic substats. But as you’ll see in the relic section later, HP is a much bigger priority.
As for what exactly Blade’s abilities do, he’s actually a very simple character. Blade’s skill consumes 30% of his max HP to grant him 3 enhanced basic attacks and a 40% DMG bonus at talent level 10.
Using this skill does not grant any energy but doesn’t also doesn’t count as a turn, so he immediately gets to move again after using his skill, similar to the way that Qingque’s skill functions.
Once you get your extra move after using Blade’s skill, you’ll be locked out of using his skill again for 3 turns to consume all of his enhanced basic attacks. So, just slash away at the enemy’s health bars to your content until you can use that skill again.
His enhanced basic attack will not generate any skill points but deals a ton of damage to the target and unlike his normal basic attack. It also deals damage to adjacent targets as well.
Just like his enhanced basic attacks, Blade’s ultimate also deals big damage to a single target and extra damage to adjacent enemies.
This time around, Blade’s ultimate will always reset his HP to exactly 50% of his max HP regardless if he was below or above that threshold, and has an extra damage multiplier based on how much HP Blade has consumed since his last ultimate.
In the case where Blade hasn’t used his ultimate for that battle yet, it’s based on how much HP is consumed since the start of battle.
Last but not least, Blade’s talent stacks up to 5 times with each time he sustains damage, whether that be consuming his HP with his abilities or taking damage from enemies. Once that counter reaches 5 stacks, Blade will launch an attack that hits all enemies and restores 25% of his max HP, which is perfect for keeping him out of death’s dance.
Despite how useful Blade’s talent is for sustain, it’s usually low on the list for trace priority (at E0). That’s no knock to his talent, but the majority of his damage at E0 comes from his skill and enhanced basic attack combo. So, the first thing you want to do is level those two up, and then focus on his ultimate and talent levels afterwards.
As usual, you’ll want to unlock Blade’s extra traces at ascension 2, 4, and 6. Because the first two increase his self healing for better survivability, and his last one straight up grants a 20% DMG bonus to his talent’s AoE attack.
Relics & Planar Ornaments
With the new 1.2 patch, Hoyoverse introduced 2 relic sets and 2 planar ornaments that in my experience, feel strong and impactful.
To no one’s surprise, one of these new relic sets, 4-set Longevous Disciple, is Blade’s best set. Blade is a stat hungry character and this 4-set gives him a much needed crit rate whenever he consumes his HP or gets hit, stacking up to a total of 16% crit rate.
However, since this is a new set that players will have to slowly farm up, you can use the 2-set Eagle of Twilight Line for extra Wind DMG with just the 2-set Longevous Disciple until you are able to get a good enough 4-set with the correct substats.
The 4-set Musketeer of Wild Wheat or the 4-set Eagle of Twilight Line are some of the game’s premiere generalist sets right now that can be used on Blade, but only use it if you have the pieces ready by the time Blade’s banner launches.
There’s literally no reason to farm a full set of Musketeer or Eagle for Blade after the new cavern releases with the additional Xianzhou Luofu areas. So, again, these sets only serve as a placeholder until you get that juicy 4-set Longevous Disciple.
As for planar ornaments, both new 2-sets of Broken Keel and Rutilant Arena are solid options on Blade. The 2-set Broken Keel is a lot easier to manage on Blade because the set only requires 30% total effect res to grant the entire team 10% crit damage, including himself.
With 18% effect res from Blade’s max traces and the 2-set effect’s 10% effect res, Blade only needs 1 substat roll into effect res and he activates this free crit damage buff, making it into a fantastic low maintenance planar ornament to run not just for him but also for his teammates, which you’ll see in a later section.
A higher maintenance, more costly, and more selfish planar ornament to run on Blade is the 2-set Rutilant Arena. Although the 20% damage bonus to basic attacks looks juicy for Blade, it is locked behind a requirement of 70% crit rate which is pretty demanding.
Luckily, both the 8% crit rate from the planar ornament and the stacking 16% crit rate from the 4-set Longevous Disciple can contribute to hitting this threshold, making it feasible to hit even for players not pulling Blade’s signature Light Cone.
Just be wary that you’re going to have to try a lot harder in relic substats compared to using Broken Keel.
If you have yet to farm these 2 new planar ornaments, then the 2-set Inert Salsotto is a fantastic choice for temporary usage on Blade (at E0). Because his talent counts as a follow-up attack and gets benefit from the set bonus.
Relic stats want to focus on HP for the boots, crit for the body, wind damage in the sphere, and HP in the link rope slot.
SPD is a viable substitute in the boots but only if you really know what you’re doing and speed tuning your units for a specific order, such as with a slow Bronya to feed Blade two turns in a row. But, otherwise, HP is the safer option.
Relic substats want to focus as many crit substats as possible, then HP, SPD, and any effect res you may need to meet the requirements of the 2-set Broken Keel.
Moving into Light Cones, unfortunately, Blade doesn’t have many stellar options.
