And it isn’t just me saying that 🙂 I’m sure many of you will share this same sentiment but the folks over at LOTRO Weekly were nice enough to point out the following story from MMORPG.com lists the top 5 MMO classes (I saw the post but misread the title and never read the article :() and sure enough Wardens topped the list. Ok, so this is one writers opinion, but it is always nice to see others acknowledge what we already know 🙂 You can also read what other Wardens think of this on the LOTRO boards.
Also, 2 other quick posts I wanted to share before the weekend:
- Some quick discussions and suggestions for traiting for the 12 man raid BG can be found here.
- More discussion on trait lines can be found here with a focus on the fist line. I like fist line for the Moors, but I may have to try out spear just to compare. But I think I like playing the role of the annoying and AoE agitator more then single target damage.
Anyway, that’s all for now – have a good weekend!
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged End-game, Gambits, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, pvp, radiance, raid, traits, virtues, Warden
So this was shared by a couple in twitter-land (thanks to @LOTROweekly and @RannaDylin) and I wanted to pass it along. Nice combination of theatrics, music, scenery, and action. Just based off my limited video creation I have a lot of respect for folks who put together videos like this. I have a hard enough time splicing a couple videos into one let alone the hundreds of snippets this must have taken!
Lord of the Rings – Online “I am warden” from EveNArtworkS on Vimeo.
I wanted to take the opportunity to not only share some of my recent adventures in the Moors but also some tricks and tips from the various other Wardens and Creeps. I’ve talked about this a couple of times with some other good resources so feel free to check out my October post and the more flushed out February post. I also wanted to share a couple of more recent forum posts that talk about things from both a Warden’s perspective as well as from the creep side.
First off I figured I talk a little about my adventures last night which allowed me to get almost half-way through rank 3. I’m still VERY green on my Warden but my initial goal is Rank 4 such that I can get the 30 minute cool-down Moors map. I don’t always use that map just for the Moors but just to get around as another map/port. Kinda sad but there are times when even my Warden would like to have other travel options 🙂 Rank 6 is the next milestone as that gets you the pretty blue icon as opposed to the red ones of Rank 1-5, not a big deal but just the next progression. Rank 6 also is the last requirement for the initial armor set, but I’ll get to that a bit more later. After that, it will mainly depend on how much I’m enjoying it and what else is available in game as the climb then starts to get pretty steep. My normal plan in the Moors is just to wander around a bit while solo to see what’s out there and join in a raid if there’s one forming up, but sometimes it is more fun to just roam solo and look for small fights. But last night I ended up hopping in a group right away as they were just forming up. I was fortunate to get into a pretty good group (~3 full groups) with a fairly comparable creep side force. I’m pretty sure the map was mostly red, so we did roam around a bit looking for the action. We rode around for a bit before confronting them at Tirith Rhaw (TR) which is the eastern keep. Keep fights in many cases are just as much PvE experiences as they are PvP and as such Wardens really can shine as we can grab all the NPC agro and shield many from the extra attacks. As we moved in, the creeps pretty quickly left us to reclaim the keep. We then pressed towards South Tol Ascarnen Bridge (STAB) which is right next to the Elf Camp (EC) and ran smack into the creep raid. We had a number of good skirmishes with this raid here, on the Tol Ascarnen (TA) side of the bridge as well as the resurrection circle near Lugazag (Lug). We were very fortunate to have some good leaders and a pretty mixed group with healers, dps, CC, and interrupters. I think we rolled the creeps a number of times at least with one retreat in there somewhere. But they were all good fights with sustained battles such that I could really get better accustomed to the different fight options.
