Monthly Archives: June 2010

Warden Roundtable


As I mentioned a week or so ago I participated on the Casual Stroll to Mordor’s podcast as part of their class roundtables, this one focused on the Warden class. I will admit it is a bit of a long episode (tad over 2 hours) but it was fun to not only have my thoughts but a couple other very good Wardens as well.  Both Azz and Ryodor play the class slightly differently then me and have different experiences so it is a nice diversion from my ramblings.

For those of you looking to pick up additional tricks or are just starting out with the class I’d strongly suggest taking a listen.

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Summer Festival Horse Races Working


They are up and running (at least on Silverlode) and I was able to do both the Shire one and the Bree race, although some were reporting issues with the Bree race.  I’m not real sure what’s going on there, but I did even fall off so it isn’t like I ran a perfect race.

So I have a few shots of the horse and a couple of the items I got already.

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After all my racing around I did need a break, so I took a little nap in my new hammock 🙂

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And after waking up I decided to check out a couple of views in my new chair:

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Summer Horse Updates


So there are 2 things in this thread:

First is a very nice snap of the horse from corrakkas on the forums, which was obtained using saved up tokens from the previous summer festival.  There’s also a cool snap of this horse while drunk 🙂

And confirmation from Sapience that things are broken and they’re looking into it.

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LOTRO Summer Festival Updates, Horse Race Delayed?


So I anxiously waited this morning for the start of the festival such that I could get the new festival horsie.  Sadly it appears they’re either delaying the horse races or there’s an issue with them.  We’ve been chatting on Twitter and at least Silverlode, Landy, and Big E are all experiencing the same “issue.”  I will be posting updates as soon as I get them, hopefully with pictures.

I also wanted to put up some links for folks to check out the walkthroughs of the various events as much of the festival hasn’t changed.  I will admit that for the festivals, I find a Casual Stroll to Mordor to be the best resource as they not only have the walkthroughs but screenshots as well.  First up there are some of the always there general quests like the Inn League, Dancing, and the farming quest.  You can check out the post on the Spring Festival as the horse races and Ale Association parts are the same.

As for rewards, you can also check out a recent furniture guide which has shots of most (if not all) of the rewards from the festival.  There are a couple new items like the hammock and such that I might end up getting as a nice change of pace from my normal decorations.

I’ll be checking things out to see what all’s new in the Festival but wanted to share some of the info up front for folks.

One thing I did want to point out is that there’s a quest to turn in your badges of dishonor from the Ale Association in for festival marks.  Pretty nice addition if you ask me, or maybe I just missed it last time.

Below are a few snaps of some of the items and new quests.

Couple of the new cloaks:

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Straw hat with short sleeved summer dress

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New Inn League quest (same are available for Ale Association)

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Ale Association barter turn-ins

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LOTRO Summer Festival and Anniversary Token Updates


First up, I wanted to clear up something on the Anniversary Tokens as I was wondering when they would stop dropping.  According to will Sapience, they will stop dropping on the 30th of June but the vendors for trade-in will remain in game until the 7th of July.  For those of you curious, I seem to have the best luck with the vendor in the Moors as they have the option for the Delving Stones required for various rewards in the Ettenmoors.

As Sapience also mentioned in his post, tomorrow is the start of the Summer Festival! Returning for this year’s festival is the Keg-races in Frerin’s Court outside of Thorin’s Hall and the Taste of Hobbiton race just north of the Party Tree.

There’s also the Summer Horse race in both Bree and Michel Delving for the new mount as shown in Cithryth’s YouTube video.

The scavenger hunts and fishing races are both back in this summer as well for those that prefer those events.

It seems like the only new addition are quests associated with the bitter rivals of the beer drinkers of Middle-Earth.  Yes the Inn League Association and the Ale Association both will have new quests added with the chance of maxing out reputation with both factions.

For me, I will be getting the new horse as I am a tad of an addict in that regard and will probably hold off on the drinking games until I see what all’s available from the various vendors and special rooms.  I wasn’t all that impressed previously, so we shall see what’s new this time around.

