Sunday, 19 September 2010

Changing da plan - A guide

So after a few weeks of 1.3.6, the biggest change to the Black Orc mechanic since launch has been used, mind you it's the only change to the Black Orc mechanic since launch so that's not saying much about the worst designed and badly implemented mechanic in the game. Thanks for throwing us a life line after nearly two years!

Anyway before I rant more about it, Mythic have mentioned in the past that they are looking at the mechanic and how it works in the future so maybe we'll see something come of it.

Well back onto "Changin' Da Plan". How does it work after testing? Overall it's not too bad, in fact it can work very well but also leads to over complication. I actually know of Rank 40 Black Orcs that haven't bothered with it as the mechanic and finger fiddling is enough for them without adding in another one. However I would recommend that all Black Orcs pick it up and use it as much as possible to learn the benefits of the new action.

Key points to remember about CDP.

+ It costs no AP
+ It's off the global cool down
+ In combination with Big Swing you can 'preload' to the third plan
+ You can step back to second plan when in our third plan

- It's not just to preload a plan
- It has a 5 second cool down which cannot be removed
- It can complicate a rotation
- Accidental use can cause problems

The act of moving up plans to second or third after using Big Swing in preparation for combat is known as Preloading. Prior to engaging in ORvR I'll often setup a big swing or knockback if near a cliff face (I still gloat to this day about my preset aoe knock back killing four order that had come out of hunters vale near a cliff in Dragonwake and slid down the side of the terrain face taking fall damage).

However talking to some fellow Black Orcs and they tend to use it to setup moves at the start but then it gets lost in the shuffle of combat. Setting a rotation in your head is potentially the best you can do rather than trying to hit it in the middle of combat without thinking ahead. You can also preload third plans by using Big Swing to move straight onto it, letting you smack a target down straight away leaving them open for the melee dps to rip them into pieces.

Rotations (and stepping back)
Rotations pre 1.3.6 were fairly standard you could easily sit spamming three different actions but now with Changing Da Plan it can complicate things and lead to more actions being used.

Two example rotations are below:

ORvR (preloaded onto plan 2) - If on healer attack duty
Big Swing - Not in Da face - CHANGE DA PLAN! - Big Swing - Shut Yer Face - Wot Armour? - Big Swing - CHANGE DA PLAN! - Big Swing - Savin Me Hide - Wot Armour?

Single Target (example in PvE)
Wot Armour - CHANGE DA PLAN! - T'ree Hit Combo - Follow my lead - Right in Da jibblies - CHANGE DA PLAN! - Trip Em Up - T'ree Hit Combo

As you can see, CDP isn't always used when it's on cool down for the simple reason that it can sometimes break a better rotation. For example in the Single target rotation we actually change off the third plan away from t'ree hit to use a snare, even in PvE. The reason for this is actually straight forward. When you reach the third plan you actually have a 1.5-2 second cool down left on T'ree Hit and using another 3rd plan ability might not add much more damage. If you change down to second plan and immediately use Trip Em Up you will be ready for T'ree Hit again straight away. One great little unintentional boost that T'ree Hit now has is that it because it's a channeled skill which takes exactly as long as the cool down on CDP.

Lag does play a part in this though, so be warned that changing plans in heavy lag can take a few seconds to register leaving you wasting cool downs. Experiment a bit in each situation you're in to find your lag level and how you feel with a long rotation. It's not about memorising one rotation for each situation, it's about using a base rotation and swapping out actions for each situation. For example you probably won't bother too much about Trip Em Up on a slayer but using big swing may prove to be efficient if you don't have action point management issues.

So in conclusion. Changing Da Plan can be a very powerful tool, though can also be used poorly causing more issues or not using it to its full potential. If you've never used it, or are unsure on using it, please take the time to play around with some low damage champion mobs to find a rotation you like. Get used to using CDP in non dangerous or crazy situations and that will get you more comfortable in using it.