A lot of the Destruction Light Cones focus on ATK% buffs, which Blade cannot utilize as well as other (Destruction) characters due to the majority of his damage scaling stemming from HP.
With that said, his signature Light Cone The Unreachable Side taps perfectly into his desired stats, granting him both HP and crit rate, along with a DMG bonus whenever he consumes his HP or is attacked.
The other standout Light Cone to use on Blade is the gacha 4 star Light Cone A Secret Vow. This is one of the only Destruction Light Cones that offer a DMG bonus passive as opposed to an ATK buff passive, making it the clear choice for Blade.
Outside of these two best options, your best bet is to focus on the Herta shop Light Cone On the Fall of an Aeon, or Clara’s 5 star Light Cone Something Irreplaceable. Because they give the best stats and have better passives than any other 4 star light cone for Blade.
The battle pass Light Cone is especially worthy of mention simply because it comes at a cheap price point of 10 dollars. But that doesn’t mean it’s a standout option at all. It’s just that the rest of the 4 star Light Cones also have mediocre passives for Blade outside of A Secret Vow. And unlike gacha Light Cones, the BP Light Cone’s accessibility is guaranteed for anyone with just a tiny bit of disposable income.
For beginners, something like the 3 star Light Cone Mutual Demise can be very synergistic with Blade’s kit since he’s always hovering at lower HP values. But unfortunately, the base stats of the Light Cone do fall off slightly compared to 4 star and 5 stars as you try to break into harder content.
Best Team Practices
Blade’s team compositions are very cookie cutter, but there are a few bits of info to understand that really outline why Blade’s team comps have specific roles.
First things first, players must understand that Blade is almost SP neutral, but technically provides a net negative SP when simulating infinite turns.
As I mentioned in his kit overview, his skill will consume one skill point, while his next three actions with his enhanced basic attacks will neither consume nor regenerate SP for the team.
When invested to have strong healing, the current healers of Natasha, Bailu, and Luocha are all SP positive thanks to their ultimates for the former two, and auto healing in the case of the latter? Because Blade is almost SP neutral and your healer is SP positive (at least most of the time), that opens up the window to run another damage dealer aside from Blade that isn’t over the top with their SP usage.
Therefore, the general roles for a Blade team are Blade in the first slot, a healer in the second slot, a debuffer or buffer in the third slot, and then your other damage dealing character in the final slot.
I mentioned there are a few bits of info to understand, not just one thing. So, the second bit of info Blade players should know is that his talent does not stack if Blade is hit with a shield.
Blade must lose HP to gain a stack of his talent and replacing your healer slot with a shielder introduces some anti-synergy that we want to avoid. So, make sure this second slot only has a healer between Natasha, Luocha, and Bailu.
The third slot is reserved for a buffer that boosts the offensive stats of the team, or a debuffer that provides things like defense reduction.
Blade’s best teammate by far in this slot is Bronya for a multitude of reasons. Attack buffs find a little value on Blade. But Bronya’s ultimate also has a crit damage boost that helps increase Blade’s damage and balances his crit ratio if you’re heavy on the crit rate side for the sake of using the 2-set planar ornament Rutilant Arena.
Additionally, Bronya’s crit damage buff will also apply to the other damage dealer in the 4th slot, allowing you to get value out of two characters using the buffs as opposed to just one with the usual hypercarry team.
And last but not least, Bronya’s action advance is extremely broken for stacking Blade’s talent to get more follow up attacks. A fast Bronya with a lot of speed investment can weave in basic attacks to generate better skill point economy for the team, while a slow Bronya can be speed tuned to move right after Blade to grant him two enhanced basic attacks in a row.
The possibilities are endless with Bronya. But some other notable supports that can be used in this slot are Yukong for a similar buff to crit stats, Pela for defense reduction in AoE content, and Silver Wolf for defense reduction in single target content.
All of these characters have a utility that the entire team can take advantage of as opposed to a character like Tingyun, who is meant to buff a hypercarry and has no capability of buffing two characters at once.
For the damage dealer slot, this slot can be SP negative. But players should be wary and select a character that doesn’t always need to use their skill or is naturally less SP hungry.
Follow-up attack characters like Himeko and Herta are fantastic options for SP economy and also for players who want to feel like they’re playing Blade as a hypercarry. But otherwise standard Hunt characters like Seele, Dan Heng, or Eidolon 1 Sushang are fantastic.
If you’ve been paying attention to this entire guide, you might have connected the dots and realized that using the new Broken Keel planar ornament will also buff the crit damage of this second damage dealer.
Similar to the way that buffers like Bronya and debuffers like Pela are good for dual carry teams, running Broken Keel on Blade is not only easy to manage stat-wise, but it also allows you to double dip in value when using Blade teams with another damage dealer.
Everything I’ve talked about up to this point comes through the lens of an Eidolon 0 Blade. And luckily for you, none of what I’ve said up to this point changes with any of his Eidolons.
With each new copy of Blade that you get, he just gets stronger and stronger as a damage dealer through raw stat boosts and better multipliers.