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My first encounter with the Lieutenant


So I ended up getting a rare Sunday evening play time and was able to fill in for my kinship’s BG raid.  Now this was the second day, so they had already cleared out Durchest and the Twins, so sadly I still have yet to successfully defeat those two encounters.  However, the LT was an interesting and very fun battle.  I probably ended up making a few mistakes, but I will admit there’s just so much stuff going on in that fight.  I’ve read up on the fight, but there’s only so much that will help until you actually get a chance to see the fight live.

Leading up to the top of the tower there is quite a bit of trash, most of it is similar to previous encounters with the Mace and Axe guys.  The only real tricky part there is not getting stunned around the same time as the Fire Axe does his death explosion as that’s just rather nasty.  However, that hopefully only takes out one or two people and the others should be able to take out the Mace relatively easily.

The other nasty mob are the lights, which aren’t too bad, they’re just annoying.  They bring extra dread as well as periodic AoEs that are preceded by big stuns.  They also have AoE fears which cause you to run off in random directions, and I’ll admit this is quite strange the first time it happens to you 🙂

So it does take quite a while to get up to the top, but once you do it actually is a breath-taking view.  Unfortunately the forest and such below doesn’t have quite the high-quality texture that the rest of the game does but I still thought it was a pretty nifty view.   We did also get a chance for a group pose while we waited for the GM 🙂

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Now technically we didn’t get him down as we had a few fill-ins (including myself) but did end up killing the fell-beast as for some reason the Lt. never dismounted like he is supposed to.  That’s how I was able to get the snaps, as we sorta broke the instance and had time before a GM could reset things for us.  I must say, it really didn’t take all that long for them to respond which was pretty nice.

As for the fight itself, it is pretty chaotic to say the least.  The main things to worry about are the dreaded eye-balls on top of your head.  There’s a purple one that is a nasty DoT that can also spread so you need to get away from the group.  There’s also a yellow one which is the fell-beast hits you while that mark is on you it will heal for 10-20K morale for each hit.  So, if you get the purple mark you just run away to the edge of healing radius but you shouldn’t have to worry too much.  But, for the yellow you’ll need to kite around such that the fell-beast doesn’t get near you.  There are also a few slows that can be annoying as well as areas of purple poo that are additional DoTs and just general not fun areas to be around.  Now the real fun is when you get both eyes, but luckily that doesn’t happen all that much.  There’s there’s also the frontal AoE “roar” the fell-beast does that’s pretty nasty as well so you really need to pay attention to where you’re standing and what’s going on.  The other mechanic is there’s a huge ICPR reduction from the Lt, but hitting the fell-beast does also return some power so there’s the potential to maintain a healthy power pool

Another important thing is right by where we posed as a group there’s actually a hidden “wall” that blocks you from hugging the wall to run around, and it is mirrored on the other side of the door too.  We’re thinking this is due to the chests, but just be aware that if you’re kiting around the wall you’ll need to move a bit towards the center to avoid that blockage.

I did end up parsing this fight, but it is a bit hard to get through as each time he flies up (about every 30-50K of morale) is split out as a separate encounter.  So for the times I was chilling in melee range I was up between 150 and 200 DPS, but that drops off dramatically to around 80 or so when I’m just using ranged attacks.

I’m really looking forward to running this some more, and I’d love to get in there with a bit more radiance (I just have 120) as that makes a big difference.  I also hope to get my minstrel and Captain geared up but that’s another post 🙂

Warden hopes and dreams


So with all the Tell the Community Threads of late (Captains, and today’s Guardian), I figured I’d get ahead of the game here and post what I’d like to see for our beloved class.  Most likely these ideas aren’t new or original, but I thought I’d toss out some ideas and provide a means for others to share as well.  I will also be adding these when they post the Warden TtCT, but figured I’d get people’s juices flowing ahead of time.

First up for me is power reduction.  I think the main area is with our builders so any mechanism that can cut down on those costs would be quite welcome.  We have a number of ways to reduce the power costs of gambits, but they’re just a small portion of our overall usage.  If any (or all) of these would apply to the builders as well as the gambits it would make a HUGE difference as I rip through power even with 1400 ICPR, critted Tier 6 food, and sucking power pots whenever possible.  I realize the masteries do help cut down some but I will admit there are quite a few times when all my masteries are on cool-down, granted I only slot 2 so that might be part of it.  I just don’t think we should be forced to slot masteries to remain power efficient.  And yes, I know probably I should slow down some but I don’t see any class having to throttle down nearly as much as we do to not run out of power.

