Monthly Archives: September 2009

Mirkwood Poll

Gambits (Part 2) Solo

I was out in Forochel today grinding out Worms for Zeal today and thought that a nice break would be to come back here and post some thoughts on gambits to use while soloing.

From my standpoint, usually when I’m out soloing I’m not really trying to get the optimal DPS rotation – so you won’t find that here ūüôā¬† There are a few posts on the LOTRO waden boards one ways to maximize waden DPS.

What I usually try to do is get through content quickly and safely and still maintain a challenge.¬† I will admit, I do at times “afk-fight” but for the most part I prefer to go in spurts.¬† So usually I’ll do a bunch, get to a safe point, and then break for a bit.

To make the description of gambits easier (and to help with names) I’ll use the following nomenclature – spear = 1, fist = 2, shield = 3.¬† This is how my keyboard’s mapped out, so just how I think ūüôā

So with that in mind, here’s usually what I end up doing.

  • I’ll usually start off with an ambush, they depending on what I’m doing ether run up for crit strike or use wages of fear and get in some jav attacks.¬† Really the distinction for me are someone feel, but a clear case where I for sure will run up is on mobs that are ranged or those annoying wargs in Moria that like to run away from you after slowing you.
  • I like to grab a bunch of mobs at a time (pretty good practice for most instances) so I’ll either use jav attacks to grab them or run around building my gambit to get them.
  • So assuming I have 4-5 ish mobs on me I start of with Exaltation of Battle (EoB – 21323) to get that leach tick going.
  • I’ll then toss out a desolation (23232) to get some nice DoTs and fears going.
  • Following up with the combination of Fierce resolve (213) and/or resolution (2132) depending on my health.
  • By now, if the mob I’m on isn’t at 1000 morale, I’ll put either Mighty blow (1321) or Surety of Death (2323) on it before moving on.¬† The idea is that all the ticks left on all those DoTs will kill it while I deal with the other mobs.¬† Plus they stay alive enough to get another leach or so off on them.
  • From here it partly depends on my health and how big my pull was.¬† I’ll toss a resolution out as needed and keep EoB/Fierce Resolve up as well.
  • Then I’ll cycle between the mobs and get DoTs on them to knock them below 1000.
  • When I get to under 3 mobs left I’ll stop using the leaches and switch over to the shield heal line if heals are needed.

Now this does change a bit on fights with single mobs (elites/EM’s – the troll Dhit for example):

  • Start off with ambush and usually follow with crit so I can guarantee to get wages of fear off.
  • Then I’ll get shield mastery up (3123)
  • Get DoTs up
    • Desolation (23232)
    • Surety of Death (2323)
    • Brink of Victory (232)
    • Mighty Blow (1321)
    • Power Attack (132)
  • Then depending on how hard I’m getting hit
    • either cycle up HoTs (31313, 3131, 313, 32323)
    • finish it off with Warden’s Triumph (12312) and onslaught (131)
  • Rinse and repeat…

Now one key thing for long fights is the concept of “Morale surfing” which refers to the concept of hovering around 50% morale such that you can rebuild your power pool using Darkness before Dawn (DbD).¬† If at any point I get low on power, I’d ease up on the HoTs and drop to a bit above 50% such that a hit or 2 as I build DbD I’ll drop below 50% and can use it.¬† I try to get at least 2 DbD’s up before re-applying all my HoTs back up and running.¬† Also, depending on my surroundings, I don’t mind surfing for the rest of the fight – but if I’m worried about roamers I’ll bump back up.

Couple other skills I forgot initially:

  • The fist cap-stone allows for Desolation to effect 6 targets
  • The legendary Defiant Challenge (disco challenge) has a nice damage reflection component that’s handy for lots of mobs
  • The legendary Javelin of Deadly Force is pretty nice for lots of mobs too – assuming you can line them up.
    • I will usually take a couple steps back to force mobs into a line such that they’ll all get hit.