However, that means Blade’s Eidolons are lower priority compared to his Light Cone. Because without his signature Light Cone, he is hard pressed for options if you don’t have the 4 star gacha Light Cone A Secret Vow.
For those who already have his Light Cone and want to push for Eidolons, the hard stopping point is Eidolon 2. His first two Eidolons will grant his ultimate extra damage in single target scenarios and increase his crit rate when in the Hellscape state from his skill, respectively.
Afterwards at E4, he just gets an increase to his max HP after dropping below 50% HP, which is a little underwhelming (uninteresting) for an Eidolon 4 and mainly seen as a stepping stone to E6.
Of course, E6 is the Eidolon that I’d consider the closest to changing his playstyle, since it does put a bigger focal point on his talent as opposed to his enhanced basic attacks. Not only does it give his talent an additional 50% max HP scaling, but it also reduces the amount of stacks to activate from 5 to 4.
It becomes especially potent with the slow Bronya build that I talked about before since you feed so many turns into Blade and get ridiculous value out of the increased scaling that the talent gains.
Overall, his Eidolons are nice to have but never needed, especially if you have yet to pull his signature Light Cone.
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D2R Ladder Season 5: Top 5 Budget Builds For The New Ladder Start
Since D2R Ladder Season 5 is coming soon, here I want to present to you my personal top 5 builds for different classes to start at the beginning of the season.
I will show you the skill trees, the D2R Ladder Items, and the stats with empty inventory so you can directly see which charms you need to improve your resistances. I will also include as many Magic Finds as possible without losing too much stability or performance. In addition, there are also farming recommendations for each build to progress quickly.
Let’s start with the Paladin.
There are two popular builds the Hammerdin or the FOH. In the end, we can play both builds with the same gear. I prefer the FOH because it is so much more comfortable to play, especially as long as you can’t teleport yet.
Here is the gear of the FOH Paladin build.
- Double Spirits
- Skin of the Vipermagi
- Pick Rose Branded Amulet
- Trang-Oul’s Claws Heavy Bracers
- Credendum Mithril Coil
- Aldur’s Advance Battle Boots
- Ring of the Apprentice
- 2 Nagelrings
- Nai’s Puzzler Elder Staff
The build already has maximum fire and cold resistance. With lightning and poison, you would have to add charms. In addition, we also have up to 78 Magic Find depending on how high the Nagelring has rolled. The Holy Bolts have up to 4000 damage at maximum cast rate.
Paladin Farming Spots
The top farming area for an FOH Paladin is the Chaos Sanctuary.
With the staff, we also get there very quickly. It is also good that we have maximum fire resistance. You can also get resistances by Salvation Aura. But it is inconvenient to be dependent on it. It is so much better to have the Redemption Aura standard, so you heal mana and life points by consuming Corpses.
There are many other good spots to farm as well. The Pit also has only undeads and demons and it is a T85 area.
The Forgotten Tower is also no problem, just like the Arcane Sanctuary.
Besides Diablo, you can also run Andariel. The only animals that can appear there are spiders. Mephisto basically works too, but the way through the Durance of Hate is ugly without teleport.
In Act 5, Pindleskin is a nice farming spot. But whoever loves to farm the cow level rather plays a Hammerdin because there are the FOH is useless.
Next, we have the Necromancer as the starting character quite unpopular, but this has the advantage that the D2R Ladder Items for him are quite cheap, especially the torch later on.
In addition, we can play a Poison Necro very easily, which can even farm quite a few areas because he has both poison and fire damage.
Here is the gear of the Poison Necro build.
- Trang-Oul’s Claws Heavy Bracers
- Trang-Oul’s Scales Chaos Armor
- Trang-Oul’s Wing Cantor Trophy
- Lore Grim Helmet
- Venomous Amulet
- Immortal King’s Detail War Belt
- Immortal King’s Pillar War Boots
- Blackbog’s Sharp Cinquedeas
- 2 Nagelrings
- Garnet Ring of Dexterity
In the change, hand the Gull and the Rhyme shield, so we can get a boost of 125% Magic Find when changing weapons. So, the Necro can poison the monsters and then just switch weapons. It counts how much Magic Finds a character has at the time of the kill, not at the time of casting.
By the way, a handy companion for all characters is an inside mercenary. Since Necro doesn’t have much life, you have to play very carefully and touch a lot.
Necro Farming Spots
The poison damage has a disadvantage that it works slowly. It’s a nice thing. With this playstyle, you can use the MF switch and so the Necro really gets a good bonus.
For the Poison Necro, the Forgotten Tower is a good spot and also the Secret Cow Level works fine thanks to Corpse Explosion.
Arcane Sanctuary is also okay. You can farm Eldritch & Shenk. But in principle, you can also run many more maps and preferably Terror Zones because poisoning new monsters can also be killed with the fire damage of Corpse Explosion and the lower resistances can even break immunities.
The Assassin has become a very popular starting character because once you have double Mosaic, there are no limits and the Runeword is not even that expensive.
