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Covenant of the Phoenix has a new official Discord Channel!!!
By Elric

Rend: COTP Victory!

It's official, COTP and it's allies on "NA West - Muspelheim" have won the first round of our Rend server!  Between COTP, our Illegitimus allies, and some randoms on our faction team - we crushed the opposition on our server.  By the last week the other two factions had gone into defensive mode because there was really no way for them to catch up to our momentum!
Last night following the final Reckoning of the server, our characters "ascended" and the server was reset for round 2.  Tonight everyone on the server started from scratch, but as we had won the previous night we received more Ascension points that our opponents.  This gives us a slight edge as we face off against the other two factions again.
This time around we will try some different defensive building tactics, some different character specs, and new priorities for our faction research.  Hopefully we can bring home another win!  Come join us for some PvP / PvE action!
By Elric

Rend: Hybrid PvX Epic Survival Game

Starting tomorrow, July 31st, a new survival-genre game will be hitting Early Access.  We have some people who have already been testing it out in Alpha, and thus far I've heard it has some serious potential.  I'm guessing we could fill out a 20-person team to really give this game a shot.  In fact, Creaky from Illegitimus (an ally of COTP) has challenged us to put together a team to face off against Illegitimus on a private server!
So what is the game exactly?  So far it looks like a mix between survival games like Ark, Conan Exiles, 7 Days to Die, etc. and a similar model to what we hope Crowfall will be like when it comes out next year (in theory).  In Rend, your character progresses through PvE gathering, quests, fighting, etc., while you build a faction base alongside your guildmates.  That base will eventually come under attack from PvE mobs or PvP players depending on the type of gameplay on your server.  There are official PvP servers run by the developers, and they will be allowing private servers as well.  The goal of the game is to get your faction to beat out the other faction(s) on your map.  Each round results in one faction emerging victorious, and then the map resets.  Each faction then starts over for the next round, but everyone's character still advances through a meta-progression that grants you additional skills to use on the next round. 
Discuss it further on our forrums:
Otherwise, here is some more info in the form of two decent videos on it:
Or for those of you who prefer text over videos, here is some info from the official Rend website:
What is Rend?
Rend is a team-based survival game set in the fabled universe of Nordic myth. This epic fantasy world is a harsh domain where the strong ascend as gods. You must choose from three rival factions, combine forces to build your team’s stronghold, and battle foes and brutal creatures. Together, you will endure the dangers of Rend’s treacherous landscapes to discover valuable resources and powerful artifacts. With the game’s deep talent trees and skill systems, you’ll have the freedom to choose how you want to fight for your team’s victory. When a cycle ends, one faction will be declared the winner… but the end is only the beginning. Victorious players will receive rewards they can use in subsequent cycles as they ascend to legendary heights as heroes.
Where does Rend take place?
Rend’s setting is a fragment of land that once was Midgard before Ragnarok, the doom of the gods, shattered the world. Valhalla, the great hall of heroes, home of the dead who achieve glory in battle, can be seen decimated in the skies above. The majority of the original Norse deities died in the cataclysm and those who survived have retreated into seclusion. Rumor has it they’re amassing new armies to restore their former might and glory in the next great battle.
What remains of this world is a collection of disparate environments held together by the massive roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Gentle hills give way to dense forests, fungal colonies, noxious swamps, and wintry peaks, each home to predatory beasts and environmental challenges. The flora and fauna of Rend have been affected by Yggdrasil’s presence: once docile creatures are now territorial and violent while plants and minerals have developed unique properties that may be used to help or hinder by those brave enough to discover them. Warriors who find themselves on Rend must be alert and observant to survive this realm.
Who am I in Rend?