Another area I’d like to see tweaked are our legacies in that most of our legacies (except for the welcome new ones with Mirkwood) are single gambit legacies.  Now while these are good, I’d really like to see them apply the gambit line logic they introduced with Mirkwood to damage and threat legacies in place now.  Sadly this may require a complete overhaul of the legacies, but I can still dream can’t I?

Another area that I feel needs to be addressed is that I’d like to have the same travel options as the hunter.  And I don’t mean a group port, I just want a muster to places like Forochel 🙂  I don’t think there are that many places we don’t have, and in all honesty Forochel may be the only one I really care about – well, that and Angmar.

We really need to get rid of the Skill and Power trait as for the most part I like our traits, but this one serves absolutely zero purpose.  I’m of the opinion that if you’re using the Gambit Default (or not a valid gambit built) you’re doing it wrong.  Something like increased DoT damage on the Power Line would be MUCH better and still not terribly overpowered.

And finally, I was originally advocating something like a threat catch-up skill for if we happen to die mid-fight (Durchest fight for example).  I put this last as I can sort of understand why we don’t have it, as this provides an area where Guardians shine, and this problem can be mitigated with good champions dumping agro to you.  However, I’d like to see some sort of a compromise where maybe we don’t just to the top of the threat list but perhaps a threat regeneration where we sacrifice some amount of damage output or power to get us back to the threat level we were at before we died.

What about the rest of you, what do you wish for our class?

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Thoughts and Speculation on the Fall Updates


So I’ve taken some time to read over the posts I mentioned the other day and instead of summarizing I thought I’d cherry pick a bit and talk about my thoughts on what we know and what I think might happen going forward.

So lets start with Enedwaith, which as I learn more about I’m getting pretty excited about it.  The map below (from the Massively article)

does show off a pretty fun looking zone and since we know the zone is bigger then the North Downs that’s quite a bit of content.  From this image (assuming its correct) not only is it a big area it is also quite diverse and should prove to be a nice change from the dreariness of Mirkwood.  Sure it is level 62-65 content but there will be stuff to do for us 65s and it will also provide an alternate leveling path.  Now there is some debate on the new dungeons or skirmishes, either way it should prove interesting.  Honestly I’m hoping it is dungeons very similar to how they did book 8 of Volume 2 with a couple of 3-man instances as part of the epic line and maybe a skirmish or two.  Especially if they can provide some good rewards for the instances such that they provide repeatable content.  Shockingly I’m actually looking forward to another reputation faction to work towards as I really do enjoy the rewards they’ve been providing of late.  My main hope is that there’s some more crafting options like the massive update with Mirkwood that not only provide cosmetic value but true end-game value as well.

Possibly the most exciting news from my perspective is the scaling instances as this not only gives us more content but it sheds some light on the new technology coming down the pipe.  I’m not sure how this will work and am so waiting for JWBarry’s “Novel” on these changes (he was quite integral in the skirmish system).  And in case you missed the update, these won’t scale by people just the level – so you’ll still need the same number of players but can scale things to different levels.  So you could run Fornost scaled up to level 65, but it would still require 6 people – I’m just using Fornost as an example as I know many don’t do this instance and would personally love to go back in there.  I have no clue how they’re going to handle loot from these “scaled” instances but I think there are all sorts of options.  They could just pull the on-level loot table or they could employ the skirmish system in there, or they could go in a totally different direction.  My only request is that for the love of god they don’t implement another barter system 😉