For farming the resources, Lightning Trapsin is great. Thanks to the fire bomb, it also has some alternative damage against light immune monsters.
Here is the gear of the Lightning Trapsin build.
- Leadless Wall
- Cunning Amulet of Bone Spirit
- Laying of Hands Bramble Mitts
- Credendum Mithril Coil
- Natalya’s Soul Mesh Boots
- 2 Nagelrings
In the change, hand either Gull and Rhyme or the Teleport staff. In principle, you can choose one of these two possibilities with each build .
Assassin Farming Spots
The Assassin only has Magic Find from the two rings. The boost would not hurt, here.
But to get Mosaic quickly, it’s best to farm D2R Ladder Runes, anyway. So, you run the Forgotten Tower, hoping for a good rune drop. The low rooms can be cubed up.
The cow level should also work as soon as you have sufficient damage. It is also great for farming D2R Ladder Runes and your claw bases.
Kindle Eldridge and Shenk are also easy, just like all the usual spots for lightning builds. And of course the Arcane Sanctuary. You can also find some super chests here.
Keep the mentioned farming areas in mind because they are also interesting for the Amazon. The build is of course a Javazon.
Here is the gear of Javazon.
- Titan’s Revenge Ceremonial Javelin
- Laying of Hands Bramble Mitts
- Credendum Mithril Coil
- Dark Adherent Dusk Shroud
- Rite of Passage Demonhide Boots
- Telling of Beads Amulet
- Valkyrie Wing
- 2 Nagelrings
Amazon Farming Spots
As mentioned, the build can farm all the usual spots for lightning characters but the true potential is in the cow level. So, whoever likes to farm, their best builds are Javazon.
The most popular starting classes are of course the Sorcerers. Thanks to the teleport, she offers a big advantage. She can complete boss runs very fast.
My recommendation is a Lightning Firewall build as long as you have no Thunder Charms and stuff to play mono build yet. The Firewall only should handle light immune monsters. For that case, it is sufficient to maximize it without synergies or mastery.
Here is the gear of this build.
- Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest Death Mask
- Tal Rasha’s Lidless Eye Swirling Crystal
- Tal Rasha’s Fine-Spun Cloth Mesh Belt
- Skin of the Vipermagi
- Arch-Angel’s Amulet
- Aldur’s Advance Battle Boots
- 2 Nagelrings
The Sorceress is, of course, a glass cannon with about 1,000 life. We have to pay attention. The resistances are weak compared to the other builds but the most important are okay, lightning and fire. In addition, we get up to 140 Magic Find.
Sorceress Farming Spots
The Sorceress can also farm her usual lightning spots, but that’s not what we made her for.
Thanks to teleport, boss runs are done very quickly. Both Andariel and Mephisto can be farmed very easy. This would probably also work great with the Fireball Sorceress as well as with a pure Lightning Sorceress when you just concentrate on the bosses.
But with the hybrid Sorceress, we can also do much more. Even the hell rush shouldn’t be too hard.
Dark And Darker: How To Choose The Best Solo Class?
If you’re a dedicated solo player in Dark and Darker, you’re probably well aware of the importance of choosing the right profession for your adventure. Each class has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and understanding them is key to maximizing your success as a solo player.
In this solo tier guide, we’ll break down each class, diving into their pros and cons and why you may or may not want to play them solo. We’re going to cover them in order from worst to best. Without further ado, let’s get started.
D Tier - Wizard
First, let’s talk about the advantages of Wizard. He can use spells such as Fireball and Chain Lightning to cause significant damage to enemies. Meanwhile, he is effective against Fighter builds with high physical damage reduction. Wizard provides useful buffs to the team, such as Invisibility and Haste.
But its shortcomings are also obvious. Wizard requires equipment to function, which can be challenging for beginners. And they deal with very little physical damage, making hand-to-hand combat difficult without equipment. Also, Wizards have some of the lowest health in the game, making them vulnerable.
C Tier - Ranger
Many solo players like Ranger because he has good mob removal capabilities and can move at a reasonable speed. In addition, his ability to use a variety of weapons also provides players with ideas for new builds.
But Rangers have low health, which makes them vulnerable in combat. And they need Arrow or Bolt management. This means you need to invest more Dark and Darker Gold and time in this class. Also, he is vulnerable to fighter builds with high physical damage reduction.
C Tier - Bard
Bard excels in team play, providing powerful buffs to teammates. And they get to wear high-quality gear.
In comparison, Bard’s attack power is relatively weak and cannot be used as the main damage dealer. The limited weapon selection makes it less versatile in combat. So in solo games, Bard as a support can often get you into trouble.
B Tier - Rogue
Rogue’s movement speed and interaction speed are the fastest of all classes, allowing for fast and flexible gameplay. Also, they can perform magical and physical attacks, making them more adaptable in combat.
Rogue can use Invisibility skill to ambush and escape. This is an immense advantage for solo players. Meanwhile, they can detect traps, speed up map exploration and avoid fatal surprises.
