Category Archives: Minstrel

My plan for my F2P Turbine Points


So I posted this question a couple days ago (the poll is still open) but I figured I’d share my plan.  I’m expecting to have at least 5000 Turbine points just counting the Loyalty rewards, but I know I will also get more for the various new deeds that are implemented for Reputation as my 3 mains each have a quite a few factions at kindred rank.  Initially I plan to focus on Captain, Minstrel, and Warden but am sure that my Champ (more about her later) will get some attention too.

I know that the Wardrobe will be a big help to offload some of my storage issues but currently I’m using the Shared Storage as an extension of a couple characters vaults so I will have to end up getting some more Vault space.  I really want to get to a point where I can use shared storage as a replacement for mailing items between toons, but currently it is overflow 😦

On my Captain and Warden I’ll be finishing off Zeal to Rank 10 which is a bit more painful on my Captain but certainly worth it.  They’ll also both be getting a bank space update as their banks are packed and I need the space for crafting.

My Captain and Minstrel are also pretty low on a couple Virtues but mainly Empathy and Innocence so a big chunk of my points will go to max those out.  I will probably look and make sure there aren’t any low hanging traits there that I can grind in game, but Innocence is not one of my favorites to grind out.

The virtues that I’m focusing on I’m doing for two main reasons.  First off, melee defense and armor value are universally important and make a pretty substantial and measurable difference to your characters’ survival.  The second is that in all honesty, they’re a tad painful to grind out as those are mostly quest deeds and even worse they’re the top end of the tiered reward system for quests so I’d have to do 40 some odd quests in a zone to get the virtue.

Hopefully after all that I’ll then have enough leftover points to get at least the riding skill on my Champ such that I can avoid that riding quest 😉  And I might buy a better horse as I’m a bit poor from trying to power through Scholar and Weaponsmith.

After all that, my priorities for my 500 point allowance and whatever else I earn are:

  • More Shared Storage
  • Stat Tomes
  • Larger Wardrobe – I might not need this as I know I have similar items many times across my toons
  • Virtues for my Champ
  • Cosmetic Items
  • Housing Items

    But once I go through and clean up all my vaults and such to take advantage of the Wardrobe I might find that all I really need (or want might be a better word) to get are the stat tomes.

    So far though, the results of the poll show that I”m quite in the minority in my thought process 🙂  But, if you’re thinking like me, go vote and help me prove to myself that I’m not crazy.

    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

    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

    ScreenShot00429

    Golden Spear-Head – Pocket  – Attack and Resist boosts

    ScreenShot00431

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

    ScreenShot00432

    Silver-Strand Necklace – another decent melee class item

    ScreenShot00433

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

    ScreenShot00434

    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

    ScreenShot00436ScreenShot00437

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

    ScreenShot00438ScreenShot00439

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

    ScreenShot00440ScreenShot00441

    Eregion

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

    ScreenShot00442

    Tattered Bookmark – Interesting pocket with Fate and Resists.

    ScreenShot00443

    Beaded Gemstone Bracelet – Nice tank bracelet but lacking ICPR.

    ScreenShot00444

    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 🙂

    ScreenShot00448

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

    ScreenShot00449

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

    ScreenShot00451

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

    ScreenShot00452

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

    ScreenShot00453ScreenShot00454

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

    ScreenShot00455ScreenShot00456

    A Couple Other Place to Find Me


    Just a quick update this Monday morning, but I should have another post out today with some new goodies on the Skirmish vendors over on Bullroarer.

    I posted a new version of my traits discussion over on the LOTRO Reporter which took a slightly different approach from the post I did here a while back.  The one over on LOTRO Reporter is a bit more high-level while the post on this blog is more detail oriented.

    I also joined @Theobor on his latest episode of the Gondor Awaits Podcast chatting about Minstrels, so if you’re interested in my take on that class head on over there.

    Also of late I’ve started working on a new toon as I came to the realization that ranged classes aren’t for me.  So after all my bad mouthing of them, I decided to work on a Champion to see how they play out.  I’m only to level 12 but so far am enjoying the class, nothing like running into lots of mobs and mowing them down.  But I anticipate that mentality might get me into a bit of trouble soon 🙂  I’m not sure how quickly or how much I’ll play my champ but you’ll probably see a bit more Champ focused posting here as I go.