You begin your adventure in Rend hungry, unarmed, and defenseless. The good news is you’re not alone: in every cycle of Rend, you’ll be in one of three factions, the Order, the Revenant, or the Conclave, each equal in power and numbers. Starting with an empty faction base surrounded by a magical shield, you’ll work together as a group to discover and harvest nearby raw resources, craft rudimentary tools and weapons, and fight to stay alive. As you research new technologies and explore distant biomes, fresh challenges will present themselves from opposing factions and the brutal environment alike.
Your victories both in combat and in crafting will bring glory to you and your faction. All of your activities in Rend will grant experience and with experience your path will become more clear. You may choose your warrior’s specialization by selecting two skill trees from four archetypes: the stealthy Assassin, powerful Soldier, arcane Mystic, and cunning Survivalist, each with its own abilities and weaknesses. Through your custom selection of active and passive talent, you’ll be able to contribute to your faction’s success precisely the way you want to play.
How do I win in Rend?
Rend serves as the proving ground for those seeking to join the remaining gods’ army in Valhalla. To stand among the gods, each faction seeks to present the gods with warrior spirits harvested from fallen foes. These spirits act as victory points and are key to your faction winning the game.
Spirits are collected much like other raw resources in Rend but must be deposited at the Divinity Stone in the middle of your faction base. These structures are connected to Yggdrasil which stands in the center of the map and reflects the current score of each faction with three vertical runic sigils: the more spirits banked by a team, the higher its glowing sigil climbs the World Tree. When one team’s sigil reaches the top of Yggdrasil, they win the cycle and ascend victorious.
However, achieving victory is no easy task! Rend will pit the three factions in direct competition through resource node distribution, buff-granting control points, and scheduled world events called the Reckoning. Every few days, the magic shields protecting the three faction bases diminishes, briefly rendering them vulnerable to attack. Sensing the spirits within each Divinity Stone, monstrosities called the Lost will appear. In waves, these husks of dishonored warriors will lay siege to anything in their way. During these events, rival factions have the opportunity to raid an opposing faction’s Divinity Stone, stealing their collected spirits. The time and date of the Reckoning is chosen during server selection, allowing players and each faction to prepare for the event by hardening their base’s defenses and deciding on their strategy.
Additionally, the remaining gods will be observing the trials on Rend and may occasionally send down magical items to assist warriors in their trials (or perhaps to instigate battles over their loot). In rare cases, artifacts of legend once wielded by the old gods may fall from the heavens such as the Hammer of Thor, the Horns of Loki, the Steed of Odin, and other mythic items. These will imbue the wielding with godlike powers yet also make them a prime target for enemy factions seeking to claim the artifact as their own. Ultimately, every cycle of Rend, anticipated to last one or two months each, will culminate in a massive war between the three factions, ending with an absolute victor.
What does winning Rend get me?
Aside from the right to ascend to Valhalla and join the army of the gods as an honored hero? Well, once the gods have named a faction victorious and those chosen have ascended, all players shall be rewarded with glory per their actions in the cycle, collecting ascendancy points that allow for meta-progression between matches. The amount of points earned will largely depend on being on the winning faction but merit will be given for your personal contributions to your team.
It should be noted that failing to win is largely unpleasant for your character: those warriors who do not ascend will have their spirits ripped from their bodies and sent back into the trial to prove themselves once more. Their bodies, now soulless husks, will become the Lost and wander the world of Rend driven purely by rage, instinct and a primal hunger to be one with a spirit again. Blissfully, as a player, you will only experience this as a server wipe and reset. Still, you may never look at the Lost the same way afterwards...
And so: survive the untamed wilds as a team, conquer your rival factions, and ascend victorious by earning the gods’ favor through presenting them with their toll of spirits. May your faction earn its rightful place in Valhalla!
Onwards, for Valhalla!
Excited for Rend? So are we! Now is the perfect time to join the community, read up on our latest news, and follow our social media channels linked below. We look forward to seeing you on the field of trials soon!
Read more at https://www.rendgame.com/news/article/rend-introduction#OLUhRzw5i2MuefHh.99
By Damis

Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a diamond in the rough.

Game Info:
Empyrion - Galactic Survival is a 3D open world space sandbox survival adventure. Build mighty ships, menacing space stations and vast planetary settlements to explore, conquer or exploit a variety of different planets and the allegedly empty space! Fight human, alien and biological hazards and survive in a hostile galaxy full of hidden dangers - on your own or with your friends. The game uniquely combines elements from space simulations, construction games, survival games and ego-shooters. Empyrion is currently under development by Eleon Game Studios.
I played this game last year and didn't do too much with it.  I thought the game had potential, but at the time, it didn't have enough content to keep me interested in playing it, so I shelved it for a later time.  Well, the time to dust the game off and give it another try happened this last weekend.  I was on Discord chatting with Trusin about space games and the lack of any really good ones when he started talking about Empyrion.  He had read that the game had made good progressed, so we both decided to give it another shot.  I wasn't expecting much, but ended up having a really fun time playing the game with Trusin.
We played on the SBS server which has a Star Wars theme with three factions, the Imperials, Rebels or the Mercenary faction. We ended up joining the Merc faction.  On this particular server, all new characters have one week to leave the starting world and system.  On Sunday, any character in those zones are deleted.  Well, as luck would have it, Trusin and I only had a few hours before the deadline, so we had to work fast to learn enough about the game to build a ship with a warp engine.
We managed to warp to another system less than an hour before the newbie zones were wiped.  Talk about cutting it close.  We had a leaky ship which took a good amount of time to make air tight, and at one point we tried to hitch hike on any outbound ship we could find.  Eventually, we fixed the leak and made it into orbit,  at which point we realized neither one of us knew how to engage the warp drive. After fumbling around the navigation controls and mostly due to dumb luck we activated the warp engine and got the hell of out there.
We warped into a new system and had to pause to admire the game.  There were two planets in the system as well as a space station.  There were also a good assortment of player ships which I was awestruck with.  I  loved Star Wars Galaxies JTL,  but Empyrion was what we wished SWG could have been.  To have the ability to blast off from a planet and fly directly into orbit is amazing.  
We flew about and inspected a bunch of ships.  The scale and detail of those ships was unbelievable.  Our ship looked like it was made of legos and duct tape.  We docked at the space station and just walked around with our mouths open looking like a bunch of yokuls who had left the planet of Tatooine for the first time, which really wasn't far from the truth.  It was like a huge floating mall in outer space.  
Eventually, we left the station and explored a few other systems until we found a decent world to settle on.  We are in the process of building a base and a better ship.  The game isn't perfect and at first glance, it may seem ordinary,  but there are parts of the game which are truly magical.  Empyrion has the potential to be a true beauty.  It just needs some refinement and polish.
The ability to build multi player ships in which crew members can access the control panel to manage various systems is fantastic.  Exploration, base and ship building is also good.  With that said, I do think that the game needs more alien creatures so that different planets are more unique.  I have been told that the developers are in the process of creating different biomes from which to spawn creatures.  In the meantime, you will probably see the same alien life forms if you visit different planets with the same biomes.
There are a few multi player servers which have 100+  players on them. It would nice if we could get a bunch of members together and try to carve out a section of space for ourselves.   Anyone interested in being a pirate and wrecking havoc?  
By Damis

Star Wars Galaxies Emulator Server.

Star Wars Galaxies is a sandbox MMO set in the Star Wars universe shortly after the destruction of the first Deathstar above Yavin IV.  Star Wars Galaxies officially closed on 15th December 2011.  SWGEmu aims to emulate Star Wars Galaxies in it's Pre-CU era, version 14.1. The current game is stable, and all the classes are working, such as the creature handler, droid engineer and Jedi. 
We have members playing on the Basilisk server which has a large and active community base.  We have established a city on Dantooine and have entertainers and doctors available to buff members.
Some of the CotP members have started doing the Jedi Village quests on their way to becoming a Jedi.  Note, this the pre-nge Jedi, which requires players to put in time and effort to actually earn something great.  I was one of a handful of Jedi in our old CotP guild on Bloodfin in the original game and I can personally attest that becoming a Jedi was the proudest moment in my gaming history.  It took Months of hard work, but when I finally crafted and activated my light saber, it sent chills down my back.  No other game has ever given me that sort of satisfaction.  
The emu server does not have Jump to Lightspeed (JTL) working yet, but they do have shipwrights in place.  When JTL finally gets rolled out, I expect there will be a surge of veterans players returning to the game. 
Members interested in trying out the game or would like more information should contact Aveno in discord.
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RIFT 4.0: Hotfix #4 12/1/2016

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RIFT 4.0: Hotfix #4 12/1/2016

