Monthly Archives: May 2010

Legendary Relic Farming

After my recent issues (or concerns is probably more accurate) while raiding BG I’ve been taking a closer look at my Warden and trying to make her stronger.  Some of them I posted about the other day but I also wanted to work on my runes for my legendary items.  Luckily I happened to be chatting with an in-game friend about this and he tipped me on to a pretty nice method.  So I’ve spend the past day or so running the numbers and figured I’d post the results I have so far, which do seem to line up with his.

Previously I would save up or buy off the auction hall a bunch of crummy legendary items, equip them, kill a couple mobs, and then deconstruct them at level 2.  This is a pretty effective method but can become quite tedious.  A variation on this theme is to complete a bunch of Mirkwood quests (or the Moria mirror quests) that reward LI experience and in-between turn-ins visit the Relic Master to deconstruct a newly leveled legendary item.  Many of the deconstructs will result in just a couple of Tier 1 relics, but critical results will yield multiple tier 4’s so this can be very effective.

However, with the appearance of skirmishes I thought this might be a nice change of pace to my normal method.  I had assumed bartering for the highest level runic  would grant the best results, however my testing so far is quite the opposite.  I’m not going to claim that I’ve done a statistically valid test here, but my data combined with some others seems to be within the same ballpark so while your results might fluctuate somewhat it should be close, and as you’ll see the difference between tiers is pretty staggering.

I ended up running a bunch of skirmishes and bartered for Tier 1 and Tier 2 runics and then kept track of the results upon their deconstruction and subsequent combination.  That coupled with some spot checks of the higher tiers (I haven’t ground THAT many skirmishes) confirms to me that bartering for Tier 1 runics is by far the best option.  Higher tier runics don’t produce the same quantity output as the Tier 1’s do, basically it is a decreasing scale.  Also, when combining relics the crit percentage is actually quite high and can generate runes two tiers higher which isn’t possible for a runic deconstruction.  The chart below summarizes my data so far:

Runic Tier # per Decon Ave/20 1’s SP Cost
1 8.3 165.5 460.0
2 4.8 51.3 929.5
3 3 17.8 1073.0
4 2 6.5 886.0
5 1 2.9 918.1

So the columns are the rune tier, the average number of runes resulting from deconstructing the runic, the average result from my tests using just tier 1 runics, and the skirmish point cost based on these numbers required to match the output from the tier 1’s.  As you can see, Tier 1’s are far and away better then any other option and depending on your luck you can get some really nice results as my first test yielded a tier 7 relic!

The other nice part is that 460 skirmish points is about what I can get from running the Rift skirmish on Tier 2 difficulty (about 30 minutes) after I barter all the special marks and such.  Other skirmishes vary but I can get around that number relatively quickly.

So my daily plan now will be to run the rift skirmish for my runic batch conversions, check the AH for warden items, and run the Mirkwood dailies.  And pretty soon I should have a nice stock of the tier 8’s and 9’s that I’m striving for.

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Fun times in Sammuth Gul

I ended up getting in a late night Sammuth Gul run last night with a couple of friends.  Our group wasn’t quite optimal as we were lacking a traited healer and didn’t have any crowd control.  I think I was more worried about the CC then I was the healing (as you’ll see later on) as the loremasters in there are just downright nasty.  However, we had lots of DPS, and lots of interrupts which made this a fun and exciting run.  I was on my Warden along with a guard, captain, champion, DPS spec’d runekeeper, and a full warrior skald traited minstrel.  The trash really wasn’t too bad as we essentially had 4 off-healers in the group and with all the heavies we had lots of spare morale.  Our Minstrel was able to stay in War-speech for a good deal of the fights and only towards the end or if we got an unlucky pull did he have to drop out.  We had a couple of marathon fights with summoners and unlucky punts onto bone piles, but the ability of our guard to get conjunctions off was key to us being able to move as quickly as we did.

The only part that really worried me was the Gorothol fight as there’s just SO many mobs and things get very crazy in there.  As the adds started to pile up we were able to just grab everything in the middle with the guard and myself trying to grab all the agro and the champ and runekeeper doing as much AoE damage as possible.  Our minnie was watching out for the loremasters to keep them occupied, trying to keep alive, and trying to toss us the occasional heal.  Although, as the following log will show I did a pretty darn good job of keeping myself alive as all the adds are a Warden’s dream 🙂  After a while I think the guard and I had the agro shared pretty well but my morale bar wasn’t moving much at all as I just kept cycling through our life-taps and conviction.

