As I start to plan things out a bit, I was curious what others were thinking of doing with their Turbine points when the system launches. So I’m tossing out a quick poll for people, and if you have some other thoughts feel free to share them in the comments. I’ll be sharing my roadmap here shortly.
As I quoted yesterday, Sapience indicated that some of the items in the store have been tweaked. Now granted, I will admit I may be a build or two behind on some of these but I did want to talk about a couple of them as there was a new patch up today. However, nothing earth shattering on the patch with only a few notes in total.
First up, I’m happy that they did add in a helm to the Annuminas Heavy Armor set. I’m not super excited about the look, but it is nice to have another option including the cloak to get the full 6/6 bonus which this set really needs to be comparable. I’ve updated my spreadsheet but am really struggling with Google Docs so I’ll probably wait until launch and post a final version. But certainly take a look below for the stats and looks of it.
I do think the armor set costs might have been dropped a bit (or maybe not as these match this post on the forums) as the Annuminas pieces only need 1 Annuminas mark and 3 of the level 65 special marks with the Helegrod items being 2 and 5 respectively. However, the pieces are pricy on the normal marks at 1,896 for the Annuminas pieces and 2,370 for the Helegrod pieces. Considering I can get a few hundred marks per normal single person skirmish it is looking like a piece or so per run through the appropriate instance. Which when you compare it to normally getting armor pieces this is a MUCH quicker pace as previously you had to not only complete the instance but get lucky on roles and most groups only allow one piece per run per person.
I already talked about the reputation mounts, but you can buy the normal initial mounts for 695 points which I think is a nice option as I know many folks sometimes struggle to save up enough gold for that purchase.
I didn’t notice any real changes on the stat tomes but the Virtue tomes have been changed to all be a constant cost as opposed to a sliding scale. In total, to max out a virtue from the store it costs the same as it did previously, but now each rank is 295 points versus a small amount for that first rank. I know I will be topping off a few levels on my toons so this does make it a tad more expensive but I think it makes sense.
I’m still a bit on the fence with the Morale pots as they’re now 300 points for a stack of 10. These potions stack with the normal potions and with the duration of 20 seconds combined with a 20 second cooldown you can essentially boost your ICMR (or ICPR) by 3600 or 60 points per second. I can see these during tough boss fights and in all honesty I’m still not sure these are expensive enough. These potions will essentially allow you to power through a tough transition or stabilize the group for a couple of minutes. I do think this will make some fight mechanics much easier for certain groups and the potions could become requirements for certain raiding groups. I guess I’m seeing these as a “crutch” that could be used for raiders in a similar manner to how the various hope quest turn-ins were used back in the day. I think requiring groups to have those pots purchased is a bad thing, but I’m on the fence as I do like the idea of providing a not totally game breaking crutch to get groups over the hump in certain areas. As long as Turbine continues to put out challenging fights like BG, and it sounds like the instance revamp will be even more challenging, these could really help folks speed up the learning curve. After a run or two, I would imagine these pots wouldn’t be as needed until a new instance was attempted. Oh, and I’m not even going to touch the moors implications as that will just make my head hurt 🙂 However, I don’t see these as a long term issue but a short term emergency tool.
Other than that, the store seems MUCH faster and responsive and they’ve cleaned things up quite a bit, but granted it could be that I just hopped on during a quiet time 🙂
I am starting to formulate my plan for what I’m going to be using the store for and will have a post on that soon.
Reputation mounts were removed based on beta player feedback.
For those of you who think betas or our feedback don’t matter, here’s another case where they do. I’m quite happy that they’ve been removed, although I would’ve been ok if they figured out a way to make them gated behind reputation. A couple posts down Sapience continues to mention that they’re still tweaking prices based on player feedback and there will be another update before launch. Good stuff and I’m happy to see the direction they’re moving in to try and balance the store out.
This will probably have some spill-over for the other classes as well but I wanted to start keeping track of not only some of the better gear options but where some of these things drop. The forums are a great resource for this kind of information but sometimes it can be hard to find and even lost due to forum wipes.
The armor sets are a little easier to keep up with and follow, but I do have some spreadsheets for Wardens, Captains, and Minstrels comparing the various sets statistically and visually.
