Category Archives: Gambits

Examples of the Lua Scripting Plugins


I played around quite a bit with the Lua Plugins during beta and I wanted to share some of the plugins that I really enjoyed.  I also suggest checking out the LOTRO Plugins site and keep your eye on the LOTRO Interface site for more details on the plugins and some help in how to actually script using Lua.  I will admit I didn’t write any plugins I just used them and tested them out.

Here’s a screenshot of my listing of the plugins I played around with:

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A favorite for all you Wardens (and Hunters) who hate taking quickslots up with travel options, look at the right side of this shot:

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It takes all the ports, maps, etc. and puts them on a scroll bar such that you can just select the one you want and use it instead of having all of them loaded.

I’m a bit on the fence about the bag-space options, but certainly I like the option to set them up in different ways.  Check out the before and after:

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However, by far my favorite ones are the Plugins that allow you to re-orient how your vitals display looks.  In the below shots, just focus on the area at the center of the screen and not the Warden wheel section, I’ll get to that.  The area at the center is actually 2 plugins, Palantir and FX – FX is just the horizontal bar and Palantir is everything else.

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Palantir puts up the big morale and power bars which for me are much easier to look at then the normal display.  It also has boxes at the bottom which light up when hit by a fear, poison, wound, or disease.  The FX Bar is a nicer customizable display of all buffs and de-buffs on your character.  The nicest thing for me is the “wheel” count-down that graphically shows how much time said effect has before it wears off.  I absolutely LOVE this as it REALLY helps know when things are coming on and off.  The top of the bar shows all the buffs I have up and the bottom any debuffs.  Another nice option is shown off below in that you can select buffs/debuffs and have them show bigger whenever that same effect comes up again as shown in this shot below:

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You can see these in action in this quick video I took:

As for the Warden Trainer, it is a cool little script where you can right click and get a list of the gambits and it will populate the bar with the correct builders.  I can see that really helping folks out in learning the gambits or if there’s one critical gambit you always forget.  The gambit loaded below is Mighty Blow.

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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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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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Downing Thorog


Ok, so this isn’t a huge accomplishment with level 65 toons as it is a level 50 raid but it was still very fun 🙂  We ended up having 15 people with some crazy DPS as we had LOTS of runekeepers.  Despite the fact that we were very over-leveled, people (including me) did die so it certainly can be a tricky fight.  For me the main issue was the hope wipe (got hit at least twice) but I think there were also some eye-ball issues as well.  I’ve done this on my other toons on level so it was nice to get in there on my Warden.  So now all that’s left for her is a Balrog kill, well that and actually winning the roll on the lawn decoration.

To explain these mechanics basically from time to time Thorog will wipe hope (which isn’t boosted by Radiance) which puts you at a serious morale deficit.  There’s no defense for this, just have someone in your group pop hope and depending on how long you’re in there you may need to cycle the groups to deal with the cool-downs.  But since we were fighting Thorog for a grand total of 186 seconds (yes, 3 minutes and 6 seconds) it wasn’t a big deal.

The other mechanic is that Thorog will from time to time toss out a purple eye of death.  This can target not only players but pets and RK rocks so you need to be careful with those.  The eye has a nasty DoT component but the real issue is that if it isn’t cured you will explode and your blast area will infect those around you with the DoT.  So, fear potions or a captain are very important in this fight or worst case you just run away to blow up yourself.

I captured this “fight” in both Fraps and Cstats but as you’ll see from the video it isn’t a shining example of good Wardening more just a fun fight.  I will admit that I did switch my graphics settings for the end portion of the video to get some prettier shots of Helegrod.

One other thing I’ll point out is that apparently to get credit for this kill for the new Meta-deed there is a pre-requisite chain.  Nothing terribly difficult but time consuming, so if you want the credit make sure you do this BEFORE the raid starts.  The chain starts from Anornaneth in Rivendell with the quest Stirrings within Helegrod.

Here’s the video:

And a snap of the CStats log:

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Wardens grabbing even more attention


So I’m stealing the title from my post over on LOTRO Reporter in which I walk through the basics of tanking for a Warden.  I wanted to link to that over here as well as refresh a couple other previous posts I’ve made along those lines.

There were significant combat system changes with the launch of Mirkwood, so I took some time in this post to walk through all the changes.

For more specifics on tanking gambits you can check out my entire series over on the LOTRO Reporter, but also I posted in significant length on this subject back in November.