My general strategy was to trait fully down the Fist line and get as many DoTs and fears out as possible. So this meant mainly War-cry (with fear trait slotted) and Desolation whenever in the scrum. I also kept my eyes on not only our healers to try to protect them but also targeted the creep healers such that I could interrupt them too. One thing I learned was that it is actually pretty easy to get Ambush off even while not stealthed as you only go into combat when something hits you, not when something gets close. So, with creative positioning (and a poor rank) I was able to blend in and not be a juicy target such that I could land an ambush. Certainly having some induction reducing and careful step duration legacies would be real nice but I was pretty happy out there with what I had. I did pop a few convictions to generally help out as we did only have 2 minnies so I figured I’d help out when folks got low. But in all honesty, if either side focuses on one target no healing will keep them up without a bubble of some soft.
In all the fighting I really felt MUCH more useful then my Captain (who’s rank 4), which was actually surprising to me. Unlike Captains which can really only heal, buff, and provide some single target DPS my Warden can:
- Fear creeps – which prevents most skill usage
- DoTs (up to 24 seconds in duration) – which prevents many fleeing skills and keeps them in combat
- Quickly and on-demand interrupt healers
- Ranged DPS as well as melee range AoE DPS
- Ranged slow
- Some spammable group wide healing ability.
- Pretty well keep myself alive, assuming they’re not focusing on me 🙂
A couple things that I’m toying with on my traits as I’ve had now had a chance to play around a bit is swapping in the shield mastery trait (currently slotted for +1 heal pulses) and also the cool-down reduction for javelin attacks. I may end up just swapping the javelin cool-down for the heal pulse but I’m worried that might cause problems while out soloing. I could swap back and forth as I’m not changing legendaries so it won’t be all that expensive but I’m just lazy.
I will also play around with my gear as well as I didn’t wear my normal PvE armor. I swapped out for the crafted armor items that either negates incoming damage or procs a heal. I also swapped out for my damage mitigation shield as the fights usually are pretty short so power’s not a huge deal. I’m still not convinced I have a setup that I like quite yet, but we shall see.
One of the things that was running through my mind while in the Moors was what this does for my character’s progression. Certainly it is fun and I do enjoy it, but part of my questions I sent to the CStM folks for Pax was addressing this lack of rewards for freep side PvMP play. You can hear these questions and Sapience’s answer over on CStM’s Interview Podcast. One of my big annoyances has always been the way to acquire the PvMP armor sets as you not only have to acquire the appropriate rank to wear them but you need a bunch of drops from the Delving of Fror PvE raid instance. Never mind the fact that these sets aren’t all that great stat wise, but I just don’t see why PvP rewards require such a heavy PvE investment. I’d really love for some other way to obtain the various barter items for these pieces as I’ll be honest the Dark Purple Warden set (seen below) are really cool looking and I’d love to have as a cosmetic item. It is also dye-able such that you can get a complete black set 🙂
Maybe a tie to the already existing Tokens that can be turned in for chest rewards, or provide something that’s tied to rank ala DAOC in that for each step you make in your PvP rank progression you get “points” that can be used for armor coins. The other option would be to have things drop from creeps themselves, but I see all sorts of problems there so I’d prefer one of the other options (or I”m sure there are LOTS of better ones on the PvMP forums).
I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this as I progress as well as feedback on how I fair in 1v1 fights.
Posted in Captain, Gambits, LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged Captain, End-game, Equipment, Gambits, group, legacy, Legendary Items, LOTRO, moors, Podcast, pvmp, pvp, raid, screenshots, threat, traits, Warden
For the past couple of weeks I have been branching out for a bit from LOTRO mainly from a lack of dedicated time. Not that I don’t have time available but that time is frequently and without warning interrupted which makes it very hard to do some of the things I enjoy in LOTRO, like raiding and group content. Because of this I’ve been shifting a bit from my normal play style in LOTRO to some other avenues. This has also been part of the reason for a lack of activity here as I just haven’t had all that much to write about. But for now this just feels like a little bump in the road.