It’s just that Rogue’s health is low, so it’s easy to die from powerful direct attacks. And except for Rapier, Rogue weapons have limited range.
B Tier - Cleric
As for Cleric, his self-healing is valuable for solo players. And they can wear heavy armor for extra protection. In teamwork, Cleric also provides powerful buffs to heal and resurrect allies.
But his slower attack and interaction speed affect his abilities. And he has limited ranged attack options, relying mostly on spells. As a result, many of Cleric’s abilities are designed for teamwork rather than use in single-player games.
A Tier - Barbarian
Barbarian has the highest base health in the game. This is a great option for newbies who need extra durability.
In addition, Barbarian also has powerful melee damage. Even with basic weapons, Barbarian deals with significant melee damage, allowing it to destroy enemy creatures.
So, aided by its higher base health and melee damage, it’s relatively easy to upgrade and grind for better gear as a solo player.
We should note that Barbarian’s slow movement speed makes chasing enemies difficult. Also, he lacks ranged attack options. If you can’t close the gap quickly, you’re vulnerable to ranged attackers.
S Tier - Fighter
Fighter’s high physical damage reduction is very attractive for solo players. Even after the recent nerfs, Fighter can be used to create high physical damage reduction builds.
Moreover, they can use any weapon in the game, including ranged weapons like Bows and Crossbows. In addition, Fighter’s Second Wind can help him restore a large amount of health, although it is a onetime ability.
It’s just that the effectiveness of a fighter’s abilities depends heavily on successful blocking and parrying. This may be challenging for some players. In addition, although Fighter’s physical defense is high, it is weak against magic attacks.
S Tier - Warlock
Finally, for Warlock, his high damage output is definitely the best choice for solo players. Especially high-damage spells like Hellfire, which can clear out enemies quickly. With lifesteal and proper equipment, Warlock can cast unlimited spells.
And his Phantom ability and Corrupted Strike can provide solo players with surprising mobility and extra damage.
But their shortcomings still deserve attention. Warlocks often need good equipment to reach their full potential. Their physical damage is lower when unequipped. Also, they don’t have the highest health, so correct positioning is crucial.
In Dark and Darker, the class you choose will affect your single-player experience. While each class has its pros and cons, solo players should consider their preferred play style and adaptability.
Therefore, Fighter and Warlock are often the first choice for solo adventurers, as they can provide excellent damage output and survivability. However, even lower level professions can be picked up quickly. However, experiment and find the class that best suits your play style. Good luck with your raid!
Elder Scrolls Online: The Full Series Of Events In The Crown Gifting Saga
Though most players are already aware of the crown gifting issues, for those who may be unaware, a lot of players were using their ESO Gold to buy crown store items, and since March, the ability to do so has gradually disappeared. Let’s look at the full timeline of events with the disabling of crown gifting.
This all started on March 3rd, when PC players started seeing the gift option was greyed out on specifically Crown Crates.
Originally, ZOS said it was a technical issue that they were investigating, but the investigation is complicated due to platform differences. It’s interesting to note that at this point, console crate gifting was still enabled.
At the end of March, ZOS assures us that crate gifting will not be eliminated. And for the time being, they would be adding a 3 minute timer when swapping megaservers, which was seemingly related.
And then another month went by, they claimed to have identified the issue, but we still saw no progress while they worked to identify and test their fix.
On April 27th, crate gifting was temporarily, and unintentionally, enabled, but it was short-lived.
And then on May 3rd, they again asked for patience while they tested the fix. They also mentioned that the timer between swapping servers would be lowered with the fix.
On May 10th, they confirm that a fix has been pushed, and results are being evaluated.
But, on May 22nd, they let us know the fix they implemented was working as intended.
However, they have identified another issue, and it will be a few more weeks.
At this point, they plan to create a temporary solution while they work on it.
On June 16th, ZOS was finally transparent with us, and they tell us they discovered some fraudulent behavior related to Crown Crate gifting, primarily on the PC platform, and that they were continuing to work on a long-term resolution for that issue, which meant PC Crown Crate gifting would remain unavailable.
At this point, it was nice to get an actual explanation. We went from a “bug” to “fraudulent behavior”, but the saga continues.
Through the end of June, they assure us that a temporary fix was coming.
But, on July 6th, Crown Crate gifting was removed from consoles.
From March until July, console platforms were still able to gift crates. They continue to assure us that a temporary solution would be coming on July 13th. And it did.
But, what a headache of an option it was. Put in a ticket and wait 48+ hours. I didn’t try it myself, but saw tons of complaint comments on the forums.
They also made sure to specify that you can only gift Crown Crates that are currently available in the Crown Store at the time of the request, and that it was intended for Crown Crates only.
By mid-July, users began getting replies to their tickets stating their request was against the terms of service, and the program was not intended for crown to gold exchanges.
However, this temporary fix was very temporary.
On September 1st, they killed all crown gifting. This ended the temporary solution as well. And when they ended it without warning, players had gifts stuck in limbo that they could no longer claim.