With all the agro talk, I also wanted to refresh the post I made quoting Graalx2 with the threat definitions.

And finally I’ve also mentioned a few times about Legendary Items which comes up in many of these posts so I figured I’d post the links to those posts here covering both the Warden Legendary Item Pools and legacy and rune discussions.

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Fun times in Sammuth Gul


I ended up getting in a late night Sammuth Gul run last night with a couple of friends.  Our group wasn’t quite optimal as we were lacking a traited healer and didn’t have any crowd control.  I think I was more worried about the CC then I was the healing (as you’ll see later on) as the loremasters in there are just downright nasty.  However, we had lots of DPS, and lots of interrupts which made this a fun and exciting run.  I was on my Warden along with a guard, captain, champion, DPS spec’d runekeeper, and a full warrior skald traited minstrel.  The trash really wasn’t too bad as we essentially had 4 off-healers in the group and with all the heavies we had lots of spare morale.  Our Minstrel was able to stay in War-speech for a good deal of the fights and only towards the end or if we got an unlucky pull did he have to drop out.  We had a couple of marathon fights with summoners and unlucky punts onto bone piles, but the ability of our guard to get conjunctions off was key to us being able to move as quickly as we did.

The only part that really worried me was the Gorothol fight as there’s just SO many mobs and things get very crazy in there.  As the adds started to pile up we were able to just grab everything in the middle with the guard and myself trying to grab all the agro and the champ and runekeeper doing as much AoE damage as possible.  Our minnie was watching out for the loremasters to keep them occupied, trying to keep alive, and trying to toss us the occasional heal.  Although, as the following log will show I did a pretty darn good job of keeping myself alive as all the adds are a Warden’s dream 🙂  After a while I think the guard and I had the agro shared pretty well but my morale bar wasn’t moving much at all as I just kept cycling through our life-taps and conviction.

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So over the course of the entire fight, I was healing myself for roughly 100 morale per second 🙂 which surprised me when I looked at it considering I probably wasn’t healing at all for at least the first half or so.  Also, if you look at the breakout of my attacks you’ll see just how much more damage our gambits do versus the builders and has me thinking that I can slow down some and rely more on the masteries to build my gambits to save some power and I won’t sacrifice that much threat or DPS.

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But with critted food and power pots, I actually seemed to be in a better spot then some of the others in our group so that made me happy.  I’ve also noticed that since I have a larger morale pool I can actually drop down enough to use Darkness Before Dawn and not get destroyed.

And finally, we did get a symbol drop, which sadly I did not win, but at least it did go to my friend who hadn’t won one before.

My first extended Warden Moors adventure


I wanted to take the opportunity to not only share some of my recent adventures in the Moors but also some tricks and tips from the various other Wardens and Creeps.  I’ve talked about this a couple of times with some other good resources so feel free to check out my October post and the more flushed out February post.  I also wanted to share a couple of more recent forum posts that talk about things from both a Warden’s perspective as well as from the creep side.

First off I figured I talk a little about my adventures last night which allowed me to get almost half-way through rank 3.  I’m still VERY green on my Warden but my initial goal is Rank 4 such that I can get the 30 minute cool-down Moors map.  I don’t always use that map just for the Moors but just to get around as another map/port.  Kinda sad but there are times when even my Warden would like to have other travel options 🙂  Rank 6 is the next milestone as that gets you the pretty blue icon as opposed to the red ones of Rank 1-5, not a big deal but just the next progression.  Rank 6 also is the last requirement for the initial armor set, but I’ll get to that a bit more later.  After that, it will mainly depend on how much I’m enjoying it and what else is available in game as the climb then starts to get pretty steep.  My normal plan in the Moors is just to wander around a bit while solo to see what’s out there and join in a raid if there’s one forming up, but sometimes it is more fun to just roam solo and look for small fights.  But last night I ended up hopping in a group right away as they were just forming up.  I was fortunate to get into a pretty good group (~3 full groups) with a fairly comparable creep side force.  I’m pretty sure the map was mostly red, so we did roam around a bit looking for the action.  We rode around for a bit before confronting them at Tirith Rhaw (TR) which is the eastern keep.  Keep fights in many cases are just as much PvE experiences as they are PvP and as such Wardens really can shine as we can grab all the NPC agro and shield many from the extra attacks.  As we moved in, the creeps pretty quickly left us to reclaim the keep.  We then pressed towards South Tol Ascarnen Bridge (STAB) which is right next to the Elf Camp (EC) and ran smack into the creep raid.  We had a number of good skirmishes with this raid here, on the Tol Ascarnen (TA) side of the bridge as well as the resurrection circle near Lugazag (Lug).  We were very fortunate to have some good leaders and a pretty mixed group with healers, dps, CC, and interrupters.  I think we rolled the creeps a number of times at least with one retreat in there somewhere.  But they were all good fights with sustained battles such that I could really get better accustomed to the different fight options.