CStats 2010-05-26 13-12-57-17

So over the course of the entire fight, I was healing myself for roughly 100 morale per second 🙂 which surprised me when I looked at it considering I probably wasn’t healing at all for at least the first half or so.  Also, if you look at the breakout of my attacks you’ll see just how much more damage our gambits do versus the builders and has me thinking that I can slow down some and rely more on the masteries to build my gambits to save some power and I won’t sacrifice that much threat or DPS.

CStats 2010-05-26 13-15-26-03

But with critted food and power pots, I actually seemed to be in a better spot then some of the others in our group so that made me happy.  I’ve also noticed that since I have a larger morale pool I can actually drop down enough to use Darkness Before Dawn and not get destroyed.

And finally, we did get a symbol drop, which sadly I did not win, but at least it did go to my friend who hadn’t won one before.

Omission from my community post

So I just realized as I was updating my iTunes that I forgot to mention another new community site when I posted on saturday. @CandaceVO has started up not only a new blog but a new podcast as well, you can find her blog over at The Green Dragon Inn and her podcast is available on her blog and in iTunes as well.  Her format will be a little bit different as she admits there are already good news casts out there (CStM, LOTRO Reporter, and LOTRO Cast), so hers will be more community based.  As much as I enjoy the other casts, it is always nice to have something from a different perspective.

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My week in LOTRO

I didn’t get too much time in this week but was able to get into some raiding and group fun.  I also did some re-working of my Warden which I’ll get to at the bottom.

On Wednesday I JUST missed getting into a BG raid, which was just as well as I was already committed to one on Thursday 🙂 so I ended up just messing around in game chatting with folks while waiting to see what was going to happen.  I did end up doing a quick run of DD with one of my kin-mates to finish off her class legendaries, which did have some interesting moments as you’ll see from the pictures below:



I ended up getting punted into the sticky walls and hanging out there for a bit 🙂  Since we were all well over-leveled it didn’t really matter but I can imagine for an on-level group that could be a bit of a problem.

Thursday was back into BG for another run at Durchest.  We’re still struggling with him and are trying to figure out what’s going on.  It may be something we’re doing (or not doing) on the tanking side, but that appears to be working properly for the most part until one of us dies.  I’ve looked at a couple of videos including this one showing hard mode but nothing terribly obvious has jumped out at us.  Maybe we’re just missing a combination of small things that when build up cause serious issues.  The other forum post I noticed which I thought was interesting was the following on Durchest’s heal. He has a heal that happens when someone in the raid dies, but he can actually store those up and save them for when he hits 100K.  Rather annoying, but does account for some seemingly random healing.

But all the struggles in BG have caused me to check out my Warden to make sure she’s at least properly geared out.  I ended up switching out Tolerance as looking at my logs I really don’t take that much tactical damage for Valor which gives me a pretty nice morale boost.  I then switched over to the Lothlorien Stalker’s cloak from the Lothlorien Preserver’s Cloak which cost me a bit of Might in exchange for power and fate.  I’m then going to see if I can get lucky and crit on the Greenwood necklace on my jeweler as that will be another morale booster plus some incoming healing, in exchange for some agility.  I also was checking out the various crafted relics and realize I need to find a supreme master cook who has kindred reputation with the crafting guild to make me the +100 morale rune as mine currently aren’t all that great.  I prefer that over the +20 vitality ones (which for tanks provide the same morale boost) as with my current stats I get real close to the stat cap when fully buffed.  I also need to get some more work in on relic grinding as the ones I’m using could stand to be a bit better.  With all these changes, I should be able to get my morale around 7400 and power at 2350 without buffs and without sacrificing my other stats too much.  Feel free to check out my character page and let me know if you see anything I could swap out.

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LOTRO Community Projects and News

So there’s been a number of new (or maybe just new to me) projects and updates from the various community outlets and I wanted to highlight a few of them.

First up is another video from the EveNArtworkS folks I mentioned in a previous post with their amazing Warden video, this time highlighting one of my favorite classes to group with – the Loremaster! If you haven’t seen either of these, I highly recommend them as they do a great job of mixing the beauty of LOTRO with the music and the uniqueness of each class.

