Category Archives: Raids and End-game

Section for end-game content

Today’s update to Bullroarer


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.

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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.

Promising news from Turbine Regarding Horses in F2P Store


So there’s been some talk on this one by both Mordor or Bust and Casual Stroll to Mordor but I did want to post the confirmation post from Sapience:

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.

Good Warden End-game Gear


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.

Most of the information below is from the following thread on the forums – Best in Slot Discussion and there’s also some other good stuff over on the Codemasters Forums. In addition there’s another good resource over on the LOTRO Gear site.

Finally, even though I’ve posted some other items that are coming with the F2P launch, I’ll add those in later in case they tweak them again.

Please let me know what I’ve missed 🙂

Earring

Bracelet

Neck

Pocket

Ring

Cloaks

Shields

Good Off-tanking post


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!

More LOTRO Video Resources


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.

New Treasure Category on the Classic Skirmish Vendors


I saw a thread on the Minstrel Board about these new items and figured I’d go check them out.  The way it works is that each instance “cluster” now has a Treasure category for it that has various weapons, shields, and jewelry available for barter.  I’m a bit torn by this honestly as I do like the chance of randomness in instances but this does give a reliable way to achieve what you’re looking for.  For the most part, I’m ok with this split implementation they’re rolling out with F2P in that the current instances will be “random” and the level scaled instances will be more deterministic in their loot.  The other nice thing about this implementation is that you do have a list of what’s available as opposed to wondering if/where something drops.

There’s a bunch of drops there, so I’m just going to post some of the higher end gear.  I’m also not posting the various weapons as honestly I just don’t know if they’re viable compared to others since I haven’t looked at off-hand items at all.  I’ll have to do some more checking on the comparisons to my current gear but there are some nifty items.

The other cool thing is that they’re adding in the resist potions and food that were previously only available as a one-time quest reward for various Helegrod instances.  I always saved these as I figured there’d be a good time to use them, but currently you can only get a fixed amount and they’re BOA.

Annuminas

Mirhigil – Necklace – intriguing for a melee class

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Golden Spear-Head – Pocket  – Attack and Resist boosts

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Feredilloch – Earring – interesting item, not sure who this would fit

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Silver-Strand Necklace – another decent melee class item

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Armband of Giants – struggling with this one, might be a tank or Minstrel item

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Ring of Fulfillment – Looks nifty for a moors MinstrelScreenShot00435

Wall of Annuminas – I know little about heavy shields but the 805 Morale heal looks handy

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Arastan – Medium Shield – Nice ICPR and some other interesting stat bumps

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Flame-Ward Shield – Warden Shield – No ICPR but some other nice stat bonuses

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Eregion

Mentors Earring – A highly desired earring for many classes because of the crit boosts.

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Tattered Bookmark – Interesting pocket with Fate and Resists.

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Beaded Gemstone Bracelet – Nice tank bracelet but lacking ICPR.

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There are also barter options for some of the housing cosmetic drops.

Helegrod

Skull of Thorog – HUGE housing item that I’ll admit I can’t wait to get – it is expensive though 🙂

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Necklace of the Worm – Intriguing for a tank but probably a hefty morale hit

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Cold-Bear’s Canine – Pocket – pretty nice for a caster type

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Cold-Bear’s Claw – Pocket – maybe for a hunter or RK

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Daeramath – Warden’s Shield – not too shabby of a shield

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Stoutwall – Heavy Shield – Again, I don’t know much about heavy shields but the common damage negation is always nice

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Beta Event and Instance Join


This week a bunch of my playtime was actually over on Bullroarer and I enjoyed it quite a bit for a number of reasons.  I did get in a partial DN run on my Warden but that was relatively routine.

First up was the Beta Stress test on Wednesday which after some initial bumps got off to a pretty decent start.  A bunch of us were chatting over Twitter so we were able to join up in game.  This was pretty fun as I got a chance to run around with folks I don’t normally get to play with but talk with frequently.  They briefly pulled the servers down but only for a few minutes and then left them up for the duration of the event.  Nothing too interactive from the devs as I think they were mainly trying to stress test the store and work any of the kinks out of that.  It does seem like they’ve worked some things out as it does seem to be more responsive and a bit smoother, but I still think there’s some work to be done.  One very cool thing they were testing out was the “Ripcord” capability which allows Turbine disable all Lua scripts globally from the server side.  This allows them to maintain control and quickly disable things if they find a loophole or some undesirable script floating around.

After some of the “scheduled” stuff, the group of us just roamed around Enedwaith for a bit checking out the areas.

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I took some screenshots and managed to do a little building climbing as well.

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One thing I thought was pretty cool is they finally found a home for the old crystal dwarf instances that were pulled from Moria!

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I always thought those were cool spaces so I was happy to see them back in.  Also, I tried to get a decent shot of the new drakes as those are some pretty cool looking monsters!

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Then last night I joined some of the folks from the LOTRO Reporter Network and we ended up running the new Great Barrows instance.  We started it more or less on level with the 5 of us between levels 20 and 30.  Since we only had 5 we tried dialing it down a couple levels but did struggle a little bit until we brought in a couple big toons to just finish it off.  I really enjoyed the new layout of the zone and thought it was a much smoother play through.  Sadly my hard drive was having some issues and I ended up losing the Fraps capture of the run.  The Instance Join functionality is incredibly convenient as you jump right to the instance and return right back to where you joined the instance from.  Also, we only made it through 1 wing of the instance and I had enough of the special skirmish marks to get 1.5 pieces of the armor, so it seems like getting the armor won’t take too many runs through the instance.  And I’ll admit I might have missed some of the loot as I was mainly just enjoying the instance.  However, playing with folks on Bullroarer really makes me want to have cross-server instance join!