My general strategy was to trait fully down the Fist line and get as many DoTs and fears out as possible.  So this meant mainly War-cry (with fear trait slotted) and Desolation whenever in the scrum.  I also kept my eyes on not only our healers to try to protect them but also targeted the creep healers such that I could interrupt them too.  One thing I learned was that it is actually pretty easy to get Ambush off even while not stealthed as you only go into combat when something hits you, not when something gets close.  So, with creative positioning (and a poor rank) I was able to blend in and not be a juicy target such that I could land an ambush.  Certainly having some induction reducing and careful step duration legacies would be real nice but I was pretty happy out there with what I had.  I did pop a few convictions to generally help out as we did only have 2 minnies so I figured I’d help out when folks got low.  But in all honesty, if either side focuses on one target no healing will keep them up without a bubble of some soft.

In all the fighting I really felt MUCH more useful then my Captain (who’s rank 4), which was actually surprising to me.  Unlike Captains which can really only heal, buff, and provide some single target DPS my Warden can:

  • Fear creeps – which prevents most skill usage
  • DoTs (up to 24 seconds in duration) – which prevents many fleeing skills and keeps them in combat
  • Quickly and on-demand interrupt healers
  • Ranged DPS as well as melee range AoE DPS
  • Ranged slow
  • Some spammable group wide healing ability.
  • Pretty well keep myself alive, assuming they’re not focusing on me 🙂

A couple things that I’m toying with on my traits as I’ve had now had a chance to play around a bit is swapping in the shield mastery trait (currently slotted for +1 heal pulses) and also the cool-down reduction for javelin attacks.  I may end up just swapping the javelin cool-down for the heal pulse but I’m worried that might cause problems while out soloing.  I could swap back and forth as I’m not changing legendaries so it won’t be all that expensive but I’m just lazy.

I will also play around with my gear as well as I didn’t wear my normal PvE armor.  I swapped out for the crafted armor items that either negates incoming damage or procs a heal.  I also swapped out for my damage mitigation shield as the fights usually are pretty short so power’s not a huge deal.  I’m still not convinced I have a setup that I like quite yet, but we shall see.

One of the things that was running through my mind while in the Moors was what this does for my character’s progression.  Certainly it is fun and I do enjoy it, but part of my questions I sent to the CStM folks for Pax was addressing this lack of rewards for freep side PvMP play.  You can hear these questions and Sapience’s answer over on CStM’s Interview Podcast. One of my big annoyances has always been the way to acquire the PvMP armor sets as you not only have to acquire the appropriate rank to wear them but you need a bunch of drops from the Delving of Fror PvE raid instance.  Never mind the fact that these sets aren’t all that great stat wise, but I just don’t see why PvP rewards require such a heavy PvE investment.  I’d really love for some other way to obtain the various barter items for these pieces as I’ll be honest the Dark Purple Warden set (seen below) are really cool looking and I’d love to have as a cosmetic item.  It is also dye-able such that you can get a complete black set 🙂

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Maybe a tie to the already existing Tokens that can be turned in for chest rewards, or provide something that’s tied to rank ala DAOC in that for each step you make in your PvP rank progression you get “points” that can be used for armor coins.  The other option would be to have things drop from creeps themselves, but I see all sorts of problems there so I’d prefer one of the other options (or I”m sure there are LOTS of better ones on the PvMP forums).

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this as I progress as well as feedback on how I fair in 1v1 fights.

Back from a crazy couple of weeks


So things have been pretty quiet here for a bit with a combination of work travel and some actual vacation time as well.  I have a bunch of things to catch up on and I’ll have a few posts coming out this weekend but I figured I’d update on a few things first.