@Veneration has been pretty active of late not only putting together good forum resources for new players but also in launching and updating the LOTRO Network. This is a community site for sharing all sorts of LOTRO related videos as well as the site for the live stream of the LOTRO Reporter. @Veneration also has been streaming various in-game events like runs through the MIrkwood instance Sammath Gul.  All of the live streaming events are usually announced through twitter so it might be worth following those guys if you want to catch things live.  I usually try to catch the live cast of the LOTRO Reporter as its a good time with the folks in the chat-room.

I’ve talked numerous times about the tool CStats including recently on my post about my BG raid experience and there’s now a community resource not only for the continuation of the tool but also for sharing your logs.  If you’re interested in looking at others logs or in posting your own head over to the Lord of the Logs site. I’ve posted a couple and will be posting more as I get in a better habit of parsing my fights 🙂

The folks over at LOTRO Weekly continue to put out high quality stuff, and this is no exception as they’ve released the beta of a LOTRO Crafting Calculator.  This will allow you to see exactly how many materials you will need to craft whatever you’re working on.  There are some tricky things as there’s no way to account for crits or the way Farming works, but it really is a handy resource.  They’re still finishing it off, so it might not have every tier for every profession but I wish something like this was around when I started crafting!

And last but certainly not least, for all you fellow bloggers and podcasters you might want to check out Lunna’s forums post titled “Advice for new bloggers” as there’s not only good advice in her post but the thread has quite a few good nuggets in it.

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Other gaming diversions

So I wanted to put up a quick post talking about a couple other games I’m playing, not all that much but from time to time when I can’t find groups in LOTRO.

First up, thanks to @Longasc’s referral, I’m playing Star Trek Online (STO).  I haven’t decided if I’m going to subscribe yet as I honestly haven’t spent that much time in-game.  However, from what I’ve seen I did really like as I’m been looking for a more twitch based space game then Eve-Online.  I do think my perfect game would be a blend of the two, but we shall see how I feel as I get more STO under my belt.  The space combat is almost overwhelming as there’s so much pretty stuff to look at that I have to remember that things are shooting at me and I need to respond to that 🙂  The ground combat isn’t all that exciting, but when your focus is on space I can deal with something not quite up to what I’d get from LOTRO.  I definitely need to get in there some more and check things out but so far I’m sufficiently intrigued.

The other game I started was one I had forgotten about until listening to the last episode of “Shut up, we’re talking,” which is Tiger Wood Online. I’ve always been a big fan of EA’s sports games but not necessarily a fan of the buying the new version every year to get new stats and not much new gameplay, so the idea of a free-to-play web based version was very exciting.  You can pay a monthly subscription which allows you access to all the courses, where as the free version limits you to a couple at a time with I believe a weekly refresh.  There’s also a cash shop with typical golf pro shop items in it which can change your look and boost your stats.  As much as I’d like to customize my golfer, I’m trying to calm the addiction a bit, and just deal with the free option for now.  As you play your golfer gets experience and levels up, while also getting cash rewards which can be used to buff your stats.  I’m still having issues with things like putting and in-between club shots but am scoring consistently below par, which is mainly due to this game playing much like the stand-alone versions.  So far, I’ve just been checking out the single-player and tournament options but there are multi-player options and more coming from what I’ve seen so far.  There’s also a social option of sponsoring people which I haven’t completely figured out yet.  So, if anyone out there is playing TWO and can explain that would be great.

I don’t expect either of these to be full-time games, but they’re great fill-ins for when I don’t have lots of time, patch days, or times when I’m just not in the LOTRO kind of mood.

More LOTRO later, as hopefully I’m raiding this week and will get some updates from how that goes.

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Further BG Information

So like I mentioned in my post last week I’ve been spending quite a bit more time raiding and wanted to share some more observations and some other strategy links.

First up, I did parse our fights from last week using CStats and saw some interesting numbers.  This was from our longest and best attempt at Durchest and I’ll show a couple of snapshots:


Now this only shows the fight from my perspective but it is interesting just how much healing I was able to pump out.  If there’s any disagreement about Warden’s lightening the load on the healers, here’s the proof 🙂  Also notice how damn hard Durchest hits!


This shows all my damage by attack, and the main thing I wanted to point out is how much damage our bleeds can do and also clarify that I don’t actually auto-attack that much it is just the “hidden auto-attack” that ticks despite the animations.


The final snap from the fight shows some stats on Durchest’s attacks, kinda interesting to see how painful those cleaves can be and need to be mitigated as much as possible.