Inside of LOTRO this has included a lot of the spring festival and the Ale Association quests. I’ve also been running a fair number of skirmishes but those can require attention depending on what skirmish and tier I’m attempting. And I’ve also been running around with my baby RK who just dinged 22. I’ve been enjoying the new Lone Lands area quite a bit as it is a MUCH better flow from Bree, although for an RK it is a little dis-jointed. The transition along the book epic lines was great as it takes you straight from Bree to Candaith and for me I was around 20ish before finishing off book 1 as I had done a number of other things in Bree. The issue I ran to on my RK was the level 15 class quest for RKs is there in the Lone Lands and I ended up picking up some other quests that did throw me off a tad. Nothing terrible, but I’m really trying to walk through this zone in order and I ended up with some scattered quests as I normally grab all quests I can see 🙂
Outside of LOTRO I have been checking out a few other games as well. I’ve pretty much stopped playing Dragon Age as Awakenings seems to have lost its luster for me. I did enjoy it, but it doesn’t have nearly the same re-playability as Origins did. It certainly is replayable, but after the second time I just wasn’t that motivated, unlike the 5 times I went through Origins 🙂 Maybe that’s just because there are enough similarities that I don’t distinguish between the two. But certainly if you haven’t checked Awakenings out I do recommend it as the new skills and abilities are LOTS of fun.
Another single player game that I’ve been playing off and on has been Mount and Blade. I’ve talked about Mount and Blade before and it is getting more press now that they’ve released Warband. I’ve downloaded Warband and have checked it out a little bit but I’m still on the trial version so I haven’t made it all that far. The graphics updates are great and they’ve redone the map completely such that it seems much more conflict centric. There are a number of other tweaks with romances and NPC relationships and the like that sound really intriguing but I have yet to see them. I still haven’t gotten quite used to the new swinging animations so my horseback attacks are pretty bad at the moment. I’m still on the fence about if there are enough differences between Warband and the original to warrant me buying the new version as I think the biggest new feature is a multiplayer aspect which while intriguing, doesn’t interest me at all.
The final game I’ve been playing lately has been Age of Conan. I tried it out a little bit when they first launched and just couldn’t get into it. I will admit that I didn’t play all that much as I just couldn’t get the hang of the combat system. But when they announced the revamp of their trial system to allow full access to the starter zone for as long as you want I figured it would be a good time to check it out again. Plus the upcoming patches and expansions are interesting enough that I wanted to check things out. So far I’ve rolled 4 different toons, 2 of the heavy armor classes (Dark Templar and Conqueror), a ranger, and a mage type (Herald of Xotli). I haven’t done much with the Conqueror yet (the rest are at least level 13), but aside from the ranger the other 2 are quite different from the typical classes from other games I’ve played. The Dark Templar is a sword and board tank type that also can use dark magic to de-buff and leach life off of enemies. So in some ways it does mimic the play of the Warden, although with a drastically different back-story 😉 The Herald of Xolti (HoX) is a fire-based mage that also uses two handed weapons – which to me sounded like an interesting concept. The HoX does have some good absorption buffs which mitigates their cloth armor restriction so in that way they’re also somewhat analogous to Wardens in LOTRO. For all of these, I’ve mainly been focusing on following the individual epic class lines which are solo based. I’ve had to do a little grinding to get to the level requirements, but for the most part it hasn’t been bad at all.
Based on my initial experiences, I am actually tempted to pick up AoC to scratch my PvP itch as it certainly is much more prevalent and rewarding then PvMP in LOTRO. The graphics in AoC are really impressive and I enjoy the feel of the area only slightly less then I like things in LOTRO. It has taken me a bit to get used to the combat system but now I really do enjoy it. The biggest thing that got me was the targeting system – you don’t have to target a mob to hit it (such that you can get inadvertent AoEs) but there is an auto-face standard that I haven’t figured out how to turn off such that if I forget to target the mob in front of me I’ll keep spinning around to some other mob that I might have tabbed to. AoC also has a combo system that reminds me of the Warden gambits but AoC has a visual prompt of what the next builder is supposed to be such that there’s not the same memorization requirement Wardens have. AoC also has a nifty way of handling your class epic line in that you’re taken to a Night-time instance that is single player. So all of your epics are done in that fashion at night, and if you want to join other folks you need to travel back to the day-time. So far I enjoy that system, but I’m not sure how it works going forward. Another enjoyable aspect of the story line is how the different stories play off each-other in that you’ll hear about other people in one class story and then actually get to play that part in another story. I didn’t realize they did this at all until I was reading the quest and realized “hey, that was my ranger doing that” which does make me want to roll other classes to see where they fit in.
