GUILD WARS 2’S TEMPEST OVERHAULS WARHORN SOUNDS, TOO

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in reviews |

You might be a fan of playing Elementalist in Guild Wars 2 and not be too excited about the Tempest’s choice of weapon. War horns do sound kind of annoying, after all. But take heart: Among the hard data revealed for the specialization on Friday was the promise of new war horn sounds, thus ensuring that you don’t have to listen to the old version over and over as you wield the raw and overloaded power of the elements in battle.

If you’re more curious about numbers than simple sound effects, you’re still in luck, as the livestream unpacked lots of hard data and should give you a picture of how the overloads and the new weapon skills will work in play. Check out the summary to get a picture of the spec ahead of playing it for yourself; it’s as much a new take on the class playstyle as the other elite specializations have been.

 

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ALBION ONLINE BRINGS ITS SUMMER TEST TO A CLOSE WITH A WAR

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in reviews |

Bad news for Albion Online fans who have been enjoying this summer test phase: It ends tonight. The bright side is that if you’re on the servers today, you can take part in the closing event starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT. It’s a three-way war to capture as many developers as possible, and the winners get… well, bragging rights, mostly. You don’t get to bring a developer home with you; owning a developer is a big responsibility.

All players taking part in the event will be divided up between three alliances randomly. Each alliance has a castle, each castle has a developer, and each player will be coordinating with the rest of the alliance to storm the castles and capture as many developers as possible within a three-hour period. It’s as fine a way to cap off an alpha test as any we’ve heard.

 

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Guide to the Panther Medium Tank in World of Tanks

Posted by on Jul 18, 2015 in reviews |

In this guide I review the underrated Panther, the tier 7 German medium tank in the E50M line in World of Tanks (WoT).

I decided to grind the E50M line, as I want to play a tier 10 medium tank with good gun handling and functional armor, and these are two of the E-50M’s strengths. In addition, I was swayed by Oneeechan’s advocacy of the E50M line on the WoTLabs forums.

To get to the E50M, you have to play the Panther, which by reputation is a craptastic tank. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Panther is a solid tank, if you respect its capabilities and limitations.

Strengths and Weaknesses

+ high silver penetration (198)
+ accurate gun
+ good HP pool (1300)
– very low alpha damage (135)
– risk of fire when penetrated through the soft lower front glacis (LFG)

The thing that really sticks out is the alpha damage; it’s so low that you can’t brawl effectively. Therefore, you want to snipe with this tank, but as a general Unicum philosophy, you don’t want to hang back so far that your gun is inactive in early-game and mid-game.

Upgrade Path

The Panther is a bit unusual in that you can equal the top gun (7.5 cm L/100) with the stock turret. Your priority is getting that gun because you’ll need it when facing tier 8 and 9 tanks.

Here’s my recommended path for researching modules and slotting equipment:

Purchase the following equipment: Enhanced Torsion Bars 5+ t Class (so you can research high-priority modules first), Coated Optics (for vision control), and Gun Rammer (faster reload)
Research the 7.5cm L/100 gun (16,100 XP). If you can afford to do so, use Free XP. The gun makes the tank and you will struggle without it. You should already have the top radio and 2nd engine unlocked from the VK 30.02 M tank
Research the 2nd turret
Research the suspension, and replace the Enhanced Torsion Bars equipment with Enhanced Gun Laying Drive (faster aim)
Crew Skills

Given that this is a medium tank and that you’ll often be sniping, follow the medium philosophy of maxing vision control and fire control:

Commander: Sixth Sense > Recon > Camo
Gunner: Snap Shot > Camo > Repairs
Driver: Smooth Ride > Camo > Repairs
Radio Operator: Situational Awareness > Camo > Repairs
Loader: Safe Stowage > Preventative Maintenance > Camo
I do not recommend Brothers in Arms (BIA) unless you have a 450% crew (i.e. 3.5 skills). Preventative Maintenance is optional, but if you take PM and slot a premium fire extinguisher, the risk of fire is significantly reduced by the two stacking passive bonuses, and you’ll rarely have to pay for a new fire extinguisher.

Narrated Gameplay

The easiest way to explain how to play the tank is show illustrative footage. Here is a tier 7 battle in which I earned the “Ace Tanker” mastery and Top Gun badges:
Let me know your questions and feedback.

For more info on angling and weak spots, check out my guides:

Weak Spots Guide
Angling Guide
For more advanced videos, check out my “Road to Unicum” tank reviews in which I share what I’ve learned as I progress towards account Unicum rating (top 1%). I talk through how I’m reading each battle as it unfolds and discuss key decisions and mistakes. My hope is that these videos meaningfully help other players improve their gameplay.

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