And for those of you trying to learn this raid, check out this long forum thread as there’s lots of good information and annotated snap-shots to help explain what’s going on.  Not that the poster is 100% right on everything (nor does he claim to be) but there’s good discussions about some of the different methodologies.

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New zone info?

So this information came out last week but I wanted to toss it out to give my take on it.  I saw the notice on both the live boards as well as over on pointing to a PAX East interview with Adam Mersky their Director of Communication.  I’m not sure if he was supposed to say this, but he essentially confirms the speculation that we’re headed to Enedwaith next on our way to Isengard which would make a nice smooth segue over to Rohan for an expansion.  This forum post has some good pictures highlighting where this area is, but essentially is is the area south of Eregion and south-east of Eriador.

Based on how Volume 3 starts off, this makes sense as we would then lead the rangers down the North-south road and on to meet Aragorn in Rohan.

However, the problem that I have with this path is that it seems to take us on a course to collide with the armies of Isengard which seems a bit too early in the storyline.  We’re only just beginning the Two Towers and unless we’re going to miss the whole Helm’s Deep action (which would suck) I’m a little confused.  Maybe the explanation is that if we’re just leading the Rangers we could be sneaky and slip by Isengard to join up in Rohan  This would then allow us to provide intel for Rohan and what’s transpiring in areas the “Fellowship” doesn’t have visibility to.

I guess this path seems the most likely but I’m just struggling with how they’ll deal with Isengard.  Couple with that a lack of knowledge of Rangers’ story (I did find some information on Wikipedia but not much) and there just seems to be many options available to Turbine – which is a good thing for us, but annoying since they’re not talking about it :).  I guess I should’ve had the CStM folks ask the Tolkien Professor about the Grey Company.

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Another fun raiding week

I’ve been a bit quiet but that’s partly due to a lack of general LOTRO news, coupled with a busy schedule for me.  However, I did have a pretty fun week getting into some fun group adventures in LOTRO.

On Tuesday I got in another run of the 12-main raid BG which although not terribly successful I am enjoying it quite a bit.  This raid certainly is challenging and really makes folks pay attention and work together.  It also gives all classes a chance to shine as it isn’t just a tank & spank, it isn’t a DPS race, it requires lots of agro control, healing, CC, and DPS all working together.  The first part of this raid, called the Gauntlet, can get a little crazy as there are a large number of mobs with timed waves, that all have unique abilities which cause numerous problems.  There are big Uruks with huge melee range 360 degree AoEs so those need to be kept out of the group or really bad things happen 🙂  This is where the timing comes in as 2 Uruks aren’t too bad (one tank grabs each) but the third really starts to cause problems.  While the 2 tanks are playing with the Uruks (and keeping in range of the healers) the rest of the group is dealing with Wargs and Goblins.  The wargs are really annoying with fears and silences so you need to get them down first and fear/mez the ones you’re not DPS’ing.  The goblins are mainly just annoying and usually just drag those along.  The groups I’ve been with have this down relatively well, periodically individuals with die but luckily they just pop back up at the door and can easily rejoin the rest of the group.  As you can imagine with all these guys running around this fight requires good communication and gets really hard if you’re with folks who don’t have voice chat.

Once you get through the Gauntlet you come up to the first boss in BG – Durchest.  This is where I messed up on Tuesday (fixed it on the subsequent runs though) and while distracted thought I knew our plan but in fact we were doing it a different way.  The fight is challenging in that he applies a threat de-buff on the tanks that slowly overtime increasing such that the tanks are at –100% threat.  And as a timed mechanism there are adds that come out.  I’ve only been in there on my Warden so better understand that part then the add mechanic, so I’m not really going to touch on that.  But for Durchest there are 2 main ways to tank him – agro swapping, or delayed tanking.  Agro swapping requires one tank in front and the other behind with each “fighting” each other for agro such that when one is tanking, their debuff is increasing, while the other tank is building threat as hopefully his debuff wears off.  In theory then the debuff is only on one of the tanks and they just trade off during the fight.  The delayed tank method requires 2 tanks to go get the debuff (he can only have a max of like 210% debuff out at any time) and keep the debuff such that a 3rd tank can tank away with a much smaller or non-existent debuff and things go as normal.  In addition to this mechanic, Durchest has a couple other tricks up his sleeve.  First off, he hits for a TON – I’ll routinely get hit for 4K a pop and quite often back to back 4K hits.  In addition, we will as part of his script walk out and take a swing at someone in the group for that same 4k hit.  So this causes issues for the healers as someone in the group will get smacked (hopefully not while there are adds) and then he’ll come back and smack around the tanks.  Usually our trouble has come from this mechanic in that the healers can’t keep up with this or there’s an unlucky crit or something like that. And this is where Durchest gets even more annoying in that he has a huge heal when anyone in the group dies, and if it is a tank you then have huge agro issues which will usually create a wipe.  We had a fairly decent run on Tuesday but couldn’t get him down before folks had to log.  Part of the annoying mechanic in BG is that the Gauntlet will reset in 45 minutes so you only get a couple chances with Durchest before you need to re-clear that area.