And finally, my thoughts on the Turbine store.  I think the biggest thing here is we really don’t know too much about it yet so I’m really holding my thoughts on it until we see it for real, or at least the developer diaries on it.  I’m trying to not focus on the details but the general concepts, and so far I really like what I see.  Sure there’s lots to be flushed out, but that’s what beta’s for and I’m quite confident things will take shape and work out in the end.  It is a little ironic that I posted on Power Leveling and they shortly afterwards mentioned virtue purchases via the store.  I’m still at tad torn on the whole idea of buying advancement but I think I’m leaning towards the comments the CStM folks had on Episode 42 in that this will help make the folks we group with that much stronger.  Not to mention that I really don’t want to grind valor, zeal, and innocence on my alts 🙂  So yes, the “young kids” might have it easier then use old folks who had to trudge up the hill both ways in the snow to get their deeds done, but I’m quite content to get alts raid ready quicker.  And for me, that’s really what I care about – end-game content and enjoying it, which is not only me playing it but having competent folks to run that content with.  Now yes, this is a bit of a slippery slope but as long as there’s nothing in the store that isn’t available in game, I think I’m ok with it.  Think is probably the key word there as my perception may change as they introduce new things, but I’m basing this solely on deeds.

My final word is for those of you lucky enough to get into the beta, latch on to what you care about and be vocal on the forums.  Also try to see the game from someone who’s never played before as that will really help improve the Turbine Store and all of our enjoyments of the game.  This really needs to be tested from all sorts of angles and play-styles so whatever you enjoy in the game you can contribute to a successful launch.  Oh and whatever you do don’t do something stupid like blab about being in beta – Turbine’s pretty serious about their NDA so don’t talk about stuff from the beta nor tell anyone you’re in the beta.

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New battle outfit


I’m not as much of a home decorator in game, but I do tend to change my outfits quite frequently.  Through some previous work in the Moors and luck with the gift boxes I was able to get enough of the various spirit stones to get some of the Ettenmoors armor.  I have no desire to use this for actual armor, but it just looks much cooler then other sets.  Pretty much for those who haven’t seen it, the moors sets are the same look at the Moria Radiance sets but black and purple (by default).  The main difference is that they’ve changed the majority of the color schemes to black such that you can actually create a dark looking set.  I may end up getting the boots and shoulders if I can get enough of the Luminous Stones (need 6 more) but for the boots I need to be rank 5, and I’m still only at rank 4.  So I took a couple of shots after a trip from the Moria Keg and then dyed the set black and took a couple shots from Mirkwood.

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So these two above show the front and back from the lovely cliff in the Foundations of Stone.

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Above is a shot of me up on the top of the central keep in Mirkwood and below is a zoomed in view on the dressing room, which is just part of the User Interface skin that I use.

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I still have a couple helms to switch between, including the rift cosmetic items as well that I play with as well as sometimes just fighting without a helm.

So this is my new favorite set – I’d love to see what others like to wear when heading to battle…

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Podcast re-cap and updates


The Casual Stroll to Mordor folks have been running a series of class specific round-tables, the first of which being for the Minstrels.  All sorts of good information as they had a good mix of play-styles represented.  So if you’re interested in learning about the class or how to better group with Minstrels it is a great listen.

The second of the classes they’ve covered is the Warden and I had a blast as one of the participants on that episode.  It hasn’t been released, but as soon as it is I will put up the link.  I will admit, in hindsight I might’ve been a tad on the confident (or cocky) side but as a tank I do think you need to have a bit of that mentality.  Again we did have a good mix of playstyles like the Minstrel roundtable so that made for some great discussions.

Both of these round-tables have also been broadcast live on the LOTRO Network (just like the LOTRO Reporter) with a chat room so even if you’re not invited to chat you can still chime in and ask questions or provide additional information.  Plus the chatrooms usually are pretty fun environments 🙂  CStM has usually been posting before they record if they’re doing it live and the LOTRO Reporter folks usually record late Wednesday nights for those of us not on the West coast and announce the start via Twitter.

I also wanted to mention the Through the Palantir folks as they just released the long awaited Moors episode.  I will admit it is a bit of a long episode, but it is SO worth it.  If you have any desire to learn about the Moors or if you’re looking to brush up on it (like me) I highly recommend the episode as they go through the mechanics, landscape, classes, and much more.

And finally there’s another new podcast out there for your listening pleasure.  Sparthir from the LOTRO World blog site has posted his first episode which is available from the site and also from iTunes.  I really do enjoy having multiple casts as everyone has slightly different takes on the game and covers different topics.

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