On September 18th, they dug into the fraudulent behavior a little more with us. Some bad actors were using fraudulently obtained crowns to sell crown items on websites for cash.
The Latest As Of Posting
And on September 22nd, Gina said that they were actively developing a solution for crown gifting, and that part of the initial testing would take place on the PTS.
And this is where we currently are. There is no crown gifting on any platform at this time.
Potential Issues Happening
So, let’s dig into what could be going on here as far as I can tell. There are a few issues at play.
Issue 1: Crowns are overly expensive. Why would someone buy crown items at full price from ZOS when they can buy them for much less on a third-party site, such as IGGM.com?
Issue 2: Different countries have different prices and they’re not created equal. So, the bad actors were buying in the lesser cost currency and selling the Crowns online to players in the US for less than the US Crown store. This could also cause issues if players in countries where loot boxes are banned are able to obtain them from other players.
Issue 3: Crown purchasers were using stolen credit cards or initiating chargebacks after they’ve completed their trades, using alternate accounts that weren’t tied to them.
Issue 4: The seller was then taking the gold from the crown sale and re-selling it for more money. I speculate that this could also be where some of the stolen credit cards came from.
Issue 5: There have been a bunch of free play events or free game offers. This is great for getting new players, but it also gives the bad actors a means to create new accounts for free.
Issue 6: In my perusing of the forums, I saw a post that crown gifters can have 500 gifts in their outbox at one time. It is worth mentioning that on Xbox, there is a purchase limit of 1,000$ per day, and I believe PlayStation allows even less. So, I really wonder if this is why it wasn’t flagged as an issue as early on consoles, as it would take many days of unopened gifts to hit the limit.
Impact To Players
So, how is this impacting players?
A lot of long-time players don’t have anything left to spend their gold on, so they were using it to buy crown store items instead. This can have a negative impact on active player base — why earn gold if you don’t have anything to buy with it?
A lot of players wanted to buy specific crates, or crate bundles with polymorphs and because of the rotation missed items that they wanted and ZOS hasn’t said if they will be purchasable when the issue is resolved.
A lot of long-time players just like to gift their friends in the game, whether for an anniversary, or a birthday. And a lot of guilds hold raffles or contests with crown store items as the prize. It also raises some red flags for the player base that we went from just crates being fraudulently purchased to now all crown store items.
Impact To ZOS
But this is also hurting ZOS!
I have no doubt that they want to turn gifting back on. Gifts are money, but they can’t chance losing money either. They are a business, and making money is the end goal for them!
I know a lot of players say “but if you’re buying with gold, you’re not spending money and they want you to spend money.” And that’s true.
But a legitimate crown seller is making them money because they are still buying the crowns. It becomes an issue for them when credit card companies are fighting for stolen funds, or when people are using third parties to spend their money instead of in the crown store.
The long timeline to the fix has been disheartening.
I know, but I don’t believe there is any happy party in this scenario, aside from those who were cheating the system. I really hope they have determined a solution soon.
It would have been better if ZOS was transparent from the beginning. They lost a lot of faith from their player base. But the longer this goes on, the bigger the impact to the game as a whole.
EA FC 24: 3 Most Promising And Exciting New Dribbling Techniques!
It’s time to talk about the new Dribbling Techniques. FC 24 brings in three new major techniques, which could be very impactful and meter, especially at the beginning.
Defending is quite hard on FC 24 and using those techniques as the Attacker makes the life of the Defenders even harder. At the end of this guide, we will also give you a pro tip on how you can combine these new dribbling techniques.
The first technique that we want to have a closer look at is the Controlled Sprint.
As the name already gives away, it’s a way to sprint with a ball. But in contrast to the normal sprint, your player keeps a closer control over the ball. That’s a revolution because dribbling was always a balance of pace and ball control. The faster you are, the less control you have. Because you have fewer ball contacts.
This was the trade-off. Now, EA FC 24 comes around the corner and turns this upside down with this new dribbling technique.
When you hold the R1 or RB button, your player accelerates but keeps tight control over the ball. The better the dribbling attributes and pace, the faster your player will be and also reacts differently, more direct to your input with the left stick. So, if you have enough FUT 24 Coins, please upgrade your players' dribbling attributes as much as possible so that you can better use this technique.
You don’t need to press the R2 or RT button to be that fast. This is only with the R1/RB button.
Tip 1: go on the practice pitch and try the Controlled Sprint with a couple of different players to get a feel for it.
This dribbling is completely new and the way you can turn and change direction is very different from other dribbling techniques. Since you get fast very easily, it’s crucial that you develop an idea of what you can get away with.
Now, it’s time to make use of it in a real match. We already identified different situations when this dribbling is very useful. One is in the Midfield and you have some space. By using Controlled Sprint, you pick up pace and put immediate pressure on the defensive line without losing too much ball control.
Tip 2: make sure you have enough space in front of you to get started with a Controlled Sprint.
