Ether Saga Online Classes: Shaman

shamanShamans are a strange class within the world of Ether Saga. They are not exactly a tank, but at the same time, they act like one. They can have three damage absorbs, three anti-stun skills, a speed increase skill, two heals, and an invincibility skill, allowing them to really be a survivor on the field of battle. They are not a class for everyone, but for those that like playing the hybrid role of support and damage, they are just perfect.

When shamans begin to level, initially they are pretty weak. They only have a few damage skills, but when they begin to have access to their ethyrs (or equippable skills), they gain a damage absorb/reducer called Essence Aura. This, at max level, can reduce incoming damage by 25%. This is useful especially when leveling in areas that do a bit more damage. Early on, they also gain Smell the Flowers, which is a nice heal over time that can be used on other people as well. Also early on, an important skill for shamans is Presence of the Spirit, which is a resurrection/revival skill for deal players. Unlike that of a mystic, shaman’s has a five-minute cooldown, but that’s because it revives the target with more than 60% of their HP.

Notable skills to come later include Ethereal Infusion, which increases the targets elemental affinities by 30 at max level, a very useful skill for both PVP and PVE. The catch is that the target must be in elemental transform, which is easy since you gain one early in the game that has unlimited transformations. For PVP, Moxi Surrender and All in a Mouse’s Night are very useful. The former has a high chance to reduce an enemies attack power by somewhere in the 80% range. The latter transformers you into a mouse, which sadly cannot attack, but it increases your speed by nearly three times to help you escape. In addition, it increases your Widu affinity by 40 at max level.

Then of course, there is Swan and Lotus. This skill is great if you are in a party, because it makes party members and yourself immune to 95% of all curses. I believe the only one that cannot be escaped is the conjurer’s sheep transformation skill. The double attack is better on shaman than most other classes because the second attack is based on Widu affinity instead of some weird stat like accuracy (as rogues have). As you can rell, Widu affinity is already very important to shamans as it is their only attack affinity and damage increase besides intellect. So don’t forget to save up your Widu.

There are only a few build options for shamans, focus on Widu and intellect being the most popular. However, a resilience shaman is a good choice as well, as long as you don’t mind sacrificing the accuracy to avoid being hit. As a class, shamans have decent accuracy. Over level 100, with the help of a few decent signets and a fusion pet, you can hit almost anything. However, resil users may have to shoot for much less, perhaps in the 100-110 range, but they will not be hit nearly as much to worry about that.

Remember, the most popular choice for subclasses is Templar, as it gains another heal and a second damage absorb. I believe Heretic has a mana drain, but I have not seen many people use this subclass. I believe that the heal is a much better option, so Templar is usually a better choice.

If you seek a class that can both heal and damage, as well as protect allies, the Shaman is for you. When built right, it can escape nearly any attack and really be a true survivor in the face of battle. Not to mention that they are really sought after to assist in territory wars, as their AOE is the ultimate way to protect the flag. It’s not a class for everyone, but it is sure to please some people who fit this role well.

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thanksHello followers!

I’m glad that you continue to read my posts, even if there are only a few of you. I am glad to have all of you, no matter how many of you there are. Please feel free to leave comments about any of my posts and I will be glad to reply.

I am writing this post not only as a thanks, but also a short announcement. In observance of Labor Day, since I’ll be somewhat busy (and had a breakdown last night so I got no sleep), today’s tech post has been canceled. I will continue posting as normal tomorrow.

Also, there may not be an anime post every Thursday. I’ve all but run out of spotlights while I try to finish this somewhat long anime I’ll review when its done. I usually don’t watch anime that’s this long, but I decided to take a shot, and I plan to push through until its done.

Thanks again for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy my blog!

THANK YOU” by Paul Downey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Creature Feature: Griffin

664px-Night_GriffanLast week we talked about the Roc, a creature almost polar opposite of this mighty beast. The griffin is a creature of almost pure benevolence, seeking to help those in need and assisting with wise advice or to fight alongside those it deems deserve its help. Like the higher magical beings in the mythological world, the griffin has a high level of intelligence, able to make its own judgments and distinguish between right and wrong, ethics and morals.

Having the strong back legs of a lion and the front legs of a hawk or eagle makes this creature a formidable one indeed. There are different types of griffins as well, ranging from owls to hawks, and even to woodpecker types. Any creature that displays the combination or bird and mammal can be considered a griffin and should be treated as one.

Even though it is benevolent, it is a proud species and will not take disrespect lightly. Though it hardly ever uses its claws or beak to hurt people, it can and has been known to do so when it deems necessary. But to those it appreciates and show it respect, it gladly will give a shedded claw or feather to. The claw, when hollowed out and used to hold liquids, changes color in the prescence of poison. The feathers have been known to protect bearers from nightmares and negative energy. They are often used as a synbol of bravery and valor on coats of arms and household crests.