One final thing, I realize this is all with level 60 gambits – however I’ve pretty much used this same methodology (except for morale surfing) all along.¬† The only difference is what length gambits you have available.

More later!

New cloak…

Here’s what the pre-order cloak (not dye-able) looks like – and me freezing my tail off in forochel…

View from the back

View from the back

View from the Front

View from the Front

Shared storage explained…

Ok, while this may be a little overdue – I’m pretty excited about it.

Shared Storage Dev Diary

Main points:

  • New button from the vault interface
  • Lots of sorting/filtering options
  • Storing Bound items!!
    • Only the character they’re bound to can get them, but at least its another spot to put stuff

Mirkwood release date…

December 1st is the date – seems about right as I saw another blogger with a beta invite…

Full details here:

So being a life-time member I like the option to get 2 extra char slots, the shared storage, and the goat all for $20!¬† Shared storage is 20 slots, so that’s pretty slick!

While I can see some folks might be upset regarding the $40 for the expansion + explorer pack – I’m pretty happy they continue to give perks to lifetime members.¬† I expected to pay $20 for the expansion which I think with the content and skirmishes will be well worth it, so the other stuff is just gravy for me.¬† Now if I had to drop $40 for it – I’d be a little more skeptical.


I just noticed there was a requirement to have folks logged in to post comments, I went ahead and lifted that so you just need to provide a name/email to help cut down on the spam.¬†¬† Way too many check-boxes to look through and that one slipped through…


As promised, I currently run with the crit Lothlorien one usually but then swap out the Turtle when I’m power hungry and Jubut-hum for common damage mit.¬† I’m sure there are more or other good shields, but these were the ones I use (and had in my vault).¬† Feel free to comment if you have other ideas…


Equipment and weapons…

So I wanted to toss out some ideas regarding equipment and weapon choices as you level.¬† I’m probably most familiar with the higher end stuff, but will try to keep things somewhat generic to apply to everyone.¬† I will walk through my process and how I leveled/equiped my warden but certainly there are other builds and ideas.

From the start, I focused on trying to maximize as many stats as possible but focusing on In-combat Power Regen (ICPR) as much as I could as I knew from beta that this toon was pretty power hungry.  So I focused on stats probably in this order:

  • Vit – morale and resists
  • Morale – more the better
  • ICPR – running out of power is bad, our Dark before Dawn gambit helps when soloing but can be real tricky when grouping
  • Might – helps with block and melee damage
  • Agi – avoidance and ranged damage (mine probably is a bit high)
  • Fate – bumps ICPR and in-combat morale regen (ICMR) as well as tactical crits (DoTs, threat can crit, and HoTs)
  • Will – power boost and out-of combat regen (helpful if you use our run-buff)
  • Power – pretty self-explanatory
  • -Melee Vulnerability – pretty much I believe this only shows on shields and relics, so I didn’t put this too high except on those specific items

I didn’t really pay much attention to +avoidance items as with our gambits we can cap pretty easily.¬† If a good item had those it was just a bonus for me.

My warden for me was my 4th toon so I was able to help her out some with crafting.¬† I was able to keep her leveled quite a bit higher in crafting then level so I could make my own equipment pretty easily.¬† I also had some kin-mates making me weapons so was able to keep this toon pretty well equiped.¬† It isn’t required, but it does make things easier – for instance I could easily do orange and even red quests without trouble.¬† Even some fellowship quests were solo-able and I’m sure part of it was due to having good equipment all along.¬† So if you have friends and/or kinnies it certainly helps to have them craft stuff for you as you level.¬† My warden is an explorer so I could gather whatever mats people needed to craft me what I wanted.

Another path I chose was to max out all my toons reputation with the appropriate crafting guilds – this allowed me to auto-crit on the one-shot recipes.¬† This comes in very handy as you’re leveling as you’ll send a little extra coin and mats, but you won’t need to find extra of the recipes and shards.