    New Radiance Sets Tweaked in Recent Bullroarer Patch


    This was a bit of a stealth update that wasn’t mentioned at all in the patch notes but all the new radiance sets were upgraded with the most recent patch.  The Annuminas sets didn’t change all that much, just a point or two here or there.  The Helegrod sets though were buffed quite a bit and in many cases are some of the best pieces around.  I’m pretty happy about this for two reasons as it shows they’re still tweaking things as well as making sure the amount of effort matches the rewards.  The appearances of them haven’t changed but if you’re interested in the stats they’re worth a look.  If you need a refresher on the looks check out the Minstrel sets and the Warden and Captain sets.

    I’ve updated my spreadsheets for the Warden, Captain, and Minstrel sets so check those out if you’re a number geek like me.

    Google Docs Version

    Excel File Version

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

    New Minstrel Armor Set Data


    I finally got around to adding in the Minstrel sets but I fail at Google Docs so I had to create a new Excel version but I could just append to the Google Docs.  I have both the Excel version and the Google Docs version depending on which you prefer.  Also, I took snapshots of the Minstrel set and remember the medium Annuminas set is the same as what I showed in the previous armor screenshots.

    Light Annuminas

    lotroclient 2010-08-03 19-45-17-95

    Minstrel Helegrod

    lotroclient 2010-08-03 19-49-24-10

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

    Updated Warden and Captain Armour Sets


    As I promised in my previous post today I did capture the new set information for the Annuminas and Helegrod armour sets.  I have since updated both the spreadsheet and Google Docs version of my previous armor comparisons for those who care.  I have not updated the Minstrel sets, but I will include the light and medium Annuminas sets for that one.  Overall the sets aren’t bad but really they’re just providing another path and option for folks if they want to get the required radiance.  When Bullroarer comes back up I will post with some screen-shots of what these look like and the barter levels but essentially they look like the original versions with different color schemes.  Basically the same idea as what they did with the moors sets.

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

    LOTRO F2P Beta Initial Details


    As Sapience has posted, the NDA on the LOTRO Beta has been lifted.  I’m pretty surprised they did it this early, but I’m not going to complain if they decide to release this sooner as opposed to later.  There are tons of posts up on the boards but if you don’t want to sift through those I will share my thoughts so far.  I will admit that I haven’t done everything but will break my post up in a few different topics as well as spread them out a bit.  I’ve already talked a bunch about the store so I’m not going to talk about that.  Once the servers come back up I will be posting some screen shots as well but I’m sure others will have them up shortly too 🙂  Also, if you have any specific questions let me know and I’ll see what I can do to answer them.

    Starting off with my main class, the Wardens have gotten some nice bumps at the cost of a potentially nasty bruise.  The biggest change is that our various carvings now apply to not only the gambits but the builders themselves.  For me this not only made a significant difference in my power usage, but since I didn’t have to pull back as much I also had a nice DPS boost.  Also Wardens will be getting a Muster to Forochel which while not game breaking is nice to fill out the skills.  The biggest “nerf” is that our Gambit recovery skills are now “fast” skills as opposed to immediate which means you can’t use them to interrupt long animations like Defiant Challenge.  I’m a bit on the fence about this one as Defiant Challenge really is now back to a crappy legendary but I understand that they need to be careful as it could be overpowered.  Not much else changed, but for other thoughts and ideas, check out the live boards for other reactions.

    The Captain class was changed pretty significantly and for the most part I think for the good. They’ve added an additional combat skill “Sure Strike” available at level 1, which does the same damage as Defensive Strike but cannot be blocked or parried. This really does help smooth things out such that you’re not waiting for cooldowns during combat. The other changes are in the trait lines as they’ve made some tweaks to the Leader of Men and Lead the Charge lines. Essentially the pet buffs from the Leader of Men lines have been moved to the Lead the Charge lines including the Oathbreaker pet as part of the Lead the Charge capstone. The Leader of Men capstone now has the increased threat mark and the application of the Shield brother buffs to your entire fellowship. The downside for Captains is the nerf of our banners to now provide rating increases and not percentages. Pretty much across the board this will result in a hefty drop in damage and a drop in morale/power. They’ve helped this a little bit with the addition of level 65 armaments and standards but it still doesn’t quite balance out. Essentially they’ve balanced it out more such that Heralds are viable again, but at the sacrifice of banners.  Heralds also did get some other tweaks, but being a banner Captain I didn’t look at those at all but check out this thread on the live forums as folks are posting their thoughts as well.