Now the only “issue” I’ve run into is partly my own fault but it also shows off a strength in my mind. When I started, I decided on the PvP server as my home as I wanted that environment and wasn’t real sure how the PvP-RP servers would differ. What this then allows for is common quest areas in the day-time environment are open combat. As I’ve found already, these can be camped by higher level characters who enjoy killing newbs like me, repeatedly. However, a couple things that I appreciate about how AoC handles this is they do have an instigator flag that will prompt guards to attack said “criminal” to discourage that act somewhat. I will admit that I’m sure that times out after some interval and there are probably ways around it such that it doesn’t really do my – but it seems like this does create some level of punishment that stops some from just randomly killing people. This flag also is pretty obvious such that you can see it from a good distance and have a chance to run if need be. The other aspect is when you die there’s an immunity buff that makes it such that you can’t be harmed while close to the res circle. I realize this isn’t perfect but it at least gives you time to map or log. I’m sure others have a different take on this, but for me it hasn’t bothered me yet as they seem to have more rewards for PvP then penalties for dying.
The other game that might fit into this play style for me is Eve which I’ve played a couple of times but never quite got either. It certainly has a lot of the planning and spreadsheet aspects that I like and success isn’t solely driven by how much time you spend in game. Reading Tobold’s latest series of posts as he hops into Eve has brought this back into my thought process and I may have to give that game another go.
I’m hoping that I can get a chance to get back to a more dedicated schedule for my gaming, but for now it is what it is and I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible.
Posted in General, LOTRO, RPGs, Warden
Tagged Age of Conan, Awakening, Bioware, Dragon Age, Eve Online, Expansion, festival, LOTRO, Mount and Blade, pvp, rune-keeper, Single player, skirmishes, Warband, Warden
My apologies for the lack of activity of late, I blame it on a number of things but hopefully I should be back to a more normal schedule. And most importantly I should hopefully get back to being in game more!
First up are the Volume 3 Book 1 patch notes that are currently up on Bullroarer. This is mainly a patch of bug fixes, but one thing of special notice for me was the new meta deeds for Angmar, Moria, and Lothlorien. Thanks to LOTRO Weekly for the snaps and details of the deeds! I really like this idea for a couple of reasons. First off, who doesn’t want more horses and goats! Secondly this gives people more incentives to do other dungeons and quests that they might not have normally done. It will also provide more options for people leveling to run group content before hitting the Moria and Mirkwood instances. I remember when they added a bunch of deeds to all the Angmar instances and those dungeons were PACKED for a significant period of time so hopefully this addition will do the same thing for all these instances. The other interesting item from Bullroarer is a new Bard discount of 20% which (details of acquiring said reward is still TBD) will be really handy for all of us who swap traits depending on the content being run.
In addition to the patch notes, there’s also been a bunch of news over on the My.LOTRO site as Duwis points out and clarifies. The first post confirms and explains how to access the My.LOTRO side from the in-game browser. I really like this idea as the in-game browser always bugged me as it was more of an annoyance and not terribly useful. Now it seems like it will be quite handy! Duwis has another post with suggestions for how to properly maintain and update the Lorebook, so make sure to check that out if you’re interested or frustrated with the Lorebook.