When it comes to jewelry and cloaks it gets a little bit harder for 2 main reasons. First off there’s just a lot more variety in these areas with crafted, drops, quest rewards, etc that all can be viable in certain cases. But probably the tougher part is that many of these are random boss drops that don’t always drop so it can be hard to not only track them but remember where they dropped from.
I will have a separate page on my blog for this information here, in a similar fashion to how I’m archiving forum posts..
And for comparisons, if you’d like to see what I’m currently wearing you can look at the MyLOTRO pages for my Warden, Captain, and Minstrel.
There’s a really good post on the Guard forums outlining not only the idea of what off-tanking is but good tips and suggestions for actually doing it. Chazcon from the forums does a great job of explaining things and I’ll admit I do struggle with this at times as I think in many cases it is easier for me to main tank as opposed to off-tanking. Now this is a bit more focused on the Guardian, but there are a number of parts of it that are quite general in nature.
One of the big issues with this for me is communication. I’m sure if I was in a “static” group and knew the other tanks better this would be easier and of course being on voice chat also makes this even easier still. But while PUG’ing, I’ll usually error on the side of more threat as opposed to sitting back and focusing on our other roles.
That’s on my Warden though, I find it much easier to off-tank on my Captain and probably will play a similar role on my Champion too as they’re just not set up to be main tanks and as such do better at burst agro control. On my Captain, I’m mainly watching out for the squishies and tossing out a quick forced taunt to keep them safe until the tank can round up that mob or the group can burn it down.
In addition to posting the link, I’m also going to copy the content here and start a bit of a forum repository on this site for tanking purposes as I know we lost quite a bit of information with the previous forum purging. I’m not sure of the best way to do this, but so far I’m just setting up another page on my blog for Good Forum Posts. But if folks have a better idea, feel free to let me know!
I’ve been off and on following this game as the concept of it is pretty intriguing since the central theme revolves around organizations like the Templars and Illuminati. There’s been bits and pieces of it that have come out, but this new video covered over on Massively not only looks very cool but also provides some insights on how the game will work.
The video shows gameplay footage which I really appreciate as it gives a good feel for how things with look and work. We get the idea that there’s going to be significant voice-overs in the game, now whether the whole game (or your character even) is voiced is still TBD but I do like having that aspect as it really helps with immersion.
Another aspect they show-case is just after the character creation there’s an origins sequence (not sure how long it is, or how interactive it is) that shows how you achieved the powers you selected. I’m curious how many different options there will be as this could be a pretty daunting task for them with all the possible combinations. This really does not only help with immersion but getting to feel more of a connection to your character. This concept could be one of the cooler ideas I’ve seen lately on the character creation aspect and it really has me very interested in this game.
The other way they get you hooked into your character’s progression is via a “time-machine” instance early on which takes you to the future to play as a more powerful version of yourself. Sounds like not only some good story telling opportunities but it gives you an early preview of the bad-ass you can become. Another cool idea to give players a feel for “end-game” right up front as well as also giving them some grouping options early. I’m wondering if they’re doing an instance finder kind of thing for this first instance as that would be a very good thing for them to do.
And finally, there is some discussion on how progression will work in the game which isn’t totally new but is different from many other games. There are no levels, instead it sounds like you’ll gain more powers and those powers will gain strength over time. You can have 7 active powers and 7 passives but it also sounds like this is also rather flexible in that you can change them as you progress.
Overall this game seems to be shaping up well and I’ll be paying much closer attention to it in the future. If you interested, check out the link from Massively or I did post the video below as well.
I’ll keep this quick as I just wanted to make a couple comments on the latest Dev Diary on the new Vault. I really like the new vault and since I will most likely be buying more slots it will become much more useful. With all the icons, it can get hard to find things sometimes so the filters really do help.
However the part that I really wanted to point out was the discussion on the beta feedback. This new vault caused a HUGE uproar and I was quite impressed by how Turbine not only responded but let the players vent. This to me is the main reason why there are NDA’s as if that news had hit live, people would’ve gone even more ballistic and many would have not come back or at least the damage would have been done before Turbine had a chance to flesh out the system. In addition (I know this will come off as me being a fan-boi) but Turbine does seem to be more than willing to let people disagree with them and that the main reason they shut down threads is do to flaming. They didn’t completely change their course but I think their compromise shown below is a very good attempt to satisfy everyone.