    There are two new armor sets available and I will have new versions of my armor spreadsheets posted here shortly as I did grab the info for both Wardens and Captains.  They’ve updated both the Annuminas sets (so there’s a light, medium, and heavy) as well as the class specific ones from Helegrod.  You can still get the old sets, but there are completely new level 65 sets as well.  One real cool thing here is this now provides a Medium Armour Radiance set for Minstrels 🙂  I do like the idea of the sets as it gives another option for radiance progression and doesn’t make the current sets irrelavent either.

    And finally, I wanted to touch on the new Lua scripting.  The community really has taken off with the scripting and there’s all sorts of very cool things folks have posted.  It really has been cool to see how people have been using this new tool but also working together to propose ideas and explain why certain things can’t work.  The main ones I’ve enjoyed have been the inventory tweaks, travel windows for Hunter and Warden ports, combat enabled quickslots, and changes to the “vitals” display.  The scripts only allow access to your own information but provides another way to display health/mana and a customizable way to see buffs and debuffs.  A couple of examples are making the expiration of buffs/debuffs easier to understand and pick and choose which buffs/debuffs you care about.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be using some of these when this goes live as I don’t see them as game breaking or cheating but just making the User Interface more effective for me and my play-style.  These plugins also really help with the cluttered quickslot bars as it allows you to clear off a bunch of things and order/display them exactly how you want.

    I’ll have more updates as well go, but wanted to get this out up front.

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

    Preparing to Raid – Radiance Gear


    A combination of a few things got me thinking that it might be a good idea to actually post some of the specifics on how to prepare for raiding.  I cover some of the general topics on Episode 47 of the LOTRO Reporter Podcast but didn’t go into too many of the specifics.  The other piece that got me thinking on this subject was listening to the View from the Top Podcast (Episode 12 to be specific) where they were talking about gear progression in Everquest 2.  I’ve posted on armor sets previously (Warden and Captain Post and Minstrel Sets) but that was covering their stats, this post will purely talk about the radiance aspects of the sets and how you obtain them.

    There is actually a pretty good page on the Lorebook covering the Radiance Armour which has many of the same specifics I’ll be posting here.  Also on the Lorebook you can find all the non-set pieces that have Radiance on them.  The nice part about sticking to just the Radiance aspect as it applies to everyone who wants to run the 12-man content and works exactly the same for every class.

    You’ll want to start working on these sets as you get into your 50s and will most likely find it easiest to find groups for the Moria instance “The Grand Stairs” or GS as it is usually called.  However, now with the Meta-deed rewards for completing all of the instances there are incentives for folks to run all the instances so you may get lucky.  All of the boss chests from all of the Moria instances contain Medallions of Moria which can be bartered for the first available Radiance set.  This set is not only desirable because of the Radiance, but it is also still some of the best armour in the game for the stats.  Below I’ll break out how many coins you can get from each instance as well as how many coins are required for each piece.  You can also chat with your class trainer in the main towns in Moria, Lothlorien, and Mirkwood to see what sets are available and their associated costs.  Now the last two pieces of the set, the helm and shoulders, are obtained a little differently in that their barter piece only drops from the Watcher raid.

    • Grand Stairs – 7 Medallions of Moria (10 for a full clear)
    • Fil Gashan – 9 Medallions of Moria
    • Forges of Khazad-Dum – 10 Medallions of Moria
    • 16th Hall – 10 Medallions of Moria
    • Skumfil – 10 Medallions of Moria
    • Dark Delvings – 10 Medallions of Moria
    • Turtle Raid – 3 Medallions of Moria

    The armour set pieces are bartered in the following way:

    • Gauntlets and Boots (+10 Radiance) – 10 Medallions of Moria
    • Jacket and Leggings (+10 Radiance) – 25 Medallions of Moria
    • Non Set Shoulders and Helm (+10 Radiance) – 15 Medallions of Moria
    • Set Shoulders and Helm (+20 Radiance) – Platinum Coin of Spirit from the Watcher

    To clarify this a bit, the Medallions are rewarded to every player in the group but the the Coins are a reward that you’ll have to win the roll on to get.  Usually for the Watcher a couple of Coins will drop, but for the raids going forward usually it is one coin for easy mode and a second coin for Hard (or challenge) mode.