Now if you’re not a crafter, there are a couple other options as well.¬† There’s always the Auction House, but honestly prices can get pretty high for the crit items – so unless your warden is your alt that could be rough.¬† The other option is just using quest items – which if you follow all the major quest lines (not even including the epic line) there’s some really good item rewards.¬† There’s a great set from Tal Bruinen in your late 30s, and another nice set from Angmar in your mid 40s.¬† Forochel has some good rewards as does Eregion so they can help out.¬† I mention the quest rewards as for this toon I ended up hitting all the zones and doing just about all the quests in there as I was focusing on deeds (another topic) so there actually was a couple benefits from doing those quests.

There are 2 other sets that some people have and they are from the level 50 raids (that don’t get too much traffic sadly) Helegrod and the Rift.¬† I ran those quite a bit on my other toons when 50 was the cap, but sadly my warden has not done either of them.¬† They were fun instances, but not many run them as they’re busy doing the other raids/instances.

So I pretty much followed that path until I hit Moria.¬† Once you get around your mid 50s, that’s when you start thinking about doing the radiance instances.¬† I’m not going to debate the system or go into much detail as there’s TONs of discussion about radiance on the LOTRO forums.¬† However, if you have a specific question feel free and I’ll try to answer it.¬† There are some good craftable one-shots that you can get at 58 and the new Lothlorien sets at 60 that are pretty good, but for most the radiance sets are the best gear.¬† I’ve looked at mixing and matching the sets some, but I will admit I haven’t fully run the numbers to see if there’s an “Optimal” set.¬† There are 4 sets that come from these instances (6 item teal set, 6 item purple set, and 2 3 item purple sets), the 6 item sets come from specific instances (this will change with the new Mirkwood Expansion) and the 3 item sets I believe are from random instance chests.¬† So, each instance will drop a coin for the purple set piece and the teal set – plus possibly some of the 3 item sets as well.¬† The instance break out as follows:

  • Grand Stairs – boots
  • Fil Gashan – gloves
  • Skumfill – legs
  • Chest – Forges
  • 16th Hall – shoulder (not the set, but +10 radiance)
  • Dark Delvings – helm(not the set, but +10 radiance)
  • Watcher – drops the teal set helm and/or shoulders
  • Turtle – random rad pieces will drop

Once you have 50 radiance you can have enough radiance (+ destiny hope) to run that watcher raid, and 70 radiance is the amount required for Dar Narburg.  You can also get +15 radiance pieces from the new instances the Waterworks, Hall of Mirrors, and Halls of Crafting which you can use in place of other pieces to get to your appropriate radiance target.

The other main equipment choices come down to jewelry.¬† I did follow the above logic when picking stats but you certainly have lots more options as you level with jewelry.¬† Also with Book 8 there was some new Lothlorien jewelry that was released which most feel is some of the best pieces in the game so I currently have a mix of that and instance drops on my warden.¬† For jewelry I usually inspect people when I’m grouped or that are in my kinship to see what all is around and then search either the Lorebook or the forums to see where they drop.¬† A lot of folks are very high on the Diamond Stud earing (from Grand Stairs), the Inciduous cuff (from Grand Stairs), and the amber ring (from Forgotten Treasury) but they’re all very rare drops.¬† If you want to farm the instance, have at it – but I chose not too and am using the Lothlorien crafted items (which are pretty darn close if not better) instead.

When it comes to weapons for the most part, once you hit Moria you’ll be using legendary items for your main hand and javelin.¬† There are quite a few threads on the forums talking about legacies and such so I’ll save that for a later post (this is already getting long).¬† So for your main hand, certainly as you level just pick the best legendary you can find and go with that.¬† I usually prefer spears (they look cool and have nice procs) for soloing and clubs (slow attack speed proc) for tanking.¬† However, there currently is a bug in the spear animation that actually makes it a pretty crappy DPS item, so if you’re looking for raw DPS most would agree that an axe is the best bet.¬† hopefully the combat fixes with Mirkwood will solve this bug and allow us to pick whatever proc/look we want and not be driven towards a single option.¬† I currently have a really nice First Age spear, a 2nd age club, a second age axe that I’m leveling, and a 2nd age javelin.¬† Pictures of them at the bottom of the post.