Then, it’s important to observe the movement of the opponent’s Defenders. You want to weave around the Defenders and bait them a bit, so go a bit on one side, for example, to the left to provoke some reaction from the Defender since he has to cover the left side.
Now, just slightly change the direction to the other side and bang. All of a sudden, you’re weaving around the Defender and not only that, but through the whole defensive line, just like Prime Messi. Welcome to the magic of Controlled Sprint.
But that’s only one aspect of it. We use Controlled Sprint to accelerate, but we can also use it to regain control from a full on sprint and slow down just a bit. So, you’re sprinting on the wing and you want to cut inside.
Now, you can use Controlled Sprint and slightly change the direction.
Since you do everything with as much pace, you put a lot of pressure on the Defender to not do a single misstep. But you can still go left or right. This is a nightmare for every Defender.
Once again, the Baiting Technique described earlier to switch from side to side in your dribbling works wonders.
Tip 3: be on the lookout for the technical playstyle and especially the playstyle +.
Players with this playstyle are even faster and can turn sharper in the Controlled Sprint. They can do things that other players can’t. You thought that Controlled Sprint was already overpowered. Just see what you can do with players, like Messi and Musiala.
Let me have one final remark. This looks super strong. I know some of you will also point out the bad defending of the opponents and that’s fair. But let’s see how you will do against Controlled Sprint when you see it for the first time. The thing is, this is completely new and so we all have to learn how to defend this properly. This makes it as strong right at the start of the season.
Effort Dribble Touch
Now, we come to the second very impactful Dribbling Technique, which is new the Effort Dribble Touch.
To put it simply, this is a new way to flick the ball and change direction. The input is fairly simple. When you want to do an Effort Dribble Touch, you press the R1 or RB button and flick the right stick in the direction you want to flick the ball. You can do it in every direction, also out of a sprint. But obviously, this will influence how easy it is for your player to retrieve the ball right after.
For example, you will see that an Effort Dribble Touch with a huge direction change out of a sprint will end up in a heavier touch and harder for the player to get to the ball.
There is one key information about the Effort Dribble Touch. This feature is designed to be the fastest way that your player gets a contact to the ball. So, in theory, it’s the best way to get a contact to the ball before the opponent, for example, to get the ball away before he can tackle it.
But I think it’s quite hard to hit the perfect timing and require some practice and fast reactions.
Tip 4: you can use the Effort Dribble Touch to get a quick contact to the ball and suddenly change direction.
This can be a very interesting inside the box where One Direction change can be enough to get you in a scoring position. From our experience, it’s best to go for rather small direction changes than big ones because the subtle direction changes are less likely to end up in a heavy touch so you can get to the ball faster.
But you have to understand: it’s always a gamble when it comes to direction changes. Is it surprising enough? Do you get a proper and clean execution? I think it will require some practice to get a really good feeling for the right spots to try it, without having the feeling too often that you just thrown away a promising chance.
But practice makes perfect and I think you can benefit from experience and confident execution of this move to pull it off successfully.
It’s time for the pro tip that we mentioned at the beginning of the guide. The Effort Dribble Touch can be combined with a Controlled Sprint. Burst into the box with Controlled Sprint. Do a slight direction change with Controlled Sprint to bait the opponent and then bang. Use the Effort Dribble Touch to quickly change direction once again.
There are a lot of different and deadly ways you can use this to the advantage.
Controlled First Touch
You can also use the Effort Dribble Touch to control the ball. Then, it’s called a Controlled First Touch.
The input is the same as the Effort Dribble Touch. But now we are talking about situations when your player is about to receive the ball.
Based on speed and the direction where the ball is coming from and in which direction you flick the right stick, your player will control the ball in that direction with a certain animation, which can be really cool and effective. This works best when your opponent is really pushing for the ball, so he tries to get very close in the moment when you’re about to receive the ball. Because this opens up the possibility of punishing him for his eagerness to get to the ball.
Tip 5: some of the best situations for the Controlled First Touch come up when you play a pass to your Winger or Striker with the opponent’s Defender right in your back. When you see that they have the Defender selected and move out, this can be a good spot for the Controlled First Touch.
Identify from which side they are coming and flick you stick into the open space and you burst into the open space and leave the opponent in the dust.
Quite similar to the Effort Dribble Touch, the Controlled First Touch comes down to experience but also a little bit of luck that you get a proper animation. All the opponent behaves as anticipated. If not, this move can fail miserably as well.
This is a typical example for a move that you can pull off one or two times per game, but then it will lose its effectiveness since the opponent will adapt and defend more patiently.
WOW Classic Hardcore: How To Make Gold From Level 50-60?
Here, we are covering how to level from 50 to 60 while effectively making WOW Classic Hardcore Gold at the same time.
For the purpose of that, we are focusing a lot on locations where you grind experience by killing mobs while combining that with goldfarming by killing mobs that drop lucrative items, but we will also touch base on professions.
First off, you have Un’Goro Crater.