* Level boosters will now always put you in the level channel most appropriate to your newly boosted level.
* Starfall Prophecy notoriety rewards are no longer giftable.
* Updated ability cooldown display times to correct incorrect cooldowns in Addons.
* Those who purchased a Nightmare Thresher over the weekend should now have them delivered to their in game mailbox on all characters on their account.
* The Heroic Prophecy Pack no longer grants a Large Artifact Bundle.
* Your Celestial Remnants and Challengers Marks are now displayed when viewing accessories in the Rift Store.
* Added a new slash command: /combatlogexpanded to enable the new combat log features. If you do not want to use them you can still use /combatlog 
* Elaborated on combat log lines. 
* All times are now in the form of mm-dd-yy:hh:mm:mms. 
* When initiating combat, the combat log now shows the buffs and debuffs of all of your party members.
* Fixed a bug where a character could get more than five legendary abilities. In the case that a character does have more than five legendary abilities they will experience a soul reset.
* Legendary Shadow's Touch now affects your next 3 abilities.
* Legendary Aggressive Avarice healing reduced by 50% in PVP. 
* Legendary Fervent Strike now lasts 30 seconds.
* Legendary Fae Mimicry now affects 7 abilities and causes 125% of damage as life damage. Causes your next 2 cleric abilities to not trigger cooldowns.
* Legendary Bolt of Judgment proc chance increased drastically.
* Legendary Insignia of Blood proc chance increased drastically.
* Legendary Crushing Blow cooldown reduced to 12 seconds.
* Legendary Icy Blow now affects both Water and Air damage. Damage bonus increased to 15% per stack.
* Legendary Furious Assault now passively causes Glacial Strike to deal an additional 45% of its damage over 3 seconds. Air and Water damage increased by 30%.
* Legendary Waterjet snare increased to 30%. Now also passively reduces damage taken by 3%.
- Note: Tooltip incorrect, to be corrected in a future hotfix.
* Legendary Flame Lance now increases healing by 15%.
- Note: Tooltip incorrect, to be corrected in a future hotfix.
* Legendary Bolt of Light now increases healing by 15%.
- Note: Tooltip incorrect, to be corrected in a future hotfix.
* Legendary Neural Prod now increases the damage of the next 3 abilities by 30%.
* Legendary Neural Prod's debuff description now correctly matches the ability tooltip.
* Prismatic Armor and Cycle of Fire now correctly stack their Global Cooldown adjustments.
* Earthen Renewal now correctly consumes Cold Snap stacks if it was already instant when Cold Snap was cast.
* Legendary Storm Slash no longer consumes charge twice while Charged Blade is active. 
* Legendary Storm Slash now affects the next 3 abilities.
* Legendary Piercing Beam now increases damage and healing by 20% and lasts 30s. 
* Legendary Empyrean Ascension also passively causes slashing attacks to deal 50% more damage and spells with cast times to deal 30% more damage.
* Legendary Vengeful Shock damage increased by roughly 150%. Tooltip clarified to show it always strikes twice.
* Charged Blade damage bonus increased to 30% for slashing and 10% for all other abilities.
* Legendary Plague Bolt now casts 20% faster and deals 20% more damage for each stack of Plague Carrier.
* Legendary Grave Rot no longer stacks with other slows. 
* Legendary Flame Bolt now affects the next 3 abilities.
* Legendary Fire Storm now lasts 30 seconds.
* Legendary Fusillade now also passively causes Flame Bolt and Searing Bolt to reset the cooldown of Cinder Burst and reduce the cast time of your next Cinder Burst by 3 seconds and cause it to deal 50% more damage.
* Cinder Burst now deals 30% more damage to targets afflicted by the damage over time effect from Fireball.
* Fireball now deals 75% of its base damage over 5 seconds when both Heat Wave and Fusillade are on cooldown. This effect doesn't stack.
* Legendary Neddra's Grasp now correctly applies Lingering Torment.
* Radiate Death and Healing Expertise now spread the correct versions of Life Leech and Neddra's Grasp.
* Legendary Void Barrage now also passively increases the damage of all damage over time effects by 100%.
* Legendary Effervescent Blast now has a 4 second cooldown. 
* Legendary Scald now lasts 25s.
* Legendary Molten Wave duration reduced to 6s. PASS
* Now correctly shows both legendary and non legendary versions.
* Legendary Animalism now lasts 10 seconds and has a 60 second cooldown. 
* Legendary Strangulate is now correctly tagged as a debilitate and can be broken free from. 
* Legendary Curative engine buff tooltip now correctly matches the ability tooltip.
* Cunning Ruse now correctly only removes your damage over time effects.
* Legendary Bull Rush now correctly triggers diminishing returns.
* Legendary Liberation Treatment now lasts 30s.
* Legendary Retaliation can now only trigger once every 2 seconds per target.
* Legendary Shadow of Dread now passively reduces Reaver Damage over Time damage by 25%.
* Plague Bringer now increases target cap by 2 (down from 7).
* Explosive Infestation now have a base number of targets of 2 (5 when talented).
* Rancid Cleave, and Desecrating Blow now have a base number of targets of 3 and are no longer affected by Deadly Reach.
* Legendary Dire Corruption damage reduced by roughly 22%.