    Moria Trainer

    Moving on from Moria to Lothlorien there are 2 sets that you can barter for here.  The instances that drop the Medallions of Lothlorien are the Mirror-halls (3-man), the Water Wheels (3-man) and the Halls of Crafting (6-man).  I believe the first 2 instances can drop a maximum of 6 coins but I’m not 100% sure on that, but I do know that the Halls of Crafting yields 10 Medallions upon completing Hard mode.  All three of these instances are part of the Epic Quest line (Volume 2 Book 8) so you will not only want to do them but should be able to find groups running the instances as well.  Also, HoC is a pretty popular instance to run as it does have some nice jewelry drops in it.  The first armor set from Lothlorien is just a 3 piece set with each piece providing +15 Radiance.

    • Jacket – 25 Medallions of Lothlorien
    • Leggings – 15 Medallions of Lothlorien
    • Gloves – 10 Medallions of Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Trainer

    There is also a Barter Exchange Trader up on the main flet in Lothlorien that will trade 10 Medallions of Moria for 1 Medallion of Lothlorien if you find yourself with left-overs.  This also provides people with incentives to run the Moria instances as they can trade in for more useful Medallions for characters already at the level cap.  Lothlorien Barter Rewards Now the second set is a full six piece set with each piece providing +20 radiance but those barter coins only drop from the 12 man raid Dar Narbugud.

    Finally we’ll move on to Mirkwood where there are again 2 different sets you can barter for.  However, you do also have the option to barter for the same 3-piece set from Lothlorien using the Medallions of Dol-Guldur if you find those are easier to obtain.  There are 3 3-man instances in Mirkwood which I believe all drop 6 Medallions for Hard mode completion.  Those instances are Sword Halls, the Warg Pens, and the Dungeons of Dol Guldur but like Moria you will find that most people with mainly do Sword Halls as it is quite easy and quick.  You can also get 10 tokens from the 6-man instance Sammuth Gul if you can complete that in Hard mode with the added benefit of some nice jewelry drops and the Symbol required for crafting level 65 second age Legendary Items.  There also is a pair of heavy armor gloves (Rochben)Rochben that drop from SG with +25 Radiance so you might keep your eyes out for them if you’re a heavy armor wearing class.  The cost for the Lothlorien 3-piece set is the same as I mentioned above with the other 3-piece set providing +25 Radiance:

    Mirkwood 3-piece Sets

    • Boots – 15 Medallions of Dul Guldur
    • Shoulders – 20 Medallions of Dul Guldur
    • Helm – 25 Medallions of Dul Guldur

    The 6 piece set is similar to the Lothlorien 6 piece set in that it only drops from the 12-man raid Barad Guldur with each piece providing +30 radiance.

    Mirkwood 6-piece Set

    As it stands currently, only the 3 12-man raids require radiance:

    • the Watcher – +60 required, +80 desired
    • Dar Narbugud – +80 required, +100 desired
    • Barad Guldur – +120 required, +140 desired

    Now 2 things to keep in mind with regards to Radiance:

    • Gloom (the opposite of Radiance) rounds down so if you have +75 Radiance that’s equivalent to +80.
    • Both DN and BG do have places where the gloom will start to increase so the more Radiance you have the better off you’ll be.  If you’re sitting at the minimum it is usually a good idea to buy another +10 Radiance (well technically Hope) using Destiny points but remember those can only be purchased while out of combat.

    Hopefully this provides a pretty good idea of what Radiance gear is out there, where and how much is needed, and the various ways to obtain it.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or other things to add to this topic.

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]

    Tell the Community Team Thread – Minstrels


    This weeks TtCTT is up and the class of focus is the Minstrel, which is another of my mains so I wanted to not only suggest that folks submit their responses but I also wanted to share mine.

    I could only come up with 2 suggestions for things to change:

    • I’d like to see some more melee options for the Minstrel in War-speech.  This becomes a real problem with all the silences and such and I’d love to see something else other then Herald’s Strike and our auto-attacks.
    • Probably a bigger problem for Minstrels is that our heals don’t scale with the changes in the morale pools for characters up to level 65.  I will admit I’m not sure what the right solution here is but some tweak would be very nice to scale those heals better now that we have many characters quite easily eclipsing 10K morale.

    As for a new legacy, I would like to see a power return addition to Herald’s Strike.  Nothing over the top but a little something to help with the ridiculous power drain of being in War-speech.

    As for set bonuses, I’m really not a fan of stat bonuses so I’d be more then happy if those went away,  Or if they’re going to stick with those use a stat that doesn’t have a hard cap like power or morale.  As for ones I like, anything that makes me heal better with less power is good or things that reduce threat.  The other nice bonus is on the BG set which has a boost to Fellowship’s Heart.

    [tweetmeme only_single=”false”]