For those of you who follow the lore but every once in a while get tripped up, Snowlock from the forums has posted a pretty short guide on the back-story for LOTRO and the history of Middle-Earth. Some good tidbits (and maps) in there with a lot of information that either I didn’t know or had forgotten 🙂
In addition to the LOTRO Weekly blog I mentioned before, the folks over at MMORSEL.com have put up a number of cool updates. For those of you struggling with the idea of radiance they have a nice write-up as well as detailed descriptions for all the various armor sets. They’ve also built a pretty slick utility for planning out and spending points on your Legendary items such that you can see how high you can level them without having to waste any scrolls. They were also nice enough to post the instructions as well as the handy tool.
This last piece doesn’t really impact me, but I thought it was pretty cool so I wanted to share with those who might be helped by it. I first saw this over at Mordor of Bust where they’ve posted a good walkthrough and explanation of the LOTRO Flashboost utility. Now sadly it only works on Windows 7 (well sad for me as I’m on XP) but it appears pretty helpful in increasing performance or LOTRO. In the post are links to not only the official Lorebook page for this utility but also the forum post with more discussion and support. If you’re running Windows 7, it looks like it would be worth at least checking it out to see if you would benefit.
That’s all for now, I actually decided mid-post to hold some things for a bit later so I didn’t have a 14 page post…
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged beta, blog, End-game, Gear, group, hard-mode, legacy, Legendary Items, Lore, LOTRO, Mirkwood, radiance, raid
So things have been pretty quiet here for a bit with a combination of work travel and some actual vacation time as well. I have a bunch of things to catch up on and I’ll have a few posts coming out this weekend but I figured I’d update on a few things first.
Aside from the travel craziness I have been playing some but just not nearly as much as would warrant writing about. I’ve been working on the Ale Association quests and I’m intrigued by not only the titles but what they might put on that vendor 🙂 This new quest line seems to have drawn some comments from folks that they feel bad doing bad things in the Shire and I’ve actually taken a bit of a different slant on it. I’m looking at it more like a friendly rivalry between two bars (ala Cheers) and the Ale Association is just launching the first line of the pranks 😉 Now if they continue this, I’d love to see the hobbit retaliation! I do like the upcoming changes coming that will put negative reputation for the opposite faction. This makes sense as we’re really not all that sneaky when poking holes in the kegs and stealing recipes 🙂 I am enjoying this festival as they are pretty quick things I can do and I still always enjoy running through the Shire as it is so beautiful and relaxing.
In addition to the festival I have been doing some SG and SH runs on my Warden and am one piece away (16 tokens) from the full set such that I can actually run the BG raid. They have made some subtle changes to SG and I like the pace of that dungeon. With a decent group, it is around an hour or so which really isn’t all that bad and you can reasonably do a couple runs in a row. I have my pseudo static group I run with late at night but in addition I really don’t have any issues finding groups (and successful ones too) for both SG and SH. I still haven’t run the other dungeons yet and do want to check them out at some point. I did also run SG on my Captain (only 62) which was quite stressful as I so didn’t want to mess things up for the group. The good news for these runs is that I’ve seen 2 Symbols drop (lost both) so maybe I’m just lucky or maybe they did tweak things a bit.
I also stuck my neck out into the moors a bit on my Warden and holy cow was that a blast. I started off soloing and got stomped on by a Warg/Warleader duo – which wasn’t surprising. Wargs are really annoying with all their stuns and I’m also REALLY rusty out there 🙂 I then ended up running with a small group and we didn’t do all that bad in the grand scheme of things. I really need to get out there more as I found myself falling into my tanking rotation which is just bad. I re-spec’d full fist line with the 2 additional masteries as I think the fears could be more useful down the line then possible additional DPS. The pace out there really is MUCH faster and it will certainly help overall to make me a better and more dynamic player. The moors always has been a good fit for me as when I don’t have much time I can just run around solo but can also hop in groups when I have more time available and you’ll probably hear and see more from me from the moors. I also need to keep my eyes open for other weapons with better PvP legacies…
Posted in Captain, Gambits, LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged Captain, End-game, Equipment, festival, Gambits, Gear, group, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, pvp, radiance, raid, reputation, Warden