Aside from the travel craziness I have been playing some but just not nearly as much as would warrant writing about.  I’ve been working on the Ale Association quests and I’m intrigued by not only the titles but what they might put on that vendor 🙂  This new quest line seems to have drawn some comments from folks that they feel bad doing bad things in the Shire and I’ve actually taken a bit of a different slant on it.  I’m looking at it more like a friendly rivalry between two bars (ala Cheers) and the Ale Association is just launching the first line of the pranks 😉  Now if they continue this, I’d love to see the hobbit retaliation!  I do like the upcoming changes coming that will put negative reputation for the opposite faction.  This makes sense as we’re really not all that sneaky when poking holes in the kegs and stealing recipes 🙂  I am enjoying this festival as they are pretty quick things I can do and I still always enjoy running through the Shire as it is so beautiful and relaxing.

In addition to the festival I have been doing some SG and SH runs on my Warden and am one piece away (16 tokens) from the full set such that I can actually run the BG raid.  They have made some subtle changes to SG and I like the pace of that dungeon.  With a decent group, it is around an hour or so which really isn’t all that bad and you can reasonably do a couple runs in a row.  I have my pseudo static group I run with late at night but in addition I really don’t have any issues finding groups (and successful ones too) for both SG and SH.  I still haven’t run the other dungeons yet and do want to check them out at some point.  I did also run SG on my Captain (only 62) which was quite stressful as I so didn’t want to mess things up for the group.  The good news for these runs is that I’ve seen 2 Symbols drop (lost both) so maybe I’m just lucky or maybe they did tweak things a bit.

I also stuck my neck out into the moors a bit on my Warden and holy cow was that a blast.  I started off soloing and got stomped on by a Warg/Warleader duo – which wasn’t surprising.  Wargs are really annoying with all their stuns and I’m also REALLY rusty out there 🙂  I then ended up running with a small group and we didn’t do all that bad in the grand scheme of things.  I really need to get out there more as I found myself falling into my tanking rotation which is just bad.  I re-spec’d full fist line with the 2 additional masteries as I think the fears could be more useful down the line then possible additional DPS.  The pace out there really is MUCH faster and it will certainly help overall to make me a better and more dynamic player.  The moors always has been a good fit for me as when I don’t have much time I can just run around solo but can also hop in groups when I have more time available and you’ll probably hear and see more from me from the moors.  I also need to keep my eyes open for other weapons with better PvP legacies…

Warden Forum Nuggets


As usual, the Warden boards of late have been filled with quite a few really good posts, so I wanted to make sure everyone saw them.  And at the bottom, there’s a pretty good in-game champ quote that I couldn’t resist re-posting 😉

The first post is centered around Warden DPS, not that we should ever be mistaken for a DPS class but what’re some ways to get a higher output.  Long post short, trait spear line, high might, high melee offense rating/critical rating, and good legacies on your weapons.  Personally I am leaning towards having some DPS weapons as opposed to just tanking ones as it is easier, quicker, and cheaper to swap weapons then it is to completely re-trait.  Also a refresher on what good DPS rotations are, which essentially are the spear line gambits 😉

After that, we go to our main role of tanking.  The first post primarily discusses the difference between the Fist line and the Shield line and when each are preferred.  The thread does start with the excitement over Perceived Threat being recently fixed, which does make the First line more viable.  The general consensus is that Shield is slightly better for the overall healing abilities but there are cases (BG for one) when you won’t be using your HoTs and there’s lots of –threat debuffs tossed around – making the Fist line pretty appealing.  Following a similar line of thought there’s a thread on setups for BG which not only follows the trait line from above, but also has some good ideas for BG in general.  If you’re a Warden planning to run BG, I’d highly recommend those posts and probably a conversation or 2 with a couple of the posters there that have actually run that raid.  And actually, there’s some good tanking posts in those the would be of use for everyone running that raid.

I think I’ve talked about this a couple of times, but there’s another pretty decent explanation of the differences between Wardens and Guardians.  The BG posts above got into this a bit in talking about the raid mechanics, but this post is more generic.  To summarize, both are good fun classes who can tank very well with their individual strengths and weaknesses 🙂  But, IMO a well played Warden usually will provide more value to a group and to a lesser extent the raid.

My last Warden thread is another “hot-bar” setup which I think is an interesting idea (well ideas actually as the OP links to another thread).  This one mainly focuses on the 2-builder mastery skills we get and can trait for but also has some nifty layouts.  I’m confident my Warden bars are pretty well set (for my taste) but new Wardens or folks who don’t like theirs might enjoy the post.