It will take a bit to get used to the new vault, but overall it will be a more flexible and scalable system.
There’s been a number of new (or maybe just new to me) videos posted over the past few days that I wanted to comment on and share.
First up, I know many of you are interested in the Lua scripting so in addition to the video and information I posted previously Merric from a Casual Stroll to Mordor has put up a great video. His video focuses on just a couple plugins and seems to hint that he’ll be doing more of them, this review touches on the Plugin Manager and Hunter Travel Window. I think the Hunter Travel window will definitely be one of the must-haves for any Hunter or Warden.
Next up for those of you looking for tips or hints from running the various Instances, Middle Earth Chronicles has started a new section of the blog with a good collection of videos. Go check out their Instance page and make sure to send in any videos you may have.
In addition check out Carlosjuero’s video showing some of the new UI tweaks over at LOTRO Reporter. Many I had seen, but I totally missed that you can now color code your quest helper on the map overlay. Good stuff and really walks through all the new tweaks available.
And finally but certainly not least I’ve been quite enjoying the video podcast published by the Uruk Hunter. Not only some good information but he also does comment his videos quite well.
Go check those sites out if you haven’t already, and I’ve also updated my Blog roll appropriately.
Turbine has continued to pump out Dev diaries and I’m a bit behind I’ll admit. But since the NDA has been lifted, I think much of this information is out there but it is always good to see how the Devs see things and get a little more insight on their process.
First up from last week was the Volume 3 Book 2 Quest Line diary talking about that portion of the epic line. I specifically didn’t do these quests on Bullroarer as I wanted to save them for live. I’m pretty excited about this portion of the story as not only do we get to follow the rangers path but also get to learn more about their stories. And of course, there’s the Ranger Session play that’s always enjoyable 🙂 The new technology to show and hide people based on your quest log sounds really cool and I’d love for them to roll that out everywhere as it is a bit lore-breaking to see folks in the wrong areas. The other big news item in this diary is the announcement that we’ll be able to re-play all the various session plays as much as we want. There are some really fun ones, so I quite like this idea for quick play-sessions.
The other diary was today’s release of the Wardrobe System, which for me is one of my favorite features of the F2P roll-out. I probably have a few bags on all my toons that are purely cosmetic and many are storing the same items. This will not only allow for more storage of useful items but another way to share items between characters. I’m glad they walked through the usage of the system as I’ll admit it took me a bit to figure it out – putting items in is easy as you just drag the item and it puts a copy into the wardrobe. You can then feel free to delete the one in your inventory if you want. To equip though, you need to drag the item directly to the slot on your character panel and not to your inventory. It is also nice that you can store various color variations using one slot and just use a pull-down to select which color as opposed to each color taking up a slot. And finally, the requirements to wear the cosmetic items have been loosened such that you don’t need the level or reputation to wear them but you will be limited to armor types. For instance, you won’t be able to deck your Minstrel out in heavy armor but your Captain will be able to cosmetically equip your Champion’s Rift Set.
I originally saw the headline “Premium Subscription Campaign” and thought maybe they were following Turbine’s model and looking at a Free 2 Play system. I was pretty excited about that as I do like AoC (see my previous post on it) and their extended trial but I just couldn’t get past the high price point if I want to move past the starter zone.
However, AoC isn’t going F2P at all, what they’re doing is incentivizing people to buy longer subscriptions up front. Usually most do this by simply offering a cost discount, but AoC’s adding in-game perks to these as well. Now many of these perks are consumable but they do seem pretty darn powerful including teleportation, healing potions, and xp boosters.
At first glance, I don’t have a problem with this but the more I think about it I”m wondering if this is Funcom dabbling in the Cash shop arena? But, in doing so they’re asking people to shell out quite a bit of up front cash which seems a little strange. Or is this an indication that they’re having funding issues and they’re trying to get more money now to stop the bleeding?
I’m not real sure on the motivation, but I thought it was a very interesting subscription announcement that I can honestly say I won’t be taking part of at all. I have a lifetime sub for LOTRO and have gotten my money’s worth from it but I’m not sure I’ll do long-term subscriptions in another game as they seem way too risky these days.