Un’Goro Crater is a location most of you will go to twice in this level bracket (probably at level 51 and 54). This is a great place to make gold in this level bracket. Let’s cover it step by step:
First, you have Various items found all throughout Un’Goro like the Power Crystals & Un’Goro Soil, all of which are worth gathering and selling to other players for Hardcore Gold.
Then, you have Living Blaze, the Fire Elementals around the Volcano in the middle of Un’Goro. These are incredible to farm for Elemental Fire. They spawn pretty quickly, and there’s a bunch of them available over here as well.
Then, you have Devilsaurs. This one is a little more risky. If you know, you know Devilsaurs are elites and hit pretty hard, but many classes can actually solo them quite easily. By having Skinning, you can skin them for Devilsaur Leather, which is used in crafting Devilsaur Gauntlets & Devilsaur Leggings, which is pre-raid best in slot for a lot of classes, creating a massive demand for Devilsaur Leathers & the actual items crafted from the Devilsaur Leathers in an early launch environment where people want to gear up their characters before entering raids.
For the purpose of Devilsaur Leather, it’s also worth mentioning Nergal, an NPC in the Un’Goro Camp, which sells the recipe for Devilsaur Gauntlets on a Limited Supply basis. So, it’s worth checking if he has this item available whenever you stop by. And if it is available, buy it. You can re-sell it for a guaranteed profit.
On the topic of Vendor Flips, since you’re probably going to go to Tanaris quite a few times throughout your Un’Goro Journeys, anyway, I’ll mention it now.
There’s an NPC in Tanaris called Pestlezugg, which sells many Alchemy Recipes, including the Transmute Arcanite Recipe. This is not a limited supply, meaning you can buy 10 of these. And I always make some easy gold re-selling these on the Auction House for profit because some people either can’t be arsed going to Tanaris to get the recipe, or they simply don’t know where it’s from and they just check the Auction House and buy it for whatever price it’s listed for. Don’t underestimate how lazy some people are.
It’s also worth noting Qia in Winterspring, which sells the Patterns for Mooncloth, Runecloth Bag & Runecloth Gloves on a Limited Supply Basis. Once again guaranteed profit & free gold by buying them from the vendor if they are available and selling them on the Auction House.
And you also have Xizzer in Winterspring offering Engineering Recipes. It’s worth knowing about if you’re questing or grinding in Winterspring.
Going back to farming gold & grinding mobs for Experience, you also have the Powerful Mojo farming in Eastern Plaguelands, a very suitable goldfarm for the Higher Levels. We’re talking 57 to 60, and these are used in a couple of endgame crafts.
Farming for the Crusader Formula, this one ain’t that great for experience, but is very good for gold.
Water Elementals in Eastern Plaguelands for Elemental Water & Essence of Water. These are actually incredible and have been my go-to goldfarms for Classic WoW for quite some time.
You also have the Felwood Bears, which are incredible for raw gold as they have a very lucrative loot-table. This one will also very obviously be even better if you combine it with Skinning, especially because they can give Warbear Leather.
My Personal Grinding Locations
Now, I can’t really talk about Level 50-60 without showing my personal grinding locations, which I used on my Druid on Classic Era when playing Hardcore myself: The Furbolgs in Felwood & Winterspring.
These you can effectively farm all the way from level 48 to level 60 if you want to, as one of the locations offers mobs level 48, another one level 53, and Winterspring level 55 and upwards.
An added benefit is that the Furbolgs in Felwood can drop Deadwood Feathers, which can be handed it for even more experience as well as Timbermaw hold reputation.
The Winterspring Furbolgs have a similar item called Spirit Beads, which can also be handed in for additional experience as well as reputation.
On top of that, the Furbolgs in Winterspring can drop E’kos, as long as you do the Prequest for E’kos first, giving you even more gold. Plus, they can drop Winterfall Firewater! All of these Furbolgs can also drop Journeyman’s Backpacks or Traveler’s Backpacks, aka 14-slot and 16-slot bags. Plus, they drop a lot of Potions!
They are incredibly easy to call. Just watch out for the “Den Watchers”, which will let out a cry at half health calling for back-up, so just pull them away from other mobs and it’s incredibly safe and easy.
Timbermaw Hold Reputation can be incredibly helpful for a bunch of people, specifically those of you with Enchanting, as you need this reputation to get access to Agility Enchants, which can help you make gold through having access to exclusive enchants. Plus, Alchemists get access to the Essence of Earth to Essence of Water Recipe, which can be pretty profitable.
It is also worth noting that if you kept your professions up to date, then Herbalism & Mining will start pulling in some pretty significant amounts of gold in this level bracket.
And here’s a Herbalism farming route for Felwood, which you can also use for Mining.
And here you have a Mining farming route for Un’Goro, which once again also works with Herbalism, though the Mining Veins are usually closer to the mountains while the Herb spawns are more in the middle. So, focus on whatever you want based on that knowledge.
Plus, you also have this Mining route in Eastern Plaguelands, which once again works with Herbalism.
And farming for Herbalism & Mining at the same time in Eastern Plaguelands is actually incredibly profitable.