It is said that griffins love gold and jewels almost as much as the famous firedrakes of Europe. However, unlike its scaled relative, griffins collect these shiney objects purley for building their nests. With the use of special glands in their front claws, they are able to form the gold into large nests to raise their young. This tends to attract thieves, so griffin parents have to guard their homes viciously. This has of course caused rumors of griffins being violent to spread, but if we are to look at their reasons, it would be comparable to a mother cobra protecting her eggs.

Always remember to approach a griffin as if it were a king and try to not show fear. If it senses your fear, it may deem you unworthy and attack. But if you are polite, bright, and bring an offering of meat, it will listen and give advice or gifts to anyone that treats it well.

Night Griffan” by Joshua Stephen Mersereau is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Sweden license.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring: Weather in Writing

800px-Base_of_Gorman_Fall_like_RainingWeather – it’s something that generally just happens. We don’t really think about it much unless it affects our plans. But whether or not the weather is explained in a story is actually very important. Here’s some reasons why.

It tells the time of year.
Sometimes, the time of year is important in a story. This is true if the story is centered around a seasonal place like school or a sport that can only be done with certain weather conditions. If your story is about a swim team, it’s not going to take place in the middle of winter unless it’s an indoor pool. Even then, they have to be inside while snow falls outside. If the story talks about an outdoor camping trip, I would hope it doesn’t take place in a snow bank and rather a tent on some summery grass.

It enhances the action.
Just like in the movies, weather can really enhance a scene. Have you ever noticed that in movies it always rains during a funeral? Or when trouble is brewing, a thunderstorm rolls in. It’s all the set the mood for the scene, and writers can do this as well. If a character is urgently racing somewhere, a sudden downpour can enhance the urgency. If a character is planning on a fun day out, a soft breeze and a sunny day can make it all the better. Not to mention using scenery to express an emotion as well: dead plants can signify a void of life or something strange going on, a mountain with snow can signify hardship or beauty; it all depends on what the scene is that needs enhancing.

It can create an opening.
Sometimes when something needs to happen, but I’m unsure about how to get it started, I will send a weather event to a character and cause them to have to do something else. For example, if a character needs to find a cat in an old abandoned barn, perhaps a storm brews up and they need to take cover. If the storm didn’t come, he or she would have never found the cat. The same can work if you want your character to take a rest and set up camp (or similar). It’s a good way to change the scenery, and often it can allow for some backstory or character development in a rest scene.

It can reveal a character’s inner thoughts.
Whether a character is afraid of storms or worried about having a picnic the next day, them seeing the weather can bring many thoughts to their head. If the situation turns into an emergency, like a flood or the like, it can be used to reveal the true nature of a character. For example, if a character is usually very rude and uncaring, they may turn into a different person with a weather condition, saving kittens from overflowing rivers or rescuing old ladies from falling debris. This happens in real life as well, so it can be used all the same in a story.

All in all, though it’s not often thought of, weather is a very important part of a writer’s inventory. Readers will agree that weather can convey much more than expected, enhancing action and moving the story along. Even if a character may stay inside the whole time, they still may hear the weather outside and it can affect them, too. Weather is a very important element in stories, whether you read them or watch them in the theater.

Picture citation:
Base of Gorman Falls like Raining” by Wing-Chi Poon is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Anime Review: “Natsume Yuujinchou”

Natsume-Yuujinchou-Wallpaper-HD-_-Also called “Natsume’s Book of Friends,” this anime is a bit different from the ones I’m normally used to seeing. The story follows a teenager named Takashi Natsume who has the rare ability to see youkai, or spirits and demons, that roam the world. He meets some friends, and some of them can even see youkai like him, so it turns out he’s not so alone after all.

The story begins with Takashi having just moved to his new home. Both of his parents had passed away when he was young, so since then, he’s been passed around the relatives. Most of them felt he was a burden since he was always acting strange and running from youkai that no one else could see. He was bullied in school and called a liar by his peers, and when that became too much trouble for the family, he was passed to another home.

Because of his situation, he never made friends. And this is clear when two of his classmates begin to invite him to activities with them. At first he avoids the answer, then gradually begins to feel that they really want to be his friend. Along with his final home with his new family, everything seems to be settling in. These “parents” actually ask him what he wants instead of ignoring him for their own children. Gradually, Takashi begins to open up to them and share his life with them.

However, when he arrives at his new home, he sorts through a box they had found of his grandmothers things. He comes across a strange book with names written on each page. On the cover it says “book of friends,” but he is confused, so he puts in back. But soon words gets out, and he is chased around by local youkai that want to obtain the book. But one powerful youkai that calls himself “sensei” makes a deal with him and acts as his bodyguard against those that would take it.

As it turns out, the book is actually a series of contracts that Takashi’s grandmother made with spirits. She would battle one, and when she won, make them write their name on a sheet of paper. This meant that she could call the name whenever she wanted and the youkai would have to do what she said. But Takashi wishes to free those youkai instead, and he sets out to return all of the names, one by one.