So, on to Wednesday and I popped on to see what other trouble I could get into.  I responded to a GLFF looking for a Minstrel for Dar Narburg (or however you spell it) as they were working on the Blind One.  I’ve been in DN a number of times, but hadn’t done this fight so it was pretty interesting.  Not to mention that I had to re-train my brain to heal folks as opposed to tanking.  The BO is another interesting fight which no matter how much you read about it is really hard to wrap your brain around until you’re actually there.  To explain he has the potential to put a real nasty fear (might be poison, I forget) on players but the bad part is that it can spread.  So, in order to deal with this the raid needs to spread out and keep at a distance for the first phase of this fight.  Our first attempt had some positioning issues and I ended up getting too close to others which combined with everything else going on just created too much of a problem such that we wiped.  We then got that down and made it through that phase into the second phase where the real problem comes from the massive AoEs and the random holes that spawn which “stun” people trapped in them.  This combination ended up being too much for us and after a couple more wipes we called it a night.

And then last night I went back into BG with the same group I’ve been in there with the past few times.  We had some tighter time restrictions and took a bit to get started as we were short a couple so we only got 2 attempts in on Durchest.  We ended up doing the delayed tanking method and got REALLY close to getting Durchest down, but we ran into another problem I think.  We were going for Hardmode which requires you to kill 10 adds before Durchest dies, however we were killing Durchest too quickly and had to pull back on him and speed up on the adds.  I think this caused a bit too much stress and panic on the group and things just slipped out of control.  We then had a death with popped him from under 15K to back over 200K and then ran into agro issues with Durchest running wild, thus causing the wipe.  Now the interesting part of this was that after the first portion where myself and the guard each got up to the 100% threat debuff, neither of us could get back anywhere near that high.  There was a large portion of time where I had no debuff on me even though I was in the proper position.  The mechanic here is that the debuff wears off after a minute but his frontal AoE attack, when it hits, will reset the timer and increase the debuff.  The guard did have protection on me which boosts my defenses and I guess it is possible I was just really luckily in my avoidance such that he just never hit me.  But either way, it was a fun run but terribly frustrating as we got SO close to bringing him down.

Not sure how much raiding I’ll be getting into the next bit here but I really am enjoying it even though we haven’t been terribly successful.  And although BG has some annoying mechanics I really enjoy the raid and it is definitely challenging and I agree it is by far the hardest raid in LOTRO without question.  I’ll probably work to get the other couple of pieces my Minstrel needs such that I can bring him into BG as needed.

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What Podcasts are you Listening to?

I figured I’d toss this out to folks and hopefully you can help me fill out my Podcast directory a bit.  I travel quite a bit so I do have lots of time to make it though various shows but I’m finding myself running out of episodes which is just a bad thing.  So, help me figure out what all I’m missing 🙂  I do have some other sports related ones that are seasonal (Football and Hockey) but primarily I’m looking for either gaming related or techie stuff.

As of now I’m currently listening to:

  1. LOTRO Related
    1. A Casual Stroll to Mordor
    2. LOTRO Reporter
    3. LOTRO Cast
    4. Through the Palantir
    5. The Late Night LOTRO Show
    6. The Tolkien Professor
  2. The Old Republic (Might have to take a break from these, or trim it down)
    1. Darth Hater
    2. Mos Eisley Radio
    3. TORO Cast
  3. General Gaming
    1. Massively
    2. The Multiverse
    3. Shut up.  We’re Talking
    4. View From the Top
    5. 404 Radio UK
  4. Tech Stuff
    1. Buzz out Loud
    2. The 404

So what else do you guys have on your music player of choice?

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