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.