This, of course, leads to the various adventures in the series, the first of which is very episodic. There really is no overall plot except for Takashi meeting new friends and learning more about youkai and himself. However, the second series known as “Natsume Yuujinchou Shi” is a bit more plot-driven and more interesting. There are two- and three-part sets of episodes that really keep things interesting, from saving a mountain disguised as a youkai to sneaking into a party to save a friend. The whole series is very cute, but the second series is much better than the first. I give this anime a 7 out of 10 on my rating scale.

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Ether Saga: The Five Elements

Screenshot_16Within the world of Ether Saga, there are five elements that each have strengths and weaknesses. Each class has its own element, and some have two elements to work with. It is important to know which element or elements your class uses to be able to do the most damage.

The first is called Unda, or if you are still playing official – Aquan, and represents water. This element is used by Rangers, Mystics, and Conjurers. Rangers and Mystics depend on this element more than the latter as it powers their AOE and stronger damaging skills. This element is weak against Erda.

The second element is known as Widu, or Flora. This represents nature and plants, being a curse-driven element. All of Rangers’ curses are Widu-based, and the class that uses this element the most, Shaman, depend on it for both damage and curses. This element is weak against Oora.

The third element is Pyra, or Pyros, representing fire. The highest damaging element in the game, it is used solely by Conjurer subclass Pyromancer. It is pure damage, with a few stuns available for the class it belongs to. But mostly, it is a damage element, and the higher it is, the better your attacks. If you are a Conjurer, don’t forget this element is your most important. This element is weak against Unda.

Erda, or Terra, is the fourth of the elements. This element represents earth and rock, being the most sturdy of the five. It is used by Dragoons, who are known as the tankers of the game. All of their damage and aggro-grabbing skills belong to the element and is very important for the class. This element is weak against Widu.

Finally, Oora, or Sylvan, belong to Rogues and represents piercing metal. This is a bit in between, able to cause stuns and mana drains as well as high damage if the character is built right. Depending on who you are facing, this element is capable of keeping an opponent from moving and doing high damage to them at the same time. This element is weak against Pyra.

In addition to these elements, additional stats known as attributes can be added to as well. The basic chosen one of nearly every class is Defense and Power. These give defense, resil, and critical additions, which is useful for any class. Taken when compared to the others, they are the highest stat gains of all four choices.

It is also important to note that Dragoons, Rogues, Mytics, and Shamans only require one of these elements. This means that they are more flexible in their builds. Their second element can be any of the others available. I usually recommend Erda to defend against the Unda classes in PVP, or Pyra for later level dungeons. But the choice is yours. Make a build you can be proud of.

Creature Feature: Roc

447px-Edward_Julius_Detmold49Among the birds of the world, the largest and rarest is known as the giant Roc. Making its home in the savannas of Africa, its main source of prey is the elephant, and occasionally, a rhinoceros or giraffe, much like its local neighbor, the wyvern. Though the legendary creature is hard to find, seeing one is considered a bringer of good fortune.

Stories have been told of shipwrecked settlers losing their whole flocks of livestock to the birds. But this has come to an advantage: one such story explains that a group of stranded explorers wrapping themselves in cattle hides to fool a group of rocs to carry them to the mainland. Thus the tradition of good fortune began with this group and still continues today.

However, it is important to note that a roc is not the same as a griffin. Though griffins are very large birds as well, they are not nearly the size of a roc, and their hind legs are that of a lion. Griffins are known as benevolent creatures, assisting those in need. Rocs, however, are pure wild creatures and act thus, avoiding humans when possible. Like their smaller relatives, they have evolved to fear humans, though that hardly seems necessary considering their size.

It is possible that rocs are related to the phoenix, the famous bird that burns at death to be reborn again from the flames. However, if this is true, the relationship lies only in the fact they are both birds. A phoenix is a creature of fortune and benevolence, as well as of magic. The roc is none of these things. Rocs are born just as any other bird is born, and they die just as any other bird may die.

It is said the call of a roc can be heard for miles. If you happen to hear it, the best thing to do is try to get inside or find a protective shelter. Though the roc avoids humans, there have still been reports of them carrying off people occasionally. If you do happen to be traveling in their domain and want to be prepared, a silver bullet dipped in a strong gin is said to cause weakness in these creatures. Alternatively, a tranquilizer dart filled with the same thing works even better. Locals will sometimes even use silver-tipped arrows and wine to do the same thing. And in a pinch, a silver knife can be just as effective without the additional alcohol.

However, it is best to remember these creatures are extremely rare, and it is best to try to avoid combat with them. Some consider them protectors of their lands, and hurting one is a grave crime. We must preserve these beasts, and remember that they, too, are part of the ecosystems of the world.

Roc” by Charles Maurice Detmold is a pubic domain work.

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