* Legendary Viral Stream damage reduced by roughly 30%. Tooltip should now correctly reflect expected damage again.
* Reckless Strike will no longer sometimes proc twice in rapid succession. It also no longer has stacks to remove a case where stacks would be consumed too fast, preventing some procs. Damage reduced to compensate.
* Tactical Advance no longer effects Legendary Sergeant's Order. 
* Sergeant's Order no longer incorrectly benefits all warriors. Now only benefits the caster.
* Instant Adventure: Instant adventure participants are now correctly mentored to the correct level when they move to new adventure zones.
* When a player queues for an instant adventure, they will queue up for instant adventures on shard on which they are playing currently.
* Shal Korva notoriety Decrees have been added to the possible rewards from the quests "A Reputation for Adventure" and "Seas of Plunder".
* The Nightmare Saga: The quest By the Sword no longer requires players to participate in Conquest.
* Added a small selection of books to the Alittu library. They will randomly appear as people read them.*
* Quest: Of Devils and Prophecy – Fixed an issue where if players were grouped, only one player could loot the first Prophecy of Ananke.
* Quest: Draconian Solution – Fixed an edge case where a player would be unable to use the Dragon Nest. Also fixed the map locator for this objective.
* The Battle of Saint Taranis and Echo of the Battle of Saint Taranis – Gedlo goblins in Saint Taranis now despawn after the kill objective is complete.
* Zone Event: Horrific Horticulture – Bee Beard will now spawn correctly at the end of the event.
* Quest: King’s Fall and Echo of King’s Fall – Fixed NPCs from incorrectly dropping items reserved for planar NPCs. 
* Quest: Tuath’de Blades: The onslaught will no longer spawn invasions along the road to Critter Glen. 
* The Whipvine Lasher no longer has an incorrect title.
* Quest: Kick the Barrel: Fixed an issue where barrels could be used multiple times before despawning.
* Quest: Into the Wyredode – Fixed a scripting issue where Leofwine would play his VO multiple times if multiple players talked to him one after another.
* Onslaught: The Marsh Gate – This quest now has a map indicator for the Marsh Gate onslaught. Additionally, invasions should now give credit every time instead of only in certain parts of the scene.
* Fixed a bug where LFP rewards were not always being paid out.
* Rogues in stealth leaving the Warfront spawn areas should no longer be knocked out of stealth.
* Destruction Synergy Crystal now has the proper 2 piece and 4 piece set bonus values.
* Increased favor slightly for killing level 66 to 70 players.
* Fixed an issue where Starfall Prophecy PVP quests were not awarding the proper amount of favor. 
* Some Dimension Items from achievements were incorrectly flagged as Unbound are now once again Soulbound.
* Additional Dimension Items have been added to Stan's Super Secret Lure.
* All crafted gear has been increased in power-- this time for real!
* The title for the achievement "Exalted Angler" has been corrected.
* Visionary crafting daily quests now auto-turn in when completed.
* Many Starfall Prophecy recipes have had their Chondritic Dust material costs reduced or removed.
* Planar foothold have a small chance to drop Chondritic Planar Dust.
* Prophetic leg runes now apply the proper rune.
* Dust of the Void has been removed from many Dream Weaver recipes. Dream Ribbon costs have slightly increased to offset the difference.
* Added the following Dream Weaver recipes to the Visionary Recipe Vendor: Recipe: "Giant Lava Dome" and "Recipe: Black Electric Egg".
* The minion card Opie is now an attractor minion that adds Artifact cards to the decks. These special Artifact missions can also reward Planar Pellets and (rarely) Lucky Coins!
* Starfall Adventure Cache now have a chance of containing Chondritic Planar Dust.
* Fixed an issue with Starfall Adventure Caches that it would sometime give both a level 65 item and a level 66+ plus item depending on the level of the player.
* Greatly increased item drop chance from Starfall Adventure Caches such as armor and weapons.
* The vendor price of Scoria Fish and Scoria Fish livers has been reduced.
* Cosmic Cores now stack to 999 and no longer have a resell value.
* Consumable token boost potions now correctly state that they do not boost Tower Fragment or Celestial Remnant gains.
* Consumable token boosts and patron token boosts now boost Tok Token gains.
* Starfall Prophecy Weapon Runes now all correctly respect PVP damage reductions.
* Starfall Prophecy Weapon Runes no longer fall off when you die.
* Wardrobe: The appearance set “Ovog Ceremonial Garb” now appears in the Appearance Sets tab of the Character screen.
* Mossclaw Defense, Thunderguard, Devouring Soul, Lava Stone, and Combustion Soul no longer contribute to the Comet of Destruction set.
* Cowl of Prophecy now has mage stats.


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So many changes...


RIP (and good riddance) Reaver as the BiS DPS spec.


Guess I should go set up my other specs now :P

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I like the crafting changes.  I'm glad I didn't invest too too much in grinding crafting up.

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