I also wanted to post a congrats to Telchalin and Madame of Nimrodel who managed to duo the Sword Halls instance in Hard-mode!  They’re a guardian/burglar pair and that’s certainly not a feat to be taken lightly.  It gives me some ideas as I do have a number of burglar friends 😉

And finally, I love to tease my Champion friends but I didn’t realize the LOTRO devs agreed with me – check out these dwarves from Dolven View.  And in case you haven’t been there, that’s the Guardian class vendor talking trash to the Champion vendor 😉

My first day in Volume 3


I was pretty successful yesterday, although I ended up running out of steam towards the evening 🙂 and didn’t get quite as much done as I had planned.

I started off on my Minstrel as I had less to do on him.  I had logged out the previous night at Gath Forthnir such that I could jump right in and finish off the final quest of Volume 1.  Considering this is still a level 50 quest, my 65 minstrel had a LOT of fun running through there.  The “Inspire Greatness” buff is quite fun and I ended up having some real nifty big numbers floating around my screen 😉  The biggest was my Call to the 2nd Age critting for over 5K on all three mobs attacking me!  Here’s a shot of me in the middle of that quest, and a shot of the buff (notice at this point I had forgotten to re-do my legendaries)…

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And of course, here’s the prize at the end of the book my new horse:

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I did finally remember to re-set all my legendary items and did pick up the new cooking recipes, but haven’t had a chance to make any of the new eats or even decide which ones I’m going to make.  That’s for another day…

After that it was over to my Warden who did have more work to do.  I started out working through Book 14 and quickly decided that I really wanted to see how much I could do using the Inspire Greatness buff.  Now I did get myself into a little bit of trouble during the last part of Book 14.  For those of you that have done it, you’ll remember there are various little pockets of mobs both outside the ring-forge and then even more once you fight your way inside.  As I was outside, I didn’t have too many issues:

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Once I got inside I decided that I would go ahead and pull not just the entire room but the troll “boss” at the end.  Now to further compound things, I sorta forgot there’s a dread zone right where I was standing.  So for a long while I was fighting in like 5 dread which caused me to cower every once in a while 🙂  If you notice in the above shots, with the Inspire Greatness buff I have over 30K Morale but with the combination of the dread (which knocked off about half my health) and mobs I ended up getting down under 1K so I actually thought I was going to fail.  But will all the mobs, once I moved out of the dread zone I was able to leach back enough health to bump that back up over 10K when I finally finished off the last mob.

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After a pretty big sigh of relief (I really didn’t want to have to re-do that instance, or admit failure) I did make it through and finish the rest of that instance and all of Book 15.  I had forgotten how good the story was during those 2 books which made up for the times I was griping about the travel back and forth to Dellosad.  So my Warden is also sporting the new pretty horse (and notice the scaled down pool):

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After finishing off Volume 1, I noticed in my quest log that I hadn’t finished Volume 2, 8.6 which is a small fellowship quest.  I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a go as it is a level 60 quest 🙂  I remembered it being pretty short and not terribly tricky, but I forgot the final mob did have over 100K morale, plus a few friends.  There are some breaks in the fight and there’s only one mob to fight at a time, otherwise there’d be no way to even come close to soloing it.  The fight was a bit tricky and I was paying a too much attention to take screen-shots (or a video) but I was able to solo it after kiting on the last 2 mobs in order to regen as I finished them off.  Luckily Wardens are very good at kiting 😉

I then finished up my evening running through Volume 3 Book 1 and managed to get my Warden up to the Rift Skirmish but my eyes decided I needed a break so that will have to wait for another day.

On the whole, the update has all sorts of great additions.  The Volume 1 revamp is a huge success and quite popular as I did see quite a few others like me running through Books 14 and 15.  I’ll be curious to hear how folks are finding it when done more on level as opposed to 15 levels higher like me 😉  The only down side for me was that without anyone in the group, I had way too much loot and not enough bag space.  Some of those instances in books 14 and 15 are pretty long, so there were lots of bodies left on the ground as I just didn’t have any space left 😦  I haven’t tried the new Minstrel skill, but the Warden gambit is quite nice.  And while Volume 3 is a tour of Middle-Earth there’s a very fun story and I really enjoyed the quests.  Plus with the addition of the quest reward travel options, you can chose to make it as quick and painless as you want :).

I’ll have some more posts as I progress including some updates on my Minstrel in the Mirkwood instances.  And I may have a post coming as we get closer to the Dragon Age expansion, but we’ll see.