The other important items I’ll mention are consumables – mainly food and potions.¬† I have an Supreme Master cook and farmer so I make all my own food for my toons, but I highly suggest either finding someone or grinding it out.¬† They’re pretty easy to do (cook just requires money, while farming just takes time) but the benefits are huge.¬† I usually run with some +vit food, +resist food, and the morale/power regen foods up for all boss fights.¬† As for potions, having a scholar friend is handy here – but one thing I’ve done within Moria is run the daily “Mirror quests” as the rewards for those are potions.¬† So if you get in the habit of doing them somewhat frequently you can build up a pretty nice stash of potions.

And finally, the last item I’ll mention is the carving.¬† It is a Warden class item that’s made by woodworkers that allow for a combination of bonuses.¬† They all have 2 bonuses with one being a gambit cost reduction (either fist, shield, or spear) and the other being a choice of (+light damage, -incoming tactical damage, or -incoming melee damage).¬† To me, the -incoming damage is a no-brainer and then I have one of each gambit line that I swap around depending on what I’m doing the most of.

As for shields, I’ll table them as I’ll post screenies of them (I think I have most of the end-game ones) such that you can see not only the stats but what they look like equiped.

trouble with images…

So I suck at image layouts and that’s why the post below is a little screwy.¬† The gallery is fine, but if I try to put the thumbnails in the middle of text I run into problems.¬† I can look at it just fine in the editor but it looks horrible when you actually post it.¬† Anyone have any ideas? ūüôā

Warden skills, animations, and icons…

So I read a thread on the minstrel forums ( and it got me thinking that it might be nice to show some snaps of warden animations and what our skill icons look like.¬† So hopefully this will work ūüôā¬† I wish I could figure out what the icon section looks the way it does, I’ve tried a few times to clean it up but for some reason the editor wants to scrunch everything together – but I think you get the idea.

The first section here is a series of snap-shots showing the animations of our more important gambits:

If you look you’ll notice that War-cry, conviction, and our leaches all look similar but our main-hand weapon will have a different glow.¬† War-cry just shows us shouting, a morale leach will have a green glow to it, and the threat leaches have a bluish glow.

And below I’ve included the icons which will appear either on the warden – I will try to get some better icons, but these were readily available.¬† The first 4 are our Heal over time (HoT) buffs, by default they are 4 ticks spaced 4 seconds apart but can be traited to last for up to 8 pulses.¬† The tier 2 is ~56 per pulse, Tier 3 is ~86, tier 4 is 99, tier 5 is 111.¬† These can also be modified by legacies to be higher but those are the rough values.

Tier 2 HoT

Tier 2 HoT

Tier 3 HoT

Tier 3 HoT

Tier 4 HoT

Tier 4 HoT

Tier 5 HOT

Tier 5 HOT

These next two are our main defensive buffs:

Small Block buff

Small Block buff

Block and Evade Buff

Block and Evade Buff

And our threat transfer skills – dance of war steals threat from the group and applies an evade buff on the warden and conviction steals threat plus applies a group wide HoT (~100 per tick, same number of ticks as self HoT).

Threat Leach and Evade Buff

Threat Leach and Evade Buff

Threat Leach and Group HoT

Threat Leach and Group HoT

These next 2 are the icons you’ll see on mobs showing the morale leaches – first leaches ~35 morale per mob and the second 70 morale.¬† These will last for 16 seconds with a leach tick every 4 seconds.

ToT and AoE Morale Leach

ToT and AoE Morale Leach

ToT and AoE Morale Leach

ToT and AoE Morale Leach