Land Mines, Talismans and the Stay Puft Marshmallow ManOctober 1, 2008
The latter in the title was just so I could slap a picture of Mr. Puft, the Destroyer of Worlds. It’s the small joys in life that keep me going.
So at rank 18 or 19, perhaps rank 1 for all I know, I finally received the much-anticipated Land Mine ability for my Engineer. I don’t want to undersell what I’m going to say next, so bear with me:
I love Land Mine so much that I’m considering it for adoption. Nevermind that my first-born is on the way (what, I didn’t tell you guys? Yup, next April there’s going to be a little Syppy chewing on my computer wires), babies don’t give you the POWAH to lob what looks to be an espresso maker onto the battlefield and knock down any innocent travelers who are passing through on their way to defile your women and burn down your home. BAM! Damage dealt and you’re knocked down for two seconds while I DOT up your powdered butt. BOOM! KAPOW! SHAZAAM!
Okay, enough of that. Sorry, but I’m just having too much fun being the mad bomber what bombs at midnight that it makes up for almost two decades’ worth of levels where I’m the perpetual punching bag for every Black Orc, Chaos, Witch Elf, batboy, toddler and chihuahua that roams on through. For the first time, I feel like I have a fully-fleshed out utility as a protector and skirmisher, and I want to celebrate good times, c’mon!
The groovy nature of Land Mines rests in their quick cast time, 10-second cooldown, 1-minute-or-explosion-whatever-comes-first duration, sheer stopping power, and ability to put them everywhere you like. If you do the math, you can have around 4-5 of these guys out if you’re diligent about it, and that makes storming your location an annoying proposition for the bad guys. Couple that with turrets and barbed wire, and I feel like I can hold my own against more than one attacker when I’m defending a position.
While Land Mines aren’t very stealthy in appearance, they do have a nice radius and often can’t be avoided. It’s easy to imagine the grimace on enemy players’ faces as they know they’re going to have to eat that 2-second knockdown to get where they want to be, plus I can whip another mine out while they’re flat on their back. By standing on one of these, I have protection from Witch Elves looking to gank me, and that in and of itself was worth the price of admission. I also use them as pseudo-grenades, looking for clumps of semi-stationary enemies to throw this in their midst. Always good times. Plus, Land Mines benefit from my Tinkerer’s path, so there’s that as well.
So that’s been the “whee!” of my past day or so. I’m still stuck in the purgatory of mid-rank 19, where I’m all done with Tier 2 but don’t want to move on to T3 until I hit 20 and have a bit more punch. Plus, I just can’t wait for my mount, although I’ve petitioned Mythic numerous times that the dwarf mount be changed to a walking mech with a flamethrower and minigun.
Last night I took a vacation to Altdorf to rid my bags of crafting mats and try to level up Talisman making a bit. Now, I don’t have a problem with salvaging as a gathering skill — it’s slow to level up, but at least I feel like I’m getting something useful from old gear or gear I can’t use. But Talisman making as a crafting skill is an exercise in “bang my head against the wall” annoyance. For one, when I got to Altdorf I couldn’t for the life of me find a vendor who sold the basic crafting mats for my project. You’d think a NPC vendor that says “Crafting Supplies Merchant” would have this sort of thing, but the Buy screen was completely blank. After ten minutes of running around, I finally took a flight to a warcamp and picked up what I needed. Then it was off to a painful half hour of crafting.
In theory, I guess Talisman making is useful. About 1/2 to 1/3 of the gear I normally pick up has a talisman slot, which allows for a nice little buff to stats if you slot a talisman in there. Originally I thought it’d be great to make my own and not have to worry about buying any, but now I know better. It’s a tremendous pain in the rear.
First off, to make a Talisman you need FIVE objects, four of which you can buy at a standard merchant (so I’m buying 4/5ths of my crafting supplies), but the fifth is a “fragment” that is only created when you salvage a piece of gear — and you’re not always guaranteed a fragment from it. So I quickly learned to expect a darth of fragments, which slowed things considerably. Then you have to click and drag each of the five objects into the talisman making screen — one, two, three, four, five — in a special order (box first, then fragment, then the other three parts), then click “fuse” to see what you get. If you’re lucky, there’s one talisman point for you. Then it’s click-and-drag all over again. It’s just not enjoyable in the process, and the end result is somewhat less than overwhelming. Even when I’m able to make permanent (purple) talismans for end game gear, it’s just a stat boost and that’s it. I’ve really thought about dropping this and just selling whatever I salvage, buying talismans that others make. Maybe I will. I dunno.
If only I could craft more innovative land mines! Now there’s a hobby!